Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lutefisk in it's Natural Habitat: A Lutheran Church Basement

What?! You don't like lutefisk? Not possible I say. That's because you haven't tried it under it's best possible circumstances. Here's a picture of my lutefisk dinner at a Lutheran chuch in Richfield, MN in 2007. See the rutabagas, the lefse, the cream sauce?...the potatoes haven't arrived yet but they are on their way. Well, this is Norway's perfect meal. The cranberries are a bit extraneous but keeps the plate from being 100% white food. I didn't take a photo of the sanbakkeles - at the end of the meal - they were gone too fast.

Rutabagas, meatballs, potatoes, lefse and cod are what they serve good Norwegians in Valhalla - the afterlife. Throw in fystkake, sanbakkels and a good iced cardamom bread and there are no need for other foods or food groups.

Gud Dag!

Monday, March 30, 2009

March 2009: In like a Lamb out like a Lion

Much of Minnesota (west and north of the Twin Cities) is expecting between 6-12 inches of snow over the next 24 hours.

That ends the month of March 2009 with a nice roar to end a long, colder than normal winter. We have had 50 or so fewer 70 degree days in the fall so we plummetted into winter of 2009 this year and we are blissfully happy to be emerging out of our dens into a decent spring.
This past weekend was a bit chilly with highs to the mid-low 40's. The weekend before reached the 60's and that was the first weekend since well before last October that we hit that temperature.
Guy, Virgil, MaryAlice and I went to the Norwegian Glee Club's semi-annual lutefisk dinner over the weekend. I had plenty of boiled potatoes, lutefisk and norwegian meatballs. It was wunderful. Nice to hear the lilt of Norwegian accents aplenty and the old Norwegian songs. I surprised myself and liked lutefisk with Swedish cream sauce better than Norwegian style of melted butter. I had quite a pile of lutefisk and surprised everyone with how much I enjoyed it. They didn't have herring or rutabagas though and I missed those..... Got alot of lefse which was nice and "tin". Freddy's lefse is the best!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ruminating - A Woodward/Pederson Trait

Ruminating is the habit of turning things over in your mind again and again. A little reflection is a good thing, but if you have problems stopping yourself once you get started, you can waste a lot of your time chewing the mental cud. Worrying gets to be a habit, and all habits can be broken.

  1. Catch yourself red-handed (or would it be red-brained). When you find yourself rolling the same worries over and over, admit it. Say it out loud: “I’m ruminating.”
  2. Tell yourself to stop worrying and point out to yourself that you are capable of handling anything. Make a plan of actions you will take to resolve the problems and get started on them. While it's tempting to think about every small facet of each worry - you'll feel better and be proactive by taking small, doable actions instead of fretting.
  3. Do something else. Take a walk, ride a bicycle or sing the chorus of "Bridge Over Troubled Waters." It works for me to walk the dogs, play with the cats or go explore the Twin Cities with Guy. Do whatever you want to do that makes you feel better than ruminating does.
  4. Look at something else. When you ruminate, your eyes (and everything else) lose focus on the real world. Bring yourself back with your senses.
  5. Make a specific time in your life for worries. Tell yourself that you will worry about the kids and school and everything else on Tuesday at 9 o’clock, for example. Give your worries a pre-determined amount of time, say, an hour. After their time is up, the worries don’t have to go home but they can’t stay here.
  6. After you have given your worries their allotted time, ask yourself what you would rather be doing with that time. Ruminating costs you time out of your life. The same goes for "checking out" with time wasters like internet surfing and TV watching. Some people use those things as a distraction or escape rather than dealing with problems head-on.
  7. Schedule a time for celebration. Since you scheduled a time for the rumination, why not give yourself an hour to whoop it up and generally feel good about yourself.

Speaking of the Evil Empire....

Sometimes life in corporate America is not all that and a bag of chips.

Today's business climate is rough and difficult to navigate - it's tough being a Jedi among Siths.

Reminds me of the scene in Star Wars where the business-focused Nemoidian's said: "We assure you this blockade is perfectly legal." Click on this for a bigger image.

It may have been legal, but it was morally wrong and unfair.

Nemodian's run our world more than I want to admit.

Instead - let's have a ZEN moment. Peace needs to come over me....anger is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die. Instead, transmit your anger into concrete actions and let the feelings float away. The steps have been planned and action has been taken, the rest is up to the fates and the Nemodians, no railing against injustice will change that....so be in peace.

Monday, March 23, 2009

We went to Mancini's Char House

David's "Day after his 41st Birthday" Dinner....

We went to Mancini's Char House....awesome food.
What is Mancinis - it's an Italian steak house - without pasta - who knew?

We had steaks, garlic bread, salad and the free antipasto of pickles, peppers and tomatos before dinner. I also had the lambrusco - awesome....

