Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wisconsin's Largest Outdoor Flea Market

I live in a small town in Wisconsin.  It has a population of 1200 people and I believe in the winter it is even less.  People either go south for the winter or hide in their homes at the first sign of snow.  In the winter, the specialty stores are very seldom open.  The Piggly Wiggly and recently a Dollar General are the only real stores open to the locals.  Oh yes, we do have a pharmacy, an A & W, a Subway, a Kwik Trip and a couple of banks.  We do not have any stoplights though.  Then the end of April happens and BAM!  The town explodes at least on Saturday morning.  Princeton has the largest outdoor flea market in Wisconsin. They say that the Legion Hall has the best brat fry in Wisconsin also.  Who is going to prove them wrong?  I don't know,  I have never had one of them because I don't eat brats, believe it or not.  It is a pretty large flea market though and last week it opened for its 39th season.

The restrooms are painted with murals.

Princeton has a large city park.  This is what it usually looks like during the week.  

There is no one around.  It looks completely abandoned.

They are trying to restore this community center on the property and during the flea market they have a large garage sale inside this building to help raise funds for repairs.

Even the parking lot across the street is completely empty.  Not a soul is in sight.

Then the end of April rolls around and everything changes.  It's like the town wakes up from a long winters nap.  It wakes up slowly but by mid summer this flea market is very crowded.  The Green Lake County area has a lot to offer, so it is a summer destination for many. 

The parking area fills with cars.

 The street fills with cars.  There are even crossing guards.

And the people start to roam around to look at all the treasures and food available for sale.

There are a lot of different food vendors.  There is kettle corn, hickory syrup and caramels to name a few.   The area has a large Amish population and they come with baked goods and products.  You have to come early for those because they sell out quickly. 
In the summer these sidewalks and grassy areas will be packed with people.

This company sells beef sticks, sausages etc.  There are also other vendors with different varieties of meat including Buffalo products from a local Buffalo ranch outside of town.
Then there are the usual flea market finds. 

Toys, glassware, comic books, plants and produce later in the summer.

There is something for everyone!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Arbor Day 2013

Today is Arbor Day 2013.  Arbor is a day when we are encouraged to plant and take care of our trees. I don't think this is the type of tree they are celebrating.  Our geocaching hobby brought us to another interesting sight just a few miles from our home.  It is the ultimate repurposing project.   I don't know the history of this but these people must have had a surplus of Bowling Ball's and are very creative.

A Bowling Ball Tree

Here is another new and unique use for the Bowling Ball on the same property as the tree.  It is a 17 foot tall "work of art" made of over 59 separate "pieces" by a talented man & his family who owns the property.  Imagine our surprise when we pulled up the geocache site and saw this. 

A Bowling Ball Rosary

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rug Fringes

This is going to be a quick little post.  I like area rugs.  We have a very neutral carpet and wood floors.  Area rugs add color and cozy up an area.  Many of the area rugs that you can buy have fringes.  I don't know why they do that.  Fringes are impossible to keep neat and straight.  Fringes get caught in the vacuum cleaner unless you are very careful.  If the vacuum eats up the fringe, then you have a bald spot on part of the edge.  Puppies also like to chew on them.  This is my solution.  My rugs had fringe on the ends.  I took the fringe off.  Then I found yarn in a color that matched.  I took a big darning needle that had a sharp point and I overcast the edge.  I went in every section of the jute backing so it was very tight.  That was a few years ago and it still looks great.  I don't have to worry about vacuuming or straightening the fringe every time I walk past.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Houseplants make a Home

I love house plants as well as outdoor plants.  If any of you have been reading some of my blogs, you would have seen photos of house plants all over my home.  I even wrote about the Weeping Fig (The Story of the Weeping Fig Tree) and the African Violets.  I believe that houseplants add life and color to a house especially in the winter.  We sure needed it this winter.

Whenever I get an opportunity to get a cutting from a plant I don't have, I take it and try to root it.  I have success with some and some plants can't be propagated that way.  This past winter I was babysitting with one of my grandchildren.  I am the grandma available when the kids are not feeling well and their parents have to go to work. 

On this occasion,  I noticed my daughter had a beautiful Christmas cactus.  Apparently her husband had it long before they were married.  I found an obscure place in the back and pinched off a couple sections.  I took it home and stuck it in water.  After a couple months, I checked and there were plenty of roots.  I just planted them this week.  I'll update you in a few months.

A lot of my houseplants were started this way.  I cut a piece off this cactus and didn't even root it, I just stuck it into the dirt and it grew.  It's still a little skinny but it will fill out.

I did the same with this yucca plant.  When it reaches the ceiling, I just cut if off and stick it in dirt.  I finally had to throw some away because they grow so fast.

This mother in law tongue grows a little differently.  From the roots, new plants come up.  Each of these spikes can be dug up and replanted.  There are a lot of plants in this one pot.

Sometimes plants just need to be resurrected.  Last summer we went on vacation during 100 degree temperatures.

I did everything I could to keep my plants alive.  I put them together and set them in pots of water.  Almost everything survived, but some of the plants pretty much burned up.

 My fern which I had growing on the porch burned.  I cut it down completely and started watering.  Gradually the plant began coming back and this is what it looks like today.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cabbage, Ring Bologna and Potatoes

I thought my Tuesday recipes featuring comfort food were over until fall, but I was wrong.  We certainly need comforting considering the cold April temperatures here in Wisconsin.  The long range outlook is better, but for today it is cloudy and cold.  There isn't any snow but some parts of our state have gotten a lot.

