Friday, December 12, 2008

Will there or won't there be a blizzard

The weather man says we're in for a possible blizzard and if so it will mess up a lot of plans. As you all know, the weather man could be wrong. But--- just in case we will be recording the children's practice tomorrow morning which means I have to really pay attention so I don't make any really stupid mistakes with the piano part :) So the reason for the recording: If we have to move the children's program to the 21st. that means I will accompanying three different music programs on that Sunday. First I play for first service as usual, then at the 2nd service I accompany the church choir cantata (10:45) then I accompany the Park Rapids Classic Chorale for that concert at 3:00 (which is when the children will be doing a final rehearsal thus the recording) and then the children's Christmas program at 6:00. Someone asked me if I could do all that .. . . sure I can . . . the adrenalin will be flowing but I'll be really tired when I get to go to bed

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas past

Brownies blog reminded me of Christmas's past. Aunt Gertrude and her family lived in Minot, ND and was the only sibling of my mom's that didn't live in Redwood Falls when I was a young girl. There was Aunt Beth and Uncle Guy, Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Harvey, Uncle Gillette and Elaine. And their families and, of course, my mom and dad and brother. I know the adults exchanged names for Christmas but I don't remember what us kids did. I do know that one of my most memorable gifts were books from my Aunt Beth. Like Brownie said she had a knack for getting just the right thing for each of her nephews and nieces and I always looked forward to my gift from her. She didn't have any children of her own but when she married Uncle Guy he had two daughters. If I remember right we all would get together at whose ever turn it was to have Christmas on Christmas Eve after the Children's Christmas program. And it always seemed to be snowing when we would get out of church.

Back to the books . . . . when I was given this gift my great Aunt Amanda said "You don't need to open it because it's just books" I'm sure she thought it would be easier for mom and dad to get the gifts home but I said " I know - I can feel that they are books but I want to see what they are" And so I found Little Women, Little Men, Eight Cousins and 2 others that I can't remember the titles. I was so delighted and spent many hours reading. I think this was probably one of the few times that Great Aunt Amanda and Great Uncle Ewalt were with us at Christmas.

More to come .....

Monday, December 1, 2008


I spent Thanksgiving day with my daughter -in-law's family which is quite large and not all of them were there. There was a constant undercurrent of noise but nothing really loud. My DIL's mom lives on a small lake which had frozen over much to the delight of almost everyone there. And most everyone went ice skating. Not me - I haven't been skating since I was in high school and and not about to start up again now. They tell me the ice was like glass - very smooth and they saw a turtle and a fish swimming underneath the ice which all thought was very cool. The small children who have not learned the art of skating were pushed around on chairs.

We had the usual Thanksgiving dinner and then the desserts were put out on the table . 16 pies of every discription: Apple, pumpkin, ki lime, cherry, chocolate, dutch apple, Lemon.

Lowell was not a game player so there a lots of card games I'm now beginning to learn (and enjoy). Whist was the game of the day - great fun.

All those pies made me think of the first time I made a coconut cream pie. It was the second summer we were married. I made the pie crust and mixed up the coconut cream from a pudding mix. Poured it into the crust - hmmm something wasn't right. Oh ya, the crust needs to be baked first. So I scraped the pudding mix out, baked the crust and poured the mix back into the baked crust. The crust was a bit tough but it tasted good anyway.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

a little of this and a little of that

It occurred to me last week that this is the first time in my life that I am living alone. (you can't count the times when Lowell was on the road)

I had lunch/supper with two different groups of women in the last two week. Now it's great to have women friends but you know what - I discovered that I miss the company of men :)

I bought myself a another dog - I know- you think I'm crazy since I already have one. But I thought Ollie needed a friend. So Sophie, a mini dachshund, is now a member of my household. It has taken Ollie almost 2 weeks to finally realize this "thing" is here for the duration. It's fun to watch them chase each other.

And my new wood heater is up and running - David made a platform for it and Sharon and I cemented zbrick to it. Yesterday we got the heater up on the platform - connected the stove pipes and it works!!!! It has a glass front so I can watch the flames. I put a glider rocker and footstool by it so now it's really a comfy place. It will be even nicer when winter weather sets in.

My new kitchen cupboards are beautiful - white with blue countertop. In a couple of weeks my new kitchen windows will be installed.

I'm watching "Secondhand Lions" with Michael Caine and Robert Duvall. If you haven't seen it you should - it's great!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Another chapter

A chapter of my life came to a close this morning. For most of our married life Lowell and I had horses. Actually they were more Lowell's than mine although I enjoyed them, too. Some were riding horses and some were work horses but a lot were "just horses" Would you believe that at one time we had 9 horses - how we accumulated that many I have no idea. Dick and Dan are Belgium horses, half brothers, that we raised and the last of all those horses. I knew that I could not (nor want to) take care of them, So this morning a man from ND - someone my daughter knows - came to get them. He has a farm, lots of kids and other horses. They seemed excited about getting work horses to add to their "family". So even though I was sad to see them go, I am relieved that I won't have to spend money on hay and take care of them when it's blizzardy out or very cold. Lowell would be happy they are going to a good home and will be very well taken care of. So after 40 years of living on this place there is no livestock except a couple of dogs and several cats. . . . . .and so another chapter begins.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

He loved me!

