Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Unwanted Comments On Your Blog - HACKING

Most of us have been blogging for long enough to have some unwanted comments on our posts.  It took me a while to figure out where they were coming from.  What I noticed is if a blog lays dormant for too long somehow they get picked up or hacked.  I started to get "order my oils...or, if you need help with your..." you know the type of comments.  They are almost always on old posts.  I started to get them last week.  This time I noticed an old blog I followed started "posting" again.  It wasn't the blogger, rather this hacker who was re-posting old content....that is the clue.  Anyway, this is why you need to go through your list of blogs you follow and delete the ones that are no longer current - it's for your blog's own good...sad, but otherwise you get these unwanted comments.  I deleted several last week....and the suspicious old blog.  Just a tip from my bogging experience.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Monday, November 27, 2017

Motivational Monday - What Do You See?

"I've learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different."  
author unknown

"Do not blame the thistle that you see not beauty"
Jonathan Lockwood Huie

"You can't fall if you don't climb, but there is no joy in living your whole life on the ground."  
author unknown

"Everything wasn't meant to be chased.  Certain things were made to be admired from afar."  
author unknown

Motivational Monday time, had my thinking about perspective.  I know....read that already...but, perspective; your view of things, changes in each stage of life you are in.

Let's use a diaper in this analogy:  "Ugh, I have to change another diaper!  Oh, I use to change your diaper.  You mean I need to wear a diaper?!"  Ya....like that....stages in life.

We could also use what's in the diaper...(wink, wink), because sometimes life hands us that too!  

"It's not the shit you handle, but how you handle the shit."
Jacky Luetschwager - me, Dicky Bird

Sorry if the word shit offends you, it is what it is....and crap wasn't going to cut it today.  Besides, it's only a word....

So, I ask you to challenge your perspective: 

Do you see the flower or the thorn?  
Do you see the climb or the view?
Do you see the race or the chase?

Have a great week!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Butternut Squash, Light Whole Wheat, Honey Bread

I rarely attempt to make bread - it intimidates me.  The science and math in creating a perfect loaf - it seems too hard.  However, today I thought - I'm doing it!  Baking is also something I enjoy, it's my therapy.  

We had the sweetest, smallest butternut squash this year.  I made whipped butternut squash for Thanksgiving.  I had some left overs so here goes:

Butternut Squash, Light Whole Wheat, Honey Bread

2 packs of dry yeast
1/2 C warm water - 110-115 degrees  
dissolve yeast in water and let stand 5 minutes

1 1/4 C mashed, cooked butternut squash
1 C warm milk - 110-115 degrees 
2 beaten eggs 
1/3 C melted butter
1/3 C honey - I also made some with Molasses 
1 t salt
mix all together with dough hook, add the yeast and then

3 C whole wheat flour
4-5 C all purpose flour
when the dough begins to pull away from the bowl on the hook, it is ready - will be sticky

Knead several times, place in a large greased bowl and roll around so the top of dough is greased. Let rise 1 - 1 1/2 hours until doubled.  Grab dough and divide in thirds and shape into a ball, place on greased pans, drizzle some olive oil on top and sprinkle with seeds - I used flax.  Let rise again - maybe an hour.  Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes until tops are golden.  Remove and let cool.  

I also made 2 loaves of light whole wheat potato bread

So, it wasn't that hard, I enjoyed some "mindless" baking and the fruits of my labor.  Seriously, nothing better than fresh homemade bread!  Turkey and rice soup and we were stuffed - again.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Linked to:  http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/2017/11/foodie-friday-and-everything-else_23.html

Thoughts on Black Friday

What was Black Friday like in your area?  I NEVER go shopping, but I did meet with an old grade school friend for coffee and noticed - not too many people were out and about.  Years ago, parking lots were full!  Many theories as to why this isn't as popular as it once was.   Here are a few of mine. 

Last week a friend of mine and I went shopping in Oshkosh and Appleton - our type of shopping: quilt, thrift and antique shops.  We happened upon a cool shop in Appleton that will be featured on the PBS show Wisconsin Life in January - I won't say what it is, because I bought Christmas gifts there.  I never knew that this little "cottage industry" (now moved to a brick an mortar) was there.  We both like to support Wisconsin businesses, so I know we will be going back.    

This had us talking about what and how we think people are shopping.  I feel the cookie cutter, mass produced items are out and one of a kind, unique and handmade are in.  I'm not just saying this because it is what I do, but I see this trend here in my area.  I also feel people want to make their own or at least take a class and try.  These are very popular with women as it gives them an excuse to meet with friends and do something fun.  You might find out you're not Picasso, but I don't know anyone who doesn't enjoy saying..."I made that."  

