Walkin' With the Wild Woman

Come go for walk with the Wild Woman and see what you will find .....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Cozy Camo Bedding Set



It’s the time of year when we start decorating our homes with a more fall or winter theme. Given the collection of bones, antlers, feathers and hides that have taken up residence  around my house, I knew that I wanted to switch things up a bit and do a little more to bring the outside in so to speak.   I wanted my home to reflect my outdoor lifestyle. 

Luckily for me, just as I pouring through the Camo Trading web site looking for decorating ideas and something new to jazz up this old house, Camo Treading reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trialing and reviewing one of their bedding sets. OH BOY WOULD I !

I chose the comforter set in Realtree Max 4. This is a wtaerfowling household, and Realtree Maz 4 has long been my favorite waterfowl camouflage pattern. After making my selection the shipment arrived quickly and was packaged well. The bedding set included a comforter, two shams, and dust ruffle/ bed skirt. 



The poly/cotton blend Realtree Max 4 Full Comforter Set incorporates numerous nature elements, adding striking visual appeal to your bedroom decor. Includes comforter (80" x 90"), bedskirt (54" x 75") and two standard shams (26" x 20). Care is easy , simply machine wash, tumble dry low.


While this is designed for beautiful outdoorsy waterfowl themed bedroom, I chose to utilize it in my living room. We use a futon in our living room, as we often have overnight guests. I was extremely pleased at how well the full sized comforter set fit the futon and made it look as if I had whole new piece of furniture. 



The print was clear, clean vibrant, the comforter light and fluffy, yet plenty warm for the chilly nights by the fire. The real test began the minute everything was in place. Like most waterfowlers, we share our home with a variety of retrievers – a yellow, a black and chocolate, and all three are constant fur machines. The max 4 pattern made it impossible to tell if any of the three had left that telltale lab fur behind.

I’d like to tell you that our dogs are very well trained and never get on the furniture, but alas that isn’t the case. Our dogs are family and they pretty much own the futon. Consequently to keep things in good shape, clean and decidedly not “doggy smelling” I have to launder the covers at least once a week. 

Despite being laundered every week and some weeks several times (Hey labs love mud!) The comforter remains fluffy and soft, with no pilling and no fading what so ever. It has withstood several months of washing. scrubbing, and being the favorite place for three overgrown  and spoiled labs to hang out.  Since I also use the futon as my lounging about spot, the added cushiness from the comforter made it cozy place to curl up on chilly autumn evenings while I dreamed about the upcoming waterfowl season. 

I certainly give this product a full five stars for durability, attractiveness, and versatility. Whether you choose it for a lodge futon  or for your own camo master bedroom you won’t be a bit disappointed with this bedding set. 

CamoTrading Decor also has a wide range of things to put the finishing touches on any outdoor themed room or home be it a  hunting lodge, a lake side cottage, or a fishing retreat.  From furniture, to lighting, to wall hangings they have something to match any decor. 

Visit their website today and I bet you will find several things to put on your list for Santa this year!


CamoTrading Decor’s merchandise has been featured in several television shows including The Today Show, Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Designing for the Sexes. Several magazines have featured our products in their editorials including Inside TV Guide, Country Living, Cabin Life, Log Home Living, Log Home Design Ideas and Log Homes Illustrated. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Fish Boil - A Wisconsin Tradition


My introduction to the great state of Wisconsin began with a pre AGLOW conference media  opportunity trip (AKA a FAM or Familiarization tour) in beautiful Walworth County for three days.

I can't think of a better way to begin a trip to Wisconsin than by going to an authentic Wisconsin style fish boil. While Door county is perhaps better known as the home of fish boils - Fitzgerald's Genoa Junction restaurant offers visitors not just their own tasty version of a fish boil, but rather an entire dining experience.


~ Kevin graciously provided us with a handout regarding the most interesting history of the octagon house and the property - to learn more about the history of one of the few octagon houses that  remain, click here. Can you believe this gorgeous building was once part of a thriving complex that housed a wagon and carriage making company? 



This beautifully restored octagon house is home for Fitzgerald's Genoa Junction    



Kevin Fitzgerald explained that the biggest difference between the Door County fish boils and the Fitzgerald's method is the type of fish used. Historically the Door County boils utilize trout or whitefish, and often one finds  skin and bones still with the fish. "Here we use North atlantic cod - no bones, no skin, and a remarkably lobster like sweet taste. That's what our customers prefer, and that's what keeps them coming back" said Fitzgerlad.
Kevin Fitzgerald ~ manning the kettles daily during the summer season and Thursday through Sunday from November through March.

