Sunday, February 18, 2018

Remembering School Days



During these final days of February, I am thinking about the one-room country school that I attended for eight years. February was a special month at our school. We celebrated Valentine’s Day with a party where the parents were invited. We exchanged Valentines with each other—a large decorated box, with a slit on the top—sat on the teacher’s desk from the beginning of the month until the 14th when it was opened and the cute, mostly, little cards were exchanged.

Our teacher also made sure we knew about Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, and George Washington’s birthday on February 22. How could we forget, for these two presidents stared down on us from either side of the blackboard every day?

Besides these special events, February was a short month. Only 28 days most years. Before we could really get used to the month, March came roaring in—usually like a lion, but not always.

I have recently completed an hour-long Television documentary titled: Jerry Apps: One Room School. It will air on all Wisconsin Public TV stations on March 6, 7:00 p.m. To see the premiere of the show, travel to Wild Rose where it will be shown on the big screen at the Wild Rose High School. The date is Wednesday, February 28, starting at 6:00 p.m. I will chat a bit at both of these events.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Take time to reflect on your earlier education, you may have learned more than you thought.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s
new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 p.m. First state-wide airing on all Wisconsin Public TV stations of my hour-long documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDs and his Books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835
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 latest 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 guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.



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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Garden Seeds and Thinking Spring



It’s time to think spring. We’ve just gotten our most serious snowstorm of the season. And my garden seeds have arrived. Just as my mother did for all the years that she and my father lived on the family farm, she ordered garden seeds when the snow was deep and the temperature hung around zero and below for days on end.

For those gardeners interested, my planting strategy, which I have followed for more than fifty years of gardening, I learned from my parents. Order seeds that you know will produce vegetables that do well with your soil type and climate. Always order a variety that is new, and you’ve not tried before. My Dad’s advice, plant something that’s pretty, and plant something that’s unusual

So, here are examples of vegetable varieties I plan to grow in my 2018 garden:

Varieties that have done well:

--Top Crop green beans
--Wisconsin 55 Tomato
--Burpee’s Big Boy Hybrid Tomato
--Early Girl Tomato
--Detroit Dark Red Beets
--Waltham Butternut Squash
--Cherry Belle Radish

What I’ve ordered but never tried:

--Bella Rosa Hybrid Tomato
--Atlas Hybrid Tomato
--Steakhouse Hybrid Tomato
--Bloody Butcher Tomato
--Nirvana Sweet Corn

What’s Pretty:

--Painted Mountain Ornamental Corn
--Fire Catcher Sunflower

What’s Unusual:

--Ornamental Luffa Squash
--Bird House Gourds
--Gremlin Gourds

Why do I grow seven different varieties of tomatoes? I am hoping that at least half of them will do well, resist disease and contribute to our need for several bushels of tomatoes for eating, and making salsa, and soup
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Spring is just around the corner. But where is that corner?


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s
new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 p.m. First state-wide airing on all Wisconsin Public TV stations of my hour-long documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835
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 guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.



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Sunday, February 04, 2018

Cold Weather Snow


I’m sitting at the kitchen table at Roshara. The outside temperature is 17 degrees, and it is snowing. A fine-flaked, but persistent snow. My dad would have called this a cold weather snow. We haven’t had much snow at Roshara this winter. I have yet to plow my driveway with my tractor, which has a frontend loader. A few inches fall, and then it warms above freezing and mostly melts. Then it snows a couple more inches and then it once more melts.

The kitchen woodstove is slowly bringing the kitchen temperature into the 60s, but it is comfortable in the cabin and to use a not much-used word these days, cozy.

The weather person predicts three to five inches. One characteristic of cold weather snow, it doesn’t accumulate very fast. So far it’s been snowing for about an hour, and my Aldo Leopold bench has but a white frosting coating.

I’ve always liked to watch falling snow. Something peaceful about it. Something nonpolitical about it—especially during these days of political rancor, when too many folks are yelling at too many other folks

THE OLD TIMER SAY: Watching the snow fall—you could do much worse.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

I am conducting a two-hour writing workshop on February 17, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Wild Rose Library. It is free, and workshop participants will also receive a free copy of my book, TELLING YOUR STORY. The workshop will focus on telling stories about your early childhood education, whether in a one-room country school, or a village or city school. But you must register for the workshop. Click on this link to find registration information. Register Here for the Workshop. The workshop will be filmed by Wisconsin Public TV.

UPCOMING EVENTS:


Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Saturday, Feb. 17, 12:00-2:00 p.m. Writing workshop at Wild Rose Library. See above for details. Registration required.

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s
new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 p.m. First state-wide airing on all Wisconsin Public TV stations of my hour-long documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835
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.



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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Garden Expo Feb. 9-11


So, has winter got you down? Are you suffering from Cabin Fever?

Here is an answer to what’s making you depressed. It’s time to think about gardening. Mark February 9-11 on your calendar and attend Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

As a promoter of the show wrote, “Now in its 25th year, this three-day event celebrates the latest trends in gardening, landscaping and edibles, and attracts more than 20,000 people from across the Midwest. Join other gardening enthusiasts to share ideas, gain inspiration and create something new. All proceeds support Wisconsin Public Television.”

Oh, lest I forget. I will be speaking there once more, along with my daughter, Susan Apps-Bodilly. To quote the program:

Old Farm Country Cookbook

Saturday, February 10, 2:15 p.m. Room Mendota 1-2

Jerry Apps and Susan Apps-Bodilly

Representing the Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Listen to rural storyteller Jerry Apps tell stories of farm life during the 1930s-1950s. Jerry talks about how farm families depended on their gardens for food. Jerry's daughter, Susan, will discuss recipes from the old, white, wooden recipe box that her grandmother followed when there was no electricity or indoor plumbing and all the cooking and baking was done using a wood-burning cook stove.

Also: Sunday at 1 p.m. in Room Mendota 4.
I hope to see you there.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Time to think about digging in the dirt.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 p.m. First state-wide airing on all Wisconsin Public TV stations of my hour-long documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

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

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

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 guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.



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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Track Makers




The temperature had climbed above freezing. I pulled on my boots, grabbed my new Christmas winter cap, and put on my winter parka. The snow at Roshara, about three-four inches was puffy and light and relatively easy to walk in without snowshoes. I was headed toward the small field south of my cabin, not looking for much of anything, but just walking and listening, and enjoying the quiet of this beautiful sunny, winter morning.

I shuffled along, walking stick in one hand, watching where I was going because there was no trail to follow, no path. Just a strikingly white expanse of snow. I caught a glimpse of movement, a deer, a big doe, and then another, and another—four of them, bounding a few yards ahead of me, their white tails high and waving. And leaving tracks in the snow.

Animal tracks have always intrigued me, from the time when I was a little kid and hiked with my dad. He knew deer tracks—how a fawn track compared to a sizable buck. He showed me the difference between the tracks made by a running deer to one that was merely walking. Same for rabbits, foxes, and squirrels, the animals that braved winters in Wisconsin.

So on this day I am thinking about tracks, and how tracks are one way of recording history. Tracks are a record of where the creature has been, and what it had been doing. We can learn a lot about a creature by looking at its tracks.

As we go about living our lives, we leave tracks as well, perhaps not as easily seen as the tracks of a deer in snow. But tracks nonetheless—of where we have been, and what we have been doing.

THE OLD TIMER ASKS: Why do so many people try to cover their tracks?

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 p.m. First state-wide airing on all Wisconsin Public TV stations of my hour-long documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835
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.



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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mouse in a Box



It happened between Christmas and New Year’s. When two of my grandsons, Josh and Ben were home. I sent them to our attic and to our basement for the retrieval of boxes, many boxes, 57 boxes to be exact. A history of my years working at UW-Madison and a history of 50 years of writing. All stuffed into boxes. Letters, manuscripts, interview tapes, speech notes, edited book pages, research notes. Lots of research notes. And several book journals. I keep a journal for each book I write—a topic for another day.

Oh, and a bit of mischief on the part of my grandsons, who knew well the whims and fears of my daughter, Sue, their mother. As Josh hustled box after box down the rickety folding attic stairs, he spotted a dead mouse in the attic. And he put said mouse in one of the boxes before handing it to Ben who brought the box to my office where Sue and I worked. She and I inspected each box as it arrived from the attic and basement for its contents, so I could develop an inventory. The work was progressing carefully and quietly.

Then a hair raising scream from daughter, Sue. So loud it brought my wife running. So loud it nearly short-circuited my hearing aid. And then laughter. Belly laughter from Ben and Josh who had once more “put one over” on their mouse challenged mother, about the only wild creature she can’t tolerate. She had opened a box, and there she spotted the dead mouse. Very dead.

After son, Steve removed the mouse, the work continued. Eventually the 57 boxes filled half our living room—until Jonathon Nelson from the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives arrived and hauled them away.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: One way to keep a record of one’s history: Stuff it a box and pile it in the attic

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

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

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

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.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

New Reprints


During the early 2000s I wrote two books about farm life in central Wisconsin when I was a kid growing up on the home farm. Our farm was located four and one-half miles west of Wild Rose.

The first book, EVERY FARM TELLS A STORY was based on mother’s account books, which she diligently kept from the day they moved onto the farm in 1924 until they left the farm in 1973 to retire in Wild Rose. I found such items listed as: Fork handle--$.65, milk pail--$1.15, Horse collar and pad--$8.15 and gloves for Herm (my father)--$.52. These entries not only revealed something about the cost of farming in those days, but for me they triggered stories associated with the items. This book became the source of the stories that I shared in my first Public Television documentary, “Jerry Apps: A Farm Story.”

The second book, LIVING A COUNTRY YEAR, is also a story of my early farm life. But this time I’ve organized it around the months of the year on the farm, with a story for each month, some thoughts for that month, plus a recipe. For instance, for January I wrote: “January is for slowing down and reflecting, for considering the year that has passed and anticipating the year that is beginning.” The January recipe is for “Ma’s Homemade Chili.”
I am especially pleased that the Wisconsin Historical Society Press has reprinted both of these books, with new covers, and new introductions. Check at your local bookstore, order on line, or order from Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose. The Patterson will soon have copies for sale as a fund raiser for the library.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Cold and snowy winter days are made for book reading.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835
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.