Tag Archives: small town living

The Project

It’s been over two months since I lasted posted on the blog.  Life happens, especially in Minnesota in the summer.  It seems that everyone tries to cram everything into the twelve weeks of summer.  We have been busy with life, work and “The Project”   Throw in a few weddings, birthday parties, reunions and we are already back to shortened days and cooler temperatures much sooner than expected.  My to do list still has too many items left on it.

Below are some before and after pictures from our project.  It has been fun seeing it take shape.  There is still much to do both inside and out.  There have been a few bumps in the road and distractions along the way so progress on our part as been slow.  The carpenters working on the project have been awesome.


I hope to get back to posting more often.  I had to put the camera down for a few months after breaking my collar-bone the end of June after tipping my motorcycle.  It has slowed me down a bit but I am finally back to having some strength back in my right arm.  The good news is my left arm is getting so much stronger since I’ve had to use it instead of the right.

Hope summer is treating all of you well. Jeanne


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The Bicycle Gang and Childhood Destinations

This morning as I was looking for another photo I ran across this one. I took it a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday morning out my office window. At first it was only the two boys on the far right and they were quickly joined by the other five. They waited patiently as the one boy added air to his tire and then they were off as quickly as they came.

I was transported back to the 70’s when as a girl of 11 my friends and I would gather at one of my friends homes or mine just as the boys had done that Saturday morning.

We had important things to do. A trip to the mall was our destination. Now you may think that a trip to the mall was no big deal but it was. There weren’t many malls back then. In fact in our area of Minneapolis, this was the first. The mall was a mile and a half from our homes. We headed off with instructions from our Moms and Dads about safety along the busy roads with our bikes. There was no talk about being wary of strangers, it was a different time for sure.

We would head out first thing in the morning. The mall would open at 10 am. This was a whole day adventure. We didn’t plan on buying much, mostly looking but lunch was definitely part of the deal. Each of us would bring our hard-earned babysitting money or allowance if we got one. Saturday morning chores were done before we could go.

I still remember the wind blowing through my hair as we pedaled our bikes down the road. I loved then and still do now looking at all the different types of homes along the way and how the yards were landscaped. Once at the mall all the displays caught my eye which of course they were meant to do. As I look back now perhaps there was a different occupation other than teaching that I should have pursued, architecture or some type of design.

There is no mall for the boys to explore in our small town of 400. I imagine there are places just as exciting for a boy’s bicycle gang to explore in Tom Sawyer fashion with a small river and lakes nearby.


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Sticks and Stones

Tonight after work I was outside taking clothes in off the line when my daughter and grandson got home. He stayed outside with me while she unloaded her car. While we were outside he found a stick and walked around in the yard poking the ground and everything with his stick until he broke it in two.

No tears were shed when he broke it. He just picked up the other half and walked around to the side of the yard where the steps come down off the porch. He started using his sticks like drumsticks on the bottom step.

After drumming for a while he put his sticks down and headed to my garden. When he got there he was distracted by something up above.

When I looked up to see what he was pointing at I saw a flock of birds flying overhead. I’m not sure what kind they are but this was just a small portion of what flew overhead.

After the birds passed by Jack picked up some small stones from my garden and promptly trotted down to the lake. When he got to the shore he threw one stone in and then the other. He turned around and headed straight back to my garden for a second and later a third set of stones to throw in the lake until the mosquitoes drove us inside for the rest of the evening.

Who needs fancy store-bought toys when you’ve got sticks and stones?


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Abundance: Present and Future

This past weekend marked the beginning of the graduation party season in our small town. Graduation was held on Saturday of Memorial Day with my hubby(chairman of the school board) reading names of the graduates at the ceremony. Afterwards, someone told him he was being too serious when he read the names. He said he thought that graduation was supposed to be a solemn event.

We attended our first of many graduation parties for the graduates on Sunday. Each party is usually an Open House with family, friends and neighbors in attendance. The food is abundant and unique to each family usually with the graduates helping choose the menu.

My oldest son wanted a pig roast for his party, my second son was more interested in going racing right after his party was finished that he wasn’t too concerned about what was on the menu. My daughter had her favorite requests like Hot roast beef sandwiches, BBQ meatballs, fresh fruit and lots of salads. My youngest daughter had pretty much the same menu as her older sister but wanted to make sure I made my chicken salad for the party.

We have been to graduation parties with taco in a bag, pig roasts, picnic style foods,  smoked turkeys and some with very ethnic foods. One thing is constant at all the parties and that is the inclusion of plenty of sweets usually in the form of bars(lots of varieties) and cake.

