About The River

Friday, October 30, 2020

Trick or Treat ~ The Annual Pumpkin Carving Party

 Hello Friends,

Sunday we hosted our annual pumpkin carving party. My mom, dad, both our boys and Sam's girlfriend Catie all joined us on this snowy day. We usually carve the pumpkins outside, but this year we carved inside. I set up a table, placed an old sheet on the floor and it all worked out very well.

It may have looked like Christmas outside.. but inside it was all about Halloween.


On the Menu:

Hot Cider



with all the fixings.. saltine crackers, oyster crackers, sour cream, cheddar cheese and onions

and my mom made a Poppyseed Cake for dessert. 


Recipe for Poppycock

1 cup salted peanuts

1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup peacans

8 cups popped popcorn

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the peanuts, almonds, and pecans together in a large roasting pan. Toast in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. Add popcorn to the toasted nuts. 

Grease two cookie sheets. 

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, stir in sugar, corn syrup, and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil, boil for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Pour over the popcorn and toasted nuts, stir and lay the mixture out on the pans. Let cool completely. Break up and store in airtight containers.


The pumpkin carvings of 2020..

The big happy pumpkin was created by my son Sam's girlfriend, Catie.

The X eyed scary pumpkin, by Atticus.

The RIP 2020 pumpkin created by, my husband.

Star pumpkin, by me.

The torpedo smile pumpkin, my dad.

The black spider, my mom.

The big scary pumpkin on the chair was created by,  Sam.


I think we all can agree.. RIP 2020!



Sam and Catie's pumpkin's glowing, wishing you a Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 29, 2020

October Color of the Month ~ Orange

 Hello Friends,

At the start of 2020 I decided to choose a color of a month. 

I would do a post sharing that color with photos.

January ~ White

February ~ Red

March ~ Green

April ~ Pink

May ~ Red, White and Blue

June ~ Yellow

July ~ Purple

August ~ Blue

September ~ Brown

October ~ Orange


  One of my favorites.. the orange on the caterpillar and the orange shoe laces in the back ground.

Happy Orange October 

"One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats."

Iris Murdoch


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

October 20th Snowstorm 2020

 Hello Friends,

It is 2020, the year that just keeps surprising us. Our October was starting out lovely, I had flowers still in bloom, happy bees and slowly getting my garden put to bed. Things were going smooth. I felt confident I would have all my garden work done by November 1st.

Oh, but the wind shifted, we got very cold and it began to snow.

8 inches in total!

And I woke up to a cold 10 degrees this morning!

October Snow

Looking into my greenhouse, snow outside, green inside.
Kale, spinach and lettuce.

Time to get out the snow shovel.

The snow is accumulating.

Jack o Lantern's are hiding.

And my garden is waiting for me to finish putting to bed.

Good New..  the good news is that the weather is slowly warming up for the rest of the week. I will be able to get outside and finish digging gladiola bubs and planting my tulip bulbs.

On the road between the houses of friends grass does not grow.


Monday, October 26, 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 


 ♥ chocolate

 ♥ a warm cup of lemon ginger tea

 ♥ curbside pick up at the library

 ♥ candlelight dancing on the ceiling

♥ a bowl of chili with a dab of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Jack Frost came for a visit and it is the Hodgepodge!


Jack Frost visited October 20th and winter is knocking on the door. A Winter Weather Advisory is already beeping on the weather app.

It is Wednesday and that means it is time for the Hodgepodge!

Joyce asks the questions. 

We answer the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 


From this Side of the Pond1. Just your weekly mid-week reminder that it's fall y'all and it's my favorite. I love nearly all the flavors of fall but let's weigh in with an either or today...pumpkin or cranberry?pumpkin hot apple cider or pumpkin spice latte? hot apple cider cinnamon or maple? cinnamon  apple or pear? pear ginger or sage? ginger carrot or butternut squash?butternut squashYes you have to choose. What's a favorite dish made with one of the flavors listed here? 

Cranberry Cake


Cranberry Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5 minutes. Add butter and extract, beat 2 minutes. Stir in flour. Stir in cranberries.

