Category Archives: Saturday Snapshots

Saturday Snapshot – Why Am I At A Camp For Those Infected and Affected By AIDS?


For today’s Saturday Snapshot I thought I would share with you where I have been this past week.  I am on a Camp Board for a Camp called Camp Benedict.  This camp is an educational camp for those infected and affected by AIDS.  The camp is a family camp, which means we have men, women, and children at camp, and we have people who have obtained AIDS through many different ways:



Blood transfusions (before they tested blood back in the 80’s)

and yes, children born with AIDS


My connection to this camp and cause stems back 5 years, and you can read about it here.  During the year we have a large event and a bike ride to raise money to provide camp for free to those who attend.  The camp is the only one like it in a 6 state range.

Anyhoo… here are some of the pics from this past week:


Cap Benedict, Book Journey

This year was the 20th year of Camp Benedict!




Camp Benedict is an education camp and throughout the week there will be different speakers covering topics like- stigma, health, medications, laws, men’s groups and women’s groups.



We bring in experts on different topics and from different agencies to help answer questions.


While the adults are in classes, the kids have their own things going on with Camp K staff. They also have their own classes where they learn about AIDS and about how to be supportive of their parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc…

Camp Benedict

The camp provided meals and snacks.


Camp Benedict, Book Journey

Of course camp is not all work and study – it is after all… camp. :) From lunch time (noon) to 5:30 (dinner time) is free time and the camp provides water sports, horse back riding, massage, Reiki, pontoon rides, and a trip to the Dairy Queen. Or – you can do as I did… sit in the warm sun read a bit and take a nap :)


Camp Benedict, Book Journey

On the first day of camp we all wrote down words associated with what we thought when we first heard about AIDS. We put those words in a box and on the last evening of camp we burned those words.


Camp benedict, Book Journey

On the last night we have a closing ceremony and then we have KARAOKE and a dance for all the campers. It was so fun to watch the little kids!



Our DJ this year was fantastic and she really provided fun things that involved all ages


Jason Hatton, Book Journey, Camp Benedict

Friendships are built in that week of camp. Jason has been to camp three times. It’s always great to see old friends and make new ones too!



It is tradition at camp that on the last day as the bus leaves the camp K staff builds a pyramid to wave off the campers.



Camp Benedict, Book Journey

The close of Camp Benedict 2014.


So why am I a part of this camp?  I LOVE what it is doing.  I love Connie Statz, the woman who bravely 20 years ago had an idea for a way to support others with AIDS and she ran with her vision and this that I just showed you – is the AMAZING result.  I love working with this board of people all striving to encourage, support, and teach.  And I love the campers, I enjoy getting to know people throughout the week, listening to their stories and knowing that I am helping to provide a good take-away from them hanging out at this beautiful camp.

Thanks everyone who serves on the Camp Benedict Board and Friends of Camp Benedict.  Thanks to the camp staff, and of course to all the campers who travel from all over to have a week at a beautiful camp and hopefully leave with a great experience.

If you would like to support Camp Benedict, here is a link to my support page where I raise funds for the bike ride in August which goes directly to the camp.


Be sure to check out other Saturday Snaphot posts ans see what everyone else is taking pictures of this week :D

Morning Meanderings: Awkward Moments At The Book Expo


Good morning from New York!  I have not dropped off the face of the earth, I have just been running from morning to night at the Book Expo in New York.

I have MANY things to share with you once I come home about the expo, the books, the people, the events…  but for now… just a funny little story and a couple of pics for Saturday Snapshot. :)

So… on Wednesday at the Blogger Convention, author Maureen Johnson was the keynote speaker.  At the beginning of her talk she mentions the book 50 Shades Of Gray.  Alison from Alison’s Book Marks and I have a joke about that book so I put on Twitter “20 minutes in and already a mention of 50 Shades Of Gray” and tagged Alison.  (I did not realize due to poor internet reception that this tweet did not post but went into drafts instead.)

Anyhoo…. flash forward to yesterday morning and Alison and I are at the Children’s breakfast which was AMAZING with moderator, Jason Segel. (Yes!  That Jason Segel!) I put on Twitter that I am at the Children’s Breakfast at the book expo.   Then Twitter pops up on my phone and says

“you have drafts to send would you like to send them now?”


I click yes… and before I know it, following my “I am at the Children’s Breakfast at the book Expo” tweet is…

“20 minutes in and already a mention of 50 Shades Of Gray” 





Anyhoo… today is my last day at the expo.  I am heading that way in about an hour to wrap up a few things but for my Saturday Snapshot post I thought I would send a couple of pics your way….  also, please see my posts at Armchair BEA where I have interviewed a couple of authors and publishing houses. :D

zombie, New York, Book Expo, BookJourney, Sheila DeChantal

Outside… across form our hotel? Should I be worried? Is there where watching The Walking Dead pays off?


Harper Collins, Book Journey, Book Expo, Sheila DeChantal, Adriana Trigiani, Dorothy Benotn Frank, Stephanie Evanovich

The Harper Collins Blogger Party… from the left: Dorothy Benton Frank, me, Adriana Trigiani, and Stephanie Evanovich. Made my night!



Streets of New York


New York, Book Expo, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

Walking back to our hotel – with (center) Alison from Alison’s Book Marks and (right) Candace from Beth Fish Reads


Catch you back in Minnesota!

Morning Meanderings… The End Of An Era


Saturday the 24th!  Egads…. in three days I will be on a plane for New York.  I feel like I have so much to do yet… shopping for me, shopping for the hubby, pedicure…..

If you have been following what has been happening here lately you know that tomorrow we are moving out of our current office space into a building we purchased.  YAY about our first building!!!  But…. if I were honest, I am a little sad too to leave the space I have worked in for the past 10 years.  My focus today for Saturday Snapshot is my office, as it looked this morning when I popped in.


This (above) is my desk.  Our office was in an old school, we officed out of the school library.  I find that poetic. ;)  As you can see my computer is gone, my phone is gone and the shelves are bare.



Here is the other side of my desk.  My chair has a label on it saying it goes with my desk.  Every box is labeled “Sheila’s Desk”, Dawn’s Desk”, Office storage”, etc…


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This is the rest of the library space in the “throws” of being packed up.



Empty shelves have always bothered me…..  ;)


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This is the center space where all the Pastoral staff worked.  This is the cubicles that will be taken down tomorrow afternoon and moved to the new space.



This is the desk across from mine, my co-workers desk.  This is the original Librarians desk with a new front on it to match my desk that was built and placed in that space.


My job is a Family Life Administrator.  I work with the Children’s and Student (Teen’s) Pastor as well as the Connections Pastor.  What does that mean?  I keep track of classes, run all paper work for the three of them, contact people and keep on-line groups of people interested in studies, marriage classes, child dedication, baptism, membership.  I am also the Special Events Coordinator and I plan out events like a Fall Kick Off Party, summer picnic…   I really enjoy what I do.


Add your pics to the Saturday Snapshot meme by clicking on the link and going to West Metro Mommy’s blog.  You can also see what others are taking pictures of around the world.

I… am now heading outside to finish mowing.  In about an hour friends are coming over and we are going motor cycle riding with them this afternoon.  As busy as I am now, the break and hanging with friends is a welcome one. :)


Stay safe everyone this Memorial weekend.  Any fun plans?






Literacy Events and Plenty Of Cake


Happy Saturday!  Really!  The sun is shining in central Minnesota and I think I will actually be able to mow today which I LOVE!  (Mowing = audio time) :D

If you read my morning post yesterday I listed some bookish things I was doing with my day.  My friend Gail and I went to help out a struggling lending library that was lacking books.  It was a fun little road trip with coffee and scones (thanks Gail!)  The owner had put out an s.o.s. on Facebook and he said the post received over 4,000 hits!  Our community passed the word and he said books had been coming in.  Between Gail and I, I believe we brought them another 40-50 books. 


