Sunday, October 31, 2010

Home Brew

Yesterday we went to a tasting… a beer tasting. Our son in law Handy Andy is a home brewer. Beer is an art or so he says.


See, he could sell his own beer. Note his fancy cup, yes it is a urine specimen container.

403 This is the “beer club.”


There were many different kinds of beer to taste. I did not like this one, however I did appreciate the brewers sense of humor.


There were darks, there were lights..alts and stouts…some with foam and some without..what do I know about beer..not much.  I was the only taster in our group..Far Guy gets horribly ill from home brew and vomits for days..and Jen doesn’t drink beer. Well neither do I.   There were twelve samples to taste, about two swallows a taste.  I only tasted four or five of them.  I then declared that even though I walked over to the tasting I would certainly need a ride back to the house, so I could sleep it off.  I have now had my beer for the year. 

What would a northern Minnesota beer tasting be like without a little music?

405 This is Andy’s sister an accomplished Accordion player. I requested an old favorite “In heaven there is no beer that’s why we drink it here.” She didn’t know that one..the tuba player that was supposed to accompany her was a no show. We really know how to have fun up here in Minnesota..ya u betcha:)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jack Frost

He made a visit to the area..he left some signs..

IMG_8799 On my Peegee did well this must thrive on neglect.

IMG_8801  On my stupid Forsythia ‘Meadowlark’ that never blooms…not even one lousy tiny yellow…zero..zilch. 

IMG_8858 On my Spirea that grows on the edge of the old parking lot.  He never looked real good..even when I gave him some attention.. but he looks good covered in frost..

Jack Frost This one made me smile and think of a friend( From My Back Porch) and her husband(Jack) who live in Indiana. They hit a bit of a rough patch awhile back..stop by and say Hi!   This sign is from Bemidji, Minnesota.

Has Jack Frost visited you yet? :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Being Prepared

Just a week when we go off of daylight savings time is when your smoke detector batteries should be replaced.  So put batteries on your list..ours take the little square that is what it says on my grocery list  “Little square batteries for the smoke alarms.”  I don’t care if the old batteries still six months they probably won’t.  There is a time to be frugal ..and this is not one of them.

The big wind got one of the trees in our nephews yard next door. No one was injured..but I bet Bailey barked up a storm!


Snapped off half way up the trunk.  That seemed to be the story with many of the trees that fell during the big wind storm. This was probably one of the reasons that Chance wanted company outdoors during the wind storm..he is a dog and mistakenly thinks there is safety in numbers, either that or he is afraid to die alone.  We were prepared to lose electricity, luckily we didn’t although the lights flickered.  I put extra water in the Chance would have water just in case we were without electricity a long time.

This morning it is frosty..

IMG_8843  Chance and I were out for an early walk.  I call this the brown time of is like we are stuck between the green and the white..yup stuck on brown.  Stupid deer keep knocking the top rail of the fence down..there is a huge buck in here..Chance and I saw him..he is about an 8 to 10 pointer and is massive. He still had the velvet on his antlers..If I would have had the camera out of its case and turned on while I was driving into the yard I would have gotten a photo…but alas I was not prepared.

Now go put those batteries on your grocery list:) 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October: The First Snow

It had to happen.  Sooner or later it was bound to snow. I slept in.. much of it had melted before I was awake for the entire day.  This was our yard yesterday October 27, 2010.


The wind had howled like a banshee on a rampage. Even back here in the woods it was windy. Sticks were falling out of the trees and they were swaying back and forth so much that Chance refused to go outdoors by himself.


We will have to have one last round up of all Chance balls in the yard before winter sets in.  This time of year Indian Summer can always return… I am hopeful.


There were many leaf skirmishes, they were chopped, they were blown and they were raked.  Now they are collecting snow at the edge of the woods. As long as they stay away from the front door.  Chance did his share to help..he herds the rake..and his big old fluffy tail did an excellent job of carrying many leaves into the house. The arrival of snow signals the end of the leaf battle..even if you are not done. But I am done..and I am once again victorious over the miserable leaves. Far Guy doesn’t rake..but he does use the leaf blower and he does chop them up with the mulching blade on the lawn mower.  In some spots the leaves were knee is the price we pay for deep shade during the summer.  We also don’t have great looking in well manicured thick and is what it is.

