Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two Laughs and a Lucky Guess

One lucky guess and two good laughs, all before lunch!   We've been mystified by an awful stink in the truck -- like hamburger gone bad! (Not laughing about that!)  No stinky clothes in the back seat, no varmints smushed in the engine compartment, nothing but paper in the glove compartment**, . . .  couldn't find a reason.  And hanging a green pine tree deoderizer just changed the stink to a different bad smell.  We were just about ready to ask Brickner's mechanics to look inside the dash and air vents. 

This morning I looked in the back seat again, on the passenger side this time:  aha!  One green pepper that rolled out of the farm market sack (two weeks ago!) had deteriorated into a puddle of yuck.  And we are so lucky:  the pepper had been residing in a hard plastic tray area alongside the seat; not on the seat, not in the carpet on the floor.  Easy to soak up and wash out.   Also explains why we paid for 10 green peppers and had only 9 to cut up for the freezer. 

Second laugh:  As long as I was mopping out that little tray I cleaned off the dash and pockets in the doors
. . . and found 4 really old gas receipts.  In Nov, 1999 (12 years ago; the truck was brand new then) regular unleaded gas was $1.289 per gallon.  By Feb. 2000 gas had gone up to $1.499.  And 6 years ago, in Nov. 2005, it was $2.399 per gallon.  Today we paid $3.699 / gallon.

** "Stink in the glove compartment" reminded me of an episode with the Studebaker truck Pa drove when we were kids.  One spring day, while out on Town of Birch business (Pa was on the Town Board), Pa picked up a baby skunk from alongside the road.  Needing to finish the Town business first, he stashed the baby in the glove compartment.  Skunky was too small to eject musk himself, but he kind of reeked of it anyway.  Once home Pa built a cage for the baby and we kids fed it and kept it all summer, until the family dog worried the wire loose on the cage and let Skunky escape.   Needless to say, Ma was not pleased about transporting skunks in the glove box.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spider Tale

Where's the spider?  (In the first photos, that is)
Oh, it took a black background to get the camera to focus on spider, not on leaves. So 2nd pic (gray-ish background) is spider's front side, and 3rd pic is his back side . . . . And since he/she was head-down in the web, that's how the photos are too.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Steam Engine Show 2011

These four and forty other photos of the 2011 Steam Engine Show at the Kurt Umnus Farm near Edgar, WI are on my Webshots site:
 The steam engine show is huge:  must be 80 acres of displays, flea market, crafts, food stands, plowing demonstrations, a mini fly-in, camper area, history, music . . . .   and another 80 acres of parking!  The photo album is mainly all about the tractor parade.  The samples here show two big steam engines, a threshing machine with two wing feeders, and a wooden model tractor.  

[Good grief; this is my first posting in 2011 and the year is 2/3 gone.  Take it to mean all is going well; nothing drastic has happened.  If you'd like to view my year so far, there are short comments and a few other photos on my "Wall" at Facebook.  Once on Facebook, search for "Laurel Hoffmann" of Marathon, WI.  But you might have to "friend" me to see all . . . .]

Friday, December 3, 2010

Festival of Trees, 2010 Edition

Santa's in the basket on our entry at Wausau's Festival of Trees.  By now all the decorated trees and other Christmasy decor and gifts have been auctioned off, packed up and delivered to new homes, since we did our tree trimming on Nov. 21 and the displays and silent auctions ended on Nov. 28.

Our craft group chose a theme of "A Victorian Christmas Tea" this year.  Like last year, nearly everything we put on the tree was handmade.   Besides the tree, we also prepared a gift basket with a teapot, pair of tea cups and saucers, a selection of fine teas from Johanna May's Tea Shoppe in Weston, a book (The Twelve Teas of Friendship), jams, tea towels and cloths, and a cross-stitched teacup wall hanging.
You are welcome to browse photos of other entries from the 2010 Festival of Trees at this link:
 (Hope it works!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Who Stole the Falls Out of Rib Falls?

Four-plus inches of rain on Thursday, Sept. 23 . . . lots of areas had it worse than us, but water levels are the highest we've seen.  Below is left side of the falls at Rib Falls -- water must be two - three feet over the highest rocks.

