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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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Miss Swamp Rides Again

(photo from

I went back to Kindergarten today.

Last week it was Second Grade.

Do you think I'm going in the wrong direction?????

Viola Swamp bio.


Monday, August 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Cats


We had two showings of our house yesterday.

One of our house showing "issues" is actually two issues - - - our cats, Gomer and Fuzzie.

We, the two humans who live here, have been TRAINED by these cats. We know when to open doors, when to close them, and lots of other fancy tricks to keep life with two cats running smoothly.

No realtor can be expected to keep track of all these nuances.

What to do????

We thought two little cat carriers would be just the ticket! We could "capture" our little divas, place them in the carriers, and then take them away in the car.

True - - - it WAS in the 90's yesterday and HOT, so we didn't think leaving them in a parked car in a sunny parking lot was going to work. We decided we'd get a "take out" lunch, find a shady place to park, and wait with our feline baggage.

Cats have uncanny ways of KNOWING when something strange is about to go down. We decided we would each pick up one cat at the same moment to avoid the "disappearing act" that would happen if ONE was alerted to "danger" when the other was captured.

Fisherhubby picked up Fuzzie. She is definitely HIS cat. She comes out of hiding just to sit on his lap, place her forepaws on his chest, and look lovingly into his eyes.

It's sickening.

He scooped her up and she didn't suspect a thing. So far, so good.

It was my job to capture Gomer. (Whose name stands for Get Out of My E. R.)

I don't very often hold either cat, not liking to get cat hair all over everything. So, Gomer didn't expect me to pick him up. Surprisingly, he decided to roll with the punches and didn't give me any problems.

Next we needed to get them into the cat carriers, which were sitting side by side on our washer and dryer.

Someone needs to rename those things. No - - - not the washer and dryer, the cat CARRIERS.

First, Fisherhubby put Fuzzie into a carrier. She wasn't excited about the prospect, and he had to do a little coaxing (intrepreted FORCING) but in she went without making a peep. He latched her little door and turned for Gomer.

When Gomer saw his head being aimed for the little door to his carrier, things started going very awry!!!

He was NOT going in that thing.

His back arched.

His forepaws went spread eagle and he PUSHED back as hard as he could.

His hair stood on end.

He hissed.

He WOULD have scratched if he had any claws.

He growled in the most threatening growl scream you've ever heard a cat utter!!!

Cat hair went flying EVERYWHERE all over our CLEAN washer, dryer, and entire laundry room.

Suddenly, the TOP flew off of Fuzzies carrier and in SHEER panic at hearing her "brother" screaming - - - she leaped out, over the top and ran away.

Obviously our great idea of using cat carriers was about the worst idea we'd had in a century.

We went with Plan B: Recatch those two cats, shut them in the car SANS carriers and hope for the best.

Turns out Plan B should have been Plan A.

It went off without a hitch. Fuzzie settled onto the back seat floor and never made a peep. Gomer preferred to sit in our gran's car seat and stare out the window - - - but he ALSO was peepless.

We went to the drive-up window, where I kept one hand on Gomer to try to discourage the old "cat out the window" routine that we anticipated he would attempt. I felt his little muscles tensing as he toyed with the idea, but all went well.

We collected our food and drove across town to a shady area in the park to enjoy our lunch. I opened the bag to distribute said lunch only to discover they had given us NEITHER of our sides.

So typical.

How did YOUR day go yesterday????


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunday Reruns - "Meme"rable


It's Sunday again, and you know what THAT means!?! It's time for Sunday Favorites!!!

Sunday Favorites are RERUNS - - - if you want to participate, just repost something you previously posted "back in the day."

(NOTICE: when you read these, they are NOT current events. ;-)

Thanks so much to Chari over at Happy to Design for hosting this meme, "Sunday Favorites."

"Have I Ever?"
(First posted on June 10, 2008)

Leigh posted this meme on her blog. There are 58 questions in the ACTUAL meme.

Now folks - - - there is NO WAY anyone in cyberspace wants to read the answers to 58 questions about me, so I've selected the questions I want to answer. :-)

If you actually READ these - - - let me know. I think too much writing makes most bloggers stop reading. Prove me wrong!

1) Gone on a blind date?

Yes, once!! When I was in college a friend of mine came to me and talked me into a double date, with my date being the blind part. We had a great time, he was a perfect gentleman and good looking to boot - - - but I couldn't WAIT to get off the date, and NEVER wanted to date him again. The reason? His PANTS WERE TOO SHORT!!!! There was a STYLE for guys in that place at the time, he was wearing it - - - khaki pants cut off and fringed an inch above the ankle worn with no socks and loafers. I thought it was HIDEOUS and I let that little fashion faux pas completely TURN ME OFF.
Oh the DEPTH of my 18 year old soul!!!!

A week or so later he called me and invited me to come to the University of South Carolina (his school) to see a Gamecock's football game. If you've read my blog, you know I ADORE football - - - - but I said "no." More the fool I.

2) Skipped school?

Nope. I'm WAY too conventional for that.

3) Watched someone die?

No. I have a TOTAL phobia of being in the same room when the process of death happens. I can feel death in the air and it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

My 48 year old cousin dropped dead right when we finished singing the doxology as grace for our evening meal at our family reunion one year. I had just turned away from the group to head out to the grill when he fell - - - I did NOT see it, but I KNEW that someone had just died. I literally RAN out to the grill to my medical husband and shouted: "They need you in there!" He took ONE LOOK at my face and ran in. There was nothing that could help. Oh, hubby and several nurse cousins tried valiantly to revive him - - - but he was already in the arms of Jesus. I stayed OUTSIDE and helped take care of the children - - - struggling to help them cope.

A few years ago, a young 16 year old girl dropped dead at our teen camp where I was on staff. She was entering the teen temple, I was up on the ball field on a golf cart. I heard a voice come over the walkie talkie radio saying "call 911." I KNEW in that instant someone was dead. Again - - - I stayed away from the actual scene of death and helped the other campers.

It is not that I'm afraid I will miss heaven - - - it is the thought that this is it, death is here. I just can't handle that. I hope and pray the Lord sees fit to let me slip quietly away to heaven in my sleep and when I wake His is the first face I see.

8) Been lost?

Never I've gotten turned around a time or two - - - but having been blessed with a pretty accurate sense of time and space, I've always been quickly able to reorient myself and find my destination. Hubby does NOT have this gift, fact which has given us some "moments" on trips together.

12) Had your booze taken away by the cops?

Nope - - - never have had any booze to get taken away. Am and always have been a t-totaller. That presented interesting challenges growing up in Wisconsin - - - the beer state- - - where it was legal to drink beer at 16 and hard stuff at 18 in those Viet Nam War days.

13) Lettered in a high school sport?

Nope - - - they don't give letters for being an avid spectator!!! I don't have a single athletic gene. When hubby and I were dating he TRIED to teach me to play tennis. After about five minutes, he came over to my side of the net, took the racket out of my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and said, "You cannot play tennis, never try again!" And I haven't.

A few years ago the athletic director at our school awarded me a plaque in appreciation for selling tickets at so many of our athletic events. My name AND the word athletic both appeared on that plaque - - - hubby said it was an oxymoron.

14) Cried yourself to sleep?

Yes - - - painful, isn't it?

21) Cheated on an exam?

Not an exam, but once in grade school I penciled the order of the middle letters of one word on my desk top before the spelling test. I didn't even look at them during the test, but I knew it was wrong and later confessed to the teacher. I don't remember what she did about it - - - but I do remember the relief when the guilt rolled away because I had made it right.

30) Been arrested?

No - - - but if you read my Thelma and Louise story you'll find I inadvertently came pretty close once.

33) Had a nickname?

My cousins call me Keepie, so I use that one in cyberworld.

Pete gave me a HATEFUL one in college and Hick made sure the WHOLE SCHOOL knew it - - - I still hate that one and shan't tell it here or anywhere else.

34) Been to Africa?

YES - - - when I was 18, and it was the highlight trip of my life!!! We were there for a seven week long missions trip and had more experiences than I could possibly relate right here - - - the most exciting and terrifying of which was being charged by an elephant in a game reserve. Read that story here.

35) Birth place?

Shell Lake, Wisconsin

54) Do you have any tattoos?

If you've read ANY of this, I BET you can answer that one for yourself!!! Hehehehehehehehe

57) What do you do to relax?

Blog, watch football, eat,read, blog, watch football, eat, blog - - -


Closed For Cleaning


This blog is officially closed for the DAY for cleaning.

Nope - - - not blog cleaning, HOUSE cleaning.