It's been almost 2 months since Lowell went to Heaven - I really miss him. It seems like he should be walking in the back door at any time. The hardest days are Sundays - they seem so long. In church I can almost see him sitting in the pew and when I sit down from playing the organ I can almost feel him next to me. About 7:00 pm 2 Sundays ago I hopped on the golf cart and went up to Sharon's - I couldn't stand being by myself any longer that day. She invited me to watch a movie with them and it really helped - I'm so lucky/glad that she and David live so close to me.
In lots of ways I'm luckier than some women - I was used to Lowell being gone for a week or two when he was driving the truck and I paid the bills and took care of the insurance, ect. so that part of my life hasn't changed. But a couple of weeks ago it really hit me that he wasn't going to be coming home anymore. . . . . . . . . And so the next stage of my life begins.

Psalms 121:7 & 8 says:
The Lord will keep you from all harm
He will watch over your life
The Lord will watch over your comings and goings
both now and forever more.

And so I'm claiming that promise and look forward to whatever the Lord has planned for me.

I loved him!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

If it sounds right, it's not

That's what some of the music in Stephen Sondheim's opera "Into the Woods" sounds like to me. Many changes of time signatures and sometimes 6#'s or 7b's along with groups of notes that sound wrong make it difficult for me to learn. But there are lots of pretty songs, too. "Into the Woods" is the opera the Northern Lights Opera Company is performing this Friday, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon. Then again on July 31, Aug. 1 and 2nd. It's a combination of children's fairy tales with a twist. I'm the rehearsal accompanist but we add a small orchestra for the performances. My favorite is the duet between Cinderella's prince and Rapunzel's prince called "Agony". It's quite funny. Besides adding much to the performances the orchestra covers up my mistakes :) This week we've practice from 6:00 - 10:30 each evening - I'm getting tired. Anyway if you can come you will enjoy!! "Be Careful What You Wish For"

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cd cover

This is the cover I designed for the cover of the cd of dad's tape that he made.
On his tape he did not talk about his football season except to say that he sat on the bench most of the time. He never mentioned the saxaphone that he's holding and I don't remember him talking about camping with his folks. So all of you who read this blog ask about the pictures you see of your folks or grandparents and WRITE it down. You'll be glad you did.

Father's day

My father was a good man and a good provider and I know he loved me but I didn't know him very well. He was a master electrician by trade and loved his work. He had lots of hobbies: ham radio operator, hunting, fishing and photographer. My brother spent quite a bit of time hunting and fishing with dad but I never did. Now I don't know if that was my decision or dad's. I don't remember him ever asking me to fish or hunt with him - although I remember one time I went out in the boat with him. He fished and I read a book. Maybe that's when he decided I probably wouldn't want to be a fisherman but I enjoyed being in the boat with him and I have always loved the water. About the time I asked him to teach me the morse code (I thought ham radio was fascinating) I became interested in Lowell --- so much for morse code. :) So even though I knew what my dad did I don't remember ever talking with him much as a kid. Not like my sons do with their children.

When I was a little girl and then as a teenager mom and dad didn't get along very well and since dad loved his profession - home didn't seem to be a priority. In later years mom and dad learned to appreciate their differences for the most part.

The winter before he died he made 2 45 minute tapes about his life. I wish I had been able to listen to those tapes before he died because when I did listen to them I had questions. But I'm grateful for those tapes. I had a friend record them onto a cd so I could make copies for my kids.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My blue bike

I loved my blue bike even though it wasn't new and it was a boy's bike. I rode it everywhere. No matter where I went - to Grandma's, to my cousins, to my Aunts, even to town where my dad has his electric motor shop - I had to cross a brige and go up a big hill. But such fun going home!!! down hill all the way.

We lived just a couple of blocks from the park where my friends and I spent a lot of time. It was and still is a beautiful park. It had 3 levels so going to the lower level was lots of fun because it had 3 curves and you could really pick up speed. But coming up was really hard work. Ramsey creek flowed through the lower level with a bridge made out of stone by the CCC or WPA (works progress association)in the late 30's or early 40's. The pavillion was also made of stone by the same group of men. Sometimes my friends and I would pack a lunch and spend the afternoon on Ramsey Falls. Now that I think of it I'm surprised my mom let me do that because it was quite a drop from where we would sit to the water with lots of rocks between. Maybe she didn't know we did that. hmmmm.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


So I've been tagged by my daughter. 6 unspectacular things about me. hmmmmm.
Somebody has to explain this tagging thing. I don't quite understand how to continue it. My brain must be tired tonight.
Well 6 things:
1. I count when I set the table - 1-2-3-4 ect plates. 1-2-3-4- ect silverware.
2. I used to have to finish reading a book no matter how boring it was. I've stopped doing that.
3. When I'm by myself or Hubby is sleeping I watch two different tv shows. (I really like the remote control.)
4. I seldom remember the punch lines of jokes.
5. I spend far too much time playing computer games.
6. I really REALLY don't like to clean house or cook. laundry's ok

Monday, May 19, 2008

It died!

