Monday, August 31, 2020

Sunday happemings

 We listened to church...they are still having some problems with the sound system.  Apparently someone watches for comments on facebook when the live feed is happening...and they got it straightened out.  Truth be told the songs/music was much better imagined! 

I did some housework and then joined Far Guy outside...he was woodcarving and I carded some dog fur.  It was very windy all day.  

I finished up some small gnome hats for a project that Jen has going. 

Lots of ends to weave in after we are sure they will work...some may be too tall and need to be shorter and that can be accomplished much easier if the ends are not sewn in! 

My brothers and one bride visited in the late afternoon. 

Far Guys relatives Wayne and Craig visited on Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening Odda came to visit cause she was missing us and knows the way to our I talked with Jo through the window.  

Always good to see someone else besides each other...although we are quite accustomed to a hermit lifestyle. 

The Yellow Pear tomatoes are ready...we enjoyed a few with supper. They are packed with flavor!   Pork Burgers and the last of the yellow carrots was also on the menu. 

Far Side

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Milk Can Project

 The Milk Can Project began many many years ago. 

Photo taken about 1990.

We had two daughters and three Shetland Sheep Dogs or Shelties.   Jen with G'Day Mate, Trica with Misty and Moses.  Misty and Moses were the parents of G'Day Mate...and also Captain who lived for awhile with my parents, we took care of him when they went on vacation and one time he just stayed living with us.  

Moses, Mate and Captain in 1996.  Misty died in  the spring of 1996, Moses died in 1997 and G Day Mate in 1998. Captain held on and was a wonderful companion for us until 2002.

One constant was that I groomed them and cleaned their teeth...usually twice a week..  G'Day Mate loved double turns and Moses would fall asleep while I cleaned his teeth.  Bathing them was a group effort...I would wash and the girls would take turns towel drying them...we bathed them once a month more often if they found a smelly fish to roll in.

I saved all the dog hair.  INSIDE the milk can.  It has been waiting for me to do something with since about 1987.  

I began by sorting the hair outside in the evenings on the patio. 

Getting rid of all the twigs, burrs etc...  I rather enjoyed sorting...I could tell which dog was which and enjoyed the unique fragrance of all the dogs.  Just a few tears were shed.  When I had a bin full I washed it in the kitchen sink. I do like the smell of a wet dog...what can I say I am weird.

I rinsed it many times and took it out to the greenhouse/woodshop to let it dry out.  Batch after batch...I should have counted. I started washing and sorting mid June and finished the first part of July. 

Dog fur drying out. After it was dry I collected the fur in paper grocery bags. 

I ordered some carders.   Through the miracle of You Tube I taught myself to card.  It takes practice. 

I struggled with making rolags...but I think I have the hang of it now. 

The one on the far left  is correct the others will be carded again...although usable they will take up space! 

Otto Bruce my spinning wheel is waiting...Can I spin it ???...that remains to be seen...and that will be a winter project...right now I am concentrating on carding and making rolags. The rolags will be stored in old pillowcases or paper bags until I can work with them.  I have some special roving from some of my favorite sheep to mix in with the dog fur if needed when carding.   Did you know dog fur that is spun into yarn is  called Chiengora?? Someday I hope to make a lap blanket.

So my Milk Can project is coming along.   I hope to work on this project every day for awhile...the weather is cooler and I finally have time to concentrate on carding! 

The Milk Can itself found a new home and is going to be a project for Jen. 

I bet it will be painted burgundy or red and be used on her front porch.  ( She probably will not store dog hair in it as seeing the paper bags of dog hair made her gag.)

Far Side

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Yarn experiments

I bought some Hobby Lobby yarns to try and see how I liked them.  Only two of theses skeins have been worked is good to have a stash.

 The center skein Chloe color Carnation was the cowl with big buttons that I made for Jen...she has not reported how she likes it..or not...but hey it is summer. 

This was my own design.   I had a vision...and it is always fun to see how a variegated skein works out.  This yarn is a bit splitty and has a mind of its is soft and has texture.

Onto the next skein ...Sweet Divinity  color Red Clay. This one just came off the blocking mats.

This one might be a candidate for a large button also. 

It can be worn many different ways. Frontwards, backwards, tied in front...

The yarn is very soft to the touch and nice to work with. One skein made a cowl, to be a proper shawl it would take three skeins of this yarn. 

