Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Random Acts of Poetry

During the Little Free Library festivities last Saturday in Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis poetry readings were conducted throughout the day by young volunteers.  Of the three poems offered by this young woman, I chose one by Shel Silverstein. The following poem is not the one that was recited to me but since our weather this past week had not been terrific, I chose this one by Silverstein for you instead. (Tip: If you want to buy a book for a child, get Silverstein's poetry.  I guarantee that you gift will be a success!)

Rain by Shel Silverstein
I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can't do a handstand--
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said--
I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.

Monday, May 30, 2016


Fort Snelling Cemetery

The heroes of Flight 93 won the first battle in the War on Terror, and they should never be forgotten. 
Jim Ramstad

Taking care of the family gravesite for Memorial Day

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Busy Young Woman

When she is not busy selling Deena's brand of hummus at the downtown St. Paul Farmer's Market, Danielle helps her brother take care of his child plus she also attends Concordia college, majoring in physical education. Although Danielle enjoys her time here in St. Paul, she misses her home town of Rossville, Georgia. Incidentally of all the varieties she is selling, my top choice is Lemon Thyme Feta Spread.  Excellent--both the product and Danielle's smile!!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sleepy Sloth

Whenever I go to  Como Park I visit a tropical centre at the zoo to visit my favourite sloth.  Usually he is sleeping,  but I still am able to photograph him; however, this time his face was pretty well hidden.  If you look closely you can see his nose tucked up against the trunk of the tree on the left. 
Sweet little thing!!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Flowers and Fences

I don't see many, if any, of those wonderful ranch fences and gates in this area, but my city streets have yards that are sporting lots of wrought iron black fences.  Now that flowers and shrubs are in bloom, the fences are enhanced by floral beauty.

Link to Good Fences

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Humane Economy

Wayne Pacelle, the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States spoke last night at Common Good Books at Snelling and Grand Avenues about progress and work needed to protect animals. Get his book, titled The Humane Economy and read it!

Summary of the Book: From the leader of the nation's most powerful animal-protection organization comes a frontline account of how conscience and creativity are driving a revolution in American business that is changing forever how we treat animals and create wealth. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States reveals how entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 CEOs, world-class scientists, philanthropists, and a new class of political leaders are driving the burgeoning, unstoppable growth of the "humane economy."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Gordon Parks Photographic images

Because of the lights and the glare from the large picture windows in the three rooms of the Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis, it was impossible to get really good photos of the recent Gordon Parks exhibit.  It was a wonderful show of some of his photographic work, and even though the exhibit is over and my photos are not of good quality,  I feel that I need to mention it. One room had a collection entitled "Invisible Man," which had a number of extraordinary black and white images of men. The other two rooms were coloured photos of black people in Southern, mostly rural, communities. Many of the pieces were "untitled" and captions were unneeded as many of the images clearly showed the segregation and discrimination of the period.
Linking to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Terrific Summer Sight

Isn't summer grand?!
A Lovely spiraea!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Little Free Library Festival

Last Saturday there were large crowds throughout the day at the Little Free Library festival in Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis.  Volunteers built libraries during  the day to demonstrate their construction and some were raffled in the afternoon. Many books were available for free, and other activities included strolling musicians,  poetry readings and puppet shows.  To see what you missed, go here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Saluting Women #10 Meet Laurie Hertzl

Laurie Hertzel is one busy woman! Yes, I have selected another writer to introduce to you for this Sunday series on special women.  Laurie Hertzel is not only the books editor for the Star Tribune newspaper where she has worked since 1996,  but she is also the author of three books, including "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," which won a 2011 Minnesota Book Award. Laurie has been a fellow at Duke University, a writer-in-residence at the James Thurber house in Columbus, Ohio and a faculty member and speaker at the Nieman Conferences on Narrative Writing and Editing at Harvard and at Boston University.  Laurie lives in St Paul, and, if you are lucky you might meet her sometime when she is walking her dogs around Como Park. If you want to know more about Laurie, check her bio here.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Unidentified Statue

Statue on a neighbour's lawn.  Not quite sure what it is! Looks a bit like our friendly squirrels.

Friday, May 20, 2016


A '50's photo of my sister who died last week.  
I like to remember her  
as a carefree young woman about
to embark on life.

Heaven by Patrick Phillips
It will be the past
and we'll live there together.
Not as it was "to live"
but as it is remembered.
It will be the past.
We'll all go back together.
Everyone we ever loved,
and lost, and must remember.
It will be the past.
And it will be forever.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Memorial for My Sister

A MEMORIAL:  My sister, Delores Kane, who was under hospice care, died early in the morning of May 14, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, after suffering a massive stroke on Monday, May 9.  Visitation and funeral will be held this week.  It has been a short but exhausting and emotional experience.  I will not be posting for several days, but I want my blogging and FB friends to know the circumstance and ask that you keep my sister and our entire family in your thoughts and hearts.  Thank you!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Saluting Women # 9-Kana from Osaka

Kana is from Osaka, Japan, but is now a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota. How did she get here?  Romance does it every time.  While teaching English in Osaka she met her husband who was teaching English there, and Cupid did his work!  As a result, now she and her husband are both residents in his home state of Minnesota.  Currently she is working for Metronic as a technical writer. Kana says that she loves Minneapolis,  and after living here for 9 years, it looks like she is here to stay.  What a beautiful addition to our country!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ceramic Critters

