Thursday, August 17, 2017

Original Wildflower Gardens

I planted flowers in this area 18 years ago.  It used to be more formal gardens, we tended gardens in between customers all summer long.  After we retired from the greenhouse business we were both burned out and just let the gardens go “wild.”  We don’t water or fertilize or do anything special, what survives …survives!

sauna and wildflowers

Flowers by the sauna, Gaillardia out front and Ratibida out back with various other flowers. The Gaillardia is going to seed and is on my list for collection!


Ratibida pinnata

small windmill and sauna

The small windmill.  You can see the sauna and my garage in the background.  The Liatris, Rudbeckia and Physostegia (Obedient Plant) are in bloom on this end of the gardens….along with some really tall Thistle.

Liatris in front of the Marge Grass

Liatris out in front with a sprinkling of Rudbeckia and Marge Grass in the background.


This is a new arrival this year, it showed up on the edge of the Marge Grass. It is a Helianthus  or Woodland Sunflower.  A bird must have dispersed the seed into the area.  It is a native to Minnesota plant.  Not to mention one of my favorite flower colors!

Chancer in the wildflowers

Chance usually walks out to the gardens with me. When he was younger he would run the perimeter of the gardens and lay in wait for the ball.  Nowadays he doesn’t run, he will play ball on a good day but lays down with the ball after it is thrown once or twice.

I took these photos on Tuesday toward evening, yesterday (Wednesday) it rained all day.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: Far Guy’s Family

This is a photo from Cousins Bonnie and Wayne.

Orange Plymouth GF in about1958

Grand Forks North Dakota about 1958.  The car we think is a 1957 Plymouth Fury Stationwagon. The photo is taken in the driveway of Jim and Esther’s home (Marvin’s brother and his wife).

Evelyn has her cosmetics case ( I think either Trica or Jennifer has it now) her purse and something else in her hands?  Marvin is wearing one of his favorite flannel shirts under a wool coat, Janice has been shopping, she said “We often went shopping when we went to Grand Forks.” Far Guy is holding Muggy.

Far Guy said “I forgot  all about that car, my Dad didn’t have that one very long.  We might have been in Grand Forks for Easter that year.”

Far Guy’s parents were born in 1914, they have both been gone for some time now.  His Dad in 1994 at the age of 80 and his mother in 2006 at the age of 91.  His sister is alive and well and lives in Indiana and she still likes to shop!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The new wild garden

Back in May my brother put in a new drain field for our septic system.
Project is done
The work has been completed.
Far Guy planted some old wildflower and left over garden seed out there.  One day we picked up a bunch of Sunflower Seeds and planted them too!
Watering the wild garden June 8
We watered
July 15 wild area
I had been going out there to spray the Poison Ivy to get rid of it. I wore my pretty red boots.
JUly 24 Wild garden
I stopped going out there. We could see a few marigolds blooming here and there.
August 14 wild garden
It is a jungle out there. The deer have been in there eating and chomping off most of the sunflowers.
Wildgarden sunflower
This is one of the survivors.
I will get out there one of these days.  Some of the weeds should be pulled because they are shading out the flowers.
On the far end we planted a Spruce Tree and some Lilacs.  Far Guy babied those lilacs for weeks…so they have a good start.
It doesn’t look like much yet, but once the wildflowers get established and we can mow a few paths it should be a pretty area.  If not then the deer will have another spot to graze.
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Monday, August 14, 2017

Rainy Day Sunday

It rained off and on all day.  It was a good day for a movie and a nap.

Rain on Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia in the rain

I worked inside on woodcarving Christmas Ornaments. 26 are completely done.  The rain held us hostage in the house most of the day. 

Chance is very depressed, he laid outside in the rain for quite a while.  He misses his friends.  It always takes him a day or three to get over their visit and be content with his two old fogies.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Saturday August 12, 2017

We had company for the day, Jen and Andy came because it was a nice day to be out and about.  They brought Miney and Little Elvis so Chance had company too…and it really perked him up to see his favorite people and his friends.

We went out for late lunch /early supper and then talked my other baby brother and she who sees robins first into a pontoon ride.

The lake

The lake was quiet.  It was cloudy and cooler. I was thankful that I grabbed a hooded jacket.


Toward the end of our ride we saw a couple of loons.  The daylight was fading fast.

No hope to see the Perseid Meteor Showers during the night because of the clouds.  I heard that grandson Adam saw quite a few Friday night. At 200 an hour you are bound to see quite a few if you have clear skies. 

