Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Kitchen Gadget and Update

 We had way too many tomatoes.  Lots of yellow pear and two larger red tomatoes.  So I chopped them up and cooked them, used my antique food mill/strainer and strained off the juice free of seeds and skins. 

This old food mill/strainer hangs in the back room and only comes out when I make vegetable strain the tomatoes.  

It comes apart for easy cleaning...but that old wire mesh is another story...I have to whack it in the sink many times to get it clean. 

The tomato juice went in the freezer to be taken out when I make vegetable soup this Fall. 

I finally completed 30 plus days of antibiotics and I am beginning to feel like a real person.  I still tire easily and have some aches but for the most part I am greatly improved.  I am happy to put this miserable month of August behind me. 

Far Side

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Wild Flowers

 Far Guy spotted a beautiful wildflower along the trails.

A Bottle Gentian or Gentiana andrewsii it is a Native plant in Minnesota. 

There is Poison Ivy growing off to the right at the base of the tree.      ^^^

Far Side

Monday, August 29, 2022

Bears and wolves oh my

 We went for a trail ride.  Packed a lunch and spent the afternoon out on the trails.  Saw a bear crossing the road in front of us. 

It was in an area like this...he/she was running pretty fast.  No photo of the bear.  Yes the bear was faster than me and the camera.

Then we took off toward Coleman Lake.  The DNR has snares set in the area for wolf research.  There is a sign warning pet owners. 

We finally made it to Coleman Lake

Two adult swans and two juveniles

No additional bears or wolves were spotted. 

Far Side

Sunday, August 28, 2022


 Cars with Fins.

We had a quiet Saturday.  Far Guy struggled with the front seat cover for his old car, he finally got it arranged so he is half pleased.  

We recycled and on the way stopped by the place we rented on the narrows the Fall and part of the Winter 1972/1973.  One of my cousin's daughters bought it and she has fixed it up real cute!  The bathroom is no longer blue.   Our oldest daughter and I lived there alone when Far Guy went to Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas. 

My Mom made an apple crisp and she and Dad came out in the evening, my baby brother, his bride and Baxter came over too.  It was a nice evening to sit outside.   Baxter is two years old now and I will take a photo of him after he is groomed later this week. 

Far Side

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Hey Mikey! : First Day of School

 It was our Great Grandson's first day of school last week.  He was a bit apprehensive because he wouldn't know any of the kids there.  His Mom told him that all the kids there were new to school.

Maddie took him the first day...he became shy and hid behind her grabbing onto her leg.  

It was not going well. 

A little girl with pink glasses and very blue eyes named Megan walked up to Hey Mikey and said " It is my first day you want to go with me?"  They walked off together and are good friends after the first couple of days at school. 

From now on he will ride the bus from daycare to school and back again at the end of the school day. 

He is growing up! 

Oh and Little Miss Cee Cee didn't think she should go to daycare without her brother and pitched a fit! 

Far Side

Friday, August 26, 2022

Late Summer

 Fall is coming on strong.  The night time temperatures are in the 50's F  and leaves and acorns are falling out of the trees.    The Chokecherries left on the Chokecherry shrubs/small trees are starting to dry up.   It was a really good year for chokecherries and some locals are selling them for $4 a pound. 

The juicer came in handy this chokecherry season...I believe over 100 cups of juice was made that will make jelly or syrup.  I know my freezer has enough juice to keep me busy for a couple of days this Fall. 

The Ratibida pinnata or Mexican Hat is in bloom.  It self seeds itself every year. 

The tomato crop is still good.  Far Guy took some in to his favorite Infusion Nurses yesterday. 

We had a good visit with Far Guy's cousins yesterday;  Bonnie, Wayne, Jay and Janette. 

Far Side

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Along the road

 This scarecrow lady is along the road to "the point." 

I suppose only those who grew up in the area know where "the point" is. 

Is is a point of land that sticks out into Fish Hook Lake.  We took Tilly out there one day. 

FYI: Tilly had an appointment to have some body work done and a paint job...and the fellow cancelled because he had so few workers in his shop.  So we are still looking for someone to do the work. 

Our local town is known as PR and one further away as DL.   Not sure when the initials began to be used.

Oh yes and then there is "Crocus" only the teenagers back in the 50's and 60's know about Crocus or Crocus Hill.  Lets just say it had many places to park. 

Far Side

Wednesday, August 24, 2022


 The Milkweed  ( Asclepias syriaca ) in one of our wild gardens really took off this year. 

It is setting seed pods now. 

AND still feeding Monarch Caterpillars!  Hope this one makes into a chrysalis.  Milkweed is the only host plant for Monarchs. 

Far Side

Tuesday, August 23, 2022


 I am making slow progress on my Costa Nova Mosaic crochet project.  I can only crochet so long before I get real sleepy. 

