Welcome to Gnomeville as Special Guests take over for Living in America Six

We are going to another land, to a magical place all the way across this amazing adventurous continent which is North America that spirit that brought us here all the way across great track of discoveries makes anytning possible. Take a look, we ar eging to Gnomeville/

This is a place which actually exists, in the hearts and minds and garden of my uncle and aunt Larry and Jeanette.

I will hand you over to them as they take us on a guided tour of their daily existence…

This village of Gnomeville is approximately 2000 miles SE of the village of Nome, Alaska – and three miles NW of the Sons of Norway, Poulsa WA.

This is a very inclusive community including immortals such as dwarves, elves, fairies, gnomes and trolls, plus some noted religious souls and a few fairy tale figures.

The population of Gnomeville as of August 2020 is 79, but not all are photographed for this blog. [“So I am hoping for a second edition blog in the future! Ed]  

Taken from the village plaza towards the bridge over the Geiranger Fjord. The Gnu Way is on the left and separated from Dwarfland Blvd by the two steel wheels.

The greeters on the bridge are Little Miss Muffet and Little Boy Blue. (This photo was taken in about 2018, and a few persons have moved in since that time.)

On the left side of the plaza lives Ron the Rainman who shelters under the hydrangea shrubbery.

On the righthand side lives Charlie the Carpenter, a son of Thor.

Above the plaza sleeps Sam the Sentinel who is known to fall asleep as the city is peaceful and quiet, at least before dusk. It is after dusk that these little people are most active, especially under a full moon. If visiting humans are attentive and kind-hearted at these times they may see or hear them going about their activities and you the human will feel greatly enriched.

Newly arrived last year is Lao Tzu. When he arrived he said, “Those who know don’t talk; those who talk don’t know. Do what you enjoy”.  He enjoys fishing without a hook.

Back behind the bushes, to the left of the windmill, along The Gnu Way is the Bogota of Buddha. He holds up a dark ball and ball of light. He told us, “When people see some things as beautiful other things become ugly When people see some things as good other things become bad. Long and short define each other. High and low depend on each other. Before and after follow each other.” We try not to disturb them, but things are noisier just down the way from there.

Old McDonald’s farm has a Moo Moo here and a Baa Baa there, but the buddha and Lao Tzu remain undisturbed.

Next to the barn in the shadow of St Francis are two happy young boys playing, while a younger brother sits with a bird.

Moving over to Dwarfland Blvd to the far right we find the first two of the Seven Dwarves; Bashful and Dopey. They are a little leery of the butterfly on their large butterfly house – Big enough to carry them away. Happy is hiding in the upper left, waiting to jump out and say ‘Boo’.

The next mushroom house is the home of Doc, Sleepy and Sneezy. Grumpy is off by himself hiding in the Rhody leaves. In the foreground is Milo Miner, a dwarf who lives in a small mine below.

Fred and Ferd Fungi are playing in their mushroom house. They have a rain gauge because fungi need water to grow. Crawling out of a hole in a tree trunk behind them is Morton Miner; dwarves prefer dark places and like going down mines.

As we go down the path through the two steel wheels we are greeted by Brer Rabbit and Uncle Remus on a cedar log.

They are greeters to the next section of Gnomeville; the Gnostic circle with the Brixius pump in the community center from which flows Stoney Creek.

The folks here are knowledge seekers. Gnosis mean knowledge in Greek.

On the far left of the circle we encounter George and Greg Gardener. Gardeners study the nature of plants so as to care for them well. In the process of this study they learn the laws and wisdoms of nature. The large sparrow between them sings to them as they work.

Next we see Pops and Sunny Woods coming out of the green woodland. Forest dwellers are also known for their learning. They see Gems and Pic Ax Miner who are uncles to Milo and Morton who live in Dwarfland. Gems and Pic are well known geologists and are well grounded in the deeper meaning of life.

By Stump Castle [17] we find Gnomio and Juliet miner, the parents of Milo and Morton. Gnomio and Juliet are the founders of Gnomeville in 2012. (A movie was made of them. It is rumoured that Shakespeare knew then and that they were the inspiration for a play he wrote, but that was many years ago.)

Herman the Hermit lives in this hollow hole; an empty space within a tree trunk. He finds a wholeness in that space.   

 Gazing at Stoney Creek is Shiva (transformer in the Hindu Trimurti) notices that the creek is constantly changing as it flows. You can never step twice into the same creek. In his hammock above him, Sleepy Joe is letting his brain get recharged. He has heard of that knowledge thing and will ask where you get it if he can work out how to say it.

