Saturday, June 30, 2012

Little details

Little details can get lost..

Like how grass blooms.

Blooming Grass

Maybe you cut yours off before it bloomed.  Good thing I caught it or you would have missed the little yellow blooms dangling like little earrings.

It has been a week..I am ready for a three day weekend!  Not sure what we will do or where we will go but I will be watching for the little details that I miss in the hurry hurry world we live in:)

Blog Signature

Friday, June 29, 2012

Chance: June Photos

Hiya!  It is me the blogging Border Collie Chance. 

We have been taking some photos.  Far Side has hundreds of photos of me!

Me and the Daisies!

Chance and the daisies

Me and my reflection!

Chance's reflection

Look into those soulful eyes…Now who is the most handsome Border Collie in Minnesota?  I think it might be me!

Standing still for a photo

Sometimes I have to stand real still and wait for the water to calm down.  So I give Far Side’s shoe that she throws water with the “Border Collie Stare.”  Sometimes I have great focus!!

Far Side and I had a fight.  She said I had to finish my supper so we could go for a ride or she was leaving me home ALONE…alone she said..I ignored her..she kicked my ball a couple of times whilst she was washing dishes.  I waited until Far Guy threw the ball three times then I began to eat..he kept on saying “Good Boy, Good Boy” while I finished my entire bowl of food.  Far Side said “FINALLY you T-U-R-D”  I cannot spell yet..but I am working on it:)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Busy as a bee at the museum

I checked the front lawn of the museum last Saturday.  It is a complicated arrangement. The County has the Parks Department come in and mow the lawn.  I requested that it be mowed prior to our event last Monday night.


I found these bees..I really wasn’t looking for them..just looking over the area for hazards before a whole bunch of elderly people set up their lawn chairs.  I had my camera..when do I not have my camera?

I called the head custodian for the county courthouse..I bet he hates it when I call.  I left a message and asked that they spray the key hole opening.  Of course on Monday when they got my message the bees were not visible. 

No one was stung that I am aware of. 

Last week the custodians washed the front window for me…they are ever so kind sometimes.  See where it says WELCOME..that is the part that they washed.


I know it had not been washed in over a year..maybe two.  They reported back to me that the window was “filthy”..I said “Yes, I know and I appreciate your help with washing it!”

When I called over there..I asked “Hey! Do you have one of those window washing squeegees on a long pole?  The big window out front needs a wash!”  They didn’t know if they had anything like that.  I said “Well, if you happen to have a guy with a ladder and some window wash that isn’t busy..send him over someday!”

I am sure they must cringe when I call…because I only call when I have a problem.  There are three guys on the day shift.  They walk back and forth..forth and back from the County Courthouse to the Law Enforcement Center.  The County still owns the building that the Historical Museum occupies..therefore they have to answer my phone calls…and I have been known to run out of the building to catch one of them on their many walks forth and back every day.

The painting of the ceiling, walls and floors is coming along quite nicely in the basement. I have three wonderful volunteers that are doing a great job.  The two rooms that we ripped apart should be going back together soon.  It seems like those rooms have been torn apart longer than a will be wonderful to have them all clean and ready for the public:)

Blog Signature

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wistful Wednesday: 1962

Far Guy has some interesting relatives.   Today I will tell you about Uncle Bill and Aunt Cora.  Cora was Grandpa James X’s sister.  Aunt Cora was born in 1899 and married Uncle Bill in 1919.

This photo was taken in 1962.

Uncle Bill and Cora (2)

They had been married about 43 years in this photo.  I would meet them in 1968.  They lived in the country..a beautiful white farm house surrounded by fruit trees and had a big old side porch..a place where you could sit “a spell” and cool off.

Uncle Bill had to run an errand in town.  He had a small Station Wagon..maybe a Ford..maybe a Ford Fairlane..the back seat was full of junk ( men’s stuff).  He said oh just shove that stuff to the side and hop in.  Now this was before everyone wore seatbelts.   I was tossed around in the back seat so much by Uncle Bill swerving and making sharp turns in heavy traffic I was sure that we were all going to be killed.  It was impossible to stay in one spot in the seat..I was constantly being tossed around like a rag doll..the stop and go traffic was terrible..we would race forward at each green light, passing other cars and screeching to a halt at the next red light.  Uncle Bill drove like he was a man possessed taking most corners on two wheels.  I was more than happy to see that dirt road coming up..the one they lived on as we arrived safely in a cloud of dust. 

