Monday, December 31, 2018

Most Popular Post - 2018

The most popular blog post this year .....

An extremely close second was:

My blog was one of the things that I let slide this past year.  It was hard to come up with new, original content each month to keep up with the high volumn of page views I was hitting - so, I just didn't try.  

Also, I didn't share much on blog hops or link parties.  Are there any of those left?  If you know of a good one, please leave me a comment.  Most of my favorites have quit.  

Here is to more writing in 2019.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Year in Review - Most Beautiful

I know to some, I am a "home body," however I have always loved to travel.  It's just we have farm animals and it's hard to go as often as I would like.  Don't get me wrong, I have always said, "why would I want to go anywhere, I have all I need right here on my farm."  However, since becoming an empty nester, I will admit, I've been taking flight and leaving my nest more.

In October, Anna and I went to Washington state.  We had a wonderful time.  Anna planned it all and I only needed to follow along.  I had no idea how much I would like the Pacific Northwest.  After a few days in Seattle, we rented a car and Anna drove us to Mt. Rainer.  We spent 2 nights at Copper Creek cabins.  The view of the mountain wasn't always clear.  In fact, the locals said the day we were going up was one of the nicest days of the season.  Some of the roads in the park were already closed and this was the last week it was open.  The views were amazing.  

I was able to travel and see many parts of the states this year.  From Ringle, WI, Pensacola, FL to Seattle, WA and everywhere in between, it was a beautiful.  Mt. Rainer took the prize!  Here's to more adventure and travel in 2019.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2018 Year In Review - 30 year Accomphishment

We live in an instant, high speed, drive thru, pay for it later world.  We toss it out, up grade and up cylcle.  We follow trends - then post it, share it and forget it - moments on every social media site available.  It's a mixed up world we are living in - fake book, insta's all for appearances.  To make something "last" in sickness and health for richer or poorer for 30 years is an accomplishment.  

I've been in a working and loving relationship with Al, my soul mate.  The very and I mean very moment I saw Al, I knew I was going to marry him, God revealed it to me.  I can't explain it.  However, I have had 4 0r 5 of these moments thus far in my life where I knew or perceived some kind of destiny.  I came home and told my mom that I saw the man I was going to marry.   I was 19, NEVER been kissed, didn't know or understand the first thing about having a boyfriend, much less a husband.  However, I did know in an instant that he was meant for me.  Al, however, did not.  It was within a semester at NTC that I convinced him, that he was mine.  Thinking back on it, I can see how God had it all worked out, the steps it took for us to meet and become who we are today.  

We've remodeled 2 houses, a barn, built several outbuildings, quit jobs, lived unemployment, loss of loved ones, faced our child's cancer, raised 2 successful daughters, multiple critters, cleaned out dozens of estate homes, sifted through mountains of junk, ups and downs, financial hardship and blessings.  Of which I wouldn't change a moment of these 30 years that we faced all of this together.  We, no matter what, not only held on to each other tighter, but more importantly Jesus.  We did not let failure or success separate us from each other or Him.  No fake or sham, no instant success - it was commitment and hard work.  That is the blessing of accomplishment.  

My 2018 was celebrated in April with our 30th anniversary.  We drove down to the gulf shores and back up the Mississippi river picking and filling our van.  We had a blast!  So thankful for my man and what he does to me and for me!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.    


Friday, December 14, 2018

2018 - Year in Review - Most Embarrassing

I am doing several blog posts to close out 2018 with my year in review - most _(fill in the blank)_____.   My disclaimer is, I'm not the brightest bulb, I'm technologically challenged and not the most social media savvy.  With that goes....

If you follow along, you know that Lisa and I worked several living estate sales this year.  At each one, I take pictures so that I can post them to Craigslist and other social sites.   We happen to be working on the Podolske sale and my phone was full of photos.  Lisa and I have a booth at Once & Again in Birnamwood.  Carl and Darlene are the owners.  They like to come to our sales.  This particular sale had many items I thought Carl would like.  So, when I was restocking my booth, I gave him my phone so they could preview the items.  

As I pulled them up, I said "just scroll this way...."  As they were looking and asking questions about some of the items, he stops, turns the phone to the side, then back again and says, "what is this?"  He turned the phone to me....I had no idea what that mind was thinking of all the items at that house....nope, I don't know.  

Then it hit me, blue and white stripes?? hmmmm....I screamed..."Carl, give me back my phone!!"  He quickly handed it back to me.  I started laughing and laughing.....he and Darlene looked at me and said "what is that?"  I couldn't even get it out, because I was laughing so hard!  "It's my underwear....Carl!!!!  I'm so sorry!"  He said...."well, I couldn't make it out anyway" and they both started laughing.  Here he is, a Christian man with grand and great grand children looking at my phone with his wife and I'm showing him a picture of me in my underwear.    It was only a small snippet of the side and blurry, but still!  

