About The River

Friday, February 5, 2016

Pondering Thoughts

Hoar Frost
 Happy Weekend 
The following photos are of hoar frost. 
We woke up to an amazing sight one December morning. My husband told me it was hoar frost. I had never heard of it before. Below is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

Hoar frost (also hoarfrost, radiation frost, or pruina) refers to white ice crystals, deposited on the ground or loosely attached to exposed objects such as wires or leaves.[4] They form on cold, clear nights when conditions are such that heat radiates out to the open sky faster than it can be replaced from nearby sources such as wind or warm objects. Under suitable circumstances, objects cool to below the frost point[5] of the surrounding air, well below the freezing point of water. Such freezing may be promoted by effects such as flood frost or frost pocket.[6] These occur when ground-level radiation losses cool air till it flows downhill and accumulates in pockets of very cold air in valleys and hollows. Hoar frost may freeze in such low-lying cold air even when the air temperature a few feet above ground is well above freezing.
The name hoar comes from an Old English adjective that means "showing signs of old age"; in this context it refers to the frost that makes trees and bushes look like white hair.

My mom shared with me some rural wisdom. 
I think a few of these will make you smile.

Look outside on a clear night and watch the stars. It'll give you a new appreciation of how small each of us is in the vast universe.

Fellow told me that being old was mostly not a bad thing. He said it was a lot better than being dead. But he added that as he'd never been dead he couldn't speak with much authority.

You've got to have some things that are tough to do so you can appreciate those that are easy. 

Amazing beauty

When you start wondering what old means, think of a tree. For oaks and pine trees, 15 years is just middle age.

Sometimes the biggest problem in learning something new is getting rid of an old idea that stands in the way. No matter how wrong the old idea may be, we still want to hold onto it for dear life. Maybe it is because we naturally fear something new.
Simple Beauty

Life is like a river. There are twists and turns, quiet spots and rapids, deep pools and shallow flats. But a river is always moving. Always the same but always different. Just like people.

Wishing you all a great weekend. I will be taking the week off to work on some projects.
I will be back soon!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hello February it is the Hodgepodge

Ice and Rocks
Hello, it is Wednesday. It is time for the Hodgepodge!
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. Describe love using all five senses.

When the sun begins to crawl over the horizon and when the sun crawls back under the horizon.
I love the sunrise and the sunset.

When rain drops gently fall on my window at night while I fall asleep.
I love a rainy night.

A good coffee with a swirl of cream and chocolate.
I have been known to have coffee and chocolate for breakfast.

The comfort of my own bed.
After a getaway, the feeling of crawling into my own bed....LOVE!

The smell of fresh cut hay in a farm field.
That wonderful smell brings back loving memories of summers growing up on a farm.
 2. February is Canned Food Month. What's your favorite food that comes straight from a can?
Jellied Cranberries

 3. A principal in a UK school recently sent home a letter to parents requesting they (the parents!) dress appropriately when escorting their children to/from school (basically saying please don't wear your pajamas) You can read the letter here. It's gotten a lot of publicity, both positive and negative. Your thoughts? And do/did you ever make the school run (or hit Starbucks, Walmart, etc) in your pjs?
I agree with the principal. I think we can make an effort to dress.
I have always put on town clothing to run errands.  
Growing up on a farm, we had "barn clothes". My mom always had us change into town clothes when heading in to do errands.

4. Crew neck, V-neck, turtleneck, scoop neck...which is most prevalent in your wardrobe?
Crew neck

 5. I read here recently a list of four things to avoid so you wake up happier. They were late night snacks, hitting the snooze button, social media just before bed/upon waking, checking emails. 

 Are you guilty of any of these behaviors? Which on that list do you need to work harder at avoiding?
I am guilty of peeking at Instagram before bed.

