Thursday, May 30, 2013

To Everything There is a Season

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Natural Season:

Living in Wisconsin, I enjoy the changing seasons.  Our 4 seasons are very distinct.  Each, offers a bounty of beauty.   The extremes in our weather makes life here very interesting.  

Life Season:

I'm in my late 40's.  Married for 25 years.  Mother of 2 daughters.  My season of life is changing.  I look forward to a mature friendship with my children, the spouses they choose and future additions to our family with my role of grandma.

Personal Growth Season:

I took a pledge in October (read here: about evaluating my life.  I started a weight loss program.  I have a strong personality that can at times be offensive as I speak truthfully without a filter.  I have tried to curb that, thinking before I speak.  I've prayed more - for strength and wisdom to change.    

Business Season:

I'm self employed.  I have challenged my creativity by painting, re-purposing more old and new finds.  I have helped clerk my cousin's auctions.  I "made" myself get up and sell at auction and was actually hired by that auctioneer (read here:  I have learned to close some doors and open new ones.  

and most importantly, Spiritual Season:

I'm very spiritual and have strong believes.  I have many personal convictions about the way I live my life - my dos and don'ts.  I have had to challenge myself in figuring out how I want to represent myself spiritually.  I grew up in and have only attended one church my whole life.  I'm not very faithful to a building, however, I am faithful to what I believe!  I have had to challenge myself to accept the ignorance of others in the church - I know that sounds harsh - but, true.  We all are human, no matter your role in the church.  I'm a real person - what you see is what you get.  I haven't changed my lifestyle during this lack of church attendance.  I have conviction enough for my salvation to want to do right from wrong.  I feel I have a clarity and honesty enough to be used for His ministry - hopefully soon! 

So, I keep challenging myself, praying for spiritual direction and moving forward to be used in my family, home, community, church and work.  Keeping fresh the idea of evaluating my life - to be better.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Today, is the day, we Americans, set aside to remember those who served.  "Freedom isn't Free" is often used to describe how we feel about the sacrifice made and the cost it took to have the "right" to live our "American Dream."  

I graduated with 2 guys, who are no longer with us.  Each died in their early 20's, in service.  Keith Schultz, in Gander Newfoundland, airplane crash and Marlin Sonnentag, in Afghanistan.  Both, I personally believe, were because of terrorist attacks during peace keeping operations.  

I knew both of them.  I went from Kindergarten to 12th grade with Keith.  Kind, patriotic, Christian, funny and dedicated young men.  So sad.  As I think of all that has happened to me - my life -  the blessings and the trials, they never had that. 

I do think of them, often.  The sacrifice, not only from them, but their parents as well.  

So, here's to you, my friends, your parents and to those thousands of others who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  A thank you - just isn't enough.  

My refuge lies in Jesus - my hope for surviving families is that they can find it in Him as well.    

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Check out link for Keith Schultz:

Check out the link - about Marlin Sonnentag.

Gold Star Mother remembers son lost at war

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Calf Time

The best part of helping with chores - is seeing all the calves.  I love their cute faces!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Apple Blossoms

One of the most intoxicating smells has to be apple blossoms.  The Spring air is full of so many sweet scents.

The trees were buzzing with bees doing their job.

"Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can 

count the number of apples in a seed."  Robert H. Schuller

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Busy Little Bird

This little Finch (?) was having the best time tearing apart that cattail.   Busy little bird.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Color At The Bird Feeder

It's been a rainy, grey day here in Ringle, Wisconsin.  However, my bird feeder was full of color.  

And of course - this little nut...

Blessings from Ringle.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grilling Time

It's grilling time!  I love grilled food.  Today I made grilled veggies in foil packets, chicken breasts and apple crisp - all on the grill.  Here is how I did it.  

Dice favorite veggies, I added Tastefully Simple roasted garlic oil, salt & pepper.  Arrange on a piece of foil - spray with cooking spray first - fold up into a bundle.

I like to cut my chicken breasts in half - they cook faster without drying out on the grill.  I made a marinade of Tastefully Simple balsamic and basil dipping oil and dried tomato and garlic pesto mix.  Put in the refrigerator for an hour or so.  

I put the veggie bundles on 15 minutes before the chicken.  I cooked the chicken for an additional 15 minutes. 

While this was cooking, I made apple crisp bundles.  I diced up an apple, sprinkled with cinnamon, brown sugar and granola.  Spray your foil and make a bundle.  Cook these while you are eating.  Add some whipped topping - simple.

Enjoy the grilling season - Blessings from Ringle, WI.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Motivation Monday - Push Yourself

Did you know I went to Auctioneering School?  Ya, I did.  Life threw me a couple of curve balls and I wasn't able to sell at auction - like I had planned.   Fast forward to yesterday...I sold at auction!  I pushed myself and did it.  

