MISCELLANEOUS


2017.10.28 -- FIRST SNOW

We got three-and-a-half inches of snow Friday night.  Abe is happy...
first_snow_20171028

He loves taking "snow baths".




2017.09.04 -- AUTUMN IS HERE

Time for the Autumn sheets: Flannel sheets and satin pillowcases...
autumn_sheets

Also time to check the bees for mites...
varroa

That's actually less than half of them from the sample.  A bunch washed away when I was carrying the plate.  Those are what killed my hives last winter.  I've put in some mite strips that are supposed to kill "95%" of them.  Hopefully, there will only be a few when I test again next week.

If you want to see a YouTube video on Sugar Shaking bees, click <HERE>.




2017.08.28 -- VACATION PICTURES

We went down to Tennessee to see the eclipse...
eclipse

I mean, we went down to Tennessee to see my mom.  Yeah, that's it.  Here's where they will build their new house...
Untitled

There just happened to be an eclipse while we were there.  They had a canopy set up so we didn't have to fry in the sun all day.  We watched the eclipse progress on it...
Untitled

I found a purple passionflower on the property...
Untitled

And finally, a picture of my wife being goofy...
Untitled




2017.08.12 -- PICTURES

Ask Dewy the Frog nicely and maybe it'll show you some more pictures...
dewy_the_frog




2017.06.03 -- I THINK I MISSED MAY

We've been pretty busy.  Kelly mostly with work...  Last month she was cleared for fire duty and worked twenty days straight.  That finally gave the people filling in for her a chance to get some time off.

On the Friday before Mother's Day, I picked up our thirty broiler chicks.  They were s'posed to arrive nine days earlier, but something happened at the hatchery.  They are now three weeks old, so we moved them out to the kennel.

The feed store gave me a bonus rooster.  He's a Silver-Laced Wyandotte.  Here's a picture of him in the transfer tub riding on the back of a piggy bird...
rooster

On Mother's Day, I drove down to Wausau to pick up bees.  I bought two hives-worth.  One is doing great...  The queen is laying eggs anywhere she can.  The other is doing not great...  Something must have happened to the queen on the ride up from Georgia.  I gave them a frame of eggs from the other hive last week and they are making new queens now.

The weather has been up in the 80s the last two days.  So, we went out to the Lake House for the first swim on the year...

It was my second dive, so I tried to make a big splash.




2017.04.29 -- HELLO

We've had all kinds of doings lately.  One of the biggest was Abe's 15th Birthday...
abe_bday

He wanted to go to the Moon, but was disappointed that it wasn't green cheese.

We boiled many buckets of sap...
boiling_sap

...to make maple syrup...
maple_syrup

It didn't turn out all the good, so don't feel bad if you don't get any.

It has snowed a few times...
snow_flowers2

Hopefully, it will give up and stop doing that soon.




2017.03.21 -- MADISON

I went down to the University of Wisconsin in Madison for a couple days of computer training.  Here's the Science Hall building at 7am...
science_hall

We were up on the third floor, in the Geography department.  You can look downtown and see the Capitol a mile away from up there...
madison

After class Monday, I walked down to Capitol Square...
wisconsin_capitol

That is where we took the State Christmas trees a couple times all those many years ago.  I continued walking past the Capitol and found the main DNR building...
dnr_bldg

A couple miles later, I reached my final destination...
madison_aikido

I had written them and asking if I could join them for their Monday class.  Their style is a bit different than the one I attend in Ironwood, but it was still fun.

Then, it was an hour-long bus ride back towards the hotel I was staying at.  With all the miles of walking, more than I've done in one day in a few years, carrying my duffel bag with my Aikido clothes the whole time, then getting beat up for an hour, I was pretty sore by the time the bus reached my stop.  (I had an all-day pass and should have taken the bus after the Capitol, but it was a beautiful day and finally felt like Spring was actually here.)  When I got off the bus, I didn't know if I would be able to walk the final half-mile to the hotel.  Luckily, I made it and didn't have to sleep on the sidewalk.

While I was away, Kelly started collecting sap to make maple syrup...
sap_buckets

She did the setup on Sunday, and was so excited that the sap was flowing that she boiled down the little bit she had that evening into her first syrup...
first_syrup




2016.12.29 -- LITTLE BOY AND FAT MAN

A friend came over and showed me how to solder pipes today, so I was able to install the new water tank.

