Friday, July 31, 2020

Adventures in groceries Pretzel Buns this week either...if it was winter I would make them myself.  They did some substitutions even though most items are marked no substitutions...I sent corporate headquarters an email suggesting that their personal shoppers read.   That should be kinda a requirement...

The Ritz Thins Bacon flavor were not available so they substituted Sea Salt and Creamy Onion...uffda. We do not like anything Onion.  I will drop them off at the food shelf.

They were out of Cara Cara Oranges...they may be out of season.  However they are still listed on their website.  ( they are not very organized if you ask me) Instead of two pounds of Cherries they sent five pounds...I may have to make jam.

Our friend Jill has breathing we dropped off jars of jelly near boulders in her front yard.  No contact exchange!  She said she was down to her last jar of chokecherry jelly and wasn't sharing with her husband...I have one jar of 2019 chokecherry jelly left in my cupboard after that delivery.

Grocery pickup always an adventure in these Pandemic times. 

Liatris and Rudbeckia blooming in the wild gardens

Goodbye month of July...onward and forward!  
Far Side

Thursday, July 30, 2020


A few of the Chokecherries are ripe. 

These are ready, they are dark and plump and easily strip off the stalk.

These are not ready...they need some more days to ripen. These will be ready some time next week. 

We picked about 2 gallons of fruit that was ripe. 

Then it is washed and washed some more. 

I assembled the new steamer /juicer. 

The bottom is filled with water and a few you can tell when it is boiling and if it boils dry.

The catch part....placed on top of the water,,,a funnel in the center allows the steam to go up.  The catch basin will fill with juice and you can siphon it off into another container.

The berries are added next. The part the berries sit in has small holes so that the juice can drip downwards.

The whole contraption is so much easier than cheesecloths etc...I should have had it years ago! 

It took about 90 minutes for the Chokecherries to be completely steamed...the house filled with the most delightful fragrance of cooking chokecherries. 

I worked on the Christmas Cards and did some laundry while they were steaming. 

Far Guy helped me siphon off the juice twice...I did not measure but I think we got about eight cups plus of juice.  It is in the fridge and in the next couple of days I will make jelly.   The juice can frozen or canned to be used at a later time.

We don't get a good Chokecherry crop every year...two years ago we had a great crop and harvest.

I have jars, lids, sugar and pectin all set to make a sticky mess in the kitchen soon. 

You can only make jelly out of chokecherries...the seeds are jam is not a possibility. 

Far Side

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Linnell School Corner

We drove on over to see what was happening with the road construction.  We are thankful that we are not included in that mess this year.

We are at the old corner and ahead is the new corner.  This is the old Linnell School corner. 

There you can see the Smoky Hills in the background.

The driveway where I used to wait for the School Bus is on the left...where the tall trees are. 

I rode two different School Busses over the years...Ivan Siegford's bus that started at Shell Lake (picked up Susan, Carolyn and Mary) and then Jim Hind's bus that came from the prairie.  I think the bus switch happened about Grade Five as that is when the country schools up on the prairie were closed and all the kids either went to the Osage Schools for K-6 or Park Rapids 7-12...that would have been about 1961.  The old Linnell School that was on this corner was closed in the summer of 1957 when the new Osage School was built.   I was suppose to go to First Grade at the Linnell School since we lived so close I could walk to school...instead I was a bus student!  After the school was torn down it became a baseball field. 

 I most often read books or studied on the bus...sometimes in the winter I would draw on the frosty window if I was lucky enough to sit by the later years I would play cards...four of us would sit on the aisle seats holding a book on our lap and play Whist on the way to school. 

Far Side

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Flowers and more

My small flowerbed is looking really good.  The squirrels have taken out a few plants.

For the most part it looks good.  The Pansies and Violas don't like the heat...they will come back nicely when it gets cooler.

I mowed yesterday here and next door it took a couple of hours.  The rain we have been getting lately makes the grass grow real fast.  I dumped out the rain gauge again this time it was 1 1/10 inches.

Far Guy finally has tomatoes forming.  This is a Yellow Pear Tomato we should see them getting larger and ripe in the next few weeks.

Yeah for tomatoes!  I harvested lettuce is so good to have our own lettuce.  I also picked a few raspberries and the chokecherries are almost ready to pick...the shrubs that get the most sun are real close to being pick worthy.

With so much rain mushrooms are popping up in the lawn.  I know nothing about mushrooms...other than the ones in the store are safe to eat.  I mowed over quite a few yesterday!

