Archive for February, 2011

I Scream (with laughter)

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

This is where I usually go on and on about some restaurant food that I have eaten. Well, not today. I haven’t been to London in years and I didn’t go to any British restaurants lately, but I have to link to this story.

Living By The List

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

A few minutes in my life…this morning I was mourning the loss of a friend when two, then one, then one more eagle, large adult eagles, swooped past my window, no more than twenty feet, in between tall pines and bare oak trees, and my heart soared. Every day since we moved here, we have seen the eagles, the glorious crows, magnificently beautiful hawks and so many more birds, and what a joy it is…but the eagles are superb in their size, style and grace.

Enough of that lively list…I have created two versions of a Universal Grocery List. I figured if you know the basics, you can use one or both of these lists for any shopping where no exact requirements are needed like for a special recipe. I don’t know how helpful this will be to the gp, but I know there is one someone out there who will appreciate this effort.

Freezer Food
and finally…
Stuff You Really Don’t Need

or even shorter…

live stuff
wet stuff
dead stuff
man made stuff
stuff that’s not good for you

Pizza or Teaching?

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

I was going to blog about the New York style Pizza I had at Flour Mill in Wabasha, but I think it’s more important to share what I feel about teaching
and why I think you all might think more about educating your kids…or whatever kids need some education. All of us have knowledge, whether it be
acquired naturally, through an institution or however.

When I first decided I wanted to learn keyboards, I asked a respected musician how best to go about learning…he said, however you can get it. For music that meant, watching someone play, listening to a record, learning from other musicians in your life, learning how to read sheet music, starting from scratch and teaching yourself, and any combination thereof.

Same goes for any subject…get it however you can. It all counts, it’s all good to know. And each of us has something to share, something to put forth before a group of kids, let them ask questions, let them learn. It doesn’t cost anything but the gas to get somewhere or the price of a phone call or making a video and loading it up online…make that computer work for you…it’s cost you a lot of money to check in on the grandkids on facebook, and send them to places like

where anyone can play and learn a lot for free.
make that computer work for all of us.

And here is why I am so passionate about this…In the nineties, I went to a school to talk to second graders about the environment, water quality and pollution. I got a big coffee can,
put some coffee grounds in it, some ketchup, some dirt, some rice, some stones, some oil
and some other junk and asked if anyone wanted to clean up the water for me. Those kids
got the idea that it’s not so easy to clean something up after it gets that messed up, so why
dirty it up to begin with? Afterwards, I got 60 letters…saying things like, I was going to be
a lawyer, now I am going to be an oceanographer. It’s easy to teach if you have props. Get you some props.

As for the pizza, it was pretty good…even when I microwaved the leftovers. Soon, we’ll go
back and try out some other meals, but for now..the pizza’s pretty good.

I am adding at a later date, the people are really, really nice, too!

Flour Mill Pizzaria
146 Main Street West
Wabasha, MN 55981-1237
(651) 560-4170

Loco Gringos Cantina is now Silver Star

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Loco Gringos Cantina
50 Pembroke Avenue.
Wabasha, MN 55981
open 11am to 9pm daily

No, I am not taking Spanish classes again, but I did, or we did visit a Mexican restaurant that is about to be my fav of it’s kind.

The decor was really nicely done…like a Mexican interior decorator had done it up with darling benches, a couple of saddles at the bar, tiles all around in a line around what might be the chair line, and each one differently hand painted. Very cool. They also have a bar for drinks and I bet they see quite a few Margaritas and Mojitos being made there!

A young man named Darrel came and told us all about the menu right away. He also brought us some really good salsa and chips…the Cadillac version of what I have been used to eating. No thin, watery soupy salsa here, just thick spicy, flavor filled slightly thick sauce. I put it on everything to follow. :)
Darrel was also very helpful when I told him about my quest to reduce salt intake.

Dh had the Smothered Burrito, with beef, and I ordered the Shredded Pork Carnitas Plate that came with a wonderful bowl of tortilla cheese soup, nice refried beans, not that waxy crap, and spicy light rice with a small lettuce, tomato and hot pepper mound.

LGC also has tv’s, music, live music at times, is handicap accessible and take outs, you can find them on facebook and at

All was delicious and we were too full for dessert. However, the restaurant is just down the hill from us, so we’ll be going there again soon I suspect. In the meantime, if you are coming down to the Taste of Wabasha and Silent Auction at the National Eagle Center on March 5, from 6:30 to 8:30PM, you will likely run across a couple of crazy white people hawking Mexican food delights.

While you are waiting for you order, order up some of my greeting cards…my style is wide and varied and you may order customization for free.

See you there.
Loco Gringos Cantina
50 Pembroke Avenue.
Wabasha, MN 55981

St. Valentine’s Day at Coffee Mill Restaurant

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Dh and I had a lovely, romantic meal at the Coffee Mill Restaurant which opened up Feb. 14th especially for Valentine’s Day
and to spoil their customers in a good way with great scenery of the bluffs and city hundreds of feet below, welcoming staff and atmosphere, excellent and often original menu and nice prices. Handicap accessible, too.

