Saturday, May 31, 2014

My May List and Wildflowers

Ack my May list of things to accomplish is a tad lacking.

My May List:

Clean garage  In process another day or two and I will be done.

Vacuum cars and wash windows.   I got Far Guys vehicle all done.

Sleigh Bells…nope

Spring clean some kitchen cupboards…probably not all of them. Yes some are cleaned!

Trim some grass around some old grave markers. Yes the markers look better.


Visit some graves that I have not been to in a few years. Maybe someday in June when Far Guy is feeling better.

My June list.

Garage sale

Road trip to Buhl Minnesota.  It seems Far Guy was bored in the middle of the night and bought a whole tote of train “stuff” and it has to be picked up. I have no idea where Buhl is..up north someplace in the boonies.

I can finish up “stuff” from previous months.

Wildflower photos!!


Large Flowered Trillium or Trillium grandiflorum

Large flowered Trillium or Trillium grandiflorum

You can see how dusty the foliage is along the roads.

Large Flowered Bellwort or Uvularia grandiflora

Large Flowered Bellwort or Uvularia grandiflora  one of two Bellworts found in Minnesota.

I think the prednisone that Far Guy has been on leaves him sleepless at night.  He discovered how to sinc his Roku to his computer so he can watch his favorites on You Tube on his TV.   I told him I didn’t want to be involved…my tech skills are already at their max. 

It hasn’t rained yet, we are still waiting for a good rain.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

The Yard Report

We went from late spring coolness to August like hot weather just like that.   It is dry, I hope it rains soon.  In August our yard is heavily shaded.  No so much in May.

Oaks in the yard

The Oaks which we curse each fall with their millions of leaves are finally starting to show some green. In the next photo you can see how I rake the leaves to the edge of the woods every fall, soon grass will grow up through those piles of leaves.  In the spring those leaves are wet from snowmelt and provide an extra barrier of protection should there be a forest fire…wet leaves do not burn.  Oak forests usually do not burn either..but just incase my leaves will stop a ground fire.


Andy and Jen carried the lawn swing out of the garage.  I am giving the garage a good cleaning before the garage sale…that happens a week from today.  I sure do have lots of crap highly collectable items.  I have not had a garage sale in about four years…it is time.

Green grass

I had Far Guy dig out that worthless Forsythia last fall and added another bird bath in it’s place.   I mowed part of the lawn, I insisted Far Guy stay indoors.  We went to town and bought a battery operated weed trimmer that should be easy on my shoulders…compared to the gas one that you have to pull your shoulder practically out of joint to start.

I love the green grass.  Our lawn is not perfect, it has dandy lions all over, I find them pleasant, like little bits of cheerful sunshine amongst the green.

  The Purple Leaf Sandcherry had a tough winter.


Looks like a bunch of dead sticks with a little growth along the bottom.  I will trim it after it rains.  The jury remains out on the climbing roses…they don’t look good. I must be patient.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Few Rough Days

Last Saturday was very warm, and the pine trees started to weigh down the air with their pollen.  As you know Far Guy has battled Acute Bronchitis for over a month.  The pollen proved to be too much for him.  His oxygen sats plummeted.  I took him into the ER and they kept him in the hospital for four days.   His Doctor called his breathing problem a  “perfect storm.” They gave him IV antibiotics and steroids.

He is much improved and is listening to everything most things I say.

Chance waiting

Chance, Miney and Little Elvis were in a real funk.  They couldn’t figure out what I had done with Far Guy…all they knew is that I took him someplace and I didn’t bring him back, that I would come and go many times a day and smell different. They were good company for me when I was at home to do a few things and play ball with them.


Little Elvis was delegated to lick my fingers or my toes every morning until I awakened.  He took his new job seriously!

Yesterday afternoon after Miney and Little Elvis went home ( their people returned from a vacation in Colorado) and Far Guy was settled I crashed on the couch and slept for three hours.  I didn’t answer the phone, I don’t know if it rang or not.

Far Guy enjoyed Room Service in the hospital, they cooked him whatever he wanted to eat, and his nursing care was excellent. I am cautiously optimistic that he is over the hump now…he says he feels about 75 % normal.  He sees his regular Doctor again next week, in the meantime he is still on antibiotics, steroids and an allergy pill.  We have the AC on since everything in our area is spitting yellow pollen, I will open the windows after it rains.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wistful Wednesday: Bill and Gertie

Just on the other side of the section of land where I grew up was a big old white house surrounded by farmland.  There used to be some falling down out buildings…I recall a chicken coop and maybe an old garage or small shed. 

Bill and Gertie lived in the big white house…two story…probably what is called a foursquare house. 