Hannah ran up to the house yelling "the lawnmower is smoking!" Her mom answered "It always smokes" "But this time it's ON FIRE, too!!!" And so the demise of the lawnmower began. We've have this lawnmower for quite a number of years and although it did smoke a bit it still did the job both at our house and the house on the hill.
As Avery said - it was sad and kind of funny, too. As we watched it burn we noticed that fire was creeping into the grass in the pasture. So David, Sharon and several kids grabbed buckets of water. The men that were working on the road came up to see what was going on and proceeded to help with shovels. Had this been closer to the trees we would have been in big trouble but the mower died without any other damage.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Other music stuff

It's raining instead of snowing - thank goodness. I think we all had our fill of that white stuff but ya know. next winter we will look forward to the snow again.

We had to cancel the Chorale concert for Saturday, also. Now it is scheduled for June 5. It can't possibly snow then - can it?

I had my piano recital Friday night (May 2) and I will say that it was a success. Some of the string students of my friend, Jeff, played also. So violin, cello, guitar and piano were mixed together and it made for a very nice recital. My 2 grand daughters played a duet. One is from south of Fargo who practices with her mom and the other grand daughter lives just up the hill and practices with me. So they only had to play it once or twice Friday afternoon and they had it down pat. Then Bria played the duet with Clara at her recital Sunday afternoon. So now I'm done teaching until next Fall. Whew - but next Fall I'll be ready again.

Now onto other musical things. Today I started working with the HS choir along with the regular accompanist. I'll get to play different instruments using a Insoniq keyboard. The choirs are doing music from several musical with lots of choreography. Mrs. D sure puts a lot of energy into her choirs and especially the Spring concert - this year May 14.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Winter again!!

Boy of boy, winter will not let go of us. A snow storm again. The yard was dry and I was staring to rake all the junk that had accumulated when David and Zac cut up a tree that Itasca Mantrap cut down. Guess I'll have to wait a-g-a-i-n.
Our classic chorale concert had to be cancelled tonight. Hopefully it will be a go tomorrow afternoon. We have some really good music.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Simone and Ollie

Little visitors

With a little warmer weather and no snow we are starting to get our little visitors.
Last week Simone walks in "hi, I walked here" "Does your mom know you're here?" No answer but soon the phone rang: "Do you have a little girl there?" her mom asked. Simone was playing outside while David and Sharon were working in the office. When they went to look for her she wasn't there but they saw Bear, their dog, by our back door - hence the phone call. It started to rain so grandpa took her home.

A few days ago Ollie, our dog, "announce" that someone was at the back door. Simone. "My mommy knows I'm here". I asked again " does your mommy know you're here?" Yes, was her answer. So she sat on Grandpa's lap, had a few cookies and watched whatever western was on. (Grandpa's favorite kind of show) She asked for Dora, the Explorer but grandpa said he wanted to finish watching his show. "ok" she answered. Not too long after that the phone rang "Do you have a little girl there?" When I told Sharon that Simone said her mom knew she was here, Sharon laughed and said "she lied". So Sharon talked to Simone on the phone and told her to come home. So Simone went home.
Fortunately she doesn't have to walk on the road to get here. We have sort of a road or maybe you could call it a large path from their house, past the barn and then to our house.
A few days later Simone called "Can I come visit?" Of course we said yes. And it's only April! :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

This lovely young woman is my granddaughter, Kate.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

This is my mom and dad's (seated) wedding picture - Harold and Dorothy Duncan. Mom's sister, Evelyn, and her husband, Harvey, stood up for them. Harvey was dad's best friend. Mom had two other sisters, Gertrude and Beth and a brother, Gillette. Dad had a brother, Donald and a sister, Irene. Most of mom's immediate family lived in Redwood Falls, the town I grew up in. We often got together on Saturday nights for supper and the adults played card games. Dad's family lived in other places and I don't remember them getting together very often although Dad's folks lived in Redwood and I would often go see them. My mom's dad had died when she was a young girl and her mom lived by herself until she developed rhumatiod arthritis. I remember visiting her a few times - a ticking clock reminds me of her. And we would have hot water with sugar in it and date nut rock cookies. When she could no longer live alone she lived with us for a while (although I don't remember this) and later moved into a rest home.
One of my cousins (Evelyn's daughter) and I spent quite a bit of time together. She lived a few blocks from my grandpa and grandma Duncan. We would walk or ride our bikes and stop to visit when Dianne had to buy some milk from the dairy that was behind my grandparents house. They had a beautiful yard filled with flowers, two lily ponds with goldfish in them. A rock bridge between the ponds and a rock lamp post at the the end of the path from the bridge. Grandpa also made a bird bath out of rocks. They had patio where you could sit and look at the back yard. We often roasted marshmellows in the fireplace. I remember grandpa telling me not to be so impatient roasting them - most of the time I would pull them out flaming into charcoal lumps. Now I'm not so impatient - I actually have nicely browned marshmellows to eat and not charcoal lumps

