Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cotton Grass

One morning Far Guy and I were out early, we often take the short cut to the main highway. I love this road, you never can tell what you will see. Turkeys, deer..even that wolf years ago. The road skirts a wetland area and one of my favorite wildlife lakes, Guyles Lake. The sad news is that someone has begun logging on the south east side of the lake. The good news is that a pair of Trumpeter Swans live on the lake now. We noticed something white blooming, the early morning light was catching them just right, we had no idea what it was. We went back that afternoon to take some photos.

Common Cotton Grass is really not a grass it is a sedge. Sometimes the plant world frustrates me why don't they just call it Common Cotton Sedge if that is what it really is? What is the difference between a grass and a sedge anyway? A sedge has a solid stem, grass has a hollow stem. Just a slight technicality makes it a sedge, but everyone calls it a grass just to drive you nuts. It's scientific name is Eriophorum angustifolium, kinda rolls right off of your tongue doesn't it? It begins blooming in June, it likes to live in deep peat bogs or acidic wetlands. What was it used for? Lots of these plants that are native have many uses. Was this the plant that I read about that Sacajawea used inside the papoose carrier that she used for "Pomp" as a diaper like absorbent material ? I can find no reference to the exact plant material used. These cottony fluffs certainly could have been used, they were used to make candle wicks, as tinder for lighting fires, in paper making and as stuffing for pillows.

Have you ever wondered about the "olden days" and had a curiosity about diaper material..probably not, until today! I know some of the new Moms today can't imagine life without disposable diapers, well I can't imagine life without cloth diapers either.. what did they use before cloth diapers? :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Party Weekend

It was a party weekend, Saturday was a two function day, first my Aunt and Uncle (my Mom's brother) celebrated Fifty years of marriage, it was just a thirty mile trip. Their children put on quite a spread and we had lunch. My Aunt Judy is a scrapper so looking at her scrapbook and all the old photos was very interesting. She is so much a scrapbooker that the guest book was a scrapbook page, as was another page where you could write a personal message!

A scanned copy of the leaflet that was given to the guests.

We came home and played ball with Chance before going to Far Guy's Uncles Eightieth birthday party, they were roasting the hog right there, the potato salad was great! I found out later that it was one of my cousins who does some catering that provided the potato salad recipe. The kids did a great job organizing and planning this party for their father. It was well attended by family, neighbors and friends. Saturday was a fun day, and a no cooking day for us! They did a great job keeping the hot stuff hot, and the cold stuff cold. The cold salads were nestled in containers of ice. They also needed lots of ice for the keg that was on tap. Far Guy cannot mix alcohol and his medications...I cannot drive after even a half of glass of beer..and we had taken two vehicles..so we both skipped the beer. I came home before Far Guy to play ball with Chance and to feed him. He refused to eat until Far Guy showed up.

Do they look related? Far Guy and his Uncle. I make Far Guy wear his hat on windy days.

Sunday afternoon was the birthday party for the twins (our great nephews) who live next door. When we arrived the first question was "Where is Chance?" Yes, we left Chance home again..we had cake and ice cream and then the real fun started. A Pinata! The kids took turns hitting it, I believe the adults had as much fun watching as the kids did trying to hit the fire truck pinata. The little girls were wild women, hitting it with such force..it was funny..they were very aggressive! Eventually the boys were able to wound the pinata..but it took a big boy to deliver the final whack that brought all the candy out! Amid much cheering and laughter all the kids ran to get some candy..just rewards for all that hard work!

Birthday Party Bash

It was a boring weekend for Chance, but with the weather turning warmer, and sun shining into the car..he stays home where he is cooler and safer. We have a super busy week coming up, beginning today, so if I am absent a day or two..be assured that it is only the busy season of summer activities that keeps me from blogging..and maybe a few wildflowers too! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Quilting Cousins

I have some very talented cousins on my Dad's side of the family. Once a month a few of my girl cousins get together, we take turns hosting. At one of the Fall get togethers we decide on a theme for the quilt that we will give away at the family picnic. All you have to do to receive a chance to win, is to show up at the picnic.

This years theme was Summer or maybe flowers..everyone did flowers! Previously we have done Christmas, Fall, Winter and Spring. The squares are handed out in the Fall and we have several months to come up with our design and complete it. Then one of my cousins squares up the squares and sews on the borders..and then we hand quilt it. This year there were eleven squares, and then two smaller squares with our Family name and the year.

There are many different methods, embroidery, machine embroidery, hand sewn applique, machine applique and counted cross stitch. Each design is different and unique.

