Friday, August 28, 2009

Great MN Get Together!

Yes that is the MN State Fair! We got up at 2 AM and left the house at 2:50 AM! Got to St Paul to the fair grounds about 7 AM, and beat the rain. It rain about 8 AM and then it got muggy!!!!! But then it usually gets hot in the barns because there are so many bodies!!! It quit raining after a short shower and turned into a very nice day.

Amanda got first place in her class and a purple ribbon. But when she went back for the championship drive, she didn't win. But that was ok. The judge is one opinion, and Amanda's gilt will be staying at the fair through the 4-H show, and then for the open class showing when Steve will show her next week. We'll see how the gilt does then. There are a lot of breeders looking at her, saying how good she is! Of course next week more breeders are there and there is a sale for breeding stock.

"Miss Piggy" content to lay quietly in her pen on clean shavings!

Showmanship Contest

Carl and Edie, and Bill were there to watch the show, as well as Karleen and Karlie. It is always nice to have extra family there. Later in the day Karen and Tom (Dan B's sister) stopped and also Debbie, Cody and Kyle. Cody and Kyle are really growing, and typical boys, Kyle wanted to get on to something else. Visiting with grown ups was pretty boring for a soon to be 7 year old and a 4 year old when there are so many things to see at the fair! But I got my hugs!!!!

Karleen, Karlie, me, Leah and Amanda

After Amanda was done showing and we watched other county kids show, Amanda and I went to the booth that sells Farm Girl / Boy clothing. I get her something new there every year, and this year she picked out a cute hooded Farm Girl sweat shirt. Then Leah, Steven; and Steve and I went for lunch and sat for awhile listening to country music. After lunch Steve went back to the barn and I went exploring. Leah and Steven also went back to watch more county kids show. I was on a mission to get Odda and Hooch new dog tags - I get new ones every year. At the commercial building, there is a booth that you can pick out whatever color, size and type of tag you want and wait while it is engraved. So much easier than ordering and paying postage! We crammed alot in today, and it was a long day. Today we discussed that Steve has only missed about 2 state fairs since they started showing in 1957, and when we got married in 1970, I haven't missed either. We figured we could count on one hand the times we have missed a state fair - that's pretty incredible! Of course, most of the time, we don't go all over the fair grounds. You can bet that you will find us in the HOG BARN! A pretty good place to stay and not fight the crowds. You can do a lot of people watching there in the hog barn!!!

"Too Many People You Say!!!"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hop Hop!

What does the bunny say? You got it- - - Hop, Hop! That was what Stephani would tell us when she was very little and we would ask her how the different animals would talk!

This picture is Leah, 13 1/2 years old; Stephani, 8 1/2 years old; and Jessica almost 2. I think I'm close in the ages!!!!!!
Always loved this picture. The girls always liked to play in the hay mow after hay and straw were put up, so one fall, we took pictures there. This must be fall of 1980.

Leah loved her rabbits. The girls used to have little dog collars on them and lead them around the front yard and even have them inside for treats; on the kitchen floor in front of the refrigerator! The girls would even have them on the couch and watch tv with them. The bunnies were very good pets for the kids.

Always the entrepreneur, Leah would make a little money with her rabbits. She would sell the babies to a couple of the area resorts, and they would have them for their petting zoo area for the guests staying at the resort.

Vikings Fans!!!

Vikings Fans Or ---- Is it Halloween!

Oldest daughter Leah, husband Steve, and kids love their football - Vikings! I wonder if they dress up like this when they are watching the game? I do know that they do get out the purple and yellow, and really get into the spirit; but the face paint is usually saved for Halloween!
These pictures were taken in 2000 - Wonder if Blake and Amanda would wear those Viking helmets now? Aren't they cute?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Evening Sunset Last Night

I was finishing washing my car yesterday evening and when I turned around to the SW, I saw this pretty sight. The slice of moon hanging in the blue sky, and the sun light painting a pink hue on the clouds below the moon.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cooper Chapters - A Generation Gone

My mother Helga Bertina Larson, was born Dec. 1, 1909 in Blaisdell, North Dakota to John Christian and Ida Louise (Anderson) Larson, and grew up near Cooperstown. She was #7 in the lineup of 14 children. The first sibling had died at 9 days, the last sibling died at birth, and Helga's mother Ida died a month later of pneumonia. There also was a 1/2 brother (#15) that has shown up in the family, years later.

