Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day Trip

We got up early on Wednesday..checked the weather and headed on over to Duluth.  We were gone just 12 hours. It is a four hour drive one way.

The last time we were there for train shopping and a bit of antique shopping Far Guy took ill.  Since then he has wanted to return. Yesterday was the day.

Next to Curly’s Bar is the Train Shop.  It is a way cool place..I walked Chance down the is in an old part of Duluth..I am not sure how safe that part of town is. But it was daylight and I had a dog!  He wouldn’t hurt a fly..but no one would know that!

The roads were good and the temperatures were in the 30’s.  EXCEPT near Lake Superior.  Those Duluthians are a tough bunch.  The wind coming off of the ice was bitterly cold.

Canal Park

There was plenty of room to sit a spell at Canal Park.  Not many tourists were around.  As I was walking back to the car I met a Grandma and her Grandson all bundled up with scarves covering their faces and necks..only their eyes were showing.. I said “Hello….chilly day in Duluth! “  She replied.. “This is a warm day!”

Cold day in canal park

The lighthouse in Canal Park is one of my favorite places to visit. I was there last fall when it was a tad warmer.

The antique mall was great..we enjoyed several hours just walking around.  I found a few  many  lots of old photos to add to my collection..and Far Guy found some “stuff” for his train set.

It was a fun day..and a lovely break from our winter routine:)

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wistful Wednesday: In the Band

A few days ago I showed you an engagement photo of Far Guy’s Paternal Grandparents.  Grandpa had his trombone. Several people asked about the trombone being in the photo.   Music was a big part of his life and it would be a big part of their married life as they played many a duet together.

J, T Engagementt Pic


  He was very musical.  He played the trombone in the marching band. Back in the early 1900’s every little town had a band.  Sometimes they had a bandstand in the town square or park…people would gather to hear the music.

Post card from Jim 1911

He was also in The Willow Valley Orchestra.  He played the violin. He played for fact on the back of the band postcard..he wrote I am sorry I cannot come and see you, I promised to play for a dance.


When they came up to Minnesota in 1913, Grandpa played for dances.

James X and Tracie Henderson (2)

They played the wedding march for Emma and Rubert when they got married in 1913 and then 50 years later in 1963 they played it again at their 50th Wedding Anniversary party. Grandpa played the violin..and Grandma played the piano.  I bet that was really something!

Far Guy is musical, he played the guitar until he injured his he is working on becoming a banjo is fun to hear him practice.  Our daughter’s are both musical and play piano.  Trica plays the violin, she has her Great Grandfathers violin to play. She used to play for Great Grandma on Saturdays..Great Grandma was so proud of her!

Me well I am tone all sounds good to me.  I have no doubt that our children inherited all their musical ability from their father..and he must have got his music talent from his Grandparents…because his parents had no musical interests.  Sometimes unique talents must skip a generation:)

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sleigh Parade

Only the side streets in Hubbard had snow.  People shoveled snow across the main highway so that the sleighs could go across.

Cream Can Sleigh

Cream Can Sleigh

Missmatched team pulling a box sleigh

A miss-matched team

Box Sleigh

Pulling a box sleigh

little horse pulling a boat style sled

A little horse pulling a little flat bottomed boat sleigh

Lille guy  was a little stubborn

This little guy was a tad stubborn..he really wasn’t in the parade mode.  You can see that his “sleigh” is a modified cart.


I thought this set of mules was beautiful.  With their red and green halters and sleigh..they may have been in a Christmas Parade a time or two.Team on Main street giving rides

This was the team giving rides on main street.  Notice the wheels.  Yes, we could have gone for a ride, but we had Chance with us.  This team went by and Chance barked at them..the horses just plodded along ignoring him.  The next time the team came by..Chance was quiet…and just watched them. 

We scouted out the area and found the sleigh staging area..that is where I will take photos next year.  We looked for the Trappers Encampment but didn’t find it..maybe next year:)

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Can you guess?

Sunday afternoon we had a date. Can you guess what this is?

Hint One

How about now?  We took Chance along..he had a grand time.

Hint two

Will this help?

Hint three

Yes, we were outside in the snow.  It was a beautiful day..30 something degrees! Almost spring like.

Hint four

I am sure you must have guessed by now.

Hubbard Sleigh Festival

This sleigh is a “Cutter” or speeding sleigh.  I would have called it a one horse open sleigh!

