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Thursday, September 28, 2017


Boats Shoes And Button Downs celebrated five years this month. It has been an interesting year to say the least. I have been without a computer at home for some time now, which has made it difficult to keep up on posts. Also, this summer, I was diagnosed with cancer and will begin treatments in two weeks. The outlook is very good.

In spite the difficulties that we all face in life, I am grateful for your support as we celebrate this special year.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


It's hard for me to believe, but Beatrix turned four this month. She was a recuse kitten, part of a litter of six, found by some friends in their back yard after her mother had been killed by a car. Several weeks later she came to live with me.

With the exception of a couple of Christmas tree incidents, she has been a joy to have around, and I love having her in my life.

*Do you have a favorite pet?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


And so it ends.


Please don't squeeze me 'til I'm yours . . . but I might be okay with a cuddle!


***What are some of your favorite local eating establishments?

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Like so many other people, I was (still am) a HUGE fan of Downton Abbey.  I grieved and felt a profound loss when the series came to an end. What was a major part of my week, was suddenly no longer there. Fortunately, there are rumors upon rumors, foretelling the possibility of a movie. I cling to each new rumor, hoping it will become reality, but for now, we just have to wait.

Earlier this year, the Mall of America, here in Minnesota, hosted an exhibit featuring the costumes of the period drama. Dressing Downton Abbey, was an amazing display of many of the clothing worn by the cast over the years, and was simply amazing.

The detail paid to each outfit was incredible, down to the very last placed bead. While the gowns are stunning, I love that they also included some of the men's clothing, as well as some of the outfits worn by the children.

In addition to the Downton clothing, there was also a large gift shop, where you could find books, journals, a variety of teas. teacups, plates, and linens. Everything that would allow us to recreate our own Downton experience at home.

While I've been sad with loss of Downton Abbey of Sunday nights, this exhibition was a nice boost in the arm, and will hold me over to if and when they do decide to do a Downon movie.

Were you a Downton Abbey fan as well?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


This past weekend was the annual Irish Fair of Minnesota. This three day festival, held on Harriet Island in St. Paul, is one of my favorite late summer events in the Twin Cities, and last Saturday, I attended it with my friends Steve and Todd.

My friend Todd bought a new hat.

I've been buying these Celtic Mandala calendars for eight years,
and this year I was honored to get to meet the artist, Jen Delyth.

None shall pass!

The days are filled with numerous lectures and demonstrations, and there is a variety of music opportunities, from small groups in tents, to the featured musicians on the main stage. It seems there is always something happening throughout the grounds, and of course, I also enjoy the shopping.

Continuous music entertained us on the main stage.

One of my favorite things at the Irish Fair, is the dog tent. There we are introduced to several Irish breeds of dogs, and we can pet them and learn about their history. While I love the Irish Wolfhound, I think my favorite was the Irish red and white setters.  What I learned is that they are the original Irish setters and not the red setters that we immediately think of today. Supposedly the red setters were bred over the years from a mutation that occurred. At least that's what I was told.

This was my favorite Irish dog breed.

While the dogs are big draw for me, I have to confess, that no trip to Irish Fair would be complete for me without a visit to see the sheep. Yes, I'm still a farm boy at heart.  Oftentimes we are able to see herding demonstrations, as we watch the working dogs separate certain sheep from the flock, while keeping the others in line. Unfortunately, this year the sheep were secure in their pen, and the herd dogs were resting in the shade to escape the heat.

I blame my farm boy roots, but I love the sheep.

Working dogs at rest.

We ended the day with dinner at O'Gara's Bar and Grill.

As we slowly make our way towards fall, the Irish Fair of Minnesota is one of the events that signals that soon the temperatures will be cooling and the leaves will be turning to bright colors. That, however is still a few weeks off, so for now I'll enjoy these wonderful late summer festivals.

Do you have Irish Fairs in your area?