Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wonderful harvesting weather

Last week, I took three days off from work for harvesting. I usually drive the truck and unload grain. We were able to get off all of our wheat off and took the canola off on Saturday. During that time, the days were warm, often hot, and dry. This was very apparent as one watched the combines leaving a trail of dust high into the air and across the field as they traversed up and down gobbling the grain in front of the header. Now that we have completed those two crops, hubby is busy chisel plowing and waiting for the soybeans to ripen.

I have been reading The Story of Edgar Sawtell over the past week. This is the first novel by Wisconsinite David Wroblewski and is a wonderful story about a mute boy, his family, and the dogs they raise, and especially one special dog. It hit the NY Times best seller list last year. A wonderful story of human frailty, family love, and heartache, it pulls at the heart with the raw human emotions the family feels during their life struggles.An Oprah recommend, it is a good book for a book club discussion.

Along with all the dry weather come the spiders, who are finally able to design a web that isn't destroyed by the rain storms we've had this summer. I know that spiderwebs are tough but when the bushes and trees they cling to at tossed to and fro by the wind and rain, it would be amazing if they could stay intact.

Here is a Barn Funnel spider's web that I found in the cedar bushes in front of our house. This spider arrived with the immigrants from Europe and is pretty native to Minnesota now. I love to see the beautiful intricate work they do as they weave their webs. Sometimes during a dry seasons one can see these webs all over the yard. The spider hides deep in the base of the funnel and comes out only for prey. I would say it is a good way for them to catch a drink of water when it is dewy in the morning also. It is not a dangerous spider but hides in dark places; especially in the corners and crevices of the home.

Just one more of God's magnificent creations.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our Vinca Catharanthus roseus and the Flicker

When I first went to Carol's Cedar Cellar this spring for annuals, I spied this beauty hanging on one of the hooks and knew exactly where it was going. The Catharanthus roseus is a native of Madagascar and takes drought well as is proven by the above photos. Many times this summer I would come home and find the plant looking like it does in the top two photos. It immediately received the water it needed. After about 5 hours it was totally revived and was a beautiful as the day I purchased it. It comes in several other colors so one has a great choice.

The first bird, we who live in Minnesota, look for in the spring is the robin. For some reason this spring we had a flock of about 100 robins scrounging for food in our front and back yard this spring one day. Soon after that arrived my favorite bird, the Flicker. There are several in our yard each year. Today, I was greeted by this beauty sitting in the tree behind our house. What fun that was to see!
Last night, I attended the Relay for Life at the Roseau City Park. What an impressive program! The music, luminaries, and the friends that gather to honor and memorialize those who have had cancer was so well organized and such fun. I walked the park roads looking at all the luminaries and trying, in vain, to locate my mothers. There were hundreds of luminaries, so it was very difficult to be sure and find hers. I had decided not to take my camera and was very disappointed that I hadn't. Unless we are very busy with harvest, I will attend again next year. Perhaps I will purchase more than one luminary and put then from her grandchildren.

Harvest slowed down due to some rain yesterday afternoon. I did do a couple of rounds swathing this afternoon but we were in and out of light showers so we didn't press it. Warmer and dryer days are due next week.

Monday, August 9, 2010


With the temperature over 85 on Sunday, the oven did not sound like a good idea but a tuna salad did. We enjoy tuna salad and I enjoyed changing the recipe. With the salad, cucumbers in Greek vinaigrette, and a cantaloupe-blueberry salad we were more than satisfied before our customary Sunday siesta.

This tuna salad was different than any I had ever made and turned out to be very tasty. So here is the recipe.

Cook 1 cup of small shell macaroni, drain and rinse with cold water, add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.
Dice 1/3 cup red pepper and 1/3 cup onion, and two stalks celery.
Place these and the macaroni in a bowl and add one can peas, and two cans of drained tuna.
Season with an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon Dean Jacob's Grinder Fresh Spicy Garlic and McCormick's Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper seasoning.
Toss together.
Mix the following dressings, 1/8 cup of Ranch dressing, 1/8 cup of mayo, and 1/8 cup of fat free sour cream, and added to tuna salad, mixing well. Serve on a lettuce leaf.

