Archive for September 2010

Commercial Fishing — docks and boats!   Leave a comment

This is a very quiet Gills Rock, partly because it is 9:30 in the morning and also due to the fact that the migration of the fishermen to the Lake, instead of the Bay, has started. Typically in the summer months there would be a number of Commercial Fishing boats as well as private boats and charter boats for sport fishing.  This truck above is used for washing the nets in-between settings, removing slime, seaweed, moss and sometimes the dreadful Zebra mussels.

Another truck loaded with trap nets to be taken to the field for repair.   The orange and green nets are marlex, a form of plastic.  The black nets are a nylon net which have been dipped in a net coating to help preserve the nylon.  The marlex handles easier according to Rick but they both fish the same as far as what they catch as far as ability to catch fish.

Some of the different twine used for the trapnets.

This is the lift which the guys use to move the nets over and at the same time wash them with a pressure hose.  It is hard work and I am thankful for this truck which saves the backs of the fishermen.  I will get a picture of them working the nets at the end of October.  I always walk carefully around these trucks when they are washing nets as I seem to always get sprayed……..   🙂

What a peaceful scene compared to just a few weeks ago…..   In the distance you can see the docks of another generational  fishing family, the Teskies.  The dock I am standing on belongs to the Weborgs a generational fishing family, probably the largest fishing family in Gills Rock.

This is the dock where Rick lays the Freitag, our Gill Net boat.  It was a year ago that we had a horrible storm and our dock started to collapse on our boat.  Thankfully, our boat was spared and they have since done work on the dock to try and prevent it from further caving in.  A temporary fix for now.

These are the anchors and anchor lines for trap nets.  They look so orderly here on the dock together, waiting to serve their purpose in keeping the nets stationary in the wild winds which are always a part of fall fishing.

Next we headed over to Sand Bay, where Rick has another dock for laying the boat when he is fishing in Lake Michigan.  I had not been to this dock in a couple years so it was fun to see all they have done to it and how nice it all looks.  This dock is long and has served our Fishery very well.  The black an white gill net boat belongs to Neil Teskie and is named the Betty.

I was so glad to get to take some pictures of Rick coming in on this beautiful Fall day.  Below are more pictures as he came in to the dock and turned the boat, preparing to tie it to the dock.

This is Danny, our hired man.  Danny’s father was a fisherman from Racine many years ago.  Danny has been working for us for quite a few years.

Here is my man watching the edge of the dock as well as steering as he watches!  Impressive multi-tasking!

This is what the deck of the boat looked like.  This is about 500 pounds of fish, nets which did not get set back because the forecast was for wind, again…… the buoy is the long pole with the orange flag on it.

The catch…..   whitefish and roe, also known as caviar when it has been cleaned and prepared.   This was a decent lift and we are thankful for the fish.

Miles of nets sitting on the boat until tomorrow when the winds will hopefully die down and the seas settle down as well.

Scene from the back of a fish tug….

Rick’s hand on the wheel……. strong and steady, brave and diligent in his work as he continues in the tradition of Commercial Fishing on Lake Michigan.

Posted September 30, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Commercial Fishing Life, Door County Life

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All your children shall be taught of the Lord and great shall be the PEACE of your children —  Isaiah 54:13

