Monday, August 31, 2015

Harvest and Sunset

The air is still filled with a haze from the forest fires.  The particles in the air turn the sun orange.

Sunset August 30

I could complain about my itchy allergy eyes but I won’t because eye drops make them feel better…and those people closer to the fires must be struggling far worse than my itchy matter filled eyes. Just so you know Chance has eye boogers too. 

The harvest continues in our area.

Grain Harvest

We are forecast to have some 90 F + temperatures this week.   I mowed the lawn yesterday and we planned meals with salads fruit and sandwiches this week. With the forecast heat I suspect that the lawn will go dormant…Far Guy says I get to have new mulching blades for the Fall leaf work…yippee…nothing better than new mulching blades!

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bunker Hill Flags

The flags were changed yesterday at Bunker Hill.  The tradition continues, Howard said yesterday “I will go on until I cannot, I know it sure helped me so my hope it that it helps other Veterans too.”

Bunker Hill August 29 2015

The view from Bunker Hill looking over the prairie.  There was smoke from the wildfires in the air enough so that it blotted out the sun.

Soldier on Bunker Hill

The flags were collected and fresh ones put up one by one.  Some of the Veterans are getting older and it was windy.

Archie saluting

Uncle Archie saluting the POW MIA Flag.


My cousin Scott’s daughter Bailey read one of her original poems about a Veteran.  Bailey is involved with the BentProp Project which tries to return the remains of Missing In Action Veterans to family.

Flags on bunker hill August 29

The new flags will fly on Bunker Hill until next August.

The old flags were burned properly as indicated by flag disposal rules.

There were many old people in attendance.  There was a people mover and several golf carts that moved people up and down the hill.  We took a ride up but walked back down again.  Trudy serves a picnic after the “doings” but we didn’t stay.

Although Howard is a Marine and a Vietnam Veteran, Bunker Hill honors all branches of The Armed Forces and all the Wars/Conflicts.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Holding onto the sun

The sun is setting earlier each night.  The countdown has begun toward that 4PM December sunset…uffda.  The sunset last night at 8:07 PM…we had 13 hours and 33 minutes of daylight yesterday.  It was a warm day with a high of 81 F or 27 C  eh!  The humidity was almost as high as the temperature.

Last night I had two willing victims eager participants for photos, my great nephew and great niece.

Anna holding the sun

Anna holding the sun!

Mason holding the sun


The kids were out riding their bikes whilst their Mother was jogging.

We were on our nightly ride…saw just two deer and no turkeys.

Sunset August 28

We watched the sun disappear behind the clouds as we drove. We have a smoky haze in the air from the wildfires out west.  At times you can smell the smoke in the air.  I hope the fires out west are put out soon.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Trilliums Finished!

I wasn’t planning to paint Trilliums this week…but Far Guy started painting by himself…so I joined him.   Like he said “It will feel good to get them done!”

Trilliums Finished

They turned out pretty good, I am pleased.

I got a little carried away when I added the stamens to my carving.

Lots of stamens

The stamens are thorns from the Thornapple Bush rolled in glue and sawdust…Far Guys idea and it worked wonderfully!

Cross a woodcarving project off the list!

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Little Things

I have been thinking that I need a shop vacuum for my garage…Far Guy agreed.  So we went to the helpful hardware place.  Finally a shop vac that can stay put…I won’t have to search for it and the accessories and then an extension cord.  Far Guy even gave me my own extension cord! 

I can vacuum my car when ever I want cause it is handy!

Surprising what makes you happy when you get older.  Now I can get busy cleaning up my garage…and yes that makes me happy.

I have mastered the 2 gallon gas cans…who ever designed that green cap thingy that has to be lined up just so should be shot.  If it is such a great design then why did I get gas all over my hands…it is supposed to be a no spill gas can?  Some things make no sense to me at all.  Obviously I need some remedial gas can training. I am happy with the size of the gas cans just not happy with the green thingy.

We cut down some of the brush that has been hitting me in the face when I mow…that is a relief.  The Thornapple has been removed it was threatening to decapitate me or at the very least scar my shoulder and arms every time I passed by on the lawn mower.

I made some more glass flowers.


A vase, a large plate, a small red plate, a glass tray and a star candle holder.


A glass, a plate, ash tray and a vase.  This is one of my favorite pieces!

I hope you have had some “little things” in your life lately that make you happy.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: Out Standing in the Corn Field

We have an old photo of Far Guy’s Grandpa Curtis standing in his corn field.  He was about six feet tall.

Curtis Abbott

It must have been taken about this time of year….probably about 1940 give or take a few years. 

Last night we went over to my cousin Todd’s place to get a photograph on that same farm in a corn field. 

Corn Field August 25 2015

August 25, 2015

Far Guy is about 5 feet 9 inches tall so the corn is fairly tall this year.

This is the view across the road from the old farm.

