Friday, May 22, 2015

I'm Going to Peru!

Fellow bloggers and friends, this will be my last post for a few weeks.  I am going to Cusco, Peru.  My daughter and I are going to work with: 


We will be volunteering for a week.  We are extending our visit to Peru to see Machu Picchu and an Amazon Excursion.

If I am able, I will try to post pictures on my instagram and facebook pages.  You can follow along if you want.  



Or, under my header is all the connections too.

Please pray for us.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

It's Chick Time!

It's chick time!

These 2 are helping each other - sharing the chicks

I love it when the chicks hop on the hen's backs!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Manure Pile

Manure is something every herdsman or woman has to deal with.  We do have a rather huge manure pile.  I have a 3 year rotational plan for all our manure and compost.  I dump in one pile for the whole year and the next I move down.   After the pile is 3 years old, I then add it to my garden.  

With help from my chickens (scratching it around), worms (working and breaking it down) and the weather...I have some beautiful dirt!  

Working worms....

Some fleece from the market lambs....

Look at the rich dark dirt!

This is what I add to my raised beds and garden.  No, none of this stinks - well, not to me anyway.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  


Fly Predators

What's a fly predator?  That was my question to my friend, Renee, several years ago.  We saw the results at her farm and ordered our supply the following year.

"Fly predators are beneficial insects and the natural enemy of flies.  These insects never bother humans or animals, but feed on fly larvae to interrupt the breeding cycle of flies.  Sprinkle on manure areas monthly to control fly populations.  Up to 94% reduction in pest flies have been reported."

We are on a schedule to receive these packets late spring till early fall.  If you live in a different climate you might receive a monthly pack.  They come in the mail, you wait for the cocoons that house the larva to start hatching and then you spread it around your manure areas.  You can see a few of the tiny predators at the top of the bag.  These little predators are among the world's most beneficial insects.  All I know is that they WORK - we really have NO flies by our house and barn.  

We spread them and then cover them lightly with the manure.  If we don't, the chickens, who love scratching around the manure pile, eat them.  Tasty tiny treats.  

We have had people come out and say "where are all the flies?"  If you are plagued with flies - give these a try!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thought for the Day - Quotes from DickyBird

O.K....sometimes, I think I come up with some pretty good quotes...while not always "correct" for now a days thinking, I sure can make myself laugh.

Ever notice how when two animals fight, no matter the species, they push at each other; like two bucks, butting heads.  I was thinking, life is like that sometimes.  In order to face any obstacle or trial, we need to fight, maybe even butt heads with something or someone.  Lord knows, I've been faced with things I needed to fight with and for; we all have.  The next time you need to, think on this little quote from me: 

"The more people push against you, the harder you should try."

Push back, strengthen those muscles, build up your faith, encourage those around you - no matter what they say about you - be strong in spirit and this will help you get through. 

While each trial offers a lesson, I've learned to just turn it over to Jesus right away.  I want to have the right attitude while I fight on.  Continue fighting on my friends and thanks for all the support!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chris Rock - "Supposed to Do"

I like Chris Rock.  His comedic style, while full of the F word, reflects an honesty in his experiences of his world.  I respect people who can express "their" truth - no matter how offensive - in such an honest way.  I may not always want to hear it - but, I appreciate honesty.  I also can choose NOT to be offended.

On more than one occasion, I have heard, "do you just say everything you are thinking?"  Or, "yikes, tell me how you really feel."  I try not to do this, but sometimes I just can't help it.  I also have been on the receiving end of this and because I dish it - I can take it.  So if you offend easily...stop reading this post.

You are still reading...OK, here goes:

Chris does a sketch where he talks about people wanting to get credit for things any other person would normally do:  (proudly) "I take care of my kids!"....well, that's what you're supposed to do!  It is this statement..."that's what you're supposed to do..." that I find myself quoting lately. 

I know to some, I might be old, old fashioned and outdated...but, I wonder when did our world change?  My dad worked long hours, in all kinds of weather, outside to provide for his family.  Most dads in our neighborhood did.  My mom took care of her 6 kids, washed and hung all laundry on a line, cooked, canned, sewed and mended our clothes.  Most moms in our neighborhood did.  This is what they were "supposed to do."  I would add, I never heard either my dad or mom complain - they just did it.  

Thank the Lord there wasn't face book back then...could you image the status posts - they would put us all to shame!