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Friday Five

It was a long day yesterday.  Chance had his bloodwork, everything is fine except he has some inflamation that shows up. (probably from arthritis…go figure.)  His Tick Panel was negative.  They changed his medication.  He got me up at 5:30 AM because he had to poop….not quite the squirts but almost….thank goodness he was vocal enough to awaken me.  He was under the weather most of the morning but perked up in the late afternoon and even wanted to play ball.

Far Guy had a Eye Doctor appointment he needs new glasses for reading and night driving.  His eyes are pretty good for an old guy.  What cataracts he has are small and the cute little teenage Doctor said he will probably never have to have cataract surgery. He has been struggling with a stye…well it is not a stye it is a chalazion…and now he must clean his eyelashes twice a day with special “stuff.”   The VA is supposed to take care of his glasses but since the VA Doctor wrote the order incorrectly he gets no benefit…which really pissed him off. 

I am waiting for a referal for my hand/arm.  I even wore the brace when I had a nap.  If I take enough Aleve I can survive.

It was my turn to cook supper, so we had Naan Bread Pizza.  Far Guy likes lots of mushrooms and peppers on his, I like mine plain with just meat and cheese.

After supper we went for a drive.  We saw nine deer.

Twin fawns

Twins with their mama vegging out in the bean field

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Friday, August 11, 2017


I have been having some troubles with my arm, carpel tunnel problems.  I have been to physical therapy and was fitted for a night time brace.  It worked fine for many months and I was pain free.  Now the pain is back and not allowing me to sleep for very long at a time.  Brace or no brace it is still painful.   We thought perhaps I was wood carving too much, but after three days off it is no better…my fingers go numb and the pain goes all the way to my shoulder.  So I am off to physical therapy once again.  Bummer…the brace is a pain in the butt.  I have knocked myself in the head many times with it. ( It is hard plastic and is formed to the shape of my hand and arm so I cannot bend my wrist at all.)  I can also remove the brace in the middle of the night without waking up…it might be time to schedule the surgery.  Far Guy gives me a daily brace was on. it was off. you were sleeping with your arm in the air again. where was your brace? (Chance had it one night…it was on his back)

I have many projects that I am working on…I am painting some of the Christmas Ornaments, I have 12 more to carve from scratch and about 6 that just need to be sanded.  Three more afternoons and I could be done with the carving.

I have two new hobbies/projects that require two good arms.  I have ordered supplies for one and the other I have most everything. But that is hobby “stuff”…

I have “stuff” that I have been working on outside that needs to be done before the snow flies.  I just don’t have time to baby an arm.


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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Chance: gentle hugs

We had lotza company, many little kids (five that were five years old and under).  Mostly they were gentle and gave soft pats and hugs.

Chance getting some love getting some love


Now there are two

Then there was a tag team of huggers.

Could somepone save me

Could someone save me?

Far Side saved me, she said I was a good boy and very patient.

This week I have an appointment at the Vets.  I have to have a blood draw whatever that is.  Sometimes I spit out that pill I get twice a day…eat the cheese but spit out the pill then I get some peanut butter.  I have figured it out!

I am walking better, I am not wobbly and falling down like I was…rest and the new medication brought me back…that and lots of love!  I still sleep soundly and often, but I am an old dog.  I am not allowed to jump out of the car by myself.  Far Side has strips of towel that she slips under my belly and she holds my back end up as I jump down.  Coming down the steps they use the harness that I hate or they stand  at the bottom and help guide my descent. Good thing it is only half a stairway (six steps)…I could not make it down a whole flight of steps.  I can make it up the steps unassisted just not down them.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wistful Wednesday: 516 West 1st Street

That address was Far Guy parent’s address from the late 1940’s when the house was brand new until they sold it in 1994. 

You can go home again, but it is different.  A few weeks ago I took outside photos.

old house two

It is called “The Cottage” and it is a place for people with disabilities to meet with their counselors.  The property was always zoned commercial since it is right along the highway.

Yesterday we stopped by to see if we could take some photos to share with Far Guy’s sister and of course the blog too.

From the deck

The gal was very friendly and invited us right in. This is taken from the back deck, no one ever used the front door.  It seemed strange that you could walk right in…the porch used to be there…with a box for boots, a pencil sharpener and a closet where the broom and the dustpan was kept along with the garbage can and the ever present bag on a hanger that held the clothes pins. You used to enter the kitchen from that old porch.

old closet

The old closet.


The kitchen.  The cabinets that are solid oak have been painted white.  The sink is still the same old one.  They added a dishwasher.  The stove is in the same spot as is the refrigerator.  The old porch door used to open into the kitchen and there was room for a table and chairs….the space seemed so small now.

We wondered if the old phone cubby was still there.

