Monday, September 30, 2013

A Peony Patch

One of the women I play bridge with at the Cameron Senior Center owns and operates a Peony farm with her husband.  According to their website, Fina Gardens, they sell cut flowers to the wild world and the roots of the plants as well.  Last Spring, I ordered 5 plants, thinking that roots that are producing in my community would be more willing to survive being grown by someone who does not have a green thumb.  And, in my usual Spring over exuberance, I thought I needed 5 plants.  Now that Fall is here and it is time to plant, I see I could have been well supplied with just 3.  But, that's my usual MO.
So, today, I planted the five plants around my fire number pole.  For those city dwellers, out here in the country, our fire number is our address for all things both emergency and otherwise, so it is an important fixture near the driveway.
I'm excited to see how this works.
The 4 varieties that I planted are:  
Krinkled White (2 of these), Merry Mayshine, Nice Gal and Memorial Gem.
The planting instructions tell me that I am not to let them bloom in year one, so patience is required.
I'll have to hope for the best.
This is a photo from their website,
this Krinkled White almost looks like a white poppy from this view.

Friday, September 27, 2013

My company has kept me on my toes

It has been fun having Dad & Ev here and we have kept busy.  While I still have pictures to post from party # 2 on Sunday, I think I'll skip ahead to yesterday and drop in a couple.  We took the circle drive yesterday.  North out of Rice Lake on 53 (with a side trip to the cranberry bog) then West on 70 at Spooner to Alpha and the Burnett County Co-Op Cheese Store.  After loading up on enough cheese for 6 months, we headed South on Hwy 87 to Cushing.  It was a perfect fall day and the drive was very nice.  I didn't do my usual "HIT THE BRAKES" when I saw Sandhill Cranes, etc, being mindful of my passengers who aren't used to that.
At Cushing we headed back East on County Trunk N towards Luck.  Familiar territory as it was where Dad grew up and also where I spent my youth.  We stopped at my cousin Paul & Maggie's for a quick look at what is left of the barn that they dismantled and finally burned.
Another artifact that has surfaced was an old cane pole that was likely the one that Dad used as a kid.
My second cousin, Paul and his son Karsten think it still has some fishing time in it.  
More to come on this adventure later.

We left Paul & Maggie's and crossed the road to check out where our homestead was.  That building was also dismantled and burned but leaves a beautiful building site for the new owner who is also a cousin.
Finally, we headed for Luck to have supper with Gus and Lois.
Lois tried a new recipe on us and we gave it a strong thumbs up!
We were home by 9:30pm which gave us time to get settled to watch a story about my second cousin, Albert Ravenholt, on KARE11 Magazine segment Land of 10,000 Stories.
Click here to view the segment - Albert Ravenholt
It was a day that was very near perfect.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 Johansen Family Reunion in Rice Lake

When it was decided that Dad and Ev would come up to Wisconsin for a couple of weeks this fall so we could celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary with them, I knew I wanted to make a Kransekake for the dessert.  Once we hatched the plan to have both a Johansen Family gathering and an open house in the Luck community, I planned to make two of the Danish cakes.
After mixing up the dough of butter, almond paste, sugar, egg yolks and flour, it was time to fill the pans.
My 'technique' is probably not how the pros do it, but it works.
Each ring in the pan is filled with the soft cookie dough.

The baked dough puffs up a little.
Once cooled, I turn the rings out onto a paper plate and then freeze them for party day.

Saturday was an open house at my house in Rice Lake.
We were 35 counting all the little kids and adults.  
It was a nice day, and the kids made good use of my big yard.
Here are a few photos from the day.
Angie handing little Ivan to Great Grandpa Valdemar

Bryce and Milli fit just right at the little table and chairs

Charli photo bombed the littler kids

Milli asked if I had sidewalk chalk and once I got that out, the kids had a ball.
Bryce got into it.  Can you sit like that?

Great Grandpa Valdemar with Jens Henry Valdemar

Big smiles

Valdemar looking over an album of wedding photos with niece in law Heather.

Little Ivan trying to add to the driveway art.

Emily brought her volleyball along, and Jack and Gage had a football.
Owen and Stella were hanging out with the big kids.