All of the summer lawn ornaments are put away..the patio furniture was put away dry..and my garage has been cleaned. The patio table remains like one lone wish that it would be warm enough to sit and relax around it one last time before the patio is filled with snow drifts. I guess I must be a dreamer:)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wistful Wednesday : Far Guys Parents Through the Years

Marvin and Evelyn Unknown Year Far Guys parents..Marvin and Evelyn.  This may have been taken the winter before they were marred ..or the winter after.  I believe the car is an Overland but I am not sure of the year.  Far Guys Dad always did like dogs ..his hand is reaching down to stop the two dogs from scuffling or jumping up on him.  I wish I knew where this photo was taken..I will guess that since Evelyn is not wearing a coat that it was taken at her home place. M, E oct 1940 Here is the happy couple on October 26, 1940. I believe that this is their wedding photo. Evelyn kept a dark velvety dress in her cedar chest for years. I wonder what happened to it?  Perhaps Far Guy’s sister has it.

M and E 30 Anniv, 1970

This is their 30th Anniversary in 1970.  This swanky lamp hung in their living room for years and then in their apartment. It was a anniversary gift from Far Guy and his sister.  It now hangs in our daughter Jennifer's new old house in Fisher, Minnesota.

Marvin and Evelyns 50th Anniversary They celebrated their Fiftieth wedding Anniversary in 1990, and would spend almost another four years together before Marvin would leave her all alone.

M and E 1994  Summer of 1994.

This was taken at our resort sometime during June or July of 1994..It is one of the last photos that I have of them together. That was sixteen years ago..hardly seems like that long ago..but time marches on:)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26: My Other Baby Brother

This date in history is kinda important to me. It is the day that my other baby brother entered the world in 1960 when I was nine.  I honed my babysitting skills on him.  He had no choice..he was stuck with me.  He was a pill. When he was six months old he refused a bottle. Mom had been breast feeding him..but he got some teeth (ouch). He was a biter.  He had a cup..which is fine..except at bedtime…then someone (usually me) would stand in the dark at the crib and pat his back or gently shake the mattress beneath him to lull him to sleep. Most nights I would even sing or tell  him stories.. His breathing would change and he would relax and fall asleep..then you had to wait, right there in the dark..first you would stop the patting or shaking..but stand at the crib poised to continue if he stirred..if all went well you could slowly sneak out of the room..sometimes you didn’t make it half way to the door before he was sitting up and screaming. This took at least twenty minutes every night..sometimes longer.

 december 1960

December 1960 we are all watching was our first TV!! Me age 9, my Dad holding my 2 month old other baby brother, and my baby brother age 6.

As he grew older he was my shadow and I kept him out of trouble and danger…except the time he fell on the metal fire truck…that was my fault..I was not keeping a close enough eye on him. He has quite a scar on his arm.

1963 Carey, Mom, Jody, Connie 1963: My baby brother age 9, my Mom, my three year old other baby brother and me age 12 sporting some stirrup stretch pants and beautiful jewelry.

My other baby brother was a nonstop talker, and still is....when he was little he chattered non stop..why this? why that? ..he was always curious about the world around him. He would talk to anyone who would listen to him, old and young alike.

So now this little baby boy turns fifty..even Far Guy said “I cannot believe your brother is fifty.”

Jodys 50 birthday My other baby brother and his wife “she who sees robins first” and all of their grands. Last Sunday they invited us over for lunch and cake to celebrate!  Happy Birthday Jody! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chance: Happy Birthday to me..I am six!

Guess what happened exactly six years ago today???  I was born!

Betcha didn’t know that..well neither did Far Guy or Far Side until I picked out Far Guy the day after Christmas in 2004.  Chance #3 2004

Okay!  You can all say AWWWW all together now..I was really cute!!

Fast forward six years…One of my favorite games next to playing ball is jumping for water in the lake..

Chance and Gene Water in the air

Far Guy splashes water into the air and I try to catch it in my mouth.  It is a really fun game and I like to play it until my tongue is hanging in the water.  Far Side took these photographs last summer and was saving them for a special day.

IMG_5089 Jumping for joy..just because I can!