Aunt Cora cooked a wonderful meal..we enjoyed our afternoon there. That was the first and the last time I rode with Uncle Bill..a wild ride I will never forget.

Herman, Bill, Cora (2)

In this photo I am certain that Uncle Bill is telling Uncle Herman some outrageous fish story.  Uncle Herman was Aunt Cora’s and James X’s ( Far Guys Grandpa’s) brother. 

I am not certain where this photo was taken or who took it.  I will guess that it was Aunt Charolette..and the photo was taken at her and Uncle Herman’s home. I say that because Uncle Bill and Aunt Cora look all dressed up in visiting clothes..and Uncle Herman looks more casual like he is comfortable at home.  That bird cage may be a clue..Cousin Roxie will certainly recognize it.

This is just one of the old photos I found in the trunk last winter:)

Blog Signature

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Amazing Grace

It was a full day on Monday with the funeral in the morning..Amazing Grace was one of the congregational hymns.

We had a Minnesota Funeral lunch minus the Jell-O. Lunch included fresh fruit, homemade pickles, coleslaw in individual cups, baked beans, scalloped potatoes with ham and every kind of cookie or bar you could ever want.

After lunch we felt fortified enough to head to the cemetery.

last ride

After a short committal service the piper played Amazing Grace.  As he played he walked further and further away from the notes seemed to disappear into the surrounding fields. In my opinion there is nothing as beautiful as the sound of the bagpipes.

Bag pipes

After Uncle Willard was properly planted everyone came to our house.  Far Guy and I readied our yard with every possible table and chair in the garage and house.  There were forty-five guests that sat out in the shade and reminisced.  I baked  cookies on Sunday, we added some chips, cold sodas and water for the refreshments.  It seemed to be what the mourners needed..just a little extra time surrounded by family.

Everyone left just in time for Far Guy and I to head to the museum to get ready for “Music on the Courthouse Lawn.” It was a great turn out with 54 people attending.

Music on the courthouse lawn June 25 

This was part of the crowd.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  One of the last songs played was Amazing Grace.

The third time is a charm…or it must be:)

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

Blog Signature

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Friend Bill

Sometimes working at a Historical Museum can be a good thing.  One of the good things about being in charge is that I can plan the programs.   Some programs are gently suggested by Board members. Some ideas just happen and grow and blossom.

I met Bill in the museum..he told me that he had a keen interest in musical instruments. I invited him to one of our meetings..he showed up and has been coming ever since.

Bill plays the Nyckelharpa or Swedish Key Fiddle.  There are thousands of nyckelharpa players in Sweden.  There are about 175 nyckelharpa players in the United States.  Twenty of them live in Minnesota..and one in Hubbard friend Bill.


There are 16 strings, 4 of which are played with a short bow in the right hand.  The remaining 12 strings vibrate sympathetically giving the instrument its unique sound.  There are 37 keys in three rows that are played with the left hand. A tangent attached to each key touches the string when the key is pushed to change the pitch of the string.

Bill played for our carving showcase in May. It was a perfect time for me to get some publicity photos!


Bill loves to play and he loves to share everything he knows about the nyckelharpa.

For local people who read my blog.  Bill will be performing this evening on the courthouse lawn in Park Rapids Minnesota. Bring your lawn chair the weather looks like it may cooperate..we should have a wonderful evening!  Mark our very talented new President plays the Banjo and the Mandolin..he will be playing also..I call this event “Music on the Courthouse Lawn.”  The event begins at 7:30 PM today Monday June 25th 2012.

I felt this program would generate some publicity and it is a good way to reach out into the community.  We are not your grandmothers historical museum anymore:)

Blog Signature

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Four Score and Fifteen

Five more years and he would have been 100.  Born in April of 1917 he was a middle child, the only boy and very his older sister and his Grandmother.

Evelyn and Willard about 1920

This photo was taken about 1920.  That is Far Guy’s Mom with her baby brother.   The baby brother that told us “ When it was time to come in for supper, Ma would send Evelyn after me, I would run away from her until she finally caught me and sat on top of me until Ma got there.”

His Grandma Martha Abbott was afraid of thunderstorms, they had a stone well house, she would take the kids there during a thunderstorm because she knew it would not blow down.  His Grandma Abbott lived with them.  He told me" “My Grandma was a fierce protector, I could do no wrong in her eyes.  She saved me from lots of whippings.”  He also told me the day and the year that she died…I didn’t write it down but I believe he was 16 years old when she died.  His Grandpa William Abbott died before he was born. 

