Scene of my incident; artwork in the new Hennepin Healthcare buildingOriginally published by DK on December 6, 2018 at 12:16 pm
Yesterday I had my appointment with the neurosurgeons who needed to approve my return to work. Happy to report that I’ve been cleared to return next week. I really didn’t think it would happen that soon, but I’m super excited to be back in time for the final two regular season Vikings home games (and hopefully at least one playoff game before diving into Final Four prep). Big thanks to everyone at work who stepped in to help while I’ve been out – I’m looking forward to getting back out there. And thanks again to everyone who has facilitated and supported my recovery.
SKOL!Originally published by DK on December 5, 2018 at 2:10 pm
A little tardy on the latest update, but all is well. I survived a four hour therapy appointment and apparently did well enough that my speech therapist thinks I don’t need to continue with that track any longer. I had my long-awaited appointment with the ophthalmologist and received a pair of “magic glasses” that have greatly reduced the need for future eye patch use. They have optical film from 3M (see above) that utilizes prism technology to correct my double vision. My left eye is slightly crossed, but this stuff really helps correct that (and it’s so nice to have both eyes open all the time). The extra good news is that there is nothing wrong with either eye – the double vision is caused by the nerves that control the muscles that direct each eye and the doctor is optimistic that this will eventually correct itself. I will also be starting therapy next week to work specifically on eye exercises to help this process along.
In other HCMC appointment news, I met with an awesome neurologist who showed me the “before” and “after” CT scans of my brain from the day of the incident and from when they discharged me from the ICU. It was really cool technology and the way she explained it made it crystal clear how serious the situation was on October 8th (and how much improvement there was after three weeks). Have I mentioned how big a fan I am of the staff at HCMC? I’ll return there again on Friday for another CT scan that will hopefully continue the trend. That will also be Colleen’s last full day with me, as she returns to work on Monday. After that, my next big appointment will be on December 4th, when I meet with the lead neurosurgeon to discuss continued recovery plans and possibly a return to work date.
We saw both Charlie Parr and Hippo Campus at the Palace Theater with no issues from the lights or sound levels (the infamous Palace talkers are another story). On the advice of my friend TG, I picked up a pair of Vibes earplugs, which seemed to work well at the Hippo Campus show (and dampened the discussions of the people sitting near me). Saw one Wild win (Ottawa) and one Wild loss (Arizona) at the X with my uncle, also with no sensory overload issues. Stopped by the stadium for the start of the very loud Packers game, but found it totally manageable. Left that game before halftime to beat the train rush, but had a great time seeing people and delivering thank you cards.
With the Thanksgiving holiday, it was a busy week for seeing family and friends. Had lunch one day with a friend at Dark Horse and went over to the Inver Grove Heights AMC to see Ralph Breaks the Internet (which we both liked). We took my mother-in-law out on Thanksgiving Day for lunch at the original Buca di Beppo in St. Paul, then had a more traditional dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house in the Mac-Groveland area.
This will be my last “weekly update.” Truly thankful for you all – thanks for reading!
So happy to see the eye doctorOriginally published by DK on November 23, 2018 at 2:34 pm
Quicker than the train (at least to HCMC)Originally published by DK on November 19, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Speak only if it improves upon the silence…Originally published by DK on November 18, 2018 at 12:30 am
Feel like it’s almost time to revisit Paisley ParkOriginally published by DK on November 15, 2018 at 10:00 pm
I think this is about as good as I get (pre- or post-incident)Originally published by DK on November 15, 2018 at 6:53 pm
The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people going by. I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do. They’re really saying I love you…Originally published by DK on November 13, 2018 at 1:45 pm
Stopped in at work after my HCMC appointmentOriginally published by DK on November 12, 2018 at 5:15 pm
The second week out of the ICU was (thankfully) low-key. I had no outpatient appointments at HCMC and my vision is to the point where I have one eye that’s really good at close-up screens and one that can watch TV clearly. I’ve done my occupational therapy eye exercises every day and ordered a cheap pair of standard glasses from Amazon that I’ll bring to my ophthalmologist appointment on Black Friday – they want to customize the plain lenses to help correct my double vision. On Monday, I’ll return to see the neurosurgeon for an incision check (and hopefully the removal of the two sutures on the top of my head).
