Sunday, December 31, 2023

Year in Review 2023

 Well we survived another year!  

Here is the summary of our year.

Our oldest daughter Trica is still living in Duluth MN.

Our youngest daughter Jen and husband Andy live in East Grand Forks, MN. Jen teaches at Northland Community College and Andy teaches at UND.  They are empty nesters except for the time we visit them over the Winter.  Golden Retriever Sadie and Sheltie Little Elvis are a big part of the family.  Adam and Noah both live in town and stop by often. 

The Grands:

Savannah lives in Bemidji, MN owns a Lash Extension business and is looking forward to buying a house soon.  She has two dogs Chewy and Kalila.

Maddie and her husband Brenton live in Grand Forks ND. Maddie is a Dental Assistant and Brenton works for Bobcat.  Hey Mikey was six this year, Cee Cee was three and they welcomed Ree in June.  They have two dogs and cat who Cee Cee named Doug. 

Paige is working as a Dental Hygienist in Bemidji MN.  Paige became engaged to Cole this past year and a wedding is being planned for 2024.  Cole has a dog named Rosie.  Sadly Paige's kitty named Bailey died this year. 

Noah works at Simplot and has a dog named Aurora.  He is looking to buy a home soon.

Adam is attending UND and working most of the time, he has a girlfriend named Courtney and a cat named Phoebe. 


Deaths this year

My Cousin Petie died Feb 8, 2023 she was 78 years old.

My Cousin Judy died Sept 17, 2023 she was 71 years old.

My second cousin Will died April 27, 2023 he was 76 years old.

Friends; Hubert (87), Erna (96), Barry (78) and Dave (73)

Pet Deaths: Bailey who was about 18 years old, she was Paiges kitty. 


Far Guy has remained relatively healthy this past year with no hospital visits.  He stays busy,  his favorite summertime activity is sitting on the patio in the sunshine watching the birds at the bird feeder and making wood chips while he is listening to his music. He tinkers on his 1959 Desoto, and polishes it on a regular basis.  We were able to attend a few car shows last summer.  

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis/Psoriatic Arthritis and Lyme Arthritis last summer, they have not yet discovered a medication that helps with the pain or the extreme fatigue.  I continue to see different specialists. I stay busy crocheting and doing some embroidery.  Wood Carving is difficult for me, my hands do not like the movements and strength needed to push the knife.  I do what I can do. Not as much as I would like but like I tell Far Guy it is what it is. 


The Great Grandchildren who light up our lives! 

 Family Photo

Goodbye 2023 and we are hopeful for a wonderful 2024!

Far Side

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Another hat and melting

I made Cee Cee a hat.  I put sparkly buttons on her hat.  She came over to visit this week while her Mama took baby sister to the clinic.  She can pile half her toys in her backpack to bring with her.

The hat fits her nicely, it is another Kaldi hat pattern by Tinna. The yarn has a bit of sparkle in is from Hobby Lobby.  I guessed at the size and it fits great! 

The ice melted a bit yesterday. There are broken tree limbs all over town.  The ice tested limb strength.

Far Side

Friday, December 29, 2023

Infusion and a hat

 Far Guy gets his infusions every Thursday, the infusions that have kept him alive the past eight years. 

The side roads are still icy but the main streets over to the Infusion Center at the hospital were good.  All the sidewalks are icy, I dropped Far Guy off at the door and went back home and then picked him up again when he was done.  It was all managed safely and no one fell or broke a hip.  The infusions take about 90 minutes here...back at home the gals at the infusion center take about 45 minutes.   Yesterday was a four stick day.  He felt like a pin cushion.

I made a hat for Far Guy.

I actually made two hats...the light blue color is very soft and snuggly, the brown is wool.  So it has an inner and outer hat...doubly warm.

You can tie the ear flaps up at the top of the hat if you have a button on the top and strings on the ear flaps...but he just wanted the hat flaps to cover his ears.  The pattern is Kaldi that was purchased on Ravelry the pattern is by Tinna. 

Far Side

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Still Icy

 It is like a skating rink outside with a half an inch of ice on everything.   Far Guy and I stayed inside yesterday.  Jen and Andy went out to put out ice melter and to chip away at ice.  They rescued the neighbors...they came home from their Christmas outing and couldn't get the car up the driveway...the fellow got out and fell down and couldn't get up.  Jen and Andy got them squared away.  

I have heard that people have gone ice skating down the streets. 

Far Side

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Quiet Icy Day

 Far Guy and I stayed in all day.  Too icy to go out.  Ice has covered everything.  Thankful that we didn't have an appointments.  It is wicked slippery.  They closed the Interstate from here to Canada.

Far Side

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Christmas Report

 Minnesota had and is having an ongoing ice storm.  We were not able to spend Christmas Eve with my brothers and my Mom due to icy roads, we spent the evening here playing some games.  Christmas morning Noah joined us for breakfast and we opened a few gifts.   Andy made prime rib for supper with lots of fixings; Far Guy did potatoes, Jen a lettuce salad with pears and pomegranate, I made a snickers whip, green apple and snickers candy bar.  It was a delicious meal. 

Andy shared that his Mom always made meatballs, potatoes and gravy as a Christmas dinner.  Usually Christmas dinner was at my Grandparents where there was turkey, ham and chicken and every kind of dish you can imagine...she feed 40 people maybe more.  I have not thought about the spiced crabapples in years...

Sadie and Little Elvis

So far we still have electricity, I am certain that many people will be out of power before the storm is over.  

Far Side

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas!

The 2023 Christmas Card.

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Far Side

*The white paper is cut with a metal die and then you have to make sure all the impressions are removed.  Think lots of tiny pieces all over!

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Shiny Brite Christmas Eve

 I have many memories of the Shiny Brite tree.  I enjoyed decorating it every year.  

It has been a long time since I searched and purchased a new ornament. 

Here are two of my favorite ornaments.

See how the light is reflected off the tree in the background...Shiny and Brite! 

This ornament was a gift from Edie, it was originally an ornament that my second grade teacher had on her tree. 

I wish everyone a Shiny Brite Christmas Eve!
Far Side

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Christmas in 1981

 Found this old photo amongst the photos my Mom has saved. 

The year was 1981. 

Christmas at my parents home at the Resort.  Mom put the tree in the same corner every year. 

My Dad at age 55 is in the photo with three of his grandchildren.  Trica, Jen and Kirk.  Trica was 9 years old, Jen was 6 years old and Kirk was 1 year old ( Kirk belongs to my baby brother and his bride).   You can tell that Jen was in first grade as she has lost her front teeth. 

I don't know what my Mother was thinking when she picked out the carpeting!   Tinsel remains on the many mentioned yesterday in their comments tinsel was saved from year to year.  It was collected strand by strand and put over a piece of cardboard to use again the next year. 

Far Side

Friday, December 22, 2023

Tree in 1955

 This was our Christmas tree in 1955.  It stood in the corner of the old living room on the farm.  As I recall the room had one rocking chair, a plant table with some fancy leaved begonias and a couple of extra kitchen chairs...and the tree always found its place in the corner.  My Dad always went out and cut down a Christmas tree, I never went along....maybe my brothers went along when they were older.

Mom took the photo with her little Brownie Kodak Camera.  The film was developed in June of 1956.  The film probably had my baby brothers birthday on the same roll of film. He would have been 21 months old and I was 4 years and 3 months old the Christmas of 1955. 

You can almost see the doorway to my bedroom behind the rocking chair. It was a tiny room with a twin bed.  Cozy but very cold in the winter time. My brother slept in a crib in my parents room.  It was a huge old farmhouse with four bedrooms upstairs, but we were not supposed to play up there and it was not heated in the winter. 

Far Side

Thursday, December 21, 2023


 We got a gift from my baby brother and his bride. 

 December 8th

This is a photo right after they arrived.  The bulbs are dipped in wax, you just set them out and watch them grow.  No water needed. 

December 15th

December 19th 

The silver one finally decided to join the party! 

It is fun to see how much they have grown everyday. 

Anniversary Report: Harry's had great steaks and cheesecake with strawberry dipping sauce and caramel drizzle oh and carrot made for a perfect celebration dinner! ( I took my own favorite steak sauce ...Heinz 57...I tucked the bottle into the pocket of my parka....perfect.)

