Thursday, October 31, 2019


Our friend Bill died last week.  I went to the funeral two plus hours south of us...a fellow friend and woodcarver Jim and his wife Theresa went with me.  Far Guy stayed home unattended and did just fine.  There are too many germs and fragrances for him to be in a crowd.

Bill had many friends from all walks of life.  I first met Bill when I was working at the museum. I wrote a blog about him here. 

Bill died with his boots on working in the yard doing something with his lawn mower.   Bill was 80 years old.   He was born in Canada and raised in a home without running water or electricity.   His Dad worked for the Railroad.  They moved to Northern Northern Minnesota vs Southern Northern Minnesota.  After graduating from High School he went into the Air Force, with the GI Bill he went to school in Bemidji MN and then the University of Minnesota and got a degree in Biology, decided teaching and the classroom was not for he went to Medical School.

He was a Doctor in the ER in Washington State for 9 years then he had a heart attack at the age of living had taken its toll. Seeking solitude and cold ( he liked cold weather) he headed to the Arctic Circle in Alaska.  He worked there for a number of years...he visited his village by dogsled, the other three doctors there used planes to get to outlying villages....but not Bill.   A nurse caught his eye and much later they would marry.

He came back to Minnesota to care for his aging Mother and in 1987 he married that Nurse he took a liking to in the Far North.

Bill and Janice have a primitive cabin...with a super dooper pooper outhouse in the Park Rapids area.  Bill moved that outhouse a few years back and dug a new hole for was quite a story as he dug so deep he had a hard time getting back out!  Bill joined our woodcarving group.  Bill made 12 Nyckelharpas in his lifetime and would carve the keys at woodcarving and tell us stories.   He was a character...a good one...someone who was a pleasure to call a friend.  We would compare what kind of wildlife we had going through our yards and which birds we were feeding.  One of his favorite sayings was "Get over it!"

Until yesterday I had only heard one Nyckelharpa played at a time...there were at least ten being played in tribute to Bill.  There are only 20 Nyckelharpa players in Minnesota and half of them were there at the funeral.
Bill was frugal, his Nyckelharpa case was handmade.  I commented on the case once...he said it was custom made and fit his Nyckelharpa perfectly.   One time he left his Nykelhapa in my care, I got detailed instructions on how to remove it from the case...and then he said "Pick it up and hold it, I will teach you to play a note or two."  I did and my attempt at playing sounded like a dying cow...but he still left it in my care for a woodcarving exhibit...I was so relieved when Monday rolled around and I could return it safely to him.  He said "How did it go...did you play?" I replied "NOPE it stayed inside the case the entire time!"  He would often give impromptu concerts at woodcarving!

Bill's friend who makes Maple Sugar gave the eulogy and The Doctor's Doctor gave a blessing for The Healer.  They along with the button accordion player and storyteller all gave Bill a good send off accompanied with lots of music.

We stayed for  a funeral lunch; pretzel buns, ham, turkey, cheese, vegetables, fruit and cookies.

I was back home just after dark..
I am certain Bill was there in spirit...his hat and the box he put his foot upon were there.
A photo of Bill I took in 2013. 
Rest In Peace my friend.
Far Side

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


I still subscribe to several magazines.  One of them is Martha Stewart Living.  I opened the latest issue and was assaulted by a horrible smell...worse than hog manure.  Lambcomb of Paree...ode de outdoor biffy.

I emailed Martha Stewart Living and complained...much to my surprise they have fragrance free issues and I am now on that list.  Yeah for someone who is conscious about fragrance sensitive people! 

Far Guy tries to escape the smelly lady at Pulmonary soon as she arrives they set up a fan to blow the scent away from Far Guy...too bad they cannot just tell her that she stinks. 

Now that it is nearing Christmas the fragrance ads on TV multiply...good thing there is no smellavision.  Ever notice how the smelly models are thin, wearing  diaphanous gowns walking around someplace foreign?  Not thick waisted women with silvery hair...

Did I tell you about the escapade with the Unscented Fabric Softener that was smelly?  Naturally I called the phone number on the box and complained.  They said "Sometimes stores put fragrance scented fabric softener sheets next to unscented and the fragrance it is not really the manufactures problem."  EXCUSE me...your product states it is Unscented and it stinks...perhaps you should wrap your boxes in plastic wrap!   They said they would forward on my suggestion and they would mail me a coupon and they did. 

