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, July 31, 2011

Sunday Reruns - "Those" Broyles Children


Today is 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 dedicate my repost to all the moms out there who are raising young children and who sometimes wonder if their children are morphing into monsters - - -

There's ALWAYS Hope
(first posted on 9/15/08)

Many of you, my beloved blog readers, those of you who identify yourselves anyway, are the age of my children or even younger. I often see posts on your blogs about the frustration of parenting. This post is for you.

Been there, done ALL that.

With FOUR children.

These were not just ANY children - - - these were the infamous BROYLES children.

You are probably wondering, "What does she mean by that?"

Well, just let me TELL you what I mean by that.

None of these children were shy.

None of these children were quiet - - - at least not at home. The "baby" could be rather quiet out in public - - - but at home?!? Let's just say at meal time we were in imminent danger of getting a noise ordinance warning. Seriously.

All of these children were creative. TOOOOO creative. I have stories - - - I may tell a few someday, but this isn't that day.

These children were cute, and occasionally cuddly. People stopped us in the grocery store and begged me to let them buy candy for these children.

These children were ZANY!!! I'm real surprised I have ANY sanity left.

These children could also FIGHT. Now, they would fight OTHERS to the DEATH to protect one another, but they didn't seem to have ANY qualms about killing each other themselves. In fact, I rather think they believed killing each other would have been justifiable homicide.

I thought Big Sister would take Little Sister OUT the day Little Sister got into Big Sister's make up and smeared it all over their bedroom carpet.

Big Brother threatened to shorten the life of Little Sister AND Little Brother so many times we ALL lost count.

Little Sister and Little Brother didn't learn a THING from being tormented by their older siblings, unless it was HOW to torment each other to an even FINER degree than what they themselves had been tormented.

I wondered if they would EVER get along.

But time has changed all that.

As hard as they fought back then, that's how hard they love now.

Wednesday night the oldest three of "THOSE" Broyles children ended up at the same concert at Verizon Music Center.

Little Sister and Big Brother, along with their dates, were together. Big Sister and Brother-In-Law were no where to be seen.

Little Sister began texting Big Sister to see if they could meet. Unfortunately they were on opposite sides of that HUGE concert venue. Little Sister was not daunted!!! She set out ALONE (Big Brother - - - WHY didn't you protect your Little Sister???) to find her Sissy.

And EUREKA!!!! She FOUND her. Joyful meeting!!!

More texting - - - this time back over to Big Brother, who decided it was time for the entire group to get together.

And together they were for the rest of the concert.

Broyles siblings.


In one place even.

No fighting.

No killing.

Just love and SINGING (at the top of their loud little Broyles' lungs, I'm sure.)

And hugging. Don't forget the hugging.

So, my dear bloggy moms-of-young-children friends, there IS hope. Hang in there.

And remember these images of "THOSE" Broyles children loving, hugging, and singing.


Friday, July 29, 2011

You Won't Believe It!!!!


Fisherhubby took me on vacation - - -

But Indiana Jones brought me home!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm Stll Alive, Though the Well Part is Questionable

There's a perfectly good reason why I haven't been in blogland this week. At least WE think it is a perfectly good reason!!

Our grans are here, and they brought their mommy and daddy with them.

Oh what times we've had. We saw cranberry bogs, swam at Lake Wazeecha, played in a riverside park, and petted all the animals at the petting zoo. Well, little Miss Diva did more than pet - she adored holding the painted turtles and looking them right in their beady little eyes.

The turtles were almost as big as she was.

We only have a couple more days of all this fun, and then the grans will return to Indiana and I'll return to blogland.

Oh, and MONDAY will be my first day as a shelver at the local library.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Reruns - Nappie Tale


Today is 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.

When we get together with our four children and their families, there is never a dull moment. Our oldest son accounts for much of this, and here is just ONE of his tales:

Diaper Disposal 101

(First posted on Sept. 11, 2008)

We've all seen them.

We've all smelled them.

We've all wondered how such precious, innocent, little toddlers could create so MANY of them!!!

I even have friends who COUNTED how many their son created in his diaper-wearing career.

We've all had to dispose of them. But perhaps only a few of us have done so in this particular way:

A few days ago when all our family was together for a few hours, my son-in-law, Jason took one of these, which had been freshly and ripely filled, and placed it under the front seat in Number One Son, Kelly's car.

It was fresh, it was ripe. We all thought Kelly would detect its presence the moment he entered his car. We were wrong.

Somehow he managed to drive all the way home without realizing he had an extra passenger.

Somehow he managed to park, exit, and lock his car IN THE SUN for 26 hours without any cognizance at all that he had a stow-away aboard.

At the end of this cooking interval, he said he could smell the diaper before he even opened the door.

While this brought peals of laughter from all of us, I'm afraid our laughter will be short lived because if ANYONE on this planet is the king of paybacks, it would be Number One Son.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

"By The Shores of Gitche Gumee"


Sand, sun, gift shops, and bright Adirondacks.

Must be the beach.

And it is - - - but probably not the beach of your imagination. No, THIS is the shore of the Great Gitche Gumee of Longfellow lore.

