About The River

Friday, January 31, 2020

Sometimes things just work out in mysterious ways ...

Penelope up to her usual mischief.

Hello Friends,
I have an update for you all regarding my part time work with Barron County Daybreak.

For those of you that are new to The River, I work part time at Daybreak. Daybreak is an adult day program that provides care givers a break.

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

I started this position in June. I worked two days a week. I enjoyed the job, I enjoyed the participants and loved sharing my flowers during the summer months. Each day I worked I would bring in a bouquet.

I had a co worker who seemed stressed and unhappy. At first I felt she maybe burned out, the program was in need of a part time person. I hoped I would help bring that stress down for her. Instead things got worse. I met with my supervisor in August, I asked if I was doing something wrong. My supervisor shared that my co worker was stressed and with that becoming very negative. She was concerned and would reach out to my co worker.  

Things got worse. In November I felt I would need to resign. I worked two days a week and those two days were awful because the negativity started to become a bully type behavior. I went to my supervisor again. This time I learned that volunteers had started to complain about the co worker as well. I was told management would be having a meeting with the co worker.
I shared what I was dealing with at the below post.

In December the co worker resigned. Her last day was January 10th. 
I have been working full time until a new staff member was hired. This week I have been busy training the new staff member. A man named Brian, who is full of positive energy that bounces all over and makes everyone smile. Volunteers are happy again, some have decided to volunteer extra hours and I have noticed a difference in some of our participants. Many are sharing more and getting involved more in our daily events.

Next week I will be back to part time as Brian has picked up the program very well and is a fantastic team player. 

Sometimes things just work out.

I thank all of you for the advice as I shared this struggle on The River. 
Your encouragement helped me press on.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Winter Gardening

 "Happiness held is the seed;
happiness shared is the flower."
John Harrigan

The seed catalogs have started to arrive in the mail. Many of us are starting to "Think Spring" as we start planning our 2020 gardens. One thing to think about as you start to plan your 2020 garden and seed order is what do you want to look out at during the winter months.

I like to leave my sunflower and zinnia for the birds and other critters during the winter months. I like looking out at the texture the plants create and how the snow falls and creates what it does on the plants.  If you have a real Christmas tree, place it in the garden to add some color to the garden and a place for the birds and critters to enjoy.

 Birds, rabbits, mice and more will appreciate the plants that you leave in the garden for food and protection during the winter months. 
I always chuckle at myself.. during the winter the bunnies are cute and I enjoy seeing them eating under the feeder. Come spring I will be chasing them out of my tulip patch.

Remember to add texture and color to your garden so you can enjoy looking out during the winter. 
How do you like that snow hat on top of this flower?

Thank God,
I have the seeing eye, that is to say, as I lie in bed
 I can walk step by step 
on the fells & rough land 
seeing every stone & flower & patch of bog 
where my old legs will never take me again. 
Beatrix Potter

Friday, January 17, 2020

On the Road Friday ~ Blessed Virgin Mary on Highway 13

 During our travels to Lake Superior in September,  we stopped at the Holy Mother Mary's Wayside Peace Park on Highway 13 on the route to Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Curiosity got the best of me, I decided to dig a little more into the story behind the wayside.

