Thursday, April 30, 2015

Crochet Project: Fur Balls

This scarf/cowl has been in the works for over a year.  Twice it was thrown in my to do basket and it was frogged = ripped apart many times.
Fur balls
Leave it to me I can make the simplest projects difficult.  I was determined to make something out of this really funky kinda ugly yarn.  I must have been a tad addled the day I picked it out.  It was too wide, then too narrow, then too crocked…
Fur ball creation
I finished it yesterday…it was 72 degrees out so I had no need for a winter scarf.
fur Ball  cowl
It is a cowl now, one I can wear on my head and around my neck.  It is not perfect but close enough that I can live with it. I stuffed it in the old toy box where the overflow winter “stuff” is stored.  I will wear it a few times and if I don’t like it I will donate it.

Done.  Now I can get out some scraps of yarn and start a new crochet project.  Join As You Go Granny Squares…a wonderful way to use up some of my yarn stash.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wistful Wednesday : Grandma Tracie’s Siblings

Grandma Tracie is Far Guys Paternal Grandmother.

I have a very old photo of Grandma Tracie’s sisters.  I am not sure what year it was taken…maybe the 1940’s.

Emma Mattie Tracie Laura Frances and Anna Unkown year (2)

Emma, Mattie, Tracie, Laura, Frances and Anna

Grandma had 9 sisters, not pictured are Louisa who died in 1903, Lydia who died in 1927, Matilda or Tillie who lived in California, and Minnie who lived in Washington.

Laura died in 1949 so the photo was taken before that.

The oldest was Matilda Louisa or “Tillie” born in 1880 and she died in 1962.

Martha Carolina Sophie “Mattie” born in 1882 and died in 1967.

Laura Marie  born in 1886 and died in 1949.

Wilhemina Bertha “Minnie”  born in 1888 and died in 1977. ( A Twin)

Anna  Martha “Annie”  born in 1893 and died in 1978.

Theresa Katherine “Tracie”  born in 1895 and died April 26, 1983. (32 years ago today was her funeral.)

Emma Louisa born in 1897 and died in 1982.

Lydia Sophie born in 1899 died in 1927.

Louisa Dora “Lu Lu” born in 1901 and died in 1903.

Frances Henrietta born in 1903 and died in 1993.

The only sisters I really knew were Aunt Emma and Aunt Frances.  I may have met Aunt Annie once.  Poor Aunt Frances until now I didn’t realize after Gram died in 1983 it was another ten years that Aunt Frances was the soul survivor of this part of the family.

The brothers all died earlier. 

Frederick Ernest “Albert” born 1883 and died in 1958.

“Charlie” Henry Frederick Carl born in 1884 and died in 1947.

Ferdinand Theodore  born in 1888 and died in 1941. (A Twin)

Fredrick Louis born in 1890 and died in 1967.

Gram always talked about her sisters.  I was surprised to learn that she had four brothers.

April 29, 1983  32 years ago was her funeral.  It was a packed church and the cars stretched for miles in the procession from the church in Park Rapids to the cemetery in Osage.   The congregation sang What a Friend We Have In Jesus that day…I always think of her when ever I hear that hymn.  We must have had coffee at the church…I don’t remember, I don’t recall what the weather was like that day either.

1983 Tracie Henderson obit

You may notice that her name is spelled “Tracy” in the obituary.   I think some people may have spelled it that way but I always go by how she signed her cards and letters and that was “Tracie”.

Gram was 87 years old when she died, she was living in her own apartment in Park Rapids.  She had not been feeling well…she had a biopsy of her liver and they found out she had cancer.  They must have disturbed the cancer because about a week later she died.  One of her worst fears was going to the Nursing Home…she escaped because she died in the hospital.  We saw her on Sunday afternoon in the hospital and she died early in the morning on Tuesday.  She wasn’t afraid of death just the Nursing Home.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Someday Project: Origami Basket

I saw this really cute Origami Basket.  Goodnightgram shared the link on her blog. I have never tried Origami before.  It looked interesting and fairly simple.  WRONG.

