Thursday, March 31, 2016


The Juncos are here.  They fill the trees and the ground.

The Juncos that frequent our yard are ground feeders, I have never seen them in the feeders.  I have heard that they will visit feeders…perhaps they don’t like ours.

Chance and I were out after supper playing ball.  When Chance got tired we settled down quiety to watch the birds.

One by one the Juncos came back.

Lots of Juncos

They were pecking at something in between the garages.

Juncos and a puddle

They were visiting the mud puddle in the drive way, just for drinking…I didn’t see them bathing.


This one came close enogh for a close up.  Some are a darker grey than others. I think that the darker ones are the males.  They will stick around for awhile and then head north for their breeding grounds in Canada and Alaska.

Chance and I sat so long that a really dumb squirrel tried to sneak up on us.Squirrel

One click of the camera and this fellow was gone.

It is that time of year where everything is brown or grey…with some occassional white stuff overnight that melts during the day.  I am ready for March to be over…I think it will go out like a lamb.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wistful Wednesday: Farm Diaries

I am STILL working on the diaries when I find time.
The recent addition of photos from Cousin Terry has helped to fill in a few blanks…and brings up a few questions.

November 18 1923 Sunday Home with kids Thresa went to Emmas to see sick baby

Grandma went to her sister Emmas home in Laporte…about 45 miles away. ( Grandma could have taken the Stage to Park Rapids and then went by car with her parents and sisters, Frances and Lydia to Emmas.)
Hawkins family and Frances with Leila
Aunt Emma and Uncle Rubert with Earl born in 1918 and a baby.  The baby is either their daughter Leila born in 1923 or their niece Donna born in 1924.  (Donna's story is a complicated one and better left for another day.)  The middle photo is Aunt Emma and Earl near a wood pile.

On the far right is Aunt Frances holding a baby…if it is Leila this is probably the only photo we have of her.

December 1923
6 Thursday Recieved word little Leala (Leila) was dead Thresa and Minnie went to Emmas I cut ties and chored
7  Friday Went early to Laport to funeral not cold Rubert and Emma came home with us Minnie and Alfred came also
8  Saturday Visited in AM Ruberts went home  I made ties in PM Thresa and Minnie went to Robinsons
9  Sunday  To Dads eat Turkey Ruberts went home in PM

Since Grandpa has no way with words we don’t know what little Leila died from.  We know she was sick November 18 because Grandma visited that day. We know that the family surrounded Emma and Rubert and brought them home with them for a few days after the babies death.

These photos are not marked.  Everyone who could possibly identify this baby as Leila or Donna have passed on.

Leila was born May 29 1923 and died December 6 1923.  Donna was born September 6 1924.
So the trees being leafless in the first photo are no clue what so ever…it could be either child. I am guessing that the baby is about six months old.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Waterfowl and a Summer Prediction

The Canada Geese are back in great numbers.
Pot hole in a barnyard
A pothole in a barnyard coexisting with steaks on the hoof.Mallard and Geese
I love the Mallard Ducks and the way their iridescent feathers glow in the sunlight.

We went to our first garage sale of the season last Saturday…walked away with…nothing.

The Juncos AKA “Snowbirds” showed up yesterday…not sure which way they are headed. 

My Dad planted his potatoes yesterday…it was too cold on Good Friday so he waited until yesterday when the ground was unfrozen, he said he will cover them with five gallon buckets if it gets real cold.  He also said the according to the Easter Sunrise conditions that it will be a cool summer.  (The wind was blowing from the North West and switched to the North.)
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Monday, March 28, 2016


We were lucky to have Jen, Andy and the boys join us for Easter dinner.
The boys had some “together” time as they hunted for Easter eggs and baskets.
Tied their legs together
Yes, they are tied together, teamwork will reap the sweet rewards.
Boys and dogs
Little Elvis and Miss Miney thought it was great fun as the boys hopped through the yard.
Noah and Adam Easter Baskets
Here they are handsome as ever with their baskets.
Easter Baskets
A peep into a basket!
We had a wonderful dinner: ribs, baked potato, corn and homemade crescent rolls.
Carrot Cake
Jen made her signature carrot cake, let me tell you it was really yummy!
During dinner I asked the boys a question.  How old do you think you will be when you get married?   Adam said 92, he figured he would get married and then die.  Noah answered “early to mid thirties when I am financially stable.”
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Easter Postcard (3)

I love to tell the story
Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
Of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story,
Because I know its true;
It satisfies my longings
As nothing else would do.
I love to tell the story,
'Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and His love

One of my favorite hymns.  Happy Easter!

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

62 and “Six”

My baby brother turns older today.  I don’t remember the exact day he was born, but I remember being told “Be nice to your brother” over and over for years and years.

