About The River

Monday, January 15, 2018

Goals for The Little Garden That Could

Welcome 2018 !
Looking ahead at goals that I have for my little flower business, The Little Garden That Could.

Click on the above link to take a peek  at The Little Garden That Could. This summer I will continue to offer my Fresh Flower subscription service.

This summer I plan to have my flowers for sale in my front yard, like I have in years past. 

This summer, we plan to have a Farm Stand. I am excited to share with you as my husband starts the design and build on this cute Farm Stand that I dreamed up.
The reason I asked Jeremy if he could build me a small farm stand, is because of the weather. On windy days, my flowers do not fair well out on my table. My gladiolus are very hard to keep up on my table.  Jeremy understood and we have come up with a solution.

 I will be back at the Bruce Farmer's Market. I took a year off from the Farmer's Market during 2017. I missed my other vendors and I am happy they missed me. My market manger shared with me she would love to have me what ever Friday's I could join up for the Friday market. I want to continue to do my Meals on Wheels (two weeks on two weeks off). The two weeks off, those Friday's I will go to market. I am excited to meet up with my other market friends and see my customers again in the Bruce area.

2017 was a fun year of kicking off my flower subscription service. I was featured in our local newspaper and had several customers ask me if I would do garden tours.

 Another idea for 2018 would be to host Flower Garden Tours.
I am wondering how to promote this? 
Once a month?
Offer Flower Garden Tea Time?
Build your own bouquets?

I would love to hear from you. 

"Just living is not enough." said the butterfly "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
Hans Christian Anderson

Friday, January 12, 2018

On the Road Friday ~ Madison, Wisconsin

On the Road Friday will be back for the next several Friday's as I take you on a trip to Madison, Wisconsin. Our family visited Madison in October of 2017. I will share some of the highlights of our trip, give you some fun ideas of what to do if you plan a trip and some great eats that we found during our stay.

Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the state capitol of Wisconsin. It is the second largest city in Wisconsin with a population of
Money magazine has voted Madison, Wisconsin one of the best places to live in the United States.

 We asked our hotel manager where the best place was to take a photo of the capitol building at night. He directed us to a park/boat landing. It was perfect. 
All of the night photos are taken by my husband.

 Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin, lies west of Milwaukee. It’s known for the domed Wisconsin State Capitol, which sits on an isthmus between lakes Mendota and Monona. The Wisconsin Historical Museum documents the state’s immigrant and farming history. The city's paved Capital City State Trail runs past Monona Terrace, a lakefront convention center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
~Source Google~

The above website is a helpful one when looking for hotels, good eats and helpful hints.

Thank you for joining me today at our first peek of Wisconsin's capitol, Madison.
 I plan to share inside the capitol building, some lovely gardens, museums, the zoo and much more.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Winter is Here to Stay and so is the Hodgepodge

Hello Everyone, it is Wednesday and that means it is the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.
A visitor under the bird feeder.

1. January is National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?

Yes, I have a mentor. This is Marv. I have shared many stories about him on The River. I met Marv long ago. We met at the library. He asked me a question about an insurance agency in our Village, he was new to the area. We became fast friends. I learned that he had a passion for gardening. 
For the past four years he has been my gardening mentor. We have gardened side by side at the community gardens for four years. It has been a blessing.

 2. What current trend makes no sense to you?

I will say self driving cars.   This self driving cars thing has me concerned. Maybe it is because I live in a rural area. I just can not see the self driving car handling Northwest Wisconsin roads very well. We have pot holes the size of swimming pools! You have to go into the other lane to avoid one of those. We also have deer, bear, more deer, rabbits, turkeys, more deer, cats, dogs, squirrels, did I mention deer that dart in front of you so fast that well, you have got to really be watching and have your passenger watching for critters as well, especially when night driving.

 3. I saw a cartoon on facebook highlighting a few 'weird' things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. (Credit for the cartoon goes here) Of the 'weird' things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more 'weird' thing you'd add to the list?

 I love fresh sheets.
I love LOVE love to vacuum. I consider it therapy. 

4. What's the last good thing you ate?
My husband made me fresh blueberry waffles, loaded with butter and real Wisconsin Maple Syrup.

 5. Describe life in your 20's in one sentence.

We were newlyweds, lived far from family and friends.

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 


 More visitors under the bird feeder.

 Miss Penelope watching the visitors.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

 In December Kim at Exquisitely Unremarkable shared about her white ceramic Christmas tree.
She mentioned the green ceramic Christmas trees in her post. I shared with her about my special ceramic Christmas tree.
My little green ceramic Christmas tree is also a music box.

 My grandpa and grandma gave me this tree, when I was young. I kept it in a safe place during my years of growing up. As I moved into being an adult, it moved with me.

 My tree has special bulbs on it, birds, butterflies, flowers and the regular bulbs.

 I have lost a few of the bulbs over the years.

 Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight; Make me a child again just for tonight.
Elizabeth Akers Allen

My tree came with Santa too.

Over the years each Christmas brings excitement of putting up our real Christmas tree. Decorating it with all our family ornaments. It is a special time to get the house all decorated.
When the boys help me put up my ceramic Christmas tree, I will share a story or two about the special relationship I had with my grandpa. My grandpa Sam and I were very close. Our first born son is named in his honor.

Then when the house is all quite at night, I will wind up the music box. I will remember special times with my family growing up. Christmas as a child, the excitement of having family come to stay with us. My cousin Kris coming to stay with my grandma and grandpa with her dog Toby.
Christmas evening dinner. All the adults are drinking Old Fashion's while us kids steal the cherries.
Opening presents! My grandma would have the presents hiding in the porch, they would be so cold when she brought them out. 
Laughing with family. Sharing stories of my parents and grandparents Christmas. Christmas hugs and the excitement that we will get to do this again next year.

