another year gone bye ~

Did this year fly by for you?  It sure did for me.  Hard to believe sometimes where time flies by and you look back and it just doesn't seem possible that so much time has already passed.  

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  Ours was bittersweet. 

Our daughter in Indiana wasn't able to come home; her father in-law had passed away right before Christmas and they had to stay and make funeral arrangements. Plus, her mother in-law has stage 4 cancer and Alzheimers and they are dealing with her issues.  So sad; and how we wish we could be closer to them ~ but we weren't able to travel down there at this time.  We're crossing fingers and hoping to be able to drive down in March.  We wish it could be sooner; but reality is that won't happen.

Our eldest daughter spent her Christmas at the hospital.  She's six months pregnant (with our 4th Grandlove ~ another girl).  She was in soooooooo much pain ... but is better now that she passed some kidney stones!  Poor bugger ... she and the baby are fine now ~ just a bit wiped out from the whole ordeal.

Our son and his girl friend spent Christmas down in the southern part of the state by her family.  I was happy though that Ashley was able to spend some time with her Dad and sister.  

Half of my family (siblings and their siblings) which normally gather at my Mom's place on Christmas Eve weren't able to make it this year.  It was quiet ... but not the same.  

Knock on wood ... things will be looking up in the new year.  I hope our health issues remain on the up side.  I did have a good check up with my cancer battle :)  and Dear Hubby is doing so much better with his healing process.  

He still makes me laugh.

Yesterday, after lounging on the couch for a couple of hours ... watching his westerns and old movies ... he gets up.  grrrrrr.... arghhh... the noises he made.  I think his leg was falling asleep on him and he half skip jumped a few steps to get his bearings... grrrrrr ... ugggghhh... more noises.  

I let out a little chuckle at his antics and repeated his sounds.

He says, "Go ahead and laugh.  Your day is coming sooner than you think.  You're going to be my age some day and then we'll see who's laughing.  You need to show more respect towards your elders."

He's 32 days older than me. LOL  

ooooooohhhhhh... I'm shaking in my boots just thinking about being his age some day!  17 more days to go, and we'll be the same age again :) The big FIVE SIX.
I know ... we're sooooooooo young!

Happy New Year 2014 everyone!
May your worries and troubles last as long as your new year resolutions!

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


peek out my window ~

Things are finally getting back to normal around here.  Praise the Lord and pass the gravy!  Dear Hubby is back to work today since his fall on Thanksgiving Day! Yay!!

Here's a peek out my window at the Winter Wonderland the Dear Lord has blessed us with ~ look at all that snow!

The pine squirrel is checking out the wreath ...

B I G  J U M P ...

Instead of messing around with my wreath he should be keeping an eye on his peanuts.  Look who was stealing peanuts while he wasn't keeping guard:

I thought this was a odd picture of the bluejay ... his legs are in the air and he's already taking off in flight :)

The feeders have been getting hit pretty steady with all this snow cover.

I love it!

Even the Grandloves and their Uncle Sam had some fun in the snow this weekend... 
... time to fire up the old vintage SkiDoo and tie on the sled ~

  ... down the trail and through the woods ~

~ to Grandmothers house they go!

Thanks for taking a peek out my window with me.  Happy Holidays!

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


only one ~

Sonny Boy Sam comes over this morning ...

Says, " Hey Dad, I heard you can only have ONE donut."

And he hands him this for his birthday.

His timing couldn't have been better.  Give the big boy something to gnaw on while I figure out whats going on with the stove.

I was in the process of baking some Christmas cookies and my oven decided to act up.  Something is goofed as it will only heat to 170 degrees.  Aw crap! Then it decides to heat to temp of 350 ... next time ... low temps ... grrrrrrrr..... it needs to be checked.  Slim said something about a thermal couple ... whatever that is??

Yesterday, it was the furnace ... the fan wouldn't shut off and it was 89 degrees in here when we came home from shopping.  Aw double crap!!  More dinkering around and having to buy parts when they can't be afforded.  double grrrrrrr grrrrrr

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


chilly ~

Yesterday and today's temps ... yes ~ even for me it's a wee bit chilly :) BUT ... I still like this weather better than 100 degrees above zero!

