About The River

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Goodbye 2020 and it is the Hodgepodge!



 The last Hodgepodge in the year that has been 2020. 

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 

From this Side of the Pond 


 1. Tell us about your favorite moment or share one of the bright spots from the year we're leaving behind. 

One of my bright spots was spending time with my boys and my son Sam's girlfriend Catie.

It is fun to have a girl in the mix. I have quickly fallen in love with Catie and enjoy our visits.


2. What do you wish you'd known at the start of 2020? Elaborate. 

I still pinch myself on days that I cannot believe so much has happened.
My son's deployments for the COVID19 testing and helping with the elections. The deployments for the unrest in Madison and Kenosha, Wisconsin. How some of the people treat the police and guard for doing their job in protecting private and public property. When our Capitol building was vandalized and one of my favorite statues, Lady Forward, was dumped into a lake. 
I wish I would have known that everything was literately going to be turned upside down in 2020!
3. Best book you read this year? If you did not read any books this year, what's the best thing you ate all year? We've all eaten, right? 

The Huntress
Author: Kate Quinn
Whenever I read a good book, my husband knows it, because it is all I talk about. 
He hears the entire story during our walks together.
4. The Pantone Colors of the year for 2021 are ultimate gray and illuminating yellow (a bright shade)...are you a fan? Would we find either of these colors in your home or wardrobe? 

I am a fan of both gray and yellow.
Our wedding colors were yellow and white.. daffodils and daises.
We just completed creating our boys old bedroom into a guest room and we painted it gray.
5. If you were/are making a list of 21 things to do/accomplish in 2021 what is one thing that would be on it? 

I would like to complete a T-shirt quilt for both of my boys.
I saved all the T-shirts they loved wearing as they grew up.
Soccer, T-Ball, favorite movies, places we visited... many more fun T-Shirts.
I hope to surprise them with the quilts for Christmas 2021.
 6. Insert your own random thought here.
Every hard thing we choose to do MAKES US BRAVER for the next time.
Goodbye 2020.. Hello 2021

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!!


 I gifted the above embroidery kit to sew to my grandma the Christmas before she passed away.

The next Christmas, my grandma went to the emergency room on Christmas.

We did not get to celebrate with her that season, she ended up staying at the hospital and later moved to palliative care. She was moved to Dove Hospice and passed away in late January.

I had forgot about the embroidery kit we had gifted her. While cleaning her apartment, there was the embroidery project, all finished, sitting in her closet. 

It was such a gift to find. A true treasure.

We placed it in a shadow box style frame and added twinkle lights.

It is one of my favorite decorations to bring out each year.

Merry Christmas




Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Rest of the Story



Do you remember the color of the month for November? Black, and I shared some cuteness, with little black chicks that grew into big black and white hens. At that time I shared there was more to the story.



The rest of the story is.. during the lock down, there was not an egg to be found in our county. We have been tossing around the idea of getting chickens for awhile. Well, when my husband could not have his fried egg in the morning, that was it. We ordered five chickens from our Farm and Fleet store. The chicks arrived May 15th. 

My husband built the coop in the photo below. I will share a post on the coop build in the coming weeks. 

We named our sweet hens, Lolly, Polly, Molly, Holly and Dolly.

Not only do we have farm fresh eggs.

I have great fertilizer for my gardens.

Merry Christmas


Jeremy and Carla

Lolly, Holly, Molly, Dolly and Polly 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

December Color of the Month ~ Gold


Hello Friends,

Each month I have picked out a color of the month. I do a post highlighting photos with that color in it, for December I have decided on Gold.



Gold glitter on Mr. Snowman.



 A gold crown on the King.


Gold glitter on a special ornament. Sam's First Grade teacher gifted him this ornament.



Mr. Goldfinch on top of the bird feeder.


Gold waving on the Ukrainian flag.



And we cannot forget to cheer for the green and gold.


January - white

February - red

March - green

April - pink

May - red, white and blue

June - yellow

July - purple

August - blue

September - brown

October - orange

November - black .. and I did not forget.. peek back on Thursday for the rest of the story regarding the color black.

December - gold




Friday, December 11, 2020

Happiness and Heartache


Happiness and Heartache.. that seems to be the emotion I have been going through this entire year. When things seem to just get a little back "to normal" and then something happens, the virus spikes in our area, car trouble, more cancellations and uncertainty. I have a feeling many of you can relate.

Within the past few weeks our son's "new car" to him, broke down. What  a heartbreak, he saved and saved for this car. His dream car as he calls it. Sadly, on Thanksgiving night he had to call a tow truck to have the car brought back to his apartment.

That same week a spike in COVID cases caused my husbands business to close it doors. 

This week, brought good news regarding having Sam's car fixed. My husbands work is open and everyone is healthy. 

And just when you start to feel like we are rounding a corner to some good news..  an accident happened during a training exercise. The pilot was missing. Our National Guard son, Sam was keeping us updated as the search for the pilot continued into Thursday. Sadly the pilot was found dead. He was a daddy to a young family. Sam's teammates are broken, Wisconsin lost someone very special.

