About The River

Monday, January 30, 2017

Joy List Monday and a Meals on Wheels Story

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

 ♥ attending the Eau Claire Garden Expo with my husband on Saturday 

 ♥ forcing bulbs ... I planted 5 daffodil bubs on Sunday

 ♥ Fish -n- Chips made by my husband 
 ♥ watching a movie with Gregory Peck staring in it

♥ kitty cat snuggles

I deliver Meals on Wheels, 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off during the month.

The past week that I worked I had a new delivery. The participant has a lovely home and she decorates the outside and inside of her home beautifully. As I take the meal to her, she has her china plate, silver ware, napkin and wine glass all ready to place the meal on. 
 Our meals come prepared in a container that you could easily eat the meal out of, most participants do just that. 
I just smiled at her elegance, of placing the food on the plate and pouring her milk in the wine glass. She struggles with Parkinson's disease, she asks me for help.  I help get her set up for her lunch. It just makes me smile that she is so classy. She is always dressed up, earrings and bracelets.

I just love her attitude.


Friday, January 27, 2017

On The Road Friday ~ To the Grocery Store

We are on the road today. Today, I am going to take you to one of my favorite markets. I have mentioned Woodman's here on The River before, I had a few readers ask "what is the big deal?".

I live in a rural area and we are blessed with two very nice grocery stores.

Eau Claire is our "big time" city that is located about 45 minutes South from Cameron.

Eau Claire continues to grow and grow making it a fun city to visit. In 2015 Woodman's opened.

The fun began one Sunday when we were traveling thru, we stopped to check Woodman's out. We only an hour to spare, let us just say we did not get thru the store. It is huge! 

It is full of lovely produce, some I do not even know what it is. 
There is a tea and coffee aisle!! Every kind of tea you can think of. 

I know some of you might be laughing. You have to remember I live in a rural area, so this is a big deal to see an aisle of tea. Ha!
An aisle for yogurt, Regular and Greek.

One of my very favorite things about Woodman's is all the Wisconsin products it sells. Meats, cheese, milk, ice cream, bagels, bread, beer, wine the list goes on. It features Wisconsin goods! I love that the most about Woodman's.

Do you have a favorite grocery store or other place to shop? 
Is there a reason that you like it?

Thank you for coming along with me to the grocery store!
If you want to take a peek at Woodman's click here.
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It is a California Dreaming Hodgepodge

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

1. "The cure for anything is salt water-tears, sweat, or the sea." (Isak Dinesan) Would you agree? Of the three, which has 'cured' you most recently? 

 I would agree. All three have worked for me.

Of the three, sweat has worked for me recently. I had two closets that were driving me crazy. Saturday I grabbed Jeremy and we got to work. Call me crazy, I just love going in and peeking at the organized closets. 

 2. What's something you can't eat without salt? Do you normally salt your food a lot, a little, or not at all? 

I can not eat popcorn without salt or my homemade french fries.
I also like salt on my hard boiled eggs.
I will add a little salt to a meal.

 3. Sands of time, bury your head in the sand, built on sand, or draw a line in the sand...which sandy phrase could best be applied to something in your life right now?

California 2009

California 2009

Our boys playing with kelp ... a fun thing to play with when your from Wisconsin and this is your first visit to the ocean.

 draw a line in the sand...
I am going to be more firm with myself regarding, it is alright to say "No". I am going to be more careful about what I volunteer to do in 2017 and how much I add to my calendar. Slowing down and enjoying life is becoming more and more important to me. Taking time for relationships. It was interesting, my oldest son asked me this question " Mom, do you think in our culture today we have more shallow relationships?" 

 4. A favorite book, movie, or song with an island setting or theme?
 Pirates of the Caribbean

California 2009

5. Yesterday-did you run your day or did it run you? How so? 

 I ran the day. Yippee ... now if you would have asked me this last week!

 6. You're on an island holiday. Will I most likely find you parked in a beach chair, shopping in town, on the back of a jet ski, or snorkeling off the back of a catamaran? 

I will walk the beach for awhile, I love to walk along the shores when I have an opportunity.
 Then  I will park myself in a beach chair.

 7. What do you think we humans most take for granted?

Thinking back on the discussion I shared with my oldest son, I am going to say relationships. I think we take them for granted, we forget they need love and care.

 8. Insert your own random thought here.

A friend shared a quote with me that her father would share with her after each visit.

Always look forward, never backwards
what is gone is gone.
Keep an open mind. You can learn so much from others, however old you are.
Let it be. Only worry about things you can change, leave everything else alone.

Monday, January 23, 2017

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 

 ♥ Our son Atticus  started to not feel well Wednesday evening. A high fever, no energy and very uncomfortable. As the weekend arrived he slowly started to feel better. Happy to report Sunday afternoon his appetite improved, he went outside for some fresh air and his temperature is normal. ♥

♥ hot tea ... an awful weather week here in Wisconsin, with freezing rain. A wonderful cup of hot tea makes the day feel warmer.

