Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nice ending

A beautiful day today.  I walked 4 laps around the 'hood, push mowed the front & back yards,  shopped @ Walmart & Menards.   Almost 15,000 steps today.  So,  the kits and I are celebrating with some airing out on the back deck.  I'm enjoying a Coors Light.

Life is good Up North. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Friday afternoon I took a drive to Luck but I detoured through Balsam Lake, Wisconsin. I had read an article about the Polk County Historical Society and their Museum and had decided I was overdue for visit there. The Old Courthouse has been turned into the museum and the volunteers have really done an unbelievable job of creating displays of the many different facets of the folks who have lived in Polk County. I was particularly interested to see the Old courtroom and while most of the space has been divided up into displays, the Judges Bench and library is still intact.

II spent an hour in the museum,  which was barely enough time to go through the 3 floors, just to get an idea of what is there.  I'd like to go back again and really see what I can see.   I know very little about the history of the county outside of the area near Luck where I spent my childhood. It's important to preserve the past, these folks have captured a lot of history in that old building.

One thing

This spring when I started getting my deck furniture out,  I had a thought that the big table on the front deck wasn't really what I wanted. It took up too much space & since it's mostly just me here,  seating for 6 is unnecessary.   So,  one nice Saturday, I hauled the set, minus the 2 swivel chairs,  to the end of the driveway, attached a free sign,  and soon saw it get loaded up into a pick-up truck on its way to a new home.  

That started the ball rolling. 

I needed some kind of table oon the deck,  so I dug out a plastic one that used to be on my deck in Colorado.   It has been painted a couple of times, and needed some new paint but was otherwise just fine. 

So,  some spray paint, a couple of new cushions, and a rearrangement of the lounge set and I'm very pleased with the cozy front deck.  For the first time,  I'm spending more time out front,  eating, reading or watching the activity at the bird feeders.

One thing sure leads to another. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


I finished up my mosaic garden stone grouting & sealing and now both of the Danish heart stones are out amongst the cement blocks that Dad and his siblings made when they were teenagers.  The blocks were made for the barn and house that my Grandparents built.  I am grateful to cousins Paul & Maggie who saved the blocks for me.  
 It was good that those teenagers took time to write in a few of the blocks, 
what a cool family keepsake.
The start to this summer has been good for my plants, 
today I was knocked out by these tiny petunias on the front porch.
I'm being careful to keep these watered so that they continue to put on a good show.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


I took a drive up to our Sandcastle cabin on Friday afternoon.  I was just about the only car on the road that was not pulling a boat.  Lots of Illinois, Indiana & Minnesota plates.  We are happy that they leave some of their vacation dollars in Wisconsin.

The grass at the cabin had not been cut for awhile, lots of rain up there.  I wasn't too pleased about that until I saw how many wild flowers there were.  It was really pretty, if only we could leave it that way, but it is too easy for ticks to hide in that tall stuff, so I put in a request for it to get cut soon.

But while I was there, the butterflies were really busy.  It was great fun to watch them.
The Canadian Tiger Swallowtail is so spectacular.

I had to research to find the name of this little butterfly, it is a Northern Crescent.

Some critter, I think this is the little criminal, has chewed into the outhouse and it's a mess in there.  I had it clean and painted white and now I can start over once we figure out how he got in and fix that.

On my way to the cabin, I took some back roads due to road construction and found a swallowtail on a nice clump of yellow wild flowers.

Wild honey suckle is so pretty right now.
I remember walking in fields as a kid and pulling off the flowers to suck the sweet nectar out of the bulbs at the base of the petals.  I would never do that now, it is too cruel to ruin the beauty of such a delicate bloom.

Also on my drive to the cabin, I happened to drive by a monument place to commemorate the large wildfire that nearly took our Sandcastle back in 2013.
It was a scary couple of days for everyone fighting the fire and we were on pins & needles waiting to hear if our cabin survived.  In the end, we were lucky as the fire fighters called in a slurry dumper to save our place.  The grass was burnt within about 5 feet of the cabin, so that's plenty close.
Nothing else near this marker, it is the site of what was a terrible wild fire.
But now, things are very green and lush where the fire was, only a few dead trees standing to mark the carnage.