"Cleared the back 40, tractor had flat tire, milked 50 cows and cleaned the barn by hand....or, up at 4 am, baked 4 loaves of bread, breakfast for 8, washed 3 loads, hung on line to dry, ironed a basket of shirts"...all before lunch.  Now these would be status' worth sharing!  

It irritates me beyond measure to not only read these posts, but hear people talk about the things they do - the things that they are "supposed to do" as if they should get an award, metal or recognition.  Really?

Where did this come from?  People wanting accolade's for things normal people just do.  Social media, while I do use it, can create a false impression of self worth.  To me, it is sad to read these post - what is lacking in this person's life that they feel the need to post such things?  

I see it in other areas as well.  You can be a part of a team, not show up for practices, come on game day and expect to play.  Not only play, but when you fail - instead of taking responsibility for not putting in the time and effort of practice - you blame the coach, other team or teammates.  Attending practices and working hard is what "you're supposed to do."

I had someone give me a suggestion about how to get kids to listen.  "We could reward them for being good..."  I said no, we are not doing that - kids are "supposed to sit still and listen."  Reward them for doing what they are "supposed to do?"  How is that helping them?  

It just all seems backwards to me.  When I was little, if my mom had to say something to me more than 2 times, I was in trouble.  If I was being a brat, she didn't make excuses for my behavior - she disciplined me - after all, by behavior was a reflection on her.  Even to this day, I can't stand to do something I think will make my mom look bad.  Respecting my elders, sitting still and speak when spoken to, was what I was "supposed to do."  

When I was little, if you came in last place at a track and field event, you received a last place, not a participation ribbon.  I sucked at all sports and knew it - because, I was always picked LAST.  Did I feel bad, yes, did it make me stronger, yes.  This "everyone deserves to play" attitude is not helpful to children.  Not only in sports, but with other kids as well.  It is better for them to learn, if I want to be better at a sport or have kids want to play with me, I need to put some effort in it.  Do you think Aaron Rodgers became the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers because he deserved to play?  No - it was hard work on his part!  Working hard at something, whatever it is ... is what "you're supposed to do."   

I really hesitated writing this, because I'm sure someone will read something into this and get offended.   I recently had to write a "sassy frass" letter to my 4-H families.  When I passed out the letter, I stated my sassy frass wasn't meant to offend them, but help them.  These families know me well enough that they laughed.  I hope those reading this post can do the same...after all, loving people for how they are is what we "are supposed to do."  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Justine's MSW Graduation at UW Oshkosh

Saturday, our daughter, Justine graduated with her master's degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  She just graduated with her BA last May from University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.  Because of her taking accredited classes at UWSP, she was accepted to and able to complete her master's degree at UWO in just over a year.  All of the students need to complete their internships and write their final analysis papers and presentation yet but, they were able to "walk" at this ceremony.  She will still have lots of work ahead of her this summer.  We couldn't be more proud.  
These are her words:  Master of Social Work, Justine Cleveland 
🎓 I'm thankful for God's many blessings today! Thank you to everyone who made this journey possible for me! Thank you Josh for your comfort and encouragement, thank you Mom and Dad for raising me in a home that values service and hard work, thank you to my grandma for caring support, thank you to Naomi for giving me a place to stay in Appleton, thank you to my professors and colleagues and the list goes on!

This picture shows the master's "hood"

If you remember, this was their "honeymoon" newlywed year.  Josh is such a supportive husband!  

Grandma Luetschwager, wasn't able to attend the ceremony, but we met at Chet & Emil's restrauant Sunday after church for lunch.  Grandpa and grandma made a financial investment in the future of their grandchildren - this is a reflection of that!  Grandpa has passed on - but, I'm sure smiling down on this...

I told her that the sacrifices the two of them made, the investment in their grandchildren isn't done....that, Justine will take the knowledge she gained, the compassion she has and invest that in some child in need somewhere.  Hopefully, because of that difference, that child will turn around and do the same.   We may never fully know the "return on"  such an investment!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fishing Fun

I had so much fun yesterday fishing with 2 boys from our church.   We went to 3 lakes in our area - we had success at Mission and Pike Lakes.  The boys are quite the fishermen.  Ethan found a "sweet spot" where the Bluegills were biting as fast as they were casting out.  Some were too small and we threw back - but, fishing is fun when you actually catch something.  