And at the very same time as Sam updated us on the situation with the pilot. The phone rings..

♪♫♪ Ring Ring ♪♫♪ ... I pick up to hear a dear voice that I have not heard in sometime. It was Marv! My dear Marv. Many of you readers at The River know all about Marv. My garden mentor, full of jokes, a Korean war veteran and a treasure of a friend. He had a stroke in September. He moved about five hours South of us to live with his niece Kathleen, to recover. She keeps us updated on how he is doing. I have been writing letters to him weekly and sending little gifts too. I have not been able to talk to him, until this phone call today.

"Hi Carla, do you know who this is?"  

"I sure do, this is my dear friend Marv."

We talked for a long while. He got a new phone that he can handle easy and hear out of well. 

He was not able to walk without assistance until this week. He was so happy to share that news with me. He cannot see out of his left eye and still struggles with his left side.  He had his humor ..  it was wonderful to hear him up to his old shenanigans.. " you tell those boys I am back on my feet, I think I can beat them in a race."


Marv reminded me, as he has done before, you have to just keep going. And remember you are a light, even if you don't always feel that way. When everything seems to be going wrong in every direction you look. We can always be love and light.
I pray for the Wisconsin National Guard, as they mourn. I pray for the family of the pilot.
I thank him for his service.
I pray for Marv. I know he is 92 and has urinary cancer, but he still fights on, to be a light to someone everyday, because he knows how to make someone smile. And he did that for me today.
I pray for my country, we are divided as people, this virus, this election, financial struggles, health and so much more. 
 May we continue to be Love and Light!
Oh oh
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The light of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders, of His love
And wonders, wonders, of His love
Joy to the world, now we sing
Let the earth receive her king
Joy to the world, now we sing
Let the angel voices ring


Monday, December 7, 2020

Countdown to Christmas

 Hello Friends,

Today, I want to share with you a countdown for Christmas that we made for our boys and Sam's girlfriend Catie. 

I got this idea from Kris Junk Chick Cottage

Thank you, Kris, for all the great ideas you share on your blog. You are inspiration!!

Kris did visit Target to help her create her countdown. We do not have a Target close by. I needed to tweak the idea Kris shared.

I shared the idea Kris shared with my husband. He thought we could make a countdown using cardboard and paper.

"with Tuppence for paper and strings.."

We cut out 24 days and used an envelope on the back for the big day.

 The Magic of Christmas!

 We used candy, candy canes and money as the gifts inside each day.


We were pleased with how they turned out.

And I am so happy our boys appreciate the magic of Christmas. 

I think we all need it this year 2020.

May you never be too old to search the skies on Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Tribute to the Troops 2020



Hello Friends,

Our Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers and First Lady Kathy Evers have announced that the "Tribute to our Troops" holiday tree ~ a tradition that began with Governor Jim Doyle ~ will continue this year.  A message from our Wisconsin Governor..

"While others across our state celebrate the holidays, Wisconsin's service members continue to serve both at home and abroad." 

"This year, in particular, we owe them a great debt of gratitude as they serve through the pandemic, including our members of the Wisconsin National Guard who have stepped up time and time again in our state response helping local governments, working as poll workers, and assisting in our testing efforts."

2019 Tribute to the Troops 

 We participated in the 2019 Tribute to the Troops. We had the opportunity to tour the Executive Residence in Maple Bluff, Wisconsin. The exciting part of last year was, we had the opportunity to hang our ornaments on the Tribute to the Troops tree. This season there will be no holiday tours due to the virus.

Click on the link above to join us on our 2019 tour and to see the tree dedicated to our troops.



This season I made up two handmade ornaments. 

I made one with a photo of Sam and Marv together and a fun message on the back..

Two Army Buddies

Korean War and Active Wisconsin National Guard

The other ornament I made using a photo of Sam in his COVID19 testing suit.

I also cut out photos of the special pins he earned while deployed during the global pandemic.

I appreciate this tradition and thank our Governor for continuing it. It is a special way to dedicate a loved service member.

Monday, November 30, 2020

November Color of the Month ~ Black

 November Color of the Month ~ Black 

Each month during the year of 2020, I have been featuring a color of the month.

January ~ White

February ~ Red

March ~ Green

April ~ Pink

May ~ Red, White and Blue

June ~ Yellow

July ~ Purple

August ~ Blue

September ~ Brown

October ~ Orange

November ~ Black

Black little chicks..

 More black cuteness..  fuzzy little chicks.


These little ones are growing up.. black and white!

 Sharing  black little chicks that grew up to be black and white hens.

 The Barred Rock (Plymouth Rock) chicken is one of the all-time, popular favorites in the U.S. They can't be beat for steady, reliable chickens. 

And if you are wondering if there is more to this post. And that it cannot just be a post about sharing a color of the month of cute black chicks. You are right! 