And the right side of the falls . . .   not much rock showing.
Then the downstream side of the bridge:

Oh, oh, hope they don't have an open house scheduled here.  Normally the Big Rib River is not visible and is 1/4 mile south of this driveway.  Located north of Hwy 29 and west of Hwy O, 1 mile, on Dahlke Rd.

The last two photos are along the Little Rib River:  the tipped pine tree is in Town of Berlin on Lincoln Drive 1/2 mile west of Hwy O.  The brush heap is at the bridge on Hwy O and Woodland Drive in Town of Stettin.  (Woodland Drive itself was under water just west of Hwy O.)
Did not get photos of the flood at the bridge in Marathon City -- WSAW Channel 7 TV was filming there when we went by this morning.  Some 6 or 7 houses had to be evacuated there.  That will be on tonite's news.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Expedition into History

Sept. 21 the Pommerscher Verein (Pomeranian People) were invited to participate in the Diversity Day event in the park at the High Ground  War Memorial at Neillsville.  About 120 students, from grades 5 through 10, came through in 6 waves, 20 or so at a time, to learn about Pomeranian ancestors, the Platt Deutsch language and tracht, reasons for leaving the old country, and ways of travel to the new country. 

Interesting bits: 
One of the 6th graders studied the Kleinschmidt family’s 100th-year poster and noticed the great-grandson’s picture in the lower right corner.  “That is my cousin,” he said.  It’s a small world, even in Wisconsin.

No, our ancestors did not get from southeast Wisconsin to central Wisconsin by airplane, car,  tractor, nor by submarine!  Sorry kids, but they didn’t have those machines “way back when.”  Those were some of the wild guesses.   But nearly every group had someone who came up with “walking” as a way to get to central Wisconsin.  Right on.

We shared some songs in Platt Deutsch:  Op Wisconsin, Du Bist Mien Suhnsheen, and Prost, Prost, Prost.  We also had copies of some German word puzzles and mazes, and had “German” candy (Gummi Bears) to hand out.

Bonnie and David Radtke anchored the Pomeranian display . . .
Literally anchored it, because David engineered the rope and clamp arrangement that kept our posters and easels from blowing over.  The best thing one could say about the weather is that it kept improving throughout the day, from foggy rain to sunshine.  It did not affect the children, who were enthusiastic and attentive.

Besides our Pomeranian display, there was also a couple representing Slovenia, wearing beautiful tracht, and a lady demonstrating Native American musical instruments.  Those were the two whom we saw; we missed seeing several other groups.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An Expedition in Marathon County History

'Twas wet and windy with temps only mid-fifties, but two busloads of Marathon Junior High School students did a two-mile (or more!) hike around downtown Wausau this morning.  They were given GPS points and clues to about nine specific historical markers (or buildings).   As each small group reached their first destination they needed to learn about the significance of that marker and answer a couple thought-provoking questions before getting coordinates and clue for the next site.  Of course, we "docents" at each site tried to add more to the students' information.  The docents also learned new, neat stuff too!

The kids did very well.  There was no grumbling about the weather; they were focused on solving their questions.  Perhaps the hiking helped warm them up.  (And there was hot pizza at the end of the trip.)
World War I memorial:  the kids are too young to know that the "backpack" hanging on the soldier's chest has a gas mask hanging out of it.

Punching in GPS coordinates --  a couple units didn't work, but the word clues and adult guides got the place figured out.  Here the WW II (and Korean war and Vietnam war) markers commemorate the Marathon County soldiers who gave their lives to the cause.  The question here was:  how many women are named on these markers?  [Ans:  none.]  And why?  [Ans:  Because women were not allowed in combat then.  I think the 1990's, the Gulf War, is when women first went into combat.]

At the Battle of the Bulge marker:  the docent had an uncle who fought in that battle.  The kids knew who Winston Churchill was (he is quoted on the marker), and they knew it was in WW II.

These kids will be following the theme of war and peace for several weeks after this -- most of their school lessons will involve the theme.  I believe they will finish up with a public display of what they've learned.