Archive for October, 2010

Schumacher’s Hotel and Grill 212

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Dh and I finally made it out to Schumacher’s Grill today. It was a gorgeous day, with little traffic and lots of sunshine on Hwy 19. It takes about 34 minutes to get there, but it’s a sweet way to catch the last colors of fall, see the textures that have been hidden all summer long and to get a few minutes to listen to some classical jams on the radio while discussing the new home situation with the dh sitting next to you.

Most of the old timers around here know of John Schumacher, the super chef. There’s a long history here, but I won’t go into that. Suffice to say that he is back at the old hotel, which is lovely and decidedly Czech, mixed with Americana here and there in the form of wall art.

Now, to the important part…the food. I had a Grilled tea salmon sandwich with Swiss cheese, pineapple, craisin compote, and tartar sauce, and lettuce on a ciabatta bun that was the best I ever had. I had a vegetable soup called Vomacka, which had green beans, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, dill, cream and ??? (here is a recipe, but not the recipe link; It was very, very good. Quite delectable, would go back for more, yummy and nothing bad to say about it good. I had no room for dessert, but we brought home a few apricot kolaches, which were super delicious at four for five dollars. Iced tea, which was too strong for me, but better than the local water they serve. Ick.

My dh had the Hotel Burger with American cheese, a pile of grilled onions, bacon, dill pickle and lettuce on Ciabatta bun, with French fries. He said it was as good as the Northfield Golf Club’s burger and he thinks those are the best in the state, as far as he can tell.

The service was good, and the servers were many. I think we had three. No music, but we sat by a window and we were entertained by all the people going to Wells Fargo drive thru ATM on a Saturday afternoon. Some even walked up.

I don’t know if there is easy handicap access. The front had several stairs, but there may be a back way or ‘rear entrance’ as some people call this architectural function. I am from Chicago and we have alleys and the back ways. Call first.

Reservations are a good idea, and call for hours as well. Good luck to the Schumachers! Your food is worth driving for.

It Only Takes A Word

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

This isn’t my own story, but it is the story of a few of my in-laws.

My brother in law was brought into this world by his Christian mother whose name is Gretel and a Jewish father whose name is Karl in Germany during the second world war.  My brother in law and his brothers were sent to the USA to stay with some aunts for safety while Gretel stayed behind in Germany to await the Karl who had been sent to a Nazi concentration camp.

After several years, slowly the Nazis were allowing some people to be released from the camps.  One day, Gretel heard that the Nazis had let three hundred people go free. She ran down to the office of the Nazis and a young man came out and asked what she wanted.  Gretel said she wondered if her husband had been amongst those who were released.

The Nazi officer told Gretel that all of the three hundred people had been released already and that he did not see Karl’s name on the register.  Gretel, looked at the officer and asked, “Would anybody mind if it was three hundred and one?”

The officer looked at Gretel for what seemed like a long, long time. He told Gretel to wait and in a little while, he returned with Karl and suddenly the two were once again united.

I love that story because well, Karl was a super fellow to me as I grew to know him. I was five when I met him and knew him for many years thereafter.  He had a great sense of humor, he worked very hard and the only time I saw him snarl a little bit was when I asked him about the numbers tatooed to his forearm. I was five or six and he didn’t want to tell me how he got those numbers from the concentration camp.

The story shows that one small step can make a world of difference.  If Gretel had been too afraid or too negative to ask after her husband, she may
not have ever seen him again.  During those times, the Nazis were not always consistent with their policies.  If she had just turned away, thinking she was too late or hopeless, her sons may not have ever seen their father again.  But as it was, Karl and Gretel came to United States, opened up a shoe repair shop and then a big shoe store with accessories and made a good living, and provided a good service to the local community in Chicago as did each one of their three sons.

This is a story for the gay teens who turn to suicide because they were harassed with words, for them it means, ask for help…you may find it in the strangest places. Sometimes saying a word might get you fired, like Juan Williams, the commentator with NPR, who has signed up now with Fox News.
NPR could have been kinder, but Juan may have made the best move of his career. For me it means, with patience and love I can make a difference
in people’s lives whenever I sit down and state my case to the appropriate audience or person. Can I get an ‘Amen’, America?


Self Massage

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Self massage is a wonderful, healing activity. Back in Chicago, a neighbor of mine taught me this routine. She was the first woman to introduce yoga to America, in the early 1920s. She was known as Yogini Naradne and was an American woman from Colorado, married to an Indian yoga master. When I knew her, she was in her 80s, still kickin’ and teaching yoga.

The point of self massage is to move lactic acid, a toxin created from eating food, through your body…out of your muscles and out the body’s doors.

Start with the toes and wiggle them, using your brain, your hands, and/or any surface. Stretch them out, bend them back and forth, stand on them, whatever you can imagine. Spend a minute or so on that.

Then move to the ankles. Again, stretch them, roll them around, massage them. Feel into them and in between the ankle bones. Rub them. Spend two minutes or so there.

Go to the calf muscle. A big muscle that needs rolling up and down motion…use a rolling pin if you have one, or a smooth stick. Rub and squeeze that big muscle. Work your hands as you move out those bad toxins.

Now go to the top of that calf muscle, up to where they join the knee area. Rub around in there, get to know that area well. It’s complicated and it’s where
toxins accumulate because some of it doesn’t move that much on it’s own. Rub, rub, rub.

