Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hodgepodge and Driftless

West of Westby
in the Driftless area of Wisconsin

Join Joyce and the Gang

From this Side of the Pond

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

Thanks to Joyce for another round of Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. Are you currently operating at 100% capacity? If not, what % are you? What's keeping you there?

I'd say probably 93%. What's mostly responsible for keeping the other 7% away is snow and cold. But we're getting some nice, sunny days right now (although still lots of snow), and springier weather should arrive soon. That should take me up to about 96%. I think it takes July, August, and September to get me to 100%. They're the best months of the year! (although I love May).

Why I love the month of May
This and the GREEN alfalfa field.

2.  Have you done your taxes? Planned/booked a summer holiday? Thought about or started your 'spring cleaning'? Besides what's listed here, tell us one task that needs doing before spring rolls around.

I'm trying to think if I've done anything at all. Planning a trip is really fun, but I've not done that this winter. Really, the DEAD of winter brings out the bear in me - as in hibernation. Ah well, I guess that might also explains the cranky attitude.  I tend a fire. I sleep. I read. That takes up most of January, February, and March. One task that needs doing is going through books. I hate doing that because I hate parting with any books, so I end up procrastinating.  (I even procrastinate procrastinating!) Even writing that sentence made me realize that I've already talked myself out of the job. This is the problem with actually having enough room for things - there's little incentive to get rid of them.

3. What's a favorite food from your part of the country?

I don't think I have a favorite food from northern Wisconsin. I'd say a fish fry, typical of Wisconsin, especially Friday nights, but we don't really do that and I don't eat fried much of anything these days, not that I don't love it. Okay, how about cranberries. I think that Wisconsin might be the #1 state in the production of cranberries, and I am a huge fan of Craisins. We buy them by the big bagful at Sam's Club because we use them on salads and in stirfrys.

We add a few dried cayenne peppers
and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning to our
jars of olives and let it steep a week.
Do you see the Craisins?
This is a soup bowl full of vegetables, a little diced chicken,
Craisins, and a lot of olives.

4. This isn't a leap year, but let's run with it anyway...look before you leap, a leap of faith, grow by leaps and bounds, leap to conclusions, leap at the opportunity...which phrase might best be applied to your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

I don't believe in a 'leap' of faith, nothing up here is growing by leaps and bounds (except for Tommy and Smokey), I tend not to leap to conclusions but research far too long on anything, and I'm more cautious than to leap at an opportunity. Soooo, 'look before you leap' would be the most fitting this time of year. There's lots of snow and ice, and it would be a good idea to pay attention to where you're placing your feet so you don't slip and break your neck.

Tommy & Smokey
Growing by leaps and bounds

5. As the month draws to a close list five fun and/or fabulous things (large or small) you noticed or experienced in February.

Personally, I am so ready to leave February behind, but as to the question:

1. I noticed that our daughter had a birthday (yesterday).

2. I enjoyed spending a few days in Madison and meandering back home through the pretty countryside (giving me another batch of barns to share).

3. Even more, I enjoyed spending a few days in Westby, staying in the fantastic Logan Mill Lodge, wandering about the Amish countryside, visiting with friends, including the church of the ancestors, Coon Prairie Lutheran Church (last Sunday's post).

Both are out of commission.
West of Westby

4. I experienced a definite change in my attitude (for the better) that occurred with a day of slightly warmer temps and bright blue skies. So I could get a WALK.  I know. The weather enjoys manipulating me.

5. I experienced a longing to re-visit York Minster or Durham Cathedral or Canterbury Cathedral, but that's simply an ongoing state of mind, so nothing unique to February, I guess. Listening to John Rutter probably doesn't help.

Red. Especially appreciated when the landscape is mostly white.
Westby, WI

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Feed Mill Elevator
Westby, WI

For our couple of overnights in Westby last weekend, we stayed at the Logan Mill Lodge.

Our little home away from home was Condo Unit 2, a 1500 sq. ft. unit that has everything, including "an original 1910 vintage wooden freight elevator that was used to haul bags of feed and seed during the years this building was a feed mill." (Shown above) I'm so glad that Ruth didn't rip out the old feed elevator when converting the old feed mill to a lodge. 

A really great family vacation would be to stay at Logan Mill Lodge and use it as a base from which to explore the beautiful countryside of the Kickapoo River Valley and Amish farming territory - on scooters! In the summertime, of course.


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Empty Nester said...

I know I've said it before but you certainly live in a beautiful area of the country. I didn't realize y'all were the cranberry capital of the states. I like cranberries but I love those commercials with the two guys standing in the middle of the cranberries. Those guys are a hoot. LOL The summer weather manipulates me and the traffic manipulates me all year 'round. I need a nice, quiet place that doesn't get too hot. Newfoundland is on my radar currently. That comment about procrastinating procrastination? Yep, I'm familiar with that. Ha! Have a wonderful day!

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Good morning, Judy. My town is known for its cranberry bogs. I LOVE craisins too - that dish looks positively delish! Hope you have a wonderful week.

NanaDiana said...

We are so similar with our feelings on Winter in Wisconsin, Judy. I am tired of winter by the first of January and it is all downhill from there on out.. lol I love cranraisins, too, and used them in lots of things. IF I use them in muffins or something I put them in the microwave for a bit with some water so they get nice and plump before I add them to the batter. Now I am longing for a cranberry/orange muffin. lol

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday- xo Diana

Sandra said...

I really like that feed mill elevator photo. glad you got a couple of days that could adjust your winter attitude a little. the 3 month you love are the ones i despise here in FL. i dread them like a case of chicken pox and my attitude becomes your winter one, stay in the house, huddle in AC and never go out if i can help it. Jan/Feb/march have always been my most favorite season, but this year has changed some.. not as cool as it usually is, but still beautiful. enjoyed all your photos and love the kitties as always. so beautiful

Mrs.T said...

What a fun Hodgepodge this time around! That Logan Mill Lodge looks fantastic. I need to look into it more. My daughter and I were chatting yesterday how sometime, it might be fun for each of us (that is, their family, and Mr. T and myself, possibly others) to drive a couple of days and meet (roughly) in the middle for a family vacation in, say, Minnesota or Wisconsin or Iowa. Your idea for a family vacation and what a nice area it would be to explore got me thinking further.

Loved that tip about the olives! I have never tried that, but it sounds like a great idea.

I put craisins in salads a lot; use spring mix or baby spinach, feta or blue cheese, sunflower seeds (or sometimes candied walnuts) and toss with a fruit vinaigrette dressing.

Have a great week!

Cathy said...

That sounds like a perfectly wonderful vacation. I hope you get to do it sometime. As always I love all your pictures. You all have the prettiest barns in your area.

Chatty Crone said...

Love your photos and your cats! I love cranraisens too and your recipes. I must have the same birthday as your daughter - the 27th? I do not or cannot believe you are a procrastinator - that does not seem like you at all. You do live a beautiful place - but I can sure that it has to be a long, long winter - but spring is coming! Love, sandie

Carla from The River said...

My sister will be so happy you said Cranberries. :-)
They had a good 2017 cranberry season. Atticus might be helping this summer at the marsh with mowing. ;-)

The boys have a raft trip planned down the Kickapoo at the end of June.

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

How cute! The condo sort has a western look. Neat they saved it. Such a long long winter there. xoxo Su

Joyce said...

I've never visited Wisconson but your suggestion for a trip sounds fun. I love rivers, the countryside, Amish barns and seeing new places so maybe one of these days. I'm also a big fan of cranberrries and I'm not sure I knew they were grown there. I always think of the northeast when I think of cranberries. Also, that soup bowl full of olives looks yummy to me. Olives are one of my favorite foods, any color or kind.

Terri D said...

I always love seeing your barn photos! Your cats are so precious! We haven't had two who cuddle since Amber and Inky. They have been gone a long, long time now. Happy Wednesday!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Your little getaway sounds just wonderful, Judy. I really like that elevator! Your last sentence made me laugh out loud. Love the barns you feature in your posts. Sending you sunny days. ♥

Karen S. said...

This is really interesting, pictures that go along are perfect in each question and answer, but I must say your first photo, even being a dreary day it really a lovely view!

Linda said...

I love getting to know you better through these Wednesday posts. You live in a totally different world than I do. All that cold and snow and that it lasts so long! I would like to think I would love it - because I do tolerate cold better than heat - but I probably wouldn't. My hats off to you for doing as well as you do! And I would love to have a big enough place that I didn't have to worry about getting rid of things!

Jean | said...

Judy, you're the only person besides myself I've ever seen or heard comment on a love of alfalfa fields! How can that be?! Love that red barn, with or without snow.

Vee said...

Super sensitive I am to your mood on winter as it often matches my own; so much so, that I was alarmed by the title. Glad that I discovered that Driftless is a place and not a state of mind.

You got away for a few days...always good! And you managed a walk in all that ice. These have been some wonderful springy days.

Say, good news from my corner: My daughter has taken your advice and adopted a boy kitten to keep Charlotte company. So it’s Charlotte and Charlie from now on. They, not being littermates, have not achieved quite the coziness of Smokey and Tommy.

Jenny Woolf said...

One of these days I will answer one of those quizzes, but I was a bit intimidated by the one asking if I've done spring cleaning or booked a summer holiday yet. Wait, wait....!

Julie said...

I too am one to hibernate in the and winter, we just don't get along.

Creations By Cindy said...

Judy, I just love your pictures. They are always stunning. Speaking of winter. We never have enough of winter for me to get upset about here in Florida. Wish we had more winter myself as I dread the summer heat and in my neck of the woods that means dealing with mosquito's. GRR! But I must say I am looking forward to Spring. I hope you have a wonderful day. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I always enjoy stopping by and while I enjoyed all of this post I just loved that first photo!

Debby Ray said...

I'm so glad to hear you have been getting some sunshine! Not much in these parts...rain most of this week. Yes, I see the Craisins (which I love) in that love looking salad...well, everything but the green olives...I'll give them to my hubby. I would love to visit your part of the the summer...those barns are just something! Have a good and restful evening!

Lynne said...

I noticed that first picture and my tummy went flip/flop immediately.
Reminding me of curvy roads arround Spring Green, Lone Rock, Richland Center countryside/hills.
I was ALWAYS car sick back in my early Wisconsin days.
Some things never change and that, for one, has never changed for me.
I am better on straight roads!
(But, some of the “best sights” are in the countryside off curvy roads, so I “chance it” every once in awhile!)

It was all I could think about when I saw that first pic and I missed most of the rest of the post.
Except for Tommy and Smokey . . . I adore them . . .

I hope the snow and ice begin a slow melt and a move on out.
Be careful/safe!

podso said...

That Logan mill photo could fool you into thinking its 85 degrees outside. One thing you can be sure of is that spring will come. I was sad to see our daffodils fading already. Must be our warm weather. I still wish for more snow.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

93% is pretty darn good! Cranberries sounds good. I remember going to a cranberry bog many years ago in Wisconsin. I love the barns. That lodge sounds very interesting.

Cheryl said...

Isn't it amazing how a change in weather can affect our attitudes? We have had soooo many gray and/or rainy days here in the past month or so. When the sun shone beautifully one day this week, I feel remarkably cheerier! (And I haven't dealt with the paralyzing cold and snow as you folks have!)

Logan Mill Lodge does look like a charming place to visit!


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