About The River

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Checking off the To Do List and it is the Hodgepodge


A photo from long ago when we colored eggs with our boys. I love the bright green and yellow. I also see that they used the wax crayon on the eggs to write. I love seeing their writing when they were little. 

Enough reminiscing, it is Wednesday and it is time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 


 1. Did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in some way? If so tell us how. Are you a fan of corned beef? Cabbage? The color green?

Our youngest son, Atticus, came over for the afternoon. I went with him to a tax appointment. When we returned home we played scrabble, dad won the game.  Atticus and my dad went ice fishing a few weeks earlier and we cooked up a delicious meal of the bluegill fish they caught. We also enjoyed fries, onion rings and green peas. 

Am I a fan of corned beef? Yes!

Cabbage? Yes, I grow it in my garden. I love the first coleslaw of the summer with fresh green cabbage and red cabbage. 

I do like the color green. 

 2. March 22nd is National Goof Off Day...will you celebrate? Your favorite way to goof off? Last time you had a whole day to spend 'goofing off'? 

I like to just do whatever. Maybe get lost on a rabbit trail on Pinterest looking at gardens, home improvements, fashion, and more. I have not had a whole day of "goofing off ".

 3. Something on your to-do list that has been there more than a month? Will this be the month you finally cross it off? 

I have three closets I want to clean. Will this be the month? I hope so!

 4. In your opinion, what emotion is the most beneficial? Which one is the least useful? 

I think Joy is the most beneficial. 

Anger is the one that I feel is the least useful.

 5. What was your favorite thing to do as a kid? Elaborate. 

I grew up in an old farmhouse. My sister and I had a room that was our Barbie room. You could say we had a big Barbie land. Here is one story, my Barbie set up a hair salon, when my sister's Barbie came to visit the salon, I really cut my sister's Barbies hair off!!! 

Yes, I got into trouble. 

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 

"I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines."

Oliver Goldsmith 



Monday, March 20, 2023

How Does Your Garden Grow?


One of our garden projects that we created in past years. This year I plan to expand this garden. I would like to add another water feature someplace in the garden as well. I love having water in the garden.

Hello Friends,

Today I am going to share the article I wrote for our Village newspaper, Cameron Chronicle "The Little Paper With Personality." This article was for the March 2023 issue.


How Does Your Garden Grow?

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

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockleshells, and pretty maids all in a row. This is the way we plant our seeds, plant our seeds, plant our seeds. This is the way we plant our seeds, early in the morning.

It is that time, it is time to start planning the garden. Decide now what you want to plant in spring and summer, and take the necessary steps to prepare.

If you intend to start plants from seed, now is the time to start.

Pick a project to improve your garden. If you plan to refresh or expand your garden beds, decide what plants you want. Get your decision-making off your list before the garden season picks up.

There are always things we want to add to our garden that we never get done. That’s because we don’t schedule it, and what doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done. If you really want to add that water feature or that greenhouse or start a wildflower garden, now is the time to map it out, including the steps and the timeline.

My gardening motto is the following, plant something fun, plant something new, and plant something tried and true.

The plant something new is important. As you pick your improvement projects and seeds to grow, remember to pick something new. As gardeners who have been at it a while, we tend to get stuck in ruts and grow the same things over and over. There are so many opportunities to try something new, and in the process, we grow with it and learn so much more.

As we plan out our garden season, remember that time is your most precious resource, our growing season goes by fast.

Seize the moment. Until next time happy gardening!

Friday, March 17, 2023

This and That

 Hello Friends,

A little of this and that today.


We recently visited my sister and her husband. My sister knows I love to visit thrift shops. We stopped at Pancakes in Heaven Thrift in Eagle River, Wisconsin.  I found a few treasures.

A little pheasant to sit under my homemade pine trees that our friend Charles made. 



I also found a ruffed grouse. 



I love blue. I found this blue candle holder.



 The T-shirt quilt is coming along. I will start to put it together.



 I decorated for Easter. One of my treasured decorations are these eggs. My friend Judy had our family over to her home, her daughter Lori's family and we dyed eggs using onion skins and nylon stockings. Our boys were young, I actually do not remember the year we did this together. I still have the eggs and I smile each year bringing them out for Easter, reminiscing our young family days.



 My friend Deb likes to share funnies with me. How many times has this happened to you?

Last week I went to have my haircut, while trimming my bangs a Bon Jovi song came on the radio and the salon broke out into song. Ha! And the next morning, I still had Livin' on a Prayer stuck in my head. 



