Friday, October 31, 2008

Defensive Driving Class

I took a class. It is over..thank goodness! In Minnesota when you are over 55, you can take a Defensive Driving Class and receive an extra ten percent off of your automobile insurance. It is an eight hour class, it was on Thursday nights.. now let me tell was a tough decision for me to commit to this class on a Thursday..because that is the night Survivor is on. I bit the bullet this time..because the next time the class was offered is in January..well I like going out on snowy 40 below zero night by myself even worse than missing Survivor. So I went to the class..yes I gave eight hours of my life up to sit in a room with elderly people to save my ten percent. Despite my bad attitude I learned a thing or two.

First thing: Wear your seat belt. This has never been a problem for me. As a previous Fire and Rescue EMT..the first time I was at an accident scene and the guy that had not been wearing his was trapped under his car and screaming ( screaming is a good thing..he had a good airway) ..would have convinced me if I had not been a seat belt user.

Second Thing: Fatigue causes 80,000 accidents a day. If you are sleepy..pull over and catch a nap. Sleep deprivation is cumulative. I have not slept well for it will take me years to catch up on my sleep. I may be napping more along the roadside.

Third Thing: The old ten and two hand it is more like eight and four or nine and three..why? When the air bag deploys your hands will go into your face. Not a problem for me I do not wear fancy rings..but just look at your own hands..all those purdy rings you have on will come back in your face at 180mph..and will leave some marks..they might even leave one of your eyes if you are no more ten and two for you. If you doubt me the next time you are in your car..try it out..a nine and three hand position rotates your hands and the rings on them down and away from your face.

Fourth Thing: North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin have the most DUI's per capita. What can I say..the winters are long up here, and many people drown their sorrows in alcohol. I am not one of those people...but have to watch out for the ones that are. I would like them all to have license plates that say..Drunk.. and a number.

Fifth Thing: Road Rage is on the increase. Ignore these people with their honking horns and hand signals. I have found winter to be the worst time..but I have my own form of revenge..a mitten..

Sixth Thing: Trucks are way bigger than my little old car..give trucks some room. If you cannot see them in their mirror..they can't see you either.

Seventh Thing: Teenage Drivers: They need some help. IF your kid is caught up in an unsafe situation..can they call you or will they think "I can't call home for a parents will kill me" They should be able to call you any time night or day..without to your kids..make a contract with they can always call you.

Eighth Thing: Cell phones are causing many accidents. Text messaging is now illegal in Minnesota.

So there is my thing or eight for the day. So you see it was not a total waste of time..maybe I reminded someone of something that may save their life or someone elses:)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Old Friend: Dr. Hook

The other day I had the opportunity to give an old friend a really hard time. I noticed he was last in line for lunch, accompanied by his wife? He finally got married? For the purposes of this blog I will call him Dr. Hook.

I walked to the end of the line and extended my hand..and grabbed him and gave him a hug!

Hey Dr. Hook I haven't seen you in a really long time.. Dr. Hook: Hello?? Do I know you?

Of course you do! ...Dr. Hook: I am really sorry, I don't know who you are.

We were friends..... Dr. Hook: I am sorry ..maybe I should know you??

Of course you should... Dr. Hook: ( laughing nervously) I just don't remember you.

Fine, forget your old friends!... Dr. Hook: Please tell me who you are? (He is getting really nervous.)

I knew you a long time ago!.... Dr. Hook: (Visibly breaking out into a cold sweat).. How long ago?

When we were teenagers!.. Dr. Hook: Really? ( He swallows hard several times.)

You don't remember those cold winter nights? ... Dr. Hook: Have you met my WIFE..we have been married only TEN years. (He is a basket case, and turning pale ..but his wife is still smiling!)

Oh, Dr.Hook got married, wonderful, It is so very nice to meet you! I knew your husband way back when we were teenagers..we had some really good times. Times I will never forget!... Dr. Hook: I still cannot place you? ( he is in real misery now, pale, sweating and starting to breathe hard.)

Remember all those times at J and M's house?... Dr. Hook: Well ya, I used to go there all the time.

Me too! Sledding down their big hill! ... Dr. Hook: You were there? I still cannot place you.. (he is somewhat relieved and wipes the sweat from his brow, but still glances nervously at his wife.)

About that time..I figured what kind of a friend am I anyway..he is older now..he could fall over deader than a door nail and it would be all my fault. Time to put the big lug out of his misery.

So I told him who I was! He grabbed me in the biggest bear hug, his wife was shocked! Dr Hook: I can't believe it is you! Those were the days..the good old days! Gosh it is good to see you!

It is good to see you too! .. Dr. Hook: You really had me going there, ya got me, AND ya got me GOOD!

You deserve it! ... Dr. Hook: Ya, I probably do!

We were teenagers..on Saturday nights in the Winter..we all headed to the house with the biggest hill..with our friends and our sleds..our parents would drive us, we would sled the night away. We had snow ball fights and put snow down each others backs, attacked each other and rubbed each others faces in the snow. Time after time we trudged up that big old hill for the thrill of the ride down. After a few hours we would all tromp into the house, to thaw out and have hot cocoa (the old fashioned using real milk and cocoa kind) and homemade treats! Those times and the kids I met on that hill..I will never forget. However I reserve the right to give some of those boys a really hard time. Serves them right..for tackling me and rubbing my face in the snow until my cheeks were bright red, and nearly frost bit.

Far Guy was sitting with a bunch of his old friends watching my interaction with Dr. Hook. I pointed him out to Dr. Hook..Far Guy just smiled and waved! He is used to me talking to lots of different people, and hugging people he would view as complete strangers..and he knew I would share later. He probably thought is was just another of my cousins anyway:)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mission Accomplished

"We classify ourselves into vocations, each of which either wields some particular tool, or sells it, or repairs it, or sharpens it, or dispenses advice on how to do so; by such divisions of labor we avoid responsibility for the misuse of any tool save our own. but there is one vocation--Philosophy --which knows that all men, by what they think about and wish for, in effect wield all tools. It knows that men thus determine, by their manner of thinking and wishing, whether it is worth while to wield any." ....Aldo Leopold

The Support Group Meeting.. we were on time. We divided and conquered, me at the doors and Far Guy in the meeting room. Everyone was welcomed, 9 people with TN out of a possible would have been asking way to much for the two living out of the area to come, and the five that are deceased were excused too! Yes, the numbers are at 28.. the numbers grow everyday. I moderated a round table discussion, encouraging them to share. The stories are all sadly familiar. The seven women out numbered the two men present. Everyone has a different doctor. They are angry, frustrated and looking for answers. The five spouses and one grandmother that attended showed such compassion and strength for their loved ones with TN. Two gals had the brain surgery..called an MVD..they are pleased to be rid of the pain..they shared that before the surgery they were at their wits end.. and could not live with the pain any is still on a very high dose of medications, the other on a very low dose. Both feel some numbness in their face and head. But they shared the fact that they had their lives back. Other people shared that their Doctors did not advise surgery because the end result could be worse than the pain they are feeling now.

I shared with them the book "Striking Back" a bible of sorts for TN..written by a Doctor that has TN. I offered them support..they all have our phone number and some even wanted our email ..which I gladly gave them. I offered them the option of meeting again. They agreed to meet again next month. They wanted me as the lead loud mouth to continue as their leader. I politely declined. That news was not well received.

I cannot emotionally carry enough tools to help them all. I can barely carry enough tools to help Far Guy. I feel badly about their situations...especially the young Mom who is having trouble being diagnosed, and the elderly lady who might have it..apparently her Doctor feels she does because she is on the same medication as the others but without any recommendations to up the she still suffers..undiagnosed..we told this elderly couple to go back to their Doctor... soon.

I am confident that I gave them enough tools to go to work on their own, as a group they can support each other, they can reach out to each other. They can help each other, education and information shared is a beginning.

Do I feel wonderful? NO. Am I pleased ..not exactly. If they pick up the tools and get to work I will be. We just have to wait and see. I did the best I could, I have accomplished my goal.. I set out to raise public awareness and form a support group..I did, it was like pulling teeth there for awhile..but I accomplished my mission.

