Stores and Restaurants

Jeff quickly figured out that my “love language” is food, and lots of it.  Nothing says romance to me more than a meal at Burger King.  And that’s why I’m not too bothered about living in Rhinelander.  I can make the rounds at all the basic fast food joints, like McDee’s, Burger King, and Hardees.  Once in a while we’ll splurge and go for the all-you-can-eat buffet at Pizza Hut.  Yes, life in a small town ain’t all that bad. 

I do have to admit, though, that I miss the abundance of choices found in bigger cities.  Somehow all my family members have picked up on which restaurant I want to frequent when visiting.  My parents automatically take me to my favorite Gyro place in Racine.  And Linda and Kelli know about my deep love for Chicago-style pizza.  I know they love me because they get me good food!

Likewise, the shopping around Rhinelander meets my needs.  I’m a clearance shopper, and I’m ok with that.  You can choose between Wal-Mart, Shopko, JcPenny’s, and now Kohls.  So we’re certainly not out in the boonies, but we have limited choices. 

Why I like the situation in Rhinelander:

1) You save money because there’s nothing to spend your money on.

2) There really are not too many people in the stores or restaurants. 

The second benefit is huge to me.  I am increasingly discovering that I do not like crowds of people, meaning more than 5 individuals in one place.  When I travel to larger cities, I feel claustrophobic.  Honestly, I really don’t like it.  I can’t believe how many people jam into one restaurant. Or how many people are driving on the roads.  4 cars in a row is a traffic jam here. (Unless it’s summer, and everyone from Illinois is in Rhinelander.)

So, sure, we don’t have a lot of choices.  But I can’t imagine myself living in a bigger city.  I’ll just visit one a couple of times a year for fantastic pizza. . . and family.


Ticks are an unavoidable part of life in Rhinelander.  We know quite a few people who have lymes disease, though the doctors have learned that a full month of antibiotics does the trick for most people.  One lady we know, however, had to have heart surgery, and she still suffers from dehabilitating headaches. 

I tend to freak out about them in the spring, but by the start of summer, it’s just one of those things you don’t like, but you deal with.  And the way I deal with a tick crawling on me is to call one of my kids to get it off.  Usually they come quickly because they think I am being attacked by an intruder.

Anyway, the worst tick episode happened when our family was out geocaching.  It was the last one of the day, and we were tired and hungry.  This happened to be a particularily hard geocache to reach because it was in the middle of a dense area of forest, with no trail leading to it. Plus, the mosquitoes were really swarming around us, so I was not a happy mamma.

But I was relieved to see a grassy meadow, which we could walk through to get to our car instead of going back through the woods, so I headed that way without consulting my husband.  We waded single file through the long grass, happy to be away from the mosquitoes. Unfortunately, I happened to look down, and that is when I saw DOZENS of ticks on my legs.  The moment is fuzzy, but I believe I might have screamed.

My girls took off running, Jacob freaked out, and Jeff, well he was pretty calm.  Apparently, because he was the last person in line, we picked up all the ticks for him. 

For the next week, we were finding ticks crawling in our car. 

Now, when we are geocaching in grassy areas, I just sit happily in the car and have the kids go find it.

From Rhinelander, WI

Hi, my name is Cindy Weddle, and I’m Linda’s daughter-in-law.  I’ll be blogging a bit about my hometown, Rhinelander, WI, where I have lived with my husband, Jeff, and three children for ten years. 

The biggest thing Rhinelander has going for it is the natural surroundings.  We are surrounded by forests (my favorite smell is of pine needles in the sun), and deer (who will NOT get my perennials this year due to a horribly smelly batch of deer repellent), and lakes. 

If you’ll notice the goofy picture of me (yes, I am wearing my husband’s plaid jacket), we like to take advantage of the fishing.  In the summer we hike the trails across the lake.  Though this is “technically” trespassing, we bring children so as to blame it on them. 

My biggest fear about the Northwoods is being slowly eaten by a bear or cougar. Jeff insists this will not happen to me, but I’ve already planned my dying words to be, “I told you so!”

All in all, it is a very pretty place to live and raise our children.  I’ll deal with a few nonsensical fears in order to live in a place like this. . . although did you hear about that lady who, while taking out her garbage, got attacked by a bear?  I’m just saying.


Doing two blogs can catch up to me sometimes – especially when I read this week that you need to spend from one to three hours a day if you want a good blog. Well, that’s not going to happen any time soon. I have to do other things like spray the hornet nest that said hornets decided to build in the apple tree (my activity tonight).

But I do have some fun ideas for the future.

It’s taking some time to initiate them though, so meanwhile, I decided to invite someone else to guest blog for me.

