Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Breanna Visit

Great Niece Breanna came home with me on Sunday with the plan to stay the week in Rice Lake between my house and her paternal grandparents house.
Breanna's Aunt Caroline is pregnant and the shower is on Saturday so we got busy and sewed some decorations on a few cloth diapers to be used as burp cloths.
Breanna concentrating as she sewed the border.
I should have taken some pictures of the final product, but they were cute.
We laughed a lot about our project, if we made any mistakes,
we would remind each other that 'these are for puke'.
Breanna ended up going home on Tuesday night.
She was homesick, we had had an emotional day as it was the sentencing day for her sister, Linsey.
Linsey will be spending 8 more months in Dunn County Jail.
We hope that she will be able to start over in life when she has served her sentence.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jackson is Six

On Sunday, Jackson celebrated his 6th birthday with a Legos themed party.  His Mom, Erin, goes all out with decorations for the theme.  It was a really nice day in Baldwin, the weather really cooperated.
Dana and Erin with birthday boy Jackson and his brother Jake.
Fun Lego cake.

The new family toy, Wii, is exciting for the boys and Alyxis.
Vinny was having a little snooze on his Papa's chest.
Charlie was so serious....for a minute.
Jordyn, Alyxis, Jake having fun in the yard.
Grandpa Glenn and Milli in the sandbox
Vinny was loving playing with a ball.
Birthday boy Jackson giving Uncle Mark the business.
Tuff Chix:  Breanna, Payton, Charli, and the birthday boy, tough guy Jackson
Charli and Cousin Payton
Jordyn and her cousin Milli
Jackson had many presents to open.  Pretty exciting.
hot chix:  Erin and Michelle, love these niece in laws!
He blew out the candles on the first try, it's going to be a good year.
After the party, I headed for home with great niece Breanna along.  She will spend the nights here with me until Wednesday and then she will move over to her Grandparent's house here in Rice Lake and spend the rest of the week.  So far we are starting out our visit with a lazy morning.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A mixed bag

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat were both mine this week.
Lois had a bad virus pop up on her computer this week and she had been having problems with her wireless connection speed for years.
The virus problem finally caused me to spend some time at her house working with her computer & the company that provides her antivirus software.  In trying to have this company remote into her PC, this connection speed problem really raised its ugly head.  Finally after much gnashing of teeth, I figured out a way to move her modem / router closer to her PC to help with the speed.  Yay, much rejoicing.  The SecureIT Plus folks were then able to successfully clean up her PC.  Yay, much rejoicing.  When I came home on Thursday night I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself.
On Friday I had taken a drive to Grantsburg to buy cheese at Burnett Dairy Co-op, and to take some wild flower pictures at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area.  Then I headed home via Luck.  When I called Lois to tell her I was going to stop in, she gave me the bad news.  One day later, & something had gone haywire with her connection speed again.  The agony of computer problems. 
So now, I am searching for the answer and will head back over to Luck again today (Saturday) for another go at it.  For sure I know I can give her excellent speed by hard wiring her desktop machine to the modem, it is the wireless part that is a puzzlement.
If you know what I mean.
While at Crex Meadows I had a close encounter with a what I believe is a queen snake.
I was just about to get down on one knee to get closer to a purple colored wild flower, when something alerted me to look closer.  I still don't know what it was that I saw that made me stop and examine the area.
Laying here just inches from where I was about to put my camera lens, was this creature.
Snakes are not my favorite, and that is putting it mildly,  and my heart definitely skipped a beat thinking I might have been startled right out of my mind if I had gotten down as close as I was planning and then saw the snake in the grass.

