Friday, November 25, 2011


Happy morning after Thanksgiving Day!  The carcass is being picked to the bare bones and will be placed in the pot shortly.  Turkey vegetable soup coming up.  How many of you are doing the same thing?  Are you all enjoying this sunrise though?  I am blessed to see this out my kitchen window this morning.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

GFCFVML Thanksgiving dinner

I arose at four this morning, unable to sleep because of the daunting task awaiting me today.  I am making my first ever GFCFVML Thanksgiving meal.  That would be a gluten free, casein free, vegetarian, meat lovers Thanksgiving dinner.  Wish me luck!  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Have a wonderful day.  I hope you are surrounded by family and friends, and lots of good eats.  And maybe even some good weather.  The weather people are saying this may be the warmest Thanksgiving Day EVER in Minnesota.  We just may hit 60 degrees today!  Unreal for the end of November!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

 Come, ye thankful people, come;
Raise the song of Harvest-home.
All be safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied.
Come to God's own temple, come;
Raise the song of Harvest-home.

All the world is God's own field.
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear.
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord, our God shall come
And shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day
All offenses purge away;
Give His angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast,
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come
To Thy final Harvest-home;
Gather Thou Thy people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin.
There, forever purified,
In Thy garner to abide.
Come with all Thine angels, come,
Raise the glorious Harvest-home.

Henry Alford, 1810-1871

Monday, November 21, 2011


Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.
Feed the birds, that's what she cries,
While overhead her birds fill the skies.

Does anyone remember this scene from Mary Poppins?  Mary is in the bedroom holding the snow globe with the cathedral and all the birds inside, singing Feed the Birds to the children.  It's a very sweet song, and I once read it was Walt Disney's favorite.

This woodpecker feels safe enough during the first snow on Saturday to munch on the suet hanging right outside our kitchen window.
All of a sudden we are overrun by sparrows!  But they are cute.

Some were in the heated water this morning, but flew quickly when I appeared at the window with the camera.  I guess they were embarrassed to be photographed while bathing!
And it's not just birds that need to eat.  Chris and Amy made a dish like this when they were here, almost two weeks ago now.  They used onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, and kale and we served it with a pork loin fixed on the grill.  I added some sausage when I made another pan full this past week.  Good eating!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


It hit me right in the face last night.  The wind.  The cold wind.  Full smack in the face.  And now I remember exactly what I didn't like about North Dakota.  The wind.  The cold wind.  Right now the temperature outside our lodging quarters on base is 5 degrees.  With a wind chill or feels like temperature of 4 below zero.  Now I remember.  And guess what?  I still don't like the cold wind.  Brrrrr!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Two days ago I wrote about the problems I was having with the phone company.  I had time to stop there today between the laundry and the hair cut.  As I walked up to the door I kind of peaked in the window to see if Mr. Swift Talking, Double Talking Sales Associate was there.  I didn't see him, so I entered the store.  Believe me, if I had seen him in there, I would have left and come back at another time!  I went up to the counter where I was greeted by Teri, the nice lady who had tried to help me last month before Mr. Swift Talking, Double Talking Sales Associate stepped in and took over.  She recognized me and asked how the phone was working.  I told her the phone was fine.  I told her that with the 70 minutes of work that the above mentioned person supposedly had done for me, my bill was indeed lowered.  By $1.93!  I told her that was not acceptable!  She remembered the whole previous visit and agreed that it wasn't correct.  And she said she would be happy to help me figure it out.  And she said that Mr. STDTSA was no longer working there!  I mumbled under my breath "I wonder why?"  Teri proceeded to look everything up, found that such and such was not changed correctly so I was being charged two different plans, and that hubby's phone was incurring charges every time someone texted him when we had specifically requested that texts be blocked on his phone.   He does not want to text.