Now, some families are musical and some families are mathematicians … but I come from a word family. So, it would only make sense when looking for someone to share words that I would go to a family member. Especially since you can trust family members – at least most of the time.

Only problem is, many members of my family are already bloggers and have been so for many years. (I think Jeff has the record at about five and a half years of straight blogging.)

But I found one – I found a family member who is NOT doing a blog and who was willing to be a guest blogger on my blog for awhile.

So stay tuned (or whatever the online equivalent of staying tuned is.)


Besides his home in Hyde Park, Roosevelt had a place where he liked to go for relaxation – The Little White House in Warm Springs Georgia.

In 1921, FDR became ill with polio. One of the remedies for the pain he experienced was dipping in the pools in Warm Springs  – an area where many people (especially those with yellow fever) came for the healing waters. He particularly enjoyed a resort whose natural spring was a consistent 88 degrees. However, the resort itself was a mess.

FDR solved that by buying the resort and the surrounding 1700 acre farm.

A few years later, Roosevelt became president and built a small (six room) house on the property and called it The Little White House. Not only could he go there to relax, but also to take a warm dip into the spring.  Later he added servants’ quarters and a guesthouse.

Roosevelt made the trip to The Little White House 16 times while president – each time staying two or three weeks.

The house is inviting – jutting out into the woods with a deck that makes you feel as if you’re in a treehouse.

Roosevelt died while vacationing at his Georgia home.

FDR was having his portrait painted at the time of his death - it is hanging on the wall unfinished.


Here’s what I wrote the day we were there.

We headed south to Georgia, went about halfway down the state and then veered off to Warm Springs to see where Franklin Roosevelt went for the healing waters of the natural springs to ease the pain from his polio. The sun was actually out (lots of rain) as we walked through the small museum and saw the place where the pools were located.

Afterwards we were asking the lady behind the desk about directions to the house As she was talking, she pulled out a picture of a little girl. She explained to us that there was a rather well-known picture of Franklin Roosevelt sitting with several children who had polio. The picture was taken at a Thanksgiving dinner and one little girl is receiving a drum stick from the President.  The lady we were talking to was the grown-up little girl, the only person still alive from the FDR picture. We chatted about my interest in Presidents and First Ladies and she said she was doing a Roosevelt Scrapbook for the Roosevelt Library and if I wanted to send her my picture, she would put it in the book. So I will, but who knows?

So we headed for the house.  So much for the sun. By the time we reached the house, it was raining again.

Lots of classes of kids wandering around. We walked through a small museum. (State flags lined the walk up to the museum.)

Then we went to the house itself. The house was cozy, small, but pretty. We both liked it a lot. Lots of model ships(one of Franklin’s loves) were displayed on the mantles . The desk off the back of the house looked over the woods – a sentry stood in the woods when FDR was there.


Dad and I at Mt. Vernon. I look like I'm sleeping or in pain, but actually the sun was just in my eyes.

My writing education came not from the classroom, but from my dad. I remember, as a little girl, sitting in the hallway outside my parents’ office, playing with paper dolls and listening to my dad dictate children’s stories to my mom. (My dad was legally blind and didn’t know how to type – but wrote more than 40 books.) Even back then at age five or six or seven, I told people I wanted to write someday.

I still love to write – and I am continually looking for that clever twist of words or surprising plot that makes my writing stronger.

Here are ten things Dad taught me about writing from the time I was a little girl – that I still take to heart.

1. Make the choice to write for God’s glory – write words that have eternal value.

2. A story is simply getting the protagonist in trouble, then more trouble, then more…………etc.  Then the trick is for him to get out of trouble using his own ingenuity – no weird coincidence or having an unknown uncle dying and leaving all his goods to the poor victim.

3. Learn your craft. Never stop learning about writing.

4. Don’t use adjectives.

5. If the girl in your story is pretty or the guy handsome, don’t give a detailed description because beauty is different for different people. Let your reader imagine his own beautiful girl or her own handsome guy.

6. Show, don’t tell.

7. Never tell someone about your story until you’re done writing it, because once you share it, you’ll lose it. (He never would read anything I wrote until I was completely done with it.)

8. Write about what you know about. (We see this when we’re judging Summit writing entries – the stories that do best are usually the ones about everyday teen life. In fact, the winning entries the past two years have been stories that could have happened to the writers who wrote them. Those who attempt to write from the viewpoint of a mom or someone who’s experiencing something they haven’t experienced, usually have problems.)

9. Don’t describe a truth from God’s Word as incredible. God’s Word is NOT unbelievable.

10. Write … rewrite … rewrite … rewrite


I have a calendar (one of those how-smart-are-you-calendars) on my desk with this puzzle.

Can you figure it out?

Bob has unusual things he likes and unusual things he doesn’t like.

He likes a ref, but not an umpire.

He likes the piano, but not the organ.

He lives epoxy, but he doesn’t like glue.

He likes calmness, but not serenity.

What do you think? Does he like a taxi or a cab?


Sometime life moments are simply … fun.

And today had some of those moments.

About two months ago, Sue, a friend from work, asked if I wanted to go to a cooking class with her.  Her son and daughter-in-law had gotten her a gift certificate to a gourmet kitchen shop. Well, actually they gave her a certificate good for two classes so that she could “take that friend from work,” and wouldn’t have to go alone.

Of course, I wanted to go. We had our choice of several classes including some that didn’t seem to fit our current eating habits and others that sounded delicious, but didn’t fit into our current schedule.

We chose today’s class – a basic dinner.

So, early this morning we headed down to Chicago. The shop is tucked in between two taller buildings on North Clark, shaded by a large tree and noticed for the nine-foot wooden spoon hanging out front.

The class had twelve students sitting in a half circle around the chef. First he went over the ingredients of the different dishes and then he divided us into groups. Sue and I were grouped with a super nice young married lady who wants to learn to cook this summer while her husband is doing an internship in California.

Our menu was:

Field greens and prosciutto with goat cheese crostini

Cheddar-crusted chicken breasts

Greek potatoes

Grilled asparagus tossed with garlic and red peppers

Red-velvet cupcakes with cream-cheese frosting

Sue, Lisa and I were assigned the field greens and prosciutto and the goat cheese crostini and had a lot of fun making it together.

Let’s just say – the finished meal was delicious!

Two comments – like I said, we did miss some of the tips the chef gave other groups when he walked around. Also, the recipes we got were not truly step-by-step which was ok when we were there with the chef – but not ok for duplicating at home.

Other than that, it was a great experience.


I took the day off work to take care of some things I need to take care of and it turned into a fun day.

Kelli and the munchkins went out to breakfast with me and then I made a couple other stops looking for a USA today. I wanted a copy because the paper featured an article on Malachi Dads/Awana LifeLine.  Malachi Dads started in Angola Prison, once the bloodiest prison in America. The goal of Malachi Dads is to encourage fathers to take responsibility for parenting their children and change the trend of children following their dads to prison to  a new trend of children growing up, knowing they are loved by their dads. Fathers who prove themselves through Bible studies, etc. can be part of a Returning Hearts Celebration where children are allowed on the prison grounds for a day of fun and games … but most of all, a day they can spend with their fathers. The Malachi Dads program has been so successful, it has spread to many other prisons.

Please take time to watch the video on the USA Today site.

Unfortunately, finding a USA Today isn’t as easy as it once was, so we stopped at the Hampton Inn. Having stayed at countless Hampton Inns in my life, I know they give out USA Todays to their customers. I told them at the front desk that I was a H.I. fan who lived in town, but needed a USA Today and could I buy one from them. They just gave me one, which I thought was nice – not that it was that much or anything, but still …

Anyhow, check out the video/article. The Lord has truly changed the hearts of many of these men who are serving life sentences for murderous crimes.


Then K. and the munchkins and I headed for the outlet mall, did some shopping, etc.

So a good vacation day.


Today was one of those mixed-up-types of days.

1. I sat in a waiting room, listening to a receptionist answer phones for 80 different businesses!  No, all 80 phones didn’t ring at once, but I have no idea how she kept track of them. So, I asked her. She explained to me that she wasn’t the usual person who did it, she was simply filling in for the regular lady — and yes, she often got very confused and ….  The phone rang.

2. I sat on a plush, leather chair in a lawyer’s office doing sitting-in-a-lawyer’s office-types-of-things. Mostly signing legal documents (like power of attorney forms).

3. I mowed part of my front lawn. The part that isn’t still soggy from all the rain.

4. I listened to someone recite the book of Jonah from memory.

4. And I played bocce ball which is something I’ve never done before.

See, our catalog is out and the people who were in charge of the catalog decided to take everyone involved in producing the catalog out to lunch for a we-are-done-celebration. (My part, by the way, was not near as time-consuming as the part played by other people. I simply read descriptions of program department products and made sure the description was accurate in what it was describing.)

We went to Pinstripes, which is a fairly new restaurant and which I’ve been to once before – again with people from work. That day we only ate lunch, but the food was great!

Today, we had about 20 in our group and so they did a buffet lunch for us between the bocce ball courts.

Afterwards, Mike, the server explained how to play and I do understand it, but don’t know that I could explain it well without actually being on the court. The whole thing kind of reminded me of curling, but off the ice.  The winning team at Pinstripes is the first to earn 7 points. Everyone in our group (on our court) enjoyed it and we’re thinking about going back sometime.

On the other side of the lobby, they had bowling and part of our larger group tried that.