Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : Homecoming

Homecoming was a big deal back when I was in high school, we had contests, we decorated main street store windows, and designed and built floats out of hay wagons. The night before homecoming we had a huge bonfire. The day of homecoming was the coronation of the homecoming queen. After the coronation was the parade, then the homecoming football game and finally the dance.
Far Guy was in the Ushers Club, and it so happened that he escorted the gal that became the homecoming queen in 1967. She was and still is beautiful inside and out. She was a perfect Homecoming Queen. Far Guy insists that this is the year that he was Homecoming King..after all he escorted the Queen. Who am I to argue with royalty:)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Projects : Update

One of our larger projects has been completed. The half log stair steps. They needed to be refinished. Ten years ago we sealed them with a product that was less than satisfactory for continual use. Besides that almost five years ago we got a little Border Collie Puppy that liked to chew on the edges of the steps, they were conveniently located next to his mouth when he laid down. I put a mixture of water and cayenne pepper on the edges of the steps, it looked a little funny..but it stopped his chewing.

The beginning of the project, bottom test step has been completed.

The steps had been used and abused by moving furniture in and out, and suitcases clunking up and down. It was time. We did a test step, the very bottom was removed..

Planed on the planer.

Sanded and refinished. The first product we used was a nightmare. It took three days for the first coat to dry. Lets see each step would get three coats, that is nine days, and we have twelve steps...three months?? That is not happening. We called the company that manufactured the product that was so hard you could skate on it..if it ever dried. It was seven years had been on the shelf at the store that long. Luckily it was a store we frequent for supplies for home repair. They replaced it, with a store brand that they highly recommended. A very helpful hardware place.

The project was able to commence, Far Guy started doing the steps two at a time and in a couple of weeks we were done!

I got the front door repainted too, two projects scratched off the list..we are cruisin' ..but the Fall list isn't getting any shorter as I added a couple of things to it.. I had a corner in my garage that was dirt, it had never been covered in pavers, because it was just a storage area for plastic nursery pots. Well it looked pretty pathetic after "Johnny came way late to pick up the rest of the greenhouse junk he bought" So last week we found the correct color pavers far far away..luckily they were delivered to Park Rapids..this is a good lesson..if you start a project you shouldn't take ten years to complete it because your materials may have been discontinued, and possibly they will cost you twice as much as they would have, because they have to be delivered from far, far away and transportation costs for brick pavers is not exactly cheap. But the end result is the floor in my garage will all match, and I will be happy, WELL happier than I was with a dirt corner. :)

**We had our first frost this morning it was 31 degrees.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chainsaw Art

Up here in the northwoods, we just may find beauty in what can be formed from a White Pine Log. I call it Art, no I do not like all of it, some of it is stiff and formal, well as formal as chainsaw art can be.

Saturday we went to a Chainsaw Sculpting Invitational that was put on by a group called Loghoggers, over at Hackensack, Minnesota. It was a beautiful day, a little windy, but warm.

The whine of chainsaws filled the fall air, the smell of pine was pungent ..very Christmasy. It began to give me a headache, much like Christmas does. I kept getting chain saw dust on my lens..and the sun was in the wrong spot, but some of the photographs turned out acceptable.

The carvers are behind a black netting, it shows up in some of the photographs. They have lots of different sizes of chainsaws. When the pieces are complete, they are painted, or wood burned and taken to a display tent. On Sunday these finished pieces were auctioned off to the highest bidder. There were a few pieces that we really enjoyed, but not enough to go back and bid on them.

Far Guy's favorite.

My favorite, I don't even like raccoons, but this little guy really had a forlorn look on his face.

I managed one photo in the tent without a bunch of people in the way. It was a fun afternoon, we opted for a snack of homemade french fries and a chocolate shake from one of the many food vendors there. There was a craft show of sorts, mainly wood stuff, we walked around and enjoyed looking at the wares. We didn't buy anything. I already have to much stuff, if I can't eat it or read it ..I probably don't need it:)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


We have a new baby in our family, I have a new great-niece! Her name is Brooke, she has lots of blond hair..I finally got to see her and take some photographs. Tiny babies never cooperate, they always close their eyes or open their mouths just like little birds.

She is grandchild number eight for my brother and his wife. My brother holds a baby easily, often times when a small child is fussing he says "Give me that baby."

