Saturday, May 17, 2014

Granny Does A 5K

Ready to hit the ground running
or in my case walking.

Today was the CHN (Community Health Network) Helping Hands for Cancer 5K run/walk. 5K is about 3.1 miles.   It took place around the campus of Berlin Hospital in Berlin Wisconsin.  Both my daughters work at this hospital.  My oldest daughter is a pharmacist there, and my youngest daughter is the community relations manager.  She was very involved with organizing this wonderful event.

Heather and Dylan before the race.

The Helping Hands for Cancer 5K started in 2002, when a local sixth grade girl was diagnosed with cancer.  The community came out to raise funds to help her and her family.  This girl beat the disease and has grown into a young woman.  Because of its success, it became an annual fundraiser.  Every year the event becomes bigger and better.  It is now the major fundraiser for the hospital foundation.  The foundation helps families who need assistance in treatment costs as well as other needs they may have in this stressful time.

My husband and I signed up to walk along with my oldest daughter, her husband and my grandchildren.  It was to be a family activity.  Of course, nothing ever goes according to plans.  My grandson got a bad respiratory cold and couldn't participate, so my husband stayed home with him.  Another grandson didn't get back from flag football practice with his dad so they didn't run.  That left me, my daughter, one grandson and my granddaughter.  My daughter and grandson took off running at the gun.  My granddaughter found some friends and walked with them leaving poor me all alone.  It was fine because everyone walks at their own pace anyway.  I didn't mind one bit.

Sarah and Dylan waiting for the starting gun to go off.

They are finishing strong.

Despite the rough start it turned out to be a good time and a beautiful sunny day.  Grandpa did well with staying home.  I don't really think he minded too much.  Sarah and Dylan ran at a good pace and did very well.  I enjoyed walking all by myself observing the people and the neighborhoods.  I didn't have great statistics, and they may not be totally accurate.  They had timing chips that we had to attach to our shoe.  I noticed some people didn't have the chip.  There were only 18 people over the age of 60 in the race.  I placed 7th out of those 18 in that age group.  I placed 175 out of 269 women of all ages.  Melissa and her friends came in nine minutes after me.  They are thirteen year olds.  I don't think it is because they are out of shape, I think they were just having fun and aren't all that competitive.  Hopefully next year we will all be healthy enough to try again.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Indigo Bunting

Every May we look forward to the arrival of the beautiful Indigo Bunting.  I first discovered them many years ago when I lived in Stoughton Wisconsin.  Every May 8th I would look out the picture window in mid morning and there they were.  They may have been there other times, but on this date I could always count on seeing them.  It was a brief visit, but very memorable.  Since we have moved to Princeton, we see more and more every year.  I think the population is probably increasing.  They stay for a few weeks, but then they move on.  I don't know if they nest in our area.  I am learning their behavior but there is a lot I don't know about them.  They are sometimes called a Blue Canary because they sing and are about the same size.  I read that Indigo Buntings have no blue pigment; they are actually black, but the diffraction of light through the feathers makes them appear blue.  I don't know if that is true.  They sure look blue to me.  The females are the same shape and size but they are very drab in comparison.  This is true for many of the bird species.  I tried to get a good photo of the female but she is very camera shy.  Poor baby, her husband is much more photogenic. 

I have included some Indigo Bunting photos in previous blog posts, but today I'm posting a few more.  Every six months, I make a book of my blog.  It is my way of documenting our life for future generations.  I have a feeling we will look pretty backward and primitive to future generations.  I wish I had more information about the everyday life of my grandparents and great grandparents.

I found this poem on a free poetry site.  It is

THE INDIGO BIRD, by        

WHEN I see
High on the tip-top twig of a tree,
Something blue by the breezes stirred,
But so far up that the blue is blurred,
So far up that no green leaf flies
'Twixt its blue and the blue of the skies,
Then I know, ere a note be heard,
That is naught but the Indigo bird.

Blue in the branch and blue in the sky,
And naught between but the breezes high,
And naught so blue by the breezes stirred
As the deep, deep blue of the Indigo bird.

When I hear
A song like a bird laugh, blithe and clear,
As though of some airy jest he had heard
The last and the most delightful word,
A laugh as fresh in the August haze
As it was in the full-voiced April days,
Then I know that my heart is stirred
By the laugh-like song of the Indigo bird.

Joy in the branch and joy in the sky,
And naught between but the breezes high;
And naught so glad on the breezes heard
As the gay, gay note of the Indigo bird.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chicken and Corn Chowder

This recipe was shown on the Living with Amy show we watch in the morning.  She featured this recipe a couple weeks ago, so I thought I would make it.  It was good.  It would be good without the chicken for those who don't eat meat.  I put homemade croutons on the top, but it isn't necessary.  I make them very often.  Whenever I see day old bread in the clearance section, I buy some.  Sometimes you can get a whole loaf of French bread for $.49.  These croutons are so good they get nibbled on as a snack, in fact my 89 year old dad has eaten four batches in the past two weeks.   I included the recipe for them in an earlier blog.

Chicken Corn Chowder


2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup minced onion
1 stalk of celery, cut in small dice
1/2 red bell pepper, cut in small dice (I left this out because I didn't have any)
2 tablespoons flour
2 (10 ounce) packages of frozen corn, thawed
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
Salt & pepper to taste


Melt butter in heavy bottomed pot. Add onions, celery, red bell pepper and salt. Cook until softened. Add flour, stirring constantly until blended with the butter. Add chicken stock and one package of thawed frozen corn. While this is cooking, put milk and other package of thawed frozen corn in a blender and puree. Add milk and corn mixture to the other ingredients in the pot.   Cook until the corn kernels are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken and continue to cook soup until chicken is warmed through.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Perfect Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day.  I hope everyone had a good day.  Today the weather here in south central Wisconsin was perfect.  The temperatures were in the high 70's with full sun.  The first thing I saw when I got up this morning was a beautiful Scarlet Tanager.  They are so beautiful and made me happy even before I had my coffee.

A Scarlet Tanager

The next thing on our agenda was to meet our youngest daughter and family for brunch.  We met at 10:30 at a beautiful place only three miles from our house.  It is called Mecan River Outfitters.  It is a log lodge with a dining room.  They have rooms in the lodge for rent as well as cabins.  They do canoe trips and hunting trips.

My son-in-laws parents also met us, so we had eight people.  They don't take reservations so we had to wait outside on the porch.  The weather was gorgeous and a Mother's Day mimosa made it just perfect.  The food was very good.  Heather gave me my gift.  My grandsons helped her put it together.  Knowing how much I like nature, it was the perfect gift.

They got all the supplies together.

They put down some gravel.

Some stones...

Then some soil.

They planted some succulents and moss.

They made me a terrarium.

 After we got home, I heard from my other daughter.  Her family had celebrated Mother's Day in Wisconsin Dells with her in-laws.  She wanted to give all the mom's equal time, so they stopped by our house on the way home.  I put together some supper and they stayed for a couple hours.  Everyone was exhausted from the water park, but happy too.  She gave me a hanging basket for the porch.

Today we also saw more of our favorite birds.  It made for a bright and cheery Mothers Day.  It was a wonderful day.

The Indigo Bunting was around all day.