Sunday, September 30, 2012



 have you ever heard the song oh heavenly day ?
   that's how i'm feeling this morning. that "i just crawled out of a tent in the woods" feeling.
                                                i'm.  in. love. with. nature.

the song  oh heavenly day   is playing on my stereo and i've had my first cup of vanilla/mocha coffee, a bagel and my whole lazy sunday is stretched out in front of me.

i can't quite decide what to do first i'm so in love with this day. because i had company (twice) : ) this last week, my house is all polished up and i have nothing i really HAVE to do today. i do know this, as soon as i wrap up this post, i will put on my yoga pants, a t-shirt, flip flops and strap my camera around my neck, i'm going to put a buff head band in my hair- make another cup of something warm and i'm heading out into the world to capture some pictures of this day.

 i want to freeze it. i want pictures to look back at when the world goes all white and these golden leaves and still waters are frozen up solid.
i just finished reading the book WILD by cheryl strayed and it left
a deep impression on me.
cheryl's mom died at 45 and it left her lost. so lost that she
literally threw her life away. she was headed on a collision
course until she picked up a brochure about hiking the
pacific coast trail and on a crazy, desperate whim decided to do it.
1100 death defying miles~ all alone.
those 1100 miles changed her and helped her reclaim her life.
growing up without my mom was hard in a way no one who hasn't lived it
could ever understand. i understood some of what cheryl felt and i loved her book.
today when i am outdoors, i will think of her and what she accomplished on that hike
and i will be thankful to her for writing the words in her book that
moved me so.
today is a be-YOU-tiful day
i feel blessed and happy
and kind of like crying.
(i cry almost every day, not because i'm sad, but because life is
short and  oh-so beautiful)
life is good my friends-
soak it up.
i hope you have some time today to
go to your happy place, whether it be listening to a song
on your ipod, a walk kickin' leaves
or a meal around a table
shared with people
who love you.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

                                          we are past hump's THURSDAY!

                                                  the leaves around chanhassen
                                                    are at the peak of their pretty...

                                     here's a picture of the ravine right behind my
                                              casa from a few falls ago~ it's just
                                                      as stunning this year.

                                            way to show off Fall....i love you~


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

tonight 7 of my dear pals are coming over for book club.
the 8 of us have been gathering in each others homes,
once a month for over 10 years now.
we've read some pretty great books-
and we've also tryed some really worthless ones.
i decided about 5 years in that if i was
reading a book club suggestion and
didn't care for it i wasn't going
to spend any more of my precious reading time
soldiering though it because i ALWAYS
have a stack of books i can't wait to get my
grubby little hands on. i'm reading this month's
selection (WILD by cheryl strayed) on
a friends you have one? i think it's
on my christmas wish list!
i used to think i would write a book someday.
now i'm thinking maybe more of a short story~
or an article for a magazine... my life's work may actually just be a poem~
don't laugh, i can write really funny poems, just ask maggie!
i'm running out of time and should start on it though don't you think?
would it justify me retiring from my job? don't writers need long quiet days to
just sit by the sea and ponder?

Monday, September 24, 2012

g' morning~

late yesterday i was looking through the whole summers worth of photos and getting ready to order some in print (i know- who does that anymore---well me! i cannot stand the thought of my future generations having no photos to hold in their hands- let's face it- technology is changing so fast that even if you back them up on a disc or a thumb drive- who will be able to access them in 40 years?)

i found this photo of me with some FABULOUS deals from a yard sale and i don't think i've shared it-

 all these fabulous finds were from one sale- except the hand painted deer tray -which i got at a yard sale on the north shore of lake superior. the green basket is now  up at the lodge- full of kitcheny stuff and the topiary is on my long kitchen counter there as well. the black mirror is in my bedroom up north and see the yummy dark green wool scarf ? -it's over a rocker. the long black wooden tray is full of acorns and bittersweet on a coffee table. 

 i have had more fun than you can imagine furnishing our lodge with almost all resale items. it makes it feel more lived in up there- like we already have a history- some depth and substance to our furnishings. now that fall is here i am cozying things up like crazy- with plaid wool blankets and quilts, all kinds of gifts from nature-like acorns, red leaves, orange mushrooms and dried flowers. it's our little slice of heaven.

here's a few more peeks at some great new/old finds from the occasional sales in chaska last week:

these unique steak knives ($4) were made in england (as was my gr. grandfather!) i could not resist the little wooden match box with a dog on it. the rugged leather case ($6) was for binoculars. i think i'll store photographs in it. the blanket is dreamy and i have a thing about things with faces on them. if your decorating feels a bit flat- after working in and then owning my own home decor store i've gotta tell you that adding something with a face on it will make your space feel more alive! this curious little wooden bird had a shiny finish so i picked it up and then set it back down and started to walk away, then had an ah-ha moment and got him. i came home and lightly sanded down the finish and now i can't believe i almost passed on him- ($2).

when you were growing up did your mom or grandma have any of these pretty dishes? they are johnson brothers and again, made in england. my gram had some and i was always fascinated by the scenes on them. i also found an old tin recipe box for up north-which i now need, cause i am copying some of my most used recipes to bring up there- girlfriend can't be hauling recipes back and forth right???