From his governing bench the pointy-eared Foresti the mayor keeps constant vigilance to maintain harmony and benevolence between all.

Around the corner we come to Gnarled Road where the ancient ones live, ever eager to enjoy another day. Here we are greeted by Eldar the Elf.

Just beyond is Francis of Assisi who found that simplicity keeps us in touch with all creatures as brother and sister.

On the other side of the road we find the Christmas Elves; Chris. Kirsten and Christen. They are carrying gifts: treats, trees, games and foods for you. “It is in giving that we receive,” Francis reminds us.

At the end of Gnarled Road we find the gnawed retirement home where we find Grandpa Happy, Grandpa Dopey, Grandpa Doc and Grandpa Bashful, (Notice they do not use WiFi but get Snail Mail).

Returning around to the front we are welcomed to the Genome Guesthouse by Sigmund Fjord who will ask you about your dreams.

Also out front is the creative groundskeeper Handy Hank with a happy stone daisy growing up from these hardy roots.

Inside we find the happy couple Olaf and Olga [27], with Uncle Uffdah holding Orley. None of them could be prouder.

Leaning against the steel posts without a care in the world is Uncle Kevin enjoying a visiting butterfly, whose movements fascinate little children.

In the next room we find two couples – you will note there are not many married folk in Gnomeville. The first couple are Throg and Huldra these trolls are always eager to dance to the music, while always making sure their tails don’t get in the way.

There nestled among the roots of pine trees are our next couple, Hans and Greta. They wander often together, sometimes getting lost because they are always eyeing each other.

Also accommodated along this way is Two Elves one of those fans who helped the Seahawks win the Superbowl.

 In the last residence away from everyone else is an old Viking, better known as Modi, named after the son of Thor and whose name means anger.

Out in the shop we find Guisepi and ET planning their next project.

On the other side of the house we have Nisse and Vladimir . In their bright red hats, they attack people driving by and invite them to stop in for a visit to Gnomeville.

 In the winter Little Miss Muffet and Little Boy Blue go south and Frosty and Rudolph are on the bridge to welcome visitors,

unless the North Winds bring a white coat to decorate Gnomeville.

Hi Adrian, I think the folks of Gnomeville originally came from Gudvangen, Norway. You may recognise some of them. May they be a delight to you and Heidi. Some day you may be able to come and visit Gnomeville. Be well – Larry.


Oh thank you ever so you two, this is great fun, quite magical. We all thank you for the visit.

Here are links to the whole series of Living in America pic plus links to my shop

About adrianspendlowblog.com – Adrian Spendlow The Blog

Shopping with Adrian

Go have fun…

Living in America I

Living in America II

Living in America III

Living in America for

Living in America five

Living in America six

Living in America for

only one reason; love.

For all of my friends in America; my pals Dave and Pauline in Britain sent this photo. This is how English people dress all the time, according to them.

The Hudson Family, York, Yorkshire, England, Britain. (Photo taken at Beemish)

Here are a few more snippets and pics of my times and travels (limited travels as yet).

I am happy here, and have adventures. The two of us together is the most important thing though.

This light-hearted blog is meant to lift the spirits.

Love and supportive thoughts to those who are in struggling times and may you feel safer.

There is a bonus feature on the Green Bay Viking House.

This is the fourth in the series, see links at the foot.

Watering the backside

Cuteness allows total clearance of desk-space. It all hits the floor.

At last, after many hours I got the cats to follow me.

Below is my last attempt to get Egbert out in a harness. He runs at full speed, then at the point of tension he leaps and turns around in the air with his paws tucked under his chin. He slides out ready to run.

Giffa settles…

And spins…

Giffa frequently gets trapped. Here is one of the simpler results.

They cost a fortune at the vets

Egbert got his tail tip bitten off by a chipmunk (or a slightly larger critter to be fair). Giffa chases them, so far the leash has let the little monkey-mice live. She hasn’t a hope of reaching the birds.

Oooops it’s a Woodpecker

Yes I say in the vid this is a Nuthatch when in fact it is a Downy Woodpecker. It was the first one I had seen. They are very common little birds around here. As are the Nuthatchs.

David and Nicole came to visit to see how I was progressing and I talked of the time I spend on the porch taking the air. I had noticed that the birds here are nearly all different to those in Britain.

The next morning a parcel arrived; Birds of Wisconsin. So I wrote them this poem.

