Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Found a new fruit in the grocery store.  I paired it with some blueberries.

It is golden kiwi, specifically California Golden Kiwi.  Far Guy thought the flavor was more intense.  I thought it was about the same.  The fruits seem a bit smaller than regular kiwi.

This is a fruit we had in Hawaii.

These are half peeled.  The white part is the part you eat, there is a small brown seed inside the white part which you should not eat.  This is a Rambutan and it is very rich in Vitamin C.  It has the texture of a grape and kinda tastes like a tangy grape.  Needless to say our grocery store does not have them.

Far Side

Monday, March 18, 2019

132 days of snow

We have had snow on the ground since November 6 2018.   Seems like longer than 132 days ago.
We sat outside in the sunshine yesterday, the sun felt delightful.

The road home

The snow is melting some.  I shoveled some ice off the patio.  It is going to be a muddy mess in the driveway soon.

We have another appointment filled week ahead of us.  I wish it was Friday...but then I guess I shouldn't wish my life away. 

I have planned easy meals for the week; chicken and salad, brats and beans, Naan bread pizza, freezer meals and dinner out one night.  I hate planning menus but when you live in the "sticks" you have to be organized!
Far Side

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Parade

The parade was short...about five minutes.

A wave from the King...no horse drawn wagon this year.

This group was collecting donations for the food shelf.
Best part was a tie between the dog and men in underwear.

Remember to enter your snow stick guess HERE.
Far Side

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Happy St Urho's Day!

We plan to attend the St Urho’s Day parade.  I will have parade photos tomorrow God willing and the crick don’t rise.
What you don’t know about St Urho?  He chased all the pesky grasshoppers that were eating all the grapes in Finland.   Purple and green are the colors of the day…representing the grapes.

Now for the Snow Stick contest!  Please leave me a comment with the date you think the snow and ice will be completely gone from the snowstick.  The winner or winners will get something special from me.  Those of you too shy can email me with your guess.  I will take guesses until Monday night at 9 PM.

Here is the Snowstick History:
2011  April 8
2012  March 13
2013  April 30
2014  April 10
2015  March 11
2016  March 8
2017 March 20
2018  April 22

Far Side

March 26 LD
March 31 Denny   Marilyn
April 2 Lisa
April 3 Marlys
April 5 Cathrin
April 7 Rita
April 8 Victoria Z
April 9 Pauline
April 10 Red
April 11 Dianne
April 12 Kay  Marti C
April 13 Gemma's person   Karen
April 14  Kathy    KCD   Dale
April 15 Phyllis
April 16 Jo Anne and unknown
April 17 Sara
April 18 sillygirl
April 19 Andrea   Betsy
April 20 Unknown  and Cathy M
April 21 Wendy D
April 22 Bonnie   Linda
April 23 Gene B
April 24 Granny M    Carol W
April 25 Joyce  F
April 26 diane
April 28  Barb
April 30 Susie
May 1 DJan
May 5 Sonja

Friday, March 15, 2019

More Rain

The roads were pretty fair this morning on our way to Physical Therapy for me and an Infusion for Far Guy…then a drive by at the post office and to the grocery store.  We came home unpacked the groceries and had a long nap.

The time change has caught up with me I guess.

Parts of Minnesota are having a blizzard so far we have escaped. Yeah us!

Rain March 13 and 14

Rain for two days

My Yak Trax boots got wet. Once my feet get cold the only option is a corn bag heated up in the microwave and some couch time!

No Bingo with my Dad last night, the roads could have turned icy anytime.

Far Side

Thursday, March 14, 2019


I got home just before the rain started.  Now the yard is like a skating rink.

June March 13

June the snowbank is losing some of her tallness.  Snow on top of the icy yard will make for some tricky footing. I have Yak Trax and I use them.

The snowstick registers 21 inches March 13.

snow sliding off the roof

Just before dark I went outside to take some photos of the snow on the roof…hopefully the rest of it will slide off in the rain.  We will breathe a sigh of relief when the snow is gone from all our buildings….there have been some scary roof collapses in the area. 

Rain is appropriate for our dismal mood.

My Tall Friend who I mentioned yesterday died early Wednesday morning. His daughters and ex wife are all very sad.  You have to give kudos to the ex wife, she gave him emotional and physical support the past few months. They may not have been married but they were still friends.

