With Deep Gratitude: Ken’s Memorial Service

Yesterday was Ken’s Memorial Service.  After hearing Ken say frequently after a funeral, “That minister (priest) didn’t even know …. (fill in name of deceased).”  Like writing his obituary, I decided to take on the planning for the service. I have a tendency to be that little red hen in the children’s story.    First I realized an open air setting would be best, but I wanted a shelter in case of rain.  Then I …

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End of an Era

Last weekend kind friends helped me continue a decades old tradition of selling Ken’s pottery and produce for our “Spring Opener” the first weekend in May.  Since Ken’s death, many people have asked me what my plans are.  Until now I have simply answered truthfully, “I don’t know.” But after last weekend some things have become clear.  And I can state unequivocally that I have no desire to do pottery and produce retail sales on …

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A Special Mothers Day

Many years ago, back in the day when men avoided doing any form of house work because it called their manhood into question, my father did help my mom.  But he helped on the sly to avoid being teased by other less secure men.  One year he was at the back door hanging up a dish towel on the line when a thin reedy voice piped from across the street. “Happy Mothers Day, Mr. Gravel!”  …

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Spring Really Is Here!

It was a long winter.  April was an amazing month.  The start had nights in the single digits – unseasonably cold.  The middle had major snow storms of heavy wet snow – sometimes in excess of a foot.  And the end had a day that reached eighty degrees in the nearby Twin Cities of St Paul and Minneapolis.  When the first snow crocus popped open I was glad to see them     Then the …

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Thank you, Mom and Dad!

Ken always enjoyed the amaryllis.              My parents had sent him a bulb here and there; most went to a friend when we went to Japan.                Last fall they sent one to me, and now its blossoms remind me of both them AND Ken.          It is short, has two stems and is BEAUTIFUL. 

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Snow in April

Wow.  This has been quite a month and it’s only half over!  We had lows in the single digits earlier in the month, and Last weekend many of us got a foot of new snow after an earlier eight inches.  So, today I was shoveling.      Today sun was in the forecast, so I went down and opened vents and shoveled out the area by the door.  The sides have so much snow!   …

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Bread and Crackers

I took on Ken’s sourdough when he died.  I am still learning about bread baking, but can do a passable loaf.         I ended up with extra sourdough.  I guess this is a fairly common occurrence.  I am not a big pancake eater – one of the ways to use the extra starter, but I decided to try the recipe using starter in crackers.  Today I made my first batch, and I …

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Taking on Tasks Ken Did – Starting Seeds

Ken and I formed a team.  People are often surprised at areas where our skills did not overlap.  Ken loved planting seeds.  And he had his set up on the lower level adjacent to the pottery studio.  A few years ago he built a germination cabinet.     Ken started each season with the onion seeds.  On a trip to the root cellar I could walk by and see him planting.  Sometimes we’d discuss what …

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Bread – Ken’s and Mine

Ken was such a good cook and baker.  His experience was broad and deep.  He grew up cooing and canning from a garden in his back yard.  His grandmother owned and cooked at the Afton House.  Ken worked in restaurants, a bakery,  pizza shoppe, hospital kitchen, and finally as a private chef for one of the Pillsbury family.          I grew up in a food family, too.  My maternal grandmother had a …

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Snowshoes on April 5th

Yes, those are snowshoes, and yes, this IS April 5th.  Although this are often gets spring snows in April, it is usually after the frost has come out of the ground, and the snow melts quickly.  This year the frost has come out only in some areas, and the amount of snow was greater than I remember.       So, I got out the snow shoes to get to the greenhouse at the bottom …

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