Sunday, February 28, 2010

Firefighter of the Year

Last night was the awards banquet at the local volunteer fire department. The food was awesome, roast pork, real mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans, lettuce salad and homemade bread.  Neither of us had to cook..that is a very good thing!

Our nephew Josh was chosen as the Firefighter of the year.  It was in my opinion well deserved, he was instrumental in getting a whole group of younger guys interested and signed up and into Firefighter One Training and First Responder Training.  Firefighter of the year is an honor that is voted on by your peers.   Getting more members was crucial, many of the guys are getting older, and  a new fire-hall will be opening in April ten miles from the other both halls need to be manned by volunteers.   Station One and Station Two..we are very fortunate to have young men of Joshua's caliber volunteering their time day and night.

Far Guy got a ten year pin, he asked if it was the first ten years or the second ten years, they are always plucking him out of retirement because all these young guys have day jobs:)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What do you think?

We just got back from "Up North".  Sometimes when we travel we take a different road that we have never been on before.  Today was one of those days..and we found a nice surprise in a tiny little town called Lengby, Minnesota located on the shores of Spring Lake.  Population 79.   

Now what do you think it's original purpose was?  Far Guy says it might have been a school.  What do you think?  :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

German Songbook

This is an very old book that belongs to my Mother. It was her Grandmothers.
Years ago books were beautiful on the outside. .

From what I gather it is a song book. Not the typical song book that we are used to seeing.

This is the first page in the book.

This is the back cover.

This is the spine of the book.

A German book of Hymns and Spiritual Songs. I am not sure if the 1877 means may just be a number that the German printer delegated to this book as it was printed. I did a Internet search and found a book similar to this one on eBay, but it was not in as good of shape from 1892. So I will venture to guess that this one was published before 1900.

Somehow this book came to America, probably by ship..probably with a person.   Of course the person must have been able to read German.  I have never been able to grasp a foreign language although I did take three years of Latin in high school..which helps you identify words.. you can speak Latin I guess..I can still recite the Pledge of Allegiance..but only because I said it every morning in school for three years. The horrible conjugation of verbs...present, past  and past perfect used to drive me nuts, it was all memorization.  If conversational Latin ever becomes the "in" thing to participate in..I have a head start:)  

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Forgotten Old Photos

If you happened to do a google search and ended up at my Forgotten Old Photos blog what would you think?  Crazy old woman?  What in the world?  Or if I happened to write you a letter and tell you that I have a photo of one of your relatives, or if I happened to call seem excited ..but never call back to make arrangements to look at all the other photos that could be your relatives. Lordy I must sound scary.  I really am not.  
 A photo that Mildred shared of her hometown around 1900. 
Old photographs seem to fascinate me.  Recently over at my Forgotten Old Photographs blog we have been able to reunite some people with old photos of their relatives.  I get a bit excited. as do my readers over there..the last discovery was made by a google search!
 A Tin Type that Norkio shared from sometime between  1873 to 1895 
Long time blog friend Abra assists me when she can researching names, a new friend Norkio is ever so kind to explain about the clothing that women wore in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
 A photo from Jinglebobs Grandmother's collection taken around 1910. 
The Forgotten Old Photos blog was just a began with a few photos from an Antique Shop.  Then Jinglebob a blog reader sent me some of his Grandmothers forgotten old photos..we have now returned five photos to their homes, and Jinglebob is learning more about his Grandmothers family and friends everyday. Mildred mailed me photos of her home town of Alpharetta Georgia in the early 1900's.  Norkio emailed me copies of Tin Types that she had. Noriko is involved with a small group of people that are reenactors, who love literature and making historical booklets.  It has been quite an adventure!  I still have a stash of old forgotten the adventure will continue.  If old photographs are something that interest you..stop on over..we are a friendly small group:)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wistful Wednesday: Sno-Daze 1968

Years ago the doldrums and greyness of February were left behind for one evening.  At a dance called Sno-Daze.  Some school group sold buttons and tickets..we would have a real live band and might have been "The Images" from nearby Menahga.  They were a pretty good band...not as good or as crazy as "The Unbelievable Uglies"  but cheaper. The dance took place in the high school gymnasium..with the band on the stage..and lots of dancers on the wood floor. Some one served punch, in little plastic cups, and the teachers were chaperone's.

