About The River

Monday, February 27, 2017

Joy List Monday and The Winner Is .....

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

 ♥ coffee date and catch up with a friend ... one of those friends who you may not see for several months, but you pick right up when you last seen each other, no matter how long it has been.

♥ an email conversation with a dear friend who moved away ... thankful for technology to keep us in touch.

♥ my indoor garden starting to show blooms. I have an amaryllis and daffodils ready to pop any day now.

♥ Saturday night game night ='s tons of laughs ... belly laughs the best kind.

♥  a surprise gift of chocolate from a friend.

And the winner of the Greeting Cards to color is Ginny! 


Friday, February 24, 2017

On The Road Friday ~ Badlands, South Dakota ~ Badlands Wildlife

We are on the road today. Today, I am taking you back to the Badlands to see all the wildlife that we saw on our trip in September.

 Magic Hour

In my next post about the Badlands I will be sharing more of the landscape, light changes and the magic hour, sunrise and sunset.

Off to find the wildlife of the Badlands.

 Bighorn Sheep
This was an awesome sight. Our first time seeing a Bighorn Sheep in the wild.

 Prairie Dog Cuteness
I know many people are not fans of prairie dogs, I am a fan. We loved watching them. They are so funny. They seem to go and visit each others hole / home.

American Bison
Our son Atticus could not wait to see a Bison. As our trip thru the Badlands was nearing the end, he was getting nervous we would not see a Bison.
As we turned a corner on Sage Creek Rim Road, look what was grazing on the side of the road.

We sat and watch this huge, amazing animal graze. 
Atticus was officially Happy! He got to see his Bison.

Thank you for joining me today.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

February Giveaway

Hello Friends

It is time for a giveaway.
Greeting Cards to Color.
A craft and a gift as well as a greeting card.

 The winner will receive 9 fun cards to color.
Leave a comment below to be entered into the giveaway.
I know that some of my readers are not able to leave a comment. Leave me an e mail and you will be entered. I will pick the winner out of a hat on Sunday, February, 26th.  
I will announce the winner on my Joy List Monday post, February, 27th.

Good Luck
Thank You for all the love and support.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fishin' In The Dark ~ It is the Hodgepodge

Ice Fishing with little friends in an ice shack, nice and warm.

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

 1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?

Yes, I grew up fishing. I love to river fish. Each day while growing up, I would go down to the river and fish. I would catch fish and bring them home for my dad to clean.
In Wisconsin we also go Ice Fishing. Many fun days in the ice shack fishing, playing cards and having a snack.
 Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, fish or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

"this is a fine kettle of fish"
Saturday our vehicle got stuck in the mud.

Happy Fishing
 2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?

I am always fishing for my lip gloss in my purse.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

I am not sure if this is my favorite, but it is one that we recently watched.

In The Heart of The Sea 

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.
I am sunrise.
I enjoy morning.
I am one of those people who wakes up ready for the day.
I start talking and laughing and planning.
When we first got married, this drove my husband crazy. 
After 20 years, he is somewhat use to it.
 5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?

My jean jacket.

 6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?

The weather in Wisconsin has been absolutely crazy this winter of 2016/2017.
I am not a fan of negative temperatures. 
I do enjoy a nice 20 degree day with snow falling and me out cross country skiing.

Northern Wisconsin hit a high of 55 degrees Saturday, February 18th. Our family participated in a ski event. We sloshed across the course. 

click on the link below to read our story

Sam caught the big one!

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?

No, I will not be celebrating.
I am not a big fan of Jimmy Buffet.
I only know a couple of his songs.

 8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Anyone missing these two?

I miss  
Downton Abbey


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book Across the Bay 2017

 Book Across the Bay
Ashland to Washburn
Across Chequamegon Bay

Yes, that is water that the skis are sloshing around in the above photo.
Wisconsin is experiencing a Heat Wave like I have never had in my life time. 
In fact, another huge ski race may be cancelled this week, the
American Birkebeiner.

 The sad part of this story, is that our Northland thrives on tourism. Skiing, snow and winter fun is all a part of that. Yes, I like the warm temperatures, but I will be honest, it is strange to have 60 degree days in February in Northern Wisconsin.

Enough about the weather and on to the Book Across the Bay, a memorable ski for our family.
The Thank You below is from the Book Across the Bay staff.

 THANK YOU to all of you who came out to support 2017 Book Across the Bay — as participants, spectators, volunteers, and sponsors. This event would not happen without all of you! This year’s trip across the bay was certainly memorable — our snow held out until late morning on race day, but ultimately could not stand up to the extremely warm weather. However, with our hearts full of Book Across the Bay spirit, and our boots full of water, we all made the best of it and had an enjoyable evening.