It went into the cowl/shawl box...which may have to become a drawer upstairs as a few are empty after the big sort last winter. 

I have daughters and granddaughters that wear cowls... I have a favorite one I wear in the winter it has many colors in it so I always match!  It is large enough that I can wear it as a scarf or wrap it around my neck twice on cold winter outings.

Do you wear cowls? 

Far Side

Friday, August 28, 2020

Oh Deer!

 Our yard seems to be a hub of deer activity lately.  I think they are coming out of the woods to escape the skeeters that Far Guy calls the Saber Tooth variety. 

I was playing 52 pick up and put away when I spied a deer out the window. 

This fawn was at the fire pit drinking water off the top of the steel cover on the fire pit. 

It was a very nervous fawn looking this way and that while munching on clover and lapping up water.  Far Guy was in the woodshop making noise or perhaps it was just nervous away from its Mom. 

Then it got really nervous and walked away. 

Fawn number one leaving and  fawn number two coming into view.  He/she was the leader of the family.

Family of three. 

Watching the deer number one leaving.  The fawns stayed pretty close to their Mom. 

So that was four deer in just a matter of a few minutes.  Fun to watch!  All photos taken out the living room window.

Far Side

Thursday, August 27, 2020


 I crocheted several mask extensions for a friend.   Her husband was having a problem with glasses, hearing aids and a mask. It gave me an excuse to go through my button jar.

I love all the shapes and colors and how they slip through my fingers as they are gathered up...of course many had to be turned over and admired before  I found the right ones for this project.

We will drop them off in their mail box tomorrow.

 Far Side

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Rudbeckia Carving

 I painted the Rudbeckia carving for Far Guy.

The base comes from vacation 2018-2019 and it has been spoken is a very pretty carving. 

Not sure what he will carve next.  

I mowed yesterday and took care of some weeds and had a nap. Just like that the day was over. 

Far Side

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


 Far Guy was looking for a new flower to carve. 

I suggested Rudbeckia because it is one he has not carved before.  He had a false start that didn't work out...but carried on...I asked him if he was carving a bouquet...he said NO.

This is a Rudbeckia in our wild may be the one called "Rustic Colors."  It was his inspiration.

He has asked me to paint it. 

Here it is waiting on the dining room table. 

I will give it a whirl! 

Far Side

Monday, August 24, 2020

Quiet Sunday

 We had a quiet Sunday...we listened to church and then carried on with everyday normal stuff.   Laundry and some  housework...Far Guy worked on his woodcarving  he is making great progress.  

My brothers and their wives stopped by to visit.  My other baby brother called me from the grocery store to see what we needed...he dropped off some Outshine Lime Fruit Bars...just like a margarita with out the ta kill ya.  The ta kill ya just makes me sleepy anyways.  My baby brother stopped by when he was putting up No Trespassing Signs...he will pick some up for us too....many of our old boards are rotten and need to be replaced.  It has been on my list of things to do.  We had nice visits with them all. 

I worked on Christmas Cards...every few days I switch supplies just to keep it interesting and less like an assembly line.  I do six cards at a time.  First the inside then the outside since it is a tri fold card. 

I will not be attending the craft retreat this year in wouldn't be a good thing for me to bring something back to Far Guy.  I always look forward to the retreat..maybe next can always hope.  I was pretty bummed out about it...but I made the correct decision...I can check in with all the gals on facetime and I hope to schedule something fun to do here at home that weekend.  I usually work on my Christmas Cards at the retreat. 

It is hot and humid here...more like July weather than August.  Leaves are starting to fall out of the trees and make the patio and lawn look messy. 

Echinacea, Liatris and Obedient Plant in the wildgardens August 2020

Far Side

Sunday, August 23, 2020


 Jen and Andy were driving around.

LOOK what they found.  Andy started it for us...Far Guy told him how to start it.  Jen gave us a full tour via facetime.  It needs new brakes or they would have taken us for a ride! 

It is an awesome old car.  

Far Guy is tempted...and I support his decision what ever that will be. 

He said "What would we do with it?"  I around on Sunday afternoons...and  make out in the backseat.

Far Side

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Azure Blue

 Well we did it.  We bought a new vehicle. 

