Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review 2014

Today was Wistful Wednesday…I usually do my year in review on December 31.  I am almost late!

I started reviewing the year back in 2008.  2008 to 2013 can be found here.

Time to begin anew.

Trica and Jen

Trica and Jennifer


Trica graduated from the Nurse Practitioner program in May and passed her State Boards recently. (much to her Mothers relief)  She will begin her new adventure soon in Family Medicine. Trica’s husband Richard is in the Radio Business.

Jennifer continues to teach English at a Community College.  She will be sworn in as the new Mayor of their little town in January.  Jen’s husband Andy teaches Electronic Technology and Automated Systems at a Community College.  He is the Fire Chief in their little town.  They are both First Responders.


Savannah graduated from high school last May.  She is going to college for elementary education.

Madison still struggles with Math…she is a Junior this year.  She loves all animals and excelled at caring for 12 puppies… anyone that has ever raised a litter of dogs will appreciate her hard work.

Paige is a Sophomore and plays Hockey, she hopes to enroll in college classes next year so she can graduate with an Associate Degree the same time she graduates from High School.

Noah is a Sophomore.  He is involved with Vex Robotics and plays guitar.  He is on track to begin college classes next year also graduating with an Associate Degree the same time as he graduates from High School.

Adam is in seventh grade.  He plays basketball and cello.  He is involved with Vex Robotics.


Chance is doing well at 10 years old.

Miney must be about eight years old and Little Elvis is four years old.

Jade (Black Lab) has new owners…Savannah relinquished her to Trica and Richard when Jade became pregnant with 13 puppies (one died).   Other homes were found for all the puppies except one.  Deacon (whose name I can never remember) now belongs to Madison.  Both Deacon and Jade will be spayed or neutered.


Maddie and Deacon

All the cats are doing fine…poor old Chaucer is just getting older…he is about 13 years old.

I cannot keep track of the other cats…Bailey, Luna, Ziggy and Skittles…but they all seem just fine. They come out and hiss at Chance when we visit.

Trigeminal Neuralgia:  Is the pits, there are no new treatments or new medications as far as I can see.  It will remain a Rare Disease that no one gets real excited about until some Movie Star gets it.  Far Guy has Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia which is the rare form of the rare disease.  Far Guy has a really good Neurologist that takes good care of him…at least that is my opinion.

Biggest Change:  Retirement.  I retired March 31 2014.

Biggest Frustration:  Getting older, things take longer to do.  I am learning to be less OCD about some things.

Deaths:  Long time friend Lois died in January.  Friend Gary died in March and his wife Barb joined him in October.  Friend Bill died in August after a long struggle with cancer. My Dad’s cousin Shirley died in September.

Births:  None except the puppies.

Happiest Moments: Evening rides and adventures with my two best guys! 

Gene and Chance in Madison Ind

October 2014 in Madison Indiana


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Wistful Wednesday: Weddings at home

In the olden days many people were married in their homes. 

Some were married at Christmas or New Years.  Relatives would come the house was cleaned before Christmas and baking was done….so why not have a wedding or two?

I found this old polaroid and thought…it was taken this time of year. James X Tracie Emma Rubert unknown year

Grandpa Jim, Grandma Tracie, Great Aunt Emma and Great Uncle Rubert.  The two women are sisters born 22 months apart, Tracie in June of 1895 and Emma in April of 1897. This photo was taken at Far Guys home.  I will guess that Far Guys Dad got out his Polaroid Camera and took this photo near their anniversary time.  I wish I knew exactly what year it was. It was taken earlier than November 1968.

So when Tracie was 18 1/2 years old she married Jim on Christmas Day 1913 in rural Logan Iowa on her parents farm. Jim would have been 24 years old.

James X and Tracie's Wedding

Rubert, Grover, Jim, Tracie, Emma and Esta

Then the next week Rubert married Emma on New Years Day 1914. Emma would have been 16 years and nine months old. Rubert was 21 years old.

Rupert and Emma Jan 1 1914

Grover, Rubert, Emma and Stella

Later in 1914 they would all move to Minnesota, I am certain that these marriages took place so that the group of them could leave Iowa and find cheaper land to farm in Minnesota.

I would bet that Grandma made both of the wedding dresses she was quite an accomplished seamstress.  The Bridal Bonnet that Emma is wearing always makes me smile…Emma was a bit of a character all her life.

Jim and Tracie celebrated their 54th Wedding Anniversary before Grandpa died in 1968.

