Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Birds of Winter

Mr. Cardinal

 Downy showing off his red cap.  11.24.2011

11.24.2011 Nuthatch with suet
 Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) at my bird feeder on 11.30.2011

I have to keep the feeders full now so that the cardinals and woodpeckers and others keep coming.
The snow we had melted away, but I am sure more is coming, so having the birds for entertainment will be a real nice winter treat.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Second Week of Deer Camp

Second Week of Deer Camp  


Years ago my friend Karen called me from Meeker, Colorado and sang this chorus to me.  I think that it sums up the weekend at the Sandcastle.  
Dad, Gus, Glenn, Kris, Kyle, Jack & Gage, Andy & Alyxis, Ryan were all there Friday night.  Dad reports that they played much Poker and that by the end of the weekend Alyxis and Jack were playing some very competent Cribbage as well.  The new barstools were well used by the time the weekend was over, and modifications are being planned to make them a bit more comfortable.
First year hunter, Gage Johansen
Lexie bagged her buck inside the cabin.
Here are a few more photographs taken by Kris during the second weekend of hunting.

Cards and stuff
Gage, Jack, Glenn, Kyle, Valdemar, Andy and Lex

A daughter and her very cool father.  Grandpa in the back.

Gus, Kyle
Gage, Jack
Dead Deer
Ralph, Valdemar & Glenn
Ralph, Valdemar & Glenn...again
Kris, Glenn, Kyle, Gus, Valdemar, Andrew
Gage, Jack & Alyxis
2011 Sandcastle Hunters
Gordon, WI

Many thanks to Kris for supplying these great pictures from the hunt, 2011.

Just to be sure that these are saved, I am posting the original sketches that Gus made before the remodel of the Sandcastle.  I'm planning to do a bog entry later documenting the progress.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cats are basically lazy and so am I

Gus and Lois's cats, Topaz and Toby, had the right idea yesterday.  They lounged on the bed while the house was filling up with family, while kids raced up and down hallways, and while Lois worked all day in the kitchen preparing a delicious Thanksgiving Feast.  

 Cats have their priorities aligned, I think I'll start working on aligning mine too.

More hunting this weekend.  Record attendance is planned for the Sandcastle tonight, 10 will be sleeping there.  I have to admit that I am not sad that I will not be one of those who are going up there, it will be a lot of folks crammed into a very small space.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkeys in the Nebraska Sandhills on my recent trip to Colorado
Dad & Ev and I will be heading to Luck after the Packer game for Thanksgiving dinner at Gus & Lois's.   This morning it is 40 degrees and it rained a little during the night, 
this does not seem like November in Wisconsin but I am NOT complaining.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The first real snow of the season came on Saturday, 11/19.  
The weathermen were saying an inch, but it was more like 4 inches.  
Enough that I had to push the snow off the driveway on Sunday morning.
The Packers keep winning, so I had to take this picture.
I always feel better when the driveway is cleared.
Dad, Glenn, Andy, Dana and Gus were at the Sandcastle for opening weekend of deer hunting.
The snow got pretty deep up there.
But that didn't hamper the card playing and story telling much.
During the snow, Ev and I enjoyed watching all the birds at the feeder.
It is always fun to see the male cardinals.
We've been lucky to have a slow start to winter 2011-12.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A major project

Right before I left for Colorado, I had showed Dad the instructions for a child's chair that I found on and suggested that we adapt this idea to build bar stools for our Sandcastle cabin.
I knew Dad could look at the plans and improve on them using the idea of a storage box as part of the chair construction.
When I got back from Colorado, Dad had the prototype almost complete and was in gear to start cranking out barstools.  I had thought this would be a project for over the summer, but Dad was motivated to get them made in time for The Hunt, which was 2 short weeks away.
With Laila here, it was busy, but we got the lumber home and the construction began.
Dad had to wear a warm uniform to work in the unheated garage.
Laila was in charge of inventory and parts management.
There were 6 chairs to be made and it took some organizing to make sure all the correct parts were cut.
It is fun to work with Dad in the woodshop.
Nothing like a staged photo
Happy workers
Due to winter temperatures, the kitchen became the assembly annex one evening.
Here is the picture of the prototype.
This picture hatched the idea.
Thank you
Ready for shipping
Ev and Dad and the finished project
Each owner will have their own stool and a little storage box for their valuables.
Friday morning before hunting, I drove up to the Sandcastle with a load of 3 stools.
The other 3 fit into Dana's pickup when he came to Rice Lake to pick up Dad for the hunting weekend.
The barstools are a fine addition to the cabin bar.
The crunch was really on during the construction of these stools, but it is very nice to have them completed and ready for card playing at the cabin.

Finally, I'm back blogging...lots of catching up to do, so hang on

The last time I blogged, I was arriving back in Wisconsin on November 9th after a 3 week trip Out West.  The trip was fun, busy and the travel weather just about perfect.
I arrived home on Wednesday evening, 
and most of Thursday was spent unloading the car and doing laundry.
Friday, we headed off to the Veteran's Day program at Luck High School.  It was a very nice program with much music by the school kids.  
Megan was in the chorus, just in front of the boy in the blue & gray sweatshirt.
The elementary school kids sang the anthems of each of the branches of service.
Emily is in the back row with long blonde hair.
Gage (eyes closed) was part of the Cub Scout color guard.

Emily was part of a dance group that tap danced as part of the program.
Afterwards, Dad & Ev and I met Gus for lunch in downtown Luck.
Dad said it was one of the nicest Veteran's Day programs he had ever attended.
Saturday we drove to Baldwin to stay overnight and enjoy a gathering organized by Glenn & Kathy at the AmericInn.  We had the party room right next to the pool, so the kids had a ton of fun.  We were celebrating Alyxis's birthday and her friend Tootie was there too.
Alyxis and her friend TootieI love this picture of the two serious girls.
Much to our surprise, G & K had arranged to have Laila there as a surprise for everyone.  It was cute that the hotel staff played along and allowed Laila to be at the check in counter as we arrived.  I was very surprised, especially since I had just seen Laila in Colorado.  Everyone was at the party except Michelle who had the stomach flu and Linsey who is still detained in Dunn County's facility.
I had hoped to take a photo of each family member, but only got a few.    

Dana & Erin

Gus and Lois and grandkids
Alyxis and her birthday cake
Anders & Emily.  Emily was a good cousin and made sure Anders was having a safe and fun time swimming.
All the birthday kids:  Angie, Megan, Dana & Gage and Alyxis
The surprise guest, Laila
Uncle Dana and nephew Bryce Vanasse
Lora & Heather and little Jens
Jake and his little buddy Vinny
My new iPad was a hit with Jackson, Jack, & Jake
Destined for a life on the stage, Alyxis showing some theatrics
After a nice 'afterglow' in the folk's hotel room after the party, we spent the night in Baldwin.
On Sunday, we headed home to Rice Lake, and Laila came along as our surprise house guest.


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