Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ice Fishing has Begun!

The early ice WALLEYE run has started and Bing carefully checked the thickness of the ice before venturing forth and chipping holes but he found plenty of ice, about four inches, and managed to pull in these two nice keepers. The ice fishermen of the area are excited cuz the fish are hungry and the cold cold nights are making ice fast.

Monday, November 29, 2010

From Liquid to Solid

Our lake turned from water into ice the night before last. Every year we keep track of when the lake freezes over and when the ice goes out. This is a pretty average date for the freeze. It will freeze pretty solid pretty fast this year because there isn't much of a snow cover. I have a feeling the ice fishing will begin very soon.

The Shack

No deer harvested this year for us. Bernie and Bing hunted but never saw a buck. I'm always happy to have the deer hunt over because it seems safer walking outside now and there isn't a need for blaze orange outer clothing. Bing took some pictures of the hunting shack which is about an hour away from here. Bing's dad and five friends from Milwaukee built it in the fifties

and it's getting kind of shaky with a leaky roof and crumbling siding. Only one man of the six builders is still alive. He finally stopped hunting two years ago but he must really miss it because he called Bing three times this season to see how the hunt was going.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hermit Days

There is a craving in my heart. It's a craving for silence and I think it's completely normal but quite rare in this age of carrying communication devices everywhere we go and the age of listening to custom made music play lists everywhere we go. I do believe silence is a forgotten commodity and that the soul needs periods of silence to grow and develop, to cause the brain to reflect and introspect, to see what's working and what's not working in our lives. This is the opening of deer hunting and deer hunting weekend has always been a looked foward to set of days for me. It lets me be a hermit for a few days - no need to talk or interact or be the mom or the cook or the laundress, etc. I can just be. I might have descended from a hermit who must have left his or her cave for a conjugal fling. There have been relatives that preferred the non social life and at least for a couple of days a year, I can relate..........................On a different note, winter weather has finally arrived up here. We had a greatly extended mild Fall and enjoyed spreading all our fall chores out over many weeks. Just this Thursday I completed the raking of the hillside and that feels so good to finish it before the snow accumulates. Tony asked me the other day, why I rake the hillside every Spring and Fall and it kind of puzzled me for a moment. I've done it for decades. I answered that I liked the way it looks after it's raked and that I love being outside working but later I realized that it's much more than that. I love the physical challenge of it and knowing that I'm still up to the challenge of clinging to the vertical rises, bracing myself against small tree trunks to keep my footing, crawling here and there to reach inaccessible crannies and dragging all the leaves on a big silver tarp to soften my pathways for walking. I love seeing the green moss uncovered from the bronze oak oeaves and I like to keep

all the little elder brush and popple sprouts from turning the hillside into a bramble. I keep a trusty pruning shears in my sweatshirt kangaroo pocket and whip it out every few feet to ward off the sprouts. Every year there are so many baby fir trees that eventually when I can't keep up my billy goat antics, maybe the hillside will be a picturesque fir forest. I've included a couple of pictures of the project but as usual, "you just gotta be there" to rake it all in." Pun intended.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Halloween Fun

Halloween is fun and it has been fun for years. Our grandchildren enjoy it thoroughly just as my brothers and I loved running from house to house in Chicago over sixty years ago. I love to watch kids enjoying dress up whether it's Halloween or not - they can be whomever they want to be. We din't get to see the youngest little grandchild who's out in Portland, Or but the little Red Apple/ Star Trek Captain had a couple of little dress ups for his first halloween.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Pictures have been Found

Trying to Find the Pictures

Well, I'm trying to find the pictures of John and Paul but the other computer of this homegroup doesn't want to give them up. It's probably a simple fix. I'll be back!

