Huntergal Val



Wild Rice Tree Stand; Season Opener

Glancing through a network of leafless branches,
The steady stream of the gently, curving river is interrupted by a young doe foraging through from one muddy shore to a safer more thicketed shore.
Her presence breaks the water into a v-shaped ripple.
Ever so gently she discovers a well-worn leaf-lined path through the woods.
She stops intently staring into the blaze orange huntergal’s scope, then she turns away, fading, disappearing into the shelter of the trees and undergrowth.
She is small yet, plus the hunter only can seek a buck.
So she lives, yet another year, and another season.
The sun rises in early dawn, glistening on the river.
The squrrels scold the intruder in their trees. The birds whistle from up high. The branches quiver in the breeze. Distant gunfire echoes out, as each of the other hunters hope to claim their deer.
The huntergal patiently awaits.

Poetry Month 1/30


The Hat

Back in the 60’s people dressed up more, especially going to church. I had stretchy white gloves and tights, and pretty, lacy hats and purses, and shiny, patent leather shoes.
My hair was brushed into waves and curls, after my mom wet, rolled, dried, and unrolled my hair with pink spongy curlers.

Mom had dark, curled hair ratted into a bowling ball shape, heightened with a wiglet hair piece. Her features were enhanced by green eyes, a prominent nose, dimples in both of her cheeks, and a divot in her chin. Red was her signature lipstick color.
She wore polyester dresses, or shells (sleeveless tops) and skirts with cardigans. She always wore longline bras, and nylons hooked to a girdle underneath a full or half-slip. Her shoes were usually spike-heeled pumps, which were a bit awkward as they poked holes in the snow-covered icy sidewalks on our wintery walks to church.
The following poem takes one back to that era:

The Hat
So proudly she donned her newest treasure,
Promenading so proudly with such pleasure.
I thought, “how cool!”
Folds of black scarving formed a turban-like base,
Which beautifully framed her eyes, and eyebrows and her dimply, rosey-cheeked face!
The highlight of this amazing, millinery marvel drew the viewers eyes upward,
Roving towards a ruffled, virtual “forest” of feathers,
Flopping, floating, crazily “every-which-way” without rhymed reasoning,
And so gloriously- absurd!
Well, my mom decided to wear this new accent to her beauty,
To our Midwestern church,
Whose opinionated members were quite conservative, gossipy, and snooty.
I thought, “How fun!”
She had the best time, in church, as her feathers tickled my dad’s nose,
And, as she slipped into the lady’s room afterwards, starred down by two snobbish crows.
Coffee-time in the “Church-ladies’ basement” was definitely a hoot!
The feathers flew freely onto our clothes,  jackets, and suits.
Ironically, many of the ladies, although enviously green.
And despite the drama, and the spectacle of the scene,
Poured out compliments, as the church crowd giggled and cooed,
Nobody showed my mom their usually snobbery, nor were they rude.
I thought, “Wow!”
I think from that Sunday, onward, we found,
The church became less uppity, and perhaps, nicer all around.
Unfortunate for my mom, arriving back home, instead,
My dad told her, she’s never to wear that crazy hat, again, on her head,
So, it went back permanently in its box on a shelf, near their bed.
Until now, forgotten.



Dear Grandchildren (82)

Dear Grandchildren,

Today started out clear. I saw the North Star shine brightly, before the sun slowly appeared. Later, the clouds moved in in small ripples. Sometimes, the sky is my ocean or my lake to view.


I did some laundry, and decoupaged a floral napkin onto a board. I still have accents to do to it. It wrinkled in a cool decorative way.

I boiled potatoes and sautéed slices of them in a pan of butter after I fried a batch of fish for GrpaRick’s supper. He ran to a couple stores after work to get warmer liners for his muck boots.

Not a real exciting day, but relaxing. It is so cold outside that even Kooper with his thick coat was shivering.

A “Frosty” Snowglobe encased in snow

I received a Christmas card and a gnome girl mug from my cousin Laura in Washington state. A Norske Ting sister card arrived, too. I participated in a card exchange. We sent cards to about 15 people, with our stories and recipes to all.

From Cousin Laura

I hope you will always have good, loyal, trustworthy friends, my grandchildren. Remember to be that kind of friend for others, too. You are always in my thoughts!



This Afternoon

Dear Grandchildren (81)

Dear Grandchildren,

I was kind of tired today after being gone a few days. Temps dipped below zero today, with a wind chill factor of -40°F. We have piles of new fresh snow, here. I shoveled off part of the back deck right away.

Kooper really enjoyed making his paths around the perimeter of the yard. As I warmed up, I put together a silver tinsel tree, using just the top half to make a tabletop tree. I have some vintage Christmas balls and bells, plus some newer glass balls. My main colors are silver, gold, red, and green. I had a metalic red plaid table cloth I used underneath. I have an angel silver tinsel star with lights from Italy on top. Going with the retro theme, I have a reproduction color wheel light to shine on the tree.

Angel treetop from Italy
Looking up
The base
Color Wheel light

As I was keeping busy, today, Josh asked if I could watch Breeze so he and Sommer could run some errands and shop. I hesitated since I was a bit tired, then said I could be there at 2:30pm. Below are a few photos I took, today. She napped twice, drank a bottle-ful, and smiled a bunch. Sommer called to see how things were going. They decided to eat out at Johnny Carino’s for supper before returning home at 7pm. Breeze is pretty comfortable with me, crying very little. She is doing well, likes to be busy, and is a strong gal. She likes when I hum the Braham’s lullabye my mom used to hum.

Breeze modeling an “impulse buy”
Tie-dyed Baby Yoda onsie from me
In front of the Christmas tree at Josh & Sommer’s
Cuddly girl
Looking at her toys
More “tummy-time”
Enid’s gift received

Aunt Enid received her painting, and she loved it! We had a few nice messages back and forth.

I really enjoy seeing all of you, my grandchildren, whenever I can. I hope you remember the times we share together as good, happy memories. I sure cherish those times!



Dear Grandchildren (80)

Dear Grandchildren,

We surprised Layla at her championship game at 9am. They had a really close game, tied a few times. Final score 6 to 4, with Layla’s team winning. Each girl received a trophy, plus the team received a Championship trophy.

We left straight away towards home. We stopped for a late breakfast in Clearwater. The road back was okay until Alexandria, where we fueled up. First melting snow, then icy roads, blowing snow and at times zero visibility. Lots of trucks and cars in the ditch. Then, when we were almost into Moorhead, there was a semi laying sideways stretched all of the way across the eastbound lanes of the highway. Traffic was backed up for several miles. We were westbound so we slowly drove into town.

Semi on left.
Traffic backed up.
Patrol cars.

It was nice to be home and feed the dogs. We had picked up tacos for a supper and watched a quick movie, before bed. Upon checking my mail, my new passport card and book both arrived, safely.

Hope all of you are safely snuggled warmly in your beds, tonight, my grandchildren. I look forward to each visit and sharing time together.



Dear Grandchildren (79)

Dear Grandchildren,

Well, we are waiting for Charlee to arrive at her high school with her dance team bus. We were at Forest Lake to watch her dance.

It was fun to watch…she is getting so old…a junior in high school.

Charlee (on the “L”) high-kicking!

Layla is playing very good. Her team will be in the tournament tomorrow, and could take first place!

Continue to have those fun happy memories, my grandchildren, I will always be proud to be your grandmother!



Dear Grandchildren (78)

Dear Grandchildren,

Today, GrpaRick wanted to go to a store that had a fishing lure he wanted on sale. The store was sold out, but I found a couple fun things, and took a photo of me and a stuffed giraffe.

I took a photo of someone’s full cart, sending it to GrpaRick saying, “I’m ready to go!

Not mine…

We went downtown St. Paul hoping to see an icefishing event, but there were too many people in line for “early bird” tickets. The time we would get in, the place would be packed, so we left, went for a walk, and ate a couple sandwiches and soup. Next, we picked up a coffee and a chai. I wanted to check out an “old lady” thrift store I usually stop in, so we did.

Tis the Season!

