Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A dog days of summer Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.
Sometimes my actions match my words, but rarely. I pretend a lot. I pretend that everything is good, That I am not overwhelmed. That I am not exhausted. That I can handle it all. When in actuality I don't think I can do what I am doing for too much longer before I collapse.  Shhh, I have never told anyone that.  

2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?
Dog tired sums my life up very neatly. I am getting ready for Harry's daughter and her annual visit. Cleaning the house from top to bottom. And then doing it again in case I missed something. Having many, many lists to work from.
However, dog days of summer are nice too. I am not fond of what happens to the lakes in the area, but I do like that it signals the almost end of the heat.
3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favorite?
This is a tough one. So many to choose from. I remember reading "White Fang", thinking it would be my all time favorite book. Flash forward many, many years to "Marley and Me". Oh how I loved the movie. So much so I HAD to read the book. It is wonderfully touching. Hilariously funny. Sad. Loving. And then, there is "Because of Winn-Dixie". The dog is heroic in my mind. Just because of the simple reason he is alive. 

4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?
I don't know if I need confidence to do this or courage. I would like to be able to learn to swim. It is such good exercise. But, I can't get into the pool. I can't take baths, because I get nervous when the water covers me. I get nervous if the shower drains to slowly. I have almost drowned twice in my life, and those experiences have left me with a phobia. Not drowned to the point of needing CPR or anything, but close enough that I needed rescuing.

5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.
There was a man from Nantucket...oh wait I better make it a clean one.
I have 2 favorite jokes. 
This first one is much better told in person, but I will explain it to you.
Very quietly, I ask the question, "How do you sell a deaf man a duck?"
The person replies, "I don't know. How do you sell a deaf man a duck?"
Very loudly I shout, "Do you wanna buy a duck?"
It cracks me up every time. I am laughing now.
The other joke is:
Where in the Bible is baseball mentioned?
Answer: Genesis 1 In the BEGINNING  God created the heavens and the earth.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This is a photo from the bridge going over the Kettle River. I wish it were brighter, but the day was gray and cloudy.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friendly Fotos

Joining  Debbie to day for Friday Foto Friends.

Last week I showed you the sunflowers just as their yellow faces showed . What a difference a week makes. I think they look confused. It was a cloudy, rainy, dreary day the poor things don't seem to know which way to face.

 A beautiful sea of yellow. Sunflowers make me smile.
 This bridge crosses the Kettle River in Sanstone, MN. It is a high bridge, and I mean high! I had to stop on the road, because there isn't a shoulder. I hate bridges. I wasn't about to get out out of my car. No way, no how! 
 I don't know if the trains still run on the trestle bridge or not.I wish the day had been sunny, but I will take what I can get
 These two were in a field, in the rain. It doesn't seem to bother them at all.
Last week A couple of you commented on my post from the week before. I am still not sure what I doing when I attempt to join this. I must have put in the wrong thing. Hopefully, it won't happen again.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

From this Side of the Pond
As busy as I should be right now I am taking time out to join in on the fun with the weekly hodgepodge. The theme this week is Grand. As in grandbabies.

1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.
I used to have only a "routine" for my daily chores. It seemed I was always behind. I developed a rigid schedule for myself. That didn't work. Just yesterday, I began 
yet another way to get things done. I made a list of things I needed to accomplish this week. Then I put the days of the week on separate pages of my notebook. I assigned the jobs to the days. Yesterday I was able to cross off most things. This morning I transferred the undone things to today's list and noted them with a star. I will repeat the process each morning. I hope by the end of the week to not have to transfer anything. With that in mind I left Friday blank. I need some sort of routine or schedule or whatever you want to call it, because without it I would crochet all day and never see the messes pile up.
2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list which would you most like to see in person-
I have been to a lighthouse. Splitrock Lighthouse on Lake Superior.
You can read about it here:\   OR

It was someplace I really wanted to see inside. However, when I got inside and saw the type of steps I would have needed to climb, I waited outside. I am terrified of open stairs, you know the kind that you can see through? Terrified of heights.
Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggys Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)
I have never been to any of these lighthouses. If I were to get a chance I would see the 2 in Maine. Maine is on my short list of places to visit.

