Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Trip to North Woods, Upper Wisconsin

It has to be a sin to have so much fun and see so much beautiful scenery.
Well, if it is, then I am sure to go to Hell after this past weekend, because I saw amazingly beautiful countryside and laughed until my sides and face hurt.

I met Dennis (Snowman) online many years ago. Over the years our families have become very good friends. He and his wife, Kris, have visited us in Missouri quite a few times. This was our second time visiting them in Wisconsin. They have a cabin in Northern Wisconsin in an area called the North Woods. It is where Dennis hunts and where they go just to get away. We drove the 9 hours to their house on Thursday. Thursday evening we ate a light meal of ham sandwiches and solved the world's problems over a bottle of rum. Friday morning Dennis' brother, Larry and his wife, Joyce, joined us for the 4 hour drive North. First stop was about 30 minutes from home for breakfast. I knew right then and there this was going to be more than a 4 hours drive! Anyway, the further North we went, the more vivid the scenery became. It got mighty cold too. The top temperature was mid-50's.

Bar hopping was on the agenda for our first evening at the cabin. Now, we are in a very remote area, but there seemed to be a bar around every corner. Funny thing is, we made it to one bar, drank more pitchers of beer than I've ever seen (I'm not much on beer, so I had no trouble staying sober) and had some of the most wonderful fried fish (I have no idea what kind!) and laughed at anything and everything. It seemed everyone knew everyone else and the fact that we were strangers made no difference. They felt very comfortable poking fun at us just as easily as they did at each other.

On Saturday we started our day out with a huge breakfast of bacon, eggs, fried potatoes, homemade V-8 juice, and lots of coffee. Then we headed out to drive the backroads looking at the scenery. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Later on we headed back to the cabin and just kicked back, taking naps, reading books, or sitting around just visiting. Everything was very relaxed. Big steaks were the order of the meal that evening. I can honestly say I don't know what kind of steak it was, but they were big and tender. And people kept showing up! People from the bar the night before, the couple who lives upstairs in the cabin (Joe and Honey - oh what a colorful couple they are!), their grandson. I was like, OMG, we are not going to have enough food. But it was like the loaves and the fishes - on a bit smaller scale lol, but somehow there was plenty of food to go around. Nobody left that table hungry, that is for sure. And of course there was plenty of beer, rum and other liquor. I wasn't quite as sober when I went to bed that night lol.

Sadly, we had to head out Sunday morning. We had to be back in Missouri by Monday afternoon. So, we drove as far as we could on Sunday - made it pretty far into Iowa. Then Monday was back to reality. We were in Missouri by 1:00, I was into work by 2:00 to finalize a few things, was at the nursing home by 5:00 to visit mom and home to fix a big pot of stew and do laundry by 6:30.

I hope you enjoy these few pictures of the 70 odd ones I took.

This picture is one of my favorites. The lake is called Black Lake. The waters are a coppery/black color. The brilliant red of the trees are reflected in the lake. It was so peaceful there.

Jim, Deanna, Kris and Dennis

Alright, so the devil made me do it. I just couldn't resist taking this picture of Jim and Dennis' version of solving the world's problem. You can bet they had a beer can in their hands.

This is a picture of most of the people who showed up for the steak dinner on Saturday night.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back Soon

I'm going to be offline for a few days. Everyone have a wonderful weekend and don't do anything I wouldn't do... lol, ok, GO FOR IT!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Get well Iggy!

This is a picture of a Dr. showing an Xray to a patient. It says "Your x-ray showed a broken rib, but we fixed it up with Photoshop". There is a Get Well card on the bedstand.

Oh dear! I could have sworn Iggy was having his shoulder worked on. Did things go terribly wrong for our dear friend?

Psssttttt. I heard from a reliable source that the Dr. graduated from the esteemed healing parts school of PhotoStyx.


Friday, September 19, 2008


I have this embroidery business. Jim and I operate it out of our home. It is custom machine embroidery. I do the designs using computer software and then download them to the embroidery machine. I got into the business by accident - it started out as a hobby with a home embroidery machine.

Anyway, where I am going with this is that I've discovered if you do a good job, charge reasonable prices, and stand by your word, the sky is the limit!

I've done no advertising other than a sign on my car. Jim is my Marketing Manager. I do believe he could sell ice to an Eskkimo. He met a guy yesterday who had a screen printed shirt on that was kinda tacky looking. He pointed to the shirt and said "embroidery wouldn't flake..." The guy order 60 shirts from us! Then another guy from a local bank called me today to say they want to switch their business to me because I am a local small business. They had been outsourcing the job. I honestly have no idea what kind of volume they are talking about and it kind of scares me. Will know more after I talk to them more.

The strange thing is most people never ask about price. For some reason they just assume I'm going to be reasonable. And from what I can tell, I am. A local community college was paying $10.50 per shirt to have a logo embroidered on shirts they provided. That is ridiculous! I was able to do the job for $5.00 per shirt and make a very tidy profit. If they would go with large quantities, I could get that price down quite a bit. I've decided people are greedy. I'm no exception, but I'm beginning to think I'm not quite as greedy as some. Plus, I have the benefit of low overhead. That goes a long ways in being able to keep my costs down.

I'm not too sure where I am going with this post other than, this was on my mind, so it is what I blogged. Plus, I'm thinking there are a lot of people out there who have dreams but fear pursuing them. I'm sure many won't work for many reasons. The idea may be impractacle, the market might be saturated, bad planning, on and on and on.... But, if it feels right to you.... put together a business plan and see if maybe it is worth running after.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


What does a terrible sore throat, pain killer, and whiskey have in common?


Not feeling good. Going to bed early.

By the way... this is Whiskey (and you thought I was getting drunk while on meds, lol) :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Muse

Last week (I think) I posted as Sugar Bush. Today I felt a little squirrelly again and started looking for cute squirrel pictures. Much to my surprise I found that Sugar Bush is a much photographed squirrel and several pictures used in the Squrrel Chronicles (click on Squirrel Chronicle Acorn to read) are of Sugar Bush dressed up in different outfits. If you want to see more of Sugar Bush, check her out at her unofficial blog

It is going to be a busy week this week, so not sure how much I'm going to be around.

Several have asked, so I'll post a little about mom. She is doing ok. That's about it - ok. They had to transfer her from the Alzheimer Unit to the Skilled Nursing side of the home because her weight had dipped to a dangerous 73 and she would not eat. It seems the stress has trigger the onslaught of diabetes, which originally was not detected. Now that they are treating her for that and have added major supplements to her diet, we are seeing her rebound somewhat. We take her a day at a time and leave the rest in God's capable hands.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Let me set the stage. Austin (age 3 1/2) called me yesterday.

Austin: Grandma, can I come to your house tomorrow?
His Mom: (In the background) Austin! You aren't supposed to invite yourself to Grandma's house.
Austin: (to mom) I said tomorrow!
Me: Austin, I'd love to have you come stay with me tomorrow
Austin: It's ok mom! I love you Grandma
Me: I love you too, Austin. I'll pick you up tomorrow afternoon

Fast forward to tonight. Big supper, play outside til dark.

Austin: Can I take a bath?
Me: Sure (I smile as I draw the bathwater, knowing he will play a long time)

10 minutes later

Austin: Grandma! I have to go poop.
Me: I'm coming!

I quit what I'm doing and get there as fast as I can, pull him out of the water and put him on the pot.

Austin: I'm shivering
Me: I know... I'm wrapping you with a towel
Austin: Here comes a BIG one
Me: Ok hun, you are such a big boy

Now I hear plop plop as I am wrapping a towel around him
I sit on the rim of the tub next to the stool
He lays his head on my lap and wipes his nose on my pant leg

Me: Are you done?
Austin: No, there is a baby one coming
Me: Ok, we'll wait

Small plop

Austin: I almost pooped in the bathtub
Me: I'm glad you didn't - you are a big boy
Austin: I yelled at you but you didn't come
Me: I came as fast as I could
Austin: I almost pooped in the bathtub (lol)

He wipes his nose on my pants again
Me: Do you need a kleenex?
Austin: No, I have your leg (I kid you not.. he said that!)

