Author Archives: thelumberjackandthegypsy

About thelumberjackandthegypsy

The lumberjack is my husband and he owns Arrowhead Wood Products; Arrowhead Toboggan and Snowshoe; and Lake Superior Furniture Co. and is the exclusive manufacturer of wood shutters for Summit Hill Shutter Co. The gypsy is me, and I have a passion for teaching people to tap into their creative side, even when they think they don't have one! I did not grow up creative or artsy and I was in my thirties before I started sewing and creating things. I am a rug hooker; artisan teddy bear maker; painter (from pictures to large pieces of furniture!); knitter; doll maker; needle-felter, repurposer; sewer; decorator; blogger; glamper; reader; vintage jewelry maker; junker; and now a shop owner. But the lumberjack and I feel our greatest gifts in this world are our four grandkids and our daughter and her husband and our relationship with Jesus Christ. We have been married for more than 33 years and most of that time we have lived out in the country on a hobby farm where we have raised chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, pigs and beef cattle. We also homeschooled our only child for her entire school years. We lived out our dream of being like the The Little House on the Prairie and they were great times. I also have a personal blog: where I tell stories of what life on the farm has been like and other things that pop up in my very weird mind. I prefer "quirky or eccentric" instead of weird (sounds more fascinating and less creepy)!

Games that are really made for Adults


Ooooo, it’s been quite a while since I have had a good rant so after babysitting the Fearsome Foursome this past week for two days, I have much to rant about!

I am not a Grandma that likes playing house (I do not play house even when I have no grands here….I play, ” What do you mean, what’s for dinner?” and “How should I know if you have any clean underwear, I don’t wear it!” and my personal favorite, “If you see that it is dirty/dusty/scummy/cruddy, then clean it off, cause obviously either I can’t see it or I don’t really care!”) or rolling around on the floor (if I am on the floor, it can only mean that I fell and the words that are coming out of my mouth are not for the tiny, pure ears of my grands) but I do enjoy playing card games or board games…..for a time.

I picked up both Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders at a rummage sale to play with the kids and even though I should know better, after all I did work with preschoolers for ten years and you can not even begin to imagine how many games of Candy Land I have played in my life. When my own daughter was young, I was still smart and even before we played it for the first time, I took out those demon cards that send you either forward or backward because life is not long enough to play that game!

But I must be losing my senses, since I left those spawn of the devil cards in the game and proceeded to play with the 8, 6 and 4 year old plus allowing the 2 year old to have “turns” and a little gingerbread guy play piece which he proceeded to crash into everyone else’s little gingerbread guy on the board so we were forever trying to figure out which square they really belonged on. But it was early in the day and Grandma was pretty mellowed out…..

Now, my grands are pretty smart kids, but somehow they can never remember whose turn it is and so Gramma who can’t remember the 6 yr. old’s name and keeps calling her the 4 yr. old’s name EVERY SINGLE TIME, has to tell each one, each time, that it is their turn…..(if I had a dollar for every time I said, “okay Avril, I mean LOLA, it is your turn…I could fill my swimming pool full of the expensive kind of gin instead of that crap Seagrams…but I digress…).

After a rousing game of Candy Land that resulted in near tears, pouting, cheating and even the kids got frustrated with it, we moved on to Chutes and Ladders.


And this game comes with a cardboard spinner….which is a device created to frustrate even the most nimble-handed folks but add chubby fingers and a lack of spinner experience and you have a game straight from the pit of hell itself. (I am pretty sure that the makers of children’s games are all Satanists and this is their way of recruiting sinners to their fold).

I think I must have a masochistic streak in me since I also play the card games: War, Go Fish, Old Maid, Crazy Eights, Memory (HA…how ironic…..I can’t remember my own granddaughter’s name let alone where the damn cow is hidden among 100 other animal cards) and Kings In A Corner. I cannot wait until they can add well enough to play cribbage, at least then there is a timely end to the game and I will only have to tell ONE child that it is their turn 100 times durning the game…..

Seriously….these games and plenty more (Connect Four….why don’t we just poke our eyes out so we don’t have to pretend we don’t see the child making the same moves over and over and over again and letting them win each time because we are grandparents not some soul-crushing monster…..) are in reality drinking games meant for adults.

