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, January 31, 2012

Grandpa Was a Farmer


Until he became a preacher.

This beautiful farm, nestled in the rolling hills of Vernon County Wisconsin, formerly belonged to my Grandpa, Isaiah Butcher, when he was still a farmer. This is where my mother, her seven sisters, and one little brother were raised.

Did you catch that? Yep - - - a family of 9 children, 8 girls and only one boy!! Here they are, in the order of their birth (The fact that it makes a cute little poem is purely a bonus):

Mama, Papa,
Ferol, Aileen,
Vetra, Guida,
Doris, Verneen
Beulah Mae, Clinton,
And Janet Doreen.

Beulah Mae was my mom.

I don't know WHY I never saw this farm when I was a child. True, Grandpa no longer owned it then as by the time I was born he had long given up farming and gone to preaching, but it's just a stone's throw off one of our regularly beaten paths. And as strong of an influence as it was in the lives of my mom and her siblings I find it incredible that we never took the little detour required to traverse down this memory lane.

But we did not.

After my mom passed away, it was my dad who guided me to this site of family origin.

It appeared to me that the barn was the only original building left on the site.

We Butcher cousins grew up on stories whose setting was right here - - - in this barn, on these hill sides, and in this valley. My mom had memories of playing on a "sand hill" behind this very barn. She also told the tale of falling in the milk cooler one evening when she was so tired she sat on its wall only to fall asleep and tumble in.

(A "milk cooler" back in THAT day was a large stone walled trough filled with icy spring water much like the "spring houses" I mentioned in last week's post.)

Just down the road a piece from the farm was the little one room school house where mom and her siblings walked to school.

It now serves as a storage building (barn!) behind someone's house.

Oh, but I got right out of the car, walked down their driveway, and took these photos. Yes I did, because you know - - - I needed to connect with my roots just a little!!!!

Linking today with "Barn Charm"
Please click over to Bluff Area Daily

To enjoy all the Barn Charm posts.


Monday, January 30, 2012

The "Emoticon Gene"


Our grandson, Mackinley, got it in spades.

Oh, he came by it rightly - - -

I've been known to "emote" a time or two in my life,

And so has Papoo, whom you know better as Fisherhubby.

But the transmission of this gene
Through our family pedigree
Followed a tortuous route.
For it wasn't Mackinley's mommy who was
Our child emoter - - -

Oh no! It was Mackinley's mommy's BROTHER,
Mackinley's Uncle Kelly who was the emoticon king.

We're not sure HOW this gene jumped sideways
From Kelly to Mackinley,
But jump it did.

In fact, Mackinley seems to be pretty much
A CLONE of his Uncle Kelly in every way.

And Mackinley's mommy would LOVE
To have this phenomenon 'splained to her.
'Cause she thinks it only FAIR
That Kelly have his OWN clones to raise.



Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sunday Brunch in My City


There's not much better than good friends

And good food.

When you put them both together

At a Sunday brunch buffet,

Well, it's just nearly perfect.

If anyone goes home still hungry from THIS buffet
At Lake Aire Supper Club,

It certainly won't be from a lack of quantity
Or variety of foods!

Have a great Sunday over in YOUR neck of the woods!!

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


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Barn Charm Tuesday - Down Fish Hollow Way


Not sure why it took me so long to find and join this linky party, being a long time lover of barns, especially the traditional red variety.

Come join me as we wend our way through southern Vernon County, Wisconsin on our way to the tiny town of Valley.

As we wind through the majestic hills on County P, and just before we come to the intersection of Fish Hollow Road, we round a corner and - - -

Are greeted by this still nearly perfect miniature red barn.

What you cannot see in this photo is the small stone spring house directly across the road from the barn. A spring house was constructed over a natural spring and used for refrigeration in bygone days before the advent of electricity.

Please click over to Bluff Area Daily
To enjoy all the Barn Charm posts.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Unboxing" In My City


A while back it was all the rage to make "unboxing" posts. I haven't seen any in a few years.

You're about to see one now.

This box arrived in the mail FOR ME today!

I tore right into it and - - -

Threw the stuffing on the floor.

Hey, there's a crossword in there!

Maybe I'll do it later.

I found a little card which confirmed my suspicion of what it was!

Can you guess yet???

A mantle clock from my Wisconsin bloggy buddy Cindy!!!
She had a give-away on her blog and I won.

Her hubby Dan had his students make these in Building Trades Class.

It even has a cute little drawer.

Only one problem - - - I DON'T HAVE A MANTLE!!!!

But I do have an entertainment center.

I LOVE the clock up there.

Too bad I can't see the little drawer - - -

But I think it is the "just right topper" anyway!!!


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


Friday, January 20, 2012

It Takes A Lot of Fragments - - -


Just to make one whole.

In this case - - - whole STORIES. I am a born story teller, having begun by telling children younger than myself stories to keep them entertained at family camp while our parents were busy in meetings.

Back in THOSE days, while the parents were busy in meetings there were no nurseries, no babysitters, no day care. We "young'ens" were simply turned loose on the playground and the older ones (that would have been me) were expected to keep the younger ones entertained and out of trouble.

