Friday, July 31, 2015

Nuts or little Assups

We have been entertained by the Nuthatch babies (Assups) this week.  They can fly just fine, but they don’t want to go onto the suet holder to eat….so they sit on the branch and squawk and carry on until their Mother or Father puts suet in their mouth.

Three Nuthatches

It is hard to tell the babies from the parents.

Nuthatch Babies

A parent feeding a baby.   The only time the squawking stops is when their mouths are full.  One day there was two parents and two babies…there was lots of noise. We have been encouraging the babies to go onto the feeder…. we make a great cheering section!

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Almost a Quiet Day

Chance and I had a day at home yesterday.  Far Guy was off with a friend for the day, it was an Air Force Base trip and took all day.   They left early and Chance howled up a storm because he was left behind…just what I wanted to wake up to.  Eventually I convinced Chance that the world was not coming to an end.  I had a rotten night…nightmares filled with Undertakers…go figure.  I was certain that someone died at 3:45 AM but the whole day went on without death news. 

We made new Hummingbird syrup and hung up suet for the birds and then tsk tsked about the sunflower that our friends the %^$# squirrels broke off.  It was getting nice and tall too….the buggers.  The wind was gale force all day long, the yard is littered with leaves and branches. A certain dog was positive that trees would come crashing down on him if he was outside ALL by himself.

squirrel damage

I worked on Christmas ornaments.  I also worked in my garage for awhile….sorting through a bunch of Shiny Brites from a garage sale.  Then I headed for the greenhouse/woodshop and looked over my glass projects.

Brought out a new glass flower that was a pain in the butt.

newest Glass piece

It was supposed to be six piece glass flower but turned out to be seven because the blue goblet on the bottom cracked so I glued a vase inside the goblet…it may last awhile …we will see.  I glue one piece at a time and wait a few days and glue more as the pieces come together over a week or so.  I have lots of room out there and I make good use of it!

I put supper in the slow cooker, then I decided to paint my picture frames and have a nap.  Those frames will need several coats of paint.

Far Guy came home to a sleepy me and an overjoyed dog.  So ends another day in the fast lane.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: Almeada

What good is a first name if no one ever calls you by that name?  Far Guys Maternal Grandmother’s real name was Almeada Clara.   She was mostly known as Meade..or Meady, but I have heard a few people refer to her as Clara.

I found an old polaroid of Meade and an unknown bride.  Near as we can figure one of the Nurses was getting married and stopped by to see some of the residents.  Far Guy’s Dad took this Polaroid Photo.  It is not marked, I sent a copy to a few relatives and no one knows who the bride is.

Grandma Abbott and unknown gal

The only thing I can figure out for sure is that it was taken in the Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes Minnesota and it was taken before 1990…because Meade died that year.

However this photo reminded me of two things.  Notice all the glasses and cups on Grandma Meades tray.  She liked to line up her coffee, milk and juice just so…and her water was nearby.  By the time this photo was taken her eyesight was not very good…and if the drinks were lined up she could find them.  At this point in her life she had been deaf  for 40 plus years (Tuberculosis).   Her Magic Writing Pad/Magic Slate and a magnifying glass are on the bed.  She never learned sign language so everything had to be written on the Magic Slate, she would read it and them answer verbally.  She talked quite loud and had a very distinctive voice.

Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s we would stop to visit her every few weeks…she loved seeing the girls.  They were mostly scared of her, the loud voice and when she would reach out to touch or hug them they would become frightened.

Far Guy’s Mom came to visit her Mother regularly… she visited at least once a week if not twice.  Far Guy’s Dad patiently drove her the 45 miles over and back again from the visits.  One time Meade asked her “Who is that man you are with?  He sure has been hanging around a long time.”

That story when related to us made us all smile.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

More projects

It turned warm and humid here again.  We carve outside in the afternoons when possible, getting our vitamin D!

The Christmas ornament count stands at 43. Last week we added a new name to our list; Collins Joan is my baby brothers newest Grand, she was born a little early and will spend some time in the NICU. Her weight was good 6Ibs 11oz, but she is having problems with her oxygen levels and does not have the sucking reflex down pat yet. She was born at 34 weeks.  Poor little ones have to struggle so hard outside the womb.

