Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sunday, October 9, 2022, MN

We had our first taste of wintry weather this week when the temps dropped into the 30s for the first time on Wednesday and we all had to add another layer of clothing to stay warm.  I had a couple of lunch dates planned on Monday with Mavis and she and I both got the days mixed up, so that was rescheduled for next week and Tuesday with Deb and her plans changed.  She and I did walk to Willy McCoy’s for a beer on Wednesday afternoon after I finished helping with the food truck.

The fall colors are so beautiful right now and I really saw a lot of them when Judy, Ann, and I took a drive on the country roads between here and Faribault on Tuesday afternoon. Although it was a mostly cloudy day, there were beautiful pops of color along the hills and roadsides.

I’ve been watching this beautiful heart shaped tree on my block for the last couple of weeks and it reached its peak of color.  

This is what it looked like today.

I made a big pot of chili Wednesday night and took it to Ben’s with me on Thursday for dinner after picking the girls up after school.  I also had a haircut and a mammogram that day, so I was exhausted by the time I got back home.  I was back at their house on Friday night to celebrate Norah and Camille’s birthday.  Jill woke them up in the morning at the actual time they were born - Camille at 6:14 and Norah at 6:15. I didn’t take any birthday pics, so I’m waiting for Jill to send me some.  It’s hard to believe that they are 9 years old now and becoming so independent - they are good girls and good students.

My cousin Wanda passed away Friday and this is her obituary.

MADISON- Wanda Dorothy (Dzikowich) Farris, age 90, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 7, 2022, surrounded by her family at the home she lived in for over 60 years. Wanda was born on January 24, 1932, to Walter Michael and Frances Kathryn (Krajco) Dzikowich in Cudahy, WI. She lived a very fulfilling 90 years young, which was written on her birthday cake at her surprise birthday party this past summer.

She married the love of her life, Richard "Dick" Farris on August 30, 1952. Richard's sister, Donna, was Wanda’s best friends. It was Donna who initially paid Dick to take Wanda to prom, and from there the rest is history. Both Wanda and Donna remained best friend the rest of their lives.

One of Wanda's great loves was her music. She had a strong, beautiful voice that could fill up a room with joy or sorrow, depending on the country song she was singing. With nothing but her electric guitar, signature voice and a stand-up bass named George, Wanda started her journey with music when she was 16 years old in a popular local band named The Goose Island Ramblers. They played fairs and many telethons on TV. She also appeared on a local music show with her long running band, Wanda Star and the Swinging Poles, which was named after her Polish heritage. Many family members joined Wanda playing music. Her brother Mickey played accordion and sang, Joey would play his harmonica and their sister Mary would play the bass, George, while Wanda sang and played guitar. It was a family affair. Wanda passed her gift of music by teaching her daughters to sing and harmonize.

Growing up Wanda always loved sports, especially softball, which she played throughout high school. She always dreamed of having enough kids (boys) to have her own baseball team. Wanda had 6 girls and 2 boys, so sadly, no baseball team. When asked recently why she wanted to have so many children, she replied, "I was a really good Catholic but a really dumb Polack!" Wanda had a witty sense of humor.

Wanda was a devoted wife and mother who took pride in caring for her family. Sadly, on March 31st, 1984, Wanda lost her husband Richard. After he passed, Wanda started a new chapter by returning to the workforce at The Mariners Inn, until her retirement in 2005.

Wanda is survived by her 8 children Dawn Farris, Diane (Mike Moore) Farris, Mary Debra Farris, Theresa (Laura Davis) Farris, Kathy (Richard) Serres, Tom (Tiffany) Farris, Dickie (Lisa Ward) Farris, and Donna (Todd) Brandl; Siblings Mary Higgs and Joe (Sandy) Dzikowich; along with 16 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren and countless other family members and friends.

Wanda is preceded in death by her husband of 31 years, Richard Farris, her parents, sister Justine and brothers Edmond and Michael (Mickey) Dzikowich.

We would like to extend a big heartfelt thank you to the staff at Agrace as well as the other personal caregivers who took the time to support Wanda and the family during this difficult time. Wanda said you were angels sent from heaven to help her peacefully transition. 

We will all miss you, mom. You will remain a big person with a big place in our hearts forever. You loved your family above all else and we will cherish that for the rest of our lives.

Yesterday was another beautiful fall day and I spent a couple of hours helping out at the retention pond on our property.  Our community received a grant from the watershed district to clean it up and get rid of some invasive non-native plants and to revitalize the shoreline to retain the edges nd prevent the spread of cattails.  This afternoon, a couple of local Master Gardeners, our manager Nikki and her husband Sam, Judy and I cleaned out some weeds and layer a solar blanket around the edge that will kill off the grasses and weeds over the winter.  In the spring, we will select and plant native species of grasses and flowers to support the shoreline and attract birds and bees and butterflies.  It was a fun project.

Charlotte asked if she could have a sleepover Saturday night, as Camille and Norah were having their birthday sleepover, so I went to pick her up and we stopped at a farm market and bought some goodies and then at Culver’s for dinner.  We baked some Pumpkin Bread and watched “Minions: Rise of Gru”. When we took Joey out for his nighttime walk, Charlotte took some pics of the full moon, edited and embellished some of them and made a collage.

Ben came to pick Charlotte up this afternoon and we got to sit and chat for a while the girls played with Barbies.  They all love cuddling with Joey too.

When they left, I got busy giving Joey a much needed haircut.  I gave him the relaxing pill from the vet a little too early, as he wasn’t as calm as he should have been.  I think I’m getting better at clipping him every time but I have to find a way to be able to trim his face and feet better. He doesn’t want to sit still and fights me when I trim those areas.