He isn’t retired yet.   Recently he got to see his sixth grand who lives in New Jersey.   She is a beauty whose initails are JJ.   That second J is Joy which just so happens to be my middle name and my daughter Jen’s middle name…although I doubt that my Nephew even remembered that or took it into consideration when he named his new daughter.

Well my baby brother has passed me up for sure as I am at a stand still with five grands.

My baby brother now has two grandsons and four grandaughters.

His grey hair is also way prettier than mine. The beard is new just since Christmas, if it grows much longer he could be a Santa Claus!

Happy Birthday Carey!

 Carey and JJ or Six

My baby brother and “Six”

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Drive In Theater

I think we are missing out now a days.  Remember the old Drive In Theaters?  The one in Park Rapids has given way to a housing development.

As teenagers It used to be great fun sneaking a bunch of kids in.  One time Far Guy and John were driving and Rhonda and I hid under a blanket on the floor of the back seat.  All of a sudden the guys took off hollering “You will never catch us” as the tires spun gravel into the air. WELL…the Drive In was closed and they were just fooling us. Rhonda and I laughed so hard we almost peed our pants.

There is a remnant of a Drive In Theater over at Wadena.

Wadena Drive In 

We stopped to take photos last summer.

Snack Shack

The “Snack Shack/Projection Building/Bathroom” building could still be seen.

I recall as a youngster playing on the swings and teetertotters at some Drive Ins before the movie started and the bugs got bad.

Later as a young couple it was an affordable night out.  We would dress the girls in their pajamas and grab their pillows and blankets.  Taking a paper bag of popcorn from home and koolaid in a jar….a date night where we didn’t need a babysitter.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016


Chickens are tick eaters.
I hear the ticks are out for the year. The chickens sure thought so as they scratched and pecked leaves aside to pick tasty morsels off the ground.
Our friends Jim AKA The Silver Fox and Theresa have chickens.  They free range during the day and head back to the coop at night.

Theresa spoils them by making them cupcakes of chicken feed, raisins and who knows what all but the girls love it.
Theresas Chickens
Chance watched them, he was entertained.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wistful Wednesday : Great Aunt Frances

The old photos that I scanned were returned this week to cousin Terry.  Frances was his mother.

Terry Taylor

This is cousin Terry when he was one year old.   He was an only child and I heard he was the apple of his mother’s eye (very spoiled).

Aunt Frances

This is Great Aunt Frances in High School. I am pretty sure she has a huge bow in her hair.

Chet and Francis Taylor

Chet and Frances

They owned a shoe store up in Grand Rapids Minnesota.  You could get the “family” price if you came up to the store on a Sunday and probably Sunday dinner too.  I recall Far Guy’s mother wanting a perfect pair of shoes and insisting that she go shopping there.  It was only 85 miles.

Chicken.  When I talked to Cousin Terry on the phone he said, “When we visted on a Sunday, the first stop was Aunt Emmas for chicken dinner and then it was on to Aunt Tracies where guess what was on the stove?  Chicken.”

Along with the photos that were returned, I sent a few copies of photos that he may not have and a copy of the part of the family tree that he and Far Guy share.  I was only able to push that generation back to 1814 in Germany and Alsace-Lorraine which was German held but some French lived there. There are not enough hours in the day to do the proper research…maybe someday.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Not much new here, same old same old. 

I am working on recipes, mostly I sit in the evenings and copy them off their scraps of paper and get them on proper recipes cards.  A few made it to the Ipad.

I have some more carvings to fine tune out in the woodshop if the weather ever gets warm again.  It will someday, but those beautiful summerlike days a few weeks ago spoiled us.


Lilies last summer.

I don’t see many signs of spring yet…patience.

Speaking of patience.

The Calendar Wars:  I try to keep “stuff” on the calendar so I know what is coming up or on what day we need to go to the clinic/hospital.  Someone just writes things down…in several different months on the same date but not the correct month. I shall prevail but it is a struggle. Perhaps I should hang up one month at a time instead of the whole freaking year.

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Monday, March 21, 2016


We ran an errand and were entertained by the neighbors Guinea Fowl. They were languishing by the edge of the road so Chance got a good look at them.  They talked to him and he talked right back to them.

Pretty little tick and bug eaters.

Guinea Hen

I think these are called Helmeted Guinea Fowl. It has a “thingy” on his/her head.

We had a long discussion “Would Chance eat baby fowl?  Would they imprint on him and follow him around?  Would it give him a job? They would eat ticks and bugs.  We have an old wagon on a lawn mower chassis…could it be a movable coop?”