  Tamarack one day last week 
Far Side

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Snow was in the air again today, soon it will be on the ground. 

We ran errands and then fixed a shelf in Far Guy's garage.  It was obviously loaded down with too much junk many treasures.

Inside projects:
Far Guy is working on a carving.  It will be a flower.

We sit side by side...sharing the desk.  I watch TV and he has his headsets with music playing...sometimes I forget and talk to him...and he doesn't hear a word...then if he notices me talking he pulls off his headset and says "WHAT?"  By that time I am done talking and say "NOTHING!"

I am working on the Christmas card...I chose the sentiment with Far Guy's help.  I hope to finish up the Christmas Card project this week...God willing and the crick don't rise.
Far Side

Monday, October 28, 2019

Thick rain

The rain came down as snow and melted.  It was cool enough to discourage outdoor activity.
Solar Bug
I worked on Christmas Cards, Far Guy worked on his latest wood carving.   I am making progress and so is Far Guy.

 I had a nice nap!  I am feeling less exhausted...finally...I still get chilled easily and my warmed up corn bag is such a delight!

This week Wednesday will mark 30 days since Far Guy began the fungicide for the fungus in his lungs.  The medication interrupts his sleep and makes his vision "funny"  so he takes it at 3 AM and 3 PM before his nap.  He no longer wheezes and he can walk to the mail box without stopping.  His oxygen saturation has come up nicely.  Small improvements but improvements none the less. 

Far Side 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Leaf Obsession

My obsession with leaves in our yard is over. Complete...kaput.  I am tired of leaves, of being covered in leaf dust, tired of raking and a never ending supply of leaves in front of the door.

Yard at sunset.

I went outside after supper to watch the solar lights come on.  A couple were failures and will be dealt with soon.   The Salvia is real sad now...I should probably pull it out.

The snow stick still needs to be placed now that l can leaf the leaves alone.  The lawn mower needs a good wash and then it can be put away for the winter, 
Far Side

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Leaves and more leaves

The wind took the last of the leaves out of the trees. The 7th mulching took place.  Many leaves were raked from hiding spots and mulched...others were raked or blown into the woods.  I still have to get a troublesome spot  underneath the deck...leaves swirl around the house and gather there.  I began mulching the wildgardens... one more mulching will take place....perhaps today.  Then I can say so long farewell  to my lawn mower until spring.

I don't mind my time on the mower.  There are many things in life I cannot control...leaves in the lawn is a problem I can do something about.

The Salvia after a 22 F  or -5 C  eh! morning...looking sad.

Oct 25 before the 7th mulch...we still have a bit of color in the yard.

In the house, I did laundry and worked on a paper project that makes a nice gift and had a nap...I left Far Guy with instructions about how supper was coming along and what he could finish before waking me up from my nap!

Today is my other baby brothers close as you can be to 60 without being 60.  Happy Birthday Jody!

Far Side

Friday, October 25, 2019

Woulda been 15

Chance would have been 15 years old it is he has been dead for 13 long months.  We miss him every single day.

We are still not ready for another dog...what with the maybe someday transplant looming it would not be fair to a dog at this time.

I always took lots of photos of our Chance.

He hated the Halloween Hat and would look the other way....doing his best to ignore me.

Off with the hat!
The hat is down!
These photos were taken in 2014 when he was 10 years old.

Such a happy dog!   It is good to remember him happy.

Far Side

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Catching up

On sleep and small projects!

 I began to use some of my Christmas boxes for ornaments for 2019...getting them ready to mail.  It is a work in progress and at least it is organized and manageable now.   I used up a fair amount of boxes and tins and nearly every small Christmas gift bag I had in the gift wrapping box.  (Jen says I am a box hoarder...I call it being amply prepared.) I even organized my gift wrapping was a I know what I have!

I went through my closet and took a bunch of clothing I will probably never wear again upstairs...if it is still up there in the spring I will deal with it then.

My stash of sympathy cards is getting low.  I had to order more photos...I found a few that would work...and some other photos that were stashed away that will make great I made a bunch.  I completed that part of the project!

I am almost caught up with the Crochet Along Project, I enjoy learning new stitches.

I am STILL working on Christmas Cards....glittering a few every few days...not many left in the to do pile.  Then I have to square them up and mount them on card least I have that all cut and ready to go...then there is the small problem of a sentiment... I don't have that figured out yet...although I have many ideas.

We may have sunshine sometime soon so outside work will commence again.
Far Side

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Wind Howled

I think young man winter came by, he brought the wind and icy cold rain that came down in driven droplets.  Sometimes the rain was snow that quickly melted in the air.

What a miserable few days. I am real tired of dreary rainy days.  Area farmers do not have the beans  in yet...and I hear the corn is no good at is moldy.  The potato harvest is mostly over.

Most of the trees are bare now...the lights flickered but we retained power.  Someone said wind gusts were 60 miles per hour.  I believe it.

The aftermath is viewed out my kitchen window.
My beautiful bare lawn has leaves I wait for them to dry out and for the sun to shine.

The Juncos stopped by again...they go where the snow is.

I worked on my crochet project, I began packaging Christmas ornaments into various boxes and had a nap.

Far Side

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Dried Cherry Kuchen

Connie's Kook-Ken

Here is the recipe I adapted for my own use.  This makes 2 pie plates of Kuchen.

1 package of Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls there are 8 in a package.

Take 4 rolls smoosh them all together and roll them out.  Place in buttered pie plate.  Repeat for second pie plate. Prick with fork and bake at 350 for 10 -15 minutes. 

2 cups or 1 Pint of Heavy Whipping Cream
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
dash of salt
Crack eggs into a medium size pot beat with a fork until frothy then add sugar, salt and vanilla and beat some more....slowly add cream stirring constantly and vigorously!

Cook on medium heat stirring constantly...mixture will thicken.  Take it off the heat before it burns!

Lay fruit on the dough, add filling and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake 350 for 25 minutes

We like fresh fruit and have tried raspberries and blueberries.  Both were good.  I prefer the raspberries!

Yes it is possible to use dried fruits...I used tart dried cherries.   Our friends gave it two thumbs up!

You can always make a plain kuchen...I did this was with dried cherries and one was plain.  We added fresh raspberries to the top of the plain one.

We discussed what our friends grandmothers used to put in kuchen...peaches, apples (perhaps they were cooked a bit no one remembers!), plums and all kinds of berries.

Most of the recipes I looked at called for a sweet dough for the crust.  I tried the cinnamon rolls just as an experiment because I am lousy at pie crust dough and the sweet dough recipes made like 8 crusts...and I just wanted 2 crusts.  You could always make some kind of gluten free crust also.

Here is a photo of the dried cherry you can see most of it was eaten!  ( I am not very good at getting the dough up on the sides of the pie plate)

It was very good.  I still like raspberry the best!

Supper with our friends is always great!  They served a pot roast with roasted vegetables...carrots and squash.  Next month it is our turn and I will have to come up with something delicious to serve!

Far Side

Monday, October 21, 2019


The 6th mulching was accomplished.  We cleared out the grates that are in front of the door and in the walkway.   The weather sounds like it will turn rain/snowy and cold again.  We are caught up with lawn work for the moment.  Perhaps the rain/snow will bring down the last of the leaves.

Menus were made for the week.  Kuchen was made for a night out with friends.  This time I experimented using dried cherries in one of the kuchen...we will see how it tastes!
Far Side

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Busy Day

Saturday was a busy day.  We made a trip to the landfill...they are only open on Saturday now.  We go about once every three weeks.   I did some laundry, washed some windows and then had a short nap and went out to mulch more leaves...this is the 5th mulching.  One or two more times should do it!

Mulching.  I have special blades on my lawn mower, the blades pulverize the leaves...basically most of the leaves turn into makes a great natural fertilizer for your lawn!  We have mainly Oaks here, Red, White and Burr Oak.  If the leaves are left on the lawn over the winter it is a real mess come spring.  It is bad enough that the White Oaks keep many of their leaves all winter so you still have leaves to take care of in the spring.  A heavy bunch of Oak leaves will mold and kill your grass.  Mulching blades also come in handy taking care of grass clippings...they are all returned to the grass in tiny pieces.