The quilt is not huge, it is meant to be used as a throw or a wall hanging. This year we did flannel because it is so warm and cozy. Which square do you think I did? Hint..one with flowers!
Yes, this is mine.. I am the weirdo counted cross stitcher:)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Thousand Words: Chance

To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up. ~Oscar Wilde

I caught Chance wandering through the daisies this week, this photo made me smile.

Friday night date night went well, the movie Virtuality had an interesting premise escaping into your own mind, computer programs gone wrong, space travel and a reality show. Neither of us appreciated its Alice In Wonderland type ending. I only fell asleep a few times, during the commercials..I hate commercials. We both thought Erik did just great, but this movie lacked depth and a really good team of writers. Far Guy was intrigued with the glasses and wants a pair, I however will just read a book. Far Guy rates this movie a 3 and I give it a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. Not the worst movie I have ever seen, but a long way from the best:)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Twin Lupines and Twin Thoughts

Recently in the very wild weedy gardens, a Lupine had twins. Of course I photographed them. They began as one bloom and then something happened probably during the bud development, and two flower stalks formed where one is the norm. I used to know all the technical terms, after reading for some time, and just short of getting out some of my old textbooks I gave up and said "So what..forget the why, and enjoy the darn flower." Lupin or Lupine ( North American) ..both are correct spellings..at any rate they are beautiful plants.

Twins were on my mind this morning, and I really didn't know why, until I looked at the calendar. Jen made me a special calendar this year, I like to keep track of birthdays, and anniversaries, so she made me a calendar that has photographs of special people and their special days. Two little very different faces occupy this day on my calendar. Five year old today faces, of my great nephews, fraternal twins, both look very different, both are unique individuals. The party is on Sunday!

I have an Uncle and Aunt that are twins, my Grandmother gave birth to them two months after I was born, they are as different as night and day. I have twin cousins, they are not identical, but close enough that most people cannot tell them apart. Most people tell them apart by their wives, one married a blond, one a brunette. Far Guy's parents had twins, a boy and a girl back in 1942, they were born and died on the same day. It was very sad, and was not something they talked about very much. They lived in Omaha at the time, so not many relatives can even fill in the blanks. Our daughter Trica finally wrote and got their birth and death certificates.. we always wondered where the twins were buried. We still don't know, as the hospital took care of all the details. I guess years ago, they just did mass burials of babies that were born too soon. Far Guy's Dad got to see them, and he told me once that he held one of them, Far Guy's Mom was not awake, this was back when most Mother's were rendered unconscious for the birth of their children in hospitals. Philip Leroy lived for 2 hours, Elizabeth Ann for 6 hours and 13 minutes. Not nearly long enough, their dashes were short. Their dashes were hardly recognized, they were not listed when Far Guys Dad died, but the hand written obituary that Far Guy's Mom left behind included them.

Abra a blogging friend, came up with the "dashes" she once wrote that it is what you do with your dash that is important, not the dates at the beginning or the end:)

The twin Lupines are on the left in these last two photos, as usual click on them to see an enlarged view!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Minnesota Lady's Slipper Hillside

Hillside looking West

Yesterday, the phone rang, it was my brother, he said "The hillside is full of Lady Slippers today. You better get over there! " The sun was shining too much for good photographs, so I waited for some clouds to move in, when they finally did late in the afternoon, I put on my very fashionable white socks that go up to my knees over the tops of my pant legs and donned my hiking boots. Chance and Far Guy knew immediately that I was off on a mission. Chance ran to the car and laid down, Far Guy said "Do you want me to go along?" I replied "No, it is not necessary, as I explained my intended route to him."

Hillside looking East

Chance loves these little trips, he is the co pilot and sits in the front seat. We saw a deer, and he growled, the deer made a u turn right in front of the car. We saw some newly blooming white wildflowers, along the short cut, the short cut is a gravel road without too much traffic..I stopped to investigate and was immediately swarmed by a whole bunch of bees. I got right back in the car. Chance looked at me like "Hey, that was quick! " We travelled on, and then we saw a SSSSnake in the road.. can you close your eyes, scream, lift your legs up and still stay on the road and out of the swamp? Well I just about turned around and went back home..but the lure of the hillside was too great. I will have to go back home another way..certainly Far Guy if he comes this way looking for me will see the SSSSnake and know without a doubt that I will not travel this road back. I believe it was a heavily wounded SSSnake..perhaps even dead..

The traffic is horrendous, it is a two lane road, hilly, there is a little trail and approach on the north side of the road where I can safely park out of harms way. Chance knows he is not allowed out of the car on any of these trips. He is content to watch. The hillside is full, I took all of my photographs from the edge of the ditch while standing in the tall grass. Walking among these beautiful Orchids is not on my agenda, I will not trample any of them, they are too beautiful to risk disturbing. The hillside is as heavy in bud as it is in bloom...so it is not in peak bloom yet.

