Saturday, September 30, 2017

To be or not to Bee

The other day I noticed a Bumble Bee that had succumbed to a pollen overdose either that or it was in a catatonic state.

Pollen overdose

Perhaps it was just his/her time.  I did think “poor bee.”  I did not touch it just incase it was just sleeping.  I am allergic…so I kept my distance. In my old age I am becoming less afraid of them and don’t go ballistic when I see one.

We have very few bees around here, in my opinion the crop spraying in the vicinity has killed off a number of bees.  Away from here there are bees.  You cannot leave your windows down, they are insistant about getting inside a vehicle and are often seen right in front of a vehicles radiator…perhaps saying a one last good bye to relatives…or parts of relatives.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Cooking up something different

I am trying to prepare something new every couple of weeks to add to our list of favorite dishes. I like reading cookbooks and subscribe to a number of magazines that have recipes that call for 20 some ingredients and all afternoon to prepare….sometimes I can adapt a recipe to our simple tastes that doesn’t take all day to prepare.

Some new recipes are misses for one of us like Squash Delight which Chance and I loved, Far Guy not so much. I liked it so much that Chance and I will have it when Far Guy has Gumbo.

Fancy Mac and Cheese

6-8 thick slices of bacon on a lined baking dish and throw it in the oven until it is crispy. 400 F for about 12 minutes..less if your use thin bacon. Do not overcook…just crispy not burned.

1 Sweet Potato peeled and chopped into bite size pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven turning every once in awhile until sweet potatoes are soft and a little browned about 18 minutes in the oven.

3 Cups of Rigatoni cook until done … about 15 minutes.  Cooked longer than 15 minutes and the noodles tend to flatten out…I know this from experience. Retain some of the cooking water just incase you need it later.

Drain noodles, add 2 cups of cheese, I used Monterey Jack because we like that flavor but it sticks to the pan…next time I might try a different cheese.  I think the recipe called for marscarpone cheese and cheddar…I might try cheddar but have no idea what marscarpone cheese tastes like. ( If it is like Ricotta Cheese we don’t like it.) Add noodle water to make it creamier if desired.

Anyways chop the bacon into small pieces and add them and the roasted sweet potatoes to the noodles and cheese….stir well.  Salt and pepper to taste

This was advertized as a 20 minute meal, it took me longer than that.  I found the recipe in the September 2017 issue of Good Housekeeping.

It made four servings.  We declared it a 10 out of 10 stars and will make it again someday. Chance liked it too, especially the slice of bacon that I cooked for him, and the pan that I mixed everything in…he loves stuck on cheese.

Here is a pretty flower…a Cosmos amongst the Echinacea/Purple Coneflowers.

Cosmos among the Echinacea

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Chance: Hiya!

Hiya!  It is me Chance. 

One day Far Side said “He looks a little scruffy and I cannot clip his toe nails do you want to do it?”  Far Guy said “no” so an appointment was made.  I knew something was up when Far Side was up really early, got dressed in real clothes instead of her jammies and walked me in the rain all around the yard before putting me in the car…

Chance before


Chance after grooming


Either way I think I am still handsome!  I have less hair to fill up with burrs and prickly seeds.  Far Side says my fluffy tail was a leaf collector.

I am feeling pretty good, I still need some help getting into the vehicle, and sometimes I am a little SLOW going up the steps. 

A deer snorted at me yesterday…I chased it about 20 feet and then decided it could run way faster than me.   A bear was seen in the neighborhood..a big bear…I have not seen it.  Jody and one of my favorite people in the whole world saw it coming out of the corn field and into our woods.  Far Side said “Well that is scary now we have to watch for a bear again.”

Handsome Chance

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: More Football

It must be the chill in the air that makes me think of Football.

Homecoming is this week.  I recall that we had different kind of days during homecoming week.  One day was orange and black day and one day was probably dress up day.  I have heard of some schools having a pajama day or a hat day but I do not recall that we had them.  Far Guy says that he remembers a dress up day, but he didn’t dress up any different, when I asked him about orange and black day he didn’t “do” that one either.

