Tuesday, February 28, 2017

They’re back

The little Redpolls are back.   They are about twenty days later this year.  I am not certain what moves them from place to place….food, weather, boredom?

Redpoll in a tree

They are the only birds we have that attack a thistle feeder like there is no tomorrow.     (The Goldfinches will give them a run for their seeds later in the spring.)  I cleaned out their feeder really good, we also have  a hanging thistle feeder sock that the squirrels attacked, although my sewing skills suck I can wield a needle and thread good enough to patch a feeder sock.  I have purchasd a replacement and will not be patching that one again…there is a limit to my sewing skills.

Chance thought it was a gold mine when I dumped the feeder out in the snowbank to clean it.   He is now tracking in seeds, some of which hang onto his chin hairs and find their way into his water dish…silly dog.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

New Great Niece

Our Niece Megan gave birth yesterday to Vivian Irene, my other baby brother and she who sees robins first now have thirteen grands.  When I meet her I will take a photo so you can see what a pretty little thing she is. She weighed 9 pounds and 8 ounces.

She joins her two big brothers (two years and four years old) so that will be a busy family!  My other baby brother, Jody stopped by to show me the photos of her….and to tell us that the baby started coming real fast on the way to the hospital…they had to call 911 and be diverted to a different hospital complete with police escort with paramedics and six nurses waiting…it was a bit of excitement in Perham Minnesota early Sunday morning.  There was a Doctor in the ER that was not real thrilled about delivering a baby when the OB Doc showed up. Twenty minutes after arriving Vivian was born.  Many of the little hospitals in Minnesota do not have Labor and Delivery rooms anymore.  They were headed for a hospital 55 miles away and ended up in a brand new hospital 35 miles from their home with labor and delivery facilities.  Thankfully mother and baby are fine and Frank didn’t have to deliver the baby along the side of the road!

Vivian is named after her Mother, her Grandmother and her Great Grandmother…they all share the middle name Irene.

I am excited to meet her!

Birth of a Sunflower

Birth of a sunflower!


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Sunday, February 26, 2017

The last days of February

I am making absolutely no headway lately on the ongoing projects. It doesn’t help that I flit from one project to the next…or dream up new things I want to try.  I am real good at adding projects…several too many have been added. Then there are projects I didn’t put on the list …like taxes.  February is almost over and it is discouraging that I am not  able to cross some things off my list…and this next week is real busy with dental appointments and a medical procedure for Far Guy. 

The solar lights are beginning to emerge from the snowbanks.

emerging from the snow bank

Next summer I should put another coat of glitter on my bowling ball…it has faded in the sun…but that is a summer project. 


The solar lights are a welcome sight at night when I walk Chance…most are blue and turn the snow around them blue.  It looks like glacial ice…a beautiful blue color!

It has turned colder here, and it snowed again yesterday…but not enough to shovel…which made me REAL happy.  I am thankful it snowed instead of raining.   This winter has had it’s share of rain and ice far more than any other year I can remember.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Maddie: Baby belly and a ring

Our Granddaughter Maddie is engaged to be married a few years from now.  As I undertand it her beau put the ring over a game controller while she was out of the room…when she returned she discovered it and her beau went down on a knee and asked her to marry him.  So now she has a fiancĂ©.

Maddies ring

As you probably know our first Great Grand will arrive this spring.

February 18 Maddie and Baby

26 weeks and 2 days

The baby is incubating quite nicely, but refused to kick for me.  Maddie very graciously let me feel of her belly.  I asked first…as I recall I didn’t want everyone touching my belly when I was pregnant.

I have had fun shopping and guessing what this baby will need.  I buy larger clothing.  I had a bag full that now grew into a small tote that is overflowing.  I have not started on the blanket yet either…I need to decide on a pattern and the yarn..blue.  There is a baby shower being planned.