Pictures from Last Post

The Poetry of Life

Life is a poem - it has rhythm and grace. It has phrases that have no decipherable meaning and it has momentous meaning. It roars and it softly tickles the bottom of your feet. It moves swiftly toward a conclusion but doesn't give you time to really figure everything out. I like these words from Mary Oliver's poem, "When I Am Among the Trees" - ....never hurry through the world but walk slowly and bow often." I also like these words from Rabbi Rami Shapiro: "When you admit to life's complexity and to your unknowing, you discover you need do nothing with your life except live it - humbly, simply, kindly, and justly - trusting in life to offer you one opportunity after another to make the world a little better for you having been born into it. Nothing confusing about that.".............Well, Bing and I have been doing just that since I last added to the mish mash of this blog........We've had a visit with my brother,Paul, and his wife, Marianne. It's always fun to be with them because we've shared so much of life with them

through the years. There's a picture of the four of us attached. We look like the tribal elders that we are but inside there still lie the hearts of little kids.....souls in the latter part of their luminous journey on this beautiful Earth, but still souls with so much to learn.......There are pictures of two of our granchildren next to their lockers at school. We were treated to a wonderful Grandparents' Day at their kindergarten and 2nd grade classes. That was so great to see them so excited about the beginning of their education............We also had a visit from two good friends who like to come in the Fall and fish and visit. John is from Montana and Paul is from Arizona. It was a bit nippy while they were here so one picture shows Arizona Paul all dressed up in winter clothes to fend off the unArizona temperatures. We really laugh a lot and eat a lot when we have these visitors. They both live alone so it's fun to cook for such appreciative eaters. The picture with the tripod shows how the guys cook their french fried potatoes and walleyes over the campfire. It's a shore lunch in the backyard! ...........Well I think I'll post this and get back to "slowly walking and bowing often."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mish Mash Part 2

Hi again ...........I've changed my mind and I'll continue this mish mash on a day when the blog traffic is not so heavy. It takes too long to post the pictures when a lot of people are tuned into the internet and Saturday evening is probably one of the busiest times. I'll just add a couple of pictures from my meandering/meditation trail here on our property. It's one of my favorite things because it daily connects me to our God and His magnificent creation.

It's a Mish Mash - Part 1

September is whipping by and I didn't write much about August so I'm just going to write a few things about some of our doings and show a couple of pictures with every entry because quite often this blog will only accept two pictures per posting. Forgive the mish mash nature of the entries. If I try to organize my thoughts and sequence, it'll take too long and I'll put it off and figure out some rationalization for not ever getting around to blogging again. And that wouldn't be too good. There are loving readers out there as I so happily realize when they mention to me that they enjoy the entries..............Soo - these first two pictures show Bing with his birthday cake. He turned 68 on August 26th and Tony and Carmen and the kids came over to celebrate with a campfire and cake, two of his favorite things...............Then there's a picture of Bing in a canoe. He's poling the canoe through a bed of wild rice. He and a friend go out every year in wild rice season to harvest the healthy grain. One person poles the canoe and the other person has two sticks to shake the rice into the canoe. It was avery poor year this year bu usually they go out 3 or 4 times and bring home several pounds of the gourmet treat every time. Luckily last year was a banner year so we'll have enough to get till next fall's harvest. The rice has to be dried and processed after the collection and native americans introduced the ritual centuries ago.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

We Went to the County Fair

I think the title to this posting is the first line of some poem or song but I don't know any other lyrics but we did go to the county fair yesterday and it was fun. We forgot the camera but maybe you can reach back into your own memory bank and picture a small town fair. But our fair had a bit of uniqueness because instead of being held in a plain gravel or blacktopped setting it was held in Rhinelander's Pioneer Park which is set in a stand of huge pines with a curving path through the pines. The carnival midway was on the softball diamond and the tennis courts were turned into an exhibition hall by huge tents. The county and fair planners did an excellent job of mapping out the park and making room for everything fair goers could wish for but not making it too large to navigate comfortably. Bing and I took the three local grandchildren, Courtney, 11, Alexa, 7, and Eli, 5. The fair is free and that made it especially nice to realize that the whole county could have access to it - there were things to see and do at all turns that didn't require admission and provided fun and education. As all kids do, ours liked the rides the best and the minature donuts came in second but hugging Smokey the Bear, watching a horse trainer put his beautiful Morgan mare through her tricks, seeing the Rhinelander Dance team perform, making paper at a Paper Mill booth, watching medeival reenactors joust, visiting an Indian village, and seeing all the blue ribbon 4H projects and pets kept them and us busy and excited. The kids could have lasted many more hours than we did but we squeezed in quite a lot and even had a trolley ride back to the parking lot a few blocks away. Long live the county fairs!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pictures from the Last Posting

