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Archive for August, 2017

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If you live in Minnesota you don’t need to be told we’re in the midst of the Minnesota State Fair.  At the Auntie B’s Wax World Headquarters the fair takes center stage.  Housework is brought to a halt, cooking is done infrequently, and my schedule revolves around the Great Minnesota Get-Together, twelve days of food on a stick, squealing children, history and tradition.

This year a giant came to visit.  It’s on the corner of Randall Avenue and Cooper Street.  It’s name is The Great Big Wheel, and it’s fabulous.

It’s one of the tallest traveling Ferris wheels in North America and Minnesota was fortunate to be one of its stops.  It’s over 150 feet tall and one of the smoothest Ferris wheels I’ve ever experienced on a fairgrounds.  No squeaks, no grinding.  The view from the cab is spectacular.

The whole three-hundred acres of the fairgrounds can be seen from the top of this giant.

I had the pleasure of boarding this giant with my parents.  My dad is working his 50th year at the fair this year and I couldn’t resist sharing the experience with him.

Not only can you see the entire fairgrounds from the top of the wheel, you can see the skylines of St. Paul and Minneapolis…at the same time!

At the right side horizon you can see part of the Minneapolis skyline.

The Ferris wheel not only gives a great view of the fairgrounds but also puts on a fabulous light show.  Even if you don’t like heights or don’t want to take a ride, at least stop by and see the lights.  They’re magical.

The Great Big Wheel isn’t a permanent fixture.  It’s a traveling Ferris wheel and seeks new places to amaze all over North America.  Catch it while you can.

The Minnesota State Fair is pulling out all the stops until Labor Day.  It’s worth the trip, even if you don’t live in Minnesota.

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There’s a band hanging around the Twin Cities these days.  They have fun playing and they’re fun to listen to.  I can only imagine what their practicing sessions are like. I like to catch them whenever I can because, well, two of the members are my nephews.

Forrest Miller and the Lodge Boys get their inspiration from the likes of Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Levon Helm.  Toe-tapping music at least, if not something to make you jump up and grab your gal (or guy) for a spin.  Listening to these guys play is nothing less than entertaining, and after hearing them play I have at least one of the songs echoing through my mind for days after.

Forrest Miller, in his summertime garb. Country music with a Hawaiian shirt? Yeah, he can pull it off.

 

Nick Griffiths, musician extraordinaire. I even heard him yodel once.

 

Spencer Miller, the coolest bassist ever.

 

Michael Rainville, Jr., keeping the beat no matter what.

The band has a loyal following…

A smattering of fans at Dickman Park in Northeast Minneapolis.  What a great way to spend a summer evening in the city.

 

The band even inspires Minneapolis’ finest and Nordeast bigshots to sing along.

Guess what?  Forrest Miller and the Lodge Boys are playing a gig at the Underground Music Café in St. Paul this week.  You can come and see them, and better still there’s no cover charge!

At the Underground last November. They were a hit!

The food and beverages at the Underground are great and it’s a cozy venue.  Support the arts and drop a bill or two into the fishbowl for the band.

This time Forrest Miller and the Lodge Boys will be playing acoustic – something I’ve never heard them do before.  I’m totally going to be there.

See Forrest Miller and the Lodge Boys at the Underground Music Café this Thursday, August 17 at 7:00 p.m.  No cover, great food and drink, tip the band if you want.  (This is an unpaid gig.)  I’ll be tipping big, because my little grown-ass nephews are stars in my eyes.  It’ll be a great event!

 

 

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Eye Of The Beholder

Husby says it’s a weed.  I say it’s beautiful.

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Today is my birthday.  I’m indifferent about my age so I might as well just not even mention the number.

Husby took me on the birthday outing of my choice – a trip to the Minnesota Zoo.  We haven’t visited in quite a number of years so I thought it would be a fun day.  We saw some amazing things, and I even managed to remember to take a few photos.

Beautiful and graceful flamingos. Did you know the sound they make is almost cow-like? That’s what I thought, at least.

 

A slew of very peppy prairie dogs. I love their tiny, little ears.

 

A very large bear. He kept scratching his snout.

I didn’t take a ton of photos because well, you know, being in the moment and all.  However, I did manage to get a good collection of otter photos.  There were several varieties of these playful little creatures and I couldn’t resist taking a shot or two of each.

Here’s one getting ready to slide down a miniature waterfall.

 

Now we see a couple swimming on their backs and having some lunch.

 

It was naptime for these three little otters.

We saw everything from mudpuppies to kangaroos, from tigers to leafy sea dragons, but the otters will always manage to steal my heart.  An otter birthday for me with an otter year to anticipate.

Happy birthday to me!

 

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