Our steaks were tender and cooked perfectly - like always at Mancini's. We had a great time.
Even though the decor is a bit on the 1970's "staying alive" side - they have great food and great Sinatra-like music every Friday and Saturday night.

History of Mancini's From their Website:
Our father Nick, opened Mancini's back in 1948 when St. Paul's Italian neighborhood
was still thriving only blocks away, along the Upper Levee. Walking through the
neighborhood, you could smell Italian bread baking in the big outdoor ovens. In the summer,
you could see tomatoes and peppers growing in family gardens.

Every Sunday after church, the family got together for a big pasta dinner. With so
many grandparents, aunts and uncles and kids in the house, it was never a quiet meal.
Afterwards, the men would go outside to play bocce, talk and drink their homemade wine.

Friday, March 20, 2009

David and Hana are Arians, but in a good way....

David is an Aries in Astrology

Basic Profile:Outgoing, Extravert, Energetic, Dynamic, Courageous, Generous, Strong, Extravagant but sometimes can be insecure or overly concerned with others' opinions

Famous Arians:Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, Harry Houdini, Gloria Steinem, Tennessee Williams, Thomas Jefferson, Elton John, Celine Dion, Diana Ross, Leonard Nimoy, Aretha Franklin, Joseph Campbell, Camille Paglia, Rosie O'Donnell, Francis Ford Coppola, Vincent Van Gogh, Al Gore, Johann Sebastian Bach, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
FYI According to the Dictionary- An Arian is a
1) person who believes Jesus was not the son of God, these were people who followed another belief path after the council of Nicea way back in Roman days
2) someone in the astrological sign of Aries

Happy Birthday David! (and Hana next week)

It's David's Birthday tomorrow. The first day of spring is today, but sometimes it falls right on David's b-day. Congratulations David!

It's also David and Susana's wedding anniversary tommorrow - Congratulations to the whole Woodward-Pelayo family.

Here's David's 4th birthday back in the 1970's - check out that smile - I similarities to Sebastian and Marcos in a big way.

These are David's pre-StarWars years but shortly the force would overtake him and that's all he wanted for his birthday for years afterwards. May the force be with you bro!

Hana Rae Goldfine's birthday is the following week - she is also an Aries. Happy Birthday dear Hana - hope you had a great 21st birthday. (I am in denial, if you get older so do I)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Historical Baby Names Plucked from Our Family Tree

Workman/Moody/Krantz Girls Names

Addie (2 of these!)
Lillie (2 of these, now 3 with our Lily!)
MaryAnn (2 of these!)
Minnie Mae
Carrie (2 of these!)
Vickie Rae (Victoria is also cool)

Carrie is the oldest female name on record in our family. Carrie was MaryAnn Workman's Mom and our oldest known relative, we know little about her to date. Also, it's Lillian Moody's Mom (Carrie Rehbein) That would be our Great, Great, Great Grandma (born 1830 approx) and our Great, Great, Great Grandma on both sides of Dad's family (Maternal and Paternal).

Workman/Moody/Krantz Boys Names
Harvey (his picture is on this site!)
John (2)
Oscar (2)
Carl (2)
Gary (Dad did not like his name...and didn't want namesakes but he thought some monikers that were related to his name like Grant, Garrett, Grayson etc., were cool)

Lucius in the oldest male name in our family born in 1849. Lucius was Lillian Moody's dad - and our Great-Great Grandfather.

Saint Patrick's Day Limericks for the Moodys and Workmans!

  1. There once was an old man of Esser,
  2. Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser,
  3. It at last grew so small.
  4. He knew nothing at all,
  5. And now he's a college professor.

May God grant you many years to live,
For sure he must be knowing.
The earth has angels all too few.
And heaven is overflowing.

A mouse in her room woke Miss Doud.
Who was frightened and screamed very loud.
Then a happy thought hit her,
To scare off the critter,
She sat up in bed and just meowed.

Happy St. Patrick's Day - That'll put the Irish in you!

Here are pictures of our Irish ancestors.

To the left is John Workman - listed as immigrating to Minnesota from Canada in 1840's. Both of his parents were born in Ireland. (He is shown here with his wife MaryAnn) John Workman is my great-great Grandfather on our Dad's maternal side of the family. MaryAnn's family came to Minnesota from Virginia and there were large populations of people from Ireland and England in that area of the country at that point in time. We don't know her hertitage but it likely included some Irish and English.
Next there is Grandma Lillian Minnie Mae Moody from Cass Lake, MN. Her father was Lucius Moody and he is of Irish decent - his parents were both Irish but he was born in the USA. Grandma Lillian was 1/2 Irish (Lucius Moody) and 1/2 German (Bertha Rehbein).