This is one of my top 100 favorite verses 🙂    It is truth and is the core of why I will give my time to teaching my children about God, His Holy Word, His truths and His love.   I do this for their peace!  I thrive on teaching my children God’s Word and the principles on which we can make all of our decisions.  The joy that we can find in the pages of His Word when God writes His promises to us and speaks of His great love for us.   These things bring us peace!  We live life in the thick of it as do most folks, we need a source of peace.  Yesterday our daughter Jeni, who works as a nanny to two little girls 7 and 2.5 years old, called with such concerns for these two precious girls.  It is a horrific situation for these sisters, fathered by different men in two short marriages and so they are bounced between the homes of their fathers and the latest relationship of their mother.  There is no God-factor………..  EXCEPT that God has placed Jeni there and she brings the Holy Spirit and God’s love and wisdom to this family.  This is Jeni’s mission field and it is a hard one.  Think about it —  there are language barriers, as in this mother not understanding God’s love, salvation, grace, sin, order, purity, morality…. these are foreign words to her.  There are “cultural” differences —  This woman is a wealthy, professional, liberal feminist.  That is a culture unto itself and if any of you work with or love someone like that you will understand what I am saying.   Jeni is not of this culture but God keeps putting her into it!   I think you get what I am saying.  Hopefully we can all sit and think about the mission field that God has us in RIGHT NOW!  There is no need to go to foreign lands to be a missionary if you take God’s Word seriously because it is here, on American soil and the work is hard.    The beauty of yesterday was hearing Jeni sob as she described the situation she was dealing with and in her sobbing all I could hear was LOVE!  How rich to be in people’s lives and be filled with God-deposited love.   Pray for Jeni to have wisdom and grace, and for all of us to minister with these same fruits of the Spirit with those in our sphere of influence.

Here is our beautiful Annie doing school.  As I look closely I am  a little perplexed at why she has TWO phones and my wallet with her at the desk.  It looks to me like she is more on a social/shopping spree than schoolwork!  Notice the geometry book on her head……  that is one way of applying geometry to the brain!  HA HA    In all actuality it is just a cluttered desk……. typical of school areas in our house!  🙂

The leaves are a turning and it is starting to look so beautiful!   I enjoy the fall season so much; the cooler weather, lighting candles, the trees changing, football, the girls and our home resuming  sense of order and of course the hope of the fishing season doing well and then ending which gives us a much needed break!  It has been a long seven months without breaks (except for my quick trip to Tenn.).

Yesterday we did a full day of school, enjoying every moment.  Mid-afternoon I took the girls up to our cottage and we became Team Johnson and did a cleaning there to prepare it for renters coming in the next week.  They are my most excellent help as they go to their jobs and when they are finished they come to me and ask what to do next.  They saved me three hours of work and I am so relieved that all I have to do is go wash the floors and it is finished!  We returned to the house to finish school and clean up for supper.

The girls went to a friend’s house to watch a movie and I had great plans to get some little jobs done after supper, but, by the time I have made a phone call and cleaned up the dishes I was too tired!  I sat down by Rick to do some computer work and clean up some things on the computer and noticed that he was already asleep.  We had been up late the night before watching the Packer/Bear game which turned into a nightmare!   I was so glad that Pastor Doug and Twila did not come for supper and the game as they may not have been able to handle the emotion with which my family watches the Packers.  The guests who were here understood and joined in appropriately!   We watched the game with cell phones charged and ready for texting commentary on the game’s action to other family members…..  what fun!   I started the game by telling the guys that I had a little spot in my heart that was tender toward the Bears because, after all, it is Jason’s team and I love my son-in-law!    IF LOOKS COULD KILL!   How quickly that spot disappeared from my heart as my allegiance to my husband and HIS team replaced any compassion for the Bears!   Sorry Jason!    What a game, what tension!   I was trying to knit and my stitches were getting tighter and tighter as the game progressed.  It was not good in the end as Green Bay made so many bad mistakes and gave the game away.  Poor Rick, he could not get to sleep he was so wound up about it!  I had no problem as I, the sane one, always end the game by reminding the family that this game really has nothing to do with our lives and does not affect what tomorrow will be like in any way!  They all look at me like I am speaking Chinese but it has only been 29 years of saying this and I am sure that any year now they are going to catch on!   🙂

Off to start the day with Bible, study Shakespeare, Greek and Latin roots, geometry and algebra, writing and literature.  Throw in some picking plums and canning them, laundry and cooking meals, cleaning and music lessons and I think I can safely say that our girls will have a well rounded education today!

Blessed, just because….


What a difference a year makes!   Leave a comment

On September 12 we celebrated the one year anniversary of Jeni and Jason. We are do happy and delighted with their marriage and love for one another. Rick and I know that they are years ahead of us in so many ways, which makes us happy as we know the road will be a little easier for them!