Yesterday was HOT, even by "lower 48" standards and for the northwoods it was the kind of heat that only comes around once a decade or so. It was so hot mosquitoes were dehydrating in mid-flight and falling to the pavement where their bodies sizzled away like bacon in a frying pan.

It was too hot for fish to be lured up out of the cooler deep even by Fisherhubby's bait.

So, we decided to set off on an adventure. Our destination was the shore of Gitche Gumee, "Big Water", Lake Superior.

For those of you who have never been to the shore of one of the Great Lakes, you may not realize the joys of standing on the brink of a fresh water sea - - - - where sky meets water farther than the eye can see.

Unfortunately black biting flies were not sizzled away by the sun, and as I stood taking these photos my legs were getting covered by biting "raisins."

I took the pain in order to snap these photos for you, my bloggy public. You are worth a million raisin bites.

Fisherhubby, on the other hand, after one brief close encounter of the fly kind chose to stay in the car where he could laugh at my Saint Vitus dance through the parking lot in an effort to rid myself of the nasty critters rather than bring them in the car.

Of course, it did not help that no matter how far north we traversed along the shore, it did NOT get any cooler.

But never mind - - - we were on an adventure and adventures by their very definition have pitfalls of various kinds.

Along the way we found quaint villages filled with interesting shops, historic churches, and safe harbors.

We even found an Inn which has been accommodating guests for over 145 years. We settled into this little booth, tucked so far back in a corner that it is known to the establishment as "the forgotten table", to enjoy our evening repast before wending our way back to our own lake side cottage.

It was a day well spent.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Seein' Frog Creek


Today's post is toothy - - - but if you want a chuckle or two, you simply have to bite the bullet and READ.

Sometimes, just for the sheer wilderness of it, Fisherhubby and I decide to take the fire trail on the first leg of the jaunt into town.

When I was a girl, these fire access routes truly were just trails - - - basic sand paths barely gorged out of the northwoods. My dad had a penchant for using them to find "short cuts" across the northwest "eye of the Indian Head State" which resulted in many a tale of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with cells phones still a good 35 years from invention.

But I digress - - -

As you can see, today these same fire trails are veritable thoroughfares replete with gravel and wide grassy shoulders, thanks in large part to the invention of snowmobiles and ATVs and possibly even to funds available from the rather recent and infamous "stimulus package".

They even boast NAMES instead of just being numbered as in days of yore. This one is Hall Road, formerly Town Hall Road, but since the Town Hall for which it was named has faded into foggy memory, the Town was dropped from its name.

And today, these trails can be found on Google Earth or GPS or even MapQuest which seems to me to take part of the fun right out of them. But if you look here, you can see Hall Road and just a bend or two above the red balloon you may IMAGINE the site of the REST of this tale.

But before we commence all that imagining let me just point out that the largest lake on the map is Gull, where we are staying, and that if you click on the + one time, our cabin is directly below the "k" of Gull Lake. Also by that self-same one click the NAMES of those tiny fire trails will appear, as if by magic, and you can easily find and follow Hall Road up to Highway 77, which is exactly what we did.

But again, I digress - - -

Let's commence the imagining:

First, imagine our surprise when right in the middle of the wilderness that surrounds Hall Road Fire and ATV Trail we came upon a thriving community.

The Town of Frog Creek.

Personally, I could find neither frog nor creek nor even town.

But Fisherhubby, who has a far greater imagination than do I, took it all in with one glance! He was ready to hop out of the old Durango and begin seein' Frog Creek.

First he pointed out the mall on the right and the Phillips 66 on the left.

And of course, when my eyes were thus opened, I too could see it all.

Ladies - - - when you get bored with YOUR same old same old never-have-what-I-want shopping centers, come on up to the Indian Head State and I'll be glad to take you over to Frog Creek where they have anything and everything you can imagine.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011



Way back at the beginning of June, you CAN remember back that far can't you???, I posted this picture:

And dared you to guess what I was having made.

Some of you, misguided about my capabilities, THOUGHT I was going to create something. Mais non, mes amis!!! I do not create, I HIRE creation.

And yesterday, I got to MEET the designer and creator of my fabulous new gadget. Yes, I got to meet her live and in person and pick up my new - - -

Designer Bag!!!!

Isn't she lovely? Oh yes, I DO mean the bag.

However, the designer and creator was equally lovely. She is Deborah (pronounced Duh-Bore-uh) of "Fizzy and Me." She specializes (amongst other things I'm sure) in whipping up unique, one of a kind creations.

Step BACK Vera B.

If you're interested in your OWN unique bag, you may e-mail Deborah at thepottershand (at) cheqnet (dot) net.

In the meantime - - - I shall be out and about Hayward sportin' my new coach. ;-)


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday on My Vacation


Some call it vacation.

Others call it going on holiday.

I call it bliss.

Fisherhubby and I have been returning to the same vacation destination for so many years that we have forgotten the count.

We love it and sometimes our hearts feel more at "home" here than anywhere else. For me, it WAS once home - - - my childhood home.

Today I'm sharing a bit of this "heart home" with you.

