Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year in review

Boy that year sure went fast.  Time for the updates.
Tricand Dick familyTrica and her family
Trica is a Nurse Practitioner at a Clinic in Northern Minnesota. Trica’s husband Richard is in the Radio Business.  They have a Black Lab named Jade and a kitty named Bailey.  This year they moved to a home in the country.
a and J
Jen and her family
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.  Andy is a First Responder and very active in Vex Robotics.  They have two Shelties; Miney (12) and Little Elvis(7) and a very old cat that may outlive all of us named Chaucer.  They continue to renovate their early 1900’s foursquare craftsman home.
The Grands:
Savannah one (2)
Savannah and her dog Chewy.  She also has a kitty named Luna.   Savannah works three jobs…she is a sales person at JCPenney, a personal care assistant and works at the radio station for her Dad.  Savannah is our giggly grand.
Maddie 20 days before Mikey was born
Maddie… I took this photo of Maddie twenty days before Mikey was born.   Maddie is in school to become a Dental Assistant, she would like to work in Oral Surgery…like she says she will be saving the world one tooth at a time.  She will be done with school in May and do her Internship during the summer. She has her horse of a dog Deacon and a kitty named Ziggy.  Maddie is our most easy going grand…she goes with the flow.
Paige graduated from High School.  She attended St Catherines for one semester and has now transfered to the University of Minnesota in Duluth. She would like to pursue a career in medicine. She spent Christmas in the Florida Keys.  Paige has a pot bellied pig named Sigourney for a pet.  Paige is our Grand that calls just cause she misses us.
Jen and Noah
Noah graduated from Northland Technical College with a AA degree one week and the next week he graduated from High School.  He has declared a major of Chemistry, attends the University of North Dakota and would like to do something in the medical field. (his Mom is on the faculty at Northland…so she walked for his graduation…and her students)  Noah likes college and he works part time at Noodles. He has an apartment very near the campus.  He is our most serious Grand.
Adam is a sophomore in High School.  He plays the cello and is very active in Vex Robotics.  He has his drivers license and a car…a red one.   Adam is Adam…he was delighted  at Christmas with a pair of Spock Socks and a lego keychain.  Adam is the grand that always makes us smile.  He is very tall. ( I could have used him when I was decorating that tree!)
Great Grand:
Mikey was born the end of May.  He is a happy little boy unless he is hungry.
Hey Mikey
hey Mikey!  One month old.
Mikey at seven months old.  He can sit up by himself and is beginning to show some interest in crawling.  He keeps his Mom real busy!
Births in our immediate family:  Mikey…his parents call him Kaine but his Great Grandpa and I call him hey Mikey!
Biggest Changes: We are a nursing home for an aging Border Collie…we have made adjustments to care for him properly.  He almost died the first part of December…so he is on a strict diet. I am not sure what is better, let him eat what he likes and have him live a short time or manage his diet and have him live longer but more whiney cause he is hungry.
Biggest Frustrations:   I had one major surgery and three minor ones…we have learned that only one of us can be sick/recovering at a time.  We are better off if I am not the sick and recovering one.  ( All surgeries had good outcomes except for the carpal tunnel which I am still recovering from.)  People and perfume/aftershave…Far Guy struggles to breathe with every little bit of fragrance…even someone’s fragrant shampoo….body lotion… smelly fabric softner sheets they use on their clothing.  I am tempted to ask everyone that comes into the house to shower upstairs with our soap and shampoo while I wash their clothing and then come down to visit. If you struggled to breathe and then felt like your lungs were burned for days afterwards how would you feel?   Far Guy still struggles with Trigeminal Neuralgia and with Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency. Unnecessary germs; Check out clerks coughing and hacking away and then handling our groceries….we stand back and watch the checkout people…and pick the healthy looking ones!   In Walmart we have learned to use the self check outs.
Deaths: Two of my Aunts died this past year.  My Aunt Kay in February she was 76 years old. She was married to my Uncle Butch (My Mothers brother) who died a number of years ago.  My Aunt Karen died in May she was 65 years old ( She is my Mother’s youngest sister.) We are still waiting for her ashes to be returned to Minnesota so we can have some kind of graveside service….it doesn’t seem right to have …nothing. 
Happiest Moments: Watching our daughters manage life events… graduations and births.  When Mikey was born safely and Maddie was okay.  Spending time with our children and grandchildren and now a great grandson too!
Chance Dec 21
And of course time spent with Chance.  It is his favorite time of year…snow eating time!
That about wraps up our year. We spend much of our time quietly at home, most days we get along together just fine.  Sometimes we kinda feel like hermits…but that is okay too. 
Happy New Years Eve! We will have a nice supper…steak I think…and maybe we will share a beer…and we will most likely be asleep before the new year is ushered in.
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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ongoing Project: School Days

One of my “ongoing” projects has been gathering together small school photos of the girls.  Good grief those photos were here and there and not in the right size.  Everytime I discovered a school photo it was like Christmas for me, progress was so slow I was not sure the project would ever get finished.  I eventually scanned the larger ones and found a place online that would convert my scans to whatever size I wanted.  Finally I dared to hope that I could finish the project.

