mom ~

Not so much anymore ... but back in the day when all the kids were at home.  That was me.  Now my daughter Staci has taken over the roll call of Mom :)

Remember this shirt Sara?

Yes ~ that's me.
It was a backyard 4th of July party.  The shirt said, "Who are these kids and why are they calling me Mom?"
the good ol' days
put a cocktail in my hand
set me up in a lawn chair
watch the world go by

~ Squirrel Jail ~ 
I took this pic last fall; but they are at it again.  They keep popping the top off the "squirrel proof" feeder.

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


it felt good ~

The sun was shining today ... I could actually feel it's warmth for a change.  It felt good :)

I think this little pine squirrel would agree.  

It laid up in the branches of the maple tree with the sun on it's back ... soaking in  the warmth of spring.

The two squirrels on the ground were too busy chattering with each other...

... and finding seeds.

They weren't about to share with the gray squirrel ~ which they kept chasing up another tree.

That tree was occupied too.  It was the place to be if you were a black-capped chickadee.

They were busy cracking seeds.  It's easy to see why they are called the black-capped chickadee when you see them with their head bowed down.

All the commotion going on ... and I have this little squirrel sitting at my feet.

It kept turning it's back to me ... maybe it figured I couldn't see it then.

The deer and the turkeys showed up too.

I know ... photo over load!  At least I wasn't going on and on about the snow. 

Oh wait ...
I do have a snow pic today.

It finally slid off the back of the garage... 

... leaving a good sized pile.  I'm sure glad I don't have to shovel back there!

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


let it snow ~

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

The snow was coming down pretty heavy yesterday.  I'd venture to guess we got another 4 to 6 inches.  It was heavy and the packing kind ... sorry ... I'm not going out to build a snowman.

I'll take this weather over a hot day above 80 anytime.  I like sweatshirt and sweater weather :)

Just before the snow started there were 3 turkeys out in the yard.  

I really hope they were just passing through and don't decide to stick around.  I'm not a huge fan of the turkeys.  They do too much scratching in the flowerbeds for my liking.  Although, it will be awhile yet before I'm in the flowerbeds.  

The goldfinches are starting to get more color.  In another week or so they'll be showing a lot of yellow coloring as mating season approaches.  I love watching their transformation of plumage.   

Just for grins and giggles ... I'm trying to keep my spirits up ... here's a picture out my basement door this morning onto the patio.  No we don't use that door in the winter ... I have enough shoveling to do with using one door and pathway.

Here's some pics of that same area after the snow goes ...

Okay ... now I've had enough snow.  Bring on the rainy season ... melt this snow so I can watch my flowers grow.

I keep telling myself not to get in the dumps about the snow.  It is still March after all.  We always have this much snow this time of the year.  I think the problem though was that it was so cold this winter and no one was out ice fishing and snowmobiling like other years and the winter just dragged on for us.

Hopefully, we'll have a nice slow spring thaw.  One without a lot of flooding of the creeks and rivers.

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


the sweet scent ~

There is no scent as sweet as that of a little baby ...  wouldn't you agree?

Our newest Grandlove has arrived ...
and she's beautiful ...
and healthy ...
smells wonderful!  

Blake Anita
10 lbs. 10 oz.
22 inches
born 3/23/14

Momma and baby are doing fine.

The big sisters are proud as can be.

We are blessed.

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



I did some gardening today ... and we had to eat a lot of guacamole to do it!

I started my avocado plants for out on the deck.

~ I love my little moose cookie cutter that I found for a dime at a garage sale ~

Now if only the snow would go away and it would warm up enough to really start gardening!

When we lived in the other house I had a little green house.  When we moved here Dear Hubby didn't move it over ... he said he'd build me a new one.  Well ... we've been living here for fourteen years.  How long do you let a promise like that ride?  hmmm....   

Maybe ... just maybe this will be the year he comes good on that promise.  

A gal can dream.

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


bacon ~

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


sausage and bacon ~

The temperature was right ... finally in the 20's ... right where Dear Hubby likes it to be so he can fire up his big smoke house.  If it's too cold outside it's too hard to regulate the temperature in it. The smoke house is an old Pepsi cooler with the glass doors removed and replaced with stainless steel.  The heat is an old gas oven parts connected to a propane tank.  The smoke is wood chips ... apple and mesquite (we bought home from a Texas trip).  The meat is pork, beef and venison.  The seasoning is a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  The results is sticks of homemade summer sausage ~ delish :)  We just did a little batch this time around:

Earlier on we also smoked up some cornish hens and some fresh from the farm chickens.

