Thursday, April 30, 2009

A simple shelf made a big difference

Before
Glenn made a shelf for me to help organized the TV, cable box, DVD player and Wii. Here is the before and after, I JUST LOVE IT!!

After, MUCH BETTER

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Garden - The Beginning

Today I worked on building a frame for a raised bed garden. It's not perfect, but I think it will work well for me. Friends, Terry & Patti Mattson, are helping me get started and will be bringing some dirt over to fill my frame sometime soon. It felt good to be out in shorts and tee shirt in the sun today!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cat Puzzle

Don't think I have posted any kitty pictures for awhile, in an attempt to veer away from being 'the cat lady' in Rice Lake. But this one tickles me, it is tricky to see which parts go with which cat. They are so sweet when they are sleeping, and still little trouble makers the rest of the time!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Surprise Sunday Phone Call

Lois stayed overnight here in Rice Lake on Saturday night. We were not our usual selves though, we ate dinner @ Adventures and were home in our jammies watching TV & stitching by 8 O'clock. We had wanted to eat at Applebee's but it was Rice Lake Prom Night, so the restaurant was full of young couples. We ended up at Adventures next to a long table of high school girls in pretty dresses and boys who were all (mostly) decked out. It was interesting to see the colors and styles. (Translates to "We are old")


Sunday morning, we were having coffee and chatting when my cell phone rang. I had Lois answer since I had a call at the same time on the land line. It was my great niece Stella (she will be 3 in August). She had told her Mom, Heather, that she wanted to call her Aunt Wanda. It was a little confusing for Stella that her Grandma Lois answered the phone. But after she chatted with her grandma for a few minutes I got on the phone. Stella wanted to tell me that she wanted to come and visit me at my house. She chatted quite a bit before saying goodbye and "I love you".
This is a major turn around :-D, Stella has been slowly warming up to me since I moved here. Maybe last weekend made a difference as I spent a day with Lois and Stella & Ruby.


It rained nicely, off and on, most of today, but the birds have still been busy at the feeders. The gold finches are so brightly yellow now. What a treat.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My little buddy

Nephew Kris and his son, Anders, arrived Friday afternoon with the idea that they would help me plant the 75 trees that I purchased from Barron County and had picked up that morning. But, after realizing I needed to have my utilities marked before starting to dig, we were forced to enjoy the day visiting. Kris and a friend attended an event with a local author, Michael Perry (www.sneezingcow.com - check it out), while I hung out with Anders and watched the Rockies game in the evening. Saturday morning, Grandma Lois came over and spent some time with us.


Anders is busier now, reaching for everything, especially the stuff you don't want him to have...


but still falls asleep like a little angel!

One crash into the coffee table was cause for a sad baby. His Grandma took good care of him though.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waxwings

This morning I had a flock of Cedar Waxwings in my maple tree outside the bedroom window. What a sight! They were too high in the tree for me to get a good photo, more ammo for me to think I need a digital camera with big time zoom lens! I found this photo on the net.

I also had the male cardinal flitting around. He's been spending some time back in the brush pile that Ryan and I made when we cut down the trees last week. In fact, that brush pile has been a busy intersection of birds coming and going, perfect way to encourage more activity in my yard, thanks Ryan!


http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cedar_Waxwing/id

Behavior
Cedar Waxwings are social birds that you’re likely to see in flocks year-round. They sit in fruiting trees swallowing berries whole, or pluck them in mid-air with a brief fluttering hover. They also course over water for insects, flying like tubby, slightly clumsy swallows.

Adult
Black mask and chin
Brown head and chest
Yellow wash across belly
White undertail
Yellow tail tip

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jake's Snakee First Birthday

Today was Jake's 1st birthday and it was a nice party. He REALLY enjoyed his cake.

Yep, there was a theme...Jake the Snake cake. There were gummy worms to eat, rubber snakes on the walk leading to the house, and lots of stuffed animal snakes for the kids to play with.

He's such a mellow little boy. But he didn't waste anytime getting serious about eating his cake!


video

Jake is getting into his cake while Grandpa keeps an eye on him.

Sometimes a boy just needs a bath after a good chunk of cake. Mommy Erin helped him get cleaned up so he could enjoy the rest of the party.

All cleaned up again and wearing one of his presents, Jake is giving Aunt Michelle some of his time.
Dana & Jake...some nuts don't fall far from the tree.

Maple Madness

It's been really interesting to learn about the maple syrup business in Northern Wisconsin. By most accounts, it has been a record year for maple sap collection in this area. Anyone with maple trees, a bucket and a drill can collect sap. Some are quite simple operations with a metal bucket hanging below a v-shaped piece of metal which has been driven into the tree, while others involve many feet of hose / pipeline running from tree to tree and finally into a larger collection tank. Once the sap is collected and boiled into syrup, in my opinion, there is nothing sweeter.

My own maple trees are not the kind for sap collection, but they are about to start producing the leaves that made for a spectacular fall last year. Here is the first step in that leafing out process.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

oh, and one other minor item

I have a signed contract on my Arvada house....dance of joy!!

