About Me

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Within the confines of this blog, you will find bits and pieces of the life and times of myself, my family and friend dear and near., far and wide, few and far between. You will find bits and pieces of my world, tho small to some, but huge to me. You will find everything from 'soup to nuts',; recipes, hobbies,crafts, gardenings,loves of my life, GrandLoves-a-Plenty, and even my pets... Sooo, if you can handle family life, enjoy the tour of my 'Stuffings'.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Heat Wave Effects

Finally, it looks like the meltdown is about to begin.
We had a heatwave today. It was all the way up to 44 degrees, yes, Fahrenheit.

We are seeing the beginning of the end of our long winter.
Oh, we don't allow ourselves to get too excited, for there will surely be at least one more blast of cold and certainly, more snow. But for today, I am very happy.

The sun was shining most the day, the birds were singing, even the neighbor's dog seemed to have more yip in her yelp.
Soon enough the cabin doors will be flung open, the windows raised and the fresh air will pour in reminding me to flip the mattresses, air the bedding, and fold the woolen blankets.
Wake up, wake up Dar, you're dreaming again.
Spring will not cover WI. for at least another month or so.
Silly girl, see what one day of Jan. Thaw can do. I don't care. I'm sticking with my story like the snow sticks to my mittens and teases me once again.
After the tracks are not so quickly visible, and not until the last crystal of ice melts from the waters,
THEN, and only THEN,
it will finally be time~~~
Time to hold the earth in my hands and plant spring.

Until then,
Thanks for stopping and reading to this point,
You're so kind.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Good Food ? Good Intentions

Take a moment and drink in the glorious Sunrise.
As gray as what the days have been, there is always hope of sun throughout the day when we wake to such a beautiful sunrise.
However, we also have grown old and wise to the sense of humor our Lord has.
That Nor'Wester Clipper that was predicted did come in. We may have risen to a pretty sky but we also woke to snow drifts, most of which had to be pushed aside off the driveway and
shoveled from the decks and the roof.
Our kitchen roof, though new by a couple years, has been giving us considerable grief. We had the problem before re-roofing, insulating and venting, but still, we have ice build up on the roofs edge, to melt back about 12 ft. during the thaw and dripping through the insulation, down the peak, through the ceiling, down the cabinet, inside and out, over the counter top and leaving an unpleasant water puddle on the floor. I cannot get used to stepping in that cold puddle first thing in the morning on my way to the coffee pot before even turning the lights on.

Do you see the ice sheet on the left side of the roof Bill is shoveling?
Why is this happening, and why only on that corner? (not that I want it on another corner, too~heaven forbid!)
As usual, the cold that followed the snow always screams for some comfort food. I can take care of that, so I rolled up some Enchiladas for supper last night.
There were some tortillas left over so I turned them into homemade chips. A little sprinkle of olive oil, cheddar and garlic seasoning and a sprinkle of basil and toast in the oven for about 5-6 min. til toasty.
They turned out pretty good. At least, they didn't last very long.
A couple nights a week and on the nights and weekends Andy has the boys, our son gets to do the cooking. Mind you, this is not by his choice but it's just his turn. Ya live here, ya share the duties.

Anyway, tonight was his turn and he made burgers sandwiches with garlic bread. It doesn't look that bad, right? Well, take a closer look.
What do you see all over the top of the stove?
and in the pan,
and on this side of the stove,
What? is this a new condiment on the counter?
In all fairness, the burgers were fixed just perfect. He did not annihilate them, and the garlic toast was awesome. It was from a package that already had the butter and seasonings on it but he toasted it perfect~~not a single burnt edge. Once assembled, all was a feast for the tastebuds, ( once one got past the 'greasy spoon' my kitchen became.)

Oh, another thing! Why is it that once the guys clean up the kitchen?, it has to be done again! I will save that for later, so as not to offend! :/)

Now, For some Chocolate---
Brownie anyone?
Awwww, what a beauty of a sunset.
I think it means I will sleep fairly tonight.
Surely, we will wake to another glorious sunrise.
LoveYa'll and

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Warming Trend?

There's a warming trend going on.
Or is there?
A couple days ago it was in the low 40's,
Late yesterday we had a Nor'wester
Sharing a rapid onset of snow, snow, flurries***
straight out of the northwest~~grrr,
and then cold again.

It's going to happen tho, I have no doubt.
It's going to begin to melt along with sunshine,
and bring the fruits of spring.

Bring it on [:D~[==;
See me smile with my crocked lil' neck,
slender body and flipped shoe?

~OK, sisters Mel, Cher & Colleen~
So at least I'm working on slenderizing my Body;)
Tain't easy to melt these pounds like spring thaw!

