Friday, February 27, 2009

Keep looking up!

Have I mentioned one of the best things about winter in Minnesota is that you can likely have at least one day a week of sublime blue sky and intense, bright sunshine in spite of the frigid air? This winter has outdone itself in several fine days each week. Even better if the temperature rises because the hungry birds are more visible in their feeding and community activities. My hat goes off to the handful of brave families of starlings, chickadees, sparrows, pigeons, doves and cardinals. On two occasions a sky gaze found these intrepid visitors.

So, I submit these Minnesota blue skies to SkyWatch Friday's panorama of sky views where I'm weighing in coming in at number 342. Stop by and be amazed!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sad but true

‘I can only trust myself,’ he repeats.
She says, ‘I’m careful where I place my hand.’
You can’t be too wise or too useful.

He always looks over his shoulder when changing lanes.
She refuses to comply, flexing her tone-deaf muscles.
Avoidance pulled on like pigskin gloves, snug and ordinary.

Suffering oozes from his sockets; indeed
Making eye contact fruitless.
A relief.
Unsanitized fingers twitching
She wipes her hand in her pocket lining
Another threat averted.

Windows wearily draped in muslin.
Stomach mopped clean.
Heart chambers locked,
Checked, locked again.
She trusts only safety.
He trusts no one.

Consider this a weak punch at my recent writer's block by my healed left hook. I offer my take on the Sunday Scribblings prompt, 'trust.'

Thursday, February 19, 2009

One visit to my blog and you are well aware that I'm smitten by the color blue. I'm on a constant search for the perfect true blue flower, the most vibrant blue sky, blue shadows on snow and the clearest blue water. Then there are those haunting blue eyes. . . My Italian grandfather passed his blue eyes on to two of his sons, not including my father, so I have kept the color brown continuing to our daughters too. And I'd pay most any ransom for another piece of Granny Wells' wild huckleberry pie.

There are so many 'blues' in the study of art but my favorite comes from the Der Blaue Reiter [Blue Rider] group of expressionist artists in Berlin in the early 20th Century.

Maria & Franz Marc (l.), Heinrich Campendonk (2nd from r.), & Wassily Kandinsky (seated) - 1911

Finally, a little bit of watercolor from my own palette, blue, of course.

Blue is the color du jour for Favourite Things Thursday, the fun brainchild of none other than Blue herself. Visit her here!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A rose is a rose

A woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart.
-- from The Merry Wives of Windsor/William Shakespeare
Today's blossom du jour from my virtual flower show @ Today's Flowers are the three gorgeous deep pink roses Dave left for me on Valentine's Day. Heavenly fragrant and slow to open, they've touched my heart deeply.

Pick up a bouquet for your Monday at Luiz Santilli's meme, Today's Flowers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

that same ole' sky

Two different views of the same sky from inside the botanical gardens I visited in St. Paul last week. On the left is a bird's eye view from the new rainforest exhibit called Tropical Encounters.
The sky's reflection falls on a lovely fountain statue is from the Sunken Garden's winter flower show.
See more sky views here.
Happy Friday!

mysterious silver threads and a Finnish recipe

The color du jour for Favourite Things Thursday is silver--which had me wondering: when does gray become silver exactly? There's the silver in everyday utensils, paint brush ferules and palette knives, the bright sun on water, duct tape and so on.

two holiday fruitcakes or

soft sculpture or

the lackluster paint on the doors of my uncle's gray Chevy

Do these gray clouds over the Japanese Embassy have a silver lining? What about the gleaming silver guard hairs on this rabbit hiding in the rain? Rhetorical questions all.
Here's silver for sure--David's hair and beard. He's been sporting gray hair since he was in his 20's and now it has a luminous silver-white hue, inherited from his Irish grandma, Lucille Feagan. This photo was taken on New Year's Day and because we were sad our nest was empty again--and before I was to fall on the ice later in the day--Dave made Ropsua for breakfast. It is a baked pancake his mother always made on holiday and birthday breakfasts. The recipe below is a variation of her recipe and another I found on line. Its really easy and delicious but you have to eat it the minute it comes out of the oven...enjoy with butter and syrup.
Ropsua (pannu kaku)
Makes 1 large pancake
3 eggs, well beaten
3 c. milk (or new milk) Dave's mom uses part evaporated milk+water
1- 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
couple Tbsp. sugar

Melt about 2-4T butter in 9 x 13 pan and put in hot oven (425 degrees) until butter melts and sizzles. Pour in mixture above not stirring, return to oven for about 30 minutes until set. It will puff up, then fall when taken out. adapted from Mojakka

Thanks to clever Blue and her fun meme, Favourite Things Thursday for giving me an opportunity to share this bit of our family tradition. By the way, only one of our two daughters likes Ropsua. Surprising?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Please don't slam the door!

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
Victor Hugo

[side door to Oriental Museum, Univ.of Chicago]

D is today's letter for the 4th round of ABC Wednesday and since there are so many d-words to choose from I pick Doors.

This is the front door to the York Central Farmer's Market in downtown York, Pennsylvania. The market has been in continuous use since 1888. We lived in York for five years while Audrey and Erica attended elementary school. Last fall Dave and Erica took a one-day trip up from D.C. to visit old friends and haunts. Here's Erica holding donuts from Maple Donuts, one of York's many Pennsylvania Dutch type donut shops. [They were stale when they finally got to me but delicious in a cup of coffee--the donuts, not my family, although. . .]

Door-watching is my hobby, followed closely by collecting photos of doors' cousin, the gate. Is there such a thing as door watching, you ask. Of course! I snapped these in White Bear Lake during different seasons of the year and have posted them before.
A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. Ogden Nash
I spotted this charming garage with an accordion-like door [made from three separate doors]near a lake house on Owasso Lake.

Check out more d-words here, starting with D for Denise, the founder and host of this meme.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Day is done, nearly gone the sun.

Winter skies from my west-facing window in January when the days were sub-zero and more snow was on the way. Today we have a balmy 45 degrees. . .a taste of spring perhaps?

See more beautiful skies at SkyWatch Friday here where I've come in at number 322.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Creamsicles and goldfish--orange you sweet!

Orange, glorious orange!
Favourite Things Thursday highlights.

"Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow." -- Wassily Kandinsky

Improvisation XIV--Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866-1944), 1910, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

Visit Blue's fun MeMe here to see more orange dreams.