IMG_5139 Sometimes Far Side gets a little wet..and she giggles..

IMG_5198 I get a little wet too..Far Side says there is nothing better than the smell of a wet dog. She is a true dog person.

I am a very happy dog.  I have lots of balls in all colors, I play ball many times a day…it is my job.  Border Collies need jobs!   I  sleep indoors every night where it is safe and warm. I get brushed and my teeth get cleaned.  I chase squirrels and chipmunks out of the yard but I hardly ever bark, I am a silent stalker. If I bark either I want something or I am announcing to the neighborhood that I am outside and I am on duty and something is out there.  I go on adventures almost everyday even if it is only a walk to the mailbox.  My food dish is never empty, but I only eat when everyone else eats their supper..cause I am just a tad spoiled. Far Guy gives me special treats, but not too many of them because Far Side says I have a sensitive stomach. He is not allowed to sneak me any extra treats..and I do not eat table scraps..unless of course it is spaghetti squash or French fries..I bet I get some French fries today:)

Here are some of my other birthday blogs.

Chances Birthday 2009

Chances Birthday 2008

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Diphtheria Corner and Why Reading is Important

I am doing a little research for a friend. I am trying to find the grave of her Great Great Grandfather. It is not going well..but the grave may be unmarked. There are many graves in this cemetery that are unmarked.  This week I have to contact the Sexton of the see if I can get a clue.


The fellow I am searching for died in 1894, he comes with a bit of a story.  He had a really bad cold..his adoring yet clueless wife handed him a bottle of something ( apparently she could or did not read) and he succumbed later that day to the effects of rat poison.  Kinda sad…killed by stupidity.


In doing some foot work I ran onto this grave marker. I do not know these people. I cannot even begin to imagine the sorrow that the parents must have felt.  To have buried four children in the same month, February of 1881. Years later someone ( probably surviving siblings) cared enough to put in this marker stone. 

I am reminded that Diphtheria which was also known as the “strangling angel of children” was felt in Far Guys Family..his Maternal Grandfather Curtis had more than two sisters,  the rest of their siblings all died of Diphtheria in the 1880’s.  They are buried over by Detroit Lakes someplace..I can feel an afternoon trip coming on one of these days. So many of the old cemeteries have a Diphtheria corner in them..with many of the graves unmarked.  I guess I won’t know for sure until I look:)  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chance: Long Lake and The Smelly Fisherman

A few days ago Far Side and I visited Long Lake early in the morning. IMG_8670

There are 91 different Long Lakes in Minnesota. We were at the Long Lake in Hubbard County at the Hubbard Public Access which is on the southern most side of the lake.

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. However there are 11,842 lakes that are ten acres or more..and there might be as many as 15,000 lakes just depends on your definition of a lake. There are about 250 lakes in the county we live in..and 160 in Hubbard County next door.

Far Side and I will be showing you a few lakes in the next few that the flowers are frozen and the leaves have fallen..there isn’t much else to photograph..unless you are interested in barns or deer stands..Far Side is interested in both.  She is weird like that sometimes..


We met  “The Smelly Fisherman” at the public access.  He is the reason that I was on leash.  Sometimes I cannot  leave the car without my collar and leash on! Far Side decides for me. Not everyone likes dogs and I tend to be really friendly!

IMG_8663 Dawn on Long Lake

We spoke with “The Smelly Fisherman”..he has had that nickname since he was ten years old.  He was born in Iowa, but used to live on Long Lake.   He was fishing for Northern and Walleye. ( Fall is the best time to fish for them.)   He said:

“ From the time I could hold a fishing rod I could catch fish.  It was funny, a bunch of us would be in a boat, and I would be the only one catching fish. I would bait someone else’s hook and then they would catch fish..I guess the fish liked my smell.”

I thought he smelled ok, nothing special.  Perhaps his cigar was disguising his special fish aroma:)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Enjoying your work

This morning Chance and I got up before dawn and took off to the Hubbard Prairie.  My Dad would be finding a surprise when he got to work around 7:30 AM..did you know it is barely light at that time of the morning?

We arrived before anyone else..Chance ran around willy nilly..I think he was confused..he could catch the familiar scents of people he knows but he couldn’t find anyone.

