Sunday, July 31, 2016

Evening Ride

Chance is a creature of habit, he likes his nightly walk and then a ride.  If he goes for his walk and then doesn’t get to go for a ride…he pouts and sighs.

This is what we saw last night.

Twins in the clover field

A doe with a pair of fawns in the clover field.

Following their Mom

They followed their Mom to safety.

Donnies field

One of Donnie’s fields is ready to harvest…it is some kind of small grain.  He cuts a pretty straight swath.

Harvesting Peas

The corporate farmer was harvesting peas.

We never go too far and often end up at the neighbors.  It was a beautiful night to sit outside, at their place the skeeters were tolerable compared to ours.  Our dogs all get along real good together.  Chance loves stopping there.

We spent the afternoon woodcarving.  Progress is being made, five Christmas ornaments are completely done!  I need to order boxes for them.  We hope to do five or more every week in the next month or three.

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

35 cents

I might be the last of the big spenders. We attended an Estate Sale at Hazel’s old house.

I bought some Hazel’s to add to my Shiny Brite collection. 5 cents each

Hazels sale

Two Shiny Brites.

West German ornament

One ornament marked West Germany.

It was a fun estate sale I got to visit with an old friend and met her husband.


These are a few of Hazel’s hankies that came home with me.  The two on the right still have their old labels and were made in Switzerland. 5 cents each and I bought four.

I did buy some other stuff…but they are gifts for other people so they don’t count.

I knew Hazel from the time they moved to Ponsford in the early 1950’s.  Ernie used to work for the County and Hazel worked at Ringer in town, they had three children and the middle child Janet and I were good friends. She was a year younger than me. We rode the same bus driven by Ivan until the route changed.  We went to the same church and were also in the same Confirmation Class.  I liked to visit on the nights that Hazel served flat bread and broasted chicken…she was a really good cook.  Hazel died this past winter she was 87 years old, I was unable to attend her funeral. It is hard to be in two places at the same time and sometimes you have to take care of those closest to you.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Purple Joins Yellow

First of all the skeeters are horrid, all the rain we had and the water standing in the fields have bred skeeters big as birds…well not quite but when you step outside they are in your eyes, ears, nose and if you open it your mouth.

Goldenrod and Spotted Knapweed

Canada Goldenrod or Solidago canadensis a native plant is the yellow and Spotted Knapweed  or Centaurea stobe spp. micranthus a Noxious Weed is the purple. The County/Townships almost had this noxious weed under control a few years ago and now it has resurfaced.

Purple joins the yellow

The Liatris is blooming in the wild gardens, this particular one is Liatris spicata or Gayfeather and I planted it long ago.  It blooms from the top down.

We have more purple but the skeeters were eating me alive.  I hope we get gale force winds tomorrow so some of the skeeters impale themselves on trees.

I know it is wrong to pray for a frost…but I am tempted.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Candy Shop and Cryosurgery

Our youngest Grandson Adam went home with his Mother.  We offered to let him stay longer but he said “No thanks I will go home with Mom.”  Before he left he helped me clean the upstairs bathroom and he stripped his bed.

We went to the Cuzzins Candy Store in town.
Adam ain the candy store
Here he is filling his bag with Jawbreakers.  He also bought some chocolate covered gummy bears…who knew?
Inside the candy store
He bought his Grandpa some Malted Milk Balls.  He offered to pay for my Jelly Beans but I said “No, save your money.”
Cuzzins is only open for the summer.  It was started by a family that wanted to have a place for their kids to work during the summer and a business that would defray the cost of their college educations.  It is a very popular tourist spot.

I saw the Dermatologist (she looks young enough to be our granddaughter) she looked me over with her light and pointed out some problem areas.  I have many keratoses…she explained that we are all pre determined to have so many and as we age they reveal themselves.  She checked out my moles and my birthmark.  I have a troublesome skin tag that is quite large and one very stubborn keratoses that I have had frozen many times before.  They use liquid nitrogen (Cryosurgery), it isn’t excruciating…it does hurt some but I didn’t cry or anything.  I have one small spot on my face that she said to watch…it looks like a blackhead but it isn’t one…it is just a tiny black spot.  So I had about five spots frozen several times each.  They will blister and eventually fall off.  I am not supposed to pick at them…easier said than done. I have some psoriasis in my scalp and she prescribed a steroid cream for that.  I was glad to have it all done in one day and no repeat visit is needed for a year.  See I told you it was just old lady stuff.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Midway Memories : Connections

My Husband ( Far Guy) Writes:

“In this world there are many stories, and all the stories are one.” Those words were taken from a book titled The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom. 

