Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

'Twas Three Weeks Before Christmas

We didn't wander too far from Rick's home this past Saturday. The occasion was the 31st annual Monches Artisans Holiday Open House. Monches is an unincorporated community in Waukesha County not even 10 miles from where Rick lives in the midst of Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine.

The Kettle Moraine is really a beautiful area in southeast Wisconsin created some 20,000 years ago when two lobes of the glacier that covered this part of our state collided depositing sediment in between. Kettles (ponds) resulted when glacial ice broke off, got entirely or partly buried in glacial sediment, and subsequently melted. Some of those kettles are now filled with lakes - Elkhart Lake, Geneva Lake, and Little Cedar Lake. Hills of glacial deposits rise between the kettles and lakes giving much variety to the area's topography.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians is located at
Holy Hill - one of the largest glacial deposit hills in the Kettle Moraine.
The Basilica should be on everyone's list of must-see places in Wisconsin.
It's only a couple of miles from Rick's home.
Our first stop on the Artisan Holiday Open House tour was Monches Farm. Lots of people there, including a few free range chickens that greeted us on the way from the parking lot to the store with its many holiday items for sale.
The chickens were not in the least bit afraid of all the
people who came by.
When not outside, the chickens stay in this old barn.
Several artists were also selling handcrafted wares for the holidays at the Farm. Of course, I couldn't resist and ended up with a beautifully painted Christmas tree ornament that I gave to Rick's daughter-in-law the next day when we visited the family in Sheboygan.

On our way to our next stop, we came upon the Christmas Cookie Walk at St. Paul's United Church of Christ Church on the western edge of Richfield. (Richfield is a former township whose residents voted to become a village so the area covered by the municipality is 36 square miles of beautiful countryside.) We thought $7.50 a pound for a great selection of delicious cookies baked by members of the congregation was a bargain.

St. Paul's claim is that it's the oldest church of its denomination in Wisconsin and will celebrate its 175th anniversary next year. 
What could be more typical of a country church than
St. Paul's?
The chancel was decorated nicely for Christmas.
One of the stained glass church windows - more art
in the rural area.

We discovered that Richfield has a winery. It's attached to the Cold Spring Inn, a bed & breakfast that's been written up in Chicago Magazine. One of the winery's white wines has been named for Griffin, one of the goats that lives on the property. Jerry Munley, who owns the Inn with his wife, Kari, let the bunch of them out of their shed so I could take pictures.
Griffin is the big guy eating out of the hand of his owner.

Our friend, Greg, who lives in Highland Park, Illinois came to visit and joined us on the tour. He had never been to the Mineshaft in Hartford so we went there for lunch just so he could experience the busiest restaurant in Wisconsin. One of the features of the restaurant is an incredible game room on the second floor. A great way to keep the kids busy when a family is waiting for a table on a busy weekend. 

Our last stop of the day was to celebrate Christmas at the Mill. This yearly event, sponsored by the Richfield Historical Society, was part of the Christmas in Richfield Day. We enjoyed hot cider, cookies, and Christmas carols at the mill house.

A real treat was listening to Kelly Thundercloud as she sang Christmas carols accompanied by Clara Birkel, one of the board members of the Richfield Historical Society.

Merry Christmas wishes for the holiday season. And good cheer for all . . . 

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