Sunday, August 23, 2009


I'm leaving home today in my merry Oldsmobile. Gone for a week. Justice will be the foreman for the insulation situation. Butch got him a tool belt, hammer, and other tools for his B-day. I hope to take the blog along. But it may require more smarts than I have right now. We shall see. Annie's father came today and built a boat rack upon which to put Justice's 15th birth-day canoe. Includes two paddles and a rice pole. So it can be for work or for leisure. He can take it fishing, ricing, hunting, exploring. He'll need a life jacket. I'll retrieve Brandon's old jacket from the A-frame.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I was awake at 3AM, up at 4, and working on the roundup when the three dogs began bawling and howling fearfully. I went to the kennel and released Cinnamon. I followed him around the fence and he ran toward the woods. His back hair was standing from neck to tail. I knew he was really upset so I backed off and called him to me. I never saw what was out there but it was scaring the horses, too. I went to the big house and found Cedar in bed watching a video about black leopards. Perhaps one has escaped and is now wandering in our woods.
Butch and Mike were here in the afternoon to start work on the insulation situation. Justice was working hard, too. It was hot for them. I took a jug of water out and then made them a snack of egg salad sandwiches, sliced apples and pickles. After the workers left Annie and kids went to Akeley where she had been asked to perform on the Terrapin stage.

Friday, August 21, 2009


My play has been postponed. The Akeley Community Theater renovations have not been completed. "Long Legs" is a musical based on an Ojibwe myth my mother used to tell. But I've been invited to tell it at Paul Bunyan Park on Sunday, the same day it was originally scheduled. There will also be a BBQ. From there I drive to White Earth for Rice Camp. My relatives are driving from Racine WI and we will meet at the Rediscovery Center. I hope to spend a week at White Earth and return to Park Rapids on the 28th. The next day I will be at Itasca training a chorus line for the Charlie McGuire concert.
Today Justice is 15. While he was golfing with his English teacher I set up a picnic at the Foss (an area of the yard named in honor of Diane Fossey). Then I prepared a small lunch for Cedar and me. She had picked a bowl of raspberries mixed with a few late strawberries. I brought a jug of concord grape juice, two glasses, a bowl of triskets, a quartered apple and two dill pickles. I carried them to the Foss on the Elvis tray that I purchased at Murdo, SD, when Brandon and I returned from one of our camping trips to the Black Hills.
After the picnic we gathered kale, summer squash, bunch onions and green beans which I steamed for a late lunch. Cedar cut the hard veins out of the kale with a scissors and clipped the leaves into smaller pieces. She said, "Gramma, I love you for teaching me to do this." By then Justice had returned and we shared this fresh food from our own garden. I sprinkled curry over my squash and she did, too. So she was having a food adventure.
Later Annie took Justice and Cedar out for supper. I stayed home to wait for Geezis, Kayla and Butch. Kayla's grandfather Butch brought the girls in his son's truck. He wanted to see Justice so he waited awhile. We enjoyed a delightful conversation out on the sunny deck. I sometimes feel that conversing with an adult is an incredibly noteworthy event.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I've been reading "Winter Sign", Jim dale Huot-Vickery, so felt it appropriate to title this entry with a bit of French. I've read this before. But this time I visualize the narrator as being older. So it's like walking through the pages with a new person. In fact, he often stops to rest which is a good idea because I can't keep up with him and Chris. Sometimes they reach back and catch my hands so I don't get lost in the falling snow. It's like a Haiku dance. Oh, can you see it? Look, there are deer fringing the image and fogging the air with their warm breath.
My dear old friend Elsie McGuire is 100 years old today! We used to run around together when she was 80.
Yesterday I went to see the foot doctor who was vaguely familiar. I asked him his name and realized that we had met before. "Have you lost weight?" I asked. "Yes," he replied, "100 pounds." I was thrilled for him and clapped my hands in total delight. He appreciated this and continued. "Anne, it was diet and exercise." I clapped my hands again. Then he added almost in a whisper, "I can run now." He was so like a child relating a new achievement to a trusted elder that I wanted to hug him. But he quickly pulled back his shoulders, put on his doctor hat and asked, "What can I do for you?"
Today I took Justice to Grand Rapids for an eye exam, returned an item to Kmart and got an external mouse. Later we had lunch at Arby's and went to the radio station KAXE so I could record some commentary. Justice met Scott Hall and thought he was very nice. He also took an interest in broadcast. Scott invited him to write something and come back with me to record. When we got home he hung the fly tapes for his mom and fixed my storm door.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Yes, reading... what else! Enjoying a short story collection entitled "In the Mountains of America", Meredith Sue Willis; and a reread of "Winter Sign", Jim dale Huot-Vickery. The book is even better on the second read. My autographed copy went on a journey and didn't come back. Also watched the documentary "Grey Gardens" about Jackie O's cousins in their decaying mansion.
Earlier in the day I took Geezis to her track practice and we got lost. But we found a private road called James Dean Drive. I finally got her to the right place and got myself to the doctor. He has some good ideas and believes I can enjoy walking again.
Cedar came for a visit and finished the can of crushed pineapple we opened yesterday. That's why I sometimes call her Miss Pineapple.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Yesterday was laundry day for me. The manager was there and saw my car stickers so we talked about the military until Shelley arrived. Drum was with her so we had a long talk about ricing. I told her when our washers are fixed we probably wouldn't see each other anymore. She said her washer is beyond repair. They carried my load of wet stuff to the car and off I went. I hung the laundry on my recycled playset clothesline (the swings have been removed). Soon the sun had them dried and the wind did the softening.
In the meantime, I went out to pick more raspberries. Linda was driving back from the mailbox and stopped to chat when she saw me. She's been picking, too. She told me where the old cemetary road meets this property and that it makes a lovely woodland walk. I think I saw it when I was picking wild asparagus a few weeks ago. I plan to explore that as soon as I can. I picked two bowls of berries while Annie looked for her property markers. Geezis and Justice ran a mile, Cedar watched a video.
We drove to Grand Rapids and I was dropped at the library while Annie and the kids took the puppy to vet for shots. They returned for me and then we stopped at Evan's tatoo salon in Deer River. Annie had an appointment to get a bear paw tatoo on the back of her right hand. The children stayed to watch the ordeal but I came back to take laundry down. I was inside folding it when rain began slapping the window and a fierce wind whipped the trees. In the evening Cedar came to visit and we read some of the new books.
Today I got up early to pick berries. Cinnamon accompanied me. Picked two more bowls and put them in the freezer. When things slow down I'll make jam for winter toast and pancakes. When I told Justice the plan, he swooned. Also harvested the last of the peas and composted the vines.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Cedar gave me a Panda-hug when I got home yesterday and we went to visit Wallis at treatment center in Grand Rapids. She looks well and has lost weight. She is also cheerful and interested in the future. She as lots of plans... but one step at a time. After we returned home I went to the garden and picked the last of the snow peas, a few bunch onions, some kale and chard, and four small yellow squash to add to the supper menu. We ate on the sunny deck. Justice shrugged right into the blue fleece jacket that Ann sent home with me. The selection of cabin shampoos went around the table and we each took something.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I walked to the end of Bob's woodland airstrip where I found plenty of raspberries for breakfast. The long grass had been combed by wind and brushed by rain. It parted as neatly as Cary Grant's hair as I stepped along. Plenty of deer steps, too. There was also bear sign. Lots of crushed bushes and some big poops. Naturally I sang my best making friends with bear songs and filled my bowl without incident. Is there anything more beautiful or fragrant than a gathering of wild raspberries? It was cloudy and cool with a nice breeze. Afterwards I filled the trunk of the car with bark of split birch. It will help keep my winter fires going. It rained most of the afternoon Ann, Kitty and I spent the day inside watching movies from Netflix. "Holiday", a romantic comedy with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn; "The Scarlet and the Black" a drama with Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer. The rain fluctuated between sprinkle and deluge. At times Crystal Lake was scarfed in mist and sometimes great long-legged ghosts danced the riffled surface.