Some cars slowed down, many honked, one slowed down to look and was nearly rear ended by another. Huge semis roar past, the grasses bend and move in the vortex left in their wake. I know that sometime there is going to be a horrific accident on this hillside..and I really don't want to be here when that happens. When the Minnesota Department of Transportation declared this Highway a scenic byway..it was only meant to be viewed at 55 MPH..they failed to think about anyone that may actually want to stop and look. The Lady's Slippers were causing quite the excitement yesterday. Either that or it was my sexy looking socks:)

**Note to new readers, I am allergic to bees, very afraid of snakes, dead or alive, poisonious or non poisonious..and more than two cars on the road at the same time makes me REALLY nervous..but no obstacle is to great when I am on a mission to show you some of the best flowers in Minnesota:)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wistful Wednesday: Far Guy's Car

It was a 1959 Desoto Station Wagon, sea green although I called it mint green because it reminded me of the sickly green color of those square little mints that everyone used back them..they came in pink, white, green, maybe even yellow and they appeared at every function you attended. It had push button drive, the little square buttons were located on the dash to the left of the steering wheel. It was as big as a battleship and really hard to parallel park..but it did have power steering. It had a seat way in the back that faced backwards..handy if you want to see where you have been. It was purchased from Bob and Mary Harris sometime in 1967. Far Guy's Dad bought it, and Far Guy used it.

Far Guy was very proud of his car, he washed and waxed it, and took it into the Skelly Station for lots of repairs. There was only one mechanic by the name of Les that was allowed to work on her. Yes, she was a "her." One evening we were on our way someplace, and "her" oil warning light came on. This really upset Far Guy, he kept one eye on the light and one eye on the road..and was ignoring me. I am a fairly helpful person, so I popped my bubble gum out of my mouth and stuck it right into the instrument panel covering up the red oil light. I declared it fixed! We still didn't get to go on our date, unless you count a soda and a candy bar at the Skelly Station a date:)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Virtuality: Erik with a K

Friday night Far Guy and I have a date, at 7PM Central Time we will be on the couch with the TV tuned to FOX. Far Guy is bringing the popcorn and I will grab some sodas. We will be watching Virtuality. It is promoted as a SciFi Thriller..we will see. Far Guy is into SciFi way more than me, but in this instance..I will watch. One of the actors, Erik, was a regular at our house during his early childhood. Yes, I walked the floors with him when he was a cranky baby, and kissed his owies, and even sent him to the corner when he misbehaved. He was very dramatic even as a child, with sparkling mischievous eyes and beautiful eyelashes. It has been very fun for me over the years to watch him grow and mature as an actor, his very first television part was on the soap "One Life to Live" he played a nerdy college kid that ran around with a butterfly net. His voice is very distinctive to me, sometimes I will hear his voice in a commercial..and smile. Maybe this movie will be his big break and it will get picked up as a weekly series.. wouldn't that be great!

In a recent email his Mom shared with me, he says "They even let me keep my beard" His name is Erik Jensen.. that is Erik with a K. He plays the character of Jules Braun in the movie Virtuality. In one of the promotional videos he was asked "What would you bring to space on a ten year journey?" He replied "My wife and my two dogs. "

What would you bring to space on a ten year journey? I of course would bring Far Guy, Chance and my Computer providing that I had an Internet Connection:)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Minnesota State Flower

The Minnesota State Flower is the Showy Lady's Slipper. It is a native plant. It's scientific name is Cypripedium reginae and it is in the Orchid family. This is the week to look for them along the ditches in our area. They usually begin blooming around Father's Day. Far Guy and I await these blooms every year, for us it marks the beginning of Summer in Minnesota, Father's Day and of things discovered quite by accident, things lost and found again.

Last week one day I sent Far Guy into a ditch to photograph some Indian Paintbrush for me, traffic was terrible, and it was quite a hike from a safe area to pull over. Usually I wear long pants, and my hiking boots when wandering around in the ditches, and that day I was wearing capris and crocs..very inappropriate for walking in a ditch that probably has Wood Ticks and Poison Ivy and who knows what else. Far Guy really likes Indian Paintbrush and he never wears capris or crocs ..so I sent him in alone. He took forever, and seemed to be spending a lot of time away from the Indian Paintbush. I will have to go back, because he only got one good photo...

