Sunday, June 30, 2013

Snow in June?

Well the shrub the old timers call Minnesota Snowball is blooming.

Minnesota Snowball

It is really called Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ some people call it European Snowball.  It is a very old plant.  Mine is lucky to get a half a dozen blooms, it is on the edge of the woods in a “too shady” area.

Look at this field..for a moment your eyes can be easily fooled.Field of Daisies

Daisies swaying in the breeze

Thousands of Ox-eye Daisies..blooming their hearts out.  It was windy..I might go back to this spot soon on a less windy day.

Ox Eye daisy

Awfully pretty for a noxious weed wildflower.  I just went and checked and it no longer appears on Minnesota’s noxious weed list. So wildflower it is!

Goodbye sure were a rainy month.  I think we made up the rain deficit, and more than filled up the mosquito breeding areas. I am not seeing many bees..just a few. No flies yet and very few butterflies.  I am seeing a large dragon fly hatch..they help out with the mosquitoes.  The bat house remains uninhabited however there are bats that fly through the yard just before dark probably eating their weight in skeeters.  The squirrels have become ravenous again this past week…they must be having another batch of babies.  The Bluebirds are busy feeding their babies.  I have startled them several times while walking through the wild gardens. The weather finally turned warm the 80’s this past week…warm and humid. It cools off nicely overnight into the 50’s:)

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Getting Older

After the fundraising dinner last week, Monday meetings, Monday program and a class on Thursday I was tired.  If I had a rope I would have been near the end of it.

Far Guy has pericarditis again.  At least this time he recognized the signs early before an ambulance and air ambulance ride was necessary like back in 2011.  Pericarditis can happen after a virus…he is feeling “almost normal” after 36 hours on the anti- inflammatory medication.  Hopefully after this course of medication he will be all better.   If it ain’t one thing it is another.

My Doctor finally found a blood pressure medication for me that doesn’t cause hives.  It remains to be seen if it lowers my blood pressure significantly or sends me looking for a potty every hour or so.  I finally printed out a list of blood pressure meds and circled the ones in red that I cannot take.  Some make me sleep for 20 hours straight, some make me lose hair in gobs, some make my joints hurt so bad I have a hard time walking, some make me real short of breath, some rob me of potassium, some just don’t lower my blood pressure at all and most give me hives.  When I was first diagnosed with High Blood Pressure I gave up coffee and staved off medications for several years. I don’t like taking medications..and the stupid blood pressure pill is the only one I take except for vitamins. I “think” that The Lyme's Disease may be mostly behind me and if the blood pressure medication situation is resolved I might feel like a real person one of these days.

Getting old is not for sissies.Loon and two babies

This Loon parent has two babies, one is on his/her back.  We stopped to walk Chance at a Public Access and saw this Loon.  I only had my idiot camera..I was bummed big girl camera would have captured this wonderfully. We were out looking for garage sales not wildlife. Yesterday was one of my days off.


I was happy to see a successful loon hatch! Now if they can avoid the Eagles, Snapping Turtles and Northerns..everyday is an adventure in survival for a loon baby:)

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Potato Salad and Butter

Miss Paula  shoulda stuck a stick of butter in her mouth.  But she didn’t.  I understand..  us Scandinavians get a bad rap some times..but I take it in stride. Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.  Remember that as a kid?  How about tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  Sometimes what is offensive to one person is perfectly acceptable to another. 

Maybe I should shove a stick of butter in my mouth.

Has the world lost all it’s common sense?

Take the case of the potato salad, homemade non the less and the good kind made with Miracle Whip, just the right amount of onion and topped with slices of egg.  Covered in two bowls, with a sign on top that said “For Funeral.”

Enter a political fundraiser taking over that kitchen the night before the funeral that was supposed to have the yummy clearly marked potato salad made especially for the bereaved.

They paid no attention to signs and took the potato salad and served it at their political fundraiser.  They took what wasn’t theirs and gave it to other people ..(sound familiar?) After they realized their mistake, they dipped into the second bowl.  Late that night they called the potato salad lady and told her that they had served her potato salad and they were sorry, but it was delicious..the best potato salad they had ever tasted.…perhaps with the $10.00 that they sent over she could purchase some potato salad  from the deli of a local grocery store.  I.D.I.O.T.S.

Someone said the other day. “I hope Jesus comes to get us soon.”  Today I can only agree:)


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Pole Painter

On Tuesday at the museum  I noticed some commotion outside by the flag pole.  The janitors were looking up and taking down the flag and messing with the ropes. ( I think sometimes it is what men do best..stand around in group look up and down and nod their heads.)

The flag pole is situated right out the door of the museum next to the street.

Later I saw this..well what is a gal with a camera to do?

What in the world

A Steeplejack

He hollered “Look Ma no hands!”

