Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year in Review

Time to wrap up this year. it seems like only a few days ago that I wrote the review for 2015.  Times flies!

Trica is a Nurse Practitioner at a Clinic in  Northern Minnesota. Trica’s husband Richard is in the Radio Business.

Jennifer continues to teach English at a Community College.  She  is the Mayor of their little town.   Jen’s husband Andy teaches Electronic Technology and Automated Systems at a Community College.  He is the Fire Chief in their little town.  Andy is a First Responder.

Savannah is going to a Community College for elementary education.  A few days ago she was contemplating going to school for Cosmotology. She works part time for her Dad at the Radio Station.Savannah

Madison graduated from High School. She has two jobs one as a bartender and the other answering phones.  She will begin classes at a Community College in January to be a Dental Hygentist.


Paige is a Senior she is the Captain of the Hockey Team, she is taking some college courses.  She is being scouted for Hockey Scholarships. Paige works part time in a Sports Store. She would like to go to school for Pre Med.

Paige and Chance Letter Jacket

Noah would be technically a Senior in High School, but he is a PSEO Student at a Community College. (Post Secondary Enrollment Options.)  He plays guitar and violin.  He is working part time at Noodles and Co. He is in Vex Robotics. Noah will graduate twice in May of 2017…from Northland Community College with a two year degree and a week later from High School. He would like to go to school for Pre Med.


Adam is in ninth grade.  He plays the Cello.  He is in Vex Robotics.



Chance is twelve.  He struggles with stairs and sleeps a lot. He trys to play ball every day but running tires him out.  He still manages to walk to the mailbox everyday.

Trica and Richard still have Jade and one cat….Bailey.

Savannah has a big dog named Chewy and Luna her kitty.

Madison has the horse of a dog Deacon and her kitty Ziggy.


Paige has a new pig named Sigourney.


  Sadly Paige’s kitty Skittles escaped through an open door and was never seen again.

Skittles 2010 to 2016 

Jen’s Miney is eleven, Andy’s Little Elvis is six…I think he loves Noah more than Andy!  Chaucer the cat survived another year…this year he survived chewing through Christmas Tree lights.

Biggest Change: We didn’t have any huge changes this year.  We lead a quiet life.

Biggest Frustrations: The medical and medicare system.  Waiting on the phone listening to elevator music for who knows how long before a real person will answer your questions.  People who use perfume or aftershave and say “I just use a little.”

Deaths: My Aunt Grace died in May she was 82 years old.  This year a number of neighbor ladies died; Hazel Eskola died last December 29 at the age of 87, Vi Mack died in January at the age of 89, Mary Harris died in May she was 83 and Irene Mack was 94 when she died in May. I knew all these ladies from the time I was born…except for Mary…I met her when I was about 14.  May they all Rest In Peace.

Births: None in our immediate family.

Happiest Moments: Time spent with our children and grands…and of course Chance.


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Friday, December 30, 2016

Rare Squirrel

We have one Black/Brown Squirrel.  He lives on the west side of the house and has his home high in an Oak Tree. 

Far Guy put an ear of corn out on the bench…one day he whispered to me “The Black Squirrel is eating on the cob….better grab your camera.”

The photos were taken through the window.Black Squirrel and corn

I think he or she is a Black/Brown Squirrel.  Having one normal gene and one mutant gene.

Black Squirrel

If he/she had two mutant genes he/she would be real dark black.

Shortly after I took these photos the cob disappeared.   The ornery old Gray Squirrels don’t like this Black/Brown Squirrel, they chase him/her.  BUT the Grays were not smart enough to sit up on the bench either…I hope the Black/Brown Squirrel got the cob!

There are some Black Squirrels in town, we used to have one at the Museum.  I have read that only 1 in 10,000 will be a Black or Black-Brown color.

Do you have any Black Squirrels in your area?

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Nine years

I have been blogging for nine years.  It doesn’t seem like it has been that long. It has been an adventure, one that I enjoy.   I have met many other bloggers from all over the world, visiting them is like going on a vacation without leaving the comfort of my home.

The Grands have grown up on this blog. A few even read it from time to time.

I guess I have just a few more things to say….a few more history related stories to leave for the Grands…I have all the emails that I sent during the Flood of 1997, a Indiana friend Ardith saved them for me.   I also have a whole bunch of letters that I wrote to my best friend Susan in the late 1980’s and 1990’s… she actually saved them all for me.

So I will continue.

George Vancouver 

These beautiful George Vancouver roses are for me today and I hope you will enjoy them too. In the midst of winter I can almost smell these blooms that are clustered together on the bush like little bouquets.

Thank you for reading!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Midway Memories: Hubert

Hubert called the other day.  He was real upbeat.  Most of the time he calls when he needs cheering up.  Lois died a few years back, he is lonely and can see the cemetery where she is from his home.  He has made all his final arrangements and we will be notified if he dies. He doesn’t like to talk about Carnival life anymore…but he does talk about Lois, his neices in Iowa, fishing and life in Oklahoma.

I understand that Hubert was different when he was younger.

