Friday, May 30, 2008

The Prospect of a New Friend

Minneapolis/St. Paul is a wonderful place and I have loved it for years. It is clean, artsy, and easy to get around for the most part. You can actually find a parking place that doesn't require collateral and the family friendly activities abound. One of the first adventures that we had on our trip was meeting up with The Red Cat at Prospect Park after DH's first appointment. The following pictures are pretty self explanatory so I won't insult your intelligence by labeling them.

My children humored me enough to let me find the two boxes in this park. Getting to meet the Red Cat was a highlight of the trip for me. I have long admired her carving skills in postals and LTCs and it was a pleasure to be able to put a face with the trailname. Hi, Heather!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Modern Art

Another episode in our travel adventures in Minnesota included a day at the Minneapolis Scultpure garden with my college roomie and her family. I am not a really big fan of a lot of modern art. Much of it seems to reflect chaos and a rebellion against God's intended order in the world. Which I understand is the whole point of much modern art. So it's not so much that I don't "get it", as it is that I get it far too well and rebel against the rebellion.
Oscar Wilde said "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life." Either way, the imitation makes the art recognizable. It is enlightening to walk, or rather run, through a sculpture garden with a child and see their view of the pieces. Can they recognize what they are "supposed" to be or relate to them or not? Without being told what they are?

Yep. That's a Spoonbridge and Cherry. (with St Mary's Basilica in the background)
This was, by far, the kid's favorite piece. There was a pair of ducks with 8 babies in the pond. Once here, J just parked and stayed by the cherry the rest of the time we were there. She had no interest in scoping out the rest of the scultpures.
Yep. That's a Walking Man. The girls had lots of theories for where he might be walking to, or from.
Yep. That's a Hare on a bell. Why the hare is on the bell is another story, but we had fun postulating.
Yep. That's a Glass Fish. Leave it to J to notice that the fish is standing out of the water because the pond is too small for it to fit inside.
Yep. That's Prometheus. And yes, he is strangling a vulture.
This amazed me. We didn't tell the girls what this was right away and yet this was M's reaction to it~to go lay down in front of it. The piece is called "Reclining Mother and Child".
Goddess with the Golden Thighs. It's a stretch (pun intended), but I can see this. But what woman in her right mind would be flattered by this sculpture? And if flattery wasn't the intention... I am sure was not the case with this one.
I am sure that a little research would reveal a great deal more about these sculptures. But it is so much more fun to imagine that Isamu Noguchi was mad at his wife when he carved "Judith".

There is a letterbox at the sculpture garden also. But in the planter's interest, I am going to keep those pictures to myself. :)
All in all, we had a wonderful time. There were many wonderful plants in the conservatory as well, but those are for another post.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Big Zoo, Little Zoo

Our recent, impromtu trip to Minnesota was a complete success from our children's point of view(for an explanation of our reason for the trip, see here). Unburdened by financial or medical cares, they flung themselves with abandon into all the joys a vacation has to offer. The next few posts will be dedicated to some of those joys, although in no particular order.
A cool, overcast Monday found us wandering the completely delightful Como Zoo in St. Paul. As we live about an hour from Brookfield Zoo near Chicago, we were extremely pleased with this little zoo. Brookfield might have the advantage of size and significant funding, and it is difficult to see everything in one day because there is so much. But Como Zoo more than makes up for it with superior displays and animals that are obviously content with their homes.
We were amazed at how close you could get to the animals. Close enough to see them drooling...
Showing off...
Playing with Yo-Yos...
If you don't get that last reference, you need to watch Fantasia 2000.
I love going to the zoo when the weather is cooler. The animals are much more active, and the people much less so.
Yes, they had Koi. :)
No, the fam didn't let me find the letterboxes there. :(
There is also an amusement park and conservatory at Como, among other things, but those will be saved for another post.

Bordering on Insanity

*contains images of a yucky boo-boo.

This is a dog who doesn't know when to quit. He works so hard at herding his tennis balls that he won't pant. We have to make him stop and set him in front of the fan before he passes out.
He plays so hard that he gets grass stained fur. Wouldn't I love to rub him with some Fels Naptha and throw him in the Maytag!
In fact, he plays so hard that he doesn't pay attention to rusty fence posts sticking out of the ground in the farm yard. Did you know that dogs don't get Tetanus? How ironic.
This is a close up picture of me losing my trip to Ohio to see my brothers and their families.
On the lighter side, a very funny discussion came out of this. While driving to the ER Vet, our oldest was very upset and concerned and wanted to know what they were going to do with Kirby. Hubby explained that they would probably give him some medicine and stitch him up. J asked how they would do that and DH told her with a needle and thread. She instantly got extremely worried and shouted "What if it's not the right color!"
She has been around her sewing Grammy enough to know that when you stitch something together, the thread needs to match the surrounding fabric.
I nearly drove off the road laughing.
Look for a Kirby Quilt stamp sometime in the future.

Monday, May 5, 2008


It's amazing how one simple action can bring your world to a screeching halt. One minute you're minding your own business, planting flowers and the next you're on the ground looking at upside down trees and wondering where that screaming is coming from.

Oh, wait. That's me. And what sounded like someone snapping celery stalks was my knee. Again.

You see, I know this drill all too well. The explosion goes off with a pain that cannot be described (Sorry, ladies. Natural child birth doesn't hold a candle to this.). When you can see straight again, you might have someone drive you to Urgent Care, sit for an hour, have x-rays taken, sit for another hour~all in a paper gown that is 40 sizes too big for an elephant. Only to have an ER resident look at the films and proclaim with fascination, "Wow. You have almost no cartiledge left in your knee." In the end, you will discover that it is called a patella subluxation, which is just a fancy word for dislocating your knee cap, and that there is not a thing they can do but tell you to go home and ice it.

As this is the sixth time this has happened in the last four years, my drill is a little different. After the crunch (this time from jumping on the spade trying to dig a hole) and the subsequent yelling and seeing stars, I eventually dragged myself inside where I will be stuck until next Thursday with my knee elevated and under ice packs. I will take inordinate amounts of Ibuprofen and my children will take advantage of my immobility by making me watch every idiotic animated movie they own. Every day I will hobble around a little too much and the muscles and ligaments that have been stretched in directions that they were never intended to stretch will get mad at me. But by Friday I will probably risk a drive to the chiropractor where she will shake her head at me and put everything back where it belongs~ which will hurt ever so much, but which is unavoidable if this is to get better.

And someday I'm going to get a new knee. But until then, I'd better start taking the glucosamine again. How sad that I can't lug laundry baskets right now.