How I had fun last week

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It has been an unusually stressful week. I have a theory about how people get a little crazy this time of year because they are in a hurry to buy or sell real estate or move before . . . well you know what comes next. Real estate emergencies are far more common in the Fall than they are during the seasons before and after.

I decided to spend part of the last full day of summer on my bike. I went to one of my favorite places. Lilydale Regional Park. Some of the trails through the park were closed or partly closed most of the summer because of high water. The road through the park is partially closed which makes biking even more enjoyable.

Here is are a couple of pictures I took near Pickerel Lake. I had to get extra close to photograph the bee.

Bee on purple aster
Bike trail
Bike trail – Pickerel lake

I recommend walking or biking through the park before . . . . well, you know.  Try walking, riding or running without music or podcasts.

The scammers keep calling

scam likely

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I used to answer my phone right away because I wanted to respond to clients and potential clients. These days I usually let my calls go to voice mail and if there is a message I return the call quickly.  Most of the calls I get are from someone who shows up on my caller I.D. as “Scam Likely”

I kind of miss being able to use my phone like I used to. The calls that come in during the lunch and dinner hour are almost always spam or scam calls and so are the calls that come in after 8PM.

Answering the phone used to be such an important part of running a business. It hasn’t been easy for me to break the habit. Yesterday I accidentally answered and was warned that my car warranty will run out if I don’t act immediately so I acted by hanging up immediately.

I don’t ever want to put anyone on hold and make them listen to a recording about how important their call is. I figure not answering the phone and waiting for a message is actually kinder and I really do call back quickly unless the message is left by a machine in which case I delete it.

There isn’t any chance I would ever buy anything over the phone. There isn’t any way for anyone to get me to say my social security number either. Some have tried, all have failed. Someone claiming to be the IRS called several times last March and someone claiming to be fbi calls now and then as well.

Someone somewhere must be falling for some of the scams or no one would bother doing them. Whoever you are please just stop answering the phone.


All I had to do was show up

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. We went up to Duluth right after Labor day and enjoyed the lake and some great weather. One morning there was a spectacular sunrise. All I had to do is show up with a camera. The birds and the boats came along at just the right time. Other than re-sizing the pictures I took didn’t even require processing.

Sunrise over lake superior
Sunrise over lake superior

The sunrise seemed to last forever and just kept getting better as it went from dark purples and reds to bright yellows. It has been many years since I have seen such a spectacular sunrise. Is there anything more fun than a sunrise over Lake Superior?

All I had to do is show up with a camera mother nature took care of the rest. I am looking forward to going back to catch some fall color around the lake and maybe another sunrise.

Baking Bread

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Over the holiday weekend, I was exploring my mom’s old recipe box.  Way back a long time ago before the internet was invented people used to write recipes on index cards and keep them in a box.

I found a recipe for bread. I could actually bake bread using the recipe with a few modifications. I think I would reduce the amount of sugar to two tablespoons and the amount of yeast to one package which is about 2.25 teaspoons less than half the amount listed on the recipe card.

I could use two packages of yeast and increase the amount of sugar but that is still less than the two tablespoons listed on the recipe card.

Instead of using shortening I would probably use butter but I could use shortening. For the water, I would definitely go with cups even though the recipe calls for 2 and a quarter but doesn’t specify cups.  I would probably heat the water to 100 to 110 degrees or so.

After I mixed the ingredients together I would knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic-like. Then I would put it in a greased bowl that I would cover with a towel or plastic wrap and I would set is in a warm place to rise or an hour or so.

Eventually, I would form two loaves, let them rise until about double in size and bake them in the oven after I put each loaf in a pan. I would bake the at 375 instead of 425.

I totally know what my mom meant, and I can use her recipe to make bread.


Bread Recipe


Do I really this app?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun . .  especially Fridays before holiday weekends. There was a time when I was into downloading apps for my phone. I am so over that. It seems like every business that I deal with has an app I can download. Often the app takes the place of information that can easily be found on the internet using a smartphone or computer.

A couple of weeks ago we had to replace our washer. The new washer like many new appliances these days can connect to the internet. I don’t want my washer to be hacked so I leave it offline when not in use. 🙂

Here is a screenshot from my last load of wash:

app screenshot
Washer app

I like having the alert on my phone so that I know when the load is done, I like to keep things moving along. The app is animated and shows exactly what the washer is doing real-time.  It is soothing to watch because the water sloshes back and forth. My inner geek couldn’t resist at least trying it out.

State Fair 2019 Edition

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I go to the Minnesota State Fair about once every five years and this was my year. I went early in the morning on opening day. By the time I left in the early afternoon, it was pretty crowded.

Minnesota State Fair

Our State Fair is an experience. I can remember attending as a child and I can remember bringing my own children. It changes a little every year but somehow remains the same too. I generally avoid eating anything deep fried even if it is on a stick. I ended up having a pretzel and an ice cream cone for lunch. I walked a total of 7.5 miles and took a few pictures. I did check out the home improvement building, the horticultural building, and the grandstand.

I visited the Mighty Midway as all fair attendees should.  One of my favorite places to visit is the creative activities building. I got there before the crowds and looked at the quilts and the baked goods and more.

Just outside the creative activities building is a display of horses made from yarn. Where else can a person see a horse made of yarn?

yarn horse
Horse outside the creative arts building.

I’ll probably attend the fair again in 2024. It will be different than it was this year but it will be the same too.