 The ice we are skiing on is 15 to 25 inches thick.

 We were in wave 3.
Usually about 4,000 people participate, just over 1,000 participated for this years unseasonably warm Book Across the Bay.

 We ski at night, with beautiful luminaries lighting our way.

We had one pressure crack in the ice that we had to ski over. The Book Across the Bay staff made a bridge to ski over the pressure crack.

We decorate our poles with glow sticks.

Having our family ski along all together with the poles a glow looks so fun.
We received many compliments on our poles.

We finished the race, our boots full of water. Wearing wool socks helped.
We walked back to our vehicle.
We changed our clothes and put on nice warm socks.
As we got ready to pull out of the make shift parking lot, we noticed the frost and melted out and our vehicle and sunk down. The adventure was not over, no way, we got stuck.

No worries, my boys to the rescue. We pushed our way out.

Now we were full of mud!

A Book Across the Bay for the Books!

Memories made with my boys!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Spring in February and Joy List Monday

 Spring in February

The weather in Wisconsin is going crazy. This past week in Northwest Wisconsin we had high temperatures of 55 degrees! 
Our family skied Saturday in a ski event across  Chequamegon Bay. Let me take that back, we water skied across Chequamegon Bay, or did we slosh across the Bay?
Stop by The River tomorrow and I will share our adventure.

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

 ♥ time with my husband and boys ... skiing / sloshing at night across Chequamegon Bay

 ♥ introduced to a new band by my boys ... we are a family who enjoys music
my boys had me listen to a new band they like
listening to the lyrics ... really listening to the lyrics
taking the next step and researching the band 

 ♥ trying a new to me local bakery

 ♥ road trips

 ♥ visiting with strangers 

 ♥  Spring in February

Winter can be long and brutal here in Northwest Wisconsin. This year all I can say is Winter as been different. Ice storms, temperatures from -20 degrees to highs in the 40's all in the same week. Very strange and as I type this post, it is 50 degrees and raining.

Most of our neighbors stay cozy in the Winter. We do not see each other again until Spring. That is except for me, because I am crazy and still walk my dog in all weather, because my dog demands it.  She would not have it any other way. 
Once Spring arrives our neighbors all come back out and we find out what all is new.

This week, as Spring Sprung, my husband and I spotted our neighbor JoAnn. She was driving down the street as we walked our dog. She slowed and asked "how Winter has been treating us?"

She was crying. JoAnn? What is wrong? I noticed the bandage on her hand. 
"I really should not be driving, I just got out of the hospital."
"What is going on?" I asked
"I have Cancer. One kidney is covered, one lung is covered, my neck has spots. Life she cried out!" 
I was shocked. The last I saw JoAnn was in early December. 
She received the news two days before Christmas. 
 The positive news, JoAnn has a wonderful husband. 
Her son and his wife are expecting their first and her first grandbaby in March.

No matter how bad things seem, deliberately letting your mind dwell on positive, thoughts will enable you to survive.
Charles Swindoll

"Okay, Carla, it is time to let your mind dwell on better things."
Go over the list and deliberately replace a worry with something honorable or pure or lovely, something worthy of praise. 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

It is Soup Weather ~ Taco Soup

Taco Soup
Roxanne Barone

2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 can whole kernel corn - drained
1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 envelope taco seasoning mix

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, brown beef and onion; drain.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, corn, beans and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 


Sour Cream
Corn Chips
 We love Taco Soup. It is a belly warming soup, perfect to get the chill out.
 I love to top mine with lots of extra cheese.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love ~ n ~ Sharing

Love ~n~ Sharing
In October I received a phone call  asking if I would like to help plan a Parenting Summit for February 11, 2017.
I discussed the idea with my husband. 
We listed the Pros and Cons...

I enjoy working with Julie, who was the head of the project.
I remember attending a parenting seminar when our boys were toddlers and how much it helped us.
I already was working on a project. Do I really need another?
Too many hens in the hen house ... ever hear that term?
Several times when I have worked on committees we have plenty of bossy women. Who never like your NEW idea of doing something.

After talking over the Pros and Cons, I decided to do it. Under one condition, I would NOT BE IN CHARGE of anything, I would be a helper.

