Sunday, September 30, 2007

What are Your Colors?

My colors are pink and purple, but my hubby informs me that there has never been a football team with such colors! Sniff!

But seriously, I root for the red and blue, the blue and orange, and the green and gold in that order, mainly because they are from places I've lived.

Years ago in NJ, we'd sometimes see ununiformed Giants roaming through our streets or at the Short Hills Mall, possibly before or after a practice session on the fields of Fairleigh Dickinson University the next town over. There was a certain amount of familiarity with that particular team back then. It was and still is something synonymous to home.

Without knowing much about the team, I also like purple and gold, merely based on their colors. But, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So when we get together annually for our friend's combined Packer/Double Birthday Party in Chippewa Falls, I resist the temptation to wear another team's colors.

Our collective children, for the most part, are oblivious to the adult addict's passions. Instead, the girls this year disappeared to watch a Hannah Montana marathon while the boys took turns playing computer games on Game Cube before the siblings opened their gifts. A win-win situation for all. And even without my embroidery with me this year, as someone noted, I still had fun--too many people to talk to between plays!

This Sunday, the scores were: Packers 23, Vikings 16; Bears 27, Lions 37; Eagles 3, Giants 16. Well, two out of three ain't bad! --LKR

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ick, a Tick!

My poor little poochie! Okay, so a German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd mix is not so little. But the poor little guy (age wise) had a small red rash on his belly since our walk in the woods. I had checked it out, thinking it was a bug bite, but didn't see the tiny tick 'til today... .

Another little one had crawled up on my leg when I was sitting on the floor the other day. He was promptly sent down the drain to check out our plumbing and septic tank, and I don't expect to see him any time soon. I've hardly seen any ticks, this summer, so haven't worried about them as much.

This is a deer tick, the ones that carry Lymes Disease. Symptoms the Vet said I need to watch out for are:

* Stiffness/Lameness
* Swelling of Joints or Limbs
* Fever
* Lethargy/Reluctance to Move
* Loss of Appetite
* Vomiting
* Depression


Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Three Hour Walk...

Okay, so you know, the title is meant to be sung to the theme of "Gilligan's Island"!

Poochie and I walked, photographed, and sniffed our way through some trails in Lowes Creek County Park I haven't been on in a long while. (I'll let you figure out who did what!) It was a beautiful day, and we both were really enjoying ourselves. It was in the low 70's, and absolutely perfect weather to be out in the woods and prairie. 

Poochie and I alternated on the sunny Fitness Trail and Bike Trails dappled in shade.  Another poochie was taking his owner for a walk through the park, and we all exchanged friendly chit chat before heading on.  It was a very relaxing walk!
We rushed back home when I realized the kids were already home from school. You could hear the school buses rumble down the road from the particular trails we were on. Sure, they're old enough to be left alone, and sometimes they really like it that way. "Humm--Mom's not home, so we can play on the computer, watch tv, and eat those special treats she was saving and say we didn't know we weren't supposed to!" (I hear this from them even when I am home!) Oy!

Since we started off with a song, we shall end with one! "Kids! ...What's the matter with kids today?" ("Kids" from the musical
"Bye Bye Birdie")

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Creative Cooking

Microwave cooking just ~doesn't~ cut it for some things when you're away from home and trying to keep costs down. Nuking bread will not produce toast, and just forget about trying to grill cheese! My hubby had suggested bringing our trusty gluten-free toaster with us on our lastest family vacation so we could indulge in some frugal meals, but I declined. I like to pack light, and besides, could you imagine the hotel maid's reaction??? Well, maybe that's how coffee makers ended up being standard fare in hotel and motel rooms... .

Having just recently succumbed to pricey restaurant meals (hey, for a family of five, it really adds up!), I was thrilled to discover a new way of cooking at least one meal for my kids while away. It's on an adorable site that's posted below. (I'm wondering if "Hi Monkey" will come out with his own cookbook any time soon!)

This recipe is for cooking Grilled Cheese with an ordinary iron. I'd add sliced pickles on mine, though. Nummy! Ooooops! Well, now I'm drooling at the thought..., so I'd better post this quickly and go ahead and make some for myself! Don't forget to pack some foil in your suitcase if you plan on attempting this away from home!

Bon appetite!!! --LKR

Friday, September 21, 2007

I Want to Go to the Kalahari...

Going to the Kalahari was a dream come true for the kids. We had first passed it driving through the Dells on our way to Eau Claire when house hunting, three years ago. Every time after that they'd ask when we could go. It got old!

Before this, water parks didn't--pun intended--float my boat. I guess because they seemed too crowded, noisy, and busy for my sanity's sake. But the nation's largest indoor water park was somehow intriguing... .

This was the second time Don was here for a convention. Two years ago, I didn't want to take the kids out of school. This year was earlier in the school year. Don also would have been the sole soul in his hotel room. And, interestingly, teachers actually came up to me (they heard it from the kids!) and gave us their blessings. Soooooo, with that, we were on our way!

I'm borrowing--and modifying--from the Kalahari's theme song:

We're gonna go to the Kalahari...

We're finally here at the Kalahari...

We're moving in to the Kalahari...

We're hanging out at the Kalahari...

We're decorating cookies at the Kalahari...

We're gonna play at the Kalahari...

I'm gonna surf at the Kalahari...

We're having fun at the Kalahari...

We had a great time at the Kalahari!!! --LKR

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Sign from Above!

I just love this saying--it's so true and could rightfully be a family motto for the Kovacs clan. It's harder to do over the phone, but when my mom, sister and I are together, we still go into hysterics over silly--or goofy!--things we unintentionally say or do. My dad didn't always get it (English was his third language), so sometimes we'd drive him nuts!

Many years ago, I found this sign at Pioneer Garden on Villa Ave in Villa Park, IL. For those of you fortunate enough to live in the area, they have some really unique items there that make for excellent gifts! I think a lot of garden centers do, and not just because they sell plants!!! (--That said for those who know me!)

Just recently, I turned this ceramic plaque over and saw it was made by Trinity Pottery in Rice Lake, WI, which is about an hour from us! I'm sure I had seen that before we moved to Wisconsin, but it wouldn't have meant as much to me at that time.

They also have a slew of sayings on cute refrigerator magnets, if anyone's interest is piqued! --LKR

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Midst the Mist

These wild turkeys looked so cool as we were driving by that I had to get a shot of them. Thought it was worth sharing! --LKR

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cute Fuzzy Bug

Isn't this little guy so cute?! It's a bee fly--I think a large bee fly. It would make a cool, fluffy stuffed animal for kids! Years ago, we bought our oldest daughter a big, fluffy bumblebee we got from IKEA to try to rid her of her fear of bees. (Didn' .)

By the way, that long, sharp looking "thing" on the front of his face is how he drinks up nectar from flowers. It's not a stinger!

Monday, September 10, 2007


We've been harvesting juicy red raspberries for well over a month, now. There must be more than one variety growing in our garden, but I don't remember picking them as early as we began this year.

When we first moved up to Eau Claire, WI, I lamented leaving our very prolific and flavorful berries behind in Villa Park, IL. However, I was thrilled to at least be able to pick berries in our new yard for after school treats! And after three years, we're reaping a whole lot more! --LKR

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sunday's Song

Rejoice in the Lord

God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.

Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.

O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

--Ron Hamilton

Shedded Snake Skin

Jake our fox snake shed his skin, today!!! This is always so exciting because it lets us know he's growing and doing well! I'll liken it to all those well-baby visits us moms--and dads--have gone on with a new baby where we've seen our children's growth on charts.

Snakes are still relatively new to our family--at least as pets. And, Jake is still a new baby to me. Kind of like a first-born, too, since he's of a different species!

It's not quite the same, but reminds me how fascinating it was--and still really is--to watch our caterpillars molt (shed their skin) or pupate (shed their skin for the last time revealing their chrysalis). This said after rearing literally thousands of butterflies for well over a decade. It just never gets old, and it'll probably be the same with Jake! --LKR

Jake will be shedding his skin, soon. Notice the dull coloration of his body and cloudy eyes.

These wide scales are from his belly.
Can you see the face--the jaw and eyes? It's very important to make sure that the eye scales are accounted for. If they are still on the eye(s), care must be taken in removing them so the snake can see and no other problems occur.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Few of Our Hummers...

Here are a few images of our ruby-throated hummingbirds. The male is the one with the red neck on the top left. The female is in the picture directly below. The drabber coloring enables her to blend in with the nest while she's incubating her eggs.

In the bottom photo, a monarch made a cameo appearance. I didn't even see it 'til I viewed the image on the computer!!! The female hummer is to the right of the pink phlox, and the butterfly is directly below.

Hummers and butterflies like pretty much the same flowers, so if your trying to attract one to your garden, you'll also be luring the other by cultivating the same plants. A two-for-one, sweet deal that's well worth the effort! --LKR

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Visitor Midst the Thorns

We've been out picking juicy red raspberries for over a month, now, and have fought off bees of all sorts, stinkbugs, grasshoppers, and recently after a lot of rain (after a rather dry summer), pesky mosquitoes. ~Groan!~ But I never expected to find this little green frog hiding among the thorns and leaves! Isn't he sweet?

Last year we had one like him residing on a yellow sprinkler under our water faucet at the side of our house. He was partially hidden by the leaves of hostas. Otherwise, he was very easy to spot! --LKR