Although the alternative is certainly worse, this getting old and decrepit bites! I’ve been a prime example of the domino effect when it comes to aches and pains. I’ve been rendered almost worthless with the pain that finds its way into my joints, especially my shoulders for the last couple of weeks, now on an antibiotic for an infection in my toe, and to top it all off got my first glimpse of those darn seasonal allergies with all the less-than-attractive results. I have a wonderful sense of humor but it’s getting sorely taxed about now. Yes, I know that there are many with much worse ailments-so now I am going to get some cheese to go with this whine and thanks for “listening” to me vent!

Stopped at the Corner Store in BRF for those wonderful Melrose tomatoes they advertised, and ended up with some fresh sliced dried beef, the best I have ever tasted and slices of huge round colby cheese that brought back memories of when I was a kid.

All in all, not a bad weekend weather wise—perfect for prom. I really enjoy seeing pictures of all the girls in their beautiful dresses and their escorts all suited up. Seeing all the different styles, from long and flowing to sleek and sophisticated shows off the different personalities. Here’s to special memories being made. Benett Bucek and Joplin Appel-Morden were on the prom court.

Brielle Lien received the Irving W. Gerhard Memorial Scholarship through the UW-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. She is in her third year at UW-RF with a major in Animal Science with an equine emphasis pre-vet tract with a minor in chemistry.

Them Coulee Boys continue to be having fun and getting their music out there. They recently played a set at Syble Hopp School, a school for children with disabilities in the De Pere area, then headed to the Luna Cafe and Roastery for a show that night.

It’s time for the 4th Annual Spaghetti Supper sponsored by the Hixton Lucky Clovers. It will be held on Sunday, April 30 from 4-6 p.m. at the Hixton Methodist Church. Orders for take-out are accepted and they will deliver to the local folks. Free will donations accepted but not required. Call 715-896-0304. I believe there will also be a bake sale.

Jim Johnson was recently elected for a two year term as a Jackson County Conservation Congress member.

Congratulations to Ryan Whaley and Jennifer Knaus who were married on April 22. May you have many years of “happily ever after”.

The Sanctuary Singers came to Our Saviors on Sunday, April 23. There was a meal following the service.

I see that there are more people to add to the list who donated hay to Oklahoma including McNulty Farms, Table Rock Farms, Pfaffsway Dairy, Chris Schreiner, I heard all who were involved made the “feel good” story on WAXX radio. Heartwarming to hear how many have offered assistance.

Several Taylor-Hixton Legion members recently traveled to the Tomah VA to serve ice cream and cookies to the veterans there as a thanks for their service.

Additions to the April Happenings lists: Anniversaries: John and Elaine Roskos, Chuck and Cheryl Embretson. Birthdays: Serena Mense, Rachel Simonson, Jennifer Semb. Hope there was a lot of celebrating going on.

And speaking of Jenny—she got a special birthday present with her RN degree as she graduated from Western Technical College.

Also graduating from Western Technical School in La Crosse This past weekend was Stephanie Hentsch with a degree in Human Resources Management.

Brandi Shramek has been named to the Dean’s List from Viterbo University for the 2016 fall semester.

So happy to hear that Carol Skaar-Jahn is back home after a recent hospital stay.

Molly Johnson was listed as an honor student at Lincoln Jr/Sr High School with an A average in Grade 8.

Madie Bergerson and Jacob Sweeney were among those from BRF High School who participated in the FCCLA’s Wisconsin Conference held earlier this month.

Very excited to hear that Black River Falls Figure Skating Club and BRFHS have coordinated and will now offer the long-time awaited high school letter for figure skating. The first recipients are BRF junior Stephanie Brauner of BRF and freshman Cassidy Bunnell of Hixton.

With all the events coming up, this is perfect timing for going through your house and garage and gathering up items in good shape that you would like to donate to a good cause. Remember the garage sale coming up at the Legion Hall in Hixton. Here is the information as received from them:

The Hanson-Lien Post 368 is gearing up for the 6th Annual Fundraising Garage/Thrift Sale. This year’s sale will be May 4-6 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sale location is at the Legion Hall in Hixton and there will be several scheduled donation drop-off dates at that location. There will also be brats, hot dogs and beverages offered. Some of your more expensive items, we’ll be happy to sell and return the agreed upon portion of the proceeds back to you, the donor. This worked real well the prior years and we are looking forward to having more of these types of items. All donated items need to be dropped off at the Legion Hall per dates listed below or prior arrangement with Ron. The person to contact for donating items, and other arrangements or questions is Ron Brown at 715-896-1222, preferably during evening hours (5-10 p.m.) Monday-Friday and also at the Legion Hall during scheduled drop-off times, which are April 24, 25 and 27 and May 2 from 3-6 p.m and May 3 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Large items will be accepted on April 29 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Donations will be accepted at the American Legion Hall at 124 N. Hoffman St. As before, a large part of our success depends on gifts, donations, estates and/or contributions of items from you, our friends. We are hopeful that our friends will also encourage their friends and neighbors to donate items to this worthy cause – so please spread the word.

