Friday, March 5, 2010

It's March! Pack It Up Already!

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, brought to you by Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, February 26, 2010

28 Days-Not That I'm Counting!

Cape San Blas, Florida

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sturgeon Spearing-What Are the Chances?

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

By sturgeon standards, this is a little fish. It measured only 42 inches long, weighed in at 38 pounds and is estimated to be about 20 years old. It was speared Monday, on Lake Winnebago in eastern Wisconsin. Opening day, a Lake Winnebago record-setting sturgeon was speared. It weighed 212 pounds and was estimated to be 100 years old!

Yeah, speared. How do they do that, you ask?

Well, a rectangular hole is cut in the ice, which is about 24 inches thick, with a chain saw. The hole measures about 3 feet by 5 feet, or about the size of your front door. The fisherman sits by the hole, inside his shanty, and gazes down into the water. When a fish swims by, he spears it with his long-handled, barb-tined sturgeon spear.

What? You just sit there and wait for a fish to swim by? You have to be kidding!

Apparently not. I talked to one fisherman who has been doing this 20 years and has never seen a fish swim past his hole!

Ya think? I mean, what are the chances?

Lake Winnebago has a surface area of 137,000 acres. The hole is 15 square feet. You do the math. And don't forget to allow for looking away just long enough to change the radio station, open a beer, have a snack, pet your dog, open a beer, look outside, take a nap...

You would have better luck looking up a chimney and waiting for a duck to fly by!

And still, the lake is full of holes, shantys and fishermen. And the cap for the season, which this year looks to be only about five days long, is about 1800 fish. So it's not impossible.

I'm a glass (lake) is half-empty kind of person. I mean, if I hadn't even seen a fish through my hole in 20 years, I'd be looking for a new hobby!

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Children As Pets" - The Cat Years

Cleaning out the desk the other day, I found this clipping and thought I'd share one of my favorites with you. Wish I could take credit for writing it, but that prolific author, Anonymous
gets the credit.

I just realized that while children are dogs-

loyal and affectionate-teenagers are cats.

It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it,

train it, boss it around. It puts it's head on

your knee and gazes at you as if you were

a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with

enthusiasm when you call it.

Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy

turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come

inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who

died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging

your doorsteps, it disappears. You won't see it

again until it gets hungry-then it pauses on it's

sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn it's

nose up at whatever you're serving.

When you reach out to ruffle it's head, in that old

affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then

gives you a blank stare as if trying to remember

where it has seen you before. You, not realizing

that the dog is now a cat, think something must

be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial,

so distant, sort of depressed. It won't go to family


Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to

fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume

that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt

and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your

pet behave. Only now you're dealing with a cat.

So everything that worked before now produces

the opposite of the desired result. Call it, and it

runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the

counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your

hands, the more it moves away.

Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you

can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish

of food near the door, and let it come to you. But

remember that a cat needs your help and your

affection too. Sit still, and it will come, seeking

that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely

forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day, your grown-up child will walk into the

kitchen, give you a big kiss and say "You've

been on your feet all day. Let me get those

dishes for you."

Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again.

(For Soccer Boy, who at 14, is still all dog!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thank You For Your Service, Ryan

These are photos taken of, and by my friend's son Ryan, during his time in the Air Force.
The Popr's family has known him since he was just a little boy, and are proud of his military service. One of the jobs he had was as a mechanic on the U2 spy plane.
I didn't get to wave the flag for him when he returned, but I'm proud to wave it today!
God bless all of our servicemen and women. And thank you.
I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beating the Winter Blahs

I have a major case of cabin fever, as you may have guessed from the beach countdown. So I decided the laundry room needed an overhaul. After all, it is the first thing people see when they come into my house. Unless they use the front door, and we just don't.

The laundry room gets lots of use. It's where all the wet shoes and boots get kicked, where the dogs eat, and the laundry gets done. And it sure showed.

The walls were dinged and dirty, some of the hooks were broken, one of the bifold doors was off it's hinges...the list goes on.

So I got ready to paint, then realized that even a fresh coat of paint would not fix what ailed my walls. They had been repaired many times. The texture on them was uneven. It was a mess.

I called a plaster man, who retextured my walls with a process call "skip troweling". They look
amazing! Then I painted. Had a neighbor put a decorative edge on an oak board I bought for the new coat rack. I stained it, and put on new, big wrought iron-looking hooks. Tossed the old
grungy rug and put in a new one. Put new hinges on the bifold doors, and bought a slick new airtight container on wheels for the 40 pound bag of dogfood we keep just to the left of the washing machine. Made a new valence for the window.

There was a moment when I entertained the idea of painting it a fun color-terra cotta or lime green. But in the end, as it always does, boring beige won out. Actually, the color is "Muslin", from Benjamin Moore, and it is really quite nice. Goes with everything. Very neutral. It is close to a color the realtors here call "relocation beige". Houses of executives of the big companies in town new on the market get neutralized with this color. All the fun colors go, in an effort to appeal to the masses, who can then turn around and paint terra cotta and lime green.

So, I realized that my house is "neutralized."

Does that mean I am ready to relocate, maybe to someplace warmer? I know the mid-Atlantic states have tons more snow that we do, but their cherry blossoms will still bloom on schedule, while we are still frozen.

Darn! Now I have the winter blahs again.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Forty-Eight Days And I'm Here...