Indian Paintbrush or Castilleja coccinea

This is what had captured his attention..and he only got one good photo. I should give him some camera lessons! The Lady Slippers were beginning to bloom on the north side of the road!
The Minnesota State Flower, The Showy Lady's Slipper
Years ago when we first bought the Resort, we stacked up all the logs from the trees that had been uprooted from a tornado, we stacked them in back of the house. The next spring there were still a few logs back there, Far Guy was mowing the grass when he started hollering "Come see this, you are never gonna believe it!!" What he found was a Showy Lady Slipper in bloom, it came up in the lawn and was struggling to bloom on both sides of a log. Former resort owners had been mowing it over for years. Far Guy built a little fence around them. Years later some idiot removed the fence, when Dave bought the place, and was tearing down most of the buildings, he asked us to try and locate them for him. I knew exactly where they were, Far Guy said "Are you sure this is the exact spot?" I was pretty sure, if not exact, really close. We marked the spot and they were saved. It has become quite a clump over the years. Saturday evening we went over to take some photographs. Dave has them surrounded by chicken wire and fence posts, which makes them difficult to photograph, but I tried my best!

I will have to do some serious ditch walking this week, there is nothing like seeing these beautiful plants blooming in the wild :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Dad

My Dad is a very special man, he will be 83 years old later this year. He is very active and is happiest when he is sitting or working on some huge piece of construction machinery. He is retired but has two jobs, he works for my brother when another "Cat" operator is needed and he hauls seed potatoes in the spring and does the potato harvest in the fall. In between times, he has a garden, he reads and he plays bingo! He has restored a couple of old farm tractors just for fun and because he could. He tries to keep track of my Mother, who is always off volunteering her time for some great cause. My parents have been married for 58 years.

My Dad and me on June 06, 1953.. very close to his second Father's Day! He was headed to his brother Adolph's Wedding where he was the best man.

It is from my Dad that I got my love for reading, he also taught me how to shoot a rife and to hunt, and the finer points of the game of baseball. He stops by at least once a week just to visit. Dad is a survivor, he has survived the Korean War, he was in Korea when I was born. He survived Bladder Cancer back in 1986, when there were very few survivors of that particular form of Cancer. He also lives with Celiac Sprue which is a gluten intolerance. He has survived all of his brothers, he is the only boy left out of eleven, but he has two sisters who he visits quite regularly. Dad has four children ( I am the oldest), twelve grandchildren (two are my girls), and twelve great-grandchildren (five are my grandchildren).

My Dad and Aubrey his youngest great-grandchild, two very special people in our family the oldest and the youngest..she will be booted from this spot in September when another Great-Grandchild joins our group. For now Aubrey shares the spotlight with her Great Grandpa! Happy 57th Fathers Day Dad! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Good news!!

June O3, 2009..as I lay awake early this morning, I wondered.."How lucky am I?" I had recently discovered that two of the neighbor girls that used to babysit for me had Breast Cancer. One is a survivor, one was just recently diagnosed. I thought about the invisible line that ran from me to them as we were growing up. How lucky I am. I had a recent physical, and I am in fine shape for an old lady. I had a mammogram, the results should be in soon. No worries...
The phone rang, it was the Breast Clinic, I need another mammogram, a special one.
They noticed "something" I had to make decisions fast, where to go for the special tests..I chose to go to Fargo. After all, that is where my primary care Doctor is. I waited for a phone call..and waited.. I called my Doctor's Nurse. She is a lovely gal, she has no more information for me other than the Radiologist saw something. Far Guy came in..and I told him "Now don't get all upset, but I have a tiny problem, I have to have an enhanced Mammogram to see if the "tiny somethings" are anything to worry about." I swore him to secrecy, no one will know until we know..no one needs to be sitting on pins and needles, no one needs to fret. I especially don't want anyone to "hover"..I hate hovering. I may tell my two best friends, they know me well and they will not hover. Am I shocked? NO. Am I worried? YES. Will my worry show? I HOPE NOT. Am I saying why me? NO. Do I think this is fair? It Is not unfair. Am I afraid of death? NO. (But I hate pain.) Right now ..what is a big pain in the butt is waiting for the fricking phone to ring so that an appointment can be scheduled. It might be a harmless cyst..it might be a cancerous tumor..well lets get this show on the road..and find out.. I hate uncertainty.

June 04 , 2009 Still no appointment for the enhanced mammogram. Still waiting.. waiting really sucks.. I was so stressed out today, I had two naps.. Today I am worrying about my arm that has hurt for weeks, and my leg that has hurt for years..

June 05, 2009 Finally a fricking appointment for the enhanced imaging.. why is it that they don't hesitate to call you with a problem..but you have to wait days for an appointment to begin the solution. Spent some good time with Maddie, it helps to focus on something else.

June 06, 2009 Far Guy and I discussed options, decided that if they find something..they can lop them both off..good riddance. If they only lop off one I would just list to one side or the other anyway. Instead of being my normal top heavy, I would be side heavy..and probably fall on my face. No bras, no more pain in the butt breasts..that is a good thought.