I went in the local little store for milk...the mask law is supposed to be in effect however inside a woman and grade school age child wore no masks.  Until everyone wears masks inside public spaces the Pandemic will continue.

Our oldest daughter Trica had a positive Covid test last week just before she had emergency surgery for a looped intestine.  So far she has no terrible symptoms but we are still concerned...Far Guy is worried...I don't worry as much as he does...let go and let God!

Far Side

Monday, July 27, 2020

11 and 14

I took family photos over at my other baby brothers yesterday.  My other baby brother has four children and between them and their spouses they have 14 children.
2 + 4 + 4 =14 ha!

Number 11 was wearing a Coonskin Hat...he took it off for the group photos.

His baby brother Number 14 is getting bigger!

This is Erwin...he has two older brothers and a older sister.  So far Erwin holds the baby spot...he is 15 months old.

Always fun to see the children of my other baby brother!   Some of the older ones are driving cars now!
Far Side

Sunday, July 26, 2020


We finally have some Milkweed in our Wild Gardens.
Common Milkweed  or Asclepias syriaca a Native Plant

I spotted this Monarch caterpillar munching away. He is pretty large and will transition to a chrysalis soon. 

It was a terribly warm and humid day yesterday...the Heat Index was way up there. 

Christmas Card "stuff" was spread all over my desk and the dining table. I made little headway. Far Guy woodcarved and we went to the transfer station with our garbage ...and stopped by outside the Post Office to mail some cards. 

The milk can project has to be worked on outside when it isn't windy.  Maybe later this week.

Far Side

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Blooms and a crappy idea

Our weather is downright tropical.   I mowed in the morning before it got real hot. 

The rest of the day was quiet ...I had a long nap.

The Bee Balm or Monarda is blooming in the wild gardens.

Fireworks in flower form.

I am in between projects...Christmas Cards or Milk Can ...which project do I do next?
Something about the Christmas Card has me bugged...I need to work it out in my old brain.

I worked out a solution to stop riots...manure cannons mounted on the trucks that suck all the gunk out of your septic tank....u betcha...cover those rioters in poop...

Far Side

Friday, July 24, 2020

Town Report

The State of Minnesota will be requiring masks to be worn indoors beginning July 25.  There is a fine...but who are the mask police anyways...

Becker County now has 92 cases of Covid -19 and Hubbard County 13 cases (where we get groceries and go to the clinic)

Grocery order pickup was an adventure milk, pretzel rolls,  potatoes or various crackers...who knew.

This is the last of the sculptures at Goose Poop Park.  It is not named.

It looks the same from just about any angle.

Town was very busy...Crazy Days are happening and Main Street is blocked off...I would be crazy to go there.   The clinic seemed busier than normal. 

Before we left town we got our monthly tank of gas and a car wash.

Far Side

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Christmas in July and tomato report

Yeah!  The Christmas Ornaments for 2020 are done!  91 were completed yesterday.  Paints and the drying holder were put away....the ornaments fill two pretty boxes and await Christmas delivery.  Some have been packaged up to go back to Washington, Oregon and North Dakota.  Many will be mailed to people all over the country.

We like sitting outside carving on the patio...letting the chips fall where they may...Far Guy routinely uses the leaf blower to blow them into the grass...we do track a fair amount of chips into the house! Woodcarving the Christmas Ornaments is one of our summer projects.

We have been making some kind of ornament since 1990 to share with relatives and friends.   Ten of those years they were woodcarved ornaments....other years they were some crafty idea that we liked.

I have begun thinking about the 2021 ornament...nothing definite yet...we have time.

I will have an ornament give away as it get closer to Christmas.

On to other "stuff" now the Christmas Card.  I have all the watercolor paper to cut to shape...and I can stamp and stamp some more... and then watercolor for many days weeks months...we send out about 125 Christmas is a tradition.  I will order the envelopes someday soon.  I will order them from Paper and More...I can never recall their name now I have it in the blog!

Far Guy's tomatoes are getting really tall...they have flowers sure hope we get some tomatoes someday.  Knock on wood the deer have not found them yet.

Far Side

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Trail Cam : Mid July

Our yard is a pretty busy place.

The last time the trail cam caught the bear was July 15...that was seven days maybe he has moved on.  We are still bringing all the bird feeders in at night.

The deer come and go.
My baby brothers dog...Einstein..Stiney for short...he is deaf and doesn't see very much...but his nose keeps him busy.

One of our rabbits.