The books I gave to the lending library




This is on the side of the lending library that sits outside Zaiser’s in NIsswa.


Then yesterday afternoon The Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library were part of a Literacy Award for our Community College where the author Jon Hassler, once taught.  Jon wrote many books from adult fiction and non fiction to children’s stories.  He is most known for Staggerford, which was also Jon’s first book, about a week in the life of a teacher in a fictional small town in Minnesota. His books have been said to be filled with a lot of action or major happenings, but more like the Mittford series by Jan Karon or the Debbie MaComber series.  


The friends handled the reception of the event with trays of goodies and cake and coffee





This is the 5th Literary Landmark for Minnesota – YAY!  The others are:

  • Boyhood home of Sinclair Lewis, Sauk Centre, Minn. Harry Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) spent his formative years in this home. He was an American novelist, short story writer, and playwright who became the first writer from the United States to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American society and capitalist values, as well as for their strong characterizations of working women. Partners: Minnesota Association of Library Friends, Sinclair Lewis Foundation. Dedicated July 16, 2013.  

  • Betsy’s House, Mankato, Minn. The childhood home of Maud Hart Lovelace was dedicated along with the childhood home of her best friend, Frances “Bick” Kenney. Lovelace’s series of Betsy-Tacy books was based on her and Bick’s adventures growing up in Mankato. Dedicated May 20, 2010. Partner: Betsy-Tacy Society.
  • Tacy’s House, Mankato, Minn. The childhood home of Frances “Bick” Kenney was dedicated along with the childhood home of her best friend, Maud Hart Lovelace. Lovelace’s series of Betsy-Tacy books was based on her and Bick’s adventures growing up in Mankato. Dedicated May 20, 2010. Partner: Betsy-Tacy Society.
  • 481 Laurel Avenue, the birthplace on September 24, 1896 of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, who is internationally renowned for such works as The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night, and This Side of Paradise. Saint Paul, MN. Dedicated September 24, 2004. Partner: The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library


*as seen on the United For Libraries page, Literary Landmarks by State.


It was awesome to be a part of this event.  I was there along with a few hard-working Friends of Our Library – Gail, Laura, and Jolene from our Library in Brainerd. 


I have posted this to Saturday Snapshots.  Pop over and see what other photos are being posted around the world today :)


Literary Weekend Trip and a Tasty Recipe


I thought this morning I would do a combo post between Saturday Snapshot and Weekend cooking… both memes that I love to participate in as I enjoy taking pictures and trying new things in the kitchen… but dont always have the time to write the posts. :)


Last weekend I ventured to the North Shore to our cabin… just me and my dog with the plan to do a little spring cleaning, a little reading and movie watching and just wind down… before spring really hits and life winds up and I go go go!


Large left: the tunnel by Two Harbors Top two right: Just fun things between Duluth and the North Shore Bottom two right: Road as you drive into the rocky terrain, this road was actually blasted through the rock to be made, and the far bottom right is the outside wall of the famous Glensheen mansion, I have toured it many times.



Sammy made the trip with me. We made a pit stop in Two Harbors for frozen custard.


While at the cabin in Finland Minnesota I read two books and watched three movies.  It felt great :)  I never have time to do things like that.


To post your own pics, or to see others and what they are posting this weekend… check out Saturday Snapshot.



Switching gears, a friend of mine hooked me up with a tasty little recipe I would like to share for weekend cooking.  Like reubens?  This you will LOVE.


