About The River

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Autumn in Wisconsin

The leaves fall,the wind blows,
and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.
Henry Beston

 Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and just celebrate living.
Amanda Bradley

 A good laugh is sunshine in a house.
William Makepeace Thackeray

Not what we say about our blessings,
but how we use them, is the true
measure of our thanksgiving.
W.T. Purkiser 
 “After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth...The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her...In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.”
Elizabeth George Speare - The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Wishing you all a happy weekend.
Wisconsin is at peak Autumn color.
A beautiful weather forecast for the weekend.
Take time to pack a picnic lunch. 
Make a quick and easy pasta salad. Grab some french bread and apple or two.  
Head out on an Autumn color hike and let the world go by.



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

It is a Wood Violet Hodgepodge

Happy Wednesday
 It is time for the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. It's October so let's get this out there first thing...have you jumped on the all-things-pumpkin bandwagon? How so?

 I made pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.
After church on Sunday we visited a fun Pumpkin Patch just outside of Rice Lake.
The boys still enjoy picking out a big pumpkin to carve.

 2.  "We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible." Francois Duc De la Rochefoucauld  

What's something you once thought impossible, but in hindsight see as more a matter of lack of will?

Some of you are going to laugh at this. I just have to be real about this, so here it goes.
We have a very narrow driveway, that goes right along our house and then a one car garage. I hated backing out of the garage and driving into the garage. I would not do it, I was so nervous about hitting the house or not being able to see to drive into the garage.
One day I decided, this is silly, I can do this!
I did it.
My husband was so proud of me. He never complained about my struggles. He was just a sweet heart and would always have our truck ready for me on a day he knew I needed to be on the road.
 I am happy to say, I can do it on my own.
I have not hit the house or anything.

 3. The rose is America's National Flower, but every state also has its own (click here to see the list). Are you happy with yours? If you were in charge what would you declare your state's flower? If you're outside the U.S. what bloom would you like to see labeled as your country's national flower?

Wisconsin's State flower is the Wood Violet.
It blooms in the spring. After a long Wisconsin winter, the wood violet is a welcomed sight.
This information is from the Wisconsin DNR.
State flowers were first nominated in 1908. When the official tally was taken on Arbor Day 1909, school children selected the wood violet (Viola papilionacea) over the wild rose, trailing arbutus, and the white water lily. It was a close vote.
The wood violet is a small flower commonly seen in wet woodland and meadow areas, and along roadsides. This purple violet is very popular in the eastern United States and blooms between March and June. Not only is it the state flower for Wisconsin, but it also holds this title in Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Believe it or not, the leaves are very tasty and can be used in salads, candies, and jellies.

 4. What have you lost interest in recently?
Keeping up with American politics.

5. In your opinion, who's the best living musician?
 John Williams

6. S'mores-love 'em or no? Ever make them indoors? Last time you sat around an outdoor fire? Are making s'mores and sitting round a fire pit on your autumn bucket list? Do you have an autumn bucket list?

Yes, our family loves S'mores!! No we have not made them indoors. We enjoyed a fire in September and had S'mores. We love to use Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and York Peppermint Patties to make S'mores.
We will be making S'mores this weekend. 

7. Your favorite small town? Why?
Cameron, Wisconsin  
Cameron has been my hometown for 18 years now. It is a small town. We have a Mom and Pop grocery store, we enjoy doing business at Brion's Grocery. Gen and Gregg know us by name. We have the best small library, again, I can pop into the library and everyone know my name.
The same with Village Hall. When we go to vote, many times we spend a good hour chatting after with neighbors. We have enjoyed Cameron. 
My dad named one of his farm cats Cameron, in honor of us living in Cameron, Wisconsin. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Best Caramel

Apples and Caramel

1 bag of Kraft caramels
1/3 cup Half and Half
1/3 cup Heavy Whip Cream

In a small sauce pot add your caramels, Half and Half and Heavy Whip Cream
on medium heat, melt your delicious caramel.
 Continue to stir until all is melted and nice and creamy. Pour into a bowl.
 Grab your sliced apples, your warm caramel and a friend.

