About The River

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Little Garden That Could Hosts a Tour

The Little Garden That Could held its first garden tour this summer. My friend Andrea works for Day Break. We went out for lunch in February and chatted about work, empty nesting and more. During that conversation I asked if Day Break would be able to come visit our garden. How exciting to learn that yes, Day Break could come for a tour. I planned on August, because the garden is in full bloom and harvest is in full gear. We also made Take and Make bouquets. Everyone went home with a bouquet.

Below explains what Day Break is all about in the county I live in, Barron County, Wisconsin.


Adult Day Programs

Adult Day Programs Provide a Break

Everybody needs some time off. People with memory loss and their care partners can improve their quality of life and personal connections with a daytime program specifically developed for their needs. Individuals with memory loss take part in supervised activities, and care partners experience a much-needed break from daily responsibilities.

Programs provide a safe, fun, loving environment, where people are treated with dignity and respect. Activities may include things like:
• Socializing
• Daily discussions
• Exercise
• Singing
• Outings and field trips
• Shared meals
• Games
• Hobbies

Why participate?

Activity and involvement stimulate brain health and can provide additional benefits for people with memory loss and confusion, including helping people live at home longer. Care partners can relax and recharge for a few hours, confident in the safety and security of their loved one. 
Programs may provide additional support through family consultations, lending libraries and more.

I’m taking care of a person who thinks they’re fine. How do I handle denial?
Individuals with memory loss may not recognize the progression of their disease, and it’s often hard to discuss. Expert ADRC staff can help- they have years of experience with the challenges of helping a loved one get the help and support a day program provides.

How much does it cost?
Attendees pay a daily fee; some may qualify for help with payments. 

How do I find a program? What about a ride?
Program options vary between counties and include Daybreak in Barron County, Happy Day Club in Washburn County and Ladysmith Adult Day Services. 

We prepared by weeding the gardens, raking any debris off the lawn, spray painted a few tree roots that we have in the shaded area of our yard, mowing and trim work all done two days before the tour.
On the day of the tour my husband and I went over to our friends home to pick flowers. Charles and Kathy donated extra flowers for the Take and Make bouquets.
My husband, both our boys and dear friend Judy helped with the tour. It was a HOT day, it hit 100 degrees by the afternoon. We had ice water and lawn chairs in the shade available.
This day was one of the highlights of my summer. As you look at the photos you will see the smiles. The time spent in the garden was special. My favorite was a gentleman gravitated to one of our sunflowers, he just held it. It was not easy to get at, so this was so very special to see how the sunflower helped him come to life. In fact we learned later that he had not said much as of late or responded to much. He did at the garden tour. That sunflower made the difference. 

 The Take and Make Bouquet Table

We Are Ready 

Here They Come

Making Bouquets

I love this photo!!

The above fella was the one who loved the sunflower. He chose a sunflower for his bouquet and some broom corn. The sunflower made him so happy.

It was a wonderful day. The best part is they want to come back next year. We are thinking to do a different time of year or season, for something is always happening in the garden.
Thank You, Day Break, for coming to visit 
The Little Garden That Could.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Eggplant Rollatini

Here is the new to us eggplant recipe I was raving about that my husband made for me a few weeks ago. Jeremy found the recipe at the kitchn website click here.

This recipe is time consuming, so you will want to plan for that, if you have the patience, you will be saying "Seconds Please!"  this is so good. 

I will share the photos and share the recipe after the photos. We do substitute the spinach with kale.