Friday, March 10, 2023

On The Road Friday ~ Eagle River, Wisconsin

 Hello Friends,

Today we are on the road to Eagle River, Wisconsin. My sister and her husband moved to Eagle River last year. This is their first winter in Eagle River. We visited the weekend of February 17th - 19th. It was a fantastic weather weekend.

Saturday morning we hiked the trails that my brother in law has been making on the property. It was a beautiful sun filled morning. 

 Saturday evening we went to a hockey game, we watched the Wisconsin Windigo. 


 The Eagle River Sports Arena is recognized by the Wisconsin Registry of Historic Places. It really is a unique building. It is very comfortable watching hockey in the stands.


Home to the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame, Eagle River is where to find our state’s best hockey memorabilia and honors of its 69 inductees. The Eagle River Sports Arena has been housing the Hall of Fame since 1975; but long before that, the arena held a history of its own for its notable dome shape, constructed by local volunteer carpenters and towns people. Built in 1933, the arena was designed to promote winter tourism in the area and is now recognized by the Wisconsin Registry of Historic Places.


A few more photos from the game.


 The game went into overtime and the Windigo won!

It was an exciting hockey game.

Thank you for coming along with me to Eagle River, Wisconsin. 




Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The Promise of Spring and the Hodgepodge


Our neck of the woods is currently sleeping under a lot of snow. The promise of spring is in the warm sunshine. In a month or so the above beauties will be the first of our spring flowers.

Today 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. We're in to a season students call 'spring break'. Did you/your family travel over spring breaks when you were growing up?  Tell us something about a 'spring break' you remember (from childhood or adulthood, either one).

 One of my favorite trips was with my Uncle Paul and Aunt Sally. I was in fourth grade, I traveled to Arizona with them. We celebrated Easter with my Uncle Paul's family. I remember the Easter dress I had, it was one of my favorites. 

 2. Last thing you broke? Was it a big deal? 

I broke a wine glass. No, it is not a big deal.

3. March 7th is National Cereal Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite? If not cereal what's your favorite breakfast? Your typical breakfast?  

I enjoy cereal in the summer months. Not so much in the winter months. I like Raisin Bran. I also like Cheerios, in the summer months I add fresh strawberries or raspberries from our garden into my bowl of cereal. 

My favorite breakfast is made by my husband for me on the weekends. He makes my eggs just the way I like them, fried potatoes, sausage and a slice of toast. 

My typical breakfast is a hard boiled egg and a slice of toast.

 4. Break ground, break of dawn, break down, break the bank, break one's stride, break the ice, break a law, break a habit, break bread...choose one of the idioms listed and tell us how it applies to your life currently. 

With the light increasing the break of dawn is peeking when my alarm goes off in the morning and I love it.

5. Where do you go to connect with friends and family? What do you like to do most when you're home alone?  

 We enjoy hosting family and friends at our home.

When I am home alone I will usually be working on a project. I like to write when I am home alone, I write most of my blog posts and garden articles when I am home alone.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Speaking of daylight, Daylight Savings is here this weekend. Will it be the last time we have to change the clocks here in the USA? 


Monday, March 6, 2023

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


♥ fresh eggs from our hens



watching our hens take the first dust bath of the season

 ♥ a spring feel to an afternoon



♥ getting ready to tap maple trees for the maple syrup season



♥  forced bulbs making the inside of the house a spring garden


Wising you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile.


Friday, March 3, 2023

On The Road Friday ~ Red Cedar State Trail

 Hello Friends,

Today we are going on a trip to Red Cedar State Trail Menomonie, Wisconsin.

The evening of January 27th  we participated in the Candlelight Ski. We have done this for several years. During the COVID19 years the candlelight ski events came to a halt. It was exciting to get back to  the enjoyment of the romance of a candlelight ski.

The trail is light by candlelight to the ice wall. The ice wall is light up by candlelight making it a true winter wonder. 

A lovely luminary along the trial.

 A week later my husband and I decided to head back to the Red Cedar Trail and ski the trail during the day. We had a week of very cold weather. In my day photos you will notice how the ice wall 'grew'. The colors of the ice are blue and green, sometimes photos just cannot capture natures ever changing beauty.



Red Cedar Trail

 This 14.5-mile rail trail shadows the steep walls of the Red Cedar Valley from Menomonie to its connection with the Chippewa River State Trail. Along its route, the trail passes through the communities of Irvington and Downsville and the Dunnville State Wildlife Area. The trail passes by prairies, marshland bottoms, forests and farmlands, including sandstone bluffs and other unique rock formations.

