Minnesota grown and preserved in St. Paul

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I have a vegetable garden and I go to the Farmer’s market every week. My diet these days is mostly vegetables.

I have been drying some of my veggies and fermenting them too. I found my grandmother’s recipe for homemade sauerkraut and it became my first fermentation experiment. It turned out to be like a gateway that lead to fermented beets and cucumbers.

It has a wonderful flavor and is loaded with good bacteria that is not cooked or pasteurized out.

Dried beets are mighty tasty and easy to make. Just slice them thin and put them in a food dehydrator and four to six hours later they are crispy but still taste like fresh beets.

Peppers are particularly easy to dry and since I have cut way back on the salt they come in handy for seasoning all those veggies I have been eating.

dried beets
Drying beets

I love the summer. The tomatoes are getting ripe now and I have a huge jar of cucumbers fermenting away in the basement. There are plenty of fresh herbs and fresh Raspberries too.


Ghosting is a daily occurance

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. If you have never heard of “ghosting” it is a thing. The word was invented to describe what can happen in dating relationships.  One person in the relationship suddenly stops responding to text messages, email, Facebook and phone calls. There is no warning. The silent party is “ghosting”.

It can be quite demoralizing to have someone you were in a relationship with just shut you out and vanish. Ghosting is the ultimate silent treatment.

Ghosting happens to me all the time.  It happens when real estate agents stop answering my questions and ignore all of my messages. It happened at least 4 times this week. I try not to let it slow me down. If there is a way around the ghost I will find it.

Management companies that work for homeowners associations are great at ghosting so is the St. Paul mayors office.

Sometimes I even know for sure someone is getting my messages and reading them but has chosen not to respond. It all seems kind of junior high to me.

Occasionally clients do it too. They decide that they really did not want to see the house that they asked to see and that I made an appointment and changed my schedule to accommodate.  Sometimes these ghosts resurface hours or months later. I hope they don’t take it personally when I ghost them.

Home sellers occasionally start ghosting and we have to hunt them down. I that sounds ominous because it is. You don’t want to make me knock on your door or show up at your office.

I am so used to ghosting that when someone responds quickly or actually answers the phone I am stunned. Tongue tied even.

Ghosting is a thing. . . but I never take it personally.

tumble weeds roll down St. Peter St.

Downtown St. Paul – Plenty of parking

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun but I am writing about July 4th in St. Paul anyway.

It was hot and stormy on the 4th but in between rain storms I went out for a walk. Downtown was kind of spooky an totally vacant except for Candy Land. I stopped in and bought a small bag of Chicago mix. I understand why the restaurants were closed. If they had opened they would have been empty.

Downtown was quiet except for the echo from explosive being detonated from the river bluff. The noise started when the rain stopped. The firecrackers, cherry bombs, and bottle rockets and assorted high flying fireworks. Fireworks are illegal in Minnesota but the law is not enforced in St. Paul.

If it had been a bit cooler out and less rainy I would have enjoyed riding my bike down the middle of the street.

St. Paul doesn’t have a public fireworks display. It all has to do with the ballpark in Lowertown. If I had known that the park would mean the end of public fireworks displays I would not have been in favor of building it.

Second hand stuff


It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. In my spare time, I usually work on some kind of a side project. For the last few weeks, I have been working on furnishing a small apartment with thrift shop, dumpster and curbside finds.  I have also found a few items in my basement that I have refurbished.

I am having fun because I have about a month to find everything needed. Shopping in thrift stores is not like going to Target. I might have to go look three or four times for a particular item.

It would definitely be faster and more convenient to go to a big box store but that just isn’t any fun neither is ordering it online.

Sometimes I find things for free sitting on the curb. The beginning and end of the month is a great time to find free stuff on curbs.

My own home is furnished with a few things that I found and got for free or bought from a thrift shop. My greatest find ever was an early 19th-century kitchen queen that someone had left by the curb. It had been spray painted gold. It took months to restore it but it was worth the effort.

The used furniture and household items that I find are usually of higher quality than the new items I might but new and pay a lot more for.  If I had to start all over I would definitely buy or find used furniture instead of buying it new.


My favorite weed

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. The milkweed is blooming. I have been growing the stuff in my flower bed even before people started growing pollinator gardens. I always thought it was pretty.

My husband always thought it was a weed.  It has been a challenge to keep it away from his lawn mower and weed whacker.  The milkweed plant is native and it provides food and housing for the monarch butterfly and caterpillar. The bees seem to like it too. Let it grow.



The raccoon that climbed

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. St. Paul made the national and international news this week because a raccoon climbed a 25 story office building downtown. #MPRraccoon  It took the critter hours and hours. The tired rodent took a nap on the roof of the building before being captured and removed.

If there is a life lesson it is about how hard the little raccoon worked to climb the building and how all of that work was wasted when she was captured and brought back down to the ground by a man.

The news media did an excellent job of covering the event but I thought I would use my crazy photojournalistic skills to fill in some of what the media did not cover. After all, it is Friday. (Scroll over the photos or click on them to see captions)

Look for raccoon T-shirts and caps and other memorabilia. There is also artwork depicting the MPR raccoon scaling the building.  Maybe someone will write a song about it too. Minneapolis may have hosted the last Super Bowl but they don’t have office towner climbing raccoons like we have in St. Paul.