Oh no, she’s had another cat delivered.

Maybe that is why Giffa is hiding in the shade.

Fortunately our long leash doesn’t allow enough to expand into the next door hunting grounds.

So all Giffa can do is look on.

Let us wander among the plantings

The no-dig flower bed


Bandanas and bananas

How the stoop started, it is full of great pots blooming with growth now. There is a gap up the middle for travel.

Heidi’s favourites; Sundials. Fresh flowers every day. White one day. Pink the next. Mixed the next.

We plan to put these all around each tree next year.

This is what they are called

This beauty kept getting dug up, so I split it into pots and they are doing great.

Maybe next year I can get it set up something like this.

“You are right mum, I don’t help Heidi enough, I will go in and do the dishes.”

In we go…

I found this old chest in the back of the garage. Things appear in that garage I swear, right in front of your eyes.

There is a rather grand very large, what I would call a, china cabinet in Heidi’s office full of delights. Here are a couple of views from among the many wonders.

We are glad to have you on board for this little tour.

The Japanese Stationary box

The Japanese stationary box

The garden travels inside with us.

Orange Lanterns

Another part of planning for next year

Fourth of July our neighbours had a party. The pics somehow fail to show a garden full of people and they had used up all the fireworks while it was still daylight. That seems to happen a lot here in America, I get confused by it – fireworks when it is light.

I took them some logs for their fire tub as they only had cardboard. They were thrilled and invited me over. These lovely Mexican people who hardly speak a word of English and get along with me very well invited me to their celebration of America’s independence little realising that I come from the nation America is celebrating independence from. I didn’t offer to take them any tea to their party.

Lets get out and go shopping

Need to get ready. Which socks to wear?

Should it be starry starry night?

Or the shepherd of sheep?

I try to obey the traffic signs here. For instance – For all my new bird spotting skills I haven’t taken any Jays out for a walk. There are limits to my obedience though. This one made me mad though. It is going too far.

Jeff’s Auto Repairs nextdoor seems to fix trucks using wood.

And the Folks of Quay street back in Scarborough might admit that the carrowaggon isn’t unique. Although this conversion jobs isn’t anywhere near as good.

I saw two of these passing our house recently, I didn’t get a pic but the two cute mail vans went by with the two drivers looking at each other and giggling. They were rocking back and forth as if to get their little cars to go faster. The race was a draw.

I am wondering if I should buy these succulents from Walgreens, instead of all these plants for the garden. These things don’t need watering.

Watch out for terribly deep potholes.

I started singing Suddenly Seymore when I saw these and we realised that life could not be perfect unless we had a little white picket fence all around the yard, no garden, no lot, no lawn – outside the house.

We stopped off at a smashing Mexican restaurant, it is next to the brilliant store. Such friendly places. This spicy soup was full of amazing seafood. I liked the tiny mussels which I haven’t seen before. The large prawns (in Britain shrimps are little things) and the crayfish were great too. This was the last meal out I could manage but things are improving day by day.

Free firewood.

People might do less gardening around here than they do in Britain, but I reckon they spend more on bits to stick in there.

There can’t be much crime here as they have very small prisons.

Dwayne and I went to a Garaga Sala. It was amazing to see. Many neat piles of designer clothes. There were racks of fantastic Mexican suits and loads of amazing boots.

We often see these signs and go to a fair few of these events. We often misread the scratchy signs. Give away prizes. Hugs Ale.

I only got a few bargains. Over the last few years, instead of individual presents at special times, a few times a year I do a hamper. Then they all have to choose what they like. Their autumn holiday (fall vacation) will be the next one. I will be posting a huge parcel, (or three), over to Scarborough in North Yorkshire and the gathering will spend an evening going through them. I got these.

Well, if that is all I’ve got I am going to have to crack on.

Note I broke my own rule. When shopping for gifts at charity shops if it is cheap I take the price sticker off, if it is pricey I leave the sticker on. In this case I was so surprised by the price of the hat I had to leave it on. Especially as it was next to $40 jeans

This looks like something surgical, but I am assured it is something collectable.

This is True!

We are but a jot from a Walgreens Pharmacy. It is kitty corner to us. Recently I have had cause to visit there quite frequently.

But it seems I have been promoted. Regarding this sign.

Oh yes, select narcotics indeed. One imagines now that I am elevated from the ranks of the brown stuff in a darkened room. I qualify for the very best and that I will be treated accordingly. “Ah, welcome sir, do walk this way.” I will indeed walk in the special way of one who is select. We will bow and scrape and I will back out of there with my parcel and a great show of gratitude, for I am now select.

