Palisades Head … along the beautiful north shore

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One of the Brule dance troupe members …

This past weekend, we took a quick trip to Silver Bay, Minnesota, located along the north shore of Lake Superior. On Saturday night, we attended a wonderful concert by Brule, a long-standing Native American contemporary/new age band (that we have been following for many years),

On Sunday morning we decided to do a little exploration of Palisades Head. According to Wikipedia, Palisades Head is a large rock formation within Tettegouche State Park but not contiguous with the rest of that park. It is located in Beaver Bay Township, approximately 54 miles northeast of Duluth and three miles east of Silver Bay. Palisades Head is a sheer cliff three hundred feet in height that is located right on the shore and is a favorite place for rock-climbing.

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The narrow, winding road leading to the top of Palisades Head …

The road leading to the top of Palisades Head is a bit intimidating, clearly marked with warnings about the narrow, winding path –   cautioning those who choose to make the steep ascent. At first we thought it might be better to just look from the road – but then our curiosity got the better of us – and we started up the narrow road. There were a few spots in the road where it was very steep — and a backward trip down the hill would have been particularly exciting. But a few minutes later we arrived at the summit – with no issues except for a few white knuckles.

Once at the top, this spectacular view lay before us …

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The view to the south …

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The view across the lake … taken into the bright sun … making it look like an evening shot …

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The view to the north …

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A view of the edge of the cliff …

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And this … a panorama  … of the scene before us …

The air was crisp but invigorating; it felt like I was standing at the top of the world … absolutely breathtaking!

If you ever get a chance, take a few minutes to see this amazing view. You’ll be glad you did.

As always, thanks for reading!

Flowers, flowers, flowers … the 2015 Season

This year was a very good year for growing flowers at our house. We had nice weather, ample rain … but not too much … and only a few strong storms. Luckily, we had no storm damage. Over the season, I’ve been posting pictures of our flowers on Facebook. This time, rather than post lots of photos, I made a quick video (less than 2 minutes) from still shots taken this summer. A bit of a warning – this is my first attempt at creating a video. I hope you will take a couple of minutes and enjoy the color. Simply click Here. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and for watching.

Treasures from 2015 garage sales …

While I may go to a few more garage sales yet this year, the season has basically ended. The weather will be getting a bit too cold for sales. Here’s a season wrap-up highlighting some of my better 2015 bargains.

One of my hobbies is collecting dolls. My collection is mostly Victorian-type dolls, with long elaborate dresses over layers of undergarments, trimmed with frills, feathers, flowers, and ribbons. This summer I found three collectible dolls that caught my eye – an Ashton-Drake boy marine boy doll, a Danbury Mint Prince William doll and a Danbury Mint Princess Kate doll – all in great shape and for sale at very reasonable prices. They’re not victorian but are still worthy of a place in my collection.


Once my ‘she cave’ is set up, I have big plans to do some sewing. I haven’t had a sewing area for many years but I have collected a LOT of supplies. This summer I found a few items that will help me sort and store these items.


And this little item (which really is little) will help me finish off my designs  … it’s a baby serger — perfect for finishing smaller items, like doll clothes, etc.

baby serger.

The summer garage sale season would not be a success without finding some treasures for the guy of the household.First, I found a replica of a bell from the Titanic, one of my husband’s favorite topics. He’s been studying the Titanic for years. And, secondly, I found a jigsaw to add to his developing wood shop. Both were bargains!

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And, finally, my last treasure –  vintage ruby red Cristal D’Arques Durand glassware (made in France). After a little research, I find there are a lot more pieces so I will be on the hunt for more of this glassware to add to my collection.


Until next time, thanks for reading

Wrap up of the garage sale season – displaying your items

This blog is about displaying your garage sale items to maximize sales.

Have you ever gone to a garage or yard sale and find the items for sale spread out on blankets on the ground? That happens a lot … and while it is good for young folks, it’s not the best for viewing or looking through the items. For some of us who don’t bend like we used to, it also makes it hard to pick things up.

Often we find sales where everything is piled on tables … not sorted and sometimes a foot or more deep. This discourages looking through the items. Instead, neatly sort and fold the items. As in the photos, labeling sizes makes it much easier to look – and to buy!

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Also try your hand at creatively displaying items, much like a typical retail store. It’s a good way to catch the eyes of your shoppers. 001

There are a number of ways to keep your guests at your sale – which encourages them to look more thoroughly:

  • When it’s hot, offer cold water – or have a kool-aid, lemonade stand.
  • When it’s cold, offer coffee.
  • When it’s hot, use open-sided tents to cover the tables and/or have fans circulating air.
  • Offer snacks for sale … sometimes that’s enough to keep people shopping rather than leaving to go to lunch.
  • Have a ‘free’ box  – especially if you have small children’s items. It gives the kids something to do while the adults are shopping.