I saw a “neck magnifyer.” I read the box out loud, “Neck magnifyer…why would I want my neck to look bigger?!” Everyone laughed. Someone said, “You just made my day!” It was really a magnifying glass which hangs around your neck so you can see embroidery larger, hands free.

Rick found a heavy, black leather jacket with a zip-out thinsulate liner. It was a Wilson Leather brand for only $38, worth over $200, and in perfect condition, size XLT. Here he is playing with Mabel in the jacket.

Currently, Charlee is taking care of a cold, and Jaci is watching Layla’s hockey game at a tournament in Owatonna.

Layla with red laces…

So far they are winning! Layla will have a fun weekend! I teased her because she hugged and kissed Mabel “good bye,” without saying “good-bye” and hugging me, lol! So then, she hugged me and GrpaRick “good-bye!”

Josh is taking care of our pups while we are away. He called while we had a Panera supper with Charlee.

It gets dark so early, it seems later than it is. I hope you all have a good Friday night, my grandchildren, and enjoy your weekend!



Dear Grandchildren (77)

Dear Grandchildren,

Grmaval & Charlee

Today GrpaRick and I packed up a suitcase for Little Canada. We arrived at 4pm. Charlee had a “kick” dance competition. A certain number of high kicks need to be included in the choreography. Charlee’s team tied for 3rd. Jaci had me ring a cowbell her mom used to ring at Jaci’s son Jordan’s games. Charlee got a kick out of her Grmaval ringing the bell.

Charlee in the Middle
Charlee’s Dance Team
Announced win excitement!

We had Culvers for late night supper. Busy day, tomorrow, evening drive to more dancing with Charlee. Jaci & Layla leave late afternoon for an out-of-town hockey tournament, returning Sunday.

Bathing Beauty
Breeze’s Winter Wear

Bedtime, now, more later, my grandchildren. Always remember we love you so very much!



Dear Grandchildren (76)

Dear Grandchildren,

December first, all of the sudden Christmas is everywhere. I hope the weather is mild this month. Tomorrow GrpaRick and I are traveling to Little Canada. It will be nice to see the girls.

There was a pretty sunset, after a mostly cloudy day. The clouds were highlighted in pink. It was warmer, about 50°F. It even rained a little.

I have been trying to sell a few items I don’t need anymore. If they don’t sell, many times I donate.

I mostly did laundry and dishes, today. I hang most of my clothes to air dry to save energy, and to help my clothes to last longer. Ever since I retired, I really don’t buy new clothes very often.

I saw Rita Moreno on The View. She looks great for almost 90. Kaira was able to meet her recently, working with her. I saw the original “West Side Story” which she had starred in at a theatre with GrgrmaViv way back. Now, Rita is acting in a remake of “West Side Story” directed by Steven Spielberg.

Aunt Kaira & Rita Moreno
On “The View” 12/01/21

GrgrmaViv took me to see many musicals and some musical plays quite a bit growing up. I remember a play “South Pacific” outdoors at Como Park in the cities…so much fun! I really appreciate those memories!

I hope to enjoy and share many memorable times with all of you, my granchildren!



Dear Grandchildren (75)

Dear Grandchildren,

Today, I started my day watching several flocks of Canadian Geese, and other random birds. The sky started out clear with a layer of pink-tinted clouds to the west. I sent Enid’s package from UPS. It will arrive in Great Falls, MT on Thursday.

Pre-dawn Crescent Moon
Eastern view
Northern view

I shopped a little for random gifts, and a few totes, before returning home. At 1:15pm, I babysat Breeze. She drank a little of her bottle, and played before her nap. Breeze gave me a gift of several smiles, which I shared with family. I had brought my “heirloom” baptism gown. I tried the gown on Breeze. She looked beautiful in the gown. This was the first time any baby has worn the gown since my nephews for their baptisms in the 1970’s. Before that, I wore it in 1956.

Breeze wearing her Grandmother’s
baptism gown

Snow tonight, the pups were outside briefly, not happy to see their newly, snow covered yard.

I will close and share a few photos I took on my phone, today. I am thinking of all of you, my grandchildren, and send my love. I am so proud of you!



