Autumn: Here's Figenschau Bay just off the Cottage at Harvest Weekend*...nice to have a little quiet time then while commemorating one way the Island has made its way economically over the years.

Farming has long been a part of life on the Island.*

Haying whether for here...

or for export is evident.

Farming here continues to evolve. The development of Lavender here on the Island has been a recent addition.

Here's another person who loves farming...The TPAC is pleased to welcome back Farmer, Writer and Storyteller Michael Perry this coming Saturday, October 26 at 4:00pm.

A prolific writer, this photo from Perry's website speaks to a selection in his latest book,Visiting Tom...sawmill day

Perry is also a firefighter/EMT/nurse ... hope he finds time to share some of those stories as well.

Other Happenings:

Pat and Gloria are devoting their time this week and they sure could use your help...Assistance in sorting is needed as preparations ramp up on Thursday the 24th - 9 to 5. It's time for the Annual Clothing Rummage Sale! As always, those who help sort may shop early! Sale runs from Friday the 25th (9 to 5)  thru Saturday (9 to 1)...oh, the sale is at Trinity Church! 

BE PREPARED to be SCARED! Preparations are Fiddlers Green. Saturday: Bring the family...The Spooktacular Family Fun Fair will be held between 4-7 pm at and include games, treats and kid-friendly activities (...nothing scary for the little ones.) For hardier souls...The Spine Tingling Farm of Fear starts at 6:30 pm @ the Farm Museum. Events are free to the public but donations would be greatly appreciated! Proceeds will benefit The Washington Island Farm Museum and The Mosling Recreation Center. Music follows at Fiddlers  Green 8 to 11 pm.

Ferry Action:

As the temps grow crisper, darkness is coming sooner.  This photo was taken at 6:30 pm Saturday...dredging was occurring nearer the to the entrance of the ferry channel at that point. The shorter days also remind me that the ferry schedule is moving to 6 trips a day. Last boat from the mainland is now at 5:00 pm....although there are still late boats on Friday night...for the time being. This schedule change starts today. For more info, check the ferry web site.

Have a great week!

* Thanks, Pam DeVos, for the use of these photos! 



It's Starting...2.0

Well, it is now officially Fall...I just looked back and saw that I did a similar post last year at this time.I guess the colors are right on schedule...Bits of various colors have been observed creeping onto the Island this past week...Temperatures are dipping, light is lessening...chlorophyll is leaving, and pigments are becoming more prevalent.My walks on Lobdell Point Road are becoming more interesting...time for thinking, puzzling.We are so lucky to have a Library that is part of a huge seems any book is available.
So, it's hard to think that there are books that are/were banned or challenged. Here are a few...from our Library.

Conversely, it seems neat that we have a Literary Fest here on the Island, October 4, 5, and 6. The Island is full of writers...Here are some examples I found in our home library. Writers start school...some people chart their lives and those of their ancestors...some create poetry. (Oh...Plan ahead: Do note TPAC will be bringing back Michael Perry, Host of NPR's Tent Show Radio and author of memoirs including his newest book, "Visiting Tom" on Oct. 26.)Dick Purinton recently published his latest book: "Thordarson and Rock Island" but Lew still enjoys "Over and Back". I found this collection of High Schoolers' writings in our library as well. The book, from 1994, includes an interesting history of the then "Cheese Factory", an essay on Writer Clay Blair, and even a "Ferry Line Ballad" ...this last one produced by (now) Town Chairman, Joel Gunnlaugsson.
There are many more writers here...I think of Robert Mazibuko and his most recent book on life in South Africa during apartheid, "In Spite of All Barriers". Another new release comes from Martina Koken, "Best Air for Dandelions"...and then there's Karen Yancy's collaboration with Artist Patti Cauldwell, "Hot Sling and Other Island Poems". I could go on but suffice to say, it seems there is something about Washington Island that nourishes this type of creativity.

So true...come visit!


