Saturday, February 28, 2009


I like pork. Just not the political "pork." This week I read only some of the projects that were added along in the stimulus package. I became sick to my stomach. Crooks helping other crooks. Drag them into the streets and hang them all and lets have a "do over." The next bunch we get might be better.

In a time when people are losing their jobs and homes, the people who are supposed to represent US are passing bills that make no sense to me at all. I noticed that some minorities were chosen to be recipients of funds. Not a Finlander in the bunch. Apparently there is no such thing as a Finish Advocacy Council.

The honey bees..well let me tell ya..that was really high on my list of things I was worried about..homeless uninsured bees. The electric golf carts were another thing that kept me awake at night.. what in the world would all those golfers do if they had to walk. Golfers would be skinny walkers..yup if they want to golf they should be in shape. Digital TV coupons..HUH? Let the TV stations stay up at night worrying about their customers, and how they will get the signal. I have a signal for them and it is not a thumbs up either.

What have we come too? Who is gonna pay? Who will survive this political ineptitude? I just don't get it. We need to close the gap..not widen it. We need to work together to make things better. We need leadership that says "No Way Jose" "Sorry Charlie"
Stick a fork in me..I am done:)

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Masked Man

Don't get too is just Far Guy in his winter face mask. I searched everywhere for a face mask for him. I finally found one at a place called The Duluth Trading Company. The mask had to be large enough to leave some roominess around his right cheek and the right side of his face. It had to be bulky enough fabric to keep out the worst of the wind. This face mask seems to work well, although he does take it off in town..I wouldn't want him to be mistaken for a bad guy and hauled off to jail. Far Guy is bothered by wind touching his face. In fact he is bothered by anything that touches his face..the wind, his reading glasses, stupid people..all things that will cause him a great amount of extra pain on top of his always present pain of the Trigeminal Neuralgia. How do you tell other women... do not hug my husband, your hair brushing by his face causes him extra pain for hours. Sometimes I think I should have a shirt that says "Touch my husbands head or face, and I will rip your boobs off. " He has enough pain..your hug is not going to dumb broads.

We are still in part two of the new medication. Far Guy had a few really rough days, and nights. So much so that Chance became a "Mother Hen" is something to watch. Chance decides when Far Guy should lay down on the couch, he gets his attention usually by putting his head in his lap and then leads him to the soon as Far Guy is settled down..Chance leaves. In the evening if Chance decides that it is time for Far Guy to go to bed, he goes into the bedroom and pulls down the covers. (They did have a talk about this, Far Guy told him that he didn't have to be so bossy.) One night Chance held Far Guys hand, he licked it first and then proceeded to hold it gently in his mouth, until Far Guys hand was all wet with drool and he couldn't stand it anymore. The dog is in tune with the man..what can I say amazes me:)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

He Left Us

He is leaving us.... He left... I can't believe you told him to leave me at home.... Who is gonna watch him? You know it is my job to keep an eye on him...

I am SAD... very sad.. you should be sad too. We are missing out big time... the Library parking lot might have had lots of dogs to bark at. You could have gone shopping.. you could have had fun.. Why did you say " NO, I am staying home today" Then to include me in your at home plans.. It is just NOT fair.

I am just mad.. so mad .. I am not even going to look at you. Serves you right..

It's about time you came to your senses. I can smell which way he went...

I can track him, yup the car is GONE. He is gone in the car..all by himself..without me..

I am hot on his trail. If you run really fast with me we can catch up in a couple of miles. Get a move on! WHAT?? We have to stay in the yard today.. we really have to stay at home? DARN
OKAY, I will wait here, still as a statue. Watching for him to come home. I hope he doesn't get lost. If he gets lost, it will be all YOUR fault.

You go inside, no sense in both of us waiting in this snowbank. I will be right here...waiting all alone... :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wistful Wednesday: CCC Camp 1936

The Civilian Conservation Corps was part of the New Deal proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was a public relief program for unemployed men after the Great Depression. The CCC workers worked on natural resource conservation from 1933 to 1942. They built buildings and made roads and trails in State and National Parks.

Far Guys Dad worked in the CCC Camp at Lake Itasca in 1936. He recalled a really cold winter. The deer were starving, so they were told to distribute hay bales, the deer kept dying, but their bellies were full of hay. Deer cannot digest hay in the winter their stomachs are used to twigs and what ever else they can browse. In the spring he helped to plant trees and clear out trails around the Headwaters of the Mississippi.

This photograph was taken on February 10, 1936. On the back of the photo is the date and this notation. 52 BELOW ZERO.

I am hoping that my Grandchildren will take note of this story someday, perhaps one day when they walk across the rocks of the Headwaters on a warm day they will have a new appreciation for the cool shade of the tree lined walkway back to the parking lot:)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hero In A White Hat

Far Guy has a collection, it began very innocently when he was just a boy. A gift of two cap pistols and a holster. When everyone else was singing the praises of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and The Lone Ranger and Tonto..Far Guy was admiring Gene Autry. The cowboy who could sing, shoot and ride a horse all at the same time.

Piece by piece the collection grew. One Saturday we were at an Auction Sale in North Dakota. I was there for a Gene Autry pIn, it would be a good addition to the collection. It was just a simple pin with green, purple and yellow ribbons..the pin itself is yellow with a likeness of the cowboy and his name. It was a fairly long auction sale, it was getting late and we had been there for about six hours when the pin finally came up for sale. I bid on it, and then I bid again.. Far Guy said "How much are you going to spend on the darn thing?" I replied "Whatever it takes." We went home with one more thing to add to the collection! Some of the items were easy to find, the song books came from Antique Shops, the photographs from flea markets. The puzzle I found at a garage sale. The humdinger of a watch, was a limited release one it was a Christmas gift from none other than me, his adoring wife.

