Friday, September 22, 2017

Cards and a Hand Update

I received a few Get Well I am glad your surgery is over cards!  Then I got a package in the mail from Kansas with some books to keep me occupied!  Thank you all, it is great to get unexpected mail!

Get well books and cards

Then it was my birthday and a few more cards showed up in the mail.

Birthday cards

That cake is filled with a whole lot of candles!

My parents took us out for a late lunch/early supper yesterday and my Mom made a cake with coconut and brown sugar frosting!  They both said that they didn’t think they would live long enough to see a child as old as me.. I replied “I didn’t think I would ever be this old either”  and we all laughed.

My Mother sewed a new kitchen curtain valance for my birthday.  I dropped that hint on her a few months ago when I saw a fabric I fell in love with that is part of a Minnesota Collection. We got out one of my old curtains for a pattern and when I clean the shade and wash the window I will put it up and take a photo.

The hand report.

I am three weeks post carpal tunnel release surgery today.  I have burning in two areas of my wrist/hand.  It is still swelling.  I ice it all night and sometimes during the day.  I take Aleve and Ibuprofin every day. I have good mobility but there are still some things I cannot do.  Like wring out a wash cloth…or my hair ( I have long grey hair)…pull anything toward me…like heavy drawers, open bottles of anything, push the car door open.  Three weeks and I have not driven the car…heck I cannot drive a grocery buggy so I let Far Guy drive.  Pushing, pulling  or reaching out is painful, anytime the palm of my hand comes in contact with anything I have pain.…I am getting real used to being a lefty. It is very possible that I have nerve damage and it will just take time and patience to recover.  Sometimes I am sorry I had the surgery…but then I recall the pain I had before…six of one half a dozen of the other….at least there is a chance that this burning pain will go away…someday. Getting old is not for sissies.

A bit of good news I had a biopsy taken from a small growth above my eyebrow.  It is just some kind of cyst and not cancerous per my dermatologist who went over every inch of my body. She likes doing small surgeries so I think I made her day by having something that looked troublesome that she could remove.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017


My husband is very supportive of my “art.”

Prismacolor pencils

This was part of my birthday gift. Prismacolor pencils in every shade you can imagine.

My first thought was “They are too pretty to use.”  Silly me… of course I will use them!  I have an older set of 24 that I absolutely love!

Making a mess on my desk

My hand/arm is still giving me fits, it swells and has a burning pain in two spots.  A bit of coloring is good therapy. I cannot do it for too long but at least I feel like I am accomplishing something.

Far Guy is helping me stamp the Christmas Cards, I cannot stamp anything yet.  I hope in another week I see great improvement so I can go to the Craft Retreat pain free.

Thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes yesterday!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: 1958 My 7th Birthday

In September of 1958 I was 7 years old.

7th birthday 1958

In 1958 I was in first grade, and my baby brother was four years old, my other baby brother was not even a twinkle in my Dad’s eye yet nor was my sister. My Dad would have been 32 years old that Fall.

My Mother took this photo and baked the birthday cake.  We are standing on the south side of the house in front of the Honeysuckle bush/tree.  This was the old house before it was remodeled.  That is my bedroom window, my room was just off the living room, it was small with just room enough for a single bed and a dresser… My brother was probably still sleeping in his crib.

Back in 1951 I was born at 1:20 AM and weighed 7 pounds and 11 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long.  My Dad was in Korea when I was born. I would go home with my mother to my Maternal Grandparents home.

Yes I am older today.  You can do the math. 

Later today Far Guy will take me out for a late lunch/early supper where I will have a half strength frozen original margarita to celebrate.  (Full strength makes me sleepy and looking for a place to nap it off.)

Happy Birthday to me!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017


After visiting the wolves we headed to the North American Bear Center.
North American Bear center
This is their sculpture surrounded by flowers.
We went on a tour that didn’t impress me.  It was called a back stage tour.  I thought the holding pens were small and that yes a bear in a cage will eat peanuts out of a persons hand…but what did that teach us?
Bear in jail eating peanuts
Bear jail
After that tour we went outside to the parking lot and took photos of their flowerbeds.
The next tour was an hour later and was called an Enrichment Exercise.
bear heading out of the woods
There is inside viewing or outside above on a catwalk.  We chose outside.
a bear
They threw some food out to get the bears attention, and then put some kind of feed in the feeder part of the bear scale.
bear scale
They said that the bears are not particulary hungry this time of year as they are done bulking up eating everything in sight and are on the verge of hibernation.
The bears are fed lettuce, almonds, seeds, berries and grapes…oh an apples.  Apples are thrown into the water on hot days .
The bear pool
They put some grapes in the tire that they threw out for the bear.
Bear disapperaing into the woods
After the bear finished she sauntered off into the woods.
Bear on a rock
Jen and I talked about what we would do next as we figured the bear sighting was over when the bear came back.
This one only stayed a short time and took of into the woods also.
All of the bears there (four) have been rescue bears,  several were raised in homes, some were rescued when their Mothers died. Two male and Two females…Ted, Lucky, Tasha and Holly.
The grave of one of their older bears was out near the flower beds. Honey came to the center as a ten year old along with Ted, a couple in Wisconsin had raised them but could no longer care for them.
This Center for Bears serves a purpose, it rescued bears that would have otherwise been euthanized.  Their enclosure was 2 1/2 acres…and they let the bears out during different times of the day…not everyone gets along together.
We headed out for a little shopping and onward to Grand Rapids to the Trial Gardens before meeting Far Guy in Bemidji…we returned home safely Saturday night.  It was a fun adventure!!
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Paws first

