Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The winds they are a'howlin...

Tomorrow begins the month of November. Unreal. Belinda Jensen (Kare11 weather forecaster) just reminded us that the average daily high November 1st is in the low 50's and at the end of the month it's in the low 30's. Oh ya, and the average snowfall amount for the month of November is nearly 10 inches.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Georgia O'Keefe exhibit

Joel met me after work tonight and we headed to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see the special Georgia O'Keefe exhibit. Two of my favorites in combo: The Institute of Arts and O'Keefe.

It was a small, but incredible exhibit. It was amazing to see so many (about 42) Georgia O'Keefe paintings at one time. I love looking at her work: her use of colors and shapes. This particular exhibit zeroes in on O'Keefe's focus on abstraction and in particular, the circular form. This included some of her flower paintings (such as the one in above) and pelvic bones pieces. In some respects, I don't care what her subject matter was, I marvel at her use of color and tone. But I stood in awe before paintings that I've seen pictured in book after book. On one hand, I was amazed that most were smaller in size than I imagined. I think her work is so huge to me, that I always imagine her work to be gigantic in size. Many are quite small actually. And on the other hand, I was struck by how powerful (and beautiful) her work still is. Pieces I've always admired were more striking in person than I could even imagine.

Needless to say, I enjoyed the exhibit and will be back before it's gone. It's there until January get there if you can.

I also seized the opportunity to become an MIA member (something I've always wanted to do). It seemed like the perfect time, since the membership came with tickets to the O'Keefe exhibit, plus an O'Keefe exhibit poster and MIA canvas bag.

On a side note, we made it home in time to catch James Taylor sing the National Anthem before tonight's World Series game (in Boston, Taylor's home town). Now I am quite biased, but I thought he did an exceptional job. He made the song his own, instead of trying to do it like every other person has done it. He kept it within his range and made it sort of folksy (which James Taylor does ever so well). Hey, if I could set up a link to his rendition, I would, but you'll just have to take my word for it. It was great.
(I am having trouble with the formatting of this post...try as I might, it's running as one long paragraph...I will try to fix it again tomorrow).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A walk thru my neighborhood

I can't believe the summer is feels like winter is not far away. I enjoyed my first summer in St. Paul. Here are photos from a Sunday morning walk I took thru my was a glorious summer day. I plan to play this video when the winter winds are a-howlin'. Hope you enjoy!

Home to Bed

I have a sinus infection. UGH. I've been battling horrible headaches for quite a while--and yesterday I went in to the doctor. I started antibiotics (and expensive nasal spray) but I think it's going to take a while before I feel better. I feel like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head. I came home early from work today and did just that.

Now if I could just do that for about a week.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Date Night

Why do weekends go so quickly? Monday mornings come too soon. I'm horrible at getting out of bed on Monday mornings (and it doesn't help when I can't fall asleep till 1 a.m.) Thank god I now have a job where I don't have to be at work at some ungodly hour (no more rushing in to do payroll on Monday morning!). I sort of get to slide into the work week...and that is a good thing.

The weekend was kicked off with Date Night on Friday. Friday night is our time together as a couple--usually going out to do something. Even though we're married now and spend every day together, I think we still need special time together. Time when we are enjoying time as a couple and not planning/doing chores, meals, or other domestic stuff.

This week we went out for a special dinner to the Signature Cafe. It's a very small, intimate restaurant located in a residential part of Prospect Park. The restaurant is housed in a former neighborhood grocery store. I stayed somewhat true to my diet (more on that later) and had the salmon. Joel enjoyed the pot roast...which I sampled. It was awesome--melt in your mouth-awesome. Stacy, you would love this pot roast!

Following dinner, we wandered around. We drove over to the St. Anthony area and checked out a small bookstore. Eventually we finished the night off with a trip to Izzy's for ice cream. Again, I was very good and stayed with the sorbet. I had an izzy of chocolate water ice (very dark and intense flavor) with a scoop of pomegranate sorbet. Joel obliged me with a taste or two of his banana ice cream. It stirred dreams of a hot fudge sundae.

It was a very sweet evening spent with my honey.

Saturday brought out the sun, which was a welcome sight. Saturday we did a bunch of chores. Sunday I did spend some time in the studio--which feels very good. I'm determined to stay committed to studio time. My goal is to be a participant in the spring art crawl. And then in the afternoon, I spent some time running around with my son, followed by some of my own running around--including a trip to an art store. Yay!

So all in all, it was a good weekend. I just want more of it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You're It

Stacy tagged me ...

so here are some answers to random questions about myself--

Jobs I’ve held:

1. Social Worker-home visitor-Southside
2. Membership Coordinator-YWCA
3. Building Supervisor-YWCA
4. Library Assistant-U of MN libraries
5. Summer girl-wealthy family in Minnetonka
6. Corn detassler-rural MN

Places I’ve lived:

1. St. Paul, MN

2. Minneapolis, MN

3. Eden Valley, MN

4. Ellsworth, MN

Foods I love:

1. dark chocolate

2. Diet Coke

3. tator tot hotdish (and I make a mean casserole)

4. pot roast (someday Stacy)

5. Thanksgiving dinner

6. my mother’s pies

7. cookies that I bake: sugar, molasses, & date-filled

Places I’d rather be:

1. Paris

2. Twins spring training camp

3. a Twins game

4. and for the exotic: Morocco

Movies I like:

1. Love Actually

2. Witness

3. Wizard of Oz

4. Black Stallion

TV Shows I watch:

1. Grey’s Anatomy

2. ER (still)

3. What Not to Wear

Friends I am tagging:

1. Joel

2. Mindy

3. The Tritabaughs

4. Julie

Send me your answers!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday mornings

Sunday mornings. Religious or not, Sunday mornings are sacred. As individuals or as a family, people have routines on Sunday morning that are as much a part of their weekly groove as any other day of the week. Most times we don't think about what that routine is. It is just part of the routine. It may include church or not. It may include watching particular shows on tv or listening to music. Perhaps it involves nothing more than reading the Sunday paper in bed while savoring a chocolate croissant and coffee (mmm...sounds good). Food seems to be a big thing on Sunday mornings. Eating in vs. Going out. Light meal vs. Full out Brunch. Some folks like a quiet morning to themselves while others consider it a time to socialize with family and friends. Whatever the routine is, it belongs to that person.