Brooke joins her two sisters, Hailey, the one who screamed every time she looked at me until she was about three years old. I have no idea why in the world I scared her half to death, the poor thing would scream bloody murder and shake in fear every time she saw me. She finally grew out of it. Everyone else in the family thought it was pretty funny..except for me and of course poor Hailey.

And Miss Olivia..photogenic little twerp. She was never afraid of me, at least not screaming afraid like her sister.

Brooke is way to little to begin screaming yet, only time will tell if she is afraid of me or not. So far she seems to be weathering all the hugs and kisses she gets from her sisters:)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Obedient Plant

Physostegia virginiana, the obedient plant. There are two colors, white which is called 'Crown of Snow'. My white ones bloomed in the middle of August.

Pink which is called 'Rose Queen'. And yes they are obedient.. they have the peculiar trait of remaining in place while rearranging their tiny blooms. My pink ones are in full bloom right now.

I played around with the blooms so that you can see that they are indeed maneuverable. No hocus pocus, no photo shop..they really are obedient.

This is a zone three perennial, it spreads a tad, by seeds and runners. As you can see they thrive on my no special weeding or watering regimen, which borders on total neglect. They are beautiful survivors! I think my more relaxed carefree gardening efforts yielded some great photo opportunities over the summer, I rather enjoyed my not so perfect wild gardens:)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Odda "NO"

I am sure that poor Odda thinks that her name is Odda No, she is growing into a big beautiful lug. Chance and I have been helping out with her this week, checking to make sure she is safe, making sure she has water and that her kennel is clean. We let her out of her kennel to run willy nilly throughout her yard. She is so happy to see me, and even happier to see Chance. Chance looks for Hooch ( he is at his sisters) usually between the two of them Odda is distracted enough to leave Chance alone. Not this week..
Don't let this innocent look fool you.

She irritates him by putting her paw on his back..oh he hates that..he growls at her..Chance never growls. If she insists on being in his space and pawing at him..he shows his teeth and snarls..totally uncharacteristic for Chance. Yesterday he hid under a lawn chair for awhile..he is not a fighter..Odda pushes his buttons. When she finally forced him out of his hiding spot, she insisted on walking underneath him..It was crazy!! Chance thought so too..some more growling ensued and she finally plopped on the ground belly up in submission..two minutes later she was back putting her paw on his back.

She is now larger than Chance.

If Chance isn't the object of her affection..then I am. She is a mouther, she likes your hands, arms and legs. I am insistent that she sit, and that hands are for petting and scratching..I have found her Achilles heel..if I scratch her back near the base of her tail she calms down. She is funny, she can sit and wag her tail at the same time.

Here she comes again!

She is the largest most muscular pup that I have ever dealt with. I am thankful that she likes me, she just needs to learn more manners. She is slowly learning. Yesterday when she tried to scoot between my legs, I got her in a head lock between my knees..she looked so surprised..and didn't try to scoot between my legs again. By winter she has to be totally broke of that habit..or someone will be spending time in the snowbank.

Odda in her kennel, note the round patio brick, it covers a hole that she started to dig to enable her escape. Perhaps she was running away to China.

Training a pup takes lots of patience and time, it doesn't just happen overnight. Chance sometimes still forgets and jumps up on people, he knows better, but sometimes he just gets so excited. If everyone would just say "No" firmly and turn away..instead they reach over and pet him on the top of the head..that is what he wants them to is his reward for jumping up. I am a firm believer in no reward for jumping on anyone.

Odda and some of her toys. She is just six months old now.

I have written about Odda before, you can visit her sister, Livin' It Up Country or her Mom, West Side of Straight. Both Minnesota bloggers, who just happen to be neighbors of mine:)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall Color : Sept 23

Chance and I went out looking for some Fall color. We didn't go far ..just down our drive. I took the three wheeler and Chance ran along. It is a pretty safe place to it is a private drive, no one other than family or visitors should be on this road.

There were lots of deer tracks. Chance chased a Chipmunk. It chirped at him and he was off like a flash. He has good recall..most of the if I holler "come" twice..he should return to me. If not I beep the horn..he knows he is in big trouble then. He is usually pretty good with me, he knows that I am not a pushover and if he doesn't time he will stay at home. I know that some people use a leash with their ATVs, some dogs even ride on the back, with Chance we have always used it to run some of his excess energy off. Of course I don't drive very fast anyway, Chance can run way faster than me. Yes, I just putz along.

We found a little color, the days have been unseasonably warm for September. I still have a few things blooming, I do anticipate a frost any day now. I am hoping for an extended maybe right up until Christmas:)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : Who?

Lots of times when I am going through old photographs they are not marked. Sometimes I can figure them out, sometimes not. Sometimes I have no clues.

This is a photo of Andy. I was curious. Who was Andy..where does he fit? On the front of the photo written in ink is "Andy and his car" On the back, "Andy is a 6 footer, on our driveway, he'll be 21 Aug 17 so spose I'll be looseing him someday as he's got a gal." gal is underlined!

Through some research I did find out who he was, he is Loren Andrew Lemon Jr. and his Mother Florence (Graham) Lemon apparently wrote on the photo and mailed it to her sister in law Meady ( Far Guys Grandma). Probably with a letter, if she was that wordy on the back of the photo..just think what a treat old letters from her must have been. All of Flossies children, including Andy must have be born at home on the farm ( The farm that I grew up on. ) in all of the records that I have found it says born in Carsonville township. Well I am very familiar with the township, there is no hospital, no it must have been a home birth.

Circles..sometimes I think these old photos are running me in circles. This photo was taken in 1955, perhaps in the spring. When I was zooming in on the photo to see if I could get a date off of the license plate ( I couldn't ) ..I noticed a small child peeking out on the left side of the car. I will probably never find out who the small child was. I have no idea if Andy is still alive, or where he may live, if I did I would return the photo to him..let's see he would be only 75 years old..:)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday Afternoon

We went for a ride Sunday afternoon, it is one of my favorite things to do. Lots of times Chance and I go by ourselves, but since it was my birthday...Far Guy came along and drove. You never can tell where we will end up. We headed west.

The Sumac is beautiful, did you know that Sumac in one form or another is found in all of the lower 48? It is the only species of tree or shrub that is Native to all of them. This is Smooth Sumac or Scarlet Sumac (Rhus glabra). You can chew the berries it will quench your can also steep the berries and make a drink.

We got lost, well not really. We knew we were still in Minnesota and still in Becker County..but when Far Guy said "I think we are headed North." And I was sure we were headed south... I began to wonder. We were on the opposite side of Pine Lake, there is a spot there overlooking the swamp and the lake where someone has built a log bench, where you can rest. The woods was quiet, there were no birds, the only sound was the wind in the trees and a few leaves falling to the ground.

We eventually found our way out, and took another road. There was a snake on that road sunning itself..I think Far Guy might have run right over it. I closed my eyes and swallowed a scream. I hope it is dead and not lurking in the undercarriage of my vehicle ready to drop onto the floor of my garage to scare me half to death. Anyway I am not going to travel that road again for awhile. We ended up at the North Side of Height of Land Lake. At the public access we allowed Chance out of the car and into the water.

Later in the day, my parents stopped by, it was too warm for them to work in the potato fields. They both drive trucks during the potato harvest. We went over to Josh and Missy's to pick some sweetcorn, Josh is my oldest Nephew, he lives next door, they have two children, Mason and Anna..they stopped to have their photo taken with their Great Grandma and Great Grandpa.

Missy has some beautiful Asters in her flower bed.. I think this one might be Aster 'Alma Potschke'. It is a stunning Aster! So there you have it, a little look into our Sunday afternoon travels:)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Curiosity: Zinnia Corner: The Rest of the Story

A few weeks ago I did a blog about Zinnia Corner. Last Saturday I found out the rest of the story, I took the time to ask the question "Why do you plant those Zinnias on the corner?"

We had been in Fargo, ND..we were on our way home and with any luck at all the road construction crew would have the day off. We stopped at the first place just north of Zinnia corner. Far Guy was feeling shy and skeptical, he said " I will wait in the car." There were two vehicles in the driveway, and a gentleman was coming out of the house. I introduced myself and asked him if he knew who planted the Zinnias..wouldn't you know it! He was the planter! He was an older gentleman, perhaps my age, with grey hair and a grey mustache, his skin was all could tell he spends most of his day outdoors. He wasn't very tall, about 5 feet 9 inches, he wore blue jeans and a blue checked shirt and was driving a red pickup truck.

