2020.03.26 -- SPRING IS COMING!!!

Ask Finley to show you more pictures...


First off, if you happened to zoom in on the Corrigan's Lookout picture from the last post, I apologize.  The picture has been edited.

We have internet at home again.  Our cable company officially pulled out of Mercer the end of last month.  We had actually lost our connection two months ago, and since they were closing up shop, they decided not to fix it.  There is a fixed-wireless company in the area that took over the cable company's antenna-tower in town, but the water-tower hill is between us, so their signal doesn't reach us.  For the near future, I have a kludgy system that surprisingly works better than the TV antenna, and beats going to the library.

Let's see, we picked all the apples before the first frost last month...

I put them in the basement in front of a fan to dry out, then I packed them up in the root cellar.

Kelly has a couple lights we put on the dogs for walking now that it's dark twenty-eight hours a day...

She works at a weird place...

Speaking of deer, Kelly brought one home last week.  We have at least eight meals of tenderloin, and we ground up about twenty pounds of burger...

That's about a quarter.  Most of it will be used for Mexican Mondays. (I'm not even done typing up this post and some guy from Belgium already "faved" that picture.)

We had about three-to-four inches of wet snow on the ground, so I fired up the snow blower today for its inaugural run...

Kelly had bought me a Weber grill for Christmas last winter and the snow blower for my birthday last spring. Go figure.

2019.10.14 -- QUICK UPDATE

Ugh.  We haven't had internet at home in almost a month, now.  I snuck my laptop into work so I could post this quick update during lunch.

We introduced Finlay to our annual, family trip to Corrigan's Lookout...

I set-up my new snowblower...

Just in time, too, because we got snow this weekend...

And Finlay has decided she likes snuggly-puppy time...


Kelly got called out to a roadside fire yesterday afternoon.  Turns out it was SIXTEEN roadside fires.  They were stretched out along two miles of US 2.  The largest was about three-quarters of an acre.  There were three Fire Departments.  The Sheriff Department had Deputies out on the highway directing traffic.  Of course, there was a reporter from the Ironwood Daily Globe who wrote up a short article for today's paper.  When she went out to check on it today, Kelly found two more spots that had burned for a total of eighteen fire.  They think a truck was somehow throwing sparks as it drove down the highway.

2019.05.25 -- WATER FALLS PLUS

We went waterfalling on the Presque Isle River today.  This is Manabezho Falls...

I'll get more pictures from Kelly to post later.  Here's one...

We took the dogs.  They hated being on leash the whole time.  When we got home, they both wanted the same tennis ball...

It's finally Spring here.  We got a little snow last Sunday.  The baby robins are blooming...

And the asparagus is growing...

Kelly picked enough for us to have with dinner tomorrow.

2019.05.25 -- SUMP PUMP

I attached a vibration sensor to the sump pump pipe.  Through various incantations, this plot of the run-times was created...


It updates three times an hour.


Spring has been delayed again...

In other news, Kelly has been busy making syrup...

She had a barrelful of sap last weekend...

And there are little chickens in the kennel...

They should start laying in about four months.


The MECCA Cross-Country Ski Club, the local ski club which Kelly and I are both members of, held the first day of the Turtle River Pursuit last weekend.  It was bitter cold; maybe just above freezing at the start of the race at 11am.

We had both worked the previous ski races that had been held here; the original Stormy Kromer Pursuit, and then the Iron County Pursuit when Stormy Kromer left us.  So, we were pressed into labor for the day.

We both were on the Crossing Guard Crew.  The race route crossed the snowmobile trail four times.  We had a few people at each crossing to stop the sleds when a skier was coming.  Here is a picture with the Medic Crew just before the start of the race...

I am on the far left.  My volunteer hat was defective...  The pom-pom fell off the day before.

I was at the first crossing the skiers would make.  Kelly was at the last, but it was only a short walk down the snowmobile trail betwixt us.  When the last skier passed my crossing, I walked down and spent the rest of the race at Kelly's.  The skiers had to go about four-and-a-half miles through the woods to get from the first crossing to the last, so I teased some of our friends who were skiing the race...  "What took you so long?  I've been here almost an hour!"

The photographer was there and took more pictures of us, but he apparently didn't post them.

2019.01.27 -- SORRY...

Sorry.  I rent a virtual server with a company for my several websites.  Last month, I received an email that the company was shutting down.  So I needed to find a new host this month.  I did without too much trouble.

I then had to transfer over my websites from the old host to the new host.  Since I only do that when need-be, every couple years or so, I never really remember how to do it.  Something got messed up with this site and I was unable to post.  I finally fixed it by comparing all the config files from this site with another one that was working.

Anyway, in celebration of getting it working again, here is a picture of Hooty-Hoo...

He is the solar-powered owl that lives on our gate. It was a frosty morning when I took that picture.  He is kind of like a weather rock...  When it's been a sunny day, he glows for a while after dark to welcome us home.

