About The River

Monday, September 16, 2019

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

 ♥ continuing to enjoy fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers from the garden

♥ taking a walk with my son Sam at dusk and watching the moon come up

♥ trying a new cookie recipe

♥ visiting one of my favorite Farm Stores

 ♥ the start of cozy nights .. as it is getting dark here by 8:00 pm

I will be heading off on an Autumn Getaway this week. 
I will be back soon.



Friday, September 13, 2019

Garden Angel

Hello Friends,
The photo above was taken in 2014. Goodness, can that  photo really be from 2014? Has that much time gone by? If you have been a long time reader of The River, you know about my garden mentor Marv. I met Marv back in 2010. We became fast friends and once he found out I enjoyed gardening, and I found out that he enjoyed gardening, well that was that, plant people!

Over the years Marv has shared his garden knowledge with me. We gardened together at the Community Gardens. I learned so much from him during those years.

He also played a few jokes on us.

He hung an orange on our tomato plant.

Marv hanging HUGE plastic bugs in our tomato patch.

Marv travels to Texas each November. He usually calls us after we get a big snowstorm just to rub in how he is sitting on the beach soaking in the sun.

So we made our own jokes up. We gave him these grapefuit snowballs when he returned one April. We did not want him to miss out on Wisconsin snow.
We rolled snowballs and colored them with food coloring and placed them in the freezer until our dear friend came back to Wisconsin.
Hurricane Harvey washed away his cabin, he was not able to return to Texas the winter of 2017. 
November of 2018 repairs were complete on Marv's cabin and at age 90 he drove down to Rockport, Texas and enjoyed the winter.  We had a winter to remember in 2019 with negative temperatures dipping down to -50 degrees. We would receive those phone calls asking how we were surviving the winter as he was sitting on the beach eating a fresh grapefruit.

The years continue to fly by. Marv saw Sam graduate and head into the Wisconsin National Guard. Marv is a Korean veteran. When Sam returned from training this May, Marv enjoyed sharing Army stories with Sam. 
During the summer Marv got very sick. He lost 17 pounds and it took him several weeks to gain back his strength. This past week he called me and asked if he could pop over to chat.

"I want to give you my garden angel, Carla. My garden days are coming to an end and this garden angel has been good to me and I want to pass this angel on to you."

Sam and I went to visit Marv this week. After our visit Sam shared with me, "Mom, I am worried about Marv, he just seems to have really declined this summer. I know you shared with me that you felt he was starting to decline, but I did not believe you until today, today I see it."

Marv taught me tips and tricks about gardening. He also taught me life lessons. He saw terrible stuff in Korea. He stood by both of his wives as they each got ill and passed away. He once shared with me that at one time he was so sad he was not sure if he could go on. Then he thought of his other family and fought back that sadness and continued on.

Take time to say "I Love You" to your family and friends today.



Monday, September 9, 2019

A differnt kind of Garden Tour

 Some of you may remember that we hosted Daybreak at our Little Garden That Could last summer, below is the post I shared about our first garden tour.

Well, earlier this year Daybreak asked if they could come again for a tour in 2019. They had so much fun last year, they wanted to come back.
I said "yes"!

Well, wouldn't you know the day we planned to have the tour, our weather was not the best. 
We contacted our local Cameron Community Center and asked if we could bring Daybreak and The Little Garden that Could to the Center.
They said "yes"!

We set up tables and chairs. We shared our flowers and vegetables. 
 And we made bouquets for each participant to take home.


Plan B worked. We thank the Cameron Community Center for allowing us to bring the garden inside for Daybreak to enjoy.

Also a big Thank You to our friends Charles and Kathy who donated flowers for the bouquets.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

I started in June ...

I wanted to share with you all about my new part  time job.
Many of you know for the past 2 1/2 years I delivered Meals on Wheels part time. I enjoyed this and I shared many of the inspiring people  I met here at The River.

In May, I saw that our Barron County Daybreak program had a part time position available. 
I did enjoy delivering meals. I did not enjoy driving in the winter. I had a rural route, my route was 90 miles a day. I was feeling like I wanted to make a change.
 I was excited to see the job posting for Daybreak. I do enjoy working with elderly people. 

Daybreak is an adult day program for those 60 or better with cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

I applied for the position.   I was called in for an interview and I got the position.  
I began working part time for Daybreak in June.

