About The River

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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Make My Day - Hodgepodge

Lake Superior
It is Wednesday, it is time for the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. Share one thing that really makes your day.

My first cup of coffee. Yum! I have a French Press. I make my own pot of French Press coffee every day. My son Atticus loves to watch me do this and every morning I say "Oh, this is good!" 

Having my son roll his eyes at the taste of coffee makes my day too.

 2. Lots of these kinds of lists out there, but one found here says the fifteen most colorful places on earth are:

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy~Burano, Italy~Havana, Cuba~Rio de Janiero, Brazil~Chefchaouen, Morocco~Balat, Istanbul, Turkey~Menton, France~Jodhpur, India~La Baca, Buenos Aires, Argentina~Guanajuato, Mexico~Capetown, South Africa~Valparaiso, Chile~Wroclaw, Poland~San Francisco, California~and Pelourhino, Salvador, Brazil.  

Of those listed which would you most like to see up close and in person? Of all the places you've seen or traveled in your own life, what would you say was one of the most colorful?

I would enjoy visiting San Franciso, California. A friend of mine traveled to San Franciso and she shared some lovely photos.
As for my own colorful travels, I would have to say San Diego, California.

  3."Everything you want is on the other side of fear." Jack Canfield  In general, would you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?

Yes, many times you are afraid to go ahead. You have to have the courage to do so.

  4. Imagine you're stranded on a desert island and dessert appears...what do you hope it is? Do you ever struggle to remember which spelling is desert and which is dessert?

Lemon Meringue Pie 
I have a little trick to help me spell dessert. Dessert has two ss, because you will want two piecies of dessert.
Something like that, one of my grade school teachers taught many little tricks like this.

  5. What song almost always makes you cry?

Star Spangled Banner 

 6. January is National Soup Month.  Everything from soup to nuts, in the soup, thick as pea soup, souped up...which saying most recently applies to your life in some way? Explain.

Thick as Pea Soup
I am in it thick with teenage men in my life. My oldest is shaving, driving and I think, getting more and more handsome by the day.

 7. Write a two word note to your younger self. What does it say?

Be You

  8. Insert your own random thought here.

We have snow! Yay!!


Monday, January 11, 2016

Melon, Melon and more Melon

Over Labor Day weekend of 2015, my friend Lori took me to a Growers Produce Auction.

 Growers Produce Auction
2347 Dell Road
Cashton, Wisconsin

Just off County Hwy D

This was my first time attending a Growers Auction. Oh my, it was fun!
We purchased watermelon and muskmelon.

 I am in the crowd.


Now back to the taste of summer in the middle of winter!
With the 12 muskmelon we purchased, we decided to freeze the melon.
Using a scoop, we made melon balls. It was easy. The reward is opening a bag of fresh melon in January.

 Taking a scoop, scoop your melon out.

Place your melon balls on a pan and place the pan in the freezer.

 Freeze the melon balls over night.

Bag your melon balls into freezer bags or freezer containers of your choice.
On a cold winter day...enjoy!