Thursday, December 31, 2009

Going My Way?

It doesn't look like the owner of this bike is going anywhere soon; nor am I! After a quiet gathering on New Year's eve, DH is flying off to Mexico, but I'm staying home 'til he gets back at the end of the month.  Then we're going somewhere together when he returns. Seems strange not to be going there with him this year.


"Onward we go, faithfully, into the dark
And are there angels singing overhead? Hark."
(from "December" by Gary Johnson)


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Protestors gathered outside the Governor's Mansion to protest a change in a welfare health care program. These people are not xenophobes in the truest sense of the word, but they are displaying contempt toward the decisions of our governor! The protestors carried signs and placards expressing their displeasure...Governor Pawlenty as Scrooge!
A trooper came out to meet the crowd and to advise them not to affix their signs to the property.  It was all very cordial and civilized.  I'm happy to be able to live in a country where people can express their feelings without landing in prison or having their head cracked open! To see more ABC Wednesday posts, check this link:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Since we have to live in it, we might as well enjoy the weather and the snow. It's all quite beautiful!

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Backyard

I do believe that procrastinators live in this house!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Have A Seat!

During my long walks, I often rest on this bench as I slowly trudge back home.  Not during the recent snow fall, though!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Waiting for Mr. Postman!

"...been standin here waitin here mr. postman
So-o-o patiently
for just a card,or just a letter..."

So far we've had two rounds of snowstorms that rapidly followed one another. This is a snapshot I took when I went out for a walk on Christmas eve morning.  Several more inches fell Christmas Day...wetter and heavier. The snowplow blocked our driveway with a 3 foot high bank of wet, heavy and chunky snow.  The snow blower was too tired to handle that, and it took dear husband 3 hours to clear the driveway and snowbank. Apprehensively I watched, hoping that he would not become another heart attack statistic.  The commercial snow removers weren't even answering their phones. And this was the year that I thought I'd skip Mexico! Not a good decision!  Going to Santa Fe, tho...going from snow to snow, but their weather is a piece of cake next to this!! 

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day Celebrations!

Each year we have a different national menu  for our holiday meal, which makes the festivities even more interesting. Last year we had a French Christmas dinner with this delectable dessert.  Our German meal this year has a dessert still unnamed as of this writing, but, never fear, I will come up with something reasonably close to the recipe supplied by JB of Mainz, Germany.  May your day be joyous, whether or not you celebrate this holiday.  Peace to all around the world. 

For those of you who do celebrate...
   God Jul...Buon Natale...Joyeux Noel...
Nollaig Shona...Feliz Natal...Feliz Navidad...
    Nadolig Llawen...Nadelek Lowen...
    Veselé Vánoce...Vrolijk Kerstfeest...
Kala Christougenna...Mele Kalikimaka
   Frohe Weihnachten...Merii Kurisumasu...
Souksan Van Christmas and, of course,


Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Noche Before Christmas

My sister's holiday tree.  Very ornate and beautifully decorated!

The Noche Before Christmas

Author unknown

Twas the noche before Christmas and all through la casa,
not a creature was stirring – Caramaba! Que Pasa?
The niños were tucked away in their camas,
some in vestidos and some in pijamas.

While hanging the stockings con mucho cuidado,
in hopes that old Santa would feel obligado.
To bring all children both Buenos y malos,
a nice patch of dulces y otros regalos.

Outside in the yard there arose such a grito,
that I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito.
I run to the window and looked out afuera,
and who in the world do you think that it era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero,
came dashing along like a crazy bombero.
And pulling his sleigh instead of venados,
were eight tiny burros approaching velados.

I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre,
was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre,
“Ay Pancho,  ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto,

Ay Chato, a Chopo, ay Macuco, y Nieto!”

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho,

he flew to the top of our own techo.
With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
he struggled to squeeze down our chiminea.
Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,
With soot spread all over his red suit de Gala.

He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos,
because none of the children had been very malos.
Then chuckling aloud and seeming muy contento,
he turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.
And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad,

Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ABC Wednesday-"W": Winter Wonderland

The image says it all.  No caption is really necessary.  How many more months of this?

