About The River

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Heart of the Matter

 The Heart of the Matter

It all began on Tuesday, April, 11th. 
When I received that phone call. 
My sister telling me our dad had a heart attack.
He is awaiting surgery.
How fast can you come?

My dad was in a hospital over two hours away from me. When you wish you could fly like an eagle. You have to drive, and I had to drive in road construction. 

You get to the hospital.
And you see for the first time, your dad, broken.
My dad, who is strong. The one who chased the bats out of my room. 
My dad, the one who took me out for ice cream after I received a bad hair cut in 8th grade. 
My dad, who taught me how to drive.
My dad, who walked me down the aisle.

All of a sudden, I have to be strong for him.
Our roles are switched.
And my mom, who is also trying to keep it all together. Who drove my dad to the first hospital, not knowing he was having a heart attack, she drove in a snow storm.
My mom, watching my dad go off in an ambulance.
My mom, who needs to drive back to the farm, in a Spring snow storm.
My mom who needs to make decisions about the farm. 

My dad had open heart surgery on Wednesday, April 12th.
My dad who is the strong one, who helps everyone else, and does not ask for help from others.
He now is broken.
He continued to say to me, "The doctors, the nurses, they all are so nice. This is not the world we see on the news. The news that is all full of hate. The news that puts America v.s. America or the World. 
This is LOVE. This is what we are really all about."

 My dad who after surgery can not make it to the bathroom. 
My dad who cries out in pain. Who moans out as the body makes adjustments.
My dad who says "I am sorry" to the staff in ICU.

I remind my dad, it is alright. They understand if you cry out in pain, they are here to help you. 
This is LOVE.

Wonderful people loving and caring for my dad.

Up and down we went through the weekend.


I am happy to report, Tuesday, April 18th my dad was on his way to spend a few days at my sisters.
My sister is only 30 miles from the hospital.

 My dad's first thing he did when he was discharged from the hospital.
Was say out loud "I can put on underwear."
He put on underwear, his T-shirt and his baseball cap.

His first night out of the hospital went well.
We are praying for recovery to continue to go smooth. 
The doctors say, that if all goes well, July 4th will be the "You DID IT"!
My dad is already planning his party.

Thank You for the love, the support and prayers.

As  many of you remember, I have a tradition to make my boys an Easter Cake.
I arrived home late Friday night and we planned to head back to the hospital Easter Sunday.
On Saturday I did some catching up and made my Easter Bunny Butt Cupcakes.
I did take a few to the hospital. 
My dad got a chuckle.

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_love.html
Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/mother_teresa.html
Let us always meet each other with a smile, 
for the smile is the beginning of love.
Mother Teresa

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_love.html


Monday, April 10, 2017

Hello April

April sees the birds return, 
scatters showers on leaf and fern
Tasha Tudor
Around The Year 

Wishing you all a lovely Easter week.
I will be taking a short blog break.

Hoping all of you enjoy time with family and friends.

Happy Spring!

Be Back Soon!


Friday, April 7, 2017

On the Road Friday with the Birthday Boy to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

Welcome to, On the Road Friday, if you have been following along the last few Friday's, I have shared our trip to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
My husband and I made a photo scavenger hunt for our boys to complete during our visit. The boys enjoyed the challenge. I enjoyed looking at what the boys captured with the ideas we gave them on the scavenger hunt.

Today, we head to Como in the eyes of our oldest son, Sam, 
who also happens to have a birthday today. 

Here we go to Como with Sam.


 Something Blue

Sam loves pools and fountains. 
When he was a young fella he would try to reach in and pick up the coins in the pools or fountains. One time while we were at a park, he came up to me with a bunch of coins. He was so excited, "Look Mom, I found all this money!"
He was soaking wet, as he fished it out of the fountain.

 I like how this water is sitting in this flower.

 Looking Up

I like how Sam captured the path.

Thank you for coming along with me and the birthday boy to Como.
This finishes our visit to Como Zoo and Conservatory.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Some Bunny Loves You

 I do not think making Bunny Cakes are my specialty. I will say, my boys get a good laugh about the bunny cakes I have made in the past. I started this silly tradition of mine two years ago. 
The first photo is my very first attempt of making a bunny cake.

My 2016 Bunny Cake is the photo below.

The boys have already been asking if I plan to make a 2017 Bunny Cake, in between laughs. 

I smile and announce "Well, of course, I am."

I am thinking of making cupcakes and placing small chocolate bunnies on top.

Before, I decide not to try another true Bunny Cake, I thought I would ask my blog friends if they have any ideas or tips that have worked for them.

Friday, March 31, 2017

On the Road Friday ~ Como Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul, Minnesota ~ Part 2

Hello and Welcome to, On the Road Friday!
If you missed my first post about Como Zoo and Conservatory, click here.

