Thursday, May 31, 2012

Eighth Grade Graduation

On Wednesday morning Madison graduated from the eighth grade.  She attended a parochial school and next fall she will enter the public school system.

Maddies Class Motto

We were invited after the service to a wonderful brunch.  The kids decided on the menu.  Fruit, bacon, a waffle, hash browns, scrambled eggs, cinnamon and caramel rolls. It was delicious.

May 30 Maddies 8th grade graduation

Richard, Madison and Trica (our oldest daughter)

Maddie is not as tall as her mother.  Maddie had four inch heels on..and her feet were sore.  She was quickly off to an afternoon of fun with her classmates.

Maddie had a good year.  She had some ups and down especially in Mathematics.  Mathematics is really hard for her…but she struggled through.  We are very proud of her.

She is a little apprehensive about entering High School in the Fall..she will know a few kids from Hockey, and her 20 classmates from St. Phillips..but she still has a fear that she will be in a class where she won’t know anyone.  Most likely a typical fear for a fourteen year old.

I had the day off..part of my two days off every month.  After the doings we stopped by a few antique shops :)

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wistful Wednesday: 1945

In  May of 1945 a little girl was born.  She would be Far Guys big sister but she didn’t know it yet. For almost five years she would be an only child.


Here she is in the summer of 1945 with her parents.  She is all bundled up with her hat on even though it looks like a warm Minnesota day.  Most likely she smells like baby powder.

Gene 6 months (2) Janice 5years

Here she is with her baby brother ( Far Guy) in the summer of 1950.  She looks quite happy to have a baby brother:)

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Refuge

I felt good enough on Monday to go on a little trip through the local wildlife refuge.

We found some Yellow Lady's Slippers.

Yellow Ladys Slipper and False Lily of the Valley

The little plant with the white plume is False Lily of the Valley.

We had not been to Tamarac Lake for a long time.

Tamarac Lake

Only one boat was on the lake.

Chance enjoyed the water.

Chance and his stick

We kept throwing the stick further in the water..he was patient and waited for it to come closer to him.  He never actually swam..but he got awfully wet.

I am back to work today.  I am feeling better.  I am still sore but the knife stabbing pain is gone for now.  I discontinued the muscle relaxant that made me sleep for hours on end.  I don’t remember much of the three day weekend..I was in a bit of a pain filled fog.  I had so many things planned..and got very few of them accomplished. Oh well.

Today is the last day of school tours..59 kids are scheduled for today.  I also scheduled a work day for the Board Members, I am putting the action plan they wanted into motion:)

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Monday, May 28, 2012


A long time ago Far Guy lived across the street from a widow and her children, two boys and a girl.  Their father was a hero…a war hero.

Lloyd Cortez Hawks

The war hero died in 1953.  He received the Medal of Honor in 1945 for rescuing two of his fellow soldiers that were injured.  He drug them to safety under heavy fire, he was wounded, his hip was shattered and his arm dangling..yet he never gave up.

It took 67 years to get a memorial in the cemetery to honor this man’s courage.

Flag coming down


  Finally May 18, 2012 a flag ceremony was held to dedicate the memorial.

Flag folding

The flag was handed to the hero’s daughter Charlotte.

Flag handed to Charolete

She is the only living child, her brothers have both died.

IMG_1361 You can read the Medal of Honor citation here.

Far Guy and I were both very good friends with one of the war hero’s sons Danny Hawks. If he were alive today I am sure he would have been pleased that the people of Park Rapids Minnesota finally gave credit where credit was due.

Thank you to all the soldiers who have fought for my freedom:)

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

The good the bad and the ugly news

Good news I am going to be a Great Auntie again..four times. No not quads, just three nieces and one nephew announced the upcoming births of their children. That means my baby brother will finally get two grandkids and my other baby brother will add two more to his eight grands for a nice round number of ten!

We finally made it to the graveyards yesterday. Our weather is cool and rainy which is normal Memorial Day Weekend weather for us.

I slept most of the day. Far Guy took my place at work for two hours so I could go see the Doctor again last Friday. I have coughed so much that they thought I broke some ribs..luckily the x ray was normal. The explanation is some great big long word…that means ribs so sore it hurts when you breathe or move and the pain is excruciating when you cough. I have good meds that put me to sleep. Chance and Far Guy are taking good care of me…of course someone who sleeps 20 hours a day is pretty easy to care for. What a perfectly good waste of a day off. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

The webworms are about to hatch.   The local newspaper calls them Forest Tent Caterpillars.  They will hatch and devour all the leaves on a tree.  I read that they have covered a wall on the library in town.  I have not seen them on the museum..yet.