Far Guy built the display case. It now has the coveted spot to the right of the fireplace. When I suggested that spot, Far Guy just looked at me and said "Really? I can have the whole wall?" Well it seems to me if you have a nice collection, you should be able to look at it once in awhile. After all you live in this house too!

The cowboy boot ad that hangs below the collection..really needs to be will look better. I am going to put it on his Honey Do list! The "honey do" list is growing by the day, it has been an irritant to Far Guy lately, I keep adding, he keeps crossing things off..he hates that list:)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just a Dream

I had a nightmare, good thing it was just a dream.

It is very cold, the sky is bright blue, the cornfield partially harvested, snow has covered the ground. The ground is hard and frozen under my feet. Our group is only one of thousands in the field, grandparents with their grandchildren. Some couples only have one or two grandchildren with them, we have five. Our five are all dressed in warm winter clothing, smiling faces, cheeks rosy red, their breath escaping from their mouths like little engines.

We see the specks in the sky, and the sound is deafening. The high whine of the engines belongs to an aircraft I have never seen before. The specks grow larger and larger..they are huge in the sky with headlights and turn signals. Big red boats with strange Chinese symbols. They are landing in the cornfield. I ask Far Guy, "Where is the Air Force?' I ask him once more this time screaming "Where is the Fricking Air Force?" He just shakes his head. I tell the children to run, and run we do, as fast as we can towards the woods. I look back once and what I see causes me to run faster. There are hundreds of Chinese on every boat all with machetes, massacring grandparents and grandchildren. The snow in the field is turning bright red. I encourage everyone to run faster, run faster..don't stop running..don't look back..

I awaken, exhausted, relieved it was only a bad dream, and hope it is not a recurring one. This is one of the most far out dreams I have had in a long time. No wonder some days I really need a nap. I am sure this dream/nightmare is due in part to my over active imagination, but part of it is due to the staggering amount of money that we owe the Chinese. I must be worried how this is going to effect future generations. How will they ever survive? :(

Sunday, February 22, 2009

When Does Spring Begin?

OK I have a question..When do you declare that SPRING is officially here? When is Spring.. SPRUNG? When do you officially throw in your snow-boots and shovels for crocs and lawn chairs? When do you say Arrivederci, Auf Wiedersehen, Au revoir to winter, hello spring, you beautiful thing .. so long winter, see you soon enough you old cold bugger .. ?

Is the first day of Spring on the calendar, your day..well just because the Sun starts to move north again doesn't mean a hill of beans here in Minnesota. The calendar lies. We can't plant a garden safely here in Minnesota until Memorial Day weekend. Should that be the new Spring?

Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba' ............White Bleeding Hearts

I say good bye Winter when I see my first Robin.. I am usually the last person to see one. My sister in law always sees them before me, I never get to call her and say "I saw a Robin..before you.. HA!" She is always first, sometimes I don't even begin to look until after her annual phone call. Just one time I would like to be FIRST, I swear she sits on her deck with her binoculars in one hand and her phone in the other ready to call me with the first Robin news. I guess it is okay, she is younger than me and I need more naps, but we live in the same woods..she must be baiting those Robins:)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Carpet Color

Yesterday the carpet installer came to measure, after he was finished Far Guy and I went and ordered the carpeting. It will not be here until the end of March..naturally I picked a color that the warehouse in Georgia did not have on hand and it is not in their production schedule until March 7. So I have lots of time to go through everything up there and organize it. We have to move everything from the east and move it to the west, then he will lay that section of carpet and then overnight we have to move everything from the west to the east so he can do that it is a lot of moving. He would have liked us to move everything downstairs ..we told him.. not an option.

If we used the area upstairs more I would have gone with tile, and I would have done the project myself. I am sure it is very hard for people to understand why we have a whole level of our house that we don't use. When we originally built the house Far Guy wanted a loft, so he got 1,000 square feet of a loft. He thought it might be nice to have a bedroom suite up there. He could wake up every morning and gaze out the french doors into the woods. Well we love our cozy area downstairs and never entertained the thought of moving up there ever again. So it is just an unused place. Chance rarely goes up there, I go up there once or twice a week to put something away and to flush the toilet in the bathroom. Far Guy goes up there when he plays/ works on his train set. I do go up there about once a month to dust and vacuum the floor..and wonder why I have so much crap/stuff I hardly ever use. Someday when we sell this house the upstairs may be helpful, as it is a blank canvass, it could be three large bedrooms, two which share a large walk in closet. Or it could be two bedrooms and a huge family room area. The possibilities are endless.

When we were building, lots of people asked me when I was going to move my kitchen upstairs. My reply of "Never" caught them off guard. We only have a kitchen because Far Guy insisted on it. I had one acquaintance tell me that she would not ever live on the lower level when the upper level was so nice. Well, it is a pretty area, I like it too we just don't "live" there.

Here are the colors ..which do you suppose I chose?

The brown in the far right corner...actually it is called Amber..and Far Guy is holding the display sample upside down. Brown according to my daughter Jen is the new black. It will go well with the knotty pine walls, and when and if my downstairs furniture ever makes it upstairs it will all go together..cause it is brown too. I like brown.

Thanks for all your input! I thought long and hard about laminate, until I visited a few places with laminate..some of it has shrunk and there were gaps for dust to collect in, some had warped, some had delaminated. I have had a number of vinyl floors also..they were OK. I even ventured into the real wood floor zone..way too much maintenance for me. I visited a cottage once that had pine floors, it was lovely, but pine is a soft wood. I loved the green carpet too..but it is limiting from a decorating standpoint, so brown won ..because I can accent with whatever color I want :)

Friday, February 20, 2009


Have you ever wondered how it was to ride in a wagon on a buckboard seat? I admired a buckboard seat in an Antique Shop one day, decided that I needed it, when I went back to make the purchase it was gone. Snooze and you lose. It remained on my list of needs for a really long time, I never found another one. Then one day I admired the one that my Uncle Otto had on his back porch. He said that he had seen one in pieces at an Antique Shop way up north, the next time he went up there he would check it out for us. He bought it and sold it to us, Far Guy used the hardware and all the rotten boards for a pattern and made me my very own buckboard. We mounted it on a stand, and I stained it red my favorite color. It is upstairs, it is not very comfortable, those pioneer woman must have had buns of steel.

