Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

June 29, 2009

Orange blossoms...


Lucy recently asked about the mock orange bush. Well let me tell you, it is about as full of blossoms as I've ever seen. One day recently, with no wind blowing, the whole yard smelled of those blossoms. Awesome!

Of course the Peonies are trying to grab their share of glory...

I think this bush may need some pruning... maybe divide it and get a few more going. Anyone know about this process???

That's about it, keep your eyes on this blog for an upcoming feature. I promise it will be great!

I gotta go, Carlo


June 27, 2009

Northwoods items of interest.


I recently took a trip to Boulder Junction. It's a nice little town a little North of Woodruff. Being the Musky capitol of the world, the sports and fishing theme is evident in most of the town.

Here is a typical looking business place, alot of the buildings look somewhat new, and there a alot of small businesses, tourist type things, and that's about it.

Here is the place I went to visit. It is Sherer's We-Tie-It store. Bill Sherer makes his living tying flies, selling all types of fishing gear and is known as one of the leading guides for Musky fishing with fly rod as his specialty. Anyway, he had helped me out with selecting some equipment to use with the heavy duty fly rod I had put together a few years ago. Remember wrapping those line guides, Bryn??? I was having some trouble with the knot connecting the 30# test monofilament to the 20# single strand titanium wire. This set-up is used at the fly to prevent the big toothed critters from severing the leader. He showed me the know, I tied several until I had it right. Anyway it was a nice drive from Park Falls across 182 to Boulder.....

A week ago Friday I visited the Palace on Wintergreen. The boys have been busy getting a deck built on one and a half sides of the building. It's now done with all railings in place and a nice stairway to the ground.

They seem to be pleased with the deck, and probably with themselves.... but I kid the boys.....

Hailee visited us the following weekend, three days.... Peggy was busy, I was under the weather for 2 of those days. Anyway, she's a ham for the camera.

Notice the scrape on her right cheek bone? She wasn't paying attention and fell down the concrete steps at the front of the house. Glad it wasn't any worse!!

Asleep 5 minutes and already crossways in the bed.... I slept on the couch while she was here, and granny had to deal with her active sleeping style.

Yeah, she's a real ham for the camera. Go figure, huh?

Playin' and singin', that's what she does best........

I gotta go, Carlo


June 24, 2009

A trip to Ilija's Place.....


While in Milwaukee last week, we visited a new-to-us dining establishment. It is called Ilija's Place, in Cudahy. Sister Liz' husband, Dennis Pavlovic, has a Serbian heritage and his father was a high ranking official in Serbia.... but that's a story I hope Dennis will be telling us soon...
Here Peggy and Lucy are ready to enter.

So we have visited a couple other Serbian restaurants in the area, but Ilija's is the best we have been to. I believe Ilija said he came to the U.S. in 1978? He and his family run this place and it is very Serbian oriented in decor and food. As you can see, it is in a very residental area, lots of homes, trees.... pleasant surroundings.

The interior was nicely done, with an old world look (I guess that's what you would call it).

One recurring motif was the inclusion of musical instruments. This serving area was near our table and had a couple of guitars on it. I'm guessing they get used once in a while.

Music again part of the theme, and there were many pictures hanging on the walls.

Just inside the main entrance was this display of traditional Serbian clothing. At the left edge of the photo, and about half way up, you can see what looks like a poster on the door. It was telling of a woman who would be at Ilija's in the near future, playing accordian for a celebration they were having. Turns out Liz and Dennis attended this. Maybe I'll get an update on how it was.

Another view of the bar area. It was fun just to try to look at everything there. I did not have any of the traditional plum brandy, but Dennis tells us that it is very common in the Serb community.

Our table was next to a doorway leading to an outdoor patio area. This was a grill that Ilija told us about. It used heat both below and above whatever you were cooking. He said it worked really well with the dual heat.

There were half a dozen tables out there and one could eat outside if they wished. Very pleasant atmosphere.

In the background you can see the larger cooking area made of brick. It is large enough to roast a whole pig or lamb. If I have this right, they usually cook something out here each Saturday during the summer, begining at noon with the food ready later in the day. Sounds good, and I'm sure we will be visiting a roasting session if we are in town during the summer......

Lucy and Peggy look pretty intent on making a food descision. Some things sounded familiar, some were a mystery. I realized later that I did not get a photo of our server, one of Ilija's sons. He helped us with the menu and made us feel very welcome and at ease. One of the best dining experiences we've had.

Bryn and a friend of hers from work joined us for this evening of good food, gracious hosts and a good family visit. Notice the two giant swords hanging on the wall behind the table, and on the extreme left is the doorway to the patio....

Here's a look at the menu (you will have to double click to enlarge it). We had the Sarma, Stuffed peppers, Veal Paprikash, Venison Goulash and Kobasica.

This image of the menu was pulled off Ilija's website, and it looks just like the pages out of the menus we used. Just another nice touch..... Click the link above to get a better look at Ilija's Place.

Hey, I just took another look at their website and I think this photo is of the young man that served our table. Lots to look at on their pages.
We called Liz and Dennis to let them know we were at this restaurant, and seeing as though they only live a mile away, they rode their bicycles to come and join us. Dennis and I had some STONG Serbian coffee, and it turns out they know some of the same people that Ilija and his family know. Dennis had a great time there as he is very interested in his own heritage and this place fits right in.

We visited and laughed with Ilija for quite a while before we left, and we talked him into coming outside for a photo as we were leaving. It was a great evening and we left feeling as though we had just found some long lost relatives!! Better hosts one could not find.....


June 23, 2009

Last stop..... tropical.

Our last stop at the domes was the tropical dome. It was as interesting as the others, just not as photogenic. But here goes anyway....

I guess the first thing I should say is that I was wrong..... money DOES grow on trees!!

A banana tree actually had some bananas on it. Banana trees are completely dependent on humans for their continued existence, as no bananas have any seeds that work anymore. More human intervention............

Every time you looked up at something, there was that interesting dome structure.

This wild looking thing grew right out of a big leaf stalk....

It was hot and humid in this dome, so a trip to the ice cream vending machine was mandatory. Funny, but it was right outside this dome......

I gotta go, Carlo


June 21, 2009

The Desert Dome.


O.K., so it's taken a while..... busy at work trying to get things ready for being off work next week (furlough--a fancy word for "everyone take 4 weeks off and collect unemployment between now and end of August"). Last minute prep for a couple of projects there, also visitedDa Palace at Wintergreen, etc...... anyway, on to the desert....

A dragon tree.

Looks like it's wrapped with strips of paper!

Strange trees and plants inside a strange, but wonderful, building.

You have to enlarge these to get the effect.... double click 'em.

They even put an old cattle skull in there.

Golden barrel cacti.

Enlarge this one.... isn't it just a beauty???

Pony tail trees.

Weird cactus tree.

What a unique view of the arid lands to our southwest. And I soon I'll add a few selected shots of the residents of the 'tropical dome'.

Thanks for suggesting this spot, Bryn. We had a good time there.