My Dad showed up..and we took some photos Dad is smiling today  He said “Wait a minute..let me button up my coat so I don’t look quite so raggedy!”

Dads new Cat 

Today he has a climate controlled cab..I think this Cat has about every perk you can get except for possibly TV.  He will be out of the wind and the rotten is bound to rain and  snow one of these days. He told me that he would be chasing stumps all day today..I think that meant that he would be lining up stumps in windrows..

My Dad sure enjoys his work..he told me once that he would still be able to run a Cat when he was a hundred years old..he only has sixteen more years to go.  Then he not so gently reminded me that when he is a hundred..I would be seventy five.  We are not even going there..

Hunter Oct 2010

The week before last when I was out there one day, Hunter was grubbing out stumps, so naturally I took his photo..he is married to my niece Katie and they have the twin boys who are going to Kindergarten this year and Aubrey who is too little for school yet and they live next door. Hunter enjoys running a Cat too..but I wonder does he enjoy it as much as my Dad..probably not..I don’t know of anyone who enjoys his work as much as he does:)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Round Lake

Chance and I went for a ride yesterday afternoon. It was so windy that our leaves that we had raked and blew into the woods were blowing back out again.  Talk about discouraging..there is a new pile in front of the step.

We stopped at Round Lake.

Chance at Round lake There were white caps on the lake.

IMG_8562 No boats out on the lake today. The water was a beautiful color amongst all the new color of fall..shades of brown.

On the way home we saw two black labs on the side of the road that came up onto the road, as if to say “hey ..we need help.” I slowed down..I am in the middle of nowhere..the nearest house is maybe four miles away.  One of the dogs had been the evil porkypines.. and looked fairly miserable. Both looked lean..I felt sorry for them, they appeared to be littermates.  Since one was injured and both were quite large dogs I chose not to stop.  Hopefully they were on their way home and had not been abandoned..I did not notice collars or tags. Did I tell you that I felt sad..really sad for animals stuck in a situation that could have been avoided.  I kept telling myself that maybe their hunter owner was just off in the woods calling for them..I know I am a bit of a dreamer…always expecting the best of people:(

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wistful Wednesday: 1940’s

Years ago Far Guys Mother grew up on a farm. Kitty corner from that farm was the farm that I grew up on..and there was a school in between both farms.  The school was on the corner.

Linnell School 1942

This is The Linnell School in 1942.  ( the link will take you to another blog I wrote about this school)  This photo was taken way before I was born..see those trees in the background..that is where I grew up.

Evelyn Abbott  at the farm

In the art of photo detecting there are always the W’s to consider. Who, When, Where and Why.

Who=this is Far Guys Mom. When? around 1940 perhaps a few years earlier..I wish I could date it exactly but I cannot. Where=on the farm that she grew up on..note the chimney of the school in the background. Why?  It looks to be the fall of the year..was she teaching then? or was this one of the last photos that was taken before she was married in October of 1940?  That is one snazzy dress..very floral.

I was surprised that there are so many pine trees in the background. I remember some pine trees in the pasture..but nothing like what appears in this photo.  Today that farm has very few pine trees..the little pines that I can remember planting and watering in the yard are long gone, my baby brother and I each had our own tree…later so did my other baby brother and my sister..their pine trees are still there.

Over the course of many years thing change. The school is no longer there.  Trees die and make room for more open pastures and for tall grass prairie.  The people that used to live there are either dead or live elsewhere. Only the memories in the form of old family photos remain.  I try to document the who, when, where and why as I go through these old photos.

I was not sure where this photo was taken..until I noticed the distinctive chimney in the background.  So now this photo has two of it’s W’s answered..the other two will probably remain unanswered. I am happy with what I was able to learn about this photo:)  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chance : Little Blueberry Lake

Sometimes when we are out and about.  Far Guy will ask Far Side “Have you ever been on that road?”  If she says “No” most of the time we get to go..being the adventurers we are. On Sunday Far Side said “Follow those Public Access signs..see where it leads, maybe we can walk Chance there.”  Well that brings me up and at’em and out of my slumber in the back seat. Walk and Chance in the same sentence means I am going to get out of the car! I usually sleep in between cows and horses.  If I am really dozing on the job..someone usually hollers “Horse” or “Cow.”

