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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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sunday Reruns - Bittersweet


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

Sunday Favorites are RERUNS, not current posts - - - if you want to participate, just repost something you previously posted "back in the day."

Thanks so much to Chari over at Happy to Design for hosting this meme. You may click on the link to find the rules and see more favorite posts.

Today I am reposting what I posted on the evening of my mother's memorial service.

Don't be surprised that you see joy on our faces. When one knows where their loved one has gone, and especially if that loved one suffered greatly in this world, one can experience joy at their passing.

Such was the case, on both counts, of my mother.

And Then There Were Three
(first posted on 8/28/08)

Today we gathered to celebrate mom's life. Mom was one of nine children and dad is one of thirteen. That means there were A LOT of us. As the family processed into the sanctuary it seemed like it took a LONG time - - - which it did. And actually, those there represented only a smattering of both sides of the family.

I will have more pictures to post later, but for tonight let me just share a few.

Now we are three. My sister Pam, Dad, and me. But we are not really alone - - -

We seem to have proliferated!!!!

Somebody was just too cute for his own good!!! Every time there was a pause in the service he called out, "All Done!"

Hubby has purse phobia. He will NOT carry, hold, or even TOUCH my purse. Knowing this, I didn't ask him to touch my purse, I merely asked him to bring me the camera that was IN my purse. Oh - - - but THAT wouldn't have been any fun. Instead he made quite a production out of bringing me my purse while sticking to his manly resolve to never touch it.

Cousin Rich demonstrates that holding my purse will not cause sudden death of manhood.

(By the way, Rich's wife, Darla, was homecoming queen at IWU back in the day!!!)

And here are three of mom's little treasures that dad sent home with me. A pin with mother of pearl insets, a pair of gloves, and a necklace, which I wore today, so if you look carefully you will see it in the above pictures of me.

Tomorrow morning Dad, Pam, and I set out for Wisconsin, the final leg of mom's journey on this Earth. (She will be interred there.)

I will take lappy and post along the way - - -


Would YOU Trust This Man???


B-I-L Joe

Sister Pam and her hubby Joe have been doing a lot of volunteering since they've moved to Southern Florida.

One of the things they do is act as chaperones and sponsors for the youth group at their church. This is how Joe showed up yesterday to drive teens to a weekend retreat.

Really funny when you realize the man actually looks like this.

His sense of humor has given him a direct line of communication with kids. He has a way of remembering what each one is interested in and checking in with them about it when he sees them.

So, YES, I would trust this man!


Friday, April 29, 2011

Who Made The Rule???


Who was it that made the "rule" that a dandelion is a weed????

Whomever they were, they did NOT know the joy of a single dandelion in the spring after a long harsh winter on the Frozen Tundra!!

Nor were they a child. Children see dandelions for what they are - - - bright, cheery, beautiful, yellow markers of SPRING!!!

No, had the "weed" rule-makers known the joy of the FIRST dandelions of spring, they would have called them wild flowers and honored them as beloved friends.

Perhaps they would even have immortalized them on a plate like this one given to me by my dear friend Norma.

If you are shaking your head thinking I've LOST it over dandelions you need to know that THIS is the first dandelion we've seen this spring on the Frozen Tundra. And I'm just guessing that if YOU aren't as excited over it as I am, you do NOT dwell on a Frozen Tundra.

I went back today to the two little antique shops which Eloise and I visited yesterday. This time I came away with more treasure!!!

Some of my treasure is being brought home in the truck by Fisherhubby and Eloise's hubby Bill. I'll show it to you later.

But for now - - - - just feast your eyes on THIS gem:

No, no, NO - - - I shall NOT paint it!! I shall enjoy it in all its natural wood beauty.

I love its details and spindles.

The seat is faux leather - - - already deliciously and naturally distressed.

I have plans for this chair to join some other furniture in what will SOON be our little "guest hide-away" down in the region of the FBC.

But in the mean time, I have tucked it into a corner of the dining room where I can see and enjoy it every day!!!

Linking up to the TGIF Linky Party over at "Wit Behind the Ears".


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cranberries, Cookie Cutters, and Cloth Bits


Yesterday my friend Eloise, pronounced E - Lois, met me for lunch and then took me round to a couple of antique/collectable shops.

I had this "blank-slate" wall in my kitchen, next to the refrigerator, for which I had been keeping my eyes open for "just the right" thing to hang there.

Of course, I had no idea what "just the right thing" would look like, but was pretty sure I'd know it when I saw it.

In one of the little shops, we found this ladder. Oh, it was never a utilitarian ladder, but had been fashioned for decorative purposes out of old bits of rough barn-siding-ish wood.

It doesn't even need to HANG on my wall, but is instead very content just to LEAN there.

