Thursday, July 30, 2009

Solo in the Sand

Last night I spent my first night solo at the Sand Castle. The Castle is our rustic cabin near Gordon, WI. I went up yesterday to stain the new siding and then stayed overnight so I could be there this morning when the propane company brought our propane tank.
I also did a few little jobs, like put a new toilet seat in the Outhouse. Speaking of outhouse, I was sitting there this morning, in my jammies, with the door open...I mean NO cars go by on our road on a weekday, and it was an hour until the propane guys were supposed to show....and I thought heard a truck, then I saw the truck, then I saw the guy hop out of the truck and I was scrambling to get my pants up. I was probably pretty red faced when I came blasting out of the Out House to greet the 2 Propane guys.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

. . . . Andy's Unit Receives Recognition . . . .

Captain Andrew Johansen in Iraq
In a U.S. Army that prides itself as being the finest fighting force in the world, an Eau Claire-based unit has been recognized as the best of the best.
The 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry, currently serving in Iraq as part of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, recently was selected as the top battalion in the nation's National Guard, the military announced Monday.
The battalion will receive the Walter T. Kerwin Jr. Award for Readiness and Training as the outstanding National Guard unit for 2009. The award, given to one battalion each year, will be presented in October at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army in Washington, D.C. An award ceremony also is planned in Iraq.
"It's a huge honor," said Maj. Dan Walsh of Eau Claire, rear detachment commander for the 128th. "The families should be very proud and reassured that these soldiers who are serving overseas are serving among the best."
The battalion is about midway through a one-year mobilization that began in February. Its mission involves training Iraqi corrections officials to run their own corrections facilities.

Click here for the entire story: Eau Claire unit named top National Guard battalion -

Monday, July 27, 2009

Brownies are good

Yesterday, 2 neighbors stopped for a visit. Samantha is 12 and her brother is 10, they brought me a plate of delicious brownies as a housewarming present. They were walking their dog, a standard poodle, named Raynna. We had a nice long visit and they are willing to take care of my kitties if I have to be out of town, so that is good. It was the first housewarming visit from any of the neighbors and quite delightful. (I had talked to their Mom one morning as she was walking by the driveway.)

Today, I tried to add some supports for my tomato plants in the raised bed garden, never thought I'd be complaining that the tomato plants are too big, but they bent the tomato cages right over to the ground!! Crazy. I harvested about 5 cucumbers today and half dozen cherry tomatoes.

This dirt came from Terry & Patti Mattson's farm, I guess it is good tomato dirt!!

A couple of volunteer sunflowers came up near the house, I am guessing that the squirrels planted those!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sandy Weekend

I spent Thursday and Friday nights at the Sand Castle with Kris and Lora & Anders. It was a work weekend, new siding on the back of the cabin, lots of rearranging inside the cabin, good food, and wonderful campfires. Sure was a fun weekend.

Anders seems to really like it up there and had fun at the campfire.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Anders and the girls

Kris and Lora stopped on their way Up North to the Sand Castle, and after dinner and a beer, we all realized it made better sense for them to stay overnight here and then head up to the Castle in the early morning.

Anders came dressed to accessorize the new deck furniture, so silly how his shirt matched the fabric.

It was a first to have Annie & Greta here. Barley hid under the bed even when the dogs were outside, but Hops lounged around in front of the deck door flirting with them. I locked the kitties in my end of the house for the night, which was very confusing for them but we survived the night.
Greta and Annie
Kris and the dogs left very early to get Up North and start the work, Lora, Anders and I will follow on a more civilized schedule.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Time for a little garden update

Balsam Firs that I planted in April are doing well.

The tomatoes are going nutz, it's a jungle.

Time to add to the raised bed garden. The cutting is done.

A new design and better construction...I'm learning.

Now I just need dirt. Probably too late to plant anything, but I'll be ready for next year.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Babies grow up too fast

Being this close to the kids, I really see how the babies grow up too fast. I get it now.

I spent the night at Kris & Lora's last night so I could babysit Anders while they went to a wedding. He's getting to be such a little boy now, not so much a baby.

He is so interested in everything that is going on.

He eats really good and seems to like almost everything.

So serious about his toys.

And gets so tickled.

and looks a little like his Daddy did in this picture taken about 32 years ago.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Erickson's Gardens, Like Wow Man!