Cottages, beach umbrellas, light houses and fish.  The next part is more cottages they will be green. 

I am feeling a bit better...still tired.  I can stay awake that is an improvement. 

Yesterday I worked on fine sanding woodcarved Christmas Ornaments, twenty are ready to wood burn...then paint, then seal, then decorate and put names and year on is a process.   Far Guy has carved about 67 over the summer and has about 33 to go.  So he will be busy until mid September. 

Far Side

Monday, August 22, 2022


 The Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is in bloom.  It is easy to spot now.  The fleshy stem of Jewelweed is full of a gel that will stop the itch of poison ivy.   I need to pick some and put it in the freezer...just in case. 

The flowers can be orange or yellow. 

We have a little bit in the fridge from the time Far Guy put a bunch in the blender with some beeswax and some kind of lotion. 

You can also buy Jewelweed soap...and we have done that from time to time can never be too prepared to fight Poison Ivy.  

Jewelweed is also called touch me not ...if you touch a seed head it will send the seed into the air.  Adam  thought the exploding seeds were pretty cool when he was younger!

Our neighbor Leah had a really bad case of poison ivy this I hope she finds some and puts it in the freezer just in case. 

Far Side

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Just Peachy

 We spent most of the morning in the kitchen taking care of peaches.  We had an assembly line going.  Far Guy scored the bottom of the peaches and put the peaches in boiling water for about 30 seconds then he plunged them into an ice bath and the skin came off pretty good...better than peeling.  I sliced the peaches and put a bit of sugar and fruit fresh on them and vacuum sealed the bags. 

We have about 30 bags.  And every surface of the kitchen was sticky!  After the massive clean up I took a very long nap. 

Supper was "summer food"  sweet corn, tomatoes, a pork burger and peaches. 

Far Side

Saturday, August 20, 2022

In the kitchen

 It was a cloudy, rainy day best spent in the kitchen. 

Jambalaya is a lot of work...chopping, stirring, building flavors and stirring some more.  Far Guy followed the video by the Cajun Ninja on You Tube.   Far Guy used a pork butt roast, chicken thighs and andouille sausage.  He should cut the sausage into smaller pieces next time  or use a different sausage...  it was a tad makes your nose run and your brow sweat.  If you were a beer drinker you probably wouldn't notice. 

My old cast iron Dutch Oven is just perfect for cooking and then finishing off this dish in the oven. 

We omitted celery as neither of us really like celery and sometimes it does not agree with me.  We used gluten free broth base and seasonings.   Jess and Floyd said to use Cajun two step as a seasoning so we did.  

It was delicious and we froze up individual servings.  In fact it was so good that I suggested Far Guy cook ALL the time.   I had a long nap after my help as a sous chef/dishwasher was complete. 

In other kitchen news the window is full of tomatoes. 

Far Side

Friday, August 19, 2022

Experiments with food

 The Covid numbers are still up in our area.  I ordered groceries online.  It rained on our way into is surprising how fast brown dry grass can turn green!  I just had one substitution on my grocery order.  

We picked up sweet corn from a roadside stand and a box of Colorado peaches that the local Lion's Club sells this time of year.  We will peal the peaches slice them up and put some fruit fresh and sugar on them and then vacuum seal the bags and put them in the freezer.

  We are doing an experiment with the sweet corn ...Far Guy took off a few of the husks and cut the top and bottom off of the corn and we used our vacuum sealing machine to suck the air out and put them in the freezer.   We will see if it tastes like fresh sweetcorn after a few weeks in the freezer!

I read about Pineapple "tea" ...soak and wash your pineapple.  Cut the top and bottom off and discard.  Then cut up your pineapple as you usually do...saving the scraps and the core...chop them all up and put in a pot with water I used 10 cups of water and a splash of lemon juice. Bring to a boil and let it cook a and strain.  Mix with equal parts 7 isn't too bad.   It is supposed to help people with breathing problems.   You can add a bunch of other stuff...cinnamon and honey etc...Far Guy says he wants his straight from now 7 Up for him. 

Today Far Guy is making Jambalya following a video by the Cajun Ninja.  This is his first attempt at Jambalya...he enjoyed Floyd and Jessica's recipe so much earlier this summer he had to give it a try!  Floyd and Jessica live in Louisiana.

Our vacuum sealer is just one from Wally World ...Food Saver is the brand.  So far we have used it on meat and cheese.  ( We buy a large chunk of cheese and vacuum seal portions for the fridge.)  The rolls of bags are a bit expensive but so is freezer burned meat or spoiled cheese. 

Canoe and boat at the shores of Spirit Lake.

Far Side

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Purple Cone Flowers

 It is that time of year when the Coneflowers start to bloom. 

Far Guy is finally starting to see some results from all the seeds he has planted! 