I bought a brand new outfit, an angora sweater and a matching wool skirt from O 'Mearas in Detroit was the place to go back then for teenage clothing.  Of course the skirt was fairly was three or four inches above the knee..long by today's standards. Far Guy wore a sport coat with dress pants. he also wore a white shirt with a dickie underneath it.  Dickie's were very popular back then.  For those of you who do not know what a dickie was, it is just a turtle neck with a flap in the front and a flap in the wore them under shirts or blouses. You just pulled it over your head, and smoothed down the flaps, it looked like you had another shirt on underneath.
I was a Junior that year, Far Guy was a Senior.  I helped him get through Advanced Algebra, I sat in front of him in Study Hall. Until that fateful day that he sat in my chair instead of his, I had absolutely no intention of going out with him, much less falling hopelessly in love with him.  He had dated my best friend Cathie, the year before. Besides that he had two girlfriends, they were all he could handle..and sometimes he even ignored them. I was playing the field, and just had lots of friends....  I had two study halls, in the other study hall I sat behind "Gravy".  That was his nickname then and that is his nickname now.  At Far Guys 40th Class Reunion, Gravy gave me a big hug, Far Guy later asked me " Did you ever go out with Gravy?"  No..I replied..I sat behind him in study hall, but he never sat in my chair:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cooking With Far Side : Spaghetti Squash

I like spaghetti squash, it is one of my favorites.   This is how I do it ..

Buy a spaghetti squash..this is what they look like

Cut them in half...being careful not to slice off any important things like fingers etc.. sometimes I find this is the hardest part. If anyone has any hints of how to do this easier..please share!  I usually have Far Guy do it for me..with a really sharp knife..he still has all his fingers.  

Scoop out the seeds.  I saved some to try and plant next summer. I also purchased a package of seeds, just in case the ones I saved were a hybrid seed. Wrap in aluminum foil, throw them on a cookie sheet and bake about 75 minutes at 350.  If they squish when you squeeze them they are done.  Adjust your cooking time..seems like I always end up with brown edges..they taste OK..just don't look so good.

Unwrap and cool..then you can take a fork and scoop out the cooked flesh.  It looks like spaghetti..but tastes way better..I put a little butter and salt and pepper on it and enjoy!  Of course a huge squash is much to much for me to consume in one I usually freeze individual servings.. during the winter it is impossible to get this squash up here.  Big cities may have them..our little podunk grocery way.  I enjoy squash all winter long.  The squash is a little watery when unfrozen and heated..but still has a great flavor.  Chance loves is one of his favorite leftovers:)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sloppy Fishermen

In Minnesota in the winter, if you find open water it means that you just might see some wildlife.  We stopped  at a creek just north of us. 

Someone had been fishing without a license.  Not only that he was a sloppy fisherman.  He killed some fish and left them in the icy depths of the creek.

Chance had to investigate..yup dead fish..perfect to roll in..nope we stopped him just in time. 

The Bald Eagles sure do leave a mess.  I have never understood these creatures..I suppose they were interrupted and will come back later to clean up their mess..they weren't anywhere in sight.  They are pretty much a useless bird in my opinion, and their numbers are increasing.  There used to be only one pair in this area, now there are a number of pairs. Soon they will give up on fishing and concentrate on road killed deer as soon as the snow starts to melt in the ditches and the dead deer are uncovered. They pick the carcass clean until there is nothing but bones left.    Yup..perfect national symbol:(   

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chance: Banking and Biscuits

I like drive up windows, they usually have dog treats. I can always count on a treat at the drug store and at the bank.  While we are waiting in line, I start to drool.  Not just a little bit of wetness is like a faucet has been turned on inside my mouth.. the saliva escapes out both sides of my mouth..dripping down sliding effortlessly out of my jowls.  All in preparation for the dog biscuit that will be sent out for me. They have the best dog biscuits. Sometimes when I am drooling, Far Side says "swallow before you drown" ..that's exactly what I am waiting for swallow that biscuit.

