so me ~

Source: via ~ on Pinterest

 This is so me!

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


chew quieter, the horses will hear ~

Hey ... look what Mel tossed over the fence ~
I'm lookin' ... I'm lookin' ...
yuck ...
I don't know where you cows get your sense of taste.

Chew quieter!  
The horses will hear.

What are those fat cows eating now?
Do you smell what I smell?
Oh yeah ~ I'm smelling it.  
It's a corn cob buffet!!

I think my brother's cows and horses like me :)

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


pickers ~

I think my Dear Hubby and I can be classified as Pickers if ever there was a name for us.  Besides picking each other to spend our days (years) with; we do a lot of picking lately.  Picking beans, picking cucumbers, now tomatoes, apples.  When in season we pick strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, juneberries, blueberries, mushrooms, you name it .. we pick it.

Whatever is ripe, whatever the season, we're out there picking.   If we're not in the garden we're out in the woods.  Picking what trees will be harvested for firewood, what balsam boughs will be picked for making wreaths, picking the best place to put in my hunting stand, picking what lake to go fishing on, picking what species of fish we're going to go after, picking, picking, picking, constantly picking!

No wonder I'm so picky!

Besides being picky ~ we're also very frugal.  Nothing is more irritating than seeing something go to waste.  If it can be up-cycled, recycled, refurbished, renewed, screwed or unscrewed, I guess we find a way to manage that too.

Is this a good trait to have?  Sometimes I have to wonder?  Yesterday I couldn't find my old 100year plus dining room table because it was buried in strips of material - cut from old t-shirts because I'm in the process of making a braided rug for my kitchen.  I love when I accomplish these types of things; but then sometimes wonder why am I doing this!  Just spend the twenty bucks and go buy a new one... but I know I'll love my rug when I'm done :)  ... just as I love my old creaky 100 year old oak table that I salvaged from the old farmstead, from being thrown into the burning pile, when we lived there.

So......... enough of that babble ~

I made a tart.  
It rained and was a little windy earlier and it knocked six apples off the tree.  So I hurried up and scooped them up before the chipmunks or deer got to them.  I like sharing with the critters; but not when I only have a handful of apples on the tree.  The apple harvest this year is way down from prior years because of the late frost we got this spring, killing off so many of the fruit buds.
 Dear Hubby and I took a ride  ~ looking for ~ you guessed it ~ more berries!

  As you can see by the map ~ we are surrounded by public forest land - lots of places to go berry picking.  Here's a more detailed view of where we went ... off to the Million Acre Swamp ... which is out our back door.  The big circle is the Million Acre Swamp area, the red dot is where we live.

I feel like Winnie The Pooh and Tigger off to visit the Million Acres Swamp when we go on our Great Adventures into the big woods. 

The berry picking is about finished for the year.  We didn't find anything worth wasting our time over.  What we did find though were some interesting osprey nest, about a half mile apart from each other,  on top of some power line poles.  One had a hawk sitting on the edge of it ... I imagine looking for prey.
I really don't care if we find what we originally set off to find on these types of outings.  I just enjoy spending time out there with Dear Hubby. 

Until next time ....
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


oddities ~

Mother nature does toss in some oddities at times ... such as a the piebald deer.  What is a piebald deer?  A piebald deer is a white-tailed deer; but this also happens with others of the deer family, such as with elk, caribou, mule deer, etc...   It's a genetic variation where the animal has more white fur than normal.  It might be in big large patches, or almost covering the entire body.  It is not an albino. No one really knows why this genetic variation happens.

Piebalds are not very common ~ and hunters and outdoor enthusiasts may go their entire lives without seeing one.  So if you've never seen or heard of a piebald before, don't feel bad.

We have a piebald in our neck of the woods.  It's been around for about five years now.  I have seen it on several occasions; but never have the camera with when I do.  The other day, Dear Son InLaw happened to spot it down the power line and managed to snap off a photo.  Not the best shot ... but you can still see it.  It was standing to the right of the other two deer that it usually is seen with.

Even when I tried zooming in on the picture ~ I can't seem to get a decent clear photo of it ... sorry.

We came across another oddity of nature yesterday while out blackberry picking.  It was this willow.  I don't know what kind of willow it is; or if this is how it's suppose to be and I'm just not familiar with the species.

