Wednesday, January 27, 2016

my momma will always be 29 years old to me.
~she turned 30 and then she was gone.

today is her 80th birthday.

my mom has been on my mind so much since 2016 started
 and i realized that this was the year she would have
had this big birthday. 

 sometimes i wonder what she would have been like.

here's some of what i know about laura belle baldwin froman~

my mother and her twin dora, were born at
home on january 27, 1936.
mom was born first and her twin came as a surprise to the world,
as my gram had no prenatal care. (can you imagine that?)

by the time my mom was 29 she'd had
enormous fun growing up with 6 siblings, adventures working
in the wild west and a chance to go to
nursing school thanks to generous benefactors.
while in college my mom fell in love,
then married and had her 4 children.

my mom started having health problems when she
was 26 and ultimately a brain tumor ended her
 life just two weeks after she turned 30.

much of what i know about my mom has been told to me by others.
my mom was a pretty brunette. 
people tell me she was patient and loving.
she was compassionate, kind and a fun person to be around.
mom had a deep faith in God and being a mom was her greatest joy.
 i think she loved my father until the day she died 
even though he turned out to be a irresponsible schmuck.
(seriously~ just going to leave that at that).

i am thankful that all of my mom's siblings have been
a huge part of my life & her two dear sisters have given me
an idea of the person she would have been.
*from what i know about my mother i'm certain she loved us fiercely and
would have enriched my life in ways i can't even imagine.

on thursday i stood in front of the greeting cards to pick out a
birthday card for mom's twin dora. 
i found a good one and put it in my cart.
i started to walk away and then suddenly i had
the urge to go back and look at the birthday cards for moms.

i never got to buy a card for my mom.
not a single mother's day or birthday card.
(and i love cards) : )
so... i went back and i read a whole bunch of 
those beautiful cards.
i guess it just made my heart happy to imagine which one i would
have picked out if she was still with us.
 i walked away a little melancholy, but also grateful to have been her daughter and 
profoundly thankful that she was my mother.

happy birthday mom,

xo, beth

Saturday, January 23, 2016


i made soup this week and it was soo yummy i'm going to share the recipe.
i love chicken soup, but it does get a little boring on repeat, don't you think?

this is shauna niequist's recipe and i'd like to personally
thank her for it. (so shauna, if you're reading this and would like to
either invite me over, or come to mpls. let me know).


2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped carrots, 1 cup chopped celery

3 tbsp. olive oil (i think i'll use butter next time)

3 cloves garlic

6 cups chicken broth

half cup of brown rice

2 cups chicken cooked and shredded (opt.-but duh-yes!)

1/4 cup of juice from fresh lemons

4 sprigs fresh dill-chopped

salt and pepper to taste.

in a big pot saute' the carrots, celery and onions until soft and add the garlic.
then add the broth and uncooked rice, S & P and cook until rice is about 5 minutes
from being done. now- add the chicken, lemon juice and dill and cook another
5-10 minutes.

it's amazing!
i wasn't the only family member that thought so either.
: )

* it's just really interesting with the lemon and dill
jazzin it up. i made it on a whim so i even
used bottled lemon juice and dehydrated dill.
next time i'll plan to have those on hand and
it'll probably be even better!

 if you're reading this on the east coast, be safe,
us minnesotans are used to a lot of snow but I know you're not
~sooo, maybe make a pot of soup and stay warm!

xo, beth

Monday, January 18, 2016

it snowed last week

i'm like a kid when the weatherman predicts snow...
i go to bed full of anticipation and if i should wake up in the
middle of the night, i go to the living room and look out the window to see
 if it's started.
if it has i stand there for awhile, looking out by the street light
 in awe of the beauty.

well it snowed last week and because i was awake at about 3 a.m. 
and saw it coming down, i knew exactly what i was going 
to do when i got up.

as soon as it got light, i made coffee, 
put on boots~ grabbed my camera and headed out to
take pictures.


all of these photos were taken between my house and excelsior.
*3 miles of winter wonder*

i drove by this gal sweeping off her car and she cracked me up-
she had on a summer type white straw hat, her big old coat and
nothing like "brooming off " your car in
practically bare feet. i drove past and then with a long
lens turned around and got the shot. you may as
well accept that if you live near me, you are fair game.
* paparazzi have a job to do and we take it seriously.
we are here to tell stories and report the news.

this hammock covered in snow was my favorite pic of the morning~
that one fall leaf still hanging on~ aaahhh

it was still snowing by the way~

look through the branches~ see the cool retro camper, turned fish house on the lake?

kind of always feel sorry for robins still here in the snow. aren't they
supposed to fly south?

the following day it got warm. the kind of warm that provides perfect 
snow for building a snowman. 
never pass up an opportunity to make a snowman if you've got
15 spare minutes and perfect snow.

i had a carrot from the garden for the nose and just walked around
the yard with a snippers and cut things from the garden for
the rest of the features~then i plopped a clay pot full of
birdseed on the top of her head for the critters.
*don't think a single one has discovered it yet though.
(theo could raid this instead of terrorizing my hanging birdfeeders).


when night came i noticed how pretty the snow looked on the
cafe' lights on the deck

love me some good old minnesota snow,

xo, b.

p.s. i watched a really good movie last night.
it was ASHBY. 
have you seen it? heard of it? what did you think?
i hadn't heard of it and i'm still thinking about it....

