Thursday, April 30, 2015

Good Fences-Governor of Minnesota's Official Residence

 The house was designed by Minneapolis architect William Channing Whitney for Saint Paul lumber businessman Horace Hills Irvine and his family. The 20 room English Tudor house has nine bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and nine fireplaces. The Irvine family lived in the home from 1912 until 1965, when the Irvines' youngest daughters, Clotilde Irvine Moles and Olivia Irvine Dodge, donated it to the people of Minnesota to serve as the official residence of the First Family.

Linking to Good Fences

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bars on the Window

The date, 1915, is written above the door.  This small building is the old Mendota jail. 

The City provides tours of the Historic City Jail during Mendota Day held in July each year. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Funeral Honors

Folding of the flag, presentation to family member, and taps at my brother-in-law's burial last week.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sakura-Monday Murals

Wall Mural at the Japanese restaurant, Sakura, on St. Peter Street in downtown St. Paul

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Church steeple/spire-Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

Recently I posted a photo of a  Catholic Church on one of my road trips.  Its twin steeples interested me and the comments of other bloggers intrigued me.  I decided to take photos of churches and their steeples to see if a particular style is favored by each of the different religions. I think I'll explore more churches in the Twin Cities to see if there is a trend.
The Design of the United Methodist Church above: The architects Hewitt and Brown designed the church in English Gothic style, and modeled it after Ely Cathedral. Edwin Hawley Hewitt, who had earlier built St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral nearby on Hennepin Avenue, was a design partner who traveled to England to see Ely Cathedral before this church was built.
Completed in 1916 and measuring 238 feet from the sidewalk to the top of the spire, at the time it was the second tallest building in Minneapolis. Only the clock tower of Minneapolis City Hall was taller. The exterior face is soft gray Bedford limestone. Gustavino tile lines the interior to absorb sound. The pews, altar and balconies are built of white oak. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Public Art

Start Seeing Public Art

Estanisiao Contreras created “La Nuova Vita (The New Life)” in 1983. The sculpture stands in front of Amhoist Tower at the corner of 4th and St. Peter Streets in downtown St. Paul

A plaque near the sculpture reads:
 La Nuova Vita symbolizes the strength and vitality of the many ethnic cultures that contributed to the growth of this City.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Early Morning Sky-Skywatch Friday

I often curse when I cannot fall back asleep in the morning; too often I wake up too early.  A few weeks ago, I guess it was worth staying awake since this sky greeted me when I opened the door.

Linking to Skywatch Friday

For the next few days I will not be commenting on blogs because we will be involved in the memorial and funeral/cemetery burial of my husband's brother.  Families are scattered across a number of states so a family dinner and lunch will be occupying our time.  I have posts scheduled but will be absent for awhile.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good Fences

This good fence keeps the young children contained in a safe area away from the street traffic that runs parallel to the playground.

Linking to Good Fences

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WWII Signs

The Greatest Generation Exhibit at the History Center in St. Paul had these three posters as part of the collection. Certainly is a trip down memory lane.

Linking to Signs

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Don, the Bookman

On Monday, April 13,  I posted a sign for the AAUW booksale.  Because I was in the neighborhood on another errand, I stopped for the opening, thinking it was 9 a.m.  I was mistaken—it began at 9:30 but I had arrived about 8:30, I still stayed to listen to the people in a small waiting group that had already gotten their entrance numbers, all of whom were book sellers/buyers.  They related humorous book-buying tales of a both negative and positive nature.  My ears perked up when I heard the name, Santa Fe.  Don is a frequent visitor to New Mexico as I am,  and we have some common favorite spots and places to visit and to eat. Over the years both of us have seen the changes in that lovely city and yearn for the days of yore when it was smaller with fewer part-time people with second and third homes there. Don is from St. Paul and is a graduate of Macalester College. If I go to more sales coveted by book buyers, perhaps I will see him again.  Hope so.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Talented writers

Yesterday I told you about Sharon Creech and the Kerlan Award.  Attending that ceremony and  luncheon were two local writers that you should know about, Julie, on the left is a talented educator who has a personal blog where she writes wonderful reviews of children's books and Kate DiCamillo, a well-known award-winning and popular children's author. Both posed happily for me.  Both of these charming women prove without doubt that the Twin Cities are alive with talent for an audience of all ages for people who are in love with books, literature, and writers. They are living proof of the quality of life for those of us who live here. Our writers and the cultural environment of the Twin Cities keep me here…despite the long winters!!

Important to know: Both St Paul (#4 and Minneapolis #1) were in the top ten "Most Literate" cities in the U.S.,  ahead of D.C., Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Denver, St. Louis  and others.   Check it out here:

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spotlight on Sharon Creech

The Kerlan Award

Yesterday, Saturday 18, the Kerlan Award Committee honored author Sharon Creech at the 2015 Annual Kerlan Award Ceremony at the University of Minnesota. "The award is given in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children's literature and in appreciation of the generous donation of unique resources to the Kerlan Collection for the study of children's literature." (Credit: Winter 2015 Newsletter). To visit Sharon and learn more about her, visit her online at

 Sharon's remarks at the ceremony included a description of her writing career, which was of interest to everyone. Before the ceremony I attended the luncheon and met Sharon, who incidentally knows some people I know!  A wonderful afternoon in a roomful of readers with a talented and gracious woman.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Color. . . At Last!