Let me tell you those folds have to be exact.  It is just like sewing…eyeballing something or in the ballpark just doesn’t cut it.

I attempted a basket several times.  The results were PATHETIC.  I put it on my someday list.  Finally I conquered it.    I played the YouTube Video and kept pausing it until I completed one basket.  It is not perfect but almost…as paper baskets go. It is made from 2 1/2 sheets of 6 X 6 inch Origami paper( Two sheets for the basket and 1/2 sheet for the handle.)

It is not large enough to put much candy in…that is why I used the origami paper on the Dixie cups.

Origami Basket

Far Guy asked if it was for him…I said sure.

One more someday project…hey I think I want to try that thing crossed off my list.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

The May Baskets 2015

Alrighty then time to use up some of those odd craft supplies.  Certainly you know someone that would smile when you give them a May Basket on May 1st…someone next door or down the street, or in that coffee shop, an elderly person that may remember this old tradition or a youngster that may recall it one day.

I have my supplies:

May Basket Materials

This year I have Dixie Cups, Origami Paper(That didn’t work out for another project) and red chenille stems.

May Baskets

I cut the Origami Paper into different shapes and decoupaged it onto the cups added a handle and viola it is a May Day Basket. 

I have May Day Candy on my grocery list!  Then I will be all set! 

Here are some more ideas for you.  May Baskets through the years. Not fancy..not expensive. Just fun!

May Baskets 2009

May Baskets 2010  Tutorial

May Baskets 2011  Tutorial

May Baskets 2012 Bee Basket Tutorial

May Basket 2013 Red Cup with Heart Tutorial

May Basket 2014  Triangular Shaped Basket

I hope you will help me bring alive this old tradition by decorating one basket to give away to a neighbor or a friend…you can also fill the baskets with flowers!

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Orange Trees

I took a photo of the orange trees so you could see that they are still orange.   I am certain it is not Pine Bark Beetles because when they attack the tree it turns orange from the top down.  These trees turned orange all over within a few days last fall (September 22 was the first photos I took of the orange trees.).

Orange Trees

You may ask why does she document this?  Because I can, perhaps to keep a record.  I wonder how many more trees will turn orange before someone else notices.

“Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a good shovel.”  Aldo Leopold  A Sand County Almanac

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Robin Finally

It took me most of the month but finally, the morning I woke up and said “Our old Robins have croaked so they won’t be back to use the nest platform this year.”

Guess what??   They showed up.  One was searching for worms guarding the area of the nest and the other was in a tree watching. Robins do not maintain their pair bonds over the winter, raising the young must wear them out.  However if the same pair meets up at the same place in the spring they will usually pair up again.  Robins usually only live about two years but many banded birds have lived as long as six to fourteen years.

Robin Finally April 24

I have to search for my phenology list.  I have it someplace…I think.  I am sure “She who sees Robins first” saw hers a month ago. I am dead last this year.


First Robins:

April 19 2008, April 11 2009, April 5 2010, April 4 2011, March 23 2012, April 27 2013, April 9 2014 and  April 24, 2015

I tell ya it pays to have a blog when you have lost your phenology list.  I probably put it away so well it is lost forever.  It also includes First Loons, First Ticks and First Bluebirds.

We have another first to report.

Our first Mourning Dove in our yard.  Usually we see them out on the road, but this is the first time they have visited our yard.

Mourning Dove

Not sure why they are suddenly in our yard.  I wonder if he/she will stay?

I am excited to see the Robins return it feels like it is really Spring now!

“From the beginnings of history, people have searched for order and meaning in these events [phenological events], but only a few have discovered that keeping records enhances the pleasure of the search, and also the chance of finding order and meaning. These few are called phenologists.” – Aldo Leopold (1947)

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Two Seasons and Far Guy

It is said that there are two seasons in Minnesota.  Winter and Road Construction.

Road Construction is beginning. 

