Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Last Hodgepodge of March

Farm Fuel Tank
Sand Creek, WI

Join Joyce and the Gang

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

1. What are two or three expectations you have of yourself?

1. Walking better by fall. 2. Being a nicer person (or maybe I should just stick to one thing at a time.)

2. In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up this spring?

I think this photo of our garden pond was taken in 2010. Our yard needs sprucing up in just about every way possible, including getting another dog. In fact, getting another dog would be a good start.

3. According to this site (Roadtrippers), six of North America's most wondrous waterfalls are-Webster's Falls in Ontario, Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina,Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Multnomah Falls in Oregon, The Lower Yellowstone Falls, and Niagara. Have you seen any on the list? Which one on the list would you most like to visit? Prettiest waterfall not on the list that you've seen in person?

Hardraw Force
North Yorkshire

I've been to Niagara Falls, but not the others listed. I like Hardraw Force better because it's surrounded by Yorkshire: hills, valleys, sheep, stonewalls, etc. and no weird tourism places.  Also, there are some pretty falls in northern Wisconsin, including Gooseberry Falls.

4. Looking back, what's something you wish you'd done as a teenager?

I wish I'd tried harder to understand my teachers, and...

I wish I'd returned my library books.

5. Ham...yes please or no thank you? If you said yes please which of the following do you like best-baked ham with all the trimmings, a ham and cheese sandwich, prosciutto with melon, a ham biscuit, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, or a slice of pizza topped with ham and pineapple?

I don't like ham in any form. It gives me a fierce headache. I'd rather have a chicken stirfry any day.

6. Are you typical of your generation? How so?

I think it's typical of my generation that we're sick to death of the circus that is the 2016 Presidential campaign and want to discuss the issues. And I wish there were real debates.

Campaign Buttons
in former Texas school book depository
Sixth Floor Museum, Dealey Plaza
Dallas, TX

7. April rolls in at the end of the week, and in keeping with that theme...'act the fool', 'nobody's fool', 'a fool's errand', 'could have fooled me'...which foolish idiom most recently applies to you? Explain.

I guess it would be 'could have fooled me.' We were shocked to learn that Eric had not been feeling well for the past six months. He kept himself to himself. It's that stubborn, self-sufficient Norwegian blood. ;-) We will miss him.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

You never know when it's going to be your time.
Make a will.


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Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Wisconsin Barns and Good Fences

Barn SW of Chetek, WI
Springtime, 2016

It's beautiful countryside up here, folks, and you can't imagine how happy I am that the snow is gone. We drove out of snow that was in Westby and north to NO SNOW. I hear we're supposed to suffer a relapse on Thursday, but that should just be temporary. Spring is truly on its way to northwestern Wisconsin. The red wing blackbirds and robins have returned, and I'll be looking for springing beauties and May flowers in the woods when it gets a bit warmer. Daffodils, lily of the valley, and lilacs coming soon.

May flowers, April 2012
from my photo files

Happy Birthday sweet Lucy!! ♫

linked to Tom's Tuesday's Treasures
and Theresa's Good Fences

Instagram: @cranberrymorning

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Texas, Wisconsin, and a Sweet Grandkid

Hi everyone! It's good to be back in blogland. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. As you may know, we spent a week with our daughter and son-in-law in Texas, which was wonderful! 

Happy News:

The most wonderful thing about it is that they announced that they're moving back to Wisconsin - and not a moment too soon! I never thought it would happen. We're thrilled!  It will be a four hour drive to Green Bay, but that's a lot better than a 20 hour drive to Texas.

Just so you know, the photos in the collage above are:

Top Row, left to right:
Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth, where we attended the symphony on Friday night.
Sundance Square, Fort Worth, our son-in-law and daughter (looking cute)
Denton County Court House interior doors

Bottom Row, left to right:
Denton County Court House, stairs (just gorgeous!)
Denton County Court House with signs and bank clock
Sixth Floor Museum (JFK assassination) Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX (fascinating)

I did take an excessive amount a few other photos while there, which you might have seen on Instagram (@cranberrymorning)

Sign in a restaurant wall, Denton plaza

I've never eaten chicken fried steak in my life, so I really wouldn't know, but I thought it was a cute sign.


Sad News:

While in Texas, we got a phone call from our son, telling us that our good friend and cousin, Eric, had died totally unexpectedly, of a massive heart attack. We communicated with people back in Eric's home town, wrote an obituary, flew home on Saturday, and on Sunday drove to SW Wisconsin to attend Eric's funeral and attend to his affairs, which took most of the rest of the week and will be an ongoing process for quite some time. 

Lesson? Be sure to make a will.

Holsteins Nr. Westby, WI

Eric and Mr. C.
Yes, he was threatening me with the garden hose.


Sunset photo taken south of Westby, WI
March 24 


Last, but not least...

I had to include this photo of sweet little Oliver, playing peekaboo behind his bedroom curtains when we were at their place for Easter dinner after church.

So now you know what I've been up to for the past couple weeks.  What's been happening there?

Linked to Mosaic Monday


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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Resurrection Sunday

Have a blessed Easter, friends.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

- Isaac Watts

Have a blessed Good Friday, friends.


Photo: Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire

Friday, March 11, 2016

Barron County Roads and How They're Named

 Red Cedar River

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'm posting photos I took not far from our house on our way home from Wausau last weekend. All photos were taken in the same general area, which is west of Sand Creek on 1 1/2 Avenue or from Barron Dunn Avenue. Our area is full of natural beauty. It's a wonderful place to visit during the spring, summer, and fall. and the perfect place to visit in the winter if you like depressing darkness, bitter cold, and skiing. :-) But I'll have to admit, even in the winter time, it's beautiful here - mostly if you've got a good fire going in the stove, a hefty stash of popcorn, a stack of books, and dark chocolate. A couple nice big dogs would help too.

With Mr. C's ability to whip up a great morning fry, I sometimes think it would be fun to turn our home into a B&B, except that we'd probably get no takers. Even when people say they want to get out to the countryside for some peace and quiet, they're not usually talking about the very literal peace and quiet that we have here. We could offer good food, beautiful scenery, and lots of good books, but no traffic, no shopping, and no noise.

Since there were a few furrowed brows about the name of the road, 1 1/2 Avenue, in Wednesday's blog post, I thought I'd take a minute to explain how Barron County names its roads. Unlike Dunn County to our south, which seems to have absolutely no rhyme nor reason to their road names, Barron County is laid out on a grid with every street being named according to its distance north/south and east/west of the southwest corner of the [perfectly square] county. If you know this, you need never get lost in Barron County. Everything is measured from that southwest corner.

For example, if the address 320 27th street is where you want to go (I just made that up, but I suspect it actually is someone's address!), that location is 3 1/5 miles north of the south county line and 27 miles east of the west county line - so on a grid it's 27x, 3.20 y.  It makes so much sense.  And if you know your own address and can read the road signs, you can figure out how many miles you are from home. :-) That's always handy. 

Of course, once you enter a town, there are names like Oak, Maple, and Wisconsin. But out in the countryside, you'll find numbers.  And now you know the rest of the story!
 There were well over a hundred whitetail deer in this cornfield
and the one across the road. By the time we stopped
so I could get the photo, several had already bolted.

'Can they see us?? Stand perfectly still and maybe they'll go away.'

 Barron Dunn Avenue
Barron County is on the left;
Dunn County is on the right.

Did I mention that all streets run north and south and all avenues run east and west?

The stop sign is facing Sioux Creek Township

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!  I'll be gone to Texas for a week, so I won't be blogging, but will probably post the occasional photo on Instagram @cranberrymorning. Please make sure that the springtime app is fully installed in Barron County by the time I return. Thank you. :-)

Linked to Weekend Reflections
and Eileen's Saturday's Critters
and Deb's Friday Foto Friends


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We'll be in Texas, y'all! 
Our son will be tending to things at home while we're gone, bless him.

