About The River

Friday, April 12, 2024

What is up with the Little Copper Dog


We flipped the calendar. Here is what Ernie has been up to..

 ♥ doing very well with sit and stay... will listen to guests to sit to receive a treat

 ♥ playing fetch... brings back his ball or toy, placing it by your feet

 ♥ walks very well on his lead and listens to sit and stay on our walks

working on... barking... he loves to bark at our neighbor kids when they are out playing

he also had overnight company... which he loves... when our boys come to spend the weekend... just like me.



Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Happy Gardening Hodgepodge


Happy Hodgepodge my friends, it is Wednesday, time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 


 1. Do you complete your own tax returns or hire out? Something you've found taxing lately? 

We hire out to have our tax return completed.

Something I have found taxing lately is the weather. We had a strange winter, with temperatures in the 60's in February. In March we get cold, right down to 0!! In April we have a blizzard with below wind chills. All this goofy weather has stressed one of our hens. She has a respiratory illness. Thankfully she is getting better, she is four years old, getting up there for a hen. I am very happy to see and hear she is feeling better. She had a cough that sounded awful.


 2. It's spring (in the northern hemisphere anyway)...would you rather spend the day hiking in the great outdoors or planting a garden? Do you/will you have a garden this year? Flowers, vegetables, or a bit of both?

I am a gardener by trade. I have a seasonal flower business .. 

 The Little Garden That Could

 We grow vegetables, flowers and have fruit too.

3. Do you consider yourself a patient person? Yes, I am a patient person.  In what sort of situation is patience not desirable? I think if trouble is brewing, one better step in. I can be slow to do this, I need to work on learning to step in a bit faster.  Are you happy with the degree of patience you have in your daily life? Yes.  If not, what can you do to cultivate more of this quality in your life? 

 4. Do you like the flavor cinnamon? Yes.  If so what's your favorite something made with cinnamon? I like a hot cinnamon tea.... coffee cake, cookies, cinnamon ice cream.....

5. Learn by watching or learn by doing? Elaborate. 

By doing... I am hands on. My husband will be the first to tell you this. When he wants to teach me something or if I need him to teach me something, he knows he will hear "let me do it with your instruction." This really comes with tech stuff, if he does it for me, I forget right after he does it, how to do it. I have to do it with him walking me through the steps.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Taking a trip down memory lane. In 2021 with our local library, I put on a Garden Chat, May - September... it was just as people were coming out of the woodwork from the lock-downs/Covid19.








Monday, April 8, 2024

2024 Easter Cake

 Hello Friends, here it is the 2024 TePaske Easter Cake...

drum roll....

Strawberry Layer Cake 


Buttercream Frosting

I used Lindt chocolate shaped tulips as the spring decoration on top of the cake.


Everyone loved this cake, it may have become our new favorite cake.

My husband as requested I make it using raspberries for our next celebration.


We enjoyed a lovely Easter with our boys. 

And as always, it is very special for me to continue the TePaske Easter cake tradition. I love the excitement my grown boys still get out of seeing what mom created this Easter.


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Hello April and It is the Hodgepodge!


Hello April,

It is the Hodgepodge!

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.


Click here to join the fun! 

 1. What's a talent you wish you had? 

I wish I had the gift of music, I cannot sing or play any instrument or keep a beat to be  honest about it. I am a mess... but I love music. 

2. In one word, what's your state of mind right now? 


 3. What's the next major purchase you need to make? Will it happen this month? This year? 

One may not think a vacuum cleaner as a major purchase, but it takes some research on what one to purchase. Yes, we will be purchasing a new vacuum cleaner this week.


Ernie + Penenlope + Me = a lot of hair to vacuum up. I shed as much as the dog and cat in the Spring. Ha Ha!!!

4. Tuesday (April 2nd) was National PB and J Day...did you celebrate? No  

 Is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich something you eat weekly or more?No, but my husband loves PB&J sandwich's and he eats them weekly. 

 What's your favorite kind of jelly? Strawberry


5. Are you easily intimidated? Who or what intimidates you?  

I do not want to make this a looooong story... so I will share the short version.

Who intimidates me... are people HIGH on drugs. During the summer of 2023 our neighbor across they way got hooked up with a fella, that ended up on drugs. He started to bother me while I was out working in my garden. His eyes would be popping out of his face, he was sweating and acting very strange. Needless to say, he intimidated me BIG TIME!!!  There is more to this story that I will share another day.

I am thankful for my husband, family and friends who stepped in and helped me during this time... until the fella was escorted out of my neighborhood.  

6. Insert your own random thought here.


 "Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances."