I would like to thank all of my readers that have been following this mission from it's beginning, with out your comments and support I would not have made it through. Your supportive comments yesterday were just what I needed to forge on through a difficult day. Old lady from Minnesota giving her readers a standing ovation:)

Old Photograph Wednesday Part VI

This is a picture taken in 1950, as was noted by Far Guys Mom. A picture of her father and his grandchildren, Street Rod on the left, Far Guys sister on the right, the little boys cradled in between their Grandfathers legs are Far Guy, Alaska Guy, and Street Rods brother. I love the simplicity of the photograph..and the patience of the old dog. Wanting to be near his master..but not real close to all those kids either.

Yesterday we said goodbye to Street Rod. The funeral was held in a quaint little country church in the woods in Minnesota. Far Guy and Alaska Guy were pallbearers. Alaska Guys Dad who is 92 was all tired out from the wake the evening before..he was just simply to tired to attend the burial of one of his sisters children. The service was lovely, the church was overflowing and the flowers were plentiful and beautiful.
The Military Honor Guard did the twenty one gun salute, the lonely buglers notes rang out clear and strong over the hillside.
The church ladies out did themselves with a "lunch" that had every salad, hotdish and cake from their church cookbooks. The pickles were awesome.

I had a short time for a visit with Ann a faithful blog reader. She gave me a tour of the hillside cemetery..recalling children plucked from this world too soon. reminding me that children are a gift on loan from God to be treasured every day.

Street Rod always called his Dad "Ernie".. I never knew why..but Street Rod held death at bay until after his grandsons birth in August, and then a little longer so he could get to know him. A little boy named quite appropriately "Ernie".. life goes on..through our children and then our grandchildren:)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Public Speaking

I am having a little anxiety about the TN Support Group meeting tonight. Public Speaking is not my forte. I have given many "Garden Talks" over the course of the years. I even ran unsuccessfully for School Board a long time ago. Years and years ago I gave CPR Classes mainly to health care professionals. So I have done a fair amount of public speaking.

I liked the "Garden Talks" the best. Gardeners are a happy group of people, a short talk giving my 2 cents worth, a few pretty pictures and my gardening scrapbook, a bunch of garden tips and hints and a time for questions. Piece of cake. Most of the time I could just wing it!

Tonight I intend for my part to be a cross between a welcome lady and a moderator. The people coming tonight have lots of questions..I do not have the answers, I do not have a bunch of pretty pictures to share, I have a very small list of useful tips and hints concerning Trigeminal Neuralgia. I hope that everyone is comfortable enough to share something, but not dominate the conversation...some of these people are talkers. If one of those crackpots with a "cure" shows invisible hatchet that I carry to defend and protect Far Guy from insensitive people may have to come out. Taking two Tums and the raising the head of your bed..does not work. If it did I could cure TN with one hand tied behind my back and I could throw away my hatchet once and for all. Do I have a prepared I will prayerfully wing it:)

Thank you to everyone who has read the newspaper article..and a special thank you to those of you who commented on the newspaper site!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vanity is how much?

I am vain, just a little. I like my hair to look good. Not too good, but acceptable. It was getting too long, when my blow dryer time gets increased to more than 30 minutes..I get discouraged. What a waste of time. Last Friday..I had it with the is just a dirty blonde color anyway, with a sprinkling of grey. I wear my grey proudly..and just need to be grey..but it is not happening as fast as I want it too. So I decided I needed some "highlights" and SOON. My regular gal, if you can call every four or five months regular, was too busy..fine..I grabbed the phone book called a place and sure enough they could fit me in, they took my name (I had to spell it for them, and my phone number.) Far Guy was going to be occupied with his cousins and I was free as a bird for my appointment with beauty.

I got to this establishment with the fancy name, and I was not on their appointment list..but could be fitted in. (ding..ding) I noticed that there were no schedule of fees on the know Haircuts..$20 Perm $40..and then all the long hair fees that are extra. (Ding.. Ding) The beautician without the violet hair lopped off about six inches of my hair. I asked If she would please thin my hair. She could..but didn't. She asked me what color highlights I wanted..well, since violet, purple and orange are way to wardrobe limiting for me..I said "The lightest blonde color you have." She sighed..mixed the color..and foiled me up. I waited patiently, wrote two blogs, and refused five cups of coffee. I talked to a very nice gentleman who got a haircut, glanced into a mirror, smiled and put his cap right back on. I talked to a snowbird that had beautiful grey roots all salt and peppery..but she wanted to be chestnut brown before going south, because she would be stopping to visit relatives along the way. I told her I thought her roots were beautiful, she just laughed and said "Well if you noticed them that much it was time." I watched a little girl about 7 years transformed from the cute little girl she was into a much older looking child..7 going on 14 now with a fussy layered "do"..that will eventually drive her Mom up a wall.

I am finally "done" and can be de-foiled and washed. Well dirty blonde doesn't look great until it is blown dry. The beautician sighs.. I offer to blow dry it for her..I am helpful..I know it is a boring job. She brings out a dryer on a stand and I sit there for another 20 minutes..finally she flat hair..imagine that..I would have blown it dry upside down..she sighs and says "It has been years since I worked on a head of hair this thick." I am pretty bored with all my beautification by this time.. I have critiqued all the aquage posters that they have on the walls. I have a good birds eye view of their place of business..I have noticed their inefficiencies, I could tell them how and what to do to increase their customers satisfaction..I could tell them which of their employees like their jobs, I could tell them which of their employees make faces at the customers behind their backs.. nope soon enough they will do themselves in..small business in a small town..main street disappearing.

Finally my hair is dry enough so it will not freeze stiffer than a board when I go outside..It has highlights..$113.00 worth of highlights..I probably won't be frequenting that establishment again anytime soon. I did enjoy my time away..three hours to myself..well $30.76 an hour maybe I should just sit in the car next time:)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Brother!

This morning snow covers the was bound to happen. I am just thrilled..I feel like an old bear.. I want to eat, and hibernate til spring when I might be in a better mood. The old timers say the first snow, along with the second snow will not stay..but watch out for the third are stuck with that one.

It is my baby brothers birthday today. Jody is 48 today..he hates snow worse than me..he owns a construction company, rain and snow and frozen ground directly effects his ability to move dirt. So I am guessing..since it is his birthday and all..I should refrain from calling him til this afternoon..maybe some of the snow will have melted by then! He hates my calls that include any of my snow songs.."I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" sung loudly by his tone deaf sister probably wouldn't be appreciated on his special day.

I was nine when he was born, my other brother Carey was six. We were so excited! We named him and told all the neighbors and relatives. We forgot to tell our Mother, she was in the hospital and that would have involved a long distance phone call. We were not allowed to make long distance phone calls. You can imagine her reaction when a well meaning neighbor visited her and said "I just love the name you picked for the new baby!" The name we chose for our brother stuck.. Mother graciously agreed it was a pretty good name.

Now where exactly did a nine year old and a six year old, who just got a TV in their home in late 1959 or early 1960 get their brothers name from? A TV show, some cute kid was named Jody..we adored we would adore our new brother. I always thought we got it from the show "A Family Affair" with Jody and Buffy..but that show was not on until 1966. Our Jody would have been six by obviously I was in error. I have searched and searched TV programs that could have possibly had some secondary character named Jody. I am drawing a total blank, so if anyone remembers something from some TV show back then, please leave me a comment.

We watched The Real McCoys with little Luke, Lassie with Timmy and his friend Boomer, and our favorite show of all time Fury...the story of a horse and the boy who loved him..Joey and his friends Pee Wee and Packy. Gosh they just don't have TV shows like that anymore.

To my brother..sorry I can't find out exactly where your name originated from..maybe someday I will have that information for you..until then..just smile because you just could have been named Luke, Timmy, Boomer, Pee Wee or Packy..oh and Happy Birthday from your beautiful big sister! :)

Jody 1960
Update: Thank you bloggers! Michelle was so kind to find a western by the name of "Buckskin" whos main character was a boy named Jody. It fits the time frame and went into reruns. It was just the kind of show we would have enjoyed on NBC. A young boy and his adventures in Buckskin, Montana. It was also brought to my attention by Buffalo Gal that the book and the movie 'The Yearling" had a main character named Jody. Both are possibilities..thank you for the help! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Newspaper Article

The Newspaper came out today. Far Guy is above the fold..the article can be found here. Success at last..finally some public awareness about Trigeminal Neuralgia! :)

Happy Birthday Chance!