I am looking forward to this bundle of joy…if he is as easy to care for as Maddie was as a baby then she has it made.  She didn’t thrive on breast milk, but did well on formula.  She like to eat and be burped and to be laid in her crib to go asleep all by herself…none of the snuggling with Grandma in a rocking chair for her…once you laid her in her crib and kissed her goodnight she would smile at you, turn her head and close her eyes…and in a minute or two she was fast asleep.

One time Far Guy was babysitting for the grand girls, it might have been when Paige was born.  Maddie was so fussy and he couldn’t figure out what she wanted, so he called me (I was home taking care of the Greenhouse)…I asked him what he fed her…green beans…fruit…some kind of chicken.  I told him to warm up another can of green beans and let her eat as many as she wanted… she started stuffing  them in her mouth with both hands…her Grandpa was amazed that she could eat so much. She stopped fussing after her tummy was full.  I told him how to put her to bed, kiss her goodnight and cover her with her blankie with the satin edge toward her face so she could grab the edge between her fingers.   He later reported to me that it worked just like magic.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Making Cards

One day I got out my stamping supplies and did some “Thinking of you” cards.  It was great fun to stamp, watercolor and use glitter glue.  I use watercolor pencils and then a water brush…it practically makes you think you are an artist!  Watercolor paper is a must for this project.

glittery cards

I ran out of all ocassion cards with flowers on them so I am in the process of making some of those too.

Making cards

I still have a glut of paper in my desk so the card making will continue. ( I might be a paper hoarder…but I don’t have to go to town when I need a piece of paper! ) I have not purchased a card in years.  The fancy edge is made with a border cutter…it is fun to use. The fancy corner is made with a corner punch…mine happens to be a Fiskers but there are many kinds out there.

My desk is a mess and it will be until I am done with this project.

It turned colder here and no snow melted yesterday.Snowy yard

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Thursday, February 23, 2017


It rained and then it snowed on Wednesday afternoon…we are stuck in weather that isn’t winter and it isn’t spring…what is it Sprinter or Winting??


I heard that “the cities” and parts of southern Minnesota may have record snowfall in the next few days.  I am glad we are getting missed…I don’t feel left out at all.

We had company yesterday from Davenport North Dakota…old friends.  They brought a picnic lunch and we enjoyed it together.

During our visit Odda came a calling to see Chance.  They hung around outside until Odda’s ride showed up.

Snow Feb 22

It started to snow right after our company left.  I worked on greeting cards for awhile and got sleepy so I settled in on the couch to watch a very interesting documentary on Netflix called Harry & Snowman.  It was excellent and I give it five stars out of five.  I did fall asleep but the beauty of Netflix is that when I woke up I just reversed it to where it was when I got sleepy.  It was about a horse and a man…and yes you need some kleenex toward the end.

My ongoing projects are still ongoing not much progress is being made lately.  I have too many things in the works at one time..a lot going on but nothing FINISHED.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Midway Memories: Recollections

Ever been for a ride on an Zonkey? 

Gene Holter postcard

Far Guy met the Holter’s, they had a daughter named Gail and a son named Bobby.  They played fairs throughout the midwest so they would often end up on the same fairgrounds.  The kids were friends.

Far Guy says:

Gail had a pet kitten, it was a Cheetah.  One time she brought it by the joint when I was working and the kitten jumped from the ground to the top of the diggers and started to lick my face…the tongue of a Cheetah kitten is like 80 grit sandpaper.   Later that day she came over to the trailer when we were closed for supper.  She was sitting on the couch.  Dad told her “We have a wild animal too…locked up in the back bedroom.”  I asked her if he should let it out.  So here is this gal who works with elephants, ostriches, zonkeys and camels…jumping up on the couch when we left our Chihuahua out of the back bedroom.

