Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Sea of Red

Does anyone know how many tomatoes there are in a Peck? I do. There are 8 quarts in each peck. Do any of you know how many pecks of tomatoes my husband picked this past weekend? I do. That's because I am knee deep in them making salsa, spaghetti sauce and tomato juice. We have peeled, cooked and sieved so many tomatoes in the past couple days that all I smell is tomato and there are seeds everywhere I look. I am drowning in a sea of red! I downsized the number of tomato plants this year when we planted our garden (we only did 12) but we had a few renegades that managed to crop up from seeds scattered around the garden. Then with the cooler, wet weather we had this spring the plants had a lot of fruit on them but they didn't ripen like they normally do. So they all seemed to ripen at the same time which is now and these puppies are HUGE! It's like the Takeover of the Monster Tomato! I'm surprised I don't have nightmares of being chased by them. This is probably why I don't wear the color red.
Tonight after work it's more juice. V-8 anyone?
UPDATE: 23 quarts and 9 pints completed last night

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mirror, Mirror

I looked in the mirror and what did I see? I saw a fat person looking back at me. Now I know I am not fat by any means (on a good day I weigh 104 lbs) and I will be one of the first people to tell you that. But even I have what I call "FAT DAYS". Days where I look at myself and all I can see is a fat ugly person staring back at me. Why, maybe because whatever I am wearing doesn't fit just right or maybe because I am having a bad hair day and that throws everything off. Or maybe it's because I used to be overweight and I still see that fat girl in the mirror sometimes. It seems like no matter what I do or how hard I try, I don't like how I look. I am probably the only one who sees what I think I see but to me it is real.
For instance, this morning when I got dressed I thought I could see pantie lines in my slacks so off went the regular panties and on went the kind that aren't supposed to leave lines - yeah what genius invented these? I could still see lines because I was so "fat" it wasn't the panties fault it was the butts fault. So it's either find a different pair of slacks or don't wear any panties- I changed slacks. Then once I'm dressed it's look in the mirror from all angles to make sure nothing is showing.
I have not gained one ounce since yesterday and don't look any different than I did last week but to me I feel fat and that is what makes all the difference in the world. I don't like myself and I don't like the way I look. There is no rhyme or reason to this and why it happened today. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we allow society to do this to us? Women allow society and peer pressure to tell them how they should look and dress. That they should be a size 0 in order to be beautiful and if they aren't no man will look at them. What crap! A woman is beautiful from the inside out and not form the outside in and should not be judged on looks alone.
Maybe I should just get rid of all the mirrors in my house and then I wouldn't have to worry about ANY lines in the future. You know I'm not getting any younger.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Muskie Season

Only in Wisconsin do we have a season to hunt fish! But these babies get so big on Lake Dardis that you just have to get out there and take a few out of the lake or they would take over. Every year around the end of September or the first part of October, for the last 6-7 years the Annual Ralph Chrouser Muskie Tournament has been held on Lake Dardis from the Chrouser Cottage. I have never been allowed to participate in this tournament. A little over a year ago I caught my first Muskie (a 37 incher) by accident and have had the fever ever since. I have begged to get a muskie rod and be allowed to fish in the tournament. Not gonna happen. You see this tournament has been established for quite some time and there are rules.
1. You must have a partner- everybody has already hooked up and no body new wants to fish
but me- so no partner
2. You must have a boat- We don't own a boat and the one at the cottage is already spoken for-
so unless I go buy a new boat- no boat.
3. You must have a Muskie rod- now I have begged for one and asked for one as a Christmas
present but still don't have one- so little hard to fish for muskies without one.
I have been asked to go along for the weekend though. When I asked what I would do while all of them were out fishing, George offhandedly said " you can make breakfast and have it ready for us when we come in." What do you think my reply to that was? (I would probably get kicked off the blog page if I tried printing what I really said) It went something like this-I can't fish in the tournament but I can come up there and cook and clean for you? Don't think so baby!!! I'm sure this man wanted to take these words back as soon as they came out of his mouth! So will I go or will I stay? Any bets?

