Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sitka, Alaska

I am back in town after an amazing Alaskan cruise.  Since it is Sunday, let me introduce you to
St. Michael's Cathedral in the heart of the little, quaint town of Sitka, Alaska.

St. Michael's Cathedral (RussianСобор Архангела Михаила Sobor Arkhangela Mikhaila), also known as the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel (RussianСобор Святого Архангела Михаила Sobor Svyatogo Arkhangela Mikhaila), is a cathedral of the Orthodox Church in America Diocese of Alaska, at Lincoln and Matsoutoff Streets in SitkaAlaska. The earliest Orthodox cathedral in the New World, it was built in the nineteenth century, when Alaska was under the control of Russia.[3] After 1872, the cathedral came under the control of the Diocese of Alaska. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1962, notable as an important legacy of Russian influence in North America and Southeast Alaska in particular.[4][5]
An accidental fire destroyed the cathedral during the night of January 2, 1966, but it was subsequently rebuilt.[4] The new building’s green domes and golden crosses are a prominent landmark in Sitka.[5] Some of the icons date to the mid-17th century;[6] two icons are by Vladimir Borovikovsky.
(Credit: Wiki

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Baby Swing

Without planning a photo shoot, just walking around my neighbourhood gives me plenty of images to photograph and enjoy.  It's been a long time since I have seen an infant/baby swing suspended from a tree--even longer since I saw a child in one.  This model looks pretty sleek and very different from the swings my once-young children used and enjoyed.  A little bit of nostalgia!

Thursday, June 08, 2017


Wild Wendy and I got up early this morning and reveled in all the beautiful blossoms in our neighbours' yards. The peonies are gorgeous this year!! 

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Friends of Fitzgerald

 Since this is the last post in my Fitzgerald's series, it is fitting that I show the high regard our family has for F. Scott.  We cannot seem to be able to bypass him whenever we are in the vicinity of Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul. Rain or shine, we always have time to stop and greet him. Notice the slight smile on Fitzgerald's face when we stop to chat with him.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

F. Scott Fitzgerald in Rice Park

Several bloggers asked me to post a photo of the statue of F. Scott Fitzgerald located in Rice Park.

I posted these three photos on my blog in May of 2010, but here they are again per your request
He's my favorite Saint Paul fella (in addition to my DH)! My husband always loves to walk through the park with me because I invariably stop to chat with  F. Scott Fitzgerald to tell him how much I enjoyed teaching his books!  Or how much my students loved The Great Gatsby. Or how much my husband loved writing his college senior thesis on This Side of Paradise.  

Here is information on the artist who created the sculpture:
Artist Name: Michael Price 
Media: Bronze with warm brown patina on red granite base
Date Created: 1/1/1996
Location: Rice Park
History: Price created this sculpture, representing F. Scott Fitzgerald in his early thirties, to honor the renowned author on the centennial of his birthday.  Price said, “I found Fitzgerald to be an honest and generous person, and I wanted to express those qualities in the work.”  Price equated his work with the author’s—naturalism, as opposed to realism, characterizes the work of both.  “Fitzgerald said he didn’t have a large idea, but he had a large perception, and so developed content from the vantage point of immediate human experience.  I wanted to emulate that approach,” Price explained, “making this work immediately accessible and engaging.”

Monday, June 05, 2017

Fitzgerald Hangout

University Club, 420 Summit Avenue

Scott and Zelda were regulars at the well-heeled University Club, where they attended dances and spent evenings in the bar. Together, the Fitzgeralds once published a spoof newspaper poking fun at University Club regulars, which they distributed at a formal ball.  Credit:

"All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, undated letter to his daughter "Scottie"

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Purple Iris

Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. 

Hans Christian Andersen

Saturday, June 03, 2017

This Side of Paradise

Another Fitzgerald post: F.Ssott Fitzgerald wrote the novel, This Side of Paradise, while living in this brownstone apartment building on 593/599 Summit Avenue. He had met Zelda, his future wife, while serving in the army. Originally she had not wanted to marry Scott because of his uncertain financial future, but after the publication of the novel, she apparently changed her mind. They did not remain long in Minnesota and led a busy, often debt-ridden existence, as international icons of the Jazz Age. 

