Monday, March 31, 2014

Joe Spado Memorial Information SAVE THE DATES JUNE 27 & JUNE 28, 2014

FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2014

Joe’s time here on earth ended December 2, 2013. He entered the spirit world at the start of a very cold, long winter. The family decided that we would wait to give family and friends a chance to give him a proper send off, to have time together to reflect and remember him.  Plans are for a ceremony at Fort Snelling Cememtery, Minneapolis, MN  at 11 am on June 27th, where he will be memorialize with the full military honors he has earned.
Luncheon will be served after at Steve VandeWater's home, 693 Butternut Ave, St. Paul.(about 8 miles from the cemetery)Deli meat, cheese and vegie trays will be provided Pot luck offerings will be accepted. 


The plans for Saturday, June 28th is to escort Joe’s ashes up to Lake Superior, where we will launch some of the “captain” in a miniature canoe out into the lake. Joe always told us that when he got too old and sick that we should just put him in a canoe and send him out into the lake he loved so much. To honor that wish we decided to make this symbolic gesture. Joe will be driven up by motorcycle escorted by more motorcycles and vehicles. The tentative destination will be Maslowski Beach on Chequamegon Bay, just off Hwy 2 in Ashland, WI. After the launching a memorial service will take place in Washburn, WI at Humble Be ( where food will be served, music will be made and we will all have a chance to remember Joe. I will get more information out for people who wish to stay in the Ashland/Washburn/Bayfield area as well as times for departure from River Falls, WI (base) to head north. It is approx a 4 hour ride. If I don’t get your questions answered please feel free to call or email me. My cell is 715-209-6599 and email is

Camping and crashing is available at my house in River Falls for Friday night or any time you need to. I have a couple tents and plenty of back yard and floor or couch space available.

looking forward to seeing you

more info will be coming, promise!
Barb and family

Sunday, December 15, 2013

DEAR JOE 5-10-49 to 12/2/13


Dear Joe,
 Still can't believe you are gone. For a while it was easy to think that you were off on a trip/adventure, but then you would have called. Even if you were in a spot with no service, you would drive as long as it took to get a signal and call me. I still carry the stupid phone around, just in case, but it rings and it's not you.
 Jayne and I arrived back in River Falls with you around 11:30pm on Tuesday. The sacred fire was burning for you. Your friends were here to tend it 24 hours a day. Steve parked his RV at the house so they could take turns resting and warming up. He was here most of the days, only leaving to check his shop and mother. People brought wood, food, drinks, paper goods, tobacco and of course, their love and Joe Spado stories. It began raining and then got cold enough to snow and blow and still someone was there, at the fire to honor you. It was wet and very cold and still there was always someone at the fire. Jayne and Ben spent all night at the fire on the coldest of nights. I got up around 5 to take over and sent them in to sleep in our bed where the electric blanket was blasting.
 I kept thinking how much you would have loved to see all the activity around the house, kids all over the place, people stopping by, people drinking coffee, crying, hugging, eating.
 Jan and Ron came for the weekend, leaving Florida at 85 to be here in the sub zero. Sonya just left for Colorado after being here for 10 days.
 The mail, posts, emails that have arrived all have such beautiful things to say about you. I know that because of your PTSD you felt that you did not deserve the praise, but Honey you did! There are so many lives that have been touched by you and they are all the better for having known you.
 Loosing you has been so hard on the kids, especially Anna. I will tell you more about that in another letter.
 I am very tired, hope you visit me in my dreams. So much to tell you, I will write again soon.
 Give Maggie a big hug for me, I am glad you are together again.
Love you,
Me xoxoxoxoxox

Friday, November 22, 2013

Doggy Bag Please

Haiku My Heart
November 22, 2013
 Join the fun and fellowship. See more Haiku at Friday's regular feature at Rebecca's Blog, recuerda mi corazon.

Hospital dinner

Edible, contemptible

Dog food on a plate

Really, you can’t make this up. Uncanny might be the word, (Yes, pun intended), to describe the reality of this. Let me explain. I’m admitted to the Minneapolis VA hospital last month. I actually had two three day visits there. I was settled into my room and playing a waiting game.

Doctors were waiting for the outcome from blood tests and to see what my pulse rate was going to do as it had shot upward drastically and they were medicating like crazy to get it to go down to what they considered an acceptable level.

