Saturday, October 31, 2015


Many missing people are on my mind this week.

There was an incident up at Lake of the Woods several weeks ago…three teenage boys on a fishing trip drowned…the third boy has not been found.  They want to find his body before the ice sets in…but they are not hopeful. ( Your older child takes off happy as a lark on a fishing trip with friends.)

There was a 18 year old girl from Starbuck that was missing  earlier this week… she was found in a cornfield dead. (Your College Student disappears.)

Dennis Bank’s granddaughter is missing up in Bemidji, I heard Dog the Bounty Hunter was called in to help with the search. ( Your older daughter is missing.)

A person of interest in being questioned in the October 22, 1989 disappearance of Jacob Wetterling.  Twenty six years those parents have been waiting for some news.  I cannot begin to understand the depth of their sorrow for all these years.  ( Your son was abducted while riding his bike with two other young boys near your home.)

Something else is missing.

Parents must be missing from the schools. Why in the world do we need Police Officers in the schools to handle “situations” with our children.  Call the parents, have the kid expelled or require one parent to attend school with the child….bet that ruling would get some parents attention.

What am I missing?

I guess I am ready for a news break again…too depressing.

Cross that belongs somewhere

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Almost Halloween

I bought some candy and bagged it up for the little ones that I hope will show up on Saturday night.  Bagged it up so I couldn’t eat it.  Then I bought some more of Far Guys favorite…so he can share if need be.


The witch is up…I like Halloween almost as much as May Day!  Fun days all about kids!  Our weather is supposed to be in the high 50’s for Saturday Night!! 

Fall Flag

The scarecrow flag is up…I did get a few things crossed off my list yesterday.

We had a very interesting night before last.  I kept hearing strange noises like someone was outside horsing around.  I thought about waking Far Guy up but finally figured out what it was and went to sleep.  Far Guy was awakened by the strange sounds and thought we had a intruder…and he thought about getting the gun….then he realized what it was.


It was a sound we had not heard in a while…Chance heard it too and headed for the bathroom “his safe spot.”

When the snow slides off the steel roof it makes a rumbling noise and a swoosh when it hits the ground and we got enough snow to make noise on Wednesday night.  The photo is what is left over from the snow on the roof.  We have rocks on the east and west sides of the house…the snow makes a mess of anything planted…and gutters well you may just as well forget them…when the snow slides it slides.  One less thing we have to worry about during heavy snow years when people have to shovel snow off their roofs.

The snow is gone except for a few areas Smile

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

First Snow

It had to happen.  I am surprised it didn’t happen sooner.  Lets see May 18 was our last snow and we made it all the way to October 28…that might be about 163 days without snow, must be some kind of record!

Snow October 28 First snow

This was earlier yesterday morning.  As I let Chance out a whole flock of Wild Turkeys were coming down the drive looking for a snack…and a certain Border Collie chased them off.


It snowed and snowed and clung to everything.  Then it rained, then it snowed again…

We finished with the leaves on Tuesday afternoon.  Far Guy cleaned up the lawn mower and will put new mulching blades on the mower for next spring IF it warms up.

What few leaves are out there will just have to stay out there.

One day I collected and cleaned up all the glass flowers.  They are put away in the woodshop/greenhouse for the winter.


By adjusting the 2x4 fancy smancy storage area most are stored face up…I may cover them with an old sheet.  The ones with huge vase bottoms are stored sideways.


I still have lots of glass to work with…no shortage of old glass.

Fall Work Yet To Do :

I need to pound the snow stick in the ground someplace…and move the patio table to my garage and change the flags and put the witch in the wreath by the door.  I also have a bunch of cardboard boxes that need to be cut up and recycled…oh and both vehicles need to be cleaned out…some days the list is never ending.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: Twenty Years ago

I found this photo when I was sorting through all my loose photos.  It was taken in 1995.  Far Guy and I had moved from the resort ( it sold really fast!) in Minnesota to Buxton North Dakota with our four dogs to our oldest daughters house until we could find and purchase a home of our own.

