Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It’s that time of year, again!

Minnesota State Fair – “The Great Minnesota Get-together!” Norm and I will be leaving tomorrow morning to go set up. The Fair starts on Thursday. Katie and Takara left this afternoon with the camper trailer to get that set up tonight. Norm will be staying until Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, then coming back here.

I have everything on my list; I just hope I have everything ON my list. If not, oh, well, we’ll do without, won’t we? The important things are my rocking chair, my spinning wheel and wool. I got some more wool from Marie – this is a gray Icelandic mix so I wouldn’t run out of spinning supplies.

I can NOT take Peanut (sigh) – no dogs allowed, as I believe I said once before! Candy will take care of her until Norm gets home, then she will come home with him.

I will be taking my computer but am not sure if I can get Internet at all; if so, you will hear from me briefly; if not, you won’t hear from me until after Labor Day.

Ya’ll have a good time, now and I’ll see you when I emerge from the Get-together in 14 days.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy the Bride the sun shines on!

I don’t know about you, but back when I got married, it was considered bad luck to get married on a rainy day.

Well, so much for superstition! Norm and I got married on a very, very rainy day (much like this weekend, in fact). If I remember right, it was a very rainy August that year! We had to use umbrellas (which is not a popular or oft used item in South Dakota) to get to and from the church. No matter how wet it was, no matter the superstition, it didn’t seem to make much difference.

That wet night was 41 years ago tonight, which is another rainy night! Norm and I have been through many different seasons of life in our 41 years but, through it all, thick and thin, good and bad, Norm has stuck with me.

I am fortunate that he is a Peterson. The Peterson men have a reputation for stick-to-it-ivness. They don’t give up easily. And Norm is still here, after all that I have put him through. I will be eternally grateful for that quality that he has. He was my first true love and will be my last true love.

Our love is steady, quiet and solid. He holds me up in my sad times and he keeps me straight in my crazy times.

Thank you, Norm, for 41 years!!! May there be many more to follow.

And may all of you be blessed with the solid love of a very, very good man!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


We have rain, again! Rain, finally! Rain enough to make a difference.

I would like to say "Blessed, blessed rain!" but after watching the news tonight, I really feel ashamed of being grateful for rain!

We have gotten 4 1/2 inches of rain in the past 36 hours. But other parts of the state, especially in the south east (we are south WEST), have not only gotten rain, they have gotten up to 12" and and flash flooding and property damage and deaths! My heart goes out to them - that area seems to be hit by more rain and flooding than most other parts of the state.

Not only Minnesota, but South Dakota, too. Hermosa is south of Rapid City, in the foothills of the Black Hills. It's only about 30 - 40 miles from my brother-in-law's ranch. They got enough rain so that Battle Creek went out of it's banks, damaged the railroad tracks and damaged houses and cars. Fortunately there were no deaths in that flood.

I don't know if my brother-in-law got any of that rain or storm; they are gone right now (probably in Hermosa, helping). My mom wrote about the storms they went through; they had hail damage on the window of one of their cars and had lots of rain and damage up north in Piedmont.

So, the rain is coming, it looks like, but it's making up for lost time in many places and flooding all over the place. When I see reports of flooding, it brings back memories of the Rapid City Flood in 1972, It started on my Mom's birthday in June and we had flash flooding all over the Hills and all over the city. Nasty flooding and lots of deaths and disasters there. It completely re-modeled many parts of the Hills and of Rapid City.

Since that flood, Norm has refused to live anywhere close to a river, creek or lake that could over-flow and take us or our house away. We are about 1/2 mile from the lake and up higher. The creek is also about 1/2 mile away, and we are higher than that by quite a bit. No worry about US flooding!
It was a beautiful rainy day (sorry, folks!); you have a beautiful day!

Happy Days!

On Thursday, I was MSN-ing with my son-in-law and asking him some financial questions (he’s my financial advisor) when he asked if I wanted company. After three shouts of “Yes!” I asked him “When?”

Thursday night, around ten, they showed up at our door. The girls were so tired that they hugged us and stumbled into bed without even stories needed.

Friday morning my great-niece, Energy, came with Wayne to visit for the day. It ended up being a sleepover and two and a half full days of energy and fun for three little girls!

Joy and Ken brought his father, Bill, for his first visit here. He enjoyed the visit, so it seemed. He was reminiscing about his grandmother, who had a kitchen much like mine.

We had Candy, Wayne and niece come for supper last night, as well as Katie. We had a house full, especially with the three girls. We finally sent them down to the family room for a movie (“Oliver!”) and supper to give us more room to move and breath. The men played Cribbage and we girls talked (well, Joy knit and talked).

The family headed home last night after Candy’s family and Katie headed to their homes.

So, on to pictures - again, worth a thousand words. It was a beautiful few days. You have a beautiful day!

Apple Picking time

Nap Time
Mystery Shawll
Home made pizza dough rolled out by an expert

New pair of socks (wish they were mine!)
These socks and mittens don't fit!!
Games to keep girls happy

Eating thawed out mulberries
I created a monster!

We had a bonfire

Give a girl a camera and watch out!

Bill was impressed with my "farm house" and all the possibilities that it holds
An all important cribbage game

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to farm life

I have not mentioned what is going on around here for a while. Between our trips here and there, we are enjoying “farm” life… well as much farm life as we DO have!

We have had a drought here – I always hate to mention that, as OUR drought is only for a few months, but my brother-in-law is still suffering from the eight-YEAR drought in Western South Dakota. (Although we DID get half an inch last night in a NOISY, stormy night!) But the corn is suffering and so are the soybeans. Our trees that we planted this spring need watering, so Norm borrowed a tank from the farm he works at and we pull it with the lawn tractor. We can use the hose and drench the trees and plants instead of old way of putting five gallon buckets in the trailer and hauling the buckets to trees. Most of the trees are making it – a few look seriously bad and a few have never even leafed out from the beginning of the spring.