June 07, 2009 Far Guy is really stressed, he is having a major flare of his TN..no doubt from the added stress. I told my best friend this morning, she is so supportive and such a good friend. She says "OH..you might just have fatty breasts" LOL..yupp they are fat! Thoughts today are dismal..but probably just because I am over tired since Far Guy is still having a flare..and sleeping is difficult for him..I nap here and there.

June 08, 2009 I am a TAD cranky..

June 09, 2009 Sleep is elusive, I am really, really tired. Finally Far Guy is getting some relief from his pain during the day. Nights are a different story.

June 10, 2009 Far Guy has an appointment with his new Neurologist..we get to play ring around the medication rosy. ..again... a dismal day, I saw a beautiful patch of wildflowers.

June 11, 2009 JEEZE LOUISE I am a real bitch, I am better off not talking to anyone or anything except maybe the dog.

June 12, 2009 I refuse to google anything concerning breasts or mammograms.. I feel old and flawed.

June 13, 2009 I call and talk to my other best friend's husband in the cities, he says she will return my call. I just need to hear her voice, she will know immediately that something is amuck. The waiting sucks. Chance and I spend the afternoon at garage sales and at the cemetery..Far Guy is off on a road trip with Trica, they went to get Maddie. I could have gone too, but I just didn't feel like it.

June 14, 2009 A bad day, a really bad day, there seems no escape. I do escape to the neighbors, we talk about the old days when we were kids. Things were simpler then, less complicated. I am exhausted, it is so nice to just sit in the shade and watch all the dogs.

June 15, 2009 I decided today to take control, I AM NOT going to go for the enhanced tests.. Far Guy and I argue, I tell him it is my body and I am in charge and I am not telling anyone the results.. I am unreasonable.. and still cranky. I talk to my friend in the cities, she is encouraging, she has had to return for enhanced imaging also..she says the wait is the worst part. I agree.

June 16, 2009 A few more days..I can wait a few more, I can hang in there and be strong.. I am strong.. I am SO TIRED. I need my hair done, that will perk me up! My friend from the cities calls, with a message her Mother always shared with her....the message "A true friend is a person who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

June 17, 2009 Well at least I will have great lookin' hair for the big boob test tomorrow..finally tomorrow has almost come. I hope I don't flunk this test..I suppose it will be days before I get the results. I am not sure how many more of these stress filled days I can handle.

June 18, 2009 A long quiet ride, we are both wanting this to just be over. It is a beautiful misty morning..gloomy but beautiful. I arrive early for "The Tests" similar to the normal boob masher..except with a smaller upper target area, that squishes your boob with enough force to take you to the floor. The technician is very nice, she shows me my mammograms and points out the areas of concern, three on the right, two on the left, she calls them calcifications. I ask how long until we know the results? She replies "OH most of the time the Radiologist reads them right away, and makes a determination. Either they will be non cancerous, or cancerous or require a biopsy. Ninety percent of the patients that need this enhanced imaging, leave here with the results." FANTASTIC.. no more waiting.. wait tell I tell far Guy and Chance! The stress has been so bad for Far Guy, and I have not been the easiest person to live with the last 15 days either. The tests commence, they are very painful, I tell her If I pass out, to just finish them up while I am unconscious. Everytime I grit my teeth together and make noises she says "I am sorry." Well so am I. I keep telling myself, be nice, be cheerful, she might have RESULTS. What ever they are I can deal with it..just tell me something. I sit in the lonely little cubicle, I have two reading choices, Breast Health or Design a Garden.. I just stare at the floor, and wait, eventually picking up the gardening magazine. The technician returns and says "The Radiologist can not make a determination until he sees all your mammograms from Park Rapids, I reply "You have them, because I have only had two there, a baseline done years ago and this years. All the rest of them should be at this facility, as they were done here. She consults my chart and finds a note .. From J, that says " This patient will be in on Thursday, I have all her prior mammograms." But J is "Out of her office and won't be back until Monday" No one can find out where in the world she put my mammograms, and the Radiologist refuses to do a determination without them. The technician apologises, and says " Maybe someone will get back to you next week sometime, J will be back on Monday, but I am off the first part of next week..sorry. I know the waiting must be terrible." Well I am often speechless like Thumper, and quiet like a small rabbit too..but not for long. I find Far Guy and Chance in the parking lot and explain that because some broad has my mammograms we will not know anything for a while yet. As I gaze into the heavily tinted windows I say "Somewhere in that F..ing building, are my f..ing mammograms and no one here knows where the F that is ..take me home...now " I cuss some more and then bawl, when we get home, I do sleep for a few hours, then I get up and barf. It has been a day.

