About The River

Friday, April 29, 2016

Celebrating a 16th Birthday

Happy 16th Birthday
We hosted a simple 16th birthday party with family for our son Sam.

Sam had not looked at his baby items in years. 
We thought it would be fun to get a few of his favorite items out for his party. 

 Sam loved trucks!

 Some of his favorite books.
He loved looking at his shoes. He could not believe his feet were so small.

Our guests enjoyed looking back at the items as well. They brought back memories and stories.

We had Taco Bar for our dinner.
I set the table simple with a dish of jelly beans and a Salted Nut Roll as a party favor.

 I made a fun banner.

 My mom made the cake.

 My dad helped decorate the cake.

Sam had a special day and he is so excited to be 16! So many new adventures on the way!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I Can Not Stop The Clock ~ It is the Hodgepodge

Wishing for Sun...several cloudy days here...ready for sun!

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


1. This is the last Hodgepodge in April. Share something you learned this month. 
April has been a busy month for our family.
My lesson of this month...is letting my son drive off by himself. 
Yes, Sam passed his drivers test.
Now mom has to pass the " Do not worry so, when he drives off by himself " test.
2.  It's National Poetry Month, and we all know you can't escape an April Hodgepodge without a little poetry. Keeping the first line as is, change the rest of the wording in this familiar rhyme to make it your own - 'Hickory Dickory Dock...
I Can Not Stop The Clock
3. What were one or two rules in the home you grew up in? Growing up, did you feel your parents were strict? Looking back do you still see it that way? 
One of the rules I can remember that would get me so upset this time of year...my sister and I could not wear shorts to school. We would get so upset about it. And yes, we would be naughty and change into shorts at school.
I did feel my parents were strict, but looking back, no I do not see it that way.
I am thankful for the way my parents set rules. I see the importance today.
4. Tell us about a kitchen or cooking disaster or mishap you've experienced. Do you have many from which to choose? 
 Lemon Meringue Pie
My disaster was putting the meringue on a cooled down lemon filling.
Oh the meringue looked lovely, but when I cut into the pie, it was all water!

I was so mad!
I redeemed myself and made another pie the next day.

5. Plant a kiss, plant doubt, plant a tree, plant yourself somewhere...which on the list have you most recently planted? 
I planted myself at Miller Park this past week. We went to a Milwaukee Brewer Game. 
 6. What's your most worn item of clothing this time of year? Are you tired of it?
 My winter coat!
And no, I can not put it away because as you can see from the photo above anything is possible in Wisconsin!

7. I'm wrapping up the A-Z Blog Challenge this month and our Hodgepodge lands on letter W. What's one word beginning with W that describes you in some way? How about a word to describe your home, also beginning with W?
I asked my husband what word beginning with W describes me and he answered Welcoming.
And I would say the same about our home, Warm and Welcoming.
8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Working on a Dream

You are never to old to work on a dream!
Faith, a lot of hard work and support can make anything happen.

At the end of 2015 I wrote the following post DREAM
 here is a review of what I shared.

As we come to the end of another year, we reflect and look ahead.
Dreams, goals, resolutions...whatever you call it. We all have them.
I want to do this_____  in 2016.
I have a goal to ______ in 2016.
I am going to work on my dream of ______ in 2016.

Do you have a dream, goal, or resolution you want to reach for this new year?

I do and I am going to continue to share it with you right here on The River this coming 2016.
Some days I feel small in this big world, and I want to give up. Some days I get scared and I do not want to try. Some days I feel like, so many people already do this...why would they like mine.

Then I remember, God made me who I am for a reason. And I need to follow Him and my heart to do just what He wants of little ol' me.

"Don't be sad because you are small." said Mrs. Field. 
"Small creatures can do wonderful things."
Something Wonderful
Jenny Nimmo

 During my break last week, I had the opportunity to meet the owner of Heritage Flower Farm
 I had a great time asking her questions, taking a tour of her farm and building on my dream.

I will take you on a tour of the farm as well. You will have to remember that it is early spring here in Wisconsin and our flowers and plants are just starting to come up. Beautiful summer photos are at the website Heritage Flower Farm 

Betty had a dream and it grew.

 Heritage Flower Farm is an award-winning boutique nursery growing heirloom plants, finding their stories and spreading them to gardens from Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian & Canada’s Royal Botanic Garden, to backyard gardens like yours. Then-93 year old Anne Patterson inspired the new farm owner, Betty Adelman, to follow her heart for antique flowers.

Walking around the farm. 
Each plant has a photo of what it looks like in bloom. A great idea to help you see how the plant will look in your garden.

 Wagons ready to be filled with plants.

The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not in the job.

 Betty added a gift shop. New this year, she started making soap.

"Nobody is ever too old to dream. And dreams never grow old."
Anne Shirley

 Betty has two hoop house greenhouses. She shared with me the benefits of having a greenhouse. She has been pleased with her hoop house greenhouses.

