Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hodgepodging Festivals for Extroverts

Still wondering what this building might have been
in times past. Bar? Restaurant? Hotel?
On Highway N in central Wisconsin

Join Joyce and the Gang

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and join in!

1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

The shy little grands
They're a delight.

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

Being the executioner at an animal shelter. No explanation necessary, I would think.

Another view of that old building on N
Glad I could get these photos before it totally collapses.
Now I'd really like to find its history.

3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

A couple winters ago, falling on the icy driveway, another reason I hate winter. What I AM falling for are the bright, crisp autumn days (which I hope come soon, instead of more rain).

The two brothers (above) are staying with us this week while their mom and dad are in England to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. The corn is much taller than the seven or ten year old! This was on an adventure. We walked to the spring and then home by way of the cornfield.

Barn on 12th Avenue

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?

Festivals don't appeal to me. I'd be more likely to visit any of these places the week AFTER the festival.

 A pretty Wisconsin farm on Highway N

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

Why are your visits only three minutes long???

Bull snake on my water hyacinth

6. Insert your own random thought here.

The boys' parents visited Hadrian's wall yesterday.
I took this to send to them via Instagram
The boys on Hadrian's Wall aka a rock pile near the spring
Hi Mom and Dad!


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My HomemadeSoapnSuch shops will be closed
September 23 - October 10,
which is why my 2017 Christmas soaps
are already in both shops.
Check them out!

Mandarin Spice
Natural Vegan Soap

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

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 Just Tommy this time.
Smokey probably decided she didn't want to be squished 
by her monster brother.

Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


Friday, September 15, 2017

Apple Crisp Recipe

 Apple Crisp
McIntosh Apples from our faithful old tree

One of our sons and his family stopped in the other day and before he left, he said, 'Say Mom, could you give me your recipe for apple crisp?' So I grabbed my trusty 1969 Betty Crocker cookbook, snapped a photo of the recipe, and sent it to his Instagram account. What did we do before Smartphones??

And it even has my own handwriting. Awwwwww.
Should tug at his heart strings in years to come, 
if he doesn't lose the .jpg file.

And I forgot to tell him that I used a gluten-free flour mix,
but he wouldn't have used that anyway.

By the way, I made an 8x8 this time because
I have no willpower against fresh apple crisp
made with our McIntosh apples. None whatsoever.

 Sweet old McIntosh in better years.
It desperately needs a good pruning.

This is the second copy of this edition that I've owned.
My other one was falling apart, except for the pages that were stuck
together due to some of the recipe ending up on them,
so my daughter and SIL found me another one.
Of course I transferred all my notes before somewhat reluctantly pitching the old one.


As promised, my 2017 Christmas Soaps are ready and in my shops today. I know there are those who like to get a head start on their Christmas shopping, and because both of my shops will both be closed from September 23 - October 9, I wanted to post them early.  I will process all orders that come in on or before September 23 (and after October 9 of course).

Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE 

Soap bars are appx. 3x3x1
and 4.5-5 oz.

Peppermint Tea
All Natural Vegan Soap
All natural base oils including extra virgin olive oil -  and essential oils.
With peppermint from my garden.
Right now I have a batch of peppermint in the dehydrator.
It smells wonderful!
And maybe a little lingering apple crisp.

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

Our ETSY Shop

Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hodgepodging A Thousand Words

 Although it's going to be in the 80s today,
it's starting to look very fallish out there.

 Join Joyce and the Gang

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and join in!

 We've been seeing and hearing flocks of geese
and sandhill cranes in our neighborhood this week.
I love it!
And this early morning there was a doe and her fawn
under our apple tree.

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

I certainly always hoped so, when I was a kid and had to write a paper for English class.
But actually, yes, I do think so, especially for poor writers. :-)

 Something to ponder.
Something to praise God for.
And Grandpa got a giggle out of this three year old!

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

Yes, many years ago. My favorite stop was the airport and returning home. Even back then, California seemed like a foreign country. If I had any aspirations of visiting before it breaks off into the ocean, I'd probably better do it sometime soon. But it's definitely not high on my bucket list. I'm more interested in traveling the eastern coast.

 Antique railroad freight wagon
Rice Lake, WI

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is? 