He had a wife named Wanda and two children. One day Hubert caught his wife with another man. Hubert had a gun and he shot Wanda in the leg.  Hubert went to prison. They got divorced.  Hubert was estranged from his children…and as far as I know he still is.

Hubert married Lois after he got out of the slammer.  Hubert went back out on the road.  He was the best “Wheel Man” you could find.  Far Guy worked the top of the wheel for him, a very dangerous job.  They were with Merriams for years. Lois worked in the Office and was in charge of the Ticket Sellers.  They left Merriams in 1971.  They went over to Midway of Fun.  We went to vist them in Winter Quarters near Detroit Lakes Minnesota.

After a few years they bought a Swinging Gym and went independent.  I am not quite sure what happened next…somehow they were bilked out of a bunch of money.  They retreated to Oklahoma.  I lost touch with them for a number of years.  Then one day I wrote a letter to the Cafe in a small town near where I thought they lived, the mailman happened to be in the Cafe and dropped the letter off for them…the phone rang later that day.  We had a wonderful phone visit…and many more after that!

Lois asked me to help locate Hubert’s children.  I helped to locate them, they wanted nothing to do with their father.  That made me sad, and it made Lois sad too…but there was nothing we could do about it…we never told Hubert of the search or the outcome.

In my opinion those kids are missing out on knowing a better version of their Dad.  Time is getting short as Hubert is now in his 80’s.

Scan0176 (2)

A photo I took from on top of the Slide in 1970 or 1971.   The Trabant is out in front. The Boss is at the controls.  On the left is a Side Show, Swingin Gym and the Wheel.  On the right is the Office Trailer, Kenny’s Joint (Darts), unknown joint and the Hot Wagon. This photo was taken in Schuyler Nebraska with a little Swinger Polaroid Camera.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


We all like a good puzzle.  It is addicting…kinda like those pistachios that Far Guy is addicted to!


Those pieces did not fit.  Two of them.  I wrote the company an email and complained.

Less than five minutes later Handy Andy solved the dilema, one piece was not a good fit in it’s spot, he found the problem piece and fixed it which in turn made the other two pieces fit fine.


This was a very difficult puzzle, the sky and the grass drove us nuts.  Jen says that puzzles should be rated for their difficulty and this one would rate real high. We left it out on my desk for a long time…it was a very pretty puzzle.

There was some double tapping and sometimes even a triple tap!

Everyone is back home safely and the house seems empty….even Chance misses the company.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

The Christmas Report

We ate …pulled pork and corn bread pudding on Christmas Eve after church.  Christmas morning was cinnamon rolls, egg bake and sausages.  Christmas evening we had a skillet meal of hash browns, scrambled eggs, pulled pork and cheese.  AND the plates of goodies Jen brought with her are awesome! 

We exchanged gifts and had a round of White Elephant Gifts…where the “hot” gifts were a package of Gushers, colorful Chip Clips and a package of Pistachios. We all get a gift and then roll dice for doubles, a two or a five to steal a gift from someone else.

It started sleeting on Christmas Day in the afternoon, then it rained and it is snowing at the moment (10 PM Christmas Night as I am writing this.)  Earlier when I walked the dogs the tree branches were coated in ice.
 Shortest to tallest
The Four Grands shortest to tallest…Noah gets to be tallest for one more Christmas but his brother is gaining fast!
Tall ones
Official stocking footed back to back photo…Adam has taller shoulders than his brother but as Adam said “Noah has a longer neck.”
Jen and andy and boys
Jennifer, Andy and the boys.
jen and Trica
Our daughters Jennifer and Trica
We missed Savannah again this year, but she was in her own home and she had her first real tree this year.
Next Christmas our group will have a newcomer.
Maddies baby bump
Maddie and her baby bump
Next year our oldest daughter Trica will be a Grandmother and in turn we will be Great Grandparents.
Gene and Connie at the shiny brite tree
Me and Far Guy by the Shiny Brite Tree  Christmas 2016
Jen, Andy and the boys will stay here until it is safe to travel.  Trica and Richard and the girls are safe at Richard’s brothers.
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

1912 postcard

This is an old postcard greeting from 1912.

Far Guy is always in charge of the Christmas letter.   Here is this years letter.


Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Preparations

My husband bakes awesome Caramel Rolls which he calls Cinnamon Rolls.  What ever he calls them they are delicious! Jen was the assistant baker.  They made two pans.

Cinnamon Rolls

The are packaged and put away until Christmas morning…but we did have to taste test them just to make sure they were as good as they looked.

DEc 23 roads

I am pretty sure we will have a white Christmas.

All the deliveries were made and the last minute items picked up in town.

The first puzzle has begun Dec 23

A puzzle was started, a place to gather and hunt and search…and sometimes double tapping when you get a piece in place.  Double tapping irritates some people.

Miney Dec 23


Jen and Miney came to keep us company help us run errands and get organized before everyone else arrives. We had a busy day.

Happy Christmas Eve!

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Before Christmas

What a weather week…and it ain’t over yet.  Thursday we were at 31F or 0C…remember last Sunday it was –29F or –20C eh?  That is 60 degrees difference.  Today it is supposed to be warmer than 31F…we will see.  This warmer weather allowed me to wash the nose prints off the windows.

