About The River

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year
 Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas season and a Happy New Year.
Sam will be home for Christmas. What a special Christmas gift for our family.

I want to thank you all for sharing my journey of having our first born fly from the nest. Praying with me while he was in Basic Training and continuing to pray as he finishes his AIT training.

Your friendship makes the world a better place. I thank you all for it.

Sending my love and I will be back in 2019!

Enjoy the Season!


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It is a Hard Candy Christmas

When boys decorate cookies.. do you see the skeletons drawn on the cookies?

It is Wednesday and that means it is time for the Medley.
Terri asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1.  Wednesday, December 19, 2018, is National Hard Candy Day! So the first question today is to ask if you enjoy hard candy, especially the kind we usually see during this festive time of year?  What is your favorite?  Which hard candy brings up the best memories for you if any?

I have not had any festive hard candy in years. It just is not something we seem to buy for ourselves and no one gifts it to us. Ha!
Peppermint hard candy is my favorite.
I do not have any hard candy memories. I do have a memory about a Hard Candy Song.

I remember hearing this song as a young girl, not really understanding the lyrics at all. This is about candy? Ha. Ha.  As the years have rolled by I now completely understand what Dolly is sharing with us.

 2.  Holiday shopping!  Are you finished? If you could spend an entire day in just one store, which one would it be and why?
 I am finished shopping. I do have wrapping left to do.
Woodman's Market is where I'd spend the day. 
I love this grocery store.  It is a large grocery. What I enjoy most about Woodman's is it highlights Wisconsin products and farms.


3.  What holiday dessert describes you and why?
Peppermint Ice Cream

 I hope the people who know me or come in contact with me come away feeling happy, refreshed and ready to give it our all to make this world a better place.

 4.  What is your least favorite holiday side dish?
Deviled Eggs

5.  Now be real!! There is one on almost every tree. What is the ugliest tree ornament you have ever seen?
I do not think I have one.
My husband on the other hand hates my dear sweet girl.
 I rescued her from going in the trash.

  His favorite ornament.

 6.  Tell us something random about your week!!

Penelope is counting the days down to Christmas! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Dirt for Christmas

 Dirt for Christmas

That is what Sam is getting for Christmas.

 During our time at Fort Jackson I scooped up some of the dirt and placed it in a ziplock bag.
When you sit down and listen to what these young men and women go through to pass Basic Training, honestly it is amazing!
Sam shared about the ants. The Southern states have aggressive ants. When the trainees had to do push ups or other PT outside, Sam learned real quick to look for ant houses.

This dirt was where they got dirty, where they learned to defend our nation and be the best they can be. I wanted Sam to have some of that Fort Jackson dirt to have forever, to show his grandkids this is where it all started.

  I have his B-2-13 3RD PLT
photo wrapped up for him along with his dirt.

 I will share the bulletin here and I will share photos of the ceremony in a future post.

I think Sam will get a chuckle out of the Fort Jackson Dirt.
It holds many memories for him. 

Victory Starts Here!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Spiders and Ghosts

Hello Friends,
Do you remember my post back in October sharing about the reputation Fort Jackson, South Carolina has with black widow spiders and recluse spiders. 
Click on the link below to catch up if needed.

We stayed in a cabin at the Weston Lake Recreation Area.

I know this photo looks like I took it after one too many beers. I was not drunk. I think it was the amount of time in a vehicle that made me crooked. Fort Jackson, South Carolina is a long ways away from Northwest Wisconsin. Here is our sweet little cabin. I am happy to report I did not see a black widow or recluse spider during our stay here.

I do have a story about both spiders.

 Sam shared that one of his battle buddies was using the latrine and was bit by a recluse spider!

Sam and his battle buddies killed three recluse spiders and one black widow while training. The black widow was spotted by another battle buddy and the rest of the guys came over and all decided it best to squish it.  I will tell you after Sam shared all these lovely spider stories with me I was looking up, down, under and over for any sign of spiders.

Thankfully, I did not see any spiders. Just great big crickets. I figured that was a good sign, the spiders had not made it to my area of Fort Jackson if the crickets were still living. 

As for my report on Confederate ghosts. Not a one! I even went out for a a stroll at about 9:00pm and I did not see any sightings. Then again, maybe 9:00pm is not late enough for ghosts.

As we explored Weston Lake and went on a hike around the property I came across this sign.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It is a 12/12 Medley

It is Wednesday and it is time for the Wednesday Medley.
Terri asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1.  National Ding-a-Ling Day is observed across the United States each year on December 12.  Ding-a-Lings on this day call the people they haven’t heard from in a while.  It may be an old classmate, co-worker or neighbor from years ago.  Or perhaps a call will go out to the child who used to mow the grass during the summer.  How about that couple who carpooled for soccer. There are all sorts of people in our lives who manage to slip out of our lives who would love to hear the ding-a-ling of a call from you or me.  So tell us who you want to call today!

As I was starting my Christmas cards, I thought of a couple that we lost touch with when they moved to Indiana. Just yesterday we received a Christmas card and letter with an update on how they are doing.
I now have Bill and Cindy's new address so I will Ding ~ a  ~ Ling them this Holiday season.

2.  Each year on the 12th day of December, people across the United States recognize National Poinsettia Day.  I am including this "National Day" too because my neighbor's poinsettia from last year is blooming beside their house!!  Have you ever tried to plant a poinsettia outside?

WoW! I just want to say how fun to have a poinsettia bloom outside.
No, I have not tried to plant a poinsettia outside.

3.  Do you believe in Bigfoot?  What size shoe do you wear and do you have trouble shoe shopping?

Wisconsin has reports of Bigfoot sightings. In fact my hometown, Phillips, Wisconsin, was featured on a T.V. show all about Bigfoot.

I wear a size 6 1/2 shoe. I love Keen shoes, they are my go to shoes when I am out and about shoe shopping. They do come in many fun styles.

4.  What is one thing you refuse to share?

My husband .. LOL .. I have been known to hide Kit Kat bars in my desk drawer. 
 5.  Are you finding that this Christmas is stressful? More or less than last year?  

 I am feeling right on track for Christmas.
My cat Penelope on the other hand seems to be angry at Santa.

The galvanized tub you see, that is our Christmas tree. This is the third year we placed our tree in the galvanized tub, I just love the look.

6.  Tell us something random about your week so far!

 It is my birthday today!
One of my favorite birthday's was my 12/12/12 birthday!
Let's celebrate, have a cupcake.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Decorating for Christmas Outdoors

Take a peek at these pine cones. I picked the pine cones up while on some  of our hikes in Georgia. The pine cones where all closed up and tight when I picked them up on the Georgia forest floor.  When I got home I set them out on a table in the basement. They slowly began to pop open. Yes,Wisconsin has pine cones, but there is something really cool about how big and fat these Georgia pine cones get. They also have a sharp point on the tips. Ouch!
I hot glued the pine cone to a willow branch. I used the pine cones in my outdoor Christmas decorating. 

 Pine, birch, pine cones and gold twirls.

 A pop of red.

 And now lets peek at the greenhouse.

 A little tree in the greenhouse with solar lights.

Jackfrost has been visiting the greenhouse.

Looking out at the greenhouse in the dark of night.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Before Winter Set In

 Before Winter set in, we took an afternoon for an afternoon fishing trip.
Our youngest son enjoys to fish. 

 This day was a perfect Autumn day. The color was fantastic, the weather was just right and the time the three of us had together was just what we needed. 
My two boys are best of buddies. When Sam left we felt a bit empty. We keep on doing and going. Sometimes that is  just what you have to do so you don't think too much about that empty spot.

This day of fishing was just what Atticus needed. 

We caught some nice fish.
We enjoyed the last warm day of Autumn.
We made a campfire. We cooked hotdogs over the fire and  baked beans.
We enjoyed our hot chocolate we brought in our  old time thermos while cooking s'mores. 

 It was a full day out in nature. 
Time to be still, time to listen to what our heart was telling us.
I know we all needed this day. We all were adjusting.

When we arrived home that evening, Atticus shared " Mom, thank you for today. It was just what I needed." He gave me a big hug. Atticus shared with me that he missed Sam. It was really hard to not talk to him or hang out with him. 
We keep moving on, we keep pressing forward.. this is why this day was so special. It was a day that life slowed down. We really listened and  I  think all three of us heard it " it is going to be alright." We all heard it in different ways.
For me, the mom, I heard,  " Sam prepared for this, this is what he wants to do and he is in good hands."
For Atticus it was something different, but it was something, because he opened up a little to share with me he was missing Sam, he also knew all would be alright.  

