Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuesday Trip

Last Tuesday we took off on an adventure.  The leaves were at the height of their Fall color.


We made many stops along the way.


This public access to a small lake was a perfect place to stretch our legs..Chance is a good traveler…but we all need to get out of the car!  We stopped at a few Antique Shops, and visited a few places that are total blog fodder.

Our destination is clear..


Follow the yellow brick road..follow the yellow brick we are not in Kansas..we are in Grand Rapids, Minnesota the birth place of Judy Garland.  There is a museum there ..but it is only open on weekends in the winter..and they think winter starts right after Labor Day.  I wanted to see the Ruby Slippers..then I heard that they were stolen back in 2005. We will have to go back again..on a weekend. They must have some other fine memorabilia there.  I did see a pair of ruby slippers in one of the Antique Shops..unfortunately I hardly ever take my camera into Antique Shops.

This time we were there to see two special ladies. The first one was Far Guy’s Cousin,  we had a lovely visit with her..Chance played ball and pooped in her front yard. We found out later that the next door neighbor has hand raised two baby skunks that have been known to spray dogs..luckily we did not see them. Her dogs Curley and Macy have both been sprayed.  She reported that both times a diluted bleach water worked the best to remove the worst of the offensive odor.

In the evening we headed to the Library, to meet the second special lady.  Chance was walked once again..before we headed to the book club talk where Laurie of Three Dog Blog and the Author of News To Me Adventures of an Accidental Journalist was being featured.   It was a pleasure to meet Laurie and have her sign my copy of her book.  Her interview was awesome, just like Laurie!  If I had not already read and reviewed her book..I would have bought it.  Far Guy enjoyed Laurie’s stories too!  IMG_8115

Laurie is on the right, she was interviewed by a local Grand Rapids Gal that had a local radio show about books.  Anyway..both of these gals who said they were both “shy” were very entertaining!  Far Guy said “They both have a way with words.”  It was a very casual gathering..with cookies and hot apple cider served.  We were welcomed by several seemed to be a real friendly group of people…they had on their Minnesota Nice!  This was a lovely way to end our adventure and head back home:)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wistful Wednesday :1915

I did some research this week.  I had a photo of the family that raised my maternal Grandmother Elsie. They were August and Elizabeth Anderson..Elizabeth was my Grandmothers Aunt.

Grandma Anderson, Raised Elsie copy Here she that a chamber pot in her hand..I am not certain, but it certainly appears to be.   Elizabeth..or Elisa as it was noted in one of the census records. Of course she was known as most women were in those days as Mrs. August Anderson.  My Mother could not remember this ladies first name as she was always known as Grandma Anderson.  Finally I found her in the census records!

I was also able to figure out a few things about this photo..

Anderson Family

I believe this to be a photo taken right around 1915.  Left to right are John-25, Lena-?, Annie-28, Lizzie ( Elizabeth)-21, Elizabeth-59, Elsie ( My Grandmother)–5, August-75, August-35 and William-15.  This photo was just called the Anderson Family Photo.  Now the faces have some names.  In the 1920 census my grandmother appears as the adopted daughter.  She went to live with this family in 1912 probably around Christmas time…after her mother died and her father did not want to care for her. On a side note..August seemed to have had some huge friendly dogs!  I am not absolutely certain of the identity of all the men in the photo..but they seem to fit the census records and how the photo was labeled.

From what I understand this was a safe home for my Grandmother,  she worked hard there..and when she became old enough she was “Shoved from pillar to post to work in the fields or cared for babies wherever she was needed the most.”  She was married at the age of 15.

She had a good relationship with her adopted sisters..I met them many times when I was little..I just thought that they were a bunch of old ladies that visited my Grandma all the time.

Lena, Annie, Lizzie all Anderson sisters copy  Lena, Annie and Lizzie sometime in the 1950’s.

This is how I remember these ladies, always in dresses with black little old lady shoes worn with thick stockings. One more piece of family history solved:)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunrise on Monday

Chance and I woke up before the sun on Monday morning.  My baby brother in Oregon wanted to see some sunrise photos.  I usually enjoy the sunrise from indoors..or at least from the front door, with one eye open and one eye closed..and yawning!   I am so not a morning person.  In order to see a sunrise here you have to get into the car and drive out of the woods.
First we drove down the highway a half a mile. The clouds were layers of golden pink colors.
Deer in the field Sept26 2010
Then we turned around to go the other way..and we spooked a bunch of deer..Chance thought he was a big shot scaring them as they ran all over like a bunch of wild ants.
We looked for a good sunrise spot.  This one is over south of the cemetery.  Then we went and lollygagged around over at the Dead Beaver area..where the water is really high because of all the rain..
Sun finally appears  Sept 26 Back out on the prairie and it is finally a sunrise.
IMG_7921 These are some wild Asters that are showing off next to some  underbrush that is turning colors.

