Sunday, January 31, 2016

A stand off over a clean bed

Cats can be pretty weird sometimes.

I washed all the cat beds on Saturday, but then they must have smelled too good, 
because the cats wouldn't go near them.

They were both trying to hunker down on this fleece throw, 
and then it was a stand off, complete with growls.

But after I distracted them by taking a photo, they settled down. 

Eventually they managed to curl up together.

I'm happy to say, that a day later, they are back in their cat beds, 
the clean & fresh smell must have worn off.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Since living in Wisconsin, my Packer Pride is in full swing, 
but of course our football season ended a week ago with an exciting game; 
a near amazing comeback 
and then a devastating overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals.  
But, I'm luckier than most NFL fans, I have a backup team.  

For 40 years living in Denver, I was a Bronco fan and I still am (unless they are playing my Packers).
Roche and I had season tickets for 6-8 years I think, never owning the rights, but always buying them from good friends Alice & Bob who had moved out of state.
 So, Sunday was fun football for me.  
I loved seeing the Broncos play well and beat the New England team that I don't care for. 
And a trip to the Superbowl for one of my teams makes it so much more fun.

I remember well very the first Super Bowl that the Broncos played in 1977, 
also the year I started at Coors Brewing Company.  
The one in 1998 when they did play the Packers was torment.  I remember lots of phone calls during that game from my Wisconsin friends and family.
Then there were a couple of the Superbowls in the '80s that went badly for The Broncos.
 My memories of attending Superbowl parties that were over at half time, 
yet we felt like we should stay, 
and be miserable, 
until the very end, 
like a wake.

But this year is exciting again for my old team.
The Peyton Manning story is a good one, yet the Cam Newton story is worth noting as well.
So, off to the Superbowl for the Denver Broncos 
and I'm hoping that they play well against the Carolina Panthers.

Back at the ranch, as they used to say in the movies, my stray kitty was absent for a few nights, 
and I was beginning to worry,  
but he returned last night and left his tiny prints on the porch in the fresh snow.

He was here about midnight too, but went into the shelter at 2:35am for a rest

Looks like he got an hour and a half of quiet time in the shelter.
I was talking about him to a friend on the phone admitting that I might as well name the cat, 
 and my friend suggested that the cat's name should be Omaha.
His shelter is made from an old Omaha Steaks cooler 
and that's the Denver Broncos Quarterbacks go-to chant before he calls for the ball to be snapped.
And so it is, now, this stray shall be named Omaha.  
I think he's an orange stripe too, so it's a perfect name for this vagabond.

Maybe he'll be a good luck charm for those Broncos when they play in two weeks,
in the meantime I'll keep feeding and sheltering Omaha.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's a really big deal

1,000 is a big number and when it is the points scored by a high school basketball player, 
it is monumental.  
Not many achieve this level of scoring in just 4 years.

Noah Mortel is my niece-in-law's nephew, that makes him my 'great nephew by in-law' and I have enjoyed watching him play ball since I moved to Wisconsin.

On Friday night, he scored his 1,000th point 
and he has already racked up 500 rebounds too.  
I'm so happy I was there for the game.

At the tip off, Noah was 16 points away from the 1,000

the crowd knew and family members were excited for the moment.
Noah won the tip off, and as I would have predicted based on the tip off, Luck won the game.

But what happened in between was pretty exciting for all.

 We knew this was the shot, and yes! it went in!

The first person to congratulate Noah was his cousin (my great nephew) Jack!
Jack congratulates Noah, these two are good pals
and it doesn't go unnoticed that his is the last year that they will be on the court together.
It made this moment even more touching.

Then the game was stopped as a presentation of the commemorative basketball.

After the game, lots of photos with Noah and The 1,000th Ball!
Cole, Noah & Alec Mortel

Coach Giller who coached Noah until this season,
and who delivered the recognition on this 1,000th.

Grandpa Kenny Olson, Noah & Grandma Janice Olson

Mom Jessica and Noah

Aunt Heather, Noah and Uncle Kyle

Noah and Cousin Gage
I'm glad I was there to see this milestone in Noah's career.
It's a really big deal!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter in Wisconsin

It was a slow start to winter this year.  Not much snow yet, and the ice has been slow to form on the lakes.  The past couple of weeks have been more like what we expect though.  Lots of below zero temperatures, -19 one morning this week, now that is winter weather!

So, on Tuesday night, it seemed funny that the Luck Cardinals were playing basketball in Winter, Wisconsin.  Winter is located East and North of Rice Lake about 75 miles.  Janice and I decided to go as the roads are clear and it would only be about an hour and 15 minutes for us.  We were glad we went.  It was an easy win for the Cardinals and we enjoyed our visit time in the car as well.  Only one deer pranced around on our drive, so that was good too.

The population of the town of Winter is about 300 folks and they must be hardy.
There isn't much around, woods and lakes and streams.
The nearest bigger town is 30 miles and then Ladysmith is not very big either.
I had to admire the Winter kids.
Their band had 14 or 15 players but they were there.  
I thought it was cool when they played their school song, they played it once, 
then sang it once and then played it again.  
School spirit!

They also did a great job on The Star Spangled Banner!

Did you notice Batman in the band?

The Luck kids quickly got well ahead of the Winter team, but I have to say those Winter kids continued to play hard and tough until the end.
Noah wins the tip off.
Cardinals win the game.
My research for my thesis has been right all but once.

Gage and little brother Jens and giggles.

Gage and Jens and one of the many girls that love these two.