A year ago the house was up for sale.  Go to this link to see what the interior looked like when it was put on the market.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Nature, June 1, 2017 Theme Day

You cannot get anything more natural than this!
Click here to see more delightful photos for this June 1, 2017 theme.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Seven Days of Information, Education, and Fun: Come Visit!!

At the book launch I attended Wednesday, I picked up this poster which announces a conference which occurs with some regularity in St. Paul. It is anticipated, attended and  appreciated by  educators, academics, students and Fitzgerald aficionados during this 7-day event. Scholars from all over the world will present papers and enjoy the " FitzFest," social activities and tours during this week-long event.

It get more complete information about the conference and activities click here.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book Launch for a New Fitzgerald Book

The Commodore Hotel that was recently renovated is a St. Paul historical icon where Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda once lived, partied, and waited for the birth of their child, Scottie. For this reason alone it was an appropriate place for the book launch of a new book, "F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota." Approximately 75 people crowded into the ballroom to buy the book and meet both the photographer, Jeff Krueger and the author Dave Page, who is photographed above as he explains his interest in Fitzgerald and research. I had intended to present my posts by chronologically presenting the events of F. Scott's life, but this book launch really illustrates the interest St. Paulites have in one of their favourite sons. I'll return to other aspects of his life shortly. To learn more about the Commodore Bar and Restaurant click here to read some fascinating facts about the era: prohibition, the 19th and 21st Amendments, and some gangsters plus some great black and white photos.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

F. Scott's Dancing Lessons

Mrs. Backus’ Boarding School (586 Holly Ave): Built in 1890, this is where F. Scott Fitzgerald took dancing lessons as a boy. (Historic Photo: School in 1922)

Although it doesn't look the same, I have been told that this is the same building.
I am sure that dancing lessons weren't Scott's idea, but that was not an usual activity for the children among his mother's circle of friends. Because his grades were not very good, eventually he was expelled from St Paul Academy and enrolled in an Eastern boarding school at age 15. Until he entered Princeton, he was home only for the holidays.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fitzgerald's St Paul Academy

If Fitzgerald were alive today, he would not recognise St Paul Academy, the private all-boys school he attended in a small building on 25 Dale Street close to Summit Avenue. The Academy moved elsewhere in 1931 and is now co-educational, larger and  located on Cleveland Avenue. St Paul Academy is the school where I taught middle and upper school students in the English/Humanities department during my own educational career. Some of the short stories he wrote has been included in the middle school English classes.

 I never really cared for this particular statue of F. Scott located on the steps of the Dale Street original Academy building; I  much prefer the one in Rice Park in downtown St. Paul. Whenever I am in the area, I stop to chat with him and tell him how much I enjoyed teaching his short stories and The Great Gatsby in American Literature.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Some Fitzgerald homes

The weather in St Paul for the past week has been relentless rain; I haven't been able to get out to F. Scott's old neighbourhoods to take new photos so I have to rely on old archive photos for a few days.
For five years, Fitzgerald and his family lived in three different houses on this block on Holly Avenue, one of which has been torn down. When his father's financial problems began the family lived in an apartment pictured here as well as Grandmother McQuillan's large house, shown above. Later he used material from these childhood years to write magazine stories.
I feel very fortunate to restart the series at this time because on Wednesday, the author and photographer of another book  about Fitzgerald will have a launching party  at the Commodore Hotel, a St Paul landmark frequented by F. Scott and his friends. I'll be there! I'll include a photo of that building at a later date.  In the meantime, enjoy this Amazon photo of the new book.  

F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: the Writer and His Friends at Home.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

One of Our Boys!

481 Laurel Avenue, St Paul, Minnesota
the birthplace on September 24, 1896 of novelist


This residence is designated as a Literary Landmark by
Friends of Libraries, U.S.A.

In 2006 I did a photographic series of some of the landmarks in the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I think enough time has passed to repeat it because some of you may not have been part of CDP eleven years ago.

For the next few days, I will show you places where he lived, went to school during his early years, and where he hung out. He was born in this building to Edward and Mollie McQuillan Fitzgerald.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

My personal steed!