We've got to sell this house so we can move to Wisconsin. The first set of "lookers" are coming tomorrow.

I'm procrastinating my "chores" to make this post, and then I'm off to do that which I hate - - - CLEAN.

Fisherhubby is already in full swing out in the garage, on the porch, and on the deck.

See you when the DUST settles.


(Image Source:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Credit Where Credit is Due


In the preseason game last night between the Colts and the Packers, AKA "The Beat Down of the Colts", there was ONE quarterback who was absolutely brilliant in his execution of the game.

(AP photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

His name was NOT Peyton.

This is not particularly EASY for me to admit, because just in case you have forgotten:

My blood runs Colts blue.

When I move back to the green and yellow-blooded state of my birth, I shall be able to pull for those Packer Boys - - - but NOT when they play MY boys.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Burr Wesleyan Camp

Church Camp.

Those words may bring different memories to different people. To me, they bring the memory of Burr Camp, nestled on and into the valley of Burr Ridge in Vernon County, Wisconsin.

Burr Camp is inextricably woven into the tapestry of my life. My mother was born there on a Sunday morning during Family Camp. From the womb on I spent weeks each summer on that hallowed soil. It was "home." We looked forward to camp with greater anticipation than we did Christmas. Just the word Burr brings a golden wash of warmth and light over my soul. I have shared some of those memories here and here.

During our summer Wisconsin ramblings, Sister Pam, Dad, and I revisited Burr Camp. It is no longer "ours" having been sold. But the hands holding the deed to the land, do not hold the deed to our memories - - - there in our neurons and synapses, we still "own" our camp and none can wrest it from us.

The Pump House. In my lifetime, this was never the source of the camp's water - - - though when I was young one could still prime the pump and a crystal clear, icy fount would gush forth. Oh the fun we had splashing and drinking in that fount!

This little building housed more than water - - - it was the very social center of teenage camp life. These wall benches were crammed with kids, more hanging in from the sides, as fellowship happened - - - ghost stories, laughter, games of concentration, and romance. How many hands were held or lips were touched with first kisses? - - - Only these white arched walls could tell.

It is still the icon of Burr Camp.

The new owners now call "our" Burr Camp, "Rustic Ridge Resort." Let me take a moment here to say how glad I am that it is these particular owners who now have "our" camp. They love it too, and soak up the history that those of us who wander in for a visit have to share.

They are keeping the grounds up in the manner we cherish. They really want to make it a rustic retreat for family reunions, group gatherings, and other events. Why not contact them for a booking?

Brannon Inn

Known to us "old timers" as the boy's dorm. Do not be fooled by the serene setting - - -this was NOT a quiet place.

I remember often as a teenager I was a counselor for kids camp. One year, as I was trying to get my girls to settle down for a good night's sleep, I heard squeals and peals coming from the vicinity of the ball diamond.

I looked out the window, across the road to the ball field. My friend Marty, a boy's counselor, had his young charges up there running lap after lap in an attempt to wear them down for the night. Wonder if it worked? Perhaps on that ONE occasion, Brannon Inn WAS a serene place.

The "New" Tabernacle.

This view may look odd to "old timers" visiting this post - - - it's because Missionary Building, 16 Room Dorm, and several private cottages have been removed. It's hard to picture now how they ever fit in the space, though fit they did and we never felt crowded in the least.

I remember when this was built. At teen camp that year, all that existed of the new tabernacle was a concrete slab floor and steel girders. No walls. No windows. No roof. We had evening services there anyway, with the starry sky as our cathedral. It didn't rain us out even once.

The visiting speaker was not impressed. He referred to it, from the pulpit, as a "unique" place. I didn't like the tone he put on "unique", and he lost me with that very first "hello."

The Dining Hall

As seen from the county road running along Burr Ridge. I was sitting in this very spot, watching a tiny black and white TV brought in for just that one MOMENTOUS occasion, when I saw Niel Armstrong step onto the moon surface and utter those immortal words - - - "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." I will never forget it!

As teens, we spent hours working in the dining hall serving, doing dishes, and washing pots and pans to "earn" our way through Family Camp. Water fights were not allowed - - - but of course we had them.

This is the same dining hall looking up from the valley drive. The rooms above the dining hall were sleeping rooms used by families who didn't enjoy the "bare board" roughing-it upon which the REST of us thrived.