I was thinking about how did that even happen!?  Who me, at my size and age I don't take pictures of me in my underwear!  However, this did teach me a down until fully dressed!

You know, these types of things happen to me all the time.  I don't get excited or upset, I laugh them off.  You know what scripture says...."A joyful heart is good medicine."  I look forward to more embarrassing moments in 2019 of which I'm sure to share!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Thursday, December 13, 2018

2018 Year In Review - Most Improved

If you recall, we have been in the process of "saving" our old barn.  We knew we would have to space it out over a few years.  You can read more about it here:  That was our 2017 project.  Our 2018, was to paint and put a new metal roof on it.  

In June, we hired Dairyland Painting:  and we couldn't be happier with the results.  He first had to pressure wash all our painted buildings and then return after a few days and spray paint all of them.  They look so nice!  We used Hallman Lindsay Paint, made right here in Wisconsin:




Then in July, we hired an Amish company to put on the new metal roof.  I didn't take too many pictures of that, as they don't like it.  We couldn't be happier with their work!  

Here is the barn this morning:

In 2019, we will be working on the inside with creating walls for reconfiguring stall spaces, hopefully painting the old timbers and replacing a window and barn door in the horses' stall.  We will also work on the corral area and new fences around the barn.  I am happy that Al and I were able to do our part in saving this old barn, thank you Lord!   It isn't a big barn, but it's our barn and we love it!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2018 Year In Review - Most Rewarding Experience

I'm doing several blog posts to end out this year titled:  "2018 Year in Review - Most _____ (fill in the blank).  

This one is my most rewarding experience.  Now, that's a pretty tough title to fill.   I've been blessed with many wonderful experiences in 2018.  However, I picked this one, because teaching my "classes" has been so rewarding to me in my personal growth (you can read about it here:  

So, from pre-K children up to 70+, I've taught and shared my needle felting, fiber arts with so many new students this year.   

I had a class scheduled with students ready to learn at our Ringle town hall location, when a friend of mine, who owns The Clay House in Weston offered to host the class at her studio.  She wanted to learn how to felt as well.   I can't thank Gretchen enough - from the location, the lighting and the was so much better than what it would have been.  She even asked me to come back for another collaboration.  I'm excited!  I have an idea that combines both her painting and my felting into one project.  I hope we can do it.  

UWSP - Marathon County has also asked me back again to teach another sculptural needle felting class.  This time it will be 3 eggs and a chick.  

I will also be teaching "What to Keep, What to Sell and What to Donate" - my mini estate consulting class at the UWSP - Marathon County.  Both will be part of their continuing education opportunities for the Spring of 2019.  So, I guess, I will be teaching in 2019.   How rewarding!

What was one of your most rewarding experiences in 2018?

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin  

Monday, December 10, 2018

Motivational Monday - My 5 Step Program for Procratinating Pack Rats

I won't lie, I do come from a long line of procrastinating pack rats.  I grew up, was mentored under the "quick find it so we can do it/fix it/use it" rule.  My mom was this way more than my dad.  However, I feel a combination of their habits are the basis for how I do the things the way I do today.  

I don't feel cheated or mistreated, to the contrary.  These were good intentions from overly creative individuals whom instilled these habitual traits within me.  Now, don't get me wrong, we were and are extremely successful in the things we do.  I think the "I work well under pressure" adrenaline rush is all the motivation we need to continue to "do this to ourselves."   I'm just looking for a new "rush" (wink,wink).

What inspired this post today, is something I've been thinking on for some time.  It will tie in nicely when I reveal my 2019 Word of the Year.  I will share more on that soon, but until then I will "strive" (2018 word) to do more "soul searching" for that post.  

The other day, I was shuffling, packing, hiding a room full of clutter to unearth our unused piano that I gave away to a friend.  I received a message from another friend, whom I was also looking for a pattern we were going to share that she was ready for and I hadn't even made it yet (quick find it so we can do it).  I jokingly said "I need a 12 step program for procrastinating pack rats (hoarders)."  Did you know it's a thing?  There are all kinds of 12 step programs, I googled it.  So, this is where I am at today in this Motivational Monday post:

My 5 Step Program for Procrastinating Pack Rats.

Step 1:  ADMIT it, "yes, I am a procrastinating pack rat!"  It's not that hard, once you see that your mess has become unmanageable.  Have you missed deadlines, made your spouse mad, lost checkbooks, have a project you were going to do for one of your children and now it will have to be for a future grandchild?  These are the things that you need to admit.  

