Sunday, May 17, 2015


       It's no secret that I like (love) beer. My Irish and German heritage and the fact that I was raised in Wisconsin made it inevitable. 
       While my husband was busy planting our traditional garden of potatoes and tomatoes, I was planting hops. I don't plan on brewing at this point, I'm just intrigued with the hop plant. After doing some internet research, I ordered my rhizomes and anxiously awaited their arrival like a first time mother. Once I planted them, I ran out everyday to see if they had broken ground. To my delight, I can report that all 4 of my babies, I mean rhizomes, have delivered plants, I mean sprouted plants. As these plants continue to grow they become a climbing vine. Hops grow during the day and twist in a clockwise fashion following the sun at night. I might just have to grab a lawn chair, a flashlight ... and a cooler to witness the night activity. I planted chinook rhizomes. Chinook is a very bitter; medium-heavy aroma hop with a spicy, resiny, grapefruit character. If all goes well, I will be harvesting the hop cones around mid-August. I'll keep you posted.

Definition of a Hop: plural :  the ripe dried pistillate catkins of a perennial north-temperate zone twining vine (Humulus lupulus) of the hemp family used especially to impart a bitter flavor to malt liquors.
Wisconsin's bars outnumber grocery stores almost three to one.
Wisconsin has 5.88 bars per 10,000 people.
In the 1860s, Wisconsin produced 75 percent of the nation’s hops.
I've created a scrapbook for all the breweries and tasting room I've visited.
I kept spelling rhizomes with a "y" instead of an "i" throughout this post.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Good Morning Las Vegas ... I don't think there are a lot of sunrises seen in Vegas, unless of course you're just crawling back to your room. That wasn't the case when I took this photo. The rooms were dark in the surrounding hotels and this was the view from our room. It was the only sunrise we saw on our vacation and was the beginning of our day in LAS VEGAS ... UNPLUGGED. After a few days of bright lights, chaotic casinos, buzzing trams, bedazzles and feathers it was time for a different kind of adventure. Just a few miles out of town we turned on dirt roads and explored the desert and all it's wonders. Along the way we found a town that I vowed I'd retire to ... until I remembered the temperatures that the desert serves up in the summer. Although, with the best burger I've ever been served up and a charming brew pub, I won't cross it off the possibility. Below is a little taste of our day in the Mojave Desert.
Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon, Desert Mule Deer

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon,

Red Rock Canyon,  Joshua Tree

Nelson NV, abandoned mine building.

Nelson, NV

Nelson, NV

Remains left behind from a once booming mine town, Nelson, NV

Remains left behind from a once booming mine town, Nelson, NV

Remains left behind from a once booming mine town, Nelson, NV

Remains left behind from a once booming mine town, Nelson, NV

Remains left behind from a once booming mine town, Nelson, NV
Best Burger. The Baron served at The Dillinger in Boulder City, NV
(Half pound patty, jack cheese, pastrami, bleu cheese and tangy mustard coleslaw.)
Boulder Dam Brewery, Boulder City, NV

Sunday, February 8, 2015


If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go first?
I have a "travel bucket list" that has places that I'd need a passport for, but my list contains so many places in the US that I want to see and experience that I don't know if I'll ever need one. For now I'll keep working on my National Park Passport stamps and exploring the diversities our country has to offer. Leave a comment ... you may name a place that I need to add to my list or make travel plans to go with you.

Monday, January 26, 2015


A refraction of a reflection.
Every so often a person needs time to reflect. A stroll in the crisp winter air is a great place to clear your mind of clutter. Recently a stroll literally gave me time to reflect. While exploring at The Sculpture Park in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, I came across a clearing in the woods with a circle of full length mirrors attached to trees.  After my initial reaction of, "Yikes, who is that staring back at me with no make-up and those grey highlights," I realized it was me. I slowly turned in a circle and repeatedly saw that same person. Who is that person ... here comes the (self)reflection section of the post. She's a daughter, wife, mother, friend, coworker and is at a point in her life, she doesn't give a crap what other people think. It's part of the process called maturing. Now that I've made that statement, it's not entirely true. I do give a crap. I care when he pertains to being a daughter, wife, mother, friend and coworker. I don't like confrontation but I will fight like a momma bear if it is something I'm passionate about. I have a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. If you choose to not agree with me, then you're wrong ... just kidding. My opinions may change, but not the fact that I'm right ... just kidding again. Maybe this self reflecting isn't working out so good.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Anniversary Theme Gift

