Sunday, January 31, 2010


This was a busy little week.  After spending Wednesday night in Spring Valley, I was here in Rice Lake on Thursday, but Friday afternoon I hopped in the car and headed to Luck.  I watched LHS girls and boys basketball Friday night, attended an 'afterglow' party at Kyle's after the game, stayed overnight and then watched 4th grade basketball on Saturday morning.
Jack brings the ball down the court.
Kyle coaches the 4th grade team.  Gage fills in occasionally when there are not enough players.

Gage dribbles the ball and calls the play.


Saturday afternoon I scooted over to Baldwin to do a little visiting with Dana & Erin and Jackson & Jake.  I babysat Saturday evening and then hung around on Sunday for breakfast and a yummy mid day fish fry before coming home.



J boys

I hope this week turns out to be a little boring, I need the rest!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Look at the map once in a while!

On Thursday, I was driving home from Spring Valley and decided to detour and drive to a bridge over the Chippewa River near Jim Falls, WI.  I had been there last fall with Terry & Janet when the leaves were turning and it was a pretty spot to take photos.  It is just downstream from a big power plant, so the water levels are controlled; the bridge is out of service except to foot traffic, so it is a safe spot to play photographer.

When I left the bridge, I decided that if I just followed the river North, I should get home just fine  (oops).  So, I ignored 'Smarty Pants' (GPS) and drove along the river thinking I was heading for home.  I really should look at the map once in awhile.  Eventually, I started having a feeling that I was getting too far East.  By the time I let 'Smarty Pants' take over on the navigation, I was about 50 miles East of my normal route home, and when I finally did look at the map, I (for the first time) realized that Rice Lake is NW of Eau Claire and I was heading NE at about the same angle.  I about ended up at Green Bay...well not quite, but I drove WAY out of my way to get home.  
Next time, I will consult a map.
I am headed to Luck for more basketball tonight - high school, and 4th grade basketball on Saturday.
Go Cardinals!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Service Completed

Andy arrived home from Iraq this month, and I got to see him on Wednesday night at a party that the neighborhood in Spring Valley pulled together.  It's great to have him back in Wisconsin, I haven't had much time here that he was here, I moved in September and he left in February. 

While Andy was in Iraq during the first deployment, several of us got National Guard bracelets to wear to remind us everyday that Andy was serving.  I wore mine everyday that he was gone during the first deployment and again, every day that he was in Iraq this time.  But now, I can retire the bracelet, hopefully for good.

I'd be happy to give it to anyone who has an Army National Guard soldier who is serving active duty.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coors Veteran's Display

When I was at the Coors Brewery while I was Out West, I walked past the Veteran's Display in the guest relations area.  I was tickled to see that they are still displaying a couple of photographs that I submitted while I was still an employee.

Dad on the left and Andy with Alyxis on the right.
Dad's photograph was taken by a professional photographer who was doing an Iwo Jima Veteran's project.
Andy and Alyxis's photo was taken at the airport when Andy was returning to Iraq after leave during his first deployment  (I know it is hard to see because it is small but you get the idea).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kit Kat Update

Just wanted to give the kit kats some air time.

Barley seems relaxed, it's her normal pose.

Hops gave me 'the look'.

Monday was a cardinal day

Monday was a snowy winter day but there was big excitement at the feeders!  I had not seen the cardinals since I returned from Colorado and was worried that they had found a new feeder to visit.  On Monday morning, the male and female visited the feeder in the front of the house, and hung around for a change.  Here is a sampling of the gillion photos I took.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Krista Leigh Loyas!

Happy Birthday my niece!

I hope you make it a great day.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pretty and Prettier

I have this thing about the driveway and keeping it shoveled.
It isn't really because I am going someplace, because I'm not, it's just because.



As Predicted

They predicted it.  The snow is piling up, and it really brightened up the yard.  It's funny how you don't notice that the old snow is getting kind of dirty until the new stuff arrives.

I did not take any photos in Colorado, other than with my cell phone, so it feels good to get back into looking at the world through the camera lens again.

The pumpkin patch has a different look this morning.

