Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Missing the Hodgepodge

Look who stopped in to see Grandma and Grandpa!
Look who wants to pull off his socks.

Joyce (From This Side of the Pond) of Hodgepodge fame, is taking a much-deserved break this week. But for those of us who are rigid and inflexible, it's hard to get out of the Hodgepodge Wednesday mode, so I'm answering a few questions that popped into my mind for today.

1. What were your favorite games when you were a child?

Starlight, Moonlight; Pump Pump Pull Away.  Telling ghost stories with the cousins and scaring each other to death; Starlight Moonlight was played outdoors at night. Obviously, we played these outdoor games in the summertime and saved the ghost stories for winter.


The person who is "IT" is called the ghost. He/She hides in the dark someplace where he won't easily be seen. All others stay at home base (usually the steps of our house). They chant:

"One O'Clock, Two O' Clock, Three O' Clock Rock, (I don't think we ever said 'rock.')
Four O'Clock, Five O' Clock, Six O' Clock Rock,
Seven O' Clock, Eight O' Clock, Nine O' Clock Rock
Ten O' Clock, Eleven O' Clock, Twelve O' Clock Midnight,
We hope we do, we hope we might, we hope we see a ghost tonight!"

They then break up searching for the ghost. If they see him/her, they can run back to base. The ghost can either chase them or stay hidden to try to get someone else. All must see the ghost. If the ghost catches you, your it for the next game, in other words, the ghost.

Rules for Pump Pump Pull Away, from Yahoo: 

"Pump, pump, pull away" consisted of two teams, each lined up on opposite sides of a field or playground. At the signal, "Pump-pump- pullaway--Come away or I'll pull you away", one side attempted to run through their opponents and reach the opposite end of the field without being tagged by the defending side. Players tagged joined the opponent's team. Each side took turns at running through the opposition until all players were on one side. 

Did you play those games??

2.  Are you a gardener?

My best garden year
A distant memory

I guess I wouldn't call myself a gardener. I'm an enthusiastic planter and a harvester. I dislike the in-between stuff, like the real work of pulling the most robust of all perennials, the weeds. I once heard someone call it 'picking weeds,' which is much more accurate. The carpet worked great for a few years, but this year it's been removed and I'm not planning nearly as ambitious a garden as seen above. Carrots, green beans, snap peas, tomatoes, peppers, and some herbs are about all we're putting in this year. The other stuff just isn't worth the effort. I get tired of dragging sprouted and squishy potatoes out of the basement in the springtime.

3.  With Wisconsin's notorious winters, why do you stay here?

Winters keep Mr. C. in shape. See what I mean? But actually, the reason we stay in Wisconsin is that most of our family is here or nearby and that we love Wisconsin from April through October. Every place has its disadvantages. Ours is the long, long, bitterly-cold winter. (I can say that almost cheerfully, now that spring has arrived). Still, I'd rather sit beside the fire than have to sit beside an air conditioner in long, long, beastly-hot summers.

And this is another reason we stay in Wisconsin. I never tire of this view.

4.  Tell us about your problem with clutter and how you plan to resolve it.

I'm not sure why I'm so publicly admitting to clutter, but...I hate clutter and yet find myself a victim of clutter. Don't you love how I can declare victimhood over a situation I've created for myself? I figure if everyone else is doing it these days, I might as well too. Anyway, I just visited a website that had '34 ingenious ways to declutter' and will follow some of them. This morning I discarded extra, hardly-ever-used bed sheets. And now that I've done that, someone will probably show up at my door with a bloody wound and I won't have the potential bandages I could have used to save his life.

5.  Do you have family reunions? Are you the one to organize them?

August of 2013 is the last family reunion we had where everyone was present. It was wonderful! Other years, we've had the reunion the beginning of August but not all are there. I'm hoping for a full house again this August. Plus, we have two babies, a few additional instant grandkids, and a daughter-in-law who have joined the family since the photo above. Yes, I organize them. I build it around my birthday. Isn't that a clever thing to do. lol

6. What's your most recent book purchase? Fiction or Non-fiction?

Non-fiction is not Tuppence's favorite

One of the disappointments (and there are very few) of my life is that somewhere along the line I became an audio reader. It probably had to do with the year I spent in Bolivia, working with Wycliffe Bible Translators, doing proofreading. I pick up typos in everyone's writing (except for my own, occasionally), and that attention to detail, even to the voices in my head, are what slow me down. Still, every book I read is entertaining, and like a movie, since those voices are in my head. I think there's no hope for me to get over that bad habit at this age (I've read almost every book on speed reading), so I'll just keep reading... and enjoying it.

