Monday, October 31, 2016

Giveaway Winners Announced!

Winners of my Fall/Christmas
Natural Vegan Soap


Debby, Just Breathe


Thanks so much to everyone: Cranberry Morning blog followers and Instagrammers, who entered my Fall/Christmas Giveaway! 

I have some cute kitty photos to show here, but I think I'll wait until Wednesday, since there will be no Hodgepodge this week. Joyce is moving into her house! Too bad we're not all there to help carry boxes. Or maybe not.

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone! 


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Natural Vegan Soaps

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at
and at
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Friday, October 28, 2016

Mr. C's Surprise......

On to the Strangest Story Ever Told
(Well, maybe.)

You remember Audrey? The sweet, pregnant cat who showed up at our farm about a month ago? Remember that last week we took her to the vet and the vet figured there'd be kittens within a few weeks? Remember that she was healthy, no ear mites, no fleas, and that we then brought her indoors to live with us? Remember that we were awaiting the birth of those kittens? Huh??

Well, I was upstairs yesterday morning when Mr. C. suddenly appeared, looking like THIS:


And there were two more,
that had somehow made their way to the house
from wherever they had been,
(maybe the barn?)
and were sitting on the opposite side of the patio door.

Actually, the first two appeared at the same time.
We heard a third, but had to let Audrey out
to find that one.

Now mother and babies (teenagers??)
are doing fine.

 The first two, eating cat food, for Pete's sake!

Audrey, doing the catly thing

Audrey, licking her kittens and
letting them nurse.

This was just the most bizarre thing. We've had Audrey in the house since a week ago today. She had shown up at our place about September 27, and because we fed her, she would always come to the porch for food, water, and attention. Some people thought she looked pregnant, but she must already have delivered her kittens. When we took her to the vet on October 20,  we were told that it certainly looked like she was going to have kittens. After worming her that day, the next day we brought her into the house to live.

She never howled like she wanted to go out, although about 5 o'clock each morning she would meow loudly a few times, and only once did she sit and stare at the door.

How did the kittens survive during the past week?  Had she left them a squirrel or something? We know she was a good hunter.

Why hadn't her milk dried up?

How did the kittens make their way to the house?

After a week without their mother, the kittens all look roly poly and healthy.

The earth is the Lord's, and all that is in it.
From Psalm 24

Praise God for so many miracles in our lives each day, most of which we don't even notice.


 Why did we let our James Herriot vet retire??

Wouldn't you love to see this little guy
 in your Christmas stocking??

You know you would.

Your eyelids are getting heavy.

You want a kitten.

Be sure to enter the Giveaway
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Olde Thyme Christmas
Natural Vegan Soap

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

and at

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With The Three Little Kittens,


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hodgepodging Mallo Cups and Good Fences

Audrey, getting rest while she can.

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

Thanks, Joyce!

1. Besides your very own house, describe a place where you feel most 'at home'?
Besides our house, I guess I'd have to say I feel most 'at home' here on our farm (creek, woods, hills)  - or Harper's Ferry, WV. or Yorkshire, England or Duluth, MN. It's got to be the hills, trees, and water that attract me to all of these places. Harper's Ferry is at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers; Yorkshire has many rivers; Duluth, MN is at the edge of Lake Superior. Which reminds me, did you know that Duluth is an international port city 1100 miles inland (as the crow flies), ships having to travel 2,340 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to get there?? Nor did I. Until last night. That's farther than Minneapolis to Los Angeles or London to Gibraltar - but not as far as Montreal to Red Deer, Alberta, in case you were wondering.

 Potomac River at Harper's Ferry

 River Swale behind Richmond Castle, Yorkshire

Lake Superior at Duluth
Lift bridge in the distance

2. When did you last 'hit a home run' with something? Explain. 
I think that would have been our family's Early Thanksgiving. Unless they were all lying, I think almost everyone had a good time. In case you missed that long, drawn-out post, you can view it, along with a ton of autumn photos, HERE

Grandson, viewing the scenery from the back of the hay wagon

Just a couple of cute weirdos who crashed our Thanksgiving

3. Tell us about something you love in your house or kitchen that is 'homemade'. 
That's easy. That would be natural, vegan soap. And right now I'm having a Fall/Christmas Giveaway. Ends Friday at 10 PM CDT, so hurry and enter on Monday's blog post.

The other homemade thing would be the lavender/blueberry scones I'm going to make this weekend. Find the recipe HERE. 
 I can't help putting mini semi-sweet chocolate chips in my scones
along with the blueberry and lavender.
I'm trying to think if there's anything else around here that's homemade. I guess Audrey's kittens would be the only thing that comes to mind. And we're hoping that she's only going to have 1 or two.  An 'only kitten' would definitely be a blessing.

Audrey, dreaming of her former life as a stray

4. 'A man's home is his castle'...which of the world's ten most captivating castles (according to The Travel Channel) would you most like to visit and why-

Mont Saint-Michel (France), Edinburgh Castle (Scotland), Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany), Glamis Castle (Scotland), Windsor Castle (England), Chateau de Chambord (France), Hampton Court Palace (England), Prague Castle (Prague), St. Michael's Mount (England), Leeds Castle (England), and Swallow's Nest (Ukraine)
I tried Windsor Castle, and that turned out a disaster; I'd love to visit Edinburgh Castle if it weren't so far north from anyplace else I want to visit in the UK; I'd like to visit Prague Castle or just Prague in general, because that part of the world seems fascinating, especially after watching a documentary on what lies beneath Prague - if only I could teleport.

Windsor Castle. Getting off the train. It was all downhill from there.
5. What's a recent or upcoming plan or project that's required you do a little homework before getting started? Did the homework cause you to abandon your plan or adjust it in some way?

Homework? The first thing that comes to mind is the upcoming election. But since I'd like to have some friends after this Hodgepodge is over, I'll skip politics and go to something more pleasing - like travel. I did all the planning for Mr. C. and our son's trip to England. I LOVE the planning stage: Researching points of interest, accommodations, car rental, train travel, airlines, etc. etc. It's so much FUN!
 Victoria Station

6. In your opinion, is homework an unnecessary evil or a valuable practice? Should schools be done with homework? Why or why not? 
I think that homework is a necessary evil. If kids (high school) want to learn something, and have any aspirations for life beyond high school, they will have to work, and that work most likely will not be able to be accomplished within the school day. However, I don't think there should be homework assigned to little kids. Good grief, it's hard enough for them to sit still during the school day, and then go home to more of the same? No. Little kids, especially, should be playing.

Audrey, between a rock and a hard place

7. Share a favorite memory of your childhood hometown. 
We all loved the Treat Shop, across the street from the old Junior High building, where we could go during recess to buy Mallo Cups and eat ourselves into an afternoon sugar coma, just in time for government class.
8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Tuppence, staking her claim.
Lying next to me on the sofa during breakfast coffee.
At least she's no longer hissing or clawing at Audrey.

Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
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Pumpkin Spice
Natural Vegan Soap

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

and at

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Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!


Monday, October 24, 2016

HomemadeSoapnSuch Giveaway! (It's About Time)


Hi Bloggers and Instagrammers:

I'm hosting a Giveaway of my handcrafted, vegan soaps, from now through Friday night at 10:00 PM CDT. 

There will be three winners, each of whom will be able to choose TWO soaps.

This is open to all who follow me either on @cranberrymorning (Instagram) or on this CranberryMorning blog.

Please visit either my HomemadeSoapnSuch Etsy shop or my HomemadeSoapnSuch website and let me know (in a comment on this post) which TWO you choose, should you be one of the winners. You're all winners in my book, but you know what I mean.

Also, in the comment, let me know how you follow CranberryMorning. If you're an Instagrammer, please include your Instagram name.

So:  Must be a follower of this blog or @cranberrymorning on Instagram
        Leave a comment with your two choices and how you follow me.
        Leave an email where I can reach you, should you be one of the winners

Giveaway closes 10 PM Friday, CDT. Winners will be announced next Monday, October 31, here on

Thanks! And Good Luck.

P.S. On Friday night, Mr. C. will put his little paw into the magical Giveaway hat with all the entrants' names in it , and with eyes closed, will draw out three names. This is as scientific as we get. But we don't cheat. Hey! No peeking, Mr. C.

On the Thanksgiving Hayride
See last week's Hodgepodge post.

Christmas Soaps are Ready!

Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE

 Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

Our ETSY Shop


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hodgepodging Our Early Thanksgiving

The Hayride
Mr. C. taking us on the scenic route
through the neighborhood.

WARNING:  This post is full of family photos from our Early Thanksgiving last weekend.


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

1. What would you say is your strongest sense?

Common. No, really - evidenced by hosting our family Thanksgiving in warm and beautiful October instead of cold and dreary November.

Pumpkin carving in the backyard

2. Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'? Why or why not?

I believe that a 'sixth sense' or intuition can be developed through experience and paying attention. I have a lot of experience, but I'm not sure how good I am at paying attention. I'll just blame my dad. He passed on the ability to be preoccupied in almost any situation. I mean really, there's just always so much to be thinking about!

And in the dark of night...

3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

I work better under pressure, so I don't really mind being a slave to time, and maybe the most recent example would be making Thanksgiving dinner, getting two pumpkin and two apple pies made in 2 1/2 hours. It's also a challenge to try to get a whole dinner to be ready at the same time, a skill that comes from years of experience. I won't mention that the turkey looked like it had been rubbed with Coppertone and set out in the sun for way too long. Sometimes we learn from experience, and other times we just gain more experience. :-)

Photo by Courtney
(sorry. small file, can't enlarge)

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?

Years ago I worked in something like a restaurant, and on a scale of 1-10, I would rate it a 3. It was kind of fun except for unreasonable or strange customers. If I could own a restaurant, it would be one without customers. Or maybe the customers would all be my grandkids.

