Saturday, June 29, 2013

Funny iPhone Story

Yesterday I posted about our iPhone not understanding our accent.  It reminded me of this story.  My husband always uses the microphone feature to text.  Well, one day on my way into town to go grocery shopping, I received a funny looking text from him.  It said  "a box of Jesus please".  What??  It was quickly replaced with "a box of Cheez-It please".  (those crackers).

Some days I not only need a box of Jesus, but a case of Him as well. 

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.


Friday, June 28, 2013

A Wisconsinite Accent?

I've never lived anywhere but here - Wisconsin.  However, I've been told we have an accent...really?  I know my brother-in-law from Mississippi has an accent and talks R E A L  S L O W.  I've also been told that we talk fast.  I don't know about that either - my brother-in-law sure is a "fast talker.." if you know what I mean.  Now, this is all in fun....

Since I've switched over to an iPhone, I've noticed that Siri doesn't understand me.  The microphone feature for texting doesn't understand me either.  It's not just me, but my whole family.  We decided that maybe Siri doesn't speak "Wisconsin" - do any of you have this problem.   I've had to repeat myself at times 5 or 6 times.  This is frustrating but funny.  I've laughed at some of the things "she" thinks I've said or asked. 

(google image)

So, maybe we do say things a little different up here...Blessings from Ringle, WI.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Farm to School Summit - La Crosse, Wisconsin

I spent yesterday in La Crosse, WI, attending a Farm to School Summit.  Justine attended as the intern for the Partnership for Progressive Agriculture here in Marathon County.  I attended because it sounded interesting.  I have always been interested in gardening and the possibility of starting a community garden.  We had a great time learning and touring 2 school gardens in the area.  The concept of a school garden offers so many learning opportunities for students.  One benefit is that they are able to eat their own produce in the cafeteria.  I love that. 

My favorite quote of the day:  "dream big - start small."  I don't know if what I learned will be applied to a community garden or to my garden here that I share with students.  Whatever way this leads me, I was inspired by the efforts of those involved in this program.  Thanks.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Why do we have to define ourselves as part of a race?  Aren't we all human...??  I know I've seen people I've questioned...but, we all are a part of the human race. 

I don't know why this is offending me lately, but I don't fit into one of the standard boxes or acronyms you check.  I first noticed it when I donated blood.  There actually was another person donating too - only this person "looked Native."  I said, "did you notice there isn't a Native American box to check"  He said "Yes, I did."  There was an Alaskan Native box, are they the only Native Americans?  I was left to check White.  I have no idea what he did. 

Then at the DMV yesterday, I had to renew my driver's license and fill out a form.  There was an empty box for "race" to fill in.  I put "mixed."  When I went to the counter she said "what is this?"  I said "well, I'm 1/4 Native American and 3/4 Heinz 57."  She said "well, you look white to me - put W down."  This actually hurt my feelings - really.  As I looked around the room - many different types and colors of people, I had all I could do but point my finger at them and say "well, what letter did you tell them to put down?" 

This has been my plight my whole life.  I don't identify with a race.  As I left the DMV all I could think about was what race will some of my little great nieces and nephews put down?  How will they ever identify with a box?  It really makes me sad to think that they are going to have to explain...."well, I'm a this or a that" their whole life to conform to a "box" set up by our government! 

You know, this idea of race is set up by the government.  When my great grandpa was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to find a reservation for the Potawatomi people to settle in - the government made those living on this reservation sign up on the "tribal roll."  The problem with a tribal roll is that even if you are 100% Native, you have to identify with a tribe.  So, your mom maybe Oneida and your dad Potawatomi - you are on one roll or the other as 1/2 of the tribe you choose.  The problem is this person is 100% Native.  Do you want to know why this is???? The government wanted to wipe out the Native Nations by making them do this.  So one would be identified as 100% of any tribe.  And people wonder why I don't trust our government? 

