Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Quilter

Meet Glenn, a quilter.  He was demonstrating at the Lake Itasca Pioneer Farmers Show.  I asked him if I could take his photo, he said sure, fire away! 

IMG_6662 I asked him why he picked quilting as a hobby, he replied “I retired and my wife said I had to have some kind of hobby, and I figured quilting was for me.  I love it. Of course I have streamlined the process, and I can put together a quilt in a day or two, this one will be finished by the end of the show this weekend.”   I asked him about his sewing machine, I said it must be the best operating sewing machine around.  He replied “I oil it every three or four quilts.” 

IMG_6663I was very impressed with his sewing skills, I was also very impressed that a man would find great satisfaction in a hobby that is predominately female, and be comfortable enough in his own skin to demonstrate those skills:)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Simple Ways

A long time ago when I was a child seeing a field like this was normal.  Now when I see one it is special.

IMG_6911Shocks of grain in a field near my maternal Grandparents old farm.


Everyone rests on Sunday, except of course the horse.  You have to stop and think that perhaps this mode of transportation has it’s merits..no gasoline is involved.  The only emissions are of the solid or liquid variety of fertilizer quality. Nothing is imported or refined.  No wars are fought over hay or oats.  There are no middle men or CEO’s that are going to profit and retire with millions here.

Sometimes a simpler life is appealing to me, I like horses and would love to go to town in a carriage..of course it would take all day..so I wouldn’t have time to cook, clean, bake bread or hand wash my laundry. Once I got to town I would just guard the carriage since I don’t like to shop.  

Have you ever seen  any Amish in the nursing home?  Do their people work so hard that they escape the “home”..or do they surround their elderly with love and care everyday until their last day on earth arrives? 

I would like to take bits and pieces of this lifestyle..the horses and carriages..the feeling of family that surrounds you unconditionally with love and support even when you get old. Do I want to hand wash clothing and wear dresses everyday..and a hat..and look down a lot..and never have an opinion of my own..probably not:) 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

German Postcard

I WILL not be collecting postcards, just so you know, and my husband can relax. Collecting old photographs is enough of a sickness.
This postcard was included in with a group of photos that I purchased. German Postcard
This piece of ephemera was printed in Saxony..which is a State in Germany.
German Postcard Back Here I thought it might be classified as a French Postcard…only to find out it is German.  I imagine in its time it was considered quite scandalous, after all she is showing off her ankles and her shoulders.  I like than she is not all skinny and bony..she may even be considered plump by today's standards.

When I first started collecting old photographs, I had one box full. I added a small file container which I keep shoved under my desk.  It holds  photos I want to scan or have scanned and will use shortly on my Forgotten Old Photos Blog.

Recently I cleaned out my files and packed away all the photos I have used, they partially filled a Rubbermaid container.  I can hear my girls now, “ Mother was nuts..wasn’t she?”

I have returned a number of photographs to family members of those pictured in the old photos. Not nearly enough to make a dent in the collection..the other day I purchased an old trunk..Far Guy said “What are you going to store in there?  Christmas Ornaments or Old Photographs?”    Maybe both:)

Thanks everyone for taking a guess with the Mystery Item yesterday, it turned out to be a hog scraper.  Many of my readers were able to identify it!  Thanks!

I do have one reader in North Dakota who had a totally off the wall idea..his taste in beer is always evident!  His idea was called a Country Club Balancer:) 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mystery Item

I have no idea what this is.  Perhaps one of my readers will know.   It was a gift to Far Guy from his cousin Bonnie. She believes that it was their Great Great Grandfather Xaver Aleck’s, he was a tailor in Philadelphia before he became a farmer in Harrison County, Iowa in 1860.  It may or may not have anything to do with being a tailor..


I have put one of Chances new non slobbered up tennis balls next to the mystery item..so you can tell the size.

IMG_6963 Let the guessing begin..:)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wildflowers: Jewelweed

Far Guy is a jewel of a guy, he cooks most of the time and we split the housework..

One day a few years ago I came home from town, probably after a horrible grocery shopping experience and he was cleaning up the ceiling.  Now why in the world was he washing the ceiling?  He had a hair brained idea, he had ordered a whole bunch of Jewelweed off of the Internet..it was fresh..so he put it in the blender and made a slurry out of it..except he doesn’t have a license to run a blender..so of course the top came off and green goo covered the ceiling and many other things too.   The green goo that did not end up on the ceiling ended up in the fridge.   Some of that green goo was mixed with a liquid soap, I was instructed to use it for my poison ivy..well low and behold green goo works to stop the itch and the spread of the dreaded Poison Ivy.  He tried to talk me into doing a more scientific study where I would rub Poison Ivy on both of my arms and wash one with Jewelweed green goo and leave the other untreated.. well I may be a bit of an adventurous sort sometimes..but I am no dummy.

IMG_6906 Jewelweed or Impatiens pallida grows wild here in Minnesota. It likes to grow near the lakes. It is a native plant.  It is also called Touch-me-Not, this fits it perfectly.  The seed pods shoot seeds in all directions if they are touched.  It’s thick fleshy stems hold the green goo. I have found both the yellow colored variety and the orange spotted variety.  The orange seems to grow taller than the yellow.

IMG_6897 Far Guy showed Adam how the seedpods explode when they are touched..Adam thought it was pretty cool.  Far Guy took a few stems filled with green goo to a local soap maker..his idea of having his own Jewelweed soap may again become a reality one of these days.  He told the soap maker if she put it into a blender to make sure the lid was securely in place:)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer Projects: Dining Room Table and Chairs

At the beginning of the summer we had a list of things to do.  Naturally there was a carry over from last summer.  It was a big project..refinishing the old antique chairs and to re-tile the dining table..we have done this before..it was not a fun project, that was ten years ago, neither of us were looking forward to revisiting  that project.  Our old chairs were a pain in the neck, they would dry out in the winter and the rungs would need to be re-glued..They have been with us a long time..back in 1986  they were pink. They were found in one of the buildings at the resort under a partially caved in roof.  Sometime or another they had been orange, then pink, and finally green, I sanded them down and primed them and painted them green again..a wonderful country green.  The table was small, it had a linoleum top. Old linoleum that when you tore it off it had a black backing.  Someone built the table years ago, probably back in the 1940’s.  The table would fit six people..barely.
I bought new tile and paint for this project last summer. Indigo Blue..Far Guys favorite color.  Then I was thinking maybe I should just change my mind and do a soft yellow.
IMG_6744 Last week, we were at a Flea Market up by Itasca State Park.  There was some very nice looking log furniture.  I have sat in some of this stuff, the chairs with their very straight backs are torture to sit in.  I sat in this one..hey!!  this guy has sat in a log chair or two himself, he came over and said “ Some people just don’t know how to make log chairs.”   Far Guy came over and said..Wow..lets take it home ..so we did.
IMG_6747We have lots of room now for people to sit, I had three little boys lined up on the side benches  last weekend and they declared that there was room for a fourth person if they squished together.  Now we can seat eight comfortably.
IMG_6750When we built this home, we purposely avoided a formal dining room..been there done that and dusted once a week.  We just wanted a dining area off of the kitchen where we could see the TV in the living room.  We rarely entertain and when we do it is just the neighbors or relatives anyway..not real fancy smancy people that need a real dining room to appreciate Far Guys cooking:)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wistful Wednesday: Sixty Years Later

Grandma and Grandpas place in about 1949

This is a photo taken at my Maternal Grandparents farm.  This photo was taken about sixty years ago in 1949 or 1950.  Left to right are: A neighbor lady and her child, my Aunt Marion, Uncle Al with his hand on his chin, Aunt Toots, unknown little girl, and standing in the background one of my other uncles..Delbert, Dennis or Butch..he is too far away to identify. 

I always thought my Grandparents driveway made a circle behind the house..in this photo it is quite obviously that at one time the driveway was in front of the house and you entered directly into what I would call the dining room.  Later a porch must have been added to the front..that is where they kept the two deep freezers full of wonderful food, and the Christmas tree at Christmas time..and a rocking chair with a magazine rack.  A Cuckoo Clock from Germany hung high on the wall..the little dancers would pop out of their doors on the hour and on the half hour.  A row of windows lined the porch.  There was a funny little window high on the wall in the kitchen that looked into this porch..I am not sure what the function of that window was..a pass through..or maybe my Grandmother wanted a pretty stained glass window there to look at while she sat at the kitchen table.  She sat some of her favorite knick knacks on the ledge of that window.

