The sound of cicadas. Fog rising during the twilight hours. County fairs and evening concerts. The scent of goldenrod heavy in the air. Fall peaking around the corner with the coolness of the early mornings. Summer's heat still clinging to the afternoon. Babysitting nephews. People watching at the airport. Late-night runs to the diner for milkshakes. Plays in the park. Frozen pizza. Summer's last ballgames. Afternoons with the girls. Morning phone calls on the drive to work. Stopping by WholeFoods to eat lunch via their free samples. Jumping in the pool.

The little things.


Cheesecake Brownies

While home for a few days of vacation, I whipped this recipe up in no time ... it was the perfect accompaniment to a tall glass of cold-pressed coffee in the afternoon!

what you'll need

your favorite brownie recipe
8 oz cream cheese softened
2 eggs
6 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

make your choice of brownies (I used a boxed brownie mix) and place in a baking pan, reserving a quarter of the batter

whip together the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla and pour the mixture over the brownie batter

spoon the reserved batter over the cheesecake topping and drag a knife through all the layers to create a marbled effect

bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a inserted knife comes out clean

Serve whilst warm and gooey and enjoy!



My sister and I were sitting on the hardwood floor of her living room. We were attempting to catch up on life as her ten-month old was crawling over our laps, shoving everything that wasn't tied down into his mouth and vocally announcing his disapproval whenever our attention was shifted away from him. In the snippets of conversation that the little man allowed, we realized we both had a few days of vacation coming up that, with a little tweaking, could be taken on the same days. We pulled the necessary strings, packed up our bags and the baby and headed home to spend a long weekend home on the farm.

Each morning began in the same way ... hot mugs of coffee and cream, passing the nephew from hip to floor, to arms, to hip again, and planning out the projects and recipes for the day. In the midst of a busy summer, it was a breath of relief to escape from the cities and let life slow down just a bit. There was something comforting and life-giving about taking the time to be with family and letting moments organically unfold. Not all our projects were completed, and not all of the plans came to fruition. But that was ok. It was more than ok....

Evenings were spent by the fire watching the bats come out, bottles of wine were uncorked, dinner was thrown together at the last possible minute, hours were spent around the kitchen table in conversation, and trips were made into town to watch the concerts at the County Fair. All the important things were present: family, laughter, coffee, and sunsets over the prairie. It was simple ... and it was good...


Lake Nokomis

When I think 'summer,' Lake Nokomis immediately comes to mind. A friend introduced this spot to me last year, and it quickly became a regular thing to drive over late at night, sit on the dock and watch the planes flying low over the lake as they land at the airport. There is a Caribou Coffee which stays open late, and a tiny little ice-cream shop whose lines go out the door on a hot night. The mosquitoes do think that they own the place, but it wouldn't be a Minnesotan lake without them. It's a good little spot to meet the girls for a Sunday afternoon, to watch the sailboats come and go or to simply sit with toes dipped in the water, doing a little talking and dreaming.

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