Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wistful Wednesday: May Day 1954

Sixty years ago I was two years and eight months old in May of 1954.  It snowed.

Connie May Day 1954

I had seven May Day baskets that year…it was a good haul.  Candy was a rare thing back then, there may have been a cookie or two in those May Baskets.  Jelly Beans maybe..or maybe those Circus Peanuts.  I always picked out the black jelly beans first..they were licorice flavored and made your tongue black.

That is my dog in the background.  My maternal Grandparents always made sure I had a dog. I have always liked dogs.  I think this one was probably named Frosty…but I am not sure and my parents don’t remember.  I had a succession of dogs, some chased cars, some got what was called tick fever, some killed chickens, some met an untimely death.  I am sure I cried…and since we went to Grandpa and Grandmas every Sunday I could report my doglessness to them…and a puppy would appear…just like magic. My maternal Grandparents loved dogs too.

That honeysuckle bush/tree still stands as do the lilac bushes in the background. The blooms will be out the last week in May or the first week in June.

Picture tree at the farm

I have my May Day Baskets all set to deliver tomorrow! And yes it might be snowing.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Showers

It has been raining since Saturday night and it shows no sight of it letting up…unless it gets so cold it turns to snow.

Nothing better than the smell of a wet dog..unless it is three wet dogs.  We met Jen and Noah part way last night and Chance is an only dog once again…a tired only dog.

South of Bagley

It was a grey day.  I took this photo on a hill south of Bagley/Zerkel Minnesota…if you take the highway to the left you end up near Itasca State Park…if you take the road near the horizon hidden by the trees you end up on the Third Shell Prairie. We saw three deer, they are turning browner and one lone Wild Turkey…oh and a Golden Lab on the road two miles from our house…I opened my window and hollered for it to go back home.

During these rainy days the potholes are filling and the wetlands are getting wetter and old rivers are trying to reclaim their route.

Rain and the old river is showing up

This is the field catty corner/kitty corner from where we live.  See that lake forming…that is part of the old river and when it overflows the river will run.  Sounds like I might have a chance to get some photos of it all week.  I will go to a different spot for a photograph so that you can see it is a river.  My parents used to own this piece of land, when they owned it it had shelterbelts throughout the field.  By shelterbelts I mean strips of land left with trees and brush for wildlife.  Shelterbelts also caught snow in the winter and rainwater in the spring.

April showers brings May flowers at least that is the hope we have this time of year.  Only a few farmers have been in the fields plowing this rain will delay planting into May.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Makin’ May Baskets?

Alrighty then.  Thursday is May Day. It is one of my favorite days! That is the day I will deliver a few May Baskets.  It is a tradition…an old one for sure and some people have never heard of May Baskets.

The tradition as I know it:  You decorate baskets fill them with candy and you take them to neighbors and friends.  You go up to a door and hang the basket on the door knob, knock and then run, because someone will chase you and try to kiss you.  I am old, I will settle for a hug…because I am not running away.

I have had my idea and supplies for a few weeks.  Today I will buy the candy.  You can also put flowers in a May Basket..but I am doing candy.

Here is my May Basket 2014 Tutorial!

May Baskets one


May Baskets two

I hope you get the main idea.  It makes a triangular shaped basket…that is why there are so many folds. Sheryl shared this on her One Hundred Years Ago Today Blog.  Hers was a gift box and mine is a May Basket!


I chose a stiff card stock for this project and some shiny stickers and metallic tinsel stems. I am making them in blue and pink.

I challenge all of you to make a May Basket and give it to a friend or neighbor, it doesn’t have to be fancy…just fun.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cookbooks and Shiny Brites

We went to several garage sales on Saturday. 

I purchased several cookbooks.  The lady there said “Oh you are going to cook!”  I replied “No I am only going to read them.”  I like reading cookbooks, they are like short stories.   I mix the contents in my head and see if I can figure out if we will like it or not.  Or not happens a lot around here…as we are pretty much plain meat, potato, vegetable and fruit people.  I am very allergic to some foods…so food adventures are best kept to a minimum. IMG_8300

The one from Iowa is an Italian Cookbook…I know nothing of Italian food but there must have been a few Italians in Iowa to write the book.  The Akeley Minnesota Centennial Cookbook should be great fun to read, Akeley is about 45 miles away.  The cookbook from Nye Montana is a Community Cookbook, Nye is a little berg with 272 people in South Central Montana.

Found some Shiny Brites. Some that I have only coveted in antique shops. Frosted Shiny Brites

These I call Frosted Shiny Brites.

West German Ornaments

These are from West Germany. Not technically Shiny Brites …more like Mercury Ornaments trimmed with glitter. They are most likely from the 1950’s.


This is the whole box.  It was a dollar.  I was pleased.  There are three other Shiny Brites in the box and one satin thread ball from the 1970’s.