It was close to mealtime and Mrs. Spadoman was in the room waiting with me. We gave up on getting any further results of medical tests this particular day. We were content to just wait on dinner before we started another cribbage game.

Can you believe it?

You expect me to eat this?

Dog food looks better

Mrs. Spadoman was paging through a magazine that she had found in one of the waiting rooms. A Good-Housekeeping or Redbook I think it was. In her usual way, humor-wise, she showed me an advert for some new kind of dog food and quipped, “This is what you’ll be getting for dinner when it comes.”

I looked at the photo and it did indeed look like some kind of beef stew. I think the ad was actually touting the dog food as close to being like people  food as it possibly can be. We discussed the topic for a few minutes and made jokes about it.

Then, as if on cue, my tray arrived. I saw the small carton of milk, the ½ Cup serving of canned fruit and the salad, the napkin and silverware along with condiments scattered across the tray. In the center of the tray was the plastic insulated cover with the entre’ on a plate underneath. I lifted the lid and looked at the slice of bread, the vegetable medley of potatoes and carrots.

Then we looked at the dinner portion of what was being served that night.

Which one should I choose?

Flatulence personified?

Or plain horse meat stew?

We laughed until our eyes were watering. Mrs. Spadoman found the magazine ad and placed the dog food photo up close to the edge of the plate. The photograph immediately below this paragraph is what was on my plate.

The similarity of what was on my plate and that magazine photograph was unbelievable

I must tell you, care at the Minneapolis VA hospital has always been top notch. I’ve been going there since the mid 1990’s. The food hasn’t always been the best, but having experienced the food service in other VA and private hospitals over the past 25 years, none of them are what I would call excellent cuisine. But this experience was over the top and had us laughing well into the next month. 

In other news, today, November 22, 2013, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. An event in American history that will always be remembered as one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States.

A modicum of Bon Appe’tit, with a large helping of Peace

Friday, November 8, 2013

Haiku My Heart

Haiku My Heart
November 8, 2013

Another week gone

I did not post for haiku

Well, maybe I did

I've been extremely busy this week. Four appointments at the VA and then did duty to take all four Grandkids to the dentist today. I do have a few posts and stories I've been working on and hopefully will get something of interest going here soon.

See more, (and better) Haiku at Rebecca's recuerda mi coraz√≥n 

Peace to All

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

First of the Year

November 6, 2013. A Wednesday. Although there were a few flakes of the white stuff last week intertwined amongst the blustery drizzle and rain, the actual noticeable, measurable snowfall was evident this morning upon awakening. The grass was coated with white. Green and brown blades and piles of leaves still poked through, but for all intensive purposes, it was this Winter season's first snowfall.

I'm going to jot this date down and count the days until I hear the first Thunderbeing's voices next Spring. Maybe I should make a prediction. I will. I'll say it will be April 16th, 2014. That would be 161 days. Just about 20 days shorter than six months, or one half of a year, that is Winter.  Of course, I'm guessing. It may be longer or shorter than 161 days, but it gives you an idea of how long this season lasts up here in the Northland. It encompasses large parts of three actual seasons. Fall, Winter and Spring.

My point being...? There is no point. It's here. A seasonal change that can be seen, measured, and now must be dealt with. The Radio Flyer little red wagon still sits outside, on its side, next to the swings. The Weber didn't get covered after we used it last night. I had to scrape the ice from the rain that froze before it started snowing on the windshield of my truck. Well, Mrs. Spadoman actually went out and scraped it for me because she knows I like to run over to the Dish and the Spoon Coffee Shop to chit chat a bit with whoever comes in that deems me interesting enough to sit down and have a conversation with. And I will, as soon as I finish this and post it.

Grandfather Sun gleams from the sky, a little farther to the South than a few months ago. More sunshine on parts of my house as the leaves on the deciduous trees are gone. Forecast to be near 40 degrees Fahrenheit today, so this snow will be completely gone before dark. But it was marked and calculated and proclaimed:

The First Snowfall of the 2013-2014 Winter Season.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Dreaming On

Haiku My Heart
November 1, 2013

Every Friday, friends gather and share their art, stories and haiku thoughts through Rebecca's blog, recuerda mi corazon

“Can I buy more time?” I asked the Creator.

“You’ll have all the time you’ll need”, Creator responded.

“Then let’s get started”, said I.