The family had moved from Lake Lillian, Minnesota in 1908, and then took up a homestead in Blaisdell, North Dakota, where they lived in a sod house and farmed with oxen and horses. Blaisdell was in western North Dakota, and is no longer there. I would like to go see if there is a ghost town or if it is completely gone. The family moved to Cooperstown, ND in 1910 and farmed. Ida died in 1917, and the father John left with the housekeeper in the early 1920's and went to Washington state . The younger children then lived with the older ones (Bernice and Emma) until they were old enough to get jobs away from home.

Helga's sister Emma had a visitor one day years later, saying he was a half brother. I don't know if there is any truth to story or not. No one talks about a 1/2 brother now. The father, John, came back to Cooperstown alone many years later. He died November 1, 1951 in a nursing home in Aneta, North Dakota of diabetes and a stroke.

John and Ida are buried in the Cooperstown Cemetery. John Christian Larson: Born Oct. 16, 1870, Vardo, Norway; Died Nov. 1, 1951, Andeta, ND; Married Oct. 10, 1899, Willmar, MN to Ida Louise Anderson: Born Nov. 9, 1876, Lake Lillian, MN, Died April 1, 1917 Cooperstown, ND.

I don't remember meeting Grandpa John, as I may have seen him only once. I was born in 1947, and he died in 1951. We lived over 170 miles away from the farm in Cooperstown. As I recall hearing talk as a small child, the children of John did not care to see him often.

All of Helga's brothers and sisters have now passed away. Some had settled out west during WWII and have families still there. Ness Church is East of Cooperstown, and was the family church for many years. Most of my relatives are buried there. This picture was taken in 1982, when I had Leah, Stephani and Jessica there visiting with Uncle Herb and Aunt Della from Oregon. We stayed at the Loge farm in the valley. The picture below is where the Larson homestead had been. The house had burned down, and we visited the site and listened to stories that Uncle Herb told us. He remembered the old burned tree that had been very close to the house. They used to climb it and get into the second story windows.

Life was not easy for many folks those depression years--and to think we sometimes complain how things are now!!!!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Stills - Open Road

US Hwy 71 - Going North in Arkansas

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Remembering A State Fair Winning!

Excitement is in the air! County fair for 2009 is over and the anticipation of doing well at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair is now what is on everyones mind. The photo above is of Leah (in blue jeans) in 1985 when she had the Champion Overall Barrow at the state fair. John Story of Fairway Foods, purchased the barrow and after the state fair, the pig went on tour to several different grocery stores across the state, and Leah went off to college. Since Leah was in school at U of M at Waseca, MN. she was unable to go on tour with the pig; so good 'ol Mom had to go. I went to several towns, and the closest was Bemidji. Someone else went to the stores in the southern part of the state. The barrow was exhibited at the Fairway Food grocery stores in a big fenced area in front of the stores, and I was there to answer questions that customers might have about the pork industry, or tell how Leah had showed her pig at the county fair, and then at the state fair. It was amazing how may kids and adults had never seen a live pig before. Leah came to Wilmar to meet me one weekend and stayed overnight with me in the motel, and was there for the Saturday exhibit.

We have been getting excited for the Great Minnesota State Fair because Leah and Steve's daughter Amanda will be taking a Duroc gilt to state fair this year. We hope she will do as well and come away with a Grand Champion also. Hubby Steve has sold quite a few good pigs to 4-Her's this year, and there should be a good showing of Nilson Durocs at the state fair.

Good luck Amanda!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Odda's New Fencing!

The new heavier fencing is going up! We are extending Odda's kennel fencing to include some grassy area. This fencing is about 5' high, and will keep her in and others out. Odda isn't an aggressive dog, but I worry about other strays trying to get in to her. We don't have stray dogs come by very often, but it's something I don't want to have to worry about. I took Odda to her last night of obedience training, and when we got home, Steve had the posts all in, and started attaching the fencing. I had to buy some staples so he could get it enclosed for the night. He will finish it tomorrow.


After the fencing gets done, there will be a new removable front added for winter. Odda is so happy during these cool days, that I just can't wait to see her play in the snow!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Windmill

The Windmill

Behold! a giant am I!
Aloft here in my tower,
With my granite jaws I devour
The maize, and the wheat, and the rye.
And grind them into flour.

I look down over the farms;
In the fields of grain I see
The harvest that is to be,
And I fling to the air my arms,
For I know it is all for me.

I hear the sound of flails
Far off, from the threshing-floors
In barns, with their open doors,
And the wind, the wind in my sails,
Louder and louder roars.

I stand here in my place,
With my foot on the rock below,
And whichever way it may blow
I meet it face to face,
As a brave man meets his foe.

And while we wrestle and strive
My master, the miller, stands
And feeds me with his hands;
For he knows who makes him thrive,
Who makes him lord of lands.

