Thursday, January 31, 2013


We got some snow.  It was about time.  All the snirt is now hidden under a pure white blanket.

The snow came down gently..and transformed our world.

Jan 29 nine and a half inches of snow

January 29, 2013   9 1/2 inches of snow


Far Guy stuck a ruler in the snow on the patio.

Sunrise on Tuesday

The sun tried to peek through..but remained hidden all day long.


The snow came down so gently that snow was stacked up all over.

Joshua came by and plowed us out and Far Guy made a path for the Turkeys and Chance.

Chance sitting on a snowbank

Chance has a couple of real tall snow banks to sit on.  If the wind comes up I suppose this fluffy new snow will blow around a tad:)

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wistful Wednesday : Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling.  Years ago snowmobiling was all the rage in Minnesota during the “snow” years.  There were many groups of people that would get together on the weekends to snowmobile.

My parents had first one snowmobile..then two so they could each drive.  I believe this is the first snowmobile they had.

Connie and Julie Ann 1969 

Me and my sister Julie in 1969.  I was almost sixteen when she was there is a big age difference between us.  The photo is taken at the farm where I was raised.  We didn’t take the snowmobile too far ..just around in the surrounding fields.  It is a wonder that us girls got a brothers were always on it.

Far Guy’s Dad had an old snowmobile..he worked on ran good ..I think it was one of the early ones.

Old Larson snowmobile

We saw one at the Osage Fishing Derby a few years ago..and I had my camera..imagine that.  Far Guy says he thinks it is about a 1963 model.

The seat lifted up and you could store hot dogs and buns and marshmallows inside the seat until you found a good spot to make a campfire and have lunch.  We have some funny old 8mm film footage showing Far Guy’s Dad zooming around the farm. 

It snowed here..we have 9 1/2 inches plus of new snow.  So the snowmobilers will have a fun weekend…they deserve at least one good weekend during the winter.

When Far Guy and I used to take the old Larson out for a ride we never took it further than we wanted to walk back.

We now have fiber optic fancy smancy Internet and it has been giving us if I disappear it is because we have lost our connection completely..newfangled stuff…when it works, it is just fine ..but I get a tad  a bit  very  extremely cranky when things don’t work like they should.  :(

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fish House Review

We headed back out on the lake (Millpond) to check out the fish houses was a short Sunday drive.

Mill pond Ice houses

We drove in the vehicle out on the ice..yes that is a normal practice this time of the winter in Minnesota.  Everyone does it..sure you could walk..but if you can ride well that is all the better and Chance can hang his head out the window.  There is a road of sorts ice road.

The driver has to be on the lookout for sticks sticking out of the snow..where previous holes have been.  You wouldn’t want to drive into a hole…or hit a big ice chunk which is sometimes on top of the snow next to an old hole.


A  angling fish house was here earlier this can see the four holes.  Fisherman sit inside their house near these holes and drop their bait down the hole..and hope to catch a Walleye.  Angling in my opinion is boring.

Now take a dark with no windows.  That is where the action is.  A large hole about 3 feet by 2 feet is cut through the ice.  Then you put on a decoy and sit next to the hole and move the decoy up and down and wait for a big hungry Northern to come it to snatch your bait..and then you spear him and drag him out of the water and throw him out on the ice to slowly die..and still be refrigerated..because it is cold outside and it is warm inside your fish house because you have a small stove of some kind ..wood or propane to keep you warm as toast whilst you wait for the next fish to attack your decoy.  Sometimes you drink coffee and eat cookies..or have your lunch. ( Some people have been known to drink alcoholic beverages most of the day and then spend all night in the bathtub because it was close to the toilet after skipping lunch and cookies with coffee…it was not me..I do not like Blackberry Brandy.)

Anyways I have fished in dark houses since I was little..we used to go with Dad during the winter.  Far Guy went with his Dad to the dark house too.  We in turn took our girls when they were small..small kids get a rope around their you can fish them back out if they fall in. No they never fell in, but if they had we could have pulled them out.  Some parents tie their small kids to the chairs.

Fish houses have changed over the years.

Here is a typical one.

Tar Paper  fish house

This is a dark house or spearing is called a dark house..because it is dark inside except for the hole..the sunlight filters through the snow and ice, you can see the bottom of the lake and weeds and fish as they swim around. It is much like a lit up TV screen! 

This is a angling house. Small holes like in the second photo..where you watch your bobber go up and down when you get a bite.   Ho—hum.

Semi Sleeper

This one just happens to be made out of a semi sleeper.

This is a angling house.

Pickup Topper

Made from tin and a old pickup topper.

It is interesting to see all the different houses that are built and what is recycled.  It also brings up many memories of days whiled away in the fish house:)

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Monday, January 28, 2013


Snirt is a mixture of snow and dirt.  It mainly comes from North Dakota..perhaps they get their snirt from Montana ..who knows.

Someone..not pointing fingers or not practicing soil erosion practices very well.  What’s a few inches of topsoil anyway..Minnesota can use that.

On snirty can go outside and feel that gritty dirt on your teeth, and when you blow your nose..well you know.

Gone is our winter wonderland of sparkling newly fallen snow..what we are left with is this..