Saturday morning Jen and I got up early and headed to find a place to eat.  We ended up at the Chocolate Moose for breakfast.  I had eggs, ham, hash browns and cranberry wild rice toast.

The International Wolf Center was our first stop as they opened the earliest.

Wolf sculpture

Wolf Sculpture

International Wolf Center

Jen at the Wolf Center.  It is her birthday today!  A number of years ago she was born  and once reaching 40 she declared she was going backwards instead of forward… Happy Birthday Jen!  Thank you for the adventure!

The International Wolf Center is an educational center, they understand that there is much controversy about wolves. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. 

There were only four other people in the viewing room at various times.  The wolves were out the entire time we were there.  They have a 1 1/2 acre enclosure.  All photos were taken from inside through the glass.

They have five wolves on display and two wolves in a retirement area who are not viewed except on camera.

Wolf  largest one

A Northwestern Gray Wolf this guy is the largest wolf his name is Denali. He is one impressive wolf.

Timber wolf

Great Plains Wolf or Timber Wolf…the kind we have here in Minnesota. This is Boltz born in 2012.  He was more standoffish than the other wolves.

waiting wolves

Arctic Wolves these two are characters they are young and playful. They were born in May of 2016 in captivity in Canada. They are brothers Axel and Grayson.  (Boltz in the background.)


The other Northwestern Gray Wolf Aidan who was born in 2008. Aiden is the leader of the pack.

All of the wolves are males and they have all been neutered.

Artic Wolves stiring up mischief

The Arctic Wolves playing. In this photo you can see how the wolves vary in color.

Wolves 2 artic 1 Timber wolf 2 North West Wolves

Arctic, Timber and Northwestern wolves. 

I really enjoyed watching the wolves and learning a bit more about them.  Did you know they only eat once a week?   At the Center they eat deer…road killed deer.  We were fortunate to see them, one of the volunteers said many people don’t see them at all as they are elsewhere in the enclosure.

Next stop in Ely Minnesota is Claws!

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Paws and Claws Adventure

Jen and I headed North.  We met up  in Bemidji, where I found out where we were going. It was a 200 mile trip for me and 276 miles for Jen to one of the coldest places in Minnesota. The top three coldest places in Minnesota are International Falls, Embarras and Ely.

Ely Minnesota

Ely is a small town abot 3,900 people and real touristy.  Ely is the gateway to BWCA  (Boundary Waters Canoe Area).  It is similar in size to Park Rapids but it is a hilly area.  I pictured it as being quite flat. Ely is also known as “The end of the road.” To go further North in this part of Minnesota you need a canoe.

The Inn in Ely

We stayed in a small Inn.  An older home converted into an Inn.  The rooms were comforatable and clean, hot water took awhile to come upstairs in the attic room.

What brings us to Ely?

Jen would say “Because we can.” Jen likes adventures and going places she has never been.


Paws and claws.

paws and claws

It was an amazing experience!  More tomorrow!

We both arrived safely back home last night…me with 394 photographs to sift through.  Jen may have more than that as she carries two cameras.

Far Guy and Chance did just fine in their 28 hours all alone. 

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Saturday, September 16, 2017


The email from Jen said “I’m going to take you on an adventure. Leaving Friday coming back on Saturday. More details to come.”

Later she asked if I wanted to know or if I wanted it to be a surprise.  At my age surprises are few and far between.

So it is a surprise…I have no idea where we are going… I am to bring my camera and pack an overnight bag.   Far Guy knows where I am going he said “I have never been there before.”  Who knows if he was fibbing or not.

I suspect it will involve taking photos of flowers or wildlife or a lake…we will see.   I asked if I need my passport and Jen said “No.”  So we are not going to Canada.

The leaves are changing rapidly so maybe we will just drive around looking for stuff to photograph.


Jen’s roses last week.

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Friday, September 15, 2017


I spent the afternoon sorting beads.  I have a few projects that I would like to do at a retreat at the end of the month and I wanted to get some supplies together. Sorting beeds can be done with your left hand.  I am getting better at using my right elbow too…it can shut doors.