I should be getting my AARP card in the mail any day now, since I now have not one, but two daily pill boxes full of medications (see above). It’s actually not too bad – four pills in the morning and two at night, but it’s still a big change from the rest of my life (always had a goal of no pills). Only had to take Tylenol one day this week, when I woke up with a fairly intense headache. Last night I decided to elevate my head more with a second pillow and that seemed to help. Today was the first day I felt tired at the end of the day, but I really didn’t do much physical therapy-type activities.
Yesterday and today friends visited me at home, which was really nice. I have a fairly full schedule next week, but please let me know if you’d like to swing by Lowertown (a person can only watch so much Netflix per week). I received two awesome gifts this week: One from HSRA (big thanks to TC, Saintanne and crew) and one from my good friends at MSFA. My custom artwork thank you cards should arrive tomorrow, so that will be another project to start working on while I’m home. My brother flew up from Florida tonight, and I’ll be visiting lots of family this weekend. Nice to see the Wild playing good hockey too…
Luna has been wonderfulOriginally published by DK on November 4, 2018 at 6:58 pm
It’s been awesome to be home this week, but there are still some big challenges. My primary remaining issue is double vision, which I’m dealing with via eye patches and occupational therapy exercises (I’ll see a developmental ophthalmologist the day after Thanksgiving). Thankfully, I haven’t had any headaches or stroke symptoms, which would mean another trip to the emergency room. Today was the first day in three days that I took Tylenol (mainly eye pain). My hearing issues are gone and most food tastes normal again (VERY thankful for this). I’ve been trying to keep up with a modest walking schedule and started wearing my Apple Watch again. I’m anxious to get back to work, but I’m also mindful of the process to be cleared to return to work, which will include more outpatient therapy and reminders from my physician team to not rush things.
I’d like to take a minute to thank all of you who have been following along with this adventure – it’s so heartwarming to read comments, emails and texts, along with phone calls and in-person visits from people I’ve known for years and people I haven’t had contact with in years. With assistance from my very talented daughter, we should have some cool things to mail out to people in the next few weeks. The financial support shown in the GoFundMe campaign is greatly appreciated and has helped relieve my anxiety about what’s going to happen between now and my return to work. And Colleen, Sasha and Marisa have been amazing – much love to the three of them. ❤️
According to reports, I wasn’t exactly myself the first few days in the ICU. Thankfully, some of my supposed quotes were written down:
- “I DO NOT need to be a part of their system.”
- “This is some kind of mad scientist experiment!”
- “Who do you trust? Your dad or *these* people.”
- “Happy dancing widow, happy dancing widow…“
There was also a reported exchange with Colleen about my favorite Prince song (“You *might* be right.”).
Sigh.Originally published by DK on November 2, 2018 at 8:17 pm
And in the fancy new HCMC building on 8th tooOriginally published by DK on November 1, 2018 at 11:40 am
The day after the TC 10 was definitely not my typical Monday. I didn’t have any meetings scheduled, so I slept in a little later than usual, then walked over to the train station. I texted Armon that my neck was super sore when I woke up, but that I was headed in. I was told later I brought a bag of groceries for my office, along with my badge and headphones. When I got to the stadium train stop, I exited the train, walked towards Chicago and Fourth, crossed the train tracks, then suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, followed by a seizure and stroke (and the groceries went flying everywhere).
I haven’t seen the video footage or read the police report yet, but I reportedly fell and hit my head on the train tracks and was unresponsive. A good Samaritan bystander administered CPR and a Metro Transit police officer contacted HCMC for transport the three blocks to their Level I Trauma Center. As my sister said, it was almost like my mom and my grandfather were watching out for me, deciding it was too early for me to join their party. The doctors later told me the overall odds of surviving a brain aneurysm are under 40% and that if the other pieces hadn’t fallen into place, there was a zero percent chance of me making it.
To be honest, I don’t really remember much about the first few days in the ICU. Colleen says I was a gremlin, trying to bust out of the unit and needing to be restrained. The first procedure completed was the placement of two stents in my left vertebral artery to treat the aneurysm. Dr. Tummala and his team of amazing vascular neurosurgeons were the first in a long line of HCMC care providers who literally saved my life. I can’t say thank you enough to this amazing group of professionals (including Dr. Clay Garthe, neurosurgeon, pictured above).