Chance December 26, 2004

Loving to sleep among a "litter" of boots and shoes! 2005

Chance is four years old today! We were dog people without a dog four years ago, we were pathetic..we had been dog-less for three years. Far Guy kept talking about a Border Collie, I was a Sheltie person, but I had a Collie when I was growing up. All our previous dogs were very attached to me, we had a good bond because I was home more than anyone else. Now Far Guy had some we decided on a Border Collie, perhaps he could form a really good bond with a new pup. We researched the breed and decided a pup with some energy would work for us. Far Guy loved the way they herded sheep, but he had no intention of buying any sheep. We just wanted a dog as a pet. The day before Christmas 2004 I noticed an ad in a local paper, the day after Christmas we just went to LOOK at this litter. The Border Collie Mom was friendly and outgoing, the farm wife and kids were nice, and the puppies ..oh my..they were born in a big old barn and had the run of the place..along with many children of all ages. There were six or seven pups, some curious, some hiding, some chasing their brothers and sister. I say sister because there was only one little girl and she had been spoken for. We weren't set on a girl anyway, a boy would be just fine. I am looking around trying to decide who I liked the most, I wanted to cuddle with the one that was hiding, I wanted to play with the ones that were playing. In the meantime Far Guy had been chosen, one of the pups walked right up to him and wagged his tail...Far Guy was a goner! I kept looking at all the other choices.. "Oh honey, look at this one, look at that one." He said "Yes dear" all the while holding this one little pup. " OK, OK, your new dog just picked you! " We left with our "Chance" at being dog owners once more:)
Chance "Flying" an airplane 2005 Chance and Far Guy "Mutual Admiration Society" 2006
Chance always has his eye on the ball! Playing Ball is his JOB!! Border Collies Need jobs!
Chance on vacation! He goes everywhere with us!! That would be me holding the leash, and two of our grand-daughters..guess who Chance has an eye on? Yup.. Far Guy had the camera! And the crazy dog is the only one looking at the camera! Northern Minnesota 2006
One of my very favorite photographs.. our daughter Jen took this of Chance and Savannah our oldest grand-daughter in Minnesota in 2006. Chance also loves to catch water in his mouth, he doesn't swallow it..he just leaps in the air to catch it!

Happy Birthday Chance!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Feeling The Rain

"Some people feel the rain, others just get wet."..........Bob Dylan

Are you feeling the rain.. I try to..everyday...somedays are harder than others.

Yesterday was one of those days, the phone rang, nope not a poll taker or a survey maker, not a friend with a funny story, it was Street Rod's we had been expecting and dreading... "Street Rod died shorty before noon, I can't believe he is it begins in our generation." Sad thoughts..raw feelings.. rain soaked wet feelings shared with me and then his cousin. Far Guy was devastated, some deaths hit harder than others.

Far Guys sister is the oldest female cousin, and Street Rod was the oldest male cousin in this portion of the family. Since three other little boys followed in less than a year, Street Rod was the "Ring Leader" the one the other cousins looked up to when they were growing up. He was the kid with all the big ideas, the lead troublemaker. First to think of smoking corn silk, first to think about stealing a bit of his Grandfathers chew to share. First to think about what the funny stuff in the hidden bottle tasted like..and wanting to share. First to think about girls..when you are the oldest there are many firsts. Now he has the distinction of being the first in the generation on that side of the family to die.

I have heard story after story of the adventures of these little boys, and then stories of teenagers..I agree with Far Guy sometimes what happens in the garage stays in the garage.

Some stories must be shared, I shared one recently it can be found here.

I will share this one today: Street Rod was at a New Year's Eve Party and was feeling a little he called Far Guy! They talked and reminisced for over an hour. About a month later we got a strange phone call. The caller introduced himself and wondered how he knew us..because a long distance phone call lasting more than an hour showed up on his phone bill..he said "Well I was having a party that night and figured someone had borrowed my phone..just wondering who? Who do you know in DL?" Then the light bulb went off..hard to forget a phone call on New Years Eve....Far Guy said "I have a cousin by the name of Street Rod that called me that it a problem?" The caller burst into laughter and replied "Hell no, he can use my phone anytime he wants too!" We did not inquire why Street Rod was so bored he had to make a long phone call..maybe our number was one of many that was just Street Rod feeling the rain instead of getting soaking wet!

Memories..the good ones, and the old funny stories..the ones that make you smile so you can keep feeling the rain! :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trail Cams

Trail Cams, gotta love em! My brother has one, recently he shared some of his photos with us. These are not high quality photos..and since we live in the "boonies" ..what he got was deer..many deer, little ones and some big ones. Interesting!

I told Far Guy hey if we got one of those cams we could put it outside of the house and use it as a security cam. Well someone in the area put one out in his yard, and he captured on film someone stealing his NObama sign. The individual is demanding an apology of sorts ..or he will publish the picture of the smiling political sign thief on a website. A picture is worth a thousand words..public embarrassment is worth what ..a political sign? This may be a coming trend..these very portable trail cams could have many uses. Think about it..I want to put one up in the yard..a security cam, I will know who comes and goes, I will know if Chance chases a rabbit, I will know how many deer, bobcat, turkeys and other wild creatures come through! Big Brother has landed in the boonies. Ain't technology great!

I suppose the next big thing will be the signs "Caution.. Trail Cam In Use" might make a few trespassers sit up and take notice. Do you ever smile and wave at the sign that says Video Surveillance Camera in Use.. I do, those tapes must be really boring to preview. Do you ever wonder when the light turns yellow at an intersection if that was the one lousy intersection that has a cam that will record your license plate number, time of day and your picture.. and you will get some kind of citation in the mail?

I see many practical uses for a trail cam a great looking daughter, dating a new they spend lots of time on the front porch? What are they doing..Trail cam them! Wondering who is picking all your flowers in that front flowerbed..Trail Cam them! Wondering which neighbors are letting their dog poop in your yard..Trail Cam them! Wondering if your spouse is receiving "visitors" while you are at work..Trail Cam! Everyone can have a button or a bumper sticker that says "I Trail Cam..Do you?" I can see it already..a brand new Television show...Caught on Trail Cam..with your host Wolf Blitzer in the trail cam editing room..with the huge screen behind him ready to reveal all the bizarre happenings of the day.. all caught on a trail cam:)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Old Photograph Wednesday Part V

This picture was taken in June of 1951. It is Far Guy and his only living sibling..his sister.( He would have had much older twin siblings had they survived their premature birth back in 1942.) This photograph was taken at Far Guys parents house in the front yard looking west. The Gas Station in the background has an round sign that says "Pure" the other sign says "Bottle Gas" and something else that I cannot make doubt having to do with bottle gas. Notice the good car in the garage behind the children, and the really old one sitting out front. Also of note is all the clover in the grass! If you as a reader can ever provide insight, as to the make and years of cars..etc..your comments are always welcome! For the relatives..if you can remember anything at all about an ocassion or one of these old know how to contact me!

Cute kids weren't they? Older sister.. and baby brother. I have no idea what the occasion was..maybe they were all dressed up for church. Other than the time she dropped Far Guy on his head when he was a baby..she is a pretty good sister. She always tells him .."I didn't drop you on purpose" and then giggles.

Far Guys sister lives in southern Indiana, and has lived there since 1968. She calls Far Guy often, they go round and round about politics and other things. Her cell phone drives him nuts as the connection is not always the best. Sometimes he says I will call you back on your real phone, sometimes he just bosses her around and tells her to stand still while talking. Sometimes she trys to boss him around, someone had to take over that position in the family after Far Guys Mom died, and his sister gives it a good try.