We also learned of another death. Boner died…he was a fixture around town, always happy to see who ever he met.  Recently the town council passed some kind of stupid law concerning the Golf Cart that he drove around town. He used to park it on Main Street and at the grocery store….get real people.  His Mom Gladys used to own the small gift shop next to the theater, Boner took it over after she died….he ran it sucessfully for a number of years.  Recently I noticed a street sign near his house it read “Elvis Presley Blvd”  …now that made me smile.

Far Guy’s only living Uncle is struggling with heart problems….he is home and maybe his wish that he shared with me will be fulfilled.  He said “I would like to die at the farm, they can carry me out feet first.”

Life is a journey full of a little rain, a little snow, illness, death,  sad feelings…but eventually spring will come…the sun will shine and flowers will grow.

Isaiah 41:10  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Far Side

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wistful Wednesday:Tall friend

Growing up in a rural community and attending grade school in a nearby bump in the road I knew many different kids.  All those kids are now in their late 60’s. Jobs and different life paths can take you away from your roots. 

Grade school classes had about twenty students each. Everyone went to Release Time Class on Wednesday throughout the school year.  We walked as a group to Dorothy’s home.  In her basement we heard Bible Stories and prayed together. 

Dorothy’s oldest son was a year older than me.  He was tall, always the tallest in his class. I recall one day in line at the water fountain when the Principal came out of his room with his yard stick with the red bow and began to whack him on the back.  His back must have been covered in marks, besides that I was inline at that fountain and didn’t see any behavior that warranted a beating.  I lost all respect for the principal that day. 

It couldn’t have been easy for my friend being so tall and uncoordinated.  In high school he became a basketball player, not the star of the team but a good team player.

Many years later  we would live just down the street from my tall friend and his wife, our children would play together.  I was day care for their two daughters for a time.  Now those little girls are all grown up with children of their own.  Lately they have had to make very hard health decisions for their tall Dad. 

Just before he got real ill and entered the hospital he sent me a music video CCR’s  Have you ever seen the rain
I pray the last part of his journey is peaceful.
Far Side

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


I am still up North with Adam, Miss Miney and Little Elvis.  I have been working on cards and knitting. Noah and his gal made supper for us last night, a mac and cheese dish. 

I have started more socks.  Imagine that. 
I will head home in the next day or two, Far Guy is lonely...FaceTime is like almost being there but not quite.
Far Side

Monday, March 11, 2019

Scones and socks

Adam and I moved lots of snow.  
We made scones. Adam had not used a pastry blender before. 

I finished my first trial pair of socks.  It is possible for me to knit socks.  I learned much...and there are a few things I will do differently from now on.  I need a list to mark off what I have done... not quite row by row but close.  Since I am counting challenged I should mark my rows so my socks end up being exactly the same! 

Yeah for socks!

Boo hiss for snow
Far Side

Sunday, March 10, 2019


It is snowy over most of Minnesota.  
I am staying busy with crafts, spoiling Miss Miney and Elvis, keeping one eye on Adam and calling Far Guy multiple times a day.

Far Side

Saturday, March 9, 2019

A Mission

I have packed up a boatload of craft stuff and headed up north to babysit Little Elvis and Miss Miney and keep Adam company during the storm.

Far Guy will stay at home where he is most comfortable.  I will keep a close watch on him through Facetime.


Perhaps Adam and I can have some quality cooking/baking experiences.  We can make big messes in the kitchen when we are unsupervised!

Far Side

Friday, March 8, 2019

No Snow Adventures

No Snow adventures yesterday.  I did not hurt myself wallering around in the snow.  Someone asked if I was making butt angels…maybe so.

Another Winter Storm is headed our way.  I am thrilled.

little June and sparkly snow

Little June and sparkly snow in late afternoon.


Since it is going to snow I took a photo of the snowstick just before I left for Bingo with my Dad.  We are a pathetic couple of losers.  We were one number away from a Bingo 39 times in 35 games.   It made for an exciting night but a win would have been nice.  Oh well we will try again next week.   It is kind of nice that I can drive into town to get my Dad in the daylight.  His hand is healing nicely and he no longer wears a bandage.

We will hunker down at home for the weekend storm….we can always hope that it will go south of us.  