We got 3 inches of rain on Tuesday early morning.  I mowed down a bunch of weeds in the old parking lot and around the raspberry patch.   Far Guy serviced my lawn mower a blade was loose and it needed oil and the air cleaner needed cleaning...I am good to go for a little while.

We finished some more Christmas Ornaments 74 are done and ready to package up.   The carving is all completed...just painting and sealing left to do.  My carving tools are put away...not sure what I will carve next...maybe nothing for awhile!  Far Guy is working on some more flowers...his favorite thing to carve.

I made some of the Poison Ivy rounds yesterday afternoon...still have some more to do. 
Far Side

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Two projects finished

I have been working on a crochet design that I had in my head.  I took it apart a few times...decided I was possibly not a designer of any sort. 

I wanted a cowl with buttons...big buttons as someone I love likes big buttons.  I finally declared it done.

It looks a bit funky on the hanger.

At one time it had button holes...and I took them apart...the half double crochet is lacy enough to make a button hole through the stitches where ever you want....therefore being a multi functional design.  (HA)

Far Guy finished his woodcarving....and very sweetly said "Would you like this one sweetheart?"
Of course!

The base is some California wood that is hard as a rock...petrified perhaps.

The Christmas Ornament count increased yesterday...68 are completed.  We should be totally done with them in the next day or three.   I am ready to put this project behind me. ( We usually carve between 80 and 100 ornaments and they will all find a home!)

Far Side

Monday, July 20, 2020

Shawl and a Visitor

I finally had the time to take the latest shawl off the blocking mats and take some photos.

Another one in the shawl box!
As I was finishing up we got company.

Our youngest daughter Jen drove down to have an early supper with us and to deliver craft supplies to me and to check on the elderly.

We had a good visit.  They are in the middle of their kitchen renovation at their new to them house.  So far she reports it is quiet (no trains) and she misses travel time in her why not get some car time in, listen to an audio book and visit her parents!

Far Guy and I did some wood carving and we now have 54 Christmas Ornaments completely finished.
Far Side

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Fun stuff

Friday night I asked my husband " What kind of fun stuff are we going to do tomorrow?"  I was getting ready to shave his head...the sink acted funny and gurgled...and then an alarm started going off. 

Earlier in the evening we had heavy rain and a power interruption....thinking nothing of it we continued on.

The lift pump failed...and the water alarms worked...Far Guy stopped draining the bathtub...I grabbed some towels and a bucket and sponge.  Far Guy tried to bypass the float and get the pump to dice.

I emptied the bathtub bucket by bucket because sometimes the stopper leaks and I really didn't want to sop up a whole bathtub of water off the furnace room floor. If it hadn't been raining cats and dogs outside I would have gotten a five gallon pail from the it was dark and there might have been a bear out there. Mission accomplished by 1 AM and I sure slept good after that!

Luckily we have another bathroom upstairs that drains directly out without using the lift pump. 
 Far Guy did breakfast dishes upstairs in the bathroom sink on Saturday morning...a Plumber was called.  Risk vs Reward...we like using our kitchen sink and the bathroom downstairs!

Late Saturday afternoon we were back in business...with a new lift pump installed and working.  Thank goodness for a nice young local plumber who works on Saturday afternoons...who was quick and efficient.  He said "If you have any problems with this new pump call right away!" 

Far Guy says "Don't ask me again what kind of fun exciting things are we going to do tomorrow."

We didn't cook...we went to town and got a burger from a drive through burger place.

We got 2 and 6/10 inches of rain from the overnight storms.
 The road to town
While waiting on the plumber we managed to get a few more Christmas ornaments completed...45 are done now!

In the evening my brothers and their brides visited and nephew Logan is here from Seattle with his new puppy Zelda...we had a nice visit out on the patio!  (Logan was about 20 feet away from us and we did not pet his puppy but admired her from afar)

Far Guy heard from his sister, her surgery went well and she was feeling pretty good after having such a big surgery.

 Far Side

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Hot Date

Yesterday I mowed in the morning and did some weed control.  It was very warm 80 something and humid.  It got hotter as the day wore on 88 F or 31 C eh. So we decided we could have a hot date.

The special order was ready at the local  helpful hardware place that did not wear masks to deliver at curbside service...they sent out two different people both without masks to double your exposure fun...the second time I said "You all should wear masks"  The dumbass replied "We will"

We waited inline at DQ...and enjoyed watching the tourists try to maneuver the complicated parking lot where the drive through goes right through the parking lot traffic lane. (It is a terrible design)  We enjoyed watching the husband has quite a sense of humor....sometimes a bit warped but a sense of humor none the less.