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, January 29, 2010

This Is Not Your Mama's Lasagne!

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

Even though it may be healthier,

It is still pretty darn good!

I was craving a plate of decadent, cheesy lasagne the other day. Just a few days after the doctor told Uncle Lynn that his cholesterol was high and he needed to lose a few. So, being a good wife, I made a few changes. Decided to take one for the team, as it were.

The promise of lasagne drew boys who hadn't had dinner with us on a Monday night in ages! No one knew but me that substitutions were made. I was the only one not necessarily looking forward to dinner!

The low fat, spinach-filled, egg beater, low glycemic index carb noodle lasagne was a big hit!

When the boys second helpings were gone, and plates were empty, Uncle Lynn asked "Should we tell them?"

The only response was "Cool. Tastes just like the regular stuff."

So now, I'm out to look for more ways to eat healthier. Guess I was the one who was the worst skeptic!

Monday, January 25, 2010

And Now The Dance Begins

Well, I've about recovered from the Viking's devastating loss against the Saints for the divisional championship, and a trip to Miami for the Superbowl.

About recovered. And it ended the way so many of Brett's Packer losses ended...with a chance to pull it off, but a last-minute "please, don't throw that pass" pass...and he throws it, and the season ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.

And everyone will forget that there were many opportunities to win that game. That fumbles also played a major role in the loss. There is plenty of blame to go around.

But everyone will remember the overtime, gut wrenching. could -see- that -coming pass.

And now, the inevitable dance begins. Will he sign? Will he retire? Will he do both? Again?

Look at the photo, and tell me...Is he taking the helmet off or putting it on?

So Viking fans, welcome to our world!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Winter Visitor

This little guy, a Downy Woodpecker, has been a regular at my feeder. He is darling! I love the way he hops around. Wish he'd bring his friends.

And where are the cardinals? They were in the yard all summer. The neighbor must have better seed!

These winter birds are nice, but I am anxiously awaiting the return of the Oriloes and hummingbirds to the feeders.

I've also noticed there are still robins in Wisconsin. Worms must be few and far between! The smart ones left a long time ago. We look forward to their return as a sign of spring. If they don't leave, how will they ever return? Hmmm....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Favre Takes Vikes to the Superbowl!

(Well, since the Pack won't go...
And I love Brett, you know...
Sure I'm jumping the proverbial gun,
But watching Favre is tooo fun!)

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January Thaw

For the next week or so, temps are supposed to be 15-20 degrees above normal.

What a welcome relief, since wind chills have been reaching 15-20 degrees below 0!

Unless you are a snowman, the sentiment here in the frozen tundra is "Bring it On!"

Food for Thought

You're a 19 year old kid.

You're critically wounded and dying in the jungle
in the Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam.

November 11, 1965.
Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8-1 and
the enemy fire is so intense,
from 100-200 yards away,

that your own Infantry Commander has ordered
the Medi-Vac helicopters to stop coming in.
You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns
and you know you're not getting out.

Your family is half way around the world,
12,000 miles away,
and you'll never see them again.
As the world starts to fade in and out,
you know this is the day.

Then-over the machine gun noise-you faintly hear
the sound of a helicopter.

You look up and see an unarmed Huey. But...
it doesn't seem real because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.

Ed Freeman is coming to get you.

He's not Medi-Vac so it's not his job, but
he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway.

Even after the Medi-Vacs were ordered
not to come.

He's coming anyway.

He drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire,
as they load 2 or 3 of you on board.

Then he flies you up and out, through the gunfire
to the doctors and nurses.

And he kept coming back!
Thirteen or fourteen more times.

He took about 30 of you and your buddies out
who never would have gotten out.

Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman
died in 2008, at the age of 80,
in Boise, Idaho.

I bet you didn't hear about this hero's passing, but
we've sure seen a whole bunch about
Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, etc. etc. etc.

Medal of Honor Winner

Ed Freeman

Monday, January 11, 2010

Arizona 51, Pack 45

In the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history, the Arizona Cardinals brought Green Bay's playoff hopes to an end.

We have been anticipating a Viking/Pack rematch. One where you-know-who returns to the Frozen Tundra.

Like they say, it's hard to beat a team three times. And the Packers have beaten the Cardinals twice this season. So the old saying holds. BUT...

The Vikings have beaten the Packers twice also. I wanted to see how true the adage is, with a rematch and Packer Victory over you-know-who! And now we won't get that chance.

Only one thing left to say...

Go Brett, Go!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just Seventy-Six Days and Counting...

I am participating is Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Calico Buck? What Incredible Luck!

I got an e-mail the other day from a friend in Florida who asked if I had ever seen a deer like this one, allegedly shot in Wisconsin. It was so beautiful that I pursued the story and found the same photo on a website called

It's a cool site that is all about verifying or busting rumors. The page to see the deer story is

To make a long story short, the "piebald" deer was shot in Texas. And the hunter was not paid $13,000 by the sporting goods store, Cabelas, to sell it to them to display.

But it makes a good story. And the deer is still striking!

Check out this website sometime. But do it when you have lots of free time! There is some very entertaining stuff there...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dogs in Snow**Remembering Trouble Elizabeth

I thought these photos were worth sharing. It was a balmy 30 degress, with a fresh snowfall. Nothing like the -20 out there today. We all had a great time that day!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolutions Already Broken, New Ones Considered

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.