C.S. Lewis


Thursday, March 28, 2024

TePaske Easter Cake


2023's Easter Cake


Hello Friends, it will be that time, the 2024 Easter cake reveal. And this year all of our family will be together to celebrate. Our son Sam has missed two Easter's with us due to deployments. When he is able to be with us, it makes it extra special. Both of our son's enjoy the Easter cake reveal, we make a big deal out of it.



Next week I will reveal the 2024 Easter cake... until then...

At Easter, we remember a love that sacrificed all... a power that conquered all... a hope that reaches out to all.




Monday, March 25, 2024



Hello Friends,

Today I will be sharing the article I wrote for our local newspaper, Cameron Chronicle, "The Little Paper with Personality."

I started writing for the Cameron Chronicle June 2021. This may be the last article published in print form. Marty the owner of the paper informed me the March issue may be  the last printed issue of the Cameron Chronicle. She is having trouble locating affordable printing. 

There will be NO printed April issue of the Cameron Chronicle. Marty will share my April article on the Cameron Chronicle Facebook Page

in the meantime, here is the article I wrote for March.



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

Rhubarb is an early bird surprise for us gardeners. It is cut and come again. We use it in sweet and savory dishes. Rhubarb is incredibly long lived. Once established, it grows happily in the same spot year after year.

Rhubarb is good for us. It is particularly high in vitamin C and fiber.

The best way to plant rhubarb is to plant rhubarb crowns. Rhubarb is greedy, work mulch into the soil and around the planting. Wait two or three years for the plant to get established before harvesting.

If you spot a towering flower plume, pick it, the plume may reduce your crop.

The best way to harvest rhubarb is to run your finger down the groove of the stem until you reach the root. Give a gentle tug and it will come off in your hands, leaving any buds forming just below your mature stem to develop into the next crop. For the plants sake, do not over pick, leave some of the stems. A general rule is pick ⅔ of the stems, leaving ⅓.

Until next time, happy gardening!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Garage Sitting


Porch sitting?

How about garage sitting?

Our neighbors cat likes to watch me do my outdoor chores. And she likes to tease Ernie while she enjoys her garage sitting.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024



It is time for an Ernie update.

Several of you have asked about how we came up with Ernie to be the name of our little copper dog. We stuck with the name that Little Red Barn Dog Rescue gave, Ernie.

Ernie enjoyed a big adventure to the winter shores of Lake Superior. It was a grand day of adventure for the little copper dog.

Ahoy Matey!

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Anxious for Nothing


Hello Friends,

My friend Judy gifted me a study written by Max Lucado.  The study focuses on setting aside anxiety and fear in this ever - changing world.

I will be honest, I can get anxious. Living in an upside down world,  I think if each one of us is honest with ourselves, we can  say we feel anxious every now and then. Max shares that one way to replace your "anxious" thought is to replace it with "already". Look at what you already have. Treat each anxious thought with a grateful one.


"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

Abraham Lincoln


Wednesday, March 6, 2024

It is a Carla Hodgepodge


Happy March and today is Wednesday, time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.

We answer the questions.

Click here to join the fun! 

1. Has March come in like a lion where you live?Living in Wisconsin the weather can change in the hour. It is rather difficult to say. I can say this, on Sunday we enjoyed 65 degrees and sunshine. On Monday we had a snowstorm and over an inch of snow floated down in the form of huge flakes. If not a lion then what animal would you use to describe the weather in your area this first week of March? Turtle... sunshine days peeking out of his shell... winter days going back into his shell. Does the weather affect your emotions?I like sunshine days. If we have days and days of cloudy weather I might get grumpy.  When did you last feel 'under the weather'? Thankfully we have been healthy this season.

 2. Do you know what your name means?Free Woman Does the meaning of your name fit with your personality? Yes, I enjoy my freedom.  Do you like your name? Yes! If you have children did you consider the meaning of their names before choosing them? No, we did not. We chose names that meant something to us as a couple.

3. It's National Sauce Month...what's your favorite sauce? Roasted Tomato Sauce Last thing you ate that used a sauce? Eggplant Parmesan ... note we froze eggplant this season to make Eggplant Parmesan during the winter, it worked out fantastic. I was worried it would be soggy, but it is not, just about perfect as fresh from the garden.

4. Something you've seen, tasted, done lately that you'd describe as 'awesome sauce'?


  We went on an adventure to Lake Superior and stopped at two waterfall along the way.


