Thursday, August 30, 2007

A (sort of) Comparison

Bramble Allister is a 7 year old moorit ram. Even though he is old and beat up, I like him a lot. He's a gentle, crimpy, single-coated ram with excellent conformation. (He's standing a bit funny here.) Alli has a lot of presence, I think. He's very masculine, even with his refined bone. And not a single iset fiber yet!

Windswept Unicorn is a white yearling ram. He has a definite presence as well. That is a quality I like to see in a ram. His bone is heavier than Allister's. He has more meat across the shoulder and hip. This could be his age, compared to Alli's. But that heavy bone and hoof makes me think it is genetic, not age. He has a blocky appearance.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Windswept Unicorn

Every day I like this guy a little bit more.
"Uni" came with quite a bit to recommend him: fantastic horns, incredible fleece, powerful shoulder, straight top line, tiny tail...
But for some reason I wasn't smitten with him immediately. I've been trying to figure out why for some time now.
Part of it might be that he is so BIG. My other two rams are a bit more compact with refined bone. Uni is massive-for a Shetland. I know his coat adds to the effect. But still, his size intimidates me. I try not to let him know this.
Uni also came with an intimidating attitude. I think that might be the real reason why I hadn't started warming up to him until recently. Because we use electronet and move it every few days, I need sheep that are respectful enough to deal with me being in their space. I like them to stand back out of my way. But I also want them to stand still with their chins up when I walk directly toward them on days I need to handle them. Kavan and his sire, Allister, consistently behave this way. They are a joy to work with-even though I remember they are rams and that they would take advantage if they got the chance. Rams are rams.
Unfortunately, Uni was not as well behaved as his fellow rams. And he didn't "catch on" to standard procedure around here on his own. He crowded me way too much, and when I put my hand out to steer him away he'd put his head down as if to butt my hand. NOT o.k. Clearly, this young ram did not know the rules: I'm boss! It got to the point where I didn't really like him at all.
Yet Clancy kept telling me what a good looking boy he was. While Uni never committed any great act of aggression, I did feel he wanted to all the time. I finally decided something had to be done. So a couple of days ago I asked Clancy to follow me into the pen and throw him down for me. All the poor dude did was bob his head once and the next thing he knew he was flat on his side with a snarling man sitting on his chest. I came over and yelled "NO!" and "GIT!" a few times right up in his face for good measure. Allister came up to see about the commotion and I bumped him out of the way with my hip. (I have lots of confidence handling Alli-Oop and Kaveman.) He went back to the other side of the pen like a good ram. I filled the salt feeder and changed the water bucket while Clancy sat on the big guy. When I was out of the pen he climbed off and controlled Uni while he got back on his feet. Then he steered him around for a few minutes-as in: "You go where I tell you to go." Then he released him.
Uni has been very polite since that day. He no longer crowds me when I change the water bucket. He stands back and moves away when I walk toward him. This is not ideal. I'd like him to let me scratch his chin if I choose to. But I think that will take time. Having him fear me is a better situation than me fearing him. I'm just glad to see he is capable of learning respect. We don't necessarily need to be friends if he doesn't want to be.
With Uni taken down a notch, I've been appreciating him more. He has some exceptional qualities to offer my flock. I even toy with the idea of using him on almost all the girls this year to see what he can do. No doubt I'll change my mind a hundred times before Thanksgiving. But it's nice to be considering Uni again as a ram of choice. He's stunning when he's minding his manners.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Aspen Sticks

I finally delivered the peeled aspen stick order that I was preparing back around July 4th. I left two hours behind schedule on Sunday evening, but it all worked out because I pulled into Mora, MN just three minutes before the gentleman from Texas that was picking up the order. Couldn't have timed it better.

The photo shows a portion of the sticks that were stored in my house for lack of a garage or shed space. I'm a fairly casual person when it comes to my house, so it was no big deal to have 6 foot sticks stacked in every corner imaginable. Once in a while someone would trip on one and a few would clatter to the floor. No injuries, though. The worst casualty I can think of was Meggy's ball. Inevitably, it would roll back behind a pile. Meg would pace, and whine, and whimper. Tug us over to view the tragedy. One of us would have to crawl and reach for it's slobbery blucky-ness back amid the dog hair dust bunnies. Do that a couple of times and you'll never forget to break out the nozzle attachment on the vacuum to go that extra mile in housekeeping ever again.

