Saturday, December 24, 2016

A-Musing Christmas

During the month of December most theater programs have repeat performances of the Nutcracker and other typical holiday scores.

In search of something different we attended the Great American Trailer Park Christmas at The Muse Theater in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

It was right up our alley, set in a trailer park in Florida, duded up in tacky holiday decor. The message of Christmas cheer conveyed in cutoff hot pants and trashy humor was enhanced as we sat in the pews of an old church turned theater venue.

The intimate theater has lots of charm saved by Vicki and Don Elwood. The Muse Theater is only a block away from a great dining opportunity Pogrebas.

Happy Holidays to you and yours. Hope your New Year stays A-Musing!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Pearl Street Brewery

 Tailgaiting for Life at the Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse Wisconsin.

Housed in the old Rubber Mills Factory the local brewery was the ideal spot for the most unforgettable tailgating party as a fund raiser for the American Cancer Society.

The big game of Packers against the Bears and lots of delicious food provided by many generous local businesses and those willing to join in the Tail Gate Cook-off.

Everyone was a winner by the end of the afternoon with raffles and games.

Be sure to check out for all their fun events and a brew tour too.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Morning Moon Over Trempealeau

 These super moons lately have been quite a sight to see.

Having arrived early at Perrot State Park I had the chance to see the moon setting over Trempealeau Mountain going into Trempealeau Bay.

At the same time I happen to turn around and catch a nice sunrise too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fallen for the Midwest

A long weekend off and lots to do. 

We headed off to the Trempealeau Wildlife Refuge for the first program in their new building, Outdoor Wonders Learning Center. The Friends group sponsored Ellen Kolbo McDonah, an artist, teacher and kayaker, who became the first women to paddle the entire Mississippi River. In 2014 she accomplished her solo journey of 2300 miles in just over 100 days.

She recounted her "Adventururism Art Movement" with photos, artwork and stories of the people (River Angels) she met along the way . If you missed it you can attend another presentation at Myrick Parks' monthly Nature Series sponsored by WisCorps and Friends of the Marsh, on Wed., Nov. 2nd at 7pm. Or you can buy her book "One Women's River".  More information at

Next it's off to Minnesota's Eagle Bluff Skills School. As a real Wisconsin women I felt I needed to learn the art of Creating Cheese. Instruction included Farmer's cheese, soft cheese and a Monterey Jack. Our award winning cheese maker Dave Sefton showed us how easy it is to do it at home on the stove top and inspired us to be creative. Just a few ingredients to get going and I know what I'm doing this winter.

The Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro, Minnesota, will connect you to the natural world through everything from High Ropes challenges for team building to making amish noodles. To learn more

Farmers Market Flowers

Since I had Sunday off, it was time to visit the local farmers market. Lots of produce still left and with colder temperatures on the way, local growers were harvesting the last of the crops in the fields.

Trempealeau Roadside Stand

View North Overlook
We also took advantage of our Minnesota State Park sticker with a drive to Great River Bluffs State Park to enjoy the view of the Mississippi River. The park offers several overlooks on short trails and a small campground, but no electrical service for HaRVey.

Taking photos fro orbs!
The long weekend  wrapped up with Moon Family Psychic Experience at the UW-La Crosse Campus. Maybe just a coincidence that we were experiencing a super moon too.

After a presentation on techniques and spirit etiquette we searched for any ghosts on campus to talk to on the spirit phone. They even had chakra and tarot card readings.

If you need to reach out here's the link

The only ghosts we saw!

I don't need a fortune teller to let me know what fun is instore for next year. We already have plans for two Minnesota State Parks, Whitewater and Forestville Mystery Cave. Plus we may take the next big step in RVing and go south for a winter break.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mineral Point, WI

Cabinet Shop
We enrolled in Intro. to Torch Welding at Shake Rag Alley School of Arts and Crafts.

Blacksmith Barn

It was a blast to cut through steel with the acetylene torches. Our creative side was sparked learning how to weld metal.

As with all skills the more you learn the more you yearn to use them.

Bent Willow Chair

Shake Rag Alley is a community of local artists that offer a variety of classes, along with accommodations and stage performances.

Recycled Art Objects

The setting utilizes historic buildings from a miner's cottages to blacksmith barn renovated for workshops.

