Sunday, December 10, 2017

Radio Broadcast and Book Signing.




Photo: Sue, Jerry and Rauel LaBreche at McFarlanes in Sauk City.

It had snowed enough to remind us that winter was just around the corner. And if the snow wasn’t enough, a cold northwest wind put an exclamation point on that reality. Sue and I were on or way to Sauk City, to McFarlanes. To a hardware store that sells more than nuts and bolts, and paint and wrenches. McFarlanes also sells books— books written by Wisconsin authors.

Starting at ten a.m., Sue and I were a part of an hour long, live radio broadcast originating at the hardware store and aired on Baraboo’s 99.7 FM and 740 AM radio stations. Rauel LaBeche, animated and with never a dull word, hosted the show, asking us questions: What makes Old Farm Country Cookbook different from other cookbooks, why did Sue refuse to try the fried squirrel recipe, why did I write the Never Curse the Rain book, and more.

Some 40 plus people were seated in the little studio, carved out of a corner of the hardware store, listening, laughing—having a good time.

Sandwiched in between the questions and answers, Curt Meine and his Prairie Spies musical group offered live Christmas music. Curt, beyond his musical skills, is also a well know author and Aldo Leopold’s biographer.

Sue and I had a fun time.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Want to get in the Christmas mood? Plan a stop at McFarlanes in Sauk City. You won’t be disappointed.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
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, December 03, 2017

Dregne's in Westby


It’s called the driftless area. That part of southwestern Wisconsin where the last great glacier failed to reach. A place of steep hills and long valleys. A place where a goodly number of Norwegians settled back in the mid 1800s.

On Saturday, Sue and I signed books at Dregne’s Scandinavian Gift shop in Westby, south of LaCrosse and deep in the driftless area. As an aside, it is here where I found my wife, Ruth, with a last name of what else, Olson.

Dregne’s is celebrating their forty-second anniversary as one of the region’s premier gift shops for all things Scandinavian. Want to know how to make lefse? They have the books and equipment that will get you started. Want some Swedish herring with dill, this is the place. A gnome? Sure, lots of gnomes. Norwegian Christmas ornaments? Many choices. A sweet tooth? How about some Swedish milk chocolate with caramel?

But there’s more. I quietly asked Jana Dregne, she and her husband Dave, own the place, if she had anything German. “Sure,” she said, and was soon showing me some beautiful wooden ornaments made in Germany. “We’ve got some Irish stuff, too,” she offered showing Sue and me some “Inis,” a unisex cologne that “makes you feel close to the ocean no matter where you are.”

And books, lots of books at Dregne’s. Books about Scandinavia. Books about Wisconsin. Kids books. How-to books. Gift books. Many books.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Plan a stop at Dregne’s in Westby. Something for everyone, especially if you are Scandinavian, or married to one.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Trinity Lutheran Church, 206 E. Badger Strreet, Waupaca. Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Sauk City. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
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, November 27, 2017

Christmas Tree Search



A warm day in late November. A clear blue sky with a slight breeze. We are at Roshara, our Waushara County farm in search of Christmas trees. Three generations in search of three trees. Not an easy task—but it is a family tradition, one of many that our family enjoys each year.

The challenge is not locating a tree—Roshara is a tree farm with thousands of them, most of which we have planted over the 51 years that we have owned the place. We have mostly red pine from two years old to 50, white pine of various sizes and shapes, all self-seeded, Scotch pine, also self-seeded, a few jack pine, a handful of spruce, and even smaller handful of Frasier fir. Christmas tree farms, Roshara is not one of them, feature Frasier Fir, which is a beautiful tree.

We shear (prune) none of our trees to make them look more perfect. Our trees are what they are, each natural and perfect in its own way. After considerable hiking, inspecting, comparing, discussing, dismissing, and finally accepting, we have three trees. One Scotch pine, one red pine, and one white pine. It was great day in the woods. The only thing missing was a little snow.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Traditions can help tie the generations together.

Photo: Grandson Ben, and daughter, Sue.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Stories from the Land. 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
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, November 19, 2017

Savoring Silence





Silence. Not a lot of that around anymore. Loud noises coming at us from every direction. Shouting political pundits. Angry people raising their voices about one thing and another. Blaring TV sets. Sirens. Traffic noise everywhere, surrounding us to the point that we are numb to its very existence.

Yesterday, opening day of the gun season. I’m setting near my pond. It is chilly, an invigorating chill, not the bone shaking kind that we’ve sometimes experienced during deer season.

As the sun struggles to send a bit of light though a heavy bank of gray crowds, I listen to the silence. And I savor it. Not realizing how much I enjoy it. Occasionally a slight breeze hurries through the tops of the now bare cottonwood trees that grow near the pond offering the subtle sound of fall.