Eventually our ramblings led us to our destination; Ralph’s Antique Store.

A woman runs the store. Apparently she is always there. (See opening hours) I didn’t ask her name. Perhaps it is Ralph.

A speciality of theirs is gramophones. They also stock those automatic pianos and their music. Here we have a special cabinet.

Yes it is full of those cylinders that music was once recorded upon, the for-runners of records.

There is more. More more more more more.

That set off memories.

Another area collected Coconuts.

Monkeys to Spooky

To the quirky

Bet they are thirsty, I know I was. Things would go better with……

There were lots of odd bits and pieces

We head west along the ridge

Heavy Amulets?

As George Harrison sang, back when we as FAB.

It was open. (I had to go back outside to the front window to double check.)


Heidi’s late aunt was a tractor designer. Perhaps the one below is a stage one model.

Now here was an eggsperience.

I should have got this hat.

I should have got that hat.

I thought this one was a prison hat

Spendlow Adrian Male Caucasian arrested for being too select

It turns out it is a railroad hat. So I think a visit to the National Railroad Museum is in order. Perhaps we should take the twins.

This young guy did not enjoy posing for this sculpture

This feller rises above the trials of others.

Our biggest bargains were an index card three drawer chest, Ideal for Japanese stationary and a large brown pot for putting kitchen utensils in. They cost a fortune.

The biggest joy though was from China.

As well as the Chinese scenario there is of course the two books. I am thrilled to be part of the Ripasso collection, Carol MacAllister is a great writer and a driving force of an inspiration. Cujo the Rap-Poet based in Green Bay is also a very encouraging inspiration and an uplifting performer.



This place was just across the road from Ralph’s. I took the picture because the Oval Office is a place of power.

Turns out it is an adults only club.

I have found another one of the monster plant. I have had to travel across the world to do it.

Back in Scarborough I bought a small plant for fifty pence. It said on the label, ideal for your rockery. It grew and grew. The last I heard It was nine feet across. Kirsten the gardener had to move it from the rockery to the top of the hill so it had its own space. Last I heard it was impeding the view of the castle. The label should have said something different…

The label should have said, keep it in a tub so it doesn’t take over half the nation.

Anyway I better get back to work

There are the screens to paint.

With a hope of sensible calm

The frames.

It takes longer to get the tape on than it does to get the paint on.

Time was I was searching deep for an ultimate truth, something so beautiful we would all be enriched in union. Nowadays I am learning to be more like Karate Kid, paint on, paint on. It is deep. The paint.

The Back Yard needs attention too

This is the fateful squash flower captured just before it was dashed to the floor

I am told that it is perfectly normal for the flowers to come off when being examined.

The theory proved to be true. (Does anyone know where I can get Humble Pie?) The male flower left us as the females took over. They have grown and grown and g (they are big).

A potato

Back to the grandkids

They are about grapefruit size now.

Getting the Garage in Order

A Spatchcock Chair

Someone else has been getting organised too. I guess it is the chipmunks. I must have spilt some of their food and they have made small order of (or is that short shift of) shelling and snacking.

As I step into the garage I either see a chipmunk on the top of the wood pile suddenly run away or I see a flying shadow zoom across the floor. There is one which is not so timid; the ugly woodchuck. He sets off to run, then he stops, half turns and stares at me with his sharp eyes from his long long face. He knows he is not like any other Chipmunk and he is the strongest. That look he gives me is mean, then he leaves entirely at his own pace. I feel like he is calling out, that it was him who ate the sunflower seeds.


The following two poem cards are inspired by the words of uncle Larry. Heidi’s uncle is a retired priest and a wonderful thinker. I have been receiving encouraging mail from my family in the US and my family in the UK and friends around the world.

There was a reason for this action, but I cannot recall what on earth it was. Perhaps you could all suggest captions?

Stop press – Edit – We have a caption suggestion –

Potato Cheek Johnny –

Uncle Larry tells me that Wulf used to tease Tony by calling him after the guy who found the biggest gold nugget of the Black Hills Gold Rush Potato Creek Johnny. Larry thought Potato Cheek Adrian but Johnny is a way of referring to an Englishman ‘Johnnys’ so I go for Potato Cheek Johnny. I imagine it is funniest for those who dont need the explanation!

I wish it was a gold nugget.

[Space left for further caption suggestions]

This is my son, the rapper Spee 69. He has helped me with my forthcoming blog on publishing music, audio and books. So I will include his Bandcamp site.



I guess I need a lot of looking after at the moment and Heidi is absolutely fabulous, but according to this advice from Carolyn I think I need to be pickled.

Before we went out I had cooked a snack for Heidi.

It was a magical talking egg. The egg said to me, ‘If you could have one thing what would it be?’ To have just what we have to now, we would like to keep this please.

Truth is I stole the pic from my lad Luke.

A lovely gift arrived for me through the mail.

Thank you Heidi

That isn’t the gift. That was just the wrappings. It came in that delightful box which I shall treasure

Rabbits you gotta run

Run rabbit run run run

Towards the warmth of the sun

Sitting in the bar and looking out Mark and I began to wonder about the building opposite. It looks like a Railway Station, or to be correct for where we are, Railroad Depot.

After a beer or three there was a thorough investigation.

It was the Packers Depot. Initially I took this to mean that the meat came in to the harbour here to go to the packing plants (of which Green Bay is renowned).

It is the Depot of the team, the thing that Green Bay is most famous for. Whenever I say in a chat that I now live in Green Bay, people all over the world say, ‘Ah The Packers’.

They toured from here. I want to see the train they travelled on! They played away across states from this very platform. Many thousands gathered here for their departures, they studied the game or the news until the results came in, then they gathered here again for the return. The Green Bay Packers.

Let us step back in time…

Here is my sister Ginny probably in the eighties

I shall take you back to my school days. Perhaps I will let you spot which is me.

My pal Paul Acton collected these pics and shared them to York Past and Present. Here are his words from there…

“Lowfields school 1967 or 68. My year group, but not my class. Although I left in 1966.

Bottom photo. Steve Gent, Chris Turnbull, Paul Lowther, Dave Hudson, Julie Thompson , and others.

Top photo, same as above , but also, Paul Burton, John Stone, Mick Hutchinson, Ade Spendlow, Paul Pittock, added to the line up.

I’ll leave the viewers to fill in the others.

All born 1953/4. Lowfields intake year 1965. B class, I think.

Sorry about the quality, but these were copied with a mobile phone from the originals, on a table during a session in the Cross Keys today. I’ll try to access the originals for a better scanning at a future date.”

Thank you Paul.

A British post box

Yes this is a British post box not a pillar box I will get a pic of one of those next I think. It has always been the royal mail in the past. It is a privatised company now I think. The letters are normally ER Elizabeth Rex. Mum always said it was Rex because that is the Queen’s surname and it means royal. I am not sure if that is totally correct in details and someone out there might want to help me. This one from somewhere in York is a little older and rarer. It says GR = George Rex.

When I ask for details I only want so much. This is a topic with a lot of interest; you can get guide books and an annual pictorial calendar and all sorts. Same with roundabouts and motorway junctions.

This is only the recent past. My mother’s house over in Scarborough, God’s Own Country (Yorkshire)

I think this is an Amaryllis

Amaryllis; a country girl, a mountain stream; A thing of beauty; A thing of its own; a thing of its own beauty; we are lucky to share

Another plant mystery. I call these Bellis Daisies. I think my mum says they are a dwarf aster or something. I know they flower for like ever. In Scarborough, as long as Kirsten keeps dead heading them, they flower from early spring right up till Christmas. There are three great big patches of them too.

No, these are out the front, so that comes to four patches.

Then there are marigolds. I cant find pictures of the ones we have. The ones which are popular in Britain. Di An gave me some marigolds and they are what I would call French marigolds. I also got hold of some as pictured here which are described as English marigolds. they aren’t the ones we have in Britain.

These are nearly them

That makes me think of bread. And it makes me think of Norway. There was a section of the bread aisle which was marked Loafs. I looked and it was all white bread. I asked the Norwegian friend I was shopping with and they said that loaf meant white. I couldn’t understand this. The nearest I can come to a meaning for loaf is lump! Basically Norwegians know that we British say bread loaf. They also know in their hearts that we British only eat white bread. So loaf must mean white. Hence the whole section of white bread marked Loafs.

Hang on me thinks it is the Norwegians who are eating all the white bread.

I think I got this old image from the Vanaheimr Vikings group, I just had to have it.

Back to my mothers, or perhaps away from my mother’s.