King Memorial

This was the newest building "we" built on the grounds. It is a lodge with a fireplace at one end. The current owners have also equipped it with a kitchen at the opposite end.

Camp Valley Road

Restrooms on the right. Again, small cottages and other buildings are missing from this view.

Wedding Chapel.

If you are a REALLY "old timer," you don't even remember this building. That is because, though it isn't a new little chapel, it was moved onto the campgrounds sometime in the late late 70's or early 80's.

If you are one of my bloggy regulars, and never experienced Burr Camp, thank you for indulging me this ramble down memory lane.

If you are a Burr Camp "old timer" who found this post via google or some other search method, know that you have come "home" to someone who loves camp every bit as much as you do - - - - maybe more. ;-)

I am linking this post to Vintage Thingies Thursday - - - everything ABOUT Burr Camp is vintage!!!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Show Stopper


Our youngest daughter, Korie, has been a "show stopper" all her life. She is blessed with the natural grace, talent and stage presence that make her shine in the spot light of every musical or drama event in which she's ever participated.

Yesterday, at her bridal shower, she "stopped the show" once again when she donned this feathery gift wrap embellishment.

Just look at that cute face! She makes her mama proud - - -and that's OK, mama's are SUPPOSED to be proud.

Here she is with her older sissy, Keri, who always wrote, produced, and directed the family drama.

No REALLY - - - Keri WROTE plays, CAST her siblings into roles, FOUND costumes, and DIRECTED the whole shebang. It was AWESOME!

Korie and her fiance, Chris, who will tie the knot on September 25, 2010. You may visit their wedding blog here.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sunday Reruns - Anniversary Reprise


It's Sunday again, and you know what THAT means!?! It's time for Sunday reruns!!! Thanks so much to Chari over at Happy to Design for hosting this meme, "Sunday Favorites."

Today I'm reposting something I wrote just before our 34th wedding anniversary last year. I have chosen this particular post for today because our children gave us a 35th anniversary celebration last Sunday, and several of you have commented about 35 years being unusual these days.

This is my "Long Marriages for Dummies" handbook - - - so to speak. :-)

The Missing Piece of the Puzzle
(First posted 5/18/09)

You left me such great and affirming comments about our 34 year (come Sunday) marriage. Thank you all!! (35 years now in 2010)

HOWSOEVERMUCH - - - I would be very remiss to all my "young" readers if I didn't share this little secret to a long and GREAT marriage - - - - Are you ready??? It's a very well kept secret and I wouldn't share it with just anyone - - - - Look closely - - - Here it is:

No "Divorce" word in your vocabulary

That's it. There is no short cut. There is no easy way out. Love is 95% commitment. The "feelings" come and go - - - but the commitment must REMAIN.

Oh - - - and a bit of humor sure helps get through the tough times.

And there WILL be tough times, you can COUNT on it.

That's the secret, and you won't learn it in movies, novels, or fantasies.

BUT - - - the end of the work is well worth it. I promise.

I know, I'm living it.


It's Time Out for You, Bad Boys!


This is Piper Renae. She's in that "netherworld" of the "twos."

While she is just the sweetest thing you can imagine, she does have her little diva side, and her mommy sometimes is forced to put her in time out.

Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, you know - - -

Piper put Woody, Buzz, and Camaro in time out.

Goodness, I HOPE they learn their lesson!

(She TRIES to put her four year old brother in time out too, but he is too smart for her - - - he tells her she CAN'T put him in time out.)

(Image source: Keri Baker)


The Grans are Coming!!!!!


This afternoon.

To spend the night!!!

I have been getting ready for them - - - loading up on new playthings and fun foods.

First I found this bowling set. Cute and colorful.

Next, ice cream cones!!! Oh, but wait - - - wait - - - DON'T try to lick them because - - -

They're bubblers!!!!

Bat and ball set. Doesn't every kid want one of these at least ONCE in their childhood?

And the BEST ammunition of all - - - FUN SNACKS!!!

I always say, "Sugar 'em up then send 'em home!" My grandson saw his mommy buying some Cheez-Its and said, "Are we going to Kammas!?!"

See - - - I am MARKED and KNOWN by my markings.

The best part of all is how inexpensive this "loot" was. I have my own special secret source of CHEAP AND EASY fun.

This price sticker will give my source away to the discerning shopper - - - know my fancy smancy boutique now???

