Wednesday, December 28, 2011


As DH and I were trudging along a seemingly endless parking area at a local hospital, we came upon this sign which made me smile.  The parking lot is so huge that there is a shuttle van which takes less-ambulatory patients and visitors to and from their cars.  Don't like hospitals this large, even if administration has a sense of humor.

The best thing that I'm doing for my heart right now is driving to spend two months in Santa Fe, NM! We left early Tuesday morning and are driving as we "speak." Come visit me at my Santa Fe blog right now...ya hear! lI'll start using my new camera after we arrive there and after I become familiar with it.  Perhaps you'll be able to detect some  improvement then!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Father and Son

Couldn't help but notice these two!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Comfort and Joy

Maggie is still in the "comfort and joy" mode and it doesn't look like she's ready for Boxing Day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Canon Christmas

I hope that Santa was good to all of you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holiday Confection

I frequent many of the Turtle Bakeries in Minneapolis as often as I can because of their lovely array of breads, pastries, cakes and desserts of all kinds. Taken through the glassed showcase, this photo does not do this delightful little cake justice, but you get the idea!  Happy Holiday to all of you!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Carondelet Village Complex

This is the new senior living complex on the edge of St. Kate's campus which includes several configurations of independent living apartments and studios, assisted living, and memory units.  It's a whole community by itself.  Not yet totally completed, all of the units have been snapped up already.  Here are some of the photos of the various construction stages of development that began last spring.

The complex is described this way: Carondelet Village, a senior living community is a joint project of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Paul Province, and Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS). One of its unique features is Carondelet Circle, a wellness and life enrichment center that includes a library, bistro, conservatory, market and gift shop, arts and crafts studios, and intimate gathering spaces that will be opening to residents and the general community over the next several months. Carondelet Circle will also host an array of holistic wellness and enrichment programs for residents as well as the larger community. PHS is managing Carondelet Village. (Carondelet Viilage website)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Kick Cancer to the Curb"

I always display a large, pink breast cancer sticker on my car to honor a friend who lost her life because of  this dreadful curse.  I have never seen this object used before, but it certainly caught my attention.  After a bit of exploring on the internet, here is what I found on
Welcome to The Pink Cart! These bright, bold rolling trash carts are a collaboration with the American Cancer Society ® to create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. Five dollars from the purchase of every Pink Cart goes to support the Society’s breast cancer awareness programs. Take a moment to explore our site – see if your trash hauler offers Pink Carts; read stories of women and their families who are fighting breast cancer; and read more about our program. Thank you for visiting our site, we hope you will join us in our effort to Kick Cancer to the Curb.
Order one for yourself; they come in three different sizes.
Pretty symbolic, I'd say, since breast cancer is nothing but trash!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ABC Wednesday-"W"- Wholly Wonderful Pasta Bar

We are frequent diners at Broders Pasta Bar and sometimes sit close to the kitchen so we can watch the chefs in action. To see a view of the summer outdoor patio at this wholly wonderful pasta bar, click here.

Go here to see more ABC Wednesday posts from bloggers from around the world.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Not the Eagen Photo Blog

I looked up from my latte and Sunday newspaper, and was delighted to see Leif Hagen and his charming wife, Ann, who had stopped in for a coffee while waiting for their daughters' Christmas rehearsal to finish.  We are friendly folks here in MN, crossing borders to visit one another's neighborhoods.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Diane the Cellist

This woman who also played at the recent symphony we attended (see other musicians' photos here and here) has remarkable credentials and experience.   Diane is a very active and versatile freelance artist in the Twin Cities, performing with the Mn Orchestra, Guthrie Theatre, Mn Sinfonia and for broadway musicals. She has played extensively with the Mn Opera, many ballet companies, theatre productions, and a variety of orchestras.  In addition she spends a great deal of time teaching at Breck and St. Paul Academy, working as a recording artist, playing and improvising on numerous pop and folk CD's as well as classical and commercial recordings.  The list goes on and on.  Diane and her husband, Jeffrey, live in Edina, Mn and have four children.  Makes you kind of tired, doesn't it? Makes me feel like a slug!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Camera Critters-Our Maggi

It wouldn't be a holiday without subjecting Maggi to her annual Christmas portrait.