Step 2:  BELIEVE that YOU can restore your sanity - it's within you to create this mess and you can also clean it up.   I rely on Jesus to help me in all aspects of my life - in procrastination the most..."help me Lord to get this done"...He has and will continue to, I would rather not be such a "needy" child. 

Step 3:  DECIDE to change.  You need to see that these things, this type of behavior is hindering your happiness and productivity.  Is it worth it?  Do you need it?  Is that item, more important than a relationship with a loved one?  Do I need to take warm, unset, wet choose....item to that event?  Do I really like running to the store to buy one more pair of scissors not to mention another hot glue gun 30 minutes before a 4H meeting?  I mean, I could go on....

Step 4:  Make a PLAN.   Most procrastinators are organized and create lists.  We have to, to remember what we are supposed to do.  It's true!  I right now have a notebook with each day between now and Christmas and the to do's for those days on it.  If I can do that, I surely can make a PLAN to work on me, my emotional, spiritual and mental health.  This behavior is a "sickness" - it is!  I have made it to this step today.  Step 4 is where I'm at.  My 2019 word will also be a declaration for me.  

Step 5:  Be DILIGENT and aware of your changes.  Yes, it's fun to go to an auction and buy a whole row of stuff for $5, but how is that going to help me?  I could make $50 on it...but, where am I going to put it?  These thoughts have helped me reach this point today in my post.  Auctions I've managed, it's the..."can you come and look at a ____ full of stuff?"  That....and then meeting the person....becoming friends with a complete stranger....making their personal possessions my prized where I struggle.  Also, I pay too much and often times my profits are low in relation to the amount of work involved.  

So these are my 5 steps.  I can see where I could add to them.  However, that is for another post and part of my plan for next year.  I would love to clean out my studio and class room (here is a picture of when it was clean)

to look like this again.  You can't squeeze another item in the door, it truthfully is that bad and shameful.  I won't share that picture yet, I may for a before and after post.  

I would love to host things here again.  Who knows, maybe even a "like minded ladies" group.  Where we would share tips similar to my 5 here and others.   You know like "the finer things club" on the Office.  I have a dozen or so others as well including a "boot camp."  Till then, I will keep shuffling my mess so I can put up our tree (s).  My plan is to bring out decorations that I have been too overwhelmed to bring out for years.  I want to go through those to and let our daughter's pick out their favorites for their homes.

So, know these 5 steps could apply to several other issues.  I hope you can glean something from this that you find helpful.  Maybe you could share with us your tips.  I'd love that!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

  1. (I can't figure out how to get rid of, it's on here...LOL)

Friday, December 7, 2018

New Vintage Find for My Kitchen

As you know, I have a "thing" for chickens....

Me and my beloved Martha.  She was my favorite!  I still have a few of her offspring - I can pick them out - sassy, independent, big black eyes and feathery crests.  None of them have replaced her in my heart.  She was a sweetie!  

So, yesterday, Lisa and I went to consult a family with their estate sale needs.  They are doing the sale on their own, just wanted some direction.   While we walked around, I spied this on the kitchen counter....."It's ok if you say no, but I have to ask, is this going to be for sale?"

I couldn't believe it was the same celery green I painted my kitchen, much less that it had this adorable rooster on it.  "I could sell that" .... "well then, you just did!"  I didn't and still don't know how much it was because we did a "bundle deal."  Lisa picked out an item she priced $10, we try to keep it fair, so I guess this will be equal to that.....I got the better deal...teehee!   Somehow, it always works out that way...(wink, wink)...just ask her!  

We also bought a van's so much fun to buy this way!  No one else, but the family, saw it.  I've said this before, but when you buy and sell in the same the same estate sales your customers go's a bit awkward.  We left bids on some of the furniture that they want to post to try to sell.  "Don't sell that for less than ...this... or, we will buy it."  

So, we both left with goodies for ourselves, Christmas gifts for family (yep!) and some awesome items for our next show.  Here is a link to the facebook page where the show and event information is listed:

However, this will find a home on my "coffee cart" where I will store tea and such in it.  What do you collect?  For me it's what is one thing your collect....?

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Sopa De Lima - Wisconsin Style

Link to previous post on "chicken bone broth":

Perfect soup for a cold day.  This is how I made it.  Click on link above to read how I made the chicken bone broth.  I happen to think as I made this soup, many of the ingredients came from my farm or that of a friend....I love that!

I had these red peppers hanging in my pantry.  I make a "hot sauce" by taking the seeds out of them and steeping in hot water till soft.  

Once the pepper is soft, blend it till smooth.  I did add a bit of my stock.    