The drive to Mora was good-good traffic, nice road, good music, lots of time to myself to think, pretty scenery...But I was tired to begin with. I left Bemidji at 5pm and returned home a little after 12:30am in the middle of a severe thunderstorm. Not only am I thankful for the inch of rain the storm brought us, but I'm pretty sure the anxiety of trying to stay on the road helped me stay awake those last few familiar miles-the ones I think I can drive with my eyes closed. How tempting that always seems after too much driving.

Our driveway is very closed in with trees and I was worried I'd be walking the last mile home if one had fallen in the storm. But all was well. The worst of the high winds seemed to hit a bit North of us. Tornadoes were reported. Our neighborhood was remarkably undamaged, considering. And I was soooooo glad to be home. Crawled into bed and hoped to sleep in.

Got my wish.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Had a Great Time

The past four days have been so busy. When I have the time I'll try to post about the main events. But before it's too far gone, I wanted to say how much fun I had on Saturday. Sorry, no photos to share.
Garrett Ramsay hosted a picnic at his farm, Saturday. I had a great time touring your place, Garrett - getting to meet you and your animals, and visiting with Gail V. and Mary! Let's not forget all the puppies too! I was in dog heaven with so many purebred canine beauty's about. I have always loved Corgi's and terriers-so visiting with Oliver, Sadie, Mack, Zoe, and Mary's Molly was a blast.

The baby pygmy goats were so cute I wanted to stuff one in my bag. Seriously. If I had a pygmy goat I'm sure it's little hooves would never touch the ground. It would be a lap goat. I managed to restrain myself from kidnapping (ha, literally) one of Garrett's babies.
The Shetland's were a joy as well. Garrett, you have some very nice sheep and some gorgeous fleeces. I got to see the fleece off the ram Gail just bought from Garrett and the caramel color was incredible. I was envious. Good for you, Gail! Oh, and just to make things even more fun, Gail brought some of her flock with her. The bersugget ramling's fleece was so blue and BIG. What a handsome boy he was.
There were so many different species to view and admire at Garrett's place, I'm barely scratching the surface in my description. Dinner was delicious. The conversation was educational, entertaining, and interesting. The company was fun. The animals were wonderful. I love visits to other people's farms! Thank you for the great day out.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Let the Games Begin...

Pick, Pick. Bug, Bug.

Get your butt outta my face!

Now you did it!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007


"Oh, for Pete's sake, SALLY! Get out of the cat food! No wonder your diet isn't working!"
You know you're a Redneck if you use a '68 Falcon as a cat habitat.
Guess we'll be feeding Kitty on the roof of the Falcon from now on.
Just thought you all should see the less glamorous side of my life. Yes, that is an old school bus in the background.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Clancy and the boys finished up the porch roofing just before the drizzle started Sunday night. Even with all the construction clutter strewn about, I still think it's beautiful to behold. Now to finish the rest of the siding...
A special Thank You to my three sons. You guys are awesome roofers! I love you boys and I'm so proud! I know, I know. Enough 0f that mushy stuff. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Heeeeeere, Greta!