The Chicken Coop
I love her coop. She sells fresh eggs at her gift shop.

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow."
Audrey Hepburn

 My visit with Betty gave me ideas and encouragement.

"Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another."
John C. Maxwell 

 A special announcement regarding The Little Garden That Could will be coming soon.

"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.
 The time will pass anyway."
Earl Nightingale

Friday, April 15, 2016

Strawberry Slush

 Strawberry Slush
3 cups of sugar
3 packages of unsweetened KoolAid
1 large can of pineapple juice
2 ~ 12 ounce cans of frozen lemonade
3/4 cup "REAL" lemon juice
1 lb. frozen strawberries ~ put thru blender

Optional ...  1 quart vodka

Mix all together...Freeze
When serving use 1/2 slush to 1/2 soda

I made this Strawberry Slush for my son's 16th birthday party...with out the vodka.
It is a refreshing treat, perfect for the summer days ahead. 

 Spring Break
I will be taking next week off for Spring Break.
Wishing you all a refreshing week ahead.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary ~ How does your garden grow? It is the Hodgepodge!

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

1. What's the last thing you did that could be described as 'taxing'?

Last week I had to go in for my Tetanus shot. I know some would say "You silly, how can this be taxing?" But for me, I do not like people poking me!

 2. If you could plant a garden of anything, what would be in it?

I would love to grow all the things you can not grow in Wisconsin, just to see how they grow. 
Peanuts, cotton, sugar cane, oranges, lemons, limes, peaches......

 3. April 10-16 is National Library Week...will you celebrate with a visit to your nearest library? When did you last make a trip to the library? What are you reading right now? What's one title on your want-to-read list?

 Our family loves our local library. We visit weekly.
What I am reading now...
Let's All Be Brave. Living Life with Everything You Have  - Author - Annie F. Downs 
What is a title on my want-to-read list?
Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams - Author - Susan Branch

4. Share a saying or an old wives tale you heard while growing up, you believed to be true or that you paid attention to 'just in case'? 

Do not go outside with wet hair, you will catch cold.

 5. Are you a fan of onions? Garlic? Ginger? What's a dish you love that contains one, two or all three items listed?

I love all three!
Onion...yes, on a sandwich, on a pizza, saute'e in butter and add some veggies.
 And do not forget onion rings.
Garlic, yes, saute'e with butter add fresh green beans, saute'e a little longer. Yummy!
Ginger, yes, Ginger Lemon tea. 
 6.  Where does nurturing end and indulging begin? What are some skills or qualities you think a person needs to possess in order to be viewed as mature?

This is a good question.
I think it is important to nurture and at the same time teach responsibility.
If we are no longer teaching responsibility, I think indulging begins.

When is a person mature?
I think when we can make the difference between 
I Need
I Would Like to Have

 7. What leading figure in any field would you like to hear speak, and why?

Dave Ramsey
 My husband and I enjoy listening to his radio show. My oldest son just completed Foundations for High School.
 Financial principles for students into adulthood.
I appreciate Dave's story and I enjoy how he teaches.

 8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I will be on Spring Break next week. I will miss the Hodgepodge.
Wishing you all a great rest of the week and a fabulous next week!

Monday, April 11, 2016

trans·plant v. trans·plant·ed, trans·plant·ing,


v. trans·plant·ed, trans·plant·ing, trans·plants
1. To uproot and replant (a growing plant).
2. To transfer from one place or residence to another; resettle or relocate: residents were transplanted to the suburbs during the massive reconstruction project.
I am a transplant. My husband and I  transplanted to Barron County just about 19 years ago.  We both are Wisconsin born and raised. Ahhh, but we are from a different area of Wisconsin. And one would never know how different people can be just with in your own State! I am going to start a new series of stories here on The River, stories about my adventures of trying to "fit" in the "my new neck of the woods" in Wisconsin. I hope it will make you laugh, maybe feel a little sorry for me and that you will share stories with me if you are a transplant.

 My husband moved to the area in August 1997. We moved to the area because my husband was hired for an amazing company (he is still with that company and it is a great place to work, a true blessing).  I did not move to Barron County until December 1997. I did not move right away, because I had this amazing, fun job that I loved. I had been working with this company in my hometown going on three years. And no, I did not want to leave my parents, my hometown, my job or all my friends. So I stayed behind....my thought processes being, I just want to be sure my husband likes his career before I decide to resign from my job. I would live with my parents during the week and head over to be with my husband in the land of Barron County during the weekends. Well, my husband liked his job, it was time for me to say good - bye to my hometown, my job, my family, my friends, my comfort. I headed to Barron County. My husband and I rented a duplex at first in the small town of Chetek. My husband worked in Cameron. After living in the area for three days, I was on my way back to our duplex in Chetek from visiting my husband at his work. I was leaving the small town of Cameron on the highway, I was past the high school, heading into rural area and I picked up the speed to 55 MPH. Ahhh, I did not see the speed limit sign. Flashing lights!! I pulled over, just about ready to cry. The officer was not kind, I tried to explain I was new to the area, note my address change on the back of my drivers license. I tried to explain I did not see the speed limit, still trying to continue that I was new to the area. He handed me a ticket for speeding!! And to top it off, he said " And have a nice birthday." Yep, it was my birthday, I received a speeding ticket, three days after leaving my hometown, my job, my family, my friends, my comfort....to the land of mean police officers!!
I cried and cried!
Welcome to Barron County... you are a transplant!  Until next time....

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Happy Birthday to Samuel ~ 16

Happy Birthday to Samuel
16 years today!

Sam is our first born son. We have two boys. The life of boys. 
My mom comes from a family of all girls. She has two sisters. Then she had two girls of her own. Her sister had a girl. 
Then came me. I had boys.
I will never forget when my mom said to me "Wow, Carla, boys sure are different."
No Barbies, no dresses, no hair to braid and curl. No make up, no nail polish, no big deal on what should I wear. In fact my youngest son would wear the same thing everyday, if I let him.

Oh, being a mom to boys, melts the heart just the same. 
Trucks, sand box time, dinosaurs,  army men, Lego's and action movies. Bike races, helping catch frogs, bugs and crayfish. Getting dirty and with out a care.
End of the day, having your boy wrap his arms around you and say, " I will protect you, Mom."

Looking back at 2008, Sam is in the fella in the red chair. The other cutie is his brother, Atticus.

 This tree frog liked Sam.

 Atticus trying to get the tree frog to like him. He wants him to stick to him.

 Brother's and Best Friends Forever!

Why God Made Little Boys
God made the world out of his dreams,
Of wondrous mountains, oceans and streams,
Prairies and plains and wooded land,
Then paused and thought
I need someone to stand
 On top of the mountains, to conquer the seas, 
Explore the plains, and  climb the trees,
Someone to start out small and grow 
Sturdy strong like a tree and so...
He created boys, full of spirit and fun,
To explore and conquer to romp and run,
With dirty faces, banged up chins,
With courageous hearts and boyish grins.
When He had completed the task 
He had begun
He surely said, "That is a job well done."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Baseball is Back and so is the Hodgepodge

Baseball is back. Did you know I love the Milwaukee Brewers?
Yep, the Brewers are going to be rebuilding the team this year and for the next few. I have a lot of new players to learn. Ups and downs, I still enjoy the game. 
And the best part is listening on the radio to Mr. Baseball call the game.

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

1. What does retirement mean to you? Are you planning for it, not thinking about it, looking forward to it, or dreading it?

Retirement sounds like fun to me. I am not thinking about it yet, I am in raising Teen Age Son mode right now.  My son Sam has his driver's test Monday. 

 2. It's International Guitar Month...do you play? Does anyone in your family play? What's a song you especially like to hear played on the guitar or a favorite song featuring the guitar?
I wish I woke up knowing how to play the guitar. I love the guitar. Sadly, no one in our family plays.

Our worship leader is an amazing guitar player. I love how he leads our church in worship.
I love campfire songs with the guitar. 
I love music...so this list could go on and on!

 3. What's your comfort food?


 4. What's one activity or area of your life where you absolutely never procrastinate?
Getting outside and spending time in the garden.
 5. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? Does your local store bag the groceries for you or is it a do-it-yourself kind of place? Do you like someone packing your groceries?
My husband and I enjoy going together to do the grocery shopping.
Yes, our local market bags our groceries.
I do like someone packing my groceries. I do place my items out of the cart on to the check out somewhat in the order of how I like things to be bagged. My husband laughs at my ways.
 6. What's the coolest thing you've seen in nature?

Glacier National Park ~ Montana, USA
Heart Rocks

 7. Share a favorite quote about home.

My Kitchen Prayer
God bless my little kitchen
I love its every nook
And bless me as I do my work
Wash pots and pans and cook.

 8. Insert your own random thought here.

 Our first born son will be celebrating his 16th birthday on Thursday.
I honestly have no idea where the time has gone. 
This little man of mine, now can pick up his mom and has to stoop down to hug her.
We talk and the talks we have are so special to me. It is always before bed, it always has been before bed. He will open up, tell me his dreams, what may be troubling him or just share something funny.
I am proud of him. He is a Godly young man. I pray he will continue on the path.
Happy Birthday to Sam!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Funny on Tuesday

Celery raw develops the jaw
But celery stewed is more quietly chewed.
Ogden Nash

The above photos are of my celery patch in the garden last summer. We are having cold temperatures with snow, snow and more snow this week.
I have a bad case of gardening blues...think spring.