Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Estate Sale of Karen Sporer

Estately Yours, Central Wisconsin 

Estate Sale of Karen Sporer, 914 Quaw Street, Wausau, WI
April 1 - 9-5 and April 2 - 9-4.  

Linked to Craigslist:

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This is a very clean estate sale.  Beautiful jewelry some gold, diamond and gem stones.  Karen has a rather large cat collection too.  Calico Kittens by Enesco - so cute!  Signed, limited edition cat pictures by Sue B. Rupp - adorable.


Lots of holiday decor - for every holiday.  Printers, 8000 BTU home air conditioners, radios, purses, shoes, clothes, antique bedroom set, trunk, over 70 head vases, kitchen items, gadgets galore and so much more.  

If you happen to be out and about, stop in at the sale and say Hi to "country Jacky", "city Jackie" and Lisa.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The "Gift" That Is Already "Giving"

Remember my post about the ladies in our church purchasing 5 goats for a widow's center in Africa?  You can read about it here:

What is exciting about this venture is that because of the personal connection with the group in Africa and a member of our church, we receive many updates.

Well, we found out that one of the nanny goats delivered 2 babies.  The brown one is a male and the black and white a female.  She must have been bred when they bought her back in mid January.  The group of ladies said "this is wonderful!"

It truly is!  I pray they stay healthy and help to grow their herd, so the ladies can generate an income.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, March 28, 2016


It has been 20 years this month since I left my 9-5 job.  I have enjoyed every day the Lord blessed me with, while being able to be a "stay at home" mom.  It was during this time that I began to "bank" on my own talents and credentials.  

I am self-employed and have re-invented myself a half dozen times in the past 15 years.  I feel I've metamorphosed into each phase of these re-inventions with a new insight and experience that has built my business and brand.  

Many family and friends don't understand this...really...I don't know what they think I do all day...especially now that I am an empty nester.  

Why is it, that people still say to me..."oh, well, you don't work..."  Really...I work my butt off!  It just happened again this past weekend.  I didn't even comment, I just sat there.  

I sat down this morning and figured out the hours I put into my "business" last week.  I'm over 40 hours working on 2 estates for sales this month and I'm over 20 hours on networking, social media, advertising, blogging and writing the curriculum for my class at the UW Extension office.  

I'm not bragging here - as I actually HATE it when people state how busy they are....we all are busy....  I am writing this rather I guess to somehow reflect and justify my self-employment.  

If you know someone who is self-employed - please do not tell them that "they don't 'work' or have a 'real' job."  Most times, we can't leave our 9-5 and go home for the day...we live at our 9-5's.  Also, because we can make or break ourselves, our minds are always at "work."  I see inspiration and ideas everywhere - I'm always thinking on "what to do next."  

O.K. I'm done now, thanks for listening....

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

HELP WANTED Blogging Friends

I was asked to teach a class for a fund raiser the HCE (Home & Community Education) group that is a part of the UW Extension System.  If you live near by, here is the link, you still have time to sign up:

My class is called:  "Is it Trash or Treasure, What to Keep, What to Sell and What to Donate."  

In addition to providing personal property appraisals (I have a certificate from Continental School of Auctioneering) I am going to give some tips on estate cleaning.  I often times hear, "what do I do with all of this stuff mom/dad left me with?"  Many of us don't want to leave a "mess" for our kids so this class is designed to give some direction.  

So here is my HELP WANTED from you, my followers.  Would you take a moment to answer these 3 questions?

1.  What do you collect?
2.  What is something you just can't throw away?
3.  Where do you donate your unwanted items?

Thank you friends.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Week 28 Cookie - Polish Spritz

Polish Spritz Cookies/ ciasteczka z maszynki
  • 1 ½  sticks softened butter
  • ½  cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1  teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ¾  cups all-purpose flour
  • ½  teaspoon baking powder
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl or stand mixer, thoroughly cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix until well combined. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Gradually add flour to butter, mixing until a smooth dough results. DO NOT CHILL.
  2. Following your manufacturer's instructions, place dough into cookie press and dispense onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with sugars or jimmies before baking, or decorate after baking.

  3. Bake about 10 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven, wait 1 minute and then remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate.
Makes about 4 dozen Serving Size two cookies

This is the recipe for the cookies we made this past weekend at the Girl Scout's "What's Cooking" event.  I had 3 wonderful helpers, that actually were a huge help!  These 3 knew how to work and had great ideas to share.  What a joy for me to work with them.  