Next week we will start a new woodcarving class, we hope to wood carve a Trillium.

Trillium May 21, 2010

That should be an challenging/interesting class.  I will put the Christmas ornaments aside for a few days.  Far Guy is getting a tad burned out on the Christmas ornaments anyway…time for a break.

I have another project sitting on my desk.

bear photos

This artwork has been hanging in our bathroom for many years.  Time for a change.  It will still be bears but it is about time that I display some of my own photos… I need one more frame…I am certain I have one upstairs someplace.  Not sure if I will paint the frames a new color or not.

I am still working on my Join as you go Granny Square Afghan …I am using up many odds and ends of yarn. I work on it late at night watching television. It is very colorful!

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Someday Project: Sewing Machine Drawer

Quite some time ago I admired a Sewing Machine Drawer in a small shop. This was the inspiration for my own project.

Sewing Machine Drawer

June 2013

My good friend Susan gifted me a drawer.

Sewing Drawer

This photo was taken just after I put plastic wood in the slides along the top of the drawer.  I sanded it smooth and primed the drawer.  Then I had to decide what color?? Where was I going to put it?  (probably on the dining room table) AND what was I going to put in it?  Well…probably something blue…duh.

Vase and a Candy dish

I picked yellow for my paint and after many coats I declared it done.  I tucked a white and blue dishrag inside…later I would add some dried Statice.

Sewing box July 2015

Yes I know the yellow is a bit bright… but it makes me smile.  It has personality!

Cross another Someday Project off the list.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Get Together

We headed up north.

We passed a beautiful sunflower field on the way.

Sunflower field

Crop report; the fields all look pretty good, the grain is almost ready to harvest.  The beans and sugar beets all look great and the corn is making cobs and kernels.

I gave all of Jen’s new plantings the once over…they look pretty good.  She is not pleased with one of her gardens…the one I suggested that she plant Coleus in.  She is right…they are not doing well.  Coleus do not like that spot it must be too warm in the late afternoon. 


Only a couple of the plants are doing reasonably well.    She likes her gardens full and lush and the Coleus garden is not meeting her expectations.  She says she is just going to plant Hydrangeas there next year.  They are replacing all the windows and getting new I imagine all her flowers near the house will suffer a bit.

Jen hosted a birthday party for her husband Andy, he turns 40 this week.  Supper was a BBQ beef brisket, some of the best potato salad this side of the Rockies, Texas caviar, vegetables, dips, chips and birthday cupcakes.  We left before the singin’ and dancin’ part of the party started and we were back home before dark…yes, we are getting old.  I remember when my Grandparents said “We like to be home before dark”  I wondered did they think they would turn into pumpkins at dark or what?? …now I understand.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Blue Flowers

Jen and I visited The Living Legacy Gardens over by Staples Minnesota one day last week.


This is Chicory, I recognized it immediately…the serrated edge on the flower petals give it away.

Borage Flowers

This is a Borage bloom..different isn’t it.

Borage bloom

Here is a better look at the pretty little bloom. I decided to lift the bloom upward instead of lay on the ground for a photograph.

I think the volunteers must be getting older there, the gardens were still pretty but not as well kept as other years.  If I lived closer I could imagine myself volunteering there but it is about 65 miles away.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Genetic Report and Other Stuff

My Genetic Report came back, I am an MM  which means I am like most other people in America…normal.   Far Guy is an SZ.  Which means our children are either MS or MZ,  they are carriers of the Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.   From what I have read a MS carrier would be better than the MZ carrier because the MZ carrier could get some symptoms.  So that is it in a nutshell.  Genetics was not one of my strong subjects in school.

We survived our first home infusion.  It was a bit rocky.  Trica our oldest daughter who is a Nurse Practitioner came over to see how the medication was mixed so just incase I am ill/ or croak  she could take over.   It is a good thing she was here, I am not sure why but what the Infusion Center used and what we were sent in the Infusion Kit from Coram was different.  They sent outdated instructions also.  We figured it all out…but for what that company charges for the serum ($5,000 a week) you would think they would be on top of little things like instructions.  I called their Pharmacist who was a helpful gal, but she could not answer my questions because she has never witnessed or performed an infusion.  I finally called one of the Nurses (Lynn) at the Infusion Center and she answered my questions.

