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Cultivate Hope
A Quack-a-Doodle Childhood
My husband and I recently spent 10 days at an Airbnb that I chose mainly because of its description of being on a property with horses, a pig, goose, goats, and chickens. Growing up in the 50s and 60s had its intense moments (warring countries and the threat of nuclear war were prevalent back then, too) but mostly, my childhood in rural Wisconsin with dogs, cats, ducks, and rabbits with odd names like Doodle was idyllic. One might say it was Quack-a-Doodle.  Our menagerie of pets came in handy when my brother and I planned our float for the neighborhood…
Travel is Inspirational
My creative juices had frozen up. The endless cold and lack of change in routine had made life stagnant so it felt good to pack the suitcases, get on the road, and anticipate adventure. We spend three days on the road and finally arrive at our Florida Airbnb cottage. I chose it because it was in the country and the owner had goats, a pig, a goose, and horses which are always fun to hang around. As my husband and I pull up to the cottage, three hens and a rooster perked up expectantly from their lookout on our front…
Rings on a Tree
My husband, who enjoys turning rough wood on his lathe and making bowls, pens, or other objects, recently finished an unusual piece. He had cut a slice from a dead ash tree thinking the grandkids would have fun counting the annual tree rings. The slice had warped into a bowl. With the bark still on, he saw its artistic potential. He got to work sanding out the rough chainsaw grooves and applying coats of polyurethane. The resin brought the piece to life and it seemed to glow. Each annual growth ring popped out and showed different widths depending on the…
Love in the Form of Purrs, Nibbles, and Pecks
In honor of Valentine’s Day and February 20th, National Love Your Pet Day, I devote this column to exploring the various ways our pets show their love to each other and to us. My daughter’s family took in a two-week-old orphaned kitten born on New Year’s Day. Jack Frost needed to be bottle-fed every two hours at first, but soon could drink and eat on his own. Jack, who soon will leave my daughter’s house for his forever home, shows his affection by purring. Growing up, my family had a cat who would show her love in quite a different…
Can You Identify this Mystery Business?
Over the last month, I’ve challenged you to guess the identity of a mystery man and a mystery woman. Today, see if you can guess this mystery business. Here are the clues. This business used to be on Highway 13, but is now in Lake Delton.was established in 1882 when Highway 12 was a gravel road. The only other attraction in the area was a campground.was owned by two men until they had an argument over a card game and broke up the partnership.has only had four owners (three from the same family) in 136 years. was once owned by Priscilla…
Can You Identify This Mystery Woman?
A few weeks ago, I wrote a “Mystery Man” column. Today, try to guess our “Mystery Woman” (MW) who lives near Wisconsin Dells and is someone who has an amazing health story. On August 12, 1998, our MW at age 45 was at the sink doing dishes when her husband asked her a question. She realized she couldn’t make words leave her mouth. She collapsed, hitting the stove hard enough to chip a tooth.  Hospital doctors told her she’d suffered a stroke and lost a third of her brain. The stroke was caused by a rare brain disease and there…
Winter: a Great Time of Year
We’re coming up on the midway point of winter. It’s time to appreciate this season for all it offers. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy inside activities such as watching movies, reading, arts and crafts, and baking, but let’s concentrate on appreciating the outdoors. A retired Wisconsin Dells dentist and winter enthusiast, Dave Clemens, will help us do just that.  Dave actually grew up hating the cold, but after dental school, he took a job in Fairbanks, Alaska. which has only 3.5 hours of sunlight on the shortest day. Temperatures hover around -40 °F. Dave learned that he had…
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