Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We had some snow last night and most of today. Just in from snow blowing & shoveling and saw on the news Rice Lake had 12.7 inches. Well...it's winter.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

How can it be...

I am still, after all these years, trying to figure out how it took FOREVER for me to be 21 and now I am suddenly having to check the box 56-60 on questionaires!!
I had a fun visit to Big Moon Lake yesterday and there even were birthday cupcakes for me. Charli sang the birthday song to me and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

I'm headed to Luck for the night. It is great niece Milena's birthday today too, so a party at her house this afternoon and then will spend the night at the cabin with Kris, Lora and Anders. We had rain and fog yesterday so everything is a little slippery this morning, hopefully by afternoon I won't slip and slide too much on my drive to Luck.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day in Rice Lake

The cats and I had a relaxing Christmas Day in Rice Lake. The sun was out for awhile and the snow sparkled like it was dusted with diamonds. Today I'll be heading to Big Moon Lake for an afternoon at Glenn & Kathy's lake cottage. I'm taking my sled to show it off.

Hops enjoyed Christmas Day finding a soft spot to rest. Reminded me of the The Princess & The Pea fairytale.
Barley preferred a spot almost on the back of the couch. I guess she liked the sun on her hiney!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I sincerely hope you are. I am enjoying my first Christmas here in Rice Lake. I got my kick sled put back together this a.m. and took it for a little test ride. The township guys have been a little too efficient with the sand / salt on our street, but, Owell, I'm loading the sled up and taking it with me next weekend to the cabin where it will get plenty of use.

The sun is shining this afternoon and the snow sparkling like diamonds, what more could I ask for on Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lille Jule Aften

Today, the 23rd of December, is Lille Jule Aften in Denmark. Little Christmas Eve. I tried to research the real traditions of this day on the internet. What I found said that it was the day that the Danes put out a little something for the Nisse to keep them from playing tricks on them.

I've come to think it is the day to give the birds extra birdseed, a special treat for the cats, and the night to call and visit with family and have a laugh. Perhaps even a glass of wine or beer should be enjoyed. I hope you'll have a wonderful Lille Jule Aften!

My bird feeders are full!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Furnaces & Fireplaces

This morning I am very thankful for furnace and fireplace to keep warm. It snowed quite a bit yesterday and then got windy. This morning the thermometer says -12 degrees and I'm sure the wind chill is much lower.
The garden cats are up to their necks in the snow!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Big Moon Lake House

Today I made a quick trip to meet Glenn, Dana and great nephews Jackson & Jake at Glenn & Kathy's cottage on Big Moon Lake. It was hot dogs and chips for lunch and a couple of quick pictures and we were on our way. The boys had been there for awhile thawing pipes before they called me to stop by. Jackson is a busy guy with lots to tell and little Jake is a sweet baby boy that will steal your heart away!
O yeah, the kitties had their booster shots today too, both have gained 3 lbs, so are 7lbs each now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shooting Hoops, Shiners, Shopping & Snow

It was a fun weekend in Luck staying at Kyle & Heather's and spending time with Ruby, Gage and Jack & Stella. Luck High School's basketball team is very good and it was fun to watch them win a game on Friday night against Frederic. Jack got a good shiner at school on Friday when another player's head hit his cheek during some recess basketball. It did not slow him down from performing his chores as one of the team managers for the varsity basketball team though.
Saturday I lounged with Ruby all morning as the boys & Kyle were busy at basketball practice, Heather was working and Stella stayed overnight with Grandma. The kids are growing up fast and Ruby has changed alot since I last saw her. Saturday afternoon Heather and Ruby and I enjoyed a trip to Cafe Wren for fun coffee & snack and some shopping at the holiday art fair. I found a couple of unique items created by local artisans.

A fabulous meal on Saturday night was shared with sis in law, Lois and her brother Harry, as well as Heather's sister and nephew. Many laughs but a very late night. Getting home on Sunday was somewhat exciting. When we woke up in the morning it was snowing hard and I didn't think I'd be able to safely drive back to Rice Lake. But, as the day went on, the temperature went up and snow turned to rain. Since sub zero temperatures were predicted for Monday, I decided to sprint home during the rain. The roads stayed wet luckily but once I got back to RL the temperature started to drop and we had snow falling soon after. Nothing like a little ice under the snow.

The kitties were fine this time. They have been good about not dismantling the tree, but not too good about sleeping at night. Somehow their days and nights need to get aligned with mine. Barley seems to love the Christmas rug.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Little Brewery Village

I'm enjoying my Christmas Village made up of the brewery, the maltings, grist mill and both Bierkellar & Bier Stube. It reminds me of all my friends back at Coors who are cranking out lots of Coors Light and Coors Banquet for us to enjoy during the holidays.

Today was my first experience with my snowblower. I can see that it will take some practice. A couple of times I was blowing the snow into the wind and the wind was blowing into my face. I got the driveway cleared though and I'll be a little more efficient next time. For instance, it took me forever to get it started. Which is weird, because it has an electric starter. For some strange reason, you must have the key turned to ON before it will start tho. Live and learn!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Home Alone...Oh Boy

Well, my drive home from Durant was uneventful and my shopping trip to Kohl's quite successful, new underwear! always a plus. I also stopped in Barron and got the on sale sunflower seeds for my birds and a bag for Lojo too. 50 lbs for $15.99 is a good price up here.

Now the drama....when I got to the house and drug in my first load of overnight bags and stuff, I opened the door, no kitties greeted me. But I immediately saw that my bedroom door was closed....not good.
The litter box is in the laundry room and the food and water for the cats is in my bathroom at the other end of the house. I had visions of a poopful bedroom or cats who had not eaten or had any water for 3 days.

But, the bathroom door was also shut...and inside the bathroom were two very crazy kitties. They must have been roughhousing and somehow swung both those doors shut. So, the only damage that I can see is one sham off my bed was on the floor and it had been peed on. But it was dry, which tells me that they had been in bathroom lock down most of the time I was gone. The bathroom rugs were rolled around and there was one poop on the floor but all the rest of the poop, and I am assuming the pee, was in my shower stall. Smart kitties, huh!

So, it was easy to clean up and now I am washing what I can see needs washed and will keep that pillow & sham in the garage until I can have someone sniff test it for me. Poor things.

Oh, and their big bowl of water had been dumped too, but the auto waterer still had water in it.

All in all, the kitties did not have a good vacation!

So, I'll have to block doors with chairs from now on, I would never have guessed that they would have messed around and shut those doors, they have never done it when I was here. Owell, it all ended fine!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Anders Dakota

Anders and I had a good day yesterday. We lounged around together and enjoyed the day. Today Lora had a snow day from school, so the 3 of us have been relaxing and visiting. Very nice. I'm heading home on Wednesday, the roads should be in real good shape by then.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Heading South

Okay, well only about an hour and a half south. I'm leaving soon to go stay in Durand, WI with Kris and Lora for 3 nights. I'll be babysitting great nephew Anders for a couple of days. It should be fun, he's a little over 3 months old now and a real cutie.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The first of many

First real snow since I moved in. I had not planned ahead so did not have any gas for my snow blower. Plowed it all with my little snow shovel, but it was kind of fun. Got a few steps in and some fresh air. The sun came out a little so the driveway might actual melt off clean.

I'll have gas for the snow blower before the next snow comes though.

Friday, December 5, 2008


No shortage of goldfinches at the feeder this morning. I think they were pigging out on the thistle seed. They are quite different looking this time of year, in the summer their feathers are such bright yellow, it almost hurts your eyes. My garage door does not want to open all the way today, so it is a good enough excuse to stay in for the day. My brother Glenn's car was hit by a deer as he was driving home yesterday, so at least I am safe from that kind of excitement.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Under Cover

This afternoon I was about to make a cup of tea when I saw this out the kitchen window, a male cardinal taking cover under my backyard deck. I didn't expect he would stay there long, but when I came back to the kitchen after a shower, he was still perched there.

