Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Happy Father's Day to everyone!  

We have another father  that has joined the ranks in my family so I have decided to do a multi generational posting!  All sorts of dads and granddads  are involved here!!  Many of these pictures are photos of pictures, so forgive the gnarly shots!

My own dad pretty much looked like this most nights when he came home for supper.  He may look cranky, but I think mostly he was tired.  Being a farmer was not an easy thing.  He worked for another farmer, but owned some of the equipment and was the mechanic and ran the major equipment.  His ability to plant straight rows was somewhat amazing and he spent a lot of time involved in the process of growing plants- most specifically corn.  And his days were long and dirty.

When he was home, he was making sure the farm was in good repair, the garden weeded, the lawn mowed and we were volunteered for a lot of it. Either by actually doing the weeding and mowing or by being a helper.  It wasn't until evening when he would sit down and relax.  Sundays we would often go visit relatives for the day, so he wasn't working every minute... and then there was summers at Grandma and Grandpas place-

Home for supper
Could be a bit of a clown
Dad and I- about my first birthday
My Grandpa Kutz died when I was very young, but my Grandpa Oberley was an important part of our lives. We went up to visit Grandma and Grandpa for at least a week every summer- they lived in northern Minnesota- Walker to be exact.  They lived across the street from a lake and we loved it there. He was such a fun Grandpa, he'd take us fishing, for rootbeer, we'd go camping (even if we didn't want to) and we always had a good time.  We'd get to ride in his truck sometimes and we later on slept in their little camper.  They also came and stayed with us when we were older when Grandpa would drive one of the grain trucks for the farmer dad worked with.  He was a kind and funny man who was a mechanical whiz.  Dad and he got along famously and dad actually relaxed at Grandma and Grandpas.

Little Debi with Grandpa Oberley

My boys spent a lot of time with their dad growing up.  I got my respite from being a stay at home mom (until Mike was in 5th grade) by Fred taking the kids on the weekends and actually at times during the weeknights.  Except during tax season, of course, then, no one spent time with Fred.  Lol

Their tradition was on Saturday morning to load up the truck and stop at the transfer station (the dump) and then head on over to see Grandma Oswald.  And Grandpa when he was alive of course.  That tradition continues yet today, and before the boys had kids of their own, they would occasionally go along on the same trip on Saturdays when they were visiting.

You'll notice that his wardrobe hasn't changed a whole lot since the 80's, except that ubiquitous mustache has come and gone!

Load em up and move em out!

As Fathers go, Fred was/is a good one.  He was patient, much of the time, and tried to let them learn by doing and by observation.  They spent a lot of quality time with piles of wood, and learning how to build things from the various projects, always done by hand.  He didn't spend a lot of time with them as super little ones, he called that the houseplant stage!  But they all did a lot of things together. I did too, but it was nice to have time to myself.

Napping with Jon

With Greg

With Mikey
My boys were fortunate enough to have 2 grandpas for a while and a great grandpa to get to know!

Jon with Grandpa Owald- cookie anyone?
Greg with Grandpa Oswald
Greg passed out by Grandpa Kutz

Jon and Greg with Grandpa Kutz
Jon and Greg with Grandpa Oberley

Unfortunately, Mike was little when Grandpa Oswald and Great Grandpa Oberley died and when my dad was most active so there aren't as many pix of him with them.
Mikey with his dad
At Copper Falls with Mike
Learning to ride the bike!

Mike helping to open Christmas presents!
Finally, the boys are turning into dads themselves!  The process continues and the story changes.  It is fun to see them with their children and how exciting it is and noticing what their strengths and challenges are.
Jon and Ella

Dads turn into Grandpas

Grandpas can hold those babies for hours without a complaint

Greggy knows the sound of his momma and daddy's voice

I love this pic of Greg and little Greg

This is the only pic I could find of Fred holding Greggy- I have to get more!
Everybody's story is a little different and it is good to talk about them.  Sometimes things come up that no one has thought of in a while, and pictures are frequently good catalysts for memories.  This is the way our story reads in 2014 and it is a joyful one indeed.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Gloomy days and purple flowers

It was a grey day here in Northern WI, but I got some sunny shots yesterday!  And there were some that I was really pleased with.

Siberian Iris

It was a bit of a down day for me.  I packed a LOT of living into these last several days- from finishing up school, to traveling north to Lake Superior, to cleaning and working out and walking and biking and gardening.  And today, I was a bit uninspired.  And the weather didn't help any.  I was actually expecting it to be a bit brighter in the morning and was a little let down when it was rainy.  I did manage to get in a bike ride though!  So, I expect to regroup for tomorrow and push on with it all.  In the meantime, I decided that, instead of zoning out in front of the tv, I would post these pix.
First up, one of my bees happened to be visiting the daylily (first one open) that I was photographing.  It was a real happy accident to get that flying bee, and then I snapped several as he was happily gathering pollen.  You will notice how lovely yesterday was in these photos. 

Honey bee in flight


As I went through looking for some of the new blossoms in the flower gardens, I noticed that most of them are mostly purple/blue tones- very pretty!  I knew that it wasn't the best to be shooting pix in this harsh lighting but I love the brightness, and that seems to be how I roll.  


Iris-one of my "fancier" ones.  Naturally the colorful ones are pathetic growers.  Lol- next to it is nepata: catmint


Perennial bachelor button- centauria  montana

Perennial geranium sanguineum

chive blossom with bumblebee

Another purple iris opening- not my favorite one, but of course this one gives me tons of blooms.