June 19, 2009 Well it is a miracle, they are benign calcifications!!! The really nice technician called me this afternoon, with the good news. ...what a relief. I am overjoyed, and so is Far Guy. The Radiologist said " They appear to be benign calcifications, you should come back for another mammogram in six months." How about that!! I just have old lady boobs, a patient and understanding husband, a loyal dog, great lookin' hair color, and special friends that carried me through with their prayers. Now for my blog readers I know that you would have been supportive also, but I just needed to do this alone. You were all very helpful in your own way, with your comments always seeming to come when I was the most discouraged. As for members of my family, some hover, many have worries of their own and don't need me adding to their worries, most have been notified of the "Good News" ..isn't it nice not to have to worry about the bad news before you get the good news. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chance: Far Side is in a bad mood

Hey it is I Chance, the handsome blogging dog! Far Side is in a fairly bad mood, so I am taking over today.
I think it began when she gave me a lecture at the peonies, she said "Look at this Chance, why do you suppose these peonies look crappy on this side of the plant? Frost in June, can you believe it, frost nipped these little buggers twice. " She has no idea why in the world we live in such a God forsaken place that freezes ten months out of the year. I wanted to remind her that it hasn't snowed in June..yet. So we got a little frost..she will get over it.

Then there was that dreadful day that Far Guy did not stop to photograph the Wild Blue Phlox, which turned out to be Dames Rocket anyway. This time he stopped a good long time and let her get all the photographs she wanted. Far Guy got out of the dog house that day. She even apologized for being a bit testy. I think they kissed and made up!

Then yesterday all heck broke loose. There is nothing that irritates Far Side more than someone that is not doing their job. I do my job all the time, and I stay out of the dog house. Far Guy does his job too, he is the cook. I would not want to be that person by the name of Judy, who made Far Side cuss a blue streak. Because Judy was not doing her job, another nice lady could not do her job, which made another man not able to do his job either. No one was doing their job, and I wanted to run inside and pee on their leg. But no dogs were allowed, besides that I was on my leash. Far Guy said "Let's get you the heck out of here! " After our long trip she took a really long stress induced nap, and when she woke up she barfed. I always feel better after I barf..so I am sure she will be fine. Far Side says that..

this should be applied to Judy's backside.

Far Side might be back tomorrow..if not you will be stuck with that lousy A Thousand Words idea she came up with. :(

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maddie's Adventure On The Farm

Maddie, our granddaughter who is eleven years old, spent a week on my sisterJulie's farm. I interviewed her when she returned.

What was the best part Maddie? Seeing all the animals and riding, giving out special treats to the horses and petting and feeding all the animals. Learning to ride!

Tell me about the horses? Well, there are three, Trudy is a Bay, a Quarter Horse Thoroughbred. Annie is a Tennessee Walker she is mainly black with brown splotches. Buddy is a Tennessee Walker too, he is pure black with a white strip and two white socks.

Did you wear a helmet? Yup. I wouldn't ride without one, I wore it every time.

Tell me about your day? Well we got up and did morning chores. The sheep got corn pellets, they love it dry. The pigs get pellets too, mushed up with water or milk, and scraps like potato peels and banana skins.
You have to be fast when you feed the pigs, they are hungry and want their food, they will knock you over if you aren't fast. The pigs are mainly smelly, poopy, watery and muddy..I got some on my boots but I just scraped it off with a stick. The Pigs names are Pork Chops, Bacon and Ham because that's what they are going to be.

The saddest part was when Georgie died, Georgie was a little tiny lamb, he was not doing so good, his insides were all twisted. I did get stepped on by Georgies Mama, she did not want him to nurse, but it did not hurt my foot at all.

If I had stayed another day I would have got to help band the lambs long tails, did you know they are born with long tails? So you band them, their tail falls off and then they have short tails. I am missing that, darn.

In the afternoon Rachael would work with me on the lunge line. Practicing how to ride. We practiced for four days, Trudy is bumpy, but on Annie it was just like floating, following the rhythm. You act just like the horse is your legs. It was so much fun.

Maddie on Trudy..note the lunge line.
Did you ride all alone? YES! I did really good too!!
Tell me about the other animals? Well Smokie Joe, is the cat that just came one day and stayed, he is in the Hay Mound, and kills pigeons and mice. I liked Hercules, and Bear the outside dogs. What about Nellie? Oh she toots a lot ( Nellie is a Boston Terrier inside dog). Are there any chickens? Nope, they used to have some, and a Fox came in and killed them all.

What else did you do? Well we went to an Ultimate Frisbee Challenge and they won. We went to Dairy Queen, one day we went there twice. We watched movies..Have you ever seen The Horse Whisperer? Yes, I have Maddie..did you like it? I did except for the first part, that part was really sad.

