Merv and I moved from Prairie Farm to Port Wing, WI near the south shore of Lake Superior in the fall of 2019. Maybe one day I will get back to blogging. It was fun while it lasted. The site as it is at least has value in being a snapshot of a window in time.
Today we had a bead baking lesson at the North House Folk School. Both kids were totally engaged in the making and in the eating of their own thin bread and focaccia loaves. Rosa said she would like to be an intern there like our instructor Emily.
We walk along the harbor on our way to and from the school and town and there are usually fisherman cleaning their catches in a cleaning station. They are happy to talk their catches. One man offered to teach the kids how to clean them. Both took about two steps back and politely declined.
At 9 am we went out on a 42 ft sailboat. The kids were unimpressed and went below where it was warmer to play captain and first mate. Coop was capt which meant Rosa had to do anything he asked.
We went for a hike up the Cascade River and looked for rocks on a beach. Coop found one so special he is going to include it in his will. Rosa wanted to know “Why if hot air rises, is it colder up north?”
Our attempt at baking Australian Outback bread (aka damper) was a limited success. We managed to mix it up alright, but all but 10% of the loaf was either burned black or still doughy. The part that was cooked well was very good though. It was really good with apple jam.
Jessica called just after the damper came out of the coals. The conversation lasted about a minute and went something like this on my end:
” Hi Jess, yes things are going fine – hey Rosa, was that water or lemonade? Ok, well you’d better pour that big container of water over the chair or its going to be all sticky. Hi Jess, no big deal, just some spilled… hey Coop, did you just burn your arm on the lid to the damper pan? Yes thanks Jess, we’ll need that ointment in Rosa’s bag. Guess I’d better go. Bye.”
After a morning swim we headed up the North Shore of Lake Superior towards Grand Marais. Our stop at Gooseberry Falls was cut short by a thunderstorm. It continued to storm so we skipped Split Rock Light House and continued to Grand Marais. It was still raining when we got there so we went into town and hit the bookstore. The weather cleared in time to set up camp and start a fire.
Sheila somehow deleted the first part of Rosa’s entry for day 1. Basically she said that we left her house in Brooklyn Park around 9:30 am. We listened to an Encyclopedia Brown audiobook, stopped at Subway for lunch and went straight to the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth.
I wish I would have taken pictures of the surrey bike ride but I was otherwise busy. Rosa pedaled the whole time and seemed to totally enjoy the biking experience. She really got her exercise that day. What a trouper. Coop and I took turns pedaling. While he was pedaling, I walked/jogged behind holding on and acted as an emergency brake. When I was pedaling I was also being watchful that he didn’t fall as he used the bike for a jungle gym.
Rosa Day 1
At the aquarium we saw:
- mata mata turtles
- a sting ray
- piranhas ( they didn’t bite us)
- more turtles
- a crow
- a magpie
- and a lot of others
After a trip to the gift shop, we went to Canal Park, and we rented a Surrey bike that held us all (most of the time), and we went for a bike ride, and after we put the bike back, we went to Cold Stone Creamery and I got cake batter and mint ice cream with white choclate chips mixed in.
We went on a shopping spree and then ate a pizza at Vitta Pizza. We walked back to our car, and went to the hotel, and after a quick break, we went swimming and had a frantic search for a ball and a key, and a hotel room.
We headed back to our hotel room and changed into out PJs( at least I did) and I am now writing this blog. Read Cooper’s entry and you will learn more about our day)
Rosa 🙂 😉
P.S. I miss you all a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.P.S. I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cooper Day 1
Rosa wrote all the good stuff.
Its a good thing that my agate has crystals in it.
I liked the invasive species game at the aquarium. It was hard and fun and a little easy. We saw snakes too.
I liked swimming in the pool at the hotel. We played with a ball. I practiced swimming almost with no hands.
We got the best pizza ever and that’s the end of my blog for today.
Yesterday I got this jawbreaker at the Renaissance Festival.
I slept over at Sheila and Merv’s. Today we are going to make lists and pack for the trip. Tonight we are going into the cities and tomorrow we will pick up Rosa and go to the aquarium in Duluth. After that we will go to the north shore of Lake Superior.
Rosa is my great-niece. Cooper is my nephew and he’s great too. Cooper will be 9 next month, Rosa will be 10 in November. Last year Rosa and I spent a couple of fun days in Duluth. This year we are including Cooper and after hitting Duluth, we are going to venture up the north shore of Lake Superior to Grand Marais.
I’ll leave it to the recent email correspondence between these two and myself to fill you in on our plans for the upcoming trip.
