Saturday, March 31, 2012

CameraCritters-A Robin in my Easter Egg Tree

I decided to pretend we have kids in the house again and decorated the crabapple tree in our front yard.
The kiddies next door will love it just as the visiting robin did!

To see more Camera Critters, click here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

More spring blossoms!

It's been a real pleasure taking walks this spring because of the warm weather in March!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Blossoms

Spring is busting out all over...even in March.  Can't quite believe it.  Looks more like May in Minnesota.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Heading out for an Adventure-ABC Wednesday "K"

Looks like there might be a fun-filled adventure in the future for the occupants.

To see more ABC Wednesday, click here.

**Because CDP is still down, (they're still working on getting it up and running) a linky has been established for us by Julie Storrey for those who want to participate in Theme Day.  Here it is:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good or Bad Karma??-ABC WEDNESDAY-K-

I often wondered if this was good Karma OR bad?  Since I never really cared for the merchandise inside the store, I'll let you decide...

To see more "K's" on ABC WEDNESDAY,  click here.

You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
Steve Jobs

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another Neighborhood Spring Scene

I have always liked this house because of the red trim; the neighbor's tree also enhances the scene.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Keep Your Distance!-Camera Critters

A very old photo from my archives but a lively one for Camera Critters today.

To see what other bloggers have posted for this meme today, click here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Bench

I had originally intended to save this photo for VP's "A Bunch of Benches" but since I'm running low on photos, I decided to use it now instead.  The weather has been warm but unremarkable in other respects, and I've found very little that has inspired me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Have you ever felt like this?!

I suppose that I should save this for El Día de los Muertos, but have you ever felt like this?  For the last two nights, I have been plagued by sleeplessness. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pig's Eye

In 1841, Father Lucien Galtier, a French Catholic missionary, built the Church of Saint Paul on the bank of the Mississippi River.  This chapel rested on the site of the present City of Saint Paul, which was named after the chapel.  Before this time, the area had been called Pigs Eye after the saloon proprietor Pierre“Pigs Eye” Parrant.  

Birthday:  1985, Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings RB

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Summer's definitely is on its Way!!

Yesterday on the last day of winter, temperatures in St. Paul, Minnesota soared to a 80 degree high.  The weather forecast for the rest of the week predicts 70's...can't really believe this warm front.  Last summer grand-daughter Olivia's favorite activity was feeding the ducks on St. Kate's college campus almost situated right in our backyard.  It won't be long before this scene is duplicated!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meet O Jay!

O Jay asked if I would please take his picture with my camera.  Hard to resist a request like that from a perky, friendly little guy.  He told me that he is three-years-old and goes to preschool at the "Y."  His grandparents gave me permission to post his photo on this blog, and O Jay seemed pleased with his portrait.

Birthday Today: 1933 - Philip Roth, Newark, novelist (Goodbye Columbus, Portnoy's Complaint)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Paddy's Day, 2012

Everyone seemed to get into the act on St. Paddy's Day yesterday.  Since Saint Paul goes a bit crazy on this day every year, I had intended to go downtown to watch the annual parade.  Realizing that revelers would  be out in full-force on a 70 degree  March day, I decided that discretion would be the better part of valor.  I felt certain  that not only would the temperature break records, but the consumption of alcohol would be at an all-time high for this particular St. Patrick's Day in Minnnesota. Watching the parade on local television at home didn't yield any award-breaking photos, but it was a lot more comfort!able.  Ah, but the memories of years' past...  marching with my children behind the Kilbane and Keenan banners was always lots of fun, especially when we got on television!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Camera Critters-Waiting for Easter?

