Coming Soon: Free Book

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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Snack time

After seeing the chickadees picking off the sunflower on the ground.  I decided to move the shepherd hook and put it over where the sunflower was growing.  When I took down the sunflowers from the other side of the garden, I saved the heads.  I will put them out until they are gone.
Winter Sunflower Feeder
One of the chickadees noticed the misplaced sunflower head and decided to check it out. (All of these photos are take through window and screen.)

This is new ...

The Chickadee investigated the seeds carefully choosing to target one specific seed.  It was fun to see that tiny little head twist and turn with curiosity.
Hmm Do I see anything good?
I saw the bird look straight at me before flying away.  When I examined the picture, I noticed that unlike the other day when it pulled a whole seed and shell out, this time the bird had only the seed in it's mouth.  It flew away with the snack ready to eat or share with a friend.  

Hate to eat and fly, but ....
I guess if they drop some sunflower seeds here, I really don't mind.  That would be a good flower for the summer to block the traffic from the road.  That is what I don't care for living in town.  Pros and Cons for everything :^)

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Even the clouds today said "I am cold!" The wind was blowing in from the North and the 48 degrees felt a good ten degrees colder.  Despite the sad cold feeling, there was a drama in the colors of the clouds that drew me in ... from greys to a bright blue and the bit of sunshine peeking through!
Late fall cold skies blowing in
It takes me a while to adjust to the winter cold.  And the year of 2014 for the spring, summer and fall it seems like it has been so windy in comparison to other years. And that wind blows cold through and through.  I will be begging for snow just after Thanksgiving, if we haven't seen any by that point.  There is just a tradition of having the snow on the ground for the Christmas Holiday in Minnesota. Oh NO! I can't be talking about Christmas already! 
I wanna be a storm Clouds
I am not going to be around for Halloween.  I have a doctors appointment in the afternoon that will be taking me out of town. I am sure as soon as I get back to town, we will be going out for supper.  It will be interesting with Halloween on a Friday to see how busy that the neighborhood bars will be.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The little things in life can bring pleasure.  I have noticed in the morning when I open the curtains by my desk that there are some chickadees that like to take a couple of seeds from this sunflower.  I didn't plant the sunflower.  It was a natural growth probably from a bird.
Bird planted sunflower
I had to giggle in the afternoon when I saw a chickadee return.  It carefully picked up a seed and took it over to the brick pillar and dropped it into the hole.  At first when I saw it land on the top of the pillar, I thought that it was going to use the brick to crack open the seed.  I was surprised when I saw it push it far into the hole.
A small hole in a cement pillar

Then it took another one and headed to the electric line pole that a woodpecker likes to peck at and create holes. I am not sure if it found a hole or crack large enough to stash it in. But it was sure trying before it flew away.  Maybe next time I will actually be able to get a picture of the chickadees.  I put up a shepherd's hook and hung a feeder with some sunflower heads from the garden.  Maybe the birds will plant a few more in that section of the garden. :^)
Woodpeckers favorite telephone pole

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The leaves are down and the cold winds blow

Corn stalk bales
The farmers in the field rushing to bring in the crops before the snow begins to fly.  But the high winds, cloudy skies and cold front that passed through was a staunch reminder that winter is on the way.  It is October 28th already and we have had amazingly warm weather this fall.  Maybe that is why today hit me so hard.  I live in Minnesota which means that cold and snow will come the only questions are when? how much? and how cold?

Keep smiling.  There is something comforting about seeing the crops harvested, don't you think?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Misty Blue

Last week, I glanced over the corner of my desk and I saw Misty Blue sitting in a ray of sunshine as it spread across the floor.  Her little head was softly bobbing up and down.  She was using all of her strength to hold up her head.  Just like a toddler fighting sleep when it is time for their afternoon nap.
Misty Blue fights sleep
Finally she laid down her head.  It wasn't but a few seconds and she sat back up.  Oh, she was fighting sleep so hard.

Misty Blue Regenerating
The eyes were open less than a second and she was back to the bobbing head.  She is so adorable! ....that is when he isn't being mischievous!
Magnificent Misty Blue
This afternoon, the fire trucks went out on a call.  The fire department is a block away, down the hill.  Misty Blue and Sonjia were sleeping on the loveseat.  Duchess wanted to see what was going on outside.  To get a better view outside the window, Duchess jumped onto the loveseat. Evidentially, she decided that if she got down she just might miss something. So teetering on the edge, she snuggled down by the other two.  I know that feeling because I often wake up in the middle of the night feeling the same way with 2-3 dogs pushing me out of bed.

