Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Taking a blog break

I am taking time off to take care of Far Guy.  

Monday, January 29, 2018


Sometimes the path to getting better is full of steps and icy spots…the important thing is to keep on keeping on. 

Far Guy was released from the hospital yesterday.  His Doctor ordered all the IV antibiotics and steroids that he could.  Now it just takes time.  Far Guy could have stayed in the hospital for a few more days but he chose to come home to me and Chance.   He has the option of going back if he is not doing well.

Boy was Chance happy to see him!  Far Guy napped, I made chicken and dumplings for supper…chicken is medicinal isn’t it?

We plan to just stay home and rest this week.  So far so good.  It is much easier for me to care for him at home rather than running back and forth to the hospital.

We are thankful that he was able to return home.

Thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts!


Photo taken January 2017 in Bemidji State Park.

Blog Signature

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Chance: Waiting

I am waiting for Far Guy to come home.  Far Side says he is S.L.O.W.L.Y. very slowly slightly improving.  He is still in ICU…he has his own private nurse…she only had one patient all day yesterday.

Far Side brought his pants home…but he wasn’t in them.  Far Side said she helped get him washed up a bit and changed his jogging pants.  She also made him eat some food and drink lots of water.

The next time she went she took his shaving stuff.  She told him to drink more fluids and eat a little more food to get stronger.  He got up and walked a little bit without falling over.  He is real tired.

We all have to wait and have patience. I had to wait exactly 2 1/2 hours past my supper time for my supper and I was patient.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Getting well soon

Far Guy is worse.  He is in ICU and getting good care for respiratory distress.  We are hopeful that he will be back taking Chance for walks to get the mail soon.

He caught my cold and although he started on antibiotics and prednisone it was not enough to keep him breathing well on his own.

Since he has Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency and only 21% of normal lung function he needs some extra help to get over this health hurdle.

A prayer or two or three would be appreciated.

Gene and Chance

Blog Signature

Friday, January 26, 2018

Turning the corner

Finally I am feeling a bit better, it was a long siege.  I went outside, took some photos of Chance and cooked supper yesterday.  The menu was egg bake with ham and cheese and fruits…okay  I may have cheated on the fruit it was pinapple from a can with a banana sliced into the juice.  Far Guy gave it a strange look…but decided that banana in pineapple juice is quite tasty.

We plan to stay put and not venture out into the flu ridden world until we need groceries.

Far Guy is trying to drink lots of fluids and is resting…but coughing a lot.  I am keeping a close eye on him.  We are going to sauna every other night to cook out the germs.

Chance is doing well for the moment.  He was a real pill and wouldn’t pose nicely for me.

Disgruntled look from Chance 

This is his disgruntled look.  I got a few photos before he got up and turned around…he is pretty smart.

Cnance ignoring me

As you can see he is a pro at ignoring me.

I was not feeling well enough to go to Bingo with my Dad this week.  I suppose he won lots of times without me.

I might do some disinfecting and dusting later today…see I am better!  I have turned the corner!

Blog Signature

Thursday, January 25, 2018


I have been told I am grumpy.  Imagine that. Day 7 of  JUST a Cold.

I have not had a cold this bad in many years.   I am a snot factory.  When I am not overproducing nasal secretions I am sneezing...loudly...sometime the sneezing means a mad dash for the bathroom...drinking plenty of fluids will do that to you.  I have Kleenex in my pocket, stuffed into my bra and containers of Kleenex next to my computer.  My hands are chapped and raw from washing them all the time.  The snot factory has given me a headache.  I am coughing ...when I lay down I cough more.  My ears still itch.  I think my hearing in my right ear has been affected....sometimes it seems sound is in a tin can. I have been to sauna and taken just about every cold preparation known to mankind.  I have completed a course of antibiotics.  I have done everything I know to do.  Far Guy gets into the spirit of things when he asks "What can I get you besides a gun?"

I manage to get one load of laundry done a day and get the kitchen cleaned up...Far Guy has been doing most of the cooking.  I am still watching Peaky Binders it is a series. I play mindless computer games and wander around in the house.  Chance is good company and I brush him once a day and tend to his skin irritations and his hemorrhoid/fistula...which for the moment has disappeared. (Yeah Chance!)