The boys playing ball

Chance is still enjoying his company. 

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

The snow skipped a day

The sun was glorious on Friday, but it was still cool.  Musta been all that snow that had to melt. It was 48 F for a high or 8 C eh!

Ashleys Horses

Toward evening we all went for a drive.  Little Elvis sat on my lap the entire time…someone growled at him when he went to get into the back seat.  His heart was beating ninety miles an hour while I took this photo of Ashley’s horses.

We saw about 20 deer and everyone barked.  Part of the herd went into the fields and part went back into the woods.  There were deer everywhere!

Deer April 25


Back at home we played ball.

Search for the Border Collie

Can you see the cleverly hidden Border Collie waiting to leap out at the ball?  The Shelties play ball differently than a Border Collie.  Each to his own, the end result is the same.

As you can see there is barely a hint of green in the grass.  I am not so sure that spring has arrived…I think it might be too cold for her yet.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Chance: My Friends

Hiya it is me Chance!  It snowed again… Far Side is in a foul mood.  I wouldn’t call her on the phone if I had one.  She did venture out with her camera.

Chance and Elvis

This is me and Little Elvis.  We played ball…he was getting tired.  I think he and Miney must sleep all day long at home.  We all piled on the bed at naptime..cause the snow was sliding off the roof in big clumps.  You could hear the snow slide and then a big kerplopp.

Miney April24 Snow

Miney looks good with snowflakes!  I love Miney, we have been friends practically since forever..well since she was little and I was one year old.  Her real name is Hermione but my sister is the only one who calls her that…mostly when she is in trouble.

Odda showed up to play.  She must have heard us outside playing ball.  Far Side was playing loudly.

Odda came to visit

Odda came to the window and made everyone bark.  I like Odda.  Miney and Little Elvis not so much they think she is big and scary. She is kinda big…but don’t tell her that! I went outside and played with Odda until her Mom came.  Odda is visiting lots lately.  We don’t know why…is she lonely…she has Putz and he stays home.  Is she scared or just bored? 

I know the way to Odda’s house but I am not allowed to go there by myself.  The last time I left the yard I got hollered at and Far Side tied me up to a tree by the door.   I don’t like being tied up…or getting hollered at.

I am glad I have good friends like Odda, Putz, Miney and Little Elvis.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Say it isn’t SNOW

Well it did it.  The April Showers turned to April SNOW.

Snow on the ground April 23

Far Guy and I had a date day away.  It started to rain as we left home.  Many hours later when we returned the temperature was dropping and we had snow.

Little Elvis

It snowed on Little Elvis.  His teenage best friend should enjoy this photo while he is in California.  Miney is also visiting…she felt that she needed to eat as soon as we arrived home.

We visited a new antique shop…well not new…but new to us.  Oh there was Lionel Train “stuff” galore but Far Guy only bought one piece.  I found some more old photos…imagine that.  I also looked at some marbles and dice but they were too expensive in my opinion. It was so relaxing to just wander and browse the shops.

Chance had a boring day, we walked him several times in the rain.  He enjoyed some ball playing in a field near the airport.  Meeting up with Miney and Little Elvis meant that he had to share his backseat.

Chance in the snow

He is a gentleman and always shares his backseat, water dish, toys and food.  He may look a bit worried in this photo…there was some snow thunder.  He will be real happy the next couple of days as he loves having company.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wistful Wednesday: Mom in 1952

This is an old photo of my Mother taken in 1952.  See those diapers on the line?  Some of those were mine.  Some of them belonged to my aunt and uncle who were two months younger than me.  Three babies were spoiled that winter of 1951-1952.

By spring Mom lost all her baby fat and used a safety pin to keep her jeans skinny at the waist.

Madeline and Clothesline (2)

I love the smell of clothing that has been dried on the line outside.  Sadly I don’t have a clothes line here, oh I suppose I could stretch a bit of clothesline between a couple of trees…but then I would have to iron.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day : Grass Fires and an Owl

In honor of Earth Day I took some photos of the aftermath left by grass fires that mysteriously start all times of the day and night in our area.  Spring and Fall brings out the “fire bugs.” Sometimes if fires are not being set we wonder “Who is in jail?”  During the winter we are safe and during the summer if we have enough rainfall we are safe because green vegetation doesn’t burn as well as the dry vegetation.

Grass Fires are mysterious

There was a strong wind the other day, the fire was set on both sides of the road, but it burned much better to the north.  Burr Oaks are a great fire break, it burned some into the brush and then went out…or was put out by the local Volunteer Fire Department.

Grass Fire near the old farm

That is the Fire Chief’s place in the distance and the old farmstead where I grew up.

There is a ban on burning here in Minnesota as of Monday April 21st.

On our drive we saw an Owl at the edge of the Highway.