For years Far Guy and I wanted wooden wagon wheels, oh my, they were expensive. In an Antique Shop in Baker, Montana we found a half of a wagon wheel, so we were happy and it has a place out in the yard. One day we were visiting our daughter in Nebraska, every time we visited her, we admired the neighbors wooden wagon wheel. It was a fine specimen, well wouldn't you know it, they wanted to get rid of it and just GAVE it to us.

Good things come to those who wait. Patience... I once told a Pastor that I prayed for patience. He said " If you pray for patience, the good Lord may give you something to be patient about." I don't pray for patience anymore.

Far Guy had some patience, his old medication must have given him some. He has completed the first phase of the medication switch, the fog that filled his head is lifting and his patience has left with the fog. Today we embark on phase two of the different medication schedule. Yesterday as he spoke with the Nurse Practitioner on the phone, he used a lot of "sign" language while speaking. He didn't lose any words, I tried my best to follow the conversation so I could fill in words for him as needed, when he talks to his friends on the phone I just don't give a rats ass what words he has lost. Does anyone out there realize how difficult it is to fill in words for someone on the phone when you can only hear half of the conversation? Most of the time the Nurse just asks to speak with me, not yesterday, luckily she emailed us the revised medication schedule. Far Guys patience has left, but he has sign language now and he isn't afraid to use it. I thought about praying for patience again only briefly. Far Guy and I will go toe to toe, it is good to have him back.. I think? Was he really this impatient back in 2007 before he got the Trigeminal Neuralgia? He must have been, funny how you forget. His humor is returning also, that is a good is one of the things that I love most about him. The pain has NOT improved, this next phase may or may not help with the pain. WE have to be patient and see...I will be patient..Far Guy says "That's easy for you to say, you don't have the freaking pain." That's true..I don't have the pain..and he has NO patience whatsoever..and I AM NOT praying for him to get any either:)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Need A Decorator

Today I would be happy if an interior decorator dropped from the sky and paid me a visit. Carpet colors, that is my decorating challenge for today. I have been putting off this flooring project for long enough..years in fact. BUT I had good reasons. First of all, a little info.. Far Guy and I designed and built this house ourselves with help from family. The only thing we contracted out was the concrete work on the lower level, and the plumbing in the bathroom upstairs ( cause we were in a time crunch. ) In retrospect we were just a little nuts. However providing all the labor has been a learning experience, and it saved us quite a lot of money, and since we were on a pay as you go plan with this house it has been an adventure in choices and saving up for those choices.

Flooring for upstairs was really low on our priority list. Why? Well we hardly ever go up there. What is up there? I gave up my very large office area to Far Guy..he now has a place for his Train set. We have a lovely second bathroom. One huge great room, that is some what split into areas..a bedroom area, an area for an old desk, an area for my file cabinets, and a storage area which is essentially a huge walk through closet..yes you can walk through it. Upstairs is essentially used only by our children and grandchildren when they stay overnight. It is a glorified storage area for mismatched furniture too good to throw out, for goodness sake some of my early junk is now collectible! I suppose I would not need four file cabinets..but they are all full. I wouldn't need a china cabinet that has no china in it only purdy stuff, or an old roll top desk that Far Guy made from a kit that is full of someday know I might need something in it someday.

OK.. the entire area up there is knotty pine, walls, ceiling the whole shebang. First of all it took forever to save enough money to buy the boards. Then I had to seal them all, three coats of sealer with a little sanding in between coats, and Far Guy used the chop saw up between my splashing around with sealer and his sawdust..we have just lived with the wood sub floor. It was easy to clean up. Far Guy is all done with the trim..maybe..I am sure he missed something. When the carpet goes in.. there will be no more sawing up there.

The bathroom is under the deer head ..trophy. Boy, Far Guys fancy coat rack has a twang to it, see all the assorted junk...fine collectables.

Did I mention that I hate carpet? I like tile, I have laid all the tile on the lower level..I love is perfect and easy to clean. I scrub it on my hands and knees..or if they get sore..I do my fancy butt scoot cross your legs Indian style scrub method. There is no way I am going to scrub the entire upstairs on my hands and knees or on my butt. I would prefer that Far Guy vacuum carpet.
Now onto the color. Some colors just won't work for me. Black, white, orange, red, blue, pink and purple are all out. Yellow might work..but have you ever seen yellow carpet in a large area? That leaves brown, rust and green and all it's shades and hues. And of course the mixes of beige/brown with flecks of blue, green and brown. The furniture up there is red, blue, and a blue plaid, and a strange retro print of brown, beige and green that appears in a love seat that is a perfect place for a small child to sleep. I have lots of different colors of quilts for the beds. I have no curtains up there..we live in the woods ..who is gonna see ya..a deer? So I need color input..let me hear your ideas and thoughts! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : Great Grandpa

I have no idea when this photograph was taken. The couple are my Great Grandparents August and Katie. August worked in the copper mines in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan before they moved to Minnesota in 1908 or 1909. August was a man with special hands, he was referred to as the "Bone Doctor." Everyone in the area went to him with their broken bones and wounds, the real Doctor was far away by buggy or sleigh. He never turned anyone away, he never charged for his services, he tried to help people the best he could and he had a reputation as a good medical man. Most people paid what they could afford.