Have yourselves a playful weekend,
R & R for me. (After my walk)


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Anticipation, Acclimation, Accomplishment

All day, at least several hours, anyway,
It took to boil off Pinto Beans for something good for the soul~~~
Bean Soup
Bean Soup with Pintos, Garbonzos, Tomatoes, Onions, Rich Tomato Broth, ~~~ mmmm,
So Good,
So worth the wait while the house smelled so healthy!
Another comfort food that is worth the wait is~
A simple grilled burger.
Do you buy in bulk? I do, when possible.
Tho, this time, my purchase was not budgeted in., but sometimes~
It's just too good to pass up.
With all of the wild game in the freezer, I seldom purchase good ol' ground beef, Angus yet!
Our son's order somehow was doubled, so rather than return it, he gave us and some friends a call and we all split up 160 lb's. of beautiful, fresh ground beef.
The best part was that it came in 5 lb. tubes that were partially frozen which made it so easy to cut down for packaging and~cut into burgers that fit my Burger Stackers just perfect.
Yes, we had burgers for supper with the Bean Soup.

I had also started another dehydrator full of apple slices but somehow, my picture got eaten. Blogger must like them too;) Oh, and a dozen hard boiled eggs for the boys for the fisheree this weekend.

End of Anticipation!!!

Have you ever had to Acclimate tropical fish and snails to an aquarium?
I got netted into this chore because I happened to be home when the package arrived. I did wonder just how they were going to ship fish in the dead of winter in WI. with all the snow and cold in the air.
They actually came in the warmest insulated foam container packed in packing peanuts and an insulated envelope that held a couple of heat pacs. It was toasty inside the box and the water the fish were in was as warm as the aquarium.

First and most important, was to close the blinds and turn off the aquarium light so as not to shock the little fresh water fish and crustaceans coming from the dark box they traveled in, into the big bright world they were about to embark.
To acclimate the Tetras, Snails and Shrimp, the bags they came in were first floated in the aquarium for 15 min., then opened, tops turned down to create an air pocket so they would continue to float. Precisely every 4 minutes, 1/2 cup of the aquarium water was poured into each bag, 5 times, discarding half the bagged water as it filled to the top. Finally they were netted out of their travel bags and into the aquarium that they now were acclimated to.

The light still had to remain off and the blinds closed for a total of 4 hours during this entire process. All I've got to say was, yeah, this is done with and what a ' welcome party ' these lil' creatures got.
Well, maybe except for 3 of the 6 shrimp who tried to end it all when they jumped from the net onto the floor instead of into the water.
They all survived, in spite of the tumble.

End of Acclimation!

Finally, but not the least of the day, I decided to take a quick picture for my inventory file of the a cute set I had finished.
The collar is knit in my favorite colors, Chocolate and Mint. ( had to get chocolate in this entry somewhere ).
The fingerless mitts are crocheted in matching colors. I tried them with my brown jacket~~~pretty cute. I wouldn't want to break my arm patting myself on my back for this set, but, by golly, I'm proud, especially of the knit collar. For any of you knit-wits out there, I take pride because my knitting experience never surpassed the stockinette stitch before. I know you understand my accomplishment.
And finally, this quick knit scarf, I whipped up one evening watching my favorite show, ~Chopped~( love Food Network )

This one is another keeper, as I've worn it all winter, however, I do plan on making a bunch more of these. I plan to share ~~~ here, there, everywhere.

This is the end of a day's Accomplishment!
Have a wonderful day.
I did.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On the Lighter Side

When will we see the end of the tunnel?
Now, I'm not talking about that snow tunnel that the GrandLoves are working on with their Dad, but the end to trials and tribulation?
One second things are good, sweet and lovely,
The next, we wonder, so what's next on the list?

I do declare, Sometimes I wish I were back in grade school and had not a care in the world. I would love just one day to be riddled with what color to paint the sky on a drawing, or whether to add an extra spoonful of sugar to my cereal.

To be perfectly honest with you, I do not know where this dribble is coming from.
All I know for sure is, I feel restless, distracted, dizzy. Heck, the whole family knows I'm dizzy!
Maybe that's it! Dizzy. I just got over with the flu, not even a bad case, but enough to make me dizzy. Dizzy enough to be asked, " What's Up, Chuck? "
I slept an entire day. I lost an entire day.

That's it, by golly. That has got to be it. I lost a day so now I feel like I missed something important.
Last week I spent 3 days down with my neck out of whack again. Now, I know I have to live with it unless I want to risk paralysis.
So that has got to be it. I missed a funeral that I most certainly should have attended, but it could not be helped.

