autumn redux

It’s been a remarkably warm and mild autumn here in the frozen tundra. And to keep my mind off the tragedy in Paris, I thought I’d put together some photos I took of the beautiful autumn colors we are still enjoying. I cannot recall an autumn since I have lived here in Minnesota where we had this much color into November.

These photos are from late October and early to mid November. These first three are of the same shrub. Such beautiful colors!

Next up are some that I took on walks around campus for breaks at work. Here are some lovely colors as seen through my lens:

Lastly, some other fall images in the past two weeks:

Keeping the people of France and all others affected in my thoughts and prayers.



Filed under Minnesota

Weekly Photo Challenge – Treat

Some of my favorite holiday treats: rugelach for Hanukah, snicker doodles for Christmas and noodle and raisin kugel for any Jewish holiday:

It’s always a treat to see what hubby and daughter come up with each year when they carve the pumpkins.  Here are some from past years:

Check out more entries or enter yourself here.  Enjoy!!


Filed under Challenges, Holidays

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana and Navy Memorial, Washington D.C.

I had a most delicious lunch at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana last week after visiting the National Gallery of Art.  I met my blogging friend Cathy of nomad, interrupted at the museum and we had a fun time viewing all the impressionism.  Please check out my post on that at the link.

For lunch we opted for this great Mexcian place just a couple of blocks from the museum.  We felt a little awkward when asked if we had a reservation.  Luckily they did have a table for us.  Our waiter advised us on how to order our meal. They feature antojitos, or small plates of food.  It is suggested that you get 4-5 antojitos to share then each of us choose a protein from the other side.  We opted for two items to share and we each chose an item from the other side of the menu. Everything was fantastic!  Come along and see what we had for lunch that day.  First some restaurant scenes:

We chose Frijoles refritos con queso: Slow-cooked refried beans stuffed with melted Chihuahua cheese, served with Mexican cream and fresh tortillas and Papas al mole: José Andrés’ favorite potato fries in a mole poblano sauce of almonds, chiles and a touch of chocolate, topped with Mexican cream and queso fresco.  I loved both of these!  Cathy chose a shrimp dish and I had a chile relleno but I’m not finding either on the menu online so I can’t copy the descriptions here. They were both very good! Albeit a little spicy. I didn’t get a photo of Cathy’s shrimp but here’s the rest of the food:

The rest of the photos in the restaurant were of the ceviche bar.  I’m not sure how it works but it sure was pretty!

On our way to the metro station we bumped into the Navy Memorial.  There were these 3D sculptures coming out of the wall that caught my eye.  I’m so glad we went that way or we’d have never seen this memorial.

It was a wonderful day in D.C. and I packed in a lot in a few short hours.  It can be done!


Filed under Food, Restaurant reviews, Travel

Autumn in Minnesota 2015

I wanted to share some fall photos so without further ado, please enjoy some of my favorites this year.  Click on any image to see it larger:


Filed under Minnesota

My few hours in Washington D.C.

If you knew you would only have a few hours in our nation’s capital, how would you spend them?  I knew immediately what I wanted to do when I had that opportunity recently.  I lived in the D.C. area in the late 80s and I visited Washington D.C. several times during those years. The National Gallery of Art left such an impression on me that I knew I wanted to come back while I was in northern Virginia.  I was taking care of my elderly mother while my sister and her husband took a well deserved vacation. They are Mom’s usual care givers. My mother goes to an adult day care center during the day so I thought it would be best to keep her routine and that gave me the chance to have some fun while I was there. And it was a great day!  Even if it was just a few hours.

I had plans to meet Cathy of nomad, interrupted at the museum between 10:00 and 10:30. We met in the blogosphere and she had said to let her know if I was ever in town.  Traffic was awful that morning which caused me to be further delayed. I decided to park at the new Reston metro station because it was close to the day care center, about 10-15 minutes away.  The parking level I entered was full so I headed down to the next level and found many open spots but they all had this reserved sign above them: Reserved from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. By this time it was 9:57 so I parked and waited and called my friend to let her know I wasn’t even on the train yet :( It was another 5 minutes to get to the train and about 8 more minutes before the train left.  I did finally arrive in D.C.!!!  I called Cathy when I entered the museum and she showed up minutes later.  Finally we meet!

I remember that this gallery had a nice French impressionism collection and I wanted to be sure to see at least these paintings.  It’s also fun to go to a museum with others because you get their perspective and learn new things. Cathy picked up a brochure of some special items in the museum, and one was near the 7th Street entrance where I came in,  Degas’s Little Dancer sculpture.  I love Degas so this was a treat I wasn’t expecting. Bonus!  There were two that looked nearly identical in stance, one was made of plaster, the other of bronze. Click on an image to see a larger view.

Other fabulous works of art that we saw:

I loved all the Monet that I saw but these were my particular favorites. Notice the artist at work making a copy of one of them.

I loved the placement of this Whistler painting:

Other beautiful paintings in the French Impressionism section:

Other scenes from the museum:

The last two paintings are ones we stumbled upon as we were leaving to go find lunch.  They are by Goya, one of my favorite Spanish artists.

We had a fabulous lunch at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana just a couple of blocks from the museum.  Another post coming soon about that experience!  After lunch it was about time for me to head back to take care of Mom.  It was a fun way to spend a few hours in D.C. and it was great to meet another blogger and world traveler there. Wonderful art, food and company.  You really can’t go wrong with that combination. I highly recommend this museum for art lovers. There is something for everyone here.


Filed under Travel

The great Minnesota get-together 2015 version

If you’ve been following my blog you probably know that we always go to the Minnesota State Fair, affectionately referred to as the great Minnesota get-together.  I was about to say this year was no different.  Well, it was no different in that we went to the fair as is our tradition. But this year was a little different because we decided to park on campus at the University of Minnesota. I have a parking pass because I work there.  For the past I can’t remember exactly how many years, we have been doing the park and ride.  We park at the high school and a bus eventually takes us to the fair. The last several years have been challenging because there are never enough buses first thing in the morning and it takes 40 minutes to go a few miles.  So, yes, let’s try something new and park at the U!

It worked great!  Oh, except that it was much more walking.  The U only allows you to go into the newer gate which is several blocks from my parking ramp.  So that part wasn’t so great especially at the end of your day and you cannot walk another step. However, on opening day we took the sky ride from the south end of the fair to get us closer to the parking ramp instead of walking across the fair again.  That worked great.

Below are several galleries of my visits to the fair this year.  I hope you enjoy!!

Let’s start in the agriculture building. A must every year and we usually go more than once.

The crop art display is also an annual event. We never miss the crop art. And this year I went twice because after we viewed the art on opening day I learned that someone I knew had an entry!  So I had to go back and get a photo of it.  But the second time I went it was crowded again and I couldn’t get a good, close shot.  Here are some of my favorites this year.

Gotta check out the animal barns.

And the rest are scenes from another great state fair.  It was fun!  See you next year!


Filed under Minnesota

Summer gardening in photos

It’s time once again for a summer blooms post. These are some of my favorite photos from the summer. I hope  you enjoy!!

Click on any photo to see the gallery.  Up first are the blooms

The veggie/fruit garden:

Nothing whatsoever to do with gardening but I like this photo I took of last night’s sunset at the lake:


Filed under Gardening