Another thing could be materialism.  I googled the definition:  "a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values."  I've been feeling a bit convicted lately of all my junk...now this really seals it for me..."more than spiritual values."  I do know talking with my children, who are millennials, my friends who are gen X and baby boomers; this tendency for "less" has been a common thread.  I don't know what that means in the resale business as the feeling of saving a piece of history is also important to my customers and the key to most of my sales.  I see customers streaming their collections too - if they collect Pyrex it's one pattern - not all Pyrex.  Not too many years ago...(wink, wink)...collectors wanted  it ALL.  I don't know anyone like that...hahaha

I've been reflecting on direction over the past few weeks.  I have some tough decisions to make that I will "embrace" (smile) however, it will be hard.  Finding a balance in business and personal life can be very challenging when you are self-employed.  It seems in January of each year, I have plans, goals and direction - I am at a cross roads at the end of this year between...."possessions and physical comfort vs. spiritual values."  Not that what I do conflicts with my spiritual values - but it does conflict with the time I spend on my spiritual values.   I have been thinking fondly on one of my mentors, George Woodrich.  I use to say "he is an honest auctioneer" - which could be viewed as an oxymoron - but, he had a way of positively representing himself, reflecting spiritual values (he did many wonderful things privately).  He has passed on and people are still saying nice things of him.  What a legacy.   I recently ran into a "wippersnapper" who stated "I'm the only one in our community to EVER do household auctions" Really?!?  I still remember the old timers!  

So, I guess I started this post about Black Friday - somehow it ended up with spiritual values, this is how my mind works.  In 2018 I plan to do more things privately (using George's example).  If you happen to see me somewhere you see me...not that I don't want to say what I'm doing and where...it's ALL just too much!  I'm actually "sick" of much of it and need a break!  Spiritual Values vs. (fill in the blank)...more words for my "hat" to draw for my 2018 word of the year.  

Oh I know one can not operate a successful business without social media and you will see a flurry of posts before an event, it's how it's done now; that's our world.  I'm prayerfully considering my options.  Thanks for following along.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.    


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Masterminds Group

I joined a group on Facebook and actually attended a luncheon with a guest speaker, Sherman On (https://www.youtube.com/user/shermanon1).  He spoke about:  The Social on Social (social media information).  
The Group is called Wausau Mastermind Group.  Here is a great definition of what a Mastermind group is, found here:  

In a Mastermind (also known as a peer advisory board), the agenda belongs to the group, and each person’s participation is key. Your peers give you feedback, help you brainstorm new possibilities, and set up accountability structures that keep you focused and on track. You will create a community of supportive colleagues who will brainstorm together to move the group to new heights. 
You'll gain tremendous insights, which can improve your business and personal life. Your Mastermind Group is like having a objective board of directors.  

I met some new people, started following a few on Instagram and YouTube.  I even signed up to take an on-line class from one group member who wrote a book.  It was just what I was looking for to help me transition into a new direction and year.  I can't wait to start.  I just looked at an email from her - I have homework already...oh my...I will devote a blog post or two just to her book.
I didn't know what to expect, I didn't know anyone and I was probably the oldest person there - which isn't a bad thing - as you are never too old to learn something new.  The table was full of different people in their own stage of management or self employment.  Each seeking a greater knowledge to lead themselves upward - achieving individual goals.  
I'm a positive person and I need to surround myself with like minded individuals.  Sometimes, well a lot of the times, in my line of business you can see competitiveness rear it's ugly head.  I'm sure it's that way in other lines of business too.   If you think about it - we are all selling something.  
I wanted to share with my blogging friends an interesting comment Sherman said that confirmed almost word for word something one of my friends said to me.  You know, when you are on social media, write a blog, have a business Facebook page - whatever - it's hard NOT to get caught up in the numbers.  "I mean, really? I've been doing 'this' for years and I only have (fill in the blank) followers?!"  It's only a number...really...it doesn't define you...(Weight Watcher advice here...lol).  
I was at one of my events and someone said, "I have 3,500 followers, I'll share your page."  Later, I told my friend Renee, "how did she do that - she came out of no where and she has more followers than me?!"  Renee said something so wise, "yes, but your followers know YOU and like YOU and actually follow YOU to your events!"  Thanks Renee!  I needed that. 
At the luncheon, Sherman said "it's not about the quantity but quality" and asked us, "is it better to have 5,000 followers and only get 2 to engage in a post or 1,000 and get 10 people to engage or comment?"  That was good and true, I never thought of it like that.  
So, if  you are reading this, thinking about your impact in this blogging world - "am I making a difference, am I being heard?"  I hope you think on this post.  I'll share something that happened to me Saturday.  I set up a "Christmas Memories - Vintage Pop Up  Sale   https://www.facebook.com/itsapopup/   
While a girl was checking out, we were laughing and talking and I shared with her that one of the girls I met at this Mastermind Group said she liked my quirkiness or energy, something..like that...to which I told her, "I write a blog and there is plenty of that on there." (smile)   This girl/customer said..."I know I follow it - Dicky Bird's Nest"  I almost fell over...we laughed and laughed.  It just shows, you don't always know who is following along.  Or, if they do, not necessarily know them personally - until you meet - (smile).  It was another confirmation to me this week that I should just keep chugging along doing what it is I do best.  
Thanks for reading and as always....
Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Pioneer Woman - Lodge and Mercantile Visit

On our "let's buy a car in Vegas and drive it home" trip...my "alright let's do it" to this idea was..."then I get to go to the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile."  That is how it went...so, we did.  On our way to Pawhuska, we saw this...

however, this is not to their ranch....but, little known fact....the Drummond Family has owned land here for over 150 years.  They are the 17th largest private land owner in the United States!  Now, I won't get into all the politics about that...as I am Native American...and honestly, I was thinking...I wonder if the Osage Nation "likes" them.  You know, the government took away the land from the Osage - not the Drummonds.  American Dream people...it's always at the cost of someone...hey, I wasn't going to get political!  I LOVE my country, it's just the government I could do without!  Anyway, I like the Pioneer Woman - I don't know Ree...but, her neighbors did nothing but sing her praises while we walked around this little town.  If you go, please do this...the other shops are waiting for business as well!

I follow along on Instagram and knew that the day we were there, the lodge was going to be open for tours.  So, we started at the Mercantile where I asked the woman at the door about the tours...she reached under a basket...like it was some kind of a secret...and handed me the directions and map.  So, off we went to the lodge.  

When she says she lives in the middle of no where, she means it.  The road/driveway to the lodge was a couple miles???  We did see the wild horses on the way

It was just like on the show...here we go....

Al said he saw their truck - from the show - with her boys in it...they stopped and took some pictures of the people at the lodge...I didn't see it, because I was busy doing this....

What a good "farm dog" greeting everyone that came up to the lodge.  Anyway, on to the inside....

....o.k....so, while I was setting this up for a picture...a group of ladies were watching me...so I said, "hey, when are you ever going to get to look like you are cooking at her stove?"  So, as soon as I was done....they all did it too...funny...why didn't they think of it???  

It was pretty cool!  We did go back to the Mercantile to do some shopping and eating.  Al saved our spot in line, we did wait for over an hour, but the food was amazing!  

We went upstairs to the bakery to buy some sweets, those were amazing as well.  On the way down the steps, guess who I see, shopping?  If you watch the show, you know Ree has a "little sister" - Betsy...she was looking at some shirts with her son, Elliot and their mother...so, you all know me... "Hey, are you Ree's sister?"  So, I proceed to tell her our little " we bought a car in Vegas driving home story..."  No one else recognized her...well, maybe they did, but didn't bother her....LOL  I did tell her how blessed her sister was and that when we drove to the lodge, all I could think of was..."my father owns the cattle on a thousand hills" Ps. 50:10 (my interpretation).  She was very nice too and asked if I was a Badger Fan...I didn't know why..oh ya, the sweatshirt...she is a Big 10 fan as well, she went to college in Indiana? or was it Ohio?   Anyway, it was neat experience - for me...lol

Ree was going to have a cookbook signing the next day!  Oh, how I wanted to stay, but they said that they expected 20,000 people - yikes - nope, I can't do that!  We live in the "middle of now where...LOL" too - Al no way was up for that crowd!  

If you are thinking of a road trip to Pawhuska, OK - I highly recommend it.  If you are a fan of the show, try to plan it when the lodge is having tours - it's posted on their website and Instagram.  

Thank you, Pioneer Woman, for the inspiration!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Motivational Monday - Finding Your Thankfulness

I'm allowing myself a bit of time to focus on negativity.  I know, I try not to waste time on this kind of thing, however I've had some rather difficult things happen to me this year.  That, unfortunately, I fed into emotionally.  I've been hard on myself for doing it...but, then I found this quote

Now, before some of you "read into" this post and send me all kinds of messages pointing out all my shortcomings to justify your speculations....(which happened to me this year)...please DON'T.  This post has nothing to do with any one thing or individual - no, wait it does...ME.  So, yet again I will say...this post is about ME...how I feel...I am sharing with others to help someone who might feel this way, turn a negative into a positive - which is what my blog is about.  I would NEVER use my blog to attack someone...(which I was accused of this year as well)...anyway...on to this post.....(now you might see why I've not blogged much lately).