When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?
 When I am away from home for any length of time, and it is time for me to return home my feelings are ambivalent.  First, I know that I MUST go home. Second, I don't want to go home. Being away is like living in a fantasy world. No stresses. No decisions to make. Just relaxation and fun. Total fantasy. 

3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?
When my computer was down I just the Kindle to go online with. Using the Kindle to go to Facebook was a lot of hassle.  I stopped going. I only go now to see if friends/family have updated things I should know about. I am there less than 5 minutes compared to the hours I spent there before. I am guessing that I will keep it just this way. FB can really be a time sucker.
Another place online I used to spend a lot of time is the auction site for Goodwill. There are bargains galore, but again a time sucker. 
4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.
My BF's dad is coming into Minneapolis this month. I always like to go into the city to see and visit with him and get some Dad love. No one could decide where or when to have a family picnic (yes I am considered family).  At a lake? At a park? On a Saturday? On a Sunday?There is now a date  and a place for the get together which is Grand for me. I can make my plans for my getaway.

5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.
I sang this song to my son almost every night. It was one of his most requested. Not because of my unlovely voice. "Hush Little Baby". Sometimes when I can't sleep I sing it to myself.

Hush, little baby, don't say a word,
Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass.

And if that looking glass is broke,
Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat,

And if that billy goat won't pull,
Mama's gonna buy you a cart and a bull.

And if that cart and bull turn over,
Mama's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

And if that dog named Rover won't bark,
Mama's gonna buy you a horse and a cart.

And if that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

So hush little baby, don't you cry.
Daddy loves you and so do I.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
My husband's daughter arrives in 2 weeks from today. The house is a mess, the room where she sleeps I can't see the bed. It has become a catch all sort of room. Irregardless of how I answered question number 1, I can't get motivated to clean. I just don't seem to care. I do know it will all get done, because I will eventually become a whirling dervish (don' cha just love those 2 words? I have to say them again.) I will become a whiling dervish, but even then it won't pass her white glove test. One the positive side of her visit, and there is one, she does all of the cooking and cleaning up afterwards while she is here. She likes to cook for her dad. I feel like I am on vacation not having to plan, cook, and clean up. She will be here 8 days.

I hope I haven't shown you this before. Pardon me if I have. I did a CAL ...crochet along...and this is the final result. I almost gave up many times, because the pattern was so far out of my comfort zone. I am certainly glad I didn't stop.
Excuse Boo in the photo. She thought I had put it on the floor for her comfort.
 There are 6 squares. Three different patterns.
 Each square has it's own color combination.
 I am very pleased with the final result. I am thinking Christmas gifts now. I am going to make this again and again.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Foto Friends #90

Deb (Breathing in Grace) mentioned that Foto Friends has been on for 90 weeks. I haven't been in on the fun that long, but I sure do enjoy my time here. Without further delay.... I might have over done it on the photos this week, but you will learn why.

 St. Croix River overflow. 
 There is a lot of water in the overflow for mid summer.
 It is haying time for the farmers. Hard work for them when it has been so blasted hot.
I know they don't do this for me to enjoy. However, haying season brings back good memories. As a teen friends and myself would go into the field and throw the square bales onto the truck. We got paid in gasoline for the car and cigarettes. 
My latest creation. HOH yesterday. This was way, way out of my comfort zone. I made stitches that I have never heard of. I ripped out more times than I can count. And, I think everyday I was thinking of hanging it up. I persevered and finished. I am so glad I did. Just ignore the cat. She thought I had placed it on the floor for her morning nap.
The pattern was the 6 blocks of three different patterns. I wanted to show you the individual patterns.
 The one above is almost entirely of puff stitches. It started out round.

 This one is really just crocheting, but stitching over and under previous stitches. 
 This one took the longest and gave me the most grief. But, it is my favorite. It started round and after the sunburst was made it got squared up.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Foto Friends #89

I am happy to be sharing fotos once again with Debbie and many others. Debbie is from the blog Breathing in Grace.

I don't have many new photos this week, but what I do have show summer at it's peak.

Sunflowers! Just this week starting to show their blooms.
 I love how their little faces follow the sun.
 Last week only mommy came to visit. The other evening she brought this little with her.
 She was spooked when I raised the blinds to get the photos. She and babe didn't hang around. I feel lucky to have been visited.
 I don't remember if I ever introduced you to Walter. He was given to me by my BF. He is 5 ft tall. Exactly my height. He brings charm into my little patch of whatnot garden. I keep hoping for his mate Beatrice to show up.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge #315

How is it possible that it is Wednesday already? I know for sure it is, because it is time for the Hodgepodge.

