Sunday, December 4, 2011


Stringing complete sentences feels like way too much work. Let's call this experiment "Minimalist Avant Garde Blogging." Or something all bloggers do when they can't string complete sentences

A fun outing with Tootie, Joyce, Les & Jan and Todd @ Diamond Joes...poor photography courtesy of breakfast lady

Thanksgiving man-scaping

Ate the last garden tomatoes on December 2

  Thanksgiving food coma--sorry Amber

 Last year
This year

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I wonder

why it is that I cannot cook, bake or even clean for that matter without making a mess. Look at this:

I'm hopeless..

Just think how it would look if I were actually making Thanksgiving dinner. This is just from baking 4 sweet potatoes, cooking 2 bags of cranberries, making bean soup and homemade bread for tonight's dinner and having  Harrison and Olivia this morning..
No, our dinner tomorrow will be courtesy of Jubas and Kent. For the past few years, Mom had treated all of us (mostly the people who had to clean up after me in the kitchen) to the catered meal prepared by Jubas. It is quite tasty and Kent's buying this year!
Harrison is napping now, Amber gets off at 1. In the time it took for the photo to load, I washed everything up and put the rest in the dishwasher.

And I think I hear Harrison waking up...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's Not Easy To Be Easy

It took
2 Towns, 3 Stores and 67 minutes
to make this
from this
And it was good, very good
Gratuitous duck standing on one foot photo because Bea is the cutest duck in the universe

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kindergarten Conversations

Since Olivia has started school, her communication skills are really changing. She's always been a good conversationalist but is becoming more curious about almost everything. I love listening to her monologue from the back seat as she assumes many roles--complete with accents--that totally crack me up. She really could be her own sitcom.

This morning Amber dropped her off to spend the day with me. As I was getting ready, we had this conversation:

Olivia:  Omee, where do you think Swiper (the sly fox character on the Dora cartoon series) lives?
Me:   I don't know--he's just pretend,you know. He's a cartoon character.
Olivia:  Do you think he lives in the forest? That's right. He lives in the forest.
Me: A pretend forest.
Olivia: Where do you think Dora lives?
Me:  You know Dora's not real either, she's just pretend.
Olivia: **shocked expression** DORA'S NOT REAL???
Me: Well, it depends on what you mean by real.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Decorating

is minimal this least outdoors. After the wedding last year, there will be no cornstalks and only 4 pumpkins gracing the grounds this year. Inside I have quite a bit of fall stuff out. I've always thought our home is a "Fall Home" as the views are so beautiful from every window and deck.
The impatiens are still pretty so I'm not buying any mums. After last year, this could have a considerable impact on the local economy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I fall in love

with fall every year.
Especially when I buy my first bag of candy corn

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You've got to

Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive
E-lim-in-nate the negative

 Latch on
to the Af-fur-ma-tive
And don't mess with Mister In-Between

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Love in a Jar

I canned tomato soup last night using my mom's recipe
with my own special ingredient:
A generous splash of profanity

Because getting it from here:

Into here
is a b**tch

It's a steamy, hot, messy, process, but really worth the effort.
Much like a lot of other good things.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Caption courtesy of Zac

"Why so serious? Let's put a smile on that face!"  
(Name that movie)

We celebrated GG Patten's birthday a week late and Olivia picked out a school bus cake. Upon closer inspection, the entire cake (from Fareway) was made up of cupcakes complete with black frosting on the "tires"

Addie and the boys spent a few days with us--so will include a bonus photo today of Addie and Leo Alvin\

Monday, October 3, 2011

One-A- Day October

In an effort to catch up, make up and shape up, I hereby make the following declaration:
For the month of October, I will post a photo each day. No promises for captions or explanations, just a photo.

"Umm, Maddie, you do realize you are eating 'game bird formula' and not dog kibble, don't you?"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Duck Talk

I know, it's been way too long since I've blogged. So much has happened, it will take awhile to catch up. My computer is not being cooperative so I have to make this quick
September has been a roller coaster of emotions--fun vacation, frustration at our business, fabulous grandchildren and.....

Flirtations with fertility

In the dim light of early morning, I found an unexpected surprise in Bea's pen.
And, well, here's where we are now here is what I found out:

Indian Runners are an unusual breed of domestic duck. They stand erect like penguins and, rather than waddling, they run. The females usually lay about 150 – 200 eggs a year or more, depending whether they are from exhibition or utility strains. They were found on the Indonesian Islands of Lombok, Java and Bali where they were 'walked' to market and sold as egg-layers or for meat. These ducks do not fly and only rarely form nests and incubate their own eggs. They run or walk, often dropping their eggs wherever they happen to be.

Our Bea has been such a source of joy this summer. All this, and eggs too.

Another unexpected sight in the garage has been this

An African violet plant from Mom's funeral. Blooming. Under my care.
A miracle.

Blossoms and eggs.

In the midst of harvest.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What to Do?

Today is a rare day. There is nothing I HAVE to do today. No schedule, no commitments, no obligations.
However, that doesn't mean I don't have anything to do.  Oh no, I don't even know where to start. Well, I guess I do. I started my morning watching grown men and women standing (kind of) in the middle of a hurricane. One of them was interviewing another reporter on the beach whose rain poncho was being blown and shredded into ribbons.
It made me even more thankful to be home. With nothing I HAVE to do.