Road construction

This is a stretch of highway where those that want to pass can IF nothing is coming.  Many people have lost their lives along this stretch of road…yet other areas somehow made the top of the list before this project.  This million dollar project begins next week.   There are more stretches of passing lanes to come along this road each at a million dollars. We will take the back roads the rest of the summer…what a traffic backed up snarly mess this will be. 

They ripped up the right of way on both sides of the highway.  Yesterday they were spreading that foamy green stuff in some areas…not sure why?

Green stuff

It is kinda pretty….like Easter basket grass.

Far Guy saw the Pulmonary Specialist yesterday.  She really took her time and went through everything with a fine tooth comb.  The Specialist says that there are two medications that might make a difference.  One is a pill that he would take everyday if his stomach will tolerate it, the other is an injection.   The big thing is to keep him well and out of the triggers = perfume, after shave, smoke, dust, pollen and away from germy people.  He should continue his walks and eat healthy. He is still Stage Four COPD, but not too much worse than he was 10 months ago.  She said she will try her best to keep him away from deaths door for a number of years.  I think she will be easy to work with, Far Guy seemed very impressed with her…and it didn’t hurt that she graduated from UND…Go Sioux!

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Winter revisited

Monday and Tuesday were like one of those frozen flashbacks.  Then it happened.  It snowed and the snow stayed on the ground.

April 21 Snow

Chance loves scooping up fresh snow in his mouth.

  Winter was here about 48 hours then he released his icy grip and the sun came out.


You can almost watch the grass turn green.

During this cold spell I also heard a Loon calling down on the lake. 

What else could we do but cook winter survival food…hot roast beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy and cooked carrots and fresh fruit.

I worked on my fur ball scarf and a bead project…Far Guy was busy painting bikini clad women for his train set…there must be a beach up there now.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wistful Wednesday : Green/Blue Water

Back in the late 1990’s we would take off every summer and go camping out west…Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon.  I love sleeping in a tent…Far Guy not so much.  One time in Wyoming we had frost on the inside of the tent…cozy.

The beautiful green/blue water of mountain streams in northern Idaho and Montana are something to see.  Very different from Minnesota rivers, the glacial melt suspends particles that reflect light differently into the green/blue spectrum.

This day we parked the car and hiked over a bridge to get to the river.
This was the summer of 1996 or 1997.

Far Guy had more hair back then.
My beautiful picture I was thinner back then.
My beautiful picture
I think this was near Libby Montana but I could be wrong.  I marked the back of the photo Idaho or Montana.

When one goes on a trip they should keep a list of where they took photos.  In  this digital age I often take a photo of water towers or the town sign so at a later date I will have a clue.  
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spitting Snow

It spit snow most of the day Monday.  Most of it melted as soon as it hit the ground.

Yes it turned cold here.  So far in April we have had one real rain where one inch of rain fell on Sunday…then this snow shower yesterday.  Not nearly enough moisture to bring May flowers.

Snow in the air

There was a little accumulation on the Wheel Seat.

Chilly Wheel Seat

Too chilly to sit out there and enjoy the weather…mostly the snow was falling sideways.

Far Guy is feeling better than he did last week…so that is an improvement.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

The Plot

We picked out and paid for our final resting place.  Our ashes will be interred at Linnell Cemetery in a plot across the walkway from my cousin Mark and down the row from Uncle Willard. The cemetery is just a mile down the road from where we live…it is a favorite night sky watching spot for me. Safe spot to park, quiet and a grand view of the entire night sky.

Linnell Cemetery is where Far Guys Maternal Grandparents, Great Grandparents and his Uncle Willard are buried.   We chose Linnell Cemetery because the lawn is always mowed nicely…unlike Riverside at Osage…sometimes you could bale hay at that cemetery. Sad to say that the decision came down to lawn maintenance…but it did.

So we can cross something off the list. 

I am working on my obituary.  I wrote it before but that computer crashed, this time I will print out a copy.  Far Guy has not begun to write his obit….he is dragging his feet.

There are certain things we have done.

Our wills are notarized and registered with the county.