To see more ABC posts from around the world, check this link:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Clowning at the Cafe-100 Strangers #16

I met Tim at a local cafe after sitting at a table with him and a mutual friend.  After a pleasant chat, Tim clowned around for my camera.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Camera Critters-Saturday and Sunday "Baby, It's Cold Outside!"

When do we leave for Mazatlán?

To see more CAMERA CRITTERS from around the world, click on the link 

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The JV basketball teams from Central High (a St. Paul's Public School) and Minnehaha Academy (a Minneapolis private school)  Battle to Win.

Sitting behind the Central High School team's bench we were close enough to see and hear their coach (in black) instruct them when they came out of the game. He is low key without the need to curse or shout...a good role model. Despite a close game, the Central's team won by 4 points!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Can a young person be considered a virtuoso?  If s/he plays like this 12-year-old sixth grader, I think the answer is a resounding "yes!"

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does one need to be happy.” Albert Einstein

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Wonderland?

I'd rather be in Mazatlán!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's that time of year again!

Two games a week...what's a grandmother to do?! Grandfather and I are loyal fans, and we're in the stands for almost every JV game.  I wish that I had the power to give the same opportunities to all the children of the earth: clean water, nutritious diet, good health care, education, and community and family support. Is that too much to ask, citizens of the world?!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Why did I not take my sick computer in earlier?  Getting it back Saturday was like getting a new one.  Thanks to the guys at Chipheads, I couldn't be happier!  George took my order (he wasn't available for a photo when I had my trusty camera with me), and Ian who doctored my Dell laptop and young Griffen who patiently answered all my questions and advised me on future behavior were WONDERFUL!! Plus they helped me save some shekels because I don't have to buy a new computer.

Ian on the left and Griffen
on the right are magicians!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

My Sick Computer!!


Monday, December 07, 2009

Minnesota Workers

These two are among the many wonderful employees at Broder's Pasta Bar in Minneapolis, Mn where DH and I usually eat every other week-end.  The well-established restaurant that started as an Italian Deli in a building across the street (and that original deli is still flourishing there) has received many awards year after year.  It really does have the BEST pasta in the Twin Cities.  The risotta is "to die for!"***

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Time to Celebrate!

December is a big month at our house; another birthday to celebrate.  Jim has given me lots of his time and it's time to celebrate!

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Room of My Own

I recently converted a small room into "a room of my own," and I couldn't quite believe how happy I could be with it!  After stripping wallpaper that had been on the walls for 20+ years, I had to scrub down the walls four times before I could get rid of the paste.  I painted the ceiling eggshell, the walls ice blue, and will bring in a blue and white oriental rug after the cleaners get through with it.  When I find lemon yellow curtains I'll hang those. The large watercolour painted by a friend of mine is the pier on Lake Superior in Duluth. I got the Captains chair as a reward after 25 years of teaching English at St. Paul Academy-Summit School, which I still miss! The 3 etchings on that wall were the first pieces of art my DH bought for me when we lived in Chicago, all scenes from that great city, which I still love. 

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wishful Thinking!

The play of light on the rug brings out and enhances its colours.  I wish that I could bring it home with  me!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

¡Mi corazón!

¡Feliz Cumpleañons, Olivia!!  She changes and she grows...mi corazón.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Waiting at the Ordway Theatre

For years this wonderful man has been a familiar sight, waiting to open the door for concert and theatre goers at the Ordway Theatre in St.Paul. What a pleasure to see his smiling face and welcoming greeting.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

Monday, November 30, 2009

One of Each Please!

I would NEVER brave the crowds and go shopping on Black Friday, a huge shopping day after Thanksgiving in the US. Merchants rely heavily upon sales on that big day, and consumers race from store to store looking for bargains. Some even camp out overnight to get special deals, especially at electronics stores. This year one of the WalMart stores had to close their doors when a fight broke out among shoppers who wanted the same merchandise. Madness!!

Despite refusing to join the hordes, I made my way to a Rug Cleaning establishment that was offering 30% discount on that day only so I brought in an area rug that I want to use to spiff up my new "room of my own." The highly reputable shop also sells oriental rugs, and, of course, they were on sale for Black Friday. In addition to salivating over the rugs I decided to take some photos. Not the best light, but you get the picture!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Minnesota's Wild!