 Last week I shared about our photo scavenger hunt we made up for the boys. I shared some of our youngest son, Atticus' photos. This week I am sharing my husbands photos. He was on a mission to capture the creatures of the zoo. A few of these creatures where in the conservatory, like the fella up above.
 No, thank you.
 I loved how my husband captured the beauty of this guy.
 "Good Morning"
This is my very favorite photo.
 Zoological Building
 The male and female tigers where together. The zoo is crossing fingers and toes that the two will decide to mate.
  Como Zoo was successful to have a baby giraffe.  Sweet as could be. When we visited him he kept looking at our boys. I think he wanted to play.

Thank you for coming along today, to Como Zoo and Conservatory.

The winner of the Spring Giveaway is Marilyn of Mountain Top Spice. Congratulations Marilyn!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Eek Spiders .... It is the Hodgepodge

Como Conservatory, St.Paul, Minnesota
Welcome to Wednesday and Wednesday brings us the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'  What's something you've seen recently that you thought was beautiful?
We visited Como Conservatory the 1st of March. I loved walking the gardens. I thought the way that Saint Francis of Assisi looked in this lovely garden was beautiful.

  2. Our culture and beauty...your thoughts?

My thoughts about our culture and beauty = a mess.

3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep...which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

Beauty sleep. 
I have learned that I need my sleep and there is no reason to not be good to myself and go to bed at a time that works for me. I have less headaches and feel so much better with a good sleep.

4. I read here a list of the top ten beasts animals that scare us the most-

alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider.

Which 'beast' on the list scares you the most? The black widow spider. What is the liklihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? They do live in Wisconsin. I know they like dark areas. My grandpa saw one in an outhouse. Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? The movie Arachnophobia did not help. I really have no idea why I watched it. I already was scared of spiders, why on earth watch a movie to make you more scared. Really, Silly Me!
 Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?
Black Bears 
I grew up with bats. We lived in old farm house. I have many stories about bats flying in our room on a summer night. My sister and I both screaming "Dad!"

Black Bears, well, thankfully, my dad taught my sister and I early in our childhood to watch for bear. My parents farm is located in between Price County forest land and State of Wisconsin forest land. Every Spring a hungry bear, who is just waking up will amble out on to the pasture.

Coyotes also are frequent visitors to the farm.  Sadly, a few of my lambs were killed by coyotes.
Itsy Bitsy Spider

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

The Catholic Church in our little Village of Cameron has bells ring at 6pm every night.
It is musical. I love hearing them each evening.

6. What's your favorite carb? How's that for random?


7. Let's wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

Melting, snow melting.
       Air, the smell of fresh Spring air.  
 Roadtrip,  we took a roadtrip to St. Paul,  Minnesota.
Catalog, looking over seed catalogs and placing my order.
Hour, we lost a hour when we switched to Day Light Savings, and I complained. 

 8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

 I liked the message on the box of the thin mints.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Ups and Downs .... Life goes on .... Joy List Monday

 Joy List Monday
a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties
 and graces that make life magical 
and to set aside time for gratitude each day

It has been a week of Ups and Downs for our family this past week.
Friday was a sad day for me, I was in a funk all day. I really was struggling to shake it.

We lost our two year old cat, Catsby. He struggled with seizures his entire short life.
We loved him and he loved us. He did share his love in a big way.
We all miss him.

Our dear friend, Deb lost her dad this week. We attended the visitation and prayer service on Thursday evening. Sunday we had dinner with Deb and another friend. We enjoyed sharing stories about Deb's childhood and her memories with her dad.

Taking time to remember the little beauties of life.

The robins are back. Tweet, tweet they sing in the morning. 
It is a lovely sound to hear the birds of Spring.

 Taking time to read a good book, with a warm cup of tea.

Trying a new recipe and having all the family like it.

And ....

Ha Ha!

A great article a friend shared with me

And to celebrate the robins coming back to Northern Wisconsin, let us have a Spring Giveaway!

 5 post cards ... perfect to send a Thinking of You Spring greeting to a friend
Dark Chocolate Mints and tea ... perfect to share with a friend
Fun green napkins ... to make your table pretty while you enjoy your tea and chocolate

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment.
If you are not able to leave a comment on my blog, please e mail me, you will be entered in the giveaway. The winner will be chosen on Thursday evening and announced on Friday, March 31st On the Road Friday post.

Happy Monday, my friends!