This is Little Boy, the old one...
littleboy

And this is Fat Man, the new one...
fatman

Little Boy was looking a bit old and too rusty.  The old wires are a wee bit short, so I'll replace them sometime next year.

Note for future plumbing jobs...  Get a flux brush.




2016.12.21 -- WINTER IS HERE

I think we've gotten about two feet of snow so far.  I guess my big idea for the bee hives wasn't so big...
winter_bees

And it looks like the chapel birdhouse has turned Russian Orthodox...
winter_chapel




2016.12.10 -- MERCER CANDY CANE PARADE

We were in our second parade of the year!  The Town of Mercer has been holding a Candy Cane Parade for the last five years.  The MECCA ski club has been entering a float in the parade for at least the last three.  Kelly and I rode on the float, toasting marshmallows over a fake campfire...
candy_cane_parade_float_2016a

Luckily, we had the fire to add more wind in our faces, because the temperature was in the low single-digits...
candy_cane_parade_float_2016b

When we were lining up, we joked that there wouldn't be anybody out to watch the parade.  There were a few, but there might have been as many people in the parade as there were watching.  Some people were sitting in their cars to watch.

There were about twenty-ish other floats, including the two fire trucks, the snowmobile trail groomer, and some of the local businesses.  We won for best Non-Profit Organization, again.

After the parade, everybody went to the Community Center for cookies and cocoa.  Santa was there for the kids, and there was a table of raffle prizes for them.  Not a whole lot to do otherwise than just warm up.




2016.12.09 -- SO I RECEIVED A CALL...

I received a call today...  Apparently, I was down in Florida, near Fort Lauderdale, and charged $4000 on my credit card at a Winn-Dixie.

For those of you who don't know, Winn-Dixie is a chain of grocery stores in the Gulf Coast States.  I sure must have been hungry to spend that much money.

I wonder how many carts you would have to fill to spend $4,069.84 in a grocery store.  Ten, maybe?  Thirty years ago, we used to fill a cart for about $200, if I recall correctly.




2016.10.22 -- LIKE A PORKIE WITH A TWIST ANKLE

The full quote is: "Lord knows I love that song, like a porkie with a twist ankle."

Somebody said that in my dream right before waking up this morning.  I have no idea what it means, but I love it.




2016.10.09 -- BEEN BUSY

Fall is here.  The peak color was a week-or-so ago, and the wind has been tearing the leaves down.  We had a light frost this morning...  First one of the season and almost record-late.

We released a total of sixty-three Monarch butterflies this year.  Thirty-five females and twenty-eight males.

I've been feeding the bees, fattening them up for winter.  Did you know you can buy a twenty-five pound bag of sugar for $12?
sugar

Had the best crop of apples ever this year...
apple_tree

So, I've been making apple sauce, apple crisps, and apple loafs.  If you are what you eat, I will soon be a honey covered apple.

And the most egg-citing news... Kelly found an egg in the new-chicken pen this morning!
first_black_star_egg

Looks like the old hens will have some competition soon.  We have a dozen Red Stars that are sixteen months old, and thirteen Black Stars that are four months old.  We will hit 3,100 for the year so far today.  Don't worry, we never have any trouble finding homes for our eggs.

 




2016.08.08 -- MORE BUTTERFLIES

We had another four butterflies emerge over the last seven-ish days.  Only one female, so far...
female01

She didn't stick around for any pictures.  One of the males only had three wings...
three-winged_male

Today's two males..
males_04_05




2016.08.06 -- BUSY

The in-laws have been up, so we've been busy.  Here's a few pictures to catch you up...

I bought thirteen new chickens...
black_star_chicks

They are Black Stars, about seven weeks old, and should start laying eggs by December.  I found them in a Craigslist posting, and had to drive down to Woodruff and meet a woman in the Walmart parking lot to get them.

Last Wednesday, we went to the Loon Day Art and Craft Show...
loon_day_kelly

Hoo boy!  Was it hot.

I collected some rent from the bees yesterday...
honey--20160805

That's a quart jar and holds three pounds of honey.  I got that and another pound off one frame.  I'll post some pictures of the messy-way to get honey off a frame in a few days.




2016.07.28 -- HI, BUTTERFLY!

The first two Monarchs emerged yesterday.  I put them out on a cone flower this morning...
monarchs--20160728

They are both male.




2016.07.26 -- ALMOST READY FOR HARVEST

The first of the Monarchs will emerge by morning...
monarchs--20160726

There's a second dark one almost off-camera to the right.