Although the menu was a limited one, we found what our heart’s desired. I love shrimp and I love fettucine alfredo, so I ordered that with a delightful small starter salad with French dressing that glistened like a sparkling maroon jewel. Dh got the prime rib with raspberry vinaigrette, a gorgeous red garnett color, gleaming so prettily, I had to have some to put on my homemade blue moon bread. We both got corn niblets in butter and we enjoyed that as well. It was a tiny bit crunchy, just enough butter to make it elegant and quite a lot of it.

(Blue Moon is the name of a beer and the bread was homemade by our lady chef. It was incredibly good, to me, a non beer drinker, but I put some of that pretty raspberry vinaigrette and butter on it, and I made something for long term memory…they have a cute website; )

Now, back to the salad, ice burg lettuce, no tomatoes, red radish slices, cucumber slices, a little shredded cheddar cheese, just enough to be able to enjoy nicely. I usually don’t go gaga over these things, maybe I have been inside too long this winter, but the presentation, the coolness, the color of it made me feel like I had stepped into a lovely world where everything could easily be appreciated without too much effort. Then there was that yummy bread. I was careful to eat only 1.5 pieces. so I could have room for dessert.

As I said, I ordered the shrimp fettucini alfredo, and it was very good. Perfect bit sized shrimp, plenty of them, on top of noodles that stayed where wanted them, not too heavy and not too light, same for the creamy sauce, very light and digestible…a quality I really admire in food! Dh ordered the prime rib, large, and medium. It looked really good to me, as it had a minimum of fat in, around and throughout, yet dh said it was amongst the best prime rib he has ever had, and I know he has had some of the best available in the country. The meat was lean, meaty, not spongy like prime rib can often be, and very flavorful.

If you are ever around the southern tip of Lake Michigan, in Indiana or Michigan, check this place out;
for great, great, aged steaks.

Dessert was cinnamon ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate drizzles. I had never had cinnamon ice cream before, even though cinnamon is one of my keys to the universe. It was all super good. I only had room for one sphere, but there’s always dh willing to try something new, too, so we shared that and I had a bite of his chocolate cake about which he was very pleased. I was so full that I floated away from the table never to be heard from again…until next time…

So, once again, we have to thank our neighbor, Craig, for opening up the Coffee Mill Restaurant on February 14th, and please know how much we are looking forward to your new season of serving scrumptious meals in March!

I also want to add that the gold course is a lovely place to look and play on and I imagine a great challenging course to play. Check out their website for a free first game.

A view of the Mississippi River near Hwy 61

The Great River

Sammy’s and Bloedow’s

Monday, February 14th, 2011

We finally got out of town yesterday and made our way down to one of the oldest Minnesota cities, Winona. We went looking for some good restaurants to feed our drawn pale winter faces and found a good pizza place called Sammy’s Pizza…one of fifteen Minnesota locations. While they have plenty of other things besides pizza, we decided to stick with what made them what they are for the last hundred years or so.

The pizza was great if you like thin thin crust with just enough tooth, tons of veggies and cheese piled on, small cut pieces, and cheese slightly browned to perfection, then you will like Sammy’s pizza. They also have frozen pizza to take home. And a chance to order double cheese crust pizza, too. Dh said the pepperoni was good, too.

Their menu is extensive and their circuses are typical, the service, very friendly and fast enough
and they have a couple of old video games and specials for the kids.

We also discovered Bloedow’s Bakery, another long time establishment, where they still bake like the old bakers used to bake with a modern lightness to the bread, but the old goodness and extra flavor in the sweet rolls and other treats.

While neither of these places are particularly handicap accessible, there may be back doors that I don’t know about…it never hurts to inquire about your particular situation.

126 West 2nd Street
Winona, MN 55987
(507) 454-3403

Bloedow Bakery
(507) 452-3682
451 E Broadway St.
Winona, MN 5598


Monday, February 14th, 2011

A couple of decades ago, I studied classical sculpture for a few years with Mustafa Naguib,
an Egyptian sculptor, former monk, and dear friend. He came to this county after Sadat kicked him out of Egypt for stealing bricks that the military stole from an orphanage that was to be built, so they could use the bricks for a new military building.

Naguib had only $37 in his pocket upon arriving in the US, but an American stateswoman came to love him right quickly and married him.

Naguib had been a monk, also, and so was embraced by the Catholic nuns, who gave him the unlimited use of a Frank Lloyd Wright building in Beverly Shores, Indiana, where I was living at the time. The building was a huge three story log structure with a four car garage and 12 bed carriage house. It turned into a great atelier for us. Naguib passed away about ten years after his arrival here, but he was a wonderful man who opened my eyes to many wonders of the world…including some great Egyptian historical facts, like how they came to know the workings of the human body long before western medicine or Mayo clinic!

Today, my thoughts of Egypt are more along the same lines. I are so proud of the Egyptian people and all the people in the Middle East who will come to liberty and democracy over the years. We are so proud that they did it all non violently, intelligently and in the name of peace.

Go, Egypt, Go!

Part Two, We All Ought To Get Audited

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Many of you will remember part one of this post, where we were audited by Xcel energy in person and we got some great pointers about where to plug up our leaks and so on. Well, the newest development occurred yesterday when we received our latest electric bill which was reducted by about 20%. What we did was cover a few windows with plastic, install a few pieces of insulation around windows and replaced all our thermostats with new programmable thermostats that regulate the heat more accurately. They are pulse modulation thermostats which help make your systems run more efficiently.
We purchased them at They are costly, but rather pay for them than use up precious energy and create more pollution.