Saturday, July 27, 2013

Playing Cards at the Senior Center

If you have read any of my other blog posts, you know that we live in a very small town.  There are some disadvantages.  We don't have access to some goods and services.  For example, I recently needed a spool of orange thread.  I had to wait until I went to a neighboring town to buy it.  We don't even have a hardware store anymore.  It has taught us to plan ahead.

We do, however, have some very nice services and attractions.  I wrote about the big flea market earlier this spring.   Wisconsin's Largest Outdoor Flea Market  We also have a great library which I will discuss soon, a clinic, a pharmacy, a few restaurants, of course some bars, a lot of antique stores and a Senior Center. 

Princeton Wisconsin Senior Center

For more than a year now, my husband has set aside every Wednesday afternoon to play cards.  No plans can be made between one and three on Wednesday.  He goes to the Senior Center and plays sheepshead with his new friends.

My husband, Mike, loves to play cards.  He learned the sheepshead game at a very young age.  Growing up in Milwaukee, his parents played regularly and he sat and watched.  Then in college and later in life he found others that played.  When we moved to Princeton, he didn't know anyone who played the game.  I don't like to play cards or many games for that matter, so he was very happy to discover that he could play so close to home.

The Princeton Senior Center also has many other activities.  They have exercise equipment available to the members including a Wii system.

They have a pool table, they have a group who plays dominoes, a group who plays bridge, they have a knitting and crafting group and a monthly pot luck.

Room set up for a pot luck meal.

Many books available for members.

It is a pretty active group and we are happy to have it in our community.  Keeping active and challenging yourself is good for the mind and soul.

The Senior Center director playing a game with the grandson of one of the members who is playing cards.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Melissa Goes to Horse Camp

A few weeks ago I went along to take my grandson to Super Hero Camp.  Today I went with my daughter to pick up my granddaughter from Horse Camp.  She has been gone all week.  Originally she was signed up for a theater camp because that is her first love, but they had to cancel because not enough kids signed up.  The next choice was Horse Camp.  It turned out to be a wonderful experience.  She learned about taking care of the horses, and they got to ride everyday.  She made several new friends, and I am sure it will be an experience she will never forget.

Before we drove away, she wanted to show us the horses, especially her little brother.   I'm really happy I rode along.

Saying goodbye to the horses.

Introducing Jack to one of the horses.

Jack is not very happy to leave, he wanted to spend more time with the horses.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Make Your Own Curtains To Get What You Want

I am either ahead of my time or way behind the times.  Usually when I get a decorating idea, I can't find what I am looking for.  Or if I do find it, I don't want to spend the money they charge because I think I can make it myself.   Sometimes it doesn't turn out at all, but I try.  This happened with a little valance I wanted on my front door window.  Nothing seemed right, so I crocheted one myself.

I am not going to publish the pattern because I don't know copyright laws.  It is in the Annie's Pattern Club book from April-May 1989 if anyone is interested and I still have the pattern.  It is very quick to crochet.

My daughter ran into the same problem recently.  She remodeled her boys bathroom, and she wanted orange curtains.  You can imagine how difficult that was to find.  She asked me if I could make some simple curtains.  I did and here they are.

Completed bathroom.  It turned out so cute.

I hope she doesn't mind that I took a photo of the bathroom the other day when I brought  the orange curtains.  I almost changed the direction of the toilet paper.  I am probably the only person in the world who thinks that toilet paper coming over the top just doesn't look right.  She has come to my house and changed mine but I'm not that mean. 

Hopefully tomorrow I will have something more interesting to write about.  So until tomorrow,


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Beaver Are Back

We had an interesting couple of days out on our marsh.  The water is going down, and it must be making a lot of good eating for the great blue herons and the green herons.  If you look out at any given time, you can see at least four or five standing perfectly still waiting for an unsuspecting frog or fish.

Blue Heron standing perfectly still.

Green Heron eating a frog.

If you look carefully there are three herons in this small area.

If you watch long enough in the evening and listen, you will hear a squawk-like quack.  You will see a heron fly a few feet and then see a beaver in the water nearby.  The beaver must be scaring the herons by getting too close.  We had a pair of beaver two years ago.  They built a lodge and gathered willow branches. They laid them across the water, and they ate them all winter.  Then in the spring, we were flooded.  The beaver were forced out of their home, and they had to lay on top of the lodge.  Soon they gave up and left the area. I wrote a little about them in another blog post.  Our Beaver Lodge I know some of you do not like the beaver at all.  They can destroy good trees and property, but in our situation they don't bother anyone or anything.  Last year we had an extreme drought.  It was totally opposite from the year before.  Of course, no beaver showed up because we only had a tiny little stream.  Well, this year a pair is back again.  They are so busy gathering branches and working like busy beavers.  They are using the same lodge the other pair used.  It will be interesting to see if they are able to stay this year.