There's not much going on around here.  The Dear Hubby is healing nicely from his fall ... but is also finding out that he NEEDS to take it easy. Poor bugger ... it's hard to slow down sometimes.

  He did make molasses cookies today.  I made some peanut butter ones with the chocolate star on them.  Now not to eat them!

Stay warm out there wherever you may be.

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


home ~

My Dear Hubby is home from the hospital ~ now I just pray he doesn't put me in the psycho ward!  A nurse, I am NOT!

I'll have to follow the Advice from a Bear ~ grin and bear it and look after your honey!

I keep telling myself: "patience grass hoppa , patience"

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and prayers.

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


Slim Update ~

I guess I shouldn't be calling this an update until after I tell what happened.  Here's the scoop:

On Thursday, November 28th ~ Thanksgiving Day I was home putting in the turkey and making preparations for a nice big family dinner.

My Dear Hubby ~ Slim, and our son Sam, son in law Paul and family friend Gary (visiting from Texas, first time in the North Woods) decided to go out to the Federal Forest to scout out some places to go beaver trapping.

My adventurous guys spent the night before laying out their plan.  There was a flowage that they knew of way out in the sticks that they were sure would be home to beavers.   It was about eight miles off the highway ... on roads that are cut in called fire lanes, and trails that are used by hikers.  Some of these roads connect up and others dead end. They were going into the woods another half mile or so beyond the roads and marked trails to find this beaver house.  They would be cross country hiking into no man's land setting out on their own trail.

I really wasn't concerned about it because this is what my guys do ... they hunt, they trap and they go where any "normal" person would think twice venturing off the main trail.  They are rugged outdoors men and know their way around in it.  Plus this was territory that my son in law and son have hunted bear in for years and they knew the lay of the land and where they were.

Then it happened.

They had reached their destination crawling through tag elder brush, crossing creeks, up and down some big hills and valleys, making their trail to the icy frozen flowage.  They saw the beaver house that they were sure was going to be there.

They were walking across the ice when all of a sudden Slim's feet shot out from under him, his feet to the sky and he slammed down onto the ice.  When he fell, Paul said he heard a LOUD crack!  He thought for sure that Slim had broke through the 4 inches of ice; but he didn't.  The ice wasn't cracked at all ... what he heard was Slim's ribs break (but they didn't know it was his ribs at the time) They just knew something broke and it wasn't good.

Slim had the wind knocked out of him and he couldn't move or catch his breath.  When he finally did start to breathe he was in so much pain and couldn't move.  He was gasping for air and holding his chest.   The guys didn't know if he had broken his back or neck or was having a heart attack or what!  They just knew he needed medical attention and he needed it now.  They were afraid to move him thinking that he had possibly punctured a lung or some other internal organ.

Luckily, Gary had phone service on his cell and they dialed 911.  Unluckily, the ambulance service didn't know how to find them.  Paul and Sam headed for the main road to intercept them and show them how to get to Slim.  Before doing so, they took off their jackets and heavy bib pants and packed them around Slim to try to keep him warm.  The temps were only in the low 20's that day.  Gary stayed with Slim while the guys took off for help.

To make a long story short ...

The accident happened at 11:00 a.m.

Slim laid on the ice for 1 hour and 45 minutes before the EMT's got there.

They had to haul him out on a rescue board strapped to an ATV six-wheeler.

They did not get back to the hospital with him until 3:00 p.m.

He was treated for hypothermia, 1 broken rib, 3 cracked ribs, and a bruised heart.  Because of the impact and bruising to his heart it went into Afib.  They then had to transfer him to the Marshfield hospital 3 hours away.  They had called for a helicopter rescue flight in the field; but the weather conditions and landing area prevented it from coming.

He spent two nights in the Marshfield hospital.  After tons of tests and tons of meds, his heart rhythm returned to normal and it seemed that his pain was getting under control.

