April 28, 2019

Another Week of Monkeying Around

Another Week of Monkeying Around
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 28, 2019

We didn't have much happening this week other than the opening of  the greatest movie of all time*. (*Per Avery)  We bought tickets to Avengers Endgame for the opening night on Thursday so there was no way anyone could get us with spoilers.  The boys both came from college so we could all see it together.   We did have a good time watching it even if I'm getting really, really burned out on superhero movies.  I mean it was fine, but goodness you need an encyclopedia to keep track of all the characters and subplots happening in these movies.  Can Endgame please be the end of it for awhile?  I doubt it.

Our old buddies, Karl & Tina Zitzewitz, invited us over for dinner on Friday night and we were quite excited to join them.

Karl was very happy to have the opportunity to show off his meat.  I actually must admit, I found it to be very pleasant.

Tina is quite the snake lady.  I don't mean anything derogatory or anything.  I'm just saying she has a pet corn snake.

They were nice enough to wait for us to come over to feed their snake.  It eats mice which in general I find to be pretty nasty.  These were very hygienic dead mice, though.  They come in a little box and everything with a label that says dead mice on it.  

It was quite the sight to witness.  She held the mouse on some tongs and the snake snatched it out in a second.  Then it unhinged it's jaw and slowly worked the rodent down it's throat.  I'm sure glad I'm not a mouse.

We were happy to see one of our albino squirrels this week and apparently he was pretty happy to see us also.

We had our first turtle sighting of the year.  Poor thing looks like he was born without front legs, though.  Must be tough climbing up that log with just his neck.

We saw this pretty bird in the lake which I believe is a Great Egret.  They are known to develop a green facial skin during breeding season.  I'm sure glad that doesn't happen to me every time I'm feeling frisky.

The best thing that happened to me this week was while doing some cleaning in the basement.  We're destroying old boxes of archives and in one last opened in 1995, I discovered a letter from my dad who passed away almost 11 years ago.  I was 24 when he sent me this Richie Rich comic book with a note saying "Some of my best times was getting Richie Rich for you...I know you have outgrown these, but I never did, so hope you enjoy it.  Love, Dad"  I thought that was pretty nice.

April 21, 2019

My Spring Golf Game is Not So Strong

My Spring Golf Game is Not So Strong
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 21, 2019

President Trump was in town this week.  I had to work, but Miss Sheri thought it would be fun to go down to the business he was visiting to check out the scene.

Turns out, it was actually pretty challenging to catch a glimpse of his vehicle.  There was an amazing amount of military and police presence and they routed his vehicle along a path where all his visitors weren't standing.  Pretty impressive how they do that.

Not that there weren't plenty of people trying to get a chance to say Hi.  There were a whole bunch of supporters and non-supporters there to try to greet the president which made for a pretty interesting couple of hours of people watching.

I'm guessing these guys were excited to send the Donald their best.  That mask always kinds of freaks me out a bit.

But there were plenty of these guys around which kept all his greeters at bay.  I can't imagine what it must be like to be the president and have this kind of a crowd around everywhere you go.  There were people singing songs, yelling praise, and plenty of cuss words and insults being tossed out there as well.  It was a more interesting thing to witness than what she sees on a typical Tuesday afternoon.   

Later that evening I was driving around the neighborhood when I saw an eagle land on the ground and then fly back to his nearby nest.  I zoomed in and caught these two bald eagles doing something in there, but I couldn't tell if they were still building it or were actually feeding their babies.  In any case, I found it to be pretty cool.

It was Easter weekend so the boys both came home from college and Grandma Leona came up from the farm for a visit.  It's so nice when we get the family together for a weekend.

It was set to be 77 degrees on Saturday, so Avery thought the guys should all go golfing.  I thought that was a great idea so we hit Cleary Lake golf course nice and early.

I thought the boys played really well for their first game of the year, but my Spring Golf game is not so strong.   Usually around June or July is when I really like to get out there and play.  Although to be honest, my golf game really sucks in the summer as well.  Fall ain't much better.  It sure is fun getting outside to play, though.

At least I got to see a red squirrel playing with his nuts.  That's always a fun thing to witness.

From our family to yours, we hope you all had a very Happy Easter!

April 14, 2019

Just what we needed. Another Blizzard!

Just what we needed.  Another Blizzard!
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 14, 2019

We were just starting to get pretty used to the Spring weather we'd been experiencing.  We were taking nice walks outside every day and had even pulled the bikes out of storage and started hitting the trails.  It turned out to be a Bluff Spring, though, which Minnesota likes to give us from time to time.

The ice seemed to take forever to leave this year.  We had big openings, but there were sections of the lake that just didn't want to drop.    Dang ice.

I did see my first Loon of the year which is always a nice sign of Spring.  Whenever I see one I can't help but to hear Katherine Hepburn screaming in my ear "The Loons, Norman.  The Loons!  They're welcoming us back."  I wish I could get that lady out of my head.

Of course, winter wasn't done with us for 2019.  On Wednesday, we were walloped with another blizzard that put about 6 inches of snow on the ground for us so we could stop looking at all that ugly grass and see a beautiful white blanket instead.


I don't think the squirrels were prepared for the new snow either as we found several scrambling around to find food.  They're pretty hearty critters though, so I'm sure they'll be fine.

Driving was pretty crappy and we heard about all sorts of accidents happening on Minnesota roads.  Hopefully this dose of winter is our final one for the year.

On Thursday night, we had our Prior Lake Empty Nester Club get together at The Pointe.  We had a great turn-out and a good time was had by all.

Liz and Joel Volm joined us.  Joel had the coolest story of the week.  This article appeared in the Prior Lake American talking about a local classic rock band who has been gaining popularity and booking more gigs throughout the Twin Cities.  The name of the band is Volm which was in honor of the band members favorite high school science teacher.  The coolest part of the story I found to be was when Joel told me that he didn't know the band was named after him until he saw it in the paper!  I thought that had to have been an interesting surprise to discover.

Tom and Kellie Wolf joined us at the end of the evening.  It's always great to see them.  Our next get together is Thursday, May 9 at Harry's in Lakeville.  We hope you all can join us then!


April 7, 2019

The Hot Seat of Spring

The Hot Seat of Spring
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 7, 2019

April is a deceiving month in Minnesota.  It feels like Spring is here, but it's also cold and gloomy enough that you just have the feeling that another blizzard may be just around the corner.  The ice continues to disappear from Prior Lake, but there's still a big section that is covered.  I'm sure it will be all gone in another week.

These guys weren't going to wait for all the ice to thaw, they were ready to get their jet-skis out.  That water has to be dang cold!

This wood duck must have been scared of the jet skis because he was camping out high in our tree.  Poor wood duck.

We saw this friendly blue heron while out on one of our walks this week.  Just kidding about him being friendly.  He barely let me get close enough to get this picture before skedaddling out of there.  

I was lucky enough to have lunch with my old buddy, Mike Miller, this week.  He likes to laugh and pray a lot.

I won some free advance screening movie tickets on Wednesday so I dragged Grandma Linda out with me to stand in line to see it.  I think she likes standing in lines.

I was excited to see the re-make of Pet Semetary as I read the book in high school and have always been a fan of Stephen King.  Unfortunately, it was pretty stupid.  Just too many things that the characters do which made me think people would never do that in real life.  Can't we get a realistic movie about a haunted Pet Cemetary?

On Saturday night, we checked out Lakeville Brewing Company and were quite delighted with the food and beer choices.  Judging by the crowd that was there throughout the evening, it seems to be a pretty popular place.

We were there with our old buddies, Karl & Tina Zitzewitz.  They're always fun to hang out with on a Saturday night.