We are having a warm spell, the itty bitty tiny Deer Ticks are out again..Chance had six of them today..all crawling on his white fur. When we get a hard frost they will be gone..I cannot wait.  It was cool this morning....but my Jammies kept me pretty warm, and Chance was good company.  When we came home I saw a flash of white tails in my nephews drive..I quickly rolled down my window..a bunch of deer were trapped between his dog Bailey..who wears a collar for an invisible fence and Chance who was dangling out his window barking so hard that he was making me giggle and making the car none of those photos are decent enough to share.  So the big news of the day is there are way too many deer in here again, I figured as much.

I hope you enjoyed the sunrise trip..I won’t be doing it on a regular basis..unless of course I just stay up all night until sunrise and then go to bed:)

Monday, September 27, 2010

99 years ago

My maternal Grandmother was born on September 26, 1911.  Her father( Dietrich) was not a nice man and not much is known about her mother ( Amanda) as she died when Grandma was 15 months old, Amanda fell ( or was pushed) down the stairs while she was pregnant.  Making Dietrich a widower with four small children.  
Detrich,Amanda,Bill,Henry Glander Dietrich, Amanda, Bill and Henry in1905?
Dietrich and Amanda had four children, Bill ( always known as Uncle Bill), Henry, Gunvold and my maternal grandmother Elsie.

What to do..what to do..well..keep the boys and ship off the little girl to your sister.
  Mrs Anderson with Elsie GlanderThis  is my Grandmother..doncha just love the big old bow in her hair?  She is pictured with Grandma Anderson..Dietrichs sister.  I will guess that this photo was taken in about 1916 when my Grandmother was five years old.  I asked my Mother what Grandma Andersons first name was..she did not she was always called Grandma Anderson.  On a side note..Grandma Anderson and her mother ( who would have been my Great-Great Grandmother) were the first two white women in Toad Lake Township, Becker County, Minnesota in 1888.

Elsie Glander Grandmother when she was about 2 or 3 years old..1913 or 1914.

I wonder how my Grandmother felt..abandoned first by the death of her Mother and then by the choice her father made.  Then how do you accept the fact that your father was probably the cause of your mothers death?   How much did it effect the mothering she would do in subsequent years?

I will say that I think she was a much better Grandmother than a Mother.  I think that can be said of many women.  I am a much better Grandmother than a Mother, I have more time for one thing..time to play games and time to listen.
Elsie and Connie 1952 Grandma was just 40 in this photo..a very young Grandma..that would be me in the photo with her..I was the one that made her a Grandmother.  This photo was taken in the spring of 1952, I was born the previous fall, our birthdays are just 40 years and six days apart.

Some of my memories of her:
She spoke German to the cats and dogs and they understood her.  She had a deep love for animals…and me and my menagerie were always welcome inside the house to visit. Twice I took newborn litters of Shelties to visit, and more often than not..I had four Shelties with me.

She was a wonderful cook, my favorites were her Lemon Bars and new peas and potatoes in white sauce..oh and Russian Dill Pickles and rhubarb sauce.

She had a table on the south side of the kitchen that was filled with flowers, blooming African Violets and a plant that began growing in the corner and up the wall and over the top of the windows.  It was chopped down one year when my Mother painted the walls..but quickly grew back again.  Grandma could grow anything..she had flowers inside and flowers outside.

She was stoic when my Grandfather was moved to the Nursing home and she wanted to go with him.  She was strong when he died..and she followed him exactly 64 days later, almost a day for every year that they were married.  They were married for 68 years.  My Grandmother was 84 when she died..and I was 44.. I was blessed to have her in my life for so many years:) 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I am cranky

My husband says I am cranky. He may be correct. However the more he suggests it..the crankier I become.  Even if I was not cranky to begin with, by the time I have heard “Gee you are cranky” a couple of then I am a tad cranky.