Monday, September 22, 2008


This is where I lived in my past life. I was Miss SaraBeth Merryweather
daughter of a wealthy sugar cane grower and this was our plantation. I had my coming out here surrounded by many garden parties and dances attended by all the most eligible beaus from the neighboring plantations. Actually this is a plantation named Oak Alley(for the beautiful alley of live oak trees that go from the front door all the way to the Mississippi River.
George and I went to New Orleans to visit my best friend Gayle and her fiance John last weekend and we took a tour of this fabulous place! I fell in love with it and told George and Gayle I must have lived here in a previous life because I could see myself walking the grounds with my beaus and having garden parties. I could also see myself strolling along the grounds of the estate wearing the dresses with the big hoop skirts and carrying the one of
the parasols. There was so much history here and it was absolutely amazing!
Next up was a steamboat trip down the Mississippi. We boarded a boat called the Natchez for a 2 hour tour (the Skipper,Gilligan, Marianne, the Professor- oh sorry wrong show). We saw lots of interesting sights as we went along the French Quarter. There was St Louis Cathedral, the docks where they unloaded the ships, a big refinery and lots of huge ships all the way up and down the river.
We ate on the boat and the meal was great. We had fried chicken,
red beans and rice, jambalaya, and bread pudding. I have never
had some of the southern food so it was an experience for me. We even got to see a Yacht that had been sunk due to Gustav. That
was cool!

This is my friend Gayle and her finace John. They are so cool. they opened their home to us for 4 days and showed us their city. They make great tour guides!

Thia is a picture of the Cape Kennedy that was docked in the Mississippi.
It was one of two ships there. This was kind of neat to see up close.

On to the French Quarter and Cafe Du Monde for Beignets and Cafe AuLait! This is a must when you visit New Orleans along with a Muffuletta. This is a huge sandwhich made of several different kinds of meat with an olive spread and cheese. It is very very good!
There was always plenty of entertainment up and down the streets of the french quarter and here is a picture of a groups of musicians playing jazz outside on the street. People stopped to listen and drop money in their horn case. It was what I imagined New Orleans to be like.
Then it was Sunday and time to pack up and come home but not before we had a Rally burger and fries! We had so many new and great experiences with Gayle and John and Lena (their dog) and I can't wait to go back for more. You may be far away my friend but you're always in my heart.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Funny thing called Fate

Do you believe in Fate? I do because if not for that little four letter word, I would not be celebrating my 9th (yes I said 9th) wedding anniversary with the love of my life tomorrow. For those of you who don't know the story (and I don't imagine there are many because I love to tell it) I met George in a BAR. Yup he was a lush back then before I got a hold of him- just kidding honey. Actually, I was a bartender at RoseBowl Lanes where George bowled every Thursday night with the boys but I never worked on Thursdays, so I had never met him before. Then one week someone had asked me to switch shifts with them and because I said yes I was there when George came in. FATE Now I'm pretty outgoing and as a bartender I talked with everyone but I thought this guy was kinda cute so I paid extra special attention to him (even giving him free drinks). Get him drunk, have my way with him, what the heck, right? Then he asked me for my phone number and if I would go out with him if he called me? Be still my heart!!! Of course I said yes of course and gave him my number. Then immediately ran over to Kris Leonhardt and asked if she knew the guy across the bar because I had just gave him my phone number? She assured my George Chrouser was a sweetheart and I couldn't do any better than to date him. No truer words were ever spoken. I had to wait about a week for him to call for a date and we saw City of Angels with Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan. Good date movie.
On December 7, 1998 George asked me to marry him and spend the rest of my life with him. Nine months later on September 18, 1999 we were married. It was a beautiful warm(actually very hot) fall day and couldn't have been more perfect. I never had any doubts that I loved George or that we were meant to be together, in fact I used to journal and I had written in one journal shortly after we started to date that "I have met the man I am going to marry" but when I walked down the aisle and saw the tears running down his face, I was complete.
In the nine years since we have married we don't always see eye to eye, we may not speak to each other for short periods of time, and we definitely can't travel together without arguing but there isn't a morning that George doesn't kiss me good bye when he leaves for work and tell me he loves me and a night that we don't kiss each other good night!
George is my other half, the better part of me, he completes me. The song how do I breathe without you kind of says it all. I am independent and can go places and do things with out George just fine but when I come back it feels like coming home. That is what love is all about. The best thing I ever did was give my phone number to a strange man in a bar 10 years ago.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Meet the future generation of Stratford Tiger Football! We figured it out today and if they continue as they are, by the time Tegan is old enough to play, Stratford will be making a run for the 12peat at the title.