Left over caramel will keep nicely in the refrigerator.

Friday, October 2, 2015

My First Bite of SPAM

It is true, I never tried SPAM until Labor Day weekend 2015!
We were visiting special friends, who found out from our boys, that no one in our family had tasted SPAM. I now can say, I have eaten SPAM.
It was salty. I liked the Jalapeno over the original.
Yes, can you believe it? A SPAM Museum. Click the above link for more about the SPAM Museum.

SPAM, Monkey Bread and grapes. 

 Have you eaten SPAM? 
Do you like it?
Do you have a favorite way to eat it?

Animal crackers, and cocoa to drink.
That is the finest of suppers, I think.
When I am grown up and can have what I please, I think I shall always insist upon these.
Christopher Morley 

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What? It is the last day of September! And it is the Hodgepodge!!

Happy Wednesday
It is time for the Hodgepodge. 
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.
October is peeking around the corner.
 1. Something on your October calendar that makes you smile?
My sister and I will be doing a Sister's Weekend! We did this for the first time last year for my birthday. We had such a good time catching up and spending time together we decided to make a yearly event.
This year we will be heading to Madeline Island, Lake Superior 
 2. Food for the soul or music for the soul...which camp are you in? Tell us why.
 Music for the soul. I love music. I have music playing in the background all the time. One of my favorite stations is KUSC out of Southern California. Click here to check out KUSC 
I love that you can stream your favorite music on line.
 3. What are two or three things you've learned recently as the result of an online search?
I have been doing some research about Madeline Island. I found some ideas of things to do and see on the Island.
I researched the movie the Russian Woodpecker. I heard about it showing at the Milwaukee Film Festival and I wanted to know what it was about.
 4. Share your favorite game day recipe. You can describe it, post the how-to, or add a link to the actual recipe. 

 I love salsa and chips!
Monday I shared an easy Fresh Freezer Salsa recipe.
 5. What are your five essential steps for creating the perfect morning routine?
 Getting up on time. I do not like when I over sleep.
I like to have the house to myself for awhile in the morning. Everyone else is asleep. 
I love to get a walk in or some sort of exercise in the morning. I feels good to have it done for the day. 
I like to shower in the mornings. A shower is my true wake up call. 
Breakfast, I like to eat with my boys. It is a great way to start the day with them.

6. What small thing have you taken note of today?
Our neighbors tree is starting to drop leaves. I love watching them fall.
 7. Sum up your September in seven words or less.
 School!! Harvesting the Garden!! Lunar eclipse ~  blood moon.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Have a great week!
Happy October! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fresh Freezer Salsa

 Salsa lovers, I have an easy recipe for you.

 Fresh Freezer Salsa

10 to 15 medium tomatoes
1 large onion
2 medium bell peppers
3-6 sweet or hot peppers - We use sweet peppers - 
make note if using hot peppers you will need to wear gloves
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup minced cilantro
3/4 teaspoon salt

Finely chop tomatoes and set in colander to drain. Finely dice onion and bell peppers. 
Dice sweet or hot peppers.
 Combine all ingredients and let stand 1 hour to allow flavors to develop. 
Add more peppers or other to develop the taste you love.
Eat salsa fresh or freeze it. It will be juicier, but just as tasty after it is thawed.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy Autumn Hodgepodge

Happy Autumn

It is Wednesday, it is time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks us the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. What have you 'fallen for' recently?

We recently discovered Foyle's War. 

If you like British drama, you will enjoy Foyle's War.
I have 'fallen for', Foyle, I love his character.

 2. What's something you're 'squirreling away' for later?

We recently visited a shop that has just about every Ritter Sport variety.

3. How do you like your apples? Sweet? Tart? Crisp? Cooked? Apples are one of the superfoods for fall...how often do you eat an apple either plain or as part of a favorite recipe? What's your favorite variety?

I love tart and crisp apples.
I love having an apple as a mid day snack.
My husband makes a delicious homemade caramel.
My favorite apple is HoneyGold.