Thursday, January 14, 2016

book club Christmas gatherings have become super special thanks to our
friend/hostess with the mostess, jill.

our monthly evening together doesn't usually include dinner,
but jill has set an amazing table, cooked for us and delighted us with
an evening in their warm, cozy home at Christmas for several years now.

2016 started the 17th year our group has been meeting to read books
and talk about life.

lately we talk more than we read, but whatev's...i don't care and i don't think the others do either.
 it's our reason to see each other once a month
: )

sometimes we bring a little prize for the other ladies, and this is what i came up
with this year. i found clear glass vases at bachmans that said "Merry Christmas" on them 
a while ago. i wasn't quite sure what i was going to put in them,
but i knew i could come up with something.

a candle seems a little boring, so i picked up big pink roses and
added some greens to each vase and threw in a tealight for later use,
bagged them up in cello and tied them with a ribbon.

jill picks a theme and goes all out with it when decorating each year and this
year did not disappoint. as you know by now, i too love lodge/cabin style decorating
and that was the look!
*jill's usual style is more glamourous, so it was really unexpected and fun to see
how creative she was with this woodsy look too.

i'm mad about plaid and bottle brush trees ~ so eeeeekkkk~ i loved this! 

aren't all the fairy lights wrapped through old glass and st. nicks pretty?

kinda died over this photo of jill, on santa's lap as a child~ 

another amazing detail were the real wood chargers. i loved how
they played off her new recycled glass dinnerware.

a shot of the living room with a twinkly wreath in the window and more
buffalo plaid.

jill's kitchen and family room are magazine worthy too~

*hello sassy fox painting*

jill and kev always update things around their house, no 1980's light fixtures for
these two. aren't their new fixtures fab-u-louso?

lucky us!!! jill had one of these black lanterns with a birch candle holder inside
for each of us! (plus other goodies~~ i know, right? like i said, lucky us).

jill's cutout sugar cookies are a work of art.
(and delicious too!)



 i love and appreciate all the effort you put into these wonderful evenings jilly,
thank you again! 

xo beth

Saturday, January 9, 2016

there are several moments that stand out as favorites
from our families Christmas up north~
 walking out on dec. 23rd to cut a tree from our own
woods with my sweetie and my oldest, is for sure one of them.

what is Christmas without a tree?
lars and eric and i laced up our boots and with the two dogs 
headed out to find that tree.
we have a lot of areas where the trees are growing too
close to one another, so we knew we could find one
that we didn't feel too bad about bringing in the lodge.

        eric cut this little charlie brown tree that was growing sideways and i gave it a place of honor outside the front door~

                                                   we decided this was the one and lars proceeded to chop it down~

                always looking for a good photo, i yelled " guys stop" so i could get a picture. : )

here she is, tall and sparse but beautiful and easy to decorate... so lodge like.

~here with the wood stove going, is my favorite place to curl up with a cup of
something warm and a good book or magazine.

eric bought a snow mobile last year and we had no snow. : \
although there isn't a lot yet, he had to race around on it-scaring his mother.
boys will be boys.
 duke sat watching, and i think he was scared too,
he loves eric almost as much as i do. : )

can you tell he was "whipping?"

the larsons have a couple of long standing Christmas food traditions,
we make potato klub, and we also have a big old sea food dinner.
(can you say 2 lbs. of melted butter?) eric was helping me grind
the potatoes for the klub here.

oh and i have been making this cinnamon bread for about 20 years...

lars gets up way before the rest of us and likes to make us breakfast~

the Christmas Day crime scene.

did you step outside to see the full moon on the 25th? 

not sure why the newlyweds were smooching, but aren't they cute?

our Christmas Boy!!!!
my "baby" was born on dec. 25th, 27 years ago.

we gave him his first ever grown up camera~ a nikon and he was
pretty darned excited. now he and i can both be yelling, "guys stop"!
(actually one of the first things he said to the fam was, "i promise i won't
always have a camera in your face like mom" and then laughed wickedly.)
: )

vanna preparing Christmas morning mimosas

this is sarah.
 cole likes her. we like her too.
don't mess with her though~ she crossfits & she could hurt you.

thank you dairy queen for always making cole's b-day cake!

 cole doesn't want gifts for his birthday. again this year he said
 "all i want for my birthday
 is for our family to go ice fishing together".
so on dec. 26th we were off to leech lake.

in case you haven't heard, (it was practically on the 6 o'clock news)
through this 12 " hole in the ice~ your's truly caught the biggest fish
of the day and of my life!

i'm even going to humble myself and put this bad photo up for you to see.
my phone had died, so for proof i had to try take a selfie with my real camera.

*when trying to visualize this monster's true size, keep in mind that i have a very big head.


our family doesn't dress up for holidays.
we're just simple people with simple tastes.
(redneck you say? probably).
we don't care if our hair is a mess and there are a couple dudes who chew tobacco.
we just like being together and because we were, Christmas felt perfect.

other favorite things about our long Christmas weekend:

*all the help in the kitchen from my family
*a sweet surprise gift, from my girl
*the big full moon and warm temps that made being outside extra fun
*my big fish
*hearing my kids tease and laugh with (and at) each other
*duke falling in love with chris on Christmas day, tee hee
*the food, oh the food!
*a nice long walk with my sweetie after all the kids left.
*eric turning around and backtracking an hour and a half  to rescue cole and sarah 
when they had car trouble getting back to the city. (eric to the rescue)!!! 

it's january now~ a new year, full of possibilities.

here's to a year of blessings for all of you,

xo beth