Toward evening we met Jen, Andy and Jonas 60 miles north of us for supper and returned the dogs to their rightful owners.  Jonas is the foreign exchange student from Belgium...he is a pleasant young man, we enjoy visiting with him.  They had all been traveling in Northern Minnesota....and we took care of Miss Miney and Little Elvis for them.
Tamarack or Larch are turning their golden fall color.

I am still tired.  That Flu Shot knocked the stuffins right out of me.
Far Side

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Flu Shot

No doubt the flu is worse than the flu shot.  The symptoms began 24 hours after the shot...I was wiped out, ran a temp, had chills and every part of my body hurt...especially those parts that I have left leg, right shoulder, left hand...back and long bones in my legs.  Far Guy brought me warm corn bags and piled the blankets on....I had some really weird nightmares and he reports I was talking in my sleep.  Miss Miney and Little Elvis kept me company all afternoon. After six hours I felt much better and helped with supper and spent some time outside with the dogs.

I hope the worst is behind me.

Far Side

Friday, October 18, 2019

October half over

Seems like we are whipping right through the month of October.

I got my flu shot yesterday....the gals up in the infusion center  give them to family members of patients.  So I didn't need an appointment or anything.  So far so good.  No bad reactions!

The sun was out yesterday...yeah for sunshine!

Miss Miney and Little Elvis enjoyed the sunshine too!

I still have a few flowers blooming!  I am enjoying every flower I see!
The other Salvia has succumbed to the frost but  Salvia Victoria Blue is still hanging in there.  From the kitchen window I noticed a mainly black with a little red butterfly on the Salvia did not stick around long enough for a photo...must have been just passing through.

Went to Bingo with my Dad and my baby brother....we did not win but we had fun anyway.  Dad is still having problems with his knee.  Considering his age there is nothing much they can do with his knee.  I told Dad we need one of those rolling walkers with a seat so when his knee is not cooperating he can sit down and I can push him to the vehicle.   It is either that or no bingo.  Luckily my brother has been there to help me get him to the vehicle safely when his knee isn't cooperative.
Far Side

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Yard report

I mulched for the 4th time....a few more times to go if the weather holds.  Perhaps a big wind will come by and knock the rest of the leaves from the trees.  The high yesterday was about 42 F or 5 C eh!

Can you believe it is October and the grass is still growing?  Must be all the rain we have had.

I have a few flowers left too.

Far Guy says the leaves are half down...encouraging.

This photo was taken over by the Minnesota Snowball Shrub/Tree.  I enjoyed seeing the leaves all different colors.

Far Side

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Pineapple cutter

Far Guy ordered a new kitchen gadget.  A pineapple cutter.

It worked slick...sometimes when you see stuff work on the Internet you wonder does it really work that slick?  In this case it did.  It took the core out and cut a spiral of pineapple.
Far Side

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


The snow has melted...and it knocked a bunch of leaves out of the trees as it fell.  For awhile there it looked more like a leaf storm than a snow storm.

Looks like I will be busy once it dries out!

The Impatiens froze but the Salvia and Violas will live to see a few more days.

Trees along the driveway.

I am tired and had a very long nap Monday afternoon.  Most everything from the party has been put away, left over cake was frozen in individual servings.  Cake pans were mostly returned...I still have one bundt pan that belongs to my sister in law.

For future reference...the Pumpkin Cake was a whole lot like the Pumpkin bread I make.  The Apple Cinnamon Cake was awesome as was the Hershey's Chocolate Cake.  I did not taste the Lemon Poppyseed or the Lemon pound cake.  Bakers Joy is an awesome spray...we had no cakes that stuck in the bundt pans!
Far Side

Monday, October 14, 2019

90 years

My Mom was 90 years old yesterday.  The party was well attended with about 250 people showing up to help her celebrate.

Everything went smoothly, all the food was good and there were left overs and no one went away hungry.  We served ham and pulled pork on buns, cheese, fruit, pickles, mints and cakes...we also had gluten free options...cakes, ham and cheese and mints.

There was plenty of cake!

Relatives and friends came from far and wide.

It snowed for a bit in the morning but in the afternoon the sun came out.

Far Side

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Let there be cake!