Bread and Chocolate is a favorite cafe that has an alcove in its fireplace  with decorations and floral arrangements that change with the season.  This bunny is perfect for Easter, but it's also an appropriate post for Camera Critters today.  To see how others interpret this meme, click here.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Mural: the Mississippi Queen

A mural on the side of a building has an icon of the Mississippi River

The Mississippi Queen was the second largest paddle wheel driven river steamboat ever built. The Mississippi Queen had 206 state rooms for a capacity of 412 guests and a crew of 157. It was 116 meters (382 ft) long, 21 meters (68 ft) wide[1], and displaces 3,709 metric tonnes (3,364 tons
When in service, the Mississippi Queen was a genuine stern paddlewheeler with a wheel that measured 6.7 meters (22 ft) in diameter by 11 meters (36 ft) wide and weighed 77 metric tonnes (70 tons). The steamboat also featured a 44 whistle steam calliope, which was the largest on the Mississippi River system. In 2008 the Mississippi Queen was reported to be out of passenger service until 2009[3].
The Mississippi Queen was laid up in New Orleans at Perry Street Wharf after being gutted for renovation. Instead, however, the steamboat was sold for scrap in May 2009. She was towed for the last time to Morgan City, LA on March 24, 2011 to be cut down. Credit: Wikipedia

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nathan Hale Statue

I often wondered why this statue of Nathan Hale is displayed prominently in a small park on a corner of Summit Avenue in St. Paul.  A brief internet search yielded this information:

The Nathan Hale statue was created by William Ordway Partridge (1861-1930) who was born in Paris to a wealthy American merchant family. The family returned to the United States in 1870. Mr. Partridge studied art at Columbia College where he developed a life-long interest in theatre. Later, he traveled extensively through Europe and studied sculpture at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris and in Rome.
Upon returning to America he continued his art education. In 1902, Partridge published an historical character study of Nathan Hale, The Ideal Patriot. Shortly thereafter, Saint Paul's sculpture was commissioned by the Nathan Hale Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Partridge worked more than 5 years on the piece, seeking a depiction of Hale that would be "inspired and vital to the living present."
The bronze sculpture depicts Nathan Hale with hands tied behind his back, waiting to meet his fate on the scaffold. He is dressed in the simple garb of a schoolmaster. The Saint Paul Pioneer Press exclaimed that "the attitude is a striking one, full of strength and dignity."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Watery Wednesday on the St. Croix

On a balmy, sunshiny 65 degree spring-like day, DH and I drove to Prescott, WI last Sunday to take a look at some condos that are situated at the confluence of the Saint Croix and Mississippi Rivers.  The condos were gorgeous, the scenery was beautiful, and the fishing looked pretty good!!

To see more photos for the Watery Wednesday meme, look here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ABC WEDNESDAY-"I" Incredible Sculpture


Standing 18 feet tall and weighing approximately four tons, James Earle Fraser's magnificent and powerful sculpture creates a dramatic first impression when you enter the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  Plan to spend one whole day there to visit the outdoor gardens and to see the collection of paintings, pottery, firearms and Native American art as well as exhibits that illustrate the history and culture of the American West.

To see more ABC Wednesday photos, click here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


"And Jesus Wept"
Statue: (across from the Memorial Site) Behind St. Joseph Old Cathedral stands a shrine in remembrance of the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The focal point of the shrine is a statue of Jesus who faces away from the tragic sight; He holds His face in His hands in sorrow. 

 St. Joseph's Catholic Church. St. Joseph's, one of the first brick-and-mortar churches built in the city, was almost destroyed by the blast. Not officially part of the memorial, the statue is regularly visited.
Charles Porter's photograph of firefighter Chris Fields holding the dying infant Baylee Almon.

This is my sixth and final post of photos I took at the Oklahoma City Memorial Site, and I want to leave you with that last unforgettable of the main reasons why I spent so much time on these posts.  It's an iconic image that I hope will never be repeated on our soil while, unfortunately, terrorist acts  are occurring all over the world. I grieve for all the victims of violence...past, present, and future!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Survivor Tree-OKC Memorial #5

We come here to remember
those who were killed, those who survived
and those changed forever.
May all who leave here know the impact of violence.
May this memorial offer comfort, strength,
peace, hope and serenity.

Survivor Tree: Witness to Tragedy, Symbol of Strength
It is more than 80 years old. An American Elm Tree in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, it survived the bomb’s blast and witnessed one of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil. Today, we call it the Survivor Tree.

