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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:

1 - Copy

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

Morning Meanderings… Gift Or Entrapment? You Be The Judge ;)


So it is Saturday!  *yay yay people applauding and dancing in the streets*  Saturdays are my ABSOLUTE favorite day of the week :)  They are usually the only day I have where I choose what I do with my day without any “have to’s”.  Love that.

In honor of this weeks Saturday Snapshot, I thought I would share with you a little visual story for (hopefully) your enjoyment.

Back story:  This Sunday is my birthday.

So…. yesterday I meet my dear friend Gail for coffee at Cocoa Moon.  Great name for a coffee shop right?  :D  Gail has brought me a beautiful gift bag for my birthday.  We have coffee… we chat books, life, the strange dude who keeps peering through the window of the coffee shop at us, and weekend plans.

Gail asks me to open my gift.

*SQQQUUEEEE!  I thought she would never ask!*

I start with the top tissue layer and in that is…


Ok…. YUM! 

Then I unwrap the next layer of tissue and….


Shut the back door!  Wine sleep pants!  AWESOME!  (Gail is my co-chair for Wine and Words)

So I have wine pants…. I unwrap the final tissue layer and….


Here are the words!  A BEAUTIFUL copy of Gone With The Wind in a nice hard case. 

Gone With The Wind is one of Gail’s all time favorite books.  She knows I have never read it.  (don’t look so shocked…. I have said this before :shock: )  The gift all goes together, I am supposed to get comfy in the sleep pants and enjoy the tasty goodies while curled up with Gone With The Wind. 

Gift or Entrapment?  I think… a little of both – but in a good way. :D  Now that I have a lovely copy of Gone With The Wind I do want to stick my nose in it.  And yes, possibly while wearing the pants and having the chocolate… maybe… just maybe….


Ok ok… I will put this book into action and will read Gone With The Wind in 2014.  It is written. ;)  Thanks Gail!

See other Saturday Snapshots here

Today I am meeting my College Son who wants to hang out for the day in ST Cloud together for my birthday.  He is taking me to lunch and Barnes and Noble, and maybe a movie.  :D  I haven’t seen him since Christmas so this is exciting!

Oh!  And if you have not seen my super fun and awesome giveaway that ties in with the blog hop going on now with a bonus birthday opportunity from me, please checkout my post about that … I think you will be excited about what  I am offering!

Have a SUPER Saturday!

Morning Meanderings…. A Dog Sledding Book Lover!


Hey all!  Happy Saturday!  I have been up for a couple of hours with the best intentions to write this post.  Then… I decide to make coffee.  And I am out of the pods that make the regular coffee. And then I decide to list the Tassimo coffee pot on the Facebook garage sale sight which means to bring my old coffee pot back upstairs and take pictures of the Tassimo.  (Nothing wrong with the coffee pot just that locally I can not find the pods for it and I am tired of ordering 20+ dollars worth of coffee pods on line… borderline crazy I think ;) )  I upload the pictures and describe the coffee pot. THEN…. I go on the House Party site and sign up for another house party offer…. then I go on Facebook (you can almost hear the suction noise as I get caught up there…. I chat with a local author… talk with her about Wine and Words…  send her the information and then my mind says “Ooh!  I should update the Wine and Words website!”  Then I send out emails to last years authors asking them if they will shoot me a quick email regarding their experience last year with Wine and Words so I can add their thoughts to the website… in the mean time someone tells me they are interested in the coffee pot…


And…. I am back to this post.

Last weekend I had the awesome sauce opportunity to take a long-term goal off my bucket list.  I went with a group of friends into Duluth Minnesota and we went dog sledding!  YUP!  Dog sledding!

We went to a fairly new place called Endurance Kennels. It was a blast!  At first I felt a little sad for the dogs… last Saturday was COLD – I believe it was 6 below zero when we ventured out.  Yet once the dogs were hooked up to the sled you could see that they loved this.  A couple of them were jumping straight up in the air they were so ready to go!



My friend Belinda petting one of the dogs.


Me… about as bundled as it gets :)


Me and Diane – ready to go!


Belinda and Sheila – Sheila was the birthday girl and we were celebrating!