I am always disappointed when we park in the parking lot and I am left alone in the car.  Well, that has  all changed, I got permission and an invitation to go INSIDE the bank.

 The tellers keep dog biscuits in there just have to put your paws up on the counter and they hand over the treats!

 Sometimes even more than one, because you are the most handsome dog they have ever seen in their entire life. ..this is way better than drive up.  I made two new friends Linda and Sue, no more waiting in the car for me.. Far Side says I should work on trying to control my drooling:)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bucket List Update

I first wrote about my bucket list in January of 2008. Here is the list:

"The Bucket List" has spurred me on to make my own proverbial list before I kick the bucket.

#1 Go for a ride in a convertible, with sun glasses on and a long scarf blowing in the wind..this should not take place in sub zero Minnesota weather..picky aren't I ?
#2 Go to a Beach Boys or Moody Blues concert..The Bee Gees would have made this list..but Maurice kicked the bucket.
#3 Play in a World Series of Poker Tournament
#4 Go for a cruise in the Caribbean ...and not hear one complaint from Far Guy
#5 Go to Finland for a Sauna
Nope none of that sky diving, race car driving for me..I am going to wait until I get Alzheimer's to do those things.....:) What would be on your list?

Then In August of 2008 my niece Ellen gave me a ride in her convertible. Here is the story!

Then in July of 2009, Far Guy, Chance and I were in the "pee-raid" and I spent the afternoon in a convertible.

Did you notice anything? I seem to be stuck on number one. I am like a record stuck on an old phonograph, like a car stuck in a snowbank spinning it's wheels, like a little kid with his tongue stuck to a pump in the middle of the winter, like someone in know like in the old movies..someone gets stuck in the quicksand..then the music changes..and the hero comes riding up on his white horse in his white hat and ropes you in the first try and drags your sorry butt out of the quicksand pit.

Far Guy often makes lists, he actively works on them to see them to completion. He says I am not actively pursuing the things on my list..maybe not..maybe that is what is nice about my list..I am just waiting for life to happen..and to see if any of it just happens to be on my bucket list.  If I am stuck repeating number one, one more time I will just cross it off the list ( the third time is a charm) ..and put something else in it's place:)  

Friday, February 19, 2010


I am all through with Doctors appointments until March now..what a relief. I saw the eye Doctor, my eyes are healing well, everyday is getting better. I am still frustrated by the stupid reading glasses..before I never needed glasses to read and would often take my glasses off to read. Now I have to put on readers 1.75 ones to read. I got one of those straps so I can wear them around my neck, I have learned to take them off during meals..they end up with food on them..perhaps I need a bib.

I can see really good..20/20 and 20/30..I swear I have the eyes of a new born baby now. The only thing is I am so used to pushing up my glasses that I absent mindedly do it all day long. I also take my non existent glasses off in the sauna and sit them on the shelf in the dressing room. I put them on the ledge in the bath tub, I sit them on the the counter in the kitchen when I wash my hair in the sink. I was wearing my glasses 24/7 even at night..just in case I woke up in the middle of the night I could watch TV..I have slept with my glasses on for years. Now I only have these readers...that will be replaced by prescription readers in about three weeks. One positive thing I have noticed is that I no longer have to deal with glasses fogging up..yippee!! I will say that it is a fairly expensive you want to have good insurance in place.. I am just guessing at this point..but I think the total bill will be just under 20,000. Uffda.

It has been a real struggle to gain back my sight, those cataracts sneak up on you really fast. Long ago I would have just been the blind old grandma that sat in a rocking chair in the corner, unable to do any reading, handwork, cooking or housekeeping.

Yesterday I drove all by myself over to my cousins...this was the first time I have ventured more than two miles from home by myself in months. I can see to drive again!! I went to visit my cousin V, she had a brain aneurysm that was repaired at the Mayo Clinic. It was a fluke that they found it..she is recovering nicely and we had a good visit.