Monday morning the phone rang..I answered.. It was Far Guys sister! She said "Oh my, I was hoping you wouldn't answer I suppose I will be in a blog now." She supposed correct. I have a multitude of stories to tell about her. After all she claimed the name Christy, after I had picked it as my favorite name for our first daughter. She declared it her "All time. number one name for her daughter someday" ..and then never used it..not even as a middle name. By that time, I had already birthed two daughters and was not going to birth another just so I could use the name she never did. She never even used it as a name for a dog. She was a perfect Aunt, she would fly in for a visit and spoil Trica with toys and games, spending large amounts of one on one time with Trica. Trica adored her.. so much so that one day she told Trica if she would fit in the suitcase she could go home with her. Trica promptly emptied the entire suitcase and climbed right in..of course she fit. Well. when I put a stop to the crawling in the suitcase thing I had to deal with a three year old crying and carrying on about "Going to Loolyville" for several weeks:)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Frosty Roses

Frost was on the roses this morning. Guess they are kaput till next spring. I wandered around in the yard for awhile early this morning trying to get some good frosty photographs to share with y'all. I got a few. Chance is always good company, except when I am on the ground..then he must investigate.. me and the camera. Well I nearly froze to death. (23 degrees F) Far Guy said "Are you an idiot?" Maybe..I am not a morning person..but everyone should spend some time outside really early as the sun is just coming up. It was so quiet, I could actually hear the leaves as they became dislodged from the trees when the wind picked up. The sound of fluttering leaves filled the air this morning. Not that we have that many leaves left..but on the east side of the house there is a huge "Aspen" that was making it's own music..almost as if it were serenading the forest. One last song to be heard only by those who are up early. Maybe leaves in the death throws of autumn are only appreciated by those who fear the approaching winter.
My Grandpa Y always said "You have to get up early to breathe the really good air before it's all gone." It was one of his favorite sayings. then again he always went to bed at 7pm..which is just the beginning of the evening for me, I might be thinking about getting some supper on the table by then..or just waiting for Far Guy to get hungry so he will cook.
Yesterday a long time friend confided in me, she said "I slept til 10 this morning." How Shocking! I just said "Isn't it great to sleep in!' her husband has a different opinion...they are newly retired. When you are newly retired and spend 24/7 together for the first time in your lives..small little things like sleeping habits can become an issue. She has been a morning person for years, and so has he. He still is..and she isn't. Sooner or later they will find their retired pace. They are so funny, he irritates her, she irritates him. They visited last evening and brought Hooch Chance was very occupied..nothing like a Border Collie and a Jack Russell Terrier running around the house to liven things up a bit! Good friends that we can share laughter and old stories with is a good thing, that they also have a dog is an added bonus..they accept us..just like we are..I don't have to straighten up..I don't have to make Far Guy change his "church" jeans...dust or even do the dishes before they come over..I can just be me:)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Morning Happenings

The Reporter was here this morning. She was a very pleasant young thing..well younger than me. She seemed to be a very kind and compassionate person. So we will see what she writes, and yes I will link to it, if and when it is published. Far Guy did great! He was organized and had even taken the time to write up some of his thoughts. I printed out some information for her. So she is armed with information. And no I did not need to bring out my hatchet, just in case you were wondering.

I have decided that I might have been snitching way too much of Far Guys coffee in the mornings..I seem to get really wound up and tend to blast off a tad. I have not been a coffee drinker for some time since it was raising my blood pressure and my cholesterol. So it is back to the cup of warm water for me. His coffee always smells so good..that's it... I will just smell it and not drink it!

If we had a pumpkin there would have been frost on it this morning. We have had only two light frost previously. I thought about getting dressed and taking some photographs...then I thought twice and just let out the dog.

Chance is invigorated by the cooler temperatures.. today will be a sad day for him as his pool will be emptied of all it's water. Soon enough he will have snow to roll around in. If we get rain..he will just splash around in the mud puddles. I remember when he was a little pup .. his first encounter with a mud puddle..he looked at it..saw his reflection..backed up..looked again..took his paw and tentatively hit the surface of the puddle..he was a goner then..mud puddles would keep him occupied for hours! He has a pool because I prefer for him to play in cleaner water!

Hopefully with the colder weather we will have seen the last of the Deer Ticks..when it snows I know they are gone for sure. Tiny little speck like buggers..gone til spring. There are some advantages to snow..not many..but ticks and snakes just happen to be two creatures I won't miss:)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Squeaky Wheel

Persistence pays off.. some times slowly. Good things come to those who wait.

As most of you know Far Guy has a rare disorder, that we have found out is not so least in this area.

I struggled to get MY Opinion in the local paper. Finally It happened, I have since written a update..well they didn't want to publish it..instead they wanted to interview me. I declined. I told them, I only have the knowledge to share, the real stories are with the true heroes of Trigeminal Neuralgia...and that they should come to the support group meeting next week and interview a cross section of the people attending. Nope they don't want to do that... yet. But they will be interviewing Far Guy sometime tomorrow. I volunteered him..he only shook his head and said "Well you are going to have to help me." And I will..the best I can. I will try really hard to be on his wave length tomorrow. He is a bit..well maybe.. a lot nervous. The Far Guy before TN would not be the least bit nervous, Far Guy now struggles with words...good thing he has me.. I am pretty good at words..fact is someone once described me as having diarrhea of the mouth...pleasant thought isn't it.. sometimes I just don't shut up..sometimes I stick my whole foot in my mouth..that's just me.

Far Guy had a fairly good week last week, the Witness Medication Program that I implemented back in September is working, you can read what I wrote about it in my Headed for the "Home" entry. Or perhaps you would like to read Far Guys take on the WMP.

Last Thursday was one of those days that Far Guy was dreading..a appointment with the Dental Hygienist. ( You may insert your favorite walking to the gallows music here.) I had talked previously with Chuck our Dentist about TN and had given him a heads up. He was familiar with TN and obviously had done some of his own research. I was concerned about the Hygienist.. so I went I have sat in a dental chair many times..but not with the same attitude as before. Janel is a wonderful hygienist, but people suffering from TN are different. I noticed her technique first hand and after my cleaning and polishing we had a chat. I explained to her about Far Guy, I gave her tips on how not to touch the right side of his face..not to rest her hand anywhere near his cheek. The water in the squirter thingy was way too cold..even though it is supposed to be room temperature. Still too cold..I suggested a cup of warm water. She promised me that she would try and make it as painless as possible for him. So in went Far Guy.. he was really apprehensive.. go.. get those teeth cleaned.. NOW!

He did really well, he had many painful Zingers, and she stopped at one point wondering if it was too painful for him, she could resume another day..Far Guy said "Hell no, lets get this over with." Far Guys teeth are one of the triggers for his TN pain. With a knowledgeable Dentist and a patient care is possible. I was grateful and breathed a huge sigh of relief ..we can put the Dentist behind us for at least six months. It was a much better turn out than I had imagined. What had I imagined...extreme pain with a trip to the ER... and possibly an admission into the Hospital..not too many people have to think about that just from a simple visit to the Dentist.

Awareness and advocate with a bring on that clueless reporter that wants a scoop:)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Hometown

I just featured my hometown .. over on my Photo Blog
Far Side of Fifty Photos
Curious?..Come on over and have a look see:)

More On Phone Calls

The other night Thursday to be exact..7:20 approximately. The phone rang, most of you that follow my blog know that I hate the phone. Well I don't really hate it..very strong dislike..may be a better description. It interrupts my thoughts, it requires my attention. I was tied to a phone for ten years..stuck with one in the Greenhouse because if I did not carry the phone and a customer called with a question..If Far Guy could not answer the question, he would have to track me down and give me the phone. Two people have now been involved in one phone call, it was just silly. So I took charge of the phone. I have often said that there are not stupid questions. BUT if someone calls me and asks me what in the world could be wrong with the plants she bought a WalMart or KaMe ApaRT.. that borders on stupid. You have no idea how much of a struggle it was for me to remain polite and ladylike.

I find it totally freeing that I can ignore the phone and not feel that I am losing a customer. I can put on my MP3 player with the headphones and not be bothered a bit by the incessant ringing. Escape..that's it.. I try to escape from the phone.

Back to Thursday...((Hugs to ANN..faithful blog reader)) It was a fairly stress filled day, I had turned down an invitation by my parents to go to Bingo, I turned down my chance at winning their new mega super dooper jackpot...and I really like Bingo. I wanted.. no....I NEEDED my time..and that would be my very favorite time of the week Thursday night from 7 to 8 to watch SURVIVOR. Sixty minutes of pure bliss stretched out on the couch...watching someone else trying to survive. Sixty minutes of total that I can be sane. Sixty minutes of no phone calls, my daughters only call during the commercials. Far Guy is in charge of the phone....and he is a perfect phone answerer..except he can't lie and tell someone I am not home when I am. It was faithful blog reader Ann...Hey Far Side I read your blog, I know you hate phone calls, but I just had to tell you I almost peed my pants when I read your blog sanity begins to slip slowly away. Goodbye sanity..Hello Ann.. we did have a very interesting conversation, and I did enjoy it..but I would have enjoyed it much more at 8:01.

