My Excitement is Building


It’s the end of March! It’s almost April! Soon, very soon I will be able to put in my garden! I can’t wait!

My garden is my sanctuary. I have a vegetable garden and several perennial gardens. We have asparagus, too. We also grow grapes and strawberries. I love to watch plants mature and grow. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I also learn something new about plants, soil, and composting every summer.

Every year I experiment with something new. One year it was pole beans. Two years ago it was growing pickles on a trellis. Last year I planted eggplant and tried growing my tomatoes a new way. That didn’t work, but we found out we didn’t mind eggplant.

My garden gives me a reason to go outside every day. It saves us money on our summer food bills too. It allows us to share what we have in abundance, with our neighbors. They, in turn, share veggies with us.

Well, I have to go. I have seeds to order! I know I want lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans. Any other suggestions?





Sushi, Anyone?

Less than a year ago, we decided we needed to try sushi, while on vacation, in D.C. We found an excellent restaurant not far from our hotel and walked to the location with our two boys. This meal ended up being one of our highlights of our trip. Since that trip, we have been everywhere to eat sushi in our area of Wisconsin.

Who knew that we would be enjoying sushi like we do. I started slow, with some pieces of tempura. I wanted it cooked. Not my youngest son, he went right for the nigiri, eel and squid and octopus to be exact. My husband was right along with him. My oldest son tried authentic ramen soup. We all enjoyed this new experience.

Since we have been home, we have eaten sushi several times. We have traveled to Milwaukee, DePere, and Fond du Lac so far for sushi. I have opened up my tastes a little more. I eat tuna, salmon, eel, and other fish raw now. I love the spicy sushi! If you had told me that I would be eating sushi someday, I probably would have thoroughly disagreed with you. People change. Experiences are good!

Now, if I could just master those darn chopsticks!

House Hunters

I love to watch the show House Hunters. We don’t have cable so I have to catch it on Netflix or  Hulu or Amazon. Right now I am watching House Hunter Renovations. It always amazes me how people can transform their homes into such beautiful pieces of work. It also amazes me how much people complain about the work when they buy a fixer-upper. Especially when that is what they were looking for. It makes me laugh! What did you think when you bought the short sale or the “handyman’s dream”?  Good grief!

On the show, the people want everything done at once. To me, that is unrealistic. If you don’t have the money, why would you do that to yourself? I love beautiful things too, but I am so realistic and practical. Can I pay for it? Does it have to be done right now or can I live with it until I have the money? I totally get it if it’s not livable, but still…

Sometimes these type of shows makes the couple look bad too. One of the people is almost always the selfish one, the high maintenance one. Then you have the show where the couple works really well together and you think, “Wow, they didn’t even fight once?!” That has never happened in my house while remodeling. 🙂

So why do I watch these type of shows you ask? I love transformations! I will watch the show “The Biggest Loser” for the same reason. It gives me ideas! It’s inspiration! I love to be inspired. I get great ideas for decorating from these shows. I learn from other peoples’ mistakes. It helps me realize that other people have the same struggles and that we are not alone! 🙂

My Mom, My Hero

My mom is what you would call a “tough-old-broad”. I say it in jest. I say it to her face. I say it seriously. Over the last 13 years, she has been through a lot. No matter what she has been through she always seems to bounce back from it. I hope I am just like her in my “Golden” years of life.

My mom fell over on the street from a heart attack. She had what they call a “Widow Maker” in the fall 0f 2002. People were driving by at the time. One young man did CPR on her. A police officer happened to be in the area, he used the d-fib on her. They brought her back to life. She was 70. She was rushed to the hospital, then transferred to an even bigger hospital where they performed 5 bypasses on her. Can you imagine? She bounced back from that. She was walking about 2 miles a day at that time.

About 5 years ago, she was diagnosed with anal cancer. You know the one that Farrah Fawcett died from. We all rallied around her and she pulled out of that. She has been cancer free since then.