Monday, April 7, 2008

And this same tree Sunday afternoon


I took this picture from the back door Saturday evening. The spots are snow on the camera.


And I thought it was Spring. Silly me. 20 inches of snow in less than two days.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Family get togethers - now

Another family get together has come and gone - Easter this time. There were 19 of us - Everyone except my oldest son and his family who live in Oregon. Somehow Easter felt different this year. I'm not sure why - maybe because it was so early or maybe because it snowed or maybe because we didn't (couldn't?) have an Easter egg hunt. Or maybe it was because I didn't go to Son Rise service. In retrospect I wish I had gone. Part of the family did and part didn't go to church at all so when I finished playing the organ for second service I was the only family member there. I only had to play the organ for hymns and although it made it easy for me I still like to play a "rousing" offertory on Easter Sunday.

We had our family Easter dinner at David and Sharon's on Saturday because David, the trucker, had to leave after church on Sunday. We had the usual good food, conversation and games. It gets noisy with 10 grand kids (plus one girlfriend, who wasn't noisy) from ages 3 - 21. The 3 yr old is a "wild man" but cute and funny. He kept his mom busy keeping him out of trouble. Sunday my girls and their families had dinner here along with David. Sharon and the rest of her family went to her mom's for the day. Although some of the conversation gets a bit "testy" now and then we had a good time.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Simone and Grandpa

I think this is a nice picture of Simone and Grandpa
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"My Wordless Prayer"

One of the pieces that the Park Rapids Classic Chorale is singing is titled "My Wordless Prayer" bye Craig Courtney. I really like these words:

My words lie still and lifeless as dust upon the sand.
I can no longer voice one request or one demand
My cup of tears is empty, I can no longer cry.
My lips have fallen silent, my prayer is but a sigh.
Spirit come and rest Your ear upon my heart,
O come and hear my wordless prayer, my silent plea and take them far away from me.
Take them from this heart of mine to the Father's heart divine.
Speak in tones unknown to man that God may hear and understand

My voice is weak from calling to You both night and day.
How long will You be silent? Why do You turn away?

Spirit, come and rest Your ear upon My heart ;
O come and hear my worldess prayer, my silent plea and take them far away from me.
Take them from this heart of mine to the Father's heart divine
Speak in tones unkown to man that God may here and understand.

Josh - again

Remember Josh - the very active piano student of mine? Well, tonight we had a GOOD lesson. And he can play "The Star Spangled Banner" with only a few mistakes. He'll have them figured out next week. It was also his birthday - although I didn't know that until he asked me if had gotten him a birthday present. :( Usually he wants to hang around to play with Ollie after his lesson but his dad reminded him of the birthday cake waiting for him. So off he went. It was a good day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One of my piano students drew this picture for me last week. She also wrote a nice note with it. I always enjoy teaching but the last month or so have been really enjoyable. Especially with 4 of my "girls". With my permission they've been looking through my music (I have lots and lots). Each week they take a few pieces home to try - sometimes they can play it and sometimes it gets returned with "This is too hard" But that's ok because the more music they try to read the better pianists they will become. I have two grandaughters the same age (10) who both play piano very well. One is up the hill from me - the other a distance away but last year they did a duet at my recital and will do one this year, too. My daughter plays the duet with her daughter - I play the duet with the other grandaughter and then the day of the recital they play it once or twice and they've got it. Great fun for me.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Horses, ect

As we were watching an animal rescue program I thought of all the animals we have had during our marriage. And what a terrific vet Lowell would have made. He seems to have a sixth sense on how to treat wounded or sick animals. We've had cattle, sheep, geese, rabbits, dogs and horses.

When we lived in Austin we had a black horse named "Smokey" He would pick Randy up by the collar and carry him around a bit. Smokey would also eat the apples that fell off the trees with the juice running out of his mouth. One day he tried to jump the fence and almost ran a fence post into his stomach. Fortunately it didn't penetrate the stomach but he had quite a wound. I ended up having to walk him a couple of times a day for a couple of weeks so that he wouldn't stiffen up. Later when we moved up here he ran a bolt into the center of his hoof. When the vet come to look at him -he said the best thing to do wash the wound often and give him aspirin. Once when Lowell was leading him out of the barn to attend to the wound Smokey hit his foot on the sill. We think he actually cried. We felt so bad. A few years later we buried him between what we called Pine Ridge and the big woods. Now David and Sharon's back yard is near that spot and I think their dog has dug up a bone or two.