Far Guy says  I shouldn’t have ripped the Chief a new anus when he called to talk to him the other day.  Oh well..I have been around a day or two when the Chief was in one of his  “moods.”

My other baby brother called me one day..he said “Sis..don’t growl when you answer the phone, be cheerful, and be nice”  Then two minutes later the freaking phone rings again..I holler “HELLO..this is Cheerful Connie.”  He replies..”Just wondering if you were listening to me.” 

I am on a phone strike..I am not answering the stupid thing..I am ignoring it.  I have had it with it interrupting my thoughts and  disturbing my well being.  Far Guy said he could rip it off the wall for me and throw it in the woods..he also said that if I needed to dial 911 at any time perhaps I could send them an email.

Men..between my husband and my brother..they are ganging up on me..and I think they are picking on me.  I think they like irritating me.  They want me to shut brother said that perhaps when I am disgusted with someone I should just “grunt”.   What kind of a hair brained solution is that?

My husband thinks that I should never say anything negative. I am serious..sometimes I can actually see him raise his eyes heavenward and plead with the powers that be for me to shut up.   Everything I say should be kind and positive.  Like the other night when he nearly abandoned me at a local store..where I had just received horrendous customer service.  There isn’t anything that gets my goat worse than poor customer service.  I could have called the owner of the store..instead since I have an aversion to phones..I emailed him.   Now if I had taken Far Guy’s advice I would have said “Thank you so much for having a service available that is not available, I love coming to town twice because you have taken a vacation from your job.” Or maybe I should have just grunted.
Here is the pretty picture for the day. This is the young gentleman that passed us at about 75 MPH and caused people that were in the oncoming lane of traffic to give him the one finger salute. He wasn’t wearing his seatbelt can see the strap on the right is the same as the one on the left..unoccupied.

Far Guy had a cow and called him every name in the book..I was nice and said “Perhaps he didn’t see all the oncoming traffic..or perhaps he is in a hurry to visit his dear mother.” :) 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Old Dishes

I always look for dishes at garage sales.  I look for depression glass dishes to round out either of the sets that we will leave for the girls.  I look for the dishes that my Mother had when I was growing up.  Sometimes I find dishes that I am not looking for.


My Mother started a set of dishes for me before I was married.  She got them as a premium at the grocery store, it was one of those promotions where you could get plates one week, cups and saucers the next week. Back then I think they were 19 cents or 29 cents each, you could buy extra serving pieces every week. Pieces like a gravy boat, salt and pepper shakers, a creamer, a sugar bowl, platters and serving bowls.  I had a five piece place setting for eight back then. (I used to take them out of the box in the bottom of my closet and envision them with stemware on a beautiful table..shining in the candlelight.  Just me and my prince charming enjoying a formal dinner. Me in a floor length diaphanous gown that matched the blue in the fine china and he in a riding suit..and his dashing horse tied right outside the door of a forty room mansion..dreamer.)

Since those dreaming days, little by little I have added to the collection and have place settings for twelve. 

Until the other day.  I was at a garage sale and there was a box of dishes for ten dollars..eight place settings that were almost complete. They were missing the small bowl that was part of the set, but I believe I have extras packed away. Someplace. Now I have almost enough matching dishes for twenty people.

Far Guy looked into the box of dishes and he said “ Are you starting a new set of dishes?”  I answered “ No. This is the same set that we have had for forty years now.”  He does not remember them, although I know that I have used them for many family dinners over the years.


These are Vintage Fine China Japan 6701 Grape Vine and at the replacements website a five piece place setting sells for 32 I think I did pretty good.  Someday one of the grands will hit the jackpot in dishes:) 

Friday, September 24, 2010

On the Roof

We ( Far Guy and I) built our home, and I do mean WE with the help of relatives; Andy and Jen, my Dad, my brother Jody, my Uncles Otto and Stan and my cousin Art.

Far Guy and I agreed on a design, we disagreed on a few things..doing a huge construction project will test a relationship. One thing we agreed on was the was to be steel so that the snow would slide off.  I wanted red, but green was more practical since the business already had a garage/retail area that was green, and that building was only fifty feet away from the green it was.  Far Guy rigged up a system that Fall so that he could put the sheets of steel on all by himself.  I went to work temporarily that Fall as a USDA Potato Inspector..possibly the worst job I have ever had in my life..the pay off was insulation and windows for upstairs!

