Monday, July 31, 2017


You know what they say about curiosity?    It killed the cat.

Old house

Far Guy has been curious about his old home place ever since it was sold and then it got a new basement, which made him even more curious.  Then they moved the couch in front of the window and put up blinds.  There were always cars there during the day but hardly ever at night.  We knew that property was zoned commercial.  I told him I thought it might be a group home or something….especially after it got a handicap ramp.

One day when we were in town, he said “I am stopping there and knocking on the door.”  Okey dokey I will wait for you in the car (with my camera).

As soon as he knocked on the door I knew I should have accompanied him.  A Chihuahua barked…it was almost like old times. (His parents always had a Chichuahua.) 

He was welcomed warmly, as he told the lady at the door that he grew up in the house.  It is a meeting place for people who need some kind of assistance with their lives.  Not sure what kind as he didn’t take the brochure that was offered him.  One of the clients said “Better follow him around, he might have hidden money here a long time ago!”  Another client said “If you lived here maybe you knew my Dad.  In fact he is in the truck parked outside.”

old house two

Well…  I was walking around to the sidewalk taking photos outside, when I passed a truck I said Hello and kept walking.  On my way back the fellow held out a wrapped peppermint candy…I said “What is this sweet things for sweet things?”  He smiled.  I said “Thank you and headed for the car.

Far Guy got a quick tour. Instead of walking into the old porch you walk right into the old dining room which is a reception area.  He looked into the bathroom and discovered that they had moved the bathroom stool to where the bath tub used to be…he opened the downstairs door and said to himself yup still those step old steps.  He was invited to come back again sometime with me and my camera.

When Far Guy came out of the house he walked right over to the pickup and shook hands with the occupant.  They knew each other a long time ago as boys growing up in the old neighborhood.  He gave Far Guy a Peppermint candy too.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Where did the day go?

The days seem to go faster and faster.  We had some teenage boy company, one needed a little first aid and later they were pizza delivery boys ( we shared pizza with them, they are growing boys with bottomless pits for stomachs!) and I found some icy treats in the freezer.  One (Jordan) visited Chance several times…and there were hugs all around.

Far Guy and I carved out on the patio until the warmth and sunshine chased us in for a nap.   Supper was potato salad and some of that pizza.

Deer in the bean field one

We went for a ride in the evening.  There were many deer in the bean field.  Some were runners and others were too hungry to run off.

sunset on the bean field

Sunset on the bean field.

Sunset Nilsons barn

The sun is almost gone behind the neighbors barn.  Another day is over…summer days go much faster than winter days.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Friday Happenings

We had a get together and a potluck picnic with friends at Menahga before the concert.  I made potato salad and they all said they hoped I would bring that very dish. ( I might be a pretty good potato salad maker!)  Good food and good company. We got together to look and think back about one of our friends who died last winter…we are all wood carvers.  Norm died last winter and his daughter brought about six boxes of carving “stuff” to the library one day…so we all met to look it over.  I got a few interesting almost finished carvings that I will finish and donate to a fund raiser…Norm would have liked that.

After supper we headed over to the concert on the lake.  No rain this week, but the music pretty much sucked.  People were on their phones, one lady was even knitting…Far Guy and I boogied out at intermission.  The band was supposed to play 60’s music…one song was…the rest were heavy on badly played guitar solos… “original hits” that no one had heard before.

Concert one

Unknown concert goers

We had to feed Chance and take him for his walk anyways.   He started a new medication that the Vet said may help his right rear lameness/nerve problem.   The good news is that he is in fine heath otherwise his hips are great and his heart and lungs are good and strong, he could stand to lose a few pounds,  the other bad news was if he was a person he would need bifocals and he has a hemorrhoid. (getting older is a pain in the butt some days)

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Chance: Leg Troubles

Hiya it is me the most handsome Border Collie in Minnesota! 

I am having some leg troubles, my right rear leg collapses on me sometimes.  I had a couple of crashes on the steps, so now they have a fence up at the bottom of the stairs and I am not supposed to go up or down unassisted.

I am not in any pain…it just happens to older dogs…good thing I have three good legs!

I had company this week, I tried to play ball until Far Side said “NO more.”  She also said “Border Collies don’t know when to quit.”  These are some of my bestest friends from North Dakota, who used to live next door…the twins are the same age as me.  I got lots of lovin’. ( I am the reason they are not afraid of dogs…they were very afraid of me when I was little and they were little….then they learned to throw the ball.)


