Saturday, October 31, 2015

It was time

I had not spent a day out and about with my camera in weeks.
Friday, I had business at Luck and then took a drive north to the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area where I am a member.
It wasn't a great day for photography, but I had heard that a snowy owl was hanging around Crex and thought I might as well go see what I could see.
With the help of a fellow photography and wildlife friend, who I happened to meet on the road inside Crex, I drove right to the owl.
Here are a few of my lucky photos.
 The owl had been sitting here most of the day, according to others, 
but I saw it poop, 
and then it flew to a new branch about 50 yards away.

 I always love seeing the swans at Crex, and they make for good interest in the current landscape.

Taken with my cellphone camera held up to my binoculars.
Standby for editorial rant please....
I wish folks would remember to "first, do no harm" when viewing wildlife, especially such a rare bird. 
Don't be the 'photographer' today who walked off the road well into the natural grasses, while her dog in the car, with windows down, barked at other people who were also getting out of their cars and walking around. If you thought I was rude for me to ask you not to walk into the natural grasses, to silence your dog and quit trying to scare the owl, tough. You were thoughtless and put undo stress on this bird. Did you notice that most photographers stayed in their vehicles and used them as a blind. None were yelling at their dogs to shut up.
I'm off my soapbox now, please delete if I crossed the line.

Fall is about over and winter will be here so soon.
It was good to have a visit at Crex before the snow flies.
The Crex Meadows Wildlife area is a real gem, not far from home.

As I drove home, 
I took a route that my friend Kathy had suggested might show me a few Sandhill Cranes.

The Sandhill Cranes will migrate South soon, but right now, Crex is a great place to see the cranes come in at night and leave in the early morning.  I was happy to get to see a few on my trek back home as they will starting their trek South very soon.
It's time.

Friday, October 30, 2015

At Alice's Restaurant

Folksinger Arlo Guthrie puts on a great show. 
Almost 70 years old, he is currently on tour celebrating
50 years of The Alice's Restaurant Massacree.

The show was opened by his daughter who had a lovely voice and told humorous stories about growing up in a famous musical family. 
Arlo,  white haired now, sounded good even though his daughter had said that this tour was wearing on her father's voice.  Arlo played some of his Dad's famous work and much of his own.  

The entire Alice's Restaurant Massacree song, and story, is a '60s classic and the crowd loved it.   Clips from the movie played on the big screen as he sang.   What I didn't know was that the famous sheriff Opie in the movie was played by the actual sheriff Opie involved in the incident.  Arlo told the story of the first days on the film set with the sheriff, neither man liking the other,  but at the end of two weeks a friendship started to form, a friendship that lasted th rest of officer Opie's life.  
There's a message there,according to Arlo,
 about people who can't stand each other finding common ground & friendship.

Arlo's memories of arriving & performing Woodstock made me smile.  
The last two songs in the show,  words by Woody Guthrie, 'This Land Is My Land' & 'My Peace' brought tears to my eyes as the crowd sang along with Arlo and his band.
This morning I woke up humming Arlo's music, "You can get anything you want....."
Life is good.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

An add on

I was going to edit the post about the Work Weekend at the cabin so I could add these pictures drawn by Jake, but then I realized I wanted to write a little bit about Nnelg Nesanhoj (said:  nelg nesanho).   
Glenn told me that he and Rick Pomerleau, who were good pals as young boys, had this fun thing that they called each other their names said backwards.
Of course Glenn was Nnelg Nesanhoj, and Rick/Richard was
Drahcir Uaelremop (said:  dracer urlermop).

We were talking about that when Rick & Mary visited us at the cabin, I asked Glenn if he had his grandkids doing that, I guess Jake was listening, so he wrote his name
as we decided you would say it ekaj wtih a long e.

I hope Nnelg will get the rest of the kids to have some fun with this idea.

And here are the rest of Jake's drawings from the weekend.
He had been telling me about sharks all weekend, he showed Mary the shark book and they found a seahorse in one of the pictures.
Jake's version of a seahorse

Jake drew a picture of himself lifting weights, big big weights.

Jake's self portrait.
I wonder if he will be artistic like his Mom?

I put together a little photo album for Jake from the work weekend.
I got this text from his Dad, Dana today.
(I still can't get that Lego Movie theme song out of my head.)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Doilies and Memories

In the process of my closet purge, I found several more 'Florence doilies', so I did a little modification to my living room valance.  Now I'm really pleased with the look.

