Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year's Eve

I ate lunch & played cards at the Senior Center on New Year's Eve, 
and then decided to treat myself to Tokyo Japanese Cuisine for supper.

I tried a new salad, Squid Salad.  It was spicy, chewy, and kind of pickled.
I liked it alright, but it doesn't make my list of favorites.
Squid Salad

 For my main course, I chose Tri Colored Sushi.
So festive and very tasty as well.
Tri Colored Sushi
I enjoyed the meal 
and the waitresses are getting to know who I am 
and they are very friendly.

When I got home I started a project that has been waiting for me, getting the books organized for my new gig as Madam Treasurer for the Cameron Senior Citizens.
I'm dredging around in my memory bank for my old Excel skills.
I got a good start and will be ready for my first meeting on Monday.

One last bird photograph for 2015.
Common Redpoll, on the wing
Barron County, near Rice Lake, WI

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2015


Kyle called on Monday, the car was full and they were headed for Rice Lake.  He invited me to join them for lunch at Applebees.  After a yummy lunch, they were headed to the skate rink, so I ran a few errands, grabbed my camera, and joined them.  
No, I did not skate.

Jack and Jude had stayed home, but friends Zack and Olivia were along.
Moving targets, in a dark, big room, tricky photography for me, but it was fun to try.

Gage and Ruby

Gage and Stella

Jens and Dad

Olivia and Zack resting

Ruby & Olivia

Olivia and Ruby

Ruby and Olivia, with skater helper.

Ruby will get the hang of this soon.

Stella on her blades

Stella, Ruby, Olivia & Zack

Stella, Ruby, Olivia & Zack



Stella and Gage
Fun day thanks to Kyle, Heather and family.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


I'm ready for the Green Bay Packer game to start, nice of them to play on my birthday!

I got this Green Bay game greeting from Luck friends, Ted & Kathy who live in AZ now, and are at the game.  I see my team in the background!

And I sent them a cheers! picture back.

It's been a good day. 
Sunshine, cards in the mail, many Facebook greetings and several phone calls & emails.

Life is good.

Wanda from my iPad

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Display of Coors Memoribilia

Once I got my new round table and started moving things around a bit, I realized that my 'hutch' needed to be reorganized.  It is so true that one thing leads to another.

One of the hardest things about selling my house in Arvada, CO was to leave behind the custom kitchen that Dad had made for me in Iowa, he hauled it to Colorado to stain & finish and then he installed it, with very little help.  

Ev and I assisted as we could but the truth is, 
we were mostly just a warm body to hold something or hand Dad a tool.  

Anyway, back to my 'hutch'.  
In the kitchen of my Arvada house, I had a bar between living room & kitchen that was the only place to eat.  When Dad put the kitchen in, he added a cabinet under the bar on the kitchen side to help with my small kitchen & limited storage.  

After a few years, I got weary of bar stools and decided to drop the bar to normal table height and did that successfully with little help.  But, that meant taking the cupboard off that was under the bar.  No problem it was relocated & re-purposed to the bedroom.  
A table top from a sewing table Dad made me for my high school graduation was added to the top as counter and I used it that way for several years.

When I was planning my move, I decided that little bit of cabinetry could go with me to Wisconsin.  Once here I found the wall in my dining room to be the perfect spot for this 'hutch'.  

Like I said in a previous post, I got a round table so I can play cards at a comfortable table, and that opened up the dining room space.  I had glass put in two doors of the 'hutch' and today I installed some battery powered rope lighting.  

The lighting isn't perfect, but it can easily be adjusted as I decided what would be better.
I love battery powered lights, especially when no outlets are convenient.

 Now some of my favorite Coors collectibles are displayed where I can see them everyday.

Adding an oriental rug under the table really sets off this area, and I'm loving it.
And Grandfather Ansgar's rocker has a nice safe spot as well,
right next to the cabinets that Valdemar handcrafted.

It did seem sad that those nice Coors steins and porcelains were hidden away,
so they are happier now.

Friday, December 25, 2015


Opting to spend Christmas in Rice Lake, because of icy roads and a variety of sick kids in Luck,  I enjoyed a peaceful holiday.   A cat on my lap as I started a new book,  'The Devil's Tickets'.  The book is a murder mystery with the card game of Bridge as its theme.   I'm more than halfway through the book and enjoyed the day without TV.

Of course I missed out on the fun family time,  but I'll make up for it.  
Being safe and staying healthy is also a good thing.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A note about Christmas 2015

¯ about Christmas 2015

Okay, here it is.  For the second year in a row, 
I’m sitting down to write a Christmas greeting having just lost someone dear.  
So, how to write a Merry Christmas greeting without it becoming a sad story?   I am clueless.

