Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store

It’s that time of year again! Time to stop at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store and get some pumpkins. I love going every fall to get my pumpkins here, the prices are great and the selection is fantastic just to get some super giant pumpkins. This time I picked up 3 great pumpkins and some candy. Oh, and I also didn’t forget that delicious apple pie. Going to the candy store each year is a unique tradition and I love every minute of it. Enjoy a couple of photos from my visit!

Fil looking at delicious candy
Fil sitting by the Jelly Belly statue
It’s me, Mario!
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My Visit to a Sunflower Farm

I’ve never been to a sunflower farm before, but over the weekend I got to experience the pleasure and the wonder of an amazing sunflower farm near Rush City, Minnesota. If you have never been there, you should check it out right now because it is still sunflower days! I’m so glad I did; it is a beautiful farm with beautiful sunflowers and hiking trails near the Minnesota and Wisconsin
border.

They even host running events though out the year and you can enjoy the  running trails and go for a hike as well, but I don’t run so no! But I love the sunflowers they were breathtaking I was lucky because the evening I went it was quiet, only 4 or 5 cars were out there visiting, and I was the last to leave, snapping up pictures of bees, sunflowers, listing to the breeze and enjoying the last of summer in Minnesota.

So, if you are ever in the area and want to see a field with tens of thousands of sunflowers you should stop by Treasured Haven Farms and experience the magic yourself.

Minnesota Renaissance Festival Story

Hi Friends, I have a story about the Minnesota Renaissance festival that
happened to my mom many years ago. She like to tell this story on occasion at
the dinner table over the years.

So, it goes something like this. A long ago in the year of 2011 my mom and
me decided to get a weekend job at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival to save a
little extra money to put towards a newer car.

For 7 weeks every weekend my mom and me would spend 13 hours a day making
fish and chips for minimum wage. It was exhausting hours for both of us. My mom
was used to working at a software company writing code all day, and I was used
to relaxing at home. Our co-worker was quite the drama queen, and by far the
most dramatic person we had ever met, even to this day.

Our co-workers only job at the time was working during the weekend at the
renaissance festival. She was staying in a motel with her husband who also only
worked at the renaissance festival. She, already in her 40s, choose to stay
with her abusive husband and give up all rights to their teenage children. She
met a 21-year-old man staying at the same motel complex and decided to have an
affair with him. Several weeks into the festival her husband found out about
it. She was very proud of the fact that two men were fighting over her. These
were just a few highlights of what we heard about or witnessed.

During festival days, we would get an hour lunch break. Sometimes we would
go and look at the elephants. Sometimes we would sit and listen to some of the
musical entertainment or find a quiet corner and relax quietly away from most
of the people.

On one of the days, we went to see the elephants, we decided to get an ice
cream treat. There was a crowd watching these majestic animals. My mom was
about to take a bit of her ice cream, but suddenly, an elephant grabbed it with
his trunk. My mom tried to pull it back, but the elephant won. My mom was in
shock, the elephant ate my mom’s ice cream and spit the spoon on the ground.
All the spectators were surprised, and some laughed. It was probably the most
memorable and a highlight of our time working out there.

After the season was over my mom decided, she didn’t think working out at
the festival in a food booth was for us. The long hours, the dirt, the weather
was quite exhausting. She liked most of the people she met, they were artsy,
musical, theatrical, and creative, but we also didn’t feel like we exactly fit
in either. We were not really the party type, and while nice some of the people
liked to party a lot more after hours than we were comfortable staying for, especially because we were new, and a lot of regulars knew each other.

The one thing for sure that did change though, was the following year when
she returned as a spectator, was a sign that said, “Do not feed the Elephants”.
My mom always wondered if that sign was put there because the elephant ate her
ice cream, but she will never know.

