There she blows … Cousins weekend (part 2)

The first blog on cousins weekend was mostly about the lake. This blog is about other activities of our weekend.

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A little shopping entertainment

So what does a group of women do on an women-only weekend. We go shopping. In this case, we went to Spooner, Wisconsin – just a few miles away from the cabin. Spooner has a two  or so block area with several gift and antique stores. Unfortunately for us, we decided to go shopping on Sunday – so some of the stores were not open. (Wouldn’t it be nice if all the merchants got together and were all open during the same times?)

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The store above gets the “My Choice for Best Store” award. It is a book store AND  a yarn store – all in one. There is a nice selection of books and a wide variety of very nice yarns. Even better – if you look closely at the picture above – you will see it is located in a building that was – or is – home to a Masonic Lodge – which typically have interesting architectural details.

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A key feature of this shopping area is this wall mural and small park. There were several areas where shoppers could sit and rest or just people watch.

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The shop called the “Dock” (shown above) was also the entrance to public restrooms — an important feature for women shoppers. We did not visit “The Wobbin Duck Saloon” – nor did we take time for a tattoo. Maybe next time. Maybe not.

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Back at the cabin

At the cabin, we had several visits from a woodchuck – who apparently lives under the shed. We thought about getting a be-be gun to shoot it; and then we thought better.

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We spent a far amount of time playing cards. Since I don’t play cards, I wasn’t the best at it. We played Skipbo and some other high-stakes game (as shown above) where we bet on which cards would appear. I think I won a few – but clearly I could use some practice.

And, there she blows . . . almost a catastrophe

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You’ll have to pardon my rudimentary sketching but this sketch will help you understand our near catastrophe. Later Saturday evening, we had all gathered in living room area of the cabin. I was sitting in the recliner (shown on the right in the sketch); one of my sister-in-laws was sitting in the rocker to the left of the recliner; my niece was in the chair immediately above the recliner that I was sitting in; and my other sister-in-law (and owner of the cabin) was walking between the recliner and the rocker.

I decided that I would hook up my oxygen bottle for the night. (It was empty from use the night before.) However, I have never hooked it up; my husband always does it for me.  So, I put the valve on the tank – as I thought it should be. Then I decided to test it – so I turned the value to open it — just as my sister-in-law walked by (between our two chairs). Well, I didn’t do it correctly and a blast of oxygen shot out, making a loud gushing noise. It either blew my sister-in-law (who was walking) over or it scared her. In any case, she fell forward – into the area between all of the chairs. I was watching her fall and trying to shut off the value – but then, I leaned too far forward – and ended up on the floor — all tangled up in the hose for the tank. I tried to get up by leaning on the chair, which just kept tipping. Finally, I was able to get up – and see that my sister-in-law was okay.

Just one more little problem – the one who fell had knee surgery on both knees, so she can’t lean on them. That makes getting up even harder – and, of course, it’s hard enough for us old folks to get up. After a few minutes of trying to figure out how to help her – we took one of the cushions off the couch and put it on the floor. She was able to scooch over and get onto that cushion; then we took the other cushion and put it on the first one. Again, she was able to scooch onto that cushion. Then it was easy for my niece to pull her to her feet.

After all of that, we just sat in the living room, laughing. I’m sure it was a funny sight – at least for a few minutes. Luckily, I now know how to correctly put the gauge on the oxygen tank. The bonus — the sister-in-law who fell had been suffering with a kink in her back for a few days prior to this incident; the next morning, the kink was gone!!!

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Bang ! … part 1 (of 2) of Cousins weekend

Part 1 of 2 – with each part containing a story about our near catastrophes. 

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At Lake Lipsett

This part weekend was the second annual Cousins Weekend at my sister-in-law’s cabin on Lake Lipsett near Siren, Wis. This year there were 4 older women in attendance. The fact that we are all older is good in many ways: (1) we can sit around in our pajamas or nightgowns and not offend anyone; (2) we don’t have to be concerned about our weight or jiggly arms – we all have pretty much given up on that;  (3) it doesn’t take much wine at all to make us happy (actually it didn’t take much of anything to get us laughing); and (4) we don’t have to worry about holding anyone up because  most of us are pretty slow-moving.

Time for a pontoon ride

There is nothing more peaceful than sitting by a lake with a nice breeze and the sun shining. What’s even better, though, is a long pontoon ride on the lake. The youngest woman (who just retired) became the captain. Of course, none of the rest of us knew how to drive the pontoon; this was her second time at it so she is the professional.

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A Little about the Lake

Lipsett Lake is a 393 acre lake located in Burnett County. It has a maximum depth of 24 feet. Water clarity is low (according to the Wisconsin DNR) with numerous patches of lily pads and weeds. Fishing seems to be pretty good (at least for the bald eagle who kept swooping down by the dock, near the shore of the cabin, and picking up his fish lunch). Those out fishing this weekend, however, didn’t seem to have much luck – but they kept trying.

On the pontoon ride, we toured the perimeter of the lake, looking for eagle’s nests in the tall pine trees that surround much of the lake. We are never disappointed. We also looked for and found loons. Often you can hear them from the shore. We also found many other folks – in boats or in the water – who were enjoying the lake.

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Time to Dock

I’m not sure but I think the ride took about an hour; I was too busy enjoying the ride to  check the time. Finally, though, we were back to the area of our cabin and it was time to bring the boat to shore and park it in the lift. This is where the ride got more interesting. The captain brought the pontoon in slowly, swinging it sideways to counteract the waves but the waves blew the pontoon a little too far sideways. Our lady captain put the motor in reverse and backed up for another try.

This time she steered the boat further to the left to counteract the waves. Things were looking good and we were almost to the lift. But then … have you heard stories about pressing on the gas when it should be the brake?? Well, the captain had one of those moments. All of a sudden, we were heading for the dock. The captain was screaming:” Oh, my God!!” My sister-in-law – sitting in the front of the pontoon – had her feet firmly braced for a crash landing. My other sister-in-law (who owns the boat) was laughing – and we hadn’t had any wine yet. And I was expecting us to hit one of the posts on the canopy – so I am yelling: “the post!” And then we hit — a loud BANG! After a quick survey of the scene, however, we determined there was no damage at all. All relieved, we managed to pull the pontoon into place under the lift. And then we laughed … and laughed … and laughed. Then we got the wine and sat right there, on the pontoon, with a cool breeze, and drank wine and laughed some more.

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Coming next – Part 2 of Cousins Weekend – There She Blows! 

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.

Just off the freeway … cheese and breeze


On our way home from the Herrshner’s Warehouse Sale (in Stevens Point, Wis.), we stopped in Thorp, Wisconsin – in search of cheese curds. The cheese store is at the Penterman Farm, whose cows provide the milk for the Marieke Gouda cheese that is served and sold on the site.


030e.jpgThe site is much more than a farm and a cheese store. You can book or take a self-guided tour of the farm. On their web page, it states that the cheese is made within five hours of milking. Check it out HERE

There are children’s activities  … such as the self propelled go-karts and vehicles or you can jump and jump and jump …


051e.jpgYou can have lunch or dinner, either inside or outside …


Outside was absolutely beautiful … with a nice breeze, under a bright orange umbrella …


And the food was wonderful and priced very affordably. And, of course, included cheese curds …


And you can shop for gifts and cheese products.


The back area where they keep the freshly made cheese

Or you can people watch … I would guess there is an Amish community nearby.


How can you pass up dill pickle flavored chap stick?


If you happen to be in the area, I highly recommend a visit.

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