I gave them all kisses…IMG_3728

Sometimes I follow Far Side to the gardens.


Mostly I lay down to rest and sleep.  Far Side says with rest I might recover.  The next week or so will tell the story.   I had the same leg troubles last winter on the ice…but back then they blamed it on the ice… this time they think it is the nerves in my old back that causes my one weak leg.  They are taking good care of me!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Mom’s Flowers

My Mother has wonderful flower beds and flowers in containers.  I stopped by there one day this week when it was cloudy and got some great photos.  Love those cloudy days for flower photos!

Here are just a few of her flowers.

Moms Coneflowers and Hollyhocks

Coneflowers and Hollyhocks against Dad’s garage



Moms flowers (2)

Pot of petunias and daisies

moms flowers

Assorted pots

wagon full of flowers

The old wagon full of petunias

They have five gallon buckets that are situated to collect rain water so the flowers are all pampered.  No cold straight out of the hose water for these plants.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: Movie Theater

Park Rapids has always been a small town (3,709 population in 2016.)  When I was little they had two movie theaters.

I know I saw Bambi and Old Yeller at The Royal.  The Royal is now a bar that supposively serves the best hamburgers in Minnesota.

The Royal

This is the Royal.

The other theater is called Park Theater.

July 2010 repainting sign (2)

July of 2010 they sandblasted and repainted the sign.

SEpt 2010 Theater repainted (2)

Here it is during the construction of September 2010 all repainted.

Monday night we learned that there was a fire at the theater.


No one was injured.  From what we heard the damage was confined to the sign.


This marquee is iconic and Main Street would not be Main Street without it.


Main Street was busy, yes people park in the center of the street…the town was built in the late 1890’s and the Logging Companies would come in with their loads of logs on sleds or wagons depending on the time of year.  The Main Street was wide enough to drop a load of logs at the lumber company and turn a team around in the street.

Nowadays there is diagonal parking on both side of the street and two lanes in the center for center parking.

There were a number of people taking photos of the damage. 

This used to be one huge theater.  A movie would stay about two weeks, so every two weeks you could “go to the show.”   Nowadays it is three small theaters.  Adam and I have been in all three…he is my movie going grand.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pontoon Ride for 12

I went for a pontoon ride with my other baby brother, his wife, daughter Katie, and eight of their grands.  Two kids per adult!  (They have thirteen grands total but only eight went for the ride.)

I miss the chatter of children and the little girls kept talking and talking mostly about their chickens and what their names were( Poopy, Lena, Claire, Ena and many more I cannot remember! How the original Poopy died under the water dish one day so they just named another one Poopy) and how they were going to sell eggs….and the water and fishing…and snapping turtles.



Wind in their hair.

We saw seven loons total, that is a good amount for the lake….but NO babies.  Those darn Eagles feasted on all the babies.


Back on the dock I attemped a photo…



Note : The little girl with the pink pants, her flip flops don’t match.  When I pointed that out to her she said “ It’s all right, I couldn’t find the match.”



It was a fun time out on the lake.  I enjoy all the children.  They are all growing up so fast!  The oldest boys are thirteen years old  now.  Soon they will all be teenagers!

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Monday, July 24, 2017


We met Savannah and her beau and we went out for lunch.  I took her 21st birthday photo.

Savvan is 21

I also took a photo of her beau and her dog Chewy.

Savannah two (2)

Savannak four (2)

We had lunch at Applebees and then walked around Home Depot because we needed a few things to do a project.

Savannah is working two jobs and will finish up one class this Fall for her AA Degree and then hopes to attend a beauty school, she likes makeup and would like to apply makeup professionally.

Savannah’s kitty Luna went missing the night of the big storm (Friday) and hasn’t been seen since.  Someone left the door open a bit too long and Luna escaped. 

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Yard Report

Early last spring we crawled around the big bunch of grass that grows on the east side of the house, picking out lots of dead stuff and some weeds.  We hauled off two wheelbarrows full of dead stuff. This grass was growing here naturally when we built the house.

Big Bluestem

The clump has gotten larger over the years.  It must like this spot.  We never water it so it is a maintence free plant except for the spring cleanup…I think it is some kind of Canary Grass but I am not sure. It is quite tall, Far Guy says three feet, I say five feet so we are calling it four feet tall. I may measure it sometime in the light of day.

About 18 years ago I planted a Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticilata) on the west side of the house.  I am still waiting for it to bloom.