I just keep on keeping on...getting not much accomplished.   Good thing I had nothing planned for this week.
Swan photo taken last February
Yes I might be a tad grumpy.  I have got to get better.  Far Guy is coming down with it and per Doctor's instructions has started an antibiotic.
Far Side

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wistful Wednesday: Uncle Otto's Rock

Years ago my Uncle Otto had a huge boulder delivered to his yard.  He put pavers around the front for a small flower bed and we picked out flowers from the greenhouse.  One year it was Marigolds, Zinnias and lots of Moss Roses and one year it was Daisies.  He painted Welcome on the boulder in Norwegian of course and had a chain saw carver carve him a Nisse. A Norwegian Nisse is a mischievous sprite that protects a farmstead or home.

The first year it was looking really good and the photo came along in a Christmas card.

Otto chained the Nisse down to a huge anchor in the ground behind the boulder.
We enjoyed seeing it every time we drove by.
Sadly someone came by and cut the chain and took the Nisse.
Far Side

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


I saw a really nice Salvia up in Grand Rapids at the trial gardens last Fall.  I might try it in my miserable little flower bed. Last summer nothing seemed to thrive.  I was thinking that maybe the dappled sun isn't enough sun and I should try some Impatiens.

Winter time always brings thoughts of which flowers might be worth a try...all the Flower and Seed Catalogs have arrived ...how can you not think about summer.

Salvia Rockin "Playin the blues" it is a Proven Winner.  Blooms were abundant and the bees were really liking the plant so I think the Hummers would like it too!
Just a Cold Update: Still miserable, sneezing and coughing, trying to rest and drink plenty of fluids.  Sleep is elusive.  I started watching Peaky Blinders, Far Guy has watched it and really enjoyed it.  Lots of murder and mayhem for me but I do enjoy the colorful language and the sets...so I am giving it a go....so far I have not fallen asleep watching it.

To frustrate me further my normal Open Live Writer for blogs is having issues...if it isn't one thing it is another.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Whirly Gigs and Geese

Here is someone with more whirly gigs than me…and I think we are related.

someone with more whirly gigs than me

These are to keep the Canda Geese off the area…I wonder if it worked? They can be real pests and once they find a spot to poop…they return until they are chased away.


I am not talking about one goose here and one goose there…a whole flock of geese that are pooping machines.

All photos taken last summer when it was warm.

Just a Cold Update:

Still feel rotten but I am up and about and quiet…because quiet works for me and then I cannot possibly be grumpy.

I watched some brainless tv…some movies that if I had paid to see them I would have walked out. (Dallas Buyers Club 0 stars Are you here 0 Stars Our souls at night 2 stars)  I have weird dreams normally and on cold medicine they are doubly strange.

I hope I turn the corner in a day or two.

Blog Signature

Sunday, January 21, 2018

My own calendar

I made my own calendar again this year.  I have photos of some people and their age on their birthdate.  There are many companies out there that will make a calendar for you, the software they have is easy you just upload your photos and then add the text you want. I use Shutterfly and think they are awesome printers.

I had a hard time picking photos…there were more than just a few that I really liked.

IMG_9429 (2)

This is my January photo.  Chance, Miney and Little Elvis who recently turned eight years old…eight can you believe it?  This photo looks like it was taken in a studio..it was our driveway after a snow and we were playing ball.

I can appreciate my photos everytime I glance at the calendar.

A cold update: I rested and had a really long nap yesterday, it is a good thing we have food in the freezer ready to warm up as neither of us felt like cooking.  So far no body aches…it must just be a common cold.

Blog Signature

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Cold

I have a cold.  Sore throat, cough, runny nose and ears that itch.  I came down with it on Thursday night.  Far Guy is showing symptoms too.  We must have picked up some germ at the clinic about 10 days ago.  Bummer.  Rest and plenty of fluids is on our agenda.


Close up of the Metallic Water Colors on Butterflies.