To see more camera critters posted by bloggers throughout the world, click here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Another Bassonist

Yesterday I posted the photo of bassoonist Andrea who is a member of the JCC Symphony Orchestra.  She and Larry played a piece of Johann Baptist Vanhal's Concerto for 2 Bassoons and Orchestra.  Larry began his music studies when he was 8, first on the clarinet, switching to bassoon when he was 12.  Currently he is the principal bassoonist in both the  Health Sciences Orchestra and the Minnetonka Civic Orchestra.  Larry and his wife Suzanne share their home with two Bernese mountain dogs, Butler and Chef.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last night DH and I went to the JCC Symphony Fall Concert, the first of three free events which is supported by endowment funds.  Andrea began playing the bassoon as an adult--a present to herself on completing graduate school.  She joined the JCC Symphony in the early 1980s and has served as the orchestra's librarian since 1985. Andrea and her husband share their home with a 32-year-old red lored Amazon parrot named Fanny.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ABC Wednesday-V-Valuable

I took my ten-year-old granddaughter and husband to a performance of  "The Nutcracker Suite" for their shared birthday gift.  It's a wonderful way to show a child that we value music and dance.  It was a valuable lesson in the pleasure of fine arts and a wonderful way to demonstrate that I value being with them to celebrate an important day in their lives.

Go here to see more photos for ABC Wednesday.

Monday, December 12, 2011

We finally succumbed and hired someone to plow our snow this season, especially after our record snow falls last year.  This man with the friendly wave is not our snow removal guy, but he offered a friendly greeting.  Wonder if he's looking for business?  Doesn't have to look very far!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friendly Neighbor

Usually when my neighbors see me coming with a camera they hide.  I surprised Annette as she was scraping the ice and brushing the snow from her family's cars.  Members of her family and Annette are very athletic so a little winter exercise in the cold weather doesn't faze her a bit.  Such a sweet smile!!

To see a photo of Annette's husband who shoveled snow last year when the snowbanks were higher than the cars, check here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Attractive scenes

 I vowed that this year I would not complain about the weather, but instead look for beauty.  After our recent light snowfall, I think I found some attractive scenes.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Untrimmed Christmas tree

T'is the season but it doesn't look like this family is in any hurry to trim their tree.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Different Dolls

I check out the same art fair every December, and I also visit this artist's booth.  Her dolls are made of many different kinds of materials: cloth, zippers, twigs...whatever suits her creative bent.  She has original designs and pleases many customers because her little figures sell fast! (Click on the small photos below to see the details of the other dolls).

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Another Glass Blower

Meet Nate Lynn, a Twin Cities glass blower who is portrait #55 on my Flickr 100 Strangers Project. I met Nate at a juried holiday craft fair last Saturday.  After taking a class in college to fulfill a graduation requirement, he got interested in this art and has now been doing it for about 4 years.  I think all artists must know one another in this city since he is also friends with Peter Zelle, one of my former eighth grade students (many years ago!) who is also a well-known glass blower in the Twin Cities.  Small world...and getting smaller. You met Peter here last year when he was doing a holiday glass blowing display.

To learn more about the 100 Strangers project, click here:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Bread and Chocolate

Bread and Chocolate on Grand and Victoria is a fine place to stop with friends for a delicious cookie, pastry, muffin or sandwich with your latte, coffee, or chocolate.  The fireplace in the corner has a niche with a bouquet that changes with the season.This holiday bouquet is attractive and blends in well with the surroundings.

This is the fifth photo of the bouquets at Bread and Chocolate that I have posted.  To see the others, click here.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Cruel and Unusual Treatment-Camera Critters

On Saturday while shopping I came upon this "Christmas scene" which infuriated me.  One of our local hardware stores sponsored having this animal in a small temporary encloser on a sidewalk as a holiday gesture as part of Grand Meander (a holiday shopping fest on Grand Avenue inSt. Paul).  I quietly objected because of the size of the pen which allowed the animal only to walk in circles, and to be exposed to bystanders and the frightening noise of passing cars.  When I spoke to the owner/handler, I was told that it was "okay, cuz' they're just like dogs."  Some of the pedestrians admiring the reindeer with their children in tow looked askance at me as though I was some sort of lunatic. I wouldn't keep my dog in an enclosure this size nor would I put her on display as was done with this reindeer.  I shall lodge a formal complaint with the hardware store where we USED TO do all of our business.  Bah Humbug!!

