Sunday, November 19, 2017

This past week

Was cool.  The wind is raw and the humidity makes it feel colder than it is.  It spit snow all day yesterday but not enough to turn the ground white.

We had two family members in the hospital.  Our daughter Trica had a bowel obstruction that resolved itself after three days in the hospital.  My Dad spent two days in the hospital with a kidney and stomach infection.  Both are home now and recovering. 

Two windows were washed….my desk is still a big mess with many projects started but none finished.

No new recipes were tried…but I do have an new recipe for Pumpkin Pie that I will try this week.

The Juncos are here and the little Redpolls showed up this week along with a few wayward Goldfinches that have their winter coats on.

We have a huge buck that has been cavorting around nearby with a couple of does…they escaped the mighty hunters.

Poor Chance has a hemorrhoid.  Makes me hurt to tend to it.  I am probably more bothered than he is.  He does not seem like he is in pain.  He has had problems before…and the Vet says to keep the area clean and use whatever hemorrhoidal remedy you have on hand.  Ears and butt…now I have to keep an eye on both.  He also has a little bit of dermatitis one spot on his belly and another on his right hip which we are treating with vitamin E.  His right rear leg is weak at times….he looses his footing sometimes, but still makes it up and down the stairs.  He has to be lifted into the car and when we let him out of the vehicle…I wrap a  strip of an old towel around his belly and I steady him and lift from above and assist his decent from the vehicle. He is very cooperative and knows to wait for me to encircle him with the strip of towel and get a good hold on it before he jumps off the seat. Yes we are eldercare for a dog.  I am certain he gets better care than some people.


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Kitchen Window

It warmed up.  Well it is above freezing at 36 degrees or 2 C eh!  Warm enough to take the kitchen window apart get rid of the gross dead Asian Lady Beetles that are everywhere and properly wash a window. ( When it was window washing weather last Fall we were invaded by the horrid little bugs.)

close up of material

I have been waiting for the weather to warm up so I could do that project and hang up my new curtain…the valance that my Mother made me for my birthday.  The fabric is part of The 2017 Minnesota Quilt Project…but I saw the material and just knew it would make a really pretty valence in our kitchen.  This window also has blinds…hidden by the valance. Not that we use them very much…when it is really cold or really hot.

Loons and Lady Slippers

Of course one little project turns into a little bit bigger project as you go along.  My “stuff” on the ledge of the window needed a wash.

my rocks

My extra large ice cream bowl that is full of petrified wood and agates from Washington State and a gift from a friend is one of my favorite things….and a real dust catcher especially when the window is open.

loon and slipper in the window

Loon and Lady Slipper hangs in the window to discourage birds from flying into the window. Most of our snow has melted for the moment.

One window at a time….it is exercise for my bum hand.

the kitchen 

Far Guy was cooking his famous chip dip; a chili cheese italian sausage mixture as I finished up my project.  It was really yummy.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Soap Carving

Last summer the carving group taught a soap carving class for the libraries summer art and design program. ( Somehow I  am always the go to person.) Later in the summer I was asked to teach soap carving as part of the Community Education Program.  We taught the class last Tuesday at The Middle School.

I recruited three other carvers to help; Far Guy, Shiela and Dave. It was a fun time!  Several of the participants were our great nieces.

Olivia and Ava soap carving

Our safe carving tools are tooth picks to mark your pattern and small wooden spoons ( the ones that come with individual ice cream containers) shaped to a sharp point.  The simple tools work well with the soap and you would really have to work at cutting off a finger.  Ivory is the soap we use.  Yes it is messy…we covered the tables with wax paper!

Brookes soap carving 

For the class everyone carved a flower step by step and then it was a free for all carving what ever they wanted.  We sent home extra bars of soap and wooden tools.


I think the children enjoyed themselves!  They learned a new skill and who knows…maybe someday a few will be woodcarvers.

I can carve soap….my hand allowed it…wood not so much.  I hope someday to be back to carving again.  For now I go along to carving and work on some other craft project…the guys always ask me “ how is your bum hand?”  The answer is not good enough to carve yet.  Some things just take time…luckily I have many other hobbies that I can do!

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Good Eggs

I like farm fresh eggs.  Alway have probably always will. Especially brown eggs, they are my favorite.  I used to help with the chicken chores, I didn’t mind it.  I “gathered eggs” …Far Guy helped me once he “picked up eggs.”


Last summer some of my great nieces got chickens.  They are really good chicken farmers…and hope to expand their coop and maybe even build a barn and get some goats and make their own soap.   I am not sure their parents know of this “plan.”

Brooke and Hailey

Two of the girls and one of their favorite chickens.  This may be Fern…or Olive or Ponderosa Pine or I forget…

Hailey and one of her chickens

This girl loves her chickens and her chickens love her.