Me: Are you done?
Austin: I'm not done AGAIN
Me: Ok
Austin: Here comes another big one

Plop plop

Me: Are you done?
Austin: I'm not done AGAIN AND AGAIN
Me: Ok

We sit there a bit longer, another swipe across my leg with his nose

Me: Are you done now?
Austin: (big grin up at me) Yep

I swear it stunk to high heaven in that bathroom and I loved every minute of it! LMAO I'm kinda strange, huh.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Hello. My name is Sugarbush. I live in Great Britain. My American Cousin, Bushytail, put a little bug in my ear that this bloke from America is strolling around the British Isles. Bushy said something about a bit of a tiff they had, but he said in the end it turned out he is a good egg. I so hope I get to meet him. I just know we'd have a corking good time! ;)

TaTa for now.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Funny for today

Computer Problems

I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Richard, the 11 year old next door whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked him to come over. Richard clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong? He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, 'An, ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.' Richard grinned.... 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?' 'No,' I replied. 'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll be able to figure it out.'
So I wrote down:

I D 1 0 T

... I used to like the little shit.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Getting focused


My mind doesn't seem to want to shut down these days. Sometimes I wake during the night, still hearing the sounds of my mom screaming out to my dad as he left her in the nursing home :-( Other nights I grin as I think of squirrels and what they might do next :) Some nights I lay awake thinking about my kids and grandkids and their trials. I've been known to lay awake many a night thinking about the twelve years of Travis' dad ignoring him and now wanting him (and, no, nothing more has come of that - lots of "I'm going to do this" but no action). I lay awake thinking about our trip to Wisconson at the end of the month to see Snowman and Kris and what fun that will be. I think of things I should be doing around the house, or embroidery job deadlines... I think you get the point, I lay awake a lot, lol. It isn't all bad - but IT is keeping me awake!

So, I need to get focused.

I've been thinking about my mom and dad and what they have been going through over the past five or six years. Dad has been caring for a very sick wife for at least that long. And mom has fought her hardest to stay well. They walked three miles every day until she could no longer walk. They went out to meet family at McDonald's every day until it was just no longer possible. They went to weddings, funerals, family functions, and mom always did her best to pretend she knew people and knew what was going on. Often there were give aways that she might not be all there, like when she asked "who died?" at my cousin's wedding ;) But, the bottom line is even now they have not given up. They have stayed focused.

My children inspire me. They all three hold down full time jobs and are devoted to their families. They are active in their communities. They do what is right. I'd like to say they stay focused, but it is more like they are staying one step ahead of the game on most days. That is pretty good for young families.

Iggy inspires me. He is always there for many of us and knows the right things to say. And his drive to stay healthy is just amazing! He stays focused.

My friend, Rita, inspires me. We have been friends for over 30 years - having met while working at the State Attorney General's Office. We have very similar lives, incomes, etc. Yet, her house, car, everything is paid for. She is debt free. Why? Because she has stayed focused.

Me? I'm all over the place! That is probably why I'm not sleeping well. I'm not focused. That changes today.

I got up early and ate a bowl of oatmeal. Did a load of laundry and took off walking. I'd like to say I walked 8 miles (like someone we all know), but I only walked 2 1/2 miles. But I WALKED! And I will walk again tomorrow, and the day after that, and each day after that. I am going to stay focused.

I've wanted to lose a little weight - less than 20 lbs., but do you think I can do that? Heck no. I've not been focused. I know what I'm doing wrong - I eat healthy meals and then snack when I get the munchies at night and see that commercial for ice cream, pizza, or whatever. That changes today. NO MORE SNACKS! I'm gong to stay focused.