The different classes would decorate store windows downtown and there was a contest for the best window and the class would get together and make thousands of kleenex flowers to tuck into chicken wire on a hay wagon for a homecoming float…and we would hope it did not rain. 

The Thursday night before homecoming there would be a huge bonfire in the old parking lot of the High School (now a parking lot on the east side of Hugo’s grocery store) wood would be piled up and a dummy dressed in an old football uniform would be burned.  There was also some kind of snake dance where you grabbed the persons waist in front of you and danced around the parking lot. I only went to the Thursday night Bon Fire once and that was with my best friend Cathie who lived in town.

Football senoirs 1968

This is an old photo of the Class of 1968 Football Players.  I knew two of these guys really well #79 and #82  I sat between them in Study Hall.  Back then I should have had them explain the rules of Football to me…as it has always been a game that escapes me.  I went to football games purely for the social interaction.  I knew enough to cheer when someone made a touchdown or kicked a goal.  FYI I never dated anyone in the above photo.

Football 1968 team

Here we have the entire team in the fall of 1967,  it has players from the Classes of 1968,1969( my class)and 1970. Teachers, Chefs, Pawn Store Operators, Lawyers, Business Owners, Doctors, Bankers, Executives and even a Farmer. I did have a date or two with the Farmer.  I would get to know #76 quite well as he lived next door to Far Guy…sadly he died in a car accident June 14th 1970.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017


The leaves are changing and falling.

I suppose it is time. They must fall in the Fall.

Far Guy mulched (chopped up) the leaves the other day.  Round one is done…about nine more to go.

I cannot drive the lawn mower yet…maybe next week.  I could kinda drive the buggy in the grocery store yesterday….with more than one hand.  So that is an improvement.

Changing fast 

It is cool and rainy here.  We should be at peak leaf color in a few days.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Painted Ladies

The Sedum has attracted the Painted Ladies and some of her friends.
Painted Lady Such a pretty little butterfly.
undeside of a Painted Lady
The underside of her wings. 
She shared a spot with a Bumble Bee.
I planted this Sedum about 19 years ago along my garage.  It used to be just covered with Bumble Bees in the Fall…
Two Bumble Bees
Not so much this year. I think that is a Common Eastern Bumble Bee on the left and a Red Belted Bumble Bee on the right.
We just don’t have bees like we used to.
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Sunday, September 24, 2017


The Woodbine or it’s real real name Parthenocissus inserta is coloring nicely.  This vine loves to grow up the Oaks.  Woodbinds send out tendrils that attach themselves into cracks in the tree bark.

Parthenocissus inserta or Woodbine

The bugs that have eaten holes in the foliage make it appear quite lacy when the sky shines through.  Lately it rains two days and the sun shines one.

Rain is good for the trees.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

New Corners

We are getting a new corner in the neighborhood, the neighboring township must have some bucks to spend to fix the old township road.

Traffic Jam

This is a traffic jam at the corner.  Potato digging machines were hogging the road.

rebuilding the corner

The corner in progress on day one.  This corner is on our usual route when we go for a evening drive.  We usually see deer in the hayfield that is just up yonder and is all green. Previously this corner was full of Jack Pines and Milkweed.

new corner 

We drove down again yesterday to see how it is coming along. Day two.

New road to the right old one on the left

Old road on the left the new one on the right.

My other baby brother’s construction company is doing the work.  It is not done yet…maybe next week.  I wonder how the snow will blow…probably off the road.

Other road news concerns our State Hwy 225 that was given to the County along with 9 million dollars for a new road…either that or four way stops at all of the many corners that this stair step road has…it’s new name will be County 26…that will take some getting used to as it has been State 225 ever since I can remember.  The County is calling it a dangerous road because you have to slow down for the corners…duh…their other solution is to make it a 40 mph road with 40 mph corners….right now the corners are about 25-30 mph corners…been that way ever since I can remember…and a few were 10 mph corners but great fun on a bike.