Webworms or tent worms

The experts say that our mild winter caused the webs to form.  This bunch is located two miles away from our house.  This shrub also has Black Knot or what I call poop on a stick..that is the black stuff clinging to the twigs:)

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Saturday, May 26, 2012


This is a shrub along the edge of the yard.

It has thorns.  It is some kind of a Hawthorn..I think.


It could be a weapon.


I am grateful for a three day weekend.  Saturday is a day off for me.  I was supposed to go decorate graves last night but I just didn’t feel up to it.  I was asleep on the couch and missed the entire evening:(

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Woodcarving: Walter

Earlier this month I took a three day carving class by a world famous instructor.  I have always wanted to go to one of his classes.  Usually his classes have a fee of 250 dollars.  Our carving group along with another carving group submitted a grant and we got the funding..the cost of the class was reduced to 40 dollars.


I have books by the carving instructor ( word instructor used loosely.)  I was really looking forward to the class.  Far Guy covered for me at work so I could go.

The instructor lectured for awhile..he taught even less.  He left us all to carve whatever we wanted..there was no hold your knife this way and make this cut..then do this next.  I wanted step by step instruction.

The people in the class pretty much helped each other out like we usually do. I was really disappointed.  I really needed help with my right and lefts..I have trouble getting both sides of a carving to look alike. It is a visual thing..and it is something I struggle with.

After three days I have a carving.  It still needs work.


Meet progress.  He needs some eyes and maybe a touch of sandpaper here and there and paint.


These are caricatures..they are supposed to look a little funny and bring a smile to your face.  Is he worth 40 bucks ..maybe..he certainly isn’t worth a 250 class fee. I didn’t buy any more of this guys books, or his knives or his wood blanks to carve more figures.   Sometimes I think these fancy smancy instructors are just in the classroom to sell their wares instead of teaching their craft.

In a week or so we will begin a new bark carving class..I am looking forward to it. It is supposed to be a large bark project that is carved in halves and then glued together..I think they call it bark in the round:)

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Museum: Plan of Action

This is the day that just might do me in..I have 57 first and second graders coming to the museum.  Uffda..I called for reinforcements. Between the four of us it should be okay..if my voice holds out.

It has been a week already and it ain’t over yet.  I wrote the newsletter..I have been waiting on a slow poke to get me his message and a recipe.  I had to stay late yesterday because of three elderly visitors and I have to go in early today to get ready for the early tour and print out newsletters so one of the gals can help me assemble. Once I get the newsletters mailed I can concentrate on the plan of action that the board asked me for last Monday night.

The two fundraising projects I worked on brought mixed results. The Chuck Wagon dinner was a huge success, mainly because we presold tickets, which allowed for cooking only for those with tickets, so there was no waste. The Township project was less of a success than I had hoped for.  Some of these tiny townships are sitting on tens of thousands of dollars in their coffers and cannot donate 500 dollars to the museum?  I just don’t get it…what are they saving it for?  Out of twenty-eight townships, I got donations from ten townships..slightly more than 35%.  Better than nothing but not good enough.


Have I told you how expensive archival supplies are? Very expensive. New museum display cases are at least $500 each…I could use ten of them.. One of our members is writing a grant to a huge corporation that is in our area.

Have I told you..How the computer and printer at work might make it through the newsletter printing?  I have my fingers and toes crossed on this one.  One of our members wrote a grant to the local electric association..we will find out next week how much we will receive toward the purchase of a new computer and printer.  The computer recovers from fatal errors many times a day and the printer just stops working sometimes and I have to unplug it so it resets. I am part tech service and repair…I didn’t know it was part of the job description.

The room I want to use in the basement for donated items for a rummage sale/eventually a traveling exhibit area has a problem with its ceiling. The ceiling should be repaired or replaced. ( The two people in charge of this project have been talking about what they should do for many months now.) I am tired of it. The moldy carpet must be removed and the walls and floors painted. Luckily a grant was received that included 14 gallons of paint.  I asked a service organization for far I have been ignored. I am not sure how I can get these men motivated…or if it is even possible. Yesterday I removed all the paintings off the walls. Soon I will move the furniture out. To heck with a service group..I will have to make my own group.