Rubert and Emma celebrated their 67th Wedding Anniversary before Rubert died in 1981.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cold Air

Someone opened the Deep Freeze Door.  Arctic air rushed in from our neighbors up north.  It was -13 F or -25 C eh yesterday morning.   We had wind chill advisories for yesterday into today…-25 to -35 F  Wind Chills.   We had been reasonably warm so it seems really cold.

There are many birds at the feeders.

Downy Woodpecker

They need lots of seeds and suet when the weather is so cold.

Male Downy Woodpecker

This is a male Downy Woodpecker.

We have a good supply of woodpeckers.   They let me get quite close to them with my camera.  I took these photos a few days ago when it was warmer.

Not much else new here, we are staying warm, working on the puzzle and napping when ever we feel like it.  I stayed in my jammies all day yesterday.  Far Guy went into town to the grocery store and only had to call me three times with questions about the grocery list.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Vacation

Since we are to sick to go out on Christmas Vacation.  We set up a puzzle on my desk.

Maybe by the time we get it put together we will be all better vacation will be over.


We watched the movie Nebraska,  Far Guy asked “Is this whole movie in black and white?”  I guess I will give it a 5 out of a 5, even though Bruce Dern lost all favor with me when he shot John Wayne in The Cowboys.  He plays a pretty good elderly confused drunk.  June Squibb was awesome and the cemetery scenes had us in stitches.

We are slowly getting better…naps…lots of fluids…we drag ourselves outside to play ball with Chance…he as usual is a good nurse dog but still needs some exercise.  I had a real sore throat that developed into a fever and aches and then a cough….it is what is going around in Minnesota this year…not the flu.  I hope to be over it soon.  Far Guy still has a terrible cough even though he is on antibiotics and a steroid…. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he is over the worst of it. 

We have lots of things we should do…like take down trees and Christmas decorations, change sheets and clean bathrooms…but it will wait until vacation is over.  I have managed several loads of laundry and between the two of us we can prepare a meal…so things could be worse.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Seven Years

Today marks seven years of blogging.   It has been an adventure.  I still enjoy blogging so I will continue.  Hopefully someday the Grands will have a good read…perhaps some family history can be unraveled for them.

I still have a few stories to tell…some I have avoided…some I would just as soon forget about…some are almost ancient history.  I will be unearthing some old thoughts in the upcoming year.

Maybe I have the seven year itch?  (A decrease in satisfaction after a long period of  time)  I have thought about blogging once or twice a week…instead of daily.  I have made no decisions at this time.

It is what it is. Que sera sera what ever will be will be.

As always thanks for reading my drivel.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gloomy Weather

We are both resting and taking it easy.  Far Guy slept most of yesterday he is running a temperature.  Chance and I went for a walk and got the mail…the driveway is icy…so we walked through the woods part of the way….then we played ball and picked up doggy do.  I vacuumed and did some laundry then watched a movie on Netflix ( In Your Eyes…I give it a 4 out of a 5) and had a nap. 

I have a sore throat too…hopefully I will fight it off.

Supper was easy..leftovers!  Chance and I played another round of ball after supper, it helps him to be less of a pest in the evening.  We are both quite good at playing ball in the dark…although we would rather play on nights when the stars are out and the moon is shining brightly.

The weather is downright gloomy.

December 23 

I need some sunshine…I think all of December had about three days of sunshine.

As you can see we don’t have much snow.  Not exactly a winter wonderland.

December 23 snowstick at zero

December 23, 2014  That water has turned to ice.  The snow stick is at zero.

From what I hear we are scheduled to get some freezing rain…we aren’t going any place.

I am certain that the snow and sub zero temperatures will be arriving soon…it has been a really weird fall and beginning of winter…October so warm, November so bitterly cold and December warm for Minnesota and icy but little snow.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

We had a house full for Christmas.   We all went ( minus Paige and Savannah) to Christmas Eve Service and then came home for the Christmas meal.  My parents joined us.   Good food and Christmas goodies…  five dogs, four teen grands and eight adults.

We played Spoons,  a card game that some of the grands look forward to every year…then we played Trivial Pursuit.  We exchanged white elephant gifts…hot items this year were Christmas Socks and Argon Hair Oil.

We all missed Savannah…she was invited…but decided to go elsewhere for the day.  When you are over eighteen you can make your own decisions.







noah and Adam

Noah and Adam



Paige was very ill when she arrived on the 24th.  The flu we think…temperature and severe stomach ache…she felt better on Christmas morning and looked better too.

oldest to youngest

The grands oldest to youngest.

Tallest to shortest

Tallest to shortest.

Adam and his beard mask

Someone got an old man beard and was just thrilled with it!

There was more opening of the gifts and happy kids!

Far Guy has been fighting off a cold for days….last Tuesday he went on antibiotics and a steroid.  Church on Christmas Eve triggered an attack (too much perfume and aftershave) from which he could not recover.  We made a trip into the ER on Christmas Day…he received more medications hopefully to help him over the hump.  At this time he does not need to be in the hospital…and as long as he listens to me hopefully we can avoid that…even the Doctors and the Nurse told him that I was in charge. Drink more water, rest and take your medications…repeat whenever I say so.   Whatever he has…is being seen as “the thing that is going around” and viral….his has turned into Acute Bronchitis.  The elderly and immune deficient are being hit hard.  The other thing going around is what Paige had…nausea and stomachache chills and a fever…oh joy.  Hopefully our flu shots will keep us immune from that one.

Everyone is gone now…it is quiet.  For now we rest…and pretend we are on Christmas Vacation.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wistful Wednesday: Christmas Eve 1985

We had a house full of company.  These are all polaroid photos taken with Marvin’s camera.

Christmas 1985  two

Jennifer (10) Janice (Far Guy’s sister), Trica (13), Bethany(3), Marvin and Evelyn (Far Guy’s parents they both would have been 71 that year) This is at our home in North Moorhead.  That rocking chair and footstool were handed down to us by Far Guy’s Grandmother Tracie.  It has since been upholstered and is upstairs.   I still have that 1940’s coffee table but it is in the garage awaiting a new home.  I still have the same crèche and nativity set.  The tree looks like a real one!

Christmas 1985 three

Now Far Guy and Ronald have joined the girls.

Poor Ronald, we gave him and Janice our waterbed to sleep in….they didn’t sleep a wink.

This was the only year that I recall that Far Guy’s family came to our home for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

Christmas 1985

Now I finally got in the photo!  I cooked a lovely meal…got out the China and the special goblets.    Far Guy used to collect coffee cups…and I used to collect Depression Glass…you can see cups and plates on the plate rail. I served supper after Christmas Eve service at Our Redeemer in Moorhead Minnesota…one of the best church homes we ever had.

Christmas 1985 was a sad Christmas for us.  My Dad had just been diagnosed with Bladder Cancer and we were not certain if he would live or die.  He is a Cancer Survivor for 29 years now…going on 30.   Christmas Day in the afternoon we packed up and went to my parents home at the lake.

I feel very sorry for anyone going through a health crisis during the Christmas Holidays.  I recall the carolers all dressed in their finery singing up and down the hospital halls just before Christmas that year.  I wondered at the time…how can they sing such joyful songs…it all seemed so foreign to me…my emotions were raw….and I was a tad angry.  Of course Christmas is a time for hope and joy…and in retrospect I should have been more hopeful and joyful too because no matter what our Savior was born. 

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Almost Ready

The shopping what little there was is done.  Most of the people on our list are difficult to buy for and it is just simpler to write checks or get gift certificates.  I am so over shopping for Christmas Gifts. When I get a little older everyone will just get knit or crochet scarves…isn’t that a special thought!

I still need to bake some Pumpkin Bread…maybe today. I should do a double batch and deliver some to various neighbors.  I used to be better about all this “stuff” surrounding Christmas.

All the decorations are up…at least all that are going to see the light of day.

Yesterday we spent the day away at a checkup with Far Guy’s Neurologist.  All is well and he agreed with me that Far Guy is elderly getting a tad older.  It rained most of the day…Fargo ND has no snow.  Lakes in Minnesota are turning dark from the rain…not a good thing when it is warm enough to rain.  Our patio is like a skating rink.  Chance doesn’t like outside when there are icy puddles to walk through.

lots of turkey

Twenty six wild turkeys a few days ago when the sun was shining.

Our menu is simpler this year for our dinner.  Ham, baked potatoes, lettuce salad, homemade mac and cheese for the boys…simple foods…Jen is making homemade crescent rolls…her boys will eat lots of those! 

It is at this time of year that I wish I had an extra fridge.  Oh well coolers have been used before!  Two people only need extra fridge space a couple of times a year!

I almost fell in the yard Sunday night…one of those oh crap what will I break this time…with visions of hospitals and surgery dancing in my head…I made a great save by running through half the yard…funny how when you begin to fall that momentum is carried on for what seems like forever.   I must have tripped over my big feet…funny I have had them forever you would think by now I would be used to them.  Anyways my right arm and shoulder and left ankle are sore….that ankle hasn’t seen that kind of action for years…and my arm and shoulder must have been doing the windmill ninety mph.  Uffda.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Let’s Play Hockey: Paige

The weather has been mild so we took time out to go to a High School Hockey Game.  A Girls Hockey game.  Our youngest Granddaughter Paige was playing.  She plays Varsity Hockey.

