Early morning wake up time with a large mug of French Vanilla steaming from a cup in my left hand and a magazine of ‘happy thoughts’ half rolled in my right. The kids are grown. My lumber-guy is up and out early on a mission to put another dent in his work truck. That man! There’s this morning feeling that’s become a part of my life. I’d say it’s a desire for a bit of direction or inspiration along with the need to breathe deep and prepare my inner most self for the next 24 hour journey. Some of us wake up slower than others.
Today’s morning interlude set my eyes upon just the right saying to put me straight. “I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway.” Words wide open for meaning, words that bring on a smile and give off some sassy country-girl confidence if that’s what is needed. What incredible power these seven, nothing very special, words take on when they tag along after ‘I can’t’. Starting the day with a little ‘brave’ in my heart.
I know the world is full with people who have had to jump into situations and say these words under their breath. Sometimes serious. . . .sometimes creative. . . .often yucky. I’m sure I said these words when they passed out the specimen trays and instruments in high school biology. Sorry kids, I’m sure I said it while holding my breath over diapers. Speaking in front of a large group and shaking in my high heels? Leading a jumpy 1200 pound horse for the first time! Cleaning the chicken coop! Driving a car?
I promised my girlfriend Kathy I’d bring two dozen sweet rolls, fit for public consumption, to an Easter breakfast. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my last yeast bread attempt. . . .kneading, rising, baking to perfection. Didn’t quite turn out that way. I can’t make yeast breads. . . .but now I’m doin’ it anyway.
Better practice! Love that great little saying in the morning happy magazine and guess what? It works!
Notes to self: slow down, hold back on the flour, buy fresh yeast, don’t kill the yeast with too hot of liquid like you most likely did last time, cover half way through the baking time, doubling the recipe works well.
Not perfect, but they look like you want one, right? I ate one and sent the rest of the practice run along to work with my man. No will power in this RedBarn kitchen with rolls on the counter!
Winter keeps dipping in and out of our lives here in Minnesota. A few nice days and then another blast of snow and wind. Uhfta! (In honor of my mama, grandma and sister. . . who still says this word daily:) Traveling home from Mankato, on the very last day of March, I was blessed to live the perfect spring day. Sun-shine, snow melt, sun-roof-open, happy husband with hands on the wheel, my eyes gawking and searching the neutral tones of the passing landscape.
Never sorry when you boldly turn the wheel and follow the signs which designate the fantastic river road along the Minnesota River Scenic Byway! The dips and turns of the river, new homes popping up along the bluffs, small farming operations, bridges, campgrounds, foliage of tree and plant still quiet and colorless from winter rest.
Thinking aloud, “Wouldn’t it be fun to send 10 friends down this same stretch of road on the same day and ask them each to take 6 photos?” Loving Minnesota!
A right of Spring; the first Eagle who sits still and poses for your photo!
I’m having a little love affair with this farm house and porch.
Meet my latest new friends! Once I have your photo you’re my friend forever!
Heart strings, linger for a few extra moments, think on the love, the hard work and the excitement of building a home and barn in the Minnesota River Valley. . . .a few years ago.
Not that long ago,1868. Our country trying to settle back in after the Civil War. Much to ponder.
Does anyone know more about this family or the barn?
Thought for the day from playwright, Tennessee Williams,” Make voyages! Attempt them! There’s nothing else.”
These words jingled around in my head on the 10 minute sunny-day drive from the RedBarn into nearby Ortonville. Friend Edie has invited me to drop by her newly fixed and furnished delight of a vacation rental house on the corner by the lake! Even better, Pioneer Public TV is coming to town to film this sweet project(filled with art and beds, a full kitchen, a claw foot tub, local history) for an upcoming segment on their show we all love called, ‘Postcards.’
The morning energy was high and good in that adorable little house on the corner. In fact, I could feel the power of ‘voyages’ being made and attempted all around me. The dear turn-of-the-century home, with the whole bunch of love poured into her these past few months, seemed ready to embark. We artists? Hoist the sails! We were born for moments of voyage, journey and attempt. (Big talk. . . .I’m a little nervous when the mike gets clipped to my collar.) So very proud to have Edie showing off our works as they decorate and serve to welcome guests of the Big Stone Lake area. The friendly and busy Pioneer crew clicked and gathered to create some worthy on-air minutes of interest ….. really special to have them choosing to cover our area art happenings!
Lucky little all-spruced-up vacation rental house on the corner!
Corrina(artist)Edie(proprietor)Dana(Pioneer executive producer)and some pops of local art in the background.
Edie has the magic. . . .everything she touches gets a hint of beauty!
Andrea(producer) puts you right at ease in an interview. Ben, the slick camera man, and Neva whose art is shared within.
Young, on task and brilliant. . . .the Pioneer Postcards crew!
Ride with pride! Thanks for your stop in Ortonville.
I’ve been thinking, I like the word l-o-v-e. Yet the word love is common, over-used, kind of cheap and easy and even silly when you reflect on how it is used. Oh, I LOVE your shoes! I LOVE your house! Oh,oh,oh, I LOVE your dog! Really? I have tremendous kids and you love my dog? What sort of a nut are you? At times I’ve seen and felt love without even the utterance or hearing of the darn little word. It’s easy to get confused on this topic.
I’m going out for dinner tonight, with some friends that I simply love! Adding water to the pink roses that just came in the door from the guy who loves me out here at the RedBarn, then on to feed the dog. . . .yes, I really do love the dog.
Many of us are fortunate to know the real kind of love among our family and friends. We might agree on this sunny, winter Valentines Day 2014 that the world could certainly use more of that real sort of love; in the far corners and in the house down the street. You’re on your own to decide what real love looks, sounds and feels like. When you do. . . .go ahead and spread it around. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Each bear on the window seat got fluffed, tagged and ready for his new home in hopes of finding a bit of love.