Kody is a pretty good big brother.  He lets Finlay crawl all over him and chew on him.  Sometimes he even lets her snuggle up against him for a nap...

We went out to visit the Harmons down by Lake Superior last weekend.  They have a bunch of deer and turkeys that come for meals each day...


And, hopefully, here is a video of Finlay's amazing tennis-ball skills...

Of course, Kody has to get in the video, too.


I took this picture on the way home one day this week...ridge_color

Maybe I can convince myself that orange is just Monarch butterflies.  We (95% Kelly) have released 331 this summer.  She would come home from dog-walking with handfuls of caterpillars...

They would then pupate...

And emerge as butterflies...

We hope some make it down to Mexico for the winter. Here is a graph of their release...

The butterflies that overwinter in Mexico fly north as far north as Texas in the spring and lay eggs.  Those eggs hatch and those butterflies fly as far north as Illinois and lay eggs.  Those eggs hatch and those butterflies fly as far north as Canada and lay eggs.  Those are the first butterflies we released in July.  They laid eggs, which we collected and released a month later.  That's the big climb in mid-August.  Those are the butterflies that will fly south to Mexico for the winter.


Let's see...  The end of April, the piggy chickens arrived.  They were down in the basement for three weeks...

The snow melted and the flowers popped up...


The lilacs are currently in bloom, and the apples just finished. We've been eating asparagus almost every-other night.

Speaking of pigs, we had a porcupine camped out in a tree down the old highway where we walk the dogs...

And now, the birds and butterflies are back.  We have hummingbirds fighting for the feeder, a few Monarchs flittering around the yard, and Mrs. Robin has rebuilt her nest and laid eggs...

2018.04.01 -- HAPPY EASTER!

I think it was the end of January, Dave got a new knee.  Then, a week-or-two later, Carol fell down and broke her wrist.  Kelly made a pan of manicotti, and we had a pot of chili, so we took them out when we went to visit.

Today, we saw them at church.  To return the manicotti pan, Carol made this...

2018.03.30 -- IT'S ALIVE!

Well, it was alive before I stuck it into the oven...

I'll have to work on my rising.  Maybe if I take it out to the Harmon's house, where it is perpetually warmer than 80°, it will rise as much as I hoped.  This one didn't...bread

It's a half whole-wheat.



I've been working on my app a bit here-and-there.  Today, I have worked for Iron County for forty-eight percent of my life...

Unless I'm wrong, and I'm never wrong (name that movie), in 171 days from today, on August 30th, I will have worked for Iron County for forty-nine percent of my life.  And in another 171 days after that, if I should make it so long, on February 17th, I will have worked for Iron County for half my life.

And fifty-one days after that, on April 9th, 2019, I will have lived in Iron County for half my life.

2018.03.03 -- PHOTOS

Here are a few photos from my phone...

We went snowshoeing one day back in January...

I finally emptied my milk-crate of apples.  They were getting dried out and soft, and a few were rotting, so I chopped up all I could and made an apple crumble...

There was a fire in Ironwood last week.  Maybe they should have had the sign up earlier...

2018.02.04 -- TWENTY PERCENT

I created a little app for my phone.  It turns out I've been married twenty percent of my life...


The odd part is Kelly has only been married 18.67% of her life.

On May 06, 2020, I will have lived half my life in Wisconsin.

2017.10.28 -- FIRST SNOW

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

He loves taking "snow baths".

2017.09.04 -- AUTUMN IS HERE

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

Also time to check the bees for mites...

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>.

2017.08.12 -- PICTURES

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

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...

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...

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

We boiled many buckets of sap...

...to make 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...

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

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...

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

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...

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


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...

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

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.


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?

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

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!

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...

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

Today's two males..

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...

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...

Hoo boy!  Was it hot.

I collected some rent from the bees yesterday...

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...

They are both male.


The first of the Monarchs will emerge by morning...

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...

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.


There is no better pizza in the County than this one...

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"...

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

There will be more pictures posted when I receive them.

2016.06.28 -- STRAWBERRY DAY

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

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

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


I said don't look!

Just go downstairs and look at the seedlings...

Or work on beehive stuff...

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...

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

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

My ornery beehive the weekend after Christmas...

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...

2015.11.14 -- FALL FLOWERS

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

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.


Here's a hodge-podge of pictures.

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

It did make for a beautiful sunset...

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

And here's 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...

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

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

2015.10.17 -- GO, CUBBIES!

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


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...

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...

Whatever shall I do?


Happy Strawberry Day!

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

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


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"...

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

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...

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

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

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.

2015.02.19 -- 7AM WEATHER

Happy New Year!

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


2015.01.24 -- CHICKEN SOUP

To get out of going skiing today, I made 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...

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°.

2014.11.20 -- 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...



2014.09.09 -- MUST BE MY BIRTHDAY!

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

Click the box to see what's inside.

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...

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...

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

And irresistible...

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

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

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...

The baby chicks arrived today...

And we got a couple inches of snow...


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...


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...

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

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...


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...