Archive for November, 2012

Beeeeep


Dear Mr. Wonderful,

The lovely kitchen timer you installed just after we started dating is beeping irregularly. And I’m not even cooking. Do these things wear out?

Text from spawn...

Text from spawn…

Loveyabye.

I think I found the problem...

I think I found the problem…

PowerBall Christmas Shopping List


How fun would Christmas shopping be if I won the lottery?? (Seriously, follow the links–they are half the fun.)

 

My Big  Sister Lois would get a yak, which was Rachel C’s great idea…

Yak

…and a Hippopotamus For Christmas. Real ones. Complete with enclosures etc. And enough money that she could stay at home on The Funny Farm and play with creatures, her chainsaw, and shovel POO!  to her heart’s content, instead of going to The Barn every day. (The Barn vs. the barn.)

All of the Pajari Girls would get pink guns. Because it’s ironic. And badass. Check out these Google pics of pink guns.

Mr. Wonderful would get a private plane so we could visit his family whenever he wanted. And Pine-Sol. The company.

BigGuy: A custom Harley, with all the accessories including Vance & Hines pipes. And maybe a sidecar, so we wouldn’t have to fight over who gets the next ride. Of course, he will have to quit working so he has time to give me more than 2 rides per summer.

Firstborn Spawn: NOT a pole. I’d buy her the Minnesota Wild.

Unloved Middle Child: We would follow The Boss on tour, front row, backstage, etc. And pie. Scooter Pie.

The Boy: His own museum full of trains and dinosaur skeletons.

If money were no object, what is the wildest Christmas gift you would buy?

Goodbye Mr. Stinky Droolface


We said our final goodbyes to Stinky on Friday, when it became apparent that the cancer was hurting too much for the pain meds, and he started throwing up. There are so many things I want to say about this gentle giant, but for once I’m pretty much speechless. Here’s to the world’s biggest lapdog, Mr. Stinky Droolface, aka: Harley the Mastiffosaurus Wrecks.

The following is a WordPress Gallery, which is a fancy, foofy name for a slideshow. Click on any image to start.

Here is Part One and Part Two of Stinky’s Story, if you missed them.

Here’s a video I took a few weeks ago.

Gratitude… Every. Single. Day.


Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions, and has been considered extensively by moral philosophers…” . -Wikipedia. (Link below.)

llama, funny farm

Bella Llama, Jade & Lois at The Funny Farm.

This is Jade. Her mom, our friend Danielle, has been posting what she is grateful for on Facebook:

“Today miss Jade is Thankful for her new kitten (which she does not have) Mickey Mouse books, Duluth and Curious George.”

“Jade is thankful for mama fixing, Mister her best friend and yummy cheesy sandwiches and dancey dance party.”

“Today Miss Jade is thankful for her mama and warm blankies and care bears and seeing the sunny side.”

I love that she is teaching Jade from a very young age about the importance of gratitude. It reminded me of a tool my friend Colleen gave me 19 years ago to battle depression: The Gratitude ABC’s. Start with “A” and name things you are grateful for. At first, I thought it was hokey. I was too cerebral for a simple thing like this to help. Besides, my life sucked. Thankfully, it sucked enough that I was willing to try anything.

Soon after, I taught the “game” to my kids. It was another way to keep their fighting to a minimum, while trying to prevent them from the deep depression I have struggled with ever since I can remember. Hard to say if it worked on them –sometimes all you can do is plant the seeds and hope they grow. But it has certainly worked for me. Prozac helps too. So did therapy and a support group. Good friends, family, writing, reading, talking…..it all helps. They are all great tools. But since Thanksgiving is just a few days away, I wanted to remind myself (and you) that gratitude, practiced daily, makes us feel happier & healthier.

If you don’t believe me, see the complete definition here on Wikipedia! (“W” is for Wikipedia).

Happy Thanksgiving! Loveyabye.

PS: If you didn’t hate this post, or if it made you the tiniest bit more grateful, please like, share or comment. I’d be ever so grateful. ;P

Grampa Ralph (More Treasures)


A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend Paul and I traveled to North Dakota for the funeral of his grandpa. I never got to meet him, but I enjoyed hearing all the family memories and seeing pictures of his life (and his beautiful guitar). It got me thinking about my own grandparents, who are all gone now.