I bought him home only to have him in unmanageable pain the next day.  I took him into the emergency room at our hospital.  

Long story short again ...

His bruised and swollen heart was back in Afib.
His liver is enlarged.
He needed to have four nerve blocks performed on his ribs to ease his pain ... and once that was done his heart finally settled down into normal rhythm again.
His lungs had started to collapse.
AND he has developed pneumonia in both lungs ... so he's on a big course of antibiotics to try and clear that up.

I don't know when he'll be coming home.  They were able to move him today from the Intensive Care Unit on to the main floor ... so that was a good sign.

All from a fall on the ice.

This was a Thanksgiving that won't be forgotten.

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

critters ~

I wish I could open the door .... whistle a happy little tune .... and the forest creatures would clean my house.  

Instead, I have found field mice somehow have taken up residency in my abode and need to be eradicated!

They're only cute in fairy tales.

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


2-ply ~

~image from the internet saveup.com~

I just wasted a couple hours of my day watching the show Extreme Cheapskates.  Seriously, some of the things I saw on that show give a frugal person like myself a bad name.  They might be saving money ... but some of the ways they go about it certainly gives them the title to their claims as being cheapskates.  I think calling them tightwads would be more fitting.

Example, the millionaire lady who pees in a bottle so she doesn't have to waste water flushing the toilet.   She claims to being frugal because she then takes it outside and puts it on her compost pile.  Yuck!  I sure wouldn't want to be sifting through her dirt!

Or, the guy and wife who share the toothbrush and dental floss ~ gross! 

The guy who only flushes the toilet after he showers once a week with the bucket of water he collected while showering.  He lets his stinking urine sit in the toilet for a week! Gross!  His toilet works ... he just doesn't want to waste water.

Or the family that uses newspaper instead of toilet paper and they put in a plastic bag to burn instead of flushing .... gross groSS GROSS!!!  I can only imagine how april fresh that bathroom smells ~ because they can't even open the bathroom window because they use the newspaper as insulation in the room too and the window is stuffed with it for 'extra' paper in case they run out.

That's not only being cheap ... it sick and filthy ... that's what these people are.  It's not like these people can't afford the toilet paper ... they just choose not to.

Penny over at Penniless Parenting has a good read on it.

Half the people on that show are just filthy and disgusting and I really can't believe that there is a reality show glorifying their actions.  AND what I really can't believe is that I sat and watched it for over an hour!!!

I think half of that show revolved around these families and their bathroom habits ~ or lack of.

How could I let myself get sucked into that show.  I know one thing for sure, I won't be doing that again.

Now ... being frugal and living frugal to me is a whole different story then what these people were portraying.  To me living frugal is a choice.  We (Dear Hubby) and I CHOOSE to live this way.  We watch our budget and live accordingly.

 Many a family vacations have been subsidized by pitching the change in the jar and saving it for a rainy day.  Even if it meant a tank of gas was saved that way, every little penny counts.  That pocket change can add up quite quickly.

We garden and grow our own vegetables, not because we have to ... but because we choose to.  We enjoy the fruits of our labor through out the winter months from all the canning and dehydrating I do.  Plus, we know what we're eating!  No chemically processed foods going into our bellies.

We live frugally, but we also live clean and healthy!! Or at least try to be that way!!  We try to live quiet contented lives, and try to be as self-sufficient as we can.  If we want something, we budget and save for it.  We live within our means.

AND we use our toilet as intended ~ flushing after each use and we even splurge and buy 2-ply toilet paper  ... so don't call us cheapskates!  We're frugal ... and proud of it :)

Yes, being frugal means you can afford the little luxuries like 2-ply toilet paper if you choose, watch your pennies and save accordingly.

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


crazy craisins ~

As I had posted the other day, my attempt at making homemade craisins (dehydrated cranberries) ...

I did everything the way they were suppose to be done.  Wash the fresh cranberries, put them into a boiling pot of water until the skins cracked, letting out a popping sound, tossing them in sugar (I used a sugar substitute) and onto the dehydrator tray.

