Archive for the ‘Commercial Fishing Life’ Category

This Chilly Morning!   Leave a comment





Hot pink sunsets are often seen in the fall here in Gills Rock and this one from the other night was brilliant in all of it’s color.  Wow, does our God like to use pinks!

I am sitting by the wood stove with my toes as close as I can get for warmth.  As Thursdays are our very busy day away from home, the fire was neglected and went out.  I was focused more on the VP debates last night when I finally made it hone from Bible study so the first thing on my list this morning following Rick’s leaving, was to get a fire going.

Often I will beg my sweet husband to make the fire for me, but rarely is there time on these Oct. mornings, but he does give me his recipe for starting a fire, it goes like this–  Take two pieces of newspaper, crumple them up, lay 3-4 pieces of kindling on the newspaper and two pieces of wood.  Use ONE match (he always emphasizes that for my benefit!) to light the paper then shut the doors and you will have a roaring fire within a few minutes.  Have I mentioned that my man went to boy scouts and  when he received his little patch for fire starting – if indeed there is such a badge– he was also given a  more than normal ability to start fires.  And, he proves his ability over and over again.  He really can start a roaring blaze with one match!  Not me!  I am getting better  but still use more than two pieces of news papers, more than a few kindling sticks and the one match idea….. I bought myself a butane lighter!

School — going well.  Melody’s good friend, Hannah, is doing Veritas Press with us which includes theology, history and British Lit. as well as geography and English Composition.  We meet Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for three hours, studying, drinking tea and reading together.  It has gone quite well and we are all enjoying it.  I am not doing so well with correcting but am learning to catch up on that. The best part in being fellow comrades in this schooling is the sweet fellowship and enjoying the discussion and ideas that each of our subjects bring up.  It has been wonderful.  We are reading Pride and Prejudice at this time and I was getting the giggles watching them sitting by the fire, reading aloud the chapter in which Darcy proposes for the first time…. these beautiful fourteen year olds were just delightful as they commented about how romantic this book is and then bemoaning the fact that there are not any young men around our area who are like Darcy in any way.  So fun!  I am thankful for the wonderful literature that gives the girls and I the chance to discuss relationships and civility in our culture, or the lack there of.  That, and the ability to expand our vocabulary makes this book a bonus to read aloud and enjoy together.

Canning– We will be soon done with canning, and I am ready.  When I purchased our honey for the next six months, I talked to the bee keeper, also and avid gardener, and she said that she also had found no wild grapes and few plums.  What a strange year, very strange.  We have never been without grape jelly in 30 years, but we will be lacking this year, and plum jelly as well.  Such a bummer!  Today I plan to sort the canning area in our furnace room and find out exactly where I am at with my canning.  This may be a year where jellies are not given in our Christmas gifts to friends…

Fishing —  WILD — as in the winds.  The winds have been blowing so hard and yesterday they tried to go out but had to turn around, and thankfully they did!  The fish count has not been real great yet but the lift on Tuesday was a little more promising.  We will see.  There was an incident last week where in setting the nets one of the guys got caught in the lines and went over the side.  Another fishermen caught him and was holding him from going under when in the pain of being kept up by his shoulders the sinking fisherman yelled to be let go.  Thankfully the fishermen on boat did not let go and the overboard fisherman was pulled on deck.  Had the fishermen let go the net would have dragged our friend under the water to certain death.  Commercial Fishing is dangerous, especially this time of the year and so we pray every morning for the safety of the guys.  I am so thankful that this life was spared.

I will put pictures up tomorrow as the colors are just gorgeous this year — stunningly so.

Today I am going to work on school and can sauerkraut, clean up canning, clean bathrooms, do bookwork and stack some wood.  I also need to get to a cleaning job and spend a couple of hours working on cleaning there and getting on top of the chore list for that house.  I am looking forward to this evening as it will be our first evening home all week.  I want to crochet and relax with the girls and Rick and just be with my precious family.

The fire has warmed my feet and even my legs are starting to feel nice and toasty.  The flames are beautiful and as the sky is now lightened I feel ready to start the work day.  It is going to be a good day!