When he was a kid, in the fall of the year he enjoyed the Zinnias that a Mr. Peterson used to plant along Highway 10. Everyday he admired them out of the school bus window until the frost killed them. He always thought it was fun and would be a fun thing to do someday. Thirty years ago was his someday, he has been planting them ever since. He said that it takes about five pounds of Zinnia seed every year, seed was 24 dollars a pound this year. He never collects and saves seed from one year to the next, because it is too difficult to collect and to separate from the weed seed. He told us, (Far Guy finally got out of the car), that everyone asks him in the spring of the year if he has them planted yet, and some ladies ask to use them as cut flowers for Weddings at the church. The worst part for him is the weeds, the Zinnias must be weeded or the weeds take over, he has no grand children to help him out as neither of his sons are married. I asked him if he knew that his Zinnias were featured in a poetry book by Mark Vinz? He had no idea, he said he thought that someone painted them once, and maybe the painting was in an Art Gallery in Fargo someplace. He was a very nice gentleman, I am glad I stopped to meet him. I also thanked him for growing Zinnias on Zinnia Corner.

The road construction has not been kind to the Zinnias this year.

It wasn't a wildly tragic or romantic story, but I did find it heartwarming that he shared about enjoying Zinnias as a young boy on a school bus. He also shared with us that he never has to give exact directions to his home, he lives just north of Zinnia Corner..and everyone knows where that is:)

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Uffda..another whole year..OLDER. This photo was taken when I was eight years old..that would have been fifty years ago in 1959. I loved that dress, my mother sewed it for me, it was a turquoise blue. Doncha just love the way it fits those growing bosoms? And those white anklets and those little black flats..I must have been a real stylin eight year old.

I never anticipated being fifty..and then to be fifty eight..unbelievable. When I was a teenager a bunch of us girls were fooling around with a Ouija board..some idiot asked "How old will I be when I die?" The answer was that's how old I thought I would be..never to reach 50..silly I know. Funny how things that you do as a child, or things that are done to you or said to you, shape and form the rest of your life. When you are in your teens, fifty seems unreachable. Now I have not only reached it, but surpassed it by eight years. That is freaking amazing.

Yesterday we had lunch in Fargo, ND with our daughter Jen and her family on the "middle day" the day in the middle of both of our birthdays. I trapped poor Adam on our side of the booth..squished him to the wall and kissed him on the cheek many times..he was a giggling mess. As he scooted into the booth ..his looked at me scooting in behind him and said "OH NO." He knew he was in for a good kissing. Last Thursday we went out for dinner with my parents, and my brother stopped by yesterday and gave me a hug, and Chance has already given me several kisses this morning, and Far Guy even remembered, he left me a beautiful card on the table!

So you may be thinking what is Far Side doing for her Birthday..well you can bet I am not cooking or baking my own cake. I am going out and taking photographs:)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Thousand Words : Time

Suppertime or Playtime???

Chance with Levi and Nibbles the Gerbils ( ** edited Guinea Pigs) that belong to our grand-girls :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thirty four years ago!

Thirty four years ago, I gave birth to our second and last child, Far Guy's dream of two little blond haired girls was fulfilled.

It was a very difficult pregnancy, early on the pregnancy was not very stable, my Doctor said "Put your feet up, and rest, and let Mother Nature take it's course. " Easy for him to say..I had to keep up with a three year old. Trica and I spent the summer at the lake, managing the resort that my parents had just purchased. I was due September 1st, and went back home sometime about then. We had moved in the spring, out of an apartment and into a trailer house, a new 14 X 72 Trailer with avocado green appliances, and a washer and dryer in the bathroom..thought I had died and gone to heaven! No more laundromat! We were located at the end of a culdesac that had a was a perfect place to raise children.

I must have suffered from some strange chemical imbalance when I was pregnant with Jen, I was not in a good mood, I did not smile or laugh..well I did laugh out loud twice during the pregnancy. One time when something that Far Guy was struggling to build..fell apart. And when he hit his knee with a hammer..I nearly rolled on the floor with laughter that time..he said the pain was worth it.

It retrospect I must have been suffering from postpartum depression..before the postpartum part. Leave it to me to do things backwards. Anyway she was born, she was just a peanut five pounds and five ounces..and way overdue. She had been fat, her skin hung from her body..she was pretty ugly..but beautiful. My Doctor took one look at her and said "I have been so worried about this baby, thank God she is here alive." "You should never have anymore children." Sounded good to me, I was happy with two!