I'm thinking that I had too many in the hot water at one time; because only half of them had cracked skins.

After 16 hours in the dehydrator ... those little buggers just were not getting done.

What to do ... what to do?

I was ready to take the whole works and toss them to the birds!  Some days I just feel like everything is against me and I'm running on a short fuse.

Thinking cap time Mel ... think!!!

I'm a pretty frugal person and I really didn't want to waste these cranberries (although the birds and deer I'm sure would have enjoyed them).

I went and grabbed the food processor and tossed them in.  Pulse ... Pulse ... Pulse and I had a slurry of cranberries.

I spread them out on waxed paper and back into the dehydrator.  I decided I would give them 2 more hours of drying time and if they weren't ready by then ... forget it!

An hour later ...

aka. Fruit Leather 
aka. Cranberry Jerky!!

They taste good too :)

Next time I'm going to do this in the first place.  

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

here comes winter ~

  What a difference a day makes. It snowed again ... but I'm not complaining.  It is November after all.  Maybe this time it will stay.

I'm so happy we FINALLY took the boat canopy down yesterday and put the boat in the garage!  I sure wouldn't have enjoyed doing that in the snow ... not that it was a very enjoyable project to begin with.

What I call the boat canopy is actually a 10'x12' portable carport.  You know the kind ... with the big heavy metal poles connected with nuts and bolts and covered with a heavy plastic, held on with bungee cords.

Needless to go into anymore detail ... some projects I just don't think are husband and wife projects.  This is one of them!

The wind yesterday didn't help the situation either, except for possibly drowning out my thoughts that were spilling out of my mouth at certain moments.  Good thing Dear Hubby is hard of hearing.  He kept saying, "what?"  and I'd say, "never mind."  But internally, I was growling like an old sow bear at someone messing with her cubs.

It just never fails.  He always waits to the last minute to do this project. AND it's always cold, wet, damp and windy when he does!!!

GrrrrrrrrrrARGGGHHHH !!
I've thawed out since then ... I'm mo' betta now :)

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


craisins & the yearling ~

My house smells like cranberries!  I was given a dish pan full of fresh cranberries that were just harvested off the marsh - next door to my daughters place.

I never attempted to dehydrate them before ~ turning them into Craisins.  Now I have four trays going and going and going and going.  Wow... these little buggers take a LONG time to dry!  They have been in the dehydrator 12 hours already.  Of course, I had to google and see how long they take after I started this project.  It said that they can take up to 18 hours for drying time.  Geeze, if I had known that before starting I might not have done it.

I glanced out the kitchen window and what should I see ~ the little yearling is there eating the last apple off the tree.

This little guy has been coming into the yard for a year now.  It's been a loner for some time.  I'm thinking that it's Momma may have been eaten by the wolves or hit by a car early this spring.  

Whenever I see it I go outside and talk to it.  It's starting to get used to me and losing it's fear of me :)  He knows he's safe around me.

I went slowly down the deck steps talking to him.  Then I just stood there and let him approach me.  Talking softly to him all the time.  If I use the zoom on my camera he gets nervous.  So I take off the zoom and wait.  In the span of about 10 minutes he works his way closer.

Yes, I'm talking to you ... how long are you going to roll that apple around in your mouth?  Did you bite off more than you can chew?

Don't be cocking that ear at me.  I'm not going to hurt you.  I might even give you another apple one of these days from my hand.  How would you like that?

Another apple?  
Oh how I wish I had an apple in my hand!!
This is the closest he's ever been to me.

Sorry little one ~ next time I promise I will have a treat for you.  I bet you would just gobble up some cranberries or better yet some craisins.  Just keep coming around and we'll have our little chats.

It's just a matter of time ... I think I'll have him eating out of my hand.

This is just another reason I love living in the north woods!

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


arachnophobic ~

Warning: If you have a morbid fear of spiders ... skip this post.