Stay with me here… fun to play SORRY and every time you don’t get a 1 or a 2 to get out of START you get to take a drink….every time someone knocks you off the board and back to START, you get to take a drink; someone gets a SORRY card, they get to take a drink… can see where I am going with this……Candyland…get sent back to Sugar Swamp…yippee….take a drink…..have to fall down a Chute….every else gets to take a drink but not you…..hit a Ladder and you get to drink but no one else does…..

Oh my gosh, can you imagine the fun adults can have and they don’t even know it. Well, thanks to me and my mental health sacrifice of last week, you now have the knowledge….and you can thank me by sending me a bottle of the GOOD gin. It will get me through the next round of babysitting the Fearsome Foursome. (For those that are thinking, “Does she really drink when her grands are there?”….No, of course not…but the second they pull out of the driveway…..well, who knows……)

Oh what I don’t do for you people……

Your gin rummy Queen


All the King’s Winches and All the Kings Lifts, Couldn’t get the Queen off her Throne……


I almost died today.

Well, I could have died.

But I lived to tell the tale and tell it I will…….

The King and I are babysitting the 6 year old and the 2 year old. The King and the Princess were out on the royal 4-wheeler and the Queen was trying to entertain the little Prince. Both the King and the Queen are running on just a snooze here and a snooze there, since the big royal bed was occupied last night by not only the King and the Super-Sized Queen but also the 4 year old Princess and the little Prince. I do not know if there is a bed in the whole kingdom that would be big enough for the young nocturnal royal tumblers and martial art moves they made. The Queen resorted to putting her head down by the Kings feet and her feet making a ledge up at the little Prince’s body so he would not roll out of the bed and smack his royal noggin on the hard floor. It was a night filled with lots of big sighs, loud cries, tossing and turning and yes, the little royals did move around a bit, too.

After many attempts to humor the small Prince, the Great Queen decides that all children love to play in water and so she filled up a bin and threw some kitchen utensils in it and out on the big deck they headed. But wait….The Great Queen looked out and on the deck were three broken eggs. The Queen’s first thought was why on earth did the King throw eggshells out on the deck (the Queen always blames the King first…it just is easier to presume his guilt) but then the Great Queen looked closer and realized that they were pretty tiny eggs and figured out that there was a bird’s nest right above the sliding glass doors out to the Great deck and so the birdies must have hatched and the momma and poppa birds would not be happy to have the Great Queen and the little Prince out there disturbing their children.

Luckily, the King built a smaller deck which no one ever uses except the dog and so the Great Queen and the little Prince went out there to play in the water. This deck faces South and so the sun was beating down and the Great Queen hates the sun but will do most anything to make her royal grands happy so she found a bit of shade made by the plastic lattice that surrounds the deck and pulled a very old, but very funky, metal chair over by the little Prince and proceeded to put her very large royal throne warmer down on the chair.

Well, quicker than the Great Queen could even think, down she went with a great crash and she was balanced precariously between the deck and the ground below. It seems not only was the chair old but so was the wood that holds the plastic lattice in place!

The Great Queen quickly ascertained that she was stuck and stuck good. No matter how she tried to get up out of the broken chair, she could not. Her very large throne warmer was hanging over the edge of the deck as was her back and head and her legs were knees to the sky. The Great Queen said aloud, “My, my I seem to be in quite a pickle” and then she began to laugh because these kind of things always seem to happen to the Queen. But as the afternoon sun beat down on her and the little Prince, she stopped laughing and began to become distressed as she had no idea as to how long the King and Princess would be gone and she was getting concerned that the little Prince might be getting too much sun (and she was hotter than the home of the devil) and so the Great Queen thought over her options.

Her neighbors might be outside and could possibly hear her if she yelled for help but the Great Queen had not done anything to her hair that morning and the last time she looked in the mirror (not the magic one, her mother has that one), she looked like a punk-rock Albert Einstein and she knew that her royal assets were hanging out plumber-style and her neighbors were both young parents and she could not in good conscience subject them to the fleshy half-moon they were sure to see.

She then considered sending the 2yr old Prince in the house to look for her phone but the thought of not seeing what he could be getting into was scarier than the hot sun and the real danger of the lattice giving away and her going (as her royal father would have said) “ass over teakettle”. (What the heck does that mean anyway?…The older the Great Queen gets the weirder the sayings that made up her childhood memories become!).