Chance is fine he doesn’t have a cold yet.

Blog Signature

Friday, January 19, 2018

Exploring: Metallic Water Colors

Last Fall I purchased some metallic water colors and really never had the time to explore how they worked.

Remember my word for 2018 is Explore.

Playing with metallic water colors

They are easy to work with.

Shimmery Colors

I stamped a bunch of butterfly cards that will be all ocassion cards.  The watercolors give them a nice shimmer, I may add a bit of glitter…you can never have too much glitter….can you?

Nothing much is new here, it is warmer and we may get into the 30’s F yeah!  The Janurary thaw has arrived!

My Dad and I had another Bingo date…neither of us bingoed but we were close several times.  Dad was one number away from the $1,000  blackout…we will try again next week God willing and the crick don’t rise.

Blog Signature

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Chance : All about me

We got a Trail Cam just before Christmas, we can tell who comes and goes and how long they stay.  It has been pointed many different directions.

Mostly it catches me coming and going.  Helping to get the mail or feeding the birds or leading Far Guy around in the yard.

Gene and Chance

It also captures birds flying by, snow falling out of the trees and some weird glowing eyes at night and the Bunnies which I am not supposed to chase.

Far Side said she is amazed at the quality of the photos.

Yesterday was a get up at o dark thirty day, the old folks had to attend a class on Defensive Driving to save some $ on their automobile insurance.  They are pretty sneaky.  I got to go along but only as far as the groomers.  I got groomed and expressed and all those things that go along with a morning at the groomers.  I was very handsome but exhausted.   Everyone had a long afternoon nap after we got back home.

I still have some patchy dry skin problems.  I still have that nasty hemorrhoid/fistula/tumor too…Far Side likes the days that it totally disappears…but then it comes back again.  Now that I have been to the groomers my butt hair is much shorter, it will be easier to keep clean…or so someone says.  Far Side is real particular about my butt.  She says caring for an older dog is challenging and sometimes a crappy job.

I can go up the steps most days by myself, sometimes I need help and they put the harness with the handle on me.  I never come down the stairs by myself anymore.  I lay on the landing and when I want to come down I whine or bark…yes barking gets their attention, they bring up the harness and guide me down the stairs safely.  I play ball but not for very long.  I need help getting in and out of the car but I still like to go for a ride EVERY day!


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wistful Wednesday: Neighbors

Last week was a hard week for long time neighbors.  People that I have known nearly all my life…well since my parents moved to their farm in Carsonville township  in 1952.

Ruby.  What  a gal, she celebrated her Christmas Eve birthday of 100 years and lived 16 days longer than that.   She and her husband Bob owned the Texaco Station in Ponsford.  Bob and I shared a dog one summer.  A German Shepherd showed up at the farm, she would stay a few days and then be gone, a few days later she would show up again.  I named her Princess.  I snuck her food, but we had other dogs on the farm and didn’t need another.   One day we stopped at the Texaco station and there she was…the mystery was solved…Bob couldn’t figure out where she (Patsy) went or why?  We lived just over 4 miles away.  Ruby always loved that old memory of the shared dog.  Bob has been gone a long time (he died in 1999) and now sweet Ruby has joined him.  Their lake place on the west side of Shell Lake was a great place to swim in the summer and we were always welcomed. Hot summer nights before air conditioning spent on their dock is a fond memory for me as a kid. Last summer Ruby invited me to her birthday party and so when it rolled around I went…she was so happy to see the good turn out for her birthday. She made it to 100!  She said she would and she did.

metal (2)

The old Texaco sign still marks the spot of the old station in Ponsford.