Far Guy is like a sweeping acorns…he hollers… enough!  He says I must be getting better because I am argumenative.  He says when I am really sick/in pain I don’t argue a bit…he also asked if I was ready to do the other hand yet?  Nope not so much…I hope it never requires surgery.

A family member suggested that I tape my arm to my body.  Another one asked “Why in the world were you doing dishes?’  duh…cause they were dirty?


See neat and orderly…those black ones in between the red ones might get moved…my OCD/CDO may take over.


Two packets ready to go to retreat. I must have been in a pink/green mood.

I am not certain that I will be able to use my hand enough to stamp Christmas Cards at retreat, watercolor and assembly perhaps but stamping takes a bit of motion that causes me pain.  I have some stamped but I know I don’t have 120 of them stamped…I may have to recruit my most handsome handy husband to help me one day next week.

My hand is better, but it still insists on swelling and is painful when used too much.  I am trying to take it as easy as I can.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017


The smoke from the fires in Canada and the Western United States is here again.

The smoke

The smoke blocks out the sun.

the sun

Far Guy struggles to breathe in the poor quality air.

It was very warm yesterday 83 F or  28 C eh!  That is warm for us in September.  We might get some rain in the next couple of days and maybe that will clean up the air.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: High School Football

Fall is in the air.  When we were in High School it was always Friday Night Football.

Football Team 1967 maybe

This was about 1966 or 1967.  You cannot tell from the photos but the school colors were Orange and Black.

I wonder if I could still sing the school song?   We had pep fest on Fridays when there was a Home Game, I think it was at 2:45 ( Gravy says 2:50) in the afternoon.   The cheerleaders would lead cheers, the Principal and the Coach would talk and introduce the players and we would sing the school song. School was out at 3:12.  ( Far Guy says he never went to a pep fest except for Homecoming… and he thinks it was all of sixth period and he snuck out early and went home.)

The only cheer I recall. ( It is a great ear worm that may stick with you all day!)

We are the Panthers

mighty mighty panthers

everywhere we go o

people want to know o

who we are r

so we tell them

we are the panthers mighty mighty panthers

  P. A. N. T. H. E. R. S. GO FIGHT WIN!

Oh yes that school song was called

The Cassion Song

Zis Boom Bah – Ki Yi Yah
Rah Rah Rah for PR High
as Park Rapids goes zipping along.
Pile the score on the stack
For the Orange and the Black
As Park Rapids goes zipping along.
For it’s Ki Yi Ye on to victory
shout out you boosters loud and strong.
For where e’er you go you will always know
That Park Rapids goes zipping along
That Park Rapids goes zipping along!

I don’t recall the words exactly like it is on the school website…but is is real similar. ( For the record Far Guy knew it was called The Cassion Song but could not recall the words….he must have missed all the pep fests.)

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Take it easy

I am sidelined.  The Physician’s Assistant said “You are doing too much your wrist is swollen.”  Duh it was swollen before the surgery. “Your fingers are still numb.” “Don’t lift anything more than two pounds for a month”  Heck even Chance’s water dish weighs more than that. “Don’t do any repetative motions where you pull your fingers toward peeling potatoes”…. oops like peeling carrots and potatoes for soup?  “ No doing dishes.” oops… “Keep it dry another week or so” …the warm soaks in the bathtub did not impress her.

Far Guy and I just looked at each other.  It was the first we had heard of all these rules.  The surgeon said I could move my fingers and thumb immediately after surgery and get the hand wet after the big bandage came off.  I re read his instructions that we were given, he and his PA must have different views. I wonder how much they communicate? 

The tumor was a Lipoma and the pathology report came back just fine. So that was good news.

A very nice LPN came in and took out my stitches.  She put on some steri strips.  I asked how long she thought they would last …she said “A week, maybe longer wait for them to fall off.”

One trip through Wally World and they were falling off. 

At least the stitches are history.  I cannot woodcarve for awhile, but I have other hobbies that I can attempt.

piece of crap steri strips 

The itching from the strips was intense.  I wasn’t going to make it 7 days with these strips. I did make it eight hours. I spoke with our daughter that is a Nurse Practitioner, she said if it was itching really badly perhaps I was allergic to the steri strips…possibly… so I took the strips off.

After I took the they should last a week steri strips off.

uncovered arm

I tried some different bandages.  None of them worked for me.  Finally I made my own.


A bit of gauze a brand new sock cut in half and a bit of vet wrap to hold it all in place.  Vet Wrap is what I use to protect my thumb at carving.  I have rolls of it in all colors…there is a human equivalent called Coban but the Vet Wrap works just as good and is less expensive.  I will wrap it like this during the day and let it air dry at night.

I am finally the most comfortable I have been in a long time. I actually feel like doing something…and then I remember I am supposed to take it easy.

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