 It turned out I had extra doilies, so thought I might as well include the kitchen window in this decor scheme, So, I took down the lace curtain that had been placed there by the folks who lived here before me, and replaced them with memories of Florence.
It's all good.

I still have a few left, I'm eyeing another spot that has possibilities.
Life is Good
Memories are Precious.

We are just one year since saying good bye to Ev.
The 'afterglow' that we held on 10/25/14 was a wonderful day of family and friends,
 sunshine and fall weather 
and remembering Ev.
I remember that day as being full of smiles and hugs and laughing and children having fun.
It's good to remember, eh?
Ev & Wally

Sunday, October 25, 2015

It's all about the jazz - again

Earlier this summer I was looking at the events offered by our local University of Wisconsin - Barron County campus, and noticed a Jazz Fest.  It had a date and brief description and I put it on my calendar.  Then as time went along, Mary and I made plans for her to come to Rice Lake and spend the night so we could go to this concert.  But the week before, I started looking at where to buy tickets and much to my surprise, the concert was no longer listed.  I found emails of folks at the school who I thought might know if the venue had changed, or if the concert was canceled.  These good folks did answer my email queries and I discovered that the date had been moved out about 6 weeks, and the venue was not the Junior High in Cameron.  So, this no longer worked for Mary's visit, and an earlier posting talked about our change of plans.  

Last night, I went to the jazz concert. 
You know how when things start to seem like they are not very well organized, I start thinking, well...this might not be that great.  
Well, by yesterday afternoon, I wasn't really all that excited to go.  
But Carol & Pete and I had planned to go and we all agreed, let's just go and see what it is.
When I arrived at the school, I wasn't sure where to go in and there were no signs directing me.
Several of us were flailing in the parking lot, trying locked doors and not knowing where to go.
Finally, someone realized that there was a curved sidewalk around the building and there was the entrance to the auditorium.
You can probably guess what was going on in my head.

So, we walk into the school and there is a ticket seller at a table and right behind her, the seats and the stage, no entry portal here.  

It was a little awkward walking directly into the venue like that, and for a minute I thought we might have to sit at those round tables with attached stools that the popular in school cafeterias.
The ticket seller assured me that there were seats available and since we had called ahead, we had reserved seats.

So, we went to find seats.  We were in the second row, sitting on those plastic stack-able school chairs, you know, the ones with the tubular metal frames, and no padding.
The Cameron High School Jazz Band was playing warm up and they were in full swing.
Well, we settled in and started listening to the highschool-ers play.
By this time, I was doubting our wisdom at coming to this event, but I have to admit, that didn't last.

The CHS Jazz Band is good, very good.  Jazz has all those solo improvs, and each of these students bravely performed, many having a microphone at their instrument.  Not all were perfect, but all were well done and I was impressed by the bravado of these young musicians.
After a few songs, the stage was reset and the professionals started to filter in.
The MC and lead clarinetist was pretty casual and the whole event seemed to be coming together at that moment, but the result was fabulous.
While there were no programs, so I don't really know the names of all the performers; while there were sound mix issues with the string bass and the piano, with the bass overwhelmingly winning, eventually those were adjusted; while the chairs were less that comfortable, in the end, none of that mattered.
The music was just great.
When we were still listening at 10pm, with a 7pm start time, 
I could hardly believe that the quality of music just got better and better.  
Through the evening we heard several different 'groups', but some musicians played in with more than one, so it was really like a big jam session of really excellent makers of music.  Some of these talent folks are music teachers, and all are local, mostly from the Eau Claire area.
The organizer, Pat Binford, explained that he had sent an email out to many of his musician friends asking who would be interested in putting together a jazz fest 'North of Highway 8'.  To his surprise, he had many respond that they were 'in'.  
So, while there was that date mix up, it still worked out for most of those musicians.
My favorite was a young man Josh Gallagher who played the piano.
I'll be going to see him perform again, he was amazing.
The final song brought most of the musicians back to the stage.

I sure hope that they can pull this together again next year, I'll be first in line for tickets!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

From this to that

It rained today, I was pretty lazy, watching TV and reading, but then Roche called to ask about the book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up'.  That's the book that motivated me to  take some big steps towards geting my house organized.  She was about to start on her closet.  So that motivated me.  
I pulled every single thing out and threw it on the bed.
Oh my gosh, do I really have that many clothes?!?
I felt disgusted really!

