About The River

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Happy Labor Day Weekend ~ It is the Hodgepodge!

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

Do you like the smell of the marigold?

 1.  Are there any men or women in blue on your family tree?

Yes, my grandpa. He was Military Police.

2. Are you someone who suffers from the Sunday night blues? What helps you get over it? 

Yes, sometimes I do have the Sunday night blues. Especially if we have enjoyed a lovely family weekend.
As my boys are growing up, Sunday nights have become TV night for us. For the past few weeks we have been watching PBS.  We just finished watching Inspector Lewis. A series on  Winston Churchill starts September 11.
More changes are coming for this mom of growing boys...I been fighting the my boys are growing up blues, something I always seem to have when school starts up again. 
Sam is in 11th grade this year!
Atticus is in 9th grade this year!

 3. I read the color blue is an appetite suppressant since there are very few naturally blue foods out there. How do you feel about blue cheese? Love it or blech? If you're a fan, what's something you like that's made with blue cheese?

I have never eaten blue cheese.

 4. We can't head in to the Labor Day weekend without a related question, can we? Complete this thought: I work best when____________________. 

After my morning coffee.

 5. 'Everything yields to diligence.' Antiphanes Your thoughts? (on this particular quote or on diligence in general)

Yes, I agree. 

 6. The National Park Service turned 100 years old on August 25th. Have you been to many of America's National Parks? If so share with us a favorite or two. Which National Park would you most like to visit before the next birthday rolls around? 

Glacier National Park is my very favorite.  

Mount Rushmore is the one I plan to visit before my December birthday. 

 7.  Bid farewell to August in seven words or less.

August is my favorite month! 

  8.  Insert your own random thought here.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016



A few weeks ago we traveled to visit my parents.
My parents live in a beautiful rural area of Wisconsin. Their property is surrounded by State and County forest. It is a beautiful area for outdoor enthusiasts.

On our way home from our visit, we decided to take a gravel road to reach the highway. 
This road is beautiful and a favorite of ours because the trees touch each other creating a leaf canopy. It is extra special in the Autumn when Wisconsin will show off her colors.

Some of you may know that Northern Wisconsin was hit by an awful flood in mid-July. The flood damaged several major Northern Wisconsin roads, ATV trails and communities.

With the closing of some ATV trails, ATV's are using the public roads and highways to get on to the next open trail.

This is when our drive home takes a much too exciting turn for me.

As we drove along the beautiful gravel road, two ATV's come around a corner, FAST!
In the middle of the road! My husband was driving, he quickly swerved close to the ditch. The first ATV driver did the same, but at his speed things did not go well for him.

His machine hit the ditch and that caused the young man to fly off the machine, hitting his stomach on the handle bars and ending up in the ditch.
His ATV continued to drive itself across the road into the woods.
We found out later, the two riders had radio headsets on, so the first driver was yelling out to the second driver that he was crashing. This gave the second driver time to slow down and move out of the middle of the road.

Now it is time to check on the injured ATV driver. Is he alive? Is he injured?  
Please, please let him be fine.
He did not have a helmet on. He did not have protective clothing on.
As my husband walked over to him lying in the ditch, the young man got to his knees.


The young man was out of breath. He was struggling to breath. 
 He was bleeding from the nose.
My husband helped him clean up his nose, check for other injuries and just make sure he was fine.


It took some time for him to calm down and get his normal breathing back. Eventually he did. All the time he was blaming himself. He continued to say " I was going too fast, I was in the middle of the road,  I was not thinking...."
We encouraged him to just breath. Just breath, relax and breath.

In time he felt ready to try and get his ATV.
With the help of my boys, husband and his friend, his ATV was pulled out of the woods.
It started  and it did not seem to be damaged.
He was able to drive it.

We had a two hour car ride to talk about what happened. 
We had a two hour car ride to talk about what could have happened.


Our dog Molly was also in the vehicle when the accident happened. She was well behaved while we helped the young man.

