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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Pre Turkey Day Stuff

Wowzers has it ever been raining in Wisconsin! At least in our part of the state it is. To the north and west of us they are getting snow, but we are just getting rain rain and more rain.

Honestly, there is more rain built up in our backyard and huge puddles and ponds than there has been any time during the spring or summer.

Our friend Gary said once that freezes over we better get some ice skates and open up the Pfundtner Ice Rink!

Our morning consisted of a few odd jobs. The tiles are cut now for the last four spaces in the entryway and Steve has them mortared down into place.

Rented a tile saw from the local hardware store and got them done toot sweet in 3 minutes flat.

His next job is going to be a triangular closet in that section.

Steve made us up a late breakfast / early lunch. In the meantime I got a couple more rugs measured up and photographed and listed in my Etsy store.

Speaking of rugs, the wonderful realtor that helped us buy this home happened to bring her daughter and sister-in-law over to see my She Shed.  They oogled and oohed over my rugs and knit wool socks. They did some very serious Christmas shopping and put a dent in my rug inventory! Thank you so much Amy and Angelena!!!!

Midday the temperatures started dropping and the raindrops were turning into snowflakes. I wasn't sure if we are going to get the snow amounts that were initially forecast. Towns just 50 miles to the west of us were getting measurable snow accumulation. But it seemed like everything here just melted or blew away. I think we missed the "Big Storm" that they have been warning us about for 2 days on the news!

Steve is finally feeling better and started measuring out and figuring out the parts to build the little triangular closet in the corner of the She Shed.  We already have the folding bifold door, brand new still in the wrapping, leftover from the sellers when we bought the house. We are not sure what he bought this closet bi-fold door for, there wasnt any coat closet for it to fit anywhere in the house? Maybe he was going to make a closet somewhere and never got around to it yet.

We really do need one near the back entrance into the she shed. That has become our main way to go in and out and need a spot to put our coats and boots and hats and mitts, and to hide away the Swiffer and the stick vacuum cleaner.

He is going to construct it right around the existing coat rack that little Claire helped me make:
 (if you had read that a couple blogs back)

Some holiday gift boxes arrived in the mail today from Florida. Mom & Lyle have a real orange tree in their backyard and it was time to harvest. They generously packed full a box to send up here that we can share with the kids and grandkids. If you leave the stems on the oranges, they stay fresher longer. Besides, I think they look pretty with the green leaves attached as well.

During the afternoon, I needed to put together a crock pot of my special calico beans. Once they were fully cooked through I can stow them away in the refrigerator until tomorrow. They always taste better the second day. I will warm them up in the morning and we will take them to our Pfundtner Family Thanksgiving in the afternoon. We are traveling to Menasha to Steve's brother Pete's and his wife Cindy's home for our family gathering.


**warning** I am a dumper kind of cook, not a precise recipe person!!!

first brown up some ground beef, bout half a pound, and chopped onion, and drain. 
then either fry up about 4 strips of bacon, and cut or break into small pieces
or use those great bags or small jars of Hormel real bacon bits already made up! 

now dump that and all this into a crock pot:

1 can kidney beans
1 can baked beans 
1 can black beans
1 can butter beans
a big squirt of ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
dollop of molasses
squirt of steak sauce
double squirt of BBQ sauce (we like Sweet Baby Rays) 

season to taste
you can heat it up quick on the stove or 
let it go a few hours on the slow cooker 
some folks add grape jelly...
some folks add mustard... 
some folks add vinegar...

I tripled this for a larger crock pot for a gathering of about 20 people


We made up some homemade beef minestrone soup for supper. On a cold windy damp snowy rainy icky day, it hit the spot.

Now it's a cozy evening during down in the she shed. We have the fireplace going, and I am planning to do a little weaving once I finish up this blog.  Working on some flannel and wool rugs in amazing color combinations.  I really like how they are coming out.

In closing, may everyone have 
a thankful 
and wonderful 
and safe
and thoughtful 
Thanksgiving Day! 

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Very Sweet Sunday

I made some arrangements Saturday evening that little Whitney and Jameson could come over and help me with projects on Sunday. I had a few things in mind and I thought it would be nice to have them join in.  Putting them to work, and getting them out of their parent's hair for a few hours.

Early Sunday morning I got an email from the other grandkids Chelsea and Clayton asking if they could come over too. A few minutes later I got a text from their mom Erin, asking if they could come over. She had no idea that they had already emailed me, the little stinkers!  Sure wish the third family of grandkids would ask too.

Since those two grandkids live only a mile away, they rode over on their bikes. Very strange that it is the end of November, we have no snow, and they are still able to ride their bikes?  But some snow is due in a big storm on Tuesday into Wednesday.

With the four oldest grandkids here, littlest Claire stayed home to spend the day with her mommy and daddy.  We had big kid projects to work on today.

One of our projects was to work on a special Thanksgiving treat to be able to take to the big family dinners on Thursday.

The kids have helped a couple other years in making these turkeys. They are time consuming and putzy. That's why I needed all the help.


These are created with Double Stuff Oreo cookies, Reese's peanut butter cups miniature size, malted milk balls, and pieces of candy corn. Not to mention lots and lots of frosting that needs to be really sticky and also dry hard.

Firsts, stick candy corns with a row a of frosting to the edge of a double stuff Oreo cookie
then stick another cookie at a right angle with more frosting and lay the turkey on it's back

 slice the side off a mini peanut butter cup as a body
attach with frosting to the base and the back, 
then add a malted milk ball as a head

let firm up in the fridge to be able to set the turkeys upright
then add streaks of yellow for the legs, little eyes with mini chips,
and a red waddle off a tip of candy corn for a beak

The kids went right to work and everybody had a part of the project. Everybody had patience and we finished up all of the cookies step-by-step. Sitting at my table in the sunshiny kitchen is a dream come true, and one of the best reasons why we moved north to Oconto.

 Each time we'd have to slide a tray into the refrigerator to chill the frosting.

Tahhh Dahhhh! 

We made up some for Jameson and Whitney to bring to their other Grandma and Grandpa's on Thanksgiving, and the rest will come with us and Chelsea and Clayton to the Pfundtner gathering down in Menasha. 

We had a nice little lunch together and the kids were ready for a special dessert treat----

I told them the story about Popcorn Ball Promise when I was a little kid.

When I was a small child in the early 1960's, we would get all dressed up in our holiday clothes to go have our picture taken with Santa. We will go up the road a mile to Palmer Butsky's Tap in Kirchhayn, Wisconsin. In the back room there would be Santa set up in a chair, and we will get our photos taken. Of course I was only 2 years old, and my brother Butch was 4. We would tell Santa what we wanted for Christmas. Then Santa would give us each a popcorn ball wrapped in pretty red or green cellophane. We were told that if we wanted to eat the popcorn ball, it was our promise to be very, very good until Christmas!

(the popcorn balls were in those Hamms and Pabst boxes next to his chair,
you could tell we were in a tavern!)

We saw popcorn balls at the store this week, and I stocked up. So all of the kids agreed to The Popcorn Ball Promise and eat their popcorn ball. I know that's a long haul from Thanksgiving to Christmas to be very, very good. But I know what these grandkids of mine, they sure will be! Or at least they will try....

Chelsea and Clayton

 Whitney and Jameson

We had a little time outside to ram around. The boys were out stomping in the frozen mud puddles. Somehow, Clayton's new boots accidentally got wet, because the mud puddle wasn't frozen all the way through. Oops!

The girls and I took the dogs to walk all the way out to the back property line in the big backyard and let them run around and act goofy. We were all running around and acting goofy, including Grandma. Those girls giggled and pretty soon burst into howls of laughter to see Grandma run!


Our other project was something that I have trusted the kids with helping a couple times now over the last few years. It was setting up my Christmas village. I have painted each and every one of these buildings myself, as well as I have started painting houses and buildings for every one of the grandchildren each year. This year will be their third year to get houses for their own personal villages....

I let them set it up inside of my china hutch on all three shelves.  The kids all helped to arrange all of the lights, the snow, the trees, etc then it was time to place which buildings where. We went through each building and talked about what they were and what people did in those buildings. 

They took turns and didn't fight or argue too much.  It was interesting to see what each one thought was the prettiest, the biggest, the most fun, and the reasons why one building needed to go next to the other ones.

 They loved creating the "village" and 
made up stories about who lived in the houses 
or worked in the buildings. 

Popping bubble wrap is an extra fun bonus! 

Then they went through all of the little characters and figurines. They figured out what should go where and which made the most appropriate sense. They arranged and rearranged it a number of times.

They even took home some extra figurines for their own villages. 

A job well done,
 while making memories

Later, I was going to go through it and try and straighten it up afterwards to the way I liked it. But then I changed my mind and said "no" to myself. I will leave it exactly the way they put it together! Sometimes we adults have to let go and let the children have the satisfaction of a job well done in their own eyes.


By late afternoon, Grandpa was getting pretty tired. Although the antibiotics are kicking in, he's not quite up to 100%.

I piled all four kids into the car and we headed out to Heather and Jesse's house. They had been working hard on putting together their new artificial tree this year. 9 ft tall and looking absolutely stunning. They were just about ready to start hanging ornaments when we burst in the door. Their kids were back just in time!

Heather and Jesse have recently bought their kids Jameson and Whitney a set of baby ferrets. They are so totally adorable and soft. They slip and slide all over you and twist and turn and sniff and snuffle. They play and are very friendly also. Heather calls them cats snakes. They're fluffy like cats but they slither and slink all over like snakes. These two are young so they are extremely energetic and playful and engaging. They love attention and they romp and play and don't try to hide or get away. Perfect pets. Their names are Ivy and Harley after some movie characters I guess. They are both girls though.