Cakes were accomplished...Katie and Jen helped!  The cakes will be decorated a bit at the church...I will make some icing once they have been safely delivered to the church.  Decorated a bit my meaning is a bit of powdered sugar on some...some will get a powdered sugar icing with lemon flavor and some icing will be sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  Nine cakes were baked.  Chocolate, Lemon Poppyseed, Lemon Pound, Apple Cinnamon and Pumpkin.

Later in the day fruit was cut up and everything gathered together.  Ready or not!

Cakes are all over... some in the kitchen and some in the laundry room...making good use of my clothes folding area!

Far Guy ran all the errands yesterday to pick up buns from the bakery and to pick up meat for the buns.  We should be all set!
Far Side

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Ready set


Yes it snowed...most of the day yesterday it melted...but toward evening it began to stay on the grass.

 My flowers held in there
Impatiens and a Yellow Viola

Ready set BAKE
Aubrey and Katie helped bake cookies....Swedish Browns and Lemon Cookies
This is the remnant of about 15 dozen cookies.  I mixed up the Swedish Browns (sometimes I call them Sweet Molly Browns) before they got here and when they arrived we began and in two hours the cookies were baked and cooling and the kitchen all cleaned up!   It is great to have baking help!!  Aubrey is a great helper as is my niece Katie!!!!! 

Ready set Bake again!  I am all set for the Cake Bake today!

Gathering what you need is half the battle.  4 cakes are from scratch and 3 are helped with the assistance of a cake mix and lemon pudding.  I hope they all turn out okay.
Far Side

Friday, October 11, 2019

Aubrey Holding Back The Storm

The first winter storm of the season is named Aubrey. 

Well here is our Aubrey holding back the storm named after her!  She says she forecasts no snow for us only rain!

Aubrey is feeling much better after her surgery she informed me yesterday that she lost a stitch and a couple of scabs.  Her Mom says she has a whole bunch of stitches in her mouth.
She is smiling! 
Far Side

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pie and Fall Projects

I stopped by 3rd Street Market and bought some Sour Cream and Raisin Pie for my Dad for his birthday.  We both like that pie.  No two sour cream and raisin pies are alike...I have had some with meringue that were horrible.   I have several recipes that I could try...but it is easier just to go by 3rd Street Market and buy a slice...a whole pie would just go to waste..or not.

It was a nice day.  I worked in the yard, the third mulching was accomplished and many odds and ends were taken care of.  I moved the snow shovel to the front door...after that our snow amounts were reduced to 1 -3 inches on Friday.  (I am probably a hero)

I finished up at my other baby brothers...he had some thistle that needed a spray...and some grass growing  in his landscape rocks.    I am officially done spraying weeds for the year.

Earlier this week I finished getting the dead moss from in between the pavers on the patio...Wet and Forget did a really nice job of killing the moss.  Gradually the pavers are looking cleaner too!  The jury is still out on the cedar deck out back...It may need a little help with a scrub brush...or a power washer. 

Far Side

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


My Dad is 93 today.  I will see him for a short time today IF he is home and we will go to Bingo Thursday night.

Dad was to the Doctor on Monday, he is having a problem with his right knee, it is either a cartilage or arthritis problem.  He is supposed to wear his brace and put ice on it.  He recalls fighting on a hill in Korea and injuring his knee...he said the Medic pushed and pulled on his knee and said to go back to the line.

Dad keeps busy, he has one of those fancy walkers he calls it his Cadillac and he uses it when he is outside.  This is the first year he had not had a garden. 

My Dad was in Korea when I was born.
Photo of my Dad and me in 1952.  Photo taken at my maternal grandparents yard.

Happy Birthday Dad!
Far Side

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Some color

Fall color in our yard.
Piss Popple looks great in the early evening.

Other trees/shrubs are pretty too.

The S word has been spoken many times in the past few days.  An S storm...I am not ready.  Fall is NOT over yet as the leaves still hang in the trees.

I cleaned out the baking cupboard and the spice drawer after I did grocery shopping...I made some good guesses for what I needed.  I now have three bottles of cinnamon.  Threw out the baking  powder that was outdated by a couple of years...and recycled the baking soda into a  jar on the cleaning shelf.  Mission accomplished.

It did not rain yesterday ...the sun came out and nearly blinded me.

Far Side