From Deja Vous Resale Clothing: HUGE Charity SALE this Saturday from 10-3 and Sunday 9/28/13 from1-4! All clothing and accessories are 50% off and ALL proceeds benefit WICHP! Come help one of the most important programs Washington Island has for it's residents!

@ the TPAC:


Have a great week!

Hard to say good bye, Summer...moving on...


Sometimes, it is hard to say good bye... Summer has seemed so short this year...having trouble wrapping my mind around this transition.To me, I see it as "until next time"...Here's one more look at a couple of good things re: waning Summer and transition time.Here's Jace...capping a morning of fishing off with a sno-cone...oh yes!Another happy young man, Michael with his 4 lb. catch...just love these smiles!


Trying to say good bye to flip flops...
and flowers...need to switch to the positives of moving on...

A change in seasons does allow for a trip or two to catch up on things...and to have time to notice the small things...have been hearing about hummingbird moths and I think that is what I saw on this trip. Actually, it was fairly good sized!That day, heading back to the Island, the winds were strong. Although the angle seemed unique (to me) it wasn't too surprising to see a sailboat nosed into the tire adjacent to our ferry, given the wind. This is the time of year to try to pull off one last last run up the Lake. That was just what brothers Jeff and Tim Bennett were up to when Mother Nature had a different idea...although the jib was reefed, the gusts were hard to calculate.The wind disabled the sheave in the block (pulley) severing the line. However that same wind brought Evening Star in range of that tire and kept it "on point" until arrangements could be made  with understanding ferry reps for a short stay to make the needed repairs. On another note, let me add that dredging has started on the ferry channel.


Take Note...




At the TPAC...




Island Artist Cathy Meader will be exhibiting her work at the upcoming show "Sharing Summer's Artistic Bounty" at Briggsville Gardens!Planning to be off Island this coming Saturday? Take a detour to Briggsville Gardens ... out of Sturgeon Bay, turn east on TT at the signal where the YMCA is on TT to Mathey Road, then turn right. The Open House will run from 1 to 5 pm. Cathy says there will be ten artists showing their work. Come and wander these beautiful gardens!


Have a great week!






Several meanings are possible.

It could mean trimming off spent blossoms...I enjoy this job in the garden...nipping & clipping gives me a sense of accomplishment...deadheading is a part of this time.

Deadheading for us also means a quick trip...back and forth...this time to Southern Illinois. The Island is never far from our thoughts.When one is off Island...stocking up is in order...Surprise! A stop at Trader Joes turned up an Island export...nice to see this logo! 
Moving along down the road through Illinois, the land still contains some similarities to the Island...water and transportation come to mind. Here's the M/V Mississippi at Alton. At 241 ft, she is the largest diesel powered towboat to operate on the Mississippi. For more info see this article. When I saw this vessel written up, I had to a true meaning to "horsepower"...  a riverman operated this old horse-driven boat on the Missouri River. His concept of a four-horsepower boat was just that. Captain Hugh Blaske founded and operated a boat and barge building business in Alton which continues to be in business.This time our trip included a stop in St. Louis for a birthday dinner.A lovely evening w/ a lovely lady...many of you know Aunt Nell, the real reason for our quick trip from the Island..this August trip is getting to be a tradition for me to share such a special time with her.Many thanks to Vince Bommarito and his staff for providing an evening which brought back special memories for her.
Oh! What was on her "to do" list for us? Aunt Nell had decided to "gift" herself with a new computer...we were to help her walk through the process.  Sending out a Thank You to Tucker at the Galleria Apple Store...very thoughtful person.Learning by playing...solitaire! I want to be like this woman when I grow up! Hope you all have/have had/will have the opportunity to know such a person in your life!Saw this quote in a recent glad we made this trip.Happy Birthday Aunt Nell!

Other Notes...

Danish Mill - 

Hours have closing at 5:00 pm...still open at 6:30 am. 

Tuesday - Jim Morris & Friends - TPAC  - 5:00pm

Saturday - 2nd Annual Death's Door BBQ - @ the Airport! It'll be fun!

Jazz @ the TPAC!

Have a great week!

Dorothy & the Other Woman

It has been an interesting week...
 Most of you who read these Posts or set foot on the Island, know Dorothy. 

Dorothy is Lew's 1930 Ford Truck...she has her following.However, as Summer starts to head this way...Dorothy has had to contend with a little competition...that would be Mockingbird aka the "Other Woman".

Funny thing, as Lew prepared to bring in Mockingbird for her "commissioning"...Dorothy wouldn't start.

She just would not budge... finally, serious measures were applied. (What would we do without our tractor?)

When I opened the garage next morning it seemed that Mockingbird  was indeed entrenched in prime territory...poor Dorothy (sigh). 


It's indeed Memorial Day weekend...restaurants & other Island businesses  have opened &/or moved to full time schedules! Danish Mill is on a 7 day schedule...Shipyard's Sailor's Pub opened its doors on Thursday...Karly's Cellar Restaurant opened Friday...KK's restaurant is also an active place.Down the road, the Red Cup is open into the afternoon...Kathleen has opened her Island Time Books Shop - it's her 10th season! The Island Bread Co. sign is up for the "Fresh Bread Today " announcement board by the road!New this year in this area...

Fragrant Isle's Lavender Cart serving several types of gelato and other culinary treats.


Van Gogh is coming to the TPAC this coming Friday. Here's one of his paintings.  Although it may not be a "known" work, A Girl in White in the Woods, reminds me of the Island.  (Oil on canvas 1882, Kroller-Muller Museum, Netherlands)

A Tribute to America!On Tuesday, June 4, there is a 2:00pm & 6:30pm performance scheduled @ the TPAC - Come see King George, Daniel Boone, Andrew Jackson, President Lincoln, and even the Statue of Liberty. America's Story is presented by the Third through the Sixth Grade and as the photo above indicates, they want YOU to attend! Looks like a lot of fun! (Photo - Corey Van Der Weele)

Have a great week!


Birding 101

Birds... I can hear them now when I wake up.

Saturday, somewhat warmer, started at the TPAC...with the clearing out or waking up of the gardens.
Longtime TPAC Garden supporter Jerry Landwehr came...everytime I help I learn something new from this man.What really told me Jerry had experience was his "kneeler"... photo doesn't do it justice!Lots of folks came and it made the task easier ...and fun. 

Melody Walsh came by. Melody has a wealth of knowledge re birds and she wanted us to see a kettle of migrating Broad-winged Hawks.  Birding is new to me and I had trouble counting them...hundreds I would guess, letting  the air currents help them travel.

It will be interesting to see what birds appear this year. Last year, Melody photographed this Barn Swallow at Kap's Marina. (That was where she first sighted the Broad-winged Hawks on Saturday.)She found an Indigo Bunting... last year on Rock Island... and the Canada Warbler   stayed around all Summer.

Migration is indeed apparent and that is part of the reason the Island wil be the base for the 7th Door Islands Bird Festival, May 31st to June 2nd. As I started to study up on this pastime to publicize the event I found this resource on  Migration Info   ... it has timely information on the topic.

Since this year has been slower to warm up, there is a good chance  different migrating birds will be seen than last year. Mel found this White-throated Sparrow at her feeder this past week.
Also observed ... a Great Horned telling what birds will be visiting...a complete list of activities can be found on the website. I do know that Melody will be leading a walk on Rock Island Sunday morning, June 1st.In this past year, Yellow-billed cuckoo were observed on the Islands of Rock, Plum, and Washington. Throughout the season over 50 were counted. I love the polka dot tail...Mother Nature is amazing.
For more information, check out the Bird Fest Site. 
Oh, ... I might add the Cottage will be open for the Season by then and that weekend is currently available!