I am going to set up some work days and send out some emails and see what happens…how does that sound for a plan of action?  Pretty good for an old tired broad with a bad cold:)

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wistful Wednesday: Little Ones 1972 and 1984

“Babies are a handful sometimes, a heartful all the time.”  Author Unknown

Babies.  My Grandma liked babies..she always had time to ohh and ahh..and give advice.  This is a four generation photo taken in 1972.

1972 Four generations Elsie Madeline Trica Connie

Grandma D. my Mother holding Trica and me.

This was taken in April of 1972.  AND oh yes I look tired.  Trica did not sleep for more than two hours at a time until she was six months old. She screamed night and day..she had colic.  She would scream while I fed her a bottle..she would suck and then scream.  My Grandmother left and went home one day..she said I was going to choke that baby for sure feeding her while she was screaming. My pediatrician told me to keep right on feeding her even if she was screaming.  Who knows best your Grandma or your Pediatrician?  He spent his lunch hour with us one day..watching how she had to be fed..and declared it okay.

Fast forward 12 years to 1984.  My baby brother and his wife had a beautiful baby girl.

Elsie Drewes and Ellen Christine Yliniemi August 1984

Grandma got to hold her close when they visited that summer.  The little girl is all grown  up and married now. I wonder if my Grandmother gave my brother any baby advice?

This was a photo I found last winter when I scanned a whole bunch of old photos that were special to my Grandmother.

In the 12 years between 1972 and 1984 my Grandmother never changed the color of her may have just been a slightly different shade of aqua. Her little window to the porch just had a little bit different white curtain with aqua flowers.

Some things never change..flowery curtains or a favorite color ( My Mother painted her Dining Room and Living room this same color aqua last year.) Another thing that never changes is the love a Great Grandma or a Grandmother has for a new baby:)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012

This is my Fern Leaf Peony from Iowa.

Fern Peony from Iowa

A few days later..

Fern Peony from Iowa

Such a pretty bloom! It is a bright spot of color next to the grain bin…where it is also sheltered a bit from the wind.

I drug myself to the Doctor pneumonia..only bronchitis..I have medication to take for ten days.

I am feeling old today as my fourth grandchild enters his teenage did he grow up so fast? This is the photo I put on his birthday card.


  Little Elvis and Noah.   Happy Birthday Noah! :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Yellow Lady Slippers

The Yellow Lady’s Slipper( Cypripedium parviflorum) are in bloom.  I took these photos on May 19, 2012.

They seem shorter this year..that could be due to the lack of moisture.

Chance and The Lady Slippers

We have a wire cage around them to discourage the deer.

peek a boo blooms May 19

This bloom is playing peek a boo..

Yello Lady Slipper May 19

This one is unfurled…in all it’s glory.  This is just one of forty-two species of native orchids in Minnesota:)

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Sunday, May 20, 2012


There are Bluebirds flying around here and there.  I hope we have two is hard to tell.

Bluebird May 19

I believe they are feeding young.

The little wild violets are blooming too.


I still have my cold, it is getting old.  Coughing at night until I get enough Nyquil in me that I can sleep through the coughing. ( The Nyquil induced dreams are amazingly colorful)  They say it is just a virus and it takes three weeks to get over..I have only had it for 13 days.

Chance was to the Vet for his annual shots and he is not feeling at all well.  His Blood Panel for Tick diseases came back negative..Yahoo! He has a hot spot over one of his hips..he is taking Rimadyl for a few days.  Last night we had thunder and lightening..he hates stormy weather and will try to refuse going outdoors alone.  He MUST have company.

Four days..that is all Far Guy got pain relief for.  His TN pain came back on Friday morning..he woke up with it.  We are both bummed out..he can have another injection in five weeks.

I will get better. Chance will too. Far Guy will just endure:(

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Saturday, May 19, 2012


What is your favorite..old fashioned lilac Lilacs?

Lilacs in town May 14

Or old fashioned white Lilacs?

White Lilacs

The Lilacs in town are blooming now.  Far Guy’s Lilac has not bloomed yet.

I cannot decide which one I like more.. six of one half a dozen of the other.

