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We say goodbye

We enjoy (in so many ways) a strong arts community, here on the MNbump.   They are weaved into our daily lives, with their music during our festivals, arts activities during our events such as Lake Days (in June), Cornfest (in August), they host events such as  “Somewhere to Begin:  The Soulful and Poetic Music of Sara Thomsen” which will be held at The Abbey of the Hills Inn & Retreat Center on May 20th… and the list goes on.

We will be losing one of our artists – Naomi Ballard – her pull to “home” and work will be taking her away; however, she will be leaving so much with our youth, here in Ortonville!  She has touched so many lives in the relatively short time that she has been in the area that we just cannot let her go without a heartfelt and grateful goodbye from the MNbump!

I asked my nephew awhile back what he really enjoyed the most at school (he plays basketball (with a passion), cross country, baseball, and football)   The first on his list was “art!”  He was one of the 6th graders shown in a video below.  The joy on his face was obvious when he talked about that class.  So although it is with great sadness that we see Naomi move back to her home area, we are very thankful for her time in Ortonville and the lives that she has touched!

If you’d like to connect with our local artists, check out their facebook page.

The Arctic Open in Clinton MN!

One of our annual events here in Big Stone County is golfing on ice! We get creative, here on the MNbump!

Golfing starts mid-morning and goes into the afternoon with a bean bag tournament starting mid afternoon at the Memorial Building and ending the evening with a Sweetheart Dance at the NorthStar Saloon.

The first video is a few highlights from this year’s Arctic Open (thanks to MNbump Blogger, Janine Teske, and also the awesome Amanda Tatro!!) The second video is a blast from the past – thanks to Pioneer Public TV for the interview (and allowing our use of their video all these years later!)

Unique New Business just Opened here on the MNbump!

I’m pretty excited about this new business (of course I’m excited about EVERY business here on the MNbump!) It was funny to hear the story of their opening  – they had listed a few of their “old” bikes on-line and as Kevin described “We had so much activity that we had to shut’er down after only a week!” They decided that they needed to be a little more prepared before they opened that up again! Love it!

You can easily hear their love for the bikes when both he (Kevin Backstrand) and his partner Tina Richards talk about each bike on their showroom floor and their plans for the future. They not only sell the bikes they also have in stock those hard to find parts for the older antique models. One bike is heading to Poland, another to Germany and then a little closer to home in New York and also here in Raymond Minnesota.

They are planning a bike swap this summer during Cornfest and have already had a few very well known collectors stop in Ortonville to look over their inventory. It will be exciting to see the new community of collectors making a trek to the MNbump.  They will soon share the latest happenings at the Old Bike Barn LLC on their new website and Facebook page (on-line soon). Until then, feel free to stop down and take a look – It is most definitely worth the stop!  It is the new building next to Carquest of Ortonville and Gabe’s Auto Service – 547 US Highway 12, Ortonville.

The quick photos that I took this morning are of the 1956 Chevy Nomad; however if you look up you will see some of their bike inventory.

Get your Event listed with MNbump!

There are a couple of ways that MNbump can help to promote your Events.

1) You can create a Facebook Event. This Event will be added to the MNbump Facebook Events list & a link will be included on the MNbump Calendar of Events. A Facebook Event is a great way to promote – it is easily shared and activities and general updates are easily added in one place to keep those interested up-to-date on the latest plans. In order for MNbump to share your Event on our Facebook Event Page, you will need to make the Event “Public” when you create it (if you do not make it public at the time you create the Event, there is no way to change it).

Here is a quick little (armature!) how-to-video for creating a “Public” Event:

2) Your organization or business can create a public Google Calendar and let us know the link to your calendar. We will then merge your calendar with MNbump’s and your activities will always be current and available to the public!

If you are planning an event in Big Stone County, our Calendar is your best ‘first check’ to see if there are activities that would conflict!

The Upcoming Events in Clinton are Multiplying!

I was just checking the events on our MNbump Facebook page and noticed the next three are in Clinton – with Graceville and Ortonville after that.