Oh Ceramic Christmas Tree
Thank you for the memories

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Baby it is Cold Outside ~ Hey, it is the first Hodgepodge of 2018!

When you run out of room in the fridge during the holidays.
Welcome to the first Hodgepodge of 2018.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. You can read more about the decision making process and word meaning here, but this year's top vote getters are-

unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economy

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?

I would say dish can go, in the way that it is used here.
For me, profanity can be added. I must live in the area of the USA that the Fword is taught in all households. Maybe it is me, I might just be what some call old fashioned. I honestly think a person should be able to have some control. While I am waiting at the check out at a local store this weekend. "It is F'n cold out." "I could not get my F'n car started." and the worse of it is when I hear a mother in the grocery store yell at her kid, "just pick out a F'n cereal." 
 I am doing all I can to keep my boys from using. And you will not catch me using it. 
Honestly!!! Why?

Dare to be different, I say!

2. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?
I have four closets that I did not get to in 2017. 
I also have a garden shed that needs a good cleaning.
 3. Where do you feel stuck?

 Not enough snow for skiing yet.
Ice and negative temps making outdoor activities non-existent.
Feeling stuck inside the house!

4. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?

We had one more squash to use from the garden. I made a wonderful squash soup Saturday night. It was a new recipe.  It called for cinnamon. Oh, did it taste wonderful.

My all time favorite soup is Chicken Dumpling.

 5. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.

Our oldest son will graduate from high school and will start college in August 2018. He is very excited about his career path. I am excited for him to spread his wings.

I would be lying if I did not share that I have some other feelings floating around in me about him spreading his wings as well. My husband and I are blessed to have been given our two boys. To watch our first one venture out on his own, well ...  

 6. Insert your own random thought here.

This photo was taken back in 2013. We participated in a Blue Jean Ski Race.

Dreaming of warmer temperatures so it will snow. Yep, that is true, it has been too cold to snow.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Did you catch a Reindeer?

 Happy New Year
Here is to a great 2018!
Ring out the Old! Ring in the New!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. We traveled to my parents farm and spent time with family.  It was a special Christmas as we celebrated my dad's good health. He has recovered well from his heart attack in April 2017. We let off fireworks on Christmas Eve and Christmas night to celebrate all that Christmas gives us.

My last post I shared our Reindeer Bait recipe.
Did you have any luck?
As you can see we did. We even caught a few interesting reindeer. Three eyed!! (boys decorating)

Looking forward to sharing another year with you, right here at The River.


Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
  Pamela Vaull Starr

Monday, December 18, 2017

Merry Christmas and How to Catch a Reindeer

Merry Christmas
I will be taking a blog break for Christmas.

I wish all of you a blessed Christmas. 
Enjoy time with family, friends and may you feel the blessings of Christmas.

Before I go, I will give you a recipe to help you catch one of Santa's very own reindeer.

Will it be Donner?
Be sure to let me know!

 Reindeer Bait


  • 3 c. corn chex
  • 2 c. wheat chex
  • 2 c. mini pretzels
  • 2 c. mini marshmallows
  • 1 c. red and green M&Ms
  • 20 oz. white chocolate
  • Red and green sprinkles, for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, mix together Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, pretzels, mini marshmallows, and M&Ms.
  2. Melt white chocolate and pour over mixture. Stir until fully coated.
  3. Transfer mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet or dish and top with sprinkles, then refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
  4. Break up into bite-size pieces and serve.

I do find having the M&M's in the mix makes it too sweet. My boys think it is great. I will make it again next Christmas and I plan to skip the M&M's. (don't tell the boys)







Friday, December 15, 2017

Using Nature to Decorate for Christmas

I love to use nature in my decorating. I will head to the woods to gather balsam branches, birch and pine cones. This season I also gathered wintergreen and princess pine.

 I used balsam branches, wintergreen and princess pine to fill my skates.

Using dried hydrangea from my garden I created two of my galvanized bucket Christmas decorations.

 I first applied some hair spray on the hydrangea. I used an extreme hold hairspray, I quickly dusted the hydrangea with gold glitter.

I then let the hydrangea dry for an hour before taking them outside to decorate.

 Since the following photos have been taken, we have received some snow. The glitter is holding up very well, when the sun, moon or lights from the entry hit the hydrangeas, they twinkle.

A flower girl Christmas!

P.S. Any time I get the glitter out for crafting, my husband looks at me in surprise! "No, not glitter!" he will say. Glitter will be following us around for the next few weeks. 


Monday, December 11, 2017

Joy List Monday and The Three Legged Wolf

 The three legged wolf.
If you missed my story about our three legged wolf, read the post shared above.
Many asked to see the three legged wolf after reading his story of how he got a place on our Christmas tree.  His back grey leg is missing starting at the knee down.

 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

 ♫ fresh snow
♫ making new and old time favorite Christmas treats
♫ listening to Christmas music
♫ reading Advent each evening together as a family
♫ feeding the birds, squirrels and rabbits 
♫ homemade ornaments
♫ enjoying preparing for Christmas

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Jingle, Jingle Table Place Settings

Using burlap, glitter snowflakes, candy canes and jingle bells I created these fun place settings for our Christmas dinner table.

 I found the jingle bells at Wal Mart.

Everyone will be ready to play Jingle Bells for Christmas!


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