So, I've decided the next time I have to fill out a form with a race box - I'm putting HUMAN or H.   Let's see what they say then.  By the way, I feel this is an infringement of my constitutional rights - we are American no matter the size, orientation or color!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  


Monday, June 24, 2013

Motivation Monday - Facing Anxiety

Motivation Monday - Facing Anxiety

In a previous Motivation Monday - Push Yourself post I told you about how I sold at auction.  You can read here:

Today's motivation is to face your anxiety.  Being anxious about something is a part of our human nature.  Everyone has experienced it.  However, when something becomes so strong that it "takes over" your thoughts or even manifests itself physically - this is anxiety.  

The first time I noticed that something was happening, believe it or not, was at auctioneering school.  The students were to conduct our first live auction.  While waiting in my hotel room during lunch, I started to have some physical effects from my nerves.  I knew anxiety issues existed within our family so I called my sister and told here what was going on.  She said to me...."you are having an anxiety attack."  She told me about some deep breathing exercises that did seem to help.   Once we got to the auction and I saw that some of the other students were just as bad at this as I was, I relaxed and actually enjoyed my turn selling.  

Each person probably has their own triggers - I have come to recognize things that happen before and during one of my anxiety issues and it helps me realize what is going on.  I'm not one to take medicine for things like this, however, I will not judge someone if they do.  I've recently researched what I believe my issues stem from and how I can work through it.   

First, I'm a praying person, so therefore, I do pray about getting myself through these issues.  Second, I have researched and educated myself about anxiety and that I'm not the only person to feel this way.  Third, I am learning to make myself face the anxiety.  

So, I put myself out there and have been helping sell and work auctions.  I had an awesome opportunity to work out some "bugs" in my selling this past weekend.   There were many people in the audience that I knew, which was rather hard for me.   My anxiety issues partly have to do with acceptance and opinion of others - if I was bad at selling....what would they think?  I started to physically get some of the signs...but, then I started praying and taking deep breaths.  When Arnie called my name I just jumped up on the wagon and did it.  

By the end of the day, I was becoming comfortable with selling and actually having a good time.  It all takes practice, I'm just glad I have an opportunity to work out not only the "bugs" in my calling....but, my anxiety as well.   My husband, Alan, has been just a blessing to me at these auctions.  It relaxes me to see his smiling face.  He has encouraged me after my turn and gave me the kick I needed to get up again.  My family has been so encouraging.  I am really blessed!

So, if you have anxiety issues - you are not alone.  Educate yourself, pray for guidance and face your fears.  Making yourself face it - will be painful and hard to do - however, what you gain from it is so rewarding!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Concert in the Clouds - Stellanovas, Rib Mountain State Park

Rib Mountain State Park offers a summer series called Concert in the Clouds.  The performances are in the open amphitheater.  This weekend we heard the Stellanovas from Madison, WI.  Their style was a jazzy blues mix.  They were very good.  My favorite from them was "ain't nobody here but us chickens" for obvious reasons (I love my chickens).

June is Dairy Month here in Wisconsin.  At the June performance each year, the Marathon County Farm Bureau donates free ice cream cones.  This year Taylor Woller, Fairest of the Fair (one of my 4-Hrs) and Justine (our daughter) were the hostesses.  They each did a presentation promoting themselves, the upcoming fair and Partnership for Progressive Agriculture (PPA) ag adventure tent.  


She writes some of their original music and has a beautiful voice!  They will be back in Wausau in September for Art in the Park if you would like to see them again.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

The Chicken Chick

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Marker Tattoos

I was visiting my mom and my great nephew and nieces were there too.  With it being summer vacation and their working helping take care of grandma....the days get long.  The girls love to fix my hair - I love to let them!  We came up with the idea to give each other marker tattoos.  So these are the tattoos they gave me. washes off.  Besides, it was fun and a nice memory.  How many adults let kids draw on them?  More should - enjoy the time you have with little ones, they grow up too fast!  

I like the face on the knee...

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"It's Like a Treasure Chest"....Really???

My friend is creating a display for the National Jr. Angus show.  She was looking for some rustic items for the backdrop.  "Do you have any old barn doors?"  Hmm...I don't think so...."wait...I might know where one is..."  We found several - I forgot I had those...she took 3.  "Do you have any old barn windows?"  Hmm..."yep, I know where some are...." 

