Twelve things I didn’t own a year ago

Despite a year of giving stuff away before we moved from a city in Missouri to a small town in Wisconsin, we brought a lot of stuff with us. Too much stuff. I didn’t really think we’d ever need to buy anything again.

However, I was wrong. It seems there are a few things that are necessary to live life here in Door County. Here’s a list of some new acquisitions.

An orange hat.          orangehat

Because on my morning walk, I need to identify myself as a non-deer by wearing something bright orange. Otherwise, I might be shot by a deer hunter.

2.  A food dehydrator.


Because when a person lives only a few miles from a cherry orchard, and she can buy 75 pounds of cherries for a song, well, it would be the right thing to do to buy those 75 pounds of cherries and dehydrate them so that she can give these delicious, craisiny cherries away as Christmas presents.

3. A fourth swimming suit. Lake Michigan, as you might know, is cold. I swim anyway, and I’ve learned the best way to get in that water is to plunge in quickly. (The gradual method just prolongs the shock.) But it’s important that you do this in a dry swimming suit. So I own four suits now- pretty much insuring that I’ll always be able to put on a dry suit in order to get cold and wet.

4. Deer netting.


We planted raspberries in the spring, and I’m happy to report that they are already yielding fruit, even in this first season. But we have deer that amble around our yard. They have eaten apples from our apple trees and gnawed away at our cherry tree. So I took preventive action and draped some deer netting over my raspberries. Because this is one battle that I want to win.

5. A cool app for our ipods that identifies the constellations. We now live far away from light pollution caused by big cities, so when we look up, the sky is full of thousands of lights, and I have a good chance now of learning constellations.

6. A fishing net that is taller than me.


This net, of course, is only a representative symbol of the numerous new fishing items that have been acquired by somebody in the family. But in his defense, I have learned that all fish are not created equal. So the gear that Dave needed to catch fish in the streams of Missouri is not the same gear he needs to catch these big fish that are in Lake Michigan. If he hooks a salmon, there’s a good chance that I’ll be the one trying not to fall out of the boat when a 20 pound salmon swims into this net.

7. The telephone number of our snow-plow operator. Apparently I will count on him this winter.

8. A motion-detection camera.


Just what is it that is stealing the suet from our bird feeders at night? We’re trying to figure it out, hence the camera. Deer? Raccoon? skunk? ( please, please, not a skunk!)

9. A stand up paddleboard, because well, I do live by water.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.09.10 AM

10. A food mill.


We have old apple trees in our yard.     appletree2

We will learn more about how to prune them and maintain them in order to have prettier apples, but I was still able to make applesauce ( and apple pies) this year. This food mill was wonderful- no peeling and coring necessary; I cut the apples in half, cooked them, and ran them through this mill which magically strains out the stems, the seeds, the skin.


11. A good chain saw.


There’s been a lot of brush to clear, limbs to cut, trees to trim. Lately, we’ve been working on forging a path around the perimeter of our property, so this chainsaw has been invaluable.


( Maybe I can add snow shoes to this list in a few months, and I’ll take morning walks in the snow?)

12 . Green Bay Packer attire.


It seems to be what everybody wears here on game days. As in everybody.   I don’t usually care if I’m not like everyone else, but really, it’s quite obvious when we are the only two people in Wisconsin who are not wearing green and gold on a Sunday.

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