Many of you have asked where in the world I've been.

All I know is that after 7 plus years of blogging and a different lappy, which I don’t like, I seem to have lost my blogging fervor.

Someday, when you least expect it, I will post again.

For those of you still waiting I say thank you.

Meanwhile, I am rather prolific on twitter. Find me: @KeethaB
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The Eclectic Company - Waitin' on a New Adventure!!
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Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Blatant and Shameless Begging


(photo from
Look in my side bar. See my little "follow" block? I've got 98 kids on my block. 98!!!! Now while that makes me just tickled pink, I really really REALLY want 100.

Won't two (or ten) of you, who haven't already clicked, click and FOLLOW ME????? Oh - - - I will be so grateful, so eternally GRATEFUL.

I am begging. I do, however, draw the line at bribing.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sunday Reruns - God's a Colts Fan


I get sooooo excited about our bloggy Sunday reruns!!! Thanks so much to Chari over at Happy to Design for hosting Sunday Favorites.

My rerun this week is in honor of the Colts going to the Superbowl next Sunday. I plan to rerun SEVERAL Colts posts this week in honor of this phenomenal event.


Did You Know God's a Colts Fan?
(First posted 2/21/07)

I'm pretty sure He is. And I've got proof!!!

Take a look at this proud display of Colts colors:

The city of Marion supplied the blue, but GOD provided the white!!!!!


Oh the Badgerness of it All!!!


Yesterday my friend, students' parent, and fellow Wisconsinite - Janell, brought me this:

She tied it with her own little hands - - - well except the two ends which she had her sons, my students, tie.

Just LOOK at that color!

Just LOOK at those icons!!!!

This blankie is enough to bring a smile to ANY Badger face and a warm glow to ANY Badger heart.

I brought my new blankie home, and found it a comfy resting place.

I even took it for a test drive - - - I was snoring peacefully in just a few minutes!

Can you see my Turd Furgeson fishy pillow? Here, let me HELP you - - -

Ah, my FIRST experience with writing on top of pictures. Hey - - - don't judge - - - I just figured out how to do it THIS MORNING!!!!

Thank you Janell, Kyle, and Kevin.!!!! This blankie is THE BOMB!!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I PROMISE it Will Work - - -


I keep seeing more and more short posts by frustrated blogging buddies. They are frustrated because their computers are virus infested, crashing, burning, and need to be tossed into the street. Virus infested computers put a real kabosh on blogging!

Oh, I feel your pain. That USED to happen to me. ALL THE TIME.

But I figured out the problem - - - well, actually it was TWO problems. They have names: Fisherhubby and Number Two Son.

I do not know WHAT they do on the computer, WHAT they download, but I'm here to tell you that a SHARED computer is NO computer because it will continually fill up with viruses.

So, here's the solution:

Get yourself your OWN lappy. Password protect it. Don't tell anyone - - - not even DH- - - the password. NO ONE. Then as long as YOU don't open virus infested e-mails or download from crazy sites, your lappy will stay clean.

Lappies are quite reasonably priced. They can go with you so you can blog wherever you may roam. And best of all, they are PERSONAL - - - they belong to YOU. A password is a marvelous thing.

About six months ago, Fisherhubby called me at work wanting my lappy password. I said, "No way, Jose!" He wasn't very happy - - - but guess what??? LAPPY IS STILL A VIRUS FREE ZONE!!!

I've had lappy for about two and a half WONDERFUL virus-free years.

So, go invest in your OWN lappy. You will be soooooo glad you did.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time Travel


The other day I applied for a new passport because I'm going to Costa Rica in April on a missions trip with the LCS Class of 2010. As I gathered my "legal" documents, I traveled back in time to other missions trips - - -

Once upon a time I was just a round-eyed eighteen year old girl who embarked on a world adventure.

I did not go alone, I was one of a group of sixteen, and our Guide was Divine.

Our first port of call was Freetown, Sierra Leone.

It was pre-blood diamond war days. All was peace and quiet, devoid of the sound of guerrla warfare which came later.