We went to the Hubbard Prairie Sleigh Festival and Parade in the itty bitty berg of Hubbard Minnesota.   Hubbard  should have been the County Seat..years ago towns/villages had to pay if they wanted the railroad to come through their town in Minnesota. The village of Hubbard refused to the railroad went through Park Rapids instead.  As you may know..railroads and rail travel were what brought goods to your town..and people.  If the railroad missed your town..well you might as well give up.   Park Rapids was made the county seat.  Hubbard was quite a town in it’s day..situated on the edge of the first prairie and named after Lucius Hubbard the distinguished Governor of Minnesota from 1882 to 1887.  Hubbard is a village in the township of Hubbard also in Hubbard County..that is the county where I am the Director of the Historical Museum:)

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sit a Spell

Wiggle your toes..feel the grass beneath your feet.


Go ahead..toss off those shoes.


Wiggle your toes in the warm sand.  Grab your book, sit awhile and read in the sunshine.

Smell the flowers, there is a breeze coming off the lake..

Ah soon it will be summer again.  The snow will melt..the flowers will bloom..the bees, ticks and the snakes will be back.

Bees, snakes and ticks those are the things I hate about summer…oh and skeeters..but without much moisture skeeters are no problem.

I am allergic to bees.  My parents were recalling that story the other night.  They thought I was going to die after I opened the hives and was covered with bees when I was three or four years old.  The bees swarmed and covered me, I was screaming..I made those bees so mad that they followed me into the house.

My parents were counting the stingers as they pulled them out of my skin and then lost track..I was a mess.  A few days later all my joints stiffened up.. I couldn’t bend any of my joints.  They took me to the Doctor and the Doctors gave me something that must have worked because I survived.

So I don’t like bees so much..but they sure like me.  I used to be very afraid of them..if one would land on me I would go all girly and scream and run away…and get stung.  My baby brother never got stung..if one would land on me he would say “ Hold real still and they won’t sting you!”  I held as still as I could whilst sobbing..and still got stung. 

Sedum and a bee September

I am not so afraid of bees anymore.  I can take photographs of was a major accomplishment for me. I keep EpiPens readily available.

I tolerate the ticks..I don’t like them..I don’t like that they carry Lyme's disease and other tick diseases that we have to worry about with Chance.

Snakes..I am very afraid of them..pee your screaming meamy away afraid. I am certain it is a fear that I will never get over..but as long as we have snow covering the ground I can relax..until spring:(

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Finding Treasures

I really should stay out of that trunk upstairs.  It holds some real family treasures. I can wile away the better part of an afternoon looking through “old stuff.”  I found a note that Far Guys Grandpa wrote in 1913..on the back of their engagement photo.  I found some more old photos and scanned them.   I knew the trunk held some photos that I could include with the family history.  Everything seems to come alive when you have a photo…or a hand written note.

Back of engagement photo

Jim and Tracie 1913

July 4th

This was right after noon, when we got them and showed them to each other.  Tracie said OH My Gosh, then we had a good laugh about it.  Our engagement rings.

The note says more than the very serious photo.  I can see that Grandpa is smiling with his eyes. James X Henderson  and Tracie Stuve engagement photo

The exposure times were too long for people to smile in a photo.  Many people could not hold a smile for the extended exposure time and the photo would be blurry.  Plus that having your photo taken was a serious didn’t happen everyday of the week.

I think I have everything to finish up this phase of my project!!  The end might be in sight. I am sure Cousin Bonnie will be relieved to get most of her “stuff” back.

Grandpa left behind Farm Diaries from 1916 to 1929.  Thirteen Years of mostly farm records…when he planted, when he butchered what he took to town to sell and sometimes who visited.  I do not have time to do it this winter.  I have not read all the entries…he made an entry just about everyday for 13 years.  They are written in pencil..I may try scanning them…and see how they look.  I may have to keep them just a tad bit longer if I transcribe them all. 

1965 Tracie and james X henderson

Tracie and Jim ( Far Guy’s Grandparents)

I found this very nice photo upstairs in the trunk taken in about 1965.

I have asked Far Guy’s Uncle to come out and help identify some of the old photographs, although I am getting  most of them identified.

We heard a cute story about him the other day.

Someone was upset with him, he wasn’t moving his potato truck fast enough for one of the lady truck drivers..she was very upset and reading him the riot act.  He gazed at her calmly and said “Talk to me sweet lips.”  :)

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Friday, February 22, 2013

February is flying by

It seems the harder I try to catch up the behinder I get.

Trying to catch up

We have been trying to do the important things.  Catching up with friends that we have not seen in awhile.  Doing the taxes..whew I am glad that they are off my desk and at the accountants.  Shopping for difficult to find items..with success finally…it shouldn’t have been a big deal..just needed a new rug for the dining room..and one that was not cream or off white.  I would have loved a red area rug..but settled for country blue.  Hey it was way better than the off white…I asked Far Guy “Can you see that in the dining room?”  His answer was “Heck no.” We agreed, and settled for blue.

