Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Camera Critters #1

I just joined a group called Camera Critters who post pictures of animals every Sunday, but I still have to figure out how to link its logo to my sidebar. I do have it linked on "Other Interesting Blogs" so if you're curious, take a look.

This lovely parrot with a sassy vocabulary is our beloved Sadie who has been with us for 23 years. I found a program that allows photos to be attached to magazine covers, which is a hoot since some of my friends thought it was the real thing. My family and animals are indeed unique, but so far no national magazine has contacted us! Have a good Sunday everyone! Enjoy the coming week--stay safe!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Vatican Exhibit

Come to the History Center in St. Paul, MN to experience 2,000 years of Vatican art and history. You will find: Michelangelo items and works by Bernini, Giotto, and others. Artwork dating back to the third century. From the venerated relics (bone fragments) of Saint Peter to items from the election of Pope Benedict XVI, this exhibit comprises one of the largest Vatican collections ever to tour North America. Many items have never before been on public view.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner Project

After 3 decades the idea of helping needy families on Thanksgiving Day which was initially started by two young adults, has grown by leaps and bounds. Yesterday my husband and I did our small part to help deliver 15,000 dinners in the Twin Cities. Yes, you read right...15,000 dinners. Each year local merchants and sponsors generously donate food, trucks, money and time to make all this happen with the help of volunteers who gather at a local high school, Cretin-Derham Hall, where the action begins early each Thanksgiving morning. Students, young and old adults arrive at 4 am to pack the dinner boxes and coordinate the effort. Drivers arrive at 7 am and wait in long lines to gather in the gymnasium and halls, receive a number, eventually get the three addresses for delivery, return to cars and again wait in one of three long lines to pick up the food boxes that are taken to the cars by more volunteers...frequently students of local parochial schools. Volunteer policemen and women help direct the traffic at several street corners near the school. We delivered a dinner for four to a disabled adult living in a high rise, an Hispanic couple received two boxes of food for 12 people, and we delivered a dinner for 10 to a black family. We arrived home at 10:30 am to begin our own holiday.

The top row of the collage shows some of the tables that were set up outside, holding all the food. The middle row, with my favorite driver in the middle, shows the long line of cars ready to deliver the goods, and you can see the many drivers waiting in the gym to begin the deliveries in the bottom row. Notice the young students on the bottom right who used dollys to help carry the food to the cars that were waiting in line. Although waiting in all those lines was a bit tiring, everyone was convivial. Overall, it gave the day a special significance for all of us. We had a GREAT Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

On Thanksgiving Day some people eat turkey, others may prefer ducks or chickens. Or vegetarians may prefer something altogether different. The Canadians celebrated their Thanksgiving in October, we in the US have our feast and family gatherings in November. In the morning we will gather at a local school and send boxes and boxes of dinners that have been cooked by volunteers with drivers to deliver the food to homes throughout the city and surrounding suburban areas. My husband and I will drag ourselves out of bed to get to school by 7 am to receive our list of addresses, deliver the food to families who otherwise might not be able to celebrate this important day, and will probably be home by 11 am. Then I get to cook and serve our little family about 5 pm: turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato chips, corn souffle, asparagus, corn bread, wine, apple cider, and pecan pie. Music and football will be the entertainment of the day. No! Wait! Our funny and humorous little granddaughter will provide the most amusement. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates this feast with us!! I'm grateful that I have this day to share and to thank for my many blessings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


There's something about the titles of these books that really puts me off. Perhaps it's irrational, but I'm not interested in the books primarily because "bitch" really offends me. Does anyone else react to that label for females as negatively as I?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Eagle

The majestic bird is perched on a ledge of rock, wings outspread to shelter its nest of eaglets with its talons grasping the head of a threatening serpent. The following poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson does not describe this scene, but it is, nonetheless, a powerful description of this majestic bird:

The Eagle
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Now what do you suppose these two are discussing?!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Memorial

The entrance to my neighborhood supermarket usually has one of its foyers decorated with holiday schemes. I was stopped in my tracks recently when I saw these photos beneath a holiday tree. Both of these men were loyal employees and both met a tragic death. Too young! Too young!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Public Art #5-Harmony VII

