Friday, November 30, 2012


I have been stalking a bird.  He is really skittish..he is a real looker.  He has been around at least a month..maybe more.

He is a Red-Bellied Woodpecker.  He visits the suet feeders..he is gone as soon as you open the door.  He can tell when I am in the house. He is not afraid of Chance..just me. Red bellied Woodpecker

So far this is my best shot.  I will keep pursuing is good to have goals.  I had to wait outside a really long time to get one clear shot of him..This is a male..I  know how to tell the difference..a female only has red at the nape of her neck, whereas the male has red on his head and down his nape.   Checking with the bird book..he seems to be a bit more north than usual. Not sure why he is called a Red-Bellied Woodpecker..most likely because Red-Headed Woodpecker was already taken and they had to call him something.

This is a little Downy Woodpecker.

Downy Woodpecker

We have a flock of them.  I can tell it is a Downy Woodpecker because he has bands of black in his outer side tail feathers and a shorter beak than his close relative the Hairy Woodpecker.

Far Guy and I both enjoy watching the birds.  I can almost predict the weather by the bird activity..the day before the weather changes the feeders are busy all day long.  Some how they know that they have to bulk up and weather a storm.  Birds are smarter than we think..what kind of Bed and Breakfast could you find where the people welcome you and put out food for you free of charge everyday? 

Today is the last day of November.  I cannot say I am sad to put the grey days of November behind me but I am not ready for December to begin either:(

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chance: Snow

I like the snow.  As much as Far Side hates it..I love it.  Nothing better than playing a good game of ball and then flopping down in the yard to rest.  Far Side throws the ball for me until I am tired..then she takes photos of birds until she gets cold and needs a nap.

Chance and his ball November 28

I have a great vantage point to view the back driveway.

Favorite person drove by

One of my favorite people drove by and didn’t even wave.  Oh well..

Licking snow off his nose

Far Side thought I might be sticking my tongue out at that favorite person..but I was actually licking snow off my nose.  That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Far Guy  and I put the snow stick up.  Far Side ripped the last one out of the ground and broke it we have a new one:)

Snow Stick  November 28

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wistful Wednesday: 1951

On November 22, 1951 my Maternal Grandmother gave birth to twins, a boy and  a girl.

They are two months and two days younger than me so they never seemed like an Aunt and Uncle.  I didn’t get along with my Aunt..she was terribly spoiled and a brat.  I was great friends with my Uncle and still am.

Karen and Kenneth jpeg

My Aunt Karen would do something bad and blame it on me and my Uncle Kenny.  We would be punished..unfairly and plot our revenge. Yes, I was an evil child..well maybe not evil but there is that old saying and eye for an eye..My Mother would remind me to “Turn the other cheek” which to me seemed impossible and quite stupid…why would I want to do that?

Karen and Kenneth #1 (2)

We were all raised together in the same house for that first winter of our lives in 1952.   My Dad was in Korea and my Mother lived with her parents until he came back in the spring.   It must have been like having triplets.   Can you imagine the diapers? 

I would see my Aunt and Uncle at least once a week throughout my growing up years, usually on Sunday as that was the day that we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house..after church..for dinner. ..every Sunday:)

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wifi, Blue Tooth, On Sat and Garmin

Technology sure is moving along. Us old farts can either embrace it or become hopelessly lost.

Wifi, now that is some word..and how do you pronounce it.  Why-fy or Wiffy?

The Grandkids roll their eyes and laugh out loud if you say that is what I do.

I had Far Guy ask his sister if they had Wiffy yet?  She had no idea..but someone brought out a box and hooked it up and they can use their laptop upstairs.

I contacted Bethany (our niece) and asked her..she said LOL yes. 

Blue Tooth.  Why in the world would anyone name something Blue Tooth..and why is that important and what does it do?  Our new car has Blue Tooth..Far Guy can answer his phone by pressing a button on the steering wheel..and the voice comes on over the radio.  It will make hands free calls for you.  I can tell it to call Jen and it will.   It only works if Far Guy has his phone in the car or within 30 feet of the car.  Bethany’s beau is a computer guru and he helped Far Guy get the Blue Tooth all set up to recognize the cell phone.