Far Side

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Flowers and a snow encounter

Every week when we shop I wander by the floral department.  I admire all the different color roses and wonder if I could have roses in the house which bouquet would I pick?  My moods are different just like flowers….mostly I like yellows and orange roses, next would be red and then pink, purple and ivory or white. 

Maybe when spring comes I will find a heavy duty vase and have some flowers out on the table on the patio.  I saw one of those old milk can carriers filled with vases…that may work…or maybe just an old quart jar in a wooden box.

I cannot have flowers or green plants in the house…my eyes will itch and my nose will run and I will get a nasty cough… the result of too many years in the greenhouses continually being assaulted by plants.

Rose Macro

My roses that I had growing outside finally died…Minnesota (freeze your butt off) winters can be hard on plants.

Yesterday I got stuck in a snowbank.  The snow is deep in the yard…very deep. (Waist deep)  I wanted to retrieve a suet feeder (against Far Guys wishes) and put it in a tree that would be closer to firm footing.  Well I busted through the crust of the snow so many times that I ended up crawling on all fours.  I retrieved the suet feeder and tried dragging it along crawling.  I finally sat down to re- ass-ess the situation and my butt fell through the crust of the snow…picture feet in the air along with my head.  I rested and looked at the sky. Eventually I lifted my butt out of the snow and half rolled scooted to the patio.  I was covered in snow, all my clothing was wet…snow had been shoved up my shirt and down my pants and into my boots.  I was done being outside enjoying the snow.

Far Side

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wistful Wednesday: Happy Boys

The twins use to live next door. They were almost the same age as Chance.  At first hey were afraid of him and would scream bloody murder when their Mom pushed them over in the stroller.  Chance was confused as he loved all kids.  He didn’t like children crying…he was raised on a farm with lots of small children….I think maybe the Mom there raised her voice when children were crying..so crying children made Chance nervous.

As the twins grew older they began to throw the ball for Chance and eventually out grew their fear of dogs. Their Grandfather would hold the twins in his lap and then let them throw the ball. Now they have two dogs in their family!

The Boys and Toys

Everyone looks so happy in this photo.  I can almost hear Gavin giggling.  Chance loved these boys very much and they loved him too. Chance tried to kidnap Jordan once or twice.

I think most everyone that met Chance loved him very much. We still miss him…everyday.

Far Side

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


Frozen Tundra, that is what Minnesnowta looks like now.

Frozen Tundra

Yesterday we had a Doctors appointment far away for Far Guy.  A breathing medication has been changed and we see the Doctor again in two weeks.  The Doctor is betting that a change in delivery ( Inhaler vs Nebulizer) of meds may make Far Guy feel better.  The Doc says his airways are “angry”  and hopefully this will settle them down.

We went to Costco, stocked up on some things we needed.  It is a good place to get in a long walk.

The roads were pretty good when we left but lots of blowing snow on the way home.

Snow banks March 4

Some snowbanks are taller than vehicles.

We are happy to be home safe and sound.

Far Side

Monday, March 4, 2019

Cold Weekend

The wind is just raw.  It was way below zero with the wind chill….some obnoxious number –40 or –50.  It is enough to drive you batty!

Bat plant

Bat Plant  January 2019 Hawaii


I am working on my socks.  Far Guy is inbetween projects.

Probably another five appointments this week.

House work, feed birds, shovel snow, cook, do laundry repeat as necessary and go to appointments.  Such is life in the elderly fast lane.

Far Side

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Knitting: Heel Flap, Heel Turn

I have been making slow progress on my pair of practice socks.

Heel flap and heel turn

Top sock …I learned how to do the heel flap.  The bottom sock has a heel flap and a heel turn!

The purple yarn is a lifeline I put in just in case I made a mistake…and I did use it on the first sock.  When you use a lifeline and make a mistake you can just rip back to the lifeline and put that row of stitches back on your needles and start again.

Both heals turned Here both heels have been turned.

Work has begun on one socks gusset

working on the gusset

I use the plugs on the needle ends when I am not working on them…that way I can put them in my workbasket and all my stitches will stay put.

Learning to knit socks sure has been an adventure.  I have notecards with directions for each step…I watch Marly Bird Red Heart Videos. I usually watch the video and make my notes and then follow the video step by step.

