Friday, May 31, 2019

Rocks and flowers

Visiting the local cemeteries we were wondering what the significance was of rocks/stones?  We saw many headstones that had one or two or small piles of them.  I know the significance of the coins...Military Service related...but the rocks are a new one to me.

There is one large stone on Far Guy's Grandparents headstone.

There has been a solar light cross on Far Guy's parents stopped working so we took it down and everything looked so bare.

The new solar light is Far Guy's Dads favorite color.  It looks not so bare now.
Far Side

Leaving a stone or pebble is a gesture of appreciation for the strong and lasting impression they have made on your life.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Cemetery Visits and Deaths

We visited three cemeteries over the weekend.  We took flowers and have picked them up from two of the cemeteries.  We don't like to leave them on the graves too long as it is hard for the people that mow and trim.

The Phlox subulata is putting on its annual show at Riverside Cemetery.

Saturday at St Mary's Cemetery. I will go by and get the flowers there soon.

There were two deaths this week...old neighbors and friends.

  Al was 93 and we lived next door to him and Erna for about 10 years.  They were good neighbors.  They had a dog named Peaches that I used to dog sit.  One day there was a snake by the front step...I called Far Guy and told him I had the revolver out and I was going to shoot the snake...he said "Call Al"  so I did and Al came over and whopped it with a shovel...then held it up...I slammed the door and locked it...he just grinned at me and laid the snake on his bumper and drove away.  In the winter sometimes the Shelties ( we had four) would follow Al home from ice fishing on the lake...he would call and say "Holler for your dogs."  He was the local skunk trapper too.   He and Erna sold their lake place and moved to town.

Tess would have been 80 years old later this year.  She was a lovely woman who volunteered for me at the Museum.  She was a gem.  I will miss her...I should have stopped and visited her last week when I drove by her home..but I was in a hurry to get home myself.  She used to come into the museum about three days a week and I would get caught up on the local news and she would help me do whatever projects I had in the works or she would greet people!  She volunteered for the museum all three years I was there.  Tess leaves behind her husband Doc...he had Doc's Truckstop and Cafe in Osage for many years.

Far Side

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


I have been watching our Trillium, it is at the edge of the woods.   It is a sneaky plant, it comes up really fast out of nowhere...but then the flowers take about three days to form and open.

Trillium in bud

Such a beautiful flower.
We finally got a little sunshine and had a day about 70 degrees yesterday.   The grass seed that we planted before the rains began are beginning to germinate.  Good timing. 
Far Side

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


We finally have some flowers  here in the woods.
Tiny Violets  Native Plants

Double Flowering Plum  Not Native

Dandys  Not Native but wonderful early flowers for bees.
Far Side

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day for remembering those who died while fighting for our freedom.

This is a photo of my Dad's brother Arthur before he went in the service.

Arthur was in the Army.

His grave  at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy.

Arthur Edwin was born November 6, 1920. He died May 20, 1944 during the invasion of Italy.

I have a file upstairs, knowing that he was in the 340th Infantry the 88 Division I researched troop movements until I gave up on that project.  I always hoped for more information.  It was rumored that my Aunt Marie had all the letters that he wrote...but  they were never found.  ( I think he was wounded and spent some time in a hospital someplace before he died...just from the battles that were fought and the dates they were fought. )  Perhaps someday I will have more time to research some more.

Arthur would have been just 23 years old when he died.  Some family records have him born on November 5, 1920 but his Birth Record says November 6, 1920.
Far Side

From my brother:
The 351st faced heavy fire on 18 May 1944 in its attempt to take Monte Grande, while the 349th and 350th advanced from Roccasecca to the Amaseno Valley, which they cleared on 28 May. After breaking out of the mountains, the 88th Division was thrust right back into combat. They were headed towards the Eternal City.

During Operation Diadem on 11 May 1944, the 349th Infantry attacked Mt. Bracchi, Mt. Cerri, Mt. La Civita, and the town of Spigno Saturnia after a tremendous artillery barrage. By the morning of 15 May, they had accomplished these objectives against strong enemy resistance, and managed to capture numerous enemy prisoners and even a German Panzer. The regiment was attached to the 85th Infantry Division for its attack on Hill 490 on the night of the 15th, and again encountered stiff resistance, but took the hill.[6]