Recently my Dad shared these stories with me:
You know we logged in the winter, all of us boys. One day Ervin and I were moving a huge log, Ervin had the heavy end, I needed to get a bit taller to handle my end so I could get it over the stick so I stood on a stump. I fell off the stump, and just laid there, I could not feel my legs. My brothers got me up and tried to help me walk, but my legs just wouldn't work. They loaded me on top of the logs and took me home. My Dad got the Sunday sleigh out and took me to Grandpas. They carried me into the bedroom where Grandpa had a special bed, they laid me on it and Grandpa moved his hands all up and down my spine and after about a half an hour he told me to get up. I told him I couldn't walk, he told me again to get up off the bed and walk, so I did.
** In later years it was discovered that my Dad a one time had a broken back..this may have been the injury.

Grandpa always told us that if we ever flattened a finger or a toe that it was easy to fix. In later years I recalled this bit of information. I was clearing a small stand of pines trees when one of the tops snapped off and smashed my thumb against the controls of the Cat. My thumb was flatter than a pancake. I took off the radiator cap of the Cat and stuck my thumb in the hot water for awhile, then I took it out of the water and pushed and molded it back into place just as my Grandpa said to do. It hurt like heck but it worked, but I can still feel a bunch of knots and bumps inside my thumb yet today.
** Cat is a Caterpillar or a Bull Dozer (Heavy Equipment)

One time my brother Oscar hurt one of his fingers, I don't remember what he did, but his finger was a mess. It was just a hunk of meat with skin hanging from it. I took him to Grandpas, Grandpa got out his needle and thread and sewed it all up, it healed really well but Oscar had a really long scar on his finger.
My brother who lives down our lane has "the hands" the short stubby fingers that can work magic on my stiff neck or give me a great back rub, and just like our Great Grandfather he doesn't charge either:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Horse Memories

Years ago when I was a youngster I had a fascination with horses. I read books about horses, I talked about horses, I daydreamed and dreamt about horses. Like my grand daughter Madison says "I NEED a horse. Grandma you understand that a need is different from a want? " I understand that line of thinking "I needed one too." My only opportunity to ride was at a neighbors two miles away, Joe had a bunch of horses, and his children didn't like to ride. In the summer I would hop on my bike and pedal over to his farm and ride in his pasture. He had several horses that were gentle enough for a thirteen year old to ride, Joe would call one in from the pasture and taught me how to put on a bridle. Off I would go, bareback, that's how I learned to ride, feeling every muscle on the horse move beneath you. There is an art to riding bareback, you learn to use your legs to stay on the horse, there is a no other feeling that compares to riding a horse at a full gallop bareback with the wind in your face and the landscape flying by. Years later I had to re learn how to ride with a saddle, I never did like riding with a saddle as much as I did bareback.

My parents finally decided that I could buy a horse of my own. They had grown up with work horses, any horses that didn't work were called "hay burners." Dad and I went to the sale barn, I wandered up and down all the stalls, I visited all the horses tied up and spoke to some of the owners. I finally spotted the horse I needed, an older mare, I had no idea what kind of horse she was, she was brown and not too tall with kind gentle brown eyes. She nickered softly when I approached her. She nuzzled me when I stroked her head. She was just perfect. I showed her to my Dad..and declared that she was the horse I had dreamt about. The one that would take me on many adventures but always get me back home safely. I was convinced this horse would be my best friend.

We sat in the bleachers, the horses were brought in one by one. The Auctioneer would sing the praises of each animal. My Dad was interested in a horse that was good with kids. I was interested in the horse I made a connection with. My Dad bid on a very tall Appaloosa Mare that was about four years old and good with kids. He bought her..I was excited..but sad that my dream horse would be left behind.

I do not even remember what her name was, she was not good with kids and she hated me. She was a biter, and would bite me every chance she got. While I was riding her she would try and reach around to bite my foot. She would try and buck me off..she was a pain in the neck horse. When I brought her a bucket of grain she would either bite my shoulder or my boob..yes she was a boob biting old nag. I was black and blue all summer from her bites. By the end of the summer I was back riding at Joes, appreciating a horse that didn't bite. The boob biting old nag of an Appaloosa was sold..and I didn't even say goodbye to her. I continued to ride at Joes every chance I got.

Joe still has horses, he is now in his eighties. He rode in a wagon train on a trip throughout Minnesota one summer. The kindness he showed to me as a teenager I have never forgotten..we shared a love of horses. Since his children didn't share his interests he shared with me. I still ask him "How many horses do you have Joe?" He never quotes a figure, cause his lovely wife thinks he only has a few. Sometimes I drive out to his north pasture and watch the horses, and remember sunny summer days feeling free as a bird flying along on one of his horses:)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Watch Out!

It must be a sign of the tough economic times. Our little berg three miles away had a robbery, someone came into the store and while the clerks weren't looking stole two employees purses out of the office. Since the thieves were a minority, recovery will be difficult if not impossible.

My parents visited last night and I reminded my Mom who is a purse person, never to park her purse in a shopping cart. She said my Grandmother's purse was stolen in Detroit Lakes one day out of her grocery cart and Grandma hollered and hollered and the purse snatcher gave the purse up.

I have one daughter who leaves her purse in the grocery cart all the time, it drives me nuts when I shop with her and I often end up carrying her purse. Yes, me who cannot be trusted with a purse ( cause I kept setting it down and forgetting where in the store I put it) ends up on purse duty, guarding one that has everything in it but the kitchen sink and weighs about twenty pounds.

I have been tempted to make up a whole bunch of post it notes and leave one every time I see a purse parked in a shopping cart that could be snatched. I would probably get arrested, but it sounds like it would be a great crime awareness project for someone.