Reuben Roll

1 tube Pillsbury Pizza Dough
1/4 cup thousand island dressing, + 2 tbsp for top
1/4 pound sliced corned beef or pastromi deli meat, chopped up (I used deli turkey as I am not a fan of corned been or pastrami)
3/4 cup Sauerkraut, drained and squeezed dry
2 cups grated Swiss cheese, + 1/2 cup for top


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Unroll the Pillsbury pizza dough on a greased baking sheet. Press to about 14 inches x 9 inches. Bake for 8 minutes then remove from oven. Spread the 1/4 cup of thousand island dressing over the crust, all the way to the edges. Top with the chopped corned beef, drained sauerkraut, and 2 cups of Swiss cheese. Carefully roll up the pizza into a tube. Place the pizza roll into a 9×5 inch loaf pan, seam side down.
Drizzle the top with the remaining thousand island dressing and shredded cheese. Continue baking for 10-12 minutes longer or until cheese is bubbly in the center. Carefully remove from pan and slice to serve. Enjoy!


It was delicious – I made it this past week for hubby and I and we both really enjoyed it.

See other fun recipes to try (and I have found more than a few!) by checking out Weekend Cooking.







Morning Meanderings.. “Agate Vines”



Good morning!  Hope everyone is doing SUPER FINE this happy Saturday :)  We had a bit of sunshine yesterday that melted away Thursday snow storm so I am looking forward (*hopefully* fingers crossed*) to no more snow.

Yesterday evening, our Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library helped to host a local artist who had recently created original lights to go over the circulation desk.  Today I thought I would share that for Saturday Snapshot.


I have known Greg Rosenberg for many years now.  Until recently, his business was located downstairs from the office I work at.  Occasionally I would pop in to see what he was working on.  Greg works with stained glass, metal, and yes – agates, to create original art works.  Here is one of his many lamps he has made:

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Gorgeous yes? 

Here are pictures from last nights event:


Other artists spoke regarding the importance of art in our community and Greg spoke about the lights and the inspiration behind them.


It was a good turn out. About 35 people came to see the lights and celebrate with Greg.


The Friends of the Library served cake….



and Lily had made a tasty beverage with apple juice, 7 up, lemon juice and real ginger.


The lights as you can see, each hang from a metal “root base”. They hook into the base. Each one is unique and as you look at them you will find hidden vines, shapes, one even has an extended heart shape agate that comes off the lamp to look like a leaf. The agates are Brazilian Agate and Minnesota. Greg calls the lights “agate vines”


Here is a picture of the lights over the desk. There are 6 in all. Attendees of last nights event had an opportunity to walk behind the circulation desk as well so they could see all sides of the lights.


This is Greg and his wife Margaret standing by the circulation desk.

Greg also made a beautiful window using a mixture of agates and stained glass that sits above the doors into the library from the entryway.  I apparently was too busy talking to people last night and forgot to take a picture of it, but it is another gorgeous original piece.

To see more of Greg’s work, please check out his website at Shining Light Studio.

It was a fun evening!

Morning Meanderings… All For The Bees


Good morning.  Happy Saturday.  I am sooooo excited to have a pretty much “no commitment day”.  It has been about two weeks since I have had one of these.  :D

For Saturday Snapshot today I though it would be fun to bring up something I talked about a couple of years ago but recently revisited…


A couple of years ago my friend Amanda took on the adventure of raising bees and harvesting pure organic honey.  Always fascinated with anything buzzy, shiny… I was in on that deal.  I was thrilled when she invited me over to help her out:


May 2012


By spending a day with her, I learned so much about bees and bee keeping…. for one… it is a heck of a lot of work:


The bee boxes – that she builds herself are filled with slats for bees to build their honey. 


You put the bees into the boxes and they will weave themselves in and out of the slots and trays where they will be making honey.



Every bee box needs a queen and you add her to the box just as seen here, in this little box that will have a marshmallow on the end. In about three days the bees will eat the marshmallow and the Queen will be set free to run her hive.  Crazy and fascinating stuff!  At the time of this picture Amanda was purchasing her queens, but she has since learned to create her own which is a talent not many of the bee people have which gives her a bit of a notch up.


