About Me

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Within the confines of this blog, you will find bits and pieces of the life and times of myself, my family and friend dear and near., far and wide, few and far between. You will find bits and pieces of my world, tho small to some, but huge to me. You will find everything from 'soup to nuts',; recipes, hobbies,crafts, gardenings,loves of my life, GrandLoves-a-Plenty, and even my pets... Sooo, if you can handle family life, enjoy the tour of my 'Stuffings'.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beat the Heat, Quick

Let's take a quick stroll through the yard before this intense heat takes control of our gardens.  So far it's been a productive season.
 The radishes have been amazing,...some larger than that quarter lying between them at the top of the bunch, and so sweet.  Yes, sweet, only a couple hot ones, the rest are mild and crunchy.  What a great addition to our salads.
 Grow Garden, Grow! ~ Just like the washtub of lettuces that get munched on daily.  A variety sits right by the deck and I'm happy to see everyone helping themselves to a snack.
 Everything in our gardens have been grown organic, as the term goes now, since I can remember and now they have a word for it.  

 The Lollipop Lilies are beginning to burst.  They are loving their little spot in the shade of the Spruce tree in this heat.  I will sprinkle past-dated yeast around them to keep the deer from nibbling on them.  My sis says it works and I hang on her every gardening advise...most times.  Meanwhile, do you see the Euschistus (Stink Bug) in the center of the next bloom?  I wonder if his family is responsible for eating my flowers.  Don't they know they are only to Stop and Smell?
 Something is eating away at my roses~~~grrr.

 The bright sunset colors of the unknown Asiatics are lighting up the end of the horse-shoe driveway.  Loveit!!
 Five generations ago, my GGGrandma T grew these tall, slender shoots of Monk's Hood.  I love them, and already have shared them with my daughter.  I wonder if they are growing.  I never did tell her I popped them in the ground by her house-(south side Little One, if they are coming they would be blooming now.)
 The Curly Parsley is purely decorative in this case, but I do love snitching some for Parsley Buttered Potatoes.
 My Dear Man dusted the Cabbages with a concoction that seems to be working well again.  It's  2 Tblsp. of cayenne pepper to every cup of flour.  Bugs-be-gone.  The flour congests the system of the cabbage worms and moths and the cayenne keeps the other critters from temptation.
 My Man Bill, has been helping ' The Potato Guy,' so dubbed,  with the tilling, discing edges, mowing lawn around the field, early fertilizing, and now spraying for potato bugs.  The heat and humidity brings them in droves.  Four hours after spraying and they are goners.  The potato field is being treated entirely organic, so no pesticides.  If this test field is successful, the entire field will become organic.  Sweet!
 We are as excited about the success thus far, as ' The Potato Guy ' is.  This picture was taken a week ago and the plants have doubled in size and are blossoming.  Yipee!
 I could not leave this page without showing you a tiny patch of Sweet Williams...planted years ago.  They kept getting mowed off but finally, they are showing their colors.
More Sweetness surrounds me.
We are so fortunate to have a little piece of heaven all our own.  
Thanks for stopping by and 
walking with me.  Let's go inside and cool off.
Iced Sweet Tea anyone?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Peonies and What is that Sound?

In just a week, the Peonies burst practically out loud.  Their scent fills a room with a single stem, sweet but not at all overpowering.  Who would not love such glory as that!
 From the many shades of rose 
to the whitest of white, my peonies bring joy.
 Every one of my senses is enjoying the peonies before they come and go for the season, so quickly.
I see their beauty all in a row as I smell them perfume the air.    To touch their satin petals suggests an elegance about them, no matter their names, such as Sarah Bernhardt,  White Wings,  Bowl of Beauty...oh, there are hundreds.
I would Never, Ever taste one, nor any animal would try. The Peony, any part of it, is so toxic, poisonous to the point of no return, particularly the flowers. 
However, if one cares to listen very carefully, you just may hear the ants scurrying around within the petals.  They seem to delight in it's scent as much as I. 
 Thankfully, I was able to cut just one last bouquet before the down-pours of rain, cracking of thunder and bolts of lightening that's  loved our neck of the woods lately. 
Note to self:  do not complain of the rain as the water tables are still low in spite of flash flooding.

 On a brief visit to our daughter's, she says there was such a racket, sounding peculiar, unlike a bird...what could it be?
It came from the waving Walnut trees, the towering pines, the past-bloom lilac hedge.
 She knew it was not the cardinals, as she sees and hears them often, 
 nor the wren that seems to have abandoned it's nest.
 Certainly it was not the hum of many grasshoppers
daring to munch away on her rose colored Weigela.
 It almost sounds like it's meowing.  Well, of course, it was the Grey Catbird singing it's song.  Just as we were talking about him, he showed himself, perching on the electric fence.
That brings to mind a great curiosity.   Just how can birds sit on electric wire without getting zapped?   Mr. Catbird was sitting on a 3-mile wire, which shoots a pretty strong punch.   It sure sends a horse a-galloping, even with a quick swish of his tail barely touching the hot line.  (Sorry, I did not get a picture of that.)

All in all, another great week!  There could be more to come.
Here's wishing you all a joyous Sunday

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Skip A Beat

A favorite sight from our fishing trip, was this quaint little barn, set back in the middle of no-where-land.
Upon closer inspection, I could see a fishing net in the hay hole/door.  A fisherman from the past once loved this barn as much as I do, just seeing it once. 

I always did have an irrational devotion to barns.  They represent a quickly fading part of the past in our own township.  It's really quite sad. 

 It could be the reason I am so bent on keeping our little red barn ' useful,' even tho it no longer holds farm animals.  It does still hold treasures of the past, lawn and garden tools, planters, etc.,  as well as so many memories of the animals we once kept.  

