Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Three Weddings and I'm Done

     The 2018 Marriage Marathon actually began with the first wedding in June, that of one of my good friends. That was followed by the wedding in August at my house and the wedding reception of a former co-worker in September. But then October came. Bring it on. Three out of town weddings three weekends in a row.

First up was my niece’s daughter. 32 miles from home.
It looked like a beautiful day, sun was shining for a change, but the wind was brutally cold.
But one thing I have to say about this couple, they don’t let much bring them down.
Second was my husband’s goddaughter, daughter of one of his friends from high school. 132 miles from home.
We had snow on the drive down, and even though it was still cold and windy for the ceremony, the sun at least came out for a while.
The couple with both the bride’s godparents.
Finally, wedding number three. 186 miles away. But no distance would keep me away from the wedding of my son’s best friend from high school. That’s my boy, second from the left, next to the groom.
Here comes the beautiful bride.
The couple’s first dance, which they had practiced for hours, I heard.
Ahh, thanks to my hubby and kids for getting us all through the last three weeks. 
On to even better and bigger things. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Time to Pray

     There is a time for all things under heaven. There is a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to love and a time to hate. There is a time to sleep and a time to lie awake all night. From Ecclesiastes 3, or maybe not entirely.

Two nights this past week it was a time to lie awake in bed all night watching the numbers on the digital clock do whatever they do. It’s not quite the same as watching the hands on a clock face tick away the minutes.

Why is it? Why do a thousand things stampede into my brain in the middle of the night and then settle in for the duration? Where do these thoughts even come from? What am I going to wear to the wedding next weekend? Am I going to get my costume done by Halloween? What would it be like to win 100 million dollars in the lottery? What if someone I knew won the lottery and offered some to me? How much would it take to make me happy? Why do I think I need money to make me happy? Will I ever be happy listening to my husband snoring? And on and on.

I have a confession to make. When my mind is completely out of control at night and I feel like I’ve totally lost it, that still voice sometimes breaks through the chaos and whispers, “why don’t you just turn it over to God and pray on it?”

So, I try to pray, but if I only pray to God for sleep, well, that takes like two seconds and then I feel like it’s dead air time. You know? Like I dialed His number and only have one thing to say and once I’ve said it, I’m still wide awake. I know God answers prayer, but it’s just not like that.

So, I continue praying, asking for forgiveness, first of all, and then asking for rain where there is drought, sunshine where there is flooding, health for a long list of loved ones. And then I fall asleep. Yes, I do. I always fall asleep when I am in the middle of praying. Which should be a good thing, right? And make me happy? But instead it makes me feel guilty, so guilty that I don’t resort to prayer when I’m trying to sleep because, well, because, I just want to finish one pray in my bed at night and end with Amen. And I don’t remember the last time that happened.

Wow! If anything else, I’ve shown you that someone else (me!) has way more issues than you do.

Dear Lord God, Heavenly Father, I really don’t know what more to say. Except that even with all my quirkiness, You love me totally and completely. Amen.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Butternut - Small Town Charm

     On Wednesday’s blog, I shared some of the places we discovered on a ride up north the first part of September. Today, I’m going to introduce you to an entire town we visited that day.

We had driven all the way through Butternut, when we passed this dreary house. I went, “Hubby! How can you not want to slam on the brakes when you see a building like that?” Like many men, he is oblivious to most of what he drives past.
After I took a few pictures and had to talk myself out of getting very close, I crawled back in our vehicle and asked the hubby if he wouldn’t just drive around this little town for a bit.
I found the murals fascinating.
According to the Butternut website, back in 2011, to raise money for the historical museum, residents could, for $225, sponsor an area citizen who has made an impact in the community at any time during its history.
You can read more about the project by clicking here.
Veterans always need to be recognized. I don’t care where you live.
The store fronts on Main Street are reminiscent of a time gone by.
Steve’s Corner Bar. What a fun looking building, huh? Too bad it was closed the day we drove by.
The Fanatical Fish Gallery was open. Nice art work, jewelry and other fun stuff for sale. 
Too bad I didn’t have any money on me.
I have to take pictures of historic old churches whenever I see them.

