Six Year Journey Ends

Six years ago I began this blogging journey.  It has been an experience…good, bad, sad, happy and everything inbetween.  I have met many wonderful bloggers from all over the world.  It has been a pleasure.

I write at night instead of watching TV, I use a program called Live Writer.  I don’t have an index of my blogs … sometimes I think I may be re telling a story I already told.  I am getting old what do you expect?

When I began blogging we still had our Greenhouse business ( I closed it in the winter of 2008 a very hard decision), Far Guy had just been diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, Chance was three years old, I had a 2 megapixel camera and I was younger.

Why Blog?  To leave some small part of me behind for my Grands.  Just like a diary and they are in it!  Some things will fade in their memories as they get older and they may have some questions about their family history…well they might find that info in the blog.

Selfishly I also wanted to collect enough photos and blooming information about the wildflowers in our area to write a book.  The blog was a great place to collect some of that information.  It is also a good place to document the things that happen in our area.

Locally the blog is carried by Area Voices in a difficult format (WordPress), the publishing company has difficult rules for me to follow…I am limited to the number of photos I can use. It is a free platform and they call all the shots.

My time with them has come to an end after six years.   Readers can always find me HERE or just Google Far Side of Fifty and you will find me. Thanks for reading!

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Neighbors Then and Now

Last year after Christmas neighbor Edie gave me a special Shiny Brite ornament.

It had a bit of a story.  Carl (Edie’s husband) went to a neighbors(Norman and Minnie Zauche’s) auction sale and purchased some Christmas ornaments.  She asked me to write something about them.  Edie is originally from Park Rapids and all the information Carl could share was “Minnie was a teacher.”

Well I knew a tad more than that.  I called my Mother to fill in some blanks.   Some things she could remember and some things she couldn’t.

Carl and Edie’s sons got some of those auction sale Shiny Brites this past Christmas and some history as I recalled it and some facts which I researched online.

Minnie S. Flugner (Fliegner) Zauche was born in Idaho in 1906.  She lived in Wyoming and is found in the US Census as a boarder in 1930, more than likely a teacher.    She married Norman O Zauche on June 1, 1944 in Washington DC.  Norman was a Iowa boy that moved to Minnesota, Lake of the Woods County and is found there in the 1930 Census with his family.
They had one adopted daughter.  Becky Joan born in 1945.
Norman  was a Forest Ranger and he and Minnie made their home in the cabins at the Smoky Hills Ranger Station.  Later they built a new home on what was formerly Dezelle’s Lake/Chilton’s Lake,  which became known to neighborhood kids as Zauche’s Lake ( Lady Slipper Bed and Breakfast is located there now.)
Mrs. Zauche was the second grade teacher at the Osage Elementary School.  Her first teaching  year there was 1958.  She was my second grade teacher that same year.    She was a wonderful teacher, patient and kind to all the students.  She would remain known to me as Mrs. Zauche all of her life.

Being a neighborhood kid with a bike, we were always welcome at the Zauche house.   Mrs. Zauche would go out on the small lake and holler “fishy fishy” and throw bread crumbs to the sunfish.  She always had cookies or something freshly baked for a treat for visitors.  She would often hold an impromptu class in her flower garden, telling me the name of all the flowers.  She and Norman had huge flower beds, most of which were landscaped and raised with really good dirt and edged with rock.  They grew dahlias, roses and many other perennials.  On the north east side of their property they had an orchard.  I often wonder how many of those trees have survived.   A small creek ran out of the small lake and through a culvert under their driveway, where the creek became swamp in the woods was where the Lady Slippers grew.   Norman would monitor the water levels flowing from Chilton Lake into Zauche’s Lake, there was a ditch that connected the two lakes and there were wood boards that kept the water at whatever level he wanted it.  There was a very narrow path along the north side of Zauche’s Lake that led to Chilton’s Lake.

The Zauche’s donated the land for the building of  St. Pauls Lutheran Church.  They are both buried in the cemetery there.

Norman and Minnie were well respected members of the community.  They went Square Dancing in Detroit Lakes.  Soon they began a square dancing club in Osage called The Friendly  Squares.  Norman did the calling.
Minnie was older than Norman but she would never reveal her age.  She was born in 1906 and he was born in 1913.
When Mrs. Zauche retired from teaching, the PTA had a going away party for her.  Each class she taught would present her with a rose.  I was last in line that day in the kitchen waiting to go into the gym to present her with a red rose and a hug.  She was a truly wonderful lady who touched many young lives.   I cannot remember what year that was…most likely 1970 or 1971.