After the stents were placed, a drain was placed in the top of my head that regulated pressure and fluids in my brain. This was connected to a bag that filled with what we affectionately called “brain juice.” Normally, these fluids are processed back into your head, but after the trauma, the team wanted direct control over this. The drain became the first milestone in my recovery – I couldn’t leave the ICU until the drain was removed. We thought this would happen around the two week mark, but thanks to some unexpected vasospasms, we had to wait until day 21 to remove the drain. This extra week also included multiple trips to the CT scanners and two angioplasty procedures. I only remember the second one, which included the surgeons playing Tequila Sunrise by the Eagles, which of course made me think of The Big Lebowski.
I had a number of different therapists work with me while I was in the ICU, including a speech pathologist (Kim), physical therapist (Kari) and occupational therapist (Bri). Don’t remember much about the speech tests, but the other two were fascinating. Bri had a lot of interesting iPad apps and encouraged me to continue with Two Dots and Words with Friends on my phone. She also had a number of written tests that I got better at as time went on. Kari accompanied me on my many walking laps around the ICU, which included exercises that reminded me of the Ministry of Silly Walks. I also seriously wanted to learn this choreography, but that will have to wait for another time (and maybe a future Halloween costume?).
Three of my early issues were taste, hearing and vision. Hospital food doesn’t have a great reputation, but really nothing tasted right to me the first week. Big thanks to everyone who smuggled in outside food (which also tasted funny for a long time). They were threatening a feeding tube down my nose if I didn’t increase my caloric intake, so I quickly became a fan of hospital scrambled eggs, milk shakes, Boost, 1% milk and juices pretty quick. Only threw up once (drank a milk shake too fast after taking meds) and had a constant fight with sodium (of all things), and ended up on salt pills with lots of Gatorade and no water. Bonus: down 23 pounds!
Hearing and vision issues have been odd. Colleen initially sounded like Snow White, then like an Imperial Probe droid from Empire Strikes Back. Sasha sounded like Rosie from The Jetsons. Thankfully, that only lasted a few days. Vision has been a problem that I still suffer from today. Double vision lead to an eye patch that I was suppose to swap back and forth, but I was definitely favoring the right eye (which was the only one I could use to read close-up screens). I can now use the left to watch TV clearly, but this is an area that will likely need more therapy. It’s really the primary source of remaining head pain (which I can use limited Tylenol to treat).
Colleen has been a saint though this entire episode. She met with HR reps at both her work and mine to take care of paperwork and start working with my insurance company (we are both on Federal Medical Leave for the short-term). She started a great CaringBridge site to keep everyone informed of my status that as of today has received 8,806 visits. I didn’t have a login while I was in the hospital, but thank you to everyone who commented or posted on that site – your support was heart-warming (and a bit overwhelming).
She also started a GoFundMe site that has been well supported. We are 75% of the way to her initial goal, which will definitely help as the bills pile up and our income slows down. The rack rate on my hospital stay may approach a half million dollars, so I truly appreciate all of you who have already contributed and humbly ask for help to get to our goal. So far the summaries from the insurance company have looked promising, but I know they are many, many more that we haven’t received yet and I’m sure there will be multiple payment plans to be negotiated.
Big thanks to everyone who visited me in the ICU, called, sent cards and commented online – watch your mailboxes for something special in the next few weeks. Also want to send a special thank you to the Vikings, who brought me a custom Kingsbury #1 jersey and a signed Stefon Diggs photo of the Minneapolis Miracle. How cool is that?
Being home versus being in the ICU is a 1000% improvement. My arms and fingers are starting to not look like pincushions, I don’t have a million wires running everywhere and I don’t have someone waking me up every two hours to give me more salt tablets and horse pills (now it’s just five normal pills when I wake up and two when I go to bed). I also get to take showers whenever I want, brush my teeth every morning, sleep in a soft bed with flannel sheets and watch TV with a screen big enough to read the letters and numbers during sporting events.
I was sad that I missed senior night for Marisa’s swim team, the Avett Brothers concert at Mystic Lake (where I had third row center tickets), Timberwolves opening night in a suite and the Wild vs. Kings game with my uncle. But my new philosophy when I get sad or start to complain is that I can let that control my life or I can just be happy to be alive.