The Erie Digger may be just a machine but some wonderful stories come from it.  It is part of my story which makes it part of your story.


We will start with Charlotte Allen.  Charlotte was three when her mother died and she had to go live with relatives. When she was sixteen she went to live with her best friend Rachel Moss. Rachael Moss had a brother named Lee Moss.  At some point in time Rachael marries a guy by the name of Tommy Wells.  Okay that is how we make the Lee Moss and Tommy Wells connection (remember they eventually partnered to buy The Erie Manufacturing Company).Herman and Charlotte

Herman and Charlotte

Charlotte remains good friends with Rachael Wells and stays with the young couple until she marries Herman Henderson (my Great Uncle).   Tommy Wells helps Herman get started in the Digger Business and he does well enough with the business to hire his nephew Marvin Henderson (My Dad).

There is one more connection to make.  Remember in the History of the Erie Digger I mentioned there were some independent operators of Erie Diggers?  Willard Abbott was one of them (he is my Uncle…my Mother’s brother.)

So these little machines designed to dispense candy came into our story from a couple of different directions.

Going down the road

Photos that were shared with us by Roxie (Herman and Charlotte’s daughter).

Hermans diggers, trailer and dog

Hermans Trailer

Home away from home.

Hermans Diggers

Far Side Writes:

The photo above is one of the early trailer mounted joints.  Looks like eight machines are permanently mounted in this trailer.

In the years before they were trailer mounted each digger machine would have been packed in its traveling crate and loaded into a cargo van.  When you got to your destination or “spot” a joint would be “set up” and the “set joint” diggers unloaded and “flashed”for the spot.

Spot = City or town for a celebration or a fair.

Set Up = Taking everything out of a cargo van or truck.

Set Joint = A joint made from lumber and canvas covered that was assembled on site and dissassembled and put back in the truck at the end of the spot.

Trailer Mounted Joint = A carnival game that was housed permanently on a trailer.

Flashed = Making sure everything is clean, washing windows and dusting. Making sure you have all the prizes in their proper spots.


Roxie about 1947.

Many thanks to Roxie for sharing her old photos.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016


I like yellow.  The color is so warm and welcoming.

Yesterday I looked at the bunches of roses on my way into Wally World…the coral and red roses were beautiful but I liked the yellow ones the best.

Yellow my fav flowers

Perhaps that is why I smile everytime I glance over at the wild gardens this time of year!  I planted just a few plants about 17 years ago and just let them reseed at will.


Soon the Liatris will show some color..purple will just add to the yellow show!

I miss being able to bring flowers into the house.  From the years spent in the Greenhouse neither of us can handle flowers or plants of any kind in the house…we both come down with a scratchy throat/coughs and congestion within a few hours.  So we enjoy our outside plants even more because they don’t make us sick.

Today I am off to the Doctors Office for consult for a small procedure…at least I hope it is small. Perhaps it will require several office visits or one big visit…time will tell. Nothing to worry about just one of those old lady things. At least I hope it is nothing to worry about…I never wasted a worry about it until now.  I made the appointment about three months ago…some specialists are really busy.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Scrabble, Carving and Pizza

Adam had never played Scrabble before…so we gave it a whirl.  He did great!

Far Guy and I used to play Scrabble a few nights a week before computers. It was one of our go to games…complete with the Scrabble Dictionary tucked into the game box for a challenge.

Far Guy and I carved on the Christmas Ornaments most of the afternoon.  It was reasonably nice outside 76 F or 24 C eh with a breeze. None of the ornaments are completed yet, they have multiple parts.  Adam joined us for a while…I told him he needed the fresh air and Vitamin D.

Adam chose the place for supper last night.  He wanted to go to Rocky’s Pizza because they have really cool stuff to look at upstairs and because he likes pepperoni pizza.

I am thinking that we should have had a couple of boys ourselves…they are much less dramatic than girls and quieter too.
The Echinacea ‘purpurea’ is blooming…better known as a Purple Coneflower.
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Sunday, July 24, 2016

To The Movies

Adam our youngest Grandson is here to spend a few days with us.
We watched Back To The Future III in the afternoon…although I slept through all most of it.
He wanted spaetzle for supper so that is what I fixed for him.  He always helps with dishes and knows where most of them go in the cupboards too!

Shortly after supper Adam and I headed for the Movies. Ghost Busters.  Adam gave it 7.5 out of 10 stars I gave it a 5 …it was loud and hardly had a plot.

