Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Saturday, May 31, 2014


One of my favorite flowers is the Lupine.  I use the word favorite loosely in this context.  It is probably easier to name flowers that I don't like.  (I even like some flowering weeds.)
Cell Photo by Trisha

Dale has been slowly adding a few flowers in front of his house.  He just added two lupine.  I walked by this one about four times over a five our period.  Every time that I walked by more pedals were popping out with color.  I took this before the rains started.  You can see that even though we've had random rain throughout the week, the soil is very dry.  We need to rain this weekend.  I just pray that it only rains and that it does not storm.

Have a beautiful Saturday!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Nature Walk

The girls love to go out to the lake and take walks.  One of the parks we go to has a trail through the woods.  It is often used by horse riders.  We haven't walked it for almost a month because the frost was coming out and it was so wet.  It has been in the 80's now for two weeks.  The frost has to be out by now.  I tried to walk the path but I kept running into wet, swampy, mucky areas of the trail.  I had to go off the path and into the taller grass (wood tick haven). I decided to take the short path.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Yellow Flowers
The wild violets are blooming (in yellow, white and violet/blue.)  I didn't take pictures of the mosquitos but they are in full bloom too.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Blue Flowers
It never ceases to amaze me how beautifully the spring flowers bloom despite the cold and uncooperative weather.
Cell Photo by Trisha
White Flowers with blue "faces"
To my surprise, at the edge of the path was this itsy-bitsy scull. Looking closely it looks like the skull might have been crushed.  I didn't see any other bones nearby.  But I can't say that I dug around to look either.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Does anyone know what animal that this might belong too?  My first thoughts are that it could be a squirrel or a rabbit.  
Cell Photo by Trisha
Skull on edge of trail

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What is next?

Last night we drove Dale's pickup truck to the shop to get the air conditioner recharged.  On the way back we drove by a cemetery just outside of town. Sprinkled through the cemetery were a half dozen graves with ambient lighting.
It makes me wonder:
Are they trying to light the way for the people in the graves?
Are they afraid of a cemetery in the dark?
Do they realize that the pretty that few see is causing maintenance issues? (They mow around all the trinkets at the graves. )
I know for thousands of years people have placed trinkets into and around places where loved ones are buried.  These lights for some reason just blew my mind.
Sorry for the blurry pictures but it was dark and a flash would have ruined what I wanted to show you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Welcome summer!

I am so glad that you are here at last! This weekend somehow we started all of our summer projects. Yes, it generally works better if you do one project at a time. But that just doesn't seem to happen very often.

Cell photo by Trisha
Preparing the ground for a path
Since the fence is up, I had to move the bridge. Under the bridge was the section of dirt that a couple of years ago Dale had dug up and put fabric underneath so that's no plants would grow there.  That means mud for the dogs to run through every time they are outside. The other side of the gate the dirt is just too high and it needs to be shaved down. So I'm going to dig it up and put block work on both sides of that gate.
Cell photo by Trisha
NW garden (shade garden)
Okay so we had to move that extra dirt someplace. For a couple of years I have been planning to put a garden on the NW corner of the house. Or should I say redo the garden that was there. I was supposed to pick up the brick on Friday but it was so hot we didn't I didn't want to leave the girls in the truck that long. Today Dale and I drove up and picked the block up. We buy at Home Depot because they give a discount for veterans and so Dale gets 10% off with his VA card. We started moving the dirt after the blocks were in place.
Cell photo by Trisha
NW garden in process
Back to the new fence: in an attempt diminish the dogs barking at everyone walking by, I have decided to weave the privacy ribbon through the fence on the sides by the sidewalk.  It is tedious and might just take all summer to finish.  
Cell photo by Trisha
Privacy Screen

