a beautiful day in the neighborhood


There is nothing so delightfully magnificent as the trees slowly going up in flame. It makes me catch my breath.

That’s what I posted yesterday on Facebook, and to my amusement some of my Californian friends actually thought there was a fire somewhere nearby. I’m still smirking about it to myself, actually. Ha!

What I meant, of course, in my overly-poeticized way, was that all the leaves were changing to the gorgeous fire hues of autumn. And I am absolutely enraptured.

I mean, look at these – how can you not be? I took these photos today while walking/driving around my neighborhood (don’t worry, I stopped the car before I cracked out the camera – one accident a decade is enough). Just everyday scenes, things I see all the time, made amazingly breathtaking by the changing of the seasons.

It’s like magic.


perfectly imperfect


We found it in the garden, buried deep, during a yard project. Who knows how long it had been there (since the place was built in 1921?) or what exactly it was originally (medicine bottle? liquor?) but we cleaned it up best we could and I promptly fell in love. The squared corners and the teensy little mouth, not to mention the scratches and dirt of age, just twist some place in my heart. It’s become my go-to bud vase. I love the provenance, wondering who used it and for how long (maybe close to 100 years?) it’s sat in the dirt beside my homestead, waiting to be found. The gorgeous lavendar rose we got at a beautiful little local flower & garden shop, Amelia’s, which I adore. The sign said it was locally grown and I think it must be a hardy Minnesota-grown lovely, because this is what it looks like after an entire week of sitting on my dining table. Perfect. The absolute dictionary definition of a rose.
These are the things I’m longing to be: long lasting, patient, beautiful not despite but because of age and use, perfectly imperfect.


in pictures

The hubs made it safely home with the new automobile on Sunday evening, bringing our weekend o’ girl time to a close. But here are some highlights via photo:

This is the lovely Dutch baby pancake I mentioned earlier… I will not admit to how many of these Olive & I ate over the weekend…. needless to say, they’re addictive.

These little beauties greeted my eyes Saturday morning – tomato plants! One week in the mini greenhouse and here they are, reaching for the dim sunlight of the window.
All the more heartening because it still looks like this outside:

Not too pretty. But hope is coming! In the 40’s this week, to 50 this weekend! Woohoo!
Olive & I hit Como Zoo Sunday afternoon, checking out the monkeys & other favorite friends. The zebras were going nuts (they have less space than I do – poor things! Oh, the cabin fever!). I figured if Olive melted down here – which, since she never regained her sleep after getting 4 hours cut out Friday night, was ever a real possibility – it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Who’d even hear her over the chimps?
Sidelight – why do kids never sleep extra when you need/want/expect them to? She never napped, went to bed late, and woke up at her usual time – on the button – every morning. I was afraid to go anywhere because who knew when she’d spontaneously combust?

She didn’t melt down, thank heavens (partly in thanks to Mommy’s brilliant plan of only going a couple of hours before closing so I didn’t have to wrench her out of there on my own!)

And look, here we are, still smiling after more than 48 hours of just the two of us and not nearly enough sleep. Miracles do occur!

Olive in the USA

The hubs introduced Miss O & I to Miley Cyrus (I kid you not – he actually thinks this is the best song of the year!) and now the monkey is obsessed. Here’s her version (as much as I could catch on camera, anyway)….


She’s been working on her performance constantly and, to be honest, I am SO done with this song. But how do you (how do I, miss choir girl herself) tell her to stop?

Especially when she looks like this?

singing at her friend Svea’s birthday party on Sunday

Personally, I think she looks more like an early Britney Spears with those pigtails (Crazy, anyone?) but I think I’d rather she take after Miley.

Uh, yeah.



  • Kickball game at the park, going on whilst I watch Olive obsessively go down the “big slide.” One team is, well, a normal-looking kickball team. The other team consists of a priest, a nun, a rabbi, a Mormon missionary, and Jesus. I spent the entire evening searching for an appropriate punchline.
  • Driving down 36th street, an old 1940’s beat-up green truck. I’m behind it and see the silhouette of two men with a big dog sitting between them. The driver has a tremendous handlebar mustache and a newsboy cap on, the passenger has a goatee and a bandanna wrapped around his head with braided pigtails trailing beneath. I’m certain we’re in a gangster movie.
  • The LochNess monster in Lake Harriet. No, seriously.

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