I heard Bill Geist on Sunday Morning say:

"Winter in Northern Minnesota... Cryogenics for the living."

Friday, January 22, 2010


I had a great trip Out West.
It was nice to see Laila and Scott (and the Princess Cleopatra) for a night.  Laila has inspired me to do some painting in my house now, fun, new colors perhaps.
Lunch with a few other 'young retirees' was a fun afternoon of laughing and comparing notes about the 'busy' lifestyle of a Coors retiree....
Gracious hosts, Tom & Roche, made my stay very comfortable.
We had good visit time and even kit-kats Moe & Camby warmed up to me by the end of my stay.
My Coors pals took time out of their busy days to stop by for a beer, or two, one evening.  Special friends from Mile High United Way were icing on the cake!
I was happy to be able slip (security breach)  into the brewery for happy hour in the 6th floor bar one last time.  An unexpected visit by Pete Coors made that even more special to me.
An evening with my friends from my Lutheran days was great fun, many laughs and memories of some crazy young kids who are still friends some 30+ years later.
The time flew by and there were many friends who I was not able to hook up with this trip, but I'll be back.  I know the ropes now on where to park in Mpls, kinda cheap rental car in Denver and how long it takes me to get from Rice Lake to the offsite parking in Mpls.  All first time deals for me this trip, I'm much smarter now.
  For now, I am glad to be back to Home Sweet Home in Rice Lake.
Barley & Hops did fine with their 'sitter', but they seem glad to have me home for a lap to nap on.
I'm feeling very lucky to have such a peaceful home to come to, especially in light of the sadness of the quake aftermath in Haiti.

Tonight I am watching the telethon
Hope For Haiti Now.
If you have not donated and would like to, there is the link.

Monday, January 18, 2010

According to Ellen Goodman

Today I celebrate 2 years of retirement from the Coors Brewing Company.  This may be my most serious posting to date.
I recently ran across the this writing of Ellen Goodman.  I believe she expresses my feelings perfectly.
"There's a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over — and to let go. It means leaving what's over without denying its validity or its past importance in our lives.
"It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving on rather than out."
"The trick of retiring well may be the trick of living well." 
 "It's hard to recognize that life isn't a holding action, but a process. It's hard to learn that we don't leave the best parts of ourselves behind, back in the dugout or the office. We own what we learned back there. The experiences and the growth are grafted onto our lives. And when we exit, we can take ourselves along — quite gracefully."   Written by Ellen Goodman

1/25/2008 Wanda & Pete Coors @ Wanda's retirement bash
Retirement is, without a doubt, the most wonderful time of my life, but it follows 31 years of great fun; serious responsibilities; tedious rules and regulations; challenging troubleshooting opportunities; day in & day out relationship management; productive and non productive hours spent at the computer modeling the what ifs; leading and being lead; quiet moments of thinking through problems; building life long friendships; frantic hours of scrambling to find an idea to fix big problems before we lost product; working on changing behaviors, my own & others;  learning that business doesn't always require friendship; sharing the success; appraising performance and being evaluated on my own results; worrying about the failure; loving our product.
I loved it all at the time, thrived on the challenge, delighted in the high times but I find that I just don't miss it.
Of course, I still love the product, that won't change.
Forever, I will miss the dear friends.
Every day is a gift, 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

View from a rear view mirror

Today I was driving down Washington Street in Golden, CO and this was the picture in my rear view mirror. Bittersweet....Golden & Coors Brewing Company were very good to me over the years,and I will miss Colorado but I am also looking forward to getting HOME to Wisconsin.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Glenn!

Happy Social Security Glenn!

Good Fishing!

Dad & Glenn @ Big Moon Lake Cottage

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Charli is 4!

Happy Birthday Charlotte Grace Vanasse!

Have a fun day sweet Charli!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Colorado Kit Kat

Rochelle and Tom are gracious hosts. Moe, one of two kitties, has been flirting around. Camby, the female, has been more elusive.
Beautiful weather today, 60 maybe, what a change, although I think Rice Lake is having warmer temps today too.
I guess I am on vacation now.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

News Update

And one more picture, Andy and his niece Charli..
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Breaking news

Blogging as it happens! Captain Andrew Johansen home from duty in Iraq. Michelle, Alyxis and in the background his niece Charli.
Happy family!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Welcome Home Andy!

