The “Awkward” Stage

Oh Brother…This coming weekend is my class reunion…40 YEARS! I can hardly believe it…yet it DOES seem like it was a kazillion years ago when I was at that “awkward” stage. What grade was I in when I felt the most self-conscious & gawky? …I’d say it started in 3rd grade and continued on throughout my ENTIRE school career. I was a skinny skinny flat chested girl with crooked teeth and wild out of control hair… I know this to be true as I found a small wallet size photograph of me when I was in 6th grade. My bangs are shorter than bangs should ever be…I have a crazed smile on my face…All teeth & gums!…BUT the worst of it? I am wearing a skin-tight green knit shirt OVER my busty older sister’s bra…There is rippling, folds & puckers right there for all to see… I didn’t even have the sense to stuff some kleenex in there! Did my parents NOT notice? My sisters? My teacher? My classmates…THE PHOTOGRAPHER for cripes sake! I laugh hysterically at this now… Awkward doesn’t even begin to cover me as a youth. Am I STILL this awkward now and don’t know it? Probably! BUT I DO have a better sense of humor now and if you can’t laugh at yourself…who CAN you laugh at! Class of 1979? Here I come.

My High School Bestie, Judith Norma & I last month…NO, I will NOT share the “Other” pic with you. 😉

Trees ARE the answer to so many questions

Lots of space!!

My husband Bruce and I live on a 40-acre hobby farm. Bruce is a bonafide farm boy…he grew up on a dairy farm, planted crops (hay, corn, tobacco) and LOVES a cleared patch of land. I, on the other hand, grew up in Northern Wisconsin, SURROUNDED by trees and deep mysterious forests. He feels claustrophobic in the woods…I feel exposed in a field. Life has been brutal for today’s small farms…they are disappearing…one by one. Driving through Vernon County, I see all the empty spaces that could hold trees…unused pastures and fallow fields, empty spaces yearning to be productive! Whether you believe in climate change or you don’t, there is NOTHING to be lost from planting trees. Who doesn’t like Oxygen? I say, let’s plant trees wherever we can to better our environment!! AND IF we plant fruit, nut or Sugar Maple trees, we give future generations another food source. Win Win. Now, MY biggest challenge will be to find a compromise with Bruce so we aren’t “Hemmed in” or “Exposed” and have a happy compromise 🙂 Planting trees…THAT is my mission…can it also be yours?

Lessons from the Lake

Oneida County as reported by the Journal Sentinel Online

When this pair of Loons lost their chick, they adopted this Mallard duckling who had apparently lost its parents. My heart absolutely stopped when I saw this image. How beautiful…How incredible…How perfect. On days when I feel like I may be swallowed up by the hatred and animosity we humans throw at each other, I so needed to see this picture. It gives me hope…Hope that somehow we can all learn to take care of each other…All for one and one for all! Come on, people!… After all the dust settles and we finally see how petty our grievances towards each other are…MAYBE we can just be kind to one another…IF Loons can do it!… <3

Baxter & Dagwood

Baxter is our sweet little dog. He brings us lots of joy. He loves cheese and cooked carrots, ice cream & “whatever we are eating”! He dislikes dogfood, fireworks and storms. He LOVES to splash in our creek and chase rabbits…and his favorite place to be?… Wherever we are. He’s always happy and loves us no matter what…We all need to be more like dogs…for REAL! <3

Birds of a Feather

I am sitting with my coffee on the screen porch…with Baxter! There is a fascinating scene playing out in front of me. I am watching birds…ALL different…ALL beautiful…All Unique…yet all birds. The Robin…hopping around with his head cocked, listening for movement beneath the earth. When he discovers the exact spot, he plunges his beak into the soft loam and extracts a worm…EVERY single time. Then there is the Hummingbird. He floats from flower to flower, dipping HIS long tongue into the blooms, preferring to sip his breakfast. And the Wren family in the tiny birdhouse on the trellis. Momma Wren flies off into the crab apple tree again and again, bringing back insects for her hungry brood. While I can’t SEE them, I hear their excited chirps every time she returns to the house. In the background a Woodpecker pecks away on a tree, looking for it’s breakfast. People are like birds! We are all unique and beautiful…going about life in our own ways. One is not better than another…we are just different…and THAT is beautiful. Be Excellent to Each Other …enjoy the diversity.

Twisted Sister Weekend

What can be even MORE fun than a Gammon Sister weekend? How about a Gammon/Mallek sister weekend? Yes, we reminisced and laughed until we were sick. It was uncanny to watch another family of four sisters interact with each other much the same as my sisters and I interact. It was double the fun and hopefully we can make this an annual event. <3 MUUUAAAHHHHH, Ladies!

Orbs of Beauty

Every year my husband threatens to dig up these thistles…and every year I make sure he does NOT! Dotted here and there amongst the thorny spines sprout these glorious little balls of blue…perfect in their beauty. I try very hard to always look for the little bright spots in a world strewn with tangles & rough patches. Hopefully…as I grow older…and the world more unpredictable… I will ALWAYS be able to see them. I KNOW for sure…I will NEVER stop looking for them <3


Nothing but boys…How lucky am I? Grant- my firstborn…the builder…my adventurer, Bruce – my parenting co-pilot, Kyle- artistic, loving and full of sunshine & Jay- The baby…stronger & braver than I could ever be. And …of course, Baxter…my “velcro” dog who loves me unconditionally and adds a bit of sparkle (and the occasional skunk smell) to our lives.
Although I gave birth to 3 sons…Having them bring me daughters to cherish is the icing on my cake! Meet Anna & Keli!!

And The Trees…ALWAYS The Trees

“The Spirit of the Pond, a vain and selfish entity, wants to preserve his beauty by denying the ancient Tree Spirits his life-giving water in a time of drought. He discovers that in trying to save himself, he will lose everything he holds dear. In the circle of life, we are all dependent upon the actions and kindness of others. ” ALWAYS relevant!

Illustration from And The Trees Began To Move by Lauren Rutledge

When you sit beneath a tree…close your eyes and listen to the canopy above, the leaves whisper secrets of the earth to you.


Me and my sisters.

Growing up with SISTERS, taught me that although we are 4 individual souls, our hearts beat as one. We are tied together by love & laughter…loss & sadness…whatever one feels? We ALL share in that emotion. Lori- the oldest and the one with the kindest heart…a gentle spirit…Lynn- the toughest…on the outside & nothing but mirth & mischief on the inside…Lana- the baby…but the even keel we all need when our seas get rough. I LOVE them all…they make ME better. A Sister is the BEST gift a parent can give their child…AND I get to have THREE of them. How lucky am I? <3 <3 <3 <3