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A gluten free meal

It gets difficult sometimes to get good flavor in a carb free meal. Today I had to make two meals: one for Dale and one for me. Dale had macaroni and cheese where garlic and herb fried hamburger.
I had a large mushroom top sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with garlic and garden fresh chives. About a four ounce hamburger (mixed with chives, garlic and herb seasoning). I sprinkled three cheddar cheese, finely ground, onto the top of the burger before adding the mushroom and sprinkling a little more cheese on the top.
Cell photo by Trisha
Mushroom topped cheeseburger
This evening I decided to make a cheesecake for the first half of the week. I used my base cheesecake recipe that I have shared before.  But I used peaches for the fruit and added some heavy whipping cream. Just before cooking I added a sprinkling of cinnamon on top (my taste test of the batter was lacking in cinnamon). I also added a dash of vanilla extract to boost the flavor.
Peach-coconut chocolate cheesecake sprinkled with cinnamon
To give you an update on my health with this new low carb eating,  in a single word WOW! I have noticed a fog lifting from my brain.  My focus is improving.  I am not as distracted as I have been in the past. My headaches have significantly decreased in frequency and pain level.  There has been a strange thing that I've noticed.  My allergies have not been as bad this spring.  Could it be another ailment that I thought was a lifelong issue is going away?

About a year ago I told my doctor that I was having difficulties swallowing.  That is gone.  I am not choking the way I used to right after eating.  I haven't had any dizzy spells in months.  I feel stronger and healthier than I have in a long time.  I was told one time that you don't know how bad you feel until you feel better.  I am beginning to understand that now.

My mother at one point received a diagnosis of "legally blind". She had cataracts.  The change in her eye site was so slow that she really didn't realize that she was legally blind.  In fact she was still driving until she received the diagnosis. After the cataract surgery,  she no longer needed the glasses that she had needed most of her life.  Her sight had diminished so slowly that she didn't realize how little that she was seeing.

As difficult as making lifestyle changes can be, I am glad that I have made this change! I would encourage anyone to try making this change for 6 months.  See what a difference that it will make in your life!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thank you to all who fought for our freedom

I almost missed the parade and memorial service in town.  Luckily the band meets a half a block away and started practicing.  I made it in time.
Memorial Day Parade - 5/26/2014
It is a small parade including color guard,  living veterans that are still capable of marching and the local school band. 
Cell photo by Trisha
I'm distracting Alan (former marine in 3rd row)
Cell photo by Trisha
Eden Valley - Watkins Band
A short wreath laying service at the local veterans park which is followed by a short Catholic Mass in the nearby cemetery.   This year I skipped going to the mass. (I'm not Catholic. )
Cell photo by Trisha
Flag raising ceremony
Memorial Day is a Federal designated day to say thanks to all those who have served for our freedom!  A day to acknowledge to the families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice and to remember the POWs that have never returned.
Cell photo by Trisha
A time of reflection
After the service,  one veteran sat down to watch the family with young children explore the tank in the park.   As I saw the reflective look on his face, I couldn't resist taking a picture.
Don't forget everyday to thank those around you for their military service.
Cell photo by Trisha
Veterans Memorial Park

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Who's bed is it anyways?

After supper Dale laid down to rest. The girls jumped up on the bed with him.  They took up 2/3 of the bed and he got a sliver on the side.  When I peaked into the room,  Duchess had settled in with her paw over Misty Blue. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Misty Blue and Duchess
How can you not love these precious girls?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Wright County Swappers Meet