 Far Side

Wednesday, December 20, 2023


 Happy 54th Wedding Anniversary to us!  We plan to go out for steaks at Harry's if we can still get a reservation.  If not we will find some other place to celebrate.

Who woulda thunk it all those years ago that at 18 and 19 years old we would make it 54 years! 

Far Side

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

One Year Later

 My Dad died a year ago today on his Father's birthday, my Grandfather was 87years old when he died, my Dad was 96 years old when he died.  Dad outlived all of his siblings.  Wilbert was 77, Hugo 73, Jalmer 42, Ervin 59, Oscar 56, Arthur 23, Adolf 76, George 74, Einard 6 months old, Marie 82, Andrew 67, Arnold 59 and Anna 85.  Yes it was a family of 14 children.   Other than World War II and an infant death they all died of heart attacks or cancer except for Uncle Adolf he died of undiagnosed Celiac Disease. My Dad was a cancer survivor...he survived it for 37 years...he also had Celiac Disease....but Dad died from late stage dementia and a form of blood cancer.  

No one else in Dad's family had dementia...but then no one lived as long as Dad.  Dementia is a slow  death that is incredibly hard on everyone.

My Dad is on the far left in the double breasted suit.  This photo was taken in June of 1953 when my Grandmother died of a massive heart attack at the age of 64.  Everyone is present except for Arthur who died in WWII and Einard who died as a baby.   My Aunt Senia is in this photo in the white suit...she was married to my Uncle Wilbert.

 I have many good memories of my Dad, those are the times I choose to recall when I miss him. 

Far Side

Monday, December 18, 2023


 It was a day to celebrate Christmas with our Grandchildren or like I call them the "Grands."

We had lots of food; egg bake, little smokies wrapped in bacon, fruit and cinnamon rolls...and a plate full of Christmas goodies.  I even had a mimosa!  We gathered late in the morning to do brunch. 

We played games for prizes, had a white elephant gift exchange and opened stockings. 

Fun times!  Wonderful to see them all together.

Here they are tallest to shortest from left to right.  From right to left is their birth order.  They are a Grand group of young adults!  

Far Side

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Fun or not

 Busy day yesterday, a funeral...not much fun but necessary to have closure. It was a ninety minute drive and the roads were decent until the last seven icy miles.  Dawn and Gravy were at the funeral and Far Guy and there were two of Dave's classmates present.  The church was full, there was standing room only.  

The message was clear, celebrate that you have faith and are assured of a heavenly home. 

"If God is for us who can be against us?"

 Dave planned everything for his funeral service right down to the lunch served after the service.  He chose the foods he like best; scalloped potatoes with ham, pickles, turkey buns, ham buns, cinnamon bread spread with cheese whiz and topped with olives, baked beans, huge bowls of fruit and plates of baked sweets.   There were doughnut balls and coffee near the entrance of the church so no one would go into the service hungry.  Dave was a thoughtful guy. 

A puzzle we finished this week, it was a difficult may notice a funny looking piece toward the top...Sadie was helping. 

Far Side

Saturday, December 16, 2023


 Done shopping, done baking.  Done with Doctors appointments this past week.  

Pumpkin Bread was made.  Granddaughter Maddie knows how to make it now ( she came over to help bake on her day off).  

The tree is decorated. The last present was purchased. 

The semester at school is done for Jen and Andy, they have some time off to do what they want before school starts again in January. 

Far Side

Friday, December 15, 2023

Cutest Baby Ever!

 Our Great Granddaughter Ree is such a happy child.  She has found her voice and a big smile. 

Ree lights up our lives!

I got to see her twice this week. For Christmas photos one evening and then again the next evening when we were all cleaning at Andy and Jen's rental. 

Far Side

Thursday, December 14, 2023


 The next door neighbor hires his Christmas light decorating, he lights up the neighborhood.

I took this photo before the snow.  Note the green buckets! 

The bears and the peace letters all have green buckets to elevate them above the snow, it probably also helps so they don't freeze down.  After Christmas the fellow will come by with his really tall ladder and take everything down. 

I took this photo last night as you can see we have snow.