Back to the roof, it had a twenty year guarantee.  In the past year or two it has faded..and began to look like it had pollen on it all the time.  At first I thought it was just my eyes..I had the cataracts after all and things were fuzzy looking sometimes and colors were “off.”  Then Far Guy noticed it.  He called Nick, sometimes it works out great to have purchased all your supplies locally.  Nick came to look and then brought out a Company Representative to have a look see.   We now had options.. I wanted them to replace the entire roof..but they didn’t want to do that.  They wanted to buy us off..well we didn’t think so..they would repaint it and our guarantee would continue for the remainder of our twenty years..we have about 9 years remaining…finally in August they came to paint it, all the way from Chicago. 

IMG_6269 Before

IMG_7639 After

IMG_6309 During

Two guys were in this crew.  An old guy ( the painter) and a young guy ( the know go fer this and go fer that), one (the old guy) was all harnessed up but they didn’t use the safety ropes. It made me fairly nervous..I made them some fresh lemonade as it was about 95 degrees that day. They finished in just about six hours, after a high pressure washing,  waiting for it to dry and then putting two coats of paint on and cleaning up.  There was no overspray anywhere. They left one paint rag in back of the house on the ground that Chance found and showed to Far Guy after it scared him half to death..sometimes Border Collies are neurotic about change. 

Far Guy and I were both pleased with the result, an almost new looking roof. 

There are no real guarantees in life..but having a roof over your head with one is a good thing:) 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Signs of Fall

Today is the first day of Fall, I did not have to go far looking for it either.  As soon as I step outside the door the fallen leaves crunch under my feet. The main trees in our yard the Burr Oaks just turn a poopy brown color and then fall off..not very exciting..we have a few Red Oaks that turn RED..but not yet..that happens later in the season.

My miserable attempt at growing Spaghetti Squash was nipped in the bud by the first frost ( September 18)  last weekend. Of course I was so late planting them that it would have been a miracle If I had gotten a decent harvest.   I might get one tiny squash the size of an apple, unless the deer eat it. I will have to support the local grocery store for my winter stash of squash. Chance and I do not like just any old squash either it must be Spaghetti Squash.  He knows the nights that I have baked it..and he waits for his taste.

The fireplace goes on most mornings now that Far Guy called for a gas fill..I used the oven a few nights to warm it up in here. I suppose I could have baked something..but I wasn’t hungry..just cold. It is a little early to start the outside wood stove, I would be constantly opening windows because it would be too warm in here.

I can feel the urge to cook a big pot of soup coming on.  With fresh potatoes and carrots..and rutabagas.. I will freeze part of it..perhaps Far Guy can bake some bread..comfort food.

Yesterday Jo and I went for a ride down part of the Hanna Ore Road..

A few more days and we will be peak color, unless it rains and the wind is raining this morning..we have had enough rain.  I talked to a local farmers wife the other day, she said,    “ We have beans to do, and it keeps raining, we have had enough rain to last us until next spring.”  IMG_7690

The view at Bottomless Lake. 


Maple leaves are real show offs!

Yup..Fall is here..I want to take hundreds of leaf photos and then I want to eat fresh vegetable soup and spaghetti squash along with warm baked bread that is slathered with butter and then I want to hibernate till about you? :) 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wistful Wednesday: 1956

This photo was taken in 1956.  It is of my Mother and her sister, my Aunt Marion.  My Mom is standing next to the old stove in the kitchen in the old farmhouse.  My Aunt has a fancy shiny satin dress on and she is smoking a cigarette, everyone smoked back was normal.

It is a gas stove, with a old enamel coffee pot and a enamel pot that just held hot water, it has a pouring spout..but we never called it a was just a hot water pot or a kettle.  Everyone had one on their stoves.  If you looked inside you could see the lime scale that built up on its interior.  Sometimes bits and pieces of it would sheet off into the water. Especially if the kettle was boiling for a long time..

The dinette set was grey which was a simulated marble swirly color, there were four chairs.  Far Guy and I still have the old grey metal table, it is in my garage.  We got it from my parents old resort, the new owners had hauled it to the dump in Osage, we were right behind them and picked it up..not knowing that it was my parents old table until my Mother said “We used to have one just like it.”
There are two crochet potholders on the wall, and two hot plate crochet things..the old –slip- something- fancy- over- a piece- of- cardboard –covered –in- foil. There is also an old metal match holder high on the wall, handy for the cook to grab a wooden match to light the gas burners or the oven.