I got an email from Judy about Smiley the Springer Spaniel that was rescued " Thought you'd like to know that Smiley has been adopted. Not by us - although we were interested. Another family expressed interest before we did, and ultimately they will be getting him. They look very happy and I'm sure Smiley will have a good home." So that was a good update to hear.

I have been cleared to go back to my exercise routine..I have missed it..the group is now doing inverted sit ups sister in law..she who sees robins first can do well over fifty of them. ( Imagine hanging by your ankles at about a 45 degree angle..they are animals..Far Guy too.) I did 1/2 of Far Guy pushed on my back to help me complete them. I have a long way to go...I will never catch up..but I will have fun trying! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Teenage Hang Out

On Far Guys birthday we went out for is one of his favorite meals.  I had a Orthopedic appointment, I have escaped the surgeons knife this time, the exercises that I do for my shoulder really worked!!  I do them in both shoulders..I wouldn't want to be lopsided.  I can begin some of the Chuck Norris exercises on the total gym..not the fancy ones..I must still keep my elbows tucked in.   We did our errands and on the way out of town Far Guy said that it was too bad the bank ( it was a holiday) was closed (free coffee), I said, "What the hay it's your birthday..lets go to Schmiders for a coke!"  We have both given up sodas..we have them only occasionally..I was down to one a day..then I gave that one up too. Far Guy drinks coffee. I drink water.
Schmiders the old "hang out" on main street.  It was a soda/ice cream fountain.  Kids in high school went there for lunch of chips and a soda.  It was the place to meet after a game, after anything it was packed..there were so many kids in there it was hard to move.  They served Hot Dogs from one of those revolving spits up on one of the counters.  The chips hung from clips up on the wall.  You could get a malt, or a ice cream cone or a sundae.  You could get a fountain coke..flavored..cherry or vanilla or orange or lime.  You could get a lime phosphate..I never had one..but they looked interesting if you are partial to the green color.
 Otto was in charge, Donnie worked hard there..there was no swearing allowed, no fighting,..Otto would growl at you and kick you out if you caused a problem..they had pinball machines..and booths in the back...Far Guy and I used to play pinball there..if we could get the favorite machine away from Danny Hawks.  Otto also sold funny cards, magazines and tobacco products.  He had a successful business.  There were other hang outs..the pool hall, the pizza shop.and the Dixie..but Schmiders was the favorite of all the teens in town back in the sixties.
 I recall coke being 30 or 40 cents.. Far Guy says he can remember 25 cents. Now a days it is 1.75 for a medium... we had no problem placing our order for a regular coke and a cherry coke to go. There was no line of kids standing four and five deep to get to a stool next to the counter..there was only a group of silver hairs in the back that had pushed some tables was the group of neighborhood women that get together every Monday and go to lunch.  Far Guy went to talk with them, I just sat on my stool and recalled how different this place used to be.  The cherry coke is still the same..and Far Guy declared the fountain coke his absolute favorite..but it just wasn't the same.  Forty years ago this place would have been bursting at the seams at 12:15 on a school day...main street America sure has changed. Schmiders is now known as The Minnesoda Fountain.  New name, new people, new customer base..same building..same coke..but just not the same old hang out:) 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wistful Wednesday: 1952

This is Far Guy and Tiny, a Chihuahua. This photo was taken in 1952. Far Guys Dad loved dogs, I am not supposed to tell you that he used to put a cigarette in Tiny's mouth and then had him sit up.
 One time the entire family including Tiny were headed for Grand Forks, ND to visit relatives. They stopped at the farm to pick up something and while they were all in the house.. Tiny ate all of their freshly made turkey salad sandwiches...Far Guy says .."I was really disappointed, my Mom made some really great turkey salad sandwiches with celery in them and everything. Years later, my Dad would tell the story and laugh, but it wasn't very funny at the time."