Well the guy is up a pole..he is a captive audience for my curious questions.

Warren a Flag Pole painter

He sits on a board, he moves up and down the pole with ropes.  Those two buckets attached to the board hold his paint, roller and brush and whatever else a pole painter needs whilst he is up a pole.

His name is Warren, he is from Spokane Washington and he has been a Steeplejack for 51 years.  His Dad was one for 55 years.  Warren first went to work with his Dad when he was eight years old, he made 25 cents an hour.  ( Big money back then) He paints mainly flag poles now but he has done water and radio towers and other tall structures. He is not afraid of heights.   He charges 10 dollars a foot to paint a pole.  Our is 34 feet tall.  He painted one pole 66 feet tall in the morning up in Bagley and ours in the afternoon.  Yes, if it is windy he cannot work.  He told me that a flag pole should be painted every three years but it has been six years since ours has been done.  Our flag pole has a bit of a sway to it also…made me nervous but didn’t bother Warren.

He has an assistant.


He was tied to a tree and watched his master the entire time except when I scratched his ears.  I believe his name was “Scritch.”


Warren has five children, three girls and two boys, his boys have painted with him from time to time but are not working with him now.  We had a nice visit, until I got visitors at the museum.  Then he hollered “Goodbye Museum Lady.”

Just incase you every wonder who paints the flag poles..well now you know:)

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wistful Wednesday: 1953

I ran onto another photograph that is 60 years old.

Karen, Kenny, Connie 1953 (2)


I am taking better care of my baby doll in this photo!  This photo was taken at my maternal grandparents farm.  My Aunt Karen has on someone’s shoes and my Uncle Kenny looks like he is sleep walking.  My twin uncle and aunt are two months younger than me.  Someone’s bike is leaning up against the house.  My mother must have taken this photo:)

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Goose Jam

Goose Jam 1

Goose Jam 2

Goose Jam 3

Goose Jam 4

Goose Jam 5

Now you have seen a Minnesota Goose Jam:)

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Lady’s Slippers

The Showy Lady’s Slippers are in bloom.  This week looks to be the best time to see them.

Many are heavy in bud.

Heavy in bud June 23

AND June 23 Lady Slippers in the refugeSome are blooming beautifully!   This bunch was in Tamarac Wildlife Refuge.

We went from there to the Shell Lake area.

Lady slippers

It is safer there than some areas.  The Snellman Hill is full of Lady Slippers but the traffic was terrible.

Huge clusters of Lady Slippers

The weather must have been perfect for large clusters of Lady Slippers this year.

I always look forward to their blooms.   It is one of the highlights of the summer for me.  Welcome to the Minnesota State flower The Showy Lady’s Slipper or Cypripedium reginae:)

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

She and he and what I see

She walks to work every morning, head bent as she walks.  I can tell if I am running late by where I see her on the opposite side of the road. Last week she wore her red rain coat and her head was bent down even further..she must like to watch her feet. She doesn’t look very happy..but then most mornings I probably don’t either.  I know where she goes and I know what she does when she gets there.

On to “Adonis” who rides his bike on good days, shirtless.  As the summer progresses he will bronze just like a statue.  I think “I wonder when he will get skin cancer?”  I watched him all last summer.  Some days he walks..his shirt dragging along on the ground like a runway model.  He is easy on the eyes. Sometimes as I approach him he runs his fingers through his long hair.  I wonder where he goes and what he does when he gets there.

I see the new foal that was born last spring.  Most mornings he/she is all stretched out snoozing in the pasture.  He/she has really long legs. He/she makes me smile.

I watched a field of trees become farmland, first they ripped out the trees and stacked them up to burn, then they removed the stumps..and tilled the soil.  Soil that had not been turned in 50 years. Big farmers getting bigger..small farmers disappearing.

I watch the garage sale signs go up at the end of each week.  One lady has a perpetual sale going on..and has nothing but junk that no one wants..perhaps she is senile.

I see the spot in the road where a drunk driver burned to death in his car a few years ago.  The asphalt got so warm it melted and it created an everlasting reminder… slow down and for goodness sake call for a ride home if you insist on drinking.   He struck another car and screamed all the while he burned to death…the young man he collided with also died.

On an average I meet 33 vehicles on my way into work every morning.  I have 14 miles to drive, that is 2.3 vehicles per mile on an average.  Most mornings I can drive the first four miles without meeting a vehicle.  The only traffic jams we have is when a farmer is moving a tractor from field to field:)
Painted Daisy
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Iowa Peony

A good blog friend from Iowa shared his Fern Leaf Peony with me.

