Saturday, April 27, 2013

91! and going strong!

Happy 91st birthday Dad!

I am headed to Iowa this morning, via the Mpls airport where I will pick up Laila.  Just the girls are going to Iowa to help Dad celebrate his 91st birthday.

Last night when I was doing my laundry, I had a helper.  I think Barley thought she would 'press' the clean clothes for me.  They never want to lay on the dirty clothes, do they?

Friday, April 26, 2013

He's got the beat

Dad's procedure went as planned this morning and as far as I know, now he has rhythm.  It didn't hurt to have all the good vibrations from blog readers and Facebook friends.
So, thanks.
I'm headed to Iowa tomorrow, Laila arrives in Mpls midday and I'll pick her up on the way to Iowa.  We'll be in Iowa in time to celebrate Dad's 91st.  Whoo hoo!


Thursday, April 25, 2013


On Friday morning, the cardiologist is going to perform a cardio version on Dad hoping that his heart will go back to, and stay in, sinus rhythm.  This procedure was performed here in Rice Lake back in September, and Dad stayed in rhythm about a week, but this time his overall health is much better.  We are hopeful for a good result.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Monday afternoon I headed over to Luck with a couple of things planned.  First was a meeting of the Luck Alumni Scholarship Association Foundation board at Sterling Bank.  The meeting went well and when we finished it had started to rain / snow.
Then I headed over to friend Bruce's house, to drop off a power washer I had picked up for him here in RL at Farm and Fleet.  He had made plans to feed me supper and we had a couple of glasses of wine and a good visit.
When I left for home, I was very surprised to find that the storm had progressed further than I expected.  I had a very long and white knuckled drive home in the blizzard conditions.  The only good things about the drive were that not many other motorists were out and I could easily see the deer standing in the ditches against the new white snow!
I arrived home safely but with a system chocked full of adrenaline from the drive. 
I took this picture off the back deck at about 12:30am
You can see I still have the Christmas lights going on my blue spruce.

 I tried to relax with a few glasses of wine and Young Frankenstein on the tube, 
but it was well after 3am before I finally fell asleep.
This morning, it was a beautiful sight out my bedroom window.
By this time last year, I was taking photographs of full blooming daffodils.
This morning I spent some time shoveling in the driveway to get the 'big melt' started.
 With the sun shining, this new snow is beautiful, but I am really read to see what is waiting underneath.
It is time to see tulips and daffodils.
Let's hope this really is the last big dump of this winter!


Saturday there was more snow, over a good coating of ice.
There were several birds around looking for food, 
so I scooped a spot off on the back deck and tossed down some seeds.
Later, I noticed this visitor, not 12 inches from the back door, 
with Barley lounging on the inside of the glass watching Bunny eat.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wisconsin Syndrome

I saw a posting on the internet today calling this lack of spring slump we all feel as 'Wisconsin Syndrome'.   I'm sure for some, this lack of warm weather is quite debilitating, for me, it has been a good excuse to be very lazy.  Even writing a new post on this blog seemed like a bother.  What will I write about?  More snow and crappy weather?  Not very exciting.  
Then, all the sad events around the world were such a downer.  Watching the coverage in Boston was exhausting yet it was hard to turn away.  The explosion in West, Texas is unimaginable and heart breaking.  So, my daily mundane stuff hardly seemed like anything to write about.
One thing that continues to be a delight is the wildlife in my yard
This Yellow Rumped Warbler and some of his pals, have been hanging around my maple trees.
They seem to be after the sap that is running on the trunks and branches of the trees.
 I don't think this Yellow Rumped Warbler was enjoying the snow on Friday.

There have been a few Redpolls still here, 
they nibble on the fresh tender buds that are starting to form on the maple trees.

And finally, I did see my first Robin of this Spring...finally.  As you know, this means I have to go to DQ!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Icy Spring Weather

Last year we had daffodils blooming by now and leaves on trees and Spring.
March 28, 2012
 This year, we have snow and freezing rain.
Not even a sign of a daffy trying to come up.
April 14, 2013

I heard that the roads are very slippery today, the driveway looks like an accident waiting to happen.

The cats and I stayed inside this Sunday and watched the Masters on TV and lounged and watched the wicked weather out the living room window.
Barley is very glad to be an inside cat on a day like to day.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Well, I don't have to think about that anymore

Ever since we moved to Colorado, 
our old house on County Trunk N
 in Luck, Wisconsin
 has held a soft spot in my heart.  
The house I grew up in.  
A house that was built around a 100 year old log cabin.  
The Johansen homeplace.
Several times over the past 45 years, the house has been up for sale.
Discussions about 'should we buy it?' for me always ended without taking any action but with a general feeling of 'no way'.
Most recently, the house again on the market, but looking like it had gone pretty much to rack & ruin, I talked about it again with my nephew Kyle.
He thought we could rent it and wondered if I was interested.  
He was feeling an emotional pull to the house, I couldn't imagine how it could be a good investment.
I continued to watch it be for sale and the price get lower and lower.
Maybe in the back of my mind there was an idea that if the price got low enough...then?
But recently I heard via nephew Kris, that one of the Holm kids had made the purchase
and was taking the house down.  
Cousin Ty Tretsven (second cousin once removed) was helping with the demolition and sent a picture of some old wallpaper wondering if I might remember it.
Maybe there is a faint bell ringing, 
but my 'way back machine' doesn't really give me any certain memory of this wallpaper.  
But what it did do, is stir up an interest to see the house one last time.

On Saturday, I was headed to Luck to watch the great nieces' dance recital, so took a drive out West on County Trunk N first, to see if anyone was working at the house so I might get one last look before the demolition was finished.
As I came over the hill, this is what I saw.
I was a little too late to see the house.
The pictures that follow were taken of what is left of the house.
It was an odd feeling to see it like this.
As luck would have it though, I pulled in to snoop just as the new owner and her mother pulled in to check on the fire and to start clean up.
The new owner is a young woman, Kaitlyn, who is my second cousin twice removed, 
I think you call that a shirt-tail relative!
She works for Polk County Land and Water and is very interested in the swamp that is on the property, she is also interested in knowing when / if the land was farmed.
Kaitlyn is also very interested in the past ownership of the property.
It was nice to talk to her and see how excited she is 
 it made me feel good about the old home place being no more.

Old stone foundation joined by newer basement of block

This old tree used to be a great place to play.
We called it the monkey tree and I remember the canopy of the tree dropping close to the ground making a natural playhouse under the branches and leaves.

These pines were big when I was a kid, but they are huge now.
One of the original 'logs' from the 100 year old log house part of the building.
Old pines
The new owner, Kaitlyn, and her Mom, Barb, admiring her 'new house'.

When I was a kid, there was a barn in this area.

So, this marks the end of the County Trunk N house, but the beginning of new life for that property under the stewardship of a young woman who loves the land and who loves the swamp.
It is an ironic meaning to the term 'house warming'.
The next several photos were taken as a panoramic view standing in the driveway, starting out pointing west and moving counterclockwise across the yard.
Pano 1
Pano 2
Pano 3
Pano 4
Pano 5
Pano 6
Pano 6 again
Pano 7
Kaitlyn thinks that this might be the site of her new build, looking South across the fields to the woods beyond, but hates to lose these two old pines.
She also offered that I should stop in anytime I want, just to look around.
I admire her bravery in taking on such a big challenge and wish her the Best of Luck!


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