October has its ups and downs. I love this time of year, don’t get me wrong, but it always seems to be such a winding down time. Seems like it gets darker earlier and earlier and we know it’s winding down towards the “fall back” time change when it gets dark at 5 p.m.

Garden stuff this year is starting to wind down, except no one told our tomatoes that. We’ve already canned tomato juice and made several batches of fresh sauce and even tried a small batch of ketchup. We had a great year for cucumbers, peppers, plums, pears, black raspberries and now, apples, but those stupid beetles annihilated the grapes. Watermelons aren’t doing as well as other years, and we are wondering if so much rain earlier in the growing season had a lot to do with it.

Another thing winding down is the fall sports season. Cross country locals are Whitney Hentsch, Benett Bucek and Grace Engebretson, playing golf was McKayla Gilbertson and Olivia Hefty cheerleading.

The way to surprise someone is to celebrate their birthday the day before and that is exactly what we did. It was surprise birthday time for my mother-in-law Delila Johnson. Sis, Dave, Angie, hubby, I, Red, Cino and later Paula were on hand, and Aunt Mary showed us her sneaky side by doing her part to keep Mama J. home.

We figured since we were barging in at noon, we better bring lunch and Sis, in addition to her beautiful decorated cake brought a yummy pork roast for sandwiches, and a bucket of melon chunks which went well with the buns and ice cream that were our part of the contribution. We got a chance to catch up on family news which included Sis’s run in with a maverick chicken.

If there is anything more entertaining than listening to hubby carry on while listening to a Packer game, its having both he and Jason providing excellent commentary, moans and groans, and at the end of the Packer/Cowboy game with another come from behind Packer victory, you would swear the two of them won the lottery. I tried watching it at first and they weren’t doing so hot, so I tore myself away from the TV and just kept track on the computer like I traditionally do (So I will take at least partial credit for their turnaround play).

Yes, this mom is in seventh heaven whenever one of her boys comes home. Seems like there is never enough time to visit, but we do our best. Have had a couple of movie nights, Jason met up with his cousin for a visit to plan an upcoming Packer game the two of them are going to, made a couple of favorite meals that were requested and a couple of other things planned before he has to leave. I can never get over how much “stuff” he brings that I trip over, but I also can’t get over how lively the place is when he is home.

Jason also was good enough to pick up a carryout from Sharon’s Hixton Café so I could see for myself what all the comments about the good food were about. I wasn’t disappointed. Fork tender ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied carrots and a slice of bread filled me up so full, I only had one bite of the chocolate cake that was also included and I wasn’t able to try Sharon’s famous lemon meringue pie until later in the evening. I noticed also that their hours are a bit different—they are open until 3 p.m. during the week now.

The Hixton Northfield Lutheran’s God’s Work—Our Hands took a different twist. Instead of a project this year, they all learned about the various resources that are available in the community and supported them. In October there is a collection for Friends Sharing Food.

It was a successful weekend in Chetek for Kelsey and Caiden Lien. Kelsey won the 2D barrel race, and got second place in high point. Caiden placed in the peewee 4D.

Danika Rae Rommel was baptized on Oct. 9 at the North Beaver Creek Church this past Sunday surrounded by her loving family members. Danika‘s godparents are Randall and Rebecca Brown.

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