After that she needed a hip replacement. We decided that she would rehab at a local nursing home. She did well with the surgery, but the hospitalist put her on a medication that did not mix well with her other meds, but we didn’t know that at the time. She became combative and she acted almost like she had dementia. About a week after being in the nursing home, she fell trying to get out of bed by herself. She broke her other hip. So back to the hospital we went and then back to the nursing home. She was really getting loony now. She could hardly form any coherent sentences and she was struggling to eat. She had stroke-like symptoms, but no one said she had a stroke. After many inconclusive doctor appointments, we took her to a geriatric doctor that came highly recommended. She took my mom off of that extra medication that the hospitalist put her on. It took about 6 weeks, but we started to get our mother back. It was what we had been praying for all along. She was finally coherent and wanted to eat!

She finally was able to come home after being at the nursing home for 6 months, 4 months longer than we thought she would be. She was home for about 2 months when I got a phone call from my dad. He said that my mom was in a lot of back pain and that he wasn’t sure what he should do for her. So I called the ambulance and they hauled her to the hospital. We mom has osteoporosis really bad. Her vertebrae were basically crumbling. So we took her home, and two days later they injected a glue into her vertebrae. She is doing much better now.

The only ill-effects from her surgeries are that she now uses a walker. She was really nervous about that at first but has since gotten over that. She also has to wear those surgical stockings. Like my dad says, “Those are a real b@#$%& to put on!”

My mom is going to be 84 years old this year. Her “Golden” years haven’t been so golden, but she has been a real trooper. My parents will be married 60 years this year. That thought still blows me away! I am a very lucky person to have both of my parents still with me.

My Little City

The small city I live in has about 3800 people. As you can imagine, you see a lot of the same people day in and day out. My husband and I own a bakery so we really see some of the same people on a regular basis. That’s not a bad thing at all. I have some very close relationships with a lot of these people of our city.

As you can imagine, we also have some real characters, too. There’s one man who comes into the bakery almost every day and says, “Hey! How are ya!” in a very loud monotone voice. He’s a startling presence. People can mimic him pretty well.

There is also a man that has been a bus driver for almost 40 years. He was my bus driver to high school athletic events and he has taken my kids to their athletic events. This man is kind of portly, not very talkative, but when he does talk you better listen. Well, he drives around on his little moped, in the summer, and it makes my kids giggle when they see him buzz by because he is such a surly fellow.

Some of our older customers will come into our bakery and ask for fresh “brot” or “Hartrolls” or “Semmelrolls”. These are all German words for bread or hardrolls. I love when people do this because it’s a great reminder of our heritage. Plus, all of our young high school help looks at them like they are speaking in a foreign tongue which in a way they are.

I always think it would be fun to write a book about the people of our little city. There are more than enough stories that go around. They just get better and better with the years. I have never wanted to live in any other city. My feet are firmly planted here. I love it in my little city.











Dogs! Dogs! Dogs!

We have a 5 1/2 year old Brittany Spaniel, Sadie. She is pink-nosed, orange and white furred with wispy long hairs on her docked tail and legs. Birds are her favorite! Along with squirrels and bunnies. She chases the heck out of all of them. She loves her family so much.

The reason I think she is human is because she understands English. You say, “Walk!” She barks excitedly and runs for the door. If you say, “Treat” she will follow you to the treat pail. If she wants to be petted, she will wrap her paws around your arm and pull your hand toward her head. She knows what she wants and she is no dummy.

We bought Sadie back in 2010. We hadn’t had a dog for about 6 years. The last dog we had was Ruger, a chocolate lab. It was not a good experience. Ruger was a hard dog to like, very stubborn. Ruger did not get enough attention paid to him and I didn’t want to go through that again. We really deliberated over buying another dog after Ruger. Our compromise was a dog that wouldn’t be huge and could be an in-house dog. More of a “family” dog. We did a lot of research about mid-size dogs, which ones were good with kids, and which ones could hunt. That is how we ended up with Sadie.

Since we have had such a great experience with her, we decided it was time for another dog. So now we have Maggie as well. Good grief! It’s so different! We had forgotten what it was like to have a puppy. One who is always into everything! You have to put everything up high so they can’t get to it. Boy, are we seeing the parallels between having a puppy to having a baby again. She has puppy energy! Holy Toledo!

Maggie is a handful, but she sure is cute! She leaps around like Tigger. Boing! Boing! She is also eager to please and loves our family. There is a lot about her that reminds me of Sadie. So maybe it’s the breed of dog they both are, but I am not ready for a 3rd dog to find out if it’s true!