Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

 May you have a blessed New Year; may you have all you need; may your hearts remain happy all year long.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Home again.

Got home yesterday afternoon, stopped and dropped Candy's present off and picked Peanut up.  Now we are in the unpacking mode and organizing again.  Laundry will be tomorrow -- not enough energy today.

So, what did I get for Christmas?  Well, now that Candy has opened hers (haven't heard her reaction, yet), I can show you what I got.

 The doll head came from my Great-Aunt Millie (on my mom's side); cousin Esther had two heads with no hair - remnants of dolls that Millie had given her at one time.  So Dad asked if he could have them - thirty years ago - and decided to fix them up for Candy and I.  The head is a Armand Marseille that was made in Germany about 1915.  He got body parts, wigs, clothing and, with my doll, he got a dachshund and a spinning wheel.  The dolls' name is "Emily" (a friend asked me how I knew and I told her that Emily told me her name).   I'm anxious to see Candy's.

We had a great time - saw the Peterson relatives that live in the area on Saturday and  / or Tuesday.  

We headed home yesterday and had a great trip - even stopped at Al's Oasis in Chamberlain.  I have been going there off and on since I was in college.  I had a buffalo burger yesterday - they are famous for those.  We had beautiful blue skies and very little wind the whole way home.

We picked up Peanut, dropped off Candy's doll (still wrapped) and got home in time to have a simple supper.

How wonderful to have the chance to travel and see relatives.  How wonderful to be home again.  It is a beautiful day today - calm and partially sunny; you have a beautiful day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa was good!

My mom got what she wanted for Christmas ... a Kindle!  So guess what I've been doing, off and on, for the past fourteen hours or so!

I can't tell you what *I* got, because we are delivering Candy's gift from Santa (guess he got lost along the way or thought we were together).  Anyway, her gift is supposedly similar to mine (haven't seen it yet) so I don't want to spoil the surprise.  I WILL show you mine when it's safe.  Trust me, it's a doozy!

Meanwhile, Mom is enjoy her Kindle .. didn't go to bed until after two last night!

It's a beautiful day - in the mid forties.  Hoping you are all having a beautiful Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

May the Light shine for you this Season

We are heading to Rapid City for Christmas this year.  We will be leaving here tomorrow morning and not get home before Wednesday night.  I am not sure if I will have time to write, so I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very Blessed Christmas.  Ours will be brown, but it will be special, non-the-less.  We will be spending time with my folks, who, as I have mentioned several times, are now ninety-one (and a half).  And just WAIT until you find out what my Dad is getting my Mom for Christmas!  Can't say, now -- she reads my blog!

And, Mom .... nanny-nanny-boo-boo ... I know and you don't!

It will be a beautiful time - you have a beautiful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

This is my Grandpa Childs, my dad's dad.  Henry Childs was very handy with his hands and with tools; when he came to visit, my mom had things that he would fix in the house for her.  At one time, when I was in first grade, he and I made a bird house together and painted it green (guess I loved green even back then).

He lived in Anacortes, Washington during the latter part of his life.  We would go out to visit relatives, especially my Grandpa.  He lived in a small house surrounded by berry plots.  We would pick blackberries, take them in the house and have cream and sugar (well, I had milk and sugar) on them.  They were still warm from the sun!  

Grandpa died when I was in the eighth grade - we lived in Oklahoma, so Dad flew out for the funeral and we didn't go.  I didn't see his grave until I was several years older.

He was my favorite Grandpa because he was my only one.  My mother's father died when she was a teen, so I never met him.  When I was younger, I wished that Nana would marry Grandpa so they would come to visit us at the same time and we'd have double the visits.  It wasn't until I was older that I realized people did not marry for the convenience of children (or grandchildren).  I still miss Grandpa!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Puppy Love

Instead of looking to the past today, I chose to look to the future.  This picture was taken by my friend, Jody; she raises German Shepherds and has some ready to go out the door.  I am tempted but am reminded by Peanut that I promised her that she would be an only child!

However, that does not stop me from admiring these sweet faces.  And they ARE for sale, if you know of anyone who wants a very good quality Shepherd -- their parents are of excellent bloodlines and have all kinds of awards behind them.

Enjoy, even if you don't want one!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

---a date which will live in infamy ---

Today is the seventieth anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day when the Japanese Government ordered planes to attack Pearl Harbor, thus thrusting the United States into World War II.  Where were you when this happened?

