Sunday, December 31, 2017

"Embrace" the New Year

My word of the year for 2017 was Embrace.  Going into "it" - I did understand that I would use embrace for both good and bad.  I truthfully, didn't know how much I would need to embrace the bad.  I did go through my year of reflection in posts (photos here:  As I looked over them again, I am proud of myself for how I did embrace "it" all!  

So out with the old and in with the new.  I have been collecting words, writing them down and putting them in a bag.  These were words I heard in a sermon, something a friend said, or I read and wrote down.  I will draw one later today and let "fate" pick my word of the year for 2018.  

Do you use a theme or word of the year?  I have for the past 3 years:  2015 "Steadfast," 2016 "Nifty," 2017 "Embrace"

It just gives me something to ponder on, a focal point...what about this experience did I find..."your word"...or how can I "your word."  I like it!

My great-niece is in on this too this year, she picked a fun word.  If you decide to pick a word of the year, please comment or message me what it is.  I would like to know.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Photos - Year In Review

Year in review in photos:

January:  Snowman kits for 4-H

February:  Valentine scones

March:  Easter egg tree

April:  Repurposed bed

June:  Rhubarb

July:  Cookie of the Week

August:  Wisconsin Valley Fair - Alter Bridge

September:  Booth at fall events

October:  Our trip to LasVegas/Grand Canyon

November:   Bread baking

December:   Merry "Thriftmas"

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Alternative Gym Class - Mr. Schlamer

When I was in high school, many, many years ago, we had an alternative gym class, for the athletically challenged.  LOL  I took that as my required gym to graduate.  Mr. Schlamer was our teacher.  It was fun for the most part, archery, golfing, swimming and then he added running....I hated it!  

Our high school has the district bus barn at the end of the parking lot.  Mr. Schlamer had the class run from the high school, to the adjoining park and back.  Well, I wasn't going to do that!  So, as we ran past the bus barn, I stopped at a bus and pushed the door open and hid on the step.  I peeked to watch the others running to the park and back.  My friend, Fran, was so shocked that I did this!  I can still hear her say..."Jacky, no!"  But, I hate to, once the rest of the class reached the buses, I jumped out at the end and ran back to school - hahaha...I fooled them!  

Well, that worked so well, that it wasn't the end of my shenanigans.  At one of the next classes, Mr. Schlamer told the class to run around the school like 10 times or something - well, I knew I wasn't going to do that either!  So, after 1 lap I ran into the school and hid in the lunch room where they had a common area study hall.  I sat down and counted how many times the others ran around.  They were on their last lap and I felt this tap on my was Mr. Schlamer!  He escorted me outside and then told the whole class what happened and made us all run even more, boy were they mad at me!    

I've thought about and laughed about this for years.  Well, yesterday, I was in Goodwill and guess who I saw, Mr. Schlamer.  He was his friendly self, talking with all the customers, he even said "Hi" to me.  I smiled, returned the "hi" and walked down the next row.  Then, I went back and said..."do you remember every student?"  He said..."well, no, but I do remember you!"  I'm sure he didn't really, but I proceeded to regale him and his wife with these stories.  His wife was laughing and said "great stories" - he said..."do you want to know something, I do remember that!  I didn't know you were hiding, until another teacher came outside and told me."  All these years, I was wondering how he figured out what I was doing!  He didn't know about the bus story and said "that was a good idea!"  He told he me that he retired 17 years ago and is now living in Florida.  He was up visiting for the holidays.  I did share with him how blessed I am now and that I still don't like to run!  I was happy to see him and share this story.  I wanted to share it with you too.    

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Barn Remodel - Step 1

One of the best features of our farm is our little old dairy barn.  When we purchased this place in 1994, the previous owners had already removed the water drinking cups and stanchions, it was just an open space.  As the years progressed and our list of farm pets increased we added on 3 stalls.  We knew one day that we would have to put some money into this old barn to make it last another 50 years.   

We were able to save this part of the barn wall that had the initials of the original barn builder - the Netzinger family were dairy farmers here for many, many years.  

2017 was the year as the barn walls were getting very crumbly.  We were lucky to find a very reputable contracting company that understands the value of these old barns and have the knowledge to preserve them.  S.D. Ellenbecker from Athens, Wisconsin.  

When the men came to work they started by cutting off the barn was pretty scary!  The plan was to remove the old foundation and floor so that we could have a new floor and poured wall.  Oh, it was scary to see the temporary jacks and supports.  I couldn't believe it, how is that old barn still standing!?!  

As soon as this west side wall was done, they were able to move their way around the south side - we did have our hay put away already for the year, so the top was full.  I was a bit concerned to see the barn without any walls.  

I really wanted to keep the traditional barn sash style windows, Mr. Ellenbecker knew that I was sad to hear we had to put in glass block.  So, he found me some old ones.   These came from an old barn in Marshfield that couldn't be saved.  I love that he found me old glass blocks and it's my favorite part!

We were lucky to be the "last" barn this guy worked on.  Knowing his work ethic - I doubt it will be the last....however, he was retiring, November 1.  Mr. Hoffman - thank you for your expertise in fixing and bringing life back to this old barn!

Now our old barn is straight, study and structurally sound.  The next step will hopefully come in 2018 - new roof and fresh paint.  20 years ago, Al and I would have done this, but not need to pick your projects like you pick your battles.  Some aren't worth the risk or effort.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Linked to:

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017 Top 5 Posts from Dicky Bird's Nest

I saw other bloggers doing this, so I thought I would too.  As 2017 comes to an end, I would like to reflect on my top 5 posts.  

5th place:  Top 3 Cheeses in United States 2017

Congratulations to these wonderful cheese makers.

4th Place:  Day 33 Without Water - A Series of Unfortunate Events:

Yes, we made it - 33 days without running water.  We now have a much well....our water is great!

3rd Place:  What I'm Working On This Week - March 1-8  The server in this picture was probably one of the nicest pieces I finished this year.  

2nd Place:  2016 Was Good to Me  I did have a great year in 2016.  I had some wonderful trips and blog successes.  

And the post with the most views in 2017 is:

1st Place:  October - My Favorite Time of Year  

This post was way over the other 4 in views, as it was shared on the Ringle Harvest Day facebook page.  That page and the post for the event was shared in combined social media sites to some really high numbers of views (Ringle has a population of 1,711 - it was like 25 times that!).  It was so exciting to watch the numbers go up each day!  Thank you to the wonderful customers, vendors, friends and community that did their part in sharing it on their pages.  We had a record year!

Thank you for following along.  I hope to have some interesting things to share with you in 2018.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.