I believe in miracles.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Chocolate Orange Zucchini Cake with Orange Fudge Frosting and Joy List Monday

Chocolate Orange Zucchini Cake with Orange Fudge Frosting
Recipe by: Carla TePaske
1/2 cup of butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of whole milk
3 Tablespoons oil
9 Tablespoons baking cocoa
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups of shredded zucchini

Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and orange juice, beat well after each addition. Add in milk, oil and baking cocoa.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
Gently fold in zucchini.

Prepare bunt pan ... grease well.
Spread batter in the prepared bunt pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.


2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1/4 cup of milk
1/2  tablespoon of orange juice

Beat powdered sugar, butter, cocoa, milk and orange juice. 
Spread frosting over cooled cake.


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 a new zucchini  cake recipe 
 ♥ Cooler temps.  =  snuggle time with my husband
♥ Continued garden harvest, still eating fresh cucumbers, beans, tomatoes and eggplant
 ♥ Evening walks with my husband
 ♥ Finding Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars eating on milkweed 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Keeping Summer Alive ~ It is the Hodgepodge

Keeping Summer in our Hearts

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

1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')
A decision I am currently 'waffling over' is if I will add a path in our front garden. This will require pulling many plants and placing a pathway with bricks or dirt or mulch. 
Waffling over this .... mmmmmm
 2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 
 I walked into Hobby Lobby, Monday to purchase some art supplies for our youngest son. I walked into a world of Christmas trees!! Do we rush the seasons? Yes! Does it bother me? Yes!
I am still in the world of gardening, eating fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant from the garden. Picking flowers and listening to Summer bugs. I think the Christmas Carols can wait until after August!

I will squeeze a few new summer recipes in. I have several I want to make with fresh zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes.
 3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?

 4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 
I agree. I know I have judged people by their actions.
As for me, I have judged myself using both.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate.

I am! 
I am able to give first aid. I can try to calm a frantic person. 
I try to keep everyone thinking positive.

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?
Garden Fresh Salads
I will not be able to make the same salads once our kill frost arrives.
I will be able to open green beans, corn, kale and other goodness that we have froze or canned for Winter eating.
 7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?
I received an adult color book for my birthday. I have enjoyed the times I have colored in it. 
 8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
What is your favorite school supply?
We went shopping for school supplies. I am a sucker for cute folders.
Have a great week my friends!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Joy List Monday

One of my bouquets that I created and sold at Friday's market. It was my son, Sam's favorite.
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

  rain and more rain
  cooler temps and less humidity
 ♥ school supplies, it is always fun to have new folders, paper and pencils

 ♥ continued growth in the friendship with my other vendors at the farmer market
one of the vendors last week will be this Friday
we all plan to bring a dish to pass after market to wish him good luck 
back to school for him

 ♥ sweet corn and butter

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Oh Dear! Deer in the Garden!!

Oh Dear, Deer in the Garden!
Yes, we have deer that visit the community garden. Yes, deer are beautiful animals. Yes, deer can destroy your garden in an evening! Beans, beet tops, pumpkins, squash, and this list goes on.

Here is what we use to help keep the deer away.
This is a stinky spray and I am happy to report it works.
It also can cause a problem... continue reading

Yes, we have deer in the garden. So far they have not eaten anything. We just find their tracks along the gardens edge.
 Our trick of keeping the deer out of our garden has been Marv's Deer Solution or as my husband calls it, Marv's Deer Juice. He also drew the fun deer on the jug. Our boys just laugh and laugh when they look at dad's art work. :-)
If you have deer trouble in your yard or garden, try the following recipe. It has worked well for us.
Marv's Deer Solution
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 TBSP dish detergent
1 TBSP cooking oil
Add everything (except dish soap) whip on high in blender. Let settle, add dish soap, put into a gallon jug, fill remaining with water. Let solution sit in the sun to get stinky.
Spray plants and watch the deer walk past.
You must spray again after a rain and the plants are dry.


