Friday, August 26, 2016

What have we been doing lately?

Yes, we are still in Wisconsin and spending time with family and friends as the summer continues.  The evenings have been bringing some cooler temps and it’s really been great for sleeping, especially with the windows open.  The coach is still parked in one place not putting on any miles at least for now, so we thought an update on what we’ve been up to would be appropriate.

The update on the kitties is that they are growing and becoming more independent from the confines of the barn.  Jeff still continues to spoil Snowflake and Goldie (who are the males) and Phantom (their sister) with their morning and nighttime milk treats each day.  It’s so much fun to watch them play and continue to explore the vastness of the farm’s grounds.    

The kids:  Goldie, Snowflake and Phantom
We were able to connect with friends, Joanie and Nick whom we met in the spring of 2013 in Terlingua, Texas.  They are currently traveling on their  Great Lakes Tour.  We were fortunate to hook up with them in the town of Chippewa Falls (about 30 minutes from where we are staying) and to finally meet their good friend Rick, the third person in their entourage.  Don’t you just love their wheels?  We sure do!!!!!

We came across an antique store on our Chippewa Falls visit named the Egg Palace – and going strong for 17 years now.  The owners were kind enough to allow us to photo the display case of green glass under black light.  How beautiful is this? 

Jeff inquired at the store if they had pieces of Nemadji Pottery, to which one of the owners replied that she indeed had one in the back room.  Walla!  Our collection now totals three pieces and each one of them unique in color.

Another find for us was a piece of vintage 1980’s Southwestern ceramic pottery.   We knew nothing about the artist’s signature on the piece – Gina – was all it had, until we got home.  Gina Arrighetti  is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Her ability to capture the colors and figures of the Southwest on her pottery is very unique as she uses the warm shades of the desert, sunrises to sunsets and the darkness of night.  Paints, textured glazes and 22kt gold trim are applied at various stages and then fired to a minimum of three times.   We definitely like her pieces and look forward to possible future pieces.

A road trip to Wisconsin for Jeff’s brother Brian, was to pick up our John Deere lawnmower that we were selling, as well as making a visit to Eau Claire to see his classic car parts man.   After lunch it was back on the road for his trip back to Big Lake, Minnesota (125 miles one way).

Our insurance agent from many years ago doesn’t live too far from where we’re staying so Kay coordinated a visit to see her at her new home in Eau Claire.  I believe it’s going on 18 years now that Kay and Janny have been friends so catching up on families is always a must.

These updates wouldn’t be complete without our food items to share.  One for sure recipe that Kay recommends is the Hot Lemon Pie.  This recipe is from Jeff’s cousin, Carol who winters in Apache Junction, Arizona.  She originally made it for us when we were in Hutchinson, Minnesota this past June. If you really like the taste of lemon, this recipe is for you.  As well as being so easy to make it’s quite an unusual way of making a pie – see recipe attached!  One hint is that you must have a blender to make this pie!

From the Kitchen of: Kay Down
            Hot Lemon Pie


1 large lemon, cut in pieces, seeds removed, but with rind and peel intact
1 ½ c. sugar
4 eggs
1 stick (1/2 c.) margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 9” unbaked pie shell, pressed into pan and fluted
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Put all ingredients (except pie shell) in food processor or blender and whirl like crazy.  Mixture will be foamy.  Keep whirling until it’s smooth, with no lumps of margarine.  Pour in unbaked pie shell and Bake 40 minutes.  Will set up like custard.
Serve warm.  (It’s good chilled too.  Refrigerate any leftovers.)
Makes 8 servings.

The Amish Bakery – opened on Fridays only – is definitely a must do.  Our favorites are the Cinnamon and Sticky Rolls and Oatmeal Raisin Bread.   They have so many other items to pick from also.  The home grown onions and tomatoes aren’t too shabby either!  Since they do not allow pictures to be taken of the ladies in their kitchen, they did allow us a few pictures of their goodies at the front of the store.  Delicious!

And, another one of our favorites – Barn quilts - that we occasionally see in the area.

It was great to enjoy a cool one and people watch at the Blues Festival in Durand (about 20 minutes East of where we are).  We came prepared with lots of bug dope but surprisingly enough we were safe for the time that we were there.  A good time to kick back!

Some of you are aware of the RV club that we belong to called, Escapees.  In the magazine that they publish for their members there is a section called “Viewfinder”.  A new theme is selected for every issue and members can submit photos for possible inclusion in the magazine.  Kay decided to be a little sneaky with the theme for the July/August issue theme - “In the Rearview Mirror” – so when we were at Magnolia Beach in Port Lavaca, Texas last fall on our way to Los Fresnos, she decided that she was going to try her hand at a photo for the magazine.  You never know if you’re selected until the magazine arrives.  She didn’t even tell Jeff about it either.  Well, as you can imagine, it DID get included . . . YES!     Kay’s next goal is the magazine cover!!!

Kay's sunset photo in the rear view mirror

The magazine's placement of the photo - yeah!
We will be having two of the grand kids from Minneapolis visiting us these next two weeks as Kay’s daughter, Jill, travels to Scotland on vacation.  Julia is almost 4 and Joe will be 14 in October.  Grandpa Jeff is already making his list of things to do with Joe – the usual fishing, biking, a little baseball time - just being together kinds of things.   As for Grandma Kay and Julia, it will be a lot of “girl time”.   I know we'll find plenty to keep us busy here at the farm.
A big shout out to everyone.  Hugs to all!