This team is just as committed and wants that win just as badly as the high school team does. They might only be 8 years old and in the third grade but they have practice Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, learn plays and have scrimmages just like the big guys.

They also have regular games on weekends whether it rains or shines. Take today for an example. They had to play in Wisconsin Rapids today at 9:00 am, so they had to be there by 8:00. This means these boys had to be up, dressed and on the road by 7:00 am! It's Saturday morning for heaven's sake and it's raining!! But there they all were and not one of them cared that they were getting drenched. They were out there doing their warm ups, high fiving each other, smacking each others helmets, and standing around waiting to start the game.

The game starts and you can tell they forget about the rain, They focus only on the football and what the coaches are telling them. They are driven to play good and do what they are supposed to. When the come out of the game they stand on the sidelines and they pay attention to what they are being told by the coach and they don't play around, They watch what is going on out on the field because they know they will be going back in and they want to be ready when that happens. They hustle on and off the field and while they are playing you would swear you were watching kids much older.

They have only been playing together a few weeks (I believe practice began August 13th) but they have formed a bond between the team and the coaches that is really great to see, The coaches have started giving the boys nicknames according to things they pick up on during practice. I heard:Colonel, Sparky and Butter today at the game. I also heard a lot of praises from the coaches and a lot of pats on the backs.
This little 3rd grade team creamed their opponents 33-0 (just like their older Tiger teammates) so standing in the rain for an hour and a half was well worth it. I can't wait to do it when Tegan is in high school and playing for Stratford High Tigers. I'm sure I'll embarrass the hell out of him by all the yelling I'll do (I tend to be a little loud). When the game was all over and they had won the game, I saw these boys (without any prompting from the coaches) tell the other boys what a good game they had played. I am so proud of them.
Go Tigers!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Stress Free Zone

I have declared today a "Stress Free Zone!" Nothing and No one is allowed to stress me out (including myself).
Last night we had our first exam at school and I was so stressed about it for 2 days before hand that once it was over I was a wreck! It was a multiple choice test with 66 questions but you could only answer 50 of them (You could answer all 66 but she would only grade you on 50). Of course I had more than 50 answers so then I had to chose which ones to give up. Do you know what kind of agony that causes? What if I give up an answer that is correct and leave one that is wrong? I started to second guess myself and finally just had to cut 16 questions and hope I made the right choice. Now I have to wait until after work to find out what my grade is because I can't access the grade website form my computer at work due to security measures. We are now halfway through our Marketing class- wow can you believe that? So after all that stress I am making today a fun day- after all-IT'S FRIDAY!

UPDATE: I got 44 out of 50 and an A-! WooHoo!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mission Impossible

I was talking to my friend Gayle last night. She lives in New Orleans with her fiance John and they have just survived Gustav. George and I are flying down there to visit them in 8 days. While I have a long list of things to do while we are there, being a part of a hurricane was not on my list. Hopefully all of them will be long gone by then.
While talking to Gayle I realized I should start packing this weekend as I do not like waiting to the last minute to do things. (I will pack for our February vacay 3 weeks before we leave). I was going over the things I wanted to take with me in my head, what top to wear with what pants and which shoes would go with them when I realized we were only taking a carry on and not checking our luggage!!!! OMG! How was I going to do this? It is almost impossible for me to get 4 days worth of clothes, shoes and accessories in a carry on and still have room for my hair dryer, curling iron, shampoo, and meds. This just isn't going to work. George will just have to take less stuff so I can put some of my things in his carry on. Remember I am the person with over 100 pairs of shoes so how do I only take 2 pairs with me on a trip? That's just not gonna happen. I have to figure on something to wear during the day and then if we go out at night I have to change. Of course I have to plan for any unknown accidents that might happen (and we all know what happens when I wear white) so that means extra clothes. How does a man get by with 2 pair of shorts, one pair of jeans and one shirt per day? See why I want come back as a man in my next life? Maybe I can take an extra big purse and put some stuff in there? Or I could FedEx stuff ahead of time. OK Sheri, take a deep breath and calm down.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to fit everything you want to take to New Orleans into your carry on. This tape will self destruct in 10 seconds.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Pack Is Back

Although if you want to get technical the Pack never went any where (only one player did). I thought the team played very well last night as a whole and I thought Aaron Rodgers played very well for his first game as a starting quarterback. Hey we beat the VIkings didn't we? I just wish the announcers would have used Brett Favre's name a little less often every time Rodgers did something. Is it fair to compare him to Favre all the time? Give the guy a break would ya! I am so tired of every one thinking the Packers won't be able to make it with out Brett or wanting to become a Jets fan because that's who "Broadway Brett" plays for now. I am a true Packer fan and not just a Brett Favre fan (although I thought he was an incredible player and was a fan) . I back the team through good, bad, and ugly not just because they may have a good player and I don't turn my back on them because that player may leave. Hell I loved Ahman Green and hated it when he left but I didn't stop watching the Packers because of it. I just picked another player to focus on as my favorite (AJ Hawk's my man now) and continue to cheer them on. Did Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy make a bad decision when they let Brett go? Maybe, but Brett wasn't blameless in all this either. He made a choice to retire and then changed his mind after everyone had already moved on. Did you think they wouldn't be a little put out Brett? Now it's all over and done with and as my daughter likes to say "build a bridge and get over it."
The Packers have their first victory of the season with Rodgers at the helm so I say:
"Go Pack Go!"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Morning Madness

What's that Noise? Can't be the alarm already I just went to bed! Crap it's Monday. Where did weekend go? George shut that damn thing off already I don't have to get up for another half hour!
6:00 and time for me to roll out of bed and start the week day ritual. Brush my teeth, take a shower, shave my legs and armpits, dry my hair. curl my hair, put on make up and then figure out what I'm going to wear. For those of you who have seen my closet, you know this can be quite a mind boggling chore. For those of you who haven't, trust me it can take a while to make a decision.
Men have it easy and in my next life I am coming back as a man so it will only take me 20 minutes to get ready. George rolls out of bed, showers, combs his hair(doesn't need to blow dry it), puts his contacts in, throws on the first things he grabs out of the closet (no heavy thought process involved) and he's out the door. Total time: 20-22 minutes.
Next thought process for this morning is standing at the open fridge trying to figure out what I want to take for lunch. We don't have a fridge at work so I have to carry a little insulated tote bag with my lunch and use a microwave to heat anything so I have to keep this in mind when making my selection. HMMM, what am I hungry for? That's a hard decision to make at 6:45 am in the morning. Not really thinking about lunch and what I might want to eat at that time of the morning. Nothing really appeals to me but gotta take something cause I don't want to have to trek half way across the country to the cafeteria to buy my lunch (we are located in a separate building from the main clinic and no where near the cafeteria so it's quite hike and takes half your lunchtime to get there and back). OK got my lunch figured out, got myself all together and now I'm ready to go to work and all this in just 50 minutes and without coffee people, isn't that amazing? Another Monday morning with all it's madness and I haven't even gotten to work yet. Can't wait to see what waits for me there. I live for Fridays.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's A Girl!

Mark and Astrid are happy to announce the addition of a new baby girl to their family! Her name is Missy and she is a beautiful dark haired little girl with big eyes. Mother and daughter are doing well and dad's OK too. The boys are delighted to have a little sister to play with and I'm sure she will be spoiled rotten. I think she looks like Mark but we'll see after she gets a little older. Just kidding Mark.
Actually, Mark and Astrid and the boys are getting a Miniature Pincher puppy who was just born recently. I was with Astrid when they were in Phillips in July and met Missy's mom who was pregnant with the puppies at the time. She was a very gently dog and extremely friendly so if Missy is anything like her mother they will have a good dog.
I have enclosed a couple of pictures that Mark sent me so that you all can see their newest addition. Mark and Astrid didn't say where they are registered for the baby gifts but both Target and Walmart have a wide variety of doggy stuff to choose from. They also didn't say when (or how) she will get from Phillips to St Louis when the time comes for her to travel to her new home. I'll bring her down there if you want me to- I could use another vacation. Oh that's right I'm going on one. Darn. Can I take another one and come see you too?
Good luck with the middle of the night crying and whining, the potty training and the jealousy amongst the other children. Not to mention the cats.(they're bigger than the dog and could eat her for breakfast). Congratulations you guys.

Friday, September 5, 2008


© By Kelsey Brice

A minute-
Can seem like forever.
But forever-
Can seem so short.
An hour-
May seem like a day-
But a day-
Can go by so fast.
And if we were to use our time-
Like it shall never run out-
Our lifetime-
Will seem like a minute-
Without a second to spare.

How True is this? How do you spend your time??

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grab Your Balls!

Let's Go Bowling! Tonight is the start of the fall men's and women's bowling league at Rose Bowl Lanes. At 6:15 tonight you will hear the hum of the pin setters staring up on the lanes, the guys out there with the machines oiling the lanes down and the staff setting everything up before all the bowlers get there. Then the bar will fill up as the bowlers start coming to have that first drink and prepare for the start of another bowling season. They'll pay their locker fee so they can get their bags out of hock, pull out their smelly bowling shoes and put them on, clean their balls with alcohol(rubbing that is) and take a few practice throws. There is nothing like hearing the ball roll down the alley, connect with the pins and all of them falling down! STRIKE!!! For the past several years both George and I have bowled on these leagues every Thursday night. Since I decided to go back to school I dropped down to subbing for my team but still managed to get a fair amount of bowling in (every one wants a night off once in a while). This year is different though because my classes are on Thursday nights. So for at least the first 8 weeks, I won't even be able to sub. I am so sad. I will really miss all my drinking buddies (and we do a really good job of this too) and my bowling buddies too. I will have to stop down after school and have a couple with the girls (and George and the boys too) and once I have finished this class in October I can grab my balls and start bowling with my team.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Last Hurrah

We started the last weekend of summer with a GNO (Girls Night Out) down at Butch's Place with a fish fry and drinks. Morgan was a cheap date with only one drink but she flirted with the bartender so we got really good service. Megan was the lush at 3 drinks (kiddie cocktails) and we finally had to drag her out of the bar. A good time was had by all while Noah and George went to Park Falls to watch Stratford slaughter them in football.

The next day everyone got up and after a breakfast of eggs, the kids wanted to go fishing. Grandpa George spent most of the day putting worms on hooks and taking fish off them. There was also the occasional snag and line that would get snarled. Tara even tried her hand at fishing too and caught a 27 inch Northern which she promptly named Michael. She was so excited because she doesn't get many chances to fish and has never caught anything remotely close to this big. We cleaned it, threw it on the grill and ate it for lunch. Yum! Yum!

There was some quiet time where the kids sat and watched the water or just talked to each other and I swear to God there was no fighting! Later we all climbed into the boat and headed around the lake for a ride. The kids were excited to see all the lily pads and the pretty flowers and they saw the eagle fly down and try to catch a fish.

Then Carla and Tegan came and there was another boy for Noah to play with. Those two boys explored every inch of the beach looking for snails, clams, turtles and anything that would move. They parted bushes, dug through sand and even dived into the after trying to find the biggest and best prize. Of course when they did find something they had to show everyone and then find a place to keep it so they could look at it over and over and over.

We had hamburgers on the grill for supper and then it was more swim time. The kids couldn't get enough of the water. It was absolutely wonderful warm weather and they would have stayed in there until they pruned if we had let them.

The next morning, the Kauffman family joined us after Jennifer got done with work and after a breakfast of buttermilk pancakes ( a cottage tradition) all the kids donned their swimsuits and hit the water again. They swam and fished and just had a heck of a great time all day long.
Kip, Jennifer, Sydney, Sadie and Sailor went Turtle hunting and came back with 7 of them. They let all but 2 of them go and the kids played with those two the rest of the weekend. They thought they would make great pets and wanted to take them home. There was not a lot of agreement from the parents to that idea and the turtles were set free before we left for home

Al and Linda Grassl came down for a big Labor Day cookout Sunday evening and to finalize the destination for our February trip. I had narrowed it down to 4 places and we went through all the pictures and prices and other statistics I had compiled to finally pick one. It was a tough job but we managed to do it and now i can call my travel agent and book it. We are trying somewhere new and different this year and I can't wait to go.
Monday was a quiet day, Tara, Megan, Noah and Morgan had to pack up and head back to Nebraska after breakfast. The rest of hung around for a while. Grandpa George and I finally managed to take the boat out and do a little fishing all by ourselves but it was too windy and nothing was biting. Had some lunch, cleaned everything up and headed home. The last hurrah of the summer. The kids are all headed back to school now and soon fall will be upon us. What a wonderful way for summer to go out though. Surrounded by family up north at the cottage. Doesn't get any better than that.