Saturday, May 30, 2009

What was he THINKING??

Now, I am alone for a week; Norm has gone to South Dakota to spend time with his family and I chose to stay home and nurse my back and knee.

Last weekend, we went up to see Joy and family for the “Memorial Day” ceremonies and also to help celebrate graduation for Norm’s boss and our neighbor, Margaret.


Congratulations, Margaret!

I had just set up, before we left, my fountain / bird bath and was enjoying it immensely. Norm shut it off (don’t wanna waste electricity, now, do we?) and I never got around to trying to start the fountain again until yesterday, after Norm left.

So, I followed the electrical extension cords (until Norm puts an outside outlet in, I have two extension cords going from the entryway out to the fountain) and plugged them in. Norm had unplugged the main pump cord from the orange cord and unplugged the orange cord from the blue cord (are you following me?) Then unplugged the last cord from the power strip that he had put on the wall so that I wouldn’t have to crawl under the table and over the trunk (storing winter boots, etc) to the plug-in on the wall.

The pump didn’t work! I tried again – unplugging and re-plugging each connection. I turned the power strip on (I thought) and off (I thought) – I cleaned the pump out – tried to make the little fan go, but no go.

This morning, I went into town and picked up a brand new pump and got it set up in the fountain and plugged in the connections.

The pump didn’t work! What the heck? What is going on? I tried again – unplugging and re-plugging each connection. I turned the power strip on (I thought) and off (I thought) – I cleaned the pump out – tried to make the little fan go, but no go.

So I thought – maybe the power strip isn’t working? So I found a small tape recorder and plugged it into the power strip and IT didn’t work. Just for giggles, I bent down and looked at the wall.


You don’t want to know what I was thinking and saying and whining about when I slowly, very slowly and carefully, slid down to the floor and crawled and inched OVER the trunk and UNDER the table and reached out to plug the power strip into the wall.

Voila! The pump works! Both pumps work! If Norm had been here, he’d be a dead man! (Actually, Jody said if Norm had been here that HE would have been crawling over and under while I was beating him with a very big stick!)

So, now I have a lovely fountain and a second pump for extras or for another fountain or waterfall somewhere. Sheesh!

Oh, by the way, Happy REAL Memorial Day. Between driving to town, crawling around, trying to get back UP from the floor and fussing in my head at Norm, I did remember the day and did think about today and what it really means.

Not that I object to people remembering loved ones and fallen soldiers on the last Monday of May, but there were less SALES and less non-remembering when Memorial Day was on the 30th.

I wish I had a picture of my fountain but forgot to take one and Norm has the camera in South Dakota. But I did take a picture of this bird yesterday morning before Norm left.


Isn't he pretty?

It was a beautiful day full of fountains and gurgling water (finally); you have a beautiful day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day .....


Okay, time for my annual rant about Memorial Day! Those millions of fans who have read my blog for the one hundred years that I've been posting will know what I'm going to say. But I have to say it, anyway, and again.

Memorial Day was originally designed for REMEMBERING. It was first called "Decoration Day," and was a day for honoring "Our Glorious Dead." Then on the 30th of May, 1868, it was made an official holiday and called "Memorial Day" for the first time.

This was the day to celebrate many things - there would be a parade, people would go to the cemetery to lay flowers on graves of the dear departed. It was not only the warriors of war that were honored but family members and loved ones, as well. It was also time to celebrate the beginning of summer, the ending of the school year and a gathering of families.
There would be picnics.

Memorial Day had been on May 30th since its inception. When it came in the middle of the week, schools would close for that day, then open again for the rest of the school year. Sometimes it was only a day or two before school was out for the summer.

But, in
1971, the government deemed it necessary to give the workers a three day weekend and moved Memorial Day to the last Monday of May so that there would always BE a three day weekend.

Now, I have no problem with three day weekends. I am all for them. But why in the world couldn't they have just said "There will be a three-day weekend the end of May and we'll keep Memorial Day sacred, as it should be!"

Now Memorial Day means, to the general public, a time for picnics, a time for "Sale! Sale! Sale!" at the big stores. A time to "save" money by spending money. No longer is it the end of the school year, as most schools go until the first of June.

Children, I think it is time to go back to the "Good Old Days" - time to spend thoughts on this sacred day, remembering what it was designed for in the first place. Time to ponder on the sacrifices that our honored men and women made to make this country great. Let's try to remember, no matter what day we chose, what "Decoration Day" - "Memorial Day" is really about.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Holy Dust Cloud, Batman!


This week has been quite a week for weather!

Saturday morning it was 30º when we woke up ... it got up to about 60º but we had a cold wind.

Sunday was nice with about 70º and very little wind. A really beautiful day!

Monday was nice, too, with about 80º and very little wind.

Tuesday, yesterday, was something else!!! It got up to 96º here while sister Candy had 98º at her place (6 miles directly north). The wind started blowing in the morning and was blowing around 40 MPH during the day. Nasty hot winds!!! N*A*S*T*Y!!!!!

And today, Wednesday, Candy and I went to Mankato for our monthly shopping trip. Norm almost told us not to go. But we went – Candy drove, as usual. Jody was going to join us, but she wasn’t feeling well, so I picked up the few things she wanted to get at Sam’s.

The wind was nasty on the way to Mankato, but it was worse on the way home. We figured the wind must have been blowing about 50 MPH on a steady pace and gusting to over 60 MPH.