It is the place to be on Memorial Day weekend. You can find almost anything at the swappers meet from antiques to unusual hair, homemade foods, healthy plants, and .... well you name it and at one time or another (if what you named was legal to sell) it has been at the swappers meet to sell. For those of us that live within a half an hour drive, we also find our friends and neighbors checking out the goods.  I look up and around more than I do at the vendors tables.
Cell photo by Trisha
Upon a Dare, Dale tried new hair
The swappers meet has a large fenced in area.  But on Holiday weekends, the vendors even accept spaces outside of the fence.  They know that the area is going to be so packed with people that it will pay to be there no matter what position that they fill.
Cell photo by Trisha
Vendor Tents and Tables
On the special weekends, people bring in games for the kids to play, pony rides and in a few places they have puppies for sale.  It is a family event.
Cell photo by Trisha
Games for kids
And this weekend, it attracted large groups of people.  We arrived just after 7 AM and left just after 9 AM but we did not make it down all of the lanes.  But I found a few plants that I was looking for and Dale found a pair on cooking tongs that he was looking for and we both had a grilled pork chop for breakfast.
Cell photo by Trisha
Swappers meet or State Fair?
When we arrived, we were lucky and got a parking spot up front.  When we left we were in such a good spot that there was a line of people waiting for us to get out.  We ended up in a line of traffic a half mile long with a half mile of traffic coming down at us.  This particular spot we had to cross over the line to safely move around someone that had parked on the side of the road.  The oncoming traffic had stopped as people were taking natural turns working around the people parked and walking down the side of the road.  I've never seen people parking out on the other side of the power sub-station before.  It has to be around 3/4 of a mile walk.  I hope they don't buy much.
Cell photo by Trisha
As we left just after 9AM long lines of vehicles

Puppy see, puppy do

After Dale finished work this evening we took the dogs out for a boat ride.  Misty Blue has had a difficult time getting used to riding in the boat. 
Dale started out slow around the lake.  Duchess stood on the bow to get a better view.  Misty Blue had to see what she was missing and she stood on the bow.  I could see her going over in ten feet of water and I called her down.
Cell photo by Trisha
Duchess on the bow of the boat
Cell photo by Trisha
Misty Blue on the bow of the boat
With their paws on a small bench that holds the live well and bait storage, the girls took turns standing up tall and sticking their noses over the side of the boat.  Whatever Duchess did, Misty followed closely behind.  She is learning and Duchess is enjoying being the leader.  But at about ten months old, Misty Blue is fearless in all the wrong places.
Cell photo by Trisha
Duchess sticks her nose out the side of the boat
Cell photo by Trisha
Misty Blue sticks her nose out the side of the boat
As we pulled up to the dock, Duchess jumped out of the boat and onto the dock.  A combination between her slightly larger size and the fact that she jumped first, allowed her to hit the dock running.  Misty Blue with her slightly shorter legs and the boat was now further away as Duchess pushed off against it and Misty didn't make it.  Her front paws hit the dock and the rest of her body landed in the water and she was quickly dog paddling.  It looked at first like she was going to make it to shore until she started panicking.

That left nothing more to do than for grandma Trisha to jump out of the boat and into the lake.  We were too shallow for me to jump safely and it made Dale nervous as I cautiously stepped over the edge of the boat and dropped myself into the icy cold water (okay it was 66 degrees but still too cold).  I quickly made my way over to Misty. She was shallow enough that I could touch the ground with my head above water.  I slid my arms under her belly and supported her as she paddled closer to shore.  
Cell photo belongs to Trisha
Do I look like a drown rat?

Dale laughed at me when we took off and I slid my spring jacket on.  I had thought quickly enough to leave my jacket and shoes in the boat while I jumped out.  So I was able to get rid of my drenched shirt and wear a dry jacket.  That jacket wasn't so silly at that point. Dale found a float (the square life preservers designed to toss out to someone in the water) for me to sit on.  Sweat pants retain water too well! I think that with Mischievous Misty in the house, I may need to start taking spare clothes with when we go on boat rides.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Satan's attack

Yesterday was a very bad day. It was one of those times when evil distorted the truth to get its own way.

That happens more and more all the time.   I learned many years ago to keep a CYA file (cover your ass). It came in handy yesterday.  I was able to pull out a conversation from the historical archives and prove that I had not said what I was being accused of saying.  I forwarded the document to those that needed to see it.

Not that it made a difference because evil has no interest in the truth.  I woke up this morning with another text message that someone had prayed for me. Twice within a week Satan has attacked and God has covered me with prayer warriors.