He was the son of a farmer.  They had Jersey cows and 18 to 20 ewes.  Bill Blourt had a sheep shearing crew.  They had a gasoline engine that turned the clippers.  They would pack the wool in a box and took it to the wool buyer in Park Rapids.  There is a special way to butcher a lamb not touching the wool.  Ed Klarer knew how, he used clean cloths like dish towels to hold the wool away and then you cut down through the skin.  You always cut the tallow out of sheep meat..if you don’t when you cook it that tallow will stick to the inside of your mouth.

They had 24 milk cows in the barn and room for young stock and calf pens in the barn.  Then the war started.  Before he left for Omaha he got a milking machine for his Dad and a well in the barn, he also saw to it that Alvin Wicks was hired to help at the farm.

He moved to Omaha.  He moved in with his sister and her husband ( Far Guy’s parents) They lived near Spring Lake Park Golf Course. He and Far Guy’s Dad worked at Fort Cook Military Reservation for the duration of the war.

He worked on the B-26 Marauder in the Martin Plant. The “A” model B 26 all went to Russia.  Hitler was pounding the hell out of Russia.  The “B” model all went to the Army Air Corps.  The modification center moved more planes through than the factory. The first big modification job was a B 25 they were missile bombers made in Burbank California.  The planes were stacked up outside sometimes there would be 40 acres of planes just setting there ready to run through modifications.  We put more guns on them..50 caliber and a 75 mm cannon out the nose of the airplane.  These were used in the Pacific and Western Europe..they would wreck a railroad..they blew up Hitler’s trains.  They would fly right down a track and hit a locomotive.  They would take the 50 caliber and shoot right into the railroad cars..they blew up!

Willard was a story teller. He used to call me up and talk for hours about the old days.

He drew the plans for his parents new house on the farm.  The window that jutted out to the east was a place for his mother to grow her flowers and a cold storage room for canned goods in the basement. 

He married Louise and they had seven children.  A few months ago he said “Do I know you?”  She replied “Well you better we had seven children together!”

The past few months his health and memory were failing.  The last few days he has been out cutting wood.  On Thursday morning he said “I am too tired to cut wood today.”

Meady's kids early 1920's

Willard, Marie and Evelyn photo taken around 1921

He joins his sisters in heaven.

Uncle Willard and Barry Uncle Willard and his oldest son “Alaska Guy” day last winter when his old tractor was driven around and around the parking lot.  He had a really good time that day!

It is the end of an era, but the celebration of a life well lived.  Four score and fifteen…:)

Blog Signature

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Baby Birds

Remember these beautiful eggs?


They all hatched.  Yes there are four is toward the back.

Four Robins

Right now they are so ugly only their mother and father could love them.


Their mouths are open most all the time waiting for the food deliveries.

I had the day off yesterday.  Chance and I lollygagged in the yard..watching the birds.  A grey colored kitty cat sauntered into the yard..Chance quickly escorted it from the yard.  When I told Far Guy..he said “OH No..I hope the baby birds are okay.”  We checked and they were just fine.

Chance and I did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, dusted and put all kinds of “stuff” away…and wished our day was longer but we were tired so it is probably good it wasn’t.  Chance gets in a real funk when Far Guy is gone all day…then he waits and watches for him to come home. We warmed up we didn’t even pretend to cook:)

Blog Signature

Friday, June 22, 2012

Say something nice!

It seems like the worm has turned.  Summer is here and along with it came the rain that we should have had last spring along with the snow that we should have had last winter.
It has rained the past three maybe four days.
Say something nice!  My car is nice and clean. All the pollen has been washed from every leaf in the forest.
The mosquitoes will be as big as birds…maybe bigger.
With every rain drop that falls the larger the mosquitoes become in my mind. Until they become the size of the crop sprayers that spread their fungicides or insecticides..or what ever kind of hazardous chemical that they spray on the long French fries so they fit in a box nicely field that is right across from the end of our driveway.
Say something nice!  Think of all the old pickup trucks that can be fueled with the old used French Fry oil.
I have watched people scurry around with their umbrellas and rain coats on.  I had neither..I did have an old beach towel in the car and plopped it on my head as I sauntered to the house one day..through the puddles..I am not sweet enough to even begin melting..and a little rain never hurt anybody..good thing I was wearing my favorite plastic shoes:)
Blog Signature

