Storms in Wisconsin…

Tourist season has returned, walleye season opened a month ago, musky season opened last weekend, bears are roaming and knocking down bird feeders and the area is booming with people.  Fishing is one of the activities to do here which makes the weather a big deal.  My daughter, Alexandria – 15, wrote the poem below for an assignment for school.  I thought it was fitting for this time of year here in northern Wisconsin and thought it was great and had to share.

The picture at the end (I was standing outside our back door) is the bear we had hanging around last spring.  A bear has been around a few times this spring but we haven’t seen it – have just found the bird feeders on the ground and in the timber.

Storms in Wisconsin

Thunder.

Rumbling, tumbling in the dark grey sky.

Lightning.

Flaring up the heavens as a blazing fire would a dark room.

While the Wisconsinites shut their doors and lock their windows,

The world around them comes alive!

Raindrops patter on rooftops and leaves, making the land a giant puddle.

Moose splash in the ditches, coating their feet in mud.

Bears roam about eating what they can.

While storms in Wisconsin rage on,

The wildlife comes out and dances in the rain!

When human eyes look away, the animals come out and play.

Mother wolves take their cubs into dens, worried that the wind will blow them away.

Fish swim around and round, thanking the rains for sparing their lives.

Fishermen pack up their tackle and jigs, cursing the wind for ruining their day!

While storms in Wisconsin rage on,

The wildlife comes out and dances in the rain!

When human eyes look away, the animals come out and play.

Wind whispers through the trees, blowing the storms away.

The sun peaks through the clouds, drying the world below.

The Wisconsinites open their windows and doors,

seeing the weather has changed for the better.

Animals run home, trying not to be spotted.

Fishermen load up their gear, hoping to catch a bite.

While storms in Wisconsin rage on,

The wildlife comes out and dances in the rain!

When human eyes look away, the animals come out and play.

~ Written by Alexandria

A few of my favorite places…

Hello! Do you have places that you like to visit for whatever reason – the staff is friendly, home-like atmosphere, the people you meet, and the help you receive? When I get the opportunity to run to town without kids, I have my favorite places I enjoy stopping in to just say “hi”, see what is on sale, grab a bite to eat, definitely indulge in a caramel latte and simply have an adult conversation.

I live about ten minutes outside of Rhinelander, WI (8000+/- people). I’m impressed with the fact there are four coffee shops that serve light lunches, smoothies, tea and all drinks coffee related and two natural/organic health food stores – none are chain businesses. Rhinelander still has a thriving downtown district with fun and unique shops and plenty of restaurants and pubs. In the spring and summer, there are a handful of greenhouses and garden centers and a booming farmer’s market.

I love many things but I have an addiction for good coffee, sales, buying local, handcrafted items and gardening.

Coffee Beans, Etc. is my favorite coffee shop. Mostly because the owner and baristas are very friendly and it is a joy just to walk in. Of course, I stop in often enough that they know what I’m going to order. They serve organic and conventional coffee and teas, bagel sandwiches and wraps, soup through the fall and winter, salads and smoothies. The baristas are creative in coming up with the “Latte of the Week”. There are a few couches in the corner with a fireplace to hangout and plenty of tables to sit at. You can purchase bulk coffee and teas a long with local, handcrafted gift items. Coffee Beans, Etc. has free Wi-Fi and a public computer to use.

Coffee Beans, Etc.

The Country Seed is a unique natural/organic health food store and gift shop. You can find every vitamin, mineral and herb supplement you can think of to local, handcrafted pottery and other unique gift items. The Country Seed is located in an old house which makes it a fun, cozy place to visit. You can find bulk foods and Wisconsin raw honey and maple syrup.

Golden Harvest is another natural/organic health food store. The bakery is amazing and many local restaurants use the breads for their sandwiches and Panini’s. In the spring and summer, they have a beautiful garden center.

I’ve recently discovered Fun Factory Sweet Shoppe which is probably a good thing since it is an old-fashioned candy store and I do have a sweet tooth for chocolate every now and then. They carry gift items and their homemade fudge and chocolate-dipped candies are worth the visit.

We have had very interesting weather here, just like everywhere else but it has been trying my patience when five months out of the year I love to be outside gardening. Trees are budding, plants, herbs and flowers are sprouting out of the ground and I as type this, snow is falling from the sky. Even though they are open for the season, I have not gone yet because I’m anxious enough by just planning my vegetable and flower/herb gardens. When I first drove into Hanson’s Garden Village almost two years ago, I fell in love. They have over 20 greenhouses with every annual, perennial, shrub and tree you can think of and a great selection of native plants for our area. The greenhouses are actually set up like a village with large wood cutouts in front resembling a chapel, barn, etc., with the “General Store” greenhouse displaying the fun and creative outdoor accessories. In a few weeks, I will be done planning and will actually visit Hanson’s Garden Village to get started.

Courtesy of Hanson's Garden Village

These are just a few of my favorite places I enjoy taking the time to stop in and definitely believe are worth checking out.

Have a Wonderful Day ~ Amanda

Meet Amanda from Wisconsin, USA

Born and raised in the Midwest, Fonda, IA to be exact. I grew up with two sisters and a brother – all younger – on a farm outside a very small town (700 plus or minus) with a huge garden, chickens, an old chicken coup and a playhouse and the loft of the barn as a basketball court.  Spring was always a busy time, between getting the garden planted and enjoying the newness of everything.  Summers were spent walking beans, swimming, camping and fishing.  The fall consisted of canning and freezing vegetables and getting ready for winter.  Loved snowmobiling in the winter and making forts and playing “King of the Mountain” when the snow was piled high enough.

I have always lived in the Midwest, eastern Iowa and western Illinois, and now the Northwoods of Wisconsin – Rhinelander – where my husband, four kids and myself moved almost two years ago when my husband’s job was transferred to this area.  Other than a few years in my 20s while going through college and raising my oldest daughter, I have not wandered far from my roots.  I love the outdoors – playing with my kids and watching them experience everything in awe (I miss that innocence), organic gardening, fishing, hiking, wandering around in state/national parks, etc. I could not imagine living somewhere that didn’t have the four seasons. I love living in the middle of nowhere and within an hour radius having so much to see and do…looking forward to spending time day tripping with my family and continue discovering the new area we live in.

I have been lucky enough to visit and enjoy some beautiful places.  The top of my list would be when my husband and I got married on St. Thomas, USVI and we spent the rest of the week exploring St. John, USVI. Snorkeling is relaxing and entertaining until a shark decides to swim underneath you. I was thankful that happened the last day we had a chance to snorkel because I could not picture getting back in the water. One of my dreams has always been to swim with dolphins and we decided to explore Tortola, BVI and I got to cross that one off my bucket list, it was amazing.

Ontario, Canada but I’m talking about the area that hasn’t been touched much by civilization and there is nothing but rocks and trees, lakes, rivers, plenty of great fishing and wildlife.  I love to sit and take it all in, the air is clear and the view is absolutely gorgeous.

There are many more places around the world I will travel to in my life time. For the time being, I’m going to enjoy discovering areas around where I live, the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin.  I hope you will enjoy the adventures with me.

Amanda