About The River

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Happy Independence Weekend

Happy Independence Weekend

My Independence weekend post is a tribute to my dear friend Marv.
I met Marv in 2010.. we became fast friends because we both love to garden.
We gardened together at the Community Gardens for several years.
A few years ago some changes occurred with the leadership at the Community Gardens, we both decided it was time to move on. What did we both do? We both built more gardens at our homes.

Ha! Ha!

Marv will be 93 July 22!

Marv has worked hard all his life.

Watched two wives pass away from cancer. His first.. then he married his high school sweetheart.. and shortly after she got cancer and passed.

Marv drives to Texas to his new cabin, his original cabin got destroyed when Hurricane Harvey hit.

Marv has experienced terrible sadness. He will always tell you to keep going and keep smiling.
When it gets real bad, take one small step at a time, remember your friends, take time for nature and learn something new.

Marv likes to play tricks.
The year he placed huge bugs in my garden!

The year we got him back.
We invited Marv for dinner to celebrate his birthday.
Marv likes to call  from Texas during our cold -30 days and let us know how he is suffering down on the beach and it is 70 balmy degrees. Ha! Ha! Marv!
We came up with the idea to get Marv. During the winter the boys made up six snowballs and we placed them in the freezer. We kept them in the freezer, waiting for the perfect time to give them to Marv.

The perfect birthday gift!
We told him we had a special gift for him.
The photo tells all!

Marv is a Korean War Veteran. He has shared many a story with us.
He prays Sam and Atticus never see war.

We visited Thursday.
He pulls into our driveway, sits in the car and we visit.
He tells me "I have a hug for you. He points to his heart and tells me it is in his heart."

We both hate COVID19!

We visited and his advice to Atticus was.. never stop learning Atticus.
Learn from history, learn new things, always be learning.

He shared that he is currently reading his third book about the Bataan Death March. He served in Korea with several WWII veterans. Marv shared with us that many of them talked about the march.

He said, America is good. It may not be perfect, but America is good. America has helped many people and continues to do so. Never forget those who stood up and did what had to be done.

Happy Birthday America
thank you Marv.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Six months into 2020

The calendar is just about to flip.. we will be six months into 2020.

2020 .. the year that many of us have been saying
"Hey 2020, please stop, I want to get off! I would rather walk!"

Even with all that is swirling around us, life still goes on. 2020 graduates are making plans for the future. 2020 babies are being born. What a story their parents will be sharing with them. Marriage proposals.. thank goodness for happy!!
Families with loved ones in nursing homes, assisted living and hospitals, navigating all the changes regarding visiting.
Having to go for a cancer check up alone as your loved one waits for you in the car.
And so much more!

It seems like the year 2020 is a year you have to be BRAVE and a year that you take RISKS.

Many of you that read The River know that our National Guard son is conducting COVID19 testing in Milwaukee. Why? For the exact reason he sighed up to become a Wisconsin National Guardsmen.
He wants to HELP people.
Milwaukee has been one of the many cities that have demonstrated frustration with violence, burning and looting.
Sadly, Sam's team was leaving the city for the evening after a long day of testing and the crowds were forming, closing off the streets, starting fires, screaming and throwing things.

Sam shared with me the video he took as his team slowly got out of the city. With the video I can hear his team mates in the van saying "What on earth is going on? I hope we can get out of here!"

They got out. Thank goodness!

Steadily moving forward without always naming the challenges they overcome.

Sam and his team continue to help with the COVID19 testing and will be deployed to Milwaukee until July 31st.

Our 2020 graduation son is busy planning his future. Thinking about college. How will classes be held this school season? Do I want to do online classes? Or do I want to have the opportunity to be in a hands on classroom?
Should I wait and start classes in the Spring semester?

Paving the way.. tiptoe post their comfort zones and say yes when they could have said no.

Do you dare dream in 2020?
so much emotion

I recently read a poem I would like to share here at The River.

The world needs risk takers.
The truth seekers and status quo resisters.
Who ask the questions they really want to know.
Who confidently purse what is right even when it isn't popular.