I don't remember (as most of you, I am sure, do not remember, either) but I grew up knowing of this date and I remember it every December.  The date has been engraved in my heart - so many young men and women went to war to fight against tyranny as so many had gone in wars before and so many have gone since.

When will these wars end?  When will there be true peace in the world?  When?  I pray it is my life-time - that I will live to see the end of hostilities in this world.

I hope everyone takes a few minutes to pause and thank all the veterans now living or passed on that put their lives on the lives so that we could live in freedom.  And perhaps we could all do our little bit to begin Peace in the world.

Monday, December 05, 2011

New blogger

Norm's niece, Glenda, was raised in South Dakota .. she grew up with our girls and shares many memories with them. She now lives in Colorado with her husband and two cats. Her life is full of surprises and (yes, admit it!) accidents! Join me in enjoying what another woman goes through in her daily life!

Go to Glenda's new blog for a good read!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Great Thanksgiving Weekend!

The weather was perfect ... almost!  It was so warm (it got up to 61º on Thursday) that we couldn’t “run” the wood stove as much as we wanted.  We warmed up the house, then let the fire go out.  On Wednesday, the temperature in the house was 78º and I had to open the bedroom window so that I could sleep without feeling I was in a sauna!

Joy, Ken, the girls and Ken’s dad, Bill, came on Wednesday.  My folks came the same day and were at Candy’s. Since we had seven and Candy had six (Cookie and Binni, as well), we had two dinners, one at each place.

Bitty spent time knitting

Cribbage, as usual, went on all weekend.

Friday afternoon, Mom, Dad and Wayne came over for pie and visiting.  Candy stayed home and napped while Cookie and Binni went home, as Cookie had to work that day.

 We had the traditional foods: turkey, dressing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli with cheese, scalloped corn.  Ken is our resident turkey man, so he was in charge of the turkey, and it was wonderful, as usual.  All of us over-ate, as usual, too.

 Bitty was excited to discover that I had acquired a "REAL" turkey platter!

 Our turkey man carved the turkey

Getting ready to eat

Tasha, stay out!

Saturday morning, everyone but me, myself and I (and the dogs)  went shopping in town; Ken and Bill left from there and went home to the Cities, the rest came back here.
 Joy is spinning llama

 Can you see the fine yarn in her right hand (your left, of course)?

 A touching moment

Tasha needed a bath so was wrapped in blankets to dry
This morning was church, then the traditional macaroni and cheese (we have to have that at least one time while the girls are here).  After the girls had packed their things in the car, we made lefse with some of the left over mashed potatoes.  I got the recipe from Nana’s cookbook (we made one for her 100th birthday); the girls were excited to know that Joy has one as well.  I can imagine that there will be lefse making over there this week.

 Holy lefse, Batman!

 The barber shop is open

Lifting off to go on the griddle

So now the house is quiet.  Peanut is wondering where the kids and Tasha are; I am taking it easy and Norm has been working outside; he just came in with another armload of wood.

Now it is time to get serious about a Christmas letter and Christmas presents.  Most of them will be home-made this year; I certainly hope people will like them!

It has been a beautiful time here at Ash Lane Farm.  I hope you all had a beautiful time yourselves and will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

The family at Ash Lane Farm would like to wish all of you a blessed Thanksgiving!  May your day be full of laughter, love and good food.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

Norm's brother, Robert, is scanning in a lot of the old Peterson pictures.  This one is of Lars John Peterson, who was a "real" cowboy.  He worked on Texas ranches some.  Folsom is the home place; I would be willing to bet that this is the ranch that Norm grew up on.

I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!  I hope it is filled with love, laughter, family, friends and good food.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Day of Celebration!

Six years ago this evening, Norm fell in the garage and broke his neck.  

He had been working at a packing plant as a maintenance man.  His shift was the swing shift and was supposed to be an eight hour shift, but required overtime made his shift anywhere from nine to eleven hours.  He would come home about two, sleep until about noon and then try to get something done around the house, as we had just moved in a month before.

Both Norm and I decided it was just too hard for him and we were starting to look for another job for him when he fell.

We figure that he was so tired that he was not thinking straight and over-extended on the ladder, caught his feet when he fell and landed straight on his head.

I took him to the VA in Sioux Falls; I thought he had a bad whiplash but he knew his neck was broken (but didn’t tell me - I had a hard time getting to the VA as it was).  The nurses didn’t believe him when he told them he thought it was broken but soon changed their tune when they saw the X-Rays.  The VA sent him via ambulance to one of the civilian hospitals and requested a “neck” man to come operate.