From this Side of the Pond
1. We've reached edition number 315 here in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So tell us, what were you doing at 3:15 yesterday? Is that typical? On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high) what's your energy level usually like at 3:15 PM?
Hmmm 3:15 yesterday. I went down for the mail. The mailbox is 1/4 mile away. Very long story behind it's placement. No mail yet. She is always late on Mondays. Back home I put the finishing touches on dinner. That is pretty normal. I try to have dinner early, because (and this answers the next part of the question) if I don't start it early I don't make dinner. I am wiped out by 2 PM. By 3:15 I am ready for bed. I rate my energy level at 1. 

2. A frisbee, a tantrum, a towel, a party, a punch, or a curveball...which have you most recently thrown or had thrown at/for you? Elaborate.
There is at least one tantrum around here each day. It can't be avoided. Enough on that.  Maybe a curve ball. But, I am not sure why other than to say... I haven't thrown or caught a Frisbee or towel lately....I haven't been partying, or punched or been punched.

3. What are three things that would help you right now. Tell us how or why.
1.  A vacation alone would help me, because there is always someone around me. I can not remember the last time I was alone. Grocery shopping doesn't count. I need time alone. 
2.  If I were given that time I would get on an Amtrak and have it take me somewhere. Anywhere. Then I would turn around and come home. I just want the experience of a train trip as an adult. Or even a vacation in a hotel where I can hole up in my room. I could choose to leave it or not, to talk to people or not. It sounds divine.So the second thing would be the dollars for a train ticket or hotel room. Neither are in my budget just now.
3.  A good surprise. I love good surprises. The surprise brings joy. Usually a good laugh and smiles. I like to laugh and smile a lot. Good surprises bring excitement.But, only if the surprise is a happy good one.

4. Do you think you're strong? Why or why not? What makes you strong?
Physically strong? No, I am not. I think I can maybe lift 25 pounds. The kitty litter bag is 35#, and I really struggle with it.
Emotionally strong? Right now, in this season of my life I have to be. I have learned to lean only on myself and God. No one can do this for me.
I have to be strong. I don't have a choice. God has put me here in this situation for a reason. Someday I might know why, or maybe never know, but it is where He wants me. Just knowing that gives me strength from day to day.
5. Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What's your favorite book set sometime in the past?
I kind of sort of like historical fiction. However, I don't like a lot of descriptive narration in a book. I find that this type of fiction has way to much for my taste. Such as: I would prefer a woman's dress to be described as blue with ruffles and a touch of lace at the wrist . Instead what I often find is a 2 page description of the dress. I page ahead when I come across that.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Two weeks ago I had the two cats into the vet for a check-up. Neither one seemed quite right. Ozzy turned 17 in June, and Boo will be 9 in October.
Ozzy is tiny, weighing in at 4 pounds. Normal for her. She is experiencing signs that are normal for an aged kitty. Snotty eyes, and nose, and UTIs. Easy fixes, but they are coming more often. All she does is sleep now. I even have to wake her to eat.
Boo on the other hand is sick. She has diabetes! From last fall until 2 weeks ago she had lost 5 pounds. That is 1/3 of her total body weight. Today she and I go back to the vet so I can learn how to give her insulin injections. I am more than a bit nervous. We return to the vet each week for 4 weeks so he can test her glucose and make any necessary adjustments in the insulin dose. It's not like with humans where we can test each morning.

Ozzy Girl. Tiny little thing that she is.

Boo Baby. Can you tell she hate to have her picture taken?


Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Foto Friends #881

One of my special pleasures is sharing my photos. I am glad and honored to share with you all on Friday Foto Friends.

An evening visitor. She comes in and eats her way through the garden. Fortunately, I didn't get anything planted this year, and we can just enjoy her company.
 One of our resident bunnies. In 26 years living here this is the first time we have even seen bunnies. Now they are everywhere. But they are so gosh darn cute.
An evening snack. I think she is going to be adding to the bunny population. She looks sort of chubby.