On Sat..another new word..let me tell you those people want your credit cards very badly..we did not give it to them..I am not sure why I need On Sat but I have it free for awhile.  I could have bought minutes for their phone system..not sure why I would want that either.

The Gremlin..or Garmin..we call it the Gremlin.  Four years ago, I drove aimlessly around South Bend Indiana looking for a motel that would take a dog..and got lost..hopelessly lost..the only way I found my way back into the city was to go where the bright lights were.  Yes..I followed the light.  Far Guy was so tired..he said “Lets just sleep in the car.”   Eventually I found us a motel.

I wasn’t up to a repeat I went shopping..the Gremlin works great..she may be re calculating a lot whilst I am driving.. she only got us on one almost cow path in Indiana.


This is a Indiana road..not quite sure where it was..some place around Paoli maybe. No center fog shoulder and not much of a ditch. Far Guy and I had no idea where we were..but the Gremlin kept directing us..and sooner or later we saw something familiar.


I like that I can program in stops and look for gas stations and look at area attractions and for dog friendly Motels!  If I get real bored while Far Guy is driving I can just watch the little car move along on the road map on the purple path:)

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Monday, November 26, 2012

It snowed

Yes it snowed..the ground is white.  I doubt that it will melt..until spring.  I think this is winter come doesn’t officially arrive for another month (25 days)..the Winter Solstice will arrive at 5:12 AM December 21 2012.  According to the Farmers Almanac..that is the earliest time of arrival since the year 1896. 

Chance and the bird feeders

I drug out my winter boots, parka, gloves and hat.  I splurged on new winter gloves and a funny looking hat with snowflakes on it.  I lost the hat already and had to go back into the restaurant and get it.  Far Guy wondered aloud “Perhaps you should have an idiot string on your hat.” Perhaps I should.

I wandered around in the yard looking for some beauty in the newly fallen and falling snow. Looks pretty much like the same old snow to me.  Chance loves to put his nose down in the snow and smell..he does it often so it must feel good..I wonder what he smells?IMG_3353

I got bored and began to watch the birds at the new feeder.

Feeder from Sue and Joe

The Redpolls seem to like the newest feeder..a gift from Sue and Joe in Indiana!

Yes, it is winter here in Minnesota.  Time to hunker down and begin some new projects..or to begin the daily nap schedule:)

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Washing Dishes

Being the oldest child and a girl, I have done my fair share of dishes.  As a teenager I would wait not so patiently for my parents and siblings to finish with their plates so I could get done with the dishes.  Often times I would grab my Dad’s plate when he was just about ready to dish up a second helping.  Standing behind him waiting to snatch the plate as soon as he was done did not make him eat any faster either.

In the early years our water had to be heated up. The kettle was on the stove.  Years later we got a hot water heater and had both hot and cold running water.

I imagine some of you remember when Motels and Resorts would advertise their hot running water. Hot running water was a luxury.


Remember the old dishpans?  They had to be dumped outside when you were finished with the dishes, Most people had two pans one for washing and one for rinsing.

Far Guy and I do not have an automatic dishwasher.  We didn’t want to give up space in our kitchen for something we would rarely use. With just the two of us we don’t use that many dishes anyway.

Jen and Andy don’t have a dishwasher.  Jen hates the icky feeling she gets from touching glasses or plates that have been in a dishwasher.  The boys wash and dry dishes.

The grandgirls are in for  a big shock. Their new place has no dishwasher..

I remember talking with my Dad as I washed and he dried dishes,  Far Guy and I talk whilst washing and drying our few dishes…perhaps dishwashers have taken away from some of our family conversation time:)

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Saturday, November 24, 2012


It snowed..the ground is white..but since I am in denial we won’t talk about it anymore.