I have not been able to be there for my own Mom lately, but my siblings are there when she needs them. That's such a good thing. I know they understand.
I did work her puzzle with her awhile today and we shared a laugh or two.
That's at least something.

I had been helping a neighbor friend with her grief and dealing with cancer.
It's stressful and painful for her, I know. I've seen what she goes through and this is her 3rd round. How much more can her tiny body handle, I wonder. I feel bad that I cannot be there for her right now, tho we talk often.

I am on one big pity party, so the buck stops here.
On the lighter side....what's on your bucket list?
I have always wanted to sky-dive. That's not going to happen.
I once thought I could carry a tune well enough to sing country.
That's not exactly true.
I am going to see to it that my family does not have anything to worry about.
( Tho, I know there will always be trials and tribulation.)

All I really want is to see my family and friends happy and that they know who their ' Keeper ' really is, ( they know it surely is not me,). They will be OK.
It's another sleepy evening. Give me wings.

Nighty Night and

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tunneling Fun

A Snowy, above zero weekend had taken our son and his ' Threesome' outdoors for some fun. When Andy was a boy, he, his brothers and cousins dug at least one snow fort every winter.
This year, there is the least amount of snow to work with for our northern WI county, but it has not halted tradition.
Andy and his three sons dug in from one side to the other of what was pushed with the plow. Already, there is a request to Papa ( Grandpa ), for more snow to be piled on top so they can dig higher, making for easier travel through the tunnel.
There is digging with shovels, and digging with hands,
kicking the snow loose with feet, and pulling more out with arms and hands and snow tools.
No matter how it's done, sooner or later, the tunnel gets dug.
Because of the cold noses, fingers, and ' toes-es,'
The digging ended after just 15 minutes.
We already know the first place the kids will want to go next weekend~
It will be to finish the fort. Papa promised to add more snow.
The weatherman promised warmer weather, and Grandma promised more hot cocoa with peppermint sticks.
It's been s-now much fun!!!

On with another chore.
I had squash that still needed something done with them so, after cleaning out the cavities and filling with butter and brown sugar, I baked them off in the oven this morning.
The house smells like pumpkin pie, so that will be next, only Squash Pies.

You all have a wonderful day.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chocolate Wins~~~And Garden Dreamin'

Chocolate Wins!

It was not a difficult choice for me.
I love Gingerbread but Dark Chocolate Cake took the prize...
This time.
I love, Love, LOVE Chocolate,
Especially when it comes as a cake,
All wrapped in Silky Peanut Butter Frosting.
For me, it's best with a hot cup of black coffee.
One more bite, oh how sweet.

The weather has taken a leap from the minuses
to the 20's, 26F. above zero at the moment.
Well, that's almost warm enough to think about~~~
Going outside for a long walk.,
Scarf wrapped around my neck for the first 1/2 mile.

Yes, folks, I'm walking again.
One thing I hate about winter up north,
Is, where I walk, there is either ice, deep snow or slush.
On the cold, Cold, COLD days, I walk inside.
No matter, I am bound and determined to stay with it,
This time.

Garden season is already near,
The garden catalogs are coming daily.
Seeds, bulbs, tubers, sets, shrubs, fruit trees, berries,
I am anxious.

Each year, we say we will not add more to our gardens,
But, lo and behold, something in the air grabs us.
We order more than we intended.
We plant and plant and plant.
We harvest and live well.

My Man loves his tractor, he loves to dig.
Maybe he will be putting Garden # 4 in this spring.
We need a patch, just for pumpkins, another for beans.
We all love carrots and squash and peas off the vine.
Hurry, check to see if the first tomato is ripe.

I often wonder,
Just how do people that do not garden,
Even from their window-sill or patio,
Do they really have no choice except to
Buy from the Farmers Market?
At least they are getting better produce and fruit
Than any grocer can offer.

Plant something,
And see what you have been missing.
I have a couple of new seed catalogs to scan.
Most are free, order yourself a few and
Savor the flavor.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Still Cold Outside

The weather was not much different this morning, still minus temps, -22F this morning. Not happy.
Since not much has changed yesterday to today,
I'm grumpy.

The major Harvey Wall-banger headache without the party, isn't doing much to add to the excitement of another day. Maybe I should bake a cake or make lemonade.

starting some seed sprouts like my buddy, George, would do the trick. He just joined me so check out what he's been up to. He sure makes spring look promising. Thanks, George, for brightening my day with that cold-frame of lettuces. I'll be right down, (in my dreams of the south, that is.)

