Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pretty Birds

It is not often that we get Purple Finches back here in the Oaks.

Purple Finch

This one visited.  At least I think it is a Purple Finch….didn’t seems large enough or have the right amount of markings to be a Pine Grosbeak.  The bird book describes a Purple Finch as being a sparrow dipped in raspberry juice…and I can see that.

For about two years I have had this bird stuck in a basket near my desk.  Time to move it out!

My bird

I found him at Craft’s Direct at Waite Park, Minnesota…that is some place to shop.  You need hours there and you still walk away knowing you didn’t see the whole store.

It is warmish here ( 70’s) and we had a good hatch of skeeters.  It is time to mow the lawn again…about every five days it needs mowing.  The wild raspberries are just starting to form berries.  When they ripen Chance eats them right off the bushes as do the pretty birds.

Summer is a third over since this is the last day of June. 

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Monday, June 29, 2015

a few beads

Daughter Jen brought me some garage sale beads last weekend.  60 cents worth…sorting them and oohing and aahing was the perfect project to do whilst recuperating from the horrid dental work.

Beads from Jen

  Beads sorted by color

Anyone else out there wonder how one little old tooth can leave such a huge hole in your mouth? Or is my tongue magnifying it?  It feels like a cavern with no bottom.

When I went to buy the containers for the beads, I found two…I was unsure of how many I would need. Far Guy said “You never can tell how many bead containers you will need.”

another tray of beads

I found these beads just hanging around in a box just waiting for a container….most of them are sorted by color and size….OCD is under control. ( A few were left as mixed colors on purpose.)  The urge to go buy more containers was squashed.

Good Golly no one wants to know exactly how many beads I have in this house…but I am all stocked up for a winter full of projects.  It would probably be hoarding if they were stacked to the ceiling…big boxes stacked only 5 feet high do not count.

These beads are all destined to become works of yard art….just hanging out sparkling in the sunshine.

Yard art


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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Glass Flower

Slow but sure I have been making a few more glass flowers.

Newest Glass flower

This is the latest creation.  I am not a pink person but I like this one very much so I claimed it for myself!

I am feeling much better today.  Most of the tooth related pain is gone, when you have little or no pain is is remarkable how much better you feel.  The abscess was a bugger, I have some swelling but ice packs and naps help, and I am on yet another antibiotic. My hope is that everyday I will feel better.  Thank you for all the well wishes we appreciate them.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Chance: The Report

Hiya it’s me the Border Collie with a report.

It was a Doctor filled week.   The humans were not impressed.  One by one “medical stuff was checked off.”  One day was real long for me at home all alone but Jo and her grand Renee came to play with me…I am always happy to see Jo!  I didn’t pull any shenanigans with her like laying at the end of the drive and refusing to move.

Far Guy saw his Neurologist about his Trigeminal Neuralgia and had his blood tests. 

Far Side had the blood work done to see if she has an Alpha 1-Antitrypsin deficiency.  The results will be back in about a month.

Far Side saw her Dentist.  She had a small filling done. She still has a massive infection even though she is on her second course of antibiotics.  The infection has moved right next to her ear and is causing her to be a tad cranky cause her ear hurts like HELL. She has been bawling a lot…and Far Side hardly ever bawls…the infection really has her down.

Far Guy had his third infusion.

june 25 Infusion

As you can see he is thrilled with Far Side and her camera.

The infusion went well…the major side effect is extreme tiredness for about four days. We get lots of naps!

Far Side had surgery yesterday to remove that tooth that has been giving her problems.  She is on the mend today and me and Far Guy are taking real good care of her.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Closer Look

This week I saw.

Hummingbird resting

A Hummingbird resting on a branch.

Spider and a bee

A Golden Crab Spider on a Daisy along with “the catch” awaiting another.

One peony is better than none

My peonies first bloom in many years…yes just one flower but a well appreciated one.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015


Sometimes you just have to give in and do what is the least of two evils.  Relocation versus death.  Which would you choose? 