Our Minnesota Advanced Care Directives have been filled out and our signatures witnessed by my other baby brother and his wife.  The Clinic in town has the original papers on file and I have a copy.

We have discussed and noted special items that we own and who they should be passed down to.

Cemetery Plot Linnell

Far Guy says “We can’t do everything, something has to be left for the mourners to do.”

I agree BUT some things should be done together before one person is left to make all the decisions.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015


We all went for a walk to the mailbox.  That is the time when Chance gets all the news from the night before…how many deer, rabbits and squirrels went through.  Usually this is a “male” activity…I went along to supervise and to make sure that someone didn’t overdo.  I went from Gestapo to “Warden.”  Staying home and staying indoors is not an easy activity for Far Guy.

Walk to get the mail

As you can see we have very little green yet.  We are hoping for rain today.

Mason and Chance

The best part of the walk for Chance was finding Lumbermason coming up his driveway for a chat.  There is a tree across the back path…Lumbermason said he would take care of it.  I am sure it will be neatly stacked before long. 

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Seventeen and Forty-Three

It was birthday week at our oldest daughters house. 

Maddie is seventeen.  I was there in the Intensive Care Unit when she entered this world and it seems like just yesterday or the day before.

Maddie is seventeen

She was born the day before her Mother’s Birthday.

Trica and maddie

Trica and Maddie

Maddie was having a party.  A whole bunch of her friends were coming over to help her celebrate.  I heard that some of her friends had already filled her bedroom with balloons.

I am not sure how Trica will spend her 43rd birthday…most likely recuperating from a houseful of teenagers.

We went for ice cream because someone said “I can sit in a car for an hour or two just as good as I can sit at home.”  When my husband makes a date with someone he likes to keep it no matter what.  He promised to be really good for the rest of the weekend.  I already vetoed the Train Show that he had a thought or two about attending.  He will be staying home and resting and drinking fluids (water).  He has started calling me “The Gestapo.”

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Golden Years

As far as I can see the “Golden Years” are not much fun at all.

You never know from one day to the next what body part will fail.

Far Guy is ill again.  He nearly croaked Thursday morning, he was in severe respiratory distress.  Luckily I wasn’t sleeping like a dead person and heard him call for help.  After using his rescue inhaler I asked if he wanted to go to the ER right then or wait until his Doctors appointment in the afternoon?  Of course he chose the afternoon appointment…where he got a going over and a chest X-ray…and almost a hospital stay.  They let him come home with me but he goes back in early Friday (today) and may be admitted then. The Dr is only giving him 18 hours to get better before hospitalization. His oxygen saturation levels are way down even on oxygen, he got a prescription for an antibiotic and a steroid.  He needs to see the Pulmonary Specialist again, the last one retired.

It is really hard to stay out of all the things that make his breathing worse; perfumes, after shave, essential oils, candles, cleaning solvents, smoke from grass fires and dust along with Pine Pollen which hasn’t started yet in our area. The medications that he takes for his Trigeminal Neuralgia even has shortness of breath as a side effect.

We try to stay close to home and avoid crowds and gatherings.  One day last week he went to a program with his Uncle and said “Every woman there wore a different perfume…it was perfume hell.”  That day was the day Far Guy began to go downhill.  His walks took longer he needed to take more time to rest, he started coughing again, everything became a struggle.   He kept thinking that everyday would be better…but that didn’t happen.

Hopefully the medications will help this time.


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Update: He saw the Doctor and is doing the tiniest bit better this morning.  The Doctor is hopeful that he will keep improving.  Far Guy sees the Pulmonary Specialist next week.

Thank you for all your good thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bikers and Birds

There wasn’t a creature stirring on our drive last night…no turkeys, no deer. It was a boring drive until we came across these “bikers” my brother hardly ever wears shorts…but he does wear them when he and his wife are out biking.

Jody and Cindy April 15 2015

Not many skeeters so wearing shorts works for a few more nights.  Far Guy and I saw a mosquito…it was extra large.