How was the food? Great! What did you eat? Salad, pizza, Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. We made Monster cookies one day and a bundt cake too.

Grandma, did you know your sister sews? Yes. She is going to sew me a horse skirt just like Gracie was wearing..and maybe even a yellow or green shirt too.

Grandma, I learned three new words last week. Did Grandpa give you the sheet of paper I wrote them on?
Yes Maddie he did!

Ipifiny.............sudden relization
Constipated.....can't go potty
Casterated........loose your manhood

What an experience for Maddie, she is at such a good age, she soaks everything new in. The world is at her fingertips.. I do believe she just might be a horse person:)
Maddie on Annie, riding all alone and doing really good!
All animal photos taken by Maddie, Horse riding photos taken by Rachael ( My niece)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wistful Wednesday: Wedding Days 1994 and 1913

Our oldest daughter Trica shares a birthday with her Great Grandma A. She also shares a wedding day, June 18. Great Grandma ( Meady) died in 1990 at the age of 96, Trica was just 18 then, she had met her prospective husband in high school, but she did not date him until she was in College. They were married at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, Minnesota.

Trica and Dick 1994

Meady and Curt 1913

I will share what someone wrote in a Who's Who column that I found taped to one of Meadys Photographs. It is unsigned, so I have no idea who wrote it.
Meady and Curt were schoolmates in the lower grades. Her family moved and she went to another school so didn't see him very often until later years when she saw him every Sunday. Being a little late one Sunday evening, he took a short cut to her home. Dear Molly was pacing down the road in high gear when a skunk walked out and took the right of way and Curt had to turn back. For several months he had to walk until the rains washed the buggy wheels clean of that everlasting odor. They were married June 18, 1913 at the Congregational Church in Park Rapids, Minnesota.
I had nothing to do with choosing the wedding date, Trica was 22 years old by then. However Far Guys Mom was just thrilled that her oldest Granddaughter would be married on her parents wedding day. Two women born exactly 79 years apart..sharing the same date on the calender for their wedding day, 81 years apart:)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fern-Leafed Peony

There is a very unique Peony that blooms earlier than the other peonies. It is a Fern-leafed variety. It's real name is Paeonia tenuifolia 'Rubra Plena' or 'Rubra Flora Plena'...depending on who you listen too. It is rumored that this plant is an old heirloom variety that made it's way around the United States by covered wagon. I was lucky enough to have one in my gardens in North Dakota, but I left it there when we moved. I do not have one here. However, I know where one is located..at the local cemetery, Chance and I have been following this plant very closely.

June 01, 2009

June 10, 2009 at sunset.
June 13, 2009
If you decide that you cannot live without this plant, then find one at your local homegrown garden center that sells perennials, be prepared to part with about 50 dollars. Now for the burning question that follows: Are ants really required in order for Peonies to bloom? I believe that ants help the many layered buds to open, and they are naturally attracted to peonies, that's why they are so often seen on peonies. Peonies are like a sweet desert buffet for ants. Will a peony bloom without ants..yes, but it will be lonely without all those ants that come marching in to herald the grand opening of the peonies.. Hurrah, Hurrah!!

This time of year at the old country church the ladies would bring in peonies for the vases on the alter, their heavy fragrance would fill the church. It was like a passing rite of spring into summer..Lilacs, Iris, Peony, followed by mixed bouquets and ending with the Gladiola's in August.

Yesterday The Duchess and Emma Rose featured the birth of a peony over on The Royal Photo Blog. It is definitely worth a visit! :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Prairie Birthday's !

Sometimes it is the little things that inspire me the most. Things that others may pass, are they too busy to stop, don't they care? It is a "Prairie Birthday" for so many plants..especially the little wildflowers in June. Some are blooming along the drive, others are found out on the edges of the fields where corporate farming takes place. They are survivors, they are blooming, so it must be their birthday! Every year I notice some plant, that I never took the time to identify before. Some only bloom for a few days, if you are not at the right place at the right time..you will have missed it completely.

Hello Hoary Puccoon! You certainly are yellow, those cars travelling by at the speed limit probably just think you are a dandelion.. I know better. If they looked closely they would see that you are really yellow/orange, and look nothing at all like a dandelion.

Common Chickweed really shines like hundreds of tiny stars in the grass at twilight. They must be having a private celebration every night.

Wild Blue Phlox, I noticed a whole ditch full of them, vibrant, fresh into their birthday duds in the afternoon sunshine. Far Guy would not stop. I knew that I would never catch that scene again. Even though I was desperate to go back, it would not have been the same as THAT moment. The light would have changed...the moment was gone. I had to settle for the few along our driveway. I had waited patiently for him to do his errands, I rode along, to make sure Chance wouldn't get to hot in the car. It would have only taken a minute. His hours were way more important that day than my minute. Ten miles later he did offer to turn around and go back..but the moment was lost.

