Friday, January 30, 2015

Needle Felting Classes at "The Hobby Farm"

Since my studio/shop is all cleaned out and I can turn on the heater, I am hosting some needle felting classes.  My marketing pitch is: learn a new hobby at "The Hobby Farm."  My class tonight is full.  Should be fun.

"Do you wanna build a snowman?"  Make Olaf or a traditional one.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Friday Flash Sale

This "old hen" is trying something new.  Well, new to me...  It's a "Friday Flash" sale.  I plan to post a picture of an item or items that I want to sell on my various social media sites on any given Friday.  The item will have the price listed and the first person to message me SOLD buys it.  Shipping will be available - if possible - for actual costs.  If you want to follow along, go over and LIKE my facebook pages:

"It'a all a Rave - Vintage "Pop Up" Sales:

Town Hall Trinkets, LLC:

My Instagram account is:  Dickybirdsnest

So, I know sometimes followers say "I wish I could buy that" now you can, just follow along.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hodge Podge Questions - Volume 206

1. When did someone last suggest you 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell someone (or want to tell someone) to 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell yourself to 'chill out'?

This past Saturday, to one of my 4-H kids - running around

2. What most recently caused your heart to melt? 

A dream I had about my old dog that died

3.  "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton  

Your thoughts? When did you last experience either an adventure or an inconvenience? How did you see it at first, as an adventure or an inconvenience?  Does it feel the same in hindsight?

A cross-country ski adventure where I fell on the blacktop.  I thought it would be an adventure turned into an inconvenience because my tailbone hurts 3 days later.

4.  A Wendy's Frosty, root beer in a frosty mug, or a frosted chocolate cupcake...of these three, which one is your favorite 'frosty' treat?

A root beer in a frosty mug

5. Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony? Explain why.

I would say symphony.  We have become empty nesters and have been making some sweet "music" - (smile)

6. Since it's a 'snow day' here, what's your favorite song containing the word 'white'?

White Christmas

7. If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find the hardest to leave behind?

Peace and quiet (rural/farm life)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have been seeing lots of hawks lately.  One even landed on our bird feeder.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Linked to:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shaker Toast - Hearland Table Recipe

Have you watched Heartland Table on Food Network?  It is one of my favorites - could be because I live in WI and she is a MN gal.  Anyone promoting midwest food - real food - where it comes from - I'm watching!

It is part of my Sunday a.m. routine as I get ready for church and Sunday school.  Yesterday she featured Wisconsin - yey!  She made something called Shaker toast.  Honestly, I've never heard of this - such a great idea.  

What you do is put is put in a pad of butter in a pan, melt along with a few tablespoons of real maple syrup.  Mine was from my sister Lori's farm in Eland, WI.  Let this bubble up and put in some bread.  Flip the bread around till completely covered with syrup.  Turn the heat down, let bread soak up and crisp up.  So chewy and good!  Like a carmel roll.  I made mine with Weight Watcher friendly amounts of butter and syrup and a lite bread - was just the sweet treat I needed this morning.  Thanks Amy for sharing this simple yet delicious recipe!

Here are her links:  

Heartland Table:



Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Friday, January 23, 2015

A View of my Week

Working on repurposing and inventory......

.....these items will be in one of my booths soon....or at my next show - AR Promotions -

Wausau, Wisconsin on February 14 & 15.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A "Word" for the New Year

A younger friend of mine, who has been the inspiration of some of my recent ventures, had a really good idea.  It is very simple and I like it.  Instead of making a New Year's Resolution she decided to make a "word" for the year.  Her's happens to be BRAVE.  She is facing many new adventures and changes in her life this year - the word reminds her to be brave.

Let's face it, most of us around this time in January, have probably already broken our resolution.  That's why picking out a word to challenge yourself with is so good.

In reflection of my 2014 - with all of my changes, challenges and growth - I've decided to "stay the course" for 2015.  I was thinking of my word and my daughter suggested STEADFAST:  firm in purpose, resolution, faith.  

That is a perfect word for how I feel.  

How about it, want to pick a word for 2015?  Leave a comment of your resolution word.

Please check out my friend's social media outlets:  her etsy:  her blog:

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cookie of the Week 21 - Banana Bread Cookies

Banana Bread Cookies:

1 stick of soft butter
1 C sugar
Cream together, add

2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C mashed ripe bananas
Blend together, add

1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3 C flour
Blend all together, add

1 C mini chocolate chips

Using a tablespoon, drop cookies on a lined pan.  Bake 350 for 12 -15 minutes.  The batter will be wet - don't worry, it will bake up soft and chewy.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Homemade Croutons and Tomato Soup

I had some leftover cornbread and 1/3 loaf of white bread sitting on my counter, normally I just feed this to the chickens.  However, I was craving some crusty croutons.  Here is how I made them:

Dice/cube the bread.

