About The River

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

August is Knock, Knock, Knocking and it is the Hodgepodge!

Hello Friends!
August is knock, knock, knocking and it is the Hodgepodge!
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. Last time you moved house? Something you've learned in moving house?
In May we moved our National Guard Son back home. His lease was up at the end of May. He knew he would be deployed for the summer. He decided it best to move his things back home. The twist to this move was.. he was deployed.. so his brother, dad and mom packed and moved him.

What I learned during this move.. always have a black permanent marker in your pocket.

 2. Move mountains, move along, make a wrong move, moved to tears, get a move on, move up, move over, move out of the way, move the deck chairs on the Titanic, move it!...pick one and tell us how it fits your recent circumstances.
 Move Along
Last week we had to help our son find a "new to him" car.  
With the virus, nothing is normal, and add the fact that auto shopping is not a favorite of mine.
I am happy to report we found a nice car for Atticus and he is moving along!

 3. What have you been doing to make yourself move (aka stay fit-active) during these strange times?
I am a walker. My routine has not changed. And I am so thankful for that. I love my daily walk.

 4. This week's calendar includes celebrations for the following foods-

National Coffee Milkshake Day (Sunday), National Creme Brûlée Day (Monday), National Milk Chocolate Day (Tuesday), National Chicken Wing Day (Wednesday), National Lasagne Day (Wednesday), National Cheesecake Day (Thursday), and National Avocado Day (Friday)

Which one on the list would you be most inclined to celebrate? Which would you be most inclined to skip?

High Fives to Avocado Day
Thumbs Down to National Cheesecake Day .. I know, I know.. but I am not a fan of cheesecake. 

 5. Next week's Hodgepodge lands in August! I know!! Raise your hand if you feel like July flew by in the blink of an eye? Now bid farewell to your July acrostic style. If you don't know what that means click here.

J.. Japaneses Beetles they are a nasty beetle that like to eat our raspberry plants. Happy to report the population of these pests are not as high as in years past.
U.. Umbrella, we received over 6 inches of rain in July. My husband used the umbrella a few times to grill.
L.. Life continues to move forward, as we help our 2020 graduate plan his next steps. He has decided to work full time the Autumn semester and look at starting at Chippewa Valley Technical College in the Spring. 
Y.. Yeti, loving my Yeti. I make up an infused water and place some ice cubes in it, it stays cold all day long, even during 105 degree heat index day. My Yeti is also extra special because it was a gift to me from my National Guard Son.


6.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Baseball is Back!
 I listened to our Milwaukee Brewer's on the radio. It was great to listen to a ballgame.

Friday, July 24, 2020

July Color of the Month ~ Purple

At the start of 2020 I decided to do a color of the month post.
January ~ White
February ~ Red
March ~ Green
April ~ Pink
May ~ Red, White and Blue
June ~ Yellow
July ~ Purple

Eggplant.. I can not wait for our first eggplant from the garden. They are getting bigger and bigger each day. Our garden is loving the heat and humidity.

Blazing star aka Liatris

More eggplant!

Purple wrapped candy!
Flowers and more flowers.

I planted morning glory in an old watering can I had. I am just loving how it is looking as the morning glory twist and climb.

A little more purple.

Before COVID.. enjoying a concert, in a big tent.

Have a great weekend.
Stay safe my friends.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Looking at the Positive with the Hodgepodge

It is Wednesday and that means it is time for the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.
 1.  Do you think the pandemic has had any kind of positive impact on your mental health? Explain.
The pandemic has made me reset some goals. It has made me think about what is important to me.
It has made me realize I can do without some stuff and found that some of that stuff  was causing me stress.  It has made me slowdown. 
2. A hot mess, hot under the collar, in hot water, hot button, hot diggity dog!, hot shot, hot seat....choose one and tell us how it applies to your life currently. 
Hot Diggity Dog
Our son Sam, is officially out of quarantine as of today.
He tested negative for the virus.
The other 7 teammates are all on the mend, including the one that was hospitalized.
Thank you for praying and sending well wishes.
3. Speaking of the hot seat, do you work well under pressure or do you actively avoid high pressure situations? 
I usually avoid high pressure situations.
I have been in the hot seat and have survived.
4. Hotdogs-yay or nay? If you said yay how do you like yours? Did you know July is National hotdog month? 
I do enjoy a "real" hotdog.
Click above to see our favorite at Sokup's Market!
5. I read here a list of America's coolest Southern towns. They are Marfa Texas, Greenville South Carolina, Abindgon Virginia, Athens Georgia, Bentonville Arkansas, Florence Alabama, Oxford Mississippi, Abita Springs Louisiana, Wilmington North Carolina, Monroeville Alabama, McMinnville Tennessee, Natchez Mississippi.  How many on the list have you seen in person? Which town on the list would you most like to see?
I have not visited any of the communities listed.
My aunt Sally and uncle Paul live in Texas, so I will pick Marfa, Texas to visit.
 6.  Insert your own random thought here.
Our local public school is holding football practice. We live about 3 blocks from the football field. As I was getting my shoes on for our walk, I thought I heard kids playing. 
"What is that noise?"
Our walk loops around the school and the kids where having practice. I had to chuckle because it looked to me the coaches were having so much fun throwing the football.
Living life .. again..
We still have not heard how school will look like for our area.
How about your local school district?


