I was happy to see that PRAIRIE WOMAN blogged today about our upcoming Areavoices Bloggers’ Picnic this coming Tuesday night (June 23) at the main shelter at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. I am eager to meet other bloggers…..I truly hope…and invite…other Areavoices bloggers to come to the picnic and BYOS (bring your own stuff, plus a potluck/ shared dish of some sort)   I also hope we have some READERS of blogs come to the picnic also.  I would love to meet some of my readers:  koe,  Jon L,  bisonaudit, GramMary, Billy Bones,remrafdn, and others who have contributed so much to my blog and to the others’ blogs, as well.  Bloggers and their readers "sort of" know each other from the writing and the exchanges and the pictures that have been posted by those talented bloggers who know how to do that kind of high-tech (for me) stuff!!!!  I can only write my thoughts and opinions.  If only I knew how to do the pictures, I would share with you "Kristine’s Garden"…..it is a gorgeous front yard and all-over-the-yard garden on the road that leads into my small town from the north.  Kris has transformed her small yard into a most picturesque garden spot,that for me,is the greatest "eye candy" I have seen in ages….a person’s own garden is so personal and makes such a statement about the person who plants it and cares for it. One of the most interesting things about Kristine’s Garden is that it is on the site of another lady’s gardens of many, many years ago….."Mrs. Doc George’s" gardens.   Mary (Mrs Doc) was a gardener of the older generation…older than my Mom who would have been 101 years old this summer.  "Mrs Doc" had lovely flowers in her time and now Kristine (who probably does not remember "Mrs Doc" at all) has transformed Mary’s old yard into a total garden.   How lovely to have a remembrance of two great gardeners of flowers and vegetables gardening on the same site decades apart!  And I am just old enough to remember "Mrs. Doc" and her gardens!

But back to my original subjects…..the invitation to the Bloggers’ Picnic is  wide open;  you are so welcome to attend on Tuesday night June 23, at Lindenwood starting at 6 p.m

WADENA TRIP:   We made a road trip down Highway 10 today to deliver our grandson Alec back to his family after he spent a good week with us at the farm.  We have done this many times before with this particular family who now live inside the border of Sartell, MN after having lived in St. Cloud for over a decade.  We have "exchanged prisoners" with our son and his wife a lot of times over the years that our two grandchildren from St Cloud/Sartell have stayed with us for a week or longer.  We always meet in the parking lot of the McDonalds’ in Wadena right along Highway 10 that goes through the town. And we always have some fast food in the exchange process also.

Today as we came into Wadena,  we immediately spotted a couple of Amish buggies across the street from McDonald’s and there was an extended family—grandparents, young couple with two young children and some other family members parked in a lot where they had set up a small market.  There was home-made bread, both white and whole wheat..made from their own ground wheat…there was home-made glycerine soaps with varied scents (I had to have some "lily of the valley" soap and MBF wanted the raspberry scented soap)….there was fine handwork by the ladies, a couple of beautiful quilts and a lot of homemade baskets made from ash wood by one of the men.  It was fun to visit with them and buy a few items from the market.  I got three loaves of the bread because I have tasted this bread before and it is "to die for".       My husband and grandson had a good conversation with the youngest man in the family group.  They had a good talk about cattle, horses and other aspects of farming.  I am pretty sure this was a family of the Old Order Amish because they eschew gas- powered vehicles or farm machinery.  I know they are excellent farmers, utilizing all the natural ways of nourishing their fields and soils.  They produce huge gardens each summer season and preserve their fruits and vegetables.  They had homemade jams, jellies, and jars of honey today also.   If you are interested, Google  "Old Order Amish" and read the most interesting lengthy article from the internet encyclopedia about their way of life and their beliefs.  The origin of Amish doctrine goes way back to the 16th and 17th centuries beginning in Switzerland and southern Germany,  with the followers of Jacob Menno (Mennonites) who were "anabaptists" which was a different branch of the Reformation begun by Martin Luther in Middle- Age Europe at that time.  The Amish formed when a group within the original Mennonites departed to follow a man named "Amann" thereby taking his name for their new religious group–the Amish.  It was the Old Order Amish in Pennsylvania (at present) who suffered the murders of a number of girls in a rural Pennsylvania  schoolhouse just a few years ago.  The reaction to the murders and the forgiveness they gave to the man who murdured the children was amazing… but it reflects the basic beliefs of their faith.

It was fun buying some real delicious bread and some fragrant home made soap today ; also  conversing with them in an informal setting was a delightful thing on such a beautiful sunny Saturday..this 20th day of June, 2009.

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Kay Syvrud

I am a retired elementary "schoolmarm"..I was a school librarian/media director for nearly 25 years before I retired in 2004. Naturally one of my fondest things is reading! I also love reading aloud to young children, something I did for so many years with amazing results; every child wants to read the same book as the teacher read!!!! I also am fond of my gardens...both flower beds and vegetable plots. I love being outdoors....mowing the lawn after my husband has done so with a big lawn tractor...I trim with my small power mower! I have a rain barrel to collect rainwater for plants! I have an old fashioned "pedal" bike I love to ride. I enjoy going to a Silver Sneakers class at a community center about 20 miles from my country home on what I call the "Buffalo Bluff" which overlooks the Buffalo River and its valley below. I LOVE to write and am working on a book for my grandkids so they will always know more about Grandma when she was still "kickin" and "had all her marbles"!!!!


  1. I hope to make it to the picnic…it is in my plan, barring any sudden changes. Sounds as if your day trip to Wadena was fun. It is always interesting when you have a chance to let the young ones learn a little from your encounters.

    As for the pictures on your blog, do you have a digital camera? If so, then inserting the pictures to blog could be easily taught.:-)

  2. If you have a laptop and bring it and we can find an outlet (I think there’s one there) I can show you some of that fancy stuff you’d like to do to improve your blog. If not, I can bring mine. Let me know!

  3. we have no laptop….an aging Dell is all we have.
    Your offer is most kind. I better bring a notebook so I can take notes….I do not learn easily by being shown..I have to write the instructions on technology.

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