Friday, March 24, 2017

On The Road Friday ~ Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

Welcome to On The Road Friday!
March 1st our family took a day off and headed to St. Paul, Minnesota.
We visited the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

Again, using inspiration from my blog friend Julie at JulieLou
we created a photo scavenger hunt for our boys.
Julie shared this idea on one of her posts. My boys enjoy taking photos. What a fun way to challenge them and make a fun game out of the adventure.

 26 photos
Both of my boys did not do the selfie. 
They take after mom, I am not a selfie girl.
We had to put Selfie on the list for a chuckle.
As they read over the list both of them said, "What? A selfie! No way!"

  Me, capturing my Sam, taking a photo for the Scavenger Hunt.

I am going to do three blog post sharing the beauty and wonder of Como Park.
This week I will share with you Atticus' photos.

Exploring Como Park Zoo and Conservatory with Atticus

 Yellow Bird

 Exploring the Fern Room


This room smelled wonderful.

 One of my favorites that Atticus captured.

 Water setting inside the flower.

 I love how he captured the water.

 Strolling thru the Zoo.
The tigers enjoying a Winter day outside.


One of Atticus' favorite photos that he took.

Thank you for joining me today for part one of the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hello Spring ~ It is the Hodgepodge

Oh, how I wish they would help me with Spring Cleaning!
Welcome to the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title 'March Madness'?

My text book.

I am currently in school.
I am taking the Master Gardener course. 
It adds a little madness because we already have the boys busy with school, extra activities, work and of course just keeping house.

In the madness, everyone helps make the days run smooth. I love that about our family. I am so thankful for it. My oldest son saying "Hey, mom, I can stop after work and pick up a few groceries."

My boys reaction when they first saw the size of it! "WOW, mom! You can do this!"

2. What's a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children's childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there's a story behind the origin please share.

My grandpa loved to make up words.
When asking for the afghan my mom crochet for him, he would say "Please cover me with my Afghanistan." He made up other fun words and sayings too. It was always a fun time to hang out with my grandpa.

 3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-

clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don't get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen 'quick' tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?

Yes, we usually do spring cleaning. 
After a long Wisconsin winter, it is nice to open the windows and let the fresh air in.

Yes, we will wipe down our ceiling fans.
We really should tackle the windows.

 4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?

You've Got Mail
It makes me want to live in New York City! I love, love, love Kathleen Kelly's apartment.

 5. What's put a spring in your step this month?

 My garden seed orders are arriving. Each day this week I have gotten some in the mail.
I will have some exciting news to share regarding my Little Garden That Could in the next month.

6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?

 I did. 
I have a fun memory being a teacher.
As many of you know, I grew up on a dairy farm. 
When my sister and I were younger, we would play in the feed room. My parents had gotten two chalk boards and hung them in the feed room so we could play school.
My sister and I would drag bring the farm cats into the feed room. We would sit them on the feed sacks and teach them how to not get run over by the milk truck, tractors and such. 
We spent most of the milking time chasing the cats to get them to come back to class. 

I wonder now, maybe they did not like the subject.

My sister also played school, I was the teacher. Me, being the older sister, I of course bossed her as the teacher. It never lasted long, I was back to teaching the cats.

7.  What's your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?
I love, love flowers.
I am going to say lilacs are my very favorite scent. Then when the lily of valley bloom, I will say lily of the valley. Then when the peony bloom, I will say peony. 

I had a violet on top of a cupcake, but I did not eat it.

I am not sure about the wine.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Baseball season is just about here. I am counting down the days.
I have the Brewers schedule on my fridge. I mark the wins and losses. 
I am excited to see what the Cubs do this year. 
I am a Milwaukee Brewer fan, but I can not help myself to like the Cubs too.
A fun team and a great World Series story. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Joy List Monday

Joy List Monday
a weekly ritual

a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces 
that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day 

Girl Scout Cookies
The memories that come with receiving Girl Scout Cookies.
I was in Girl Scouts and my mom was very active in the program.
I was the top cookie seller for our troop!

 The sweet Thank You note the we received with our Girl Scout Cookie order.

Setting aside gratitude for those people who make our automobiles.
A large rock came flying at me while driving on my Meals on Wheels route last week.
I took a photo of the damage on the windshield. 
Just think if we did not have the amazing windshields we do! Driving along at 60 miles an hour and boom a rock hits you.
Taking time to say "I am thankful for those folks who spend time in making our autos safe."

 Cadbury Mini Eggs

 My text book!
Class is going well. Our instructors are amazing. Very helpful and so excited to teach us.
I am taking time for gratitude to all of those people who enjoy to teach others. They have patience and take time to think of ways to teach in a fun, hands on way.

 My boys!
They really had a chuckle over the size of my class room text book.
I also have online lectures and worksheets.
Setting aside gratitude to my family helping me study for class and take the time to listen about my my time at class.

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