We took our ice cream to our favorite ice cream eating spot....Far Guy said "Our usual place?"  "Of course" Ice Cream was lunch.

We had a front row seat at this sculpture in GPP.  Far Guy said it was just wire and rocks.  I told him I thought it was suppose to be an ant colony...who really knows for sure?  It is not named.

I wonder how it is supposed to become an artsy fartsy destination if they cannot even name their sculptures.

Anyways we had a good date...a trip to town in the AC and ice cream...hey a hot day could be worse.
Far Side

Friday, July 17, 2020

Town and Home

Grocery pickup is always an adventure.  This week there was no bread, pretzel buns, ham, Dawn dish soap, cherries, lemonade mix or crackers.  I masked up and went inside a different grocery store that had all the things I was missing except the pretzel buns. Town was fairly busy, I dropped off mail and went through the drive through at the bank.   I waited only a few minutes for Far Guy to be done....we were in town about 45 minutes total.  Lots of people in town without masks.  In that County there are 12 cases of Covid-19, in the County we live in there have been 69 cases.

When we got home I mowed our yard...found out where the bear pooped back at the edge of the woods.  Far Guy trimmed grass around the trees. 

Our small raspberry patch that we pay no attention to yielded a nice bowl of raspberries for supper....very flavorful!  The wild raspberries are beginning to ripen...they are very small.

This is one of the sculptures at Goose Poop Park.  It is a circle with a dangling swirly part that has rocks inside. This one is not named.  Rocks in a Vortex might be a good name.

Christmas Ornaments ...  28 are completely finished.  Waiting on hooks to properly finish more.  We have just a few more to carve ...we should finish with them in the next few days.

Far Guy's sister had surgery yesterday for Breast Cancer, she had a double mastectomy and lymph node removal...a same day surgery....she still has radiation ahead of her and a hysterectomy.  She had the surgery late in the afternoon and by early evening was on her way home.   Seems like lots of surgery to have and then get sent home....Far Guy is quite worried about her.

Far Side

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Night Visitors

Want a peek at what goes through our yard at night?

The white and black kitty cat.  It must be feral...Far Guy has seen it and tried to call to probably eats mice and chippys!!

The Raccoons...double trouble...they drink all the water out of the bird baths and they like the seed that was dropped on the ground by the bear


We may have two bears...they frequent the yard between three and four in the morning and at ten o'clock at night.  They were caught on the game cam two days in a row at those times.

This is no teeny tiny cuddly bear.

It is however a bear that appreciates my flowers and didn't mess them up.
We figured we were pretty safe leaving the feeders had been 16 days since their last visit.
All the feeders are safely tucked away at night now.

My lawn mower needs some kind of holder for a very sharp stick or a rifle....or I need a super charged lawn mower instead of one that putts along...bears can run faster than my lawn mower.

Far Side

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Yellow Flowers

I like yellow flowers...betcha never would have guessed.

They are so cheerful can you resist a smile.

Rudbeckia 'Sonora' is in bloom in the wild gardens.   They reseed themselves.   My planting of Rudbeckia has diminished over the years but there are still some left.

I was busy all day...some laundry, painting Christmas Ornaments (21 are completely done) it may be awhile for more to be finished completely...hooks were ordered and will be here in a week or two. It was a cooler day so I made a pan of Chicken Enchiladas and six servings are headed for the freezer.

No time for a nap or movie time.  I sat outside after supper...the skeeters are getting more aggressive and larger.  All the ponds in the Corporate Farmers irrigation fields are breeding spots....especially since they irrigate in the rain.
Ohhhh crabbiness is setting in.
I need another yellow flower now.

More sunny yellow flowers this one a Rudbeckia with double petals...a seedling variation...nothing that I planted. 
There I feel better now!  Stay safe out there!

Far Side

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Okay Ornaments

It is okay.  The ornaments did not go to option d...I am living with option c.  My CDO has to take a backseat this time.  (Compulsive Disorder Obsessive) Not everything has to be "just so."

Jen said they were OK and so did Far Guy (of course he would have reworked all of them IF I had asked him.)
A least they have a very pretty decorative hanger.

And a very pretty Christmas Box for storage of the ones completed.

I am a bit obsessive about the little check mark for name and date in process...and then the color they were painted and the day they were completed.  I keep track of colors because too many of the same color in a family is not good...they should all feel special.

I carved my daily two ornaments and Far Guy did his also.  I painted some.  It is all a work in progress. 14 are completely done!  It is  a start.

The wind was horrid yesterday...but it kept the skeeters away.  The wind dried out my flower I watered and then it rained...go figure.

Perfection is over rated anyway.
 Far Side

Monday, July 13, 2020

Plant from a friend

Years ago ...probably about 20 some years I got a small plant from Faye.  
It grew! 

It grows on the sunny side of the grain bin.  It attaches itself to some wire fencing that Far Guy put up that goes to the roof of the grain bin.

Far Guy was inspired to carve a few of these flowers...a work in progress. 

This plant is Clematis virginana  or Virgin' s Bower.  They are quite fragrant. 

We had a busy day...I am still not happy with the Christmas Ornaments...I shall try option d tomorrow.  We are almost done carving ...this week should see them all carved and ready for painting when and if the kinks are worked out. 

The latest shawl is being blocked.    I am still working on the project with no pattern...sure hope it turns out as I imagine. 

I watched Just Go With It on Netflix...a funny movie I give it a 8 out of 10 stars. 

I place a large order with Wally World...we shall see if delivery really happens in two days.  
Far Side

Sunday, July 12, 2020


We ventured away from home to the Transfer Station to get rid of our garbage and recycle some batteries.   We were back in about 15 minutes...that was our outing for yesterday.  There is a coin shortage... we always try to have the exact change...from a stash in the cup holder of the car.

I mowed a couple of hours at the neighbors and the back road.  After that I stalked some ants and ant trails in the wild gardens and at Far Guy's resting bench  near the mailbox.   I got my two woodcarvings done after that I worked on my painting plan for them...I made a huge mess...option 1 and option 2 were I am at option 3 that has some problems...but I will get it worked out sooner or later.  It should not be that difficult!

I finished a shawl in the late afternoon instead of napping...I watched The Help on Netflix...I give it an 9 out of 10.

The skeeters are out in force after the rain this week... sitting outside after supper is a swatting adventure!  Supper was a  freezer meal...I had vegetable soup and Far Guy had Gumbo.  We attempted to bake a loaf of rose fine then collapsed...we baked it was a funny shaped flat bread but tasted just fine.

Here is another sculpture at Goose Poop Park.

It did not have a name...I would  name it Nobody's Home.

Far Side

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Oh Deer!

We have a doe and twin fawns...they browse in the wildgardens and are not scared of our voices.  They are probably the ones that stripped she who sees robins firsts tomato plants...they just left the stems.  My other baby brother said "She was madder than a hornet"

We have a bean field across the road. 

We watched this deer for a long time before she moved on.
She consumed many mouthfuls of bean foliage while we watched.

We had an uneventful day at home yesterday...Far Guy woodcarved, I did some laundry and cleaned the bathroom and after supper (pork chops and green beans) we went for a drive.

So far Far Guy's tomato plants have been safe in their spot right next to the house.  I harvested lettuce again yesterday.

Far Side

Friday, July 10, 2020

A storm, groceries and art

I dropped off mail behind the Post Office and picked up my online grocery order.  It is always an adventure to see what they are out of...this week it was ham, dish soap, a cheezy bacon dip and Cara Cara oranges.  Everything was disinfected and put into our own grocery bags...I take ice bags along for the small sub zero cooler and an insulated grocery bag.  This was my 18th online computer printout keeps track of such things.

I headed over to Goose Poop timing was perfect as it had rained the night before...a heavy rain so most of the goose poop was gone!  ( they had 75 mph winds in town...lots of leaves down and a few branches and one tree that landed on NJ's new pickup...ouch)

There are five new sculptures in the park and three new ones downtown.   Since downtown is a tourist trap I will wait to photograph those sculptures after the tourists leave.  There were several bikers that came by on the trail...I just walked in the grass most of the time I was there...staying far away from everyone.  It was sad to see that the Little Library that used to be there was gone.

Goose Poop Park

This one is called "Dimentomorph"  
If you ask me it looks like a leaf on a stool.  What do you think it looks like?  

Oh well...
I had a nice stroll through the park and was on my way to pick up Far Guy when he called for a it all worked out! 

A branch at Goose Poop Park.

We got 1 and 4/10 inches of rain at our house, it was very windy.  Some leaves were down.  The storm hit about 2:30 was thundering and lightening almost constantly.  The power went out a couple of times but always came back on.  I watched the trees sway in the wind for awhile and then read until the storm passed.

Far Side