♥ a phone call from my mom ... it is always hard when you have a sick family member or friend. You feel helpless at times, it was good to chat with my mom.

♥ my older son coming in from outside and declaring "Mom, I will help you get to the car, it is awful outside!"

♥ having a heart to heart conversation with my oldest son ... he is growing up! I am so thankful for our special conversations, just the two of us with a cup of hot chocolate.

♥ the following laughs that were shared with with me, during a rather difficult week.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Experiences

As we head into year 2017

 New Hopes
New Dreams
New Challenges
New Experiences
New Projects

Lego City, Brickmania, Minneapolis, Minnesota
 January 16, 2017 was one of my first New Experiences.
I attended an Active Shooter Class / Exercise.

Barron County Sheriff's Department teaches the class.
I was nervous going into the class, a new experience for sure. We were taught what it is like to have a shooter in a building, or a room full of people and what to do.
The training consisted of studying  recent shootings and learning from them. We reviewed Orlando and Virginia Tech.
What can you do if you are in that situation, how can you help your friends and how can you reach a safe zone. We went over how going on lockdown, is not the safest thing to do. Getting out is the best plan, if you are able. If you are not able, try to fight back. One of the things I learned that really stuck with me, was to use stuff as a weapon.  Throw a laptop, phone, stapler, anything to give your family time to run. 

The last exercise that we did was a shooter in the building. Some one had an air gun, with soft bullets. With this exercise the shooter really shoots the soft bullets, the sound of gun fire is all around. It was difficult to figure what direction the sound was coming from. It defiantly gave a real feeling and scared me.

The goal is to get out with your friends and family. 
I am happy to report, our team made it out. Our floor made it out as well, with only one person shot in the leg. The 3rd floor had three shot, one in the arm and two in the leg. (not really wounded, just the sting of the soft bullet) The Sheriff's Department was proud of us for passing. That is what they would like to see, no casualties, get people out to safety. The most dangerous thing to do is try to hide and freeze. Running and throwing things is the best thing. Another tip, I learned was to knock down tables, chairs, and pull fire alarms as you run. It will disorientate the shooter.

I am thankful for have taken the class. I pray that I never am in such a situation. If I am, I feel like I would be able to help get people to safety.

I appreciated our Sheriff's Department care in helping us understand the reality of what is out in this world, and how we can help prepare ourselves.

With that...let us not think about tonight's news...instead...
Happy Thoughts

 ♥ Helping celebrate a 92 year old's birthday!! Irene is still active and in great health. She always make me smile with her humor. And you would never know she is 92!

 ♥ Snail Mail .... receiving  a surprise letter from a blog friend.

♥ The Full Moon!

 ♥ Feeding the birds and having wild bunnies visit under the bird feeder.

♥ Watching my boys anticipation grow and grow for the fun weekend they enjoyed.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Higlander Grogg Filled Cupcakes

Highlander Grogg Filled Cupcake

 My favorite flavored coffee is Highlander Grogg. A Wisconsin coffee company Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters shared the following recipe in a newsletter I receive. 
This was the first time for me to make a filled cupcake. 

We will celebrate the winners of the Think Snow giveaway with a cupcake!
Yippee to Kris of Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies 
Sheri of Red Rose Alley

Coffee Buttercream Frosting
Caramel sauce and chopped hazelnuts on top.

 The batter has 1 cup of cooled coffee!

 Coffee Filling
1 16oz. container coffee flavored  mascarpone cheese

Highlander Grogg Filled Cupcake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup of cooled brewed Highlander Grogg Coffee
3 eggs
1/2 chopped hazelnuts  
( I did not put hazelnuts in my batter, I have a son who dislikes nuts in side baked goods.)
2 cup of sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 8oz. container sour cream
3/4 cup Hershey unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In large mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients. 
Add oil, coffee, and eggs. 
Mix thoroughly.
Fold in the sour cream, extract and nuts.
Spoon the batter into muffin cups.
Bake for 16-18 minutes until tester comes out clean.

Coffee Filling:
1 16 oz. container coffee flavored mascarpone cheese
12 oz. jar of caramel sauce - reserving 2 tbsp.

Mix ingredients thoroughly in medium mixing bowl.
Fill pastry bag and fill each cupcake with filling.

Coffee Buttercream:
1 stick softened butter
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup cooled brewed Highlander Grogg Coffee
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

In a medium bowl, beat 1 stick softened butter with 3 cups of powdered sugar.
Add 1/2 cup cooled Highlander Grogg Coffee.
Fill pastry bag with buttercream and frost cupcakes.
Drizzle caramel sauce and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Refrigerate cupcakes.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tom Thumb Popcorn

This past garden season we grew popcorn. 
We purchased seed from Seed Savers Exchange .

Tom Thumb Popcorn

 aka Hulless, Dwarf Rice, Squirrel Tooth

 dwarf 3 1/2 feet plants
produce 1 to 2 ears each
good for short seasons
 We enjoyed the flavor of  Tom Thumb popcorn.
When we popped it up, it was a grand feeling that we grew the popcorn.
We harvested 2 1/2 quarts  ...  3.25 pounds.

We plan to grow popcorn again this garden season. I am just starting to study my seed catalogs.  We are thinking of  trying a different kind.

Do you have a favorite popcorn? 

How about a favorite popcorn topping?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Think Snow .... It is a Snowman Giveaway

Think Snow
We need a warm up in Wisconsin so it will snow. We have cold temperatures. So cold that it will not snow. We can not cross country ski with out snow. It is time we all think snow.

It is a Snowman Giveaway! 

My mom made up this fun giveaway for my blog readers.
I am drawing two winners.
Each winner will receive a towel and three snowmen.

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment. I have heard from a few of my readers that they are not able to comment. If you send an e mail to me saying you would like to be entered, your name will be tossed in the hat.  My son Atticus will pull two names from the hat Thursday evening. The winners will be announced Friday.

Think Snow!


Friday, January 6, 2017

On The Road Friday ~ Brickmania, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Are you ready to build?
Today we are heading to the ultimate destination for the LEGO enthusiast!

Brickmania, Minneapolis, Minnesota

 Brickmania Toyworks is located in an warehouse on the Northeast side of Minneapolis. The warehouse has its own history. During WWII  it was a top secret Naval Facility that manufactured the 5 inch guns for the battleships.

Today inside you will find the world's largest K'nex ball machine, massive LEGO train displays and historic displays created by the Brickmania team.

 Looking at the wall, the LEGO'S  are organized by color and brick size!

 Let's Build
There are several tables full of LEGO'S. You can sit and build for as long as you like.

 Tropical Santa

 Peeking thru the Circus Tent

 LEGO Christmas Wreath

 Santa's Workshop

Toot! Toot!
All aboard the Christmas train.

Brickmania is a fun place to go for all ages. If you have a LEGO fan in your family, they will be blown away by all the designs. Our boys picked up a few new tricks to do with building with LEGO while looking at the displays.

Brickmania also has a store located in the Mall of America.

Thank you for coming along to Brickmania.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year ... It is the 2017 Hodgepodge

Christmas Eve Snow bunny!
Happy New Year
It is Wednesday and it is time for the Hodgepodge!
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday. 

 This year we traveled to my parents farm for the Christmas holiday. We were able to stay with my family for four days, which was very special. Spending time together was the favorite memory for me.

 2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?
My mom made a homemade cheese danish, it was delicious.

 3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?
 We had fresh snow on December 23rd. We went out for a cross country ski the morning of December 24th. The woods was beautiful.

 4. What does fresh start mean to you?
Each day brings a fresh start. We can do our best each day, try something new or continue to learn and grow at something we already know. 

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.
 I would give my 2016 a solid 8!
Regarding personal achievement, I wanted to sell my fresh cut flower bouquets at a farmers market. I did that June - September of 2016. I had ups and downs in the process. I learned many lessons, made new friends and grew more confident in what I am doing.
Regarding well being, my boys are growing up. We had many changes in our home during 2016 with our oldest son achieving his drivers license and now working part time. I have to soak in all the fun family times and remind myself to let go a little each day as well.

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used. There were quite a few on this year's list I'd never heard before.

Here's the 2017 list of banished words-

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list? 

Go ahead and banish them all!

I am old school ... I do not like the word (Ain't) ... because from my school day 
"Ain't is not a word"   

I will add ain't to the list.

 7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year. 
I have two closets I want to clean and organize. 
Some of the items are school projects from the boys elementary days. It is time to organize, decided what to keep, toss and well you know .... :-)  

 8. Insert your own random thought here.

At a book sale I attended with with my aunt Sharon, I bought several stacks of sheet music. I used the music for wrapping paper. I was pleased how the packages turned out.

Monday, January 2, 2017

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go Into the New Year ....

My last walk of 2016. This is me and my walking buddy Molly, my Boston Terrier. She has been my walking buddy for 11 years! We go in all kinds of weather, she says we must. Molly wears a cute blue coat and it has a hood, so she looks so stylish walking on chilly days. She use to hate when we dressed her, but now she likes it, it may have something to do with all the people that say to her "You are so cute!".  As 2017 comes rolling in,  most of us look at the New Year to plan new goals, try new things and reach for dreams. My friend Julie from JulieLou wrote a fun New Year's post. I am going to share ... New Hopes .... New Dreams .... New Challenges .... New Experiences .... New Projects .... do you have some New ____ already in the works for 2017? Please share and I will be cheering you on in the New Year to reach that New _____.  I have a New Project that I will be starting and I will be sharing soon. Happy New Year! On Your Mark, Get Set, Let us Rock 2017!!