What a beautiful sight! Guess it’s been around the world and back more than a few times. Thoughts of pride, our history and hopes for the future well up inside when the stars and stripes wave before our eyes.
Hurray! One sure sign of spring flew through the Minnesota River Valley today! Bright, bold and whistling loudly, Lord Baltimore himself stopped by. Giddy with excitement that he picked my humble RedBarn backyard garden for his resting spot, I asked him to relax until I could locate the camera and complete his personal photo shoot. He was really thirsty!
Why do you think he chose to drink from this sort of grungy bird bath over all of the great water sources(creek, pail by the hydrant, Big Stone Lake, horse water tank) that are nearby?
I’ve been lovin’ the vintage 60’s look on my outdoor photos lately. Could it be because it goes against all the rules for good photography? Rules? Are there really rules?:) Soften, let some pixels show, find the perfect crazy green or funky orange cast and you’re on the way to ‘vintage 60’s.
A few months back I asked a friend if he minded that I walked around on his old ‘home place’ and shot a few photos of whatever wanted to have its picture taken. He smiled and graciously gave me permission to ignore the ‘no trespassing’ signs he had set around among his dads last farm possessions. On the first sunny spring afternoon I wandered about the farm-yard and found myself in a state of constant smile. The farm-gentleman who lived his years on this spot smiled often and I sensed that we were smiling together, at that moment, about many of the same things. You could say, we share the same roots. I had me a little ah-hah moment while standing there; only the warmth of the sun and the cool spring breeze as my known companions. I love to photograph children, animals, events, wildlife, flowers…….farm junk might be beckyredbarn’s favorite subject! Never met a cream can or an old car I didn’t like, have you?
What’s the one thing that makes all of my girls happy? It’s fishing on Big Stone Lake!
A friend of mine, with a serious look on her face, said that she needed to purchase a ‘fishing lesson’. After I recovered from my doubled-over- laughing-attack I quickly offered to give her one for free. Her look said, “Why would I listen to you when there are many experts on the subject of fishing?”
“Trust me! I catch fish! I really do! All of us RedBarn girls do! I can give you lessons. It’s not as hard as they(experts, TV shows, product packaging)want you to think it is.” Although a bit skeptical, she did pretend to be taking mental note of what I shared with her. ” Stop at Artie’s(bait shop in Ortonville)and order one large scoop of ‘fat heads'(minnows). He will put them in a really cool bag full of water and tie it in a knot. You will need a minnow bucket so they can ‘live’ in the lake water when you get home. Talk to Artie about how to put the minnow on the hook so it stays on. He’s very sweet about showing you little tips like that. Find an old rod and reel or buy a new one at the bait shop if you must and sweet Artie might even help you get it ready to go. Don’t worry much about what size or color of hook. The fish aren’t as fussy about that this time of year. Watch the wind. Pick a night with a soft little breeze out of the west and find a dock or a big rock along shore( on second thought) up the lake a ways. Pretend you are flicking water off of a hairbrush as you cast your line out. You’ll catch on after a few tries. Call if you need anything else. Oh, don’t forget to buy a fishing license when you are at Artie’s.”
That seemed like enough to get her started. She will probably watch one of those darn fishing shows anyway. I hope she catches a big walleye. At that moment she will be the happiest girl on Big Stone Lake. Trust me…..I know the feeling.
Many of you asked me for my cake recipe! I love you friends who share my passion for the really important things in life. Like CAKE!!! Every single ‘food group’ comes together in pound cake. . .not a dietary worry in the world:)
This recipe is from the kitchens of Land O Lakes. Now wouldn’t that be a dream job? Baking and testing the day away! http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/543/glazed-lemon-pound-cake
It’s really a perfect weather April Easter Sunday in Minnesota! So why am I inside instead of out raking the flower gardens or at least sunbathing? I won’t be for long. Doing a little ‘rejoicing’ over the joy that Easter brings to me. No big family gathering this year(yes, I miss each one of you kidlings so don’t make it a habit) but off to gather this evening with friends at the lake. . . .ice all gone and ours to enjoy for the whole awesome summer time ahead. It’s a potluck and I’m excited to bring my homemade lemon pound cake. Pound cake always reminds me of the one ‘cruise’ I went on years ago with some girlfriends. Trays of pound cake around every corner. . . .by the pool and in the exercise room. That only makes sense on vacation.
Rejoicing in the real Easter story. It’s a long story; some sad, quite beautiful and goes on forever(eternal). At the same time it can be very short and to the point; the life, death and sacrifice of Jesus. A big item to fill up our thoughts along with the colored eggs, large ham dinners and. . . .ah, pound cake. Happy Easter to all!
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.
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!
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!
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!