Now, get up to the thigh muscle. A huge muscle. Roll it, massage it. You know the drill by now. Spend some time there. Clean up that thigh muscle.

There is only a small part of the back that I cannot reach to massage. Forget about it if you don’t have another set of hands around your house. Just get to what you can reach. Twist your body from the waist as far to the left and right as you can. This will help wring out some of the back muscles you may not be able to work on by hand. Take care not to strain yourself, especially at first.

If you run across a muscle that is really sore, it might just be lactic acid build up, and you can go ahead and rub it gently until things loosen up there. OR it might be some serious pain in an organ. See your doctor if something seems really wrong. You might have a strain, or just bad air, stuck. Check it out for yourself, or have a doctor check it out. Don’t hurt yourself in any way.

Continuing your self massage;
Move up the sides of your body, into the buttocks muscles, your shoulder joints, elbow and wrist joints, arms, neck and head (all the way around) and even the ears. Use swirling, massaging, pulsing, rolling, rubbing motions…whatever seems to float your body boat.

Finally, lay on your back, bring your knees up to your chest as far as you can comfortably get them, and then squeeze your knees with your arms wrapped around them, into your chest. This will give the organs a massage which they happen to like quite a bit. :)

Start at the toes, end at the top of the head…finish off with an organ squeeze. That way, you can’t forget any part.

After a few times, a few days go by, you will establish a pattern, a habit of what works well for you. Try to hit as many joints and muscles as possible. Take ten to fifteen minutes every morning and every night if you can. If not every day, whatever you can manage, even once or twice a week, will help your attitude, your hand strength, your self caring, and your body’s overall health.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I do not mean to give this as medical advice, but I do konw that people around the world do this regularly for their health and well being. Please take care of your self as best as you can and give your self some healthy pleasure.

Massage is a loving and caring thing that you can do for yourself and others, including pets.

Skyline on Pepin

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

We had to leave town today because we spent so much time looking around at the beautiful leaves and trees and such…the people participating in the annual fall rituals, festivals and celebrations…what a lovely town is Northfield…well we did it to the limit and chased the fall colors a little bit further south and right into the Mississippi River wetlands that were created, or I should say, recreated down in Wabasha County. It was startlingly beautiful even though past peak, and perhaps 20-30% left. The colors were just a scrumptious as a plate full of your favorite Thanksgiving dinner. Corn meal yellow, green bean green, vegetable gravy brown, white garlic mashed potatoes with creamy yellow butter and deep orange yams with brown and white marshmallow atop. Oh, and don’t forget cinnamon apple pie red and tan with coffee with cream colored coffee with cream. Yep, all these colors and more were playing chameleon on the bluffs all along the Great River.

And for the first time in my recent life, I said, no camera. I just wanted to relish in the atmosphere without the machine between it and me. I would have pealed off my skin if that would have helped. Weird, I know, but sometimes weird helps you see normal, whatever that is.

Anyway, we stopped a had a decent meal with good, good service at Skyline on Pepin, Lakeside Dining and Coctails located at 1702 Lakeshore Drive, N.
in Lake City, Minnesota 651-345-5353.

We also got to see part of the Vikings v Cowboys game, and got home in time to see the last 9 minutes and hooray for the Vikings! So, that rounded off a really lovely day trip. Thanks to Northfield for having so many lovely manicured autumn sites and thanks to the Mississippi Valley for doing the natural thing so well. And thanks to Brett Favre for playing through the pain. He’s one tough fella.

This Is What’s New

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

It looks like Wendy’s has closed. I have only been there once, drove thru once and ate in once. The lights were off and no one answer’s the phone this evening. So, maybe they are on vacation or lost power. Not sure.

Since when does the waitstaff ask if you came in to order something. We just got here, can we have a minute. Gheesh.
Since when does waitstaff tell you “Feel free to leave whenever you want.”, after you have paid the check? I don’t think it was us. We are quiet, we tip well, and we don’t make a fuss. Odd, but it happened somewhere in downtown Northfield this last week.

We had dinner at Kurry Kabab’s the other evening, and were enjoying our meal tremendously. The Maharaja Combination is a lovely feast and between dh and I, we can finish the whole deal in two sittings. I have blogged about that before, but at that time we had picked it up for home. This time we ate in store and had the lovely desert, #127 Rus Malai A popular North Indian dessert of homemade cheese sponge cooked in milk, garnished with pistachio. $3.95 It was so good, I closed my eyes and drifted far away. It tasted like sweet roses and wonderful honey and milk. Gosh, it was good.

I have a little rant about going out for a meal in a quiet place and having to hear other people’s loud complaining about inconsequential things, like the color of the rubber band in their hair was a shade off, or something for the duration of their sharing space with me. Argh. To those people, I am not amused.
Thanks for listening.

Just added…Lark’s Toys in Kellogg, MN, among other great things, has a Scarecrow contest. I think Northfield should have a scarecrow contest, too.
Every neighborhood could have their own and then the winners go to the Bridge Square Finals. It’s not too late for this year, and maybe people already have them. If you do, let me know…send a email to and I’ll tell everyone.

If you are busy, then consider this idea for next year!

If you don’t have the materials for a 3D scarecrow, how about drawing up a nice one and posting it online or in a home window?

I got my flu shot. I hope you all get yours, so we don’t get too sick this season.