Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wednesday Medley and Bits of Life Wednesday

Daughter and Kids
Don't you love those pink Crocs!

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we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog and join in!

Thanks so much, Terri, for providing the Wednesday Medley!

It is all about Halloween!


1. You’re in a horror movie. Are you the final person left, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I'm the final person left. I'm definitely not the killer, I refuse to be the first to die, don't feel in a mood to be comic relief, don't consider myself a skeptic or the smart one, so I'll go with the final person left. That means I'm Hercule Poirot, doesn't it! 

Although, I'll have to tell you one trick I've found works pretty well to discover who-dun-it in my British mysteries:  If there's a well-recognized actor in the cast lineup, they're often the killer. Really. It seems they only want the part if they get to be the villain. So that's my theory...

 Hercule Poirot

2. While watching scary movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their eyes covered the whole time or the person who falls asleep?

Actually, I try to avoid scary movies, except for the myriad British murder mysteries I watch (and really, they're hardly ever scary.)  But last night, I actually heard myself yelling, 'JONES, HURRY!!!' in a Midsomer Murders episode. What is this world coming to. 

 We played Spot It! and Skip-bo with the grandkids

over the weekend.

3. If you were dared to spend the night in a “haunted house”, would you do it?

Absolutely not. Are you kidding???  When Mr. C. had to be gone overnight for work, and Bridger was still with us, I slept with a shotgun *and* a 124# German Shepherd dog at my side. 

 Not my house.
But I did see it over the weekend.
Looks pretty spooky, doesn't it!

4. Favorite horror monster or villain?

I was trying to think of any scary movies I've watched - any at all, and decided to make a list:

  • Misery
  • Don't Say A Word
  • What Lies Beneath (I refuse to watch it a second time.)
  • Sixth Sense
  • The Other 
That might be it, except for all the Twilight Zone and Thriller episodes I watched as a teenager. 

But as for my favorite villain?  Sean Bean. For sure. He might be a cold-blooded killer, but...can't we overlook the minor details? LOL

 That healthy glow
(from the iPad)

5. Favorite horror or Halloween-themed song?  I definitely don't have one. When I looked it up on YouTube and came across 'Best Halloween Songs 2018' I listened to a few bars and decided I didn't even want to hear it. I loved being scared as a kid; I no longer find it fun.

 Tommy, avoiding Smokey's morning breath.

6. Tell us something random about your week.

The end of October and going into November is definitely the Shadowlands, The skies are gray, all the beautiful maple leaves are on the ground, the oaks are no longer brilliant reds but fading fast, the weather is turning cold, but it's not settled into winter yet. December brings us Christmas and January brings us squeaky cold snow and bright blue skies. But November? It's just dull and cold and gray and windy and haunted. Maybe not haunted, but of all the months, November in NW Wisconsin would be the one I'd vote most likely to be haunted - not October. 

 From the Files:
November 2013
Mr. C. and Grandpuppy Jazzie
R.I.P. Jazz

I've been listening to 'The Everlasting Man' (on YouTube) by G.K. Chesterton, which I've read in the past, but it's fun to listen to this as I'm making dinner or soap or whatnot. From the book,

“Now the best relation to our spiritual home is to be near enough to love it. But the next best is to be far enough away not to hate it. It is the contention of these pages that while the best judge of Christianity is a Christian, the next best judge would be something more like a Confucian. The worst judge of all is the man now most ready with his judgements; the ill-educated Christian turning gradually into the ill-tempered agnostic, entangled in the end of a feud of which he never understood the beginning, blighted with a sort of hereditary boredom with he knows not what, and already weary of hearing what he has never heard.”
G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
(Gallery has returned)
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I will not be making more Christmas soaps this season.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Wednesday Medley and Bits of Life Wednesday

Join Terri and the Gang

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and leave a comment on Terri's blog,
so that we can find you.

On this day theme...

1.  On this day in 1908, Billy Murray hits the charts with his “Take Me Out to The Ball Game”.  Did you watch the MLB playoffs, and are you watching the World Series?

Believe it or not, as a kid I would watch one baseball game on the television while holding my transistor radio up to my hear to hear another one that was being played at the same time. Must have been the Yankees on one and the San Francisco Giants on the other. These days, I could hardly care less, although baseball definitely seems like a much more civilized sport than football. (I know, I know. It's just me. I live in Packers land (isn't that all of Wisconsin??) and can hardly imagine a worse punishment than spending an entire afternoon at Lambeau Field. To me, Green Bay is all about Seroogy's Chocolates, Uncle Mike's Bake Shoppe (their sea salt and caramel and their raspberry kringler are my favorites! And they even do mail order, but I don't dare get started with that!) and Duck Creek Vineyard and Winery. (But mostly about our daughter and SIL before they moved to Madison.)  No, honest!