The other area I'm going to get focused on is money. We don't have money problems compared to many. We are both retired with good retirement incomes. We both hold down part-time jobs and I bring in a little more on the side with my embroidery business. Frankly, with the income we have, I should not have to ever think about money. But I do. Why? Because I've not been focused. I don't stop to think about all the STUFF I buy that I don't need. My friend, Rita, loaned me a book that most of you have probably heard of - Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com) Jim and I have both read the book decided to implement his plan together. We are going to stay focused and will be debt free in a very short time. And that doesn't mean we have to do without. It just means we will have a plan. We will still take our trip to Wisconsin at the end of this month, our cruise to the Bahamas in January (mostly because we've already paid for almost all of it and have saved money for the rest). I'm really looking forward to working together on this.

Many of you know that I have a health problem or two. In December it will be FIVE years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. In May it will be FIVE years since I finished my chemo treatments. So far, so good! I also have Lupus. That has been a roller coaster ride but it has been under control for quite a few months now. That is the one area I have done a pretty good job of staying focused on - my health. But if I stay focused on all other areas of my life, then my health will improve too. It all goes hand in hand.

The other area I need to stay focused is with my mind. I need to meditate more, pray more, and write more. Since I was a little girl, I have always kept journals. I literally have a cedar chest full of journals (hmmm it might be fun to pull some of them out and post the ramblings of a young girl lol - get focused now punkn...). Don't be surprised if my blogs start containing ramblings. When I do that, you can just roll your eyes and move along.

If anyone actually made it to the end of this rambling, I will be surprised. But, like I've said before, "It's my blog, and I'll bore you if I want to..."

Have a great day and know that I appreciate my blog friends.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Just stuff...

I guess we are getting the remnants of Gustav - it has been raining pretty much non-stop since last night. It feels like Fall is here, but they are saying don't be fooled, September is supposed to be warmer than normal - so we'll see.
My mom has been in a nursing home for a little over a week now. For some reason it seems it has been much longer than that. The first few nights she refused to sleep and roamed the hallways all night long. Since she is very unsteady on her feet, they pretty much had to walk with her. Day three they put her in what is called a merry walker.

Well, apparently she was not too merry about that idea and kept trying to climb up and over. So, they put her in a wheel chair with a rubber tray pad wedged into the front so that she cannot get out. Somehow she found a way to get out of there. Sigh.
Things are not great for her or dad with her in the home, but dad still agrees it was the only decision we could make. He ate supper with me last night (Jim was working) and admitted he is having trouble sleeping. It took him 5 days before he would go back over to the home. Once he did, though, he goes every day and spends 2 to 4 hours there.
Well, time for me to get busy. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Peace and tranquilty reign supreme

At last. Justice has prevailed, thanks to Magistrate Ladystyxe and it turns out that Pesty guy is actually a pretty cool dude who was just temporarily misguided. He is invited to join us in a "friendly" game of poker any time (he he he he...) If he does, he will soon become known as Sucker, lol.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bushytail fights back

You know that pesty guy I was talking about? The one with the funny colored feet? The one who has been harassing all things orange, fuzzy, flying, etc.? You know the one I'm talking about, well he's gone too far now.

First of all, he ran over my poor lil paw this morning. For no good reason! So I got my cuz to go reason with him. A photo op for a squished foot. That's reasonable I tell ya! He's been harassing me and my friends for weeks on end and now after one weekend of showing him how it feels, he runs me down! Tried to kill me in cold blood!

Yea well I have my spies and I already know he is going into the Witless Protection Program under the silly name of Rocky. Where the devil do they come up with such ridiculous names! I mean Bushytail and Nutkins are good names. And Cuzin' Chuck (weird colored feet guy refers to him as Major Chuck)is a good name. But Rocky? Well he isn't going to be able to hide with the name Rocky!

Does he have any idea how many relatives I have running around out there - spying.
Cuzin Chippy and Chuzzelwit are already on this job.

We are onto you Iggy, aka Rocky, aka Pesty Man