Northwoods News

Northwoods News

I'm heading south tomorrow just so I can get into the mood for spring fishing.  Weather here in Chicagoland has be crazy and one can only wonder if spring will come.   Yes this will be a mild week but my try south will be good practice for my trip to the Northwoods next month.

As usual I'll be stopping in at the Forest Lake Country Store.  I'll be glad to see all the locals and vacationers exchanging stories and getting the nearby lake and fishing conditions from guides who come in there often.  I can't wait to head north next month.  So to tide me over till then, I enjoy the Northwoods news from Mark

Forest Lake Country Store - Great food and a whole lot more,,,
May 2013 News

What a difference a year makes!  Last year before March ended the lakes were open,  golf courses were getting their first divots, flowers were bloomin’ and the smell of wood smoke was gone for the season!  This year snow is thigh deep in the woods, lakes still have nearly two feet of ice, you cannot tell a golf course from a hay field and we are burning wood at a record pace!  There is hope in the air as we saw a robin outside the store last week one day!

Some of the snow birds have started returning from warmer climates.  If you are coming home for summer please bring a couple bottles of sunshine and warm weather to share with all of us in the north land!

Fishing opener will be different this year.  It looks like tip-ups will be required and jig poles.  Most people with more history in the area than us are saying there is no way the ice will be off the lakes in the next ten days!  Bring your long johns for the opening of fishing this year!  Our bait tanks are outside and nights are still getting down into single digit, we will not have bait until we can keep it outside!

We have had a grueling last couple weeks completing the kitchen remodeling.  This turned into a bigger project than anticipated at the expense of some other smaller projects we would have liked to complete.  We will strive to finish those while we are still in our shorter winter hours.

We are gearing up for summer staff.  Look for Hayley Garrison at the store, weekends for now and full time in summer.  She started just before we closed and looks like she will fit well with the Country Store culture.  We are still looking for a couple more people in the summer.  Candidates need to be 18 years old to use some of the equipment in the kitchen.  We also share responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, serving, stocking and more.

New in the Store

Breweries like Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, Sand Creek, Tyranena and so many others will see nearly a full line representation on our shelves.  Big box stores only offer the top one or two beers from any brewery.  We have always tried to offer more than just a flagship beer from each brewer but you will see even deeper offerings from the breweries we offer!  Watch our selection grow from the day we open until what we hope is our biggest selection of the year for Memorial Day Weekend!

We have also shifted the wine racks around slightly and are able to shoe-horn new wines for the 2013 summer season!  Last year we had close to 150 different boutique wines.  This year we hope to peak at around 180 different wines.

As we make room for these new beers and wines we will also be dropping a few underperformers left over from the winter selection.  The Clearance Rack has many great buys on both craft beers and wines that we will not carry this summer.  Some great values, $4 6-packs and more!

We also received the bad news that our grain and pasta supplier will not be offering the silver packaged retail products any longer.  We are selling all of the silver packed bags of grain, beans, rice and past for just $2.99 per bag.  There are some products that were normally up to $11.99 per package!  There are some great buys on these unique products, they will not last long!

New kitchen equipment gives us new opportunities.  With the kitchen being completed we will be dabbling with some new items for the menu.  This week we will start offering burgers.  We will try several different kinds of burgers over the next several weeks.  We will change the specials occasionally until we decide what our customers like best.  Ask for any specials we may have on any visits to the store until our menu is completed!

Events in the Store

May 8th Chateau Ste Michelle 5:30 PM  Wine rep Al Clemmensson will be here!
Some seats still available!
We will explore several of the award winning wines in the Chateau Ste Michelle Wine Estates portfolio.  Light palate cleansing appetizers will be served with a small sample of some red meat with the final wines of the night.  Cost is just $8 per head.  Al comes every year to explore parts of Chateau Ste Michelle’s incredible portfolio and these events sell out fast.  Call soon or stop in to make your reservation.

June 9th LOLA is hosting 100 days of Art in the Land O’ Lakes area this summer.  Partners are creating their own events in conjunction with LOLA to exhibit all genres of Art.  The sky is the limit.  The Forest Lake Country Store is hosting artist Sharon Molinaro to show how she does pet portraits.  Painting pictures of pets is a unique tribute to your favorite pet.  She will be painting a picture of our pet rock the day she is here.  No, actually she will be completing a picture of our dog Moose.  You will see the process of making a permanent tribute of your favorite pet.
Sharon will be at the Country Store from 11 AM – 2 PM on June 9th!  Stop in at the store to see this unique art form!

June 12th Wine Tasting Benefit for Land O’ Lakes Artisans
Each year we host a fund raising event to assist the Land O’ Lakes Artisans (LOLA).  This group has is educating and instructing and displaying art of all genres to the entire north woods.  They are working to purchase the building that they currently rent in downtown Land O’ Lakes and turn it into a true education center.