These are the famous Dog and Duck steps, down the side of my mum’s house. They lead up to the castle. You cannot see it, this photo was taken during lock down and everything is really over grown. The large banks of grass all along below the castle and the woodland are really over grown. What was grass is now six feet tall.

A glimpse into my past when I had my own place before I had that battle with cancer. This was my corner of my little home in the mews. this was the creative hub where everything happened.

The Viking House, University Wisconsin, Green Bay. New era feature.

My wife Professor Heidi Sherman as well as being head of history for UWGB is also the Jarldress for the Viking house. I have never thought of this before, but, wait for it, what does that make me!

She has created many events and developments around the house but of course it has all been on hold this year. We are just starting to get the place going again.

There are many who volunteer to help keep the place going and I have been along with a couple of good pals recently to make a start. So here is a feature on the place.


Dwayne is making a shield with his own design on to display and we are hoping to develop a collection of shields each linking to the house. We are hoping for donations of shields from other groups to add in and have a couple of contacts regarding this (see link).

Some Viking Shields

We also have a great idea for a design for a UWGB shield which another friend will paint for us once Dwayne has another shield ready.

For shields from away from the US I guess we will need to recreate them here. IE I would love a recreation of my groups shield from York University’s Viking group Vanaheimr.

A group planted Hops and I wanted to capture them flourishing so they could see what a good job they had done. Each year they will get more and more prolific.

Raised beds were in lock down.

You can tell the fire pit hasn’t been used in a while.

We need a clear out or a hiding place.

Ideally there shouldn’t be anything modern on view if someone comes to take a photo. The oven needs its cover though to protect all Dwayne’s hard work and we remove it as soon as an activity is prepare.

I can’t wait to get that oven going again and get some cooking done. We are still limited on events of course. I think it is a maximum of ten people, social distancing with masks and then by arrangement.

The current wood pile is mainly stuff which was too long for our stove at home, so I guess we will soon get through it and be looking for more.

This is the John

I am thinking we could cut some of the buckthorn to make our little fence out of.

Ah apparently the hawthorn is in invasive so we can cut as much of that as we like.

Just down the slope from us is the Frisbee-Golf

The grounds are beautiful

Owen and Elspeth are the lovely couple who made all of this possible.

I haven’t met Harry, but we are all very grateful that he found a way to make a difference to our Viking heritage here at UWGB.

(I would like to know a little more about the cookhouse too)

Maintaining a Viking House can be a Hornet’s nest

We came back again and had a bit of an inspection;


The full team inspection

The Parking situation

UWGB wildlife

After we left today we passed a few Heron, they were standing close to picnickers by the river and I was surprised at how tall they were. I guess at nearly five foot, Dwayne tells me they can reach six foot. The Heron not the Turkeys, or we would be having a good Thanksgiving.

Flax drying will make an interesting addition to the decor.

Then we could process it ready to spin into linen thread.

We have plans for wool too. Insulation.

The return and this time we are equipped.

We needed refreshing.

Refreshments were created by team host Jarldress Sherman

I will catch that frog


Let us be-strim

This is why we were here.

And we got the job done, well Dwayne did.

What’s next boss?

Art Promotes Health

I was encouraged to take part in art sessions but it is all closed for health reasons. So I was given a take home kits of a twizzle stick and paper ribbons.

I didn’t use them in the intended way.

Heidi’s sister Hilary and husband brought their lovely young twins along and they like ornaments. (one of them only likes blue.)

Here is my attempt.

One way of staying in touch across the world is the Zoom family quiz. One week a section was fast draw. I had to do a self portrait in thirty seconds.


Do follow the links below to the previous three episodes.

Just a simple blog like this takes me a few days to put together, please do encourage me by clicking the donation button

Living in America I

Living in America II

Living in America III

Living in America for

Living in America five

Living in America six

Living in America

Living in America – A pictorial guide – My sister asked me what it was like where I am living, so here is my attempt to sum it all up.

Welcome to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Also features ‘Cooking with Lu’ making Egg Fried Rice

One of Heidi’s lovely lamps…


A beady lamp, this must be the sort of things Americans use I think…


The house is over a hundred years old and the original room divider is still fitted. There is a display cabinet attached at each side…


The divider goes up and over…


The other side is a fitted cabinet too. Full of beautiful things. Sewing kits and all sorts…

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This is a beautiful lamp. It has three bulbs with separate chains to pull to turn them on which is a bit of a pain, but it is worth it…


Always wear a mask, but I find it difficult when we are eating.


A small part of Heidi’s decorative tape collection. They are in pristine condition.


I was feeling left out so I have stated my own tape collection…


The original sink…


The Butcher’s Block


This is what cupboards are like in America…


Or like this…


No here is a completely different type of cupboard, wait for it, this is a pie cooler. How ‘cool’ is that! I hope these were proper pies, ie with pastry underneath and pastry on top. If it doesn’t have a pastry top it is a tart, just so you know. There is a good name for one with only pastry on the top, that is a pot pie. I might even forgive a pot pie for being just a casserole or pot roast with a pastry top. There is one other rule I intend to ensure the globe (or disc if you are  flat earther) comes to learn, it should be short crust pastry not flakey. Lesson over, mark my words well.


Not everything here is over a hundred years old.


Giffa gets behind the wood-burning stove where she is really really warm yet safe from flying logs…


I thought a good way to make use of my time was to make magazine racks for filing my paper work. I am hoping to make a dozen by the end of next week…


I decorated them. There are  enough for Heidi to store all her stationary…




Little Shop of Horrors…


Banker’s Boxes…




That one’s going to take a bit of filling…


The flax hangs drying, the mice climb and dine. Twigs, bits and bark partly fill paper bags to make fire-starters or firebombs. The log was all cut shorter than usual especially for our small wood burning stove…


I need help with this thing. What is it? What is it for? How do I fill it? –


What’s in the jug? How do you know how much to put in?


There’s a lovely expression here in the US of A; Kitty Corner. There is a Walgreens kitty corner to us; diagonally opposite. All of America is square, I’ve worked that much out. It is all blocks. As we walked home in Scarborough in Yorkshire in Britain we went down a steep narrow hill and as we turned a tight bend and looked down at the seafront promenade below, Heidi turned to me and said, “Ah, you were right, Britain isn’t all built in blocks is it.”

Walgreens is like Boots, it’s a chemist but with beauty products and stuff. It also sells tinned food, snacks, frozen food and alcohol. Wine, beer and spirits. Each state seems to vary on this. Some you have to go to a separate shop. Others like Wisconsin you have to show ID so they can log your DOB into the computer.


Every house has a porch or a stoop. I guess this is a porch and it is ours. I plan to sit there whittling. We are last but one of our street with an auto repair shop at the end.

You get S for such as South Bay Street, that’s how they write it. There are cross roads everywhere. If you were able to get a bus, as it approached, a machine would call out something like, ‘Howard and Mason’. then you would know to get off, except I couldn’t work out how to use the doors.

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I kind of understand why they say yard instead of garden. Nobody seems to do any gardening, except for sticking in a few bulbs and riding round on a grass cutter. (This one below is about the most floral I’ve seen.)

I plan to change all that one garden at a time till I’ve gone coast to coast.


The windows are kind of double glazed. This is a survival necessity when the snow gets to about eighteen foot deep. or so I’ve been told.


Then you unclip them and replace them with screens. This is to protect against things called mosquitos, but quite how such creatures survive here I am not sure.


This is the neighbour’s place and beyond are the newly built apartments. They were built by the local church on what used to be their garden and are described as affordable housing.


This is our back yard. You can see the Buckthorn beyond the fence on the strip of land which is ours too. Now they tell me that birds eat the berries of the saplings and then poop out the seeds. They sit on the fence to do it. So as I understand it, every fence in America is lined with hundreds of Buckthorn on either side. Well, ours was. I cut back all the one inside, and I will be working on the outside ones too.

There is a dead tree on our land just beyond the fence. Well, it is half dead, but all the way down to the ground so could go at any moment. I found a chain saw in the garage and I have never used one, so I thought I might give it a go. what do you think?

Ah, Heidi is reading over my shoulder and says I can not, I repeat can not do it myself. We need to get a tree feller feller in. Not three tree feller fellers, one feller should do it.

(And not three smart fellers either.)


Here is where I cut a load of Buckthorn back, but it still needs clearing…


And all along the fence is roots lurking…


Oh no, here they come…


This is the half dead tree… (Whoever cuts it down I hope we get to keep the wood.)


I think this must be Wisconsin… (There must be a lot of Latvians live here or something.)


Hewey and Lewey must be confused…


Vintage bathroom fittings…

(It’s not just Britain who don’t know what mixer taps are it seems.)


