About The River

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Merry Christmas


Looking out the patio door.. during our big snow fall December 10th. 

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a beautiful Christmas weekend with family and friends.

I recently read an article written by Paul Anthony Wallerius. I am going to share some of it in my own words..

In our youth we make Christmas all about what we are going to get. We create our list and never doubt there will be several packages under the tree with our names on them. As we grow older we realize that there isn't much that we want or need and we make the transformation from "getter" to "giver" because it brings us joy.

2021 has been another difficult and quarrelsome year.  

Paul shares a gift suggestion that if given and received would surely bring about more peace on earth and good will toward men.

What could do that?















Thursday, December 16, 2021

Creating an Amaryllis and Narcissus Garden


Creating an Amaryllis and Narcissus Garden 

I decided to try creating an Amaryllis and Narcissus garden to brighten up the months of January and February. I will explain how I created mine and in the next few weeks I hope to share it with you in full bloom.

First I found what I wanted to create my garden in, which is an old bucket with holes already in the bucket. I have an old wash basin  to set the bucket in, so any extra water does not drain on the floor.



 The night before I got my amaryllis out of the package and placed the roots in a wee bit of water. This wakes the sleeping roots.


I added grit to my pot.

Amaryllis do not like to be setting in water. Do not put water on the bulb.

Add your soil.

Plant your Amaryllis 1/3 to 1/4 above the soil.

During the autumn I harvested some moss that was growing on some bricks. I placed the moss on a paper towel and placed it in a plastic bag. This created a little greenhouse. The moss has been growing and doing well.

I used the moss to create an outdoor look around the bulbs.

As my little indoor garden grows, I will share updates. I am in hopes for a BIG pop of color in January.


I have not had luck keeping my amaryllis bulbs year to year, if you have any tips, please share.



Tuesday, December 14, 2021

December Article for the Cameron Chronicle


Hello Friends,

Today I am sharing the article that I wrote for our Village Newspaper, Cameron Chronicle.. "The Little Paper With Personality."


Merry Christmas from The Little Garden That Could

By Carla TePaske of Cameron WI ~ The Little Garden That Could

The garden is sleeping and dreaming of spring.

Us gardeners are also taking a wee little rest before we start to plan our 2022 growing season. For many of us, we still want to work with some green. A perfect way to do that is to create a Christmas wreath.

Christmas wreaths are made by twisting or bending evergreen branches into a large circle which are then decorated with pinecones and a red bow. If you do not think you can make a wreath, try creating an evergreen swag.

You can find different evergreens by shopping online, visiting a local nursery or going out foraging in your backyard.

Cut your evergreen to the length you will want it it hang on your door or wall. Add other artificial branches, berries and pinecones. Use wire to wrap around the stems to secure the branches. Add a bow for the final touch.

Another fun way to keep gardening during the holiday season is to plant amaryllis and narcissus. Create an indoor garden by planting three amaryllis in a large pot. Another idea is to plant narcissus and amaryllis together in a large pot.

The big blooms will make you smile as we wait to start flipping through our seed catalogs.

The Little Garden That Could wishes you a Merry Christmas, may you enjoy time with family and friends.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Joy List Monday


A brave little flower, that I found in the snow.

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

 ♥ the first Christmas greeting in the mailbox

 ♥ candle light

 ♥ Christmas carols streaming through the house

 ♥ homemade butternut squash soup

 ♥ my kitty sitting on my lap


Friday, December 3, 2021

Decorating for Christmas

 This season we are keeping our decorating easier. I use to go all out, with a village, artificial snow, wall hangings and more. As the seasons of my life have changed, my boys leaving the nest, my decorating as changed as well. Simpler, using more nature in my decorating, twinkle lights and candles.

And that is just what we did this weekend.

On Saturday, I decorated the house and did the outside decorating.

On Sunday, the boys came home for the day and we decorated the tree.

We cut two small pine trees during our visit to my parents farm to place in pots. One in front of the chicken coop, the other on our front deck.

I am busy placing red bows on the tree, while the hens investigate my work.

There is nothing  quite like Christmas.

Using nature, candles and twinkle lights, making our Willow Tree Nativity look just right. 



On Sunday we unpacked old memories, while making new ones. 

Miss Penelope posed perfectly under the decorated Christmas Tree.


Happy December my friends.



Monday, November 29, 2021

November Article for the Cameron Chronicle


Hello Friends,

I want to share my article that I wrote for the November issue of the Cameron Chronicle, "The Little Paper With Personality."

In my November article I share Christmas Ideas for the Gardener.