She says to me "this is like a treasure chest."  Now, I wouldn't let just anybody in my pole building.  You would have to understand my hoarding problem and not judge me to enter.  

We found some cute items for her display.  I found some cute items I forgot I had.  Treasure chest indeed!  I just hope there is enough treasure in that chest to pay for the food at our daughter's wedding!  

I have to sell A LOT of stuff this Summer and never knows what I am willing to part, keep checking my booths and flea markets.  I'm very reasonable as I mark my items to SELL them...

Here is my show calendar:

July 12 - 13:  Flea Market @ Grand Repeats in Wausau
July 19-20:  "Living Estate Sale" Schofield
August 22-25:  Edgar Steam Engine Show
September 6-7:  Flea Market @ Grand Repeats in Wausau
October 12:  Ringle Harvest Day 

I always fill my booth at Once & Again Consignment shop:  and Grand Repeats:

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday's Tips - Week 1 - Autcions

Tuesday's Tips - Week 1 - Auctions

I LOVE auctions!  I first started to attend auctions in my late teens/early twenties - before I was married.  Mostly, out of necessity - items for our home.  I soon became addicted and introduced my sisters to this auction world.  I'm sure many an auctioneer should be thanking me for that!  We are good bidders and buyers.  

I have worked an auction from the ground up - literally.  I started by cleaning out and boxing up the house, being a runner, ring man, clerk and auctioneer.   There is no better way to learn ANY type of a job than working all the aspects of it.  With over 25 years of auction experience....I thought I would share some tips with you.

1.  Don't be afraid of auctions.  No one is going to make you buy something if you accidentally wave your hand and it is mistaken for a bid.  

2.  Arrive at least 30 minutes before an auction begins.  This allows you time to check over the items and look for chips, cracks and such.

3.  Register and get a bidder number whether you think you will use it or not.  You might be surprised by the prices or see something hidden in a box and want to bid.  If you don't have a number, you might not be able to bid.

4.  Have some smaller bills in your pocket.  Someone might be high bidder on a box you want, but not want the item you wanted.  Don't be afraid to approach that person and ask them if they would like to sell it.  This happens at every auction.  

5.  Don't be indecisive.  I'm not naturally, but I've seen many bidders regret not bidding higher for an item.  If you want it, set a price in your head and go for it.  

6.  Be an educated bidder.  Look at the auctioneers website.  This gives you an opportunity to see the item on line before you attend.  If you like something, look it up and see what it is worth or at least get an idea of value.

7.  If you happen to buy several items, put them in a pile close to you and watch it.  Unfortunately, I have had items missing from my pile and you are still responsible for purchasing them.  If you have a helper, have them run it to your car.

8.  Keep track of what you bought.  Everyone makes mistakes and you don't want to be charged for an item you buy.

9.  When you bid, keep track of who is bidding and what the next price is.  Most auctioneers are good at not "running" your bid, but it does happen.  Be alert and watch what is going on.   Don't be afraid to speak up - "hey, who has the bid and do you have me in at this price?"  The auctioneer will not be upset with your doing this.  I've done it PLENTY!  Also, if you want to bid - speak up if the auctioneer can't see your card or hear you - you might miss out on an item you want.

10.  Have fun.  Auctions are fun!  I've made many friends at auctions over the years.  Such nice memories - worth more than any treasure I have ever purchased at auction!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Holland's Family Cheese, LLC - 2013 U.S. Champion Farmstead Gouda

Penterman Farm - Holland's Family Cheese, LLC, Thorp, WI

We recently discovered that this small cheese factory in Thorp, WI, has the best Gouda cheese in the nation!  We had to take a road trip to buy some.

Rolf Penterman and his brother emigrated here from Holland.  They own and operate a huge dairy farm on the premise of the factory.   Marieke Penterman, Rolf's wife, is from Holland too.  She is the award winning cheese maker - in fact, she is the first woman to receive the Grand Master Cheesemaker title at the Wisconsin State Fair in 2008.  

Their Gouda cheeses have won many awards; most recently, the 2013 U.S. Champion Farmstead Gouda (6-9 mos.).  

