Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reuse Recycle

I had a length of nice Christmas garland but the lights were shot.
I had a hula hoop, I think my hula hooping days are behind me.
So, I made a nice large wreath for the side of my garage by adding some LED white lights and a big red bow that I picked up on sale at Hobby Lobby.  

I hung the wreath on the West side of the garage in plain view from the country road travelers.
Happy Holidays!

Disclaimer:  Hobby Lobby -  I do not like to shop there, 
I don't support their refusal for their employees to use their health care benefits to cover birth control, 
but sometimes it's the only game in town :-(

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Sometimes you don't have to look at trail cam photos to know that visitors have been in the front porch.  This Sunday morning is very frosty but the beautiful fingers of ice won't stay long as the sun is coming up in a blue sky.  Frost will give way to water droplets, soaking everything below. 
November is quickly winding down.  Paw prints will be in the snow soon enough.

She who makes the little paw prints on the front porch door mat.

Ha' det godt (have it good)
(A danish greeting)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Winter Photography

I was driving to Luck for Thanksgiving dinner and passed by Bass Lake on Highway 48 near McKinley townhall.  The air was so still that the lake was like a mirror. 
The sky was winter white and there was frost and a little rain in the air.
My good camera was at home, so these are with my cell phone.
I hope you feel the mood.

There was a Canada Goose crossing the lake, otherwise, not a ripple.

On Saturday I went to Luck to do a few errands and stopped on County Road N to take this photo of West Denmark Lutheran Church from across the lake.
It was just by luck that the geese photo bombed me.
West Denmark Lutheran Church has a long history in this area.
Originally built in 1899, a fire took down that first church in 1937.
Rebuilt by a primarily Danish group of craftsman, the 2nd church burned in 1985.
Now standing is the third building for a congregation with roots to Denmark and roots in Wisconsin.
I grew up in this church community and when I attend services I am surrounded for cousins and friends.
A special place.

Winter photography is almost black and white photography.
It's always interesting to see what you get.

I put a wreath on the folks' grave today.
This year I chose blue decorations for the wreath.
Blue and Silver were Ev's colors.
Now, some snow will make it look really pretty.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Every day is a gift

I have a sign on my bedroom wall that says "Everyday is a gift". I found that sign not long after moving back to Wisconsin and it rings true every single day of my retired life.

This week was Thanksgiving, another reminder of the charmed life I live.  I spent Thursday evening with family gathered at niece Angie's house.   She made the feast and it was good to see the family.
Our table prayer was kind of funny.  Angie's husband Aaron said he would do the prayer.  People were standing in ther kitchen, sitting at the counter and sitting at the table.  I guess Harry and Larry, my sister in law Lois's brothers, didn't hear that the prayer was being said as they were having a conversation about deer.  So they talked loud about deer hunting all the while Aaron was trying to manage to say a prayer.   Finally Aaron stood up from the table, to get away from those two men, who never did stop talking, and just then he saw the dog on the deck was doing something bad,  I think the dog, Milo,  was getting into the turkey carcass; Aaron kept talking, opened the deck door, stepped out and threw a snowball at the dog, closed the door and about then said the 'amen'.  By this time I was belly laughing, as were a few others.  I'm not sure Harry and Larry ever caught on that there was a prayer happening.  Oh well,  we got the idea. I do wish I had it on video.  ♡

Today I watched college football, took a big nap, talk about gifts; 
then got busy decorating in the house.

My brewery alpine village expanded this year with 5 new buildings that I bought at the last day of going out of business sale this summer at The Cardinal Shop in Luck.
Now we have a apothecary,  bakery & chocolate shop, a sausage shop, a big bakery and another Inn.  I also picked up a band of street musicians & a couple dancing.   So,  tonight the village is well lit and looks very festive in my living room.

Above, Florence's snowflakes and doilies cap off the scene.

Tomorrow I'll get working on the outside put away and decorating. 

The gift of another day is on its way.

Ha' det godt (have it good)
(A danish greeting)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Remembering Gus

I was reading The Leader newspaper this morning and came across this memorial to brother Gus.

It's hard to believe he's been gone a year already.  Many memories are so vivid.  Everyday things like when he would call on the phone,  never saying 'hello,  how are you', but rather "yaaa this is Gus" and then he would dive right into what he wanted.  And,  as was his manner,  when he got the information he wanted "okay,  goodbye then". Never a long conversation,  just the facts.  I still catch myself looking for Gus when I see a red pickup with black topper.
I miss Gus and am glad to have shared the many China Buffet lunches and Family Restaurant breakfasts once I moved to Rice Lake.