Odda and Chance Dec 21

Odda came to visit Chance so we had double the nose prints.  She was lonely. She knows where we live and that we will call her Master to come and get her.

Chance Dec21

We had big fluffy snowflakes on Wednesday.

Snow Dec21

I had a nice walk outside with the dogs. It was quiet as the snow fell, the birds and squirrels were all hiding. 

We may have rain on Christmas Day and then snow. It may be a blizzard. We will see how it all pans out…pretty strange weather.  I should have my head examined…cause I just wish it would stay about zero to 10 above all winter.  The roads are a mess;  slippery, snow packed, melting, freezing.  It would be okay if you were the only idiot on the road…but there are lots of idiots that want to go faster into the ditches.

We still have 8 inches of snow at the snowstick.  Snow settles. I have more shoveling to do.  It is a part time job.

I have a few odds and ends to pick up in town and then I am done.  I have two packages to deliver and some freshly baked loaves of Pumpkin Bread.  I made some gluten free loaves, they taste ok but they look not so pretty. I had to fight to get them out of the pans!  They are for my Dad and my Aunt…both will undertand that I am not really a baker.  Come to think of it, I have had that problem before and I just used paper muffin cups…well it is too late for that now.  I will have to make a notation on my recipe.  I should have bought 3M stock years ago…with the amount of Post It notes I use.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chance: The Trees

Hiya it is me Chance the most handsome Border Collie in all of Minnesota…and perhaps the smartest one too!

One afternoon they set up two trees in the house, one upstairs…I don’t care about that one but they moved furniture downstairs and put up a tree there too!

I can no longer play keep away or run around the circle…since it is blocked with a love seat.  I am not a fan of CHANGE.  Now I have to make a circle around the coffee table…so does Far Guy when he does his walk in the house.  Sometimes he loses track of his laps, so he puts ten pennies in his pocket and deposits one at the end of every round into a pretty little bowl on the windowsill in the kitchen.  Whatever works!
Chance on the couch
This is my loveseat and it used to be where that tree is.
worried chance
Far Side says “Don’t worry Chance Christmas trees don’t stay up forever.”

I don’t go up to the way upstairs anymore.  They could put both trees up there!   I used to go up there to visit and look out the door…but I am getting older and the steps are getting to be too much for me. I still make it up the steps to the landing but not way upstairs.  Far Side says it is just as well, less dog hairs to clean up.
Chance and the tree

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wistful Wednesday : Christmas 1991

We lived at the lake in 1991. ( Just a half a mile from where we live now.)  I was running the resort and Far Guy was commuting 180 miles every day…90 miles in the morning and 90 miles at night.  He went through a couple of cars.

Jennifer was a Sophomore in High School and Trica was in her second year at Moorhead State University.   We had quite a menagerie of animals…a goat, horses, rabbits, cats and dogs.
Christmas 1991
Me with Captain and Moses, Jennifer with Misty and G’Day Mate, Far Guy, Trica with Caramel.   We had at least one other cat named Shadow and possibly one called Snowballs Chance in Hell…Snowball or Snowy for short. (We were his hospice home for two years.)

The tree was a little short that year…I think it might have been a fake tree…as I was tired of pine pitch and needles and a fire hazard in the house.

Back then we were both on the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department and on Boards at Church, we were so busy.   Sometimes I wonder how we did it all, but we were younger then!

I am not sure who took this photo, it was most likely taken the day after Christmas…the photographer might have been Richard ( to be son in law.)  I know he was around then because Caramel was a gift to Trica from him.  Edit: Some other boyfriend named Kelly gave her Caramel. She already had a cat named Shadow from a former boyfriend…good thing she didn’t have too many more boyfriends.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

47 years and counting

We got married 47 years ago. High School Sweethearts.  We were young.  Statistics were not on our side, we beat the odds.

Those first years were hard, but we had many good times together as a young couple before we had children.  Children change your dynamic as a couple, there is no more I or we…it is the children, the us… a family…a team.

It was 20 below zero that Saturday morning, we were married at 2 in the afternoon. 

Wedding announcement in the newspaper

Wedding announcement and Engagement

We were engaged on July 5 1969 and married December 20 1969.

It has been give and take and communication that has gotten us this far.   We were friends first, and we are still best friends.  More wedding photos can be found here.

Happy Anniversary to us!  We will have a quiet day at home and we will cook supper together…we have the fixins for a lobster and steak supper.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Handmade Ornaments and Cold Weather

I have several very special handmade ornaments from a few of the Grandkids.  I am not sure they even remember.

Yarn Hat from savannah

A little yarn hat from Savannah, she made two; one for us and one for Chance!

Yarn Hat from savannah (2)

I think the hats were made about 2007. 

Adams handmade ornament

Adam made me this angel ornament in 2010.

Maddies cinnamon ornament

Maddie made this angel cinnamon ornament in 2007. Nine years ago and you can still smell the cinnamon.


It was pretty cold on Sunday morning. By Tuesday we will be 60 degrees warmer…crazy weather anyway.

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