Monday, November 30, 2009


I  have been using the Elliptical is a machine from hell..but it does provide me with low impact exercise.  I can now do a 12 1/2  minute mile.. I may have some fat..but by golly it is going to be firm fat.    My goal is to do two miles in 24 minutes.  It is a work in progress.  It is low impact, so my bad leg does okay,  my good leg helps make up for the weakness in my bad one.   I broke my ankle and leg back in 1979, the Doctors said I would only walk ten years.. twenty if I was really lucky..this year marked thirty.  Funny thing is ..those Doctors  are pushing up daisies and I am still walking!   I find that the Elliptical is better than walking on the uneven ground outdoors..or walking in ice and snow..although I still like going outdoors.  I have a selection of oldies that I  listen to..I crank up the music and sweat.   Every other day is the required goal ..everyday is sometimes an option..especially if I feel real bitchy.. somehow walking my fat butt off makes me less cranky.   It is totally impossible for me to actively bitch when I am puffing like the little engine that could.   The nearest gym is fourteen miles away.  Far Guy and I  went to a gym when we lived in North Dakota.. I loved the variety of the exercise equipment that could be found in a real gym.  For now this machine fits the does get boring..perhaps I will start reading a really good novel out loud to myself..or move the little TV up there and watch old videos.   That TV is so will not get any channels..but it has a built in VCR. Far Guy is way ahead of me ..he does over two miles in twenty five minutes.  His hips are bad, a few weeks ago he tried running down the driveway..he walked around here limping for three days mumbling "That was a really stupid thing to do.. but the dog was so impressed."   Exercise in Minnesota in the gotta do some..even if you don't feel like it.  What kind of exercise do you do during the winter months?  :)
*** That monstrosity ended up in my storage area upstairs..the room that is suppose to have custom built bunk beds for the grands.. and that scale..that belongs to Far Guy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seamstress Project #1

I am not a seamstress..yet why do I think that I should be able to sew? Just because I was born female..I should be able to sew, cook, shop and talk on the phone..I am a failure..I have never been truly in touch with my inner seamstress. Remember I only passed Home Economics because my Mom sewed my skirt for me..she saved me from failure and herself from embarrassment in the seamstress community.

Where was I when God handed out the special qualities? You know the lines you stand in to get your specialness the sewing line..the cooking line..the shopping line.. I never made it past the B's. Books, Breasts and Bitching.

I guess you could say I have been gifted with the ability to collect enough books that I will never be able to read them in my lifetime..I admit it I am a book hoarder. I wonder if I should think about going to some sort of support group..speaking of support.. will there ever be a comfortable support bra? As for the bitching part.. Far Guy says "You must have been the most difficult child ever." Perhaps I was, I know as a Mothers friends called me a bitch.. and I totally agreed with them.

I am attempting to be a seamstress. When I asked my youngest daughter..the one who sewed her finger in Home Economics if she wanted to come help with my project..she said " Really Mother, just hire someone to sew for you." Then she mumbled something about people that don't understand their own limitations...

I have been sewing in my mind. Sometimes I have to do things in my mind first..before I really do them. Sometimes just doing something step by step in my mind is enough for me..once I have it all figured out..I no longer have the desire or need to do it. No so with my sewing projects. Just because I did them in my mind..they did not magically appear. Yes, there are four different projects. Do I have a pattern ..NO. Did I have a clue when I purchases all this yardage? NO..I was swept away with visions of perfectly sewn window seat cushions...

They are not perfect..but they will do. Today I am starting the next sewing adventure.. lined Drapes/Curtains... two windows..four panels..all lined..I have never lined anything in my entire life..why the lining? Because they are south facing windows and because I never want to do this project again in my lifetime:)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Four Seasons at Guyles Lake

Yes, we are supposed to have four seasons in Minnesota. Sometimes it doesn't seem that way. It seems that old man Winter hogs a great share of the year..or perhaps I am just imagining that. One of my favorite places to go is Guyles Lake. Not exactly the sunbathing, boating mecca of Minnesota..but it was home to a pair of Trumpeter Swans last summer. So here is Guyles Lake through the I did not stand exactly in the same place each time..but close enough for an old lady. One of Minnesota 's last wilderness lakes in our area ..they are logging off the south east shore..I was deeply saddened to see that this area is being disturbed. If it belonged to me, I would let the animals have it.

