Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Year in review

2019 was a busy year. 
We had four big events.

The first was a long overdue trip to Hawaii.
We are forever thankful for our travelling companions:  Adam, Andy, Jen and Logan (a friend of the family) they made the trip much easier for us old people.  Eleven days in Hawaii where it is warm and the sun shines everyday!

The second event was ongoing for several months.  Trips to Minneapolis/St Paul to the University of Minnesota for a lung transplant evaluation.  Finally July 23, 2019 Far Guy was listed for one lung.  After a nasty fungus invaded his lungs the listing changed the first part of December to two lungs...so we wait.  Our bags are packed and we have a list of last minute things that must go along.

Our third big event was Maddie's Wedding....she is out first grand to get married.  Her husband is a really nice guy and he fits in our family quite well.
Maddie, Hey Mikey and Brenton
Our fourth big event was our 50th Wedding Anniversary on December 20, 2019.  Celebrated with family.

Here are the old married 50 years people

Family Updates:

 Our oldest daughter Trica is struggling with some health problems and is unemployed at this time.  After 25 years of marriage she and her husband are in the process of a divorce. 

Trica and Maddie

Our youngest daughter Jen is still happily married and employed as is her husband Andy.  Miss Miney and Little Elvis the Shetland Sheepdogs are getting older but living a good life!

Jen and Andy in Hawaii

Savannah will be 24 in 2020.  She works several jobs and goes to school part time.  Her major is Elementary Education.  She still has her dog Chewy and a couple of cats.

Maddie will be 22 in 2010.  She works as a Dental Assistant for a Dentist in Michigan.  She loves her job.  Her husband Brenton is employed in a machine shop.  They moved from one place to another in Michigan...so they had to re home their dogs;  Amos is now an emotional support dog in a Veteran's Home and Deacon found a home with a Veterinarian and family of children. 


Paige will be 21 in 2020.  She is working two jobs and going to school in Duluth Minnesota.  She will be taking the family cat Bailey back to Duluth with her.  Sadly Sigourney the Pot Bellied Pig had to be re homed... happily she found a family of pot bellied pigs to live with. 

Noah will be 21 in 2020.  He will graduate from The University of North Dakota in the spring with a degree in Chemistry. He and his girlfriend Hannah share a dog named Aphrodite

Noah and Hannah

Adam will be 19 in 2020.  In the spring he will graduate from High School.  He took a hiatus from his job as a prep cook for the Robotics season.  He is undecided about his career path. 
Our Great Grand

Hey Mikey! 

Hey Mikey will be a Big Brother this year!  Photo shamelessly stolen from his Mom's Facebook page

In other news;
Jen, Andy and Adam are hosting a foreign exchange student from Belgium.  He is a delight and will be greatly missed when he returns home. 


Jen and Andy are building a new home in East Grand Forks Minnesota.  Andy is doing all the custom cabinetry and will be the general contractor on the construction project.  The plans are final and it should be a beautiful home that should be completed in 2020.

This year we said a final goodbye to  Far Guy's Uncle Archie and his cousin Stevie and to friends Al, Tess, Bill and to my cousins son in law Charles.

There are no pet deaths to report this year. 

We are most thankful for all of our family. 
In 2020 we look forward to the birth of our second great grandchild.  
To a lung transplant and full recovery for Far Guy.
Some changes that will make everyday life easier for us. 

Last year we spent New Year's Eve in Hawaii at a Luau.   This year we shall have a quiet evening at home...possibly I will cook a steak for supper. 

Far Side

Monday, December 30, 2019

No Fun

It snowed.  We got 10 inches plus plus.  The snow stick shows 21 inches now.

The morning began with a phone call from my other baby brother...my Dad was having issues he couldn't see or breathe.  Mom called the ambulance.  Mom could not open the front door on account of the snow so the ambulance attendants had to shovel their way in.  Dad's heart was in A Fib...in the ER they shocked his heart and he converted and by the time my brothers and I got to the hospital on really crummy roads Dad was better.  They kept him awhile and then got him up to walk around and sent him home.  This is my Dad's second bout with A fib....Christmas several years ago he had another episode.  Anyways my sister in laws shoveled at my parents house and my other baby brother got someone to plow their yard and we got them all settled in again before coming home.