The walls were rough, on the bottom part of the wall was a beadboard panel. I used this same type of panel in our bathroom upstairs..not quite the same as using it in a kitchen..but it is reminiscent of my childhood:)

Far Guy is much better today,  he will resume his normal activities…thank you everyone for your kind comments and prayers, we both appreciate them:) 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Frustrations of TN

As you all know Far Guy has Trigeminal Neuralgia, if you don’t then let me just say that is is the most horrid disorder that has a mind of it’s own.  Far Guys pain is always present..but then he gets a “spell”of excruciating pain.   Anything can trigger a spell..eating crunchy food, brushing his teeth, someone touching his face, a hug, the wind, and stress.  September has not been a good month, this is his third “spell”.. It began Saturday night when I was gone..the stress of me being gone could have triggered this “spell.”  He helped Jen cook supper for all the gals at the Scrapbook Retreat and was doing just fine until he returned home.  Of course he told no one, when I returned on Sunday he was in a full blown “spell.” He had already taken some of his pain pills, there is not much I can do except take him to the ER which he refused to do or wait to call his Doctors on Monday morning.

Our Neurologist. Dr. P  is on vacation..someone will return my call…we wait and wait.  Far Guy finally called his Primary Care Physician because he is sure his pain meds are too old to be effective. (I called his Pharmacist..they are still good.)  Later that Nurse calls with a new script..I ask if we can increase the dosage to get on top of the pain..she says “NO.”  I said OK tell the Doc that we will be at the ER then..she says well if it is that bad maybe he can give you something else…the something else was a pain patch.
Finally Dr P’s nurse calls me back to find out what the problem is, a different Neuro will return my call, a Dr. F.. I said “No thanks, he and I do not see eye to eye, and he was no help whatsoever a long time ago when we had him.”  ( I am still waiting for him to return a phone call I left for him two years ago.)  She is so sorry..well I am too..there is a Doctor C. that might be able to speak with me today.   An hour later he calls..he doesn’t quite understand the division of power between the Primary Care Physician and the Neuros.( The Primary Care Doctor handles everything but the TN..but he ends up prescribing the pain meds for it.)  He doesn’t like that the Primary Care Physician has ordered a Pain Patch..we can use it, but are to be careful of side effects. He tells us to increase the Tegretol dose.  It always takes a few days for the Tegretol to reach higher levels in your system.  Dr P. says that he always wants to be aware of the dosages and wants us only to increase them if he says it’s ok, he picked a fine week to go on vacation. 

Well the excruciating pain left at ten o’clock last lasted 48 hours this time..was it the pain patch that worked or was the spell over?  Far Guy took the patch off in the middle of the was supposed to remain in place for 72 hours..he said it was making him breathe funny, he was dizzy and sweating.

This morning I tried to make an Appointment before our November Appointment with Doctor P.   We are on a waiting list, because they are full.  So I will print out this blog and send it to Dr P..I am sure that he will squeeze us in sometime…or at least call me with further instructions.

I hate being a bitch, I really do, I realize that these Medical people have their jobs to do..but I have to be proactive about the care my husband receives.

I know that Lisa, Shirley and Grace all friends of Far Guys read this blog..they have TN too. Many people out there have research is being done, no one is doing Jack Squat to cure this disorder…sometimes it seems that no one cares either.  It is often called “The Suicide Disease” ..I wouldn’t have been able to understand how that was possible..but I have seen the pain and felt the helplessness that Far Guy has..only wanting to be free of the pain.

Far Guy just asked me what I was writing about..he also asked me if I have any pretty pictures today..nope.. none today.  I am just thankful that this “spell” is was the worst one in a long time.  Today he will rest,  perhaps we will go for a drive later and look at some pretty leaves turning colors and then we will come home and have a nap:(

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pipe Dream

I have always liked black licorice.   Well I cannot lie.  I love black licorice.  Especially the licorice from a long time ago.  The licorice taste was dark and intense, you could smell and taste the flavor at the same time.. they were unwrapped in a box, free from plastic wrap, they were shaped just like a small pipe, their luscious pipe bowls had little red candies on the top of the pipe bowl to simulate a flame. You reached right into the box and grabbed how many you wanted and plopped them down on the counter..where the clerk counted them again.  Then someone apparently got sick or something and rigorous candy handling standards were implemented.  For years we found them in Canada.  Then they disappeared completely until someone reinvented them and wrapped them in plastic. They were almost the same..very close to the original.