More smiles

Dear Grandchildren (74)

Dear Grandchildren,

Monday morning sky

Tuesday morning. Yesterday, I left early for Hawley with Kooper. He needed a booster shot. At the vet’s there were three other dogs. An older gentleman had an old golden retriever named “Barry.” I thought to myself, “Berry” might make a cute girl’s name. The other two dogs were a brown lab named “Jammer,” and his little buddy, a min-pin/chiuahua cross named “Peanut-butter.” Jammer pulled and broke away trying to visit Barry, and Peanut Butter followed. Jammer made a mess in the lobby. Kooper had marked a spot by the front desk, so out came a mop and a bag. Kooper did not want to go up on the scale. I placed his front paws up, but his butt and that whole back half of his being was “dead weight.” He was really skiddish, nervous, and resistant. I lifted hard and his weight is about 44#’s. I was surprised. You’d think he had become heavier in the battle. Kooper did not want to leave my side, but the vet tech gained a good tug to bring him to the back, and he decided to cooperate and marched back with her like a defeated prisoner. He was very excited to go as I paid, and very happy to hop in the Trailblazer to go home.

The rest of the day, I did my usual Monday routine, dishes, etc., and some laundry. It was 44°F, our “last warm day” for a while, I was told. There waa a brisk wind, though.

Tug & Enid

The painting was all framed and wired, so I wrapped a towel around it, and “sandwiched” it with taped masonite boards. I drove to UPS and purchased a box with the right dinensions, plus cushioning room. I put a piece of foam in the bottom, and placed the sandwich in the box. I stuffed strips of foam all around the sandwich, and found a pillow and pillow form for the top. I crushed 2 tubes for extra fill and taped it all shut. With a large marker I addressed the box and stored it in the back of the Trailblazer. Enid is visiting in another town till Sunday, so I will ship it on Thursday.

I prepared supper, as Josh stopped by to see the pups and pick up a couple packages. He talked about investments he has been busy with. I told him I’d like to do some, too, as I get paid. I sent two bags of turkey slices with him.

I was really spent yesterday, so it was my first “skipped” day since I started this. Today, I will have to do two posts to catch up.

I miss you, my Grandchildren, and look forward to seeing three of you this week, one today, and two in Little Canada on Thursday.



Postscript: Here is a link to a recent article on Tug.

Dear Grandchildren (73)

Dear Grandchildren,

Today, I probably rested more than I should’ve. Who knows except me what rest I need. I took a bubble bath right away this morning.

For my morning coffee, I added cocoa, a mint candy a dab of ice cream. I ate a breakfast croussant. Kooper liked that it was warm enough for me to have my breakfast outside with him.

I started to watch a movie a few times, but when I busied myself with dishes or something, GrpaRick would take over and start something else.

I placed the painting in the frame with a foamboard taped behind it. Stretch canvas is so vulnerable to tears, dents and punctures. For shipping, I am placing masonite boards as large as the outside of the frame front and back, to protect the whole piece. It really looks quite nice! I still have to photograph the completed piece with the frame before packing and shipping it. We are going to the cities later this week, so shipping costs will have to wait.

I researched how to get a reasonably priced silver tinsel tree. Years ago, Kyle’s birthtown had a major tinsel factory. All of the stores displayed vintage tinsel trees during our visit. Now the vintage ones are so popular that the prices are unreasonable. For now, I decided to just have a narrow new tinsel tree which had gone way down in price. I found vintage angel tinsel treetop from Italy that will really dress the Christmas tree up. I will hunt for glass and silver ornaments I mostly already have to complete the look.

The silver tinsel tree
Angel treetop from Italy

I am finding little reminders of Kyle every day. A friend here with Kyle was with Kyle when he bought a red Christmas tree. Kyle looks so happy in this photo.

Dan & Kyle

Tomorrow, I bring Kooper to the vet for a booster shot to prevent a type of viral pneumonia dogs get that can be fatal.

Stay healthy, my Grandchildren, there is so much to life to learn and enjoy! Times might get difficult, but the best memories surpass any of the bad times. It was heartbreaking to lose a son like Kyle. I really enjoyed all of the wondrous times we spent together! I just hope his spirit is happy knowing that I will always love, appreciate, and think of him.