 The blackberries are coming along. About a month to go. With the heat we are having this summer it should be a good crop. These are wild. I will have to race the birds for them.
 Just because I really like this photo.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge #314

I am glad to be joining in for the fun with the 314th Hodgepodge this week.

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 314

From this Side of the Pond

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.
My mom's mother lived with us when I was a very small child. What I remember is a very stern German woman who would speak in German when she got angry. Which was most of the time. She got mad at my mom, moved out, and went to live with friends.  Eventually she went to Colorado to live with my aunt.  On my father's side the grandparents only made an appearance once a year at Christmas. He would drive her over and wait in the car while she brought the gifts into my brother and me (or is it I? I can never remember). 

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?
I had a ratty old blanket with silk around the edge. I carried that thing with me everywhere. I was like Linus that way. I think my mom had to wait til I was sleeping, and pry it out of my arms just to wash it. I think it probably just disintegrated over time.
I also had a doll. A Thumbalina doll. She has a knob on her back that if you turned she would move her legs like a baby. I think she got lost somewhere in a move. I am now looking for one. But, lordy she is expensive! The lowest price I have seen was $50 and the highest was $175. She was from the mid 60's and made by Ideal. If you have one or know of one that you would be willing to sell please let me know.
3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.
Living in the middle of 10 acres that are trees I do see the trees. Hard not to. Figuratively, I often get so focused on the work at hand that that is all I see. I think for me it is a defense mechanism.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?
I do like a sour candy once in a while. I guess my favorite would be a green apple taste.
grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 
I love grapefruit with a bit of salt. This summer I am really into making fresh lemonade. and I love sour kraut with pork ribs. I have never had a kumquat. 
Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list
I have never eaten a kumquat. I probably never will just because of the name.
5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.
Fortunately, 2017 has been pretty mild compared to last year. Last year brought the first signs of my husband's dementia and hallucinations.  I have researched and am in overload, and have spoken with his doctor to the point of becoming a pest. I don't know if I am dealing with it any better, but I do have better understanding. I mean how do you deal with a hallucination that never goes away, but only gets worse. This latest one has been going one for a couple of months now. There is a big story involved.  If it weren't so sad I would laugh.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
A conversation with my son:
Him:  Mom, do you have any of Grandma's jewelry?
Me:     Yep, I have all of it.
Him:  Did she have any rings?
Me:    No, unfortunately she never wore rings. Why?
Him:  Mom! Why do you think I would be asking about rings?
Me:     Well, Kiddo I am sure I won't know until you tell me.
    My photo is in the dictionary by the word dense. Yes, yes it is a true fact.  He and his GF have been together 5 years. He is going to give her a ring. I am beyond thrilled. She is the best of the best. They are so good together.

An evening visitor
 Mommy bunny. In the 26 years we have lived here this is the first time we have ever seen bunnies. And have we seen bunnies! I think mommy looks like she will be bringing more into the flock. Are rabbit families called a flock? I have seen 3 different sizes of bunnies recently.
 Just because.

Friday, July 7, 2017

If it's Friday it must be time for Foto Friends #86

Last Thursday I met up with my cousin, and we went and visited an old family friend. This lovely woman is 95 and just as sharp as she was when I was growing up. She and my mom grew up across the street from each other. When D married she and her husband bought property on a lake and opened a resort. They also rented boats and motors. He has been gone a while now, but D is still there. She doesn't rent out anything now, but loved sharing our memories with us.

It was a wonderful place that I have so many memories of.  My family, which consisted of my mom, brother, and myself would go to the lake with my uncle, aunt, and cousin.  We would bring the cane poles, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets. Yes, us and all of the accouterments for the day went in the little VW bug.  We got some really strange looks form other drivers.
I would love to show you D's sweet face, but I forgot to ask permission. I don't know how she would feel about it. You will have to settle for photos of the lake.