Iowa Peony

It is going to be a beautiful bloom if the heavy rains don’t get the best of it.

peony unfurling

We got four inches of rain Thursday night..and more is predicted for Friday night ( last night).  Chance’s pool filled to over flowing…he won’t use it if it has too much water in it and he doesn’t like dirty water either..he is a picky dog.

Perhaps the mosquitoes are drowning..a gal can hope:)

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer is here!

Finally summer is here, the temperatures are warm and the mosquitoes are nearly as big as birds. There is a joke out there that has a ring of truth to it.  Minnesota’s State Bird should be a mosquito.  If you ever have the pleasure of visiting Minnesota in the summer you will understand.

The candle

If enough of them land on you will wish they would just cart you away. They are vicious little buggers..and it is only the females that bite ..the males just buzz around annoying me trying to fly into my ears and up my nose.. have you ever swallowed a live mosquito?  I have.. it felt really strange..until it died.

Chance’s pool came out.  He needs a new one.  Far Guy dumps it out every other day so it doesn’t become a mosquito hatchery. The smell of wet dog permeates the air…it is a good summery smell for me..along with sweaty horses, rain falling, freshly mowed hay, the river and Minnesota lakes.  ( Yes the river smells different than the lakes..I think as it flows the smells waft up out of the water.)The pool is out

Far Guy’s lilac is blooming.  I am not sure what kind of lilac it is..a late lilac for sure.

Far Guys Lilac

It has three of these long blooms this year.

We are getting thunderstorms at night. Chance hides in the safety of the bathroom.

It has been a really busy week at the museum..hardly time to catch my breath. Yesterday morning I could barely keep my eyes open on the drive in to work..too many early mornings and extra activities at the museum.  There really should be two of me some days.

I will enjoy the 15 hours and 53 minutes of daylight that we have achieved. The sunrise is at 5:23 AM and it sets at 9:16 is all downhill from here…every day we lose a few minutes. ( That was not a very cheery thought..was it.)

Oh well it is what it is:)

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chance: Look what I saw!

Hiya it is me!  My turn, my turn.

Wanna see what I saw?

Brace yourself…

Chance hanging out the back window

Is that a handsome mug or what?  We went for a ride, at the crossroads we usually go right..but this time they agreed to go left for a change. An adventure!

I saw a deer far away, it moved so I barked at it.

Deer One

This one didn’t move for a really long know that deer stuck in the headlights look?

Deer Two covered in bugs

It was covered in mosquitoes.  Click on the photo to make it larger if you dare..those bugs are ugly…and that poor deer must be miserable.

Then we saw this..a long ways away.

Coyote A coyote. 

It was a great adventure! :)

Border Collie Intensity June 13

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wistful Wednesday: 1953

Yesterday I wrote about the Jack and Ella McGrane place where I used to visit.

My very first party was held at that old two story brown stucco house with the east facing porch.  It was Corrine’s birthday..she was three.  Her Grandmother had a wonderful party for her and invited neighborhood kids.

1953 Birthday Party with neighbors

Barry, Corrine and Danny

Me, Sharon and a little girl I do not remember (Caroline I think)

This huge step was on the south side of the house and this part faced west.  A perfect spot for a photo.  It must have been a real pain in the neck to get that many small children to sit still for a photograph.

Barry and Sharon are Far Guys cousins.  Barry is the guy I call Alaska Guy. We see him several times a year.  Sharon comes home every few years, she lives on the east coast.

I posted this photograph on Corrine’s Facebook page the day of her birthday.  Danny just lives down the road.  Since I don’t remember the other little girl I have no idea what happened to her nor do I recall where she used to live.

Apparently I didn’t like that baby doll very much:)

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Iris and area news

My Mom’s Irises are in full bloom.


No wonder my eyes are all itchy.

Iris with pollen

The buds are covered in is just about everything else.  It rained a bit last evening just enough to settle the dust.


There was a bit of a rainbow amongst the smoke that was in the air.

Little fire

Someone started a fire with some accelerant..maybe some old tires on the old Jack and Ella McGrane place. I used to love to visit this pretty little farm with the stucco brown two story house with the big porch that faced east and was always in the shade of huge Oak trees.  Their Granddaughters were my favorite playmates. There isn’t much left there that resembles that old old white shed is all that remains.  There isn’t even a footprint left of where the house used to be…but I know right where it was.  I can almost taste the Kool-Aid and the cookies and feel the cool breeze on that porch.IMG_8593

It was such a cold spring that many of the potato fields are empty.  The seed potatoes rotted in the ground because it was too cold.  Some of the fields were dug up again..but it is getting a little late to plant anything. Long French Fries in a box may be going up in price…who knows what the potato plant in town will do…it employs lots of people…perhaps they will transport in potatoes from other areas.

What crops are in are slow growing except for the small grains.  The corn will have to grow some to be knee high by the 4th of July:)

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