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.