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Wednesday, November 20, 2013


As we approach Thanksgiving the weather in Minnesota has turned decidedly cooler, and we have even seen a dusting of snow. The trees once ablaze with brilliant color and splendor are now bare and forlorn.  Fall is officially coming to an end.  As winter moves steadily in more and more each day, it's time for us to bid farewell to what was as we prepare for what is to come.

Foreshadowing what is to come.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Beginning with Samhain (the ancient festival that honored the ancestors and evolved into Halloween) and on through to Thanksgiving, November has always been for me the month to remember and honor friends and loved ones who have passed on. 

This remembering takes on two forms for me.  First there is the celebration of who they were in their lives and how we are still connected even though they have passed on.  The ancient Celts believed that this time of year is a “thin time” when we particularly feel that close connection and the presence of our loved ones.  They believed that these individuals are always present with us in our lives and that we continue to be in relationship with them.  This is a belief that I tend to hold as well.

The other form that this remembering takes on for me is grieving.  There is always a grieving period when someone we love passes away, and even when we reach that point of understanding the ongoing connection we have with them, there are still moments of grieving.

This year I had the opportunity to join friends in attending the twentieth anniversary of the annual Bare Bones production.  Although I had heard of the event, I had never had the opportunity to experience it before.  This outdoor evening celebration usually presents a story from various mythologies that explains the change of seasons as we move into winter.  These stories are very “earthy” and are told through music, song, dance, puppetry, and fire juggling.

This year, as they celebrated a milestone anniversary, they chose an overall theme of grieving, and how time helps us to work through that grieving process.  Before the show began, cast members wandered through the audience sharing their “griefcases” and the stories held with in.  As the show began and progressed, we were able to watch as these individuals worked through the grief and loss they were feeling.

My favorite part of the evening though was the Grieving Tree.  This tree was set up as a sacred space where people could attach mementos of loved ones and light candles for them.  It was truly a moving experience.

This amazing event was new to me, but was a wonderful reminder that my ancestors are always with me, and what an appropriate reflection that is for me as I move into the Holiday Season.

(Some photos in this post were contributed by Marisa Myhre)

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I went Shopping!  
It's never too early to start planning my Christmas outfit.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I’m the first person to tell you how much I love the colors of autumn.  The rich hues of red, orange, and yellow - with just a hint of green - brighten the ever shortening days for me as we head towards winter.  These bright colors give me so much joy before the snow arrives, which in Minneapolis can be very early some years.  While these bright autumn colors light up the trees during this time of year, they are also echoed in the rich hues of my clothing as well - even my shoes.

These rust colored suede oxfords from G.H. Bass (their Brockton model) are one my favorite pairs of shoes.  I have this shoe in three different colors but the rust colored pair is my favorite for autumn.

The shoes originally came with matching rust colored laces which I liked, however I am also known for trading out laces depending on the outfit I’m wearing.  In addition to the rust laces, I have also worn them with green and black laces.  I find that trading out the laces gives my shoes an entirely new look which adds to their versatility.  It’s almost like having three different pairs of shoes.

At this time of year, when the trees take on their regal colors of autumn, it’s nice to know that I have the perfect shoes to compliment them.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Halloween is a time to celebrate all things “other-worldly” and this year I had the opportunity to do that in mythic Norse style as the historic Turnblad Mansion in Minneapolis, part of the American Swedish Institute, played host to Loki’s Halloween Bash as part of their Cocktails At The Castle series.

This was the third event in this new series that the ASI started this year, and like the previous gatherings, this evening offered something for everyone, as the Institute was transformed into the nine worlds of Norse mythology.

The Bash Begins!

Arriving at the Bash . . . 

. . . With friends.

The sell-out crowd of 1200 people, in a variety of costumes, were entertained by Twin City bands, sponsored by a local radio station, as they wandered through the various areas.  In keeping with the season, FIKA, the ASI’s restaurant, provided fall themed food for purchase, and I must say the butternut squash with wild rice was DELICIOUS!!!

Reaching Valhalla!

Bands were sponsored by a local radio station.

Celebrating with friends!
Throughout the evening we were treated to ghost stories, fortune telling, bonfires, a silent dance party, mask making, a photo booth, an opportunity to write their own obituary, Swedish horror shorts (presented by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul), as well as hearing insights from the Twin Cities Paranormal Society from their investigations of the mansion.  Guests could also spend time visiting a Viking encampment where they were able purchase a variety of Norse goods and wares.

Light and dark elf acrobats.

A full house!

Is it therapeutic or bad luck to write your own obituary?

Buying Viking wares.

For the silent dance each person was given an ipod and earbuds.  
Only they could hear the music they were dancing to.

The evening was a wonderful and unique way to celebrate Halloween in one of the most amazing venues in the city.  Well done ASI!!!

(Some photos in this post were contributed by Mike Beck)

Me as Odin Grimnir - complete with ravens.

Fire Devil!

Ghostly dining room.

Costumes included Google Maps . . .

. . . And the Foshay Tower, a local Minneapolis landmark.

Selling my soul to the devil.

People wandered from room to room like zombies throughout the night.

Bidding "Farewell" to the evening.