Tuesday, September 30, 2014

autumn sun

The river near our woodland property is called the Flambeau. The perfection of such a name is apparent on a bright Autumn day.

The angle of the sun, the fading daylight, the shorter days call for an intense contemplation of the sun. The older I get, the more urgent it feels to revel in each season. The seasons all seem to move faster which can be a good thing if you are, like me, seeking renewal through the rhythms of the year. I fight the urge to move from urgency to desperation. Because the desperate need to hold on to the light of the season can overwhelm all the warmth that shines through.


My photographer friend (Jenny) regularly attends monthly Photo Union League meetings and she always telling me about the assignment. This month the assignment is all about light. While I have never attended and don't see how to fit this into my schedule anytime soon, I always think about the photo prompts.

The prompts always lead me to good places.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

last ride of the season?

At the beginning of each warm season, I think forward to this Autumn ride. And this last weekend the day finally came.

I kept saying enjoy it because it could be our last. It sounds dire but it's true. We may never get a chance to go out on the boat again this year. The weather could turn cold or we could be kept away from the woods due to busy city schedules. So I wanted to enjoy it as much as we could.

Dave thought I meant that the boat could die on us which is always a possibility. The last time we went out, the boat was running real slow. But that is not at all what I meant about our last ride of the season.

While it might not be our last, this opportunity to see the Autumn colors from the water will most certainly not return until next year.

Every bit of the river had something to offer. At first it was hard to take it all in. I mean take it into my heart and store it there to last me all winter. The tapestry of color was overwhelming in its beauty. A fishing stop helped but I couldn't bring myself to pull out my fishing pole. I just sat watching the array of color, the spectrum of Autumn. I couldn't take in the orange enough so I stared at the sun with my eyes shut until the color was embedded in my body.

As the sun went lower into the sky the color of the trees popped out even more.

I wish I had an elegant way to close this post. Some words to match the grandeur and glory of the perfect Autumn day. But I don't so I'll just end with one final photo and get on with my day.


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well played, daddy

All summer long Dave insisted that he should build a tall fort for the Lotus Bud. Something like six feet off the ground and with a ladder reaching up to the high platform.

I was nervous, of course, and kept saying wouldn't it be nice if it was lower, closer to the ground. No, he says, she's ready.

He sees her climbing on the playgrounds all the time. The climbing is probably one of the reasons why I don't head to the playgrounds with her because I can't handle my heart being lodged in my throat for an hour.

This weekend he set up the ladder and let her go. In plain sight of me, her nervous moogy. I could clearly see that she can manage a ladder all by her self. I had to admit that she is indeed ready for the tall fort. Turns out it wasn't really all that hard to give into the fun.


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Earlier this month the photos captured some yellow. Now it's about some reds. Bright, fun red.

 Velvety, luxurious red.

Little crisp bites of red.

And the brilliant Autumn leaves.


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Friday, September 26, 2014

magical color


The little Lotus Bud takes a nature class at a park near our home. It is a newish park with planned landscaping of restored native plants and trees - Silverwood Park. It really is a marvelous park, a miracle within the boundaries of the city, actually right outside city lines but you get it, right? It's amazing to see such lush green space in an urban environment. The park is situated around the northeast end of a lake and park programming has tons of wonderful activities for adults and kids. We go there frequently and now Lotus Bud is signed up for a two-hour long nature-related classes that occurs once a week.

The area used to be a salvation army camp and the gates were chained and barred for decades (if not several than at least one decade). The park district bought it and restored it but left all the many glorious oak trees scattered and clustered throughout the area. The leaves of these trees usually turn a russet brown each fall, but this Autumn is a bit more magical. Like the brilliant color in the leaves of the photo above. To get a sense of the range of color, go here. While that link isn't exactly the oaks in Silverwood park, it does accurately represent the range of color I saw this week. Go look again and gaze upon the beauty that is Autumn in Minnesota.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

furry fellow on the move


This little furry fellow graced me with his presence for a few minutes while I waited for the Little Lotus Bud to finish with her nature class. He was moving at a clip.