2016.07.24 -- BUTTERFLY UPDATE

We have seven monarchs in the hamper.  The latest one is getting ready to form a chrysalis and pupate...
monarchs--20160724

There are six in the picture.  The one in the middle is one of the two oldest and should emerge in the next couple days.

Kelly says she saw another, little one on a milkweed plant in her blueberry bushes.




2016.07.15 -- BEST PIZZA IN THE COUNTY

There is no better pizza in the County than this one...
20160715_135653-2000x1500

And I should have cooked the crust a couple minutes longer.  You'd think with all the Chicagoans coming up here, I'd be able to buy a good pizza.  Nope.  It's sad, but true.




2016.07.05 -- PARADE 2

Here's a picture Jan took...




2016.07.04 -- PARADE 1

I got to be in the Mercer Parade today.  I was "Smokey Bear's Friend"...
with_smokey

The parade lined up at the Mercer Ranger Station.  I took one quick picture while we were en route to the route...
parade_lineup

There will be more pictures posted when I receive them.




2016.06.28 -- STRAWBERRY DAY

It's the most wonderful time of the year!
strawberries--2016

Woke up early to go up to Saxon Harbor Berry Farm and pick twenty-five pounds.  Came home and made three batches of jam...
jam--2016

I used about ten pounds of strawberries for the fifteen jars.  I'll eat enough of the rest to almost make myself sick, then freeze what's left.




2016.04.27 -- WEBSITE IS BACK UP

As you can see, the website is back up.  The hosting company I had been using for the last three years was billing me almost $400 for another three years of service.  Just like every other company, they are more interested in getting new customers than keeping old ones.  I think they rely on the fact that it does take some work to move a website.  I have several websites, so it's that many times more work.  I don't use any of the extra services a hosting company supplies other than hosting which makes my sites pretty portable.




2016.03.26 -- DON'T LOOK OUTSIDE

sloppy_snow--20160326

I said don't look!

Just go downstairs and look at the seedlings...
seedlings--20160326

Or work on beehive stuff...
hive_roof

Spring will come. Spring will come.




2016.01.02 -- HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I heard a tiny hint that the website hadn't been updated in a while.  I have a handful of pictures on my phone that I didn't get around to posting last month...

The Harmon's at the triple-threat birthday party...
harmons_bday_201512

Kody's Christmas present from his Tennessee aunts...
chewed_frog

The bunny is still running, but the Missouri chicken and pink-purple thing are well-chewed, too.

My ornery beehive the weekend after Christmas...
christmas_bees

I took my gloves off to take pictures, stuck the phone in close to the hole, and a bee came zooming out and stung my finger.  At least I know they are still alive.

I've also been research chandlering on the internet.  Here's two pucks of wax from my hives that are ready for candling...
beeswax




2015.11.20 -- WHERE'S NEMO?

Where's Nemo?  Follow the trail and find out...
historic_entrance




2015.11.14 -- FALL FLOWERS

It must be almost Thanksgiving; Kelly's cacti are blooming...
cacti_flowers--20151114

And so are the turkeys...

No, they aren't ours.  They're from Gozzi's Turkey Farm in Connecticut.  Kind of makes me want to get a few, though.




2015.11.13 -- FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH

Here's a hodge-podge of pictures.

Our bad luck for the day was waking up to snow...
snow_20151113

It did make for a beautiful sunset...
sunset_20151113

Kelly has been working on perfecting a Lemon Chiffon pie...
lemon_chiffon_pie

And here's Kody in bed...
kody_in_bed

It doesn't look like much, but he's started going off to bed by himself.  Our little boy is growing up.  He would usually lie out in the living room and wait for one of us to go to bed and go with us.




2015.10.24 -- NEW ROOF

We had a new roof installed...
new_roof

They stripped off the shingles and put up the metal in two days.

In celebration, I made pancakes today and tortured the dog...
dog_torture




2015.10.17 -- GO, CUBBIES!

Kelly asked me to take her picture and send it to Brandon.  Little did she know...
go_cubbies




2015.07.04 -- MONARCH CATERPILLARS

We have a bumper crop of Monarch caterpillars this year.  We took the dogs for a walk down the old highway the other night and saw about twenty in a mile.  Kelly went back and took some pictures yesterday...
monarch_caterpillar--20150702




2015.06.28 -- AW, JAM IT!

Oops.  I seem to have dropped a piece of pound cake in the pot with the last little bit of the fourth batch of jam...
jam--2015

Whatever shall I do?




