Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apple Festival with Terry and Janet

I forgot to post these pictures from our visit to the Leinenkugel's Brewery and the Baker Orchard Apple Fest. It was interesting to see how the orchard trees are pruned as I am working on my own apple trees and learning as I go.

One of the Baker Orchard trees

Janet found a beer she liked, of course it had Raspberries in it...and you know who puts raspberries in beer don't you? Satan of course.

Terry & Janet at Leinie's

The apple fest was fun, lots of good art and some very unique live entertainment and delicious lunch.

This girl had cat ears on her head and quite an eclectic look. I'm pretty sure that they were driving the VW bus with Love painted on the side. I love when people stick with what they are passionate about.

The inside of the barn was very awesome, you can see the original building techniques.
The old barn has been restored inside and out which this picture does not show well at all.

The Cafe Wren from Luck was serving lunch and it was yummy.

I'm not sure what this bush of flowers is called, but I want to plant one in my yard next summer.

Cabins, Apples, No photos

I wanted to show Terry & Janet some of the spots I've talked about over the years, so we went for a drive. First stop was at Big Moon Lake to see Glenn & Kathy's cottage there. A loon did a swim by while we were standing looking at the lake.
From Big Moon, we drove to Centuria and attended an apple festival at Baker Orchard. The food was yummy (Cafe Wren out of Luck), many artists there and I was tempted more than once, in the end all I bought was a 1/2 peck of Liberty apples. Delicious!
Our next stop was Luhrs/Bjornson Art Works in St. Croix Falls. I ordered a pottery colander from Leif. I also got a nice coffee mug. I love their store with the potters wheel right there.
The drive down The River Road to Sterling Township was pretty. The leaves are not staying on the trees too long so the river was more visible. Terry and Janet enjoyed seeing Gus & Lois's cabin in The Barrens. Terry heard me talk about our Cabin Christmas gatherings during all the years we worked together at Coors.
Our last stop was Luck. Of course I blabbed about Luck while I lived Out West, so Terry and Janet were interested to see what the town looked like. I was sad that the Park Avenue leaves have not really changed yet. We made a quick stop at Gus & Lois's and then headed to Rice Lake for Sunday leftovers supper. The leaves along the way are really pretty and I didn't take a single picture.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

From Coors to Leinenkugel's

My Colorado friends, Terry and Janet, arrived Friday afternoon. We had lunch and visited and they got settled in for their visit. Of course we had a few beers in the afternoon and then (my favorite) Papa Murphy's for supper. It is so much fun to have Colorado friends here in Rice Lake, WI!! Terry and I worked together at Coors Brewing Company in Golden, Colorado for about 15 years.
Today (Saturday) we took a drive to Chippewa Falls to visit the Leinenkugel's brewery. Much to our surprise, when we arrived at 1pm the next tour we could fit into was not until 4pm, so we had our 2 free beers and then shopped in the gift shop. Terry added a tap handle to his collection, it's a sweet little canoe!

On the way to Rice Lake from Chippewa, we took back roads and near Jim Falls, ran across a closed bridge. These pictures of a part of the Chippewa River that is dammed but 4 times a year they release for white water. I want to try to get back there when that happens. I saved the location in my GPS memory.

Terry & Janet

The leaves are starting to look great!

Once home, Terry & Janet took over for dinner. Terry grilled chicken...okay the skin was a little 'caramelized' but it was very yummy! Great fun. We had our own mini Great American Beer Fest and tried several flavors of Leinie's as well as the Viking Brewery Vienna Style Pilsner.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The J Boys and a Wisconsin Roadside Sculpture?

On Tuesday evening Dana called and asked if I could do a huge favor. Their day care provided called them at 8pm and said she couldn't take the boys in Wednesday because she was sick. So...Wednesday morning I got up early and drove to Baldwin and spent the day with Jake (1) and Jackson (4).
Jackson was not very excited to have his photo taken, he liked to make funny faces, but that didn't stop me. Someday (in about 14 years) he'll love seeing some of these pictures on his graduation slide show!

I was nervous I might not be able to handle both boys, but it was a hoot. Jackson and I did some coloring while Jake was napping. Jackson wanted to know if I color when I am at home.

He also told me I was silly, like his Grandpa Glenn. Not sure what that means. The boys are well behaved, probably more so with someone they don't know that well. We watched part of a Star Wars movie, Jackson is an expert on Star Wars. He knows all the characters and whether they are 'good guys' or 'bad guys'. He also loves to show me how STRONG he is.