Trying to make Tuppence pose for the photo

5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.

My family tree includes my maternal grandpa, who came to America from Denmark when he was 19 years old. He came here with $5 in his pocket, which presumably meant he could get a train ticket from New York to the midwest and maybe a meal to eat along the way. That was a very long time ago, obviously. Anyway, I know that information because of the ship manifest that our daughter found online. There was his name, his age, and how much money he had with him. So not all Danes were harassing the British. Some harassed the Illinoisians.

Trying to coax Audrey out from hiding

6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?
I'm thinking it was a mess. And yet, how could it have been a mess? My sister and I shared a room (smallish by today's standards), we had one medium-size closet for the two of us, and I know our clothes would have taken up hardly any room in the closet. We had maybe two pair of shoes each, and there were not piles of junk sitting around, nor did our parents have to rent a storage unit. Life was simpler then, at least for a kid, except when my sister got really possessive of her side of the bed and put a string down the middle of the bed with the ultimatum that I not intrude into her space at night, even if I was freezing to death - which I nearly did - many times, I'm sure. Sibling love.

Picasso - with diaper

7. Anyone who knows me knows I love_watching British mysteries.

Contemplating a big career

8. Insert your own random thought here.

 The bonfire

It was fun getting back to our Early Thanksgiving, held mid October, now that our daughter and son-in-law have moved to Wisconsin from their decade of exile in Texas. People started arriving Friday evening and although Friday morning was beautiful, by Saturday morning it looked like some of our fun would have to be canceled. Fortunately, the day was misty, not a drenching rain, and all day Sunday was gorgeous. It is the perfect time of year to have the family together for Thanksgiving, and this year only a few were unable to attend. It was a great weekend. And all day Monday I felt like I had jetlag. 

I'm thankful for this big family.

 The oaks at peak of color

 Mr. C. and grandson

 The neighbor's barn

This post is also linked to:


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Christmas Morning
Natural Vegan Soap 

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

and at

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Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Following Highway 29 to Green Bay

 Farm somewhere along Highway 29
between Chippewa Falls and Green Bay, WI
(and a very uncomfortable looking cow)

 Join Joyce and the Gang

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own post
and join in!
Thank you, Joyce.

1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house?

The best would be moving to England for 6 months. You did say that, right? The worst would be trying to sort out 27 years' worth of accumulated 'treasures.'
 Teddy Bear Puppies??
I miss my huge German Shepherd.

2. What's moved you recently?
The movie 'Sully.' It's nice to be reminded that there really are some decent people out there who aren't simply striving for power and fame.

Ye Olde Farmhouse
Within probably a 20 mile radius of Shawano, WI
(not pronounced 'shaWANo' as one might think,
but SEAN-o (SHAWN-o)
I guess the second 'a' is silent.
3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so?

I'm hoping that it's moving forward, certainly not backward or I wouldn't be seeing as many wrinkles when I look in the mirror. It still feels a bit on hold, but overall, I'd say progress.
 Awwww, the fam
on Shell Beach

4. On the move,move mountains, get a move on, it's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain
I've never heard the term 'bust a move.' Maybe 'it's your move,' in that I've been given the go-ahead for some exercises that should strengthen my leg.
 Shell Beach, the beach made of itty bitty shells of
zebra mussels

5. What song makes you want to get up and move?

As I'm writing this after 11:23 PM, there isn't much that makes me want to get up and move. My next move will be to take a quilt out of the washer, hang it out, and go to bed.
 It was a bit nippy, but a beautiful day nonetheless.

6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'?

Olives, cheese, almonds, dark chocolate.
 Remember those zebra mussels' shells?
This is what the beach is made of. Tiny, razor-sharp shells.

7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home?

d) the 1913 Home Comfort range 
b) books
c) wood-burning stove in the living room
a) cat(s) or dog(s)
e) all of the above
 I liked the juxtaposition of the colorful, beautiful, and natural woods
behind the colorful, not so beautiful,
but useful equipment.
If you squint, it looks better.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
We enjoyed the past weekend with our daughter and son-in-law who live in Green Bay. Can you believe we were THIS close to Lambeau Field and got detoured to Seroogy's chocolate shop instead. (Please forgive me, Packers fans.) I enjoyed seeing Green Bay for the first time, staying with our 'kids' in their new home, visiting the sandy beach at Two Rivers, Shell Beach at Green Bay, going to watch 'Sully' at the movie theater, stopping in at Seroogys for chocolates, and just spending time with family before Beautiful Autumn turns to Wretched Winter. 

 Audrey, looking rather smug.
Very pleased to see us return, and even posed for a selfie.
No, I haven't forgotten Tuppence.
I'll take her picture as soon as she retracts her claws quits hissing.

 Linking to
Theresa's Good Fences 
Eileen's Saturdays Critters
Tom's Barn Collective


Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE

Pumpkin Spice
Frosted Apple Spice
Cinnamon Stick

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at
and at
Our ETSY Shop

Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


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