On the way home I got a text from Miss Paige...her Mom (our oldest daughter) was taken to the hospital.  Paige reported back that her Moms vitals were good and she would be okay but they were going to admit her to the hospital.  We tried to take her to the ER or the walk in Clinic on Friday but she refused to go.  She has a multitude of health issues.  The roads are too bad from the ongoing snowstorm  to go up North right now.

So anyways it was a no fun day...but no one died.

Far Side

Sunday, December 29, 2019

12 Years

Well...I have been blogging for twelve years.   My family says "She has no filter and is brutally honest."   Guess it must be true.

Whoever still reads this everyday...you need a medal.  I know Far Guy reads it but has given up talking to me about it...I think he must be kinda like a duck and lets the water flow off his back.

It snowed a little...must be a pre storm snowfall. We are ready for winter storm Gage.

I cleared off the patio from the last four inches...so we can start anew.
I accomplished some errands outside.   Far Guy has a very sore throat possibly a cold coming on so he rested quite a bit yesterday.  One day at a time.

I usually give myself flowers on this my blogging anniversary.

The Poinsettias caught my eye one day.  The red bracts are so vibrant.  The actual Poinsettia flowers are the little yellow/green nubins in the center of the bracts (modified leaves) enough horticulture for today!

I guess I shall continue to blog...it is what I do.  It serves as a great journal if nothing else.
Far Side

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Early Morning Trees

Surprise Surprise we got more snow Christmas Day evening and night.  About 4 inches plus or minus fell.  It made the roads slippery.

We have another winter storm moving in.  Not sure if this one has a name yet.  This one should last three days....we shall see.  We will be safe at home. 

The light in the early morning caught the snow filled branches of the Oaks very nicely.

There are 11 inches of snow at the snowstick as of yesterday.

We ran errands up north yesterday.  Delivered baby shower packages to Maddie.  Her baby shower is today and we will miss it on account of the weather.  Their trip back to Michigan will be delayed a day or two.

 After dropping off packages we stopped by Hobby Lobby for one skein of yarn and I came out with two...so that's not so bad!

I stopped by and gave Savannah a hug and then we visited our oldest daughter.  We got home just at twilight.  The moon was a beautiful sliver of orange in the western sky and straight south was Venus very bright in the night sky.

My computer went all wonky on Friday morning, Andy got it into safe mode and I copied everything I wanted to keep.  While we were gone the computer fixed itself...but who knows for how long. ..Windows 7 was a long time ago.

Thursday;  Andy and Jen came down to my baby brothers for a holiday meal and then they went to Bingo with my Dad and I.  Jen and I both bingoed so it was a good night and we can go back again next week.

Far Side

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Great Grand

We think our Great Grand is pretty great!  He allowed me to kiss him a couple of times (on the head) and I got one hug.  We attempted to read a book...he has a very short attention span....so we played cars!

It was great to hear a little one giggle and be thrilled with every package he opened!
Hey Mikey and his Mama
His hair is very curly! He would be spoiled rottener if he lived in Minnesota.  He is not very excited about his sibling...he says "no baby"....boy does he have an adjustment to make!
Far Side

Thursday, December 26, 2019


We always try to put a puzzle together at Christmas time.  Jen picked out the puzzle from the puzzle stash upstairs.

It was all about trees!

Our littlest puzzler...he knew what it was called and tried to put in several pieces!

The puzzle was finished before Jen and Andy went home.

All the pieces were there...even though I declared several times that there were several pieces that did not belong in this particular puzzle!

Far Side

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

This was the 2019 Christmas Card.  Lots of work...watercolors with some glitter embellishment.

Far Guy's Christmas Letter.

We hope you have a wonderful day!

Far Side

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas Eve!

