Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Red ball


      A sure sign of Spring is a new, fresh, fully inflated, glossy, big ball.  Bringing delight to any young child.  Annually, many stores feature displays for these, which one cannot pass by or pass up, if shopping with a kiddo.  A simple joy, my kids loved a new one every year.  When my youngest was 3, he painted this picture for his bedroom wall, of him playing with his new ball in the backyard.  Notice his happy face!!!  If only I could go back in time to this cheery place...oh yes, I would!!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

SPRING VACATION :)

Minnesota's Spring has arrived weeks early...dampening my desire to escape.  I would be content to stay home...yet we have a vacation planned to Sonoma, California, and Maui, Hawaii.  Yes, we are going west and then further west!

We stayed at the gorgeous horse boarding ranch owned by our lovely friends, Steve and Leah.  Their guest house is newly built, and we were the first guests to have the honor of staying.  So quiet and peaceful. The cottage itself is exquisite, we could want for nothing, and the surroundings, amazing.  The property is bordered by vineyards and spectacular hillsides.
Truly beautiful!!  The eucalyptus trees are old, stoic, fragrant and remarkable!  If we could only only grow these in Minnesota, I would plant a forest.
The wildflowers were abundant.  California poppies are a sure sign of Spring.  Steve and Leah have yellow roses planted along their property fence.  Happy yellow and gold!
Of course we made our pilgrimage to the Mumm Napa winery. We adore all their bubbly!  One of our favorite stops.  The winery includes a gallery with unbelievable photography by the great, Ansel Adams, which one may enjoy while sipping a flute of sparkling rose.  Bubbles + art = heaven.
Old zinfandel vines welcomed us to the Ridge winery.  A new favorite, they make amazing wines!
It wasn't all wine tasting for us, we did get out hiking the gorgeous countryside.  Our favorite hikes were at Jack London Park and Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa.
Spring Lake Park photos above.  Jack London photos below.
Meandering redwoods, prairie, vineyards, lush forest.  We also visited Bodega Bay.  A cool day, rough waters.
Next stop, Maui.  Paradise, yet somehow I neglected to take a bunch of photos...but here you are... a sunset over the resort (Grand Wailea) and yellow hibiscus, a sunny face!  Mahalo :)





Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A WINTER WORLD

It's been a stretch of freezing temps and amazing wind chills...enough even to test the strength of us hardy Minnesotans!  How easy to overlook that our surroundings can be at their most gorgeous when most brutal.  That's when it's time to put on that long underwear, bundle up and get out there!!

                                                                          oh yeah!

I love a Minnesota winter :)


VAN GOGH'S PIETA


"The Influence of Delacroix" exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art was a beautiful, thought provoking learning experience.   How lucky I was to see the many masterpieces in person!  This work by Van Gogh particularly spoke to me.  Van Gogh used two colors from Delacroix's palette...lemon yellow and Prussian blue... to create the luminous and gloomy flesh of the Christ figure, who's likeness he made into his own.  Very effective, lovely, poetic and unsettling all at once.
I love it when art does that!!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Spanish Moss

I fell in love with Spanish Moss while vacationing in Florida.  It must be the eery-airy quality of it...  A soft hush as it dangles downward...  A decorative comparison to tinsel on a Christmas tree.  I don't really know, but I do think it's beautiful.  Years ago, it was used to stuff automobile upholstery and mattresses.  Can you imagine?  The plant is a bromeliad, getting it's nutrients from the air.  It's also related to the pineapple family.  Sometimes at night I imagine sleeping on a huge pile of the moss, as I drift off to sleep... Buenas noches!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

An Old-Fashioned Recipe For Deviled Eggs

When I'm in the mood for a simple and satisfying deviled egg...this is the recipe I make, hmmm... I want one now.  Any eggs in the house?

PERFECT DEVILED EGGS

12 large eggs
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish juice
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish (for garnish)
sweet paprika (for garnish)

Place eggs in single layer in a large saucepan.  Cover with water.  Cover pan and bring to full boil over med. high heat.  Turn off heat and let eggs stand, covered, for 10 min.  Drain and run under cold water until saucepan is cold.  Let eggs stand in cold water until cooled.

Peel eggs, halve them crosswise, remove yolks and transfer yolks to a food processor.  Arrange egg whites on a serving platter.  

Process yolks until smooth.  Add mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, salt and pepper to taste, and process again.  Transfer mixture to a small zipper lock bag.  If desired, refrigerate filling and eggs to chill.

Snip 1/4 inch off bottom corner of bag.  Pipe filling into each egg half.  Garnish with a tiny pinch of pickle relish and sprinkle of paprika and serve.

Spring Green-A Walk In Early May

My typical walk through the woods is gaining color...a glowing yellow-green of new growth.  There is an earthy freshness to the air and I believe spring has arrived!
 Mosses are everywhere and on everything.  Softly thriving.  I had a fascination with moss as a child.  A patch grew on the north side of our home.  I studied it, removed some to grow on my own, and captured bugs underneath.  Maybe it was the small industrious world of the moss, that held my imagination, (or maybe I was a very bored child!)
Ahhh.....green green moss

Thursday, March 19, 2015

ANNA MARIA ISLAND: SUNSET

Every evening of our week on this beautiful paradise of an island, we took a short walk or bike ride to say goodnight to the sun...