The bell carillon at the corner of the Catholic Church. The "new" Catholic Church, "new" since my childhood days.

The Congregational Church - quaintly appealing - - -

From every angle.

"Our" lake glistening in the late afternoon sunlight.

I do so love the play of sun and shadow on the lake in the late afternoon,

My favorite time of day.

And just a little later, a lone fisherman sets out to ply his trade.

He glides silently across the water to take his wary prey by surprise.

Not to worry giant goliaths of the deep, he rarely takes you from your briny depths to deliver you to my frying pan.

Thanks to Unknown Mami for hosting
"Sundays in My City"
To which I am linking this post.
Today my city is Hayward, Wisconsin


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vacation Friday-Frags on Saturday


Once again I am beyond late coming to the party.

I will NOT blame you if you don't visit my tardy offering.

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We are vacationing on the northern reaches of the Wisconsin Frozen Tundra - way up in the northwoods where bears roam and moose can only dream of roaming.

Obviously, it is frozen up here no longer.

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As we were leaving the cabin to head in town this mid-afternoon, I heard joyous squeals of teenagers and beheld this most inviting scene on the lake.

I did NOT swim out there to get their permission to post this photo, it is my sincere hope that you CANNOT identify them, I know I can't.

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This is the shady lane over which we must traverse both going and coming to our cabin.

I feel the vacation vibes just looking at it.

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I grieve over this little house each and every time I see it. Having lived in this self same small Northwoods Town as a child I remember drooling over this home, that to my little girl heart, seemed palatial at the time.

I loved it then and I still love it now. Look at that cute little eyebrow roof over the front stoop.

Someone needs to reclaim this house from the jungle and love life back into it.

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We purchased a healthy supply of Costa Rican coffee beans from the Backroads Coffee Shop today.

Yum - - - I can't wait for a cup tomorrow morning.

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Would you look at this teeny tiny baby moccasin??? I think I MIGHT be able to get my big toe in it.

Also - - - our grans call Fisherhubby Papoo, so I thought they'd get a kick out of a Pa-Poo-Shu.

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I found some fun flip flops for the grans in town today. Don't they just scream "vacation" all gathered together like that?

They bring to mind a herd of cows huddled heads together on the frozen tundra - - -

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And mama found some blingin' flip-flops for her OWN feet too. Two pairs for $5.

And, you can't beat THAT with a stick!!! Mama's happy, so EVERYBODY'S happy.

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Mommy's Idea

Please head on over to Mrs. 4444's place
And check out all the Friday Fragments.


Friday, July 15, 2011

"Reunited and it Feels So Good!!"


Regulars at The Eclectic Company will remember her - - - Lady Catherine Rose Sitzalone. The rest of you may "catch up" here.

I had not seen Miss Kitty Rose for several years, but today she was feeling well enough to soak up a few rays on the Streets of Hayward.

You'll notice that she has gotten rather "hip" recently, changing her hair and her style. I think the new look suits her just fine.

You'll also notice that she has a bit of cutaneous carcinoma about the head and neck. Poor old gal - - - it's all that over exposure to UV-rays on the streets of Hayward.

I'm just thrilled to know she's still alive and relatively well. She shared more of her life saga with me - - - I'll be telling you all about it a bit later.



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spit of El Diablo


Tonight we ate at Famous Dave's where Devil's Spit runs deep.

Kyle tried his hand at huntin', but since he couldn't bring home the bacon, we ordered from the menu instead.

Earlier in the day, while we played put-put I was having a streak of 2 puts. Normally I'm a 5 put kinda gal.

ONE of my sons, the one pictured here, said "Mom, you're the Mayor of Dumb Luck, USA."

If it even LOOKS like I might win, "they" are all in a dreadful panic.

Not to worry - - - I did NOT disappoint and win.


Wherein I Break My OWN 1-Picture-Per-Vacation-Post Rule


For good reason, I hope!

This post is dedicated to 2 of the 3 fishermen on this trip.

Meet Mike.

Mike is becoming a vacation-fisherman. But in his usual st
ate, he is a metrosexual who will be sure his shoes and belt match, even on vacation. He is also the ONLY one of us to EVER use an iron here at the cabin.

Today, just before I snapped this shot he confessed that he had NOT ironed his fishing shirt, even though the crinkled pockets were driving him insane.

Yes - - - his vacation wardrobe contains "fishing outfits" which are NOT to be confused with his "town outfits."

And this is Fisherhubby whose garb consists of all things Packers or Gators AND his infamous "zippy" pants for town OR fishing, his wardrobe "pieces" are interchangeable that way.

His "pre-fishing" ritual consists of checking Facebook and e-mail. Oh, and apparently tormenting his wife who is TRYING to capture blog fodder with her camera lens.

Whatever these two fishermen do to get ready for their forays out onto the "seas," it MUST be working 'cause just look what they brought home today:

A nice sized northern pike.

With a toothsome grin. A VERY toothsome grin.

And Fisherhubby has a toothy grin of his own because he isn't a bit proud of his accomplishments or anything.

Leigh (and any other fisherman who may care) he used 30# test, a chartreuse spinner and a bait caster.

Pike Steaks Tonight!!!