                                                    isn't the label on it fun?

this old cowbell was my favorite find of the day....someone else was looking at it and talking to their wife about it and it stopped me in it's tracks...i willed him to put it down and when he did i wasted no time in trying to look casual as i strolled over to it and picked it up-expecting it to be about $26.....IT WAS $4 and MINE!  : )   it's hand forged and check out the other side~

i thought briefly about gifting it to my sister, but sorry sis- i'm keepin it. if i die first tho-that baby is yours!!!!!  (it would look so perfect with your forged iron crosses- insert devilish laugh). i know my sis was at a farm auction and got a plethora of cool old finds yesterday too, so i don't feel so bad.

                                                do you love old stuff?
                                   i like thinking of the history behind them- of
                                   the people who came before me who used
                                    the things and loved them. our hunting
                                 lodge is the perfect place for these things i think-
                                       - because the lodge is only 6 years old
                                     i'm having fun decorating in such a way
                                            that gives it a homey feeling
                                             -not just a pole barn feeling.

my gram (who was my mom for most of my life) loved old junk. she was one of the original
junkers. she could see beauty in the crustiest old finds and liking antiques was NOT in style
when she was doing it. she would have loved the occasional sales that are popping up all over and tv shows like american pickers. from her i learned the love of decorating and doing it on a dime...she refinished and reupolstered and caned chairs and canned food and sewed, knitted, painted and wasn't the least bit sad that she couldn't go out and buy everything new. she seemed to have an uncanny appreciation for the simple things in life and i'd like to think she left a little bit of that in me.

                                                      happy monday my friends~

Sunday, September 23, 2012

G I D D Y U P !

i just noticed that i am 2 views away from 8000 on my blog!!!!  i don't know who all you are out there reading my thoughts, but i'd sure LOVE it if you'd become a's not that hard. You just need a google account and they are easy to set up!

having followers makes us bloggers feel special. it does. i love feelin special- don't you?

if you are the first person to leave a comment today i just may reward you with a little something handmade -just say'n.

i love you readers! thanks for caring about what i have to say...



have you discovered either of these yet? well let me suggest you try them! if you like oatmeal then you have to try the irish steel cut variety....costco was sampling it and i loved it. it's got a really nutty texture and i just imagine it grinding through my intestines-scouring  out cholesterol as it goes.... : ) and the tea? tazo's wild sweet orange. um-hmmm even the name sounds yummy doesn't it-and it is. trust me. or don't trust me- come over and i'll make you a bowl and a cup of each.

here's how i make the oatmeal. i keep a 1/4 cup scoop in the can and pour two of them in my bowl. next add just enough water to soak it up- then heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. it's ready for milk and brown or white sugar and anything else your little heart desires.

here's how i make the tea. put water in your favorite cup in the microwave for that same time- 2 minutes- and add the tea bag, steep and drink.

4 tiny little minutes later you are ready for a good and nutritious breakfast. what could be easier?

i know, i am slowly changing your world right?  : )

come back for more life changing tips like these friends- with a whole bunch of other stuff thrown in for good measure~ like pictures of my kids. and my flowers, and my yard sale finds.....

xo, beth

Saturday, September 22, 2012

grouse is not gross~

last weekend was a biggie up north at our cabin...all my hunters have been "more than
excited" about the first hunting season. saturday morning they tried bow hunting for deer and no one got one, but midday they all switched gears and clothes and headed out to grouse hunt. there was a prize for whomever shot the first game at our new place.

i'd like to proudly show you who won:

chip off the old block i tell ya. well- not my block- but maybe her dad's.

all the guys went on to get one or two or three (cole) grouse too but i tell you, it made me momma proud when my daughter was the one to come back to the cabin with supper. i cooked some that night and it was delicious! who knew? i'm not a big fan of wild game- but i really liked grouse. you can't order it in a restaurant either i don't think, so it's a delicacy. now if we just had lobster up there- and a hunting season for that, i'd be ALL ABOUT the hunting- would maybe even consider getting up at the crack of dawn and sitting in a tree to get a lobster for my dinner.

whether you're out hunting for grouse, the perfect pumpkin, some beautiful bittersweet,or fall leaves & acorns to decorate with...good luck, have fun and make it a great weekend!

                                                                  xo, beth

Friday, September 21, 2012

isn't this the truth?
not sure i'd want to live somewhere where you have
to have smooth legs every single nice
day of the year~

Thursday, September 20, 2012

                                                    last weekend up north~

                                                               xo, beth

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


today is my daughter's birthday . she came into this world a week overdue,
 weighing just 5 lb.10 oz.

when i was carrying her i was scared a lot. it was my third pregnancy and i had lost baby #2 in my second trimester. with my first pregnancy i felt great and everything was about as normal as it could be. that baby moved a lot and my belly grew at a normal rate- not with my baby girls pregnancy though. she was a peaceful babe' in utero- so much so that i was seriously afraid that she had no arms or legs. i almost never felt movement. my belly was so tiny that woman would ask how far along i was and then gasp in shock and say "oh no way- there can't be a baby in there". i think veteran mommas thought they were giving me a compliment- when in fact it struck terror in my heart.

my ob doctor did not do routine ultrasounds and i think i was way too young and scared and insecure to really pour out my heart and tell him how terrified i was. i kept it to myself-not daring to speak out loud my worst fears-for fear speaking them would somehow make them come true.

on the day our adria was born, her daddy- being the good daddy he was, loaded up our 3 yr. old and started for the hospital. we got to a T in the road and the hospital was to the left. for the first time EVER he turned right. I gasped out between a serious contraction "WHERE... ARE YOU GOING"??? to which he replied- "oh i was going to show eric the elephants". there had been a circus in town the night before and he had spotted the elephants outside a big building to our right. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" i said (very kindly i'm sure) "we need to get to the hospital now"!

we arrived at the hospital about 7 minutes later and while lars parked the car, they got me in a wheelchair and up to my room and our baby girl waited only about 18 more minutes before making her entrance into our lives.

i was expecting a peaceful baby remember~ she was as quiet as a little mouse inside me. well she was just storing up her energy friends. that teeny tiny, almost preemie like papoose girl took her first breath and has been a bundle of hilarious "charged up energy and fun" for all the years since.

she had all 4 arms and legs oh yes she did and she was beautiful. she had these big blue eyes, a crown of fuzzy duckling hair and the tiniest little belly button you've ever seen. you see- she was in distress inside of me. her umbilical cord was drying up. (can't remember the name for the condition), she had almost lost her life line,  but-she didn't and she came gently into our lives safe and sound~started crying and our lives have never been the same.

i love you fiercely 
 adria dawn,

happy birthday

Thursday, September 13, 2012

you realize this right?

sometimes we need reminding.
look around you-look for the good.
when i write in my gratitude journal at the
end of the day i am reminded again and
again of the wonders.
sometimes they are small and if the
day has been "trying" i have to look harder
but i am not kidding when i say that
no matter the circumstances,
if you choose to see the sunny side~
you will find it.
p.s. one of my favorite things to do is to
smile at people you meet when driving.
it just might make their day, who knows?
~at the very least it will leave them
wondering what i'm up to! tee hee
*keep your sunny side up*
  xo, beth

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

inspiration for today


                          yesterday it was 95 degrees but  i'm in the mood for soup. this is a
                                       cajun shrimp recipe...umm, yes i think i'll try it!

                                  i love this idea for a family Christmas card photo~
                  we could do it...we'd just need cute clothes,a calm dog, cooperative kids
                                                   and a perfect day.  : )

    this is a deer stand on our land.
 if you don't live with a houseful of hunters
               you've maybe never seen one up close. this weekend is the official opening
                    of deer and grouse hunting up north. i am the only non-hunter in our
                 family. that means they will all be out in the glorious woods- doing their "thing".
                       i will be in the lodge, making soup, birthday cake and perhaps reading.
       when the guns are put away, i will be out in the woods too-
          walking and gathering pretty things on the paths. i want
        to plant some bittersweet so next fall i can gather those
            gorgeous orange berries on our own land.

                                                  FALL. I LOVE YOU.


Monday, September 10, 2012

35 years goes fast~

where does a lifetime go? in one week i will have been married 35 years. and i am only 54. sheesh~

is it really true? am i really 54? in the blink of an eye- in the dark of the night, in my wildest imagination i didn't know that life would pass so quickly. because it's going by so fast, i don't want to waste a single day. i don't want to have regrets and i believe that's the true beauty of growing older, the desire to live with no regrets. i want to leave this world feeling like i tried not to hurt people, like i did my best to be kind. i tried very hard to teach my children the golden rule- "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". we are all so very much the same inside and that means we all just want to feel loved.

this weekend my hubbie and i went to the north shore. it's where we spent our honeymoon in the days when your honeymoon usually consisted of going far far away from your parents- somewhere exotic- somewhere like duluth mn. 
neither of us had ever been there before and we felt very adventurous.
we revisited duluth this weekend, 35 years later- almost our whole lives spent together, this man and i. we grew up together and married young-neither one of us having dated anyone else-ever. it's pretty rare that we're still together-and it's been mostly really good these years we've walked side by side. we've had a couple scary rough patches and we've worked hard to smooth them out again. that's what it's all about. the growing up and changing and not giving up.

 i am so very thankful to have been loved by this boy- this boy who's loved me since he was 15. this boy who's loved me with his whole heart, who's encouraged me to be the best that i can be and supported me in countless, countless ways. i am indeed blessed.