My son Atticus is my gardening partner. He likes his produce. He does not like deer eating his produce. He likes to spray the stink spray on HEAVY. I do not blame him, after all the work that goes into gardening, you do not want your harvest eaten by a deer.
A lesson learned, if you spray the stink spray on too thick and the sun is out, a burn will appear on your produce. We had this happen to beans, peppers and pumpkins.
Atticus still likes to spray a lot of spray! He no longer sprays the plant. We spray the ground around the plant. 
Lesson  Learned!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

High Five's for Thrifting ~ It is the Hodgepodge

Hello Everyone!
It is Wednesday and it is time for the Hodgepodge!

 My garden mailbox is a "tossed out to the trash find"!

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. I read here four creative activities to try this month. They were-calligraphy, make your own cookbook, dance or learn a new type of dance, and letter writing. Which activity on the list appeals to you most? Will you add it to your August? 

Friday night our family will be attending ...
The Cameron Public Library presents authentic Celtic music with the Barnyard Banshees on Friday, August 19th, at 7:00 p.m.
Get ready to tap your toes to lively Celtic jigs and reels, and catch your breath while listening to a few lovely ballads. The Barnyard Banshees is a family band from Elk Mound, Wisconsin. You'll hear fiddle, cello, guitar, whistle, flute, bodhran, and voice. Dancing encouraged!

The advertisement says"Dancing encouraged" .... I will let you know if I learn a new jig!

 2. Bertrand Russell is quoted as saying, 'To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.' Agree or disagree? Explain.

This quote is giving me trouble ... so here it goes ...
Part of happiness is our dreams, our goals, of things to come.

3. August 17th is National Thriftshop Day...are you a 'thrifter'? If so, tell us about one of your best or favorite finds. 


I do enjoy going out and thrifting. Sometimes I have luck, sometimes I do not.
Just a few weeks ago we went to a Homestead Estate Sale and I found this blue cup. 
It was love at first sight.
 4.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 1= almost none and 10=loads) how would you rate your sense of wanderlust? What kicks your wanderlust into high gear? 
I am a 6 .... I do like to travel ... but I also love Home Sweet Home!
Planning a trip kicks my wanderlust into high gear. 
 5. Has life felt more like a marathon or sprint so far this month? How so?

Harvest! Harvest! Harvest!
Everything is ready at once and all of a sudden we are eating like kings with fresh from the garden produce and at the same time preserving all the goodness to enjoy during the Wisconsin winter.
 6. What do you need to get a jump on before fall officially arrives? 

Happy to say, nothing! I am just sprinting along with all of this harvest and will enjoy Autumn when it arrives.

7. What's the last thing you did with friends or family where you lost track of time?

We visited family last weekend. 
My uncle and aunt took us all out for a lovely breakfast.
Eating, visiting and laughing .... we lost track of time!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I have been so blessed with all the beautiful gladiola blooming in my garden. This beautiful flower has really helped me at the farmer market as well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Flower Farmer Market Update

Hello Dear Friends,
It is already the middle of August. I have been setting up my Flower Stand each Friday since the first week of June at the Bruce Farmer Market.

 I have learned several things during the last few months. 

1. Patience ... June was slow ... the first part of July was slow ... I was feeling rather foolish. The flower market is not an easy one, simply because people can not eat flowers. 
I had more than one Friday that I did not sell any flowers. 

2. Work ... setting up for market is a lot of work. I have an EZ UP tent ... EZ UP ? not sure how they came up with the name. 
I am so thankful my market manger gave me a tip on how to set up the EZ UP ... I am only 5'1" so this tip of how to get this tent up really helped this short girl.

3. Rewarding ... each and every Friday has been so fun for me. As different flowers come into season I have more and new choices to create bouquets.

The past week I sold out! I was so happy. 
I also received my first order. A gentleman ordered a bouquet for his wife to celebrate their 26th Wedding Anniversary.