There is an attic, apparently, but I have never dared go up there…


There are many things about America which frighten me. This house has a basement! I am going to be sucked into a swirling hole. Aliens are trying to break the gratings. I shouldn’t have gone off on my own wearing just T shirt and Jeans when there is a killer around taking us out one at a time. I have seen too many movies. I think that American movies (Yes there are other types) are more scary if you are not from America. If you are American watching a film, you are like, oh yeah its a basement. You all have them. They are a far less common commodity in other countries.

Lots of thing scare me. UPS vans. I am not even sure which film it was where one kept appearing and you start thinking, he turns up every time there is  a disappearance. Those traffic lights which go over the top of the road, I expect a gang with bandanas to turn up next to our bus and shout, drive or are you chicken!


Everyone in America collects novelty spoons, or everyone in my experience anyway…


My pal Judson asked me to get him a Green Bay Packers cap; I think they play some sort of game or something. Most people seem to have heard of them though.

I am having trouble with communicating over here. Oscar Wilde said Britain and America are two nations divided by a common language. It seems he was right. Back to those Buckthorn roots. I spent several hours searching for a place which would hire us a piece of equipment that would destroy them there pesky roots. I was looking for a rotavator. I stated that I wanted a hand-held one. It turns out, what I need was a stump-grinder. A walk-behind stump-grinder. Hours.

My pal Dwayne is on the case and once he finds one which will fit through our gate to the yard and isn’t $200 dollars a day to hire (no really) he will be out there turning them woody critters to dust.

Why I mention this here, I tried all sorts of phrases in my searches. At one point my attempts to hire garden equipment resulted in a whole page of links to the Green Bay Packers. What on earth they have to do with yard work I have no idea. I mentioned this to one of the students I am working with, (on line), he said, You are in Wisconsin, any search will end up going to the Packers.


The place we pass by at a cross roads, at some point of the compass, which seems a vital method of giving directions here, which is a problem for someone who has no idea which way is which, any way; the big sign says Trucks. I don’t think any of them are trucks. They all have a flag on top. That is several hundred flags. I would stick a for sale sign there myelf, but hey ho.


When I asked a lady in Minot what this was, in the picture below,  she said she was of a family of farmers and their main cop was flax. I said how Heidi had grown this and then I went on to demonstrated how it was worked into fibres. She said, we use a big machine, it’s a lot quicker.

On the large crate below this hanging flax were tons of little brown round things. I asked Heidi what they were and she said they were they flax seeds which had fallen off. They are all over the garage so I investigated. No they weren’t. They were very light and empty. Mice had climbed up the wall along the barn and down the corn sheaves. They had taken one seed at a time and carefully opened it. Then dropped the outer casing. These were empty little packets which once held a seed each.

I told my pal Greg of the Lakota, who is now connected to the corn-growing Oneida tribe, and he told me of how they grew corn. They hung it from beams in the barn, but they created bowl-shaped wrappings that went around the corn just above the cobs. When you turned the light on and went into the barn there were all these little mice faces looking down, obviously thinking, How do we get down there to that tasty corn?


Every month a box turns up full of Japanese stationary. This is a very exciting time and involves shrieking. They are treasured and kept forever…


Not more decorated boxes!


Yes more…


Just how many does one household need? Many…


Here these are known as biscuits. I was wonderfully excited to find some actual biscuits recently in Walgreens; Biscoff. Ooooo, said Heidi, Cookies. No, I said if they bend they are cookies, if they snap they are biscuits. Biscuits are not sweet, you have them with gravy. The gravy is white!


They come in a pretend tin made of cardboard…


Them aint biscuits. We didn’t make white sausage gravy, whatever that is, We had them split and hot with lashings of melted butter.


We found a great store Nearby. A Mexican store. It is great to be able to get fresh produce just around the corner. There are a few interesting things worth a photograph. Pork Scratching warning. Now this is an enormous scratching. Bigger than an American football…


Now some really horrid produce. (I am going to post a tin to Martin, anyone else want an order?) –


Beautiful Icons…




Do you want a cigarette? There’s plenty here…


The owner makes this. It is raw and needs cooking. We asked if it was spicy. We were told no. – It wasn’t hot and tasted like chorizo…


I may spend a lot of time looking out. I do practice social distancing though. I particularly wanted to distance myself from this feller…

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I think he was collecting scrap. That must be what they do in America. Oh no. he’s coming over!


We have stockpiled to a degree…


I can think of nicer things to make cough syrup of…


My daughter Lucy’s ‘how to’ on making egg fried rice

And if you click here you can see the second in the series of Living in America with more quirky photos.

Click here for two fun videos are in Living in America 3