On the tips of the branches were these leaf clusters, almost resembling a cone; but they weren't cones.  They were made up of the leaves.  I wish I had taken more pictures of the bush.  It wasn't just the one branch of the bush that was like this ~ the whole bush, which was about 6 feet tall, had these leaf clusters on the ends of all the branches.  I've been searching online to identify this; but so far haven't figured it out.  It was quite a ways out in the woods where we came across this species (whatever it is).  I'm half tempted into taking another drive out there before the leaves drop and get more info on this.  Who knows ~ maybe I discovered something????  Or maybe you already know what I'm looking at here and have it growing in your backyard and your thinking I'm the oddity of nature??  We looked around for more of this same type of bush; but only saw what we call willow brush.  They had the same type of bark, height, leaves, etc... with the exception of the curly pine cone shaped ones on the tips like this bush did.

Oh well ... I guess we just don't always have the answers as to why mother nature slips in an oddball once in awhile.  I suppose, to keep us guessing??

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


football ~

I do love watching NFL football.  Pre-season is underway ... time for the rookies to impress the coaches.  I don't get overly excited and pay much attention to the scores during preseason; but wait until the real games get going... when the rookies get benched and the first string players get to give it their all.  Then I get excited over watching the Green Bay Packers play!

There are some new rules in the game this year ... one of them which I'm not too crazy about.  That's the automatic reviewing turnovers via instant replay ... just like the scoring plays are automatically reviewed.  I don't think they should be changing the rules.  I think challenges by the coaches are becoming more and more useless.  Why would they even risk a time out?  The coaches should be able to throw a flag on a booth review.  Just my opinion :)

 If they want to mess with the rules ~ why don't they address the long hair!  It's a huge pet-peeve of mine when you can't read the name on the back of the players uniform.

... with the exception of my pretty boy ~ Clay ... leave him alone.

Quite surprisingly, there are no actual rules against hair pulling in the NFL. The "Ricky Rule" is somewhat the law-of-the-land, where a player's hair that falls past his helmet is considered to be part of the uniform--and can be used to make a tackle. This "rule" was named after Ricky Williams, who sported long dreadlocks throughout most of his professional football career. Although hair pulling isn't "illegal" in the NFL, it is something that's frowned upon--by both the officials, as well as those players with longer hair. Hair pulling within the game is perfectly OK when making a tackle; however, a player can be fined for "unnecessary roughness" if the hair is pulled after the play is over. ~ Andrea Griffith eHow contributor
Now here's a hair do ~
The Kansas City Chiefs Drafted Nose Tackle Dontari Poe

NFL has gone Sci-Fi

Yes ... the fall season is fast approaching.   My busy summer will soon be over ... at least on Sunday afternoons and evenings, Monday nights and right now on Thursdays ~ because it's FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!  You'll find me crashed out on my couch watching the Packers... griping about the rule changes and long hair, and the occasional Sci-Fi freaks out there:), calls by the refs, plays that went wrong, praising long passes, and kicks like I'd make if I was out there. The glorious touch down and seeing that little pigskin glide through the goal post.  Oh yeah ...I can't wait to accomplish my goal of  being a football couch potato pro.

"Honey, get me a beer... or some cheese to go with my whine." 

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


zuke gone hawaiian ~

So what do you do with a big overgrown zucchini?  You know what I'm talking about ... that one that grew a foot longer than it should have been ~ even though you just checked the plant yesterday and you KNOW it wasn't there.  Or the big surplus one that your neighbor left on your doorstep when you were gone; but he denies putting it there when you confront him about it?  (I'm on to you Gary, QUIT bringing me your big zucchini and cucumbers ~ I have enough of them in my own garden to contend with).

I've made all the zucchini bread I care to make already this season ... so what to do with this big ol' Zuke besides feed it to the chickens?  I know.... make some pineapple! Mock Pineapple that is ... a recipe given to me many many moons ago by my Aunt Eunice.

Start by peeling off all the green skin.

Next:  Slice that big bugger in half lengthwise and gut out the seeds.
A big spoon works great for this.

I could just toss these into a greased pan with some browned hamburger and rice, top with some marinara sauce and cheese and pop in the oven for an hour and call it supper BUT not today ~ today is pineapple day.  