Phone cubby

Phone cubby.  You had to stand here and talk on the phone…it was a black phone and had a short cord.  Underneath the phone was a stand that held…the phone book and a set of encyclopedias.  Now it is a cubby for artwork. All the trim that is now painted back in the day was natural wood trim that was varnished.


Far Guy’s parents old bedroom, just room enough for a full size bed, a cedar chest, a tall chest of drawers and a dressing table with a large mirror and a padded bench.  On that dressing table was a box that opened up and it contained jewelry that Trica and Jennifer were facinated with.

Toilet in place of the bathtub

The bathroom.  The toilet is where the bath tub used to be.  The doorway was made wider  to be handicap accesible.

Sink bathroom

Living Room

The Living Room.  That love seat has the “Christmas Tree Spot”  and I noticed that Far Guy’s Moms touch is still in the house…her fancy light switchplates are still there.

living room view two

A hanging lamp is still hung in the living room…just a different one.

Dining room

The Dining Room looking back out the way we came in.

We ventured upstairs.  They just use the two bedrooms up there for storage.  The ceilings have been redone.  The stairs are still the same and so is the old railing upstairs…but a new hand rail has been added to assist the climb upwards.


So much for our trip down memory lane this week.  We think it is great that this home was updated and that it is being used again.   “The Cottage” is a perfect name for it.

The carpet used to be a two tone gold color, before that Far Guy says it was a grey color. The kitchen and hallway used to have linoleum, the bedrooms had hardwood floors.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Heads Up

Relatives on my side of the family have an autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease or Celiac sprue.  When you have the disease you are very sensitive to gluten. When you eat gluten you may have a variety of symptoms; bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation or vomiting.  There are about 200 different symptoms.

My Dad was diagnosed in about 1999.  In retrospect his brother Adolf most likely died from it in 1998.  My Aunt Anna was diagnosed a number of years ago about the same time as Cousin Geraldine.

My sister Julie has been diagnosed with it and her son Jacob who not only has the gluten intolerance but a dairy intolerance also.

Our youngest daughter Jennifer was diagnosed about two weeks ago.

Cross contamination in kitchens, the same spatula used to flip a pancake and then used to flip your egg can cause you to become ill.  Using the same toaster for regular bread and then gluten free bread.  If someone in your family has Celiac then you are better off having the whole household go gluten free.

From the Celiac Foundation:

When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning that it runs in families. People with a first-degree relative with celiac disease (parent, child, sibling) have a 1 in 10 risk of developing celiac disease.

So far I have escaped this disease.  I do not eat certain foods…pancakes which I love but rarely eat.  There are also certain places I do not eat…some resturaunts are worse than others…some must not be as clean as my system likes.  Here at home I adhere to a clean side and dirty side of the kitchen and if they meet, then everything gets disinfected.  I also have a limited amount of fru fru on my kitchen counters.


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Flowers, carvings and kids

Sometimes flowers are best left to where they grow and bloom.  These Daylilies are growing over at my brothers along the edge of the road and they have a perfect tree backdrop.


Our days have been cool and our nightime temperatures are fall like….really unusual for August.  Somtimes it is too cool to have the windows open!

I finished two bunches of woodcarved Christmas ornaments that are headed to Oregon and New Jersey later this week. The count is 60 ready to paint, 12 painted, and a few more to carve.

Careys Grands

Four of my baby brothers grandchildren that have been visiting. We met three of these children for the first time, the oldest we had met before when he made his first trip to Minnesota a few years ago.  They sure do liven things up.  They thought my request to line up on a pile of dirt was great fun! (They were all supposed to be saying cheeese!)

The oldest caught his first fish today, but the motion of the boat put him to sleep so he missed it.  Up until the fish today, they have just caught weeds….but they were thrilled with that too!

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Sunday, August 6, 2017


My Baby Brother and his wife hosted the first annual rendevous at their lake cabin.  Their cabin was supposed to be finished, but it is way behind schedule,  last week it got a roof and shingles.  We made good use of the kitchen that is not a kitchen yet and the porch and the garage. Everyone brought lawn chairs and we sat them up in the “kitchen”.


The porch

Many relatives showed up, it was about 72 F and partly sunny so it was a good day on the lake.


The food was fantastic, my brother did hamburgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob on his wood fired grill.  It was potluck so there was many salads and chips and special treats from Germany and Japan.  We were missing only a few people. (Trica, Katie and Ben).  My baby brother had five of his grands there and my other baby brother had ten of his there, only one of our grands showed up and that was Noah.. Lots of “little ones.”

No one went away hungry and if they did it was their own fault.  I took potato salad…my usual go to pot luck food when I have time to cook potatoes and eggs.

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