5. What kinds of things do you love to collect? 


Heart shaped rocks

Sea glass

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

Meaning:Free man
Carla is a feminine name of German and Italian origins. This name derives from the male "Carl," of the German "Charles," meaning "free man." Borrowing etymology from a male-given name has always been the norm among romantic languages though. In old Latin and Italian, female names typically emerged from classic male titles, using an added "a" to soften the sound. This linguistic phenomenon makes Carla pleasing to the ear, much like the countless other feminine names we know and love today. Free-thinking baby Carla borrowed an exciting definition and will no doubt use it to make the world her own.


Tuesday, March 5, 2024

This and That



Hello Friends,

A little of this and that from me to you. 

Our weekly newspaper has a YesterYear section. I had to chuckle to read the February 22, 1884 entry.

 The first bounty ever paid to a woman in this county by killing a wild animal was paid this week to Mrs. Louisa Demars of Stanfold for dispatching, with a club according to the law, a wildcat that was bent on destruction for Mrs. Demars' chickens.

 I shared this with my friend Judy, who commented... " Don't mess with those chicken lovin' mamas!!!"

Our Wisconsin weather has been going from This to That... above you will see Ernie going for a walk with his friend Charlie and it was 55 degrees in February. I have Spring Fever and set out our lawn furniture and look what happened.


My husband enjoys tapping our maple trees and cooking down the sap. The start of our 2024 syrup season, dark sweet syrup. Yum!



Monday, March 4, 2024

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

 ♥ the above kitchen towel, paper weight and message are gifts from a friend... for no reason but to spread kindness

Kindness Counts ... Pass It On!

Go plant a seed of kindness and watch the world bloom 

So, plant a seed of kindness

And  we'll chase away the gloom.

 ♥ text messages from friends and family 

♥ watching my seedlings start to pop up

♥ a friend stopping in for a visit and bringing my favorite sweet roll

♥ visits with our neighbor over the fence and yes it is just like Wilson...  from Home Improvement

Watch here 

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

It is a Crock pot 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. What kind of thinker are you-doer concrete thinking) analyst (analytical and abstract thinking), orator (logical thinking) inventor (imaginative thinking) or original thinker (creative)? What makes you say so? You can try this little quiz (link here) to help with your answer. 

I did not take the quiz. I read the outline of all the thinkers. And I am..

The Original Thinker: Creative Thinking

You have a rare and valuable ability to think creatively.

Creative thinking is the ability to look at problems and situations from a different perspective and find unusual and often surprising solutions.

Creative thinking is a rare skill and is needed in all types of work.

 I usually can find solutions for problems and many times they are outside the box.

2. Do you own a crock pot, air fryer, and/or instapot? Do you leave said small appliance sitting out? How often do you use it/them? Favorite thing to make in one of these? 

I do own a crock pot. No, I do not leave our crock pot sitting out.

I use my crock pot several times in a month. 

I made this recipe last week, it was delicious.

Slow Cooker Beef Roast with Sweet and Salty Sauce 

3. What's something you hold a strong opinion on that matters not at all in the grand scheme of things? 

Pick up the dog poop!

I just got home from my walk with Ernie, I hold a strong opinion on dog owners leaving poop on the sidewalk, in other folks lawns and even on the street. 

 4. Describe the view from your window. 
The little snow we received last week is melting, birds are visiting the bird feeder and patches of grass are showing.
 5. Do you have a favorite brand? Explain.
L.L. Bean ...  all my purchases have held up very well though out the years. When we do have any issues, customer service has been fantastic. 
 6. Insert your own random thought here.  

Tomorrow always has the potential to out shine today!

Monday, February 19, 2024

February Article for the Cameron Chronicle ~ Sweet Peas

 Hello Friends, today I am sharing the article I wrote for our local paper, Cameron Chronicle.. "The Little Paper with Personality."

Sweet Peas

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

Sweet peas are the perfect flower if you are looking to add fragrance and romance to your garden.

Sweet peas have a hard seed coat. To aid germination you may find it helpful to leave the seeds in a small saucer of water for 24 hours before sowing.

Sweet peas do not like to have their roots messed with. An easy way to sow sweet peas early in the house is to use a rootrainer or a toilet paper roll. They are ideal as they provide a deep, narrow area for the root to run. If you choose to use the toilet paper roll, you can plant it right into the ground when you are ready to plant out your sweet peas.

When there are three or four pairs of leaves, pinch out the leaders – just squeeze off the growing tip between your finger and thumb. This promotes vigorous side shoot formation, with the energy of the plant directed toward growing out, not up.
Check your plants regularly and water them lightly if the surface begins to look dry. About a month from germination, check the bottom of the pot for white roots. 
When potting out make sure you plant your sweet peas alongside a vertical support such as a tee-pee, an arch or a tunnel. Plant 2 plants to each rod of a vertical support.