It's that time of year where you've either created a list and checked it twice, or you haven't given it any thought at all. Giving gifts is not necessarily simple. Gift giving can sometimes feel like a chore that makes it stressful. If you haven't started I suggest you start with a list, figure out your budget and start listening for hints that your gift recipients may already be giving you. Following are a few inspirational ideas to get you started. Am I on your list?
Gift Cards:
This may seem like in impersonal route to take, but many families are cutting down on their entertainment budgets and would love an excuse to go to a movie or out to eat. They are far more likely to use a gift card than to spend their hard earned money.
Gift Receipt
A gift should be something that makes the receiver happy-- something that conveys your feelings for them and not your feelings for yourself. The gift receipt is a way to say "I tried. But if I didn't get it quite right, here is a handy little do-over slip that will keep us on speaking terms."
Theme Gift
Giving a gift that carries a theme is fun. No matter whom you are shopping for, surprise them with a gift that celebrates their passion. Honor whatever they fancy, whether they're a biker or ballerina. The diva in your life may appreciate a gift celebrating her chic style whereas the sports fan would prefer an item personalized specifically for his man cave. (A beer drinker will appreciate a gift as illustrated in my picture above. This was an anniversary gift from my girlfriend Laura. Did you catch the message? HaHa Pictured: O'so; Buck In Rut, Doe In Heat, New Glarus; Totally Naked, BBQ Sauce; KC Butt Sauce)
Subscription Gift
This is like a gift that keeps on giving. Every month when the recipient goes to the mail and see's their favorite magazine, they'll think of you. Better yet, how about a subscription to Bacon of The Month Club.  Who doesn't want bacon sent to them each month? Wait... Don't answer that. That's a silly question.
What? If you do it, does it mean you're a cheapskate? I say regifting is okay ... as long as it is new/unused and desirable to your recipient. I have never regifted ... or have I .. you'll never know.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Leah, Andy, Prairie, Jon, Lori, Bruce and Julie: Taking a break while 4 wheeling to enjoy the scenery.

Getting to my families favorite place to vacation this year resembled a traveling circus. The last time we were in this location together was in 2005 when the kids were still in school. If you saw us traveling down the road (RAILROAD) this is what it looked like: 2 Ford trucks, (TRAIN ENGINES), 2 trailers, (TRAIN CARS), 2 horses, (PRANCING PONIES), 2 dogs, (CLOWNS BEST FRIENDS), 2 UTV's, 1 ATV, (CLOWN CARS), 2 wall tents, (BIG TOPS), 2 woodstoves, (FLAME THROWERS) and 6 passengers, (CIRCUS PERFORMERS). If you looked to the sky, you'd find 1 plane traveling from Milwaukee to Denver to Sheridan to deliver the last of the family (GIRL ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE). One traveling show left on Monday, one on Thursday and the last arrived on Monday ... "Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of all Ages, Welcome to The Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming." The following pictures are just a taste of what we call a vacation. To some it means hunting, to others it's just enjoying the scenery and campfire camaraderie.

Wyoming Luggage
Leah and I delivered the RZR. It hasn't left the trailer and it's already muddy.
The 11" of snow that had fallen 2 days prior to our arrival had begun to melt. It was pretty, but it sure made for a mess to get into camp. The hunters and horseback riders got socked in during the snow. Thanks goodness for the woodstoves in the tents.
Honing their archery skills: Bruce and Andy
Roasting a few hotdogs for a bedtime snack. Looks like Cedar might be a "hot" dog too.

My view from my favorite morning post. From here I watch the sunrise and watch wildlife wake for the day.

A different view of the scenery.
Leah and I went down the mountain to pick Prairie up from the airport. On our way back up, we ran across this guy, Jim, setting up to go hang gliding. We enjoyed watching the process and his conversation.
Jim checking the wind before he takes off.
Prairie and Leah hanging by the right wing.

The girls are heading out to do some exploring.
I'll never admit that the main reason we go on this vacation is for the hunting, but I will admit it's an important part. Andy was successful on his 7th day of hunting with this nice 3x3 ...
3x3 Mule Deer
.... and the next day, Bruce was successful shooting this fork horn in velvet. It was great having both tags filled for the purpose of taking one trip off the mountain to the meat processing plant and to have the remainder of the vacation to spent together.
Fork Horn Mule Deer
Cowboy shaking the dust off his back.
The kids relaxing along the Tongue River.
Watching the aspen turn yellow.
Bridge over a creek leading to an outdoor john.

Mt. Dew break in the mountains.
Andy and Leah taking Cedar bird hunting.

I'm not typically an early riser but when I'm in the mountains and the alarm goes off at 5:00am I don't have a problem getting up to see this sunrise.