 6. Share something you remember about a house you lived in as a child? Of all the homes you lived in as a child, which did you love best?
I lived in three homes growing up. One I do not remember, it was a trailer home on the family farm. After a terrible storm our family moved into the main farm house and my grandma moved into town.
The main farm house was my home most of my life.
My parents built a new home on the farm and we moved in when I was 15 years old.

I have many memories of the old farm house. I will share the one my boys like best for me to recall.
Bats! The house was full of bats. My sister and I would have to watch for bats as we climbed into bed. We would scream for my dad if we had a bat flying in our room. My dad would come to the rescue.
One night my sister and I were in the kitchen doing dishes, my parents were in the barn. A bat was in the kitchen. We had huge bottom cupboards in the kitchen. I put my sister inside the cupboard and ran to the barn to get dad.

7.Your favorite movie based on a true story? 
This is a hard one, because I have so many.
I will go with 42 tonight as I write up this post.
In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team. The heroic act puts both Rickey and Robinson in the firing line of the public, the press and other players. Facing open racism from all sides, Robinson demonstrates true courage and admirable restraint by not reacting in kind and lets his undeniable talent silence the critics for him.

 I love Harrison Ford in this movie. And I love the story.

 8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

One thing I believe for sure. A big reason we're on this earth is do something for others.
Jerry Apps 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Wisconsin Grapefruit

Wisconsin grapefruit, oh yes. Easy to grow, all you need is snow.

 If you are new to The River, you may not know the story of my friend Marv. 
Marv is 86 years old. He is a Master Gardner and he has been mentoring  me in gardening for the last three years. He is a prankster as well. 
This summer he placed a plastic orange in my son's tomato plant, a huge plastic fly and many other shenanigans.

Marv winters down in Texas on the Gulf Coast. He likes to call us and let us know he is having lunch on the beach. He had to turn his fan on because it got to 80 °. He always calls on days that we are experiencing a day of negative temperatures. Oh yes, he loves to rub it in.

During our last snow storm, my boys had a wonderful idea.
Marv loves Texas grapefruit. That is another thing he likes to tell us all about. How he is eating fresh grapefruit.  
"Mom, how about we make Marv some Wisconsin Grapefruit!" 
What a great idea!
The Wisconsin grapefruit will be waiting for him in our freezer when he comes back to Wisconsin in April.

Recipe for Fresh Wisconsin Grapefruit

Make the snow into a grapefruit size snowball
Use food coloring to color your grapefruit
Freeze for your buddy who winters in Texas. You would not want him to miss out on Wisconsin winters

As I type up this post, our neck of Wisconsin is under a Snow Storm Warning.
More Wisconsin Grapefruit coming right up! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Book Review ~ The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Have you ever read a book and you did not want it to end? That is how I felt about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I could not wait to sit down and read. At the same time I did not want to read it too fast, in fear of the story ending.

My boys chuckled at my love for this story. Many times this week they heard me say " I just love this story!"

How about you? Have you read any good books lately?


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Get Up, Get Up, Get Outta Here, Gone ~ Hodgepodge

It is Wednesday! Time for the Hodgepodge!
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. Share a winter memory from your childhood. 
I grew up on a dairy farm 15 miles from town. We lived on a country road. During the warm winter nights my sister and I would play "The Russians are Coming" while my parents milked the cows.

My sister and I built amazing snow forts. If we saw any headlights coming down the highway...well those were the Russians of course! We would dive into our forts.

Can you guess what war my sister and I heard our parents, grandparents and other family friends talk about?

 2. What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren't blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time? 

Last year at this time, I was blogging about a trip we took with friends to see a NASA exhibit at the River Falls library.

We enjoyed our time visiting the NASA Exhibit. We learned several things we did not know about space and the race to space with the Soviet Union.

NASA Exhibit: Voyages of Discovery

 3. Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, 'We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.' 

Do you see more flaws or more potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?

I see potential in my life at the start of the new year. Yes, I have been doing some research and studying on a dream I have. I signed up for a class in February to help me along.
Each month is new for me. Each season is new for me. As a gardener, new beginnings start in April with my plants and flowers.

