Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

I heard that 46 million turkeys would be cooked this Thanksgiving!  That is a lot of turkeys!

Today I am thankful that I don’t have to cook the turkey and I am thankful that we will be able to spend part of the day with our daughters and their families.

Blog Signature

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: Great Grandma

Everyone has a Great Grandmother…but how much do they really know about them…until it is too late to ask..or you were too little to ask the questions? Perhaps they have a photo or two…

1982 Tracie and Bethany 

This is Far Guy’s Grandmother Tracie and our niece Bethany in the summer of 1982.   Grandma would die the following April at the age of 87..she almost made it to 88 years of age before she got liver cancer and died shortly after the diagnosis in the hospital but before she made it to the “home.”  That in itself was worthy of a celebration.

Bethany our niece in the photo would have been about 18 months old if my math is correct.  The photo was taken in the summer at Grandma’s apartment in Park Rapids.  They are sitting in the big chair in the corner by the window.  The latch hookrug/wall hanging might have been a gift from someone( Far Guy’s Dad Marvin I think…and I think it covered the air conditioner) and the throw on the back of the chair looks like it came from Arizona where Grandma used to visit  her youngest son in the wintertime.  You can see the corner of an oak end table…which has been in our home since about 1983. I can see something that I had not thought about for a long time…an ice cream bucket with a crochet cover…I still have mine upstairs I keep crochet hooks and other odds and ends in it…Grandma must have made the cover for the buckets!  It was a useful gift especially since I still have mine.

 Blog Signature

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Sometimes I wish my desk was in another room…one where I could shut the door…but no my desk is in the middle of the room…across from my computer…I can just turn my chair around and be at my desk.  It is a place where I can leave my  “stuff” out, it has good lighting and you can watch TV and work on a project all at the same time. Perfect except…

It is a mess.  Today I tackle it. I have been working on eyeglass cords and had to get out every bead I had in the house!  They really need their own place…right now they reside in a huge cardboard box upstairs….when they are not on my desk or under it.  Chance used to be able to sleep under my desk…not so much anymore.

IMG_6763I would like to put this project behind me and move forward.  It is a baking day tomorrow pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie.

  Blog Signature

Monday, November 20, 2017


The lower level window across from my desk was a challenge.  I said we should clean it in place…Far Guy said “oh no we can open it.”  Huh?  It is a bugger to lock once opened it has to go back together perfectly…the stars must align and the moon has to be just so and if you do it on the second Sunday in a week you might get it to latch.  In the summer I don’t worry about it…but it is winter.

Clean window

Yes that white stuff is snow.

Usually I sit outside cross legged in those rocks to wash the outside of this window…I always wonder how fast will I be able to move if a snake comes along…well I didn’t need to worry about that yesterday but I also didn’t want to sit down in that snow.

We finally accomplished the washing and waxing of the window…Far Guy helped and then I sent him inside to be the pointer…what you don’t need someone to point where the window is smeared?  I do.  ( Yes I wax our windows…I used to use a product in a pink can called glass wax…now I use something called Glass and Silver Polish….it helps the rain/snow slide right off a window without leaving water spots.  I waxed windows all the time at the resort…many many windows.)

Now we have to get the window to latch…let the adventure begin.

Well he struggled, I struggled…at one point he was outside pushing on the edge of the window freezing his butt off, while I was trying to latch it from inside.  He came in to warm up. Then I did it…I opened it once again…someone said “You didn’t open that window again did you?” accompanied by a sigh that could have been heard in the next county…. ummmm yes… then I closed it firmly and low and behold it latched. I DID IT!!   Far Guy was amazed…howdidyadothat?  Just lucky I guess.

That window has pretty stuff on the ledge too…it is all waiting in the kitchen…after the big struggle I was too tired to put everything back…of course everything had to be moved under this window …and what better time to scrub the floor and give the grout a really good clean.

Thanksgiving Flag

I finally had a chance to put up my Thanksgiving flag.

Blog Signature

Sunday, November 19, 2017

This past week

Was cool.  The wind is raw and the humidity makes it feel colder than it is.  It spit snow all day yesterday but not enough to turn the ground white.

We had two family members in the hospital.  Our daughter Trica had a bowel obstruction that resolved itself after three days in the hospital.  My Dad spent two days in the hospital with a kidney and stomach infection.  Both are home now and recovering. 

Two windows were washed….my desk is still a big mess with many projects started but none finished.

No new recipes were tried…but I do have an new recipe for Pumpkin Pie that I will try this week.

The Juncos are here and the little Redpolls showed up this week along with a few wayward Goldfinches that have their winter coats on.

We have a huge buck that has been cavorting around nearby with a couple of does…they escaped the mighty hunters.

