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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Friday, October 28, 2011

"Bucking" Up


("Bucking" is a pun - - - get it? OK, then I'll tell you, our Badger mascot's name is Bucky)

My boys didn't win last Saturday. I can't even TYPE that "L" word.

You haven't heard me mention "it" all week, because frankly I couldn't STAND to think about it, much less TALK about it.

The next little bit of this post you may not "get" - - - unless your blood runs the color of YOUR college football team. That's OK, if you don't "get it" that is all the more reason you need to keep reading so YOU will know how to help YOUR friends who may go through, any weekend, what I'm going through now.

When you are a true college team fan, and "your boys" don't pull out the big WIN on any given Saturday in the fall you are so crushed you just curl up in a ball and go into grieving mode.

This is NOT the time for friends, who don't "GET" college ball, to TEASE you.

They are likely to get a punch in the nose if they try.

This is the time for those who love you to stand quietly by your side, give you space to grieve, and offer a sad and understanding look from time to time. A gentle pat on the shoulder or back may be acceptable. Better yet would be if they brought a box of tissues and broke down and cried WITH you.

I know a FEW of you out there know what I'm talking about - - - - Leigh? Dust Bunny? KBeau??? Can I get a witness???

But in college football after a devastating unwin, there is only ONE week to recuperate and get ready for the NEXT big game.

In our case, that big game means we have to go into the Horse Shoe in Columbus to meet another Big Ten traditional power, Ohio State.

True, the Buckeyes haven't been very good this fall - - - but there's just something about those in conference power match-ups that leaves one holding their breath, crossing their toes, and biting off their fingernails.

I am doing all I know to help "my boys" pull out a big "W" in Columbus. And I started early.

I've been wearing my Wisconsin earrings, pulling out the red and white beads,

And having my nails painted Badger Red - - -

With a blingy "W" on the ring finger just for good measure.

Saturday night as I watch the game I plan to be wearing all Badger clothing, including PJ bottoms and my infamous Badger sweatshirt which has pulled us through to MANY a victory.

I even plan to pull out my red and white "Bucky" socks which Annie knitted for me last fall.

This is all I can do to help - - - so I will do it all.

During this week of extreme duress of soul, my Indiana friend Diane sent me something really special in the mail.

While I am a Badger's fan, Diane is an artist. She could care LESS about football.

But, being a true friend she cares about ME and chose this very week - - - a week where she KNEW I'd be devastated (she said she saw the end of our game and said, "Keetha will be devastated!") to send me just the RIGHT thing.

I opened the box which arrived at my door to find THIS ultra soft, Badger colors, hand woven blanket for one!!!!

Diane not only THOUGHT of me, she MADE this for me and sent it in time to be used during football season.

Thank you sooooooo much, Diane!

I wrapped myself in its soft yarny warmness and snapped this picture to show to all of you.

Perhaps that was the FIRST smile on my face all week - - - who knows!

And, should the unthinkable thing happen again tomorrow, despite all my best efforts to elicit a victory, just quietly pat my blog in a very sympathetic manner as you pass by this way next week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dancin' Machine


Another apple that didn't fall far from the tree - - -

Great Nephew Cohan.

He gets ALL his moves from his Grandpa,
Sister Pam's hubby, Joe.


Monday, October 24, 2011

So You Thought YOU Had a Bad Hair Day - - -

Check out Mackinley, all ready for "Crazy Hair" day.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Entire Life is One Long Fragment


Between working one volunteer job three mornings a week and putting in three part time shifts at the library, usually on three OTHER days, my life is broken into bits and pieces and fragments. This has rendered my blogging creativity to an all time low.

Good thing fragments are all the rage on Fridays over at Mrs. 4444's place!!!

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You'll be sure to recognize me if you come into the library to surprise me, I'm the one that looks like this:

Oh my aching sciatica!!!

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I'm back to being a "bookie" again now that it's college football season. I have so many people playing my "Pick 'Em" games this fall that I have to keep records in TWO books.

Don't contact your local law enforcement - - - we play for the thrill of winning a virtual trophy and no money changes hands.

