About The River

Monday, March 30, 2020

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

 ♥ sunshine, snow melt and warm spring days

 ♥ playing games with my family
Yahtzee ♥ Monopoly Kings Corner

♥ trying new recipes

 ♥ going for our daily walks

♥ peeking at the garden each day and seeing daffodils, tulips and crocus popping up to say "Hello"

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength."
Corrie ten Boom


Friday, March 27, 2020

Color for the month of March ~ Green

Hello Friends,
I have been inspired by a few bloggers who are featuring color posts.
 January I chose white.
February I chose red.

For the month of March I decided to feature the color green.


Definition of green 

1 : a color whose hue is somewhat less yellow than that of growing fresh grass or of the emerald or is that of the part of the spectrum lying between blue and yellow


"March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers."
English Proverb

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.
Charles Dickens

 "Sometimes we can only find our true direction when we let the wind of change carry us."
Mimi Novic 

"Spring will come and so will happiness. 
Hold on.
Life will get warmer."
Anita Krizzan

"Spring is the time for plans and projects."
Leo Tolstoy

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Howdy Hodgepodgers... 'keep calm and Hodgepodge on'

It is back.. Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. Howdy Hodgepodgers. It's kind of fun to be back, isn't it?  Last time we met was September, 2018. Tell me something big-important-happy-or sad that's happened in your life since that date. Just one thing. We don't know how long this current isolation situation is going to last and we might need to dole out our news bit by bit.

 Our son Sam graduated high school May of 2018. In September he went on to basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. In November of 2018 he graduated from basic training and went on to AIT training at Fort Gordon, Georgia. In May of 2019 he graduated from AIT.

While Sam was at basic training he was not able to talk with us by phone or text. We communicated the old fashioned way, letters, mail, it is called mail, for 10 weeks. Oh my, you should have seen me each day as I ran out to peek in the mailbox to see if we received a letter from Sam.
Today he is on standby with his Wisconsin National Guard unit as we continue to wade the waters of this virus. 

2. Might as well get this out of the way early on...COVID-19. On a scale of 1-5 how serious are you about keeping your distance? Explain. fyi-I didn't create the scale but have seen it several places online. Also fyi-we won't only have virus related questions each week, but for this first one it feels right.

1-Not at all, living normally
2-Cautious but still going out
3-Going out as needed, mostly home or working from home, still seeing friends/family
4-Extremely limited, only going out when unavoidable, minimal contact with people
5-Full lockdown, no one in or out

I feel our family is 3.. our state of Wisconsin is on a Stay at Home Order. 

 I have been home just about two full weeks. My part time work at Daybreak closed last week until May 1st or longer if needed.
Our senior in high school son is working part time at his job at Blain's Farm and Fleet. Store hours are cut back. He shared with me they have changed the store policies for customers. He also said they wear gloves and do a lot of cleaning. ( LOL .. a teenage boy and a lot of cleaning.)

My husband is still able to work at his office. With the new Stay at Home Order that may change, he will know more in the morning.
3. Raise your hand if you think you might run out of steam in the cooking department before it's all said and done? What's something delcious you've cooked or eaten in your own kitchen in the past week?

My husband made Reuben sandwiches for St. Patrick's Day.
And I made Irish Soda bread.
 4. What's a television show or movie you've seen recently (it could be an oldie) that you really liked?

 5. Share something funny you've seen or heard this week.

My friend Deb sent me this funny about a cat holding a sign that said "he wanted to be let out.. if you would let him out.. he would give you toilet paper."

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Thank you Joyce, for bringing the Hodgepodge back.
And remember friends, we are all in this together. 
Check on each other, text message, e mail, send a card in the mail or call. 
Don't fight for bread, eggs or toilet paper. Don't get mad at the associates working at the store.
Those working in the stores are doing the best they can.. we all are doing the best we can.
Don't be  afraid if you see National Guard in your communities. They are there to help. They are setting up testing areas, transporting needs for hospitals and much more.
Remember a SMILE can go a long way.. we can do this!

Monday, March 23, 2020

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

 ♥ Celebrating St. Patrick's Day together .. the three of us cozy in our home

 ♥ Irish soda bread

 ♥ our youngest son loved it.. always a joy to hear your kids love your baking and cooking

 ♥ our local deli.. knows us by name when we come in to shop 
the owners are so good to all of us in our little village.. extra love going around during these stressful days.. 

corned beef courtesy of Brion's Smokehouse

 ♥  Reuben sandwich

 ♥ having enough leftover to make another Ruben later in the week
 ♥ leftovers

staying in touch with family and friends as we take this journey together
♥ text messaging.. email.. technology.. three cheers for it all as we encourage each other during this time ♥

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Happy Spring ~ let us release some stress and play in the dirt!


In 2020, the spring equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) occurs on Thursday, March 19, which is earlier than it’s been in over a century! This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Seedlings from 2019

Today, I set up my seed starting area in my house. In front of the South patio window.
I have containers washed and ready. My soil and seeds are ready.
My labels are ready. Note: I am terrible at labeling. I always say to self "I will remember what I planted in this pot."  I am about to break that bad habit in 2020. I am labeling when I start seeds. I am labeling when I plant in the garden and I am going to label when I collect seeds.

Seedlings from 2019
According to the Hygiene Hypothesis, exposure to dirt, pets and everyday germs is good for the body and the soul. The health benefits of “dirt” include a stronger immune system, fewer allergies, better digestion, less heart disease, better stress management and a natural anti-depressant agent.

If you have some dirt, a packet of seed and a container. Take some time to start a few plants today.
Trust me, it will do you good!
If you have some dirt and a container but no seeds, let me know.. I have some lovely marigold seed, I will pass on to brighten your garden this summer. 