I didn't know that Gouda was a town in Holland.  That is where the cheese originated.  Like Colby cheese - originated in Colby, WI.  Marieka traveled back to the Netherlands to master the traditional methods of cheese making.  Their cheeses combine fresh cow's milk and spices from the Netherlands to make products that are authentically Dutch yet made in Central Wisconsin.  

Their store featured speciality items from Holland:  candies, cookies, spices and mixes.  A really cute little shop!  Thorp, Wisconsin is very small!  This dairy is in a rural area - seeing the cows that provide the milk for these cheeses was an added bonus.  

We saw a sign that said Gouda with an arrow.  When I signed the guest book - I was shocked by the places people had traveled from.  The customer before us was from France.  I guess if you are a cheese connoisseur, tasting the best cheeses from around the nation and world, you would have to come to Thorp, Wisconsin.   

Neither Al nor I had ever tasted Gouda cheese - we LOVE it!  They have samples of their different flavors to try before you buy.   The girl in the shop was so cute and friendly.  She took us back to see the aging room.  

We will definately go back!  Best of luck to Marieke and staff as they are making plans to move the dairy and factory "closer to town" and the highway.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.
The Chicken Chick

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dads to Girls - Happy Father's Day Alan

The other night, Justine and I were watching something when Al announced he was going to go to bed.  He came over and kissed me goodnight and then kissed Justine on her cheek.  Something he has ALWAYS done to each of our girls - their whole life.  I thought about this...he has kissed his girls good night, every night they were here.  

O.K. "so?" you might say.  However, girls NEED to know they are loved by their dads too.   He shows them he loves them in many ways:  hooking up the trailer to load horses, making and designing over 25 rabbit hutches over the years, wrestling with hogs to load for the fair, driving to numerous sheep events, filling bike tires, putting worms on hooks, carrying 3 backpacks on a hiking camping trip, taking Anna hunting (letting her shoot the buck), finding good used cars, checking air and oil, changing oil, starting up cars in Winter, scraping off iced windshields, cheering at sports, plays, 4-H shows AND kissing them goodnight.

Happy Father's Day Alan.  Thanks for being such a good dad and an example of what a husband should look like.  The "boys" have big shoes to fill - when all of this lies on them.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Snake Video - My OCD with Instagram

I recently got an IPhone.  I didn't think I would like it or be able to use it - I'm definitely technologically challenged!  However, I LOVE it!  I especially like the instagram app.  My girls have made fun of me, "Mom, are you going to put that on instagram.  If you are a regular follower, you know I tend to get OCD with things.  I thought they were just teasing me, however, after today, I think they are right.  

I had Jacky's Craft Camp at my farm this week for my 4-Hrs.  The kids found a snake.  I picked it up.  I took a board and held down his body and then picked him up behind his head.  I didn't know snakes "pissed" on you - boy did it stink!  Cross between male rabbit pee and skunk.  I gave Ethan my phone to take a picture of me catching and holding the snake for my instagram.  Little did I know he was taking a video (he is a trickster).  If you are offended by the word "pissed" don't watch it.  I said piss because I was so surprised the snake did that (I really don't even remember saying it).  It is funny, especially when you hear me say...."did you get a picture for my instagram?"  I guess, I didn't care if I had stinky on long as I had a picture to post.  

I hope I didn't offend you with the "he pissed on me."  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Rural Wisconsin Ride

It was a rainy morning, so we decided to go for a ride to look at a haybine.  We were in western Marathon County.  This is Cherokee County Park.  I've never been here before, it looks like a good spot to drop in the canoe.  There were some Mennonite boys down by the shore - cute little guys.  I asked them if they had been fishing - they were shy at first - then said "no."  We have many Amish and Mennonite in Marathon and Clark Counties.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Tiny Baby Snapping Turtle

Last night, while walking the horses back to the barn, we almost stepped on this little guy.  Probably the cutest turtle I have ever seen.  I took his picture and then walked him down to the bridge.  We put him in a nice sandy spot on the grassy shore.  Probably saved him at least a day's travel on those tiny paws.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.