29 July 2011

small lights.

the lightning bugs
in the dark of night
glowing in sync
positive energy
making the night
bright with hope
small lights
in an endless black sky.

25 July 2011

respecting youth.

larry, me and bubbles.
unsuccessful, but still much fun, Slinky.

The other day, as I was waiting for my paint to dry at River City Eatery, I had the perfect summer afternoon.  Well, maybe I should start with my perfect summer morning.  I went to get my morning coffee at the local Super America (they have strawberry shortcake flavored cappucino, which tops off my black coffee perfectly) and as I walked in the door of SA, I noticed a small tower of ORIGINAL SLINKYS next to the Roller Dog Grill.  A Slinky, my friends!  So I bought one in hopes I could make it slinky so nicely down the Cottonwood County Courthouse steps sometime.  Well, I was waiting for paint to dry so what a perfect opportunity to give the Slinky I couldn't stop thinking about a try.  So I shared my Slinky with a friend and we got to thinking about all the other fun things we used to do when we were kids in Windom.   It was the perfect day to respect our youth by going to our "new" Ben Franklin, Loopy's Dollar Store. Ben Franklin Variety Store was the store I would always go to when I was young for toys and 10 cent laffy taffys, but is no longer in existence, so Loopy's would have to do.  We grabbed some bubbles, jacks, a kite, and none other than super rope licorice and made our way across the street to the courthouse lawn.  We slinkyed unsuccessfully (the stairs are too wide), but it was fun trying and we blew some bubbles with the Larry Buhler statue, all while chewing on 34 inces of Slammin' Strawberry licorice.  It was the absolute perfect day to be kids again in Windom, MN.  It was food for the soul, and it all started with the glorious ORIGINAL SLINKY.

And I know, I have a really bad habit of loitering on the courthouse lawn, don't tell anybody...

22 July 2011

more poking, more inspiration.

Today folks, it has officially been exactly one year since the inception of my $.02: Finding Windom.  I can't believe a whole year has passed--where did it go?  I went back to read my very first post to see if I stayed true to the goals I set for myself one year ago today.  It was incredible to look back and feel the exact same passion I felt when writing my first post, "poking inspiration with a stick."  Instead of sitting here tallying all the awesome things Finding Windom has done in the past 12 months, I'd rather just inspire more activity by sharing my very first post again even though you can go back and find it yourself, I wanted it to be sure you read it.  I can't wait for what the next year will bring-there is more possibility than ever right now, time to reveal it!

poking inspiration with a stick.

