Saturday, January 30, 2010

bliss is where you find it

It was late autumn but still warm enough to walk around Como Lake. The songbirds were gone from the bare trees and the lake itself already had patches of ice. Gaining on the parking lot I slowed when I heard water splashing. Here was a lone robin who found a bit of unfrozen water near the shore and was bathing with abandon. It warmed my heart and I've hung onto this moment throughout our long winter as a dear sign of spring.
See more 'moments' at Misty Dawn's meme Camera Critters. [You might wish Misty well as she's recouperating from the dreaded flu virus.]

Thursday, January 28, 2010

peaceful morning: Skywatch Friday

This gorgeous sunrise one morning caused me to stop on the road next to Owasso Lake and wonder. . .about many things, including the stark beauty of subzero temperatures.
Visit more beauty at Skywatch Friday.

she sees the light

Planned obsolescence being what it is, first it was the great hard drive crash of 2009 and more recently the burn out of our computer monitor, leaving me in the dark all week. Just as quickly and for another monetary investment, I'm up and running again.
I can't seem to remember how I ever managed before the digital age. . . but Al said it best:

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.

The other is as though everything is a miracle.
—Albert Einstein

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy Pie Day to you!

Today being January 23rd, you know what that means! Its National Pie Day a special, happy day set aside for all of us who love pie, whether we love to bake pies or eat them. This is a real, honest-to-goodness day sponsored by the American Pie Council, a cool site to visit for all the hoopla, contests and recipes.

Now about this delicious specimen above: on Thursday I got a little crazy on some weight machines resulting in sore back muscles that eventually left me only able to walk bent over at a 45 degree angle. Comical, to say the least. While I sat with my trusty heating pad, Dave snuck out and brought home a full no-sugar triple berry pie from Perkins. The best part is he didn't know about National Pie Day. Being Irish, he just got lucky!

And so I raise my fork to all my pie loving friends--and you know who you are. What's your favorite? Me? I can't decide. . .

When you die, if you get a choice between going to
regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven.
It might be a trick, but if it's not, mmmmmmmm, boy. --Jack Handy

Friday, January 22, 2010

in the eyes of the beholder

Ages ago in junior high I thought I'd like to play the bassoon. Since I couldn't get the hang of reading music [another story altogether] my parents were not inclined to let me give it a go. Actually I think there was laughter and a belt involved. Sooo, today I am tooting my own reedless horn because a few of my photos and a poem I wrote have been published. Its called Your Daybook, an on-line version of an inter-faith inspirational television program called New Morning I used to watch when I first moved to Minnesota until it went off the air here. Anyway, their theme this month has been trees. . .and, if you stop by very often you know I'm smitten by trees! They were accepting submissions and yippee, they responded. You can see my stuff here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

SkyWatch Friday--just another day in Minnesota

Owasso Lake is frozen solid, allowing cars, snowmobiles and people in boots to cross, set up fish houses, let their pets run, etc. This day the sun was so bright in a perfect blue sky. I thought the clouds were a true reflection of the linear tracks in the snow.
See more sky views at Skywatch Friday.

Monday, January 18, 2010

'God save Elizabeth'

While the earth sleeps, a bit of the cheerful color red can be seen if one really pays attention. These are random shots in my home at Christmas, around the bend and on a small, local lake in my neighborhood. In the photo below, in the upper left corner you can see a small hockey rink with lawn chairs for the 'audience' that has been cleared on the lake.

Visit Mary the Teach's meme, Ruby Tuesday for more glimpses of red.

The rose is red, the leaves are green, God save Elizabeth, our noble queen. Anonymous
Lines written by a Westminster schoolboy in the margin of his copy of Julius Caesar. Quoted in P W Hasler (ed) The House of Commons,1558^1603 (vol.1), p.474.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

'nothin but blue skies'

caveat: all I do is complain about the weather. It appears that we have two choices here in the Twin Cities: cold and clear blue skies or warm[er], foggy and gray.

So, today dawned in the first category and I was itching to take a long walk along the lake. On my way home I heard familiar Robin sounds right above me. He was basking in the sun so didn't mind me taking his photo. Oh joy! Is there a more beautiful sound than bird song in the dead of winter?

Find more happiness in feathers or fur @ Camera Critters.

Saturday's stories

I prefer winter and fall,
when you feel the bone structure of
the landscape- the loneliness of it,
the dead feeling of winter.
Something waits beneath it,
the whole story doesn't show.

Andrew Wyeth

Thursday, January 14, 2010

some things never change

My first December in Minnesota was in 2006 when I took this photo of the early morning moon near our apartment . It was an unseasonably mild winter at that point with just a bit of snow now and then. But the natives warned me. . .
Fast forward to early last December when we had this moon and the blue moon at the end of the month. I took this on a snowy morning in nearly the same bunch of huddling trees.
And the Minnesotans knew what they were talking about! This year has been harsh, snowy and very much like 'the old days.'
See more sky views at Skywatch Friday. Stay warm!

Monday, January 11, 2010

yum! sugar!

Today's Ruby Tuesday's special prompt is a glimpse of the red books in our collection. Eclectic, red and random, here's just a few.
And because I have trouble reading [any] directions, I am including the following that I'd already posted for Ruby Tuesday. I like to think of it as a bonus, or creative posting or just plain, I didn't get that e-mail. Did I? I don't know. Where was I. . .?

To my mind, it wouldn't be the holidays without a panettone. I don't make them myself but spend an equal amount of time searching for the best one. This was easy in Chicago where you could find an Italian deli on practically every corner. Up here in the northwoods I'm tempted by all the outrageously delicious Scandinavian delicacies and it just takes a little more searching for the Italian variety of sugared goodness. So, it is with rosy Italian cheeks that I say I bought this at CVS in the after Christmas half-off extravaganza and it was so wonderful I bought another. Made in Brazil, imported from Italy and delivered straight to the Midwest it brought new meaning to the adage that its a small world after all!

I found this vintage sugar sack at a North Saint Paul antique emporium recommended by my library pal, Mona. It has extra meaning to me having grown up in southern Idaho in the heart of potato and sugar beet farms. U & I (Utah & Idaho) was all we had for years until C & H appeared from the more exotic regions of California and Hawaii. A nice pillow perhaps. . .?

All this fun comes to you compliments of Mary's meme, Ruby Tuesday where red is the color of the day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

do not disturb!

Mutts/Patrick O'Donnell
As for me, I'm having a little trouble letting go of the holidays past. . .maybe because we're securely burrowed down in another Minnesota winter. Thankfully, in spite of the below zero temps, there's usually a bright blue sky. I can live with that. And I guess I can survive putting all the decorations away for another year. Its just the sweet memories that interrupt my intentions and my unreliable Libra laziness energy level.

In spite of the cold each day the sounds of birds surviving and thriving--chickadees, jays (red and blue), ravens and juncos--gives me hope and is reason enough to smile.

Few bunnies show their whiskers in the quietness of winter, but I've seen their tracks. More stalwart hearts.

See Camera Critters for more reasons to smile.
Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Thursday, January 7, 2010

climbing toward the sky

trudging yellow dawn
hoofprints snap like kindling wood
winter sweetly sighs

See more dreamy skies at Skywatch Friday.

Monday, January 4, 2010

keep smiling!

Above is a favorite old wall pocket full of happy snowmen and red festive holiday decorations in my kitchen. Below, bits of tired-looking holiday reds in a winter garden I saw on a walk after our snow filled Christmas week. Visit Mary at Ruby Tuesday for more reds to warm up January.

The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty. It fell and fell, lacing day and night together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn.
Patricia Hampl