When viewed through that lens, the answer is easy…Originally published by DK on October 31, 2018 at 6:00 pm
Lowertown walkiesOriginally published by DK on October 31, 2018 at 4:36 pm
We won’t have any kids, but so happy to be hereOriginally published by DK on October 30, 2018 at 11:41 am
The hot shower was kinda hard (balance, removing stuff), but still amazingOriginally published by DK on October 29, 2018 at 5:48 pm
SKOL, VIKINGS ?Originally published by DK on October 25, 2018 at 4:26 pm
Curtis is awesome ?Originally published by DK on October 24, 2018 at 5:12 pm
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/davidkingsburyOriginally published by DK on October 24, 2018 at 9:43 am
Hoping for a triumphant return to racing at the TC10Originally published by DK on October 3, 2018 at 10:48 pm
…since we moved in, anywaysOriginally published by DK on September 30, 2018 at 4:39 pm
Tough week with stress, health, cold weather, tech gremlins and politics/news, but still trying to fight the good fightOriginally published by DK on September 28, 2018 at 11:44 am
Need to securely work on the pudgy partOriginally published by DK on September 26, 2018 at 10:43 am
Miss you too, Grandpa SmithOriginally published by DK on September 1, 2018 at 4:21 pm
Missing my mom on what would’ve been her 74th birthday today ?❤️Originally published by DK on September 1, 2018 at 3:43 pm
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’Originally published by DK on September 1, 2018 at 1:14 am
The first week away from social has been a good learning experienceOriginally published by DK on August 25, 2018 at 9:07 pm
Decided to try something this week that I’ve been thinking about for a few months. I stopped visiting Facebook regularly a while ago, as I become tired of all the BS there (even after I massively limited who and what I was viewing). Twitter had been my favorite of the social networks, but lately my more political friends (both to the right and left of me) have made that platform as bad as Facebook (if not worse – thanks for nothing, @jack). No major beefs with Instagram, aside from the fact that Facebook owns them.
So what’s the plan? Well, I don’t want to close those accounts, as I’ve “owned” the kingsbury handle on all three for years. The main reason I’ve kept the Facebook account open is all of the other services that use it for authentication and tracking of progress/levels in various games. You can close your Facebook account and still prevent others from taking it over, but anytime you use one of those other services, it reactivates your profile automatically. Not sure what the rules are for Twitter and Instagram, but I imagine they would eventually allow someone else to take over those handles at some point if I closed them.
For now, I’m keeping the accounts open, but removing the apps from my phone. I closed Tweetbot on all of my computers and will try to go a few weeks without checking the timeline. I spent a few hours going through the layout of my phone apps, deleting a bunch I never use, eliminating folders and grouping apps by pages (primary, secondary, content and media, work and games). I have a great fear of missing out, but I feel like I need to compartmentalize these groupings and look for “cleaner” sources of information. I really just want to know about sports, food, concerts and unbiased business, technology and (I guess) political news. I’ll have to make a concerted effort to reach out to family and friends in others ways to stay up to date with their lives…just like the old days.
I will post more original content here, including short tweet-like status updates. I know the “audience” won’t be as big as the other networks, but I own the content, the platform and the server. You won’t be served ads or tracked (at least not beyond the generic web server log stuff) and I’ve done what I wish more sites would do – turn off comments. My email and phone number are on every single page of this site, so please feel free to reach out directly if you feel the need. And watch for TLS, video and mobile-friendly enhancements coming soon.
Thanks for reading!Originally published by DK on August 22, 2018 at 9:10 pm
Community Performing Arts Center (First Ave on the River)Originally published by DK on August 17, 2018 at 1:34 pm
Sights and sounds of LowertownOriginally published by DK on August 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm
I love to eat. Growing up, this was never a problem. I was a scrawny little kid, I ran in high school and stayed active through most of my adult life. Sure, I gained a little weight as I got older and my metabolism changed, but I felt like I could always eat pretty much whatever I wanted, as long as I stayed active. In my mid-forties, my running performance actually peaked, as I got faster and stronger (and amazingly got back to my high school weight). Life was good.
Then something changed.
