Saturday, April 30, 2016

The long haul

I read an article about stray cats in a magazine from Good Friends (that's the shelter in Utah that took all the Michael Vick fight dogs and found them homes).  

It said don't start feeding a stray unless you are in for the long haul because the cat will come to depend on you, the kicker was that it said,
don't forget, the stray has been abandoned once before it found you.  
I guess Omaha and I are in for the very long haul.  
Today I was out of Cat Chow, so Omaha got Science Diet like the spoiled indoor cats.

Friday, April 29, 2016


I'm continuing to take piano lessons weekly.  Sometimes my progress is quite slow, but generally I enjoy the learning and playing.  This past week my teacher's husband, who teaches guitar, challenged me to try to play along with his guitar version of The Sounds of Silence.  
It was difficult as I'm used to setting my own pace, 
but I can see where it would be fun to play with others once I am good enough.

A couple of the kids had their piano recital last Sunday.  This teacher has 29 students, so it was a big recital.  I enjoyed it all.  The level of play was from very basic beginner to advanced music played by a couple of the high school students.
Gage and Stella did very well.  There was a large audience, I was impressed how they kept their cool and hit all the notes.

Stella at the piano.  Brother Gage got away before we broke out the cameras.

Stella with Grandma Janice and Grandma Lois

Stella with Great Aunt Wanda and Great Aunt Lois
I'm tickled that these kids are taking piano and enjoying it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Celebrating Dad today as he would have been 94.  I think of him so often and of course wish we could have had a few more years.  He left too soon, but when I see others who suffer in their later years, I can find gratitude in the memory of Dad living an active and happy life to the end.
I was lucky.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

200 to 2

In 2009, I planned 200 tulip bulbs in my Rice Lake yard.  
That first year was pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself.
Slowly,  the buds got smaller.
In 2016, I see only 2 bulbs that will flower.
I think I'll stick with daffodils, 
 they seem to like the fact that I have a knack for killing plants, 
and are thriving none the less.

I had a busy day in the yard today, motivated by the predictions of rain tomorrow, I planted the oriental poppies that a friend had offered out of her yard.  Also a couple of lupines were added to the yard.  My Master Gardener friend also gave me 3 little shade plants, so added those below my bedroom window that gets almost no sun.
Add to my day clean up of the day lillie canes.
I also cleaned up the step raised bed and planted Cannas in the top.
I think I'll do Kale on the lower steps again.
There is lots more to do, but at least all the new plants are in the ground and ready for rain.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Back to normal lounging

Last week my recliner, aged 8 years, had a major breakdown.  I hauled it off to the local Slumberland who does Lazy Boy repairs, and the report was that it was in rough shape.  So, after approving a repair that might take 4 - 6 weeks, I drove to the front of the store, went in and in no time, made a purchase of a brand new rocker recliner, very similar to my old one.
It is remarkable how used to a chair a person can be.  My recliner and the tables on either side were my daily spot to do everything.  Suddenly, without the recliner, I was sitting on the couch and feeling like a fish out of water.  Crazy how habitual a person can be.
But, today, all is once again right with the world 
and I love my new rocker / recliner.  
Much like the old, but with wooden arms.  
It is a beauty.

I did a switch with the piano and secretary desk as well, always good for a little rearranging.

Change is good, as long as I like it.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Spring has come to Rice Lake.
It's sunny today, the daffodils all popped open yesterday afternoon, 

the maple tree buds exploded overnight and lots of new birds are at the feeders.

New arrivals this morning included Pine Siskins, Red Bellied Woodpecker, 
Mourning Doves and a bunch of House Finch.
I love this time of year.

Friend Mary was here overnight on Friday.  We started our visit yesterday with a light lunch at Tokyo, my favorite restaurant and the wait staff knows me there.
I tried something new, an appetizer called Tokyo Starter.