Last week I thought…maybe I can find someone to finish these socks if I can’t do it…but step by step I am getting  it done myself!

Onward to finishing my gusset decreases and get back to my original amount of stitches on my four needles then the foot and toe and I will have a sock! 

I have begun a sock with real sock yarn…I frogged it several times.  Apparently I cannot count correctly.


It is working up nicely. I really like the bamboo needles.

The weather is very cold, I fed the birds and power shoveled the walk as we got some more snow just before it turned cold. 

Far Side

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Greek Goddess

When Jen did her Ancestry DNA test, she found out that she has some Greek in her background.  So wanting to know more she gave her Dad a Ancestry kit for Christmas. 

Well guess what? He does not have Greek in his DNA.

So…I must have a Greek Goddess in my background…who knew.

Probably the Goddess of War….maybe Athena who was the goddess of crafts and domestic art…and war!


A cruise ship leaving the Big Island of Hawaii January 2019

Far Side

Friday, March 1, 2019

Friday finally

Look ma no cavities!  Dental appointments have been accomplished. 

Physical therapy appointments were no fun but they were accomplished also. No huge improvements.  My one leg is longer than the other and they cannot figure it out…they have tried everything to get them the same length…yesterday one pulled one way and another pulled the other way…uffda.

The weather is to turn really cold this weekend and hopefully we will just stay in and hibernate.  I am ready for a few days at home. Sounds like March will come in like a Lion.

Last night my Dad finally felt up to Bingo, he fell and injured his hand but after three weeks he says it is good enough to resume Bingo activity.


Hibiscus in Hawaii

Far Side

Thursday, February 28, 2019

70 years

We received word yesterday that Far Guy’s cousin Stevie died from “lung problems.”

Stevie was 70 years old earlier this month.  Stevie was a bit of a loner and lived in Missouri. He stayed in contact with his sister and occasionally his father.  He was a USAF Veteran.  He is survived by his daughter, his father, his sister, one half sister and four half brothers.  He was preceeded in death by his mother and a sister.

Every 5 or 10 years Stevie would come to Minnesota.  I did not see him the last time he visited but in 2008 I took a photo of him and Far Guy.

Gene and Stevie August 2008

Far Guy and Stevie 2008

Stevie Jay Gene 1957

Cousins: Stevie, Jay and Far Guy  in 1957

"A good name is better than fine perfume,   and the day of death better than the day of birth.
  It is better to go to a house of mourning,    than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone ;    the living should take this to heart." Ecclesiastes 7 :1-2

Far Side

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wistful Wednesday: What we pass along

Far Guy got the results of his DNA story.

England, Wales and Northwestern Europe 69 %

Germanic Europe 17 % ( Northwest Germany)

Norway 6 %

France 4 %

Ireland and Scotland 4 %

Northwestern Europe covers a large area: Ireland, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Northern Germany, Luxembourg, Northern France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, South Germany and Switzerland.  Some of these peoples were Celtic and some were Vikings.

The Vikings part is a bit interesting.  There is a Genetic connection to Far Guy.  The Vikings were eating raw fish and sometimes the fish had worms that would make you ill.  Over the years their bodies adapted and they developed a mutated gene…that gene is what causes Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency.   That is the good news/ bad news, you won’t get worms but your liver will not produce a protein to protect your lungs. 

Marvin and Evelyn 1955

Far Guy’s parents.  They were both carriers for the bad gene, one was an M (normal) and and S (deficient gene), the other was M (normal) and Z (deficient gene).  We do not know which is which.  ( If all relatives would take the free test we might be able to figure it out…as of yet few have been tested.)  Far Guy is a SZ (deficient), his sister is MM (normal) he got the bad genes and she got the good ones.   A child gets one gene from their father and one from their mother…the luck of the draw.  I am MM (Normal) so we knew right away that both of our daughters were carriers.  Only one of our Grandchildren is a carrier….four escaped and one did not.

Far Side

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Legs and a drift

First the drift.

snow drift

This spot will drift everytime the wind blows…unless it rains then the snow will get a crust on it.  The roads were pretty good.

