Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nice Notes

From time to time, I get a thank you note from one of the kids.
I always enjoy getting these notes and really appreciate their thoughtfulness.
I love this little comment on the envelope
I love to see what they decide to write.

Jackson and Jake

The older boys, Jack & Gage
With all the electronic communication options available to us, it is really nice to get a handwritten note.  I always send the kids' birthday cards in the US Mail, even if I am going to the party.
Everybody likes to get mail, I'm no exception.

I'm very grateful for these nice notes.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

While today is about remembering those servicemen and women who lost their lives defending our freedoms, it's also day that I mooremember Dad, brother Gus, Uncle Chris, and many others who served our country
and gave a part of their life to that cause.
My tribute to Dad necklace.

I  also think of the young men from Nephew Andrew's company that did not come home from Iraq.

I attended the Memorial Day Program at Luck High School this morning. It is always a nice gathering of folks to pay tribute to those men & women who lived in the northern Wisconsin area during some part of their lives, who have passed & who served our country. It's always a moving tribute as the names scroll across the screen Cemetery by Cemetery.  
Names that I hadn't thought of for years appear and of course,  Dad & Gus.

Gage, Emily, Owen & Wanda

Great-nephew Gage was in the band, as was great-niece Emily and I saw other friends and family at the program as well.

It was raining, so I did not go to the cemetery but I'll plan to get over there again soon once the monsoons let up.

At home,  the peony bushes are loaded.

And the hops have reached the top​ of their climb. 

Now a little sunshine will be much appreciated. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017


This holiday of Memorial Day reminds us of those men and women who lost their lives in service to their country.  
I'll be attending a program in Luck tomorrow, as I do most years.

But it also is a reminder of loved ones who are gone but not forgotten.
I visited the cemetery on Friday afternoon to check on the plant I had placed a few weeks ago 
and to do a little tidying.
First, I trimmed up a little at my grandparents resting place.  
I brought along a nice hosta and planted it between my grandparents and my aunt & uncle.  
It will grow to be a nice size and fill the space between the two.

Then I stopped to see Dad & Ev's bench and have a beverage.
The geranium is blooming, but it has been so wet, it's not really thriving.
Hoping a little sun over the weekend will give it a boost.
A friend asked me what song was in my heart when I was at the cemetery.
Funny, I had never thought about it before, even though the bench says 
"Keep a song in your heart"
I replied that I was listening to the many birds singing loudly, so that was the only song on my mind, but when I visit there the next time, I'll have to be mindful of having a song in mind.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

They are ready to come out

The weather was finally nice enough for me to sit on  the back deck this afternoon. 

Barley & Hops were getting their noses full at the screen.  I better get things power washed this weekend so Barley can get some cat condo time. 

My peonies are just starting too open. 

These early ones are so pretty,  and by the looks of the other buds, I'm in for a good show this year. 

On a very serious note, today was the first time that I drove past the serious damage to the trailer park near Chetek, Wisconsin. I had seen the photographs on the internet and in the newspaper and watched a video that a drone took of the damaged area... But seeing it in person, is completely different. As I was driving down the county road and came to the area where you could see the missing Turkey Farm barns on the left (now smoldering piles of debris) and on the right the complete devastation of the trailer park, it was really quite shocking. Tears came to my eyes as soon as I saw the shredded trees and then when I saw the actual damage and debris to the trailer park, it was heartbreaking. The turnout for volunteers has been strong, from what I've heard, and a local businessman is offering to match up to a million dollars worth of donations that will then be distributed amongst those in need. Of course, none of that happens overnight and these folks need help overnight. It's a helpless feeling but I have faith in American Red Cross and some of the Church groups that are doing good things for these folks and I hope that all will end up in situations that are as good or better than what they had.

My life is good,  I am very lucky. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Greenhouse trip

Monday was our annual greenhouse trip with the Cameron Senior Citizens.  I was driving separate to have room for plants purchased.  The weather was not very nice, cloudy and cool, not ideal.
My friend Carol was the bus hostess and let me know that their time at the Winter Greenhouse was cut short because of the weather, so I was on my own for the rest of the day.
So, I stopped at a greenhouse in Ladysmith, WI called Colonial Nursery.  I had heard good things about this greenhouse from friends. 
They had amazing annuals.
I didn't see all their perennials as it was a short visit.
I did buy a Chippewa Blueberry bush that I hope will grow well in my yard.