Coming Up:


@ the TPAC 

Sunday, May 5

Show Times: 11:00, 2:00, 5:00 & 8:00


Have a great week!

It's Earth Day...Thinking About the Three R's

Happy Earth Day!We are so lucky to live on the Island...thinking green is in some ways is a "no brainer". Wisconsin has a place in this event. Gaylord Nelson, former Governor and Senator, helped to organize the very first Earth Day in April of 1970. The sign above takes on new meaning when one lives on an Island. Meaning ... disposing of "things" in general can be a challenge. It's not easy to find a place...thought and sometimes creativity is needed. 

Stressing the positive, in some ways, "recycling" can become memorable. A lovely teacup is a nice way to enjoy some green and raise a few cuttings. I remember when I found this paper towel holder at Marilyn Domer's estate sale. We were building a home on the Island at that time and I needed one. Talk about a good fit.The tea towel and tiny glass were hers as well. Feels good to have a bit of this wonderful woman as a part of my home. Marilyn was special.

While on this "green" train of thought... A couple of weeks ago I was rummaging around the garage and came upon a pot hastily brought in at the end of the season. I thought it was cleaned out but I guess it wasn't. Nearly translucent spikes were struggling upward, so ugly I didn't think to take a photo...merely dropped the pot off on the porch. When I checked a day or two later, I was surprised how a few hostas could seem so refreshing!Saving and using again was a way of life growing up. I remember a cupboard which held a growing collection of empty Mason jars. My Mother and Grandmothers would reuse them every year to can vegetables or make preserves.There is nothing like a bit of bright fruit flavor to bring back Summertime thoughts, especially when there is a layer of snow on the ground!  Lots of folks here use and reuse glass jars etc. to hold wonderful maple syrup, home relishes... yes, jams & jellies too! Some very talented people continue to keep these traditions alive.

Had a thought of another group that helps find places for good things...sort of... more along the lines of adopt rather than buy... am thinking of the Door County Humane Society. Located in Sturgeon Bay, they help cuddly critters as well as those who love pets all the way to Washington Island. Meet Hanna, a truly wonderful 5 year old chocolate lab mix. She is bright, likes children, frisbees and car rides. 
Hanna's former owner travels on Great Lakes freighters. He wrote a beautiful ode to his girl, describing how careful she is around household items, how she will touch your hand when she needs to go out, and how beautiful his life has been with her as of part of it. Well, on Saturday Hanna found her forever home when she was placed with a loving family on the Island...She and her folks were on the afternoon ferry. Welcome to the Island, Hanna! * 

So here's a last look at those lustrous green hostas...a week later. These little things do renew my patience for Spring's arrival... Happy Earth Day!

This week: Another sign of the season changing ... Danish Mill reopens this week - Thursday, April 25 @ 7:00 am. Regular schedule - Monday thru Saturday 7 to 3 ...yum, yum, yum!

Saturday - April 27 - Washington DC Benefit Car Wash - @ the School and the 60th Annual Island Party @ Karly's.

From the TPAC - Another Saturday Option...

Have a great week!


* Thanks to the Door County Humane Society for use of the photo and background info.

Winter Doings

A few years ago, the late Jay Hagen presented a talk on behalf of the Island Archives Committee. The topic centered on "What do we do in the Winter"...lots of laughs that night...that was Jay...what he said was so true. (That performance was taped and is available for purchase on DVD through the Archives at the Community Center. I do recommend it.) I get many questions from our Cottage guests on what happens in the Winter so I thought I would do a series on Winter Doings .... last week the dredging and winter travel prep was up.

There are a few activities coming that may make that travel to plan ahead...

Pygmalion - Fishing Derby Weekend -

7 PM ----- Friday, February 15th
2 PM -- Saturday, February 16th
7 PM -- Saturday, February 16th

The members of Island Players are busy as the preparation for the winter show, Pygmalion, moves forward. I think the best part is the preparation given the smiles, titters, and giggles I see/hear around the Island at this point...  

Rich Shereikis wrote a telling interview for a Fall Observer issue:

"The real rewards of putting on a play don’t lie in the performances, according to Dave Ranney, who has directed a number of popular Island Players productions. “I really believe most of the fun of putting on a production are the rehearsals,” he says. “It’s a creative, collaborative process, where we work together to create a work of art.”To enhance his actors’ involvement in that process, Ranney listens to them, communicates with them and encourages them to put their personal stamps on characters and scenes.(Observer 11/15/12)Howard Scott has been cast as Henry Higgens and Anna Gibson has the role of Eliza Dolittle. I can't think of a better duo! Pygmalion is the classic tale of wily Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle and her transformation into a “proper lady” at the hands of the arrogant dialect expert Henry Higgins.In doing research for this post, I found it is the 100th anniversary of this timeless story and companies as near as Chicago and  as far off as England have productions this Winter. Shaw's Pygmalion was also the basis for the popular musical My Fair Lady.The photo above shows Eliza and Professor Higgins from the My Fair Lady company now on stage in Sheffield, England....hmmmm.... Yes, I can see Anna and Howard in these roles.

What do we do in the winter? Well, these folks are having fun ....and working hard.

Have a great week!

Upcoming - January 23 at the TPAC:

Washington Island Schools teacher, Lisa Cornell is scheduled to present seven high school students  who will be performing “Persuasive Speeches” in a public forum January 23, from 6-8 P.M.



The Holidays...Hmmmm

The Holiday Season is moving along and lots of things are happening! The Christmas at TPAC Show was held this past Friday. Given the heart breaking tragic events at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut, we were indeed fortunate to gather as a community for this occasion.  The place was packed. Children of all ages performed....various ages of adults performed too.When children are part of the program, lots of people come out to cheer them on. The Preschoolers are a longtime favorite of mine so thought I would share a picture of them. Not only were they so cute, they sang well too! Jim Morris did a great job as the M.C.Tom Noonan's heartfelt presentation and rendition brought the audience to their feet! Tom was so right when he marveled at how this Island comes together to support and care for each other. It felt good sharing the evening. (fyi:A candle light vigil will be held to honor the Sandy Hook community at 6:00 pm Wednesday at the Washington Island School.After the Show, we decided to take a drive to see some of the Christmas lights.

Manns Store and the REA can always be counted on to add a little spirit. I do like the small lighted trees perched high above Main Road!Dave's Garage has a nice display but I could only capture a part of it.The Danish Mill is not to be missed...just think of the goodies that are waiting inside! I saw Patty Nikolai the other day and she says the Mill will continue to be open through December 29 (except Sundays) and after a brief break will be open in Mid-January to try out a Thursday through Saturday schedule this Winter.
As Christmas approaches, decorations comtinue to be found and displayed.  The funny thing is I have one taste in Christmas decor and Lew has another style...more traditional...the worst part is his appreciation of "regular" sized colored lights. He's the one who pulls out my Grandmother's ceramic I'm more of a tinsel tree type - now if I could just find the lights...I'm thinking white lights.

Planning Ahead

Okay, this photo comes not from the Island but from Polonius Sheet Music. I thought it would be a nice way to announce Winterfest, a concert sponsored by the Washington Island Music Festival, will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday December 29 starting at 5:30 pm. Music including Mozart, Bach, and seaonal favorites will be performed in the Trinity sanctuary. A buffet supper provided by volunteers of the Music Fest will follow in the Fellowship Hall. The public is asked to purchase their tickets at the door. $15 for ages 12 and above - $5 for ages 11 and under - If a ride is needed, call Joanne Jack (847-2453).

Take a breath...

hug/cherish those dear to you...

have a great week!


Getting Ready....