I didn’t find out much about Butternut Area Park or Mertig Field.
But they apparently play horseshoes here more than they play…


Next time you are out for a drive, spend time exploring a random village or town. There’s always something to see.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Random Ride Up North

    I’ve been sharing a lot of my adventures from this last summer and am finally up to the first week of September. I’d taken a few days off from the day job to help Hubby paint the living room, but that long story is going to have to wait. With Autumn quickly waning, I wanted to replay one of the last nice days we had to take a drive.

September 3, we took off for a ride up north. One of our first stops was this building with its very sad history.

The Lac du Flambeau Boarding School opened in 1895, with a capacity of 200 students. Here the Whites who had moved into the area sought to eradicate the Native American culture from the original residents. The school was originally built by the Bureau of Indian Affairs with the intention of trying to strip the local Ojibwe children of their culture. Children ages five to fifteen were taken from their homes, made to live in dormitories and forced to abandon all Native American traditions.  
There were originally 18 buildings in the complex, but this is the only one still in use. It is being preserved to be developed into an interpretive center, an archival storage facility and center for learning traditional skills. It is also a reminder of a dark time in American history.
Strawberry Island, in the middle of Flambeau Lake, is considered sacred and called the place of the spirits according to tribal tradition. They consider it the heart of their reservation. In 1745, the island was site of the last battle between these Ojibwe and the Lakota Sioux.
The Vista Flowage and the Powell Marsh State Wildlife Area.
 No wildlife, just wild flowers.
Lake of the Falls County Park in Mercer.  
 I’ve been here a few times. The first time it was camping with my two sisters. Another time it was in the dead of winter.
I’m sure there’s a name for this part of a dam, 
 but darned if I know what it is.
Lots of memories from this place though. 
 Sandhill cranes on our way home. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Putting on the Brakes

October 2

October 6

October 14 in the morning 

October 14 in the afternoon 

     Looking at my backyard over the past two weeks, it’s hard to remember how warm it had been shortly before that. September was unseasonably warm around here as well as overly wet. The temperatures dropped from the 90s to freezing as though a drag-racer had hit the city limits.

This time of year, after we’ve had a killing frost and then the days become reminiscent of July again, is often called Indian Summer. The first written reference to “Indian summer” is recorded in “Letters From an American Farmer” in 1778 J. H. St. John de Crèvecoeur and reads:

“Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer."

Though this refers to this particular time of year in mostly northern North American, many northern European countries had a name for it as well. In countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lithuania, Hungary, Estonia, and Finland, they call this warm period of Autumn “old woman’s summer”. In Bulgaria, it is known as "gypsy summer" or "poor man's summer".

Even in the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are flipped, they refer to the warm days just before the cooler weather begins as “little summer”.

Whatever you call it where ever you live, I have decided we went straight from Indian Summer to Indian Winter. And I’m afraid we are stuck with cool days and cold nights for at least six months.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Yes, I would do it all over again.

We have three weddings to attend this month, which reminds me of a wedding from earlier this year. You may recall that August 4, my husband and I hosted his brother's wedding at our house. I've already posted on Facebook the pictures from the ceremony, so hopefully you have seen them already. I'm not sharing them again here, instead, you get to hear and see the rest of the story. 

The two months prior, Hubby and I put a lot of hours into getting our house and yard ready, but somethings waited until the last minute, coz that's how we roll.   
We'd been trying to get the driveway graveled and graded for two years. Two days before the wedding, I come home to this. Nice to get it done, but, Hubby, did you have to cut it that close?
I started hemming the bride's dress, I think, a full two weeks before.
I even put together the flowers for the tables one week before. 
I really don't want to talk about this one. Two weeks before the wedding, I thought I would wash the kitchen curtains to freshen them up. Well, they've been hanging in my kitchen since shortly after I moved here, 28 years ago. Yes, they've been washed a few times already. Apparently, many times, as one of the seams ripped apart in the wash this time. No problem, coz, of course, I have time to do extra sewing!
So appreciative that my cats even made their contribution a few days before.
The night before, the two brothers of the groom shaped the hamburgers to be grilled in the morning. 
A couple hours before the wedding and these two seem to think all the work is done.
Is my dining room really that big? Or am I just that small?
Ah, look at the yard. All thanks to my hubby's care of it all spring and summer.

Our Friar Tuck bear was a big hit. 
Even the groom thought so.
The pastor maybe not so much. He didn't want to be upstaged by a bear, I guess.
The bride and groom loading up their plates after the service. 
And someone was very relieved when it was all done.
But, of course, I would do it all over again.