How To Make Eggplant Rollatini

Makes 4 to 6 servings

What You Need


  • 2 medium eggplants, about 1 pound each
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves
  • Equipment
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Chef's knife and cutting board
  • Mandoline
  • Cooling rack
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Medium bowl
  • Spatula
  • 9x13-inch baking dish


  1. Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the eggplants: Trim the stems from the eggplants. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. You should have about 12 slices.
  3. Par-cook the eggplant: Lay a single layer of the eggplant slices on each of the parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until pliable, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the par-cooked slices to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining slices for a total of 2 batches.
  4. Mix the filling: Combine the ricotta, Pecorino, egg, garlic, and pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Fold in the spinach.
  5. Fill and roll: Pour 1/2 cup of the marinara into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Place 4 of the eggplant slices on a work surface. Spread each slice with 2 tablespoons of the filling, leaving about 1-inch uncovered at the top. Roll each slice from the bottom up towards the uncovered portion. Place the rollatinis seam-side down in the baking dish and repeat until all of the eggplant slices are filled and rolled.
  6. Top the rollatinis: Pour the remaining marinara evenly over the rollatinis and sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella.
  7. Bake: Bake until the cheese is melted and the rollatinis are tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before sprinkling with the herbs and serving.

Recipe Notes

Grated Parmesan can be substituted for the Pecorino Romano, if desired.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 And the winner is ..

And the winner of the Autumn Color Giveaway is Ginny from Let Your Light Shine I am sure she will be out snapping lovely photos of the Autumn color in her area of the U.S. of A.

Congratulations Ginny!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

She gave us one last story ..

 She was my first dog. 
Her name was Molly. 
We walked many miles.
She went canoeing and rafting with me.
She would garden with me.
She would snuggle with me.
She would listen to me .. when I vented out loud with no one else around.

She gave me stories to share on The River.

She was 13 1/2 years old.
She truly was this girls best friend.

My Molly
♥ thank you for the memories ♥

I recently shared a story about Molly, click the above link to read.

A Faithful Dog
A faithful dog will play with you and laugh with you or cry.
He will gladly starve to stay with you and never reason why.
When you are feeling out of sorts somehow he will understand. 
He will watch you with his shinning eyes and try to lick your hand. 
His blind, implicit faith in you is matched by his great love 
the kind that all of us should have in the Master up above.
When everything is said and done I guess this isn't odd for when you spell DOG backwards you get the name of God.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

♥ Autumn Color Giveaway ♥

♥ It is that time here in Wisconsin. It is time to pack a picnic and head off for an Autumn color drive. ♥
"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

To celebrate I am hosting an Autumn Color Giveaway ..
napkins for your picnic
fun autumn cookie cutters
and a 31 tote to pack your camera and goodies in for your day out capturing natures beauty.

To enter please share your favorite about Autumn .. for those who are not able to comment below, please leave an email to be entered in the giveaway.
I will pick the winner the old fashioned way by pulling a name from a hat. I will announce the winner on Friday's post, September 21st.

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree."
- Emily Brontë

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Midwest Boy and Hurricane Florence and a Little Crafting

Leinenkugel's .. Bucky Badger .. Wisconsin National Guard
Hello Friends,
My plan was to post a new eggplant recipe.

Here I am giving you another update on Sam. Never did I think of a Hurricane as we prepared to have Sam head off to Basic.
Sunday was the last time we actually spoke to Sam. He was able to call and say goodbye to us, share his mailing address with us and off he went on to Basic. 

On Monday morning at 2am in the morning Sam called one last time to say they were heading out to Basic. " Love you mom, see you at graduation!"


We are Midwest folks. Tornado's are in our vocabulary, not hurricane. I have no idea. I have been looking at the map, tracking the storm and praying. Our nation does not need another storm.

On Wednesday the National News had on that South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia were in a State of Emergency with some counties needing to evacuate.  

Fort Jackson is located two hours from the coast of South Carolina. 
I started to wonder .. alright .. worry .. just what will Fort Jackson do?

I saw that Fort Jackson had cancelled all events for the upcoming graduating class for this weekend.  I also read a report from the Commander on Base explaining what preparations where being made for the soldiers, citizens and trainees on Base.

Wednesday night we received a call and text from Sam. 
I appreciate the military letting the trainees call parents and give us an update on  preparations for the hurricane.


So this Midwestern boy sends his parents the above text ..

and all the necessary preparations have been made for us to survive.

Yep.. that is my boy!

We are praying for all in the eye of storm.