Jim.  Jim died the day after Ruby.  Since they were good friends that used to play cards together all the time it is fitting that he died the day after Ruby.  They lived just a mile apart all their lives.  Jim was 94.  We used to have coffee with Jim and his wife Irene and talk about area history. Jim’s Grandpa Nunns family and Far Guy’s Great Grandfather Abbott family were neighbors up in Eramosa Township, Wellington County  Ontario Canada. They all made the trip together to Eunice Township Becker County first in 1889 and shortly therafter settled in Carsonville Township.  Jim used to say that his Grandpa was sickly and would have died in Canada, but the healing air of the pine boughs saved him here in Minnesota. ( Then he would wipe away a tear or two.)  Jim used to say that there were many Indian mounded graves in the area…one was right along the road.  He had lots of stories to tell.  One story I will share; Jim had a pretty good looking Stallion.  Our daughter Trica worked out a deal with him to have her horse “visit” the stallion for awhile….when asked what we owed for feed…he replied “The good Lord provided the rain and sunshine for a good pasture and there is no way I am charging you for that!”

Jim and his wife Irene were married for 72 years before she died in 2016. Up until that time they were constant companions.  Their children took turns caring for them on the farm until 2015 when Irene needed extra help so they moved into assisted living and away from their farm.

In years past we would enjoy seeing a team hitched up to a sleigh or a wagon taking kids and grandkids for a ride the old fashioned way.  “There goes Jim.”

St Theodores Ponsford

Saying goodbye to really old friends is hard.  Not many old timers around anymore.  Soon we will be the old timers….maybe we are already.

Blog Signature

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Deep Freeze

It warmed up briefly over the weekend and then it snowed, turned cold and we were thrust back into the deep freeze.  Cold temperatures along with a wind had the wind chills hovering from –30 to –50 below zero.

I took advantage of the warmer weather and took some photos outside…I had been inside the house way too long.  Cabin Fever will get to you sooner or later and a walk in the yard was the best medicine for that!


The glass flowers are holding up quite nicely.


The old Border Collie didn’t want to pose for a photo.


He was ignoring me.  I told him that the snow shows up so nicely on his black coat…but he still ignored me.  I should have had a treat in my pocket!

We got two+ inches of snow before going into the deep freeze again.  We should emerge from the deep freeze on Wednesday and it looks to be a warmer weekend!!  Something to look forward to!

We ran errands yesterday in the brutal cold, no fun at the gas station…or anyplace else.  We are stocked up again for another week.  Chance enjoyed his ride to town…he got REAL bossy as we were getting ready to leave and started whining and then barked at us…he was ready to go!

Blog Signature

Monday, January 15, 2018

Christmas Cards, Letters and Photos

Chance and Far Guy love their trips to the mail box during December. 

Since we send 120 Christmas Cards.  We get many in return.

I did find one of my Christmas Cards…tucked away in a box of cards that I sometimes take to carving when my hand is not up to working with a knife.

Christmas card 2017

2017 Christmas Card inside it said “Christmas comes anew each year to draw people in from the cold.”

The sled/birds design was a stamp, stamped on water color paper and embellished with markers and glitter then it was framed with a border of red (other colors were used too) and then mounted on the white snowflake embossed paper ( which I also embellished with some kind of glitter!)

Christmas cards

Yesterday I read through all the Christmas Cards and letters again.  Then they were either tucked away in a folder or recycled.

Christmas photo cards 

Photo Christmas Cards were looked at again and placed in a folder for a someday look back down memory lane.

Some letters were kept.  The letters are bittersweet; they told of struggles with cancer, deaths, births, lonliness after being widowed, and the usual what Far Guy calls “Brag” letters…we vacationed here and there and everywhere. Two letters in particular touched us this year…Jamie with her sense of humor and Bob and Sheila…  well I guess really only Bob writing about an old print of Rural 1950’s Farm life and never giving up on our dreams. Bob is a retired Pastor and he and Sheila are the other set of Grandparents to Noah and Adam.

Card from Sharon

Some cards had notes inside and some were on the front…like this one…from Sharon, her husband Gary was Far Guy’s best friend who died way too soon back in 1993.

The card count this year:

46 Christmas Cards

24 Christmas Photo Cards

22 Christmas Letters

Lots of good reading!

Ongoing Project:  Last year I organized all the Christmas letters and photos and put them in page protectors in three ring binders.  This year is was real easy to get out the binders and slip letters and photos where they belong.

Blog Signature

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Latest Woodcarving

Far Guy has been working on a woodcarving since last summer.  When he told me what he wanted to carve…I thought oh my is it possible?  He put it aside to help with the 100 fish for the Christmas ornaments.

