Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lilacs and other stuff

The lilacs are in full bloom.

Lilacs in full bloom

It has been cool and most days rainy.  Not much rain in the rain guage, mostly just enough to make you wet and shivery cold.

Yesterday was party cloudy and we saw the sunshine for the first time in a week.  I took the opportunity to get out my sprayer and kill some Poison Ivy.  Yes…death to the ivy, it is small and an easy target.

One rainy day I painted a bunch of bark houses that I had carved over the winter.


The one out front is one of my favorites.


Fun little carvings!

We are working on the design for this years Christmas Ornament…it is still in R and D.

Sadly one of our woodcarving friends died last week.  Norm was 88 years old, he was  a good carver and a kind gentleman.  Three days after he died his wife of 65 years died also. What a blow to their children.

Far Guy and I are the youngsters of the carving group…most are in their 70’s and 80’s…so I suppose we will lose many more woodcarving friends.  The group is always telling funny stories and laughing…and that is a good way to remember your friends.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Watery Wednesday : April 21 1997

The emails continue during the flood of 1997

Subject: Day 14 and still holding

Hello everyone, the water has gone down about 3 1/4 inches, still a long way to go.

Still pumping, the sump pump is still keeping up but we have a plan to add another pump soon, it is pumping alot of water every 35 seconds, Gene times it several times a day.

Sounds like the President will tour Grand Forks tomorrow all 50,000 residents have been evacuated.  Dick’s Store ( Radio Shack) has water inside, the hospital where Trica works was totally evacuated.  Trica and Dick let friends stay at their apartment in Buxton ND and they are now safely in Park Rapids with Dick’s parents.  It is total devastation up there in Grand Forks.  (A large area of downtown Grand Forks started on fire.)

At least here near Fargo we only have water to contend with.

We are getting really tired. Dad was here so we could sleep last night, he also brought us a larger boat one we can use in the rough water.

Moses came home also, he seems confused with all the water and little grass.  Captain and Mate went back home with Mom and Dad for a few more days.

We got to see Savannah for a few minutes Sunday afternoon, she has a cold, getting more teeth I think, she has crawling down to a fine FAST art now and is pulling herself up on furniture.  She was nine months old last week, time sure flys.

Jennifer is safe in Bemidji, no flooding there Thank goodness!

Gene is asleep now, I am headed for a long night, thanks for all your messages of encouragement.

Love Gene and Connie


Moses Captain and Mate visiting by boat  1997

Moses in front, Captain on the boat seat and G’Day Mate behind Captain.

The big boat 1997

Boat People! The bigger boat made for safer travel

Bigger boat and sandbags 1997

the view from the deck…sometime along the way the outlet for the sump pump was put into pvc pipe with some supports to keep the pipe in place…when doing rounds you had to step over it.  The boat is docked next to the sand bags.

Dog pen April 1997

The dogs fenced in area is still mostly water

The Garden shed about April 21 1997

The current opened the garden shed door.


It was about this time that everyone encouraged me to go into town with my Mom and have lunch.  I had not been out since the day we filed as disaster victims.

I was so used to water everywhere that I got dizzy because nothing was moving in town…I was the opposite of sea sick…I suppose you have to call it land sick.   I was happy to get back to our island home and all the water.

During the flood we received a couple of jugs of water, a bucket, a mop and a squeege to help with clean up from the Red Cross.  The items were dropped of at “The Landing.”   No sandwitches…or coffee… or anyone from the Red Cross asking what we needed.  From that point on I decided that I would never donate to the Red Cross ever again.

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Links to other blog posts about the flood of 1997

April 19

April 18

April 16

April 13

April 10

April 9

April 8

April 6

March 19

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Four Grands : May 19 2017

Four of our five grands were a photo op.

The grands May 19 2017

Then we noticed that Adam may be taller than Noah…it could happen.

The boys

Adam was proclaimed taller by a hair maybe two.

In order the grands

So this is the newest line up. Shortest to tallest.

Maddie has two inch heels on

Then Maddie said “Hey I am taller than Paige!”  Paige replied “Yeah and you have two inch heels on your boots and I have my tennies on.  No fair.”

Maddie’s baby is due on Saturday May 27, but the Doctor says the baby will be born Thursday or early Friday for sure. We will see.  Mikey’s  crochet blanket is all done…the baptismal gown not so much.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Noah : The Graduation Party

In a small town where there are only 28 students in the graduating class the whole town celebrates.  People wander from place to place on the night of graduation.

The support begins at the Graduation Ceremony.  As we walked into the gym there were long tables with a paper bag with each graduates name on the bag.  Jen deposited cards for most all of the kids graduating.

Grad bags

After the Graduation we headed back to Andy and Jens for the party.

Taco Bar

The main feature was a Taco Bar with all the fixins.

Slide show and cupcakes

There was a slide show behind the cupcakes.  They shared space with a candy offering of Nerds for Nerds, Gummy Worms for Bookworms, Smarties, $100,000 Candy Bars for Student Loans and probably a few I missed.


There was table for cards and a photograph to sign as the guest book.  There was a book of letters from his parents that began when he was born and several photographs.


Outside there was a Smores Bar set up near the firepit.  It was a chilly night so a fire felt really good.

Smore bar

It was a good gathering, we made it through the Taco Bar to douse our chips with Far Guy’s Dip and enjoy some time visiting…we skipped out after the fire was lit and it began to get dark to make our way home.

Noah on Graduation Day

It was a fine celebration for Noah!  He will be attending the University of North Dakota in the Fall majoring in Chemistry in preparation for a career in Medicine.