These two guys had their tickets to the Minnesota Wild's hockey game against Colorado and didn't have to look for theirs on the street as did the man I showed you yesterday. I hope that he found someone with an extra ticket! (Wild-5, Colorado-3!) We left the morning St Paul Chamber Orchestra concert about 12:30, and the streets were alive with people going to the hockey game that started at 1 pm. A slightly more festive crowd than the one we had just left at the Ordway Center where the concert had taken place!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Need tickets!

I met this man on the streets in downtown St. Paul on Friday, November 27. Can you guess what tickets he wants? I'll tell you tomorrow.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bass Lake, Wisconsin

Yesterday I introduced you to my friends; today I want to introduce you to the view of Bass Lake from their deck. Nice, isn't it?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks!

I am grateful and thankful for many things in my personal life: health, good neighbors, family and friends to name just a few. Last month six of us gathered together at the beautiful lake home of one couple. The men have been friends since elementary school and high school. All five of those pictured grew up in St. Paul, but I'm the only Wisconsinite. I'd like you to meet them! Seated around the table from left to right are Jim F, now living in Colorado; Jim N, my DH; and, Joe and Sylvia P who live in the lake home we visited. Standing are Carol F and I. Joe and Jim N lived across the alley from one another for years from early childhood. Before marriage and moving away, Jim F grew up just down the block from where we now live. I wonder how many people are friends from childhood and still see one another? Can't beat it!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

51 Novels!!-Stephen King

Talking Volumes: A book club where the author shows up! My previous post featured Barbara Kingsolver who wowed the crowd at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul and last Wednesday night, Stephen King showed up to be interviewed by Terri Miller of Minnesota National Public Radio. He, too, was a huge hit with the audience. I wasn't seated as close to the stage as during my previous visits, but even at a longer distance my camera caught his facial expression that demonstrates his wit and humor. Again, it was a sell-out and to accommodate the crowd, part of the audience was seated on the stage behind King. He talked about the history of his literary career and read some passages from his most recent novel, "Under the Dome." Responding to audience questions about his books, he revealed that his favorite novel is "The Shawshank Redeption" and his favorite character is Gordon Lachance in "The Body" which was made into a movie called "Stand By Me",(somewhat autobiographical because the main character is a writer). We always wondered how he could get into the mind of a kid so well! His favorite movie is "Cujo." Although my husband is more of a Stephen King fan than I am, I loved the evening.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Barbara Kingsolver

Although I am still on my self-imposed sabbatical I felt that I should share these photos of writer Barbara Kingsolver. I saw her being interviewed by Terri Miller at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul last Wednesday as part of the Talking Volumes series, sponsored by The Loft Literary Center and NPR. Great evening because T. Miller always does a superb job of interviewing the writers who are engaged for this popular program, and Kingsolver was fantastic. She held our attention talking for approximately an hour about the craft of writing and how it applies to her own methods.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Camera Critters-Saturday and Sunday Meme

This photo speaks for itself!

To see more Camera Critters from around the world on Saturday and Sunday, click here.<


Monday, September 28, 2009

Alley Art

Earlier this summer I went in search of the homes that had received "Best Alley Flower Gardens"--an annual award that encourages residents to beautify their alleys as well as their lawns. I found many outstanding gardens bordering the alleyways. I was struck, however, by another kind of art--beautifying the garage doors. When I was young, we played "kick-the-can" in alleys but I do not recall either gardens or decorated garages. Perhaps people are getting more creative and sensitive to their environments, even the most humble areas. What do you think?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wanna Play?

I've been told that when a dog has this kind of stance, it really wants to play. Our dog Maggi often "bows" like this after she greets us. In this guest photo by Jeremy, Maggi has just been approached by another dog at the dog park.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Photographers, Jeremy and Joe-100 Strangers #16

"Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment." – Elliott Erwitt

I met these two photographers, Jeremy and Joe, at the dog park which lies adjacent to the Twin Cities International Airport (See yesterday's post). Their cameras and lenses created much envy on my part, and we had a pleasant discussion.