Sunday, July 24, 2011

Remembering Betsy (and Tacy too!)

A few years ago at this time I was heading to Mankato (Deep Valley) to see Maud Hart Lovelace's charming childhood home.  The Betsy Tacy Society has done a wonderful job restoring Betsy's, and also Tacy's homes.  We toured them both and were delighted!  We even photographed ourselves on the little hill where Betsy and Tacy ate their suppers on soft summer nights.  Did you cherish Maud's Betsy-Tacy series as a child?

You can see both houses at the website and you or your children or grandchildren might even become a member of the Betsy-Tacy Society, and keep these houses maintained for future readers.

Here's a little sketch of Tacy's newly refurbished and faithfully restored house.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Smoothie Morning

1/2 cup blueberries
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup low-fat organic yogurt
3 handfuls of ice
A Shady Porch

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To Not Expect is Pure Joy


"Not expecting is a great art. When you no longer live in expectation, you live in a new dimension. You are free. Your mind is free. Your body is free. To understand intellectually that we are not a psycho-physical entity in the process of becoming is a necessary first step, but this understanding is not sufficient. The fact that we are not the body must become an actual experience that penetrates and liberates our muscles, our internal organs and even our cells. An intellectual understanding that corresponds to a sudden, fleeting recognition of our true nature brings us a flash of pure joy, but when we have full knowledge that we are not the body, we are that joy."

Francis Lucille

The Mirror in the Sky

I took my love and I took it down
Climbed a mountain and turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Till the landslide brought it down

Oh, mirror in the sky - What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
I don't know, I don't know

Well, I've been afraid of changin'
Because I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder, even children get older
And I'm getting older, too

So, take my love, take it down
Climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
The landslide will bring it down

Fleetwood Mac

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A big Difference

"Recall the kind of feeling you get when someone praises you, when you are approved, accepted, applauded.  And contrast that with the kind of feeling that arises whenithin you when you look at the sunset or the sunrise or Nature in general, or when you read a book or watch a movie that you thorougly enjoy.  Get the taste of this feeling and contrast it with the first, namely, the one that was generated within you when you were praised.  Understand that the first type of feeling comes from self-glorification, self-promotion.  It is a worldly feeling.  The second comes from self-fulfillment, a soul feeling."

Anthony DeMello

Monday, July 11, 2011

Setting the other (and yourself) free

"'I leave you free to be yourself, to think your thoughts, to indulge your taste, follow your inclinations, behave in any way that you decide is to your liking.'  Say these words to someone you are trying to make special to you and: he/she becomes important the way a sunset or a symphony is lovely in itself, the way a tree is special in itself and not for the fruit or the shade that it can offer you.  Your beloved will then belong not to you but to everyone or to no one like the sunrise and the tree.  Test it by saying these words again:  'I leave you free to be yourself...'  In saying thse words you have set yourself free.  You are now ready to love.  For when you cling, what you offer the other is not love but a chain by which both you and your beloved are bound.  Love can only exist in freedom.  the true lover seeks the good of his beloved which requires especially the liberation of the beloved from the lover."

Anthony De Mello

Sunday, July 10, 2011


"Compare the serene and simple splendor of a rose in bloom with the tensions and restlessness of your life.  The rose has a gift that you lack:  It is perfectly content to be itself.  It has not been programmed from birth, as you have been, to be dissatisfied with itself, so it has not the slightest urge to be anything other than it is. That is why it possesses the artless grace and absence of inner conflict that among humans is only found in little children and mystics."

Anthony De Mello

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

At Sunnyside

Walked past Sunnyside this morning and despite the heat, things were looking fresh!  If Teddy hadn't been along, I would have stopped.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A little find

Walking home on a lovely, sunny morning I spotted these two little chairs tossed out in a pile of construction debris.  Brought them home, scrubbed them up, and after two coats of white paint, voila, with the help of this little pedestal, a new spot for the children to enjoy a snack on the porch!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Beauty's two edges

"It was the time between the lights when colours undergo their intensification and purples and golds burn in window-panes like the beat of an excitable heart; when for some reason the beauty of the world revealed and yet so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder." 

words by Virginia Woolf

Fourth of July Parade

The Neighborhood

Since a reader asked, I will include some background of this blog.  I realized most of the blogs I follow are in Swedish, Norwegian, or German, so I am used to merely studying the photos.  Consequently, in starting my own blog, I simply put up photos, not even thinking about the fact that most people are used to a narrative in a blog.

This is the neighborhood where I range about.  You may be able to spot Linden Hills and for sure the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes.  I have lived in this neighborhood for a few decades.  The foursquare is one of many, .7 miles from Lake Harriet, a fast walk, yet far away enough to avoid the traffic and parking issues that often surround the immediate lake area.  Once quite a few years ago, I ran around the three closest lakes in one session, which I think is 9.75 miles.  Now I limit runs to under 5 miles.  The neighborhood has the feel of a small town within a big city.
After walking or running about, looking for beauty in all of its forms, often with my little dog Teddy,

I return to my attic studio

to sketch or paint neighborhood homes and scenes that I've photographed, such as this little sketch of a rose covered home:
I sometimes take the finished paintings or prints or note cards I've made to The Linden Tree Shop ( at 44th and Beard Avenue to be sold.  Despite the Grand Opening sign, they've been in the neighborhood for almost a year.
I also sell paintings from my website
and the Grand Legacy Gallery in Rochester, Minnesota, across from the Mayo Clinic.

That is a capsule view of part of my life, but more importantly, I set up this blog to focus on sharing the beauty that I see, whether at home in the foursquare or as I am moving about this neighborhood.

Thanks for reading this.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Storm expected

Since they're predicting possibility of hail two and one half inches in diameter, I wanted to record the hydrangeas as they are about to peak.

A few years ago, hail took the plants just as they were getting started in May.  Hydrangeas last so long and are so beautiful that when they're not there it is so apparent!

Bay Window