He's got lots to say

Anders and I have had a fun day. The weather was nice so we got out for a stroller walk and then later went for a front pack walk to check out the local garage sales. video

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lumberjack...NOT


Before
Today my nephew Ryan came over and took down about 5 trees for me. I had 3 large elms and a few small elms that needed to go. They were not nice trees and prone to disease, plus my yard needed a little more sunshine and some of the other trees needed a little room to spread out.


After
Ryan is a master at the chain saw and very much a perfectionist. Once I figured out to just listen to his advice, it all turned out really great. Ryan took home the wood for his burner and I have a couple of nice brush piles in the woods for the wildlife to use as habitat.

Elliana came along for the day, she was so good and entertained herself watching a movie and petting the kitties. When we were all done, we went to McDonald's for lunch and she got a fun toy in her Happy Meal.
I'm not sure I'll be able to lift my arms tomorrow!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Drive about

On Monday afternoon I had to go to the Post Office (yes I was mailing my taxes). From there I decided to have lunch by Rice Lake so got one of the yummy Chicago Dogs and watched the birds while I ate. Most of the ice is off the lake. Lots of birds and a couple of sets of Loons were calling back and forth. Get out your magnifying glasses, there is a loon is this picture.

Then I took the Red Sled for a drive exploring some areas new to me. I found the 9 hole golf course, Lynndale's. It's a short 9 hole course that has only been open since 2002. They have a Tuesday afternoon Ladie's League and I gave the club house my name so they will contact me when the have the first meeting scheduled. I can play 9 holes on Monday & Tuesday for $10 because I am a Senior! (Over 50)


From the golf course I drove along the Rice Lake shores and found 2 more parks. My last stop was at the Stein Street boat landing / park. There is a tall platform that was designed for Osprey nesting. I can't see any activity there yet, but will have to keep an eye out for any progress in nest building.
I have lots of exploring to do now that the weather is nice.
By the way, I'm still mad about the bears wrecking my bird feeders! But I am really happy because I finally have an offer on my Arvada house. Hopefully we have a signed contract before the end of the week.

This could be problematic

Something !BEARS! pulled over my bird feeder last night !BEARS! The feeder in the front yard was tipped over a couple days ago. !BEARS! This morning both front and back feeders were down.!BEARS!

CRAP!

Now I have to start the fun of taking in the bird feeders everynight or face destruction every morning. At least this takes the heat off the cats, I am usually getting up in the morning to see what they have been into overnight, now they have been upstaged.

Bear Distribution in 2004
Image from http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/ce/eek/critter/mammal/beardist.htm
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bear Distribution Now

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Eagle

I had a nice Easter Day, started out at Larry & Lois's in Luck with the whole family there except for Kris & family. Lots of very tasty food and ice cream cake for dessert and to celebrate birthdays.

On the way back to Rice Lake from Luck, I stopped in at the Loyas's. Mark and Krista and family were there as well as the rest of the Loyas family. I got there in time for dessert. Now I am full! Is it too late for a nap?

On the way home to my house from the Loyas's, I saw this Eagle perched on a branch and some crows were not happy about it. He seems unconcerned.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Great Escape

What started as a trip outside to take a picture of my cutest ever bird house on it's new pole.....

Ended up as.....an interesting afternoon. I went out the front door to take a picture of the new birdhouse and was messing around out there for awhile with the inside door open and the storm door closed. Normally, when I come up to the door, the cats, if they are sitting there, will scatter. They never get to go outside, 100% indoor kitties.

O No, not today!

Barley bolted right out the door and I was not quick enough to catch her on the step. So, after a short run around the back of the house, she darted under the front step/porch.

She was really insterested in all the smells under there and had to roll over in the old leaves a few times. For awhile she hunkered down and I was starting to wonder if I was going to be able to out wait her.

So, for at least a half hour, or more who knows, I had to lay on the cement trying to coach her back out of there. Wow.

Of course I could not walk away (was afraid she would bolt into the woods) to get anything to assist to get her out, just had to wait until she was done exploring.

Finally I used the strap of my camera (which I had in my hand when she made the break) to tease her out. Good grief. She's back in the house now and her owner is MUCH smarter about coming and going out of the house.

The bird house sure is cute on that pole though, I won the bird house at the auction last weekend at the smelt fry. Of course Barley is already sound asleep, (after Hops gave her a major bath) that escape stuff is so exhausting!

Tell me about it!

Friday, April 10, 2009

2 things

  1. The gold finches have on their mating uniforms!
  2. And the Colorado Rockies have on their opening day uniforms.

    The finches have mostly molted off those old drab colors and are ready to find a date!

The Rockies have started off strong with 3 out of 4 wins and I have a set up in the living room so that I can watch via the computer cabled into the TV. Life is Good.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's a sign

Well, there are definite signs of spring now! A tinge of green in the grass and the moss around the base of the trees turning nice bright yellowish green.