Hanging down one side of the ladder was a swag, which I rather liked, until Eloise found this cranberry swag in another corner of the shop.

Cranberries!!! Imagine that!!! How PERFECT for this county in this state since we produce more cranberries than any other county in any other state!!

I brought the ladder and swag home with me and stood them up against that nekked wall in my kitchen.

I attached a few tin cookie cutters to the swag.

And from the rungs of the ladder, I hung some bits of vintage linens.

All of these pieces of linen came from my paternal grandmother's stash. Some of them I collected when her things were being distributed to our forty-some first cousins, some of them Sister Pam collected but then gave to me to keep in their mid-west roots when she moved to the beaches of Florida where she thought they had no business living.

The LINENS had no business living at the beaches of Florida, Sister Pam and Joe find they have much business there indeed!

We speculate that a good many of these pieces were made by grandma's own hands - - -

And quite possibly for her hope chest since several pieces have "F" embroidered onto them and her maiden name was Foster.

I am quite pleased with the final result - - - though I must say, my little photographs simply do NOT do it justice - - - you'll just HAVE to come and visit to see it live and in person!

There was one more little "bit" that I found in one of the shops and brought home with me yesterday, where it found it's home atop my china cabinet.

It's this dark blue tin pitcher with a very happy little spray of cranberry fluff sprouting out of it's top.

Now - - - there's one more nekked wall in my living room to which I must turn my attention - - - I'm thinking maybe an old window frame - - -


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All That SEX on the Dining Room Table!


I can't help it - - - it's the BIOLOGY teacher in me - - -

Every time I see my tulips on the computer desk - - -

Or my lily on the dining room table - - - I just can't HELP but notice all their perfect little male and female parts.

Just makes me want to do a post about all that sex on the dining room table.

(photo from

Oh, but wait, I ALREADY did that post a while back, only I called THAT one "All That Sex Goin' on in Your Garden".

Maybe this time I could do a post about Monocots and Dicots - - -

Or maybe not.

(If the word SEX pulled you in here, and you are LOST and WONDERING where the SEX is - - - remember, every flower is all about SEX.)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We Didn't See Hide Nor "Hare" of the Easter Bunny 'Round These Here Parts


But the Easter Chipmunk came to call - - -

And he left us some tiny little Easter eggs.

In OTHER Easter news:

Fisherhubby had to work in the ER both Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend. He begged me to make a plate of deviled eggs for him to take for the ER Easter dinner.

I'm not a bunny of any kind, so wasn't sure how my Easter eggs would turn out - - - but the plate came home completely empty. I take that as a good sign.

I myself was invited to my friend Connie's house for dinner. She made a cheery table setting using bright yellow linens.

I brought the cheesy potato casserole.

Sister Pam and B-I-L Joe spent the wee hours of their Easter Sunday morning transporting folks in this fancy golf cart from the parking lot to - - -

Their sunrise service on the beach. Sister Pam said she believed they had 4,000 in attendance.



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cranberries in My City


Many people associate cranberry growing with the north eastern states. While they DO grow cranberries, Wisconsin grows more!

In fact, Wisconsin produces 30% of the world's cranberries and over half of the cranberries in the United States.

My city is located smack dab in the middle (is the county seat in fact) of a cranberry growing county.

If you look at this graphic from The Wisconsin State Cranberry Grower's Association web page, you will find Wood County, my county, right in the middle of the state. You will see that it is Raspberry PINK because we raise the MOST cranberries of any Wisconsin county.

Some people have no idea how cranberries grow, and we are NOT above going into lengthy detailed descriptions of the huge trees in the cranberry orchards. OF COURSE we keep our fingers crossed the whole time.

In reality the cranberry plant is a relatively low growing plant. They grow in long, usually rectangular, low areas called bogs or marshes. Each bog is separated from the surrounding bogs by raised access road topped banks.

During the growing season, these bogs are not as easily visible as the plants are green. But in the fall, after harvest, and during the winter (if they aren't snow covered) they are a deep maroon.

Cranberry growing requires a lot of water, so bogs are most frequently found in areas where plenty of water is available. This natural marshy area is directly across the highway from the cranberry bogs shown above.

Water is important to cranberry growing for more than just to water the plants. Whenever frost threatens, sprayers are turned on which cover the plants and berries with water to keep them from freezing and being damaged. Many is the night that cranberry growers are up all night keeping the berries safe.

One cranberry harvest method involves completely flooding the bogs. The cranberries are then removed from their stems and float to the surface of the water so they can be corralled and scooped up.

These currently popular Ocean Spray commercials were filmed during cranberry harvest.

And that, my friends, is the tale of cranberries in my City.