Winter at Guyles Lake in March

Spring in June

Summer in August

Fall in October ..the Larch or Tamarack are golden, they are a deciduous conifer, which means their needles turn golden and fall off for the winter.

This was a fun project for me to do.. what other totally obscure projects can I find to photograph? I have begun a rather bazaar collection of other subjects easily found in Minnesota..weed seed heads.. deer stands..I really miss the is certainly a long time til May..five more months ..most all of them wintery:(

I would like to thank Jeanne at The Raisin Chronicles ..she was the inspiration for this photo project. If I recall correctly.. she said "You should do a four season presentation for us! ."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Report

We got snow on Wednesday morning..just in time for a white Thanksgiving..I do believe that this snow will be the one that is our third snow.   We hurried off to my Dental appointment.. Root canals..what fun.  I came home and baked all my pies while I was numb.

I went to the All School Reunion meeting on Wednesday evening to give my two cents on the fundraising dinner..I shared my observations and recommendations concerning safe food handling with them..they took my opinionated opinions quite well.  They asked for feedback on the I gave them some.  No one had noticed the things I did thought was they all must be blind as bats..or really shouldn't have graduated from high school at all.

We went to Trica and Dick's for Dinner.  The turkey was cooked and we all ate way too much.  I had a nap before dinner, I am still a little tired..that root canal I had on Wednesday was not exactly a piece of cake.   I still cannot chew anything on that side of my mouth..but the other side works just fine.  I even passed up the wine..usually I really enjoy some wine with our Thank Meal.  We have much to be thankful for a warm home,  reasonably good health, beautiful children and grandchildren..and a good dog.   It is a whole lot of fuss and cooking for twenty minutes of eating.. Jen tried to fit black olives on all of her fingers like she did when she was little..she has bigger fingers now.   My favorite..the mashed potatoes and gravy and the dark turkey meat.  With a slice of Pumpkin Pie for desert..some things never change:)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : Thanksgiving

Old photos of Thanksgiving..boy they are few and far between.  I did find a few..this is part of Far Guys family.  His Great Uncle Frank, his Grandfather Curt, his Mother and his Great Aunt Mae.   These are old Polaroids, taken no doubt by Far Guys Dad as he was a bit of a camera nut.

This is one of the table all set for their dinner..I see cranberry relish and pickled  beets and possibly pickles. Far Guys Mom has her eyes closed in this one.. but it is still a good photo..note the telephone on the wall..and the little edging on the shelves in the pantry.   Far Guys Mom has written on the back Thanksgiving 1963. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Return To Swan Pond

One day this fall ( November 08)  we were driving by Swan Pond..the Swans are gathering. I noticed a distinct separation of the Swans.  A bunch of large adults were along one of the islands.

Another group was swimming with their now grown babies.. this years cygnets are sporting a dirty grey color and pinkish colored beaks.. next year they will be all pretty and white. The cygnets stay within the family group for about a year. So the other group with no cygnets must have been the Swans that did not hatch any young this summer. I viewed it as a bunch of gossipy old Aunts.."Look at that show off..they had five cygnets this summer. they have their beaks full."

We watched the Swans for quite some time..they are beautiful creatures.  They must gather up here and then migrate out together..going to warmer climates for the winter.   You could learn something from a Swan.

The other night I was listening to my father and my brother discussing the upcoming winter.  The muskrat houses are low, the beaver houses are high.  The squirrels are not gathering acorns like they should.. their consensus was extreme cold.   Well isn't that just wonderful.. I am looking forward to that with great anticipation:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Red Bridge

When Far Guy was growing up..there was a bridge in town called the Red Bridge. Since I didn't grow up in town I was not privy to the "townies" secret language. The old red bridge just exists in his mind..because it was all messed up in the name of progress..and is just a whole bunch of culverts now.

This is a Red Bridge which has nothing to do with the old Red Bridge. They are just in the same town.

Oh and yes..this is The Red Bridge Inn..which isn't red either but pink. I wonder if that is another "Townies" secret that us country people are not privy too.