Maybe next fall some of YOU, my bloggy buddies, will want to play and I'll need THREE "books."

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Guess who Mackinley's gonna be for Halloween!?

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Someone gave Fisherhubby this antique electric screwdriver for his birthday.

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Speaking of Fisherhubby, I bet you can't even FIND him in this photo he's so well camouflaged!

While I was doing important things, like watching college football in my FBC, he was dinking around with hunting stuff like this. Goodness - - - no accounting for tastes!

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It's difficult to tell in this picture who is more pregnant - - - Niece Misti or her Uncle Jeff!

Only thing, Misti gave birth to lovely little Morgan Irene and is no longer pregnant - - - - can't say the same thing for Uncle Jeff!

Misti, Carson, and little Morgan are doing just fine!!!

Grandpa Joe even left his beloved WARM Florida and made the trek to Sitka, Alaska to meet the new arrival.

Doesn't look like Carson is too happy to share Grandpa's lap with her new little sis!!!

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And last, but certainly not least, I leave you with THIS "touching" sentiment from "Tomato Cards":

Gotta HATE it when Arthur does that!!!

Mommy's Idea

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

Photo Credit: "Oh my aching back" from picture by Rick Slaven


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder


This is our sweet little granddaughter, Piper Renae.
She is a budding artist.
(Pronounced: are - teest)

This is how she "sees" me.
I look like a head-on shot of a barfing guppy.

And THIS is how she sees her Papoo, complete with mustache.

I'm only SLIGHTLY relieved that she doesn't think
He's all that much better looking than me.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

One if By Land, Two if By Sea - - -


My title has precious little to do with this post, it is simply a shameless attempt to draw you in.

Since you're here I think it may have worked!

Yesterday Fisherhubby disturbed my peaceful afternoon rest by ringing me up on my cell phone. Seems he was in the middle of Lake Petenwell, a "mere" 23,000 square acre lake, out of gas and his trolling motor battery was running down.

"Well, turn it off while we talk and until we can figure out the BEST place for me to meet you!" Says I.

We began the process of trying to figure out exactly where he was - - - process which was complicated GREATLY by the fact that he has no clue which direction is north and which is south so no matter WHAT shoreline landmark I mentioned he didn't know where he was from there.

The classic "you can't get there from here" scenario 'cause folks, if YOU don't know where YOU are than no one else can find you either!

When I felt satisfied that we had both understood where he was and where I would have to go to meet him I hung up the phone and proceeded to get and fill a 5 gallon red gasoline can and head out to rescue him.

He began the slow troll to the meeting place.

When I arrived I was still in the middle of nowhere.

I didn't know whether to be relieved that I was alone in the world or scared spitless that some ne'er do well would drive up with intentions of attacking a puffy middle-aged grandmother.

There was nothing for it but to get out, investigate my surroundings, and hope to goodness Fisherhubby was down the bank, floating in his boat near the shore, waiting for me.

Someone had conveniently built a lovely "look out tower" at that spot just for me.

I went onto the tower and began to look out.

To the north - - - - no Fisherhubby.

Straight west, "out to sea" - - - nary a ship in sight.

Do you see how BIG this lake is? Second largest in Wisconsin.

Fisherhubby WOULD choose this one on which to get lost.

Why oh why couldn't he choose one that the entire thing could be viewed from any spot on shore??? Would make rescuing him a whole lot simpler!

To the south, the direction I expected Fisherhubby to come from - - - nada.

I WAS quite relieved to note there was a lovely dock in that direction because the shore was really rocky and I wasn't sure how I'd get the heavy gas can onto his boat from all that rockiness.

Still - - - - there'd have to BE a boat there first in order for any refueling to occur!

Oh, did I mention that Fisherhubby's phone was also dying?

Oh yes it was. Each time I called him I was putting him in jeopardy of losing all ability to communicate by land OR by sea.

Still, I thought it was pretty important to call him at this point to see where he was since he certainly wasn't here.

"I'm in a cove." Was his reply to my query.

As you can see, "I'm in a cove" was a totally useless description of one's position on this particular lake - - - it's entire shoreline is riddled with coves.