Then, item by item, decided what went back in, as suggested in the book.   
It's all about joy for this author, keeping those things that being you joy, and discarding the rest, after properly appreciating them as you send them off.
Some items were folded on the shelf, while others were best on hangars.
Yes, I sorted by color & by sleeve length; summer & winter in cohabitation.
Shirts / blouses were awarded their own place in the closet.

Who knew I had so many jackets, and I don't mean the winter variety.

Ahhhh, feel the joy.
And yes, there is a red theme...Wisconsin Badgers, Luck Cardinals, it is to be expected.

I love this little book and the ideas that have been planted in my brain.  
And tonight I'm really feeling the joy about those items that are left in my closet.  

And I also feel great about the items I'll be donating to Goodwill tomorrow.

I found more doilies too, so now I'll rearrange my valance doilies and update my last post. I just have them draped on the rod up there, once I get the final arrangement nailed, I'll add some straight pins, as it will be good to be able to wash them without any big drama like un-sewing.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Florence's doilies

A couple of weeks ago I went with friend Carol to a home show in Bloomer. We saw 4 homes,  each one very unique.  
One was the old hotel on main street, one a 100 year old house that had been refurbished beautifully, one was a lake home decorated with cabin decor including a birch log for a valance,  clever, & a bit odd, but it fit the decor which also included a standing bear mount and moose horns.  One was a '70s ranch style home and this one was furnished inside with only antiques and handmade quilts. In the bathroom,  the decorator had used old cloth doilies as window coverings.  I saw this idea and thought of using doilies for a valance and decided that's what I would do with my Florence doilies.
Florence Skow was the grandma to my brother Gus's kids.  Lois's mom was a master crocheter!  Many of us have angel tree toppers crocheted by Florence and I have a lovely selection of hand made doilies.   Since I don't have doilies around the house like I used to,  these beauties have been living in the closet.
Getting this valance idea gave me a good reason to wash and iron all of my 'Florence's doilies' and appreciate how pretty they are,  each one a work of art.
Since I moved into this house I have been trying to decide what to do for a valance in my living room.  This big window needed something,  but what?
Today I hung the doilies on a rod over they big window and I love how they look. I may need to do a little adjusting for which size goes where, but the look is exactly what I wanted.  Now I will look at, and enjoy, Florence's doilies everyday.
❤ and it makes me happy.
Life is Good.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Working on the weekend

When you own a cabin, there are always projects that need done.  It's hard to get them done during the hunting weekend, so once in awhile, we try to schedule a 'work weekend' for the cabin owners.
Jake & Dana got to the cabin on Friday afternoon and had some time to target shoot before I arrived.
Glenn & Andy were coming later after the Spring Valley HS football game.
Jake was excited to tell me about shooting the gun for the first time, he also quickly told me that he had been to afraid to pull the trigger by himself but he was proud anyway.
The 3 of us went to eat fish at the Y-Go-By.
Jake tried shooting on the video game.
The gun didn't quite fit him, I think it made him shoot high.
Once back at the cabin, Dana and I started playing cribbage and having Jake learn a little bit.
Jake moved the pegs for us in-between watching a movie.
Finally Glenn & Andy arrived and we were all settled in for the night.
Saturday morning, I made breakfast of hashbrowns, sausage & eggs.
Jake loved the hashbrowns and ordered more for Sunday morning.
Then we got to work.

Our cabin has an addition that was not built on cement fittings, so over the years, there has been some sagging of that half of the structure, causing the front door to become "out of whack" (technical carpenter term).  So, job one was to jack up the cabin during work weekend.
Glenn and Dana started the job.

Then, friends Rick Pomerleau & Mary Stenberg stopped by for a visit.
Rick & Glenn
Mary brought some applesauce bars, so we took a coffee break.
The boys went back to work but the 4 of us visited for a bit.
Glenn & Rick had been close friends as kids, 
we grew up just 1/4 mile away from the Pomerleau's just West of Luck.
It was fun chatting, and hearing the cabin creak as the boys worked on the leveling project.

Andy and Dana were jacking while Jake was talking and talking and talking.

Once our company left, Glenn and I started to get busy starting more projects.
But first, Jake showed me his target hit from the day before, his first shot ever.

Then there was a break to do some target practice.

