Oh, Harvest Moon, although barely visible here in the cloudy North Woods. We’ve been in a period (days on end) of cold, wet, windy (white caps on the water), and heavy fogs. Having said that, last Thursday it was glorious and we took advantage of it – more about that later. In the meantime the ongoing wet and gray got to Marcia who ended up spending long nights in bed and began the early preparations leading to closing our Northern Comfort for the season. Two weeks and we’ll head on south. In the meantime, there are few places where the morning coffee tastes better – ours is still perking.

I found this picture of the life cycle of coffee. I thought it worthwhile sharing, even though I couldn’t find who composed it.

As the days get shorter, folk in these parts turn to board games. So, it was with some interest that I began paying attention to a CNN piece on an updated version of Monopoly. The new version would have women collect 240 Monopoly bucks when they pass “Go”, while males collect the usual 200. It’s touted as a “fun” new take on the classic game.

A wag on Social Media quickly offered this particular update:

“There’s also a Liberal version where you don’t even have to move your pieces around the board. You just watch everyone else play (work) and then take some of their ‘money’.” ~ Anonymous

Actually, I remember playing Monopoly with the older kids at a time when there was also a toddler in the house. The toddler would bounce around the room and every so often stop by and do exactly what the Liberal version suggests – just grab a handful of ‘bucks’ from nearby players.

Whenever a grab took place our little group of players would let out a roar of displeasure; the happy toddler thought it great. The ‘roar’ heard at our game table was about as loud as the one heard over our TVs. That roaring occurred earlier this week during political debates when one harebrained scheme after another tumbled forth to the delight of the in-studio audience. The difference being that the televised ‘roar’ was one of approval and glee; however, the intelligence behind it no different than that of the little toddler mentioned earlier.

Fall colors – in these parts is more than just the glorious turning of the leaves (which is well underway). It also means that the salmon are running.

Trips to the nearby Amish markets magically explode into color as the crops come to market.

by Marlene

Life on the Farm – About 150 of us had a great time listening to some delightful acting out and reading of a wide variety of poems documenting life on the farm. Some of it was heartwarming, some dealing with the difficulties and hardships of country life. And, a lot of it was belly-laughing funny.

The venue was a ‘round’ barn one of no more than a handful in the nation of which I believe three are in this area. These structures are awesome and exude a feeling of warmth – literally and figuratively. The outside temperature was somewhere in the low to mid-fifties, the boards forming the walls are spaced apart for air circulation, and there is no heat in the place – inside it was totally comfortable.

Those who had difficulty believing just how comfortable it would be were seen removing jackets and sweaters. See, I told you.

by Marlene

A Quad ride – Rain, rain, rain, then came Thursday with its sunshine and mid-sixty temperatures; time for a quad ride! A time to once again love what autumn brings. Ten of us gathered and climbed aboard 7 ATVs and set out on a four hour adventure. A bit of open road travel to get to an old logging road and snowmobile trail, then off into the deeper woods. Aside from some wonderfully bouncy terrain, mud, and puddles, crossing a fast-running stream and edge along and over a Beaver dam, all eventually led us to our destination and the old Quartz mine.

Just so you don’t get the wrong impression, this is not just any mine, it consists of a major cliff where many, many, years ago blasting along the top of the cliff things went awry. A small matter of too much TNT blew the top off of the mountain.

For those of us who enjoy rock collecting and mineral gathering the place is something magnificent.

Upon returning there was enough time for a beer and home-made cookies at Donn and Marlene’s and another hour of good company and the conversation it brings.

Read another fun Blog and some more photos of our run, Janet’s Blog: Northern Bliss

Finis – Today wish Adrianne and Tevita a happy Anniversary. It seems such a short time ago that I ran to the airport to retrieve the newlyweds from their (days long) journey from Tonga.

A promise was made that we’d not forget our son-in-law Vince who would have turned 50 this past week. To remember, Kirstin posted a short movie clip of Vince opening his 40th birthday card who was totally caught off-guard as tickets to a Wrigley Field game tumbled out; this to see his favorite team – the Cubbies. A number of us joined up in Chicago to see the game and then afterwards met at Nick and Stephanie’s home. That was Vince’s first time seeing ‘his’ team play in their home field and he was thrilled. Fond memories and a almost out of reach legacy. Thanks Vince.

For gardening it’s been a rough season, too dry then too wet, and August too cold; the exceptions being Kale and Leek. With the many hours of tender care Marcia has given to the vegetables she planted in Poopy-Patches the old canoe veggie garden container; guess what we’re eating a lot of these days.

Dinnertime yesterday Marcia was outside and stopped at Bulen’t place, just saying ‘hi’. Chatting for a bit Bulent mentioned that a short time before he’d seen a Raccoon walk by. Just about that very moment they spotted 6 Raccoons marching away from the cabin area. Last night Marcia locked the door to our screened in porch.

Last weekend was when the Northern Lights were going to be visible; the best time for viewing to be between 10PM and 2AM for three days straight. I forgot day one when people did see the lights. Day two I went outside every 15 minutes from 10 till 12:30 – saw nothing. Third day I went to bed and then got up around midnight only to discover the sky all clouded over. For me the Aurora Borealis was a bust; but I tried – sorta.

Coming Wednesday several of us will be back at the twelve-sided (Round) barn to hear a presentation on a journal made of a 1912 trip down the Mississagi River. The retired curator of all things Algoma will present. 1912 was a time when the road leading past our lake was laid out and logging utilizing the river to run the logs was going full ‘bore’. As an aside, the Mississagi runs from the massive Boreal forest areas north of us to the mills on the ‘big’ lake.

Yesterday afternoon Paul and I zipped up our jackets a little extra tight and sat outside at his place fully prepared to enjoy a good cigar. Next we moved our patio chairs a little closer to his cabin to stay dry. When the rain turned into a ‘gully-washer’ we (with lit cigars) dove into the adjoining garage. Hence this final picture:

This week make your own ‘babamadizwin’ a good one – ‘journey’ in the Ojibwe language

Till next week.

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