On the way home we talked about our favorite movies.  Adams are Guardians of the Galaxy and Back to the Future II, mine were Fried Green Tomatoes and Where The Red Fern Grows.  I guessed that Far Guy would choose 2001 A Space Odyssey…I was wrong.  He picked The Green Beret with John Wayne.  Adam says he has no idea what his Dad’s favorite movie is but his Mom really liked Super Eight.

Adam is an easy keeper, half the time we don’t know we have a teenager in the house.  He does surface regularly for sustenance.

Adam (2)
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Saturday, July 23, 2016


It is still hot here with the heat index into the 90s near 100.

I mowed the lawn, it was like being in a sauna.  We woodcarved out on the patio and chased the shade around. Progress is slow on the Christmas Ornaments,  the good news is …I picked out the 2017 ornament already and will do a test carve one day soon.

The darn squirrels ate my pretty red Salvia.

Squirrel damage

They left the stalk and the remnants.  The buggers anyway.

We went for a ride just before dark.

Deer July 22

We saw six deer.  These two ran right in front of us…followed by a spotted fawn who we cheered on to run across the road with the herd. Chance thought it was real exciting.

Corn Field July 22

Steve’s corn is all tasseled out and making ears.

The movie for the day was Abandoned a 2015 movie about the aftermath of a rouge wave in the South Pacific.  I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

If it is warm where you are stay cool!  I hear that Itasca State Park is closed due to trees down in this weeks storms and many people North and East of us are without electricity.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Flowers and other “stuff”

I had an nice garden surprise. 

Double Rudbeckia

A Double Rudbeckia

With all the rain we have had recently the wild gardens are doing well.

Red Magic

Daylily ‘Red Magic’ put on quite a show this year.

Yesterdays Infusion went almost perfectly, the port worked as it should.  Far Guy reported back to his Doctor as requested.  Go figure what changed…although he drank more water and didn’t get a blood return until he leaned way back. One more week behind us. Every week seems to be a medical adventure. 

My “radical thought for the day”…Remember back when Sarah Palin said the Death Squads would take over?  Everyone dismissed her as a wacko??   Now we hear that there are no transplants for those over seventy.  Ever wonder how much it costs Medicare to take care of all of us older folks?? …each one of us that dies is money not spent and more that they can send to some overseas country that supports terrorism.

I finished the book I was reading by Barbara Leaming Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis The Untold Story. I give it a two out of five stars.  I watched How To Make an American Quilt on Netflix I gave it five out of five stars…I really enjoyed it, in fact I might watch it again.  The Bachlorette is nearing the end…will Jo Jo find love?  I like Luke.  Big Brother has been more interesting than usual…I like Pauli, James and Natalie and the weirdo Paul is growing on me.  Yes I might be a reality TV junkie.  Nothing better than a Naked and Afraid marathon or several episodes of Shark Tank to keep me entertained…anything is better than the news programs about who shot who today.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Doctor Appointment

It was a warm day yesterday, the humidity hung in the air all day long.  Sometimes the humidity was so heavy it misted and droplets formed on the windshield. 

Foggy Day

Far Guy had a Doctor’s appointment.  He will be a candidate for a lung transplant if he gets worse before he is 70 years old.  Under new Federal guidelines that is the cut off age. If you are over seventy you will just die.  You may die anyway as transplanted patients live only an average of five years after the transplant.

So far the Lung Function tests are still holding steady.  The port problem will be addressed in the next week or so.  The infusions he receives once a week are helping to hold his lung function steady at 21% of normal.  He has to see another specialist to find out  exactly how much damage has been done to his liver…you see Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency not only affects your lungs but your liver also.  IF he was a drinker…more than one drink a week he would be in real trouble…luckily he drinks alchol rarely.

The appointment was early in the morning we came home and had a nap. 

Along the way home we saw this:

Lance Gloor Washington State

Lance Gloor received ten years in prison for drug trafficing through a medical marijuana dispensary in Washington State.  This is part of a movement to bring this Federal Law Suit to light…the State of Washington dropped all charges but the Feds picked it up. Apparently this “trailer” is being pulled by two individuals on their dream walk.

I wonder what is inside?  Samples? 

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Midway Memories : Original Erie Diggers

The best way to start is at the beginning with a bit of history.  This is history that we hand down to our grands…should they have questions about when their Grandparents and Paternal Great Grandparents were Carnival people or Carnies.  How did they get into the business?  Where did they travel?  What was their life like? 

My husband wrote the following history.

