Friday, June 30, 2017

Alaskan Cruise #3

On the train from Anchorage to Seward to get to our ship, Silver Shadow, these are some of the scenes we enjoyed. We met the two women, Wilma and Mary, sisters-in-law, who are from Melbourne, Australia, at breakfast in the hotel. Coincidentally we were assigned seats together on the train and socialized with them many times thereafter on the ship.

If you didn't believe in God before touring Alaska, I'd bet that you would after seeing this glorious countryside.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Alaskan Cruise #2

Jim and I and 344 other people boarded a train that took us to Seward to begin our journey on our ship, the Silvershadow, one of 7 in the fleet of Silverseas, an Italian company whose crew and staff pampered and spoiled every single one of us during the entire cruise.

As we wended our way on the three-and-a-half hour ride to the port I gave thanks for the United States good fortune of "Seward's Folly!" At roughly 2 cents an acre for the purchase of Alaska from the Russians, I'd say this was quite a bargain!

Signing of the Alaska Treaty, 1867
Russia offered to sell Alaska to the United States in 1859, believing the United States would off-set the designs of Russia’s greatest rival in the Pacific, Great Britain. The looming U.S. Civil War delayed the sale, but after the war, Secretary of State William Seward quickly took up a renewed Russian offer and on March 30, 1867, agreed to a proposal from Russian Minister in Washington, Edouard de Stoeckl, to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million. The Senate approved the treaty of purchase on April 9; President Andrew Johnson signed the treaty on May 28, and Alaska was formally transferred to the United States on October 18, 1867. This purchase ended Russia’s presence in North America and ensured U.S. access to the Pacific northern rim.
For three decades after its purchase the United States paid little attention to Alaska, which was governed under military, naval, or Treasury rule or, at times, no visible rule at all. Seeking a way to impose U.S. mining laws, the United States constituted a civil government in 1884. Skeptics had dubbed the purchase of Alaska “Seward’s Folly,” but the former Secretary of State was vindicated when a major gold deposit was discovered in the Yukon in 1896, and Alaska became the gateway to the Klondike gold fields. The strategic importance of Alaska was finally recognized in World War II. Alaska became a state on January 3, 1959.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

An Alaskan Cruise on Silver Seas

Rather than design another blog as I normally do when  I travel to one place as I have done in the past,  I decided to post my cruise photos on my St. Paul blog. . .after all, I AM a St Paul resident on a journey to parts unknown. I am aware that I am not following a basic rule of CDP,  but I will chance your wrath at my violation of a basic tenet and ask your indulgence and forgiveness beforehand.

We flew into Anchorage to begin our trip, and I saw these scenes on an afternoon stroll through the city.  These moose were the only ones I saw on the trip, but what else I saw made up for not sighting them in the flesh!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sitka, Alaska

I am back in town after an amazing Alaskan cruise.  Since it is Sunday, let me introduce you to
St. Michael's Cathedral in the heart of the little, quaint town of Sitka, Alaska.

St. Michael's Cathedral (RussianСобор Архангела Михаила Sobor Arkhangela Mikhaila), also known as the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel (RussianСобор Святого Архангела Михаила Sobor Svyatogo Arkhangela Mikhaila), is a cathedral of the Orthodox Church in America Diocese of Alaska, at Lincoln and Matsoutoff Streets in SitkaAlaska. The earliest Orthodox cathedral in the New World, it was built in the nineteenth century, when Alaska was under the control of Russia.[3] After 1872, the cathedral came under the control of the Diocese of Alaska. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1962, notable as an important legacy of Russian influence in North America and Southeast Alaska in particular.[4][5]
An accidental fire destroyed the cathedral during the night of January 2, 1966, but it was subsequently rebuilt.[4] The new building’s green domes and golden crosses are a prominent landmark in Sitka.[5] Some of the icons date to the mid-17th century;[6] two icons are by Vladimir Borovikovsky.
(Credit: Wiki

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Baby Swing

Without planning a photo shoot, just walking around my neighbourhood gives me plenty of images to photograph and enjoy.  It's been a long time since I have seen an infant/baby swing suspended from a tree--even longer since I saw a child in one.  This model looks pretty sleek and very different from the swings my once-young children used and enjoyed.  A little bit of nostalgia!

Thursday, June 08, 2017


Wild Wendy and I got up early this morning and reveled in all the beautiful blossoms in our neighbours' yards. The peonies are gorgeous this year!! 

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Friends of Fitzgerald

 Since this is the last post in my Fitzgerald's series, it is fitting that I show the high regard our family has for F. Scott.  We cannot seem to be able to bypass him whenever we are in the vicinity of Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul. Rain or shine, we always have time to stop and greet him. Notice the slight smile on Fitzgerald's face when we stop to chat with him.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

F. Scott Fitzgerald in Rice Park

Several bloggers asked me to post a photo of the statue of F. Scott Fitzgerald located in Rice Park.

I posted these three photos on my blog in May of 2010, but here they are again per your request
He's my favorite Saint Paul fella (in addition to my DH)! My husband always loves to walk through the park with me because I invariably stop to chat with  F. Scott Fitzgerald to tell him how much I enjoyed teaching his books!  Or how much my students loved The Great Gatsby. Or how much my husband loved writing his college senior thesis on This Side of Paradise.  

Here is information on the artist who created the sculpture:
Artist Name: Michael Price 
Media: Bronze with warm brown patina on red granite base
Date Created: 1/1/1996
Location: Rice Park
History: Price created this sculpture, representing F. Scott Fitzgerald in his early thirties, to honor the renowned author on the centennial of his birthday.  Price said, “I found Fitzgerald to be an honest and generous person, and I wanted to express those qualities in the work.”  Price equated his work with the author’s—naturalism, as opposed to realism, characterizes the work of both.  “Fitzgerald said he didn’t have a large idea, but he had a large perception, and so developed content from the vantage point of immediate human experience.  I wanted to emulate that approach,” Price explained, “making this work immediately accessible and engaging.”

Monday, June 05, 2017

Fitzgerald Hangout

University Club, 420 Summit Avenue

Scott and Zelda were regulars at the well-heeled University Club, where they attended dances and spent evenings in the bar. Together, the Fitzgeralds once published a spoof newspaper poking fun at University Club regulars, which they distributed at a formal ball.  Credit:

"All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, undated letter to his daughter "Scottie"

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Purple Iris

Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. 

Hans Christian Andersen

Saturday, June 03, 2017

This Side of Paradise

Another Fitzgerald post: F.Ssott Fitzgerald wrote the novel, This Side of Paradise, while living in this brownstone apartment building on 593/599 Summit Avenue. He had met Zelda, his future wife, while serving in the army. Originally she had not wanted to marry Scott because of his uncertain financial future, but after the publication of the novel, she apparently changed her mind. They did not remain long in Minnesota and led a busy, often debt-ridden existence, as international icons of the Jazz Age. 

A year ago the house was up for sale.  Go to this link to see what the interior looked like when it was put on the market.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Nature, June 1, 2017 Theme Day

You cannot get anything more natural than this!
Click here to see more delightful photos for this June 1, 2017 theme.