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

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Snowy Weather

It snows every two or three days.  I had just caught up with snow removal before it started again.

21 inches at the snowstick Feb 20

21 inches at the snowstick Feb 20 2019


The birds keep us busy filling the feeders. The Pine Siskins come in great numbers to the feeders.

I am drawing and knitting and Far Guy is woodcarving.

We are both tired of snow, but we are thankful that we don’t live in “the cities” …seems they got dumped on again.  We are also thankful that we don’t have to go out in the worst of it.  More snow is forecast for Saturday.

Far Side

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wistful Wednesday : January 1988

I found an old Polaroid in one of the photo albums.  It is dated January 1988. 

Jan 1988 snow in PR

This was taken in Far Guy’s parents back yard.  The snow banks are as high as the clothesline.  Our daughters when they were little loved to play on the huge snow banks. They would run outside as we were getting ready to leave to play in the snow. They would get snow in their boots and then complain they were freezing cold.

Far Guy’s Dad took this photo because it is a Polaroid and his Mom labeled it with the month and the year.  They used to hire a local fellow to come in and push the snow around in their yard.

That clothesline was a hub of activity…it was there that Far Guy’s Mom put the harness on him and let him play outside when he was little…until he learned to unhook himself and go play at the neighbors… it was also where Muggy (a Chihuahua) got chained out, if you chain a dog to the clothes line they can run the length of it and bark!

Far Side

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Jen gave me an online drawing class for my birthday last Fall….I am finally getting around to it!

I love to doodle so this is the perfect class for me.  I can stay home and draw to my hearts content.

Whimiscal drawings

Whimsical packages

I am learning more in the online class than I ever did in High School Art Class.  This instructor uses pencils or sharpies.   She also likes to copy and print out her designs to color.  I had some old drawing pencils but she suggested a special eraser.  Who knew a kneaded eraser could be such a wonderful tool!

Far Side

Monday, February 18, 2019

Warmer Winter Days

We had some warmer days, anything above ZERO is appreciated.  Beware when it warms up it usually snows.


One day we actually had sunshine!  As you can see our ditches are full and there will be drifts across the road when ever the wind blows.


This snow drift/pile is as tall as the Catholic Church.   Believe it or not these photos were taken the same day.

We had a quiet weekend, Far Guy is woodcarving and I knit on my socks and took a online art class on Whimsical Drawing.  We blew snow away from the greenhouse/woodshop so we could open the door…we had a 3 foot tall snowdrift back there.  Far Guy is back taking care of the birds all by himself…he is getting stronger!  One day at a time.

Far Side

Sunday, February 17, 2019


I learned to knit as a teenager.  I used to go over to my Aunt Marie and Uncle Otto’s house to help with the twins and then my Aunt would take out a few minutes to teach me how to knit.  I can still hear her say “Don’t make your cast on stitches too tight or you will be in big trouble.”

I decided I wanted to TRY knitting socks.  OH MY it was harder than I thought.  I am using the four needle method.  I  cast on…frogged…cast on…frogged. ( Frogged is when you rip out all your stitches and begin again)  Threw the needles on my desk and gave up many times.   I watched videos.  I learned a long tail cast on.  I watched how they made their join.  More frogging …more giving up…one video said “Keep at it, if you have to cast on and knit that first round 100 times eventually you will GET it.”

I wanted to spend more time with my Aunts that knit…but sadly they are dead. Both my Aunt Marie and my Aunt Mia were extraordinary knitters.

I dropped some stitches, four needles is a challenge…I knit my join too loosely and made “ladders.” Uffda.

Finally I made an acceptable join.

4 needles

AND I have a cuff!!!


I am now working on the body of my sock. My reward for making it this far was to go to town and get some more needles and some worsted weight sock yarn that is a wool mix…sock yarn is quite expensive.

I was astonished that I still knew a knit stitch from a pearl stitch…and could do both decently after all these years.

Will I be able to do a heel??  I hope so.  This first pair is made out of some practice yarn…I will let you know how it goes.  I will wear these socks no matter what they turn out like!

I have to remember to relax and go with the flow. Relax was my word for this year.  I do find knitting relaxing…I keep my yarn and needles on my desk or the dining room table and when I take a break I can do a few stitches.  I have found out that knitting uses different muscles in your hands versus crochet.

