Coming Soon: Free Book

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bye bye 221 First Street

Yes it is gone. Last night at 10:45 PM I finished vacuuming and locked the the doors for the last time. I  would have taken a picture but it was too dark outside.

I busted my butt to get out so the new person could move in today only to be told that they aren't moving until the weekend.  I guess that is life!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

They won't write themselves

I've written several blogs a day. In my head as I drive.  I don't have the technology to get them from my thoughts to the blog .... yet.

We are still moving.  It is almost the end of the month.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

It just fits

Waterfall before ...
I was excited to see the waterfall by the patio.  But my first real thought was, I wonder if my bridge will work with water feature? It fits perfectly, it just does!
Adjusting the water feature
I need to thank my nephew,  Nickolai, for stopping by this afternoon and trimming a couple of trees.  Then he helped move the bridge to the top of the water feature. 
Waterfall by patio with my bridge
We knew that we would need to move some of the rocks to help stabilize the bridge.  Yes, he rolled and moved the rocks until they were in a position that he liked. He said (and I agree) that we need to rustle up a few more rocks.
Close up of waterfall and bridge
One that I need to get from me families homestead is "Funny Face".  More than ever, I need to get that rock and add it to this area.  I'm thinking that it might need to replace the large rock to the right side of the bridge.  Wait until you see that rock.  I am just hoping that I can find it and find someone to move it.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Overdue Shampoo!

I put off shampooing the bedroom carpeting because this summer has been so busy. The old saying,  a stitch in time saves 9 fits very well now.  

The first picture was just after I vacuumed the bedroom. The second picture was after I applied carpet shampoo in a presoak process. The third was after an hour of shampooing. The fourth was after it dried. 

It is a lot better but it is going to need another round of shampooing.   Who invented light colored carpeting? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Closing tomorrow and the professional movers are coming for the furniture.   So much to do and so little time. 

Better postings to come!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I call shotgun!

Three dogs in the cab of a pickup is challenging.  Dale has an extended cab pickup so there is a back seat.  Misty Blue always gets the passenger seat in my car.  For some reason, Sonjia thinks that she should have the front seat in the pickup.  They frequently tussle over who gets the front seat.  Yesterday they both decided to take a stand; so to speak. There they were both laying across the front seat.
Misty & Sonjia nestled on the front seat
Since the Doberman shape is long and thin with muscular back legs for them to both fit on the seat they must sit so that their heads are facing opposite directions.  Ironically, they both seemed very comfortable like puppies in a pack snuggled together.

Monday, September 21, 2015


We have been busy moving this weekend. I am sore and exhausted.  But I have so much going through my head that sleep is not coming easily.
Waterfall by Patio
I took a quick minute to take a photo that I wanted to share with you.  Do you remember earlier this summer I shared several photos of some stepping stones which were formed using garden leaves? I was trying to decide where to use them. I think God knew all along where they would fit ... right beside the waterfall at my new place. 
I will need to move some current rocks around and possibly add more rocks.  But at this point that might not be done until next spring.

Day 160 ... will it make it?

****Sorry, I tried to post this several times and my 3G/4G connection would not let me post it.****
Thursday, September 17th, was day 160.  I am still seeing daily blooms and at the same time seeing seed pods continue to grow.  I woke up on day 161 to a very cold morning.  The fall equinox is on September 23rd and we are loosing our warm days quickly.  
Minnesota Cotton at 160 days
It is going to be nip and tuck to see actual cotton this year.  I am trying hard to be hopeful. This has been a difficult fall for hope but I keep reaching for it.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Back to the land of ...