Can you imagine this tiny little dog eating four turkey salad sandwitches..they were probably made with homemade bread too. Years ago that what the ladies used to do for long trips, they made sandwiches and cookies and put coffee in a thermos, and milk in a glass jar. There were very few fast food places, there were resturaunts..but they were expensive, so a good wife and mother would pack a lunch to be eaten along the way.

The fabric in these curtains and on this chair were pretty wild..but probably very fashionable for 1952:)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lets Play Hockey

On valentines day, we attended a hockey game.  Our granddaughters Savannah and Madison were playing.  They both play on the same team this year, Girls 12 and under, yes Savannah is 13..but she didn't make the cut off date.  Paige plays also, but didn't have a game on Sunday.
All three of the girls love hockey.  It is what they do in the winter, between practices, games and is an all consuming sport. In the summer they attend skills clinics and hockey camps. This is their third year of playing girls hockey,when they lived in Nebraska there wasn't a girls hockey program. 
The first girls hockey game was played in Barrie, Ontario in 1892.  However it took more than a hundred years for Women's Hockey to finally appear at the Olympics in 1998 in Nagano, Japan.
 I talked with the girls, I asked them  if they thought they could ever play in the Olympic Games..they thought so..but Madison and Paige want to play on different teams when they go to they can "cream" each other.  There are two sisters on the Olympic Team this year..the Lamoureux sisters from Grand Forks, ND.  In fact there are five women on the Olympic team that are from Minnesota or North Dakota.
 Savannah is a bit of a scrapper.  She would like to be able to do full body checks, sometimes she pushes the limit and incurs a penalty.   Physical checks are a way to take out, slow down or interrupt the other teams possession of the puck.  Checking is not allowed in Girls Hockey.
 Madison is in the back of this photo..getting ready to bite the
I am not sure what positions the girls play. I think they are Wings..maybe.  When they are playing they fall down, I hold my breath until they scramble to their feet. I probably spend way too much time trying to photograph them.  Do you know how hard it is to photograph moving objects?  I love that they both were wearing black was much easier to keep track of them.

They won their game, but even if they hadn't they would have lined up to bump fists with the refs, the coaches and the opposing thing that they have learned by playing a team sport is teamwork and sportsmanship.  Oh ya, and you should always have an extra hair band!

Hockey= Invented by boys, perfected by girls:) 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sixty Years Ago

On this date in1950 a little girl who was almost five years old and her father went shopping downtown in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. It was a special day, the little girl had just become a big sister. She helped her father pick out a lovely gift for her mother. They took the gift to the hospital where she met her little brother. The little girl remembered the story or it would have been lost forever.

Far Guy will forever be the little brother, and his sister forever the big sister.

The pearls are now in the possession of our eldest daughter, Trica. She is "the keeper of the pearls." The pearls that are as old as her father. She has been instructed to share them with her sister..
Jen wearing the pearls, we laughed the day I took this photo..they look so glamorous with a T shirt..but she has the right coloring to look fantastic in these pearls.  

Trica is also to share them with her daughters and her nephews brides. Someday they will be handed down..perhaps after a wedding or a birth.

Happy Birthday Far Guy! :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

When I was little, this was the best day!  The preparations were so much fun.  Smack dab in the middle of winter, the big jar of glue would be carried to a table at school during Art.  The red and white paper and your imagination were the only things needed to make the perfect Valentine container.  Then you got the class list, fresh copies..everyone buried their noses in the paper smelling those purple words.   I took my list home and diligently picked out the best and biggest Valentine for what ever boy seemed to be the object of my friendship that week.  Carefully I formed the letters of the names on the outside of the tiny envelopes, you did not want to miss anyone.  Even though you would just as soon forget the little boy that always had a green runny nose which he wiped on his shirt sleeves, first the right ..then the left..until they were shiny and slick with snot.  He wasn't ever anyone's boyfriend.  The little boy that every little girl wanted to call her "beau" ended up being a priest.  A nose filled with freckles instead of boogers..and he became a priest.  I am not sure what happened to "booger boy"..he is probably a Politician or a Lawyer:) 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Eyeball Report

I am still having problems, my eyeball feels like it is swollen and bruised, and my head hurts.  This eye is nothing like the last is much more painful and very frustrating.  Far Guy took me to town this afternoon for a pair of reading glasses that allow me to read maybe this is the turning point. If not I will be in a fairly bad mood for a long time.  I have been silent, napping on the couch, minding my own business, staying out of trouble.. and just sleeping..I am still exhausted:(
Thumper said "If you can't say somethin nice, then don't say nothin at all."