"I suppose it's the time of year that does it to me. The sweet sun's rays hitting my face and filling my body with a little vitamin D that makes inspiration flow through my veins. I get antsy with these compelling ideas of change, community, and just plain good times. Well, this morning was an interesting morning. I felt supercharged with ideas (this usually happens after hitting the bottom of my coffee cup). I took one of my favorite CDs I compiled for a friend after having "one of those summers"--you know, the one full of youth, music, and, well, carefree, happy times. It is amazing that one CD can dig up such memories and passion again. Anyway, so I grabbed my $.60 morning coffee from the quaint, small town gas station (it's the only one that gives me a discount on my cup of joe for using my own cup--thank you Centerstop and other coffee joints take notice) and decided to take my 5 month old son, Henrik, for a little drive while listening to the music on my favorite mix that could potentially change the world if someone would let it. It was a beautiful morning, the fog was kissing the green earth just after an early morning rain as we drove just outside the city limits (not far by any means). Each song provoking more and more inspiration. Of course not too far into the drive Henrik fell asleep to the somber notes of Ben Harper's guitar, but I'm sure he was just as inspired as I was. As I drove the open, winding surrounding county roads, I got this idea. One of those ideas of all ideas...okay mostly just this rush of ambition to actually do what I've talked about doing for years--everyone has that one thing on their so called "bucket list." So on the way back into town, as I could see the valley of Windom in the horizon and its water tower standing tall among the green trees, all I could think about was spreading love and inspiration all over this small, rural town I call home (and have called home for most of my life). You see, I live in this small city thats reaks of potential. Don't get me wrong there are many things I love about Windom, Minnesota. I love it's surrounding lakes, the people, the fact that I can get a cup of coffee for $.60, the idea that my son Henrik will have thousands of eyes watching him grow and helping him become a man who will make a difference in this world with love and passion. But unfortuneately, when I walk downtown (a mere 3 blocks from our old house) I see buildings that need TLC (the very important acronym my mother taught me at a very young age), I see a town that needs a little TLC and I don't see pride or feel community, but it is there, oh, I promise you, it is there and this is where my $.02 comes in. So, for a long time I have felt the need to create and inspire, whether it be in my own house or at work, but now it is not enough for it to be confined into my own space. I don't want to look back at my life and say "what if..." or "if I had only...". I'm ready to complete those sentences with verbs for God's sake. I'm tired of dreaming and I'm ready to do! I'm going to get involved already! Instead of complaining about things--I'm going to do something about it. I want what any parent would want for her child-I want Henrik to grow up knowing he can make a change and live his dreams and that good 'ol saying Monkey See, Monkey Do sure sounds like it belongs right here in this sentence. So now you are probably wondering where this is all going? Why a blog? Well, I can't do it alone. Through this blog and the help of others, I wish to change this town from a sad soon-to-be-gone-with-the-wind town into a tourist destination and rural hot spot in the Midwest. I've always believed that if you write it down, the better chances you have of actually doing it. So, with a big, long breath--do it with me...innnnnnn and ouuuuuuut...I'm going to actually make a difference--a tangible difference in the small world I live in. These are my baby steps of change: *Get people on the same page. I'm going to write a letter to the editor of our local paper about this blog and what I plan to do to for Windom. I'm going to spread the word!!! I want to make it easier for people to see potential where many might not see it, for example where there are weeds, I really see that it could be a beautiful garden. Most importantly, make people understand a great amount of money doesn't have to be involved--although it makes things easier, which leads to the next baby step. *Find some funding. There has to be funding somewhere. Whether it is from the state of Minnesota, from the county, from the city, from programs or from willing donors. Does anyone know of ways to get funding to help a city? I will have to do some research here. *I want to be in contact with the city. The chamber of commerce, the Windom Area Development Committee, the city council and mayor. *Doing my research. Finding cities that are doing what I wish to see Windom do. We have such great wildlife and lakes surrounding us, we have a river that whispers history, we have WIND POWER, and we have a historic county courthouse smack dab in the middle of it all. Now the question is: how do we use these things so people take notice, so people want to come, so people want to stay? What have others cities done to make them a "hot spot?" I'm crying out at this point for help. If anyone can point me in a direction of a mentor and more inspiration it would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking for help in order to get my community to find itself again and for a whole world to find Windom, Minnesota. This is my $.02: Finding Windom on a Map of a Million Cities. With a little hope, prayer and support, watch me blog my dreams come true. Happy times,"

18 July 2011

for your viewing pleasure.

I wanted to share a little bit of the video that we showed to the students for Community Pride Day on the last day of school.  I've been meaning to share it with you for a while now.  Enjoy!

17 July 2011

10 a.m. shadow.

The other day I was working down at River City Eatery painting the walls modern, welcoming colors.  The sun shining in the windows was making beautiful art on the freshly painted Milkweed Pod color I had just glided over the plaster.  It was as if this building was speaking to me, so I had to share the art with you. 

I watched the walls quickly become something new, but its old soul was joyful with the tickle of the paint roller.  I know I sound crazy for giving the walls of a building human emotions, but the atmosphere has changed so much outside and inside that I can't help but think the attention this old building is getting is a sigh of relief for it. 

I can't wait to to see and feel more joyfulness as this spot on the beautiful downtown square of Windom continues to become River City Eatery.

12 July 2011

no words.

Like usual, I'm going to be honest...I'm sitting here at this familiar screen and lately it feels as if the cursor is mocking me with rhythmic blinking and I again I don't know how to start this post or end it.  It's not because this journey has come to an end or that I don't have anything to report, instead it is because there is so much that I can't quite figure out what to tell you next.  Should I talk more about community meetings? River City Eatery? All the things I love about Windom?  findingwindom.com?  MN Intelligent Rural Communities?  The Little City That Would?  There is so much great stuff happening right now here within these city limits that I would have never thought this day would come, but I'm...speechless.  I don't know what to tell you because it is all so exciting and exhausting and none of it has been work because I'm having a blast doing it all.  My brain goes a mile a minute with all the possibilities and a year ago I would have never guessed any or all of it would or could have happened. 