July 15, 2014 2:06 pm
Hi Auntie Sheila,
I had an idea for a book on tape, what do you think about Encyclopedia Brown?
You said something about looking for a certain animal each day, so can we see how many
we can spot each day? Then we can sketch all the animals we saw, and the one we saw the most of we can sketch, and then do a goofy drawing of that animal! I think I may have seen an aquarium, so maybe we can check that out!
Could we stop by Noodles and Company,and maybe Orange Leaf (Do you still have your card?) and how about Amazing Grace(the restaurant with the huge sandwiches,and I think their breakfast is really good!)?
And are we coming home on Friday or Saturday?(Mom forgot to write it down!)
July 15, 2014 3:56 PM
Good idea, I read the Encyclopedia Brown books when I was your age and I really liked them. Pick a couple and I will download them onto my iPhone for the trip.
There is an aquarium in Duluth that would be fun to visit. I hope we have time. I talked to your mom about us stopping at the library before we leave Monday morning, but maybe you could do that before so we would have time to stop at the aquarium before going to Gooseberry Falls.
I think we can eat at Noodles and Company. Cooper should find something there that he likes to eat. We won’t be eating out too often. You me and Coop will have to plan our meals and make a shopping list on the way to Duluth. There are lots of ice cream places up there. If Orange Leaf is your favorite, we can stop there (I’m not sure if the card is still in my purse or not).
We are going to come home Saturday. Clair and Cindy will be coming up from Rochester and will pick up Cooper at either your house or your Grandmas.
July 16, 2014 9:10 AM
Hi Aunt Sheila,
If you have an agate at home, can you bring it, because I have no idea what they look like.
Here are some ideas for the shopping list:
pasta(not spaghetti, unless we want that instead of pasta)
Guess who is coming tonight?
Uncle Loren and Aunt Julie and Chase!
Can I bring my camping cup?
July 16, 2014 4:29 PM
I don’t think I have an agate but I’ll look. I used to have a bunch of them. Maybe we can find a rock shop and look at some.
Thats a good start for a shopping list. We’ll see what Cooper likes to eat too. Do your folks have a cookstove for camping?
Have fun with Loren and Julie!
P.S. Definitely bring your camping cup.
July 16, 2014 6:27 PM
Hi Aunt Sheila,
Yes, we have a cookstove, as I said on the phone. I think I might have an agate at home,but I’m not sure.
Another idea for our shopping list: frozen pizza! I think Coop likes pizza, as I happened to be sitting next to him at dinner a Ani’s party and he seemed to enjoy the pizza(although I think he may have pulled off the cheese) but just to be sure,can you ask Aunt Cindy? Today Grandma told me and Ani and Mom about some of her ideas for Herbster, and one of them was me and Coopey building some things(possibly out of driftwood) and have an art show to show our stuff! Could you help us? I don’t think Coop has been notified of this idea, but I will tell him about this on the trip (By the way, who are you picking up first?)Another idea was vests made out of old shirt or possibly old jeans(it was actually my idea). Did Grandma tell you about that? If not, I’ll tell you about it when you pick me up.
Here are more shopping list ideas:
jelly(how about strawberry?)
pickles(spicy, if everybody likes that kind)
potatoes(bring a peeler)
Lots of fun,
July 16, 2014 7:20 PM
Cooking frozen pizza over a campfire? Worth a try!
Your grandma comes up with good ideas. We will have so much fun at Herbster building things out of driftwood. I think everyone should be encouraged to participate. We could have a sculpture garden on the beach.
All good food ideas. I will print a draft grocery list and we can get Coop’s input on the way to Duluth. I am sure he will have lots of ideas for food.
12 days and counting,
July 17, 2014 5:17 PM
Hi Aunt Sheila,
The sculpture garden sounds like a great idea!!!
Can you give me the campground number?
You said something about a lot of ice cream places in Duluth? Yum!!!!!!!! Do you remember if Orange Leaf has cookies and creme for a flavor of frozen yogurt? I love that kind of ice cream!!!! Orange Leaf had some kind of unusual flavors, if I remember correctly. Flavors like wedding cake and cherry tart? What do you think about borrowing Mom and Dad’s camp sandwich makers?
More food ideas:
baking powder(make sure it is not baking soda)
We can use that to make damper, otherwise known as Australian outback bread. I can get the recipe.
We went to the Hudson beach with Michelle Gillard and her girls. We made a pool of that was quite wide(It started out as a sand castle) and we had a lot of fun in the Saint Croix river
Should I bring my swim suit?