I took this last mothering to a new level, I did not leave her with anyone until she was about three years old. I rarely left her with her one could take care of her as good as I could. When she had to go to kindergarten, she had to be weened from time with me. It was very difficult for both of us.

Now she is thirty four years old. I should feel old.I do..but old enough for my baby to be thirty four..not quite:)
Last year when she was only thirty-three.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chance : Grooming

Hey , It is I the handsome blogging Border Collie. During that great meeting of the minds back on Monday, Far Side said..Chance needs to go to the groomer. Groomer..Me? I don't think so, but she made an appointment anyway. She said "Chance you have a problem with your hinder-binder." Well If I knew what a hinder-binder was I would fix it. She said those mats you have on your butt from being in the pool and then running willy nilly in the woods..those mats have got to go. My "Girdle area" or "Panty hair" must be trimmed..Far Side told the can shave his butt if you want will grow back fast. Then they left me there ...all alone. What if they never come back? What if Far Guy doesn't remember where I am at?

There was a very friendly cat to greet me..he isn't a very good watch cat but just look at his wonderful coloring!

Well I got the works at the Dogs Paw, my toes nails were trimmed, my hair on my feet was clipped, I was bathed and brushed and clipped, and they squeezed my anal glands, eewww is that sharing too much information? ..they cleaned my ears..I got the works..the only thing they didn't touch was my teeth..but Far Side cleans them anyway.

So now I have a naked butt, an almost non existant hinder- binder..well not quite..but all the mats are gone and my panty hair is pretty thin. Far Side remembered where I was at, she rescued me and said "OH Chance, you are one handsome lookin' are kinda cute with a shaved butt! Look at your white is practically glowing! " When we got home she wanted to take photographs of me..I played hard to get for quite awhile. No, she wasn't allowed to take any butt photos don't even ask .. you can ask her other questions about me if you like. I will answer them all:)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : Grain Harvest

The small grain harvest is almost completed up here. I watched a combine out in a field on the prairie yesterday. How times have changed. One thing that stays the same is the dust and the irritating chaff.

When I was little the trashing or threshing crew would come through..neighbors helping neighbors. My Mother would bake and cook for days. I remember the excitement of all the equipment pulling into the yard, and the anticipation of all the really good food. The cakes and cookies!! My sweet tooth was ready! The men who helped had to be fed really good, it was hard work.

This is a photograph of my Grandfather D. The photo made me smile, it was taken when I was just a little girl in the 1950's. He is standing on top of the Thrashing/Threshing machine, to the left is the hay wagon piled high with sheaves of grain. To the right must be the grain wagon that would collect the grain after it was thrashed. Grandpa wore the same "Uniform" all his years.. a pair of bib overhauls, a long sleeved shirt, and his cotton cap..the one that looked like a train engineers blue and white striped..a red hanky would be in one of his pants pockets..and inside the little pockets in the front of his bibs was a pencil, his cigarette papers, a pouch of tobacco and wooden matches. I always loved to watch him roll his own cigarettes, it was like watching an artist..the paper had to be held just right..then filled with just the right amount of tobacco..then he licked the paper and folded it over..and sometimes he twisted the end that he lit with a wooden matchstick. Grandpa lived well into his nineties:)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Land of Sky Blue Waters

One day last week I went up to the resort that my parents used to own. It is only about a mile away. It was a very nice day and the water was beautiful. Tammy one of the owners and I walked and chatted..she is a hoot...and a hard have to be one of those if you are in the resort business.
I took some photos from the top of the hill, ah the memories this brought back. Carrying cleaning buckets, or having my arms full of clean linens and stumbling over tree roots. The time I saw the snake..I know exactly where it was..and it might still be there..but that was thirty years ago. I remember how the cabins looked back in 1975, I spent that entire summer there managing it for my parents..and I was pregnant. Trica ( she was three) and I stayed in the office cabin where there was only cold running water and no indoor bathroom..but a very usable outhouse. I remember some of the people I met that summer. and how I still enjoy visiting with them when they come up for their vacations. Yes, some people still see they came as children with their parents and the really lucky ones came with their grandparents..they made memories..on a small fishing lake in Minnesota. Fish caught and fish fried, picnics, lazy days spent on the docks and splashing in the water, no phones, no televisions..a real relaxing family vacation. Perhaps that long forgotten thing called communication even flourished:)