Friday, April 30, 2010

Ten Thousand Villages

I finished my volunteer orientation and training for Ten Thousand Villages and will begin volunteering next week. I have a schedule of one-day-a-week at various times of the day, some in the morning, some in the afternoon, and a few in the evening. I think that it will be interesting and rewarding to volunteer at this non-profit Fair Trade shop because of the wonderful merchandise, one of which is an urn shown above.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Clothes and Shoes Only!

These metal containers located in the parking lot next to a dry cleaners are receptacle for donated but gently used clothes and shoes.  I wonder how long they'll remain there? It's my understanding that many unsuitable objects are frequently found inside, left by careless or mischievous donors. I'd hate to be the one who has to empty these; yet, it might be fun to see what's inside!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Found Poem

A group of people in our neighborhood on a particular block must have gotten together to post poetry on their sidewalks. This is one of the more whimsical.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This canoe has made many journeys down the St. Croix River loaded with food, kids, and adults.  Despite one tipping accident when we lost a cooler of food and my Minolta 35m camera, no-one was hurt.  Memories: lunching on sandbars, swimming in the river, being towed behind a boat during a dangerous storm, racing for shore to escape rain and lightening, introducing a grandchild to canoeing for the first time, gliding down the river in a flotilla with friends, canoeing Minnehaha Creek when the water was high, being the lone canoeist during an early morning ride, and countless other trips in Minnesota. Now the canoe is way too heavy for Jim and me to hoist it easily atop our car or portage when necessary.  Can't seem to let go of it so it sits in our backyard as a memorial to our canoeing adventures.  I suppose we could sell it!

Monday, April 26, 2010


The Uptowner Car Wash in downtown St.  Paul is the place to go.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another walk around the neighborhood!

I wondered if I should caption this as "neighborhood oddities," but decided against it because I don't consider Jim, Olivia, and Maggi at all odd. They were very good companions on my walk. We did discover, however, that some of our neighbors have found unusual ways to decorate trees and lawns, of which two examples appear here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Morning Walk

These are some of the things I saw on my neighborhood walk on Friday morning.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Path to Knowledge

The Washington, D.C. Basin or April in Paris have nothing on us...just look at all those blossoming trees.This is the path to our neighborhood library that I pass going in and out of the building.  As I stood taking photos, passersby stopped to exclaim how pretty they are.  They smell good, too!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Minnesota Worker

Like all Whole Foods employees, Evan was helpful and cheerful.  What more could you want?!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ABC Wednesday: N- Nook

Would you rather have a Nook from Barnes and Noble or a Kindle from Amazon?

To see more ABC Wednesday photos posted by bloggers from around the world, click here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ten Thousand Villages #2

This is an example of the jewelry available in the shop on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. Check yesterday's post for information on the Fair Trade shop.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Among My First Purchases!

On Saturday I had my second training session to be a volunteer in a fair trade shop called Ten Thousand Villages, which, incidentally, has stores all over the country. It'll be a bit of a challenge to keep my own purchases within reasonable limits since I like much of the merchandise: clothing, purses, jewelry, home furnishings, books, toys, cookware, and much more. If you have a store within your shopping area, I encourage you to patronize it since it offers customers quality merchandise and gives artisans in Third World Countries an outlet for their crafts that helps them reach economic independence. The support and guidance that the men and women receive from this non-profit and well-established organization is unique and highly beneficial.

There are over 100 volunteers who are well-trained in the St. Paul office alone. I've signed up for sales, volunteer training, school visitor and educator, and book club facilitator. That should keep me busy and out of trouble! If you are in the St. Paul area, stop by and, if we're both lucky, I'll be there!

PS. Don't you think the wrap will look great with my new Santa Fe red cowboy boots?

Friday, April 16, 2010


All my neighbors' trees and bushes are in full bloom, but my crab apple trees have nary a bud or blossom on them.  I wonder why? Perhaps it's too early or perhaps I should sing to each one. Or maybe move to Paris?

“April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom, holiday tables under the trees.”
E. Y. Harburg quotes (American Lyricist, Librettist and Song Writer, 1896-1981)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Found Poetry

I have walked along this sidewalk in my neighboirhood many, many times. Yesterday as I paused to take a picture of something else, I happened to look down and saw this "found poem."  I'd like to meet the poet.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I wonder how long it will be before I see these at the Farmers Market?

Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn. [or cabbage]~Garrison Keillor

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ABC Wednesday: "M"-The Mighty Mississippi

One of the pluses about living in St. Paul is the proximity of the Mississippi River, only about 6 blocks from my home.  The photos above have been taken in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.  To view more ABC posts from around the world, click here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Good Food, Num!

One thing I missed while I was wintering in Santa Fe, New Mexico was the cheese department in Lund's grocery store. Santa Fe now has Whole Foods and Trader Joe's but no Byerlys or Lunds. Growing up in Wisconsin, cheese is a staple.

Washington, DC is to lying what Wisconsin is to cheese.”
Dennis Miller (American Comedian and Actor, b.1953)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Blossoms

Spring definitely is here in Minnesota, judging by my neighbor's yard.  Her front gate is framed nicely by the flowers she has chosen to grace it. Should I be glad that I'm back home now?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Camera Critters-Old dog/New dog

click here.

Maggi is our 9-year-old dog and Lexie is approximately 1-year-old.  Can you tell which is which? (Not fair if you know which one is Maggi from a former post!).

This year we decided to drive to our winter destination, and we took Maggi with us. Our son who lives in and takes care of our house while we are gone was so lonesome that he got a dog for himself!  As a kid and young adult, he brought many animals home with whom we ended up, of course. Despite now being a mature adult, I wonder how this would work out.  As predicted, guess who's dog-sitting tonight?!

To see more camera critters from around the world, click here.

Friday, April 09, 2010


We finally arrived home after two wonderful months in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  If you missed some of my posts from that city, you might want to check here. Our trip home was almost as exciting as our visit.  For two days we encountered incredible crosswinds in New Mexico, Colorado, and Nebraska with signs warning high profile vehicles to "be cautious!"  (Whatever that means!) Apparently there were a few trucks we passed  that weren't cautious enough! The wind actually drowned out conversation,  and it made passing trucks on the interstate a true adventure. Glad to be home but already miss the Southwest.  I really should live there!