Above I showed you what a new bee box looks like, but this one is a well used box where bees have been busy doing their thing.  In this pic Amanda is looking for the Queen.  II felt a need a to capitalize, after all.. she is the queen. ;)





It has been two years now since Amanda has started and her business is buzzing (sorry couldn’t resist!)  They now have a website called Buck’s Busy Bee’s and she travels between here in Central Minnesota to Florida where her bees are being used to help pollinate fruit trees. 


This past week their family was in a bit of a crisis with the sudden unexpected loss of a grandmother.  Amanda had 15,000 bee frames to make by today to be loaded on a truck that leaves tomorrow morning.  With the additional things going on this week she was unsure how she would ever make it happen.  Myself as well as a whole team of relatives and friends went over to her home on Wednesday and we made bee frames and bee boxes.  I only took one picture while I was there – but I wish I would have taken more of everyone working together to make deadline.  It really was a cool thing to see and I learned something new… how to build the bee box frames.  :D


This is from Amanda’s garage where we built the frames (up close) that go in the boxes (far right).

As the frames are glued… I was covered in it!  It was a good time though and I was happy to help. I hope to get out there more this year and help her.  This fall I will be writing an article about Amanda and the bees for Her Voice magazine.  I am happy to share her story :)



Morning Meanderings… Saturday My Favorite Day Of The Week!


If you read me I think you know I LOVE Saturdays.  Quite often they are the day that I have no commitments and I really need a day like that, preferably at least once a week or I get a little boggled.  :D

Today… is a no commitment day.

I have really had no super excitement as of late, the run I was supposed to do last Sunday I did not do because of my injured foot (the ol’ dropping of the treadmill) and our roads here in Central Minnesota were BAD last weekend after yet another snow storm.  There was an opportunity to do a Polar Plunge today about 30 miles from here but with the temperatures still dipping below zero, and the people I knew that thought they were going to do it really never decided….  I will wait another year to do that again. :D

I thought today or Saturday Snapshot, since outside is cold and dreary I would just post a few past fun things that will make me; and maybe you… smile. 


This is the Polar Plunge we did I think three years ago. Notice how I am being drug into the water… EEP!



This was a sign at the Color Run Justin and I did on 2013. I thought it was so funny I told him we had to pose by it.


About 45 minutes from Brainerd there is an apple orchard and this display is what sits out on the road by their entrance… some photo ops are too good to pass up :)


This (above) pic was taken in August 2011, our ten-year anniversary of our book club.  Angie and I are two out three of the original Bookies and we are sitting in the same booth we sat in when we had our very first Bookies meeting in August 2001.  Now.. there are too many Bookies to fit into this booth, although it would have been fun to try :D  Oh and if you are wondering what that first book was that was read by the Bookies it was Dance Upon The Air by Nora Roberts. Awesome book.


This is the full Bookies book club (missing one in this picture – Susan) as of last February.  It’s not often that we all make it so this was a great time to take a photo-op and show off the goodies that Author Sandra Brannan had sent us in a “Care Package” for our review of In The Belly Of Jonah.

There is my Saturday Snapshot for this week. :D  Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday, I have some reading to do and house stuff and unless Al and I hit a movie later today I think I may just stay in. :D

Unveiling The Wine and Words 2014 Line Up


Ok this is probably stretching Saturday Snapshot a bit… but I am excited so PLEASE allow me this stretch just this one – puh-lease?  *batting my eyes*

Wine and Words is the literary event myself, my co-chair Gail and an amazing team from the Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library debuted last year.  We created an event around free wine and amazing authors just to see what would happen and it was amazing.  (Wow!  Can I say the word amazing any more times)?  :razz:

My concern this year was could we do it again?  We have no budget so we ask our authors to come out of the love for libraries, a chance to talk to a group of book lovers, and an opportunity to sign books.  I value people’s time, so we worked hard making sure it was a great experience for them as well, putting welcome baskets in their beautiful hotel rooms with fresh flowers, a Minnesota magazine, chocolates and a thank you card.