Far Guy never wears shorts…too much hair on his legs and the bugs drive him nuts.

I have no photo of the Robin that visited our yard briefly, I was filling the birdbath when it flew through.  By the time I got my camera it was long gone.  It is not officially a first sighting unless I get a photo.

Far Guy saw a female Bluebird at one of our  nesting boxes.  Hopefully she decided the box was nest worthy.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: 1957

The summer of 1957 I was almost six years old…I was a Fall baby…September… one of those Virgos that likes everything in place and everything in it’s place…a perfectionist.

Just so you know most of the perfectionist part is slightly worn out.  I no longer scrub the kitchen floor everyday…or double check that all the hangers are facing the right direction along with the clothing hanging facing right.  Mostly my money is helter skelter in my billfold…it doesn’t all face the correct way.  I still have a need to clean the kitchen after a meal…some people can stack dishes for the next day…not me.  I also have a sick compulsion to face all my can goods exactly so in the pantry.

It is hard to be perfect.  I no longer strive for perfection. Perfection is exhausting.

Most days I like dogs better than people, I think that was probably true for most of my life. 

me and a puppy in North Dakota 1957Here I am in North Dakota in the summer of 1957.  Hair all done up in pin curls and straight as a stick bangs cut kinda short.  I am wearing shorts and a blouse that my Mother probably sewed for me.  The puppy was all wrapped up in some kind of rag/blanket that had seen better days.  It was not a puppy that belonged to me or my family.  Every summer when we went with my Dad where he was working our dog/dogs had to be given away or “dealt with.”  That was very hard for me.

Those years 1955-1958 in Minnesota were horrible farming years, Army Worms and drought took their toll.   We were lucky my Dad had a job, but it was still difficult for me to leave home and the farm for the whole summer.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Deer, Wolf and Squirrel Report

We went for a ride in the wind.  I feel sorry for anyone that is driving a high profile vehicle.  Wind gusts were horrid. The air was full of dust.

Saw three deer.

Here are two.


They look pretty good.

Saw a dead wolf in the ditch yesterday afternoon about 1/4 of a mile from our home.  The DNR picked it up.  It looked like it had been hit by a car… but it could have been shot.  I am sure the DNR will figure it out. We have noticed a decrease in our squirrel population….either they are nesting or the wolf had a snack.

The wolf could have been some Chicken BRAVE dogs problem the past few days…he has been a pill….clingy, vocal and demanding…and wanting company outside ALL the time.   


The squirrels are getting fatter or Chance is getting faster… he almost captured one yesterday.  I don’t think he had catch and release in mind either.

There was one ditch fire about 10 miles south and five miles west of us yesterday, we saw the DNR heavy equipment headed back after the fire was under control.

I hope the wind goes away and we get some rain soon.

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Monday, April 13, 2015


Chance hides every time the wind blows and twigs start falling out of the trees.  Gale force winds 40 MPH.  Now we are in a Fire Weather Watch.

Perhaps I should do a naked rain dance…


Luckily we live in the Oaks…I worry about people in the they go up like huge torches.  We also have a steel roof…did ya know that embers from a fire can travel a long way…like a mile?

Sundogs at sunset

There were sundogs at sunset last evening.  We usually only see Sundogs in the winter on really cold days…the weather is really REALLY weird this year.  

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Sunday, April 12, 2015


The wind blew all day yesterday with 40 mph gusts, it was warm 71 F or 22 C eh!

Crippses Creek

Cripps’ Creek had some waterfowl.  Ducks; Mallards and Hooded Mergansers.

Find the Canada Goose

Canada Goose in field of brown

We heard this one before we saw him.  He was quite upset and honking loudly.  We watched him waddle down the furrows.  As we left a pair came off the lake…apparently he was the dinner bell.

We have the tiniest hint of green in our grass.  It is brown here and dry.  The idiots on the news the other night said “Be careful with fires.”  They should have said “No Fires.” The DNR says that the fire danger is explosive.  We are officially in a drought.

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