Thank you for coming along with me today.




Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Marching On

 Hello Friends,

Happy March to you. 

Today I am going to share an article I wrote for our local newspaper the Cameron Chronicle "The Little Paper With Personality." The publisher of the Cameron Chronicle asked me to write an article about the recent deployment of the 157th.

Wisconsin National Guard Making History

By Carla TePaske

Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade is making history. In October 2022, 280 Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa for a 10 month deployment.

This is the first time that a Wisconsin unit is deploying into the African theater on a Title 10. When mobilized (or activated) under Title 10 U.S.C., you are directed by the President to report for active duty in an official capacity.

The mission for the 280 Wisconsin National Guard are the following, maintain the United State’s strategic access and influence on the continent; counter threats to U.S. persons, facilities and interests; prevent and respond to crises such as disaster relief or threats to embassies; and work with allies and partners to achieve shared security objectives.

Major General Paul Knapp, Wisconsin Adjutant General, commented, “The world is at a critical juncture, and our adversaries are looking to expand their corrupting grasp across the globe. The 157th and 357th will play a key role in stemming these attempts by our adversaries.”

Russia and China have long sought to increase their influence across the African continent. Violent extremist organizations such as terrorist groups and pirates are also among U.S. adversaries in the region.

Colonel Eric Leckel, commander of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 157th, qouted U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks regarding the mission, “Great moments are born out of great opportunity.”

Godspeed for the 157th!


Thank you to all our friends and family for the continued prayers for Sam and the 157th. I will share a few photos below that Sam has shared with me.

Djibouti Currency

One of the cats on base.

Our Sam


 Thank you again for all the prayers.




Wednesday, February 22, 2023

He was 6 foot 3 and it is the Hodgepodge


Did you know George was 6 foot 3?

 The above photo was taken on a past trip to Mount Rushmore National Park.


Hello Friends, it is Wednesday and it is time for the Hodgepodge!

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.


 1. What do you find is the most boring part of your life at the moment? 

Nothing boring going on here in my neck of the woods. We are bracing for a HUGE snowstorm and have spring on the mind all at the same time. Seed starting will soon begin and we are getting ready for that. And during any other free time I am working on a T-shirt quilt.

2. February 22nd is George Washington's birthday. You'll find his face on the US $1 bill. What's the last thing you bought for roughly $1.00? (.94 €/ .83 £) 

A current US postage stamp.  

George, Tom, Teddy and Abe keeping watch.

3. Is it ever okay to tell a 'little white lie'? Explain. 

 While working with Daybreak, Daybreak is a daytime social program for adults living with early-stage dementia. We did have to tell  a "little white lie" every once in awhile while in conversation with those who had early - stage dementia. Yes, I feel sometimes it is alright to tell a "little white lie".

4. What's the last thing you 'chopped'? Cherry pie, chocolate covered cherries, a bowl of cherries, cherry vanilla ice cream, maraschino cherries, a cherry lifesaver...your favorite cherry flavored something? 

A fresh cherry turnover from the Bloomer Bakery. YUM!

5. Describe yourself with three words using your first, middle, and last initials.  

C ~ caring

J ~ joyful

T ~ thoughtful 

 6. Insert your own random thought here. 

 He’s the Face of the Nation in More Ways Than One
Only Washington and Abraham Lincoln are featured on both a U.S. coin and bill currently in circulation. While a likeness of Lincoln adorns the penny and five-dollar bill, Washington is honored with the quarter and the $1 bill. Washington was also featured on the country’s first postage stamps. He has appeared on more issues than all the other presidents combined have.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

How to Use Newspaper to Make a Pot


I have early Spring Fever! The above photo is from 2020 when I forced some Spring bulbs. Today we are bracing for a BIG snow storm. The weather people are saying we could receive HUGE amounts of snow. I will keep you updated. In the mean time I will share the February article I wrote for the Cameron Chronicle, "The Little Paper With Personality."


How to Use Newspaper to Make a Pot

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

Making pots out of newspaper is an affordable way to get a jump start on your seed starting.

Save money and recycle your old newspaper by making newspaper pots.

Gather Supplies

Stack of newspaper.

Pair of scissors.

A 6 ounce can (the kind that tomato paste usually come in).

Cut the Newspaper

Grab two sheets of newspaper so you have a foursheet stack. Cut the newspaper into thirds, lengthwise, giving you three long strips.

