Tag Archives: Wisconsin

a lovely reprieve

N and I didn’t have a honeymoon.  I had been at my job for only 5 weeks and didn’t have any leave, plus we were strapped for cash from moving and being unemployed and, oh, having a wedding.

We’d hoped to save for a year and then go somewhere fun and adventurous. A cruise, maybe. But one thing led to another and before we knew it, we had bought a house, built a garage, and been filled with the desire to get rid of some debt.


We decided to explore our surroundings instead. We opted for a weekend after Labor Day, since cabin rates and fishing guides (and gas) tend to get cheaper as summer winds down.  We chose the Turtle Flambeau Flowage, a location with a few hundred acres of shoreline and thousands of acres of water and wilderness.

And deer. That’s the unzoomed picture of a deer. It was just standing there as we drove by.  Here’s the zoomed pic:

As much as I hate this saying: I know, right?!?!” Intense. They’re everywhere.  I’ve lived most of my life in places where it’s perfectly acceptable to fill your deep freeze every fall with multiple deer you shot yourself, and I was *still* completely overwhelmed with all the deer. I’d bet we saw 150 deer (or they could’ve been the same ones, just saw them multiple times?) in the 4 days we were up there.

Anyway, back to more tranquil stuff, like trees changing colors and the view from the cabin porch at sunrise and waterfalls. It was a lovely reprieve and we wish we could’ve stayed longer.


I love how the center line inexplicably disappears for 25 miles or so along the north side of the flowage.

 This also met two of my “101 in 1001” goals– take a “honeymoon” vacation and treating N to a fishing trip!

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Filed under Marriage, Optimism

(A few) Pictures from Home


I’m sitting in a cheap hotel room 180 miles from home, pretending to get some work done before tomorrow’s 5:45am wake-up call. I have recipes and photos to post from this past weekend, but tonight… I’m incredibly unmotivated. However, I did have a wonderful photo shoot with Mother Nature in our neighborhood (north Eau Claire area) this past weekend. So, tomorrow night I promise you will get car bomb cupcakes… however, tonight you get a few glimpses of Wisconsin. 





chippewa river and madison st bridge

And… as a prelude to tomorrow’s entry:  a respectable pint of Guinness.


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Filed under Just a Thought

Aaaand… it’s winter.


I woke up to this:

October 12th and it's WHITE???

What the H, Wisconsin?! Just 3 days ago I posted about officially feeling fall-like, and now you hit us with THIS??

I'm in denial. This isn't actually real.

This calls for a hotdish. Something carby, cheesy, hot, filling, and substantial. Not just any ordinary hotdish will do. I threw together this Chicken Parmesan Hotdish based on one of da hubs and mine favorite meals- and what we had in our kitchen. There was no way I was going outside!

Definitely comfort food

Chicken Parmesan Hotdish

16 oz. jar of marinara, or 1 batch homemade marinara (recipe below
12 oz. cooked rigatoni, macaroni, mafalda, or whatever you have on hand (we use whole-wheat rigatoni)
1 c. cooked chicken
1 c. mozzarela, coarsely grated or shredded
1/2 c. parmesan, grated
sprinkle of thyme and oregano (optional)

Heat oven to 350 and grease the sides of an 8×8 dish. Spread cooked chicken out evenly along the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 c. mozza. Cover with cooked pasta, sauce, remainder of mozzarela, parmean, and spices. Cook for 35-40 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Marinara sauce

4-5 large tomatoes, or 3 cans of tomato sauce
1 T. tomato paste
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T. green pepper, chopped finely
Salt, pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, and parsley, all to taste

Peel the tomatoes in a hot-water bath and chop well (if applicable). Sautee the onions in olive oil in a large skillet; add the garlic and pepper when onions are soft. Sautee for 3-4 minutes; add spices and cook briefly, about one minute. Stir in the tomatoes or tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Whisk in tomato paste, and allow sauce to simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and add spice as needed. If sauce is thicker than preferred, slowly stir in 1 T of water at a time; if too thin, add in a small amount of tomato paste while simmering. Can be used as a spaghetti sauce base, pizza sauce, or dipping sauce.

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Filed under Chicken, Clean Eating, Pasta

Welcome to western Wisconsin.

This isn’t my first blog, but I’m hoping this one might actually become an accurate snapshot of daily life. The others have been (excuse the Francais) half-ass, and not fun to go back and visit. Always room for improvement at least.

About me, I suppose:

  • I am a newly-wed. I’ve been married for 13 days to the strangest, funniest, most surprisingly-handsome character.
  • I’m also a new employee. I started on August 3rd, and I’m in a 3-year contract here in NW Wisconsin. I’m from South Dakota. You would think Wisconsin wouldn’t be that different, but you would be wrong.
  • I’m going to cook more. I’m also going to lose some weight. Figure that one out! (I still haven’t.)
  • I refuse to quit learning and expanding just because I am finished with college (for now). I will keep discovering new music, new passions, new bits of seemingly-useless information. I will keep studying and reading. I will keep seeking more.

I seriously love doing anything and everything with my hubby. I’m sure it’s newlywed-itis, but I want to cook with him and shower with him and ride to the gas station with him and… you get the point. We ride motorcycle when the weather permits, go fishing even when most sane people stay inside due to extreme temperatures, watch lots of tv series on DVD, make nerdy jokes, nag each other, and will do anything to make each other laugh.

I’m going to try to break up my posts by topic, but we’ll see how well that works. I also want to try my hand at food photography, but I am COMPLETELY new, so these first few posts are likely to be cringe-worthy.

Well, first post down. It can only get better from here. (I sure hope so, anyway!)

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Filed under Marriage, Optimism