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December 2010
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February 2011

21 posts from January 2011

gone for the day

We snuck to Illinois for a day over the weekend.  Jim wanted to help our son Dan do some drywall taping.   Dan and his wife Kellie bought their first home.  It's a fixer upper, so there is going to be a lot of work to get it ready for the day they can move in.  But hey, they're young, strong and have lots of energy :)


Phil and shawn


Son Joshua and his family popped in for a bit.

Aubs walking the plank

Wy walkting the plank

I spent the morning visiting with my daughter Elaine and the grand-kids.  In the afternoon I went with them to watch our grandsons hockey game.  It was fun to watch him play.  It's been a long time since I've watched hockey when the skaters were so small.  I was so pumped to watch a hockey game, I forgot to take pictures of everyone else.  But, they're heading here this weekend so I'll get some shots then.

Holding the line

By the time we got home we were pretty tired....but what a fun tired it was.  We sure enjoyed seeing and visiting with the kids and grand-kids.

i've got my eye on you

Bull 2

I can see that for some of you winter is getting tiresome, and you're more than ready for spring to be here.  When you can see those beautiful flowers again, plant those gardens and just soak in the warm sun. 

I, on the other hand, haven't grown tired of winter just yet.  Tho, I am yearning to see my hummers again.

  Humming bird

Here's hoping that spring comes a bit faster for you all.

we are now officially garbage pickers


Garbage picking

I bet you're wondering why my husband is garbage picking.  Well, I'll tell you why.  He is scavenging for tin, to make a fire box that we plan to use for maple sugaring.  Maple sugaring is the process to get Maple Syrup.  To keep the cost down, Jim plans to make as many things as he can for sugaring.  Sugaring is something that we have wanted to do for a long time now.  We have enough maple trees on our land to do it. 

So, when we go to the heating/plumbing place in town, he checks the garbage.  So far, we have gotten a few things.


Next week we plan to go to a Sugar Bush north of us.  They are hosting an open house, where we can get some more supplies that we can't make, tour their Sugar Bush and listen to seminars.

So, maybe in a few months when the sap is running, instead of buying pure maple syrup, we'll have maple syrup from our own sugar bush.

Maple syrup store bought

So, really....

one mans junk is another mans treasure.

layering and an award

First off the layering.  I took a free on-line class on layering and have been playing around a bit with my photo-shop.  I've never done anything with photo-shop other than touching up here and there.  I picked this photo of the cardinal that I've posted before only because the layering color I thought would go well with it.  I think I'm hooked.

Here's the after look.

Mrs cardinal-layering

Here's the before.  Pretty cool eh?

Mrs cardinal

Now, for the award.  My new found blogging friend Texwisgirl, awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award.  I found out some things about her and now I have to post 7 things about me.  I know some of you may have read these before, but I have some new blog readers who might not have.

Okay, here goes.


1.  I'm married to my High School sweetheart and we have 11 children...5 girls and 6 boys, eight are married and we just had our 21st grandchild.

2.  We recently moved here to Southwest Wisconsin from Northeast Illinois last August.  I love living in the country.

3.  I love Aprons.  Especially vintage ones.  I sew, knit, crochet, and I've just taken up quilting.

4.  I've always been a stay-at-home mom.  I started working outside the home before our youngest was born and I have worked off and on since then.

5.  I love taking pictures, and I take pictures sometimes of the oddest things....but, they make great shots.

6.   I'm going to be 50 years old this October.  I loved my 40's and I know my 50's are going to just as amazing.  If not better.

7.  I'm short...I'm only 5 feet 1 inches tall.  What I lack in height, I make up in feistiness.  Just ask my hubby :)

Now, I'm supposed to pass this on to other bloggers, but that is so hard to do.  So, I give it to all of my blog readers who either post a comment or visit anonymously.  Thank you for stopping by :)

home again

Thanks for all the "grandma" congrats.  I so enjoyed my time down in Texas, spending it with our granddaughter and holding that new bundle of joy.


I did a little bit of shopping while there.  Jim and I love beans and dried beans are not only tasty and inexpensive, they are healthy for you.  I bought the dried soup bean mix in Texas at a Whole Foods.  The Texas Two Step 5 Bean Soup we got as a Christmas gift from our son and dil who live in Texas.  I can't wait to make that.

Dry soup beans

Yesterday tho, we made the spicy southwestern bean soup.  We soaked them for about 4 hours.

Soaked beans

Then cooked and simmered them on the wood-stove for about an hour or so.  Yum!!!

Spicy southwestern soup

I want to share with you a giveaway over at Homestead Revival.  Amy is giving away homemade soaps as a shout-out for a new business called Levi's Lye Soap

Levi's Lye Soap

If you want to win the soap, head to Homestead Revival (just click the link) or If you want to just buy it instead, go to her Etsy site directly with this link.   Amanda is giving everyone a 10 percent discount through February 28th (U.S. residents only). Just use the code "Homestead Revival" in the space provided for the coupon code when checking out.

I hope you all have a  wonderful day today.

winter sleigh ride

We didn't stop to get a ride...Jim was out voted 2 to 1.  I wasn't dressed for it and Lo was being a teenager :)

  Horse and sleigh

It looked like a lot of fun....Maybe next time.

Sleigh rides

I'm heading to Texas tomorrow, and I hope to post while I'm down there.  I don't think I'll be visiting blogs much, but we'll see.  If I don't, I hope you all have a wonderful week.

we headed north

We got up way before the birds did and headed north to Neillsville, to the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Institute.  We were not sure what to expect by going there, we did hope to come away with something...and we did.

Maple tree

Most of the people at the WMSI were maple producers, that sold their maple syrup wholesale.  We on the other hand just want to do this as a hobby and fill our pantry as well as give some to our kids.  Though we were not the only ones there who are just starting out, there were a few others.

  Small maple

At the WMSI we sat by an Amish couple and after talking for a bit, we all had a great laugh.  We shared our ages and how many children we had.  They were right around our age and they had...get this...They had 11 children...6 boys and 5 girls.  What are the odds of meeting another couple who had the same number of boy and girls as we did?  We could not believe it.  We did have them beat in the grandchildren department tho.  They had 8 and we are going on 21.

After a wonderful lunch we headed home.  We can't wait to get started on making maple syrup and whatever else we decide to make with the sap.  We've come to learn that our woods is called a Sugar bush.  So, hopefully in a month or so we'll be doing some sugaring at our own Sugar bush.