About The River

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

♫ ♫ It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ♫ ♫ and it is the Hodgepodge!


Happy Christmas

It is Wednesday and it is time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 

We answer the questions.

Let's get started.

 1. What does Christmas mean to you? 

The journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, the Nativity of our Lord, and finally, the life of the Holy Family.

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."

John 1:14 

 2. What's your favorite cozy holiday activity? 

Reading our favorite Christmas stories aloud. 

 3. Is all your shopping-wrapping-baking done? Tell us about your holiday plans.

Not yet, but getting close. We will be traveling to my parents for the Christmas weekend. 

  4. If you were Santa what treat would you like to have left for you (it doesn't have to be milk and cookies!) What sweet or savory treat do you most look forward to indulging in around the holidays? 

I love peanut brittle. 

5. Next Wednesday is the first official day of winter (in the northern hemisphere). How does that make you feel? Tell us what you love most about winter?   

The first day of winter makes me giddy, because I know the days will start to get longer. Slowly at first, but by February we can tell we have more daylight here in Northwest Wisconsin.

I enjoy a day of cross country skiing or snowshoeing. 

 6. Insert your own random thought here.

 I found this idea from Charles Swindoll and thought it worth sharing.

Daily Gifts "our Christmas projects" leading up to December 25th.

Mend a quarrel.

Seek out a forgotten friend.

Write a long overdue love note.

Gladden the heart of a child.


Monday, December 12, 2022

A Little Bit of Christmas Outside


I was able to create my Christmas outdoor decorating this season with dried flowers from the garden, a walk in the woods and a little help from my dad.


The evergreen branches are from the two Christmas trees that we have in our home this season. We usually need to cut the lower branches to have the tree fit in our stand. I am happy that I can use the branches in my outside decorating. 

The dried hydrangea are from the garden as well as the millet.

The red berries I foraged in my parents woods and I found the bird nest too.

The box is an old potato box that my dad fixed up and gave me. Thank you, Dad!

And the rusty bell is a bell I use year after year.


The front door features my ol blue pot that I cannot move. It is full of dirt for me to plant my flowers in for the spring, summer and autumn. October though November, I had a mum in the pot for an autumn display.

Evergreens are laid on the top of the pot. An old basket a friend gave me is filled with rocks so it does not blow away in the winter wind. Then I added evergreens and berries, a bow and a rusty star.


Happy Christmas Decorating!



Friday, December 9, 2022

On The Road Friday ~ Ceska Opera House

 Hello Friends,

Today is on the road Friday and we are off to the Ceska Opera House.

Friday, December 2nd, my husband and I went to an Old Fashioned Christmas Show at the Ceska Opera House. 


Before we went to the show, we went on a little light tour. 



You can tell by looking at the flags flying in the wind, it was a windy winter night to be out on the town.


The Nativity is above the doorway of the building in the above photo. 

It is beautiful. 


Heading towards the Ceska Opera House.


It was a sold out show. 

We are getting ready to go and get some refreshments before the show starts.

Local talent made up the entire program. It was fantastic. Skits, music, readings and lots of laughs.

"Politically Correct Christmas" performed by the Uff-da Players was a true hit.



A beautiful presentation of the Nativity.


And as each guest left we were given a goody bag filled with old fashioned treats.

Peanuts, an apple, an orange and old time candy.



It was a lovely way to begin to celebrate the Christmas season.

Thank you for coming along with me to the Ceska Opera House.



Monday, December 5, 2022

December Birthday's

 Hello Friends,

Happy December Birthday!

It is always fun to learn about who shares a birthday with you. I have several special friends and even a famous singer that share a birthday with me.

The day after my birthday we celebrate a very special birthday, the U.S. National Guard.

 The birthday of the U.S National
Guard is celebrated on December
13th and although this is not a
federal holiday it is still an
important event to be noted.
Since, 1636, the National Guard is
the oldest military organization in
America. The members of the
National Guard serve during times
of war and emergencies.
Let us all take the time to honor
those who have protected our
country for centuries and
centuries to come.
The U.S National Guard birthday is important because it
is part of our history. This birthday of this prestigious
militia reminds our country of the past and can be used
as an opportunity to move further into its history. By
celebrating the birthday of the National Guard we show
our respect to those who risk their lives for America and
its citizens.

157th Brigade December Newsletter was the source for the above information.

Happy Birthday National Guard

I am a proud National Guard Mom!

 December 12th Birthday's

I share a birthday with a very special blogger Nana Diana .

My friend Angie gave birth to twin boys on 12/12! I am honored to share a birthday with two amazing young men.

My childhood friend Nellie, she too has a 12/12 birthday. 


That famous singer is Frank Sinatra, he was born December 12th.


 I just recently found out that Caroline "Ma" Ingalls  was born December 12th.

 Caroline “Ma” Ingalls (Dec. 12) was born in 1839 in Wisconsin and became the beloved matriarch of the Ingalls family.


  Caroline Ingalls  Click here for more information. 


Ingalls Family circa 1891
Photo Source        

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Knock Knock .. December is almost here and it is the Hodgepodge


The Greenhouse is decked out for Christmas.