Three on a Couch (Love Seat)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

...getting excited!

Do you remember a while ago when I talked about the open air plants?  We water them every few days.  When I water them,  I watch carefully.   Today I saw what I was waiting for  ...babies!
See two babies?
At least one of the plants is showing a few little plants by the base. A second one might be close. But since I don't know all of the varieties yet, I am not sure if it is a baby or just a leaf separating off from the plant. I tried to get a picture but I am not sure if you can see it from the only angle with a clear shot.
...time will tell.
Baby - maybe ...?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Can I blow your mind? How is this for reducing Cholesterol?

From much of the research that I have been doing, they are beginning to do studies that are proving carbohydrates increase fat in your body and can adversely affect cholesterol.  My results are not statistically significant but they are encouraging and surprising. 

I am sure that you have seen the way that I have been eating in 2014.  Very low carb and high diet.  In the last 4 weeks I have increased my complex carbohydrates and calories and as a result I have lost weight.  So what has eating high fat done to my cholesterol?  - decreased it!

                            April results     October results    Target
Cholesterol          212 mg/dl          193 mg/dl            <200
Triglycerides       127 mg/dl          114 mg/dl            <150
HDL                      61 mg/dl            60 mg/dl            40 or >
LDL-Calculated  126 mg/dl          110 mg/dl            <130
*L/H Ratio           2.1                      1.8                     1.0-4.7

I am very appalled at the fact that my doctor is actually requesting that I start on a statin!  NO WAY!  Although my cholesterol levels are close to the target levels, they are falling more within the levels than they have in years.  I will need to educate my doctor a little bit more.  It really makes me wonder about the conspiracy theory that doctors are receiving kick backs from pharmaceutical companies. 

My camera was at home. ..

As I took the dogs out for a run in the country, there was an eagle sitting in a field near the road.  Many times I have my camera with when I take the dogs for a run.  
Eagle at take off
I have been getting some really cute pictures of the girls as they play in the country.  But Wednesday, I left my camera at home out of a bit of fear. And wouldn't you know that it was today that I saw this beautiful eagle.  (So did the dogs and their barking made the eagle take off.)
Eagle North of Watkins
My fear came from this sad event: when I came home late Monday night, I was unloading the trunk of the car and the bag that I had the camera in dropped. I have a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera.  When I got inside I tested it and this is what I got for a picture.  I knew right away that something had happened with the mirror inside the base of the camera.
I took a risk and removed the lens from the camera.  I carefully moved the mirror.  It had jammed into a non-moving spot.  It works again after I fixed it but I am a little more leery of taking it out. But because of that, I missed my opportunity to get some wonderful close-up shots of this beautiful eagle.

A peek inside the camera

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blessed again!

Dale joined me this evening he went in and found a seat in the crowded sanctuary while I was able to get a photo with John Michael Talbot.  Introduced as "the signer".  

John Michael Talbot and Trisha
In the beginning of the service John Michael played a couple of songs that he didn't plan on playing.  The evening before I had told my friend, Jeanne, that one of my favorite songs was from the CD "The Painter".  That was the first song that he played.  I was sitting in the back signing my favorite song with a full smile on my face.  Evidentially I was the only one that was engaged in the song because he teased, "Are you excited about the Lord? Someone tell your face."  

Are you excited about the Lord? Someone tell your face :^)

In praying "The Jesus Prayer" it should be like a cleansing breathe.  As you take a slow and conscious breath in pray, "O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God" (Allow God to fill your life like a breath of fresh air.)
Photo by Trisha Field
Breath in the Lord!
The rest of they prayer is completed as you exhale, "have mercy on me, a sinner." (Release the sins as you accept God's mercy."

Photo by Trisha Field
Exhale the bad ...

All things ARE possible through God.  But we must do our part.  We must repent of our sins and through active and frequent prayer build a personal relationship with God the Father, His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
All thing ARE possible with God!
We are like the wheat in the field.  When we are Ripe unto harvest we need to go through the harvesting process.  (Sorry, I didn't write down the terms so here are my words.) The wheat is cut down, pulled together in a group, beaten to drop the fruit/grain from the stalk, then tossed in the air to separate the chaff from the grain, then the grain is ground up and mixed together with other ingredients so that it begins to grow, the dough is kneaded three times to remove the last of the bad air so that it can be cooked into a golden  brown nutritious piece of bread; the bread of life.  God works all things to good (even the bad things!)