I must be doing something right for Satan to give me this much attention. And thanks to the prayer warriors who are willing to pray for people when God prompts them to pray.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ahlzeimers Disease - Type 3 Diabetes?

Starting on page 26 of the book "Grain Brain" by Dr. David Perlmutter he mentions that beginning in 2005 studies began to emerge describing Ahlzeimers as a third type of diabetes. Although I am only 7% through this book, I highly recommend reading it.

Do you have senior moments? Do you find yourself misplacing too many things? Do you know that all of that could really be tied to eating by the food pyramid as we've been taught since we were young? Earlier in this book I remember reading something about the pyramid needs to get flipped upside down.

I have noticed a few things with my health. First: everyday my thoughts are clearer, sharper. I am feeling stronger,  less tired and more energetic.  I have also been healed of an ailment that a doctor told me when I was in my early 20's that I would have to deal with the rest of my life! As I have been ditching carbs and switching in fats, I have been seeing or should I say realizing health benefits that are not absolutely astonishing. 

If you don't know who to believe anymore pick up the book Grain Brain and take a risk with your health.  Take a six month challenge.  The diet recommended by the US experts is 60% carbs,  20% of both fat and protein.  For 6 months eat the same number of calories but make them 75% from fat,  20% from protein and 5% carbs. Tell me how you feel.  If you are on medication for diabetes,  blood pressure,  cholesterol, etc monitor yourself closely.  As you get healthier,  you will need fewer medications.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fenced in

Harrah!  It is done.  I now have nearly 2000 square feet of yard fenced in for the dogs and I to play. 
Today was a rainy day.  But at lunch time the rain had let up and instead of driving out to the country,  we played fetch in the yard. It was a nice change of pace. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Duchess inside the fenced yard
I don't think that the girls have figured out yet what is going on.  They enjoy running free in the yard but they can't get to the garden. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Deep & Wide to about 2000 SQFT
This is the first of three major house projects for the spring/summer.  I am excited that the first one is done.  All three projects are outside of my skill level so I am dependant on others to complete the work.  I don't wait well!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Someone prayed for you today!

Radio station 98.5 KTIS has what they refer to as "prayer works". It is an area where you can sign in and post a prayer request.  I have posted a few prayer requests online over the years. 

Usually there are a flurry of prayers close to the posting dates.  For a few days or weeks.  Each time someone notes that they prayed for you a text message is sent.  (If you set up for texts.) Today out of the blue I received a text.

The timing was amazing!  A neighbor walked by that is harassing me. I am preparing to get a restraining against him. I could feel my blood pressure raise as I refrained from speaking my mind. That was when my phone pinged.

Later in the evening at the lake, I snapped a few pictures of the sun streaking through the clouds.  Look at the top of the clouds. Doesn't it look like the side view of two serpents? Maybe a double headed monster? The lower one has its mouth open.  And the light of God is beaming in from behind pushing the monster away.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Two-headed monster being pushed out of the way by God
Someone prayed for me today when God saw that I needed his help.  Then God gave me visual comfort because he understands that I am a visual person.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Planting time

Cell photo by Trisha
Tractor at the horizon (look under the ski lifts)
If you look at the horizon line across the field in a distant blurry image you can see a tractor planting corn.  Looking at the field in the foreground it is obvious that this field has already been planted.
Technology has changed so much over the years. Nowadays GPS units guide the men in the tractors to get perfectly straight lines. I love driving by the fields and watching the crops grow slowly throughout the summer.
Cell photo by Trisha
Freshly Planted Field
Today in the temperature was in the mid 60's. The perfect temperature to drive with my windows down. But with all the tractors in the fields, I can already tell my spring allergies are going to come on tough. I should know enough by now to plan ahead and start taking allergy medicine as believe bud out. I guess I continually hope that by some miracle I will get over my allergies.