My Grandfather had a garden back to the east of the old chicken coop where the soil was rich and black..he grew everything there.  If you could grow it, he did, and my Grandmother canned and froze all the produce.

Cabbage at Grandma and Grandpas old farm The other day we drove by.  Grandpas Alfalfa field is now a garden.

Grandpa and Grandmas Old Farm The new occupants are Amish and they have a produce stand and bakery, but it is not open on Sunday.  We will try to go back another day.  My Grandpa would have been happy to see that someone is gardening properly again.

 Grandpa and Grandmas old Farm August 2010The only things that are the same is the old garage which is not visible in these photos..the machine shed on the right and the Oak trees out front.  Everything else has changed:)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bad Day Tuesday


Sometimes do you feel like the wind has been taken out of your sails?  That you just need to rest for a bit. STOP the whole freaking world ..I just want to get off this crazy ride.  I just need to bury my head under a pillow and tomorrow will be a better day.  I barely have the energy to bitch and moan properly.

That freaking overpaid government employee that is supposed to deliver our mail called AGAIN before 8AM, he has a package for me..what should he do with it..well you can just imagine what I woulda told him ..but Far Guy intercepted the phone call.  Far Guy will drive to town and get the offending package..what a poor excuse for a mail man..he whines more than I do. 

Today might be a bad day…perhaps it was the TWO Root Canals I endured yesterday…feeling like a red hot poker was being stabbed into my sinus cavity..or maybe it was the antibiotic solution the dripped down and set my tongue on fire.  Perhaps it was paying the bill, for something that may or may not work..as the infection was widespread..and the drainage hole in my upper gum is now draining some vile crap..perhaps it is the swelling that makes me talk funny..perhaps I just need a time out.  I know that my ability to cope is non-existent today.

I am going back to bed..tomorrow will be a better day.  Maybe I just need to load up on Aleve or Advil, or some of Far Guys good stuff that knocks me out.

I WILL be fine..just not today:(   

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cousin Chuckie: Self Taught Carver

Chuckie the Carver

My cousin Chuckie is a self taught carver.  He learned to carve with a carpet knife on his noon hour.  This weekend he volunteered his time as a demonstrator at the Lake Itasca  Pioneer Farmers Show.  We stopped by on Friday to say Hi.

Chuckies Carvings Chuckie is a very talented carver and wood burner.  All of these birds have been carved and each individual  feather is wood burned before they are painted..some are just carved and wood burned..the feathers are real works of art.

IMG_6648 We see Chuckie at carving in town. He is always available to answer questions and to give suggestions.  His carving group is quite active, and Far Guy and I have decided to join them once a week when we can.  So to make a long story short we are keeping company with people who have very sharp knives!   It seems like a real friendly group, mainly men, but there are a few women.

I have an unfinished duck and an unfinished Santa that I should do something with..something as in finish or burn in the wood stove. Far Guy and I both have unfinished Carousel Horses from a class we took a long time ago. We have lots of projects to keep us busy with this group for the winter. 

Another of the reasons we decided to join the carving group is the Christmas Ornament that Far Guy designed for 2010. It is a carving. If we go every week between now and Christmas we will have it in the bag!  We need to carve about 60 ornaments…we have 12 done…well not done done..but carved.  When we get them all done I will share photos.  We have been working on them during the day either in Far Guys garage or in his greenhouse, the heat has been keeping us out of there lately and into the shade of the garage. Wood Carving is a very messy hobby, soon enough we will have to carve indoors, but for now it is an outside activity. 

Carving is a quiet activity, you can hear the Loons down on the lake, and the Chipmunks with an attitude Chirping at Chance, and the sound of a ball being deposited into the carving bag that sits on the floor between us:)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vietnam Memorial on the Prairie

IMG_6754 This is a well traveled road on the third Saturday in August. The memorial is directly in the center of this photograph, on the hillside overlooking the prairie. The third Saturday in August always signals the changing of the flags at this local Vietnam Memorial. Once a year the old flags are changed out for new ones.
My Dad, raising the Army Flag.
IMG_6794  This year was special, my Dad who is a Korean War Veteran and Dave  a Vietnam Veteran who happens to be married to Ann one of my faithful blog readers were in charge of raising the brand new Army flag.
IMG_6803 Far Guys Uncle Archie helped to raise the Air Force Flag.
IMG_6797  There was one World War II Veteran.