Our daughter Jen's purse was stolen at the Minneapolis /St Paul Airport, she was in the rest room trying to manage a child and lots of carry on items. Her purse was retrieved about a week later without her cash and her gift cards. Luckily her husband had the plane tickets or their entire trip would have been cut really short. She wasn't a real person until the Disney Cruise Line made her a photo ID. She also had a credit card in a drawer at home, it was used by an unscrupulous babysitter.. nothing is safe anymore.

So now you will get Far Sides tips. Make a copy of your Drivers License and put it someplace in your luggage if you are travelling. Make a copy of all the credit cards that you carry in your purse, copy the front and the back, keep them in a file folder at home. If your purse is stolen you will have the information at home ready to call all the phone numbers and you won't have to search your very poor memory..let's many charge cards do I have? and how am I going to find all the fricking phone numbers?

My Father in Law gave me some very good advice one time, I was travelling alone with the girls to Mississippi. He said carry the bulk of your cash in your worked..I arrived..I still had my cash in my shoe. I have used his great advice on many occasions while travelling.

My Aunt's sewed little cotton envelopes for their cash and they sewed them into their bras when they went to Europe. I am sure that there are many other great travel tips out you have any to share? :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Far Guy!

Today is Far Guys 59th birthday! I have celebrated 42 of his birthdays with him. His Mother used to always cook his favorite meal for him which was usually shrimp and a chocolate cake to celebrate his special day. Today he would like some German noodles, so we will have lunch at a German Resturant that makes fabulous noodles.

On getting older... Far Guy often says " Any day you can wake up at home and sit up and feed yourself..that's a good day.!" AND " We are all in this together and no one is getting out alive." :) Photo: Far Guy when he was two years old.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Well it's here. The day of chocolate, perfume, flowers, cards, dinners out, diamonds and love. A simple lovey dovey day that has been commercialized to near death. " Every Kiss begins with Kay..the jewelers of course." I would like to stick my finger down my throat and barf when that commercial is on. The message is the larger the diamond..the less likely she is to resist your undying love. Hogwash..apparently their target audience is very young and very naive.

Today is the day that makes or breaks most Florists, it is the biggest day of their year..with red roses being the favorite. Since they are so busy, some roses will not be properly cut and get bent necks. You know the rose that looked fine when it was delivered but the next morning it looks was not cut properly underwater and has an air bubble that does not allow it to take up water. If you re-cut the stem can save that sad little rose from a certain death.

Far Guy could bring me roses, I like them all..but they make me sneeze and my eyes run and water. He knows better than to bring me some perfume that I would promptly throw in the garbage. I don't wear the diamonds that I have, buying me more would not score him any points. He could bring me chocolate.. sometimes he surprises me with a simple Milky Way Dark candy bar..he always gets a kiss for one of those. An entire box of chocolates that have mystery centers would just get hard and mummify after I found the one with caramel in it. He could take me out to supper, but all the restaurants in this area will be full and we would have to wait in line. No thanks. We will have a quiet evening at home.

So where is the Romance? Where is all the lovey dovey stuff? It is in a loving glance, shared laughter, an "I Love You" and those things happen with great regularity at our I guess you could say we don't need a special day..because everyday that we continue to appreciate each other and enjoy each others company is Valentines Day:)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Backing Up

Do you ever have recurring dreams? ( For now I won't call them nightmares ) I have one where the road is icy and I cannot keep the car on the road, another where the brakes on my vehicle do not work, or they work so poorly that I hit other matter how carefully I drive. One night I was driving a vehicle that would move only in reverse. What do you suppose these dreams mean? That I feel that my life is out of control, that I can't help but injure something? That I need to help out a friend in the Auto Body business? That I want a new car? That I secretly have some deep burning need to drive in a Demolition Derby? That I want to backup, and do life in reverse for awhile? I suppose the possibilities are endless. Maybe they are just crazy dreams, by a crazy old woman.

Years ago when Far Guy and I were first married and both College students, we worked for his Father and Mother during the summer. One of my jobs was to drive a big old black 1964 Imperial and a trailer. Far Guys Dad gave me one on one instruction on how to use the trailer brake, how to turn wide..he was a good teacher. Then he attempted to teach me how to back up a trailer. We spent an entire afternoon with him directing me, he had his cigar firmly planted in his mouth, he cussed, he made faces, he finally gave up. I was unbackupable with a trailer..yes I realized that you have to turn the opposite direction that you want your trailer to was still all backwards in my brain and in the mirrors. Far Guy then tried, he wanted me to learn, I could back up straight for a few feet but when I had to turn..I would jack-knife the was hopeless. Far Guys Dad finally just said, "OK.. I will try to never get you into a situation where you have to back up. I drove for him for three summers..he was true to his word, I followed him down the road and never had to back up. Forward..I am great at forward.

When I was a member of the Local Fire Department, during a Fire I would drive the Ambulance. I never backed it back into the hall until Far Guy finally put down some Aircraft lane marking tape. I would get that sited in my left mirror and back in straight every time. I need some of that tape in my garage..I cannot back my car into the garage straight, it always ends up crooked. I suck at backwards.

Backing up your photos! I have finally backed all mine up to disc. WAHOO! It was on my list of things to do. I had lots of pictures files to go through, deleting the bad shots and doing some cropping. Finally they were all acceptable and I got them all done. I really should back up my photo files every month.

Friday the thirteenth: I don't put much stock in superstition. Friday the thirteenth happens every once in awhile. Today is a birthday day in our family, we have two nieces that have birthdays today! So Happy Birthday Katie and Bethany! They are 27 and 28 today. Born one year apart, one on my side of the family and one on Far Guys side. Both births much awaited and celebrated! Early valentine gifts! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wanna Go Outside?

Hey! It is I, Chance the wonder dog, I am the guest blogger today. Let's go outside! It snowed, fresh white stuff, not much, but it looks cleaner and tastes better. Stay AWAY from the yellow snow.

