Thursday, November 30, 2017

Last Day of November

Our weather is almost perfect.  It is warm for November…above freezing but the wind has been howling like a banshee.  Our snow is gone.

Most of the people that we mailed our woodcarved extra special Christmas Ornaments to should get their packages in the mail today.   We hauled two large bags into the Post Office last Monday and caused a line right out the door.

So this years question that will earn you an entry into the Christmas Ornament Give Away will be…what is your favorite Christmas Movie?  Leave me a comment or email me your answer. 

My favorite is “A Christmas Story”  you know the one  “You will shoot your eye out.” 

I sorted beads for one manly eyeglass cord and ended up with three.  I hope my friend from carving thinks one of them is manly enough for his taste.

Manly eye cords

The browns, tans and blacks worked up quite nicely.  Most of these were odds and end of beads that we left over from other projects…some came from garage sales and some from my friend Nellie who gave me all her beads.

eye glass cords 

I had to order a few more bead supplies and I may make some more eyeglass cords after Christmas.  I have already learned not to wear my favorite out of the house, someone admired mine and asked where I got it…so I gave it away.  She was just thrilled.

The Christmas Ornament Give Away will be open until Sunday night 8PM my time at which time I will draw for a couple maybe three winners and then I can get them mailed off early next week.

For now the woodcarved ornament remains a secret…maybe tomorrow it will be revealed.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wistful Wednesday : 1980 something

This is a polaroid photo and Far Guy’s Dad took it at the house in Moorhead sometime about 1980-1981.

Gene in Moorhead umknown year

It was before we had the patio door,  the dining room had been repainted and the wainscoating was up…previously it was some kind of wall paper and navy blue paint.  This was the house we bought when the interest rate was 18 %. UFFDA

Far Guy had hair.  He kinda has his Tom Selleck look going on here.  He worked days and I worked nights.

That is good ole Pansy in the birdcage. She belonged to our oldest daughter Trica. For the life of me I cannot recall when Pansy died.

I do remember how ABC 123 died.

I have heard that when your brain is full it dumps some of the insignificant stuff memories…not that I didn’t like the little bird.  Perhaps her death was peaceful. ( For the record Far Guy doesn’t recall either.)

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Little things

Far Guy has been vacuuming up beads for days.  When I am sorting for a project…beads may get away and end up on the floor.

cords and glasses

I love all the new eye glass cords that I made.  I wear a different set every day.  I had a request for a “manly set of cords”  a fellow from carving admired my newest creation and asked if I could make him a pair. ( Nothing sparkly!) Sure…next week I will deliver it.

for a friend

The beads have been sorted and they are on my desk. Manly colors: browns blacks tan. I hope it works up okay.

My desk is full again…I have about four projects going at once. Three beading projects (with another tucked up in my mind) and some odds and ends that will end up as cards.


Watercolor paper stamped, then colored with Prismacolor pencils, a bit of Gamsol blends the colors together and I finish them off with a little sparkle…I got a bit carried away with the glitter glue on that one butterfly.


I finished a few watercolor Fall cards and I must make a few more wintery ones soon.  I like doing different techniques.

I went back to woodcarving.  My hand/wrist seems no worse for the activity.  The guys all noticed that I was going to carve again instead of work on bead projects or color on cards.  I am carving the little cottonwood bark houses….one of my favorite things to carve.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Christmas Projects Begin

I updated the computer Christmas Card Address list, a few people had moved…luckily I quickly got their address via a private message on facebook.   Perhaps I should just send their Christmas Card via facebook too.  I also updated my real address book…the one I can page through and look up an address.


Far Guy says he has an idea for the Christmas Letter…some kind of wonderful Christmasy computer paper will be purchased soon.  Another ink cartridge is on the list too.

The wood carved Christmas Ornaments will be mailed today.  I am certain I will cause a long line right outside the door at the Post Office. We will have an ornament give away soon…maybe beginning Thursday and ending Sunday so I can get them in the mail next Monday.