At one time we had 9 -I don't know where they all came from - certainly not for our kids because we only had one who wanted to ride. One foggy fall morning the horses were all gone. So we put the saddle in the pickup and went looking for them - hard to do in fog. Anyway we found them not too far from home. Lowell put the saddle on Missy (half Arabian) and started leading the horses home. Half way across the field northeast of us he remembered that it was opening deer season. Oops. He bent over the horse and away he went with the horses following him. He thinks he probably startled several deer hunters.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Last week my very hyper piano student was most uncooperative so I was very apprehensive on his upcoming lesson last night. To back track a little- last week I finally had to tell his dad that Josh was not cooperating - so the dad took him in the back room and talked to him. I don't know what dad said but Josh was better - not good - but better. Later in the evening Josh called and apoligized for his bad attitude.

I tried a different tactic last night and things went better. First thing I asked him to play was his favorite piece - his face lit up and he played "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". He wants to learn to play "The Star Spangled Banner" but he's not really ready for it -- however I said that if he would play the pieces he practiced for his lesson we would work on "The Star Spangled Banner" He did and we did. I think it will take him quite a while to learn it but unless he gets terribly frustrated I think he might be able to do it for the recital in May

Hopefully next week will as productive as last night.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Some time after we bought our farm (1969) we decided to buy a cow. We thought it would be great to have our own milk. ya, right :-) I know, I know, there are some of you out there who do have your own milk. It just didn't work for us. Our youngest son informed us that he wasn't going to drink "home made" milk. It didn't seem like anything was going to change his mind. So I bought a pretty pitcher and started using it with the "store" milk. Periodically he would ask if the milk he was going to drink was "home made" and I could honestly say "no". We bought the cow and put that milk in the pitcher on the table. Son said "Is this home made milk" and when I said "yes" he emphatically said he wasn't going to drink it . So I said " we been drinking it for 2 weeks already" . "Oh" was all he said and he drank it.

Friday, February 29, 2008


When our kids were home we had a least 4 dogs: A yellow lab, a black lab, a Pekingese and poodle. When the kids were gone and we no longer had all these dogs I told Lowell that I would like to choose my own dog. I wanted a Boxer. So 16 years ago we bought a 6 week old dark brindle puppy with a black mask. She fit nicely in my lap when we brought her home. We named her "Emma" and we loved that dog. Well, she grew and she grew and she grew until she was about 125 pounds. She still wanted to be on my lap but it just wasn't going to happen. My brother said she looked like a beached whale when she was stretched out on the living room floor.
After David and Sharon moved out here Emma put on many miles between our house and theirs. But she never did learn to leave their cat "oopsie" alone. In fact that first summer Oopsie spent most of day up a tree. But one day she'd had enough and used her claws like cats do and really gave her all to Emma. Well, Emma's lip and tongue bled a little but that didn't stop her from bothering the cat.
Six years ago this coming July she died. We had had very hot and humid weather so we had Emma go outside and lay in the grassy shade. When Lowell went to bring her in he found her dead. She had been up the hill several times that day and we think he heart just gave out with the heat and exertion. We called Zac to help dig a hole for her in our pet cemetery. The ground was so hard that it took Zac, Sharon and Lowell using an axe to cut through the roots to finally get a hole deep enough to bury her.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ringer washers again

About those ringer washing machines: Both houses that I had to use the washers had porches that I could use in the warmer weather. But in winter we brought the washer into the kitchen and by the time I was done washing - no matter how careful I was - there was water all over the floor. So then I had to mop the kitchen floor. It took me pretty much all day to get all this done. I was generally "pooped" by the end of the day. I'm really gratefull for my automatic washer and dryer. All I have to do is turn on the water - load the clothers- and leave. Wonderful invention!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Is it ever going to warm up? Our thermometer said -30 at 7:00 this am. It has warmed up some (it's 1:00) now. And its sunny. We have a grand daughter with us this afternoon - her mom gives abstenance speeches in schools around the area. She's 3 1/2 with pretty blond hair and a great smile. She has trouble saying "r" so Grandpa is Glandpa. :) She is the youngest of 7 with the oldest sibling being a 3rd year college student in Valley City. He's a 6'7" basketball player. Her oldest sister, Janessa, (6'3") plays basketball for Penn state. I think I've already mentioned this. She sang The Star Spangled Banner before their game Sunday. Although the game was on the Big 10 channel her singing was not. :(
We visited a daughter and her family Sunday afternoon over Fargo way. It was blowing and there were some icy spots. If I had slowed down as much as Lowell wanted me to we wouldn't be there yet :) Coming home it was still blowing but not icy. The snow was drifting across the highway and it was almost like driving on clouds. Anyway we had a good time. We celebrated a grandson's 3rd birthday. He's such a cute little guy with oodles and I mean oodles of enegy.
I'm really ready for Spring!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ringer washer