Far Side

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Getting ready

 One by one things are getting ready for the Christmas Gathering.  I must make Pumpkin Bread as the Grands think it is required along with Far Guys Caramel Rolls.  Some traditions go on and on with foods they recall from when they were little. 

We are gathering with them on Sunday the 17th so that means everything should be done well before actual Christmas. 

I made envelopes for their gifts.  Stocking stuffers will be purchased this week.  I am certain that will put me in a mood to be thankful that we just do stockings and one gift to do a white elephant exchange. 

Far Side

Tuesday, December 12, 2023


 Far Guy and I ventured out yesterday to his Doctor appointment, his old Primary Care Doctor here relocated so he has a new gal.   He needs a tetanus shot ...his ten years are up. She made him a list on a sticky note for things she wants Advanced Care Directives...we turned them in last Spring...Far Guy wants to know how many copies they need?  He needs fasting lab work...all things that can be done here in town.  

After the appointment we went to Menards and then to Hobby Lobby where yarn might have been purchased for  new project.  You never can tell with these patterns how they will turn out...but I will give it a whirl. 

Sunday Jen was sick all day with the puking stomach flu...seems to be a six to seven day we will see who gets it next.  

Andy and I made Chocolate Truffles and Bourbon Balls on Sunday.  Andy made Caramels on Saturday and Far Guy and I got them all individually wrapped on Sunday.  So we have a start on Christmas goodies. 

The tree across the street is all decorated with snow.

Far Side

Monday, December 11, 2023

December Book Club

Our read for December Book Club was The Book Woman's Daughter.

 This was the sequel to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek which was our October read.   I enjoyed both books...I gave the first book a nine so I will give this one the same score.   All the women enjoyed the book. ( I think most of us prefer Historical Fiction)

Far Side

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Looking out

 We went from brown and slightly green to white overnight.

Looking out the computer room window.

Out the kitchen windows.

Yes it was bound to happen sooner or later. 

I did not go out...Andy did and he said the roads were awful.  The wind blew most of the day, in the country there were white out conditions.  Interstate 29 was closed from Fargo to Canada.

FYI  A low pressure system moving into the area is the pits for arthritis.   It was a rough day. 

Far Side

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Look alike

 Sadie goes to doggie daycare on Thursdays.  Far Guy and Jen went to pick her up.  

They picked up Sadie but she  keep making whinny noises.  Something was not quite right something was wrong.  Jen pulled over to check her out and discovered that she was a he and not Sadie.

Seems the daycare attendant gave them Felix instead of Sadie.  They look exactly alike...perhaps they were litter mates. 

A while back Andy picked up Sadie but it was not Sadie and he knew as he lifted her into the vehicle that it was not Sadie...the other dog was heavier. 

Far Guy and Jen got half way home before they figured it out.  They returned Felix and traded him for Sadie.  

Life is interesting with a Golden retriever! 

Far Side

Friday, December 8, 2023

44 years

 My other baby brother and she who sees robins first are celebrating 44 years of wedded bliss today! 

I scanned this photo, it was amongst all the photos my Mom kept.  Funny thing I do not recall their wedding dance....of course we had two small children so we probably didn't stay long.   Not sure who took the photo or where the dance was.
Happy Anniversary!
Far Side

Thursday, December 7, 2023


It seems like each season this year brought the loss of a friend.   Our friend Hubert died in Oklahoma in the Spring, our friend and neighbor Erna died in the Summer, Fall brought Barry's death in Oklahoma and now we are on the verge of Winter and a friend from High School died yesterday.  Dave had Granular Glass Fibrosis and entered Hospice Care about 10 days ago.  Far Guy was a wonderful support person for Dave, they talked almost daily up until a week ago.  One of his last messages was that Honorary Pallbearers would be the entire Class of 1968 so no one would feel left out. 

So many losses, good people...gone.  I suppose the losses only compound as you get older.  Then if you live long enough the losses become less. 

Far Side

"I get by with a little help from my friends."  The Beatles

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Afternoon pals

 Jen was at work and then came home to rest quietly.  Far Guy was downstairs working on a puzzle and having a nap. Andy was at work and came home in time for supper. 

Sadie and Little Elvis had me cornered in the computer room.  No way was I escaping without them.

