About The River

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Flowers! Flowers! Flowers!


Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.

Luther Burbank


Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells and pretty maids all in a row.

"When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden." 

Minnie Aumonier

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.



Friday, July 22, 2022

A Monster of the Deep

 Hello Friends,

Each garden season I enjoy creating my water feature/my pond. I use a large galvanized bucket and a whiskey barrel to create my little area. I have a back garden of hosta, rocks and other decoration. Around the whiskey barrel I have rocks, clam shells, snail shells and other items I have found during my hikes.

This season I have a large pot of white impatiens and a castor bean in a pot.

Last season I winter overed the water plants that I have in my little whiskey barrel. Both water plants are native to Florida and I purchased the water plants at one of our local Pet Stores when I purchased our fish last season. I shared the story here at The River. If you missed it, I will quickly sum it up. I usually buy the 'feeder fish' or 'comets' to place in my pond. They only cost about 0.20 cents. I enjoy having a few fish swimming in the pond.

Last season when I purchased my fish, the young man helping me asked what the fish were for. When I shared that they would be used in a pond, he said "Oh, I will pick out some fun colored fish. Most of the time the fish are used to feed turtles and piranhas." I went on to share my story that we have one of our original pond fish, she will be going on three years old as of last year.

All of the fish I bought last year died by the end of the season.

 We still had our original old fish and the water plants. I wintered over the plants. And our old fish continues to swim on, as I type this little story.

And so this season, I set up the whiskey barrel and went to the Pet Store to purchase 12 new fish for the pond. This season the fish cost 0.20 cents. I had a young lady help me. She selected 12 fish to come live happily in our pond. And once again I shared how we still have one of our original pond fish. I shared that the old fish is going on four years old and has grown. At this, the young lady shared with me "these feeder fish will live for a long time if taken care of."

Once I returned home all 12 fish were dumped into the pond. Each morning I found a few belly up. One morning I found several belly up. I began to fear that I would have to visit the Pet Store again and have to tell the young lady who helped me, things were not going well in the fish department. 

Fear Not..

I am happy to report that no more fish went belly up and I am the proud owner of five new fish and my one old fish.

And now to get to the title of this post. Out of the five new fish, four are bright orange and one is deep black. I feed the fish every morning. Each morning I am blessed with a  chuckle. That black fish, is a true monster of the deep. The goldfish will be swimming on top of the water. I sprinkle the fish food on the surface of the water and they will begin to eat. Then from the deep, the little black fish will come swimming up and make a splash as he eats a flake of fish food. He will swim deep down and again come up for a flake, making a big show of it. He does this everyday.

I shared with my husband about our monster of the deep. One afternoon I decided to see if our little monster would perform. I was a little worried as my little monster is fed in the mornings. I was not sure he would give my husband an afternoon performance.

My little monster of the deep did not disappoint, he splashed, he dove, he splashed again. My husband laughed, I laughed and I think our little monster of the deep was pleased.

During the next few weeks I will have friends over to enjoy a stroll in the garden. I will also surprise them with a, monster of the deep.

Blessed are the happiness makers!

Henry Ward Beecher 



Wednesday, July 20, 2022

How To Prepare The Garden For Storms


Hail from a Summer Storm

Hello Friends,

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

"The Little Paper With Personality." 


How To Prepare The Garden For Storms

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

Strong storms at this time of year can cause damage to our gardens. Use the following tips to prepare your garden for seasonal storms.

If you have hanging plants or baskets take them down. They could flip in the wind and crash to the ground.

Reinforce your garden fixtures. This includes the stakes you use for taller plants.

Add a layer of mulch around plants to help during heavy rain. The mulch will protect the soil from washing away.

A few jobs to do in July..

Keep weeding!

Continue to deadhead flowers as they go over. This will result in a second flowering.

Tie in or support tall plants such as tomatoes.

But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.”

President T. Jefferson 1811

Monday, July 11, 2022

Thrift to Gift

 Hello Friends, during one of our thrift store stops, we found the following pins. Barron is a small city about 4 miles from our village of Cameron. When we saw the pins, my husband said he wanted the Cameron Centennial pin and he thought of our friend Lori when spying the Farm'n Feather Fest pin. But who wears pins these days? So we decided to make the pins into magnets.  

If you have been a long time reader of The River, you will know we are not native to Barron County or Cameron. And the above friend I mentioned helped us learn so much of the "need to know.. to look like you belong here"  Ha Ha!