Photo by Trisha Field
An animated speaker
The picture below is my favorite picture.  You can see the glow from the Joy of the Lord shining through.  How many of us can have someone say that about us?  So many times, we stifle God so that he can not shine as a light in our life.  America, it is time for a revival in the land!  Let your light so shine!

Photo by Trisha Field
May the Joy of the Lord Shine like a lamp through you!

Monkey See, Monkey Do!

The supplies that you will need are 4 hole buttons, crochet thread,  and a size 7 crochet hook.
A bag of Buttons & size 7 crochet hook
If you have many colors of crochet thread and old buttons, this is a perfect craft for using up some of that stock pile. I saw this on Facebook and I got so excited that I had to try it right away.
Crochet thread
Start by pulling the thread through and creating a chain.  I had a button just under the size of a dime and I used a chain of five.
Attach thread to button and create a chain
I went all the way around the button repeating the process. I was surprised how quickly it went.  The tip of the crochet hook flowed easily in the button holes.
Connect through the second hole and continue
When I got to the starting point I connecting it with a slip stich and then I started creating the peddles.  Double, Triple, Triple, Triple, Triple, Triple, Double, single, repeat for each peddle.  
The last hole gets a second connection
Yowza! Before long, I had two! It is time to go to bed.  It is a good thing that I saw this so late in the evening.  Because if it was earlier in the evening, I think I might have drug out all the different colors of thread and made a pile of flowers.  They are SO FUN!
Single, double, triple *4-5, double, repeat
They are amazing fast to crochet.  It works on two button hole designs too!  So really any round button can be used as long as the hole is large enough for the crochet hook and threads that need to go through it.  Try it and have a blast!
My bouquet for you!

Monday, October 20, 2014

John Michael Talbot

Sorry the posting is so late this evening.  I was at Sacred Heart Parish to see John Michael Talbot.  He is a very animated speaker as well as a talented musician.  (His robe is really a plain brown but the lighting made it pick up more colorful to the camera.)
John Michael Talbot
John Michael Talbot is not your traditional catholic parishioner.  He is not at all afraid to raise his arms in praise and worship to the Lord.  The teaching this evening included the healing miracles of God.  If you don't believe that God can heal you then you are inhibiting his ability to heal you.
John Michael Talbot
The evening was speckled with comedy, guidance, sharing, praise and worship.  It was a relaxing and enjoyable evening.  If you didn't make it tonight he will be presenting two more evenings.  As he said to those attending tonight, "If you can only make two evenings. Come tomorrow and the evening after." (Get it?)  There is a video posted on my Facebook page for those that want to see a 2 1/2 minute sample.
John Michael Talbot
All things are possible with God! for more information about his ministry.
John Michael Talbot

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall flower bed

This weekend was a beautiful for moving the garden to the next stage.  The last week has taken out the last of the Zinnias in the front of the garden.  Dale spent a lot of time cleaning leaves from the lawns that he takes care of in the summertime.  He had a trailer full of leaves to go to the dump tomorrow.  It only made sense to add the dried sections onto it. 
Zinnias are done
I carefully picked a couple dozen dried flower heads of different shapes and sizes from different sections of the garden.  Hopefully the seeds inside will germinate next spring.  Then I pulled the plants carefully knocking the dirt from the roots. Some may judge the garden for what looks like weeds.  After all, what survives green in a garden at this time of year. 
Time for fall clean up
There is a variety of Black-eyed Suzie's still blooming.  I also realized that an early summer flower, Dianthus, is still blooming. You will notice some dried stems of flowers laying over the plants.  I leave them for a few purposes.  One way is to allow the seeds to fall and self plant in the earth for another year. These dried up stems will break apart more over the winter and in the springtime the birds will pick them up and use them for their nests.  
Perennials getting ready for next year
As I pull weeds, I must be very careful.  Sometimes it takes 2-3 years for the seeds to germinate.  So this tiny little lupine surprised me. (The star-shaped leaves in the picture below.)  I will need to plant more lupine next year.  I really enjoy them.
A tiny Lupine ready for next spring (on the right)
You will very rarely see my flower gardens pristine, without weeds or dried stems.  When working a fully functioning perennial garden, you must allow the plants to re-seed themselves with some guidance of plants where the seeds drift out of place. (Remember, a weed is just a flower out of place.)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Youth Hunt