imagination! There are many days that I prefer the land of imagination since this real world that we live in is so difficult.  I had this post all written the other day.   But for some reason when it uploaded, I lost everything that I had written.  The last 10 days have been that way.  Unexpected and unusual problems.  Escape with me for a few minutes to the land of imagination.  Wednesday on the way to Kimball I saw this one lone rain cloud and it reminded me of a spider in the sky.  But then again, maybe it is a space ship from a Sci-fi movie.
Spider or Space Ship?
There were several fast moving storms that went over and around the area.  The sun tried to peek through this particular evening storm. After I took the picture, I thought that looks like a witches hat!  But then again it could be a clown running across the sky.  The confines of the view with a picture can totally change the perspective of what you are seeing.
White witches hat or running clown?
A quarter turn and there was a dolphin swimming through the clouds creating a wake with it's dorsal fin. Storms can create enormous destruction.  But they do create some of the best and most creative pictures.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Celtic Woman, Someday

I pray someday we may yet
live to live and let live

This song is a beautiful Celtic song.  I find myself drawn to the movement of Celtic music.  But this song has been written with English lyrics.

It calls on all humanity to respect those around them. Every single person needs to have respect. Think about it. How can you harm, take advantage of, or miss treat in any way shape or form someone that you respect? 

Most respect is earned but there is also the unearned attitude when you choose to be respectful of those around you even if you've never met them.

Once again it comes down to a basic rule in life, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Those words do not come out of the Bible.  It teaches us to Love one another which is much harder.

Digging Potatoes

Sorry my posts have not been consistent this week. For some reason the signal has been very weak the last few days.

Dale dug the last of the potatoes.  Luckily they aren't all the size of the ones in the pictures.  I  wish that Dale would have taken the largest few to the store to have them weighed. After all how can we prove that our potato is bigger than yours? 

These two were given away. The most important thing about a garden is that when it produces in abundance that you share with friends and neighbors.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Day 156 cotton growing

It takes 160 to 180 days to harvest cotton.  We have made it to day 156 but I am concerned.  We had a couple of nights in the high 40's low 50's this last week.  Every day has made it up to 60 degrees. 
The plants are still very green and multiple blooms are visible on any given day. With all of the buds, I was hoping to see white flowers one day with all of the buds in bloom.  Instead they have been blooming a few at a time.
Tucked beneath the canopy of green are white and pink flowers by the dozens. There are also seed pods getting larger by the day. The final picture that I am showing you is the first pink flower that I  tooka picture of for you. I have the feeling that I will get at least one tuft of cotton.  
It has been exciting learning about cotton growing. I might create a special green house to try it again next summer. But before I get ahead of myself,  I need to finish this summers harvest. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Keeping on ...

This was scheduled for next weekend but since I wasn't moving today I decided to get some of the rest of the work done. Dale helped me measure and figure out what I needed to buy for baseboards (both white and brown ).  The rest of the house has 1x4's so that was what we purchased for most of the areas.  There were a couple of places that I needed a wider board because of previous owners renovations.  This morning the plumber came by and fixed the upstairs toilet.

I think I  might need to work in the garden tomorrow between spurts of packing.  I am going to need to wash clothes.  I am almost out of clean clothes!  I really need this move to be over.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Update ....

I would like to tell you some fabulous exciting news. But the truth of the matter is that it's been a frustrating, irritating and emotionally exhausting 48 hours. The new house has not closed. Federal regulations and buracracy has the underwriters for the loan over reacting and making mountains out of mole hills.

Now we wait until Monday.  I hate waiting.  I'd rather be productive and moving forward.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Still waiting ...

Legal technicalities are so frustrating. The government has imposed more and more legalities.  But the people that are over-seeing and making sure that those legalities are adhered to work worse than any government agency that I've ever seen.  When they have a question, they seem to stop working.  Then it seems like they start all over again.  And stop at the same spot with a different question. 
Pantry shelves are all roll out
We are doing our best to keep things rolling forward.  It is not IF but when.  The final walk-through was scheduled for 1PM today.  We went through the final walk through and trying to find something positive to share, I took a picture of the empty pantry.  All of the shelves are roll out shelves ~ sweet!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Don't go by feelings!