We chose SRP.

Entertainment for a Border Collie

The Border Collie is part of the program.  It is his job to keep an eye on them after they are caught. Squirrels are nuisance critters.  The Squirrel Relocation Program is going well.  Five have been relocated to a place where there are trees and water…what more does a squirrel need…except for sunflower seeds.  I still think we should spray paint a spot on their back before we release them so we will know if they make it back to our yard.

It was either live trapping and releasing or a quick trip to squirrel heaven…I could have used the target practice…but my kind and gentle husband said “Let’s relocate some.” That is fine with me if I shot them I would probably feel guilty enough that I would have to skin, gut them and cook them up. ( Yes I have eaten squirrel and it was pretty good.)

The squirrels were leaping from the trees getting to the squirrel proof feeders, they hang by their feet upside down and gorge them selves with seeds.  It the meantime they break off my flowers.  We counted ten in our yard the other day.

The last one we released shot out of the cage like a bullet…I told Far Guy “If he runs that fast he will beat us home.”

Storm Clouds JUne 24

Storm Clouds over the Hay and Pea Field in the distance on June 23 2015.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: Summer Fun

Nothing better than kids growing up on a farm and finding ways to entertain themselves.Marvin  and another child

Far Guy’s Grandma Tracie marked these photos. The one above is marked 4 1/2 years.

Marvin Older boy younger boy unknown

This one is marked five years.  Far Guy’s Dad would have been five years old in the summer of 1919.  I don’t think that Ronald born in March of 1918 would be old enough to be in the photos…unless Grandma was off by a year then  it is possible.  That is the old barn in the background.

Marvin Older boy younger boy unknown

Marvin  and another child

The wagon looks to be outfitted with a steering wheel of some sort and a wooden crate.  I am not sure what the lampshade thing on top could be.

I bet these two went on some real adventures.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015


We have another new bird. A Yellow Bellied Sapsucker.   Not sure why he/she is called that…I tried to get a photo of his/her belly…it is a creamy pale butter color.

Show me your yellow belly

He sounds different than our Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers.  He announces before he comes into the feeders.

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

He is very handsome.

The Hummingbird is sticking around, I think it likes the private feeder.


So far not too many more bees than normal.  I am allergic…so that was a concern.

Chance and I like sitting outside after supper watching the birds…until the skeeters send us in for the night.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

First Day of Summer

The first day of summer brought us some warm temperatures.  The high was 82 F or 27 C eh!  It was mostly sunny.  I did some odd jobs outside before company arrived.

Jen, Andy and Adam came to visit and take us out for an early supper.  Before that we went over to our old resort just down the road to identify a  smelly weed for Dave and admire the Showy Lady’s Slippers.

Years ago, probably in 1987 Far Guy noticed two Lady’s Slippers coming up on both sides of a log in the back yard at the resort.   Of course we moved the log and put a fence around the Lady’s Slippers. We have continued to admire them throughout the years.

Lady Slipper Buds

A couple of buds. Note how hairy the foliage is…some people break out in a rash kinda like poison ivy after touching the foliage.

Lady Slipps at the resort

There are so many of them it is hard to get a photo of just one flower.

Far Guys Lady Slippers

I counted at least sixty flowers/buds…and I know I missed a few.

Dave’s weed that is a bit smelly is Creeping Charlie and there is nothing much that contains/controls it.  I also looked at his Apple Trees (Haralred) and a row of Nanking Cherries that he is growing for the birds.  The Cherries are sparse but I saw a few apples starting to form even though Haralred is self sterile and needs a pollinator.  As far as I know there are no Flowering Crapapples or Apple Trees in the immediate area for cross pollination.

Happy first day of summer!

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father’s Day!