I remember Larry's eyes getting big as saucers as he caught his first glimpse of topless ladies working in a rice paddy. Seems he'd never even seen a National Geographic to prepare him for culture shock.

I remember the brick red dirt walls that flanked the "highway" as we headed up country.

I remember being introduced to the chief in one village, and he received us as regally as any king dressed in rags could. As I stood before him, my heart fluttered with the fear of being rejected from his kingdom. He must have liked something he saw in us, because there was no rejection that day.

I remember Jerry jumping upright onto a bed when he saw a lizard scurry into the sink.

I remember showering under a downspout - - - and grateful we were to wash the dust of the road off of us.

I do NOT remember seeing a snake - - - though we looked very hard.

We had one overnight in Ghana on our way to South Africa.

I thought I would die in the taxi as the driver sailed right between two approaching semis. I was down on the floor for the REST of that ride.

We walked from our hotel to the Gulf of Guinea, where we waded in just to say we'd been.

In Zambia we had a close encounter of the pachyderm kind, but I've already related that tale here.

We stood at the edge of Victoria Falls and peered through the mists. I can still hear the water roar.

My glasses broke one day, and I was the only one who enjoyed lunch for I was the only one who couldn't see that our plates were preused by others in line long before us.

My roommate Sue and I lay in bed one night watching very flat spiders the size of saucers crawling on the wall above our heads - - - left there on purpose to eat worse pests.

And we hid behind ant hills the size of large haystacks to relieve ourselves - - - guys on one side, gals on the other.

Somehow we made it safely through a road block guarded by heavily armed soldiers who never cracked a smile - - - so we didn't either!

In South Africa we nearly froze to death because it was winter and no heat.

We had a snowball fight in August - - - even though up until that point NONE of us ever thought to see snow in August, least of all in Africa.

I remember Larry was driving the fifteen passenger van and kept turning into the "wrong" lane - - - British driving system, you know.

We ate fish and chips and hamburgers whose ketchup was bright pink and transparent.

We crossed the street at the "robot," stored our suitcases in the "boot," and checked under the "bonnet" to make sure the engine was running smoothly.

Then it was time to head home - - -

With two-night lay-overs in both London and Rome.

London was sunny and warm and oh so clean. The breakfasts were awesome, dinner not so much.

We stood outside Buckingham palace and watched the changing of the guard. The band played "Somewhere My Love" Go figure!

In Rome we ate the best lasagna I've ever had - - - imagine that.

We stood and gazed in awe at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Billy was propositioned by a stranger - - - Billy ran.

Larry and I rented a little scooter and wandered all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, from whence we barely found our way back, not being able to speak or read Italian.

And then it was over. The adventure of a lifetime reduced to memory lane.

After just a little sleep, I awoke a thirty year-old with a hubby and two children, ready for a family over-seas jaunt - - -

This time to Haiti. Long before the Earth Quake.

We walked the streets of Port-au-Prince - they were still streets then.

We saw the president's palace - - - then home to "Baby Doc," the dictator.

We watched children playing in the sewer water in the streets.

We spent three months on the tiny Island of La Gonave where hubby worked long hours in the hospital: suturing, delivering babies, and treating worms, malaria, AIDS, and malnutrition. I did typing and watched our children.

Once a week we went snorkling in the blue, blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Keri was stung across the legs by stray jelly fish tentacles.

Everyone wanted to touch the blonde curls and white skin of our children.

Everywhere we went, smiling faces and large brown eyes greeted us with cries of "Docteur Greg et Madame Greg!"

We never wanted to leave and then we never got to return except in our memories.


I'm linking this post that I made Tuesday to Vintage Thingie Thursday at Coloradolady and Thrifty Thursday at Bloggeritaville.

These trips were taken in 1972 and 1984 and I'd say that's VINTAGE. Also, just look at me - - - that's VINTAGE.

The thrifty part is also twofold. First, the Africa trip was 7 weeks long. I took $100 spending money and came home with $40 of it!!! I think I was pretty thrifty, don't you? Also - - - how thrifty is it to return there now for FREE since I did it down memory lane?????

