Monday, November 28, 2011

Excelsior ChristKindslMarkt



A snowless ChristKindelsMarket in Excelsior. I wandered around the booths filled with Holiday gifts, jellies and jams, bell ringers and some animals that looked vaguely familiar. It was cold enough, and the lovely Peruvian woman was so bundled that only her eyes were visible.
I know I was late to the part, with parades and other festivities on Friday and Saturday. But them the breaks. The "belle" bell ringers clanged out some tunes and I was invited to warm myself by the fire pit. I noticed that the Boy Scouts wisely had a fire extinguisher nearby. Always be prepared.





Saturday, November 26, 2011

Forks in the road

Thanksgiving. I looked at the sparkling forks resting in their tray, waiting to do battle.

Forks are the middle way. Neither the kind, nurturing sort, as the spoon...Yes the spoon has always enjoyed good press. Spooning. A spoon full of sugar. A soup ladle. Stir it up.
The knife on the other hand, is a danger. Slicing, stabbing, creating division. A Messer in German.
But the fork is a middleman. Why, the devil carries a fork, not a knife. The fork holds and detains. It decieves and speaks with forked tong.
One must always make a decision.

"An Englishman named Thomas Coryate brought the first forks back to England after seeing them in Italy during his travels in 1608.

The English ridiculed forks as being effeminate and unnecessary. "Why should a person need a fork when God had given him hands?" they asked. Slowly, however, forks came to be adopted by the wealthy. They were prized possessions made of expensive materials intended to impress guests. Small, slender-handled forks with two tines were generally used for sweet, sticky foods or for food (like mulberries) which was likely to stain the fingers. By the mid 1600s, eating with forks was considered fashionable among the wealthy British. Forks used solely for dining were luxuries and thus markers of social status and sophistication among nobles." - From The Hospitlity blog

An old drawing

(I have often featured forks in my artwork)
I will do one again tomorrow...

Friday, November 25, 2011



Monday, November 21, 2011

The skids are bare at Deephaven Marina

Looking out onto St. Louis Bay
Looking out onto St. Louis Bay, once the site of many grand hotels.

looking in

Lookin inward.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A question answered


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Toonie Dog in action

"Toonie on Tonka" - an agility Sheltie.

Toonie is a herding dog ( a Shetland Sheepdog) with innate agility skills. She took to agility training quickly and can run, jump and weave through hoops and a variety of obstacles. Her formal training has been at Dog Works of Eden Prairie, MN.

Running the weaves.

The term “Toonie Dog” is from the Danish term for a Farm Dog. That is how she got her name, from the Shetland Islands tradition of hearty farm dogs used to herd sheep. Toonie will herd any thing, often herding me about the house on to what she thinks is the next task in the day.

Toonie in training


Brotherhood of the Traveling Socks


I have a confession. While walking my dog Rocky, I found a pair of socks. Calvin Klein socks. Frankly, I buy cheap socks, and endure my big toes getting hung up on loose threads as I put them on. This CK find was a magic moment.
After I took them home and washed them, I put them on. They fit me perfectly, as if I were a Calvin too.
Now I share these magic legwear moments and adventures with an unknown previous owner of the traveling socks.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The calm before the freeze.


Carsons Bay November 11

The colors are washed out, even at sunset. I run out along the dock and then cut across a narrow side dock, then I realize the plank is about 18 inches in width and I am being a bit hasty in my enthusiasm. The sun is sinking and get off a few shots.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Major Hermit

Major Halsted

The Major lived alone in "The Hermitage" from 1876 to 1901. It was a house that he filled with old manuscripts, bric-a-brac and curiosities that drew many visitors.
"In some unknown manner the house caught on fire and the house and relics perished in the flames"- From Picturesque Minnetonka 1906

"The Hermitage was owned, at different times, by the two brothers, Captain
Frank W. Halsted and Major George B. Halstead. Captain Halsted, as Frank was
commonly called, had settled in the Lake Minnetonka area in the late 1850's. In
1861, during a visit to his family in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the Civil War broke out
and he volunteered for the navy. George Halstead also joined the navy the day after
war was declared. Later in life he would claim to be the first civilian to receive a
commission during the war. For a short time they both served together on board the
flag ship U.S.S Minnesota. Due to conflicts with their commanding officer, Frank
requested a transfer and George resigned his commission and accepted an
appointment as first lieutenant and "Aide de Camp" to Brigadier General Philip
Kearny of the New Jersey Volunteers. By the end of the war, he had attained the
rank of Major, hence George bcarne known as Major Halstead. When the war was over
in 1866, George returned to his home in New Jersey and Frank went back to Lake
Upon returning to Lake Minnetonka, Captain Halsted bought some land on the
Upper Lake near what is now Halstead's Bay.
In 1868 Frank commenced building his small and simple house; it
was a story and a half with a basement.
Captain Halsted then set about his hermit-like ways. The T r i b , July 6, 1876 described him like this:
In his manners he was ever quiet and unassuming, and though sympathetic and approachable,he invited no confidence and gave none. A recluse, he was hospitable and affable, and when asked why he chose to live such a secluded life, he always replied in such a manner as would show the interrogator that it was not a question he cared to answer. Little is known of Captain Halsted for this reason"
- Excelsior Historical Society 1989

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Christmas Lake sign "Save our Summers"

Save our summer

Monday, November 07, 2011

Low down on Christmas Lake

low water on Christmas lake

It hasn't rained much. I mowed my lawn one last time this year to a flurry of dry dirt and old leaves. A visit to nearby Christmas Lake found the water level much lower than in the picture (below)that I took last year.
Christmas Lake is a small, deep lake, partially in Hennepin County and part in Carver County.

10ft 7inch level

Water level 11ft .9in

Friday, November 04, 2011



I saw a pear
upon a stair
I saw a pear that wasn't there
I saw that pear again today
But now that pear has gone away

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Lake Minnetonka Sirens beckon


The sirens beckons in a Dr.Pepper sign from the 1890s. Dr. Pepper, like many early soda pops were marketed partly as health drinks.
In Coca Cola's early days leaves of the coca plant had very miniscule amounts of cocaine remaining on the plant and it was left in the drink. In the 1890s many doctors prescribed cocaine for medical reasons. So the although the amount was miniscule, it had some sales appeal. But in 1905 druggist and owner of Coca-Cola, Asa Chandler ordered all traces counts removed from the drink.
Strangely enough according to Coca Cola history, the greater problem they had were with complaints about the amount of caffeine in the drink. By 1920 there was a steady stream of criticism of Coca cola for the caffeine content.