I went to bed with an Annie Dillard book and read until I got sleepy, turned off the light and dozed. The wind began speaking to the trees and urging the lake to frolic. I watched the shimmering sky dance on the restless water and waited for the rain. At last the lightning and thunder gathered overhead and sent torrents of rain upon the thirsty land. The loons offered their lusty chorus as the clouds grumbled above. It was terrific!

Friday, August 14, 2009


There's no wind and the water of Crystal Lake lies flat and still. A loon sends a lullaby to me and earlier I heard an owl hoot an invocation. Goodnight and Goodbye they sadly sing. Yes, I think tomorrow I must leave this lovely hideaway. This morning I took a walk into the woods across the road... apparently I was trespassing. I was not apprehended by the landowners but Ann informed me on my return. Also on this walk I discovered high bush cranberries, raspberries, and a wild plum tree. I finished reading "Alexander's Bridge" by Willa Cather. I understand she tried to disown the novel because it wasn't up to her later standards but I found it interesting and well done. I send you a couple of quotes: "Life coquettes with dashing youth." And "He left an echo." I have always tried to leave an echo, too. But this quote was in reference to a deceased man being remembered.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I brought a few library books to Crystal Lake and have turned many pages. I've finished a brief biography of Ella Fitzgerald and begun "Alexander's Bridge" by Willa Cather. While I took a nap Ann and Roberto went out on the kayaks. Kitty arrived before supper and we all sat on the pontoon to chat. We saw an osprey dive for his supper. Two turtles were sunning nearby and a green heron was patroling the shore. I'd been out there alone for a long time before anyone else joined me. I was listening to the fish eat. Roberto left for Mpls and after Kitty went to bed Ann and I went out to watch the night sky. We stayed out for about 30 minutes. We saw five falling stars, three fireflies, a satellite and an airplane. We were entertained by two joyful loons. She laid on the pontoon and I stretched out on the dock. Thankfully the mosquitoes lost interest in us very quickly!


Yesterday Roberto, Ann and myself went barhopping in search of a location from which to watch Mexico and USA compete in an important soccer ball match. We started at the Municipal Liquor Store in Akeley. Not available there. Onward we went to the Stomping Ground. No, no, no. Then to Walker to check out Benson's. Nothing. How about Chase on the Lake? Sorry! Try Charlie's. We were off again but before finding Charlie we discovered the Lucky Moose. They had what we were looking for! Now we know how to chase a wild moose-goose. Well, Mexico won 2 to 1. It was pretty exciting. Our quest led us to several interesting watering holes and we encountered many sincerely helpful folks. But we really liked that Lucky Moose. It is a log building with lots of light. Ann enjoyed Moose Drool, I relished the root beer and Roberto tipped a dark ale while we nibbled our way through two large orders of fries.


I am sitting on the floor watching the stars reflect themselves on Crystal Lake. When I look down toward the dark water it seems that Japanese peace lanterns have been set afloat. A few lonely fireflies have wandered by. At one point I saw a bright star falling into the lake and another star rising from the water. It seemed they were on a collision course. But the light disappeared as though snuffed out in the water. It was pretty amazing.