Gary & Mary Erickson have been planting flower gardens for about 10 years. Their son, Todd, died in a car accident in 1999 and the gardens started with this small circle of perennials. It is a beautiful memorial and a community delight!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Visitors from Out West

Laila and Scott spent 3 nights at Gus's cabin in the Barrens and we had some good visits. On Sunday, Glenn & Kathy and Gus & Lois were at the cabin for dinner. Alyxis was along too so she took this nice picture for me.

Glenn, Laila, Valdemar, Wanda, Lois, Ev, Gus, Kathy

We had other visitors too. This lovely lady stopped by on Monday evening.

This little turkey hung around for awhile on Tuesday morning. Very fun to watch her jump up on the watering trough and balance there while she took a drink of water (and took a poop too).

And then preened and got pretty.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Motorcycle Man

Owen turned 2 on Friday. He LOVES motorcycles and this yellow Indian replica, was a serious big deal to him.

It looked like Christmas, he was very anxious to ride the cycle, and didn't get that 'some assembly was required'.

Two candles.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Long Beds

It was a lazy morning around here and then lots of activity got going after lunch.
I put stakes in the ground to mark the dimensions of the new deck that will soon be built outside the front door. Ronnie and Roger Petersen have agreed to build it, now I need to get the lumber delivered and all the permits properly filed.
I had decided to replace the valves in the tanks on the toilets and started with the guest bathroom this afternoon, and as any good plumbing project goes, everything leaked, so needed to go to Menards to get some new gaskets. Will get to work on that again tomorrow....
Tonight I met Lora and Anders for supper in Eau Claire and then we went to a concert in Phoenix Park. The band was The Longbeds. A local group led my a local author, Mike Perry. More info on his books and the band at

Michael Perry and the Long Beds

Anders seemed to get into the music for quite awhile but then.....

it was time for a snooze.
On the way home, I had a near miss with 5 or 6 raccoons who decided to cross the county road in front of my car. It scared me, but scared them worse. As I drove past the little family, I could see the little ones were scared to death and hunkered down close to the pavement. As much as I am no raccoon fan, I didn't like the feeling of those little ones being so frightened either. Geesh.
I got home in time to see the last few innings of the Rockies game on MLB.TV, what a treat. How about those Rockies!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Sandy Fourth

Wanda & Lora in the very cool glasses while Anders chills out.

I spent the 4th of July at our Sand Castle cabin Up North in Gordon Township with my nephew Kris and his wife Lora and my buddy Anders. It was so nice up there, perfect weather. This cabin is rustic in that there is no electricity or plumbing, but...we have a very nice propane set up with fridge, stove and lights off a small tank, not to mention a hot water maker for showers. We even have an indoor porta potty for nighttime trips. Pretty sweet!
Anders and Dad hanging out.

Anders tries out the cool shades.

Thanks Mary Jo and Craig for your hospitality. It is so nice to have friends close to the Sand Castle!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Colorado Visit

Roche was here for lunch on the 4th with her Mom (Betty) and Uncle Dale. It was great to see her and it was her first visit to Rice Lake. I was so silly and did not take one picture, geesh! Check me into the ER! Something is wrong. Anyway, it was nice to show Roche my cool digs and altho the kitties were deep into their nap time, she got to see them a bit. Hopefully she'll come back for a longer visit soon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Personal Shopper

Today I was a 'personal shopper'. Friends in Luck, Terry & Patti, needed canning jars from Farm and Fleet. Dad & Ev needed marigolds to try to scare off the deer so that they don't eat all the hostas. Dad had ordered some shoes that were mailed to my house. So, all of that added up to a trip to Luck. It was a nice day for a drive and I had a beer with Terry & then another with the folks at the cabin before I drove home.

I saw this beauty just West of Cushing on Highway 87.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I got to see Jack play baseball on Tuesday evening.
He's a lefty pitcher with amazing passion for sports and he's only 9.

After the game, I was at Kyle & Heather's house and The Brewer's were on TV, Jack was practically doing the play by play of the game, he knows all the players and easily kept up with the progress of the game. He told me that he loves to play basketball more than baseball, but he loves to watch baseball on TV more than basketball. It sure will be fun to watch him grow up and see what else Jack will be passionate about.


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