Northwoods News

Northwoods News

It's winter time. There's a chill in the air, snow on the ground and even though our Chicagoland area seems to mirror the Northwoods of Wisconsin, there's nothing like the real thing.  This is the time of year to be up north.  It's so quiet you can almost hear a snowflake fall.  Snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross country skiing, it's all there for you.  But there's nothing better than stopping in at the Forest Lake Country Store for a  hot breakfast or lunch or just a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and finding out what's going on in the Land O Lakes area.

My hopes are to head north after the 1st of the year.  And if I do, I will be seeing my friends Mark and Kris.  But for now, to tide me over, here is the January newsletter from the northwoods.

Forest Lake Country Store - Great food and a whole lot more,,,
January 2014 Happy New Year

We have been closed for nearly three weeks and will re-open soon. In our closed time we have been able to make a couple small changes inside the store, we hope you like what we have done. Stop in to check it out after December 27th!

We have been able to spend time with our families. The holidays are a great time to be with friends and family. Enjoying their company, sharing stories, catching up if there is more than time that separates your visits.
We have also enjoyed the north woods. We are in a full moon phase, and we have previously discussed the wonders of a full moon in winter. But as you can probably guess, we will inflict some more of our joy on you again,,, It is a wonder to wake up at night and look out your window late at night. Clear cold nights, a white blanket of snow combined with the lumen’s of a full moon make for a magical world. The twilight is eerie. Not a bright light like daylight, but a bluish dull light that is as easy on the eyes as it is on your soul. The stars just twinkle, the yard looks like a Christmas card. Animals move freely in the bright light. A deer over there is easy to see.

Standing as a sentinel by her nearly grown fawn. Moving so fluidly from one sapling to the next, enjoying the buds of next year’s growth. The tree may be cheated but the deer enjoy the nourishment to make it through another cold night.

New in the Store
Our staff is in great shape for winter. It is never too soon to start looking for summer help. We will be looking for a few quality individuals that enjoy a fast diverse working environment. We no not pigeon hole our staff with a single daily job (dishwashing, bussing tables, cooking, waiting tables). We cross train and offer a bit of job diversity to break up each individual day. The height of our season is from Memorial Day until Labor Day. We offer 4 to 8 hour shifts and can entertain staff as young as 14 years old for some jobs. Totally we will need 6 or 7 additional people to get thru summer. If you are interested, have questions, or would like to see the work let’s set up a time to show you around. Call us during our open hours at 715 547 8222.

Events in the Store
January 15th Sprecher Beer Tasting 6PM Hosted by Krista Fornear
Krista always provides us with an outstanding opportunity to learn more about Sprecher beers and to explore the most recent seasonal releases. We will be joined by Charlie Kania, our local Sprecher sales representative. Put this event on your calendar to enjoy some beer camaraderie! Cost is just $5 per person. Stop in at the store to make your reservation, or call us with your credit card information. Seating is limited to 24 people, do not dawdle!

January 30th Bret and Frisk with Ribs & Chicken 5:30 PM
This is a dinner and music with Bret and Frisk. The dinner will include a 1/3 rack of ribs, fire-roasted chicken, garlic stuffed mashed potatoes with a vegetable side. Coffee is included. Dinner is followed by an hour and a half of music from legends Bret and Frisk. It has been a while since we hosted Bret and Frisk and look forward to their great musical talent and banter. Cost is $20 per person. Seating is limited to 24 people and reservations are required. Once we are open, stop at the store or call us with your credit card number to reserve your spot. If you have a group that would like to be seated together, please make a single reservation for the group so we can accommodate your wish.

Unsung Hero
The Town of Land O’ Lakes is a huge geographic mass that is sparsely populated. The Land O’ Lakes population is tiny yet small things really stand out. Ironically, big things, that really shine, sometimes go unmentioned. In the 7 years we have been in the area we have watched one individual lead so many noteworthy projects with little recognition.

The person is Corinne Duerkop. She does not work alone. No,,, she usually leads a legion of Ladies that are equally inspired. Corrine and all of these ladies are part of the fabric of Land O’ Lakes. Their efforts are like your favorite throw or blanket; they add strength, charm and warmth to the community. This entire army is working hard to make Land O’ lakes better then when they arrived.

So what has Corrine done? The Land O’ Lakes community had a void in the ability to procure fresh vegetables and fruit. Corrine worked hard to establish a Famers Market every Thursday morning in Land O’ Lakes. Merchants gather to sell their wares, the residents gather to spend time together and fill their weekly larder. The Land O’ Lakes Farmers Market was the first market in Vilas County and maybe the entire north woods and has been here for over 20 years.