He was larger than life as a brother and in his family & community; 
there will forever be something missing. 

My memories of Gus are vivid and many, and for that, I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Omaha II

Sadly, I have not seen the original Omaha on my trail cam since early October.  
Perhaps he found better lodging when I was gone and the shelter was closed.  
I hope so.

Once I reopened the shelter and food & water supply at the beginning of November, I started seeing a new cat coming around.  This is a calico that I have seen during the day very rarely.  
I thought this was a cat with a home in the neighborhood, but since he is coming and going in the middle of the night, I think this might be a stray also.

So, I'm back in the shelter, food & water business.
Introducing Omaha II.

It looks like OmahaII lays on the front door rug, so he's making himself to home.

I'm happy to give him shelter.

PS: Friend Mark shared a note with me that most calicos are female, 
so Chatte (short for Chatte de'espangne) will be her name.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Hunt

The first weekend of deer hunting is coming to a close, I have not heard of any successful Johansen hunters, I saw a photo on Facebook of a Mortel buck.  I'm always glad when everyone is out of the woods and safe.  Some days, it is my job to worry a little bit.

But not too much.  Mostly this weekend I have been enjoying having no tasks waiting to be done, no place to go, no cleaning or rearranging to do.  I've enjoyed quiet time with the kit kats, 

Very little stress at my house right now.
watching football and reading and catching up on my crossword puzzles.

The little bit of snow we had has gone except for the back deck and a few spots here and there.  My outdoor clean up & put away is still undone, but it will either get done, or not.  Two years ago I could not do anything because of my ankle surgery and it was not an international incident.  So, time will tell if I get things tidied up now, or if I do it all in the Spring.

Back to my book.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Oh Gosh

After being gone for 29 days, I came home to a big project of having my flooring replaced in the living room, kitchen & dining room.  I was going from a combination of ugly vinyl and old stained carpet, to 'luxury vinyl tile' that looks like dark wood.

I have disliked this vinyl since the first time I saw this house.
It was in good shape, just very ugly and always looked dirty, even when it was clean.

The carpeting was worn when I moved in,
8 years later and a couple of major spills of coffee and red wine, and it needed to go.
I've never liked carpet in an eating area, and this carpet was in rough shape,
so I covered it with another piece of carpeting.
It looked better.
 This project came right on top of unloading the car, 
getting my laundry caught up and going through 30 days of mail.  
The big furniture would be moved by the installer, but the smaller stuff was up to me.
So, my master bedroom and the guest bedroom because the storage rooms for everything.  
What chaos!
I learned that I don't like living like this AT ALL.
I could feel my stress level go up every-time I even looked into this room, and the guest room was no better.
Having just the subfloor / particle board to walk on was not fun.
Luckily this only lasted one evening.
Even the cats didn't like walking on this surface.
I could see the new flooring was going to be great, so that made it worth while.

 Once the rooms were empty, I could see I would have to paint before bringing everything back out to it's spot in the house.  

So, as soon as the flooring job was completed, I broke out the painting gear and got started.  The living room, and dining room got new paint and part of the kitchen hallway.
I plan to finish the kitchen and hallway soon, but those areas won't require the moving of furniture, 
so it can wait.

It's nice to say goodbye to this puke green color in the kitchen.
I'll like this latte color much better.
Then the fun of reloading the house.
It was a little like moving in the first time.
Where to hang what, maybe a change was due, and how much can I get rid of.

In the end, I kept most of my things, but I did change the layout of pictures and memorabilia wall.
Re-purposing the dining room rug makes for a cozy living room set up.

This Memorabilia Wall got the add on of Grandpa's post hole digger.
He used that to hand dig holes for electric poles back in the '30s.  It's a keepsake worth displaying.

The kitchen still needs paint, but the flooring is a major improvement.
The ugly vinyl is under this lovely wood look.
I moved my photo wall to the dining room.
I'm not sure these are all placed how I like, but it was s start.
I also am going to find a more substantial topper for the bank of oak cabinets that my Dad made when he remodeled my Colorado kitchen.  This bank of cabinets was under a bar in Arvada, and was not longer needed once the bar was lowered to table height.  I hated leaving my oak kitchen in Colorado, but it is hard to sell a house with no cabinets in the kitchen.
I was able to snag these and bring them along to Rice Lake, but a different topper is needed, sometime.