The Christmas-lovers among us spend the whole year dreaming about, collecting and trying out catchy ideas for use over this favorite, big holiday season. We get some of them put into being and live the thrill of seeing our good ideas executed(you know what I mean). It’s nearing the time when we close the book on ‘creative’ and resort to cheating! You read that correctly, cheating! If you are not taking a test or, uh, anything worse, cheating can be a really brave and smart thing to do. Did I hear you say that is fine with you? It’s not only me feeling the season for fussing about Christmas preparation in my home and life slipping away? Thank you for that sweet agreement!
Pinterest quickie decorating tips, gift bags n boxes instead of flowing wraps and ribbons, cookies that begin with a cake mix, re-gifting when we can shop no more-gasp!
Christmas love to you and yours for a season of deep meaning. . .and a reminder to add in a little cheating. . . . .it should make more room for the peace we all desire.
Cheat #1-totally in love with this gift from my son. Look around and choose a bowl, lantern, jar and fill with your extra ornaments. Top with a pretty bow!
Cheat # 2-You’ve filled all the needs of friends/customers in your creative biz and are left wondering about your own family card? Grab a photo template and share some ‘authentic’ shots of your much-loved family from the year gone by. No need for matching sweaters every year:)
Cheat #3- Put the special vintage Christmas balls in an old bowl. . .so pretty and easy. Set out a few small trees and save the decorating of them for special children when they arrive. Here is the beginning of an angel tree.
Cheat #4-For when you need a decoration with some ‘size’ to it. Three birch logs(a bundle of sticks would work too) bound together with a beautiful ribbon. Greens and berries tucked and glued to the top.
Cheat #5- Quick and yummy way to add much-needed chocolate to your holiday cookie tray.
I like to post a little ‘note to self’ right where I will see it; “make me next”.
The date is nearing for the Clinton Women’s Taster’s Tea and guess who needs to submit the recipes she is going to serve that evening and share in this years event cookbook? Now here’s a local food event that is worth putting on your holiday sweater and heading out into the gets-dark-early evening for. Festive décor, happy folks, tons of new recipes to taste and the perfect way to enter into a glorious holiday mood. (Monday, November 25, 5-7 p.m. at the Clinton, Minnesota Memorial Building, $6 per person)
Daughter, Gina, and I took a road trip to Door County, Wisconsin. Heaven(or surely kind of close)! One of our favorite stops was to buy locally grown cranberries. Pull off the road by the homemade sign, bag up what you want out of the beautiful wooden boxes full of freshly picked produce, smile back at the dear farmer who was thankful to have us stop, pay the $8 for a huge bag and try to control our excitement. . .that’s how it went. Oh the beauty of cranberries; both for their taste and rich red color.
My dear little granddaughter, Drew, was kind enough to share her latest kitchen creation. Perfect recipe and perfect timing, Drewsibell! I’m going to cook up my own cranberries, instead of use the canned, and serve it over chicken bites as an appetizer for the Taster’s Tea. What do you think of that?
A sweet keeper for Grandma’s ‘favorites’ recipe folder.
Loving my locally grown and beautiful berries!
Look at the amazing visitors in the cranberry bog as I bagged up my bounty!
Love at first sight!
Little Miss Drew
A big day of ‘finding joy in the creative journey’! I’ve accepted the challenge of creating new holiday greeting cards with as many recycled and old materials as I can possibly find. Paper is 100% recycled fiber, sparkly(washed)aluminum foil, thrift store finds of yarn, ribbon and even glitter! The pearl finish photo paper was rejected by a large print house but works fine printed up into bunnies, birds and winter scenes for the RedBarn card line!
Thinking thankful thoughts(and having pumpkin pie day dreams)to honor Thanksgiving while racing ahead to get things made for the Christmas season. Oh joy!
Someone, somewhere needs to know; I worked hard today! I’ll concede, no one needs to know. I’m stretching out my sat-too-long spine, looking at my pile of newly created holiday greeting cards(heavy on the recycled side) and feeling like I accomplished something in my creative biz! Maybe I need to toot my horn! Toot,toot!
Also having a little laugh. We creatives are able to design and manufacture on our dining room tables if we choose to. I did today. . .in my white, fuzzy, University of North Dakota bathrobe. Silence is good and then so is a break for listening to music or talk radio. This afternoon I found myself listening to a talk show host(not my dear radio personality friend, Julie) jabbering on about how she dislikes people who are already talking ‘Christmas’. From there she moved on to discussing her dislike of bloggers who literally share what they are eating for lunch. This one way chatter is starting to feel a little personal, Honey!! I’m in the club who likes to think about Christmas all year ’round and I enjoy seeing what other bloggers are serving up for lunch! In fact, MY homemade lunch today was worth talking about. Here, let me show you:)
Yellow tomato, potato, onion and red pepper. .all garden gifts from friend, Liz. Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme(go ahead and sing) from my little herb box in the backyard.
Me playing with my Sony! The bottle of Alamos, Red Blend? Came to the RedBarn by way of the wine-tasting dinner at Buffalo Ridge in Gary, South Dakota. Really, it started out in the high mountains of Argentina. It’s divine!
Saute vegetables in 2 teaspoons of olive oil for 10 minutes, add 1/4 cup of already cooked sausage, 2 fresh eggs, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs and cover until cooked through. Top with some ground pepper! Makes a generous, healthy ‘scramble’ . . .for anyone working on Christmas projects! Wink!
Just so I don’t get accused of making things too pretty, here’s the evidence! My rule-never use more than 10 pieces of cook/serve ware to make a dish. That way we can clean up in less than 2 minutes and get back to the fun, creative things in life! Cheers!