Who doesn't love a carousel?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Skywatch Friday in St. Paul


These are qualities that can’t be invented or imitated—only earned. In the world of commercial property, they’re qualities attached to a select few buildings. Buildings like the First National Bank Building, the quintessential St. Paul address for more than seven decades. Today, after an investment of millions in capital improvements, this St. Paul icon has been revitalized as a hub of speed, comfort and convenience, poised for seven more vibrant decades. Businesses of character are drawn to buildings of good character. And there’s only one First National Bank Building, shining true, a proven gem in the crown of St. Paul’s skyline.

The building is probably most known for the large neon red "1st" sign atop the building. The sign has three sides and rises four stories to a height of fifty feet.[In 1973 the sign was turned off in response to the energy crisis. The sign was relighted ten years later after a major renovation. The original "vermillion vitreous porcelain edged [sign] with a double row of red neon tubes" was replaced with solely red tubes. Around four thousand feet of neon tubing was used in the renovation. The sign can be seen from almost 75 miles away from the air at night and 20 miles away on a clear day.

After renovation in 2016 due to wind damage, the sign was relit, with a color changing LED sign. For the Winter Carnival in 2017, the sign changed color from neon red to icy blue.[12] In 2017, the signed was changed to purple, during the first anniversary of musician Prince's death.( Credit: Wiki)
In the evenings, the building is a beacon of light with its brightly colored sign and blinking lights visible from afar.

Linking to Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Practicing for "Nature" Theme Day-Herpetologist Olivia

Throwback Thursday: This is a repost from August 19, 2009, a Door County, Wi., vacation photo with my fearless grandaughter, Olivia. CDP's June theme day is coming soon, and since several people in the past have lamented that they have forgotten the day, here's a head's up!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sage Advice-The Nook

This is the fist sign one sees upon entering The Nook, bar and restaurant, located near the corner of Hamline and Randolph Avenues.
Linking to Signs, signs and ABC Wednesday

Sunday, May 14, 2017


We decided during our Friday Field trip to celebrate Mother's Day!
Meritage is our favourite restaurant, next to Broder's Pasta Bar.

Today our entire family is going on a picnic at Como Park to celebrate in our traditional way. Who doesn't love picnics with salad niçoise, small  turkey, cheddar cheese, and roast beef sandwiches with lots of fruit and wine?!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Therapy Dog!

Wild Wendy is a graduate! She successfully finished her class, passed her evaluation, and is formally registered as a Therapy Dog, giving emotional, friendly, and loving support to those who need it. She and I are visiting people at both ends of the age spectrum on a weekly basis:  adolescents in a hospital setting and older folks in a care unit. We are so proud of our frisky "little lamb!"
Linking to Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters

Friday, May 12, 2017

Just a Memory

Although I am going on a Friday Field Trip at the Ordway Theatre to listen to the St Paul Chamber Orchestra today,  I think that I would prefer a real trip, on a real airplane instead.  The plane I photographed over my house in 2007 will not be seen again. . . it's only a memory now!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


While cleaning up my computer files and organizing my photos, I came across this picture taken in 2007. I noticed the sign posted on the porch behind the statue of Lady Liberty. Such irony!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fruits of Choice

Both of these signs were part of the decoration in Mon Petit Chérie, a small cafe I recently visited and enjoyed.  The pie reminds me of the outstanding pies made with small tart cherries in Door County, Wisconsin. and the apples are reminiscent (other than the price) of the wonderful apples available close to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.
Linking to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Lou's visit

It was only two weeks ago that Lou, Wild Wendy's neighbourhood friend, had part of his hip socket removed because of  genetic deterioration. He was one sick puppy when I saw him after surgery, but yesterday he came over to show WW that his stitches had been removed.  If you look closely you can detect the hair growing back on the left hip area that had been shaved before Lou's surgery (the sun did not cooperate and shone rather brightly on the area nor did either dog consent to pose quietly for me).  In an interesting coincidence, before we adopted WW she had been hit by a car with a fractured pelvis and a broken leg, and  she, too, had surgery that removed part of her hip. Looks like these dogs will not be permanently slowed down by their surgeries.

Monday, May 08, 2017

My fantasy!

I really, really, really want one of these at my disposal so I can tool around the neighbourhood. I came close to buying one about ten years ago but my family discouraged me with horror stores about what might happen to me if I had an accident.  Why did I listen to them? :(

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Wanted: New tenant

Happy Sunday, everyone.  Looks like this house is just waiting to be claimed.  Such a beautiful surroundings for a deserving tenant!