Summer Feed

Around Here....

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The seasons are starting to shift.   The landscape of my lush green summer trail runs is changing to where I am seeing yellows, browns and even an occasional red leaf making its appearance.  Although we are in summer mode subtle changes are hinting of the onset of fall.   

The rhythms of our activities are changing as well as we are gradually gearing up for the start of the new school year.   I have been in school, getting my classroom ready for my new students.  This year will mark my 18th year of teaching!

The cross-country running season has also started.   Our eighth grader is training hard, gearing up for the first meet next week.  I am helping with the team as an assistant coach, as I have been doing the past couple of years.  We have both been running and doing some other cross training all summer long.  I am working through a running injury (plantar fasciitis), but still on track to complete a half-marathon in late September.   My daughter and I have been inspired by the newly published book:  Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky.  There are lots of great recipes, tips and training advise including the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (pictured above) that my daughter has been making from the "Power Snacks" section of the book.  

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 Around here...

I have been keeping up with our bountiful garden and lining my pantry shelves with canned goods.  Lately, I have been busy pickling cucumbers and beans.   We are having a great year for tomatoes as well!   We're eating a lot of garden suppers (BLT's, salads, and quick pasta dishes celebrating and savoring the gifts of the garden.

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I am still working on new and different avenues of publication.   I recently received the exciting news (and payment!) from Highlights for Children that two of my submissions will be published in upcoming issues of Highlights High Five. 

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We are making progress with our sauna building!  James is working hard and the rest of us are pitching in when we can. We have the slab poured and we just started framing up the walls.   We will be slowing down just a bit as we wait for our trusses order.   We are so excited about this new addition to our homestead. 


Summer is here!

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Summer weather is here in Minnesota!  Our seasons shifted quickly and this past week we have experienced a stretch of days with weather in the high 80's.  

This past weekend we had the opportunity to beat the heat and spend time lakeside at my parent's island home in Crane Lake, MN.  We spent time fishing, swimming and relaxing - it was a wonderful prelude to summer.

Considering that we still had ice on the lakes on May 3, and we were on skis for our first big snowfall on November 12, summer is well-deserved.   I am calculating that out as 22 weeks of winter and about 3 weeks of "spring" this year!

The kids and I are now heading off to our last day of school, summer vacation will officially start tomorrow.  I am ready to make the most of this season!


North Shore Weekend

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We started our summer by exploring the south shore of Lake Superior and we culminated our summer break with a weekend in Grand Marais, MN enjoying the North Shore.  .  We were able to relax, explore and get away together for one last hurrah before we start transitioning to going back to school We hope to get out on a few more adventures this fall, but with school and sports our travels are likely to slow down a bit.   It has been a wonderful summer, spending lots of time making memories with the kids and enjoying time out doors exploring new and familiar places.


Island Camping - Voyager's National Park - Late August

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Mama's Fish

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The Solar Eclipse
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We are just back from one last island camping trip in Voyager's National Park.  This time we stayed two nights and brought along the paddle board. We also did some fishing in the boat (this mama figured out how to use the trolling motor) and some cliff jumping at a safe spot right on the island.  We are now unpacking, hanging wet tents, washing loads of laundry - but it is all worth it.  There is nothing quite like what we are able to experience up on Sandpoint Lake.  I am happy that I have developed the confidence and skills to explore this area with my children independently during my summers off with my children.  


Garden Goodness

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Garden - 1 (1)When I am not adventuring outdoors with the kids, I find myself in the garden or kitchen.   August is the season for canning

and preserving.   So far I have put up dilly beans, cucumber dills, pickled beets and peach salsa.  I have been harvesting and drying chives, basil, oregano, rosemary, dill and cilantro.  The garden raspberries have started to produce and soon we will have red tomatoes.  Along with all of the preserving, we are enjoying eating right from the garden.

We are very pleased with our garden bounty!






This is the way I love to do summer.

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Here are just a few snapshots from a lovely weekend exploring Voyageur's National Park.  With base camp at Nana & Papa's island home on Crane Lake we spent time this weekend exploring familiar places in Voyageur National Park with our children.     We went home with walleye, blueberries and sun tinted skin.  

A perfect summer weekend!


the garden, the blues and the bees

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6:27 3After several days of cool weather and rain (Sunday we fired up our wood stove it was so cold), we finally had a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors.  We filled it up with a morning outing to a nearby beach then more time outdoors at home, whereas this mama tended to the garden and bees then hiked up our back ridge with the kids in search of ripe berries.  I usually find a few blues before the 4th of July, last year at this time we found a few more than we did today, but we did find some!   It has been a great day to experience the sunshine.


In the Garden & In the Kitchen - Mid August

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Oh August, a month of abundance!  

This month is delivering an abundance of garden (work and harvest), preserving, gatherings with friends and family -and lots of lake time.   We have been so busy, but in a full, rich and wonderful way.   August, has its moments, but overall it is a wonderful time to be.