Sunday, January 18, 2015

In the 'Ton

The La Crosse Curling Club took two teams to the Appleton Women's Bonspiel this weekend. For two of our curlers, it was their first time curling on dedicated ice in a curling club, compared with our usual arena ice that is shared with a hockey team.

Everyone played well and had a fantastic time, especially because we dressed up a bit - penguins and snow women. The Appleton club members were great hosts who made delicious food and provided plenty of beverages to keep the party going late.

In terms of placement, my team finished as runner up in the 3rd event, which means we got sixth place of eight. The other team finished last. But we all improved, and the more experienced teams in attendance were great to learn from.

I'm quite looking forward to going back next year.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


My first bonspiel of the season! Let's curl!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pet stories

I want to tell you a story about my fish, but I couldn't get a good photo, so we'll start with a story about my mom's cat.

My mom's cat loves to play fetch. She has a little mouse toy that she'll bring to you and the mouse must then be thrown, preferably across the kitchen floor, which is slippery. We'll play this game for about ten throws, at which time she'll bat the mouse under the stove, likely intentionally, so that she can watch you get down on your hands and knees to fish it out.

Speaking of fish, I was changing the water in my fish bowl yesterday when I accidentally poured one of my fish down the kitchen drain with the water. Luckily, the fish was caught in the garbage disposal. Unluckily, it was the tiny of the two fish, and picking it out was pretty near impossible. We tried fingers, spoons, chopsticks, and a tea strainer with no luck.

About five minutes after the beginning of the incident, the fish was no longer flopping around, and I thought it was a goner. But the lack of flopping finally allowed me to scoop it onto a spoon. I was skeptical, but Sam told me to put it back in the fish bowl. A few seconds of listless floating, and then with a flip of fins, it was back to zipping about. And so, there are still two fish in my house.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The kid in me

My great grandfather worked for Dr. Denton's, the company that basically invented and popularized footy pajamas. My grandpa was a genius with mechanical things, and was in charge of keeping all the complicated machines running in the factory in Centerville, MI.

My Christmas presents from Grandpa Keiser were therefore always warm pajamas with feet, and I've been nostalgic for them lately.  Lucky for me, someone now makes footy pajamas for adults, and that's what Sam got me for Christmas.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Holiday cheer extended

"The Christmas cards were hung in the kitchen with care, with hopes that holiday treats soon would be there."

I think it's fun that not all the cards show up before Christmas. We hung up yesterday's batch and will leave all of them up for a few more days at least.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


We don't get a Christmas tree for our house, but every year I try to decorate something. Usually it's a table or a Norfolk pine. This year, there is no central spot.

I have some ornaments on the ficus, the leaves of which mostly hide everything. The presents and the Nativity scene I've had since I was probably seven are on a side table in the dining room. The Christmas cards are hanging in the kitchen from a string of lights.

All in all, we've managed a bit of festivity here and there around the house. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Back in the swing of things

It has been awhile since we really brewed. I've had some sake going for a little bit, but the last time we brewed beer was in March. Now that we're home for the weekends for awhile, we've finally picked it back up.

As of this afternoon, we have fermenting:

Strawberry sake
Peach sake
Blackberry sake
Hard apple cider
Pale ale
Wheat ale
Blueberry soda
Wheat beer on wine yeast
Blueberry wheat beer on wine yeast
Not bad, eh?

Monday, December 15, 2014


Britt and I went up to Ecker's Apple Farm yesterday to get some fresh pressed cider, and ended up helping with the pressing ourselves!

In the process, we got to hang out with the sisters who run the orchard and learn about some of the nitty gritty details of farming apples. I had a great time, and came back with three gallons of cider to ferment and one to drink.

I think hot apple cider is in order tonight.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Frozen river

I've been stuck in the house for the past couple of days with a nasty cold and cough, and I needed to get out today. So armed with lots of tissues and cough drops, I headed over to Great River Bluff State Park in Minnesota for a short hike with Millie.

It was too overcast and hazy to see Wisconsin clearly across the almost four-mile expanse of river channels, but the ice pattern on the near one was quite pretty.

I overestimated my ability to breathe while hiking, so we didn't stay long, but I hope to make it back again for some skiing once we get some decent snow.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


I saw this idea somewhere on the internet at least a year ago, and have since then wanted to make a mirror window in my small office to attempt to scatter the little bit of light I get.

I painted the window frame last spring, but somehow never managed to get all the hanging pieces together until now. I had a few issues, the biggest being that my mirror is old and thicker than newer mirrors, meaning the regular mirror hanging kits don't work and I had to find a good way to hang the heavier mirror on my plaster wall.

Anyway, after a few holes in the plaster and scrapes on the wall, the mirror window is finally hung. The mirror itself is pretty well supported, but I'm a little less confident about the window frame. I'm just hoping not to wake up to a crashing sound some night.