On a mission to somewhere, who knows where, certainly off the concrete wall on which I sat. I sat there quiet and full of awe for all that Autumn has given me so far.

It was a fleeting moment and I was so glad that I had found a some time to just sit and observe.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

sweet child of mine


I love that she picks me little flowers and leaves every time she goes for a walk. I love all the bright colors she chooses to wear. Her hand has grown along with the rest of her body. Her growth is limitless - she grows in spirit, in knowledge, and in love.

I want to say to her slow down but that can never happen and it is hard for me to deny her anything that will make her the woman she will become.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

drunk on Autumn


Sunday morning I woke to the woods wet by the nighttime rain. I had swept the deck the night before and I'm glad I did because it became the perfect spot for all the falling leaves.

It's hard for me to figure out how to capture the beautiful Autumn moments. I took so many pictures of the trees but I find myself drawn to all that had fallen to the ground, drunkenly landing anywhere and everywhere. My sights are lowered. Perhaps I'm seeking a sort of grounding, drawing my eyes away from the tops of trees to all the Autumn debris.

Autumn is the perfect time to take account of what we’ve done, what we didn’t do, and what we’d like to do next year. -- Author Unknown

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suits my mood


I feel all prickly and decayed. Decrepit and wilting. 

I did this yesterday and felt better. But then I had to pick up my sick child from school.  Later I had a meeting that when all is said and done, went fairly well. But I felt a little foolish when I returned home like I had been swindled, then dismissed right after being asked to do a thing that will cause extreme discomfort.

Later in the night I read this and that had my heart soaring through the roof.

In a time which should be all about balance, I find myself up and down, up and down. I want to find that steady glow. I want to be drunk on light.

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freezing temps = bright colors


I was so looking forward to Autumn but now that it is here, I feel like I'm in a funk. I need to get back to journaling and making photos to make me right again. And for all that, Autumn is the perfect season.

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This enormous dragonfly was made by a couple of ladies who were at the Rusk county farmers market. The metal rod on which it hangs has a slight bend down at the bottom thus allowing for a gentle sway in the wind. It is fabulous because it looks like it is about to take flight.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

uninspired gray day


Today I get a little bit of inspiration from these bright gorgeous flowers. It's a gray, cloudy day - the kind I don't want during this change of seasons. Rain headed our way but we're determined to get out into the woods for the Autumnal Equinox, the day we usually renew our vows.

I have my fingers crossed that we get out there!

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The relative prosperity in our lives has been good for a sense of stability and security. But also I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed by all that we have accumulated. I'm sure this thought has come about while looking at all the junk in my daughter's room. She just received a ton of dresses that my mother brought up from Florida, all of them outgrown by Lotus Bud's cousin. Beautiful dresses, gorgeous dresses, but a lot of dresses. Also my daughter collects junk. Every little trinket, sticker, toy and book that comes her way gets dumped in her room.

Hmmm. I wonder where she gets that from? Well, me of course. I hate to throw things away. I always seem to need something right after I donate it. Or else I think I need it.

Anyway, so these boots. I was thrilled to find a place in my neighborhood that could clean up and restore my beloved winter boots. These are not my polar vortex winter boots but the ones that I throw on when I'm out and about in the city. I went to drop them off and discovered that it might cost upwards of $50 to clean them up so I bought them home with me.

Now I'm just going to have to head back there because I want and love these boots. And we've got enough stuff in our house. I swear just one more thing and our tiny little bungalow is going to explode!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014



A couple of weeks ago I found myself out on the dirt road that leads to our woodland property. The lighting was perfect. The little one had left me there all alone and I wanted to make the most of the light so I turned the lens towards myself.

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Slow and steady gets the job done. That's the message I'm getting from this little guy. Rushing through things will just get me frazzled. Slowing down eventually will get me to where I need to be.

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lots of rain


If April showers bring May flowers, September rains bring lots of mushrooms.

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new dish washing table


Dave built me a new table. Now I can wash to my heart's content without fear of getting anything else wet like our speaker or the food. So now we have a table for cooking, a table for washing and a table for the Lotus Bud's blocks (made out of the scraps of all these tables).