This isn't a great picture of me - Arnie looks good.  Arnie Lange is the auctioneer.  He was short an auctioneer yesterday, it was hot and humid and he wanted to take a break -  "anyone want to sell?"  he says to his crew.  He didn't have any takers - so I said "I will sell."  Normally an auctioneer won't hand his mike over to a member of the audience.  However, after I told him about myself, he says "well, get on up here..."  I jumped on the trailer and started selling.   Now, this is why I went to auctioneering school - I loved it!   I think I surprised not only myself, but the audience as well.  

So, for Motivation Monday - push yourself.  Honestly, when I heard someone say "I will sell..."  I couldn't believe it was me.  I had to do it - I said I would - I pushed myself, even though I was nervous.  Did I make a few mistakes, did I get tongue tied, did I have to ask a bidder for their number a couple of times - sure did, all of those things happened.  The very things I was nervous about.   

Taking risks and pushing yourself can be scary!  However, the results can be so rewarding!  Thank you Arnie Lange for letting me sell and gain some more experience!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

P.S.  Late thought:  Oh ya, when I left a gentleman came up to me and said "God sends you what you need just when you need it, thanks for helping out today."  I was thinking how that applied to me - he sure does.  

Link to Lange Auction Realty, LLC:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Some of Our Critters

Me and Licorice - one of Anna's market lambs.

Me riding Jack

Justine and Jack - he is her horse, they went for a long trail ride on the new trails that Al made a few weeks ago.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Junk Haul - My Re--purpose Ideas

As my followers know, I love to re-purpose and create something from nothing.  Ringle, our rural town, is the site for the county landfill.  The "Ringle Dump."   I don't know if any of you have ever been to a dump, but it is sad.  Not just for the environmental issues - but, for see someone's once loved old toy laying in the pile, just makes me think of Toy Story 3.  

My love of re-purposing came from necessity.  My Grandpa Kincaid was the "king of the dump."   Seriously.  He could see an item in the rough and bring it home and turn it into a treasure.  He then sold these items.  What was a hobby for him, my mother and many relatives - has - at times been pretty profitable.  So, that is why, I guess, I'm saving items from the landfill by recreating them into something new.

The back of my car is full of items I plan to sell or redo.  I bought the pewter looking light fixture for $5.  I plan to put "new" globes on them made out of green mason jars.  I think the colors will work well together.  I couldn't leave those old trophies - the whole box was only $3.  I plan to spray paint some a solid bright color.  Others I plan to use the tops as the hooks you hang stuff on for a coat rack.  I'm doing a garden flea market on June 7 at Grand Repeats and will fill that wire basket with some flowers.  I will also have a yellow theme as I found some really cute yellow swirl swanky glasses.  I found some funky green 1950's drapes I might use as a wall for my booth.  The turquoise vintage suitcase - according to the Junk Gypsies - the next up and coming color - will stay the way it is.  I will take some pictures when these are done.

So, the next time you see a rummage, flea or Goodwill - stop and shop with an open mind - you might just save something from the landfill.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

NOTE:  these items are not from the dump.  I was rescuing them before they went to the dump.  Sorry for confusion.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My First "Senior" Moment

I say "senior" moment in a nice way...really...  I don't consider myself a senior, nor do I even act my own age.... :)  However, Al and I did something that we are calling our first "senior" moment.  

I'm the type of person who double and triple checks things like:  did I turn off the stove, lights, lock the door, close the gates or close the barn doors.  I do this, because at times I haven't....and have come home to our horses eating grass in our front yard.  I have been known to turn around and go back home or to Renee's farm to reassure myself, yet again, that I did do what I thought.  Anyway, I hate that when it happens and I know it bugs my family to have me ask..."did we...".  So, I've been trying not to double and triple check things.    

We took all of our coats, some blankets, hunting clothes, Carhart bibs, snow pants to the laundry mat.  Why stress our well already.  We actually did 10 loads - 2 were in the 55# washers.  We filled like 14 driers.  As we carried the clean items to the car, I said to Al..."did we get everything...he said YES...but, if you need to go in and check..."  I thought, no I'm sure we got everything..."  We got in the car and he says "we probably have too many coats anyway.."  

So, off we went, to the grocery store, to my Mom's to drop off her groceries, back home, did p.m. chores, made homemade pizzas....hours had passed.  We sit down to watch something..."hey Al, that person has a coat like mine, you know, the one we washed today...wait, I don't remember putting it in the drier, do you?"  We checked the closet, all the baskets - no coat.  I think we left one of the 55# washers full.  We had to run all the way back to town at 8:20 p.m.  I had no idea if those items would still be there.  

We were happy that they were, as that washer had his Carhart jump suits - some from that Goodwill by the pound store I posted about.  How did we even forget this?  We were laughing at ourselves as we filled another 3 driers.  

I think now, when I ask "did we..." maybe, we should just go and check again.   

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Motivation Monday - Make Someone's Day Special

Do you need a boost to your spirit?  Are you in a slump and need to feel better about yourself?  Well, I know no better way to do this, than to do something for someone else.  Really, trust me, this works!  You don't need to spend any money - just share your time with someone.