Be sure you click on both of the above links to check out what everyone else is posting.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Packin' our Bags for Miami


Today - - -

(photo from
Peyton Manning orchestrated a stellar offensive attack - - -

(photo from
Which included numerous fabulous catches by Pierre Garcon.

Do you know what this means???? IT MEANS that the next time "we" play - - -

(photo from
We'll be playing for THIS!!!!

I am so proud of our "boys."

The Jets had a lot of trash talk, but not much action.

Colts 30 Jets 17


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday Reruns - - - You ASKED for This


A big thank you to Chari over at Happy to Design for hosting Sunday Favorites.

Last week when I posted on Sunday Reruns about Fisherhubby repairing our yard AFTER he killed it, MANY of you asked about the huge fallen tree in the background of some of those pictures.

To be honest with you, weeks ago when I was choosing which posts to repost for Sunday Favorites, I had decided to SKIP reposting this particular one. BUT - - - after all the questions, I have rethought that decision and here, in all its glory, is the post YOU MY BELOVED READERS have demanded.

I did add a few current thoughts in this lovely shade of green so you will be able to tell what is old and what is new.

Enjoy - - -

My Blogging Blues - - -
(First posted on 8/24/07)

Blew away!!!

OK, so I was sitting on the couch a little while ago, watching a Big Ten football preview show when suddenly out of the south west a HUGE gale of wind struck the corner of our house - - - the corner I was facing. One GLANCE out the window curdled my blood, so I RAN to the laundry room and crouched on the floor, still eating my pepper-jack cheese. In a moment I heard hail trying to come through the front door, which terrified me even more and I ran for the pantry where I sat shaking in a heap.

What was Greg, known to most of you as Fisherhubby now, doing during all of this??? Standing at the front door windows looking south west toward the storm, of course.

In a minute or less it was all over.

I came out of hiding and here is a BIT of what I saw - - -

MY wicker furniture blew from my front porch into the yard between our house and the neighbors. Notice in the background the downed tree. You can't really tell in this picture, but the dark end of the tree is where it was uprooted with the dirt still clinging to it. (The white spots are raindrops on the camera lens, not ghosts!!)

Better angle of my poor abused wicker.

Here's what's left of our lovely shade tree. (It was actually on the golf course, but shaded our yard in the morning.) Fisherhubby HEARD it fall, but was looking in the FRONT yard and missed all the action, much to his sorrow. When this is cleaned up, the view from our deck is going to be rather empty and sad. What was I thinkin'???? MUCH of the tree is STILL OUT THERE!!!!!! The "powers that be" on the golf course cut down and carted away the branches, but the spike and the big ole trunk are still there.

So our view now in 2010 isn't EMPTY, but it is sorry and sad as you can see from this current photo I inserted into this post.

This is the edge of that big downed shade tree. Notice all the debris is going away in a semi-straight path. ALL the downed trees are in that same general line, all pointing at each other. Because of that, we think it must have been a small twister which touched down about 30 feet to the east of our house.

The trunk on the left is that same lovely shade tree, but the "spike" behind and beyond it is another tree snapped off on the golf course. We think there are between ten and twenty trees down on the course. Glad that won't be MY clean-up bill!!! Greg's glad that a few of them went, they were always jumping right in front of his golf shots.

Snapped off and pointing at the sky!!! Still out there and pointing at the sky in January of 2010. Perhaps the golf course folks think it's artistic????

I missed the whole Big Ten football preview show!!! Shed a little tear for me!



Hey Tonja!!!!!!


I found my crown.

And my scepter.

And my kingdom.

Thanks for the reminder!


More of What This Blog is Known For - - -


Eclectic Bits

Hoar Frost

By Friday morning, the icing that had been collecting on the roads, bridges, and my back deck, had begun to adhere to tree branches. On top of the ice, hoar frost had etched the stark, black tree lines with fuzzy white.

Hoar frost is actually fog that has frozen to the surfaces which it touches. I've seen much more spectacular results than what I am showing here - - - but this was our Indiana version on Friday morning.