July 17, 2014 8:40 PM
Good thing you asked what number the campsite at the Gooseberry Park campground is because I was surprised to see when I logged in that my reservation did not go through. There are over still 60 sites that are first-come-first-serve at Gooseberry so I will call up there tomorrow to see how fast they fill up on Mondays. I hope we won’t have any trouble getting a spot.
I looked it up and there are only two Orange Leaf stores in Minnesota, one in Woodbury and one in Blaine. There is a Cold Stone Creamery in Duluth’s Canal Park near the Duluth Pack Store where you bought Ani’s camping cup.
I think the sandwich makers will be perfect. For mine, I ‘d like to make something fancy like turkey & cranberry with brie cheese. Do you think that would work?
It would be a fun adventure to make damper. I’ve never heard of it. Have you eaten it? If so, where? One recipe I found says that you bake it in the ashes of a campfire.
Yes bring your swimsuit just in case. Funny, you could end up going swimming and wearing your winter jacket (on the sailboat) on the same trip. Maybe even on the same day.
Today was a beautiful day. I’m glad you were out in it. I was at my computer taking a webinar class on website development. Arg.
We are going to have a lot of organizing to do Sunday night so we don’t forget anything.
July 20, 2014 4:25 PM
Dear Aunt Sheila,
I’m glad you mentioned Cold Stone Creamery, because I like that place a lot, but one problem. The servings are huge! I think I should have gotten a child’s small serving,or maybe that is what I had, but any way, the servings are real big, and you have to be careful how many toppings you put on. But the ice cream is really good, and they have a lot of toppings to choose from! I know of another place for frozen yogurt called Cherry Berry, and another one called Freeziac, and Leean Chin does frozen yogurt too, I think. your idea for a sandwich is great. I like butter and jelly sandwiches, but what I like best is basil pesto in a rolled up tortilla. Can we get those too?
Lets add turkey, cranberries and brie cheese to our shopping list. And if we are going to make damper, we are going to need measuring utensils like tablespoons,teaspoons,cups half cups,quarter cups, and third cups. If possible, can you bring all the measurement utensils? If you don’t have some of them, tell me which ones and I will ask Mom if we can bring them on the trip if we have one. You said you read that damper was supposed to be baked over campfire ashes. I read that too. We will be in the perfect situation for that. Can we get something else to drink besides juice? We should probably buy a couple of jugs of water, and do you think we could keep milk refrigerated
in a cooler? If so, we should probably add milk to the shopping list.
9 days and counting,
Good luck getting a reservation at Gooseberry Falls!!
July 20, 2014 5:10 PM
Bad news, the Gooseberry Falls campground fills up right away in the morning and we won’t get there in time Monday to get a spot. I think what we will do instead is stay in a hotel near Duluth. On Monday we can go to the Aquarium and walk around Canal Park then spend Tuesday at Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock. Tuesday night we will camp at Grand Marais as planned. The hotel will have a pool so be sure to bring your swimming suit!
I will bring what we need for making dampers.
Our shopping list is really growing isn’t it? Fortunately, we can shop at the store in Grand Marais so we don’t have to bring the entire trip’s worth of food.
Yes, we can keep milk in the cooler. Do you like Greek yogurt with fruit in it?
July 21, 2014 4:56 PM
Dear Aunt Sheila,
About the Greek yogurt, I don’t know if I have tried it, But it sounds pretty good! Lets pick some up at the store. I wish we could get to stay at Gooseberry Falls, but maybe next year. I wish the spots wouldn’t fill up so fast. Nuts! Where and at what time are you going to pick me up? I will send you the recipe for damper(hopefully it gets there in time), so you can see the other things we may need. I think I will try and make a copy of the sheet I put the recipe on so we both have one. Can you bring an extra sketchbook for me and how about one for Coop? I will try and get Mom to get out the camping stove, and did we want to use Mom and Dad’s camping dishes? I think we may need a hotel room with two beds, as I don’t think all three of us will fit on one bed, but we will see, because I think hotel bed are kind of on the big side. Will we stay in the hotel in Superior that we stayed in the last time or one someplace else, because if we stay in the one we did last time, we could probably visit Uncle Andy and Aunt Tiffany and that historic house we drove past the last time?. Do you remember how I got my hair to fly straight up in the air? That was funny!
Seven Days and counting,
Call me later!
It is really hot here!