One nice thing about rapid fire shutter is that occasionally you catch a cute smile whether the little boy likes it or not.

After his nap, Jake had a snack of a few raisins,

then read a little book.

Later he showed off his throwing arm. Maybe the U of W will want this photo some day when he is a star quarterback?

He does that pump thing before he throws...too much Brett Favre?

If there was a team called the Zebras, I might think we had a real prediction for the future going here.

Driving home from Baldwin, I saw this chain saw carving in the yard of a lake house. I'm not sure about this one.

From the other side you can't see the jaws and it doesn't really look like a fish, but looks a lot like a 10 ft tall body part. Weird.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Anders for a day

Kris is hunting in the Dakota's, Lora had class after work, Anders needed some company on Monday. I went and stayed overnight Sunday and then Anders and I spent the day together. He's getting to be so independent, thought he should feed himself the applesauce, and thought it was funny when I 'helped' him by holding the spoon too.

After his nap, Anders and I went for a drive from Durand to Waumandee. We passed this old barn and I thought it was a classic. I have decided to stop when I see a scene I'd like to capture, I had been thinking about stopping on Hwy 53 on the way to Eau Claire to take a photo of an old barn there that was missing the shingles and had an interesting lattice look roof, well I waited to long and noticed this past week that it down now.
Betty did not know we were coming, I didn't call in case we had changed our minds while driving down. She was at Paul's feeding cats when we got there, so Anders and I waited on the front porch and caught her by surprise.

Betty was anxious to find a toy for Anders, so this little car is something she has held onto. LeAnna gave it to Jake for Christmas one year as a funny. LeAnna had asked her Dad what he wanted for Christmas, and he replied that a new car would be nice. Anders really liked it, just big enough to scoot it on the tray of his stroller.

I guess the trip to Waumandee was pretty exhausting, Anders had a nice nap on the way home.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Holy Peacock

Friday afternoon I was napping on the couch recovering from my dental procedure. I got up to get a drink of water at the kitchen sink, looked out the window and saw a full grown peacock.

Needless to say, I sprinted for the camera. He didn't seem too bothered about anything, and I took several pictures while I was noodling on where he belonged. It didn't take long before I figured out that he probably was 'on the lam' from the petting zoo at The Produce Patch which is in full swing across the road. I called them and they said it was theirs and they would send a crew to capture the escapee.

They nearly got him into a net when he landed on the railing on the back deck, but he eluded capture and headed for the roof of my garage.

He got pretty scared when they tried to net him as he flew up to the garage roof, so he pooped. This is wicked poop. Looks like black tar. We can be very glad that Peacocks are not flying overhead!

Once he was on the garage roof, he settled down. I suppose he thought that he was safe. But, after borrowing my ladder, the Peacock Team was able to move him along, again, hoping to snag him in a net. You can see a glimmer of the netting in this photo.

After much chaos, the bird escaped. I did get a few nice photos of him though. At last report, he was headed North into a marshy field area. The Produce Patch folks are hoping he'll stay close as the hen and chicks are living in the petting zoo, he's been 'on the lam' for 3 days. I just hope he manages to cross County Road SS safely and get back to his family. He's not suited to survive in the Wisconsin woods.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Healing Fields

Today I visited the Healing Field, a demonstration to draw attention to child abuse. 1400 flags are set up every morning, representing the 1400 children that have died each year in the United States due to child abuse. 17 Wisconsin flags represent the children from Wisconsin. It was a stunning display to see 1400 represented with US Flags, each with either a pink or blue ribbon attached to indicate a boy or a girl who had died.

One of the volunteers offered to walk the field with me. She had a personal story of a nephew that was shaken by a nanny as a baby and is permanently disabled. It was very moving to walk through the flags and see the pink or blue ribbon.

It was totally by accident that I stopped at this display. I was on the way home after my dental procedure, saw the flags and stopped to see what it was about. Very impressive and the volunteers there were very nice and dedicated to their cause. All 1400 flags will be taken down tonight and reset in the morning.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bonus Relatives, Big Hairy Caterpillers, Blasted Tooth

Moving back to Wisconsin has not only brought me closer to all the J's, but also some cousins on my Mom's side. My Grandmother was a sister to their mother, so we are first cousins once removed. Tonight I had dinner with the 4 brothers and wives and it was a blast. First we had a nice pontoon boat ride on the lake in front of their house and then we had great visiting, cocktails and yummy dinner. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next time.
I found this little guy on the back deck, he's got such great hair! Turns out he turns into a very pretty moth, but have not seen the moth yet.
Friday I am making an unplanned trip to Eau Claire. I saw the endodontist today and I need to have some oral surgery to remove an abscess from my front tooth so have an appointment in the morning, now doesn't that sound like great fun? I hope I feel good enough after to make a stop at Joann's Fabrics and Crafts, have not been there since Denver. I must need something.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Seabees, Sensational Cars, Statistic?