I watch PBS on Saturday morning.  It is full of cooking shows.  One Saturday I saw this recipe being made.  It was made with Perogies.  It was good but one day I didn't have any on hand, and I needed a quick supper.  This is my variation of the recipe.  So quick that you can have a meal on the table in
less than 30 minutes.  It is really good with applesauce.

I post a recipe every Tuesday.  If you haven't noticed, I have a search box to find a recipe or blog
posted in the past.

1 small head of Cabbage (shredded or cut in bite sized pieces)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 Ring Bologna (Beef, Turkey or kielbasa)
1 or 2 Cans of sliced Potatoes (drained)

Heat one or two Tablespoons of Olive Oil in large frying pan or electric fry pan
Add chopped onion and saute until the onion is clear
Add the shredded cabbage, stir around and cover until the cabbage wilts and starts to get tender
Add sliced ring bologna and cook until the cabbage is done, then add the drained sliced potatoes and toss them around until they are heated and slightly browned.

This can sit on warm a while to get the flavors blended or can be served right away.  I debated if I should post the photo of the finished product.  It doesn't look that good, but tastes very good. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Earth Cache

Happy Earth Day
April 22, 2013

It is Earth Day today.  I was going to write something about saving the environment but then I realized that I have written a few blogs about that already.  Here are a few examples.

I compost with an outside compost pile but also with a worm farm. Worm Farming, An Unusual Type of Farmer

I make my own soap.  Zote, What on Earth is Zote?

I recycle.  An Old "New" Cabinet

 I repurpose items.  Easy Storage Container

So today on Earth day I am going to talk about Earth caches.  As many of you know, one of our hobbies is geocaching.  Geocaching As One of Our Hobbies  There are different geocaches.  There is a traditional, there are multi caches, there are virtual caches Example of a Virtual Geocache , there are unknown or mystery caches, there are event caches and then there are Earth caches.

The purpose of an Earth Cache is to share information about a particular geological feature of our planet Earth, and the object is to learn something about it.

Here is one that we visited featuring an artesian well.  It is very close to my daughters home, and we didn't even know it existed.  That is what geocaching is about.  It shows us things and areas that are right under our noses.  If you ever start doing this, you will be hooked.

At the most basic level an artesian well is a passage which allows water that has traveled through porous rock from a higher elevation, to rise to the surface at a lower elevation. The water is forced up the well seemingly defying gravity due to pressure which builds up between layers of rock.

Pipe coming out of an Artesian Well

When it comes out of the ground naturally it makes the ground around it very moist and a lot of moss grows

The water is pure and is excellent water to drink

Here is an excerpt of an Earth Cache recopied from
If you want a more technical explanation, go to this site.

 Berlin's Artesian Well Earth Cache

In order to log this earthcache you will need to visit multiple locaitons to determine what underlying rock layers cause the artesian well to form at this location.

This earthcache will take you to three locations. One is an artesian well and the other three are locations that you can draw insight into the how porous (pervious) or impervious local rock formations are.



To log this geocache you will need the following:
1: A one gallon jug :
2: A watch :
3: A thermometer:
You will need to e-mail me the answers to the following questions in your log:
A: What is the temperature of the water?
B: What is the flow rate of the well in gallons/min Example: It takes 15 seconds to fill the one gallon container. There are 60 seconds in a minute so by performing simple math it is determined that the output of the well is 4 gallons per minute.
C. After you have examined the rock layers at each location, e-mail me a description of the grain size or how well the water could flow through that type of rock/soil.
D: (OPTIONAL) Please post a picture of you or your thermometer at the well.

Additional Hints
"herd" path leads from roadside

There are several wells throughout the area.  Here is another that we found.  Here is my husband with his GPS.  This one isn't hidden as the other was.  It is right off the highway and decorated in stone for all to see.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Treadle Sewing Machine Repurposed

We all have seen the old treadle sewing machines.  They are the sewing machines they had before the electric sewing machines became popular.  They worked by using a foot treadle which in turn made the sewing needle go up and down.  There was no zig zag or fancy stitches.  My grandma used to make us all gathered skirts in one afternoon.  I can just hear that machine cranking away.  This photo is not one of ours, but the three drawers on each side are exactly what we picked up at an auction years ago.  We bought a box of wooden parts and we don't know what happened to the rest of the machine.  I suspect someone took it apart and made a table out of the metal base.

We didn't know what to do with the pieces at first, but when auction fever kicks in a person isn't responsible for what they purchase.  This is what we did with it.  We made a small side table with drawers.  I keep it next to my chair for things that I need.  Paper, pens, phone book (yes I still use one once in a while), scissors and other things.  This was a way to repurpose something that would normally be thrown away.

We also have two more sewing machine cabinets that are a different style.  This one doesn't have the machine in it.  We found on the curbside.  Someone was throwing the cabinet away.  It makes a beautiful end table.  It opens up for storage.  We store quilts and blankets for cold winter nights.

The next one we have has the machine inside.  It actually works but we use it as a bedside table.  It is very unique.

When you fold the top up, the sewing machine rises.

Then when you open the door on the bottom, the treadle appears.  The machine is ready to use.

 When the top is closed the machine is neatly stored behind the door.