Stair step road 1924 1925 Road map

Here is an old 1924-1925 Road Map.  Can you find the stair steps? The road back then was built on section lines and you had to go through Ponsford to get to Detroit Lakes.  Later a new road would bypass Ponsford in effect killing the town…the new road would go from Osage straight west to Detroit Lakes.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Cards and a Hand Update

I received a few Get Well I am glad your surgery is over cards!  Then I got a package in the mail from Kansas with some books to keep me occupied!  Thank you all, it is great to get unexpected mail!

Get well books and cards

Then it was my birthday and a few more cards showed up in the mail.

Birthday cards

That cake is filled with a whole lot of candles!

My parents took us out for a late lunch/early supper yesterday and my Mom made a cake with coconut and brown sugar frosting!  They both said that they didn’t think they would live long enough to see a child as old as me.. I replied “I didn’t think I would ever be this old either”  and we all laughed.

My Mother sewed a new kitchen curtain valance for my birthday.  I dropped that hint on her a few months ago when I saw a fabric I fell in love with that is part of a Minnesota Collection. We got out one of my old curtains for a pattern and when I clean the shade and wash the window I will put it up and take a photo.

The hand report.

I am three weeks post carpal tunnel release surgery today.  I have burning in two areas of my wrist/hand.  It is still swelling.  I ice it all night and sometimes during the day.  I take Aleve and Ibuprofin every day. I have good mobility but there are still some things I cannot do.  Like wring out a wash cloth…or my hair ( I have long grey hair)…pull anything toward me…like heavy drawers, open bottles of anything, push the car door open.  Three weeks and I have not driven the car…heck I cannot drive a grocery buggy so I let Far Guy drive.  Pushing, pulling  or reaching out is painful, anytime the palm of my hand comes in contact with anything I have pain.…I am getting real used to being a lefty. It is very possible that I have nerve damage and it will just take time and patience to recover.  Sometimes I am sorry I had the surgery…but then I recall the pain I had before…six of one half a dozen of the other….at least there is a chance that this burning pain will go away…someday. Getting old is not for sissies.

A bit of good news I had a biopsy taken from a small growth above my eyebrow.  It is just some kind of cyst and not cancerous per my dermatologist who went over every inch of my body. She likes doing small surgeries so I think I made her day by having something that looked troublesome that she could remove.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017


My husband is very supportive of my “art.”

Prismacolor pencils

This was part of my birthday gift. Prismacolor pencils in every shade you can imagine.

My first thought was “They are too pretty to use.”  Silly me… of course I will use them!  I have an older set of 24 that I absolutely love!

Making a mess on my desk

My hand/arm is still giving me fits, it swells and has a burning pain in two spots.  A bit of coloring is good therapy. I cannot do it for too long but at least I feel like I am accomplishing something.

Far Guy is helping me stamp the Christmas Cards, I cannot stamp anything yet.  I hope in another week I see great improvement so I can go to the Craft Retreat pain free.

Thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes yesterday!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: 1958 My 7th Birthday

In September of 1958 I was 7 years old.

7th birthday 1958

In 1958 I was in first grade, and my baby brother was four years old, my other baby brother was not even a twinkle in my Dad’s eye yet nor was my sister. My Dad would have been 32 years old that Fall.

My Mother took this photo and baked the birthday cake.  We are standing on the south side of the house in front of the Honeysuckle bush/tree.  This was the old house before it was remodeled.  That is my bedroom window, my room was just off the living room, it was small with just room enough for a single bed and a dresser… My brother was probably still sleeping in his crib.

Back in 1951 I was born at 1:20 AM and weighed 7 pounds and 11 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long.  My Dad was in Korea when I was born. I would go home with my mother to my Maternal Grandparents home.

Yes I am older today.  You can do the math. 

Later today Far Guy will take me out for a late lunch/early supper where I will have a half strength frozen original margarita to celebrate.  (Full strength makes me sleepy and looking for a place to nap it off.)