No facades. No half-truths.
No compromises.

The life lovers and slow-song-in -the kitchen dancers.
Who smile at every stranger and wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Who uphold authenticity time and again.

No distance. No armor. No walls.

The course changers and path makers.
Who risk it all to follow their hearts and lead others to new places.
Who steadily move forward without always naming the challenges they overcome.

No compass. No safety net. No way to know where the road will go.

The world needs risk takers.
Like you and me.

Who pave the way for others to follow.
Or who tiptoe past their comfort zones to say yes when they could have said no.

Every day, in big and small ways, we all wake up and push toward the unknown. Never rising out of new waters the same as we were before.

Author unknown to me

Friday, June 26, 2020

For the Love of Sweet peas!

For the Love of Sweet peas!

Sweet peas are one of my very favorite flowers to use in fresh cut bouquets. The fragrance of a sweet pea is amazing. They  look like a butterfly in a bouquet.

Here are a few tips regarding growing your sweet peas.

It is very important to help your sweet peas climb. Have some sort of a structure to help them climb.
Another fantastic trick is using paper twists to help hold the plant in place as it climbs up.

You can see my simple white paper twist on my birch pole,  helping train that vine to climb up.

I have sweet peas climbing along side a wall. In this photo you will see I have used fence posts, twine and my paper twists to help train the sweet peas to climb.
The paper twist trick as helped me train sweet peas, rewarding me with lovely long stem blooms to use in bouquets.

Remember the more you pick sweet pea the more they will bloom.
Happy Gardening!

Monday, June 22, 2020

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

♥ enjoying Father's Day with my dad, mom, my husband and our son Atticus

♥ canoeing with my husband

♥ time on a lake in the middle of Northern Wisconsin

♥ loons

♥ green herons

♥ a perfect picnic

Thursday, June 18, 2020

June Color of the Month .. Yellow

During the year of 2020 I have been picking a color of the month to do a post on.
I pick out photos I have taken during the years that feature that color.

January ~ White
February ~ Red
March ~ Green
April ~ Pink
May ~ Red, White and Blue
June ~ Yellow

Road Sign



More Yummy

Daffodils and Daisies were our wedding flowers.. our wedding colors were Yellow and White.

The Yellow House behind our home.
It is a big yellow house.
What I took the photo of was that perfect triangle of snow on the roof.

Yellow tuplips

Squash flowers


My garden angel that my dear friend Marv past down to me is sitting in with the yellow eyed daisy.

Hello Daisy



Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Happy Summer it is the Hodgepodge

Happy Summer Solstice
Hello it is Wednesday and that means it is time for the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. Saturday marks the first official day of summer! Whoohoo! Your favorite thing about the season?
Garden goodness, warm nights watching firefly dance in the lawn, bon fires, looking at the stars with my boys and yelling " I see Sputnik!"

2. Love it!, labor of love, not for love or money, no love lost, love handles, love does, love-hate relationship, misery loves company, tough love, love will find a way...pick one and tell us how it applies to your life right now.


I am so proud of both of my boys.
Sam.. our National Guard Son who is currently doing COVID19 testing in Milwaukee.

Because he loves his state, loves the USA and wants the best for everyone.

Atticus.. our 2020 Graduate.. who had one crazy end to his high school years.
He has big dreams. He is currently working and tries to make the world a better place each day.
He has a terrific smile.
Just last week, he did not see me in the store he works, I saw him, helping a women with a big bag of garden soil. With his face mask on she could tell he was smiling with the twinkle in his eye.
She thanked him many times for helping her.
My heart was so proud.


3. What's one thing currently causing you to seethe? One thing currently making you smile?
Squirrels .. they are making me seethe. They are rooting up my raised beds.
I think they must be hot. It has been very warm for our neck of the woods. These crazy squirrel roll in my garden and root up my plants.
I was seething big time when I found my gladiolus all scattered about.
My sweet-peas are starting to bloom.
Have you ever smelled a sweet-pea?
Oh my, they are my favorite.

