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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Finding the answer to my heart’s question

Grandfather boulder

Grandfather boulder

Yesterday I hiked out on a trail through a forest near Fitchburg, Massachusetts; last week I was rewarded while on the same path by what I discovered while out in the woods.

Meantime, I have been feeling torn about taking an altar from my home in Minong, Wisconsin. I am moving to Massachusetts from Wisconsin. The beautiful raw wood is a single piece of wood, a former tree limb. Many years ago, a severe storm hit Southern Maryland and the limb fell during the storm. The fallen limb was from a sacred tree hidden in the forest, along a horse trail in Lusby. There were no other footsteps because no one hiked or road horses on the trail any longer. I used to go here with Tia, my dog,  when we lived in Southern Maryland. I could unburden my heart at the base of the ancient tree. I loved the tree that survived massive development of Southern Maryland, withstood thunder storms and still strongly stood. I sensed the tree had good medicine. I could feel it. I had many experiences to learn from the ancient tree. I don’t know how to express it any other way.

When we moved to Northwest Wisconsin, I took the limb with me. For many years it stood on the mantle over the fireplace at our home in Minong, Wisconsin. Here is where I lit a candle to set the day’s intentions. Here is where I put sacred objects to honor the Great Spirit and Mystery of the Cosmos and Universe. The altar is still there. I return to Wisconsin on Wednesday. Shortly, I will be moving to Massachusetts into a small alcove penthouse in Fitchburg, MA. There really isn’t room for many of my things, including the sacred wood of the prayer tree. Now you know how I was feeling about moving this sacred object. All my family including my husband, our animals, and most of my elder friends have walked on whom once lived on B Street, Minong. It was here in this little valley where we had our retirement home and I spent many a happy year.

Now, it is time for me to move on too.

 

 

Woodland trail

Woodland trail

It was while hiking within the woods, in Massachusetts, that I was led to another ancient tree. It was then I literally broke down because I had found the tree, or was it that the tree found me? I knew then that I didn’t need to bring the altar to MA. I could now honor the altar by placing it with the sacred place where my animals are buried. It is here also where the bullets from my husband’s Military Honoring Internment Ceremony are also buried. My husband is interned at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Northwest Wisconsin. Someday, I will return to Wisconsin to be interned with my husband. It is a beautiful place. There are native gardens that border the woods and I will someday be in these beloved woodlands forever.

In the meantime, I am getting ready to fly to Wisconsin on Wednesday, pack up the house, and say goodbye to this sweet interlude that embraced me for 12 years. Know that when I return to Massachusetts, I can walk out to my sacred tree as long as I have the strength of my legs to carry me. How sweet this reality is and how honored I am.

Kristi’s Book Nook reviews my book about butterfly

New Ventures Garden Seminar

Kristi’s Book Nook reviews my book about butterfly.

Cassie and I exhibited the book and sold many copies at the New Ventures Garden Seminar at Northwood School, Minong, in March 2012. Cassie is the model for Sarah Reynalds, the girl in the book.

You can read the review at http://www.butterfly-woman-publishing.com

Enjoy Insectamonarca friends wherever you are.

While away – a wild creature moved in

woodchuck Google photo

woodchuck Google photo

Woodchuck (Marmota monax). Also known as groundhog and marmot.

Well, I am back from DC but still not up to stuff.  A few days ago I noticed a fuzzy medium-sized animal in a tree. He was grabbing small, lime green colored leaves to eat. I thought to myself, “Isn’t he a sweet looking animal.” I called my sister in MA. She thought it might be a woodchuck. It turns out it is. Copyright photo is by Marg Rines. Photo was on Goggle.

Today, I was out in the back yard when he popped his head out of the den. I said hello softly and walked away slowly. Within a matter of minutes he came outside of his den and then made a dash to his home again. I can watch him from the house. He appears to be enjoying the grass which I haven’t cut so far this season. I am working on creating more prairie and less lawn. First thing I need to do is get the fence up so the Minong Senior Center next door won’t mind my sustainable way of living.

Last year after the blow-down of 100 mph winds tore up the 1/2 acre around the house, I decided to turn the property into an edible landscape and wildlife habitat. Never did I dream that I would be gone only one week to Washington, DC, and a new neighbor would move right in.