It has a few things our other Buick did not have..this one has an engine heater (for sub zero days) and the lift gate lifts by itself if you want it to.  Handy if you have your hands full and can stand on one foot and wave the other under the car with out falling over.  This one is a Buick Encore GX and it has more headroom and legroom than our previous Buick. 

The color is called Azure Blue.  

I don't feel real guilty as we saved up for this vehicle for quite some time. No car payments has been our goal...and we did it.  Now we will begin saving again for the next three years and the next new vehicle. At our age having a reliable vehicle under warranty is a plus. 

My super dooper Weather tech floor liners fit just perfect from one car to the other.  I am totally sold on those liners...they contain the melting snow in the winter and the sand in the summer and make cleaning up a vehicle a breeze.  I have not been compensated in any way by the Weather tech company but if they want to send me back seat floor liners or a hatch liner...I will give them a whirl. 

It took us quite a while to get everything switched from one vehicle to the other.  I certainly didn't need two Minnesota road maps....not sure why I need one...but I have one just in case. 

We haven't had a vehicle this color before...Red, Black, Red, Green, Navy Blue and White, Silver Blue, Red, Tan, Red, Black, Black, Turquoise, White, Light Green, Baby Blue, White, Willow Green were colors we have had before.  One of those vehicle was a favorite of mine and I drove it for 20 plus years it was a 1984 Navy Blue and White Ford Bronco II that I bought used in 1987...I cried when it left the tears were shed yesterday...three years isn't long enough for a real attachment to a vehicle.  

Far Side

Friday, August 21, 2020

Grocery report

 Ack I hate the new normal which is not normal at all.  I drop Far Guy off at the Infusion Center and then I do the grocery pickup. 

This week there was no lemonade, jar of yeast, Outshine fruit bars or Tator Tots.  So I masked up and went rogue in another grocery store getting everything except the yeast and doubles of what I was shorted at the other grocery store...the store I went in had only a few people inside and everyone wore a mask.  There is also a sign at the entry that says... Please limit grocery shopping to one person per household. 

There are only a few canning supplies on the lids for canning. There are single packets of yeast but no jars of I assume that everyone is canning and planning to make bread.  

I noticed that the paper aisle is mostly bare.  The other aisles seemed to be well stocked but not that aisle. 

As long as I was in the store I picked out more fruit and got a bunch of water for Far Guys coffee maker.

I also picked out some leaf lettuce...our lettuce finally quite I ripped it out and replanted a few weeks we will have our own lettuce again.  Our last planting kept us in lettuce about ten weeks. 

I still disinfect all the groceries....

Coneflowers in the Wildgardens

Far Side

Thursday, August 20, 2020


 Years ago...probably about 13 years ago...the little girls were talking with their Grandpa about what they called "the olden days."  They were either mesmerized by his stories or bored silly.  Peals of laughter were heard throughout the house...and shouts of " Grandma is that really true? "

Well being a good Grandmother I had to stop and listen...mostly true...except for the tall tale "Oh my burning feet " that he would tell them around the campfire...they always asked for that story knowing it was going to be good and scary, they would end up screaming and covering their I recall he told that same campfire story to our daughters and they had the same reactions.  How in the world he expected them to sleep after scaring them half to death I will never know.

We laughed yesterday when one of the girls called us with a request.  Grandpa complied, it brought back many good memories.  As requested he wrote on the sheet of paper and took a photo of it and sent it on. 

Later he got a photo. 

His handwriting on a grandgirls arm. It made us recall all the laughter on an afternoon long ago.  

Far Side

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


 Far Guy woodcarves everyday out on the patio.  His latest carving was completed yesterday. 

My baby brother has a Whats this plant app on his phone.   It identified it as Creeping Bellflower.   

Here was the inspiration for the carving.

Creeping Bellflower in the wildgardens. 

I asked him what he would carve next...he didn't know I sent him another flower photo for inspiration.  He is busy drawing out the petals and making a plan. 

I have not been carving at all since the Christmas Ornaments were finished.  I have a number of unfinished projects in my carving bag.  We got a call from one of the guys in the carving group...the library where we used to meet as a group is limited to five people in the building and you have to have an appointment...all others are turned away.  So our group meeting probably isn't happening anytime soon.

My baby brother brought over some pieces of black walnut one day so Far Guy carved him a spoon.  

