Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Devil's Punchbowl

Last week I finished my summer travel series to Minnesota's North Shore and now I'm going to share a few posts of our fall hiking adventures.  

Every Sunday, weather permitting, we went hiking after church.  We went to some familiar places, but we also found a few new places to hike like "The Devil's Punchbowl".

The Devil's Punchbowl is a nature preserve located in Menomonie, Wisconsin.  The "bowl" was carved by water over the course of thousands of years.  What you see at the bowl depends on the season, in the spring you could see water flowing over the edge into the bowl, and in the winter there are fabulous ice formations.  We were there in fall, and there was no waterfall, but we could definitely see water seeping from the rocks.

There are two short trails leading to the bowl.  The first one, gives you a view from of the bowl from the top.  The second trail takes you right into the bowl.

This is the view from the first trail, looking down into the bowl.

Now it was time to descend a lot of stairs down into The Devil's Punchbowl.

The bottom of the bowl is very muddy.  I did not bring appropriate footwear, so I stayed close to the stairs while hubby ventured further.

The punchbowl was deemed a "scientific study area" in the 1990's as it is basically a mini ecosystem with cliffs, waterfalls, underground springs, and other incredible natural features. 

The stairs were just re-done, and I must say they did a fabulous job!

I really enjoyed our little stop at The Devil's Punchbowl, but I'd love to see it in other seasons like spring/summer where I can see the waterfall and lush foliage and rare fauna, or in winter to see the amazing ice formations made by the water.  We might just have to go back!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Gingerbread Men Christmas Cards

I've been trying NOT to send out Christmas cards anymore.   Between the time involved with making my own Christmas cards, plus the cost of Postage and Handling, it just seems an unnecessary added stress to the holiday I don't need.  On the receiving end, my Christmas cards have been getting less and less every year.  I think this is due to the older generation dying off (those are the die-hard Christmas card people!),  and the younger generation just doing the annual social media holiday post.  I always feel obligated to return a Christmas card to aging relatives who are not on social media, and if you have any of those loved ones in your family, I highly recommend sending them a snail mail card.  It will mean the world to them to get a warm holiday greeting in the mail, along with an updated family photo.

Nevertheless, despite my sad attempts to not send out Christmas cards, whenever I get a Christmas card in the mail, I still feel obligated to return one.  Here are a couple of cards I made using some gingerbread men I had in my stash.  The gingerbread men were die cuts I had made with the grandchildren on a previous project.

I cut the gingerbread men using a Circuit machine then just adhered him to a piece of coordinating designer paper.  I then cut a sentiment banner, stamped a sentiment, and adhered it to the card using brads.

My next card is an example of how you can still use broken die cut pieces to create a card.  For whatever reason, these gingerbread men didn't cut out well, so I used just a small portion of them on my card:  just the undamaged pieces.  I put them in film frames (also cut with a circuit) and added some fun sentiments stamped on black paper with white craft ink.

I adhered all the frames to a fun Christmas designer paper and added another sentiment to the bottom frame.

After a decade of seeing a declining amount of Christmas cards, last Christmas I received more Christmas Cards than much for me NOT sending out Christmas cards anymore.  I ended up scrambling to make more Christmas cards, which I will show you next week.

This year, I am once again NOT planning on sending out Christmas cards.  We will see how that goes. 😁

So what about you?  Do you still send out Christmas cards?  I'd love to hear from you.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Snapshots of Our Last Day of Vacation in Silver Bay, Minnesota

This is the final post of a travel series to Wisconsin and Minnesota's North Shore.  To start at the beginning, go HERE.   The rest of the posts in consecutive order are HERE HEREHEREHERE, and HERE!

Silver Bay Marina

On our last day of vacation, after we finished hiking in Tettegouche State Park,  we headed out to explore Silver Bay, Minnesota.  Our first stop was the Silver Bay Marina. 

This is a beautiful little marina with a public beach and boat launch.  Boats up to 100' can be accommodated in one of 110 spacious slips.  

There are views of the taconite plant in the distance.

There's also a short hike to an island that you can take from the marina.  It sounds interesting, but scary.  I wish I would have known about it while I was there.  You can see the hike out to the island in the photo below, and read more about the hike in this post HERE.

Grand Superior Lodge

While we were in Silver Bay we stayed at the AmericInn, but we noticed another nice place in town that was located right on the shores of Lake Superior so we decided to check it out.  It seemed pretty popular.

We did peek inside and saw a lovely lobby with a fireplace, plus a restaurant with a view of the lake.

We walked around the grounds for a bit, and we were awestruck with the serene, natural beauty.

There were wildflowers everywhere!  They looked so stunning with the blue background of Lake Superior.

Northwoods Family Grille

By now, it was supper time and we were quite hungry so we decided to check out the #1 restaurant in the town of Silver Bay:  Northwoods Family Grille.  There are not a lot of restaurants in town.  Most places were closed because it was the end of the tourist season.  We only found one other place to eat while we were there, and that was "Tracks and Racks", which is more bar than restaurant.  The food was good, but boy was it expensive!  Our meal was over $50 for a burger, a wrap, onion rings, and two drinks.  So we were quite happy to find the Northwoods Family Grille where the prices were much lower, and they had more of a family atmosphere.

Being on Lake Superior fish is the primary item on most of the restaurants menus, so that is what we ordered.  This was the second time on our vacation we ordered fish, and this fish was the best we had so far.  It tasted so fresh!

The meal was very reasonably priced and came with a nice salad, dinner roll, and baked potato.  If you're ever in Silver Bay, I highly recommend this restaurant.  Just be sure to get there early, as they close early.  You will have more of "Linner" than a "Dinner".