                                                              friday night
                                       the duluth lift bridge, all lit up

               the morning sun off our deck

i was in the bathroom getting ready and lars came and said, "hey there is a italian man serenading you off the balcony"... well, sure enough there was and i stood and giggled. it was very cool indeed. : )

              we took a long walk towards town and ended up at
    the lief erickson rose gardens- a little slice of heaven~
on the way back we hiked down the rocks to search for
beach glass---- (later that afternoon we did the same thing
and nearly killed ourselves, both falling down
the same slippery slope!)

what is it about these little gifts from the sea that make me
sooooo happy? i have a bowl full from
various trips and this weekend's bounty
overflowed it (my cup runneth over), so
i had to start a second vessel : )

walking back we got caught in a downpour,
good thing girlfriend loves a good downpour.

i know you aren't supposed to pick the flowers, but
hey my grama used to sneak one here and there and
i could not resist.

the hillsides were going all golden-so beautiful~


the nice parking attendant lady offered
to take our picture... right before she
wrote us a ticket. we hadn't sinned, our
ticket had just slipped down on the dash!

sunday morning we biked down to the canal.
it was a beautiful ride. see the picture above?
the farthest point on the right is
where we biked from- hubs napped while i
dug in the sand.
(pretty sure even tho he loves me, that
he wanted to kill me for snoring so loudly he didn't
sleep the night before).
loved my weekend, adore my husband, got my peace back-
i made a promise to myself to get my
house cleaned today remember?
it's time.

p.s. today is my grandson's 13th birthday
he is the sweetest boy on the planet earth-
so thankful for him.

xo, beth


Friday, September 7, 2012

p e a c e

                i have felt frazzled this week.

frazzled does not work for me. i avoid it whenever i can and try to listen to my heart. if i am frazzled everything else starts to fray.

the kitchen is a mess and there is a bad smell i can't seem to find the source of~

my bag isn't even unpacked from last weekend- it's sitting in the hallway and it's thursday~

my sweetie needs clean socks~

i forgot to mail the things that should have been sent this morning~

what i'm trying to say here is this: it's been a week.

there has been family stress and i am working longer hours because we are in our busiest season of the year- we are gone most weekends and i don't seem to get caught up at home...

but i am surrounded by blessings and i am going to make a big ol' effort to get centered this weekend. i am fiercely protective of my peace. mess with my peace and you mess with the whole darned trailer park.

                                                         so...this weekend
i'm going to go for a couple long walks along the shores of lake superior with my hubbie, wear a hooded sweatshirt, sit by a bonfire and read magazines and i'm not cooking- at all.
then i am going to come home sunday and whip this house into shape, *and get to the bottom of that wretched smell. 

i'm going to light candles and send a few thank you notes. i am going to write in my journal of 1000 gifts again- i am going to go out searching for beauty in all the small places and photograph it.

i love fall. i wait all year for it and the shorter days signal it's here. our deck is covered with leaves already.

    hello fatty catty- how cute are you napping in the sun?

                   here's to a weekend of renewal
                        for me and for you!

                              xo, beth 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

a plate full of paint

can i tell you a little bit about my daughter?

she is smart and she is beautiful. she is fiercely loyal and independent. she accepts people and she loves dogs. she practices yoga, plays piano, hunts and fishes.
 she is also in love and she is busy and we don't spend a whole lot of time together-so when my mother's day gift was a painting class for us "together" this momma could not have been more excited.

last week we took that class. we sat side by side and we listened to the instructor tell us how to
paint a painting. we had to mix our own colors and in the end-although our paintings were similar, i was amazed at how our unique personalities and ages came through.

here we are, all blank canvas and paper plates with primary colored paints set out in front of us excited and a little nervous. 
aprons were provided, but girlfriend brought her own fabulous one
there were at least 40 girls lined up painting their hearts out- and there were 40 very different versions of the painting at the end of the night. i liked every. single. one of them.

                                                  this was the simple beginning

                this is how each of ours started to come together~  and then 2.5 hours later...

                                                                bravo, bravissima!

it was such a fun evening...i'd do it again in a heartbeat. if you're reading this adria, thanks so much for one of my favorite gifts ever. you are a gift to me.