Friday, January 31, 2014

Sweet little Casa

Come visit us in our sweet little condo in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We left some of our animals with our son who takes care of them and lives in our house while we are away, but we take Maggi with us. Maggi has a large fenced backyard to enjoy while we have wine and cheese inside.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mystery Location

We're going someplace where we won't need these for awhile!  Come back tomorrow, and I'll show you our destination.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


The monetary value of the food in this cart must be pretty steep yet I think a Vegan would give it a value of zero.


ADDED LATER:  We got up at 6 am only to discover that our furnace is OUT! Waiting for return call from repair business.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Polar Vortex CREATURE ABC Wednesday "C"

There must be kids living in this house.  Can't believe that any adults would enjoy going outside to create this Polar Vortex creature!

Linking to ABC WEDNESDAY  & Our World Tuesday

Schools are closed again in the state of Minnesota for the 5th time this January!

Monday, January 27, 2014

School Mascot

I'm always interested in how schools display their mascots.  This mural in a local elementary school looks more like a benign pussycat to me! Bet the students love it, though!

Linking to Monday Murals

CDP Theme Day Alert: February Theme Day is "Entry"

Added Later: Today is the fourth time schools across Minnesota have been closed because of the temperature (wind chill is a phenomenal −33F)  Current temp is −14.6 F.  Photo below is from the Pioneer Press website. . . 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mind, Body, Spirit

Yesterday I attended an all-day Women's Retreat sponsored by Unity-Unitarian Church in St. Paul that focused on the integration of mind, body, and spirit.  The workshops were stimulating, the food was bountiful and delicious, and the companionship was outstanding.  My favorite of the three workshops I attended was with local poet, Patricia Kirkpatrick, who read from her recently published anthology, Odessa, about the prize-winning poems she wrote while recovering from a brain tumor, surgery, recurrence, and remission. The day ended with a demonstration by the drumming workshop participants, followed by more conversation, wine and cheese.  Terrific Day!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cold Animal-Camera Critters

This outdoor garden or lawn ornament doesn't look too comfortable or inviting right now.  I recently went to Highland Nursery on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, looking for small terrarium plants.  The outdoor inventory certainly did not make me want to buy any of them. . even the statuary looked too darned cold!

Linking to Camera Critters
CDP THEME DAY ALERT: February Theme Day is "Entry."

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Fences

Last Friday I posted a fence with snow that had turned to an old, unsightly and tired mound of snow.  This fence surrounded by soft white snow is what we normally think of when recalling snow gently falling on the land.  Which is more realistic, last Friday's photo or today's?

CDP Theme Day Alert: February Theme Day is "Entry"

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nature Enhances

Although I am verily sick and tired of the Polar Vortex and mounds of snow, nature has a way of taking the edge off the inclement weather.  Nature definitely does enhance our environment in myriad  ways!

Despite the beauty, schools across Minnesota are closed today because of weather. . . AGAIN!!
CDP Theme Day Alert: February Theme Day is "Entry"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Beautiful Giclée Prints-ABC Wednesday "B"

Dyptich. "Visiting my Daughter, Hawaii" by Maura Matula Williams

Giclée prints are digital fine art reproductions made using a large format ink jet printer  and fade-resistant, pigment-based archival image. The original artwork is scanned at high resolution and the reproduction can be printed on various substrates in a range of styles. The quality of giclée prints varies.

(Credit: Author's description of artwork) Linking to ABC WEDNESDAY

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Best Buddies ABC WEDNESDAY "B"

The mothers of these two girls have been friends since their high school days, and the girls have been friends since they were born.  Two generations of best buddies!

Linking to ABC Wednesday.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tools of the Trade

 Tools to build, maintain, and repair string instruments are neatly arranged in Andy Fein's Fine Violin Shop that I introduced yesterday.

An interesting anecdote: I posted Andy's photo and biographical information on my Flickr blog.  A man whose brother studied with Andy in Chicago years ago recognized his name and the information I supplied.  Indeed a "very small world!"

Celebrate and Practice  Martin Luther King's message on peace, love and equality on this, his special day!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Andy Fein's Fine Violins

For a few years I have been intrigued by a shop on Grand Avenue in St. Paul that displays a number of string instruments, and I finally decided to look inside.  Andy Fein introduced himself to me as the owner and agreed that I could take some photographs, but he "had to work." He was cordial and welcoming but obviously a no-nonsense kind of guy who makes good use of his time. Tomorrow I will show you some of the tools of his trade.

 Visit Fine Violins website (see below) to learn more about Andy, his staff and the work done in the shop.

Here is some interesting information about him: 

A Personal Message From Andy Fein
Before launching Fein Violins in 1982, I worked and trained with some of the finest makers and restorers all over the world. I served my apprenticeship at the Chicago School of Violin Making, studied instrument and bow identification with Kenneth Warren, Sr., and completed a B.A.(Cum Laude) in Music from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. I continue to study instruments, particularly the instruments of Antonius Stradivarius and his predecessors, at the National Music Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, with master violin maker Amnon Weinstein in Tel Aviv, and with esteemed colleagues and conservators from around the world.
Despite all the activity on our website, we are still a small business with a personal approach to every instrument and every customer. Before an instrument is ready to leave our shop, it is set up and finished by me, played by one of the professional musicians on staff, and then checked and adjusted for tone quality. Then we ship your instrument directly to you, set up and ready to play as soon as you open the case!  (Credit:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dear Abby!