Hello Friends,

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. Sum up your November in ten words or less. 


Amazing weather, that is unusual for Wisconsin in November. 

 2. Are you hosting any holiday parties this year?My birthday is in December. We host a little party for me, with cookie decorating and game playing.  Attending any? Yes. The company my husband works for hosts a wonderful Christmas party each year, we have a group of his co-workers that we sit by and catch up. We will travel to my parents farm for the Christmas weekend. Party pooper, party animal, or life of the party...where do you land when it comes to parties? I love to visit with people. It is catching up with friends and family at our holiday parties. I also love to play games.

3. Do you purchase holiday clothing of any sort (sparkly tops, Christmas jammies, Santa suit, etc). 

My sister purchases a Christmas T - shirt for the three of us, her, me and my mom. They are always fun. Last years print on the T-shirt was a hen wrapped in Christmas lights.

 4. What's your go-to recipe when you're asked to bring an hors d'oeuvre to a party? 

Taco Dip and Chips

 5. December 3rd is National Play Outside Day...what might you do to celebrate?

As I type this, we are receiving our first big snow of the season. We are up to five inches already and it is still coming down. My husband and I both enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing. I have a feeling we will be enjoying one of the two this weekend.

 6. Insert your own random thought here.  


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Armchair Gardening



 Hello Friends,

Today I am sharing the article I wrote for the November issue of the Cameron Chronicle.

"The Little Paper With Personality."


Armchair Gardening

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

At the end of October, the garden is put to bed. The pots are packed away. Spring bulbs are planted and seeds have been harvested.

Now it is time for armchair gardening. Now is the time to study the books and flip through the magazines you did not have time for.

Seed catalogs will arrive, it is time to start to write notes about seeds and plants you want to include in the new season.

Armchair Gardening


The Creative Gardener

Inspiration and Advice to Create the Space You Want

Author Adam Frost

The Complete Gardener: A Practical, Imaginative Guide to Every Aspect of Gardening

Author Monty Don



Birds and Blooms


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving Hodgepodge


November in Wisconsin

Hello Friends, 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. When did you most recently need to 'think fast'? Elaborate.

Just last Wednesday.. we went to mail a package to our deployed son. We had a new person working the front desk of the Post Office. She had not been trained on a military address and became very frustrated. We had just visited the Post Office last week to mail a package to our son. Her frustration was growing.. I thought fast and shared what we did during the week before when coming in to mail a package. She calmed down and we got the package mailed.

2. The Hodgepodge lands on National Fast Food Day. What was the last fast food you ate? I ordered a mushroom and swiss burger with french fry and an ice tea to drink. What's your favorite fast food? Culver's How often do you grab fast food? Not often.

 3. Life in the fast lane, get nowhere fast, on the fast track, not so fast...pick one and tell us how it applies to your life in recent days

 Life in the fast lane.. because life is moving along.. and Thanksgiving sneaked up on me.

 4. Are you a fast walker? fast talker? fast worker? fall asleep fast? stay fast asleep without too much trouble? 

I am a fast walker.

 5. What is one 'hard and fast rule' in your house? 

NO.. devices at the dinner table.

  6. Insert your own random thought here.  


 Happy Thanksgiving




Monday, November 14, 2022

Welcome to Camp Lemonnier



Hello Friends, today I will share an update from Sam.

 First, I am so thankful for technology. Sam is able to text message us just about daily. We have received one phone call from him. There was a delay and some static, but it was great to hear his voice. 

Above is his patch. The 157th are now in charge of AFRICOM. The team that the 157th are relieving are from Illinois. They trained the 157th and left to come home to the states. The 157th are now at the ready.



The troops live in shipping containers. Sam's unit are stacked shipping containers and he lives on the third level. Some of the troops try to garden. He always lets his gardening mom know what the growing conditions are.. "not much vegetation here mom."

The November Full Moon in the African Sky.

Thank you for the continued prayers for the 157th.



Friday, November 11, 2022

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home ~ Our South Garden in bloom in early September 2022.

Hello Friends,

Today I want to share with you a message I recently read from Charles Swindoll that made me smile. I think it will make you smile as well.

The beautiful music of living is composed, practiced, and perfected in the harmony of home. The freedom to laugh long and loudly... the encouragement to participate in memories and deepen our roots in the rich, rare soil of authentic happiness. 

It made me smile, because it is so true of how important home is. I love when I can invite others into the comfort of my home. I enjoy decorating my home for the seasons. I love when my boys are excited to come home. 

Home Sweet Home

   And speaking of home. Below is a photo of our chicken coop and the chicken run. I love when the leaves fall on the roof of the run.

The below photos where taken in early October on a lovely sun dance day. 

The coop is all winterized for our dear hens. A cozy.. home sweet home.


Monday, November 7, 2022

2022 Pumpkin Party


Hello Friends,

We hosted our annual pumpkin party October 23rd. It was a beautiful October day in Northwest Wisconsin. Our last few weeks of October and early November weather has been fantastic.

We enjoyed a menu of..

Homemade Creamy Potato Soup

A variety of Wisconsin cheese slices and homemade sourdough crackers.

