candy hearts

I began today by warming up the Jeep and staring at that beautiful old sunrise…

I just now pulled in the driveway in time to watch it set.sunset-barn

In between I drive to Fridley then Minneapolis, then Fridley, then St. Paul, then Minneapolis.

The dirty and stinky air coating every car and my nosehairs and the noisy impatient incompetent drivers, and all that gas my Jeep sucks down really took the wind out of my sails today.

Traveling back from Minneapolis to Wisconsin you have to cross the St Croix River which is so darn gorgeous right now  ( I will stop for a hike and pics on Friday).

Anyway it is so close to Sea Level that if you let it,  it can whisk the stress away like the rushing water right under that snowy ice… feels so good.

But then I remembered I had to stop at the stupid Walmart up the hill to get phone minutes and Walt got busted stealing the number 19 and after his visit to the doctor’s office and the needles that he had to deal with today he really wasn’t going to give it up.  I whispered in his ear that I knew where another one was and he followed me around until we found another one and he jammed it into his pocket without my coaching this time. He is quiet but learns quickly.100_0830


I could not wait to get back to the farm but guess what- the Jeep needs more gas…

Ugh somewhere along the way I bought two little valentine candy heart boxes that I probably intended to share but I ate them all without reading a single one.100_1810

Like, who cares what they say.  They don’t taste as good as they used to either;  and there was something about eating all those cute sweet thoughts that stopped me from picking up a bottle of wine. 🙂

I gotta get up and do it all over again tomorrow…  It’s good to be home. I miss everyone right now.


Free Fishing Weekend!

Well things just get more and more exciting around here…

On Sunday morning my Dad gave me my first tractor lesson.  It went O.K. I guess. img_4075 I didn’t fall off or wreak anything.  But I was pretty terrified.  It’s like riding an elephant maybe or probably more like a giant horse because you do have to steer it and shift gears.

It’s more than fifty years old. (sigh)

The next Job was replacing my own Jeep headlight.  My dad makes me do everything by myself now.  It’s for the best but I miss the good old days when he was Mr. Car Maintenance and Repair.  It had screws with star shaped holes.  I think it’s a conspiracy.  Of course inside the magic tool garage is the right bits for me.  Bickety Bam I am feeling like a farm girl!img_4072


Then, I had the sheer joy and agony and joy of watching the Packers play.  In our living room in front of the big picture window in my Packers hat, I jogged in place and was outside jealous of all the snowmobilers driving by.  We have a trail at the end of the field.  I could see them.  They must be from Minnesota…:)

Pretty great weekend and THEN I found out that next weekend is Free Fishing Weekend in all of Wisconsin!  That’s a pretty big deal for families and out-of-towners because those licenses are not cheap!  So. It will be a big party out on the lakes and luckily for me I was invited by a charming local to share a hole. 😉   I remember watching my dad dig one and that takes a lot of elbow grease…next year everyone’s invited;  I will have built my own Icehouse by then!image

But!  The next one is June 10-11!  Mark your calendars we have plenty of room!❤️



My best date

walts-numbersMy good life in Wisconsin includes,  50% of the time,  my boy Walter…

He is on the Autism Spectrum and has some other health issues too.  If I seem like I’m always trying to be grateful for everything and if I seem to be preachy about not sweating the small stuff it is the result of being his mother.

He can understand everything we say but cannot easily connect verbally.  Like he barely talks and when he does he is usually repeating back what was just said to him.

I can ask him if he wants this or that and he can say yes or no but he will not talk your ear off or whine or beg or bug you for anything…wait. He will relentlessly bug me for his ipad cord by following me around.  He feels very strongly that it needs to be plugged in at all times.

We love to go for a drive.  The landscape here is stunning.  I say hey there’s a cow, a horse, a sheep, a goat and eagle etc… He is more into staring at the lines in the road as they move.

He seems unimpressed.  And then he sees Walmart.  Seriously he says it out loud!  So I say sure and maybe he needs to go to the bathroom and I remember they have pop machines out front and he is a Pepsi freak so in we go…

But he is wandering in and I’m thinking I should grab some protein shakes and chapstick while I’m here and he seems cool with following behind me.  It seems odd.  He usually is not into shopping at all.

Aha!  I turn around and he is holding these blue numbers.  He has always loved the number 31 so of course he has it.  Evidently at the end of every aisle there is a number and a letter.  I’m pretty sure they don’t want people taking them.

So.  I did what any good mother would do…I say put them in your pocket and let’s go!

We grabbed a Pepsi on the way out and I felt like I wanted to feel.  I could see happy on his face and I helped that happen.  It’s kinda rare around here.  It’s a good life. 😉

The Full Wolf Moon

Earlier,  I discussed Evolution instead of Resolution…

One seems kind and gentle;  the other is judgy and rigid.

Yesterday was the first Full Moon of 2017.  Named the Wolf Moon because the wolves are at their hungriest this month…   (they howl more?)

It’s got me thinking about my hungry heart.  I’m like a river that doesn’t know where it’s flowing…

No more wrong turns!  My life is many years along and there is so much more I want to do and see and learn:  I want to plant 100 trees,  I want to visit every National Park,  I want to save some dogs (as many as I can),  and I want my Grandpa’s land to take care of my family and me for years and years.

Speaking of Family,  I want so badly to Master the Art of a Meaningful and Lasting Relationship.

And. This year, (but not now),  I will tell my Grandmother’s story… It’s good and it’s great; she was a fantastic woman and anyone would agree…

So when my Uncle gave me the old quilt top that she had made for him 40 years ago I bravely took the challenge to fix it.quilt

And I stared at it for two months.  But that Full Moon made me face it and deal with it and feel it and do it and now it’s done.     #monkeyoffmyback

Then as my reward, I drove in below zero weather to shoot pool with two hot babes (girl babes) , and stared at that moon the whole way home…It lit up the night landscape.

It lit up my mojo.  🙂

p.s. two things: I’m admitting it really was an amateur hack job but my uncle was cool with it; my kid has a Springsteen fetish so that song drove me home…(Hungry Heart)

My sincere love to all who read me…

Alice in Dairyland

I have totally fallen through a trap door…  I was just marching along in one direction and now here I am.

I am not complaining; too many people get stuck in their life as it is now.  I wasn’t brave or bold and I didn’t win the lottery.  Metaphorically, I fell and my Dad caught me.

So. Today after it snowed and snowed he says he is going to get the tractor ready to plow.  I had just made brownies and didn’t burn them for once and I’m like, “Do you want some help?”

He did a weird side nod because never in his life has he ever needed help.  But now Mr. 79 years old is wise enough to realize that I maybe I can be useful.

So I suit up and follow him out and realize that what this means is we are putting CHAINS on the tractor tires. Huge chains, heavy chains, prisoner chains…

What?  He is happy to let me haul them around. I loved it.

First, you have to drag them out and untangle them and lay them flat in the snow and then the tractor drives over them and you try to situate them around this giant tire as he rolls it back slowly.

Oh my goodness! Trying to stretch these chains over this tire so we could just barely latch them is insane. We were both strained to the limit and I’m looking at my dad laying under a fifty year old tractor that he left running and sputtering and smoking and thinking: could I pull him out in time if this thing rolls forward?

img_4076  I was so scared. I have lost so much lately; I don’t want to find out how much I can take.

I respect my father greatly and would not question his judgement but with tears and panic on my face I asked him to turn in off and he did; he didn’t make me feel stupid or melodramatic.   I realized that that’s type of patience and respect I need in my life…

It took us an hour to do both sides and I thank Heaven I was here to help him.

But. Dad. This is life on the farm 60 years ago…I can and will grab a two-stage snow blower and we are never doing that again.

I hope you can see in the photo that the, “plow”, on the back is just a bunch  of old wood.


But. He is the man who wants to do everything my grandpa did at 89 and the way he did it…

They don’t make men like this anymore.

It’s more than a game. Way more.


Whether you are into football or not, there is absolutely nothing like watching a Green Bay Packers game in a small tavern in Wisconsin…

Here in Polk County there is a little place called Ben’s Northern Bar.  It’s tiny; like twelve bar stools and a few tables but on game day it’s totally packed and standing room only with mostly men of all ages all dressed in their Packer gear; I mean caps and hats, shirts and jackets and belt buckles, and a few women in tight t-shirts and big jerseys and ponchos with glittered beer cozies.

Someone brings a Crock pot of Brats and someone brings chips and dips and I made a huge batch of Chex mix the old-fashioned way. (Oven not Microwave) It’s like a fun family party.  It is a party and you are family.

The game means so much to everyone  It’s a Team that is owned by the fans.  They yell and scream at the TV and moan and groan but when the Packers score, everyone is up and jumping and high-fiving and hugging.

It’s a great little place and they learn your name and favorite beverage quickly and never forget it.

So when you are cruising down Main Street in Luck, Wisconsin you better stop in for one.

Just Another Morning for Mother Earth

It is easy to describe a sunrise on the Farm…For a great experience,  get bundled up while it is still night and sneak outside while it’s dark and the stars are hanging around.  You can almost touch them.

The Earth doesn’t know it’s New Years Day and if it did it wouldn’t care at all.

The night air is so fresh and nothing but the Owls are awake being disturbed with their bedtime snack by the crunch of crisp snow under my boots…I’m not gonna tippy toe; I live here too.

I’m a girl who loves and loves boots!  But that’s another story.  #bootfetish

I kind of have a trail I take around the property; surveying this broken branch and this frozen mushroom and oh my goodness what huge thing made those tracks in the snow?

No matter what it is,  they smell you before you hear or see them. Remember that.

It’s the wandering and the breathing deep that is the medicine.  That pure air is going deep inside you into your lungs into your blood into your brain….

Can’t be in a bad mood with all that going on.

I have hidden sit spots all over: rocks, tree trunks, benches, steps, and once I made it to the top of the Silo but it took too many prayers to get back down. :\

But.  When it’s time,  please stop and imagine the Earth moving under you.  The Sun doesn’t move, we do.

One by one the stars go out and the Light comes…

My glorious day begins;  everyday is different, everyday the work is never done.

But if we can start the day in peace and feeling humbleness and gratitude, everything feels abundant.

Today I want for nothing.  😉



Newest New Year!

Well I had the Best New Year’s Eve ever!  The tears and  fears have disappeared and in their place were fireworks in the middle of a frozen lake with some cool people and my son.  My boy Walt fit on the sled and with some noise reducing headphones and he was fine…he is autistic and doesn’t love loudness and also has some walking issues so Mommy made a plan and it went great.

The cool thing about winter fireworks is you can start them early; you can blow the kid’s minds and put them to bed…

I wanted to see the sunrise instead of the ball drop so I cuddled in with the kid to watch Shrek and fell asleep before he did.

I don’t love screamy, sweaty bars on any night and NYE is always the worst.  But in 2012 I got to see Ike Reilly at the House of Blues in Chicago and that was totally worth staying up for…

So. Anyway.  Polk County has over 400 lakes and half of them don’t have names!!  It’s the final frontier people!  Come visit!

My last New Year’s Eve was the worst in my life.  The one before that was pretty awful too…

Now we are all Brand New and can leave the past behind…

I am making no Resolutions just working on Evolution.

My blog is about the transformation of myself and this land;  the trials and tribulations and the joy and the sorrow but also the gratitude and the blessings of being a human under all these stars…

My first trial was figuring out how to set this up:)

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope you will follow me and give me advice and a boost the next time I fall off a ladder…love Julianne