Friday, June 29, 2012

Tomahawk River Walk

The Tomahawk River Walk is a short walking path between North Fourth Street at Memorial Park to the public library. It follows the river. It is only a half mile long. I get on it at the library and walk to Memorial Park. It goes under the bridge on 4th Street, which is nice. In the summer it can be difficult to cross the street from Memorial Park to the Dairy Queen across the street. I don’t like Dairy Queen so it presents no temptation to me. Here are some photos taken along the walk.

A view of the 4th Street Bridge, and Tomahawk water tower

Fishing the Wisconsin River

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Evening Walks in Tomahawk

I’ve been able to take walks most evenings since moving to Tomahawk. I am one of those people who always carries a camera. You never know if you are going to see something you want to take a photo of.  I’m happy we now have digital photography. This allows users to delete the bad photos, unlike the past when we had to pay for all photos developed, even the bad ones. Here are some photos I took on a recent walk.

A cat with a Charlie Chaplin mustache

A blue dragon fly

Can you see the 4 leaf clover? I'm always finding 4 leaf clovers.  Still haven't won the lottery though.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

An Old Wringer Washer

Do you remember wringer washing machines?  I sure do. Ours was in the cellar of our house in Cassadaga. Doing the laundry was an all day affair. You had to be very careful not to get your arm caught in the wringer or you could end up with a major injury. Supposedly the newer wringers have an automatic release. As a student nurse I saw a couple of kids who had wringer injuries. My former husband’s great aunt used a wringer until the day she died in the mid 1970’s. She got a terrible wringer injury to her arm not too long before she died. We had encouraged her to get an automatic washer but she was having none of that new fangled stuff in her house. I’m guessing there might have been accidents too where hair got caught in the wringer. The Amish still use wringer washers. Maytag quit making them in 1983 but they last forever so can still be found for sale. There are companies, or at least one, that still makes wringers but they are made out of the country. The one source I found has wringers made in Saudia Arabia. I’ll pass, thank you just the same. 
The reason I’m writing about wringers is because the other night I saw this cool thing you can do if you happen to have an old wringer washer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Club

One of the first things I wanted to do once I moved here was find a book club. A group of us from Bridge View tried having a book club about 8 years ago but it fizzled out. I participated in a few book clubs at The Minnesota Women's Press. I enjoyed the books we read there but it was a different group of women for each book we read plus there was a fee, in addition to buying the book.  So I didn't continue after participating in 2 or 3 sessions.

I asked yesterday at the library if there were any book clubs in Tomahawk. There is a book club that is part of the library. The librarian gave me the name of the leader, I talked to her last night. There are 16 members, meeting once per month year round. I like that there's no break for the summer. She said it's rare that all 16 make every gathering but they always have at least 10. So I signed up.

They have an interesting system for getting each month's assigned book. The group decides on which books to read, then gives the library the list for the next few months. The library then gets enough copies of each book through interlibrary loan. Then members pick up their individual copies, and return them the day after the book is discussed. This is so much easier than having to order the books on line, or visit different libraries looking for a copy.

The book for July is State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I  picked it up today. When I saw the cover I was thinking I have this book. I do. It sounds like it will be a very good book.

Have any of you participated in book clubs? I'm not sure why but they also seem to be a woman's thing. Do men have book clubs? We did have one man in our Bridge View book club. It was nice to get the male view. Maybe the Tomahawk book club has male members, I don't know yet. I hope so

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Many Uses for Coffee Filters

A few years ago I received an email listing of ways you could use coffee filters, other than to make coffee. I don't drink coffee and don't have a coffee maker but some of the uses on the list sounded worthwhile so I printed out the list. I even sent the list out with my Christmas cards that year. I no longer have the list I printed out but if you google "uses for coffee filters" you'll pull up many pages on the topic. The list at this site is pretty similar to the one I had printed out:

The first one I tried was putting coffee filters in the bottom of flower pots. The filter allows water to pass through but keeps the soil in. I had many pots, containing flowers and tomato plants, on my balcony when I lived in St. Paul. I found this very useful.

Another use is to use a cover filter to cover bowls or dishes when using a microwave. Coffee filters are far cheaper than paper towels and I think do a better job because they stay in place better. It's nice not to have splatter all over the inside of your microwave.

I don't drink wine but I know from others that sometimes pieces of the cork break off into the wine bottle. Rather than trying to pick the cork pieces out of the wine you can pour the wine through the coffee filter.

My favorite use for coffee filters is to use them between plates and bowls of my grandmother's good china. You prevent chipping when you put one or two filters in between each plate and bowl. I use two because I'm extra cautious with this old china. My grandmother's good china is about 100 years old now, over the years a few pieces have become chipped. But I'm hoping no more pieces get chipped now that I'm using coffee filters to protect them.

Coffee filters are cheap. I just bought a package of 100 at the Family Dollar Store for $1. Imagine that! What uses have you used coffee filters for?


Today begins the first full week I will be in my new apartment in Tomahawk. I’ve been back and forth between here and St. Paul, MN for the last 3 weeks. So it’s time to get serious about unpacking and blogging. My goal is to try to blog daily. It isn’t that I have any profound things to say but I want the discipline of daily writing so I will be ready for NaNoWriMo in November. What, you say? 

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Participants  write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and 30. The idea isn’t to write the next best selling novel but to write everyday. Participants come from all around the world. All ages are represented. Some entrants, like me, have never written a novel before. Some are already published authors. If you think this is something that interests you go here:
I’m not sure why November was chosen as the month for this challenge. It’s such a busy month with Thanksgiving, writing Christmas cards, and beginning holiday shopping. I think January or February would be a better choice but no one asked me. I hope a few of you will join me in this challenge.