My Dad will be 89 years old this Fall.  Right now he is still 88.  Most of his life he has been a heavy equipment operator.  He likes pushing dirt around.  My other baby brother also likes playing in the dirt.  He called me one day this spring and said “Dad is pushing some dirt today why don’t you come take some pictures.”

Dad May 19 2015

Dad was having a good time!

Dad working for Jody

My Dad enjoyed everyday he ever worked on a dozer moving dirt.

Dad working

These photos were taken on May 19 2015 and saved for Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

Happy Father’s day also to my husband!

 Gene and Chance

Far Guy and Chance on one of their many walks.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Maybe we will see a bear

When we go off on an adventure….think out for a drive…often times we will say “Maybe we will see ( pick one) a bear or a moose or a wolf.”  It is just something we say, it gives purpose to our gallivanting.

We took off yesterday to hit a few garage sales and an estate sale…got more glass dishes since I am a hoarder.   Then we headed up north because we heard that a Lady Slipper that we have never seen before might be blooming.  We stopped at an antique shop just because we had not been there for awhile…Far Guy got a train car and I bought some old postcards cause I hoard those things too.  The lady in the antique shop said she never talks to the locals only tourists so she had no idea about any flowers…(She must live under a rock too.) No new to us Lady Slippers were found in the old pine forests.

Then we headed home.  One of the back roads was blissfully empty of tourist traffic…Far Guy said “Maybe we will see a bear.”  I replied “Maybe we will.”


Far Guy said “Is it coming toward us?”  “NO” I said “OH BAD WORD it is a BEAR!”


As we got closer he got larger!  Good thing my camera bag was on my lap… in about two seconds I was ready to take photos through the dirty old windshield.


It was very windy out, the wind was from the south so the bear couldn’t smell us.  About that time the loyal dog in the back seat barked at the bear…


He kicked up gravel as he sped off into the woods.  Let me tell you they can move really fast when they want to.

This is the fourth bear I have seen in my lifetime…and my second photograph of a bear.  Far Guy’s second bear…the last one he saw was about 30 years ago when it ran across our driveway at the resort. 

It was a good day…we saw a bear and we weren’t wandering around in the woods.

*** The Bear was seen in the Northern part of Becker County just North of Boot Lake in Savannah Township.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Two down

Well we have two infusions behind us.  I told Far Guy I am going to take a photo every week.  So he is barely smiling/kinda frowning.June 18 2015

We were there only two hours this time.  He drank some grape juice.

I tell ya what…some dingbat sure thought out the procedure to mix “the stuff.”

The Infusion Nurses have highlighted the written important parts and we followed it step by step.  It has to be room temperature first so we call ahead to remind them to take it out of the fridge.  I thought I would just be observing but instead I mixed the solution right along with the nurse.  There are five vials of a powdery stuff and five vials of diluent, needles with sharps on both ends…the dilatant goes into the powdery stuff…then it is gently swirled until everything is dissolved.  Then it is sucked up into a very large syringe that has a special filter needle that traps any particulate that otherwise might cause a stroke. Then it is transferred to the IV bag…carefully..as with any needles…you don’t want to puncture anything else like the IV bag or your fingers. It took two of us 30 minutes to prepare “the stuff.” We could have used another pair of hands to hold the IV bag right side up while squirting “the stuff” in there.

It seems with any medical “stuff” there is lots happening in the background.  The Drug Company cannot understand why the infusions are being done in a Infusion Center.  They want a nurse to do them in our home…well that is not happening. (Too expensive and it is not covered by Medicare or our Insurance unless he is housebound.)  Then they want me to be trained…but they don’t know who will train me or when…they said “Ask the Infusion Nurses.” Really?  They should have the answers it is their “stuff” ( Plasma from many individuals…and it is made in Austria so I expect Far Guy will start yodeling any day now.)

We are not sure when he will be scheduled for the surgery that implants the port.

 The stuff June 18

Far Guy is way beyond frustrated.  He is ready to throw in the towel.  I told him what the hay just jog over to the cemetery and lay on the plot.  I figure the skeeters would bring him to his senses.