Thursday, June 21, 2012


It is now officially summer.  In the past two days we have gotten 2 3/4 inches of rain.  Badly needed rain.  Now I suppose the mosquitoes will come out in full force.
The other night we went over to Shell Lake.  The water there is at an all time low.  It smells bad there..a lakey, rotten fishy smell that is not at all appealing.
Chance was not allowed out of the car.  He wanted to come out..and he whined but he didn’t need to smell that rotten.
Shell Lake had a successful Loon hatch.  They have one baby.
Loons on Shell Lake
The baby is swimming between the parents.
The Canada Geese were resting on shore.  Chance watched them patiently.
Canada Geese on Shell Lake
They got up and headed for the water.  You can see that this years goslings are going through a moult to get their adult flight feathers.  The Mama Geese usually molt at the same time so they can fly when their goslings are ready to try their new flight feathers.  The males begin their moult right after breeding in the early spring.  They cannot fly during the moult. 
Canada Geese are wonderful family groups.  Different branches of the family band together in a group called a crèche.  Canada Geese mate for life.  In my photo the group of geese is called a gaggle. More than five geese on the ground is a gaggle. In flight they would be called a skein. ( My $5.00 question for my Grands this week is: How many Geese are in a gaggle and are they on the ground or in the air? The first Grand that calls with the correct answer wins. )
The tour with the magazine editor went well last Monday.  I am glad it is over.  I have been very busy with tourists..rainy days brought them off the lakes and into the museum.   The paint from the Valspar paint grant arrived…so we can begin painting..the board members as in “we.”  I will not be painting unless it becomes absolutely necessary. I have a desk full of work to accomplish and tourists to greet:)
Blog Signature

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wistful Wednesday: A Sad Story

This is one of the photographs that I found in the trunk last winter.

We still have that cute puppy “Tippy” this time nestled in Auntie Beryl’s arms. Beryl was 24 years old and the mother of two.  Grandpa James X. was 53 that year. Cousin Donna was 18.

Beryl 24 and Tippy James X 53 and Donna 18

Beryl ( Daughter in law), James X.  and Donna (Niece)

It was summertime in 1942. 

Donna was doubt she had just graduated from High School.( She was Tracie and James X. Niece)  She got a job as a telephone operator.  She married a soldier in November of 1943.  He was off to Europe in 1944. About the time that his letters stopped coming she gave birth to a son.  When her son was just three months old she got the “official” notice.

This is how it read:

“It has been established from reports received in the War Department that your husband, S/Sgt. Robert W. Weeks died April 23, 1945 while a prisoner of war of the German Government.  The Secretary of War extends his deep sympathy.”

She must have been so sad. In August of that same year she was in the hospital with double pneumonia..her recovery was slow. She moved in with her parents.  She seemed well and the next spring even moved into her own little cottage across the street from her parents.  On July 13, 1946 she died after being sick for only twelve hours.  The cause of death was hemorrhages during a siege of double pneumonia.  She left behind her fourteen month old son Billie.  He was raised by his Grandparents Emma and Rubert. Emma was Grandma Tracie’s sister.

I have finished all Grandma Tracie’s diary entries..she also left another book.  She took an old Yearbook of the Department of Agriculture from the year 1915 and pasted obits, birth and marriage announcements inside.  I have just begun to read them, from them I pieced together Donna’s sad story:(

Blog Signature

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blooming Wildflowers

If you live in Minnesota the Showy Lady’s Slippers are in full bloom.

This is the bunch that Far Guy saved years ago at our old resort. He found them one day in June years ago coming up on both sides of a log. The group has gotten larger and larger.  We stopped by for a few photos! 

Lady's Sliipper at the old resort 

Wild Iris

The Blue Flag Iris is in bloom near the Dead Beaver area.

The Smooth Solomon’s Seal is just finishing up.

Smooth Soloms Seal June 7

The little blooms are hidden under the foliage..I practically had to lay on the ground for this photo.  This plant is on the edge of our driveway.  It is special..because it is the only one I know of in our area.  They may be more deep in the woods..but I stay out of there because of the Poison Ivy.

Aldo Leopold wrote “ During every week from April to September there are, on the average, ten wild plants coming into first bloom.  In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds in a single day.”