I didn't have much time, I was waiting for Far Guy, he was running an errand. I took these photos a week ago on November 16Th when it was sunny and warm. We have had a lovely November..Indian Summer at it's finest. Today not so much..we are back to dreary rainy weather.

I have to make a trip to town today to get the last of the supplies for the feast on Thursday. I am in charge of two pies, a lemon and a pumpkin, pumpkin bread, dinner rolls and a loaf of bread from the bread machine. I may have to cave and send Far Guy to the store on Wednesday..I am scheduled for a root canal on Wednesday morning. So let me tell you I am starting off the holiday season in fine style this year. I have no intention of doing any shopping on Friday..I am not an idiot..I am not a shopper..I am not a cook..and I am certainly not a wonder I dislike the holidays so much.

Is there something I am missing.. is it like the "townies" and their secret about the bridges? What could it be? There must be some big ole joyful holiday secret that I am missing?  Some people just LOVE "The Holidays"..  me..not so much:(

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Death In the email family

I have been communicating with an elderly gentleman for about three years by email. We met online, he loved jokes and had a wicked good sense of humor. He had been struggling with Alzheimer's and health problems, I could tell when he was doing well and when he was not. I could tell by his emails what time of the morning he got up. October 1st the emails I sent to him started coming back, I figured something was up..yesterday he died, we were notified by his step daughter..she said " He communicated with you alot..I just thought you would like to know."

So it is an end. We have an end to the story. Maybe we don' see Charles was an atheist. His father was a Pentecostal Evangelist in New York City.. Charles could quote Bible verse after Bible verse. His father committed suicide. Charles was a Marine..he was at Camp Lejeune..he always said that his children that were born there in 1957 and 1958 were had Aplastic Anemia and one had Cerebral Palsy. The love of Charles life was diagnosed with cancer here in Minnesota one summer..he said "That asshole doctor walked into the room, looked at my wife and said you are going to die." and then he walked out of the room. His lovely Rose died less than six months later. He remarried and his second wife died too..he said "I have out lived two women and one of my children..I am old and I can't remember lots of stuff.. I am done now." I guess you are Charles.. I guess you are.

Did I share my faith with Charles, yes I did. I would occasionally send him a real Bible thumping email..something that might get through that thick head of his. Occasionally he would send one back to was like an email war. I can't be certain that he ever gave up his atheism..I guess I would like to think that those Bible Verses that he learned as a child came quietly back to comfort him the last few weeks of his life.

I loved it when he was in a reminiscing mood..he would write his thoughts to me..
"I was born in Newark New Jersey my father was a Pentecostal Evangelist. When I was old enough to remember we would go to the missions down in Hells Kitchen and The Battery in Manhattan. My Mother had one of those Fox Stoles with the head on I would go to sleep looking at the fox ( No wonder I like animals today, I guess they make me feel safe) Remember this was shortly after the depression. We moved several times and most of my memories then was being able to look across the river from the house and see the Empire State Building. We told the weather by the different colored lights on top. I got to go to Coney Island a few times to the boardwalk and the beach. The subways stops right at Coney Island, I never had enough money to ride in the park. At the entrance was this big Steeple Chase Ride. I need to stop now..I am tired."

I am sad. Really sad, I am not sure if there is a lesson to learn here or not. Don't communicate with the elderly..they will croak before you do. Do not give out your email over the will be crushed when your friend who you never actually met dies. Don't get involved..Don't send jokes to anyone..they might die. Then I think of the jokes he exchanged with me and Far Guy, and the wonderful stories he shared .. how I worried about him during Hurricane Ike .. about the ruckus he caused and his cab ride back home.. about the smiles we shared across the miles. Is my sadness now worth it? I say yes it was a pleasure to have met Charles and my life is richer and funnier because of him. Rest in peace my friend:)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Slaw Report

We will probably be known as the "slaw people" for awhile. The coleslaw was a hit. My Mother was the general, Far Guy was the gofer and I was the took about an hour and fifteen minutes to mix up goop and incorporate it into thirty pounds of shredded cabbage with a little shredded red cabbage and a few carrots.  Small batches were mixed one at a time.  The bowls were covered and refrigerated immediately. The goop is miracle whip, powdered sugar, celery seed, pepper and vinegar. As for the proportions..your guess is as good as my Mother just dumps, mixes and tastes. I told her I would really like some coleslaw with apples and raisins in it..that is the way my Mothers Mother made it. So there you have it the slaw report.