No birds or animals are calling. They too must be enjoying the silence of the morning. A rifle shot from the west jars me a bit. Then silence once more.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There are times when we humans need silence, whether we know it or not.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Stories from the Land. 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
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, November 12, 2017

A Sacred Day


Next Saturday is opening day for the 2017 deer gun season. A sacred day for many Wisconsinites. A day when people know better than to schedule a wedding, a wedding reception, or even a funeral. Unless they don’t want anybody to show up.

I have not missed a gun deer season since I first began deer hunting in 1946, after I had turned twelve. That is 71 years ago, if my forever challenged math is correct.

Much about deer hunting has changed over these many years. But much has remained the same. Families continue to get together for this annual event, sometimes three generations—grandfather, father, son & daughter. For me, the gathering of family is more important than the hunt, although I still enjoy sitting in the woods on a quiet, often chilly morning, and enjoying the sights and smells of fall. If a buck deer wanders by, that’s a special treat. But I don’t need to see a deer to enjoy the day.

As far as the hunt itself, I prefer just sitting on a stool in the woods. I’ve never used a tree stand, or sit in one of these fancy little huts elevated on stilts with a heater inside, a radio, and for some even TV as I have seen dishes on some stands.

The photo is my brother’s deer stand, nothing fancy, but quite comfortable he tells me. I’m trying to remember the last time he shot a deer from his stand.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There is much more to deer hunting, than hunting deer.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
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, November 05, 2017

Barn Lantern


Those of my generation, especially those who grew up on farms before electricity arrived, will immediately recognize this barn lantern. We all had them, lamps in the house and lanterns outdoors.

On a cold winter morning, after dressing in front of the dining room wood burner, I would pull on my old Mackinaw winter coat, slip on my wool cap with the fur ear laps, and find my barn lantern, one just like this one, standing at its place near the wood box in the kitchen. I would take a match from the match box on the wall near the kitchen stove, lift the lantern’s glass globe, strike the match, and touch the flame to the lantern’s wick. Then I was on my way to the barn, where Pa had gone a few minutes earlier.

The lantern cast long shadows on the snow scape, as I briskly walked along the narrow path we had shoveled in the snow. Once arriving at the barn, I hung my lantern on the nail behind the cows. Pa had hung his lantern on a nail at the other end of the barn.

Grabbing up my three-legged milk stool and a milk pail, I cozied up to a cow and began milking. Except for the sound of fresh milk zinging against the bottom of the milk pail, and the occasiaonal rattle of a cow’s stanchion, it was quiet in the barn. The light from the two lanterns gave us just enough light to see what we were doing.

The soft, yellow light cast by the lanterns added to this quiet, peaceful time.

THE OLD TIMER ASKS? Is it possible to have too much light?

COMING EVENTS:


Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land. Viewing of PBS show with discussion and additional stories.

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
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, October 28, 2017

Edgerton Sterling North Book Festival




A cold northwest wind scattered a few raindrops here and there as Sue and I traveled to Edgerton for their annual book festival. It was the 12th one—I was privileged to be part of their first one as well.

The full title: “Sterling North Book & Film Festival.” Edgerton is of course the hometown for internationally famous children’s book writer, Sterling North. Most of us remember reading his best-selling book, Rascal (published in 1963), at one time or other.

The theme of this year’s festival was “Every Root a Story: Narratives Anchored in Wisconsin Culture.” The theme fit very well with our new book, Old Farm Country Cookbook: Recipes, Menus, and Memories, which Sue and I co-authored.

Together we shared stories and recipe ideas that had their roots in my mother’s little white wooden recipe box. Recipes designed for folks who didn’t yet have electricity or indoor plumbing, and cooked and baked with a wood-burning cook stove.

On a this fall’s day with temps hanging not much above freezing, it was a good time to talk about books, share stories, and meet lots of interesting folks.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Learned this week that Old Farm Country Cookbook hit the Midwest Independent Booksellers “Bestseller List.”

COMING EVENTS:

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Mequon Nature Preserve, Mequon, WI. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, Nov. 11, Second Saturday, 9:00 a.m. Plymouth Art Center, The Land. Viewing of PBS show with discussion and additional stories.

Thursday, Nov. 16. 1:00 p.m. Berlin Library. Old Farm Country Cookbook.

Tuesday, November 28, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, December 2, (10:00 to 2:00) Dregni’s, Westby. Old Farm Country Cookbook, Susie and Jerry.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:00 p.m. Waupaca Historical Society, Christmas on the Farm

Saturday, Dec. 9 McFarlane’s, Prairie du Sac. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

Sunday, Dec. 17 –Readers Realm Bookstore, Montello 1 p.m. Old Farm Country Cookbook. Jerry and Susie

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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
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






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