While watering the trees, I came across this insect. I don’t know if it’s alive or dead, a discarded shell or a real bug. I was afraid to touch it, but got a farily good picture. Does anyone know what it might be?

Our barn is an old hog barn that was added on to in it’s past life. The first two-thirds of the barn are workable. The last one-third is falling down; Norm decided last year that he will tear it down. This week, when we had a few hours of cool-ish weather, he started tearing the roof off. I have made sure that he is very careful so that he doesn’t fall. He, too, is very careful, as he remembers the pain of his neck and does NOT want to have that happen again.

I have only a few flowers; perhaps this fall I will plant a bunch of bulbs and seeds to make a mass of flowers in at least one spot. I took some pictures of my flowers to show you.

This is probably from the bird feeder - I thought it was a sunflower, but am not sure.

One of the roses that Jill and Eric gave me ... second blooming

And a close-up

Coneflowers in the field

Moss roses ready to go to the fair

And a close-up

Our chickens are two weeks old and growing wildly, as always. The heat is hard on them but with a fan and lots of water, they seem to be making it well. I put vinegar in their water (as well as for the hens) to help with stress. I am not sure exactly WHAT vinegar – apple cider – does, but it seems to help stressed out animals and that’s enough for me.

In answer to Happy Owl on my last post, yes, the one on the right is me – and the other one is sister Candy. This was taken when I was twenty-two and she was fifteen. My dad enjoyed getting us outfits to make us look like twins. Many people thought we were!! (I see that the grammar checker says I should say “is I” but it sounds too clunky – I will keep with “is me” …)

Also, Fran – no, I can’t take Peanut!! (Sigh!) Dogs are not allowed at the State Fair or in the campground unless they are Service Dogs, and I have yet to figure out a way to convince someone she is one. She serves ME well with love and joy, but I can’t get her to even pick up a tennis ball, much less bring it to me, so there goes that idea (of training her for a Service Dog) out the window!!

Speaking of Peanut, she needed to get out of air conditioning and soak up some sun on a hot day!

I have gotten more things on my list as I talk to Katie and as I talk to Norm and as I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas. I will eventually get all that is needed and probably more by the time next Wednesday comes along. One thing I remembered was sourdough powder. I have discovered that you can dehydrate sourdough and store it in a jar. This is great, because I only make sourdough once a year – at the Fair. Or sometimes for my brother, who loves it. So I take the liquid ‘junk’ from a sourdough batch and dry it on a paper towel or on a plate. Then when it is dry, I pulverize it and store it. When I need sourdough, I start it by adding water, sugar and a little flour to the powder and let it sit for about 24 hours. Then use it as the starter for normal sourdough. Works great!

I DID order a “thermoelectric” cooler for us. This is a cooler that plugs into a cigarette lighter and can also plug into electricity. We will be taking all our meat (Katie cooks as part of her demonstration and also for our meals) and want out own home-grown meat, so we want something more than just the camper refrigerator to keep frozen meat. This is my present to myself for working at the Fair. The rest of my money (once we get paid) will go to paying off Norm’s Ford Ranger and paying myself back for expenses at the Fair (deep-fried mushrooms, the world’s best French fries, cheese curds, steak sandwiches and milk shakes).

It will be a beautiful day today; you have a beautiful day!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Okay, everybody, I need help!

All right, now … what WAS it I am supposed to take to the State Fair? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

Come on, now. Surely SOME of you remember! And if you don’t, could you please put all your collective brains together and help ME remember?

This is what I have, so far, and I KNOW it is not the whole list! I should have a permanent one (just like Mary used to have) so I can remember from year to year.

I need to take:

Chandelier and candles
Butter churn
Spinning wheel and wool
Loom and loom table and yarn
Kniddy noddy
Tapestry wall hanging
Rocking chair and pillows
Green chair
Folding chairs for extra people
Embroidery supplies, redwork patterns and crewel kits
Washbasin and soap
Water jug
Sad irons
Baskets to hold wool and stuff
The flower planters (growing nicely, thank you)
Something for sewing

Now, that can NOT be all … I am not including clothes or bedding for the camper. We have the dishes, silverware and dry sink stored there at the cabin. Katie will be bringing the kitchen table.

So what ELSE?

And, on another note, do you know these people? Anyone?

Any and all help will be appreciated. You have a beautiful, remembering day!

More pictures

Here are more; hopefully when Joy gets organized, now that she's home, she will send me her batch. Some of these pictures (and some of yesterday's) came from Jill. Between the three of us we took over four hundred pictures, but I won't make you suffer with all of them! These are just the best of the lot.

Besides swimming, paddle boating, pontooning, ski-ing, there was also tubing. Ashley is not brave enough, yet (well, not when I left - maybe now she is) to go it alone on the tube so she goes with Auntie Bean.

Eric's parents had a small cabin but built this one as a retirement home for themselves, but also planned it for family and friends to join them. There are five bedrooms, massive amounts pantry storage, large refrigerators and freezers, food galore. They were in Alaska on a cruise with friends but opened their generous hearts and house to Eric and family and friends. Thank you, guys, for being so generous!

Jill and Eric, Joy and Ken ... very generous to have us come up and join them in the fun. Eric was extremely generous to make my life fun. Jill and Eric also brought me, for my own enjoyment, frozen King Crab legs, crab cakes and scallops to take home. I WILL share with Norm! It was, said Eric, a gift for his taking my baby to the other side of the world! Thank you, Eric!

Thank you, all my children, for sharing your time and love and my grandchildren. It was such a blast. And I'm still tired!!

It will be a beautiful day - you have a beautiful day!