Gotta run, Far Guy is getting the mail. Far Side is pointing that thing at the snow and the trees, you know that thing that she carries around her neck, sometimes it flashes in my eyes and she tells me to stand still and look handsome. The still part is hard, handsome..well I wake up handsome.

Don't go anywhere we will be right back.

Stealth is my middle name. I am sneaking up on Far Side. I am so quiet. Oh no I think she saw me..yup..BUSTED.. "Where is Far Guy?" Oh ya, he is slow today, something about bad hips... I will go get him...
Found him! Now what should I do with him? Oh ya, lead him home..gotcha!

Here we come..ready or not! Far Guy has the mail and I've got Far Guy..what a team! Did you miss the two best guys in the whole world? Far Side always says she misses us when we are gone, cause when we get back she always says " Are you two back already?" I've got some new wonder dog moves..prepare yourself to be impressed!

Fancy Pants Chance..sometimes they call me that...

This one made Far Side laugh out loud..she called me a silly turd and nearly fell in the snowbank.

Blocked! NO, I don't want you to go inside yet! I have a great idea... let's play outside all day.

I will get your boot Far Guy. I know how to stop you..I will hang onto your boot..until Far Side in her best Victoria Stilwell or Megan (my old trainer) voice says "ECH." Well I know what "ECH' is SERIOUS and I must stop immediately if not sooner. Thanks for coming outside with me... I had a ball:)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : 1946

This photograph was taken at my Grandparents D farm. My Aunt M is on the left and my Mother on the right. My Mother was seventeen and my Aunt was fifteen. I absolutely love the dogs in the the photo, one looks like a relative of Chances. I asked my Mother about the dogs, she could not remember their names. She is holding looks like a white baby kitten. My Mother thinks that the photograph was taken on Easter Sunday in 1946.

I am curious about the colors in the photo, I have several of these photos that have been colored. Does anyone know anything about this technique or what it was called? It has an interesting effect on the black and white photo:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Today We Live On A Lake!

It has rained, and it has thawed and reduced some of the snowbanks to half their size. We have a lake in our yard.

The walk to the house is a wet one! The green thingy is a special grate that Far Guy installed in the walkway to scrape the sand off of your shoes. There is another of these special grates right in front of the front door. We have very sandy soil here. It vacuums up very nicely inside once it has dried. Sand is hard on your bare feet, Chance tracks a lot of sand into the house. He has four feet and they all collect sand!

It is the time of year where we should wear shoes with spikes on them. It is very slippery. It will get worse when the temperatures drop later today and it will be slicker than snot on a door knob. In the meantime I will enjoy the ripples that the rain makes in all the water. I need to find my rubber boots before I can walk in the puddles, I hope they are in good shape and don't have any holes!

Chance will find a perch up on a snowbank and watch the rain, today that is his job. He doesn't mind the rain as long as there is no thunder or lightening. He will get a good rain water rinse today, one that will clean the top hairs of his coat and make them really soft. When he comes in he shakes most of it off, usually on me. Nothing better than the smell of a wet dog, for me it beats the best french whores perfume that everyone seems to be wearing nowadays:)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Words We Made Up

It rained here last night, the patio and walk are covered with ice. School was cancelled. Rain showers are forecast for this afternoon, perhaps we will get some thunder. When we get an unseasonable rain storm smack dab in the middle of winter and we get thunder we usually call it snow thunder. I am not sure why, I guess it is one of those made up words.

That got me to thinking. We have a few made up words, that only make sense to Far Guy and I and the girls. One is Gore Slop. The girls hated Gore Slop..I think it was Jennifer that named it such. It is a recipe that you all are familiar with. Hobo meals? I put hamburger, onion, potatoes and carrots in a large piece of tin foil and bake it for about an hour and a half. Just before it is to be served I add some cheese so it can melt. It is a quick easy meal. At our house it began as a camping meal. Then I made them when we were not out camping..and it became Gore Slop. Far Guy likes his without carrots, I like extra carrots! Nothin' better than cooked carrots! Anyway Gore Slop is what's for supper tonight. YUM!

When Trica was about four years old back in 1976, we lived in a trailer house. We had a metal strip that separated the carpet from the fancy black and white linoleum. The strip was attached with screws. Trica would sit and take the screws out one by one, Far Guy would put them back in every night. Trica called this metal strip a "binge." I would ask her what she was doing, she would reply "Workin' on the binge." When she was workin' on the binge she wasn't coloring on the walls, terrorizing the dog or tearing apart her entire dresser changing her clothing fifty times a day. She would sit for hours taking out those screws, it required a special screwdriver with a square tip..we only had one and she knew which one it was and where to find it. I am still not sure what those transition strips are called..other than a binge.

Snow thunder, Gore Slop and a binge, all made up words. Do you have any made up words that you care to share? :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Doing the Dishes

Around here we are still in the dark ages. We have no dishwasher. When we designed our kitchen I did not want to give up any of my drawer space nor did I think we needed a dishwasher because with just the two of us it would take forever to fill. On the few occasions that there are lots of us here, there are lots of people to do dishes!

When the grand-girls lived with us, it was quite a shock to their system. Paige said "I can't believe you don't have a dishwasher, everyone has one." They were used to loading and unloading a dishwasher. I gave them lessons on how to wash and dry dishes. I explained that this was how we did it in the "olden days." They still thought I should go out and purchase a dishwasher. I said "I now have three little dishwashers why would I need one from the store."

I should have taught them Far Guys Mothers way. First you had to clear everything away, plates were scraped and stacked. You could not begin until all the left overs were put away and the table was cleaned to accept the dried dishes. Then you began, and she had a very specific order, glasses first then cups, small plates, large plates, serving bowls, silverware. Those were all wiped with a white flower-sack dishtowel. Then you got out a terrycloth dish towel to wipe the pots and pans. She always washed, and would rarely let anyone wash for her. She always wanted to put the dishes away herself too. I tried to follow her rules, I always had to be reminded when to switch dish towels.