Today also happens to be his 18th birthday!  Happy Birthday Noah!!

Far Guy’s Dip

Brown 1 Pound of Italian Sausage

Add and stir until creamy

A can of Hormel Chili with no beans

1 plus pounds of Velveeta Cheese

A brick of Philly Cream Cheese

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers sliced, add as many or as few as you like

A double recipe fills a regular size crock pot!  This is a favorite dip which all our “grands” enjoy!  It is known as “Grandpa’s Dip.”

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Noah: High School Graduation

On Friday we headed north with two coolers of potato salad and Cheezy Italian Sausage dip.  The weather was cool.  When we arrived we helped cover tables and get things ready for the party.  Jen and Andy were very organized.

Tent for the party

The tent was set up in their backyard.  It did not rain but the weather was cool.

We dined on hamburgers, brats, potato salad and caramel bars before heading over to the school for the graduation.

2017 Class

The Fisher High School Class of 2017.

Getting the diploma

Noah getting his diploma.

The students with the highest grade point average gave a short speech.

Grad speech

Noah is a soft spoken gentleman and so was his speech.  It was about graduations, he has graduated twice now and moving forward to be the best you can be.

Proud parents

Noah and his parents.

Noahs Cap and gown

Congratulations Noah!


Here he is just about ready to get a hug from his Mom!

Graduation was a 7PM afterwards we headed back over to the house for the Graduation Party.  More on that tomorrow.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Flags and a wreath

I put up some new flags.

Flags for mid may

It was mid May and time for a change!

Wreath by the door

Not quite Thyme to Garden…usually no one plants anything until after Memorial Day.  

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Friday, May 19, 2017


We had a number of visitors to our yard yesterday.

There are at least three Hummingbirds.  Two large ones and one itty bitty.


My feeder is red glass the sugar water inside is clear.

Blue Jay

This big old Blue Jay hung out for awhile.


One Oriole is here feasting on grape jelly and oranges.  We hope his friends join him soon.

Pileated Woodpecker

This is a Pileated Woodpecker.  He is here year round and hard to photograph…I was at the right place at the right time.  He is one huge bird and loves the suet feeders.

The last visitor of the day was a Coyote in the driveway.  We are keeping Chance company when he goes out.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017


A few things are blooming in our yard. 

Purple Leaf Sandcherry in bloom

The Purple Leaf Sandcherry is in bloom.  I need to give it a trim soon.

Double Flowering Plum

The Double Flowering Plum suffered with a few night time temperatures and instead of being covered with blooms it only has a few blooms.


My beautiful Dandys have gone to seed. 

The Lilac has no flower buds.  I have a number of Lupines that have come up, now that will be fun unless they are frozen.  Our weather is cool…Daytime highs in the 50’s and lows at night 30’s to 40’s.

My temperature turned into a real sore throat, and now I have some “fullness” in my ears. I think I may live.  Far Guy has it too but his sore throat is lasting longer than mine did, good thing we have a bounty of food in the freezer.  We have been staying home and resting as needed to recover.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Watery Wednesday : April 19 1997

The emails from 1997 continue.
Subject: Sat…still here

Hello everyone, we are still holding our own, Day 11 of high water.

Grand Forks is in trouble, talked to Gene’s Cousin Bonnie and Wayne, they are getting ready to evacuate.  Fargo is not in wonderful shape either, today is sunny and clear, no rain yet!

It is getting to be a really long time stranded, heard that UND closed for the rest of the semester, so there may be hope for NDSU to do the same, have not been in any shape to study.

It is encouraging to get all your messages, we appreciate the life line out of here! 

The water has receded an inch in the last 24 hours, we have two pumps going full time, two more just part time.  Everything is still pretty soggy, pray for NO rain.

Gene was really discouraged yesterday. WATER, WATER, he has never been real patient.  He got a good nights rest, I let him sleep til he woke up.  I watched TV in between dike watch, some old movies.  We had a muskrat looking for solid ground, I scared him as much as he scared me, I think he was on the dike but swiftly swam away.

Geese and ducks are going north, Gene says they are all laughing at us dumb people as they fly over.  We have many birds on our island, I am feeding them, even the poor sparrows and grackles.  We have a whole group of robins getting worms out of my south flower bed up next to the house.

We will hang in there another day, wish we could have some idea of when this will be over.  Sometimes we think it will never end. 

Hope you are all fine.  Gene and Connie
April 19 water
Our island home
April 19 water 2
Water flowing between us and the neighbors to the north.
Backyard water April 1997
View from the deck…that Mugo Pine caused us so many problems.  When the original sand bags were laid, some were laid on the branches and that cause the dike to leak.
View of house front April 1997
Our Cul de sac
The radio station KFGO was our lifeline, our radio was hardly ever turned off. We used our computer for email and to check river levels.
Other than a neighbor boating over,  or my parents bringing supplies we had no company…it was just us and the water…an enormous amount of water.  Water as far as the eye could see.
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chance: Company

I had visitors on Sunday!  My best friends ever and my sister and her husband.


The beautiful Miss Miney is losing some of her hearing and little Elvis is well…Little Elvis! He is a character. They visited my groomer on Monday morning!

I need to report that Far Side has a temperature and has something brewing…not sure what yet… she got a great report from the allergy Doctor all the food allergies she has had the past 20-30 years have disappeared!!  She can eat pinepple and strawberries again…maybe even celery and mushrooms!  The Mayo Clinic says she is allergy free!   Her allergy Doctor says to take Zyrtec for the itchy eyes she gets when the pollen is bothersome.