August 10th Ride with Leinie Fund Raiser for the Wilderness Lakes Trails.  This is the largest fund raising day for the Wilderness Lakes Trails.  This group has worked tirelessly for 6 years, and cut miles of government red tape, to establish a very classy trail system in Land O’ Lakes.  There will be an additional section open this summer.  It is located on the east side of Land O’ Lakes and runs towards Watersmeet.  Put this event on your calendar.  It is a hoot, attended by well over 250 people last year; we expect to have over 300 attendees this year.

News from the Northwoods

We will be using our back garden area for an educational, entertaining and best of all Free (no admission) wine and beer events.  (With the exception of the LOLA Wine tasting and the Ride With Leinie; these two have admission)
We start in the middle of June and will have something on nearly every Wednesday and Thursday night until the end of August.  The events will be from 5 PM to 7 PM.  We have recruited industry speakers focusing on a particular brewery, winery or style of wine or beer.  We will offer reduced prices and offer flights on the featured products.  There will also be special menu items to enjoy your evening in the garden area.  These events will be a great way to broaden your horizons and learn from industry experts in a very relaxed atmosphere!
We hope to add more to the list as we get closer to the season.  It took a bit of effort to get commitments from all of these speakers and dates confirmed.   Ask in the store for more information as we get closer to summer!  Until then, hang this list on your refrigerator!

Events in the Northwoods

April 25th Land O’ Lakes Elementary School Spring Marketplace
Held from 2 PM to 3 PM in the Land O’ Lakes elementary School commons.  Students of the Land O’ Lakes Elementary School were able to start their own “companies” this semester.  They put together business plans, developed a product, produced their products and now are having a market day to sell their products.  Look for pet supplies, products to make your own life better or easier.  Jewelry, kitchen magnets, clothing, decorative flowers, headbands and so much more!  Make an impression on the youth of Land O’ Lakes and stop by to see and hopefully purchase some of their products!

Land O’ Lakes Library News

May 4th from 10:30 a.m. to noon  Composting 101 program lead by Cheryl Pytlarz.

Cheryl is a UC Davis graduate (81) in agriculture who has worked on many farms and has been organic gardening.  Join a believer in the Black Gold, where homemade compost has been a key soil ingredient to produce high yielding and pest free harvests from the garden year after year.  An instructional handout will be included.

May 10th at 1:00 p.m.Movie afternoon at the Library.  Showing:  Argo

A dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.
May 16th at 10:30 a.m.  Friends of the Land O' Lakes Library meeting.
Monday, May 27th   Library will be closed for Memorial Day.
Tuesday, May 28th   Library will begin our Summer hours:
Monday – Friday:  9 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Saturday’s 10 a.m-1 p.m.

Land O’ Lakes Artisans /Artistree Events

May 29th Event!!  One Hundred Days of Art:  Meet Tess Stephens
Come to LOLA Center for the Arts in Land O Lakes on Wednesday, May 29th, at 2:00-3:00PM to meet Tess Stephens.
Tess grew up in Pleasant Hill, Missouri and started playing the fiddle when she was 8 years old.  By the age of 13 she won the Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championship in her division.  Her joy of the instrument and music blossomed into a desire to learn how to make violins, bringing her to Wisconsin after finishing high school to learn the craft. Tess is a student at the New World School of Violin Making in Presque Isle, WI.  Founded by Brian T. Derber, NWS offers a six semester program focusing on the construction of instruments in the violin family based on classical and master models and using traditional hand tool techniques.
“The art of violin making is difficult to describe without actually trying it yourself.  For everyone it is different.  It matters what skills you bring to the table,” says Tess.   “The one thing everyone needs is patience.”
Tess has finished 3 violins and is currently working on a viola.  She will show her handmade instruments and discuss her interest in making stringed instruments as well as demonstrate the instruments pointing out the special qualities of each.
“Not only are instruments an art form, they serve a very big purpose and every musician has a preference of style and sound.  The learning that is involved with building an instrument is a never ending process,” she adds. “I find that exciting.”
Mark your calendar for this special musical event. For more information about LOLA’s 100 Days of Art Events, visit , stop in LOLA Center for the Arts at 4264 County Road B, in downtown Land O’ Lakes, or call Wendy at 715-547-3950. LOLA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