Japanese Tree Lilac

Waiting and waiting…  perhaps it is unhappy living amongst the oaks.  I am tempted to give it a trim.  Perhaps it was not a Japanse Tree Lilac afterall.


I have left the clover in the west yard for the bees but I will probably have to mow this week.  I saw only two bees over there this past week.  We don’t have bees like we had twenty years ago.

Pathetic Garden

My flower garden on the south side of the house is a failure this year. The squirrels have eaten many of the flowers and what is left is struggling to survive.  The only time the squirrels leave the area is when Chance is outside.

So much for my yard report. One of these days I will photograph the wild gardens and our newest planting.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Busy Week

We had three doctors appointments this past week, so far only one appointment for next week!  A week off for me as Far Guy can go to his Physical Therapy appointment all by himself.

Far Guy has a new Pulmonary Specialist who trained with the Doctor ( Alpha 1 Specialist) that we saw at the Mayo Clinic…so we feel that Far Guy is finally in good hands.  Far Guy is no better, but he is no worse either in regard to his Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.   The no worse part is in part due to the weekly infusions and staying away from sick people and anyone wearing fragrance of any kind including bug spray.

We had a date night last night and went out for a quick Walleye dinner and then headed over for the Spirit Lake Concert.  It was Bluegrass this week, there was a change of venue due to rain so it was moved indoors to the high school.  We stayed for half of the concert and then it got really warm so we came home and played cards with the neighbors.

We managed to up the total of Christmas Ornaments Ready to Paint: 55  Painted :3 Total 58.  This next week I will begin to paint a few more.

Far Guy is doing R and D on a new flower carving.  Here is the inspiration.

Indian Paintbrush

We headed to Sheilas place one night to take photos.  Sheila is attempting to carve Indian Paintbrush also.  I have an idea how I would do it…but right now I just don’t have the time to carve it…only to think about carving it. Sheila graduated from High School with Far Guy and is also in our woodcarving group.

Oh yes Community Education called and would like us to teach another soap carving class this winter. So I said yes…Far Guy and Sheila have agreed to help.

I didn’t mow the lawn this week, but I did spray a bunch of Poison Ivy along the road….It is a job I really enjoy.  I also weeded my poor pathetic flower garden that the squirrels have decimated.

We finally got about 2 inches of rain Friday evening.

Sun setting on Reinos Runway

Nearing sunset on the runway at Sheilas.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

A sign for Josh

My nephew Joshua asked me to paint a sign for his rock at the end of his driveway.  I said “Fine let me look at it.” Now his rock is pretty huge so I figured the sign would be a “project.”

The sign

As you can see it took up a large portion of my desk.  The letters were deeply imbedded in the wood and I used a dental syringe filled with paint to work my magic. 

That fish worried me.  Was it a Walleye? Possibly.  I knew it was not a Northern Pike.  It was not a Sunfish. I decided to just do some fish like colors!  I had never painted a fish before.  Uffda what have I gotten myself into???  Good thing I love my nephew! I will drive by this sign on the rock when ever I leave and return home …so it better be good!

Mason and Josh

I worked on it a number of hours days and fretted over that fish.  I finally called Josh to pick it up…he was in charge of sealing it.  He liked it and so did Mason.

Sign attachment in progress

Josh and Missy sealed it and last weekend it was attached to the rock.

Finished signs

An unexpected project was finished! 

I am not going into the sign painting business anytime soon.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Photo Bucket List: Flax

I have a photo bucket list.  One of the things on that list was to photograph a field of Flax. 

Yesterday Chance had to go out early so after he did his business we headed out.  My other baby brother told me about a field up on the prairie.

IMG_3206 (2)

Flax only blooms for part of the day.

IMG_3208 (2)

I will wait a few days and go back again.  There are new flowers everyday…until it is bloomed out and the seed heads are formed.

IMG_3218 (2)

Flax fields are rare in this area. Of course there are different kinds of Flax…oilseed or linen seed.  The oilseed type can be used to make a flour, as a cattle feed or pressed for their oil.  The linen seed type can be used to make  fiber that can be spun …it is called linen (The stalks are dried and pounded and the fibers spun.)

It has been 60 years since I first saw a Flax field south of Lake Park Minnesota late one Sunday morning on my way to Uncle Theron and Aunt Skip’s house.  I have never forgotten what a beautiful sight it was.

Baby Buffalo and Lightning are still on my photo bucket list.

We have smoke in the air from the fires in Canada.

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