My most recent purchases are A Case for the Psalms by N.T. Wright and Hilary Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies, part of the Wolf Hall series. Have you been watching that on PBS? Anyway, I purchased it on my Kindle because it's inconvenient to try to read hardcover or paperbacks in the dark. So how many books do you have going at the same time?

Almost always my preference is non-fiction, unless it's really good. Hilary Mantel's books have had rave reviews.

7.  What's happening on the farm these days?

 Getting ready to plant corn
16 row corn planter
We rent out our crop land to a guy with amazing equipment. I'm glad I didn't have to pay for it. The equipment is just enormous. I believe the biggest corn planter my dad ever had was a 4-row planter.

 After - April 28 2015 
It took about an hour to plant the corn.

8.  How often do you go shopping?

I hate shopping, except maybe for grocery shopping, and I don't actually enjoy that because I don't like standing in lines. Although the Mall of America is about 2 hours away, I think I've been there once. I take no pleasure in trying to find things to buy. I don't understand how any mall, even the small one in our area, can support so many clothing stores. Most of my shopping is done on Amazon. I don't buy many new clothes. I tend to wear the same comfortable and familiar things. So the answer is, I seldom go shopping.

Okay, that's it. I've now got the Hodgepodge bug out of my system for another week. You can be grateful that Joyce will bring it back next week with her much better questions.

Mr. C. and Jazzie
Running away from home


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Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Wisconsin Barns and Good Fences

I couldn't help it. I had to post this photo of the little grandson standing on his tiptoes, looking down into the water of the creek that flows from the north branch of Pine Creek and into the Dallas Pond. I wonder what was going through his mind. He did have a lot of zombie tales, so perhaps that's what he was checking out. Or perhaps, like his grandma, he simply finds water mesmerizing.

Cattails along the Dallas Pond

These two photos were taken along Highway U, south of Dallas. Highway U has many 90 degree turns in a short distance. The map looks like a zigzag.

One of my favorite rust collections

Good? Fences
If nothing else, it certainly was an eye catcher!

Springtime in Wisconsin

We had beautiful weather two weeks ago when the grandsons were here, then a week of cold and rainy weather. The forecast for this week looks wonderful. Lots of blue skies and warm temperatures. It's perfect weather for happy walks. Gardens and fields will be getting lots of attention this week!

Hope you have a great Monday.

This post is linked to:

The Barn Collective




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Sunday, April 26, 2015

InSPIREd Sunday April 26, 2015

Scandinavian Prairie Church,
North of Tilden, WI
February 2015


As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the LORD
is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

- Psalm 103:13-19


P.S.  The photos above were taken in February. We are so happy to report that the snow is gone, the migratory birds are back, the garden is ready to be tilled, and it will soon be time to cut the grass.
I tend to complain about winter (as though you hadn't noticed), but it certainly does make me appreciate springtime!

Dallas Pond
Dallas, WI
April 2015

Have a blessed Lord's Day!

This post is linked to

Saturday, April 25, 2015


April 2015


to everyone who entered the Giveaway!

As promised, at 10 PM last night, 

Mr. C. drew 3 names from a hat...


Carla from The River

Names were chosen at random.
Carla did not get extra points for saying
that I could deliver hers and bring along
my 2000 England photos!  LOL

Please email me with your postal address, ladies, so I can get your packages mailed out.


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and at

Our ETSY Shop 

  Have a great Saturday, everyone!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Durham Cathedral - Part C - The Venerable Bede...and giveaway reminder.

