Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Vote early and often

I entered a photo into a local photo contest and you can vote for me if you are so inclined.
The contest is Memories of Rice Lake, I was looking for a cool foggy morning on Rice Lake photograph, ran across this one, and clicked on it.  Then I realized I could submit only one photo.
This is a group of vintage aircraft that did a flyover to kick off the AquaFest Parade in 2015. 
These beauties flew right over my house and I was lucky enough to get the camera aimed in the righ direction in the nick of time.

Maybe you'll vote for me by clicking here

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Crapping out

Some of my perennials are dying off.  I guess it is the end of August, but I still hate to see them go.
My impatiens are still showing off though and I think they usually last until the very first hint of frost.

So, while some of my plants are crapping out, this one is surely not.

A friend of mine who lives on Maui remarked about the difference having the 4 seasons makes.  I had not really thought about the idea that in climates where it never freezes, that annuals become perennials to a point.  It's amazing to my little mind, the diversity of climates on this little earth.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Getting ready for a football season without Payton Manning and his trademark 'Omaha' chant.  I'm always ready for football as fall approaches.  I hope my Omaha is getting ready for fall too.
He looks pretty relaxed as he surveys his kingdom.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Smack Down

This morning, as I was sitting in the living room, I saw a bird fly directly into the picture window.  
I purposefully have my platform feeder very close to the window so that birds can't gain any momentum leaving the platform if they are aimed at the window, 
but this one came fast from out in the yard.  
He bounced off the window and landed on the feeder platform.  
I watched him for quite a while, thinking I was about to make a trip to a wildlife rehabber.  
At first he was on his side, 
then got on his feet, but tipped way forward until his beak was resting on the feeder, 
but then slowly, he regained his balance.

I have never seen an Ovenbird before.  
They are common in Wisconsin, but since they don't come to the feeder, I don't see them.
It was a treat to see him so close.
I was worried about him, but went to do some chores and when I came back, he had flown away.
Bon Voyage little dude.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


On Tuesday, I took a drive up to the cabin to see if I could replace the elbow the stove pipe off our wood stove.  I know nothing of these kinds of things, but had found the part at Menards and I brought my friend Bruce along to help me with this task.  Things were good at the cabin, except for some very long grass, but it's been raining up there almost daily so no surprise.
I was able to put the elbow on the stove flange, but the next piece was a tight fit.  Now I have to learn if that corrugated edge can be squeezed to fit inside the next piece.

So, my search for knowledge continues.

It was a nice day for a drive Up North and we met friends Rick & Mary for lunch at the Y Go By Bar & Grill.  Fun visiting with our pals and both Bruce and I agreed that we sure live in a beautiful place.

I delivered a garden mosaic stone to Mary that I had made for her in class.
She liked it and sent me back a photo of her and the dogs and the stone that Rick had made a wooden frame for to class it up.

I can see a wood frame finishes off the stone nicely.
Don't you love these two doggies?  Mary sure does.

On Saturday I met nephew Kris up at the Sandcastle and we fixed the stove pipe.
It was not perfect, but it is a good fix and looks good too.
Check it off the list!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Anti Gravity

I have enjoyed having a black squirrel in the yard this year.
Today, there were two.
One spent most of the day hanging from his tippy toes eating sunflower seeds.
Stretching his back out on the anti gravity seed ball I guess.

Yesterday, we had a nice diversity gathering on the grass.

If only we could all get along like this.
Sharing the seeds regardless of their differences.

Peace, out.

Friday, August 19, 2016


I've probably mentioned my wish to restore some of my mowed yard to natural state, partly as a gift to wildlife in this area and partly to create more buffer between my house and the busy county road.  This Spring I roped off an area in my lower yard where some pine trees that I planted about 6 years ago have grown to be a nice size.  So, for about 2 months, this area was not mowed.  The grass was waist high, some wild flowers were showing up and the deer had been laying in the tall grass.  Just what I had hoped for.  I took down the rope and it looked fine to me.  Then, last week, out of the blue, my lawn guy mows it all down.  What?  Two weeks in a row, he mowed all the tall grasses and around each of the trees.  So, what was I to do.  I decided to make it official, fence the area off, post my Natural Habitat sign and send a message to the mower guy and the neighbors as to what I was doing there.

So, you get the idea.  Now it looks like something and once the grass gets long again, it won't be a mystery to the neighborhood as to why I quit mowing this area.
I have a bunch of wild flower seeds that I'll plant in this area in the Spring too.
Eventually, I'm hoping to restore this area to a more natural state.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

After the rain, Mother Nature is so pretty

Morning glories are so lovely in person, I have yet to really capture them well on film.

Yellow Garden spider weaves a mean web.
This web was a work of art, I'm so glad I got to see it.
Catching it in the right light to make it visible, now that was a challenge.

The spider species Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the yellow garden spider, black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider, writing spider, corn spider, or McKinley spider, according to Wikipedia.

He has a little snack waiting for him in the upper left.
I think his zig zag was going to spell out Go Packers!

I think he might have something encased in that angel hair looking mass.
Too bad for whatever insect that might be.

Just after the rain, really dewy and foggy.

Who doesn't love a Black Eyed Susan in the morning sun.

Flowering beans blossom.
Dad loved planting these, said his Mom always had them in the yard when he was a kid.

Gotta love these hops cones dripping with dew.
The Pumpkin Patch barn in the fog of the morning.
I'm not usually up and about at 7am but this morning I was waiting for friend Carol to drop off a container of fresh cucumber soup.  She was on her way to her volunteer gig.  The funny story is that she brought me over a container of soup yesterday with a little bag of dill.  She wasn't sure I liked dill so brought it separate for me to add.  When I went to have it for supper, I noticed it was chive in the herb bag and when I went to open the container, it was a new & sealed container of sour cream.
So, no soup for me.
I really got a laugh out of that, but she was determined for me to have the soup, so made an early morning delivery and because of all that, I got to see a pretty morning around the yard.

Can't wait to have that soup for supper!

Monday, August 15, 2016


On Saturday, I took a little tour to do some errands.  
Starting in Luck, 
I picked up a chair from Lois that will match the 3 I have around my dining room table.  
All it needed was a little black paint, and now it matches.
Gotta love how easy spray paint is.

I got to see Jude while I was at Lois's.  He's growing like a weed, and such a sweet little personality.
Jude was busy driving or pushing his little trucks around.  Grandma has a nice supply of vehicles!
Jude driving around the driveway

Jude is a sweet little boy


After I left Lois's, I dropped in on the final sale at The Cardinal Shop in downtown Luck.
Not needing a thing, but couldn't walk away from the village houses that were needing to be sold, I came home with 5 new houses for my Alpine / Brewery Village and a couple more people too.  I don't have room to add all 5 but now I can rotate which houses I use each year, and for $65 for the whole lot, I could not pass it up.
Bob told me that they have had the store for 39 years, I've shopped there many times over the years, Diane always carried a nice supply of Scandinavian gifts.
But, life changes and hopefully Bob and Diane do well.

I also picked up a couple of flooring samples of Luxury Vinyl Tile that I am planning on putting in my house.  Jensen Furniture will do the job for me, I'm trying to pick a good color.

Then I motored on to Glenn's lake cabin to drop off some photos.
I had a couple of photo ops along the way.
Nice rack Dude!

I hope this guy survives The Hunt this fall.

I watched these two pecking around for a while.

The Sandhill Cranes will soon be migrating.
My next stop was a road side stand near Almena, WI.
This place has a permanent stand and a nice sign to show what is in stock.
This time it said tomatoes, I had to go past, turn around and come back due to traffic, but I was not disappointed!  The tomatoes were wonderful.  There were 4 nice sized baskets there for sale, priced at $3/each.  I took them all!  I shared a few with friend Carol, but I can eat me some fresh tomatoes!