Just seems like yesterday...
... Lew was getting Mockingbird ready to go in for the season.  Now, the Boat is out of the water, the Cottage is asleep, for the time being, and......the Garage is the main event.  Getting the snow blower in place means a major decluttering.  This is an annual Winter prep happening...getting the garage to a state where two vehicles and a snow blower can be housed...a challenge at best!I want to decorate for the Holidays...but first one has to get outdoor things stowed for the Winter...and then come inside to undecorate/dedecorate (what is the word?) divest (?) so there is room for the Winter a good cup of coffee comes in handy!Yes, I said Winter could be a holdover from my teaching days that is, decorating by season...the Winter lasts so long, the days are so short, and the cold wears on a person so...I tend to turn to light reflecting, glistening items that can stay out til at least Valentine's Day. How do you manage to get through...decorating...the Winter...What works for you? Share your ideas in the comment section below!Best Wishes  toward keeping the Meaning of the Season in mind...

Upcoming Events in December:

3rd - Ferry Schedule moves to 4 trips a day!

3rd & 4th - Auditions for Island Players Winter Play, Pygmalion - School Commons - 7:00 pm

4th - Season of Lights @ Mosling Recreation Center - 6:30 pm

9th -  Bethel Builders Cookie Walk @ the church - 2:00 pm

14th - Christmas Bird Count on the Island

14th - Christmas at the TPAC - 7:30 pm

So, welcome to Winter - this is what all this preparation is about! Congratulations go out to the Island's Melody Walsh...another great photo...this time on the cover of this month's "Wisconsin Natural Resources" promoting that magazine's Great Lakes photo contest........her first cover photo! Melody took this photo on the East side of Rock Island State Park. She submitted this photo in 2010. The person in the photo is Erik Lucia President of the Friends of Rock Island State Park. 

The 2013 photo contest deadline is February 1, 2013. Consider entering! I will be happy to send on the details.

Have a great week!


"In the middle of  every difficulty lies opportunity"  Albert Einstein

There's this great program that is happening at the School. Music in the School's, Donna Briesemeister has a multi-generational band going. With the contributions of instruments from Islanders Diane Kahlscheuer, Carol Amadio, and Barbara Greenfeldt, 10+ adults currently participate along with their school age peers and they are having lots of fun!There are folks playing trumpets, flutes, clarinets ... even a sax, a  trombone and a violin. An instrumental music program is taking hold. Through the Music Fest, a grant has been received from the Door County Community Fund to cover sheet music and director's time. They are meeting every Wednesday after school... which allows music students who have had entry level training to transition into making music with a group. I have heard there are other adults who are dusting off their instruments  and taking a few lessons in order to join the group up at the School. Students, no matter what age.....having lots of fun...making more than a joyful noise...They report that what I will call "lip power" is taking a while to get in shape and lung power is in development.  It's a game and gutsy group and their music  can't help but bring a smile to listeners and participants alike!The toe tapping... er... rythym is coming along... but there is something missing from the picture...instruments...more instruments! In order to encourage more student participation - more instruments are needed. Joanne Jack did a wonderful article in the Observer several weeks ago and in it she put out a call to all to check likely spots......So as the Holidays approach and decorations are retrieved from attics, hall closets, or other hiding places keep an eye open for an instrument case that might be hiding. Donna  says whatever is discovered is worth contacting her at 920-847-2330.  Replies are welcome below in the comment section or emails can be sent to me. My hope is to get the word out through this post to another set of readers who might like to contribute or lend an instrument or two. Other ideas or resources are welcome. So while there may be difficulties in getting a program started, there are also opportunities for music lovers out there - to clear out some space and share the cherished experience of making music with a new student. Another Musical Note! Julian returns to the Trueblood Performing Arts Center this coming Saturday!One more thing...Okay, so it isn't quite music oriented but it is worth planning ahead and marking your calendar for the Local Island Art and Craft Sale coming on Friday, November 23. There might be a CD or two available in staying with my music theme. I can only imagine some of the lovely things Island artists will have on display for your shopping pleasure.

Have a great week!