Crp Land and The Tower

CRP land with the Smoky Hills in the distance.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Nerves of Steel…NOT!

The infusions once a week are going…some weeks better than others.  Have you ever prayed for a blood return?  WELL I have after the day all went well and saline went in just fine…but there was no back flow of blood to assure me that I had the needle in the right spot in the port.  I had Far Guy move his arm around…with the second syringe of saline Far Guy got a blood return.  We called the gals at the Infusion Center…they said everything should be okay. 

Through some research I found out that some people consistently have no blood return from their ports but their infusions go just fine.   Some people have problems because they are dehydrated.  The next week I encouraged him to drink LOTS of water, I didn’t care if he floated away…and yes I got a blood return…see water and prayers will go a long way.

Our daughter Trica the Nurse Practitioner said “Mom as long as the fluid goes in you should be fine.  When it doesn’t go in…then you have a problem.” 

At the time I did not have any extra needles either…now I do… I complained to the Pharmacist and now I have two extras just in case I have to stick him again.

I wish I knew what the problem was exactly.  But I can only speculate.  It really really threw me off kilter for a few days wondering what I could have done wrong…and could come up with no answer.  I went through it all in my mind a hundred times.  I was a wreck.

The next week everything went just fine.  Go figure. Must have been all those prayers I said continually during the night before the next infusion!

Is Far Guy better?  No, but he is no worse and he has not been sick since we began the infusions.   He is walking 2+ miles a day…some days the dog doesn’t even want to walk that far with him…Chance knows the way home.  Far Guy keeps everything recorded in a little black book; steps walked, oxygen saturation levels and his temperature.  His temperature is important…and unexplained temperature can mean that his port is infected…even though I wear a mask and gloves and do everything as sterile as possible  an infection could happen.  I try to feed him really well with lots of fruits and vegetables…and encourage the water drinking. 

Trica’s genetic test results are back, she is a carrier of Alpha 1 Antitripsin Deficiency, she is a MS (the M from me and the S from her father).  So far Maddie and Paige are not carriers they are MM’s …one M from their mother and one M from their father.  That was good news.   Trica being an MS most likely produces enough of the protein to protect her lungs from destruction. 

The genetic testing is free, South Carolina Medical University sponsors it I suppose they got a grant to do a study.  Since it is a very rare disorder not many people know about it.

Yarrow August 24

Yarrow in the wildflower gardens August 24 2015

Update: Savannah’s test results are in she is an MM just like her sisters and just like me thank goodness!

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Woodcarvings: Trillium

Time for an update on the Trilliums that we are carving.  It was a class that we started four weeks ago.  We have spent a fair amount of time at home carving on these flowers in between classes.

This is what we started with.

Chunks of wood

Three chunks of basswood.

After much carving here are my pieces.

Trillium Carved

The weather was rainy cloudy and cool all weekend…so I spent some time carving in the greenhouse/woodshop.

I selected a piece of Black Walnut from the “woodpile” for my base.  The two sticks are stems from a Thornapple Bush.  The stems need to be sanded yet…I am saving something for class this week.

My Trillium

Here it is during a trial run. I may shorten it up a bit before the final gluing.  AND it will be painted…so it is not done yet…oh and it will get stamens…they are thorns from the Thornapple rolled in sawdust…they will be added last.

Far Guys Trillium

This is Far Guy’s Trillium…as you can see we carve differently because we see things differently. I like the way his flower faces outward…where as mine looks like it is seeking the sun.  He also chose Black Walnut for the base…but with an oval shape.

Two Trilliums together

Trillium togetherness.


The Trillium was a challenging diversion, I probably won’t carve another one.  I  carved on it about 30 hours. Now I can get back to carving Christmas Ornaments.  I would like to have them all done before it snows. 

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cooking Over An Open Fire

I enjoyed cooking over an open fire when we camped out.  I used to package up all the dry ingredients for Scones, then I just had to add the shortening and the milk.  The scones could then be cooked in a cast iron skillet.


In amongst our camping gear was a set of cast iron fry pans and a Dutch Oven.  In those three pans along with some aluminum foil most meals could be cooked successfully. 

We also had a two sided long handled pan that would  serve as a receptacle for two slices of buttered bread, when you added toppings to the bread the two sides were clamped together and held over the fire.  You could make toast or for lunch you could add pepperoni and cheese to some pizza sauce spread on that bread, or in the evening sitting around the campfire you could spread pie filling or jam on those pieces of bread to make a toasty dessert. 

I still have that long handled pan in the garage someplace.  My cast iron fry pans have all been cleaned up ( they get really sooty being used over an open fire) I still use them every once in a while…they make a delicious peach upside down cake…and that Dutch Oven makes the best pot of vegetable soup several times a year.

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Silver Fox

We took a drive over to Perham Minnesota to see our friend Jim.  He is one of the Mountain Men, he is called the Silver Fox. 

