Cranberries, Turkeys, Pilgrims Gratefully Feast at Thanksgiving

Cranberries, Turkeys, Pilgrims Gratefully Feast at Thanksgiving, as we celebrate the holiday next week.

Our celebrations begin next week as many of us plan and may travel to visit friends and relatives as we gratefully count our blessings on Thanksgiving.

A Cranberry Harvest photo shown here was taken when my Mom and I visited the Glacial Lake Cranberries marsh in October 2010. We took a tour on the Berry Bus to go to the reservoirs during the harvest. This photo shows them moving the berries towards the conveyor belts, and loading them into the trucks for the beginning of their journey to our tables. The President of Glacial Lake Cranberries is a girlhood friend of mine, who lived not far from me in Wisconsin Rapids, Mary Brazeau Brown. She and her husband Phil are very active in the community and have a wonderful operation growing delicious cranberries. It was a treat to learn the history, how the fruit grows and is then harvested.

Cranberries are grown in sandy soil, and have been a staple of our country since before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in the 1600’s . Their springtime blossom reminds of us of the sand cranes which live near this marsh. The name cranberry comes from the word ibimi – or bitter berry, later changed to crane berry (because of the blossom shape), and then cranberry. As they grow, they are a green plant with the berries. When it is time for harvest, the areas are flooded with water, the berries are carefully harvested with machines in the water, then shipped to processors on their journey to our tables. Many growers supply the Ocean Spray cranberries, which are available in many forms. Cranberries are a unique fruit, with unusual harvest processes, giving us wonderful berries to enjoy year round.

As we watch the fall harvest of cranberries, with the cooling temperatures, many of our readers are thinking of their holiday entertaining. We’re preparing our homes for Thanksgiving, organizing, cleaning, preparing a festive table and getting ready for our holiday time to gratefully celebrate our blessings.

Many readers have Hunter Douglas Silhouette®, Nantucket™ and similar window shadings and blinds in their homes, that have collected bugs and debris between the vanes over time that need to be removed. For that chore, we have developed and market CamilyWand™ Sticky Bug Removal Tool™. It is a simple extendable tube with a perpetually sticky tip which attaches to the pesky debris, easily removing it from the Silhouettes® or other blinds. It is an all purpose tool that will remove light weight objects form inaccessible places, such as ceilings, behind furniture, between tight places and many other places.

When the offending bugs and debris are removed, our readers will have a preserved view through their shadings. Their rooms will be ready for families and friends to enjoy the holidays with bug free views.

We at CamilyWand™ are gratefully wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!



School Days, School Days, Dear old Golden Rule days~~~ announcing the beginning of fall to come! Late summer and early fall are always exciting times for children and young adults who are heading back to school.


It’s a time to get new school supplies, maybe some new clothes and to begin registering for classes, sports and other extracurricular activities. Parents are taking their children to the bus or to schools or driving them to campuses for orientation as we all seek to learn more. It is an exciting time for learning and social activities. As young children, my brothers, sister and I used to buy one new “outfit” that we would possibly wear the first day of school, maybe new shoes and of course all of the new supplies we needed. We went “down town” in Wisconsin Rapids and later Madison to buy our clothes and shoes in anticipation of all the great things that would be happening as we entered a new grade.

At our homes, our parents would be making  necessary transitions  from the summer time laziness and outdoor activities, to more structured schedules and preparing for the fall and winter holidays to come. Organizing our homes from the casualness of summer to the entertaining times of the fall is renewing and refreshing. We’ll have football parties, Halloween preparations and all of the decorating we enjoy at Thanksgiving and the Holidays.

Our readers are tidying their rooms and homes as the seasons move towards fall and winter. We are updating our interiors and the outsides of our homes in preparations for celebrations, the fall and holidays. This interior “tidying” includes our window treatments, blinds and window shadings. Many readers have Silhouette® Window Shading and similar products dressing their windows. They give you 3 options for viewing – a clear view when they are in the headrail, a closed position and an open position when they are covering the glass. In the open position, there is a slightly filtered view of the outside along with insulation and some privacy. An amazing option.

I have directed many clients to the Silhouette® and similar shading options and they love them, as they have so many options and the light coming through the sheers is so iridescent. The light occasionally draws bugs and debris into the vane openings. So we invented and manufacture our CamilyWand™ Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ to easily and safely remove the pests without hurting the shadings. With our tool, the views through the shadings are preserved, pristine and beautiful. As you prepare for your fall entertaining, our CamilyWand™ is a great tool to have handy for your shadings or to remove light weight particles from any inaccessible places in your home.

We at Camily, LLC wish you a very enjoyable and safe start to school and fall.


Sweet Mothers Day Honors Moms, Sharing Love, Appreciation

Sweet Mothers Day Honors Moms, Sharing Love, Appreciation for our lives and relationships with our Moms! It’s a wonderful springtime celebration to share remembrances of our childhoods and happy memories.

Flowers are always nice to enjoy that day, or maybe a trip to a beautiful garden like Monet’s Giverny Garden near Paris shown here! There are so many gardens in Europe; it seems as though the weather is very conducive to growing colorful plants there. Springtime is beautiful with all the parks and gardens starting to blossom and grow.

Our Colorado weather brings hard frosts well into May, so we are patient if we want our plants to make it through those freezing nights. I do miss being able to have more spring plants, and truly enjoy the bulbs and perennials that will make it through the cold temperatures. It will be good to remember that next fall when bulb planting time arrives. Lilies of the Valley are a favorite of mine, remembering them from my childhood in Wisconsin Rapids. For decades, I’ve babied some here in a garden and now have a nice planting. The challenge is to keep the wildlife away – I have tricks that usually work. The lilies are about to bloom; so far the bell shaped flowers are where they belong!