It was an awesome experience!  Here’s my tips if you go:

1.  Dress Warm – the speed of the sled creates wind and the dogs kick up snow as they go.

2.  Snowmobile goggles would be a good idea – at the very least sun glasses.  I had sun glasses on but they quickly fogged up and I could not see through them.

Thanks to Saturday Snapshot for giving me an opportunity to show my pictures of a fun event!

Morning Meanderings… Last Weeks CONCERT!


Good morning!  Happy Saturday!  I think it snowed here again last night.  Poo.  I am sooooo over it.  :razz:

Last weekend I had the fun opportunity of going to Fargo with three of my friends and going to a PINK concert.  We have a little history with PINK that I posted about last week so we were a little nervous.  But – imagine our surprise when no unforeseen catastrophe cancelled the concert, we did not come down with some strange illness that prevented us from attending, our car made it to Fargo with no break downs AND by golly…. our tickets were good.  :D

For Saturday Snapshot this morning I thought I would show you some of the amazing concert:



Upper left – yes that is her in the air. A regular Tinker Bell! The rest are different stage sets






She seems like an amazing person inside and out. She was funny and great with the audience. She stopped to sign posters ans shirts. She thanks ed the audience over and over.








At the end of the night we had our picture taken with the opening band, KIN from Australia.


and you have to see this short clip I took of her flying over the audience.


Basically, I am ruined from all future concerts.  If someone is on stage just singing I am going to be like, “What, you don’t fly?”  :lol:

If you EVER have the opportunity to see her in concert, do it.  It is much more than a concert.  It is a show. 

Today, this morning yet, I am out for a run in honor of Meg, a fellow runner who was killed by a drunk driver while out for her run on the morning of January 13th.  I did not know her, but there is a Facebook event up called Meg’s Miles, encouraging people from all over the world to run today in honor of her.  As of a few moments ago, when I looked, over 80,000 people were signed up to run for her today.  Wow right?  If you run… or even if you go out for a walk today either outside or at a gym, please add your miles to Meg’s Miles. 

Saturday Snapshot – The 1st 5k Of The Year and in MINNESOTA!


Happy Saturday!  Is it sad that I have been looking forward to this day since last weekend?  No work today, no big commitments other than lunch with a friend which will be fun…. Saturdays are my favorite day of the week. :)

For Saturday Snapshot today I wanted to post the pictures from the Polar Dash my friend Amy and I ran on January 1st of this year.  I could not think of a better way to kick off the year than with something fun and good for me all rolled into one.


Here we are up close pre-run. We had actually just arrived and got out of the car. :)



This is at the start.  The temp was -6 below zero.



Those that had chosen to run the longer runs – there was a 10K and a 14K option that started earlier than our 5k, were a little frosty.




Of course I dont think any of us were as cold as this guy had to be and he ran the 10K (6.4 miles!)



My number and medal. Since I signed up for the monster series this will by number for the 2014 year with the Ortho runs.


Now before you all say “You sooooo crazy girl!”, know that 5,000 other crazy people ran the Polar Dash with me (including my friends Belinda, Sheila W, Ryan, and April).  Yup.  5,0000 crazies…. all together in the same area.  :)  AND the money raised went to the Shriner s Children’s Hospital.  We like that.

Check out what other people are taking pictures of this COLD January morning at the Saturday Snapshot host blog, West Metro Mommy Reads.  In Minnesota it is about to get really cold.  The wind chill starting late this afternoon and will be 40 to 55 below zero with wind chill through Tuesday. We are in a severe weather warning through the weekend and the Governor has already cancelled school for the entire state on Monday.

Saturday Snapshot – Pictures of 2013


Hmmm… not really a morning meandering as I putted around this morning prepping pictures and an exciting book club announcement (more on that later) and yeah… any hoo… its after noon.

I wanted to post for this final Saturday Snapshot of 2013 some highlights of this past year.  So here they are:





There it is.  I know I am missing many from my earlier in the year computer crash.  But this covers a lot of it.

Any highlights of your 2013?  Any hopes and plans for 2014?  I have many… but that… is another post :)

Check out Saturday Snapshot to see what else is happening in around the world in pictures.


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