I suppose every family has secrets, and drama, and feuds. But today, I want to share some good memories of my maternal grandfather, Ralph Peterson.

Good things I remember:

  1. He was 6’4″. To this day, when I have to calculate the size of something I picture how many Grampas end-to-end. (60 feet=10 Grampas.)
  2. He drove a school bus. Nearly everyone in Cook rode this bus. He  parked it in the basement of the house he built–the house I’ve raised my kids in, too. Everybody who goes to the Cook end of Lake Vermilion has seen this house. It’s kind of a landmark. We used to sit on the stone steps and wave to the tourists.
  3. He had one lung (tuberculosis took one), and one kidney (cancer, I think).
  4. He built wagons for Lois and I. (He and Gramma Marge cared for us while our parents worked.) These wagons had brakes and steering, and went like hell down the gravel pit banks.
  5. At his house, there was a  plastic school bus toy, a life-sized doll with red hair, and four million National Geographic magazines.
  6. He let me have Hamburger Soup (Campbell’s Sirloin Burger) anytime I wanted, and gave me all his little hamburgers.
  7. He drove his green Ford pickup SLOWLY because it took less gas, (he remembered rationing well) and had a whisk broom in it to sweep out the sand.
  8. He smiled a LOT.
  9. He liked to grow things. My garden is now in the same spot, and the apple and plum trees, asparagus, and chives feed our family to this day. Many of his perennial flowers are still here, too: tiger lilies, campanula glomerata, rugosa roses, and lilacs.
  10. His brother Uno lived next door in their parents’ original homestead (The Funny Farm), where my sister lives now). Uno was housebound with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Grampa maintained that place, too. We’d visit Uncle Uno several times a day, driving through the gravel pit that’s between the homes. We got to ride in the back of the truck sometimes, since we weren’t going on the highway. Sometimes we walked the deer trails through the woods to get there also. My kids have run those trails too, and I love the continuity that comes with living here.

This is a WordPress Gallery of my favorite pictures of Grampa Ralph. Clicking on any picture will start a slide show, but I recommend starting at the beginning. Here’s another gallery of green things I found while we were hunting on Sunday.

I’d love to hear your stories about my Grampa or yours… Like, share, or comment if you enjoyed this. Pleeeease?

Weekly Photo Challenge: GREEN


The Weekly Photo Challenge was a color: green. Usually the predominant color in Northern MN this time of year is white, but today it was 52 degrees. ABOVE zero. (And yes, that’s in degrees Farenheit, Bill L. from California.) That’s 20 degrees warmer than average. 🙂
Click on any thumbnail to start Gallery View.

If you liked this post, please like, share and/or comment. Thanks for stopping by pajarigirls.


Dear Womb-mate, check this out…

quarteracrehome

Today promises the wonder of great things to come! I have finished the bare minimum for keeping my rabbits until my hutch is built.
Because I was told I need to get the rabbits this week I will be keeping the rabbits in pairs in the grow cages until further notice. These are substantially sized, but not as substantial as I’d like for the rabbits but they should only be there for a week, tops. If nessicary I can divide the crates into two sections each giving me four individual spaces for the rabbits. The upside is that technically even like this the rabbits have “enough” space and they’ll be used to the conditions they’re going into. The down side? That’s a 2’X3′ space each, or industry standard. Not adequate for the health of the four animals on which I am betting my money. These cages were not designed to be divided or hold fully…

View original post 281 more words

Creatures of The Funny Farm, Photo Essay


Stinky looking for salad

Maybe eating Lois’ lilies.

I want to know where the hell this kid’s parents were…lol

Jai, Stinky and Little Bit

llamas

Belle and Jill.

Lessons Learned at The Funny Farm #1:

When all else fails, hummmmmmm.

When the Change Was Made Uptown…


clarence clemons, jake clemons, bruce springsteen

Photo credit: www.backstreets.com

Last night, my daughter Harley saw Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band live for the first time. It broke my heart a little that the Big Man and Danny Federici weren’t going to be there, and for the first time, I didn’t do my usual prep for a concert. I didn’t study setlists, read articles about the other shows on the tour, or cram by listening to every song ever recorded by Bruce and The Band.

