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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Day 15 - Staying at Home and Staying Safe

It's day 15 for Steve and I being self-quarantined. I'm so thankful that neither of us are showing any symptoms of anything, so I think we can be reasonably assured that our house is virus free. If we don't go anywhere and don't do anything, I think we can ride this out with our health intact.

Hopefully many of you are in the same position and are able to hunker down at home and be safe. Of course there are those essential jobs that give me such worry and angst in my heart. Especially because our children are out there performing them!

Our daughter Heather is busy at UWGB University of Wisconsin Green Bay prepping rooms in the residence halls. They are getting ready for housing overflow additional medical staff from the area hospitals that might be brought into the Green Bay area, as well as a quarantine area for people awaiting test results instead of returning back to their homes. She won't be dealing with the inhabitants of the residence halls directly, we hope, but instead is getting things prepped and arranged to make the facilities more accommodating.

Daughter Erin has been busy working within her role in the healthcare system. Many essential workers are working tirelessly behind the scenes as well as on the front lines to get everything ready in case the numbers increase in the Green Bay area. The planning and strategy is tremendous, laying the groundwork that goes into the drive-up testing stations and expansion of medical facilities if need be.

I just wish I could take all of our children and keep them here safe in our home. To have them and all of our grandchildren come with their campers and motorhomes and stay here and stay safe. All of their pets could come and bring whatever food they have on hand and we could combine it all. It could be a great big Pfundtner Commune!!! 

I would love to see all of my grandchildren every day, and know that they are safe and healthy, and if nobody leaves and no germs are brought in, we could ride this through.

But that is a daydream. Our children need to work and things need to move forward so we can all heal and get out of this mess.

Our oldest daughter and son-in-law were so sweet to us yesterday. They were doing a grocery store run and took a copy of our phone shopping list with them. They replenished ALL of our perishables. We've gotten fresh vegetables, milk, eggs etc. It was bountiful and refreshing to have this all come to us. We sanitized and cleaned and washed everything coming into the house, and disposed of the plastic shopping bags, all while wearing disposable gloves. This is the first time in a long time that we've used plastic shopping bags instead of our fabric ones. I guess in this time of crisis, a few more plastic bags in the landfill is the least of our concern.

In return for Erin and Waylen's kindness, I agreed to bake them a big tray of toffee bars. This is my favorite recipe, minus the nuts on top. Not for themselves, but for them to drop off at the daycare center today as a little thank you to the workers there.

Because Erin is in a essential health field position, the little local daycare here is able to stay open for caring for children of essential health care workers in the state of Wisconsin. For the extra effort that these people are doing to keep my grandchildren safe, my baking a tray of toffee bars as a little thank you is the least I could do.

I even decorated the cover of the box 
to bring a smile to their faces!

I was able to put in two layers of toffee bars in that one box. What can be nicer than getting a box of treats, only to find that there's another layer underneath when the first one is gone?

With the limited number of kids attending the daycare right now, due to some of the people not being at work, the numbers are lower. Maybe there will be enough toffee bars to share with the little kids too. That is why I was sure to note on the box that there were no nuts or peanut oil used...

We have two birthdays coming up with our grandsons. All I can do now is send out birthday cards with gift cards inside for future presents, since we can not do any shopping at this time. It will be something to have them look forward to later.


While being housebound, we are getting a few more projects done around our National Folk Farmhouse.

A part of our back acreage is all densely wooded with trees and shrubs. Over the course of many years, it was a depository for the renting people's trash and rubbish. The sellers we bought the house from hauled out 18 loads of trash from the woods, including things like microwaves, televisions, rubber tires, and other assorted junk. They left behind things like bricks and cement blocks, probably due to their weight and not really being a high priority to get out and into the municipal waste yard.  We noticed a lot of them when the leaves fell last autumn.

While the leaves are still off the trees and the shrubs, it's easier to see where these large cement blocks and piles of bricks are located this spring. Steve wheeled the flat trailer into the backyard by hand, not wanting to make big ruts in the soft lawn with the Tracker tires.

He started gathering cement blocks and bricks from various spots in the woods and is in the process of piling them all up on the cement slab where the trailer is parked. As soon as the ground firms up a little bit, he will load the trailer up and hook it on the Tracker to bring them over to the municipal waste yard. They have a section there to deposit cement blocks and bricks that will then be recycled.

He kept himself busy with that for quite a while yesterday and is probably about one third of the way done through our woods.


We are fortunate that the back section of our property butts up to a little gravel road. Beyond that gravel road is a large nature preserve that is owned by the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust.

That property then butts up to the 
DNR marshland for the state of Wisconsin. 

The best benefit is that of course, we will never have neighbors building houses behind us. It will never be developed into any more residential housing. So we are literally on the "edge" of town.

It is such a nice place that we can go into and walk around. It is open to the public, but not for hunting.

This trail was beckoning us to trudge down it 
in our winter boots. 

Last summer, not only were we so gosh darn busy, but it was quite wet and mucky back there to explore it very much.  We decided now would be a good time to get back there, things were still frozen on the ground and the trails. There is still quite a bit of snow in the woods.

We wandered on back around the big pond and looked at it from all angles. Although it was still frozen, we didn't venture out on the ice.

Then we went further down another path to find a large foundation left over from a big barn! Upon further examination we could determine it had one time burned down and the foundation is all that remained. There are some clusters of lilac trees and apple trees nearby from wherever a homestead or rural farm had been located.

It was quite a long barn, and not too old, because then it would have had a stone foundation. This one was a poured foundation, so had to be at least in the 20th century.

I asked on the local Facebook group for our area about more information on that farm. I received a couple different responses:

Tim LaCombe: Looks pretty much the same (old and overgrown) as it looked when I used to ride my motorcycle trail bike near it in the early/mid 1970’s. Edit: We used to park our bikes and hang out there but nobody knew anything about the history of the place.

Greg Barribeau: Use to be an abandoned old house there when I was a kid. Also a pond farther back. Use to walk it, hunt and camp. Kind of a favorite party spot in later years!

Karen Stranz: I grew up in Mary Jo and Eli's house on the corner. We always called that the haunted house. Beautiful lilacs in the front yard, would go back and pick them every year. We did lots and lots of exploring back there when I was a kid. Not to mention the beer parties my brother had out there two.
Occasionally I still have dreams yet about exploring in the old house.

Karen Stranz: The pond was dug when they redid Park Ave in 1966 or 67. All the equipment would go past our house, the guys would toss my younger brother and I candy as we sat and watched them all the time. We even had lemonade stands for them.

Greg Barribeau: Karen Stranz , the pond was there already in 61-62 when Dan Rhode and I use to roam around there. They probably dug extra fill after that for the road.

Steve Brazeau: Yup thats the old haunted house! Good memories 😜

Al Stranz: That was the old Siebert or Sievert (Seibert/Seivert) farm. The barn burned down in the late 50's. House and other buildings were torn down late 60's early 70's by Caspar Murdzak. It must have been a pretty nice place in it's day as there were several flower beds, liliacs, circle drive and an orchard. And a lot of asparagus. House was a 2 story red brick structure. Pond was dug in mid-late 60's, fill was used for CTH Y when it was rebuilt.

We even found a bear track in the snow so that means the bears have woken up from hibernation. It appeared to be a pretty small one.

But even still, they wake up and they are hungry and grumpy and groggy. Best to leave them be. Glad we did not have the dogs with us. Although if we did, they would be firmly secured with us on leashes. We also plan that we will carry bear spray next time we go back in that area.


I finally got around to finishing up the backside of the big blue quilt called "Indigo Dreams" that I have been working on. I was short about 4 inches or so of flannel backing fabric during the original quilting process. So I had ordered some fabric from Joann's, that I talked about in my last blog. Sadly, the fabric came in a different dye lot. It was the same SKU number and fabric name that I ordered from the original fabric. But as any fiber person knows, dye lots can differ from batch to batch. I pre-washed the new flannel to shrink it down to the same texture as the previous piece already attached to the quilt. 

Even though it didn't quite match, I still sewed it on, and was able to finish the quilting process on my long frame.  It felt so good to finish this one up, because I knew it was for US!

I had also attached the beautiful tag that my friend Connie had made for me on her embroidery machine.

I completed the binding all the way around.  This I did on my other sewing machine.  (no way was I gonna hand stitch that binding all around like more "purist quilters" do)  My machine was acting goofy for a while, so Steve and I downloaded the manual for this one and also fixed it, just like last week on my other machine.  I am SO thankful I could still sew on it, because this is NOT a good time for a quilter to have an inoperable sewing machine.   LOL

This is a super duper king size quilt, I made it extra long enough to hang down both sides of our tall king size bed.  It is a bed that Steve chose 7 years ago when we were shopping for the house in Chilton.  It's so tall, I can't even get up on it.  See the little footstool in the foreground?  That is for me!  LOL

 I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

Surprisingly, there are enough scraps left over that I can now create two or three little toss pillows that will coordinate with the quilt. That might be my project for today?  After we are done with our coffee and cinnamon rolls, fresh outta the oven.

(I cheated - frozen roll dough from the Mennonite Store)

Things are damp and cloudy here this morning, and we are due for rain this afternoon. And then on top of that, surprise surprise, about 4 inches of slushy icky snow has been forecast.  Not fun.

I'm thankful that we can just hunker down inside, safe and warm, healthy and happy, and hoping that this will all pass over and our world can return to normal again.

Stay in.
Stay healthy. 
Stay safe.


  1. I loved the part about your walk and the history of the "ghost" house. What fun to find out from the locals their memories of the area. AND your quilt is stunning. I love how big you made it. We have a high bed, too, and the king size bedspreads we buy at the store are so short. Great job, Karen!

  2. The quilt is stunning! Nice work, and glad no additional fingers were harmed in the making.

    Have fun exploring your area...and avoid the bears. :) Take care and stay well!

  3. Nice walk in the woods. It's good to get out in the fresh air. Your quilt is stunning. I have to buy king sized comforters to fit my queen size bed and buying sheets has been a problem also.

    Today I ordered groceries online and they will deliver tomorrow. Missed my fresh veggies


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