Friday, August 29, 2014

Garden moods...

"Self pity" grumbling…
Can be a "bummer".
  There’s enough folks in the Cannon Valley who show me that I don’t have any excuse to grumble.
That’s kind of a bummer.
There’s nothing like the captivating feeling of self-pity to cling to.
The only problem is that it seems to suck the life out of you too.
Folks like these:
You see we’ve got people like Kenyon’s police chief, Lee Sjolander, who as an 11 year old tried to protect his siblings when his mother and her boyfriend (after her 4 husbands) got “high”, drunk and was fighting.
And there’s my neighbor, Ray Wynne, who lost both his legs in an accident and while in his ’80’s he can still out-do me with his many projects.  And his wife, Mariellen, who keeps up with Ray.

And young ones like Tess Pfohl learning to make a life after surgery for cancer and losing the use of her legs.
And like the man I wrote about in a column who was dying but still taught others with his philosophy of no self pity... just the recognition of these little words... “What is... is.”   And so you just go on and try to make things  better.

Here’s another one

So today is my turn to tell you about another example.  It’s Audrey McKeag out west of town.  For years she has spent her summers caring for her beautiful flower gardens.
I’ve wanted to see these gardens but never made it in time.
Now was the time.
She has lived on the farm for a long time - including back in 1988 when a tornado hit it.  She and her visiting grandchildren were nestled in the basement for safety.
Nowadays Audrey has had to cut back her enthusiasm for growing things because of health issues and surgery.
But she has found some ways to work around this.

To “smell the roses...”
And so a couple of weeks ago, a few gals and I headed out to her farm to “smell the roses” - so to speak.
Audrey can’t bend over to plant the little seedlings any more so she explains that she just “pokes a hole and drops the plant in!”
And a lot of the flowers are in pots and planters to be easier to care for.
Here are some of her other ideas.
She has outfoxed the deer who had been devouring her hosta plants by hanging a bar of Irish Spring deodorant soap near them!
And did you know that a parsley plant attracts the larvae stage of Monarch butterflies?
And by letting the flowers dry on some of the annuals who won’t come up again - you can save seeds to plant next year.
Her gardens exhibit old farm equipment that has been turned into use as flower containers.  The deep one was used in past times to heat water and scald hogs. (I didn’t need to know that!)  
Some of the visitors recalled that over the years they had felt “guilty” when taking a break to look at flowers... to just enjoy their presence... but they were all glad they did.
And when Audrey takes a break and rests in her garden she likes to remember a favorite verse - Psalm 46:10  “Be still and know that I am God.”
You know... as I recall the people in this valley... and in the world... I think they have taught me something good to hold on to.

Video available at or or Youtube: Along the way with Rosie.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wisdom learned… by Rosie

Wisdom learned... 

when dealing with “crud”!

Wisdom learned when doing messy farm chores...  (well, you gotta think about something so I tend to philosophize a bit.)

“Dive bombing” birds - chattering and swirling around me as I headed through the horse shed finally got my attention.  “Get out of my face!”   Then my lightning-swift mind told me... something is amiss here!
Are the baby swallows leaving their nest?

You stand still and look around.  They must have.  But there is one tiny baby on the ground... well... actually on a pile of horse dung!  

And as I stood quietly watching, I hoped he would be O.K.  With horses milling around inside the shed he didn’t pick the safest place to land.   

And as I contemplated his situation, these thoughts came to mind - that reflect not only on the bird - but on how many times the rest of us might be in a similar situation.  And wondering if we should do anything about it.

Philosophical Contemplation Number One:  Advice for baby bird (and me):  So you left the nest... and you landed on a pile of “sh#t”.  Suggestion: just try to fly... or hop... to get away and at least you might get to a safer pile!   And maybe find a better world!  

Next time I came out I saw him sitting on a pile next to the wall - well, safer anyway!

Chore time came again and now I know enough to look for any errent birdling on the ground.  Didn’t see any.

But as I headed out the next gate, swallows started “dive bombing” me again!  So I immediately stood still... and looked down at the ground.  A few inches from my boot was a baby bird sitting on another knob of horse dung.  I had just missed stepping on him.

Philosophical Contemplation Number Two:  Guess this reminds me that if we look closer at what looks like “crap”, we might see a little “blob” of beauty... like a tiny feathered baby bird.   
And as I looked even closer at the tiny birdling... I could see that he must not have moved for quite a while because behind him he had a pile of “droppings” of his own!

This led to Philosophical Contemplation Number Three:  That if we find outselves in a crummy situation or in someone else’s dung pile... and we don’t move away from it... we just add to it by ourselves!  

But there is hope... the next time I went out to do chores the little baby bird was no longer there.

I wonder if he learned as much as I did!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Old West cavalry-cowboys!

Fastest growing Equine Sport
Cowboy Mounted Shooting 

Father - Son Duo! 

 Rich Elias of Cannon Falls and Anthony Elias of Zumbrota

Director Dustin Lindahl

The Minnesota Mounted Shooters, part of the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association held their event at Simon Arena last weekend drawying 41 “main match” pistol contestants, 6 rifle shooters, and 9 wranglers (children under 12 years old).  On Sunday there were 26 “main match” riders and 3 wranglers.  Plus many viewing the event.
The contestants recreate the combination of old time cavalry soldier and cowboy - competitive shooting while riding a horse.  Besides pistols, local Mounted Shooting also includes events such as Mounted Rifle and Mounted Shotgun.
 There are ten targets (balloons) and they use a variety of guns.  In the  races pictured they used two Old West single action .45 caliber revolvers with specially loaded black powder blank loads with a range of about 20 feet.
Results were:
Men's Champion: Jim Hanson from Sturgis, SD 
Reserve Men's Champion: Paul Duncombe, St. Michael, MN
Women's Champion: Kallie Hainline, Winthrop, IA
Reserve Women's Champion: Rachael Chilson, Princeton, MN
All won cash payouts

Jim Hanson also won the Rifle Class

Men's Champion: Mark Brave, Arcadia, WI
   Reserve: Men's Champion: Dustin Lindahl, Red Wing, MN
Women's Champion: Andra Olson, Monticello, MN
    Reserve: Rachael Chilson
All won Cash payouts

Weekend Overall Cowboy: Kevin Gustafson, Stanchfield, MN won a $200 gift certificate for Red Wing Boots
Weekend Overall Cowgirl: Rachael Chilson: Won a gift certificate for a free horse trailer acid wash at Arena Trailer Sales.
Weekend Limited Cowboy: Dustin Lindahl: won a full set of Classic Equine boots from Little's Performance Horses
Weekend Limited Cowgirl: Kallie Hainline: won a headstall made by Graham Equine

Other prizes included cash drawings and horse products. 

Sponsors for the weekend were: Arena Trailer Sales (Gift Certificate for trailer wash)
Little’s Performance Horses (Classic Equine Splint Boots)
Runnings (Gift Cards)
Red Wing Boots (Gift Certificate)
Don & Mary Lindahl (Cash)
Cannon Falls Trailer Sales (Cash)
Ag Partners (Cash)
Rod’s Liquors in Cannon Falls (Cash)
Animal Health Center - Dr. Mike Peterson (Cash)
Subway of Cannon Falls (Food for balloon setters on Sunday)
Lindsay Fulton ran the food stand

The balloon setters for the weekend were the Cannon Falls Bomber's Trap Team, who earned enough money to provide two students a trap team scholarship. They are coached by Gregg Twedt.