Make a dry season mix.  You can actually put any spices you like.  I chose these - 1/2 tsp. - 1 tsp. each.  

Put bread cubes on lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on the spice mix.  Bake at 250 till toasty.  Stir around every 15 minutes.  I turned oven off and let the croutons sit in the oven till lunch.

Store in a zip lock bag.  

I put these on a salad for lunch one day....

I was hungry for tomato soup and made mine from scratch.  Here is how I made it:

Saute, 1 small chopped onion, 2 cloves diced garlic,  2 diced carrots and the heart of the celery chopped in 2 T butter.  

Once veggies are soft, add 3-4 heaping tablespoons of flour.  Stir up all the "crud" on the bottom and mix with flour.  Add 1 quart of tomatoes and 1 C water (could use veggie or chicken stock).  S & P to taste.

Let come to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Run your hand blender through all of it and that is it.  

I added the croutons to the top of the soup along with a drizzle of olive oil.  

Really good - if I do say so myself!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Motivational Monday - Are You Just "Making It" Through?

So, last week, here in good ol' Wiscosnin it was brutal.  We had tempatures in the -20's with windchills -30's to -40's.  Many schools and activities were closed a couple of days

We hobby farm and have several animals to care for.  It is my least favorite time of year for that reason.  I love snow and the beauty of Winter, it's the bitter cold I could do without.

On one such day last week, Al and I came in from doing outside chores and we both said...."if we can just 'make it' till Saturday..."  Not for us, but for the animals.  

This simple statement brought about a whole discussion about "just making it" through...whatever situation you are in.  

"I don't like my child's teacher...if I can just 'make it' through this grade."  

"I hate this class, the professor is rude...if I can just 'make it' through this semester."

"My child throws temper tantrums....if I can just 'make it' through the terrible two's."

"I have this huge project at work...if I can just 'make it' through this week."

The examples are endless, depending on your life's situation.  
Al said to me..."I don't just want to 'make it' through, I want to just live."  That single statement had me thinking all week.

Are we just "making it" through or are we really living?  Do other's feel this way?  

I've come to the personal conclusion that some of the challenges of - just "making it" through - are created by me.

For example:  I would have to worry about my animals in the cold, if I didn't choose to have them.  I wouldn't have a full schedule of events to "make it" through, if I chose not to be so involved.  I wouldn't have the task of searching for or creating inventory for my booths and just "making it" through till the next month, if I wasn't self-employed.  

Then, it hit me...yep, I wouldn't have to just "make it" through anything, if I didn't challenge myself.  

Don't get me wrong, not every challenge you need to just "make it" through, is created by you.  Life is challenging, that is the "living" part.  

Today for our motivation, let's look at each situation we are in, the ones we are trying to just "make it" through and remind ourselves - WHY...we chose we enjoy it enough to just "make it" through...HOW can we change our attitude and WHAT am I learning or benefiting from.  

I want to remind myself each day, that it is because of my wanting to challenge myself and live....the way I do....that I need to ENJOY "making it" through - or my life will pass me by and I won't be living it to the fullest! 

Let's challenge ourselves to not just "make it" rather, just "live" it and embrase each situation and stage of life.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

Linked to:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas In The Country - Gift Exchange

This is the first time I have ever participated in a blog hop gift exchange.  It was so much fun!  Thank you to the (link: blogs that hosted this.  

My gift came from Jess Tracey from Ohio from "Clutivated With Love."  This is the link to her blog:  

She teaches Agriculture Education at a rural high school.  She really looked into my likes and sent me some awesome gifts.  I truly, love them all!

I received natural soap and lip balm from one of her "neighbors"; very nice knitted scarf (love the buttons); pair of gloves and some raw fiber (for needle felting) from her inlaws alpacas; some yummy treats, this really neat poo paper (recycled paper made from cow poop - no doesn't smell...) and a chicken sign she made for me - I love it, it's hanging in my kitchen.  