Today I hung up birdhouses in the back yard. I got them from a local craft fair birdhouse maker. Nice cedar houses. Most have a larger hole for bluebirds and the like and one has a small hole for the wrens only. I got them on the trees and then about 10 minutes later went to take a picture for the blog. I was surprised to see that I already had tenants. While I stood in the yard I saw Chickadees go in and out of every one of the houses. They even fussed around by the wren house, but they are too big to fit in.

This morning I cracked open the sliding door to the deck about 4 inches. I turned my back and Barley was quickly up to her usual tricks. She had squeezed out and was between the door and the screen. Planning her escape no doubt!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Break A Leg

Flashing back....39 years ago today, I fell and suffered a spiral fracture of both my left tibia & fibula skiing at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado. I was skiing with Rochelle & ?Gail Felland? It turned into 9 months in a long leg cast, what a deal. Good thing I was young, probably wouldn't survive it now.

Gotta love the internet


Today I signed up for MLB.TV on the internet. I can watch most of the MLB games live from my computer for about $10/month, how sweet is that! So, today I watched the Colorado Rockies opening game at Arizona, and by way of an 'S' cable, I hooked the feed up to my TV and enjoyed the game on the big screen.

I had been thinking I'd have to follow either the Brewers or the Twins, but now I throw the Rox in that mix. I'm ready for baseball! Too bad the Rox lost today, but lots of homers, that might be a good sign for the rest of the season.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Is it bait? or dinner?

On Saturday night I was in Luck, WI for the EMT / Fire Department Smelt Fry & Auction. This is an annual fund raising event that brings a good crowd.

Wikipedia says that Smelts are a family, Osmeridae, of small fish common in the North American Great Lakes, and run in large schools along the coastline during their spring migration to their spawning streams.
It is one of the few fish that sportsmen are allowed to net, using dip nets, either along the coastline or in the streams. Smelt are often fried and eaten whole.


Yep, french fried and eaten whole, bones and all. Yeah, the heads and guts are gone, but that's it. You get a plate of smelt, cole slaw, beans and a roll (I think that's in case you get the bones caught in your throat, but I'm not sure.) They sell tap beer (Miller Lite) of course and some other beverages. All of the picnic tables that filled the fire station were full of locals, enjoying this delicacy.

I found this picture on another blog on the internet, it's sort of weird to think that more than one of us are writing about smelt, isn't it?

After the meal, an auction of donated items is fun. I won 2 home made bird houses, 2 pints of home made salsa (and a bag of chips), and a sweatshirt from a local bar. I was bidding like crazy on a beautiful quilt, but once the bid was $250, I bailed out. It was a beauty and probably worth much more than $250, but my wallet was having a heart attack, so had to quit.

Sure was fun, oh, and I am not supposed to say that Lois and I stayed out until about 1:30 a.m. We ran into 2 of her classmates and their wives, visited until the fire hall was about empty and then decided to stop downtown at The Hog for a nightcap. I was glad to have a Coors Light to wash down all that other stuff.

It was fun, even though I was hanging out with the 'older' kids.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sneak Preview

Here's what I have been holding today. More to come when I get home on Saturday.

video

REAL tough duty today

Little Boy Anders


Anders is changing so fast, not so much baby, more little boy now.
He's much fun in the tub! Check out the video.

video

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Can you spell Waumandee?

On Thursday, 4/2, I went to Waumandee to visit Betty Rosenow (Roche & LeAnna's Mom). We had a nice visit and then went to lunch at the Waumandee IGA Store Cafe. We met Betty's brothers there, LeRoy & Dale. What a hoot. We got laughing and visiting and I totally forgot to have someone take our picture...next time.




After lunch, on the way from Waumandee to Durand, I saw this farm scene and just thought it was classic Wisconsin. Holsteins on the hillside and all. WI Hwy 88 just before you get to Laehn Ridge Rd. and after Armor Balk’s and the farm in the picture is David Bauer just before you go up and over the hill towards Gilmanton. This part of Wisconsin is full of valleys and ridges, left behind my the glaciers I guess.

From nephew Kris, who knows stuff like this....Here is your Wisconsin geology lesson for the day. I read on your blog: "This part of Wisconsin is full of valleys and ridges, left behind my the glaciers I guess." This part of WI actually was not part of the last glacial advance/retreat. As such, the landscape was not flattened like the rest of the state. The SW part of WI is usually referred to as the "driftless area." So there you go, you learned something today.

Driving in reminds me of mountain driving.


Bremer’s dug way (Cty Rd U).

I also saw this sign. I got a kick out it, it really says all you need to know about voting doesn't it?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Fault

Well, it's my fault that we are getting snow today, yesterday I started thinking seriously about a garden, I even had a conversation with Terry Mattson about helping me get started. So...I should have known, and today we have snow.


Some little feathered friend had been walking around between the house and the garage this morning. Must be cold on their little feet.
Just a quick picture of the girls from yesterday, Barley on the left, Hops on the right. They are so sweet in the evening, but at about 4am, something happens and they turn into Lucy & Ethel. I never know what to expect when I open the bedroom door in the morning, usually something needs to be cleaned up and picked up.

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