Looking for a home

Home

705 B Street, Minong, WI 54859

Look no further. I found this home 12 years ago in Minong, WI. Minong (means it’s a good place in Ojibwe) is also called Pleasant Valley by locals. The house was built in 1956, when materials were real. The house is redwood. The garage is cedar. I absolutely loved it.  Home to prairie, red and white pine, aspen, maple and birch. Native trees, shrubs and vines grow here. Native wildflowers grow here too. Wildlife is everywhere. From the house I have seen fox, deer, bear, coyote and wolf stroll through the back yard and field next to house. The birds are too numerous to count. Folks here like to feed them too.

If you are looking for a great get away in retirement, this could be it. Check out the listing at http://www.coldwellbanker.com/property?propertyId=270610286&mode=detail&brandType=CB

The bathroom has been remodeled to incorporate a handicap shower and gentle rain door, new hi rise toilet and sink. This room boasts a window that no one can see in. A warm color was chosen to accent the bathroom and hallway.

New bathroom

New bathroom

All the woodwork inside was done by Bob Kuehn. He is a master woodworker, artist, craftsman, and handy man. Rodney Wilcox, prepared the wood into board feet at his sawmill in Minong. It was a pleasure to work with both of them. One bedroom has been redone with all wood floors and walls. Minong experienced a blow down with winds over 100 mpg in 2011. The very trees that fell are now inside the house. I was in the house when the flash storm hit. I can tell you, this older home stood up well in the storm. I felt completely safe within.

Knotty pine bedroom with red pine walls and floor

Knotty pine bedroom with red pine walls and floor

Built in cabinets and new knotty pine accent wall and red pine plank floors.

Built in cabinets and new knotty pine accent wall and red pine plank floors.

Check out the porch on the front of the house. Someone could enjoy sitting on the front porch with its knotty pine ceiling. The view overlooks the whole south side to the hills in the distance that surround the valley.

The kitchen is a good size with lots of cabinets. Both the kitchen and pantry have new floors. The pantry is a bedroom if new owner chooses.

Bedroom used as pantry

Bedroom used as pantry

Kitchen with new floor

Kitchen with new floor

Front porch. Knotty pine ceiling. Ramp on one side and steps on the other.

Front porch. Knotty pine ceiling. Ramp on one side and steps on the other.

There are lots of gardens here with native shrubs, fruit trees and grape arbor.

Rest awhile in the wood gazebo, hand-built in 2012. I had planned to grow wild grapes up the sides.  There are vegetable gardens front and south side of house. Two outdoor water outlets on house. I used rain barrels to water the gardens.

Grape arbor gazebo

Grape arbor gazebo

The Minong Senior Center is next door. Tai chi class on Monday. Sheila is the cook and she is a great cook. No need to cook main meal if you don’t want to.

ATV and snowmobile trail within two blocks. Folks live casually out here. They love to garden, gather wild edibles and mushrooms, hunt and fish.  You can ride an ATV or snowmobile from house to trail. Minong Trails Club within a few blocks.

If you like dogs, you can let your dog off the leash 1/2 block from the house. This used to be the old industrial park nearby. It is pretty quiet there these days. There is a dirt road that your animal can go venturing on. No need to worry, there is a fence to keep your buddy close enough.

From the front of house you can see the predawn rise up over the hills.

Nowhere as beautiful in photo as in life

Nowhere as beautiful in photo as in life

Sunsets are too beautiful to describe in words. There is a magnificent rose light that touches the back yard trees and this unique light hits the pine trees across the street when the sun sets. It is absolutely the most radiant light I have ever seen. After it rains, often when the sun comes out there is a rainbow to the south-east of front of house. Who ever said there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow must have meant this home and property. It was my husband’s and my retirement home. I was left alone after my husband’s death in 2010. It really is time for me to move back to East Coast, closer to family and life long friends.

If you know of someone who is looking for that great escape, please tell them about this dreamscape. The house and 1/2 acre property deserves someone special. After all, she is filled with love and more.

