Northwoods News

Northwoods News

I love getting the monthly newsletter from the Forest Lake Country Store in Land O Lakes Wisconsin.  I'm so anxious to head north for some ice fishing and enjoying the beauty and splendor of the Northwoods.

Later this month I'll be visiting the folks who own the Angler's Isle Northwoods Resort that's just outside of Land O Lakes and on the shores of Mamie Lake of the Cisco Chain.  It will be good to celebrate the Holidays with them.   You can surely bet that we'll be talking  a lot about what's going on up north.

Here's the December news that I just received...  Enjoy!

Forest Lake Country Store News for December 2012
Great food and a whole lot more,,,,

There may be nothing more beautiful in the north woods than fresh snow and a full moon!  Last night we took the dog for a walk at 10 at night and could see all the way to the corner without any hand held luminary assistance!  It is like walking around in a Christmas card!  The sky has a blueish hue with stars twinkling overhead.  There is snow filtering down, slowly adding to the blanket already covering the forest floor.  Look!  There’s a deer crossing the road in front of us.  Did we spook the deer or was it out like us, just enjoying an evening stroll on this chilly night, moon lit night?

The stroll continued as we took in the surrealistic evening.  As we approached a small swamp, we heard a staccato yelp of the night’s first coyote.  Yip, yip yowooo.  The first call was followed by another not too far away.  Maybe two hundred yards away a third coyote chimed in and soon it sounded like there were half a dozen or more yipping and occasionally ending in a baby howl.  It makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck; until it ends as abruptly as it starts.  Some of the experts say the first calls of the night are a “get together call” for the dogs, to start a night’s hunt.  They gather and gang up on whatever they can find to fill their belly.  Efficiency gained by hunting in a pack.  I am not sure if it is true, but it is true the serenade is eerie and wild!

The astronomers tell you there is only one day of a full moon.  But in clear weather, the 3 or 4 days before and after a full moon offer so much light it is like day at night!  This full moon is waning, but we look forward to the next one and another night hike adventure in Land O’ Lakes!

New in the Store
We have Frisk Millers new CD “Christmas Time is Here”.  Frisk has an incredible voice, and is showcased on this great CD.  Singing alone, with piano accompaniment by Linda Brainard, it is great music.  We listened to this Thanksgiving Day when we drove to a family feed in Antigo.  This CD is breathtaking!  Cost is $15.  If you would like one for the holidays, but are not in the north wood’s we will be happy to send one to you.  Priority mail is the best bet and is $4.95 for a package the size of a CD.  Send us an email with your phone number and we will coordinate the logistics.

We will have several more surprises for new items when we re-open.  Watch for the seasonal beers, new wines and more unique dry goods in the January newsletter!  With not much new, we will talk about some of the services we offer to all of our customers.

In early fall we switched our Wi-Fi service from satellite based service to a ground based DSL service.  This new service is FAST.  Maybe 5 – 7 times faster than the old satellite service.  This new service works in bad thunder storms and snow storms.  We have also eliminated the satellite imposed daily quota, where our afternoon speeds may have been worse than dial up when we hit the daily limit, we are extremely fast all day long.  The first time you fire up a device on the new router will require a password.  The password is: flcsone1.  If you forget, just ask us in the store and we will get you hooked up and enjoying the fast Wi-Fi service.  

Over the last couple seasons we have quietly built up a following for what we have affectionately called “grab-n-go catering”.  We work with you to develop a menu that fits your need, prepare the food at the store; you pick it up and serve your group.  Originally it started with big orders of pizza’s for a group outing.  Later we were asked to provide food for other events.  To date we have prepared meals for anniversary parties, lake association parties, reunions, funerals and other large events.  The largest event we have worked with to date was about 200 people for a lake association picnic.  We have made meals for as few as 12 people.  We have used pizza, of course.  We have also provided large quantities of things on our menu like BBQ pork, or sub sandwich platters.  We have also worked off of our menu with entrees like whole pork loins, Italian beef and sides of garlic stuffed mash potatoes, potato salads, fruit salads, bean salads, soups and so much more.  If you are planning an event please keep us in mind to make your food for you.  We are certain we can provide a quality meal for your event!

Did you know we have done quite a bit of wine planning for weddings?  So many people are turning to home or park wedding receptions in an effort to save some money.  We are happy to work with you on tasting and selecting wines for your event that pair to you food.

Events in the Store
December 12th 10 AM – 3 PM Used Fishing Equipment Sale at the store.  Local guide Bruce Becker and our son-in-law Chad Cain will be on hand with lures and other fishing equipment in like new to heavily used condition.  These two guys are well known musky guides and will share their excess equipment.  I am cleaning out our garage as well.  The selection of items will be heavy on musky equipment but will also include bass, walleye and panfish equipment, some ice fishing equipment and some boat equipment.  There is a new flotation suit and a new flotation jacket, some nets, tip-ups, rods and reels.  Dry storage bag, some dry boxes and much more.  Stop in the store to get your own stocking stuffers!  