 Below is a bit  of the story above from the Superior Catholic Herald
Fritz’s orchard used to be called Fritz Brothers, and he and his two brothers competed to see who could pick a trailer load of apples the fastest, and who could sell the most at market.
Both of his brothers are dead, and only Fritz manages the operation. It’s not as much fun as it used to be, he admitted: “Now it’s just me against the orchard.”
Fritz renamed the business a couple of years after they died. Fritz Brothers seemed silly with only one brother, he thought. He dedicated the apple business to Mary, and he calls the shrine Blessed Mother Mary’s Wayside Peace Park.
At night, the shrine is lit up – Fritz waited 13 years before hooking up electricity – and during the day, a choir of nuns sing from a hidden compact disc player.
There’s a boardwalk for the Stations of the Cross, and signs and statuary scattered about. On Aug. 17, Mary had fresh flowers for the commemoration of her Assumption on Aug. 15.
The idea to build a shrine came to Fritz in 1990, and for years, he’s devoted any spare money to the effort.
His decision wasn’t compelled by anything supernatural.
“I didn’t hear any voices or anything,” he said.
Mostly, he liked the site, the parity between Hwy. 13 and Mary’s Fatima appearances on the 13th of the month.
He was also influenced by the people he encountered as a janitor at St. Thomas University, the saints he read about in “Butler’s Lives of the Saints” while working overnights in the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library.
He’s also helped out at several other shrines – Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, others in Texas and Montana – and noticed the dearth of devotional sites in the Diocese of Superior.
“There’s quite a few nice shrines in Wisconsin, but in this area, not much,” he said.
Fritz didn’t want to take donations for his project. The church has enough needs, he said, and he’d rather seeing the money go toward Catholic schools, the St. Vincent de Paul Society or the many other services in the diocese.
The only problem is finishing the shrine by himself is slow going, and Fritzes don’t generally have a long lifespan. While he’s outlived his brothers, Fritz is afraid if he doesn’t keep at it, he won’t get it done.
“We tend to die young,” he said.
He aims to have the visitor’s center, built from a 1970s geodesic dome kit, open by May 2017. The month marks the 100th anniversary of Mary’s first appearance in Fatima; he’s also built a replica of the arch constructed at the site.
When he’s not working at the shrine or picking and selling apples, Fritz might be en route to Mexico, where he helps at an orphanage a couple of hundred miles south of Mexico City.
A few of the orphans get adopted, Fritz said, but most of the children he sees grow up a little more every year.
The clay crosses ornamenting the dome were fired and painted by the orphans.

He also buys most of his religious articles – statuary, Stations of the Cross and more – across the border. Fritz is planning improvements – and he wants to expand the shrine, move it farther back into the 20-acre lot and build a chapel.
He’s also diversified his fruit-growing operation with pear and plum trees. Squash vines are blooming across a freshly landscaped garden; he’s hoping he’ll have enough to give apple customers a free squash with every purchase.
If Fritz is around when a potential customer pulls up, he’s evangelizing among the apples, discussing the importance of thanking God for one’s blessings.
If he’s away at a farmers’ market, a prominently placed sign offers the same reminder:
“Thank God for all the mountains and the seas, for all the apples on the trees, for giving life to you and me, wherever you may be, thank God.”
Promoting devotion to the Blessed Mother is his ultimate goal, and Fritz hopes drivers passing the shrine will be inspired, if only for a moment.
He said he always feels the wealth of God’s gifts.

We stopped in and we did not see anyone, we were not greeted by anyone. We took a few photos and walked along the flowers, apple trees and pear trees.

During my research of wanting to find out more about the wayside. 
I learned that David F. Fritz passed in May of 2019. 

David. F. Fritz, age 65, of Superior, WI passed away suddenly on May 9th. Dave was known for selling apples in front of his shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary on Highway 13. He is survived by Char and Jim Sutter, Barb and Ernie Keller, Marg Vick, Jia and Liu Fritz, Don Harens, Bob Gremore and many nieces and nephews, and cousins. Visitation is on Monday, June 3rd at 9:30-10:30 followed by mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church- 920 Holley, St. Paul Park, MN.

Many boxes of statues, flyers and more where all scattered about.
 I wonder what will become of the Wayside?
We will be traveling that way again this summer of 2020. I will take a peek and see if anyone takes over David's vision of making a special Wayside along Highway 13.

 Thank you for coming along with me On the Road Friday to a unique Wayside.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Funny on Monday

Wisconsin Winter Forecast

It is true.. if planning on visiting expect anything.. 
pack your long underwear in the summer, hat and gloves too. 
You just never know what Wisconsin weather will bring.