2015.06.27 -- THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

Happy Strawberry Day!

Can a pint of strawberries be eaten on four pancakes...?
strawpans--20150627a

Click <HERE> to find out.




2015.06.21 -- I'M A DISNEY PRINCESS

I was out by the garage setting up the grill to cook dinner.  I saw and felt the dog brush against the back of my legs.  I turned around to him to get back in the yard and found something other than a dog.

Click <HERE> to see what it was.




2015.04.09 -- UGH

ugh

I had all four wisdom teeth extracted today.  Oh, what fun.  Not!  The worst thing any doctor has ever done to me.  I'm using the Ace bandage to hold the ice packs against my jaw.

I got eight shots of local anesthetic.  Numbed up my mouth so much I had trouble swallowing.  Two hours later and it's just about worn off.  It also made my lip itch, but I was afraid to scratch it for fear of ripping the skin.

The doctor vaguely described what he was doing as he was doing it.  "You'll feel a lot of pressure," was code for "I have to push REALLY hard to push your gums out of the way and expose your jawbone."  "Some vibration," was code for "I'm using the drill to cut away at your jawbone to free the tooth."  And, "You'll hear a clicking sound," was code for "I'm breaking your tooth."  "More pressure," as he held my jaw down and pried the pieces of tooth out.  I think he put a foot on my forehead at one point for better leverage.  Thank God they don't grow back.

Before the operation, the doctor showed me the X-ray and explained what he was going to do.  He told me one a scale of one-to-ten, my operation would be a three.  I can't imagine what would be worse.

I had called Tuesday to make an appointment, thinking it wouldn't be for quite a while since we don't have many oral surgeons in the area.  "I have an opening on Thursday?"  Great.




2015.04.05 -- EASTER WEEKEND

Went out to visit the Harmons on Saturday.  After church, we went out and fed the deer and "turkies"...
harmony_acres

There were about a dozen of each in the yard.  Then, we went and checked Carol's sap buckets...
sapping

Hauled in about seven gallons of sap for the day.  Boiled down, that will make about three cups of maple syrup!

Did a little yard work on Sunday.  The snake that lives under the back steps was out on the warm, sunny rocks...
snakey-snake

The pond is about six feet lower than it was last spring...
pond_b_2015

I also took a picture from the pond to show where the high-water line was...
pond_a_2015

I don't think the basement will have any water this year.  And, I hope, the mosquito population should be down.  We might actually get to sit out in the backyard this year!




2015.04.03 -- PARAMOTOR VIDEO

My wife doesn't want me to have a motorcycle, so I'm guess a paramotor is a big nope, too.  Yes, I was the one who wouldn't go more than three stories up in the glass elevator on the Ren Cen.




2015.03.25 -- FLORDIA PICTURES

I only took a handful of pictures on our Florida vacation this year.  Click the picture below to get to them.
plane_seats




2015.02.19 -- 7AM WEATHER

Happy New Year!

Luckily, today is forecast to be WARMER than yesterday...

weather--20150219-0704




2015.01.24 -- CHICKEN SOUP

To get out of going skiing today, I made chicken soup...
chicken_soup

It's a top secret recipe from Uncle Claude's "oma".  I forget if that's his mom or grandma.  No, I'm not allowed to tell you what the recipe is.  I prob'ly shouldn't even be posting the picture.  Those are matzo "balls" not-quite-yet floating on top, so it's almost ready to eat.

There's almost a gallon of stock outside on the driveway.  When it's cool, it will be about as thick as jelly.  I had pulled a couple carcasses and bags of pieces-parts out of the freezers and simmered them a couple hours while Kelly went skiing.  I had a casserole dish piled up with parts to pick through to pull off all the meat.  You can see how full the pot was...
chicken_pot




2015.01.16 -- NEW BOILER

You can thank us for the drop in gas prices.  We hit $1.999 in Mercer yesterday.  We put in a natural gas boiler to replace the old one that burnt fuel oil, so the oil companies drop the price of gas to entice more driving.  Last winter, the coldest on record in Wisconsin, we had to get the oil tank filled twice at about $1000 each.  We just got our first gas bill yesterday...  $101.  And that counts heating the domestic water, too.