The last two jobs have been stressful. Work priorities overshadowed personal priorities when it came to staying active. Stress eating is a thing. Ready access to all-you-can-eat buffets and fast food doesn’t help. Race results backed way off from the string of PRs and I had my first DNF (although it was a 50 mile trail run with 25,000 feet of elevation change). Then my doctor told me a number I didn’t want to believe…
Between 2012 and now I had gained 36 pounds. My arms and legs are pretty much the same, but the dreaded “donut around the middle” that so many men gain as they age had crash-landed in my little universe. Most of my lab results and other vital signs are perfectly normal – it’s that BMI that’s slowly creeping toward the obese level. I can still run and bike and golf and ski, but now I need to look at additional options if I want to get back to a normal weight (and head off other health issues).
As I wrote in my first mini post, I decided to go in and talk to my doctor about all these things. He looked at my knee and determined it was fine to start back slowly, with some stretching, added warm-up and cool-down periods during runs and an initial goal of keeping the pace slow. He also said I can bike and golf as much as I want. For now, I’m hoping to run 30 minutes three times a week, bike home from work 3-4 days a week and golf once or twice a week (closing those three pesky Apple Watch activity bands daily).
Two nerd colleagues of mine that I mainly know through social media started talking about something I hadn’t heard before: the ketogenic diet. Both lost impressive amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time and also talked about eliminating fatigue, increased focus and several other benefits. I asked my doctor about the health risks and he was not concerned, recommending that I research it further (along with diets like Whole30) and decide if I want to try one.
To be honest, once I figured out what a carb was, it became clear that they were pretty much my whole life. Almost everything in my snack drawer at work was loaded with carbs, my work fridge is full of “regular-strength” Coke and Mt. Dew cans and most of my favorite meals when I go out to eat include some form of grain and/or potato (not to mention pizza and pastas). My first question to Bynkii was how the hell can you stop eating those things? His response: I just did.
So now I’m in the process of researching this very interesting nutritional science and deciding what the priorities are for the rest of my life. My initial reaction was no way – this would be too hard. But as I read more, I think I can at least start to consider these types of changes (and things like cyclical or targeted ketogenic plans might be optimal compromises). Plus all the bacon, steak and cheese you want?
Mmm…bacon, steak and cheese…Originally published by DK on July 11, 2018 at 11:31 pm
The clubhouse (and surround buildings) look really nice nowOriginally published by DK on June 29, 2018 at 2:48 pm
For my first mini post, I’ve decided to look at my current relationship with running. The 2017 Grandma’s was my last marathon and it was a disaster. I never did get my right knee looked at and I haven’t attempted a double-digit run since then. With the bike challenge last month, I boosted my riding mileage, but still felt some knee pain from time to time. Guess I will break down and make a doctor’s appointment after I post this.
Bigger picture, though, something else seems off. It used to be tough when I started training from scratch, but things would get better after a few weeks. This year, it seems like no matter how many miles I ride, golf rounds I walk or miles I do on the treadmill, I never seem to move on to the “feeling fit” stage. My legs always feel sore, I’m still retaining water in them (based on the indentations my socks make), I have a general sense of fatigue most of the time and I’m not losing any more weight (I lost ten pounds during the bike challenge, but three of those pounds have come back this month).
My Apple watch does provide good insight into how much I move daily and I did have a 60+ day streak of closing all three rings at one point. My current move goal just dropped down to 1080 calories, after peaking at 1180 (which I only hit three times last week). Haven’t changed my diet or nutritional balance much at all, which I guess I’ll have to consider at some point. Also not taking any vitamins right now – only pills are one daily aspirin and losartan for regulating blood pressure.
There are still a number of longer bucket list races I’d like to do, but the physical side is slowly starting to impact my mental approach to running. I liked running Get in Gear this year, but I was really slow. The 2019 Get in Gear is the only race I’ve signed up for right now and don’t want to waste money on longer races I can’t finish in a respectable amount of time.
Alright, where is that link to my doctor?Originally published by DK on June 25, 2018 at 12:36 pm
So much work left to doOriginally published by DK on April 29, 2018 at 11:54 pm
So thankful for this optionOriginally published by DK on April 14, 2018 at 9:02 am
From what I can tell, I didn’t do an anniversary post last year (lots of moving and Final Four posts, but no birthday cake pics that I can find). The first 7minutemiles.com post appeared on this domain twelve years ago last Friday.