All 16 of the chickens are very tame, they all have names.  They rub against your legs as you walk through their area.

Claire the fat chicken 

This is Claire the biggest fattest largest chicken they have.  She also lays the largest eggs.

Some of them even lay double yolks.  I cannot eat eggs everyday, Far Guy eats eggs every other day.

Nothing better than fresh non grocery store eggs. The price was $2.30 a dozen but we always pay $2.50…young entrepreneurs should always be encouraged.  What is the going price for eggs in your area?  Have you met the chickens that lay your eggs?

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: The Boat House

The Boat House at the resort on Straight Lake.

Last summer.


Not the greatest photo with the sunspot.  But you get the idea.   It has a stone foundation.

In 1989

Boat House August 1989

We used to keep the lawn mowed close to the lake.  I almost went into the lake a few times with the lawn mower making a circle on the bottom of that hill.

The steps on the left are still looking good.  Far Guy and I used railroad ties and rebar and leveled the dirt between the ties with a shovel.  It took us most of an afternoon.  We were younger then.

Most structures cannot be this close to the lake anymore.  This boat house was most likely built in the 1920’s.

The downstairs was used for storage of life jackets, tackle, extra anchors, boat cleaning supplies and a tub of night crawlers that we harvested ourselves and sold on the honor system.

The upstairs was a great place to sit and play cards or look at the lake.  We had many tables and chairs, a ping pong table, a pop machine, and a couple of pin ball machines and bookshelves with books and games.  If we had a a confirmation or graduation or wedding shower if it was in late spring, summer or early fall it was a perfect place to host a gathering when you were going to feed a whole bunch of people.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hey Mikey!

Mikey our Great Grandson is almost six months old.

Hey Mikey Nov 11 2017

We got to see him on Saturday.  He has quite a personality, he smiles and tries to talk ( according to his Mother he can squeal.)  I call it finding his voice!

Jen and Mikey

Mikey and his Great Aunt Jen

Mikey almost six months old

Mikey looks very much like his Mother, they have the same shape face, same little nose and dark brown eyes.

Maddie 1998 Two

Maddie in 1998

I gave her the usual Great Grandmotherly advice.  Keep a hat on that baby in the hockey arena.  Put an undershirt on him all winter long…she said “a onesie?”  Yes…he can wear two onsies in the winter.  Babies need that extra layer of clothing.  I explained before onsies…all baby undershirts had a tab that you could pin down with the cloth diaper…and that kept it from riding up.  I had both short sleeved and long sleeved undershirts for my girls.

Heck I wore an undershirt in the wintertime until I traded it for a bra and then wondered if I should wear my undershirt over or under my bra.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Grands: Paige

Last Saturday we traveled to see Paige play with her team The St Kate Wildcats against The Concordia Cobbers.


Paige (2)

Paige is number 15

Paige skating

near the net

Near the net!

Sadly the Wildcats scored only one goal to the Cobbers two goals.  It was still a fun game to watch.

Paige in line to shake hands

Paige in line to shake hands after the game.

We got to see her for a few minutes before she boarded the bus back to the cities.  I asked her what she was going to do on the bus…sleep was the answer.

She also got to see her nephew Mikey for just a little bit.

Paige and Mikey

Mikey watched the game and was especially interesed in the Zamboni…typical for a little boy!

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Recipe Report

It was an adventure in cooking this week.  Far Guy and I work pretty good in the kitchen together…he tends to read EVERY instruction and I tend to go with the flow …he measures and I do not. I irritate him more than he irritates me.

I hit the jackpot with my Kraft Food and Family Magazine for recipes this week. I subscribe to their magazine but many of their recipes can be found online.  As a disclaimer I receive no compensation from them.

First we made a root vegetable latke…with shredded potatoes, sweet potato and parsnip.  Far Guy gave it an 8 and I gave it a 7.  It was served with carrots and pan fried pork chops.

Root Vegetable Latke

Here is the comparison photo.  If I had left it under the broiler longer it would have been browner…or if I had smeared butter on the top!

The next night we worked together on BBQ Adobo Chicken.  Yummy… it even awakenedold people’s taste buds we didn’t know we had!  We both gave it a 10! 

BBQ chicken

It was a keeper recipe.  I modified it a bit. 

Combine 4 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garlic salt and 1/2 tsp cumin.  Cover your chicken with this mixture.  Heat oven to 400 place chicken on olive oil sprayed foil lined baking sheet.  Bake about 45 minutes ( for thighs) longer or shorter depending on your chicken pieces. Mix 3/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce  and 1/4 cup ketsup.  Baste chicken and bake about 8 more minutes, flip, baste some more and then bake another 8 minutes. We like our chicken done but not dry…pull off the bone juicy is good.