Happy Monday

Friday, January 10, 2020

On the Road Friday ~ A 12/12 Birthday in Green Bay, Wisconsin

For my birthday this year my sister and mom treated me to a trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin.
 It was quick trip because the weather turned ugly and we needed to venture home before things got worse. We traveled to Green Bay on my birthday 12/12. We visited the Atrium at Lambeau Field. We had a lovely dinner at 1919 and ended the evening with a concert.

 Even if you are not a football fan, you will find the Lambeau Field Atrium unique and a fun experience. There are three different tour options.
Your destination for everything Packers!

Experience the Hall of Fame
Take a Stadium Tour
Dine at 1919 Kitchen and Tap
Shop at the Packers Pro Shop

 Everything is decorated in Green and Gold even the Christmas trees.

 My mom and sister.. I am looking down from the big football.

 I loved this truck in the gift shop.

 Hey.. It is me on the field.
You are able to take fun photos in front of the mural.

 Off to dinner we go to 1919. Many of you know blogger Nana Diana.. she happens to have a 12/12 birthday too and she lives in Green Bay. Before heading on my trip I asked her advice for fun places to eat in Green Bay. One of the many she suggested was 1919.

1919 is decorated with rustic wooden tables and shares notable moments from Packers history, including retired jersey numbers, unforgettable plays and historic firsts.
Gleaming copper pipes lead to 80 taps, serving nearly 40 varieties of beer. An open - concept kitchen invites glimpses of sizzling sears and saute's.

 My birthday dessert. Yum!

It is off to the concert. We attended Swing for the Holidays .. Featuring Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite at the Weidner Center.
It was the Nutcracker Jazz style.
Featured Vocalist Courtney Sherman was amazing. It was a special 12/12 birthday event for me.

Thank you for coming along with me to Green Bay, Wisconsin!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Keeping Fish .. part 2

 If you have been following the story about my keeping fish.. it all started this summer when I made a whiskey barrel water feature in our garden.

Well come late October, I knew I needed to bring the fish inside or they would freeze in our Wisconsin winter. I brought them inside and all was well. Until, I over fed them and one died.

 I learned to be more careful on my feeding of the fish. They all are happy swimming in their fish bowl, with my pond plant happily growing. Do you see in the very top photo how lovey that pond plant is, so lush and green, did I mention so lush. 
Do you see it now, not so lush.
My .14 cent fish have eaten my pond plant. And yes, the pond plant cost more then the fish.
Oh well, the fish are happy.. and Spring is only a good five months away. Here in Wisconsin Spring does not come to stay until the last week of May. And I am not kidding.
Will the three fish make it back to the whiskey barrel for another fun summer in the sun?
To Be Continued...
Poor pond plant.. it was so lush and green.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Joy List Monday

Joy List Monday
 ♥ a weekly reminder ♥
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 
Wisconsin Winter showing off.. look at that sky!
 ♥ playing scrabble with my boys

 ♥ sitting by the fire reading a book

 ♥ candlelight dinner with my husband just for fun

 ♥  re - reading all the Christmas greetings, letters and photos

♥ snow and mild winter temperatures

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Make a Wish

Make a Wish

As the sun sets on 2019 and we welcome 2020 we have...
12 new chapters
366 new pages

I am making a new kind of New Year List ..
it is called a memory to make together:

Name:  Sam  ~ A memory to make together: eating sushi   
Name: Atticus ~ A memory to make together:  going ice fishing
Name: Kris and Cliff ~ A memory to make together: taking an adventure to the ice caves in your neck of the woods
Name: Mom and Dad ~ A memory to make together: putting together a puzzle 
Name: Ron and Sharon ~ A memory to make together: going to a baseball game
Name: Jeremy ~ A memory to make together: canoe a new lake 
Name: Kris ~ A memory to make together: taking a stroll in your garden
Name: Judy ~ A memory to make together: taking a moon walk along the Wisconsin River

And the list goes on....

Happy New Year 
Wishing you a great year of making memories!