Follow Me

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Each December I attend the Rose Ensemble's holiday concert, at the Basilica of St. Mary, here in Minneapolis. I have been a huge fan of the Rose Ensemble for more than a dozen years now, and am never disappointed in their performances.

Welcome to the Basilica of St. Mary.

People arriving for  the concert.

This year's concert was no exception, as the beautiful, reflective music set the perfect mood for the final weeks leading up to Christmas. Even though the performance was held on a night when our winter temperature was -23 degrees outside, this amazing event left us filled with warmth and joy.

The lighted dome.

The Basilica doors welcomed us that evening.

I discovered the Rose Ensemble a few years after moving to the Twin Cities, and since then, have become an ardent fan. Their final concert for the season will be in March, and promises to be a "must see" performance.

Concert attire consisting of purple with green reindeer.

***Tell me about your favorite holiday concerts in the comments area.


Nothing says winter like a snowflake bow tie!

***Please share some of your favorite winter bow ties and ties.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


My friend Juan plays in the Minnesota Freedom Band, and for the past few years I have attended their fall/winter concert, held at Prospect Park United Methodist Church, here in Minneapolis. Founded in 1982, the LGBT band performed its first concert on December 12, of that year, and the following year they led the annual Twin Cities Pride Festival parade.

The Concert Band set the holiday tone.

The narrator for the "Krampus" song was fantastic!

For over 30 years, the Freedom Band, which consists of a concert band, a marching band, and a jazz band, has been entertaining residents in the Twin Cities metro area. This year's concert at PPUMC (involving the concert and jazz bands) had a wonderful Christmas/ Holiday theme that was both fun and entertaining.  My Favorite piece told us about the legend of the Krampus, and was just delightful.

The Jazz Band had us tapping our toes and singing along.

Today the Minnesota Freedom Band is made of LGBTQ members and allies, and their concerts are always a pleasure to see. If you have a chance to see them perform, please do. You won't be disappointed.

***What holiday band concerts do you like to attend?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


One of my favorite places in Minneapolis is 300 Clifton Ave. The now restored Mansion, was the home of Eugene and Merrette Carpenter, who converted the original Victorian Queen Anne house, into a magnificent Georgian Revival home. The mansion, now a bed and breakfast, is both elegant, and warm and inviting, ensuring  that all visitors feel welcomed and at home.

The guests begin to arrive.

For the past couple of years, 300 Clifton has hosted a fundraising evening to support Citizens for a Loring Park Community, and my friend Cliff and I have attended this event for several years now. The home is always beautifully decorated, the food is always delicious, and the people and conversations are always wonderful.

Just a few sweets for the evening.

This lovely Victorian home became . . .

. . . this stunning Georgian Revival mansion.

300 Clifton is one of the most beautiful homes in Minneapolis, and while it's always a beautiful venue throughout the year, it's at Christmastime that it shines at its loveliest.

(Cliff Robinette contributed photos for this post)

***Where is your favorite holiday event venue?

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Every year friends and I attend the annual Augsburg College Advent Vespers concert at Central Lutheran Church here in Minneapolis. The event is the kick off to our holiday events and parties, and always spectacular!

We always attend the 5:00 pm performance and then come back to my place for a soup dinner. This is the first Christmastime dinner I host each year.

The dinner usually consists of two or three homemade soups, a toss salad, and a couple different hearty breads, followed by a delicious dessert. It's a wonderful evening of food, friends and fellowship, and is the perfect beginning to all of the holiday festivities.

(Cliff Robinette and Deanna Hagg contributed photos for this post)

***How do you begin your Holidays?


Each year, on the first weekend in December, Augsburg College in Minneapolis presents their Advent Vespers concert at Central Lutheran Church.  For roughly a dozen years now, I have organized a group of friends to attend the concert, followed by a soup dinner at my place.

While a few different faces join us from year to year, there is a core group of friends that remains constant. The Advent Vespers concert has become a yearly tradition for me and my friends, and is a highlight of our holiday season.

***What are some of your favorite holiday events?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Today is St. Nicholas Day, and while many people are familiar with the kindly old fellow, many don't know that St. Nick is also the patron saint of haberdashers. That would explain his stylish outfits!

***What Traditions do you celebrate for St. Nicholas Day?