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Butterfly Corner “Washburn County Register” 06/13/12

Ryall, M.E. 13 June 2012. Washburn County Register, Butterfly Corner.

Fresh start lending a hand to spruce up the habitat

Fresh start lending a hand to spruce up the habitat

June 7: Fresh Start came to the Monarch Butterfly Habitat to help Happy Tonics with  habitat maintenance. Eleven youth and five supervisors signed up to perform Community Service. Youth worked in teams and pounded in plant ID stakes, eradicated invasive species, dug up and transplanted native plants from the path at the Shoreline Restoration Project, near the Shell Lake Beach. Groups planted and watered transplants of elderberry, black eyed Susan, goldenrod and prairie rose at the Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden. If you think that is a mouth full, the green team accomplished all of this in 2 ½ hours.

Even if we worked all summer, Happy Tonics with limited volunteers and staff, could have not managed transforming area three in such an efficient way. Youth were attentive, happy, willing to learn about the habitat, and enjoyed learning why we are providing habitat for pollinators.

Chad Olson, staff at Wisconsin Fresh Start Rusk Co., Weyerhaeuser, WI  54865

Chad Olson, staff at Wisconsin Fresh Start Rusk Co., Weyerhaeuser, WI

Chad Olson mentioned that teens usually grumble when asked to do manual labor. Not these youngsters. I think they enjoyed working outside with butterflies, native bees, and learning about native plants that allow pollinators to survive and insure a secure local food supply.

Happy Tonics wishes to thank supervisors Chad Olson and Carly Moline, Weyerhaeuser; Dan Gunderson and Sherri Anderson, Shell Lake; and Mary Schmocker, Hayward, for offering a day of service to the nonprofit. Special thanks go out to Jim VanMoorleham, Happy Tonics volunteer and Joan Quenan, Board Member and Volunteer. I appreciated their efforts in supervising different groups of youngsters and teaching them how to eradicate invasive species and identify native plants.

At noon, we all went to the Lion’s Shelter for a cookout. A few youth from Shell Lake stayed at the shelter while we worked at the habitat. They prepared a delicious cook out for us. Youth did mention that the assignment was fun and offered to come again, perhaps next season. Bravo green team! We love youth to participate. After all, it is their world which they will inherit some day.

June 8: Monarch survival statistics are in from Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, University of MN. Since the butterfly was first recorded in 1993- 1994, monarchs have been in decline in Mexico (overwintering site). 2011-2012 was the lowest on record. The average habitat over the past 19 years has been 7 hectares (1 hectare equals 2.5 acres). Last winter the monarchs occupied only 2.9 hectares.  There is great concern about the Endangered Migration Phenomena.

Fortunately, a few interacting weather patterns this year have been in favor of the monarchs rebounding in a single generation. The Texas drought is finally over. This means there was lots of healthy milkweed to lay eggs on. Just when the new generation was born, along came a string of warm days with southerly winds. The winds pushed the monarchs northward in record numbers and much earlier than we have seen in many years.

A Day in the Life of a Cranberry

Native wild cranberries of Wisconsin

Native wild cranberries of Wisconsin

This is a story about Wisconsin native cranberries. My sister, Ronnie Hohos, and I were traveling towards Hayward, on Route 77, in October 2011. A cranberry bog was on the left. You couldn’t miss it. The water was red with floating cranberries. We both wanted to see the operation. I turned the minivan around and headed back to the bog. The cranberry business is owned and operated by the Zawistowski family. Wisconsin has the largest cranberry harvests in the country, an average of 60 percent comes from Wisconsin.

Men working in the marsh with berries.

Men working in the marsh with berries.

During the growing season, the berries grow on vines close to the ground. At harvest time, the bogs are flooded. Men on harvesting machines rake the vines to loosen the cranberries.  It was exciting to see the work. Many people stopped their cars and with camera in hand, watched as men worked in a coordinated rhythm. I think the men must be proud to be harvesting a wild edible fruit that feeds so many people during the holidays. Nets were cast out upon the water. Men in the water, dressed in hip boots, raked cranberries towards a waiting truck. The cranberries were herded toward a long moving conveyer belt. The berries went up the belt into a truck bed. When a truck was full, the driver drove the truck to the next processing stage.

