Friday, October 31, 2008


Halloween is finally here and I am glad because that means it will then be over.

Have you noticed that the Halloween "holiday" is getting so much attention with all the displays and air time in the media? What the heck, I think it is competing to take over the major holidays. Anything to boost retail sales I guess.

Anyway, a few people in Sue's corporate office decided to dress up for the occasion and of course she was leading the charge.

Here is how she went to work this morning.

I think she may want to brush up on her dental hygiene!

Ben and Anna were over for beer, wine, and BB-Q last night. It sure was nice spending some time with them.

Ben ran us through the procedures of using the new high def DVR. That thing is amazing. Besides all the other stuff it does, you can pause a live TV program and come back and it will be right where you left off. Golly...what will those people think of next?

Friday is here and I am planning for the weekend. The outside is pretty much ready for winter...I just need to re-arrange the fallen leaves a few more times with the tractor before we take the mower deck off and install the snow blower on the front.

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here Is Wishing You A Happy Halloween

Those of us in Minnesota are really enjoying life. Sunday we had snow, now today it is sunny and 70 degrees. How great is that?

I am looking foreword to trick or treat night. We live out in the country and have never had one single trick or treater come to the door...but I am totally prepared with 12 pounds of candy, just in case. Well I was prepared. The candy is gone but I suppose I could whip up some last last second treats for the kids. Hummm...How about some toast?

Tune in again (if you dare) for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yup...We Had Some Snow

The other day I was telling you that on Saturday we had sunshine and 63 degrees. The next day, Saturday, we had 50 mph winds, 32 degrees and snow.

Here is the proof of the snow. You will have to take my word on the wind and cold part.

A few hours after the pictures were taken I am happy to say the snow was gone and life was once again good.

As always the weather is set for some extreme swings. Lows near 15 degrees and then a high of 60 degrees. Go figure.

If you see any ads that may interest you, feel free to click on them. They help sponsor this page and I always appreciate sponsors and those who see what they have to offer.

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Working!

Well ladies and gentlemen, and the rest of us, the installation was a complete success.

Our Directv installer, John did a great job.

I always thought our digital picture was good, but the high def signal is amazing. Now we have to figure out the dvr portion of the package so we can record and view the recorded programs commercial free if we wish....and who wouldn't?

As I write this it is Sunday night with a full week ahead of us.

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meat Haters...Stay Away

Kind of a crazy title, if I do say so myself. I almost decided to not post the following picture as our youngest son, Andy, does not eat meat or chicken or fish or turkey. You know the drill.

Anyway, Sue cooked up 11 pounds of hamburger and sausage complete with all the seasonings so we would have it when we needed it. It sure saves time when you can grab a bag out of the freezer and nuke it.

Last night Sue's friend Beth came out to the house for supper and some "girl's time". She brought her black Pug names Cleo with her. I sure hope this was a Halloween costume and not her usual attire.

In spite of the dog dressed in that crazy outfit, the girls had a great time together.

The service tech for Directv is here at the house as I write. He is in the process of installing our new high definition satellite TV system. We are currently have winds of 50 mph plus so I hope he is careful installing the new dish on the roof. I would hate for the dish to be damaged! :)

I will keep you updated on that process.

On and off again today we have been having snow showers. Yesterday is was 63 and sunny and today we are having gale force winds, snow and a high temperature of only 40 degrees. Go figure!

I think I hear someone outside calling for help, I had better get this posted and make sure the TV guy didn't dent the dish!

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Git er'done

What a beautiful day here in Southern Minnesota. In fact, we all think this is about it for "nice days" till spring. Now isn't that a shame? It is sunny and near 60 today with forecast highs tomorrow of 40 at best.

Seizing the opportunity, I rearranged the leaves out on the property with my tractor. Not to worry, as new leaves were replacing the old ones.

I also rolled up my sleeves and took up the yearly task of winterizing the camper. That is always a sad project, but necessary if I don't want to replace the water system.

I drained all the holding tanks as well as all the water lines and hot water heater then filled the lines with RV antifreeze. That should hold her till spring when I repeat the process in reverse.

I also emptied the unit of all food and other items that could freeze. Seven bags later, it was stripped out of all delectables that could lure in mice. Pleasant thought if you know what I mean.