2.  On this day in 1962, “The Manchurian Candidate”, directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey, was released.  What is your favorite Frank Sinatra song? 

Well, it would be 'Girl From Ipanema,' if sung by Sinatra and Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim. Sinatra on his own, not so much. Together, definitely. Great accompaniment, nice smooth Brazilian jazz sound. I listened to it on YouTube. One commenter wrote, 'Story of my entire life.' LOL  By the way, I've liked that song ever since it first came out in the mid 1960s. I mentioned to Mr. C. that at least it had harmless lyrics. He said, 'Yeah, with all those men panting after that girl.' What??!  Oh... yeah. Well, okay. Well, anyway I like the sound a lot! Let me know if you do.

 Would you chase cats away just so you could selfishly make the bed??

3.  On this day in 1968, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful were busted for pot and released on £50 bail.  Has your state approved the sale of medical marijuana?  In a nutshell, what are your thoughts on the subject?

No, I don't think Wisconsin has, but I'm not really up on those things. My thoughts on the subject are that of course it should be approved. I would imagine that the only thing that keeps it from being approved for medical purposes is the huge drug lobby. 

4.  On this day in 1979, the Guinness Book of Records presented Paul McCartney with a rhodium disc as the all-time best-selling singer-songwriter. What is your favorite song by Paul McCartney?

'Hey, Jude' (but of course!) 

 Watching the snow
October 13

5.  On this day in 2017, Albert Einstein’s “Theory of Happiness” written on a note as a tip for a bellboy in 1922, sold for $1.6 million.  His Theory of Happiness is: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”   Was Einstein right?

And who thought bellboys didn't make money. Wow! And of course what Einstein said was true. Even liberty and the pursuit of happiness don't make us happy if we continue to think that life is all about us.

 Little (grandson) Reader in our library

6.  Tell us something random about your week so far…

We're having beautiful weather here. Chilly, but beautiful, a typical October week. Maple leaves dropping like crazy, mums and pumpkins being covered each night, wood being split for the Great Winter Woodpile, meatloaf and squash dinners being made, journal being neglected, walks in the neighborhood being enjoyed, Mr. C's trips to the physical therapist for his much-abused shoulders, cats being held.

 My little snuggle buddy.
He's just like a puppy, running to the door to greet us when we return.

Thank you, Terri, for another installment of Wednesday Medley!!


Both of my shops will be closed November 25 - December 14.
All Christmas soaps are available now.
I won't be making more this season.

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No harsh chemicals
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All bars labeled and wrapped,
ready for gifting!

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

and at

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Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wednesday Medley and Bits of Life Wednesday

 Quick glimpse of the front porch on a sunny yesterday.

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we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog,
then leave a comment at 
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Thank you to Terri for providing these questions!

1.  The Circleville, Ohio, Pumpkin Festival starts today.  All things pumpkin are everywhere. What is your one very favorite pumpkin flavored food or drink?  Do you wish it was available all year or do you only want it in the Fall?

The gluten-free pumpkin muffins I made last week are incredible! An IGer had mentioned the source of the recipe, ( so I thought I'd check it out. 

2 c. rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
3/4 c. plain Greek yogurt (not fat-free)
1/3 c. maple syrup
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. sea salt
2 t. pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1 c. mini chocolate chips (semi sweet)
1 c. chopt walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
In the jar of your blender, add the oats. Cover with lid and process until the oats look like flour (1-3 minutes). Pour oats into your KitchenAid mixer bowl or some other mixing bowl. This is supposed to be a blender-only recipe, but when I made my first batch that way, it set up like concrete in the bottom of the blender. I wasn't about to try that a second time!

Into the mixer bowl add pumpkin puree, eggs, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix.
Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Spoon batter into muffin tin.

Bake at 400 degrees for 17 minutes or until muffins spring back slightly when touched.

I love this recipe!

 The neighbor's Jerseys.
Thinking about that yogurt

2.  What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren't going to sell it anymore?

Coffee beans. Can you imagine opening the door of our largest guest room and coffee beans come gushing out? Try. Just try.