I began to describe major landmarks along the lake trying to discern if he was north or south of those in an attempt to pinpoint his position.

"Keetha - - - I have no idea which direction is north and which is south!!!!!"

"Well, look on your map for - - -"

"I can't SEE my map 'cause I can't find my reading glasses."

Did I mention his phone was going dead?

His phone was going dead.

Finally I was able to pinpoint where he was and where I was. He was two coves south of me.

I know MY directions.

I couldn't drive to him because I was in the only place in the vicinity that had public access to the lake shore.

We decided that he would use his trolling motor and come up the shore to me.

I began my "wait."

Did I mention it was raining?

It was raining.

I set up a little "station" for myself on my look out tower and began to look out.

Perhaps this is a good place to tell you that the three or four times a vehicle went past me on the road behind me I nearly peed my pants with fright since there wasn't another living mammal in sight and I didn't know if a serial rapist ax murderer was driving one of those vehicles or not.

Pretty soon I decided that if I got the 5 gallon can of gasoline and took it down to the shore it would save us time later.

Dusk was coming on and I didn't know how long it would take Fisherhubby to get to me with only a puny little trolling motor for locomotion. I thought perhaps doing what I could do ahead of time would be beneficial.

So I went to my car, got the gas can, and toted it down from the top of my look out tower to the bottom - - - three LONG flights of steps.

I ACTUALLY thought to myself, "Goodness, I HOPE nobody takes it before Fisherhubby comes."

NOBODY TAKES IT!?! There wasn't a living soul in sight - - - who was going to take it?!??

My mind does these little tricks on me at times like this.

About this time I got one last call from Fisherhubby telling me he thought he was in the cove just south of me. Then the phone went dead.

So much for THAT battery.

I sure hoped the other one - - - the all important trolling motor one - - - would hold out.

Now in an attempt to not focus on those things which were tempting me to get uneasy - - - you know the serial ax murderer rapist who was roaming the countryside looking for a puffy grandmotherly sort to assault AND the trolling motor battery which was probably sputtering out its last gasps of electricity and then Fisherhubby would have to paddle WITH HIS HANDS, since he doesn't even OWN a pair of oars, "up hill both ways through waist deep snow barefoot" to get to me - - - I began to investigate my surroundings.

That was when I spotted this sign, which spelled out in 5 clear statements how I could and could not use this particular watch tower lake shore location.

I noticed that it did NOT say it could be used as a refueling station and I HOPED the conservation officer would NOT come by and arrest me on the spot for illegal use of public lands.

(If you just stumbled across this blog for the first time and do not know of my propensity for exaggeration, perhaps I should assure you at this point that my middle name is Exaggeration Queen.)

When I returned to my watch tower perch, I looked down and saw that I had picked up a few "hitch-hikers" while I was getting close enough to the "Attention" sign in order to photograph it for YOU my bloggy readers.

Another example that I will go to nearly any extreme for you.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity I saw a tiny speck round the southern peninsula and head into my cove.

Do you see the tiny speck rounding the cove?

When "it" began to wave at me, I felt sure it was Fisherhubby and not the serial ax murderer rapist coming in by sea instead of by land.

At this point it occurred to me that I could further save some time by lugging that heavy gas can over to the dock area.

This I began to do.

About midway to the dock, I snapped this shot of the "trail" over which I'd already lugged that heavy old gas can.

Don't see a trail? Well - - - I didn't either, really. But I MADE tracks over it just the same.

I didn't like getting over the sharp rocks which threatened to hurl me into the abyss at any moment - - - but I persevered.

This is what the trail ahead looked like.

Hmmmmmm - - - not much better.

I looked up to check on Fisherhubby's progress.

Did I mention that a trolling motor is S-L-O-W!?! I think a turtle could have swum faster.

Finally I got my heavy load of gasoline perched precariously on a pile of rocks not too far from the dock.

As I stood there trying to determine how I would get it over these obstacles, I HEARD a familiar voice calling out:

"Leave it, I can get it from there!"

I looked up and PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW Fisherhubby had arrived at the dock.