I left within a half an hour.  Teri was fabulous.  She kept apologizing for Mr. STDTSA and I kept telling her that it was not her fault.  My phone bill is now fixed to reflect the price I was quoted three months ago.  And they again took a huge chunk of this bill off.  I believe it will now be okay.  And I told Teri that I did not expect to come in to complain again next month, but that I would stop back to wish her a Merry Christmas.  Maybe I'll bring her a plate of cookies.  She was professional, something that had been lacking when Mr. STDTSA was there. 

I am happy!


Today is my 8 am Bible study with some of my favorite girls and I need to start getting ready for that soon.  Then this afternoon is my monthly haircut.  So it's a very good day!  Tomorrow we are heading north to see our kid and grandkid in North Dakota.  So it will be a good week!

Just a followup on the last post.....I didn't get to the phone company yesterday as I worked at the lunch at a funeral at church for over four hours.  A beloved member of our church passed away.  We lived next door to them back when I was in my late teens, so I knew them and their kids very well.  This humble man was the principal of the small Lutheran high school I attended, and later became academic dean and then president of the small college.  It was a sad day as we said goodbye to a wonderful man, but it was a fun day as we reconnected with the family and friends.  Funerals are like that, aren't they.

Our Chris and Amy have left to visit her folks, and then to return to Alaska on Thursday.  We had such a good time when they were here.  I love those kids so much......and Stella, too, of course.  Can't wait for next August when we'll head up there for a couple of weeks with them.  But remember the cover for the pergola that they built for us?  Well, we are using it.  Now that the temps are in the 30's, we're probably not going to be out there quite as much, but we love it and will probably bundle up and sit out there until the snow gets too deep!
The wood still has to be stained, but it's too cold to do that now so it will have to wait until spring.  It turned out much better than I dreamed it would.  Did I tell you that hubby is getting tired of my ideas?  But I think it was a good one!

Bye bye Chris and Amy.  Come again, any time, and stay as long as you can.  Love you to pieces!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We don't have a land line.  We don't have a car phone.  We each have a cell phone.  His is the most basic phone they offer.  He can say hello and goodbye and that's about it.  He does not text.  In fact, he may use his phone for about 13 minutes a month!  I have a smart phone, but don't purchase apps or music or watch TV or movies or do anything that would cause additional charges.  Is any of this too difficult?  Why can't the phone carrier get it straight?

The problem started when I upgraded my phone.  Oh, I was assured that all would be fine and even though they couldn't give me a "real" monthly charge, they did give me an approximation.  I had paid for my phone upgrade up front, so that wouldn't be included on the billing.

Last month I received a bill for $158.89, which was way over the numbers they had given me, so I marched down to the phone store where the swift double talking salesperson assured me once again that every thing would be fine.  The plan had been set up wrong, and now that he had fixed it, the correct amount would appear this month.  Then in his generosity, he took $100 off last month's bill to show me that I was a valued customer and that they were working with me to fix THEIR mistake.  I thanked him for his help and  for the bottle of water he gave me during our 70 minute visit, and left the store, hopeful that things were corrected.

Yesterday I received my next bill.  $156.96.  Oh, thank you so much Mr. Swift Double Talking Salesperson!  I never dreamed you would be able to lower my bill by a whole $1.93!

I'll see you first thing tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


On November 10, 1975, our family was living on K. I. Sawyer AFB near Marquette, Michigan, where hubby was stationed in the Air Force.  We remember this happening faintly, but the song that Gordon Lightfoot wrote just a few weeks later, has remained strong in our memories, and each year one of us mentions "remember when we were in Michigan and the Fitzgerald went down?"  The Lightfoot song has a haunting melody, and one can't read the words to the song without the notes coming along with the words!

Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
Music and lyrics ©1976 by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee."
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
when the skies of November turn gloomy.
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty,
that good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
when the "Gales of November" came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
coming back from some mill in Wisconsin.
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
with a crew and good captain well seasoned,
concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
when they left fully loaded for Cleveland.
And later that night when the ship's bell rang,
could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
and a wave broke over the railing.
And ev'ry man knew, as the captain did too
'twas the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
when the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
in the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came the old cook came on deck sayin'.
"Fellas, it's too rough t'feed ya."
At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in; he said,
"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
and the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when 'is lights went outta sight
came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
when the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
if they'd put fifteen more miles behind 'er.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
they may have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
in the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
the islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
with the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
in the "Maritime Sailors' Cathedral."
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they call "Gitche Gumee."
"Superior," they said, "never gives up her dead
when the gales of November come early!"

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Have you had enough posts on building the pergola?  Fed up with redoing the back yard?  Ready to move on to other subjects?  Well just hold your horses.  We will get to other things shortly.  Meanwhile consider this.  It's well into November, the weather has been beautiful with sunny skies and no rain or snow, we use the pergola every single day, and we're dreading the rain and snow that will be starting any minute now and will make our daily visits to the patio pretty cold and wet.  So, when son Chris comes home from Alaska to visit us, and he and Amy are enjoying our back yard with us, AND HE IS A CARPENTER....what do you think is happening?  Well, we are putting a solid covering on the pergola to make it useable for a longer time!

After considerable talking and measuring and ciphering, hubby and son were off to the big box lumber store and several hundred dollars later, we have another project!

 Hubby is using his new jig saw that he bought on Amazon to cut the whoop-di-doos on the ends of the roof pieces.  They will then match the whoop-di-doos on the ends of the pergola cross beams.  Chris is doing all the hard work, and all of the climbing on the top of the roof work.  He's only 40 and still able to do such things whereas hubby is 68 and grounded.
Hopefully the roof will have enough of a slope that the snow will slide off.  I think we will find out maybe tonight.  Forecast is calling for a rain snow mixture for southern Minnesota.  Meanwhile, the building project will continue this morning, thanks to our own personal carpenter.
This beautiful lady is Her Royal Highness, the Princess Stella.  Now Stella loves to play ball.  Stella is addicted to playing ball.  You might say she lives to play ball.  The night before every one had been taking their turn throwing the ball for her, and she'd have it back at your feet in about 17 seconds, ready for the next throw.  Arms were getting pretty sore from throwing, and after a pretty strenuous session of fetch, Stella was told that it was enough for now, and Chris put the ball up on the rafters of the pergola.  Yesterday morning when Stella woke up she went right to the back door, and when I let her out she went immediately to the spot and sat, staring up at the corner where her ball was waiting for the next round.  She is the funniest grand dog!
These orange candles on my new table topper look like Thanksgiving to me.  And I am being very thankful right now.  Having Chris and Amy with us for a few days, having one of my kids at my supper table each night, can't help but remind me of God's wonderful blessing of family.  And I am thankful.

Friday, November 04, 2011


I made this yesterday for a birthday gift for a daughter-in-law.  It came from this tutorial by my blogging friend, Kristyne,  who does some of the nicest work I've seen.  And it was easy!

Now I am waiting patiently (NOT patiently!) for Chris and Amy to come, which won't be until tomorrow.  And we found out they are bringing grand dog, Stella!  All the way from Alaska!  Can't wait to see them all!
Wonder if she'll remember us?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Other than the fact that this sat in my UFO pile for about 9 months, and other than the crooked bottom edge, and other than the uneven stitching, and other than it's dark because I took the picture at six in the morning,  I love this table runner!

It's made from a Honey Bun of Sandy Gervais' Christmas fabric called Adoring and is a gift for someone who had a birthday last April.

Our son from Alaska, Chris, is on his way home for a visit.  He and Amy boarded the ferry last night in Seldovia, spent the night in Homer, will drive to Anchorage today, fly tomorrow, spend Friday with her folks, and will come here on Saturday for a few days before they go back to her folks.  I can't wait!
We last saw them in January when we went to Alaska for dear SIL Gail's funeral.  Chris was last home in April of 2008   when he came home to visit his grandmother, my mom, a few months before she moved to Heaven.   If you clicked the last link, you know he brought halibut that trip.  He hasn't mentioned fish this time, so I don't think he's been fishing recently.  Guess I'll have to feed him from my freezer where I have plenty of food, but no halibut.  Chicken thighs or pork loin?