United Way and The Birds

Last night I went to the Rice Lake Holly Auction, a benefit for United Way. It was quite a successful event. Much work had been done to prepare for this event, I'm not sure how many silent auction items there were, but I am guessing close to 100. Also, several raffel opportunities for nice prizes. The grand prize was a travel package valued at $2008. The Rice Lake community really turns out for this event and most everyone I talked to had been there each year. I'll definitely go back next year, with a better plan with regard to bidding. It was encouraging to see so many people there and bidding even though all the economic news is so grim. Of course, the need in the community goes up when the economy is down, and I guess Rice Lake residents get that.

Yesterday the cardinals were back, and today a nuthatch camped on the bird feeder for quite some time. The gold finches are plentiful and are at the feeders daily.

Beer Examiner: 75 years ago prohibition was repealed by the 21st amendment of the U.S. Constitution

Beer Examiner: 75 years ago prohibition was repealed by the 21st amendment of the U.S. Constitution

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dad and Ev in Rice Lake

Dad and Ev were here Sunday night. They left Monday after lunch to head back to Iowa via an overnight at Glenn & Kathy's in Spring Valley, WI.

Today I had an appointment with my new doctor here in Rice Lake. It is hard to start over with doctors, dentists, car mechanics, hair stylists, etc. So far I am 2 for 2 in finding great people to take care of me. The doctor is a University of Wisconsin @ Madison graduate and she's young, so I should be able to have her for a long time.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Family Visits

Angie and Emily, Megan and Owen were here for a visit on Saturday after they did some Christmas shopping in Rice Lake. Lois was along as well. We had take out chicken dinner and it was fun to see them all.

The kitties were good and I was glad to see that they were not frightened if the little ones.

Dad arrived yesterday to stay the night and now he and Ev will head back to Iowa. Depending on the weather today, they might stop at Glenn's in Spring Valley for tonight. It's snowing lightly now, but I don't think that is supposed to last or accumulate. Famous last words perhaps.

We got into the maps looking at all the lakes up north near Minoqua after seeing it on a TV show called "In Wisconsin".

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Christmas in Rice Lake

Since my step Mom was here visiting, I decided to go ahead and get the Christmas decorations up. My little tree and german village is nice next to the fireplace. The village is anchored by a brewery and grist mill. I don't have the malthouse yet, but I found it on eBay and it should be arriving soon. I have that brewing stuff in my blood I guess.
I put some lights around the deck door too and am planning some lit garland & red bows for the deck. The weather is pretty nice and it won't stay that way forever, so I want to get the outside decorating done on Friday.

Ruby Anna

On Thursday I had a visit with my Great Niece Ruby Anna. She's growing up so fast. She was born the day after I moved to Rice Lake.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Ev (my step mom for those of you who don't know) came back to Rice Lake with me on Saturday. Dad is hunting at the cabin with the boys and we are over here enjoying a visit. We have had lots of nice mornings over coffee to visit. The kitties are curious about her and keep checking her out when she's in the bedroom. Today Gus & Dad came over and we all had lunch together and then Ev and I did shopping for Thanksgiving treats that we will make.
Thanksgiving is to be at the cabin. About 22 or more will be there, all J's. That will be something!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I couldn't resist

I thought this was the cutest picture...my niece Kaija's daughters and husband. You can tell that Mike loves these little piggies alot, look at that smile!

I'm Baaack

Well, a week flew away from me. I caught some bug that had me down for the count for a whole week. The kitties were in charge and as you can see, they took it quite seriously!

Now that I am back on the grid, I'm trying to catch up on emails and life. This weekend is a big deal in Wisconsin, the opening weekend of Deer Hunting. It is the annual sacred event. Dad and Ev are coming back up from Iowa so Dad can be at 'the hunting shack' with all the boys. We girls will find some shopping to do. So for the next 2 weeks, it'll be busy around here. Ev will be coming here to Rice Lake to spend 3-4 nights with me and we are looking forward to scouting out the town. I don't think we'll be going to the 'hunter's widows' happy hours or male stripper nights, but who knows!