I was the eldest in our family, I learned how to do dishes at an early age. Make the soapy water in the dish pan, set up your hot rinse water pan and just do it..wash whatever you can, I always soaked the silverware for a long time, saving it for last. I had no rhyme or reason how I did the dishes, I just did them. Every night when I had finished eating I would start the dishes, if I got all the ones done on the counter and someone was still eating I would patiently wait at their elbow and as soon as they were finished I would grab their plate and silverware from them.

My Dad was my biggest help, he would often dry dishes for me, but if I lagged behind and there was nothing for him to dry..he would quit. Then I was stuck with whatever was left. My Dad came from a big family with lots of boys, so he learned to do dishes. I am not sure why my brother was not required to do dishes. Probably the same reason Far Guy never learned to do dishes. It was woman's work. I remember when that changed in our household....

I was eight months pregnant with Jennifer, it was August (1975) and it was about 100 degrees and we did not have air conditioning. I had a big belly, my back hurt, I had to lean way over to reach the sink, I had a mountain of dishes after supper one evening. Far Guy and Trica were outside, and I began to cry. I cried and washed and I cried and dried, Far Guy came inside and asked why I was crying. DUH? It might have something to do with the mountain of a belly I was trying to carry to term, or maybe, just maybe the mountain of dishes I am left with while you are outside where it is only 90 degrees and there is a breeze?? Well I guess I gave him an earful, and from then on he helped with dishes. I had finally stated my feelings..if you eat you do dishes. No exceptions:)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Oil of Old-Lady

Sometimes I think that time has marched on..right over my face. I have wrinkles, smile lines, and funny looking crepe papery looking eyelids. I also have a few tiny broken blood vessels on my cheek. Yup..time must have got me.

Maybe I need some of that Oil of Old-Lady. My Mother in law used to smear that cream all over her face and eyelids every night, and she remained much younger looking than she really was her entire life.

I hate anything on my face, if I wear makeup I feel all clogged up. I have gone so long without makeup that it feels all foreign on my face. I gave up on makeup completely when we opened the greenhouse. I would get a bit of a tan and I was good to go. Makeup would have just ran off my face in the warmth most days anyway.

I know some women who would never leave the house without their face perfectly in place. I feel sorry for them, they must feel like they have been taken hostage by their makeup.

As far as I know no one has ever pointed their finger at me and laughed out loud because of my makeup less face.

On days when I do wear makeup, Far Guy says "You put makeup on." Not you look beautiful..just "you put makeup on." I think he prefers me Au natural!

Last Fall I woke up one morning with a ZIT! Right on my chin, I could hardly believe it. I must have had one last hormone that went totally nuts. I felt younger for those few days that the zit plagued my chin. I almost felt like a teenager again, inspecting my face every morning, checking again at noon to see if it was any better, staring into the mirror at night wondering what it would look like in the morning. Finally I couldn't stand it any longer, I popped the darn thing, it stopped hurting and in a few days it was gone just like the teenage memories that it brought with it.

So do I want to smear some greasy looking crap all over my face every night? No, I think it is too late, I am past the point of no return. I am what I am, or the wrinkles are where they are:)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Lost Teeth at Lunch

Recently I was at the Dentist. We have a great Dentist, his name is Chuck. It is a small waiting room, so whatever happens in the waiting room is public knowledge.

There were two sisters, one much younger than the other. The youngest sister, had no patience with the eldest sister. The eldest was in a wheelchair, she was a resident of the nearby nursing home. First they told their story to the receptionist, she was sympathetic, and said she would talk to Chuck.

Apparently her dental appliance that costs thousands of dollars was lost during lunch. ( This was a elderly scandinavian woman, so thousands comes out sounding like towsands.) When they cannot find your teeth, even after they went through all the garbage in the entire nursing home. (Towsands of dollars in the garbage.) They call your sister, and it becomes her not so happy problem. She hauls your butt over to the Dentist office even if you are miserable with a sore mouth and in a wheelchair with a broken arm in a cast because you recently fell down.

The elderly lady went through the entire process of showing Chuck right there in the waiting room exactly what the problem was. She opened her mouth really wide and pointed to the problem. She was a bit hard to understand while talking with her fingers in her mouth. Her sister tried to explain the problem to Chuck. But her mouth was dry, so she couldn't talk real well either. Finally she said " What did you say, I am now listening with both ears?" Chuck was patient and explained again that he would have a look and possibly he could do something temporary so her sisters mouth wouldn't hurt so much. Chuck smiled and winked at me as he wheeled his patient back to the exam room. He has the patience of a saint..or maybe he just goes home at night and bangs his head against the wall. I think I finally understand why he only is in his office four days a week. I used to think it was because he loved to hunt, fish and I realize it is so he can keep his sanity:)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Long Trip

Tuesday we went on a long trip. To the University of Minnesota Medical Center Clinic at Fairview in Minneapolis. Far Guy had an appointment there. As most of you know he has Trigeminal Neuralgia..not a fun rare disorder to have. I felt that as his advocate he needed to be evaluated for Surgery. To find out once and for all if it was an option or not. Surgery is NOT an option, and could actually make him worse..not better. Most of our questions were answered with kindness and understanding. We spent about an hour and a half in the evaluation. We are going to try a different medication, and see if it makes the constant pain more tolerable. It will be quite a process to wean him off one medication and onto another. A Nurse Practitioner will be following up with us by phone and email during the transition. This is not the outcome we had hoped for..but you must play the hand you are dealt.