Sunday, December 04, 2011


Come with me, my beloved,
To a Kingdom by the sea . . .

You have been a remarkable


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Downtown St. Paul

To see more weekend reflections, click here.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Action and Reaction

This was not a pretty sight, and it didn't look good. There seems to be lots of action from others on the scene. DH would not stop to gawk, but I, the roving blogger, would have stopped to get more information had I been alone.  Photo as taken on a return trip home after a pleasant road trip. My hope was that no-one had been hurt, but...

Thursday, December 01, 2011


As I am posting these photos I can hear the buzz saw in the background as these three men finish taking down the tree in our backyard that was interfering with our electrical wires.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Apparently not read in time!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Here's another Camera Critter!!

To see other camera critters, click here.  (If you haven't already seen it, check my post yesterday for a canine camera critter)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Camera Critters:The Eyes Have It

When I have to pull up a photo from the archives that is 4 years old, I know that I need to go out on a photo shoot.  I recall this dog quite well because of his eyes.  I had a Siberian Husky with the same trait of one blue eye and one brown eye...a dog that I wouldn't wish on anyone.  Our Misha was a runner and always got out of the backyard, regardless of how we redesigned the fence to keep him in. I actually saw our dog climb a cyclone fence, topped by barbed wire (built on one end of St. Kate's college) to get inside the inviting green expanse of the campus. What a dog!

To see more camera critters posted by bloggers throughout the world, click here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

My handiwork!

For the full story, my post on November 23.  It is SO much fun!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


We have neighbors who decorate their house MUCH too early.  Thought I'd beat them to the draw this year.

Although most of our neighbors are friendly, helpful and considerate of one another, we have one family who is uncharacteristically quite reserved and keep to themselves to a degree which is almost antisocial. This baffles those of us who are more gregarious.  At the bottom of their porch steps they have two lion statues, which I amusingly consider a bit ostentatious for our neighborhood.  Three years ago, in the dead of night I tied two huge red ribbons around the lions' necks.  The year after that I placed two green Christmas wreaths over the lions' heads and around their necks.  Not a word was said to us but to their credit, the middle-of-the-night secret offerings remained for the season.  Last year I waited too long so they attached the wreaths before I had a chance to devise something new.  But, AHA, this year I visited Goodwill and I found two red Santa Claus hats that I recently attached at 4 am--a very late night is necessary to avoid detection because of their very bright yard light.   I have more plans...wait until Mardi Gras!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Towe Royal originally hails from Arvika Värmland, Sweden. She has been in the United States for 21 years and has worked at REI for the past 5. At first she lived in Indiana, but claims that she likes Minnesota much better. Good thing because she has been skiing since she entered kindergarten and although our hills might not be as great as the Rockies or other mountainous ski areas, they're fun to navigate during the winter. I thought that Gene's  advice was helpful when I consulted with him at Joe's Sporting Goods recently, but I bought my Christmas present to myself from Towe instead. The package was on sale, I liked the boots much better, plus I get points for future purchases at REI.  I will think of her often when I'm on the trails in my new Fischer skis.
To learn more about the 100 Strangers project, click here:
To see more ABC photos from around the world, click here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Silent Night"

Jim and I attended one of the performances of the world premier opera, Silent Night,  recounting the Christmas Eve truce of 1914 during World War I. "Based on Christian Carlon's screenplay for  his 2005 film, "Joyeux Noel," it tells the parallel and eventually intersecting stories of opposing soldiers who step out of Belgian trenches to celebrate Christmas together in 1914." The Opera was spectacular and I have never been part of a more enthusiastic audience...anywhere, even at the Santa Fe Opera!  The third performance which we saw was totally sold out, based upon well-deserved reviews.   The composer, a very young and very handsome Kevin Puts, has created a sizeable body of works for orchestra, but this is his first opera. Mark Campbell, the librettist, is described as "one of the most in-demand librettist in opera today."

The lobby of the beautiful Ordway Center for the Performing Arts had show cases that displayed  authentic uniforms and artifacts of the French, German, and British (Scottish troops) Armies of World War I.

Click here and here (this one is a fascinating article on Puts, the composer) to read reviews of "Silent Night" in one of our local newspapers. Read the background and fascinating account of the Christmas Truce here at