Last year, I just did the minimum at Christmas and struggled to send the annual greeting to a few.  This year, well, it really isn’t better.  Most of you already know that Dad passed away in November 2014 and now oldest brother, Gus, died this year, also in November.  The patriarchs of two families are now missing during this holiday time of year.  To say it is a blow, is an understatement to be sure.  I can’t pretend that I can see a silver lining, but I do feel that the holidays bring a special joy that seems to somehow lift my spirits.  For me, it is the sparkle of decorations and lights, the sounds of children’s squeals in the stores as they see their special ‘want’, the traditions of tree, presents and cards, the many greetings from friends far and near, a surprise box of cookies & treats arriving in the mail, and most of all, the familiar music that lifts my spirit and brings a smile.
I do believe that music has the power to take us away, to a special place somewhere in our memory.  I remember watching Dad as he listened to a harp player in the family room at the hospital.  His face changed, I felt he was transported to a different place.  Watching Dad & Ev listen to Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights was much the same.  They tapped a toe to the rhythm but maybe their minds and hearts were visiting a day of dancing in their younger years.  I can well remember hearing Gus’s voice singing Go Tell It on the Mountain in the high school choir years ago and more recently, belting out a Danish hymn, in phonetically awful Danish, just to make my Aunt Ane Marie smile.   When I hear Silent Night, I always think of sitting in the church at West Denmark on Christmas Eve, sentimental tears often spring to my eyes.  Music seems to have the power to heal, soothe, recall a specific memory, inspire, relax, excite, and maybe even change our lives. 

I’m taking piano lessons and I learn a little each week about the theory of music and I learn volumes about my ability to focus, to enjoy the process of learning and to improve my piano skills.

Not everyone knew that Dad played the violin as a young man; I never did see him play.   One day, when Dad was 90, he worked on tuning this old violin, and in the end decided it needed repairs.  He reminisced about his youth and playing in the West Denmark orchestra with friends and relatives.  Dad had carried this violin with him through his 92 years and finally it ended up with me when we said goodbye to Dad last year.  It was always Dad’s wish to have this violin be played again, if possible.  So, last summer, the violin was restored to good working condition.  The violin expert tells us that this instrument was crafted around 1900 and now, 115 years later, it continues to make beautiful sounds & Dad’s wish has come true. 

My card photo, Dad’s the violin upon return from the restoration, is thanks to my niece-in-law, Camilla.  Nephew Ryan & Camilla’s daughter, Milena, is now taking lessons using Dad’s old violin.  It is very sweet to know that this violin is once again making music.

So, just for a bit, let’s turn off the news, and turn on the music.   We can enjoy the peace of mind that the music of the season spreads.  Let your hearts be light, be home for Christmas if only in your dreams, deck the halls, roll out the barrel (whoops), and have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

 A musical greeting from Wanda
Click below to hear my Christmas piano project.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


I find that Rice Lake now has a diverse group of good restaurants.  My favorite is probably Tokyo, where the waitresses know my name and I know theirs.  
I like to stop there for lunch and try new things recommended by Sabrina, Bella or Christy.
Avocado salad and Jalapeno Himachi
Himachi is yellowtail tuna sliced very thin, and rolled.
So far, I have liked everything I have tried, 
even the Crispy Salmon Skin Salad from the other day. 
Wanda, Mary Jo Nelson and Jeri Bitney
Jeri & Mary Jo met me for lunch last week at Tokyo. 
We visited for 3 hours and really enjoyed our time together.

Another good spot just North of Rice Lake is The Country Inn.
This is a traditional supper club with great prime rib.
Friends Pete & Carol and I went out last week for dinner 
and to spend a little time together before the holidays. 
Peter Kramer, Wanda, Carol Kramer
The prime rib looked like a roast!
I brought some home and had prime rib again the next night, and it was wonderful.
Although, I was over-served on Manhattans.  They tasted so great, but 3 is just one too many.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A nice thing

A snapshot from this week's newspaper that covers the Luck area.  
Thoughtful of the village board to honor brother Gus & Marsha Jensen in this way.

New sock

Hung my new sock.
We are ready for Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2015

No Ice

The ice left Rice Lake and most of the other large lakes with last week's warm weather.
Today I went looking for the swans I had seen on Rice Lake about a week ago, and I got lucky and found them fairly close to shore.

I love these huge & lovely birds.

I think the ice will be starting to form again soon, see you in the Spring you beauties!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Deal 'em out

I've been looking for a 48 inch round or square table for my dining area
 to replace the oblong table I bought when I moved in this house. 

Oblong is good for dinner guests but very inconvenient for playing Bridge.  
I have decided I'm more interested in playing cards than hosting banquets.
I was also weary on an exercise bike in the living room. 

So,  ta da.

New table in place (Kohl's 30% off & free shipping) after some assembly.
Old table, with leaves folded down, in place of exercise bike.

More furniture, but it feels more open.
And now my Grandfather's rocking chair isn't hidden.

Merry Christmas to me!

Now,  I'm all set for card playing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Smalltown Christmas Party

Tonight I had dinner with friends Pete and Carol.   I probably won't see them again before the holiday,  so it was our Christmas party.  Fun evening,  great prime rib at The Country Inn.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Luck 55 Cumberland 35

Friday night I watched basketball at Luck, 
a non conference game between the Cardinals and the Beavers.
Jump ball
It was a fun game to watch and here are a few photos.
Jack is number 5, cousin Noah is number 15.


Jack shoots the 3

Jack swishes the 3

Not sure why Noah is blocking Jack

During the JV game, Grandpa Kenny and Noah

Kyle, holding Jude, turned to point to Jens who was falling asleep as he sat on the bleachers.
A nano second later, he was sound asleep in Heather's arms.


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