Tomb of the Venerable Bede 672 AD - 735 AD.
in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral
From Durham World Heritage site, re. the Galilee Chapel, which contains Bede's tomb:

"Built in the 1170s, [the Galilee Chapel] was originally planned as an extension to the eastern end of the Cathedral, which was always full of pilgrims and therefore cramped. However, due to a change in the level of the bedrock from the rest of the Cathedral, the walls kept on cracking during the construction and all attempts to build it at the eastern end of the Church seemed to fail. This was taken as a sign of divine intervention, and it was built in its current location at the western end of the Cathedral instead."

Bede: Living At The Monastery at Jarrow

St. Paul's Church, Jarrow
Home of the Venerable Bede
 18 miles NNE of Durham

If you zoom in on the map, you will be able to see where this is in relation to Durham.
Durham is just a half hour by train from York (York Minster),
York is just 2 hours by train from London.
SO worth the trip! 

If you click on the 'Satellite Imagery' square on the lower left
and then zoom in, you will be able to see the ruins of the monastery.


"Bede was a monk at the English monastery of Wearmouth and Jarrow, in Northumbria. From the age of seven, he spent all his life at that monastery except for a few brief visits to nearby sites. He says of himself: 'I have devoted my energies to a study of the Scriptures, observing monastic discipline, and singing the daily services in church; study, teaching, and writing have always been my delight.'"

Just to place this on the timeline of your mind, Bede was 15 years old when St. Cuthbert died, and lived 48 years beyond the time of St. Cuthbert (last week's post).  He became a deacon at 19, a priest at 29, and after his ordination wrote commentaries on the Scriptures, as well as writings on geography, arithmetic, and astronomy. He wrote two accounts of the life of St. Cuthbert, one in prose and one in verse, along with his Ecclesiastical History of the English People


 "In 731/732 Bede completed his Historia ecclesiastica. Divided into five books, it recorded events in Britain from the raids by Julius Caesar (55–54 bc) to the arrival in Kent (ad 597) of St. Augustine. For his sources he claimed the authority of ancient letters, the “traditions of our forefathers,” and his own knowledge of contemporary events...It remains an indispensable source for some of the facts and much of the feel of early Anglo-Saxon history."

Benedict, founder and abbot of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Priory was responsible for its extensive library, resources used by Bede. During Benedict's travels to Rome, he acquired volumes that he brought back to the monastery. I can't help having visions of him dragging that carry-on through Heathrow.

When Bede died, he was buried at Jarrow, but in 1022 his bones were buried alongside St. Cuthbert's relics at Durham Cathedral until they were moved into the Galilee Chapel in the 14th century. 

Galilee Chapel: Slender Columns, Zigzag Arches

Hammerbeam ceiling

Just-barely-visible remains of 13th or14th century fresco paintings
(see next photo also)

Whitewashed during the Reformation,
the whitewash was scraped off during the Victorian Era,
taking much of the paint with it.
The pictures depict Christian martyrs

Beautiful zigzag on arches,
very different from arches in the main cathedral 
(See last Friday's post)

Okay, this is all I can tell you about Bede, and I hope most of it is true.


Happily moving on from the Venerable Bede, we have a birthday at our house today, and it's not mine:

He's still a pretty cute kid!


Last Day to Enter my Natural Soap Giveaway!
Ends tonight at 10 PM.
Winners will be announced on Saturday morning.
Enter Giveaway on YESTERDAY'S POST

Have a great weekend, everyone!  

Check back tomorrow for giveaway winners.

Next Friday I promise to get out of the cathedral...for a while.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

GIVEAWAY - Natural Handcrafted Vegan Soap - Two Days Only

Just a few of my natural vegan soaps

Mother's Day is right around the corner!  Wouldn't Mom or Grandma or someone special to you love to be pampered with natural, handcrafted vegan soaps for their bath or shower.  Our soaps are made with all-natural base oils, natural colorants, essential oils, and/or quality fragrance oils, and botanicals. No preservatives, parabens, or other weird stuff. SO unlike commercial soaps that often leave your skin feeling dry and itchy. Your skin will always feel better for having used natural soaps!

Check out the reviews at my Etsy Shop.

For the Giveaway:  There will be THREE WINNERS.

