Saturday, August 31, 2013

Field Report

The small farmers were hit hard in the heat and drought.  The corn that is not irrigated is burning up.

This is a field by Donnie’s place.  I doubt if it will even make silage.

Sad looking corn

The beans are turning brown and yellow.  They are irrigated.

The bean field across from our driveway

Heavily irrigated as water has been standing in this spot all summer, a mosquito breading hole…and a waste of water.  For a long time I was taking photos of the irrigators watering the roadways…I finally gave up.  This bean field is across from our driveway.

The helicopter was out spraying the potato fields.

helicopter spraying the potato fields

Chance and I watched from the corner.  The pilot just misses those high line wires.

Helicopter landing on the truck

The helicopter pilot lands on top of the truck to be loaded with more “stuff.”  I always wonder what they are spraying..probably a fungicide this time of year. 

Years ago I can remember my parents going for drives to see how the crops were coming along, and who had weeds, and where the Hoary Alysum and Wild Mustard was spreading to.  The weeds didn’t last long in our fields, we were all sent out to pull the weeds if they invaded a corner of the field.


My parents used to take pride in their crops and how they were growing, how the fields were planted perfectly using all the space available.  I am not seeing that in corporate fields.

Potato harvest usually begins right after Labor Day.  Many of the fields were planted late.  I saw some fields of potatoes that were still blooming just last week.


This field of potatoes was planted twice, the first time the seed potatoes rotted in the ground.

Chance and I made the rounds of our area fields on Friday afternoon:)

Blog Signature

Friday, August 30, 2013

Quiet but busy

The house has been quiet without the telephone interrupting my thoughts.  It has been silent since Sunday, one call snuck through yesterday, in between waves of off again on again phone and Internet service.  The repairman came again yesterday afternoon.  Hopefully it is fixed once and for all!  It has worked about six hours in a row now.

I called the business office of the telephone company.  The Customer Service gal there said she was not authorized to issue a credit for five days of no service, she would have to speak to her supervisor and will get back to me next week.  Why was she in Customer Service if she cannot give customer service?  Seems redundant to me.

Far Guy went to work in the oven(museum) on Thursday.  He was pretty much well done when he came home.  Chance and I enjoyed the AC at home all day long.  We are going to send Far Guy back into the oven again Friday.  It works out well to split up the days…he is working on some projects there that he enjoys.  The museum has some old movies taken in 1943 that will become a program next year after they are edited and digitized.

I finished scheduling all the evening programs for 2014 and meeting places have been reserved.  I finished all the advertising for 2013.  Yes..cross something off the list.

Next week I meet with the County Commissioners.  I don’t like pleading for more money but someone has to do it.  The average dollar amount that County Historical Museums receive from their respective counties in Minnesota is $57,000.  We get less than 10 percent of that.  Broken down even further than that we have 20,000 residents in the county and we receive 27 cents per person per year.  I have asked for $3 per person. Of course I don’t have my head in the clouds…they will not approve that amount.  IF I were a County Commissioner I would be ashamed. 

The museum got a grant for an HVAC study ( Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning).  It will cost $6,300 to have an expert from The Cities come into our building to evaluate it.  She will write us a report which we can then use to write another grant to purchase and install a HVAC system.  I am not certain how anyone will be able to afford the heating bill…but I am following the suggested route and won’t put up a roadblock before I need to. ( Last winter I met with The Minnesota Historical Society mucky mucks and we made a plan to follow to gain heating, air conditioning and an elevator.)

I absolutely hate the politics, I am no good at smiling at a bunch of morons. I am certain that the Commissioners will be surprised  to learn about the HVAC study…oh well…they are the governing body for the Historic Building…and all of them have been notified of our monthly meetings and have been encouraged to attend.  I cannot drag them into one of our meetings and make them listen to the goings on.  Although that thought makes me smile:) 

Great Blue heron on Fish Hook Lake

Great Blue Heron on Fish Hook Lake

Blog Signature

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hot! Hot! Hot!

People touring the museum from Arizona yesterday were sweating like butchers.  They told me to turn up the AC.  I told them I didn’t have any…and was lucky to have a couple of fans. 

Poor Tess (a Volunteer) started to melt about 3 PM she told me “You should leave early it is miserable in here.”  Of course I didn’t …I had projects to do…but I do move slower in the heat. 