Our temperature this a.m. was 12 degrees, I heard Denver was in the mid 70's. Wow, what a country.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Roller Coaster

Well, this past week has been quite the roller coaster. I adopted the kitties on Saturday, 1st. On Thursday, the 6th, they both were spayed. I brought them home again on Friday the 7th. On the evening of the 8th I noticed that Barley's incision looked funky so off to the Vet we went. After an antibiotic shot we were back home again. On Sunday, I notied that Hops' incision was looking like it was now getting infected. So, off the Vet on Sunday morning. Today, both incisions look better, the Vet suspects the girls might have been allergic or at least reacted to, the suture material that was used. At any rate, they are both doing much better now.
In the mix of all this great fun, I came down with a wicked cold so spent Sunday evening and most of Monday on the couch / sickbed.
Hopefully more interesting postings will follow.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Drew Carey & Bob Barker Would Be Proud

The kitties are home from the Vet, they had their "major" surgeries, so now they won't be contributing to the over population of cats on the planet. They seem like they did really well and their scars are minimal due to the new laser surgery equipment used by the Barron Vet.
I'm getting into this bird watching deal, I had a downy woodpecker at the feeder this morning and lots of chickadees on and off all day. Barley is kind of into it too!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's a good day for birds, cats and America

I had a return visit from the female cardinal this morning, she sat at the feeder quite awhile. If she would just come around to the front of the house she would find a platform feeder much more to her liking.

Just a little later, I looked out the kitchen window and saw both male and female cardinals checking out my yard. I hope they will move in for the winter so I can get some better photos.

Barley has settled into this house nicely and she loves to lounge in front of the door to the deck. I'm not sure what she is watching but I'm sure it is important work she is doing.
Here's the game....one hides inside the blind and the other pounds on all the slats. Makes a ton of noise and evidently is great fun.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Morning

We had quiet night, the cats have already settled in. I'll try not to bore you with too many cat updates, but here is a short video and a nice pic of the two of them enjoying Sunday morning on the couch.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Later that same evening

I finally opened the door to my bedroom after the cats had time to get used to the rest of the house. What do you think? Doesn't it look like they own the joint? Figures!
Barley on the left & Hops on the right.

Room Mates!!

Today I adopted two 4 month old female kittens. They are sisters and real nice cats. One is named Barley and the other Hops. Seriously, what else could I do.



So far, they have been quite mellow. Not sure if that is because they had shots right before we left the shelter, or if they are just as happy to snuggle in the cat carrier which is in the laundry room. Tonight they are starting to explore the house a little more.

Hops on the left and Barley on the right in both of these photos.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Action

Well, I'm not expecting many, if any, trick or treaters tonight, but I did have some little ones at the feeder today.

A new edition, make that ADDition

Big news here, I'm going to be a Great Aunt!

I have to admit, this is not the first time, in fact...when the new baby comes in May of 2009...I will be Great Aunt for the 20th time.

Kaija and Mike are expecting a baby in May. They have Charli and Milli who will be big sisters to the new babe.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

They're Here

The birds are starting to come to my feeders, yippee!!

I've been hoping to see some feathered friends, but it has taken a little while for the word to spread about free food in my backyard.

Today I had several Chickadees, a few dark eyed Juncos, a blue Jay and most exciting.................a female Cardinal.
Some of you know how jealous I've been of my Wisconsin friends and relatives when they have cardinals at their feeders in the winter. I got pretty excited when I saw that female cardinal in the tree today.
My priorities sure have changed since retirement!

The following are not my photos, but I am hopeful to take a few as the birds get used to me.


Dark Eyed Junco

Blue Jay

Female Cardinal

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Iowa & Anders

The trip to Iowa was great. Nice visit with Aunt Johanne & Uncle Thorvald, Uncle Chris & Mary Riber and fun staying with Dad & Ev for 3 nights. Lois and I even squeezed in a little shopping, both for cross stitch stuff in Des Moines and Amish baskets in Clarion, IA.

The unexpected route home includes a stay tonight in Durand to help Kris take care of Anders. Lora has an infection of her intestine and there was an ER visit in the middle of the night for Kris, Lora & Anders. These infections are becoming more common after post surgery antibiotics. Lora will be in the hospital for at least tonight so Lois has been tending Anders and I've been doing other minor house chores to stay busy. I'm not sure if we will go home tomorrow or Tuesday.
Here is a short video of Anders that I took on November 27th, 2008. He's a cutie. Even better, his Mom is back home from the hospital and feeling better!


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