So ... back on track ... making the mock pineapple:

The next step is cutting the two halves into strips ~ 
into diced up chunks ... about the size of chunked pineapple you get in a can from the store

Put the chunked up zucchini into a large enough kettle and add:

1-1/2 Cups of Lemon Juice
3 Cups of Sugar
1 - 46 oz. can of Pineapple Juice
(minus the glass of juice I poured for myself to drink)
Put it on the stove ... medium heat ... bring to a boil ... turn down and simmer for 20 minutes.
 Oh my gosh ... talk about aromatherapy when this is cooking.  My kitchen smells divine!  If I could bottle up that smell and make it into perfume I'd be stinking rich!

After the 20 minute simmer ...

Ladle into pint jars.  Add your lids and rings ... hot water bath for another 20 minutes.

Wah Lah!!
~ Mock Pineapple ~
 You use it in recipes wherever you would have used the canned pineapple purchased from the store.  No one will be the wiser.  It's great in a pineapple upside down cake :)

Out of that one big zucchini I got 6 pint jars of mock pineapple.  

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


gardeners handscrub ~

While surfing the internet a while back I came across One Good Thing By Jillee  On her site she made a Gardener's Hand Scrub.  Of course, it was another one of those "got to try" things on my list of "to do's".

Well ... today I finally "to do'ed it".  I know ... do'ed's not a word ... but it should be ... shouldn't it?  Dude.
I guess it is a word ... just not in the right context.

All it is is (is is) Is that right?  My grade school grammar teacher must be rolling over in her grave.  God Bless you Mrs. Olson.

It's just the pink Dawn dish soap with the Olay Hand Renewal in it mixed with sugar.  The recipe is on Jillee's site.  I hope she doesn't mind me sharing this with you.

This stuff is fantastic!  My only regret is that I didn't make up a batch of it sooner.

Oh well ... there's still a lot of gardening to do and I'm always washing my hands.  This Gardener's Scrub really works great and it leaves your hands feeling so smooth.  I can't wait until October comes around and I'm cutting balsam boughs for making wreaths.  You always get so much pitch on your hands and I'm sure this stuff will work great on getting that off too :)  I hate using that those harsh cleaners on my delicate, fat little dactyls.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.



Makin' jam ~  we went picking wild black berries ...

added some of the blueberries from the picking last week ...
tossed in a few raspberries from a prior picking that were in the freezer ...
and I came up with 9 jars of red/black&blue mixed berry jam and 24 jars of raspberry jam this morning ...

Yes, I've been busy. But... it's a good busy:)

Have you ever grown Giant Kolhrabi?

Look at the size of this one ...
I know we could have left it go longer; but I didn't want to risk it becoming woody.  Besides that, I had a hankering for a slice of raw kohrabi and this one was growing right in the middle of the walking path in the garden.  It had to go.

I entered a cookbook giveaway over at Cafe Johnsonia  and won!  So I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival.  Thank you Linsey!

The last thing I ever won was a bag of dog food about 30 years ago, and at the time I didn't even own a dog.  Oh wait... I take that back.  Last year I won that grill up at Donner's Bay Customer Appreciations Day ... well technically, I didn't win it.  It was Dear Hubby's ticket that won ... I just told him it was my ticket that won.  LOL ... I'm such a liar!  But he figured it out when he saw I still had my ticket stub in my pocket that night when we came home.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


purple veggies ~

This must be the dog days of summer they talk about ... there really isn't much going on.  I've been busy in the garden, harvesting and canning and making breads and side dishes with zucchini.  I only have two zucchini plants and I thank the Good Lord that He didn't allow the germination of all six seeds I planted!  Those things are going wild on me.

Purple Veggies ~

I pulled some Purple Top Turnips the other day.  We like to snack on them raw when they're small.  I'm the only one in the family that really cares to eat them cooked.  Look though at this one ... turnip on steroids :)  I think it liked all that black dirt we hauled onto the garden last fall from my brothers farm.

I must admit ... I was a bit hesitant about even cleaning it and cooking it up.  Usually, if they get that big they are woody, very strong tasting or wormy ~ not something I want to eat.  To my surprise though it was nice and tender, very sweet tasting and not a single little pesky worm in it. 

Yum ... steamed turnips straight from the garden with a little butter, salt and pepper. 

