Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Ditch Project

Around the front of my yard there is a slope down to a ditch.  No culvert under the driveway or anything, but it does collect some water and of course snow in the Winter.
It's hard to mow that slope and my neighbor quit trying, so some small poplar trees and other wild things are growing there.  I think that gave me the idea that I should add some perennials to that ditch area closest to the driveway and on the slope.  So, I started last year by transplanting a large clump of garden phlox from a friend's yard, a white peony from a friend's yard, a new yellow peony, white phlox (ground cover type) and purple phlox (ground cover type) and have added quite a number of plants this year.
Added this year:  3 White plume grasses, 2 Boomerang Dark Purple Lilac bushes (supposed to bloom Spring & Fall), 3 Prairie Dropseed Grasses, 1 Rapido White Bellflower, 2 Herbstsonne' Conflower (4 foot tall yellow coneflower, very showy), 1 Hocus Pocus Veronica Hybrid, 1 David Garden Phlox (white), 1 Jim Crockett Star Aster, a clump of Siberian Iris, several clumps of Cleome, several clumps of wild Geranium, chives, and a few more that I have forgotten.

It doesn't look like much yet, but I am quite hopeful that next year that area will be a bounty of perennial flowering plants, from Spring into Fall.
It is a work in progress, but next Spring should be fun.

If everything comes back, we'll be on our way to having a showy area here along the ditch.

In my raised bed down below, I planted those crazy and cool Castor Beans.
Also, a bunch of Gladiola bulbs along with a ton of white Morning Glory seeds.
The Gladiolas have suffered.
Finally there are 2 going to bloom, the rest are bound with morning glory vines.

The Castor Beans have gone wild, they are at least 6 feet tall if not more.
I'm thinking they were the inspiration for Jack & The Beanstalk.
Fee Fi Fo Fum...

The Morning Glory seed packets said that they were Angelic White.
Well, they are really deep purple, but no matter.
Having the Castor Bean as support seems to please them.

The Castor Bean is growing a big flower, looks like a SyFy plant.

I ran across this Swallowtail butterfly on the Verbena, making the rounds.
Verbena will definitely be on my list for next year, a butterfly favorite and I like it too.

I have to say, the hops are fabulous this year.
They are practically trying to get into the house.

 These guys give me joy as I walk in and out of the house.
Next Spring I'm planning to root up a bunch of cuttings and add more hops to my yard.
Why not!

I'm kind of tired of all the eclipse coverage.
I'm going to be home, I don't have the special glasses, and I have heard it will probably be cloudy anyway.  I hope all my pals who are traveling to see totality enjoy themselves, protect their retinas and make some lasting memories.
I'll probably take a nap.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sewing Up North

The WITC (Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College) offers a number of adult education courses around the area.  One of my favorite topics is quilting.  My Luck school pal Mary & I and another sewing pal, Sharon have attended several of these.  On Friday, I met Mary & Sharon at the Community Center in Cornucopia for a day of sewing.

I drove Up North early Friday morning.  It is an easy drive, about 120 miles.  
Basically I drive North until I get to Lake Superior, then take a right.  
I stopped at a Wayside to get a look at the big lake.  I was surprised to see how red it was.  
The Iron River flows into the lake near this point and with all the recent rain, 
the lake was heavy with sediment.  

Regardless, Lake Superior has a commanding presence and I never tire of getting to see it.

Our friend Myrna was our instructor and the project was a Friendship Star Quilt.  When I was pre-reading the instructions I decided that I would make a runner instead of a quilt.  I have the perfect place for decorative runners on my bookcase/credenza in the living room.
Here is my finished (almost, just needs a backing & a binding) project.

Everyone else in the class chose to make the quilt.  It was far more complicated than this little runner, and was designed to be made using scraps.  Since I don't keep my scraps, my job was much easier, as I was cutting from new yardage.
That scrap work takes time, lots of evaluating color and sizes, pressing and then finally cutting before figuring out the layout and eventually sewing.
Several nice quilts were starting to come together before we called it a day.
Everyone had much more work to do before having a finished project, I was all smiles.
Mary's quilt is going to be a beauty, but she has a ways to do.

After sewing, I drove to Rick and Mary's house to spend the night.
On the way I drove through Washburn, a nice little town on the shore of Lake Gitchigoomie.
I tried to take some photos of the view
 as I drove into town from my dash mounted cell phone, but it was a fail.  
You'll just have to take my word that seeing Lake Superior in the distance is a sight to behold.

We ate dinner at The Four Corners Food & Spirits near Mason, WI.
I think it was the best fish I have ever eaten.  Their claim to fame is fresh fish from Lake Superior. 
I forgot to take a picture because I was busy eating the fish.

This morning I enjoyed a yummy breakfast by Mary and then headed towards home.
I ran a couple of errands on my way, stopping to pay the balance on my October Quilt Retreat and doing a wellness check on our Sandcastle cabin.

On the way I spotted an eagle, preening on a high branch.
I watched him for a little while.
He seemed to be soaking up the sun and cleaning up his tail feathers.

It was a fun trip Up North, but as always, it is nice to be home sweet home with the kitkats.

Monday, August 14, 2017

2107 Johansen Cousin's Reunion

A few photos from our Johansen Cousin Reunion in Des Moines on 2017.08.12
Aunt Johanne, Dad's sister, 92 years young 
Barb, Ellen Jordan, Nancy, Jenny & Johanne

Barb, Ellen, Pat, Jordan, Nancy, Jenny & Johanne

Denis and Nancy with 50th Wedding Anniversary Kransekakke
 This is the group that was in Des Moines at Grandview Park
Back:  Wanda, Ellen, Barb, Cathlee, Pat, Becky, Nancy, Gary, Jenny, Nancy, Glenn, Judy, Kathy, Jordan
Front:  Johanne, Ron, Lee, Denis, Eric, Janet

Judy, Johanne & Eric


We had a first cousin's reunion in Des Moines, IA last weekend.
I made the traditional Danish wedding cake,  Kransekakke, for cousins Denis & Nancy who just celebrated 50 years of marriage. 