And then the village idiot came and laid down right next to her, making any kind of Ninja move impossible since the idiot is beyond stubborn and will not move for anything once she sets herself down (and no, I am not talking about my mother….how rude of you even to think that). The Queen was suddenly grateful that the idiot had not tried to jump on the Queen because they both would have gone over the edge with a stream of blue language following them. Which, of course, the little Prince would repeat….can’t get him to say his full name but you know he would remember “verbatim” the royal blue language!

Now, I have left out the part about the Great Queen being somewhat disabled, haven’t I? Besides being stuck in the chair, her life in the literal “balance”, she had very little use of her right hand and only half use of her left as she is awaiting surgery on both hands and her right elbow later this month so even if she had the strength in her arms to do something to help herself out, she has no hand strength! Yes, our lovely Great Queen is indeed in quite a pickle (another saying that makes no sense!!)

Now in a semi-panic state, the Queen musters up every single bit of energy her old, broken body can and grabs ahold of the 2×4 that is the cornerstone of the lattice wood and leans as far left as she can and feels the chair bending down closer to the decking but the pain in her royal left hip and throne warmer is beyond what she can endure and she falls backs in tears. “Okay fat girl, you can do this” she says to herself and with the strength and determination only a royal Babushka can understand, she rolls over the metal chair arm and on to the deck, her body screaming in pain.

SHE DID IT!!!! And three minutes later the King and the Princess roll in…….

Moral of the story: never trust a chair that has been outside for years and always have your cell phone by your side in case of a “silly selfie opportunity”.

Off now to ice the hands and the left part of body…..I am gonna have a bruise the size of Australia come tomorrow…..I think I will skip the selfie and let you all just use your imaginations!

Your triumphant but bruised Queen

My Super Power is in Maximum OverDrive…


I never asked for this power.  If given a choice, I would have chosen reading minds as my power and then my marriage would be so much easier.  But no one asked me. One day it just showed up.  At first, I thought it was a weird snafu but as time went on and more and more things started to happen, I occurred to me that this indeed was my super power.

This past weekend I had the power to make my new (new to us…2006) SUV go all postal and start to make sounds I can only assume were mating calls.  I had only driven it that day and I had no idea of the bells and whistles (literally) it had on it.  All I wanted to do was use the fobby-thing to lock my door.  It seemed simple enough.  There was a typical Yale lock icon and below it an unlocked Yale lock button so I gathered up all my knowledge of 63 plus years and pressed the button expecting the door to lock and maybe a shy, little, beep to follow, letting me know, it indeed was locked.  Well ya’ll can imagine my surprise when she started to hoop and holler and the lights were all a’blinkin…dang near gave me a heart attack.  So I looked on the back of the fobby-thing and there was a red PANIC button and since I was panicked, I pushed it thinking it would stop all this caterwauling….nay, nay….it just added more noises to the mix.  So I thought maybe it was voice activated, so I start yelling, “STOP< STOP<NO<NO” but it must not be the right thing to say since it did not stop it.  SO I did what any person in their right minds would do…I started hitting every button on the fobby-thing and one of them made it shut up…..UNTIL I went to try the door and the stupid noise started again.  So I pressed more buttons until it stopped and then said the heck with it cause by now my blood pressure was sky high.  Five days later and I still haven’t had the courage to try it again.

My power has now affected my WiFi device.  Until two weeks ago, it was working just fine on my newer ipad and POOF just like that, my power leaked out of me and I no longer have my WiFi connection.  My ipad refuses to believe that I know the right password for the little device that brings all that lovely internet service to it.  I keep putting in the right password, and it keeps rejecting me.  It is making me drink more.  But on the bright side of this, my old ipad is up and running on WiFi like a champ….figure that one out if you will.

Today I took myself to Best Buy to find out how long a sales person could handle me and my power before passing me off to someone else.  I went through three people.  It might be a personal record for me.