The "What's Cooking" event had four rotations.  In our rotation, we were to discuss oven safety in addition to how to read a recipe.  We had over 80 some was, the morning flew!

Honestly, after the first round...Anna came in to check on us...we had only like 5 minutes left and no cookies were in the oven yet....I said..."Anna...I can't do this..."  She piped up..."Oh yes you can..."  She took charge as she is so equipped to do.  It was after that first round, my 3 helpers came up with some time saving ideas.  I couldn't believe it - after 20 some years of working with kids - they taught me a few things.  By the last round, we had extra time.  

Anna is doing an excellent job in this position.  All of her years up to this has lead her to a job just like this.  Thanks 4-H for helping Anna prepare for a career in Girl Scouts.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, March 21, 2016

"Too Little, Too Late"

"Too little, too late" - was a comment someone left in reaction to the blog post Jerry Bader wrote about his personal experience of his adult child's transgender decision.  

This is the Passion week - Good Friday and Easter.  This "too little, too late" statement had me thinking about salvation.  I'm so happy that God doesn't look at our lives and say "too little, too late."  

He didn't say "too little, to late" to the thief who hung on the cross next to him.  Rather, He said, "today, you will be with me in paradise."  Wow, what a savior.

Why is it when someone has a change of heart, a conversion, a repentant spirit for an action or deed - "we" decided if it is "too little, too late?"  Often times, human nature rules and we judge each other harshly.  

God doesn't do that.  In fact, David, who was known as "a man after God's own heart", who struggled himself with sin wrote this: Psalm 103: 12 "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."  

I'm so thankful for His grace toward me and my actions.  You know, to Him it is never "too little, too late."   

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

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My Post Was Read on Air

I wrote a blog post on Tolerance you can read it here:

The "local" radio host I was speaking of was Jerry Bader.  He hosts a talk show out of Green Bay that is broadcast statewide.  I was so moved by his story that I wrote that post.

I was disappointed in some of the reaction he received so I decided to send him an email with a link to that post.  I did this to encourage him - for that reason and no other.  I about fell over Friday morning when I heard him say he wanted to share a blog post from a listener. 

He started:  "and this is from Dicky Bird's Nest"...I ran over, turned the radio phone was Al from work..."are you listening?"  I was in shock - he read the whole post and gave comments as he read.  He sent me a complimentary email too.  Link here:
Click on link to - Guest Blog.

I know, there are many reasons why we blog.  Mine is and I always state, "I write this blog for me."  However, it is nice, to hear that my words have been uplifting and encouraging.  Even shared on Wisconsin talk radio.  Thanks for reading.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Five Fun Facts Friday - Girl Scouts

Our daughter, Anna, is a Program Specialist at Chinook Program Center for Girl Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin.  She asked me to come down and volunteer to help run a program.  I will be teaching around 90 girls how to make ciasteczka z maszynski - Polish spritz cookies.  I still have to figure out how to say it.

So, I thought it would be fun to share some fun facts about Girl Scouts today.

1.  The founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, Juliette Gordon Low, was born on October 31, 1860.  Her hometown was Savannah, Georgia.    

2.  The first 18 girl members were officially registered on March 12, 1912 in Savannah.

3.  There are a total of 3.2 million Girl Scouts across the nation, 890,000 adult members who work primarily as volunteers.  The organization is also a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, with more than 10 million adults and girls in 145 countries.  

4.  The sales of Girl Scout cookies began in the 1930s.

5.  In 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described Girls Scouts as "a force for desegregation."  

The Girl Scout Promise is:  "On my honor, I will try, to serve God and my country, to help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout Law."  

I am looking forward to this event and volunteering with such an awesome organization - this from a 4-H leader.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Thursday, March 17, 2016


Tolerance:   The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.  Willingness to accept feelings, habits or beliefs that are different from your own.  

This word, the action of it, I feel would fit well in Galatians 5:22-25 "The Fruit of the Spirit"

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:  against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

Al and I were talking last night about tolerance.  This word is used a lot - but the actions of it - not so much. 

Boy, do we live in a world where the Fruit of the Spirit is rarely displayed in our leadership, in our elected officials, on college campus, at high school sporting events, dance recitals, neighborhood meetings, community committee events, town hall meetings, churches...and sad to our homes.  We all can think of several examples where people choose not to be tolerant - need I even mention Facebook?!?  Social media is the worst example of this - people are so willing to post their opinions - I wonder if these same opinions would be shared if they had to stand and speak them?

My little rant today is:  if more people actually acted tolerant instead of preaching tolerance, we would be in a much better place.  The media doesn't help when they try to define groups of people and put them in a "box" - well, if they are this...then they must think this...excuse me, I think for myself.  To coin a pharse from Dirty Dancing..."no one puts Baby in a corner" - and no one will define me, but me and my actions.  The same is true for you.  

I was taken a back yesterday, when a local radio host read his blog post about his daughter.  He is politically conservative and last year when Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner, he made some pretty harsh judgments about the situation.  Little did he know, that his daughter who was working as an intern in his studio considered herself as transgender.  She was in the process of changing and now lives as a man. This radio host, said he now cringes at the thought of the comments he made about Bruce/Caitlyn and wishes he could take them back.  He also, was very honest in telling us how he and his wife responded to this..."we love you no matter what and always will."  I was actually crying while he read this...his voice was broken.  The point of his telling us this was that because of his conservative view points, people "box" him into a group of being intolerant.  He did admit, before this experience, he spoke intolerance of transgender people.  Now, he would fight for his son and his rights to be who he feels he is.  He did state that his political choice of "how" to do this differs from his son's points of view - but, he respects him.   People can change their opinions you know.  

This had Al and I talking about all the protests at different political events.  Where is the tolerance?  Even Donald Trump, with his many arrogant statements - no matter how crazy they sound - he still has the constitutional right to freedom of speech.  I just find it funny that the protesters at these events want "Donald" to be more tolerant, but they themselves are not being tolerant to him.  In my opinion, Hilary has alot of explaining to do too.  I am not happy with either choice.   

As this tumultuous political year continues, keep in mind that tolerance and intolerance are shared by all parties.  It is my intention to be different - tolerant to my friend's opinions - I hope you think on this and can do the same.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Old Things....

Do you use your antiques?  I do - this is a cranberry smoothie I staged for a photo shoot in one of my small milk bottles.  This size bottle was what a student received at school for "milk break" - do they still do this?  Is this a Wisconsin thing?  

In the background is my Texas Ware spatter bowls. They are  stacked 2 and 3 high on the back of my counter.  Perfect for storing onions, potatoes, fruit and such.    

My whole house is full of antiques that we actually use.  If you have something old, enjoy it, don't be afraid to use it.  These things were meant to be used and most often made strong or sturdy enough to be used for generations.  

What kind of old things do you use?  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Five Fun Facts Friday - Daylight Saving Time

Five Fun Facts Friday - Daylight Saving Time

1.  If a woman gives birth to twins around the midnight hour, due to daylight saving time, it is possible for the birth certificate to place the younger twin to be born before the older and or vice versa.  This one takes a minute to process...think about it.  

2.  Crime rates go down during months of daylight saving possibly due to the fact that many types of crimes are committed in the dark.

3.  The candy industry lobbied to have daylight saving time extended past Halloween as most children quit trick-or-treating once it gets dark.  So, the extra daylight would extend the possibility of more candy purchases for more trick-or-treaters.

4.  In September 1999, the West Bank was on Daylight Saving Time while Israel had just switched back to standard time.  West Bank terrorists prepared time bombs and smuggled them to their Israeli counterparts, who misunderstood the time on the bombs.  As the bombs were being planted, they exploded one hour too early, killing three terrorists instead of the intended victims.  Two busloads of people were spared.  

5.  Most people say - daylight savings time - actually we are only saving 1 hour so it is singular...correct way to say it is daylight saving time.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Demonstration Night - 4-H

One life skill you should teach your children is public speaking.  The ability to express yourself, your opinions in a clear concise way, is one of the building blocks to success in life.  We all know how important it is to give a good interview.  Working on this skill should start at a young age.   

So, I thought it would be fun to have a "demonstrations" night for our 4-H meeting.  I will admit, I was pleasantly surprised with the response from the club.  We had 11 youth give demonstrations, that is almost one-third of our club.  I would add that the average age of the participants was 8.  I invited, Megan, our county's 4-H Program Adviser to attend.  She shared some ideas from her 4-H career in demonstrations, where she competed at state level.     

We watched: how to make brownies, how to care for a pet rabbit, showmanship skills in rabbits and beef, how to play checkers, how to make an ice cream sunday, how to tie your shoes, how to recycle a can into a candle holder, how to dribble a soccer ball, how to hool a hoop and how to whistle.  I was so impressed with them!  I had a small prize for each too.   