I walked out of the house this evening to see the clouds that just past by my place with rain showers bubbling up and brewing a storm.  Ironically, that was exactly how I was feeling! Like a storm was brewing from every side.  I received a call a few minutes before 5PM telling me that the closing on the house was being delayed.  There were 3 issues, the title had 3 parcels listed on it and the lawyers just finished the work this afternoon to correct it; the septic system needs to be re-done (work will start next week but the underwriters need to sign off on it); the woman doing my closing is in training until a half an hour before my closing is scheduled.
There's a storm a brewing!
Dale has the trailer packed full and I have the van packed full and they are locked up tight.  Just waiting for the closing to be rescheduled.  It's not IF it is WHEN and I am praying hard that the when is sooner rather than later.
All packed up and no where to go
I am relaxing and watching an old re-run of Quantum Leap.  And Sam just said, "You have to have faith, you must believe! Because even in the face of your so-called facts, miracles can happen!"  Sometimes the Lord sends encouragement from the strangest places.  At sunset, I saw the colors reflecting off the clouds in the East.  I drove out into the country for some clear shots.  In the East, I saw a turtle with a white shell crawling slowly to the West.
Turtle time!
Off to the West, there was a different story.  The sun was dropping down the horizon casting it's colors methodically through the skies.  It created a soft peaceful glow of oranges and yellows and grays.  A calming end to a hectic day.  It almost looks like a stairway to heaven with each step changing colors as God invites us to lean against the ladder and have a chat.  "Lord, these "problems" are all in your hands.  There is nothing that I can do about any of them.  Take them and turn them from problems into blessings. AMEN!"
The colors of sunset that leave a promise of a new day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Counting down the days

I am counting down the days and hours.  In 39 hours I will be signing the paperwork for my new home. 

I won't miss looking up in the back yard only to see wires and buildings at sunset.  I have high expectations of being able to see a beautiful sunset.  If not directly from the yard then by walking to the end of the driveway.

Until I get to that point,  I need to get past this stress headache and get a few more boxes packed. So please forgive any typos. I am making my entry tonight from my phone ( with auto correct ).

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sensational sloppy Joes

For the moving days I decided that I wanted something quick and easy for people to grab. I decided on the less healthy sloppy Joes with potato chips.
1 pound of bacon (only 4 slices will be used in the dish but you need the grease from the entire pound)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 large onion
2 cans of beef vegetable soup with barley
3 pounds hamburger
ketchup and mustard to taste
Sloppy Joes
I often fry bacon once a week then I eat a couple of pieces a day with my breakfast.  With the desire to save cleaning time (I have too much to pack) I fried the bacon in the same pan that I was going to brown the hamburger in.
Everything is better with bacon
I am not sure what possessed me to do this but it was a fabulous idea.  When the bacon was almost done cooking, I quickly chopped an onion and pulled the minced onions out of the fridge.  There was only about a teaspoon left in the jar.  That was the perfect amount for me.
Sautee' onions and garlic in bacon grease
It just gets better!  I added about 2 pounds of hamburger to the bacon grease.  Once it was browned, I removed most of the hamburger and added another pound of hamburger. I should have just started with a pan one size bigger.  I'm just not used to cooking in these large quantities.
Brown hamburger in bacon grease.
I added two cans of beef vegetable soup with barley.  This isn't a recipe that I made myself.  Growing up my brothers were in a youth organization called DeMolay.  Every year for the county fair they made sloppy Joes.  Not 3 pounds but about 15 pounds per family.  What I did was added bacon and cooking in bacon grease to the recipe.  I am not 100% certain of the recipe.  Most of by recipe books are already packed up.  But this is fairly close.

Beef vegetable with barley soup
I decided since I had freshly fried bacon that I'd tear up a few pieces and add it to the mixture.  After all, everything IS better with bacon.  I did not salt or pepper the mixture.  With the bacon and bacon grease there was plenty of flavor.