There were little boys whose Grandpa bought them Marine T Shirts. Howard said in his opening remarks “Everyone should bring their children, so that they will remember that many men fought for their freedom.”

This is the third time that we have attended.  This tiny little Memorial service is getting more attention every year.. I have written about it before. 
One Man’s Dream August 2008
Bunker Hill in August 2009
This year many people attended for the first time, one couple was from out of state and just happened to hear about it and decided to stay in the area an extra couple of days..why? Because he was a Vietnam Vet. 
We should never forget:)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Bells And A Mountain Lion

The bells

Several people asked to see the bells that I purchased at the Val Chatel  sale.  You remember the ones that Far Guy carried  around for me..and I could tell where he was!  Those guys on TV..the American Pickers had a set just like these one night, they shook them..I nearly flew off the couch..then they put them back down without saying a word about them. Bummer. I think perhaps some kind of animal wore these bells..but I am not sure.  Perhaps my readers care to venture a guess!

I hung these out on the sauna..just incase we are ever lost in a blizzard between the sauna and the house we can ring the bells. Or perhaps we will need them in case of a Mountain Lion Attack..do you suppose these bells ringing would scare one off..or just make him think he had a talented snack?

Last evening a Mountain Lion was sighted in the neighborhood, he or she is about four feet long with a tail that is about two feet long.  Josh, my nephew who was raised in Wyoming and has seen just a few Mountain Lions saw it in his yard.  He called to warn us.  Shortly before the phone rang, Chance came to the dining room window and wanted in “NOW.” Isn’t living in the woods fun. This morning Far Guy is out looking for tracks:)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Two Highlights and a Non Highlight

Well another week down the tubes..a couple of fun things happened this week.  Far Guy and I went to the “Rez Parade” last Sunday.  We took Chance and parked near the Church and sat in the car until the parade started.   Before anyone calls me racist..the Native Americans call it a Rez  parade themselves. The highlight? 


This photo, how many people have a photo of the cops throwing candy at them.

Tuesday we went up to Jen and Andy's, their house is coming along…I am waiting for her to share before and after photos on her blog.  She made the move over from Area Voices to Blogspot..so now she is easier to find. Her blog is called East  Side Professor.   If she were not enamored with the English language and teaching she would have made a great Interior Decorator.  We went along with Noah to his guitar lesson, and then we all went out for supper.   The highlight?

This photo, I had to bump it up a bit in Photoshop..but I finally got one of the photos that is on my bucket list..a Rainbow!!  The blooming Flax field, Lightening and a baby Buffalo still remain on the photo bucket list.  We have had lots of rain this summer, and we have seen a few rainbows..but they either disappear before we get to a safe spot where we can photograph them or are so puny they don’t show up in a photo. ..this one I just took out of the window on our way back from town.

The non highlight this week was a Dental Checkup and Cleaning where it was discovered that I have not just one abscess but two ( sometimes I am just an over achiever)  and I will undergo two root canals on Monday morning..the infections have been treated with four doses of various antibiotics over the past six months. I told the Dentist to just pull them both out, he said he wants to try to save them..especially the one that shows when I smile..I told him that I am a cranky old woman and rarely smile anyway:(

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chance : Change

Hey loyal blog readers it is I, Chance the blogging Border Collie! 
Miney Elvis and Chance August 17 2010 Tuesday we went up north to see Miney and Little Elvis and my sister and her husband and their off spring.  They moved to a new/old house and are supposed to have it all fenced in now, a really safe yard for Little Elvis and Miney and me!   When we got there, I was barely out of the car, and Miney and Little Elvis came running..so Far Guy and Far Side walked the entire fence to see where they got out..well it seems a little boy was pulling our leg and let them out the gate.  Far Side about had a cow..as the traffic by their new house is terrible..and the grain trucks are coming and going from the elevator.
Chance and Elvis running A new double walled doggie door was installed..not one where you just poke your head through and can see outside..you have to go through one flap and then through another..I would rather just have someone open the real door for me..but my sister found out if she closed the real door then I would go in and out the strange new doggie door. Change is sometimes difficult..but when you have friends to help you through a change, then the whole world seems better.
Chance and Little Elvis August 17 Their yard is beautiful, and shady and a grand place to play ball. They don’t have a doggie pool..but that might be because my sister is more persnickety than Far Side about dripping wet dogs.
Little Elvis looking Handsome Far Side says that Little Elvis is getting too handsome for his own good.  He needs to go to dog obedience school too..because he doesn’t come when called..he has a mind of his own, and if he doesn’t want to come..he doesn’t..Far Side called him a spoiled little fart.
three spoiled dogs 
Little Elvis is a Tri Color Sheltie ( Shetland Sheepdog)  and Miney is a Sheltie too, her color is called Sable.  Little Elvis is on the small side for a Sheltie and Miney is a tad on the large side for a Sheltie ( don’t tell her I said so.)  I am of course a Border Collie:)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wistful Wednesday: 1955