During the grandstand show they would put a bridle and saddle on the zonkey, they would get a person from the crowd…usually a cowboy…to try to ride it and they would get bucked off.  Then they would call for a volunteer kid from the crowd and the announcer would tell the kid what to whisper in the zonkeys ear.  The kid would get on the zonkey and the zonkey would just stand there and do nothing.  The kid that always came out of the crowd??  That was Gail.  So anyways Gail was telling me that the Zonkey might let me ride him…no saddle …no bridle…I got on and bounced twice the last time I fell off the back end and took a hoof right to the chest.  I was lucky that the damn thing didn’t kill me.  Gail just laughed.”

I rode the elephant one time, the skin on an elephant is really loose and hairy…it has the toughest hair. 

They used to have ostrich races, they took people out of the grandstand and gave them jockey suits…they were supposed to steer the ostriches…a broom was used to turn them…blinding them on one side would make them turn the opposite direction.   The doggone ostriches would turn this way and that, people were falling off left and right…it was a fun show to watch.  It was Bobby’s job to round up the ostriches.

Gene Holter was originally from North Dakota.  The last Far Guy knew Gail had an animal sanctuary in California and Bobby was in auto parts. 

Gene Holter postcard back

The reverse of the postcard.

The blind cowboy, he was genuinely blind, his wife helped him get around.  The horses would gallop past the grandstand turn around and gallop back all the while the blind cowboy stood on their backs.  Far Guy said he never met the guy but watched his show many times.

We have been carting around this over sized postcard for years…and here it sparked a couple of great recollections!

Celebrities he saw:  Gene Autry in West Union Iowa, Johnny Cash in West Union Iowa, The Lone Ranger in Preston Minnesota, Wanda Jackson in Nebraska someplace.   Gene Autry was supposed to sing Back In The Saddle on the Merry Go Round, but something happened and his agent wouldn’t let him.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Crazy Weather

It rained just like summertime...  In February.  I think it may have thundered, Chance hid.

When it rains on heavy snowpack it makes fog.

I call it snow fog but that may not be the correct term.

Two car lengths

You could see about two car lengths. 

Fog in Osage

I wouldn’t want to be walking.

Foggy Driveway

The driveway is slushy.

Summer time rain in Feb

The yard is a lake. When it freezes our yard will be a skating rink.   Late in the afternoon it rained really hard.  The path to the sauna is free of snow!

I heard that Detroit Lakes had snow thunder and hail.  It was 49 F or 9 C  eh!

We have April weather in February. 


There is still snow at the snowstick…but who knows for how much longer.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Adam: Braces and Nationals

Adam got rid of his braces.  He now wears a retainer, he said his teeth were sore for a few days but they are getting better now.  I told him that when his Mother had a retainer, she would take it out during meal time and wrap it in a napkin and then throw it away.  We would have to dig through the garbage for it…she did that at one time at school too where there is no going back to find it.

School is “fine”…he is a young man of many words. 


His Vex Robotic’s Team was at a Competition that if they placed well they would have advanced to the World Championship…they are going to National Championships instead.  I asked him what he learned, he said “Alot”  I asked him if he had a good time “Yes.”  He is looking forawrd to going to Nationals in April.

I asked him if he had a girlfriend for everyday of the week…he said “NO.”


There look at that perfect smile!

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Car History

I like red.  I especially like red cars.  Red is a cheerful color.  Have you noticed how many different colors of red there are…Fire Truck Red, Orange Red, Deep Red, Raspberry Red…

The Cruze was not red because the red one sold really fast so I settled for black…years ago I had a red Dodge Charger…oh how I loved that car.  It was an 1982 I think.  Brand new.

A week ago Far Guy test drove a different car…and he was sold on the vehicle almost immediately, but it was a charcoal color.  The red car came into the dealership last Thursday.  On Friday I took it for a drive and three hours later we left the black Cruze and brought the new red car home.


Chance was not real sure about this whole new car thing.


We put his car blanket in the back seat and he took his first ride.

New Ride

Winterberry Red is the color.

