About The River

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Do you have special plans for Halloween?
 We will be helping at Fall Fest at our local Mall. Our church will be hosting fun activities and the kids can Trick or Treat at all the stores in the Mall.

Once Upon a Time, we had little boys who said " Trick or Treat"

Captain Rex and Commander Cody 

Our boys loved Star Wars - still do - they are excited for the new movie.
Trick or Treat ~ Give Me Something Good To Eat
Dirt Cake with Worms
 Happy Halloween
 Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It is a Happy Halloween Hodgepodge


Welcome to the Hodgepodge!
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent?

When I am home I like to have my music playing in the background. I like to have my favorite radio station playing Classical KUSC.
I do not listen to any sort of music when I go for my walk or xc ski. I like to just listen to nature.
I love to just sit and be silent by a body of water, Lake Superior or the Elk River are my favorite places.

  2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?

I love chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate frosting, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and homemade hot chocolate. Yummy! Right this minute, I would take a cup of homemade hot chocolate with whip cream.

 3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?

Love blue jeans.
Yes, I do enjoy wearing them. When I find a style or brand I like, I will buy two pair. 
I wear jeans usually 5 times a week.
Yes, I have a blue jean jacket. 

 4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?

No, I am not. 
I love hearing about baseball players superstitions, it just makes me chuckle.

 5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with? 

A cat!
Black shirt and pants.
Cat ear headband.

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?

Walking in the dark. I am always looking behind me.
Having my husband hold my hand makes me feel better. When I am scared, I reach for his hand.

 7. Perhaps today will be the day I ______________________________.

I finish a knitting project I have been working on forever!

 8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

 Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Autumn Harvest

 As September rolled in I changed my Fresh Cut Flowers and Produce sign to ~ Autumn Harvest.

 For Sale

 Indian Corn
Corn Stalks - bundles of 12 corn stalks with a bow

Now I am closed for the season and thinking for next year.
We always like to try a new vegetable or flower.
For the 2016 garden season I know I want to try Kohlrabi. A fellow gardener at the Community Gardens gave us one to sample. I really liked it. We might try growing Popcorn. My son Atticus is tossing that idea around.

 We have all winter to think about the 2016 garden season.
For now the Garden Stand is  ~ Closed for the Season.
It was a fun year!

If you are new to The River, check out a few of my fun garden stories from this season. 

"Tis merry, merry in the Spring, 
And merry in the Summer time,
And merry when the great winds sing through Autumn's woodlands brown ~
And in the Winter, wild, and cold, Tis merry, merry too.
William Howitt 

Friday, October 23, 2015


 Our gardens are done for the season. I will have a few more blog posts sharing tips from the 2015 garden season. This garden season we tried many new plants. Strawflowers were one of the new plants. We were so pleased with how well they did. What is so fun about the Strawflower is we will be able to enjoy the bright colors all year long. 
My son Atticus just loved the feel of the strawflower. They really feel like straw.

Fun Facts about Strawflowers
From ~ The North American Farmer

 Strawflowers contain lesser moisture than other flowers, making them ideal for drying. Hence for fresh floral arrangement, it is best to pick strawflowers in the morning when they contain highest amounts of moisture. Strawflowers naturally feel papery and straw-like, which differentiate them from other members of the daisy family. Their long lasting vase life is also one of the reasons why gardeners, florists, and crafters love them.

 A fun flower to grow and so easy to dry.

 To dry, pick flowers when lower 2-4 rows of petals are just beginning to open. Remove foliage, bunch loosely and hang upside down in a warm, airy place.

 A fun basket full of Strawflowers will keep me smiling during our dark days of November.

Do you have any craft ideas to do with Strawflowers?

 There is more beauty than we can measure in this old world of ours.

 Gladys Taber
Wishing you a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Traveling Down Memory Lane Hodgepodge

It is Wednesday and it is time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 

 1. October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. Did you see the movie? The sequels? In the second film, Doc takes Marty into the future to prevent Marty's future son from making a mistake. They leave 1985 and land on a 'skyway' on October 21st, 2015. So tell us, what were you doing in the fall of 1985?

I do not remember the movie, Back to the Future. I think I watched it, but I do not remember it.
I was heading off to elementary school in the fall of 1985, I would have been 11 years old.

 2.  If time travel were possible, would you want to go to the future? The past?

I would want to go to the past. I enjoy history and I would like to go back and meet many of the people I admire in our history.
When my boys were younger we would read Mary Pope Osborne, Magic Tree House. Back in time we would go with Jack and Annie.

3. We're not flying cars, but some of the technology imagined in the 80's film has indeed come to pass in real life 2015-flat screen TVs on the wall, tablets, fingerprint recognition, video conferencing, online banking, 3-D movies, motion controlled video games, drone cameras, and smart glasses (Google glass).  Do you worry technology is growing at a rate so fast we'll soon be unable to keep up with it's demands? Do you think the Internet does more harm than good? 

I enjoy a lot of what technology gives us. I also can get tired of it. As a mom of young men, the world of the Internet gives me some shivers. I pray for our society to fight the junk that is on line.

Information is at our fingertips, I do like that. 
I enjoy my blog and have so many fun blog buddies. It has been so fun to meet so many of them in person.

 4. Your favorite dish prepared in a slow-cooker? Your favorite fast food?

My favorite dish in the slow - cooker - Roast Beef

My favorite fast food - I like Culver's fast food. 
Do you have a Culver's in your neck of the woods?

 5. No time like the present, down time, face time, pressed for time, in the nick of time, make time, mark time, or just in time...which timely saying most relates to your life right now? 

Make Time
My boys are growing up. My first born is learning how to drive. He is planning on getting a part time job. He has goals to buy a car and is thinking about what he plans to do after he graduates from High School. 
Making time, to spend as much family time as we can.

 6. Tell us about a place you went as a child or younger person that's no longer there or is now something else. How does that make you feel?

My grandparents home. It was so much fun to bike to my grandparents home or ski in the woods and come around the bend. The property was sold a long time ago and it is no longer my grandparents home.
It makes me sad I can not take my boys to visit. 
I do stop along side the road and tell them stories when we travel back to my hometown.

 7. Describe your comfort zone.

I like to be with people that love me. I enjoy smaller crowds of people.

 8. Insert your own random thought here.

My sister sent this to me this week ~

If you woke up this morning, it is time to celebrate!
Joe Takash

Monday, October 19, 2015

Funny on Monday

7 year old Ellen was being punished one night by not being allowed to eat with the family.
Instead, she was made to eat dinner alone at a small table in the corner of the dining room.
The rest of the family set about ignoring her completely until they heard her saying grace over her solitary supper.

"I thank Thee, Lord, for preparing a table before me in the presence of mine enemies."

Happy Monday

Friday, October 16, 2015

On the Road Friday ~ Elroy - Sparta State Trail ~ Wisconsin

 Welcome Friday!
We are on the road.
Over Labor Day weekend we visited the Elroy - Sparta State Trail.

The following is from the Elroy - Sparta State Trail website.

Welcome to the first Rails to Trails Project in America, The Grandaddy of them all, The Elroy Sparta Trail.  The trail remains one of the most popular trails in the country.  With three rock tunnels and five small towns along it's 32.5 mile route, the trail is a favorite Wisconsin bicycling destination. Traveling between Sparta and Elroy, the trail stretches through the communities of Norwalk, Wilton and Kendall. The Elroy Sparta Trail is the property of the State of Wisconsin and is part of it's State Trails System run by the Department of Natural Resources and supported by the Friends of the Elroy Sparta Trail.  It is located in Hidden Valleys Country and passes through a portion of the unglaciated areas of Wisconsin exemplifying the natural beauty of our State.  Part of the "Bike4Trails" it connects to 101 miles of trails.  

 We were visiting friends who live just down the road from the tail. We walked along the trail.

 Venturing into a tunnel.
There are three tunnels.
They are made of rock, are very dark and a little spooky as you enter.
If you do not like bats, do not look up at the tunnel ceiling.

 Be sure to take a flashlight when entering the tunnel.

 Each tunnel is over 140 years old.

Each tunnel is cool and you can feel water drip on you.
You might want a jacket when entering the tunnels.

 This brave biker is heading into the mist.

We love this area of Wisconsin.
The boys are already wanting to head for a 2016 Summer Bike Trip on the Elroy ~ Sparta Trail.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It is a How You Behave While Waiting Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.


 1. What's something that has recently 'tried your patience'?

Patience - noun 
 the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
 Wednesday of last week our first born son, received his drivers permit. Having him driving me around, is definitely putting a test to my patience. 

 2. Do you think patience comes to us naturally or is it something you have to learn as you grow? On a scale of 1-10 generally how patient are you? (1=I blow up at the drop of a hat and 10=I've got all the time in the world).
I think it is something you learn as you grow. I am much more patient today. 
I asked my husband, he says I am a 7.
3. Share about a time when you felt like you could fly. Or a time you wished you could fly. Or a time you felt like you were flying.
I felt like I was flying on Sunday when my son was speeding down the hill on HWY 8.
 4. Your favorite song with the word fly in the title or lyrics, or your favorite song that relates to flying in some way?

I'll Fly Away
 5. What's in your fall picnic basket and where are we picnicking in your neck of the woods this time of year?

 Our Picnic Basket

Swiss Cheese
Wheat Bread

Carrots and Celery
Monster Cookies

And our destination for our picnic, a lovely Autumn hike in  Wisconsin.

6.  Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, landscaping...which skill would you most like to possess and how would you put that skill to use today?

I am spoiled and my husband takes care of most of this. We have a This Old House and we have plumbed, gutted and put new walls in, added outlets to rooms that only had one and this year we took a stab at landscaping.
7. What's something you think is too expensive to justify buying lately?
A brand new vehicle.
  8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Any advice for a mom who is the passenger of her sweet first born son, who is speeding down a hill.
This driver's ed thing and me, it is not a loving time.
GULP...hope I am here next week.

Monday, October 12, 2015


 Welcome Catsby!
Thursday we adopted Catsby. 
Catsby had been abandoned by some people living in a rental home, along with his two sisters.
He was loved by three young girls who lived in the rental home, sadly with parents who did not care about them. The parents did not care for the little girls and Social Services had to step in.
The three little kittens ended up left behind.
A neighbor went in to the home, which was in awful condition for anyone to live and rescued the abandoned kittens.

We adopted the male of the little trio. And we named him Catsby.
He is all love. 
I think about his little life and how he helped three lonely little girls get through lonely, awful days and nights. I will be praying for the girls future.

The other members of our house seem to be fine with Catsby.
Molly our Boston Terrier, well, as you can see, as long as you do not disturb her beauty sleep no problem.
Max is looking in. Catsby is sleeping on a chair looking out the patio door. 
I am not sure what Max's facial expression is telling us. 

Max is six years old, he has been very good about having a kitten in the house.

Welcome Catsby
more adventures to come...

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!