Spread into a greased 13in. x 9in. x 2in. baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

 2. Do you miss traveling? We do day trips. Our state of Wisconsin is beautiful and we have yet to explore all of Wisconsin.  Taking a day trip works perfect.  In this season of almost no travel do you think you've grown anxious or fearful about traveling again? Or has all this staying home not going anywhere made you restless to get out and see the world? We have done take out during day trips. We also have packed a fun picnic lunch. We have never felt anxious during our adventures. Yet, they all have been in our home state and we make it back to sleep in our own bed. What book have you read or what movie have you watched that has inspired you to travel? 
I am blessed because I do not live far from my favorite lake. 
 3. A time you felt like you were 'flying by the seat of your pants'? Explain. 
Wisconsin's weather has turned to winter overnight. I am doing all my usual autumn garden clean up.. by the seat of my pants in that I am working in snow and doing everything a wee different. And in layers upon layers of clothing and layers of gloves because I am digging in the dirt.

4. Do you struggle with road rage or are you more of a 'Sunday driver'? Do you like to be 'in the driver's seat (literally and/or figuratively speaking) ?
I am a  "Sunday Driver"  because I like to look at the sights and will slow down to do so.
My husband does most of the driving.
As far as "in the driver's seat" I am fine with that. I have taken the drivers seat for many a project.
 5. Something you've recently 'put the brakes on'? 
I am tapping the brakes at where I head to look for my current news. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

One more frosty photo!


Monday, October 19, 2020

Garden Angel



Hello Friends,

I wanted to give an update regarding Marv. He had a downward turn over the weekend. Hospice has been brought into the home.

Marv is staying with his family, they live about 7 hours South from our neck of the woods. The family has shared that we are welcome to visit Marv whenever we want. They have been great with keeping us posted on how he is doing. Thank you for the prayers for Marv.

If you are new to reading The River you can find many a story about our dear friend Marv. A 92 year old who always told me he was "39" who loved to play jokes, looked at the positive of life, (even when the punches kept coming his way), never stopped learning and loved our two boys.

The jokes he played on us and more can be found here.



Friday, October 16, 2020

On The Road Friday ~ Curbside Pickup at the Cameron Library

 Hi Friends,

On the Road Friday posts are when I highlight a place that we have visited. Past posts have been adventures to Wisconsin state parks, our road trip to South Dakota and cross country ski adventures. Today we are going to travel just down the street from my house, to our local library. Our local library is open for curbside pickup. We can order books using the online system or calling our library for help in finding books. When our books are available for pick up, we schedule a curbside pick up.

We return our books in the outdoor book drop.

In June our librarian, Dawn asked if I would spruce up the front entrance. The library may not be open as usual, but it was still open in a new way and she wanted it to have it look "open", she swept down the cobwebs and I created three flower pots.

I created the pots using wave petunias, wandering jew and sedum, they thrived and bloomed all summer long.

I thought I had a photo of the potted plants I did for the library, I guess I do not. You can just see one of the pots in the photo below.

At the end of September I shared with Dawn that we would be happy to decorate the library entrance for Autumn. She loved the idea.

In the meantime, our son needed to swap vehicles with us. He had our Ford Escape, that you can lay the seats down, easily lay corn stalks down  and shut the hatch door.

We got his little Nissian Versa, that does not really have a way to transport corn stalks, unless you decide to get creative.


Thankfully, we live only a few blocks from the library. We loaded our son's car with the corn stalks, pumpkins and drove down the street to the library. A little girl riding her bike did a double look, but I am sure she added the sighting of a small car traveling with corn stalks, to the list of crazy things of 2020!



Using corn stalks, pumpkins, broom corn, and ribbon we created a fun curbside entrance for our local library.


Thank you for joining me on this, on the road Friday to the front doors of our local library. Is your local library open? Or are they doing curbside pick up too?

Enjoy the weekend!



Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Halloween Decorations 2020



Happy Halloween Friends,

I decorated our home for Halloween on Saturday. 

My mom has gifted me several of my Halloween decorations. She loves ceramics, my sister  and I are the lucky ones to receive her beautiful accomplishments as gifts.