Some people don't read my blog so they call when parents, and some of my computer challenged cousins. The people that know me well and read my blog love to irritate me, my brother, my best friends, my neighbors they all just call me anyway. There must be some strange contest they are involved many phone calls will it take to drive her totally nuts..she is partially nuts already..perhaps it will be MY call that does her in. I wonder what the prize is...

Just so you know I am not above monitoring phone calls..but the girls talking to Chance usually causes me to stop and think .. "Hi Chancy, did they leave you home all by yourself again, do you know where they are..woof woof" Now when they start talking to the dog..I know they are really desperate and need their Mommy or Daddy. So I should really pick up the phone, shouldn't I? Nope if they are well enough to leave a message they are OK til later.

Just so you really know there is no escape..this house has no lockable doors. Far Guy built the door to the has a Far Guy special lock..a piece of wood that slides over and locks from the inside, but the door shrunk and you can slip your finger in from the outside and unlock it. It comes in really handy for Far Guy when I am hiding in there and the phone is for me..he just opens the special "privacy lock" and hands me the fricking phone..:)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Irritants

Well it is a lovely day..just lovely..

When you live in the "boonies" power failures happen. A really bad time for them to happen is when you are writing a long blog. My day began early. Some "stuff" had piled up that only I could deal with. Far Guys patience is limited.

I needed to call the Clinic, it seems like they had a problem which became my problem in the form of a bill. I called them and was put on hold (No Music), I hate being on hold. Finally I explained my problem. She was graciously sympathetic when she told me that all of my insurance information had been wiped out of their computer system. I asked "How did that happen?" She replied "I have no idea." Now lets see, you all know the drill, you have to verify your name, address, phone number, next of kin, and insurance information before seeing a Doctor. Now... do I have to ask them to verify my verification on my next visit? What kind of idiots work there anyway?

I had a note on my bulletin to opt out. I have been getting many phone calls from a well known credit card company. I figured by opting out I could solve several problems, first the junk mail they send me may save a few trees. Second, perhaps the phone calls will end. The ones where they say they have a special offer of lower interest rates, but it is an automated call so you have to hold for the next available operator while listening to weird polka music. When I finally get the next operator, she learns that I never carry a balance over from one month to the next..she hangs up on me, no thank you..just a click.. So I figured five minutes of my time might reap multiple rewards. All the while I was wondering why do I have to call them to opt out, why can't they just considered me opted out..until I call them to opt in. Brilliant! But I never got to talk to a real person to share this thought with.

I had to call the individuals that bought the small greenhouse last June, they finally picked it up in August but there was a pile of steel and treated lumber that they would stop by for tomorrow or the next day. I politely left a message on their bloody machine, saying that I was concerned that their pile might be damaged by the men when they dismantle one of the really BIG greenhouses (supposedly next week). HELLO it is way past tomorrow and the next day has come and gone, and I seriously doubt that I will risk life or limb so that their "stuff" doesn't get run over by huge trucks and trailers. But just in case I take up the cause for them, I won't be blogging at all next week because I will be guarding their pile of crap, freezing my butt off all the while reading 'The Vagina Monologues" right out loud to all the creatures in the forest.

I had to get dressed really early this morning. ( I love my Jammie time in the morning..that sometimes lasts until afternoon) Some lady who missed my garage sale more than three weeks ago, was dying to see what I had left. She had an appointment for last Saturday and was a no show. Today she actually showed up, and will think hard about what remaining stuff she wants and will call me next week. I am so looking forward to her next phone call.

I had a really horrible experience this morning. I am thinking about shaving my head, Far Guy and I could match! Somehow one of my really long hairs got tangled up in my toothbrush. Ever since seeing that episode of Oprah's that revealed that fecal matter can travel in the air more than six feet and land in my cute little toothbrush holder and lodge in my toothbrush, I have kept my toothbrush in the drawer in a far corner of the bathroom. Unfortunately I also keep my hairbrushes in the same drawer.. so something has got to hair or my teeth.. I will have to ponder that for awhile longer before making a decision.

As I write this the phone has been ringing..I used to get a number of trade magazines, no... I no longer want them..please, please take me off of your list... forever.

Thanks for listening.. I feel better now:)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dating Instructions File

A few readers wondered what would be in the dating file I leave behind for Far Guy. My instructions and reminders for him just in case I kick the bucket before him. These are just a few of my little old suggestions...

You should start lookin' immediately. We did the vows "till death do us part" it wasn't "till death do us part and a year of extreme mourning." You should be keeping your eyes open at the Funeral Home, I have some nice friends and they might be lonely widows by the time I croak.
I am not sure where you should begin to look for women. The Grocery store might be a good place, or WalMart. You can tell a lot about a woman by what is in her cart. Pass on the ones that are loaded down with prepackaged frozen food, also stay away from the health nuts that have nothing but fruits and vegetables in their carts. Look for someone that has a well rounded cart, with stuff you like to eat in it. Charity Fundraising Dinners might be your best bet, you can get a good home cooked meal and look at your options at the same time. Eat slowly and take your time looking around. There seems to be a dinner in Park Rapids at the Legion or the Eagles Club nearly every Friday or Saturday night.

Now once you meet someone and actually have a date. Times have changed. Your old dating techniques will have to be spiffed up a bit. Meet me at the movie, or meet me at the dance will not work anymore. You are actually going to have to pick the gal up and take her out. Just a side note, If Chance has been doing a lot of riding in the front seat..perhaps you should vacuum it off first. Remember ladies like to have doors opened for them. Now go someplace nice for dinner, someplace without the menu on the wall.

Things to remember when dating. Be polite, don't talk about Politics or Religion. Safe subjects you know a lot about are, Grand kids, Hockey, The History Channel, Music of the 50's and 60's, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Woodworking, The Military (another side note..since your speciality was Munitions which includes should not share this info on a first date) and my very favorite COOKING. What woman doesn't appreciate a man that can not only talk about food, but can cook it too!

I hate to scare you, but I must share some dating safety tips with you. If you don't know the ladies family, then you should observe the following safe dating practices. Always keep your hand over the top of your cup of coffee, being careful not to scald your hand. Always be aware of your surroundings, if you leave your coffee unattended then discretely pour it out and get some more. It is very easy for someone to slip something in your coffee that may make you wild and crazy or cause you to forget the entire evening. ANY time you feel uncomfortable, or your personal space has been invaded or if you have been touched inappropriately you should grab your chest and say "I am having a spell, call an Ambulance."

Somehow you have failed to take these dating instructions seriously. The comment you made the other day while I was scoping out seemingly eligible women in WalMart parking lot bothered me. You should think about changing your attitude. You said " I will just wait at home for the ladies to give me a call." Possibly you will be waiting a really long time:)
Far Guy wrote a reply to me..check it out!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Have Been Tagged

I have been tagged to list my six quirks! Only six ..piece of cake. I was tagged by The DVM's Wife ..she is so sweet.

My Six Quirks
1. I love farm smells, a wet dog, freshly cut hay, a sweaty horse..and even hogs!
2. I embarrass my daughters on a regular basis. Saying penis or vagina right out loud does it every-time.
3. I am a recovering Obsessive Compulsive person. I used to scrub my kitchen floor twice a day. I bathed my poor daughters twice a day when they were that new baby smell too! I have made a nice recovery..thank you!
4. I love black licorice and hoard it.
5. I don't carry a purse or a bag, I kept leaving it places.
6. I cried when my 1984 Ford Bronco II was sold and left the yard. I drove it for 20 years, it was like an old friend, getting me through snowbanks and muddy roads. I still miss it. Kinda sick isn't it?
Oh the list goes on and on...
Now that I have spilled my guts. Here are the rules:
Link to the person who tagged you
Mention these rules on your blog
Tell about your six quirks
Tag six bloggers to do the same
Leave them a comment to let them know that you have tagged them

I am not a tagging freak..this is the first time I have been tagged. This is the first time I will be tagging people ...I am like a Virgin Tagger.. HA.. Your It: Lattice, A little of this a little of that, Jewels Gems, Life on a Colorado Farm, Muddy Boots Dream and Just a Hippie Gypsy.
Well I look at it as an opportunity to get to know a person better.. :)

Old Photograph Wednesday Part IV

Well I guess I am going to call Wednesdays, Old Photograph Wednesday, since it seems to be my theme on Wednesdays. Perhaps it could have a more glamorous title..but for the moment ..what that would be escapes me. Leave a comment if you have a catchy opinion! A reader left me a comment, asking if I remember the shocks of grain standing in the fields?
Yes, I do remember, all looking like little tee pees. This picture I have shared with you shows my Grandpa Y. with a pitchfork, out in a grain field, his work is behind him. He was a wonderful, dear man who I still miss to this day. My Mother took this picture in 1952, it was their first harvest of grain on their "own" farm, the farm where I grew up.