Andy is schedule to arrive at about 1:30pm on Tuesday, January 12th at Volk's Field in Wisconsin.  After 3-5 days at Ft. McCoy he will be home for good.  We are all so excited to have him back home safe and sound.

This was at Andy's going away party on February 7, 2009.
Alyxis will be a lot happier today!

Life is Good!

A Mother’s Prayer
Written circa 1944-45

Oh Lord, I pray, be with the boys,
They are so far from home,
Lost in a world of hate and noise,
Be with them where they roam.

When they were small and very dear,
Like Angels without the wing,
They would sit on my lap and huddle near,
While their slumber song I would sing.

Oh Lord, will you now be taking my place,
Be near them and take their hand,
And give to the boys your love and grace,
In that strange and far off land.

Be near with your help to one and all,
To the boys that are lonely and hurt,
Oh, be you the light when shadows fall,
Dear Lord, give us peace on earth.

A Mother
Frederikke Johansen
Luck, Wisconsin
Great Grandmother of
Captain Andrew Johansen

Sunday, January 10, 2010

No Birthday Girls

I was so concerned about taking care of Anders at the birthday party last night, that I did not get a single picture of the birthday girlies, Charli & Milli.  I did snap this picture of little sister Wynni though.

Wynni was ready for some supper.

Dana and Erin with Anders.   Anders was a little shy, so he didn't stay on Dana's lap long.

This morning at Kris & Lora's, Anders and his Dad were having fun.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

An evening with Anders

I am in Durand tonight to stay with Anders while his Mom and Dad go out to dinner. Anders and I went for a drive to Mike & Kaija's for the birthday party for Charli (4) and Milli (2). Anders was a little shy for a while but then he made himself to home and was playing with the other little ones his size. I am not really sure how Moms do all that toting and hauling of stuff to take their kids places, whew, it is not a job for sissy s!

Anders really liked the kid sized folding chairs and table.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, January 8, 2010

Downy Day

Mr. & Mrs. Downy were at the feeder this morning.  It is just above zero out there.

I think Mr. Downy wanted you to see his pretty red patch so gave me this pose.

I had a little excitement last night when I was cutting open a box and the utility knife slipped.  I got about 6 stitches at the Urgent Care Clinic in Barron.  It was a careless mistake and I know better.  Luckily it doesn't hurt and hopefully will heal up quickly.
Have a safe day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

For my non-Facebook blog friends

I posted these 2 pictures on Facebook last night and it sparked a flurry of conversation.  It occurred to me that some of you who read my blog are not on FB (Mary Jo) and might also enjoy seeing these old pix.  Just 50 years ago I celebrated by 7th birthday with friends.

Jan Larsen, Debra Moslet Baker, Me, Debbie Andersen, Wendy Wolf, Doreen Paulson, Neil Henriksen

Debra Moslet Baker, Doreen Paulsen, Jan Larsen, Wendy Wolf Ward, Wanda (barely), Carol Henriksen, Neil Henriksen, Marlys Petersen

Comments from FB:  Wendy Wolf Ward just retired from teaching music up in Fairbanks, Alaska. No one seems to know where Doreen Paulsen is, although we think that she moved to Florida while we were in grade school.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sled run to the Sand Castle

I took a run up to the Sand Castle this afternoon.  I wanted to check out the plowing and also drop off a couple of items.  Took a couple of pictures and used the pencil drawing filter on my Pentax to edit.

Happy 2nd Birthday to Millija Esther Vanasse!

Milli is 2!

Happy Birthday Sweet Milli!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cardinal Corner Perhaps

It seems like everyone has a name for their cabin or their farm or their corner of the world, so I've been thinking that I need one too.  Today, it was busy at the feeders and I took these pictures.  I think I have a name for my home here.  What do you think?

Hanging out with the Mrs.

A bite of lunch with friends

Looking like a stud

Dude, your beak is red...I mean really red!


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