The day is structured like a school day. The participants arrive at 9:00 in the morning. We have a morning snack and coffee. Each day we have a speaker and a show and tell. We have music and exercise. We enjoy a lunch together and an afternoon game of bingo, trivia or other. The participants head for home at 2:00 in the afternoon.
We also go on field trips. 
We visited Irving Zoo and Park. Attended the County Fair and a trip to the Museum. 

I have enjoyed working for Daybreak the past few months. I enjoy older people and all that they have to share. You get attached to the participants quickly. I have come to understand each ones likes and dislikes.  It also is heartbreaking to watch a disease take memories away. When they want to share but just can not. Or get frustrated because they are so confused. My goal is to make them smile each day I work and know that someone cares for them.

"Your compassion for others shines through every time you become aware of another person's need and respond in some way. Of course you can not take care of the whole world, but do take the "love your neighbor" command seriously and you help everyone you possibly can.
Someone needs you today."


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Moon Flower

 A new plant for me this year has caused some discussion.
My friend Kris at Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies
gifted me some seeds a couple years ago. This spring I planted some of the seeds, I did not have a spot in the garden in years past.

Moon Flower
Moon Flower bloom in the evening. 

So what is all the discussion about?
It ends up the Moon Flower is highly poisonous.
Read the below article.

I warned my family about the Moon Flower. I really did not have to worry because our family is not real big on eating flowers or greens with out asking if it is safe to do so. At this time I will give out the big shout out "Moon Flowers are poisonous!" In fact they have a nick name the devil's trumpet. So do read up on the moon flower before deciding to plant in your garden.

I like the moon flower and I have plans to plant it again in the 2020 season in a new place in the garden so we can enjoy the beauty even more in the evenings.

My neighbor purchased a purple moon flower at Winter Greenhouse

How about you? Have you heard about the moon flower?

Monday, August 26, 2019

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

 ♥ watching our one and only watermelon grow

 ♥ tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes 

soaking in the last of summer.. 
as the colors in the garden turn to more oranges, yellows and purples

 ♥ celebrating a 70th birthday
 ♥ 50th wedding anniversary

Enjoy your week my friends.

This week Sam starts college classes. 
Next week Atticus starts his senior year of high school.

Labor Day Weekend is fast approaching, we are spending time with family and hanging on to summer!

I will be back soon!


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Making August Memories

 Last week was a week full of  garden activities. 
The Twilight Garden Tour is the North Country Master Gardeners BIG event. 
The above photo is my friend Carol kicking off the event.
We had the following line up for the event..

We will have speakers from University of Wisconsin including Brian Hudelson (Director of the UW-Madison Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic), Brian Smith (UW-River Falls Professor of Horticulture), and P.J. Liesch (Director of the UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab) speaking about plant diseases, insects, and vegetable gardening.  There will also be displays and demonstrations including how to create a Monarch Waystation, getting your garden soil tested, wine tasting, and vegetable tastings.  The Spooner Garden Club, Barron County Master Gardener Volunteers, Cooperative Weed Management, Friends of the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area, Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary, and our Kids in the Garden program will be among the organizations and programs represented.   

 The above photo is my partner in crime with putting on the Herb Demonstration. We had herb salts, herb sugar and herb infused water to try. 
I started some basil plants around July 4th and made up little pots of them to give away.
That is me in the below photo. 
It was a great evening, we had great weather and a fantastic turn out, the last I heard we were at 280 people! My garden group is a fun bunch of people. Not everything is perfect but we all work together to make it the best event we can. We were so pleased with how things went this season.

I enjoyed attending a Garden Tea last week as well. The month of August is time to show off our gardens, as everything is growing strong and many plants are blooming. And we have lots of fresh goodness to eat.
The presentation was on Herbs of the 18th Century, it was very interesting.

 My boys enjoyed a camp trip to my favorite lake, Lake Superior.
They sent me a photo of the view they had out the tent door.

 Sam brought me back some treasure, my favorite kind, beach glass and special rocks from the shores of my favorite lake.

  I found this acorn on my morning walk.. Autumn is whispering "Hello"

 This little guy was floating in the whiskey barrel pond with my fish.

"Summer was our best season: It was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat..."
 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Whiskey Barrel

 I always wanted to have a pond in our yard or garden. My husband and I did our best in thinking of how we could put one in. In doing our research we realized a real pond was not in our budget at this time.  I  recently attended an Adding Water to Your Garden workshop. I learned you do not need to go big to add a water feature to your garden.
 You do not need pumps and electricity. You do not need to dig huge holes and have liners.

All you need is a whiskey barrel or other fun containers to have a water feature.

 Creating a little water feature in the garden cost us a total of $95.00!

List of items..
whiskey barrel
galvanized bucket
raised bed garden soil
pond plant
 I have added some more plants after I took these photos. I also added a lantern. I am looking for the perfect twinkle lights to add, I do need them to be solar if anyone has any good tips.
 The plants I started from seed or divided from plants in my other gardens.

The log fairy gardens I created and planted succulents with in the log.

I found the turtle shell on a spring walk. The turtle must have froze during our cold, cold winter. The shell was floating in the lake we take our daily walk along.

My boys helped me build the rock area of the garden. They also sifted out some gravel we had from another project for the bottom layer of the pond. I added some blue marbles, a pond plant and fish.

I am enjoying going out each day to check on my fish. We also had several comments from friends who have stopped by to see the garden, " how fun to have a little pond". I guess that would be right on since our garden is The Little Garden That Could.

Have a blessed weekend my friends.
I have seen some sightings of Autumn in the air in my neck of the woods. How about you?


Monday, August 12, 2019

In the Garden

 Hello Friends,
The above garden is one of the gardens I helped design at the Teaching and Display Gardens with my Master Gardener Volunteer group.

The above is the Sunflower Patch that my friend Sheila and I designed.  Sheila's mom is our sweet model in the photo. 
We thought it would be fun to create a sunflower patch for families to take photos in among the sunflowers. The sunflowers are just starting to open in the photos.

This week we will be hosting our Twilight Garden Tour at the gardens.

 Annual Twilight Tour in the Teaching and Display Garden Tuesday, August 13, 4:00 to Twilight   Features guest speakers, demonstrations, displays, vegetable tastings

I also have two other garden events I will be attending and helping with this week.

So with all that this week I will be in the garden.. I will be back soon my friends.
Have a great week and come to the Twilight Tour if you are local or want to take a road trip to Wisconsin.

 Photo Opportunity in the Sunflower Patch

Say "Sunflower"

For more information about the Teaching and Display Gardens 

Visit the Teaching & Display Gardens


780 Orchard Lane
Spooner, WI  54801

Orchard Lane is located 1.5 miles east of Spooner on State Highway 70 or 1/2 mile west of Highways 70/53 interchange.
The Teaching and Display Gardens  are a joint effort between the Spooner Agriculture Research Station, operated by the University of Wisconsin - Madison College of Agriculture and Life Science, the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension and area UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.

Open to the public for self-guided tours during day light hours seven days a week mid-May through mid-September.

Friday, August 9, 2019

School.dle Doodles ~ Dreams Come True

Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ben_carson_490146?src=t_dreams
 Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.
Ben Carson

Dear friends of ours have started to raise Goldendoodles. This is a dream come true. With ups and downs as all dreams give us,  pressing on and not giving up when finding a mate for Winnie became a huge issue. Praying for hip and elbow tests to come out with flying colors. And much, much more!

We can give High Fives.. 

They have eight little pups ready for adoption. For more information and photos of the pups and family click on the link above.
Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ben_carson_490146?src=t_dreams
Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ben_carson_490146?src=t_dreams
Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ben_carson_490146?src=t_dreams
Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ben_carson_490146?src=t_dreams
Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/dreams
Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/dreams

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Minneapolis Institute of Art.. part 2

 Charles M. Russell is my favorite Western artist. I find his work to be fascinating.
We did visit the C.M. Russell Museum located in Great Falls, Montana a few years ago.
I highly recommend visiting.

 I was excited to see that MIA had two of Charles Russell on display.

to be continued..

Monday, August 5, 2019

Minneapolis Institute of Art .. part 1

 Minneapolis Institute of Art
 We enjoyed a full day visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
If traveling to Minneapolis we recommend a visit to the museum. It is well done. 


 I am sharing a few of the works that I enjoyed. I will say a few, because I loved so many of the works that are on display, it was hard to decide what to share on The River. 
Let us get started..

Fra Angelica
My son Atticus studied Fra Angelico his 10th grade year in art class.  
It was fun to see his work on display.

 I was not able to capture the tear in this young ladies eye, but in person this work is very moving. It tells the story of Lucretia. She is the wife of a Roman nobleman, Lucretia was known for her loyalty and virtue. She was raped by Sextus Tarquinius, the son of the ruling tyrant. Lucretia revealed the crime to her husband and father, and in their presence, took her own life. She chose death in order to prevent dishonor, at a time and place when a woman's perceived virtue was more valuable than her life.

 I love the storm in this work.

 Vincent van Gogh

to be continued..
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