Friends from Indiana came up to the resort for a week and Uncle Art and Auntie Kathy brought them over to the casino in Mahnomen Minnesota so we could see them and go out for supper….Mahnomen was just as good of a place to meet as any as it was about half way for both of us.

Our Friends from Indiana (Bill and Joan)  took this photo.

1995 Art and Kathy and Gene and Connie Me, Far Guy, Kathy and Art ( my cousin)

Kathy died on May 18 of this year.  It was her birthday a few days ago she would have been 67…not sure how they work birthdays up in heaven…maybe they just celebrate your heavenly birthday…or maybe both days the day you left heaven to come to this earth and the day you returned.

Gene and Connie 1995

I got rid of my sweatshirt and those horrid white jean shorts a number of years ago…my clothes hoarding husband still has that same sweatshirt….he still had some a little hair back then.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall color in the yard

The Euonymus alatus ‘Chicago Fire’ (Burning Bush) has beautiful color this fall.



As you can see it lives along the edge of the woods and has no competition for color.  It needs a good trim….maybe next spring.

Viburnum or Snowball Bush

This is my Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’  or Minnesota Snowball Bush.  It has marvelous fall color.

Yard work is slowly coming to an end.  The sixth go round with leaves was accomplished last week.  One more go round and I should be done…I am ready to be done but not quite ready for the s word yet.

Wagon wheel and Viburnum

My wagon wheel with the Snowball Bush way in the background.  I hope the old fishing net lasts another year…it has been up there since 1999…so it is 16 years old and getting rotten in spots.  Not sure where I would ever find a fishing net like that one again…we found it on an Air Force Base Beach on the Gulf of Mexico, it took us two days to dig it out of the sand and drag it several miles to the parking lot.  The beach there is twelve miles long we used to love walking there nearly everyday the winter we spent in Florida. The fishing net works great for Morning Glories or my other vines to crawl up.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Birthday Celebrations

We were invited to several different birthday celebrations this weekend. 

The first for a friend who was 50.  Her family hosted a surprise party for her.  We knew her husband long before he met her on a Wild Fire Crew in South Dakota.  They have two wonderful teenage children we have enjoyed watching grow up! It was a fun afternoon sharing old stories!

The second celebration was at my other baby brothers house.  They have a birthday week with three birthdays happening within four days.  One of my nieces was 31, one will be 28 and my other baby brother the old double nickels. Happy Birthday Jody!! We had a yummy lunch and cupcakes, with lots of visiting!

I took some photos of the family gathering.

IMG_1480Here they are in family groups….oldest to youngest with my brother and his wife in the center.  My brother has eleven grands and the twelfth will arrive in March….right now it is six girls and five boys. (Will Stacey tie it up?  Or will the girls rule!)

Chance got older too, he thanks you for all the birthday wishes! 

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Chance: Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my day!  I am ELEVEN years old today!  I am an old guy now, sometimes they call me an old fart.


I am a spoiled boy.  At my elderly age my ears must be cleaned on a regular basis…with mineral oil…and my teeth get cleaned often. I like my rides every evening /late afternoon…my sorts are out if we don’t go for a ride.  I moan and groan like it is the end of the world…WELL it feels like it is….then we usually get to go!!!

I have important jobs. I walk with Far Guy everyday, first we get the mail and then we go for more walks later in the day …about 2 1/2 miles…I have met some other dogs while walking…one dog gets walked while his owner is in a golf cart.  Far Side walks too some days… just not as far.

My arthritis is worse some days than others…some days I limp a little and sometimes jumping in the car is really hard….but I still get there!

Far Guy didn’t think I would make it through the winter last year…but I surprised him. 


Far Guy worked on a special “spot” for me most of the summer while I chased the dirt and the shovel.  Two big buckets were filled with dirt and brought in to the workshop/greenhouse and one day when Andy stopped by he dug the “spot” a little deeper…until Far Side said “Good enough.”  It is all covered with a board now so someone won’t accidently fall in. ( I bet if Far Side fell in she wouldn’t be happy…in fact she might get cranky crankier.

