Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spring Valley Volleyball

On Tuesday afternoon I took a nice drive to Boyceville, WI to watch Breanna play volleyball with the Spring Valley Cardinals.
It was a very pretty drive on a sunny afternoon and I enjoyed the games too.

I haven't done much volleyball photography, I have to learn about where to sit and my settings as it was hard to keep the ball in the photo frame.
I'm still waiting on the news from the camera hospital on my broken lens and camera body,
so using the old equipment makes for a learning curve too.
In other words, I'm not too thrilled with my photos.

My cell phone actually did a better job.

The Spring Valley girls won 2 out of 3 games.  It was very pleasant to watch 
and I had a good visit with Mark & Vinny too.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 1 of The Sister

The last two times Laila visited Rice Lake, we were involved in funerals.
This last weekend, she came just to have a vacation, have fun and see some fall colors.
Glenn picked her up at the airport and then I drove to Spring Valley and we started our weekend of fun.
Drive up to Luck to visit with Gus & Lois, we did a drive by visit with Dana at River Valley Ford in Baldwin, WI.  He was ever so surprised to see her.  I guess the word had not spread that she was planning a Wisconsin trip.
From there we headed to Luck, but we made a quick stop at the West Denmark Cemetery to see Dad & Ev first.  I was so pleased to see the geranium I put there in May is once again blooming.  I never imagined that a planter in May would still look good in September.  

Another quick stop at the driveway where Grandpa & Grandma lived across the road from our old home-place on County Trunk N.
This driveway is legend in terms of how pretty it is in fall & winter.
The leaves haven't really started to turn yet, but we enjoyed seeing it anyway.

Then a visit with Gus and Lois, with accidental visits there with Ryan, Megan, Ivan and baby August.  A quick hello & goodbye with Angie too.
Laila & Gus

Laila, Ivan, Gus
Lois fixed us apple cake and ice cream and we had a good chat.
Gus, Wanda & Laila
Finally, we headed off to Rice Lake.
The sunset was a beauty, so we stopped a couple of times to take a few photos.
We decided to have nachos and margaritas at Adventures once back in RL.

We had a good waitress and it was a good stop.

Finally, at home, unloading the car with suitcases and other items, I made a big error.
I forgot to zip up my camera backpack and the camera and lens fell out on the front porch.
So, that ended that.
The next day, I packed it up and sent it off to the repair folks.
In the meantime, I'm using my old camera body and lesser lens.  It's good I have something to use, but a big disappointment not to have my good camera for the rest of the weekend.
Some lessons are hard to learn I guess, it is the second time I've made this error.

Laila had been up at 3am so we had an early bedtime, lots of fun planned for the next day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No Rest for Evil Doers

Last Friday I received a text message from my credit card company asking if I was trying to make a $3000 purchase at Apple.  Well, for sure I was not.  So, after a discussion with the credit card folks, my account was closed and a new card sent to me via FedEx.  Later that day another $4000 purchase was attempted, also at Apple.
This card is the one I use for everything (frequent flyer points)!  So, while I wasn't out a red cent, I did have to edit all my payment information for cell, internet, etc, etc.

I have not used my debit card, except for ATM use, for a couple of years.  This event made me remember why I consciously made that choice.

6. Safety 
Paying with a credit card makes it easier to avoid losses from fraud. When your debit card is used fraudulently, the money is missing from your account instantly. Legitimate payments for which you've scheduled online payments or mailed checks may bounce, triggering insufficient funds fees and making your creditors unhappy. Late payments can also lower your credit score. It can take a while for the fraudulent transactions to be reversed and the money restored to your account while the bank investigates.
By contrast, when your credit card is used fraudulently, you aren't out any money - you just notify your credit card company of the fraud and don't pay for the transactions you didn't make while the credit card company resolves the matter.

Beware folks, the evil doers never rest!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Fan

When I moved into my house, there was a huge ceiling fan in the archway between Living & Dining Rooms, shiny gold and not to my taste.  I found some small fans and installed one in each bedroom and then replaced the one in the Living Room.  

Recently, I had decided that I needed a slightly larger fan and was interested in matching the glass in my kitchen fixtures.  The fan arrived from my pals at Amazon several weeks ago, it got moved around to keep it out from underfoot and then finally the box was opened, the instructions extracted, and then it was moved a few more times to keep it out of the way.  Sunday, taking a break from the Joy of Tidying Up, I finally got down to it, opened the box, spread the parts and went to work.

Isn't it true that the variety of parts and pieces can be overwhelming, but in reality it didn't take that long to assemble, and in no time, I had a new fan in place of the old.

A good improvement, and even after my electrical wiring of the unit, it actually works as designed!
Now the old little fan can be installed at The Sandcastle, it will be a nice addition there.
I'm a fan of home improvement projects like this, especially when they are successful.

Monday, September 21, 2015

And Even More Joy of Tidying Up

Over the weekend I pulled all the glassware and china out of the cupboard, ran it through the dishwasher and then reorganized the cupboard with the items that I kept, and yes, I have another box for Goodwill.
Who doesn't love sparkly glass!
I certainly have enough beer glasses, but they give me Joy, so they stay.

My china is Lenox Holiday, I use it for everyday in November and December.
It's clean and ready now.

All this activity started with planning for Laila's visit, then I started reading 'the book' and now I can't seem to stop looking for drawers that need emptied!