  • First Entered combat: Advance party on night of 3–4 January 1944 in support of Monte Cassino attacks.[4]
  • First Organization Committed to Line: 2nd Battalion, 351st Infantry Regiment plus attachments[5]
  • First combat fatality: 3 January 1944
  • Began post war POW Command: 7 June 1945. Responsible for guarding and later repatriating 324,462 German POWs.[6]
The 88th Infantry Division was one of the first all-draftee divisions of the United States Army to enter the war. Ordered into active military service at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma, the division, commanded by Major General John E. Sloan, arrived at CasablancaFrench Morocco on 15 December 1943, and moved to Magenta, Algeria, on the 28 December for intensive training. Destined to spend the war fighting on the Italian Front, the 88th Division arrived at Naples, Italy on 6 February 1944, and concentrated around Piedimonte d'Alife for combat training. An advance element went into the line before Monte Cassinoon 27 February, and the entire division relieved the battered British 46th Infantry Division along the Garigliano River in the Minturno area on 5 March. A period of defensive patrols and training followed. The 88th formed part of Major General Geoffrey KeyesII Corps, part of the U.S. Fifth Army, under Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark.
After being inspected by the Fifth Army commander on 5 May, the 88th Division, six days later, drove north to take Spigno, Mount Civita, ItriFondi, and Roccagorga, reached Anzio, 29 May, and pursued the enemy into Rome, being the first unit of the Fifth Army into the city on 4 June, two days before the Normandy landings, after a stiff engagement on the outskirts of the city. An element of the 88th is credited with being first to enter the Eternal City. After continuing across the Tiber to Bassanelio the 88th retired for rest and training, 11 June. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019


Our Grand Dogs Miney and Little Elvis are spending a few days with us.

They are happy here and know the rules...oh wait there are no rules!  Little Elvis is 9 and Miss Miney is 14 .  Miss Miney is very hard of hearing...almost deaf.  She watches for hand signals...and sleeps so sound you wonder if she is still alive.

Little Elvis walked to the mailbox with Far Guy and Miss Miney stayed with me...she only goes for short walks.

It is good to have dogs in the house again.
Far Side

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Connie's Kook ken (Kuchen)

Kuchen  is a dessert  that Russian and German settlers used to make.   There are many many old recipes out there.  I like to read recipes...and I also like to experiment.

The crusts were all a bit different and most recipes were for 8  yes eight kuchen.  I didn't need 8 I just needed one.

I had a plan...most were a sweet dough recipe..don't they sell cinnamon roll dough? Sure enough.

I buttered a pie plate... I thawed out the dough of five cinnamon rolls...I made a big ball of dough and then pressed it into my pie plate...I then pricked the dough with a fork and baked it at 350 for 10 minutes.

 Meanwhile I made the filling.   I whisked 3 eggs violently and added a half a cup of sugar and whisked some more then I added a pint (2 cups) of heavy whipping cream. ( I am certain in the old settler days this was skimmed off the top of a cooled pail of milk as cream rises) I heated this mixture stirring constantly over medium heat...stir and stir some more....when you are real tired of stirring it may become a thick mixture or start to burn on the bottom of the pan you quit so you won't ruin the whole thing.

Add your fruit to the pie plate with your partially baked dough...I used raspberries. But you can use any fruit you like...frozen fruit should be thawed out first.

Pour on your creamy mixture and top with some cinnamon sugar.  Bake at 350 for 25 and store in fridge.

yes my crust could have been neater and I should have added some vanilla. This makes two other one was without a crust and featured frozen it was more like a pudding.

The Raspberry Kuchen got high marks from our friends who buy Kuchen every time they are in North Dakota.

Our friends did lamb on the grill, with oven fried potatoes and marvelous vegetables. ( Far Guy and I both like least the way they prepare it!)

I said I would bring sherbet was the back up.
It was a successful foodie adventure!
Far Side

Friday, May 24, 2019

Red Headed Woodpecker

We had an interesting visitor!   I have not see a Red headed Woodpecker in a long time...our area is in his breeding range but he does not live here year round like they do in Southern Minnesota.

He was probably just passing through....or lost.

He enjoyed the bird bath.
I sure enjoyed watching him...he was only here one day as far as I know. 

Far Side

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Noah's Birthday

Yesterday we drove up North to meet Noah for lunch.  We went to a place that had a buffet...the pizza was awesome!

We had a nice visit.  He is working full time and looking for another job to work on his days off during the summer.

Jen and Noah
Jen says she feels really old now that Noah is twenty years old...join the club!

Far Side

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wistful Wednesday: 2009

In 2009 Noah was ten years old.  Now here we are in 2019 and he is twenty...just like that in the blink of an eye ten years have passed.
He was unsure of those rollerblades back then.

But like everything else he tries...he was soon sailing along not looking back.

He is now a Senior in College and next year at this time he should graduate.

One more aging grand in our family...he joins Savannah, Maddie and Paige as young adults....leaving Adam as our only teenage grand.

Happy 20th Birthday Dude!  We are very proud of you and love you very much!

Far Side/Grandma

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Some kind of grass

We have this clump of grass on the East side of the house.  It is pretty but a pain in the butt in the Fall as it catches all the leaves...and then snow beats it all down over the Winter.