I enjoy seeing all of the gardens through my windows  during the year. For heat, light control and view through, I have put Silhouette®, Pirouette®, Nantucket™ and Luminette® window shadings by Hunter Douglas throughout my home as my window treatments. Having those protections, especially while being able to see through the shadings is wonderful for me. The flowering crabs, lilacs, and forsythia are beautiful to see from inside my rooms as they put on their spring flowering show. And I’m able to have those other protections for my home while enjoying the views.

The long days of light draws to our views outside, providing us with energy – it does the same for little gnats and bugs too. They find their way into the side openings of the sheer fabrics and vanes, staying there until we remove them. We at Camily, LLC have invented and market  the CamilyWand™ Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ for that purpose, and have it available at our website or by phone from Lynn. It does a great job, as well as other removal or retrieval needs from inaccessible or hard to reach places in our homes or vehicles. Check it out, you’d be surprised with it’s versatility!

We at CamilyWand™ hope you enjoy your springtime and Mothers Day weekend as much as we will!


Party On with May Day Dancing, Maybaskets

Party On with May Day Dancing, Maybaskets to mark the first day of May. May Poles, a tradition in Europe, are the center of celebrations there and in the United States on the 1st day of May.

The beautiful image of women dancing around the European May Pole, by Lisa Racz, is symbolic of the celebrations in Germany, England and Austria. They celebrate this holiday, similar to our present Earth Day, by bringing trees from the forest, cutting off branches, then decorating them or poles with flowers and ribbons in preparation for people to hold ribbons as they dance around the pole. The ancient ritual has evolved into various celebrations to honor the rite of spring. A friend in the Bavarian area of Germany calls the Maibaum.

As children, we would hand make little baskets from construction paper, adding handles and fill them with spring goodies. Then the best part came:  delivering them to friends. We would run to the front doors of our friends homes, set the May Basket on the porch, ring the doorbell, then run away so they would be surprised when they answered the doors. We did this when we were in grade school in our small town of Wisconsin Rapids, a very safe, secure community. I can picture it today, as I share this fun tradition for you on May Day.

In Europe, the celebration happens on the weekend of Pentacost, a religious tradition that happens the first weekend in May. As I look out my window this morning, through my Window Shadings  in Colorado Springs, I’m looking at an inch of snow, with the mountains covered like frosting on a cake. I have the insulation I need from the Silhouette® blinds, yet can watch the storm as it moves through our area. We will often get a quick dusting of snow (or sometimes blizzards) in Colorado, to enjoy Springtime in the Rockies. This is Wednesday and by the weekend our temperatures will reach 70 or 80 degrees. Never a dull moment in the weather pattern here~~~

Enjoying a clear, preserved view is one of the reasons I have Hunter Douglas’ Silhouette® window shadings in my home. The 3 criteria for selecting Silhouettes® to cover my windows are filtered views, where I see my gardens and landscape while having insulation, and partial privacy simultaneously. I love the light in my home, it is cheerful and brings me energy, so want to enjoy the outside as much as possible. Little gnats, bugs and debris are also attracted to the light. So they fly inside the vane openings of many shadings like Nantuckets™ and Silhouettes®, they die inside the shadings and need to be removed.

We invented the CamilyWand™ Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ to reach inaccessible places like the shade openings. It works for many other tasks wherever something needs to be picked up or removed. It’s sticky CamilyTip  on the end of an extension pole will safely “grab” the offensive object and then easily remove it from the blind or other areas. It’s an invaluable tool to have in your home for a variety of removal needs.

We at Camily, LLC hope you have wonderful May Day celebrations and a safe weekend!



Easter, Passover, Celebrating Beliefs this Week

Easter, Passover, Celebrating Beliefs this Week is a time to reaffirm our traditional ways of living and being.

As we celebrate Passover, Easter and other religious holidays we reflect on our lives and our new paths to come.

My recollections go back to our church in Wisconsin Rapids, across the street from the Wisconsin River. At the time it was an old stone Congregational Church, where I was baptized and confirmed, as is our tradition. One year the church basement flooded and I am still able to picture us teenagers in our high rubber boots bucketing water out of our classrooms during a spring river flood.

Later after our family moved to Madison, the church was remodeled.  Our Barker family donated a Carillon tower and music to the church in honor of and Grandmother, an avid supporter of our church and faith. All of us Grandchildren and our parents contributed to that memorial, which provides peaceful music as it plays in Wisconsin Rapids. It is a multi – generational gift, reminding us of our impact on society.

As I composed this blog post I saw a butterfly in my garden, through my sheer window shadings; then saw a couple of birds on the deck railing, further reminding me of the circle of life and what we are celebrating this week. The butterflies on flowers are truly an amazing universal sign of hope, I enjoy sharing the image of a butterfly on a flower blossom.

My Silhouette® window shadings allow my excellent filtered views to the outside, which I enjoy. They allow me to see mother nature in action with birds and animals. Many of my blog post readers share my love of having the ability to insulate my home, receive some privacy and see all that nature offers us outside our homes.

The Silhouettes® and many other products manufactured my Hunter Douglas provide similar attributes and functionality. The side openings in the shadings allow bugs and debris to enter the vane openings, and need to be removed. We at CamilyWand™ saw this problem, invented a solution and offer it to those who want to remove little critters or other light weight objects from inaccessible places – the middle of their shadings, behind furniture, high ceiling corners, near appliances and many other places. One reader removed aphids from her roses using her CamilyWand™ Sticky Bug Removal Tool™ ( with its perpetually sticky tip) for this delicate task – worked like a charm.

As we move through our Holiday week, we at CamilyWand™ wish you happiness and peace, always being safe.