I’ve been staying busy between hospital and doctor’s visits by being an artist. I’ve completed a few pieces that were promised to people and have some “inventory” on hand. I even completed two pair of snowshoes for a Christmas delivery. I promised the buyer that I would store them until such time that she wants them to give as Christmas gifts. She is a marvelous soul and lives here in town. She bought them for her husband and daughter so they might take up the activity and bond together more closely.
The tip of the snowshoe with a familiar decor
Ready for Christmas delivery

I came across some unusual sticks. I gather these pieces, like one would gather rocks, and just bring them home. Eventually, I get them uncovered from a resting place somewhere underneath the junk piles on my workbenches, (yes, I have three workbenches here at Spadoville, two in the garage and one in the furnace room), and I try to remember the patterns I was pondering when I picked them up. 
This Dream Catcher will be mounted on a platform and sit on a table or shelf. Kind of looks like a flag waving

These sticks of odd dimensions are attached together to form a jagged circle, or enclosure, if you will, and then randomly grabbed, when I’m in the mood, to be laced into a Dream Catcher. I hang them up, if I am satisfied with the results of the main body of it, then decorate them with feathers, leather and beads, braided embroidery thread or horse hair tassels. The chosen decor is also random, but the ideas of what to use comes to me in deep thoughts about the reasons and the person that will receive it.
I apologize for the blurry nature of this photo. This piece was sent to a friend recently. This is entirely one piece of wood. I found it naturally bent and pulled a branch to itself, (can be seen at the top left corner of the piece),  when I found it in a raw green state. The wood then dried. I have had this piece of wood in my possession for over 5 years before weaving it into a Dream Catcher

I have some hand drums to make and will start on them as soon as our annual Los Dias de Los Muertos celebration is over and the out-of-town guests depart for home. My sister and nephew will be here from Chicago and some good close friends from Colorado will also attend the doings.

After this weekend, I will be entering two or three of my pieces to the River Falls Public Library for an art show which will feature local artists. This is not a juried show, but rather a showcase of art in our community by holding an All Community Art Show from November 10th through December 8th.
Two colors in the weaving pattern

Wood gently embracing itself at the top

I’m feeling better, but seem to be tethered to the doctor for a while due to the latest heart episodes that had me in the hospital twice over the month of October. Looks like the trips to Albuquerque and Tucson over the winter are on permanent hold, if not cancelled all together. I need to get used to some changes in medication that was warranted by strange symptoms stemming from a long life full of diabetes, heart disease and more recently, (the past two years), Afib. At least now I seem to understand my Pacemaker/Defibrillator, what it does, and what it doesn’t do, and why I have one in the first place, a little better.

This rattle looks like some kind of Alien life form. This is called a Maranka Gourd, or a Dolphin Gourd. It sure makes interesting shapes

This next set of photos shows a Dream Catcher I made for a good friend. She is a Grand Mother of an 11 year old that suffers from a very rare disease called Sanfilippo Syndrome. The child sleeps with her Grand Mother. I tried to show this close connection and wove one Dream catcher into, or intertwined, with another, showing the bond that exists in real life for this pair of souls. The feathers match, but are opposite in their leaning, the horse hair tassels are symmetrical as well.

Here are a few more photos of what I have made lately. I’d like to do custom or special orders, but don’t want the pressure of deadlines. If you’re interested in anything you see here, or would like more information, Email and we’ll discuss it. Looks like the creative juices are flowing out of necessity, but I am enjoying finally working at a life-long dream. I still need some larger more dedicated work space. The garage and shed are just too cold in winter. The fluorescent overhead lights stumble and flicker and buzz until the temperatures get above 50 fahrenheit.
Wood found in the Desert, broken from a Juniper bush

Dogwood, bent while green, with branches left on
This Gourd Rattle was sent to a friend. The design is wood burned, then painted

We Celebrate Los Dias de Los Muertos, the Days of the Dead, here at Spadoville today and through this weekend. The Spirits of our loved ones are here. I am also remembering my good friend, Gene Artishon. Today is his birthday. He left us way too soon. I can feel their Spirits. We have been visiting already.

Peace to all

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Looking Forward to the Celebration

We're setting up the ofrenda. Already talking to these wonderful spirits. We'll be working at it for a couple more days transforming this wall of our living room into a shrine, but for now, here are a couple of photos.

Peace to all

The newest edition