The End


of our Minnesota vacation that is.  We were up at 5:00 am to make the trek back to central IL.  It was yet another beautiful morning from our front porch view.  I will miss Minnesota mornings.

7-30/365 ~Shannon 


The World’s Best Donuts

This morning we headed to Grand Marais one last time before we call our vacation quits.  We had donuts here on our first morning and agreed they are seriously some of the “World’s Best Donuts“.  Now don’t get me wrong, NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can make an apple fritter like “the donut lady” that ran Dixie Cream Donut Shop in Tuscola.  Those were THE best donuts in the world…hands-down!  But my fresh, still warm, blueberry turnover was pretty incredible. And after my last 6 mile hilly MN run, by gosh…I deserved a yummy treat!

7-29/365 ~Shannon

Minnesota Morning

This morning, just as described yesterday, Buddy didn’t get past the truck.  He wanted NO part of a walk.  Geesh.  What to do?  Head back inside, make some oatmeal and coffee and blog about the book I finished last night.  Masterpiece by Elise Broach.  You can read my review here.

I decided to take advantage of the balcony porch right outside our bedroom since the sun could warm my back in the cool morning air.  There is even a brisk little breeze up here. Oh no…I am NOT complaining.  It is gorgeous outside!

Now if you will excuse me, my oatmeal is getting cold.

7-28/365 ~Shannon


A lot of time spent in the truck these past few days has made Buddy a pro passenger.  He has all of a sudden went from loving walks to loving RIDES.  When I put his leash on him in the morning for a walk things are a little different. Instead of bounding down the street in search of the perfect post, tree, bush, whatever on which to “tinkle”, we can’t seem to get 10 feet past the truck.  Once we get to the end of the driveway, he does a 180 right back to it and wants in.  Apparently he has seen the light and no longer wants to exercise if he can drive down the lane to go “tinkle”. Pathetic…or smart?

7-27/365 ~Shannon

Sit n’ Mow vs. iPad


Fifteen years ago today, on a random Wednesday night, @principalspage and I eloped.?? That’s right, fifteen years ago.?? And they said it wouldn’t last 😉

Did you know that the traditional fifteenth wedding anniversary gift is crystal? or a watch??? Wow…I mean if you know my husband, you don’t exactly think “crystal”.?? The only crystal I know that people purchase comes in the form of a vase or picture frame.?? I can just imagine his reaction to either of those gifts.?? Maybe something like.. “Uhhhh….insert long pause here….thanks hon’.”??

So maybe a watch would have been the way to go then right??? Well.?? I should take a picture of his valet rack in our bedroom for??our “picture of the day” at some point.?? There are about 15 watches, one for every year we have been married.?? So that option was also out.??

He has??always wanted a “Sit n’ Mow”.?? That is what he and my daughter have called it for years.?? You know, a riding lawn mower.?? The problem is our yard is borderline big/small enough to have/not have one.?? He has decided that our next house will either have a smaller yard, so he can easily??push it, or a bigger yard so he can finally buy a “Sit n’ Mow”.??

As I was walking with Ashton downtown Gran Marais, MN on Saturday, we saw the perfect “Sit n’ Mow” for Mike.?? Too bad I had already purchased his “crystal” screen iPad as his anniversary gift. (Seriously, the screen is glass…who knew?)

I am pretty sure he likes the crystal better than the “Sit n’ Mow”.??What do you think?

7-26/365 ~Shannon

I Spy Something Red



Yesterday on Buddy’s walk (yes I am just along for the leash holding…it is all about him), I spied something along the side of the road.?? Something familiar.?? Something that looked like a pre-breakfast snack.?? It was red.?? Could it be??? Upon closer inspection I was thrilled to find a raspberry bush.?? With a handful of juicy ripe berries waiting for me to eat them.?? I obeyed their commands.?? I ate them.?? With morning raindrops still freshly hanging on them.?? Sweet…very sweet…very, very sweet.?? You get the picture.????
As soon as I reached our cabin I went in and asked (via IM) Mom to ask Pappy if it was safe for me to pick and eat more than a handful.?? After all, it is possible that wild berries might not actually be what you think is safe to consume.?? Pappy would know.?? He taught HS Botany for a gazillion years.?? He assured me they were safe and to go ahead and pick.??
So today I did just that.?? I leashed up Buddy and we went for a short jaunt down the road to find some bushes of red goodness??that would later be combined with peaches and oatmeal crumble topping for a scrumptious dessert.
I share with you my “spy”. I wish I could also share my dessert 😉
7-25/365 ~Shannon

Lookout Mountain

I know what you are thinking. “Where’s the mountain?”  See I told you. 

Well, today we hiked…and hiked…and hiked some more.  It was beautiful outside and cool in the forest.  We decided to hike up to Lookout Mountain to check out the view.  Roughly 78 miles up the mountain and about 1.5 down…or at least it seemed.  Hiking uphill is rough, or so my daughter let me know about a gazillion times.  Actually she didn’t really complain, just did some over-exaggerated breathing to let us know how tired she was.  We got to the top and it was beautiful.  You really could see forever.  Lake Superior was in the view as well.  Gorgeous.  So you want a picture of that scene right?  I took quite a few.  But the pictures do not show its true beauty.  So I am not going to even try to post them.  You will not be as in awe as you should. 

Instead I am posting a picture of my daughter “looking out” into Lake Superior.  This was the bottom of the trail.  At the end of our hike she decided to wade her feet in the stream that emptied out into the lake.  Her dad decided to get a closer look and she followed him out.  I stayed back, sat on a rock, and enjoyed the view from this perspective.  In a word…lovely.

7-24/365 ~Shannon

Streaming Through the Seasons


This morning we went in search of groceries.?? Luckily for me I found this great little grocery store that had everything I needed.?? All of the produce is organic and some of it is even locally grown.?? They had a section of bulk food bins so I could buy exactly the amount I needed for dry goods like spelt flour, oats, chia seeds etc…?? I am so happy I am able to eat good, clean food while on vacation!?? These pictures are from the mural that is on the side of their building.?? It was created by 4th graders at Sawtooth Elementary School and is entitled “Streaming Through the Seasons”. The pictures honestly don’t do the mural justice.?? It is a beautifully created piece of art that is showcased well in this quaint lake side village.??


7-23/365 ~Shannon

How Do You Play?

We have arrived at our vacation destination along the North Shore of Lake Superior in MN after a long day on the road.  Buddy was such a good boy sleeping almost the entire way and I have to say my girl was just as good even though she didn’t sleep quite as much.  I only heard, “How much longer?” a couple of times and considering we were in the truck for 12 hours with 2 very brief stops, that is great!

After we unpacked and settled in..and made sure we had a wireless connection…I know, I know…pathetic, my daughter asked, “How do you play this game?”  I told her I had no idea and now I am asking for your help.  We would love to have a new game to play over the course of our vacation in the forest.  Can anyone help us out?

7-22/365 ~Shannon

The Shelby County 4-H Fair


“I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
my heart to greater loyalty,
my hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

The 4-H fairgrounds is the place to be this week, and it is my first
pick, if I were to choose to surround myself with kids.

Lots of hard work is involved in preparation for the judging, and it shows walking through the stalls. Our family farms are decreasing in numbers, but this week it isn’t obvious as I watched the young people groom their animals, arrange their displays, and wait nervously for the judges. I will take a whole classroom filled with these kids any day of the week.

7-21/365 ~Nancy