I am tired and a bit cranky.  I don’t think it is too much to ask that big Drug Companies get their poop in a pile.  They also sent really lousy thin sterile gloves…I will find some online that are not so flimsy.  I shouldn’t have to…but I will because sooner or later I will rip a hole in one.  Why does everything have to be such a struggle?

Far Guy still suffers from the side effects of this serum (Aralast), extreme fatigue and shortness of breath for five days.  But he hasn’t had any infections either…that is what the serum is supposed to do…protect his lungs if he gets an infection.

We try to take it all one day at a time.


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Thursday, July 23, 2015


Jen was here for a couple of days, all her boys are busy…working or off at robotics camps.  She brought Miney and Little Elvis over to be groomed at Chance’s groomer. 

We went out for breakfast and then shopping at Ben Franklin in Wadena Minnesota.  After that we went for a long drive.

Sunflower field near Wadena Minnesota

This is the first sunflower field I have seen this summer in Minnesota.

Sunflower not opened yet

This is an unopened sunflower and a little friend.

One sad sunflower

One in every crowd.  Jen pointed out that one sunflower was really sad.  When your head gets too full of seeds and your petals droop you might look a tad sad…or tired.

These sunflowers were planted in rows.  Not something you see very often.

Sunflowers in rows

Like soldiers facing east.

Nothing better than a little time spent photographing sunflowers!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: 1989 to 2015

Whilst going through a old photo album, I found a polaroid photo that Far Guy’s Dad took of the Showy Ladys Slippers back in 1989.  The Ladys Slippers were found blooming on both sides of a log in the yard back behind the house at the resort.

Lady Slippers at the resort 1989

Looks like about six blooms 26 years ago.

Far Guys Lady Slippers

2015 Showy Ladys Slippers

You can see how the clump has progressed from 2 blooms in 1987 to what it looked like this year.

This is what is possible if wildflowers are left alone and allowed to grow. 

This June when we went by the hill over at Snellman Minnesota, I commented that there seemed to be less Ladys Slippers…someone said that the hillside was pockmarked with holes.  It is illegal to dig wildflowers from the roadway, BUT some people still do it…the bums.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Along the road

It was a great year for Michigan Lilies or Lilium michiganense!

Lilium michiganense

She is a beauty and is blooming in a ditch about 9 miles south of us.   There are many colorful clumps growing in the ditch in a wet area. Deer on a two track road

As we stopped to admire the Lilies, Far Guy noticed this deer on a two track road.  You can see how tall the weeds have grown this year.  The deer come out into clearings to graze in the evenings and to escape the skeeters in the woods.

We have been busy for a number of days, today we plan to stay home all day and rest up a tad before the next round of activity begins.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Rendezvous with Jim

We have a woodcarving friend who participates in area Rendezvous.   A Rendezvous is a meeting at a particular time and place of people who enjoy the same activities. 

Jims place

Jim’s place

Black Powder, Muzzleloaders…whatever you call them.   They have really long rifles.  Flintlock and caplock. I learned how to tell the difference in the firing mechanism.

Jims rifles

They are quite heavy too…Jim says he has never weighed them but they must weigh about eight pounds each.  He made both of these rifles.

As I took aim, this is not a sport for wimps.  You need a fair bit of arm muscle to hold that rifle steady and it is a long way down that barrel.

Taking Aim

Far Guy offered to hold my camera…he surprised me by taking a photo.  It is even in focus.

gene and Jim

Jim was ready to pack up and was out of his period dress when we got there.  There is another Rendezvous coming up in August…perhaps we will make it to that one before they are ready to pack up!

Jim camps out for the weekend, no his wife doesn’t come along, he says it just isn’t her thing to do.  Jim is a retired Park Ranger, he joined our woodcarving group and he also has a Train Collection.  He is full of stories.


Here is a basket of throwing knives and hawks…it is a very interesting hobby that Jim has…and if you have a question about a weapon he probably knows the answer.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015


I have a grand that is nineteen…ya and next year she will be twenty…makes a Grandmother feel just a tad old.

Savannah 2006

Savannah 2006

Savannah almost 14

Savannah 2010

Savannah 19 years old

Savannah 2015

She is a beautiful young lady inside and out, she is sensitive to other peoples feelings and is most often smiling.  We don’t see her as often as we would like…she is busy.

We spent some time with her on her birthday.

Nineteen…seems so young…on the cusp of the rest of her life.

Dear Savannah, Grandpa and I have loved you since the first time we laid eyes on you.  We loved how you would race through the house hollering “Yums” as you headed for the office and Grandpa’s M & M machine.  We loved how gentle you were with the dogs….petting with just one finger…gently.  We loved how you colored and drew the most beautiful creations on paper and rocks.  We loved when you came to stay and didn’t want to go home.  We love your smiles and your laugh and those hugs you give so freely.  You will always be special and loved.  Grandma

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Free Concert

We had another date night…two in a row.

Headed to the little town of Menahga where they are holding summertime FREE concerts next to Spirit Lake.  Does Finlanders over dare are gettin' pretty fancy smancy bringin da arts and culture to da nortwoods!!  It was a warm evening but cloudy. There was a good turn out with maybe 200 people there…mostly old farts.

Monroe Crossing is a five piece Blue Grass Band.  I thought their best song was “My Girl” which they introduced as a half Motown and Half Blue Grass so they called it Mograss.

Monroe Crossing at Spirit Lake

That gal is passing the orange bucket…so that the concerts can continue on next year.   I think that blue tarp was in place just incase it rained.   A lightening bolt hit out on the lake…made everyone sit up and take notice.

We saw a number of people we knew, especially from woodcarving.

I guess I can take or leave Blue Grass music…I like the oldies and that is about it. 

The lady in front of us sprayed just about every bug that landed on her with some kind of perfumy insect spray…then she handed the bottle to her husband.   Good thing we were outside.  

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Date Night

We have a standing date night from year to year.  “What night are we going to the Fair for a Pork Burger?”

Fair Food

I had my camera along and took a photo of Minnesota Fair Food that is NOT on a stick.

ALL of the Minnesota State Fair food is on a stick…not so much at small county fairs.

Homemade French Fries, Cheese Curds, a Pork Burger and a Coke.  We shared the fries and curds….uffda those curds were out of this world and the pork burger was awesome!

This was actually lunch and supper combined as we had been stuck in town most of the afternoon with a Clinic appointment and the Tracker needed some work.

We walked through the exhibits, visiting here and there.  It is a good place to see neighbors and family…my parents showed up for a pork burger too.

I walked through one of the barns.

Bunny Rabbitt

The sign said Pet a Bunny FREE!  He was ever so soft…I raised bunnies once upon a time.  I think this one wanted to go home with me…but I resisted.   The goats were tough to pass up also…I had a goat once…I love goats.

Shorthorn Cross Story

My Name is Peanut  My Story: I am a shorthorn cross heifer (girl) calf.   My mom had my brother and I on July 11, 2015.  Unfortunately my mom could only care for my brother so now I have a human mom her name is Stephanie.  I get fed twice a day around 8 or 8:30 in the morning and 5-6 at night.  I love to be pet and talked to.  Thanks for reading about me.  Enjoy the fair!

Shorthorn cross calf

Peanut the Shorthorn Cross

We walked through the Midway.

Gondola Ride

We checked out all the rides and talked with a few more people.  Far Guy asked at the Sno-Cone place if they had grape?  The answer was no…only Raspberry, Orange and Cherry.  So we went without.  If you are going to have a Sno-Cone it should be grape.

It was a warm day on the fairgrounds, there was a bit of a breeze but it was still warm.

The Tracker got new brakes and rotors…something was stuck and making a noise from time to time.  It was driving Far Guy nuts…he kept rolling down the window trying to listen for an intermittent sound…now it is fixed.

*** All about the Cheese Curds that we enjoy in the Midwest:

Cheese Curds are squeaky fresh, delectable cheddar cheese in its natural, random shape and form before being processed into blocks of cheddar.

Fresh cheese curds are a calcium enriched, low-carb, protein snack. They are a healthy alternative to junk food.

However when you dip them in beer batter and fry them up in a fryer…they become fair food!

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