At the first graduation party we went to this year there was an abundance of food as expected and then I found the unexpected in this photo which speaks of future abundance in the form of grapes.

I leave you with this quote today..

Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.
by Wayne Dyer

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Upsala Cardinal Basketball Season Comes to An End

The 2010-2011 Upsala Cardinal Season came to an end this afternoon at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota but not without playing a great game for all those who attended.

The game started as all games do with the same beginning score.

The players from Upsala and those from Springfield gave it their all in front of their hometown fans. The marched from end to end and basket to basket with Upsala trailing by only three points at the half. 

At one point the officials had to call a time out to clear their desk of spilled liquids after one of the players landed on their desk. Several players took falls off of the basketball court and  landed on the floor below. Williams Area has a moat of sorts all around the basketball court. No water just hard cement to land on.

The high school band was there to cheer the team on along with four busloads of fans and many alumni. It was a high school reunion of sorts for my husband, 1977 graduate of Upsala.

The final score was Springfield 63, Upsala 53 but our team will always be winners for giving it their all at the Minnesota State Boys Basketball Tournament and representing Upsala well.

Thanks for a season to remember!


Posted by on March 25, 2011 in "Small Town Living", Life Happens


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Upsala Off to the State Boys BB Tournament


Upsala High School Boys BasketballSection 5A Champions!
BBB 5A Champions
The Upsala Boys Basketball Team won the Section game 

against McGregor in Crosby Friday night 92-54. 

It’s an exciting week in our small town of 400. Our boys basketball team won the section game on Friday evening which will send our team to the Minnesota High School Basketball State Tournament in the Twin Cities on Thursday, March 24, 2011 for the first time ever in boys basketball for our school.

I’ve taught a lot of the boys on the team in my nine years of  teaching in Upsala. Some of the boys I had as kindergarten students.  It’s so fun to see the fine young men that they have grown into since those early days in school.

There is nothing that swells the hearts with pride in a small town than to have one of our teams or students succeed beyond the boundaries of our local area. We love our kids here!

If your drive through our little town this week you will see the business windows painted with well wishes for the team and the coaches. The busses will be decorated for their departure to the tournaments and the filled with special treats for the team. Cars traveling to the tournaments will be decorated with well wishes too.

An action shot from an earlier game

There will be no school on Thursday so they can use the school busses to carry the fans from the area to the tournaments, it’s a two hour drive to the Twin Cities. The big game will be at 5 pm on Thursday. The joke in town is whoever is the last to leave to the tournaments don’t forget to turn the lights out.

Good Luck Upsala Boys Basketball Team and Coach Capelle at State!


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Small Town Living

Small town living isn’t for everyone but it suits me.  I love the charm of the old buildings.  Little Falls, Minnesota is the nearest larger town to where I live.  It’s about 20 miles from my home.  The estimated population in 2009 was 8067.  The population of the even smaller town where we live is 425.

This past week I took some pictures of some of my favorite places in Little Falls.  At some point in time they hired someone to paint some murals in some of the old buildings in town.  This is one of my favorite murals.


This past week I did a post on roman numerals on clock faces.  One of my favorite things in Little Falls is the clock on the old courthouse.

This is another photo that shows the Airport sign in it’s original location at the drive-in.  The quality of the picture isn’t the best because it is a picture of a picture.

This is a picture of the illuminated airport sign in the Black and White Cafe.

This is a picture of the Little Falls train station.  When I was young my Mom, brother and my two younger sisters road a train from the Twin Cities to Little Falls.  It was my first train ride and my Grandma met us at the train and drove us to her home about 30 miles from Little Falls.  My mom’s hometown was Little Falls.

The train bridge is still one of my favorite sites.

After taking the pictures of the bridge a couple of weeks ago I was talking to a customer of ours from Little Falls and he asked me if I knew that one half of the bridge was replaced.  He said that at one point the bridge was damaged and one half was replaced.  The height difference from the west end of the bridge to the east side is about five feet.  I had never noticed the difference before he mentioned it but the next time I was in town and looked at the bridge and sure enough the height changes on the bridge half way across the bridge.  I love when I find out a piece of history that I never knew before. 

I like the familar sites in a small town.  Things remain the same for many years never seeming to change. When I think back to some of the first trips to Little Falls compared to recent ones I know that there have been changes in town but they seem to have happened very slowly and almost unnoticable unlike in the big cities where buildings seem to appear overnight.


Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Photography, Reflections


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