Left in the dust

SLOWLY things are being marked off the list.  Very slowly.

Sometimes I feel like the turkeys along the roadways..they are searching for sand/dirt/small rocks for their gizzards so their food can be broken up ..and then a way to escape the deep snow…so they run as fast as their little legs can carry them.

Some of the snow has a crust and they can walk on top..and sometimes they just break through and have to trudge through the snow or fly.

Turkeys in the snow

So far I am just trudging day one project at a time:)

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chance: Far Side Bakes

Hiya it is me Chance!

Far Side baked for me.  She was sick and tired and tired and sick of dog treats and not knowing what was in them.  Some of the dog treats in a local big box store killed a dog across the lake..those treats came from China.

My homemade treats have pumpkin, molasses, cinnamon, flour..and some baking powder, soda, water and a bit of vegetable oil.  Easy peasy..they were supposed to be like cookie dough and you could roll them out in cutesy little shapes..Far Side bought a special cookie cutter in the shape of an apple. Well that didn’t happen.

She tried to look up her recipe to double check the ingredients..couldn’t find it so she went with what she had.

Far Side is not much of a baker..or a cook either for that matter..but she cooks better than she bakes.  She cooks vegetables real good..they are my favorite..and she shares with me every night.

The baking project went downhill after she spilled a whole bunch of flour on the counter and the floor. I think she might have said “Bad word, bad word.”  Far Guy came to the that time she had the mixer mixing at ninety miles an hour..she lifted the mixer up at tad too much.. and ..well Far Guy got dough splattered all over him…most landed on his head as he was cleaning up the flour from the floor.  He said “I felt something damp hit my head, was that from you?”  Well she couldn’t deny it.

The dough looked sad..too bad there is no photo..she was DISGUSTED..she spent another half an hour looking for the non existent recipe I think she dreamt up.

It looked like mushy cookie she test baked a batch..she dropped the mushy stuff by spoonful on parchment paper…and baked them.

She said “AW heck” and then baked the whole batch.

After they cooled..we taste tested them..I really like them!  Far Side tried one too..Far Guy made a funny face, he couldn’t believe that she was going to taste it..she said “It tastes like flour.”

They don’t look real fact they kinda look like little hills of swirly dog poop.  I have lots of experience in the dog poop category.  I guess you could say I am an expert.


My homemade treats taste DELICIOUS! :)

Chance Feb 17

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wistful Wednesday : Isak and Margaretta

This week I will introduce you to my *fathers paternal relatives.
We have to go back to Isak, in Finland.  Isak was born out of wedlock to Liisa Greta Lahti Yliniemi on September 19, 1857.   His  mother was a widow who farmed, and his father was a farmhand named Juho Mattias Ala. 
In June of 1880 he began the first leg of his trip to America.  Young men were being drafted, Finland was under Russian rule at this time.  Isak crossed the river to Sweden and shortly after that made a raft out of logs and along with several friends they floated down the Muonio and Torino rivers to get on a sailing ship to America.  He was not only illegitimate but a draft dodger.
Isak Yliniemi
He arrived in New York City..traveled on and settled in French Lake Minnesota.  He became sick with typhoid fever.  After he recovered he helped to build the Apostolic Lutheran Church in French Lake.  He met Margaretta while working on the church and they were married November 29, 1885.
Margaretta was born April 3, 1867 in Finland to Briita Lissa and Alexander Impola.   Isak would have been 28 and Margaretta would have been 18 years old when they were married.

They would become parents to thirteen children. While in French Lake Margaretta would give birth to six children, Greta who died as an infant, Maria, Joseph, Samuel, Isacki and Mikael.
Times were tough, so Isak decided to move his family north.  He traveled with two horses, a colt, cook stove, barrel of salt pork, and three small children Marie ( Mary) age nine,  Joe age 7 and Sam (My Grandfather) age 5.  They travelled 170 miles north on wilderness roads, he homesteaded a parcel of land in Toad Lake Township Becker County Minnesota.  He built a 10’ x 10’ home for Margaretta.  She followed by train in October of 1896 with Isacki age 4 and Mikeal age 2.  Isak was late picking her up in New York Mills..and while she was waiting she gave birth to John.
Margaretta Yliniemi
Imagine her thoughts of six children in a 10’ x 10’ house?  She had to put the children outside while she made their beds.  Levi, Ethel, Esther, Ida, Charles and William would join the family. Isak would build her a larger house:)
* Thanks to my sister Julie and my cousin Will for their tireless research.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I am working on Far Guys family history( his paternal history)..and I have had many questions along the way.  When I run into questions I just make notes and hope to return again someday to answer those questions.

