Trial Balloon

A Day to Relax and Reflect

Posted at 6:00 AM on May 31, 2010 by Dale Connelly (24 Comments)

It is Memorial Day, 2010.

In the United States this day of remembrance started out in the Civil War years with the placing of flowers on the graves of those who died in battle. It was formalized as Decoration Day and later as Memorial Day, honoring those who gave their lives in service to our country. Please keep them in your thoughts.

I am not in the studio today but will be introducing tunes in my most companionable (though remote) way. If you are looking for a current weather forecast, check this page from the MPR website. I'll be back with a live show tomorrow.

Happy Memorial Day, Heartlanders.

Since we have already talked about great three day weekends of the past and the ideal imaginary summers we would spend floating in a lotus petal on a pool of ambrosia, feel free to summarize your actual weekend so far and / or share your plans for today.

If you didn't see the proposal from tim on Friday, he is suggesting that Trial Balloon readers send in a photo or two from their weekend to be featured in a post later this week. You can send yours directly to me at this address: dale@radioheartland.org.


Comments (24)

Greetings! Alas, I will be working 8am to 4pm today. Someone has to mind the store when they're open 24/7/365. A slow, uneventful weekend so far ... Hopefully, I'll have the energy to plant my tomato starts tonight. Have a great day everyone!

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | May 31, 2010 6:36 AM


Lovely weekend weather thus far -- all of us have sunburns after a day of yard work on Saturday to prepare for a memorial BBQ later this afternoon.

This morning, as my son and I set-up our USA flag, cool moist temperatures here in St. Paul reminded me of similar mornings in August in the Boundary Waters canoe area.

Finally, a picture from yesterday : A Mourning Cloak!

Posted by Chase Turner | May 31, 2010 6:53 AM


Welcome Chase! Nice pictures of the insect(?) world. Is a Mourning Cloak the sign of something good?

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | May 31, 2010 7:01 AM


so, Chase - the butterfly already emerged, laid eggs, and this is the result? is this event early?

i know some birds, but it's difficult for me to identify their young, much less butterflies and larvae (or caterpillars?) pretty cool photo. thanks.

sorry you have to work, Joan. hope you do have energy to plant your 'maters when you get home.
good day All

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | May 31, 2010 7:43 AM


chase nice kickoff to the memorial day pictures. beautiful weekend. relatives came and went, saw the twins win two games. dale left us some good music. life is wonderful. enjoy the lazy day.

Posted by tim | May 31, 2010 8:08 AM


We have a bug house filled with morning cloak caterpillars busily making cocoons, so we should have butterflies in a couple of weeks. We had another *very* friendly butterfly play with us on Saturday (will send in photos to Dale).

Off to Como Zoo today - monkeys and carrousel rides are the order for the day today for us.

Good Memorial Day to all!

Posted by Anna | May 31, 2010 8:43 AM


I will be working, too - but I don't mind, a holiday feels different, somehow, not so routine.

Nice medley of songs about the wind. Not to slight Jasper, but I always appreciate a selection of songs that is not random...at this hour of the day when my brain needs a little exercise to get going.

Posted by Linda in Saint Paul (West Side) | May 31, 2010 8:46 AM


Morning --

Our weekend has been a combination of work and play... but nice family time in the mix.

A quiet and relaxing time.

...I go into a week of 'tech rehearsals' tonight so I'm appreciating my bit of quiet time this morning!

Thanks for being there everyone.

Posted by Ben | May 31, 2010 8:52 AM


Good morning! Thus far this weekend I have installed the new gate on our chain link fence, baked three loves of French bread and a nice Pulla braid, and whipped up the dough for Pita which will be baked tonight when we have grilled lamb kebabs, weeded four flower beds, cleaned the furnace room, helped my husband clean the garage, and, also with my husband, rehung the door in the basement with new frame sections. I have to use something called a boring bit to drill a hole in the new frame for the door latch. We have some more weeding to do, then we will put down the black cypress mulch, plant more peas, and clean one more basement room. Then we will collapse. The weather has been windy, chilly, and not good for much except work. My elderly father is busy with Memorial Day stuff. He returned from on Honor Flight excursion to Washington in April so this Memorial Day is especially meaningful for him.

Posted by Renee | May 31, 2010 9:39 AM


wow, Renee - way to make me feel like a total slug! such energy! good for you. and hope you weather improves. we're still waiting for rain and the chances keep diminishing. will have to water all of those transplants i did yesterday, i'm sure.
i'm looking forward to seeing everyone's photos from the weekend!