Jims Place

Friday was set up day so Jim had time to sit with us and talk.  We met a number of his friends and learned all about the Rendezvous.  We walked around and visited some of the vendors.

Bugsys Boutique and Bakery

We bought some raisin bread, a cookbook and some treats for Chance.

Vendors at the Rendevous

We stopped by the Blacksmiths and admired the wares.  In one of those other tents we bought some marbles and a gift for someone special.

Mountain Man The Silver Fox

Jim asked me to take some photographs of him and I was happy to oblige.  We enjoyed our afternoon watching a long bow competition and participants coming and going.

Long bow guy

This fellow told me “I live for these weekends, there isn’t anything better than a good shooting competition!”

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Friday, August 21, 2015

New Ride!

Had company ( Sue and Charlie) from Indiana and low and behold they brought Far Guy another Carnival Ride for his train set!

New Ride from Sue

I am not sure where it will end up on the train layout…but finding a place and rearranging will take a few afternoons keep someone busy.


I fixed a Minnesota Hotdish for supper with crusty bread, peaches and a slice of almond bread for dessert. I used the good plates…again.   The Hotdish is layered in a 9 x 13 pan, tator tots, hamburger, mixed vegetables (frozen), one can of cream of something soup diluted with about a can of water (I like Cream of Chicken the best)…then top it with a cheese (cojack) of your choice and bake it at 350 for about an hour.  Other parts of the country may call this a Casserole…but it is really a Hotdish!

Good to see old friends that you haven’t seen in two years!

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Weather and Projects

We are 40 degrees cooler than last week.  Yesterdays high was 58 F or 14 C eh!

We got 1 1/2 inches of rain.  That will help the trees.  I knew the rain was coming so I mowed the lawn. 

I now have 56 out of 73 carved Christmas Ornaments ready to deliver.  17 to go.   I have been carving on the challenging Trillium…Far Guy is doing way better with his than I am with mine…I will push through…but I am getting really tired of that project.  Yesterday and the day before we carved in the greenhouse/woodshop…it is nice and cozy in there.

IMG_9765 When I get bored with carving I walk over to glass alley and see what I can put together.


Four pieces of glass. A candleholder, a ashtray, a small blue plate and a vase.


This one is five pieces of glass.  The center is a small coke glass, followed by a bowl, the turquoise piece is some kind of divided glass dish, a plate and a vase.


This one is five pieces of glass. A candle holder, a custard cup with a ruffled lip, a ruffled bowl, a plate and a vase.


This one is four pieces of glass, it doesn’t show well in the photograph but the upside down vase is a pale pink. A heart votive holder, a very old  fancy goblet, a ruffled bowl and the vase.

I was using some coiled copper tubing for the glass flower vases to hang on…it was wimpy.  I gave up on that idea and went to town and bought some PVC pipe, Far Guy had some blue spray paint so I used it!  The stakes are easier to pound into the ground.  I have another batch that I spray painted a copper color.  The guys at the helpful hardware place cut the 10 footers into three equal lengths for me.

Some of these flowers will be gifts.  I put them at the edge of the woods and in the yard to make sure that the marine glue holds and I enjoy looking at them!  So far the only failure I have had was a piece that was painted glass that was bumpy…It was a piece I gave JoLynn so I fixed it for her.

I completed another five or six that are still curing in the greenhouse/woodshop. I need some more medium size plates and bowls (garage sales!!)

I walk up and down glass alley and see what looks good together…sometimes I am not sure so I just set the pieces on top of each other for a few days…then I come back and look at them again…sometimes even a third time before I scrap the idea or put the pieces together.  Lawn Art doesn’t happen overnight.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wistful Wednesday : How they have grown

I have been taking photos of our Grands all lined up for a number of years. 

Watch them grow…seems to me they grew up REAL fast. The girls belong to our oldest daughter and the boys to our youngest daughter.

Grands 2004

Savannah 8, Noah 5, Madison 6, Paige 5 and Adam 3.

(Adam where are your shoes?  I remember saying that a lot.)

(Paige are your shoes on the right feet?)

2004 The year Grandpa carved them diamond willow walking sticks.

Grands 2006 (2)


Grands 2007


Grands at Cass Lake 2010

Summer 2010 at Cass Lake

Grands May 2011

May 2011

Grands November 24 2011

November 2011

gRands November 2013

November 2013  The boys are now taller than the girls…and Savannah is the shortest.

Grands  December 25 2013

December 2013

Grands Tallest to Shortest May 24 2014

May 2014  Maddie has now joined Savannah at the short end. This was taken the day Savannah graduated from High School.

Grands Tallest to shortest 2014

2014  Noah, Adam, Paige and Madison…you have to go with the flow sometimes.  Savannah was elsewhere for Christmas.

Soon that littlest boy will take his rightful place as the tallest…it is just a matter of time.

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