Although the weather has warmed up considerably of late, the trees and shrubs are still pretty brown. I have noticed for the past several years that more and more people are planting these early spring blooming trees.  My spirits are uplifted by these spots of color as I bike around the neighborhood early in the morning. I think they are magnolias. . .right?

Friday, April 17, 2015

No explanations!

Last Sunday I found this pile of spikes and old railroad pieces of equipment in front of a short track that went nowhere lying next to a working railroad bed/tracks.  I wonder what all this means?  Not a soul around to ask for more information.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Getting up to code!

 Deciding to sell one's home to move to smaller living quarters is a BIG STEP. We're not quite ready to make that final decision yet, but we have surveyed our house to make certain that it is up to code. Our back bedroom has a door leading to a roof that is above our first floor 3-season porch.  When we moved in, a wood railing was attached to the roof, but it eventually deteriorated.  Now, thanks to Kent and Bob, we have a sturdy, steel black rail around the perimeter.  I plan to put down an outdoor carpet, add a small table, two chairs and enjoy sunny summer mornings with my coffee and newspaper.  Maybe even a bit of reading in the afternoon while sunning in my bathing suit.

Linking to Good Fences

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I recently had occasion to spend some time chatting with this young woman.  Originally from Duluth,  Minnesota, Nicole came to the Twin Cities to attend Concordia College.  After graduating she decided that she liked it enough here to stay.  She found a position at Episcopal Homes in St. Paul as a Marketing Associate at Episcopal Village and has been with them for six years.  Personable and charming, she is an asset to the group!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Great Sale

I will be there when the doors open at 9:30.  No, wait!  I'm supposed to be downsizing!!  Nah! Books don't count!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Church Spires

Oh, my, there was a high of 70 degrees yesterday. We took advantage of the occasion and enjoyed one of our favorite road trips, along the Mississippi River on the pretty Wisconsin side.  St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Prescott, WI caught my eye because of the twin spires. A good choice for a Sunday post, right?!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Minnesota weather

My windshield yesterday morning!

Friday, April 10, 2015


Snow flakes by my Easter Egg tree at 6 P.M. on April 9th.  we were treated to a rain shower that ended up as a light snowfall. I know it will not stay, but ENOUGH ALREADY!!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Good Fences-Mystery "Cottage"

This is an interesting house on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, but I could find nothing on its history.

Linking to Good Fences

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Wednesday Dinner

On Wednesday nights for several months during the year, Unity-Unitarian church offers delicious meals that are prepared by volunteers for a nominal fee.  Tonight the menu consisted of roasted steelhead trout with herbs, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, salad and strawberry cheesecake bars. After the meal, diners either went to a brief chapel service or continued socializing at their tables.  Following that, programs included a panel discussion by those who recently traveled to Selma, Alabama, or grounded meditation or a Chinese Board Game.  Students in grades 5-8 had a meditation program of their own.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Year Round Guests

These two rabbits hang around our house all year and they particularly like the Easter season when they are placed on the mantle rather than on the floor by the fireplace where they reside for the rest of the year.  I'm especially fond of them because they are one of the first objects of "art" that I bought in 1962 from the Minneapolis Institute of Art shortly after Jim and I were married.  I should have removed the fading leaf before I took the photo, but my bunny pals don't seem to mind.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Pedicure Palatte

On April Theme Day enough bloggers commented on my red-nailed pedicure, I thought you might like this colorful pedicure palatte created by a friend.

"I had not thought of violets of late,
The wild, shy kind that springs beneath you feet
In wistful April days."
-  Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Birthday: Merle Haggard, 78, Country singer.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Easter Sunday in Savannah

Several years ago we were in Savannah on the week-end of both Passover and Easter so we attended the Sunday celebration at the Roman Catholic Cathedral.  Since this Sunday marks the Christian Easter celebration, I felt that it was appropriate to post this photo and for those of you who celebrate it, I wish you well.

"Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!"
-  Thomas Blackburn, An Easter Hymn

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Easter Finery

Have you bought your Easter Bonnet yet?

April is Poetry Month

"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."
-  T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922                

Friday, April 03, 2015

A Tisket, A Taskit

Do you think darlin' granddaughter is too old for this?  Nah!  I think I'll make one for her and her adult brother, too!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Cristo's Minneapolis Greek Restaurant

I've never been to Greece, at least not yet,  so I cannot attest to the authenticity of the dishes but if you want a good Greek dish, hie yourself over to Cristo's Greek restaurant in Minneapolis.  A friend and I went there for lunch last Tuesday after touring the Hapsburg Exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  The food we ordered was fantastic!  I ordered Koupepia (lamb wrapped in grape leaves) on a bed of rice. Delicious! My companion finished off her Vegetarian Mousaka and declared it delicious. I decided to try to make Augolemono (my favorite chicken-lemon soup) for our own Easter dinner.  My son is smoking a leg-of-lamb so I think the soup will be a wonderful starter for the meal.  Now I just have to visit the Greek Islands to compare their dishes with these!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Sittin' and Rockin'-April Theme Day, 2015-Self Portrait

Just a-sittin' and-a rockin' on the balcony in Mazatlán, México last February. 
To satisfy my fantasy about being a Southwest cowgirl…
 Santa Fe, New Mexico
My favorite self-images in México and New México!!

On the first day of each month, CDP bloggers post photos with a common theme, which this April 1st is "My Camera Shy Self-Portrait."  To see how others have interpreted this theme, go here.