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Miney and me.

Miney is still my best friend…then Odda, Little Elvis and Putz…I like them all….and my sisters and kids and balls….and Far Guy and Far Side even when she is bossy (which is most of the time).

Happy Birthday to me! I don’t know what they have planned for me…but I know there are some homemade pumpkin treats that will be calling my name.

Jen and the dogs

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Rainy Day Project

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ~ Eudora Welty

Years ago I purchased a photo storage system from Creative Memories.  It hung around empty.  One day last week Jen needed a photo of Maddie…well I made a complete mess out of the old photo storage box that you couldn’t squeeze one more photo into.

I had photos all over my desk…it was a mess.

It started raining here Thursday night and rained all day Friday.  You guessed it.

It was a lovely trip down memory lane.  I gave up on photo albums back in 1995 when everything went into storage and I was lucky to have a box to stick photos into. Just you try moving three times in four years…four times if you count the 15 months we lived in the camper. Let me tell you sizing down to a camper will make you think twice about what you really need.

Creative memories Photo Storage Box

Now the photos are sorted by person.

Another photo storage box

The old photo box that used to be stuffed to the gills has room for more photos.

Christmas Greetings

The Christmas Photos/Greetings that I like to keep have their own box. I am thinking about putting these into page protectors and into a three ring binder.

I am not certain what my next step will be with the loose photos.  Photo Albums…some of the old ones we have are a mess…some photos are stuck to pages forever…and some are falling out of their albums. That is a project for another day or three.

For now I am glad all the loose photos are together in one place.  Next winter I think I will download some of the photos of the grandchildren and have them printed out at Wally World.  I print out very few photos…perhaps it is time.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Chance: Visitors

My turn!  Yippee! 

I had some visitors!  Kids my favorite kind of people in the whole world! IMG_1212

Jordan, Aubrey and Gavin with ME!

Jordan and Gavin are twins and they used to lived next door.  I tried to steal Jordan once when he was about three years old, I encouraged him to follow me home…and he did BUT I didn’t get to keep him for long.  Jordan tapped on the window and that got Far Guys attention and he made me take Jordan back home…in fact he followed both of us back to the scene of the crime.

The twins and their sister live far aways now and have two dogs of their own.


Far Side had a photo shoot with them and I got to supervise…in this photo I am off in the woods and have every ones attention! 

After the photos they got out my tennis ball launcher and took turns launching balls just for me.

One of the twins asked “How old is Chance?”  Far Side replied “Almost eleven.”  The twins said at the same time  “Same as us!”


Thursday, October 22, 2015

What we pass along

We have been waiting for our youngest daughters genetic test results for the Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.  She is an MZ…the M from me and the Z from her Dad.  We were hoping/praying that she was an MS like her sister. Her count is low on the MZ scale…she is just 3 points above her Dad. 

HOWEVER since she knows her status she can seek treatment if necessary before her lungs or liver are damaged.  She needs to have a liver function test at least once a year. Since she leads a really healthy lifestyle she has a lot going for her.  Many people that are MZs have no problems….from what I have read it is like the roll of the dice.

There is nothing we can do…nothing we can do or say to make it all better.  We can only be good listeners and give advice to the best of our ability… and pray.

“If you pray why worry and if you worry why pray.”

If we had known years ago before we had children that they would be carriers…would we have had children?  Probably…but we didn’t know…just as we didn’t know if she would have my hair or her fathers…

Jen and Gene

Jen and her dad  September 2015

Obviously she has my hair! 

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: Another School

When the community got together and built a new elementary school, they didn’t build it large enough for the fifth and sixth grade classes.

So when it came time for me to leave the elementary school (fourth grade)…I went to the old school in Osage.