Far Side

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Crochet Projects

Our friend the “Silver Fox” asked me to make him another face mask. ( I made him and Far Guy each one last year to help warm the air before they breathe it in) He wears it outside and he says his other one gets wet and if he had two one could dry out whilst he is wearing the other…and could I make it grey to match his ski jacket…and longer than the one I made him last year.  Sure.  I made it and delivered it and he was pleased as punch.

I made myself a helmet scarf with thick ties so it is like a scarf and a hat all in one.  Mine is a bit wonky …one tie is longer than the other ( I ran out of yarn)…but I was not going to rip it out and start over.  It was admired one day even with it’s flaws.. “ I used to have a scarf/hat like that in middle school sure wish I had it now when it is so cold.  Back then I was embarassed to wear it.”

I had time, I had yarn.  I had attempted a wide rimmed hat with this yarn once upon a time…and then frogged it. There is no pattern, I made it to fit my head and the scarf to fit over my ears …you can tie it in place, tuck it in your coat or let it flop around.

The helmet scarf

I had Far Guy take a photo before I delivered it. (She loved it!)

The scarf

Me and the helmet scarf.  Who knows it may become a Minnesnowda fashion statement...or not.

I finished Hey Mikey’s winter hat and got it mailed off to him.

Perfect for crochet

I didn’t take a photo of the finished hat but here it is in progress.  It was a real soft fuzzy yarn.

I still have a bag filled with scrubby yarn and I crochet scrubbies when I am in the car or waiting at an appointment.

I am also revisiting knitting.  THAT has been a real adventure.

Far Side

Friday, February 15, 2019

Happy Birthday!

Far Guy is older today.

Gene 1963 (3)

This is a school photo from 1963.

IMG_3940 2019

This is a photo I took in Hawaii. He sat down and was caught checking his phone for a score of a Hockey game.

Far Guy is feeling better and has finished his third round of antibiotics, he is building up his number of steps a day.  He has requested steak for his birthday supper….probably with mushrooms…and for dessert raspberries.

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!

Far Side

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentines Day

A Postcard from 1909. 

Love in the park Lake geo ant

Looks like Cupid is about to stab someone…and that gal looks like she just might whack that amorous fellow with her parasol.

Far Side

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wistful Wednesday: Post Office

How times have changed.  Far Guy signed up for emails from the Post Office.  He gets a daily email that shows a scan of what is in our mail box.   I am not certain how that bit of technology works …but it does.


Post Office Osage Minnesota in the early 1900’s.

Far Side

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Snowy Day Activities

It snowed all day Monday, now it will blow around today.  At least it has to warm up to snow.  Small consolation.

T.I.R.E.D of snow….need sunshine.


I need blue skies, liquid water and something green.   Spring cannot come too soon.

Trying to teach myself to knit socks on four needles…that is an adventure.  Working on a woodcarving….still struggling with my arm and shoulder placements…I can get one side just perfect and the other side looks like the guy has a broken arm.

Baking:  Couldn’t find the recipe I wanted for Lemon Cupcakes so I guessed ( how do those chefs on baking shows do it?  They just add ingredients without measuring and it turns out! ) anyways they sunk to half the size after I took them out of the oven…I watched them deflate….Far Guy said they were pretty good…like a pound cake.  Then I made hockey pucks…a brownie mix put into cupcake liners…I guess I baked them a little too long…tried to make them more appealing by pressing old Halloween chocolates into the tops….I could use them as weapons.

Now I have a recipe for Apple Fritters made in the air fryer…wish me luck!

Far Side

Monday, February 11, 2019


It snowed again on Sunday.

Yard art

We spent the evening with friends enjoying their home cooking and playing games; Shuffleboard and Crokinole.  They served roast beef, potatoes, green and yellow beans, orange and yellow carrots with Kuchen for dessert. I had not tasted Kuchen before, it is a rich custard dessert with fruit and a sweet dough crust…Germans and Russians are credited with the recipe.

Today we will prepare for the storm coming on Tuesday.  Making sure the bird feeders are topped off, the vehicle is full of gas and the shovel is at the ready.

Far Side

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Uffda cold

It was –36 F very early Saturday morning, then it warmed up to about –2F.  A heat wave.

