Wednesday, December 9, 2015


We lost Rog's mom, Ruth, last week, a month before her 90th birthday. What a truly wonderful woman.

When Rog invited me to go cross-country skiing at the state park one night  during our senior year of high school in Bemidji, MN, I told him I had never skied before and didn't  have skis. He said I could use his Mom's skis.  So, that night he introduced me to his parents and we had a sort of awkward conversation sitting in the living room, where I think his parents gave me some basic cross-country skiing safety tips (like avoiding the  trees at the bottom of the big downhill run.)  Who would have thunk I would end up with these sweet people  as my  parents-in-law? In fact, I am certain that one reason (among many) that I married Rog was because I loved his mom and dad and brothers so much.

I admired Ruth so much as a confident, intelligent, kind, curious, patient and wise woman.  We often went for family walks in the north woods and she could identify most of the wildflowers and trees.  She seemed to love authentic, simple pleasures: bonfires, gardening, canoeing, fishing, making jam, Sheba the springer spaniel and Mickey the furry gold cat,  cross-stitch, baking those unforgettably decadent  sesame cookies... She reveled in the spirited discussions her family would have about mathematical philosophies (heuristics? I still don't really understand that) and  the value of those new-fangled computers in education.

I will miss Ruth so much - her husky laugh when something tickled her, her intellectual curiosity about everything, her way of telling a story almost like a parable, her kind encouragement, love and support  of her sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren - but happily, these traits are being carried on by the sons she and Jerry raised so well.  Love you, Ruth.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Flowers and Fruits of November --in Minnesota!

After the most perfect summer I can remember, we are being blessed with  the most amazing, warm. enduring fall. This morning I took flower photos from around the  farm...not the most impressive until you realize it is mid-November and we have not had a hard frost yet, so these are mostly very geriatric blooms! 
Usually by this time of year it is white and gray and brown out --these patches of color are intoxicating. The weather has done wonders for my usual fall depression, but afraid it hasn't helped me motivate to put plastic on the windows and hang Christmas lights (today, maybe!)

A volunteer marigold from seed that blew into the pasture from the aquaponics towers.
Dandelion seedhead in the walking onions.

The honeysuckle vine is blooming halfway up the  windmill.
Brussels sprouts awaiting Thanksgiving dinner.

 The early-bearing raspberries are confused.

A patch of peas self-sowed and are blossoming. I am contemplating  digging them up and putting them in a big pot in the greenhouse.
The bottle tree, with the peace dove silhouetted, looked especially beautiful backlit against the morning sun. Sending up a little prayer for  Paris, Lebanon and Syria.