Christmas Lights in the Northwoods

So one night while in the Northwoods, we drove to Rondele Ranch (pronounced Rondalay) because we heard they had a Christmas light display. Most of the seasonal event was over (the part with rides and cookies and such). But the lights were still up and the weather was crisp and cool …

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The church – the dark spot in the front kind of baffled me. Why would they leave it dark?
Lighted balls which looked cool in the snow.
And reflecting in the water.
The gazebo.
Ghost of Christmas past or maybe just Jacob in a blanket.
The ghost is trapped by his sister.
Snow, lights, water



RHS Graduation

So two Sundays ago I went to Belinda’s graduation in the hallowed halls of Rhinelander High School – home of the Hodags.

The last time I was at a high school graduation was … when Belinda’s dad graduated.

The approach of this graduation was total confusion: Would it be outside in the soccer field where everyone could attend? Would it be inside in the gymnasium?

Chaos rained. Literally rained.

First outside. Then emails to all the graduates that it was inside. Then outside. Then inside.

But once the place was decided – all was well.

And the graduation itself was orderly, with teachers sad that the kids were leaving, and kids sad that they were leaving and everyone being respectful to everyone. The speeches weren’t overly memorable, but they were well prepared and what you would expect at a high school graduation.

Two hundred kids were in the class, but only 180 or so gradated that day – maybe because they didn’t pay all their fees (a threat given the day before) or because they didn’t show up. I don’t know.

Rather than filing in in a long line – kids came in two at a time which I thought was nice and gave parents opportunity for pictures, except Belinda came in to the immediate left of us and we didn’t see her until she was almost to her seat.. So good idea for all concerned except for the band who had to play Pomp and Circumstance for seven minutes straight – just ask Elizabeth.

So here it is

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Lunch at Culvers with the whole gang. Jeff, Cindy, kids, Cindy’s parents and me.
Ready to go.


Elizabeth in her black pants and white shirt is waiting for the cue to start pomping and circumstancing. Looking for the signal to play her cymbal.
Listening to the speeches.
Ready to walk up front.
Almost there!


And now she is off to the future!

An Eerie Evening Walk

IMG_9628To prepare for a quick trip to Stevens Point with Carter, I searched on the internet for things to do/see that would interest me and a 14-year-old boy.

That’s how I found the Stevens Point Sculpture Garden. By the time we got to S.P. , met the rest of the family for dinner, and then checked out the performing arts center on the UW campus (where Elizabeth was to perform Saturday morning), the sky was beginning to darken.

I put the address in the GPS and we headed out. But Siri just left us with “find a place to park and walk to your destination.”  However, there was no place to park and no clue as to where the destination was.

So after riding around some more and after the sky getting even darker, we went back to the hotel, picked up Jeff And Elizabeth, and headed out again. This time I put Zenoff Park in the GPS because I guess that the Sculpture Park is inside of Zenoff Park – but if you don’t know that – the directions get very confusing.

All this to say that by the time we found it, the evening light was fading. The trees were  leafless and the ground brown and muddy. Parts were flooded from the recent rain. This was the night’s aesthetic as we wandered the trail and looked at strange formations in the dusk. The pictures do not even do justice to the eeriness of our walk.

I am sure if we did the same walk on a sunny summer morning, the perspective would be a lot different.

If you’re in Stevens Point, I would recommend it for a place to get some exercise – however, although we did not get bitten by an army of bugs  (maybe a little early in the season) – reviewers say the place has a multitude of ticks and mosquitos – which I believe because of the boggy areas. So beware.




Evening on the Lake

I have always loved water – whether it’s being mesmerized watching a barge sail down the Mississippi, listening to the sound of river water bubbling over the rocks or … canoeing on the lake.

I mentioned that I wanted to take a picture of the sunset so Jeff said he’d go out on the canoe with me. I could take pictures. He could fish. (Last year I got my fishing license, but didn’t take the time to do it this year.)

No sooner had we gotten in the canoe, then the clouds rolled in. But we stayed … and sometimes clouds make for a more interesting sunset than no clouds.

Here are just a few of the pictures I took on the lake.



Don’t Go Out of Your Way …

Let’s just say the distance between Marshfield (where the kid had her surgery) and their home was 101.5 miles which is a lot of miles. So last week I drove 800 miles going back and forth to the hospital and every time we would go down one particular stretch of road we would see signs that said “Geological Marker.” Hmmm …

The site was 4 miles off the main highway and gave no clue as to what the Geological Marker actually was. Our curiosity got the best of us and so the kids and I looked it up on my phone and discovered that it was the exact mid-point of the hemisphere … and unless you plan to go to China or wander around the oceans, this is the place where you can say you stood on the exact midpoint of a hemisphere.

Well … our focus was E. so we didn’t think we’d ever have such a fantastic opportunity, but then the last night (after they had said E. could come home) the other two kids and I took off so we could get her room ready. (Her release was kind of a surprise.) So, having some extra time, we drove a windy four-mile route to the Geological Marker.

This is the interesting part. Even though the wooden sign explained what was going on, newer signs on each side of the wooden sign said that this wasn’t exactly the midpoint, but rather a “representation
of the midpoint.”

Seriously? Isn’t any spot on the earth a representation of another spot on the earth? So we weren’t exactly sure what we saw, but we had fun … I think mostly because we were excited that E. was doing better and not because we had viewed something noteworthy.

So … don’t go out of your way …


I’ve done a lot of posts about Racine before so won’t write much – just share some pictures of the day in early March I took the Florida ladies north.

The spaceship-like building is the Golden Rondelle Theater which was originally the SC Johnson exhibit at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City (which my mom, brother and I actually were at). After the Fair, they brought it back to their headquarters in Racine and rebuilt it. They have specialty movies showing and we often took people there who visited from out of town.

And we ate at a restaurant I had never been to before.

Notice the ice-fisherman in the one picture – truly an isolated spot out in nature.

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