The Cookie Exchange is coming up soon.  I bought some coffin shaped tins, presentation is important!  I have decided to make fudge. Three kinds. The no fail one with marshmallow creme, a white chocolate dried cherry fudge and a layered fudge with caramel, salted peanuts and maybe peanut butter and butterscotch chips.  The plan is to make all the fudge in one day, package it all up and put it in ice cream buckets in the freezer and when I arrive at the Cookie Exchange I can put everything in the tins.  I know I can make the no fail fudge recipe…but thoughts of a time when I made fudge when the girls were little keeps coming into my head…the fudge never set up and had to be scooped up with a spoon.  The girls didn’t seem to mind.

It took me over a week to decide what to make for the exchange, this week I will gather all the supplies and next week the fudge making will commence. My first idea was chocolate covered potato chips…someone said “That doesn’t sound real Christmasy to me.” ( He likes fudge and I never make it.)

I had real good luck making gluten free pumpkin bread over Thanksgiving. I used my normal recipe and substituted rice flour for regular flour…almost the same amount perhaps a third of a cup more.

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Sunday, November 26, 2017


One morning it was just frosty.

Nov 22

The little Redpolls that are Niger Thistle Seed eating machines are here.

Nov 23

It snowed one morning.  We put up another Thistle Feeder. As soon as the sun is up Redpolls fill the feeders.


Then it warmed up and now we have green grass again.  It warmed up enough that I got our everyday go to town vehicle all cleaned up on the inside.  Far Guy told Chance no more shedding in the back seat!  Cloth seats act just like a brush for his fur.

Pie Report:  I used the recipe on the back of the Libby’s Pumpkin can. My pumpkin pie was delicious.  I substituted 1/4 cup of maple syrup for 1/4 cup of the white sugar.  Farm fresh eggs also helped to make it taste wonderful.

We had lunch with my parents one day last week and also had lunch with Alaska Guy and his gal. When we go out for lunch our supper is easy…fruit and cheese and crackers or we have a “you are on your own night.”

Only a few more days in November.  We did not partake in any of the crazy shopping stand in line to check out ordeals.

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Pig in the pink

Our Granddaughter Paige has a Pot Bellied Pig named Sigourney.  Sigourney is friendly and you can pat her on the head.  She does not smell.  She goes outside 3 or 4 times a day to do her duties so she is house broke.  She gets along with the two resident dogs and two cats.


Sigourney in her pink sweater a gift from Maddie.  Sigourney came to greet us as soon as we walked in the door…of course we had a pumpkin pie.

Mikey and Sigourney

Mikey likes Sigourney! (Note Mikey has an undershirt on!)

sigourney and an apple

Sigourney loves apples and cleaned every bit off of the carpet.

She also likes pickles.

Paige and sigourney

Paige and Sigourney

I was skeptical about this pig.  Being a “farm girl” I didn’t think a pig should be in the house.   So far as I can see Sigourney is a nice pet…but a pig is not a pet for just anyone. 

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Friday, November 24, 2017


We traveled up north to our oldest daughters for Thanksgiving dinner. She lives about an hour and a half from our home.

Tricas house

I made a pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread….some of which was gluten free. Jen made her famous dinner rolls and a gluten free apple pie.  Trica handled the rest..turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, corn and a relish tray …oh and a berry pie and also a banana creme pie.

The grands

The Grands were all there at the same time for a few minutes.  Savannah had to go to work. This is their birth order and shortest to tallest photo.  It was good to have them all in the same place even for a little bit.  I got to hug them all.

Mikey Nov 23 2017

Hey Mikey!

Of couse Mikey was there.  He is a happy little fella…especially after I made his Mama find his socks and add an undershirt to his attire.  He is finding his voice.  He also smiles with his eyes.  He will soon be 6 months old.  He can sit by himself for short peroids of time…he still has what I call a “round butt” …rolling off to the left or the right just like a ball.

Mikey sitting by himself

His Mama was just outside of camera range ready to catch him if he fell over.

We had a nice get together and visit, we came home and had a nap.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

I heard that 46 million turkeys would be cooked this Thanksgiving!  That is a lot of turkeys!

Today I am thankful that I don’t have to cook the turkey and I am thankful that we will be able to spend part of the day with our daughters and their families.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: Great Grandma

Everyone has a Great Grandmother…but how much do they really know about them…until it is too late to ask..or you were too little to ask the questions? Perhaps they have a photo or two…

1982 Tracie and Bethany 

This is Far Guy’s Grandmother Tracie and our niece Bethany in the summer of 1982.   Grandma would die the following April at the age of 87..she almost made it to 88 years of age before she got liver cancer and died shortly after the diagnosis in the hospital but before she made it to the “home.”  That in itself was worthy of a celebration.