After plugging away on the author line for about 5 weeks, we have our authors!  I am super excited to show you who they are:


Benjamin Percy is a Minnesota author who’s book Red Moon is now being filmed to become a TV series! 


Minnesota Author, Nicole Lee Helget’s new book Stillwater is creating quite a stir!  I can not wait to read it.

3Catherine McKenzie is from Canada. Her first three books have won many awards and her new one, Hidden, will be coming out yet this spring.


Randy Susan Meyers lives in Boston Massachusetts.  Her first two books have created quite the buzz (both are on my shelves!) and her third book, Accidents Of Marriage (due out in September) , will make an early debut at Wine and Words!


Barbara Claypole White lives and gardens in North Carolina.  Her books also grace my shelves.  The In-Between Hour is newly released and won a 2014 Okra award.

and back by popular demand…. our emcee, Lorna Landvik:


Lorna Landvik is a known comedian and author.  Her books include Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. 

There it is!  That’s our group!  I am so excited.  Tickets will go on sale in the next couple of weeks.  We had some pretty amazing authors say they could not do this year but to give them a try for next year.  Authors that excite me so much I will not even share who they are because I may jinx (does that still happen???) it. :D  Now I switch into silent auction mode, looking for items for the auction.

If you have some time, check out the Wine and Words website, freshly updated.  There are pictures from last years event as well as our authors and team.  Also, be sure and check out other Saturday Snapshot posts!  They are a fun way to see what is happening around our world :D

Morning Meandering…. Board Games And Locked Out!


Good morning! Hope you are all having a wonderful start to your weekend.  I am enjoying coffee that my cousin brought over.  mmmmmmm

A few weeks ago I had went to our cabin with friends for a weekend of celebrating my friend Sheila’s birthday.  It was the weekend that we went dog sledding – and this is the rest of the story of that weekend for this weekends Saturday Snapshot.  (Check out other peoples pics at this link)



First up – gamers.  I love board games and the new one I bought up for the weekend was Quelf.  This is a great party game!  There are cards like STUNTZ where if you draw a STUNTZ card you may be told to do something like “set the timer and find three things you would find in a first aid kit before the time runs out”…. or it may ask you to hum the star spangled banner.  Many of the STUNTZ cards will have bonus points for the rest of the players if they react or do something that plays into your STUNTZ card.

QUIZZLE cards:  Trivia cards from hilarious to impossible… or so you think ;)

ROOLZ cards:  follow the ROOLZ on the card – if you do not, pay the penalty

SCATTERBRAINZ cards:  gets everyone shouting , but you must stay on task!

SHOWBIZ cards:  You are in the spotlight… shine baby shine – do what the card says :)

We had a blast with this game!  Laughing so hard we were crying.


Then… that Sunday morning the plan was I was going to leave earlier than the girls as I had to be back in Brainerd, drop the dog off and go to a work retreat that afternoon.  In order for me to do that successfully my plan was to leave at 10 am.  I loaded my car with all my goodies – used my super cool electric starter to warm it up, threw my purse and keys in the passenger seat and went in to tell everyone good-bye.

When I went back out to my car to go – it was locked.  My keys were inside.  I was in Finland Minnesota… on a Sunday morning, no idea who to call, and my phone as well as my jacket, purse, and KEYS, were all inside the car.  :shock:

Thank God for friends to the rescue. While I was knocking on doors at the neighbor’s house, Farrah jumped on her phone and found me a guy out of a town near by who would come in about 30 minutes.  It was closer to 45 minutes, but he did arrive.

As all good friends would do… they took pictures from inside the house of our progress of getting the car unlocked.  :razz:




I was late to my retreat in Crosslake Minnesota, but only by about 15 minutes.  I made up time by not stopping on my way home at all and dropped the dog off quickly.  It was about a 5 hour drive total from the North Shore to Crosslake. :D


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