Time for the ringer washing machine story: This is not a long one - I can almost feel it happen even now. I think we got the machine from Lowell's dad - Lowell's mom had died a few years before we were married and I don't think Harry knew how to work it. My sister-in-law probably did his washing for him. Anyway, Lowell hauled in water for me to heat on the stove and to fill the 2 tubs with cold water. I was really proud of myself for knowing how to use this machine. I did the white clothes first and so when Lowell's white shirt was next out of the water I folded the collar in half so it wouldn't wrinkle too much - guided it to the ringers- felt something - pulled my hand back and low and behold my whole thumb nail was gone!!!. Did you know that the thumb nail is actually quite long? Lowell found it and we showed the dr. All he needed to do was put a metal cap over my thumb and assure me that it would grow back. I'm not sure how long I wore that but having a metal cap on your left hand thumb is quite inconvenient.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Wow! It is sooooo cold tonight and it's been cold all day. We had our pickup plugged in last night so it went this am so we could go to church. If it wasn't for the fact that I had to play for 1st service I think we would have stayed home. We had -41(wind chill)when we left the house. brrrrrr. As I'm writing this it's -31(wind chill). The furnace hardly stops. We have a radiator type heater in the living room that helps some. And David brought in a bunch of wood yesterday afternoon so we have the kitchen wood heater going, too. I sure hope this is the last of the cold. I think I've said this before :)
I listened to Zac's ball game Friday night - they lost to Minot, ND. But last night they won. It was a hard fought game but they beat Dickenson by 10. This afternoon Janessa's team, Lady lions, played Iowa( in Pa) but lost by 10 points, I think. Thursday night Minnesota goes to Pa and I'l watch that on the Big 10 channel, too.
It's time to go to bed and sleep another cold night away.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

10 Houses

I was thinking about the houses in which Lowell and I have lived the 53 almost 54 years we've been married. We started out in the (1)little farm house that first summer. We had electricity but no running water - hence no inside bathroom. I had to heat water on the stove so I could wash clothes in the ringer washing machine. There were 2 tubs for rinsing that had to be filled and I put some bluing in the last rinse. Somehow I remember how my mother washed clothes although I really don't remember helping her. In my high school days dad bought her an automatic washer and dryer. There's a story about the ringer washing machine that I will write about later. We lived there one summer and one winter. Lowell remembers that every time he came in the house I was reading "Gone with the Wind". I remember a small drift of snow across the living room floor. We had an oil burning stove in the living room. In late february or early March I found out I was pregant with Randy. I don't remember the reason we moved from there but we moved in with Lowell's dad and where Lowell grew up - (2)again a farm house with no running water. We were there for only a few week until we found an (3) apartment. That apartment did have running water and a bathroom :) It was upstairs above a business in downtown Redwood. It was an inside apartment - that is - there were several others around the perimenter. That summer was the hottest summer since the summer I was born. Or so my mom said. We had one small window over looking a tar roof and no air conditioning so when I climbed those 100 steps (at least it seemed like 1oo) and very pregnant I was bushed and very hot. There's a story about that apartment, too, for a later time.
In late July we decided we couldn't take the heat anymore and started to look for a small house we could rent. The day we moved - Sept 1- it turned cool. It was (4)a cute little house - very, very small with a huge furnace. It was the same rent but now we had the expense of heating. Later we wished we would have stayed in the apartment. Oh well, you live and learn. The neat thing was that it was the house my mom and dad lived in when I was born. "How small was it?"
you ask. Well, the kitchen was just wide enought for my 30 inch stove at one end and had a 30 inch sink at the other end. The outside door was in the midde of the kitchen wall and a trap door leading to the basement was in the middle of the floor. In the living room we put the refrigerator, table, couch, Randy's crib and the only place left for the chair was over the big furnace grate. It was a wonderful place to sit when the furnace came on. The bedroom was just big enough for a queen size bed and the bathroom was just a step or two from the bed. Randy was born in October and we spent that winter and the next Spring in this little house. There's a story here, too.
In the Spring Lowell's dad died and so that summer we moved back to (5)the home place and again we were without running water and no inside bathroom. That winter my mom suggested that I wash clothes at her place so that I didn't have to haul water. Thank goodness!! Several stories here, too.
Just before Christmas of 1957 we moved to an (6) apartment in Austin, MN (a story comes later) and then we bought a (7) house in Austin Acres later that summer. In October Barbara was born. Several stories during these years. Both Karen and David were born while we lived in this house. From there we moved to Park Rapids. Lowell got a job working for Park Rapids Floral early in 1968 and since I was commited as organist until Easter we couldn't all move up here at one time. Lowell found a (8)little place so that Randy and Barbara could get started in school and I stayed in Austin with Karen and David. It was not a very nice house and very drafty so we found a (9) house to rent and moved again just before Christmas in a snow storm. It had 5 bedrooms upstairs, a huge kitchen, a huge living room and 2 bedrooms downstairs. (another story) From there in 1969 we moved to our (10) present home. We have electricy, running water, an inside bathroom and a good furnace. :-)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A scary 2006/2007

