Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What Art Movement Are You?

You Are Expressionism

Moody, emotional, and even a bit angsty... you certainly know how to express your emotions.

At times, you tend to lack perspective on your life, probably as a result of looking inward too much.

This introspection does give you a flair for the dramatic. And it's even maybe made you cultivate some artistic talents!

You have a true artist's temperament... which is a blessing and a curse.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Habitat House Build, Uganda (Global Village)

Don't ever complain about the size of your house or the size of a room again! This little house will hold 5 adults and 4 children when the homeowner moves in.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Royal College of Kamuli

I just started a new blog so that I can post pictures and information about a secondary school we visited in Uganda called The Royal College of Kamuli.

I'll be posting more general information about my trip to Uganda on this blog.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Safely Back!

We have returned, safe and happy, with much to tell, but too tired to write and reflect right now. I met people of great faith, and I was inspired. I’m looking forward to some time to organize my thoughts and share my pictures. Thanks for your prayers!

May God richly bless you this advent season. Check back in a few days for some of my “travelogue.”

Friday, November 02, 2007

a Trip

Tomorrow I fly “across the pond” and then I’ll fly to the Equator by Monday. Once there, I’ll be working and learning with other people on a Global Village house build. After seeing a national park and the source of the Nile River, I’ll be visiting an email friend at a Christian secondary school, then home with a stop in London. I hope I can post some pictures and commentary at the end of November.

Please keep us in your prayers!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007


We had 3.75 inches of rain on Thursday!  Hooray!  We are still 8 or 10 inches below normal, but the fire danger is over. 

Friday, August 31, 2007

You May Have Heard of The Floods....

You may have heard of the floods in Southeastern Minnesota, but Smokey the Bear says we still have drought.

Losing Some Good Shade Trees

Four very large Aspen trees had begun to have some internal rot. Since they were close enough to the house to be a danger to the building and us, we had to have a tree service take them down.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Blog Pause

I’ve been out of town, busy when back home, and going away again.  This is mostly for visiting family.  By the time I’m back and blogging, the leaves may have started to turn to fall colors. 

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mystery solved

I went on the bird forum and posted a link to the pictures of the mystery bird on the previous post. Someone posted that the bird is an immature brown headed cow bird with the chestnut sided warbler as its foster mother.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Encountering Birds, one a mystery.

I didn't have to go very far to see birds this weekend. When I got home at about noon on Sunday, two birds were flying around in our garage. We usually keep the garage doors shut to try to keep out the rodents (fat chance!) But they were open and in flew the birds. But they wouldn't fly out.

Our theory is that their eyes had adjusted to the dimmer light inside, so that the open garage door presented a blinding light to them. These birds were in there several hours, flying around, pooping everywhere. They flew out only after the sky became cloudy and the natural light dimmer.

We could tell that the small one was a Chestnut Sided warbler, but the other one is a mystery, even after comparing the photos to the bird book. Our best guess is that it is an immature Rose Breasted Grosbeak. It acted immature in that it would open its mouth and "peep" whenever the smaller bird landed next to it.

We also have a robins nest in a small oak tree near the garage. If the adult robins knew we were nearby, they wouldn't fly to the nest, but rather, they would sit on the peak of the garage, making an occasional chirp, probably telling me to hurry up and leave. They took turns feeding the young, which I could barely see through the leaves. I snapped this picture after Momma Robin had just taken her turn at feeding the young. That is one tired bird!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The River is Up and other news

I've posted pictures of our river before, when the water has been low. We've had some rain, which is a good thing because we've had a year long drought and we were in a forest fire high danger area, but no more.

The depth of the water isn't really a good indication of drought conditions or lack thereof. Well, really low water would be from a period of lack of rain. But this river rises about one foot for every inch of rain, so you can see that it will go up quite a bit from a normal rainfall that doesn't impact an on-going drought all that much.

We've been enjoying having running water again. The best part is being able to take a shower any time of the day I want to. The water has had some dirt in it, and it hasn't been tested yet, so we're still not drinking it. I can tell that it has a lot of iron in it just by the smell.

I've been planting flowers and my husband has been planting vegetables. I used to do all the gardening, but I never really enjoyed the vegetable garden. When he took an interest in it, I was sure glad.

Baby animals and birds abound. I even saw a yound pileated woodpecker flying across the yard. Today I got this picture of an eagle. It was on the grass. Actually, it wasn't in my yard, but on display at a local fair, on loan from the raptor center. It was a thrill to see an eagle up close.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Water we Hope!