Bethany our niece in the photo would have been about 18 months old if my math is correct.  The photo was taken in the summer at Grandma’s apartment in Park Rapids.  They are sitting in the big chair in the corner by the window.  The latch hookrug/wall hanging might have been a gift from someone( Far Guy’s Dad Marvin I think…and I think it covered the air conditioner) and the throw on the back of the chair looks like it came from Arizona where Grandma used to visit  her youngest son in the wintertime.  You can see the corner of an oak end table…which has been in our home since about 1983. I can see something that I had not thought about for a long time…an ice cream bucket with a crochet cover…I still have mine upstairs I keep crochet hooks and other odds and ends in it…Grandma must have made the cover for the buckets!  It was a useful gift especially since I still have mine.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Sometimes I wish my desk was in another room…one where I could shut the door…but no my desk is in the middle of the room…across from my computer…I can just turn my chair around and be at my desk.  It is a place where I can leave my  “stuff” out, it has good lighting and you can watch TV and work on a project all at the same time. Perfect except…

It is a mess.  Today I tackle it. I have been working on eyeglass cords and had to get out every bead I had in the house!  They really need their own place…right now they reside in a huge cardboard box upstairs….when they are not on my desk or under it.  Chance used to be able to sleep under my desk…not so much anymore.

IMG_6763I would like to put this project behind me and move forward.  It is a baking day tomorrow pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie.

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Monday, November 20, 2017


The lower level window across from my desk was a challenge.  I said we should clean it in place…Far Guy said “oh no we can open it.”  Huh?  It is a bugger to lock once opened it has to go back together perfectly…the stars must align and the moon has to be just so and if you do it on the second Sunday in a week you might get it to latch.  In the summer I don’t worry about it…but it is winter.

Clean window

Yes that white stuff is snow.

Usually I sit outside cross legged in those rocks to wash the outside of this window…I always wonder how fast will I be able to move if a snake comes along…well I didn’t need to worry about that yesterday but I also didn’t want to sit down in that snow.

We finally accomplished the washing and waxing of the window…Far Guy helped and then I sent him inside to be the pointer…what you don’t need someone to point where the window is smeared?  I do.  ( Yes I wax our windows…I used to use a product in a pink can called glass wax…now I use something called Glass and Silver Polish….it helps the rain/snow slide right off a window without leaving water spots.  I waxed windows all the time at the resort…many many windows.)

Now we have to get the window to latch…let the adventure begin.

Well he struggled, I struggled…at one point he was outside pushing on the edge of the window freezing his butt off, while I was trying to latch it from inside.  He came in to warm up. Then I did it…I opened it once again…someone said “You didn’t open that window again did you?” accompanied by a sigh that could have been heard in the next county…. ummmm yes… then I closed it firmly and low and behold it latched. I DID IT!!   Far Guy was amazed…howdidyadothat?  Just lucky I guess.

That window has pretty stuff on the ledge too…it is all waiting in the kitchen…after the big struggle I was too tired to put everything back…of course everything had to be moved under this window …and what better time to scrub the floor and give the grout a really good clean.

Thanksgiving Flag

I finally had a chance to put up my Thanksgiving flag.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

This past week

Was cool.  The wind is raw and the humidity makes it feel colder than it is.  It spit snow all day yesterday but not enough to turn the ground white.

We had two family members in the hospital.  Our daughter Trica had a bowel obstruction that resolved itself after three days in the hospital.  My Dad spent two days in the hospital with a kidney and stomach infection.  Both are home now and recovering. 

Two windows were washed….my desk is still a big mess with many projects started but none finished.

No new recipes were tried…but I do have an new recipe for Pumpkin Pie that I will try this week.

The Juncos are here and the little Redpolls showed up this week along with a few wayward Goldfinches that have their winter coats on.

We have a huge buck that has been cavorting around nearby with a couple of does…they escaped the mighty hunters.