20 inches of snow at the snowstick

The snow blew around and settled, we have 20 inches now at the snowstick.

I shoveled by the garage yesterday…a little at a time.

Valentines flag

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day we put up a new flag.  Soon we will make our annual trip to read cards in the store and then put them back…we might stroll by the chocolate and flowers too!

Saturday we went out for a late lunch/early supper and recycled plastic and paper along the way.

Nothing much was accomplished…dishes, laundry…the usual….and a nap.

Far Side

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Clear but cold

We spent the morning at the Clinic, Far Guy got his infusion and then we saw his Doctor.  His Doc says his lungs sound good and to keep on keeping on what we are doing and that the ER Doc is not one of his favorites either as he also questioned the non treatment we got there last week.

Roads Feb 8

It was twenty something below.  The ditches are full and the roads were a tad slippery in places.

Last Tuesday on our way back from an up North Doctors appt the check engine light went on.  We stopped by the dealership and made an appt for Friday afternoon.


Park Rapids has some snow.

Well wouldn’t you know it the cold weather messed up a thingy magiggy that messed up the whatchamacallit and they had to tear half the car apart whilst we were trapped in the waiting room at the dealership.  I crocheted…Far Guy paced…we test drove a 2019 some kind of Chevy…an Equinox I think…it didn’t have a heated steering wheel and the seats were too short…your knees were not supported at all by the seat.  We missed lunch completely…I was getting hangry and tried to hold my tongue…we got home in time to fix supper…good thing we have vegetable soup and gumbo in the freezer…we could have stopped someplace in town but by that time we both just wanted to get home.  Besides that it was getting colder and colder as the day wore on.

We only missed one appointment this week due to weather…my Physical Therapy appointment for my injured Hamstring Tendon on Thursday was cancelled due to the blizzard. 

Snowy or bone chilling cold..repeat… that seems to be the weather pattern we are in.  Next storm is supposed to arrive on Tuesday.

Far Side

Friday, February 8, 2019


Our nephew was by and took care of the majority of the new snow.  I think we got about 7 inches overnight.   Then it kept snowing….and I took a nap so who really knows for sure.  It is plenty of fill your boots kinda snow.

June is growing.  June is the name we gave the snowbank  in our yard.


The Grands have carved snow tunnels through June and played King of the Hill there with Chance.  June always disappears before June…but we still like to call her that.

I moved snow off the patio and the walk, and shoveled in front of one of the garages…and fed the birds.   I did not go to Bingo…the wind chill is very cold.


Schools were closed as was the Clinic in town.

Far Side

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Stormy Days

I moved some snow yesterday to make room for more that is forecast to blanket our area.

Far Guy bought a power snow shovel, it is electric and works great to move snow!  It blows the snow about twenty feet!  Much easier on my shoulders than a regular shovel.  I still need to use the ol’ scoop shovel in some areas.


The best thing since sliced bread.


I keep trying to clear half the patio and a path to the bird feeders.  The other half of the patio will just have to melt…it got ahead of me while we were gone to Hawaii.  I suppose the big hard on shoulders snow blower would do a good job on it but I just don’t have the energy to man handle that snowblower.

We are supposed to get 12 plus inches of new snow…we will see.  We are having a blizzard today. 12 more inches could be a snowstick record.

18 inche Feb 6

We are staying busy.  Far Guy has been woodcarving and walking inside the house…round and round he goes.  I am working on a couple of requested crochet projects.

Far Guy says “It’s time to wave winter goodbye and guess which finger I’ll be using?”

He gets irritated with me when I walk to the kitchen window and say “It’s snowing again or the temperature is____!”

Far Side

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Wistful Wednesday: 1949

This is a snapshot of my Mother in 1949.  There are very few photos of my grandparents barn, but there it is in the background.
Madeline 1949 #2 (2)
Not sure where she was going, but she was wearing a coat, scarf, gloves, fancy hat that would never keep you warm and a pair of rubber overshoes.  Mom was 20 years old in 1949.  She may or may not have met my Father by the time this photo was taken. 
My Mom will be 90 years old later this year.
Far Side

Update:  The barn was built in 1943 or 1944 by Fred Schmaltz and my Grandfather Albert.  Before this barn there was another barn just east of this one that held 18 milk cows and 4 horses.
My Uncle Alfred was saving up to buy the cupola on top of the barn, he was killed in a car accident in 1947 and after that my Grandparents bought the cupola.