Happy Birthday to me!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017


After visiting the wolves we headed to the North American Bear Center.
North American Bear center
This is their sculpture surrounded by flowers.
We went on a tour that didn’t impress me.  It was called a back stage tour.  I thought the holding pens were small and that yes a bear in a cage will eat peanuts out of a persons hand…but what did that teach us?
Bear in jail eating peanuts
Bear jail
After that tour we went outside to the parking lot and took photos of their flowerbeds.
The next tour was an hour later and was called an Enrichment Exercise.
bear heading out of the woods
There is inside viewing or outside above on a catwalk.  We chose outside.
a bear
They threw some food out to get the bears attention, and then put some kind of feed in the feeder part of the bear scale.
bear scale
They said that the bears are not particulary hungry this time of year as they are done bulking up eating everything in sight and are on the verge of hibernation.
The bears are fed lettuce, almonds, seeds, berries and grapes…oh an apples.  Apples are thrown into the water on hot days .
The bear pool
They put some grapes in the tire that they threw out for the bear.
Bear disapperaing into the woods
After the bear finished she sauntered off into the woods.
Bear on a rock
Jen and I talked about what we would do next as we figured the bear sighting was over when the bear came back.
This one only stayed a short time and took of into the woods also.
All of the bears there (four) have been rescue bears,  several were raised in homes, some were rescued when their Mothers died. Two male and Two females…Ted, Lucky, Tasha and Holly.
The grave of one of their older bears was out near the flower beds. Honey came to the center as a ten year old along with Ted, a couple in Wisconsin had raised them but could no longer care for them.
This Center for Bears serves a purpose, it rescued bears that would have otherwise been euthanized.  Their enclosure was 2 1/2 acres…and they let the bears out during different times of the day…not everyone gets along together.
We headed out for a little shopping and onward to Grand Rapids to the Trial Gardens before meeting Far Guy in Bemidji…we returned home safely Saturday night.  It was a fun adventure!!
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Paws first

Saturday morning Jen and I got up early and headed to find a place to eat.  We ended up at the Chocolate Moose for breakfast.  I had eggs, ham, hash browns and cranberry wild rice toast.

The International Wolf Center was our first stop as they opened the earliest.

Wolf sculpture

Wolf Sculpture

International Wolf Center

Jen at the Wolf Center.  It is her birthday today!  A number of years ago she was born  and once reaching 40 she declared she was going backwards instead of forward… Happy Birthday Jen!  Thank you for the adventure!

The International Wolf Center is an educational center, they understand that there is much controversy about wolves. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. 

There were only four other people in the viewing room at various times.  The wolves were out the entire time we were there.  They have a 1 1/2 acre enclosure.  All photos were taken from inside through the glass.

They have five wolves on display and two wolves in a retirement area who are not viewed except on camera.

Wolf  largest one

A Northwestern Gray Wolf this guy is the largest wolf his name is Denali. He is one impressive wolf.

Timber wolf

Great Plains Wolf or Timber Wolf…the kind we have here in Minnesota. This is Boltz born in 2012.  He was more standoffish than the other wolves.

waiting wolves

Arctic Wolves these two are characters they are young and playful. They were born in May of 2016 in captivity in Canada. They are brothers Axel and Grayson.  (Boltz in the background.)


The other Northwestern Gray Wolf Aidan who was born in 2008. Aiden is the leader of the pack.

All of the wolves are males and they have all been neutered.

Artic Wolves stiring up mischief

The Arctic Wolves playing. In this photo you can see how the wolves vary in color.

Wolves 2 artic 1 Timber wolf 2 North West Wolves

Arctic, Timber and Northwestern wolves. 

I really enjoyed watching the wolves and learning a bit more about them.  Did you know they only eat once a week?   At the Center they eat deer…road killed deer.  We were fortunate to see them, one of the volunteers said many people don’t see them at all as they are elsewhere in the enclosure.

Next stop in Ely Minnesota is Claws!

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