Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best Christmas present. . .EVER!

Thank you, darlin' son Karl for a gift, which I have often coveted.
Tetsubin, or iron kettles, were originally used in the home to boil water.  These pots generally were not ornately decorated, as they were placed over a hearth to provide heat and humidity during cold weather. During the mid-19th century as infused tea drinking became more popular, tetsubin evolved from being a kitchen item to being a status symbol used to serve tea.  Some of these were even elaborately decorated with a high relief design or inlay of copper, gold, or silver.

The region best known for making tetsubin is Iwate prefecture, in Northern Japan.
Haven't been blogging for a variety of reasons.  Tomorrow I am going to Mazatlán, Mexico for the month of January.  Please come visit me there at!                        

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Santa lost one of his reindeer who is hanging around Highland Park shopping center in St. Paul.  Couldn't  be Rudolph because this one doesn't have a red nose.  Will someone please let Santa know!
Guess the old guy must be too tuckered out to miss this reindeer.

Linking to Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A gourmet meal!

What a wonderful meal I enjoyed Monday night at the home of a friend, truly a gourmet cook
Delicious veggies: carrots, French beans and red cabbage-a beautiful Christmas medley.  

Patte and salmon lasagne

Linking to ABC Wednesday

Monday, December 21, 2015

More Shopping? Northern Clay Center #2

Done shopping yet?  Here's a perfect gift for a world traveller, pilot or a tired and overworked flight attendant.  Northern Clay Center still has wonderful items for sale!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Animals on Display #2

Last Thursday,  I posted two photos of animals that were enclosed in a makeshift holding fence at a busy shopping area in Highland Park so children and adults could enjoy the animals seldom seen in this place.  The two young Alpacas looked warm and fluffy and were the center of attention for the smaller youngsters enjoying this special holiday treat for shoppers.

Linking to Camera Critters and Saturday Critters

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Animals On Display

Recently I noticed a crowd of children and adults surrounding a small enclosure in the Highland Park Bank parking lot.  The fenced-in area contained a donkey, American miniature pony, two Alpacas and reindeer.  I suppose it was a holiday treat for the kiddies. I am currently reading Jon Katz's book about a donkey, "Saving Simon" so I was drawn to Peaches, a 22-year-old-donkey who was sharing the area with Shasta, a 9-year-old pony. I was delighted to see the enjoyment of the children but really did not like to see the animals displayed in this way.
Linking to Good Fences

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hall of Shame

I recently took one of my area rugs to American Rug Company to  be cleaned and was amused to see the "Guilty Dog Hall of Shame" bulletin board.  The lighting was not conducive to photography but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share this with you! (Click on the photo to enlarge and to be able to read some of the messages.)

Linking to Signs, signs

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Where's the snow?

It seems that many of my friends are delighted that our typical Minnesota winter has not yet arrived. As much as I dislike freezing temperatures and ice, I'd rather have that than global warming. As I am typing this, the weather is rain and wind rather than snowflakes.  If it continues these will not be used at all!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Meet Liz

Liz is a true animal lover.  Right out of high school she began working  for a few years with animals but then her life moved in different directions for awhile.  She eventually returned to the field and has been working for the past eight years in a St Paul animal hospital. She not only loves the animals but she enjoys the people who bring their pets to the clinic where she works.  Liz said, "I really like people who are passionate about animals." Judging from her friendly, helpful personality Liz is also passionate about her professional life and work,

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Visiting Sister St. Angela

Jim and I visited Sister Saint Angela recently at Carondelet Village in St. Paul.  Sister was Jim's second grade teacher (!!), and until recently he and several of his classmates would occasionally meet to take Sister out for lunch.  The years never dimmed the stories they recalled and retold. In addition Sister had many of her former students help with Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels that distribute 20,000 meals to 4,000 families  throughout the city for those who need and appreciate a full meal on the holiday.  Started by two Cretin-Derham students in 1970 when they were still teen-agers, now it is a massive undertaking that has been functioning for decades with volunteers who donate money, food and supplies and also man the phones taking orders,  cook, and deliver thousands of  meals on Thanksgiving morning.  Sister now lives in the Memory Unit at Carondelet and appears to be quite happy there. No more lunches with her former students, but she welcomes and enjoys their visits.  We live close-by and enjoy our time with her.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Helping Hands

Wendy, our foster dog, came to us to heal after surgery for a fractured pelvis and broken leg. This was  her second visit to the animal chiropractor.  Wendy doesn't always put weight on her hind leg and sometimes walks and hops around without using it, but she actually is doing quite well. We do therapy exercises with her; she races up and down our stairs and jumps off and on furniture (still haven't trained her not to do that, tho) so she must be healing.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Northern Clay Center

If you haven't started your holiday shopping, you should consider visiting the Northern Clay Center.  It is a fascinating place to visit any time of the year, but right now the shop's inventory has many beautiful items that would make gift giving a real pleasure. 


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Holiday Greens and Reds

The white fence surrounding the home of the President of the University of Minnesota is perfect for evergreens and red bows!

Linking to Good Fences

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Gingerbread Guthrie #3

It is remarkable how closely these Gingerbread Houses actually look like the real thing!

To see a gingerbread village go here and here.
Linking to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Riverview Theatre's Tree

 Riverview is a neighborhood gem. After first-run movies have left the major theaters, this theatre features them for the bargain price of $3.00 ($2.00 for the first movie of the day) or $2.00 all day every Tuesday. We recently went to see Everest and as we left the lobby I took a closer look at this beautifully-lighted tree.  I had to laugh at the staff's ingenuity by adding a movie reel at the tree top and reels of film among the popcorn and festive ornaments.