A funny thing on the way home.  I was being followed by a big RV, on Highway 8, which is a busy state road and mostly 2 lanes only.  I came over a little hill and saw a pickup pulling out to pass without enough room, so I slowed down significantly so that we would not meet head on.
As the pickup and I met, I pointed at him as if to say "I saw what you did" and he flipped me off.
Seriously, flip me off for slowing down so you can pass in an unsafe manner?
Just then I looked in my rear view mirror again and this time I noticed that it said SHERIFF across the front of the RV.  
So, now I wonder if Mr. PickUp Truck Driver was flipping me off 
or The Sheriff, 
or was it a two for one?

Who knows, 
but I bet I was enjoying my day of driving 
much more than that angry guy driving that pick 'em up truck.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


My feral friend, continues to take advantage of the shelter, food and water I have for him on the front porch.  These two photos are from Thursday evening, he looks comfy and even took a little bath.
I rarely see him in person, but I keep up with his activities with the trail cam.
The raccoons had been bothering the shelter trying to get to the food, so I was closing it at night, but now those pests haven't been around for a few nights, so I'm leaving the shelter open for Omaha.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Closer Look

I love Seth Meyers and the Late Show, he does a segment called A Closer Look pertaining to politics.
Here we will take a closer look at the bumblebee, as seen through my living room window.
Drinking and drinking and more drinking

Looking for a new flower

In flight, see his little wings?

More drinking


It was interesting to watch this guy today, I'm glad he stopped by.

Friday, August 12, 2016


Tuesday night was the last of the three mosaic garden stone classes at Luck.  Carol and I enjoyed each of these classes and we love our new garden stones.
This week I tried to capture the process from start to finish.

Step one:  Burger and beer at what used to be The Mill Inn in Milltown, WI.
Carol and I really liked the food and the remodeling is bright, clean and fits with Up North.
We gave this place a big thumbs up and we will be back as the service was great too.

Step two:
Plan your design.
I found an image on the internet for puppy prints with a heart, I decided that was what I would try.

Step 3:
Cut glass and make the stone.
Glass cutting is pretty easy on the straight lines, but curves are for sure something that take practice.
Once the glass is cut, we lay out our pattern on the pre-cast stone.

I had hoped to cut out the heart shape from the black glass, but that did not work.
I was left with several pieces to make up the puppy foot pad.
I had to adjust my plan to include the heart some other way.

I decided to make the heart out of red and nest it inside the puppy paw pad.

This looked good to me and after some adjusting of the black pieces, 
I was ready to move on to the mosaic border and fill.

After some discussion with the instructor, Pam, and looking at the many colors of glass available, I chose a light blue glass to use with white contrast for borders and mosaic pieces.

I like this chevron corner treatment and then started the tedious task of filling in the open areas.
It is a good way to use of little scraps of glass so I tried to do as much of that as possible while trimming as best I could to keep with a triangular shape.

Once all the spaces are filled in, the next step is to remove the design from the stone, apply thin set cement and then re apply the design.
I missed taking photos of this part of the process.
Contact paper is applied to the glass design, then the entire design is lifted an set aside, while the thin set cement base is prepared.
Then, very carefully, the entire design is re applied to the thin set cement.
This next photo is my design, in the thin set, covered with the contact paper.
It stayed that way until the thin set cement is dry and the project is ready for grouting.

 Here it is ready for grouting.
I had to decide what color of grout to use, and finally decided on dark gray.
I liked this lighter look but thought the gray would pop the red heart better.

I couldn't take pictures while I was grouting, but I did take this one of Carol working on her stone.
It looks a lot like you are ruining it, but it is really the magic.

Grouted, and waiting to dry for final wiping.

Puppy paws grouted and cleaned, now all it needs is the sealer that keeps it weatherproof.
Although it will be weather / moisture proofed, it is not recommended to leave the glass outdoors in the winter because it could expand and crack.

 I think I made the right choice with the grout color.  The red hearts really pop out at you and the light blue and white are good balance to the black glass.
I'm happy with this version of getting stoned.
I'm planning to give this as a gift to my friend Mary who loves her doggies so much.
I think she will like it.

The last step is to write a message on the back with a Sharpie and hand it to Mary.
Life is Good.

Here is Carol's finished stone, ready for grouting.

Carol's grouted stone.  The dark glass didn't photograph well, it is iridescent and very pretty.


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