Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Tractor Lights on John Deere X360

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted an update on my blog. Between work, play, family and life, writing has sure taken a back seat.
I have been trying to figure out a way to add some lights to my tractor because the stock lights leave something to be desired. They shine right into the front snow blower and are basically worthless.
Here is a youtube link to see what I did to fix the problem.
Now if we would just get some snow. Last December we received 36 inches. This year..maybe two inches.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Getting Ready For Winter

It is almost a daily task to go out and chop up the leaves with Mr. John Deere. It is a task that I don't mind at all.
I needed some more light for winter snow blowing to I rigged up an extra light for the top of the canvas cab I install for the winter weather.
With the two headlights on the tractor and the spotlight up top, I think the dark country lane will be a bit brighter this winter.

Do I dare say, bring on the snow?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Random Trail Camera Pictures

It has been a while since I checked the trail camera out in the back forty.
I had close to 100 pictures but edited them down to just a few.
There were lots of raccoon and deer pictures, but I tried to pick out the better ones of the deer with a few turkeys thrown in for good measure.

All is well here. You know the drill, work, work and more work. No complaints from me in that respect.
We spent most every weekend down at the lake in our camper and had a blast.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Busy and Busier!

What a busy time it has been this summer. Between work and work, there has been no free time....except for today.
But first, yesterday.
We held our Third annual Bag Toss for the Red Cross. It was a huge success with a great crowd that had a fantastic time.
KEYC TV was there covering the event. Two of their news anchors even competed for the famous Red Cross Golden Bag Media Award. They looked good, but not good enough to beat the team from Hot 96.7 Radio. KEYC news story.
It was great to hang out with Stunt Monkey from Hot 96.7 and Annie, Mallory and Lisa from KEYC.
Ok,fast forward to today.
The airport hosted a fly in breakfast for vintage aircraft as well as experimental aircraft.
There must have been at least 100 planes that flew in for the event and I determined that each one of them turned out to be my favorite.

I saw nearly a dozen vintage planes that I had flown in the past. That was cool, but because of that, am I also vintage?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

3rd Annual Bag Toss for the Red Cross

For local readers of this blog I have some news for you.
The South Central Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross will be holding it's Third Annual Bag Toss event on Saturday, August 20th.
We are limiting the event to 128 teams and registrations are now being accepted.
You can register several ways. You may call the Red Cross office at 507-387-6664...or you can follow this link to find a registration form.
Besides great fun, food, hundreds and hundreds of dollars in prizes. we will be having a silent auction.
The event will be held at Ray Erlandson Park near Victory and Main in Mankato.
Here is a link to the Facebook page that gets updated on a regular fact, almost daily.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This and That

Why do I always start my blog entries out with "it has been a while"?
I guess I have been too busy with life to write about it.
All is going well. Sue went back to work last week after having both knees replaced. She is doing great and really enjoyed the 12 weeks off.
My double cataract surgery went very glasses and better than 20-20 vision now.
We have been spending most every weekend out at the lake in our camper.
The sunsets have been are a few examples.

We went out in the canoe yesterday. The water was like glass and just perfect! Sorry, no pictures. I don't dare take my camera out in the canoe the way we rock side to side. It is always an adventure!
After being out on the water we worked up an appetite so I fired up the flesh cooker and threw on the beef .

At this point, the weekend had to come to an end, so we came home to get a few chores done.
I was riding around on Mr. Deere mowing the lawn when I discovered that I had an audience.

I am sure Bambi's mom was lurking in the woods keeping track of her little one.
Until next time......

Monday, July 4, 2011

It's About Time

That statement rings true for so many reasons.
It's about time I posted a blog update, the weather has finally turned decent, I have more than one day off,get to eat really good BBQ...and the list goes on and on.
Anyway, I had not checked the trail camera here at Coyote Ridge for some time (another "it's about time"),so I did that this morning. There were 195 pictures on the digital disk.
I slugged through them and have a few to share. I won't bore you with all of them, just some of my favorites.

And for good measure a turkey made it's appearance.

