Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Tuesday, October 31, 2023


And then this happened......

a couple of inches of snow overnight. It won't last, but it sure is cold and blowy. Last night the trees were dressed in snow. This morning it's blown off. 

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Some Chores Accomplished

I took a day off from devices yesterday and concentrated on getting ready for winter. All the pots are in the shed, the porch furniture is inside the screened porch, bird baths emptied and the bowl turned upside down. I did weather stripping on the three doors. I have a few windows that leak air so I will take care of those today. All-in-all, it was productive. It's currently 25F, so it is time. In most states November is Autumn. In Minnesota it's winter. There's been snow in Northern Minnesota, it was forecast for us yesterday, but it didn't happen.

Thursday I made stock from my bag of frozen vegetable and aromatic bits. With this I then made lentil and smoked ham soup, which we will have the last of for lunch today. It is most certainly soup weather in my part of the world.

I'll leave you with G & J rockin to The Zombies.


Thursday, October 26, 2023

Shipping is Free

Incase you have not seen a Gatto in a box.


I made the extremely easy focaccia again yesterday. Should it be this easy? We've had several rainy days and it's raining now, but supposed to end this morning. I can't complain, we need it. Otherwise, life is rolling along. I'm slowly puttering my way through the organizing and cleanup that remains. Emphasis on slowly. I'm once again trying to sprout avocado trees. I have not had luck with this, mostly due to neglect. They make a pretty house plant and I like the idea of  something created out of a throw-away. My friend, julochka, is a champ when it comes to growing them.

Today I will cut back the herb plants and freeze the herbs.  Starting tomorrow we are looking at highs in the 30sF and lows in the 20s. The party is over for the plants. I'm feeling a little better. I was prescribed Welbutrin months ago and have been getting the prescription but not using it. It's an add-on to the Fluoxitine I take. I wasn't using it because I didn't like the side effects listed. I decided a couple of weeks ago the potential side effects didn't matter as much as depression. It has helped. I feel more engaged and I'm taking interest in things I didn't notice nor care if I noticed or not. The side effect I was hesitant about, seizures, I have decided not to worry about. It's a crap game.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Thirty Years

Several months ago I had posted some before and after photos of this sorry place from the outside. I had said I would post the inside sometime. I spent quite awhile yesterday going through hundreds of photos, only to find I didn't take before photos inside. All I have is this poor quality photo when we were looking to buy the house. Neighbors came with and you can tell just by looking at her what Caroline, on the left, thought! She told me I was out of my mind. She may have been right. There was NO cabinetry in the kitchen, only the island. There was a free standing electric stove sitting on a pallet. Of course, the lovely plaid wallpaper showed so well! This place was a disaster. I couldn't wait!

I took these photos Saturday. We replaced the floor, added cabinets and had the stove the house came with put in properly. It was replaced 20 years ago. The doorway wasn't there, that leads to a screened porch we had put on. Mark and I did the work in the kitchen.

This was just the tip of the iceberg. The addition the seller put on was mostly finished, but the rest of the house was horrible. I do have the ability to see beyond what is there and to know what I can do to fix it. As it was, everyone thought I was nuts. Mark went along with me because I told him I could make it nice. And he believed me. After the kitchen I had two wonderful men who worked on the place, at different times. Without them, I just had a plan, with them I had a home.

Time has flown by. Looking through all of those photos showed me how much time has passed. The house is too large for us, really. There are no holiday dinners anymore. No more large gatherings of horse friends. No more boarders who became friends to come in and chat. Two people rattling around. If I didn't have the horses, would I move? I don't know. The place is known as the house Dick, Patrick and Sandra built. I haven't just lived here, I created a home out of a disaster. A neighbor snidely told me they looked at it before they bought the land down the hill from us and that her husband said the only thing it was good for was a bulldozer. I told her it's too bad he hasn't any imagination. Minnesota nice.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

I Won. For Now

Wishing and Waiting and Hoping.
I have finally got the palm just out of Gatto's reach.

The son visited yesterday for a couple of hours. He brought lunch. Fried chicken, coleslaw and cornbread. It was really good to see him. It's been six months. His wife is not doing well after her mother's death two months ago. So, life is tricky right now. He is taking his Yorkie camping again next weekend. Those trips are good for him. We enjoyed the company and the food. He got to see Gatto as Gatto is. After a couple of hours he told me we have to outlive that cat. No one (meaning him) would want to live with him. He loves cats! To say Gatto is a handful is to minimize Gatto. I think of him as the large wild cats people think they can tame. They are all cuddly and soft until they kill you, just because. Even those they raised in captivity. There is feral in the orange boy.

It's a nice day, sunny and will be lower 60s. About mid-week the temps drop. The grass is nearly done in the pastures, meaning the horses will be getting round bales by the end of the month. And so it starts. 

Chicken and dumplings for dinner. Now that's something to look forward to.

Thursday, October 19, 2023


Does not every well appointed house have a palm perched on a paint can?

It didn't work.