The fundraising dinner was a success, with 312 people being served. I am kind of a nut when it comes to food handling..and I noticed that many people there could have used a lesson or two. I will probably go to the next reunion committee meeting and give them my view ..well maybe not. I could give them some tips that would make their serving and clean up less germy.

The menu was real meat meatballs, fake mashed potatoes, fake gravy, real corn, real coleslaw, and Finnish flat bread. For dessert volunteers baked and donated bars and cakes. Nothing like bringing germs from thirty different kitchens into one area...and who doesn't like dessert? The solution is SO SIMPLE...fine you don't want to spend your food dollars on dessert..have your volunteers donate vanilla ice cream, and toppings..caramel, strawberry and chocolate. Viola..dessert...or is that voile..vola..whatever..

One way to burn people out or totally exhaust them is to put them in charge of clearing tables..and watch all the heavy sedentary office type workers clear tables one plate and cup at a time.. I finally grabbed a tray and heaped it full and cleared some tables.  No one was disinfecting tables after they were vacated either.. uffda..germ city..

I just don't know ( Insert sound of an old lady clicking her tongue here) what the younger people now a days are thinking. Just because you can't see germs..they aren't there? They are everywhere..yes, I am one of those people that stands with disinfectant wipes disinfecting my grocery cart before I put my groceries in it. And yes, Far Guy does it to. There is a reason that most of the new shopping carts are black..filth..that is the reason.

If you don't wash your hands at least ten times a day, more if you are working with or handling food deserve to be sick with food borne vomiting and diarrhea illnesses that could possibly kill you...but no one else needs to die just because you are too stupid to wash your hands.  Just my humble opinion:)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who Me?

Now for a WHO ME?  Somehow I got roped into making the coleslaw for a fundraiser dinner for the All School Reunion.  I distinctly recall being at a meeting..and said quote " If you are having coleslaw make sure you recruit someone that knows how to make that it is edible. "  I absolutely hate coleslaw that is a mess of watery crap that puddles all over your plate.  So much for my opinionated opinion. There was no waving of my arms hollering "Pick me, Pick me, I am a master chef and my coleslaw is to die for."  I DID NOT volunteer..something got lost in translation..yet I am making it and taking photographs..I know I didn't volunteer for that one either. I must learn that when I follow Far Guy to these meetings just to keep him company ..that I should keep my big mouth shut, and occasionally leave my camera at home. I was informed of this coleslaw situation by Lefty last Sunday, he said he looked back in the minutes and Yup sure enough my name was next to coleslaw. And maybe it was a contact person..not as the preparing person, or maybe as a person with an opinion..not even these idiots would want  a person with zero cooking ability in charge of their coleslaw..would they?    Luckily I placed a phone call to my Mother for her recipe (Coleslaw for 300) and a plan of attack was formed. There is "No cooking" involved with coleslaw..only mixing..I thought there might be lots of chopping..but the gal that ordered the food ordered shredded cabbage..yeah!  My Mother says it will be a piece of cake..and she is meeting me to give me final instructions and to oversee the slaw.  She is famous for her coleslaw, it is one of her I will be saved this time. 

I hope they have a good turn out, it is at the Legion..they will have some of their buttons for sale and some of their over priced t shirts etc.. get this ..they are selling a whole line of t shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, caps etc.. and the Reunion Committee gets a dollar an item as a kick back. This way they get out of ordering 100's of shirts..and investing lots of money..but still a dollar an item? They have a reunion web site, I went there to check on the items for sale..they had two different price on the order form and a totally different price in the photo one proof read it? I sent off an email pointing out their erors ..the idiots.