Bill and Gertie McGranes Fiftieth anniversary Oct 23, 1957

This photo was taken on their 50th wedding anniversary on October 23, 1957.   I wondered why I remembered them this way and not any older?  I looked up their gravesites.  Gertie 1885 to 1958, and Bill  or W.T. 1877 to 1969.  They were already in their 70’s and 80’s when I met them.  Gertie died about six months after this photo was taken.

I remember visiting their house and having cookies…cookies were always a big hit with me!

We drive by their old place sometimes on our evening drives.

Bill and Gertie Mc Granes old place

The house has been enlarged, someone else lives there now and it is for sale. 

My parents owned this property at one time…I think they bought it from the Estate after Bills’ death in 1969.  They farmed the land for a number of years.

Bill and Gertie were good neighbors, no one ever spoke badly of them that I can recall.  Salt of the earth kind of people.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Savannah’s Graduation Party

The Graduation ceremony was held in the Sanford Center in Bemidji Minnesota at 10 AM.  310 students graduated, the ceremony took about 2 hours.
Graduation Savannah getting her diploma
There were two too many speakers who just liked to hear the sound of their own voices.  The student speakers were the best!  The old farts should have just stayed silent.
Savannah Graduation day
Savannah’s parents held an open house in her honor in the afternoon, we had several hours to make the final preparations.  The day before the party I made potato salad for 100 people.  Uncle Andy smoked pork for sandwiches.  We mixed up cole slaw, baked beans and made the frosting for the cupcakes before all the guests arrived.
It was a warm sun shiny day.  Shade was welcome…we went from cool spring weather to sunny and hot.  People came and went all afternoon. 
During one of more quiet times I asked Savannah to open her gifts.
Quilt from Great Grandparents This is the gift from Savannah’s Great Grandparents ( my parents) they were unable to attend but my Mother made Savannah a quilt in her favorite color …green.
Savannah shadow box
I made her a scrapbook page with her newspaper clipping and her graduation photo, then I scanned it and found a frame that is a shadowbox…so she can put some keepsakes in the frame.
Book from Jen made her cry
Savannah’s Aunt Jen made her a book…all through the years.  It made her cry…which in turn made just a few of us cry.
Bananas in Pajamas made her smile again
Then another gift from Aunt Jen, Uncle Andy and the boys made her smile.

“Bananas in pajamas are coming down the stairs, Bananas in pajamas are coming down in pairs”  It was a cartoon or a show on TV when she was just a little girl…we changed the lyrics to Savannah in Pajamas!

It was a lovely afternoon.  We were so happy we could be there.
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

We visited two cemeteries on Friday.  I have a box in the garage that says “Cemetery Flowers”  it contains silk flowers…pink and red.  We visited the two local cemeteries where we have people planted.

This year I wanted to remove some of the grass overgrowth on a few older graves that no one visits…Veterans…Great Grandma Abbott’s brothers.  We took a few butcher knives and a bucket to cut the overgrowth next to the slab.  Mission accomplished…the markers will look better after a rain.

I wandered around.

Iris at the cemetery

Found some beautiful Iris on a grave…and a lone bullet on the foot marker.  I knew the gentleman years ago.

I was tired after working on one marker…so I sat in the grass and took a photograph.

The sun was shining on my husbands maternal grandparents headstone…

Linnell Cemetery

Of course the photo didn’t turn out as good as I would have liked. 

There were several what I call Striped Gofers running around…I also noticed several holes.

Far Guys Uncle Willard’s headstone is in place.  Often times we would meet Uncle Willard at the cemetery when he was bringing flowers to his parents and grandparents graves…now we are leaving flowers for him…and taking over his flower duties.

My cousin Mark’s grave had no flowers so we left some.  He seems to have a very lonely spot in the cemetery.  Some times I wonder why he chose to be buried at that cemetery…his parents are buried elsewhere…but he made all of his own arrangements.

Far Guy did great helping me with my mission.  Flowers were placed near headstones for the weekend and on Tuesday or Wednesday I will pick them up again and put them back in the box until next year.  It is easier for the people that mow.

I have several other cemeteries that I should have visited, but for a number of reasons it was not possible this Memorial Day Weekend.

I am not certain who will bring flowers after we are dead and gone…no one most likely.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Grand Line Up

I always make the Grands line up for pictures.   I have done it for years. They indulge me.

This year we add a new photo.

Birth order

When I call for birth order Savannah is always happy…since she is the oldest.

Then I call for tallest to shortest…Savannah says “Well I know my place.”

Much ado about the tallest to shortest

Since she is the oldest but the shortest she makes sure that her sisters are in the proper order…can you see her eyeballing the height?

Tallest to Shortest May 24 2014

Finally they have it right! What a handsome/beautiful group of Grands…and they are all mine..oh and Far Guys too!

