And the road goes on forever...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer's Here

Summer has settled in with a combination of nice days, rainy showery days, and often nighttime violent thunder storms. The garden is coming along much better given the warmer days and I spend most of my time either weeding or watering it and a little less time harvesting it. I tried to start the flower garden next to the house using seed, which hasn’t been a great success so I may be forced to plant mature perennials next year if this doesn’t work.
Marc meanwhile finished up making the rebar skeleton for the bottle tree that Eric got started for me and I love the result! I figure if I can find red bottles it would look particularly festive against the white snow of winter around Christmas since we placed it front and center close to the house.
During some of his off time Marc has been getting involved in making our own sausage and brats and the results are wonderful! It’s also proven to be quite a cost savings to use meat we find on sale for 99 cents/lb instead of the nearly $4/lb retail the stores charge for them. The only problem is that they are fairly addictive!
We took time out to attend the Waupaca Strawberry Festival one Saturday; mainly just to look at some of the craft booths to see what people are making to sell. Eventually we may want to run with this idea after Marc retires since he is so handy at making things. I’ve been giving my glass flowers as gifts and they are big hits but they prove problematic to ship so they may prove easier to sell locally at craft fairs. I’ve been hitting up the rummage sales left and right scouting for glassware at reasonable prices and have walked away with some nice vintage pieces.
Speaking of rummages, the shelter’s is fast approaching in about two weeks and I find myself now in charge. The lady that has been heading it up no longer volunteers for the shelter so the mantle was passed to me since I helped co-chair last year. I expect to be very busy with that since there is a day of setup, then three days when we take in donations which need unpacking, sorting and setup and then the following week we have three full days for the sale and a fourth when any leftover items are offered out for free. After that there is still one more day for cleanup since it is held in a generously donated marina warehouse out at one of the Chain of Lakes. On another note regarding the shelter, the good boy Chance with the amputated leg I wrote about recently was adopted by a doctor! Go Chance!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

I'm Exhausted!

We had a wonderful, whirlwind, loving visit from daughter Rachael and her boyfriend Eric. It was my first time to meet him and I must say I was very impressed with his character, politeness, congeniality and obvious love for Rachael. After five days, they jetted off back to Portland and their hectic lives, but not before utterly relaxing into the laid back lifestyle we enjoy in Central Wisconsin. We did a lot of “porch sitting”, beer drinking and several BBQ’s, including the famous Packer Brats which are filled with Miller Lite and cheese of course. Rachael commented it wouldn’t be a visit to Wisconsin unless she consumed cheese with every meal.
My friends Jackie and Andy graciously invited the kids to an afternoon of canoeing from their lakeside home on Memorial Day so while the kids explored the Chain of Lakes, all interconnected, Marc and I enjoyed a wonderful visit. The weather cooperated and it was an awesome and perfect 80 degree sunshiny day.
The next day we also enjoyed great weather as we worked off what little stress was left by banging some up at the shooting range which is very close by to our home. Eric was impressed we had the place entirely to ourselves and that there was no range master hanging over our shoulders.
While Marc taught Eric the basics of welding (he started a rebar bottle tree for me), Rachael and I visited some vintage shops for her search for old and unique jewelry pieces. One local shop is famous state wide for its eclectic and fun collection of yard art.
Part of the reason for their visit was to explore the Appleton-Green Bay area since they are giving some tentative thought to leaving Oregon to search for a much more affordable place to live. Of course, one couldn’t visit Green Bay and miss touring Lambeau Field, which they said was an outstanding experience, including the obligatory cheese head photo op!
They wrapped up their visit by accompanying me to the shelter for a kitty visit. Rachael has missed having a cat but their current apartment lifestyle is not conducive to having one so she was busy imagining adopting one once she can own her own home. (Eric’s colorful shirt is actually a smock which volunteers are required to wear during visits.)
Too soon, the hour of departure arrived, so one last photo of the family and they were off for another year. Marc’s vacation time extends through Tuesday so now it’s time to get back to work!