As the young sweet pea plants begin to grow, tie them into the frame – don’t leave them to flop around. They’ll grow more quickly and make stronger plants tied in regularly.

Feed and water your sweet peas. They are hungry plants and do not like to dry out.

You can let your flowers go to seed and collect the seed pods in the Autumn. Let the seeds dry out for a few months and store in a labeled envelope. The seeds that you collected may vary slightly from the parent, especially if you grew a mix of varieties. You will have created your very own unique sweet pea.

Until next time, happy gardening!

Monday, February 12, 2024

When it is Below Zero


Our 2024 Northwest Wisconsin Winter has been strange.

No snow.

Mild Temps and when I say mild, 50 degrees.

Yet, we had one week of BELOW ZERO weather. And what does one do when you have negative temperatures?

You make luminaries and sun-catchers.



Fill your bucket with water, toss in your decorations.

 I used  pine boughs, pinecone, cranberries and oranges.

We taped another container down into the water to have it make our area for the candle to sit after freezing.


The sun-catchers are made by filling a pie tin with water. Place your string in the water, I placed an orange slice to hold my string in place to freeze. Again I used pine boughs, pinecone, cranberries and oranges to decorate my sun-catchers.


Below are photos of the finished luminaries and sun-catchers. 


 And at night...



 And then the warm temperatures arrived...






Joy is not in things, it is in us.

Benjamin Franklin


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

January Update ~ The Little Copper Dog


Hello Friends,

My sister gifted us a 2024 calendar ~ The Truth About Dog People ~ 

Writer and Illustrator ~ Jo Renfro

As I change the calendar page each month, I will share the illustration and  give an update on Ernie our rescue dog.



I shared the story about adopting Ernie here.

January Update

 ♥ Ernie has lived with us for 3 months.

♥ His paperwork from Texas stated that his birthday was December 10th, 2022 .. his paperwork from Wisconsin stated that his birthday is February 10th, 2023. He is a year old. He moved in with us in late October. Adopting an older dog, who was not neutered at the time, (he is now) a rescue and not knowing what challenges may all come with that, we are happy to report Ernie is doing very well.

♥ Ernie does not look like he did in the photo above. He has gained weight and the color of his fur has darkened.   




  ♥ He loves to play tug. 

♥ He loves to go for walks.

 ♥ He loves to cuddle.

We are working on.. knowing when to stop barking. He is a great watchdog, but once I have let him know it is alright these folks are our friends, he still is not sure and will give his two cents of woofs a few more minutes.

Jumping up.. we are still working on this, he gets very excited when we come home, when he is greeted by friends and when he plays.


Ernie as been a very good distraction for me. And that is part of why I wanted to take on the challenge of bringing Ernie home. No one knows what a rescue has been through and how they will act. We have been blessed, Ernie wants to learn and is eager to please. And for me with society feeling rather shaky right now. The media keeping up the frenzy of FEAR. We took on the challenge of Ernie, keeping me grounded in reality. And enjoying life that comes with training up a little copper dog.


Monday, February 5, 2024

Writing for the Cameron Chronicle in 2024


Hello Friends, 

I will be writing garden articles  for our local village newspaper again in 2024. 

Cameron Chronicle "The Little Paper with Personality."

I am sharing the article I wrote for the January 2024 issue.



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

Happy New Year to you all. As we jump into a new gardening year I plan to pick certain plants and flowers to discuss and give tips for success.

Roses are a favorite of mine, but lately I have been having pest and black spot problems. We will start talking pests. Rose aphids are the pest that I have been having the most trouble with. We garden organically. I will be sharing organic ways of managing pests. It may sound gross, but it works, use finger and thumb to squash aphid colonies on your plants. Encourage aphid predators in your garden, ladybugs, wasps and earwigs all like to eat aphids.

Black spot is the next problem I have with our roses. It is caused by a fungus, Diplocarpon rosae, which infects the leaves and greatly reduces plant vigor.

Underplanting with salvia has been proven to help the health of roses.

The sulphur in the salvia’s scent profile means that when they warm up, they release a natural fungicide. This helps keep the roses strong, healthy, mildew and black spot free.

Underplanting with salvias is a great organic gardening method, which allows you to forgo pesticides and chemicals. If you spot the signs of black spot, clear anyway any dead leaves which might work as a natural host for harmful spores.

I planted a salvia under one of my roses in late summer. I am in hopes it helps with black spot and other pests. I will keep you updated.

Until next time, happy gardening!