In late 1974 and early 1975 Norman became very ill, he doctored in Fargo.   Minnie was very concerned, right after she learned he would be okay she died on February 20 1975, she was 69 years old.   Norman would follow her eleven months later, he died on January 12, 1976 at the age of 62.

I will always remember them fondly,
Connie    November 15, 2013

Their daughter Becky was one of my favorite babysitters.  I have lost touch with her, I heard through the grapevine that she was recovering from Breast Cancer…I cannot help but think of her and her parents this holiday season.

Posted in Area History, shiny brites | 1 Comment

Christmas 2013

Leftovers, too many cookies, boxes to recycle and a few bent spoons mark another Christmas.

At one point daughter Jen announced all electronic devices would be turned off for awhile.  The children complied although several asked “What if I get a call?”

They survived.

After church on Christmas Eve we enjoyed a wonderful meal of smoked ribs (Andy smoked them in his smoker), cooked carrots, corn (frozen from last summer), baked beans and cornbread (Jen’s specialty).  Steve and Jo joined us and my parents stopped by later. Dessert was served: Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake, Tiramisu Cheesecake, Pumpkin Bread, Cookies and Mexican Mud Balls. Uffda.

We played Quelf and then the Grandgirls requested SPOONS.  Spoons is played with a deck of cards, you put one less spoon than players in the center of the table, players are dealt four cards, the dealer picks up a card from the remaining deck looks at it and can switch it out to make four of a kind.  The cards the dealer doesn’t want are passed as fast as they can be around the table.  The first person to get four cards the same grabs a spoon, which is a signal to the rest of the players to grab a spoon, the person with out a spoon gets an S then a P etc… to spell SPOONS when you have spelled SPOONS you are out of the game.  I was forced out after my husband dived for a spoon across the table…Maddie sustained a sore toe and a scrape on her foot from a spoon fight.  One spoon was bent beyond recognition.  It was a loud and rousing game with lots of giggling and hollering.

The rest of this post can be found HERE.

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Wistful Wednesday: Christmas in Korea 1951 and a Quilt of Valor 62 Years Later

I was born in 1951, my first Christmas was spent at my Grandparents farm with my Mom.

My Dad was in Korea for Christmas in 1951.  He was 25 years old.

Season Greeting To CO.B. 5th RCT

Yuletide Greeting From Korea

Land of Lice and Diarrhea

From Murky Shores We Half Mastered

Merry Christmas You Lucky Bastard

Luckily my Dad came home in one piece, he had a shrapnel wound on his head and on his arm.

It was a tough time over there in Korea.  My Dad thinks of his experiences often especially during the wintertime.  He says some of the images are still stuck in his head after all these years.  I remember that Mom used to complain that he would wiggle his toes all night long in his sleep, he learned to do that in a foxhole in Korea during the winter to keep his toes from being frost bitten.

62 years later my Dad finally got some recognition for his time served in Korea.

I read a blog called Wyoming Breezes written by my friend Nancy.  Nancy puts together tops of quilts for the Quilt of Valor Program.  She suggested that I nominate my Dad for a quilt.  I went to the website and filled out the paperwork.

One Sunday afternoon the phone rang, it was a gal by the name of Rende…she was part of a quilting group and would be presenting the quilt to my Dad! She wanted to present it about 4 PM on the 19th of December.

I called my parents and asked them to be home and have the coffee pot on. If I could manage it then it would be a surprise for both of them.  I also called my Aunt Anna and asked her to go over and make sure they were at home that afternoon.  Mother was very curious, Dad was a little curious also especially after I asked him to change his shirt!

It was a wonderful surprise.  Aunt Anna and few of my cousins showed up and my other baby brother and his wife.  My sister and my baby brother live too far away to attend.

Rende presented the Quilt to Dad.

It is a beautiful work of art.

I also invited my friend Anna who is a reporter for the local newspaper, she wrote an article about my Dad and the photo made it above the fold.

Dad told us all “That’s the first thing I’ve gotten in 60 years.”

62 years actually.

It is never too late to say Thank You to a Veteran.  My Dad was thrilled to tears with his quilt,  I think he feels a little bit like a celebrity with all the attention…it is about time!