However, Norm had shattered the vertebrae and the doctor could not operate so Norm was put into a “halo” which held his neck firmly in place; he wore this for three months, then was put into a hard collar.  

When either of us felt like complaining about the inconvenience or uncomfortable-ness of the halo (I had to clean the points that went into his head daily), we would remember what we were told.  

Norm should have either been paralyzed or dead. The chances of him surviving were so slim that it was a miracle!

So, on this sixth anniversary, I am stopping to give thanks to all who helped us with morale, prayers and even money (thanks, Charles ... I am eternally grateful to you) because we had no income at all at that time.  And to thank the Universe and the Good God that Norm survived and is nearly normal in his movements.


Celebrating a Christmas that might not have happened!

It is a beautiful day today; you have a beautiful day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Fantastic Weekend

First of all, we had our first snowfall, which was only a couple of inches.  It got cold (+4º yesterday morning) but the wind was moderate, so it was "tolerable" outside.

Secondly, and most importantly, Jill came down for the weekend and brought my grandpuppies ... Remy and Hank.    We had a great time.

Hank is a ten month old puppy and is still ALL puppy; delightful, getting into trouble at all times and very loving.   He delighted in sleeping in Peanut's bed ... which was too small for him, but he insisted on fitting in there!  He is Basset cross, perhaps with Beagle.

Remy is Beagle and possibly Basset cross.  He's an adult now and very well behaved.  Jill says she has yelled at Hank more since they got him in July than she has ever yelled at Remy in the time they've had him (three years or more, can't remember).  He never tried Peanut's bed but slept in his own bed.

The two of them really enjoyed being warm by the fire.  Because Remy is a Beagle, he cannot be left off lead at all; Hank might be able to some day, but not now.  So Norm locked the sheep up in the south pasture and gave the boys their own little dog park to run; this was in the east pasture.  Unfortunately it was too cold for Remy so he came in quickly.  Hank stayed out a little bit longer.  However, they enjoyed it and so when they come down on MILD days, they can have their dog park to run in.

Jill requested Dough-Gots for supper on Saturday night - this is fried bread for those of you who do not come from the Saueressig family.  My mom said that when Nana had bread making day she would keep out some dough and fry it for supper.  We put butter and syrup (mostly corn syrup) on them; Norm is a weirdo (you knew that, didn't you?) - he puts peanut butter on his!

There was an accident when I was frying the Dough-Gots - I let one slip in too quickly and it spattered onto my hand.  I quickly slathered aloe vera on my hand so it is starting to feel better now, but there is a nasty blister!

Jill stayed until mid-afternoon, then took the boys and headed home.  Eric was in North Dakota with his family, hunting - it sounds like they got two deer among the whole bunch of them.  They hunt on Eric's grandmother's land. 

Jill was tempted to stay longer - niece Cookie called to say that she and daughter Binni had gone to Joseph and the Technicolor Coat - a high school version.  It was so good, she said, that we were tempted to go up on Sunday to see it.  However, Eric was flying in from Fargo and didn't have a key to the house, so she had to be home to let him in.   I guess she didn't think he'd enjoy sitting on the patio in the cold for a couple of hours (sorry, Eric ... I voted for that idea!).

Once they were gone, it was very quiet; I missed Jill before she was out of the driveway!  I am so grateful that she came down to visit!

It was a beautiful (cold) weekend; today will get up to the low thirties and be sunny.  You have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

This is a picture of Norm's Peterson grandparents: Lars John and Lena.  The date on the scan is 1948; it was scanned in my my sister-in-law Eileen, so I am pretty sure that there was a date on the back of the picture for her to go on.

Norm was named for both grandfathers - John (for Lars John) and Norman for Clarence Norman DeWitt.  At least he's pretty sure that the Clarence Norman is correct - he says "That's my story and I'm sticking to it!"

Eileen, if it is not correct, please let me know.  (Eileen is our family historian!)

It's warmed up to +16º and supposed to get up to about 29º or so.  There is a brisk breeze but sunshine.  Our nice new wood stove is warming the house up wonderfully.  So it's a beautiful day - you have a beautiful day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you!

I could not let the day go by without saying "Thank you!" to all the veterans of all the wars that we have had, either here on American soil or over-seas in some foreign land.

"Thank you" to those gave their lives, either as a direct result of war or as an indirect result.  

"Thank you" to those who survived, for you put your lives on the line.