School Building Built in 1938

This building was built in 1938 so when I went to school here it was only 24 years old.  The building was a two room schoolhouse.  Fifth grade was on the left and taught by Mrs. Tillie Zeller, to the right was the sixth grade class taught by Mr. Martin Cox. Mrs. Zeller was a grandmotherly type teacher…ample in all the right places and kind with an endless supply of floral dresses.  Mr. Cox was very young…possibly in his first few years of teaching. He had one burgundy/maroon colored sweater that he favored…but often times wore a suit.  Both classes had about 16 students…maybe 18. 

We walked over as a group to the Elementary School to have lunch and I recall walking to Release Time Classes (Religion) on Wednesday mornings at Dorothy Noeske’s home.

There were swings in the school yard and one of those marvelous Merry Go Rounds you know the ones with heavily rutted paths all the way around.  You would grab ahold and run like the wind and then hop on…and if you were really brave you would wrap your legs around the bars and fall backwards your hair blowing in the breeze…laughing..always laughing.

Eventually the fifth and sixth graders were sent to Park Rapids to school…not sure when.

The school became a Community Center and served the Community in that capacity for a number of years.  Far Guy’s Grandmother Tracie was instrumental in it becoming a Community Center and a place for Senior Citizens Hot Lunch…her group raised funds to update the kitchen and to have the building’s roof repaired.

IMG_0908 Now it is back to being the Osage Schoolhouse.


Times change. The township sold the building.  Last winter crews were there working everyday…electricians, plumbers and carpenters.  Finally it was done.  There is even a deck off the sixth grade classroom.

I have not been inside.   They had an open house but we missed it.  Supposedly it sleeps twenty people and has a number of bathrooms.

I remember that the oak steps beyond the front door one set going to the right and one set to the left were worn from children’s feet…and the cloak rooms had their own unique smell…wet wool….and the blackboard was massive covering most of one wall in each room.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015


A long time ago I gave up my office space so that Far Guy could spread out…he was stuck in the back room upstairs.   I no longer needed a large office space. Trains and more trains

I encouraged him to build the shelf storage area on the wall…it is great for display and keeps the dust off some of the train cars.

The Water Tower

This replica of the water tower in Park Rapids is a new addition.   I walked by it one day with an armload of “stuff” and realized it is not fastened down.  I think it is a little tall, but he researched the height and width and made it to scale.  He carved it on the wood lathe.


The engine

Here is the engine coming out the covered bridge,  a few hoboes are resting near the green caboose. The water tank he built many years ago… candle wax made great blue water.

Prisioners and cows

Prisoners and cows occupy one corner of the layout….note the cop car!

Wall cabinet for trains

The wall cabinet should have been larger.

The work station

His work station…I see an ambulance still in its package and another water tower still in a box.


He has lots of “stuff” to dust.


The Drive In Theater had so many cars it finally got its own table.

Far Guy collects Lionel Trains and Cars O Scale,  he received a used train set for Christmas when he was about ten years old…he played “trains” often and finally all that remained was the engine and the tender when he began to collect all of the missing cars that had been blown up or started on fire…you know typical  “boy” stuff. ( FYI he can still recall the hole in the side of the tanker car after it started on fire.)

I think there may be just a few extra train cars under the table…just a hunch.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Train Show

We went to the Train/Toy Show over in Fargo.  We usually go every year.  It was a great day for a drive and when I got nice and cozy warm I had about 20 cat naps several naps along the way. (Far Guy was driving and Chance was back seat driving!)

Step right up or down

If you have ever taken the train you have watched a conductor put one of these down for you to disembark the train.

Toys at the Train and Toy Show

I like to look at all the toys…well except the tractors…and there was lots of those.

The old calendars were impressive.


I had a nice conversation with a young man about 11 years old who just began to collect Lionel Trains…it is his birthday soon and he was hoping to get an engine that gives out smoke…fun to see a new collector…he wanted to know what I had purchased I showed him…people to paint and a Post Office…I was just holding the bag for Far Guy!  (The little boy’s parents informed me that he was indeed getting an engine for his birthday.)

Just for the record I have no idea where Far Guy will find space for the Post Office.

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