Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 355 in the Northwoods

   So, Pearl Harbor will have another meaning for me as of today.  My dearest Trigger found his way across the Rainbow Bridge today.  In 10 days, I will have lived in Eagle River for an entire year.  Many things have happened in this short year. 
    In the Krohn dog world; one dog got Lyme's disease even though he was given a prevention, one dog has a rare fungal disease that has a high probability of fatality, and the first dog with Lyme's got cancer.  Bone cancer.  Why?  I don't know.  Trigger, his illness was fast.  I am grateful for this.
   I want to talk about Trigger.  Trigger was the pick of the litter from a co-worker/friend who bred her female chocolate which produced some black labs and a yellow that she kept (and has since passed).  He was the biggest which has no implication whatsoever on brain size.  Cute as a 106lb button, but dumb as a box of rocks.  Trigger as a puppy went through the usual eating and chewing stage; he once ate 2 glass Christmas ornaments, a mountain dew can, and 4 flip-flops, unfortunately not paired up.  He wasn't crated, but Bob did put him in there initially for punishment and night time sleeping.  It did not last long.  He was born in August of 2004, and we brought him home in October.  Bob went to Farm and Fleet and purchased a "cat size" crate.  Yea, that lasted without exaggeration, 2 weeks. He grew and he grew fast.  Trigger spent alot of time with Bob at work for the first year of his life.  Riding to work with Bob, he sat shotgun on Nick's lap which later set precedent for being an over sized lapdog.  This was fine with me.  I loved his big floppy soft ears and ran them across my face.
   Trigger was potty trained and well behaved, and normally did not even know what a leash was because he was pretty well behaved.  He frolicked in the yard and had no intentions of taking off especially when daddy was home.  Back to the brain size; Trigger once attempted to get back into the house through the glass patio door, without the door being open.  Trigger hit the glass so hard the house shook.  He would bark and was afraid of inanimate objects such as garbage dumpsters, plastic containers that you may have been carrying, mailboxes, etc.  I often wondered if there was a vision problem.  I really don't think so.  We once had a mouse take up residence in our Greenfield home. Bob was watching television in the living room and said mouse ran across the living room carpet past Trigger who did nothing.  I think he saw it, but just did not act on it.  Hmm.  Wonder why?  Bob would occasionally get home from work when it was dark outside and I would let out the dogs to greet him. Trigger not seeing Bob, would start barking. Bob would hide behind his work van and start barking.  This produced a game of scared dog acting big and barking while backing up. 
   When we introduced Minnie our papillion to our pack, Trigger was pissed.  Growled.  Never really heard him growl before that.  Well that lasted a day.  After the first day of butt sniffing and puffing out his chest, Trigger and Minnie were fast friends and played well together. Size did not matter.  One of the cutest memories was Trigger and Minnie playing tug of war.  Trigger was so kind that he pretended to let Minnie get some ground.  When I called Trigger's name he forgot he was playing nicely with Minnie and snapped his head in my direction, dragging Minnie along with him, she flew through the air like superman.  It was really funny. 
    Trigger was such a beautiful boy that more than one person had asked us if we would let them use him for breeding.  We did not.  As much as I like to keep the breed alive, I really am not for breeding.  So many dogs need homes.  Trigger was eventually neutered.
   Trigger was not used for hunting as much as Bob would have liked, only because initially Bob had worked too much to put the time into him.  The times that he did go hunting with Bob he did well. 
Trigger lived for pleasing Bob.  He loved car rides, romping in the snow, treats, running on the beach of Lake Michigan, having his butt rubbed and fetching balls.
   Trigger's eyes were full of expression and his tail was typical lab; knocking over things, hurting my knees after replacement, etc.  Speaking of knee replacement.....when I returned home from the hospital Trigger was always a true care taker.  He ALWAYS jumped, in one svelte move onto the bed to snuggle with me.  I swear this is true.  I was concerned that he was so big that he would hurt me.  He did not.  Not only did he not hurt me, he laid with me and acted as if he truly understood my pain. 
   This fall, Trigger got into some trouble with dad.  We went exploring as we do and stopped at a small lake with a cool pier.  It was a cool day and Trigger was loving it.  As we were on the pier, Bob was saying "don't you dare Trig...." splash.  Trigger not only jumped in but dove.  Not at an angle, but straight down.  I have never heard a dog make such sputtering noises from getting water up his nose.  Ohhh, Bob was mad.  Dirty, wet, smelly dog in the truck with no towel, etc.  Trigger didn't have a clue.  He was so happy when he got out of the water and shook off, he trotted off happy as can be. 
   Today I was alone with Trigger when he took his last breaths.  Bawling like a baby, I couldn't think of anything other than how awful this was.  Later I reflected back on his life and recalled so many good moments.  Bob always tells me that when he dies he wants to come back as a dog, a dog that lives in our house.  He's right. Trigger had a great life.  He was allowed on furniture, celebrated holidays with special treats, hunted, ran, swam, snuggled, and was loved as part of the family.  I feel ripped off that he only lived until 8.  The vet says for his size that really is a geriatric age.
   I think if there is a God, that he has put pets on this earth for our enjoyment and to prepare us for further inevitable losses that will come.  I have not suffered close, immediate family loss yet, but I have a clue how it will feel. I don't like it.  How do people move on?  Trigger was my immediate family.
   The few words that I have typed do not do the boy justice.  Anyone that has loved a dog, I am sure understands.  Each dog has a different personality, a different quirk, a different imprint on your heart.   
   Big dummy; I love you more than I thought I would.  Daddy told me I wasn't allowed to turn you into a sissy when we first got you.  He also said that you were his dog and to back off.  Well you know how that went.  I miss you already.  I will see you up in heaven.  I am sure of it.
      Love, Mommy

