Saturday, January 26, 2013

End of the Week Tidbits

Last night a log home over on Lac Court De Oreilles (Couderay Lake) burned to the ground. It was a big, bad fire. There were two cars in the garage, but nobody was home.  The men from four fire departments worked for seven hours to get the fire out.  

Chorus practice went well last night. Dan got us through most of our songs at least once.  We might even get good.  

There was school this week.  As in Brad and Amy studied. And Frank taught her two Weaver children how to sit in their desks and remember what they learned last year. Routine and the usual grind are wonderful compared to the flu.

We sewed some this week, too. Amy set an extra table up in her room, so we had three machines humming parts of two days. Pumped out four dresses from that little stint.

And I went to Rice Lake shopping and meeting appointments with Margie Schrock. Even Aldi can relieve one of a lot of money for a few groceries. Nobody goes hungry around here, though. And we went to a very child oriented dentist office for Travy's appointment. Oh my.  Kiddie cartoons on TV, computer games and toys all about the little people.  

We cleaned the old stone house today. Wood stoves make lots of dirty places. Frank declared that the living room was lighter after she dusted, swept, and mopped.  I hope it was the new snow outdoors that made it seem lighter, don't you? 

Brad carried out an old, stuffed rocker today. It was that swan rocker you restored and gave to me twenty years ago, Marj, and it is all worn out. I loved that chair. Rocked our last three babies in it till the springs were completely unsprung. The re-glued, re-nailed arms are wobbly again, the fabric worn through in many places. 

He also carried out odds and ends of other things. Don't worry, nothing will be missed. I have only begun to de-junk this place...again. How DOES this stuff accumulate?! 

Now on Saturday morning Elv and I sit by the fire in the quiet. Outside it is a still, cold morning. More of that sub-zero weather that we've enjoyed this week in spite of our frozen pipes. 

Happy Birthday, Lisl.  Have another good year serving the Lord and your family.  I pray you will be safe driving around town on your motorbike with two children on board. That you can, this year, begin to understand enough Thai to get something out of church time. And that you will richly enjoy life in your mooban with all the friendly, noisy neighbors. 

Stay warm, work hard, and worship the Lord passionately in all that you do. Romans 15: 13 says it like this: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This Post Is For My Man

Buck Mountain Cabin 2011

Summer days. Wild flowers. Lake Superior shores.  These are real scenes from real places and we’ve been there. I can hardly imagine.  Next summer we will find them all again. In January, during sub-zero weather, one needs to remember.

Buck Mountain Cabin 20111

But then, what is so bad about this? Snow and blue skies.  Snow shoe hikes up the mountain. And heavy laden pines.

DSC00050                            DSC00070-1


Thursday, January 17, 2013


    I looked high and low this morning for the new bag of coffee beans that I had fortified myself with Tuesday when Frank and I were in town. Never did find that little bag of beans. Not in the freezer or in the pantry, nor even in the refrigerator. It simply wasn't...anywhere. Brad ran out to the van to look for a stray bag of groceries. Not there, either.
   I really love my morning coffee.  I had already indulged in a late sleeping in for a change, so fresh coffee and my Bible by the fire were all my dreams come true on a winter's snowy morning. Alas, no coffee. None.
  Hot chocolate made with real milk and plenty of mix, hot out of the microwave was hardly compensation, but I made it do. Yuck. It was way too much like food or something, definitely not coffee. It wasn't even close to coffee.
    So I tried English Breakfast Tea by Twinnings. Hot black tea with a droplet of Thai honey to sweeten it. I put it in the mug that Brad gave to me for Christmas. It didn't help much. Still tea, and not coffee.
   The picture even looks pathetic, doesn't it?   Coffee mug sits on a china saucer, the tea bag string dangling. Nice steam though. So I took a picture.
   In other news. Elv was sent to the doctor today by his wife who is very tired of his being sick and grouchy.  The doctor said he looked like something we won't say here. I agree. He was prescribed antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine to get healthy again. We hope it works. It's not pneumonia, just a bad case of bronchitis. He has been about as friendly as a teased rattle snake, to quote Elv himself. This has been a "doozy" of a flu.
    The children are getting well without antibiotics, so far. They'll probably cough till Easter, though.
    AND! Elv just got a call from his mechanic that the pickup is not even close to broken down. Electrical connection re-established and it runs fine. Elv's relief overrides his sheepishness almost entirely although he commented that this will be hard on his mechanic reputation.  No it won't. It's a wonderful break through in a long chain of frustrations for us since I don't know when.
    Found out today that to get a simple x-ray done on a damaged shoulder will only cost you $500.00. I find that to be startlingly amazing. I'm gonna buy a machine and do x-rays for people at half price and retire in luxury!
   Last of all, it is supposed to get very cold by Sunday night. Thirty below zero. Take that! you old flu bugs!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mid Winter Dreams