At least the weather will be cooperative. It has been a really nice week. Not that I have been out and about very toothache is subsiding..and the huge pocket of puss has been reduced to a pea sized problem.  The pain is tolerable now, at least it is not going kerthunk..kerthunk along with my heartbeat.  I no longer have the chills and today I will put real clothing on ..because they would probably frown upon me showing up to make coleslaw in my jammies.  Not that it would bother me..but poor Far Guy would probably be embarrassed.  And people would talk.. well they would talk more..I have a pretty good inkling that some people in town might actually call me  "a character".  Far Guy says I should not give them any more ammunition I will conform to societies expectations once again. :)  

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You Who?

Euonymus alatus aka Burning Bush. (You on i mus) This is one of my favorite shrubs..mine is stuck over on the edge of the parking lot where it is really struggling. No extra water and competition from the woods is tough on it.

It did survive the it is all frosty one morning. This is a good photo that shows the stem with the tell tale corky looking wings.

I had the perfect opportunity present itself one day. To show you what different exposures do to this shrubs fall color. I found this very interesting and perhaps you will also.

Eastern Exposure..

Southern Exposure..

A few on the south were vibrant orange! None of them on the eastern side of the building were orange. Now I believe that these are all the same plants, planted at the same time. The soil conditions are pretty much the same and no doubt watering and fertilizing is similar. The only thing that is different is the amount of light they receive everyday. Landscapers usually don't get into many different varieties of I assume that these are the same exact plants on both sides of the building. I could have asked..but I doubt that anyone inside Perkins would have known or cared..they probably would have said You..who?

I have had a tough week this week, can you say "toothache from hell" .. I broke a tooth and got a huge very painful I had the first part of a root took forever to open up the calcified canals. I am on antibiotics..and I am a tad cranky, and I stayed in my Jammies all day yesterday and took lots of naps..and I might just stay in my jammies all day today too. I didn't do well on the first antibiotics ( Clindamycin or the turquoise capsules that make your stomach feel like it is on fire) the Pharmacist called the Dentist and together they came up with a substitute (Cephalexin). I feel much better than I did..I must be better by tomorrow because I am needed at a fundraiser. Chance and Far Guy are taking really good care of me..:)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wistful Wednrsday: 1941

Cute little boys!  These are two of Far Guys cousins, I admit it..I kinda laughed when I looked at this photo..the littlest boy was pretty much bald even then.  I can look at these photos and figure out who they are...I am wondering who else can in the family?  These two boys are blog readers that never comment..and that is just fine.  This photo was taken just about sixty-eight years ago.  I had Far Guy look at this photo..he said the oldest boys eyes were the recognizing factor for him.

Time just never seems to stop..and the years just keep rolling by faster and faster.  Last summer I completed part of this old photo project..I wanted to scan all the old photos and get the originals back to the people that would appreciate them the most..the people that were in them.  I did..then I found another manila envelope full of they will be getting more old photos sooner or later.  Some are marked..some are not..some I can recognize..some I cannot.

Some photographs are really hard to date, this one I knew had to be taken in the 1940's.. the littlest boy was born in the spring of that pretty much solidly dates this photo as being 1941.  Things I like about this photo, the way the boys are dressed and I like the way the oldest boy has struck a pose..he is pretty darn cute.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this photo may have been taken and given to some very proud Grandmas:)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Deer Hunting

Deer hunting is over in our area. Nine days is not nearly enough to thin out the herd. The deer are now just nuts..and they will be that way until the weather changes and they head for the swamps to honker down. I have nearly hit two in the past few days, with the car. Last evening on my way out to the Sauna something with hooves thundered through the yard..Chance was very angry.

I got my deer. She was very cooperative and stood reasonably still for me for quite some time. I had a great time hunting with my camera!

Our Granddaughter Maddie was here with us to hunt with my Dad, her Great Grandpa. Maddie is eleven, she is the only one of our grands to show an interest in learning how to hunt. This is the third year that she has hunted with her Great Grandpa.

I loved having her visit..we did girl "stuff" ..we went to watch Joe's horses in the field and went to visit Odda, the neighbor dog to see how much she had grown. She wanted to see what photographs I had taken recently.. not exactly the typical "girl stuff" .. I visited her and my Dad in the Deer Stand.