For our Cloverbuds meeting (K - 2nd grade), I brought a grocery bag filled with different items from my house.  I had each reach in without looking and pick an item.  We went around the table, each describing the item and what you would do with it.  They really liked this.  We went around 2 times.  I have one little boy, who picked out a tooth brush (unopened) and when it was his turn he said "I ain't doin it..."  I said "oh come on... you can do it."  With a smile on his round little face, "nope, I don't want to."  I said that is o.k. you don't have to...he said, "you could nail me to a board and I still wouldn't do it..."  Oh, boy do I love a challenge.  This little monkey and I are going to get along real good.  I "get" him.  I've been laughing about this all week.  

Anna called me yesterday and I told her all this (she was our 4-H president for years) and she said "Mom, I'm impressed with those kids doing demonstrations, good job Popplewood!"  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Gift of 5 Goats

We have a member in our church, Roy, who was instrumental in developing and building a non-profit organization that helps widows, women and children in Africa.  This organization was a grass roots venture in humanitarian aide that began in our rural area as a vision or ministry that was shared by others.  This is a multi denominational group.  They have been serving African families for something like 20 plus years.  

The objective of this organization is not to give hand outs, rather create jobs for these women so they can sustain themselves.  They have been very successful in doing so.   

Roy was getting ready for a trip to Africa and it had me thinking,  what could I/we do to help.  I knew that this organization bought rabbits for these women to raise and sell for meat, so I knew that herdsmanship was a possibility. 

Goats, goats came to mind.  I wanted to share something, my rural passion with these women.  I wasn't the only one as other ladies in our church agreed.  Most of us have raised a goat or 2.  Goats are such easy keepers and almost self-sufficient.  Chevon - goat meat - is the most consumed protein world wide.  So, we decided to take up a donation to buy some.

I am happy to report that we were able to help them purchase 5 goats.  These 5 goats have so many possibilities for these women; milking, cheese making, stud service, crafting from their hair or skins and food.  A circle of sustainability, a gift from our rural women to them.  God is good!

Here are the pictures Roy shared with us as they purchase the goats from the market.  

It doesn't matter what continent you are on....goats are goats...and hard to load in a van.  Trust me I've tried it too!

At their new home ...

I've been praying that these goats are able to survive (no predators get them) and that they are productive.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Five Fun Facts Friday - Chickens

I love my chickens.  I know I will need to do other 5 fun facts posts about this incredible species.

1.  Chickens love to play.  I've seen this in chicks.  In hens and, wait that's not playing...

2.  Chickens can mourn for each other.  I could see this as they usually stick together in groups.  Usually several hens to a rooster.  I have several different groups - their family unit.

3.  Chickens have a great memory.  And they can distinguish between over 100 different faces of people and animals.  I know my chickens know me.  They also love my voice, especially when I sing to them.  They get super quiet and turn their heads to listen...this is true!

4.  Chickens actually dream when they sleep.  I hope this is true and mine all have good dreams.

5.  Chickens have full color vision.  I know they can find the ripe things in my garden, like tomatoes - I think they like red - they leave the green ones alone.  


Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March is National Craft Month

Over the past 25 or so years, I've been asked these questions.  Are you a crafter or artist?  Do you do craft shows or art shows?  I use to feel like lessor of an artist when I said "I'm a crafter."  

This insecurity and need to define myself came out of an experience I had selling at a gallery.  The other artists saw my work and me as a "crafter."  In their world...they feel the need to distinguish the difference.  Most of them had degrees in some kind of art, so I can see their desire to point out the difference in us, I guess.  The gallery owner didn't do fact, she has defended me and my style all the way back to our high school art classes.  We had an art teacher, who believe it or not...laughed at a painting I was doing....laughed at my trees.  Oh did this ruffle my friend's feathers...she challenged the teacher and other students chimed in.  The teacher apologized to me.  My friend, Chris, is now an art teacher.  

So thinking about March as National Craft Month.  I decided to look up the actual definitions of each word.  

Crafter:  An activity that involves making something in a skillful way by using your hands.  A job or activity that requires special skill.  A person whose occupation requires skill with the hands.  

Artist:  A person who creates art; a person who is skilled at drawing or painting.  A skilled performer.  A person who is very good at something.  A person with a high level of knowledge or skill in a field.

Hmmm...I guess I would say, I'm an artistic crafter.   Here are a few pictures of things I create.

I'll end with LOVE as I sure do love to create things with my hands.   

Whatever it is you enjoy creating...get busy and do some crafting in March.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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