Marvin, Jan , Gene ,Steve, Nickie and Jerry at a Game Farm

This is an old photo of Far Guys Dad and a group of kids at a game farm/tourist trap, we think it was probably one near Rapid City, SD.

The children are Stevie, Far Guy, Nickie, Jeri in front and Janice is on the other side of her Dad, you can barely see her peeking around her Dad.

Far Guy does not remember this photo being taken.  I asked him what he remembered about those snazzy cowboy boots, he remembers nothing..and concerning the suspenders..he said “No wonder all the kids used to call me ‘Spenders’ in school.”

We have not seen Stevie or Nickie in a couple of years. Jeri died when she was just fifteen years old, while undergoing minor surgery.  Recently I ran onto her obituary it was in that pile of Obits that Far Guys Mother had saved.  She died in Covina, California and is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.  It must have been a very sad time for the family. Far Guy and I saw Jeri at the State Fair in Lincoln, Nebraska the summer before she died:)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reluctant Dancer

reluctant dancer round one At the PowWow on Saturday night, I observed one of the smallest dancers.  I am not sure if this reluctant dancer is a little boy or a little girl.  The first time they danced around the circle was fine and dandy. Note the Spiderman slippers..too cute!

Reluctant dancer the meltdown Then he/she pitched a fit. It was a total meltdown.  The parent in me was embarrassed for the Dad, the Grandmother in me was just charmed by a child showing his/her true feelings.

Reluctant dancer two

The Dad was patient.

Reluctant dancer three

The dance continued:)

Monday, August 16, 2010

PowWow at Pine Point

We live just seven miles from the Reservation.  The public is invited every year to the PowWow.  Far Guy and I went over on Saturday evening between rain showers.

No photographs are allowed during the Peace Pipe Prayer Ceremony.  Other than that, you can take photographs.


The Flags are honored in the Grand Entry.  They make one circle around the drummers and then the dancers dance another circle around the flag bearers, who are all men who have been or are in the Military.  The entire PowWow area is made up of circles..everything is done in a circle.

Dancer with Turtle ShieldThis is the first year I noticed the turtle shield.  I was curious..curiosity should be my middle name.  It seems that there is a story about an Indian Brave who lost a battle, everything was taken from him..even his clothing.  He ran wildly through the woods when all of a sudden he heard his native drum and recognized the singing.  He swam across a river to get there, while he was in the river a snapping turtle attached itself to his arm, he ran screaming into the camp, dancing wildly..since then turtle shields are used during ceremonial dances to remember this great warrior.  In the photo above, the dancer is carrying eagle feathers in his left hand and a deer antler in his right hand..he honors these animal spirits by dancing with them as part of his Regalia.

Dancer with Turtle rattle I also saw a turtle rattle, this is attributed to an Anishinabe Tale of an Indian brave who tripped over a turtle and felt bad because the turtle was just soft skin and bone, he brought two shells and placed them on each side of the turtle and said “Here is your protection, you can carry your home with you always.”  The turtle could live on land or in the water, the shell is like Mother Earth a round hump that resembles hills and mountains.  The turtle can also represent a long life.

IMG_6394 IMG_6450The men dancers seemed to outshine the women this year.  Many of the dancers I recognized from last year, it was a very nice way to spend the evening:)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guess Where?

I know that my readers are smarter than average, therefore I am sure that you are going to guess where we were last night.

Guess Where we were One

I will leave you two clues.

Guess where two The weather is cool here, it only rained twice  yesterday..usually by this time in August our lawn if you can call it that has gone dormant.  Not so this year, it is still growing strong.  It dipped into the 50’s last night and our high today will not make 70 degrees.  It feels like Fall.  I saw some geese flying south the other day:)