Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life

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My Dad’s World War II artifacts find a home

My dad Harold “Randy” Randen served in the army and was part of the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. He brought back quite a few artifacts of the war both German and American and I have been trying to figure out what to do with them since he died 40 years ago. I decided I didn’t want to sell them and wanted them to go to someone who would appreciate their historic value.

It would have been one thing to donate them to a museum near Nicollet MN where he spent his life but it is a whole other wonderful thing to have them near me now that I live in Greenville.

My patience paid off and yesterday I took all of the items to the new Greenville Military Museum. It is in an old hanger at the downtown airport across from the Runway Restaurant and playground. It is open on Sat. afternoon and some Sundays. They are still remodeling but I was quite surprised to see all the exhibits they have. Admission is Free. They will focus on military action from the Spanish American War to now.

Their curator with loving care went through every item. What I gave them will go in their permanent collection and all things were items they did not have so no duplication. Bob and I learned quite a bit about the items so that was pretty interesting. I am 110% sure these special military items could not have gone to a better home. My dad would be very happy to know how they will be shared with the public. We might even get one whole display case for his things. Whatever they decide, I know I made the right decision. Enjoy a few photos. They have much more and will feature people bringing in their special collections too. The hospital unit complete with an ambulance is pretty neat.

They also have as part of their mission to do education especially for 5th grade students. They have “hands on” items that the kids and adults can interact with. They have a ways to go to finish the place but it is already well worth a visit.…

About 10 years ago my cousin Larry got very interested in his uncle’s service in the Battle of the Bulge and did quite a bit of research on it and he shared it with me.  He said he really got mesmerized and drawn into something he previously had no interest in.   The same thing has happened to me in the last few days.  There were two books written about the 84th division that he was in during the Battle of the Bulge.   For now I kept them because I want to learn more.   Eventually they will go to the museum too.   Larry’s work gave me a great starting place.   This battle was the biggest one of the war so lots has been written but I found I also needed to know the story leading up to the war.   I have already learned so many interesting things.
Photos of my Dad and a few of the museum.scanDSCN1397DSCN1396DSCN1395



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Fairy Garden also becomes a Memory Garden

I am having lots of fun thinking of what else to put in the garden.  Of course I need plants and there are many companies that have them. Here is one possibility.   I want to wait until it gets a little warmer to order something.


Years ago Bob’s mom gave me a bag of agates that she had polished when he was a kid and I have hung on to these all these years.   I can see these as a path or glued together as a wall or even to decorate the house.


These Siamese cats I have had since I was a little girl so definitely think my fairy would like the kitties.


Also, when I was little I had a rock collection, see rock behind the cat, and have quite a few of them so I can see rocks as boulders in the garden.


My friend Kris gave me this fairy years ago so she will now have a new home.  Each of the eggs were gifts, Bob’s mom painted the blue one, so maybe there will be a place for at least one of them.   I like the fairy cat but I think she will be too big.DSCN1304

This ballerina was also something Bob’s mom had and she is pretty tiny so perhaps she would like to play with my fairy?  What do you think?


There is an endless amount of stuff you can find for fairy gardens on line so will see how things come together.  Many are made of wood and twigs and oh so cute.

When I was cleaning out drawers I also found a couple heart shaped rocks so they might be a part of it too.   I don’t have much room but everything is small.  I am having fun.


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Painting-Pineapple, Cabin in Winter, Wreath on Door

I’m still doing my painting classes and enjoying it more and more.   Here are three I have done the last 6 weeks or so.

This one I did on Wednesday.   The pineapple is the symbol of friendship and hospitality so a nice one to have in the house.   This was with a new instructor, Kynm Easter, at the White Rabbit Gallery in Travelers Rest.   It is 16″ by 20″ and acrylic and done with a stencil.   First time I have used a stencil.   Took 2 1/2 hours.   I like it.


This is the first oil from my OLLI class.  Took about 4 hours over two classes.   It has just the smallest amount of glitter in it to make it really sparkle.  Also 16″ by 20″.  I am happy with this one too.


This is another 16″ 20 oil.   I like some parts but not others.   This one was hard.   It was all done with a pallet knife and took 3 hours.   This was a lot of canvas to cover with a pallet knife.   I like the wreath and the door but not the color of the door.   I wish I had done the door in light brown tones.   I think the wreath would show up more.   I have had a couple visitors to the house and they said they liked it.  Anyway, as always I learned a few things.   Not sure that pallet knife is my favorite painting instrument but I am surprised how much you can do with just one tool.   I wouldn’t have thought I could do the stuff on the wreath.   Lots of texture in this one.


Have three more paintings coming up at OLLI this term.   There are about 20 of us in the class.    I also have a couple Sunday afternoon classes with Cheryl at the White Rabbit.  I have accomplished my dream of having my own original art work on my walls.   Would not have thought that possible.

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Supplies for Fairy Garden

I got the stand and it is even better than I expected.   I thought it would be 1 3/4″ deep but it is more like 4″ deep.  Can get plenty of dirt in there for my plants to grow.


The Fairy house I was less impressed with.   I like the accessories but the house itself I don’t like.  Packaging was really cute.



Also a Fairy house needs a door because fairies like to hide and there is no door so that got me thinking about what I could make a door out of.   We have tons of veneer wood from Bob’s marquetry hobby so that would work.   As Bob and I talked and I showed him what the house was, basically a piece of birch bark made into a circle and tied with twine, we decided that he could build me a beautiful fairy house with balsa wood and veneer.   We are really excited.

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Building a Fairy Garden

You are invited to be a watcher as I build my fairy garden.    My good friend Lynn, who knows I love anything fairy, gave me a book on making a fairy garden. In case you don’t know it Fay means fairy so I guess I was born to do this.  Here is the book she got me.


I have been interested in miniature gardens for decades.   Many years ago I visited the Minnesota Arboretum when their guest exhibit was all these little gardens.  This was before cameras and cell phones so got no photos but I have never forgotten how cute they were.  I am talking about gardens probably 2 feet or less.

First I have to find an appropriate container made of something sort of natural.  Fairies only like natural things so no resin or plastic container.   I also know I will have it on my screen porch which isn’t very big and that I will have to bring it inside during the winter months so again, not too heavy or too big because it will be sitting in the family room.  It was not an easy task to find a container but I finally did and ordered it yesterday.


It is terracotta and is 23″ tall, 17″ in diameter, 1 3/4 inch deep so pretty shallow and 29 lbs.

I guess if my fairy garden fails I have a bird bath!

Now to find a fairy house.  Again, not an easy task because most I found were plastic or too fancy.   I wanted something natural.   Here is what I ordered.   It is a kit you put together.   Don’t you love the little swing? It is about 4″ tall.


Both have been ordered.  I want to get the plants going indoors so they have time to get established before  move it outside this spring.

I have some fun ideas on how to use things I already have and will tell you about those later.


My latest oil paintings

My latest art work. Here are some photos of my paintings the last couple months. The first one is the new display system in the guest room so we don’t have so many holes in the wall. The last two are 4 little 6″ pictures that I can’t wait to do more of. They are all oils paintings. I found a great instructor here in Travelers Rest.


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