a weekend up north

We had another successful Memorial day “open the cabin” weekend up north.  We also had a nice, warm and sunny day. Bonus!   Below are a handful of photos. Click on any image in the gallery to see it larger.

I was so busy cooking and cleaning that I didn’t get photos of the food.  I made rhubarb crisp for dessert and look what I happened upon when I went to pick the rhubarb that I brought up to the cabin.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

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Art a whirl!!

If you live in the twin cities, you must do Art a Whirl.  It is a blast!!  It’s held every third weekend in May in Northeast Minneapolis, rain or shine.  I have been at least one other time but I had no idea how big this thing really was .  Until today.  Miss M wanted to go with some friends and hubby’s band was playing in the afternoon. So I drove three teenagers to the fair.  They went their own way and I had two hours to explore on my own!  Oh, the fun.  It really was fun!

I googled Art a Whirl before heading out to the fair and happened upon this website chock full of information.  Apparently this has been going on for 20 years, unbeknownst to me.  Until today!  From this website I learned there are two information booths with directories of all the artists and where to find them.  So I headed towards one of them and saw interesting things along the way. I also learned to look for the large red circles.  When you see one that means there’s art inside.  I saw several on my walk to the information booth.  When I got there I heard one volunteer telling an art a whirler that the building just across the parking lot is a good place to start. So I took that advice and headed into the Grain Belt Bottling Building, which is an individually designated historic structure, thus dubbed by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Committee.  It’s a cool old building that is now being used for artists’ studios.  Wow, this place was incredible, both because of its size and the overwhelming amount of art contained within.  In the galleries below are just some of what I saw.  Click on any photo in any gallery to see larger images.

Since my head was full of art, I decided to take a break and headed back to the New City School where hubby’s band was going to play.  I sat on the steps of the school and checked out my artist directory a little more.  There were many venues all over Northeast Minneapolis, one of which was several blocks to the north.  After I had rested a bit,  I went off on another adventure.  This time it was through a residential neighborhood and I passed several nice gardens and plenty of things are blooming right now.  I did stop to smell the lilacs along the way.  My destination was the East Side Neighborhood Services building. They just happened to be celebrating 100 years of service in the area and there was a huge cake that visitors could enjoy.  Inside were 18 artists displaying their works.

Teenagers sitting on the climbing thing for smaller kids.  I also spotted several areas that had kids’ activities.  Fun for the whole family!

 

Finally, the band we came to see.  The Vorpel Swords sounded great and you could tell that they were really enjoying themselves. Makes for a fun show.

A really fun day and I barely scratched the surface!  And the weather cooperated too. It was about 75 degrees and mostly cloudy but it didn’t rain!  I realized at the end of the day that the free trolley takes you to just about all of the places that are displaying artworks.  Next year I’m taking the trolley to go see other buildings that I didn’t get to today.  What a great way to spend a nice, spring afternoon.  Highly recommended.  Just go. You’ll be glad you did.

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duets with my sister

How could I have forgotten the duets!?! In a recent post shortly after my trip to Florida, I wanted to share some of the positive things about our trip and I can’t believe I forgot the duets!  But, it’s prompted me to create a separate post because as I started to think about it, we have tons of music in my family.  The duets are a part of that.

I play the flute and piccolo. My sister’s first instrument was the clarinet and she’s still really, really good!! She is one with the talent and energy to be able to play many instruments. I don’t think I can remember all the instruments she knows how to play!  One of them is flute and for years whenever we get together, we play duets. Mostly we play flute and flute duets because usually when we get together it’s away from each of our homes and it’s easier to carry a flute than a clarinet. We have played flute/clarinet duets too but it’s been a while since we’ve done that. And, in the last several years on our semiannual trips to Florida to visit our mother, we played flute and flute duets.

Then I remembered some photos of us playing flute duets.

We have several musicians in our family.  Mom played trombone in high school. Her brother played guitar and mandolin and perhaps banjo as well.  My sister plays or has played clarinet, oboe, saxophone, flute and piano. These are the ones I can remember.  There might be more!  While I play the flute fairly well, she is the real musician.  You’ve got to be talented to play so many instruments!

To continue with the list of musicians, my husband plays bass guitar and he gave our daughter initial lessons on the bass and she picked it up quickly. She plays bass guitar in jazz band at school and she plays the viola as well.  My mother has a beautiful soprano voice and spent many of her retirement years in singing groups.  At one point she was the director of one of them at her retirement village.  While we were in Florida in March to close up her apartment we came across the pile of song lyrics that we set aside when we were there in November.  I had told Miss M about how when we gave Mom the folder of lyrics she began singing the songs.  Miss M really wanted to hear her grandmother sing so we gave Mom the folder and that was our entertainment that night! She sang song after song after song.  And Miss M recorded them.  More happy memories from that trip.

I also sing soprano but some of the upper range notes are too hard for me. I have said that I probably should be an alto. But because the flute parts are typically the melody, it’s difficult for me to sing anything but the melody. So, I stick with soprano for now. I might get brave some day and sing alto. I have sung in various choirs over the years and have enjoyed each one. I’ve always found that music helps bring me out of a bad mood or a funk.  Playing an instrument or singing in a choir is great fun and another way to release creative energy.  It also helps alleviate the blues.  It’s hard to be in a bad mood whilst playing or singing.

I’m going to close with one of my favorite photos of my sister and me playing duets. This was at a Christmas gathering in 1986. Look how young we are!

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early spring 2015

I just love early spring as everything comes back to life outside.  My rhubarb that just barely broke the ground two weeks ago is now ready to be harvested.  I feel a rhubarb crisp in my future!  The biggest news, however, is that our neighborhood egret has returned!!  He’s still fairly evasive and I haven’t gotten the best photos.  Every time I get close enough, he high tails it.  In the gallery below you’ll see one photo of him in flight.  He’s far away, but I think it’s still cool. First are some early blooms from around my yard.  Click anywhere in the gallery to see larger photos.

Now a gallery of early spring photos around our pond.  And the egret!!

One last photo of a fabulous sunset seen about a month ago.  The sky looked like it was on fire!  Happy spring everyone!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – intricate

Nothing says intricate to me like the tile work and architecture found in Spain.  Come and have a look see.  Click on any image in the gallery to see larger photos.

Plaza de España, Sevilla, España.  The tile work in this plaza is so beautiful and intricate. There is a scene for each region in Spain and I captured a few of them.

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Weekly photo challenge – motion

I had no idea what I was going to enter for this week’s theme. Then it became a gorgeous day.  Gorgeous enough to toss a basketball.  Two of my favorite people were doing just that and I grabbed my camera.  Click anywhere in the gallery to see larger photos:

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge – early bird

I’m usually up early and some early morning photos were on my mind when I saw the theme this week. Here’s my interpretation. Click anywhere on the gallery to see larger photos.

Sunrise, winter in Minnesota

Sunrise, winter in Minnesota

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