 And a Little Crafting ..
We visited a Military Surplus store and I found the following patches. The following patches are the ones that Sam will have on his Wisconsin National Guard Uniform. 
I wanted to make up something for family to put on the fridge, use for a bookmark or put on the bulletin board to remember to pray for Sam.

 Thank you for your prayers.
Thank you for letting me share these little updates with you. I am blessed with this world of blog friends. I appreciate you letting me share my stories with you.


Friday, September 7, 2018

Update on Sam .. thank you for thinking of us ..

Thank you to all that have sent best wishes our way as our son Sam ventured off to Basic Training this week.  The adventure for Sam began on Wednesday when storms in the Midwest were causing all kinds of flight delays and cancellations.

Wednesday morning we headed off to Eau Claire to meet with Sam's Drill Sergeant and receive a brief of what will happen as Sam heads into training.
Sam's flight was to leave at 1pm. We said our goodbyes and waited to watch the plan take off. The flight was delayed to 3:30 due to weather in Chicago. We had a few more hours with Sam. 

He did depart for Chicago at 3:30, once in Chicago, his flight to Columbia was cancelled. He stayed over night in Chicago. The USO helps all military and Sam was able to get a room for the night and a good meal. The next morning he flew out of Chicago on his way to Washington DC to Columbia, South Carolina. 

Once he is at base, we will receive a packet in the mail letting us know Sam's address to send him mail, information on graduation details and more.

Thank you again to all of you for the encouragement during this new season for me and for our son. We do appreciate you all.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

How Do You Cozy?

My blog friend Heather at Our Life in a Click  joins up in TBB asks ... each start of a new month a new set of questions. Here we go... 

How Do You Cozy?

1. Slippers .. No .. I wear cozy socks inside my Birkenstock's. 

2. What is your favorite blanket?
My mom made me an afghan, the pattern is called Fisherman's. It is dark blue. It is perfect for snuggling in to read, nap or watch t.v.

3. Thin or Thick Pillow? Thin pillow with cooling memory foam for me.

4. Favorite warm beverage?  A warm cup of mint tea after dinner.

5. Robe: Yes or No? Robe after the shower and getting ready for the day. 

6. Favorite Comfort Snack Food?  Popcorn

7. Movies or T.V. Series Binge?  T.V. Series binge as of late.. catching up with The Crown.

8. Actual P.J.'s or Leggings? P.J.'s for me!

9. Do you cozy up on the couch or a chair? The couch, in the corner of our sectional.

10. Hoodie, T-shirt or Sweater?  Sweater!

How do you Cozy?


Monday, September 3, 2018

Joy List Monday and a story about Molly

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

 ♥ kitty kisses .. this girl above loves to snuggle when I sit down to read .. the only problem is sometimes she is jealous of the book and she will lay on the book to keep me from reading
petting her is top of the agenda she says

 ♥ butterflies in the garden

♥ receiving some fun snail mail .. I will share soon 

♥ listening to some fun baseball games .. the Brewers are still fighting for Wild Card

♥ good neighbors .. that brings us to my story about Molly

This is our dog Molly, she is 13 years old. She has dog dementia and she is deaf. All of our neighbors know our routine. We take Molly for a walk just about everyday. We take the same route everyday. On Monday I leashed Molly with her harness and went to take some trash to the trash can. Molly was on the deck when I took the trash out, but my mistake was I opened the back gate. With her harness on, the gate open, Miss Molly thought it was time to go for the walk, without her humans. She trotted along our path, each neighbor wondering what was going on. I was looking for Molly after taking the trash as my next door neighbor came running and saying "Carla, she is on the walk, she just turned the corner."  Off I went, sure enough she just continued to trot on. Each neighbor I passed that was outside encouraged me she was doing fine and she is on the route. I caught up to her and hooked the leash on her harness and we continued, she had no idea I hooked her, she kept walking. We did our usual route and as we made our way home, all the neighbors were happy we were together again and we all had a little chuckle. I learned a lesson. I will never unlock the gate! When Molly is ready for a walk, she is ready for a walk no matter how old she is.