This blog site seems a little finicky about adding pictures so here are the two more pictures I talked about in the last posting. I hope!

Visits are Happy Times

Bernie and Kayla and Jamie came to visit on Thursday evening . They stayed til Sunday afternoon. They pack a lot of activities into their visits and probably need a rest when they get back home. They had to get back home to Green Bay to pick up Jamie's football gear for the season that starts this week. Jamie loves football and has played Pop Warner football for pretty many years now. He's a sixth grader now so next year it will probably be junior high football.........One of the accompanying pgotos shows Kayla and Jamie working on some wood crafts while they were here. Bing's brother, Paul, gave us a large carton of hobby kits from his employer, Lowe's. The kits are complete with the cut wood pieces, nails and instructions to make various projects. Kayla's building a castle after completing a steamroller and Jamie made an excellent goal post and small football to thumbkick through the goal post........On Saturday, we had a swm/cake get together for Courtney's eleventh birthday. The lake has been so inviting this summer. It's consistently around eighty degrees and the weather has been matching it. We could play in it for hours. We had a synchronized swim contest - Alexa and I versus Kayla, Courtney and Courtney's friend, Abby. Jamie was the judge. Sure, their team dazzled with gymnastic leaps and flips and swandives but our artistic rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star swayed the judge to give us the gold. Besides, he didn't want his sister to win!...........The other pictures show the water play and the birthday girl's joy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Six Decades for Susie

After our stay in Bellevue, we headed toward Jackson, Wi, where Bing's brother, Paul and his wife, Lea Fon, have their summer home. It was sister Sue's sixtieth birthday and she and her Mom were traveling to Jackson to stay a few days. Sue's husband, Dan was coming too and had planned to take his motorcycle. Dan's family had a gathering planned for Saturday in Milwaukee so the Jackson lodging was ideal because it is only about twenty five miles from Milwaukee. Paul and Lea Fon had secretly invited us, some cousins, and some high school friends of Sue's for a surprise sixtieth birthday party for Sue. And Wow, Sue and Milli were oh so surprised and oh so happy to see everybody. We had excellent weather, beautiful surroundings and tons of laughs. Bing golfed the next morning with Paul, we stayed another night and had brats and sweet corn and then headed out. Sweet summer memories were made and many thanks said to God that we have had sweet Sue as a relative all these years.

Go East Old Folks

On July 14th, we set out in our trusty camper again and headed east and south to Bellevue, Wi. It's kind of interesting that Bernie settled in a Bellevue and so many cousins live in Bellevue, Ne. But as we traveled the USA this summer we noticed that every state seems to have a Bellevue. There must have been a lot of viewing of bells back in the day when towns were named! We camped out in Bernie's townhouse driveway and spent the evening with him and Jamie and Kayla. It was fun having a tour of their stomping grounds, seeing their schools, eating delicious pizza, watching them perform with Rock Band and having several rousing games of Spoons. ( I found out my reaction time, has faded to the speed of a handicapped sloth, but, what the heck, it makes the game amusing and contributes to the merriment.) We survived the severe thunderstorm and winds that night and headed south in the morning.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summertime and the livin' is fun!