For the stuff that has gone past its usefulness, the Village of Hixton’s Spring Clean up will be on Saturday, May 13 from 9 a.m.-12:00 p.m. The dumpster will be available to Village of Hixton Residents only at the Village Hall until noon or when two dumpsters are full. The first load is free! There will be a charge of $5/car load and $20/truck load, for additional loads. This fee applies to ANYONE using the dumpster and fees will be collected at the dumpster. No additional fee for large items (chairs, couches, mattresses, etc). There are a few items not allowed including appliances, tires, batteries, construction items, recyclables, garbage or electronics (of any kind).

Curbside pickup will be available upon request and will require pre-payment. The fee for pickup will be $10, in addition to the load size fee. Mattresses and soiled furniture are the responsibility of the resident to get to the dumpster.

Jackson County Recycling will also be sponsoring an Appliance and Electronics Round-up at 307 Main Street, Black River Falls on Saturday, April 29 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be no cost for computers, components, keyboards or laptops. There is a cost of $10 per item for refrigerators/freezers, washers/dryers, microwaves, hot water heaters, air conditioners, televisions, stoves/furnaces, heat or sump pumps, phones, dehumidifiers, heat lamps, cameras, VCR/DVD players, heating/cooling units, calculators, stereo equipment, copy machines, scanners, small kitchen appliances, any other type of appliance. If you have any questions contact Jackson County Zoning, Planning & POWTS Department at 715-284-0220.

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Words of Wisdom: Don’t save anything for a special occasion—being alive is a special occasion!

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That aging thing: Old age—when your skin eats more cream than you do!

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I’ve Learned... that I’ve learned one thing new today…and probably forgot five things forever!

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Word of the week: ZUGZWANG (pronounced “tsoo tsväng.”) It means in chess a situation from which any move will cost the moving side a piece or maneuver it into an unwelcome position, or any situation in which it is impossible to take a step that has no detrimental value.

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Natural High: Having the folks stop in for a short pop in visit.

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Tip of the Week: A little too early for gardening, but a tip was sent in to rinse off your vegetables as soon as you pick them and use the water to water your garden right away.

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Fun Fact of the Week: This insomniac won’t call it a fact until I see if it works. It’s called a 4-7-8 breathing technique that claims will help you fall asleep in just 60 seconds. It blends meditation and breathing in a way that helps your body counteract stress. Breathe in through your nose for four seconds. Hold this breath for seven seconds. Then exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this three times and you should fall asleep. The technique is said to calm your heart rate and relax your body.

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A lot of the time I save recipes people send me and it might be a long time before they get shared in my column—this one happens to be hot off the press—just received this one from a classmate of mine early this past Sunday.

Debby’s Cracker Crab Dip

1 large jar Hoffman’s Shrimp Sauce (must be Hoffman’s)

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature

1 package imitation crab legs, shredded.

Mix shrimp sauce and cream cheese together. Add the crab. Chill. Serve with crackers.

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And this one comes from a conversation on making something that a friend of mine can do with help from her grandkids!

Caramel Snickerdoodles

1 tube of crescent roll dough

Caramel candies—one for each doodle

1 cup of cinnamon/sugar

Wrap one caramel in each crescent roll and make it in to a ball. Roll it in the cinnamon sugar. -Place them onto a baking sheet about 1″ or so apart. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until they’re firm and slightly puffy. Serve warm

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Lemon Magic Cake

1 box French Vanilla cake mix (plus ingredients needed to make—eggs, oil, water)

Lemon Bar Filling:

2 cups sugar

1 cup flour

4 eggs

zest of 2 lemons

3/4 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)

Frosting:

1 (1oz) pkg. sugar free instant lemon pudding mix

1 cup cold milk

1 (8oz) container Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13” cake pan and set aside.

Prepare the cake mix according to package instructions and pour into the prepared cake pan. DO NOT BAKE, set aside.

Combine the 2 cups sugar, flour, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Pour over the prepared cake mix. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely before frosting! Whisk together the lemon pudding mix with the cold milk until smooth and thickened (about 2 minutes), then fold in the thawed Cool Whip, until fully combined.

Spread the frosting over the cake and enjoy right away or chill, covered, in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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Quote of the week: “When you really pay attention, everything is your teacher” -Ezra Bayda

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