The Bobcats are back. Now they are coming in already, by two in the afternoon.
The second we step out the door, they used to take off. Now, they don't move from their dinner until we take a few steps in their direction.
( Note to self: Keep a very close eye on the GrandLoves. )

It's much too cold for the GrandBoys to play outside today anyway.
I heard their Dad say they might take a drive to play with cousins.
Good idea. Right now, Daddy is reading to the youngest, and the oldest is watching a Disney movie with Grandpa, while I catch up here.

My sis Mel has been saying that all this cold weather is good for making ice. By that she means, the lakes, the flowage where the Suicide Awareness Fisheree will be next weekend, the rivers, all are freezing deeper and safer for the ice fishing that will be going on. Check it out at Mel's at Up North With Mel .

~~~Now, about that cake~~~
Dark Chocolate with Peanut Butter Frosting?
Gingerbread with Whipped Cream?

to be continued~~~


Friday, January 20, 2012


Where's My Blanket?
It's nasty cold outside,
And inside too~
At four in the morning
our thermometer read chilling numbers.
At the moment, an hour later, we are actually getting a heat wave at only minus-18 instead of that dreaded number below of minus-21.8.
Good news?
Snow is on it's way, meaning it will be warming up into the teens by the weekend. Yipee~~~

Stay warm all my northerers and don't forget to send up a wave of warmth from the south, my southern friends.

Have a fantastic weekend.
If you have temps like us, please bundle up, like your Mama's would say and don't forget your mittens, scarves and boots. A pair of snowpants or insulated underwear would really feel great, just to be on the safe side.
Better still, Get Your Blanket and Stay Inside.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Life Gets Tedious

Throughout my childhood and til Daddy rested at a better place, it was not unusual to hear him recite bits of poems and songs he had learned as a kid, himself.
One in particular, was heard on cold, miserable, bone-chilling days like we are having today.

This was an ol' Walter Brennan song and a few of the lyrics from " Life Gets Tedious, Don't It." Dad said that Old Minnie Pearl on Hee Haw was one that used to recite it on the "Grand Ol Opry". He'd say, to bring it out right, it s h o u l d n' t be rushed too much, kinda slow and easy with a little extra hesitation before the last line of each verse.

Dad would say that there could have been another verse or two, but this was about all his recollector had recorded.

Life Gets Tedious, Don't It

The sun comes up and the sun goes down,
Hands on the clock keep goin' around,
I just get up, and it's time to lay down,
Life gets tee-jus, don't it?

Mouse a-chawin' on the pantry door,
He's been at it a month or more,
When he gets through he'll shore be sore.
Ain't a durn thing in there.

Cow went dry and the hen's don't lay,
Fish quit bitin' last Saturday,
Trouble's pilin' up day by day,
Now I'm gettin' dandruff.

Hounddog a howlin' so forlorn,
Laziest dog that ever was born,
He's a -howlin' cause he's sittin' on a thorn,
Just too tired to move over.

Tin roof leaks and the chimney leans,
Wore a hole in the seat of my old blue jeans,
And I et the last of the pork and beans,
Just can't depend on nuthin'.

Debts and taxes, grief and woe,
Pains and misery and so it goes,
I think I'm getting a co'd in my no'd,
Life gets tasteless, don't it?

There are several more verses to this little ditty, but these are the ones that Dad recalled. We sure got a kick out of it when he'd start to recite this out of the blue. The room would get quiet and everyone lent an ear. I wonder, now, was that his way to hush all of us noisy kids. There were a bunch of us. It must have crowded him on an 'inside' day.

Anyway, today has started out to be one of those miserable, cold days when there will be no going outside. The wind is howling and the chill is far below zero, like minus 30. You know, the kind that freezes your nostrils and throat, forms icicles on your nose.

I think I'll go bake something chocolate.

Have a warm day. I'm drawing the drapes up to let the sun shine in.


Monday, January 16, 2012

It's No Good Til It's In the Pan

Way up here in northcentral WI., ice fishing is a big sport, family fun, survival of the fittest. First, it takes desire, next warm, very warm clothes, head to toe and boots that will keep those tootsies toasty throughout your ice fishing day.

I love to eat the fish that are caught, I will gladly fry them up the way you want them, but I am not particularly excited about sitting on a bucket in the middle of a snow-covered lake, wetting a line down a little 4 to 8 inch hole in the ice, just to catch a fish. Call me crazy, but I do not care to freeze like a popsicle in a matter of minutes, in fact, I guess it really isn't fair to make an assessment since I never, not once,have ice fished.........so, I sent my son. He loves to go.