North of our farm about 2 miles on 17th Street.
Gorgeous color on the 11th of October.

3.  What is the most interesting thing you have seen online this week?

The most interesting thing I saw online this week was a set of Bruynzeel colored pencils, which I purchased. The color feels so nice and smooth as you're working. (playing). The Banksy (graffiti artist) spoof, was the most interesting thing the week before. 

More neighborhood pics

4.  Is it better to be a "big fish in a small pond" or a "small fish in a big pond"?

A big fish in a small pond is more likely to encourage one's ego and give us a false sense of our own importance. A small fish in a big pond is more likely to make us dependent upon God. From this great distance on the timeline of my life, I'd choose the second option. But as my mother-in-law used to say, "Too soon old; too late smart." 

Here's an interesting article, entitled, 'Your Life Does Not Belong to You.'

I wonder if a gangster or a serial killer holes up here
(in our neighborhood)

5.  My Joe has become obsessed with playing chess on the computer.  Do you play chess?  Are you good at it?

I played chess when I was young, but haven't played it for years. I'm  more likely to play a word game. 

(or maybe HERE)

6.  Tell us something random about your week.

 Yes, that's snow you see
Making its autumn appearance on October 14.
(Daughter-in-law and three of the grandkids)

I thought you'd never ask! :-)  We enjoyed a nice gathering of family and friends for our Early Thanksgiving. Not only did we all get an opportunity to tell each other one thing we were thankful for, and not only did my son bake two apple pies to go along with my two pumpkin pies, and not only did my daughter make a killer gluten-free, dairy-free green bean casserole, and not only did we have too much ham and turkey, and not only did the kids have a blast playing out in the sudden snowfall, 

and not only was a group around a game table in the library and from the sound of it having a rip roaring time, BUT our son and his wife, who are expecting the birth of their second baby in February shared a 'gender reveal' with us. I'm showing a video for all of you, but especially for those friends in the UK who would probably be arrested and hauled off to gaol for doing such a thing. LOL

And not only do we have 'open carry' in Wisconsin, but we have 'open shooting,' I guess, as long as it's not at any living thing, including a tree. (Okay, the last part was my rule for the BB gun when our kids were young.) I guess this would be considered target practice.

Some of the gang on the hilltop with their pink or blue balloons, their guess of the baby's gender before the big explosive 'reveal.'

Two of the cousins, both 8 years old

One of the lovely granddaughters

Expectant mom and dad and older 4-year old brother


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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wednesday Medley and Bits of Life Wednesday

Cute little red barn and silo in Chippewa County, WI

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 She writes the questions;
we write the answers. 
Plug them into your own blog,
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so that we can all find you and visit your blog!
Click HERE for Terri's blog

1. This week is County Fair Week in my old stomping grounds.  The Fairfield County (Ohio) Fair holds fond memories for me, especially of the marching band show on the race track, in front of the grandstand, and of 4-H sewing projects.  Do you have a memory to share of a county or state fair!!  

I have a memory of visiting the Minnesota State Fair with my parents and friends when I was a kid, and loved going on the Ferris wheel, getting to the top, and rocking the bench. I'm not sure why I thought that was fun. I think of it now and if I were with one of my grandkids and they did that, I wouldn't stand for it. Just the thought of it makes me shudder.  Even worse is the thought of the first brave people to go on the newly-invented Ferris wheel. I  believe that Mrs. Ferris was among the first. What a trusting wife!

From Wikipedia:  "The original Ferris Wheel, sometimes also referred to as the Chicago Wheel, was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.. With a height of 80.4 metres (264 ft) it was the tallest attraction at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, where it opened to the public on June 21, 1893."

Most of what I know about the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the Ferris wheel comes from the book, 'Devil in the White City,' about the parallel happenings in the lives of the architect of the Chicago World's Fair and the serial killer who prowled the city during that time. A real page turner! And it's true. Written by Erik Larson. 

 Maple tree in the front yard and the cornfield

2. If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?

Donkeys. Remember Eeyore.  But then, I read that camels spit. Horses, on the other hand, are practically perfect in every way. So are German Shepherds. :-)

 Little white church in the countryside in Chippewa County, WI.
There was another smaller sign next to St. Bridget's which read,
"Holy Ghost Grilled Chicken Buffet"
Surely there must be an explanation.:-)
Sure enough, there's a Holy Ghost parish in the nearby town of Chippewa Falls.