I spent the weekend in Moline, IL with the 62nd Battalion of the Navy Seabees, WWII, Iwo Jima survivors. This is Dad's group of fellow Seabees. It was fun as usual. Only 6 veterans were able to come but there were about 35 or so of us with all the second generation family and friends.

Glenn and I drove down together and it was a beautiful drive. The SW part of Wisconsin is such pretty farmland and rolling hills and bluffs from the lack of glacier activity there. This Grotto in the town of Dickeyville was really interesting, somebody spent a LOT of time on this.

Saturday afternoon in Davenport, IA, we visited a private car collection owned by the Dahl Family. Quite the display of vehicles and only open to special invited guests, so it was a fun opportunity.

You had to love these cars even if you don't really care too much about cars.

The drive home was long, pretty, but long. I got home about 10pm after dropping Glenn off in Spring Valley. The prima dona kitties were glad to see me and I was happy to be safely home.


I was wondering what the statistics are about hitting a deer on the roads of Wisconsin. I'm putting on quite a few miles and see quite a few deer along the road. Am I destined to be a statistic?
I've been reading about how to avoid serious injury in the case of a deer / car meeting.

  • Stay aware and alert – That's the advice given by Dave Collins, Superintendent of the Wisconsin State Patrol. Deer are more active in fall. They move between resting and feeding areas at dawn and dusk when it is hard to see, and they blend into the landscape. Crash reports verify deer accidents are most likely to occur between 5-10 p.m. in fall and early winter; 8 p.m. to midnight in spring through summer.
  • Slow down, heed road signs, and drive defensively – Roads that cut between forested patches, roadside brush, openings and valleys in farm fields form natural paths for deer. Road segments with histories of crashes are often marked with yellow deer crossing signs. Slow down to give yourself more time to react in these areas. Allow more space between vehicles. Wear safety belts and make sure all your passengers are buckled in.
  • Watch for deer sign – Collins added that "reading" the landscape and using your peripheral vision to watch for reflections in deer's eyes or roadside movement can give you an early warning of nearby deer activity. If you have passengers, have them scan the road edge as well. If you see one deer, slow down. Deer often travel in groups: where one deer crosses the road, others will follow. Watch the deer and the roadside; slow down as best you can; and alert other vehicles with your lights and horn, which will also prompt the deer to keep moving or head back into the brush.
  • Keep your car/truck in good repair – Check that your tires and brakes are in good condition and be sure headlights are properly aimed. Trucks and SUVs ride higher, so check that headlights hit the roadway evenly and don't shine in the eyes of oncoming traffic.
  • Remain in your lane – "In an emergency situation, this can be the hardest piece of advice to practice, but it definitely saves lives," said Ted Gamble, president of AAA Wisconsin. Hit your brakes, hit your horn and hit the deer if you must, but don't swerve. The chances of serious injury are much greater when cars swerve to avoid a deer, Gamble said. Swerving into traffic and hitting an incoming vehicle, swerving to the side and hitting a fixed object, or leaving the road are all more dangerous than hitting a deer. Deer can accelerate from 0 to 30 mph in 1.5 seconds; if you continue in a straight line and brake, the deer may be gone before you reach the point of impact.
  • Forty percent of the deer-vehicle crashes occur from mid-October through November.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Time

As you can see from my banner picture, Mommsen's Pumpkin Patch is open for business. The photo above was taken from my driveway. The Patch has a corn maze, petting zoo and pumpkin catapult, along with snacks and other fun stuff for the kids and...they sell pumpkins.

Yesterday the pyramid was empty, this morning it is full, they must have been working while I was drinking coffee.

Tomorrow I am heading to Moline, IL for Dad's (yep that's him in the uniform) Navy Seabee reunion. There are only a few veterans that make the trip anymore, but there are several of the second generation that come.
Some come with their Seabee father / uncle, some come even though their Seabee has passed on. It's always nice to see all these folks, they have become extended family in many ways.
The 62nd Battalion Navy Seabees are Iwo Jima survivors. It's hard to imagine their experiences during WWII. I am very proud of their service and it is fun to visit with them each year.


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