One other purple veggie that I had to dig out to see how they were coming along were some Purple Cosmic Carrots.  LOVE THEM!!

The skins are purple and the insides are orange just like a regular carrot.  To cook them, or for canning, you just scrub off the root hairs.  The purple skins retain their color even when cooked.  They make  a very pretty salad topper, served raw, when grated or julienned too.  Kids love eating these funky looking carrots ~ grown ups too!

Well ... I suppose ~ pc time is up ... 

I need to go and finish up my laundry then put together a veggie/burger casserole for supper.  

A layer of browned hamburger, a layer of sliced onions, a layer of chopped celery, a layer of carrot slices, a layer of potato slices, a layer of YOU GUESSED IT - zucchini slices, half a can of cream of mushroom soup, another layer of hamburger, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, and YOU GUESSED IT- zucchini slices and the other half can of cream of mushroom soup.  Sprinkle on some grated cheese, into the oven at 350 for half an hour or so ... until it's all bubbly and cheese is melted and starting to get crusty, the veggies are all cooked fork tender and it's looking like it's time to chow down :)

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


LiveLoveBeHappy ~

Live.....Love.....Be Happy 
4 husbands... 

The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married for the fourth time. The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband's occupation. 

"He's a funeral director," she answered. 

"Interesting," the newsman thought. 

He then asked her if she wouldn't mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living. 

She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she had first married a banker when she was in her 20's, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40's, and a preacher when in her 60's, and now - in her 80's - a funeral director. 

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers. 

(wait for it) 

She smiled and explained, "I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go."

just thought I'd share that email with you :)

~ eagle at Connor's Lake ~
 ~ he was way back there ... in that center tree in this picture ... I was surprised I was able to zoom him in ~

Not much going on today.  Yesterday was spent in the kitchen putting up some more pickles and today some more zucchini bread.  We didn't do anything special for our anniversary ~ seeing as how we just came off of a 'do nothing' weekend ~ which was nice for a change. 

~ queen of the prairie bloom in my garden ~

Today, I have a lawn that hasn't been mowed in a few weeks that is looking pretty shaggy and I suppose, since it isn't hot or raining I better get out there and tidy it up a bit.  Slim is working the day shift today so I know he won't be able to get at it ... and the weather man says chance of rain tomorrow.  

~ calla lily ~

I also want to make one more batch of zucchini bread.  Each year I try to make up 3 different kinds ~ zucchini with walnut and raisin, zucchini with chocolate chip and zucchini/pineapple bread.  I make six small loaves of each kind, then vacuum seal them for the freezer. They're so nice to have on hand for gift giving and eating throughout the LONG LONG LONGGGGGGGGGGG winter months ahead.  The big Slimmer likes them in his lunchbox for his morning coffee break too :)

~ tiger lily ~

I'm just like a big ol' squirrel ... harvesting and tucking it away for another day. 

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


family time ~

We had a very nice and relaxing weekend :)  The weather couldn't have been better.  In the high 70's, a nice breeze, such a welcomed relief from the heat we've been having.

We kick started it off Saturday with a family gathering of Slim and his 3 brothers families and friends at the Polish Kingdom.  The Polish Kingdom is the name of the little piece of land on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage owned by his Aunt Jen and Uncle Tony ~

The day was spent with a wonderful picnic of grilled pork loin and a turkey and side dishes and desserts.  Plenty of cocktails and some major card playing by the adults. 

Swim time for the little ones out on the big floating raft -

They were in the water all afternoon!

Come evening ... it was time for s'mores ... made with the BIG campfire marshmallows.
It was such a beautiful day ...

When the sun was going down, the clouds over the treetops looked like mountain tops.

I didn't get any photos of it ... but the day was finished off with a 2 hour fireworks display put on by Rod and Steve over the water that would have put our town to shame.  It was fantastic!!  Boaters that were out on the flowage gathered to watch in the bay. 

Yesterday, Sunday ... we met up with friends at the Flambeau Rama (our towns celebration, parade, carnival).  We had a great time visiting and listening to music and drinking margaritas from the Red Solo Cups! ... and watching dirty white pants and yellow short shorts (private joke).

It does the body good to be able to catch up with everyone and rehash memories :)

I hope you had as an enjoyable weekend as we did.

AND ....
To frost the cake ~
36 years ago from today ~ I married my best friend!!

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.