Far Side

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

C for Changes and Car

 I got the car to town for the oil change /tire rotation appointment.  What is there to do in a car dealership whilst you are waiting...give our old salesman Joe a bad time about vehicles. Joe has been gone for a year he worked for a different dealership for a bit.  Now he is back...I shared with him how the other salesmen just didn't want to find us a Buick that had heated seats and steering wheel that was NOT white, black or silver.

I sent a text to Far Guy...then Joe called Far Guy. 

I took a picture so Far Guy could see the color. 

Far Guy says "I like that color."   This is NOT the vehicle...cause this one does not have heated seats or steering wheel.  However one this same color with  heated seats and heated steering wheel is available at a different dealership... so we are thinking about it. 

Yes it is a Grandparents always drove a Buick.  

It is exactly the same as the Buick we have now...except that one is three years old and Winterberry Red. Far Guy says we should probably trade it in since the bugs are hard to get off the front.

Oh well...time will tell...who goes to town for an oil change and comes back with a new car anyways.

Far Side

Monday, August 17, 2020



A pretty little Bumble Bee on the Salvia Victoria Blue in the small garden out front. 

Bums...the small garden is looking pretty good except for the bums that frequent our yard...Bunnies, Chippys and Squirrels.

Someone asked me about blocking.  Many knit and crochet projects require blocking to look good.  I purchased some blocking squares called Cheers to Ewe from a yarn shop online.  I have two sets.  The pieces are shaped like big puzzle pieces and you can make what ever shape you want.  I rinse  my project gently and then squeeze out the water without wringing.  The project is held in place by T pins and left to dry. 

Of course you can use towels spread out on the floor or a table and any kind of pins. 

One thing on my list...when I can actually go into a store is to purchase a plastic container to put all my squares in when they are not being used.  The squares are made of EVA which is short for Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate which is a closed cell foam.

 Babies...A very long time ago I had a whole set of children's foam puzzle pieces with alphabet and shapes on the inside..I believe they were given away as diaper changing mats and then play mats for older children....we had them in the toy box for a really long time when the grands were little. 

 Far Side

Sunday, August 16, 2020


 Maybe we will have Yellow Pear Tomatoes someday before it freezes.

Maybe Fall is on the way...

On my walk about I noticed this sure sign of Fall. Some kind of Aster.

Say it isn't so.  The signs are there...soon the acorns will be bouncing off the roof of the wood shed.

Some leaves are falling out of the trees...mostly the ones that were disturbed in the heavy rains ...but still...we should have at least 15 days of summer if not another month...maybe.

Maybe someday the days will seem different and not all the same...maybe. ( I had two Saturdays this week)

Far Side

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Rain and other stuff

 It has been a wet August so far...usually August is our dry and hot month.  It has been hot and humid from time to time but it has turned stormy and rainy.  We had 1 6/10 inches at the rain gauge from early Friday storms and all day raining.  We had some strong thunder bumpers move in.  Just like little kids we counted from the crack of the lightning to the thunder to see how far the storm was away.  Far Guy was keeping track of the storms on his phone.  I slept on and off...mostly we are both tired.

Not much happening outside...except rain. 

The wildflowers are happy. 

Far Guy finished his rose carving.  We sent it off to his sister before taking a photo. So she took one for us. 

We have found that peanut butter jars work great for cushioning a woodcarving inside of a box. Far Guy painted this rose all by himself.  We discussed the color at length....I won with shades of pink. 

Far Guy's sister begins radiation treatments in early September for six weeks.

Our oldest daughter Trica tested negative for Covid finally...she had no symptoms.  She wouldn't have known about it but they tested her before emergency surgery.  (She had two positive tests.)  She is back to normal again after her surgery. 

I am working on the watercolor Christmas cards...Far Guy is carving another flower one new to him that he saw in the wild gardens. 

Far Side

Friday, August 14, 2020

Red Shawl and Shopping

 I finally took the red shawl off the blocking mat and put a different one on. 

I love this is a beauty!  Not sure where it will end up...I love this is easy and I can crochet while watching television. 

Grocery pickup was lemonade, Outshine lime frozen fruit bars or pretzel rolls...but they must have gotten a shipment of dish soap because it was finally available. 

Jen picked up a number of items for us...Far Guys favorite Special Dark candy bars, his favorite coffee Folgers Black Silk, a ink cartridge for one of our printers, disinfectant wipes and some pretzel buns.  So we are good to go for a few more days. 

