At the start of this year I decided to keep track of what shows, documentaries and movies I watched for an entire year, and this list is the total for half of 2021, from January through the end of June. What struck me is how much I watched, which I wouldn’t have believed if not for the list. All of the shows and most of the newer movies we watched together while most of the documentaries and older movies I watched by myself. The bold entries are ones I would recommend watching.
Good Ol’ Freda (2013)
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012)
Alone – Seasons 1-4
The Walking Dead Season 10
Guns Akimbo (2019)
Yellowstone Season 3
Guys And Dolls (1955)
Dial M For Murder (1954)
The Vast Of Night (2019)
The Hunter (2011)
Where the Red Fern Grows (2003)
Tales From The Loop Season 1
Bosch, Whole Series
The High and the Mighty (1954)
The Rover (2014)
Fear and Desire (1953)
Echo in the Canyon (2018)
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2017)
3 Days to Kill (2014)
We Were Soldiers (2002)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Nico, 1988 (2017)
The Strangers (2008)
Crazy Heart (2009)
Greenwich Village – Music That Defined A Generation (2012)
Gonzo – The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2016)
Late spring and early summer a heat wave came through and now it is cooler but rainy. It has been good for the grass, weeds and garden (not to mention the corn fields that surround us) but has put a stop to burning the fallen brush and branches we accumulated over the winter. One thing that has not stopped around the place is birds mating, eggs hatching and chicks squeaking for food. This is our fourth summer out here and there are more birds than during the previous three. The majority are robins, followed by finches, swallows, a couple of mourning doves, thrashers and a humming bird I recently spotted visiting the hollyhocks. Not on our acreage but in the ditches along our road we see (and hear) beautiful pheasants strutting and calling. Dragonflies of many sizes and colors zip around, then hover and cavort with with each other, and are gone again. Come sundown the fireflies slowly begin to light up and seem to vanish and reappear at different places. The corn is now so high (over seven feet tall) that you can only see a few dozen fireflies at a time against the green walls surrounding us, but when on a higher position (such as the back porch) you can look out over the fields and see thousands of greenish-yellow lights blinking in the summer darkness.
I have been keeping up with a homesteading blog for the last year or so called Willow Creek Farm. It is written by “Mountain Mom” and details the ups and downs of her seven member family while living on their homestead in Colorado. From the About page: “I enjoy being a wife and homemaker, homeschooling mom, farm girl, writer, and helping my husband run our custom fiber processing mill. For 14 years we homesteaded in the high-altitude Rockies, and then in the spring of 2021 we moved and have begun expanding our flocks and building a new farm on the High Plains of Colorado. We breed and raise milk sheep, specialty wool sheep, Nubian goats, chickens, and ducks.”
Alfred Stieglitz is one of my favorite early photographers. While I enjoy viewing his entire portfolio his photos of New York City during the winter, particularly when snowing, are mysterious and fascinating. Check out this site to view over 150 of his photos.
Study Finds “sets out to find new research that speaks to mass audiences — without all the scientific jargon. The stories we publish are digestible, summarized versions of research that are intended to stir debate: We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves.”
Top 10 Home Remedies “is a health & wellness site that caters to a wide range of topics like helping you maintain a healthy pregnancy to providing you with scientifically-validated home remedies for conditions like heartburn, toothache, constipation, acne, and headache, to name a few. One of the prime motives of Top 10 Home Remedies is to ensure that you stay fit and disease-free. Every remedy on the site is well-researched and reviewed by the relevant health expert. Rest assured, nothing is left to chance when it comes to your health. The Top 10 Home Remedies’ team consists of health enthusiasts with a zest for living life to its fullest and helping others do the same.”
We started growing zucchini in our garden back when we lived in the city, and we thought it did pretty well. Once we moved to the country and tried it in the wonderful, rich black soil out here it was a whole other experience. The blossoms sprouted everywhere along the three and four foot long vines, giving us so many big zucchinis we gave away some, ate a lot, and froze the rest to be used in soup, stews and to make zucchini bread. Our favorite way to prepare fresh zucchini is to fry it in a cast iron pan on the stove top. Melt about half a stick of butter, cut the zucchini into half inch thick slices and fry them on low heat, flipping the slices once they are golden brown. We have used a wide variety of spices over the years on our fried zucchini but the mainstays have remained seasoned salt and garlic powder. Fried zucchini makes a delicious side for about any main meal or stands well on its own as a snack.
Aug. 23 – Broke camp, showers were out, hit Hwy 371 South around 10:15 AM, Shelly driving. (My 30th Birthday!!) Down to Brainerd, 18 East to 169 South to 27 East and Father Hennepin State Park, around 12:30 PM. Set up camp, Shelly and Sarah into town of Isle for a few provisions. (And a B-Day present for me, a blue Mille Lacs Lake T-shirt) Down to beach, children played 3 hours in water and with other kids. Shelly and I sat on the beach, in the sun, enjoying the sights and the sound of the waves breaking on the beach. I drove up to the phone and called Mom just before 7:00 PM. [the time I was born] We talked for around an hour, then back to beach to pick up Shelly and kids. Once at camp lit the fire and Jacob and I up to shower. Shelly and Sarah went when we got back. Two women and three seven year old girls had set up a couple of campsites down from us. Jacob and I and two of the girls ended up taking a walk down a path in the dark, all of them with flashlights in hand. Walked down to beach and back along path to campsite. Stew and French bread for supper. Campsite #7. Counter @ 1,290. Raccoons and squirrels had to be chased off all night.
Aug. 24 – Woke up around 8:30 AM to lightning and thunder and strong winds, tent starting to leak around the edges and dripping from above. Finally decided to head for the van, bringing most bags, packs, etc. with us. In van only 15 mins when tent collapsed under weight of water and poles slipping in the mud. Dozed in van, hoping storm would pass, didn’t, so decided to break camp and head for I-35 South. Put all wet things in garbage bags and hit the road around 11:00 AM. To Hwy 18 then I-35 South, eating on the road. Down through Minneapolis/St Paul to Myre-Big Island State Park for some fishing. Caught seven or so bullheads (let them go) then quick drive through Albert Lea around 7:30 PM to Bel Aire Moter Inn, 700 Hwy 69 S. Room #20. Counter @ 1,582.9. Kids played on playground equipment in front of motel then we checked out “V.I.P. Room” in basement (portrait of Elvis hanging above stairs) Shelly played piano, she and I played game of ping pong (I won 15-12) Ordered Godfathers Pizza to be delivered. Children ate first, then to bed. Shelly and I ate about an hour later, watching Forbidden Planet (old sci-fi movie) then to sleep.
Aug. 25 – Up around 8:30 AM (me around 10:15) and checked out at 11:00. Had read about a man building a grotto like series of structures just outside of town called The Itasca Rock Gardens. Eventually found them (no signs) and walked around the grounds for 30-60 mins. When you observe a work of art/love like Itasca one can not help but…be impressed by one mans lifelong vision and goal. Back on the road into Albert Lea to liquor store to pick up some five point beer for home. Hit I-35 South again, back into Iowa to Clear Lake State Park. Drove around park then on into Mason City for a late lunch at Perkins restaurant. Over to I-35 South again and decided while on road to just drive on back home (had thought about stopping at a few places) Got into Des Moines, picked up the puppy at my sisters house then in our driveway around 5:00 PM. Home Again!! Counter @ 1,792.6. Shelly and I took our time unloading the van, talked with our next door neighbor Pat Irish (who took care of our [other] dog Hannah while we were gone) Started some laundry, did dishes, put things away, etc. All in all, a very good vacation.