Ta-Da!!!! Yep, Dollar General. The shoppers best friend.

Oh - - - and ALL the toys were on 25% off ON TOP of their already very reasonable prices.

You gotta LOVE Dollar General!!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Team Spirit


Wonder if I'll get one of these if I wear my Colt's Blue up in Packers Country?


Have Trike - - -


Will travel!!!

There are a bunch of blogging ladies out there who LOVE tiny travel trailers.

This post is for you.

Just imagine - - - the tiny trailer of your dreams and GREEN too!!!

Not to mention the extra benefit of physical fitness.

What's not to love?

Have you seen the commercial where one of these wheels by? I really wanted to find a video of that because it is even CUTER than this - - - has a red window box and everything.

Unfortunately, while I DID notice the tiny trailer wheeling by, I neglected to notice what the commercial was advertising, so cannot FIND it on Youtube.

(Image source: top -, bottom -

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What We Have Here is a Falure to Communicate!


What do you think? Is this a juniper? It's obviously a gymnosperm and a conifer. The cones are adapted into a berry-like structure. I'm not "up" on my junipers, but I'm thinking this may well be one.

What say you?

What about the view???? Can you tell this little conifer is growing high up on the side of a bluff with a vast drop-off below?

AND furthermore, as long as you are here - - - don't miss my previous post.

It's a long story - - - and more details involved than would be interesting - - - but suffice it to say I somehow managed to POST it when I only meant to save it as a draft, so if it appears in your blog "follow" list or your google reader, it is WAY down with all the blogs you already read.

Again - - - you KNOW who you're dealing with over here, right???

Thanks, as always, for your visit.


This Here's WILDCAT Country


This is Wildcat Country.

It is so named NOT because of a current wildcat infestation, but because at one time a bobcat, also called a wildcat, roamed these Wisconsin hills preying on sheep.

No matter how pretty my pictures of this area of Vernon County may look, they just cannot do it justice. They simply cannot capture the depth and thus give you a true impression of the majesty of these hills.

The other day I was googling and found this video clip of Dan riding his Honda through Wildcat Mountain State Park. I don't know Dan, but I thank him for his video, because it gives you a feel for the terrain.

At the beginning of his run, Dan rides right through my Uncle Harold and Aunt Vetra's farm. You will see the barn on the left side of the road and the house and tractor shed on the right.

It looks to me like Dan took his ride in early spring, so he missed the lush verdant green of summer.

If he just would have come during warmer weather, and gotten off his bike to look and listen, he could have enjoyed vistas like these:

View from the base of Mount Pisgah.

Look closely at this pastoral scene and you may spy some of that nasty wild parsnip!!!

This is recycling at its natural best!

Old Settler's Trail

The village of Ontario as seen from Old Settler's Trail in Upper Wildcat.

Valley farms.

One of a thousand bends in the Kickapoo River.

The same bend framed in foliage.

Hope you enjoyed this glimpse of Wildcat Mountain from the safety of your computer.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

T Minus 35 and Counting


Our children gave us a reception Sunday in honor of our 35th Wedding anniversary.

It was a lovely afternoon, so I thought I'd share a bit of it with you.

This is what living with me for 35 years makes Fisherhubby WANT to do.

OK now - - - just look at the glee in his eye.

Not too shabby for old people.

Arriving - - - let the festivities begin.

Uncle Paul never could tell Indiana and Hawaii apart - - -

Chris and Korie doing a little wedding ceremony planning with PeePaw.

Kyle made a power point of family photos and brought the gadgets needed to show it.

Fisherhubby doin' a little "entertaining."

Uncle Kelly getting a hug from Kaeleigh.

Watching the power point - - - it was a BIG hit! Thank you, Kyle.

Fisherhubby chatting with cousin "Frito Bandito" aka George Richard.

Some serious remembering "old times" goin' on here!

Kaeleigh and Aunt Korie - - - how "awwwwwww" is this?

"What 'cha doin' now, Uncle Kyle??? Can WE help???"

"Oh WOW! Look at that!"

"Cheeses" all around.

Icing lips.

Watching a movie.

The rest of these pictures give you a little "insight" into the humor and drama that has been so much a part of our 35 years together:

"Ya think????"

A story getting bigger and bigger.

Goose stepping Keetha??? Really???

Fisherhubby knows how to make 'em roll in the aisles.