This weekend, I took off to our cabin in Finland, Minnesota with two of my friends, Heidi and Cindy. This was our girls weekend get away and we were planning on exploring the area and doing a little shopping.
On Saturday our goal was Grand Marais. As I pulled out of our driveway Saturday morning our neighbor was at her mail box and I stopped to say hi. I told her we were going to Grand Marais for the day and she said that the dragon races were going on and they were such fun. I had no idea what a dragon race was, but hey, I am always up for an adventure so off we went 50 miles up the North Shore.
When we arrived in Grand Marais the day was beautiful and we could see all the people gathered around Lake Superior. We found a place to park and went and sat on the cement wall that surrounds a portion of the lake to see what was happening. The first thing I became aware of was the drum… a steady beat and then you seen the boats… long boats (I soon learned that each boat holds 22 people, a drummer and in back, a steerer). The teams paddle for the finish line to the beat of the drum. The drummer seems to have a very important job, they call out for the team, “Paddles up!” or “Steady!”
Many of the teams had kids in their boat, minimum age is 14. They came in and you could tell they were clearly having fun. Other teams were all adults and you could see they took the race very seriously, a much stronger team, their paddling was something to see as they races into the finish area and the crowd would go wild. These teams were all part of a racing event to raise money for Cancer Research.
Within hours of the event, I had found a local who gave us information on how you submit papers to put together a team, that the boats are all set up with drum and everything, you just pay your team rate and bring the people. He offered us and our husbands to be a part of his team next year and I am hoping that Al and I meet with him again this next weekend to discuss this more.
So I am sure I will post more on this weekend as it was a great time, but for now, the Dragon Boat Racing is truly something to see!
So every evening that the weather permits, I am on my back deck. Al likes the central air on in the house and I find it too cold, so I sit on the deck doing paperwork, reading, scrapbooking, whatever. It is like an office in my back yard.
During my time on the deck, I love to watch the activity going on around me. The yard is active with squirrels, birds, and rabbits.
At the beginning of the season, I had one rabbit. A lonely little guy that I tossed out carrots and corn to. About a month ago a second one joined him and I was able to watch them play in the yard, running and hopping over each other. Last week, I went back to one rabbit again and I fretted over what happened to the other one.
Then, last night, while I scrap booked I looked up and not only was the second one back – he brought a friend! Three! Three rabbits! I felt like Snow White (pre Shrek 3) surrounded by birds and rabbits! Or what’s her name that runs through the mountains singing “The hills are alive, with the sound of music…”
Anyway – the rabbits are back and replenishing!
I have been reading since as long as I can remember. In second grade I received the book worm award at the end of the school year. Who knew all these years later, I may still be in the running for that very award?
I love books. As a child I loved Judy Blume (certainly you remember, “Are you there God, it’s me Margaret”), Erma Bombeck, all of the Nancy Drew books and the Hardy boys too. I loved the adventure and the mystery trapped within the pages.
I still have not outgrown the adventure. Yet now, my taste in books is all over the board. I read not only for enjoyment but also for knowledge. I can’t seem to get enough. I read fiction and non fiction, Christian and Christian Fiction.
My favorite fiction authors are Harlen Coben (an amazing author good mysteries with a fantastic sense of humor), and Jodi Picoult (Jodi takes hard topics and makes them into can’t put down reads that I am amazed how gracefully she handles each unique situation).
My favorite Christian Authors go from Francine Rivers (a must!), John MacArthur, Paul Maier, Roxanne Henke, Randall Arthur, Mark Batterson (0ne book and I was hooked…), Phillip Yancey and Bill Hybel.
I keep a book journal and write what I think of each book as I read so many, sometimes I lose track and will start a book I have already read only to get about 50 pages in and realize I know how it ends. Some day I hope to make one of our rooms in the house a library! (Don’t tell Al!) : )
(not pictures is my new Archaeoligical Bible that was a birthday gift this year. I just love it and I forgot to take a picture of it!)
Friends are great aren’t they? There are those who you can chat with for hours about everything or nothing. Movie friends. Dinner friends. Rollerblading and biking friends. Coffee friends. Work friends.
Then there is that friend that you can call up on a moments notice and say something really brilliant like, “I just bought a truckload of large wooden furniture at a sale for a camp that is 4 1/2 hours away, can you help me load it and get it home to my garage?”
And miracuously, that friend says, “Yes.”
So – while this friend would probably have my head for mentioning her name… I will just say that is an amazing person who will bring a trailer into town to help with a purchase that even made my own eyes bug out when I seen it all being loaded up.
So, “Woman,” “Friend”, thank you for your amazing heart of pure gold. You amaze me daily with your generous ways.
Two years ago, a few of my friends decided that we should all get together and have a tree planting get together in my yard. We had lost about 40 trees in 2001 during the tornado that had come through our yard, and I being a tree lover was thrilled with this plan.
We purchased 4 trees, two silver maples and two apple trees. When we brought the trees to my house the branches were all wrapped to prevent damage to the tree, so we really did not know the shape of the trees.
When we unwrapped the two apple trees, one stood with the branches reaching upward and looked to be healthy good shaped tree. The other apple tree had funny branches that went every which may and we laughed about this as we planted it.
