Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Everyday’ Category

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!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Eye Of The Beholder

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

Read Full Post »

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!

 

Read Full Post »

Anyone who knows me knows I love the Minnesota State Fair. In less than a month the great Minnesota Get-Together will be in full force and I can’t wait.

 

The main reason I love the fair so much is because I was brainwashed at an early age by my dad who loves the fair even more than I do.  I harken back forty years or so and remember how Dad would take me and my sister to the grounds on set-up day where we’d watch Royal American set up the rides on the midway.  We’d peek into the train cars for a glimpse of carnival life.  We’d meet and greet all sorts of “human (and animal) oddities” (known then as “freaks”) going about their regular lives, and chatted things up with concession operators (big hello to Johnny Bolan up there in the big Midway in the sky).  We mustn’t dismiss the carnies…I could write a whole ‘nother post about the carnies. *sigh + heart flutter*  I was a young child, very impressionable, and Dad passed down generations of carnival love to me.  I totally love carnivals and fairs, especially the Minnesota State Fair.

Here’s the thing – the Minnesota State Fair doesn’t just happen. There are a lot of people, employees and volunteers, who pull it all together, and is not funded by public money. There’s also an organization called the Minnesota State Fair Foundation which is dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the historic Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and supports State Fair agricultural, scientific and educational programs.

Because Husby and I love the fair we donate as much as we can to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation. The Foundation gives perks to donators too.  A donation of $25 or less will get you a Friend of the Fair ribbon, the annual State Fair pin, a Blue Ribbon Bargain Book (coupons worth over $500 worth of savings in food and fun stuff at the fair) and a discount at the State FairWear shops on the fairgrounds.   Perks increase as the donation does.  Husby and I were lucky enough to be offered a personal tour of the fairgrounds by one of the Foundation big shots.  We love State Fair big shots (because they make it all happen) and this one was a really nice guy and showed us a very fun and informative time.

As my dad is known (mostly to himself) as Mr. State Fair I asked our tour guide if he could join us for the tour. “Of course!” We rode around the 300 acres of grounds learning history and seeing improvements facilitated by the Foundation. It was great.

Dad, donned in his State Fair garb, ready for a tour with Lynn Varco, Senior Director of Major and Planned Giving.

If you’re a Minnesota State Fair lover I’d encourage you to donate to the Foundation. They do wonderful work even though it may be work that’s invisible to the typical fair goer.  Despite some of the invisibility all of it is very important in the preservation of the buildings and much, much more.  (Gotta love those new bathrooms scattered around the grounds and the new elevator in the Grandstand.  Yep, that’s the Foundation’s work!)   Go to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation website to learn more and donate if you can. Contributions are tax deductible! Above all, come to the Great Minnesota Get Together August 24 through September 4, 2017.

Thanks to the Foundation and many donors for making our state fair a great state fair.  Don’t miss it, don’t even be late!

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Minnesota is the state in which I was born and raised.  I’ve never lived outside of the state and don’t intend to ever leave it.  I’m not a cry baby about the cold and snow in the wintertime and I can survive the heat and humidity of summertime.  Spring and autumn are most glorious here, especially autumn.

But this isn’t a post about the reds, golds and oranges shown across the forests of Minnesota in autumn.  It’s summertime and the colors in my back yard during spring and summer are absolutely glorious when it comes to Husby’s excellent execution of landscaping.  Blooming occurs at different times of the season.

Bridal Wreath Spirea

 

Daffodils

 

Sweet Woodruff

 

Peonies

 

Iris

Even the herbs have lovely blossoms

Chives

But there’s more color to Minnesota summers than flowers, shrubs and herbs.  The weather has a definite color too.  Yes, I said weather.  The color of weather for Minnesota summers is green.  Green means “go!” for severe weather.  Thunderstorms and tornados are a way of life.  Could mean running to the basement for shelter, or going outside for photo ops.

 

Grey and green in definite layers, from the west…not a sign of peace.

 

Beautiful, yet threatening.

 

Green skies send warnings but are so fascinating.

And then comes the storm.  But weather is as fickle as a gigolo.  It looks beautiful, it could turn dangerous.  It spreads it’s fury here and there, hither and thither.  One part of our area had to call out the snow plows to rid the streets of the hail that fell.  Our deck…not such a big deal, but still was a weather thing.

So, so green, and pouring little pellets of ice in the middle of summertime. Nature is awesome.

Blue skies, blooms of white, red, purple and pink shining in the summer sunlight.  Then comes the green.  Green skies that pour all sorts of havoc.  It’s all about colors this time of year, and they’re all glorious.

Read Full Post »

Fifty Years

I spent a total of thirty-six years and eight months at my day job when I decided I’d had enough.  It had nothing to do with money; if it did I would have stayed another thirty-six years.  But when enough is enough, it’s enough and life goes on the best it can.

There’s someone out there who just celebrated his fiftieth year at the day job.  The difference between him and me is that he’s been doing something he loves.  He’s rich enough to have retired at least two decades ago so money has nothing to do with his decision to keep going.  He’s got a passion for what he does, and his passion has been a part of my life since the summer of 1970.

I was playing in the yard with the transistor radio singing beside me.  A song came on which brought me to tears.  It was the first song I ever cried to. I was nine years old.  The song was Holly Holy.  I reminded me of art class with Miss Magnuson where she’d play music while we created.

Neil Diamond has been touring the United States this year since April and forges on through July and will continue on to Europe in honor of fifty years in the music business.  Charlotte invited me to spend an evening with Neil at the Excel Center in St. Paul, MN.  It was absolutely fabulous.  Neil’s voice is as strong as ever at the age of seventy-six and he’s still got some sexy moves to boot.  Sexy at seventy-six?  Oh yeah.  Plus he’s got some cute facial hair going on now.

Neil filled the arena.  Some of the thrill of being at the concert was being there with thousands of people who love him and his music as much as I do.

Pre show. So, so many people. You’d think Brother Love was in town.

I wonder what it’s like to be adored by thousands, nay, millions.  To create works that touch people’s souls.  To perform those works and have the cheers filling your ears.

Who knows, maybe this is old hat for Neil Diamond.  Does he have expectations regarding concert and recording sales?  Does he get disappointed if he doesn’t meet his own expectations?  Does he get tired of his “customers” as I did after a mere thirty-six years in public service?  What’s he after?  Adoration?  Money?  Fulfilling a dream?

In the spotlight backed up by a loyal band. How could this ever feel “normal?”

You hear all the time about how you should live your dreams and pursue your passions.  I don’t know if passions are on a scale (motherhood?  international fame?) or if most of us don’t even actualize our dreams.  Seems to me most of us are just getting along and feeding off the wonderment of exceptional art, music, and literature of others.  Most of us have regular lives, but there’s a little part of me who wants to know how it feels to have scores of people admire my accomplishments.

Alas, I’ve not felt millions feeling my passions, but my fans remain true.  I’m spending time doing what I like, maybe even love, and I feel joy for the kudos I get for doing what I do.  I’m satisfied, but still wonder what it would be like to be so talented, so likeable, so admired as to bring tears to others, to inspire others to exclaim in cheers with what I’ve done.

Encore with the spotlights on the fans on their feet singing along with the music they grew up with.

Neil Diamond, you’ve been in my life for over forty years.  I turn to you to return to my past, to gain solace in the present, and to remind me how I have to express myself and spew out what make me me.  Thanks for the many decades of enjoyment and inspiration you’ve given me and millions of others.  You’ve made a huge difference in the world.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: