Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Puppy and Kitten Visits

You know what is really fun?  Puppies and kittens!

A few friends have taken on some new family members recently and I got to meet them while they are still itty bitty.

Meet Matt's Leeloo:

Leeloo came over for a visit not long after we lost Tchazo.  It lifted our spirits to have some doggie play time at our house.  She was enamored with our toy basket, so I think she enjoyed the visit, too.  Her visit also served as a timely reminder of how much work puppies are!  We had gotten really used to our geriatric dogs and had sort of forgotten how much attention a puppy needs.  We will get there eventually, but we aren't ready to take that on again quite yet.

And Sally's Harriet, too!  Harriet is FULL of energy.  We tried to tire her out before taking these pictures but she still had some steam left, as you can see.

I even made Harriet a toy to work off that kitten energy, but alas her energy was still in full display as she wriggled and flailed to get free!

Mouse pattern
Ravelry project

Monday, May 26, 2014

Art Season: Art in Bloom, Vivian Maier and May Day Parade

It seems after a long winter inside, this city of mine came alive with a larger than usual number of events that celebrate art and creativity.  I soaked in a hefty dose of inspiration and beauty throughout May and have some highlights to share with you.

At The Minneapolis Institute of Art's Art in Bloom exhibit artists are paired with a piece from the museum and create a floral arrangement inspired by the artwork.  The exhibit only lasts a few days as the life span of a floral arrangement is short.  I called up the two women in my life who love flowers the most (my mom and my mother in law) and we went to check it out.  To say it was hard to keep from touching and smelling the flowers would be an understatement!  Here are a few examples of the flower/art pairing: 

We were also there during a fashion show, where models wore dresses adorned with flowers.

This white dress was made of delicate orchids representing winter.  I'll forgive it the winter association because it was so truly stunning.

Next up: I have been enamored with the story of Vivian Maier for some time and was recently able to watch a film about her life and work.  And then I found out about an exhibit of her work in Minneapolis.  Jill and I went to take in the images on opening night.  

I switched my camera to black and white in honor of the great black and white photographs this nanny and artist took.  If you love photography, I would highly recommend spending some time looking at her work.  There are a lot of images on the website in the Portfolio section.  Check out the Street albums first!  As someone who is shy about taking pictures of strangers, I have huge respect for her bravery not to mention admiration for her great eye.

And last up....May Day!  This annual spectacle of puppetry, community, activism, music and joy is a Minneapolis tradition.  It means spring is here!

Mother Milkweed

This is an insane float with a ferris wheel, giant mechanical creature, skateboard ramp, music stage and pig roasting spit.  Its enormity defies being captured in one photo.
The energy of this event can't be properly captured in photos.  The music alone is reason to come out for the parade.  So many good vibes!

The stage on the enormous float.  Did I forget to mention it had shooting fire?

The In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre is the main creative and organizing force behind the May Day event.  This year they celebrated 40 years of the parade and festival.  I wish them many more!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Schaaf's Bluff Hike

Long ago we received a book that highlights 60 hikes within 60 miles of the Twin Cities and we've been meaning to explore some of those areas ever since.  I finally decided that fitting in some of these day trips/hikes is going to be a goal of mine this spring/summer/fall.  We took our first of these hikes today at Schaaf's Bluff Trailhead, which is part of Dakota County Parks' Spring Lake Park Reserve.  How is that for a mouthful!  The trails go along the forested bluff beside a widened area of the Mississippi River just about 30 minutes out of town.

Oh, what a beautiful day it was!  The weather was absolutely perfect for hiking: temperatures in the 70s F with a slight breeze and just a few clouds in the sky.  Perfect, I tell you.  We picked up some picnic supplies and made a day of it.

those are train cars passing by in the background
After a summer of misery last year, I am really, really grateful for each day of relatively little discomfort, but even more grateful for days like today where I am well enough to feel alive and connected to the world.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Family Highlights

Oh, goodness!  I just sorted through memory cards with over 500 pictures of our chickens to find the non-chicken photos that I am so belated in posting.  Note to self: maybe a few less pictures of chickens, ok?  In non-chicken related news, spring has been full of family time, artsy events, gardening and hope for a better summer than I had last year.  So far that wish is coming true!

After brunch on Mother's Day, it came to light that neither my sister nor I came out of our childhoods knowing how to double dutch.  We are both skilled at the kind of rope jumping that is limited to one rope.  Throw a second one in there and we were out of our leagues.  When my mom found this out, she vowed to teach us.  A spool of rope out of the garage, a pile of shed shoes and socks, a lesson from Mom and a short time later, we were double dutching!  Paul, too!  In fact, Paul showed us all up with a stellar first attempt.

We thought it might be nice to get a photo of my sister and I with our mom.  Apparently, Cinco thought it necessary to moon the camera!

Paul, our photographer, noticed right away and let us know of the feline photo bomb.  Cinco didn't stick around long but she left us all laughing at her excellent timing.

Another example of great timing, was one of the two pictures I took at Easter.  Umm...well, I guess it is a group shot.  Everyone was looking off into the distance where Uncle Bill saw a bald eagle's nest.

Here is the second one!  Aunt Marion and cousin Hannah are even steven!

I managed to find other photos mixed in with all of those chicken pictures, so I will post again soon!
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