We enjoyed having our Grands here to celebrate Christmas.

You might have noticed that we have a new Grand...his name is Jonas and he is from Belgium, he is spending the year here with Andy, Jen and Adam...he is a delight.  He told me that in Belgium you spend Christmas with your Grandparents...it is a bit different for him since his Grandfather died.

He is very tall and thin and speaks French but his English has improved since he got here.   He is a tad camera shy...but was a good sport!  We taught him how to play spoons!  A fairly wild game  was played!

Noah and Adam
Maddie and Savannah
Miss Paige was in Florida enjoying sunshine and deep sea fishing, we missed her.  

These children light up our lives. 
Far Side

Monday, December 23, 2019


The sunrises have been just beautiful the past few days.
When Andy and Jen were here Andy fired up the snow blower and removed a bunch of snow and fixed the garage doors that we have been struggling with.  What a gift to have someone that helps us out!

We gathered for a family Christmas Celebration here at our home yesterday.  Our oldest daughter was not able to attend and Paige was in Florida. We missed them both but appreciated those who were able to attend.

We are a little tired.  We both had naps after the house became quiet once again.

Trivia Question and answer; What did we say was our greatest accomplishment? 

Our two daughters and our five grandchildren .
Far Side

Sunday, December 22, 2019


We had a lovely gathering/party.

We gathered at a favorite eating establishment in the boonies.

The message is clear ...we are loved by many special people.

Our youngest daughter did a wonderful job with the decorations and preparations for the party all we did was show up!
Son In Law Andy was the MC of the Trivia Game..Who were the best man and maid of honor?  How large was their first home?  Where did they go to school and what were their majors?  Name their four Shetland Sheepdogs?  Name the grandchildren from shortest to tallest?  How many States have they lived in?  What kind of car did Far Guy say he should have never sold; model , make, year and color?   Which ride did Far Guy set up on a regular basis during the summers on Merriam's Midway Shows? What did we say was our greatest accomplishment?   Share a story...and they did.

Far Side

Saturday, December 21, 2019

50 years and counting

Yesterday was calm.  We both worked on various activities.   I did some laundry, wrapped a few gifts, dusted, cleaned the bathroom...finished a "it would be nice to do last minute Christmas project"  Far Guy made his famous Chili Cheese Dip and Caramel Rolls....and we both had a nap.

Far Guy gave me the wood carving he has been working on for months.   It is a much appreciated gift...I know how long and hard he worked on getting it all just perfect!

Here are some photos as it was in progress.

Each flower petal was carved separately.
He loves to carve flowers. 

My gift to him was not very romantic...a can of special spray to help lubricate the automatic garage doors that are being a pain in the butt when it is cold.  They open just fine...getting them to close again is a real effort as most of the time they have to be pulled down.

Later today there is a family gathering...I have it on good authority that a Trivia game featuring us will be played. 
Far Side

Friday, December 20, 2019

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary!

Well today is the day...fifty years ago at 2 o'clock in the afternoon we were married in Park Rapids Minnesota at St Johns Lutheran Church by the Pastor that made Far Guy promise to go to church every Sunday for the rest of his life during Confirmation.

The flowers have faded.

Wedding Bouquet and a Boutonniere

Our wedding party...December 20 1969.

From Left to right:  Karen (my aunt), Cathie my best friend in High School, Jan (Far Guys sister), Hilda (my cousin), me, Far Guy, Paul (Far Guys Friend), Frank (Far Guys friend, Carey (my brother), Kenny (my uncle)   Down in front we have Jill (my God Daughter and cousin), Julie (my sister) and the twins Karl and Kurt (my cousins).  The little girls were three years old and the little boys four years old.   Everyone in this photo is still alive except for my aunt Karen she died a few years ago.

We have a quiet day planned today with a bit of cooking.  Family will be coming later today and tomorrow.
Thank you for following along and for all your kind comments.