Another color of perennial geranium-might be Geranium sanguineum “Max Frei” 

So after a busy day of gardening and other stuff, we went for an impromptu ride to escape the mosquitos and ended up down at the park in Fifield.

Flambeau River via Movrich Park

It was such a pretty moment in time!  A beautiful end to the day.  I am hoping to regain my mojo tomorrow and feel like getting things accomplished, as it did not happen today.  I need to have my occasional days to regroup and re-energize.  There are a lot of things coming up in the few short months of summer.  

Until next time, be a joy giver and get yourself a good night's sleep!  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My First Day of Summer Vacation! :)

Tuesday was my first day of full-fledged, honest-to-heaven, summer vacation. YAY.

The Apostle Islands Marina

So of course it is perfectly logical for me, the Mad-Science Teacher, Laurie and the Mad-Young English teacher, Adam, to head north to Bayfield!  It makes total sense to up and drive to our favorite restaurant for breakfast, then to one of our favorite towns to visit and definitely our favorite coffee shop and certainly the greatest ferry ride there can be.  Yeah, I am a bit of a fan of the whole thing.
The interesting thing is that I never really had been to Bayfield before about 3 years ago.  I had driven through on the way to the orchards and the strawberry fields in the past, but we never went to Bayfield for fun. No idea why.  Anyway, when the Mad-Seester and Emily came to visit a few years ago, we decided to go on up and take the Apostle Islands Boat Tour, and it was fabulous!! I had such a great time with them on the Lake!!  I was hooked right then.
Yearning for a sailboat ride

Fast forward to last year and Laurie and Adam and I went up for berries and a trip to Madeline Island and a summer tradition was born.  We went a few additional times last summer, they went with out me once or twice and I went with my sister, and of course Adam and I went up for the Book Across the Bay and drove across that Ice Road!  YIKES!  And I am forever hooked on Sumatran coffee from Big Water Coffee Roasters (if you ever need a gift/bribe for me- you now have the details, now,  kids) and basically do not use any other brand.

Just yes!!
We began our trip with a requisite trip to Coco's in Washburn for breakfast!  It is SO good.  I had a vegetarian frittata and roasted rosemary potatoes and wildrice/cranberry bread.  #heaven


Amazing beautiful morning

One of the boat tour boats on the left

After breakfast and lots and lots of coffee We headed on up to the Marina and decided to (after soaking up the atmosphere) to take the 5 plus mile walk on the Brownstone Trail.  This involved meandering through the waterfront area, and we went through an adorable park and saw some nice landscaping and of course the lake....
In a little park on the way over to the Brownstone Trail

Stairway to nowhere

The Brownstone Trail goes along the Lake front - and it is lovely.  There are all sorts of things to behold.  Views of the lake, various houses and barns and stair cases.  It is a really nice hike.

 A random barn and silo right off the trail

Some very impressive houses on the lake!

And there were very few mosquitos!

Breathtaking view

When we got to the second marina, which is where you end up before you turn around and head back, there was some beauty to behold there as well.  Interesting to see a boat lowered into the water and all.  No place to get a bottle of water or a Margarita though, until after 5pm.  Unless you are a member of said marina.
Lifting a boat to put into the lake

The other marina in Bayfield

There was plenty of whimsy along the trail.  I enjoy this very much

The Troll that lives under a bridge
Lovely wildflower along the path
A really cool slide!!
Metal creature fabricated out of old stuff!
Great walk with great friends
So after an awesome stop to cool off and get some cold drinks at the Big Water Coffee Shop (and check out their cool new coffee roaster) we headed over to the dock to hop on the ferry. We were fortunate enough to visit with Hannah in her "office" and she gave us some backstories into the beautiful houses and some of the characters that live in the area, both full time and seasonal.  She is pretty great- and it sounds like Bayfield is inhabited by awesome people.
Sail boats as far as you can see

Taking a nap on the ferry

After arriving at Madeline Island we wanted to go to the one place we never quite got to last year and that is Tom's Burned Down Cafe.  It is quite the fun place to be and quite eclectic and eccentric.  I LOVE it there!!  We treated ourselves (those of us who drink, that is) to a Salty Chihuahua!
This was beyond awesome and we proceeded to find the little beach where we sat and watched the lake and the people

Tom's selfie with friends

Lovely vista

Looking for a different viewpoint

soak in the view

Repetition and pattern

After hanging out on the island and deciding what we will do next time we come (get ourselves to the State Park that is 7 miles down the road) we wandered back to the ferry and rode back to the mainland. Where we were exhausted and starved!  After a very nice meal  (Pasta and vegetables with garlic toast) at Greunke's, we headed back to Park Falls via the Chequamegon Food Co-op.  I found myself nicely lightly sunburned and tired.

The interesting thing about Bayfield is the actual sun can feel warm and we got quite warm walking, however, the wind off the lake was chilly, dare I say cold, on Tuesday.  So in order to stop the sunburn from getting worse I just put on and zipped  up my sweatshirt.

 **note to self, keep the sunscreen WITH YOU!!**
Sculpture on the marina

One of the ferries passing as we are going to the island

So many pasttimes


Daily routine

I put this in here to freak out the locals!!!  Hehehe  Hard to believe that this was the view not that long ago as I was driven across that bay!!
A mere 6 months ago - the ice road

This is the preferred view- no ice to be seen!

This is the life
You all know that we will be going back.  And that will be a joy!  Until next time, soak up all that joyful summer-time that you can.  And give some joy to those you know!
LOVED this mini-vaca!!