Monday, July 20, 2020

Funny on Monday

Happy Monday
Thank you to all for praying for Sam and his teammates.
I am happy to report Sam tested negative for the virus.
All other 7 teammates are doing well and on the way to recovery.
Thank you again.

Funny on Monday
I recently did a post about my dear friend Marv, who is 92.
Click below to read..

On Friday I visited with Marv.
He told me, there is a positive about wearing these darn masks Carla.
He shared that over the weekend he had lost the crown on his front tooth.
He went to the dentist on Monday, the dentist said it will take a few days before the tooth could be repaired, up to five days.
Marv said it was a blessing to wear that darn mask around, because no one  had to see his toothless smile.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Book Reveiw ~ On Flowers

I recently read On Flowers by Amy Merrick.
I LOVED this book. It is full of creativity, tips, tricks and pure inspiration.

Amy creates lists, I will share a few with you.

City Things To Do
Smile when you see flowers in someone else's window.
Go to the botanical garden in winter.
Read a book on the train.

Country Things To Do
Pick your own flowers.
Dry your sheets in the sun.
Use a gingham tablecloth.

How To Live Like A Flower
Adore yourself with insect jewelry.
Tuck a gardenia in your hair.
Bloom without restraint.

I loved Amy's letter to her favorite flower.

Dear Lily of the Valley,
Wherever I see you and whenever I smell you, you take me immediately to the dappled shade underneath my favorite maple tree at home. Along woodland edges, your little white pearls are strung on an endless green silk thread. You are happy there and it shows: the places with the very best views. Your smell is more transporting than a first - class plane ticket, more nostalgic than even a whiff of my mother's perfume. Your essence cannot be distilled, though perfumers have been trying for a thousand years. I admire that about you.

You are the answer to the question everyone asks, the little secret I like to keep. My favorite flower?

A few more from Amy's lists of things to do.

Fancy Things To Do
Dress up to visit gardens.
Sleep on ironed pillowcases.
Treat yourself to afternoon tea.

Humble Things To Do
Smile at a stranger.
Send a letter.
Write with a freshly sharpened pencil.

Far Away Things To Do
Put flowers in your hotel room.
Send postcards.
Keep a travel journal.
Come home and see your world anew.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sweet~Sweet~Summer and it is the Hodgepodge.

It is Wednesday and that means it is time for the Hodgepodge.
 Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. The sweetness of summer...where have you found it recently? If you're in the Southern hemisphere, feel free to tell us about the sweetness you're finding in winter.
 Enjoying summer nights with my family.
We usually go for a walk in the evening. Watching the sunset, hearing the crickets and seeing  fireflies, all are sweet summer memory makers for me.

2. Take your sweet time, sweet tooth, home sweet home, short but sweet, the sweet smell of success, sweet talk...choose a sweet idiom and tell us how it fits your life currently?

 Home Sweet Home
 Our travel plans for this summer have been cancelled. We have been enjoying our backyard, garden and neighborhood friends.

 3. Sweet as honey, sweet as sugar, or sweet as pie, which phrase do you use when a sweet phrase is called for? What's the last sweet treat you indulged in?

Sweetie Pie.. I am known to say that to a certain Mr. in my house.
"Hey, Sweetie Pie"
 Below is a photo of my last sweet treat I indulged in.

4. First thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fidget?

A neighbor that use to live down the street.

  5. Share with us one of your favorite childhood travel memories.

A road trip to Michigan with my mom and grandpa.
Our destination was taking my grandpa to visit his brother, Steve,  who he had not seen in years and years.  
We took the ferry across Lake Michigan.
Witnessing my grandpa reunited with his brother was very special for me. 
The trip was a special time with my mom, it was just the three of us, my mom, me and my grandpa. We shared many laughs. 
One of the best laughs was when I fell asleep during the drive holding my milkshake. My mom was trying to wake me, my body jumped and my milkshake flew all over my grandpa.


 6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Continue to pray for protection and healing from COVID19.

Our Wisconsin National Guard son has been helping with the COVID19 testing.
He has been deployed to Milwaukee since April and his mission will be complete at the end of July. Over the weekend seven of his teammates got ill and tested positive with COVID19. One teammate has been hospitalized.  Sam is currently quarantined, he was tested Monday for COVID19 and will have the results today. At this time he is feeling fine.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Pocket Prayer Quilt

A surprise in the mail, from a dear friend.