In all honesty, we did have a lot to learn. One was the name of roads that do not appear on the signage of the road and street. So when someone told us to go down Poor Farm Road .. we had no idea where Poor Farm Road was, because it is not on the map and is not named Poor Farm Road on the sign for the road.

 Lori helped us learn where Poor Farm Road was, Airport Road and Museum Road. She made sure we knew who was related to who.. in case we got carried away talking about people. And thank goodness she did share that wee bit of information with us, because the person we purchased our home from ended up not being so nice. At the same time his sister attended the church we attended, but we did not know he was her brother. 

We are thankful to Lori to have shared some of the inside, need to know, to get around this neck of the woods when we first stared out in these parts.

We were excited to gift Lori with a pin.. now a magnet.. to give her memories of her hometown.. because she has now moved away. I hope she finds a kind neighbor and makes a new friend to help her "fit in" to her new town.

Pins.. made into magnets.

We have lived here for 25 years.. but even with 25 years under our belt, we will never really be natives. Just recently while delivering Meals on Wheels I had a conversation with the participant, it went like this...

Me.. Hello, Meals on Wheels.

Participant.. Thank You. What is your name?

Me.. Carla TePaske

Participant.. Oh goodness, that is not a Cumberland name! (Cumberland is a small city about 30 miles from where I live, that is where I helped deliver Meals on Wheels.)

Me.. No, it is not, and it is even worse, it is not even a Barron County name. I am originally from Phillips, located in Price County.  

Participant.. Alright.. she eyed me suspiciously.

Me.. I have lived here in Barron County going on 25 years. (hoping this would give me a pass.)

Participant.. Alright, you have pretty eyes, so that will do.



Wednesday, July 6, 2022

5 Little Hens and it is the Hodgepodge!


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. July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day...are you a fan?I do like fried chicken! Do you make your own or have a favorite place to buy from? I have a delicious recipe that I have made in the past, but I have not made it in the past year. We usually purchase our chicken already fried. Do you own chickens? We do, we had 5 laying hens, Molly, Dolly, Holly, Polly, and Lolly, sadly Molly passed away three weeks ago. We currently have 4 laying hens. They make us smile. If you are having a bad day, watching chickens will boost your day, I promise. They are so fun. If not chicken what's your favorite fried food? I also like a good fish fry! My husband is a master at making a good fish fry. Yum!

 2.  What's something you're too chicken to try?

Sushi, I have yet to try it. Our son Sam enjoys it. He plans to take us out for dinner at one of his favorite Sushi restaurants.

 3. When did you last find yourself running around like a 'chicken with its head cut off'?

 My husband and I enjoy going to the supermarket together. I try to write out my list according to the store lay out. Well, I did not do a very good job of doing that the last time we visited. So back and forth we went and up and down aisles.

On a side note, while we were shopping at this supermarket we bumped into friends who we had not seen in person recently, we had a quick catch up standing by the cheese. 

 4. Something you've done recently that makes you think 'I'm no spring chicken'?


My husband and I recently went on a 14 mile canoe trip. I share about the trip here..

Canoe Trip for Two 

I sat in the above chair, well it was not too easy to get out of after the trip. Ha! I did say, "I am no spring chicken."

 5. 'Winner winner chicken dinner'...tell us about something good that's happened in your life lately.

 We just enjoyed a full two days with family. 

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 


During our two full days of family time, we had time to catch up with our National Guard son, who will be deploying in September. He has been busy training and having several briefs regarding the deployment. It was good to get caught up as a family too. 


Friday, July 1, 2022

This and That


Hello Friends,

Happy July and Happy Birthday to America!

Here is a little bit of This and That from me.

The above photo is The Little Garden That Could one week ago. We have our paths of straw freshly laid.  The garden will be in full bloom very soon. We are lacking rain in my neck of the woods, we have the sprinkler going in the above photo.

 We did receive rain a few days later.. along with hail. Thankfully we did not receive much damage. A few broken blooms and leaves.

Keeping the Flower Shack full of flowers.

Our sweet peas have just started to bloom.


We went strawberry picking, we froze some, we made jam and we saved a big bowl for fresh eating. Wisconsin strawberries are sweet and juicy.


Strawberry Jam

"Kindness begins where necessity leaves off. If your job is to provide supper, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with store - bought components has necessity covered." 

Amor Towles

 We have enjoyed several evening kayaking adventures. The above photo was taken by our friend Bonita during the first sunset of summer.



Before I go.. the following link is for the Rhubarb Ginger Coffee Cake I mentioned in a past blog post. The new recipe was given a thumbs up.

Rhubarb Ginger Coffee Cake