Two lovely young women were so helpful (one was on her first day in Mobile….she may have gone back to Customer Service….)I explained to them that I wanted a new phone but nothing fancy and I wanted unlimited data so I could watch movies, etc. on my ipad since we only have free tv at the house and I am getting way too familiar with how to kill people since I usually only watch ION Television.  And I wanted to be taken off my husband’s phone plan since we have half of Texas on it and the Mister keeps telling me I AM using up all the data.  But before they can set me up with the phone I was told I should get (A big shout out to my cousin’s wife for taking the time to talk to me last weekend about phones…Thanks Fish!) I had to go and screw up the rep from Apple with my tales of how my power messed up the WiFi at the house.  He told me to do what I had already tried and was kerfluffled at why it would do what it did.  He blamed it on the “Hot spot thingy” we have at home since it would connect to the Best Buy wifi.  So I am still without wifi…..I think…..


3BE4CBB6-2F7F-4CC1-9BCD-DF30BF69E66BSo once we got everything sorted out, one of the ladies asked me if I want all my info from my old phone on my new phone.  I was shocked that they could do that since my old phone is really old but she reassured me that she could do it so after 45 minutes it was done and another person came over and he was doing whatever he needed to do to make it work and he asked me for my password.  I looked at the phone and my power had made it ask for the OLD password from the OLD email address I had had years ago and who in the heck can remember passwords from then?  I told him I had no idea what it was since it was back from years ago and then my powers shot from my mouth to the phone and locked it up so it would not do anything.  Nothing. Nada.  Zip. Zilch.  And all I could do was laugh because THIS IS MY FREAKIN’ LIFE people.  Doesn’t matter what it is….if it is electrical, it gets screwed up by my freakish energy field.  He had to take it over the the Apple Rep to see if he could figure it out.  When he came back with a look of bewilderment on his face, I told him to just delete EVERYTHING that had come from my old phone.  I would manually add back my contacts, etc.  I was terrified I was going to leave the store with a faulty phone.  I can be bold but not when it comes to technology.  I do not understand it one iota so to argue with someone over something techie is so out of my league.  But he was able to clear everything and now I have a brand spanking new (it is an iphone SE which is just after the 6 so I am still way behind) but as long as I can take photos and post to facebook and Instagram and watch movies on my ipad, I will be a happy camper.   We will see……

I had to pay for the phone and the case so they rang me up and I wrote a check….and they processed it and it came back DENIED.  WHAT THE HECK?  I had just deposited a chunk of cash and gotten the slip with my balance on it and I knew unless I had left my body and flew to Amazon Headquarters and bought a bunch of stuff, there was a ton (okay, not a Khardashian ton, but a ton for “all I have is my old age money” me) of money in my account.  How can I be out of money?  So I gave them my debit card and it only had enough money for part of the payment.  WHAT IS HAPPENING?  I was mortified.  Thankfully, I had some cash so I was able to purchase my phone and case but I was so confused over why my money was not available.  Was my power that strong that is could break Best Buy’s cash register?  (I have broken brand new giant moving dental x-ray machines so I suppose it was possible.).  I was so befuddled that I drove to my next appointment in a haze and what should have been an in and out situation, was delayed by the guy in the office being out and the other man trying to call him and my agent not answering his phone and no one knew quite what to do.  They finally decided that I could take the policy and if the agent needed more information he could call me (tho, I am not sure if I gave them my new number correctly….I had just had my phone for less than 30 min and I had not written down the new number because “I’ll remember it”……..)

Fast trip up to Michaels, where when I went to check out and they asked if I was in their rewards program and I said I thought I was, they checked both my old numbers and of course, I was NOT so I gave them my NEW cell phone number and they said that that number was already in their system!!!!   OH DEAR GOD….all I wanted to do was rush home and have a bean burrito and a BIG adult beverage and watch a movie on my ipad with the unlimited data and not think about my super power anymore today.  I can see why Peter Parker wanted to chuck all his Spidey stuff and just be normal.  This Super Power crap is for the birds………

I want to go back to the “Dark Ages” where phones had cords, cash registers only had numbers, radios were only AM/FM, TV’s had four channels and a remote that only had ON/OFF and Volume and Channels controls and you put records on the HiFi and we only dreamt about phones where you could see people on them……..