Wild Iris, she might have escaped from a pioneer housewife's garden years ago, she shows up in some of the strangest places. These have escaped from the cemetery into the ditch, were they running for their lives? Or just going to meet other Irises for a bigger party that would be noticed. There is a Stop sign here at this corner, some people actually stop here, some don't, some just do a pretend stop. While I was at the corner..they stopped, I may have even slowed some of the traffic "What is that old woman doing in the ditch anyway?"

Blue eyed grass, such a sweet little thing, she is teeny tiny. She usually blooms earlier in June, this year she was a little late for her party..but had one anyway. She is a real challenge to photograph.

That is just five, I am sure that there were more. My Friend Aldo says ten per week, maybe even more ..well he would have been my friend if he had not up and died two years before I was born. I was not even a twinkle in my Fathers eyes yet..when the world lost a great Naturalist, who just happened to write my favorite book "A Sand County Almanac" Since I know this is not a book for everyone, I will just quote from it.
Prairie Birthday: During every week from April to September there are, on the average, ten wild plants coming into first bloom. In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of the anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them. He who steps unseeing on May Dandelions may be hauled up short by August ragweed pollen; he who ignores the ruddy haze of April elms may skid his car on the fallen corollas of the catalpas. Tell me of what plant-birthday a man takes notice, and I shall tell you a good deal about his vocation, his hobbies, his hay fever, and the general level of his ecological education. " Aldo Leopold

What a guy! I bet he would have stopped for just a minute..a moment:)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

About Picnic's

About Picnics.. keep the hot stuff hot, and the cold stuff cold. I rarely make hot stuff, Far Guy would agree. But if I were to make something hot, which would be highly unlikely, I would put it in a crock pot... or do it the old way. My old way was this: I would boil up some hot dogs, place them in their buns and then wrap them in aluminum foil and put them in an old roaster, grab the ketchup, some chips and a beverage and we could be picnicking in no time..with warm hot dogs..cause there is nothing worse than a cold dog.

Keeping the cold stuff cold, now this requires a bit of planning. First you need two bowls and a coffee cup. Pretty ones that are mostly matchy, matchy and different sizes work great.
No, I have not taken leave of my senses..recently. I partially filled the beautiful enamel bowl with water, then I set the beautiful non crystal but a cheap imitation inside the beautiful enamel bowl, making sure that it did not overflow when I so gently added a coffee cup that reminds me of chocolate. Then I threw it into the freezer..well not exactly..but you get the idea. Actually I walked very carefully as it sloshed around. Water is heavy..it weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon. Extra info I know, but just in case you were ever on Who wants to be a Millionaire or something... Freeze it overnight.

The next morning, take it out of the freezer, remove the coffee cup weight, add your salad, away you go to your picnic! Of course you could just use a cooler, I will use a cooler partially filled with ice to nestle my bowl in for longer trips to picnics. This salad, such as it is will stay cool on any serving table for quite some time..when the ice has all melted and the water is warm it is no longer safe to eat. Hopefully by that time, your salad is all gone!

Yes, I know, I didn't actually make the potato salad..but it is a great illusion..don't you think? I will be making my famous potato salad a few times this summer. Just use your imagination to taste it, not too tart, not too sweet..I would share the exact recipe with you, but I got it from my Mom and it goes something like this. Cook potatoes and eggs..cool.. Chop green onion..these main ingredients are pleasantly joined in a well blended mixture of KRAFT Miracle Whip ( no substitutes), mustard any old cheap kind as long as it is yellow, Half and Half, salt, pepper, a dash of white vinegar and white sugar. I taste as I go, and I just know when it is right. A sunny pale yellow color, with a creamy texture. Enough should be added to the potatoes and eggs so that it is fairly moist but not soupy! This does not make me a chef, just an old lady without a real recipe:)

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Iris always look so elegant, and perky. Mine always seem to succumb to the frost heaving, which kills their roots. I had a few large bearded Irises, this year they have totally disappeared. I guess they are gone to the big ole Iris garden in the sky. I do have some of the Flag Irises, both Yellow Flag and Blue Flag ..it is too early for them to bloom yet, but they are alive!!

My sister had some beautiful Iris in her gardens... those Chives on the left are going to drive her nuts next year unless she clips off the blooms soon. Look no weeds! She is a very good gardener.

One of my sisters Iris..up close
My great neighbors also have some ....these are Jo's

These are Barb's

These I found blooming in town, at a garage sale. I find everything yellow cheerful and sunny. Yellow flowers always seem to be my favorites. However I am keeping one eye out for a white Iris, and some red ones too! Do you have a favorite Iris color? :)