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Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wisconsin Barns, Good Fences and The Hodgepodge

Barns and Fences on 1 1/2 Avenue, Barron County, WI

With the weather we're currently enjoying, our neighbors might not need the remaining woodpile. Oh, who am I kidding. We'll have a lot more snow. These few warm days in the 50s and 60s are just a teaser.

Fence and culvert on D

And now, on to the Hodgepodge:

Join Joyce and the Gang
She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog
and follow along!

1. March is National Women's History Month. In that vein, who are three women who've been influential in your life? How so?

My mom, my mother-in-law, and both of my grandmas (I know, that's four).
My mom instilled in me a strong work ethic (play also, but duty, and definitely work before play), and a sense of responsibility and perseverance. My mother-in-law also instilled a strong work ethic and the importance of life-long learning, including everything from music to Scripture. My paternal grandma instilled a love of a wry sense humor, consistent Christian living, and unwavering faith. My maternal grandma especially patterned Jesus. Love for others, giving of her time and energies, and enjoying fun. All of those women exhibited a rock solid faith in God.

Glorious March sunlight on a couple of favorite pottery pieces

2. In what ways do you think women have it easier than men?

In my case, I am sitting at home working on a blog post, making soap, and tending to the wants of the dog and cat while my husband is out making an actual living wage. I wonder if he'll catch on one of these days and throw me out. 

3. What do you need most right now: faith, love, hope, or peace?

Peace is highly overrated. Even in the Christian life, we were never promised peace. Jesus' words, 'Take up your cross and follow me' aren't reflected in the health, wealth, and prosperity 'gospel' that is so often preached today. I've been reading Prayers of the Early Christians and none of those true followers of Christ had peace in their lives. They were always at odds with the state (sometimes even their families), were persecuted, tortured, driven from their homes, and many were killed for their faith in God.  BUT, they had faith to the bitter end...and hope. Hope is an absolute for the follower of Christ.  I could use more love for others, and I always could use more faith. 

 (The deep, abiding peace in our hearts, given to us by God, is not the peace I'm referring to in the paragraph above. That peace should be without question for those who trust God. I'm referring more to circumstantial peace. I know several who are going through real struggles in their lives right now, and they're definitely not  experiencing circumstantial peace.)

Fences and Reflections in March
1 1/2 Avenue, Barron County, WI

4. Do you have a collection? If so, what do you collect and why?

I actually do collect more than dog hair and dust bunnies, although they're most prevalent. I collect coffee mugs (and finally did part with several a while back, when they were crowding me out of my home) - and I have a smallish collection of refrigerator magnets. Why? Because they make good souvenirs, take up little space in my carry on, and cost less than a sweater or a rug or a discarded phone box.

5. Plaids, checks, polka dots, stripes...your favorite?

None of the above. I prefer solid colors and rarely stray from that. Checks are nice for a picnic tablecloth. Stripes look good on a zebra, and in my opinion, plaids don't look good anywhere - except on a Scottish kilt. 

I rest my case.
And she probably has a 10" waist.

6. In what ways are you the same as your childhood self?

I still love animals, especially dogs (and yes, cats too, Tuppence!); I love the outdoors and all of God's beautiful creation. I'm much the same in ways too numerous to mention, only bigger, grayer, and bearing the battle scars of life (wrinkles). And I haven't climbed a pine tree with a book in one hand for a very long time.

Still living in the land of snow and loving the outdoors -
I only got bigger and could afford a coat or two.

7. You're a contestant on the TV game show Jeopardy. What category will you ace?

My knowledge is too minimal and eclectic to ace any category. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I can't believe how March has brought such cheer to my life. There is something about February that is so dark and dreary and cold and loooooong. But then comes March and some melting of the snow, more hours of daylight, and it's so encouraging. Plus, we saw the grandkids last week (yesterday's post) and are flying to Texas on Saturday to spend a week with our daughter and our SIL. What a wonderful March!

Also Linked to Theresa's Good Fences 
and Tom's Barn Collective


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My shops will be closed March 11-20

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...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

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Have a wonderful Wednesday!



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