Queen who longs for the “good old days”

News from The Lumberjack & The Gypsy


My shop (The Lumberjack & The Gypsy) is just about ready for a Grand Opening Weekend. This goofy Minnesota weather has delayed me a bit as well as a host of other things but once I get the outside painted and the decking stenciled….I will have it. Of course, it has been open for business […]

via Just About Ready for Grand Opening…… — The Lumberjack & The Gypsy

I Had Nothing Else To Do…..


Boredom is never a good state for a Creative*

Yesterday was a day someone should have been here with me.

Someone who actually would have some control over me….hmmm….gotta think about who that could be….we all know it isn’t my hubs or my mom….and none of my friends are big enough to wrestle me down….besides if God didn’t want me to shorn myself, He never should have allowed hair clippers to be invented.  (And yes, I do know that the Bible says it is a shame for a woman to have shorn hair.  But I can live with that!)

So I got out my nifty new little clippers….so much easier to handle than the bigger ones…..and I used to use them on my dog but don’t tell my sister cause I gave them to her for her hair!!!

I loved my teal hawk and cut-in shapes of all colors but the hair in-between the shapes had started to grow in and it looked skanky.  Besides being a Creative, I am also an Impulser*.  When I want to do something, I want to do it NOW.

I have always wanted to shave my head and a couple of years ago I went down to a quarter inch all around and the world did not end so I figured, “What the heck…it will grow back” and went to town (not literally, I never go out).

When I got done, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought…..”Well, my mom is going to have a heart attack if she sees this”.  I gave what my hubs might think a thought but after almost 34 years, I’m pretty sure nothing I do anymore surprises him and he’ll get over it.

Do I like it?  Not especially.  We keep our house at a chilly 66 degrees and I sleep in the lower living room where there is no heat unless we have a fire or an electric heater on and I don’t like to sleep with either one on so I had to sleep in a head-tube-thing that cool, outdoorsy people wear as bandeaus.  I bought it when I had dreads and thought I was cool.

So today I slapped on a ton of make-up to take some photos for ya’ll.  In the process, I reminded my self of Anthony Hopkins, Mr. Clean, a drag queen before they stick on their gorgeous wigs and myself at 95.

Please let me know who you think I resemble.  I promise not to be offended.  Seriously….how could you possibly offend me…..and to think I did this willingly to myself.  Well…at least I didn’t pay someone else to do it to me.   (I wonder if I had, if it would have turned out like this?  And where did all those scars come from?  I hit my head a LOT but I do not ever recall ever bleeding and I would assume you would have to have cut open your head to have a scar?  The things you find out when you shave your head….ya’ll out to try it at least once in your life.)  “No guts, No glory” is what I always say……(Okay, I really mostly say is, “Well that didn’t turn out like I thought” but it is basically the same thing.)

Your Queen of “OMG, did you see what that idiot did now to her hair”


*Creative:  what I decided to call myself instead of Artist as I never felt comfortable with that adjective as people mostly assume you paint on canvass and I do so much more!

*Impulser:  someone who cannot control their urges when something strikes their fancy to do, or buy, or say!

So What Happened to Oct/Nov. Haircolors


I am pretty sure I have Creative Attention Deficit Disorder.  I cannot seem to finish most every thing I start creatively (and in every other aspect of my life).  I am all amped up and buy everything I need (and more) to get me going but halfway through I get distracted by something else and I am off on a different creative path.

It makes me crazy that I am that way but I seem to not be able to change.  I don’t know if I was always like this, but it has been my modus operandi for the past two decades.

Someday I may seek a therapist to help me understand why I do the things I do (my mom and hubs would say it is a form of rebellion and perhaps, they are right….but don’t tell them that or they will think they are right all the time and my life will be a living hell!)

So getting back to my hair…..I did bleach it all out for October to go Opal but as these photos will reveal, the blue did not bleach out and I was not about to bleach it again as my scalp goes numb for a good 24 hours after a bleaching session and even I think that can’t be healthy.   So I just added an ash blonde toner to it and as it washed out it became opalescent but I have no photos to prove it.  (I did but because I am so technically challenged I thought if I added photos from my general photos to a “Hair” album that I could delete them from the general photos and they would stay in the album.  Either that is not true, or I did it wrong because all the photos that I deleted after putting them in albums are now gone from my ipad.  Whether or not they are up in that elusive “Cloud” I do not know as I have no idea how to access this “Cloud”.   It is such a challenge being me…..)

