Saturday, July 23, 2016

Time For a Nap


People have forgotten the importance of a nap.  The power of resting.  The need to rejuvenate. It’s hurry to do this and hurry to do that.  Every day, every week, all year long.  No time for resting, no time to nap.  Keep moving, keep doing
.
 Even nature knows better.  The trees, and the grasses and the wildflowers, and many creatures that live in the wild take long winter naps.  And what do we humans do, we keep on trudging along, come high water or deep snow, temps in the 90s or those below zero.  Although resting is in our DNA—most of us know enough to get a good night’s sleep—we don’t know enough to rest during the day.

Why is this?  Is it a fear that if we rest, somebody will out do us?  Does our competitive nature overshadow our need to slow down once in a while—or even stop “doing” on occasion and do nothing?

Or is it because those of us who grew up when times were tough in this country learned at an early age that we must work, work, work—or we wouldn’t have anything to eat, or a decent roof over heads?  Or is it something else?

I’m thinking about all this as I listen to thunder booming and see raindrops skidding down my office window on this restful afternoon.

The Old Timer Says:  It’s time for a nap.

Writing From Your L ife:  A second Clearing Writing Class is scheduled for Friday, October 28.  Call 920-854-4088 to Register.

Upcoming Events:

August 9, 6:30 p.m. Winnebago County Historical Society.  Oshkosh Library.  History of Wisconsin Agriculture

August 12, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County. (Filled)

August 20, 10:30-11:30 am.  Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square.  Story telling

August 22, 7:00 p.m., Twin Cities Public TV. Live appearance.  The Land With Jerry Apps

August 30, 7:00 p.m. Milwaukee Public TV. Live appearance. The Land With Jerry Apps

September 8, 7:00 p.m.  McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids. Workshop on memoir writing. Participants should have a copy of TELLING YOUR STORY. Books will be available for sale the evening of the workshop.

Materials at the Patterson Memorial Library

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them): 
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
 Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
 Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
 The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835





Saturday, July 16, 2016

Heat Lightning

In mid-summer, during a time when we desperately needed rain on our dry, droughty farm, we’d be driving home from Wild Rose where Ma did her weekly grocery shopping, and we’d see the occasional streak of  lightning far off to the west.  “Heat lightning,” Pa called it.  “Looks like it might rain but it never does.”

Now, many years later, I’m sitting on the back porch at the farm—city folks would call it a deck—watching the western sky.  Hoping for rain as it is becoming dry and the grass and the garden could sure benefit from a good shower.

 I hear a grumbling sound, and I assume it’s an airliner winging high overhead, on its way to the Twin Cities.  But then I hear it again, a growling, rumbling sound and I know it’s thunder.  I see a flash of lightning, and I keep watching, keep hoping that a shower is on its way.
           
The thunder booms louder, the lightning flashes brighter.  I move my truck from under the big maple where I park it, in case there is wind in the storm and a limb comes crashing down.

 Then an even brighter flash of lightning and an even louder thunder boom—and the first drops of rain began falling, splattering into the dust.  I decide to move into the cabin and watch out the window, hoping for at least a half inch of rain with no wind, no hail, and no close lightning strikes.

But then, almost mysteriously, the thunder stops, and the lightning ceases, and there are no more rain drops.  As Pa would have said, “Not enough rain to settle the dust.”

 Heat lightning?  But what about the thunder?  Heat thunder? 

           
The Old Timer Says:  Don’t be fooled by heat lightning.

Special Announcement: July 19, 11:00 a.m., Farm Technology Days, Snudden Farms, Lake Geneva, Walworth County. Memories From a Farm Boy.


Writing From Your L ife:  A second Clearing Writing Class is scheduled for Friday, October 28.  Call 920-854-4088 to Register.