We are supposed to be getting a lot of work done around here today: Digging a 8' deep trench between the old and new wells, hooking up a new water line from the new well to the old line, digging a shallow trench from the new well to the house, installing a new electric line from the house to the new well, installing a new pump. After all of that, we should have water!

Meanwhile, I'm home to "supervise." What do I know about all of this? Nothing. But yesterday I was here and discovered that there may have been some miscommunication between the various contractors involved in this work, which I dealt with by making some phone calls. So, we hope everybody knows what needs to happen today.

I thought about moving my car, since I won't be able to get it out during the digging, but I'm sick, so I'm not going anywhere anyway.

We're assuming that the water won't be crystal clear at first, but maybe within a few days, I can take a hot bath!


Signs of Spring

Cheerful robin songs, optimistic reminders of spring renewal.

Lovely Trilliums, all over northern Wisconsin, by the tens of thousands.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wild Plum Blossoms

I wish you could smell these wonderful wild plum blossoms that are on small trees around about a third of my yard.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Drought, fire

From a news report:   Elsewhere, a wildfire near the Canadian border in northeastern Minnesota had covered more than 34 square miles Wednesday, adding more than 8 square miles in one day, authorities said. Since it was spotted over the weekend, it has destroyed 45 buildings, including multimillion-dollar homes, and firefighters said it was just 5 percent contained.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I've had several hibiscus plants in large pots, indoors, for quite a few years. One plant, with deep fushia colored flowers, blooms fairly well, for a hibiscus. The problem with the hibiscus as an indoor plant is that they need lots of water and light. They tend to get very leggy, which means drastic pruning, which tends to inhibit the development of buds. And when they do bloom, the flower lasts only about 1 1/2 days.

This particular plant apparently hadn't bloomed in a few years, or, at least I didn't even remember that I had one of this color. We can enjoy it longer on the blog than we'll be able to enjoy it in real life.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Franklin Ground Squirrel

Well, spring is here, sort of. Since we are in a year long drought, and nearly every storm of the winter and the spring has bypassed us, we aren't greening up very fast. But there are signs, signs of hope. I'm wondering if many of my perennials made it through the winter. Due to the low depth of the snow cover, the frost went deep into the ground.

So out I went with my camera today, looking for life. There are lots of camouflage colors out there: dry grass and leaves, dirt, rocks. Here and there, green is poking through.

Last year, we frequently saw a ground squirrel who we called "Frankie" because he is a Franklin Ground Squirrel. After a few months, we realized that there was Frankie, Mrs. Frankie, and Little Frankie. This year we've seen three at once already. Look how well he can be camouflaged. Cute? Maybe, depending on what they might burrow into. We won't think it is cute if the garage slab gets undermined. These animals are also called Whistle Pigs, because of their call. But last year, I heard that sound only a few times.

I also took a picture of the little creek that flows by our house. It is so small that I can walk across it with one big step. The water is low because of the lack of rain, but right now, it is the only "running water" I can see when I'm in the house because our well is broken.

The next few weeks will bring exciting changes. I love the sproutings of spring.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Turkeys and Daffodils

You'll just have to believe me....I saw a flock of about a dozen wild turkeys run past the kitchen window, at this house in a small town, this morning. I went outside, in my robe, with my camera, but those birds must be able to hear a sneaking woman from 50 yards. They left in a flash. So no picture.

I'm in Eastern Wisconsin, at a relative's house. We don't have wild turkeys where I live.

The grass is green and the daffodiles are up here. Wow, it is really spring. And I'll get a second spring when I get home.

Monday, April 09, 2007

No Snow, Just Cold

We didn’t get any of the snow the last few days that some of you got. We did get the cold. Beautiful sunny days; really cold nights. The river refroze. Check out the picture taken on Easter Sunday with the one I posted from 3/26/2007. In thirty years here, living on the bank of the LF river, we’ve never seen a refreeze. Of course, the ice out was several weeks early.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pileated Woodpecker; ice out on the river

I've been somewhat camera-lazy lately, so I thought I'd better get outside and "record" the changing of the seasons. Monday morning, I could see that the river had risen, but the ice was still floating, in large chunks. But I had to leave for a few hours. When I got back, the ice was gone! That is not only fast, but really early. The state had record breaking temperatures, as much as 10 degrees above the previous record.

But the camera was out and I did record a few interesting sights; whether they are good photos is another question.

I could clearly hear the loud call of the Pileated Woodpecker. They are shy birds, but not hard to spot, since their length is about 16 - 19 inches. Their call reminds me of the wild sounds in the background of an old Tarzan movie.

The purple finches are back from their winter travels. The pine grosbeaks are just leaving for the north. And there have been ducks on the river.