Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Christmas Is Coming

Oh, I know you're thinking "Stop it with the Christmas talk already, let's do Thanksgiving first."
We are not having anyone over for Thanksgiving, it's our turn to host Christmas this year, last year my decorating was at a bare minimum, and I have way too much stuff. Thus I gave myself permission to dig through my Christmas decorations and put out what I see fit and donate some other things. I am pleased with the progress I've made so far. I've purged several boxes of Christmas items, but it's hard to see because I have boxes on the floor that I am going through. I'm sure I'll see a difference after the holidays are over and when I put things away. I will always have one big bin of Santa ornaments, one of angel ornaments, and one of balls and misc. I alternate between those 3 categories.This year it's angels for us! (in case you're wondering...which you're probably not).
Yesterday, after exercise class my bff wanted to stop at the thrift store for something she needed, so we did. I had 2 bags for donation that I didn't have with me...now I have 3 times that  many...guess I'll get there later this week. Anyway, while we were there, I saw this cute little, ceramic truck, and purchased it for .50. I have a plan and hopefully I'll remember to post that vignette later. 
 It's a Department 56 item and I found it on ebay for over $20. I didn't realized what it was until I looked at it more closely and had already decided that I needed it. 
And that leads me to wonder 'How can I pare down if I keep adding different collections?'

A while back I found this 18" silver foil tree, for $4. It's perfect for the mantle with my Santa's next to it. YES, I did get rid of some of my Santa's.

I do want to wish everyone a Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter File Folder Book

Aren't homemade books all the rage? They are so fun....I love books of any kind. Nope, I don't do any digital scrapbooking, I like to hold the scrapbook in my hand. I like to touch the papers and photos. Last week I took a class with a friend and we made this file folder book. First three of us went to lunch and then off to the long class. It's made from one file folder and scrapbook paper. There are quite a few little pieces to glue on. Fortunately (for us) they were all cut out.  Here's the Halloween one I made in September. My friend, Carolee, is a Stampin' Up demonstrator and here's her blog. She is the one who taught the class. You really can't see it very good, but the top is silver glitter paper.

 It opens like a book.

The top papers unfold down and there are 3 places for photos, journaling, etc.
The paper also unfolds up for 2 more spots to write something, attach a photo, or just decorate.

The bottom half unfolds down also. The one on the right has a pocket and the black piece with the penguin tucks in it.

It's much cuter in person. I'm not sure what I am going to do with it, but I love it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fred Smith's Concrete Park

Concrete Park? What in the heck is a concrete park you might be asking.......that doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Fred Smith's concrete park is a unique display of unusual art in a small town in northern Wisconsin. On our way home from our Minocqua visit Carolee and I took a detour so I could show her this display.
"In 1948, at age 62, Price County native Fred Smith began creating what is known today as the Wisconsin Concrete Park. Smith, a lumberjack, tavern owner, farmer, and dance hall musician, created over 230 figures depicting his vision of the local culture and the world. His work is considered by experts to be one of America’s most unique displays of folk art. Smith’s characters came from local legend and personal acquaintances as well as legendary heroes. His most widely recognized statues include Ben Hur, the Lincolns, Sacajawea, and Paul Bunyan."
If you are ever in the Phillips area stop in for a free look!
Twenty-eight years ago I stopped in with my mother and children.
  Yup, this is me....long hair and tiny waist.

Still me.....28 years makes a difference. Short, light hair and a thick waist. By the horse's head again...somethings don't change.
Yes, these are the Budweiser horses.

Up close and personal.

 There are hundreds of various statues made from cement, broken glass, and other pieces of junk. 

 Mere words can not describe this view, so I won't even try. 

Have a great pre-Thanksgiving weekend!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Back To A Warmer Day

One a warm day in mid October I, my 2 step children, and their children visited Polly's Pumpkin Patch in Chilton Wi. I can say with confidence that we all had a great day!

 I like this photo of the kids and grandkids. I think I'll enlarge it and give them each a copy. It isn't often that the 2 families get together.

