I'm really sorry that I haven't been blogging lately. I think I'm disappointing all of my blogging readers! It just seems that I lost my mojo, combined with how busy we've been these last two months, that I haven't gotten a lot of time for blogging.
I am always thinking of things that I want to put in the blog, and taking pictures of things that might be interesting to put in the blog. But I just haven't been getting around to doing it.
I feel that if we're not traveling anywhere, my RVing blog readers don't find anything interesting and reading about family stuff, or my fiber arts, or seeing the umpteen million pictures of my dogs.
I'm going to try to get back into blogging almost every day if I can. I hope you folks tune back in. So many have been emailing me or messaging me asking if we are okay or if everything is all right. Yes we are, just that things got crazy busy!
I did have something great happen last week. My wonderful friend Linda traveled here from Tennessee. Her husband was gone on a mission trip to Africa, but for Christmas he gave her a plane ticket to go anywhere she wanted while he was in Africa. And believe it or not, she chose to come and visit me!
I picked her up from the airport as we were anxiously awaiting snow and wintry weather for a "Wisconsin Experience". The weather sure didn't cooperate at all. Almost all of our snow was gone.
Linda grew up in upstate New York and was used to snowy winters from her childhood. Since she moved to Tennessee they only get a small scattering of snow every now and then, which melts by the next day. She has always teased me that she would come to visit me in Wisconsin with the fantasy of making snow angels.
The only snow we could find were crusty hard snowbanks here and there. We managed to find a halfway big one out at High Cliff State Park for her to pose with. But alas, there would be no soft fluffy snow for making snow angels. She will just have to come back again when we do have some.
Linda and I both like the same things. We love weaving, knitting, spinning or any fibery stuff. We also like hitting the thrift stores. During her week-long visit, we managed to go to 10 different thrift stores and a 24-hour rummage sale store. She found an amazing treasure of this beautiful Rowe pottery lamp. We researched it online for $195.00 She got it for the grand price of $6.99!!! She actually had to buy a second suitcase so she could get it back home!
I found a few bargains too, including four complete full brand new bolts of flannel fabric in pretty plaid colors. I can use these for backings on quilts. I paid a grand price of $3.99 a bolt! Heck, most stores don't even sell flannel for $3.99 a single yard unless it's on sale.
We had fun, gabbing and visiting and sharing stories and working on fiber projects together. We even got the dogs to model hats that Linda and I had knit.
Linda brought along a cute little wooden pot holder lap loom. She worked on multiple matts and hot pads while the dogs looked on.
I worked on some socks as we sat in the sunshine in our family room... enjoying each other's company in person. Otherwise, on the internet, we are part of a gabby rug weaving group and part of a trio with Rosie from Missouri. We gab back and forth many multiple times a day with chained emails, photos and messages. We missed having Rosie alongside of us... and kept in contact with her via the internet throughout Linda's visit.
While we were gab, gab, gabbing... patient Steveio was sitting aside in the livingroom keeping out of our way. He had some driving days for the county handicapped bus, and other days he drove us around to various thrift shops and out to eat!
We went to a few favorite local restaurants... including Hilde's Deli and Bakery in Chilton. When I asked Linda what types of things would she like to do in our town, the only thing she wanted to do was to go and visit Hilde's. She heard about this wonderful little place many times from me over the internet and wanted to see it in person.
For the very first time, Linda got to experience string cheese. This is much different than the pre-packaged stuff you buy in the dairy department at a regular grocery store. That stuff is all dense mushy goo from the store. This stuff is fresh from the local cheese store and as you pull it apart it makes delightful little strings of tasty mozzarella. It's kind of a dry cheese and it tastes even more flavorful as you pull it apart to eat it.
Hilde's carries the string cheese from Vern's Cheese Store which is just down the street. It is bought in packages of about 8 or 10 pieces and best eaten fresh.
After we were done with their lunch at Hilde's, we went on down to Vern's Cheese Store. There Linda got to try for the very first time another Wisconsin oddity. It's called cheese curds. They are the leftover squeezings after making cheddar cheese. These little lumps of cheese, when fresh, give a squeak sound as you bite into them with your teeth. It's a really strange sensation. They are kind of salty little lumps of cheese. They only squeak when they are fresh for the first day or two. Then after that they just become lumps of plain old cheddar cheese. So it's best to get them fresh and have fun eating them.