June 3, 4 & 5 Camp Land O’ Rugs is Back!  Rug Hooking Workshop
10:00 – 4:00 Each Day  MON, TUES & WEDNESDAY
ADULTS: $165.00
4262 CO. ROAD B
Pam Schmelzle of Wautoma, WI will be your instructor for this creative camp. LOLA is pleased to host this accredited McGown Rug Hooking Teacher. Learning first from her mother and grandmother, Pam has been rug hooking most of her life. She has taught classes at Fox Valley Technical College, at several rug hooking camps, for guilds and was a featured teacher at a McGown National Convention and rug show. An oriental rug she created was featured in “The Celebration of Rug Hooking” magazine and she has had her work featured on two covers of the McGown Teacher Workshop Reports.
Skilled in all aspects of rug hooking, from cuts to primitives, she also does color planning and dyeing of wool. Pam firmly believes in utilizing the resources one has on hand, which stems from the early use of scraps of wool to create new rugs. Currently Pam is President of the Heart of Wisconsin Rug Hooking Guild and the President of the Greater Chicago Area McGown Teachers Guild, which is the only rug hooking teacher’s guild in the nation.
Pam will do an open workshop with students and a mini-class in dyeing. During the open workshop, Pam asks that you bring your current work, new designs or an old project that needs help. She can discuss techniques, color planning and design. The mini-class in dyeing will focus on food color dyeing. This is an easy, inexpensive and non-toxic way to dye wool. By dyeing your own wool, finding that perfect color will be easier to achieve. You will learn to dye white wool, do marbleizing on colored wool you already have (for striated color bands), and dip dyeing. Dip dyeing is a traditional technique to create gradation in wool strips. Pam will discuss the different dyes on the market and share her tips on dyeing.
Supplies needed for class:
Bring all your regular hooking supplies.
For dyeing:
¼ yard white wool, pre-soaked.
3 pieces of wool approximately the same size: pre-soaked.
(One piece of dark colored, one medium colored and one light colored wool.)
One 3 inch wide by 12 to 18 inch long piece of white or light colored wool- pre-soaked.
Pam will also bring additional wool and supplies for purchase.
To REGISTER for this event, you must call: Wendy @ 715-547-3950

To reserve your space a deposit of $75.00 is due by May 11. Deposits are not refundable.   Final payment of $90.00 will be due at class on June 7.
No refunds will be given for cancellations after May 11.
Checks made out to: LOLA
Mailed to: P.O. Box 981, Land O’ Lakes, WI 54540
Or dropped off at: LOLA Center for the Arts, 4262 Co. Rd. B, Downtown Land O’ Lakes   Check out class updates on our website:

ADULTS: $75.00  (Supplies will be an additional cost to students. See below.)
4262 CO. ROAD B

Pam Schmelzle of Wautoma, WI will be your instructor for the day. LOLA is pleased to host this accredited McGown Rug Hooking Teacher.

For this beginners class students will learn the about the tools used, the fibers, design elements and finishing techniques. Students will also learn to hook in straight lines, circles, make 90 degree corners, how to bury ends and how to make even loops. There will be demonstration, discussion and handouts for students.

Beginners Kit: $35.00 Payable to Pam Schmelzle on day of class.
Kit includes: Linen, wool & hook.
If you have one, bring a frame for rug hooking. (A 12” -14” quilting hoop can be used instead of a frame.)   Instructor will provide frames if needed.
Black magic marker.
Scissors for cutting wool. Bring a bag lunch.
To REGISTER for this event, you must call: Wendy @ 715-547-3950
To reserve your space a deposit of $35.00 is due by May 11. Deposits are not refundable.   Final payment of $40.00 will be due at class on June 7.
No refunds will be given for cancellations after May 11.

Recurring Events in the North Woods

May 30th Land O’ Lakes Flea Market, A bigger location (Town Hall grounds) will allow many more vendors.  There will be a flea market every Thursday until Labor Day weekend!
June 4th Boulder Junction Flea Market, held every Tuesday ‘til labor Day
June 6th, and every Thursday ‘til Labor Day, the Land O’ Lakes Farmers Market

People around Land O’ Lakes

May 2 Bruce Becker enjoys another Birthday
May 3 Carol Becker celebrates her Birthday
May 5th is Ralph and Jeannie Sitzbergers anniversary, and also Karen Turnquist’s birthday.
May 8 It is also Tom and Jerry Olk’s birthday.
May 11 Rhonda Christenson enjoys her birthday
May 12 is Mothers Day; give your mum a hug or at least a phone call  Also,  Painless Pete and Diane celebrate their wedding anniversary
May 14th is Patricia Juday’s birthday and is shared by our son-in-law Chad Cain, and Mike Christensen.
May 17 Tom Otto’s celebrates his birthday
May 19th Linda Wheeler will be living large on her birthday
May 20th is Myrtle Sharka’s birthday
May 23rd Larry Hemauer celebrates his birthday!
May 25th Barb Benson has her birthday celebration.
May 27th is a birthday trifecta Brian Achuff and his twin sister Tina celebrate their birthdays.  Tom Wheeler also celebrates his birthday!
May 31st is the anniversary of Donna and Lawrence Dow

We look forward to reopening .  Believe us,,, the muscles used for remodeling are very different than those used for making coffee and eggs!  We have missed the time spent with all of the people that make the Country Store a part of their north woods life.

As always, we thank everyone that support our operation and shares time with us, our family and staff.

Kris and Mark Gostisha and girls
Forest Lake Country Store
Land O’ Lakes WI
715 547 8222

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