Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday Report

I think I need another retreat already! 

The funeral for my Dad’s  cousin Shirley was on Monday morning.  Shirley was never married so many of the pews were empty.  Cousin Elmer gave a good sermon, followed by another preacher…it was a “twofer”..two sermons for one service.  The song books are really large and heavy…they have lots of songs to sing…many are translated from old Finnish songs.

The church is rural and holds many memories for me…Holy Roller Funerals with people wailing inconsolably and people jumping over caskets, funerals all in Finn and holding the songbook not knowing even one word. Trying to sing What a Friend We Have in Jesus in Finn.  The melody is the same.   Several of my uncles funerals were held at the church…and finally my grandfathers funeral. Many times it was a different kind of “twofer”  first a service in Finn and then a service in English.

Shirley was a very soft spoken shy lady.  She was my Aunt Lila’s room mate in the nursing home for many years. Shirley and my Dad were double cousins.  Shirley’s Mom and my Grandmother were sisters and Shirley’s Dad and my grandfather were brothers.  Shirley loved flowers and would visit the greenhouse with her sister every spring.  When Shirley was growing up she had a speech problem plus she was shy.  My Dad used to tell other kids that he was going to beat them up if they were mean to Shirley.  Shirley was a year younger than my Dad.  Shirley never learned how to drive yet she had a very successful career as a lab technician.  Cousin Elmer told how when she first retired they needed her back up at the laboratory in Bemidji…she didn’t drive so they sent a cab to pick her up…60 miles one way.

We skipped the cemetery and the funeral lunch…although it smelled really good!

We stopped by the house and got Chance and did our errands in town and went to wood carving.  Came home and washed my vehicle,  grabbed some supper and went back into town to the Historical Society Program that was all about Earl Fuller’s home movies of the 1940’s taken in Park Rapids.

Stick a fork in me I am done…I will stay home tomorrow..unless turning leaves are calling my name.


Near Wolf Lake MN September 29, 2014

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Back Home

The retreat was a success.  I created what I wanted to and got one project under control!!   Time away is good but getting home is good too.   I think I was missed…at least that is what they say.

The house was perfectly cleaned when I got home…dishes done…no dust in sightSmile

The weather was warm and then a cold front came through and the temperatures dropped 30 degrees just like that.


Our summery interlude is over.

Lind Lake

Lind Lake

It will be a busy week.  A funeral to attend.  A meeting and program I should go to…but I am undecided.  Carving…and a group gathering which I may or may not go to. AND we get October this week.  I should think about making an October list of projects.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014


I finished the entries in the Cousin’s Cookbook…342 recipes.  It was good to get that out of my hair.  For some reason I cannot export it to a Flash Drive…my computer says a USB Device needs a driver…and the SanDisk needs no driver according to their website.  I may have a bad Flash Drive and I will give it a go when I get home.

I have been working on my cards.

It was a beautifully warm weekend, highs yesterday were in the 80’s.

I am making progress with my beading project, I have a better idea of what is involved after Nellie visited.  She also left me with a stash of beading supplies …so I can practice up a storm.  It will be a great winter project!

I am ready to go home today.  I am used to a quieter environment.  I miss Far Guy and Chance.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Retreat Projects

I am away on a retreat…to a place where hopefully I can finish up two large projects.

I have been feeling overwhelmed.

I hummed and hawed about attending the retreat.  I should scrapbook… I should finish up The Cousins Cookbook and get it on a flash drive and I need to make cards.   I decided to go and devote one day to my cards ( Thursday night and Saturday afternoon), Friday is Cookbook Day, Saturday morning I am learning to bead with one of my best friends and Sunday I will finish up and go back home.

No scrapbooking this time around.  I can work on the scrapbooks next winter and then switch over to digital scrapbooking.  I love working with paper but I can see that I need to finish up some of my scrapbooks and get them scanned and then go digital!

Of course making cards helps calm the paper/photo hoarder… it makes her feel useful.

I  usually get tons done at a retreat, no phone = no interruptions, I can stay up all night and take a nap during the day, I can concentrate on the tasks at hand.  I can wear jammies all day long and no one says a word.

Far Guy and Chance will survive for a few days without me.  They may come visit if they get too lonely.  They have lots of food and hopefully they will stay out of trouble.

The retreat is near a lake, about 11 other women will be there, all ages…most are educators. I have met most of them at one time or another.


Lind Lake last year.

Last year I just went for one night and part of a day…I was still working back then…this year I am retiredSmile 

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Orange and not in a good way

We have been watching a stand of Pines the last few weeks.

Orange trees

More Orange trees

They seem to be turning orange all over. Will they recover and live…I am not hopeful.

Normal Pines

Here is what they should look like.  This is a similar stand just down the road.  Note the amount of needles turning color are toward the inside of the tree….not all over the tree.  Pines normally drop some needles every year in the Fall.

My best guess is that someone who knows who that might fly around in a helicopter spraying crops got his chemicals all mixed up, or there was a heck of a wind…just a guess of course.

If I were the property owner I would be pissed very angry.