I have Saturday off!!  Far Guy is working for me today..I am going to wear my jammies most of the day and have two naps..and do laundry and cook for the working man!  Reminder to self: set alarm to interrupt late afternoon nap so you can begin cooking and whilst you are at it..cooks something easy that looks like it took all day to prepare!  :)

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Chance : The Life Jacket

Hiya!  It’s me Chance the blogging Border Collie! 

Do you remember that silly super gift Far Side got for Christmas?  That orange thing that they made me wear around inside the house.  When I was all trussed up like a turkey it was hard to walk.  Sometimes I just sat down and refused to move.  WELL the darn thing has a handle at the top and they could lift me up….and if I walked around in it for a little while they gave me a treat.

Getting Trussed up

Getting all trussed up and buckled in for an adventure in Bass Lake.The lure of the water is too great to sit down

The lure of the water is something time for sitting down.

Hey Far Guy follow me

Hey Far Guy follow me! Old people are easy to confuse.

Good Boy

I was a good boy and came when I was called.

Then I did it.

Pulling Far Guy to safety

Far Guy grabbed ahold of me and I drug him safely to shore.  I think maybe he had something else in perhaps taking me out a bit deeper??  Nah he wouldn’t do that to his best friend would he?

Far Side said “Let’s not push it.  Let’s end this session on a positive note.”  So they took my life jacket off and I wandered around scarfing up smelling goose poop:)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trigeminal Block

As many of you know.  Far Guy has  Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia.  He has had it since December of 2007.  He lives with pain everyday.  He takes anti seizure medication to help control the pain, without the medication he would not be able to endure the pain. The medications must be taken throughout the day, if he forgets a dose or is ill and cannot keep his meds down he is in terrible pain. Pain medications are useless…nerve pain especially the pain from the Trigeminal Nerve seems to have a mind of it’s own.

In January I asked his Neurologist about new treatments?  Nothing was new. I asked “What do we do when the pain is so bad he cannot take it?” The reply “Call and I will get you set up with a nerve block.”

In March Far Guy had a real bad spell.  During his April appointment I asked the question “When he cannot take the pain anymore and I call you how long will it take to get him in for a Nerve Block?”  The answer was two days to two weeks.  I frowned and shook my head. Far Guy said  “Damn.”  The Doctor suggested that Far Guy try the nerve block now..NOW??  okay!!

Last Monday off we went.  We saw an Anesthesiologist, a Doctor who specializes in pain relief.  Far Guy had an injection of numbing medication and a steroid into his Trigeminal Nerve. (Just below his ear on the right side of his face.) He said “It was pure heaven not to have pain in my face.”

When I first saw him as they wheeled him out of the hospital into the waiting car his face and eye was droopy.  We knew it would be and that it would go away.  What we didn’t know is that he could not his eye got very dry and sore.  He held his eye closed most of the way home.  Some eye drops and some tape and he was a one eyed wonder. By the next morning his eye was almost normal and his face was back to normal.

The far so good.  His pain is a ZERO!!!!  It may stay that way for six weeks to six months to six years.  (We will take the years please.)  Far Guy is scheduled for another injection in six weeks.

We asked the Anesthesiologist why we were not told about this treatment before?  He said It is becoming more commonly used for the treatment of Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia. He has had good results with other patients.

One of the reasons we chose this procedure is this.  It does not damage the nerve.  There are other procedures out there, alcohol injections and gamma knives and one treatment that pulverizes the nerve.  ALL procedures that were we warned could make the nerve more angry and cause more pain in the long term.

In all our years of doctoring with TN and Neurologists and Neuro Surgeons this is the FIRST treatment that we have been advised to do. So we did it.

I was not optimistic.  I was expecting that it would work a few hours and then wear off.  After three days I am cautiously optimistic.  Far Guy is just happy to be pain free.  However I still make him wear his hood outside in the wind and I told him he should not eat anything crunchy.   Both the wind and crunchy food have made his pain worse in the past.

For now we will take it one pain free day at a time.  The Anesthesiologist said “You have had a raging forest fire in your face for over four years.  We will hope for good results in calming down that nerve.”

Me has been a long road. If you are inclined to do so..please pray for complete healing and many pain free years.May 16 Bass Lake

Last night the boys were out on Bass Lake enjoying a nice evening on the water.  Chance tried out his new life jacket:)

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