Jack and Noah and Casey

Luck Cardinals on defense

Jack and Noah on defense

Introductions of the starting 5.  

Jack feeds Noah

Noah makes the bucket

Nice feed to Noah and his dunk.

Noah and Jack
Batman in the background

Jens and Gage and more laughing.

Jack handling the ball

It was an hour and 15 minute drive over to Winter, 
but Janice and I were really glad we went, we had fun and the game was fun to watch.  
Those Winter kids played hard and those Luck kids did too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Lodge

Checked the trail cam this morning, 
and saw my stray coming and going several times during the night.  
Each time he stays about 2 hours or so.  


I see when I pulled in the driveway last night, he slipped out without me seeing him, but the trail cam got his tail so I know he was here when I got home.

I'm hoping to get eyes on him one of these days.
It snowed a little bit last night, I bet he was happy to spend time in the Lodge.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Second Chances

Sometimes you get a second chance.

When Janice and I arrived at the Winter, WI High School for basketball tonight, 
we walked past Batman in the hallway, in fact we asked him for directions to the gym.
Once we were sitting in the gym, I mentioned to Janice that I wish I would have taken a selfie with Batman.  Batman was in the pepband, and stayed in costume the whole night.

On the way out of the school, there was Batman waiting by the doors so I took advantage of my second chance and asked him if he would do a selfie.

Second chances are a good thing.

When is the last time you took a selfie with Batman?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Shelter Update

Now that I am running a homeless shelter for stray cats, I thought I'd give an update.

We have a squatter.  
According to the trail cam, a cat is coming every night.  
Drinking water and going inside the shelter.

Last night the stray arrived just after midnight and didn't leave until almost dawn.
I call this a major success!

The food dish was empty today, so I refilled it and the water, I expect my squatter will be back later,
as the temps are hovering just under the zero mark.

(I think the thermometer in my trail cam is suffering from the cold.)

Sunday, January 17, 2016


-16°F on the thermometer and breezy,  when I got up this morning.   
Needless to say,  I'm going to stay indoors today.  
I'm still sad over that Packer game 
and now am hoping I see my Broncos win their game this afternoon.

I picked up a fabric cat house on clearance over a year ago 
and it has been taking up space in the living room ever since.  
The cats mostly ignored its existence, 
only venturing inside to look and then immediately leaving again.   
But within the last couple of weeks,  that cat house has become their hideout of choice; 
even a few hissing arguments have developed over who gets to be inside.  
Today,  they are snuggled in there together. 
Cats are hard to figure.
Owell, I wont even try.

Go Broncos!

LHS Pride

Of course, this isn't really a video format, 
but thought I would post a couple of links to videos anyway.

The Luck High School Pep Band is really good, under the direction of Mrs. Gilhoi, these kids make good music and seem to have a ton of fun!  

CLICK HERE to listen.
And remember, I was taping from across the gym, so in person they sounded even better.
As you can see, the electric guitar player is having a blast and the drummer is a real character.
My great niece Emily is 3 rows up on the right, playing the flute.

The Luck High School Choir sang our national anthem at the game on Friday night.
Under the direction of Ms Werner, who is new to the Luck school system this year, these kids sounded awesome.  My bleacher seat was a bit behind the kids, so I am guessing from the front, they sounded even better.
Here's a video, CLICK HERE to check it out.  

I'm so proud to be a Cardinal.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Shout Out

Last night was an exciting game between the Luck Cardinals and the Frederic Vikings.  It was a close game and after coming back from behind, our Cardinals won the game!
The local radio guys were broadcasting, so I sent sister Laila a text and told her she could listen via the webpage.  She found the link and was listening to the game.  One of the radio guys walked by during halftime, so I told him that they had a listener in Colorado and he asked her name.
Fun for her, she got a triple shout out!

After the game, Noah was interviewed by the radio guys.
Little Jens, my great nephew, Noah's cousin, waited patiently until the interview was over.

Jens had gathered up all the used drawing tickets and wanted to give them to Noah.
It made me smile.
Love between cousins is pretty precious.

In my continuing study of how the opening tip-off predicts the outcome of the game,
Noah won the tip, Cardinals won the game.

Final score after an exciting game!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Feeling pretty proud of myself today

I saw an idea for making a feral cat shelter out of a styrofoam cooler inside a Rubbermaid tote and decided I needed one.  I see little kitty tracks in the snow every time we get a dusting.  

So, my good friend Carol had received an Omaha Steaks shipment over Christmas, and she donated the styro cooler.  I had a big hinged lidded tote that I was using for packages from UPS / USPS, but that got re-purposed.
Through the wizardry of the Internet, I found the directions and some tips on how to easier cut the plastic tote and started on my project.
First step, using a hairdryer to heat up the plastic, cut a 6" hole for a kitty door.

Add caption
The cut a matching hole in the styro cooler.

Add some bedding inside the shelter 
and some more insulation outside the cooler to have a good fit inside the tote.

 Line up the two holes and add the cooler lid for a nice insulated and safe shelter.

Add a food dish inside the shelter.

Placed the shelter out on the front porch close to the building, 
and hopefully, in a warmer spot than most.
It is also easy access for me to check the food supply and the general tidiness of the shelter.

Plugged in the heated water dish, 

Re-labeled the tote so that the mail mistress doesn't try to put packages inside.

Now all I have left to do is move the trail cam out to the front porch 
so I can see who comes and goes into the shelter.  

Keep your fingers crossed that I don't end up with a family of skunks moving in.


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