About The River

Monday, July 16, 2018

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

I recently made Roasted Sweet Potato Salad.
Yum, we all enjoyed this recipe. The flavor was outstanding the next day. I do suggest preparing the night before to get the full flavor.
The recipe is from Averie Cooks click here to see more.


  • about 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 jumbo), washed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (use the white and green)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 cup corn (I use frozen that I allowed to thaw)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, minced (about half of 1 bunch)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (lime juice may be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray and add the sweet potatoes in an even, flat layer. Evenly drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until fork-tender and done. Halfway through baking flip potatoes to ensure even cooking. Baking time will vary based on size of potatoes, oven and climate variances, and I recommend starting to check at 30 minutes for doneness. While potatoes bake, prep and chop the remaining ingredients.
  2. To a large bowl, add the black beans, green onions, red pepper, corn, cilantro; set aside.
  3. To a large measuring cup or medium bowl, add the honey, dijon mustard, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, optional cayenne pepper, and whisk to combine; set aside.
  4. After potatoes are cooked, add them to the bowl with the beans and vegetables, add the sauce, and toss to combine. Taste, check for seasoning balance (add more salt, pepper, touch of honey, lemon juice, etc.), make any necessary tweaks, and serve. Potato salad can be served warm, at room temp, or chilled and will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Meet Me in the Garden

 Hello to all my readers, I am inviting you to Meet Me in the Garden on July 17th. 
I know many of you live far, far away, but just in case you are in the area, I invite you to join us for a fun evening learning Tips and Tricks. I will be sharing tips and tricks on cut flowers.

 The Spooner Agriculture Research Station Teaching and Display Garden will again host visitors for a relaxing program in the garden on Tuesday, July 17 starting at 6:00 pm.  This garden session will focus on sharing tips, tricks, myths and truths

Last year's event, it was chilly. I do not think we will need long sleeves this year. We are having a warm and humid summer here in Northwest Wisconsin.

July, 2018 Spooner, Wisconsin.   – The Spooner Agriculture Research Station Teaching and Display Garden will again host visitors for a relaxing program in the garden on Tuesday, July 17 starting at 6:00 pm.  This garden session will focus on sharing tips, tricks, myths and truths.  Visitors can come with their own tips to share and UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will be on hand to share theirs.  The evening’s program will include tidbits on cut flower tricks, garden photo techniques, tips on vegetable gardening, and phenology.  There will be interactive contests to test everyone’s knowledge and how to tell whether what we learned from our grandparents and parents hold up with the latest research. This year’s theme is “Get Social in the Garden”, a part of the All American Selections #AASWinners.  The Garden is one of eight in Wisconsin that display vegetable and flower varieties who have been awarded this designation as an outstanding cultivar.   For more information on the garden, upcoming events and blog posts go to the North Country Master Gardener Volunteers website at:  https://www.northcountrymgv.org/

Save these dates for the other programs at the garden:  the Twilight Garden Tour will be August 14 at 4:00 pm and on September 8 at 10:00 am the program will focus on harvest, seed savings and what was learned during this garden season. 

Remember to bring your own lawn chair for the Meet Me in the Garden Seminar.  The session is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine – please dress accordingly.  In case of inclement weather, the program will be held at the Station Building at W6646 Highway 70, Spooner.    The garden is located on Orchard Lane, 1.5 miles east of Spooner on Highway 70 or 1/2 mile west of the Hwy 70/53 interchange.  Watch for garden meeting signs.

For more information and a map visit the station’s web site at: http://spooner.ars.wisc.edu/ or contact Kevin Schoessow or Lorraine Toman at the Spooner Area UW-Extension Office at 715-635-3506 or 1-800-528-1914.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Robert Kemp .. Canna Lily

I had all these canna lily rhizmoe that I saved last Autumn and they winter over well. My husband gave the suggestion I pot them and sell at market.
The following website is very interesting regarding Heirloom plants.

 I printed up photos of the photos we have taken of our Canna Lily over the years to share at market. The one thing about Canna that I love is the fact that pollinators LOVE them. If you love hummingbirds, you want to have a Canna Lily in your yard or on your deck.

 My husband was so impressed at how big the leaf got. He took this photo measuring the leaf with his phone.

 A photo of  the photo I took to market to share what the Canna bloom looked like.

My husband created this care sheet for me to pass out, it has information on the back as well. Canna's can be planted in pots. Many people do not know that. I have a Canna in a galvanized bucket on our North deck. The large green leafs are a favorite look of mine.