The artist for "Harmony VII" is Daniel Kainz. Scroll backwards through the week to see the other four I have posted.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Public Art #4-"Frame"

Earlier I mentioned that the park where this sculpture is located is ringed by apartment buildings which you can see behind the "Frame"--the artist is Shaun Cassidy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Public Art #3-"Walking Warrior I"

This metal sculpture is HUGE. Artist: Melvin Smith

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Public Art #2-Victory Writer's Bench

The artist for "Victory Writer's Bench" in Western Sculpture Park is Roger Cummings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Street Art #1

Close to the Capitol Building on Marion Street there is a small park called Western Sculpture Park that is surrounded by apartment buildings where a curious photographer can find about 13 modern sculptures. This one is called "Tree Bracelets" by Coral Lambert, Theresa Smith, and James Brenner. In subsequent posts, I'll show you more of the sculptures.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Would You Eat These?

Saturday was a COLD and CHILLY day that made visiting the Farmers' Market less than the pleasureable experience it has been all summer. Most of the vendors have discontinued their seasonal sales so the place was just a shadow of its former self. Still, I enjoyed the experience. I paused at the weird looking brussel sprouts. I take pleasure in vegetables and consume large amounts, but brussel sprouts have never been a favorite. Perhaps I just don't have a good recipe. Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Worldwide Newspaper Headlines

Countries worldwide rejoiced with the USA after the election of November 4, 2008. This collage is just a sample; to see a large group of phenomenal newspaper headlines, click here.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Since today is Saturday, a day of rest, this sign should have an impact on your home-time. I discovered this wise suggestion in a cozy corner of the bookstore owned by Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame. Have yourself a good read this week-end!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Second Childhood

What do we have here? Looks like a group of neighbors and friends having a great time at an adult Halloween party! There are kittens, a Green Bay Packer coach, Boy Scouts, Goldilocks and the Wolf, el Muerto, a bear from the bear market, a fleeced stockholder, the Lone Ranger, a Deviled Egg and George Bush with his head on a plate!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

El Día de los Muertos

El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), a Mexican celebration, is a day to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed. On this day in Mexico, the streets near the cemeteries are filled with decorations of papel picado , flowers, candy calaveras (skeletons and skulls), and parades.
It is believed that the spirit of the dead visit their families on October 31 and leave on November 2.

In order to celebrate, the families make altars and place ofrendas (offerings) of food such as pan de muertos baked in shapes of skulls and figures, candles, incense, yellow marigolds known as cempazuchitl (also spelled zempasuchil) and most importantly a photo of the departed soul is placed on the altar.

It might sound somewhat morbid, but the Mexicans react to death with mourning along with happiness and joy. They look at death with the same fear as any other culture, but there is a difference. They reflect their fear by mocking and living alongside death.

Living alongside death means that Mexicans have to learned to accept it within their lives. Death is apparent in everyday life. It is in art and even in children's toys. It is not respected as it is in other cultures. Children play "funeral" with toys that are made to represent coffins and undertakers.

Death is laughed at in its face. Many euphemisms are used for death, La calaca (the skeleton), la pelona ("baldy"), la flaca ("skinny"), and la huesada ("bony"). There are refranes, sayings, and poems that are popular with day of the dead. These sayings are cliches and lose meaning when translated. For example "La muerte es flaca y no puede conmigo" means "Death is skinny/weak and she can't carry me." Calaveras (skulls) are decorated with bright colors with the name of the departed inscribed on the head. Children carrying yellow marigolds enjoy the processions to the cemetery. At the cemetery, music is played and dances are made to honor the spirits.

Death is a celebration in Mexico. Death is among them.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Joy! Joy! Joy!

Today is November, 2008 Theme Day: Books! Bookstores play special attention to photographers. Check the shelves to find a book that improves your technique! Click on the small photo to see the wide array of books on photography in this section of my bookstore.

Visit as many bloggers as you can listed below, bearing in mind the time zone differences...Don't forget anyone!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants