Twin Cities Farmers Markets: Updated with Winter Hours!

On a sunny Saturday morning in downtown St. Paul, hooves clacked against the pavement and metal-rimmed wheels rattled as the horse-drawn wagon transported me from our parking space underneath nearby Highway 52, with the roar of trucks overhead and the greasy smell of diesel engines, to an agricultural bonanza in the heart of the city. Beneath the St. Paul Farmers’ Market’s awnings at the corner of Fifth and Wall Streets were tables laden with the bright colors of a Minnesota spring: red rhubarb, green spinach, white onions, and a vast bouquet of yellow and purple and pink flowers.

I inhaled the aromas of mint, lavender, and basil that wafted throughout the market, …

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The Vine That Ate the South

Kudzu covering a cabin

Photo credit Jack Anthony

It was a good-will gesture in 1876, when delegations from thirty-seven nations showed off their cultures at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia celebrating our country’s one hundredth birthday and our emergence as a world power. The Japanese built a koi pond and tea garden and filled it with plants from their native islands, including a wild pea vine, the root of which had been used by traditional oriental medicine for centuries as a treatment for cold, flu, diarrhea, neck stiffness, and perhaps most significant to the fairgoers, as a cure for hangovers. The Americans, enthralled by the vines’ large leaves and sweet-smelling purple flowers that bloomed in late summer, took home sprigs to plant in their backyards.

During the Great Depression, because the Japanese pea vine grew so rapidly in the hot, humid climate of the south, the Soil Conservation Service promoted it for erosion control …

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Special Interview from The Paranormal Pit Stop

You know when you don’t typically read a certain genre, but you stumble upon author that makes you want to read her stuff anyway? Darke Conteur is one of those authors. I mean, she’s not writing about monks making moonshine or old women playing poker, but she knows how to tell an engaging story, and isn’t that what it’s all about? I’m thrilled to have her guest-posting today with an interview with one of her characters from a paranormal story.

Check it out! I hope you enjoy the interview, and click on her web site for more information.

Or click here for more information about The Watchtower.

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Aslin Interview Pt 2 – Christy Marie Kent

Darke Conteur

Darke Conteur

Thanks for the welcome, Christy! Love that nun costume!

Welcome Humans, to another addition of The Paranormal Pit Stop. Your one-stop E-zine on the Ethereal-net for everything in the paranormal world. This time, we bring you the second part of our two-part interview with Aslin of the Highland Grove. Second in Command at Terin Global.

Paranormal Pit-Stop: How is everything at Terin Global? Anything new we should know about?
Aslin: There is always something new. Souls come and go, and we continue to keep vigilance over the minions of Hell.

P.P.S.: We heard you have a new guy. What do you think of him?
Aslin: Mr. Cunningham seems rather competent at this point. Mind you, we have not had extensive use of his position yet, but I don’t foresee any problems.

P.P.S.: You don’t sound too confident in the guy.
Aslin: You mistake my tone of cautiousness for concern. I was merely stating that as far as new employee’s go, Mr. Cunningham has been satisfactory. His position is new. We’ve never had a Public Liaison Officer before. This is an adjustment period for all concerned.

P.P.S.: If you’ve never had a Public Liaison before, why hire one now?
Aslin: The world is shrinking, not literally, but the new technology that is available is making world-wide communications so much easier. It’s possible for people on one side of the world to instantly communicate with those on the other side. News travels fast, and bad news travels faster.

P.P.S.: Are you saying something bad is going to happen?
Aslin: Again, you misunderstand me. I was not insinuating anything. Yet I cannot deny what could happen, and I prefer to error on the side of caution.

P.P.S.: We know, that’s why we asked. Rule of thumb here, if a Druid is concerned, we should all worry.
Aslin: You’re exaggerating. There is nothing to be worried about.

P.P.S.: What about zombification? We know they happened at the Russian Embassy. Care to comment on that?
Aslin: There were a few zombies created. We have since released the souls from their decomposing prison.

P.P.S.: Interesting. Zombies are created through Dark Magic, by the warping of White Magic spells. Only Druids have that kind of knowledge. Was this another incident of a Druid gone bad?
Aslin: The followers in this case were not from any of the old sects, and their leader was killed before we had a chance to question him.

P.P.S.: Does this mean there’s a new dark sect leader?
Aslin: Again, you are reading more into my words than is necessary. The incident happened, and it was taken care of.

P.P.S.: Still, one has to be curious. There haven’t been any real sorcerers creating problems since the Stonehenge incident. Could this develop into a new threat?
Aslin: The Stonehenge sect was large. There were bound to be the odd follower who thought they could replace their Master. As you can see, they were wrong.

Well, that’s all the time we have for this week’s interview. We would like to thank our host Christy Marie Kent for allowing us to post this interview on the human internet. Hope we haven’t scared you all off!

If you’d like to learn more about Jezryall and her staff, you can find more information at the link provided below.

More Character Interviews:
Novel Information:

Join us next time when we visit Jordan Mierek and part one of our two-part interview with medium extraordinaire, Daniel Livingstone! So, until next time, this is The Paranormal Pit-Stop saying; just because it’s dead, doesn’t mean it’s not alive!

The REAL Way They Sort Kids into School Classes

School bus

Image by Marylise Doctrinal via Flickr

My kids never believe me.

Just this morning, my fifth-grader asked me how they sort kids into different classes. I said, “They have this big huge aluminum funnel, like the size of a school bus, and they spin it around really fast so that when they drop the kids into it, they get flung out against the side and then slide down. And a little ways down, there’s a hole, not a big hole, just big enough to let the smallest kids pop through. Those kids land in a basket down beneath, and they’re the first-graders.

“The rest of the kids slide on down to the next hole, which is a little bigger, and the kids that pop through that hole, well, they’re the second-graders. And so on.”

He didn’t buy it. Even when I asked, “If that’s not how they do it, then why is it that all the kids in each class are about the same size?”

I’m telling you, the schools must be doing something wrong to make my kids have so little faith in what I tell them.

New Video Posted: Pecan Pie, Cigars, and the One and Only Secret to Happiness

Hey, y’all need to see this! New video posted, one of the stories from the 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival show.

If you like it, but you prefer the literary versions, check out the upcoming ebook of the same name, a collection of stories about my (fictitious) grandmother. The literary version of this story has more detail, more body, more conflict between Grandmother and her stepmother, but the same charming bits of folkloric wisdom from southwestern Georgia.