The Original Erie Digger History:

The first digger was built from a child’s toy with the intention of vending penny candy in 1896.  It was coined the Erie Digger in the early 1900’s.  Erie Manufacturing Company of Hartford Connecticut began producing Erie Diggers taking the name from the digging of the Erie Canal.  By the middle of the 1920’s it was in full production using penny or nickel coin slots.  They could be found in every arcade at amusement parks, on boardwalks, in city parks, Drug stores, casinos and at fairs.

aaa (2)

Other styles of cranes and diggers were built during that time period by other manufacturers.  Some had elaborate cabinets and some were electrically operated.  Those machines are not to be confused with the Original Erie Digger.

In the 1930’s operators of the Erie Diggers began to replace the candy with silver dollars, paper currency and miscellaneous coins placed in trays to entice players to try the game.  After World War II operators used Japanese novelty items mixed in with the silver dollars and dimes.

By the end of the 1930’s most Erie Diggers were working for ten cents.  A few traveling operators owned most of the machines located across the country, in units of ten or twelve games each.   Lee Moss and Tommy Wells were well known operators.  Lee Moss of Hot Springs Arkansas purchased the Erie Manufacturing Corporation in 1946 along with his brother in law Tommy Wells.  In 1951 they were operating over 40 traveling units of twelve diggers each.  By buying out Erie they controlled the manufacturing process and the parts.  It was probably a monopoly against the Independant operators but most  of them got along making their own parts.  One family by the name of Jones contacted a machine shop in Texas to build their own digger design in 1960.  They built over 100 machines in four years.

At this point a distiction need to be made.  Lee Moss and Tommy Wells modified the diggers.  They would buy up used cabinets from other operators, modify the top of the cabinet, put in a modified mechanism, and replace the cab with a Tonka Toy Crane.  In my opinion the machines ceased to be Erie Diggers.  Most operators referred to them as Moss Machines.

In 1951 the Johnson Interstate Transportation Act made it a federal offense to transport gambling devices across state lines and all diggers were placed in the gambling device category.  Lee Moss was forced to pull all of his machines to home base.  The independent operators continued to operate by staying in their home state or by switching state license plates.  The digger operators banded together and formed a small business lobbying campaign which went on for two years.  Lee Moss placed several of his machines in the Federal Capitol Building for law makers to play and with the help of Hubert Humphrey digger classifications changed from “gambling device” to “amusement device.”

Diggers remained popular into the late 1970’s.  With the relaxation of Federal Laws other carnival games with less skill factor became more attractive to the public.  There are only a few digger operators working the carnival routes, but none of them are Erie Diggers.

Erie Digger

The Erie Digger in the photograph is as original as you can find.  The red and green cab, the claw, the crank and the cabinet are all original.  The mechanism inside has gone under some small modifications due to worn and broken parts.  The penny slot is original from the early 1900’s.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Finally the Marigolds and the Salvia Victoria Blue are blooming in the little garden out front.  The squirrels like to eat the flowers…or shred them.

Victoria Blue Salvia


Yellow,red and blue.  I like those colors together in a garden.

Flower garden

I liked the Salvia I had last year better, she was called Lady in Red.  She was a sprawly Salvia that reseeded readily in that spot throughout the summer.  Oh well it is what it is and in six more weeks we will have a frost.

Today Far Guy said “ summer is half over.” 

We have a family of rabbits, four or five of them hanging out together…running every which way when they see you.  We also have one very obnoxious Chippy that keeps Chance entertained. 

We have a heat wave headed our way…I hope you stay cool!  Chance will only get his rides at night…no more trips to town for him until it cools off.

Chance near the wild gardens

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Zero to Twenty

Today we are grandparents of a twenty year old.  Hardly seems possible.

Savannah 1996

Here she is back in 1996, when she was just learning to sit up by herself.  She was at the “Round Bottom” stage…sitting up just long enough for a photo.


Yesterday we met her for lunch and a visit.  She was wearing a gift we gave her many years ago…a bit of green sea glass that reminded us of her love of the color green.

She said “The teen years are behind me now.” 

She is busy working full time and going to school part time.

Savannah July 17 2016

She still giggles at us just like when she was little.  She is our most giggly grand.  I took some birthday photos…when I showed them to her she giggled…especially when I said this one really shows off your dimple.

She is happy.  She got a bunch of new makeup for her birthday…Sephora “stuff” …I guess it is some high end makeup…what do I know I wander down the makeup aisle in Wally World only when I absolutely have to.

She is beautiful both inside and out, she is kind and sensitive and funny. She makes us smile.  Happy Birthday Savannah!  We love you!  Never stop giggling!

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