Also ... another one of the reasons I've been away from blogging for a bit ... I was also busy helping Dear Hubby make bratwurst.  We did about 100 pounds worth ... original flavored, pizza flavored and a new recipe for Swiss flavored.  Not all for ourselves of course ... we also made some up for family and friends.

Next on the agenda ... bacon!  I just ran to the butcher shop yesterday and picked up 180 pounds of pork bellies.  They'll be in the brine tomorrow and in the smoke house in a few days.

Here's some pics of prior years of the bacon making process ~ sorry to bore you.  I know some of you have seen this before.

The pork bellies are put into a brine (secret recipe) for a few days ...

 Then it gets patted dry and put onto hangers ... and gets hung in the smoker.

Dear Hubby turns on the heat and gets his wood chips smoking ...

 Watch the temperature ... watch it smoke ... notice the probe in the slab of meat on the left ... I don't know what the internal temp of the meat has to be; but Dear Hubby does and he watches it like a hawk.

Presto!! We have Bacon!!

Slice it up ... and get it packaged and into the freezer.

It really is a labor of love.

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


yep ~

Not much going on around here.  It's warming up ~ yesterday was our first day in 56 days that the temperature stayed above zero overnight.  That's promising :)

I received a few seed catalogs in the mail ...

Apparently the seed companies haven't gotten my memo - we still have 4,000 feet of snow on the ground that needs to melt away before we can get into the garden! Okay, maybe 4,000 feet is stretching it a bit; but there's a lot of snow out there that needs to go.

I do love the winter months but even I am getting a wee bit stir crazy and feeling the effects of this long winter.  I think it's because we didn't make a Texas run this winter to break up the monotony of cabin fever.  Calgon ~ take me away!

We will be busy this weekend though.... sausage making time again.  Dear Hubby and I will be firing up the smokehouse to make some summer sausage, snacking sticks and 3 different kinds of bratwurst ... original recipe, swiss style and pizza brats.  We never made the swiss or pizza ones before ~ can't wait to try those.

Other than that ... we are also getting anxious as the clock is ticking down.

Our daughter can't even zip her jacket anymore ... she sat down and the zipper went up :)
Grandlove number four is due to make her debut soon.  She's due the 20th.
Yep ~ it's another girl :)

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


skating ~

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than at an ice skating show :)

 Our Grandlove, Bailey, has joined the Price Ice Figure Skating program and it was her first show.  It was the 21st Annual Figure Skating show though for the Price Ice Skaters. (we live in Price county, WI ... thus the name)
This is the first year skating group.  They're so cute!

What a great show that was put on.  The theme of the show was Under the Sea. The skaters are grade school through high school in age, K-12.  It was a bittersweet moment for a few of the skaters as it was their senior year and last show skating with the Price Ice Skaters.

 These gals are the Price Icicles.  Price Ice's first Synchronized team.  They competed in the Badger State Games and brought home a silver medal!

All of the skaters were such a joy to watch.  The only negative thing about the whole afternoon was that it was sooooooooooo cold outside, -14 degrees and inside the ice rink didn't feel much warmer.
I felt sorry for the skaters warming up under blankets between the program schedules.  

This was a really cute act, although it really didn't pertain to the theme Under the Sea:  It was a trio of 2 police officers and 1 bank robber ... I didn't get a pic of the bank robber ... They danced to the the music, "I Can't Fight This Feeling "   

They did catch the bank robber in the end:)

Here comes our Bailey and her group out to perform:

 ~ half the group is going one way ... the other half of the line the other ~
I remember as a kid doing this and we would call it "crack the whip".  I don't know what they call it in skating class??

I do know that having just started skating in November ... these kids did an excellent job :)

I think Bailey and her friends were getting cold.  She did cheer up though at the end when they were skating around the rink and she noticed her Dad and sister during the flower toss. 

 I had Brooke toss my a purple rose over the plexi - glass for me to our little future Olympian Figure Skater.
Aww... Bailey ... you did us proud!

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