Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Cold

I have a cold.  Sore throat, cough, runny nose and ears that itch.  I came down with it on Thursday night.  Far Guy is showing symptoms too.  We must have picked up some germ at the clinic about 10 days ago.  Bummer.  Rest and plenty of fluids is on our agenda.


Close up of the Metallic Water Colors on Butterflies.

Chance is fine he doesn’t have a cold yet.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Exploring: Metallic Water Colors

Last Fall I purchased some metallic water colors and really never had the time to explore how they worked.

Remember my word for 2018 is Explore.

Playing with metallic water colors

They are easy to work with.

Shimmery Colors

I stamped a bunch of butterfly cards that will be all ocassion cards.  The watercolors give them a nice shimmer, I may add a bit of glitter…you can never have too much glitter….can you?

Nothing much is new here, it is warmer and we may get into the 30’s F yeah!  The Janurary thaw has arrived!

My Dad and I had another Bingo date…neither of us bingoed but we were close several times.  Dad was one number away from the $1,000  blackout…we will try again next week God willing and the crick don’t rise.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Chance : All about me

We got a Trail Cam just before Christmas, we can tell who comes and goes and how long they stay.  It has been pointed many different directions.

Mostly it catches me coming and going.  Helping to get the mail or feeding the birds or leading Far Guy around in the yard.

Gene and Chance

It also captures birds flying by, snow falling out of the trees and some weird glowing eyes at night and the Bunnies which I am not supposed to chase.

Far Side said she is amazed at the quality of the photos.

Yesterday was a get up at o dark thirty day, the old folks had to attend a class on Defensive Driving to save some $ on their automobile insurance.  They are pretty sneaky.  I got to go along but only as far as the groomers.  I got groomed and expressed and all those things that go along with a morning at the groomers.  I was very handsome but exhausted.   Everyone had a long afternoon nap after we got back home.

I still have some patchy dry skin problems.  I still have that nasty hemorrhoid/fistula/tumor too…Far Side likes the days that it totally disappears…but then it comes back again.  Now that I have been to the groomers my butt hair is much shorter, it will be easier to keep clean…or so someone says.  Far Side is real particular about my butt.  She says caring for an older dog is challenging and sometimes a crappy job.

I can go up the steps most days by myself, sometimes I need help and they put the harness with the handle on me.  I never come down the stairs by myself anymore.  I lay on the landing and when I want to come down I whine or bark…yes barking gets their attention, they bring up the harness and guide me down the stairs safely.  I play ball but not for very long.  I need help getting in and out of the car but I still like to go for a ride EVERY day!


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wistful Wednesday: Neighbors

Last week was a hard week for long time neighbors.  People that I have known nearly all my life…well since my parents moved to their farm in Carsonville township  in 1952.

Ruby.  What  a gal, she celebrated her Christmas Eve birthday of 100 years and lived 16 days longer than that.   She and her husband Bob owned the Texaco Station in Ponsford.  Bob and I shared a dog one summer.  A German Shepherd showed up at the farm, she would stay a few days and then be gone, a few days later she would show up again.  I named her Princess.  I snuck her food, but we had other dogs on the farm and didn’t need another.   One day we stopped at the Texaco station and there she was…the mystery was solved…Bob couldn’t figure out where she (Patsy) went or why?  We lived just over 4 miles away.  Ruby always loved that old memory of the shared dog.  Bob has been gone a long time (he died in 1999) and now sweet Ruby has joined him.  Their lake place on the west side of Shell Lake was a great place to swim in the summer and we were always welcomed. Hot summer nights before air conditioning spent on their dock is a fond memory for me as a kid. Last summer Ruby invited me to her birthday party and so when it rolled around I went…she was so happy to see the good turn out for her birthday. She made it to 100!  She said she would and she did.

metal (2)

The old Texaco sign still marks the spot of the old station in Ponsford.