Some projects take on a life of their own.  I was obsessed with finding the photos and trying to figure out what years they were from without asking the girls.  Afterall I am their Mother and I should recall.

It was a project that I started a number of years ago…like about 15 years…uffda.

It must have been about 2002/2003 or so that I made scrapbooks for both of the girls that concentrated on their school days.

It was shortly after that when I found the perfect addition to their scrapbooks.

Trica Trica



I wrapped them up as Christmas gifts.  I think I got the years all correct except Jen’s 10th and 11th grade photos are reversed.

I also included a simple family tree.  I have more detailed family trees that covers many more generations but this simple one is a great addition to a scrapbook

Family Tree

I was happy to finish this ongoing project that never made my list last year.  It was the only “from the heart” project that I finished before Christmas.

It is really cold here.  We are safe and warm and working on various projects and napping.

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Friday, December 29, 2017

10 years

I have been blogging ten years now. 

Last year my daughter said “Mom go for ten.”  check mark

I wanted to write about the flood of 1997.  check mark

I wanted to write Midway Memories. check mark

There are some subjects I have totally ignored.  Perhaps I will get to them in year eleven God willing and the crick don’t rise.

orange Echinace

As is my custom…I give myself some flowers.  This time an Echinacea that is orange…with two bees and off to the side for good measure is a pesky old fly.

Blogging is a great hobby.  I am not perfect when it comes to spelling (no spell check on the software I use) or sentence structure…oh well. It is what it is.  Most times I just share what is on my mind…or something I took a photo of or something that was irritating me.  Sometimes I think Far Guy just reads my blog to find out if he is in the dog house or not…or if I am cranky.

Thank you for coming along on this blogging adventure!

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Thursday, December 28, 2017


I suppose you have all heard about the cold wave. This was Wednesday morning.   

How cold is it

With the proper clothing it is possible to venture outside.  We are getting relief for one day and then back into the deep freeze.  It may get a few degrees above zero today!!  It is cause to celebrate.

Just another day in Minnefreezeyourbuttoffsota.

It was so cold our remote thermometer broke and we had to venture to town to buy a new one.  The new one is guaranteed to –40 F.  We will see.

Huge flocks of the little Redpolls are here and they are hungry! 

So is someone else in the neighborhood.


This Hawk scared all the Redpolls off and sat up in the tree for a long time.  He/she finally took off.  I have no idea what kind of Hawk this is other than a hungry one.


We have a couple of tree rats squirrels that make their way to our yard every day.  Far Guy had a weasel in his garage one night…so the mouse population should be dropping in numbers.


We have six inches of snow at the snowstick.  I am thankful that we got a good snow cover before it got so cold.

There was a big power outage in the Park Rapids area…for about eight hours many people were without electricity.  (We have a gas fireplace and will keep warm if we lose power.) I also heard that Park Rapids made the National News because it was the coldest spot in the Lower 48 the other day.

We have many projects to keep us busy…and we can always grab a long winters nap.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wistful Wednesday : Christmas 1996

Back in 1996 we were new grandparents.  Savannah was just 5 months old that Christmas.  We lived in Harwood North Dakota…Savannah lived with her parents up in Buxton North Dakota. 
We decided that she should have a little red wagon for Christmas.
Christmas 1996 me and Mate
Here I am showing G’Day Mate that the wagon is not big and scary.   Usually I could talk those Shelties into just about anything. ( Yes I have my jammies on…a big nightshirt and a pair of sweatpants….real stylish.)
Christmas 1996 Moses, G’Day Mate and Captain
This photo hangs in our home. G’Day Mate or “Mate” and Captain were litter mates….Captain was the runt and I struggled to keep him alive…I slept next to the whelping crate and had him nurse every two hours.  His litter mates were fat and sassy and he was just a little guy.  Moses is their father….at the time this photo was taken their Mother Miss Misty had died from pancreatitis earlier that year. We missed her that Christmas….truth be told I still miss her…I miss all of them.  They were wonderful companions…they followed me everywhere…Moses was my protector.
Savannah and her wagon
Eventually Savannah showed up and rode around the house in her wagon. Her Auntie Jen pulled her around and around from the living room through the hall into the dining room/kitchen and back into the living room…with dogs following her.
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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Grands and Great

We gathered.  Jen, Andy and the boys came on Christmas Eve and Trica, Richard and the girls on Christmas Day.