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“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.”   Aldo Leopold

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall Color

On Tuesday we drove over to the Hanna Ore Road, the Maples are always beautiful there.

Maple Leaves

We headed to Bottomless Lake.

Bottomless Lake

As you can see Fall has come to our part of Minnesota.

Layers of color

It was windy but warm.

Yesterday was cool and it threatened to rain all day long.

We had company, Cousins Bonnie and Wayne came by for a visit….they are headed to a warmer climate…hard to believe that summer is over.

Maple that turns yellow

The leaves don’t lie. We are at peak Fall color now.  Soon the prettiest part of Fall will be over…and Winter could be ushered in any day.  I have heard all kinds of snow predictions already…100 plus inches and ten times as much as last year.  Which reminds me I better pick a spot for the snowstick and get it in place.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wistful Wednesday: Roots Part Ten

My paternal grandmother was beautiful.

Grandma Hilda (2)

This is one of the early photos I have of her that was  probably taken in Michigan …before she joined her parents in Minnesota.  My Dad said that she used to travel back to Michigan to visit her friends every so often.  She was 21 when she left Michigan.

Grandma and Grandpa Y when they got married

This is a photo taken about the time they got married.  August 2, 1911. Grandma was 22 years old.  Grandpa was 20 although he would be 21 in December. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><br /><!--<br />	     generated by hpodxml using EmbedImageOutput.xml<br />	  --><br /><EmbedImage xmlns="http://www.hp.com/go/di-cv-hpod-1-6"><br />	<originalIdentifier>bd9fd264-d2ed-437e-bb01-648a7c375c64</originalIdentifier><br />	<resolu

This photo was probably taken about 1950.  Note that my Grandpa dropped his hat and set the cream can down for the photo.  I wonder if those are some of Grandma’s Hollyhocks in the background…they were her favorite flower.

Sam, Hilda and Connie Yliniemi

This is me with my grandparents.  This photo is probably from 1952. 

Sadly Grandma would die on June 18, 1953.  I was only 21 months old.  So I have no real memories of her…only a feeling that we had a wonderful connection.  She was born January 5, 1889 and died of a massive heart attack on June 18, 1953.  She was 64 years 5 months and 13 days old. 

Grandma was mother to 14 children ( 12 sons and 2 daughters). One died in infancy he (Einerd E.) was six months old in 1925.  She suffered the loss of a son (Arthur) in World War II  in 1944, he would be buried in a Italy at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno Italy.  I wonder how traumatic that was for her?  She was a midwife.  Men would come and get her in the horse and buggy to help with the birthing of their babies.  Sometimes that was sad for her also, my Dad says that if a baby was born dead or died shortly after birth that she would cry for days.  She was a good cook.  She ran her household like a General runs an army, all those boys had jobs and they did them without question. She smoked a pipe every evening and she loved Hollyhocks.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Not legal type trials…flower trials.  Horticulture plots. Usually these are open to the public… as was the one in Grand Rapids on the campus of the University of Minnesota. It is called the North Central Research and Outreach Center.

A lovely place to stop and see how the Mums are doing!

Centerpiece Peach Mum  Centerpiece Peach

Some of the Mums looked a bit ragged…but these were winners in my book.Lindy Mum at Grand Rapids Proven Winners


Trial Gardens in Grand Rapids

The trial gardens

The whole idea behind these gardens is to see what grows and flowers the best in Minnesota conditions.  They are Zone 3 and the only facility in Minnesota that trials plants for cold hardiness…like Hydrangeas!  

They planted 26 different varieties of Hydrangea in 2011.

Little Lime Hydrangea

Little Lime Hydrangea

She has the best flower heads (mopheads)..and a great compact shape.

Quick Fire Hydrangea

Quick Fire Hydrangea

I like a paniculata type bloom too and this one was lovely…but it’s habit was a bit “off”…it was a tad spindly.

I am certain that you have all seen the Proven Winners reference or a PW tag on plant that you have purchased.  Those plants have proved themselves to be the best in field trials all over the United States.

The University of Minnesota has the only public Chrysanthemum breeding project in the United States. They are trialed in seven different areas of Minnesota…Grand Rapids being the most northern spot.

Minnbronze Mum

I was intrigued with this Mum.  It is called Minnbronze.  It has great foliage and lots of buds but if it hadn’t begun to bloom by September 19…when would it bloom? 

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Birthday Adventure

I suppose you are curious about the adventure I chose for my birthday?

Highway 38 between Grand Rapids and Effie Minnesota was the route for 47 miles of garage sales.  It was advertised as “Sales are great along Hwy 38!” From what I understand it is an annual event the third weekend in September.

Far Guy, Chance and I took off on Friday morning.  We headed to Bovey MN.  They have a cute little antique shop/cafe there called Annabellas.  We looked around and had chili and cornbread for lunch. 


The picture Grace was taken in Bovey Minnesota at the Enstrom  Studio.  It is the official photo of the State of Minnesota.