May 10 2019
Every spring I try to rake out the leaves and pull out the dead stuff.  If I miss a year it looks nasty all Summer long.
I am rewarded with green shoots.

May 20 2019
The lawn is greening up nicely...soon I will have to mow. 

Only three Doctor appointments this week and time to get the oil changed and the tires rotated on the vehicle.

Far Side

Monday, May 20, 2019


The Scarlet Tanagers arrived Sunday morning.  They brightened up a rather gloomy day.

We had two for sure.

Far Guy hasn't been coughing...but in the afternoon he began to cough again and is short of breath.  He just cannot seem to get over this "virus" or whatever crud he has.  I think he made it four days without a cough, and just like that he is sick again.
Far Side

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Rainy Day

The Pin Cherry blooms popped out in the rain yesterday afternoon.  They are the first of the shrub/tree blooms in our woods.

It rained.  We filled the grape jelly and changed out the oranges for the Orioles in the rain.  The Hummingbirds are here...three of them fighting over the feeder.  The birds don't care if it rains or not.

Friday we patched some spots in the lawn and spread some grass seed just in time. 

Saturday we made a big batch of baked beans for the freezer...we like them with grilled food.  Summer food!

Far Guy is busy walking...he is up to 4,000 steps...a big improvement from 10 steps from the bed to the bathroom.

Far Side

Saturday, May 18, 2019


We enjoy this time of year watching the different birds that come through our yard on their way North.

Indigo Bunting

Yesterday  we finally heard the Loons calling on the lake. 

Birds we saw;  Blue Jay, Chickadee, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, Yellow Rumped Warblers, Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, Purple Finch, Rose Breasted Grossbeak, Baltimore Orioles and Indigo Bunting and Bluebirds.

But did we see a Robin in our yard...not yet.
Far Side

Friday, May 17, 2019


the Orioles sure like the peanut butter feeder...who knew?
A female Oriole took it over.

And the winner is...the female of course...she was there first!

She sure is a feisty little bird!
Far Side

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Crochet Nests

With so much going on, hurrying up to wait,  I made twelve nests to ship off to a wildlife rehabilitator in  Pine City Minnesota.  The nests are suitable for mammals or birds.  This group included a variety of sizes.

This is the third bunch I have mailed off.  I belong to a group that has a facebook page and a website.  They have a specific way they want the nests constructed.  Wildlife Rescue Nests

The idea was to get rid of yarn, use it up...well I fell off the wagon and purchased more yarn. Imagine that.

Far Side

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wistful Wednesday: 2013

This is a photo of Far Guy and Chance before Far Guy was diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.

We have returned from The University of Minnesota. 

We have a few more hoops to jump through.   Pathology reports from a previous Colonoscopy and possibly a Colonoscopy.  PSA results.  They will call us when we get the go ahead for a week long visit for numerous other tests.  The Lung Transplant Specialist sees no huge roadblocks for a transplant at this time.  One day and test at a time. 

Far Guy has lost even more weight.  The Doctor was her 30's.  She said Lung Transplants  are one of the most difficult transplants.   Many people don't make it through the surgery, many don't live a week.  Some die within the first year....those that make it a year live on the average of 7 years.  She was quite brutal with the facts. Recovery will be difficult because of his age.  Anti rejection drugs are hard on your kidneys, there are three forms of rejection.  Cancer is a concern when you are on anti rejection meds. 

She said something that I have never heard a Doctor say before.  " Everyone has cancer, our bodies natural immune system fights it off all the time."

Far Side

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tuesday Thoughts

East shore of the Big Island of Hawaii January 2019

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, May 13, 2019


This week Far Guy meets with a Lung Transplant Specialist far far away.   Scary for sure.  In a few days we should know if he will be considered for a lung transplant.  It is a long process...this is step four of a five or six step process.  The wheels of medicine move slowly.  Far Guy's Pulmonary Doctor was  on the transplant team at the University of Iowa and he feels he will be a good that gives us hope.

Beautiful birds in Hawaii January 2019

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
― Emily Dickinson

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Colorful Gift

This week the mailman brought me a package from Kansas.
Imagine my surprise!

Thank you Mary Lou!  It has a home on our couch  where it's warmth can be enjoyed!  I have been following her blog and she has been following mine many years now.

Far Side

Friday, May 10, 2019

Spring is taking a long time

Most everything is brown.  The grass is starting to green up slowly. 

Oaks are very slow to leaf out.

Farmers have begun working in the fields.

  A survey crew was by and began surveying our County Road...rumor has it that it will be redone this summer.  Only four miles are marked...who know what that means.

We had lunch with my parents for Mother's Day and last night I took my Dad to Bingo.  Neither of us bingoed but my baby brother we weren't total losers.