4. According to Fodor's the ten best fall foliage trips in the US of A are-Aspen Colorado, The Catskills New York, The Berkshires Massachusetts, Columbia River Gorge Oregon, Green Mountain Byway Vermont, Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway New Mexico, Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, Upper Peninsula Michigan, Lake of the Ozarks Missouri, and Glacier National Park Montana. Which would you most like to visit this fall and why? 

I think they missed Northern Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is beautiful in all seasons, but out does herself with Autumn color.

 This is our neighbors tree. It is beautiful each and every Autumn.

I have enjoyed several trips to Upper Michigan to enjoy the Autumn colors.
I would pick the  Green Mountain Byway Vermont.

 5. The topic of legalizing marijuana was raised in the most recent televised political debate so let's wade in too. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states have legalize marijuana for recreational use. Your thoughts?

The first step I would take is ask our local police officers if this is a good idea. Also our paramedics and other medical staff that has to deal with when the use of marijuana has been used for recreational use...what has been the outcome?

Sadly, two years ago, about four miles from our home, a 'recreational' drug party was going on. A young man had some sort of drug. He left the party, he walked right into the Highway and a Semi Truck hit him. 

 6. Are you okay to watch a movie already in progress or do you need to always see it from the beginning? How about jumping into a TV series somewhere in the middle? Is that okay? 

I have to start from the beginning.

 7. Thursday (September 24) is National Punctuation Day. What rule of punctuation trips you up most often? What rule of punctuation, when broken by someone else, bugs you the most?

Our family loves to pick on my sister for her use of the exclamation mark in her Christmas letters!!
She uses them in just about every sentence!!

I know I make punctuation mistakes, so I do not get bugged by others!!

 8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Wishing you all a great weekend.
I will be taking a short blog break.
Get out and enjoy the first weekend of Autumn.


Friday, September 18, 2015

On the Road Friday ~ Once in a Blue Moon on Long Lake

 It is Friday. It is time to take a trip. 
July 31st, 2015 we had the opportunity to spend the day on Long Lake.
We have friends who live on Long Lake. They invited us to spend the day on the water and for a Blue Moon boat ride.

We started our ride with a beautiful sunset. 

We toured along the lake. 
A celebrity lives on Long Lake. 

Or some of you may know him as Mater, like my family does.

The Walleye Capital of Wisconsin, Long Lake in Washburn County is a picturesque 3,300 acre, 19 mile long lake reaching depths of over 70 feet.  The clear, spring-fed water, cool deep bays, gravel bars, pristine setting, and miles of undeveloped shoreline.

via - Washburn County

 Oh my, here comes the Blue Moon.

 When someone says "Once in a Blue Moon," you know what they mean:  Rare, seldom, even absurd.
This year it means "the end of July."
For the second time this month, the Moon is about to become full.  There was one full Moon on July 2nd, and now a second is coming on July 31st.  According to modern folklore, whenever there are two full Moons in a calendar month, the second one is "blue." 

via - Summer Blue Moon - NASA Science News

 The Moon belongs to everyone, the best things in life are free.
Susan Branch

We met a few other boats going for a night time ride and enjoying the beauty of the moon.

 " The moon will be the one to walk me back home"
Jen Vandervoort


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wisconsin Farm Fun

 Out and about in Wisconsin.
You just can not miss that the state of  Wisconsin has agriculture in its roots.

One of my favorite stores is Mills Fleet Farm.
It is full of agriculture needs for all the farmers in Wisconsin. The store also has a great garden area, bulk foods and a fun sporting goods section. It is just a fun store to shop in and you can always find something to go home with.
What I love are the garbage cans.
You just have to smile as you place your trash in a silo shaped garbage can.

Check out this mailbox. I have driven past this mailbox many a time and never take a photo. I just love the creativity with this mailbox. I finally took the time to stop and take that photo. My dad does not live in the same community as we do. He is a dairy farmer and he got a real chuckle out of this mailbox when I shared this with him.

Do you have fun little things like this in your community? You just can not help yourself to say"Hey, that is so fun" and smile.
Happy Wednesday to you!
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