Friday, February 12, 2010

The eyes have it

Wednesday was a perfectly good day to go and get my other eye done. The finish, the grand finale in the quest for sight.

Far Guy and my Dad accompanied me, Chance was once again left safely at home. We waited and waited once we got there, they were running really late. Finally at about the time I was scheduled to have my surgery they called my name. I think I was the last patient of the day...things were going really fast, the Anesthetist came in, a different guy this time..not old and wise looking like the last time..and no moustache. I was old enough to be this young mans mother, in fact he graduated from UND School of Nursing in the class after my daughters. I asked him to stay with me during the entire procedure, and that I would like to be asleep just a little longer this time...he said "No, problem" The nurses barely finished my IV and then Dr. B came in, he started squirting stuff in my eye..the Doctors are just not as neat as the Nurses are about these drops..I asked him why in the world it took him two hours to make the drive this morning....the Nurses began to chuckle...he apparently had told them that the roads were bad. Anyway, he wanted me in the OR, saying "Let's go! " the Anesthetist walked me there.. Mavis was on vacation..but there were some other very nice Nurses there. The Doc comes in and says "Lets do this" ..I saw some lights..far away..and didn't walk towards them..then the Doc talked about the lens folding ..being too warm or too cold, then he said he was done and the time was 12:04 as he ripped the drape from my face. Done, Yes!! I told the Anesthetist " That was really good for me, how was it for you?" I believe he replied "Truly memorable." He did a great job! 
He took me to recovery, they got Far Guy and my Father from the waiting room. My nurse brought me a sandwich and a soda. I began to feel a little faint, some spots whirling madly in my one good eye..then I guess I kinda passed out. Which caused just a little excitement..those poor nurses..somehow they got me into the bed with my feet up. As it turns out Far Guy diagnosed my problem..fluids..he simply pinched the skin on the back of my hand..and the skin clung together. He went in search of some water for me. The nurses came back in and speeded up my IV and in a little while I felt much better. I also drank two huge glasses of water. Doctors were parading in and out, I must have been the excitement of the day.."Let's go talk to the lady that passed out in same day surgery." I told them of Far Guys diagnosis..they all agreed. Last time I was welly hydrated by the IV before the surgery, this time it was a hurry up situation with the IV just started and my body finally just protested. The handsome Duke, the older Anesthetist with the moustache, came by and said I was all better and could go home now that I had finished all of my IV fluids and drank lots of water.

This time, I was more numb nose was even numb. I got to fore go the massive headache this time. Although I do have some pain and some swelling that I did not have last time. I might end up with a black eye. I rested after getting home, and had a nap. Thursday I went in and got off the fancy bandages, I can see really good far away, but absolutely nothing is in focus close up. I could not read. This is all totally foreign to me, I knew it was going to happen..but I still was not prepared. The whole not reading thing was complicated because Far Guy insisted that they check out my eye from two weeks they dilated it..wide open..and found no problems..only floaters.

Far Guy found me some reading glasses in the grocery store, but they didn't fit my face. He just wanted to get home, so we missed breakfast and other reading glass shopping options. I am using an old pair of his reading glasses today. Today I can drive myself to town and look as long as I want, of course I won't be able to read any of the tags on the I will have to try lots of them on. I feel like crap..extremely tired and very cranky. I just woke up from a nine hour nap and I am still exhausted. I can report that my left eye is happy again, it is my dominant eye..and the two weeks of fighting for "top eye" status is finally over.

As for my sight, it is extremely clear and colorful..whites are white, and colors are once again like I remember long ago. So I can scratch off cataracts from my things to be endured when you get older list:)