Back at home Chance had a new friend visit.   A golden /whitish short haired dog about his size with a collar, Chance showed him his pool and his water dish and they took turns marking spots in the yard.  He must be a tourist dog just visiting the area.  Far Guy could not get close enough to him to  look at his tags…and then the dog took off through the woods and did not return.

It was great fun last night watching the sunset.  What a relief to have one more hot day behind us.

Sunset Aug 28

As the sun was setting, the air became instantly cooler.  We could smell the sweet grass that had been mowed in the ditch…it smells like vanilla.  It is one of those smells that is truly Minnesota at it’s best at the end of a hot day.

Our Internet and phone service is still intermittent.  They thought they fixed it everyday this week…no such luck yet:(

Blog Signature

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wistful Wednesday : 1958

We are having a heat wave.  Thanks goodness for air conditioning at home.  I would surely sweat to death without it this week.

Recently I was asked if those old rubber swim caps worked.  I remember that they did, but you couldn’t hear worth beans and sometimes they leaked and your hair still got wet.  Remember we had no blow dryers back then and once your hair was done up it was good for a week.

This is my baby brother and me in 1958 in the lake near Atwater Minnesota.

Connie add Carey at Atwater MN 1958 (2)

I was almost seven and my baby brother was four years old.  Apparently he needed nose plugs…I hated those things.  The inner tubes were great fun on the water.  If I recall correctly, this was at a lake place of a shirttail relative..but I am getting older and my memory is not what it used to be.  (Some people let us swim off of their lakeshore.)

Back to the swim cap.  They were a bugger to squeeze onto your head, sometimes you pulled some hair out, sometimes you got it on your head but your hair wasn’t all tucked in so you had to start all over again, sometimes you sweat so much under the cap that your hair was all wet anyway, sometimes the cap sprung a leak and  half your hair would be wet and half would be dry.   Did you ever wear a swim cap? :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Static Lightning

On Sunday afternoon our phone line was hit by static lightning.  Our phone line and Internet line are all together.  So we have not had telephone except for Far Guys cell phone and no Internet.  It was fixed but failed again so now they think it is a problem in a splice…and may require a special repairman.  I am not certain when it will be fixed.  Right now Internet service is intermittent.

The mailman was particularly perturbed because we had a package and he tried to call us for hours to find out what to do with the package.  Finally he delivered it and told us our phone didn’t work.

It is hot here.  Unseasonably hot.  91 degrees F or  32C.  With about 90% humidity.  It rained a bit today as a cool front moved through…it cooled off some but not enough for black dogs or old women.


It was practically a Florida monsoon type rain, it rained while the sun was shining between three and four o’clock and my camera kept fogging up.

Five weeks left on my countdown till the museum closes:)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hanging Around

Well I am hanging around someplace.  Just not on the phone or the Internet.


Maybe I am asleep in the hammock.  Maybe I melted in the heat and am just a stinky little puddle on the floor.

I am enjoying the silence… I am going to go rob a neighbor of their Wiffy signal to get this posted.

The repair people might be out sometime today:)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bunker Hill

Yesterday  the flags were changed out at Bunker Hill.  Bunker Hill is a Vietnam Memorial that was dreamt of and started by a Marine who did a tour in Vietnam.

Bunker Hill overlooks the prairie.  The day was hot but the gale force winds from the south made the day bearable. 

Far Guy and another fellow that served in the Air Force took down the Air Force flag.

Flag Ceremony Bunker Hill Uncle Archie and another fellow put up the new Air Force flag.

Archie and the Air Force Flag

One by on the flags were changed out.  Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, POW ~ MIA and the American flag.


There are still about 2,000 soldiers that have not been accounted for in Vietnam.  It seems that most of them have been forgotten by the government, but not by the soldiers that served with them, or their families. 

Dog Tags

I cannot imagine the not knowing, the wondering what happened to a family member…it must be almost too much to bear.

The flags were not burned today, it was too windy.  They will be properly disposed of when the wind dies down.

Bunker Hill old flags

Many thanks to Howard and Trudy who invite the public to share this day with them.  Trudy cooks for days and a picnic lunch was served after the ceremony:)

Blog Signature

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Late Summer

Late summer is here.  The lawn is brown and the Oaks are shedding some leaves.  The brush in the woods is turning color. Typical for the dryness that usually happens in August.

The Shell River is down.