My Mom says, we always wore hats to church so that is probably where I was going.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Snow and cold again

Seems like the same old weather just a different day.

Pileated woodpecker

The big old Pileated Woodpecker has been flying in and out of the yard.

Far Guy talked to his Doctor, we are supposed to just keep on doing what we are doing.  Far Guy is much better if he can stay inside the house instead of going outside.

We have five appointments this week…unless of course we have a blizzard which is a possibility later in the week.

I saw my Physical Therapist yesterday, she says “Yes, it is normal to have more pain before you feel better.” Hamstring Tendon injuries suck.  The pain exhausts me, good thing I have no pain…or very little pain when laying down.

One day at a time.

Far Side

Monday, February 4, 2019

Tree Rats

We have way too many squirrels.

Black squirrel 

They are getting fatter and fatter and soon Little Elvis will be able to catch them when he visits.  The bums stole the chimney cover for this feeder…I will probably find it in the spring when the snow melts.

One morning I woke up…looked out the window and one was sitting inside one of the squirrel proof feeders…they had somehow knocked off the top.

Far Guy is a bit better, he had many naps yesterday. 

Far Side

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Gnomes, Far Guy and shoveling

When I put Christmas away I left the gnomes. I thought they looked wintery.  Jen made the gnomes, they are sewn by hand.

The Gnomes

Never mind the nails on the mantle they are for Christmas stockings.  Still have not found a “the” perfect spot for Chance’s canvas…then again maybe the mantle is the perfect spot.

Far Guy is a bit better, we hope that he will improve everyday.  He will see his regular Doctor on Monday…or at the very least talk with him on the phone.

We are getting a snow storm later today that will go into Monday.  Just what I need in my life more freaking snow.

Yesterday I got the path to the small garage door shoveled and the path to the bird feeders all cleared out.  No path to the sauna yet…I ran out of shovel muscles. Luckily my other baby brother snow plowed a path back to the LP tank so I took a broom and cleared snow off the tank so I could read the percentage.  I made a trip to the landfill (we go every three weeks or so) and recycled.  So much for Saturday jobs…thank goodness the weather was warmer…I think it got up to 24 F above zero…practically shirt sleeve weather.

Far Side

Saturday, February 2, 2019


We spent all of Friday morning in the Emergency Room.  Far Guy woke up with extreme shortness of breath.  As it happens an IDIOT Dr was manning the ER.  Not sure where he got his degree or if he has one.  Bottom line was your lungs are a mess but your blood work is okay so you can go home.  Thanks for nothing.   Reluctantly I brought Far Guy home and as the day progressed he improved a little.  I guess I can do the same thing for him as the hospital…except a nice dose of Solu - Medrol would have helped open up his airways and would have made breathing easier.   X rays were done…but no MRI for blood clots.  With Far Guys history a MRI with contrast should have been done…in my non doctor opinion.  Rest assured if he gets worse I will call first to see which Dr is on duty and if the same idiot is there I will go to a different hospital.

Far Guy says “ I stayed out of the hospital a whole year.”

We came home and napped in the afternoon, Far Guy watched the UND Hockey game in the evening.


Some kind of Hawaiian flower.

Far Side

Friday, February 1, 2019

Staying busy

I am busy with various craft projects when it is so cold.   I crochet, color and think of new projects I might like to try.

I went crazy one day and stamped a whole box full of images.  When I am tired of that project I just put the cover on the box…out of sight out of mind.

workbox of cards

Some have been watercolored…I do like watercoloring.


The watering can is one of the spring designs I am working on.

I finished up the tax paperwork for the accountant!  Yeah me!  It is all ready to drop off at his office.  I am always glad to put tax work behind me.

I am going to physical therapy twice a week for my hamstring tendon injury.  Physical Therapy is not painful until afterwards…then I get pain I cannot sleep through…they said that is normal and part of the healing process. It is a real pain in the butt.

We were –40 F again Thursday morning.  Just another fine Minnesota day.  So Long January…hello February.

Far Side