I hope we can coexist together and that we won’t find each other a bother. I did some reading up on my new neighbor. He likes to eat grass, clover, and other forbs. Sometimes a woodchuck will eat insects and small birds.  I sure hope he doesn’t take a liking to my crop gardens. I also hope he doesn’t tear up the whole back property. I understand that he does have a deep den and an escape route. I think I saw the escape hole. I had already turned this area into prairie with native wild roses and chokecherry trees in 2011.

A few years ago photo of campfire pit with my dog Tia

A few years ago photo of campfire pit with my dog Tia

If any of you out there know more about the woodchuck, I sure would appreciate a few words from your own personal experience. I know that he will probably like to be out on the property in the early morning. This is usually when I go outside (in season) and do Tai chi. I also like to garden so I am outside most days when the days are warmer. I understand that he likes to be outside in late afternoons. It will be interesting to see if we can get along together. No, I do not think of him as a pet. The woodchuck is a wild animal.

New Ventures Garden Seminar

collagegarden2012

collagegarden2012

I was delighted that two of my young apprentices helped with Happy Tonics exhibit at the Northwood School, Minong, Wisconsin. This was the eighth annual New Ventures Garden Seminar and it was very well attended.

Cassie Thompson was the model for my book, “My Name is Butterfly.” She has been a butterfly advocate since a young girl. Cassie lives in Minong, WI. Dakota Robinsin, Shell Lake, WI, won a Girls Scout Silver Medal for her project to educate about the monarch butterfly migration. Dakota made a story board that she uses to educate others about the Endangered Migration Phenomena. She made a petition to stop roadside mowing. So far she has 91 signatures. Her goal is to reach 100 signatures before she sends the results to Senator Jauch and other legislators.

Also in the collage is Marlene Darmanin of Sidney, Australia. Marlene started a project to build a school library on remote Viwa Island, Fiji. Marlene’s story to follow shortly on this Blog. All thee of them are heroes in my book. Each of them stepped outside of their comfort zone to implement change for good.

A plant story waiting to be told


Single leaf of giant radweed

Single leaf of giant radweed

If you only knew how this story has been nagging me. I have been looking for the photos on and off for a few months now. Photographers, I admit that I haven’t kept up with filing photos in a file system on the computer. Cindy Dyer, Dyer Design, told me she sorts though her photos daily and deletes those she doesn’t want and files the others in folders. It was this past summer when I saw a tall plant with multiple shaped leaves growing in my garden on the back side of the house. I would look out the window and say to myself, “What is that?” Do you notice the serrated leaves? They look like tiny teeth.

On close examination it had a familiar seed head. The leaves were unique in different shapes such as a single leaf and sometimes three to five lobes. I absolutely couldn’t identify the plant using any of my extensive wildflower plant books. It isn’t often than I am stumped by a plant.

Five lobes leaf

Five lobes leaf

I emailed a knowledgeable instructor at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in Hayward, WI. I had studied natural resources with him.  Larry Baker has an intimate knowledge of plants and I figured if anyone knew this plant, he would.

The seed head was green. We went back and forth a few times until Larry looked up the plant key identification. I should have gone here but I didn’t. I hope he doesn’t think I am lazy. A surprise email came that asked, “Could it be Giant Ragweed?” I could have blushed because I then realized I did recognize the seed head. Yes indeed, it was this plant. The Latin name is Ambrosia trifida and the noxious weed is also known as Buffaloweed.

Great ragweed seed head. Great ragweed seed head.

How did it come to be living in my native wildflower garden? I have no idea how it got there. The plant prefers fertile moist soils. I had mulched this area with garden leaf compost a few years ago. The soil was dark and moist. Beyond the drip line of my home, all the water slopes downwards through a wood chip filter and throughout the garden bed. It must have been a male plant because the flowers were abundant in spike like clusters located on the tips of branches and stems. Female flowers are few without petals located in the axils of the upper leaves.

Leaves are opposite, large and slightly hairy, entire, or palmately cleft into 3 or occasionally 5 lobes. The lobes are ovate-lanceolate and serrated. I was able to look up the plant afterwards in a book that Ed, an elder friend, gave me a few years back. I never dreamed I would be identifying noxious weeds from this source but as you can see, I am. My books are my refuge.

Source: U.S. Department of agriculture, Selected Weeds of the United States, 1970.

On the Monarch Butterfly Trail

Event Monarch Sighting
Number 3
Date of Sighting 09/12/11
Comments A male monarch flew into a Jack pine tree to rest. Then another monarch came
to the trees for the same purpose. Later in the day I saw one more monarch
flitting around the garden of milkweed and native wildflowers. It is late for
monarchs to be here. I hope they leave before the weather changes later this
week.
Location Minong
State/Province WI
Latitude 46.11
Longitude -91.81
E-mail email
this observer
(—-@centurytel.net)
Observer’s First Name Mary Ellen
Observer’s Last Name Ryall
Teacher’s First Name Mary Ellen
Teacher’s Last Name Ryall
Grade
School Monarch Butterfly Habitat
City Minong
State/Province WI

August New Moon Water Ceremony in Northwest Wisconsin

double rainbow over Minong

Double rainbow over Minong - Storm image. After every storm there is a rainbow even if we can't see it.

August 29 – Northwest Wisconsin Water Sisters held a Water Ceremony in Minong, WI. This is a monthly gathering where we join our spirits with other Water Sisters around the world and pray for sacredness, honor, purity and abundance of water for all living species and for future generations. We sing the Nibi Wabo water chant, speak water reflections, water prayers and dance with drum, birch bark clapping sticks and gourd rattles around a sacred circle. In warm season we hold ceremony in a sand dunes and go barefoot as we dance. Beautiful soft sand molding our steps and touching us back with gladness.

Afterwards we have a community meal of organic and local foods prepared individually by Water Sisters. This time is an opportunity to share ourselves, our joys and concerns. Everyone leaves feeling stronger than when they arrived.  It is as if a healing blanket is embracing us.

If you would like to join us by intention or directly let us know. When we give our Intentions to the water in Ceremony ,we will call your names off if you are joining us from afar. This month we remembered Worth Cooley-Prost, Alexandria, VA; Ginger Wilcox, Springbrook, WI and Water Sisters everywhere.  We remembered Akasa WolfSong, Ann Dunn, Jackie’s Remlinger’s mother and all mothers around the world.

Next New Moon Water Ceremony is September 27 at 6 p.m.

Source: Mary Ellen Ryall, Council Guide, Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites.

Weather outside too hot to enjoy but what a moon

sky
sky

I am listening to Gong music on Heart of Space this morning. Bought hamburger
and steak to cook outside today. Last night I waited for the full moon. It was
a mosquito annoying time at first. But up she came. I lit the candles and
earlier had filled the kids pool. It was still pretty cold but refreshing
after being so sticky all afternoon.  All by myself. How I revel in these
free times with the full moon.

I never made it to Shell Lake yesterday. It was simply too
hot and I am not pushing it. Rode my bike over to the motel. Gary and I sat on
his bench outside and enjoyed his dog Toby who is now my new friend. Gary and
I laugh because life here is even better than the TV show Northern Lights. Then
I rode to Stony’s. Neat I can put my bike on his deck so I don’t have to worry
about some kid taking it. Had an ice tea and then it was time to come home and
wait. The moon how glorious she was. Came up orange and like a
big oriental lantern light. Rising quickly in the night’s sky. Every moment
precious as I joined my heart to hers.
Two days ago a beautiful black bear walked through the
field next to back property and then casually walked over to Erv’s. Beautiful
creature. So rounded and black. The neighbor was just out taking a
stroll.
Stay cool. Hope tomorrow cools down or I probably won’t
want to venture out. Talk later.
The heat zaps
me.
Good thoughts coming your way,

Winter appears to be leaving us

Hello insectamonarca friends,

Today I saw a robin across the street in a field. This is a sign that winter is leaving Wisconsin. Frankly, I could stand a little more winter because it passed too quickly for me. This is my retreat time. This past week I  observed two pigeons, a family of deer with their sweet yearling and a red fox. These interludes of happy times with nature sustain me.

Be well insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

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