I only WISH this was the complete end of the tale - - - but alas it was not to be so.

I returned to my car and headed for home once I knew Fisherhubby's motor was going to start and go. For me the adventure was over. I had thwarted that serial ax murderer rapist and denied him his puffy grandmotherly victim for THAT night.

But for Fisherhubby, there was yet another adventure to be faced - - - that of navigating the channel at the mouth of the lake and getting his boat trailered IN THE DARK since by this time night had fallen.

He had enough issues with trailering his boat in the dark that I heard him exclaim ere he fell into bed (later) that it was the WORST day of fishing he'd EVER had.

Still, at LEAST he caught this 13 pound carp, which put up a fight fit to put any self-respecting same-sized musky to shame. Though a carp is generally considered to be a c _ _ ppy fish (switch the two interior letters for I won't say that word), catching it and one little white bass redeemed the day.

Now, for all you animal lovers everywhere, rest well tonight knowing that this cute little carp was released back into the great big "sea" to swim another day.

And all's well in our little world.

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


Monday, October 10, 2011

Rules for My 14 Year Old


Fisherhubby tells me that our oldest daughter Keri had a facebook status of "my husband is a 12 year old" the other day.

I wouldn't know what her status was, not being a facebookite myself.

BUT - - - I thought to myself, "Hmmmmmm, THAT apple didn't fall very far from the tree 'cause her MOM is married to a 14 year old!!!!"

Lately as I've been "gently and kindly" trying to point OUT to my 14 year old Fisherhubby that there are better ways to do things that will make our lives run more smoothly - - - you know, like NOT leaving all the coffee grounds plugging up the kitchen sink, or NOT leaving the shaving cream can in the SHOWER where it will make a rust ring, or NOT leaving his electronic toys of which he has a plethora all over the coffee table - - - he has begun saying I have too many "rules."

Oh, this has led to a game of finding all my "rules" and making vast amounts of fun of them.

Suddenly I had an epiphany moment. I remember THINKING back in our early days of marriage that Fisherhubby's mother had FAILED in the 18 years she had him to teach him the simple procedures of living in the same house with another human being - - -

Then it dawned on me - - - I'm TWICE as bad for I've FAILED to train him in those same basic principles and I've had him in my "care" for twice as long - - - 36 years.

He says my "rules" of life are trivial unimportant things and he needs to keep his head clear for bigger things.

I guess bigger things means giant slabs of cheese.

photo credit: Gibbs Rule photo from


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Come on Down to the Creek - - - Cranberry Creek!


Continuing with my cranberry harvest theme - - - let me take you down to the banks of the old creek - - - Cranberry Creek!!

Don't worry, you won't get your toes wet or your shoes muddy.

'Cause this creek isn't about crawdads and lily pads.

Nope - - - this creek is all about pluck and pulling yourself up by the boot straps and turning the lemons life throws at you into lemonade.

Cranberry Creek is my FAVORITE antique shop here in my home town.

When the automobile industry "crash" (pun intended) of a few years ago put her hubby's thriving car dealership out of business,

My friend Jodi picked up the lemons at her feet and turned the empty dealership into an antique consignment shop.

And WHAT a shop - - - but I'll get to THAT in a minute.

Isn't Jodi just the cutest??? And her little puppy too??? Jodi is every bit as sweet and nice as she looks.

BTW - - - that pitcher on the counter in front of her??? Um, yah - - - that was going home with me!

I just LOVE this place. I love it sooooo much that I spend time and $$$$$ there.

It's where I got nearly all the furniture for my little Basement Bungalow Hideaway Bedroom which I fixed up back in June and July. (Bed headboard and footer, dresser, pitcher on dresser, desk table, chair, shutters, and corner cupboard made from a door ALL came from the Creek.)

Jodi only carries the very best of things - - - lovely things.

And she has a great "eye" for arranging them attractively.

And THESE are just the FRONT rooms - - - -

When you pass through a small door beside her counter, you are entering what was the garage part of the car dealership.

And it too is just chock full of treasure!

So come on up to Wisconsin, y'all, and we'll go dip our toes in the creek - - - Cranberry Creek!!!

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