From there we tried to find a couple more antique shops only to discover that they were closed.  We stopped by the Proven Winners Trial Gardens at U of MN Grand Rapids…more on that another day…there were Mum trials and Hydrangea trials!!

We headed to Highway 38 for the rest of the afternoon, we got a taste of the garage sales, I purchased some old photographs…imagine that…some marbles..imagine that…and even some dice!


Chance was unsure about the motel and he was thankful that there was no elevator…he doesn’t like them.  There was a nice grassy area for us to play ball.  He is usually a real good boy…but then there was a knock on the door…it was some of his favorite people.  Andy, Jen and the boys…so he barked a couple of times.  Andy took him for a run!

Saturday we garage saled all day long…the boys had a mission to purchase items that they could use to build robots…they found some real cool “stuff.”  We had lunch in Marcel MN and trudged along all the way to Effie ( some garage sale goers don’t make it that far).  We did it!  There were hundreds of sales…some off of Hwy 38.  I wish we had counted how many we stopped at…some sales were in clearings with many many sellers. 

Oh and at one of the sales a fellow gave me a box of Shiny Brites!!  I also got a real good start on collecting glass for the new glass flowers I will make next spring. I also picked up another blue bowl…Far Guys Mom always used to whip cream in hers…so now I have two.


Pyrex made a set of nesting mixing bowls in the 1950’s.  The bowls were yellow, green, red and blue.  I had a complete set…one day a shelf came down in the laundry room…you guessed it my set of bowls was on the shelf.  So now I have Far Guy’s Moms blue bowl and a 50 cent garage sale bowl. Eventually I will find the complete set again…just like I found the first set..at garage sales.  Some times it is all about the excitement of the hunt!

It was a fun day…we got lots of walking in…and played musical vehicles…so we could visit with everyone.  We headed home a different route after the 47 miles…it was a great adventure!

For my birthday I got those Pentel Automatic Pencils I really really like to use from Far Guy and Chance! Along with garage sale $.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014


I got an ant for my birthday…one with a bobbly head that makes me smile.

Happy Birthday Ant

I hope it makes you smile too!

The ant

He sits near one of my glass flowers. 

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

I was two

A number of years ago I was two.  Well lets see… that was back in 1953.

Connie Two years old 1953 (2)

This photo was taken at the farm in front of the Honeysuckle Tree.

Yes I am older…it happens to the best of us.

I had two wishes this year..one was more Pentel 0.9 automatic pencils…I love them.( A package was delivered from Staples and I am pretty sure there were pencils inside!)  Am I the only person in the world that appreciates a good pencil, one that the lead is not constantly snapping off??  My second wish was to go on a bit of an adventure…more about that later…we are probably on that adventure right now GWATCDR (God Willing And The Crick Don’t Rise)! 

Happy Birthday to me!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Summery Fall

These days are not quite Fall but not Summer either.  The past few days have been warm.  Good time to finish up projects.

Chance Septemner 15

Those are the Rake Wheels that used to be on the arbor…the arbor was rotting and we were afraid it would come down on someone someday.  Jen, Andy and the boys made quick work of getting it down and hauled away.

The wildflower gardens are getting wilder

This is what the arbor used to look like.  The roses never liked growing through those wheel spokes anyway. I think I might be able to find some kind of landscape timber for them to grow onto…maybe. That is a next year project.


For now the rake wheels are here against the grain bin. Out of the way for now.

We finished painting the garage entry doors and trim…ran out of paint once…had to run to town and get more mixed up. Good thing Ace Hardware keeps records of our paint colors.

We also finished cleaning, washing and waxing the vehicles.  That was a big job.  Blankets and winter survival cans are in each vehicle.

I got out the scarecrow.


As you can see the Oak leaves just turn brown and fall off.  I mulched/mowed one day this week.  It is unreal that the grass is still actively growing.  I will mow/mulch every few days now to try to keep ahead of the leaves.  Eventually I will have to get out the rake and the leaf blower…but not just yet.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Jennifer 1978

Our youngest daughter celebrated her third birthday in 1978.

Jen Birthday 3 years old

What a great smile!  She had a circus train on her cake that year.  We celebrated at my parents home on the lake.  Far Guy was gone on deployment.

Jen Birthday 3 years old two

Far Guy’s Dad with the great lookin plaid pants is taking movies.

Jen Birthday 3 years old  four 1978

Marvin (Far Guy’s Dad), Trica (our oldest daughter), Jennifer and me

Jen Birthday 3 years old  three

Here is the scene in the kitchen a few minutes later.

Evelyn (Far Guy’s Mom) Jennifer, Madeline (My Mother), Trica and the gal with the dark hair must be my sister Julie.

When the girls had birthdays we always tried to have a dinner, cake and ice cream and  invite their grandparents to attend. Dinner was the birthday persons favorite food and the cake their favorite flavor. They usually had a neighborhood/friend party one day after school, until they entered those teen years then they usually had a slumber party with a friend or two. 

The years go by so fast…it seems like only yesterday that she was just a little girl.  Now she is all grown up and a Mother herself..of teenagers!

Happy Birthday Jen!

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