Monday, December 16, 2019

Fiftieth (50!!) Wedding Anniversary Letter and Photos

50 Years!!

Dear Family and Friends -

By God’s grace, we have survived another year, making it to our Golden Wedding Anniversary. Our dear children surprised us with a lovely dinner at a fun restaurant and tickets to see A Christmas Carol at The Grand in Wausau, and the next day, they showed up at the house for a party. As I told them, the dinner and the play were great, but all of them spending the day with us was what it’s all about, and of course our favorite part of the whole thing!

In March of this year, we started looking for a house in Wausau, intending to sell our farmhouse and move to the grand city where Dänika and children live. Angie and Gus came to the rescue, allowing us to purchase a great house north of town (but still in town) before we get our farm sold, and to begin work on remodeling the lower level (we all call it a walkout ‘basement’ where I’m from) to give us a second kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. Since Dänika’s family will also be living in the house, we thought it might be a great idea for Gpa and me to have a place to watch something on TV besides cartoons, and give everyone a break from all the daily togetherness (which, by the way, Gpa and I are certainly enjoying!)

After spending the summer months working on the farmhouse (repainting the exterior, building a new deck on the back, etc.) and Kevin and crew finishing up asbestos-removal jobs, he officially retired August 1 so that he could get busy on the Wausau house. No lounging around the donut shop for this guy! We completely gutted the lower level (yes, even I helped with that), knocked out a couple places in the walls for windows (I did NOT help with that), tiled the entire floor (a huge job that Kevin did by himself and it’s beautiful, I might add), and as of today, we now have a kitchen with appliances, and hopefully within a week will have the plumbing hooked up and can begin the final painting and bookshelf building so that we can move furniture in toward the end of the month. One of those pieces of  ‘furniture’ that the men keep whining about moving, is the old wood-burning 1915 Home Comfort range, which will sit at one end of our kitchen. I remember when we bought it from Mike eons ago and moved it to the farmhouse near Reeve. Kevin declared that he was NEVER moving that beast again. This will be the fourth move since then. And they are not getting out of it, no matter how much they protest.

In late February another little Masrud, Tobias, was born to Joe and Courtney. That now makes 12 grandchildren (one, expected in May by Joe and Courtney) and 2 great grandchildren (Penny, born to Lydia and Marcus last year, and the one they are expecting in May of 2020).

I am grateful for the LCMS Lutheran Churches that Kevin and I have been attending - one in Rice Lake when we’re in Dallas, and its sister church in Wausau. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be part of a worship service. It feeds my soul in more ways than one. Once we’re settled in at Wausau and have sold our farmhouse at Dallas, we will be starting membership classes in Wausau.  There’s a lot more to this story, but nothing y’all need to know.

We are so grateful to God for blessing us with our family, for good health and work for all of them, and for God’s continuing mercy and forgiveness. We are grateful for Jesus’ life, death, and Resurrection that give us all hope of a future with true justice and peace. One of my favorite quotations is from N.T. Wright, ‘By the evening of Good Friday, the world was a different place. A revolution had begun.’  Jesus had defeated the powers of evil, inaugurating his Kingdom on earth.

We hope you have a blessed Christmas, remembering when God entered into our humanity out of incomparable love -  to save us.

Kevin and Judy, December 13, 2019

 Photos from the family surprise party!
Some members of the family were engaged in prior commitments,
so were not able to attend. We love them too, but don't have them
pictured in this collage.

I've been asked about when I'll be re-opening my soap shops. It will definitely not be until after New Year's, but I will be sure to stop in here and update you on progress.

Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning

I am closing comments because at this point, I simply don't have time to come back to the blog. I wanted to stop in and let you all know what's happening and that I did not fall off the edge of the earth - yet. I hope to be blogging again once we're settled in. No definite dates on that yet, but it is getting closer. :-)

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sunday Evening Ramblings, October 6, 2019

'Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence? 

 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. 

 If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, 

 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast. 

 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light around me become night,” 

 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is as bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.'

- From Psalm 139 

That can be terrifying, disquieting, or extremely reassuring, can't it. 

Good Sunday evening to you. It's been a wonderful Sunday, starting with church in the early morning and in the afternoon stopping at the local pumpkin patch for pumpkins and squash. I baked a squash to go with pulled pork and a salad for supper tonight. Topped it off with a gluten-free lemon shortbread cookie (or two or more). Remind me that I don't like pulled pork, pulled beef, or pulled anything else. I'll make pork chops, steak, or baked chicken next time.