Since the fields are either just planted or not planted, yet, there is a lot of dirt and we had a lot of dust. It seemed as if we were in the midst of the “Dirty 30s” – there were times that vision was blocked out, just like in a blizzard.


View out the windshield - the van in front is about 2 car-lengths ahead


And it's difficult to see the road, much less cars in front of us!

However, the wind is dropping (some) and “they” promise cooler weather and less wind tomorrow. Let us pray to the Good God that “they” are right! And pray that the summer is not a summer of dry, hot weather, winds and dust.

It was NOT a beautiful day, weather wise today, but it was, otherwise. A day spent with my sister, shopping – well, at least shopping at the pet store was fun – is always a beautiful day. And once in a while you can see glimpses of Spring.




You have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Mother’s Day!

So, Candy and I decided to visit Mom for Mother’s Day. We traveled 2 ½ hours northwest (she lives 7 hours southwest!). And how did this work? We went up to visit our cousins that we have never met and Mom met us there.

These cousins, Ruth and Jerry, are brother and sister. Ruth is a widow and Jerry is a bachelor. They spend part of the winter in California with a sister and the rest of the year on farmstead. Ruth’s son is the fourth generation to farm there!

We found that they are third cousins. Mom’s Aunt Ida is Ruth and Jerry’s grandmother. We spent a lot of time talking family. Mom brought the genealogy that Dad has been working on and we read a genealogy that a cousin on their side had written. We also read Aunt Millie’s story our great-grandfather moving to South Dakota in the 1880s.

They call the farm “Bird Haven;” their father was an ornithologist and Ruth’s husband did landscaping. So they have birds and flowers all OVER the place. It is a beautiful, peaceful place that sits on the north fork of the Yellowstone River, which flows into the Minnesota.

Most of Sunday was spent talking about family history and genealogy. Jerry took Candy and I on a tour of the farm area – Candy walked and I got to ride in the golf cart with Jerry.

Monday, we spent time talking, and then Mom headed off to Aberdeen to spend some time with a friend there. Jerry and Ruth took us on a tour of the area so that we could see the important places (to us) – the places where relatives lived in the past.

Then we had lunch at Milbank, some more touring and then heading home. A fantastic trip!!! Wonderful people. (See, Jerry and Ruth? I told you I’d say nice things!)

Tomorrow or the next day, I’ll try to do a little bit of details on the family – if’n ya’ll are interested.

It was a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day.

PS - I WAS going to do a slideshow but it wasn't working, so here are some pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!

Bird house in the yard

North Fork of the Yellowstone

From the "back" of the house

The old water tank

East side of the house


Ruth, Jerry and Mom
Ruth, Jerry and Mom

The trio of "senior seniors"
Senior-Senior Trio

The spot where Grandma McFarland's house was
Grandma McFarland's home site - now the parking lot of a cheese factory

Ester's street
Cousin Esther lived here with Aunt Millie (see Aunt Millie's Shoulderette!)

Aunt Millie and Ester lived here

Big Stone Lake
Big Stone Lake

School where most of the ancestors went
Where the ancestors went to school

In Milbank
Milbank Windmill

Loon on a lake
Candy's first live loon

Entrance to the home

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Another new blog

Sister Candy pointed me to Little Red Oak Farm this week. She is a Minnesota sheep farmer and has what seems to be lovely fleeces of Shetland and Finn for sale.

We will know soon, as she is going to the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival in Lake Elmo, MN. If you are anywhere in the area, this Festival is pretty big and pretty exciting.

Joy is going there and will collect some fleeces from her for all of us to share.

Candy and I wanted to go, but we are tied up this weekend, so Joy is representing us and promises to take lots of pictures!!!

It is a beautiful, overcast day today. You have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My sister

Sister Candy has decided to join the blogging world and she started a blog today. Stop by and say hi ... she will probably have some awesome pictures. She certainly has an awesome place to live!!!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Just for today …………..

I will be grateful!

I have spent way too much time complaining about this knee and have decided that I AM going to think positive and gratefully for what I CAN do. And Crystal, at therapy, says, “In six months you’ll be happy that you went through the operation!” She also said that each day is a little bit better for what I can do.

So, today, I DROVE to therapy. Norm went to work and said, “You can do it!” So I did – sore when I drove home, but made it fine.

So, what else can I do? Well, I can walk to the mailbox (about an eighth of a mile, so it’s a quarter of a mile round trip. I did chores this weekend (and this morning) – going out to the barn to let the chickens out, feed the cats and fill the water bucket for the chickens.

I can walk to Norm’s shop a little easier, now and can go visit him. Stairs – I can (and sometimes do) step up with my right leg and pull myself up, carefully.

I can SPIN!!! With the double treadle, anyway.

I am sitting at the computer desk – I’ve put the computer up here and am no longer sitting in the recliner when I work on the computer. And I can spend more time sitting up.

I am more independent and am able to more around the kitchen and even sit at the table for an extended length of time.

I can ride three hours to the Cities without a severe amount of pain.

I can walk with my granddaughters around for a short amount of time, and it’s getting longer each time.

I can ALMOST ride my three-wheeler!

So, things ARE looking up and I have to stop thinking that the bad will never end.

I would like to thank you all for all your encouraging words and I promise that I will not complain, again, to you about my knee and will just give you GOOD updates.

It’s a beautiful, independent day here – you have a beautiful day!