Today – Friday   Leave a comment




Early morning sunrise at one of my cleaning jobs!   Quite the view for work as the house has 70 feet of windows facing the water!  What a beautiful setting to work in~

I am sitting here in a quiet, and my I add, COLD house.   The fire went out yesterday while I was away for the day grocery shopping in the big city — the REALLY big city, Green Bay.  We got home in time to wrap meat for the freezer, put away some of the groceries, throw some burgers on the grill for supper, deal with our local teen-techy as he re-did our wireless router and then head out the door for Bible study.

The wind is howling this morning and the forecast says that it is supposed to get worse over the next 48 hours.  My sweet fisherman said that this could be wind in the direction that brings the fish in to North Bay.  The way he said it, with a slight uncertainty, speaks volumes to the place we are in as fishermen here in Door County.  We are hoping, but wondering, what the fall fishing will be like and if the winds will bring the fish or if the fish are just too far out, and the lake too low to bring the fish.    We will pray, and we will see!

I shuddered as I kissed my fisherman goodbye as he headed out to the truck in the dark and the cold, to work on the boat in the waves and in the danger.  I pray for him, and the other precious men I love who are out there and then stand in faith that they will all be safe.

As for my day, I am torn between all the work that there is to do, as to where to start.  Some days are like that aren’t they?  I know that I need to do some bookwork, clean and prepare a bedroom for a weekend visitor, clean my floors and do some laundry.  I also need to finnish preparing our cottage for a week long rental, and spend a couple of hours cleaning one of my cleaning jobs.  The wind and expected cooler temps are also making me highly aware that I should go and scavenge the last of the tomatoes and make one more batch of tomato soup and get the last of the cucumbers out of the garden and trim the broccoli back so it will produce for a few more weeks.  I need to bake bread and prepare something fun for the home-ec class that we are doing here, tonight at seven.  It will be a full day!

I am thankful– for the awareness of being thankful!  I am thankful for all the strength that God gives for the work load.  For His gentle reminding me of what needs to get done when I have overlooked things in my daily juggling of the multiple hats that I wear.

I am thankful that my husbands back is much better than it was on Monday, for the ability to stock up on groceries for the months ahead.  I am thankful for children who love each other and give each other opportunity to pray for and support each other in life’s harder times.  I am thankful for friends who care about my heart and what is dear to me.  Most of all, for the ever present love of my Lord who leads me and guides me and will help me figure out how to accomplish this day and get it all done, with grace and love.






Summer Pictures —   Leave a comment


Jeni and Jason with my mother —


Canning time —  Beans, beans, and more beans —  for which we are very thankful!




My beautiful mother in my front garden —  I owe my love of gardening to this woman although I will always with I had received more than a finger tip of her “green thumb” abilities!   🙂





Mandy and my mom


Saying goodbye to my mom.  We spent the night in Green Bay at Matthew’s house, went to church in the morning and then Mom flew out in the afternoon.  So much fun to be together and I am once again thankful that our son bought such a roomy home which enables us to be with him overnight without the least bit of feeling crowded!   Good job Matthew!





Picking beans in our wild garden!   Our college girl – as well as her sisters have a dreaded fear of snakes– hence the tall boots!


Beautiful girls!


Saying goodbye to Kristi the morning we headed out for VA.


What a precious picture — my husband loves his children so much and although it is hard to have his daughter Kristi so far from home, he has adjusted well!  They keep in touch via texting, especially during Packer games!


Dinner for four once again — except for the meat, all of the meal is from our garden — soooo  good.



August brought our dear friends from VA to visit — We all fell in love with Aaron, especially my sweet husband.


Did I mention that Aaron loved us too!



We love this family so much, they are precious and baby Aaron will be raised for the glory of the Lord and to know God for which we are very thankful.!

