Monday, October 28, 2013

Home Looks Great

It sure is good to sleep in my own bed! Bruce and I got home on Thursday after a wonderful trip to Great Britain with our friend Bev Johnson. Basically we went to London, York and Edinburgh with a few extra stops in between. Everywhere we found interesting things to see and do.

Some sightz stood out above the others. In London we went to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London at about 10:00 p.m. one night. This is a century’s old ceremony that locks the tower (and the Crown Jewels) up for the evening. Standing in the dark and watching certainly gave us an idea of what it must have been all those years ago.

The same thing happened went we visited Winston Churchill’s underground war rooms. In one particular room the workers just locked the doors on the last day of World War II and everything remained the same until preparations got underway for this museum.

One night we went to see the stage play “Warhorse.” Making out a full sized horse around two men was fascinating. The dance they did to give this horse life and a full range of emotions made your believe it truly was a horse on stage.

Up in Edinburgh we visited Holyrood Palace which is the official home of Queen Elizabeth when she visits Scotland. As part of that visit we went into the Queen’s Gallery. They had on display the most unbelievable set of anatomical drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. Done is 1510 the drawings could have been found in the most up-to-date anatomy book on the market today. To make them even more amazing, you just had to remember that they were all done with a quill pen and ink.

A big surprise of the trip was how good our meals were. Bruce particularly enjoyed the bangers and bacon for breakfast. One day for lunch we stopped at a small café that roasted whole pigs each day. You could have sandwiches of varying size. They were so moist and delicious. Dinners varied from traditional to eclectic but everyone had a wonderful dessert which we always sampled.

I could go on and on but things are going on around here too. Saturday night was our fall wine dinner. It was put on by Carol Valentini who owns and operates Valentini’s Vicino Lago in Duluth. We had 71 people and if anyone didn’t go home stuffed, it was their own fault. The servers told me that many people were eating less of each course as the night went on. Because every cook has a little extra when fixing a meal like this, the managers had Porcini Pasta for Sunday lunch. Tonight Bruce and I will be eating pork osso buco for dinner. I am sure that is what you will be eating for dinner too.

This weekend the moose have reappeared on the trial. My picture is from one of our weekend guests. The moose seem to have been concentrated between the Loon Lake public landing the Gunflint side road. Another group was spotted up by Moose Pond Road. Needless to say, I haven’t seen one of them but that is probably because I have my camera in the car.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

End of September

If you like fall color, this is the week to be up north. It is perfect everywhere I look. The sun has brought out all the color and the temperatures are perfect for walks in the woods. The only downside is that there is a little breeze all the time. The wind is blowing the leaves off the trees. Of course, I love to walk dragging my feet through leaves.

This ten-day period is our time for women’s groups. Last weekend was the Fall Women’s Getaway. They have been coming up here for over 15 years. It is like old home week when they are here. They have their favorite cabins, hiking trails and meals. Adam took a group of them out for a day canoe trip and fish fry. The next day we cooked a fish fry for the entire group. Rain held off and everyone was able to eat outside. Fried walleye just tastes better when it is cooked and eaten outside. After eating the group just sat on the porch and enjoyed a wonderful fall day. About 4:00 it started to rain but no one complained because the morning and early afternoon was so perfect.

Midweek has been filled with small parties up to drive and hike in this fall color. It is like they taking advantage of the last wonderful weather to be in the woods. I agree.

This weekend is the BOW (Becoming an Outdoor Woman) group. It is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. About 90 women composed of instructors and students will participate in courses teaching practical outdoor skills. It is easier learning this way than from your husband. We have hosted this group several times, usually about every five years. They are a fun bunch. Many states have programs like this.

My garden got a last bit of attention today. I harvested carrots. It is the best crop I have gotten. Some of them will go down to Lee and Eva and the rest are for us. I thought my parsley was finished but it had other ideas. The entire bed is covered again. I will be cutting it for the lodge tomorrow. Chives will also get a haircut before I go. The strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb look wonderful. Next summer should be a huge harvest for all of them.

Bruce and I and our good friend Bev Johnson leave for two weeks in England on Sunday. We will spend four nights in London, two nights in the Midlands, 2 nights in York, two nights in Scotland, two nights in Edinburgh and then back to London. We have all be studying our books to make the most of the trip. Bev found a factory that is billed as the first pencil factory. We might visit it. Of course, picking restaurants is high on our list. I like museums so we will be visiting Churchill’s War Room from World War II. Bruce is our great driver but it still takes all of us. Those roundabouts are really tricky. Sometimes we make a couple of trips around them before getting off.

We expect to be home around the 24th and will write to you all then.

P. S.  Overnight BWCA permits are not effected by the government shutdown because they are not required after October 1st.