Making sure berries are clean of chocking weeds and flowing smoothly up the belt.

Making sure berries are clean of chocking weeds and flowing smoothly up the belt.

Trucks waited in turn to unload berries. A woman kept the conveyer belt free of weeds, while clean berries were downloaded from the marsh truck. Then the cranberries were conveyed up to a delivery truck. The cranberries were now ready to be transported to a warehouse. At the warehouse, cranberries would be cleaned, dried, cooled, and frozen for processing. Fresh fruit was also transported to warehouses where it is cleaned, dried, cooled and delivered for sale.

Cranberries going to a warehouse.

Cranberries going to a warehouse.

What would Thanksgiving be without cranberries? I bought five pounds of fresh cranberries and bagged them, by cupful, into zip lock bags. The berries are in my freezer. I can cook and bake with cranberries, all winter long. Cranberries are good for health. The dark hard fruit contains large amounts of vitamin C. Cranberries are used for urinary tract infection. The berry acidifies the urine and prevents bacteria from adhering to the bladder (Balch, 1997).

Old conveyor from years past.

Old conveyor from years past.

According to the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, cranberries contain hippuric acid, which has antibacterial effects on the body, as well as natural antibiotic ingredients. Cranberries may help with atherosclerosis, which is a primary cause of cardiovascular disease. Cranberries minimize the formation of dental plaque. The use of cranberries may be beneficial in the prevention of ulcers, which are linked to stomach cancer and acid reflux disease. To maintain good kidney health, the National Kidney Foundation recommends one large glass of cranberry juice a day.

When I bake berry pies, which is quite frequently in winter, I always add a cup of cranberries. Strawberries are sweet and when added to cranberries, blueberries, and apples, I don’t need to add much sugar. That’s the point. I want to eat berries for health, but not have to pay the price of sugar in my diet. When I use sweeter berries with cranberries it helps sweeten the pie. The juices are rich and colorful. I always add a little organic tapioca to help thicken the pie. It works.

One of my favorite foods is craisins. I buy mine from the cranberry marsh because it takes an average of 6 – 8 hours to bake the berry dry. One can make lots of recipes with cranberries. My sister bought a copy of the Zawistowski Family Cookbook, which she gave to me. One of the recipes, in the book, I learned from, Sheila, the cook at the Minong Senior Center. She adds craisins to meatloaf and it is good. I started making meatloaf using organic grass fed beef, with craisis, and I love it. To learn more about health benefits of cranberries visit at www.cranberryinstitute.org.

It wouldn’t be Wisconsin if we didn’t have an outhouse. Yes, it is probably a relic but then again, maybe not.

Outhouse relic from the past.

Outhouse relic from the past.

Frac Sand Mining in Wisconsin Towns – Conference

Frac Sand Mining in Wisconsin Towns –
A One Day Conference

Thursday, December 1st

8am-3:30pm
29 Pines Sleep Inn & Suites Conference Center
5872 33rd Ave. * Eau Claire (near HWY 29 and Co Rd T)

WHO SHOULD COME:

  • Wisconsin Town officials, county and state elected officials
  • Farmers, townspeople, representatives of local organizations

CONFERENCE GOALS:

  • Provide an overview of the industry and how it is developing in Wisconsin
  • Provide training on practical tools that can be successfully used to address local needs
  • Encourage networking and connections among local officials and citizens who are addressing similar issues

TOPICS:

  • Overview of the Frac Sand Industry
  • How Frac Sand Mining Development is unfolding in Wisconsin
  • What the Industry is Looking For
  • Implications and Issues for Towns
  • Regulatory Structure in Wisconsin and Legal Strategies for Towns
  • Practical Tools for Towns

IN DEPTH WORKSHOPS ON:

  • Roads, property values and taxes
  • Regulatory and non regulatory tools for Towns, including
    • Zoning and Non-Metallic Mining Ordinances
    • Moratoriums
    • Developers Agreements