Watching and caring for those seedlings will help during these next few weeks as we patiently wait for spring to spring into full action and for this virus to go away.

Our Wisconsin National Guard son has been put on notice to be ready. He and his unit are ready to help Wisconsin and others as needed. 

Praying for all.. and a huge THANK YOU to all of those helping to keep us safe.

Stay well my friends.


Monday, March 16, 2020

Garden Book Review ~ Growing Your Own Tea Garden ~ Author Jodi Helmer

Stands the church clock at ten to three, And is there honey still for tea?  Rupert Brooke
Book Review

I recently checked out Growing Your Own Tea Garden from my local library. I felt the book was very helpful. The author gave growing guidance and tips on having success with growing herbs.
She also shares recipes for unique tea blends.

 You Love To Drink Tea. Why Not Grow Your Own?

If you’ve ever considered raising your own tea, this comprehensive guide is the place to start. Growing Your Own Tea Garden is packed with inspiration and practical instructions for cultivating and enjoying delicious teas. Author Jodi Helmer helps you plan and plant a productive backyard tea garden, with sample garden designs and cultivation advice. She shows you how to choose the right crops for your soil and climate, starting with the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) and going on through a comprehensive survey of tisanes, or herbal teas. Discover how to grow the full range of herbal infusions that make wonderful teas, from flowering chamomile and lavender to chicory roots, rose hips, lemon verbena, peppermint, aromatic bergamot and more. Jodi shows you how to harvest, dry and store your tea to enjoy all year long, along with brewing tips and creative recipes.

Tea Time
Because being a grown - up is hard.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Florida or Bust

Florida or Bust

We were headed to Florida. 
Spending time with our friend Bonita
 Palm trees
Walks on the beach

Welcome to the Florida Grapefruit League!
Following a call with the 30 clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Over 1.4 million fans attended games in Florida during the 2019 season and since 2000, over 31 million fans have enjoyed Florida Spring Training Baseball.  

Maybe next year?

Stay healthy my friends


Monday, March 9, 2020

Funny on Monday

A message from my son Sam...

I had to chuckle. Because I did show my boys an "old fashioned typewriter" and a "rotary dial up phone" but I never thought to show them a fax machine. 


Happy Monday


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Succulents and Lego's

My friend Nancy gifted me a clay pot saucer full of succulents.
It is sitting in the center of our small oak table in our entry way.
Walking by the other day, I noticed a Lego man and a black plastic spider. 
Can you guess as to who was playing with the saucer full of succulents?

My husband.. boys will be boys.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

I was not going to cry..

 If you look out that window, you will see a plane. 
Sam was recently deployed to Washington DC for training.
We took him to the airport to see him off. It was an early flight. 
We were awake and heading to pick up Sam at 3am. His flight took off at 6am.

We go to the airport. Sam had his itinerary, flights were all on schedule and he was well packed.
As he went to go board the plane, he was told his tickets were not approved.
Somewhere along the way, the Army did not approve the flight. The lady helping us said "this happens, about five times a year here at the Chippewa Valley Airport." 
I can help you. She shared with Sam she has seen it before and knows it will not be the last time she will see this. She told him to get on the phone to his Sergeant right away and call the travel hotline used for the Army.
He begins to do all this .. as the 6am flight he was to be on to Chicago heads off to Chicago. 

We have until 11:45 am to try to get things worked out before the next flight to Chicago leaves.
He calls all the people he has to call. 
Gets frustrated becasue it is 11:30 and still things have not been cleared.

All this time we have been in the airport. All this time I can do nothing to help. 
This is all out of my control.  

I want to call the Sergeants. 
I want to buy him a ticket so he can just get with the rest of his group that are going to the training. 
I can do nothing. 
This is hard for me. Me, mom, who usually can fix most things that have gone wrong.
Glued army men, matchbox cars and stitched holes in favorite T-Shirts.
Me, mom, who made favorite cookies to have ready after school, chicken soup when he did not feel well and helped study for tests.
Me, mom, can do nothing but sit next to my son. Smile when he rolls his eyes and shakes his head that he has yet to get any answers.

It was 11:45 and the lady yelled,"Sam TePaske" we have tickets.
He went through the security. He was in the loading area, he called me,"Mom, don't leave yet, something is still not correct." The doors closed to the area to get on the plane. And there sat Sam.

Tears ran down my face. He was so looking forward to going to the training.
He did everything right to get ready for it. He even called his Sergeant the night before and asked if he needed to do anything else regarding his tickets. He was flying out of Eau Claire and the rest of the group was flying out of Madison. They would be meeting up in Chicago.

He already was not meeting them in Chicago. 
He still had time to get to DC for the start of the training. If we could just get him on that plane.

At 12:00 the lady opened the door and escorted him to the plane. 

He was off to Chicago.

I would love to end the story here ..
photo of Chicago taken by Sam from the plane. 
In Chicago, his tickets did not work to get on the plane to DC.
More calling, more waiting.

He finally made it to DC. 
10:00 pm
His buddies met up with him. They are all together and his first day of training was Monday.

When I spoke with Sam on Sunday night after he got settled, he told me that the Sergeant he is with in DC would not give up on getting him to DC on time for the training. Sam said "Mom, don't worry, Sergeant W is a good guy, he will take care of me." and "Mom, thank you for sitting with me all morning."


Monday, March 2, 2020

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 a squirrel eat the treat I made
sticky paws from the peanut butter
and determination to eat that bagel without getting sticky

 ♥ homemade rosemary bread
 ♥ letters in the mail from dear friends
 ♥ a phone call from Marv .. who is on his way back to Wisconsin from Texas

A surprise package in the mail for Fat Tuesday.. Paczki