“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Friday, December 30, 2016

A New Year Soon Begins

The moving song below was performed on one of the Christmas specials I recently watched.  I was first drawn in by the beautiful melody and then the lyrics.  

I was unable to locate a recording to post, but I hope you enjoy the lovely, but bittersweet lyrics. They reflect my feelings about this past year and the new one that is almost upon us.  It's a nod to the past and a glance towards the future. Let's hope there are more bright moments and fewer dark days ahead. So while our futures are still unknown, perhaps if we all hold strong together we'll get through it.

Thou Gracious God

Thou gracious God, whose mercy lends
the light of home, the smile of friends,
our gathered flock thine arms enfold
as in the peaceful days of old.

Wilt thou not hear us while we raise
in sweet accord of solemn praise
the voices that have mingled long
in joyous flow of mirth and song?

For all the blessings life has brought,
for all its sorrowing hours have taught,
for all we mourn, for all we keep,
the hands we clasp, the loved that sleep.

The noontide sunshine of the past,
these brief, bright moments fading fast,
the stars that gild our darkening years,
the twilight ray from holier spheres.

We thank thee, Father; let thy grace
our loving circle still embrace,
thy mercy shed its heavenly store,
thy peace be with us evermore.

Words/lyrics - American Poet - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. 1869 
Music/English Folk Tune - Wareham

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Surreal Christmas


We visited Duluth again this year and took in the Bentleyville lights in Canal Park. It was a nice break for me, just to get away for a couple of days.
We arrived mid afternoon and stopped for a warm beverage and snack at the Pickwick restaurant. This old place has a nice warm ambience and more wood than I've seen in awhile!


What can I say, these last couple of months have been nothing if not surreal.  Apparently that has been one of the most googled words in Minnesota lately.

adjective: surreal
having the qualities of surrealism; bizarre.
"a surreal mix of fact and fantasy"
synonyms: unreal, bizarre, unusual, weird, strange, freakish, unearthly, uncanny, dreamlike, phantasmagorical

So nothing like getting back to earth by visiting an awe inspiring place like Lake Superior. Thank goodness there was no sailing this time! I would much rather stay on shore and look at the lake than be on it!

As the sun sank quickly we made our way over to the light show and were greeted by these amazing light tunnels....

I loved this one, done up as a wreath! So pretty!

There was just about 3 inches of snow on the ground, not even as much as we had at home, but still enough to bounce the light around. Look how the snow glows under those Christmas lights!

Here's our own state icon, Paul Bunyan with Babe the Blue Ox!

There was a bit of a cold breeze coming off of lake Superior, but here I was able to get a nice picture of the Ariel Lift Bridge.

A new attraction this year were characters dressed up as reindeer, this happens to be Prancer and some very cute but unknown child.



Getting towards the end and a bit cold, I moved when I took this pic, but I kind of like the blurred effect. Talk about surreal!!


It was a fun night and it took us about an hour to walk the entire display. It was in the mid 20's degree wise, but a bit of a chilly wind next to the lake helped us quicken our pace and by the end we were ready to go warm up with some hot chocolate back at our room.

The next morning looking out our room window, I captured this shot of the sun trying to break through the morning fog.

I hope all of your holiday and seasonal celebrations are merry and bright and that you are able to spend them with people you care for.  Sometimes the simple things are the best. Thank you for sticking with me through the years.
May your holly be jolly 
and your tinsel be bright
May the stars shine above you
and guide you at night
May your wishes come true
and you find your delight
Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good night.
Oh and don't forget to turn off the light.

Merry Christmas



Thursday, December 1, 2016

Oh December!

December, you've crept up on me and I'm not ready for you so soon. I know I said I wouldn't post until mid December, but when I started putting my Christmas header and images on the sidebar, I just had to add some kind of cute holiday image.

This is an old image I've jazzed up using my Pixlr app. I think it's added a bit more depth to this lively image of cats and dogs dancing 'round the Christmas tree.  I'm going to try and stay in a Christmasy mood by not watching the news any more, it's just more than I can stand.

I'll be here dancing with my cats 'round my own Christmas tree! 
~~ Diane ~~


Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

I am very thankful that I was home the day these two swans showed up on our neighborhood lake.  I'm guessing they're the same ones that were here last year. They must be migrating from somewhere up north and have decided that our little lake is the perfect place for them to rest up for a few days before continuing on their trip south.

And just like that, an ordinary day becomes extraordinary when a pair of trumpeter swans shows up.  Sometimes I have to take a step back and be thankful for what I have right here, right now...

We'll be celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday and then I'll be busy with the final rush of Christmas shoppers, so I'll be taking a break away from here for awhile.

