Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Memorial Bench

During the winter months I often go to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park to feed my soul by viewing the  plants and flowers. A favourite spot is The Sunken Garden which has floral displays that are changed seasonally.  Scattered throughout the conservatory are memorial benches. I was particularly interested in this one because of my familiarity with the person honoured. (To see photos of the beautiful sunken garden, click on the link above)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, Veterans Day

Why we wear poppies

The remembrance poppy was inspired by the World War I poem "In FlandersFields". Its opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers' graves in Flanders, a region of Europe that overlies a part of Belgium.

When I was a child, paper poppies were commonplace on people's lapels on Armistice Day, now referred to in the United States as Veterans Day.  I saw no-one wearing this commerative flower anywhere I went in the city today so I decided to post my photo to honor all servicemen and women who have served in the military, anywhere in the world.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, November 10, 2017

It's all about the crust!

This is only one of the reasons why we are steady customers of Cossetta's Market and Restaurant. In addition to these crusty loaves of bread, as you know I'll walk a mile for their gelato!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Two Viewpoints

When in downtown St. Paul there are two large buildings, the State Capitol and the Cathedral, that can be seen from many vantage points. The Cathedral as shown in these photos can be viewed as an impressive building with a dome in a rather attractive setting but in the other it shows that it's really a part of a busy city.  I rather like the one with the traffic signals because it is clear the the church is part of an urban setting … my city, my world.

Linking to Our World Tuesday

Monday, November 06, 2017

Unusual design

 There are wonderful discoveries to be made along Summit Avenue in St. Paul. One of the homes has this interesting design along the front of their house, which is included on the entrance gate and along the property line of the sidewalk.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

A Dusting of Snow

On Friday we got our first light dusting of snow, which did not last long.  It created some classic winter scenes in the first light of morning.  I posted this photo on Facebook and got enough positive comments that I decided to use it here also.  Do you like this quiet scene as much as I?

Saturday, November 04, 2017

A Bird's Eye View

A humble abode overlooking a highway high above the Mississppi River. I could live there!

Friday, November 03, 2017

El Dia de los Muertos

I wasn't able to get to El Burrito Mercado on the west side of St. Paul to take photos before I posted yesterday, but here are two I would have shown.  I love Halloween,  but I love the Mexican celebration of the religious Day of the Dead even better. The ritual of honoring deceased friends and relatives is so positive rather than the absence or even dread, which is the way our culture approaches death in our society.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Frozen leaves

As seen on a chilly early morning walk.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

November Theme, November, 2017-Rock 'n' Roll

Another month has rolled by! Go here to see what other bloggers have posted for this month's theme.
Linking to signs, signs

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Window Display

I have been going to Cossetta's quite a bit lately and have posted photos of the food and wonderful gelato that I have been consuming while there. In a window that faces the inside of the restaurant sits this model of a church that I assume was originally a part of the Italian community.  Behind the model and the plate glass window you can see an apartment complex across the street. The young student employees were not able to give me any answers about the significance of the church so I'll just have to go back to research (and eat more chocolate gelato!). 

Friday, October 27, 2017

More Cossetta Goodies!

Last Sunday I introduced you to Cossetta's. It has become a lodestone for me since I rediscovered their gelato and pastries.  Can't decide whether I prefer a piccolo cup of chocolate and mango or chocolate or mint.  I'll have to keep returning to see if their are other flavors that are even better. And, while I'm sampling and testing flavours, perhaps some pastry delights need to be examined also.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Claddagh Coffee, Dog Friendly Cafe

A former colleague, Colleen, and I took her dog and Wild Wendy to Claddagh Coffee, a charming cafe on W. 7th Street in St. Paul, first checking to see if dogs are allowed. For the past six years, this cafe has had no complaints from other customers and even provides doggie treats.  Guess they will see us as regular customers.

Colleen with Brio, her Coton de Tulear, and Wild Wendy, my premier-rescue toy poodle mix who has just been sheared. From now on I hope to do the grooming myself, but I doubt that Colleen will attempt the same with Brio!

When I asked Colleen about her dog's breed, this is her response:
It is a Coton de Tulear, official dog of Madagascar, and thought to have arrived on ships into the port town of Tulear back in the 1700’s. To begin with it was the “royal” dog of Madagascar. Now, as George [another of our friends says,] they are all over the place there.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cacao Pods

Here is another informative sign that explained one of the plants that I saw the last time I visited the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park in St. Paul.

Linked to Signs, signs

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Villa Bellezza

La dolce vita, La belle vie, La buena vida... the sweet life.
Come join us to experience the Mediterranean on the Mississippi!