I love the smile on this Halloween Cat!



 A Happy Jack o Lantern.


It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.  

A family favorite and a must watch every season.


My mom gifted me the above pumpkin scarecrow many years ago. She went to Madison with my sister to World Dairy Expo. I helped my dad on the farm while they were on the trip. She gifted me "Bob" and he is a favorite of mine.


 I like to use nature in my decorating. 

 Trick or Treat to you!

And speaking of  Trick or Treat? Has your community decided on if Trick or Treat will be held this season? I have not heard regarding our little village of Cameron. I do know surrounding communities have decided to cancel Trick or Treat.


Friday, October 9, 2020

5 Gallons!

 Hi Friends,

My husband and I tackled a big project the last few weeks. We stained our home and changed the trim colors, replaced a door and two outdoor light fixtures. Our friend Deb helped two of the days and she brought us lunch. We had a few unexpected things happen along the way, but that is how it works with house projects.. right? 

Our home is stained brown, it had gray and yellow trim.

Old door and old light fixture.

 We used 5 gallons of stain to freshen up our home. We used the same color as before, a dark brown color. Our home is two story, and my husband did all the "high spots"  and I did the "low spots".

My photo above shows one of the  unexpected things.. we had a freak thunderstorm roll in. We had rain and hail mixed in and at the bottom of the trim area, the rain and hail acted like a pressure washer to our paint that we had painted earlier that day. It all cleaned up well and we touched up the damaged area.

 Looking up at the "high spots" my husband did a great job reaching those, while I supervised down below, " you missed a spot."

We spray painted the hinges of our garage black. Did I mention we live in a 100 year + house. It has a lot of character, but it also has many updates still needed. We want to be careful on how we remodel so we do not change up the character of the home. At some point we plan to replace the garage, for now we painted the door, trim and hinges.

 Looking at the finished project. We are so pleased with the blue.

Can you spy the new door and light fixture?

We used Benjamin Moore paint. Click here to visit Benjamin Moore

This is just our opinion, we loved working with Benjamin Moore paint. We were very pleased of how it went on the wood and it was true to color.

 We are so pleased and it makes one feel so good when you complete a project.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Our boys do not know about this project. They will be coming home the last weekend in October.. I can not wait to have them see "the new house".



Wednesday, October 7, 2020

It is the Small Things and it is the Hodgepodge!



 The smell of wood-smoke on a cool crisp October day.


It is Wednesday and that means it is time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.

 Click here to join the fun!

1. What's one part of your everyday routine you'd be better off without? 

Checking the news of the day. I have stepped away from checking the news of the day,  then one of my friends text messaged me "HEY DID YOU KNOW" .. and I did not because I was taking a news break. And then I feel uniformed. So I go back to checking the news of the day.


2. October 5th is/was National Do Something Nice Day. So what did you/will you do? 
I did not know it was National Do Something Nice Day on October 5th.
 I did do something nice, I sent a care package to our boys.
3. What question do you hate to answer? 
 Did you hear the news today?

4. Do we have control over technology or does it have control over us. In that same vein, have you watched The Social Dilemma (available on Netflix) and if so what did you think? 
I did not watch The Social Dilemma. I will be interested to read how others answer this question.
I recently listened to a farmer talk about how technology is helping farmers learn when a calf will be born. The technology is placed inside the cow and when she is going to have the calf a text message will be sent to the farmer, so the farmer can stop what he/she is doing and get to the cow.
The farmer did say, " the technology is fine, but there are so many other signals a cow gives to show she is going to give birth. And many times those signals will lead to know if the birth will be difficult. I want to always be watching my animals, and not get lazy by having AI watching and sending me a text message. I want to be in care of my animals."

5. What are three small things that make your day better? 

A kiss from my husband and his arms wrapped around me!
 A cup of tea!
 6. Insert your own random thought here. 
My husband and I just finished a huge project. We stained and changed the trim color of our home. We also put in two new outdoor light fixtures and a new door.
We are so pleased with how it all turned out.
I will share photos soon.

 Color swatches of our paint colors for the BIG project.