I want to thank each and every one of you for visiting me throughout the year!
Your comments are always enjoyable. I'll try and make sure 
I get over to visit your blogs as soon as possible.
I'll see you mid-December! 
~~ Diane ~~

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day 2016

This old flag belonged to my Grandfather, it's old, stained and a bit tattered, but still in reasonably good condition.  My Grandfather, his father and my dad are all Veterans and served in the Army.  They have all passed on, but I always think of my Grandfather in his uniform. He wore it once a year, on Memorial Day. I don't have any pictures of him wearing it, which is very sad, but I still remember him all those years ago. 

Thank you to all the Veterans here and in the hereafter 
for your service for this great and wondrous country.  

You will never be forgotten.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

And Now What?

 The day after the election....

The party's over the winner announced.  But is our path set? Are we following the leader or just going our own separate ways? And where exactly are we going?

Where do we go from here?
We are a nation divided, not a clear cut line across the states, but a checkerboard of people with different basic beliefs. When you're out and about, almost every other person you cross paths with will have the polar opposite view of the world from the way you see it.

Friends, co-workers and even families have been broken apart, perhaps forever. We have a few things in common and I guess that's what will get us through, as long as we have civility.

How do we go on? Or are we going back, back say, 50, 60, 100 years?

I wonder, was it all about one person winning? 

And are all the rest of us just losers?

Only time will tell.

What does make  me feel better is an article by our very own dear Garrison Keillor who tells me that we progressive liberals are in the clear... Read his full article at the Washington Post here.

"The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids, and we Democrats can go for a long , brisk walk and smell the roses." Garrison Keillor, Washington Post.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Love My Black Cats 2016

Hello All! Halloween will be here soon! Most of the leaves have been blown off the trees and they have that spooky look to them in the dusky evenings. That chill in the air and the pumpkins sprouting on every porch is a sign that it's time to go to Costco and buy about 10 pounds of candy...

Because soon the little trick or treaters will be pounding on the door! But first this message from Dot and Guy, my two favorite furry friends....

Black cats are a scream! So says Dot in the photo above! Well she was actually yawning, but since this is a Halloween post, lets pretend she's screaming a nasty old cat scream. What can I say? I love cats, and am very lucky that I've had several black cats over the years.  So Dot and Guy want you to show some love for a black cat or dog this time of year and celebrate and appreciate their unique place in this crazy world!

Black cats have been associated with Halloween for a long time, and originally not in a good way.  Over the years we have come to love seeing black cats in all types of advertising.

Here's is my other black cat, Guy Noir.  He loves to help in the yard. As you see, he was helping with some tree branches and thought they would make a good cat lair. What better way to surprise the poor chipmunks, but by leaping out at them from within this twiggy mess!

Below are just a few random images I've picked up over time...
from books, old photos and ads.

I really like this old photo of the litter of kittens, all striped, except for the one in the middle.  Sometimes it's better to stand out in a crowd!

Happy Halloween my friends! 
Hope you have a spooky-good time!

*some images from public domain The Library of Congress

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I Sailed on Lake Superior and Lived!

Sailing the Apostle Islands...
was interesting. Our Captain and friend chartered a boat from Superior Charters.  We had a 33 foot Jeanneau, our Captain wanted a 38 foot, my hubby wanted the smaller... This will be important later..

There were five of us on the boat. A couple, who are sailing friends of ours (he was our Captain). Then there was my husbands brother, my husband and myself.  They are all good sailors, I am good ballast. I do know the basics of sailing, but I'm really only a fair weather sailor. I don't like big waves or rain and some of the technical things about sailing frankly bore me.  I love the fresh air and the fact that under sail there is no motor sound to ruin the esthetics of being out in nature.

The Apostle Islands area is located in Lake Superior, the area consists of 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland. We spent much of the time sailing around Madeline Island.  The second day when the waves were too big for us girls, we headed to the Island to visit the shops and museum, but more on that later.

Things you should also know;  I had never spent a night on a boat or sailed on Lake Superior before, so I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. I've only been camping once in my life (also with husband) it was terrible. There was a skunk, need I say more...

Superior Charters & Yacht Sales :: Lake Superior Apostle Islands Sailing Charters and Yacht Sales:
The image above is of the type of boat we sailed on.

The sights were nice and the days were mostly sunny and warmish.  The nights went from stuffy and warm to cold.  The boat seemed bigger in the pictures, but once aboard our sleeping area was quite cramped. Plus you practically have to do a back flip to get in and out of the bed.  Me doing any kind of flip is quite funny! Did I mention I have phobia's?

Superior Charters & Yacht Sales :: Lake Superior Apostle Islands Sailing Charters and Yacht Sales:
 View of the interior facing the V-berth in the front of the boat.