 4. Who's an athlete you admire or respect and why?

Bob Uecker

Bob Uecker played baseball. But most of us know him as the voice of the Milwaukee Brewers. When listening to games, you get to hear all kinds of fun stories of Bob playing with the Milwaukee Braves and St. Louis Cardinals!

Bob turned 82 on January 26 and will be in the booth to call the games this baseball season.

I admire is love for the game of baseball, the work ethic he has and all the humor he adds to the ballgame.

 5. Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?

 Yes, I love cream in my coffee! No, I do not like whipped cream on my pumpkin pie. Yes, cream cheese on a bagel. Yes, sour cream on a baked potato. Yes, cream of wheat for breakfast...my boys love cream of wheat!! Yes, I have enjoyed a scone with clotted cream.

Of all the food mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to me right this very minute?

Pumpkin pie!

6. Where were you last kept waiting for 'hours on end'? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope?

It was today! I had to call a company and cancel a subscription. I was on hold for 20 minutes. I was trying to do something while waiting. But I was afraid I would let my guard down, I needed to be ready if the person on the other end of the line gave me a hard time.

Thankful to say...after the wait of 20 minutes, I got everything taken care of.  I hope! 

 7. Believe it or not, when next week's Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February. Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.

 January 2016 ... a great ski month!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.  

 The ski trails are in good condition. Wisconsin has warmer winter temperatures in the forecast this week. We have three ski trips planned. Two of the skis are candlelight skis. For the past two years our winters have been awful cold. Negative temperatures caused many of the events to be canceled. We are looking forward to this weekend of skiing.


 Have a great Wednesday!


Monday, January 25, 2016

Cream of Potato Soup

Cream of Potato Soup
Recipe by - Jeremy TePaske

Today, I am sharing my husbands Potato Soup recipe. It is a family favorite.


5 Cups Chicken Broth
1½ Cups Whole Milk
½ Cup + 2 Tablespoon Butter
⅔ Cup Onion (diced)
¾ Cup Flour
1½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1½ - 2 Pounds Potatoes

Cube potatoes to ½” size. Boil until tender.
Drain potatoes.
Melt butter in large sauce pan.
Whisk in onions, flour, salt and pepper. Stirring until mixture bubbles.
On medium high heat, whisk in milk and then chicken broth. Cook until mixture thickens but do not boil.
Add drained potatoes, stir, then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Note: If using a concentrated chicken broth mixture or powder use the water from the potatoes to make your broth.

 Plain Potato Soup or Loaded Potato Soup?
 How do you like your potato soup? Do you add bacon, ham, cheese, green onions?
What do you like to eat with your potato soup? Rolls, garlic toast, crackers?

 Enjoy a bowl full of soup today!

Friday, January 22, 2016

On the Road Friday ~ Morgan Falls and St. Peter's Dome

 Welcome to, On the Road Friday.
Today we are heading out on a hike to Morgan Falls and St. Peter's Dome.
We took this hike in October, when Wisconsin was showing off her lovely Autumn colors.

 Morgan Falls and St. Peter's Dome are located on the western end of Penokee Range. 
In 1984 Congress considered the area for designation as a wilderness. In the end Congress directed that 900 acres of the St. Peter's Dome area be managed as a special area.

 St. Peter's Dome or Old Baldy is a red granite formation that rises to an elevation of 1,565 feet. There is a brass US Geological Survey marker embedded in the rock at the top of the dome.

We found the US Geological Survey marker.

 On a clear day you can see Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands.

The hike to St. Peter's Dome is 3.6 miles round trip.
The trail has some moderately steep climbs. 
Taking a snack and water along is a good idea.

 Wisconsin's Autumn color was just starting to peek the October weekend we took our hike.

 The hike has several roots of trees to watch out for.

 The roots of the trees become steps during a steep climb.

 Morgan Falls cascades down a canyon wall.

 Morgan Falls is beautiful. It is a unique feeling because you are right in the canyon.

 Morgan Falls and St. Peter's Dome are just another many wonders of Wisconsin.

Thank you for taking the trip with me today, On the Road Friday.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It is a Roll Your Eyes - Hodgepodge

It is Wednesday. It is time for the Hodgepodge.
 It is easy to join in.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1.  Speaking of skating...when did you last 'skate on thin ice', 'skate over the details', 'encounter a cheapskate', or just plain skate?

Just plain skate...that seems to be what I am doing on our driveway. Our driveway is on the North side. It is a skate or slip walk down the driveway until Spring!

2. What would you say is the biggest problem of people your age?

 3. What's your favorite accessory? Is it something you wear every day, often, or only on special occasions?

Earrings. I love earrings. I wear earrings every day.

 4. January 20th is National Cheese Lover's Day. Are you a lover of cheese? What's your favorite dish made with cheese? Last thing you ate that contained some kind of cheese? 

Yes, I love cheese. I am a Wisconsin farm girl, so I guess cheese is in the blood.
If you have time, click on the link below. My favorite cheese store in all of Wisconsin!
I love to eat cheese and crackers. My favorite dish would be my husbands homemade pizza.
The last thing I ate that contained some kind of cheese? I had a snack of cheese and crackers, Mild Cheddar, Colby and Colby Jack.

5. What's something guaranteed to make you roll your eyes? 

My husband and his I Fart App  - I will confess, I have laughed a couple of times. Honestly! Sometimes it is hard to be the only girl in this house. My boys just go bonkers when my husband starts to fart with his App.

 6. Your favorite book series

The Little House Books by  Laura Ingalls Wilder 
Farmer Boy is my favorite.

7. Why did you choose your profession? 
I am a  Domestic Engineer ... Tee Hee ... I like that.
 We have been blessed with the opportunity for me to continue in my profession.

 8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Funny on Monday

My husband shared the following funny with me.

If you need a little chuckle today...enjoy!

At Duke University, there were four sophomores taking Organic Chemistry. They were doing so well on all the quizzes, midterms and labs, etc., that each had an "A" so far for the semester These four friends were so confident that the weekend before finals, they decided to go up to the University of Virginia and party with some friends there. They had a great time, but after all the hearty partying, they slept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to Duke until early Monday morning. Rather than taking the final then, they decided to find their professor after the final and explain to him why they missed it. They explained that they had gone to UVA for the weekend with the plan to come back in time to study, but, unfortunately, they had a flat tire on the way back, didn't have a spare, and couldn't get help for a long time. As a result, they missed the final. The professor thought it over and then agreed they could make up the final the following day. The guys were elated and relieved. They studied that night and went in the next day at the time the professor had told them. He placed them in separate rooms and handed each of them a test booklet, and told them to begin. They looked at the first problem, worth five points. It was something simple about free radical formation. "Cool," they thought at the same time, each one in his separate room, "this is going to be easy." Each finished the problem and then turned the page. On the second page was written: (For 95 points): Which tire?

Friday, January 15, 2016

On the Road Friday ~ Life on the Island

Today we are on the road, we are going back to Madeline Island.
It is time to take a look at some of the life on the island.


 Tie Dye Party
After this young lady created her shirt, my sister and I made up some fun  tie dye T - shirts. 

 Madeline Island Bakery

 Madeline Island Green Bay Packer Fan's

 Inside the Green Bay Packer Van

 Outside the Green Bay Packer Van

A homemade waffle cone lined with cheesecake, apples on top and caramel swirled on top and inside.

 I love that apple hat!

 Yummy! Looking in to my Wapple.

 My Tie Dye
My inspiration for the colors was from the Green Bay Packer Van.

 Thank you for coming along today.
This wraps up my trip to Madeline Island. I would recommend a trip to the island. It is a relaxing island with many hiking trails, fun shops, great bakery and fun island folks.

Have a great weekend.
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