I just finished our story about Lowell's medical problem that started in February 2006 and continued through Winter and Spring of 2007. If you are interested in reading it, it is titled End of 2007. It is the first blog I posted so scroll and click on "old post" then scroll down the page.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


So Lena and Sven were getting ready for bed - Lena cleaned her contact lenses and put them in a glass of water. Sometime in the night Sven got up and drank that glass of water. Lena couldn't see very good the next morning but Sven had 20/20 hindsight.
That was just one of the jokes at our Minnesota at Heart church party last night. We had such a good time. Theresa puts on one whale of a party: lots of food, fun and fellowship. It was good to see people that I don't get to see on Sunday anymore since I play for only the first service. One lady told me she misses my music but can't get up that early :) I told her it was the only day of the week that I had to set my alarm :-)
When I got home I turned on the internet to listen to the 2nd half of Zac's game with Mayville. They were ahead by 23 and little by little Mayille got them down to just 5 ahead. But the Vikings got themselves together and won the game by 18 points. So now they are tied for 1st place in the conference. Zac had 9 points and 4 fouls.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


As I'm writing this it is 16 below zero with a little breeze. I sure hope this is the last of the really cold days and night. Another day and it will be February - can Spring be far behind?
I was talking to a grand daughter tonight who lives in southern oregon - they had a school snow day today. I smiled when she told me that. Their snow days consist of maybe an inch or so. Her dad told me (when he first moved to Oregon) that he laughed at people who panicked at an inch of snow.
I'm going to bed now and snuggle under my warm blanket and sleep this cold night away.


This is "Ollie" (and Lowell) When I was returning some mail that was put in our box by mistake I saw this cute dog. When I asked about her the neighbor said she belonged to her sister who was on her honeymoon. A few days later she called and asked if I wanted the dog - the sister was moving to Montana and couldn't take the dog. So I bought her. It was July of 2006 and we were rehearsing for "Oliver" (Northern Lights Opera Company). Hence "Ollie" She's a fun dog and very smart. I hung a bell on the back door and she learn how to ring it when she wanted outside. (Thanks Jan) She also knows it gets my attention for other things, too, such as "I need water" or "how about a treat"

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pink Booties

Barbara (my daughter) told me this story - Lowell says it's true - I just asked him.

The church (Faith) had a valentine's party and each person was to put in a jar what first attracted them to their spouse. The game was then for each person to pull out a piece of paper and guess who the couple was. One slip no one could figure out. It said "her pink booties."It was Dad's. He said he was first attracted to Mom's pink booties. Growing up in the same church and he being 11 years older - it's possible that he saw her pink booties. He did tell me that he remembered holding her when she was 1 week old and thinking to himself "what's the big deal?" And he had no idea he would marry her 18 years later.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


This is one of my favorite pictures I've taken in the last few years. I'm by my back door looking at the beautiful sunset


This was taken at the fair in Redwood - I think the summer we were married. We look so young and slender :)


When I read through my last blog and thinking about this one I realized I didn't have a lot of common sense when I was 18. I guess I never had to put common sense to work :)
Lowell's dad brought us 101 leghorn chickens that first summer. Again I knew nothing but this time I did learn how to collect eggs without getting attacked by the chickens Would you believe we got 100 eggs a day? It became my job to clean the eggs and put them in a 30 dozen carton. Those cartons were divided so that there were 15 dozen eggs on each side. I put the carton on a chair so that I didn't have to lean down too far. Can you guess where this one's going? :) I intended to fill one side and then do the other side which made sense at the time. Well, my carton tipped and I had eggs all over the floor. Eggs really put a good shine on the floor!!
Lowell was a very patient husband - I'm sure he thought "impure" thoughts at the time but he kept his cool.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A brides first year