Poor Chance has a hemorrhoid.  Makes me hurt to tend to it.  I am probably more bothered than he is.  He does not seem like he is in pain.  He has had problems before…and the Vet says to keep the area clean and use whatever hemorrhoidal remedy you have on hand.  Ears and butt…now I have to keep an eye on both.  He also has a little bit of dermatitis one spot on his belly and another on his right hip which we are treating with vitamin E.  His right rear leg is weak at times….he looses his footing sometimes, but still makes it up and down the stairs.  He has to be lifted into the car and when we let him out of the vehicle…I wrap a  strip of an old towel around his belly and I steady him and lift from above and assist his decent from the vehicle. He is very cooperative and knows to wait for me to encircle him with the strip of towel and get a good hold on it before he jumps off the seat. Yes we are eldercare for a dog.  I am certain he gets better care than some people.


Blog Signature

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Kitchen Window

It warmed up.  Well it is above freezing at 36 degrees or 2 C eh!  Warm enough to take the kitchen window apart get rid of the gross dead Asian Lady Beetles that are everywhere and properly wash a window. ( When it was window washing weather last Fall we were invaded by the horrid little bugs.)

close up of material

I have been waiting for the weather to warm up so I could do that project and hang up my new curtain…the valance that my Mother made me for my birthday.  The fabric is part of The 2017 Minnesota Quilt Project…but I saw the material and just knew it would make a really pretty valence in our kitchen.  This window also has blinds…hidden by the valance. Not that we use them very much…when it is really cold or really hot.

Loons and Lady Slippers

Of course one little project turns into a little bit bigger project as you go along.  My “stuff” on the ledge of the window needed a wash.

my rocks

My extra large ice cream bowl that is full of petrified wood and agates from Washington State and a gift from a friend is one of my favorite things….and a real dust catcher especially when the window is open.

loon and slipper in the window

Loon and Lady Slipper hangs in the window to discourage birds from flying into the window. Most of our snow has melted for the moment.

One window at a time….it is exercise for my bum hand.

the kitchen 

Far Guy was cooking his famous chip dip; a chili cheese italian sausage mixture as I finished up my project.  It was really yummy.

Blog Signature

Friday, November 17, 2017

Soap Carving

Last summer the carving group taught a soap carving class for the libraries summer art and design program. ( Somehow I  am always the go to person.) Later in the summer I was asked to teach soap carving as part of the Community Education Program.  We taught the class last Tuesday at The Middle School.

I recruited three other carvers to help; Far Guy, Shiela and Dave. It was a fun time!  Several of the participants were our great nieces.

Olivia and Ava soap carving

Our safe carving tools are tooth picks to mark your pattern and small wooden spoons ( the ones that come with individual ice cream containers) shaped to a sharp point.  The simple tools work well with the soap and you would really have to work at cutting off a finger.  Ivory is the soap we use.  Yes it is messy…we covered the tables with wax paper!

Brookes soap carving 

For the class everyone carved a flower step by step and then it was a free for all carving what ever they wanted.  We sent home extra bars of soap and wooden tools.


I think the children enjoyed themselves!  They learned a new skill and who knows…maybe someday a few will be woodcarvers.

I can carve soap….my hand allowed it…wood not so much.  I hope someday to be back to carving again.  For now I go along to carving and work on some other craft project…the guys always ask me “ how is your bum hand?”  The answer is not good enough to carve yet.  Some things just take time…luckily I have many other hobbies that I can do!

Blog Signature

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Good Eggs

I like farm fresh eggs.  Alway have probably always will. Especially brown eggs, they are my favorite.  I used to help with the chicken chores, I didn’t mind it.  I “gathered eggs” …Far Guy helped me once he “picked up eggs.”


Last summer some of my great nieces got chickens.  They are really good chicken farmers…and hope to expand their coop and maybe even build a barn and get some goats and make their own soap.   I am not sure their parents know of this “plan.”

Brooke and Hailey

Two of the girls and one of their favorite chickens.  This may be Fern…or Olive or Ponderosa Pine or I forget…

Hailey and one of her chickens

This girl loves her chickens and her chickens love her.

All 16 of the chickens are very tame, they all have names.  They rub against your legs as you walk through their area.

Claire the fat chicken 

This is Claire the biggest fattest largest chicken they have.  She also lays the largest eggs.

Some of them even lay double yolks.  I cannot eat eggs everyday, Far Guy eats eggs every other day.

Nothing better than fresh non grocery store eggs. The price was $2.30 a dozen but we always pay $2.50…young entrepreneurs should always be encouraged.  What is the going price for eggs in your area?  Have you met the chickens that lay your eggs?

Blog Signature

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: The Boat House

The Boat House at the resort on Straight Lake.

Last summer.


Not the greatest photo with the sunspot.  But you get the idea.   It has a stone foundation.

In 1989

Boat House August 1989

We used to keep the lawn mowed close to the lake.  I almost went into the lake a few times with the lawn mower making a circle on the bottom of that hill.

The steps on the left are still looking good.  Far Guy and I used railroad ties and rebar and leveled the dirt between the ties with a shovel.  It took us most of an afternoon.  We were younger then.

Most structures cannot be this close to the lake anymore.  This boat house was most likely built in the 1920’s.

The downstairs was used for storage of life jackets, tackle, extra anchors, boat cleaning supplies and a tub of night crawlers that we harvested ourselves and sold on the honor system.