 There shall be a row or two of bachelor's buttons in the garden next summer. Nothing wakes up a table bouquet quite as nicely as the feathery blue of this flower. Some people call them corn flowers. I don't know why.
Does this picture take your mind far away from the nasty Influenza? I hope so.
 If you see a garden tea in this, you will have observed correctly. I have dreams of being able to supply a large garden tea with bouquets of summer blooms like we did the day we took this picture. Ah! such memories are a lovely on a cold winter's day in January.

 The only way to see this flower that I know of is to canoe down the channel through a swampy flowage and keep your eye on the shore line. You will also see cotton flowers and flags of blue, white and yellow. The flags (water iris) are absolutely amazing making drifts of blue along the edge and mirrored in the water they stand in. This flower is a swamp laurel. And this picture does not do it's perfection justice at all.

Maybe it's time to browse through the seed catalogs.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January Days At Home

 Long, quiet January days are here, along with the flu.  We have a puzzle out on the coffee table that Carolyn started Sunday afternoon. Brad is a very organized puzzle piecer. Amy is working on  it now and then while she is sick just because she is too miserable to even read.
   A chickadee finally found the feeder this morning weeks after I had given up entirely on having birds this winter. Ordered another feeder from my dad today. He said it would cost me 35 dollars, but I reminded him that I have a birthday coming up sometime this year...:)
   Maybe next winter we will get deep snows and have flocks of birds gracing our feeders and windowsill.
   Cleaning surfaces and doing dishes is about all I get done these days. I am back to how it was during toddler days, getting next to nothing but basics done with my teen-aged girls sick with the flu.
Last night we put on two pots of water with rosemary to steam and two electric steamers, as well. From now on the smell/taste of rosemary will be associated with sickness, unfortunately, and should not be used in food we eat. But Elv and Amy both slept better.
  Busier, healthier days are ahead. I'm tanking up on the slower pace just now and enjoying the opportunity for together time, despite the coughing. There is a  pharmacy littering my kitchen, too , but that will go away as soon as does the flu.

                                  Three new frames of the married children on our piano.

The one extra project that I tackled today was getting all those Christmas family photos hung. No more taping pictures over the entire white board. We'll see how the new fad works.

Friday, January 4, 2013

"God's Gonna Listen to God"

"Information, an Idea, and a Verse that came to me in the course of this day pulled themselves together into a New Years resolution/prayer for the year. I don't usually like to make resolutions, just like I don't like to follow goal charts. They are both made to be broken or failed.

In passing her desk this morning, I spotted a verse at the top of Frank's quiet time journal.  She had it written like this: May I Be...Perfect(ed), establish(ed), strengthen(ed) and settle(ed) you! I Peter 5:10. Corrections are mine. 

Then there was the chocolate cake dialogue between four-year-old Olivia and her mom posted on FB this morning about how God decides to bless our picnics with sunshine and to give us chocolate cake. At the end of our discussion with us about this, April said, "my philosophy is that we must have a firm belief in Gods sovereignty and His complete goodness. I believe He ALWAYS has our best interest in mind. Someone who is long over due for their chocolate cake will be the best off believing that. I think that God is sometimes allowing us to suffer when he would rather not, because he knows we can take it, and because our suffering is working a good work in someone else. He wants everybody! I believe this, but it doesn't mean my heart doesn't ache for someone who really needs chocolate cake.

My question about how to get in line for our piece of chocolate cake came from reading an email from a niece whose baby has cancer in her eye and their choices of treatment include removing the eye. It could seem to someone who didn't know better, that God must not be keeping track of these people. They really, really need His attention. 

And from... Elv's agonizing over his dead diesel pickup. He is needing some cake just now, in my estimation. He is perplexed and frustrated and strenuously working in his head on a solution. He is also making some resolutions about how to best use that pickup once it is up and running. I am praying that he is going to see in the end that it really is a rather large serving of chocolate cake even though just now it feels like rain on his picnic. 