My Uncle knew of my passion for licorice.. He was a traveler, during his many travels he would look for licorice pipes. He would tuck them into the side pockets of his suitcase..then he would dole them out throughout the year..he knew that a licorice pipe would get him a big old hug.


During one of these trips, he died.   My Aunt found licorice tucked into a side pocket of his suitcase.  She called and said “Otto bought you some licorice, I found it in his suitcase, it must have been for your birthday.” 

I had one six year old licorice pipe left from Lake Tahoe, in a Christmas tin upstairs.  Hard as a rock, from my Uncle’s suitcase back in 2004.

IMG_7441  Then my daughter Jen gave me a package for my birthday.

IMG_7594 I am good to go. 


Happy Birthday to me!  Thanks Jen, Andy, Noah and Adam!

Yes, today is that dreaded day I turn one year older or perhaps it is just that I am ageing to perfection:)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Inside a scrappers mind

Today we shall interview the gals that are here with me at the retreat.  Ages 29 to 58.  Most of who are state employees, mothers or soon to be mothers and one grandmother ( I bet you can guess who that is.)  


What brought you here?

A Car.  Opportunity to spend the weekend with friends. Guilt.. so I can show my three year old her scrapbook and  so the girls will know they are loved so they won’t do drugs or be teen moms. Jen. Jen and Highway 10.  I went to a retreat last January and I was talking to Jen and she said she was going to set up another retreat..I told her to count me in! My sister told me I had to come or she was going to come and get me.  My friends.  I came to organize six years of photos. Spending time with family and scrapbooking. Jens birthday.

Are you a digital scrapper or traditional..and why?

Traditional..because it fulfills my need to play with stickers, paper and glue.  That is what I know and because I don’t  want to become addicted to digital.  I spend all day on a computer..I would not want to do it as a hobby.  Cause I am on the computer at school all the time and I like hands on stuff. I like playing with paper and being able to touch it.  Because I like buying stickers.  I am currently traditional..but I am going to cross over, because I won’t have to get out supplies every time I want to scrap.  Because I like to be creative, and I want to leave something for my kids. I like three dimensional and personal touches.

Digital..I never bought the paper supplies, I can share with my family overseas through email or they can view my pages online.  ( In the Netherlands she had never heard of scrapbooking..but learned all about it from my daughter.) I started making a surprise Christmas gift for my husband..and it was easy to hide from him..I have two small children and I don’t need the mess.

How many scrapbooks have you completed? daughter is making a list she doesn’t have enough fingers to count (twenty-seven)..five..eight..three..two..fifteen to twenty, one and three. 

What is your favorite item to use in your scrapbooks?

Decorative papers, cricket, my personal trimmer, computer, black marker, patterned paper, ribbon, tape runner, ribbon (again), the computer and cricket ( again).

What is your scrapbooking philosophy?

You can never have enough stickers.  I am an event scrapper, I must keep up or I will get frustrated and quit.  Just do it!  You must buy all the paper in the free world.  Every page must go through an approval process. I am inspired by the pictures, they lead everything I do, but I am always afraid that they won’t reflect the moment perfectly.  Hmm..boy that is a tough one,  I have to think about that one..hmm.  Don’t think about it too much.  As long as you are telling a story it is worth it.    Trying to capture the moment on the page.  Have stress:)


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Someone is 35!

Cons headers-p0027

This is the birthday card I made for Jen, this past summer was all about the water and her years growing up at a resort on the lake.  Those years were revisited for her this summer when she and her husband purchased a pontoon boat.

Thirty-five years ago, Far Guy got his wish for two little girls when our second and last daughter was born.  She was an early birthday gift for me ..along with a Electric Avocado Green Can Opener.  That can opener is upstairs in a box with a note on it that says..this must be Jen’s as I got it when she was born.