Did I mention we have been VERY busy!  August is crunch time — Work, College, getting our school plans up and running, enjoying guests, gardening and canning —   and to some degree trying to survive Door County at the height of it’s busy season well, let’s just say it has been very stressful.  But, as always, God enabled us to get through and to be honest, this was the hardest summer season we have ever had.  The fishing has been lean for a year but the restaurants need just as much as ever if not more for their orders.  The combination has been difficult for all the Commercial Fishermen in Door County.  Thankfully we have all worked together and bought from each other and shared the stress!  It had truly been a season of bearing each other’s burdens as Galatians tells us to do.

I am thankful that God has lead us and strengthened us and taught us to be diligent in our prayers and seeking Him.  There have not been great tides of overwhelming faith in this for us, but there has been an ever increasing step by step, sometimes crawling 🙂 walk of faith when it comes to our fishery.  It is not over as we head into our fall season when fishing is supposed to be at it’s peak, but as we know from last year can also be a season of failure.  And yet God provides — through other work and jobs and the gift of faith.  He is so good and we thank Him for meeting our needs.

I have more to tell and will in days to come —

School is started and the canning is still keeping me busy every week along with my cleaning jobs but there is much share.

Blessed today!




Commercial Fishing Update   Leave a comment

As always, being a Commercial Fishing family has kept us on our knees and asking for faith.  I wrote last fall about the lack of fish in our fall season, the season that basically keeps us afloat for the year.  Spring fishing which usually starts around the first of April can also be a boost for us after a three month stint with no income but taxes to pay instead!  We hope and prayed starting in February for a good spring.  It was not to be, due to winds which kept the guys from lifting more than 2-3 times a week in a good week.  The winds, combined with lots of slime in the nets have a made for  a dismal spring season as well.

Last year we started buying fish from fishermen who fish a zone in southern Lake Michigan in the month of July and sadly, we started to buy fish from them again last week.  This is not how fishing has ever been before and it is making us all wonder what is happening.  The guys in the south are catching and are having no problem so that says the fish are still plenty in the Lake, just not in the northern zone.  That is good for our friends in the south but not so good for we northern fishermen.  The greatest stress is that here in Door County, whitefish is on every menu in every restaurant in Door County and many serve the famous Door County Fish-boil.  We serve to three restaurants which are well-known and go through a large amount of fish either filleted or chunked for the fish boils.  One is the Old Post Office restaurant and they serve only a fish boil.  So, that brings my husband some stress as he knows our fish are needed to meet their needs.  The law of supply and demand is wonderful when the supply is bountiful but not so much when the supply is low, or non-existent, or being bought at a price which makes our earnings minimal.


So, we practice faith in our wonderful God who supplies all of our needs, over and over again.  Our God that gives us peace when we cannot see how it will all come together~   And He is faithful, and He always is.  This week Rick has been out every day so far, the first time in 11 weeks of fishing and we are thankful for every fish he has caught.

A few weeks ago I was rounding the bend in Gills rock and saw Rick’s boat way out in the fog.  In thirty-one years of being married to a fisherman I have never caught a picture of him coming out of the fog and thankfully my camera was with me so I headed straight to the dock with the intent of capturing the beauty of a fish tug coming out of the haze and into sight..

The guys made it to shore and I caught some fun pictures of them working together, Rick, Andy and Matt, our new hand.



Someone likes to play tough guy with the camera!


The boss!   Notice the one box of fish–  not too good– but we are grateful.  The pink fleshed fish on top are called Lawyers and are a delicious fish despite being considered a “junk” fish.  I got all excited thinking we could have them for supper as we had not eaten any for months, but Mr. shy guy up above had already called them for himself and had done the hard work of skinning and boning them so I did not say anything.  He is a sweet guy and I know that if I had mentioned anything about wanting the fish he would have given them to me —  see…..  fishermen are not all as tough as they like to act.  In fact, there are some really sweet ones especially my husband!


This is an amazing moment because all of the guys actually cooperated with my taking this picture and looked somewhat cheerful!  These are great guys and Matt, in the middle, is really coming along with learning the ropes of fishing and all that it entails.  Andy, on the end is our part time hired man and such a great guy, we enjoy him so much and he smiles ALL the time!

So that is fishing as of right now– praying for better lifts to come— thankful for every fish we catch and every safe day out on the Great Lake Michigan.

Blessed because we TRUST in GOD not fish!