This all adds up to making me, Janis, Daniel and David nearly 1/4 Irish. Grandma MaryAnn Larson listed her heritage as mostly Swedish and Irish but we have the addition of German/Irish from Great-Grandma Voltz and 100% English from Great-Grandpa Woodward. I do know that we all have the gift of Blarney....that's for sure.

Grandma Voltz 50% Irish
Grandpa Woodward 25% Irish
Gary Woodward 12.5% Irish
MaryAnn Larson 50% Irish
Gary Woodward 25% Irish

Our Dad was well over 1/3rd Irish (37.5%)
Joan, Jan, Dave and Dan = 18.75% Irish (more than 1/8th but less than 1/4th)

MaryAnn and John Workman are present in the 1880 Census on throughout the 1930 census on Ancestry.com

MaryAnn and John were born in 1855. John died on Mar 5th, 1922 and MaryAnn (our Grandma's grandma) died on November 29, 1943.

Mountain Pine Beatle Ravaging North American Forests!

The Mountain Pine Beetle is out of control - we saw these brown lodgepole pines all over the Rocky Mountains last summer!
Usually, cold snaps of 2 weeks in duration below zero kills the Pine Beetle each winter and prevents them from getting a foothold in pine forests. Yet, now there is massive global warning and these beetles have eaten nearly 25% of all of the Lodgepole Pines in all of the western USA and 13% in Alaska. It's like a massive wildfire of beetles. Even worse, loggers cannot use the dead pines after they have been consume by the beetles - what can be done?
Few stories rival British Columbia's near-epic battle with mountain pine beetle. Under BC's 2006-2011 Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan, efforts are now underway to harvest and use the wood of trees affected by MPB, and economic strategies are in development to stabilize communities in the longer term. The BC First Nations Leadership Council and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition (CCBAC) are two coalitions tackling economic, social, and conservation issues. FORREX (www.forrex.org) has worked with the forest industry on management practices and operations, hydrological issues, ecosystem restoration and harvesting strategies.
PHOTO: MPB-affected forest (red-brown area) near 100 Mile House, Cariboo-Chilcotin.

Monday, March 9, 2009

When the going gets tough...

March is a tough time of year here in the mighty northern plains. The snow has only started to melt and big snowstorms keep heading our way only to veer left or right - the ides of March. We'll get a warm day, then a cold one, then a cold snap for a few days...and the sky is cloudy with lots of snow evaporation and precipitation. The cold, crisp sunny days of February are gone and we are deep in the soggy mess that is March. The dogs keep tracking in mud from the backyard and have learned to lift their feet for cleaning as they go in the sliding door.

In the mid-late 1800's, Dakota Indians in this area entered 8 week near-starvation periods in March and April - game was scarce after the long, hard winter, the ice could not support their weight to fish and buffalo did not start their migration until well after the snow melt. Dakota did not store as much food in the days after the horse became a mainstay in the culture. Previously, per the ancesters, Dakota's were experts at food storage and living well off food stores during the long winter. Horses made indians more dependent on game and hunting that brought them greater distances from camp. About 80 years ago, Grandma MaryAnn Workman's pantry shelves would be looking lighter and seeds would be started in the greenhouse in the coming weeks.

There is a joy of winter here in minnesota - it's just the "going into" and "coming out of" our winter phase that is somewhat difficult.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy 97th Birthday Grandpa Vic!

Grandpa is pictured in the upper right had corner of this picture. He has his hand in his pocket. He's pictured with his Grandma, Carrie and alot of other cousins (probably). This is probably a picture of Carrie and her Grandkids. Victor is one of the oldest.

He was very handsome and he got married to our Grandma MaryAnn Krantz at age 22. He looks like he is in his late teens or early 20's here so not too long from now he'd be married.

Today is March 3 and it's Grandpa Vic's 97th birthday.

Grandpa Vic was born as Victor Vivian Woodward on March 3, 1912 in Cass Lake, Minnesota. He died on April 3, 1963.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Time to haul your house away from your ice-hole!

Ahhhh, the great Minnesota tradition of ice fishing dictates that all ice houses in the southern 3rd of the state need to be off the ice today (March 2, 2009). For the northern 2/3 of the state you can fish away until March 16, 2009.
I went ice fishing last winter at my boss' ice house - it was awesome! Leather recliners, big screen T.V., grilling up some big fish and having snacks while you haul up the giant northerns...ahh! That's the life. How fun is it to eat beer battered fish, with slaw while drinking Leinie's beer, while reclining in a leather chair watching Alien vs. Predator (again). Okay, you have to wear your coat all the time and you get that adventurous drive on the ice afterwards (the creaking is a bit daunting under the SUV) - but fun is fun in Minnesota. Remember, it's a long, long winter up here and we have to make our own fun.