On April 19, 1995, the tree was almost chopped down to recover pieces of evidences that hung from its branches due to the force of the 4,000 pound bomb that killed 168 and injured hundreds just yards away. Evidence was retrieved from the branches and the trunk of the tree.

Cuttings of the Survivor Tree are growing in nurseries all over Oklahoma. Owners of landscape nurseries, arborists, urban foresters and expert horticulturists from across the state and country have come together to work and preserve this piece of history. None of these people have ever charged the Memorial for their work. Each year, the Facilities and Grounds crew at the Memorial provides Bays and the nursery men hundreds of seeds. They plant the seeds and distribute the resulting saplings each year on the anniversary of the bombing. Today, thousands of Survivor Trees are growing in public and private places all over the United States.

The Survivor Tree is a symbol of human resilience. Today, as a tribute to renewal and rebirth, the inscription around the tree reads, “The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”

Friday, March 09, 2012

Portraits of Remembrance-OKC Memorial #4

The chain link fence that lines one side of the Memorial site has tokens, notes, and articles of remembrance affixed to it.  These poignant photographs honor the two women and the unborn son of the woman on the left who all died so tragically.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

OKC Memorial #3-Reflecting Pool

The Reflecting Pool is located where 5th Street used to run in front of the Murrah Building.  Timothy McVeigh parked his truck in a handicapped spot approximately where the tree with the pedestrians are located on the right side of the photo.  He positioned it where it would do the most damage, locked the cab, and walked away.

What does the pool represent symbolically?
We see ourselves in this place—the face of someone changed forever by what happened here. The sound of the water is soothing, calming us, and allowing us to reflect. It also holds a position, from a bird’s eye view, of the place where 5th Street sloped upward to the East, in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

ABC WEDNESDAY-"H"-Heartbreaking Memorial-Honoring the Dead

Yesterday I posted a photo of the Empty Chairs on the Memorial site in Oklahoma City.  Today I'd like you to meet Skip.
When we entered the memorial site we were greeted by Skip, a National Park Service Ranger who talked to us at length about the explosion and the history of the park. Skip is originally from Hawaii where he acted as a guide to the USS Arizona in Honolulu where so many service men were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He has served in the same capacity for 5 years at this Memorial site. Behind him you can see some of the chairs, each one representing the victims of the dastardly attack., including three unborn babies as well as several pedestrians and a nurse who was attending the wounded when unstable and falling debris killed her. Skip is a perfect person to act as a guide because of his experience, knowledge, and compassion for the dead.

DH and Skip discussing various aspects of the outdoor memorial.

To see more ABC Wednesday posts, click here.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

ABC WEDNESDAY-"H"-Heartbreaking Memorial

On the morning of April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked a rental truck with explosives in front of the Alfred E. Murrah building in downtown Oklahoma City and, at 9:02am, a massive explosion occurred which sheared the entire north side of the building, killing 168 people. 

Field of Empty Chairs

The 168 chairs represent the lives taken on April 19, 1995. They stand in nine rows to represent each floor of the building, and each chair bears the name of someone killed on that floor. Nineteen smaller chairs stand for the children. The field is located on the footprint of the Murrah Building.
We chose to take the southern route home from Santa Fe to Saint Paul, Mn for the express purpose of viewing this heartbreaking Memorial site.

To see more ABC Wednesday posts, go here.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Convoy Ahead!

During our trip home we saw several National Guard conveys in both Oklahoma and Kansas.
Far more interesting than most of the traffic.  Come back tomorrow and I'll show you why we stopped in Oklahoma City!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Well, I'm Back!

After two plus adventurous months in Santa Fe, we arrived home on Saturday night.  I'll miss it a great deal for lots of different reasons...back to flannel nities again! The drive back with Maggi our dog was not as much fun as the time we spent in New Mexico, but it went without incident.  When I wasn't driving, I amused myself by taking photographs.  This was one of the more interesting vehicleswe passed.  I'll continue to post a few photos on my Santa Fe blog for awhile so come visit me there, too.