My neighbor had posted this pic on FB of a spider that was on her mom's house.

She said it was a Wolf Spider.  It was in the outside doorway where her Mom just finished taking down Halloween decorations.

Here's one that I took a pic of awhile back that was in our work shop.

It was in the bottom of a two gallon bucket.  These spiders are huge!  I searched them out and found that they aren't venomous ~ but apparently can inflict a wound that could require medical attention ... okay.

The neighbor thought it was pretty neat to have it there.

I dumped mine out on the garage floor and whacked it with a board!

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


'shrooms ~

I rode along this morning with Dear Hubby on his trap line.  It was a nix on the fur harvest but a beautiful bounty was to be found.

When we were getting ready to leave the cabin he had asked me if I had my knife on me.  "Yeah ~ why are you asking?  Doesn't everybody carry the three essentials with them?"

Here's a pic of my 3 essentials that are in my jeans pocket always ...

... little bottle of nitro, my blade and good ol' Chap Stick. I think my knife is the most used of the three :)  Chap Stick coming in second and the nitro is just for looks.  (I wish)


Dear Hubby tells me he saw something the day before that might interest me.  He said as soon as he saw it he knew I'd be wanting of it.  Okay ... now I'm intrigued.  We drive down the road and he pulls over and he tells me to look to the north.  

Oh!  How well he knew I would love this find.


It didn't take me long and I had my trusty little blade just a slicing away those beauties into my possession.  


I know ... just when you thought I was done with the mushroom post.  It is November after all.  BUT oyster mushrooms like cool weather and will fruit right up until it freezes.  So now is actually a good time to look for them.  

The only wildlife we saw today were a few ruffed grouse and this small group of mallard ducks:

It's time for them to fly south.

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


today's project ~

I am about to embark on a very long overdue project.  It shouldn't take long; but I truly want to do a good job on it ~ because of the precious memories it holds for me.

About 35 years ago I was given two beautiful, hand crocheted table cloths that Dear Hubby's Great Aunt Irma made when she was in her 20's.  These table cloths are over 100 years old!

Both table cloths are of the same pattern.  They measure 6 feet by 7 feet each.  The only difference between the two is one of them is just a mere shade darker in coloring.  I imagine because of two different color lots of cotton thread.

The workmanship and dedication in making these just blows my mind every time I see them.  When they were given to me I was asked that I never just throw them in a drawer and forget about them, or her.   So on special occasions I use them :)

They have been used and laundered with love ... but there are a few stitches pulling away on  parts and I HAVE to do right by them and fix them up!   Also, I'm thinking that my "using them" days are coming to an end because I would like my daughters to inherit them someday from me and cherish them as I do.

Here's a picture of the one I'm working on ... this is the one in the worse condition.  The other one only has one little spot that needs fixing.

Amazing!  I know!!

So how many 20 year olds today do you think are sitting in the parlor in the evenings crocheting table cloths???

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


back in time ~

My head is having a brain freeze and I can't think of anything of interest to post about.  I really do live a boring life some days!

So .........

I decided to share an oldie post with you ~ from back in 2009.  Some of you may have seen this before :)


the fest~

If there was ever a place that I wanted to be at, in the worse way, it was Woodstock! What a stir that gathering caused.

I remember being glued to the television set just waiting for Walter Cronkite to give his "we interrupt this broadcast to bring you updates of the happening of Woodstock." 
By the way my parents were talking you'd of thought the world was coming to an end ... or heading straight to hell.

I also recall Mom saying something on the line of all that loving couldn't be good ~ that was for sure . . . and I was thinking . . . are you nuts woman! That's what this world needs is more love. But I wouldn't of dared expressed myself like that to my mother! 
I do remember telling my parents that if I was just a few years older there was no way they would be able to stop me from going. That was when I was sent to my room to think about it... and was told that I couldn't watch the news anymore.

I was 11.

The early beginning of my radical years.

Oh the good ol' days...

It's still so funny to this day how my nieces and nephews call me the "hippie aunt". LOL
Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.