This was so much fun.  Thanks again Jess. 
Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin

Thursday, January 1, 2015

An Amazing Dream

New Year's Eve 2014, I was flipping channels, trying to stay awake till midnight.  I was partially watching Ghost (Patrick Swayze at his best) - I fell asleep....however, I had an amazing dream!  I woke from it - at 12:40 something - overwhelmed, changed and inspired.  What a New Year's blessing!  This will be a long post - but, please read on - there is a great message.

Many of you know I'm a very spiritual person.  Not, just in a religion (organization) or religious (experience) way - rather something that makes me who I am.  Maybe it is my genetics, maybe my upbringing or even my life experiences - I don't know - or even how to explain it - it is just what makes me, me.  

I have always been a dreamer, as in actual bedtime dreams.  Colorful, vivid, crazy dreams.   As a child some of those were bad dreams even nightmares.  Most of which involved a spiritual realm - like my fighting with an evil spirit or something evil.  I have theories as to why I had these dreams - I've experienced the spiritual realm, believe in it and have seen with my own eyes the proof.  Now don't think I'm crazy - each and everyone of us, if we are being honest have had a hair standing on your arm experience at some point in your life.  These just happen to intensify in my dreams.  As I grew older and worked out my "issues" during awake time, I had less of the bad ones.  

My father-in-law had MS.  When he passed on, I had a dream.  He was driving this old Model T (he had one) up our driveway with his mom and dad (granny and grandpa Luetschwager) with him.  I was sitting at our kitchen table looking out the window at them as they drove in the driveway, waved and said "everything is O.K."  and drove around the horseshoe driveway down the road.  Our farm is only a few miles from their homestead farm and his childhood home, they were headed that way.  When I woke, I knew I had to tell my mother-in-law.  I said "Ed visited me last night..."  and I believe he did....and I told her my dream.  Years later, she still reminds me of this and always says what a comfort that dream was/is to her.

This is just one example - I have many.  The first time I realized that I had this "gift" I was about 13.  I had a very strange dream I couldn't understand and I thought about it for days.  It had to do with gardening.  The next Sunday in church, our pastor, we called him Brother Rogers, preached a message about a dream he had - it was very similar to mine.  After the service I went up to him and told him my dream.  Now, I was young, but he didn't dismiss me like I was a child, rather he was wise enough to say..."the Lord gives us these gifts."  I believed him.

I could type about many of these such dreams - like how the night before our neighbor died - I saw him walking to his church - St. Therese - like he did every Saturday evening for as long as I could remember.  When I woke up, my mom told me he had passed on.  I told her my dream about him - and why would I dream of him - she also didn't dismiss this dream she encouraged it and told me "well, I bet he was walking to church."  

So, I tell you all of this to tell you mom visited me last night with an awesome, sweet message!  I am so comforted by this that I wanted to share it with my followers and family (I will post on face book).   

We tried our best to take care of our mom.  She had a stroke and was in a wheelchair.  She took such good care of all 6 of us that we felt we owed it to her to let her stay in her home.  It was in all honesty very stressful.  I feel guilty now, because at times I wasn't always the most patient with her.  Over the past year, since her passing, I have had several dreams about her.  Many of them I have woke crying about something I felt I fell short of in her care or my response to her disability.  

Well, last night, in this dream, I was pushing my mom in her wheel chair.  I was thinking, about her and the responsibility that came with her care.  I will admit, it was selfish thinking - like, now we have to go back to taking care of her.  (I must be an awful daughter - I told you earlier how I feel guilty, this carries over in dreams).  It seemed I was pushing her down this hall way.  I remember thinking she had nothing, no food, no blanket, no bed - nothing and she was hungry.  As we passed people, they were people we knew, they said "well, is that Christal? I remember a time when I was hungry and she fed me, please take this piece of bread"  and my mom took it, as we continued down the hall, each person we passed said..."is that Christal, well I remember a time when I didn't have a place to stay and she let me stay at her house, please take this blanket"  I turned to my mom, my eyes full of tears and said..."Mom you helped all of these people and now they are helping you..."  I turned to the next person who said "Christal believed and lived this scripture - 
  1. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
  2. At this point, I turned and looked at my mom, grabbed her face and kissed her.  As she held out her hand to me, it looked like the scene in Ghost where it was filled with light and her hand was sparkly as I grabbed it - I felt her - I turned and my dad was standing behind the wheel chair and then they disappeared and I woke up.  
  3. What an amazing dream.  I feel she is releasing me from my guilt and yet again teaching me a lesson.  One that will encourage each decision I make this next year.  I don't want to focus on temporal things, rather eternal things.  Thanks Mom, for coming to me in my sleep - I Love You.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.