I do so love this song titled Tom's Diner written in 1981 by American singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z66rDVkaK4w&feature=related
Last night we ate the last of 8 quarts of raspberries I had picked two weeks ago. The owner of the berry patch called to see if I wanted to come and pick again this morning. Sadly, I had to decline because I had too many responsibilities I couldn't put off. This evening, Dick informed me that the bushes growing along the wetlands area on our property were full of wild raspberries. By that time of day I had finished what I needed to accomplish, so we grabbed some empty containers and headed down the hill.
We quickly filled these two containers with plenty more to pick tomorrow.
After picking the berries, our canoes on the bank beckoned us to go for a paddle in our wetlands area. Notice the paddle straddled across the canoe in front of where I was sitting. That paddle pretty much stays in that position throughout every canoe trip. Whether it's traveling down a road or a waterway, Dick says he is "driving miss daisy". Oh, yea. That's pretty much accurate.
Our presence didn't frighten a duck that was out for a leisurely swim as we paddled by.
Picking wild raspberries and canoeing without leaving our property... I can't think of a better way to wrap up a busy day.
This fun page came from a book titled What will I be from A to Z copyright 1959. It is a book depicting a different career for each letter of the alphabet. Even though it was published by the National Dairy Council, this is the only page that makes reference to the dairy industry other than an ice cream maker for the letter "I". Some others included are quarterback, rocket builder, soldier, United States Congressman, violinist, and weatherman. The colors and every drawing is just as cute as this one.
I was curious to know if milk is delivered to homes anymore and it is! My google search came upon Smith Brothers Farms in Kent, Washington that delivers organic hormone-free milk and other dairy products like cheese, butter, yogurt, and cottage cheese... plus eggs to homes in the Seattle area. Even though the milk isn't delivered in glass jars as in former years, it arrives once a week in "paperboard" containers. Digging deeper I uncovered home milk delivery companies in Minnesota... New Prague, Hastings, Babbitt, and in the Twin Cities. I'm sure there are more. Although there is no home milk delivery in the Brainerd Area, I do purchase my milk from a local dairy in old-fashioned glass bottles through my food co-op. My nostalgic side tends to hang on to such things from the past... glass milk bottles, outdoor clotheslines, old-fashioned letter writing, a mailbox on a dirt country road, a whistling teapot, aprons, a well-worn domed metal lunch pail holding a waxpaper/parchment paper-wrapped sandwich alongside a mason jar filled with lemonade or homemade ginger water. Oh, yea... those are the things that bring a smile.
April 13, 2009
Today's mileage: 2-mile walk
Total mileage for April: 52.25 miles
Bible reading? Yes.
As I walked my two miles today tuned into a jazz radio station on my headset, I listened to a 1999 Kenny G digital duet rendition (on his album Classics in the Key of G) of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World that was first recorded in 1967 and released as a single in 1968.
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.
I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.
You need to but take a walk and gaze at the beauty all around to understand the emotion this song evoked as I strutted along. If the present economic "downturn", coupled with the political and social strife around the world, causes a somewhat fogged image of a "wonderful world", I suggest tuning in to the NBC Nightly News "Making a Difference" Segment with Brian Williams to be reminded of the good that has surfaced... random or regular acts of kindness... helping those who have less. For example, in Georgia a barber is offering free haircuts for those preparing to go for interviews. In Denver, a couple opened the "Same Cafe" so "all may eat". The menu has no prices. Patrons give what they can or, in lieu of payment, they do dishes, sweep the floor, etc. Those with jobs and money are coming for the made-from-scratch nutritious meals and many times pay double or triple what they would normally pay at typical restaurant. In Coon Rapids, Minnesota a woman retold her experience standing in a grocery store line as an envelope was passed from person to person. When the envelope reached her, she read the note scrawled on the outside of the envelope. "There is $50.00 in this envelope for groceries. Take it if you need it or pass it on." It passed on down the line as some even added additional money to it. A Clearwater, Florida business owner, rather than laying off workers or reducing their hours, sends them out to work at full pay in soup kitchens and homeless shelters "on his dime". In Michigan, an apartment complex owner allowed residents, who struggled to pay their rent, to pay half their monthly rent in exchange for volunteering at a nonprofit organization. The amazing stories go on and on... I guarantee that the nightly "Making a Difference" feature on the NBC Evening News will build hope and optimism and it may even spur you on to "pay it forward" in your corner of this "wonderful world" we live in.
Mar. 13, 2009
Today's mileage: 2 mile walk
Total monthly mileage for March: 33.25 miles
Bible reading? Yes.
In the August 2007 issue of Midwest Living Magazine, the editor so wisely stated, "To know a community is to know its pie." Dick and I are continually searching for the best pie as we travel across the country, so we have learned that one must veer off the Interstate onto the backroads to talk to the locals who live in the small towns to find it. We have concluded that the best tasting pie is in our own backyard! In fact, it was chosen for the distinct honor of being one of three restaurants in the Brainerd/Baxter area chosen to be in the "57 Restaurants Worth the Drive" feature in the Minnesota Monthly Magazine July 2007 issue.
"The Barn", a restaurant located on Washington Street just a block from Brainerd's landmark water tower, opened in 1945 and was owned by a family from Iowa. In 1970, Gary Kinney's parents bought it. For almost twenty years his mom made the pies and helped run the business with his dad. In 1989, Gary bought the restaurant and started making the pies himself. The pies are stored in the original pie case to entice new customers to try a slice and be forever hooked. See the old-time tables and booths through the glass of the pie case? There are four of them along one wall and three on the other side of the room, as well as two small two-seaters along a third wall. You can also choose to sit at one of nine stools at the counter. The Barn has retained its small size throughout the years, which gives it its small town coziness where regular customers, as well as newcomers, quickly become family.
It was 9:30 this morning when Dick and I shared bites of this banana cream pie with mile-high meringue, still warm from the oven, after eating breakfast at The Barn. Rhubarb custard and sour cream raisin are other favorites of mine, but the coconut, lemon, apple, cherry, blueberry, and pumpkin are equally yummy. Gary bakes twenty pies early each morning and increases that number to thirty during the summer months. In addition to pies, The Barn, which is part of the original Maid-Rite franchises, offers menu selections as well as daily specials, homemade soups, and Maid-Rites. A "Maid-Rite" is finely ground, specially seasoned, ground beef on a bun... like a sloppy joe but without the sauce. It is served with mustard, pickles or chopped onions.
One of my mottos is: "Of all the paths you take in life... make sure a few of them are dirt." Translated that means to me that we need to slow our pace to be able to discover the true gems that so easily can be hidden from our view in life's hustle and bustle. The Barn is one such gem that you must not miss during your visit to the Brainerd Lakes Area.
5:30am – 4:00pm Monday through Friday
5:30am – 3:00pm on Saturday
On a warm afternoon, Dick and I like to drive through the backroads that wind through the Cuyuna Range Mine Pits near Crosby, Minnesota located twelve miles northeast of Whiteley Creek Homestead Bed and Breakfast. After church, on this early spring Sunday afternoon bright with sunshine, we did just that.
The dirt roads, which were spread with iron ore when they were originally constructed as an access to the mines, are no longer colored as dark a red as in years past. However, their hue is still unique enough to imagine the former activity that took place on these roads for 80 years. More than 106 million tons of ore were mined and shipped from the Cuyuna Range between its discovery in 1904, and 1984, when mining ceased. Dick's father was employed there for many years and his Grandma Olive Dullum ran a boarding house for the miners in her home in the nearby town of Woodrow.
The open-pit iron ore mining in this area, and the little towns that once thrived from serving the miners needs, has long ago become a meer skeleton of former booming activity. Remnants of building foundations can still be found in the dense undisturbed overgrowth. Tremendous beauty, however, abounds in these former pits that are now lakes stocked with trout to fish, canoe, kayak, and scuba dive.
The Cuyuna Lakes Trail for hiking, rollerblading, and biking weaves in between the mine pit lakes. The trail, which was built in 2005, is lesser known than the Paul Bunyan Trail in Brainerd but is as, if not more, beautiful. Cycle Path & Paddle in Crosby, a source for "silent sport" adventures, offers canoe, kayak, in-line skate, and bike rental. They offer drop-off service to a mine lake where you can paddle from that lake into four additional mine lakes. The area, owned and managed by the DNR, is very much a wilderness without human inhabitation... a hidden gem.
Whiteley Creek's signature entree, "Flossie's Eggs on the Rails", was one of three other recipes chosen from statewide bed and breakfast submissions to be featured on a Minnesota Morning's instrumental CD jacket. Flossie, our most prolific laying hen, is understandably strutting more proudly these days.
Congratulations to Blue Heron, Whiteley Creek and Water Street Inn's chefs and innkeepers!!
You have all won the marketing advantage of supreme recipe and inn exposure on the jacket and insert of the new CD, More Minnesota Mornings and Beyond !
The MBBA will be using your recipes to market the new products as well in our press releases and additional copies of this insert to promote the CD and Cookbook Package. The publisher chose from the wide variety of recipes and deemed yours the most interesting and appealing for this purpose.
We are so glad you elected to be part of this exciting project. Please proof your recipe and let us know that this is OK. The CD is going to press or duplication before the cookbook. We are still hoping for the cookbook to be out before Christmas.
Again thank you for being part of the MBBA and congratulations on this exposure and honor.
Warm regards, Pam
Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Association
620 Ramsey Street