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Sunday, November 30, 2014


Hard to believe the Holiday Season is full swing already.  This year has gone by way too fast!

***How are your holiday preparations going?

Saturday, November 29, 2014


I had the opportunity to attend an ecumenical Thanksgiving service earlier this week that was hosted by six different faith communities.  As people arrived they were given strips of cloth and asked to write something that they were grateful for on them.  The cloths were later ritually tied to our Gratitude Tree, which “bloomed” in thanksgiving by the end of the evening.

The bare tree by the river . . .

The main speaker was from an indigenous community, and offered a wonderful insight into gratitude and being thankful.  She began by saying that in her culture, the idea of setting aside one day to give thanks is a foreign concept, as her tradition asks that they give thanks everyday.  She explained how when tribes come together for meetings they begin by giving thanks for all that is around them; the trees, the wind, the sun, the moon and stars, the rivers and streams, even the earth itself.  When they are grateful for all things, then they are of "one thought" with all of creation and with each other.

. . . bloomed with gratitude by the evening's end.

I’ve been thinking of how our world might be different, if before we opened, meetings, held summits, or began legislative years, we took the time to begin from a place of gratitude for the good things that universe has blessed us with, and recognized from that place of that gratitude, our call to be stewards of creation and of each other.  What a difference we might see in our world today.

***Are there any rituals of Gratitude that you do?

Thursday, November 27, 2014


From Boat Shoes And Button Downs!

Image: Freedom From Want" by Norman Rockwell
(From The Norman Rockwell Museum Website)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


The song “Over The River And Through The Woods” talks about traveling to Grandmother’s house through the wide and drifted snow.  While many think the song is talking about Christmas, I believe its original reference was to Thanksgiving.

Although wide drifts of snow at Thanksgiving seem a little out of place nowadays, it isn’t unusual to at have some snow.  In fact we are getting a fresh coat of snow here in Minneapolis today, and I’m actually okay with it.  

At least the walkways are being cleared.

While the snow isn't “wide and drifting” it’s definitely pretty, and yes, we will certainly have a White Thanksgiving!!!

***Do you usually have snow on Thanksgiving where you live?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Pumpkins are almost synonymous with Thanksgiving.  Their beautiful shades of orange, topped with brownish-green stems, add that final hint of fall as we make the transition into winter.  The smell of fresh baked pumpkin pies fills the house, giving us our first scents of the holidays season ahead, and I'm looking forward to the pumpkin pie my friend Marisa will be bringing to my Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving is the kick-off of the busy Holiday Season which centers around winter events and activities.  The weather has already turned very cold here in Minneapolis this month, and there is a small amount of snow on the ground, so any pretense that it might still be fall is unfounded.  Although fall may have given way to winter, pumpkins give us that one last sensation of autumn, and I carry that feeling into the holidays and beyond.

***What symbolizes the end of fall for you?

Monday, November 24, 2014


I have been shopping at L.L. Bean for over 35 years, and although I’m a bit more discerning about what I’ll purchase from them now, I’m still a very loyal customer.  Knowing this, you can imagine how excited I was when Bean opened a store here in Minneapolis this month. 

Located at the Mall Of America, it’s timing was perfect for the holidays, and winter itself.  I’ve already started stocking up on their ragg wool socks.  When it comes to keeping your feet warm through the cold winter months, you can’t beat them, but that will be for a future post.

My friend Steve is supporting my L.L. Bean addiction.

While it’s certainly easy to order from their catalogs, having an L.L. Bean store so close just makes things much handier.  While I find that you do have to watch what you purchase from them  - the quality has gone done on some items - they are still one of my top “go-to” companies. 

Welcome to Minneapolis L.L. Bean!  I’m very happy that you are here!

***Do you have an L.L. Bean store near you?

Saturday, November 22, 2014


As the holidays are fast approaching, everyone seems to be deep into holiday baking!  Cookies, pies, cakes, candies and other goodies are being made ahead daily, all of this made easy with the use of our modern day appliances.