I LOVE MUTTS! Greta is the mutt of all mutts. She's part Boxer, Chow, Border Collie, German Shepherd...and who knows what else.
She's perfectly useless. Definitely not the brightest bulb. Lazier than any dog has a right to be. And worth her weight in gold, I suppose.
Look at that foxy face. Look at that jaunty gait. Look at that flowy fur. Such a good puppy-yes you is! (I've lapsed into poochy voice.)
Did I mention she was the last pup left in a box of "Free Puppies!" a neighbor peddled outside the K-Mart store? I know, I know...that should have tipped me off. But I had puppy fever. I wanted a puppy so bad it hurt. I had a whole list of fabulous rationalizations that I pestered Clancy with daily: This new dog would be a savior to us all: guard the sheep, guard the house, guard the kids... People would come from miles around to marvel at this new dog's obedience...What a vision I had of my future puppy. Did I mention Greta was the last pup in the Free Puppies! box?!!!!! Impulse does not always serve me well.
Greta was the perfect puppy. Rather Chowish in her looks and behaviors. She potty trained really well, I must admit.
But I was used to herding types with their high energy and desire to please. Greta had no energy, and no desire to please. Very aloof. I eventually discovered that her only motivation in life was food. Not love, but food. For food she might move like a cheetah. At one point I had the vet examine her because I feared she was deaf. He was certain her hearing was fine and that she merely suffered from enormous inertia. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest unless acted upon by a force greater than... That would be me, physically shoving, pushing and dragging her in the directions I need her to go. I kid you not...if Greta is lying in front of the door and I need to open it, I use the door to slide her whole body across the slippery floor. Yes, I do ask her to move first. She opens one eye and gives me the look: "I'm very comfy just now, do what you must."
My favorite "Greta" is the time we switched the direction the exterior door opened. (During the building process we had a nasty old door on the house and it swung to the right. Then Clancy got the new door on and it swung to the left.) Morning came...time to let the dogs out...Sally the Shepherd Dog assessed the new situation in 2 seconds flat and slid the new direction through the door. Greta, who was following, mind you, came to a halt with her nose against the tiny crack of daylight on the hinge side of the door-the place where it used to be opened. And she stayed there!, sure that I would eventually open that crack wider...while Sally zipped in and out four times wondering why Greta wasn't following. I finally manually took her by the collar and led her through the doorway. Good dog. By the next morning she could do it herself. See what I mean about not the brightest bulb...
But what's not to love? Nothing is as cute as how Greta sleeps on her back with all four feet in the air. Never mind the high maintenance pelt that must be scissored off every spring no matter how much brushing is employed. Never mind that she barks as people leave. So helpful, thank you. Never mind the fact that she excavated deep pits under the deck for to nap in during the heat-even after heavy rains!!!!!! There's no such thing as a free dog, but life is all the richer for the love of Greta Grub.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wild Rice

Today is lovely, just like in this photo. Selena took this one during the work party. One of the smaller wild rice paddies found in the middle of Boston Lake is visible in the center of the picture. The rice grows all along the shore and out on the sandbars. Every year we say we are going to try harvesting. Every year the ducks get it all. I don't really mind. The ducks and trumpeter swans and loons and Canadian geese call this lake home and I'm glad they find such abundant food here. I'd rather have their company then a pound or two of wild rice.
This is the bluff straight East of the back door. I love the sumac growing there. (very bottom of photo) The deer used to keep it mowed all those years we were building the house. When we finally moved in, though, they started to avoid the yard and Sally dog. Now I can enjoy the twisty umbrellas of flame crimson each fall.
The far shore is Katherine's old place. She was the most elegant elderly woman I have ever known. Selena and I used to mow her lawn for her in the summers and house sit once in a while. She would serve us lemonade and tell us stories about her treasures. We used to marvel at the opalescent polish on her perfect fingernails and the enormous jeweled rings she wore every day.
Katherine was from here; her family lived just up the road. Her husband had been from Chicago and she had lived there a long time. Her ancient log cabin on Boston Lake, with it's odd angles and added on rooms was were here heart resided.
Katherine's spirit touches the place still, I think- even though she passed away many years ago and the property has been sold. I suppose someone may develop it eventually. I remind myself to not be a pessimist and to have faith that God controls all "inevitability's" Maybe someday a dear neighbor that I have yet to meet will live just across the lake and we will enjoy paddling our row boats across the water for visits. I cannot tell the wonderful plans God has in store for me or for Katherine's precious land.
For now, while the far shore is still the domain of otters, and eagles and snapping turtles laying their eggs in the sandy bank, I love to look across the water and remember Katherine's kindnesses...her love for this place...her contentment with the solitude Boston Lake provided. And I do my best to let the wild things own my side of the lake too, so if her spirit ever visits over there, she will think her view is as beautiful as mine.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chicken Dilemma