I love having four distinct seasons here in Wisconsin. I love the change from summer to fall and the change from spring to summer. But fall to winter is depressing because winters are so very long up here, and winter to spring is still very cold, wet, and dreary. So let's go back to thinking about May, June, July, August, September, and October. They're beautiful here in Wisconsin. And we do need snowy December for Christmas.t

 Our Four Seasons
Can you see why I like fall and summer better?

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

I would choose fish and chips at The Cricketers pub in Canterbury. And no, there's little point in lying about my age. My hair and wrinkles tell it all. I doubt anyone would believe me if I said I was 29. or 39. or 49. or 59!!!  Yikes. I never dreamed I'd live to be so old. 

My daughters and their mother

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

As God's image bearers on the earth, reflecting his image to the world, we can look at Jesus (not anyone else) to determine how we're doing as image bearers.

Philippians 2:6: 'who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross.'
As God's image bearer, does my life have the remotest resemblance to Jesus' life?

What do we most want our children and grandchildren to learn about God? If we are God's image bearers, what of his character are we reflecting to them? Are we reflecting a true image as Jesus did, or a distorted image? And because of it, how will they perceive God? So back to your first question, 'Is a picture worth a thousand words?' I'd say that in the case of parenting and grandparenting, it most definitely is. And I pray to be aware of it every day.

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 
We're so grateful that Hurricane Irma wasn't as devastating as initially predicted. That doesn't mean, of course, that we'll stop praying for those who lost so much and are left homeless and/or without electricity and with such a huge mess to clean up in Florida, or those who were and are affected by the storm and its aftermath as it moved farther north.

And a little more random:

 Tommy & Smokey, of course.


Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE

Woodland Flowers
Natural Vegan Soap

No harsh chemicals
No animal products
No artificial colorants
Great lather
Delicious fragrance
Kind to your skin


My shops,


will be closed from September 23-October 9.

Because of this, Christmas soaps will be in my Etsy shop
by Friday, September 15. I hope.

Join me on Instagram @cranberrymorning
Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hodgepodging Another Birthday and Autumn

September 4, 2017

Join Joyce and the Gang

 She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and join in!
1. When you think about your future what do you fear most? Hope for the most?

At some point, getting our farm ready to sell and moving is the thing I fear AND hope for the most.

2. September is National Chicken Month. How often is chicken on the menu at your house? What's a favorite dish made with chicken? What's something you're a 'chicken' about doing or trying?

Chicken is probably on our dinner menu at least twice a week. I love chicken stirfry, chicken penne pasta, chicken vegetable soup, baked chicken, etc. etc. I can't think of what I'm a chicken about at the moment.

It's starting to look very fallish around here.
I picked the wild catnip for kitty entertainment in the winter
The wonderful McIntosh apples from our persevering old tree
will become apple crisp by tomorrow night.

3. What are three things you don't own but wish you did?

A Tardis-style carry-on bag that totally packed weighs no more than 10 pounds. 2 ounces.
A refrigerator that's six feet wide and 1 foot deep.
A silent snowmobile.

Cute little calves and many calf hutches.
The other calves are off the photos.

4. Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Elaborate.  If you answered one, which one?

I tend to be more a jack of all trades and master of none. At this point, I would like to be a master of one, but it reminds me, with a chuckle, of our oldest son who, upon hearing his younger sister play the violin (beautifully, I might add) said,

'I'd do anything to be able to play like that.
Well, anything but practice.' 

5. Ketchup or mustard? On what?

Coarse, dark, and spicy mustard - on a burger or chicken sausage. No yellow French's mustard, please.

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Over the weekend we were at another grandson's birthday. He is now seven years old and just started school yesterday. He's a fun kid, and made sure that I knew the names of his seven Angry Birds before I left to go home.

 7 little angry birds
and I can name them,
but I have no idea what they're angry about

 A sweet and fun grandson


Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE
Peppermint Tea
Natural Vegan Soap

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

Our ETSY Shop

Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Psalm 23

  'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
  He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters; 
     he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.
 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows. 
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.'

Psalm 23, NRSV

(I think that occasionally reading a passage of Scripture in a version different 
from what we've memorized helps us pay closer attention.)


And here's some music that will bless you!

Have a blessed Lord's Day!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hijacking the Hodgepodge for a Wedding!

 Back in Wisconsin,
after spending a weekend in... 