- 8,934 Posts
- 201 Pages
- 386 Comments
- 50,616 unique visitors in 2017
- 691,339 pages displayed in 2017
Still running WordPress (currently 4.9.5) with my custom theme and roughly a dozen plugins on the old Mac mini server colocated in Las Vegas. Probably too much of my content gets auto-generated these days from social media (Twitter and Instagram), but that’s OK. I feel lucky that I get to publish most of what I want without interference from trolls or stalkers, which unfortunately isn’t the case for some people I love to read (RIP Daily Angst).
After the technical difficulties last year, things have seemed to stabilize. The highest priorities for enhancements right now are moving to https via Let’s Encrypt, making the theme more mobile-friendly and finally adding a video post type to the mix. I’d also like to experiment with some form plugins for easier data entry of golf scores and adding to the run log. If I ever get my iMac photo library organized, I’d like to add more to the photo gallery section as well…
As always, thanks for visiting!Originally published by DK on April 5, 2018 at 12:48 am
Now a full month in the rear-view mirror, Super Bowl LII is history. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to have this over and done – we’ve been talking and working towards that day for more than two years. I wrote a tweet about looking forward to the Monday after, but even that day had an early start and a full day of work breaking things down to prepare for the next event in the building.
People have asked me how it went, what would I do differently and how many celebrities I saw. My number one goal was to not be in the newspaper for the wrong reason, so mission accomplished in that regard. In fact, we did get some great press about crushing the WiFi record, so I’m very happy with that. The Super Bowl isn’t truly our event – the NFL runs and controls everything and we just assist as needed, so there wasn’t much I could really change. As for stars, I (politely) asked Peyton Manning to get out of my way, but that was about it.
The NFL uses many different companies to help put on the event and it was a pleasure working with all of them. In the technology realm, we worked with WBL Services of Seattle, owned by Bill Lipscomb. He and his team of nerds (lead by the super smart Nikos Mouat) were a huge help in supporting not only the stadium, but all of the activations around the metro. Todd Barnes and his team from Populous performed with a logistical calmness that would drive most people insane. I was also impressed with the graphics team from bluemedia, who created signage and displays all around town that looked beautiful.
In addition to all of these groups, we re-enlisted many of the people that helped design and build the stadium to come back for game day support. This included my favorite team of engineers from CenturyLink (Andy, Mark, Evan, Dennis and Greg) and the amazing group of WiFi experts at AmpThink, lead by Bill Anderson and Wesley Terry. Parsons, Cisco, Verizon and WIN also had small armies of support people ready to help if needed and the Department of Homeland Security had our back monitoring for network threats the entire time. And kudos to the NBC broadcast crew, who really turned out to be self-supporting the entire week.
So what’s next? Personally, I’m going on vacation later this month with the whole family. Events like the Super Bowl require a ton of time away from home and come with a stress level that is not “super” beneficial for one’s health, so it will be good to get away and recharge. I’ll also pay a visit this month to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the home of Super Bowl LIII. Their team was up here before our event and I’m looking forward to sharing stories (and seeing their cool new building). Everyone is now talking about the Final Four, but we have a whole lot of other work to do before then. Never a dull moment…Originally published by DK on March 6, 2018 at 2:39 pm
Outside Zantigo, of all placesOriginally published by DK on March 5, 2018 at 5:08 pm
Miss you, Mom ❤️Originally published by DK on February 14, 2018 at 10:00 pm
Movies like this helped shape my ski bum dreamsOriginally published by DK on January 25, 2018 at 11:43 pm
It’s taken me a while to start writing this post, as I’ve been left rather speechless since my mother passed away on December 22. She had multiple health issues over the years, but this all happened too quickly and it seems I’m still stuck in the denial stage of grief. We were just talking a few weeks ago – I told her about the great Christmas tree we got from the farmers market and how I was sorry the Garrison Keillor show I was going to take her to at the Cedar had been cancelled. I read her the list of songs on the 2017 edition of the Kingsbury Christmas Sampler and was proud to show her the artwork that SK created for the cover (even though I don’t think she fully supported our move to Lowertown – “Are you sure you’re safe down there?”).
My mom loved to spoil us kids, much to the peril of her own financial stability. I remember her driving my brother and I out to LaBelle’s in Roseville when she knew they would get new shipments of Star Wars figures so both of us could fill our Darth Vader cases full of characters. Christmas was always way overdone, with huge piles of presents for each of us. We were an airline family and basically used those flight benefits to alternate between the two centers of the Disney universe – Florida and California – sometimes multiple times a year. And every summer included at least one week on the North Shore, usually in a cabin on Croftville Road.