During the big "boil over" moment

Fish kettles boiling away
 The menu is simple and straightforward at Fitzgerald's - a unique all-you-care-to-eat dining experience. Guests enjoy fish boil combinations including honey-BBQ chicken and BBQ pork ribs with a legendary secret whiskey-based sauce. Other accompaniments include award-winning coleslaw and fresh rye bread, sweet red potatoes and onions which are boiled in the pots with the fish. For dessert a frosted apple square nicely rounds out the meal.  Fitzgerald's also offers a full service bar featuring a full selection of martinis, highballs, red and white wines, coffee drinks, cordials and more.


There's not a single corner of Fitzgerald's that  isn't an interesting and welcoming spot! 

I was anxious to try this Wisconsin tradition. While I was wandering about Fitzgeral's snapping photos and visiting with other diners, each and every other guest there simply raved about the food, the atmosphere, and the service. For many diners it's a set date night, a regular weekly dining out experience, or for that many that travel from the Chicago area to enjoy Fitzgerald's a family tradition for special occasions.

The standard plate from Fitzgerald's, sweet boiled cod, potatoes, onions all swimming in drawn butter accompanied by rye bread and  slaw . Of course I had to also try the delicious grilled BBQ ribs and chicken as well!

The meal was a  great hit and wonderful welcome for the group of outdoor writers. Nary a crumb was left behind by our group from AGLOW!


   

Fitzgerald's Genoa Junction is a  must do activity when visiting Walworth County, or the southeastern region of Wisconsin. The warm welcome from the Fitzgerald family, the outstanding food, the charming and interesting use of the octagon house all add up to a dining experience you do not want to miss!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Renewed, Revitalized, and Ready to Rock and Roll





Ah yes – looking back at my last post date, it is apparent that I abandoned the ship for a while. In all honesty, I was giving serious thought to just calling it quits.  Just call it a midlife crisis, and identity crisis, or a huge period of self-doubt. 

Lake Lawn Resort - what a wonderful introduction to Walworth County and Wisconsin!


I began to feel that my words and my images just weren’t all that I hoped they would be. When discussing this with fellow outdoor communicators and blogging mentors Jody Narrantic of The Hunter’s Wife, and Carrie Zylka of The Wild World of Carrie Z , both counseled me not to make any decisions until after I returned from the AGLOW (Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers) conference. 

I am so glad that I listened to them. 

I started my “Week in Wisconsin” courtesy of the Walworth County CVB, exploring the wonderful outdoor, historic, and just plain fun things that Walworth County has to offer. I was joined by several other AGLOW members for the weekend of fun.  The other AGLOW members that weekend filled my head with tales of other AGLOW conferences, opportunities, and most of all support, friendship, and fun. 

Kathleen Seeburg, Executive Director of Walworth County CVB made sure that my first experiences in Wisconsin were indeed wonderful!


From the moment I walked into the lobby of the hotel in Fond du Lac, WI I felt welcomed, valuable and accepted.  This was my first AGLOW conference and I was nervous as a cat in room full of rockers. I was going to be meeting other writers and photographers that were in my mind, the rock stars of our industry. Folks that I follow, admire and respect. The entire drive north from Southern Illinois I had that country mouse going to the city anxiety. 

I can't imagine a better location for outdoor communicators to gather than Lakeside Park in  Fond du Lac, WI


The fine folks from AGLOW instantly put that anxiety to rest.  The days were packed with so many activities, seminars, as well as time to make new friends and catch up with old friends.
I discovered that gee whiz – I wasn’t the only one struggling with how to proceed in the world of outdoor communicators, I discovered that with the AGLOW members there is genuine desire to help each other succeed and thrive. 

My pal and mentor Carrie Zylka getting ready to give some Mercury Marine motors a test run around Lake Winnebago

I discovered I still had it in me to write, to photograph, to communicate.  I can never thank AGLOW and it’s wonderful members enough for renewing, revitalizing, and bringing  back the passion I have for communicating the great things the outdoors has to offer all of us. 

I was especially tickled to get to see my friends Marjorie Beenders and Steve Walker from The Beenders-Walker Group. TBWG knows all there is to know and then some about great outdoor destinations in Missouri and the Gulf Shore!

Stay tuned, I have plenty of photos and stories to share from my “Week in Wisconsin”!