This picture is of my Grandpa and his son, my Uncle Adolf having lunch in the field. You can see the lunch bucket between them, my Mother used to make lunch..homemade bread and meat, some pickles, and cookies or cake that were all put inside a big cooking pot, covered with a dish towel and taken to the field. Coffee and milk went into glass jars and were wrapped in heavy towels. I loved lunching in the field as a small child it was the highlight of my day!

Grain was harvested with a Binder that cut and bound it into sheaves, many sheaves were then set on end to form a shock of grain. The grain shocks were left in the field to dry. Then the Threshing Crew or the as I like to call them the Thrashing Crew would come. There was lots of baking and cooking the day before, such excitement, then they would come one by one, all the farmers to help each other thrash the grain. It was a cooperative effort, farmers helping farmers. It was dirty hard work, the men would wash up outside and then come into the house for "Lunch" ... and what a lunch it was.. Mountains of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, garden vegetables, beans and carrots and of course fresh bread, and deserts the likes that only appeared once a year..pies, and cakes that a child with a sweet tooth would stare at in awe.

My Uncle Adolf was a frequent visitor at our home before he was married. He was a big guy, tall and strong. I was a very stubborn child and was prone to temper tantrums, I was into the stomping my feet as fast as they would go, alternating between screaming and holding my breath to get my way tantrums. Apparently it had been working, until the day my Uncle Adolf had his own tantrum, my Mother told me "He came into the kitchen while you were stomping your feet and screaming, and proceeded to stomp his feet so much that the whole floor shook, and that was the last of your temper tantrums." :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


It is time to take our blinders off, and look around. It is time to look outward not inward. It is time to look at others instead of ourselves.
Did you sleep well? Warm and comfy? Did you enjoy your shower? Did you eat today? Extreme poverty exists, some people in our world live on less than $1.25 a day. How many?

In Africa a child dies every three seconds from extreme poverty and AIDS. So while you slept safe and warm 10,000 children died in Africa. Recently I ran onto a blog that was written by a Missionary Family from Pennsylvania, you may enjoy reading it. I believe it is a good look into life in Malawi, Africa. I am not asking you to donate anything, or to do anything except just read. We all have our own crosses to bear here in America, but after reading about extreme cross got just a little lighter and a little easier to carry.

Hold on.. I lied.. I need you to go to Lady Fi's Blog and visit her, you see she is doing something besides reading..for every visit, and comment that her blog gets today and tomorrow she is going to personally donate to The Global Fund... so go on over to On a Quirky Quest and say Hi her in her mission to make a difference..lets empty her pockets:)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Have I mentioned...

Have I mentioned..
That I dislike Mondays? Especially Mondays with miserable weather, like rain. It has been raining here since last Thursday. Five days of rain..Not only that.. two of those days it rained "Cats and Dogs"..well not really but you get the picture. Chance is wet and muddy, but I tell him he smells great anyway..not too many people appreciate that wet doggy smell..except maybe me. The muddy part is really sand and once dried, falls off and makes you long for the beach.

Have I mentioned...
That Mondays is the clear off the bulletin board day? I hate it so much that I missed last week. That board was full! I hog tied Far Guy to a chair, gagged him and made him open mail for an hour. He opened envelopes with a very scary letter opener, flung the recycled paper in one pile, flung the to be shredded in another pile, and stuffed envelopes for me, that was the reason for the gag..I know what the outgo is, he would just like for me to handle it and blindfold him. Investments have plummeted, being the end of a quarter there were multiple reports to sort through. I thought seriously about blindfolding him about then, but I didn't want to clean up the mess he would have made of himself with that really scary knifey looking letter opener he was using. I keep telling him that he has to have some idea, how things are done, if I croak first..he should have some clue. I guess I will have to write it all down, make him a "In case my wife dies first folder" one with very explicit instructions, he told me with his deer stuck in the headlights look ( I really should have used the blindfold) " Don't worry, I will figure it all out sweetheart" I am not so sure, I am wondering if I should also include "Dating Instructions" in his folder. Probably wouldn't hurt:)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Mountain of Cookies

Far Guys Sister, Far Guys Mother, Far Guy and Chance 2005 We carried him into the Nursing Home when he was just eight weeks old. Far Guys Mom said "It's about time you kids got a dog, and he is a pretty cute little guy too. What did you name him?" We replied "Chance"..our last chance for a dog.

From that day on, Chance became a Nursing Home visiting dog. He visited every other day with Far Guy. Sure there were some days he had to stay home, muddy wet dogs have to stay home. But for the most part he was ready to go anytime we said "Lets go visit Grandma." He loved her, and she loved him, she called him "My Dog." She would save cookies for him and hide them in her room. On her bad days she might not remember much of anything, but she always remembered where the cookies were hidden. Which side of which drawer the stash of cookies was hidden in today. After all you never forget a real friends favorite treat.

Chance learned a lot from Grandma, he learned not to be afraid of a cane. He learned to walk along side her walker. He learned that wheelchairs won't hurt you. He learned to sit in front of an automatic door and wait for it to open. He learned that it was OK to put your paws on the edge of the bed to be petted, but that Grandma did not want him in bed with her! He was allowed to put his front feet on the arm of her wheelchair if she invited him to do so, often he would steal just one kiss. One kiss that was enough for Grandma! He learned that when she cried, if he cried and whined too, she would stop crying, dry her eyes and laugh at him.

Chance knew the way to the Nursing Home, the right, left, left, left turns that would get you into the parking lot. As soon as you made that first right turn in town he would start to get excited, he knew where you were going, and that the lady with the cookies was there. He knew the way to her room, straining at the leash to walk faster, he knew which bed was hers. He and Far Guy were faithful visitors for over two years.

The last time I took him into the home to visit, I told him "This is it buddy, time to say goodbye." Grandma had been sleeping for days, he put his paws on the edge of her bed and licked her hand. Her hand never moved, and poor Chance looked confused, I found a stashed cookie in a drawer and we left. Two days later Grandma left the home for a heavenly one. There is no explaining death to a dog, we humans don't begin to understand it all that well, so it is impossible to explain to a dog. There is still something he knows... He still knows the right, left, left, left turns that get you into the parking lot, but doesn't understand why he is left in the car. He would like to go in, he would like to find Grandma. I often wonder if he thinks that we have totally abandoned her. He would never abandon her, after all this time..... she must have a whole mountain of cookies to share:)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Promise

The last couple of days we have been enjoying the company of Far Guy's cousin from Alaska. He had hip replacement surgery and is recuperating quite well..he is only a little gimpy. Since he grew up at the farm kitty corner from where I grew up, we have lots in common. We took an area tour, talking, reminiscing about people and places. It was great fun!

We did have a mission visit another cousin of Far Guys and Alaska Guys. For the purposes of this blog I will call him Street Rod. A long time ago Street Rod allowed his friends to cover his arm in catsup, then he crawled into the trunk of his friends car, with one hand holding the trunk shut and the other catsup covered arm very visible to the unsuspecting people of Detroit Lakes. Needless to say Street Rod was without wheels for several weeks.

Street Rod is one year older than Far Guy and Alaska Guy. Street Rod is in the Nursing Home. He has multiple health issues, diabetes, failing eye sight, dialysis and he is an amputee with a flashy red metallic flake wheelchair/ scooter. He may have lost the use of his legs but his sense of humor is still intact. The guys had a good visit. Street Rod was having some indigestion and had to go get his Rolaids. I offered to get them from his room, He said "Nope, around here you have to have a Doctors orders for Rolaids." He scooted out and returned saying "I am too old for this shit." His mood deteriorated after that, he was tired and needed to lay down before going to dialysis, so we left.