We began celebrating her birthday last night at 12:01.  Throughout the summer I have been collecting gifts for her at garage sales and Antique Shops..thirty- five of for every year.  Next door neighbor Jo has been helping me find “stuff”. The first gift I gave her was a brass bell with a Carousel Horse on it..she gets a gift every time she rings the bell.  What kinds of things did I wrap up?  An apron just like her Grandmother H used to wear, a hankie that I got one year tucked into my birthday card when I was much younger, potholders ( she really needed them), candy necklaces that she used to enjoy as a child, a paper weight from the Val Chatel sale and  a little yellow wooden bunny from Finland… are just a few of the treasures I found to irritate her with.  Some of the gifts are met with tears ( the apron) some are met with smiles ( the candy necklace) some are just some new dish towels.  It is an adventure of gifts..on one of those mile stone birthdays..smack dab in the middle..not a young thirty and not an old forty.

I was tempted to have Far Guy get the ladder out and find the box with the can opener in it..maybe next is well on it’s way to being an Antique.


Trica is here with a mountain of photos. She is sitting across from me.

001 Today I am working on the pages and the old photos of a new baby that entered the world on this day in seems like only yesterday.

  The scrapbook retreat is going well. I am making headway. The last of the gals to arrive was my oldest daughter, Trica..she is my roommate.  She serenaded me all night long, early this morning I woke up because she was not snoring.  Kinda like when she was little and slept in a bassinet and I would listen to her breathe all night long..I knew every little sigh she made and when she became restless and was about to wake up..well times have not changed very much.  I am sure she gets her snoring from her father:) 

023 The little creek that comes out of the lake at the Scrapbook Retreat.


Friday, September 17, 2010


Well I made it the Scrapbook retreat.  I only drove by once…Jen and Sarah were already here. Unloading went great, I got everything unpacked, and in place and got ready to create.

sep17 177

Here is were I slept for a couple of hours…yes I brought a blankie and a pillow from home sue me.

sep17 196

I have been busy..

sep17 183

This is just a rough may or may not be the actual two page spread. Most likely it will be ..this trip was back in 2007, just Far Guy and Chance and I off exploring in Michigan. 

My chair was really uncomfortable, I could not get it adjusted I did what any other Mother would have done..I stole Jens..this mornings conversation went like this “ MOTHER did you mess with my chair?”..she had spent about twenty minutes last night adjusting it so it would be just perfect for her.  Little did she know that it was perfect for me too.  I replied “ Nope I did not mess with it..I stole it.”  I expect that when I take a break and leave the room she will steal it back.

Oh yeah..this entry is supposed to be about milestones.. how many blog entries do you suppose I have as of today?  Who woulda thunk it..I wanted to get more better at writing.  I guess I will have to continue..onward and forward.

One thousand entries have been made at this blog…I still have more to say, I am not sure what it is yet..but I am not out of words… yet.    I would like to thank all my readers and commenter's who have made me a legend in my own mind. 

There is a mirror above the kitchen sink here, I peeked.. and there is some old woman in there:)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lunch Pails

I am getting older and sometimes some things just don’t click like they should.  Then all of a sudden in the middle of the night it came to me, I was lucky and remembered it in the morning.  The pail was a lunch pail. It was one of those aha moments.

Cousin Bonnie gave Far Guy four items that were Great Great Grandpa Alecks ..I have already showed you the Mystery Item= hog scraper. One item was self explanatory, one was documented ( I will show you these next week one day) and then there was this pail.. I opened it up and said “Wonder what this was used for?”  Far Guy replied “Beats me.”  Xaver was a Tailor and then a Farmer..neither of us thought about him as a boy.. going to school.
IMG_7269 This is the lunch pail.
Xaver Aleck was born in Germany in 1828. I was surprised to read that he had a twin brother Karl who died in infancy. In 1842 when Xaver was fourteen years old his Father died, he was sent to Switzerland to attend school and to live with his older brother..but they did not get along.

Do I think this is a lunch pail from Switzerland?  I think it is unlikely..but it is possible.  I am not sure that we will ever know for sure.
IMG_6741 I was just happy to have identified it as a lunch pail…and it was this photo that I recalled in the middle of the night. A collection of different lunch pails at a little one room school house on the Lake Itasca Pioneer Farmers grounds.

I doubt if our children will take the time to read the 198 page history of this part of the family..but hopefully I can bring enough bits and pieces forward in this blog so that someday they will say..aha I remember when Mom wrote about that!

I am off to a Scrap Book Retreat later today..perhaps I will take some photos and show you them tomorrow:)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wistful Wednesday: 1960

This is a photo from 1960.   I was there when it was taken, because I am in the photo..ha!   This is a good example of a photo that you can date within a few months. I was not sure when this photo was taken..but here is the journey I followed with this photo.