The other morning we had some heavy frost.  It was lovely.  Very sparkly in the early morning light.

Frosty Sparkles

This is a Tansy that escaped Far Guy..I like is yellow.


Tansy re-seeds itself all over. It is one of those really wild flowers that thrives on drought conditions.  So it grows real well in the wild gardens.

Far Guy wants to keep it under he yanks it from the ground before it has a chance to form seeds. 

Chance and I wandered all over the yard in the frost.

Looking at what is left.

Rose Hips

Remembering warmer greener times..IMG_0191

I will wallow around in denial for at least another day..then I will put my big girl snow boots on and tromp around in the snow for the next six months:(

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Friday, November 23, 2012


I am not hungry after a large meal yesterday at one of the local churches..I heard they cooked 36 turkeys…but no one peeled potatoes because they were out of a box..since I did not have to cook OR clean up I am not complaining..just stating the facts.  We visited with neighbors that we hardly ever see and an old friend (94 years old) that recently moved to town.

We had a quiet day, our girls were at their husbands’ families for dinner.  Everyone must share..they cannot be in two places at once…or be expected to eat two dinners in the same day.

We went to Jo’s for pie in the evening..pumpkin!!

Squirrel One

We had two squirrels that kept Chance busy most of the day.  The squirrels knew when he was in the house.  Everyone got some exercise..both of the squirrels and Chance.  The photos were taken inside through the window.

Squirrel two

A storm front was headed through and the squirrels were extra hungry..or perhaps they knew it was a day to feast.  I may have to move the round feeder…either that or figure out some kind of squirrel baffle. Since it was Thanksgiving and all..I decided to be nice.  The rest of the feeders are difficult to reach.  One of the squirrels was content to be on the ground picking up falling seeds that the one hanging on the tree branch dropped.  Perhaps this was the squirrel version of a Thanksgiving date:)

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner

Do you know where your Thanksgiving Dinner came from?

Did you have pumpkin pie? 

Pumpkin Fields in Indiana

This is a pumpkin field in southern Indiana.  We also saw a Pumpkin Processing Farm/Plant. Indiana is second only to Illinois in pumpkin production.

Did you have cranberries?

Cranberry Bogs in Wisconsin

These are cranberries bogs in Wisconsin.  They were harvested earlier in the fall.  Cranberries are the largest fruit crop in Wisconsin.

Did you have a turkey?  Minnesota is the largest turkey producer in the United States.

Sure other states grow pumpkins and cranberries and turkeys..but I like to think that I saw the farms where some of our dinner came from.

I should have taken a photo of a turkey production building..I guess I didn’t realize how important Minnesota was to everyone's Thanksgiving Dinner.

Instead I will share a greeting card with of my favorite photographs of wild turkeys in a corn we don’t have snow on the ground..but by the end of the day we could have a  couple of inches of new snow.

Cons headers-p0042 (2)

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wistful Wednesday: My Baby Brother is a Grandpa!

This is an old grade school photo of my baby brother.

Carey Unknown year

Taken..maybe when he was in first grade in 1960-61.  That is a homemade shirt he is wearing.  He was very blond and pretty cute.

Last weekend he became a Grandfather for the very first time.  His only daughter delivered a gift straight from God..a true miracle baby.  The pregnancy was tenuous at it was wonderful news to hear that Cruz was born on Saturday afternoon weighing 6 pounds and 14 ounces.  Many prayer warriors breathed a sigh of relief and said a prayer of thanks for his safe delivery. 

“A Grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart.” ~ Author Unknown

My baby brother and his wife shared the following photographs with me.Carey and Cruz November 17 2012

Cruz and Carey 2012 November 17

Welcome to the family Cruz:)

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Before Turkey Day

We are finishing up projects..nothing earth shattering..just stuff.