Do you see the haystack in the background? That's what we climbed onto for the photo. Yes, I was up there too, it wasn't easy but I HAD to do it.
The boys competed with dad at the rubber duck races.
 The 'corn cannons' are very popular. The shooter shoots a dry corn cob out of the 'cannon' at 3 different targets or a garbage can. If you hit what you're aiming at you get a prize. The only prizes we got were shooting the cannons. (the kids only participated)
 Pumpkin bowling was another activity.
 A new addition this year was a 40' slide. That was a favorite of all. 

grandson J loves his cousins...
and, once again, he is leaning on someone.

What is a pumpkin patch without a corn maze?
I always bring up the rear....all the better to get a good photo.
We made it to the lookout!

The grands had fun, the parents had fun...it was a great day!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Week

I know I should do the really, nice post that I had planned. I guess I'll do that one later. I'm just going to write a brief post about my week, a hectic week. I was gone every day this past week, all day usually, sometimes in the evening also. I've said it before ~ I'm a homebody, I like to stay home with my own company. I need a day or 2 of quiet time to regenerate. 
Last week I had my exercise class, stamp-a-long, everyday errands, all day shopping trip, making a folder book with friends, lunch at school with my grandsons, presentation at the library, Y class and I think that's it. They were all fun things that I enjoyed doing.
Today I slept in and put on comfy clothes and puttered around here. 
My craft area was cleaned up enough that I could get at it so I pulled out my Christmas cards and was pleasantly surprised to see that I have enough cards made for the holiday. *smile* About half of them need to have sayings stamped inside, but that's pretty easy. I can still make more if I want, I have the ideas. That makes today a good and peaceful day. 
It was kinda nice outside, I think.....I was only out long enough to fill the bird-feeder. Kev went golfing...those days will soon come to an end.
I was hoping grandson J could come and spend the night....but mom is pretty angry at me and seldom lets him come over. I left a message stating that'd I pick him up for Sunday school in the morning. He did call me back and said he can't stay here but I can drive to the neighboring town, where he usually spends Saturday nights now, and pick him up and take him back after Sunday school. OK, it's only 8 miles away, but it's still a pain for me...when he could easily stay here...but I guess mom likes making my life miserable. 
My long, lost cousin (whom I have not met) is looking for her (at least) 2 half brothers and I am trying to help her. It is NOT easy when one person has been estranged from their family and others have been put up for adoption. Most of the people who would have the information have passed on. Wish us luck!!! There are a lot of places to search, but many cost money. 
Friday I went to the Fox River Mall in Appleton to get a head start on my Christmas shopping. It was a bus trip with the Silver Sneakers exercise class. I texted my daughter and daughter in law for gift ideas. Got great ones from DIL but it was hard to text my daughter b/c she shares info (or something) from her iphone with her children's ipads....so both kids were also getting her texts. She called me instead. She's trying to get that problem solved. I texted her last night to let her know that I did find a few things she suggested but I wouldn't say what items....''because you never know who might be reading your texts". Sure enough, later that evening, her daughter, Ava (the 12 year old who was here this past summer) replied back to me. We had a nice chat. She has a 4.0 GPA so I am very proud of her. Way To Go Ava!!! Plus she is taking 5 dance classes. Can you say 'ambition'?

How was your week?
It looks like next week will be almost as busy for me. I'm glad I am able to be so busy.

Monday, November 9, 2015


I'm a Lutheran, died in the wool, old fashioned Lutheran. We baptize our babies and confirm (the faith of) our teens. I am not saying anyone else is wrong, but this is what I believe. Sadly, not all of my grandchildren have been baptized.
My oldest granddaughter was confirmed last month. The teens take religious classes to reaffirm their faith and to understand it. It is an important step and I was proud to be able to attend Tailyn's confirmation.
The service was a saturday night service, starting at 5. BUT I had 5:30 stuck in my head and that is when we arrived. Yup, 1/2 hour late, smack dab in the middle of the service. We crept into a back pew and caught a wee bit of the pastor's sermon. Fortunately I did not miss the confirmation 'ceremony'. Each confirmand was called up to the front of the church and the family members went up and put a hand on her and the pastor completed the rite. It was lovely and I am thankful that I was able to be a part of it.