On January 28th, it is Learn to Drop Spindle Class at the Inadvertent Cafe.  A quote from Kathy Draeger “We have a wonderful fiber artist in Clinton and I’m so glad she is offering a class”

The class is Saturday (28th) from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Inadvertent Cafe, 131 Main Street, Clinton.  They will be discussing some basics about working with wool and why it is so easy to spin.  Students will learn to use their spindle to make yarn.  For more info –

February 28th is another Inadvertent Cafe event in Clinton – The Community Music and Potluck.  Potluck and then music starts at 7:30 p.m. – Dan Angelo and others will be playing music that involves the crowd (sure to be fun!!)  for more information –

The 38th Annual Arctic Open is on Saturday, February 11th (starting at 9 a.m.) on Eli Lake in Clinton — this is ALWAYS a blast.  They have a bean bag tournament planned in the afternoon also at the Memorial Building.  For more info –

Here is a quick video from last year’s golf tourney (on ice!)

Looking ahead further, Bowl for Hospice is on February 25th in Graceville and in March, we have the Graceville St. Patty’s Day Parade on the 11th and the BSLA Chamber Sports & Leisure show on March 18th & 19th!  Check our Calendar for all activities

Life is Good, here on the MNbump!

… if you’re looking forward to summer events, here is a great backyard art class to look back on (kids and adults enjoy the many arts classes throughout the year!)

Ortonville Study Club

by Vicki Oakes

What a delightful lunch today!  I was invited to speak at the Ortonville Study Club – all about MNbump.  I was very excited to see that all but one of the members had heard about MNbump –  one even noted that they currently have a call out for a new Pastor and that they had referred those inquiring on this position to the website for information about the area.

The presentation centered on MNbump’s history (originated as a Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley project through a grant by the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development partnerships & the University of Minnesota Tourism Center’s grant to Big Stone Area Growth – the Countywide economic development group) and then summarized how this initiative is also assisting with our regional recruitment work based on Ben Winchester’s “Brain Gain” report (University of Minnesota) with details noted on the first page of the handout (Handout, PDF) and community connections/development.  I can talk at length and with great enthusiasm on this topic – so their questions helped to keep me focused!

We also came up with a couple of ways to all work together on MNbump – Kathy Randall takes wonderful pictures while biking in Big Stone County (I know because we are friends on Facebook) – like most people, she keeps her settings private on her posts.  She will be making some of those photo posts on Facebook public so that I can share them on MNbump!  Another great outcome, is that the Study Club members are from a number of different Churches in town and they’d like to get together to talk about how they can create their own Google Calendars so that their Church activities will be able to be merged with the MNbump’s Community Calendar.

Gayle Mittelstaedt noted that my picture was hanging in the entry (with all those that have been confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church) – thankfully she did not specify which year-section that I could be found in (but to note, the photo is in color!)

I was so impressed with the Study Club’s initial reading which they all read together after starting the meeting that I just have to share (and I think it would be a wonderful piece to read before any and all meetings!):   Keep us, oh God, from pettiness; Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.  Let us be done with fault-finding, and leave off self-seeking.  May we put away all pretenses, and meet each other face to face, without self-pity and without prejudice.  May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous.  Make us to grow calm, serene, and gentle.  Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straight-forward, and unafraid.  Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences; That in the big things in life we are one.  And may we strive to touch and to know the great common heart of us all; and O Lord God, let us not forget to be kind.

Their Mission Statement:  To provide sociability, enlightenment, and pleasure for the members by means of the study of literature, art, travel, problems of health and government as well as other subjects of current interest to the group.

The Ortonville Study Club meets at Zion Lutheran Church and is catered by Crazy Apron Catering (lunch was awesome – in case you were wondering – turns out I was wearing some of the caramel topping from the the apple dumpling dessert during my presentation but they were kind enough not to point it out.)

Life is Good, here on the MNbump!


Local Foods – Made in Big Stone County

(video below)
The Inadvertent Cafe in Clinton is known for their amazing breakfasts (unique, local – organic options to start your day!); however, the cafe’s larger purpose is to provide the area with a community commercial kitchen. The owner of the cafe, Brent Olson, is a Big Stone County Commissioner, author – long list of titles actually – but most of all he is a generational resident of the County who is always looking for ways to improve and help out.  Charlie Stattelman is one of the local producers that uses the commercial kitchen facilities for his Norel’s Hillside Orchard Apple Cider. In the video, you’ll see Becky Stattelman (another deeply dedicated County resident) talking with me on one of their Cider processing days at the Cafe. I asked Becky if she’d share the process for making the cider – and she shared every detail — spoiler alert… I edited out some of the details so that we were not sharing Charlie’s cider secrets! Becky gives much credit to the wonderful facility, the help and information provided by the University of Minnesota Extension and also to Kathy Draeger who is the Statewide Director of the University’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships – and happens to live here on the MNbump…. and we are also thankful for the McKnight Foundation who provided the initial funding to Brent Olson for the Community Kitchen!