On Sundays I take my rest;
Church-going bells begin
Their low, melodious din;
I cross my arms on by breast,
And all is peace within.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
in his Ultima Thule collection
from the Folk Song: The Windmill

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Strikepoint Came to Town!

Strikepoint is a bell choir from Duluth MN that played a concert at our church tonight. The meaning of their name is when the bells are cast, they are tested to find the strikepoint, the spot on the bell which when struck produces the purest sound and the truest pitch. Their bell choir challenge is to seek out and produce the sound that is truest to the music, the bells, their listeners and themselves.

They have been on the road so far 13 days, and have done 11 concerts - with tomorrow afternoon the last concert at 3 PM at their "copper top" church in Duluth. I wish there would have been more people there, because it was a wonderful concert. I went in early, as our bell choir made supper for them and the host families that they are staying with tonight. After serving, we sat and ate also and visited with the members. There are two adults in this group and the other 9 are high school and college students. They played at Fargo, Bismarck Dickinson ND; Billings, Misoula and Bozeman Mt; Yakima Wa; Beverton and Tillamook Or, Boise Id, here in Park Rapids and ending tomorrow back in Duluth. I didn't list it in order of their stops, because they mixed it up. The 3 kids I visited with said they had so much fun, as they all rode in one van, and the van pulled a trailer that stored all their luggage and equipment. They played alot of car games, and did stop to do some sighseeing. Bill (director & driver, because that's the best seat) said there was a lot of laughing! And now at the end of the trip, they're still all friends. Strikepoint is celebrating 25 years this summer! What an accomplishment for this group from the First United Methodist Church of Duluth. They do a summer tour every year and have traveled to most of the states, and overseas. I just can't imagine all the fund raising that is needed for this big project. I asked one girl how much practicing they did, and for this trip, how long. She said they practiced 2 - 3 hrs per week on Sunday evenings since January. She is in college in Minneapolis and drives to Duluth for practice every Sunday. That is dedication! Their director is a high school band teacher and what a personality. He is great in front of a crowd; with the bell choir members, and I bet his band students think he's great too. He directed while playing bells! They played some bells that I had never seen before. There were bells shaped like a tin can, of different sizes. There were only 6 bell choir sets ever made, and they have one. Their note rang a little tinnier, but when played in the songs they did; the music was beautiful. One song "Under the Sea" was done with audience participation. Bottles of bubbles were passed out to everyone, and we blew bubbles in church and there were beach balls bouncing around during the whole song. The bell choir had goofy beach wear hats on, and they enjoyed playing that song. "Fantasy on Kingsfold" was a song also with audience participation. The director had everyone snapping their fingers at certain times, as the sound of raining and storming were in the song. Surprising how it all came together. Each member did not only play 4 bells (like we do), but played multiple bells in hand (3 in each hand) on the smaller higher octave bells. They were also reaching and passing bells. It was fun to watch. The bell choir also played some bass instruments they had made together. There were three, made out of PVC pipe, with beginning and ending open. They had several elbows and the bass tones were made deeper according to the total length of each one. They glued the elbows and then painted the pipe. The sound was made with a bopper made out of a ping pong paddle with a sponge glued on. Before the concert they dampened the sponge. When that note was to be played; instead of ringing a bell, they bopped the end of the 4 inch conduit! Bill said that after the employees at Lowe's discovered they weren't using the conduit for sewer pipe, that the employees got into the fun of making them too! Makes me want to try to make some. They substituted for the low, low bells; D2, E2 & F2. I'm sure it took some tweeking to get the note in tune! Rather than spending over $3000.00 on one bell, it cost about $100.00 to make one PVC pipe bell! Pretty neat... I did take a couple spots of video on my camera, when they played the PVC. Will try to copy that over.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cooper Chapters-Cheyenne River Valley

I traveled to Cooperstown ND a week ago, and had to drive past the old farmstead of an aunt and uncle. I drove down the hill; over the new bridge that is over the Cheyenne River; up the winding hill; past the driveway that goes back down into the valley to the Loge farm; around the corner and another 3/4 mile to the old homestead that had been Uncle Martin's and Auntie Beanie's. The house, barn and anything that was there for the homestead is gone, but there are grain bins, a newer steel building that probably houses farm equipment. So it doesn't look the same as my memory had it. Memory was driving in along the east side of the yard following the fence to the area by the windmill and big, big water tank where we would park the car. We'd walk to the side door of the house where the kitchen was. After entering, on your left side would be the wood bin. There was a small table by the east window, a wood stove on the west wall, and a pantry off to the north side of the stove, and a sink on the north wall. Just a double sink to bring water to do dishes, etc. There was no indoor bathroom - Once a week, we took turns bathing out in the back porch. First us kids, (because we were guests?) then the girl cousins, if any were there, and then Auntie Beanie, and then Uncle Martin, and then Bunty (He was the dirtiest!). the outhouse was outside at least 75' away from the house. I remember not liking to go out there; so I made sure I'd done my business before it got dark!!!!!!!

From the kitchen you went into the dining room which was open to the living room. There was a huge big table, a buffet table on the south wall, and on west wall, there was a stairway to upstairs, and on the east wall there was a big hutch that housed lots of nice serving dishes (as I remember them) and where Auntie Beanie kept her famous picture albums that we'd like to look at. (I need to find out who has them now, as I'd like to see them again.) This was in the 1950's, so there was no tv! There was a radio. I remember that it was on all the time.

In the living room there was a very old davenport (now called a couch), rocker, end table, old record player, and another stuffed chair. On the end table was the huge old family Bible. I remember Auntie Beanie having everyones birth dates, etc. written inside the cover.

I don't remember where Auntie Beanies bedroom was. Probably never could go in there. But upstairs was great. There were two stairways. The girls used the stairway from the dining room, and the boys used the back stairway from the back porch. I think the boys area was blocked off from the girls. Maybe it was built that way to have hired help in a separate area. I remember listening to old records upstairs and playing dress up with cousin Mavis's clothes. She was a very petite young woman, and we got to play dress up with her high heels and her dresses and sweaters. We thought she was the pretties girl ever. It was so fun!

We stayed with Auntie Beanie and Uncle Martin for two weeks each summer, until we were old enough to start summer jobs. I'm sure we were pests to our older cousins. I think their youngest was 14 years older than we were. Our oldest cousin "Bunty" got the brunt of having to do things with us. He was the oldest child that had stayed home to help on the farm. We loved him!!!!! He'd take us to town with him on Thursday nights, and we'd run around with other town kids while he went to the bar for a few beers! We'd end up at the local cafe at the ice cream counter and he'd find us when it was time to go home. I remember it as a lot of people coming to town to visit with each other, do their grocery shopping, etc. It seems like that little town came to life on those Thursday nights!

On the weekends, more relatives would come and there would be a lot of food, and we'd play either kick ball or softball in their front yard. Kids and adults - everyone got to play! There would be a lot of laughter. Our cousins would be there from Oregon, so there were kids our age there too.

Those were the times when I wished that we lived there instead of in Minnesota. At home, it was just Georgia and I. No other relatives! A trip that only takes 3.5 hours now probably took five or more hours back then. I'm sure my sister will have more memories to add to these Cooper Chapters.

DoGs N HaTs

Once had a wonderful HaT! Story of HaT started out with my acquiring it from treasures that were divided up after my husbands parents passed away this past year. This HaT was worn by my mother-in-law when she was outside gardening. She had several HaTs, and one of our daughters got one and I got another. A week or two ago, I'd given it to my friend Connie to wear to a Fancy HaT Tea Party, as I had been unable to go. Requirement was to come to the party with a HaT you had decorated. Connie decorated it so nice - and won first prize! It turned out beautiful, with roses, packets of flower seeds, tule, and star garland!

Our Berner puppy "Odda" has been such a good girl lately, and even tho she isn't an "inside" dog, I've been letting her inside to lay on the cool floors during the heat of the day. She has behaved very well, playing awhile with "Hooch" and then both of them resting for an hour or two.

I've been busy trying to get some quilt sewing done, and didn't pay any mind to the dogs that day. I was in my sewing room and they were in the living room playing. I could hear them and then a short while later, Hooch was sitting next to me --- looking up a me! Darn, I should have guessed something wasn't quite right, but didn't pay too much attention to him, until I realized that it was awfully quiet. So I tip toed to the living room, and here is what I found!!!!!

Look at that face!!!!

Well, as you can see, there wasn't much left of HaT that was salvageable! Did keep the seed packets, but had to throw the rest away. Odda knew she was a bad puppy when I got to the living room and she saw me!!! Actually, I'm at fault. I'd hung the HaT up on the coat hooks on the wall, but it had fallen to the bench below, and I'd left it there. Something as enticing as tule and red roses can't be left alone.
I can just imagine how much fun she had tearing into
that HaT!!!!!
Flinging HaT up in the air!
Shaking HaT to death!
Slobbering the red roses to pieces!
Ripping into the flimsy, floppy staw brim!
Then I had to come and ruin her fun!!!!

So now I won't have a pretty HaT to wear to a tea party - if I ever get invited again.