 The pumpkins and squash were gorgeous!
And the squash were only $2.00 each.

Then there's the work on the house that's happened in the past week:

I have some progress to report, which is the lattice installed at the base of the front porch, and a lot of the house repainted (continuing this next week if the weather cooperates).

Our family's Early Thanksgiving was called off abruptly as family were actually on their way here for the weekend. No family problems, just a sewer issue that could have been disastrous if Mr. C. had not noticed it when he did. I don't know if we'll be able to re-schedule or not, since there are other family scheduling conflicts in the weeks ahead and we're trying to get the Wausau house ready to live in and the Dallas house ready to sell. There just might not be another opportunity before moving to the big city of Wausau.

 Some of you might actually remember this photo from October 2010, taken in Harper's Ferry, WV. There was a 'bloody hand' lying in the flower bed, and the look on our grandson's face was just hilarious and priceless. I'm so glad I caught this with my camera!

Even though we no longer have dogs (or cats, a very sad state of affairs), I keep this sign that my dear friend Deb gave me in 2012.

I'm planning to move the cookstove (beast that it is) to the Wausau house and the hutch shown above has already been moved there. All the mugs are packed and the mug rack will also be moved and installed on 10' of the big beam that runs the length of our living space.

My most recent 'selfie,' taken so I could ask my daughter if she wanted this dresser with mirror. She didn't, even though I offered to throw the old lady in for free.

We now have a bathroom framed in.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch,
it's dark and I'm tired.
I think I'll watch an old George Gently.
An old movie usually helps me fall asleep.

Have a good evening, everyone.

God bless you,


Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday Evening Ramblings, September 29, 2019

New Scandinavia Lutheran Church
Dallas, WI

'Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come before him.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth. The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord is king!” Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth*. O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.' From I Chronicles 16

*Note that the LORD coming to judge the earth is a good thing, in which all of creation rejoices - because only He is the just and merciful King, and at last all the wrongs will be righted and all the hurts healed. Our God reigns!

 Morning has broken

It was only 43 degrees F. on the porch yesterday morning, but it was a beautiful, sunny morning! I take my phone with me and listen to the USCCB Daily Scripture Readings, a great way to start my day.

View from the porch to the southeast
Yes, I am grateful every single day for this view, even in the winter.
(Perhaps a bit more grateful May through October, however)

 Lots of work on the Dallas house this week.
New back deck, new paint, new lattice.
Will someone please bring a body bag.
Oh wait. I guess he's just working on something under the bench.
False alarm.

Two someones stopped in to see us.
This cute little grandson is such a happy baby!

Can you believe that Tuesday is already October 1?!  Wisconsin often has gorgeous Octobers. I hope this is one of them. 

 Here are a couple photos from other Octobers,
taken in the neighborhood.

 Really. It was this beautiful!

And from two years ago today,
the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul at Blockley
in the Cotswolds.

Have a blessed Lord's Day, everyone.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Checking in on Wednesday

One of many large rocks in our backyard

Hi there!  I'm sure everyone is dying to hear what's happening in Wausau, right?** (Huh? What's a Wausau???)


We had a landscaper come out here to advise us regarding the huge pond/waterfall project that is in our backyard at the Wausau house. After listening to a couple hours of advice which was mostly suggesting coming up with a plan to completely take out all the rock and pond and make it into mowable backyard, we decided that we might not care to pay for future advice. We love all this rock and the less lawn to mow, the better. That is one thing Mr. C and I agree on. (The only one.) Just kidding.

First day of Fall

The back of the house
(Try to ignore the black temporary drain tile.)
This house is on a hillside, and we've been hearing from everyone in town that this was the worst ever year for water getting into basements. Wausau had a big rain on ground that was frozen solid, so it had nowhere to go, so...   BUT, we're getting gutter and draining away from the house, even with this temporary fix until we can get around to doing the permanent fix. I know, it's a boring and long story.

The sun peeking into our backyard.

My St. Francis statue looked a little lonely, so I cheered it up with the beautiful necklace Mr. C. bought for me. Of course, that was just for a minute in order to get the photo op.