It was refreshing to see the camaraderie between them.  When Ethan found the spot, Mason cast his line out there too...Mason caught one...Ethan says "good job Mason!"  I don't know about you - but, not too many fishermen are happy when someone sneaks in their hole and catches fish.  The 2 never argued, complained or whined.  Mason, was snagged up a few times, he says in a very calm, sweet voice, "hey, Dickybird, can you help me?"  I did get wet when the line was snagged on a log and I had to jump in to my hips and unsnag it.  Surprisingly the water wasn't too cold.

We only had one injury - it was to me - on a hard cast, I was snagged in the surprised me and I screamed...I though Mason was going to jump off the dock....I scared him.  We all laughed and laughed!  We could hardly stop fishing, but they had little league practice.  On the drive home, Ethan says..."we should do this once a month."  I think they like me!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Understanding and Loving People

I hand an enlightening experience yesterday.  Something that could have been viewed as a "curse" turned into a blessing.  All because I was able to love through understanding this person's plight.  I won't lie, the initial call set me back emotionally to 1970 something, thinking about childhood memories.

My mom, was selfless, she loved us and put our needs before her own to the best of her abilities.  One thing that she wasn't able to do, was follow through with supporting her children at school events.  I called some of my other siblings yesterday and asked "did mom and dad come to your concerts?"  My brother Frank was in the high school musicals and dramas - I never saw any of these (he is 9 years older and I couldn't drive myself) - neither did my parents.  Not because they didn't love Frank/us or take pride in our abilities - they just "couldn't do it."  

As a child, I didn't understand this and it made me sad not to see my "family" in the bleachers.  Because I was the youngest,  all of my siblings were married and gone too and mom and dad probably went to more of my concerts and functions.

Now as an adult, I understand my mom suffered from social anxiety.  I can love her and understand her.  This is liberating - loving with understanding - not only that, but if you are wise in doing this, you can show compassion on others.  

I would encourage each of you, the next time you may be faced with a disappointment or challenge from a loved one...think about them, their situation, what they are going through - love them anyway with understanding and show compassion.  After all, we all will reap what we sow.  I was thinking, I sure hope the next time I disappoint someone, they will still love me and show some compassion.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

UW Extension - Madison Trip

I was invited by the UW Extension to go down to Madison and meet with state senators and representatives from our district.  Every county in Wisconsin, had delegates representing their UW Extension's collaborative programs.  Our UW system, funds portions of our extension office; this includes county agents in Ag., 4-H, Family Living, Dairy, Nutrition, Natural Resources and support staff.  

State budget cuts to the UW system will effect the opportunities, support and education that these departments offer statewide to all residents in our communities, schools and 4-H.  I understand a budget and trying to live within one, however the proposed cut would be a rather deep one to the collaborative programs offered by UW system.  

Our daughters are enrolled in UW colleges and spent 2 years at our UW Marathon County Campus.   The opportunity to live at home, save money and receive quality education, was crucial in their academic success.  

Several counties shared a bus down, stopping at different sites along the highway.  Once we arrived, we attended a very interesting seminar on "how a bill becomes a law."  The speaker is currently the Mayor of Viroqua, WI.  He also shared tips on how to talk with politicians and get our message across in a direct, respectful manner.  

After we had lunch, each county had their appointments to visit with their state senators and representatives.  

Here we are with Representative David Heaton.  I feel we all did a good job expressing our passion for the programs we have benefited from in our UW Extension office.  I believe that the hundreds of staff and volunteers that flooded the capitol building that day, spoke volumes to that fact.  

I did hear a "snip it" yesterday that the proposed cuts to the UW System, will more than likely be reduced - I would like to think "we" had something to do with that.  Even if we didn't, I still would like to think that my voice in little Ringle, WI - my views are "heard."  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

BYOT (bring your own table) Vintage - Pop Up Sale

Bring your own table vintage pop up here at my farm.  I have been working outside cleaning, setting up and creating booths.  I will have 8 friends set up with me.  We will have a wide variety of items for sale.  Here are a few pictures of some items I staged for the organic advertising I've been doing for all my social media sites.  

The sale is tonight, Wednesday, May 6th.  I will have an early bird table at 5:30 p.m. - if there are over a dozen people or so, we will open at that time as well.  I plan to do another post about the other vendors too.  If you want to follow along go over to: and like it.  Thanks. 

Blessings from Ringle, WI.  

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