Silver Bay Scenic Overlook

Silver Bay Industry Overlook

Our final stop of the day was a short hike to the Silver Bay Scenic Overlook.  This is such a nice spot in Silver Bay where you can not only see amazing views but, you learn so much about the history, past and present, of the town.  You drive to the top of the overlook, and then hike to three separate overlooks.  Each overlook has interpretive signage identifying the sights.

The first overlook had views of the taconite plant and lots of information of mining in the area.  I'm not going to rehash all the information about the plant, you can just read the signage in all the photos if you're interested.

Lake Superior View

The second overlook had views of Lake Superior.

The trails to get to these three different overlooks were beautiful in and of themselves.  When we visiting, there were so many wildflowers, and I loved all the birch trees.

City of Silver Bay View

Finally, the third overlook had scenic views of the town of Silver Bay.

The interpretative signage covered not just the history of Silver Bay, but also pointed out current points of interest as well.

There is a short-cut hike you can take that will get you back to the parking lot more quickly.  It is more rugged, but boy was it beautiful with all the wildflowers in bloom.

And that concludes my last post of this travel series.  I will be back next week with a few posts of our fall hiking adventures.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

My October Bible Journaling Pages

I think October and November, and probably even December are going to be lean months for Bible Journaling pages.  I promise, I'm in the word daily and attending church and Bible Studies regularly, but Bible Journaling takes a lot of time, and with all the holiday hubbub going on right now, time is something I have precious little of.  Isn't it ironic that holidays are supposed to be set apart to remember and honor God, and yet those are the times we busy ourselves with so much "stuff" we do anything but that?  Do you struggle finding balance between getting all the holiday chores done and not forgetting the real meaning of the season?

Anyway, on to the meager six pages I managed to do in the month of October.

As I mentioned in last month's Bible Journaling post,  I finished reading and coloring in all the pre-printed images in the Inspire Bible, so now I'm going back and doing all the blank margins that are left in my Bible.  Some pages I use ephemera from Illustrated Faith Bible Journaling kits, and other pages I just use stuff I already have on hand or I google a free coloring Sunday school image and print it onto sticker paper.  This is a page I did using an image off the Internet and a sticker from my stash.

I chose this image of Daniel picking out stones for his fight with Goliath.  I wrote two Bible verses that David said or wrote himself, then I added my own thoughts about how I can trust the Lord because He is faithful.  All I have to do is look at past ways God has helped me, and then I can have the confidence that He will do it again.

This next page is an example of what you can do if you experience "bleeding" onto an opposite page.  This page had heavy bleeding from an illustration on the other side.  I covered it up by creating a background with leftover sticker paper.  I colored the sticker paper in all different colors, then cut the pieces randomly and attached it to the Bible page.  It covered up the bleeding beautifully and made quite the nice background if I do say so myself.  Then I used a variety of stickers to illustrate a verse that I found significant in my reading that day.

"Your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God".  How often do we worry about our lives, or the lives of our loved ones?  I worry about this a lot.  I always pray everyone I love will be safe and healthy.  Now even though this verse is specifically talking about David, I believe the Christian can apply it to themselves as well.  It doesn't mean we will always be healthy, safe from our enemies, or even spared from death, but it does mean that we are in God's hands.  Nothing will ever happen to us that He doesn't allow, and He will always be with us, caring for us, every step of the way.

This is another page I created using a free coloring book image off the Internet.  I printed the image onto sticker paper, colored it in, and cut it out.  Then I inked a background by sponging with yellow/gold ink.  I hand wrote the Bible verse 1 Sam 10:24 then I wrote some reflections of the chapter.

God never wanted Israel to have a king,  He wanted His people to always look to Him for guidance, not a man.  But Israel was relentless in wanting a king, because they saw that all the other kingdoms had kings and they wanted to be like those kingdoms:  Israel wanted to be like the world.  Do you see that same thinking in Christian churches today?  I certainly do.  Churches are becoming more and more worldly every day.  Instead of the church influencing the world, the world is influencing the church!  

God ultimately gave in to the Israelites worldly desires and gave them a king.  Saul started out as a very good king, but ended up being very bad.  God gave Israel a king to them to teach them through it.  Sometimes, we can ask God for things that we think would be good for us, but really are not good for us at all.  And sometimes God allows us to have what we asked for, to then teach us through it.

The next three pages all use ephemera from Illustrated Faith. I'm still using stuff from the same "Unyielding Hope" kit, and I won't open my next kit till this one is all gone...which might be a LONG time as there was a lot of stuff in this kit.

This page is a continuation of the page above, and continues to focus on how God uses our mistakes and sins in His plan for good.  The story of the people desiring a king, and how God used this desire of theirs to deliver the Israelites from their enemies reminded me of the verse Romans 8:28 "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who Love him'.  I built a page around that verse.

I thought the Bible story of Jonathan fighting the Philistines was a great place to use some of "Hope" ephemera.  The author of the kit defines " unyielding hope" as "shifting our focus from inward to upward" and "hope" as "a desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment".  Jonathan was alone with just his armor bearer, but he believed in God.  He had hope!  He looked past his present circumstances and focused on God.  He said "Nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has may warriors, or only a few."  And he did!  Jonathan and his armor bearer killed twenty men that day and panic broke out in the Philistine army and everyone was terrified.

By the Way...the "hope" ephemera at the top of the page that appears to be covering the words of the Bible, actually is not.  I only glued down the left side of the ephemera, so it can be lifted to see the words in the Bible.

My last page, which is on the opposite side of the page above, continues to illustrate this same story of Jonathan and the Philistines.  I wrote how God makes the impossible possible by jotting down some key points from this Bible story.  Then I remembered the chorus "God can make a way, where there seems to be no way" and wrote that down, highlighting it with a film frame.

I hope you enjoyed my Bible Journaling pages this month!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!