We wondered if she’d get to experience  Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Badlands, Jungleland, and Born to Run, and how we’d feel about someone else playing Big Man’s solos if those songs were performed. She asked me if I thought I’d cry.

Throughout the show, I kept looking for Big Man and Danny. (See Kubler Ross’ 5 stages of grief…especially denial.) We didn’t see them on the stage, but they were there. I closed my eyes and I heard them. Felt them. Finally, during Tenth Avenue (aka “Roll Call”), it happened.

“Now this is the important part,” he said, and sang, “When the change was made uptown….” As he repeated that line gently, pictures of Clarence floated across the huge screens. Jake Clemons (C’s nephew) made his way out of the horn section as the Boss sang, “AND THE BIG MAN JOINED THE BAND!” I thought he played this solo (and the others throughout the night) perfectly, which is exactly what we needed. I know I appreciated that Jake didn’t improvise–that Miss Harley was able to hear it live, exactly as C would have played it.

Researching this post, I found an interview by Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene with Little Steven Van Zandt in which Steve said it better than I ever could:

“It’s literally classical music for my generation. They play it note for note, which is how it should be played. You wouldn’t improvise on Beethoven’s Fifth, would you?”

Amen.

Author’s Notes:

Thanks to The Daily Prompt: This Is Your Song for helping me focus 🙂

Boss fan or not, you really ought to read these too:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/exclusive-q-a-steve-van-zandt-on-new-show-life-without-clarence-clemons-20120214

Star Tribune article

As always, if you enjoyed this post, please like, share and/or comment. Pleeeeeease??

Treasures, Part One


In 2007, in preparation for The Funny Farm’s 100th birthday, several family documents surfaced. Here are some of my favorites:

It looks like Great Grandma Augusta Peterson came to Tower, MN from Sweden in 1888 as a servant girl.

On Halloween of 1900, Great Grandpa paid $9.19 for The Farm. (Yes, it always has been and always will be capitalized in my head.)

Homestead Act Receipt

He began to work this land under the Homestead Act, clearing fields and using the logs to build first a shanty and barns and then the house that still stands today (barely).

On March 20th, 1902, Augusta Peterson and Albert Peterson were married in Eveleth, MN by a Swedish Baptist minister. No, they were not related. In Sweden, Peterson means Peter’s Son. Lots of Peters and Johns, etc. Makes genealogy interesting.

Marriage Certificate

I don’t know if this was really signed by Teddy Roosevelt or by one of his minions, but I like to think he held this piece of paper and signed his name to it. After 7 years of hard labor, (and $9.19) it was theirs. By then he and Great Grandma Augusta had been married 5 years.

Homestead Act 1

1907, the birth of The Farm

For years, people of the Cook area would visit The Farm for church picnics and the like. Before Cook had an airport, the hayfield even served as a landing strip. While getting ready for the reunion, we were touched by how many people fondly remembered the farm from their childhoods. It wasn’t just OUR happy place, it was theirs, too.

Now, my sister and her husband live in the house our Great Grandparents built. Many of the building are still standing: the barn, woodshed/ice house, machine shed, outhouse (now in a new location in the yard, serving as an adorable potting shed) and garage. The Farm has become The Funny Farm, home to a motley herd including three mini ponies, two donkeys, two llamas, a sheep, a goat, two alpacas, three bunnies, four dogs, a cat and a cockatiel. And two Guinea Monsters From Hell. Sort of. They have been on the lam, harassing me and other neighbors since Lois brought them home.

Someday, we would like to open The Funny Farm to the public on weekends, as a petting zoo. Unfortunately, my sister doesn’t manage her time very well, so her hands are busy with the store I talked her into opening (Cook Dollar Barn), and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so I’m not much help. And there’s the whole liability thing…

When our Grandpa Ralph married our Grandma Marge, his parents gave him a chunk of the farm, and he built the house I live in today. But that’s another story. 🙂

If you have any pictures or stories about The Farm, please let us know!

And as always, if you liked this post, please like, share or comment. I hate feeling like I’m talkin’ to myself here…

Loveyabye,

Laura

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