When Colleen and I had kids, SK and MK were instantly showered with love and attention by the newly minted grandma. My mom played a huge part in the lives of my daughters and helped shape the wonderful people they have become. She happily served as babysitter and chauffeur for many years and attended countless band and choir concerts, swim meets and other school events. As they grew older and could drive themselves, both still liked getting together and having lunch with my mom on a regular basis at a number of their favorite spots around town.
It’s always tough to lose a family member, but it’s especially rough around the holidays. My mom’s dad also passed away in December four years ago, so this was really a double whammy. I’m glad that my mom didn’t have to suffer, though, and that most of our family was able to be with her at the end. I’d like to thank the ICU staff at Fairview Southdale hospital for their expert care and to Dr. Gary Knudsen, who was her primary care physician for as long as I can remember. Thanks also to everyone who has expressed their condolences and reached out to our family in this time of grief. But most of all, I want to thank my mom, one of the kindest, most caring people I’ve ever known.
Love you, mom. ❤️
Obituary from Mueller-Bies and photo gallery after the jump.
September 1, 1944 – December 22, 2017
Age 73 of St. Paul, died peacefully after heart failure December 22, 2017 surrounded by her loving family.
Her soul was generous, overflowing with love and putting all others before herself. Beloved grandma, mom, wife, sister and aunt, Karen loved the North Shore of Lake Superior, reading, quilting, Disney, Hallmark cards and above all spending time with her family. She retained her sharp humor and wit, a progressive thinker.
Preceded in death by parents, Helen and Donald Smith.
Survived by husband, Michael; sons, David (Colleen) and Brian (Patti); daughter Lynn; brothers, Greg, and Jeff (Joyce); sisters, Stacey (Dick) Kohner, and Linda (David) Arcand; granddaughters, Sasha and Marisa; niece, Laura (Aaron) Moser (sons Wyatt and Ethan); and nephews, Thomas (Jean) Smith (children Arianna and Galen) and Peter Smith.
Karen attended St. Paul Central High School, Macalester College and Winona State University, studying geology. She retired from Northwest Airlines after a long career in reservations. Her family thanks Dr. Knudsen for many years of excellent care.
A visitation will held from 4 – 8 PM Thursday, December 28 at MUELLER-BIES FUNERAL HOME – ROSEVILLE, 2130 N. Dale St. @ County Rd B.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to American Heart Association.
Thanks, ADMIN, this year is particularly hard
It doesn’t cost anything to be nice…Originally published by DK on December 13, 2017 at 10:33 pm
Friday night excitement in the 651Originally published by DK on October 28, 2017 at 12:59 am
386,050 hopefulsOriginally published by DK on October 5, 2017 at 8:21 am
It really is the only true magic I’ve found in this world. Most magic is a trick of some kind. But music is actually a healing thing. It has this power to heal and inspire and to lift you right up…Originally published by DK on October 3, 2017 at 8:47 am
Thank-you box from 3M arrived in my office todayOriginally published by DK on September 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm
Works for meOriginally published by DK on September 3, 2017 at 1:47 pm
Fake news @ the fairOriginally published by DK on August 26, 2017 at 6:28 pm
Not walk the truss terrifying, but still uncomfortableOriginally published by DK on August 8, 2017 at 10:33 pm
My hometown rocksOriginally published by DK on July 30, 2017 at 11:14 pm
Big River Pizza is cool (#1)Originally published by DK on July 24, 2017 at 10:34 pm
https://www.gofundme.com/rt7b2h-jasons-recovery-fundOriginally published by DK on July 15, 2017 at 12:06 pm
Haven’t been here much the past two weeksOriginally published by DK on July 5, 2017 at 9:23 pm
- Slow drivers in the left lane
- Slow golfers
- Talkers at concerts
- Two spaces after a period
- Cigarette butt litter
http://mspmag.com/arts-and-culture/general-interest/52-reasons-to-love-the-twin-cities-right-now/Originally published by DK on May 3, 2017 at 8:58 am
At this rate, the Super Bowl will be over before you know itOriginally published by DK on May 1, 2017 at 12:45 pm
West Side Story meets LowertownOriginally published by DK on May 1, 2017 at 12:43 pm
- 100 mile trail race
- Country club membership
- Mile High Club membership
Now to turn up the temps a littleOriginally published by DK on April 6, 2017 at 9:48 am
Taller windows; bigger TVOriginally published by DK on March 25, 2017 at 5:23 pm
The choo-choo don’t slow downOriginally published by DK on March 23, 2017 at 5:44 pm
Change is good, right? Well, we’ve been charging ahead full force the past month. Kid one moved out and into her own apartment mid-February, while the rest of us decided to pack it up and move back to the city. Today marks three weeks in our new loft in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood, which the local boosters describe as:
A vibrant artists’ quarter filled with beautiful workspaces, hip cafes, fine dining and the stunning CHS Field.
