Dec 132014

Oh my gawd.  Would you look at the calendar?  The last time I wrote to ya’all it was almost Fall, now it’s almost Christmas!!  Where HAS the time gone.

Well, for Rick and I, the time has gone into the new building when we aren’t working or sleeping or tending to other things that seem to pop up in life.  Fortunately, we have forced ourselves to take a break here and there.

We managed to break away for Thanksgiving and travel to Nichole’s to enjoy a wonderful meal and lots of lovin’ from the Grandkids.  Those little ones aren’t so little anymore and they keep their folks plenty busy with sports and school activities.

Before you know it they’ll be off to college.

I think I just heard Nichole scream…

Anyways, the improvements on the building seem to be slow but I think that is because it is so big and there are so many things that have to be done, but each day when we accomplish a few tasks it just gets us closer to being done.

We are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in regards to getting the upstairs apartment finished.  The painting has been finished (except for the closets which I will do tomorrow), flooring is 90 percent installed, new windows are in with custom framing (courtesy of Rick’s talents), and door and floor trim are installed as we get doors and floors in (I’ll give that an 80 percent completion rate).

Tons and tons of little stuff like hooking up water, installing cabinets, laying floor tile and getting the furnace running will work themselves out as we get to the finish line.

There is one room that is completely finished.


The hallway closet.

It’s a room.

It’s done.

It counts.

I think we are also done hauling away construction debris.  The last load went bye bye today.  According to Rick’s estimates, we hauled over 20 tons of materials to the dump.  This number would have been much higher if we hadn’t burned what we could and salvaged as much wood and other items as we did.

All that wood that we did manage to save has been reborn into trim around the windows, doors and baseboards.  It was run through the surface planer, trimmed, routered and coated with polyurethane to bring out it’s natural beauty.


As of this afternoon, that gallon can of poly is gone.  All of it used on wood for the upstairs.

Don’t worry, I picked up another can today.

We haven’t been devoting all of our time on the upstairs, because the downstairs has been getting a little loving too.

The main room where the coffee shop will be located looked like this when we were pulling the old ceiling down and repairing the main support beam


and here it is now, with new sheetrock and recessed lighting


Huge room, huge job, and our friend Chris is doing fantastic work!!

I’ve started up a Facebook page to keep everyone informed of the progress and get pumped up for the opening of the coffee shop next Spring.

Sometimes it’s easier to post little snippets of what’s going on when your brain isn’t working too well from exhaustion.

Or it could be from breathing fumes from the polyurethane.

Sep 222014

It’s funny how a scent can awaken memories.

Although it is not officially Fall on the calendar, the Northwoods is awash with colorful leaves that brighten up the cool days and even cooler evenings.


As my woodburner is coming out of hibernation, the smells of the wood burning mix with the aroma of the bread that has just come out of the oven.  These same smells are what I first experienced when I came up to the Rez for the first time many years ago.  There may not have been bread involved, but I certainly remember the smell from the fire at the gathering that we went to.

I remember the people I met, not knowing that they would become good friends over the years.  There were greetings spoken in a different language that is now second nature to me.   The foods that were served that seemed so foreign at the time are now mouthwatering dishes that we look forward to eating.

But it’s that smell of wood burning that is the strongest memory of all.  It seems to tie everything from the past together.

Enjoy the smells of Fall, my friends and see what memories they bring forth for you!

Sep 142014

Hello all, I have been keeping Sandy too busy for her to keep up on her posting here.  You see we bought
a building to keep us busy…lol.  I do not recommend this activity to everyone…I betcha if you went to her facebook page you would see alot more about what goes on around here
Me personally have found out there is life without Facebook…lol.  I hope to try and keep it that way.
Anyways, here are a couple photo’s for you to look at :)

Sandy on Roof

Just to show you a True Northwoods Woman, notice the hammer in her hand…:) That smile can be deceiving..

Sandy and Brayden

Our Grandson Brayden up to visit this summer.


And my ugly mug, enjoying a summer day!  Thanks for stopping by.

Aug 242014

I guess you could say that I’ve took the summer off from blogging since I haven’t written a post since Mother’s Day.

Wish I could have given ya’ll some notice, but I didn’t realize that I was going to do it!

I’ve thought many times over the last 3 months to sit down at the computer and do some writing, but then this, that and the other thing got in the way and well, I’m sure your Summer wasn’t much different.

Minus the blogging.  Or not.

So what’s kept me so busy?  Lots of little things like gardening, loafing off, reading and lots of running around filled up a lot of the time.  Spending weekends canning, doing housework, spending time with family and friends took up most of the rest.

Another that keeps me running around is helping my former boss (and good friend) out with his campaign for State Senate.

When I first moved up here in 2001, I worked for a local Native newspaper as their accountant.  Back in May my former boss from that job, Paul DeMain, stopped by the homestead to let me know of his political aspirations and if I would be his Treasurer and Accountant for his bid for state office.

My life has been non-stop since that day.

And if that wasn’t enough to fill up my world, Rick & I decided that life needed to be a tad more busy so we bought ourselves a little project.


This building is about two blocks from our house, and was, up until a couple years ago, a bar.  And before that it was a bar.  And other times of its life it was a brothel, a bakery, and… a bar.  So I’m told.

This will consume the majority of our time for the next 9 months as we repair the roof (Rick’s current project), remodel the upstairs apartment to get it rented out (my current project), and then tackle 1,952 other things that need to be fixed on the main floor before we can relocate Rick’s business and I can open up my coffee shop again.

Oh, and still get Paul elected to State Senate, and still work my current job, and keep up with the chores on the homestead, and, and, and….

But if that wasn’t enough, we also have an addition to the family:

Meet Perry.


If he’d stop moving you would be able to see that he is a Siamese kitten that formerly resided at Nichole’s home, but graciously relocated to the Northwoods when Rick decided that we needed another furball.  Rick obviously forgot the high maintenance that a kitten comes with, but luckily for him Thor welcomed him into the home and has been taking him under his wing.

There are not many things in life that shock me, but that right there threw me for a loop!

So I may have taken Summer off from blogging, but I haven’t really had a vacation per se.  Yes, there have been some relaxing moments here and there, as well as over-nights here and there;  personal time with a book on the deck;  relaxing time in the studio creating new items;  snuggle time with Thor while Perry plays with his tail;  precious moments with the grandkids creating memories that I hope they will reflect on when they are older.

Yeah, it’s been a good summer, and the future looks like it’s going to be pretty great too.

Hope you’ll join us for the ride.

May 122014

Mother’s Day has come and gone, and for the third year I met up with Nichole and her munchkins in Eau Claire for a mini-day of lunch and shopping.

It’s fun to see the changes in the grandkids each year.  They age just a little bit and their temperament for being with us older folk while we chat over lunch and browse the stores gets better.

A couple things, however, I am sure will never change.  One of which is Nichole and I finding goofy stuff that make us crack up like teenagers.


The piece de resistance this year goes to the Dammit Doll.  This masterpiece was found on display in a Hallmark store with a picture of Betty White clutching one to her chest.


Had. To. Have. It.

And you can bet it will get plenty of use when I take it to work.

The second thing that the girls look forward to is the picture taking session.  We actually have two of them, the first taking place in the mall photo booth with us making all sorts of silly faces.  The second shoot comes as we exit the mall and find our designated locations for the outside shots.


Here is where I really get to capture some memories.


And those girls sure do love their Momma!


And they like to do some serious model posing.


Being goofy is fun too.


Then we let the kids have our cameras and get a Mother-Daughter shot for posterity.


Apparently one of the dolls didn’t care too much for the moment.

I don’t think that one is invited next year.