Mother Nature knows how to heal a scar.

Father's Day

He was a good Dad.  
I told him that on the day he died, I hope he knew that I always felt that way.
I'll always miss him.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


I've flown a flag on my porch ever since 9/11.  I used to hang a seasonal / decorative flag,  but switched to the American flag on 9/12/2001.

But since Dad passed,  I fly it for him.  He was a proud American war veteran and he loved to see the flag fly.

Once the trees were cleaned up in the yard,  I got motivated again to work around the yard today to finish the storm damage repairs.   The wind pulled the 3 two inch screws right out of the flag pole bracket.  Today,  I decided to move the bracket to the other side of the front steps,  moved it up as high as it could go and re-mounted on the porch pergola using 3 inch screws.  It will be trickier for me to take down to change flags,  but that's only twice a year & maybe Mother Nature will leave it alone  

Old glory flying higher & prouder.
Dad would have liked that. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Embrace Diversity

Yesterday I was lucky enough to catch a couple of very colorful birds at the front yard feeder display.
Blue Jay, Red Bellied Woodpecker & male Northern Cardinal

Blue Jay & male Northern Cardinal

Blue Jay & male Northern Cardinal
It isn't often I get to see these three together.
The Bluejay & the Cardinal sat there quite awhile, appreciating each other's diversity perhaps?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Clean Up Day

Ryan came over today with his chain saw.  He cleaned up the maple tree in the front yard that was broken in half, and took a few low hanging branches off in that area.  

This area will get a little more sun now.
But it won't be long before the other maples spread out and take up the new space.

The birch / snaggle tree on the corner of my property has been a source of angst for me for a while.  I've tried to trim off the zillion suckers and that helped.
But it was part dead and then this last wind did it in.
Now it is all gone, and my big spruce trees look so much better without the distraction.

I'm so grateful for Ryan's help.
And it's always nice to have a little visit time while we work.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Heavy Sigh

Mother Nature was rough on the peony patch.  
They are still pretty, but starting to lay down for a nap.
Good night sweet peonies.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Grand Opening

The peony buds are starting to open.
I wonder if the house smells wonderful.
I'm pleased that cat roommates have left these beauties alone.
As sad as I was to see them laying down, I'm feeling very happy to be seeing them inside the house.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

That was yesterday

Yesterday morning, a warm breeze was blowing.  I took some photos of the peonies just in case the wind messed with them.  

Crinkled White Peony from:  https://www.finagardenspeonies.com/

Nice Gal Peony from https://www.finagardenspeonies.com/

Now I'm glad I did.

LeRoy's iris stood up to yesterday's wind, with a little help.

This morning, when I went out, all the peonies that were in bud, were laying down.
The hot wind did a number on them.
So, I snipped them all and brought them in for a large vase of peonies.
Some will open, and be lovely.
They were doomed laying on the ground.

The iris were all bent over too, so I cut a bunch of those for in the house too.

Then, about noon, a wicked high wind, hard rain storm came through.
Everything took a beating.
The deck furniture on the back deck was sliding across the deck, including the cat condo.
Nothing I could do but watch it go.
Luckily, it all piled up on the one side and nothing was damaged.

But, after the storm, the peonies are all done looking lovely.

One of my nice big maple trees in the front yard broke off about 5 feet off the ground.

The windmill is toast, but the little barn is okay.

Ryan said he'll come this week and clean this up for me.
I am so grateful for a nephew with chain saw skills and time for me.
Kind of a bummer day here.
The yard is strewn with sticks, I'll be picking those up for days and days.
Leaves everywhere and the hanging baskets are pulverized.
Some stuff will come back, time will tell.
I had just dosed all my plants and bushes with 10-10-10 granular fertilizer, 
I suppose that washed away to China.
(I wonder... when stuff washes away in China, do they say it washes away to Wisconsin)

Well, nothing serious was damaged, I'm seeing photos on Facebook of bad stuff in Rice Lake and the pumpkin patch folks across the road had a huge party tent up, and that is now down.
So, all in all, I'm okay, just a little crabby.


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