I will be sharing the rest of the story.. stay tuned.






Monday, November 23, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving my dear friends. As we continue to be brave and face each day together. I want you all to know how Thankful I am for you.

There are days when the heaviness of this year starts to get to be much. I want to thank you for lifting my spirits. This land of blogging is a positive outlet for me and it brings me so much joy. At the very same time you all bring me smiles, inspiration and so much more.

Thank You 



Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

Albert Camus


There's a Great Big Turkey Out on Grandma's Farm

To the tune of Polly Wally Doodle

 There's a great big turkey out on Grandma's farm, 

And he thinks he's very gay.

He spreads his tail into a great big fan and struts around all day.

You can hear him gobble at the girls and boys,

For he thinks he's singing when he makes that noise --

But he'll sing his song a different way

Upon Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Down Memory Lane


Taking a trip down memory lane today. We are making plans to go pick out our Christmas tree, a tradition we do the weekend after Thanksgiving. As the years go by, those two little guys in the orange hats have grown up. In fact this may be the first year that my husband and I go, just the two of us to find the perfect Christmas tree. Even though that makes me a wee bit sad..  at the very same time new memories start to be made.. this Christmas season we have Sam's girlfriend joining us for our Christmas weekend of celebrating. I am very excited as we spend more time with her and how she is becoming a part of our family. 

The love in your heart wasn't put there to stay, 

love isn't love 

till it's





Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Happy Birthday to Mickey Mouse and it is the Hodgepodge!



Happy Wednesday to you all and you know what Wednesday brings, the Hodgepodge. 

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 

 From this Side of the Pond1. It's Mickey Mouse's birthday (November 18)...happy birthday Mickey! He reads here, right? Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all?I have not been to Disney. Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? I do enjoy the Disney movies. They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip? I would have to find a friend to go with me. If I could do that.. I think I just might say"yes" to a free trip, with spending money included to Disney.


2. Your favorite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse?In to the woods. I hunted with my dad when I was young. I learned to walk quiet in the woods and sit and listen.. very quiet. Would those who know you well describe you as more churchmouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse? I just asked my husband, he answered "churchmouse."
3. The day before Mickey's birthday happens to be National Homemade Bread Day. Did/will you celebrate?No. No homemade bread on the menu. Do you bake your own bread?Once in awhile I do. My husband enjoys baking bread more than I do. Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread?Late September and it was so good. Why don't we do it more often?  What's your favorite kind of bread? As of today, Honey Oat from our local bakery.. but in another month I will have a new favorite. I enjoy bread. 

4. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'? 
I do like text messaging. I can share a thought, a question, a photo whenever and that person can get back to me when they are able. 
5. Let's keep the gratitude theme we started last week rolling on through November. Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T. Gotta keep us thinking, right? 

Tea .. hot and cold
Turtlenecks .. it is cold outside
Toads .. my garden friends
Time .. visits with friends and family
Twix .. my favorite candy bar

6. Insert your own random thought here. A fun read.. and just in time for Christmas. Our library is doing curbside pickup during the pandemic.  I appreciate that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Simple Make over in the Dinning Room



A simple make over .. new curtains in the dinning room. My blog friend Kim is so creative in the ways she updates a room. She makes new curtains, cushions, and more. She has fun ideas for crafts and is currently sharing Christmas crafts.

 Click here to learn more from Kim

Well I did update a room, but I cheated and purchased my curtains from Vermont Country Store. I am not getting credit from Vermont Country Store for mentioning them. I just wanted to share this fun online store with you. We are very pleased with our new curtains.

Vermont Country Store


How about you, have you done any simple makeovers lately?


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Book Review ~ Raising Butterflies in the Garden ~ Brenda Dziedzic


Hello Friends,

I want to share a helpful book that a friend recently shared with me.

Raising Butterflies in the Garden ~ author Brenda Dziedzic

A little about Brenda Dziedzic. She is an award winning Master Gardener and an expert on the subject of raising butterfly and moth species. Her memberships include the Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association, Monarch Watch and the North American Butterfly Association.
I appreciated all the tips she shares on how to attract butterflies to your backyard. And why it is important to plant both nectar and host plants.

 She also shares how to create your own butterfly nursery.

Black Swallowtail have been visiting and living in our garden for the past two seasons.
I was so happy to learn from Brenda, how to help our Black Swallowtail survive and flourish during the seasons by planting host plants and nectar plants.

 Brenda goes into detail with the following butterfly and moth families..
Whites and Sulphurs
Silk Moths
Sphinx Moths
Tussock Moths
As the winter months are fast approching and we soon will be looking at seed catalogs. We can start to plan our gardens around attracting our favorite butterflies.  
Some people may feel they need to have a large garden to attract butterfly. Hey, no worries, butterfly enjoy small gardens and container gardeners too.
If you are a container gardener, Brenda gives tips for the container gardener on attracting butterfly.
If you like butterflies, you will enjoy this book.

Happy Butterflying!