And in keeping with the technology challenged thread, it just took me 20 minutes how to figure out how to access my photos from my ipad to post these pictures since WordPress changed the format on my blog….no wonder I have high blood pressure.

So, since October was a bust, I kinda was dishearten about November and knew that if I colored it Topaz for November, I would have to bleach it all out for December and I just wasn’t up for that so instead I buzzed the sides and back down to the nub.  I REALLY wanted to just buzz the whole thing but no matter what I do, I just can’t rock that Uncle Fester vibe.

So here it is, December’s look……the teal on the faux hawk is beautiful in real life…..the shapes are my husband’s doing….I KNOW, right…….but I must have gotten him in just the right mood cause he was game to try it.  He just said to me today, that he needs to recut the shapes since they have grown in since we did it two weeks ago. I have not left the house so I have no idea how this look will fly in public.  It must be my most dramatic do to date.  The first photo is my inspiration….the others are pure me!688DBCA7-0974-43A9-879A-83B0D5849238

This is right after Scott did the coloring so it is wet and in real life it is no quite that vibrant and the faux hawk stands straight up.   If I ever go anywhere and actually put on make-up, I will take a photo and show you how it looks today.

As far as next month and going Garnet…..we will just have to see…..

The Queen of the Oddest Hair in the Neighborhood,


Saving My Mailman One Good Deed At A Time


I don’t wish to brag, but I did a very selfless act this morning.  In doing so, I expect I saved the very life of my rural mailman.

Before I humbly re-enact my heroic deed, I should explain how rural mail carriers are a whole different breed than your basic urban carrier.  Besides having to have cars with either the steering wheel on the right-side (which I know for my British readers, that is normal) or having to have a really long left leg and arm, so you can sit on the right side and still drive and work the gas/brake pedals, they also very often deliver packages deemed “not worthy of our time but we will still charge you an exorbitant amount of money to send it using our UPS rates” by other carriers.

In the past I have lauded the generosity and bravery and long-sufferingness of my mail guy, Tom.  A real rural hoarder’s, I mean collector’s, friend is old Tom.  I wonder how many strange packages he has delivered to my house over the years?  Remember the time I ordered a full-size saddle from EBay and it was delivered via the USPS shrink-wrapped in black plastic bags and poor Tom had to drive up to my house and honk (that is the way we do it around here, or I should say, the way TOM does it….I think it is a kindness on his part and not part of the Mail Carriers Oath….”neither snow, nor rain, nor huge dogs, rouge pigs or wild goats, shall keep us from our appointed rounds” (extremely paraphrased by author)).

So getting back to my tale of heroism….this morning at the butt-crack of dawn (9am), as I am just getting to sleep (caught some kind of bug and have not slept in three nights or days….more or less) out in my camper (tent bed, AC, medicinal hidden BlackBerry Brandy, no bugs or snakes), I hear the roar of Tom’s old car coming into the driveway and the melodic honk of his horn.  I am expecting some things via some kind of carrier so I think about jumping (hahaha…I kill myself….me jumping out of bed….a slow roll is more like it) out of my squooshy bed and since I cannot sleep in normal bedtime attire, I have just a t-shirt on and by the time I get into my lovely Lularoe leggings and a normal shirt plus my “when can I get out of this damn”  Playtex torture device, he will be home having dinner so my initial thought is to just go flying out wrapped up in my fake Muppet fur pink blanket.  Now here comes the heroic part:

I saved Tom the wonder carrier, the shock of his life by NOT flinging my ever so large, wrapped up in yards of long furry pink blanket body with dark blue-standing straight up from my head like some kind of Roman soldier helmet-hair, bare hairy legs and too big for me but work ok running (again….hahaha…running) to and fro the camper, red Crocs.  The poor man would have screamed like a little girl and hit the gas and probably ran smack dab into Scott’s large, but sunk once when he forgot to put a plug back in the engine when he was fixing it at the marina, fishing boat that has resided IN FRONT of the door to the garage all summer.

So, you see, my friends, not all heroes live in Texas….some of us live in the woods of northern Minnesota, saving one mailman at a time…..

You’re welcome,

The Queen (who really needs her own cartoon show or sitcom….just sayin…)