I have no idea if this snake is harmless in terms of its bite, but it nearly scared the life out of me.
Trying to identify this guy, maybe it is a Blue Racer, hoping my nephew Kris has some idea.
You can see more of the body in this picture, this is not a small snake, and I also don' think it appreciated my presence.
Further along in my drive through Crex Meadows, I was just putzing along, looking along the sides of the road for flowers to photograph, watching out not to run over any turtles as there were quite of few of them on the roads, when I looked up to see 2 sandhill cranes just walking down the road.    
They made me think of some creatures in the StarWars movies.
I think they were called Eopie in the movie 
My pictures were taken quickly, through the windshield, but it was a sight.
Watching them take flight was almost comical.
They flew on up the road a bit, then landed and continued their walk down the county lane.
I turned left so as to not disturb their day any further.
I did take a few wild flower pictures as well, afterall that was the goal.
I didn't have much success but the wild iris were abundant.
I believe this is a wild iris and is the best shot of the day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Movie with the greats

On Thursday, sis in law Lois, and I took 8 little kids to see the movie Mr. Popper's Penguins.  
We had 8 of the 10 kiddos, my great nieces and nephews and her grandchildren.  
(Anders, who lives in Durand, was missing as was Milena who had a dentist appointment.)
It took 2 cars to get all the kids from Luck to the theatre in Siren.
I was more nervous about this adventure than Lois was as she had taken some of the kids to the movie before and flew solo.
There was nothing to worry about.
The older kids helped with the younger kids, and the younger kids were great.
The youngest was 2 (she took a nap during part of the movie) and the oldest was 11.
Grandma came equipped with sippy cups for the little kids,
a snack pack for each,
and everyone was happy to share popcorn.
Everyone really liked the movie, Owen got a little restless during some of the parts but he did really well for a 3 year old.
When the penguins were on the screen, everyone was glued to the action.
After the movie, we went back to Gus & Lois's and I got a couple of photos with Grandma Lois and all the kids.
I took several shots, it isn't always easy to catch 9 faces smiling and looking at the camera.
Owen was changing his Kung Foo pose with each picture.
What a great bunch of kids.
Owen (almost 4), Emily (10) with Stella (almost 5) on her shoulders, Gage (9) in the Luck shirt, Jack (11) in the back,
Elliana (8) in front of Jack, Ruby (2)  in the stroller, Megan (7) in from of Grandma Lojo (older than me).
Owen was really hamming it up.
I just love Owen's pose.
Ruby was having lots of fun with all those kids around.

It was a really fun day for the kids and the adults.  
Lois and I already have talked about going again in July.
Hopefully we can take all the kids next time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Woodworking by Wanda

I saw this laundry basket dresser on
Hers is fancier than mine, but it is the same idea.
She has a website of many projects to build and most of the plans are free.
It seemed like the perfect solution to my guest bedroom storage.
So, today I bought the lumber and made the project.
My steps are in the photos below.

The baskets and the lumber ready to go.

Laying out the back of the basket rack.
I was trying to impress everyone by have the square laying there.

Okay, the back looks pretty good.
Now it gets more interesting.

Trying to keep it simple, this is just showing that I marked the boards from the assembled piece, no big woop.

Okay, 2 sides are done, it is starting to look like something and it fits (well it's not a masterpiece) together.

Testing the fit before I do the final assembly.

Tah - dah.  

It is kind of like a big peach crate with runners to hold the laundry baskets.

In case you want to see the detail.

Here it is snuggled into 1/2 of the closet.  Plenty of hidden storage now.
This was a fun project, started about 3pm on the actual construction and finished about 9pm
It was a perfect night to be out in the garage with the big door open.
It rained off and on and there was a nice breeze.
Well, it is done and I am glad, now I can move my clothes in as I will be residing in the guest room once the folks arrive on the 30th of June.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wild Flowers in Douglas County and a sandhill

I took a drive Up North to our cabin in Douglas County today.  I needed to clean up the broken glass from the break in last week and also wanted to do a spring cleaning.
It was a perfect day up there, light breeze and sunshine.
I got everything done at the cabin that I wanted to and then spent a little time poking around with the camera.
There are lots of nice wildflowers in bloom, so here are a few.

On the way home I noticed a huge cloud SE of Rice Lake and pulled over to take a few snaps.
Sometimes these huge high clouds cause havoc with hail, but I didn't hear any reports of bad weather.

As I was clicking away on these clouds, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.
This sandhill was looking me over and snacking away in this field.

It was a great day Up North.
Accomplished much at the Sandcastle, nice visit with MJ on my way out of Gordon, 
and then a very nice drive home.
Smiles all around.


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