At one time, our little red barn housed cows and their calves, sows and their piglets, many cats and kittens, faithful dogs, pigeons in the loft, as well as chickens in the coop off the barn, hmm, and our daughter's first horse.  (That's a story for another time.) 

Only the slab of concrete remains of the coop.  It now has an adirondack chair and a retired bird house surrounded by lilacs and rhubarb.   

The loft is now full of aging lumber, antiques, seed for the hunters food plots, outdoor reindeer and a snowman full of lights, many old windows and doors to be re-purposed 'some day.'   But, the pulley that once pulled stacks of loose hay still remain, as well as the heavy worn rope.  The floor boards are in fairly good shape, only a few need replacing.  The two hay holes where the loose or baled hay was thrown through to feed the cattle in the winter, still remain.  One is covered, the other is used to pass stored lumber or lawn furniture through as it's needed.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Old Weathered Barns,
I Love Them All

There will always be a very special place in my heart for my little red barn.  It also reminds me of the red barn that still stands at the farm of my youth.  Come think of it, there are so many barns dear to my heart, so many places I had grown up.  Barns of aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents.  No wonder my love of barns runs so deep.

Have the most fine week, my friends.
Find what makes your soul skip a beat.

The Bittersweet Launch

Good Ol' Dad,
A man and his tractor,
His 1950 International, 
the year I was born.
 There wasn't much Dad would not attempt,
but he was most proud of his family and all he could do for us.
The last few months of his life on this earth,
he was bound and determined to build just
' One ' more watercraft, this time a riverboat.
It would be the sixth and the last he would mastermind.
 When asked  where he got the pattern, 
asked by a riverboat guide that happened to be on the river the day of the launch, his answer was,
" Right here." as he pointed to his forehead.
He built it, guiding the hands of his sons and sons'-in-laws,
he launched it,
 he celebrated, saying, " She glides through the water like a hot knife through butter."  The pride on his face was bittersweet.
We knew, he knew, this was a milestone.
 No longer, did Dad have the strength to take another river trip alone, or trap the river he grew up loving from the time he was a teenager.  He knew he would never fish these waters again, without a helping hand.  For that, he was sad.
 This vision, the one of Dad and Mom, hand in hand, admiring their work completed, holds fast in my heart.  
He was the father of 10 children of whom he devoted his life building a happy home for all of us.
Among the many children, were a set of twins that miss him terribly.  I would be the dark haired darling on Dad's right arm, still needing his support.  Thanks Dad, for always being there for me, even now, years after your passing into the Lord's heavenly fold.
I'm jealous of that honor and wait to see you again.
Happy Father's Day 
To All You Wonderful Fathers Out There In Cyberspace


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Over the River To~

Hello Again~
Over the River and we were on our way.  

 ( To enjoy a closer look, click on any photo )
 On our way to our week long fishing holes for our favorite pan fish, Bluegill, Sunnies, Pumpkinseeds, Crappie, and anything else that wanted to jump in the boat.
 I had a very hard time fishing when the sun was setting.
I just could not take my eyes off the good Lord's artwork.
I think my Dad was up there instructing.
 The fishing was great, given the chance between storms.  Very nice Bluegill there, Baby.  My sis kept asking him what he was measuring this time, each time the tape measure came out.  
This catch was 10 1/2 inches long.  A keeper!
 See, I just cannot get enough of that gorgeous sky and
 those unbelievable mirror images.  WOW!

 And then the storm hit.
 The lights went out and the power outage lasted 38 hours, long enough to remind us how lucky we are to have the convenience of running water...lake water was our ' flushing ' system for a couple of days...who says, ' oh, the good ol days,'  anyway.
 That eerie yellow sky was creepy.  Yellow to the north and black to the south...nothing but loud thunder claps, bolts of jagged lightening, and heavy rains from every conceivable direction.  We fished  3 out of 7 evenings of our vacation, and ended up going home a day early due to rain.
 We still ate well, played a lot of card games, like Phase 10 and Card Monopoly...now those were fun.  The company was great and the laughs were plenty, even when
 our boat nearly sank.  Bailing it out with a butter bowl just was not going to do it.  The storm nearly sunk it...motor and all.
 Who's afraid of a little storm anyway~~~
 We got to get out there and see a few things we haven't seen in quite some time, like a muskrat run, and
 ducklings hitching a ride on their mama's back.  
( Oh, speaking of hitching a ride, a field mouse hitched a ride from WI. to MN. with us in our boat.  He ran around in it for two nights, but got booted off for disrupting the passengers.  The lil' rodent crawled right up the middle of my back, up my ponytail and that was enough.  Off he went into the briny deep!!! )
 As I was saying, before the mouse tale,  the Orange Hawkweed were looking fine in the fields, as were 
 the Wood Anenome.  There were huge patches of them along every field and roadside.  Pretty as the first snow of winter.
 The ditches were wild with Showy Lady's Slippers.  They are the pride of Minnesota and rightly so.
 Family outings were seen everywhere among the waterfowl like the family of Canadian Geese that left a messy shore.  Careful where you walk.   They are wonderful to see., the Canadian Honkers, as we call them.
 But, the one thing I look forward to the most, when near any lake, is the call of the Common Loon.  This red-eyed fella was calling his mate home just at sunset.  I sat on the dock admiring him for the longest time hoping he'd swim closer.
Even tho our week was cut short, it was still a very good one.  The R&R  was good, as was the company we kept and all of those laughs. 
It rained nearly all the way home.  Turning in the driveway, it was amazing to see how much the gardens had grown....but that's for another time...until then,
Thanks for stopping by and 
with a wonderful weekend.