Take your chicken bone broth out of the refrigerator, skim off the fat.  I put 6 C broth in a pan and had 6 C for the freezer for a later soup.  

Then I added 1 pt jar of my homemade tomato sauce.

I then added 5-6 Tbs. of my "hot sauce" - trust me, it's too hot to add it all - for this Wisconsin native!

I did use the blender again...see the tomato skins...when I can my tomatoes, I do not skin or seed them....just what I do.  

Zest and juice from 1 large lime.  Reserve some zest for garnish.

Next, I added 2 C each of carrots (from my friend's farm) and celery.   I also add 1/2 diced onion.  Three cloves of garlic - which is from Inga's farm (read about here:  She is the host of a Wisconsin Public Channel original series, which was just picked up nationally.  

Then I added 2 heaping C of the home raised and processed chicken - all diced up and ready to go in my refrigerator from when I made the chicken bone broth.

It wouldn't be Sopa De Lima without the fried crunchy tortilla noodles.  Take some soft tortilla shells, slice in strips and fry in oil.  Drain off excess and while hot sprinkle with salt.

Then, assemble the soup, garnish with a few lime slices, zest and fried noodles.  Yummy!

I hope you give Sopa De Lima - your style - a try.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A Chicken In Every Pot

That quote:  "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage"  was from our 31st president, Herbert Hoover.  His term was during the Great Depression.  

I thought of that yesterday as I tried to squeeze one of our home raised and processed chickens into this pot.  Al wrote on the bag "soup chicken."  So, I took his lead and pressure cooked this one down. 

I did have to cook it down a bit before the lid would fit.  I posted this to Instagram and my daughter commented something about "Sopa De Lima!"  I just added them for extra flavor in my broth and truthfully, I usually use the not so pretty veggies I have in my refrigerator (smile).   I also add onions, garlic, spices and cook down the chicken until it is falls off the bone.  

I pick out the big pieces, strain the broth into a pitcher and debone, deskin and dice up all the meat.  Once cooled, I put the broth in the refrigerator until the next day to use for soup.  I do this so I can skim off the fat from the top.  

So, I made creamy chicken sandwiches last night, today we will have my Wisconsin 'sopa de lima' and chicken salad sandwiches for a few lunches.  Cooking this way takes time, but the rewards out weight it.  And....bone broth...come on...from a chicken we raised on our farm...can't beat it!  If the Wisconsin Sopa De Lima turns out...I'll share it.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Motivational Monday - What Do I Have to Offer?

I'm not sure if anyone under 50 understands how life was not too many years ago.  No cell phones, internet, face book, instagram and even blogging.  Bloggers, remember when this was it - the thing to do?  Oh, how we've lost so many writers.  

Anyway, I've been looking at YouTube.  Something I hadn't really done before.  I follow a few ladies on instagram and they have channels.  So, I started watching and following those that they follow.  Anyway, it had my thinking about my life and what I could offer.  I remember doing another Motivational Monday post on relevancy, read it here:

I did create a YouTube channel, but I guess, I'm not sure what to do on it.  As I watch these channels, the women, their children, homesteads and stage of life they are in - you know, I've been there, done that already.  They are relevant because they are in the "middle" of it.  I can relate, because I've experienced these things too.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy watching them, but sometimes I think, you know, I would have done that this way.  Most of homesteading lessons are taught to us by what not to do.  "I won't do this, that way again."  It's true!

So, then it hit me, I can offer, experience, wisdom and maturity in skills and age that might be helpful to them.  They can rejuvenate in me a new love and desire for getting back to the basics and taking time to rekindle my passion.  

You know when I was 30 in the middle of farm and family, there weren't resources like YouTube.  It was looking it up in a book.  Now, all you need do is go to the search window and type in "how do I trim a goat's hoof?"  Visuals too!  What a blessing (when used appropriately).  

So, what do I have to offer...I guess age and experience...hard to believe, time surly goes by fast.  What do you have to offer?  Think about it and I challenge you to develop your passions.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Nutty Banana Cake

I love to make up my own creations when I bake and cook.  This one came to me as I'm trying to clean out my pantry.   So I came up with this cake:  Nutty Banana Cake

Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl:

1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1/4 t salt

Cream together:

1 stick soft butter
1/2 C peanut butter - mine was chunky variety

Mix wet ingredients in a bowl:

3 mashed bananas
2 eggs
1/2 C (raw) honey

Add the wet mixture to the creamed butter and slowly add the dry ingredients.  Pour into a prepared square pan.  

Bake 350 for 35 min. or until done.

Once cooled, dust the top with sifted powdered sugar.  

My family liked it.  In fact, I'm enjoying a piece right now with a cup of coffee.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.