Last Saturday I and DH went on a Pottery Tour and saw many many beautiful pieces: bowls, vases, mugs, casseroles, plates and platters plus many other decorative and functional objects. These horses are particularly appealing and a bit more whimsical than the other pieces I saw. Perhaps we should have brought them home with us!
Linking to Saturday Critters and Camera Critters.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Three Buildings

As seen from the sixth floor of Lawson Parking Ramp in downtown St. Paul.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Neighbor's Garden

Each spring my neighbour, a hard-working and talented gardener, changes and  adds plants and garden ornaments to her front lawn.  She has an eye for colour, and I take delight in her efforts because of their charming effects. I smile whenever I pass her yard,

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Meet Heather

During the St. Croix Valley Pottery tour, I met several ex-students of mine who graced my classroom in the '80's. After all this time it was a sweet pleasure and  delightful surprise to see Heather, a member of a family of serious young scholars. ! She was one of the volunteers at one of the studios DH and I visited.  During our brief chat Heather told me that I had not changed a bit . . .  I hope that I had given her all A's!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Wonderful Ceramics

Jeff Oestreich is one of my favourite Minnesota potters. 

Monday, May 09, 2016

24th Annual St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour

Always held on Mothers' Day weekend, it is nationally recognised as a gathering of exceptional potters offering an intriguing array of handmade ceramics.  Fifty guest potters from sixteen states, Jamaica and Norway presented thousands of pots for sale at seven pottery studio locations. The St. Croix Valley is less than an hour's drive from the Twin Cities. Our drive on Saturday was filled with sunshine and mild but warm temperatures. DH popped for a sweet little mug for me for Mother's Day, made by my favourite Minnesota potter.  Come back tomorrow to see some of his pieces.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Saluting Women #8-Kate DiCamillo

I am continuing my Sunday "Saluting Women" series with another writer, but not just any writer of childen's fiction!  Author Kate DiCamillo  lives in Minneapolis, and is one of only six writers to twice win the Newbery Medal, which has been children’s literature’s highest honor for more than 90 years. Go here to learn more about Kate, an April 4, 2016 article written by another outstanding Twin Cities writer,  Laurie Hertzel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Miss Shannon

 Last Saturday the downtown St. Paul Farmers Market officially opened for the season.  When I arrived about 9 am, only about half to three-quarters of the usual vendors were there but the floral displays were beautiful. I was tempted to buy hanging baskets for my front entrance.  Instead I decided to wait for a week or two until I was sure that the weather stays warm. . .one never knows in Minnesota.  As I strolled around I saw this marvellous looking woman who looked like another floral bouquet, and stopped to chat with her.  Miss Shannon is from St. Paul and graduated from Cretin-Derham.  She is a dance instructor and operates a dance studio with her husband in Minneapolis.  If you want to learn more about her and their studio, their business and the events at their studio, check this link . Better still, go to one of their events or take some dance lessons. Miss Shannon and her friend posed for me and seemed content to continue browsing the market. Perhaps I should have asked for a dance demonstration among all the other flowers on display!

Friday, May 06, 2016

Favorite Tree and Poem

Every spring I wait in anticipation for this neighbour's tree to blossom.
I love it and the poem I am about to quote (below) by James Wright.  Whenever I see the tree as it is right now, I  feel exactly as the description in the last sentence of "A Blessing,"

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

Thursday, May 05, 2016


PURPLE: On Monday I went to Como Park to visit the  Conservatory to see its new spring floral display in the Sunken Garden.  After  l parked I stopped to visit the Carousel and to watch the families (see yesterday's post). I then went to the beautiful Conservatory to enjoy the new display;  it is not as vivid and showy as the Christimas and Easter displays, yet it is quite attractive. The irony is that the theme was established long before Prince's death, but the floral colour is different hues of purple!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Historic Restored Carousel

On Monday I decided to visit the Como Park Conservatory to see the newly installed spring flowers in the Sunken Garden.  Since kids are in school, the park was not as crowded as usual so I easily found a parking spot.  It was right next to the Cafesjian Carousel, which was lucky for me because it was running even though there were few wee customers.  I stopped to enjoy this beautiful attraction and the small children enjoying it with their parents.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Dinner Yesterday

 I have never used an Asian steamer before, and I loved it!  I made brown rice, steamed cod filets and stir fry veggies.  So very good!  I will use the steamer again!!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Mural: St Paul Days of Yore #3

Another mural on the side of an old brick building on West 7th Street in St. Paul. Our family still likes doing this, and we plan to picnic in Como Park for Mother's Day.  We have a secret, secluded spot that is not overcrowded as are many other spots in that beautiful park.  Sshh!
Linking to Monday Murals

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Amorphophallus titanum-Theme Day, May 1, 2016

When I saw the theme "smell" for today, I knew I would have to repost this one, which first appeared on my blog on April 11, 2008.

The flower is lime green with a phallic-like stalk and, when blooming, has a leafy purple and green "cape." Its soil temperature is monitored and at the base of the stalk are seedlike structures, which turn out to be the male and female features. The pollen is to be collected and spread around so that other corpses may bloom! The flowering version of the plant is so rare that plant experts know how many times it has happened in conservatories since it was discovered in Sumatra in the late 19th century. Ours at the Como Paark Conservatorywas no. 122, one of the smallest on record, topping out at around 29 inches.

To see how other bloggers have interpreted "smell,"  go to City Daily Photo Monthly Theme Day.