3. What mythical creature would improve the world most if it existed?

I think it would be the unicorn. It would certainly make my little granddaughter happy. 

This might be a Little Pony, not sure.
But I know she loves unicorns. :-)

4. What is something that everyone looks stupid doing?

Taking a selfie.

 Remember that boa constrictor I told you about last week?
Well here's our grandson holding another one.
(Photo taken by his mom, last week)
I don't think he plans to eat it, however.

5. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

I will let you know if I get any quantity of either. But I suspect that wisdom is more useful. I guess it depends upon your objective. At this point in my life, I'm seeing that wisdom would be (would have been) far more useful.

 The woods are full of spectacular color right now.
I cannot look at it without praising God for his generosity!
I had a dental appointment in Eau Claire, and I wish I could have shown you the woods just north of Chippewa Falls. We have a lot of trees up here, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Northern Wisconsin. Both sides of Highway 53 were spectacular, even in the pouring rain. I think the last year we had color this great was 2013. Maybe, if the sun comes out again, I will be able to get some better photos, if the leaves aren't all gone by then.

6. Tell us something random about the rest of your week!

The rest of my week will involve cleaning house, baking pies, roasting a turkey breast and ham, peeling potatoes, making a pot of chili, making my sister-in-law's fabulous orange jello, and generally getting things ready for our family's Early Thanksgiving next Saturday.  We have a huge bonfire ready to go, and if the cornfield is wet enough, we might be able to light it. And if not, we'll have a large campfire instead.

"When we try to satisfy the hunger for God with something less than God, we will naturally be frustrated, and then in our frustration, we will convince ourselves that we need more of that finite good, so we will struggle to achieve it, only to find ourselves again, necessarily, dissatisfied. At this point, a sort of spiritual panic sets in, and we can find ourselves turning obsessively around this creaturely good that can never in principle make us happy.”
Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire)

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord,forever;
    with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations. 

 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
    your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

From Psalm 89 

 I'll have to get a photo of Tommy & Smokey in the daylight, although we've had so many dark and rainy days, it's not easy. This one was taken in the evening - poor light, and I can't believe how early it gets dark now, and how soon the big W will be descending upon us.


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Please close the back door
when you leave so that
Tommy & Smokey don't become eagle food.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!
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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Wednesday Medley

What we can expect from October.
Coming soon to a woods near us!
(unless our rainy streak doesn't stop)

Join Terri and the Gang

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Why not join in, answering the questions on your own blog.
Then comment on her blog so we can find you!

1.  October 3rd is National Boyfriend Day.  Ladies, who was your first boyfriend?
It was definitely Roy Rogers. But we kept it a secret from Dale.
 I know you've seen this before, but it's the best I can do.
Roy (left)
Dale Evans (right)

2. Who was your first celebrity crush?
Roy Rogers, of course  (and after that, Tom Berenger, but I don't talk about that anymore. Both of us looked a lot better when we were in our 30s. LOL)

3. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Boa constrictor, no kidding. It did not taste like chicken. It felt like rubber. There was no good reason to eat it except that it was huge and fed a lot of people, and something to write about in the far distant future.

 The Potato Eaters,
Van Gogh
4. What famous artist, dead or alive, would you want to paint your portrait?
Perhaps Van Gogh, if it were painted a bit darker than the one above. And it would be entitlted, 'The Pistachio Nut Eaters."Somehow, this reminds me of an episode of Jeeves and Wooster.  Unfortunately, I could not find it, but in my quest, I did come across a list of P.G. Wodehouse insults. "Newt-nuzzling blister" is my favorite. :-)
  1. I had thought it was in this one maybe.
    If not, it's still a fun episode.
    with Cyril Bassington-Bassington
5. What Are You Most Likely To Stay Up All Night Talking About?
Our family. God. The Church. Jeeves & Wooster, The Crown, England.

6. The new Fall season has begun on TV.  Which show are you most looking forward to seeing?
I am certainly hoping that another season of The Crown shows up on Netflix soon. And when it does, I will binge watch it. I wish I had more control over this, and maybe it won't be the same without Matt Smith and Claire Foy, but...I don't watch any of the network shows except for PBS, and only occasionally. I don't know what's coming up for Masterpiece, but that would be the one I'd be most interested in. It won't be Poldark.

After reading about the new cast of The Crown, Season Four, I might just watch Seasons One and Two again. 


Most nights this winter we'll be watching
The Tommy & Smokey Show

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