March 15, 2014 – Claire onto Florida with Mock Trial Team

Claire’s Mock Trial team at Macalester College participated in the “super rgionals” near Chicago after advancing at an earlier tournament in the Twin Cities.

squaw creek

Claire at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, IL. It was my first time to see the team in action.  In a nutshell, the team gets details of a court case and present the case before a “judge” – usually a couple of practicing attorneys.  The team has attorneys and witnesses and does not know if they will be prosecuting a case or defending a case.  I was impressed with the poise, presentation, and knowledge of the teams that participated.

squaw creek

Probably not a surprise that the team advances to the National Finals in Orlando in a couple of weeks!  Here, senior captain Claire with the team and coaches show off the hardware!

July 14, 2013 – Checking up on the Girls

By chance, we stayed within a few miles of our daughters’ summer workplace.  In fact, we could see the wind turbine at their camp from the balcony of our room!

The girls at Wolf Ridge looking inland (the opposite view looks over Lake Superior).

Self-portrait family shot.

Le Voyageur room at Wolf Ridge.

The small indoor climbing tower. I still think it’s great the girls wanted to work together this summer.

Here’s a view of our B&B cabin from the river. I’m standing on a rock island in the river and wasn’t quite high enough to see all the water over the rocks.

Linda and the “morning pages.”

One of the magical pools below the Inn.

Although we didn’t get a chance to use it, there was a fanciful wood-fired sauna! As if Dr. Suess wasn’t Finnish!

May 25, 2013 – High School is Over!

Graduation 2013.  And Emma couldn’t have had any more symbols behind her name!

The one that’s most indicative of Emma is the one designating “Silver Cord” recipients, for those students with more than 100 hours of community service per year of high school.

Emma was also selected as a commencement speaker. Since the school is about half minority students (yes, in the middle of Iowa there is a school where there is such diversity), she presented a speech with a Hispanic friend.

Emma being a boss at the podium.

The ceremony was one most will not forget.  During the ceremony, which included a storm that pushed the local river to a record flood level, the sound of the civil defense sirens filled the gym.  As the principal was giving instructions to seek shelter from the storm, the policeman on duty alerted him that the sirens were for a flood warning, not a tornado, so the ceremony continued until… the power went out. And about 15 minutes later the lights came back on.

By the time the ceremony finally ended, the storm had passed and we could gather for a photo.

April 16, 2013 – Tour of Iceland!

I’ve been captivated with Claire’s photographs from Iceland. It was an optional trip in her study abroad in Denmark. The vistas, water, and absence of power lines and other human marks upon the landscape make it an interesting place.

The first stop, was of course, Reykjavík, the largest city, consisting of about 120,000 people.

An Icelandic harbor.

Can you say layers?  Claire’s got it down.

The Lutherans do it up in grand style in Iceland!.

Claire’s comment on this outfit: “Icelandic fashion, go home, you’re drunk”.

I hope she doesn’t drag this fellow home!.

Beware Vikings ahead!  Claire was quoted in an article in the Copenhagen paper asking about American impressions of what Vikings are like.

She had a chance to do all the things you’re supposed to do/see in Iceland.

This at the Whale Fjord.  The only picture out of water where she isn’t bundled up!

An Icelandic farm with the famous Icelandic horses. This breed is the only kind of horse in Iceland. Importing any horse is illegal, and if one of these leaves the country it cannot ever come back.

Here she is with one of the horses.

They took the horses on a ride through the countryside.

The intriguing Gullfoss waterfalls .

Another view of the falls.

In Claire’s own words “The most awkward titanic photo ever!”

Another of Iceland’s features are the geysers.  in fact, this place geysir is where the word “geyser” comes from.

Thar she blows, this one, every five minutes.

Of course, there are hot springs from all the geothermal activity. This is the BLue Lagoon.

How cool is it to be in water in Iceland?.

Out in the countryside.

This crack is where the european and north american plates meet.

With some fellow students at a late sunset near the harbor.

January 14, 2013 – Is There Still Something Rotten in Denmark?

We sent Claire over the pond for a semester abroad in Copenhagen – she’ll let us know.  It was considerably easier than sending her to India for the summer when she was 17!

Some of you may noticed the new button at the top of the page entitled “Over the Øresund” which is the name of the bridge from Sweden to Denmark and the title of Claire’s blog.  She’s already made a few posts, since they are a day ahead of us!  You can click it to get to Claire’s thoughts there or here.

November 19, 2012 – Brief Morning on Lake Superior

Before the noon funeral, we were afforded a few brief moments on Lake Superior.

silhouettes on rocky beach at sunrise

We awoke before the sun and headed down to Brighton Beach.

ore boat at sunrise, lake superior

Merchant vessel Walter J. McCarthy Jr. heads out of port for points east.  She’s a modern great lakes boat, about 1/5 of a mile long, measuring 1,000 feet long.

November 20th on the lake in fall coats?

lester creek, creek in late fall

We also took a short walk up Lester Creek.  All of the shots today were taken within the city limits of Duluth, a great place to get outside.

June 7, 2012 – Someone Else’s Canoe Trip

While Martin and I were bumming around northern Minnesota, the girls and a couple of brother-friends were on a canoe trip.

I offered help, only as asked as Claire gets all things packed for the trip.

Aa beautiful day to hit the water paddling.

Emma, at the stern in her element.

Claire portaging the canoe between lakes.

All settled in at the campsite.

Creative cooling as always when camping – why not put some dried fruit and nuts in the biscuits?

Pump, pump, pump that water through the water purifier.

Some of the crew at the head of a portage.

The whole crew having a snack near the end of the day.  I take it as an encouraging sign that the bugs are not so bad to allow shorts.  I’m sure it must have been a great trip for the kids to manage successfully without parental guidance for five days in the wilderness.

June 1, 2012 – Dropping Off the Girls in the BWCAW

For better or worse, we agreed to allow Claire and Emma go on their first longer canoe trip (without parents) with a couple of friends who happen to be brothers and do not have BWCA experience.  I used it as an opportunity to see them off and get them up and back.  Since it’s about a 10 hour drive, we stayed for a night before the trip and after the trip at Kawishiwi Lodge where we have spent many summers.

I’ve recently received complaints about the lack of pictures of me on the blog.  Here’s one at Lake One on the night of our arrival.

And one of Martin as well.

The crew the last night before heading into the wilderness.

The group just moments before they headed off down Moose Lake for points east and north.

May 9, 2012 – Big Gardening Day on the Farm

It was a great “getting things done on the farm day.” It was the first day that Linda and Claire were home all day, so the garden and other things were transformed.

First, Claire volunteered to clean out winter from the hen house. About five overflowing loader buckets (liberally soaked with water to aid the composting process) and the hen house was ready for fresh bedding, and next year’s compost is on the way.

Many plants and seeds and mulch found their way into the garden as well. We got the recycled lumber tarps out of the barn, Linda planted a bunch of peppers and tomatoes. I went to the neighbors via the bumpy dirt trail between the crop fields and retrieved two loads of loose straw from the loft of their barn and put the tomato cages on, pounded the stakes in, spread the mulch and wet it all down.

This photo shows some hearty garlic on the right, a cattle panel trellis that we put up this weekend.  It has pole beans on the outside and lettuce and spinach underneath, hopefully to last a bit longer into the summer with the shade of the beans.  To the left of the trellis is some space reserved for viney plants before a row of tomatoes.  It’s nice to have that mulched portion of the garden already weeded for the whole season!

At the end of the day, I took some time to pull thistles from the pasture.  It appears that last year’s pulling them out by had greatly reduced the population in the paddock we tested last year.  We’ll continue that on the other paddocks this year.

 

January 3, 2012 – Year In Review

It’s time for a year=end review of some of my favorite moments and photos of 2011.

Kids and baby animals are hard to beat.

Extremes in any domain are interesting.

Martin’s new found love and interest in cooking gave us many great meals.

The promise of a neat spring garden always brings hope.

Linda’s wild look in the White House captures a moment.

“Walking the Talk”

Claire as a professional at her work post in DC.

Dad and Martin up on the North Shore of Minnesota.

Martin’s initiative to carry a big pack, rather cheerfully over 3.5 miles of portages.

Emma exploring new foods in Boston.

Taking care of some of our own responsibly-grown meat.

Visiting with women farmers from around the world at our farm.

The majesty and scale of the new wind turbine farm just south of our farm.

Finally, after 20 some odd years (who’s counting, exactly) the love of my life shining a little light of hers.

January 2, 2012 – Claire’s Caucus Quest

As Claire was running out things to do at home with all her college friends gone away and most of her high school friends on a band trip to Florida, she thought it might be educational to visit all the Republican candidates running around in pre-caucus-mode.  In the matter of a few days, she was able to see four of them in Marshalltown, and was able to make a trip to Cedar Rapids to pick the last two in an afternoon.

newt gingrich iowa, newt and callista gingrich, rock with your caucus out, student with gingrich

Interesting juxtaposition of Claire’s t-shirt and political candidate!.

roan paul iowa caucuses

Claire with everyone’s favorite grandpa politician.

According to Claire, warm monster cookies provided by the Romney camp might be enough to swing anyone’s vote!

Rick Perry speaking to what he knows about in Marshalltown.

michelle bachmann iowa, michelle bachman with student

Claire with the only other declared female presidential candidate.

Rick Santorum live on the campaign trail. All in all, a good week for a poly-sci major to see candidates in action.

December 11, 2011 – What do They Have in Common?

What do the following people have in common?

They all met Claire at an “event” in a 37th floor penthouse in downtown Minneapolis!  A few days before the event, the chair of the Political Science department at Macalester College asked if she could provide the name of a handful of students who might want to attend.  Claire was picked and got to meet Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, Minnesota Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, Iowa Congressional challenger Christi Vilsack, Former VP Mondale, and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Ryback.

Claire enjoyed it immensely and in a debriefing with her professor the next day, she told Claire, “I’ve never seen a student work a room like you.”

The next day she received a call from the Governor’s office inviting her to interview in two days for an internship and by Friday she had the new internship.  Her schedule is now set for a bit – Spring semester she has the internship in the Governor’s Office and her work-study internship in the Children’s Museum.  She’s lucky to have two of her classes at night, so she has time during the day for these experiences.  This summer is also set, as she’ll be back in Secretary Vilsack’s office in DC as she was last summer.