We had to go to town for my Physical Therapy session.  They think it is more than just my Hamstring Tendon that is injured…time will tell.   I can sit by the dining room table as the bench is wood and supports my leg/butt…but sitting in a soft chair or on the couch…forget it…the only reason I can sit in the car is because of the heated seat!  I have no pain walking or standing, just sitting, until recently I had no problem laying down…but now I have pain most of the night.  Heat and Aleve and Extra Strength Tylenol help.  I am supposed to avoid  movements that cause pain.

I have finished the legs of my sock…actually two socks.  I knit at the dining room table.

Knitting progress

The  two on the right are ready for the “Heel Flap”…I watched the video and it seems pretty easy.  I am hopeful that I can do it.  I also have written instructions and made my own recipe card for socks.

On the left…I splurged on two sets of bamboo needles for my Schachenmayr REGIA sock yarn and I have begun a cuff. 

We have five appointments this week…one down …four to go.  I am not real thrilled when it is an appointment week….especially dental appointments.

Far Side

Monday, February 25, 2019

Wind and Air Fryer

The wind blew.  It blew so hard an inch of snow was moved from the snowstick. It was a blizzard.

2 3 inches Feb 24

We heard the driveways were all blocked by drifts and local roads were one lane covered by drifts…big ole 4 wheel drive trucks like my other baby brother has made it through…but when he got to the highway visibility was zero…so he came back home and stopped to tell us about it.

Back here in the woods the snow moved around and the tree tops were in motion all day long.


This is a view of little June behind big June.  The old grain bin looks like it is wearing a cap.

I used the power shovel once during the day to clear off the walk in front of the house.

I knitted and did some indexing at Family Search.  Far Guy worked on a woodcarving.

We cooked supper for my other baby brother and his bride…BBQ ribs, cooked carrots and french fries in the air fryer.  Since they live next door they didn’t have to venture out too far.  We really like our air fryer…makes great homemade french fries!  My other baby brother thought so too.  We have a french fry cutter that makes short work of a potato with the skin on…then they are air dried a bit and put in a bowl with about a half of a teaspoon of olive oil before going into the air fryer for about 20 minutes.

Far Side

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Tied Record

The snow record in our yard has been tied.  Will we set a new record? …have to wait and see.

24 inches

I fed the birds and shoveled snow.  We go to the Tranfer Station with our garbage every three weeks.  Yesterday was the day.  The roads were slippery.


After I filled the thistle feeders a whole swarm of Pine Siskens came into the yard…they were chirping happily.


This spot was right ouside our door.  It seems we have a watch rabbit that sat here long enough to melt snow.

The snow is light and fluffy for the most part, it will blow around today as we have a blizzard warning.

Yesterday we entertained ourselves for a while watching unique snow removal tools that were used on roofs…ropes, wires and Minnesnowta Roof Razor.  Fun videos to watch.  Snow on top of roofs is beginning to be concerning for many home owners, in town it costs $385 to have your roof cleared.  There was an ad up that said $5 a square foot, boy did he get some flack. We have steel roofs and sooner or later it will slide right off.

Far Side

Saturday, February 23, 2019

We have enough snow already

It snowed again…imagine that.  Big huge flakes.

snowing Feb 22


Enough already!  I went to the couch to hibernate…how do bears do it anyways…I had to get up to pee….and then the phone rang…so hibernation was not possible.   Back to knitting and woodcarving and looking out the window.

22 inches

The local television channels beep beep beep weather announcements don’t even make us pay attention anymore.   Seems all of February has been bad weather announcements.

Far Side

Friday, February 22, 2019

Uffda more snow

We got about 4 inches of new snow.  It has been cleared from our yard, our nephew Josh was by and cleared most of the yard.  I power shoveled the walk and the path to the birds and shoveled a little….Josh was impressed how far that little power shovel throws snow.  As far as I am concerned it is a wonderful tool!
IMG_2659  Walk

There are 22 inches of snow at the snowstick.   In 2013 we had 24 inches of snow at the stick.  I am certain with the snow forecast in the next few days we will see and raise a new record. 
22 inche sat the snowstick
Our resident snowbank “June”
On the way back from town someone  went off the road….the road was wet but not slippery…
Some people are easily distracted while driving.  The Sheriff finally got out of his vehicle and directed traffic after a couple of idiots behind us passed us by going into oncoming traffic.  Some people just have shit for brains.
Snow, snow, blowing snow and then extreme cold is forecast for us in the next few days.  We are staying home.
Far Side