Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekend Review, Last Week's Tornado, Grandkids

I hope everyone had a good weekend. The family was here, and I've got a few pics to show you. There are those who don't like the camera, so I'm not posting those this time, but the grandkids, that's another story. Oh my goodness. Everyone arrived Friday evening between rain showers, but it rained all day Saturday, preventing any outdoor play time or hay rides. Although the kids were able to play on the front porch a bit of the time, it was mostly Grandma's gymnasium with the running circle and other attractions, that kept the kids from going stark raving mad. It might have had the opposite effect on the grownups. :-)

Yes, I came upon the kids trying to give themselves concussions by riding (being pulled FAST) lawn furniture cushions down the steps to the living room. I finally had to put a stop to it, but they got several rounds in before I caught them. I can see that it's great fun, until somebody has to be rushed to the emergency room. I know, Grandma is SUCH A KILLJOY!

Upper right: Grandpa and a few kids taking a breather a.k.a. 'recharging.'

Anyway, it was lots of fun to have the family home. I always love it. 


I realized that I hadn't shown my Blogger pals the aftermath of the tornado that ripped through (3 miles from our home) Barron County  last Tuesday. Here are a few pics to show you some of the storm damage. One life lost and so many homes demolished by this terrible storm. Along Highway O and Highway SS, the tornado snapped off 25 power poles. I didn't get a photo of the destroyed turkey barns and confused, wandering (or dead) turkeys. And the odd thing about a tornado is that either side of the path there's no damage. So one place will be obliterated and the other, just yards away, will be left intact.

Life can change in an instant.

'After' pic of what had been a beautiful little barn (shown below)

I took this photo in January.
This was before the barn was instantly turned into a pile of kindling on Tuesday.
(see previous pic)

 What's left of a mobile home park,
just 100 yards from where our son and his family live.
Their home was undamaged, but 40+ homes were destroyed.


Bleeding heart, lilacs, and flowering crab in our back yard.
I think all the petals will be gone before we get another sunny day.

Such a minor concern.

A storm like the one that came through last week really helps put things into perspective.




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Friday, May 19, 2017

Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls, WI

The other day we were at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls. It was sunny and warm, and everyone seemed to be out picnicking at the park. Most were visiting the zoo there and some were walking the trails. What I wanted to see most was the waterfall. It's so beautiful and relaxing.

To complete the experience, you can click on the YouTube selection below to listen to beautiful Chopin nocturnes while looking at the photos. I had this music on all afternoon and I love it! I know that some of the pieces were used in various episodes of Poirot. I'm pretty sure this is Countess music, and maybe even the very last episode of Poirot.

But I digress.

If you look near the bottom left in the photo above, you'll see a speck of blue out on a rock. The photo below is what I saw when I zoomed in on it. I have no idea who it is, but because his head was turned, I figured it was okay to use the photo. I got such a kick out of this, such a kid thing to do: climbing out onto a rock and messing about in the water with a big stick. Great fun!

Isn't that just the kind of thing you would do, given the chance?

Some people got into the photo above because they'd followed a different trail and ended up sitting on the spillway, or close to it.


The Sunny Valley School House was moved to Irvine Park in 1965. The School House was originally located in the Town of Wheaton adjacent to Highway 29. Then the town school district merged with the Chippewa Falls School District in 1964, the Town of Wheaton gave the school house to the Chippewa Falls Lions Club. They in turn donated it to the City and moved it to Irvine Park. The Sunny Valley School House was built in 1903 and was used by the school district from January 1904 until 1964. 

 Just in case you missed this one on Wednesday. :-)
The Rutledge Home. Not in the park, but nearby.

 The Rutledge Home

 This photo was taken in August of 2012.
Good grief! How those grandkids have grown!

Another August 2012 photo at Irvine Park
Okay, I guess this is where we switch to Tchaicovsky's 1812 Overture. LOL

Hope you all have a great weekend.


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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hodgepodging the Dust Collectors

 Flowering crab in front of the
old Rutledge home in Chippewa Falls, WI

Join Joyce and the Gang

 She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and join in!

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...

Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

Did my daughter suggest this question? Huh? 

My kitchen is almost always tidy and the counters clean unless I'm in the middle of a project (or something). But it's true that I still have an ultrasound pic of pre-born Lucy (who's now three years old) hanging above the sink and I have grandkid art on the doors of the cabinets, etc. I promise to take it down before they graduate from high school. And you saw my desk last week.

But, it's this kind of thing:

(contained in a box, upstairs)

and this kind of thing:

that kinda gives it away. I'll have you know, however, that all the knickknacks you see on the shelves above are now in boxes upstairs (but might leap back onto the shelves at any moment).

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?

1. Drive in Big City traffic. And it's not that I don't know how, but that I won't. Just thank me.

2. Dive.

With 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin, you'd think I would have learned, but no. The thought of going headfirst into water...

3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

I only crave sugar if I've had even a microgram of it. Once I've tasted it, it's all over. But if I stay away from it completely, no, I don't crave it.  BUT, when you're at a Mexican restaurant on Mother's Day and choose the steak & chicken fajita (to split with Mr. C.) so you have 1 1/2 little, teensy weensy tortillas and meat/veggies, all goes well UNTIL the cheerful waiter brings a surprise dessert and exuberantly  announces, 'Happy Mother's Day.' I have never learned how to deal with that kind of situation, so of course I ate it even though it was DAIRY and WHEAT and SUGAR, it was nothing I would ever have ordered, and I felt horrid afterwards.

So my advice to slay the sugar dragon is to not even have a speck of it, and if someone kindly offers you a luscious dessert, say, 'Oh, that's very sweet of you, but please keep your stinking dessert!'  (No, don't say that, I'm kidding.) :-)   But if you have any advice on how to gracefully decline, let me know please.

I think I'll pass on dessert, but thanks anyway.

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?

Maybe Instagram. I'm sure my kids can't imagine living without all my Instagram messages to them. :-)

I wish Tommy & Smokey would learn to make their bed.

5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

I can think of no song (except Love Potion No. 9, which I told all about in an earlier post) that reminds me of anything except when I hear the Barber Violin Concerto or Bach's French Suites, it reminds me of our daughters playing piano/violin and that reminds me of their music lessons and our older daughter at Geneva College in Pennsylvania and the times we spent at Barnes & Noble in Minneapolis while our younger daughter took violin lessons at MacPhail. Those were fun times, at least for Mr. C. and me. Well, at least for me. An afternoon in the Big City with maybe Brit's pub after. And I love visiting the city, as long as someone else is driving.  But I want to live here (not in the barn, of course).

I love how the pretty yellow flowers pop right back up after Mr. C. mows the yard. :-)

 The last of our daffodils and the flowering crab
which just opened up yesterday after a big rain
with sunshine and nearly 80 degrees following.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

It's not exactly random, because it's been on my mind all week, and that's that I'm hoping to get around to visiting all my blog friends. I'm sorry I've been so remiss.  As Calvin said, 'The Days are Just Packed!' (the other Calvin.)

 Winter's in Springtime

Who would plant a spruce tree right in my line of vision??
Beautiful little barn and wood silo south of Bloomer, WI


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Monday, May 15, 2017

Mosaic Monday

On Saturday, Mr. C. and I went to the Cities to watch two of our grandkids perform in Reign Dance Theater's ballet production, 'Flashback.' It was SO GOOD and I know, spoken like a grandma, I'm very proud of these two pictured above. This might be our granddaughter's last year in ballet, and is our grandson's first year.  Our granddaughter is really amazing and at this point, our grandson is really fun to watch. He kept me in stitches. And I think he's been bitten by the performance bug. Since we were sitting quite close to the front, I did a little wave at him (for which Mr. C. scolded me), and afterwards, he told Grandpa, 'I saw Grandma wave at me. The other kids were probably wondering who she was waving at, but I knew it was for me.'  :-)))  See, Mr. C.???

You can pick Mr. C. and me out in the photo collage above, and the other is a photo of our son and daughter in law. It's always fun to spend time with them and such a special weekend.

Partial lyrics to one of the dance selections:

A star hangs over Bethlehem
A journey ends in the night
Three kings trembling
Behold the glorious sight

Heaven's treasure Emmanuel
Drawing men to bow down
Tiny baby born to wear a crown

One king held the frankincense
One king held the myrrh
One king held the purest gold

 And one king held the hope of the world!

It was a beautiful performance and we look forward to this each Mother's Day weekend. 

I took the following photo yesterday on the way to Minneapolis,

And this one last week at a neighbor's farm.

Did I already rave about the month of May in Wisconsin??

Have a great week, everyone. It's supposed to be upper 70s and into the 80s tomorrow, storms coming. I've got to get out and pot some plants.



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Friday, May 12, 2017

This Old House

Long shot from the alfalfa field

Actually, although people can see our house from the road, they can't see it up this close (a good thing, I know) because it's quite far from the road and there are lots of trees and a beautiful hill of alfalfa and dandelions in the way. If it looks like Ma and Pa Kettle's house, that's because it's a long wrap-around porch with table and chairs at one end, a slate blackboard for kids to draw on when they're visiting, a little sunrise window at the landing of our stairway (which still strikes me as a miracle that it survived our kids' childhood), a wicker bench, a bay window, and the other end that is screened in. I love it. And I have loved it for 28 years. But even more than the house, I love that alfalfa field.

You might also notice that I've got a new header - at least for now. I took this photo yesterday. I love this time of year, probably especially because our winters are way too long and cold, but when May rolls around, that's when springtime comes to Wisconsin. It's not March or April as some foolishly expect, but May when spring arrives here in the NW region of the state. So the new header shows you one of the things that delights me about our state, and that's the beauty of cows out on pasture after they've been cooped up all winter. And you can see that we live in rolling hills and that there are lots of trees here. This is Wisconsin, and it's a beautiful state.

I took this photo last May, but it looks just the same now.
The alfalfa (and dandelion) field

Praise God for the beauty of His Creation
and that winter only seems like it lasts forever.


Oxford High Street
Taken from University Church tower

For those of you not on Instagram,
this is the photo I posted this morning for
Anglophile Friday.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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