As way of celebrating this flurry of holiday baking, I thought I’d share a few reminders of how this was done in years gone by.

(The Turnblad Mansion at the American Swedish Institute)

(The Turnblad Mansion at the American Swedish Institute)

(This Photo and the header photo at Historic Fort Snelling)

(The Turnblad Mansion at the American Swedish Institute)

Modern technology certainly is a wonderful thing!!!

***Are you doing any baking for the holidays?

Friday, November 21, 2014


. . . and let the holiday celebrations begin!

***Have your holiday parties started yet?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


During this past moth there have been several galas and gatherings, to celebrate the first issue of The Scout Guide Minneapolis, and let me just say how amazing this publication is.

Founded in 2010, in Charlottesville, Virginia, by Susie Mattheson and Christy Ford, The Scout Guide is a reference to some of the best homegrown, and independently owned businesses.  A true celebration of local small retailers. 

From that humble beginning in 2010, they expand to other cities, and became a franchise in 2013.  This year Minneapolis joins more than 40 other cities that benefit from this invaluable reference, which spans the entire country, coast-to-coast.

The timing of the Guide’s debut is perfect for the Holiday shopping season, but what I like best is that it features, and encourages us to shop at local small retailers.  I strongly believe that the more we can help support our local retailers over the giant corporations the better.  Everyone wins.  Plus The Scout Guide is a first-rate publication, and features these small businesses in a beautiful and classy way.

I encourage you to check out The Scout Guide’s website to learn more of their story, and for those of you in Minneapolis, check out The Scout Guide Minneapolis’ Facebook page for ongoing celebrations.  The Scout Guide is a classy and tasteful way to promote small local businesses, and is nothing short of beautiful!  Well Done Scout Guide!

***Is The Scout Guide available in your city?






Tuesday, November 18, 2014


With the holidays fast approaching, I’ve been doing a bit of holiday shopping.  Because of the number of events I attend each holiday season, I need to put together several outfits and accessories. 

Thanksgiving is the beginning of this very busy time of year for me, and I am almost ready for the hectic month ahead and for all of the parties and social gatherings it brings.

***Are you ready for all of the holiday events that are starting soon?

Monday, November 17, 2014


I love and support the arts, and during the last three weeks I had the opportunity to attend three wonderful events here in Minneapolis.  The three were amazing performances which, more intriguing to me, represented groups at very different points in their seasons.

At the end of October, a friend invited me to join them for the James Sewell Ballet’s opening performance of their 2014-2015 season at the Cowles Center.  I’ve shared several times that the James Sewell Ballet is my favorite contemporary dance company in the Twin Cites, so I was happy to accept the invitation.  The performance consisted of an encore presentation of “Guy Noir” (based of a character developed by local radio personality Garrison Keillor of “A Prairie Home Companion” fame) and a new piece entitled “Ribcage” that was done in partnership with the Shubert Club.

“Ribcage“ was a very physically challenging piece for the dancers to perform.  It celebrates the intricate parts of our skeletal make up, while at the same time, taxing those very same body parts of the dancers.  The end result, although a little confusing at times, was a remarkable thing to watch. 

James Sewell originally performed “Guy Noir” about six or seven years ago, and I had the opportunity to see it at that time.  It was only my second JSB performance that I had seen, and I’ve been hooked on the company ever since.  I loved the original performance of this private detective story, and I must say this revival did not disappoint.  Its humor and artistry was just as wonderful the second time around.

While the JSB was just beginning their season, two weeks later I attended a performance of “On Golden Pond” which was the final production of the Jungle Theater’s 2014 season.  My only reference of the story was the 1981 film starring Katherine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Jane Fonda.  I remember how much the film had touched me and wondered if the stage production would have the same impact.  While the impact wasn’t quite as powerful – I’m in a much different place in my life now than I was as a college student – the performance was still stellar.

