Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fear Not the Snowy White Rodent

When I saw spotted this squirrel in our yard on Thanksgiving, I immediately thought of the white buffalo legend. She/he appeared again today. Good things are to follow. Make it a point today to share good news about anything. Fear changes its face one thought at a time. One voice at a time. One day at a time. One rodent at a time.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday KT!!

We Love You!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Over the River and Through the Woods

This place is more than a park. It's an adventure. A place that felt far away and long ago. I kept waiting for a prophet to appear. It was like living in the mountains when I don't. It was like the wilderness family looking for a place to build their homestead. I'm not missing the snow. With days like this we can still be outside.

He's A Little Bit Country

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Turkeys Were Really Gone Today

Did the turkeys see it coming? I watched them grow up from chicks. I genuinely missed them. I did get to hold the farm cat and listen to her purr. I visited the cows, who slowly turned their heads and straightened their ears when they heard me. I thought, I could never buy the beef from here and I don't want to notice when you're gone one day. The sheep were dressed in coats to keep their wool cleaner, you're lucky to be sheep today. It wasn't a planned trip to the farm either. It just felt like the place to be. Did the turkeys see it coming? 

Ode to My Pumpkin Pie

The journey involves the best equipment and the finest ingredients. Organic whipping cream laced with sugar and vanilla are a MUST. Eating the pie is as filling as making it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Walker Art Toilet Tour Meets Eero Saarinen's Architecture

About the Walker Art Center's 2005 Addition

Strangely, my photos from this evening's visit to the Walker Art Center got uploaded in the reverse order, so I'll start at the end of my story. The Walker addition is designed by world famous architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. They are certainly world class architects and the building from the outside, while controversial, is a welcome modern icon for Minneapolis. I was a little surprised that the fixtures on the bathroom sinks looked like cheapo Home Depot American Standard and wondered if the budget got whacked here?
The new walls of this modern art center house the gift store, two large galleries, a bar, restrooms (of course) and a wonderfully long hallway that runs with Hennepin Avenue as well as a seating area that overlooks the very highbrow Kenwood neighborhood.
The bathroom stalls were so cool that it took two photos to capture the glory. Notice the long doors? In all fairness, most women's restrooms are designed by lesser architects. In most circumstances the typical restroom door closes, and you have to squeeze right up to the toilet to escape the door. Not at the Walker. I cleared the door standing and seated. I also liked the black painted walls and dim lights ... but I think First Avenue had that going on about 20 years ago.
The feelings the bookstore mustered within me weren't really so different than how I'd felt long ago during a visit to the original location. It's an artsy immersion that makes me want to move right in and play with everything. It's dynamic merchandising. I spent more time here than I did looking at some of the "modern" exhibits. The tall walls full of books and merchandise command attention in a very serene yet explosive fashion. The selection of books is like no other, nor are the gift items. Above, cut outs compose the wandering hallway's ceiling, instead of a solid something. A nice feature.
Eero is Hero-quality Exhibit 

This Eero Saarinen exhibit was part of the reason for my visit. I'd been to the other half of this show at Minneapolis Institute of Arts, last weekend. Naturally, I needed to see the whole thing. I must say, it was an exceptional idea to share the collection among two of the leading Minneapolis arts destinations. (Also, I love the MIA).

The entire exhibit at the Walker was outstanding. The curators really understood how to share the photos, drawings and furnishings. The arrangement of all was very clean and easy to follow. It had flow and interest. The colors, orange, white and black worked so well together. The MIA's space was about one sixth of the Walker's, but exceptionally executed as well. If you like architecture and furniture design spanning from the late 40s through the early 70s, this is totally worth your time. 

The Rest of the Exhibit Galleries

To be clear, my issue with the Walker isn't that I don't like modern art. I felt that the Walker was trying too hard to have obscure collections on view overall. I am not covering the content of those collections here, by the way. I am all for the Walker. We need the Walker. But we also need the Walker to have cohesive collections on view that represent the full range of Modern Art. 

The curatorial work was so minimalist that it was difficult to read the small font and any type of overall message beyond an artist's statement was painfully absent. It was more like a flea market of obscurity, waving under the banner of "modern". By contrast, the programming, films and lectures that the Walker offers seem rich. What's on display doesn't come close. I would say that the Walker does a great job of marketing, but it needs to work on the gallery content. The marketing got me there, but without the cool building, gift store, and Saarinen exhbit .. (and no I'm not including the restrooms here), I'm sure I wouldn't go back too soon.

Return of the Cookie Monster

I didn't need to make these. Not at all. After frosting them, I thought ... How am I going to eat any of them? I am so tired of eating the batter and licking the frosting off the spatula. ... Well, I am over it. Today's count is up to three. They're the first cookies I've made in several weeks. Soft chewy chocolate wafers with cream cheese frosting oozing out with every bite.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Yusuf!

Dear Faraway Nephew, you are always with me. It really is about your eyes and how they connected with me the first time I saw you on the island, over 14 years ago. Your Mom was standing in the driveway waiting for me and I think you were too. You looked at me from a distance, out over her shoulder, eyes large and bright blue, peaking from under a blankie that wrapped around your body and head. I knew you would forever change my world. Your Mom was so busy with your big brother, who was on the brink of two ... and I was so worried that you weren't getting enough attention. Lucky for me, you got to sleep in the room I was in. I scooped you up and put you right next to me on the twin bed for my 10-day visit. It was total Auntie love and has been ever since. (I know .. you have heard this story many times.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Can it, Sister!

I know, I know. Enough already. I think I did at least seven postings on canning, and you know how I loved my garden this summer too (how many posts there?) ... actually it went right into the fall with the last crop, brussels sprouts. Sadly, the last batch of tomatoes never made it into processing since I was a wee bit busy with finishing some freelance work and then starting a new job. We ate what we could but then ... well, I had to take them to the trash on Oct 30. For me it did feel a little like the music stopped. However, I did my best this year and that is all I can ask. In honor of it all, I thought I'd officially close out the season with a big grateful thank you to the earth, sky, sun, soil, rain and God .. oh yes, and the microorganisms (and Arlene for teaching me to can) for the great food we grew here and for the abundance of veggies from our CSA. I consider the girls above, giving the season one last toast - with their canned delights. I accept my nomination and golden statue of a hot mama in the kitchen and will place it on my mantel between the last Ball canning jars that I almost used.

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