My 12 year old grandson and 15 year old Tailyn, she's a petite young woman.
Below is my daughter in law, my oldest son (Tailyn & Tyler's dad), me, Tailyn, and  my youngest son.
 They are a nice little family and I am very proud of them. Both parents take an interest in the children's activities. My son purchased land in the country and they built their modest house as they could afford it. 

 I don't dress up often and didn't need to dress up that night either, but I wanted to look nice. I wore my brand new (not from the thrift store) stretch denim skirt (that I love), my thrift store Chico's jacket (here's the post), and these very comfortable shoes that I almost didn't buy ($5 at the thrift store ~ I've worn them several times already). The lace top I've had for a couple of years.
Yes, I am still playing catch up.
Hope your week goes well!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Scrapbook Retreat

 Last Friday Deb and I headed out for a weekend scrapbook retreat at a church camp. The camp is about 2 hours from here and we couldn't check in until 4pm, but we still left in the morning. As usual, we shop and eat our way to our destination. One of our favorite, little thrift stores is closed but we have a back up. We stopped for a nice lunch and then hit the thrift store...neither one of us bought a bundle but it's fun to look. We can 'smell' a liquidator miles away so we stopped at the one we found a couple of years ago. We each picked up a few scrap-booking supplies...but I really, really don't need anything. I NEED to use up what I have. We both decided not to buy any more patterned paper....sometimes it's so pretty that you don't want to cover it up. I've put a moratorium on buying scrap-booking items, especially patterned paper. 
It was a small retreat....or it seemed that way because only 5 of us were on the ground floor and 5 or 6 were downstairs. They are all family and like to stay together. We ate with them and spent time visiting each other's areas. 
Deb's and my area:
 It was Halloween so I wore my Halloween shirt, ghost earrings, witch hat, and fancy glasses. I am not sure why I am so blurry. 

Here are some of my favorite pages. 
 My style is pretty simple, with a layer or 2.
 Please forgive the glare....next time I will surely take the pages out of the sleeves.

I'm pretty happy with the amount of pages I completed. Some were very simple, just photos. The ones above are my 'elaborate' pages. As the weekend wound down I got more into it. 
I really love scrapbook retreats!!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Red MIll

Deb and I had a great time at the scrapbook retreat.....I could've used another day...but I always say that. Saturday it rained all day, so it was a perfect day to stay inside and scrapbook. Sunday the sun came out and it was pretty darn nice. 
I had heard of the Red Mill, near Waupaca, but Deb had not. We drive past it on our way to and from the retreat center. I know several people who love the old mill but I let the rest of my knowledge about it seep out of my head, so I finally asked someone who was sitting at our table at lunch time about it. We decided to stop there on the way home. 

It is an old grist mill built in 1885, the wheel has fell into disrepair is and is now missing. The building houses several gift shops, including an ice cream shop, candy store, and a relaxing area for coffee or to read/meditate/wrie. It smelled soooooo good inside.....with the fall scents (candles?) in the air. The mill has a new owner and they plan to rebuild the wheel and restore it to it's glory. 

 Here's a quick look inside.
 This is one of the old, larger booths I saw.
 Beautiful wood cabinets. 
  This piece of wood reassembles  the shape WI.
  Outside, In back of the mill you'll find some lovely trails to walk on, an old covered bridge, peaceful river, and a small chapel. 
  We're almost to the covered bridge.
 About to cross the river to see the chapel.
 The little chapel in the woods. Many, many weddings take place on these grounds. On the rainy saturday (Halloween) preceding our visit the hosted a wedding. The girls wore orange dresses and I was told it was beautiful. 

As you exit the covered bridge you get a peek at the chapel.

 Window in the back of the chapel.
 Isn't this a beautiful setting for a wedding? 

The river was so calm and peaceful.
 Looking back at the mill.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of a beautiful area in central WI.