Shell River

Hardly a trickle of water going through at the Dead Beaver Area.

Further upstream at the corner there is a little current around an island.

Shell River at the corner

We need rain.  The threat of forest fires will increase everyday without rain.

Wheat harvest

The wheat fields south of us have been harvested.  Two combines made short work of those fields.  The wind was out of the north one day, It was like driving through a dust storm. They moved on further up the prairie.

We have beans planted across from our mail box this year.  The deer will move in soon, now that the peas have been harvested.

The crickets are making noise at night.  A sure sign that it is the end of summer.  Even if the days are hot, the nights are cool.

Tomato Surprize

Far Guy had a little surprise flower that grew in his tomato bucket.  We may eventually get some tomatoes:)

Blog Signature

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chance : At the lake

Far Side was in a foul mood…too much museum…too many stupid people.  Before dinner she refused phone calls, she told Far Guy to tell whoever called that she was dead. ( My sister did not believe that for a minute.)  After dinner she said “Chance and I are going to the lake!”  Boy OH Boy!  I am ready and at the door. Let’s go!  Hurry up Far Guy! She has on her plastic shoes! (Well she has them on all the time in the summer…just incase she goes into the water.)

The first lake was too dirty…I cried when we left.  I wasn’t allowed out of the car and Far Side didn’t even put one foot in the water.

The second lake was a go! YES! No green algae, no summer bloom, no yucky weeds with brown goo.

Throw the water already

Throw the water already!  She uses one of her shoes to scoop the water high in the air, and she doesn’t even care if she gets wet. She giggles.

Then she gets the camera out and starts taking photos.

Put down the Camera Put down the camera and no one will get hurt. PLEASE.

Could you make her quit

Far Guy could you tell her to stop with the camera already?

Finally I am tired of playing in the water and so is she.  I think she is feeling better now:)

Great time at the lake

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blue Moon You Are My Sunshine

I almost missed the Blue Moon.  It was beautiful!

Blue Moon

Lots of transitions here one mile south of us. Ditch, harvested wheat field, standing wheat, medium pines and taller pines.

Blue Moon  You saw me standing alone without a love of my own…hows that for an ear worm…especially the group that had that base singer…The Marcels back in 1961..a fun song. 


Genes Hand

I asked Far Guy to get out of the car when we went for our evening drive.  “You are my sunshine…my only sunshine.”  Gotta love a guy that will stand in the middle of the road for ya!


A happy dog in his usual traveling down a dirt road mode:)

Blog Signature

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wistful Wednesday: 1932

In 1932 Far Guy’s Dad graduated from High School.

1932 High School Graduation

That is his Dad Marvin in the third row.  Down a row and toward the middle is Gene, that is the guy that Far Guy is named for…I will just let you guess what his full name was.  Not too many people use his full name anymore…a few cousins, his sister and sometimes me.  Anyways Gene was Marvin’s best friend in High School.

See that gal in the first row?  That is Jeanette. She would eventually teach Social Studies…and become a spinster school teacher. ( I had her for Seventh Grade Social Studies or maybe Eighth Grade…I was in her classroom that day in 1963 when JFK was assassinated and all the girls were crying.) 

I am certain she became a spinster school teacher with her hair just so, a hankie almost continually clutched in her hand, skirts half way to her ankles and blouses with high collars because of one of the boys in this class…possibly Marvin.

There was a class play.  Sometime during practice the lights went out, AND whilst it was dark as night someone had the audacity to grab Jeanette and kiss her on the lips.  She fainted.

The story was always told with a chuckle and a twinkling of an eye.

I am certain I have told the story before, but seeing this old photograph reminded me of it.

Recently at the museum I ran onto the 50th Reunion folder from this class.  I made a copy and I will make a copy of this photo to include in the folder for the museum’s High School Memory Room.  In that folder from 1982 there was mention of Gene Cowles death.  Marvin was at that reunion back in 1984 and so was Jeanette. (Jeanette died in 2006.)

Graduation Day that year was June 2, 1932.  You never can tell what you will run into at a museum:)

June 2 1932

June 2 1932 list of graduates

Blog Signature

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Countdown : Six Weeks

Six weeks until I can close the museum doors.  This week will be a hot one, we have heat and humidity.  Temperatures will be 90 degrees F today (32 C).