Ten miles later following the little brown Public Access signs we arrived.  It was not quite a two track road toward the end.

Gene and Chance Oct 17 2010

We wondered what lake we found.  Far Side said “It looks more like a river than a lake.”  You would think that they would put up a know the ones with a red are here.

Chance at Little Blueberry Oct 17 2010

The options were Blueberry and Shipman..they kinda knew where they were. But they had never been there before. We consulted with Cousin Chuck..he said we must have been at Little Blueberry…he used to work for the DNR and knows the name of every lake in the area!

Chance and  a stick

The water was cold..and neither of them ventured in with me. Far Guy found a stick to throw..a stick..I don’t “do” sticks…I was a bit of a grump about that stick. I retrieved it a couple of times..then Far Guy did the unthinkable…

Chance the stick is to far out

He threw it in the deeper water where I would have to swim.  I can swim..but only with Far Side and she was not swimming that day.  She finally said “Enough already.”  I guess barking at sticks does no good..all the dogs across the lake began to bark. It was like a symphony:)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Strange Bales

Yesterday we went on a little drive, we headed to a flea market about an hour away. 

IMG_8544 Not far from home we saw that this field of Kidney Bean vines had been baled.  I was curious what they would be used for..animal bedding was the answer that I got from Peg…she said that the vines were really hard to chop it was decided to bale them. 

On the way we saw this field…


Need a closer look?

IMG_8510 Yesiree..they are corn stover bales.  Corn stover is what the corn stalks are called after the cobs have been harvested.  This will be used as a low quality feed for livestock. I have never seen corn bales before..have you?  Sometimes the corn stover is left for livestock to graze right there in the field.  Most times it is plowed under because it decomposes and returns nutrients to the field…Corn is a heavy nutrient user.

The flea market was pretty cool..there were four buildings full of “junk” and there was lots of room for outside vendors in the summer.  I only found one guy that was selling old photos..I bought what he had that interested me. He wanted five dollars a piece..I said “Well that is too rich for my blood.”  We settled on a dollar a piece.  Far Guy found an old model car for his train set..we are pretty boring..we always look for the same thing.

All the leaves are on the ground here..everything is different shades of brown..we are still working on getting the leaves out of the yard..and yes we have a leaf blower..we just have a really large amount of trees that loose their leaves..we rake, we chop, we way or another the flow of leaves that stops and swirls right in front of the front door must be stopped:)  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Indian Summer

Indian Summer is making a visit to Minnesota, and staying. It can stay until Christmas as far as I am concerned.  Sure the mornings are was 27 degrees again this morning..but the days are warm..with temperatures in the 50’s.  Indian Summer has been a welcome relief after all the rain that we had during the summer.


Chance and I hate that it is too dark after supper to go for our evening drive. We will have to begin going before supper.

Yesterday we washed all the windows..Far Guy helped and Chance followed him around dropping the ball against his ladder. We only have seven was the least amount that we could reasonably have..I hate washing them. The north facing French door had algae growing in the track where the screen was that wet this summer.

Hockey Season has started and Far Guy arranged a date with Savannah to attend the Sioux vs. Beaver game last Friday night. Trica was feeling up to attending the game too!  I guess the Sioux are not the Sioux anymore. I think they should just change the spelling and stay the Sue.  Chance and I were going to go along and spend the evening with the other two grand girls..but they were headed for a school dance..who woulda thunk it. Grandma was aced out first by hockey then by a school dance. Chance and I stayed home and had a nap and then played ball out in the dark.  We are totally capable of making our own fun!:) 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Marge Grass

We have a beautiful grass out in the wildflower/weedy area.  It was a gift from Marge, Far Guys Godmother.  She was and still is a heck of a gardener.  She has hit a rough patch the past couple of months..and one day she said to me “Don’t go talking about me on that blog of yours.” Now there is a very fine line between talking and writing about someone. 


So I won’t say how every year on February 15 the phone rings and it is Marge remembering her Godson’s birthday.


I won’t say how she shared some of her very invasive grass or how she smiled when it left her yard.


We planted it out on a mound of soil..and we enjoy it all winter long..I have no idea what this grass is called and you know what I don’t care…we call it Marge Grass:)