January 29th   9 AM – 5 PM Understanding Concealed Carry Laws in Wisconsin .  We host these classes as a convenience to local residents interested in learning more and ultimately having the qualifications to apply for a Wisconsin concealed carry permit.  Material that is covered includes a detailed breakdown of the Wisconsin law, an overview of some equipment and safety instruction.
The class fee is $150 for individuals and $250 for couples.  Application forms are available at the store.  They must be completed and forwarded to the instructor.  You can also download forms at the instructor’s web site:   We are not collecting registration forms or payment at the store.   Lunch will be a BBQ Pork Sandwich, chips, pickle and a cookie for $7.  If you care to bring your own lunch carry-ins are allowed for this class.

At the conclusion of a previous class, one participant confided that he had taken a less expensive course, but felt he did not get enough knowledge to understand and choose to be a participant in Wisconsin’s Concealed Carry Law.  He then spent the money to attend Dan Tomasoski’s course and said it was an excellent class.  This is an important decision in life; do not take the cheapest alternative to make your decision!

Here are a couple long range events to get on your calendar.  More detail will follow in future letters, but please hold these dates:
June 12th Wine Tasting Benefit for Land O’ Lakes Artisans
August 10th Ride with Leinie fund raiser for the Wilderness Lakes Trails

News from the Northwoods
This is posted as received.  Here is important news for snowmobilers that will be on the Michigan trails this year:
Michigan Trail Alert - You will see a noticeable difference in Snowmobile Trail Signage this year in MI. The MDNR has implemented a new signage program that basically eliminates most warning signs. Stop, Stop Ahead and Bridge hazard signs remain unchanged. Sharp, ninety degree corners, such as where the trail abruptly leaves a railroad bed, or road and enters the woods will still have the yellow/black 90 degree diamond before the corner, but gone are the Chevrons delineating the corner; replacing them is a single Arrow, pointing the way. Curve, Winding Trail, Bridge Ahead & other such signs warning of hazards ahead have been removed.

Apparently, the idea is to keep people less comfortable that all hazards are marked, which of course is impossible, therefore they will be more cautious, slow down and be safer. Doubtful, maybe?
All other informational signs to help you navigate the trails remain unchanged.
A word to the wise, use caution, pay attention to conditions and don’t depend on a sign to warn you of impending hazards. Slow down and enjoy the scenery, it’s beautiful.

Something about wine:
There is an internationally known wine expert, with Land O’ Lakes ties, who has recently published a book.  John Burns, from the Milwaukee area has a family cabin down on Joyce Lake.  The title of his book Wine Passion is indicative of his lifelong pursuit of all things wine.  Here is a hot link to his book information  Wine Passion.  With any luck we can persuade John to do a book signing when he returns this summer.  Until then, you can buy his book on line and we will try to have some on hand when we reopen.   

Once the northwoods has transitioned to a winter wonderland we will see trailers with snowmobiles and roof top racks with cross country ski equipment on nearly every vehicle.  A wonderful sign that the winter economy is about to bust loose in the north woods!!!
In Land O’ Lakes, there are XC ski/Snow Shoe trails north of town managed by the Land O’ Lakes Fish and Game Club.  Here is a hot link to a map for these trails.  

Another great ski and snow shoe option in Land O’ Lakes are the trails at Afterglow Lake Resort.  They have 240 acres with trails managed for classical and skate skiing and separate trails for snow shoeing.  This is a top notch facility.  Here is their web site

In Boulder Junction there are many other XC ski options.  Here is a hot link to their web site with the trails explained.  
In Land O’ Lakes, there’s the Snowflake Ice Skating rink, between the Town Hall and the Northland Pines Elementary School.  There has been a lot of activity down there getting ready for winter.  Loaner skates are available if you do not have your own.  Start a new family tradition, enjoying some skating, at the Snowflake rink!

Events in the North Woods
December 7th Christmas in the Northwoods  A concert by Bret and Frisk and Friends  December 7th Northland Pines High School
This is a great chance to hear Bret and Frisk in the Holiday spirit!  Bret and Frisk will be joined by Linda Brainard on piano and Pete Stoltman on drums playing all of your Christmas favorites.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for Children 12 and under.  Advance tickets can be purchased from Brest and Frisk via email at or by calling 715 547 6337.

December 29th Winter Park Boulder Junction
Celebrate the Activities of Winter at Boulder Junction’s Winter Park
Winter enthusiasts are invited to attend Boulder Junction’s (Between the Holidays) Winter Celebration on Saturday, December 29, 2012, 4:00-6:30pm, at the Winter Park.

Festivities begin at 4pm with open ice-skating, sledding, bonfire and music by Barb Boston. At 6pm prepare to be dazzled with a fireworks display sponsored by the Town of Boulder Junction. Chili and hot cocoa will be served throughout the event. Weather permitting; wagon rides will also be available.