Jeremy Radtke’s Design Connects Ortonville Business to State Tournament


We are considered “rural” here on the MNbump – people enjoy coming to our area for the fishing and the beauty of Big Stone Lake, the National and State Parks – the beauty of a more open-space quality of life.  Our region is perfectly described with two hashtags – #QuietlyBeautifulMN, #WildlyConnectedMN! — and for us, here on the MNbump, we have people like Dan and Brenda Kafka, who take full advantage of the “Connected” part of our Region’s hashtags!

pro-image-building-webDan and Brenda Kafka own Pro Image Partners in Ortonville.  When you look at the front of their business on Main Street (2nd Street actually – one of our little quirks) you see a nice, standard-sized rural retail store which proudly displays one of the strengths of their business  –  their reach… how they are “connected” beyond our City limits! (and… thanks to our County Commissioners’ vision for our future, the State’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant and Federated Telephone, Big Stone County is now fully connected with the recent addition of fiber-to-premise throughout the County!)

We found out yesterday that Pro Image Partners’ Jeremy Radtke’s design has connected this Ortonville business to the Minnesota State High School Girl’s Tennis Tournament this fall!  Pro 2016-state-tennis-mshsl-webImage Partners will be providing the t-shirts for 600+ people (players, parents, coaches, etc) for this fall’s banquet.  Pro Image Partners has been steadily gaining the State tennis team business – starting with the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association (through Brenda Kafka’s connections from her previous life – pre-MNbump living) and expanding to individual tennis teams such as:  Columbia Heights, Eveleth-Gilbert, Fillmore Central, Hill-Murray, Holy Family Catholic School (in the Cities), Minneapolis-South, New Ulm, Park Rapids, St. James Area and Stewartville.  They will also be the supplier for next Spring’s Boys State Tennis Banquet!  This opportunity started with a personal connection, good on-line presence to promote their business – and obviously good quality product (and designing) in order to maintain and expand in this arena.


Other customers fly in to pick up their order from Pro Image

That is quite a reach from our little town of Ortonville located along Minnesota’s western border!

I talked with Dan Kafka about their business that arrives at Pro Image through their website to which he promptly signed into their website dashboard and shared the data with me – impressive!!  I also asked how Jeremy Radtke was feeling these days since it was this younger employee’s push to get the on-line store up and running  – although Dan Kafka is quite well-known around town for his “techy toys” (impressive considering his age!) – it took this “younger generation” Radtke to convince his employers there was a real opportunity with an on-line shopping store to expand their business.  I wish I would have taken a picture of Dan’s face when he smiled, chuckled, and told me Jeremy was pretty happy about his accomplishments – and that Jeremy e-mails some of the latest on-line stats to him periodically to remind him how good it is working!  AND, I can picture Jeremy having lots of fun with his e-mail reports to his boss!

Living the MNbump Life… beauty surrounds us, we are connected, we have available housing, great schools, great health care — with our biggest asset being our people! — Jeremy is certainly one of those people!

You’ll find graphic designer, Jeremy Radtke, in this video below!  The video also shows some of Pro Image Partner’s work, their collaboration with local business, Progressive Collision & Glass Center, and showing off a wrap that was purchased from another one of our local businesses – Shores Edge Excavating!



Great for Hunters ‘Where are you’ Map App

Great app if you are in Big Stone County – next to property that looks great to hunt – and you want the owner information!  This link will provide all of the public data through the County GIS system (who owns the property, size, value, taxes, etc)

Directions: — Note:  Once you have downloaded the app & the BSC Map, you may just see a blue dot on the map… that is because it is zoomed in too close.  Zoom out to see the land features.  Click on the blue dot to get GIS location and click on the little white pop-up box with the GIS location to get more information on that property (sometimes it does take a couple of clicks on the box in order to get the little arrow & link to info when using smaller devices like your phone)


Link to the County Instruction Sheet (PDF):  doc101416-10142016154206