This "Pocket Prayer Quilt"
was made especially for you to slip in your pocket.
Throughout the day when your fingers touch the cross
inside the quilt, be mindful of God's love and grace for you.
Keep it as a tangible symbol of God's peace.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Book Review ~ Down to Earth with Helen Dillon

I recently read Down to Earth with Helen Dillon.
Advice and inspiration from one of the world's great gardeners.

I loved Helen's wit.

I want to share a few paragraphs from her book that made me smile.

From the chapter..
Potting shed

"Tranquillity. Even saying the word has a calming effect. To me, the key to serenity is my shed. It has a lovely feeling of peace, and the good thing is that nobody knows exactly what I'm doing there. In reality I'm probably just standing still, gazing out of the window. But if footsteps approach I start banging pots about, hoping that whoever's coming along will think I'm too busy to be disturbed."

"Since the last time the shed was tidied, things have built up. The problem is all the bits of wire, boxes, trays, screws, string, plant ties, blunt pencils, drying seedheads, nails rusty and shiny, bags paper and polythene, stakes with one end snapped off, paintbrushes solid with dry paint, bags of this and bottles of that - not enough to use but too good to throw away."

"I love the definition of the verb "to potter" in my Chambers Dictionary - "to busy oneself in a desultory way; to dawdle."
Yes, one of the secrets of life is a good shed."

From the chapter..
Vanishing tools

"There are two distinct types of gardener. One goes outside and makes an amazing mess. Within minutes, weeds, tools, deadheads and buckets are scattered everywhere.
This is the type of who treats the flowerbed like a trampoline, trots down the path with muddy boots for a telephone call, doesn't bother to take the boots off at the back door, and finally sits down in the kitchen and demands a cup of tea. This mode of gardening is fine. I did just that. Then, when I realized how much good gardening time was wasted in cleaning up afterwards, I became the other sort of gardener. I tidy up as I go. How smug."

"Trowels can be worse. I like stainless - steel ones the best, but these are the first to go missing. Then I'm left with the ones to be avoided, which usually have jolly bright, coloured handles set at a peculiar angle to the digging bit of the trowel. The peculiar angel makes your hand ache to put any weight on them, and if you do manage to push them into the soil they go into terminal bend, from which they never recover. But you can't actually bring yourself to throw them away, so they hide at the back of the shed under some sacks until one day, when you've lost every other trowel in the place, you find a whole heap of them. But by then, you've forgotten that they're the bendy ones. Exasperation."

Monday, July 6, 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

♥ hearing "Good Citizen Stories" from our National Guard son Sam.. as local Milwaukee restaurants surprise the troops helping with COVID19 testing with lunch and dinner

♥ spending time celebrating the 4th of July with family at Home Sweet Home

♥ red, white and blue desserts

♥ watching firefly dance in the trees
♥ enjoying a good book on the deck with a summer breeze
♥ playing with old fashioned sparklers with my favorite people

Our son Atticus, me and my husband.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Happy Independence Weekend

Happy Independence Weekend

My Independence weekend post is a tribute to my dear friend Marv.
I met Marv in 2010.. we became fast friends because we both love to garden.
We gardened together at the Community Gardens for several years.
A few years ago some changes occurred with the leadership at the Community Gardens, we both decided it was time to move on. What did we both do? We both built more gardens at our homes.

Ha! Ha!

Marv will be 93 July 22!

Marv has worked hard all his life.

Watched two wives pass away from cancer. His first.. then he married his high school sweetheart.. and shortly after she got cancer and passed.

Marv drives to Texas to his new cabin, his original cabin got destroyed when Hurricane Harvey hit.

Marv has experienced terrible sadness. He will always tell you to keep going and keep smiling.
When it gets real bad, take one small step at a time, remember your friends, take time for nature and learn something new.

Marv likes to play tricks.
The year he placed huge bugs in my garden!

The year we got him back.
We invited Marv for dinner to celebrate his birthday.
Marv likes to call  from Texas during our cold -30 days and let us know how he is suffering down on the beach and it is 70 balmy degrees. Ha! Ha! Marv!
We came up with the idea to get Marv. During the winter the boys made up six snowballs and we placed them in the freezer. We kept them in the freezer, waiting for the perfect time to give them to Marv.

The perfect birthday gift!
We told him we had a special gift for him.
The photo tells all!

Marv is a Korean War Veteran. He has shared many a story with us.
He prays Sam and Atticus never see war.

We visited Thursday.
He pulls into our driveway, sits in the car and we visit.
He tells me "I have a hug for you. He points to his heart and tells me it is in his heart."

We both hate COVID19!

We visited and his advice to Atticus was.. never stop learning Atticus.
Learn from history, learn new things, always be learning.

He shared that he is currently reading his third book about the Bataan Death March. He served in Korea with several WWII veterans. Marv shared with us that many of them talked about the march.

He said, America is good. It may not be perfect, but America is good. America has helped many people and continues to do so. Never forget those who stood up and did what had to be done.

Happy Birthday America
thank you Marv.