Paige Number 5

Paige is number 5

Paige and the puck

Paige has great Hockey skills.  She has played hockey since she was about six years old.

Paige in front opf th goal

Here she is in front of the goal…too bad she didn’t have the puck!  The ice was fast…yes depending on the temperature of the ice…it is either slow ice think Figure Skating or fast ice for Hockey…and this was real fast ice.

Good game

It was a good game even though they lost 0 to 5.  Thief River Falls has a great team.

Black and White

This is one of my best photos from the game, it could be an ad for Bauer!

Good job Miss Paige!  We stayed to congratulate her on skating a good game and then we headed home.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Caramel Rolls and other sweet things

We had a nice day yesterday for our anniversary.  Quiet.  Far Guy took to baking his Christmas Caramel Rolls…I went into the kitchen several times to do dishes and help out when needed.  He is very particular about his caramel…it has to be done just right and by golly it better turn out okay…not sugary and not hard as a board.  He stirs and stirs until it is just perfect.   Not sure about all his dashes of this and that but it seems to work for him.  He made two pans of caramel rolls.

Caramel Rolls

We got a few new ornaments this year.

Cookie Exchange ornament

This is the ornament from the cookie exchange.  Daughter Jen purchased it…everyone brings an ornament and it is unwrapped and then we commence the tossing of the dice for doubles.  If you roll doubles you get to swap for a different ornament if you want to swap…if not you can keep what you have.  Someone sets a timer for an undisclosed amount of time.  Fun.  I am certain that Jen chose this ornament because of it’s “Hawaii colors”…if she ever runs away from home…I think I know where to look.

Hopefully the grands will devour some of the cookies…if not the people at woodcarving seem to like cookies and never complain when I bring them.  I have 12 dozen cookies in the freezer….uffda.  One of the gals makes Almond Bread…you have not lived until you have tasted that!

Ornament from Sue

This beautiful ornament arrived in the mail.  It is from our friend Sue in Indiana.  She said it would remind us of her Joe and yes it does!

My parents took us out for supper last night, to our favorite place in the boonies…steak and salad…our favorite foods!  We visited with a few of our neighbors…always fun when a number of people remember your anniversary.   Marge called early in the morning…she is Far Guy’s God Mother and she never forgets our anniversary or his birthday.  My other baby brother came by with a card and a big hug.  It was a good day.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

45 years

It is our 45th wedding anniversary today! 

old hands

Old hands chapped and worn with a few crooked fingers…some that work and some that don’t.  Best friends hands…sometimes the hands carry silent messages…communication at its best. 

wedding Bouquet

Young hands ready to start a new life together.

Gosh it seems like only yesterday… but here we are two children and five grands later.

Growing older sucks some days…but for the most part we have been blessed.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Chance :The Shiny Brite Tree

Several of the beds upstairs have been off limits…they were full of Shiny Brites.

Something behind me

When I am invited upstairs I know something is up.  Can you see anything?  Someone keeps telling me to wake up…look alive!

Can you see it now

Can you see how handsome I am?

How about now

How about now?


Chance and the tree

I am just about the best model ever…too bad it isn’t a paying job.

The whole tree

Far Side says it is done for another year.   She doesn’t know exactly how many ornaments are on that tree, she started to count and then lost track.  A few years ago it was approaching 450.  She added 48 new/old ornament this year.   She might count when she takes it down.  The tree is 9 1/2 or 10 feet tall no one can remember exactly…just like they can’t remember if they gave me a treat or not.

Just so you know there are no lights on the tree. Far Side is pretty darn fussy about her ornaments.  If the ornaments have old strings on them or grease pencil 5 cents or 10 cent marks they remain.  The ornaments are never washed.  Most are Shiny Brites, some are Coby ornaments a competitor of Shiny Brites. Some are Polish ornaments and some are from West Germany. All are beautiful. 

Recently Far Side had to take an ornament to an exchange…it took her forever to decide which Shiny Brite she could part with.  She finally chose a plain gold Shiny Brite because she has just a few.


New this year are the Shiny Brite Red Icicle Twirls, they were a gift from Edie.

Far Side has ornaments from; Edie, Madeline, Grace, Minnie, Susan and Lillian, Jo Lynn, Sandy, Tom and Linda, me and Far Guy.  (that is a Susan and Lillian in the photo it is the green one with the snow)

I am sure glad that tree is done now Far Side will have more time to play ball.