Donna does beautiful work. She can be found in our tiny village of Dallas, WI making jewelry and also collaborating with Kim Losse Pottery. I'm not on Facebook, but Donna is, so you can find her there, or go on Instagram to see what she's up to. @donnacmillard

The weather has been cooperating so that we can still take lunch or dinner out to the gazebo. I swept this walk a couple days before the photo. I'm pretty sure we're going to need a leaf blower here. Good thing Mr. C. has about 3 of them in his work shop. (I think he has 3 of everything.)

 Someone asked about seeing the front of the house, so here it is.

"Rockapulco" impatiens, still going strong

It was so fun to find this box of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies in the freezer. I believe in LOTS of chocolate chips. Otherwise, what's the point, right??

Last but not least,
two of the sweet ladies that greet us when we walk along Fifth Avenue.
I never tire of these creatures. Imagine what a boring world it would be if God had just placed us on a planet with asphalt and no trees, birds, cows, streams, woods, etc. How can our hearts not overflow with praise to Him for his love and generosity!

I hope you've all had a wonderful Wednesday.

Oh wait! I forgot to tell you that our daughter and I went to see the Downton Abbey Movie while Mr. C. stayed with the kids, having a movie and popcorn night at home.

 Very Art Deco

 We got a great deal on the tickets, because evidently tickets on Tuesdays are a much better price. The seating was all large recliners (actually HUGE recliners) and there was an extra-large screen for viewing. Of course we had the mandatory popcorn and Mike and Ike while watching the movie.

So, about the movie: The brilliant Julian Fellowes did not disappoint. He gives his characters such great and clever lines. So much fun. As always, Mary was beautiful, Edith was Edith, Mr. Moseley was a delight of embarrassment, and Mr. Carson was the rock. All the costuming was gorgeous, and the parade through the village was brilliant. If you know what King George V and Queen Mary looked like (as I do - from photos, not from personal acquaintance mind you), you could squint and imagine that these actors were the royal couple. Julian Fellowes managed to tie up all the loose ends very nicely indeed, so that there is no need for a sequel. Although fun to see Downton Abbey on the big screen, the story wasn't any better than any of the others, in my opinion, but then I loved all of them, except for the dead Sybil and dead Matthew episodes. 

It was definitely worth the money and effort to get to the movie theater for another Crawley Family Fix. And so fun to share the experience with our daughter.

Have a great evening, everyone.

**We've now got all the floor tile laid and are ready for walls. But now we have to do some things back at the Dallas house. Are you getting confused? Don't worry. So are we.

Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday Evening Ramblings, September 22, 2019

Happy Lord's Day, everyone.
This is a photo of the beautiful St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Boyd, Wisconsin, where Mr. C. just happens to have done a roofing job (stripping the old roof off that steeeeeep roof, so that the steel roof could be installed) some years back. It's just off Highway 29, so we see it each trip we make from Dallas to Wausau (or vice versa).

Terrible light from this angle, but I thought you shouldn't be cheated out of seeing the front of this church. The 300 steps seem a lot steeper than they look in the photo.

 "Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." From Isaiah 55.

A few mornings ago, I rushed out of the house when I saw that pinkish sky and quickly took a photo from the front porch. The beautiful skies lasted only about a minute before the clouds covered them and brought a dreary and wet day. But the sky was so gorgeous when it first greeted us.

 Standing in the soybean field north of the house and looking across the road at the Neighbor Henry's field (where his cows like to roam).

 One of Henry's cows, where she belongs.
She looks innocent, but she's plotting.

 Yes, I know we need to get the lattice up along the front of the porch. I promise it will happen - at some point. Right now, I'm very happy to report that the star which died a few days ago, was resurrected with a new string of lights. I'm so glad. I like to have that star shining day and night, just a reminder of God's grace - and the star that led the wise men to the new King - who is still King and will be forever and ever.

 This is Rita, our new little Amish neighbor. Henry calls her his 'trotting pony.' I always think of ponies as being chubby, but Rita looks more like a sleek and beautiful horse, only smaller than average. I'm not sure what she is called in the horse world, but she's a looker.

"Sweet Little Rita, you'll know her if you see her,
Blue eyes and a pony tail."

 We met Rita and Henry on our walk the other evening. I left the road to get a photo of the sun setting over the huge hay bales.

Only two weeks until our Masrud Early Thanksgiving. I'm hoping for a beautiful October day so we can have a hay ride AND a bonfire in the evening. We'll see. Whether or not those materialize, it will be wonderful to have the family together.

I hope you've had a blessed Lord's Day.

Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning



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