Our oldest daughter Trica and family moved into a different house over the weekend.  Thank goodness the weather cooperated, it was 40 degrees and sunshine. Jen, Andy and the boys came to help.  I cooked lunch to take along.   Sloppy Joes, potato salad, chips and keep the teen age grands fueled and on the move.  When you are moving the last thing you need to worry about is a meal.  Noah was not sure that he would like the sloppy joe..he said “What if I don’t like it?”  I assured him if he tasted it and didn’t like it that it would not go to waste..that I would eat it for him.  Four buns filled with sloppy joe mix later he was full..and declared them “pretty good.”  Adam could not be talked into a taste..I said “fine eat chips then” he did.  The girls packed it away pretty good too..Maddie loved the potato salad ( three helpings worth).  Paige wanted to know what was in it and wondered if it really had potatoes..duh?  ( Paige doesn’t like potatoes.)

We had quite a conversation at the I am sure the grands will not involved the “p” word ( Paige said it first.) I continued on with the “p” word and then the “v” word..and then anus because we all have one.   They were giggling so hard they could barely breathe.  My oldest daughter finally said “MOTHER..that is enough.”  I think I might have made a memory! ( I did say the real words right out loud in front of God and everyone…I never got to the rectum..wreck em hell killed em part before I was shushed.)

I was tired after Saturday..moving is not for sissies or old people.

Here at home I turned the pumpkins around to reveal a turkey.  So much for decorating for Thanksgiving!  Easy Peasy:)



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Monday, November 19, 2012

Chance: The lake is frozen

Something happened to the lake.  Far Side says it is FROZEN.   It was a little cold on my feet and solid.

Frozen Water

It seems like it happened overnight.

Are you nuts

I was a little wary..especially when the ice began to crack under Far Guys feet. You could watch the ice crack as he walked..scary.

Really Nuts

Look out Far Guy ..are you nuts?  Who will save you?  Probably not Far Side in her socks and Crocs.  I am not strong enough to drag you to shore..but maybe I can bark and help will come before you freeze to death. 

He finally came to his senses and came ashore with me!

If it stays clear and cold it will be great ice for skating.

Millpond is frozen

Far Side says maybe it will be  Magic Ice this year:)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shoe Tree

The shoes were all over in the tree.  Some had rotten laces and littered the ground.  There were all kinds of shoes and boots and slippers.

Crossroads near Milltown Indiana

These county crossroads near Milltown Indiana are the place to stop to see the Shoe Tree. It is one of those narrow roads out in the country where they don’t even mark the center of the road..where there is barely room for two vehicle to meet. 

Original Shoe Tree This is the original Shoe was on the South East corner of the was hit by lightening and most of the tree burned down along with a fair amount of shoes.

Shoe Tree out of the ordinary

Someone started a new collection just across the road.  I didn’t have a pair of Crocs to donate..but maybe someday..Crocs last practically forever you know:)

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Races

We went to the races at Churchill Downs.  It is an impressive place.  There is a museum there too..but we passed it up this time.

Churchill Downs

I had forgotten how thin and bony looking 2 and 3 year old thoroughbreds look.

The pre race area

This was the pre race area..where you can look a bit closer at the horses. They are paraded around before the jockeys hop on…we even saw a farrier adjusting a shoe..making a horse very upset.

The Bugler bugled “The Call To Post”..what a job.  I guess he has had the job a number of years..Far Guy and I were intrigued with his pagoda..and wondered what he did between races.  I read later that he has a microwave, fridge and a TV screen that shows the race. Churchill Downs Bugler

The green grass was a feast for our northern eyes..and the sunshine was marvelous…so warm.. it made me sleepy.  I was lucky the first three horses won..I picked them by their pre race behavior..if they looked antsy and like they wanted to run really fast I bet on them..very scientific!

This was our first trip to Churchill Downs..we have been to horse and dog races before but never to this track.


The building and grounds were flawless..the track was manicured after every race.

Sculpture Fixture

This was a very sculpture like light fixture in one of the main entrances.

Outside in  the gardens mums have replaced the roses..but there were still some of those Knock Out Roses in bloom here and there.


Mums and Rainbow Colored Swiss Chard:)

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