We are kitty-corner from the wonderful St. Paul Farmer’s Market in the Rayette building, which we share with the home of my all-time favorite cheeseburger, Saint Dinette. The building has had an interesting history, opening as a millinery in 1911, with stints as the home of Aqua Net hairspray and as a parking ramp before being converted to lofts in 2014. We downsized from three bedrooms to two, but added 13 foot ceilings, huge windows and a layout that seems much larger than before (ours is the Monroe, with 1,459 square feet). I love the exposed brick, industrial columns and lack of carpeting throughout (finally got to toss our crappy vacuum cleaner).
In addition to the suburb-to-city change, transportation has also been turned on its head. We still have two cars, but one is parked here and the other is in storage. Colleen gets a discounted transit pass from her employer and now rides the bus to work (express plus a short transfer). I bought a monthly Go-To card from Metro Transit and ride the Green Line trains to and from the stadium. The Union Depot station is a block over and takes just under 40 minutes to drop me off right across Chicago Avenue from the Legacy Gate (and/or the skyway entrance). I can’t express how much of a quality of life improvement it is to not drive in metro rush hour traffic any longer. Now I plug in my headphones, check social media, read stories, play games and just relax. Hoping to eventually sell one car and just stick with one (which kid two uses to drive herself to school).
We lived in downtown St. Paul the first year out of college at Galtier Plaza, but this area is now completely different. I read somewhere that Lowertown now has 3500 residents and I’m pretty sure about half of them have dogs, which makes me very happy (even though allergies still prevent us from adding to the total). Mears Park is a block west and has a mini restaurant row, with Bulldog, Barrio, Public Kitchen + Bar and Handsome Hog. Big River Pizza is across the street, with the eclectic Golden’s Deli a few doors south of that. There are a ton of additional restaurants nearby and we are super excited for Saints games to start. Our Twins ticket group also has Saints tickets, so we are buying one share this season to see how it goes. The stadium is literally on the other side of the building you see above.
In addition to having the option of that cheeseburger downstairs six days a week, the building has a bunch of other great amenities. The workout room is just perfect – it’s exactly what I would design if I had the opportunity: all Life Fitness gear, two treadmills, a room full of spin cycles, free weights, an elliptical, squat rack, benches and more. There are two large TVs with DirectTV and a speaker system that you can supposedly plug stuff into (can’t seem to get that part working so far). It’s conveniently located one floor below our unit and now I don’t have to go outside in the winter any more to exercise. The downtown YMCA teaches a free spin class one night a week and may bring back a yoga class later in the year too. Once it gets warmer, I will have some great new running and biking routes along the Mississippi that I can’t wait to try.
Directly across from the exercise room is the “Sinatra Lounge,” which is a shared community space that has a fireplace, bar, multiple TVs and a pool table. We’ve already spent a lot of time shooting pool – I really like having access to that again (and free is even better). Up on the roof, there is a community patio that includes a gas fire pit, grill, all-season TV and speaker system. The views of the river and surrounding areas are stellar, day or night. The office manager and maintenance guy are great, the mail and package delivery systems seem to work well and I love having chutes for trash and recycling. My only (small) issues so far are the overly complicated thermostat and the noise from one of the garage door openers.
We are mostly unpacked now, with just a few areas that need to be cleaned up (and a few more things to hang on the walls). Once that’s done, we’d love to have visitors – drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see you soon in Lowertown!
Screw boring – this is the place to beOriginally published by DK on March 5, 2017 at 4:34 pm
Can’t believe we live here nowOriginally published by DK on March 1, 2017 at 8:19 pm
It’s finally overOriginally published by DK on February 28, 2017 at 6:22 pm