After leaving "the home" we all talked about our unwillingness to be residents of such a facility. We know they are necessary we just don't want to go there ..ever.

Later after we got home, I told Far Guy that I would try to do whatever was necessary to keep him out of the home for as long as I could. He said "No need to worry I will be in the pen." I said "WHAT?" He replied "Well Alaska Guy was feeling so bad about having to go to the home someday, he made me promise to kill him first." Now let me tell ya I just left them behind for three minutes while I walked to get the car in the rain, and during that time they must have had time to REALLY talk. Next time the gimpy one and one who hurts when wind hits his face can get the car for me:)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hard Times

What goes up..must come down. I am hearing lots of doom and gloom. No one is jumping out of the windows of the NYSE.... yet.

It seems plain and simple to me... America's mortgages have out grown their crops. Until everyone begins to live within their means we will remain in a financial crisis.

My Grandparents were poor, it must have made a great impact on them. They used to call it "dirt poor" without even the dirt. There were times when they were hungry, times were lean. I cannot even begin to imagine, boiling up chicken bones and flavoring the water to feed to my children.

In their later years their two deep freezers were full, in the cellar the canning jars were all lined up with the summer and fall harvest. There were cows in the barn, chickens in the coop and a few hogs rooting around in the hog pen. The stairway to upstairs where 11 children had slept was cluttered on the far side of the steps with containers of Coffee. The pantry was full of sugar, flower, and all things to bake with. One time I was sent to the pantry for powdered sugar..there were many bags to choose from. Grandma was a food hoarder, being without food during the great depression must have left such an impression on her that she collected food. Being hungry with many mouths to feed will do that to you.

My Grandfather was a math whiz, he could add long columns of figures in his head, never using scraps of Grandmas paper to add or subtract. He sat with the checkbook and would do all the math in his head, I found this simply amazing. No newfangled calculators for see he had a perfectly good calculator in his head and he used it.

Perhaps he could have been a banker, instead he was a farmer.

The demise of the family farms years ago is where the root of our financial woes stem from. When they should have been given a hand up, they had to sell out, or move out. There were no bailouts for them. We were on the wrong track then, and we are on the wrong track now. America can only be as strong as it's people, we had strong hard working dusk til dawn small family farmers.. and we put them on a train to nowhere. I am always deeply saddened when I travel the area and remember the farmers and their productive farms now deserted, in effect they were all small businesses, ready willing and able to put food on the table:)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Firehall Kids

Yesterday we helped out at the Firehall. The Head Start Kids at the nearby reservation school needed to learn about fire safety. About 25 three and four year olds showed up along with a few parents and grandparents. We did the Stop, Drop and Roll, NEVER Ever play with matches, and crawl to safety. We let them try on the helmets and a Firemans coat. We talked about dialing 911 in an emergency, and who whould show up? One little boy said "Not me." We let them walk through the ambulance, and through the back of one of the big fire trucks. We showed them how scary Firemen look all dressed up in their gear, that was probably not such a good some of them began to little girl sobbed the entire time. (Pink sweater, third from the left in the first row) One very happy future Firefighter! Fireman Far Guy and Fireman Mike look on.
Crawling to safety.

Fireman Mike with a willing "victim."
Just as a reminder it is never to early to talk with your kids about "Fire Safety." They should know Stop, Drop and Roll, and how to crawl under the smoke to safety, they should Never Ever play with matches, and never be afraid and hide during a fire. Every family should have fire drills and have an agreed upon meeting noses can be counted:)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A New Photo Blog

Well I went and did it, I was feeling cramped and disorganized. I was getting too many photos and becoming too involved in photo shoots. So I had a Blog Baby! My photographs can now be found here. I named the baby Far Side of Fifty Photos. Isn't that original? Take a peek and leave some feedback.. I do appreciate the input. I mainly photograph Flowers, Chance, Trees and Snow..a lot of snow. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine. I appreciate everyone of my readers, I love the comments that you leave for me to read.
I feel better now, more organized and calmer and I don't have to stay up all night with this baby either..that's a relief:)

Old Photographs Part III

Recently I ran on to this photograph. It was taken in 1920 or 1921. It shows a rare look into the farm life of people that we loved. Far Guys Grandparents H. his Father and his Uncle Ron. The picture is taken in a field at "The Farm" just two miles from where we live now.

I believe that these are corn shocks in the field. They would have been cut by hand with a corn knife or a corn hook. The cut off stalks were bundled together. The bundles were then stacked upright with their bottoms fanned out. This group of bundles was then called a corn shock. The shocks stayed in the field until early winter then the farmer would go back and hand husk the corn. The corn cobs were stored in a corn crib, until it was shelled, ground into feed or fed whole to livestock. Sometimes the husks were saved, the inner husks after they were moistened could be torn into strips and braided or woven into mats, baskets or dolls. You could even fill a large tick with the husks and have yourself a corn husk filled bed.

What I love about this photograph, Grandma took off her bonnet, Grandpa had not shaved in days, the biggest little boy looks like he had been working hard, and the littlest boy looks mischievous. I also wonder..who took the photograph..I can only speculate that it was family...possibly family that helped in the corn field:)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

58th Anniversary

Today is my parents 58th Wedding Anniversary. The day a young man of Finnish descent married a young German/Norwegian gal. It must have been a good match, four kids, twelve grand-kids, and twelve great grand-kids later they still love each other. I do believe that they took the "in sickness and in health, until death us do part" vows quite seriously.
My Mother still has her wedding gown, we have taken in out from time to time just to check its condition. The white satin has aged with time, it is a very beautiful ivory color now. A long time ago.. I tried it on, Mom would have liked someone to wear it for their wedding. I was a tad larger that my petite mother, taller and very well it was not a good fit for me. My girls tried it on, Trica was shorter and weighed about 100 pounds, it was a good fit. But she wanted her own gown. Jen is even taller than it looked like a high water wedding gown, hardly a good look for a young bride.
My Mom kept the rose petals from her bouquet for years..she may still have them. She had the top layer of their wedding cake covered in a thick layer of wax, it sat in a pink box on a shelf in their bedroom closet. It did not look very appetizing, but I suppose it was a way to preserve it, much like our wedding cake that sat frozen in their freezer to be enjoyed on our first anniversary, that we forgot to eat.
I have saved my wedding gown, what for..who knows ..I have often thought I should have had it made into a Christening Gown for the grand kids, now maybe for my Great Grands..but there is still time for that. Why do we save all these gowns never to be worn again, cakes never to be it all just a tradition.. or do all these things make every Wedding Anniversary sweeter with time? :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Minnesota Fall

Fall or Autumn is officially here, enjoy the pictures! I am having a really busy day today..not planned that way just turned out that way. Far Guy need some company on a little I grabbed my camera. The woods are getting to the ooh and ahh stage. Now I am off again.. catch ya tomarrow:)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Warm Friend

This morning Far Guy announced "It's Time." Time for what? A fire in the outdoor wood stove. We don't have a furnace in the house, we have a gas fireplace for a back up and to take the early morning chill out of the house. We use the outdoor wood stove for our main heat, it also heats our hot water in the hot water heater ( by conduction) the electricity bill will go down. This stove heats water and the water is carried by two special hoses in the ground (I dug and buried the hoses..they are encased in insulation) anyway one carries warm water to the house and one carries cold water from the house. It comes into the house way underground and heats the area in front of my kitchen sink to a delightfully warm temperature where you can wash dishes barefoot when it is way below zero. Chance also lays there in the winter and melts all the snow balls he has collected on his feet and belly from running wildly through the snow banks.

Far Guy has most of the wood cut for the winter, since we closed the greenhouse business..he will have more than enough wood cut for this winter...possibly several winters. He loads up the stove once a day, sometimes every other day. I can enjoy 72 degree warmth all winter without quilt. I am spoiled, and bundle up like a polar bear when going visiting..cause I get turn everyone who visits here may get too warm:)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: The End of Summer

Thicket Creeper September 2008

This End of Summer Challenge is a suggestion from Janet at Fond of Snape. You may also like to check out the Round Robin Challenge.