It is the new Sunday car.  It doesn’t get as good of gas mileage (only 28 - 32mpg) as the Cruze that almost always got better than 38 mpg, we only filled with gas every two months for the Cruze now I suppose we will have to buy gas once a month.  We are not exactly big travelers.

All Wheel Drive should get us through the snow.  The heated steering wheel and seats will be appreciated on really cold Minnesota winter days.

Back up camera

How cool is a back up camera? Yes the yard is a lake…it was 50F here yesterday.

Maddie asked “Why did you choose red?”  Jennifer answered “ Duh…your Grandma loves red cars.”

Andrew asked How many brand new vehicles have you had over the years?

1973 Gremlin (White)

1978 Plymouth Horizon a special order with a special paint job (Black with yellow, orange and red trim on the bottom.)

1982 Dodge Charger (Red)

1986 Dodge Caravan (Silvery Light Blue)

1990 Geo Metro (Red)

1995 Nissan Pickup (Torquoise Green)

2017 Buick (Red)

The 2012 Cruze (Black) was not new it was either a rental or a program car.  It had 18,000 miles on it when we bought it and had 52,000 miles on it when we traded it in.

The 2005 Chevy Tracker (Red) was also a program car, it had some miles on it when we bought it, it is a 4 X 4 and is it our everday vehicle that now has 152,000 miles. It has some rust…Minnesota roads are very salty.

Other vehicles that were not new.  1959 Desoto Station Wagon (Willow Green), 1966 Mercury or Dodge Caliente (White with a black vinyl top), 1968 GMC Pickup (Baby Blue), A 1963 Ford Cortina (We called it our English Ford and it was light green), 1974 Gremlin (Torquoise Blue), 1973 Ford Pickup (Black), 1984 Nissan Stanza (Tan), 1984 Ford Bronco II (Blue and White)…I drove the Bronco for 20 plus years…I still miss that vehicle.

So much for Car History.  Far Guy says the best vehicle he ever had was the Nissan Stanza…he called it his office because he spent four hours a day in it commuting to and from work in Fargo.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017


I cleaned out part of a cupboard.  Found some old peanuts in the shell that tasted horrible they were so old.  Far Guy sat them on the bench outside.  The gray squirrels must think we will poison them but the brown/black squirrel is not afriad.

One by one they disappeared.

Nuts Feb 12

He would grab one and take off and be back about three minutes later, he must have taken them to his nest in the trees on the east side of the house.  He entertained us for quite some time.

It was 49F here yesterday, we are melting!   You can see the ground at the edge of the road and black spots in the fields. 

I am certain that winter is not over, this is probably just a lull before a big storm that will jerk us back to reality.

I happened across my Aunt Elenor’s obituariy and entered it at Find A Grave.  Luckily I maintain that grave.  The local Find A Grave gal has been taking the last six months year off so nothing is getting updated.  Really frustrating for me.  I can still add photos but obits are just sitting in her emails as are requests for tranfers…NUTS.

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Friday, February 17, 2017


The sunset colors were beautiful last night.  Our weather has turned warm for February.  It was about 36 F yesterday or  2C eh!  Today it may be 50 F or 10 C  eh!!!
Susnset at the snowstick
Sunset Feb 16 2017
The colors were beautiful behind the naked Oaks.

I have been working at “stuff” on my desk all week.  No noticeable progress has been made.   Ongoing was sure a good word for me this year.  In the midst of clearing out drawers and files I found three or four more large projects.  The most important one is all the family stories that my Father has shared with me.  I took notes on what ever piece of paper I had when he was in a talking mood…it all needs to be organized. At least most of the notes are in the same place now.  I would like to get it all put together and have him go over it and correct it where needed.  The other three projects are important only to me and will probably go on the back burner for a bit.  
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

My Friend Eric

I have a friend.  His name is Eric.  I see him every grocery shopping day.  He works until 4 o’clock.   He bags groceries, or sweeps the floors…he doesn’t like sweeping very much but he gets it done.  Sometimes he wears a bow tie to work, Eric is short, he has light brown hair, sparkly eyes and a big smile.

I always look to see which checkout he is working at.  We have a “thing”  I don’t like my bread in a bag, I like it seperate and put in the front of the cart…Eric knows this and has known this for years.  Often times he jokes with me and says “What would you do to me if I squished all your bread in one bag?”  He often answers my glowering look  himself with “Guess I don’t want to find out.”  Often he will stop the cashier in her tracks if she starts to put my bread in a bag.

I think he waits for us on grocery day, one day we were a little late and he was on his way out the door…he said “Ya know I only work until four.  You should come earlier.”

Sometimes he is on cart duty, retrieving the carts from their corrals. This week as I got out of the car in the parking lot at the grocery store Eric met me with a cart.   He said “I figured you would be needing this.”  I said “Thanks Eric you are a doll!”  he said “I know and I think you are pretty special too.” So I gave him a hug! 

Sometimes Eric goes to the East Coast on an Airplane to visit his family.  He usually tells me when he is going and when he will be back.  His parents used to live in Park Rapids but they were elderly and needed to move in with Eric’s sister.  Eric stayed behind, he has his own house and his job.  He takes his job very seriously.  I am sure that he is never late for work. I am not sure that his employers know how fortunate they are to have Eric working for them.


Eric has Down Syndrome…an extra 21st chromosome…one that makes him extra special.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: Far Guy’s Birthday

Today is the day, 67 years ago Far Guy was born.  He was a “blue baby” now we know what that means.  It was the first sign  that he had Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency. Back then they didn’t know about such things and just called him a “blue baby.”

J G 1953 (2)

Far Guy and his sister in 1953

Don’t let the sweet smile fool you…he was a handful.  Typical boy into everything and had to try everything at least once or twice.  He often wishes that he had the Lionel train cars that were sacrificed for small explosions(Firecrackers) and those that were set on fire in the basement.

His Mom used to make him a birthday dinner, he always asked for shrimp, there was a french fryer in the basement  especially for french fries or shrimp. She would make him some kind of orange sherbet dessert…it was spread in a pan and put in the freezer until it was served…brownies with hard (boiled chocolate) frosting was another of her birthday specialties.

I asked him to do a photo shoot with Chance.

67 years old


Stop petting the dog

Stop petting the dog!

Chance and gene

All together say awwwww

Happy Birthday to our best friend!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine Flowers

Valentines Day.
Wally World was ready for the masses.

As we entered the building there was a huge display of orchids, we walked around the table and enjoyed all the different colors.  I have never had an orchid in the house…Far Guy went as far as to read that they like three or four ice cubes a week…I had forgotten that.

It was like a flower gauntlet.

It started to smell like a Funeral Home…you know that heavy “rose” smell that goes along with death… they were all ready in bunches…every color you would expect for roses…and a few I had not seen in years…pale lavender, white tipped in pink…sunset colors… and the usual pink in many different shades, white, off white, yellow, orange and of course red.  I must have smiled as I bent down to inhale the smell, different roses smell different…and it must have been a recent shipment as there was not a bent neck to be found…a few had brown edges on their petals…but as a whole they looked good….it might have been a Wally World Miracle!  My husband said “I should buy you some roses!”  I replied “Nope a trip through that aisle was good enough for me.”   He smiled.

Then there were typical red and white bouquets with plastic Be Mine hearts on a stick and balloons.  On past the cakes and cookies with every kind of pink and white frosting with valentine greetings and sprinkles.  IMG_4541
I have enjoyed my roses outside for many years. 
I wish you blue skies and sunshine and someone or some critter (cat or dog) to spend the day with.
We will be staying home, avoiding the masses that go out for supper.  We will dine at home.  Steak and lobster that we will prepare together and something chocolate!

Happy Valentine Day!
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