Gatto is obsessed. Stretched as far as he could and grabbed a frond. I moved the plant. He spent time scouting the situation and then just made a leap from the floor, nearly toppling everything. Onto plan C. He had a taste of palm frond and he wants more.  

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Crime and No Punishment

I'm innocent. Innocent, I say. It's a frame-up.

It's her word against mine. I wasn't chewing and pulling the fronds of this intruder she brought inside the house. Tell me, how could you believe a two-legger over me? Impossible.

I brought some of the plants inside yesterday.  

Cat Paradise

She is contemplating a continuation of her offense.

I see you, Gatto.

The palm had to be put outside again until I figure out what to do. Gatto is obsessed and Frieda isn't too far behind him. If I'd left it there, I would not have a palm plant in the morning. The rest don't interest them. I have an avocado pit I rooted and put into dirt. I had to move it because Gatto pulled  it out of the pot. 

Big troubles, right? I have no plans for the day. Maybe that means I'll do something. I have never liked being told what to do, it seems even by me. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

All is Well

It's a hard life to live. Gatto is willing to make the sacrifice.

Currently 36F, but will manage to get to the upper 50s. Life is stumbling along, a little creaky as we go, but we go. Yesterday was a tax deadline so today Mark plans to do mindless work; stripping some horse stalls. 

May all your soup be flavorful and bright.


Monday, October 16, 2023


It's 38F and sunny. I think a beautiful day. The equines feel the same way about the weather as I do. This is life as they like it. It's laundry day. In between I think I should do some winterizing. It is coming, after all. We will get the outside Autumn things done this week, hopefully. I'm still waiting to mow.

It was another twenty minute meal last night. Roasted tomatoes and eggplant. The sauce was a bit tart so I put a little cream into it. Fixed. I haven't really had the cooking mojo working for me lately, so these meals have been frequent. I was prescribed Wellbutrin as an add on to Fluoxitine several months ago. I didn't take it, seizures as a potential side effect turned me away. I decided last evening I would start. I'm not in the black hole but I'm simply functioning. Simply functioning is not a place to be. Depression steals your life. I hadn't intended to say anything about this, but my fingers didn't listen. Anyway, I hope to begin feeling more engaged.

On that note....I think I'll start the laundry!


Sunday, October 15, 2023

Sunday Morning

We've had about 4 inches of rain over a couple of days. Once again today, it's a dreary day. That's alright, no complaints. We need it. Autumn cleanup can wait. 


We had our first fire of the season. So it begins, my best time of year.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Like Looking in a Mirror

Allow me to introduce Crabby Tabby. He is Gatto's doppelgänger. He and his three siblings were born in my barn Mother's Day 2015. Tabby and his brother, McCool, were part-time house cats until Keetah came here to live. They didn't like her, so they stopped coming in. Mona never wanted in and Jiggs came in for good after an injury. This family of cats is not territorial, which is strange. Tabby gave a few hisses but that was it. Nothing bothers Gatto. After awhile Tabs wanted to go outside, so he did. Tabs is closest to the door.

Just incase it seems it's always soup or pasta (kinda is) I thought I'd show it's not. Chicken wings and a salad was for dinner. I managed to salvage a few tomatoes from the monster plant. It's a dreary, blustery day with rain coming in early evening. The last of the soup from a couple of days ago will be lunch. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

It's Alive! It's Alive!

I took a photo just before Mark pulled it out. It's a volunteer pear shaped cherry tomato plant that I had planted in a pot last year. It popped it's head up in July and went from there. Remember the 1950s movie with a young Steve McQueen, The Blob? That's how I have seen it, as day-by-day it has taken over. It's now in the trees. It will likely propagate there next year.

I plan to do some mowing today. The cool weather and rain have made my burnt lawn green and shaggy. There is more rain forecast tomorrow evening and all day Friday. We should be pretty close to being out of drought. 

Isn't this soup colorful? Yes, it is! Crisp, cool air just sings out soup weather to me. I've been making stock all summer so happy days are here again. Smoked pork shank seems expensive to me, but once I have the soup I forget all about that. It's so good. I plan to make a cottage pie (I learned and remembered, Boud!) tomorrow. Yep, comfort food is on the menu.

On a different note:  I have come across a medical clinic for women sixty-five and older. The closest of the three for me is about 40-45 minutes away but I believe I will give it a try. To say I have lost faith in the medical factory is an understatement. I would love an answer to my extreme exhaustion. One that isn't my current diagnosis...MFO. Mental. Fat. Old.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Gatto Love Him

Gatto decided to be a helper yesterday. He helped fold laundry in the morning.


He then decided in the afternoon he would assist in unpacking groceries. One never knows when one may find a snack. In the evening he got in the cabinet under the sink and freed a bunch of dishwasher pods from the container, just in case I needed a few. Overnight he thought I should practice some yoga positions so he appointed himself coach (yogi?) and put himself in my way on the bed all night. He is so helpful.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Another, Like the Other.

Gatto. Bird Watcher.