Every community has nursing homes, most of which need volunteers.  Call the activity director and see where and what you can do to help cheer up the residents.  Make sure to get your children or grandchildren involved - "old people" love kids!  The facility might even let you share your pet.  When my girls were little, we took our chickens to the Homme Home in Wittenberg.  Most residents in the rural community had chickens and loved telling my girls stories about their chickens.  

How about a food pantry or kitchen.  I know these facilities need volunteers as well.   Don't be afraid to go and help - even if you are by yourself - you would be surprised how many "kindred" spirits are doing the same things.  You might even make new friends.  

Do you have an elder in your church or community that might enjoy a plate of cookies, loaf of bread or crock pot meal?  I bet you can think of someone.  Many elderly, have children that live in other communities and would appreciate a visit from a friendly face.  If you don't have time to bake, how about calling and asking them to help clean up their yard or flower beds.  They might not be able to get out and go shopping, ask them if you can "pick" something up for them. I've seen even the crankiest perk up when you say "wanna play a game of cards?"  

You could go and walk some dogs or clean cages at your county humane society (SPCA).   We have walked dogs, brushed long hair cats, washed towels, scrubbed floors, cleaned cages - with cuts in funding, these facilities could use help as well.  

Do you have a special talent - well, think of ways you can share that with others.  Don't hide that light under a bushel - use it to brighten some one's day.  In turn, you will do the same to yourself.  

These are just a few ideas.  I know this works, I've witnessed it.  My mom, is home and wheelchair bound....when she gets visitors - she perks right up.  Sometimes elderly sleep a lot because they are bored or lonely.  My mom can be napping and as soon as she hears little voices - she up and ready to go.  Yesterday was Mother's Day, I was working at her house, she had a lot of visitors.  That was very nice.  Here are a few of her great-grandchildren.

The one with the polka dot shirt is Bella.  She has a crazy personality - she reminds me of me!  She loves to shock people with saying funny things....hmm...this runs in our Native heritage...story telling gene...she is a Ritchie thru and thru.  I said I'm going to take your picture and put in on my twitter.   She looks at me and says "what your tooter...haha (she has a gruff, hoarsy voice)"  Any time she can get potty humor in the conversation - she does.  I love that kid, she just like my Anna.  

So, today for Motivation Monday - get out and make yourself feel better - share your time and talents with another.  After all this isn't just what we "should" do as fellow humans, it is fulfilling scripture.  "...verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me. (Jesus)."  Matt. 25:40

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Sassy Anna

I just had to share this funny story from yesterday.  Anna and I were in a doctor's waiting room.  Everyone was watching Rachel Ray.  We were waiting for the Chew to come one.  It was going to be the Iron Granny's cooking competition.  This "grandpa" grabs the remote and tries to turn the channel.  He says  "does anyone know how to use this remote?"  No one says anything...then what do I hear??!!  Anna says "ya we do, but we aren't going to help you because we like this channel and want to watch the next show."  I couldn't believe it...everyone laughs and the "grandpa" puts down the remote and says "Ok, you win."   

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Aunt Grace Luetschwager - Inspirational Wife and Mother

Al had an aunt that was married to his dad's brother, John.  Her name was Grace.  She has passed on several years ago now.  She left her family far too early - well, only the Lord knows the number of our days.  In the days she was here - she sure made an impact on those around her.   I don't even know is she knew how much I admired her.

She worked at the Wausau Hospital as a surgical nurse for many years.  There hardly is an appointment that we go to where people ask us if we are related to Grace.  With a last name like Luetschwager - probably.

Yesterday, was one such appointment.  Anna had to have a test and procedure done.  The anesthesiologist and nurse both asked us about Grace.  We shared our memories of her.  Every time someone talks about Grace - they only say good of her.  What a great mother, wife, how she was the glue that held her family together, hard worker...on and on...all true by the way.  I think of her almost every cold night when I pull up the comforter she gave us for our wedding.  She made it from her own sheep's fleece - well the batting was.  I still love it!  If there would have been blogging when she was alive she would have had some great ideas and advice to share with fellow homesteaders.  She was a tiny, feisty red head that could hold her own in a barn, surgery room, on a tractor or cutting up a deer.  She was a blessing in her community and at her church and to her family.  

I was thinking about all of this when Anna was having her test.  When they called me back to the recovery area I said to the nurse, "what a testimony Grace has left."  "That after all of these years, you would still speak so highly of her."  "You know, that is how we all should live - making an impact - daily - so that when we have passed on, others will say such nice things about us."  She said, "you know, you are so right."  

So, here's to you Grace and to your memories that are held near and dear to those you touched.  Know that you are still making an impact on me as I draw inspiration from what other's say of you and strive to be a better person.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Motivation Monday - "Canoe" Try Something New?

We bought a canoe!  With the beautiful weekend, we took it out on Norrie Lake and the Eau Claire River Flowage near the Schofield Dam.   Al and I had so much fun!  Talk about peaceful.  Here are some pictures.  

For Motivation Monday - start a new hobby.  I know we will enjoy the canoe trips, time together, exercise and nature.  Don't be afraid to try something new.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.