Watching them reconnect during our recent time with Sam melted my heart. The bond these two brothers have is something I can not put into words.
They acted like little boys again, wrestling and playing tricks. They acted like grown up men, talking about the serious challenges Sam had to take on during Basic. They acted like brothers and best of friends as they caught up with life that they had missed with each other the last 10 weeks.

As I share this little story of Before Winter Set In.. I know this Christmas season can be hard on many. It is a time of busy, it is a time of sadness for some with missing family members who have passed or have moved far away. It can be a stressful time of year. In all honesty it should not be. It should be a special time of year. Remember to take a deep breath, get outside in nature if you can and take time to listen.



Tuesday, December 4, 2018

TBB Asks December ~ Holiday Edition

 1. Candy Canes? Yes or No?  
2. Christmas morning early riser or sleep in?
Early riser .. coffee and homemade caramel rolls!

3. Did you shop on Black Friday? Yes or No? 
No, I start to decorate on Black Friday.
Ho Ho Ho! 

4. Christmas Tree up in November? Yes or No?

 But the tree is not decorated, just lights on the tree.
We are waiting for this guy to come home on the 21st to decorate!

  5. Do you get Holiday ideas from Pinterest? Yes or No?
 6. Christmas Glam or Ugly Sweater?
Ho Ho Ho
My kind of glam. 
 7. Stocking Stuffers: Wrapped or Unwrapped?
8. Traditional or Modern Christmas Songs?
 9. Fruitcake? Yes or No? 
 10. Is your Christmas Shopping Finished? Yes or No?
I have some homemade gifts to finish. All store bought gifts are purchased. Wrapping.. well that is not even close.
 11. Is there Snow in December where you live?
 12. Classic Show: A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph?
A Charlie Brown Christmas!


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Honk! Honk! It is the Wednesday Medley! Beep! Beep!

My husband hates this sweet ornament. I rescued her from going in the trash several years ago when a coworker brought in a bunch of decorations she was tossing. I can not wait to get her out and put her on the tree for all to see. Hee Hee!

It is Wednesday! 
It is time for the Wednesday Medley.
Terri asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1.  On November 28th, 1995, President Bill Clinton ended the 55 MPH nationwide speed limit that began in 1974 as an energy saving measure during the Mid-East oil embargo.  If you are old enough to remember this (I sure am) did it make you happy?  Do you have a heavy foot when driving or does 55 MPH sound good to you?
Most of the major highways here in Wisconsin have bumped up the speed limit to 70 MPH! At first I thought they were crazy for doing so because we have lots of whitetail deer in Wisconsin.
Now, I do go 70 MPH or faster .. shh ..  on rural roads I will take it easy because of the photo below. 
In my neck of the woods in Wisconsin, road crews do not pick up dead deer. The photo below was taken in Tennessee during last weeks road trip.

Road Kill Pick Up in Tennessee 

2.  You are home alone on a rainy/snowy Sunday afternoon.  What Christmas movie will you watch?
White Christmas
 3.  What is something you have tried that you will never try again?

You do not want to be Bean Boozled!
My boys played this on me!
4.  Today is National French Toast Day!!  Will you have some?  Do you like French Toast?

I love French Toast! My husband makes the best French Toast. I may ask him to make me some Saturday Morning.
5.  The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center will be lighted today, as will the one at the White House in Washington, D.C.  Do you have your tree up and is it lighted?  Have you ever been in New York City or Washington, D.C. to see the trees all lit up during the holidays?

We plan to put our tree up Thursday evening. We will just put the lights on our tree. Our son who is in the military will be coming home for Christmas. He asked that we save the decorating of the tree to do with him.
I have not visited the trees in New York City or Washington D.C.
I did visit Chicago all decorated for Christmas. Wow, what a lovely sight.
6.  Tell us something random about this week of yours.

Last Sunday we helped our son move from Fort Jackson, South Carolina to Fort Gordon, Georgia for his start of classes.
Notice that green grass, we did because our grass is white this time of year in Wisconsin. Georgia was lovely. We did some exploring and I will share about that in a future post.
A little update on the greenhouse. I planted some greens, they are popping up. My greenhouse is not heated, the sun does the trick. I will share more about my greens growing in December.