I have found a Minnesota treasure

The book Quiet Magic by Sam Cook is a compilation of his news paper columns. I have just enjoyed every simple word in the book. I see what he sees when he is in the woods or out in his yard. He is writing from the Iron Range and since I had previously visited and fallen in love with the area I can relate to what he is writing about. It seems that he and his “sweetheart” as he calls her keep a house in the city(it doesn’t say, but I think Duluth). And he travels around hunting, fishing and visiting everyone with a remote cabin in the area. He talks about Wisconsin as well.

I think I feel close to his work, because he emits the same feelings for me as I would like to emit for my readers.  He talks about sitting in the Fall in the woods and waiting for a single leaf to let loose from a tree.  I know that feeling.  We had a hammock set up between two tall trees which was surrounded by several other large trees.  If I laid still and looked up it was like being in a cave of leaves.  The sun peaked through the small opening in the top.  I loved to watch the leaves dance and sing away the afternoon.  These simple pleasures are the reason we moved back here.  And although my husband does not share my enthusiasm for all of the outdoor activities we still manage to have a little fun here and there.

I feel rejuvenated after reading this book.  It’s been a long cold Winter, but Spring is right around the corner.

A healthy hotdish – sort of…

Chicken Triscuits

1 pkg. Triscuits

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup mayo

2 cans of sliced water chestnuts, drained

2 cans asparagus cuts, drained

3 cups cooked chicken

salt and pepper to taste

Put half of the crushed Triscuits in a well-buttered large casserole.  Layer chicken, asparagus and chestnuts.  Add salt and pepper.  Pour chicken soup that has been heated with mayo over mixture and sprinkle remaining Triscuits on top.  Bake with cover for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.  For healthier version use low fat, low salt soup and mayo. 

I recommend paying attention when buying water chestnuts – I didn’t know they came whole so I ended up slicing them myself – not so hard, but kind of a pain in the butt!  So can anyone tell me what a water chestnut is?

Christmas Traditions

I was challenged a couple of years ago in a Sunday School lesson about the Nativity Scene.  The truth is most of us probably only think about it at Christmas time and the challenge was to keep your Nativity Scene out all year long to keep it on your mind.  The significance of that fateful night should affect us all year long, not just as Christmas approaches. 

At our adult Christmas party at church this year one of our pastors read an exerpt from a book by a well known Theologian.  I should remember his name, but I don’t.  The story was about the other people that were left out of the story of the birth of Christ.  The Inn Keeper sticks out in my mind.  He tells the story from the Inn Keeper’s point of view.  I thought it was so creative and thoughtful.  We just know the story we hear every year on Christmas Eve.  Does anyone ever research any other part of what happened that night?  Maybe your not interested and that is fine, but after I heard that exerpt it peaked my curiosity.  I want to know more!

I think sometimes we get so caught up in trying to keep our traditions alive that the real meaning of Christmas is lost.  And I know the big topic this year on all the talk shows and all the water cooler conversations was the spirit of Christmas being lost by the commercialism of it all, but I don’t think that is so true.  Commercialism is part of who we are as Americans and I don’t think it’s all bad, however when we start to overlook the birth of Christ as the start of Christmas then I think we have made a huge mistake! 

The lights and presents and holiday cheer are a fun way to celebrate and I like that part too, but we must not forget what started all the celebrating and that is the baby being born in a manger who would become the King of all the earth.

May the love of Christ be present in your life everyday!

It’s fall?

I wish I had memory disks for my camera so I could show you the scene out my office window today!  It’s quite beautiful and yet terribly disturbing at the same time.

Our summer was about a week long with 80 degree temperatures.  Beyond that we had nothing higher.  This is ok with me, I am not complaining.  However in October we should be enjoying the brisk, crispy walks through the leaves in our yard.  Instead, today, we will be shoveling snow off of our deck! 

I guess I won’t be transplanting my irises’ today.  It’s really only a dusting of snow and will be gone shortly, however the 24 degree temperature makes it feel more like the end of November than the beginning of October.

My son was so excited the other night when I came home from work.  He was sitting on the couch and I asked him if he saw the snow, because in Warroad it had snowed several times throughout the day.  He told me it hadn’t snowed here.  About 15 minutes later it came and he jumped on the couch and squealed to high heaven!  Then he said he was going outside and he jumped on the deck and squealed some more.  That snow didn’t last long, but last night the snow stayed and he had all his winter gear spread out in the kitchen and soon he looked as though it was the middle of January. 

Again I wish I had my camera ready, so I could show you the picture of him standing in the kitchen with red snow pants, pak winter boots, warm black mittens and  heavy winter jacket on, ready to go out and play in the 1/2 inch of fallen snow on Oct 9th in northern Minnesota.  I am guessing it was a familiar scene in houses all across our county. 

Kids love winter!  Until they have to start driving in it that is!