Last night at dusk, Clancy called me out for a walk. The objective was to get far enough from the house to admire the new porch. He had just nailed the last piece of plywood on the roof. Tonight the drip cap, roofing felt, and flashing...shingles by the weekend!
There was even one sheet of roofing plywood left over. Clancy said we could build a little chicken coop with it.
And then I had a brilliant idea: why don't we just put those 6 chickens in the freezer this fall and start fresh next spring? We really weren't prepared for the little chicks that came home from Kindergarten class this year. We haven't had time to build a coop. And if we are going to have a coop I want it big enough to hold the flock of 25-30 chickens I'm hoping to have by next year. When Clancy and I hold hands and walk around the yard after dark I usually have at least one of these great epiphanies. As a plus, the extra sheet goods and scraps can be used to build that new dog house I wanted. Cool.
Uh, yeaaaaah. Our Barred Rock rooster just learned to crow on Monday. Look at this handsome fellow. He has two Barred Rock hens, two Buff Bramah Banty hens, and one Gold Star hen (I think) in his harem. They are so beautiful roaming across the yard. All that gorgeous color...
It makes perfect sense to put these birds in the freezer. I can rarely even find them in the daytime. They spend most of their time in the deep woods. Until the dogs start leaving egg shells on the deck, I'll probably not even know when they begin laying. They raid the tomatoes every morning before I can get out of bed. They insist on roosting on the edge of a good piece of plywood that is supposed to be installed in the house. Every day Clancy pulls the plastic back over it. Every night they tear it off and roost. Maybe we should use that piece of plywood for the coop...
A few days ago I put the ewes into a new paddock with lots of spruce trees. Three days later I noticed Dova had the beginnings of "pink eye." This would be her third case of the year in that same eye. It never spreads to the other eye or the rest of the flock. I've done the appears as though that eye received some trauma (scratch) that makes it susceptible. But I decided enough was enough. I called Headwater's Meats and arranged to have her brought in next Tuesday. Her eye distress seems to be healing up now. And of course, I won't treat her this time since she is destined for the freezer. Yes, she is the friendliest of all the yearlings. She adores people. Such a quiet good sweetheart. She's the little black lamb up in the Welcome corner of my blog. But I feel this is the right thing to do if I want to maintain a healthy, hearty flock that doesn't need a lot of extra input.
So I know I can do the smart farming thing. I know it. Building a teacup-sized chicken coop does not fall under the category of smart farming in my mind. Not when I have to build a bigger one next year... Anyone have a great Save the Chickens idea?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Plums

The plum thicket was here when we moved in. No one had really lived here in 20-some years. But they were on the edge of the old garden site, so maybe someone planted them once upon a time.

We noticed them a couple of years ago when the largest shrub put some fruit on. We savored that handful of fruit as if we had stumbled upon jewels. Last year we vowed we would be ready for the harvest. They blossomed beautifully. But it was so cold and rainy I don't think the bees visited much. I'm not exaggerating; only three plums that season.

Clancy pruned after that. Only about 20% of what really needs to be cut back. I sometimes think we are the type of people that delight in salvaging and rekindling more than planting and starting from scratch. This one shrub came on strong this year.

I did get the plums picked and washed last night. Today, a wonderful neighbor invited the boys and me over to pick from her thicket as well. We brought home twice as much as our little plum bush gave us last night. I'm going to make plum leather for the boys. Thanks for the how-to and the plums, Gail!

A Moment...

The plums have started to fall. If they are not picked today there won't be much point to picking at all.
Leaves have suddenly lost their lush look and the tips are turning colors. Autumn is on it's way in the North Country.
The wild jungle chickens perch where ever they please at night. A coop must be built before the cold sets in.
Either I scale back my '07 breeding plans for the Shetland flock, or I get out there and build some more pens.
The boys are expressing a desire to change schools or home school. I still haven't made a decision and it is mid-August. Do I swallow the inertia right along with the guilt or do I jump wholeheartedly into the unknown?
And on the day when I should be getting her birthday card and gift and over-due letter sent off in the mail to her, a card and letter and small selected batch of clipped magazine articles arrives from my oldest and dearest friend...
And there she is...right with me at the playground while the boys run loose. Not in Florida. Not a million miles away. But right there. And she's so beautiful, and funny. And I cry to hear she has been sick a lot these past few months-as if Motherhood isn't hard enough when one is healthy. And I'm so happy to hear her joy over a spiritual affirmation.
This spinning earth slows down for just a moment. One son will hurt his shin. We'll have to get back home. Supper...maybe those plums...Clancy's meeting...dropping into bed too late...turning a year older...
Somewhere in Florida, she is a few hours ahead of me...a few parenthood years behind me...completely contemporary in this precious moment. Her letter is a room we both meet in. She gave me the key to the secret door there. And I hear her voice. I see her. I love her. I take a deep breath.
Up to speed I jump back on the Merry-Go-Round of Life. Centrifugal force flings me outward. I hold on with both hands and my whole heart.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Work Party

This post is only partially illustrated. Pictured are the south side of the house awaiting a porch and siding, brother-in-law Elmer, and our friend, Chuck. Check back later to see the rest of the images and the "after" photo of the house.

The day was a great success. Almost all the framing for the wrap-around L-shaped porch got done. THANKS, Guys! And Dad showed up with his Bobcat and chainsaw. He took care of some trees that blew over in the yard during the last storm. Thanks, Dad!

In the week since, Clancy has finished up the rafter framing and now is laying the plywood for the roof. Hopefully we'll be shingling next week. (The boys are a great roofing crew-They roofed my lambing shed!-so they are looking forward to that.)
We ate way too much food. But honestly, we intended to. (That might have been the best part.)

Our friend, Chuck, (Huge THANK YOU, Chuck!) had to get back to his lovely family at a decent hour. But my family stayed until quite late. Mom and Selena worked their magic in the kitchen. Every dish was washed and all the left overs packaged up nicely in the fridge. Thanks Mom!
I helped. I did whatever Selena told me to do. There is even a photo of me drying silverware. I also was the butt of all the housekeeping jokes and I took the fall about the small mixup about snack vs. actual lunch time. (The corn on the cob had to wait in warm water for hours over that one. I don't really think it was my fault but one does not argue with the Kitchen Nazi while she is weilding a pair of hot tongs.) So you see, I helped.

Because the guys insisted on actually working instead of eating all day long, the Kitchen Nazi got bored. (I always say "what's the point of being over-prepared?") So she zipped over to Mom's and brought back all the stamping supplies. We set up the card table and made some cards for upcoming birthdays. We were still stamping at 10pm. Elmer and Clancy were discussing house-building. Our sons were euphoric with the idea that bed-time might never come.

As the adults wained, the kids increased their exploits. Apple pie bars were disappearing, and the sofa was taking a beating from four Jedi lightsabers. The dogs moved in pack-like formation behind the kids, focusing on the large chunks of food falling out of their fists and mouths as they ate while battling The Dark Side.

Time for Bed! When naughty boys turn into cave men, it's time to blow the whistle. We were all tired anyway. It had been a good, fun, productive day. Thanks to everyone that helped make it possible. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Really Quite Amazing...

All the ewes came running to the fence last week when they saw Anna Belle approaching for the first time. I was expecting they would sniff and posture for a bit and then the flock would take a few pot-shots at her until she stayed a polite distance from the rest of them. The next few days I expected to witness plenty of headbutting as the flock determined a new pecking order based upon the size, age, status, and confidence of each ewe.

There wasn't a bit of that. Rachel, my head ewe, sniffed noses with Anna Belle for a brief moment. And then, as if they had agreed upon it, Rachel and Anna Belle turned to face the flock as two reigning Sister Queens. I really felt I could read "mutual regard" in their expressions.

Rachel has always behaved superior to the other ewes in the flock, as though she tolerates them and knows they depend upon her leadership. I'm surprised how comfortable Rachel seems to be with the addition of a ewe that appears to be her equal; as if she enjoys the company. I know I like to live with a person that fully understands me. Maybe Rachel and Anna Belle do too. They seem content and pleased. I'm glad they have each other.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Housekeeping Olympian

Well don't look at me! I mean my mother.
It's now midnight. My sister and husband are in the kitchen cooking up a storm for Saturday's big feast. We are having a work party tomorrow, where friends and family show up to help us put the porches on the house we are building and we feed them lots of (hopefully) good food. Selena and Clancy are laughing their heads off while they perfect the oven-load of meatballs and the sink-sized crock of potato salad. They are night owls and rarely get this cook into the night and have a blast treat in my company. (I might add that the entire meal, right down to the apple pie bars, is gluten free. We girls and all of our children have Celiac disease.)
I made my contribution earlier in the day...I did my best to keep up with my mother. My house needed cleaning in a bad way. And Mother is the most extraordinary house cleaner person I know. She showed up at 11am and I had to send her home around 10pm. She was on her way out to clean the yard with my youngest when I intercepted her with heartfelt cautions about how uneven the footing would be in the dark.
I figure the least I can do while my mother is on her hands and knee-pads vacuuming my floor (yes, she shows up with professional grade knee-pads) is to remain standing and try my best to do useful jobs. Honestly, I can't keep up with her. If I hadn't convinced her to go home I would have fallen over. In the end, she took pity on me and agreed to let me get some rest.
When she showed up this morning, Mom started in the far corner of the house and worked her way slowly and deliberately toward the front door. She made a detour up the stairs with the promise that she was only going to vacuum the hallway. I came back from moving Anna Belle to find that Mom had cleaned the bathroom, cleaned the three boys rooms and vacuumed all. Good Heavens!
I got a double batch of really good hummus made this afternoon. And I cleaned off my desk which will no doubt serve as an eating table tomorrow. I did lots of other jobs too, but I'm too bleary-eyed to remember them. (Selena and Clancy are now comparing notes on what they ate today. Cooks are strange). Oh yeah...I baked a chicken and made a heavy stew/wet casserole thing for the boys and Mom. The boys dubbed it the Big Disaster but it tasted good. Can I go to bed now?
P.S. The Wenk's Yellow Hots are turning red! They are on the menu for tomorrow. Hope they are yummy. And I promise to be more coherent the next time I post.