This year the funky branched tree produced fruit and lots of it. The apples hanging off this tree are so big and the branches so full of fruit, that I have staked the branches so they do not break off due to the weight. The well shaped tree does not have a single apple.
Researching apple trees I have learned that an apple tree will not produce fruit until its fourth year. I also am aware that an apple tree will have a strong producing year and then an off year. Either of these two things could be the reason the one tree is bare…
Looking at the two trees I would have believed for sure that the healthier more together tree would have been the one to bear fruit. At the time of planting, we were not even sure if the scraggly tree would make it through the winter. This reminds me of people. It is not always the ones who look like they have it all together that will bear the fruit. Sometimes, those of us who have been beaten down and look a little worse for the wear may very well be the ones who grow the fastest, and the healthy fruit.
The trees in my yard are a fine example of this.
From about the first part of June through the end of September do not bother knocking on the door of my home. You will not find me in there. However, walk around to the back and you will more than likely find me during the hours I am at my address, on the back deck.
I LOVE Spring and Summer. I love the warmth of the sun, and the solitude of the deck. I can sit and enjoy my morning devotion and coffee while listening to the birds start off their day with my buffet of bird feeders strung throughout the yard. I can watch the rabbits shyly inch towards the carrots and corn cobs that are left out for them. Or the sneaky squirrel who despite all my efforts with peanuts, still prefers the bird seed.
On my deck I can work on paperwork or read a book. (Ok.. you know me – SEVERAL books). In the evening I love to enjoy a cup of tea and listen to the crickets as the air begans to cool.
Any time I can get my hands on I am out there. I find the peacefulness to be my sanctuary. I am a creature of habit. I do love to be with people, yet there is another side of me that longs for the peace of solitude to rejuvinate before I hit the world full speed again.
I am not exactly sure how I have lived in this area as long as I have and never been to the Pig Races… but now I know I have truly lived.
About 30 miles from Brainerd, in Leader Minnesota, every Friday and Saturday evening at 7 p.m. are the pig races. The small town is the home of a gas station and a restaurant, so it is easy to find out behind the restaurant, for a $1.00 cover, some pretty interesting entertainment.
If you have yound children I would highly recommend this event as they have many games during the night oriented towards the kids. Hula hoop contests, jump rope, bouncy balls, and a time when the kids all are part of looking for $1.00 bills in a pile of saw dust.
The pigs are little guys with numbers on their backs. They come into the arena, 5 at a time and names of people in the audiance are drawn to choose a pig. If your pig wins the race you win a t – shirt, kids win a toy. Every two races they take a break for a game, for kids and a few for adults that are just as funny like the horse race and red neck horse shoes which is performed using a toilet seat as the horse shoe.
If you go, I would recommend going early. The food is pretty good in the restaurant and you will want to get a good spot to see the pigs.
Recently I heard a friend say that they find Him in people – friends and family. I found that a great way to see God… in others.
For myself, one way I see God is through nature. When I am out on the Paul Bunyan Trail, walking in the woods, or on a lake. The beauty of God calls out to me and I can not help but breathe in all that He has created and be in awe. These are times that I can clear all the other thoughts and simply listen to Him.
Anyone who has been within 10 feel of me in the last two week knows how great I thought the new movie Evan Almighty was. The theme is based on God asking Evan Baxter, to build an Ark.
The movie itself is funny and a joy for all ages, but the underlining story is what has held me. The Acts of Random Kindness that is the center theme of this film is so simple to understand that I want to shout to the world “COME ON!!!” The ACTS are as simple as giving a drink of water to a stray dog, help someone balance their check book, let someone in front of you in line at the store, say something nice to someone…
The world is so quick to judge others and I wish that we were all more like Jesus every day. Patient and understanding. Good – not for show, but because we all know it is right.
This movie to me was a great reminder of all the opportunities God gives us each and every day and how many of those go unseen because we are too busy doing life. Please everyone, open your eyes to what God has put before you. See people and opportunities. See God.
I am part of a great book club of women called “Bookies”, that have been together for 6 years! We started our group with three people in August of 2001. The Book Club began because at the time I worked for Wal-Mart and found it sad that many of us had worked together for 10 years and hardly knew one another.
So… it began… and now we have 12 of us who attend our monthly book reviews at various restaurants throughout Brainerd and Baxter.
This month was our annual potluck picnic at Kiwanis Park. The girls thought it would be fun if we all dressed up as the girls had in one of the book we had read this year and have an election for “Queen of the Bookies.” We laughed about the thought of pulling brides maid dresses and old prom dresses out of the back of our closets.
On Tuesday, July 10, we paraded ourselves to Kiwanis and I was thrilled to see that every one of the girls who were able to attend had dressed up. The “election of Queen”, was fantastic, with cue cards and poetry being read to win the election. In the end, it was my friend Amy Price who won the honor to be the Queen until our next election at our December meeting. Amy had the honor of wearing the crown (borrowed from Joelle Schmidt) and the scepter as well as being able to sit on the royal throne!
It was suggested that maybe for December we dress up as our favorite book character from books we have read this year. Hmmm…