The thing with routines is that we don't often think about them until they are gone. Sometimes we pay more attention to the absence of our routines than their presence. Sometimes you don't miss a routine until it is gone.

For years now, my Sunday morning routine has been a solo one. If my kids weren't working on Sunday morning, they were sleeping. I enjoyed the solitude and the time to putz around my house by myself. I would get up when the spirit moved me...sometimes late, sometimes early. I would spend time leisurely reading the Sunday paper (starting with the Target ad), usually watching some light-hearted t.v. Often it was CBS' Sunday Morning show. When I had cable, it was probably some decorating show. Definitely not Meet the Press. Many Sundays I would pass on tv altogether and listen to some music--something lively that maybe I would dance to a little. Most times I would make a simple breakfast that I would enjoy with my diet Coke. I would plan my afternoon, which varied greatly. But my morning--well, my morning was pretty simple...basically time to myself, recharging, getting ready for another week.

Routines change. As you know, I moved in with Joel this past spring. Most weekends, his son and daughter are here on Sunday morning (they generally arrive Saturday afternoon). I moved in with a completely different Sunday morning routine in place. It's a routine that belongs to Joel and his kids. Nothing wrong with it. It is just very, very different from my old routine. First off, it involves other people. Probably the most significant aspect of my old routine is that it involved noone but myself. So there's that major change.

I miss my old routine. But fact is, it's gone. I've struggled to figure out what my new routine should be. It's hard trying to blend into an already-established family routine. I feel a bit like an outsider in my own home. And the fact that it is a "family" routine makes me quite aware that I don't have my own kids around. That has been hard.

So I'll continue to create my new Sunday morning routine. It will be a work in progress. I've been thinking that it would be a perfect time to steal away to the studio and do a little painting. I can listen to some music and even dance a little bit. All by myself.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Art Crawl weekend

Amanda Gullixson, Carleton Lofts

Alexandra Rozenman, Lowertown Lofts

Caprice Glaser, Jax Bldg

Barbara Evan, Jax Bldg

It's a busy weekend in our neighborhood. Twice a year, in October and April, art studios in St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood open their doors to art fanciers and curious urbanites. This corner of St. Paul becomes one big art gallery. It's an interesting look into the world of the artist. It's an opportunity to see an artist's work in the studio where the work is created. Some studio spaces are living spaces as well.

It's also a cheap date night. Joel took me on my "first" art crawl in the Spring of 2006. At first, it was very uncomfortable for me traipsing into people's work spaces and worse, their living rooms. I felt like an intruder and wanted to make my way in and out without conversation. Well, that's not really possible alongside Joel. Joel had already lived in this neighborhood for several years and actually knew several artists that had their studios open. By the end of that first evening, I became more comfortable and was able to speak with various artists about their work.

It is, in part, the artist community in Lowertown that made me want to live here. If you asked me what was the first thing I ever wanted to be, I would answer "painter". That desire was born when I was young girl--probably around 8 years old. I remember looking at a poster that my oldest brother brought home from college of a Renoir painting and thinking that I wanted to be able to do that. I already loved spending hours "coloring", drawing, and painting with those cheap watercolor sets.

I was raised in small towns and there were no art museums. Fortunately, art classes were offered even in the early elementary grades. In high school, I forfeited "study hall" in order to take an extra hour of art classes. Initially, when I got to college I majored in journalism (writing was another passion and journalism seemed a more reasonable way to make a living), but before long my desire to create art took over. When I realized I could take art classes to satisfy elective requirements I was hooked. And soon my major changed.

I have never "made a living" as an artist (or as a journalist either, for that matter). In fact, there have been many years when I really wasn't making art at all. But I always found ways to "be creative"--whether that meant painting, making cards or some sort of crafts, or whatever I could do while raising two children on my own. And my kids will tell you, I dragged them to every art museum I could (it payed off, both my kids will go to the Art Institute or other museums with or without me).

So, now that my kids are "grown", it's time to return to some real art-making. Once Joel and I decided to settle in Lowertown, we started looking for a small art studio...a place where he can write and I can paint. Last January we found a wonderful space in the Jax building...which just happened to be my favorite building to visit during the art crawl. The building houses a rich community of artists.

I've started to do a little bit of painting and my goal this winter is to finish some new paintings for the first time in years. Last spring Joel and I opened our studio--Joel exhibited some work of local comic artists and I had some older paintings up. It was an interesting experience. This fall we decided to pass on opening. I didn't feel ready. I want to do it right...when I have new work to exhibit. So this fall, we're experiencing the art crawl again as observers...but next spring (mark your calendar: April 25,26,&27) I plan to be ready. And then the artwork you'll see posted on this blog will me my own.

(For art crawl information, click here.)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Decision made

We are the proud owners of the comforter set pictured below.