Joining the Flock

All sheep that are brought in to Boston Lake Farm spend 2-4 weeks in quarantine. It's a good idea to do that, of course. But sometimes the reason for such an extended stay in isolation is because it takes me that long to get the more permanent accommodations ready. Or I didn't get the new sheep de-wormed the day they arrived so they have to wait longer than the 14 days it takes to worm them a second time.
Well...Anna Belle is the exception. I didn't get her de-wormed until a bit more than a day ago. And she has only been in confinement for 7 days. And I put her in with the rest of the ewe flock this evening.
I could make up excuses...She was lonely. (She actually was baaing a lot.) But the truth is that I had so much to deal with on other levels that I just wanted her to be with the flock so I didn't have as many water pails and hay feedings to carry in different directions. I already have a ram pen, a ewe pen, and then the other ram pen...
I don't expect any problems. Clancy and I have been inspecting Anna Belle's "just weaned" udder, and her feet and her general health for the past several days and she is doing well. I moved the whole flock to a new location minutes before I added Anna Belle so the girls were too busy ransacking the new forage to get uptight about the new sheep. And the ground they are on probably will not be used again until next year so I'm not too worried about worms. Maybe I should be. But today I just can't muster the fret. (More later)
So anyway-Anna Belle had to parade right past the ram pen and I swear they were yelling "Hey Baby!" (She led in hand like a pro, by the way. Someone must have put some time in there or she really is one of those angel sheep.) By the time she got to the ewe paddock she was thinking more about boys than girls...she checked all the ewes out and decided none of them had the equipment she was expecting and then she got busy eating the new pasture. It was almost dark by then, so I'm hoping that the flock goes easy on her.
Even with my niggling guilt of not keeping her isolated for another week, it was nice to see her get out into the pasture. I'm sure she is happier out there too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Feeling Numb

I take care of my nephew a couple of days a week during the summer. Today, all the kids and I visited Grandma Erickson and didn't get home until about 6pm.
When my sister stopped in later to pick up her son, it was obvious something was wrong. She was crying...she asked me to turn on the computer...something terrible had happened in Minneapolis...
As the frightening photos began to load on the screen we were quietly searching for clues and details of the location of the accident. Selena was thinking of her many friends that live right in the Twin Cities. I was just starting to grasp the magnitude of the tragedy.
Hours later I have found out that our relatives in the Cities are safe and accounted for. A neighbor's brother is safe. Selena hasn't heard about some of her friends yet. My mind is replaying the footage and thinking of the people. The fear...the prayers...the heros...the injured...the saved...the lost.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, you are in my prayers.

To Canada, With Love

To my Great Auntie Alice and Uncle Walt, (the previous owners of Boston Lake Farm) and to all of their children and grandchildren in Canada....a photo tribute of the gifts Olive left us to remember her by...

Olive Bradseth Jensen loved her flowers. It seemed to me, (her granddaughter) that she was continually dividing her bulbs and roots and sharing the extras with those she loved. She cultivated her irises and lilies with passion. When she moved to new places, she dug everything up and took her precious plants with her.

One did not visit Grandma without taking a stroll through her gardens. Every nook and corner of her lawn had a different bed showcasing some beautiful species. During the winter she drew up plans for new beds, and she poured over the seed and flower catalogs for new varieties.

These blooms are planted at my mother's place. Some are planted along the edge of a wildlife pond Mom and Dad put in a few year's ago. Grandma had always wanted a water garden and she painstakingly drew up elaborate plans for Mom after it was announced that they were going to dig a hole. Grandma had so many borders installed in the plans that Mom didn't think anyone would be able to see the water. :)
Grandma went to be with Jesus a couple of years ago. And yet her flowers are blooming still...In Nebish, in Puposky, in Bemidji, and in the Twin Cities area.
Thank you, Grandma, for planting flowers for all of us.