Yes, we CAN be thankful for negative people...we CAN.  At the time we might focus on the hurt feelings and those scars are with us forever.  They are!  We all have them, wear them proudly...yes, I say that...it's what makes you - you.

So this being Motivational Monday and Thanksgiving week - I share that little quote with you.  As you sit down to your turkey and all the trimmings, think on thankfulness in a different way.  Be thankful for the not so nice things that happened to you this year.  

"And all things work together for the good of them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28  

When we are going through something difficult it is hard to imagine - how is this good!  However, if  "we who are called"  can make it through whatever it is .... that shows others around us that they can too.    "For there is no respect of persons with God."  Romans 2:11  "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."  Matthew 5:45

Yes, he does - all for our own good.   Our response to these situations is what He is interested in.   Are we giving Him glory even in the bad?  I have NOT, shame on me.  I need to prayerfully consider some of these as good.  I can say now I am working on it.  It's all a process people...but, in the quote above,  I can see HOW I don't want to be and be thankful for the lesson "it" taught me.  

Happy Thanksgiving and blessings from Ringle, WI.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Motivational Monday Post - To Be Continued....

Al has said this to me many times..."life is only as hard as you make it."  I know I tend to get myself "involved" in many things.  But, that's because I like to do too many things (smile).   When you do TOO many things, you tend NOT to do any ONE thing well.  I've found that out this year!   

I can NOT believe how fast this year has gone.  I have so many blog posts in my head and camera....all waiting...I haven't even shown you the barn remodel yet!  

2017 has been a productive and enlightening year.  I know we still have 7 weeks left, but in reflection of the past 45 weeks, I can say my word of the year "embrace" was a good pick!  Much of it wasn't easy, but I can say I'm proud of myself for how I tried my best to "embrace" even the ugliest of situations.   Praise and compliments are easy to embrace - the other - not so much!  But, I did it, with the good Lord's help!  Keeping a positive attitude, trying to be Christ-like (as if we even could) and embracing each and every situation has made me stronger.  2017 thus far, has taught me that I have flaws, but I need to embrace them too! 

I have already begun collecting words for 2018.  I want "fate" to pick it, so I've been putting them in a "hat" and saving them to pick the "one" for 2018.  I started this because I need to make some tough decisions - of which I plan to embrace - even if it will be hard.  Because, "life IS only as hard as you make it!"  

I say all of that to say....Motivational Monday - will be continued...hopefully more consistently...soon.   It was so nice to hear someone recently say..."I miss your posts!"  (smile).  I miss writing them!  Sorting all my ideas and thoughts down in words helps me.  If you read these posts, thanks for following along.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Picker Sale

I am helping one of my 4-H family's with their grandpa/great-grandpa's estate.  I did a "picker" type sale in September and it was a HUGE success.  Really!  I didn't know if the customers would understand this:  "go make a pile and we will come to a price" - but, they did and told me they had so much fun.  One lady took 4 van loads back - 30 miles one way to her house....now, she might have hoarding issues...LOL...not that I would recognize this...and she wasn't even one of my family members (wink, wink)!

This family had Carter Implement and Carter Grocery Store on this premise.  He also had a green bean farm - the property is 3 acres right in town - near Target.  When I walked around the buildings at this estate, I was already thinking it would make a great "picker sale."  You know the show American Pickers is so popular and many viewers want to try their hand at doing "this" - this is the perfect opportunity to try.  Heck, I might do "picker estate sales" from now on...who knows....only time will tell.  

I am doing the actual household estate sale on December 9, but we need to get these buildings picked before then - we couldn't do it or get back to them if we had snow.  So, if you live close and want to come to a picker sale, it is this Friday, November 10th from 2-5 ish pm at 3316 Schofield Avenue, Schofield, WI.  Dress warm, bring gloves, bring a flashlight, park in the parking lot next door and let's have some fun.  We will help you dig it out, make a pile, come to an agreeable price and help you load it.  Disclaimer...I haven't picked anything from this - I don't "need" anything...but, I do see plenty of things one could redo or resell.  If you know me or have been to one of my sales, you know I know HOW to move inventory...I'm an expert at it...just not my own!

For more information and pictures go to:  https://wausau.craigslist.org/gms/d/to-settle-an-estate-pick-of/6371971225.html

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  


The sale was an eye opener to say the least - in MANY ways...anyway...we did it!  Now we can move forward with less stuff in our way for the actual estate sale on December 9 from 9-4.  Unless a huge snow storm - then the 16th.  Hope to see you there!