Well, our trip is now in the memory bin. The total mileage was 5280 miles. We've been weeding and catching up on the chores around here and things are definitely looking summerlike now. Our rains are finally getting to be more regular and we may start lessening the effects of the last several years of drought. We just had a great July 4th weekend. The five Wisconsin grandchildren stayed with us along with Uncle Bernie/Dad. We managed to get to the town parade, watch some nice fireworks over the lake and swim for hours. The swimming in the rain on Monday was an especially nice episode for all of us waterbabies. Summer really is a nice season and America's birthday comes at just the right time to have all the great summer fruits and picnic foods. Happy Birthday America and thanks to all the different ancestors who made the choices they made to get to this wonderful country and thanks to our loving Creator who sprinkled this vast nation with wondrous gifts of nature. We're the caretakers now and let us do the best we can to take care of it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Pictures

This blog only seems to let me insert two pictures per blog now so here are a couple more from our trip.

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 16th Update

From Wendover, Nevada, past the Bonneville Salt Flats, (yum yum, salt! ), through Salt Lake City. Bing had to "cowboy up" and get us through some mighty windy weather along Highway 8o. John Sery taught us that Montana term for "toughen up and quit your whining." It was several pretty tense hours on the road after seeing a semi tipped on its side by the wind gusts. We landed in Rawlins, Wyoming, a nice campground at 7000 feet altitude and very near the Continental Divide.

June 17th Update - This would have been my dad's 108th birthday and I think he was watching over us. The wind blew all night long nonstop at 50 to 60 miles per hour and the forecast for this day was windier winds. So, Bing made the wise and brave decision to alter our route to go with the wind. We set out with the wnd behind us and the temperature at 35 degrees. There were big neon signs on the highway with wind advisories against travel for light trailers and the buffeting of the camper only occurred on the curves but I, as the designated pray-er, rattled through the rosary and some frantic oh God, please God, please God's and the hymn, "Be Not Afraid" was whirring through my head. Needless to say, since I'm writing this in Nebraska, we made it. It probably will be the best mpg of the trip. I was thinking Wyoming was a dusty, ugly state back at Rock Springs and Rawlins, but when we neared Cheyenne it was rolling and green

with snow capped mountains in the distance. We saw a lot more of Nebraska today. It is a big big state and I feel a kinship to it because my brother and his wife, all his children and grandchildren live there and they are all such kind and welcoming people. It is a state with vast

natural resources and lots of pretty small towns.

Friday, June 18th update - We left a very nice campsite between Chapman and Central City, Nebraska, continued through South Dakota, hoping to make it to Minneapolis on Saturday. Bing's artist Uncle Ray had died last Saturday and the funeral was Wednesday and some of his west coast cousins were waiting around to see us. We camped in Flandreau, South Dakota at the very site where we started the trip on June 1st..............The end of the trip is drawing near and our supplies are being used up. This is such a dependable little moving house. We've only had to stop once for bread and milk and otherwise we've thrived very nicely with breakfasts, lunches and dinners easily prepared. We brought some frozen walleyes along and Bing made a great Friday night fish fry.

Saturday, June 19th update - we headed through a pretty flooded South Dakota and I finally saw some wild horses. I really wanted to see a herd of wild mustangs thundering through Wyoming or Montana, but no such luck. But there in South Dakota were several horses on an island along the highway, no visible fences. In reality however, we were pretty sure that the horses were on the high ground of a flooded field, busily munching the available grass. It looked like the Big Sioux River had flooded the area.............We visited Bing's mom, Milli, for a while and then headed to his sister Sue and her husband, Dan's house where they hosted a nice gathering of cousins from far and near. We camped in their driveway that night, went over to cousin John's house in the morning and picked out some of Uncle Ray's paintings for our sons.