Come December, I somehow was the LEADER of the Children's portion of the summit. 
This was during the week of Christmas that the news was passed on to me. 
Ring, Ring, Ring the telephone goes.
Me, "Hello"

Julie, "Ah, Carla, I just do not think I will not name any names  is doing the job. I really would feel much better if you would be the leader of the Children's portion of the summit."

Me to my husband "How did I get myself into this?" 

 Love ~n~ Sharing
I began to plan the day for the children. We would be providing child care for the kids while the parents attended the summit.
9:00am to 4:30pm 
I planned a themed day called Love ~n~ Sharing.

I was blessed with many people coming up to me and asking if they could help.  

Snacks and lunches were made by some lovely women.
Liz who has a Therapy Dog offered to come in with her dog, Abby, and do a meet and greet. She also read a story to the kids.
Two friends offered to do face painting.

The outline of our day.

Meet and Greet
Decorate take home bags. I came up with this idea, because as kids do crafts or have snacks they can not finish, like a bag of goldfish crackers, they like to have a place to put stuff to go home with. 
Story Time
More Games
Meet and Greet Abby the dog.
Face Painting
Scavenger Hunt
Movie and snack time
Homeward Bound
 Last week I worked on the finishing touches of the day. I am sharing a few photos of our day Saturday.

 Take Home Bags


 Scavenger Hunt

 Take Home Treats


I was blessed with a great group of volunteers to help make the day. 
My husband and both boys helped me.
 Friends and others offered to help and share their special talents.

As the last kids left on Saturday. All of us were exhausted. We all looked at each other and yelled "We did it!" 

As we enter the second month of 2017 I am happy to report, I survived a New Challenge.
Agreeing to help with the summit, to being asked to lead the children's portion.

 How about you? Have you had this happen to you? You agreed to help with something, but some how you became the leader?

How do you decided what to volunteer for?

Do you ever have trouble saying "No" ? 


Friday, February 3, 2017

On the Road Friday ~ Badlands ~ South Dakota

We are on the road today, we are off to South Dakota.
In September 2016 our family explored Badlands National Park.

 Deep canyons, towering spires, and flat topped tables can all be found among the Badlands buttes.
 The emptiness of the plains, the beauty of the Pinnacles and the mystery of the land.
I fell in love with the Badlands. For someone who loves growing flowers, you would wonder why? My husband was so surprised at how much I fell in love with the Badlands. 
I think it was the strangeness about it. I had never experienced such land.
 We did a four mile hike. We started on the Castle Trail and then ventured on to the Medicine Root Trail. The terrain was very different from what we are use to in Wisconsin.
It was also very warm and dry.
 Look into the shadow and you will see the soil.
When it rains or gets just a little moisture, it turns to slick mud.
I wrote Badlands with my walking stick into the cracked soil.
Can you see it?
 As we hiked along, I found this little flower. 
A brave yellow flower, determined to bloom in this hard land.

Some Valentine kisses back in September!

Thank you for coming along with me. I will be sharing the wildlife we saw during our Badlands adventures and the sunset over the pinnacles in future On the Road Friday posts.

Wishing you all a great weekend and new week ahead.
I will be taking the week off from The River.



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hello February ~ It is the Hodgepodge

Valentine Paper Craft

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

 1. Can you believe it's the end of January? What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?

No, I can not believe we have a month already in the books for 2017!

My best day of January 2017 was the 1st, we celebrated Christmas with our family.

 2. What sounds make up the background noise in your life?

Teenage boy sounds.

 3. I read on the Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now. They are-

anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead)

Which thing on the list do you most need to drop? Are you trying or will you try?

I will be honest, I struggle with the notion I need to be perfect. I have been doing better about not beating myself up when I make a mistake. I continue to work on it.

 4. What is sacred to you?

My family.

 5. January is National Oatmeal month. Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?
With worms of course! 
I did this to the boys for April Fools. 
Yes, our family of four enjoys oatmeal. I like to add maple syrup, raisins and walnuts.
6. What feelings does twilight stir up in you?
  Go chase and catch lighting bugs. 

7. Something you're looking forward to next month?

GET READY for another frozen trek across Lake Superior from Ashland to Washburn at the 21st annual Book Across the Bay, to be held on Saturday, February 18, 2017!

We will ski across Lake Superior at night, by the light of candles leading the way. We start in Ashland and ski to Washburn. It is beautiful. 
One year someone made a huge snow sculpture of a dragon. They released Chinese lanterns from the dragons mouth. It is always an adventure and we are excited to see what 2017 brings.

 8. Insert your own random thought here. 

A few more fun paper Valentine crafts to make with your sweet Valentine.