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Linda's blog about a completely different life made me think of the first year Lowell and I were married. I grew up in a small town in Southern Minnesota with a brother, a stay at home mom and a dad who loved his profession as master electrician. I don't think I was spoiled but other people might think so because I really didn't want for much except what most teenagers want. In other words I lived in a nice home, had nice clothes, always warm and never hungry. Then I fell in love with this farmer/truck driver. Our families knew each other - in fact Lowell's brother worked with my grandpa and later my dad as an electrician. We all went to the same church and when Lowell and I got married 3/4 of the church became related but that was ok because they didn't all agree at the same time anyway.
Anyway we were married in June and moved to a farm that Lowell was renting about 30 miles from Redwood. I loved it!! One of my first memories of that summer is this: Lowell couldn't get the tracker to start. He hooked a chain to our 49 Ford and asked me to pull the tractor. You all know where this is going. right? I didn't slowly start forward - I just drove and Lowell about flew off the tractor's seat. Well, I really was glad we were newlyweds. How was I suppose to know how pull anything - he never told me, my dad never told me. I have since learned and pulled my share of tractors and pickups. It is NOT my favorite thing to do.
More of that first year later.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I've never watched or listened to so much basketball as I have in the last 7 or 8 years. Starting with grandson, Zac when he was in H.S. Then Janessa when she was in H.S. Now Hannah in H.S. Besides that Zac is playing ball at Valley City State in N.D. He's a junior and although I have not seen any of his games in person I can listen to them over the internet. Now Janessa as a freshman is playing for Penn State and I watched her in person yesterday at Williams Arena at the U of M. Although they lost, Janessa did well and played for over 30 minutes. Most of her other games I "watch" by Gametracker on the internet or the Big 10 station on TV.

Almost all of Sharon's family was there; My daughter, Karen and her family were there; as well as many people from the commuity and church. Janessa was so gracious when she came out to visit with us after the game. I think it was kind of hard for her to smile but she did and we got lots of pictures.

Oh yes, Bria, Janessa's 10 yr old sister, got to be water girl. During the half time a group of gymnastics from the Fargo area put on a show. Boy!! were they good. Simone (3) watched very intenstly. I told David "maybe you better keep an eye on her" She loves to jump from 3 or 4 steps to the living room floor - I can just see her trying those gymnastics moves.

I rode down with Paster Mark, his family and several other church people. (David and his family went down saturday) However I can home with David and Sharon. We went to eat at the Country Buffet in Maple Grove. Most of Sharon's family ate there and Karen's family. We had a good time which we always do when we're altogether.

It is so great that Sharon's family and my family all get along well - Sharon's mom and I are good friends. Sometimes I think we are a unusual family because you here so many stories about families that don't get along with each other let alone getting along with inlaws.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I need to practice more!!!! The IKMT (Independant Keyboard Music Teachers) sponsored a piano workshop for our students and concert for them and the general public this morning. The group of 12 from Northwestern Bible College (Roseville, MN) performed piano duets as well as solos. They were so good!!!! Some of the composers represented were: Debussy, Dvorak, Bizet, Bach, Ravel. Mussorgsky and my favorite, Rachmanifoff.

A lot of these pieces I could have played at one time but my fingers have slowed down (and maybe my brain). But just listening to those young people inspired me to get out a couple of piece and learn them again.

So now I change hats from musician to farmers wife and pull the hose from the basement so we can water the horses.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I've revamped my teaching schedule. I'm now teaching 2 full days instead of two or 3 students on Monday and 1 or 2 on thursday. Since I have several home school students I can put everyone on Tuesday and Wednesday. It really seemed strange not to teach this last Monday-I've taught Mon - Thursday for so many years. I will say that I was really tired when Tuesday evening came. My last student is quite hyper - apparently he is on medication on some sort. Anyway his dad told me the medication had been changed so he may be a bit more hyper than usual. I'd say so!!! wow. I had a bit of trouble keeping him on task. But I remembered how David was when he was little. I'm sure his teachers said "wow", too. I love teaching. It is so much fun to show them how to play piano.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hi Linda,
As I was reading your blog this morning it reminded me of the time we packed our 4 door dodge car with 4 kids and a dog and drove from Austin, Mn to Bemidji.

It was the summer David was born. My mom and dad bought a house on a lake by Bemidji and for one reason and another it took them all summer to get moved. They gave us the key to the house and for almost 2 weeks we lived with no radio, TV, or furniture. We did have a few beds and the stove and refrigerator were there.

Lowell put a piece of plywood to fill in the back seat for 2 kids with room for suitcases underneath and 1/2 piece from front seat to back window for one other kid. While Randy (10) and Barbara(7) were "discussing" who was going to get the top "bunk" Karen (3) claimed it. Ginger, our boxer, rode in the trunk - it had a few holes in it so she had air to breathe. And David, (2 wks) slept in the front seat between Lowell and me. Of course, these were the days before mandated car seats.

I remember at one gas station the attendant commented on the "full" car. Lowell in his dead pan way said "oh ,we have a dog in the trunk, too" at which the attendant gave us a very strange look.

At some point on our drive the spare tire blew - poor Ginger -but she survived

When mom and dad left the house dad reminded us that we were to close the flue in the fireplace when we weren't using it. We said "oh, we'll probably not use it at all" Well, they were hardly down the driveway when we decided to start a fire. And for the rest of the vacation we cooked hot dogs and beans in the fireplace. We had a wonderful time.