  Leave a comment

Our time for hiking down this path is now on hold for a couple of weeks due to may-flies.  They have arrived in abundance and breathing them and having them caught in our hair and covering our clothing diminished our desire to go back until the flies have left.  We will now do more hiking in-land and away from the water.  I have heard it said that this mild winter may bring more bugs than normal and if the clouds of winged pests we saw were any indication, I believe it to be true!

Commercial Fishing —

Since we returned from Tennessee Rick has tried to fish.  That sounds odd but the winds have been directly opposed to his getting  on the water.  It has blown strong winds more days than not.  So, he has been fishing but not for the last week and then only a couple days a week in the weeks previous.  Yes, this is a little stressful as it has been quite awhile since we have seen a paycheck, but such is the life of a fisherman.  I am blessed to have a husband who is so multi-talented and when he is not fishing he is doing carpentry.  Thankfully, he and very good friend Paul Hass, (not to be confused with his other best friend Paul Linden) got side jobs this winter doing two bathrooms in a summer house.  They are just finishing the work and they have done a wonderful job.  The owners showed up last weekend to see the work and were very pleased.  So pleased, that they asked Rick if he would consider doing their kitchen remodel next.  My husband, always honest, responded “I do not want to see your house for at least six months!”  He has spent many hours there, after his winter construction job and almost every day that he has not been fishing so he is a little over spending more time there at the present.  Makes me glad that he never gets tired of coming home to our home and me!!!   As that job is finished we are praying that the winds die down and that the fishing starts full time!

Care-taking —

Our care-taking jobs are up and running with almost daily emails from folk asking us for little side jobs to get done, house repairs, letting us know when they are arriving and when they want their homes turned on and cleaned.  It is a busy time of the year which combined with school for the girls and other family activities keeps us hopping.   We were taken out to dinner last weekend by a couple from California who at the end of the meal asked us to consider taking them on as clients in our business.  Their home is under construction and is one of four homes built each year in Wisconsin that is green to the very highest standard.   Rick is excited about taking on a home like this with all it’s special treatment.  I am thankful that the owners are kind and friendly people and it will be a joy to work with them.     THat business continues to grow as the Lord brings us people that He wants us to be with.  We never advertise and yet we have steady growth at the perfect rate for our family to be able to manage.


Speaking of Commercial Fishing, this is our new hired man.  His name is Matt and he is the same age as our son Matthew.  We met him last year in another of those God-ordained meetings and we have come to love this young man.  Matt just became a Christian about three weeks ago and is seeking the Lord and wanting to grow.  Matt is a very typical man for our area with the common struggles that affect almost every young adult man that I know in Door County.  The difference is that God in His mercy caught Matt and has put him in a place where he has had to deal with his stuff.  And God has put us, along with another family to walk alongside him and help him to grow in the Lord and lead him to truth.  It is an awesome thing to be able to use our mistakes to help another one to walk.  Matt was without a job and has a 1 1/2 year old daughter to support and so we prayed.  We  knew last week that our present hired man would be leaving and we were needing someone and as the days went by Rick felt led to talk to Matt about fishing.  He was more than pleased to say yes and although he has never done any work like this before, he is starting it on Monday.  THe best part is that he loves my husband and wants to be mentored by Rick so we believe that God is going to be doing great things with this relationship, fish or no fish!


I am so thankful for daughters that are willing to take a hike with their mom, hang out with me and enjoy being together!  They are so wonderful and I love them so much!

We are counting down the weeks, not days, until school is done and it is getting closer.  We are enjoying our classes so much and are doing very well with getting the books done in due time.  Even with leaving for VA next week to go get Kristi from college, we will have just a few subjects to bring along for the car-ride.  I am so pleased with how this year has gone.