Claustrophobia... the fear of enclosed spaces. I've only started to become more bothered by this in my older years, when in my 20's it really didn't affect me at all. When I worked for the hotel reservation service, the building was set up to have a crawlspace under the floor so that we could run more co-axe cable as we added new computer terminals and lines as the center grew. I and a few others in our tech department would take off a floor panel and pull the cable under the floor, by crawling, barely able to be on hands and knees it was that tight. The other people in the department would hold a flashlight down for us to direct us to crawl to the opening in the floor. Now that I think of it, it seems terrifying!

Anyway the sleeping compartment in the V-berth gave me that sense of the walls closing in and we had to keep the compartment door open. Remember I said our Captain wanted a 38 foot boat? That would have given us a bit more room... So that was the first night. We spent the next day sailing 8 hours non stop...

The next night I slept out on the bench seating in the midships area of the boat, or the "saloon" as it's called. Oh and did I mention that my dear hubby snores? It was like an echo chamber in there! So sleep is not something that happens on a boat apparently! I slept better on the bench, but the hatches above were open because when we first went to sleep it was hot, but as the night went on it got down right cold.

Superior Charters & Yacht Sales :: Lake Superior Apostle Islands Sailing Charters and Yacht Sales:

A view back towards Madeline Island.  The photos below are a few other sail boats we saw while sailing. My husband was taking pictures on his old camera and unfortunately many did not turn out when the battery started to go.

While the guys were doing their dare-devil sailing, my girlfriend and I took a ferry out to Madeline Island, we walked around a bit and headed down a trail through the trees, it was nice to be back on land again!

The photos below were taken with my phone.

We visited the Madeline Island History Museum and checked out some of the fantastic beaded Native American artifacts on display. The Ojibwe are the dominant tribe in Wisconsin as well as Minnesota. After the museum visit we had some lunch and then caught the ferry back to the marina and met the guys right when they were sailing back in.


Another beautiful boat we saw while sailing...

We were on the boat for three nights and the third night was horrible for me, I had come down with a sinus infection and felt terrible. All that cold air blowing over me at night must have finally gotten to me.  I didn't sleep and thought the night would never end!

I spent the next day below deck while the rest of the folks sailed until around 2PM when we sailed into the dock and turned the boat back to the charter company. We then drove 5 hours back home where after a shower and some medication I went to bed and slept for about 12 hours! And as a true introvert and HSP, highly sensitive person, I'm never leaving home again...

Kissing the ground right now.... 

P.S.. Want to know if you're a highly sensitive person? Take the test...
Click Here. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Neck of the Woods

Hello! Anyone still out there?
I know, I've been gone for a whole month without any notice... Sometimes things happen to distract us from the blog world and draw us into the real world, sometimes the real world is hard.

While I was away some good things happened and a few bad things too.  That's the way it is, the bitter and the sweet all mixed together.

Let me catch you up to date on what's been going on ....

Some friends, my husband and I, went to the Apostle Islands, Wisconsin and sailed on Lake Superior for several days, and I lived through it ... (a blog post to come).

 After 9 hours of sailing, I felt like the mushroom on the right...

I've spent lots of time on my Etsy shop, working on inventory and social media, like Instagram....

Daily Dime Bank, Buckaroo Cowboy

My sales have been good this summer, keeping me 
busy shipping and restocking my inventory...


Vintage Chef Cats Salt Pepper Shakers

Vintage Chef Cats Salt and Pepper Shakers

The garden still requires some work and of course I have to spend time with my two adorable cats. Family visits and little excursions about town seems to have taken up the rest of my time this summer.

Politics this year seems to be even more hateful than most years, but I did think it funny that I found these blue elephants.  I thought they would be a great gift for the conflicted voter, but alas, one has a broken and re-glued trunk, so they will be staying at my house for the time being!

mother goose rhymes
 Mother Goose Rhymes

This 1953 edition of Mother Goose has the most adorable illustrations by Eulalie M. Banks. It's one of those books that I almost don't want to sell because I just love the sweet images!  But it is for sale now in my shop.. Click on the first image of the items to see the full listing and information.

 The image above and below are more from the Mother Goose book...

Locally some major things have happened since I was last here.

As I wrote in a previous post, Prince Rogers Nelson passed away last April.  His home and studio, Paisley Park, is opening for tours this month and next month there will be a tribute concert in St. Paul.

On a very sad note, the 27 year mystery of what happened to the young boy Jacob Wetterling has finally been solved and his family is having a memorial service for him at the end of September. After all these years he will finally be put to rest. If you haven't heard of this, just google his name and you will find the stories, I haven't the heart to go into any more details here.

So that's about it folks. Summer is fast coming to a close and the days are already getting shorter. My garden is winding down for the summer and will soon be covered with falling leaves. I'm hoping I have more time to spend here on the blog as I do enjoy visiting with all of you. If you are on Instagram, follow if you wish, I do tend to get over there more often just because it's so quick and easy.

I must dash away now... see you soon!