Everything IS better with bacon!
I started about with about half cup of ketchup and a tablespoon of mustard.  The only mustard that I had on hand was my horseradish mustard.  It just added another dimension of flavor.  It is times like this when I'm cooking that I wonder if I should try out for "Chopped".  But they usually throw things in the basket the I don't recognize. 
Add ketchup and mustard
I had already packed the bowls, so I decided to mix  everything together in the crock pot that it will be cooked in on Friday.  I will freeze it then wash the crock pot so that it is ready for Friday.  After you taste it, you might want to add more ketchup and mustard to taste.  Remember that as if freezes and then cooks up, the tastes will absorb into the meat.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A bit devilish

... and Satan slid between God and mankind. He blocked God's truth and glory while he repeated a fraction of the truth, twisted for his evil desires. Satan allowed God's glory to shine around him.
Truth filtered by the Devil
Don't be fooled by Satan's lies.  Go back to the Bible and discover the truth for yourself.

As my good friend said in response to this picture, "Satan get behind us in the name of Jesus Christ!"

There are many rumors abounding about attacks against America over the next week.  Please join me in prayer for the month of September, "God Bless America and keep her safe. Spark a revival in the land like none ever seen before! Amen!"

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Fried Egg Plant

A couple of years ago I planted several plants of egg plant.  Dale absolutely refused to eat them.  I gave up, this year I didn't plant any.  Someone from his work put egg plant in a free box and told him that they were delicious.
Fried Egg Plant
Tonight, I made fried egg plant for supper and Dale loved them.  I started by washing the egg plant and slicing it about 1/2 inch thick.
Egg plant
Then I whipped an egg and used it to coat the slices.  
Covered in egg
I added sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to some flour before I rolled the slices of egg plant in it.  Then I fried it in garlic infused butter.  Egg plant is a very moist plant.  These were best when served hot and the outside was still crispy.  Dale got called away with out of town visitors so they cooled off a bit before he was ready to eat them.  They still taste good but the texture was a little mushier.
Dust with flour

Friday, September 4, 2015


Technically, I am homeless.  I sold my home today and I don't close on the next one until next Thursday.  I still have a roof over my head.  The people that purchased my house are giving me the time needed to finish packing and move out.  It is such a blessing to have understanding people. 
Angel with a back-pack
As I was walking through the furniture store I accidentally triggered the camera on my cell phone.  When I glanced at the photo I thought "COOL! I need to keep that oops."  Sometimes a mistake isn't always that bad.
 Creativity by mistake
Every Friday evening Dale and I go out for supper.  Tonight we took a trip to St. Cloud to purchase a couch for the new place and then go out for supper. This is the couch that we chose.  It has a recliner on both ends.  The center can work as a cup-holder or fold up and be a third seat.  The country blue fits well into both Dale and my other pieces of furniture.  
Funny Face I Love You
Dale was hungry for BBQ so he chose to go to Famous Dave's.  I had never been there.  Even though BBQ is not my favorite food, I agreed to go.  With the stress of the move, we both needed an evening of celebration.  With the heat and humidity today, we left the dogs at home in the air conditioning.  In a week, they will be celebrating too!
Dale eating ribs at Famous Dave's

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

8 days and counting

I am excited, nervous, anxious and frustrated. Please pray for me throughout the next week. There is so much to do and time is flying by so fast!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dobie time

I think that I need to learn to relax like my dogs.  But then I would never get moved.  We went out for a run the other day and I guess that Duchess back itched.  She wiggled back and forth other the patch of short grass.  
I don't roll over
We have tried to get her to roll over.  She refuses every time.  Yet when she is playing out in the field she rolls around like a goofy critter.  Look at that SMILE!  She's relaxed and happy.  I have had a rough day and I'm tense and stressed.  I can't wait until this move is over.
Fooled You!
I looked over at the couch after the mid-day run.  Duchess ear way laying so perfect.  It does make me wish that we would have looked for a different vet that would have cropped her ears.  As beautiful as she is with natural ears, she looks remarkable with them up.
I didn't need to get my ears cropped

Her majesty, the Duchess of my house, was soon half falling off the couch.  She had twisted to a point that her back paws were against the back of the couch.  A little bit of a stretch and she was hanging over the edge with her perfectly pointed, totally natural ear.
I need a bigger couch!