Saturday, February 18, 2017

The New Normal


It’s not normal. That’s what my dad would have said had he been here to experience these days of 60 degree temperatures in February. The snow is nearly gone. The ice is melting. The golfers are golfing. Teenagers are playing basketball outdoors without their shirts.

But there’s a downside to this respite from winter. We had something similar last year, but a little later. It warmed up; my grape vine began to blossom, and it got frosty once more. The result: In 2015 I harvested a bushel of grapes, in 2016, I harvested five grapes, not five pounds, not five quarts, but five, scrawny little grapes. The grape blossoms had frozen. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen this year.

I talked to a friend a couple days ago about this. He told me the acorn production last year was way down—the oak flowers came out too early and had frozen. I’m sure there were many other examples.

While we in the Midwest are basking in pseudo summer, the West Coast is drowning in floods, and the East Coast is buried in winter. Are these kinds of weather patterns the new normal? Researchers on climate change say “yes.” Unexpected weather patterns. One-hundred year rainfalls coming every couple of years. Record high temperatures in winter. Then below freezing.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: The new normal for weather—fooling the plants. Confusing the people.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose, WI. Call 920-622-3835 for reservations. Limited enrollment. Workshop meets Nine to Twelve in the morning.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, February 22, 6:00 p. m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium. Premier Showing of Never Cruse the Rain, A Film by Wisconsin Public TV. Jerry’s newest hour-long documentary.

Wednesday, March 8, 7:00 p.m. Never Curse the Rain on all Wisconsin Public TV stations.

Saturday, March 18, Madison Area Master Gardeners, Goodman Community Center, Madison. Whispers and Shadows.

Wednesday, March 29, 10:00 a.m., Keynote speaker, Master Agriculturist Award Program, Oshkosh.Saturday, April 8, 9-12:00 a.m. Writer’s Workshop, Wild Rose 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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Garden Expo 2017


With temperatures in the high thirties, the snow melting and the ice disappearing, people flocked to Wisconsin Public Television’s annual Garden Expo held at the Alliant Center in Madison. The show began on Friday, Feb. 10 and continued through Sunday, February 12

My son Steve and I were there on Saturday. Steve and I talked about our book, Roshara Journal: Chronicling Four Seasons, Fifty Years, and 120 Acres. Steve shared photos from the book and he talked about how he shot the various pictures. I shared entries from my journal that I’ve kept since we bought Roshara, our Wild Rose farm, 50 years ago. We both suggested that people with land, backyards, and gardens do what we’ve done over the years—capture what was happening in words and in pictures.

Attendees to the Garden Expo could also learn about straw bale gardening, “Landscaping tips for Elderly Living,” and “Birdscaping in the Midwest.” You could attend a session titled, “Everything you wanted to know about beets.” Square foot gardening remains popular—there was a seminar on how to do it. And if growing tomatoes has become a challenge, there was a seminar to answer your tomato questions.

For the nature lovers, there were seminars on Monarch Butterflies, Gardening for Humingbirds, and attracting Eastern Bluebirds. And much, much more.

If you came with garden questions, UW-Extension experts were there to help with information from insects to soils, plant diseases to how to enroll in a Master Garden program.

It was a great break from winter, and an opportunity to capture a bit of spring.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Garden Expo. A warm taste of spring.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose, WI. Call 920-622-3835 for reservations. Limited enrollment. Nine to Twelve in the morning.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, February 22, 6:00 p. m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium. Premier Showing of Never Cruse the Rain, A Film by Wisconsin Public TV. Jerry’s newest hour-long documentary.

Wednesday, March 8, 7:00 p.m. Never Curse the Rain on all Wisconsin Public TV stations.

Saturday, March 18, Madison Area Master Gardeners, Goodman Community Center, Madison. Whispers and Shadows.

Wednesday, March 29, 10:00 a.m., Keynote speaker, Master Agriculturist Award Program, Oshkosh

Saturday, April 8, 9-12:00 a.m. Writer’s Workshop, Wild Rose 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

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Teakettle



When I was a kid, a teakettle always sat on the back of the kitchen woodstove. I don’t remember that we ever used it for tea. Nobody in the family drank what I considered at the time the most foul smelling, bad tasting drink that had ever been invented, discovered, or however it came to be. A city relative offered me a drink of tea—the one-time, bad experience.

That’s not to say that the teakettle wasn’t important. It was of critical importance, as it was the only source of hot water on the farm. The kitchen woodstove had a reservoir on its right side, but water there only reached a tepid temperature.

When Ma needed hot water for something she was cooking—the teakettle provided the answer. If one of my brothers or I had a sore throat, hot water from the teakettle and several teaspoons of salt in a glass and we gargled and killed the sore throat—at least tried to.

If a spot of ice on the step to the kitchen door needed thawing—the teakettle was there to solve the problem.

If a bump, bruise or injury required a hot water bottle, the teakettle provided the water.

And when the teakettle was simply left alone, its steady trickle of steam added a little humidity to the too dry air of the winter kitchen. I found the gentle sound of steam coming from the teakettle on a cold winter day pleasing and relaxing.

Today, a teakettle sits on my woodstove at the cabin, adding a little humidity to the air—but more importantly, triggering memories of an earlier day. Ruth also likes the teakettle water for hot chocolate. Still no tea, after all these years.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Home is where your story begins (Annie Danielson) A gift from a Minnesota friend, Nan C. Corazalla.

THANK YOU; A big thank you to the 75 people who turned out for the mid-Wisconsin launch of my new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN, at the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose last Saturday.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Tuesday, February 7, 11:00 a.m. Larry Meiller Show, Wisconsin Public Radio.

Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal

Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.

Wednesday, February 22, 6:00 p. m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium. Premier Showing of Never Cruse the Rain, A Film by Wisconsin Public TV.

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, January 28, 2017

Looking for Barns





On Saturday morning, Steve and I spoke to a group of folks who do regular tours around Wisconsin in convertibles—they assured me they would have the tops up when they toured around southern Wisconsin this weekend.

Directed by Gary & Mae Knowles of Madison, and Mike and Donna Perontka of Green Bay, the group, some one hundred of them, learned a bit about Wisconsin Barns and how to photograph them.

Photographing barns is not only a summer activity, but a red barn in winter makes for a beautiful iconic photo of Wisconsin’s agriculture. I introduced the group to my book, BARNS OF WISCONSIN. Steve did the photos, I wrote the words.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Wisconsin is noted for its beautiful old barns.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Monday, January 30, Channel 3, Madison. Live at Four program. Discussion of NEVER CURSE THE RAIN.

Saturday, February 4, 10:00 a.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Book talk and signing. NEVER CURSE THE RAIN.

Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal

Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.

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: Never Curse the Rain, 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, January 21, 2017

Winter's Challenging Moments


My hometown weekly newspaper, the Waushara Argus, said it all in a headline that read, “Ice storm shuts down Waushara County schools and businesses: Sheriff reports 22 slide-offs and crashes over two days.”

All of southern and central Wisconsin and much of the Midwest saw people sliding, slipping and falling this past week. Driving off the road or into each other. Late for work or not getting to work at all. Salting and sanding. Chipping and pounding. Fighting the dreaded ice that coated everything and refused to budge.

The road past my farm was so icy that the sand truck had to back down the road to get some traction from its own sand. No danger of backing into another car. There were no other cars.

The irony of it all. My new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN, came out last week. And I heard from a friend, “What about freezing rain? What’s your take on freezing rain? Okay to curse freezing rain?”

“Sure,” I said go right ahead. But keep straight the difference between “freezing rain” and “rain.” I said.

“Huh,” my friend answered.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Winter has its challenging moments.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sunday, January 29, 2:00 p.m. Midvale Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd. (corner of Midvale and Tokay), Fellowship Hall. Launch of new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN. Books available on site for sale and signing from Mystery to Me bookstore. All are welcome. Enter the church from the parking lot. Enter north door where an elevator is available to lower level Fellowship Hall.

Monday, January 30, Channel 3, Madison. Live at Four program. Discussion of NEVER CURSE THE RAIN.

Saturday, February 4, 10:00 a.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Book talk and signing. NEVER CURSE THE RAIN.
Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal

Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.

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




Sunday, January 15, 2017

January Thaw


Once again it arrived. In mid-January. After days of bitter cold, and deep and drifted snow. It often arrived overnight, while my brothers and I slept in the cold upstairs bedroom in our drafty farm house. A room that was supposed to be warmed by the stove pipe that made its way from wood burning stove in the dining room through our room and then into the chimney.

We knew the winter thaw had arrived when the eaves on the house were dripping, which I noticed when I hurried to the barn for the early morning milking. By mid-morning it began to rain. A slow, steady, snow-melting rain. And as it rained, my brothers and I kept watch of the big hollow in front of the house as the snow turned from white to gray and then to melt water as the hollow became a pond.

With the pond becoming slowly larger, we began looking for our ice skates, the clamp-on-your-shoes type that you fastened with a little key that you carried in your pocket. We had hung the skates in the woodshed last spring, forgotten about, until the thaw arrived.

The thaw disappeared quicker than you could say, “Isn’t that a north wind blowing this evening?” Freezing weather returned, but the pond remained. A beautiful, flat slippery surface just made for three boys and their clamp-on skates. The ones we bought at Hotz’s Hardware in Wild Rose for fifty cents a pair.

Ice skating remained perfect, sometimes for several weeks. Another gift of winter, for boys who’d tired from shoveling snow, carrying wood, and doing all the other winter-required jobs.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: It’s important to remember the good things about winter.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, January 21 Noon. Heidel House, Green Lake, WI. Pheasants Forever. Noon talk. Whispers and Shadows. Book signing.

Sunday, January 29, 2:00 p.m. Midvale Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd. (corner of Midvale and Tokay), Fellowship Hall. Launch of new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN. Books available on site for sale and signing from Mystery to Me bookstore. All are welcome. Enter the church from the parking lot. Enter north door where an elevator is available to lower level Fellowship Hall.

Saturday, February 4, 10:00 a.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Book talk and signing. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal

Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.

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




Sunday, January 08, 2017

Appreciating the Cold


I wrote this three years ago, but I’m repeating it today because last week was just like this.

It was five above zero when I put on my down jacket, pulled the earflaps down on my cap, grabbed my walking stick and set out from the cabin for my morning walk. The sun, struggling to climb above the pine woods to the east provided a bit of light for what had been a very dark night, but offered little warmth as I headed down the trail.

How soon one forgets how quiet a chilly winter morning can be. I heard not a sound, no crow call, no rustling of dead oak leaves, no creaking of bare tree limbs. Nothing, save for the crunch, crunch of the cold snow under my boots as I trudged along, often stopping to listen and hearing nothing. Hearing silence.

As the landscape grew lighter with the rising sun, the frost covered branches of the trees along the trail sparkled and glittered and reminded me how beautiful can be the most simple of things—morning frost in first light.

Upon returning to the cabin, I pushed another stick of oak wood in the wood stove, sat in my rocking chair with a cup of coffee and reminded myself that life couldn't get much better than this.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Take time to appreciate the simple things.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Wednesday, January 11. 6:30 p.m. Midvale Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd. (corner of Midvale and Tokay), Fellowship Hall. Launch of new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN. Books available on site for sale and signing from Mystery to Me bookstore. All are welcome. Enter the church from the parking lot. Enter north door where an elevator is available to lower level Fellowship Hall.

Saturday, January 14. 9:00 -12:00 a.m. Sequoia Library, Madison. Writing Workshop.”Writing From Your Life” Limited enrollment. Contact Sequoia Library: 608-266-6385.

Saturday, January 21 Noon. Heidel House, Green Lake, WI. Pheasants Forever. Noon talk. Whispers and Shadows. Book signing.

Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal

Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.

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