She didn't see a thing while in the deer stand for a day and a half. "What did you see Maddie?" "Not a blasted thing Grandma..not even any squirrels." Shortly after we left to take her back home my Dad saw and bagged his deer. If she had stayed just one more hour..

This is my Dads Deer Stand..I love that it has steps instead of a ladder. He has windows that he can open, and he has a Propane Heater that takes the chill off..and a computer chair that is pretty comfortable. He was talking about insulating it..some years it is terribly cold during deer season.. I recall one November when it was twenty below zero..that was sometime back in the late 1970's. This year deer season weather was almost too warm..but there were a few days that it rained..and one morning it snowed.

There is talk of Maddie taking the Gun Safety Class..and there is talk about building a deer stand that could double as a telescope observation deck..and there was talk about the type of gun she needs..something not to heavy..something a little "girly." :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Old Photos From South Dakota

Back in October I wrote about starting a new blog that takes a look at old photographs.   I did and it is called Forgotten Old doesn't appeal to everyone..but I am having a good time with it.  On the day when I wrote about of my commenter's wrote this:

Would you like more, old black and white photo's? Turn of the century? I have quite a few that were my Grandmothers and no one can identify them. You would be welcome to them if you'd like.

On Saturday this package arrived!

Chock full of photographs!  Many Thanks to Dennisranch,  pop on over there and say Hi..he has a pretty good looking spread in South Dakota, and he is a very proud grandpa too!

Far Guy asked me just the other day .."What are you going to do when you run out of photographs? "  I replied I have enough for quite some I have more.  Thanks to the generosity of one of my blog readers:)  

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Family Time

We were gone on Friday, but we came  back home on Saturday afternoon.   We headed up north to our daughters.   Far Guy was getting to do one of his favorite things.  Attend a hockey game at "The Ralph" ...with our daughter and son in law.. Far Guy had to cream our daughter in a couple of games of Ping Pong first.. they have had a ping pong war going for a really long time..since she was a teenager.

I got to do one of my favorite things..stay with the grand boys!  They tolerate me,  first they played video x box I is hooked up to the TV and has controllers.  I had played a shoot em up target practice game with Adam in the afternoon..eventually he told me "Grandma, you are done, I am playing all by myself now."  Dismissed by an eight year old!   They eventually wandered to the computers..which left me nothing to I tried the video game by myself.  Well not really by myself..Adam came out and got me started..probably better than me hanging over his shoulder at the computer. "Which one you want Grandma, the one you couldn't play this afternoon?"  Yah ..I guess I need practice.   After awhile Noah came to check on me..they really took care of me more than I took care of them.  Noah showed me a Build your Own Roller coaster.. so I built was all track..after my attempt we rode the coaster I designed..he told me that some people actually build such great coasters that they barf when they do the final ride (did I know that you could  watch a You Tube of people barfing during their roller coaster virtual ride? ) ..mine was not that great.. not barf worthy.   Time for the big event of the evening..a movie,  Hotel for Dogs..a cute flick..I like any movie with dogs and this was a pretty good little movie for us all to watch.  It was a non violent movie which suits me just fine.  We all got our blankies and pillows and popcorn and settled in for the evening!  I just love that huge sectional..that allows us all space..but togetherness..there was even room for two dogs and a cat.

Noah serenaded us with his guitar, he goes to lessons and is really coming along quite well.   His report card was fantastic..mostly B's and a few A's!!  Adams report card was good too..he needs to work on neatness..I think that is pretty normal.  Adam who struggled the entire school year last year with a teacher that should not have been teaching..told me " School is good Grandma"  What sweet words to hear.  "I have the best teacher in the entire school! "   Now that is really something, and a real relief to me.  Especially since I spent most of the  last school year wanting to visit his school and tell his teacher a thing or two.   Funny thing too..there was no grandparents day at school the entire year.