They celebrated by going to Maine — you can vies their trip, and Jeni’s wonderful writing on their blog

A year ago we had the most beautiful weather over the wedding weekend, we watched sunsets, had a bonfire, went swimming and enjoyed the beautiful Door County fresh air.  This month it has been cold and rainy, and we have more than once thanked God, again, for the most excellent weekend He gave us a year ago!

Blessed to see my daughter loved so much, blessed to have Jason as a son-in-law.


Posted September 27, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Around the house, Family

These days, getting better and better!   Leave a comment

Mal.  2:5-6   My covenant with him was one of life and peace and I gave them to him.  It was a covenant of fear and he feared Me!  He stood in awe of My name.  True instruction was in his mouth and no wrong was found on his lips.  He walked with Me in peace and uprightness and he turned many from iniquity.

I really love the part about standing in awe of God’s name.  I want that awe, I want that reverence for the Almighty God!  I want to walk with Him in peace!

These are the women gathered last Saturday to hear Beth Moore.

I am starting to make the transition into our Fall schedule….  where there is:

less cleaning of homes and cottages — I have one more rental in Oct. and may take one more on for later next month, but that is it for our personal rental.  I will need to clean a few hours a week off and on which is perfect for me.

School — it is going so well, even though we are losing some hours with Annie working.  The girls are doing well  and are having fun.  Melody is surviving reading Robinson Crusoe — unabridged and is doing better with the reading every day.  We are reading aloud together and enjoying it.  Melly thought she would faint the first day, but is getting the story, gory parts and all!

Melody had funny hat day on Thursday and since we are Cheese-heads she went with a Packer theme.  It is so neat that all of these children and their teacher (who is in Germany) all meet together and have these classes and that this week they even got to see each other!  That is the good use of the internet.

Annie usually does not have red eyes but doesn’t she look cute in her head-set and Packer sweatshirt (because the house temp. dropped to 58 and we were layering for warmth) This is what she looks like when she is in her on-line class.

Annie is having a great week and is enjoying geometry, there were using the poker card game to show the logic used in geometry which was interesting, and her father wondered what in the world she was learning!

We are so glad we home-school.  It allows us to do so many things that would never be an option if the children were gone all day… like work for a couple who need help with their business, or go car shopping for Kristi with Rick, which is where they are today.  Or how about yesterday when it was Kristi co-worker, Jill’s birthday and so at 10:30 in the morning they took 200 balloons that they had blown up the night before ( does the word fainting from lack of oxygen come to mind?) and went and filled her van with them while she was at work!   Or yesterday when the new windows at church needed to be cleaned and the sanctuary straightened from all the work and they were able to spend two hours blessing God and our church family.  I just love it!  This is a well-rounded education.

Speaking of our church, we are in need of prayer.  Our new pastor who undoubtedly was called here by God is slowly doing the hard but greatly needed work of sorting  through the un-dealt with problems of our church family.  There will be great glory to God in the long run, but for now it is hard and there has not been a night in over a week where I have not been up in the night praying.  Spiritual warfare is hard but Praise the Lord who gave us the armor of God for times of these, and the Holy Spirit for power and His Word for  wisdom and a weapon!

I am also getting used to the infrequency of fishing.  The winds have been howling again and I am having to get used to asking Rick if he is indeed going out each morning.  Yesterday he did not set back the nets as gale winds were forecasted and the forecast was more than accurate!  Since he was in need of a new alternator for one of the boats, and Matthew had found a car for Kristi and the girls were in need of a road trip……… off they went to Green Bay for the afternoon and will return this evening.  Kristi had to work but felt that her Dad and brother could pick out a good quality car — it is a Ford Focus, the very same year as Jeni’s which is affectionately known as the beast because it has held up so well and has a unique sound like a jet engine taking off when you accelerate!  Annie went along to check the the cosmetic parts– as in the interior etc..  We will see!  We are so proud of our children as they work hard and save their money and then wait on the Lord to provide the things they need to purchase.  Learning faith in real life, I would say!