  • MUST be a follower of this, CranberryMorning, blog.
  • Visit my Etsy shop and my website (links below), check out the soaps. Each soap has a list of ingredients.
  • Come back to this post and leave a comment, telling me which TWO different soaps you would choose if you're one of the winners AND how you follow this blog.
  • On Friday night at 10 PM,  Mr. C. will draw three names out of a hat.
  • I'll announce the three winners on CranberryMorning on Saturday, April 25 - that's just two days away!


That's all, folks!  Thanks for entering the Giveaway!

 Check out all my handcrafted, vegan soaps at

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hodgepodging at the Edge of Summer

The Youngest Granddaughter
I accuse her mother of putting false eyelashes on her!

Our weather was actually that warm...for a while.

Join Joyce and the Gang for
  She writes the questions; we write the answers.
Copy and paste the questions into a new post,
fill out the answers, and link up.
Click on the button above to learn more.

1. Have you ever had to wear a uniform? If yes, tell us more. Did you love it or hate it?

Yes. I wear a uniform every day of winter, from sometime in November through sometime in March. It's a three-layer affair: Cuddl Duds, long-sleeved shirt, and polar fleece vest. I love it. It keeps me from suffering hypothermia.

2. April 22nd is Earth Day. What is one thing you do personally to be a good steward of planet Earth?

Confused Daffodil, April 21, 2015

My greatest effort at good stewardship is to teach my children and grandchildren to notice, respect,  appreciate, and care for the world God gave us - to search out its wonders, and to stand in awe of God's creative power, love, beauty, and generosity reflected in his glorious creation.

3. Brown rice, quinoa, or couscous...your healthy grain of choice? How often are one of the three on your menu at home?  Given a choice between white rice, brown rice, wild rice, and fried rice which would you go for? 

I'm not convinced that grains are all that healthful (my dog was on a grain-free diet after he was diagnosed with Lupus and lived another seven years) but I've eaten quinoa (pronounced keen-uh-wuh in Bolivia) and couscous (in my recipe for Couscous Moroccan with Hot Harissa Sauce - delicious, but way too much trouble to make more than once every few years). My favorite is a mix of brown and wild rice, as in the cookbook pictured above.

4. In your opinion, who has the best job ever?

Mallards on Chippewa River

 Her favorite place to stand,
just before she comes into the house and leaves
wet, muddy footprints all over the kitchen floor.

Actually, I think I already have the best job ever, being a SAHG.  If I were to change jobs, however, then perhaps I'd like to be  a shepherdess of Yorkshire/Scottish Blackface sheep, but only if I can live somewhere near Askrigg in the Yorkshire Dales and have at least half the day off to wander the countryside. Let's make that 3/4 of the day. Okay, how about if I just had to work a couple hours, and my job description was simply admiring the beauty of the sheep. I could definitely excel at that job!

Ooooo, aaaah
Love those sheep!

5. What's a situation in your life currently requiring patience?

Notifications of Etsy orders are not being directed to my email Inbox, for some strange reason, and are instead simply showing up in my account. Very odd and annoying.  And you're right, that's not requiring a lot of patience. I'm in a season of pretty easy going at the moment, but just like a warm or cold front in the weather, trying times can move back into one's life at any time. I'll keep you posted.

6.  Do you live your life around days of the week? Explain.

My life is definitely ordered around Sunday. If one misses church, how does one know what day of the week it is? But sometimes, even that doesn't help. All day yesterday it felt like Wednesday. Do you ever experience that strange phenomenon?  That never happens to me on Sunday.

 St. Paul's, London

St. Paul's, Dallas, WI

7. In a nod to the A to Z challenge happening around town this month, what 'R word' best describes your April?

R is for RANDOM.  As I write this, it's snowing sideways. We had summer weather last week, snow and cold this morning, rainy day in between. Who knows what's next. I certainly hope it's not snow. I'm ready for more of that summer weather! It actually motivates me to clean and organize.


R is for REALLY, REALLY FUN. It was so much fun to have two of the grandsons with us last week.

 Walking along the Chippewa River

Trying hard not to smile!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

No random thoughts, just a couple of final photos of our week with the grandsons here:

 Mr. C. and the grands



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