Same old same old here, still struggling with the Lymes.  My Doctor prescribed a new is worth a try. 

August is half over, we need rain.  I mowed on Monday but only to even out the weeds.  A few leaves are falling out of the trees...typical for August. 

Far Side

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Coach Doors

I will call these coach doors...but the doors have been called suicide doors for years.   If the door didn't close all the way you could fall out. 

This is a 1947 Mercury. 


If you wore a voluminous gown theses doors would come in handy. 

Far Side

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Out the window

 We had two large visitors, but the baby took off before I could get a photo. 

He was eyeing the suet.

See the red feathers along the beak...that is how a male is distinguished from a female. 

Fun creatures to watch.  The baby was smaller and had a fuzzy red head (crest) doubt the father was showing he/she around. 

Far Side

Monday, August 15, 2022

Sunday activity

 Lazy day but we managed to make a trip to recycle.  Baxter came to visit because his people were having a gathering for my baby brothers 50th Class reunion and Baxter would have been a pain in the butt. 

Baxter was not thrilled, but he did not whine.  I had a nap while he laid on the step looking out the window.  Then we sat outside and woodcarved...he liked that better.  We found out he likes watermelon and I am not allowed to go into the bathroom alone. 

Relax Baxter you are just visiting!  He was very happy to see my baby brother had not forgotten him!  Baxter has recovered from his surgery, he can have crackers again as a treat. 

We juiced chokecherries in the afternoon.  Got 19 cups of juice for my other baby brother and she who sees robins first.  They picked berries on Sunday morning. 

The stainless steel juicer/steamer has three compartments, the bottom is for water, the middle is the juice catch basin with the hose ( the catch basin has a funnel in the center for the steam to rise up from the bottom part) and the top part is the part with small holes where the berries are placed to steam.  It is one of the best things ever!

Far Side

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Car Show

 We attended the car show in Park Rapids. 

As luck would have it...another Desoto from Argyle Minnesota was in the show and parked right behind us.  Desoto row!!   It is the same year 1959 same model Firesweep but it had some upgrades that we do not have power steering, two rear antennas, the name Firesweep on the glove box, two outside mirrors and probably more things that I know nothing about.   Far Guy says don't forget the side chrome, chrome rocker panels, the clock and curb feelers. 

It was a very pretty car...the upholstery had been redone too. 

Fun to see another car similar to ours. 

It was a good day.  We came home and I napped for several hours. 

Far Side

Saturday, August 13, 2022


 I steamed the makes the whole house smell wonderful !  I got 14 cups of juice from 2 1/2 ice cream pails of fruit.  That will make 24 plus jars of jelly someday when it is cool or next Fall. 

This is a bucket before the berries have been washed.   The berries are tiny...I wash them in a bucket and swirl the berries around loosening the debris and leaves that float to the top, I keep adding water until the bucket overflows into the catch strainer in the sink...after a while your berries are all washed and ready to steam.

Chokecherries smell is a one of a kind smell...heavy and fruity.  Far Guy says it is a sweet smell and you would never guess how tart they are when eaten raw.   He just looked up what Google says...bitter sweet smell similar to the aroma of cyanide of bitter almonds.  The pit inside a chokecherry contains amygdalin which when ingested converts to cyanide. If you eat enough pits it will kill you.  However birds, deer and bear are not affected....other animals like dogs, horses and cows will die if enough seeds are ingested. 

You wouldn't eat the pit of a cherry or a pit of an apricot...they are also poisonous. 

Far Side

Friday, August 12, 2022

Groceries and stuff

 We are still ordering and picking up groceries.  Since I have been so tired it is easier that way, then I go into one grocery store to pick out fruit.  There is still a Skippy Peanut Butter shortage and sometimes the Lime Outshine Bars are sold out.  Seems like it varies from week to week...oranges are just pathetic this summer.  Sweet corn is being sold and ranges in price from $5 a dozen to $14 a dozen.

I am still very tired but I think I am slowly getting better.  I am tolerating the medication and will be happy when my 30 days is up ( I am on day 15 now).  Most days I am tired and my left leg hurts and my right arm, sometimes my ear hurts and sometimes my neck and my glands are still swollen....all normal with Lymes. It may take up to six months before I feel "normal."  Far Guy is doing okay....he is taking good care of me.  He supervises my nap time ...of course as soon as my head hits the pillow I am out like a light. 

This is the blank that this years woodcarving starts with.   Far Guy carves just about every day. 

Far Side

Thursday, August 11, 2022


There is a bumper crop of Chokecherries this year. 

These hang right in the driveway and I go around them every time I go in or out.  I picked the branch clean of berries and shoved the whole thing back in the woods ...not sure it will stay there.   It might have to be tied back.

The berries hang heavily on the trees. 

This is what they looked like in bloom in the early part of June.