The upstairs was a great place to sit and play cards or look at the lake.  We had many tables and chairs, a ping pong table, a pop machine, and a couple of pin ball machines and bookshelves with books and games.  If we had a a confirmation or graduation or wedding shower if it was in late spring, summer or early fall it was a perfect place to host a gathering when you were going to feed a whole bunch of people.

Blog Signature

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hey Mikey!

Mikey our Great Grandson is almost six months old.

Hey Mikey Nov 11 2017

We got to see him on Saturday.  He has quite a personality, he smiles and tries to talk ( according to his Mother he can squeal.)  I call it finding his voice!

Jen and Mikey

Mikey and his Great Aunt Jen

Mikey almost six months old

Mikey looks very much like his Mother, they have the same shape face, same little nose and dark brown eyes.

Maddie 1998 Two

Maddie in 1998

I gave her the usual Great Grandmotherly advice.  Keep a hat on that baby in the hockey arena.  Put an undershirt on him all winter long…she said “a onesie?”  Yes…he can wear two onsies in the winter.  Babies need that extra layer of clothing.  I explained before onsies…all baby undershirts had a tab that you could pin down with the cloth diaper…and that kept it from riding up.  I had both short sleeved and long sleeved undershirts for my girls.

Heck I wore an undershirt in the wintertime until I traded it for a bra and then wondered if I should wear my undershirt over or under my bra.

Blog Signature

Monday, November 13, 2017

Grands: Paige

Last Saturday we traveled to see Paige play with her team The St Kate Wildcats against The Concordia Cobbers.


Paige (2)

Paige is number 15

Paige skating

near the net

Near the net!

Sadly the Wildcats scored only one goal to the Cobbers two goals.  It was still a fun game to watch.

Paige in line to shake hands

Paige in line to shake hands after the game.

We got to see her for a few minutes before she boarded the bus back to the cities.  I asked her what she was going to do on the bus…sleep was the answer.

She also got to see her nephew Mikey for just a little bit.

Paige and Mikey

Mikey watched the game and was especially interesed in the Zamboni…typical for a little boy!

Blog Signature

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Recipe Report

It was an adventure in cooking this week.  Far Guy and I work pretty good in the kitchen together…he tends to read EVERY instruction and I tend to go with the flow …he measures and I do not. I irritate him more than he irritates me.

I hit the jackpot with my Kraft Food and Family Magazine for recipes this week. I subscribe to their magazine but many of their recipes can be found online.  As a disclaimer I receive no compensation from them.

First we made a root vegetable latke…with shredded potatoes, sweet potato and parsnip.  Far Guy gave it an 8 and I gave it a 7.  It was served with carrots and pan fried pork chops.

Root Vegetable Latke

Here is the comparison photo.  If I had left it under the broiler longer it would have been browner…or if I had smeared butter on the top!

The next night we worked together on BBQ Adobo Chicken.  Yummy… it even awakenedold people’s taste buds we didn’t know we had!  We both gave it a 10! 

BBQ chicken

It was a keeper recipe.  I modified it a bit. 

Combine 4 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garlic salt and 1/2 tsp cumin.  Cover your chicken with this mixture.  Heat oven to 400 place chicken on olive oil sprayed foil lined baking sheet.  Bake about 45 minutes ( for thighs) longer or shorter depending on your chicken pieces. Mix 3/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce  and 1/4 cup ketsup.  Baste chicken and bake about 8 more minutes, flip, baste some more and then bake another 8 minutes. We like our chicken done but not dry…pull off the bone juicy is good.

This chicken was served with leftover root vegetable latke.

Finally I was the sous chef for Far Guy’s Adventure.  He made a Cheesy Sausage Frittata with Red Peppers.

I think he would just as soon have me be a silent sous chef in his kitchen.


We gave it an 8 out of 10.  I will modify the recipe a bit…cut the eggs to four and we won’t have leftovers.  Chance liked it too.  This dish can be prepared the night before you need it for breakfast.  Or made in the afternoon and refrigerated until you bake if for supper cause it is a dark dreary cold day and you need a nap.

This frittata was served with fruit.

I have made recipe cards as requested, Far Guy said “Well are you going to keep that magazine forever or will the recipes we like be lost?”

Can you tell with the first bite and taste if you like something?   I can.  Far Guy has to have about four bites to make a decision...sometimes the food tastes better to him after a couple of bites.

Blog Signature

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran’s Day

Today is the day to thank all the Veterans in our lives. Those that serve now and those who have served.  Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air National Guard, Army National Guard at home or overseas….THANK YOU!

connie blog headers-p0077 (2)

Far Guy

Family_Veterans_Day (2)

My baby brother, my nephew, my dad and my husband.  Thank you all!

Luckily these family members made it home.

My Paternal Grandparents were not so lucky. Five of their twelve sons were in the military.

They all returned but one.


Arthurs Gravesite

My Uncle Arthur is buried in the Sicily Rome American Cemetery in Italy.  He was 23 years old when he was wounded and died during the invasion of Italy.

Some gave all.

Blog Signature