Here is a picture of the boiler and water heater...boiler

Of course, there are a couple things the installer didn't tell us about...  The old water heater sat right under the bathroom/kitchen.  The new one is fifteen feet farther away, so it takes about two quarts of water to get the hot to the faucet in the morning.  (We catch it for the dogs or chickens.)  And, the basement is a lot colder since the new boiler doesn't waste a drop of heat.  The exhaust out of the old boiler was about 500°.  It needed enough lift to get up the chimney.  The new boiler vents directly out the wall, so the exhaust is only about 90°.




2014.12.04 -- VACATION PIX

I don't think we're in Wisconsin anymore...
not_wisconsin

Ball moss growing on a net at the golf course...
ball_moss

Went out for barbecue...
meat

I think I feel the tryptophan kicking in...
tryptophan




2014.11.20 -- AIKIDO TEST

It's almost Thanksgiving, so it must be time for another Aikido test.  Somehow, every one is longer and tougher than the last.  Here are a couple pictures Kelly took...

buki--20141120

throw--20141120




2014.09.09 -- MUST BE MY BIRTHDAY!

I received a special delivery today.  On the side of the box it said...
lou_box_2

Click the box to see what's inside.




2014.07.27 -- DETROIT VACATION II

Scooter will let me rub his back with my foot, now...
scooter

That's about the closest I've ever been allowed to get to him. He'll jump up on the couch and almost let me pet him.

This is Dad's buddy Weezie...
dad_and_weezie

Weezie belongs to the neighbour, but spends a good part of the day sitting with Dad when he's out in the back garage. Sounds like the best kind of dog.  Weezie is a Puggle...  A Pug-Beagle mix.

I went over to Home Depot and bought a few boards.  I put Dad to work cutting them up for me for my beehives...
bee_box_wood

Now, I have to finish my router-jig to cut the finger joints and assemble the boxes.




2014.07.24 -- DETROIT VACATION I

Day One:  Nature Centers

flowers

flower_garden

caterpillars

snappersaurus




2014.07.12 -- JAMN IT!

You might want to start preparing yourself for a Christmas without jam this year.  We made four batches last Saturday, finishing the last one about 8:30pm.  Shut everything down and let it sit to cool off for the night.  The next morning, I started moving pots off the stovetop to make breakfast and found this...
damaged_stovetop

Kelly knew that sugar can etch the glass top, so we had put down a sheet of aluminum foil to protect it from splashing jam.  Turns out, that's even worse.  We had done so last year without incident.  Kelly found the oven manual and it clearly says not to do that.

So, I might have to take the twenty jars of jam to the Farmers' Market and see if I can make enough to pay for the replacement.




2014.07.05 -- STRAWBERRY DAY

Hope you are having a wonderful Strawberry Day! We woke up about 6am so we could get out the door by 7am to get up to Saxon Harbor Berry Farm...
strawberryday2014a

The berries are GREAT this year. Big, juicy, tasty, firm, and ripe...
strawberryday2014c

And irresistible...
strawberryday2014b

Here's the final haul of thirty-six pounds...
strawberryday2014d

Not to mention the bloated bellies.  Kelly took a picture of her gigundo and another large one...
strawberryday2014e

It's now 6:30pm. We've made three batches of jam and are taking a dinner break. More to come later.




2014.04.29 -- MUST BE SPRING

It must be spring!  The daffodils are popping up...
daffodils--20140429

The baby chicks arrived today...
chicks--20140429

And we got a couple inches of snow...
snow--20140429

Yay!




2014.04.19 -- OH, CANADA!

Looks like I might be spending some time in Canada.  A restaurant called Boston Pizza might be making a pizza cake...




2014.03.30 -- WINTER HURRAH

We went skiing today.  It was in the low 50s, so the snow was pretty slow...
20140330--kon

20140330--nemo

I took some pictures of the snow in the yard the other day.  Here's the roof of the garage with more than a foot of snow still on it...
garage_snow

There's a pile of snow at the end of the driveway that's about 4-5 foot high and about 20 feet deep...
driveway_snowpile

I scooped the snow off the roof of the house a couple times.  It created a 4-5 foot high pile out the front window that the dogs sit on and look in when they want to come in...
snowpile_dogs




2014.03.16 -- FLA

The few pictures I have from Florida are from the Rookery Bay...
rookerybay

snake

epiphyte

epiphytefern




2014.02.16 -- HAPPY STOCH'S WEEKEND

It's not St. Stosh's Day yet, but this is pretty close.

Kamil Stoch, born in Zakopane Poland, took gold in both men's individual ski jump events at the Olympics...