This weekend was the opening of deer hunting designated for youth hunters only.
My youngest nephew qualified for the early hunt this year.  His parents took him up North to the area that they have hunted for years.
First Hunt is a success
Before 8:00 AM he shot his first deer which will provide many meals for his family.  This 6 point buck has a large body and will yield many pounds of meat.
Father and Son
Mother and Son

Friday, October 17, 2014

It took them all summer ...

....but Sonjia and Misty Blue finally spent a significant amount of time playing outside in the fenced in yard.  It was a beautiful day in the mid 60's and the sun had moved across the yard so it was equal amounts of sun and shade.
Sonjia and Misty Blue play in the yard
They are such big babies that normally they like to be sitting in the same room that I am in so that they make sure that I don't run out leaving them home alone.  Yes, they are spoiled. 

But these two babies at 14 months and 20 months old love to play tag and wrestle with each other.  There have been a few times that they have played chase within the 2000 + square foot fenced in area but as soon as I walk near the door they are under foot waiting to get inside.  Thursday, I let them out and to my surprise they did not beg to get right back inside. I carefully peaked outside to see them playing peacefully in the yard.  (The fuzzy picture was taken through the door window.) 

Then it turned cold.  Maybe we will have a few more warm days for them to enjoy the yard.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pumpkin Seeds

As I said last weekend that I cooked up my first pumpkin.  I dug out the seeds before putting it in the oven.  I have cooked pumpkin seeds in the shell before but I have never removed the shells.  In beyond diet, the recommend eating raw shelled pumpkin seeds.
Garden Fresh Pumpkin Seeds
The bulk food section of the grocery store has shelled pumpkin seeds available.  But fresh and controlled is usually best.  I am just curious if there is an easy way to do this without heavy duty machinery?  When all is said and done, I might be more willing to pay out the money for the shelled pumpkin seed from the store.  But I just can't see wasting good food when I can do it myself.
Purchased Pumpkin Seeds

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Birthday Celebration

Yes today was my birthday! I have made it through another year of life.  Dale took me to St. Cloud for supper at Bonanza.  On the way to St. Cloud we had a bit of a discussion.  Dale isn't into celebrating birthdays.  He said that it just means you are one year closer to death.  I told him that it also means that you have successfully navigated through an additional year or life.  Everything has either a positive or negative aspect to it.  I work hard to maintain the positive viewpoint in life.  And yes, sometimes that takes a lot of work.

I started out supper with a salad loaded with vegetables.  My treat at the salad bar was their "chocolate mousse."  I had a heaping tablespoon full.
Salad Bar
I had told Dale over the weekend that when we came to St. Cloud, I wanted to purchase a new pair of shoes.  Dad had sent me some birthday money and I was in need of a pair of around town shoes that I can use when I am walking the dogs.  (I have a bad habit of stepping the backs of my shoes down.) These have a re-enforced back on them.
New Shoes
For my main meal I ordered grilled steak and grilled shrimp.  It came with a potato of choice which I didn't plan on eating anyways.  
Steak and Shrimp Dinner
If I am going to have a good, not healthy "cheat" for my birthday it is going to be bites of the desserts.  The desserts are not pre-cut so you can take as much or as little as you like.  I took 1-2 small bites of each dessert I chose.  Apple crisp, multi-berry crisp, pumpkin bar, chocolate fudge cake and twist ice-cream.
A dessert sampling

The drive up was absolutely beautiful! I kicked myself for not grabbing my real camera.  The sun was bright in the sky with no clouds looming.  I managed to catch a couple of shots with the cell phone.  Some of the sections looked bright and reflected to colors with brilliance.
Past Peak colors of Mustard Yellow, Orange and Rust
Other areas did not have any yellow in the trees.  That gave them more of a muted look.  I still think it has created a beautiful pallet of colors!  Yes! It was a wonderful birthday!
Muted Colors of Fall
Earlier in the day, I was craving a peanut butter cup.  So I made my own healthier version and decided to put a candle in it for an added feeling of celebration! (Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree and almond butter.)