Christmas Ideas for the Gardener

By Carla TePaske of Cameron, WI ~ The Little Garden That Could

The Christmas season is just a calendar page away. If you have a gardener in your life, here are a few fun Christmas gift ideas.

Flower bulbs make great Christmas gifts for friends and family and will lighten up dreary winter days with their colorful blooms and lovely scents. Choose amaryllis bulbs for striking flowers and hyacinths or narcissi for wonderful fragrance.

Books make great gifts for the gardener as well. Floret Farm's
Cut Flower Garden
by Erin Benzakein is a fantastic gift for your flower loving gardener.

For the vegetable gardener you can not go wrong with The Old Farmer's Almanac Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook by Old Farmer’s Almanac.

For your die-hard gardener, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year, No Matter Where You Live by Niki Jabbour. Even in winter’s coldest months you can harvest fresh, delicious produce. Drawing on insights gained from years of growing vegetables in Nova Scotia, Niki Jabbour shares her simple techniques for gardening throughout the year. Learn how to select the best varieties for each season, the art of succession planting, and how to build inexpensive structures to protect your crops from the elements. No matter where you live, you’ll soon enjoy a thriving vegetable garden year-round.

A fun garden book for children, We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines. After reading, children will learn:

Trying something new isn't always easy, but the hardest work often yields the greatest reward. The basic steps and process of starting a garden. The importance of patience and how it is possible to learn from your mistakes.

If you have someone special in your life that used to garden, but no longer can, a perfect gift would be a flower subscription. The Little Garden That Could provides this special service. A flower subscription from The Little Garden That Could is a bouquet of fresh-cut locally grown flowers. The delivery area is a 30 mile radius from Cameron, Wisconsin.

As you prepare for the holidays, do not forget to harvest some of your garden to create festive wreaths or arrangements. Use seed heads, rose hips, berries, hydrangeas and anything else you can forage.

Friday, November 26, 2021



That busy time of the season is upon us. At times the Christmas season feels rather like a marathon.. in getting all the decorations up, the holiday baking done, mailing out Christmas cards, gifts purchased and wrapped.

This season, I am going to reflect on wonderful memories. I plan to be gentle with myself and not fret about doing it all. I will be thankful for spring, summer, autumn and winter. I will be thankful for family and friends. 

Thankful Living is Thanks Giving



Monday, November 22, 2021

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

 ♥ hot earl grey tea

 ♥ november sunshine

 ♥ marmalade on an english muffin

 ♥ seeing both of my boys this past week

 ♥ planning and preparing the baking of  holiday cookies and treats


This past week was a week of worry for me. I was given  a recent reminder ~ worry forces us to focus on the wrong things!

We worry about the unknown and uncertain events of tomorrow. When we focus on the wrong things, we miss the main thing that life is all about.


Monday, November 15, 2021

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

 ♥ a gift of sea shells from a friend

A dear friend of mine spends the summer in Wisconsin and the rest of the year at her Florida home.. she gifted me something she can pick up for free and means so much to me... I love sea shells and it looks like Penelope does too.

 ♥ sourdough bread

 ♥ cozy evenings sitting next to the fireplace looking at photos of English gardens

♥ the full moon



Friday, November 12, 2021

On the Road Friday ~ Kinstone ~ Part 1


The August/September issue of Our Wisconsin magazine featured Kinstone ~ a modern megalithic wonder.

Our son Sam had visited Kinstone last summer. The feature in Our Wisconsin reminded me that I wanted to visit.

Below I am sharing a few photos I took from the magazine article. 

I am sharing where Fountain City is located in Wisconsin. I live about two hours Northeast.


Our adventure started out early in the morning October, 15th. We wanted to arrive early to Kinstone and drive the River Road back home.

I will now share some of the photos we took on our explore of Kinstone. 

What does the name Kinstone mean?

From the Kinstone FAQ's

Kinstone is a concatenation of KIN and STONE. KIN means family, it represents all relationships - between people, plants, animals, stone, water, wind, fire, earth, sky - all of it. STONE means - well, it means stone! This is a place of RELATIONSHIP punctuated by STONE that reminds us we are interwoven with everything. All is one.

The photo below is Basin Rock ~ a.k.a. The Giver ~ a basin shaped rock holding water; she offers the water to the land.

I will share more photos of our adventures to Kinstone in a future post.




Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Looking Back at the Hodgepodge!


Happy November my friends. It is Wednesday and that means it is time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.

 From this Side of the Pond


Click here to join the fun! 


1. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you had thought about it maybe another five minutes before hitting publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere?

 My blog name, The River, was inspired by my love for rivers. I grew up next to a river. It was and still is a very special place for me. A river is ever changing.. yet the same.

No, I would not change my blog name.

 2. What bill do you least like to pay? 

During the garden season we love a nice regular rain, to water our garden and keep our rain barrels full. We collect rain water to water our garden. We have two big rain barrels. This past season we had a drought. We did have to use our village water to water our garden. Oh goodness, I did not like that bill.

 3. What is your favorite word? Okay okay, calm down. How about one of your favorite words? 


 4. Is the glass half full or half empty? Elaborate. 

I try to stay positive. The glass is half full.

The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

 5. Were you here for that very first Hodgepodge post? If so, were your answers then similar to what they are today? Tell us what was happening in your life in November of 2010? 

I was not here for the first Hodgepodge.

I was a  busy mom to a ten and eight year old boy. I was busy helping as a teacher's aid at Growing Lights Christian Academy.

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Tribute to the Troops

A very special Christmas Tree that our Wisconsin Governor has in the Governor's Mansion.

Each year we participate. 

Samuel  ~ our son, active Wisconsin National Guard 

Samuel  ~ my grandpa, WW2

Marv ~ our dear friend, Korean War

 With Veteran's Day tomorrow, I take this time to say" THANK YOU!"


Monday, November 8, 2021

I Bring You the Garden Chat!


This summer I teamed up with our local Library to do a garden chat. May through September I did a presentation. For the month of May pollinators were the highlight of the presentation.

Creating a Pollinator Garden

If you love butterflies, you will want to create a pollinator garden. It is not as hard as you think. 

 That is me! The wind was so strong that evening, as you can tell by my hair.

 It was a fun evening. It was a great way to start off the Garden Chat's.

I am sharing the hand out I prepared for the event.

Butterfly Garden Essentials

To attract butterflies to your yard and garden, you need to plant both nectar and host plants. Nectar plants provide food for the adult butterflies that pass through your garden. It is important to have plants that will bloom each season, providing nectar for the butterflies.

If you want butterflies all season long, you should plant host plants. Host plants are the plants that the butterflies lay their eggs on and that the caterpillars eat.

Tips for Creating a Butterfly Garden

1. Lots of sun. Most butterfly plants need at least 6 hours of sun each day.

2. Planting in groups. It is easier for butterflies to see plants when they are planted in groups of three or more, because butterflies are nearsighted. When planting host plants, planting in groups will ensure that there is enough food for the caterpillar.

3. Shelter from the wind. Butterflies are delicate, so a little protection will help. Tall plants, trellises or fences.

4. Sunning spots. Rocks and stepping stones can be used by butterflies to warm themselves so they can fly when it is cool outside.

5. NO PESTICIDES! The most important thing to remember is that butterflies and caterpillars are insects. DO NOT USE PESTICIDE!

Black Swallowtail

Host/Larval Food Plants

Carrot, Dill, Parsley, Queen Anne’s Lace

Adult Food

Aster, Blazing Star, Chives, Phlox, Lantana, Milkweed, Zinnia


Host/Larval Food Plants

Butterfly Weed, Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed

Adult Food

Aster, Blazing Star, Cosmos, Goldenrod, Lantana, Zinnia


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Thankful Living is Thanks Giving.


Thankful Living is Thanks Giving.

I was recently reminded of the following..

People who know who they are, who possess a clear sense of their mission, and who understand God's plan and purpose for their lives, are people who experience genuine fulfillment. That does not mean they do not face extreme obstacles. Rather, it means they have learned to face those challenges in ways that transform obstacles into opportunities. Rather than stumbling over them, they press on through them.


Sunday, October 31, 2021

Pumpkin Carving Party 2021



It is time to pick out a pumpkin. 

Guess what, my parents grew our pumpkins for the 2021 pumpkin carving party.

The hot cider is ready!

The chili is bubbling!

The bon fire is keeping us toasty warm.

Let us get started!


Cleaning our pumpkins out. We keep the seeds to roast. 


A few of our fun creations!


A Jack O Lantern sways fitfully in the wind ~ 

A flame dances wildly from within ~ 

It's there to BEWITCH! 

Beware; It's Dark! Run In!


 Listen! The wind is rising & the air is wild with leaves; 

we have had our summer evenings, now for October Eves!

 Humbert Wolf

Our son Atticus caught this squirrel checking out their pumpkins.

 Trick or Treat

 Happy Halloween to you.