Then Mary met a car dealer who was delivering her new wheels.  After dropping her new car off at my house, we took a drive to Chetek to a quilt store.  Mary is the one who got me sewing again and started me on this quilt thing.  We had a good visit with the store owner and got some information on her long arm quilting services.  Now I'm going to get busy and get my quilt tops down to her so I can get those beauties on a bed.
We squeezed in time for pedicure at the local mall.  ProNails was hopping, once spring got here, everyone wanted good feet!
My new favorite color  Very Merry Cherry

Our toes are looking good.

 Later on, we headed for Eau Claire.
We enjoyed Friday Night Fish Fry at Houligans (Blue Gills, very tasty), and then headed for The State Theater for a performance by a tribute band called Hotel California.  These guys play and sing all the Eagles greatest hits.  The theater was nearly full, and the crowd of gray haired folks knew every song by heart.  It was really fun.

This morning we visited over coffee and fresh bakery bagels before Mary headed home.
Mary has good sewing and quilting knowledge, so we looked over a couple of my projects before she drove off in her brand new car.

Now the sun is shining bright, the birds are all looking for dates so the air is filled with music.
I love Spring, ahhhh.

Monday, April 11, 2016

In person

Do you call it 'in person' when you see a cat for the first time?  Well, here we have a shot of Omaha 'in person' and in the daylight.  It is the first time he has faced the trailcam to have his photo taken.

He comes every night, this is the first afternoon visit that the trail cam has captured.
Good to see you my friend.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Making Plans

Mother Nature was playing an April Fools joke on Saturday morning.  

When I got up to get ready to leave for a Garden Expo, 
the view out the living room window was not very nice.

The drive to the WITC campus was one of the worst drives I have had all winter, go figure.

Once I arrived safely at the expo I met up with a couple of friends from my Bridge group and the rest of the day was a delight.
I didn't really know what to expect from this day.
A Garden Expo with several speakers and some vendors was about all I knew.
Little did I know that the Master Gardeners and the Barron County Extension Office would put on such an interesting, professionals and well orchestrated day for me to enjoy.
All of the speakers were really interesting and I learned so much.
By far the most valuable to me was the talk on growing plants in zones 3 & 4.

Mr. Heger really knew his material and had good photos to show 
and growing tips to numerous to count.
I was immediately thinking about my yard and what to plant next.  I learned which plants needed to be moved, and that I have a few plants that are not likely to ever thrive in my yard.

This speaker was also interested in textures and foliage colors.
I appreciated his comments pointing out the use of flowering plants as well as plants with interesting leaf shapes and colors.

Before long, I started writing some notes to myself about changes I want to make in my yard.
I have decided to mow less of the grass again this year.  
Each year I have let more and more of my property go natural, this year, I'm going to let the area around my little pine forest be un-mowed.
Based on what I learned at the expo, I might add some plants to the area to amp up the interest level, but the mowing will stop & then I'll see what wild flowers might come along.

The speaker who covered vegetable planting in containers gave me some creative and practical tips to improve what I have been doing each year with my tomatoes and other vegetables in pots.

I wasn't overly interested in the strawberry & blueberry lecture, but I did learn why some strawberry plants that I have at the back of the garage have failure to thrive.  I'll be giving them a new home this spring and planting something better suited for that space in their place.

The lunch was great and many door prizes were given away.  
One major raffle prize raised money to fund this event and I bought several tickets.
As usual, I went home with only the prizes I purchased.
The vendors had interesting and useful items, 
I bought a small jar of fertilizer tablets for my flower pots, it's my prize.

I'm putting next year's event on my calendar, I won't miss it,
 and I'll hope to get a few more friends to come along, 
It was a fun day dreaming of summer gardens.

The sun came out while we were learning and the snow is nearly gone again,
I'm excited to work on the plans I started.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Life is timing

At 8:18pm last night I decided to refill the food in Omaha's shelter 
since the weather was turning to snow.  
I filled up the food dish and came back in the house.
At 8:21pm, Omaha showed up to check out the new food.

He must not hang out too far away.

Into the shelter he goes.

Life is timing, for both of us.


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