You are all heroes!

I must mention my personal heroes: 
                my father (91) who fought in WWII, Korea, and was in the Berlin Airlift.
                my husband who served during the Vietnam War.
                my brother-in-law, serving also during the Vietnam War.
                numerous cousins who served before, during and after the Vietnam War.
And there is my brother, who fought in Vietnam and fought the battles of health until his untimely death at the age of 64.

Thank all of you for your dedication and your sacrifice that enables us to have the freedoms we all so cherish.

Happy Birthday, Beanie!

On this day our youngest, Jill Naomi Peterson, was born in Tumut, Australia.  She was names “Jill” because we wanted a JN to match Norm’s name (John Norman) and Joy’s (Joy Natalie).  Jill means “Little Girl.” We didn’t know what we would have (back in the days when we had no choice of finding out) so we had a boy’s name and a girl’s name.  It was a while before Norm and I could come to an agreement on Jill’s name but before she arrived, she was named (IF she were a girl!).

From the time she was a tiny babe, she was a clown.  Norm nick-named her “Bean” .. it started out as “Silly Jill,” then “Silly Jilly,” then “Silly Jiily-Bean” and ended up as “Bean” or “Beanie.”  Granddaughters call her “Auntie Bean.”

She has been a delight since she was born; she is still a delight.  “They” claim you can’t have favorites in your children, but “They” are wrong.  Jill is my favorite YOUNGEST child.  No other will match her!

We are so blessed to have two loving daughters and we love them both.  But today is Jill’s day - so we will wish her a Happy Birthday and many, many, many more.

We both love you Beanie! 

Joy and Jill with a friend at an Australian zoo.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

This was taken at a Heritage Fair in Minneapolis one fine summer day.  We were still working for Murphy's Landing and it was our job, that day, to represent the Landing.  A photographer took this picture for a newspaper somewhere.  The time frame was about 2004 or 2005.  I am still using my demo loom (and have that runner in my house); the shave horse in the background was one that Norm built for the Landing - the one he has now is a bit different.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Splendiferous Saturday.

A corner of our living room went from this ......

...... to this by last night.

What a great way to start the winter!  Hope yours is as warm as we hope ours will be!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A "New" tractor

We have had an Alys Chalmers tractor for several years; when Norm got it, I questioned the size - I felt it was too big for what we have to do here.  But he wanted it - and, yes, I did, too.  It is the model tractor that my uncle had when I was growing up.  However, it has given us trouble from the day we brought it home ... transmission going out,  starter going bad ... on and on and on.

This last Spring, brother-in-law Wayne sold Norm his tractor - a McCormick Farmall.  He finished paying it off on Saturday and drove it home.

Now we will hopefully sell the Alys; the Farmall is much easier to run, starts like a dream (if you remember to turn the gas line on!) and drives much easier.  It has a bucket on it for snow removal, too.

Now we need to get a snow blower to run on it so that we will not have to worry as much about the snow and Norm won't have to drive the Farm's tractor here to blow snow.

After we got home with the tractor, we loaded up a kitten and took her to Westbrook to a new home.

As we drove into the lane, we saw a young deer in the front yard.  He (she?) hung around for awhile, then bounded away, so we drove in, got into the house and lo! and behold! there the deer was, drinking out of my freshly filled bird fountain / pool!  And a closer look showed it to be a young buck!

What a wonderful gift!

It has been beautiful these past few days - and sounds like it will be, again, for several more.  You have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

I was trapped into talking (tomorrow) to the Sons of Norway lodge I belong to; they want to hear about my childhood in Japan.  I kept saying it wasn't Norwegian based but they didn't listen.  So I've been spending time getting slides scanned in for this talk.  

I haven't broken a leg, yet, so guess I will have to go and talk tomorrow (sigh).  

However, I thought I'd share some of the pictures (again) that I will show.

Hope you enjoy and hope the lodge enjoys tomorrow.

 This is an actor from the Kabuki theater - it is a young male, posing as a young woman.  No women acted in Kabuki.

 This is one of the largest Buddhas in the world, as you can see by the people walking up the steps.
I have been to this one and walked inside and stood in the hands of this Buddha.

 This is a bathroom in a tourist spot - we stayed here one week.
The stool is the porcelain item in the floor - you squatted over it and then flushed it when done.
More modern than just a hole in the ground like most county people had.

When we left Japan, we flew past the famous Mount Fujiyama - Dad took this picture from the plane.