Hockey season is upon us.  On weekend nights like last night..the phone rings and you know it is about Hockey..first one daughter..then the other..all hockey fans watching two games on the TV..switching back and forth between channels..calling their Dad to make sure he is watching.  A local boy is on the BSU team..they played the Gophers last night..and then the UND game against St Cloud.. both games at the same time..on the same television.  It was way too much for me to keep up with:)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Thousand Words : A Simple Ride

“The world does not need tourists who ride by in a bus clucking their tongues. The world as it is needs those who will love it enough to change it, with what they have, where they are.” ~   Robert Fulghum

Have a great Saturday everyone! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh Poop

I am a bit paranoid about the deer ticks, I hate them and the diseases that they carry. We put Frontline on Chance. I am always relieved when the ticks go into hibernation, and we can give Chance a rest from the Frontline and the chemicals it contains. Both Far Guy and I are continually searching Chance for ticks. If we find one, Chance must inspect it..he smells of it and then shakes his head..and drools.

The other day, I noticed something strange in the dogs poop. YES, I check his poop from time to time. He has a very sensitive stomach and gets diarrhea from cheese and milk. Far Guy sneaks him some milk sometimes..and I do not want things to get out of hand. Nothing worse than a dog with diarrhea that is pooping like a goose. Chance is also on a Lamb and Rice based food, if we give him regular Science Diet he will have lots of mucus in his poop. Loss of mucus in his digestive track will turn into diarrhea really fast. Anyway back to the other diarrhea and no mucus..but Holy Cats something was definitely wrong. My first thought was that the deer ticks had attacked the poop in the yard..I should have taken a photo and I was tempted..but I will spare you that ..instead I will describe it the best that I can.

The log that was nestled in the grass was a dark brown color, that color was accentuated with tiny ovaly/round light beige thingys that looked like ticks filled with blood..many of them. Sticking out in all directions.. right side up and upside down. I had to find a stick..yup lots of those little buggers..but what in the world were they? Prodding at them with a stick confirmed that they were not ticks..thank you, thank you. But what were they? I had a really good idea.. seeds from grapes.

Today I dissected some of the seeds from a few of Far Guys grapes.

 Yup..diagnosis confirmed..Chance likes fermenting, half frozen grapes..I told Far Guy..he said "Do you suppose he is getting a little tipsy on those grapes?" I do not know, but all the grapes are gone as far up as Chance can reach. The bunnies may have helped him some..and maybe the birds..but he has been just a snacking on those grapes..seeds and all. I suppose after it snows and the snow falls off of the roof..he will stand on the snowbank and reach the next level of grapes.  In the deepest recesses of my mind..something about this whole situation was bothering me.   Something raised a red flag..but what in the world was it?  I read once where grapes are not good for dogs, so I researched it..and grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in I guess Far Guy will have to pick some grapes today:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baiting Deer

Okay, someone dumped a whole slug of pumpkins in the woods just before deer hunting season started. Now this could have been someone with excess pumpkins..and they could have been driving along this road..and the pumpkins could have all rolled out of the back of a pickup.. they could have ended up in a heap next to a deer run....

The fine for baiting deer in Minnesota is 385 dollars. They can also seize your firearm, and if you happen to have gotten a deer at your baiting site they will fine you another 500 dollars. Let's see 385 plus 500 plus a gun..that is pretty expensive bait.

Who exactly are these idiots that bait deer? I refuse to call them hunters..hunters hunt deer, baiters just skip the hunting part. They strew pumpkins, apples, corn, sunflower seeds, or oats next to their deer stands. Baiting is unfair, baiting changes natural movement patterns, baiting is unsportsmanlike, baiting brings the herd close together to share germs.  Of course if you are a baiter..your "hunting experience" can be over in a day or two, you can quickly check it off of your list for yet another year. You sling the deer carcass over the hood of your car and drive off into the sunset, never stopping to think that the deer that you have been baiting could have had Bovine TB..when deer bunch up at baiting sites they can spread germs to each other. But you don't are oblivious to health problems in the just want to blast a deer, have your photo taken in your orange hunting clothing with a dead deer and be on your merry way. No doubt your deer has been shot someplace else besides the head or neck. You have ruined much of the meat because you were too excited to wait for a good head shot. But it doesn't much matter because you don't butcher your own deer meat anyway it will be thrown in a heap at the local butcher shop, a mass of legs sticking in the air.