My little grandsons look out the window of my new apartment.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wild Strawberries

On my walk last evening along part of the Hiawatha Trail I came across wild strawberries. I don’t see them as much as I did when I was growing up in Cassadaga. The roadside between our house and Emil Bernard’s was loaded with them. Hmm, hmm good. According to one source I consulted on the internet animals and insects that eat wild strawberries include deer, nematodes, mites, slugs, stinkbugs, spittlebugs,ants, butterflies, birds, mice, turtles, and skunks. They didn’t mention bears but around here they should be included on the list. But the most important animal of all was left off the list: humans! I love wild strawberries better than regular strawberries. I pick them and eat them right there where I find them, no washing. Who knows what I’m challenging my immune system with but who cares! Bring on the wild strawberries, and the rest of you animals stay away. They’re mine, mine, mine.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tomahawk Car Show

I spent Memorial Day weekend in Tomahawk, after my son and a friend got my furniture moved to my new apartment. I’ll post more on that later. My apartment is downtown and on the main drag. Sunday, May 27th, I was awakened by what sounded like a DJ right outside my window. I walk to the living room and I realize some sort of major event is going on. There was a DJ below my apartment. There were many very cool cars in the street as I looked out the window. It turns out that every Memorial Day weekend Tomahawk sponsors a Main Street Memories Car Show. There were cars from the 50’s and 60’s but also older cars, and a few newer ones. I had to return to St. Paul to finish getting the rest of my stuff so I didn’t spend much time at the show. Next year I plan to see every car. There is a craft area also so I will likely rent a table to sell my photo cards and knit dish cloths.
Here are a few photos:

Just getting started
The view from 2nd floor
Hula hooping is part of the show. I was told they have a contest and very few  in my age range enter so I'm going to practice to get ready for 2013.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Uffda: Moving the Cats

I suspected it would be difficult to move my cats from Minnesota to Wisconsin. I was right, and then some. Uffda, it was very difficult. The hard part was getting them from the apartment to the car. I was pretty sure they’d be OK in the car. I have a carrier but there was no way the big cats were going in there. I tried, and have the scratches to prove it. My cats have their front claws removed but they have the rear ones, and they can do A LOT of damage with them. I thought maybe wrapping them, one at a time, in a comforter would work. That was a comedy of errors. So then I thought we’d try putting them in a grocery cart, which we have in the complex, and cover them with a comforter. That was a no go also, and more scratches. Finally we tried the comforter again, got Donegal and Kilkenny to the car and in the back seat. I was able to get Galway, my small male, into the carrier and then to the car. After a long struggle I was able to get Wexford, my large male scaredy cat, totally wrapped up in the comforter and placed him in the front passenger seat. I could tell he was very stressed. So, 4 cats in the car. Oops, where is Clare, my small tortoise shell kitty? My friend Nancy and I looked and looked, could not find sweet Clare anywhere. So I told 2 of my neighbors about her, and got their phone numbers so I could check in with them later.
It’s very evident, as I was driving, that Wexford was severely stressed. His mouth would open, it was like his jaw was in spasm. His tongue was quivering and turning blue. The rest of his body was in the comforter so I didn’t know if they were seizures or what. I’d drive with one hand and stroke under his chin with the other, to encourage him to breathe. I was really very worried. This lasted for an hour. Then all of a sudden he moved over to my lap and the episodes stopped. He did not move from my lap for the rest of the trip.
Then I get to Tomahawk, pull into my driveway. I try to carry Wexford inside, and he clawed the heck out of me, then bolted to underneath the car, right behind the front driver’s wheel. He was not coming out! So I got the other 3 cats into the apartment, no easy task but they survived and I did too without too many more scratches. Then I spent about 30 minutes trying to get Wexford out from under the car. I was not having much luck. Finally I got hold of his front paws and pulled him out. I’m lying flat on the ground, then I was in a fetal position holding Wexford right next to me. I tried to get up and twisted my right knee. Ouch! Finally I was able to get up and got Wexford in the apartment. 
I placed each of the cats in the area of the litter box. They laid down together, and!  Nancy and I went to eat. When I returned they were exactly where they were when we left. I called my former neighbor, Clare still had not been found. I suggested looking on the balcony again. So she did, and there was Clare down inside an empty flower pot!! Whew, relief. Another neighbor volunteered to keep her until Thursday morning, when Nancy could pick her up and meet me in Augusta, WI, where she was going to be attending a scrapbooking retreat. I went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night they joined me. 

Then on Wednesday Galway, my small orange kitty, was NO WHERE to be found. I looked everywhere. I was pretty sure he could not have gotten outside. He was not seen for all of Wednesday. Then about 2 a.m. Thursday a.m. he jumped up on the bed. I still didn’t know where he had hidden. When I got up in the morning he was gone again!
Thursday I drove to Augusta, WI to meet Nancy, and get Clare back. She was glad to see her Mom. We returned to Tomahawk. Still no Galway anywhere. Finally on Friday I heard a noise behind the entertainment center. Sure enough, that was where Galway was hiding. He came out and has been out since then. Now we’ve been here a week and they are used to their new home. They love the windows, from where they survey the activity on the main drag. At bedtime they fight over who gets the bedroom window.
I had moved cats once before, when we moved from Tuscaloosa, AL to here (Tomahawk) in June 1980. I drove with our 15 month old daughter, 3 cats, and 3 dogs. My Dad flew down and rode with me. There were no problems with either the cats or dogs. They were different cats and just like people, different cats have different mental health issues. The cats I have now obviously find change very difficult. If I had it to do over I’d have gotten tranquilizers from the vet.

Galway taking a last look out of the window  at Crosby Pointe

L to R: Kilkenny, Wexford, Galway, Donegal
Not sure they like this new place

Clare enjoys looking out at activity on the main drag