At market .. I am happy to report I spread Canna love to other yards in the area.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018


I recently wrote a post about Charles and his home made green house.

 Charles started many petunias. He asked if I would like cuttings back in April.
I said sure, I would never pass up a few petunias.
We did our cuttings from his plants and started my plants.

 Pretty in Pink .. here is a pot full of petunias that I started in April.
It is so fun to watch the entire process, of Charles starting the seeds, the plants doing so well he needed to cut them back. I got the cuttings and now have  lovely pots of pink petunia.
 Happy 4th of July to you.


Monday, July 2, 2018

The Little Garden That Could .. The New Farm Stand

Back in 2012, I started to sell flowers in the front yard.
I had a card table at first.
Then a little farmer market sand.

Each summer I would struggle with wind. Wind would knock over my flowers in jars and did not help vase life for the bouquet.

During the off season I talked to my contractor (aka my husband) about a design that could be enclosed, not cost much to make and not be an eye sore in the front yard.

 I wanted a rustic look.

Using the roof from my old farm stand. Lumber from my dad that he had in storage and other re purposed wood, my husband created my new farm stand.

 Here it is .. The New Farm Stand .. I am very happy with it. I have placed bouquets in it during the heat wave we have had and they did very well.
 The stand is located under our pine trees, it keeps it cool, the bouquets have shelter from the wind and it is rustic looking. All what I was looking for. My husband designed and built my new farm stand.
The walkway into the farm stand, steps and rocks around it all were designed and done by my youngest son, Atticus.

 The season has started and I am so happy to have this new farm stand to put my flowers.

Red, White and Blue bouquets just in time to celebrate the U.S. of A. 

Happy July


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Have you read?

How about we talk books. Have you read All The Light We Cannot See?
Share your thoughts with me. 

What are you reading this summer?


Monday, June 25, 2018

TEST! 1. 2. 3. TEST!


Nana Diana Takes A  Break posted the following post to help with receiving our blog comments back into our e mail inbox! 

I am testing .. I do hope it works. I enjoy the friendships I have made here at The River in blog land. I have missed having my comments come to me in my e mail.

I will keep you posted on if this is working on my end. Please let me know if it is working on your end.

Thank You


Friday, June 22, 2018

The Unloved Chair

My parents bought this chair at an auction for $1.00. I fell in love with it right when I saw it.

With a good washing. Some paint. And a handy husband .. take a peek at this $1.00 chair.

 A white wicker chair with a pale yellow upholstered seat.

A good washing and paint.

 Starting to look better, but we need to do something about that pale yellow! 

 We took this project on! We can do it! 
Hey, we are only professionals.

 Using upholstery tacks.

 All set up to sit in and perfect timing as well. We had a dinner party that weekend. 

I was all excited to share my story about the unloved chair.

How about you, any stories about something you gave some tender loving care?


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Home Built Greenhouse

The other day I shared,  A Greenhouse in the Woods, today I will share a greenhouse design my friend Charles designed and built himself.

 Charles designed and built his greenhouse himself. When I walked in to it the first time, I just loved that nursery smell, plants growing, you can not beat that!
It is a fantastic greenhouse and works so well.
We will take a peek inside.

 Yum, yum lettuce. 
Charles was running out of room for all his started plants. He was using every inch of space.

Some more plants growing inside the greenhouse. The photos are taken on May 6th, 2018! 

I think I can say in all truth, "Charles has a green thumb!"

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Greenhouse in the Woods

A few of my posts I will be sharing some fun from this Spring. With the graduation party I fell behind in blogging. I have so many fun things to share with you, so here we go back to May.

One of my Master Gardner friends, Cindy, had a greenhouse built last summer. This spring we started our seeds for the cutting garden that we are planting together for the Twilight Garden Tour in August .. more to come about the Twilight Garden Tour .. she also cared for our pollinator plants for our pollinator plant sale we had May 19th, my post advertising the plant sale Annual Plant Sale.


 Our pollinators on 5/5/2018.

Cindy had her greenhouse designed to be a spot for her and her creative time working with plants. She found this lovely chandelier for her greenhouse.

 A greenhouse in the woods.
I just love the way it looks as you drive up her wooded driveway.

Take a peek at the top of the greenhouse, look at the beautiful detail Cindy had added. Her greenhouse is a special place for her. It is truly a beautiful site as you drive down her driveway.

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