It has been a miserable week. I have a massive abscess that was in my jaw/roots of a tooth that has had root canals and a crown.  The abscess moved to just under my ear. (Think pocket gopher.) At least it doesn’t hurt as much as it did and I can sleep. I am taking 20 days of antibiotics before I see the Oral Surgeon and have it yanked out…I am looking forward to that with great anticipation.  If it isn’t one thing it is another. At least it is a back tooth…and at my age it is not worth saving…if a root canal and a crown didn’t fix it then I am better off without it.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Flower Report

Seven, Five and Eight! Those are the numbers of Yellow Lady’s Slippers along the back drive.

In 2013 we had seven blooms, 2014 five and this year we have eight blooms.

Eight Slippers 2015

Here are six and there is another hiding in the brush.

This one is quite stately and closer to the road.

Lady Slipper June 17 2015

So this one makes eight!

I am thrilled that they are doing so well this year since it was such a horrid winter for many plants.

My Lupines all winterkilled…not enough snow and my Iris croaked too.  The Roses are looking better after I trimmed back some dead wood.

The Veronica is blooming.

Veropnica Blue Bouquet

Veronica makes the wild gardens look like they have water in them. This Veronica ‘Blue Bouquet’ reseeds itself all over…and when you have wild gardens that is a good thing.

Campanula Joan Elliott

Campanula glomerata ‘Joan Elliott’ is looking good.  She is just starting to form clusters of bellflowers.

Our weather has been wonderfully cool, with rain every other day…the lawn grows really fast….and if you are too busy to mow for a few days you may have to make hay!

June is such a delightful month with something new blooming every few days. The Deer have not eaten my Lilies yet…I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are eating their fill of the peas in the field across the road.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: William and Martha

William and Martha were Far Guys maternal Great Grandparents.  His Grandfather Curt’s parents.  They are buried at Linnell Cemetery just a mile down the road from us.

William and Martha Abbott Linnel Cemetery

William Born in Canada in 1848 – died in Minnesota in 1904.  I know how he died.  He was taking two boys hunting, his son Curt and a friend Walter.  The boys were 16 and 13.  Whist climbing over a fence, the 13 year olds gun discharged and wounded William. William said “It was an accident…no one is to blame.” He died a day or two later. He would have been about fifty-five years old.

Martha Born in Canada in 1852 – died in Minnesota in 1936. Her grandson Willard told me this.  “Grandma lived with us.  She spoiled me rotten. She was the family stabilizer, she kept things working.  She was my protector, when I misbehaved I hid behind Grandma.   Grandma was afraid of thunderstorms, she would take us into the stone milk house because she knew it wouldn’t blow down…she had her ways.”

Recently Edie a neighbor gave us the newspaper clipping about Martha’s death.**

Martha Abbott Obit

We have one photo of Martha.

Grandma Abbott Curtis Abbotts Mother  on left (2)

Martha is on the left, the other woman is an unknown.  We have no idea where the photo was taken….someplace in Minnesota. 

William and Martha owned a farm in Ontario Canada, Eramosa Township in Wellington County before they came to Becker County Minnesota.

I have no photos of William.  I have asked cousin David to share what research he has completed.  I am still waiting for him to get home from an extended vacation…retired people!

*** What do you believe, the newspaper obituary or the headstone?  There are two dates that don’t match up.  Newspaper: Martha’s birth in 1851  Headstone 1852. William’s death Newspaper 1905 Headstone 1904.

Just goes to show you that newspaper obituaries should only be used as a guide.

William Abbott:

Death: August 27, 1904
County of Death: Becker County, Minnesota, United States
Mother's Maiden Name: COPELAND, Date of Birth: 1849, Place of Birth: CANADA

In this case the headstone and death certificate match.

Someday when someone, possibly one of the grands is doing family research they may find this blog post helpful.

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