“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

Friday, September 25, 2015

Toast Anyone?

Autumn has arrived and everyone is posting their incredible photos of their trees, flowers, front porches etc.... all decorated with the seasons best.

Not me, today you get toast.


Yes, it may seem an odd thing to talk about, but I can't get it out of my mind these days....

I dropped by a moving sale last week and an elderly couple was selling off a vast majority of their things. I picked up a few teacups and other little items, but the most interesting item I came home with is this fun cookbook.

"A Book of Recipes and Suggestions for the Use of Toast", by Mills Bakery, Detroit Michigan - Halls Baking Co - 1937.


While I'm making light of what seems today like a funny book, remember this was written during the Great Depression (1929-39), the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world. Another horrible event at that time was the Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods to prevent wind erosion caused the phenomenon. 
Times were extremely tough for people throughout the country and food was hard to come by. What little they had was extended by using a relatively inexpensive item at the time, which in this case was sliced bread. My parents families were both farmers and lived through both of these horrid events.


So I guess at the time, it was appropriate for Toast to have 
a special place at the table for all to enjoy. Let's take a look 
at a book about Toast!

























This was declared the First and perhaps Last book about Toast!





The Glory of Toast!

Toast, a happy glorification of the world's oldest and most important food, now takes on a new significance in the preparation of the daily meals......... golden brown toast adds to the attractiveness of whatever it is served with, and eye-appeal always makes good food taste even better. .... and of course it is easy on the food budget.  Particularly so, because it is the smart way to serve leftovers. - from A Book of Recipes and Suggestions for the Use of Toast



A Toast To Toast 
by 
Grace McKinstry




I will never think of Toast in the same way again!








Just a peek at some fun Toast Recipes!





Hope you enjoyed my book about toast! If you'd like to purchase the book it's available in my shop, CraveCute on Etsy.




Who knew toast was so much fun.....

I found these on Flickr!

Fun Toast People!

Toast Talk (13), c1965





Glamorous Cocktail Party Toast!
1937 ... toast juggling!



I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 
And don't forget to Toast your Toast!

~~Diane~~





Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Once More Round the Lake

We had family visiting from another state over the Labor Day holiday and we had to get them out to the premier lake in the Twin-Cities area. Luckily the rain and high humidity departed and we were blessed with a fantastic Labor Day tour of beautiful Lake Minnetonka.




Lake Minnetonka is the 10th largest lake in Minnesota; it has over 14,000 acres of water (approximately 22 square miles) with more than 100 miles of shoreline.  The maximum depth of the lake is 113 feet. Lake Minnetonka is also the most heavily-used lake in Minnesota. (source)





Since my relatives are land-lubbers, we decided on the safe and smooth ride aboard the lovely and very vintage Steamboat Minnehaha. In the early 1900's the Steamboat Minnehaha was created as an extension of the Twin Cities' streetcar system.


 The Steamboat Minnehaha on Lake Minnetonka, MN.:
 source

It all came to an end with the rise in popularity of automobiles and the steamboat was scuttled in 1926.  For five decades, the Minnehaha lay at the bottom of lake Minnetonka.

That changed, however, in 1980, when a salvage team discovered her and raised her back to the surface.  Finally, after a complete restoration, the Minnehaha returned to passenger service in 1996 and has operated on Lake Minnetonka every season since.


Watching the Minnehaha come into dock from a previous tour. 







 Waiting to board....




 I have the window seat and can't wait to get going!






 We are just leaving the dock and heading out of the bay into the main lake.



The lake was not nearly as crowded as in the warmer days of summer, but there were still many people out enjoying the beautiful day.  We saw several groups of sailboats and kayaks like the ones in the photos above.



This dad had his daughter out on the paddleboard and was keeping
 a close eye on us!






 An actual steam engine still runs in the belly of the Steamboat Minnehaha.









Here are just a few of the more modest homes on Lake Minnetonka. These are the ones I would choose to live in if I had a full-time housekeeper, gardener and maintenance crew!

Some historic mansions remain on the lake, but are more secluded and mostly hidden from the prying eyes of tourists.  A few include prominent estates once owned by the first families of Minnesota, such as the Pillsburys (as in the Pillsbury Doughboy), the Daytons (Daytons Department Stores and founder of Target stores) and the Bells (General Mills). Most of the larger homes now are owned by professional athletes and insurance company CEO's.