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | May 31, 2010 10:23 AM


wow, Renee - way to make me feel like a total slug! such energy! good for you. and hope you weather improves. we're still waiting for rain and the chances keep diminishing. will have to water all of those transplants i did yesterday, i'm sure.
i'm looking forward to seeing everyone's photos from the weekend!

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | May 31, 2010 10:23 AM


I forgot-we also cleaned out the dryer vent which had become strangely plugged. Because of the placement of our dryer, the vent runs almost the whole front to back of our house and is hard to clean out. That task involved pushing and twisting a stiffish garden hose and a brush on a 10 foot flexible handle from both ends of the vent like an auger. It worked!

Posted by Renee | May 31, 2010 10:24 AM


I forgot-we also cleaned out the dryer vent which had become suddenly plugged. Because of the placement of our dryer, the vent runs almost the whole front to back of our house and is hard to clean out. That task involved pushing and twisting a stiffish garden hose and a brush on a 10 foot flexible handle from both ends of the vent like an auger. It worked!

Posted by Renee | May 31, 2010 10:29 AM


Sorry that posted twice-I must be really trying to overacheive this weekend!

Posted by Renee | May 31, 2010 10:30 AM


Dale--Great selection of music! I especially enjoyed the excerpt from Ken Burns' Civil War series and then the following song. I usually use the show as background to whatever I'm doing at the time but this morning I just had to stop and listen so many times because the music was so meaningful!

Posted by JoAn in Maplewood | May 31, 2010 10:32 AM


Good luck on the rain, Barb.
Thanks for the morning cloak, Chase.
Renee, I'm particularly impressed about the bread, and I'm almost (and I do mean almost) moved to bake some.

Saturday we helped a dear niece and her daughter who are buying a nice little house (thanks to the first time homebuyer money) get it ready to move into this week. Plenty to do there... I got to Shop-Vac millions of spiderwebs (and a few spiders!)out of the basement. Yesterday had some family here for a backyard cookout, dodging a little bit of rain. Today is finishing weeding flowerbeds, and laying back with a good book in the back yard.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 31, 2010 11:12 AM


Barbara-if you've got a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook, I've got a really good French bread recipe you can have on its first rise in 25 minutes. I use Swany white flour from the Freeport MN mill and bake it on a pizza stone.

Posted by Renee | May 31, 2010 11:29 AM


Renee - I don't have said mixer or dough hook, but if it works with regular kneading, I'd love to have this recipe.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 31, 2010 1:03 PM


Renee: p.s. my email if that's easiest: mmbbhassing@usfamily.net

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 31, 2010 1:14 PM


Ben - I hope tech week goes smoothly...or at least as smoothly as they usually go. :)

And Renee I am in awe of your productiveness this weekend (and envious of the fresh bread).

Posted by Anna | May 31, 2010 2:14 PM


Ah - home again, home again -- time to make supper, but there's one ingredient I'm missing, so back to the store I go ...

Renee - I got tired just reading your post! I don't accomplish that much in a month -- good for you.

Ben - good luck with tech rehearsals. As I recall, those are a major pain. Just be patient with actors -- they tend to have a short attention span if there's no audience for them to play off (speaking from experience!).

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | May 31, 2010 4:51 PM


My, am I tired! The yard looks great, though.

Posted by Renee | May 31, 2010 5:49 PM


Barbara, I tried to e-mail, but it wouldn't work. here's the recipe

7 t. yeast (I use SAF gold)
4 c. lukewarm water
1t. sugar

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Let proof 10 minutes.

10 -11 c. flour ( I use 7 c. Swany White to 3-4 c. King Aurthur Bread flour)
4t. salt


Add 4 c. of the flour and the salt to the yeast mixture and beat for 5 minutes. Then add the rest of the flour. This is a sticky dough. Don't add too much flour. Knead for 8-10 minutes. Let rise in a greased bowl for 2 hours. Punch down. Let rise for another hour. Form into 3 or 4 torpedo shaped loaves. Let rise for 30 minutes. Slash loaves with a razor or serrated knife. Brush with a mixture of one eggwhite beaten with a pinch of salt and 1t. water. I bake on a pizza stone that has been preheating for 30 minutes in a 425 oven. Once you have the loaves in the oven,throw 1/2 c. of water on the side of the oven to make steam. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until 190 degrees inside. Let cool if you can. You can halve this recipe and make two loaves. The Swany white flour makes such a great tasting bread.

Posted by Renee | May 31, 2010 6:28 PM


Renee - thanks for posting the recipe! I've copied it into my Recipes file and will let you know when I get a chance to try it. Amazing how few ingredients...

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 31, 2010 11:02 PM


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