That's when I started my story telling career for I noticed that while I was telling stories, the others would gather round and sit there transfixed for as long as was the story.

My stories got real long.

So, welcome to THIS week's version of Miss Keetha weaves her fragments into tales.

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Those Old Things????

I saw this bench on someone's blog a while back. She said it was hideous so she PAINTED it and changed the upholstery.

I think it is beautiful just the way it is, I think painting beautiful wood items is a CRIME, so I added two throw pillows and a picture just to make it MORE of a focal point in my home.

I'm sure she didn't know I owned the same bench, but I'll get a little even with her here (especially since I don't even remember who "she" was) by saying one woman's trash is another's treasure.

While I found HER painted bench trash, I see THIS ONE as treasure.

And the picture has a story too.

Back in the late 60's and early 70's when I was a growin' up in this town, my mother had a hobby.

She would have us collect certain flowers along the way which she would then press between the pages of a phone book.

If the flowers were of the "fat and bulky" based variety, she would tear them apart petal by petal before she pressed them.

Later, when they were all brittle and dried, she would reconstruct them on a beautiful cloth background, green velvet in this instance, glue them down, and when she was totally satisfied with the result she would have them framed.

This may not sound like such a feat to you - - - but what I have NOT yet told you is, my mother was completely crippled with the most severe case of Rheumatoid Arthritis I've ever seen. Her hands had absolutely no hand shape left.

Still, she spent pains-taking hours with a small tweezer in her hand reconstructing her flower masterpieces.

She was also a master seamstress and pianist with those misshapen hands. I have no clue how she did it - - - but that's a story for another day for I digress.

This particular picture she gave to her oldest sister, my Aunt Ferol, in whose home it hung in a place of honor until she passed from this life into the next.

At Thanksgiving Fisherhubby and I spent the evening with my Cousin Doug who is Aunt Ferol's son.

Doug passed the picture back to me, so it has come "home" and found a new place of honor.

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Finally it Snows!!!

Fisherhubby and I LOVE our winters to be cold and snow filled. We CHOSE to move to the "Frozen Tundra after all!

Uh, so far this winter??? NOT SO MUCH. Precious little snow or cold so far.

But today our winter hopes and dreams are being fullfilled as the "high" temperature of the day so far is 1 degree F AND it is snowing - - - a little.

Last winter at this time we had more than 20 inches of snow and it looked like this:

If you can't really tell the DEPTH of the snow in these pictures, look for the corner of the shrub in the lower right hand corner of both.

Same shrub.

Nearly totally exposed so far this winter but buried up to its eyeballs last.

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Were You Born in a Barn!?!

My momma used to ask me that at regular intervals.

I would think SHE of all people would know exactly WHERE I was born, wouldn't you!?!

Of course I was not born in a barn, but I do love me a great looking barn - - - especially the traditional Wisconsin red variety.

Perhaps it is because while you can take the girl out of Wisconsin, you CANNOT take Wisconsin out of the girl.

Praise God I got to RETURN to my Wisconsin roots and blood.

Perhaps it is the "Wisconsin girl" blood in me that is causing me to surround myself with barn pictures.

You will find them hanging all over my home.

The more the merrier!!! Or perhaps I SHOULD say, "the more the moooo-ier!"

Each of these barns has a story. The top set of two barn/house pictures I bought on one of my antique shopping sprees with my beloved friend and cohort Eloise, pronounced E-Lois.

The middle set of three barn/house pictures I brought home from our Northwoods Hayward vacation last July. I went into that shop determined to come out with ONE barn picture and three insisted on following me home instead!!! ;-)

And the round red barn in the snow??? Well, I got that on one of my splashes through Cranberry Creek. I like to tell Jodi at The Creek that I am single-handedly keeping her in business!!

This barn photo was taken by my bloggy buddy Kristin of "The Goat" and I purchased it from her etsy shop already matted and everything. (You too can find delightful things over there if you just go look!)

It is my ONLY framed barn photograph and I dearly love it.

I hope it will SOON be hanging on my wall grouped with the next barn - - -

The one Fisherhubby painted for me thereby proving he CAN do more than fish and pick on me.

But I can't frame it YET because it is still WET.

I know - - - I accidentally touched it the other day and turned my thumb all white.


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Happy to Shop

This is my friend Ana, happy to be "shopping" in the Shepherd's Loft where I volunteer my time three mornings a week.

Ana ALWAYS wears that smile, which of course makes any outfit look all that much better on her!

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Sending Out the Wisconsin Gold

Just in case I have not yet extolled Wisconsin's virtues enough, let me remind you we are the Dairy State. (Stand down, California!!! We are first, last, and ALWAYS the Dairy State - our cows are VERY happy.)

So I thought I'd send the southern relatives a "taste of Wisconsin" for the holidays.

I drove 8 minutes from our front door to the cheese factory where I stocked up on all this Wisconsin Gold goodness - - -

And these Holstein cow-boxes. How fun are they????

I packed them all up myself, and sent them on their way.

They've already been received and duly appreciated.