Scan0020 copy

I look somewhere between 8 and 10 years baby brother would be 5 to 7 ( he is three years younger than me.)  The little guy in front is the clue.  How old do you think he is?

Well let’s see..we live in is obviously a summer photo.  1959 or 1960 or 1961 are the only choices on this one.

My cousin Kevin was born in August of 1958, his Father died(in September of 1959)when he was just a year old.    After his Fathers death, Kevin spent a fair amount of time at our baby brother and I loved him just like a little brother.

At first glance you may think that this is my Mother and me and my two brothers..not other baby brother is in this photo but you cannot see him.  My Mother is pregnant in this photo..and we did not know back then if we were getting a brother or a sister.  My baby brother and I wanted a another brother..probably because we loved Kevin so much. My other baby brother was born in October of 1960.

Therefore the little boy in front (Kevin) is two, I am eight ( almost nine and headed into fourth grade and puberty) and my baby brother would have been six and on his way to first grade ..he has some fancy high top tennis shoes..I remember how excited he was to get them.

Would you look at that scarf I am wearing..and that fashionista was one of those wide elastic belts all the rage back was all about the belt closure..all pretty with pearls or gold thingy's that interlocked for the closure.  I had three of these was black one was white and one was pink.

This photo was taken at our farm on the west side of the house, you can see the big picture window, the bathroom window ( we got a real bathroom INSIDE the house the year before)  and the sewing room room was on this side of the house too,  we are standing just to the west of that window.

You can see what a process it is to date photos, it is much easier if someone marks them with names and the date.   This one was easy because I remember that time in my life when the photo was taken.  Fifty years sure went fast, luckily I can still recall a few of the details to date some of these old photos:)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

After Supper Ride

Last evening after a wonderful meal of grilled pork chops and spaghetti squash Chance and I headed out to capture the sunset..and whatever else caught our eye. It was too nice of an evening to stay indoors. 

Chance the co pilot Chance was the copilot, he helps to keep watch.  He is very alert and attentive to our surroundings.  I have a rule, when I stop to take photos..he stays in the car and observes.  I either take my keys with me or roll down my window so I can unlock the door..he would never be able to unlock the door for me if I locked the keys in the car..would he?

Dead beaver area

We drove slowly to the Dead Beaver Area, I have not been there for long time..and the water was really high from all the rain we have had.

Purple and yellow flowers

We ventured on to one of my favorite spots, to capture a photo to show you the purple and yellow wildflowers on the prairie. The light was fading fast, all summer the sun takes forever to set..I have time to think about where I want to go and time to get there.  Not so with Fall sunsets..they sneak up on you really are where you are.


We saw some deer in the neighbors hay field..four of them..all those photos were too dark and blurry..they were running away..but we did get a nice shot of the moon..and then we drove over to Hooch and Oddas to visit.  We drove a whole six miles and it took us two hours, we still have mosquitoes and the air was full of some kind of fish fly hatch down at the Dead Beaver area. The leaves are slowly starting to turn, I hope we get some good color this has been pretty I am not holding my breath :) 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wildflowers: September 2010

Helenium autumnale

Yellow and purple/blue seem to be the colors of Fall.  This is Helenium autumnale or Sneezeweed a plant native to Minnesota. The ray flowers or yellow petals are droopy and have three teeth marks, the disc flowers make up the huge knob.  These plants are some that Far Guy planted a few years ago from seed.

IMG_7018 The  asters are blooming too, there are so many blue asters that it is hard to tell them apart. I think this is a Smooth Blue Aster or Symphyotrichum laeve which is another native plant.

The other day on the way into town I was mesmerized by the yellow and the purples along the roadways..of course the wind was blowing forty miles an hour. The Goldenrods were showing off in the fields with a few of the late blooming False Sunflowers as were the Purple Asters.

IMG_7015 Our driveway is no different..purple and yellow are the colors it is sporting.  The brush in the woods is starting to turn colors, we have had so much rain this year that everything is still quite green for this time of year.   

IMG_7011 Purple Coneflowers or Echinacea purpurea and Ratibida pinnata, or Gray-Headed Coneflower.  Both of these flowers are native plants that either come back from their old root or reseed themselves.  I started these plantings along the drive  about ten years ago with just a few plants one Fall.  The deer don’t care for them..but once in awhile they will lop one off and let it lay on the ground to aggravate me:)