Located just ¼ mile east of downtown Boulder Junction, on Old Highway K, Boulder Junction’s Winter Park facility hosts a regulation sized, fully lighted and maintained ice skating rink. The warming hut and nearby-lighted shelter has electricity and countertops for appliances and serving food, group seating, and a bon fire area to warm your toes. The park’s walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trail is 9/10 of a mile in length, is cleared and groomed, and is suitable for beginners, enthusiasts, and outdoor-loving families. A sledding hill is as an added attraction for the youngsters.

The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend this special event on Saturday, December 29. For more information, please contact the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce at 715-385-2400.
Land O’ Lakes Library News
December 14th 1:00 PM Movie Day at the Land O’ Lakes Public Library
Our Friday Afternoon movie on December 14th will be Disney’s Christmas Carol with Jim Carey. The movie will be at 1:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to enjoy a movie, popcorn and coffee at no charge. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Special notice!!!
The Library will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, December 3rd and 4th. We will be conducting our “every 5 year inventory” of our 18,000 + items available for checkout. Regular hours will resume on Wednesday, December 5th.

Library Holiday hours are:
Monday, Dec. 24 9 AM -12 noon
Tuesday, Dec. 25 Closed
Monday, Dec. 31 9 AM-12 noon
Tuesday, Jan 1 Closed

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Land O' Lakes Library!

Land O’ Lakes Artisans /Artistree Events
December 8th 10 AM – 6 PM LOLA, Artistree Gallery Open House
Good Friends and Good Cheer, it’s that time of year!  Celebrate the holiday season with LOLA and the artists of Artistree Gallery at the Holiday Open House and Art Bazaar on Saturday, December 8, from 10:00AM to 6:00PM. Visit LOLA Center for the Arts to see the artist designed holiday tree. Shirley Battin, Artistree Gallery member and LOLA Board Member, has used only natural items gathered from the woods to create a true north woods Christmas tree. Children will enjoy making greeting cards using potato stamps.  Meet and talk with area artists and LOLA board members. At 4PM listen to piano music performed by well-known local musician, Eddie Stevens.  Treats will be served.  The holidays come but once a year, bring in the season with friends at the LOLA and Artistree Open House, at 4262 County Road B in Land O Lakes.
Watercolor Wednesdays Starting October 17
Every Wednesday  10:00 AM - 4:00 PM....running all winter long.
Free and no need to register.

The art room is yours for the day. Bring your works in progress, start something new or get help with something old. Meet other watercolor friends, share and create together. This is time for you to get inspired and get some work done. An artist will be on hand to facilitate and help with questions or sticky or tricky bits! This is a safe and encouraging environment to share your work and learn from each other. Come paint and create! Bring your own supplies. Watercolor paper will be made available for purchase.

Bring your bag lunch.......OR if we order by 10:00.........The Forest Lake Country Store will deliver lunch to us! How sweet is that! Menus are available.

People around Land O’ Lakes
December 1 is a shared birthday for Mery Lee LaChance and Dale Sharpee
December 2 Dan Stetter celebrates his birthday
December 3rd is the birthday for RD Akins
December 4th is a shared birthday for Bonnie Heinig and Jacki Guinn
December 6th Tricia Bresnick celebrates her birthday
December 10th Bernie Draxler Laurich celebrates her birthday
December 11th Janine Smith, Dan Benson and Lyle Clayton all share birthdays
December 12th Sharon Nye enjoys her birthday (It’s also the Birthday of Lisa Dziedzina, daughter of Don Dz.. of Illinois Outdoors TV)
December 13th is a shared birthday for Bonnie Clarke, Wes Geib and our daughter Stephanie Cain
December 14th is Kay MacDonald’s birthday
December 15th is Painless Pete Schindelholz’s Bday
December 16th Mary Lomastro’s celebrates her Birthday
December 17th Tom Allman celebrates his birthday
December 19th Is a shared birthdays for Jennifer Anderson and John Alt and Marilyn and John Annin celebrate their anniversary  
December 20th is Ed Saad’s birthday.  
December 21 is Karen and Bob Turnquist’s anniversary and John Andrules celebrates his birthday!
December 22nd is Deb Jablonski’s birthday
December 24th Matt Chayer celebrates his birthday
December 25th marks over two thousand years since the birth of our Lord!  Bow your head and say a quick one, thanking him for all we receive!
December 28th Donna Dow celebrates her birthday
December 30  Bill Welisek celebrates his birthday
Enjoy the Christmas Holiday with your family and friends.  We hope to see you in the store when we re-open.  Until then, eat too much ham, or turkey, or lutefisk, or whatever it is that your family enjoys for the holidays.
While Washington DC seems to enjoy removing Christ from Christmas a little more each year, remember to thank God for the gift of his Son given to us on this day.  Share the message with those around you.
Merry Christmas,
Kris and Mark Gostisha and girls
Forest Lake Country Store
6256 County Road B     
Land O’ Lakes WI 54540     715 547 8222
Regular Store Hours
Friday and Saturday 8 AM – 8 PM
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 8 AM – 2 PM
Closed on Tuesdays

Special Hours for the week between the Holidays
We will be closed on Christmas Day
Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and New Years Day we will close at 2 PM
December 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th we will be open from 8 AM – 8 PM!

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