Oh well it will be 60 degrees warmer this week than last week..remember that –31 F night or –35 C ??  We are supposed to be 34 F or 1C today by 4 PM.  I am sure the germs will like will most likely rain again what wasn’t slippery after the last rain will have another go at being slicker than snot on a doorknob:)

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Camera Shopping

I hate in store shopping..but I had a list..checked it twice and wrote down what I thought I needed and the sale prices if I would have ordered off the Internet.

Next stop Best Buy..I was searching for a new point and shoot.  I have been researching them. So many choices. If you have to shop..then shop..I tried every Canon camera out..I even set off one of their alarms..I knew almost as much about their cameras as they did.  Far Guy paced around..he knew I needed a little time to try them all out.   Some were scrawny..some were too heavy..some had awkward pop up flashes…up and down the row I went.  None were exactly like my old sticky button point and shoot.

Old Camera

My old point and shoot a Canon SX 110 IS is temperamental..sometimes the on /off switch works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Then I gently shake it and it works again for awhile. I have loved that camera…I think it is about four years old and it has served me well.

I do not like to take my other fancy smancy new camera out when it is is heavy and just not what I need on a walk in the slip and fall and the camera and I would be upset.  All the lenses and the huge camera bag are sometimes a pain in the butt.

I  needed a little camera to stick in my pocket. A fit in your hand comfortable camera.

New Camera

I chose a Canon  (of course) a SX160 IS  and I think I will like it. The cover for the SD card and batteries is a little stiff for arthritic fingers..I swear every camera they design has a different cover and mode of operation…( a woman did not design them.)

Far Guy is the lucky recipient of my old point and shoot…I can borrow it back any time.

Anyways..I wanted to share with you that when I was shopping at Best Buy..I told the salesman that I could order it off the Internet for $10.00 less..he said tell the I did and I got the 10 bucks off.  Everything else was as priced as advertised..Flash drives and SD cards.

The only thing I didn’t get was a new camera case.  I like a case with a strap so I can sling it over my shoulder or hide it under my parka in the winter. 

It takes good photos of Chance.  He wasn’t very impressed..but at least his eyes are mostly open…he wanted to ignore me.


Time will tell.  I ordered some extensions tubes for my fancy smancy camera and haven’t had time to try them out yet..but I am done camera shopping for awhile:)

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dogs and Halos

Okay..this is the scoop on the Sun Dogs.  Sun Dogs usually show up in cold weather and when the sun is low on the horizon.  

You can have sun dogs with halos or without.

This is without. 

Sundog (2)

A sundog is a bright area on either side of the sun.  They can look like mock suns, bright spots or little rainbows.  They are caused by hexagonal shaped ice crystals high in the frigid air catching the light.  When all the ice crystals are organized vertically and marching like soldiers through the air they make sundogs.

Sundogs one

Can you see the halo now?  Halos often called Ice Halos are caused by refraction of light off of ice crystals that are willy nilly and unorganized the light is refracted in all directions from the sun.   Sundogs and Halo

These photos were taken out the car window yesterday January 25.  Far Guy had an appointment and Chance and I rode shotgun.

Have you seen sun dogs before?

These dogs were the highlight of our day..other than the one next to us at the gas station where Chance rolled down his window and barked his head off at some fluffy little man eating dog:) 

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Day at the beach

Sometimes it is a tad chilly at the beach.

Cold at the Osage Beach today

There is plenty of room in the parking lot on the hill, the benches are empty, the diving platform looks frozen in time and water.

Chance and I open our windows to see if we can catch a whiff of summery air.

Osage beach 2012 June (2)

Children laughing and splashing are a distant memory..did the sun ever shine?

The lake is frozen, the ice road snakes out amongst the fish houses all colors and shapes. Chance and I are like kids in a candy shop..the trip around the mill pond at Osage was the high point of our week.

A new fish house location

Someone was cutting a new hole for his fish house. He was using a gas powered ice auger.  His ice house looks brand spanking new to me.

Straight Lake Jan 24

We were sad when our icy voyage was over.

It was a great way to end our trip out for supplies..tomorrow we hope to go off on another adventure:)

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Just hanging out

Waiting for the weather to warm up.  It was warmer yesterday, the HIGH all day was –2F or -18C but the wind was so very cold.  It has not been fit for man or beast. The  birds are busy at the feeders.


The little Red Polls are eating us out of house and home.  A ten pound bag of Niger thistle seed disappears every week.  Oh well..once you start feeding it is unfair to stop.

Redpoll cropped copy

How many can fit on the thistle feeder?


Sometimes there are so many feeding at once that it is impossible to count them.

One day I sat out on the bench. Just like that I could feel the air currents as hundreds of wings took flight, in a few seconds the air was filled with birds and the whoosh whoosh of their wings flapping away, then it was quiet. Very quiet.   Out of nowhere a Hawk appeared high up in a tree.  He surveyed the area, saw I was way to large to eat and flew off, just as I raised my camera ..darn.  That day the Redpolls didn’t return for a long time.

We usually have a few “slow birds” you know the ones.  The ones left behind when everyone else flies away..and they have the feeder all to themselves.  One day we worried about one for a long time..then he finally flew away.