The north woods is a great place to rest, but the massive canopy of trees makes it difficult to have a garden around your home. Land O’ Lakes now has a Community garden. Not a little undertaking, but a massive project that had immediate success and doubled in size the second year. Completely fenced (lots of critters here that poach your crops) an overhead watering system, giant shed filled with loaner tools, and a group of locals that share time together learning about small plot farming, weeding, fertilizing, cultivating and in the end sharing their bounty.

With Christmas imminent another venture is very apropos. Many years ago Corrine and Barb Benson started a small group called Christmas Belles. This was a small group of ladies that would work together and buy gifts for the children of few underprivileged families. The effort has become a 501C 3 corporation, with an army of ladies, that get together to purchase gifts for over 100 children throughout the county. It has spawned a mirror group in the Upper Peninsula servicing over 60 families with gifts for local children.

Look close in each of these three efforts, Corrine is gathering people that share time making the world a little better. She leads groups of people that commit to all of these projects. Next there are large groups of people that enjoy the benefits of these projects. For a long time! Her work is not isolated to these three projects. With little effort I am sure you would find her fingerprints on many other community upgrades. If you see Corinne, give her a hug and thank her for all she does to make this area a better place to live or vacation.

News from the Northwoods
Great news for residents of Land O’ Lakes that starts with a sad story. The Forslund Lumber Yard permanently closed in late November. It makes it tough pick up a couple 2 X 4’s or a sheet of plywood. We found out the hard way, remodeling the store during our closure. We needed three 2 X 4’s to complete one project and were forced to drive all the way to Eagle River. The great news? Jensen Akins will be adding a selection of lumber to their inventory in Conover! They already have a great hardware selection. It will not be a full service contractor yard but you will be able to conveniently buy the most common lumber products. To make the news even better, the store offers business hours 7 days of the week! If you are only here for the weekend, you will still be able to pick up hardware and some lumber to finish a project on a Sunday! They are targeting February 1st to be up and running with lumber. Thanks to Judy and John and the entire crew at Jensen Akins for giving us local availability for these fixit needs! Where do you find great products and service in the North woods? Jensen Akins in Conover, of course.

Dr. Painless Pete Schindelholz has his famous reindeer and sleigh all lit up at night in Land O’ Lakes! If you have not seen this spectacle you need to drive thru Land o’ Lakes one evening and take a look. Nine Giant Reindeer, they must be 10 feet tall, pulling a giant sleigh full of Christmas gifts! All lit up in holiday style. The front reindeer has a glowing red nose so you know who he is! You will find this glowing extravaganza along Highway B, in front of Dr Pete’s office. It will be worth the effort to take a look!

Chad Ramesh has opened another business in Land O’ Lakes. His landscape business is booming, but a little quiet in the winter months. Chad is relying on his extensive experience in snowmobiling (Multiple times world champion!) and will be offering high performance improvements to snowmobiles. If you need help with clutch, shocks, chassis set-up or other high performance improvements you can call Chad to discuss your options. The shop number is 715 547 6079 and his cell number is 715 490 3960. You will be impressed with your sled after Chad works his magic.

We also have a new dog grooming facility in Land O’ Lakes. They are located conveniently on Highway B on the west end of town. It is called Mutz Cutz and they offer all aspects of dog grooming. They work by appointment only and they can be reached at 715 891 5973.

The Snowflake Ice Skating Rink in Land O’ Lakes is open and ready for your family fun. If you have visitors that enjoy ice skating, they are sure to enjoy this facility located behind the Town Hall. Loaner skates are available in many sizes. The rink is lit up at night and offers a toasty warming shed.

Boulder Junction, WI – The town of Boulder Junction invites the public to attend a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Grand Opening for the new Boulder Junction Community Center & Library on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm. The ceremony will take place in the new Community Center & Library at 5392 Park Street.
Cake and refreshments will be served immediately following the ceremony along with tours of the building. For more information or questions, please contact Town Clerk, Kendra Moraczewski, at 715-385-2220 or Building Committee Secretary, Cherie Sanderson, at 715-385-2050.

Events in the North Woods
Christmas Services at St. Albert’s in Land O’ Lakes and St. Mary’s in Phelps are as follows:
December 24th Christmas Eve Mass at St. Albert’s 6:00 PM
December 25th Christmas Day Mass at St Mary’s 8 AM
December 25th Christmas Day Mass at St. Albert’s 10 AM

In a recent discussion with Michele Rein she mentioned that the church news and the weekly bulletins are available on line at save it in your favorites and check in often.
December 28th 4 – 6 PM Boulder Junction Winter Celebration

Boulder Junction, WI –Winter enthusiasts are invited to attend Boulder Junction’s (Between the Holidays) Winter Celebration on Saturday, December 28, 2013, from 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.