I am writing this as I am doing a supervised visit for our little Mia and her father.  I am constantly amazed at how God set us up for the things we have become involved in.  Little did we know that becoming Foster parents three years ago would open up other doors for the sake of children in our own community.  It is interesting to see this young dad play with his daughter and interact with her in a beautiful way.  I am praying for a time to talk to him about his relationship with God as he told me a year and a half ago that he was a Christian.  God is always faithful when I pray for times with people and it will come.  I am just thankful that he has been decent and appropriate in every way toward Mia and Rick and I.  Supervised visits can cause anger in the parents as we saw in a different case we did earlier this summer.  Mia is just beautiful as you can see below.  She is so happy, so joyful, she looks at me and her whole body just curls in joy and expression.  She takes a bite of her food from her father and then looks to me for approval and beams.  She is such a blessing and we all love her so…

I am going to take Kristi to the Shoreline for supper and spend some rare one-on-one time with her.  It will be a precious time and with the waves pounding in to the dock, it will also be quite the view while we eat.  Fun, fun!  I can assume that the girls and their father will probably hit McDonalds much to the girls chagrin —   they will go there because they love their father and it is his favorite fast-food.  When you live 40 miles from the nearest fast-food joint it makes eating fast food almost like a treat, in a weird non-healthy kind of way!

Melody was not feeling well for a week and when she would nap she often ended up with a buddy.  She is one spoiled dog!

Things are getting better, life is settling down and I feel blessed


Plan for the week   Leave a comment

IF you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and DO them —  then I will give you rain, increase your flocks and yield of fruits and I will give you peace in the land.   Leviticus 26

I have been studying the word peace for the last month.  Every instance the word was used in the  Word I have studied and meditated on.  It has been so good, encouraging and challenging and to some decree not surprising.  God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He does not change, as is evident in all I read pertaining to peace.   He is Sovereign and knows best and His laws and doctrines, when obeyed, will bring peace.   I will be adding scriptures through the coming weeks from what I have studied.  I had a friend ask me why I chose the topic of peace…….  because my life has had little of it for the last 4-5 months.  To some degree I am at fault for this, but there have also been some things which have been completely out of my control, and therefore even more stressful as I could not order my days or plan due to the nature of them.

That said, I am working hard to stay very in tune with the Spirit and do what I am supposed to do according to how He leads, not according to what others think I should be doing because I am “able”, and as far as those things out of my control….  I will pray for God’s strength and wisdom to handle them with grace.  God loves to show miracles to us in our own lives and He continues to do them for me often!  He gets the glory!

So, my plan for the week.

School —  add Spanish to our schedule so we are running at 90% of our subjects.  Because Annie is still working part time it is difficult to cover all subjects.  This should be the last week of so many hours.  She will need to be backed down to 4-6 hours on top of school and then working on Saturday as well.   I also need to get a computer set up that the girls will use for school and will be the family computer.  Otherwise I am happy to say that the school year is going well and they are enjoying their on-line live classes!

Gardening and canning — I have to get the tomatoes out of the garden and can some more sauce.  Due to blight I do not have the amount that I would have liked to have grown but we may have friends that will have to many  🙂    I am going to pick the rest of the basil and make some pesto for the freezer.  ****  I am so happy to say that my sauerkraut turned out so delicious!   My family will not touch it but I am happy to say that I have enjoyed it a few times and am so pleased to be eating something to healthy for the body as well.  I may give up the kefir and just eat sauerkraut!    We will enjoy carrots from the garden in our supper tonight which will be a pot roast with veggies and possibly homemade bread.   THe broccoli continues to bless and gets better and better with the cold.  I will can a few pears this morning and will pick grapes if they are ready this afternoon.  I always know when I am getting grapes canned that the season is starting to wind down.  No frost yet but these colder nights should do the sweetening on the wild grapes which makes them better.

Fishing —  Fishing continues to be the wild ride it has been for the last month.  The winds continue to blow and on Saturday while Rick was out in the morning his lunch pail was launched out of it’s secure holder tow times!   His egg salad sandwich did not fare will and his pear was pureed within his inch pail!   Rick told me this morning that it is supposed to  blow gale winds again tomorrow.