I do rather like the photo as you can still see remnants of the culprit fog amongst the trees.

All That Glitters is not Gold - - -

Some of it is ice, icicle fringe adorning the most mundane of everyday objects, causing them to glitter. My deck railing was also gaily decked - - - pun intended - - - with the sparkling garland.

Seeing icicle fringe always makes me remember this image and sentiment:

(photo from
When Hell Freezes Over

Growing up in the frozen tundra that was Hayward, Wisconsin I often heard the phrase "Hayward, Hurley, and Hell!"

Everyone in the area knew that this phrase harkened back to early logging days when Paul Bunyan and his cronies would come into town on Friday night to partake of the bawdy pleasures to be found there. I was told that it referred to the three wildest towns in the region - - - Hayward and Hurley, Wisconsin and Hell, in the U.P. of Michigan.

Today I spent some time googling the origins of "Hayward, Hurley, and Hell."

I found some very interesting facts.

First - - - if one hails from Hurley, he does NOT say "Hayward, Hurley, and Hell." HE says "Hurley, Hayward, and Hell." Of course, in MY opinion he has the order WRONG - - - putting himself in the FRONT position - - - but later the order will be significant - - - hang on for the ride.

Second - - - The only current Hell I could find in either Wisconsin or Michigan is in Michigan, but near Detroit - - - which is far removed from the northwoods logging area from which this phrase originates. Thus, it could NOT be the Hell intended in the phrase.

Third - - - gangsters, like Al Capone, came to the northwoods from Chicago to hide-out and enjoy the lakes of the region. They added to the "bad boy" reputation of the area.

Fourth - - - several different and varied sources (including my own memory once I READ this elsewhere) site that the phrase, "Hayward, Hurley, and Hell" originated from a train conductor calling out the upcoming stops and that furthermore it should ACTUALLY be "Hayward, Hurley and hell" because hell did NOT refer to an actual town on the railway line, but rather to the degenerate state of affairs in Hayward and Hurley.

My guess is that the phrase SHOULD be "Hayward, Hurley, and hell." My evidence upon which I BASE this conclusion is as follows:

*Lack of evidence showing the existance of either a Hell, Wisconsin or a Hell, Michigan in that area of the northwoods.

*The cloud of wickedness and degradation that hangs over the history of the area from both the pleasure seeking loggers and the law avoiding gangsters.

*And now, my piece de resistance: If these were all three towns, and if they were called out by a train conductor as being final destinations then the ORDER is very important. He could NEVER have called out both "Hayward, Hurley, and Hell" AND "Hurley, Hayward, and Hell" for if Hell were a town, it could NOT simultaneously exist at BOTH ends of the route. The ONLY way the phrase could have had both Hayward AND Hurley in the starting position would be if Hell were in the middle.

Which perhaps it was - - - figuratively speaking.

Now, lest I have sullied the reputation of these fine towns (granted, I know NOTHING of Hurley personally though I ADORE spending time in Hayward) let me share this little Hayward fact with you:

Today the Light of God's Word has penetrated the northwoods in an awe-inspiring manner. My friend, and fellow blogger, whom I like to call "The Little Pastor in the Woods" - Mark Wilson - is pastoring a "little" church in Hayward that in the summer averages between 700 and 800 people on Sunday morning - - - this in a town whose population is just over 2,000.

My Night From the Place That Froze Over

I really should know better. I've had enough experience to have LEARNED better. The only conclusion I can draw from THIS evidence is that I'm brain-dead.

I am one of those lucky people who experience acid reflux - - - repeatedly.

I KNOW that eating sweet things LATE AT NIGHT is a sure fired (oh, and all you fellow acid sufferers KNOW that was a pun) way to spend a miserable night. Miserable.

So, why did I sit home alone last evening, Fisherhubby was at work, and CONSUME this entire chocolate football at about 9 PM?????????

The only conclusion I can come up with after my night of misery is that besides being a pig, "oink oink", I am also indeed brain dead.