Thanks to Unknown Mami for hosting
"Sundays in My City"
To which I am linking this post.

Photo Credit: Cranberry Harvest by Keith Weller


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sunday Reruns - Easter Fifth Sunday Dinner


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

Sunday Favorites are RERUNS, not current posts - - - if you want to participate, just repost something you previously posted "back in the day."

Thanks so much to Chari over at Happy to Design for hosting this meme. You may click on the link to find the rules and see more favorite posts.

Since tomorrow is Easter and by way of an Easter greeting from me to you, I went back to find pictures of our family celebrating together near Easter a few years ago. This may well have been our Easter get-together, but if not it was certainly during the Easter season.

I can't believe how my grans have grown since then!!! The rest of us haven't aged a bit. ;-)

Spring Fifth Sunday Dinner
(First posted on March 29, 2009)

Whenever there is a fifth Sunday in the month, my dad hosts a family dinner. We weren't a very large crowd today but the food was yummy and we had a great time anyway.

Sister Pam and Dad (Peepaw) getting things ready.

Our youngest, Kyle
(Actually this picture was taken before the event)

Mackinley does not forget
This box of toys which Peepaw
Keeps for the great grans.

Piper and mommy, Keri
(Mommy is our firstborn)

Piper and Uncle Kelly
(Kelly is our second born,
He's our oldest son
And we are THRILLED
That he will be getting married
On August 27, 2011!!!)

Piper and Great Auntie Pam

Someone is grazing right out of the
Relish tray!!!!

G. Kelly and J. Kyle
Can you tell these two are brothers?

Yep - - - I'm THAT kind of mom,
I have a PATTERN to how I
Named my children.

And now I wish to you and yours
A very happy Easter.


And Then I Withdrew and Became a Huge Couch Potato


This morning,
over at Jen's place, "The Pipe Life", I saw a post about goals and resolutions and how we're doing with them. Her post really got me thinking.

I realize that there are MANY who LOVE to live by goals - - - they are the "list-makers."

They simply do not function well unless they have written goals and tasks which they can check off their list. And what lists some of them have - - - - if we ever have a shortage of adding machine tape, we will point at the list-makers and say "it's THEIR fault."

Many of that same list-maker genre also love to read books about organizing their life, making and keeping goals, and other self-help stuff. Their bookshelves are FULL of these books, and I could probably start naming authors whose mere NAMES would send the list-maker genre into peals of ecstatic joy.

And, since that seems to WORK for the list-makers, I say "more power to 'em."

BUT, I am NOT one of those.

If forced to write down goals and deadlines and lists, I withdraw into myself, procrastination mode takes over, and I become a HUGE (notice the emphasis on huge) couch potato.

I never buy nor go to the library to check out a single self-help book.

YIKES - - - maybe they just remind me how little hope there IS for me, I don't know. But I suspect it is more because they are simply a LONG LIST OF THINGS TO DO disguised under the title of "How to (fill in your own favorite self-help topic).

This is also why I hate the phone - - - it may be a list of things for me to do. I'm just bein' honest here.

And if you give me too many deadlines at once, I just simply feel overwhelmed with busyness and instead of tackling the list one item at a time, I MUST kick off my shoes and TAKE A NAP!!!

No, that isn't me on the couch - - - the potato was me - - - this is Fisherhubby doin' the whole nap thing.

So, instead I have ONE goal.

ONE is a number I can love.

ONE is a number I can "do".

And what is my ONE goal you may ask?

It's simple really, my ONE goal on New Year's day and every other day is to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

That's it.

I can HANDLE that.

And, it's working. My life has meaning. I'm busy. Here are some of the things that are new to me in the last few months, and all with no more than my ONE goal and resolution:

*Packed up our Indiana home and moved to Wisconsin
*Unpacked and settled in.
*Began teaching a KIDDs class on Wednesday evenings at our church.
*Began leading a nursing home ministry team which goes out bi-weekly.
*Began volunteering in the Shepherd's Loft three mornings a week. (Called a loft because it began in a balcony, though it has now taken over an entire basement.)
*Took on the responsibility of doing the monthly newsletter for our church.
*Began working on being a more gentle person.
*Maintained our home.
*Continued blogging to my heart's content.

I do not list these things in an effort to boast - - - it's really a very modest list. No, I show this list in an attempt to ENCOURAGE the REST of you out there who are ALSO of the non-list-maker genre like me.

Because really, if you are like me all that "goal" stuff just sends you into hibernation or estivation, depending on the season.

I want to step up and say:


Be obedient.

"Hang in there, I'm pulling for you - - - we're all in this together!!" (Thanks again, Red Green for the GREAT quote.)

Photo Credits:
Long List -
Couch Potato -