Dear Abby. . . what a beauty!  A perfect dog for this cold, snowbound city.  She takes it all in stride!!

 Linking to Camera Critters

Friday, January 17, 2014


Many CDP bloggers and I as well post photos which put our city in the best light with beautiful and attractive scenery in the best parts of town.  Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes reality is overwhelming.  That beautiful soft snowfall which is so scenic usually descends to unattractive lumps and heaps of tired snow.  

Linking to Friday Fences

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Burning bush

Early yesterday morning I popped my head out our front door to pick up our morning newspapers and saw this burning bush in my neighbor's yard. . . pretty enough to photograph!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Art and Artists #2

Yesterday I showed you work of 8th grade students that are on exhibit at the Drake Gallery at St. Paul Academy and Summit School.  These paintings were executed by 10th, 11th and 12th grade students.  When I was still teaching English at this school before I retired, the Art Department was my favorite place to visit when I had some free time.  It was always a pleasure to watch the instructors and students doing their work. Made me a little jealous, too, because visual arts looks like a lot more fun than grading essays!

Linking to ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Art and Artists-ABC WEDNESDAY "A"

St Paul Academy-Summit School has a beautiful art gallery where visiting artists and students are able to display their work.  Currently work of 6th through 12 grade students' paintings,  photography, and ceramics are on display in the Winter Student Art Show.  These three paintings are all artistic endeavors of 8th graders. They and the art teachers are to be congratulated because they always produce award-winning art.


Monday, January 13, 2014

"Let There Be Light. . . "

Nature and nature's laws lay hid in Night.
God said, 'Let Newton be!' and all was light.
Alexander Pope

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Good Friend

Janelle, my daughter's friend, has been attending and supporting my grandchildren's sports events for years. . .first my grandson and now my granddaughter has this patient, lovely woman cheering them on.  

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Q. Murph, How do you like your new iphone?
   A.  It's great!
Q. What do you like the most about it?
    A. I can put everything on it.
Q. What kinds of things?
     A. Here, take a look.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Discussing Technology

Discussing ipads and iphones. . . 

Q. Where is all this technology going?  What's the future?
     A. Smaller and faster. Computers soon will be obsolete.  
     We'll be able to put everything in our shirt pocket.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

A Bevy of Bowls!!

El Burrito Mercado on Cesar Chavez Street in St. Paul has a collection of pots from Mexico.  I think I should return and buy it to hold my Killer Chicken Salsa soup (recipe follows), which is perfect for this weather.  It's warming up, a veritable heat wave today! 8 am and it's a balmy 2 degrees F!!

Killer Chicken Salsa Soup
1 Rotisserie Chicken (Shred, but save carcass to make more broth to use later)
1-32 oz. sodium-free chicken broth
1 can of cannellini beans (rinse well) or black beans, if you prefer
1-24 oz. jar of chunky salsa (I use Pace, Medium, Chunky)
Can or frozen corn (Optional)
Use imagination for any additional ingredients you may like

Add all ingredients, heat, and top with 
shredded cheese & sour cream

Your family will be begging for more!! 
Bon Appétit!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


A Starbuck's barista with a great moustache!

6:30 am: Things are looking up.  It's only -9F right now!!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014


Son Karl wearing my rabbit fur hat that I purchased in Novisibirsk, Russia while celebrating New Year's Eve there a number of years ago.  Survival during their harsh weather was important!!

This hat may look a little ZANY now in Minnesota, but with our current ZERO minus weather, survival here is important, too!

5:30 am: Polar Vortex continues. It is now -15F


Monday, January 06, 2014


Today this school and all other public schools (as well as many private schools) in the state of Minnesota will be closed because of harsh weather conditions.  Despite howls of protests from some parents worried about child care, I applaud our governor's decision.

5:00 AM-It is officially -22 degrees Fahrenheit right now!  Wind Chill is -37F --Can you believe it? Why do we live here??

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Bold Painting

Placed high on a wall above the grocery shelves and heads of the shoppers, I notice this painting in El Burrito Mercado on Cesar Chavez Street in St. Paul. It is so bright and powerful that I wish it was placed in a more prominent location.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

These Boots were Made for Walking!!-Camera Critters

This little fella was shaking uncontrollable because of -9 degrees Fahrenheit when I left the warm cafe to photograph her. Fortunately, her owner came out within a short period of time to walk her home.

Linking to Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters

Friday, January 03, 2014

Fiber Art:Voices of the Tribe #2

 Here are two more pieces of Dina O'Sullivan's "Creation" objects of fiber art as seen in Unity-Unitarian's gallery for visual art pieces. One is Asian and the other is African.

If you missed the two I posted yesterday, click here.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Fiber Art-Voices of the Tribe

Unity-Unitarian Church in St Paul provides gallery space for the showing of works of visual art.

Dina O'Sullivan, One of "the Voices of the Tribe," created four Creation pieces,  two of which are here:  Native American, and the other a combination of  Hebrew, Christian, and Moslem.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


A Cuban Abuela

To see more photos posted by City Daily Photo bloggers, go here.