4. Of the following to-dos found on a summer checklist (here) which three would definitely make your personal list of summer want-to-dos?

roast marshmallows over a fire, go berry or peach picking, dangle your feet off the end of a dock, sit on a porch swing, watch the sunset from a beach, nap in a hammock, go barefoot in the grass, collect seashells, play tennis, go fishing, build a sandcastle, catch fireflies, eat a soft serve ice cream cone, make a pitcher of Sangria, swim in a lake, stargaze, ride a bike, paddle a canoe or kayak, make a summer road trip, throw a frisbee

paddle a canoe
go berry picking
dangle your feet off the end of a dock
Do you make an actual list?
My husband and I go canoeing regularly, it is one of our favorite summer past times.
I enjoy going berry picking. I have fantastic memories berry picking with my grandpa.
If I am able to visit my Aunt Sharon this summer, I will be able to dangle my feet off the end of a dock.

5. Thursday is National Splurge Day. What might you splurge on in order to celebrate?
We are doing some landscaping.. so I will splurge on landscaping supplies.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This message was given to our 2020 Graduate..

May you always stand strong for what you believe in.
Choose to be around those who encourage your growth.
Reach out to others.
Seek the light.
Soak in the goodness of life.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Peony, Iris and Straw

Hello Friends,
Last week we had Tropical Rainstorm Cristobal in the forecast for Northwest Wisconsin.
My peony were just at the marshmallow stage. 
What is the marshmallow stage? It is just before a peony is to open, you touch the blossom and it feels like a marshmallow. You can cut your peony at this time, keep the stems  in the refrigerator and pull out the stems as you need to create bouquets. The peony will stay at marshmallow stage in the fridge for up to a month. Once you bring them out of the fridge, they will slowly open.

I decided with the tropical rainstorm on the way, I best cut the peony to create bouquets.
My peony garden tour will be bouquets and in the garden.


 The peony bouquets brought many smiles to my customers.
While working in the garden the scent of the peony makes me smile.

The big showstopper right now in the garden is this iris.
The blossom is huge. 

An adventure to get straw for my paths in the garden.

I wanted to get four bales of straw for my paths that I make in my gardens. My husband said "No Problem, all four bales will fit in the old car."
We have a old car. It was my Farmer Market Car when I did farmer markets. It is a great car. It has hauled flowers, wood, straw, plants, a huge bush and much more.

Zoom! Zoom!
Off we go with a load of straw.

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Story of Bird

The Story of Bird

Earlier this spring I walked down the driveway to get the mail. I saw two little birds walking down the driveway ahead of me.
Two little mourning dove. I was so surprised to see them. It was Mid-March, I had not seen young mourning dove so early in the season before.
The next day, only one mourning dove baby greeted me.
Each day I would look for our new little friend.
We decided to name him or her Bird.
I fed bird sunflower seeds and millet.

Bird would roost on our deck and I would see Bird each morning in the sunshine.

I continued to feed Bird sunflower seeds and millet.
Bird never would fly away from me.
Bird would watch as I put little piles of seed around.
Bird just happily pecked along as we sat and talked.

Bird was becoming a special friend to us. A happy sight during the COVID19 shut down.
Our friendship with Bird started when the early days of COVID19 began. Everyday brought some new change or cancellation.

Shut downs, shortages, lay off from work,  more cases of COVID19, masks, gloves, ordering more items on line, more cancellations and trying to get use to the way things were going.

We all would wake up in the morning and ask "How is Bird today?"

During my husbands time off from work during the shut down gave him time to do some projects.
He built me another raised bed.

I filled the bed with soil that we made in our compost pile.
I was so excited at how well our compost pile did and the fantastic dirt I had to fill the raised bed.

As I worked, Bird watched. I went past with wheelbarrows full of dirt, shovel and rake.
He sat in the sun, watching me and would peck at his sunflower seeds.

Bird was a little bird in March. It is June now and Bird is getting to be a big Bird. I am happy to report that Bird still comes to roost on the deck in the mornings and enjoys our birdbath.

It is the little joys in life.

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