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 counter tops 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 28. For more information, please contact the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce at 715-385-2400.
January 7th Essential Oils Seminar Land O’ Lakes Library 6 PM
Gail Mallick and Christine Beattie are your local connections for doTERRA essential oils!
What are essential oils? They are the aromatic compounds found in plants’ roots, stems, leaves, flowers, bark, fruit, and seeds that serve as the plant’s own natural defense against predators and disease. doTERRA means “Gift of the Earth” in Latin and produces only 100% certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils, delivering nature’s medicine cabinet to us in a bottle.
-How does modern medicine contrast with nature’s medicine?
-Is there scientific research to show how essential oils work against things like viruses, “super-bugs” and cancer? Or for mood management, sleep, boosting metabolism and pain control?
- Can essential oils provide safer, cheaper, more effective healthcare options?

Come and learn what these “gifts” might do for you and your family’s health concerns/goals!
Our next class will be Jan 7th, 2014, 6pm at the Land O Lakes Library. Seats are free. However, to insure adequate seating and materials please contact one of us at; 715-547-3543 or 547-3624.

February 8th and 9th Three Bear Dog Sled Race. The biggest winter event in Land O’ Lakes. It is orchestrated by Painless Pete Schindelholz, who heads up the July 4th Fireworks so you can trust that the Three Bear Dog sled race is great. We will have more on this late. Lock the date now and plan to be here!

(Conover) – Winter fun for everyone is happening at the Northwoods Blizzard Blast.
Plan to head to the Conover Community Park and enjoy a full day of activities to cure your cabin fever. Proceeds go to north woods area Fire & EMS Departments.

Whether you opt to watch the madcap Recliner Races and Snow Shovel Races from the sidelines or sign up your own team, these events are bound to amuse as participants slip and slide around the ice track. There is also Ice Bowling or Ice Golf with a chance to win cash prizes. Challenge your creative side in the Snow Sculpting Contest, or join in the judging for “Crowd Favorite”.

Dreaming of a warm summer day at the ball park? Come out and watch teams battle each other at Snowshoe Baseball. The Northern Wisconsin Pond Curling Club will be on hand to host a demonstration round of Pond Curling. Those masters of the “stones and brooms” will rival the Olympians on the ice.

Join a brisk Cross Country Ski Race winding through the pristine nature trails surrounding the park. And for those who prefer a more serene activity, grab a hot cocoa and a toasty S’mores and climb aboard for a Horse Drawn Trail Ride through the scenic north woods.

Kids will enjoy many fun activities including snow castle building, downhill sledding, face painting and more, with prizes for one and all. A warming hut is on hand to chase the chill away.

Conover Community Park activities kick off at 10:00 AM and continue until dusk, capped off by a fireworks celebration. Cinnamon rolls, sandwiches, chili and beverages are available to warm your tummy all day long. Bring your friends and family and head to Conover to support the area Fire & EMS Departments.
To reserve your spot in the competitions or for more information, please visit
February 22nd Boulder Junction, WI – The 6th Annual Boulder Junction Frozen Tozen Winter Fest will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2014. Bring family and friends for the Frozen Tozen, featuring an ice fishing tournament, mini ice golf, turkey bowling, snowshoeing, tug of war, ice-skating, warm food and drink, and a raffle. Best of all, these fun activities support community projects. All ice fishing tournament proceeds support the Boulder Junction Boat Landing Improvement Fund, while proceeds from ice golf and turkey bowling benefit the Community Food Pantry. The ice fishing takes place on Boulder Lake and the rest of the activities at Boulder Junction Winter Park. More details to come over the next month.
For more information and ice fishing registration forms, visit or call the Boulder Junction Chamber at (715) 385-2400.

There are great events in Summer 2014. Future dates to remember:
June 18th LOLA Wine Tasting and Fund Raiser at the Forest Lake Country Store. LOLA and the Artistree Gallery is a huge asset to Land O’ Lakes. Each year we turn over the store to the Ladies of LOLA. They prep some delicious appetizers, great food and an evening of art lovers in our back yard. Put this one on your calendar!
August 9th Ride With Leinie! At the Forest Lake Country Store. The day starts with a bike ride, followed by brats and beer. Not just any beer, but Leinenkugels beer. Dick Leinenkugel attends and will MC the event. This is a great day to be in the north woods. Get this on your calendar now,,,