I have much to finish up in six weeks.  Programs to plan for next year.  “Stuff” to be accessioned. Shelves to be cleared off. Perhaps even the “stuff” under my desk that has been sitting there for years will find a home. ( It was all “stuff” I inherited from the last Director.)

The last Thursday noon program is this week.  They have been a success but I won’t be doing them next year.  If someone else wants to volunteer to find the speakers and be there to greet people and be in charge..GFI…Go For It.  I have proved it can be done, it will bring more people into the museum and it is a great community outreach effort.  However even I have limitations.  It takes too much time away from my other duties. 

I have met some marvelous new people this summer, and some of my old favorites have returned.   Mary and Larry read my blog and stopped by to meet me! It was a pleasure to visit with them!   My good buddy Jimmy from Lincoln Nebraska, the kid who wants to be a museum curator returned for his third summer, he noticed the changes and complimented me on the displays that had been improved!  Not many adults notice…leave to a kid!   Kayla who is like my shadow on days she volunteers  also wants to be a museum curator when she grows up. The last time she came in to volunteer she missed time at a local amusement park…how many kids would do that?   People that come in and at the end of their visit say “Wow, we didn’t realize you had so much cool stuff in this building!”  Those are the people I enjoy…that is what keeps me going… at least for six more weeks.Toggery display

Two new display cases were moved into The Toggery last spring.  They looked wonderful. The pink was just fine, but the bottom parts of the display needed something.


One volunteer with some paint and some wallpaper made a big difference.  Everything pops out in the bottom of those displays now. One improvement at a time:)

Blog Signature

Monday, August 19, 2013

Nature’s Canvas

This is the first year I have noticed Rough Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis) in bloom on a nearby road.

Natures Canvas

I think the small grain field behind the flowers is oats.  It is a comforting shade of blue/green.

Rough Blazing Star

The late evening light makes everything glow on the edge of this old horse pasture now planted with oats.  Changes happen so quickly.

I have some planted in my wild gardens too.

Blazing Stars Liatris Mine is Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya).


Chance always looks better with flowers:)

Blog Signature

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I had a very dear friend in Indiana who had ALS.  She called to tell me about it…and to say goodbye.  Her failing speech made phone conversations difficult and frustrating for her. We continued to write back and forth.  She loved my notecards and said they made her smile!   She requested no extraordinary measures…she was an ICU Nurse all her life and did not want to live on a vent.   She was at peace and was ready to leave this world where her body failed her but her mind was sharp as a tack.  I told her Bill would be waiting for her..and Abby too…she laughed and said “Won’t that be great!”  No more cards are going to Indiana.  The last card I sent her way was answered by her brother…she died early one morning. She escaped the ALS that overtook her body. Joan was 61 years old. I have known her for 27 years. Her husband Bill died several years ago. 

So when is goodbye final?  When I sent her brother a sympathy card?  When I get to see the date inscribed at Find a Grave?  When I do something special to honor her memory? 

Pollen Overload

I thought these bees were overloaded on pollen.  Then I noticed that the one in the center with the golden butt was not moving.  The others were buzzing around landing and taking off..perhaps it was a bee funeral…or perhaps the bee was almost dead and his/her friends were saying goodbye. There were many other plants to collect pollen from yet they picked this one to buzz around incessantly. They apparently knew something I did not.  

Celebration of Life…that’s what they are calling a service for another friend who died last Sunday.  He prepared his own obituary and had a hand in planning his service.  Mantle cell leukemia sucks. That service is planned for three weeks after his death.  Seems like a long time to wait..but I am sure  Faye wants to give him a great sendoff.

We are getting to the age where there will be more deaths, more celebrations of lives well lived and more letters in the mail with sad news. Many more goodbyes to say:(

Blog Signature

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pea Party

There was a gathering…a party in the peas. 

Pea Field

We sat on the country road and watched.  Chance hung his head out the window and sniffed the air…I think they were too far away for him to see.

Five deer

AT first we thought there were just five.

Six deer

There were six deer in that party. Six tick factories.

I am still struggling with the Lymes.  I am on my second round of antibiotics. I got too tired and too achy and sore to continue fighting it by myself.  I spoke with a good friend who is a nurse and my Doctor; they agreed that a second thirty day round of Doxycycline was appropriate.  I will be fine.  In a week or two I should feel like a new person.  In the meantime I will just keep plugging away:)

Blog Signature