They had the exits covered.  Smart dogs.  I will "do" in a pinch. 

View out the window in the computer room.

Notice no snow.  There was some morning frost but I slept through it. 

I was the cook yesterday.  Roast pork, mashed potatoes and gravy, with roasted parsnips and carrots.  There are enough left overs to eat again today.  BTW the Pioneer brand gluten free brown gravy mix was excellent!

Far Side

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A finish

 I had two shawls that I worked on over the Summer.  I managed to get this one blocked.  

The yarn is cashmere, it is lovely.   It is a mindless crochet pattern and can be worked on while watching TV. 

Far Side

Monday, December 4, 2023


 Sadie is as busy as ever.  She has her favorite person in the household.  If Andy is at home Far Guy and I are just chopped liver. 

Sadie is a true retriever.  She retrieves "stuff" all day long; socks, mittens, shoes, papers, pieces of plastic and sticks.  You can tell if she has something as she makes low growling noises to announce her find!  She also has Little Elvis radar...if someone is petting him then she wants attention too and will chase him out of the way. 

See that huge stuffed is a pink unicorn and she drags it all over the house.  Luckily it is too big to go out the doggie door. 

Far Side

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Getting Settled

 We made it Up North safe and sound.  Our youngest Grandson Adam came by and helped us move stuff from the car to the house.  We unloaded stuff and settled in quickly.

Saturday we went grocery shopping and I had a long rest time. 

Sadie and Little Elvis are thrilled with our company.  When Far Guy put on his jacket to go along to the grocery store Sadie was visibly sad. She makes us laugh with her antics. 

I moved one dog bed between Far Guy and I in the computer room.

Little Elvis is happy to be there with us.  He rested with me in the afternoon. 

Andy custom built the cabinets and drawers for the computer area.  It is just perfect.  It is a very pretty room where we spend some time off and on throughout the day. 

No snow here yet. 

Far Side

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Magic Ice Revisited

 I wrote this blog post a number of years ago ( November of 2008).  I am reminded of Magic Ice when ever we have a November that is clear and cold enough to make good ice before it snows. 

Magic Ice does not happen every year...only a few special years. This photo was taken on November 24, 2023 on Fishhook River one of the first mornings it was frozen over.

Far Side

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Magic Ice

If the weather holds cold with no snow the lakes will soon be perfect. Maybe the magic ice will arrive. Ice that only comes every ten years or so here in Minnesota, perfect ice for skaters on the lake.

The teenage girls, would check the ice everyday after school. "Mom do you think it is safe yet?" NO, not yet, be patient girls." Then one day I say they can skate but only along the shore, and only in front of our place, and only when I am there, watching... ready to haul them out should the ice crack and they were to take an icy dip. Magic Ice, sometimes this ice would then be defiled by icy rains and heavy snows, disappointment..patience was not rewarded its full due.

Once in a great while, for a few days it is the true magic ice. The magic ice you wait years for. After school the teenage girls run down the drive arriving breathless with excitement. "It didn't snow! Lets go MOM!" I have checked the ice, it is safe, they can skate out further in the lake today, maybe today will be the day that they can skate across the entire lake. The lure of being able to skate across this magic ice has a pull on them like Norwegians to a Lutefisk dinner.

The ice is clear, stretching out across the lake, clear and spooky. You can lay on your belly and shield out the light with your mittened hands and stare into the murky depths. You can see the weed beds, the submerged logs, ancient trees, and the black drop offs. The dogs would lick my face and rouse me from my under ice explorations if to say "Pay attention to the girls." The ice would be like a huge frozen mirror, with a series of cracks and fissures that must be there every year, but only visible in magic ice years.
The girls would skate, sometimes chasing each other in a game of tag, sometimes hand in hand. Giggling, cheeks bright red, eyes sparkling. "Mom the ice is great! Can we skip school tomorrow? Ice as great as this shouldn't be wasted." "NO, you have to go to school, what kind of Mother lets their kids skip school to go ice skating anyway."

Only a few years was the ice make it safely across the lake, I would watch them on the opposite shore, specks skating along. Specks growing larger as they skated toward me and the safety of home..on Magic Ice:)