Sunday, April 23, 2017

a change in the wind ...

Yesterday's beautiful weather was blown away during the night. Any hope to see the Aurora Borealis went with it (at least for now). We woke to a 30+ drop in the temperature and snow mixed with rain. Usually they say rain mixed with snow but this had more snow than rain. It still didn't stick to the ground (much).

I took the opportunity of being forced inside to finish the last two Simply Earth recipes before my next recipe box arrives.

I made the Garbage Pail Pods first because I wanted to use the bowl for the next recipe. As always, it is good to have a Plan B. We are still inbetween here and there, so I couldn't find any measuring cups except for my 1/3 cup measure (so follow the as I say ... not as I do or did).
 1/2 cup Baking Soda
1/8 cup water
10 drops Balsam Fir Essential Oil
In a bowl, mix essential oil and baking soda until the oil is evenly distributed. Slowly stir in water. Pack 2 tsp at a time into a ridge container such asn an ice cube tray and allow it to dry for 12-24 hours. Remove newly formed pods from container and store in an air tight container. Tape 1 pod to the bottom of garbage pail to dispel orders, replace as needed.
I must add this note ... when adding the essential oil for the first time, test how quickly it drops out of the bottle before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. Because if it comes out really fast (like waaayyy more than 10 drops at once) you can't really get it back into the bottle ... or out of the dry ingredients.

Tub & Tile Scrub
 1/2 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Sale
10 drops Lemon Essential Oil
10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
5 drops Balsam Fir Essential Oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Apply to sponge or rag and scrub the dirt away on grout, tile, and tub. Easy Peasy.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Image Source
This past week or so has seen an increase in campers and cars along the bay.  It is smelt season.  Smelt is a small fish probably similar to sardines.  David spoke to someone who said they had been coming up here for 50+ years to smelt fish ~ it was a family tradition.
Image Source

A smelt fry naturally follows smelt catching, and many of the local churches here have them as fundraisers. We tried fried smelt once when we lived in the Upper Peninsula. I think it must be an acquired taste... which we haven't acquired yet. It could have been that we just didn't get a good fry batch ~ it was at a fundraiser and they were being fried in huge barrels over an open fire.

Today was an incredibly gorgeous day. Temps in the upper 60's (°F), and sunshine! Last night the Northern Lights could be seen in our area (of course, I slept thru them) and will hopefully be seen again tonight so we will have a chance to see them.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Chequamegon Bay no longer has any ice on it. Monday was the only nice day so far this week and the water was incredibly blue.

It has been a while since I've found some nice boots to wear since I [walked the soles off of my last favorite pair]. I ordered some a few weeks ago that arrived this week in a huge box with a long strip of plastic bubble wrap. Charlie made sure it was dead! I think if we are ever attacked by an Anaconda, we will be safe with him here!
 I got these for $15 on sale down from $80. I was happy!

Hard to tell, but those white dots way back in the water are white swans. I forget that swans are actually wild birds, I'm so used to seeing them in man-made parks, zoos, or ponds that it just seems odd to see them in the wild. Even when I saw them on my [Rhine River cruise in Strasbourg, France] they still didn't seem like wild birds.

Finally ... this. Snow. Again. Today.
At least it melted quickly and didn't stick.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

bird watching...

Image Source: Wild South
I got home from work the other evening, and there was this cute little brown bird, hopping up the tree in the front of the house. It was so cute! and wouldn't hold still at all when I tried to get a picture of it!

It is called a Brown Creeper, and has the sweetest song. When I play it on the computer, the cats try to get to the front of the screen to see where I have it hidden.
detail of a spring crocus

I also just saw a female cardinal, which is wonderful because I just love the bright red males and their songs. I hope that they will be here much longer than just for a short season.

In spring it is easy to forget how really dark, quiet and cold winters here can be. But the other evening I had a reminder by just stepping into the back yard. Snow acts like a sound muffler, especially deep snow in the middle of the night. You don't realize what it is you aren't hearing, what you are really missing, until spring when the snow is gone. Then suddenly you realize just how quiet winter can really be.
I can tell that I'll be spending just as much time watching the birds out the front window as the cats are! It will be interesting to see this summer how many birds we do see in the trees since I think these are chestnut trees in the front yard.  While planting some wildflower seeds for the birds, bees & butterflies I found more than a coincidental amount of chestnuts on the ground.  I'm excited because I found a beautiful fall wreath to make with them if that is the case!