Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dear Abby's Keepers - "Comes the Dawn"

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

More from Dear Abby's Keepers.

Comes the Dawn 
by:  Joy Whitman

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and sharing a life
and you learn that love doesn't mean possession
and company doesn't mean security
and loneliness is universal

And you learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes open
with the grace of a woman
not the grief of a child

And you learn to build your hope on today
as the future has a way of falling apart in mid-flight
because tomorrow's ground can be too uncertain for plans
yet, each step taken in a new direction creates a path
toward the promise of a brighter dawn

And you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and nourish your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers

And you learn that love, true love
always has joys and sorrows
seems ever present, yet is never quite the same
becoming more than love and less than love
so difficult to define

And you learn that through it all
you really can endure
that you really are strong
that you do have value
and you learn and grow
with every goodbye
you learn

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Great Grandpa and Grandma Ritchie

My dad's family has a wonderful history, we can go back several generations.   Growing up, I've heard so many stories about the plight and fight of my Native American side.  

Our tribe, the Potawatomi, were originally from Indiana.  They were forced off their land and relocated to Kansas.  My relatives were the renegade band that fled to the UP of Michigan - more specifically, Mackinac Island.  They were there for many years and forced off the island too.  My great grandpa's parents moved to Canada.  He lived there for several years and was hired to be an "Indian" Interpreter for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  It was during that time that he was hired by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs to find land for a reservation for the original Potawatomi that fled to Canada to return to the United States.  It was his job to organize the relocation.  He decided on a beautiful area of Forest County, Wisconsin - Stone Lake.  That is where he moved his family and where my dad was born and raised.  This was and is our tribe's reservation to this date.  

I always thought I looked more like my mom's side of the family.  However, when I saw this picture of my great grandma Ritchie, her cute round smiling face - I thought of my round face.  I want to make an apron like the one she is wearing.  The first picture is one of her and another tribal member.  

 Here she is in non- traditional clothes.

This is my great grandpa Ritchie - working on a canoe.  I'm proud of my native heritage.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

No Sew Flannel Pumpkin

Our 4-H kids will be selling these little pumpkins at the Popplewood 4-H 19th Annual Ringle Harvest Day, October 10, 2015.  

I had to come up with a simple project that the kids could make.  First you start with an old flannel shirt.

Cut off the sleeves - don't throw the rest of the shirt away, you can save that for another project - like the back to a pillow.

Cut the cuff off the sleeve and then cut the sleeve in half.  Turn inside out.  Cut 7 pieces of jute that measure twice as long as the cut part of sleeve.  Put the jute inside the sleeve.  Pinch the end of sleeve around the ends of jute and tie tight with a smaller piece of jute.

Turn right side out and stuff with fiber fill.

Pinch the top together to cover the fiber fill and tie closed with a small piece of jute.  Then, spread out the 7 long strings around the bottom of the pumpkin and pull them to the top.  Wrap another small piece of jute around the top and tie.  Pull the ends tight to make the sections of the pumpkin.

Take the ends of the 7 pieces of jute and wrap around the longer piece of sleeve.  I wrapped 3 one way and 4 the other so that I could tie it tight.  This makes the stem.  Then cut off the end of the sleeve so that it is even with the end of stem.

That's it.  You can trim the ends of the jute or leave to look like vines.  Really simple and I think really cute!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Monday, September 28, 2015

"You Can Understand Him?!?"

I've been thinking about this little story today.  The other night at church, I opened the door to leave, when I saw Jakub put something up on the window ledge.  I looked and it was a toad.  I said "oh, let's not put him up there..." and as I picked up the toad, he croaked a few times.  I said "oh, listen, he's talking to me..."  Jakub looked at me with his big eyes and said "you can understand him?!?"  Before I could even answer, he said "what did he say?"  I said "he told me to tell that little boy to stop putting me on the ledge."  Jakub said "oh, no he didn't..." and ran off laughing.  I put the toad in the grass and drove home laughing.  Isn't it funny how little kids think - I wanted to post this along with my Motivational Monday - Recreate Your Childlike Perspective.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Motivational Monday - Recreate Your Childlike Perspective

My nephew, Josh, talked at church yesterday; as he spoke, I was inspired to do this blog post.    

Think back to when you were a kid....O.K. for some of us, I know it will be harder...but, try to remember back to the things that made you excited as a kid.  

"Wow, look at those snowflakes!"
"Yes, that was the brightest firework!"
"Those are the prettiest flowers (actually weeds)!"
"Look at that beautiful horse!"
"Watch...the light goes on, then off...isn't that neat!"
"Yay, that rummage has a free box!"

and the one my nephew prepared his message about:

"Oh, the moon is so cool!"

These are just a few examples of things I was interested in as a kid. 

Looking at snowflakes "are you sure no 2 are the same?" - loving them melting on my hand as I inspected their individual beauty.  Now, when I see snow I'm like - "NO! not more snow!

Laying on a blanket on the grass watching fireworks - clapping for each one..."yes, that was the brightest one yet!"  Now that our kids are grown, we avoid going anywhere near fireworks - "if you've seen one, you've seen them all!"  

Picking dandelions, goldenrod and queen ann's lace for your mom's bouquet "Thank you, those are so pretty!"  Now, I yank them out of my garden - "Yuk, more weeds!"

"Oh, please can I have a horse" I would often beg.  I was horse crazy.  Now that we own them...."are you kidding me...I just cleaned that stall, you have 5 acres to poop in...and you have to do it here?!?"

"Watch, you can turn it, turn it off....(lights, lamp, flashlight, refrigerator...pick one...).  "Stop turning the lights off and're wasting electricity!"  

Me hanging out the car window..."yay, that rummage has a free box!"  I would run and dig through all the junk and pick something out for FREE.  Oh, the joy...."O.K. never mind, that one still makes me happy!"

And the one Josh used was the moon.  Remember looking at the moon and thinking how cool it was!  I remember everyone huddled around our old black and white T.V. watching the astronauts walking on the moon!   It was the coolest thing ever!  I even had "moon boots."  As we grow older, we take the moon for granted - it always comes out at night.  

Last night was the blood, super moon lunar eclipse.  I will admit, I might not have appreciated this lunar event had Josh not preached about it.  It was such a beautiful night last night that Al and I actually laid a blanket on the ground and looked at the moon through his scopes; I was once again in awe of it's beauty.  

(this was one of Josh's pictures from last night)

I guess that is the message in this post.  Let's try to recreate a childlike perspective in our daily tasks.  I plan to, before I yank them out, inspect the next weed and appreciate it for it's beauty.  I want to remember this post when we receive our first snow fall - take the time to inspect and appreciate the creative individual flake - before I complain.  I want to remember to look at each thing I may have learned to dread or take for granted with a new appreciation to a childlike perspective.  I hope you can do the same.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Stoney Acres Farm - Farm to Table Pizza

Stoney Acres Farm is located in Athens, Wisconsin.  You can read about their history here:

They host a farm to table pizza night every Friday - while veggies are in season.  Everything for the pizza is grown at their farm with the exception of the cheese.  No problem for us in the dairy state - I'm sure its possible that a neighbor or farm not too far down the road supplied the milk for the cheese.  

We have wanted to go out there for quite sometime.  We picked a gorgeous night; Fall is here and the colors are starting to make their appearance here in north central Wisconsin. 

The farm is located near an Amish and Mennonite community.  As we drove down their road, we passed several 3 horse hitch wagons full of corn stalks.  The farmer and son waved as we slowly passed.  I wanted to take a picture, but that would be disrespectful to their believes.  The farm one up from Stoney Acres had the cutest Amish girls outside with a sign that said "Desserts for Sale"  - we should have stopped before, as it was dark when we left and they weren't outside selling.  So, if you go...stop and support them too.  

We were amazed at the pigs.  We have raised plenty of pigs - all were escape artists....I couldn't believe that their boar was content inside his pen with only 1 low line of wire.  All of our hogs were just naughty I guess.  They had some little ones free ranging around the barn - oh, they were so cute!

Once you order your pizza, you can walk around the farm.  Many people had blankets spread out on the grass.  Kids were playing on the round bales, in the sandbox - very family friendly experience.   Of course, you could purchase produce too.  I bought some beets and turnips, mine didn't do good this year.  

The pizza is cooked in a stone oven, or ovens as the 2 were fired up and it was one pizza after another for hours...they were very busy.  

If you go, here are a few tips:  bring your own chair, blanket or something to sit on, they have tables, but it is busy and you might not find one; bring your own drinks, they only offer water; if you go late in the year like us, you might want to bring a lantern - you could eat in the inside room that had lights, but it was too nice of a night to do that.  

I found this young couple to be very friendly, opening up their farm for strangers - I also appreciate their work ethic - I follow them on face book and they are always working!  

So, on to the pizza - it was awesome!

Al ordered the pepperoni - no suprise if you know him!

I ordered the 5 veggie - 

Both were very good!  I loved the crust - mine was just the right amount of hold up all those veggies...

Thank you Stoney Acres Farm for the fun night.  I wish you the best of luck.  Hard work - does pay off!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Cookie Week 22 - Oatmeal Chips A Plenty

Oatmeal Chips A Plenty Cookies

1 C soft butter
1 1/2 C dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla - mix well


1 1/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

Mix well.


3 C oatmeal


1/2 C chopped walnuts
1/2 C mini chocolate chips
1/2 C mini cinnamon chips
1/2 C mini peanut butter chips 

Bake 325 for 12-15 minutes

This is another one of my original recipes.  Basically a chocolate chip cookie dough with oatmeal.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.