Other programs include making rustic furniture to jewelry and objects d'art.


We were challenged towards the end of class to put our new skills to use. We joined forces and created a stand for our new camping toy, a laser light.

We've taken the art of decorating our camp site to new levels, using laser holiday lights to create a starry effect among the trees. It really can't be appreciated in photos.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Last Camp of the Season

Stephans Falls and Lost Canyon Trail
Our finally days for the camping season included a trip to southwestern Wisconsin for Governor Dodge State Park. Located in the driftless region of the state, the 5000 acres offered two beautiful lakes for paddling and fishing plus 40 miles of trails for hikers, bikers and horse back riders.

Enee Point-sandstone outcropping

Even though it's already October the park was busy. The campground caters to family groups with many shared sites. The grounds were noisy with kids making it difficult to enjoy our natural surroundings. It became more restful on Sunday night when the retirees started arriving.

Cox Hollow Beach

Spring House

Fishing Friends

Bobs' Bitchin BBQ

We did a little hiking and feed the fish (aka fishing).

We ventured into Dodgeville to shared a sampler platter at Bobs Bitch' BBQ restaurant. They really got creative on the sauces with rootbeer, raspberry and chipotle creations.

Besides camping we chose this area to attend a class in Mineral Point. You'll never guess what for!

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Fun doesn't Stop

Zoo Entrance
In addition to fairs and festivals we entertained ourselves at the Shalom Wildlife Zoo in West Bend, Wisconsin.


This privately owned sanctuary, on over 100  lovely acres, care for hundreds of animals.

Since we were due for more showers we opted for the golf cart to make our way around. If the animals didn't care about the rain who were we to complain.

Herd of White White Tail Deer

Fireside Theater-Fort Atkinson
The fun didn't stop there, I was treated to an evening at the Fireside Theater in Fort Atkinson, WI. Having been a native of Wisconsin this iconic theater venue has been around for almost 40 years. Instead of theater in the round it has theater in the square. Scenes disappear in the center by a platform that's lowered down below the stage dramatically reappearing.

Finally it was my turn to attend. We had a lovely meal followed by a performance of Million Dollar Quartet.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fairest of them All

Holy Hill Arts Festival
A beautiful fall day on the east side of Wisconsin, with family I attended three art fairs and festivals. A lot of walking and inspiration.

Holy Hill Arts and Crafts Fair was blessed with a one day event with over 250 artisans set up below the hill. A small fee of $5 was worth it since they provided bus shuttles from the well organized parking lots. You could find just about anything from Halloween decorations to recycled clothing designs.

My pick for best of show

Pumpkin Carving

Next stop the quaint town of Cedarburg was celebrating with a Wine and Harvest Fest. We enjoyed pumpkin carving followed by a regatta of daring men paddling the pumpkins in the river.

They also offered hundreds of artists and food booths and of course plenty of wine offerings.

Grape Stomping

Pumpkin Regatta

Part of the Ambience

My favorite of them all was the Holy Hill Art Farm's Market Event. A blend of Art, Music and lots of Ambience. This family homestead turned rustic county entertainment venue just made you want to stay all day long.

Corn Crib turned Farm Gazebo

Farm Homestead and concessionaires

Country Watering Hole
They offer their market event in spring and fall, next one is October 15 and 16. Located in the Kettle Moraine country side of Hubertus, Wisconsin. Put this one on your list of must do.

Our Arizona Family would appreciated this sculpture

No Bull my Fav

Friday, September 16, 2016

For Goodness Snakes

The city of La Crosse Park and Rec. Dept. hosted a very interesting program on the Timber Rattle Snake at the Myrick Center. I attended along with 100 plus other people and very glad I did.

Snakes have long gotten a bad rapt, remember the story of Adam and Eve. Armund Bartz,  a WI DNR Endangered Resources Ecologist for the Driftless Area convinced us how we can live with Timber Rattle Snakes. A species of concern since their populations were dramatically reduced up until the 1970's. Bounty's resulted in thousands killed annually, shot, den's dynamited and hunted for the fun of it. Todays numbers are seriously low. The blufflands of the driftless region are the type of habitat they need to survive.

The Timber Rattle Snake is slow to recover since females do not reproduce until seven to even nine years of age. Then they only give birth (yes live birth instead of eggs) once every three years on average in the month of September. That's not a very rapid rate of reproduction. The female after becoming pregnant doesn't eat again until she gives birth, almost a year later. Then she needs several years to regain enough body mass to reproduce again.

Unlike other Rattle Snakes our area species isn't aggressive in nature and most snake bites are from provocation. Typically adult male between the ages of 18-35, with some alcohol involved if you get the picture.

The snakes are ambush predators that lie in wait for small mammals, often a rodent species to cross their path. Speaking of paths, when hiking around Perrot State Park staying on the path is always recommended. Going off treppsing in the woods, you need to be on the look out when steeping over logs since the Timber Rattler likes to wait for furry critters to scuttle across them.

Named for being a woodland creature they do seek the open sunny rocky locations the bluffs provide. The female even requires these warm rocky ledges for her gestation period. The limestone formations also provide cave like dens, created naturally, suitable for their hibernation.

We learned when encountering a Timber Rattler staying a minimum of five feet away is recommended. They can strike out at least half their bodies length. As a protected species in the park just give them some space and they will retreat. It was interesting and important to know that a dead snake can still bite you up to 24 hours after it's death.

More often a Rattle Snake will inflict a dry bite on a human. Meaning no venom has been injected. At least most adult snakes are wise enough not to waist it on something it can't eat. Age does make one wiser even in the animal kingdom. Keep in mind your pet dog is required to be on a leash in parks for this very good reason. Many a dog can get bit on the face, nosing around in the woods.

You'll know you've got a serious bite if it begins to burn, the local hospitals, Mayo and Gundersen both stock antivenin just in case. The last person in Wisconsin to die from a bite was in the early 1900's. I even met the victums sister who recalls the day on her family farm. The siblings were playin around the hay bales when her sister got bit. Even if you get treatment right away there can be life long damage.

I still have never seen one myself in the wild and would hope to some day, at a distance of course. Here are some of the identifiers. Heavy bodied, banded stripes, heart shaped or triangular head, slit pupils, rattle on tail and tail is black towards at the end. Baby snakes have a tan button on the end of their tails. When moving they also tend to keep the rattle angled upwards.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Finders Keepers

We have it ingrained in us to pick up and behold objects. We examine them for their beauty, try and discover their secrets and the connection to the universe. Maybe it's an unusual rock that catches your eye, a leaf turning its autumn color or picking up something that's out of place. Perhaps an object made by man that has been lost or discarded.

It is taught at an early age if you find something you should try and return it to it's rightful owner. You look around to see if others are near by or you carry it to the nearest location to surrender it to a lost and found box to sit and wait.

At Perrot State Park numerous items are turned in by visitors or staff. From socks and hats to lens caps and sunglasses. Often even more valuable items like cell phones and cameras. The staff does their due diligence to reconnect these personal items with their owners. Trying to look for clues in photos or phone numbers.

Recently a most unusual item was found by park staff in one of the shower buildings in the campground. It appeared to be left behind on purpose because it had a note to go with it. The creator wished for the person that found it to keep it. The note relieving them of any guilt for wanting to pocess the little artistic treasure.

The discovery was in fact part of an artistic movement called Art Abandonment. A way for artists to share their creative passion with a random person. Leaving the note absolving the finder of any quilt from the moral dilemma of keeping it.

The moral of the story is

No Lossers Weepers the Finders the Keeper

Friday, August 26, 2016

Camp Donuts

This weekend is the Camp Cook Off at Perrot State Park brought to you by the Girl Scouts.

Although I'm not going to enter this year I thought I'd share one of my latest camp cuisines discoveries
I course I found this on pinterest and had to try it out.

Camp Donuts

Thick Onion Rings
Pineapple Rings
Mozzerella Cheese Stick
Steak Seasoning
Marinara Sauce

 First dry pineapple rings.

Add caption

Insert pineapple ring into onion ring.

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Layer mozzarella sticks on top of pineapple ring. Go for both sides for lots of cheese, if you're from Wisconsin.

Wrap with bacon. This will hold everything together.

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Almost finished.

Sprinkle with Steak seasoning.

Grill, turning frequently so as not to burn.

Make sure the bacon is nice and crispy.

Serve with Marinara Sauce.