My Maternal Grandfather had Guineafowl, they followed him around and talked to him as he did his chores…I can still see him walking from the hen house to the grainery and then the pump house with the Guineas following him.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Parade

I haven’t had much luck taking photos at the St Urho’s Day Parade the last few years.  Last year my camera card wasn’t in the slot all the way.  This year my camera went nuts after I accidently hit a setting  delaying every photo…some timer setting that I never use…do do do do.  Far Guy said it was a sign…

Chance loved the parade, there was a whole bunch of sled dogs and puppies…cute as could be, I glanced up a few times as I was trying to fix the blankity blank setting.

King and Queen arriving in style

The King and Queen arrive in style. The Nytes were busy handing out candy and grapes.

Some of the Nytes

Fun was had by all except for stupid old me fiddling with camera settings.  I finally got it figured out but by then the parade was over. The whole parade lasts about four minutes.

Road Home

The road on the way home. The fields are bare only a little snow remains.  It is cool with highs only in the 30’s to maybe 40 in the sunshine.

It looks way warmer than it is.  Happy Spring! I guess it is offically here, but it doesn’t feel warm enough to be spring yet.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Snowy Day Activities

It spit snow most of the day, mostly it melted as it hit the ground.

Chance playing ball

We played one round of ball outside, the rest of the time we played inside.


Chance with his favorite blue ball.

I worked on getting some recipes in My Recipe Book on the Ipad, luckily Jen shares her best recipes with me.  They are easy to send by email. 

I dusted…where do those cobwebs come from anyway? One day there are none and the next day it looks like a haunted mansion.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Winter Returns

It snowed.  Winter kicked Spring to the curb. ( our mud was almost gone)

Chance is happy…there is fresh snow to eat.

Snowstick March 17

Not enough snow to restart the snowstick contest but maybe soon.

Gloomy day

We went for a ride, it was a gloomy day. It spit snow/sleet/rain all day long.

Bright spot

There is a bright spot up on The Reservation, someone painted a bird and some flowers on this house.  We heard they were rounding up all the stray dogs and spaying and neutering them….and getting them some vaccinations!

I finished scanning the photos from Far Guy’s  Cousin Terry and boxed them up to return.

Far Guy’s infusion was a bugger this week.  He tried first, got a blood return and then who knows what happened but when we started the IV he had intense burning pain and then the IV occluded…we pulled the needle and fluid poured out… I poked him next with no blood return so he tried it and the third time was a charm…he is really sore and probably needs to see a Dr.  This port sits so deep I think we need longer needles. If it isn’t one thing it is another.  This week I escaped the clinic…but he went in and got a Kenalog injection to help him breathe easier. 

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wistful Wednesday on Thursday: A Car

Thought I would update on the car situation in 1924.
Frances and Marvin
I am doubtful that this is the car…but it might be.  In the photo is Aunt Skinnie(Frances) and Far Guys’s Dad Marvin.  The photo is taken at the farm.  Marvin was born in 1914 so in 1924 he would be ten years old…I am thinking that he looks about 12 here. 

Grandpa James X Farm Diaries

June 1924
11 Wednesday Finished fence cleared some grubed some Carron Peterson here to sell me car.  Plowed some
12  Thursday  Plowed all day bought car (What kind I wonder?)
13 Friday Plowed Big party on Thresa  disced harrowed Maleta here (Tracie would have been 29 years old)
14  Saturday Harrowed planted spuds and cucumbers rainy
15 Sunday Planted spuds in morn To Sunday school picnic at Park Rapids planted some beans in eve
16 Monday Harrowed spuds to Primary election Judge
17 Tuesday Cleaned barn in AM viewed roads in PM
( He was a Township Supervisor and they review roads every year)
18 Wednesday Cultivated sweet corn and spuds and garden a hard rain in eve
19 Thursday Made car shed

Not a garage…but a shed. 

I also heard a story. Grandpa wouldn’t let Marvin or Ronald drive his car.  BUT Aunt Skinnie (Aunt Frances) would let them drive her car into Osage, it had a rumble seat.  The boys would pile in and take off.  It was probably quite an adventure for them and gave Aunt Frances and Grandma quiet time to visit.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Happy St Urho’s Day

March 16 is the day!  It is not as famous as some other Saints day but more fun for us Finlanders.

Chance is set!

Chance and the St Urhos Flag

You haven’t heard of this great day?  Well Saint Urho chased the grasshoppers out of Finland and saved the grape crop. Little towns all over Minnesota will be celebrating.

The parade we usually attend will happen this next weekend.

headers three-p001 (2)

I hope the weather is nice, I have heard that the barstool race has been cancelled due to the lack of snow.

The whole point of the day is to let yourself be a little foolish and have some fun!

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