The other day I was straightening up.  I  tend to spread “stuff” all around when I am working on a project.  There was a manila envelope I had shuffled from here to there.  I finally looked at it.  I marked it..years ago.   Marge gave it to me.   I “think” she gave it to me in 2002 or 2003..ten years ago.  CRS at it’s best.

Secrets are safe

The envelope held the answers to many of my questions and much more.  I was finally able to identify everyone in an old family photo!  That may not sound like much to you..but if you are a Virgo like me..we like to have everything all tidy and in it’s proper place.

If and when I remember what I have and where I put it.

Now I will stop my research and go back and tidy up all the loose ends.  Back pedaling for sure..I wanted to have this project behind me by March 1st.  I still have hopes that I will make it.

CRS..have you figured that out yet?  Can’t remember shit stuff:)

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Monday, February 18, 2013


Saturday was the VEX Robotics Tournament in Northern Minnesota.  Son In Law Andy is a Robotics Instructor.

Students ages 12 and up build robots and compete against each other.  Noah is on a team, Adam is not quite old enough yet. (He served as a volunteer.)

Competition area

There are two competition there is no waiting between matches. 

The kids build their own robots and tweak them during the competition after their turns…at the end of the day they should have some of the kinks worked out.


The competition this year was called Sack Attack.  The sacks had to be picked up and put in the troughs, high goal or floor goal to score points.  The yellow sacks were worth the most points.

“The robotic competition provides young people the opportunity to experience the power, excitement and fun of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an affordable, accessible and sustainable way.”

I saw team interaction, family support..and lots of kids having a blast!  It is a wonderful activity for kids during the winter:)

Kickin some bots

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Retiring Fireman

At the annual fireman’s banquet there were three retirements.

My other baby brother, a friend and Far Guy.  Between them they volunteered for 58 years.


The third time is a charm for Far Guy.  He came out of retirement twice to help out because they were short handed during the daytime.  A while back he said “I am just too tired to keep up with those young guys anymore.”  So he turned in his pager.

The pager used to go off every night a 6PM for a pager test.  The dog knew that it was time for supper..the dog also knew if he and Far Guy were off someplace in the yard when the pager went off Chance was to go to the house.  I don’t miss the pager going off all times of the day and night..ignorance is bliss.

Behind every fireman is a helpful understanding family..sometimes they have to leave in the middle of a family dinner, sometimes they are gone for half the day, or all night.  You wonder are they okay..and what is holding them up.  Did they have one call after another..or do they have big problems?  Sometimes they miss supper time completely and even if it was not your night to cook anyway and save something for them.  They will want to eat and take a shower and sometimes talk..especially if it was a “bad call” and they need time to wind down.

Around these parts if we didn’t have a Volunteer Fire Department we wouldn’t have any Fire Department.  Well we would have one but it would be so far away it wouldn’t do much good.

58 years ..I wish I could get some long term volunteers like that at the museum..but I guess greeting guests at the museum isn’t near as interesting as going into burning buildings.

Thanks did good! :)

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

What’s on my desk: Cards

I make my own cards.

I take photos ..lots of photos.  I decide on the photos to be printed..usually at Wally World.

I am a regular at the local five and dime, because I like to have one fine collection of papers to choose from.  Colors of every hue.

I coordinate the photos with the papers.

Start with photo and then matthem

I have several paper cutters.. A large one and a small one.

Tools needed to make cards

And double sided tape..I use Creative Memories tape runners.  They have improved their design from the worthless design they had a few years ago.  The new design is a breakthrough..simple and easy to use. Finished cards

I have four different card and envelope colors I work with..white, ivory, a heavy cream color and my new favorite a recycled brown paper color.

This is my second round of making cards this winter.  I still have to make more sympathy cards.  I have several people who I write to  at least once a I go through cards at a pretty good pace.

Sometimes I make fancy corners..I have several different punches that I can use, but for the most part I like them plain.

I like to play with paper.  Making my own cards is a good excuse to have some play time.

I like to have a good stash of cards on hand all the time.  They are blank inside, so I can write something personal that fits the occasion. 

My cards cost about a dollar each to produce.  That is still much cheaper than a card you can buy in the store.  I often give them away as gifts or for silent auctions for fundraisers…I have cellophane envelopes that I can put them in to keep them clean, I can bundle them up with a piece of ribbon and viola..I have an instant gift! :) 

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