Monday, December 07, 2015

The Gingerbread Basilica #2

Yesterday I told you about the Twin Cities Gingerbread Village at Norway House and showed you a little of the collection on display.  Don't you think that the Basilica looks wonderfully festive?

Linking to Signs, signs

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Gingerbread Village

Modeled after Norwegian communities that build replicas of their cities  the Norway House brought this tradition to Minnesota.  A few Minnesota bakers (Crave, Coup d'Etat, and Woulet bakeries) and hobby bakers created a display of Twin Cities landscape. (Credit: Star Tribune).

I was delighted and charmed to see familiar landmark buildings  like Foshay Tower, Guthrie Theatre, Stone Arch Bridge, the Basilica, churches and even a Caribou.  Later I will post a few of these for you to enjoy.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Pretty Frocks

What little girls could resist these pretty holiday frocks?

Friday, December 04, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Jim--Husband, Father and Grandfather

Happy Birthday! It's a BIG one, a REALLY BIG ONE!!

Thursday, December 03, 2015


While shopping at Rosedale Mall looking for both birthday and Christmas presents for my family, I noticed a very attractive and striking looking woman walking down one of the "lanes." Later as I was leaving,  Shiran handed me a packet of "Gold," a truffles infusion brightening face-lift cream.  Perhaps I should have been interested in the product she was promoting but instead I was far more interested in learning about her.  Shiran is from Jerusalem and lives in St. Paul for the past 8 years. This busy working mother has three children who attend a Lubavitch school not far from my own home. Shiran and her family obviously enjoy living and working here, a very different community than her former home in Israel.  A pleasure meeting her!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Books of Christmas Past

No more little ones!  These are just a few of the holiday books that come out every Christmas, but the adolescents and adults don't seem to be that interested anymore.  I could donate them to Goodwill where all my gently-used items wind up, but I'd like to know just a little bit more about the children who will read them.  Our neighborhood children want for few things so I think I will find a homeless shelter; perhaps it will bring some children some pleasure.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Ultra Sporty: A big M - Theme Day, December, 2015

A sport shop in Rosedale Mall in Minnesota 
University of Minnesota is my
 alma mater            
 To see the variety of shops and display windows for this month's CDP December theme day,

Friday, November 27, 2015

First Snowfall

This isn't much of a fence, or wall for that matter, but it keeps clumsy pedestrians from falling into the shrubs.  Our first seasonal snowfall occurred on Thanksgiving Day.  Wasn't much, for which I am thankful; pretty isn't it?

Linking to Good Fences

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful Hearts


Give us thankful hearts... in this season of Thy Thanksgiving. May we be thankful for health and strength, for sun and rain and peace. Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities, and let us ever remember that true gratitude and appreciation shows itself neither in independence nor satisfaction but passes the gift joyfully on in larger and better form.     -- W.E.B. Dubois

Wordless Wednesday-Church Banner

Linked to Signs, signs

Monday, November 23, 2015

West Side Story: Mural, Mural on the Wall

Teens Networking Together, a West St. Paul neighborhood youth group, has collaborated with established area local artists, for example, with Craig David to create murals such as "The Heroes of Freedom, Justice and Peace" (1995) on the wall outside the El Burrito Mercado on Caesar Chavez Street.  How many personages can you identify?  I'll make it easy for you: Aung San Suu Kyi,  Martin Luther King, Jr., JFK, Sister Giovani (a local legendary figure), JFK, Sacagawea and/or Pocahontas and Roberto Clemente. Do not know the reclining figure on the left side. Notice the figures on the bottom left offering food and water.
Linking to Monday Murals

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Grand and Victoria

I love that Cafe Latte on Grand and Victoria hangs and rotates art of local artists in their restaurant/cafeteria. I enjoy the symbols and images of St. Paul in this painting.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Seasonal Bouquet

I think that this is the sixth post I have made of Bread and Chocolate's seasonal bouquets which are highlighted in a special niche in the restaurant that serves wonderful pastries in their Grand Avenue shop. To some some of the others, click here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rusted by Time

"Thursday's Good Fences"
Gated and rusted with time
Nature's silent nod

Linking to Good Fences

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

A Wordless Wednesday Image

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Autumn Leaves

I cannot resist
Leaves against a trim brick wall
Winter will come soon

Monday, November 16, 2015


Like so much of nature this autumn, even my houseplants are out of synch!  My Christmas cactus is starting to bloom. . .even though it is a bit early, I appreciate the colour.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Y'all, Listen Up!

For my CDP fellow bloggers and Southern friends

Paul Theroux has been one of my favorite travel writers.  He has a keen eye for his surroundings and writes with sharpness to detail and with imagination. He can be acerbic and often irreverent, which is probably why I like him.  I just started the book and know already that I will enjoy it.

Having visited the South for the first time a few years ago, I loved it and all of its contradictions. Wonderful people! I'll let you know how Theroux feels in his own words in the first chapter:

After having seen the rest of the world, I had planned to take one long trip through the South in the autumn, before the presidential election of 2012, and write about it.  But when that trip was over I wanted to go back, and I did so, leisurely in the winter, renewing acquaintances.  That was not enough.  I returned in the spring, and again in the summer, and by then I knew that the South had me, sometimes in a comforting embrace, occasionally in its frenzied and unrelenting grip.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

We Are Paris!

We Are Paris

We are France
Photo of  Alexandre Céline Arini

Part of President Obama's address regarding the massacre:
Paris itself represents the timeless values of human progress. Those who think that they can terrorize the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong. The American people draw strength from the French people’s commitment to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberté and égalité and fraternité are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share. And those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening.