Thursday, February 26, 2009

When one door closes, another opens...

My task, is to find the door that will open. My position is eliminated as of March 6th. While the last couple years have been difficult ones, the organization has been a big part of my life for almost 22 years. I feel like part of me has been severed. Yet, there are many positive things to focus on. Wayne's job is going well; I have a 180 day bridge period during which if I can get into another position there, I maintain my seniority; I recieved an 8 wk severence package and have about 6 hours of accumulated PTO time that will be paid out; and many managers and directors are going to keep their eye, ears, and minds open on my behalf. Then, as I would guess Jodi found, when one door closes, another opens.

The reality is that while there is much to be positive about, my eyes have been "leaking" and occaisionally the dam bursts; nights have been full of tossing and turning. I expect that next Thursday will be the worst as I walk out for the last time. Then, I will appreciate being home with the kids more and will wonder how I will find time to start working again :).


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jen's life in February

my new living room!

new kitchen/dining room

Quincy Wuollet (Riitta's boy, Amber's brother)

Teena Wuollet (Amber's sister)

A morning of fun had come to an end

The Wintergreen Dogsledding Lodge in Ely

Here are a couple pictures that were taken in Ely. Elizabeth and I went dogsledding, on her birthday, and had a blast! The weather was absolutely gorgeous, the guides were fun, and just being able to spend time with Elizabeth was in one word "awesome"!

The following weekend, I was able to go to Minneapolis for a discussion. I was telling Elizabeth before that I want to experience something new once a month. There are so many things I want to do and try, many of which cost zilch. I told her that January was the baby shower for Heather and that was a first! Last weekend I finally made it over to Curt and Wendy Simonson's for dinner and visiting. Another first. Have been meaning to get over there for a long time, and finally did so. From there I went over to Riitta's for the night. Teena, Levi and Quincy put on a skit for me. Very funny! And then yesterday, I decided I should probably take advantage of the larger kitchen and do some thing in it! Chicken from Heather and Shawn was cooked up, cut up, and now in the freezer ready for chicken alfredo pizza and a casserole. Bananas are in the banana bread and muffins. Need to decide if I am making something to use up my chocolate chips that have been in the freezer for awhile, or if I am baking something else!

What to do in March? Can't use the baby excuse, though seeing Heather and Shawn's baby would really be a first, but. . . Possibly check out Wanamingo and see what the town has to offer. There is a trail just a mile or so from my place. . .Go and walk it? Or will something else come up that is even more fun? Will let you know at the end of the month what I decided on!
Another first that I did in February, was to move in to a two-bedroom apartment. The mailing address stays the same. Now the fun has started working on projects that were started years ago and getting them completed! To have an extra room where my library can be, crafts can be worked on and stored is so nice. With the apartment so empty, since I moved in from an efficiency, there are somethings that I really want to get. Good thing garage sales will soon be starting! Another really neat thing about moving, is that Mom and Isa were able to come down, before they left on their trip, to help carry the big stuff up. It was great that they were able to see where I will be living. Now I will just need to have them over for a meal so they can see what the place looks like all put together. Next month, I should have the craft room put together, the way I want it, and will post pictures of it.
Hope all is well with everyone and know that if you ever want to take a drive, you more than welcomed to come on in!

Monday, February 23, 2009


SERVICES: Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Faith United Lutheran Church in Iron. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Faith United Lutheran Church with visitation one hour prior to the service. Arrangements are with the Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

Edwin John Takala, 91, farmer, agricultural teacher and humorist, passed away Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009, at his farm home in Iron. Ed was known for his wit, Finnish stamina (sisu) and lasting community contributions. Ed was born on May 13, 1917, to John and Hanna (Hakola) Takala. He attended a two-room school house and in 1934, graduating from Cherry High School. Ed continued his education at the Eveleth Junior College, completing his degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Minnesota in 1938.From 1938-1940 he served as vocational agricultural instructor at the Alango High School. He married Frances Stanich and they had a daughter, Mary. They were later divorced.

Ed served in World War II from 1943-1946 as United States Army Staff Sergeant in the 50th Armored Infantry, 6th Armored Division. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Campaign Medal for Rhineland-Central Europe, and the Victory Medal in the European Theatre of Operations.Upon his return from World War II, Ed resumed teaching as a vocational agricultural instructor in Embarrass from 1946-1970, reviving the Embarrass Community Fair which continues to this day.

Ed married county public health nurse Madeline Niemela in 1950. They raised four children — James, Sally, Matthew and Theodore.While teaching, he operated the home farm, assisting and encouraging his children in 4-H and FFA projects as well as church, sports and school activities.After the Embarrass school consolidated with Babbitt, he advocated for creation of ISD 710 (2142) which preserved the remaining county schools. After Embarrass closed, Ed taught at Cherry High School from 1970-1971, continuing as Veteran’s Agricultural Instructor until 1979, when he retired to his farm.He initiated the St. Louis Valley/Livestock Association and revived Cherry Area Fair adding a Rodeo which ran for over fifteen years.

Ed was active as an FFA adviser and 4-H leader, serving 25 years as the sheep barn superintendent at the St. Louis County Fair.He was a member of Faith United Lutheran Church and served on its council. Ed belonged to a number of organizations and often served as president. Some of these included VFW, Toastmasters International, Knights of Kaleva, Iron Range Historical Society, Iron Senior Citizens, NAFEC, ASC, FHA, and the Cherry Co-op Store. He was a member of the Arrowhead Development Committee and MEA Legislative Council.

Ed enjoyed writing as a hobby and self-published humorous limericks, as well as his autobiography which was also published in Finland. He compiled and edited the Clinton Township Anthology for its centennial celebration. Ed, then 75, also did a tandem sky dive for the event.

Survivors include children and spouses, Mary Nisenbaum of Oakland, Calif., James (Janette) Takala of Iron, Sally Takala (Bruce Boyce) of Waseca, Minn., Matthew (Connie) Takala of Pine City, Minn., Theodore Takala (Teresa Ries) of St. Cloud, Minn.; grandchildren, Samantha (Aaron) Polk II of Las Vegas, Nev., Benjamin and Adam Nisenbaum of Piedmont, Calif., Lindsay (Jake) Grass of Pine City, Minn., John Takala of Iron, Rudy Takala of Pine City, Minn., Bryan and Jay Takala Boyce of Waseca, Minn.; great-grandchildren, Aaron Polk III and Preston Polk; numerous nieces and nephews.

Edwin was preceded in death by his parents; siblings; Sylvia in child hood, Arthur Takala, Signe Peterson, William Takala and Mildred Carlson; wife, Madeline; an infant daughter; and son-in-law, Joel Nisenbaum; nephews, John Takala, Phillip Peterson, Arthur Peterson and Floyd Carlson.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Aching and Fevering in Alaska

Life at our house. This was last evening's trip to Target. I can tell you that I much prefer the other departments at Target compared to these. :)

Kids have been sick around here. Jari isn't feeling so good either. Sore throat, headache and fevers have been the order of the day. Brock started on Sunday, Anna on Tuesday evening, Alyx yesterday, Tia off and on, Jari the last couple. Brock & Anna have a hold on the fever department. Took them to the clinic yesterday and said I wanted strep swabs done. That is going around too. We never get strep in our house ... once in 23 years I think. Those were negative. Alyx wasn't really too sick, but was going to work around the corner and I figured that she may as well come in with us. Should have brought Tia too. Negative on strep. Then the doctor suggested the flu swab because Brock has been running this fever for days ... and it over the even 102 mark. My kids have never had the flu shot. I refuse it at work. Maybe I just changed my mind. Brock tested positive for Influenza B. It was so nice of him to "offer" up his nostril ... especially since the medication won't help him. He's been sick too long. Anna started on Tamiflu last night. Has anyone purchased that stuff? Total of 10 pills, 1 pill two times daily at a COPAY price of $84. Let's hope it works. Jari is going in this morning and taking Tia with him. We have a few days to kick these nasties. Now my question is answered. Why did I put off purchasing tickets to Phoenix? Our flights would have been leaving tonite. And none of us would have been going. That's why!

In other goodies ...

The kids are all keeping busy with work and/or school. All is either going well or muddling along in those departments ... depending on which child it is.

Jari is now licensed and insured ... in business on his own again. Economy is slowing everywhere ... someplaces at a standstill I think. He is licensed to do home repairs. We're hoping he gets nice and busy! In the meantime ... he can practice in the basement. :) Moved all the sewer lines last week ONE DAY. The heat ducting is nearly all moved. Next comes the water lines and electrical. This, by the way, is all happening in the unfinished part of the basement. I'll try take pictures so you can see it. The end result will be a laundry room flipped to the other side of the wall and into the unused portion of the basement. It will be sizable ... and so will the storage. Then we will start making a bedroom out of the present laundry room. We have many projects and ideas around here. :)

I am working today and then off of work until March 3rd. In there we have oodles of dentist appointments .... I want to get some little things done around here (towel hooks hung up for one) and spend some time having fun!

Tata for now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

new post card design

Hi charlie, I was just messing around, and this is what I came up with.  Not saying you have to like it, but I think it is a little "classier" looking.  what do you think?  

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Whats new in my life? Not much! I should prolly be bald from pulling out my hair, but thats about it!

But, since I'm on here... Ya'll do me a favor!

Take a look at

At the very bottom of the page, is a front and back view of a postcard that we are sending out to all of the garbage haulers in MN. I've had a couple of comments about getting rid of the red border, but I need it for an attention grabber to make sure its looked at before it gets pitched in the trash.

Give me some Critique! It could be better... but how? EVERYTHING can be better! The printed quality is much better than the web quality...


Rats, bats, and other pests

We enjoyed Jen's posts about her friendly (?) visitors.

I think I posted about Susan's repeated requests for a rat. The requests started long before Christmas ("All I want for Christmas is a rat...") and still continue. Each night I come home from work, there is an adorable note on the table for me about the events of the evening. The note always includes information about a rat needing a home.