Far Side

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Dreary Rainy Day

No sun yesterday and it spit rain all was chilly too.  ( Some parts of Minnesota got snow!) I decided it was a good day to get my twice a year haircut...she cut off about six might be manageable again...maybe.  Since you can fart around all day long looking for someone to cut your hair in our closest town we drove further away where there is no waiting...and they have a Craft Store.  I didn't need anymore yarn....but I bought some anyways...just because....and some envelopes and cards and sparkly pens. 

We enjoyed getting out of the house and saw Swans, Geese and Deer.  Far Guy waited for me in the vehicle when I got my haircut.

One of these years this barn will be history...but not yet.

Far Side

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Catch up

I am still real tired as is Far Guy.  He has seen the Doctor for a follow up and is still wheezing and coughing. ( The Doctor says that this flu/crud takes time to recover from.) Next week we go to the University of Minnesota for an appointment.

I am finished with Physical Therapy for my injured hamstring/sit bone.  The next step is injections...they suggested that I see how it goes. I do the whirlpool and heat packs here at home.

I saw the Hand Surgeon, I have Dupuytren's Contracture.  He will do surgery once my fingers start to curl....he said it is slow moving and right now only one finger is affected.  I am to keep massaging my carpal tunnel scar tissue daily...he won't do surgery on that either until my arm sleeps during the day.  He said "use what ever pillows you can to support that whole arm all night long."

We attended the Confirmation Party for our Great Niece Hailey on Sunday, it was a nice party with lunch at my other baby brother's home.

We got to see new baby Erwin he has a head full of black hair! He looks a bit like his brother Harlow.  Erwin is now 12 days old.  He weighed 9 Ibs  7 oz when his was born.  Our niece Meg is very busy with four children under the age of six.  Erwin is # 14 Grand for my other baby brother.

My baby brother and his bride are here for the summer at their home on the lake.  We haven't seen much of them as we have been recuperating.  We did get to see our two nephews Logan and Kirk and Great nephew Turner briefly.  They flew in for the weekend to work on a Zipline.  Logan lives in Seattle and Kirk in New Jersey. They will be back later in the summer.

Only two Doctor appointments this week... practically a week off.

I am still crocheting nests for Wildlife Rescue Groups.  It is something that doesn't take lots of concentration!

There you are all caught up.
A Nuthatch at the suet feeder.  His nickname is Assup.

Far Side

Monday, May 6, 2019

Prom: Adam

Adam had many girls ask him to gal even asked him twice.  We were shocked when he finally said yes.

Adam  headed to his Junior Prom.     Photo by Jen

Adam and his date  Photo by Jen 

Since it is a very small school the kids all go through the Grand March twice.  One of the gals from Fisher  took a video of the Grand March.  It was almost as good as being there! 

I was sad that I didn't feel up to going...but Jen took some good photos which I shamelessly stole from Facebook. 

Far Side

Saturday, May 4, 2019


The Butterbutts came this week, everyday new ones seemed to arrive...perhaps a family of Butterbutts.

They are really a Yellow - Rumped Warbler

Here you can see why they are nicknamed Butterbutts.

We sat outside last night after has been rainy and cool here.
Far Guy is getting a bit stronger everyday.

Far Side

Friday, May 3, 2019

May Day Funeral

On May 1st we celebrated Uncle Archie's life.  ( Arch is the last of his generation, he and Far Guy's Dad were brothers.)
The church was full, he had many friends during his 89 years.

Jen and I attended the funeral.  Far Guy was just not well enough to attend. After the funeral I came home to get Far Guy so he could go to the cemetery.

It was also a funeral service for Archie's son Steve who died in February.  His ashes will go back to be buried in a Veteran's Cemetery in Missouri as per his wishes.

Archie enjoyed his sunny yellow 1969 Mustang Convertible.   It was only fitting that it made it to the cemetery.

While we were at the Cemetery many Loons were calling down on the lake and as the Minister kept saying prayers there were a few flakes of snow in the air.

Full Military Honors were conducted at the church.

Arch was a career Air Force man, a Navigator on the B 52's.  I took this photo on Memorial Day 2016 when Arch was the speaker for Memorial Day. 

This past winter was tough for Arch, he had stents placed in blocked arteries on two different occasions and both times the stents failed.  The Doctors did what they could with medications but he was sent home on Hospice. We were able to visit with him several times before he died.

We will miss him.

Far Side

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Day

I had doubts about  May Baskets getting done this year...and I had such a cute pattern too!

Jen came to the rescue...she got out the die cut machine and began to make pieces.
It was just the push I needed to make more baskets.

The body of the Fox is a small sack...the die is called Sack it.  The tail sits at the back of the sack, the head is glued to the front of the sack.

A few will be delivered later today and some more tomorrow. 
Happy May Day!
Far Side