A Krautfest Rhyme

 


A Krautfest Rhyme.

Once upon a time
in a neighborhood by a lake,

a group of friends gathered.
There was saurkraut to make.

500 pounds of cabbage
was cleaned and quartered and chopped.

Then young and old, expert and new,
sliced it down – they couldn’t be stopped.

Once sliced it went
to the station to be weighed.

Salt was added.
It’s how you make homemade.

Into crocks and buckets
it went to be pound.

It starts the fermentation
and keeps it safe and sound.

No krautfest could ever
be quite complete

without hugs and laughs and games
and plenty of treats to eat.

There was a tub of apples
waiting for kids to bob.

While others were pressed into juice,
which many found to be a fun job.

After working and eating and drinking
away the day,

evening arrived,
and instruments were brought out to play.

Singing with friends,
(only some truly in tune)

is surely the best way
to end a krautfest afternoon.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Thanks so much and mostest
to our amazing hosts and hostesses.

Love you Joyce and Rob and Nikole and Michael
for continuing the annual krautfest cycle!

If you would like to see previous years’ Krautfests, feel free to click HERE and HERE and HERE.  

Christmas Light Reflections after Braving the Wilderness

Conneaut Lake, PA Christmas Light Tour on the Barbara J

Conneaut Lake, PA Christmas Light Tour on the Barbara J

Christmas Light Reflections after Braving the Wilderness.

This past weekend was a gathering of The Best Book Club Ever, where we talked about one of my newest favorite books, “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown.

So I already told you how much I love this book.  Remember?  

I couldn’t wait for our book club discussion about it, and it did not disappoint.  In fact, it empowered.  It really connected me with a special group of family and friends in a meaningful way.

There is so much I could say about it…

About how I connected right from the start when Brene talked about “not belonging” to her own family.

This paragraph sucked me in:

“Even in the context of suffering—poverty, violence, human rights violations—not belonging in our families is still one of the most dangerous hurts. That’s because it has the power to break our heart, our spirit, and our sense of self-worth. It broke all three for me. And when those things break, there are only three outcomes, something I’ve borne witness to in my life and in my work: 1. You live in constant pain and seek relief by numbing it and/or inflicting it on others; 2. You deny your pain, and your denial ensures that you pass it on to those around you and down to your children; or 3. You find the courage to own the pain and develop a level of empathy and compassion for yourself and others that allows you to spot hurt in the world in a unique way. I certainly tried the first two. Only through sheer grace did I make my way to the third.” 

But there is so much more…

About authenticity, vulnerability…
and dehumanization.

About the paradox of things like love, the NRA, politics and religion (just to name a few).

And though there was and always will be great differences in opinion among the group on these important issues and values, everyone respectfully listened to each other share, and we grew closer for it.

So after three or four hours of powerfully connecting conversation and breakthroughs in belonging, our gang bundled up in parkas, knit hats and woolen mittens and boarded the infamous Barbara J Paddle Wheel Boat on Conneaut Lake to set sail at 10pm and spend an hour touring the lake and the homes surrounding it lit up with Christmas trees and colorful lights.

25 degrees. Snow flurries. Dark night. Bright lights. Even brighter spirits.

These are my Christmas light reflections after Braving the Wilderness.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

Seeing the Weeping in the Willow Tree

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Weeping Willow Tree, Conneaut Lake, October 2016

When the physical things of this world
blur and fade through the lens of our eyes,

A different kind of vision
grows stronger and clearer…

The ability to see the weeping
in the leaves of the willow tree,

The arms that extend and embrace
in its branches,

The foundation that centers and steadies
in its strong, solid trunk.

The weeping willow
is crystal clear

in our heart
and soul
and mind.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Krautfest 2016!

krautfest-2016

This past weekend was one of my favorites of the year!  Time for the annual Brugnoli Family and Friends Krautfest Party!

Those of you who have been hanging around here awhile, might remember Krautfest 2015 or even Krautfest 2014.

The festivities kicked off this past Saturday in the beautiful Autumn weather at  Conneaut Lake, PA with our dear “Oh Rob” welcoming guests and instructing newcomers on the sauerkraut-making process.

krautfest-2016-instructions

It starts with cutting….  800 lbs of cabbage cutting!

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The cut cabbage goes to the shredders, where experienced cutters teach newbies on equipment passed down through generations from grandparents…

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and taught to new generations – where Moms teach sons…

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and sisters show brothers….

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and families do together.

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It then gets measured,

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and salted,

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and pounded…

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while friends and family chat,

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and laugh,

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and hug.

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Old friends meet up after decades.