Linsey brought her friend Josh to meet the family.
We liked!

Kathy and Heather

Kyle and Jens and a little school bus I had intended to send to Laila, but Jens got it instead.

Megan is a volleyball player too.  Milena was watching from the little picnic table.

Milli was very serious about her artwork, as she is about many things.

She did not want me to look at it until she was completely finished.

For a while there was quite a group of artists busy as their creations.

I hope their Moms did not mind that these kids were covered with chalk when they went home.

I love these pictures of the kids.

Such a simple thing and so entertaining for the kids.

Owen and Bryce were messing around pulling out the dead canes from the tiger lily patch.

I made a deal with Owen that if he pulled them all, I would pay him $2 and if he did a good job I would give him a bonus.
He got it all done.  $3 out of my pocket and no sore back, excellent!

Wynni seems to enjoy whatever she does.

More Wynni work

Charli is starting to have a hambone, :-)

Emily and Ivan joined in the art work.

Charli listening to her Grandpa

The buffet was open.
Bar B Ques, veggies, chicken salad, beans...summer food.
Glenn, Ryan, Elliana & Milena, Dorothy Rydberg, Mike, Ev and Kaija

Jens and Kyle

Jens opened every drawer and door in my kitchen,
I'm not sure what he was looking for.

I caught Jens in the act in the following sequence of photos.
He saw something that caught his eye.

He got closer so he could see it better.

He went in for the grab.

And came out with a tomato.
I took the stem off for him and bit it in half, but he decided to not eat it.

Sitting on the cooler just like the big kids.

Kathy and Gus

Here is the iced Kransekake

Add some Danish flags and it is ready.

Milli was very proud of her work.
She told me that it was a heart in a circle and surrounded by hearts.
She told me that she drew this so that I would think of her.

Ryan, my Mom's first cousin Richard Rydberg, Glenn

I got my turkeys out that I made last year, fake pumpkins work pretty well.

My driveway artwork looks great, it's fun to see it each time I walk out of the house.l
I hope it lasts a long time.
After a long and fun day visiting, once our guests had headed for home, 
Dad & Ev and I settled down for a relaxing viewing of this week's episode of Lawrence Welk.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I love these notes

I love to get notes from the kids, and always have.  
I have a treasure trove of letters and notes I received from my nieces and nephews over the years.  
Now, some of the greats write me thank you notes and I love to get them.
So, I will share them with you.

These two notes were given to me on Saturday.
The first from the birthday kids, I posted some photos a couple of weeks ago from their party
Written by Stella Jaine, Age 7
This next note thanks for me for some football pictures I snapped of Jack & Gage a couple of weeks ago.
A nice summer night, one team in red and one team in blue, the photos turned out.
This is the highest praise that I have received for any of my photography efforts!
I'm guessing Jack did the writing since his name is signed first.
Even if they get some good coaching from their parents, these notes are priceless!
Life is Good.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Anniversary Party-time

Saturday was the Johansen gathering here at my house in Rice Lake.  Glenn  & Kathy, Kaija & Mike and family, Gus & Lois, Kyle & Heather and family,  Angie and kids, Ryan and Cam and girls, Linsey & Vinny and boyfriend Josh, cousins Richard & Dorothy Rydberg, and me.   The rest of the family had work or other commitments.   It was a beautiful sunny fall day.  The kids made use of my big yard, the adults got lots of visiting done.  My Kransekake turned out nice and was yummy.  Here are a couple of photos of the finished cake.

Off to Luck today for an open house at the Senior Center, 
one more Kransekake to assemble over there.

I think tomorrow we will all need a rest.


Friday, September 20, 2013

A new venture

This morning I had a harp lesson.  The hospital here in Rice Lake is hoping to recruit some folks to play the harp at the hospital for patients and visitors to enjoy.  
Step one, start some folks taking lessons.  So, a free lesson was offered today.  I was playing on the harp for about an hour and it was interesting.  
Luckily, my niece Kaija, has a harp that I can borrow.  
Now, I will practice and then decide if I am going to continue with lessons that I will pay for.
I'm not giving up my piano lessons though.
For now, I have a lovely harp in my living room.


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