No longer a rug under the table, and I'm so plaeased.
 I moaned and groaned about the chaos, the work of painting, the moving of stuff, 
but Oh Gosh, what a great result.

The cats are happy and I'm happy.

Now I can take some time to reflect on the Big Trip Out West 
and add some more postings about that fun deal.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day

This morning I got this photo from my niece in law, Ericn . She is with my two great nephews in front of a flag made of thank you notes written from students to veterans.
What a nice tribute,  Dad would have been proud.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Drive

On Wednesday, I took a drive Up North.  I could not be home as Jeff was working on finishing the flooring job.  I was bummed about election results, so thought a trip to the cabin would be a good diversion.
It was a pretty drive up and the cabin looked good.  I saw wolf tracks right up to our driveway, so I'll be more aware up there from now on, would love to get a photo of one of those characters.

As I was leaving the cabin, I saw a couple of deer messing around in a yard.
The deer are so well camouflaged this time of year, I think they have the advantage against the hunters who will start roaming the woods in a couple of weeks.

The drive was good, and when I got home the floor was finished.
Now it is time to paint walls, I'll start that tomorrow.

Life goes on, eh?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

And so it goes

The Danish have a way of coping,  I'm hoping to tap into my Danish genes today.   The phrase I have heard said is " And so it goes ".  When faced with sames,  grief,  disappointment, doubt,  this phrase sort of means,  life goes on.  And it does, like it or not.

Yesterday I was filed with pride and joy as I voted,  today I am filed with concern, disgust and sadness.

And so it goes

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


On this day,  I voted to elect the first woman President of the United States,  Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fall Passage

One of the things I love so much about my house here in RL is the big window to the front yard and my bird feeders.  I missed seeing my little feathered friends while I was traveling.
A favorite, but infrequent, visitor to my feeder is the Tufted Titmouse.  I only see this species during migration periods and then only for a day or two.
This year, only days off from last year's visit, two of the Tufted stopped by.

This year, I also noticed a Red Breasted Nuthatch at the feeder about this same time as the Titmouse.
I'll have to pay attention and see if this happens every year.

Friday, November 4, 2016

No Photo

Today was a very sad day in this area of the country.
A deputy sheriff was gunned down while on duty on October 29th 
just East of here in the town of Ladysmith.  
He was a local man, with a family.
Today his funeral was in Cameron and the procession from the funeral to the cemetery was routed North on County Road SS right past my house.

I stood at the roadside to show my respect as over 1000 Police, Sheriff, State Patrol and other Emergency Vehicles passed by.  50 minutes of a line of bumper to bumper squad cars, it was emotional and a sight I hope I never have to see again.  

Not knowing what was appropriate, I stood with my hand over my heart, 
and mouthed "thank you" to each of the squad cars that passed by.
Several of my neighbors were also at the side of the road.

How lucky I am that men and women choose to serve to enforce our laws and to keep us safe.

I couldn't help think about how close brother Glenn came to being killed in 1978, and without the quick action of a fellow officer, well, you know.

I'm very proud of niece Krista who currently serves as a Deputy with the Pierce County Sheriff's department.  I worry for her safety, but I know she is doing the work she has always wanted to do.  Bless her heart.
Be safe my niece.

I saw others taking photos, but it didn't seem respectful to me.
Yes, it was quite a sight to see flashing lights all the way to Rice Lake.
Yes, it was something I normally would have been quick to try to capture.
In my heart, it just didn't feel right to pull out a camera or cell phone, so no photo today.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


I think I almost forgot how much I love baseball.  Thanks for the reminder Cubs!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Could it be Omaha?

Before I left on The Big Trip Out West, I thought Omaha had moved on.  I had not seen him on the trail cam for weeks and his shelter was becoming a haven for mice.  So, I shut the shelter down and hoped only the best for my feral friend.
Arriving home yesterday after 29 days of travel, I checked out the trail cam, and look what I found.
I think this is my pal Omaha.

Unfortunately, my house sitters moved the trail cam the next day and it was pointing at trees instead of the shelter, so this is all I have.

Today, I reopened the shelter, put some food inside and now the trail cam is in position.

Keep your fingers crossed.


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