Owl April 20 2014

He/she was a beauty.  I think it may have been sick or injured…perhaps stunned momentarily.  We went back the next morning to see if it was still there and it was not in the ditch or at the edge of the field.  We hope it recovered and flew off!  I think this might be a Saw-Whet Owl. It was a rare opportunity to see one so close up…he thought we were pretty interesting.

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Monday, April 21, 2014


The tall get taller.  With much practice a boy can wander all over the neighborhood in stilts. He can make over 150 steps without falling down. Adam and the stilts

Stilts must have been a challenge for the young boy that happens to dwell in Far Guys old body.  The stilts were irresistible. They were calling his name.

Gene on stilts

He was doing pretty good, jumping to the ground when he lost his balance.

Gene falling off stilts

Then he got just a little bit off balance…it might have been Miney wanting to play ball that distracted him. He hollered at the dogs to move as he was falling.

Gene on the ground

I figured for sure he broke his hip or something. Luckily all the dogs scampered to safety and once he was on the ground they had to see if he was okay.  After a bit of laying around assessing his situation…

He is okay

He decided he was okay and wouldn’t require hip surgery or a trip to the home. 

Boys will be boys.

Adam on the stilts

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Joy!

I hope you have a wonderful Easter with family and friends!

Easter Joy

This is a lovely old postcard.  I like that it has a cross surrounded by forget-me-nots at sunrise.  Easter Joy to you!

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

A little makeover

One of the little Goldfinches braved the gale force winds yesterday and visited the feeders. 

He is undergoing his spring makeover.



He is a hungry little thing.

Goldfinch April 18 2014

He will get a bright yellow color which he needs to attract a mate.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just shed all your feathers and get brand new ones every spring…never looking older.  Laughing at old age…or never quite getting there.

We watched an episode of Hoda and Kathy Lee yesterday.  They were showing men's fashions.  It was quite entertaining.  They said shorts and sandals were “in” for men.  I asked Far Guy when he was going to start wearing them?  He replied “When my white legs get spindly like toothpicks.”  I asked him if he would wear socks with his sandals…well of course just like in the olden days.  The other day in wallyworld I caught him looking at the wild summer shirts…he likes them but they were all sold out of his size in the most wild pattern.  He will not be wearing any of those sweaters that get tied around his waist or any of those men's scarfs…or the funny looking femmy jackets over a wild summer shirt.  Possibly he is past the age of makeovers…and there is no need for him to attract other women anyway.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Brown Report

Well it is better than the white report, since we have nothing green it is the brown report.

It is what it is.  April in Minnesota can be anything from near zero to 80.  Back in 1977 it was 80 degrees and we all thought we would die from the heat. I hosted a birthday party for a whole bunch of little girls in sundresses that year.

Trica our oldest daughter is 42 today.  In 1972 there was snow in piles and lots of mud the day we brought her home from the hospital.   Playing Ball

We are dry this year, the little bit of snow we got the other day is long gone…didn’t even make mud.  I am sure the annual spring fires will start any day. 

Marge Grass

Spring could arrive any day now.  The Juncos have been visiting and along with them they brought a few Gold Finches and one lonely Purple Finch.  The Finches are scarfing down the Niger Thistle Seed.  Junco’s or Snowbirds are usually ground feeders..  we saw a few in the feeders today, they must have been really hungry!

Odda The Bernese Mountain Dog from down the road visited again yesterday, her arthritis is worse she had a real hard time jumping in the car.  She loves Chance’s homemade pumpkin treats.  She wasn’t real keen on going home…she must like us.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Snow

We got a dusting of snow, the big snow went south of us again. We did get the cold air which must have come straight from the Artic Circle.

Driveway April 16 

Not much to see that looks like spring yet.  Not even a hint of green.

Chance and some fresh snow

Chance loves having fresh snow to eat.

We had dental checkups.  Far Guy passed.  I needed one filling and a little touch up on a tooth that they agitated during the cleaning and the exam.  I am relieved to have that all over for another six months.  Fresh cracked wheat flatbread is the reward for going to the Dentist as the best little bakery in all of Minnesota is next to the Dentist’s Office in Menahga.

I finally recouped from the late night outing for the Blood Moon photos.  I heard my Grandson  Noah wanted to see the lunar eclipse too…he said he was cold all the next day.  I have an old lady corn bag that I heat in the microwave for three minutes…I took that to sleep with me and I was warm in no time.

I started to clean out a few cupboards in the kitchen… I have enough flour for about a year.  I must have bought flour every time it was on sale.

We are working on the Christmas Ornament woodcarvings just about everyday.  Progress is slow…but we knew it would be.  I ordered special boxes to house the ornaments and they were delivered yesterday…so I can make labels and start stacking them in a laundry basket.  Six ornaments are ready for names and boxing.  We are crusin’ along!

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