Next began our drive home. And home sweet home it is. We love this place and it felt so good to be back after 5280 miles on the road. But memories of the last three weeks will forever be a part of our lives and especially the memory of sweet little Ben resting so quietly in my arms. Thanks for traveling along with us. Right now, we're catching up on all the mail and newspapers from the 3 weeks and soon we'll be in the garden tending our emerging crops. Summer's going fast and we've more memories to make...............The pictures are from miscellaneous sites and days.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I have to type this fast because this is a poor signal tonight and it keeps disconnecting. I've already typed the last three days' travels twice and it has disappeared twice so I'll have to wait for our journey end which will be Sunday and I'll fill it all in on Monday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We Travel On

We didn't have access to the internet last night in Wendover, Nevada, so we stopped at this Flying J truck stop where all the big semi trucks get their supplies and grease jobs, etc. It's just outside of Salt Lake City. Yesterday we started from Lakeview, Or., and traveled through southern Oregon. It is beautiful with mountains, lakes and streams peppered by wide green valleys. Tony and Carmen's land is high and varied with views of mountains all around. It is rugged terrain and full of future adventure, I'm sure. As we left Lakeview, we had a minor calamity. I guess it was a major calamity for the Mule Deer we hit but the truck only lost its left head light and running lights. We'll chalk it up to feeding the local vultures........The desert then delighted us as we drove through the dunes and scrubby brush and sand, sand, sand. Buttes and mesas sprung out of the flat land and Bing spotted three wild mules in the brush. Blue skies and curly clouds accented the picture and a Golden Eagle flew right past the truck..............Our wildlife count has increased with the eagle, the mules. chipmunks, a lizard, tumbling tumbleweed and a wee lizard. The pix are in T&C's territory.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Baptized in the Spirit

It was a glorious day Sunday. Cori's mom, Linda, joined the five of us at the Baptism and service at Dan and Cori's new church, Milwaukie Presbyterian. Cori and Ben were christened to new life and both were as good as gold - angels in the flesh! It was also a day of parting but we have so many warm memories of the week with this wonderful trio, we could not grieve. We thank Dan and Cori for the week of cherished days, holding sweet Ben and knowing that he will have a wondrous life with these two parents and a life filled with love and curious adventures........I have to hurry this morning because we have to get on the road again. We're in Coos Bay, Or and we'll be heading to the two and a half acres of land that Tony and Carmen bought near Klamath Falls, Or. Our mission is to see it and take lots of pictures for them. We don't seem to be able to e-mail from these wifi sites so they won't see most of the pictures till we get back but at our next stop, we'll try to get a couple on the blog. ...........These pix are at the baptism and a view of the glorious Pacific Ocean along Highway 101!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meeting Benjamin

Love is beautiful and an infant is a perfect little personification of love. We were heartily welcomed here at Cori and Danny's and it was so good to see them and to see their pride and joy in their new little resident. Naturally he's a perfect little baby, symetrical and oh so bright.

They have a nice home in the middle of a cul de sac and the front and back yards are landscaped beautifully as are most of the residences here in this part of Oregon. The rose bushes in their front yard are over fifty years old. Little Benjamin is most interested in eating but he snuggles so nicely in our arms in between feedings and Dan and Cori have worked out quite nice chore sharing routines. Dan took the whole week off so it's great getting caught up on all their happenings. Benjamin will be christened Sunday at the ten o'clock service so we'll be attending and then heading back home but via a different route so we can take a look at son, Tony's, newly purchased land near Klamath Falls. It's Tony's birthday today - happy birthday, from Dad and me. Holding little Benjamin brings back the loving days when each of our sons were infants. Those are precious memories and we are privileged to be able to make some new ones with Ben-Ben...........The pictures show the three generations of Ronyak men and the happy family.

Monday, June 7, 2010

We Found Oregon!

Left the campsite and continued on the road of beauty. We have only one CD along and it happened to be Enya that Danny had given me long ago. We put it in and it added amazing auditory grandeur to the stunning scenery rolling past our eyes. We hoped to find a Mass in one of the towns after getting through the pass. We didn't, but figure it was a soul stirring experience to drink in God's awesome creation. One could take pictures at every turn and never capture the raw beauty of the dozens of shades of green, the yellow, white and purple wildflowers, the splashing roiling water and the slips of islands in the river. We made it as far as Umatilla, Oregon and tomorrow we should meet our new little Benjamin Caleb. Alleluia!

Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

Lots of Montana today and we headed into Idaho. We went across Lolo Pass. Bing loves the mountains. I do too but I can only look ahead. I am too scared to look over the sides. We traveled Highway 12 from Missoula and Bing has proclaimed it his favorite highway in the whole United States. It winds along the wild Clearwater River and every turn in the road presents an awesome vista. The ascent to the top reveals snow covered peaks and forests so thick, there's sure to be some Bigfoots. We found a nice campsite right alongside the rushing river and slept soundly in a beautiful part of the potato state. The pix are of Idaho and some of the eight Mule Deer we added to our wildlife count.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Big Sky Country

Left Deadwood, heading for Billings, Mt. Bing's boyhood buddy lives there and we'll camp in his driveway and catch up on his doings. He and another friend come to visit us every fall for a week so they feel like family. Drove through a bit of Wyoming and then into Montana. Montana's scenery is striking with its abundance of forests and knobby hills, mountains and creeks. Lots of cattle and sheep are grazing and we've seen tons of lambs and calves and even some baby horses. The grey green of the sage brush contrasts beautifully with the dark green evergreens and the yellow green grasses. The pix are of John and Bing and John's yard.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tatanka, Tatanka

We're at a nice campground in Deadwood, South Dakota tonight. We went across a lot more of Nebraska today. It was called the sandhill region and that describes it pretty well. Most of the way we went side by side with the Burlington railway and we were amazed at the number of 100/car long freight trains filled with coal. Bing guesses that the coal comes from the Anaconda coal mines in Montana. I like trains. They remind me of my childhood in Chicago. My dad worked for the railway and we had free passes for anywhere the trains went. We'd wait on the platform and those huge steam engines would come right alongside of us. I held onto my Mom's hand as tight as possible. The porters were so nice and friendly, they made you feel special.....At the edge of Nebraska and right before entering South Dakota, there was a drastic change of terrain - the start of the southern half of the Black Hills. Wow, from hills of sand and scrub brush to lush evergreens, mountains and draws, long grasses and wildflowers and ads to visit various caves. We entered Wind Cave National Park and were thrilled to see twenty wild buffalo grazing and then went around the next bend and there were one hundred buffalo. Outstanding!

Our wildlife count jumped immensely and we added a whitetail deer and lots of antelope to the mix. The vultures are around too and it brings warm memories of our dinner table when our sons were teen agers. They were on that food like vultures on road kill.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm So Happy

Wahoo - I'm sitting in Tomahawk Park in Broken Bow, Nebraska and for the first time this wireless hookup worked in this campground! Bing and I are tired. I stayed up too late last night, gambling at a Sioux Indian casino till 2:00am. Then I thought I'd blog because the campsite had a wireless network and was given the security code. Trouble was it just didn't work. Up at 7:00 and on our way to Mark and Alice's house. We had a great lunch with them at the Golden Corral

- never saw such a spectacular variety of food at a buffet and we had a great time eating and visiting. Mark and Alice's hometown is a town of 46000, so it seemed pretty large and populated to us. Then, on the road again - 446 miles today - Bing is an amazing driver and gets us everywhere safely - thank you, God. We covered a lot of Nebraska today and it's another pretty state with land, lots of land. A little trivia, the town of Wahoo came right before the town of Surprise.--Our wildlife spotting so far - one baby bunny and one teen aged turkey - no, not Michaela! The pix are Mark and Alice at home and downtown Omaha.

On the Road Again

We'll have to look up the words to , "On the Road Again," because all we know is that title sentence and there must be more. But it felt good to start the trip after all the packing, planning and pondering - the three "p's" of preparation. We drove 554 miles today. It was 87 at one point and then rainy and in the sixties later. I prefer the sixties. We traversed Wisconsin and Minnesota and marvelled at the valleys and glens, bluffs and woods. I love to look at the farms and try to imagine who lives there and what stories they have to share. Every little town has a cemetery and you know there's a story at every grave. The Mississippi river itself could cough up thousands of stories at every crossing. The pix show a bridge over the Missis at Wabasha, Mn, the backwaters of the Missis and a sunset in South Dakota.