July 21, 2014 7:49 PM
I think our phone conversation put the final touches on getting things organized. Your dad said we can use your 6 man tent, cook stove and mess kit. I’ll be at your grandparents house on Sunday and will head over to your house if you get home from the farm in time Sunday night. Otherwise I’ll see you and Cooper Monday morning around 9:00.
We will be staying in a different hotel in Superior than last year. I got a good discount with our AAA membership. As I said on the phone, the room has two double beds and a sleeper sofa. We’ll have to play elimination Rummikub to see who sleeps on the sofa.
I think I remember the historic house from last year that you are talking about. Lets see how much time we have after the Aquarium on Monday. I’ll email Andy and see if we can eat supper with them someplace.
Still 7 days and counting,
P.S. It is really hot here too.
July 22, 2014 11:34 AM
Hi Aunt Sheila,
I have one more thing to tell you, and that is the fact that Mom bought S’mores pancake, and salt and vinegar chips for our trip too. We will need a couple extra things for making the S’mores pancakes. I’ll tell you what we need: A beater(for the eggs, unless you can beat them at home and somehow find a way to keep them good until we need them, because we need lightly beaten eggs for these pancakes Mom bought),a griddle(do you have one?), and you might need more measurements then the ones we need for damper, but here are the ingredients:
3 Tbsp Melted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
Add butter and eggs to the grocery list. We usually get home from the farm about nine, so we should get home in time.
See you in 4 days!!!
Our email conversation:
July 22, 2014 1:29 PM
I want to listen to the animals noises at dawn and night and evening.
Listen to waves also. – Cooper
July 22, 2014 2:24 PM
Yes, and I hope that we have a clear night where the sky over the lake is lit up by trillions of stars. – Sheila
July 22, 2014 2:36 PM
Hi Aunt Sheila,
Mom and I just read all of the emails between you and Rosa.
I have a Cherry Berry coupon somewhere. I like big servings of ice cream and frozen yogurt.
I like Australian Outback Bread. I had it at an Australian Outback restaurant.
I know what kind of rock you were talking about. It has one color in it, but a lot of different colors are found in those sort of rocks.
I barely like greek yogurt with fruit in it. It tastes sour to me, at least a little bit.
I doubt we will be able make a pizza on the fire.
Saturday my great grandma Nylene turns 90. I’m not sure what time her party is. Mom will have to find out.
Cant wait to see you.
p.s. It was hot here too yesterday
p.p.s It was hot here the day before
p.p.p.s. it was in the middle the day before the day before
July 23 2014, 4:34 PM
Save your coupon. I looked and there are no Cherry Berry stores along the north shore of Lake Superior. There is a Cold Stone Creamery in Duluth and they have good ice cream.
I am looking forward to trying Australian Outback Bread, also known I guess as damper. That seems like an odd name for bread but the Australians probably think damper is an odd name for a device found in a chimney.
It is hard to describe an agate, but I know one when I see one.
Greek yogurt is not for everyone. It is a bit sour, but I like sour things like sour gummy bears, Skittles and Jolly Rogers.
I found a recipe for making pizza on the grill. You grill one side of the dough without anything on it except some butter. Then you turn it over and quickly put pizza sauce and the cheese on it. Then you cover it and cook it until the cheese melts. I’m thinking it can be done with crusts that are small enough to cover with a cooking pan lid. That is not to say that we won’t burn them though.
See you this weekend at Ren in the Glenn!
Jul 23, 2014, at 2:16 PM
Hi Aunt Sheila.
I’m looking forward to our trip. How many days long is it?
Is the aquarium fresh water or salt water? Is it big? Are there plenty of fish in the aquarium?
I’m getting a metal detector. I’m not sure it will be here in time to bring it with. It would be fun to use it on the beaches and maybe even find gold in that area. Maybe even some diamond rings.
See you soon.
Jul 23, 2014, at 4:00 PM
I think I’ll be picking you up near our house at Ren In The Glenn on Saturday or Sunday. We will Leave Rosa’s house Monday morning and come back Saturday. So the trip will be 5 days but you might be staying at my house a day or so beforehand.
The Great Lakes Aquarium is pretty large. It’s like a zoo only with underwater animals. It has both salt and freshwater aquariums. On Monday, when we will be there, there will be three demonstrations with live animals starting at 12:30. One with a crow, one with otters and one with a snapping turtle. We will have to leave early if we want to see the show with the crow.
Jul 25, 2014, at 1:22 PM
We got our metal detector today. I got my birthday present early, my very own metal detector too. We can bring mine on our trip. Please save room for it in the car.
Great! Learn all about how it works that you can!