As I look upon the last few weeks I am thankful for :

daughters and birthdays and celebrations of life

talents of our daughters as they follow God’s leading in their lives and as they learn their giftings from the Holy Spirit as well

opportunities to minister and bless young moms and little children in stressful situations where they just need a break

worship at home and with the family of God — new songs that move my heart to praise Him, the only one worthy of my soul’s praise and exhultation

for a pantry that continues to feed us and unexpected blessings of a farmer friends bringing us a cooler of beef and pork!

for a God who is in the details and knows just the right time to bring things into our lives whether it is beef or relationships or work to do

for a husband who faithfully uses his life and our home to bless others, who is allowing the God of the universe to rock his world and change his life

for a God who is patient with me and loving and gentle, changing me and drawing me closer to His side

I am blessed


Feeling Thankful   1 comment

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful  Col. 3:15

I am sitting by my huge window looking out into the back yard, the wind is roaring….. again!  There are golden and red leaves all over the yard despite Rick raking a few weeks ago and the white iron lawn furniture is still out there even though I know it is well past time to get that put away and secured behind the house. As I sit cozy here from the warmth of the fire I am contemplating this verse which keeps going over and over again in my mind.

Thankfulness so often flows from me when a need is met, prayed for or un-prayed for, like safety to the youth convention or a surprise of a bag of beef from dear friends in exchange for smoked fish.  One prayed for, the other not.  A sincere “praise the Lord” rolls of my tongue because I am indeed very thankful for these blessings.

What about thankfulness and the peace that the above scripture mentions?  Paul says to LET the peace of Christ rule in my heart.  The word LET gets me every time and so I went to Vines and this is what is said:



properly, “to act as an umpire” (brabeus), hence, generally, “to arbitrate, decide,” Col 3:15, “rule” (RV, marg., “arbitrate”), representing “the peace of Christ” (RV) as deciding all matters in the hearts of believers; some regard the meaning as that of simply directing, controlling, “ruling.” Cp. katabrabeuo; see ROB.


—- as deciding all matters in the hearts of believers —  That means that I am to let this powerful, mighty peace of Christ decide for me, control me and rule over my mind and all of my flesh.   This same peace that I rest in, because through Christ I am found in God’s favour and acceptance. This peace is to show up FIRST in my life in all situations as that would prove that it is in control of me.  Does it?  Well….. not always, but more and more.

This fall has provided ample opportunities to practice peace and thankfulness.  There have been some difficult relationships to deal with, the worst fishing in twenty years, our other businesses that have suffered in this economic low point of our country and friends who are suffering and need care.  Really, nothing new, as this has been life for Christians through the history of the world.  I am sure Peter in the Bible must have had off fishing, oh yes he did!  Remember how Christ came to the fishermen disciples and told them to out their nets out on the other side?  Must have been a less than perfect fishing moment for those men.  Christ gave them a miracle and I know that my sweet fishermen has often wanted Christ to tell him where to set the nets!

What I want to testify here for my family is that God has given peace.  I might still wonder how God is going to straighten out some relationships after love has been expressed to another with no response, or how He is going to supply our needs when our income is drastically changed, or how He will meet our friend’s needs…..  I wonder.   And then peace floods over me and I feel grounded in my faith that He is able, just as He was in the days of old, He is able and willing and faithful and the next thing out of my lips is thankfulness.

Thankfulness for:

Lots of wood for our woodstove, and that Annie did a huge haul the other days so we have not had to go out in this rainy cold weather for more supply.

Thankful that Rick was hired by a friend to work on fish that this dealer is bringing in from Lake Superior and for another friend to share the driving expenses with.  God loves to care about the details too!

Thankful for this time of LETTING the peace of Christ reign in me, over and over again.

For the winds, which can greatly affect a fisherman’s family, but also make my wind chimes sing beautifully which reminds me that God is near.

For a pantry full of canning

For friends to pray with on Tuesday and Wed. mornings where we gather in the early morning to lift our praises and requests up to our heavenly Father.

For Wednesdays with Sammy when I get to play with him and talk with him and feed him before taking him up to kids club at church

For music in our home and daughters who find great new worship songs to fill our homes with love for the Lord

Thankful for a young couple that came into our lives this summer and reminded me of newlywed love, enriched our home with their love of God and enhanced our worship with their gift in leading worship, taught us to love some Japanese food and how to play the piano with different and soothing sound, what a blessing!