Jim.  Jim died the day after Ruby.  Since they were good friends that used to play cards together all the time it is fitting that he died the day after Ruby.  They lived just a mile apart all their lives.  Jim was 94.  We used to have coffee with Jim and his wife Irene and talk about area history. Jim’s Grandpa Nunns family and Far Guy’s Great Grandfather Abbott family were neighbors up in Eramosa Township, Wellington County  Ontario Canada. They all made the trip together to Eunice Township Becker County first in 1889 and shortly therafter settled in Carsonville Township.  Jim used to say that his Grandpa was sickly and would have died in Canada, but the healing air of the pine boughs saved him here in Minnesota. ( Then he would wipe away a tear or two.)  Jim used to say that there were many Indian mounded graves in the area…one was right along the road.  He had lots of stories to tell.  One story I will share; Jim had a pretty good looking Stallion.  Our daughter Trica worked out a deal with him to have her horse “visit” the stallion for awhile….when asked what we owed for feed…he replied “The good Lord provided the rain and sunshine for a good pasture and there is no way I am charging you for that!”

Jim and his wife Irene were married for 72 years before she died in 2016. Up until that time they were constant companions.  Their children took turns caring for them on the farm until 2015 when Irene needed extra help so they moved into assisted living and away from their farm.

In years past we would enjoy seeing a team hitched up to a sleigh or a wagon taking kids and grandkids for a ride the old fashioned way.  “There goes Jim.”

St Theodores Ponsford

Saying goodbye to really old friends is hard.  Not many old timers around anymore.  Soon we will be the old timers….maybe we are already.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Deep Freeze

It warmed up briefly over the weekend and then it snowed, turned cold and we were thrust back into the deep freeze.  Cold temperatures along with a wind had the wind chills hovering from –30 to –50 below zero.

I took advantage of the warmer weather and took some photos outside…I had been inside the house way too long.  Cabin Fever will get to you sooner or later and a walk in the yard was the best medicine for that!


The glass flowers are holding up quite nicely.


The old Border Collie didn’t want to pose for a photo.


He was ignoring me.  I told him that the snow shows up so nicely on his black coat…but he still ignored me.  I should have had a treat in my pocket!

We got two+ inches of snow before going into the deep freeze again.  We should emerge from the deep freeze on Wednesday and it looks to be a warmer weekend!!  Something to look forward to!

We ran errands yesterday in the brutal cold, no fun at the gas station…or anyplace else.  We are stocked up again for another week.  Chance enjoyed his ride to town…he got REAL bossy as we were getting ready to leave and started whining and then barked at us…he was ready to go!

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Christmas Cards, Letters and Photos

Chance and Far Guy love their trips to the mail box during December. 

Since we send 120 Christmas Cards.  We get many in return.

I did find one of my Christmas Cards…tucked away in a box of cards that I sometimes take to carving when my hand is not up to working with a knife.

Christmas card 2017

2017 Christmas Card inside it said “Christmas comes anew each year to draw people in from the cold.”

The sled/birds design was a stamp, stamped on water color paper and embellished with markers and glitter then it was framed with a border of red (other colors were used too) and then mounted on the white snowflake embossed paper ( which I also embellished with some kind of glitter!)

Christmas cards

Yesterday I read through all the Christmas Cards and letters again.  Then they were either tucked away in a folder or recycled.

Christmas photo cards 

Photo Christmas Cards were looked at again and placed in a folder for a someday look back down memory lane.

Some letters were kept.  The letters are bittersweet; they told of struggles with cancer, deaths, births, lonliness after being widowed, and the usual what Far Guy calls “Brag” letters…we vacationed here and there and everywhere. Two letters in particular touched us this year…Jamie with her sense of humor and Bob and Sheila…  well I guess really only Bob writing about an old print of Rural 1950’s Farm life and never giving up on our dreams. Bob is a retired Pastor and he and Sheila are the other set of Grandparents to Noah and Adam.

Card from Sharon

Some cards had notes inside and some were on the front…like this one…from Sharon, her husband Gary was Far Guy’s best friend who died way too soon back in 1993.

The card count this year:

46 Christmas Cards

24 Christmas Photo Cards

22 Christmas Letters

Lots of good reading!

Ongoing Project:  Last year I organized all the Christmas letters and photos and put them in page protectors in three ring binders.  This year is was real easy to get out the binders and slip letters and photos where they belong.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Latest Woodcarving

Far Guy has been working on a woodcarving since last summer.  When he told me what he wanted to carve…I thought oh my is it possible?  He put it aside to help with the 100 fish for the Christmas ornaments.

Each petal is carved individually and then anchored into the stem. (Itty bitty holes are drilled, the petal end is sharpened and fit into the tiny holes and glued in place.) 