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bee Happy Bargains

Finally I  got a chance to change from my winter very warm wool felted just in case I get caught in a storm purse that I could use as a hat….to the summer one…I have not seen a bee yet but I need to carry my epi pens during the summer.  I am not much of a purse person and would rather have my pocket book in my pocket…but the size of  those epi pens makes that impossible.

There are not as many bees around anymore.

Bee Happy

I have had this wreath next to the front door for years.  I decorate it with the seasons. I found these bee decorations at a garage sale…for $1.25 I have a whole new look.  I may have to look for a few more bees…

Last year I scored a new loon flag for a dollar.


Bargains always make me happy.

We finally heard the Loons down on the lake this week.  They are very late this year.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Indigo Bunting

I stalked the Indigo Bunting for quite some time.   I am not sure if there is one or two.  We usually get one passing through every May, I wish one would stay we are in his/her breeding range.

Indigo Bunting in the woods

Here it is in the woods.

Indigo Bunting in the grass

At the edge of the woods.

Indigo Bunting

Success!  Isn’t he a beauty? Well worth waiting for!

We have been sitting outside for a short time everyday soaking up some Vitamin D on the days with sunshine. I have been working on a few projects intermittently, mainly I just keep the household running and take care of Far Guy and Chance.  Far Guy is still recovering from acute bronchitis…it is a sloooow recovery.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Birds and a Birthday

The Baltimore Orioles are still here!  There are eight maybe ten that are hanging in the trees.  Yesterday we had a new to us bird.Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole…we are just on the edge of his range.  He is much darker than the Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore and Orchard Orioles

Baltimore Oriole and an Orchard Oriole

Then we had this unknown to me bird.

Immature Orchare Oriole

It has a black throat and a beak like an Immature Orchard Oriole…but I am uncertain.


Grandson Noah is fifteen years old today.


He loves his longer hair and so do I.  Happy Birthday!

I think he will get his Driver’s Permit soon…part of growing up and making Grandma feel older.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wistful Wednesday : Savannah

The little girl that used to come in the door and holler UM’s and run to her Grandpa’s office… and get M and M’s out of the machine that sat on his desk.  All the time she could spend drawing on pieces of paper taped to her high chair using big girl markers.  The days she spent with us when her parents went on vacation and we let her have a special rock to pee on…they returned and took the rock and the potty trained little girl home with them.   The phone rang the next day “You are in big trouble, she showed the whole neighborhood how the pee rock works.”

Savannah unknown year Possibly 1997

She went to first grade in Lombard Illinois. I Pledge Savannah

She was a lefty…still is…I have learned not to sit a lefty and a righty next to each other at the dinner table.

So now she graduates from High School.  I don’t know where the time went…Savannah (1 of 1)

She will pursue a degree in Elementary Education.  When she gets her degree and a job some children will be blessed to have her for a teacher.

The first of “the five grands” to graduate from High School!  We are so very proud of her!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wood Carving

We try to go to carving once a week.  A bunch of us meet in the basement of the library.  It is a good group, if you have a question someone will have a suggestion for you…we trade wood and stories.  Most of the time I am out numbered…but occasionally a few women show up.


Dave won People’s Choice Award at the Red River Valley Woodcarver’s Association weekend in April with his trio of sunfish.   The Wood Duck won best in it’s division and it was carved by my cousin Chuckie (on the right).  Dave’s flying Canada Goose won a blue ribbon.


Bill serenades us from time to time.  He carved and built this Nyckelharpa, he is one of ten Nyckelhapa players in Minnesota.  He always says “I am one of the top ten Nyckelharpa players in Minnesota, but then there are only ten!” One time he left a Nyckelharpa for me to take to an event…and he gave me a quick lesson!   I could never be a player…too much stuff to remember.  Bill has a primitive mushers cabin over on one of the lakes in the boonies complete with a resident bear, fox and other assorted creatures. He used to keep sled dogs there…now it is just his occasional residence. 

The snow bird carvers are filtering in after their winter in places warmer than Minnesota.  Everyone is working on something different.


These are Chuckie’s Loons, over the winter there was an evening class and they carved this loon.  Far Guy has carved a loon before and I am no good at carving ducks so I am certain that it would be the same with a loon.  Chuckie carved three loons and will give them all away.


This is Rich’s Loon as you can see everyone  is a little different when it comes to painting!

Far Guy and I are still carving the 2014 Christmas Ornaments…every week the other carvers ask what the count is and shake their head like we are nuts…this week the count is 26. We may have to take a break and carve something else for awhile, goodness knows I have enough unfinished carving projects.

I still like carving the little houses out of Cottonwood Bark the best.


Each one is different.  No two are ever alike, I would be hard pressed to carve two alike.

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