Except watch the premier of Pioneer Womans new show on the Food Network.

And figure out what to do with all of this:

Interrupted  writing my post to fix breakfast--our favorite. Poached farm-fresh eggs on english muffins. Put some beets on to cook and they are done. Now cooking a kettle of potatoes. My kitchen is smelling very "earthy" right now.

Watched the kittens practice their vertical jump skills trying to reach the flowers at the top of the Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate plants. Bea is swimming contentedly in her pond.

Time to put in a load of laundry. Project to do during Pioneer Woman will be to go through some old photos. Our church's 25th anniversary is this year and they are looking of pictures from the early years. The thought of dragging them out is a bit daunting but also something that needs to be done.

So what are you up to today?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The post I write but can't post until later

Addie sent me a text at 11:04 this morning saying they had arrived at the hospital. I busied myself making lunch for Kent, Sam and I. Sam washed a dishpan full of cucumbers and I peeled garlic for a few jars of dills. My phone signal for a picture message went off, I looked at the clock, it was about 12:15. And there they were, Addie, Tedd and little Leo Alvin Cheney. Born 1 hr and 8 minutes after arriving at the hospital. 
The jars are still on the counter and the cucumbers are still in a pile. They will keep. We went right up to the hospital to see this new precious life. 

I wrote this post on Friday--Addie was fairly certain she was in labor. Which ended up waxing and waning throughout the weekend but obviously progressed. So now, I can freely share this story with you:

Sam and Frank are going for a boat ride with Rick on Lake Minnetonka today. We've had the week from hell here. Anything that could have gone wrong, did. Plus even stuff that we couldn't screw up, we did.

Phone conversation with Sam:
Sam:   We're on our way. Rick wants to know what kind of beer to get. What was the name of that beer I ordered when we took Addie out for her birthday?

Me--spoken:  I have no idea--that was like about 2 months ago.
Me--unspoken:  Are you #$%@** kidding me?

Sam:   I just called in case you might have remembered it. I guess I could call Addie.

Me--spoken:  I told you this morning that she thought she was IN LABOR. Maybe this would not be the best time to call her.
Me--unspoken: Are you #$%@** kidding me?

In the background, I hear Frank say, "Oh, is the baby coming today?"

Sam: I'll try calling her

Me: Well, good luck with that then.

About 30 minutes later:

Sam:  Well we made it to Nicollet. Frank is picking up some snacks. Rick says you need to fax the Sioux Center job address up to his office.

Me: OK, did you talk to Addie?

Sam: Yeah, but she was having a contraction, so she had to hang up before she could tell me the name of the beer. She texted it to me so we're good to go.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We're Still Here

In case you have been wondering, everyone is fine. The kitties are growing and Bea just keeps getting sweeter (and smarter) each day. Snapped a quick picture with my phone this morning. It's what happens every day:

Kitties play, Bea watches, Kitties run, Bea follows, Mama kitty takes babies hunting, Bea goes for a swim in her pond.
Then everyone takes a nap

After work every night, I stop by the garden. And here's just a sample of what I've been bringing home

Addie and I hosted a baby shower for Molly on Saturday and served many fresh vegetables in salads.

The other night I was in the garden.
Moping.Yes, totally feeling sorry for myself. Moping. Moping around.
 I looked around and all I saw was this

When lo and behold, look what I found.

It's hard to feel sad when you find a baby watermelon.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Busy as a Bea

Wowsa...this is some busy family. So much has been happening it may take a couple of posts.

The Hankster had some face time with his his daddy's cousin Calvin and girlfriend Ariana. Calvin reminds me of Hanks daddy. Hank looks like Calvin's daddy. It's all so confusing.
Olivia made her own pizza. She didn't share with me. We need to talk about sharing.
Harrison took a nap while Olivia made pizza. I like his shirt. It has flowers. I eat flowers. I like Hank
Olivia went to Bible School this week. She had lots of fun
We've had company all week....Aren't they pretty?
I ate pancakes. I love my Aunt Vaunda SO much!
They're still here--and seem to be making themselves at home. I'm fine, really, I can share, if I have to, as long as they stay away from my pond.
Oh, and Momma Duck wants me to apologize for the unedited photos. She lost her mouse. What's a mouse?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bea's Back

Momma Duck (MD)has been really busy this week. And tired. And hot. So she's letting me tell you what's been going on. But first, she's making me show you why I was on a time out.

I didn't mean to eat the whole thing. I just wanted a little snack and it looked so tasty. So I nibbled a few leaves. Then a few more. Before long, it was half gone. I knew I was going to be in trouble anyway, so I finished it off. MD was really mad. Because not only had I eaten an entire plant, I also made a bit of a mess seeing as that the plant gave me the runs, but even tho I'm a runner, I didn't run. I just stood there. With the runs. Get the picture. OK
 I didn't tell her but I really did have a tummy ache. It didn't seem like the right time to complain. So I suffered in silence.

Enough of that, now on to the big news of the week. Thursday morning Daddy Duck let me out as usual
I love going out in the morning--I usually head right to my pond but something seemed a little strange
Whuuutttt the....

 We have a pwoblem..

 Hey that's MY food

Well, 2 can play at that game

Everything worked out fine. The big one gave me a bloody beak. Then we all played tag

And hide and seek

Then we took a bath

The End.