Here is one of the beaver dragging branches through the water.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oven Baked Tacos Reviewed

It's recipe Tuesday again.  My goodness the weeks pass by quickly.  I don't have a new recipe to share this week, but we did make one of the facebook recipes that was being shared by many people.   Here it is and you can judge for yourself.  For my taste they were a waste of good ground beef.  The taco seasoning made it way too salty for me also.  I really didn't like them at all.  My husband made them and I hope I didn't hurt his feelings by not liking them.  He ended up eating what was left.  He liked them more than I did. 

Oven Baked Tacos

Brown your ground beef and drain completely - then add refried beans, taco seasoning and about half a can of tomato sauce. Mix together and scoop into taco shells, (stand them up in a casserole dish).

Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 375 for 10 minutes!!!!!! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Day with My Grandsons

Today I spent the day with three of my four grandsons.  They are 5, 9 and almost 12 and all of them are smarter than I am.  I didn't have a clue what they were talking about most of the day.  They all have traveled to more states than I have, and they all have seen more movies in the past six months than I have seen in my whole life.  They know modern music and musical artists I have never heard of either.  I imagine they wouldn't know a catbird or wren if they saw one though.

The five year old even sang me a song.  He said it was a parody for some song I had never heard of.  What five year old uses the word parody.  I think I probably still wet my pants when I was that age.

When I told him I didn't know that song, he sang me this.

For lunch we decided to go to a local drive in.  On the way home there were people standing in the middle of the road.  We thought there was an accident, so I slowed down and finally stopped.  There was a delivery truck stopped in the other direction and the guy was laughing.  I wanted to take pictures or a video so bad because two people were trying to get a big snapping turtle off the highway.  They were risking their lives to save a turtle.  Or maybe they weren't.  Turtle soup is a popular delicacy in this area.  In fact when we first moved here, they had turtle soup on the menu of a local restaurant.  The couple didn't want to touch the turtle, so they had a stick and were trying to nudge him across the road.  At one point they totally flipped him over.  The boys thought it was hilarious.  Then I looked on my right, and a big blue pickup truck was passing me.  I thought, what a jerk, can't he wait.  But then I saw him roll down his window and yell to the couple with the turtle.  I bet he wanted it for his very own.  The poor turtle didn't have a chance today.  Either he is boiling in a pot with carrots and celery or he is very tired from being man handled.  If he lives, I hope he thinks twice before crossing the highway again.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

After the Rain

Last week was very hot and humid.  I am a cool weather person so I don't like the heat and especially the humidity.  I was looking forward to the weekend.  They predicted low humidity and much lower temperatures.  It was wonderful.  It was supposed to be dry, but today we got some much needed rain.  We had thunder and lightning and at least 1 1/4 inch of rain.  I love going out after the rain.  Everything is clean and fresh.  This afternoon I took a walk and noticed how even without much rain earlier, everything is flourishing and some plants are actually growing out of control.

The first thing I noticed was the buttonbush is in full bloom.  I have lived here for eleven years now, and I first noticed this bush last summer.  I guess it was a small bush and now it has grown, but I don't know how I missed it before.  The buttonbush is easy to identify.  It grows in water or moist soil near marshes.  The flowers are white balls that are about the same size as a ping pong ball.   Ducks and birds like to eat them when the flowers go to seed. The little brown balls in the photo below are flowers that have already gone to seed.

Buttonbush in full bloom.  Some of the brown balls have already gone to seed.

The buttonbush is self contained and I like it.  What I don't like are the wild grape vines growing out of control.   In years past we were able to keep them under control, but this year conditions must be perfect. They have grown on the trees and over the sidewalk.  They are producing a few grapes.  I'm sure the birds will like the grapes but I wish there wasn't so much foliage.

Cluster of unripened grapes.

Wild Grape Vine growing on an Oak Tree.

A good thing I noticed is the blackberries.  They are growing well this year.  Most years they blossom beautifully but dry up before they actually ripen.  I think this year will be different.  The blackberries are still green but look very healthy.  If we get regular rain, they should turn purple in a few weeks.

Blossoming blackberry bushes in the spring.
Green unripened blackberries.