The former Pillsbury house may still be for sale, I found this info on a real-estate site. It's been reduced to $24 million. Here's a photo from the site.....

Former Pillsbury House – $24,000,000 | Pricey Pads:


 source




I much prefer these "smaller" homes!









Our tour took us around the "Big Island" and then back into the bay.  It was a pleasurable hour-long cruise around the lake.









The Steamboat Minnehaha is a floating museum and a real treasure to the city of Excelsior on the bay of Lake Minnetonka. 

I hope you enjoyed this little trip with me. We still have a few more weeks of this glorious weather so maybe we'll make it back out to the lake before winter sets in.  I hope you're enjoying this 
beautiful time of year too!

See you soon!
~~ Diane ~~



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Summer Days Dwindling Down

You're thinking.... "Wow, she finally posted something!". Yes, I know, I've been neglecting my blog and all of you far too long! It's been over a month since my last post and I do apologize for disappearing from blog-land without even a mention.  It seems that life gets in the way sometimes.... house guests, mini-vacations, etc...

I left in the heat of summer and now am returning to almost fall like temperatures outside today. Before I turn the page on summer I have a few things I want to share with you today.

First of all I have some Happy Mail that I received over the summer.

This first image is of a wonderfl collection of crystals that my dear blog friend Stacy sent me... she has a lovely blog called Magic Love Crow. Thank you Stacy, I really love these!


The large crystal in back is "Clear" quartz, it is used to clear the air. Next is an upturned white heart which is Selenite, it is said it holds no negativity.  In front is a Heart shaped Rose quartz crystal which is for love and peace.  More rose quartz and then the ones that almost look like purple jelly beans are Amethyst, they are for all over good healing.

I know all of those things to be true, for when I hold them in my hands, I love how they feel. Rolling them through my fingers and looking at them really do give me a sense of calm, perhaps similar to holding prayer beads... but maybe more.... below are some fascinating things that quartz is used for....

Here are some other amazing things quartz is used for...

Quartz (silica) source

As a crystal, quartz is used as a semiprecious gem stone. Crystalline varieties include amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz, etc. Cryptocrystalline forms include agate, jasper, onyx, etc. Because of its piezoelectric properties quartz is used for pressure gauges, oscillators, resonators and wave stabilizes; because of its ability to rotate the plane of polarization of light and its transparency in ultraviolet rays, it is used in heat-ray lamps, prism and spectrographic lenses. Also used in manufacturing glass, paints, abrasives, refractory materials and precision instruments. Silica is also used in manufacture of computer chips, glass and refractory materials.


Next I want to share a few photos of my late summer garden, taken a couple of weeks ago.  If you look closely, you will see a pretty Black Swallow-tail Butterfly in the phlox.  This butterfly was almost constantly fluttering its wings and I must have taken about 20 bad images before I even got this just OK one!


 Below are just a couple of photos of the phlox and day lilies.









And then there was more Happy Mail....

Another blog friend over in the UK recently closed down her brick and mortar store and is now selling only online.  I ordered a few books and cards from her and this is one that I simply adore! The book is titled Hand in Hand to Fairyland and the image is by Rene Cloke. Thank you Barbara, I loved every thing so much! You must visit her shop and blog March of Time Books.






And even More Happy Mail...

And now summer is dwindling down to just a few more days but another blog friend has jump started my Fall decorating by informing me that I had won her blog contest and she sent me these fantastic new and vintage decor and crafting items! Wow! I was thrilled! Thank you Pam!  Make sure to visit her at Virginia Retro blog. And yes Pam, I saw your post and I do know I am one of those lazy bloggers! Hahaha!

But look at this, Pam made that adorable card for me and look how it perfectly matches my old tablecloth! Darling!




Here are all the goodies I won from Pam's blog contest! 
Cute, Cute, Cute!






To finish off my post today, I want to share a little page from the 1960's book, Music Through the Year, art by Robert J. Lee, poem by Rose Flyeman.






Happy Fall to All!
I promise I will visit every one of your blogs and I WILL be back soon!
~~ Diane ~~