I was observing how the gun safety lessons were going.
Dana was thorough, having Jake check to see the gun & barrel were empty.

Then the bullet was loaded into the gun.

Dana helped Jake aim and hold the gun safely.

But this time, Jake pulled the trigger himself.
He was very excited and proud of this accomplishment.

 Then Andy did some target practice with one of his many firearms.
All had earplugs along except Glenn who only brought his fingers.

I'm not much for guns, but this is a hunting family and learning hunter safety & how to shoot is important to the boys as they grow up.

Finally it was back to work.
I started on the staining of the back of the cabin.

Glenn got working on the gable end of the front of the cabin.

He's better on an extension ladder than I am and it went fairly quickly.

The pine siding on the back of the cabin is rough and it was thirsty.
Glenn came to help me.

 I think I could have thrown the whole buck of stain up on the cabin and it would have soaked in.

 It helped to have Glenn staining as I have to rest my ankle fairly often, so my progress is slow.

 Inside, Andy & Dana were finishing the trim and battens on the ceiling.
We also added a ceiling fan to help move both warm air and cool air.

I tried to get Jake to take a selfie with me, but he wouldn't,
so I drew a little Jake on a notepad.

All that is left to stain is the gable end.
Ladders got hung and some clean up done.
Then we were done for the day,

Here's the list of completed activity:
1.   Ceiling fan installed
2.   Bathroom switch turned/corrected
3.   Bathroom wooden table out, new resin table in
4.   Cabin leveled - mostly
5.   Shooting of guns (except for Wanda)
6.   Trimmed interior, except for front door
7.   Plumb door jamb, kinda, door closes and latches MUCH better
8.   Stained upper front and lower back of cabin
9.   Dog poop scooped - had to say it
10.  Chase, hide and seek, and talking about sharks with Jake
11.  Stove deep cleaned
12.  Entertained our company
13.  Cribbage played and Wanda won $1 from Dana
14.  Jake pulled the trigger

2017 To Do List
1.  Replace flooring in bathroom
2.  Finish walls in bathroom - cedar closet treatment?
3.  Finish staining, gable end of back of cabin
4.  Seal kitchen cabinet top for mouseproofing
5.  Bartop - new with nice edge
6.  Bar Rail - Brackets, Brass, Wooden?
7.  Trim Front Door
8.  Repair Outhouse Door and try to animal proof
9.  Stain Outhouse & generator box
10. Play cards, drink beer, have fun.

We cleaned up a bit and headed to The Cabin Store for dinner.

Jake played another shooting game, are you catching the theme?

 Jake was all about the bacon burger, double bacon by the way.

Sunday morning we woke to 21 degrees and a few pellets of snow on the ground.
Our cars were frosty and it was plenty chilly in the cabin.
Once the stove was going, I cooked a repeat breakfast, but Jake didn't like the hashbrowns as much.
I'll use more butter next time!

After a big breakfast, the boys got out their deer rifles and started figuring out a way to 'sight in'.
I relaxed in the sunshine while the boys walked through the woods
Dana & Andy

Jake & Andy

 Glenn & Jake walked out to pace off a certain distance.

Glenn counting his paces.

Jake coming out of the woods

Big excitement was that Jake found an animal skull in the woods.

 I checked with Kris, he thought the photo looked like a coyote skull.

Jake said all the shooting hurt his ears, so he and I watched The Lego Movie in the cabin.
Jake had been reading his book about sharks all weekend and telling us all the shark facts.
He teased me by making up a shark called the 'tip shark'.  While I was on the ladder staining he told me fact after fact after fact about this shark.  I'm not shark expert, so I bought it, hook, line & sinker.
Finally, he told me that he had made it all up and was just fooling me.
Silly kid.

When the shooters came back to the cabin we had grilled ham & cheese sandwiches.
Jake entertained us with 'what am I'?

Walrus boy.

Finally we all packed up our vehicles and got ready to head for home.

I wanted to try a group photo, the timer on my camera was only 2 seconds which was really not long enough for the photographer to be in the photo, 

but finally Glenn made it work.

As I left I took a few finished project photos.

It's a beautiful spot, a very nice cabin and I'm hoping to get back up there before the ground is white.

As I drove away, I saw this sign, looks like one of our neighbors is selling out.

It will be interesting to see if it sells and for how much and who moves in.

In the meantime, the work is done for this year.


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