Sue cleaned the main floor and upstairs of the house...the one with no wheels. I guess I did not time my tasks just right as I got in on a few of those duties as well. :)

Big day coming up Sunday. The installer for Directv will be here to install the new high definition satellite system and the dvr. I always thought the digital picture on the big TV was good. Ben, our oldest son, says the new picture will be ten times better. If that is the case, I may have to take motion sickness pills before watching the action on the 62 inch screen.

I thought it was strange that the company would be doing installations on Sundays, but they tell me business is good. That is good to hear.

I will update you on the installation.

Until then, make plans to tune in again real soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dancing With The Stars

We watched Dancing With The Stars the other night. Cloris Leachman danced and she did real well...for a person who is 82 years old. I was impressed with the Salsa Routine she did.

Anyway, I have the really big idea to shoot the networks ratings through the roof. How about this combination?

OK, I will stop thinking now.

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


There is always a project or seven going on in our workshop. Why should today be any different?

We inherited two old Adirondack chairs and a matching table a few years ago. We moved them to the shop and man were they heavy! We started stripping three coats of paint off them and discovered they were made of oak. Jackpot!

We are stripping them now and will stain and varnish them before we adorn the front deck with them.

In a previous blog I showed you a picture of an old plant stand Sue is redoing. The top had seen better days so she found two pieces of scrap oak and cut them to size and glued them together.

A little more stain and varnish and I think it will look great.

That is all for now. Tune in again real soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sue and the Snake

It was a great day to get outside and explore so we took off for a destination unknown. Soon we found ourselves on Judson Bottom Road. It is a very scenic road that runs parallel to the Minnesota River.

Soon we saw a new county park that has a great waterfall. It has been so dry here that it was dried up or they had the water turned off so I did not take any pictures of it.

As we were exploring the area Sue saw something slithering through the grass. Normally she would have jumped back or passed out. On this day it was another story as she chased down that slithering snake and grabbed it. Who is this woman? I am very proud of her as she has tamed a fear. Now she is talking of traveling the deserts of the Southwest in search for giant rattlers.

Until then, this trophy will have to do.

That Sue...Isn't she something?

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Construction Along The River

It seems like one thing leads to another and construction is not exempt from this trait.

For those familiar with the Mankato, MN area, for years the Mankato Lutheran Home was a fixture along the Minnesota River. But, it had seen better days as a senior citizen nursing home and it would be too expensive to renovate. The new digs look good and a very nice place to live when that time comes.

Just across the street is Sibley Park...another area rich with history. At one time they had horse racing and a zoo complete with Lions, Tigers and Bears...Oh My!

The zoo was flooded out years ago and the horse racing is no more. Now there is a children's petting zoo and horse carriage rides on the weekends. It is a beautiful park with many weddings held there each summer.

Thanks for taking this tour with us. Coming soon...Sue and her snake experience. Don't miss it.

Tune in again for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Construction Along The Minnesota River

Minnesota is known for it's many lakes and rivers. In fact, we have so much water that on a per capita basis, Minnesota has more registered watercraft than any other state.

Here are a few facts to help support those claims:

Lakes, rivers, and wetlands facts
Minnesota's waters flow outward in three directions:
North to Hudson Bay in Canada
East to the Atlantic Ocean
South to the Gulf of Mexico

Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota is the largest water-based park in the National Park System.


By the numbers
Counties with no natural lakes:
Mower, Olmsted, Pipestone, Rock

Number of lakes:
11,842 (10+ acres)

Number of natural rivers and streams:
6,564 (69,200 miles)

Wetlands acreage present in 1850:
18.6 million acres

Wetlands acreage present in 2003:
9.3 million acres


Ten most common lake names:
Mud, Long, Rice, Bass, Round, Horseshoe, Twin, Island, Johnson, Spring


Deepest inland lake:
Portsmouth Mine Pit near Crosby (450 feet and rising)

Deepest natural lake:
Lake Saganaga, Cook County (240 feet deep)

Depths of other lakes: Name County Maximum Depth
Lake Superior -- 1,290 feet
Ten Mile Cass 209 feet
Lower LaSalle Hubbard 204 feet
Loon Lake Cook 202 feet
Rainy St. Louis 161 feet
Leech Cass 150 feet
Cass Beltrami / Cass 120 feet
Otter Tail Otter Tail 120 feet
Minnetonka Hennepin 113 feet
Vermillion St. Louis 76 feet
Winnibigoshish Cass 70 feet
Mille Lacs Mille Lacs 42 feet
Upper Red Beltrami 18 feet


Size and Length
Ten largest lakes (entire lake within borders of Minnesota):
Red Lake (both "Upper" and "Lower") - 288,800 acres
Mille Lacs Lake - 132,516 acres
Leech Lake - 111,527 acres
Lake Winnibigoshish - 58,544 acres
Lake Vermilion - 40,557 acres
Lake Kabetogama - 25,760 acres
Mud Lake (Marshall County) - 23,700 acres
Cass Lake - 15,596
Lake Minnetonka - 14,004 acres
Otter Tail Lake - 13,725 acres
Largest border lakes:
Lake Superior (20,364,800 acres total with 962,700 acres in Minnesota)
Lake of the Woods (950,400 acres total with 307,010 acres in Minnesota)

Longest shoreline:
Lake Vermilion, St. Louis County (290 miles of shoreline)

Minnesota River length:
370 miles

Mississippi River length in Minnesota:
680 miles

State and national Wild and Scenic Rivers:
589 miles

Total Area Covered by Lakes and Rivers (deep water):
2,560,299 acres

Total surface water area including wetlands:
13,136,357 acres

Lest I digress........

The Mighty Minnesota river (total length 370 miles) runs through Mankato and at one time was a very important link. People and provisions were carried between Minneapolis and Mankato bringing prosperity to the area.

The river is no longer used for transportation and is mostly eye candy to those who enjoy natures beauty.

With that beauty comes some natural problems like flooding, especially in the spring after a winter of heavy snow.

About 35 years ago the Army Corps of Engineers built a concrete dike system to protect the city from the huge amount of water that flooded the city on a regular basis.

With the walls came a distinct disconnect between enjoying the natural beauty of the river. Now the city is doing some work to bring us back closer to the river so we can enjoy it once again.

The river isn't ugly by any means, but sections of it have been defaced over the years. This picture shown where an old cement plant stood for years.

Right now crews are working to tear down the plant so it can be turned into a green space and developed with a beautiful backdrop of the river.

Some of the roadwork has been completed so they are making some progress.

A few years ago the city hired a company to come in and give rides on large boats on the river. That was a real treat to navigate the river like our forefathers did in the 1800's.

I will keep you updated on progress.

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Friday, October 17, 2008

Health Warning

As you know, I always try to update everyone on what we are doing and other timely events and even some news notes.

This time I want to pass along to you a health warning I received from the gym we belong to.

Please be careful!

The US Government has just issued the following health warning...


Looks like a simple fix to a serious problem.

Thanks for tuning in. Join me again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Few More Pictures

I took a few more pictures of the trees here at Coyote Ridge. These shots were taken from our back screened porch looking out into our woods. The screen fuzzed up the pictures a bit, but they are clear enough to get the general idea.

Just the other day I had a local fireplace shop come out and tune up the gas fireplace. This unit is actually rated as a furnace/heating appliance so I want to make sure it is clean and efficient. It is controlled by a thermostat and heats the main floor and upstairs, and it is nice to look at. When it is REALLY cold outside our regular furnace kicks in and provides us with warmth. I prefer the cozy atmosphere from the fireplace.

With acres of free firewood some ask why I don't use the free wood? We burned "free" wood in Northern Minnesota when we lived there and it was serious work....something I try to avoid!

Tune in again real soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


One our way home from last weekend's road trip we made a heck of a discovery. When we turned off our county road into our lane we discovered two tiny kittens. Look carefully because they are small.

We have seen them several times since then. I feel so sorry for them because I am sure their mother was killed somehow and they have no idea what to do. At this point I have a feeling that they are coyote bait.

If they were older I think that they would have half a chance at survival as we occasionally see wild cats out here surviving the harsh winters and predators.

This is one of those times where we have to let nature take it's course.

I will keep you updated so tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gords and Stuff

In the last blog I mentioned that we grew some decorative gords this year. Sue made a nice arrangement for the kitchen table.

We also grew, or attempted to grow some pumpkins. We planted too late because of the cold Spring weather so they didn't mature. I hate to see things go to waste so we used them anyway for decorations...or deck jewelery.

Of course the leaves continue to change color and fall to the ground. These pictures were taken from the back deck looking out.

The Fall season is such a nice time of year. I think I could enjoy this weather year-round.

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"