The grands DEc 25

Here they are…  our “Grands” that light up our lives.  We were thankful that Savannah was able to join us this year.  Paige spent Christmas in the Florida Keys…we missed her.  She called us, cause she missed us too.

The grand plus one

“Grands” plus one “GREAT”

Mikey seems to like the tall boys and looks at them in complete adoration!


hey Mikey!

Mikey can sit up by himself. We got him a toy train with zoo animals that has lights and sounds and should drive his parents and grandparents a little nutty.  He liked the wrapping paper just as much as his gifts!! Mikey is seven months old.





Noah and Little Elvis

Noah and Little Elvis



We are thankful for those who were able to join us.

Our weather turned really cold.  It is was –25 F or –31C eh! with a wind chill of –45 on Christmas Day in the morning. We are in the deep freeze and won’t be getting out for at least a week…maybe longer. Day time high temperatures will not break the zero mark.  Good thing we have a well stocked pantry and freezer…we will not be venturing far from home.

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Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

We would like to extend a Merry Christmas to all! We are having a cool white Christmas here in Minnesota…we got some fresh snow and it is way below zero.

Shiny Brite tree

Shiny Brite tree two

The Shiny Brite tree is complete.

Here is our Christmas Letter 2017.  I don’t have a photo of my finished Christmas card…I mailed them all off without a photo of the finished card… they were all pretty and glittery.

Christmas Letter 2017

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

One Tree

I am still working on the upstairs Shiny Brite WILL be accomplished today.  Jen and her family are coming and they will want my mess cleaned up!

Here is the downstairs tree.

Tree in the corner downstairs

Chance really doesn’t like that the furniture has been moved.  He is still confused by the new configuration.  We put the tree in the corner …it is out of the main path of wagging tails.

New ornament fron Jolynn

A woodburned snowflake ornament from Jolynn.


The little deer ornament is the only ornament that I purchased for our tree this year.

Tree in the corner

It lights up the corner at night.  I think we are due for new lights.  Far Guy says maybe red…that may work…or clear…or multi color…time will tell.  Years ago we had multi colored lights before the blue.

Happy Christmas Eve!

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Almost a Wrap

One more gift to pick up and wrap and then I am done. 

All the pumpkin bread and fudge has been delivered to relatives and neighbors.  A few 2017 woodcarved ornaments to special people have been delivered.  Not sure what I am forgetting.

I have one “from the heart project” that may or may not be completed…I will give it my best.

I am tired.  It is cold here…and snowy.  I could use a long winters nap…or hibernation til spring.

This is a crock

I should dust…shovel snow…sleep…stress makes me sleepy and then nothing is accomplished. 

A long time friend has a birthday party today…she is 100 years old.  I hope to attend the party.

Our niece Megan and her husband Frank have had a sad week.  Frank’s father died  suddenly last Tuesday he was 68 years old.  The funeral is today. We will send a card to let them know we are thinking of them.

Anniversaries, birthdays, deaths, Doctor’s appointments and Christmas preparations…what a week.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

White Christmas

We got about 5 inches of new fluffy dry snow.  That makes the total at the snowstick 7 inches.

Far Guy shoveled some, I shoveled some…and my brother came along and cleared our driveway and yard.  There is still some shoveling to do.  I like to clear the patio of snow…right now it is covered.

snow removal

I took this photo out of the kitchen window.

Sunset was really pretty on Dec 21 the shortest day of the year.

Sunset Dec 21

This is a sunset view I had as a child. The wind would rip through that field and the snow used to settle in our driveway.  This is where I would stand and wait for the bus. It is just two miles from where we live now. The view of the trees in the distance and the field have not changed in 64 years….I find it comforting that some things stay the same.


The downstairs tree is finished.  Jinx the Lumberjack is visiting there for a few days.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017


The stockings have been hung on the fireplace mantle…only two so far but everyone will bring theirs along.  If you don’t bring your stocking you get a plastic bag.


This sock has been repaired.  One year Far Guy sat the stocking down…Chance retrieved it and chewed a hole in it to get at some candy…so it is a sock with some history.

A long time ago Far Guy’s Maternal Grandmother made feldt stockings for Trica and Jennifer.  They were hung up on Christmas Eve and just like magic they would be filled in the morning. I wonder if the girls still have those stockings?   Jennifer made the stockings that are hung on our fireplace mantle.

stockings 2017

When I was growing up we didn’t have stockings to hang up.  Far Guy says yes he had a stocking and it was hung on the closet door knob in the living room and something would be in it on Christmas morning.

Did you have a stocking to hang up?

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