I enjoy watching the native plants… waiting for the first blooms.  After years and years of watching native plants they do not disappoint they always bloom with a week or ten days of when they did last year..Leopold calls them Prairie Birthdays. I guess that works for me:)

Blog Signature

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sunday Surprises

Jen, Andy and the boys joined us at the Fire Hall for the Father’s Day Picnic.  We had a great day.  We were not expecting them so it was a nice surprise. 

We played cards in the afternoon and then we went out for supper.  I swear I will not be hungry for days.

Chance went shopping again..he got Far Guy a set of ear buds with a volume control.  That dog is a good shopper!


Jen found this online someplace.  We used to have one just like it a long time ago.


The thingy inside moves when it gets heated up by the light bulb..and the thingy makes it look like the water is moving.  It is quite fascinating to watch.  It is a Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gift!

I have the perfect spot for it..I just need a shelf or something custom made for the corner of the living room.

Just before dark we went for a ride over to Bass Lake. Gene and Chance June 17 2012

I captured the calm end to a great day:)

Blog Signature

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there.  I hope you all have a special day!

Usually we go to the Fire Department Annual Father’s Day Picnic..and this year is no different.  Far Guy cooked up some Wild Rice Hot dish and he helped me bake two apple pies..from scratch..well almost I purchased the crusts…that is as close to a from scratch pie as I get.  Most of the food is donated for the picnic..and there will be every kind of pie imaginable. I have been noticing that many of the younger gals bring frozen I am trying to set a good example…either that or I am passing into old ladydom..and getting fussy about the pies I take.  I put lots of cinnamon in them sense being scotch with the cinnamon in an apple pie.

Happy Fathers Day to my Dad! This photo was taken shortly after he got back from Korea and just before we moved to the farm.  This photo was taken in my Grandparent D’s yard.  That old garage in the background is the only old building that remains on their old farmstead.  My Mom and I stayed with my Grandparents all the while my Dad was in Korea. Dad and me 1952

On account of me this is his 60th Father’s Day! :)

Blog Signature

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Being Polite

It has been a busy week at the museum.  The Magazine Editor will show up sometime Monday.  Apparently she is touring the Northwoods in a Recreational Vehicle and it must be returned on Monday our tour will go on sometime before that but no one knows exactly what I am “on call.”  I think it is one of those hurry up and wait things…it really torks me off that I must be at the beck and call on my day off.  Hopefully the publicity will be worth it.

I spent over an hour on the phone getting the wireless service back into the building after hooking up the new computer.  Part of that time was spent spelling words over the phone to some customer service person at D-Link that did not have a good handle on the English language.  I was polite.  I did not scream or demand to speak to his supervisor..I was patient he is most likely supporting at least ten people with one paycheck.

I met some nice people this week..tourists whiling away some time at the museum.  I smiled and welcomed them.

I hate the rings and I answer politely…I answer all the little old ladies questions about hours and days we are open.  People call and want me to do appraisals over the phone, like I can see their item that they are describing that is one of a kind. I hate the phone.  A salesman the other day wanted to sell me fine china for the Museum Gift Shop and didn’t like my “No” for an answer…I finally told him I would buy every wooden musket he had in stock..sadly he didn’t have any. 

Of course since the week was going so well one idiot had to be a jerk, one of the know it all holier than thou brainiacs and he took TWO of my Tootsie Rolls and never left a donation. A$$ Whole.

I buy my own bag of Tootsie Rolls isn’t like I get reimbursed for them or anything.  I almost told him to put them back if he wasn’t going to be polite.  Yesterday I found where someone stashed two Tootsie Roll wrappers..I bet it was him:(IMG_1841

Blog Signature

Friday, June 15, 2012

Climbing Roses

It rained!!  We had a half an inch in the rain gauge.  It might have rained more than the gauge was not sitting upright.  We really needed some rain!

Chance and I had some quality time walking around the yard yesterday on my day off.  Actually it was only part of a day off as I had to go to town to help get my car in for new tires and I had some things that I HAD to do at the Museum.  So Chance and I volunteered at the museum…he watched while I unpacked books in a vault..he only ran off once to greet people..good thing they liked dogs. 

Climbing Roses June 14

The climbing roses are trying to climb.

Chance and the climbing roses

Chance wasn’t far away..I think he was watching for wayward squirrels to herd.

The roses are part of the Canadian Explorer Series ‘William Baffin’:)

Blog Signature