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and new relationships bloom.

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There is plenty of fun for kids of all ages!

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From Jumbo Jenga…

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to pick up sticks…

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to lawn bowling,

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and searching for bones and candy and money in hay.

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There was pumpkin painting…

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and t-shirt painting.

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krautfest-2016-from-the-greenhouse-shirt-painting

There was apple picking…

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and apple pressing.

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The kids loved learning how to turn apples into fresh apple juice!

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and so did some of the parents and grandparents!

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krautfest-2016-apple-pressing

There was lots of food.

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I made Grandma’s halupki – another Krautfest tradition served up next to hot dogs and kraut and homemade pierogies and cheesy polenta and fresh smoked ham and lots of other yummies.

krautfest-2016-halupki

There was an entire dining room table filled with desserts.

krautfest-2016-dessert-table

and of course plenty of wine.

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There was tire swinging,

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and bonfire-building.

krautfest-2016-lighting-the-bonfire

There was Marty (hubby – on the left) and Martin.

krautfest-2016-marty-and-martin

There were quiet moments from afar,

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and lots of singing and music after the sun went down and drew us indoors.

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Even dogs of all sizes made friends!

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Can you imagine a better time?

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Thank you Joyce and Oh Rob!  We love you!   We ALL do!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Lake Park Bash 2016

flags and roses

Happy Fourth of July to the USA!

flags

We are relaxing today after a fun-filled weekend

flag centerpieces

at the Second Annual Lake Park Bash

flag pallet

hosted by the the best ever “hood”

da hood

in Conneaut Lake, PA…

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Look at this crew in their red, white, and blue

lake park gang

from Lake Park Way!

lake park way

Whether by land or by sea…

lake park landing

a fun time was a guarantee!

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A photo booth welcomed guests

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and hosts alike.

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Some of us were silly…

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pb 3

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an others were very pretty.

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pb 10

pb 7

pb 8

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Friends and family

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and my most specialiast of all ladies.  ❤

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There were refreshing drinks

beer

sangria

wine

greenhouse drinks

because the cutest mixologists/most generous hosts/sweetest family ever made sure!

Nik and Mike

There was food galore…

food line 1

food line 2

with lots of meat…

meat

food chicken

food chicken 2

food line 3

and of course there were also

food desserts

plenty of treats!

food desserts cookies

food eating

To work  play it off

hot rod

there where games a plenty…  Like Twister

twister

and life-sized Kerplunk

kids noah kerplunk

and Jenga

jenga

and corn hole

corn hole

and Bocci Ball to name a few.

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bocci 2

bocci 3

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There was also music

music

kids music

and young ones to make life bright.

kids

kids mason

kids running

All were winners

twister winner

on a gorgeous Saturday.

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And when the sun set

greenhouse night

the bonfires lit and the sparklers twinkled

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while fireworks glowed and banged and shined.

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And then since one day was just not enough…

there were bloody marys and screwdrivers with the next morning’s coffee

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and a shared breakfast of pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips

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and scrambled eggs and bacon and sausage.

morning after breakfast

morning after breakfast 3

morning after breakfast 2

The Lake Park Bash was a real holiday treat!  Thanks to all that made it so sweet!

aerial

Hope you are enjoying –
wherever you are –
the special moments to cherish.
Reach for a star!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Conneaut Lake Snowy Sunrise

conneat lake snowy sunrise watercolor

My sweet buddy, Oh Rob, recently posted a beautiful photo of his morning view waking up at Conneaut Lake, PA on his Facebook page.  It really drew me in, as it is one of my favorite places to be, mostly because it is with him and his sweet wife Joyce who are very dear to us.

I tried painting it in watercolor.  Need to loosen up more.  But I had fun thinking of them and this beautiful place on earth.  There have been so many beautiful pink skies this winter.  Am I just noticing it more, or is there more than usual?

conneat lake snowy sunrise photo

Wishing you beautiful sunrises.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

Happy Place in the Fog

foggy fisherman conneaut lake

Foggy Fisherman, Conneaut Lake, PA, 10/2015

Peace and joy can be found
even when things seem foggy.

Trust your heart, your gut, your “happy place,”
and things will become clear.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

I captured this photo on a recent trip to Conneaut Lake, PA. We were walking to a friend’s house for breakfast before the Fall Festival Parade and our Krautfest Celebration. The fog was thick over the lake, and there was a nip in the air. Within moments, the fog cleared, the sun broke through, and the day became happy and warm and beautiful. The fog, however, was magical and beautiful and couldn’t stop this fisherman from enjoying his “happy place” on the lake.