Thankful for the fish that we did catch and for another season of safety for our precious men and also that the loss of nets due to gale winds was less than it could have been.

For children seeking the Lord and choosing to trust Him and go to His Word for their answers to life’s issues

Thankful for God’s Word which NEVER fails to uplift and encourage me every time I open it.

Thankful for the internet, and the great preaching we can watch together and learn from every week.

Thankful for skype which allows me to see my precious children when they are far away.

For the book of Colossians where God has me camping for these weeks, and for Paul who suffered much to bring me God’s Word.

For joy in the beauty of the fall leaves

For walks in the cool fresh air

For pink and blue fall sunsets

For work and the ability to do bookkeeping and cleaning jobs and have my children work with me.

For candles which make our homes glow when lit.

The list could go on and on.


I told my family recently that you can not complain if your heart is full of thanksgiving.

Choose to LET peace reign and control and then watch the thanks pour out!

Choosing peace and thankfulness today






Posted November 10, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Commercial Fishing Life, Family, Spiritual Life

Happenings in Oct.   Leave a comment


Jeni and Jason — Two years of marriage, God is so good.

Jason and Jeni came for the weekend and we had such a wonderful time.  Jason was recovering from an accident where he was rear-ended on the way to work.  Many prayed for him and he did not suffer nearly as badly as I have heard others suffer after whip lash.  God is so kind to answer our prayers on his behalf.  They left on Monday and you won’t believe this, but Jeni was rear-ended going into Milwaukee.  She was driving their other car while Jason was driving Matthew’s car which he loaned to Jason and Jeni until they purchased a new car.  Wild times!  We prayed again and Jeni was also covered by God’s healing hand and recovered quickly.



Love this bunch, love who they are and the joy they give us!

Beautiful, beautiful people


Matthew came up to fix a light on Kristi’s car and check out what was wrong with it.

He had lots of help and lots of blonde opinions, because we blondes love to share our thoughts when it come to car repair!

When he took it for a drive, Annie and Melody piled in and went with.  All they said when they got home was that “He went really fast”.  I DO NOT want to know those kind of things……. when will they learn that!

Precious brother, always quick to bless and help our family.


Melody was a help with Baley.  Baley is a city dog so we can’t let her loose or she might run away or run in the street.  We enjoy her.

Jazmin is a country dog so we can’t let her loose or she might run away or run in the street!  We enjoy her too!

We are doing a very focused year of Spanish.  We have signs around the house on objects to help us with associating the words to what they mean.  Jazmin has to wear this sign.  It makes her uncomfortable and sulky as she thought the sign should have read “human”.

Our dear friend Betty recently suffered from a serious illness.  Praise the Lord, she is being made well by prayers and medicine. We are taking care of her grandchildren to help the family.  Robyn has Mia and Betty’s son Eric and his wife have Andrew. When they are here they make the day very busy but so much fun.  I finally figured out how to get Andrew to nap so we are making progress at keeping his days in order.  He is such a sweety and we love both him and Mia.

This is Robyn.  She is the same age as Matthew and we have watched her grow up but only in the last five years have we really connected and spent lots of time together.  I love this young woman, our whole family does!  She is such a delight to be with and blesses our home with her kindness. God is doing a wonderful work in her life and we are blessed to know her.

Rick was home for lunch one day last week and we were trying to get a picture of Mia and her cousin Andrew together.  Mia would not leave Rick alone and wanted his applesauce which of course he freely shared with her.  He is such a softy with little ones!

Rick made sure that Andrew knew where to look on the internet to see the latest Packer news!  Aren’t his eyes just precious?  He loves sitting on “uncle Rick’s” lap.

We have enjoyed our October even though it has been the strangest for fishing on record.  I will have a separate post all about it soon.  We have done well with school and gardening and caring for these little ones.  We have had wonderful fellowship times in our homes with meals and watching great preaching, the Packer parties continue and Annie’s job has now ended for the season.  We have homes left to close down for our care-taking business and some cleaning to do but that is also winding down.  We celebrated Kristi’s birthday without her being with us and I survived. 🙂

Life is precious