Maybe we will take the seniors to this nursery sometime and spend a little time in Ladysmith.
From here I headed towards Winter.
I saw 5 eagles along the way and this guy gave me a chance to drive on 1/2 mile, turn around, come back and find a driveway to ditch the car and then I walked 100 yards to his location.
He was sitting in a Poplar tree, and gave the occasional call to a juvenile that I saw nearby, but he continued to sit for me.
I'm pleased with these shots.

My next stop was the Winter Greenhouse in Winter, WI.
It was really cold there, but I managed to scoop up a few items.
I'm going to try a white bleeding heart in my yard, I added Cosmos to the septic vent flower beds, more flox for the ditch and a few more poppies to add to my other poppies in hopes of a major poppy bed some year and I picked up a beautiful hosta for the cemetery that I plan to plant near Grandma & Grandpa Johansen's head stone.
It wasn't a day for sitting or walking in the gardens at Winter, 
too bad because this is just gorgeous.

From Winter, I headed to Hayward.  I wanted to go to the Mercantile Kitchen Store there.
I picked up some flavored balsamic vinegars and had a visit with this beautiful dog.
As soon as I walked in the door he came over to me and when I started to pet him, he leaned up against me the way dogs do.  
His name is Wusthof, as in
 Wusthof Cutlery  -“Serious Cutlery for Serious Cooks!”
He's a heart throb.
His Dad left and Wusthof was sad but then he came over to me for a little petting.
I also visited the Ben Franklin in Hayward, which is a well disguised fabric store.
I picked up some flannel for a new project I'm going to try.

Back home, I planted all my purchases and it rained overnight.
Perfect timing.
Life is Good.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

An Art Show

My niece (in law) Erin is an art teacher in Baldwin, WI.
Each spring she has a show to display the art work her students have created through the year.
It's a special event that Erin and her assistant put their heart and soul into.
She always invites me and I always try to go.
This year was even better than last year.

Part of what I think is so interesting is the influence of each project is a well known artist, so the kids are learning art history, art appreciation and the skills involved with the project.
Here are a few photos from the show.

Great nephew Jake's 'Scream'

Inspiration:  Sculpture by ArtistRobert Indiana

Inspiration:  Cats by Laurel Burch

Koi pond

Inspiration:  Chihuly Glass Sculpture
I love that a Jr. Kindergarten student did this.


 I loved all the cats.
I'd frame one of these for my house, they were great.

Negative/Positive by great nephew Jackson.
Such an interesting technique.
Art stretches the imagination, that is for sure.

More cats

 Chihuly Chandelier

Time Flies When You are Making Art
 Inspiration:  Van Gogh Sunflowers

There were many other projects and I'm looking forward to next year's show.
Well done Erin!
Well done budding artists of Baldwin, WI!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Spring in my yardI

 I mowed today.  With all the rain,  everything is green.

 The hops are thriving.

Some interesting clouds this afternoon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My friend the Pentax is home

I finally got my Pentax camera repaired.  I've struggled taking outdoor photos with the Nikon camera I bought, although it was great in the gym.
Tonight I took my old pal Pentax for a walk around the yard.
No takers on the bird houses yet, lots of vacancy.

Lilacs at the edge of the woods.  Small but beautiful.

Even in the pouring rain, the Oriole wants his jelly.

Soon to be Peony.
I hope these wait to bloom until these constant rains are over.

These are going to be stunning.

Lone Trillium in the woods.
A little worse for the wear, but still a favorite lovely.
I got all my new perennials and the annuals in the ground or pots before all this rain.
They are probably craving a little sun now, like this new sap bucket planter.
This is the only bear I want to see around my yard from now on.
The folks in Chetek & Cameron are really suffering as they sort through the rubble to find their belongings.  Many are still without power and many are without homes to go home to.
I'm lucky and I know it every day, but this was a good reminder that 
Life is Good
for me.


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