 Minnesota/South Dakota

And for a very good reason - 

It was our granddaughter's wedding day!

And okay, I do have a few photos to show you.
So bear with me.

And in the meantime, be sure to join
Joyce and the Gang

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog
and join in!

1. Can you believe we're rolling in to the Labor Day weekend? What's a project you'll labor over this fall?

I hate to mention this, because I've said in the past that I was going to clean out the house. It's been a busy life, and everything else is way more interesting than cleaning out the house. On the other hand, it's something I don't want my kids to have to do after I'm gone (no immediate plans for a funeral, but you know what I  mean.)

I didn't really mean to hijack the Hodgepodge today, 
but did I mention what a wonderful wedding it was?
First there were photos out at the home farm of the
bride's great grandparents

2. Tell us about the best perks you ever had in a job?

It would probably be either working in the turkey hatchery when I was a kid, and was allowed to take home a couple turkey eggs which I got to see hatch out on top of the old TV in my bedroom OR it was homeschooling our kids, which meant I got to work from home, compile the curriculum, go on lots of nature hikes and field trips to interesting places like battlefields and museums. And the students were cute and fun and intelligent (oh wait, they were my kids, so that's bragging.) :-)

And the bride was taken to the wedding venue (another barn) for the ceremony, riding in fine style in her great grandfather's 1942 Chevy truck that had recently been restored by her uncle. Our son is the bride's father, but you might have figured that out. He's the happy man in the photo above.

3. August 31st is National South Carolina Day. Have you ever been to SC? Any desire to go? According to Southern Living, these are the top ten things to do in South Carolina...

Explore Charleston, bike, golf or relax on Hilton Head Island, see the beach and the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, visit the state museum in the capital city Columbia, observe the wildlife and natural beauty of the Ace Basin, take a walk or hop on a trolley and check out Greenville's charming main street, visit Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, stroll through Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden in Bishopville leaving time to check out The Button Museum, also in Bishopville, see Morgan Island (also known as Monkey Island)-home to nearly 4000 Rhesus monkeys. 

We drove through SC on the way from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia to Washington DC by way of Grove City and Beaver Falls, PA back when our daughter was looking at colleges to attend. Also, when we took our granddaughter on her junior college trip, we visited Bob Jones University among others (Patrick Henry, Grove City, etc.). What I remember was that BJU was gorgeous, but I'm really glad she didn't end up attending there. I think I'd like to visit Myrtle Beach on a beautiful summer day when no one else is there. :-)

Which is most appealing to you today? If you're a SC native, resident, or frequent visitor what would you add to the list?

I  can't wait to see what Pam from EmptyNest writes for this one. 

 And it was one of the best Christian wedding messages I've ever heard. I even got to have some good discussion with the pastor afterwards. I'm sure he enjoyed that. LOL

 I choke up whenever I see the photo of THE HUG. Every parent who's ever entrusted their child to another human being knows what that feels like. Note the happy (and probably relieved) parents when the wedding was all over. It was an incredible amount of work for them, but they pulled it off beautifully.

4. Beef, pork, country-style, barbecued, baby back, spare or short...your favorite kind of rib? What's a dish you enjoy that really 'sticks to your ribs'?

After reading this question, I got out the pork and have a pork loin in the CrockPot for pulled pork this evening. Jack Daniels BBQ sauce was the only one I could find that didn't have the usual poisons that give me a headache, so I went with that. And I know it's good. We served it at the family reunion eons ago in early August.

5. What's one important skill you think every person should have? Why?

EVERYONE needs to learn how to read a map. Because. Just because. Everyone should know where they are on the planet and how to get to somewhere else.

The red line marks our 6 1/2 hour trip from home to Brookings, SD, where the wedding was held. And the next day we did it all again, in reverse. But just look how much longer a drive it could have been!

 One needs to be able to navigate spots like this.

I can imagine someone getting stuck in one of these for days.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

 I'll have to admit that although I was, indeed, listening to the wedding message, it was hard to take my eyes off the cute ring bearer (our grandson) during the wedding ceremony. I think he was a little bored, don't you?


Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE
Woodland Flowers
Natural Vegan Soap

No harsh chemicals
No animal products
Great lather
Leaves skin feeling soft and silky

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

Our ETSY Shop

Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning



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