Friday, December 19, 2014

Cars and Taxis in Cuba-2012

Because Cuba is foremost in the news recently, I decided to take the liberty of posting some more photos from my 2012 October trip to that nation island. I will continue to post more Cuban photos in the next few days.  I am SO glad that I took that trip because I believe that there will inevitably be many changes there when American tourists start arriving.  I've read in the newspaper that Canadians are not especially happy since they have been enjoying Cuba for many years without our presence. Some are afraid that we will force many changes and higher prices. Other people have lamented that the Cuban people will change and lose their soul.  C'mon, the Cubans are beautiful people, and it will take more than our tourism to impact them negatively. I sincerely hope that their government officials are the ones that will change and reduce the poverty among the citizens of Cuba.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Children of Cuba

 Since Cuba is very much in the news, I thought you might like to see some of the children who may benefit from the recent political changes between their country and ours. I refrain from making any political judgments, but I hope that their lives will change for the better! This is one of the schools our group visited a few years ago while I was in that beautiful country.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rain, rain. . .go away?

After a brief respite of 40-50 degree temperatures last week accompanied by melting snow ground cover and liquid precipitation, we can put away the umbrellas again because snow and ice have returned.  Which do you like better: snow or rain?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Block of Wood?

Yesterday a friend and I stopped at "Junket" on Minnehaha Blvd in Minneapolis, which is a a shop that probably has more junk than I have ever seen in one store. While poking around in the basement I saw this "person" who looked a great deal like Charlie McCarthy. Remember Charlie?

 At the request of Edgar Bergen--who was a ventriloquist--a carpenter carved a dummy based on a kid Bergen knew.  Charlie and Bergen had a very successful career in show business beginning on the stage, moving to radio, movies, and, eventually, television.
In some ways, Charlie was almost real.  When Bergen's real life daughter appeared on his show, she was introduced as Charlie's little sister.  Because he was heard on the radio, many people did not know that Charlie was a ventriloquist dummy and not a real person.  His personality was so vibrant, it is like he was a completely separate person.
You can find recordings of Charlie and his human, Bergen, on Old Time Radio.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Wreaths

Wreaths are appearing everywhere, even on cars and fire trucks.  Intrigued by this phenomena, I drove around the neighborhood yesterday, trying to find unique wreaths like the one I posted here in Tangletown. No luck.  Those on the outside of homes, all looked like the one in this photo, varying only in size: green boughs with an attached red ribbon.  Perhaps wreaths inside homes are more creative and different.  I shall continue my search; 'til the season is over.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Momento

The holiday season is a time of joy, time spent with family and friends.  Despite this joyous holiday, I cant't help but recall those to whom I was close who are no longer here on earth. A few years ago one of my closest friends died and her daughter gave me this piece of jewelry, which I wear every day.  One of my former students is fluent in Chinese and has told me that the design seems to be a syylized version of the character for "longevity."  I'll accept that!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Small yet Pretty

Even small and plain stained glass windows can be attractive!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tangletown Art Crawl

Last Saturday about a dozen artists who live in Tangletown, a St. Paul neighborhood, opened their homes to interested buyers for a holiday art crawl.  Paintings, ceramics, photographs, and jewelry were some of the items available for purchase.  The most interesting collection of craftwork was a home filled with unusual Christmas, winter, and holiday wreaths.  This wreath was on the front entrance door, beckoning buyers to enter and enjoy.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

O Tannenbaum!!

Christmas can be a time of "Bah Humbug" because of the commercialization of an important religious holiday or it can be one of joy.  I prefer the latter.  The twinkling lights, the decorated trees in public and private spaces, the smiles (and tears, too) of little ones sitting on Santa's lap, hugs and kisses of friends and families as they meet and greet one another, and the sweet sound of carolers  are all aspects of the season that make me appreciate the holiday.  Been there, done that but happy for another go around!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Beeswax Candles

Saved this photo from the downtown St Paul European Christmas Market.  Making these candles            must be quite a feat.  I don't think I'd want to burn these candles at both ends!!