I also made the little congratulations  banner. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017


I decided to make a little banner to take with to the cousins reunion as part of the kransekakke display celebrating cousins Denis and Nancy's 50th wedding anniversary.
I have been wanting to make this little Banner pattern for a long time so it was a good excuse to give it a try. 

As you can see from the picture to the right, my first attempt of pinning it together left me with something that looked like Danish but was actually the word spelled exactly backwards.

I'm happy with how this quick project turned out without, I think it will be cute.  I'm trying to come up with some kind of thing to make tomorrow quickly in the garage like a goal post for it to hang from.

There will be more pictures from the party.

Quilts for the garage

I found these fun quilt squares at Shopko on clearance and grabbed them.
I had originally thought I would put them over the garage door but getting up on a tall ladder turned out to be not my favorite thing, so I added them to the little sitting area that Dad & Ev used to called The Red Room. I think they're just as cute as can be and they set off and Ansgar's Barn Door nicely.

Off to cousin's reunion in the morning. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

NO days off

Sister in law Lois brought me this little sign when we met for lunch last Friday.
It's true, and it's a good thing.

I do take the occasional day to be a slacker, like yesterday.
I had a crown crack so spent yesterday morning in the dentist chair having the old crown jack-hammered out in preparation for a replacement.
For whatever reason, it wore me out and I took the rest of the day off.

I did take time to notice how pretty my red impatiens are though.

I found this garden spider in the same place as last year.
He never takes a day off, always working on his web and his latest catch.
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. Wikipedia

Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime according to Wikipedia, so I guess I'll start looking for her each year in this bed.

Monday, August 7, 2017


I planted flowering beans in this big tub.  They were off to a good start.  Dad always wanted to plant these beans, reminded him of his Mom.  So, in memory of Grandmother Frederikke, I planted.  But, the squirrels also planted.  Now, we have a big tub of sunflowers with beans as backdrop.
This gives me the idea that next year, I'll just plant this big tub full of sunflower bird seed.
They seem to grow so well and really are fun to see.

I spent the weekend enjoying the good weather. 
Saturday I made trip over to Luck to help Ryan with an app on his phone.
Sometimes I can fix things just because I am not afraid to try something.
This was one of those cases where once it was fixed, I wasn't exactly sure what I did to fix it.
That drives other people a little crazy I think.
But, I got some fresh cucumbers from their garden as my reward, so I was very happy.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


My sister in law gave me this little sign. 
It's very true. 
And I love it.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Goodbye July

July is gone, August means the day lily blooming is winding down.
I took a few photos today to remind myself how beautiful the blooms were this year.
Castor Bean Flower

Bees loaded up with pollen

I over planted.
Castor beans time 2, about 4 dozen gladiola bulbs, 3 packages of white morning glories.
The gladiola foliage is nice, have only seen one bloom.
The white morning glories are all purple.
A veritable jungle.

I have given up on this rose bush.
Just happened to glimpse the pretty bloom this morning.

The squirrels have had a successful planting year.

I'll still have lily blooms for a few more weeks.
I sure have enjoyed their greeting every morning.
But with August here, their days are numbered.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Today's lovelies

The day lily business is good.
Today's favorites. 

I got back on my walking program today. 10,000 steps and a few more chapters of To Kill a  Mockingbird. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Only 4 days of medicine left for Barley so we are on the downhill side of this event. She's acting more normal and eating better so I'm pretty sure that once we're done pumping medicine into her, she will go back to her normal self. 

Today was a weird day. 
I had been invited to play bridge at a woman's house who I met recently and she was hosting a bridge retreat for friends from the Twin Cities area and friends from the Chetek area. She was in need of another player and had asked me if I wanted to come and I said I could play this afternoon. I had been there on Friday afternoon as well and left there thinking I had probably never before played Bridge with a group that was as experienced and had that kind of bridge expertise. But everyone was quite nice and made me feel welcome and I enjoyed the afternoon. 
Today was a mixed bag. My first opponents were duplicate players who used so many conventions I felt like they were speaking a foreign language.  They steam rolled us.  Later, my partner and I joked that it was like being on the Titanic. It was not fun.  The rest of the day the cards went better but there was residual angst in the air as the hostess & and some of her guests had gotten crosswise the previous day & evening so it was kind of weird.   

I was glad to get away.  I took a wrong turn on the way home but happened by a veggie stand that way & brought home some good tomatoes for supper. 

Life is interesting.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Summer Joy

I has such a nice day today. 
I listened to the 'Hamilton' Soundtrack,  read,  played word games,  relaxed,  and did just a few chores.  On Amazon Prime Day I bought the Echo device.  She's a fun toy and I love listening to the different genres of music.  Jazz piano, classical or like today,  a soundtrack.  She's also a good secretary.  She keeps my shopping list, sets timers and alarms,  and updates me on weather or sports when I ask.  
And,  she'll even tell me a joke.  

Today was peaceful,  the TV has been off all day.  No news, although I have not avoided seeing the latest POTUS antics on Twitter.  
But,  having the TV off does lessen the impact. 

A friend posted this today,  its a good one,  eh?

  The sunflower is one my squirrel friends planted in one of my pots of geraniums.

Stand tall. 
Happy summer.


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