PARTICIPANTS WILL:

  • Get answers to your questions, issues and concerns
  • Hear from leading experts, including experienced attorneys, geologists, road specialists, town leaders, and others
  • Hear and share stories about Towns’ direct experience with frac sand mining and processing plants
  • Explore which tools are right for your Town
  • Take home a “Toolbox” of concrete tools, models, examples and resources
Conference Registration
is $25 and includes continental breakfast, lunch and materials. Please visit the WFU website to download a registration form. This event is co-sponsored by Wisconsin Farmers Union and WI Towns Association. Call the WFU office if you have questions – 715-723-5561.
Perhaps some of insectamonarca’s friends  reading this Blog will have  transportation access to attend the conference. I want to go but there is no public transportation on that day. I live 2 hours north of Eau Claire.
On Dec. 6 we are showing GASLAND at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College in Hayward, WI. Speakers Patricia Popple and Frank Koehn will educate the audience about this mining procedure which may have environmental risks associated with the mining.

Washburn County Register from the Archives

Want to read the news about the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, WI? This where it all began a few years ago which seems like long, long time ago to the volunteers who made it possible. Enjoy the read at

Washburn County Register.

Here come the videos for Earth Day Event in Shell Lake, WI 2011

Monarch caterpillar two days after 100 mph storm
Monarch caterpillar two days after 100 mph storm

Jennifer Barton, environmental specialist, sent me two videos today that she was able to create on YouTube. I am learning more technical skills daily. I wish I had a way to add email addesses from my computer to any of the sites I am Blogging on but my computer was set up to do no such thing. I can’t share my contacts outside of my own system. This makes it difficult to add friends to new sites. Perhaps someday!

EARTH DAY EVENT 2011
Shell Lake, WI

 This is an announcement about my book My Name is Butterfly getting published with Cassie and her mother Tanya Thompson as live models at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGozwmP-NcA

Now listen to the New Editions Band who played voluntarily at the event. We are grateful to our many friends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ji0LNq3b1k

The Earth is a better place because of all of you. It is a transformation in process when one learns that it is not about one’s self. It is about the collective subconscience and how we all work together in an ancient hive of sustainability and collaboration.

Purchase the books Monarch of the Butterflies and My Name is Butterfly on Amazon.

Source: Jennifer Barton is an Environmental Specialist with Northwest Regional Planning, Recycling Department.

NATIONAL BUTTERFLY COUNT – JULY 4, 2011

Bonding with monarchs day after storm.

Bonding with monarchs day after storm.

Today Happy Tonics is coordinating a National  butterfly count on Facebook which has been upgraded to an International Butterfly Count. We have confirmed butterfly friends as far away as Nottingham, England. Butterfly enthusiasts in several states in North America are participating also.

I had planned to orchastrate the count from our two habitats in Shell Lake, Wisconsin (WI), USA. However a powerful tornado (documented in Solan Springs – 20 miles from Minong on Hwy. 53) literally came crashing through the village of Minong, WI on July 1. It took down all the old red pine and hardwood trees on the property.  I am in the middle of a natural disaster on my 1/2 acre that once stood proud with aged trees of red pine and Chinese elms.

The good news is the butterflies were not harmed. They have been fluttering around the property for days now. Today I will honor the butterfly count from the property where I live. This is a healing therapy for me to think about what survives in Climate Change. I speak about violent storms because I believe they are a proven perdiction of scientists. One has to adapt. I feel as en envirmental educator I am walking the talk. I am drafting the start of this blog later and you will be able to read it as I process my own personal experience.

Monarch caterpillar on milkweed the day after severe storm slammed into Minong, WI.

Monarch caterpillar on milkweed the day after severe storm slammed into Minong, WI, July 2, 2011.

On July 2, one day after the storm I started looking on the milkweed to see if there was monarch life. Take a look at this! I felt so elated to know the the next generation of monarchs were alive and well and eating milkweed leaves. I should name this caterpillar “Survivor.” How did they withstand 90 mph winds? It boggles the mind.

For now, take the day off if you are celebrating America’s Independance Day. The butterfly count will confirm how pollinators do in severe weather conditions at least from this part of the country. I heard on the radio this morning that el nino or la nina seasons can bring severe weather also.

Mary Ellen Ryall reporting from Minong, WI, USA – National Butterfly Count.

July 4, 2011 – 10:30 a.m. Copper butterfly seen on valerian flowers. It was sunny and breezye today. Butterfly was on north side of property and in vegetable garden. 11:30 am. Europen skipper was on the the south side enjoying the native grass as a …resting place. I noted some extra delights also. A mother robin was teaching her fledging to dig for worms. She was seen feeding the baby. Fledgling was following her around on the front property. Back property saw a mother robin teaching her baby about the bird bath. Quickly I went to fill it up.
I ate Juneberry, fresh swiss chard, strawberry tomatoes growing organically in my gardens.   1 p.m. Monarch butterfly seen flying around on front propertty. Winds picking up. Then a saw a wren picking up twigs and the bird has started building a next in one of the wren houses.   3:30 p.m. Monarch was flying by front property.
Weather: 84.7 degrees F, winds 5.8 mph. Day is sunny and clear.
Lisa M. Johnson reports from Milwaukee, WI, “I did the butterfly count anyway.  My count was zero.  I picked the sleepy intersection in front of my house, which has a lot of prarie flowers and a little stream nearby.  I would be willing to do it another time.  It may have been too hot for a sensible butterfly to be out and about.”
Ethel Peoples of Shell Lake, WI states, “I saw one monarch butterfly by my carport.”
OK butterfly friends. Hope to see your reports here shortly. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the butterflies. They do need our love and help.

Be well insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

Mother Earth Water Walkers Press Release

Press Release – For Immediate Release

Ottawa, ON (17 May 2011) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada is acknowledging with the highest esteem the Grandmothers and other supporters who are walking from the four oceans that surround North America. The leaders of the Water Walk carry copper vessels that contain the “healing and sacred salt water” from the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and from Hudson Bay that will be used in a ceremony where the waters converge in Bad River, Wisconsin on June 12, 2011. The water will then be united in Lake Superior where the first Water Walk began in 2003.

Water is a life force that has been respected and honoured through ceremony since time immemorial by the world’s Indigenous peoples. With this respect it is of growing concern that many Indigenous people and others around the world do not have access clean drinking water.

The women in the Water Walk, many whom are Elders have taken on a physically daunting campaign journeying over 10,400,000 steps to raise awareness about the crisis. Like many great concerns it is the women who lead and give voice to the issue.

The Anishinaabe, also known as the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi, are the caretakers of the eastern woodlands and Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system on Earth. Anishinaabe women, as givers-of-life, are responsible for speaking for, protecting and carrying our water.” (Mother Earth Water Walk, 2011)

NWAC, NGO’s and government officials are listening and will respond. You too can support the walkers! For more information see http://www.motherearthwaterwalk.com/ and follow them on Facebook.

Wisconsin Trail article leads tourists to butterfly habitats

Come to Shell Lake, Wisconsin, USA, in the summer of 2011 and visit the Native Restored Remnant Tallgrass Prairie that is dedicated as a Monarch Butterfly Habitat. Tour with Mary Ellen Ryall and learn about differnt native host and nectar plants, shrubs, trees, wild edibles  and butterflies.

Learn more about Happy Tonics at www.happytonics.org

Read the article at Wisconsin Trail at http://www.wisconsintrails.com/content/176.php

World Water Day – Water Blessing Ceremony

World Water Day – March 22, 2011

via World Water Day – Water Blessing Ceremony – World Water Day. Please view Water Ceremony tab at www.happytonics.org for description of Water Ceremony in Minong,WI, at the Hospitality House at 5 p.m.. 

Globally water is threatened in many ways: Pollution, lack of fresh drinking water, privatization, drought, Climate Change. As women we are the protectors of water.  There will be no life on the Earth if there is no fresh clean drinking water. All species depend upon water for life. Water needs to be respected and not taken for granted.

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