The Little Garden That Could ... has eight more Friday's left. My Autumn harvest is coming along well, I will be excited to share it with you.

A BIG Thank You ... so many of you have encouraged me when I was feeling wobbly.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Basil Ice Cream

Basil Ice Cream
recipe from Susan Branch

Ice Cream:
3 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. packed basil leaves
6 egg yolks, room temp.
1 lemon, juice and zest

Put cream, milk and 1/2 cup basil in a large sauce pan. Bring to boil, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Add the sugar, stir to dissolve. Return liquid to boil. Whisking constantly, add hot liquid in thin intermittent stream to egg yolks until yolks are hot, return all to pan. Beat over low heat until thickened (4 to 5 minuets). Chill over night. 

Put mixture in blender with remaining basil, zest and juice, blend until smooth. Spin in ice cream machine, then put into container and freeze at least 4 hours.

To Serve
My first time serving this delicious basil ice cream I served it with tomatoes as suggested from Susan. I liked it with tomato. My husband did not, but he likes the ice cream.
My boys did not care for the ice cream at all.

Let me know what you think!

"My advice to you is not to inquire why...but just enjoy your ice cream while it is on your plate. That is my philosophy."
Thornton Wilder

Monday, August 8, 2016

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

 ♥ a visit to my parents to celebrate my dad's birthday
 ♥ taking time to share stories of my childhood with my parents and my boys
 ♥ cucumbers ... lots of cucumbers to make dill pickles
 ♥ sunflowers and babysbreath from my garden
♥ the first of my gladiolus are blooming

Friday, August 5, 2016

Garden Update

 August is here ... time for a garden update.

 The Little Garden That Could
Above are the four plots at the Community Gardens. The following photos were taken a week ago, things have grown like crazy since!

We do have a rust or something bothering our green beans. All of the gardeners at the Community Gardens have it. We are not sure what it is. Marv is researching the problem for us. Marv turned 87 the last week of July. He is still going strong and one of the best friends I have.
I have learned so much from him in my years gardening with him at the Community Gardens.

 My home garden .... the other Little Garden That Could ....
The following photos were taken Saturday.

The large plant in the middle of the garden is our Cana! I just love how big it got this year. We have many hummingbirds visiting daily.

The Cucumber Fence

 The Cana!



 our make do fence for our gladiolas that continued to fall down
 happy to report our fence is working

Each garden season I am just amazed how a little seed becomes what it does. It is just amazing. This year my husband and boys just can not get over the size of our cana. 
As August settles in harvest will be in full force and a hint of Autumn will be in the air.

Happy Weekend

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Naturally Curly Hair

Happy Wednesday
We usually have the Hodgepodge today. Joyce the author of the Hodgepodge is on Summer Break.
The Hodgepodge will be back next week.

I found this funny on Pinterest .... well I just chuckled.
I have natural curly hair, let me tell you, Summer in Wisconsin can be a crazy time for natural curly hair. Humidity loves to play games with natural curly hair. 

Over the years I would fight my curls. I would try so hard to tame them.
I am happy to report I have come to love my curly hair and it is just who I am.

Our son Sam has my natural curly hair. I am so happy he embraces it, in fact he loves it.

Let us talk hair.
Have you struggled with curls?
Have you struggled with no curl?

Have you said,"This is me!" and are happy with your hair?


Monday, August 1, 2016

Thrift Find and Joy List Monday

Happy Monday
I am celebrating today with my thrift find.
We went to a Homestead Estate Sale on Thursday. I found a lovely something in blue cup.
It is blue.
It has flowers on it.
It is stamped with,  Original Czech Republic.

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

 ♥ sunflowers
 ♥ a campfire with my boys and husband Saturday night
 ♥ my husband made a dessert for me Friday night after coming home from my day at market
 ♥ a cool down after a storm
♥ summer bugs signing at night