Archive for October, 2011

Fun for $5

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

On October 24th, we spent a wonderful afternoon at Frontenac State Park just north of Lake City, MN by chance. We had gone to Red Wing to do some errands and we decided to stop by the park on the way back as we had passed it up so many times before then.

Well, were we surprised. The sky was partly sunny, the wind was calm as could be. The light was hitting and missing, but when it hit, it turned ordinary trees and grasses into
some of the best celebrities in a big time show that I have ever seen. Unfortunately, we only had our cell phones with us, so no super pics to share, but still the memory is there.

It cost five bucks to get in the park, but we saw two beautiful young doe, so that’s a pretty good return on investment right there. Especially since they both stayed there and let us take their pictures.

You can also see the Mississippi really close from about forty feet high. Gee, it’s pretty around that area. The whole area is gorgeous, but the state park has it’s own qualities for sure.

So, I began thinking, what else can people do for $5 or less that is fun and memorable, besides the usual movie or video game rental or popcorn making.

I think you can make a pretty good colorful fruit salad for four people for $5.

How about hot chocolate? Mmm and Uh huh.

Paint each other with face paint, old make up and food coloring.

Dress up the dog and put it on youtube.

Cut up old clothes and make them into something else like a blanket for the cat.

Call your Congressman, Senator and/or the White House and tell them what you think. Fun!

Make up a song or poem about your family or beloved. Fun, yeah!

Have sit up contests. Some fun there.

Collect autumn leaves and take pictures of them and have them developed.

Make a card from paper clips, bag twists and seeds from trees and wildflowers.

Make some chicken soup, put some in a jar with a few crackers or cookies, and bring it
over to someone who is not feeling well or had a bad day.

I am sure you can think of a few things, too!

To the south east of my house.

Second Peak of Colors, Birch and Oak

Back to Basics

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Terrific weather has kept us moving, and eating all over the SE Minnesota area. We have tried lots of new places to eat and have been generally satisfied, but truth be told, I think the restaurants have quit trying to provide ambiance. Sure the location may be nice and the parking sweet. The restaurants are clean and the rest rooms followed suit. However, I sure miss some of the things that made restaurants a fun place to go, places that were a lot different from my home, our home kitchens.

I miss the juke boxes and the quarters the owners would hand out when things got a bit too quiet. I miss the old Sinatra tunes at the steak houses, because it’s so loud when they have a full house, which is because it’s all tables and walls and no booths to buffer the sounds. What happened to booths? Why are we all being sat down in open seating. What about the lighting? I cannot tell you when I have seen anything in the way of lighting that suggested a thoughtful plan on comfortable, non glaring, non harsh lighting. Or too much lighting. I sometimes feel like an experiment in a scientific lab, the light is so great.

I’ll admit, walls seem to have gotten some attention at one time and there is usually some collection of paintings or objects that fit the bill. Nice.

But, what about a few kind words. The last place we went the hostess said, You can have either table that’s available and one of them was still not cleared. No, welcome, how are you this evening, or anything. Gheesh. Well, anyway. What can I expect when they have taken our pickles, our lemon wedges, our lettuce and our spoons. One waiter asked me to keep my used fork for dessert. Hang me now.

Oh, this isn’t all the restaurants, and I am not meaning to damn them all. But we all know which ones I mean and they should take heart and provide offerings that bring people a nice experience to the restaurant guest.

So, I am protesting by eating out less. Back to basics for me means rice and red beans. with whatever I have on hand tossed in…red peppers, eggs, onions, garlic, oregano, or curry, cumin, maybe dill and fresh lettuce. I can throw in
a handful of cheese ravioli, some salmon or chicken. It’s a world unto itself, rice and red beans, and I make it healthier by using either half white and brown rice or all brown rice, long grain and organic. Keep it basic.

For dessert, any fruit or fruit juice and an oatmeal raisin cookie. Nothing better and I can play any music I want on
my dvd player.

Sarah’s Restaurant and More

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

We met a friend for some delicious meals last week in Red Wing.
Sarah’s is a really great restuarant that is serving food, well, it’s so good, we all just enjoyed each bite so much.
I don’t want to go on and on. I’d like to you just take the drive and go to where Norton’s used to be.

Here’s what I really want to talk about today. (We have sold our home in Northfield and as such, I can no longer
voice my opinion on tax matters in Rice County. That will be up to the person who bought our home now.)

Many people have the gift of gab, they can persuade people from the pulpit, but that does not make them
US presidential material imho. What would you want from a president?, not personally, put yourself aside for a moment, but for the good of this country.

If the country is doing well, we are all doing well. Let’s get it together this time! We have made enough bad choices already. Being on one side of the coin or the other is not the question. It has become the problem. Having lots of choices is not the answer either. Look at the GOP right now.

We need to ask the right question before we get the right answers. If China is playing fast and loose with Import Export laws, what can we do to level the playing field? If you are on the side of isolation, than that is the stance,
whether you be GOP or DFL. If there is corruption in the government and on Wall Street, isn’t it likely to be both DEMS and GOP and Independents? So the question is, how do we remove these criminals? Or is corruption acceptable? These are the questions we need to look at and vote about when we choose our leaders.

Come on, people, think! Think! Think beyond what some of the media throws to us like bones to a dog. GO beyond. Think of what is human nature and what is greed that ruins lives. Think if one man decided to buy beer with his extra $25 dollars per week, and another decided to invest his $25 for years…if the second man came out wealthy from his investments, doesn’t he deserve it for taking the risk and sacrificing good times? If the first man turned out to get rich because he saved a life on the way to the liquor store and was rewarded handsomely, doesn’t he deserve to be living a more comfortable life? Don’t hate people for what they have or don’t have. Love everyone. Treat everyone well.
Take the extra pressure off each other and join together and talk and be open. Drop the #)@#(* attitude that some of the media made popular as a cultural thing. It is getting old.