Everything about the lake was as I remembered. The boat house was even the same color. There are a few more weeds than 30 years ago, but that just makes for good fishing.
We had a wonderful visit, but time passed quickly and soon it was time for us to leave. We left with promises of not staying away for so long, and also of promises of a boat and motor next time we/I come. A fishing licence is on my must buy list.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 312

The time really does  fly by. Especially during the summer months. To me the 4th of July has always signified the middle of summer. I know technically it isn't, but it feels that way.
 I now go to Hodgepodge celebrating the 4th of July.
I could not get the Hodgepodge symbol to my blog this morning. Sorry about that.
Here we go-

1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/or do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?
I think the best fireworks I ever saw had to have been in 1986. My son was 2 years old, and it was the first time he had seen fireworks. He was thrilled and amazed and excited the way only a child can be. Of course, when it was all over he was heartbroken, but we moved past that. Then he wanted to know how they were made and why they disappeared. 
My HOT BUTTONS are pushed when I am told I can't do something. Not anything illegal just something I want to do. I don't think I should have to ask permission to do what I want so being told no is a real button pusher. I see red when I am called an idiot. 
I get very angry/upset when I see a parent mistreating a child. If they do this in public I wonder what it must be like at home. I have stepped in before things got out of hand. Animals left in hot cars.
2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?
I have not hosted any parties this summer. It seems as if our hosting days are over. I was just missing that activity yesterday. In August I will be a guest/ host at a family party. My BFF's dad and step mom are coming into town. Yes, I am an official non-family family member. Her dad is very, very special to me. I knew him in high school, but didn't meet my friend til a year after. Strange but true my own family is having a reunion and I won't be attending.

3. What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom is pretty much what our Founding Father's thought it was. I want to be able to go where I want and when. I want to be able to speak my opinion and  not be  fearful.  I want to believe in God and practice my religion without fear.  I want to be able to have conversations with like minded people, and with those of different opinions.

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?
I really hate to see people driving while talking on their phone. Holding it up to their ear. I talk and drive, but I either use the speaker part of the phone or a headset. It takes less concentration this way. Concentration I can use for my driving. Holding the phone means driving one handed and not paying as close attention to the activity on the road.

5. What's your current summer anthem?
I'm not sure I understand what is required here. So I will go with music. One of my favorite songs of the summer is "Drift Away", by Dobie Gray.
You may listen to it here I hope:
If by anthem it means how I am living my summer it is by trying to stay cool. Brief periods outside, longer periods in the A/C. Flea market, garage sales and back into the a/c car.
6.  Insert your own random thought here.
I never thought of myself as being the blonde that blonde jokes come from. However, the consensus is that I truly am. What a shock. Here is why.
 I have tried to be a vegetable gardener, but have failed miserably. After several tries I gave up, and only grow flowers. I have much better luck. 
I was with my BFF at a nursery while she purchased plants for her garden. I started talking to the Master Gardener about my vegetable growing problem. 
 He asked all sorts of questions. How much did I water, what nutrients did I give my plants, did I make sure to weed. I answered just fine right up until he asked if my vegetable plants got flowers. I answered yes and I always made sure to dead head them. Wrong answer!! And there is my problem. I guess everyone in the world knows that you don't dead head vegetable plants, because that is where the vegetable comes from. 
I became blonde in just those few moments. However, that day at the garden center I did give some comedy relief to anyone who happened to overhear our conversation. Oh, and everyone my BFF called to tell the the story. 
I really don't mind, but I think I will color my hair red.

And what would my hodgepodge be without a photo.

This was taken at Limestone Lake in Minnesota.  We used to go there fishing and for picnics. The husband and wife who owned the area had a resort and rented out boats and motors. The wife grew up across the street from my mom and uncle. The Mr. has gone gone a while now, but Mrs. is still there at 95. She doesn't rent out anything now. I had the privilege of visiting with her last Thursday, and am making plans to go back. This time to fish and to visit some more.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Foto Friday Friends #84

If it's Friday it must be time for Friday Foto Friends. This is number 84.

After months and months of computer problems I think, maybe, I hope, and pray they are all fixed. 

Here we go:

An uninvited guest. He came into the yard a few weeks ago. Took down my bird feeder. He tried to get into the porch. It is a bit disconcerting to see his claw marks on the outside of the door. I am very thankful that they are on the outside and not the inside.

 The quality isn't the greatest. I wasn't about to go outside and ask his permission to take his picture. These were taken from the living room window.
 The iris' were blooming in my BF's garden while I was in the city.

It looks like a heart giving me a glimpse of the sky. It is the first thing I look at when I go outside for my morning coffee. I'm thinking of taking a photo each and every morning to see the different looks of the sky. Isn't God great to give me this heart? 
This little dragonfly took a nice long rest on my car's antenna one day. Every once in a while he would flit away, but come right back. I love his wings.