Here we are. Another Monday. It's my fun day. Not manic, I hope. The one day where I have maintained a schedule...laundry. Oh, boy! It's downright chilly  and is now going to remain that way, if my weather app is correct. The low to mid 50s as highs through the third week of October. Mark is busy with work until after the fifteenth, then the fall cleanup and put-away needs doing. I have inside winterizing to do, it comes upon us fast. One day it's 90 and the next it's 50. 

I've been using the lingering produce daily. It's been pasta and zucchini, farro with zucchini and tomatoes, pasta with tomatoes and eggplant. Mark commented last evening on our vegetarian diet. I used to call him the "meat eater". The thought of a meal without meat appalled him! He has changed. He actually prefers eggplant meatballs to the real thing. I've had no interest in cooking and these meals take very little time or effort.

I guess it's time to face the inevitable....a full hamper and a washing machine. Be still, my beating heart.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Such is Life

I got ahead of myself yesterday. I felt better, but my brain was clumsy. I couldn't really process thoughts nor communicate them when I did, so I gave up trying, as on blogger, and did mundane but necessary tasks, like washing the open shelving and the items on there. 

I got this shelf completed and half of another. I cannot safely reach the final two shelves and Mark wasn't home, so I'll get it and the final shelf done today. Open shelves and a used kitchen can be a problem. Frieda was doing quality control.

I had to turn the furnace on yesterday. It never got out of the forties. Mark went to the 65th birthday party of the third youngest brother yesterday. Of the ten siblings, eight were there. One came from South Dakota, the other from Kansas. They went to a restaurant and then to a brother's home for dessert. He had a good time and when they started talking about politics, he actually kept quiet. No easy task, but he is learning.

It's sunny and crisp, very Minnesota October, nice to see a moment of normal after the hellish summer. My son is camping and hiking somewhere in the North Woods with his Yorkie. What a sight they make, his little dog dressed up in his coat or sweater and this tall, large framed man. He took after his bio-dad's family, no tall in mine! They are constant companions. 

That's about it. Soup stock is simmering, the sun is shining and I am vertical.

Saturday, October 7, 2023


Thank you all for your kind comments yesterday. I am better today. I had some sort of stomach bug that knocked me down for a few days.  I spent a lot of time in bed. I did stay off the screen entirely. 

We are in full October weather now. It's mid-thirties this morning with a high in the fifties. I will need to bring in the houseplants soon. We have been recovering the rain deficit, which is very good for the trees. On the other hand, I am unable to mow. But, I was in no condition to mow anyway.

I'll leave with a way-back of Sunspot with her foal, Ari, a half Lipizzaner, and one of my greyhounds, Nellie. Nellie was a clown!

Friday, October 6, 2023

A quick note to say I have been ill. I spent all of yesterday in bed. I am better but not well today. The screen is hard for me to look at so I don't think I'll be visiting today, either. Hope all is well andI will see you soon.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Days of Future Past

I called this photo 
The Four Mares of the Apocalypse.

They all were in foal, Mama Ellie on the left looked ready to burst. Three Arabians, one Morocco Spotted Horse. Left to right: Forever Elegent, Sun Spot Baby (named for a Bob Seger song) RF Fleetwind and LF Diamond Rose. Circa 1996. All have died, the last was Fleetwind, December 2021. I still have offspring from each of them. Diamond Rose's first foal is now my oldest horse, Tempered Steele, who herself produced a couple of championship foals. A long time ago.

I thought I'd do a little stroll down horsey memory lane this morning. I still have fourteen of the beasties. I'd be living in Grand Marais if I didn't. Some people go south, I would go north.

This is supposedly the last day of tropical weather. By the end of the week we are expecting overnight temperatures around 30F. Rollercoaster ride. If it doesn't rain tonight I'll actually be able to do some mowing tomorrow. Mark has an appointment today with his urologist. I think he sees him every three months. Life in remission. We will take it.

Sunday, October 1, 2023


What a mistake looks like.

I forgot to add the cheese to the quiche so I put it on top. Bad idea. Three high moisture ingredients and no ability to evaporate through the top of the quiche made for a bit of a mess. Luckily it tasted good, just looked a mess. I have an ability to turn my brain off when I don't want to hear it.

The Twin Cities Marathon was supposed to happen today. It attracts a whole lot of runners and is held in October for mild temperatures. It was cancelled two hours before starting time, due to tropical heat and humidity. In October. In Minnesota. Seriously wrong. We have two more days of this and then highs in the upper 50s. Where it belongs. I think the people in charge were having magical thinking, maybe the forecast will be wrong and it will be ok. So they wait and cancel at the last minute. Why not.

Any outside work I have in my plans will wait until Wednesday. Most of it consists of my ample behind planted on a mower, so I'm pretty sure I will follow through. I'm listening to The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. I remember there was a movie made based on the book in the 2000s but I hadn't read it. I initially thought I wasn't liking it but have changed my mind. I am learning how to swear in German! I'm about forty percent into it, so I have time for more lessons.