This was yesterday's minimal catch,........today, his uncle went along and they fished two different lakes and threw back the only keeper........but, as they say, it was the company, the stories, the nice day of 28 degrees and exploring a couple small lakes they could walk to the fishing hole.......of course, now they had to drill those fishing holes with a hand auger. After all, they just walked a mile to get to the lake., then to the middle it. Good thing it was only about 42 acres. That's an easy trek, normally, but factor in carrying your supplies, tip-ups, jig poles, bait, folding camp chairs, backpack of water, thermos of beef broth, survival kit, (just in case), and a snack or two for the afternoon.

Uncle took the lead, since the nephew had offspring, as he said, throwing nephew the truck keys, just in case he went through the ice. Yikes. Afterall, these were lakes with springs in them, even open water along the edges. Out in the center of the lake, the water depth was 20-some feet, but thank goodness, there was 14 inches of safe ice to hand-auger through.....exhausted from the walk and the excitement of the day, the holes drilled, let the fishing begin.

The remainder of the photos are from the 'net', internet, not fish net. The picture above and below are a pretty accurate scene of what the boys did today, walked out onto the lake, drilled a hole with the hand auger, set a tip-up, or used a jig-pole and fished.
These two fellas are just 'nuts,' idiots, but very dedicated to the end of the melt. It even looks as tho they have a pretty good tan going on yet, too. Can you believe this? And to think there actually are some die-hards out there.
In the middle of winter, in the middle of nowhere, when there is not a blade of green grass to see or a leaf on the trees, this is one of the chosen ' good times ' up north.
A Fisheree, whether for a good cause, or just for fun, is not an uncommon event waiting for spring thaw. You must understand, our winters can go as long as 6 months.......so, pull up a chair or a bucket, scoop the ice crystals out of your freshly drilled hole, and fish awhile.

Go to upnorthwithmel.blogspot.com and check out the upcoming JDWarrior Fisheree, a fisheree for a good cause, for Suicide Awareness. It will just take you a second to get to UpNorthWithMel. She's my sis, and does a great job putting this event on with the rest of her hubby's family. Then, get in the truck or your car and take a drive to the event....don't forget your snowboots, warm clothes and that jig pole.
Yessiree, this is fishin'

I love this cartoonage~~~it reminds me of the GrandLoves~~~LOL
Even the birds~
and the dog get into the act~~~~I'll git'em fer'ya
Now, put me in one of these log cabin ice shacks and maybe I won't notice I'm on a lake of ice.....
or something like this for a quick get-away~~~
But there ya have it, My Fear Factor
Are we having fun yet?
How about now?
There is a deadline, as to when ice shacks, vehicles and people, have to be off of the ice depending on the rate of spring thaw, but there is always one out there that the rule just doesn't seem to apply. Then it's their responsibility to remove the sunken obstacle out of the northern waters by another deadline, that comes along with a hefty fine for not paying attention in the first place.
I'm so glad our guys, so far, have not had to learn the hard way.

Seriously, get out there and play in the winter air. So, if you are squeamish about going on the ice, no matter how thick it is, go sledding, skiing, cross-country skiing, skating, snow-shoeing, hiking, heck, just build a snowman or build a fort or an igloo. Whatever you do, get outside. Breathe the fresh, cold air. Go fishing through the ice, I'm going to try it this year. Dad used to say the fish are no good until they're in the frypan. He was right.

Thanks for listening to me carry on and on and on.
Do check out Mel's blog about the Suicide Awareness Fisheree at www.upnorthwithmel.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bob1 and Bob2

A few entries back, I showed you who was visiting the trail cam.
Well look closer.
We have two visitors, that we know of.
The first in line, I've come to call Camo.
You will see why in a bit.
These cats are not starving, by any means.
My B-I-L was surprised they come in so close during the day.
Take a close look at this next shot.
How many cats do you see?
There's Camo, waiting his turn. The larger of the two of them I've tagged him, Gimpy~~if you look closely, he's missing the end of his right back leg. It hasn't slowed him any, tho he does limp.
I am enjoying watching these animals, tho they make me a bit nervous up so close. It is a rare sight to see them in the wild, as they usually hunt rabbits, small rodents, etc., rarely deer, and at dusk or night and in the solitary. My Dad would call this a privilege so I will too.
Camo is wondering what all the racket is on the highway, not 200 yards away, as he keeps a sharp eye.
I appreciate how beautiful these Bobcats are. Just so they keep their distance, just far enough away.
There's Camo again, waiting his turn while his elder feasts on the frozen carcass.
The camera didn't catch it, but I watched from my kitchen window as these two sat on their haunches and swatted each other a few times.
Maybe next time, the camera will snap at that moment.
What a sight to witness. I am privileged, indeed.
~I wonder if they are mates that will show us their kits in the spring~

So it goes in the wilds out my kitchen window.