Just a few weeks ago I found out my youngest nephew shares some of my allergies. I have an unusual food allergy. I am allergic to bell peppers;  red, yellow, and green. He took a bite of a supreme pizza and immediately started getting sick. He was down sick for a couple of days with all the same symptoms that I have when I eat bell peppers. At least he knows he's not alone. His mom was able to tell him auntie gets sick just like you do. I still say it is amazing how many chefs don't know how to add flavor to food without bell peppers!

Sorry for my tangent. I guess that's why my friends will say, "squirrel!"

Friday, May 16, 2014

How is the weather today?

We were starting a company meeting today as one of the vice presidents of the company heckled me about 3 feet of snow in my yard (today). I told him it was a beautiful day; low to mid 50's and partly sunny.
During the meeting we did a company role call. Roger had put together a map of the US and placed our photos over the region where we live.   Another coworker lives an hour East of me. At this point in the meeting they asked her if I told the truth was it a beautiful day? She hadn't heard my description earlier and she said "No, it is cold.  In the mid 50's and mostly cloudy."
I couldn't help but laugh out loud.  Luckily I was muted. I wonder how many others heard both descriptions and realized they were the same with a different viewpoint.
The temperature dropped as the sun went down.  We stopped by Lake John on the way home for the dogs to run. It was a fabulous view! How could this be considered anything other than a beautiful day?
I was playing with the settings on my cell phone camera.  There is panoramic and fish eye along with a normal setting.
Cell photo by Trisha
Fish Eye View (6 photos together)
Cell photo by Trisha
Panoramic View
Cell photo by Trisha
Standard View

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I have contracted with 3 different contractors to work on 3 projects this spring.  Every two to three years I make a significant investment in home repairs.  Which means that I hire the work done because I want to make sure that it gets done and done well.

This year I am having my basement tuck pointed, my yard fenced, and my roof shingled. The guys were going to work on the basement last week but when I went down to turn the outside faucet on it was too moist.
Cell photo by Trisha
The North Gate
The team was here today putting up the posts for the fence and the gates.  Working from home is fabulous except when the dogs think they need to run in and out constantly. 
Cell photo by Trisha
South Gates
Starting next week I will be able to let them out and not need to be tethered to them or tether them to the clothesline pole. God has given the animals to us for us to care for.  And for the protection of our girls I am fencing in nearly 2000 square feet of my yard.  They should like that!

Genesis 1: 26-27
Then God said, "Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Childhood Memories ... Church Steeples

I remember this dexterity game as a child. Put your hands together back to back while you intertwine the middle, ring and pinky fingers together. Roll your hand so the palms are together.  The pointer fingers are touching and the thumbs rest side by side.

Here is the church.  Here is the steeple (tap the tips of the pointers together.) Open the doors (pull the thumbs apart and roll the hands palms up. Then wiggle the fingers) and see all the peoples.
Cell photo by Trisha
Wooddale Church Steeple
When we walked out of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota Friday evening the steeple was lit up.  The 220 foot steeple is visible for a long distance in the day light but it radiates after dark. It reminded me of a church in Spain, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.  The architecture of the building presents the gospel.  At Wooddale church the bottom of the steeple reminds me of the church congregation bound together by the Holy Spirit (you can see 2 of 3 sides in the picture.) The Trinity pulls together at the cross that points the people towards heaven.
Cell photo by Trisha
Pointing mankind towards Heaven

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Opening Fishing

It was a beautiful day today despite the cloudy skies and sprinkles that drifted down periodically. We went to Wally's cafe for brunch.  They put tablecloths and flowers on the tables.  They normally have a very good breakfast buffet. But today they added boasted chicken, turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and corn.
Cell photo by Trisha
Grandpa! There is a fish in there!
After lunch we headed out fishing.  Misty Blue hasn't been in the boat very much. She was a little nervous. She was absolutely fascinated with what grandpa was doing and had to watch him take every fish off from the hook. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Duchess takes a bow
Duchess, when she wasn't laying on the bow of the boat, was right next to Misty Blue. I am not sure if it was jealousy or an extended curiosity. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Look! Look! A BIG sun fish!
It was a day for turtle tanning too! It didn't matter if it was on docks or logs from fallen trees.  I didn't even pick up a fishing pole. I watched the girls and did some  knitting.  For the most part I just relaxed.
Cell photo by Trisha
Turtles on the dock
Cell photo by Trisha
Turtle Tanning Time

Monday, May 12, 2014

God whispered your name to me!

God speaks to everyone differently.  One of the ways he speaks to me are whispers mingled in amidst my thoughts.  Mostly names of people.  Friends that I haven't seen from or heard from in a long time when there names come into my active memory.

Driving around the area before the event started, the Lord whispered Linda in my ear.  A friend from years ago that now lived in the area that I was driving (I found that out the next day.) I knew the church we were going to fit around a thousand people.  What were the chances that I would get to see Linda?

Friday evening when my sister was taking pictures of the organ pipes at Wooddale church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, I remembered that the last time that I was there was for my college graduation from Crown College. It was a random memory of one of the last happy events while my mother was alive.

Saturday morning during the break I was talking with my sister in between the sales tables when I heard a voice. As I turned my head the woman speaking stepped in front of me close enough for me to reach out and hug. I am sure that I shocked her as I took her shoulders in my hands and said ,"Hey Linda it's Trisha!" Linda had also attended my college graduation with my parents, grandma Erickson, Aunt Paula and Uncle Alan.

Cell Photo belongs to Trisha
Finding Friends in Unexpected Places
I didn't ask her if I could post her picture so I put a heart sticker over her face.  God works in mysterious ways as long as we are willing to be open ourselves up to his leading.  God worked in both out hearts to move us to a spot where we could meet up and catch up.  A special blessing for the weekend.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Be Among Friends

Friday evening and Saturday morning, May 9-10, Wooddale church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota hosted a Kathy Troccoli conference. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Kathy Troccoli in concert
It was a beautiful time; a mountain top experience.
Without a formal count I would guess that there were 200-250 women in attendance.  My sister and her friend purchased tickets then sh received an email that she won 3 more tickets.  They invited 3 more people.  At the last minute one person didn't make it.
Cell photo by Trisha
Be Among Friends
The conference was a mix of Kathy Troccoli's music with worship music by Michelle Margiotta and teachings from both Kelly Minter and Angela Thomas. Every one on stage was truthful, transparent and tested.

Cell photo by Trisha
Kelly Minter
Friday evening in the hotel room the women in the room shared what they walked away with from the evening sessions.  We all heard the same messages but we all heard something different. The men I know would be more likely to say someone was right and the others were wrong. But as women we accept that the same words can mean entirely different things to different people.
I don't take notes because I've found that I never go and look at them. The key phrases and words that are sticking in my head from the weekend are as follows:
  • I am beautiful
  • God sees us (and faithfully responds)
  • God can use us any where if we are if we let him.
  • God works when we work with him.
  • When you call on God for help be ready to act.
  • Embrace your life.  Yes, it's your life.
    • Don't blame anyone for it
    • Don't try to pawn it off on someone else
    • Don't try to take someone else's life
    • Depend on God to walk with you through each day
  • God whispers
  • God is speaking you need to do your part and listen...that means taking time to be quite.
The last one I need to explain.  I am a thinker and as can happen in a large group, I was deprived of my reflective time by people needed to speak nearly non stop.  I don't mean that derrogetorily.  Their personality leads them to the physical need to talk.  They think through things by talking them out. But when they finished talking through their thoughts they kept on talking.

I am still working through my thoughts. But I wanted to share what a fabulous time that I had. I have already posted two other posts from the event including signing on stage with Kathy Troccoli.  (The photo below was taken before that event.) I have at least one more that I will post. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Kathy & Trisha