Now for the REAL HUNTER, he arrives at his deer stand before daylight and stays until dark. He watches and waits..he waits sometimes for days. Finally a deer wanders in, you take aim, and one clear shot to the head makes the deer drop in just a few steps. You gut the deer, put your tag on it, load it up to register it
and bring it back home to hang it up so the blood drains down..later after the meat has cooled you will skin it and wash out the body will then butcher it on the kitchen table..cutting out all fat and bone.

Some hunters grow many rows of corn in the area of their deer stands. This is legal in Minnesota.. in my opinion it borders on baiting or at least unsportsmanlike entrapment. However agricultural crops are allowed.. what do you think?

Don't get me wrong, I support real  Hunters in their quest for meat. I was raised as a hunter, it was one activity that we really enjoyed with our father. I wish that the DNR in Minnesota would have allowed more licenses in our area, from what I saw last week on the deer trails..we have a huge herd. I dislike the deer ticks that we have to fight from April til the snow flies:(
*** Far Guy has written a few blogs recently, go on over and help him fill in the blanks:)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : Veterans

This is a photograph taken on November 27, 1950 at Camp Pickett, Virginia.   My Dad is the young man in the front row on the far right.

My Dad was fighting in Korea when I was born.  Some days he talks about the war, and some days he doesn' he gets older he talks more about how young some of the Chinese were..some were just kids about twelve years old.  This morning he stopped by and told me about the time that they had 10,000 of them surrounded and had their escape routes blocked off, when they ran out of rice they started coming out.  They took them as prisoners, they gave the young kids chocolate bars.  

Dad was at the lumber yard yesterday, he has Korean War Vet license plates on his truck.  Dad said " An old guy with no teeth asked me who I was with in Korea. So I told him."   The toothless old soldier replied "WELL, I was with the Rangers."   My Father said " WELL..we had to clean up and pick up after your Ranger Units over there."    The toothless soldier turned and left. Dad is picking fights at the lumber yard!  Dad told me that his unit was technically a Ranger Unit for a few days after they picked them all up.  He also said "One of those Rangers was shot, and going into shock.  I looked at his wound.   I slapped him and said what's wrong with you?  It is only a flesh wound.  The poor bugger would have died..from a flesh wound."

Another Veterans Day is upon us, a time to say Thanks Dad, Thanks Far Guy, Thanks also to my brother and my nephew.  If you are a Veteran and reading this..Thank you:)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Along The Tower Road

Last week one afternoon we had a little time to go for a short adventure.  The Tower Road, this time I left a note on the table, and we did not veer off course.   We met one vehicle..a man was dressed in Orange..possibly an early hunting scout.

A beaver has been busy making a home..I wonder if the thickness means anything..probably only to the beaver and it is possibly reflective of how much raw material is available.   He wasn't home, or if he was he was hiding.

One of the sloughs must be full from the recent rainy weather, a small creek seems to come out of nowhere and heads toward the river.

We saw an Eagle, it was way too far away to get a decent photograph.  He was resting in his perch..the river must keep him fed.  I am not real fond of Eagles..that is possibly why I see my fair share.  They feed on  dead stuff, and kill cats and rabbits.. they used to sit in a tree right outside our house..and eye my spring I even had to put up a camouflaged play area for a litter of growing puppies.  Eagles and I do not see eye to eye.  I had to watch one terrorize a Trumpeter Swan one winter, the Swan was injured and couldn't fly..that Eagle was relentless...finally the Swan disappeared.  The Eagles are really mean to the Loons too, and will steal their eggs.  They are just nasty..nasty.   I think it is a disgrace that they are the National Symbol.  Just my opinion.

I wonder what this area looked like years ago.  The natural progression of the woods may be in the same cycle.  Oak to pine and back again.   Far Guy tells me " You know, years ago when the trappers came down this river they met at one of these points on the river..and named it Pine Point."

We had a wonderful afternoon drive, the sun was out, the woods were quiet except for an occasional Chickadee.  No one was sighting in their rifles, there were no gun shots.  I did see and photograph a baiting site..which is Illegal.  More about that some other day.  I have just a few things to say about that!
Chance enjoyed the ride, after awhile, I let him sit in front with Far Guy..he thought he was pretty important.  Anyone with Dogs in Minnesota..the Deer Ticks are still check your dogs really well:)