Far Side

Thursday, August 13, 2020

August List

 One of the things high on my list of things to do in August was to get my military id updated as it expires at the end of the month.  Things have changed on base since the last time we were there, you have to make an appointment.  The Security Guard asks where you are going...takes your id and calls to the appropriate office to okay your admittance onto the base. 

Anyways we got it done.  As usual they were tearing down buildings to make way for new ones...nothing stays the same for long. 

It was a day. 


With a little luck I will go back in four years to get another updated id. 

The little four leaf clover was found in a book that was a wedding gift to Far Guys Paternal Grandparents in 1914.  The book now belongs to our youngest daughter.  Who knows how long the little treasure has been there.

August List:

1. Get  updated id.

2. Visit Andy and Jen's new home....we were very impressed!! 

3. Vehicle oil change and tire rotation...appointment has been made. 

 4. Far Guys appointment with his Pulmonary Doctor.

Far Side

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


 Mama deer and her twin fawns.

I took the photo through the window...if I opened the door they would run off.  Although Far Guy had a close encounter with them one day ...they looked at him and started walking toward him...he reached for his phone to take a photo ...and off they went.

Deer Butts

I am not sure what they are eating...there is some longer grass where they are eating. 

Something ate the new growth that was coming up from the wild rose bush that we cut down last month.  Not sure if it is these guys or bunnies.

I mowed and noticed little hoof tracks through and around a mud puddle on the back road...the fawns must have been playing in the rain.

I have been water coloring Christmas Cards in my spare time...I watched a movie on Netflix  called The Zookeeper...totally my kind of movie I laughed and laughed...I give it 9 out of 10 stars. 

Far Side


Tuesday, August 11, 2020


 I changed the flag.

I changed the wreath outside the front door.

I have always liked the long legged Angel...I have one drawer upstairs (that is down from two drawers) that has "stuff" for this wreath.  How could I resist putting up  the sunflower?? 

Made an appointment to get the oil changed and the tires rotated on the vehicle...we don't drive that much...but Far Guy says the oil must be getting old...I think the last oil change happened when snow was on the ground. 

Far Side

Monday, August 10, 2020

Berry Report

 I completed picking Chokecherries on Friday morning.   It was a great ten days of picking. We started picking July 29 and picked off and on through August 7th.  My baby brother and his bride picked many days....they found some great berries and scouted some new picking areas.  I enjoy picking...the quiet of the woods and the plink plink of the berries as they fall into my bucket.

There are still some chokecherries to ripen and a really tall tree was left for the birds...I found a nice stand and told my other baby brother it would get better if he took some of his equipment and took out some brush and let the sunlight in! 

I froze enough juice for three batches of jelly.  I steamed juice for my baby brother so he has 20 plus cups in the freezer...he said he would make jelly next winter.  He shared chokecherries with Jo, Aunt Anna and our Mom. 

Chokecherries bloom in early spring and many times frost takes care of the flowers.  So we never know from one year to the next if it will be a good harvest or not. 

My new juicer/steamer worked great!  I put it away until Crabapples...we will see if we can find some for a batch of Crabapple Jelly.

Someone asked me what chokecherry jelly tastes is tart, fruity, and doesn't compare to any other flavor. 

I give away most of the jelly that we makes a nice gift!  I had 30 jars and 5 have been gifted already. 

Far Side 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Sights and Sadness

 On Saturday morning we went to the local transfer station ( fancy word for dump)  and on the way we saw movement out in one of the bean fields. 

Luckily I had my camera along but not my long lens.  There were three Coyotes in the field. 

We watched them for a bit and they watched us. 

We headed over to the cemetery.  It was going to be a busy place later in the day. 

Far Guy's Cousin's husband died and was going to be buried there in the afternoon.  He was a really nice guy and we always enjoyed visiting with him.  He was just 63 years old and died after having a seizure.  We did not attend the visitation or the funeral...we will visit the grave site again some day.  With Covid 19 on the rise in Minnesota to attend a gathering would be risky. 

Last Sunday there was a motorcycle vs car accident and a husband and wife both in their 50's were killed instantly.  They were going to be buried in the same cemetery side by side. 

Many people in the community knew this couple...I did not...but I knew part of the fellows family a long time ago. 
Far Side

Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  James 4:14