I have been really discouraged with Far Guys Neurologist in Fargo, ND. I have to call three times to get one call returned. Presently I have been waiting for ten weeks for him to return my last call. The last time I was able to talk with him he got a bit defensive, when I asked him for the Medication Master Plan..he told me " YOU don't need to know anymore than what I have told you, if you want further instructions you will have to call me." Well, that frosted my drawers. Far Guy said "Fire his ass"..well I did not want to burn any bridges. So what did I do when I could not reach the Doc when Far Guy was in extreme pain? Enter Doctor Far Side..I had an arsenal of Tegretol to work with... slow release, chewable, time release..the medicine cabinet is full of Tegretol. I added a time release and low and behold Far Guy got some relief in a couple of days. So basically I gave up on the numb-skull in Fargo. I did explain to the Nurse in Minneapolis that I took it upon myself to adjust his medications..her only question was where did you get the medication.. I told her they were left overs from previous Tegretol prescriptions. I am hoping that someone is not coming to arrest me for dispensing Pharmaceuticals without a license.. but hey you do what you have to do.

Far Guy was not real happy with me when I insisted on going to Minneapolis. He whined, he made excuses. He nearly drove me nuts.. "Who is going to drive..cause I am not." "Do they allow Dogs in that Clinic cause I am taking Chance?" Then when I got really sick, he kept telling me he was going to cancel because I wouldn't feel up to driving. He finally made me bawl, and then sob for the better part of an afternoon...then he finally stopped whining.

I drove in the Cities, I hate the traffic, we got in a traffic jam, I got lost..but only because Far Guy told me I was lost. I was on the right road just not far enough on the right road. I finally just pulled over in a parking lot to figure it out. It was a good thing that my sense of direction was really good on Tuesday. Finally we got to the Clinic..and hallelujah for Valet Parking! All in all it was a twelve hour trip for us, it was a long day.

Hooch's Mom took care of Chance for us, so he had a fun day. It is great to have good neighbors that will dog sit on occasion!

I was very pleased with the care that we got at the U of MN. However I don't want to go back anytime soon. Far Guy drove out of the cities..he had no traffic whatsoever. Two country bumpkins off to the big city, where you could not pay me to live ever. I don't know how all those people do it.

So we are back to one day at a time with Far Guy and his rare disorder..he wrote about our adventure on his blog..check it out:)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wistful Wednesday: Cookies

Baking cookies! What could be better than joining your Mom in the kitchen while she bakes sugar cookies for you. This is Far Guy and his Mom in 1957 or 1958.
I found one of his Mom's Sugar Cookies Recipies to share:
Soft Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Butter or Lard
4 Cups Flour
1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda or Cream of Tartar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Vanilla or Nutmeg
Roll 1/4 inch thick, Bake 400 degrees for 9 to 10 minutes on lightly greased cookie sheets.
These must just about melt in your mouth! Years ago lard was used in many cookie recipes:)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Photos of Flowers

I have a really busy day today, so I am posting some photographs for your enjoyment!
These are all photographs of Lupines. I took these with my old camera a few years ago. Some years the Lupines are fantastic, other years they all die out from our harsh Minnesota winters.

I love this bi color one, it only bloomed one year.

In Minnesota the Lupines bloom around June 15th give or take a few days. They bloom about two weeks, less if we get heavy rains and wind. I have volunteer seedlings that come up in some of the strangest places, but Lupines are best left alone and not transplanted. The tiny seedlings bloom later in the summer. Deer usually don't eat Lupines. These photographs were all taken in the display gardens here. What I now call my wildflower patch! :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Painting

Chance saw his shadow, so I guess we should honker down for another six weeks of winter. I for one am happy to put January behind me, February is a shorter month, it is the month of Far Guys birthday. A bright spot at the middle of the month.

I usually make a list at the beginning of the year of all the things that are broken and need fixing, all the odd jobs that need to be done. All the things that I want to get accomplished while the weather is really cold and crappy. I have not done that yet this year..but I should do it soon. Maybe one of these days.

I have been working on a few projects. I belong to an altered book group, all bloggers. It is a Round Robin. You had to find an old book and do something to the cover, I chose to recover mine in tapestry upholstery fabric. Then you fold, cut, paint, color, glue whatever you like to the pages to alter them into a book that represents your arty style. It is essentially a piece of artwork. There are ten participants in this Round far I have worked on two of the books, both very different in their style. I just have to do one two page spread in every book, and then I mail it off to the next participant. I have been resurrecting some of my old art supplies, and some of my scrap booking supplies to alter these books.

I wish I had time to paint. I really should have Far Guy make me an easel. I have the perfect spot upstairs to just leave it up. I have not actively painted since back in 1987. In fact here is a photo of my finished one great piece of personal artwork. Don't be too impressed, it was a painting class, the instructor talked us through what and how to do of those hand holding classes. Everything I painted after that class was pretty abstract. I would like to try my hand at some landscapes again..maybe I have improved with age :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009


It was a great day in Minnesota yesterday! It was way above zero! The sun was shining and it was about 36 degrees, The only complaint I have is that it was windy. Snow melted off the walk and snow started to melt and drip off the roof. It was a great day for visiting outdoors.
A fine time for a little boy and his new puppy to visit! Mason (Our Great-Nephew) brought over Bailey a Beagle puppy that they got a short time ago. Kids and dogs..what a combination.
Chance loves doggie company and after the puppy got over her initial shyness they had a ball, running around the yard. Chance was a gentleman and never played too rough. Far Guy and I could watch dogs play all day and be properly entertained.
I tried to get a photo of both of her ears flying in the air. It looked so silly when both of her ears were flying..sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment..instead of trying to photograph it.
Anna (Our Great-Niece) came to visit too...isn't she beautiful! Those big blue eyes are going to break many hearts in years to come. That is IF her father ever allows her to date anyone.
Chance was exhausted after his company went home..and had to have a nap! :)