Despite that it was a slightly overcast day, DH and I drove along the Mississsippi River on the Wisconsin side to see the last blaze of autumn colours. The rolling hills and small towns add to the pleasure of this charming road trip. I noticed the Villa Bellezza winery in Pepin, Wisconsin and decided that I need to return before the snow flies to indulge in some wine tasting per their invitation  (above) on their website.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Flowers for a Dreary Day

Yesterday was filled with sunshine and beautiful autumn scenes.  Today? Rainy, damp and dreary! There is only one way to lighten one's spirits. . . looking at the natural beauty of flowers.  Again, here are a few lovely plants from the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park in St. Paul.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Everytime I go into Cossetta's to do some shopping, I feel like I have died and gone to heaven. The owners definitely had vision a few years ago when they expanded and added a few new shopping areas in the restaurant and grocery sections. It is wonderful that this Italian family has successfully continued their tasty business for several generations.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

An Oasis in Winter

After the snow begins to fly, this will probably be a familiar scene in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park.  After a few months of shortened days and below zero temperatures, many photographers visit this wonderful place for a bit of green and a few blossoms. Although I visit it year round, I particulately appreciate it in the cold Minnesota winter months.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Last of the Season?

So glad that the weather is still holding! The leaves on the trees, especially the red maples, are brilliant in colour.  I didn't expect to see these lovely blossoms floating in an outdoor pond at Como Conservatory, but I was happy to be able to enjoy them still!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's that time again!

It seems that there are fewer Halloween decorations in the neighbourhood this year.  There are still about 12 days before the big candy event, but in past years more homes would be decorated by this time. I guess Ill have to broaden my field and roam around the neighbourhood a bit more.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Library Returns

Utility containers of all kinds have gotten new life when decorated as a part of public art on city streets.  My local branch library did a terrific job of brightening the book return box. Behind the readers using both book and kindle are downtown buildings: the Main Library, Landmark Center, 1st National Bank and other commerical buildings.

Linking to Signs, signs

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Orange is the new Mum

While shopping at Trader Joe's Saturday morning I stopped to admire the array of the many different colored mums on display.  I couldn't resist this shade; perfect color for my front steps to celebrate both autumn and Halloween. When I awakened to a light rain on Sunday morning the raindrops enhanced the perfect petals of each blossom on the plant.  So lovely!!~

Monday, October 16, 2017

Neighborhood Mural

These four details of a large mural depicts the neighborhood where DH, a friend and I had lunch last week.  It was a nice way to recognize the businesses and the residents, and a great way to decorate an older building.

Linking to Monday Mural

Sunday, October 15, 2017

My favorite neighbor!

What a joy it is to have St. Kate's for a neighbor!  I get to roam the campus, enjoying the beautiful flowers, the pond with its ducks, turtles and fountain plus the friendly students and inspiring faculty. I have also attended many performances and lectures in this spacious auditorium.

Located on the scenic main campus of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, The O’Shaughnessy has held a unique place in the cultural landscape of the Twin Cities as both an arts presenter and rental hall since 1970. The O’Shaughnessy is conveniently located between the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Canine Blossom

It's amazing what is found in planters these days!!

Friday, October 13, 2017


In order to grow a beautiful orchid plant like this, I guess I would have to volunteer at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.  Can't tell you how many orchids I have failed as they quietly led a quiet death.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Indian Burial Mounds-Good Fences

I have posted photos of the Indian Mounds in St. Paul before but since last Monday Columbus Day was officially recognized in our country, I think it is again appropriate to recognize the First Nation people in the United States, many of whom are still living in poverty with significant health problems. There is a movement in four cities to rename the day, Indigenous Peoples Day, which I think is very appropriate.  It is also important to redress many of the issues that have plagued the Indians and the abuses visited upon them by our own government.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Palms Provide

Part of the enjoyment of strolling through the various rooms at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park are the signs that provide information about the various blossoms, vegetation and plants.  To learn about the history of the conservatory, click here.

Linking to signs, signs

Monday, October 09, 2017

Mellow Yellow -Coral Reef

Fall colors take center stage at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s annual Fall Flower Show. This year’s show will feature hundreds of chrysanthemums, ornamental peppers, and ornamental grasses that will fill the Sunken Garden with a stunning array of red, orange, yellow, gold, green, bronze, and maroon. The tradition of the annual Fall Flower Show began in 1915 when the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory first opened.  Today, the Conservatory hosts five season annual flower shows.
The chrysanthemum flower has been known since before 5000 BC in a small yellow form. Ancient China and Japan both have tales explaining how the chrysanthemum originated. The Chinese who considered them the highest of flowers, named their royal throne after the flower.  Chrysanthemum flowers have traditionally been boiled in China to make “chrysanthemum tea,” used in folk medicine for influenza patients. In landscaping, chrysanthemums are valued for the fact that they bloom in fall.  Chrysanthemum flowers are also a favorite of florists for arrangements, due to the longevity of their blooms. Credit: Como Zoo and Conservatory site).