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I never imagined; while staring at the tv in horror watching the real life violence unfold, I wondered what would happen when I went to work that day. I was a 32 yr old single mom of a spunky 7 yr old and an 8 yr old that acted almost like an adult. I put on my uniform later that day and prayed that the kids would be fine when my mom picked them up from school, and worried that they would have que...
stions about what happened today. Also, would they be fearful that something bad would happen to me? I always downplayed my career, not wanting their innocence to be tarnished with fear that something bad could happen to mommy. I was really the center of their world. At work we all walked into role call that day in stunned silence. I will never forget. That night as a 2nd shift police officer, I NEVER IMAGINED, that my spunky 7 yr old daughter, 11 yrs later, would be enlisted as an active duty Army soldier. Eleven years ago I would have cried and begged her not to, out of fear. Today I cry tears of understanding and pride.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


     Raspberry picking, I found a big hole which more than likely turns out to be a badger hole.  It would have been awesome to actually see the badger, but no such luck as they are nocturnal.  Plus Bob says I wasn't exactly dressed to run away from a ticked off mammal that would be running after me.  The weather here has been ridiculous, hot and humid, apparently not the norm.  We have no air conditioning which everyone here says is unnecessary (I kind of disagree), but it does save quite the penny!  Someday I think we may invest, but not at this point.  This particular day pictured above it was around dinner time, and it was HOT, humid and we were totally dripping with sweat.  We did find quite the jackpot that day.  I do know why raspberries are so expensive, because they are not that easy to pick!  Very time consuming.

     I am very excited to be keeping busy by painting, decorating and staging a house for my fabulous landlord, BB.  I really love doing this. 

     Bob has been going back and forth to the Milwaukee area working, which leaves me alone on my own more than I want.  However, in the big picture it's a really good thing.  It's helping out so much financially.  When he is here in ER, we fish, go out exploring the woods and the area lakes and really enjoy our time together.  We still don't have cable or satellite television, but at this point we don't really miss it.  He gets his fill while he is sleeping at my parents' in St. Francis, before going to bed.  I spend alot of time outside, clean, hang with the poochies and read. 

     My 43rd birthday I spent in the Porcupine Mtns with friends, Bob was unable to join us, which was really sad.  It was my first tent camping and it was pretty cool. I swam in Lake Superior, saw bears eating leftovers at a restaurant, went to Lake of the Clouds and hiked some beautiful trails.   Friends from Greenfield have come here to visit also which was also awesome, but Bob missed that too :(   I got to go pleasure boating for the first time in a long time (Bob uses his boat for fishing, and fishing only).  I also took my friends' daughter for a week and went to the Wildwood Zoo which is my all time new favorite zoo.  It's a petting zoo and there are so many kinds of animals that you can interact with.  We also took her tubing, geocaching and to the movies.  It's been quite a busy summer.  I feel very fortunate.

     I am counting down the days now until my baby leaves for the Army.  I can't believe that it's less than a month.  I get choked up just thinking about it.  Both kids, so far away.  Proud but sad.

     I can't believe it's been 7 full months of living up here.  I am blessed to be here, yet there isn't a day that goes by that I am not reminded of the events leading up to it.  I found out yesterday that someone is making an offer on our house in Greenfield.  I pray for a sale as that would be in our best interest and to start the long road to recovery. 

     Hoping that my mom comes up soon.  She had her knee replaced 2 weeks ago and I am still waiting patiently for her to come up and visit as she has not been here yet.  She will absolutely love it, but she fears the long ride. 

     One last round of visitors are coming this next weekend, I look forward to the visit, Bob will be here too.  I wish Gary and Kenney could come.  Maybe.

     As always, missing family and friends.

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's a Date

Weird and bizarre weather lately.  Makes me think something crazy is going on with the World.  Cold, hot, rain, dry, humid, hail and all in one day. 

Bob is here and it appears he may be here for a few days this time.  Niko is back in Cali, Bailey back to St Francis awaiting leaving for the ARMY.  Some different sets of friends will come and visit in the next 6 weeks, I am trying to get familiar with everything in the area so we can keep everyone entertained.  My local friend CC has been away for a bit on a vacation, anxiously awaiting her arrival back at home as she is my only friend I have here and she is truly a great find.

Went fishing since Bob has been home and enjoyed the peace and serenity of Stella Lake.  Took some great pics of lily pads, a beaver hut and downed trees.  Looking forward to a hike around Shannon Lake, hopefully this week too.  We hiked there in March when we had that weird warm spell when it was in the 70's and 80's.  I can't wait to see how the shrubbery has changed.  I won't need a cane this time either.  My $10 bike I found at a rummage has been put to good use.  Bob thinks I am still "a gimp", but I think I am fine.  It has been one year this month for the first knee replacement and 9 months for the other.  Ironically the 2nd replacement is feeling and doing betther than the first.  When we went fishing the other day in our little boat, I was stepping on an anchor, poles, a net and other things and he became impatient and said "when are you going to be healthy?".  This frustrates me.  I am healthy.  Uneven ground is really difficult for people with new knees.  Ugh.  Anyways, the new bike is perfect rehab.  I enjoy that much more than the stationery bike (so does Maggie as she usually gets to come along in the front basket). 

Hopefully someone I know that lives in North Hollywood won't open his mouth and get me in trouble, but....another someone I know that is staying with my parents in St Francis went on a date tonight to a Brewers game.  She is so cute.  Took a pic of her outfit and asked my opinion.  Poor girl, I hear it's in the high 90's there!  Good thing she is young, and cute with porcelain skin.  I would be sweating like a stuffed pig right about now and looking like a drowned rat.  Well I hope the date turns out as she wishes.  I heard stories about this particular young man and it sounds like a good match, at least for a date.

A GFPD friend of mine made my week by sending me a care package in the mail, made up of various items I love.  Thoughtfulness goes along way.  I think I am going to pay it forward.  I was pretty good about that in the past, but have dropped the ball in my pity party for Angie lately.  And another GFPD friend sent me some really cool items for Bailey for an Army scrapbook. 

Trying to talk my mom into coming to my house in the late summer, early fall.  She has to get HER knee replaced (had one done years ago and has been putting off the 2nd one as she hated the recovery).  She would love it here.  My parents have yet to visit :(  They say the drive is too long, but they jump in the car and drive to Shawano for a fish fry!  My dad isn't really a "stay overnight guest" kind of person, but I hope I can talk my mom into staying for awhile after her knee replacement.  Not many things in ER, but there is a physical therapy place 3 miles from my house, which our (we have the same orthopedic doctor) knee doc has already told me he could send anyone to this facility including me.  (Funny story, my knee doc lives right outside of Rhinelander Thursday - Sunday and in Milwaukee area Monday thru Wednesday.  I had my knees done in Milwaukee, way before I knew I would be living up here, AND he goes to my same church.  Talk about small world!  He does not practice medicine up here, just lives up here).

Very proud of a certain someone that lives on the West Coast for acknowleding his step dad for father's day.  For all the drama and I don't care attitude he puts out there, I see he still has a big heart. 

Sweating my bee jeezers off, going to hit a cold bath (no air conditioner up here in da' nort).

xxoo and miss all my family and friends.  still.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Approaching the 6 month mark for my move to the Northwoods.  Niko and Bailey came to stay for a week.  The time flew by.  We didn't have a ton of money but made the best of it.  We went to the Wildwood Wildlife Zoo in Woodruff, and oh was it fabulous!  I think I like it more than the Milwaukee Co Zoo!  So many animals to see and touch, so little staff to warn you not to.  It was awesome.  I am considering getting an annual membership.  It's not too expensive and I would really like to just sit and watch all the critters.  Don't know why these peacocks are behind a cage, as lots of them were walking about but what a neat pic. We also went to see a movie, fished, went shooting, horseback riding (haven't done that in 10 years) and I was pretty impressed how well I did with the knees!  Went to a wonderful flea market, my friends took them to see Bond Falls and Bonanza Falls and Lake Superior, another friend took them to Rhinelander to see a movie.  All this even with Niko not getting his pretty little head off of the pillow until the afternoon on most days!   

Bailey graduated from high school last Sunday.  My baby.  I cannot even believe it.  I feel like a huge chapter closed. She will stay at my parents for most of the summer and will visit me a few times before leaving at the end of August for boot camp.  She says she wants to keep going to PT for the ARMY which is near my parents house.  She also said that with me moving up north in the winter, it prepared her more for her move away from home when joining the ARMY.  She claims that if she was living with me here it would be harder to leave in August (sniff).  Also she feels that grandma likes having her there.  I think Bailey also likes grandma waiting on her!

Niko is still here in Wisconsin, visiting with friends and family until he flies back to LA on Friday.  Brat in true form while he visited.  I forgot how the World revolves around him.  And when trying to set boundaries with him, he argues with me saying "I am not 15 years old anymore, I am an adult!".  Really hard to argue with a young man, coming into his own, that is always right.  As much as I felt like clobbering him over the head, I sure miss the snot. 

Bob continues to work some in the Milwaukee area (take it when you can), which has left me alone this week.  Silence.  Alot of silence.  Trying to be as thrifty as possible, I haven't contacted DISH Network again (to see if Bob's tree trimming helped find a signal).  I figure it's saving money each month.  These last couple of windy days have left me tv-less.  Yesterday was 90 degrees, today the high was 60 degrees and there is a frost advisory tonight!  Anyways, I worked in the yard and am trying to make it our own.  Dug out a little area and spread some wildflower seeds last week.  Also bought a bike at a rummage sale with a cute wicker basket on the front, so Maggie and I took a 3 mile ride today.  Good for the knees and the butt, ha, ha. 

Today is Tuesday.  Stock car racing down the road.  Loud.  Since it's chilly today the windows are closed so it's a little better.  I wonder how long this racing season is?

Looking forward to more warm days, Bailey and I and Korkie (what a sight we were), took a blow up boat and a blow up chair down the river the other day.  It was great!  We went about a mile and got out at our friends house, where Niko picked us up with the car.  It took over and hour and we needed to use our little paddles to push off some rocks sometimes, but it was great!  I can't wait to do it again.  

I think I finally have a good systme worked out for the birds that we feed.  However as I say that I am watching a gosh darn chipmunk toss off all the expensive stuff onto the ground from about 7 feet up, off of one of the feeders.  I had to move some things around as the deer also like the expensive bird seed.  The deer get corn out of a big covered troth (also purchased for 10 bucks at a rummage sale), and I have suet feeders and wild bird mix in various feeders throughout the yard.  It's so entertaining.

The recent bad news; a tree fell on our 2nd garage/workshop, not too much damage, fixable.  Bob's work van that we really need for him to be successful - died.  Dead.  No longer operational, ever.  Recent good news; we made some new, wonderful friends.  Some old friends are coming to visit.  We plan on going camping for the first time in our lives in the Porcupine Mountains.  I am healthy.  Bob is healthy.  Kids and family-healthy. 

Tomorrow I plan on finally painting 2 sides of the garages that don't match the rest.  Yes, I have been putting it off.  Move, clean, paint, move, clean, paint.  Feels like a re-run.  But that should be the last of the painting for awhile. 

Next time I go back South, I hope to catch up with everyone.  Didn't get a chance to see anyone (except one), when I went to Bailey's graduation as we were in town less than 24 hours!  Stopped at the old house and took a look around.  Hard to breathe.  Everytime I think of it, I feel like a failure.  

Happy June everyone.  Make the most of it.  It seems like it's going to be a pleasant weather month.

(Wanted to post more pics; river rafting with Korkie, more of the zoo, tree on the garage, but it took 20 minutes to load just the one!)  Ugh.  Take the good with the bad of the northwoods :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Puddle of Mudd

   Sitting in the drive, waiting for Bob to get home from Milwaukee.  He has been gone for 2 weeks.  Today it's supposed to be in the 80's.  Tomorrow is a fabulous day....we are going to MudFest, Puddle of Mudd is going to be in Eagle River at the derby track.  Apparently this is a first for up here, just in time for us!  A friend forwarded a groupon offer and we got a great deal on general admission tickets.  I can't wait.  We love music.  There are 2 other bands, and the winner of battle of the bands, which I don't know a whole lot about, but will tomorrow.
   I am hoping Bob can relax and enjoy the scenery and weather today and doesn't stress out about money and such.  I have accomplished quite a bit while he was gone in hopes that he could take a break while here at home. 
   A peliated wood pecker just flew past while I was typing this, so close I got almost touch it.  It's a huge wood pecker, (wonder if that what Woody Wood Pecker was?).  Also the blue jays are hanging off the suet and the red squirrel is harassing Maggie by constantly chirping at her.  I have to bring in the feeders every night now since the bears have visited and done some damage. 
   My pet sitter came this week and got familiar with the house as we both leave for Milwaukee soon, to see Bailey, my baby graduate.  I can type that now with no emotion, however once they start that pomp and circumstance song, I will be a blubbering mess.  I can't believe it.  On one hand the years have gone by slowly (some of the bad stuff), and the other they just flew by.  I cannot believe they will both be on their own come August.  Wow.  Plus, Mr. Drama himself will be visiting me in our new northwoods location.  That should be a trip.  Niko and bugs, dirt and other elements!  Although I know he will appreciate the scenery and the wildlife.  Hope he brings his camera (he will).  Wait until he sees how awful phone service is here!  Oh boy.  I plan on stopping at Verizon today to dumb down my phone.  My smart phone, is not so smart here.  I NEVER get service.  Never does it show missed calls...I have to call my voicemail daily, just to see if I missed a call.  However, Bob's generic contractor type phone works just fine.  d
   Met with a fellow retired GFPD guy yesterday.  That was nice. A little reminder of who we are.  His family has a cabin getaway about 8 minutes from my house and he is looking for a little help changing the sheets between guests.  What a small world. 
   Bob should be here any minute, I can't wait until he sees the bent hook from the bear and the now not so usable suet holder.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's the little things

As I sit in the driveway, enjoying this glorious day, in shock and disbelief that it's in the high 60's in northern Wisconsin, so early in the season.  Yesterday topped out at 83 degrees!  I am thankful for the little things.  My ER friend and I drive to Rhinelander each (almost every) Tuesday and coffee clutch with some ladies then do some city type errands.  Today was a plant day.  As most of you know I love my flowers.  I miss my perennial garden terribly, however I more than likely can grab a few from the yard when back in Milwaukee in two weeks.  Today we stopped at the local organic food store and found some pretty good deals for up here.  Flats in ER were $20!!! And a single 4inch Gerbera Daisy pot was $25!!!  Seriously.  But in Rhinelander at the Golden Harvest Organic store, flats were more reasonable (gerbera daisy's were $7, same size pot).  I was able to snatch up a few annuals within my budget.  We also stopped at a nursery called Forth Floral.  It was kind of like a miniature Mileagers.  Very healthy, not too pricey plants.   I was so proud of myself as I did not go crazy in there!  Back in the day I could walk into one of those nurseries and walk out with so many flowers I couldn't fit them all in the car or truck in one trip!   So a little color will be great at the new house.

So on the downside...just got a call from Bob who says the hooptie (aka the pedophile van) is dead.  Took it to our good friend Ralph who says, it's not worth fixing.  The transmission is shot.  Sigh.  Oh well, ups and downs is how we roll.  Ralph says it could make it a month or six months.  Hopefully he will get back!

Also a bear got into our bird feeder overnight and had his way with my Shepard's hook. Bent it in half.  Rude.  Not too hot on the idea of a visiting bear with the dogs and all.  I guess I will bring in the yummies from now on at night. 

I had a visitor this last weekend that helped with a butt load of yardwork.  Maddie was nice enough to come with her mom Misty and hang out while we sweated and worked hard.  As you see her and Maggie are also hard at work....lots more to do.  But, I love yard work and shaping it into a pretty space.  Well, the blue jays are yelling at me because they can't get to their feeder with me sitting here.  Headed in to finish some trim painting on my door.  It seems I have started a tradition and I have painted my entry door purple.  Sounds like a good name for a book, "Angie and the purple door".  Oh wait, that's Harold and the purple crayon!