Hot Apple Cider

Catie, Sam's girlfriend came with her little sister. Catie made a delicious Sweet Potato Pie and Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies.

We also enjoyed S'mores and Apple Hand-pies later in the day.

We set up pumpkin carving and pumpkin painting outside. 

My parents grew all of the pumpkins that we carved that day.

Eleanor is Catie's little sister. This was the first time meeting our family. She was not shy at all. She really enjoyed time with my mom.


Eleanor painted all of her pumpkins. She loved painting.

We saved seed from all of the pumpkins. My parents are already looking forward to planting, growing and hauling a truck load of pumpkins for our 2023 Pumpkin Party.



Friday, November 4, 2022

Button Up


Hello Friends,

Welcome November.. and it is time to button up.

My husband always calls out during that last week of October and the first week of November, "It is time to button up."

 The following can be checked off the list...

Spring bulbs planted 

Garlic planted

Garden hoses and water turned off 

Outdoor pots and planters cleaned and stored  √

Outdoor furniture cleaned and put away

Greenhouse cleaned 

A few things that have to get finished up this coming week..

Winterize chicken coop

One last grill and the grill is cleaned and put away


We have enjoyed amazing weather these last few weeks of October and the first week of November. I am sharing a Weather Fun Fact..

November 2nd

1933 Eau Claire, Wisconsin reached a high temperature of 75 degrees  

2022 we tied that record, we enjoyed 75 degrees on November 2nd.

And how about the coldest temperature set for November 2nd?

1951 Negative 1 degree

I will take the 75!

Happy Weekend my friends and do you button up?


Friday, October 28, 2022



No Weeds Please

Hello Friends,

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



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

October is here. Cold and warm air mingle together. Our light turns golden and we start to put the garden to bed.

A very important autumn job to do is pull weeds. Hopefully you can pull weeds before the seeds drop. With dry soil and rain during September, new weeds have germinated. Use the opportunity of any dry October day to tickle the surface with a hoe, the quickest way of killing thousands of weed seedlings in a short time.

Other jobs for the month of October.

Add mulch.

Put your leaves to work for you. Use them as a mulch for your garden.

Plant tulips, daffodils, allium, crocus and other spring flowers.

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are October’s.”

L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

A Story from the Flower Shack


Hello Friends, today I am going to share a story with you. As you know, I have a fresh cut flower business, May through September. We call the little building I sell my bouquets out of, the Flower Shack. I started my small business in 2012.

I have many stories, from happy deliveries, to theft, to sweet customers and surprises.

In the month of April I came home to find a big box of vases on my door step. No note, no sign of who gave them to me. This happened again in May, June, July and August. Then in September I happen to be working in my garden when I heard footsteps, I peeked and there she was, the lady who has been surprising me. 

She looked at me and smiled. I said,"Thank You, I appreciate the vases." She said, " I did not want you to see me. I like surprising you, now you have caught me.  I enjoy looking for unique vases and I love your Flower Shack. I love how it is a bright spot in our community."

This past Wednesday I found another box on my door step and the above note. 


My word for 2022 is Sunshine. This is the first time I have played along with choosing a word for the year. I can say to this little surprise that I found each month on my doorstep, it filled me with sunshine.

 ♥ a source of cheer or happiness 





Monday, October 24, 2022

This and That


Hello Friends,

A little of this and that to share with you.

We enjoyed a visit to our local apple orchards. My husband made Crab Apple Jelly and it is delicious spread on a slice of English Muffin Toast.

 We enjoyed exploring a corn maze, a tractor ride along the orchard and eating one of the best apple turnovers I have ever tasted.

Mid - October the bees are still visiting.

 Collecting seeds, digging up dahlia, gladiolus and calla lily.



Still blooming under an October snow fall.

Trick or Treat?


The snow melted and we have been enjoying lovely Autumn weather. And I say to you..

Happy New Garden Year

as we plant..




crocus and more.




Wednesday, October 19, 2022

It is a Favorite Autumn Veggie Hodgepodge!


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Hello Friends, 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 something you wish you'd figured out sooner? 

It has to do with finances. My husband and I both will say.. "Goodness, if we would have known this when we were 25!"

 2. Something from childhood you still enjoy today? 

When my mom makes me her special No Bake Cookies. I loved them when I was a child and still love them when she surprises me with them today.

 3. Are you a fidgeter? No, I am not.  What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fidget? When our boys lived here at home, we nicknamed our neighbor "Fidget" because he cannot sit down.

 4. Your favorite fall vegetable? How do you like it prepared? 

I like kale. I was taught that when growing your kale in the garden you should let it receive a light frost, it makes it sweeter. 

Last week I made a fresh kale salad. 

I roasted pecans, let them cool while I prepared my salad. I used kale and spinach tossing in feta cheese, diced apple and adding the pecans. Then I drizzled a healthy amount of balsamic vinaigrette.

 5. What's something you find mildly annoying, but not annoying enough to actually do anything about? Might you now? 

We need to organize our freezer. It is mildly annoying.. but getting more annoying.

Any volunteers to come give me a hand with this project? Ha!

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 

 "It's the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!" 

Winnie the Pooh - Pooh's Grand Adventure