Family–   All of our daughters and myself were in attendance at the Beth Moore Living Proof this past weekend.  Mandy and Jeni were there in person in Chicago with Jason’s mother LuAnne.  Jeni said it was awesome!   K,A,M and I watch it here at our church were we hosted a simulcast of the event.  There were 120 women at our church and it was wonderful as well.  Our girls and I all laughed when Beth told the topic as we wondered if she had been hearing the conversations we have been having the last few weeks and planned the topic just for us!   She spoke from Prov. 31:26 about the Law of Kindness being on our tongue.   We have had more than a few difficult people in our lives recently, as I am sure many folks have had as well.  This teaching from the Word helped us to identify where we need to work on things and also confirmed what we are doing correctly.  God is so good!

Home front—-  We are finally starting to slow down one of our businesses YEAH!!!!    It is always a delight to me to bring my focus to the things of our home and family, which keep me busy enough!   Last week I was leaving a job site and my water bottle emptied all over my DROID phone………  What a mess to be without a phone!    Rick had dropped his phone in the lake a few weeks earlier so the children have been having a heyday with this, wondering if their dad and I are responsible enough to have cell phones!   Where do they get their humor from???   The exciting news is that Rick has decided to hire someone to do the soffit on our house……. I am thrilled and this is a big step for Rick because he does not let just anyone work on his house!   This way we can hopefully get the siding done in early Nov..   We may soon have a house all one color, not more TYVEK siding!  The neighbors may not know what to do with us looking all up and finished   HA HA!

I have been cleaning cupboards in my kitchen.  I have found that it is less intimidating to me to attempt one cupboard a day, or one shelf in the pantry at a time, rather than larger areas which I can’t possibly get done in my spare hours.  I made myself go through all my 80 cookbooks, well it seemed like 80!   I was using the table and sorting into piles.  I was getting a little nervous as after two piles I had only three in the give-away pile.  Things picked up after that and soon I had filled a box and had that shelf organized.  I even got our new-to-us microwave switched out with the old one which burned everything.   I enjoy achieving and accomplishing….   good days!

Matthew, being the great big-brother that he is, has found Kristi a car so we may be going to Green Bay to check that out in the next few days!

Off to fold my laundry and start canning while working with Melody on school.  Annie works until noon and then we do school together for the afternoon.

The sun is shining and God is good, I am blessed


Friends and Labor Day   Leave a comment

These are friends of ours from Wheaton, the Bodetts.  They are good friends and I will write about the excitement we had with them later.

I grabbed these pictures as a professional photographer was taking them.  I really like this one.  They were taken right in front of our boat and dock.  This was after the Labor day fish boil down at the sheds.

We ate in the shed where Rick stores his race-car and so Annie jumped in to prove to her father that she could race it next year.  This was more than a little entertaining for the crowd!   We will see about her racing, she has to get a license first!    Annie started a picture taking session as some parents brought their children to hop in the seat and take a picture with Rick.  One little guy jumped in and landed with his head hardly past the bottom of the steering wheel.  He was so cute.  Thankfully Rick never started up the engine which the boys would have loved but would have cleared the shed and the shed next door as well!


Gretel’s baptism   Leave a comment

It is a most sacred, beautiful and holy time when the Spirit of God moves in a young woman and she sees that she is indeed living for Jesus, desiring to obey Him and His Word and is moved to follow in obedience with Baptism, the act that shows the world we are truly Christians and followers of God.

Last Sunday night we gathered at Garrett Bay landing to participate in Gretel’s baptism, to show her our love and commitment to her spiritual walk.  It was a glorious evening and God blessed it!

Gretel and her mother Karen, my dear friend.

Friends and family gathering

Heading out into the water reminding us all of Jesus taking His followers into the Jordan river

I cannot see this picture without tears coming to my eyes, her expression and response was so beautiful as the Spirit moved her and moved in many of us watching.  This is real, God is doing great things in this young lady and I can’t wait to see what God does with not only her but Annie and Karee as well.

Posted September 10, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family, Spiritual Life