Someone along the river in town has a Cardinal..I am very jealous..and if the guy wasn’t a pain in the butt I would ask if I could get some photos.

We are just hanging out..this is day five at home..I am going to see if a vehicle will start and go to town and buy some more birdseed.

Our HIGH today is supposed to be +2 F or –16C ..woohoo…almost summerlike compared to the last week:)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wistful Wednesday: Pasture Friends

A long time ago when I was a teenager I belonged to 4-H.  It was an activity that I really enjoyed.  The first club I belonged to was the Ponsford Panthers, they got too many members and some of us were siphoned off and began our own club called The Thrifty 39er’s. ( I have no idea how we came up with that name.)

One year I took photography as a project.  Photography was an easy project, you had goals and filled out your project paperwork, took pictures and put them on a piece of tag board to display at the fair.

I took a number of photos in the pasture.

I was kinda close to the cattle with my Mom’s Brownie Flash Camera.   Of course I could run faster back then..and our Mama cows were quite tame..except if you got too close to their calves.

Herfords  4 H photos

1967 that was the year that I was a Sophomore in High School.  We had a good crop of calves that year.

That was the summer I learned about persistence.

One of the bred heifers ( first time Mama) had a complicated birth.  I think the calf was too big and died.  The cow was a mess..the birth did something to her spinal cord or nerves…she couldn’t stand or walk on her own.  We took her food and water and cleaned her area..she wasn’t in the pasture.. we  moved her over by some piece of equipment where she would have some daytime shade in the farm yard.  Every day sometimes twice a day my Mom would get out the tractor and we would hook up to the makeshift sling around the cow and lift her in the air until her feet touched the ground.  Little by little she gained use of her legs, it wasn’t a pretty sight but she learned how to walk again..then I think she was shipped off. Back then it was bad enough to lose a didn’t want to lose a cow too.


I always liked to watch the calves in the pasture..they would kick up their heels and run like the wind..and then return to their Mamas.  If they were gone for too long the Mamas would start bawling and the calves would usually come a running.


The old pasture

The old pasture January 14 2013.

The old pasture has changed over the is primarily Oaks now..back in the 1960’s there were a number of pines in the pasture:)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013


It is just cold.

I have thoughts of warmer times. 

Roses on the wheels

When the roses were in bloom and when everything was green instead of


cold and white..yes that is a frosty grass in front of the wheels.

Family history, reading and scanning old obituaries has kept me occupied.

AND work..I had office work to catch up on for one of the huge mailings. Scheduling authors is a nightmare…fitting our schedule to their schedule is proving to be harder than I anticipated.   I scheduled speakers/programs for 2013 meetings a long time ago, the Board added a series on Minnesota local authors..we have four that they would like to feature…some time or another over the summer. I still need a catchy name for the any ideas?  If I schedule everything for Monday evenings I could call it Monday’s at the Museum.  Since Mondays are one of my days off I am shuddering at the thought of giving up four of my Mondays over the summer.


The low Monday morning was –28F or –33C.  I took this photo at 9PM on Monday evening and it is –20 F or –28C.

There are wind chill warnings for bitterly cold..imagine that:)

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Deep Freeze

Oh, it is cold here.  Yesterday morning we had –21 F or –29C .  This morning we are headed to –30F or -34C if the forecasters are correct.  We won’t get above zero for a few days.

We feed the birds, Chance does his duties quickly and we will hunker in for the duration.  We have no need to go out..except to take photographs.

I have a multitude of projects that I am working on.  Some for the museum and some for me.  I am slowly making progress on my list.

We had a fun weekend with Jen, Andy and the boys here to visit.  We went out for ice cream..Jen said “ Why is it that we go out for ice cream in the middle of winter…then she answered herself..because we can!”  Chance always loves the company..Adam played “search” with him, Miney and Little Elvis tried to join in the game too. 

The boys Jan 19

The boys were playing some kind of a game together…each on their own device.  Adam and I played “From Cheese” a game on my Kindle Fire…I was stuck on a level..he showed me how to get unstuck..then we got to a level that neither of us could figure out.  Adam said  “Gee Grandma you sure do have lots of books on your must have at least 50 books to read.”  ( I think perhaps my book hoarding has been discovered.)

The cold front came through on Saturday morning.


Jen and I made a quick trip out to take some photos on Saturday morning.   In the afternoon we walked down to my other brothers house for a baby shower for Teddy.

We talked about going into town to see the movie Lincoln..but it was too stormy, snowing, blowing and cold to venture out on Saturday evening.

Andy and Jen took over cooking on Saturday night and Sunday it was like a vacation for me! :)

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Meeting Ava

My niece Stacey and her husband welcomed their fourth daughter into the world earlier this month.

My daughter Jen enjoys taking photos of newborns..our home became the studio.

I was an assistant..and took a few photos myself.

Jen and Ava

Jen calms Ava.

jen and Ava Jan 18

Getting little hands “just right.”

Ava January 18 2013

I thought this hat was so cute.

Stacey and Ava

My niece Stacey and her newest daughter.

What a fun afternoon:)

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