Next it was time to drop off Clayton and Chelsea at their house. Little Claire had gotten in a nice long afternoon nap, along with her parents. So although she didn't get time at Grandma and Grandpa's, she did get special one-on-one time with her mommy and daddy.  As a "thank you" for getting the two older ones out of their hair for the day, Waylen had made a scrumptious pumpkin cheesecake pie and sent home two pieces for us.  Yummmmmmm

All of the kids are off school this week for Thanksgiving vacation so maybe we will go back and have them once or twice from daycare and have them come over again.

After dropping off all of the kids, I came home and felt a little bit of fever and chills. We had our flu shots on Friday and I'm thinking our bodies are getting used to the vaccine and fighting it off a bit. I curled up in my jammies and a comfy quilt and started to watch the Packer game. They were losing, so I was falling asleep. I didn't see the final score until this morning. Very sad, but we are still number one in the division.

Today Steve and his brother went to go spend the day with his dad up in Sister Bay. They are moving his motor home from the summer campground over to storage and getting it closed up for winter. It's also Pop's birthday, so it's a good day for his sons to spend with him. We will all see him on Thursday for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Doctoring and Decorating

Well, the only way I managed to get Steve to the doctor was because we already had our yearly physicals lined up for yesterday.

What is it with men and not wanting to go to the doctor?

I dragged his butt in, and we both got our yearly checkups, our flu shots, I got two questionable moles/skin tags removed and we both had lab work done as well.

I beat Steve in the Lowest Blood Pressure contest (we compete) lol.

The doc said Steve has a lingering sinus infection and he got antibiotics to help fight it off. Plus he is going to start some daily vitamins now. Otherwise he is "Fine As Frog's Hair" as he is fond of saying.

I am kinda sorta feeling punky too and thinking I am catching something from Steve.  Going downhill quick. So the doc took care of me at the same time.

We got all of our other prescriptions refilled and they let us go with follow-up phone calls later to say all of our blood work is good. 

So I guess we will make it for another year. 

Because of the type of health insurance we have, our family doctor, clinics, and hospital are all located down in Fond du Lac, 25 miles past where we used to live. So it's a hundred mile trek one way to go there. It's worth it, because we really like our doctor and we like the care we get in the clinic. We can use a nearby hospital for emergency, but most of our health care is done down there.

We had multiple other errands to run and business to take care of while we were back in the area. Plus picking up prescriptions to get Steve started as soon as possible on the antibiotics.

My friend Vicki works nearby to our clinic, so we stopped and exchanged some packages. A box I brought home was very, very interesting for our dogs because it smelled like her wonderful dogs, Stewart and Tara.

It was like Christmas in November! She had so many cute little thoughtful things tucked away in that box.  Vicky is a very crafty person, and makes so many cute things.  She has been stashing things in a box for us for a while now, because we keep missing each other for walks at High Cliff State Park.

Thanks again, Vicky!

It had been such a long day, all we did was get home and lay around and then go to bed. I didn't even get a blog post done yesterday. Steve was still under the weather and I was pooped out with all the errands and traveling. 


Today (Saturday) was all sunshiny and bright.  We woke up feeling a bit better, and we were very appreciative of our morning fresh ground coffee. Yesterday we had to go without coffee or any breakfast because we were fasting for our blood work. 

The sun came up and it was going to be a pretty warm day today. I decided I would like to get a little bit more outside decorating done before it gets cold or snowy.

Steve was feeling a little bit better so he decided to join me with his tall-ness and a staple gun. I needed someone on the tippy top to hold the ribbons as I wrapped each of the porch columns. It was kind of difficult to get the ribbon evenly spaced on each one because the columns are not the same diameter at the top as they are at the bottom.

There was just enough ribbon to wrap all five columns, and then the narrower stuff enough to wrap both of the railings on each side of the steps. Honestly, I had one foot of ribbon leftover!!!

Sooooo do we call it the 
Peppermint Stick Palace, 
or the 
Candy Cane House? 

Now all we need is SNOW to make it look picture perfect.  We are due to get some on Tuesday into Wednesday.

Just doing that much work was enough to poop Steve out for the rest of the day. He took a nice long nap in the sunshine on the couch in the She Shed.  He likes napping there better than in our own bed.

We did need to get the dogs out for a run in the Big Backyard.  They have been cooped up and antsy lately.  The poor things really missed us being gone the whole day before. They are used to us around all of the time now. 24/7.  If we go somewhere without them, they are totally lost.

It was good to get them out there today to run run run....
they dash around
 and take turns chasing each other 
until they collapse in a pile of panting dog fur.

I had a pot roast in the oven all afternoon with carrots n taters. The house smells terrific!

It's a lazy evening spent in front of the TV while state of watching the Wisconsin Badgers win their football game today, and now I think it will be early to bed.

Time to get feeling better!!!