Upcoming Events:

August 9, 6:30 p.m. Winnebago County Historical Society.  Oshkosh Library.  History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 12, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County. (Filled)

August 20, 10:30-11:30 am.  Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square.  Story telling

August 22, 7:00 p.m., Twin Cities Public TV.  The Land With Jerry Apps

August 30, 7:00 p.m. Milwaukee Public TV. The Land With Jerry Apps
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them): 

September 8, 7:00 p.m.  McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids. Workshop on memoir writing. Participants should have a copy of TELLING YOUR STORY. Book will be available for sale the evening of the workshop.

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
 Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
 Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)

 The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835




Sunday, July 10, 2016

Trails




            Trails have always intrigued me, from the days when I was a kid following a cow path a half-mile up the lane back of the barn, to today, when I follow the several trails  at my farm.  I recently wrote:

            When at my farm, I often follow my network of trails through the woods, along the flats and down the hills and around the many twists and turns.

            A trail is not for hurrying.  Despite how familiar the trail is to me now, there is always something new to see or hear as I wind my way along.  There are old friends: a deer bounding in front of me, the giant oak trees I dearly love, the views across the ponds, where I often spot a mallard or a wood duck or a family of Canada geese.

            As the seasons change, the views from the trails change, too, from the budding of the trees and the greening of the grass in spring to the rainbow of colors in fall to the naked maples in winter.

            Small side trails here and there lead to special views: a close-up look at the ponds; a trip to the prairie restoration.  Traveling my trails, which I regularly do, is one of the joys of my life. 

Excerpted from Whispers and Shadows: A Naturalist’s Memoir

The Old Timer Says:  Take time to travel a trail, and take your time when you do it.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  A second Clearing Writing Class is scheduled for Friday, October 28.  Call 920-854-4088 to Register.

Upcoming Events:

July 19, 11:00 a.m., Farm Technology Days, Snudden Farms, Lake Geneva, Walworth County. History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 9, 6:30 p.m. Winnebago County Historical Society.  Oshkosh Library.  History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 12, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County. (Filled)

August 20, 10:30-11:30 am.  Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square.  Story telling.

August 22, 7:00 p.m., Twin Cities Public TV.  The Land With Jerry Apps.

August 30, 7:00 p.m. Milwaukee Public TV. The Land With Jerry Apps
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them): 

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
 Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
 Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)

 The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835




Tuesday, July 05, 2016

July 4 Garden Report


So far, fingers crossed—an excellent gardening season.  The rains have come when needed, warm, sunny days, and no critter problems.  Here’s a summary on this 2016 Independence Day.

 Top prize goes to the potato crop.  In bloom and completely filling the rows.  I don’t recall a better looking potato crop.  My son-in-law, Paul asked, “What are you gonna do with all those taters?”  As any gardener knows, as well as those who raise chickens, “Never count your chickens until the eggs are hatched.”  It’s a long time from now until October potato harvest.

 Second prize to the leaf lettuce—we’ve already harvested it four times and it continues to flourish.  Same with the Swiss chard; two harvests and showing no signs of slowing down.

 The peas were so-so—two harvests.  We all so much enjoy eating fresh peas.  I pulled the plants on Saturday and we planted the area to late sweet corn.

The tomatoes—several blossoms showing.  Plants are as luxuriant as the potatoes—no sign of blight yet.  Fingers crossed.  Natasha thinned the rutabagas—we planted them way too thick, but they are on a tear—growing well.  Broccoli ready in a week or so, cabbage heads beginning to show, cucumbers beginning to vine, as are squash and pumpkins.  Zucchini looking good.

Sweet corn knee high and taller.  Has to be knee high by the Fourth—my dad always used that as a measure for the success of his field corn.  The long row of sunflowers is waist high, beating the corn, which we planted on the same day.

The failures so far—always some failures.  The radishes were pathetic.  Scrawny, wormy—I think I harvested about a dozen that were fit to eat. Carrots, well I think I may have a dozen of them that are growing.  Sad.  I like carrots.  Planted them with the radishes.  I must try something different next year.

This year marks the fiftieth year of gardening at Roshara.  One of these years we’ll figure out how to do it.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  Vegetable gardening—what can be more fun, and more challenging?

ANNOUNCEMENT AND GOOD NEWS:  A second Clearing Writing Class is scheduled for Friday, October 28.  Call 920-854-4088 to Register.

Upcoming Events:

July 19, 11:00 a.m., Farm Technology Days, Snudden Farms, Lake Geneva, Walworth County. History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 9, 6:30 p.m. Winnebago County Historical Society.  Oshkosh Library.  History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 12, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County. (Filled)

August 20, 10:30-11:30 am.  Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square. 

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them): 

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
 Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
 Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)

 The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Changing The Weather


For those of you who believe that you can’t change the weather, I’ve discovered a way to do it.  Here’s what happened.  Last Saturday it was in the 90s at our Roshara cabin.  High humidity.  Sticky.  Sweat a lot weather.  Son-in-law, Paul, a handyman extraordinaire, spent more than an hour stuffing our little window air conditioner into place.  Finally, when he plugged it in late morning, the temperature in the cabin was in the middle 80s.  At four in the afternoon, the temperature in the cabin was still in the middle 80s.

Sometime during the winter, when the air conditioner rested on our porch, it had died.  Quietly, without fuss it left us, in spirit if not in body for the thing still weighed nearly 50 pounds.   What to do?  The temperature outside continued in the low 90s.

My brother, Donald and I drove to Stevens Point, where I bought a replacement.  A healthy, longer life machine—I’m hoping.  This time Donald and I worked for an hour removing the dead machine and replacing the new one, following the “some assembly required” directions.  Donald is also quite a skilled “fix it” guy.  (Admission—about the only thing I can fix, is the order of words in a paragraph.)

 We turned on the machine.  It worked.  But here is where the weather changing business occurred.  It wasn’t an hour after the new air conditioner was in place that the temperature outside began dropping.  This morning it was 56 degrees.  No air conditioner needed.

How to squelch hot weather—buy a new air conditioner.  You may never need to use it, but the action was obviously necessary to convince the weather to change.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Who says you can’t change the weather?

Special Announcement:  No new blogs for the next two weeks.  On vacation.

Upcoming Events:

June 28, 11:00 a.m.  Larry Meiller Show. Wis. Public Radio.  Discussion of Roshara Journal and Telling Your Story (New Books)

June 28, 7:00 p.m. Book Discussion-with Steve Apps.  Mystery to Me Book Store, Madison.  Event at HotelRed, 1501 Monroe St., Madison, WI—parking at hotel. Roshara Journal and Telling Your Story (New Books)

July 19, 11:00 a.m., Farm Technology Days, Snudden Farms, Lake Geneva, Walworth County. History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 9, 6:30 p.m. Winnebago County Historical Society.  Oshkosh Library.  History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 12 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County.

August 20, 10:30-11:30 am.  Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square. 

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them): 

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
 Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
 Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)

 The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835


Saturday, June 04, 2016

Telling Your Story



            Everyone has a story to tell.  And each one is different and special.  As some of my readers know, I have been teaching Creative Writing workshops on How to Tell Your Story since 1971.  We Germans are not supposed to boast, but I have had well over 1,000 students in my workshops, which I continue to teach.  Several of writing students have written books including their stories.   Many more have written their stories and shared them with family and friends.

            “When are you going to write about what you teach?” students asked me over the years.  So I finally did.  The book is titled TELLING YOUR STORY: PRESERVE YOUR HISTORY THROUGH STORYTELLING. (Fulcrum Press, 2016).

            The book is in six parts:
 I: Why it’s important to write your story
II. Memory Joggers (Remembering what you thought you forgot)
            III. Background Information (how to do research)
            IV. Creating Your Story (How to do it)
            V, When is a Story Not a Story
            VI: Telling Your Story in Person (Speaking to a live audience, doing radio and TV

            To read more about the book, and to purchase a copy go to your local bookstore,  http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781936218226 or order from Amazon .com
                       

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  It’s never too late to write down your stories.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Writing Workshop for 2016
Telling Your Story Workshop at The Clearing in Door County.  Friday, August 12, 9-4.  Call 920-854-4088 to get your name on the list. (Still Room)

UPCOMING EVENTS.

June 7, 7:00 p.m. Cambria Library. Cambria Fire Dept. Community Center, Cambria.

June 11, 9-4 Writing Workshop, Wild Rose Library.  Telling Your Story

June 14, 9:00 a.m. Keynote speech. Country Heritage Day, St. John the Baptist Church, Montello. Barns of Wisconsin.

June 28, 11:00 a.m.  Larry Meiller Show. Wis. Public Radio.  Discussion of Roshara Journal and Telling Your Story (New Books)

June 28, Book Discussion.  Mystery to Me Book Store, Madison.  Details to follow.  Roshara Journal and Telling Your Story (New Books)

July 19, 11:00 a.m., Farm Technology Days, Snudden Farms, Lake Geneva, Walworth County. History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 9, 6:30 p.m. Winnebago County Historical Society.  Oshkosh Library.  History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 12 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County.

August 20, 10:30-11:30 am.  Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square. 

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them): 

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
 Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
 Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)

 The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835






Monday, May 30, 2016

Planting Garden Between Showers


Memorial Day weekend is our time to finish planting our garden at Roshara. This year was no exception.  But could we do it in between the rainstorms that had been visiting the area for several days?  We picked Saturday, and at seven a.m. on Saturday morning, it was raining, not hard, but enough to make one miserable if you worked in it.  It rained all of Friday night, nearly two inches in my rain gauge so the ground was wet, the grass was wet, everything was wet.
            When Steve and Natasha arrived at ten on Saturday, it continued to drizzle, but we set out tomato plants (40 of them) a couple rows of broccoli, a row of cabbage, some eggplant, a few green peppers. and several kohlrabi plants.  One of the advantages of sandy-loam soil is you can work it in the rain.
            By noon the rain stopped, the dark clouds left, the sun came out and planting the several garden seeds that remained became much more pleasant.  We planted sweet corn and bush beans, pumpkins and winter squash, zucchini and cucumbers, popcorn and rainbow corn, sunflowers and ornamental sorghum.   And a short row of dill—I so like the smell of dill.
            The crops we planted three weeks ago, even with a hard freeze one Sunday evening, are doing well: potatoes, onions, radishes (pulled the first one), lettuce (about ready to eat), rutabagas, Swiss chard (anybody got some Swiss chard recipes), beets, and peas.
            So the 2016 garden season is in full swing, year 50 for planting garden at Roshara.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: What would life be without a vegetable garden?

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Writing Workshop for 2016
Telling Your Story Workshop at The Clearing in Door County.  Friday, August 12, 9-4.  Call 920-854-4088 to get your name on the list. (Still Room)

UPCOMING EVENTS.

June 7, 7:00 p.m. Cambria Library. Cambria Fire Dept. Community Center, Cambria.

June 11, 9-4 Writing Workshop, Wild Rose Library.  Telling Your Story

June 14, 9:00 a.m. Keynote speech. Country Heritage Day, St. John the Baptist Church, Montello. Barns of Wisconsin.

June 28, 11:00 a.m.  Larry Meiller Show. Wis. Public Radio.  Discussion of Roshara Journal and Telling Your Story (New Books)

June 28, Book Discussion.  Mystery to Me Book Store, Madison.  Details to follow.  Roshara Journal and Telling Your Story (New Books)

July 19, 11:00 a.m., Farm Technology Days, Snudden Farms, Lake Geneva, Walworth County. History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 9, 6:30 p.m. Winnebago County Historical Society.  Oshkosh Library.  History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

August 12 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County.

August 20, 10:30-11:30 am.  Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square. 

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them): 

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
 Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
 Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)

 The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835