It appears that the wildlife successfully reproduced this Spring. We have seen a good number of baby turkeys and deer exploring the woods out here.
Today we are off to our son Ben and his wife Anna's house for some of his special BBQ ribs. He slow cooks them for five hours on the grill and they are out of this world!
Of course we will have plenty to go with the cooked flesh. How about potato salad, fresh green beans cooked with bacon, calico beans,blueberry-rhubarb upside down cake and of course cold beer!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Update on the Eyeballs

Just a short update on my peepers.
As many of you know I had cataract surgery on both eyes recently. I could not believe that a person of my youth would need such a procedure. :)
Anyway, I had the left eye done first. The afternoon of surgery I had 20-70 vision in that eye. At the follow up exam the next morning at 8:00 I had 20-30 vision. At my one week post-op exam I had 20-20 vision...How great is that!
Last Tuesday I had my other eye done. 20-40 the day of surgery and the next day I had 20-20 vision. I have a follow up exam this Friday and am expecting the numbers to improve even more.
I have worn glasses for distance since the 5th grade and now I don't need them at all except for reading.
The reading glasses routine is getting old so I am going to see about getting bifocal contacts so I will not have to be groping for my readers every five minutes.
To make a long story short, I never knew how bad my eyesight was until I had the peepers fixed!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Catching Up

It has been a while since I updated the blog. Life just seems to get in the way sometimes.
Sue is doing so well with her two new knees. She had both of them replaced five weeks ago and has been driving for three weeks already.
Not to be outdone, I had minor surgery last Tuesday. I had a cataract removed off my left eye. It was a total success with a a HUGE difference in my eyesight. I went from 20/70 to 20/20. I fully expect the same miracle when they do my right eye next Tuesday.
No more glasses, except for reading....maybe.
We have been enjoying the last several weekends out at the lake camping. More of that action is scheduled for this weekend. Is it Friday yet?
We have been having a real heatwave here. Last Friday it was 95 degrees. Yesterday it was 99 degrees. Today at 2:30 PM it was 102 degrees. We may just get to 105 before the day is done.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bravery and Birds

First the brave part. As you probably know, Sue had both knees replaced two and a half weeks ago. You read correctly, both knees at the same time.
She is doing amazing! The walker is history, the cane is history and she is walking on her own...that is incredible!
Her secret is good old fashioned hard work. Go to physical therapy, do all the exercises at home and put in some extra time over and above the "normal".
The physical therapist told her today that she can start driving anytime. I can't say it enough...AMAZING!
Now for the birds....
The hummingbirds are returning in numbers here at Coyote Ridge. They are warming up to us and are even sitting still for pictures. Feel free to click on the pictures for larger images.

So far the little birds have been pretty peaceful with one another. That will end soon when 20-30 of the hyper birds all compete for space at the six feeders. Let the action begin!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

This is for the Birds

Many of our birds are returning to their summer home here at Coyote Ridge.
We have welcomed them back with my secret sweet recipe that fills the six hummingbird feeders on the back deck.
Sue was able to catch a couple of our feathered friends feeding this morning.

The feeders have been semi-active with our little Hummers as well. In a few weeks the hyper little winged wonders will be challenging each other for a place at the hanging sugar bars.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This and That

Because of Sue's double knee replacement surgery a week ago, we are staying close to home here at Coyote Ridge.
Her surgery was very successful and her recovery is going great!
I think she looks real good...don't you?

She goes to physical therapy three days a week and works the knees at home with special exercises at least three times per day.
Saturday was a beautiful day to work outside so I decided to strip the old stain off the front and back decks. What a mess!

I blasted about 80% of the stain off with my power washer. The rest will be taken off with a chemical stain remover. I will then re-stain and if done right, should last several more years.
Yesterday we had several hummingbirds and two Baltimore Orioles at the feeders. No pictures of the birds as they are so skittish early in the season.

I fixed the tires on my tractor dump cart this weekend so I can drive around and "haul stuff". It is a real guy thing, but absolutely necessary if I want to get all my projects finished in a reasonable amount of time.
I was hoping to haul some dirt today and do some seeding, but the rain has delayed that for a while.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Hummer and a Bummer

First the bummer. I had an eye appointment today with an Opthamologist because my eyesight has been deteriorating rather rapidly the past two years.
During those two years the optometrists I had been going to said it was just the aging process. I know I am getting older, but not that fast!
So after about two hours of testing, the diagnosis ....cataracts.
The good news is that the procedure is easy and I will have 20-20 vision and will not need glasses except for reading.
So I guess it really isn't a bummer after all.
The timing is a bit off as Sue still has a long road to recovery after having both knees replaced last Thursday. She is getting along great...considering the almost barbaric process to replace the knees.
My surgery is scheduled for May 31st and June 14th. Since Sue had both knees done at once, I thought maybe the Dr. might be able to do both eyes at the same time. No way he said. Sue wins this round. :)
Now the hummer part of the story.
I saw my first hummingbird of the season this evening on the back deck.
About two weeks ago I put a couple of feeders out so they would have a treat after their long flight "home" for the summer season.
We sure love watching the little birds and at times we are able to see as many as 20 birds feed at the same time.
I will have to stand guard and get some pictures.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sue Made it Home

It was indeed a challenge, but Sue made it home safe and sound from the hospital today.
For having both knees replaced Thursday afternoon, I think she is doing great!

She will have physical therapy three times per week with various doctors appointments thrown in for good measure.
From what I understand, intense physical therapy is the key to success.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Update on Sue

As some of you may have read, Sue was scheduled for double knee replacement on Thursday.
The update is....the surgery went off as planned and she now has two brand new knees!
She chose to have both replaced at the same time for several reasons.
Instead of two surgeries, two hospital stays, two periods off get the idea. It just seemed like a good idea at the time and it still does.
She was in surgery for 2.5 hours and recovery for about another hour.
The fine folks at the hospital (Mayo here in town) wheeled her to her room where Dave, her physical therapist was waiting for her first treatment.

I must say, these Mayo folks are very organized...and good at what they do.
In no time at all, her team had her up and walking the halls.

She will be in the hospital until Sunday then sent home with a responsible adult. Gee, I am not sure if I can qualify to be that person!
While in the hospital, she has two group physical therapy sessions per day.
All the recipients of new knees shuffle down the hallway to the large PT room and do their exercises together under the watchful eyes of some really good physical therapists.
The group concept is really neat. The patients tend to cheer each other on and push each other to work even harder.
The patients are encouraged to have their "coaches" with them during these sessions. I really enjoy participating so I can see first hand the determination these people have to heal faster and get on the road to a better quality of life.
There is a group physical therapy session in the morning. A group lunch with patients, coaches and physical therapists at noon and another session for everyone at one PM. After that, everyone has had about enough for one day so once again they all go shuffling back off to their private rooms for some well deserved rest.
I must say the food is very good at the hospital.
Their menu is very complete and easy to order from. You just dial "FOOD" on the phone a half hour before you want to eat and a friendly person on the other end takes your order. A half hour later the food is delivered piping hot to the room.
Do you get the idea that I am impressed with these folks?
I will let you know how things go during the recovery process. Sue will be off work for about 8-12 weeks and plans on spending some time recuperating down at the lake in the camper. Perfect!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Deer Are Curious Here at Coyote Ridge This Spring

The warmer temperatures and green plants have been bringing out the deer lately. I was able to get a few photos in the past few days.

We drove out to the lake today to do some more preseason work on the camper. Sue planted some hostas and I stacked up more firewood that we had hauled out in the truck. We also hung some more curtains that Sue made to keep more of the sunlight out with the sun coming up so early. They sure look nice and I am sure they will do the trick.
Sue will be having both knees replaced this Thursday so we are trying to get as many projects finished as possible.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Under the Knife....Oh My!

Sue has been having a rough time with her knees for many years and had several surgeries to repair them. The procedures seem to last for a while then not so much.
She had an appointment Thursday with a very good Orthopedic Surgeon who is very well known for his work.
He took x-rays and proclaimed that it was time for new knees. That is exactly what Sue wanted to hear.
So on April 28th. she goes in for knee replacement...both knees at the same time.
She should be in the hospital for three days and off work for twelve weeks. That is a heck of a way to get the summer off! No doubt, it will be worth the short term pain for the long term gain.
Of course, they are not my knees so it is easy for me to say that.
We spent part of yesterday and today cooking and baking in advance so meal preparation will be easier.
So far we have made up 36 servings of three types of homemade soup, two "hot dishes" and four loaves of bread...pumpkin and banana.
For the most part, the outdoor spring cleanup is done, so that is a big project out of the way.
Maybe next weekend we can get down to the camper and get it dewinterized for the season. I really don't want to turn on the water to the camper until the threat of freezing is gone. The ice is still on the lake, but that should clear off in a few weeks.
So there is my update for now. Stay tuned for more.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oh Deer!

It sure has been a while since I sat down at the keyboard and updated my blog. With the severe threat of flooding and a crazy schedule...well, you know the rest.
Sunday afternoon I set up the trail camera out here at Coyote Ridge.
It took several pictures, the best being a picture of this nice deer who strolled past the camera.

Tune in again. Who knows what will show up in the camera's viewfinder?

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Few Seattle Pictures

What a grand time we had in Seattle at our son's wedding! Sarah and Andy looked great...and very happy.
Here are a few pictures that were taken...two professional photographers were there, but those pics are not ready yet.
For now, I will post the "rookie" pictures.

The parties, company and city....out of this world FUN!