Friday, January 22, 2010

What We Have Here Is - - -


A 2-hour delay for LCS

(photo from
For slippery roads.

What we DON'T have here are those gorgeous mountains in the background.

Yes, sixth graders, we WILL have the science test today.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ice, Ice, Iceeeeeee


(photo from

School at LCS is
Canceled Today

The 6th grade science test scheduled for today
Will be given tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vintage Thrifty Thingie Thursday - Not Just Any Old Casserole


I've mentioned before that my dad is gifting his offspring with family pieces so he can see us receive and enjoy them.

This was my birthday treasure:

Just looking at this dish takes me back - - - - - - -

I'm four years old. I'm sitting with my little sister at a drop-leaf wooden table in our kitchen in Spooner, Wisconsin. There are salt and pepper shakers in the center of the tablecloth that covers the little table. Pam and I are coloring and waiting with anticipation for supper because the aroma coming from the oven is scintillating.

Warm oven air brushes our cheeks and makes everything cozy as this baking dish is placed by loving hands on the table. Our coloring book is quickly cleared away and replaced by plates and silverware. Mom and dad join us and we bow our heads for the blessing.

The lid comes off of the casserole to reveal apple dumplings. Whole apples, cored, and stuffed with buttery brown sugar and cinnamon goodness. We each place an apple in a bowl on our plate, pour fresh milk over it, and dig in.

On other days and at other meals, the same casserole dish was filled with other delights. I'm remembering Fiesta Pie - - - a cheesy suffle-esque egg dish with bits of hamburger and onion.

I loved those meals.

I love this dish.

I'm not sure what you'd call the pattern. Brown-eyed Susan? Daisy? Sunflower?

A note, from dad's own hand, reminds me that it was a wedding gift to my parents. That means it is circa 1952.

Somehow I never knew it was a:


Some of you have posted about collecting Hull. Who knew I was soon going to be the proud owner of such a memory filled, fine piece of Hull???

I've been googling trying to find another piece of similar Hull pottery. So far I have batted zero. Wonder if any of you know more than I do about this piece. Well, not THIS piece - - - I know all the sentimental value of THIS PIECE - - - but do any of you know any more about this particular Hull pattern?

I'm linking today with Vintage Thingie Thursday at Coloradolady and Thrifty Thursday at Bloggeritaville.

Be sure you click on both of the above links to check out what everyone else is posting.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thar She Blows!


Sixth Grade volcano projects.

They had powerpoints - - -

And posters too,

But these were the FUN part.


This is What Happens - - -


When you leave your camera unprotected within easy reach of your students.

Well, this ONE student anyway.

Lunch anyone????


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sunday Rerun - "It Ain't Easy Bein' Green"


A big thank you to Chari over at Happy to Design for hosting Sunday Favorites.

Last week on Sunday Reruns I showed you the ironic result of Fisherhubby trying to kill the crabgrass in his yard. Some of you shed alligator tears over that yard. I hope THIS post will make you feel better.

Repairing a Poisoned Yard

(Compiled from posts between 9/14/07 and 10/22/07)

First step to repairing a poisoned yard - - - dethatching. Back and forth, back and forth ONE WAY and then start all over and go back and forth, back and forth the OTHER way. (See the lines in the non-grass?)

Please do not think I am MAKING him work like this on his day off. I would probably save the $$$ and just let the grass (or weeds as the case may be) come back on their own.

No - - - Greg LOVES his lawn and he LOVES the work that goes into keeping it up. So, even though this was difficult, back breaking work - he came in that night exhausted but HAPPY.

Here is the dethatched product, waiting for the first seed to fall.

This is ONE time when it is certainly true that things have to get WORSE before they can get better!!!

Next Step: seeding, watering, and over seeding the yard. This photo was taken during the over seeding phase, as you might guess since you can now see SOME green in the grass.

Let's review:

Greg's poor, pitiful, poisoned, perished yard.

Compared to now when we have this - - -

All his hard work, watering, and LOVE paid off. We're just about the greenest yard in the neighborhood again!