Here in Minnesota, we consider the end of summer Labor Day. All the kids start school the day after Labor Day. For me the end of summer is signaled by the brush starting to turn color in the woods. Some of the invaders that are present all summer take on new look in the fall. The Poison Ivy turns a yellow color and then brilliant red. The Virginia Creeper and Thicket Creeper take on the most wonderful red hues. Virginia Creeper or Parthenocissus quinquefolia has small disk shaped holdfasts. Thicket Creeper or Parthenocissus inserta (Often called P. vitacea) has twining tendrils to make its way up a tree. Both of these Creepers are native to Minnesota. Having lived in Minnesota most of my life..even if I didn't have a calendar..I would be able to tell that summer was coming to an end by watching the Creepers change color:)

Late Bloomers

We had temperatures of 27 degrees to greet us yesterday morning. Some of the flowers still survived, it must be the lake effect! So I thought I would share some of our late bloomers!

My climbing roses that don't really climb were looking great..I really must be a better pruner in the spring..cause they need to go up..not out. If you are curious they are "William Baffin" a great Canadian Climbing Rose that I just do not fuss with..or prune, or water or fertilize..but should. Then again maybe he does better with neglect..some plants are like that you fuss..but will bloom their hearts out. I so enjoy the late bloomers every Autumn. The colors seem more vibrant, each and every day they survive is like a welcome reprieve from the cold temperatures. Yes indeed I like late bloomers!

I watched part of the debate between Palin and Biden.. I think Sarah is a rose, and Biden is a thorn. I fell asleep again..the old checking for the holes in the eyelid thing..I am getting really good at it...don't know what I will do if I ever find one. I caught most of the debate way later.. CNN kept repeating it. I thought Sarah did well, I still like her...even if shes not perfect..she just may be a late bloomer:)

Friday, October 3, 2008

To sell or not to sell?

That is a good question? I asked Far Guy..a man of many words he said "sure." I asked him what he thought about a price..he said "Whatever you think sweetheart."

I am torn on this one, we purchased this Majestic Wood Cook Stove about thirteen years ago at an Auction Sale in Hillsboro, ND. It did not look anything like this then, it had been stored in a was filthy. A gallon of Simple Green was presentable. There were three stoves there that day, thank goodness I only bought one.

Wood Cook Stoves are very has a copper boiler.. we moved it five is heavy.
It made it from Hillsboro to Buxton to Harwood (It was the only piece of furniture we left in the basement of our house during the great flood of 1997.) Then we moved it here to my brothers garage..finally one last move to the spot it has occupied for the last ten years. In my potting shed/garage.

It has sparked some interesting conversations over the years..with older folks reminiscing about bringing in the wood, what their Mothers used to cook on a stove almost like that one, how warm and cozy the kitchen used to be in the early morning. And of course... how heavy they are. One particularly senile old gentleman suggested I start a fire in it and bake him up some cookies. Far Guys Grandma H. had a similar wood cook stove..she made the best fried potatoes, eggs and bacon for breakfasts during Deer Hunting Season on her old wood cook stove. Maybe these old stoves aren't much good anymore..except for the memories they invoke. If they were story tellers..I would love to hear their do you have any old cook stove stories or memories to share? Please leave a comment:)

No.. we don't grow lady bugs that big in is a magnetic lady bug! Also disregard the rock, that is my outside door prop it open rock..fancy huh?

Thursday, October 2, 2008


A rant perhaps... a mild rant.....Well you have been forewarned. Read on at your own risk.

Yesterday I was so happy that my letter to the editor about Trigeminal Neuralgia was finally published. Since I don't get the real paper, a phone call from a neighbor confirmed that my voice was heard. Then about 1:30 we received a very strange phone message from Jen saying "Mom, why did they give your letter such an odd heading?" I was immediately curious, ODD how odd is odd? I tried to call her back to find out, she was busy with a student and would call me back. I got really busy with early garage sale customers, and was stuck on the phone most of the night, answering questions. So when Far Guy finally read me the heading...I just wanted to run wildly through the woods, pulling my hair out and perhaps impaling myself on some wayward branch. That would have taken my last ounce of energy..but I did think about sticking my head in the toilet and flushing. Far Guy said "You must promise me that you will NEVER write a letter to the editor ever again" reluctantly I promised to stick to blogging instead.


Please publish in Letters to the Editor or opinions..Thanks!
The Worst pain you have ever felt...You are a perfectly healthy individual one day, and then you brush you teeth or wash your face and you have stabbing pain in your face. You think you might have an abscessed tooth or teeth. The pain becomes unbearable. You finally cannot stand the pain, in the ER in Park Rapids you were lucky enough to get Dr. Churchill who diagnosed you immediately, and you were given the appropriate medication. You have just been diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia. a rare disorder that affects 1 in 20,000 people. Trigeminal Neuralgia or “suicide disease” is the most painful disorder known to mankind.

My husband has Trigeminal Neuralgia. There are 7 people (two are deceased) that we know of that have this disorder that have lived in Osage or Park Rapids. Are there anymore out there? What is causing this outbreak of this disorder? If you have this disorder, please contact me at #####. I am hoping that no one new calls, but in case you do, you will find some hope and strength with others that understand your pain. Perhaps we can form a support group.

I did not "Title" my letter, if I had chosen a heading.. Perhaps it would have been...Rare Disorder OR Rare Disorder Causes Concern

They obviously did not read the letter as the heading they chose was...
Rare Disorder Causing Cancer

No where in my letter does it even come close to the "C " word. There is no connection with TN and Cancer that I am aware of. TN and Cancer are about as related as me and Julia Childs or Cat Cora. NO connection whatsoever.

On a sad note, I received two new phone calls from spouses of individuals with TN, both who are now reaping their heavenly reward. The spouses said they wished that someone would have reached out to them because they felt so alone while their spouses struggled with this terrible disorder.

Well it's not all bad you know, it may get a lot more attention miss titled, than propery titled...I am trying to look on the sunny side of things and will try to be civil when I answer the phone. I did send them an email requesting that the online version be edited and it was early this morning. Thank goodness for small favors.
Lesson Learned: Always Title your Letters to the Editor:(

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot: Still Life Fruit

Carley over at Ellipsis issued Mondays Challenge...Still Life and Fruit..oh my..said I. I have never photographed fruit in my life, well maybe some fruit in a tree..but that doesn't count. I might be out of luck on this one. ..but if some Food Photographers can do it..maybe I can too. So in the spirit of the challenge.. I thought and thought..finally ..IT came to me!
IT'S THE RASPBERRIES!! Minnesota grown and hand picked. In my freezer! Put them on a plate and see what happens. Well I began with a white plate...not even a fancy might even be a tad papery.. They looked OK , but not terrific.

Then things went from bad to worse, frozen berries look great frosty..but in various stages of unthawing, they leave a whole lot to be desired. Finally after about sixty pictures with various plates and different light. Flash on.... flash off. Let me tell you there was lots of berry eating in between! Finally I got one I liked..what do you think?

I have a new appreciation for Food Photographers now!:)

Old Photographs Part II

Ist Row: Me. Sharon (Far Guys Cousin), Caroline
2nd Row: Barry (Far Guys Cousin), Corrine, Danny

This was taken by my Mother on May 8, 1953, I would have been about 20 months old. This picture was taken on a farmstead just about a mile and a half from where we live now. It is a deserted farmstead now, a place for a Corporate Farm to park equipment. I remember the old brown stucco house, with a huge screened in porch, and a massive front step perfect to line up children on for a birthday party picture. It was Corinne's birthday she was three years old. Recently I had the opportunity to share this picture with her, she had never seen it before. That is a thought for all you old picture you have an opportunity to share some photos of friends that they never knew existed. Perhaps!

What kind of a child holds their dolly upside down for a picture? (Will she ever be a GOOD Mother?) All little girls love their dolls..right? not so much. Most of my dolls were pretty new looking all the time. I preferred the paper dolls, carefully cutting out their wardrobes, able to change their clothing in the blink of an eye. However I do recall dressing up kittens and puppies in doll clothing...

Do you have a caption for my old photograph today? If so please share it by leaving a comment!:)

Update: My letter to the editor about Trigeminal Neuralgia appeared today in the local paper..success at last!