Some beings are just more touchy feely than others. I even know folks who do not like to be hugged. This is not the case in our household. We have a 4 legged resident alias Balto who gets attention even when he doesn’t demand it and he demands it a lot.

He’s can be pretty irresistible as the photo below attests.

A special bonding moment with one of our new daughter-in-laws…

Do you have any hug photos you’d like to share? Please do.

Jennifer sent me this hugging photo of her Dad , eldest son and first grandbaby. xoxo

Last week’s FOTO FRIDAY was The Bird at:


I received more than a couple requests for the carrot soufflé recipe my daughter prepared on Turkey Day.

( original source: Iowa City friend Marge I have also seen it in Southern Living)

Here’s the recipe:


1 lb cooked carrots

3 eggs

1/3 c granulated sugar

3 T matzo cake meal

1 tsp vanilla

1 stick margarine melted

 1 T margarine melted

Dash nutmeg

¼-1/2 cup chopped pecans

3T brown sugar (packed)

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine carrots & eggs in blender until smooth.

Add sugar, matzo meal, vanilla, 1 stick margarine & nutmeg-blend well.

Turn into 1 quart soufflé dish.

Combine 1 T margarine, pecans & brown sugar.

Sprinkle on top of carrot mixture.

Bake for 40 minutes.


It’s amazing how much life a 2 year old can add to a normally quiet End of the Rainbow Valley. Ms. H. definitely delivered levity to our Thanksgiving get together.

There were an extra 12 hands and 4 paws to help entertain her when her own weren’t already busy.

Whether it was wooden blocks from her uncles’s younger days/an even older Effanbee baby doll that was mine and then her mother’s and now Ms. H’s , she was as busy as a bee. Flitting here and there spreading her enthusiasm.

The cement floor was a great surface for zooming/ being pushed about on her loaned vehicle. I must admit I did remove the batteries with all the bells and whistles during her next nap. Ssssh , don’t tell!

Our two Amish rockers got extra mileage as Ms. H. would tell whoever was closest to “Sit ” ( and we all had to laugh as it sounded like she added an additional H sound). BUT who could refuse the Boss? Since the adult kids really took care of everything, we actually did have a lot of time to sit, rock and visit with her. She got to choose who would read her night time stories too.

Her lack of naps and time change did catch up with her with a couple of melt downs but on the whole she was a very happy girl. Most evenings she just konked out tired from her busy days. AND it should not come as a surprise to you, so did we!

Her sense of wonder whether it was the excitement using her new snow boots during her first real snowfalls, making a snowman and snow angel will always be special memories.

Natureman and I are really going to miss having her here in the End of the Rainbow Valley breaking that sound of silence…


It’s been more than a couple of years since a brined turkey has graced our Thanksgiving table…

Thanks to new daughter-in-law Leah whose employer gave their employees turkeys and a husband who is a great cook, we enjoyed a savory juicy turkey this past Turkey Day. 18 pounds of brined goodness.

Once carved its carcass went into the crock pot and became a terrific turkey broth to which I threw in carrots, celery, onion, a little extra seasoning with a bouquet of sage and thyme. We awoke to a house filled with the aroma of turkey. Matzoh balls were added which made for a great Friday night dinner soup.

This Balto wore his turkey well…

Last week’s FOTO FRIDAY was ROCKY ROAD, completed in time for a snow fall and a lot of company…

Click on link if you missed it/ have something to add:


Deer season started this past weekend as the first three shots echoed through the End of the Rainbow Valley a good hour later than most years. I was late doing chores and was leaving the coop after feeding the girls when that first shot broke the quiet of the morning at 8:16 followed a couple minutes later by a second and after 10 minutes, the third.

It’s always difficult to decipher from which direction the shots come. If I had to guess, I would say from my western neighbor’s field. Today I learned one of my northern neighbor’s hunting party only shot one doe in the last 2 days. It has been relatively quiet. Sunday’s rain probably also had those deer hunkered down even more.

As hunters donned their blaze orange and headed to their stands early in the a.m., most of the females of their families decked themselves out for a different type of hunting, Christmas shopping and headed to one/more of the numerous holiday gift shows around our region. The largest being the Holiday Faire held at the La Crosse Convention City where Christmas shopping begins in earnest.

I personally started my shopping a day earlier at a smaller sale in the Bluffs at a private residence’s jewelry show where I would look for gifts for the 8 of the females in our family. I should have said 9 because there’s always something which I end up keeping and give myself. I can’t ruin the surprise with pics and I might even forget which one I’ll end up keeping. En route home I also stopped at the small town next to us Stoddard’s holiday open houses at the American Legion and Gracie’s Hutch.

I headed eastward Saturday afternoon with the sun shining to Viroqua stopping in Coon Valley along the way where their Christmas Open Houses had been the previous weekend. The shops were still bustling and the local diner was packed with a big banner with the words WELCOME HUNTERS. Their parking lot was packed with hunters of both the gun toting and purse toting kind.

A common sight was seeing women placing their finds in their car trunks while truck beds were filled with deer.

Two of these three were picked off by a woman. Instead of being caught in the headlights you could say they are now caught in the tail lights…

‘Don’t know if I’ll ever get used to this hunting culture. The Wisconsin DNR sold ~ 539,000 deer hunting licenses with 3600+ going to children under 9 years old… I don’t know about you but I think shopping is a hell of a lot safer…


Fortunately the our driveway’s growing ditch has gotten a facelift before winter’s permanent layer of snow arrived.

During the last couple of months I left messages asking for someone to come take a look and decide how we could fix what was last year’s remedy, a ditch hugging a hillside curve, which was now cavernous. When snow fall was predicted for the 6th when we were needing to head to the hospital , I barely slept worrying about sliding into that ditch.

I placed another call after our hospital stay and finally got a call back with an apology… You got to love it when a burly guy admits his Mom told him to call and he had forgotten , he probably wouldn’t make it last week but he’d be there this one. Thank goodness because you know deer hunting starts …

The road repair equipment did arrive Monday along with a nice sized rock to fill the out of control growing ditch. Luckily Irv’s eldest made it into the End of the Rainbow Valley before access was restricted. It was finished by the time he had to leave later that afternoon.

The possibly of anyone’s car ending up stuck in it until spring has been fixed.

It’s beauty and relief to this owner’s eyes. I will sleep better…

Have you had any rock work lately? Want to share ? Just send me a pic and I’ll include it.

Last week’s FOTO FRIDAY: