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Sunday, November 29, 2015


One of the things that I associate most with fall is going pumpkin picking. For me, this activity is second only to apple picking, and often the two are done at the same time. 

Each fall, friends and I go apple and pumpkin picking, and while the apples get made into salads, soups, breads and pies, I use the pumpkins mostly for decorations. I do enjoy making pumpkin pies and breads, but haven't been brave enough to make them from a fresh pumpkin yet.

This year, we went apple and pumpkin picking at Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard. In addition to apples and pumpkins, they also have a Barnyard where children can see various farm animals and get pony rides. Following our time at the orchard, we closed out our day by visiting the Candy Store. Located just down the road from the orchard, it is probably the largest, and best, candy store I've ever seen. It alone was worth trip as they carry all of the "old-school" candy I remember from when I was growing.

As we finish out the Thanksgiving weekend, it only seems right that I should end by featuring pumpkins. Pumpkins are an annual sign of fall and a reminder that December, and winter, will soon be here.

***Did you go pumpkin picking this year?

Friday, November 27, 2015


The Thanksgiving Holiday has come and gone for this year, and I am left with many memories and reflections. I host all of the holidays for my friends, and over the years we have become a sort of family. While some people come and go, there is a core group that is constant from year to year.

Thanksgiving is the holiday when we are called to reflect on of the many things we are grateful for, and high on my gratitude list are my friends. They are my rock of stability, while at the same time encouraging me to take creative flight, but most of all, they are always there to love and support me in good times and in bad.

As I reflect on the festivities of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my friends, and I am truly blessed that they are part of my life.

(Header photo by Cynthia Markey.)

What were you thankful this year?


***Where did you spend the Thanksgiving holiday?

Monday, November 23, 2015


Traditionally, November is the month when we remember family and loved ones who have passed away. Technically it begins on Halloween, or Samhain (pronounce SOW-een) which is an ancient feast honor those who have died. During November, people visit graves and decorate them with flowers; attend prayer rituals of grief, loss and remembering; and set extra plates at the table, providing a meal for the ancestors. These, however, are just a few of the ways our loved ones are remembered.

The band warming up.

Each year, in late October, the Twin Cities is treated to Bare Bones, a performance that celebrates our connectedness to the ancestors, as well as to the earth, and all creation. It is held on the weekends in late October, ending around Halloween, and friends and I have attended it for several years now. This year we went on Halloween evening, which was the last performance of the show.

The Bare Bones production combines live performers and giant puppets, along with aerial artists, and fire performers, to present a show that dazzles, and moves folks of every age. One of the highlights of performance each year, is when the entire cast comes forward singing the familiar "We Remember" chant as audience members yell out names of loved ones. The result is quite moving. The remembering continues around the Memory Tree, which serves as a giant altar where people are able to light candle honoring their loved one. This is, by far, one of the most powerful rituals of the evening.

The altar at the Memory Tree.

Bare Bones is an amazing celebration of life, death, and rebirth, and is definitely one of my favorite fall events.

***How do you honor and remember your loved ones.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


The fireplace at the Minneapolis Club.

***Where some of your favorite fireplaces located?

Thursday, November 19, 2015


As our fall days slowly wind down into the fast approaching winter weather, I find myself wanting to hold onto this season for as long as I can. I love the beautiful fall colors, and am sad that many of them are gone, as the trees shed their final leaves. Fortunately those clothes can live on in the clothes that I choose to wear.

On this Bow Tie Friday, I wanted to share one of my favorite bow ties that I added to my collection this fall.  This is the Gameday Maroon Plaid bow tie from Mill City Fineries. and it combines two of my favorite colors, maroon and ivory, into and exquisite plaid that is perfect for fall. 

I've shared before that Mill City Fineries is one of my favorite local Minneapolis bow tie manufactures, and I have several of their ties in my collection. This particular bow tie is sold out and no longer available, but a quick visit to their website offers a wide selection of other amazing ties to choose from.  Their quality is spot on, and the variety of options ensures that there is something for everyone. Plus I love supporting local small businesses, especially when their products are this good.

Mill City Fineries is opening a holiday store at the Mall Of America beginning on Black Friday through Sunday, December 27. Be sure to check out their store, and while you're there add some amazing new bow ties to your collection.

***What local small businesses do you like to support?


After a sunny and warm weekend, our temperatures have turned decidedly cooler, accompanied by lots of rain. I wasn't too upset by the rain, as I'm always excited when we reach the middle of November in Minneapolis without any measurable snow. It's not unusual for us to several inches (or even feet) of snow by now, but thankfully that isn't the case so far this year. However, we did experience light snow flurries today, but fortunately, nothing that stuck around on the ground.

Todays snow flurries did remind us that winter is inching ever closer, and soon we will be experiencing some real snowfalls. Knowing this, I'm grateful that I've added few new sweaters to my wardrobe this year. This great sweater is from Tommy Hilfiger, and is in a wonderful shade of green that is perfect for the winter months ahead. The sweater is 100% cotton which means it's ideal for layering, which I love to do in winter. I'm also loving this shade of green, as it reminds me of the many colors of evergreen trees that dot our yards and fields. There is nothing more beautiful than patches of green against the cool white snow.

As I brace myself for the cold winter months ahead, I'm happy to be adding more sweaters to wardrobe, and this great sweater from Tommy Hilfiger is one of my favorites.

***What are your favorite colors for winter sweaters?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


One of the nice things about living in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis, is its large number of food venues, including a variety of pizza offerings. Of all of the pizza restaurants in Uptown, without a doubt, my favorite is Galactic Pizza

Some of the retired superhero costumes.

Galactic is like no other pizza place you've ever been too, in that it strives to be as green as possible. Perhaps the most noticeable item is the small electric cars that are used to deliver your pizza to your door (when they first opened they used bicycles as well). In addition to the electric cars, there are number of other things they do to follow through on their commitment to helping to create a more sustainable community - locally, nationally, and globally. A more extensive list of these practices may be found here in their Vision Statement. Oh and did I mention that their deliver drivers show up at our door dress as superheros?  How fun is that?

Behold The Mexicali Pizza!

I want share a quick story that happened several years ago while they were still using bicycles to deliver the pizza.  One day, the delivery driver was cutting through the parking lot of a local grocery store, just as a would be thief had snatched customer's purse. The delivery driver, in full costume, chased the thief on his bicycle, tackled him to the ground, and held him until the police arrived. Not only was the thief caught, but he was caught by a superhero.

Giant whisk light fixtures.

"Planet saving pizza!"

Of all of the pizza restaurants in Uptown, Galactic definitely is my favorite. Not only do I love supporting their earth friendly policies, I love their pizza as well. If you like spicy, I highly recommend The Mexicali Pizza, it's my personal favorite!

***What are the fun pizza restaurants in your area?