Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year from Lake Havasu

We arrived here yesterday around noon.  The house we're renting is nice but we haven't figured out a good route to get back when we go out to eat or shop.  Good thing our GPS knows how to get us home.
We saw lots of country driving out here through the mountains.  There is more open space than cities or towns.  We had to be sure to stop for fuel when we did get to a town as there were place where we went almost 200 miles and didn't see anything close to civilization.
We saw several of these in the open fields in Wyoming.  Their snow fences look a bit different than what we see in Minnesota.

Once we got further south into Utah, we were in the mountains.  These are just a couple of the more scenic views we saw around Provo, Utah.  After the mountains, we went through a gorge, but it was so hilly and winding, I was hanging on too tight to let go and take any pictures.
We drove over 1700 miles and the nice scenery made the drive more enjoyable.  We were fortunate not to run into any bad weather along the way to slow us down.  Now, we need to do some exploring to see the sights which we're looking forward to once we get rested up. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas for the Birds

This morning I met girlfriends for breakfast and was greeted with what looked like a sundial but ended up being bird seed.  One of the girlfriends said her daughter received this as a gift but didn't have a desirable place to hang it and remembered all the birds we have and feeders we have out here.  We got rid of a couple feeders earlier so had an available hanger. 
It didn't take long for the first customer to arrive.  This special treat will probably be gone by the time we get home from our winter trip.
Thanks, Kerry!  I'm sure the all the birds we get around here will be enjoying this special treat before too long.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Small Group

This year's Anderson family get-together was smaller than usual mainly due to illnesses.  We had enough food left to send home with everyone that came so nothing went to waste - lots of "care packages" as my Dad would say.
 Watching the Vikings winning.
 L-R: Herb May (my niece's husband); my brother, Jerry; niece, Kaylyn; and half of my sister, Joanne. 
I did a good job of getting the back of my sister, her granddaughter, Brandi, is facing us and her grandson, Brady, in the back.  These are Kaylyn's children.
We missed Joanne's husband, Jim, this year too.  He's currently in a rehab facility recovering from a hip replacement.  We fixed him a big plate of food along with some goodies that he can share. 
Hopefully, everyone that was sick will be well by Christmas and we're hoping next year to be back to a full house.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Good Friends

Even though we're having some very cold weather here lately, three of us who use to go dancing every Saturday night in temperatures much colder than this got together for lunch today.  We haven't been together for almost ten years so it was nice to get caught up in person rather than e-mails and Facebook.
L-R: Suzanne Johnson, Me, Mary Ellen VonRueden

We all live in different small towns so trying to find a place that was somewhat central was a little hard.  We found a town that none of us had eaten at so good thing there's "Google Searches" to at least get a starting point.  We ended up at a local cafe called K-Bob's in Princeton, MN and it was your typical small-town, local, cafe.  It worked out well - each of us was about 1 hour away. 

Maybe next time we'll try for a warmer day but I'm glad we made this one today.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


We are having our first measurable snow here today but it doesn't stop these guys from eating.  We've never seen ducks around our place this late in the season.
After they finished eating, they sat under the apple tree.  They've been here before.

It's dark so the bright red doesn't show up the best for this Cardinal - still a pretty bird though.
The Chickadee is on the "grab and go" plan with the sunflower seeds so it's hard to get a clear picture.  This was the best out of 4 tries - doesn't say much for my photography.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Surprise Visitors

This is the latest we've ever seen these visitors around our bird feeders.  This picture was taken this morning.
The river is frozen over now but when it was open - just last week - we had as many as 18 Mallards coming up to clean up under the bird feeders.  They have the Blue Jays to thank for this too.

We don't have any snow on the ground yet so they're still finding good food around here.  Crazy birds - we thought they'd be flying south by now. 

This picture was taken this afternoon.  They seem quite comfortable when they sit down to eat.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More Experimenting

These rainy days can get a little long unless you enjoy experimenting with new recipes.  That's Patrick's hobby when he finds something that sounds good on the Internet.

Yesterday, he tried out a new chicken recipe in the crock pot.  It wasn't too complicated - just time consuming.  It included a couple cans of cream of chicken soup, butter, onions and de-boned chicken along with some Pillsbury biscuits that were suppose to guise as dumplings.  We both agreed it was ok but nothing to get excited about.  We have a rule that if we really like it, it goes in his 3-ring binder.  If not a "do over", it goes in the shredder.  This one hit the shredder as soon as we were done eating.

This morning I woke up to a mixer and chopper sound.  Patrick was already trying out a new pecan bar recipe he found. 
They are still cooling so haven't been given the taste test yet but they sure look and smell good.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Early Start

This morning got off to an earlier start than we expected.  We have been waiting all summer to get this project done but due to a few obstacles; e.g., bids too high, contractors thinking the job is too small so aren't interested, and contractor no-show, we finally found someone.

The project is just replacing some edging around some of our trees and septic system.  Probably doesn't sound like much, but more than we could handle.

Patrick is talking to the owner and discovered they were almost done.  We have no idea when they arrived but it had to be very early because it was before 8:00 when we first saw them.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Train Ride

I have wanted to go on a train ride for some time and finally made it yesterday.  There is a train in Duluth, MN that does short rides daily.  We were there yesterday and did the ride.  It was interesting and gave me some experience  to have in thinking about taking a long train ride.  The following pictures are of trains in the museum at the depot and while we were on the ride.

This is Pat sitting on an old steam engine.

This is me standing next to another steam engine.

This is one big snow plow.

This is an old Pontiac that was made to run on the rails.  

Another snow removal device.  How is that for a rotary snow plow.

This is the engine that pulled our train for the ride.

This is an ore ship that was out in lake Superior.  The haze was very thick out over the lake.

Lift bridge and beach along the lake.  Those two little things in the lower left of the picture were Kayaks.

This is an old ore ship that is docked for tours.

That was the tour.  It was a good day.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013


We had a short thunderstorm here tonight but it wasn't too bad - only pea-sized hail.  The sun came out and this appeared.  Too bad it was raining; otherwise, I would have tried to get the whole thing.  There's a double ring on this shot.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Murphy's Law

We have a little (and it is little) Farmer's Market in town every Wednesday afternoon.  Last week, I was hungry for sweet corn so thought I'd check it out to see if I had any luck finding some.  Patrick asked me to get a couple slicing cucumbers if they had any.  They did have the cucumbers and home grown tomatoes but no sweet corn.  There's another vegetable stand in town that did have my sweet corn so the trip wasn't a total bust for corn.

After we ate, Patrick checked out his cucumber plant that he's experimenting with - planting cucumbers in a flower pot.  This is what he found.
Maybe we should start checking the "garden" before heading to the Farmer's Market.  He did plant a regular garden too but so far nothing showing except vines and blossoms.  Can't say he isn't trying.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A New Duck In Town

We have a new duck that has joined all the Mallards that feed at our corn box.  We saw him/her for the first time today.  The first picture below I took of him/her in the back yard with some of the Mallards.  The next two pictures Pat took of him/her up by the corn box.  Nice close up of him/her.  Pat says he/she apparently can't fly.  When the other ducks take off and fly to the river, he/she just waddles down there.  Guess he/she won't be going south this winter.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.  We get a lot of enjoyment watching the ducks.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Fine Dining

Patrick enjoys experimenting with new recipes he finds on the Internet.  He found a special baked potato that he wanted to try along with a "crispy" chicken recipe.

The baked potatoes were very good - cheesy/garlic baked.  No calories here!
The chicken was definitely crispy and very good.

Best of all is that I didn't have to cook tonight.  Can't beat that perk. 


I have to add some comments on these two recipes.  Both require a lot of  work to prepare and it didn't really make them any better.  They were both edible, but not something that I will do again and nothing to "write home about".


Monday, June 3, 2013


Last fall I planted several Tulip bulbs.  This spring they came up and turned out very nice.  We have had several bouquets in the last couple weeks.  The pictures below are of the final bouquet.  I think they are the prettiest of the bunch and I say that even though some of the previous ones were RED.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crazy Bird

As stated in a previous blog, we have been trying to attract Orioles to our feeders and hope they stick around.  Well, part of our wishes have been met.  We weren't quite expecting this type of Oriole though.

It would start on the wrong feeder;
Then, fly into the window and settle on the ledge where it would sit and peck on the glass and sing.  It flew into 3 separate windows around the kitchen and would repeat the pecking and singing.
After doing this for about 5 minutes each, it would head to the Cedar tree to rest and then start over again.
This started mid-morning today and has gone on all day.  This bird will sleep good tonight.  The Hummingbirds were not very happy to get chased off their feeder either.  I think this Oriole has "issues".

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Boys and Their Toys

Last fall Patrick found a wagon that he didn't think he could live without.  He said he needed something for hauling his tools for gardening, etc.  Yesterday, it brought the canopy for the pontoon down to the river.  Today, it hauled tools.  This project was done behind this fence; now, he's checking out his tulip plants.
As you can see, he's a happy camper.  It might not be a little red wagon, but it says Northern Tool on the back so that must be the adult version.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Finally Spring

We think - and hope - Spring has finally arrived here. Yesterday, Patrick hung the feeders for the Orioles and Hummingbirds.  He didn't get them up any too soon as this morning the hungry birds appeared.

We have been trying for 3 years to attract the Orioles without any success.  When these showed up this morning, we thought maybe this will be the year and they're not just passing through.
This guy walked all the way around this feeder trying to figure out why his beak didn't fit in the holes.  He was on the Hummingbird feeder.

The Gold Finches are slowly starting to appear; however, they've forgotten what their feeders look like.  We have 3 finch feeders with their food (Nyjer) in them but they seem to be enjoying sunflower seeds today.

And, last but not least, this is our real sign that warmer weather is not far away.  We brought the pontoon home today.