Taking the back roads … while shopping locally

In the spirit of shopping locally, today we took a short trip to a local furniture store about ten or so miles from home – in search of a reclining loveseat. Over the years, most of our furniture has been purchased from this store. They are responsive, friendly, kind and they deliver. (In case you are wondering, the store is Country Sales Furniture near Milaca, Mn. (Click HERE) As an unexpected bonus, the First National Bank of Milaca will refund 5% – up to $50 – as a reward for shopping locally. Our next task will be to decide where we donate that 5%.  (I’ll post a photo of the loveseat after it is delivered next week.)

On the way home, after a wonderful breakfast at the Pease Cafe, a very small town restaurant, we drove the back roads home. We first came across a deer standing in the middle of the road – but he was camera shy – so I only have a picture of the area.



Next we found a field of sand hill cranes – who were not camera shy at all. I think they were far more interested in picking corn from a recently harvested field. You might have to look closely – they blend in very well.



All in all, not a bad way to start out the weekend.




Chipmunk training season … while getting some deck time

Now that I am semi-retired, we have a new routine. Whenever possible, we sit on the deck in the early morning, drinking coffee, watching the birds at our many feeders, and welcoming the day. Many mornings we spend an hour or more this way.

We also have a few chipmunks. Last year we just had one – Mama Chipper. Of course, we didn’t really know if she was a girl. Over the summer she became somewhat tame – allowing my husband to pet her while she enjoyed some sunflower seeds. Once in awhile, she allowed him to pick her up  – but not for long.


Mama getting petted; she really like having her back rubbed.

This year she was back and soon he was feeding and petting her again. However, she was not alone. At least five little chipmunks also appeared. (So perhaps she was a mama.) Because the baby chipmunks were skittish, my husband decided to put sunflowers seeds in a bird feeder that can no longer be hung in the tree (due to several falls to the ground, caused by a raccoon and perhaps a bear). The bird feeder looks like a school – so now the baby chipmunks go to school (to get sunflower seeds). He also gives them fresh water in what used to be a dog dish.

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Chipmunk School

After the first few weeks, the mama chipmunk would jump on my husband’s leg – looking for sunflower seeds. One day he came back from the store with unsalfed peanuts. He placed a peanut on his knee … and waited. At first, Mama chipmunk would do a hit and run – she would jump on his leg, grab a peanut, and jump back down. Then he put more peanuts on his leg. Pretty soon she would sit on his knee and stuff as many peanuts as possible in her mouth, jump down, carry the peanuts away, and then come back for more. She would even take them out of the belt loop on his pants.

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Getting a drink.


Mama stuffing her mouth with peanuts.

Alas, Mama Chipmunk has not appeared for the last two weeks. Now training has begun for the baby chipmunks. They are still a little skittish – they won’t allow much petting but they sure love the peanuts. Maybe next year they will be ready for more advanced training. In the meantime, we will just sit on the deck, enjoy the mornings, watch the birds, watch the baby chipmunks chase one another – and wait to see what other wildlife comes strolling by – like these two who came for a visit.


Early morning visitors – sand hill cranes

Coming soon – a wrap-up of the garage sale season – the best bargains, the best signage, and the best displays.

Thank you for reading this blog.