Land O’ Lakes Artisans /Artistree Events
Beginning Watercolors:
4 Classes
Monday Nights 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
January 6, 13, 20, & 27
Adults: $115.00 All Materials Included.
Held @ LOLA Art Center
Resident LOLA artist, Wendy Powalisz will bring back this popular class. Learn all the basics of transparent watercolors. From the foundational washes to fun techniques that use a variety of tools, learn to appreciate this expressive medium, gain confidence and complete a landscape painting by the fourth session.
Deadline for Payment & Registration: Dec. 30
Slicing, Dicing & Processing
Saturday, January 25 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Adults: $35.00
Held @ LOLA Art Center
Chef Mike McAdams is back to share his skills with knives and the food processor. Learn which knife does what, along with safe handling, sharpening tips and classic cuts for different types of food. Plus, don't let that food processor intimidate you and gather dust! Learn efficient use of the machine and all it can help you with in the kitchen. Chef Mike owned and operated Michael's Restaurant in Sycamore, IL prior to retiring in the north woods.
Deadline for Payment & Registration: Jan. 18
Starring Side Dishes
Thursday, February 6 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Adults: $35.00
Held @ ELY Memorial Church Kitchen
Personal Chef, Lynn Richie will put her creative twist on side dishes. Looking for new ideas....Lynn's love affair with all things food and foodie will bring some fresh new ideas to your dinner table, with sides becoming stars of the show!
Deadline for Payment & Registration: Jan 30
Nature Photography
Saturday, February 8 10:00 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.
Children Aged 14+ & Adults: $40.00
Held @ LOLA Art Center
This class is for the beginner in digital photography. Professional photographer, Jennifer Ruby-Durst of Eagle River will lead this class. Starting with the basics of photographic concepts, then on to an adventure outside to see Mother Nature's beauty through the camera for taking photos. Technique and lighting with the camera will be discussed along with composition and design strategies. Bring your camera; wear appropriate outdoor clothing for a short trip outside and a bag lunch.
View Jen's work may be seen at:
Deadline for Payment & Registration: Feb. 1
Super Salads
Thursday, February 20 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Adults: $35.00
Held @ ELY Memorial Church Kitchen
Chef du jour, Sandy Hall will share her love of salads. Sandy has been in the culinary arts trade for over 20 years and has not made a hum brim salad yet! No wilted salad wannabes allowed. Join Sandy as she sheds light on the great salads to be made!
Deadline for Payment & Registration: Feb. 13
For more information and to register for all classes, please call the LOLA Center office at 715-547-3950.
By the way, if anyone hasn't talked with Santa yet, could you let him know that LOLA has a wish list too? It sure would make things even better if we had just a few of the items listed below...........

Wish List:
Large 24" Paper Cutter
Wall Mounted Drying Rack
Sturdy Rack for Hanging Clothes
Acid Free Trunk for Storing Theatrical Costumes
Clear Large Storage Containers with Snap Lids
Clear Shoe Box Sized Storage Containers
Sturdy Shelving Units for Basement Storage
Flat Screen TV...Wall Mounted
Heat Gun
Framing of Schomer Lichtner Art Work
Jazz Dance Shoes and Tap Shoes (children & adults)
Wendy has details on these items if Santa needs any help. Or if any of Santa's helpers would like to donate towards these items, donations can always be made at with our PayPal button!

People around Land O’ Lakes
January 1 Kathy Gelb and Joe Garvin share their Birthday.
January 2 Kay Gierl celebrates her Birthday.
January 4th Ben Acker and Fred Madigan’s share their Birthday
January 5th is the birthday for Carol Schemmer and Beth Vos
January 6th is another shared birthday for Jean Cuttell, Marge Reehl,
January 10th is Cliff Kolinsky’s birthday
January 11th is the birthday for Krissy Van Boglen
January 12th is Tessa Haynes’ birthday
January 13th Karen Sattler celebrates her Birthday
January 14th Stacy Adams and Doreen Steele share birthdays
January 17th Phyliss Gottmann has her birthday
January 18th is Russ Jablonski and Auggie Pabst birthday’s
January 20th is Jon Helminiak’s birthday.
January 22nd Barb Renc celebrates her birthday
January 24th is Dan Balog’s birthday
January 25th Joe McCartin celebrates his Birthday
January 25th is Marty McCauley’s birthday
January 26th is a shared birthday for Mark Fassbender, Brian Ambrogio and Chuck Gierl
January 28th is a popular shared birthday for Diane Hemauer, our daughter Lauren and our grand-daughter Jordan Reese and Dale Grosso
January 29th is Megan Gwyn’s birthday
January 31 is a shared birthday for Chuck Battin, Tom Ferguson, and Chris Reuter

We re-open on December 27th. See you then!!! Special hours for the week between Christmas and New Years:
Dec 27 and 28 8AM - 8 PM
Dec 39, 30 and 31, Jan 1st 8 AM – 2 PM
Regular hours resume after January 1
Regular Store Hours
Friday and Saturday 8 AM – 8 PM
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 8 AM – 2 PM
Closed on Tuesdays

We will spend time with all of our girls and grandchildren before we open. Christmas is always a special time of the year. We hope that you will also be surrounded with people that care for each other.

We look forward to seeing all of our customers, and friends, at the Forest Lake Country Store.

Kris and Mark Gostisha and girls
Forest Lake Country Store
6256 County Road B Land O’ Lakes WI 54540 715 547 8222

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