Well, now we have another critter story.... Saturday morning, I sent John to bring the garbage out. When he put on his boot from the front entry, he felt a "sock" in his boot, so reached in to pull it out. Instead of a sock, it was a bat! It bit his finger. After putting the bat in a bucket, we headed to the doctor where they started rabies shots. He got a tetanus shot in one arm, rabies vaccine in the other. Rabies immune globulin in his finger (until it looked like a sausage) and another big dose in each butt cheek. We are waiting for tests results on the bat to know if he has to complete the vaccine series. ....Just got a call from the Dept of Health. The bat is missing. Great. I am sure they will track it down, but now the testing has been delayed. If they can find it soon, they will still be able to do the first quick test before the window of opportunity for his second dose closes. Otherwise, I guess he has to have the seond one regardless.

It was sort of fun to witness the reactions of the receptionists and staff in the various places we encountered with the live, potentially rabid bat on Saturday :) A bit different at the intake place at the U. To them, a rabid bat is just part of everyday life!

I don't recall if I told you our bat story from Christmas, but won't get into it here. I don't have a picture of the bat that bit John, unless it was the same. If so, this is it :)


Ed Takala died last Thursday.
Funeral is next Monday at 11AM at Faith United.
Visitation is Sunday night.

Hello, is anyone out there?

This sure has been quiet for a while. Where is everyone?
Anita - how is life going in AK?
Becky - what is new with you and the family?
Charlie - what is happening in your life?
David & Jody - How is work going, how is life?
Liz - how is your very busy life going?
Frans & Jenny - what is new in AZ?
Gary - I know he doesn't get on here.
Laurie - what is new?
Ivan & Missi - how is the house coming along? It would be nice to hear an update on the progress, next steps, etc.
Jen - How is the new apartment?
Mom and Isa are on the trip, so likely won't be hearing from them until they get back.

Here, life is going great.

Last weekend, Shawn and I went to a livestock association dinner and had a lot of fun. Jen came up that night and her and Shawn stayed up too late chatting :)

This past weekend:
Friday night we went to Cow/Calf Days in Grand Rapids (oh how my life has changed). It was very informative and I'm not even joking or being snide.

Saturday, we were off again but this time to Trego WI and bought a boar pig. We are keeping 3 sows and plan to raise our own little piglets - sell some of them and butcher some of them each year. It is getting harder to find pigs for sale.

Sunday - we had Steve and Patty Haataja for services - so meal prep, visiting, ....

Monday was a holiday for me, so I got to bake. I did some pulla, chocolate chip cookies, Isa's doughnuts (but had to be fried in pig lard), bread... and then called it a day. I'm hoping to keep food in the freezer. After baby comes, it will be nice to just grab doughnuts, cookies, pulla, or whatever else out of the freezer when people come over, rather than trying to make something to go with coffee. I'm not sure if that is called nesting, planning ahead, or avoiding work later that I could get done much easier today. I'm sure people wouldn't expect coffee and goodies, but I felt so guilty the other day when Velma came over and all I had for her was tea (she didn't want coffee) and nothing to go with it! This way, Shawn can make coffee and pull out goodies while I be lazy (oh wait, I think it's called recuperate) :)

Anyway, down to less then a month to the due date. We made it through another weekend and now my doctor says she will be around, so whenever baby comes, it's okay. I see her tonight and then we start with weekly ultrasounds and fetal monitoring as well as seeing her each week. It will be fun to have an ultrsound to get an idea of how big this baby is. The down side is the trip to Hibbing every week, but will get to know the maternity floor good by the time baby comes!

It would be great to hear from everyone on how life is going!

Monday, February 09, 2009

A few of my favorite things.....

Actually just one of my new favorite things: Craigslist. For those of you who haven't shopped or sold on it, try it out.

I was looking on it the other week and saw that someone wanted a pygmy billy goat. Great, I had 2 to sell. Contacted him and he came to pick one up (and I got him to buy another pygmy goat that was due to kid any day). He drove from South of Hinkley!

We decided to sell all of our layer hens and get new ones. Basically, they had all quit laying or had really cut back. Rather than trying to feed them all and not get any eggs (they need to earn their keep), we decided to get rid of them. Shawn was going to take them out back and eliminate them, but agreed to me posting them on Craigslist. We sold them. Now our new ones should be in the end of this week. The person who came to buy them was from Mora!

Another ad was looking for a baby pygmy, angora, or fainting goat. Well, I had a little pygmy baby born on 12/27. She went out the door yesterday to an individul from International Falls!

I have another posting on Craigslist to sell the rest of my pygmy goats and am hoping that the people I've been corresponding with will want them.

I think I found a new hobby of selling things, but am going to run out of things to sell before too long!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Happy Birthday Elizabeth

It's about 20 minutes to midnight so not too early to wish a happy birthday. Hope your dog
sledding with Jen went well. Have a great day and a great year. Love, Mom and Isä