Poor Chance has a hemorrhoid.  Makes me hurt to tend to it.  I am probably more bothered than he is.  He does not seem like he is in pain.  He has had problems before…and the Vet says to keep the area clean and use whatever hemorrhoidal remedy you have on hand.  Ears and butt…now I have to keep an eye on both.  He also has a little bit of dermatitis one spot on his belly and another on his right hip which we are treating with vitamin E.  His right rear leg is weak at times….he looses his footing sometimes, but still makes it up and down the stairs.  He has to be lifted into the car and when we let him out of the vehicle…I wrap a  strip of an old towel around his belly and I steady him and lift from above and assist his decent from the vehicle. He is very cooperative and knows to wait for me to encircle him with the strip of towel and get a good hold on it before he jumps off the seat. Yes we are eldercare for a dog.  I am certain he gets better care than some people.


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Kitchen Window

It warmed up.  Well it is above freezing at 36 degrees or 2 C eh!  Warm enough to take the kitchen window apart get rid of the gross dead Asian Lady Beetles that are everywhere and properly wash a window. ( When it was window washing weather last Fall we were invaded by the horrid little bugs.)

close up of material

I have been waiting for the weather to warm up so I could do that project and hang up my new curtain…the valance that my Mother made me for my birthday.  The fabric is part of The 2017 Minnesota Quilt Project…but I saw the material and just knew it would make a really pretty valence in our kitchen.  This window also has blinds…hidden by the valance. Not that we use them very much…when it is really cold or really hot.

Loons and Lady Slippers

Of course one little project turns into a little bit bigger project as you go along.  My “stuff” on the ledge of the window needed a wash.

my rocks

My extra large ice cream bowl that is full of petrified wood and agates from Washington State and a gift from a friend is one of my favorite things….and a real dust catcher especially when the window is open.

loon and slipper in the window

Loon and Lady Slipper hangs in the window to discourage birds from flying into the window. Most of our snow has melted for the moment.

One window at a time….it is exercise for my bum hand.

the kitchen 

Far Guy was cooking his famous chip dip; a chili cheese italian sausage mixture as I finished up my project.  It was really yummy.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Soap Carving

Last summer the carving group taught a soap carving class for the libraries summer art and design program. ( Somehow I  am always the go to person.) Later in the summer I was asked to teach soap carving as part of the Community Education Program.  We taught the class last Tuesday at The Middle School.

I recruited three other carvers to help; Far Guy, Shiela and Dave. It was a fun time!  Several of the participants were our great nieces.

Olivia and Ava soap carving

Our safe carving tools are tooth picks to mark your pattern and small wooden spoons ( the ones that come with individual ice cream containers) shaped to a sharp point.  The simple tools work well with the soap and you would really have to work at cutting off a finger.  Ivory is the soap we use.  Yes it is messy…we covered the tables with wax paper!

Brookes soap carving 

For the class everyone carved a flower step by step and then it was a free for all carving what ever they wanted.  We sent home extra bars of soap and wooden tools.


I think the children enjoyed themselves!  They learned a new skill and who knows…maybe someday a few will be woodcarvers.

I can carve soap….my hand allowed it…wood not so much.  I hope someday to be back to carving again.  For now I go along to carving and work on some other craft project…the guys always ask me “ how is your bum hand?”  The answer is not good enough to carve yet.  Some things just take time…luckily I have many other hobbies that I can do!

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Good Eggs

I like farm fresh eggs.  Alway have probably always will. Especially brown eggs, they are my favorite.  I used to help with the chicken chores, I didn’t mind it.  I “gathered eggs” …Far Guy helped me once he “picked up eggs.”


Last summer some of my great nieces got chickens.  They are really good chicken farmers…and hope to expand their coop and maybe even build a barn and get some goats and make their own soap.   I am not sure their parents know of this “plan.”

Brooke and Hailey

Two of the girls and one of their favorite chickens.  This may be Fern…or Olive or Ponderosa Pine or I forget…

Hailey and one of her chickens

This girl loves her chickens and her chickens love her.

All 16 of the chickens are very tame, they all have names.  They rub against your legs as you walk through their area.

Claire the fat chicken 

This is Claire the biggest fattest largest chicken they have.  She also lays the largest eggs.

Some of them even lay double yolks.  I cannot eat eggs everyday, Far Guy eats eggs every other day.

Nothing better than fresh non grocery store eggs. The price was $2.30 a dozen but we always pay $2.50…young entrepreneurs should always be encouraged.  What is the going price for eggs in your area?  Have you met the chickens that lay your eggs?

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