Do you see Bucky in there???? Oh yah, he went to my F-I-L who loves college football as much, or maybe even more (were that possible) than do I.

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All Those Fishin' Shows - - -

Are just plain boring.

But DON'T take MY word for it. I've got PROOF POSITIVE.

Here's Fisherhubby "watching" them a little while ago - - -

They even put HIM to sleep.

I rest my case.


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I never promised my story fragments would be SHORT.

Mommy's Idea

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


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wherein our Very Own Klondike Gal becomes a STAR


Goldie Oldies around this blog may remember that we've had some special reports from our very own Klondike Gal, Misti, who lives in Sitka, Alaska with her hubby David and their two daughters. If you DON'T remember, click here to see what I'm talking about. Go ahead, CLICK!!!

And here are Misti, my onlyest niece, and David as they WERE bc - - - before children.

Later that same night (the night I snapped this picture) David took Fisherhubby and me to visit his work place.

Are you READY for this:

Yep! David is Lt David Birky, Coast Guard helicopter pilot!

He really and truly for sure is!!!

He's a real live hero.

He even let FH and me climb into his cockpit. Is it called a cockpit on a helicopter I wonder????

Fisherhubby was like a kid in a candy store with all that testosteronage around and about him, I can just tell ya!

Well, now David is stationed in Sitka, Alaska.

The weather channel has a show called "Coast Guard Alaska" and you won't believe it!!!! David was ON THE SHOW last week.

But that ain't all folks - - - not by a LONG shot!!!

On THIS week's episode of "Coast Guard Alaska" the camera goes right into Misti and David's kitchen so we can watch them fix spaghetti for dinner!!! Watching it brought tears to my eyes. My own little niece and my two great nieces right on TV, right in my living room!

Too bad the show aired yesterday, the 18th and I didn't tell you about it in time.

Oh, but WAIT!!! We're all in luck!!! The weather channel replays these shows over and over so you can find the spaghetti episode on Friday night 1/20/12 at 8 pm eastern time right there on the weather channel!!!

If you miss it then, scan through your guide and look for the 1/18/12 episode. And while you're at it, David was also on the 1/11/12 episode.

I'm sure you'll LOVE the show and you can thank me later for sending you to look for it!

I even put the important information in red - - - just because I like to be helpful that way. ;-)



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today I Went Down to The Creek - - -


And even though it's a chilly 18 degrees today I waded right in! Oh shoot - - - I wasn't satisfied with wading, I completely immersed myself!!!

I didn't get cold. I didn't turn blue. I didn't even shiver 'cause THIS creek was Cranberry Creek!!

Those of you who are regulars may remember how much I LOVE Cranberry Creek. Miss Jodi has moved to a new location just beyond Lake Nepco, and her new creek is even better than ever.

When I deChristmasized yesterday, I noticed some pretty nekked spots around my house.

That'll happen when you take out all the Christmas fru fru.

So, naturally, I headed down to the creek to bolster my supply of household dressiness.

I found this heavy wrought iron wagon wheel and a little wreathy thing to accessorize it.

Then I hung it up where the lighted Christmas wreath was.

Do you remember my little chair (on the left side of this picture) that had to move from the dining room down to the basement when I created my basement bungalow guest suite???

Well - - - she's back upstairs to STAY where I can enjoy her every day, and a bit later I'll show you why.

Next stop the dining room, specifically the little floor space between the china cabinet and the dressing-table-turned buffet.

See that little spot down there???

I created this fruit basket vignette to fill that space.

The wash board is the real thing - Grandma Great used to do her laundry on it.

The fruit basket is new, just arrived a few days ago from Florida filled to the brim with oh so juicy tree-ripened grapefruit and oranges. (Thank you FIL and Robin!!!)

But today at the creek I caught the wreath, the rolling pin, the meat pounder, and the potato ricer to finish out the vignette.

These lovely hat box ladies have lived with us for more than ten years, but they had to move over to make way for something else I fished out of the creek today.

I like them here anyway - - - I wouldn't part with them even though they are imposters having been purchased brand spankin' new from Hobby Lobby during one of their big sale events.

Here's what came up out of the creek and took the hat box ladies' space.

An egg crate and wire chicken egg basket.

Cheep! Cheep!

And here's the grandma of them all who came out of the creek to live in my basement bungalow guest suite.

A spindle back rocker.

I saw her at the creek a week ago today. I was in rocking chair envy the MOMENT I laid eyes on her, for she reminds me of an old rocker that was once upon a time in the office at my beloved Burr Camp.

I always wanted that rocker from Burr Camp, but it went the way of so many of our camp items - - - when the camp was sold, so were the things those camp buildings housed.

A week ago I resisted buying her.

I felt noble.

TODAY - - - when she was still there even after the grand opening of the new and improved creek, I felt enabled. I took it as a sign she was to be mine.

And that's all the news that is news today from down by the creek bank!!!

I'm linking this post with Vintage Thingie Thursday at Coloradolady and Thrifty Thursday at Bloggeritaville. It's been a long time since I joined these parties 'cause I've already shown most of my vintage thriftiness - - - so with all this new "splurge" I'd better join up while I can!