I picked about 2 1/2 Ice Cream pails full and will steam them today...I have a fancy steamer that separates out the is a wonderful invention.  I will freeze the juice and make jelly next winter.

The seeds are poisonous, so the whole fruit cannot be used.  There are many buckets full out there on our property and next door at my brothers.  It is hard work picking but I managed. Yesterday I just picked berries in the corner of our driveway. 

Far Side

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Warm and Sunny

 It was a warm day on Tuesday.  85 F or 29 C eh.   I slept late...I am still exhausted.  I managed part of a woodcarved Christmas ornament...Far Guy did three.  

We made hotdish for supper...diced potatoes, mixed veggies, hamburger and what makes it a hotdish some kind of soup...we like Cream of Chicken....and melted cheese all over thee top.   Far Guy doesn't really care for it but he indulges me so that I can have some for freezer food.  

I did some laundry and rested.  

The other day we took Tilly to town and took some pictures. 

That is a Dragonfly landing on top of the antenna. 

Far Side

Tuesday, August 9, 2022


 It was a sunny coolish day on Monday.  Perfect Minnesota weather.  76 F or 24 C eh!

I finished watching Purple Hearts which I give a 7 out of 10 and The Age of Adeline which I bestow a 10 out of 10...the best movie I have seen in a long long time.  Makes the Netflix subscription worth it to see a really good movie. 

Far Side 

Monday, August 8, 2022


 Jen visited yesterday and scrubbed a couple of floors for me and cleaned the bathroom upstairs. 

Later in the day Andy and Sadie showed up with pizza!  

Nice to have company.

Far Side

Sunday, August 7, 2022


 I changed out the wreath on the door as August  took over for July. 

Quiet day on Saturday...we made a trip to recycle and I napped all afternoon.   I did some laundry and started a new crochet project. 

We got 3/8's of an inch of rain late on Friday that helped out the grass. 

Far Side

Saturday, August 6, 2022


 I went out to lunch way back in the boonies with a very old friend yesterday who is turning 70 years old today!  Happy Birthday Susie!   We lived across the street from each other when our first borns were just little...that was 47 years ago.  We had so much fun at lunch!  She was daycare for our grandsons Noah and Adam when they were just little. 

I came home to rest in the afternoon and in the evening Far Guy and I went out for a ride. 

Shell River at the Dead Beaver Area the water is way down.

We need rain the lawn is turning brown and scrunches under your feet. 

Far Side

Friday, August 5, 2022

Goldenrod and Bookclub

 The Goldenrod is blooming.

It is a native plant in Minnesota. There are 15 different varieties that live in Minnesota.  

Yesterday was Bookclub, they met in a local park and had a book swap.  I did not feel up to attending so I eventually joined them by phone.   We read Where The Crawdads Sing.  I enjoyed the book and give it a 9 out of 10.   It did not end the way I thought it would.  The gals said the movie followed the book quite well. 

Far Side


Thursday, August 4, 2022

1-9 and 11

 Yesterday I was the photographer for my baby brothers Grands  1 - 9 and 11.  10 was not able to attend.

That is Bjorn in the red basket.

Bjorn is just a few days over two months old. 

My baby brothers house has been a hub of activity! 

Far Side

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Onward and forward

 No choice except to soldier on and make the best of everyday. 

Joe Pye Weed along a creek,

The only thing you can do for Lymes is take the antibiotics and rest.  I am doing that.  We live in the woods...ticks happen....deer and other animals spread them around.  We have a new camera system that made us aware of a wild kitty cat and a skunk. 

Far Side  

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Double Dose

 I have an active case of Lymes on top of my Chronic Lymes...isn't that just peachy keen. 

The bullseye mark on my thigh made it a positive diagnosis. ( My bullseye is about the size of a silver dollar and perfectly round and can appear 3 -30 days after a tick bite) I have no idea when I sustained a tick bite  and did not see a tick.  I must have scratched it off or my clothing rubbed it off. 

I saw my Doctor on Monday morning she wants me to take between 21 and 30 days of antibiotics.  She said to take it as long as my stomach would handle it.  She said I should feel better after a while. 

I have a terrible ear ache, it is most likely the spot that Lymes decided to attack at the moment. Like my Doctor said " You never know with Lymes what it will do." 

Joe Pye Weed starting to bloom.  Native to Minnesota.

Good thing I have very little planned for the next couple of weeks.   I am headed for a gold star in napping.

Far Side

Monday, August 1, 2022

Bjorn's Blanket

 I finished the baby blanket when I was resting.

This is mosaic crochet using patterns from the Geometrics and Winter Wonderland projects.

I met Bjorn on Saturday he is just two months old and has lots of hair!  This is his first trip to Minnesota from New Jersey to visit his Grandparents ( my baby brother and his bride).  His Mom reports that he travels well. 

Far Side