It had been 10 years since my mom and myself have been back to the Minnesota
Renaissance festival, and we were lucky enough to go on opening day this year.
The weather was cooler, and perfect. This year we went to see the elephants,
and the “Do not feed the Elephants” sign was still posted. We didn’t have ice
cream this time, but I finally got a picture of myself with one of the elephants!
That alone is super special, and I am glad that after 10 years I got to enjoy a
beautiful day in a beautiful fantasy land!

Fil the Elephant with an elephant at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in 2022

The Jolly Green Giant! Ho Ho Ho!

Well Lucky Fil! He got to take a detour route back home from visiting Grandma & Grandpa’s house over the weekend! He has not visited the Jolly Green Giant in 8 or 1 0 years because there has not been a reason to hop and skip over to Blue Earth, MN in a long time.

Well, it was his lucky day because he got to visit the amazing and super cool Jolly Green Giant and his little friend Sprout! He was so excited, and he had the statue all to his self, at least for a little bit. Apart from a couple of little girls and their mom, and a two-car caravan of twenty somethings on a road trip from Oregon, it was quiet on a cooler windy late afternoon.

Ho Ho Ho! Green Giant!

Fil forgot how tall he was, almost reaching the sky, a bit taller than the oak trees framing him. It reminded Fil to make sure to each his vegetables and forget about the Dairy Queen treats just a short walk away. Hum… tough… peas and carrot, or a Dilly Bar… ugh! If you ever find yourself on the long stretch of corn fields along Interstate 90, you too can make a quick stop and stretch your legs and visit our vegetable loving friend too! It is not hard to miss him!

Fil Sitting on Spout’s Hand

Happy Easter, Coloring Easter Eggs

Happy Easter everyone! While it It seems like forever until the easter bunny comes to visit tonight and leaves Fil some delicious easter treats, he decided it would be an enjoyable time to get into the Easter spirit by coloring some eggs.  

First things first, he had to boil some eggs. But how? He could go the traditional method and get a boiling pot of water on the stove, but that takes too long. He opted to look up how to boil perfect eggs in InstaPot! That was a time saver, and easy clean up. He set the pressure cooker to 5 minutes, and let it sit 5 minutes before letting off steam. He packed the away and put them in the refrigerator to cool off and wait.  

After a few hours they were cool enough to touch so he made some egg dye. He got these on clearance last year for only 19 cents for the box, such a great deal especially because the normally sell for $3. You cannot go wrong with a great deal! This egg kit came with six amazing colors, red, blue, green, orange, yellow and pink.  

Fil getting all the colors ready!

After he was all done coloring his eggs, he decided to add some cute stickers to them. He learned however, that it is hard to stick on stickers when they are still wet, so he let them sit on a rack for a bit to air dry. After that, the stickers went on so much better. He found a cute train sticker which is his favorite. I mean; Who does not like cute stickers? Fil thinks that there could be no one in the world.

Fil coloring a pink egg

After getting everything all decorated, he had a colorful carton of eggs. Now it was time to try out an egg.

Fil and his Finished Product

They were delicious! Now all he must do is have a wonderful Saturday and wait for that Easter bunny to stop on by and fill his Easter basket. Have a wonderful day!

Fil and Herbie go to a Monster Truck Show

I am so excited to announce the release of my 3rd book in the Fil the Elephant series, titled Fil and Herbie go to a Monster Truck Show! This book was inspired by a special friend, named Herbie who loves to play with monster truck toys just like me. Some of our favorite games are jumping over a pile of cars, pretending to smash them, jumping off of ramps, and just driving them around in circles. The best part about monster trucks is the really big tires and the awesome colors. Sometimes they even look like an animal, or a dinosaur or something!

In this book, I am so lucky because my dad is taking my best friend Herbie and me to a monster truck show for the very first time. I am not really sure what to expect, since I have never gone, but I think it will be loud and there will be plenty of snacks.

Maybe if you pick up my new book on Amazon.com, you can find out what happens on our adventure! Spring is a great time for new books! Happy Spring!

First Snowfall of the Season

Well, it happened! Fil had been waiting for a long time for the first snow fall of the season. We have had some little snowfalls, and just some light snow that melted right away, but this is the first snowfall where we had to shovel! In fact, the weather forecast called for just dusting on this little storm too, but it kept snowing and snowing and snowing and we got 3 inches of snow!  

There is something very magical about the first real snowfall of the season. The world is quieter and softens all the sounds around you. Then of course you have the beautiful snow that drapes on top of the branches in the morning, before the wind or sun knocks them away.  

Last night when Fil was helping to shovel snow from the driveway, he could not help but play in the snow too. This snow was the soft fluffy kind, not icy, not watery, not the kind you can make snowmen out of. No, this kind of snow was the kind you can pile up in a big pile and jump in. Just like a big pile of leaves in the fall. You sink, even the smallest amount of weight will take you to the ground! This is exactly what Fil did, he piled it up and ran into the pile and splat! Snow flies into the air and he rolls around in it. Ha! Oh boy so much fun! There is always something magical about the snow and he is so happy it is finally here.

Fil jumps in the snow

Fil’s Day in the Snow – New Book

YAY! My 2nd book is finally ready! It is called “Fil’s Day in the Snow” and I have been waiting for a long time to share the story of my very first time in the snow! Who knew snow could be so much fun! I love snow, and at this time of year in Minnesota you never know when it will snow. We have already had our first snowflakes fly this year, but it was too warm, so they have not stuck around. I am waiting patiently for our first big snowstorm so that I can do all the super fun activities that I write about in my book, things like skiing and throwing snowballs at my dad!  

Also on cold snowy days, I love to read books. There is nothing like curling up on the couch with my mom, a cozy blanket, and a warm cup of hot chocolate while she reads me a delightful book! Some of my most favorites are “Fil Goes Camping” and of course my new book, “Fil’s Day in the Snow.” I love to read my books, it helps me remember all the fun times I have had, and I get all nostalgic thinking about them. I get that warm cozy feeling when I think about all the happy and exciting things I have done. 

Well, anyway if you want to pick up a copy of my 2nd book you can find it on Amazon.com, just search for my name Fil the Elephant! It is the 2nd book in my series, and I cannot wait to share more in the future. Best wishes to all my friends and thank you so much for your support! I would not be here without all my wonderful friends. Hugs!  

Fil’s Day in the Snow Book Cover

Fil Makes Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fil could not wait to wake up today! For two days he wanted to make chocolate chip cookies, but on the 1st day he realized he did not have enough eggs, so he went to the store to get eggs. By the time he got home it was too late to start making cookies, so he had to wait for the next day. On the next day he was busy working and had to go to appointments and forgot about his cookies. When he finally had enough time to investigate making the cookies, he realized he now did not have enough butter. Sigh!!!! Fil was sad about this and went back to the store again; this time to get butter. By the time he got home, it was too late again to start making cookies, so he played some games, watched a show, and curled up in his cozy bed and drifted off to sleep. 

When Fil woke up, he ran to the kitchen, ate his breakfast, brushed his teeth and this time he was ready to make his cookies! He got out a bowl, a bag of chocolate chips and followed the recipe on the back. The chips recipe is always the yummiest! First, he mixed the butter and sugar together with a little bit of vanilla, then he added the eggs. After that he added the flour, salt and baking soda and mixed it all together well. He was about to make his first cookie when he realized he forgot the most important thing; the chocolate chips! How can you make chocolate chip cookies without chips? This would have been a big mistake, but luckily, he remembered before putting them on the cookie pan. He stirred in the chips, and then made little cookie balls and put them on the sheet. A grown-up helped him put them in the oven and then he had to wait. This was the hardest part… waiting.  

After some time, the cookies were ready, but they were too hot to eat right away, so he had to wait even longer.. how long does a small elephant have to wait for cookies? Eventually they were cool enough to sample his tasty treat and it was heaven! The best chocolate chip cookies ever, and the waiting was worth it. Sometimes it is good to have patients!