Rounding out this trio, last week a friend invited me to dinner and a play for my birthday.  Following dinner at Chaing Mai Thai restaurant, we traveled to Theater In The Round to see “Witness For The Prosecution.”  I had never seen the play nor the movie, but I love Agatha Christie was thrilled that it was based on a short story by her.  Theater In The Round is mid-way through their 2014-2015 season and I’ve seen their previous shows as well.  I have to admit that I wasn’t very pleased with the earlier shows and was wondering if that was indicative of all of their productions.  Fortunately, that is not the case.  “Witness” was simply spectacular, and the perfect way to spend my birthday.

Over a three-week period I was fortunate to be able to attend three terrific productions, and it reminded me once again how lucky we are to be blessed with so many arts opportunities throughout the Twin Cities.

***Have you seen any good performances lately?

Friday, November 14, 2014


Since today is my birthday I decided to take the day off.  I'm not sure yet what all I’ll do, but that’s the beauty of taking time off.  It opens up endless possibilities.  I do have to do a couple of mundane cleaning chores around my apartment, but after that the day is mine. 

Over the years I’ve come to love my birthday and even celebrate a “Birthday Season” (from Halloween to Thanksgiving).  This year, since my birthday falls on a Friday, it’s the perfect excuse to take a long weekend.  Now if only our Minneapolis weather was a bit warmer.

***How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

Thursday, November 13, 2014


From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, I have several holiday parties and events to attend.  As you can see, I've been doing a little shopping for my holiday outfits and accessories.

*** Where are you shopping for your holiday outfits and accessories?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Thank you to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country!

This is a photo of my dad, Cyril J. White, who served in World War II.

***Who are you remembering on this Veteran's Day?

Monday, November 10, 2014


My birthday is this Friday.  Growing up in Iowa, I always wished for snow on my birthday, and usually it came through.  Oh sure a couple of times it was just flurries at 10:30 in the evening, but that was enough to count by my reckoning.  As I’ve grown older, that urgency for snow has fallen by the wayside and I find that fluffy white powder less and less desirable.  In fact, the longer it waits the better.

I bring this up because today we are experiencing not only our first snowfall of the winter, but also our first major snowstorm of the year.  Winter has decided not to slowly ease us into it grip, but to grab us with full force.  The snow is still coming down as I write this, and the news stations are predicting that we could accumulate 6”-12” when all is said and done.

While I don’t know for certain how many inches of snow we’ll be getting, I do know that old Man Winter has definitely made his presence known.  I guess we will be having snow for my birthday this year.

***Have you had your first snowfall yet this winter?

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Today we are preparing for not only our first snowfall of the winter, but also our first major snowstorm of the year.  Both of these will happen tonight and tomorrow, possibly continuing into Tuesday.  At present, they are predicting that 6”-12” of snow will accumulate during that time span, so we are now officially back into winter mode.  Time will tell how much snow we actually end up getting, but for now I’m doing a little California Dreaming!

***Have you had any snow yet this winter?

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Col. John H. Stevens (June 13, 1820 – May 28, 1900) had the distinction of being the first person authorized to live west of the Mississippi River in the area that would eventually become Minneapolis.  At the time this area was part of the Fort Snelling reservation, and Stevens was only granted this privilege in exchange for him providing ferry service across the river to St. Anthony.

Born in Quebec, Canada, Stevens would eventually earn the rank of Colonel in the United States Army and served in the Mexican-American war.  He also spent time in the Minnesota Legislature in the House of Representative (1857-1858), and Senate (1859-1860).  

Steven’s home was consider to be the civic and social center of the city, and it was there that both the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County were organized.  The house was moved several times before finding it’s current home in Minnihaha Park.  Tours of the house are offered on weekends during the summer.

***Where was your city founded?

Friday, November 7, 2014


The one thing I wish my apartment had is a fireplace.  I have always loved them and feel they add so much charm, beauty, and above all warmth to a room. 

Our weather in Minneapolis is turning decidedly cooler, and the evenings are now quite chilly.  It will only be a matter of days now before these beautiful fireplaces  . . .

. . .  are aglow with warmth.

“There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireplace.”

-  Marcus Tullius Cicero

***Do you have a fireplace and have you lit it yet year?