On this Christmas Day in 2013, I am thankful for Nancy and all the other quilters that piece together and stitch the quilts for these very deserving veterans.  I thank you on behalf of my father and all the other veterans you have honored with your stitching.

Merry Christmas!

The photos can be found HERE.

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An Old Friend

A long long time ago ..oh not that long it was about 1960.  I guess that makes it more than 50 years ago…back to the long long time ago.  I was 9 or 10 and in the 3rd or 4th grade riding Ivan Siegford’s bus to school.  Sandy was the last stop. She was  a real looker.  Blonde hair and a nice smile, on “Dress Up Days” at the high school she would wear heels, long dangly earrings and beautiful necklaces that matched whatever outfit she was wearing.  Sometimes she would sit with me, being the last person to board the bus seating was limited.  She must have been a freshman that year.  Then the bus route changed and she rode a different bus.

Years later she would find our Greenhouse and we would have wonderful visits about the school bus and life back in the 1960’s.  She loved dogs and always brought at least two of hers along with her when she got flowers.  She had no children. I shared with her how I admired her choices on Dress Up Days…she said she enjoyed those special days at school too and felt so grown up wearing high heels to school.

Then one spring she didn’t show up.  Somehow I had missed her obituary in the newspaper.  I never met her husband, but it would have been good to attend the funeral.  She died ten years ago in 2003 from some kind of cancer she was 57 years old.  Her husband died last winter.

There was an estate sale.  I was running on time to work and could not stop in the morning.  After work I stopped.  I saw a lady carrying two boxes of Shiny Brites..darn..too late.  I asked her if she was going to buy them, she replied “Oh no they were just sold I am holding them for a fellow.”

The rest of this post and the photos can be found  Here. 

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The Shiny Brite Tree

The Shiny Brite tree has been done a few days.  I finally had time to take some photos of it.

It is a huge project…I suppose mostly because it is a huge tree.

It takes a few days to decorate.  I love the way the Shiny Brites catch the light.

Chance was getting a tad bored with me, this is his best shot in between yawns.

The rest of this post and the photos can be found HERE.

Posted in Christmas, shiny brites | 3 Comments

Winter Wedding

Yesterday we attended the wedding of our niece Rachael.  She has been praying for snow for the wedding.  There was a fair amount of snow….and many of the outside photos show snowflakes.

Rachael and Chad were married in front of the fireplace in a lovely ceremony.  Guests were seated at round tables, a brunch followed the 9:45 AM nuptials.

The photos and the rest of this post can be found HERE.

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Ready or not!

Ready I think!  The last of the gifts arrived in the mail.  That last gift caused Far Guy a few sleepless nights. Everything is wrapped! Whoo Hoo…we are moving right along.

The stockings are hung.

A new ornament is in place.

It is a beauty!

The Grand boys will come and go..doing fun things.

This tall one likes the new ottoman that I bought for the love seat. $15.00 at a thrift store and it matches  perfectly!

The other tall one.

Eating popcorn to gain sustenance to grow a few more inches this week.  Those are Miney’s ears…she likes popcorn too.

Building airplanes out of Legos.

I now know the finer points of this creation…it is wonderful what can be built with Legos.

The Shiny Brite Tree was finished yesterday. The rest of the Christmas decorations found their spots.  I still have one gift I am working on…it might be finished in time…or not.

I have dusted and straightened and put all the Christmas bins away.  I still have a bit of baking to do for Christmas morning but I have plenty of time to accomplish that.

Now let the fun begin.

The photos can be found HERE.


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Best Friends

We may be a tad cranky with each other as we age…but we will always be best friends, a shoulder to lean or cry upon and someone to throw you kisses across the room if you are kinda cranky.   Someone who can almost read your mind and gets better at it as the years pass you by.

How many years has it been?  Forty four..seems like only yesterday or maybe the day before and here we are two daughters and five grands later.

Here is a link to some old wedding photos.

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One Tree

One tree is complete.  It only took three days.  It looks pretty much like it has in years past, full of ornaments each with a story.

I picked out special paper to go with the tree. The packages are wrapped in pretty red, white and blue paper.  There was one package that stood out like a sore thumb…but a sweet elf re wrapped it…after I had a hissy fit, bawled and then had a very long nap.  No it probably wasn’t the red paper with holly that was the was just the one thing that tipped me over the edge.  I am certain I really didn’t mean that next year I am taking a holiday cruise all by myself.

The rest of this post can be found here. 


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