North Woods Getaway

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I just got home from a Women’s Weekend getaway with my sisters and nieces. We rented a cabin in the woods in northern Wisconsin for 4 days.

Hayward cabin

It was on a beautiful little lake near Hayward, and it came with canoes, a kayak, and pool noodles. I’m a floater, but some of the sisters are sinkers, so flotation devices are a must.

lake near Hayward WI

We rented a pontoon boat for a day from a nearby resort. No.8 Sis piloted it from the resort’s dock to our lake. It was a little hairy getting it through the narrow channels between lakes, but there were plenty of people shouting “Left! Right!” as she zigzagged between the grassy banks.

Channel between lakes-1

Of course, we should have been shouting “Port! Starboard!” but the “boat punch” we were imbibing rendered our recall of nautical terminology nil.

We returned the pontoon boat on time, and in perfect condition. Miracles do still occur.

We also spent a day in Hayward, touring shopping the charming Main Street. The rest of the time, we played cards, because we’re obsessive about our cards. And eating. Because we’re obsessive about our food.

Before leaving Hayward, No.2 Sis and I had to stop at the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. I mean, you can’t go to Hayward without going to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and seeing the one-half block long “Big Muskie”! I didn’t want to climb the 50 steps up to the mouth of the muskie, so Sis climbed up and I took her picture.

Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

Then, just a quick stop at a roadside casino, where I lost $50 and Sis won $50 (we could have saved time if I’d just handed her my money) and onward to home, sweet home.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I shared this at Chic on a Shoestring.



Mistress Herbalist, or 278

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I know finishing my herbalist certification was not on my list of goals this year, but the school I’ve been doing my study-from-home-at-your-own-pace course just offered an in-person add-on. That is, the Master Herbalist will teach the course 2 nights a week, and I’ll be done in 6 months.

I asked the tarot cards (woo-woo alert) what to do and they said SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS!!! So I did.

Unfortunately, there weren’t enough students to hold the class, so it was canceled. I decided that I must get back into the home study and do it on my own. I studied and e-mailed in homework 2 nights last week. After 5 years, that brings me up to lesson #12 (out of around 60).

That means I averaged 2 lessons per year, before last week. Do you think I can finish the rest of the course in 6 months to become a Mistress Herbalist?

After I finished my homework, I worked on the art studio. I picked the stack closest to the door and (almost) cleared it.

I threw away 1 box of stuff, took one box to the Goodwill, and filled a bag with recycling. That brings my bag count to 278.

studio stack

I even vacuumed the newly exposed patch of carpet.

Stay tuned…

p.s. My bag count being 278 means that I’ve removed 278 bags, boxes and small pieces of furniture from my house since January, 2014.

Neurological Screening, Or 275

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I got home from work today, had dinner, went to change into something more comfortable, and realized that I’d had my shirt on backwards all day.

Last weekend, I met my BFF “T” at her favorite restaurant to treat her to a birthday brunch. As I got out of the car, I thought, “Why are my hands so empty?” Umm, because I left her card and present at home.

Last week, I got lost on the way home from work, twice. The first time I accidentally took the freeway exit before my usual one, and then went the wrong way at the next big intersection. It went downhill (figuratively speaking) from there.

The second time, I decided to take the exit after my usual one to avoid some heavy traffic. I spaced out and missed the exit I wanted, so I had to go 5 miles further, cross the river, and turn around in the airport. The f*cking Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport.

At what point do I ask my doctor for a neurological screening? Is it already too late?

Anyway, I had a 4 day weekend for Independence Day, yay!

Thursday I brunched with “T”. Friday I met my BFF “G” in Z-town. I can never remember if it’s Zumbrota or Zumbro Falls. Whichever one is closer to the highway.

Saturday, No.1 Sis and I helped No.2 Sis start painting her kitchen cabinets. They’re that 1990’s honey oak with no hardware. They’re so dated, I can’t stand them. They’re awful. They’re hideous. They’re exactly like mine.

On Sunday, No.2 Sis came over to my house. We finished the shredding, which, between sorting, recycling and the actual shredding, took a couple of hours. 4 more bags went into the recycling wheelie bin.

Also on Sunday, I gave Rocky 2 (my maple tree) and the shrubs a good soak. We got a thunderstorm that night and it rained into Monday. I AM SO POWERFUL. Thank Goddess I didn’t wash the car too, or it surely would have caused serious flooding.

By the way, the garden is looking awesome! The window box garden is growing, Rocky 2’s day lilies are blooming, I got a pot of pink petunias (say that 10 times, fast) for half-price, and the irises I got from Cousin “J” in Nashville are growing great guns.

front yard garden- July 8, 2015

Stay tuned…

How To Clean The Kitchen

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Before cleaning the kitchen, it helps to do a little prep work.

Put the garbage can and recycling bin nearby.

Get naked, because you will be getting wet.

And remember, cursing is optional throughout the cleaning process.

kitchen, before

1. Unload the dishwasher.

2. Take down the ironing board. And by take down, I mean move to the dining room.

3. Start working your way around the room clockwise, or counterclockwise, whichever direction will bring you to your refrigerator last.

4. Ponder for a moment, with the widespread use of digital clocks, will future generations even know what clockwise and counterclockwise mean? Break into small groups and discuss.

5. Clear counters, putting dirty dishes into dishwasher. Do not sort mail and papers now. Put them on your bed so you’ll be forced to sort them before you retire for the night. Take the fire extinguisher out of the box and clip the packing ties that prevent it from functioning. Plug in the battery charger, as long as you’re here. And for Goddess’ sake, stay focused.

6. Put large pots and pitchers into sink to soak. This is where the out-of-control sprayer will soak you. I told you to get naked, didn’t I?

7. Kick the cat bowl, splashing water onto the floor. Do not stop to wipe it up. It isn’t time to mop yet.

8. Put away the toaster. Admit, after eating 2 loaves of bread and a pound of butter, that the “Can I Have Bread in the House Experiment” was a complete and utter failure.

9. Wash all the counters.

10. Wash the dishes that had been soaking in the sink. I hope you’ve taken my advice and stripped down to the skin by now.

11. Clean out the refrigerator. Put the spoiled food in a double plastic bag and put it in the freezer until garbage day. Rinse the storage containers and put them into the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher if it’s full.

12. Mop the floor.

13. Take out the garbage and recycling. I’m sorry. Get dressed, and then take out the garbage and recycling.

kitchen, clean

Awesome job! The kitchen is clean!

Stay tuned…

p.s. I shared this at Chic On a Shoestring.