It all adds up to taking four words as my personal inspiration for the year: perfected, established, strengthened, and settled. Letting life's experiences and the circumstances beyond my control be part of God's effort at doing just that.Nothing happens outside of His knowledge and good judgment.I can rest and trust because, as Olivia declared, "God's gonna listen to God." 

Christmas Coasters


This year's home made project for Christmas gifts was fun. The idea came from a friend's sister who was making them for her family. 

 When I was a child, I had an aunt who helped her children create gifts every Christmas at home with their own tools and talents. I was amazed and jealous and intimidated all at once. These coasters are not perfect but they are a howling success in regards to my own sense of accomplishment what with using personal photographs and quarter inch plywood and Mod Podge. 

Mod Podge is nicely fitted to the brainstorms of a home crafter. It is glue, clear finish, and texture all at once. I used it to glue the picture to the board and then painted three coats of it on top the picture for sealing. An added delight was the depth that it gave to the picture itself. 

I think I made four of these Loons and Lilies sets. I am waiting to hear how they will hold up to hot coffee cups and spills. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Scenes For My Mom


Mom, this is just to let you see in for glimpse of us and ours at Christmastime. 

Actually, this was taken the week before Christmas. 

Benny's first time of making Christmas cookies.

Gwen holding Madelhyde and Luci

 When you read to Gwen you must not leave any fingers between the pages you've just turned on the left side of the book.I don't know why? That's just the way it is. 
Twenty Toes

All the girls on Christmas Day
We had look alike skirts for Christmas day, just for fun. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


The day/year started out at 21 below zero this morning. The wage earners around here rolled out of bed and went to work in spite of the cold. We girls put Christmas stuff away and swept up a lot of wood stove dust.  It's a typical after Christmas, beginning of the new year day.  Some of us are fighting a stomach flu.  

A game of Monopoly is being played all day long on the new area rug in the living room by the fire. The children started the games early in the afternoon and when Elv came home early from work, (It is New Year's Day, after all) he joined the game.  The game of Monopoly has a history/saga all of its own in this family.  Elv and Steve whiled away hours of their boyhood playing it.  They cultivated and honed their own sense of business ethics/fairness over this game. 
     When they married, Nell and I, their respective wives, were expected to join the game. We did. It turned out that their sense of fairness came off as heartlessness to the two of us green and tender girls. We had to quickly buck up and fight back or gang up on them.  Which we did. By and by we had little toddlers playing under the table while we pored over the latest game, table top.  It wasn't long until the toddlers were noisy children bringing down the rafters with laughter and running and playing while we continued to dicker for Boardwalk and Park Place game by game. 
    Nell and I did pretty well putting up with the two boys that would show up at the game board in place of our loving husbands... for at least ten years. I would tease Elv that if he could make money in real life like he did in Monopoly we'd be rich. But I was openly grateful that he didn't run/boss/lecture his associates in real life like he did us in the game. Actually I hated that part of the game. Steve and Elv had worked out the ethics part of the game when they were 12 and 16 and try as they might they couldn't get it across to Nell and I even after ten years of married life. But boy did they try! There were certain things you just didn't DO! Trouble is, we never figured out what those things were, for sure. 
    In the end, it was Nell and I who finally bowed out of the game.  Let the older children play with those two noisy, heartless man/boys. We breathed us a big sigh and moved on to quiet chatting in the kitchen over dishes and women talk. But, it didn't go so well for the guys.  The heart went out of the game for them. The children who were invited to square out the game just got their feelings hurt, which entirely baffled the guys. 
   So today when Elv joined the three children in the game I watched with interest. It turns out they are up to the rules and ethics that Elv enforces to make the game work properly. They're up to the lawyering and grousing and griping and yelling and rudeness that is "okay" in this game. They actually argue back and hold his feet to the fire. I am getting a huge kick out of it! The snow is still falling gently and a ham bakes in the oven filling the house with a warm supper aroma. Let the game live on. I'll watch...and laugh, listening to all Elv's echoes coming back to him in perfect harmony from his children. 
Elv says that I have portrayed him and Steve as ogres and that it isn't quite fair, but he enjoyed this piece and said I could post it. 

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