Far Side

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The things we keep

That box of memories is no fancy box.  Do you recall a red three wheeled bike from from the early 1970's?  Marx Mini Wheel?  Red plastic with three black wheels and yellow handlebars. Well that was a Christmas Gift to our oldest daughter in 1974...and that is the box I used to pack up all the wedding memories.  Let me tell you that the contents of the box fit perfectly...all the little boxes fit inside only one way. 

Thank you cards.

And a box of napkins.
It is surprising that everything has withstood the test of time....including us...although we are a little worse for the wear.

On Friday December 19, 1969 a Groom's Dinner was hosted by Far Guy's parents at the Travelers Cafe in Park Rapids with our good friend and neighbor Arvilla cooking for the group.  It was cold...it was below zero.  The food must have been good...I cannot recall what we ate....neither can Far Guy...our best guess is chicken, steak or roast beef.  

Far Side 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

List and Guests

In the box filled with memories was a list of names and addresses...the invitation list.  239 names were on the list.  I went through the list... most of the guests present are now deceased. 

My Mother wrote out the list.

Our Guest Book has seen better days but the inside is perfect.
Fun to see all the old signatures...especially those whose handwriting I am familiar with.

I counted 165 guests not counting children.

The view from the balcony in the church.

A few years ago, I scanned all the photos in our wedding photo album and refreshed the colors a bit as they were getting faded....faded with time.

Far Side

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Cake and White Roses

In that box of memories were many old treasures.

We had cake.  My Aunt Skip made the cake.  It was a white layer cake.  One main cake and several heart shaped cakes.

I think this bit of ribbon and lily of the valley was on the cake server.
 Ha!  Here is the proof that the sprig of ribbon and lily of the valley goes with the cake server.

This was a long stemmed white rose long ago....this might have been my sisters flower she was a flowergirl...she was 3 years old....although she broke the head off of her flower and reported it promptly to me...so maybe this was Far Guy's sisters flower., she was a bridesmaid.

Our 50th Anniversary is Friday the 20th.  My musings will probably continue until then. 

Our youngest daughter has "something" planned for the weekend.  I requested a simple family dinner.

Getting married so close to Christmas we hardly ever celebrate, when we were younger we didn't have the money for both so Christmas took precedence.   Last Christmas and New Years we celebrated by going to Hawaii....that will do us for a few years.

We are almost ready for Christmas here.  I am working on the Shiny Brite Tree Upstairs.  I froze that fudge I made...I could finally cut it into something that resembled a square piece!   Everyone that comes over is going home with fudge so we get rid of it! Christmas Gifts are ready.  Pumpkin Bread and Cinnamon Rolls should be made.  I consulted with Far Guy about his Christmas Gift so we ordered it, then he consulted with me and mine was ordered also...shopping at it's finest!

It snowed again and more snow was shoveled.

Far Side

Monday, December 16, 2019

It takes lots of cousins

In that box of memories I unearthed was a fancy apron.
I know it is a wrinkled mess but you get the idea. It was a sheer half apron that was short and had lace trim, it tied in the back. There was a bow and a bell on the pocket.

Year and years ago teenage cousins were asked to help serve the bridal table.  You know go for coffee refills and fetch extra napkins and make sure everyone had what they needed.  At our wedding the "waitresses" were my cousins;  Diane, Vickie and Max short for Maxine although most of the time we called her Zeeny.

In fact it took a village/lots of cousins to have a wedding reception in the church.  Far Guy had some cousins that helped out also and probably wore the pretty little aprons!

Coffee was poured...the gals sat at the end of the table and poured coffee from a silver service and presented the cup  on a small plate.  (Is that correct Bonnie? She reads my blog too!) Yes we had punch...but I do not recall the ice cream. (Sharon...she reads my blog... was there really ice cream?)

I think 400 people is a stretch...but there were lots of people on that cold December day.

Note:  50 years ago all the women that were married are a Mrs somebody...if you are married you lost your first name.
Far Side

Update From Sharon: Yes Connie, you did have ice cream and I was so nervous serving it because there were so many people! 

Update from Bonnie: I remember serving coffee on a fancy china plate☕️.