This past weekend Michelle had these two cuties, her grandchildren and our great-grandchildren.

It is such fun to see how they have grown. Kera Dawn is now four and a half months old and already takes after her other grandmother, as she has strawberry blond hair. Can I say she is a adorable? Damen just sprouts up and then out, then sprouts up and then out again. This is a set I gave him last summer from the Children's Store. I head there on my trips to LA and love the sales.Humm, what kind of cute girl's clothes will they have...

I read about the link between a 20% increase in skin cancer caused by an ingredient in most sunscreens, retinyl palmitate. In studies on rats, sunscreens with this ingredient have caused tumors and lesions. One will have to become very aware of what the ingredients are on sunscreens from now on. It reminded me of my great-nephew. About 4 or 5 years ago he had a skin cancer removed from his back. Could there be a link between the sunscreen used on him and the same that was used on the rats?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We started swathing wheat on Saturday with the intent of letting it lay for a couple of days. Yesterday it was hot, 95 above! I did the swathing while hubby did the combining. I can tell the wheat is not running as well as last year. What can one say, when you aren't able to spray at the right time or put on a fungucide. Today we did the same job's and I also unloaded the grain. The heat and humidity make it hard to be outside unloading a truck. You get chaff all over you and you itch for the whole day!

Then this evening I had a board of directors meeting. Funny thing was that it started raining just before I was going to head to town for the meeting and we had get the combine and trucks out of the rain.I will be very happy to have this wheat field done.

Three things about Tuesday:
We didn't have a break down.
It got a little cooler after the rain.
Breanne and I had a very enjoyable visit this afternoon.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Company and Winnipeg

My brother and wife arrived Friday afternoon after a long detour from International Falls. If they had known, they had forgotten to take their Minnesota map, they would have crossed the border into Fort Frances and gone on the north side of the Rainy River. Being familiar with the trip to Roseau didn't cause them any frustration until they reached the detour. Bob's attitude was good, even after the long detour. I think there should have been someway to learn of the alternative drive. They took the northern route when they went home today.

Yesterday, while hubby cut CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) acres, we headed into the city of Winnipeg Manitoba about 100 miles northwest of the farm. Our first stop was to The Forks to meander through the shops, check out the different cuisine available and take a historic tour of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers on the one of The Forks smaller tour boats. It was interesting to see the flood levels on one of the bridges. The highest of which was from the 1957 flood. They claim the latest diversion "ditch" will protect the city from a 700 year flood. How do they determine things like that?

As we traveled the rivers we were presented information on the St. Boniface Church, I attended a workshop at the museum once. The museum was very interesting and included some exhibit items from Pierre La Verendrye an early French explorer who also established Fort St. Charles on the Northwest Angle of Minnesota during the 1700s. The area of the main city was clearly visible as was the first area established with the French architecture. The main docking area where early settlers landed. At one time it was believed that Winnipeg would be larger than Chicago, but the railroad eliminated the use of the Red River down to the Minnesota River and onto the Mississippi River which was thought to be the major way to transport commodities. I remember reading in an early Warroad newspaper where the largest shipment of wheat traveled on the Canadian Northern through Warroad sometime in the beginning of the twentieth century.
We all enjoy our little history lesson and then stepped off the boat, located our sea legs and headed to a little store to find some homemade ice cream. I had a scoop of lemon and one of mango, I highly recommend it!

We continued to examine the other wares in the market, the meat was surprisingly inexpensive. The produce comparable to ours. The trinkets and do-dads fun to examine and then it was time to cross over to the other building and check out the toy store, the Christmas shop and the various clothing and home decorative items.

By this time it was already 5:30 and we were hungry. Bob and Marie have eaten pizza at a place on Corydon Street and wanted to go there again. They have great pizza there, but the name escapes me. I could find it though, and it wasn't too spendy either.We ate in their outdoor restaurant, a real treat in our northern country.

After stopping at the mall in Steinbach, we ended up for coffee at Tim Hortons. It was the end of a beautiful and enjoyable day. Now if I had only remembered to take my camera.

Today it was back to work for a few hours and then home to make a blueberry pie for hubby.