Roll your Newspaper

On the end closest to you, lay the can on its side across the strip of newspaper. Leave about 1 inch hanging off the end of the can. Roll the can along the newspaper until its loosely wrapped all the way around. Fold the edges of the newspaper down over the can, and work your way around in a circle until the edges are folded firmly. They don’t have to be perfect, you can just smash the paper down with your fingers. It is fine if there is a small hole where the fold meets in the middle – that provides extra drainage.

Flip the can over so the folded edges are now on the bottom. Press the can down on the folds to really crease the edges against the bottom of the can.

Slide the can out and you have got a thrifty seedling pot!

Do not worry if it seems like the pot is flimsy or unraveling, especially at the bottom. Once filled with seed starting mix and moistened, the pot is surprising sturdy and holds it’s shape well.

The benefit of making recycled newspaper seed starters is that you can transplant your seedlings right into the garden, paper pot and all, and the newspaper will decompose naturally in the soil.

Have fun making your newspaper pots. Until next time happy gardening!


Monday, February 13, 2023

Happy Valentine's Day Week


My mom made me this Valentine several years ago, it is one of my favorite Valentine's. 

Hello Friends,

Happy Valentine's Day to You!

I was gifted my grandma's autographs book. I absolutely love it. 

Today I will share some of the quotes in it from her friends. They may just be what you need to create your Valentine this year. 

The quotes are from my Grandma Vida's Autograph book ~ 1945 - 1946  


Yours till table legs wear sox 

Roses are red, Violets are blue, but none of the flowers are sweeter then you

When you grow up and have twin's don't come over to my house for safety pins

Girls like tulips in the park, but boys like two lips in the dark

The higher the mountain the cooler the breeze, the younger the couple the tighter the squeeze

Have a great week friends.




Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Love is in the air and it is the Hodgepodge!


Love is in the Air! An old photo of me and a Mr. Snowman. 

Hello Friends,

It is time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 

 1. Something you've done recently that might be considered a labor of love? 

I am working on a T-Shirt quilt for our oldest son Sam, who is currently deployed. I am not an expert seamstress nor a quilter. I am enjoying the project, even if I am slow at it.

And as you can see I have a helper while I work.  

 2. What's one thing you love about being the age you are now?

 The knowledge and lessons I have learned. I look back and say, "Gee, I wish I would have known that back when I was 25."

 3. What do you value more: careful planning or the freedom to be spontaneous? Elaborate.

I am a born planner. I can juggle plans around, I am not a hard core planner. If plans have to change, alright, but I am a planner. 

 4. A home cooked meal or a fancy restaurant? Home cooked meal pink or red? Pink watch the sunrise or watch the sunset? Sunset wine and cheese or champagne and chocolate? Chocolate

 5. What's your definition of romance? Are you a 'romantic'? 

 My definition of romance is, taking time in the day or week to notice that someone you love in a thoughtful way that is not expected.

I think I am 60% romantic. Ha Ha!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

 My mom gifted me, she also gets credit for crocheting this little friend to help me with my above 'labor of love' T-shirt quilt project.



Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Hello February and it is the Hodgepodge!


Do you spy a heart?

Hello Friends,

The above suet cake started out as square. The birds ate the suet cake into a shape of a heart.

Happy February to you all and now lets get started with the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 

We answer the questions.

 1. Tell us anything you want about your January. 

 We have enjoyed getting out in the snow. We have explored the winter wonderland we are having this season by skiing and snowshoeing.


2. Lake Superior State University posts a list each year of words they think should be banished from the Queen's English for misuse, overuse, and/or general uselessness. The 2023 list includes GOAT, inflection point, quiet quitting, gaslighting, moving forward, amazing, Does that make sense?, irregardless, absolutely, and it is what it is.

Which of these words/phrases do you use regularly? Amazing, I often describe things I find beautiful as amazing.  Which of these words would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? GOAT, I think this is a weird way to describe a person.  Is there a word/phrase not on the list you'd like to add? Fact Checker

 3. February 2nd is Groundhog Day. What's something that feels repeated in your life right now?


Shoveling snow, we are in a true snow globe. This has been the best snow season of our 25 years of living in Barron County, Wisconsin.

4. What's a food you love that's named after a place?

French Beans

5. What's the best season of the year to visit your city or your part of the country? Tell us why.   


 Wisconsin likes to show off in Autumn.



 6. Insert your own random thought here. 



  I have to be fair to my great state of Wisconsin. Come visit anytime, you will find beauty! And the best cheese in America.