There are no words to describe all the emotions I'm feeling right now in Windom.  I love this city.  I love the endless amount of possibility it has and has started to grasp.  Yup, absolutely no words right now...I'm just going to sigh and take it all in...


11 July 2011

next step.

We had two awesome discussions at the community meetings, so now you ask, what is the next step?  Now that we have gathered some community input, the input will be organizes and presented to the city council in order for them to prioritize and set achievable goals for the city to accomplish.  I couldn't be more excited about being a part of this process.  The most interesting thing I have found is that the community all seems to be on the same page as to what we would lik to see happen within the community.  This should make it a little easier for the council to start prioritizing and set some achievable goals. I'm looking forward to getting some more great things done around the city because like I've been saying since the beginning--Windom has so much more potential than we utilize--now we need to grab some hanging fruit and get some things done around here. 

We are rounding up to almost a full year since the inception of Finding Windom and this strategic planning is a good way to jumpstart year number 2,,,

07 July 2011


The first round of community meetings was held last night and I'd have to say it was a success.  There could have been a lot more people there.  I would have liked to see more city leaders there and business owners, but the discussion we had about our beloved community was productive.  I appreciate those who took time to get involved and take interest in the city's future.  It is up to us as community members to see our city thrive in an ever changing world. 

You still have a chance to give your input about Windom's future on Monday, July 11th from 4pm-6pm at the Windom Community Center.

Along with helping with these community meetings, Finding Windom is getting ready to launch findingwindom.com, Windom's very own community portal website.  This website will not be content driven, but will serve as a directory for all our residents, potential residents, visitors and businesses.  It will be a way to link all the great aspects of our city into one user friendly website and making Windom extremely accessible to anyone and everyone interested in seeing all the great things Windom has to offer.  Findingwindom.com will include links to local websites, including businesses and community organizations (to name a few), a community wide calendar, and local social networks. We are very excited to launch this website and hope this website will increase communication within the community and market our great community to others...just another way we are becoming the little city that would.  Stay tuned!

05 July 2011

you talkin' to me?

Yup, that is me in the refletion.  I was the nerd in the parking lot taking a picture of a bumper sticker. The sticker was so appropriate that I had to share.
I hope to see a bunch of people at the upcoming community meetings to talk about Windom's future. 
Wednesday, July 6th from 6pm-8pm
Monday, July 11th from 4pm-6pm
at the Windom Community Center.

See you there!

02 July 2011

i'm hungry.

I wish Icould tell you everything in this one post.  I wish I could tell you the beginning of River City Eatery, the present of River City Eatery and the future of River City Eatery right here, right now.  What I can tell you is that when I write the book, The Tale of River City Eatery, someday, this interesting story will be organized into lovely chapters of laughter, tears, blood and sweat.  But for right now, I want to give you a sneak peak into what Chapter 32 (just a guess as to what chapter I'm on at this point in the novel basd on the series of events it has taken to get to this point) is all about...the day the State of Minnesota decided to shut down...

Now I don't want to turn this into a negative post--I don't believe in dwelling on the negative--I just want to tell you how interesting things can get when trying to open up a business in the State of Minnesota.  But somewhere on someone's desk at the Department of Labor and Industry are River City Eatery's plumbing plans waiting to be looked at and approved. 

So I wait...I have to wait until those plans are approved before I can keep working to make River City Eatery a licensed food establishment. 

Isn't that exciting? 

Yup, The Tale of River City Eatery will definately make a wonderful book some day.  I'm sure you are all waiting to here the 31 chapters before this one too...believe me...it will be a fun read.

And just to keep the record straight...just because it hasn't been easy, doesn't mean it has been hard, it's just been interesting...yeah, that's the word...very interesting.

Cross your fingers this shutdown doesn't last long because I'm hungry for River City Eatery!