Here is Linda's reaction before and during her first cheese curd. She said it was interesting, but then she politely said that she didn't care for any more of them! Lol! That's okay, Steve eagerly ate up the rest of the bag that I bought.
We also went one evening to Lupita's Mexican store in Chilton. It's an interesting little place, with a Mexican grocery store in the front portion of the building. In the back are a few tables and they serve Mexican food and drinks, restaurant style.
Our young waiter was only ten years old, and he was totally adorable. He managed our order correctly and his older co-worker brought the alcoholic drinks to our table.
It's a family operation with a few little children playing around among the tables and with some toys in the back while their mothers were cooking our food. Who needs daycare when you can bring your little ones to work with you?
Steve and Linda each had chimichangas while I opted for a taco salad bowl. A side dish of guacamole with a bunch of chips set off the rest of the meal. We love the food here and have never had a bad meal.
Our little server boy was so cute, and we tipped him well.
While Linda was visiting, we also managed
a home-baked meal of traditional Cornish pasties
imported from the U.P. of Michigan,
a breakfast at Seven Angels restaurant in Chilton,
some ice cream at Scoops in Chilton,
and lunch at Schlotzsky's Deli in Appleton
It seems like the days just flew by. The dogs were very excited to have a "burglar" in the house. They would run barking frantically and warning us that Linda was here every time she left the room and re-entered. They forget she was here already, and they act like she is a new "burglar" every time. By the third or fourth day, even timid little Binney was hopping up near Linda, getting her ears scratched and getting petted.
While we gabbed or crafted,
the dogs laid patiently in the family room
listening to us or taking naps.
We managed to fit in a visit to a fiber shop in Cedar Grove that had some friendly llamas on site to pet. They were curious and seemed to like Linda more than me. Perhaps it was the phone clicking pics that they were avoiding? We never got to see the inside of the shop... the sign said they were open, but it was locked, and nobody came out of the nearby farmhouse to greet us. It was pretty cold, so we hopped back into the car and drove to the nearby town for lunch instead.
Too soon, all seven days had passed and it was time to bring her back to the airport. Of course just as we were on the way to the airport, it start snowing!!! We had waited all week long to get some snow, and it finally snows on the day she needs to leave. Doesn't that just figure?
Linda went outside of the airport terminal
spread her arms wide to the sky
and let some snowflakes fall on her face.
She carefully packed her winter jacket around the precious Rowe Pottery Lamp and stowed into her new carry-on bag. It would have a place of honor on the seat next to her for the flight home. There weren't any seat mates on her flight. As you can see, after she went through the HUGE long lines at the TSA agent's station, she was well on her way to the proper gate for her flight. Gotta love small town airports?
We said our goodbyes and off she flew away back to Tennessee. I miss her so much and even the dogs were looking for her. They would wander into our guest room with puzzled quizzical looks on their faces. Where did our "burglar" go?
Come back again Linda,
and stay long enough to get fluffy snow
for some snow angels??
After Linda departed, Steve and I decided it was time to take down the rest of the Christmas decorations around the house. We had left up all of the Christmas decorations during Linda's visit so she could see our house for the first time in all of its decked-out holiday glory.
What took so long to put up, came down so fast. The artificial tree was soon packed away in five separate bags. The Christmas village was removed from the hutch in the family room. The outside lights and garland and bows were removed from the hooks on the exterior of the house.
Everything was stowed away in tubs and totes. We put shrink wrap around the edges so no bugs get in them and stow them away up high on shelves in the garage. I loaded things up and Steve hauled them out the door.
Another Christmas is over,
and we only have 11 more months
to bring them all out
and start decorating again!
It looks we have like we have quite a storm brewing --- coming this way to Wisconsin tonight. We are due to get 12 inches of snow and high winds of 35 miles an hour with whiteout conditions.
After that storm, the temperatures are due to drop in the twenty to thirty below zero range. With accompanying wind chills of up to fifty below. It's going to last most of the week next week so we don't see a warm-up in sight.
We will be cuddled up in our stout little house, and our furnace is now functioning correctly after replacing the last $200 part in December. Of course, if the power goes out, we still have the gas fireplace, candles, oil lamps, and the generator in the motorhome to run a few electrical powered things if we need it. We are stocked up on groceries and we can manage just fine. I guess this is just Winter in Wisconsin...