Wednesday, October 28, 2009

time traveling

That old buttermilk sky in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood this May. Once a predominately Polish village, Pilsen is now gentrified, including a large Hispanic population as well as hipsters. This tall church gave me the feeling of being in another century and place.
See more sky views here.
One’s destination is never a place,
but a new way of seeing things.
Henry Miller

Monday, October 26, 2009

sweet memories

Summer's memories with flecks of red. . .I was so taken by these kites or windsocks fabric art installations on Loyola Beach in Chicago.and early fall at the Farmer's Market. I amaze myself at how clever I am (roll eyes here) because I actually wanted to post this photo to show the colors of those gorgeous heads of cauliflower. Red by any other name. . .?
Visit Mary's meme Ruby Tuesday for more red delights.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

of bass and benches

Our Minnesota sky at dusk -- a lone bass fisherman on Lake Owasso.

and a clearly rustic bench in Wisconsin to add to Rune's Bench of the Week here.

Visit SkyWatch Friday for more sky photos.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

red heart work

Taken from the motorcycle, these red farm buildings couldn't be missed as perfect compliment to the swirly blue sky yesterday. We took probably our last trip on two wheels this season as sadly the temps are lower now even when the sun is shining.

In homage to the season, this door is all decked out in autumn colors. It sits a bit ajar to let in the soft morning breezes. All muted reds make this house seem very hospitable to any passerby with a camera. See more red at Mary's meme, Ruby Tuesday.

Work of sight is done.
Now do heart work on the pictures within you.

Monday blooms electric

My very last Nasturtium blossom for this season is queen-for-the-day**--Today's Flowers that is. All of the rest that came out of one seed pack were the usual bright orange except for this beauty. Since these colorful fall mascots once were a flower on a vine or stem, it seemed only fair to include them too.
**see an old clip of Queen for the Day for any of us who might remember. . . here

and then visit Today's Flowers a virtual flower shop meme, the brainchild of Luiz Santilli, Jr. and his crew. . .a nice way to start the week.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday comes early

by Billy Collins

Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening,

then night with his notorious perfumes,
his many-pointed stars?

This is the best—
throwing off the light covers,
feet on the cold floor,
and buzzing around the house on espresso—
maybe a splash of water on the face,
a palmful of vitamins—
but mostly buzzing around the house on espresso,

dictionary and atlas open on the rug,
the typewriter waiting for the key of the head,
a cello on the radio,

and, if necessary, the windows—
trees fifty, a hundred years old
out there,
heavy clouds on the way
and the lawn steaming like a horse
in the early morning.

Friday, October 16, 2009

that was the week that was

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.
John Keats

so, I've been complaining all week about the weather to anyone who will listen. I took the photo above this morning while grabbing a chance to walk between rain storms. The water on this little neighborhood lake was calm and glassy with sounds of geese and ducks in the background. Visit James' Weekend Reflections meme for more reflections to ponder.

We were visited by different forms of precip this week, including some way-too-early snowstorms. I found this poor summertime bench shivering in someones garden. So I'm adding it to Rune's collection of weekly bench sightings here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

along the 'Grand Lake' and a bowl of soup

Earlier this month we took a day trip around the Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota, the second largest in the state. It 'overflows' three counties; I took this photo on the Crow Wing County side. Mille Lacs means Misi-zaaga'igan (grand lake) in the first Americans' Ojibwe language.
The silver hue of the clouds that day and the gray water reminded me of a fish. . .maybe because this area is considered the walleye capital of the state.

This area is also known for its wild rice cultivation -- 60,000 acres of natural wild rice is harvested in the traditional way. Yesterday I made this soup from a recipe I found in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, using the hand harvested 'grass' rice rather than the paddy rice.


Serves 6 to 8
Use any combination of mushrooms here. The soup is easily frozen. It's hearty without being heavy. You may enrich it with a swirl of sour cream or heavy cream. It makes a fine vegetarian dinner paired with crusty bread and sharp cheese and a salad.
• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 2 lb. cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered [I used baby Bellas]
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 2 large shallots, minced
• 8-9 c. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
• 1/2 c. wild rice, rinsed under running cold water
• 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
• 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
In a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter and sauté the onion until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms with a little salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are soft and brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the carrots and shallots and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the broth, wild rice, thyme, parsley and season with more salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with more chopped parsley. [yum!]

Visit Sky Watch Friday to see more 'skies from all over our planet.' Happy Friday and happy soup eating!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Red apron ties and

Star dusted sugar cookies

First winter frosting.

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
Maori Proverb

Monday, October 12, 2009

crazy is as crazy does

I'm late in posting for Today's Flowers because its been snowing since Friday night! I think this must have been a lovely geranium before the cold nights and snow hit. We haven't even had a true autumn yet--but maybe after the snow melts. Sigh...

Visit Luiz Santilli and his flower shop crew at Today's Flowers for more beauty--warm OR cold--from all over the world. And if you're looking for me, I'll be in the storage bin dragging out the Christmas tree and decorations. Yikes!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Smiling Pelican part deux

Remember me whining awhile back about a certain bakery not being open during a motorcycle trip to Wisconsin? No pie?. . . Well, when I was in first grade and threw up in Mass one morning my teacher called me a sissy for crying about it. If Sr. Luett Freida could see me now! Yesterday we rode the Wisconsin and Minnesota back roads along the Mississippi River with six other riders from Dave's plant. Clear blue skies, colorful trees and 38 degrees when we took off. It never got much higher than 40 the whole day. Not that I could unbend my knees or unclench my jaw when I got home. But I'm no sissy!
The highlight of the day for me was stopping in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin at the Smiling Pelican Bakeshop on a day when they were open. I would have spent an hour over coffee, trying to decide what to buy, poking around their gardens and the delightful art sprinkled around their tiny shop. Oh, but for the gentle honking of motorcycle horns of the impatient male riders waiting for me outside in the cold.
I managed to grab the busy owners for a quick photo--an amiable, hard working pair. Their operation in this old house, no bread slicer, no credit cards, just wonderful creations and aromas.
Oh, and I did buy a loaf of Cranberry Wild-Rice Sourdough bread and a 2 inch thick piece of pumpkin pie. Life is good!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

walk with me

The sky couldn't have been bluer today when I took a walk. I'm glad I decided to go back into the woods a bit because the trees were spectacular. Its those cold nights we have now--with snow predicted this weekend.

I have posted the bench from this spot in the spring and summer but have to say autumn has outdone herself this year.

See more spectacular sky views at SkyWatch Friday.