Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wednesday Medley and Bits of Life Wednesday

 Neighborhood barn

I'm joining Terri

Click on the link
and join in!

First of all, THANK YOU to Terri 
for bringing us Wednesday Medley!

1. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Pray, read, blog, journal. Freeze more apples for apple crisp.
2. What’s your favorite piece of clothing you own/owned?
I don't know that I remember every favorite item of clothing, but one favorite was a drab green (like olive but drabber) corduroy coat with a fake fur collar, my favorite winter coat - that was stolen a couple months after my mom had bought it for me. My other favorite item of clothing was a dark rust colored dress with a hood - corduroy again - that buttoned all the way from top to bottom, kinda mid calf, and I wore it with tall brown lace-up leather boots. Wow, that was back in the day. And I could lace up those tall boots fast, with ONE HAND. It was quite the skill.
 Mr. C's sunset photo at Barron High School with the Barron Bears mascot. I thought it was a pretty cool photo.
3. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
Well, it wouldn't be fishing, that's for sure, but I thought this was a cute pic of a couple of kids on the Wisconsin River, I think it was. Ever hopeful fishermen of Wisconsin. Well, if time AND money weren't an issue, my hobby would be travel. There are a lot of places I'd like to visit, and besides, I love the planning of a trip.  And I like to see how lightweight I can keep my carry on. I think it's becoming a pride issue.
4. What would your perfect room look like? (You can post a picture.)

 My perfect room looks like this (above) and has a ceiling like this  (below) and I can be there any time day or night, praying and contemplating the awesomeness of God.

Right, you don't have to have a cathedral to do that, but it sure doesn't hurt. 
(York Minster, by the way)

5. When was the last time you climbed a tree?
That would have been some time before my first hip replacement, like a long time before. But I did love climbing trees when I was a kid. Our youngest just turned 30 years old this year, is married, etc. etc. But just this spring Mr. C. noticed high up in the 90' tall spruce at the top of our driveway (where eagles like to perch, actually) there was a 2 x 4 across a couple branches. Then we found out that our youngest had, at one point in his storied childhood, carried that 2 x 4 up near the top of the tree so he could sit up there and enjoy the view. If I'd known that, I would have killed him! (which is why I didn't know that until this spring). :-) 

 But I did climb the observation tower at Rib Mountain
when we were in Wausau last weekend. That oughta count for something!

Our daughter, whose birthday it is TODAY -  and kids - 
whom we visited last weekend. It's always fun.
Happy Birthday, Honey!

6. Tell us something you will do/did today.
Something I did do today was make a batch of Lemon Verbena soap, and compare various backpacks at the outfitters store.  AND, I picked up and held my Tommy who thought he just wasn't getting enough attention, apparently!
 It's been pretty cool out.
High of 55 and low of 39.
Tommy and Smokey enjoy snuggling on that squishy blanket in the screen porch.

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All soaps labeled and wrapped, ready for gifting.

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Have a great Wednesday, everyone!
Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Bits of Life Wednesday

 Pay no attention to the weeds.
Just look at the pretty little rudbeckia growing next to our little garden pond and stream.
Can you hear the stream as it rushes over the three wee water falls?
(I do have the video on Instagram)

Thanks for stopping in again for my Bits of Life Wednesday. I'm sure something of significance must have happened since last Wednesday, but for the life of me, I can't think of what it would have been. So just bear with me. I have a few photos to share with you.

 A walk along Fifth Avenue reveals three layers of plants.
Foreground: yellow rocket
Middle: cattails
Upper: corn, a great crop this year!
And of course a box elder tree to frame it.

 We're keeping an eye on those hops I told you about.
They're turning brown.

 The neighbor's pretty little milkhouse
on their lovely farm with draft horses
(shown a couple weeks ago, but just in case you forgot,
here they are again:)

 Three adults and two youngsters

Soybean field south of the house
Photo taken from the front porch

It was very warm Monday until the wind switched, and within about ten minutes I had switched too - from wearing shorts and t-shirt to wearing polar fleece pants and jacket!

Yesterday I accompanied Mr. C. to a remote location and got these pics of an old weathered barn, ready to be used as a fire training burn. He has to sample all this stuff and send it in to the industrial hygiene lab in Minneapolis.

No, not the plants.
Just window glazing compound,
and that kind of stuff.

 Someone on Instagram suggested that I 'acquire' this mailbox, but we're very big on personal property here in NW Wisconsin - even if it's in a remote location and no one would notice if I took it.

 I do love the dark blue berries of the Virginia Creeper (?) that was abundant on the corners of the old building.


On Monday morning, I took my coffee and journal to the screen porch, but when I went to sit down at the table, look who was in my spot:


So I decided to sit on the other chair.

 Okay fine! I'll sit on the glider.
These two!

Wait!! Just kidding. This was from 2017.
They can only be in one place at a time.
I think.


Just made a loaf of soap today that will be in my shops in a few weeks.
Any guesses?


And the weather will soon be perfect for making this kind of loaf:

Who doesn't love the crust, right out of the oven, with lots of good ole Wisconsin butter!

And now it's time to see if there's a George Gently TV mystery I haven't memorized.


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

All-natural, handcrafted vegan soap
No harsh chemicals
No animal products
Great lather
Essential Oils
Delicious fragrance

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

and at

Our ETSY Shop

Have a fabulous Wednesday, friends!
Join me on Instagram @cranberrymorning 


Friday, September 14, 2018

And one more thing...


If you follow @cranberrymorning on Instagram, you already know how deliriously excited I was so see this huge load of logs pull up the driveway the other day. What you're looking at is 4 years' worth of heat for our house. Mr. C. calls them his solar collectors. I call them avoiding the 'widow makers' in the woods!  I probably never told you that back in the spring of 2005, when Mr. C was out cutting in the west woods one day, a tree snapped back and rendered him unconscious in an instant. Our youngest son, who had been with him at the time, ran to to the house, burst into the door, and yelled that Dad had been hurt.  When I got to the site, Mr. C. was lying on the ground, a pool of blood forming under his head, and his color turning gray. I knew this was it.

But praise God, this wasn't it! Although it took the ambulance a HALF HOUR to get here while my husband lay there unconscious, a first responder who lives nearby was here soon. He did all the necessary things that first responders do, and when the ambulance finally arrived, I rode with them to the nearest hospital, where they examined Mr. C. and put him in a helicopter for a nice, expensive ride to Eau Claire.

While still at the local hospital emergency room, Mr. C. momentarily regained conscious-ness, told me was that he was sorry, and to call the insurance company. I did, and I was terrified. But I honestly had the assurance that no matter what, God was with us.

After a few days in the hospital in Eau Claire and a watchful eye on my dangerous husband, the doctors released him to go home, with instructions to NOT WORK. It had been a serious concussion, and all the blood was from an extensive scalp wound.  It did take quite some time for him to recover fully, and the odd thing is that the tree gave him 20/20 vision, although the upper right quadrant of his vision is still double after all this time. That won't change.

So you see how grateful I am that God spared my husband and why I've hated it when he has gone out to the woods in subsequent years to fell trees. (Will he listen to me???)  But this year he ordered a load of wood. It truly makes my heart happy.

Probably a couple sons and Mr. C. will soon be busy with chainsaws, cutting and then splitting and stacking all that wood. All in anticipation of the following scene:

 Lucky Mr. C.

 General Longstreet enjoying the fire
Actually, when I did a search for 'fire' in my photo archives, this popped up.
I was sure you'd want to see it. LOL
All those crazy reflections from two of our living room walls and the fire!

 Tommy and Smokey enjoying the fire last Christmastime
Do you see Smokey? She's looking at you.

 And of course our 1915 Home Comfort
kitchen range, which we fire up on especially cold days.
I love that old beast.

So, winter is really cozy at our house.

Funny how even 'cozy' can get old after six months. :-)


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Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE 

Natural Vegan Soap

Luxurious lather
All natural base oils

Delicious fragrance: Balsam & Siberian Fir
(not oak and maple, like the logs above)

All bars come labeled and wrapped,
ready for gifting.

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

and at

Our ETSY Shop

Have a great weekend, everyone!
Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bits of Life Wednesday

 Sunrise over the cornfield

Good morning, blogging friends. Thanks for stopping in today for another installment of my random bits of life.

One has to rise fairly early to catch September sunrise photos, but not nearly as early as in June. This summer has flown by, and now one can lounge around in bed until as late as 6:00 and still catch the sunrise. Makes one feel positively slothful!

 From the porch
Golden light and my favorite time of day

As I was standing near the cornfield to get that first photo, I turned around to look into the windbreak (where all our pets are buried - the dead ones, that is), and saw these incredible puffball mushrooms. Off the picture to the right are two others, and they're all standing in order of size, the smallest being about 4" in diameter (the one on the left) and the largest of the five about 8" in diameter. I believe they're edible, and these are at peak and fine specimens, but I'm still not doing it.

This is the blurry photo I got when I tried to take a picture of the goldfish I purchased while our grandsons were out for a visit in August. I mostly took it as proof to them that I'd not yet killed the fish. I did see one lying on the bottom of the pond this morning, and when I remorsefully stirred the water with a stick, he did not move. I was sure we'd lost one. But about ten seconds later he got a burst of energy and swam away. Evidently, he had been sleeping! (or playing 'possum). I was so relieved!

Our friendly neighborhood ladies' circle meets every morning at the edge of our cornfield and again every evening at the base of our big spruce. In between I think they still hang out together, but I don't see them then. I wonder if they sew or quilt. They're fun to watch, but you have to be very quiet if you don't want them to adjourn early.

On a very bright day as this, it's nearly impossible to get good photos, but I wanted you to see one of my volunteer sunflowers that sprang up near the birdfeeder. I see that the finches aren't eating from the thistle seed feeder, but that's because the fields and ditches are full of seed for them. The time is soon coming when everything will be covered in snow and then they won't hesitate to come knocking at our door. You just wait. (and we'll be ready). :-))

Mr. C. and I went on a lovely morning walk along a beautiful woodland trail yesterday. We'll take that walk again. It was so pretty. Not like our usual walk along the road, which is also pretty, but they're both pretty in very different ways. 

 All around me I saw God's glorious creation, and remembered in Genesis where God pronounces His creation, 'Good,' it was later the stewards of that creation, not creation itself, who went wrong. We're still to be his image bearers and good stewards of his good creation. He didn't place us on this earth to just wreck it or use it up (plants or animals), but to take care of it and them for Him, to receive His blessings and offer praises back to Him for his amazing love and goodness and generosity.

That is your sermon for the day. Please put a fiver in the plate on your way out.


From website:

"It seems to me that God has put humans like an angled mirror in His world so that God can reflect His love and care and stewardship of the world through humans and so that the rest of the world can praise the creator through humans. And the way this comes out in many Biblical passages is to see God's people, you get this in Exodus 19, you get this in the Book of Revelation, you get it actually in Paul as well, see God's people as the royal priesthood, the priesthood because they are summing up the praises of creation, presenting it before God." - N.T. Wright

 Fungi (plural because there were several on that tree)

Looking back through my blog posts, it seems I was remiss in telling you about the wild hops we found. There are two places that Mr. C. and I spotted them (he the first and I the second), completely different locations, but both near willow trees and wet land. Evidently this stage (above) is about the perfect time for picking hops for making beer. The cones are very pungent, somewhere between garlic and skunk, in my opinion. I'm not sure who came across the idea of putting them in beer to prevent it from spoiling as it was shipped from England to India (for example). Really. Who thinks of this stuff? How many other things were tried first? and why were hops ever tried at all?? Anyway,  I found this little blurb on Home Brewer Association's website:

How to Check Hop Cone Ripeness

  1. Give the cone a light squeeze. If the cone stays compressed, it’s not ripe enough. When they feel light and dry—and spring back after a squeeze—they’re ready to be harvested.
  2. Pick a cone, roll it in your hands and smell it. If it has a pungent smell between cut grass and onion, it’s time to harvest.
  3. Roll the hop next to your ear. If it makes a cricket sound, this also means they’re ready to harvest. If the lupulin turns orange and smells rancid, you’ve overshot your window.
  4. The hop should be springy, dry and papery on the tips, and sticky to the touch.
  5. Look for lupulin, the visible, thick yellow substance on the outside of the cone.

Was I supposed to do something with this stupid shoebox??

 Snuggly Tommy & Smokey,
but Tommy is hogging the picture.


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

In my Etsy Shop

 Clover Blossom
Frosted Apple Spice
Sandalwood & Vanilla
Pumpkin Spice
Morning Brew

Natural, Handcrafted Vegan Soap
Wonderful fragrance
Luxurious lather
No animal products
No harsh chemicals
Just great, natural vegan soap

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

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!
From Tommy & Smokey & Me
Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning
Be sure to check #tommyandsmokey for all their photos on Instagram unless you hate cats, for some weird reason)



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