And finally, have some fun at your sale! We went to a sale that provided live entertainment. As we listened, we keep looking, and sure enough, found some treasures.


In the next blog, I’ll show you some of my 2015 treasures.

Thanks for reading!! 

The garage sale season – 2015 … tips on signs


A great sign! It is colorful and easy to read. The only improvement would be to also include the address. This is my favorite sign of the summer – and they had a great garage sale!

This is a first in a series of three blog posts on the 2015 garage sale season. This post is about signs, the second is about displays, and the third is about my favorite treasures of the season.

The first and perhaps the most important part of putting on a garage sale is getting people to your sale. Good signage can make or break your sale. Here’s a few tips:

  1. Make sure all of your signs are the same color. Often there are several signs at an intersection; it is much easier to follow the path if all of  your signs are the same color.
  2. Make sure you place signs often along your route. If they are too far apart, people will give up.
  3. Make your signs colorful. Given a choice, we follow the more colorful, more interesting signs. This also helps in following the path to your sale. Do not use brown paper bags for signs because they are difficult to read.
  4. Make sure your lettering is large enough to read at a distance. Don’t just use a marker with thin lines. A little rain will immediately destroy the writing, making your sign illegible.
  5. Make sure your sign is firmly in the ground so it doesn’t fall over.
  6. Post the sign at least a foot off of the ground. Often there is vegetation that obscures a sign located right on the ground.
  7. Make sure you take the signs down when the sale is over. It’s very frustrating to follow signs, only to find that there is no sale.
  8. Don’t advertise your sale until you are sure you will be ready for the sale. Again, it is very frustrating to go to the address of an advertised sign only to find out there is no sale. We remember those addresses and are not likely to return for a second time.

The next blog will discuss tips for displaying items at your sale.

Til then – Thanks for reading! 


If you want your garage sale to fail, this sign will help you. It is hard to read, items are scribbled out, and it’s probably been used before. It is also mounted on the ground – so vegetation covers part of the sign. It’s a good idea to post the sign at least a foot or more off of the ground for better visibility.


This sign is very visible, is off the ground, and clearly marks the location of a garage sale. Just one caution, however. It was located at the end of a slight curve … and a few people came to a screeching halt thinking a deer was crossing – only to realize the deer was wearing signs.

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This works well to mark the location of a garage sale.

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Another favorite sign – the volkswagon sign which was used to direct people to the sale and at the location of the sale. Banners also help catch attention.

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And, of course, at the end of the volkswagon signs you find a volkswagon – marking the entrance to the sale.

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Here banners are used to draw attention to the location and the sign.

An honor indeed …

Typically I don’t blog about planning or my planning career, but last week something happened  – something very special. As planners, and therefore regulators, we rarely receive a thank you for our work. By a thank you, I mean a written note or acknowledgment of a job well done. I think that over the past twenty plus years, I’ve probably received a dozen or so written thank you’s. Of course, we understand that a ‘thank’ you isn’t typical in our profession so receiving one is a bonus, a much appreciated event.


Left – me; center – Chapter President Breanne Rothstein, and right – Planner of the Year Award Winner Antonio Rosell. Photo credit: Otto Schmid, chapter co-administrator with his wife Peggy.

Last week I received the ‘Thank You’ of all ‘Thank You’s’ – the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Planning Association – our state planning organization. Quoting the information for being nominated for this award:

“The Lifetime Achievement Award, as given by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Planning Association, celebrates the contributions over a whole career of a member of the chapter. As a professional, the nominee will be recognized for innovation and creativity. The nominee will exhibit commitment and dedication to the field of planning, expressed through practice, education, and/or community service. As a leader, the nominee will have contributed to the vitality of the chapter or national association through elected or appointed roles. Nominees should be widely recognized as visible leaders in the field, who have had sustained impacts and have been advocates for planning throughout their careers.”

I must say, receiving this award is a bit overwhelming. For days I have been trying to formulate the words to adequately express my ‘Thank You’ to our organization, the board members and all of the planners in our organization. I still have a hard time believing they chose me.

Of course, all of this comes with a little bit of a story. As I was walking to the stage after the chapter president read my bio, everyone stood up. I have to admit it startled me a little and for a split second – because planners don’t get many standing ovations – I thought they were all leaving. But then there was the amazing round of applause – one that I will never forget.


Happy and overwhelmed! Photo by Otto Schmid.

I note that I’m still involved in planning, working part-time and will continue to contribute to the planning field when I can. But, while one ‘lifetime’ is nearing an end, I’ll just get busy with another – becoming a historian.

Thank you APA MN from the bottom of my heart!!

And thank YOU for reading this.