Each petal is carved individually and then anchored into the stem. (Itty bitty holes are drilled, the petal end is sharpened and fit into the tiny holes and glued in place.) 

Asters before

The base is a piece of mesquite that came from our friend Norm’s stash.  No doubt he picked it up in Arizona. 

Saturday Far Guy asked…”What is your plan for the day?” I replied dishes, laundry and then I will find a photo of your Aster to see about the color you want it….he smiled. As I was blending the colors to get it just perfect..he hovered like an expectant father.


He has little holes on his carving station that holds many of his small projects.  He helped me paint the stems and leaves and after I finished the flower parts he sealed the whole work of art.

Asters after

It is just perfect.   A one of a kind…I am not sure he will ever design and carve another one like it.

Blog Signature

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Still cold.  It might warm up a bit on Sunday afternoon.

Chance is real bored, he wants to go for his ride…I cannot blame him.  He hasn’t been for a ride since Wednesday. 

I put away downstairs Christmas except for the Nativity set…I wasn’t ready to put that away yet.  The Christmas totes were gone through…we have a few Christmas decorations that belonged to Far Guy’s Mom…they found their way into a pretty box with a note explaining them.  So I explored the Christmas Totes….vacuumed their area and put them back. Dusted too if that counts.   A bunch of odd ball stuff was piled up to mark for a rummage sale.

The Shiny Brite tree is still up, I am not ready to put that away yet either.

Far Guy worked on his latest flower carving and it is awesome.  I will photograph it soon…before and after painting.

Chance slept…chased his treat ball around, pestered someone to play ball (I did) and he tried to lead us to his treat drawer many times…his restricted diet must be boring for him.    When I was cooking supper he was a pain…underfoot and insistant that he was hungry “NOW.”

Beads in the snow

I hope to make some more of these funky bead creations over the winter.  This one still looks good but it has faded a bit.  I bought some heavier copper wire which might work better.

Hope you all are staying warm. It was turdy below zero here.

Blog Signature

Friday, January 12, 2018


There were sundogs yesterday. They usually show up when it is really cold.  It turned cold…our high for the next couple of days will be a minus high.   I hate those days. The least it could do is be above zero.   I use my old point and shoot camera on really cold days.  There were sundogs on both sides of the sun.
We got very little snow out of Winter Storm Hunter …maybe two inches of snow.
about an inch maybe two
The front yard is sparkling white again. There are seven inches of snow at the snowstick.
I have been working on some all ocassion cards…watercolor…doing a bit of exploration into a few different techniques…in other words …playing.  I am not quite sure where the time goes but it seems to go by faster and faster everyday.
We will be staying home for the next few days…the windchills will be horrid.  I ventured out last night to take my Dad to Bingo…we each bingoed twice so we can go back again next week.  It was –20F or  -28C eh!  when I got home safely.
Blog Signature

Thursday, January 11, 2018


I took down the December flag and put up the Cardinal.

Flag Jan 10

We might get a winter storm…who really knows for sure. Winter storm Hunter.   Far Guy had a Doctor’s appointment in Fargo yesterday…the roads were all great and we stopped only one other place…Menards to get a new handle for the screen door…it was installed with a minimal amount of cussing.

Yard Jan 10 

The yard January 10th.  It was a warm day and the temperature was about 36 F  ABOVE zero…I knew it would not last….we are headed back into the deep freeze…but the mild temperatures for a few days were a real treat.

We have visitors every night right around dark.

Twilight Visitors

They like to get seeds under the Thistle feeders, Far Guy put out some carrots for them and some corn… I watch them through the window every evening as I make supper.

Blog Signature

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wistful Wednesday: Grandboys

This is the Christmas card our daughterJen sent out this year.

The boys (2)

The photo on the left was taken one summer afternoon when Adam and Noah were playing in the yard when they lived in Mapleton North Dakota.  The photo on the right was taken in November…that is Adam’s car.

It seems like only yesterday that they were little boys.  This card makes me smile.

Blog Signature