Meanwhile, Barley is patiently awaiting Laila's arrival.
The guest room still is housing a stack (in the background) of tubs of items 
that belonged to Dad & Ev, 
eventually I'll get through those and sort out what to keep, but that can wait.

In the meantime, I'm off to find more Joy!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

And more joy

Yes. I am still reading the book about tidying up.  
Today I read the chapter about socks. 
The author's theory is that folding clothes is important, and storing items like a loaf of bread gives you good visibility to what you have.  
Specifically, she talked about socks.  Socks should be folded instead of made into a ball by stretching one cuff over both socks.  Why?  Well, she said that the socks need time to rest.  When you are wearing socks, they take the pressure between your foot and the sole of your shoe.  Folded in the drawer is the only time socks get to rest.
So now my socks can rest.  
She did not mention underwear, but I figured the theory holds, so all are 'resting' now.
I have to admit pulling this drawer open is a nicer experience than the tangled mess.
It even gives me Joy.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


The life-changing magic of tidying up is a book I recently heard about and then decided to order.

The author has been tidying up since she was a young girl, and so has developed a system.
Her advice is to look at everything you own and decide if it brings you JOY.  If it does, keep it.  
If it does not bring you joy, thank it for it's service and discard it.
I have been needing to reorganize my office / sewing room and reading her book got me motivated.

So, after many trips to Goodwill and to the trash, 
now I have a much more functional office and sewing space.
I also got busy in the kitchen and emptied some shelves.
There is more to be done in the closets, but this was a great start.
It feels good, and maybe even gives me JOY.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Some of the birds are starting their annual migration South and some of the juvenile birds are starting to show off around the feeders.
It's been a busy bird bath, with mostly chickadees splashing the water everywhere, including up on the windows.  No photos, they are shy bathers.

I caught this female Cardinal bench pressing on the new feeder.  
Those bars must be a little slick as she lost her footing, but I'm glad I caught the picture.

Today a young male stopped by, he's looking a little rough around the edges, but he'll be a beauty before the snow flies.  I hope he sticks around.

I see a few doves, the chickadees, a few goldfinch and the rare Bluejay at the feeders.  The yard has several woodpeckers around as well.  Soon, we should see some new birds as they travel South.  It's fun to see the Fall action.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


The weather feels like fall and the view from my driveway confirms it.
Saturday morning was misty and cool.

 Starting to see a few flashes of color around,
and my flowers are starting to fade,  only a few continue to brighten the day.

I hope it's a long and lovely fall, I'm not quite ready for the shovel.

Friday, September 11, 2015

More Merlot than Monet

I was invited to a gathering on Thursday night sponsored by my Thrivent Representative.  A group of women were invited to enjoy Merlot and to paint a 'masterpiece'.
I was encouraged to bring a guest, so I invited friend Carol to come along.
As it got nearer, neither Carol nor I were very excited about going, but eventually it was too late to cancel, so we went.
When we arrived we were a little confused about the set up, eventually figured out that the hostess was treating us to the wine and snacks and sweets.  Perfect!  The commemorative glasses were extra, so I decided to treat Carol and I to a keep sake.
I though it looked pretty nice at this stage of the evening.

The teacher asked me to take the curve out of my sunset, isn't the earth round anymore?

Starting to look a lot like...nothing.

Carol was getting the hang of the long smooth strokes, but  we had to stop to fix (refill) our glasses from time to time.

The teacher's painting was meant to inspire us.

Carol got started on her weeds.

I think mine was better before the weeds grew.

Fun to see each masterpiece at completion.

My friend Carol & I with our 'Monet'

 It really was a fun evening.
We were done early, so Carol and I stopped for a nightcap at Lehman's on our way home.
For not really wanting to go, we both had a very very fun evening.

 I'm not sure my painting will hang in the house, maybe the sewing room, we'll see.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It's coming

Today as I was going through the office closet, I ran across a folder from 2006 when I tutored a young man at TNT in Golden, CO.
I worked with Brenden, once a week, for 2 years and it was very enjoyable.  He was a likeable young man with a difficult family situation.  His father had suffered from depression and ended up dying from suicide when Brenden was about 6.  So, tutoring was to help with school, to give Mom a chance to have an hour to herself and to be another adult in Brenden's life who cared about him.
We really did have fun and generally he was quite compliant, although, he liked the games I brought the best, he would oblige me with 10 minutes of reading at the end of our session.
One of the last times I saw him, he gave me this poem that he had written for me.

I liked this poem then and I even like it more now.
I'm guessing Brenden must be about 18 by now, hopefully graduated from High School and on to whatever his life will bring.  It would be fun to know, but I'll just assume the best.

I do love winter, by the way.
And, oh by the way, it's coming.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Found things

Today I took on my office / sewing room.  My goal is to purge and then tidy.  It's going pretty good, but while I'm on break, I decided to scan a couple of things I found today.
This letter from Uncle Chris sending me the Skaal Song.  Many years ago now, I remember wanting to learn it after hearing it at a wedding or other gathering, and he took the time to handwrite the words for me.  The Skaal Song has become a family favorite and I have even sung it on a few occasions for friends who were celebrating an event.
I thought it was fun to see his handwriting again.  Some things get lost but then today, this got found.

Also found in the mix today, a couple of old photos.
Dad and Ev on Laila's wedding day.
They looked fabulous.
It's just a year this week that Ev died.  I still can't believe that they are both gone.
But, I guess they are not as long I we keep them in our thoughts and hearts.
Laila was a very pretty bride too.
It's good to find these memories.


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