The tables are a simple design yet sturdy. The little shelf was my idea and my own contribution to the construction project.

Next up this Autumn - a structure to store the firewood and a little fort for the little one.

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family and marshmallows and tattoos

Granny and the little one and their matching tatoos


My parents arrived at the woodland retreat on a rather cold weekend. But we made the most of it by getting a huge fire going and gathering around to roast marshmallows.

Granny is always prepared with her turtlenecks.

They surprised the heck out of me by asking to keep the little one in the hotel room with them. What a glorious, gracious surprise!

Grandpa getting the job done!

 On the first night Dave and I didn't know what to do. Personally it was a bit of a shock to me. So we had ourselves a little fire and then headed to bed because the next day was going to start real early. On Saturday night we went fishing in the dark! 

It really was a great weekend. I don't remember a time when I enjoyed the grandparents so much. And obviously the little one loved it all - the hotel, the marshmallows and the tattoos!

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change of season


Why did I think my schedule would become more manageable when the season changed? I'm behind on my photos and I haven't been carrying my camera around with me. I'm behind on board work. I'm behind on house cleaning and laundry. Don't even talk to me about the yard.

As I type this I realize that I am behind on all these things because I have been spending lots of time at the woodland retreat, spending lots of time with friends and spending lots of time at the gym. So doesn't that mean that I've sorted through my priorities and chose the ones that are most important to me? Yep, that's what I'm going with for now.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fair State Brewing Cooperative - Drink Like You Own the Place


Last night I had my first look at Fair State Brewing Cooperative. It is only the third cooperative brewery in the country. Huh? Isn't that interesting? I would have thought there were many, many more.

I had a taste of two of the beers and they were very, very good.

I think I want to own the place and get in a good drinking so my next cooperative membership will be with Fair State.

I was there last night because I had a public speaking engagement. I thought there would be about 50-60 people present. We had over a hundred. My spot was second on the agenda and that was a good thing. Everyone still had full beers in their hands and at the end of my speech, I asked them to join me in a toast to all that is good here in NE Minneapolis.

It was quite the amazing experience. I felt like my speech was well-received and I've finally made an impact as a community leader.

It felt like a dream come true.

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I had a busy start to this week so I'm playing a bit of catch up with my photos. As I was looking through what I had to share, I found all these bright splashes of yellow.

Today this is nice for me because the weather has turned cold and I feel like these photos capture some of the summer sunshine.

The weather forecasters say that warmer weather will return sometime next week. But that's hard to believe when we've experienced a drop of over 20 degrees from one day to the next.

Yah for sweaters and soups and crackling fires. But now that the cold is here, I have to admit that I'm a little bit bummed.

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room for cream


I went to Victory 44 with the girls and Mama JL on Tuesday. The coffee was great, but the service sucked. Which is too bad because I used to really like this restaurant.

Mama JL suggested it was because we had the girls along. That's just stupid. Especially considering there was only one other table occupied on that afternoon. I say business is business and they will likely not be getting mine again anytime soon.

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There was an especially nice treat at the farmers market last weekend. A telescope! Focused on the sun! Never in my life would I have thought to have the opportunity to gaze directly upon the sun.

When I was younger I had the option of doing a girl scout badge on astronomy. My father had a friend who had a telescope. And so one night we went out to his house in rural Pennsylvania to view the stars. That experience rocked my world. It was the one thing that got me excited about space, the moon, the stars. I wanted to be an astronaut but that was in a time when girls were not encouraged to study physics.

This is Bob Wiltrout. Him and his wife, Karen, travel around with their telescopes and offer people unique views of the sun. I talked with the both of them for quite a while and he offered many resources.

Global Oscillation Network Group

Of course, I had to ask about attaching a camera to one of these telescopes and he was full of great information. Bob informed me that there are many places where people with telescopes gather. He suggested I find one and have look around to find something that would suit my needs. He said there will likely be 50-60 telescopes set up and the people are always welcoming and friendly. Can you imagine all those telescopes? Doesn't that sound like fun?


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