Asters before

The base is a piece of mesquite that came from our friend Norm’s stash.  No doubt he picked it up in Arizona. 

Saturday Far Guy asked…”What is your plan for the day?” I replied dishes, laundry and then I will find a photo of your Aster to see about the color you want it….he smiled. As I was blending the colors to get it just perfect..he hovered like an expectant father.


He has little holes on his carving station that holds many of his small projects.  He helped me paint the stems and leaves and after I finished the flower parts he sealed the whole work of art.

Asters after

It is just perfect.   A one of a kind…I am not sure he will ever design and carve another one like it.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018


Still cold.  It might warm up a bit on Sunday afternoon.

Chance is real bored, he wants to go for his ride…I cannot blame him.  He hasn’t been for a ride since Wednesday. 

I put away downstairs Christmas except for the Nativity set…I wasn’t ready to put that away yet.  The Christmas totes were gone through…we have a few Christmas decorations that belonged to Far Guy’s Mom…they found their way into a pretty box with a note explaining them.  So I explored the Christmas Totes….vacuumed their area and put them back. Dusted too if that counts.   A bunch of odd ball stuff was piled up to mark for a rummage sale.

The Shiny Brite tree is still up, I am not ready to put that away yet either.

Far Guy worked on his latest flower carving and it is awesome.  I will photograph it soon…before and after painting.

Chance slept…chased his treat ball around, pestered someone to play ball (I did) and he tried to lead us to his treat drawer many times…his restricted diet must be boring for him.    When I was cooking supper he was a pain…underfoot and insistant that he was hungry “NOW.”

Beads in the snow

I hope to make some more of these funky bead creations over the winter.  This one still looks good but it has faded a bit.  I bought some heavier copper wire which might work better.

Hope you all are staying warm. It was turdy below zero here.

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Friday, January 12, 2018


There were sundogs yesterday. They usually show up when it is really cold.  It turned cold…our high for the next couple of days will be a minus high.   I hate those days. The least it could do is be above zero.   I use my old point and shoot camera on really cold days.  There were sundogs on both sides of the sun.
We got very little snow out of Winter Storm Hunter …maybe two inches of snow.
about an inch maybe two
The front yard is sparkling white again. There are seven inches of snow at the snowstick.
I have been working on some all ocassion cards…watercolor…doing a bit of exploration into a few different techniques…in other words …playing.  I am not quite sure where the time goes but it seems to go by faster and faster everyday.
We will be staying home for the next few days…the windchills will be horrid.  I ventured out last night to take my Dad to Bingo…we each bingoed twice so we can go back again next week.  It was –20F or  -28C eh!  when I got home safely.
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Thursday, January 11, 2018


I took down the December flag and put up the Cardinal.

Flag Jan 10

We might get a winter storm…who really knows for sure. Winter storm Hunter.   Far Guy had a Doctor’s appointment in Fargo yesterday…the roads were all great and we stopped only one other place…Menards to get a new handle for the screen door…it was installed with a minimal amount of cussing.

Yard Jan 10 

The yard January 10th.  It was a warm day and the temperature was about 36 F  ABOVE zero…I knew it would not last….we are headed back into the deep freeze…but the mild temperatures for a few days were a real treat.

We have visitors every night right around dark.

Twilight Visitors

They like to get seeds under the Thistle feeders, Far Guy put out some carrots for them and some corn… I watch them through the window every evening as I make supper.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wistful Wednesday: Grandboys

This is the Christmas card our daughterJen sent out this year.

The boys (2)

The photo on the left was taken one summer afternoon when Adam and Noah were playing in the yard when they lived in Mapleton North Dakota.  The photo on the right was taken in November…that is Adam’s car.

It seems like only yesterday that they were little boys.  This card makes me smile.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Twinkling Like Stars

I finally got some time to play with a new set of pens from Jen and Andy.  I was waiting to get my desk cleared off to start this project!

Twinkling like stars

They are glitter pens…Copic Spica Glitter Pens that are Twinkling Like Stars!


I stamped some snowmen cards and played away.  I love the bright colors that sparkle.

cards on my desk

In fact I got a little carried away with my stamping…so my work box is full again.  I cut up a bunch of heavy watercolor paper and stamped away!  Yes… I have a small box of other glittery “stuff”  you can never have too much glitter.

We had a beautiful day here in Minnesota yesterday it was 29F…it felt awsome and warm!!  It gave us hope that winter will end someday.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for or accepted any Copic markers in exchange for this review…but if they want to send me some to try out I would welcome them!

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Don’t touch anything

The TV in the living room croaked.  It had sound but no picture. We measured and made a trip to town and bought a new one.  The old one went to the garage, it might be just one small part that can be replaced when it is warmer and then we will have a spare TV.  Repairmen charge one arm and two legs to repair anything nowadays.   The service call for repair would have been almost as much as a new TV.

My other baby brother and I have been trying to go to Bingo one night a week with our Dad.  Dad enjoys Bingo very much and it is good for him to get out.  For years my Dad had a friend named Darrell who was blind and had special Bingo cards…Dad would pick him up every week to go to bingo.   Dad would see that he got back into his home safely after bingo. Now we are trying to do the same for our Dad.

I came home from bingo last week and it is my custom to walk Chance since I have my parka on.   The walk went fine, Chance did his duty and then when I went to open the screen/storm door the door handle broke…it was only –19F that night….it had endured colder weather.   I jiggled and pulled, jiggled and pushed…it was really broken.  Luckily Far Guy heard the jiggling and came to our rescue…but once we shut the storm door again we were now locked inside.  Far Guy got out a screwdriver and took off the latch so at least we could exit the house if need be.  We need a new door handle or a whole new screen/storm door…whatever.

Far Guy said “What ever you do don’t touch me.”   It is our experience that things break in threes and we wonder what/who is next?

Chuckies flowers

Flowers last summer at my cousin Chuckies home.

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ongoing Projects

Every day or two I pick a project to FINISH.  My desk is cleared off now…so more projects will accumulate there.

Can you guess what this is?

what is it

I designed this pattern last year.  No it is not a winter bikini top for a skinny minnie with no boobs.   I used a heavy chenille yarn that is very soft. 


The sleigh bell Christmas ornament project is completed.  Well ahead of the 2018 Christmas deadline. I hope I don’t forget about them.

Tall bells with base

I contacted a “bell expert”  who said that these bells on a brass stand were most likely used on a dinner table and maybe the guests used them to ring in the new year.  Since I wasn’t planning any such dinner in the future the bells were taken apart.

There was a screw that held the base onto the bell.  Far Guy removed all the bases and ribbons were attached at the point where the screw attached and then the screw was replaced holding the ribbon firmly in place…it worked perfectly…the extra brass “stands” are now in the button jar along with one small bell without a dinger.   It was a fun project but I am glad it is done.

Still guessing what I crocheted?

Gene and his face mask

No… not a bank robbers mask.  It is a face mask that people with breathing problems can use in the winter…the yarn is heavy enough to keep out the cold and the way it is designed air can be warmed up before you breathe it in.  This one serves a dual purpose as it is soft enough that Far Guy can wear it next to the right side of his face where his Trigeminal Neuralgia resides.  When he puts his parka on you only see his eyes.

We have a fellow at woodcarving that complained about breathing in the cold air…so I made him a mask also.

We struggled for years to find something that worked for Far Guy…we have a whole collection of face masks…that were either too tight, too loose, too cold…this one is just right.   One skein of bulky chenille yarn from wallyworld makes two facemasks. 

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Ongoing Project: Sleigh Bells

Christmas gift from long ago…probably about 5 years.


It was a bunch of sleigh bells from Jen, Andy and the boys.   I put the bells in this wooden container and put them up on a shelf in the kitchen…twice a year when I would clean off that shelf I would think…I need to clean up those bells.

bells two

I started this project before Christmas.  I soaked them for a few days and then polished them…and polished…and polished.

bells three

Most of them still need their throats cleaned…but I could not stand the suspense of what one might look like? They were laying out on the counter drying.


Pretty…this one is a B/C bell ( Must be the place it was on the harness)

Tall bells with base

I am not sure how I will use these four bells…They are attached to the base with a screw.  Historically I can find no reference to bells mounted in this fashion.  So they are mystery bells.   They are all #3  petal bells. The creative part of my brain has a few ideas how to use them as Christmas ornaments….but I am not sure how they will look. 

For now, I will finish the cleaning…attach ribbons and put name tags on them and put them in a Christmas Tin to be opened before Christmas next year.

It was turdy below that old zero mark on the trusty old thermometer yesterday morning. 

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