This chicken was served with leftover root vegetable latke.

Finally I was the sous chef for Far Guy’s Adventure.  He made a Cheesy Sausage Frittata with Red Peppers.

I think he would just as soon have me be a silent sous chef in his kitchen.


We gave it an 8 out of 10.  I will modify the recipe a bit…cut the eggs to four and we won’t have leftovers.  Chance liked it too.  This dish can be prepared the night before you need it for breakfast.  Or made in the afternoon and refrigerated until you bake if for supper cause it is a dark dreary cold day and you need a nap.

This frittata was served with fruit.

I have made recipe cards as requested, Far Guy said “Well are you going to keep that magazine forever or will the recipes we like be lost?”

Can you tell with the first bite and taste if you like something?   I can.  Far Guy has to have about four bites to make a decision...sometimes the food tastes better to him after a couple of bites.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran’s Day

Today is the day to thank all the Veterans in our lives. Those that serve now and those who have served.  Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air National Guard, Army National Guard at home or overseas….THANK YOU!

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Far Guy

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My baby brother, my nephew, my dad and my husband.  Thank you all!

Luckily these family members made it home.

My Paternal Grandparents were not so lucky. Five of their twelve sons were in the military.

They all returned but one.


Arthurs Gravesite

My Uncle Arthur is buried in the Sicily Rome American Cemetery in Italy.  He was 23 years old when he was wounded and died during the invasion of Italy.

Some gave all.

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Clear and Cold

Cold here…put another log on the fire! The wind chill is below zero.  November in Minnesota can be any kind of weather, I have seen it 70 degrees and –20 degrees.  The worst part is the roads, it can rain one minute and be freezing rain the next.

It is a damp cold here as usual until the lake is frozen and we get a little more snow cover.

I heard the Northern Lights were great this week.  I thought about going out to see if I could see them…can’t see anything back here in the woods except the sky above your head. So that would involve getting dressed warmly, getting into a cold car and driving out to the cemetery where I can see what is going on…all the while knowing Chance is serenading Far Guy cause I left him behind.  It is just easier to stay at home.

Nov  Walk 

I have many projects I am working on.  I should make a list…right now I think I will put make a list on my list of things to do.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Deer Sign

We have been walking on the deer trails in the afternoon, the trails in the woods are not icy like the road is.  Our property is posted so we feel safe wandering out on our own property during the day.  Deer Hunting ends this weekend.  The main hunting area that my family uses is way north of our property. Three deer have been harvested up there.

Deer trails 

It is very quiet in the woods.  No birds or squirrels except near our home.  It is good exercise for a Border Collie’s nose…he often has to be called back to the main trail.  His hearing is getting worse…and sometimes he thinks he is the leader and picks a more brushy trail.

deer trails (2)

There are a few widowmakers hanging near the trails.  (The branch stuck up in a tree.)

deer beds

These are spots where deer have bedded down for the night. There were three spots in this area.  Probably a doe and two fawns or maybe the triplet fawns.


deer sign

And deer sign is all along the trail.  ( Just incase you city folk don’t know what deer poop looks like.)

I take my small fit in your pocket camera.  I must have it on a setting to take square photos!

It snowed again after our walk yesterday. But next week it may warm up! It isn’t so bad, there are no skeeters, ticks, flies or snakes.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: Home On leave

June of 1973, we were home on leave in Minnesota.  We had been at Lowry AFB in Denver Colorado and were headed for MacDill AFB in Tampa Florida.

June 1973 (3)

Trica was 14 months old then and we had a little Scottie mix mutt of a dog named Snuffer who would live a good long time.  We traveled light.  Everything we had fit in the back of a pickup truck.

 carey Gene 1973 (3)

My baby brother was home then, he was honorably discharged from the Navy due to a knee injury.

Being home was bitter sweet, we didn’t know when we would be back or when we would see loved ones or relatives again but we were excited to see a different part of the United States.  Florida is a long way from Minnesota.  Far Guy orignally had orders for Bitburg Germany. (He had requested Grand Forks ND, Minot ND and Mountain Home ID) We were upset with the orders for Germany…I wouldn’t be able to go for a long time because we would have to save up for my plane ticket and Tricas and our dog Snuffer would have to be quarantined for six months either that or stay with Far Guy’s parents.  One of the single guys offered to trade his spot at MacDill and Far Guy took the trade…the next day we could have had Mountain Home and $100…but a trade is a trade.

Military life had a fair amount of twists and turns.

Thank you to the Veteran’s in my life.  My husband, my father, my baby brother, my nephew, my uncles and many of my cousins.

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