Tag Archives: #DPchallenge

Small wall, big background


Kudos to the campground maintenance guy (or girl) in Alabama who chose to paint the bathhouse wall with a beach scene.

As well intentioned as might be, God’s artistry at dusk shines brighter in the background.

Noble color, noble intentions

On the theory that seeing warm colors warms you up, I present this gallery of beautiful flowers on the warm side of the color wheel.

(There is no theory that viewing warm colors warms you up, but I think you’ll enjoy these images that make the most of the Rule of Thirds more than pictures of yellow snow.)

yellow flower

coral flower

red flower

fuscia flower

purple flower

Wherever men are noble, they love bright colour; and wherever they can live healthily, bright colour is given them—in sky, sea, flowers, and living creatures.

~ John Ruskin (1819–1900)

Sun sets Sunday on a sundae

While waiting in the drive-through for the wizards at Culver’s to create my custard sundae topped with peanut butter sauce and Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups (because one kind of peanut butter isn’t enough), I looked out the truck window and the crescent moon cast a spell.


Behold, twilight. I can’t type that word without thinking of Kristen Stewart, the starlet of the movie series based on the books, but there’s no other way to describe it. Beautiful, pink-and-lavender-bathed twilight.

It’s not nighttime, technically, but it’s a lot more evocative than the shot I captured Friday of the camper.

The chill in the air reminds me the leaves on that tree won’t be there for much longer, but this was an evening when an ice cream treat was still appropriate for the season.

“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”

~ Charles Baxter

Amore tonight was spelled with two Zs

The WordPress photo challenge this week is “nighttime,” but the best shot I was able to get in the dark with my iPhone was this one:


A glimpse of the camper with the glow of the Wisconsin Dells in the background sounds better than it looks in this picture (though you might be able to see a star in the upper left quadrant of you squint).

Instead of darkness, I’ll give you a look at another landscape I enjoyed this evening: The biggest pizza I have ever seen, let alone eaten:


That’s not a toy spatula there, matey.

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.”

[Bonus points go to readers who caught the connection of nighttime to pizza via a Dean Martin lyric before I spelled it out, lucky fella.]

Through the looking glass

A Minnesotan can’t think of summer without thinking about The Lake.

It could be any one of thousands of lakes in the state with the tagline “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but whichever one that is home to your camper/cabin/boat launch is known as The Lake.

In my Minnesota memory bank of lakes is Big Pine Lake, Ottertail Lake, Long Lake and Rush Lake.

If you didn’t live near a lake, then a swimming pool probably played a privotal role in your summer recreational locales. Summer is short in Minnesota, so you get while the getting’s good, and I remember spending hours every day swimming at the Wadena municipal pool and later, lifeguarding at the Sebeka Pool.

No long after the tan lines fade, bodies of water in Minnesota solidify and anglers with nothing better to do go ice fishing, so the liquid in those summer watering holes is precious indeed.

Today, the travels in my transplanted home brought me to edge of Lake Michigan north of Chicago. This shore shot through the shady trees reminded me of a looking glass. Instead of seeing an image of my face, I saw summer lovin’.

Lake Michigan near Lake Bluff, Ill.

Lake Michigan near Lake Bluff, Ill.

Cheekbone collagen contrasts

Let’s discuss cheekbones, shall we?

Cheekbones are the gift God gives 40-year-olds.

Loni Anderson recalled in her memoir “My Life in High Heels” how her cheekbones became more prominent in her 40s.

Remember Loni Anderson’s cheekbones? The woman who played buxom blonde receptionist on “WKRP in Cincinnati” had great bone structure to begin with, but she was in her mid-30s when she was on TV; she wasn’t some 20-year-old flavor of eye candy.  (What? You don’t remember WKRP? It was a sitcom that ran from 1978 to 1982, OK? Anderson was married once to Burt Reynolds, too, for the record.)

Another example: Have you seen that commercial for Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty skin care line? (Yes, I’ve been watching too much HGTV this weekend.) Images of Crawford at 28 and 45 clearly show the contrast in her cheekbones.

A woman’s cheekbones emerge as she ages because she loses her baby fat. Well, actually it’s collagen. That stuff that makes a 20-year-old look fresh-faced and well-fed diminishes as we age, causing fine lines and loss of volume. On the wrinkle front, loss of collagen is a bad thing. But those of us who had fat faces in our teenage years, loss of collagen is a gift (at least until we get that hollow-cheeked look of an old crone).

Thirty years ago, I had my high school graduation photos taken, and I hated the result. I looked like a bloated 30-year-old housewife. I got my hair cut short on an impulse about a week before the shoot, and it was horrible; I endured a Bad Hair Year after that hatchet job. I hated the photos so much, I still hate my high school graduation photo and I therefore refuse to show you the whole thing.

But I will show you my cheekbones:

cheeks in 30 years - Page 002


You might consider this navel gazing, but I can assure you: I won’t be showing off pictures of my belly button.

I weigh about 15 pounds more now than I did in 1984 (that fact that I know that stat points to an obsession, but facts is facts), and I’m not wearing makeup today. I think you still see more cheekbones in today’s photo (more freckles, too, but at least those owl glasses are gone — another benefit of aging! The shape of my eyeballs has changed so much I no longer need glasses for close work). My cheekbones aren’t Loni Anderson cheekbones, but hey, they’re there.

I often lament this business of aging, but today I’m embracing the contrasts.

Modern-day diary keeping — blogging — records time

I’ve been spending an inordinate time with my diaries written in high school.

I’m writing a book about the year I turned 15, so I’ve read and re-read those passages, mining them for an interesting story. In the meantime, I’ve been reflecting on their value. Whether or not they ever yield a publishable story, were they worth writing? Keeping? Hauling around with me for years?

I don’t keep diaries anymore. But it’s not a lost art. Instead, I blog. I love blogging. Some days, like today, I sit glumly in my chair wracking my brain for a blog topic and kicking myself for attempting to post every day. But when I’m writing, and when I’m done, I’m relieved. Happy. I can cross it off my list and feel like I accomplished something. Not like filling the dishwasher, which I’ll have to do again tomorrow, and not like laundry, which I’ll have to do again next week. When I post something on my blog, it’s done. Can be revisited. Could be reblogged. Certainly could be edited or polished. But still, done.

Now that I’ve been keeping up Minnesota Transplant for nearly six years, I have quite a record of my life (and my dog, and my garden, and my travels, and even a handful of interesting salad recipes). No matter what inane topic I chose to write about, I can usually remember the day and the mood I was in when I wrote it.

In that way, modern blogging is like old-fashioned diary keeping for me. The value is in the way the writing solidifies time for me. Crystallizes memories.

When people remark how fast time flies, I consider myself fortunate. I don’t feel like life is moving too fast. Because the act of writing every day keeps time and memories from slipping through my fingers.

Even if there’s not a story here, and even if no one reads this blog (thank you for reading, I’m grateful for readers), it’s worth writing.