Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Most of the people in the US have become Snow Birds. NOT the ones that venture to warmer climates for the Winter months as is the usual meaning of the term but a newly coined phrase "I coined" for those of us that huddle inside while the bright sun bids us come outside only to trick us with its shining brightest. This isn't a warm sun and if you venture forth insure that you are well covered up as 5 minutes can result in frost bite. Boots, yes, coats of course, gloves naturally but remember those scarves or face masks to protect your face. Chapped lips are becoming the norm here in Minnesota. Chili the meal of the day. Stay warm, stay hydrated and TRY and see the beauty in the weather.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
DH & I PLAYED HOOKY YESTERDAY IT WASN'T PLANNED BUT MY DAUGHTER CALLED AND SAID THAT OUR YOUNGEST GRANDSON HAD CABIN FEVER AND SHE NEEDED TO GET HIM OUT OF THE HOUSE...HE HAS CUT HIS 2ND TOOTH NOW AND TEETHING MAKES HIM MISERABLE SO HE NEEDED A DIVERSION... AND SO WE ALL ENDED UP AT THE CONSERVATORY.
WHILE IT IS COLD OUTSIDE IN OUR WINTRY MINNESOTA CLIMATE, IT IS BALMY, LUSH AND WARM INSIDE THE CONSERVATORY. TODAY THE TEMPS ARE -14F WITH WINDCHILLS OF 25-50 BELOW ZERO!
AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR THE SUNKEN GARDENS ARE FILLED WITH MANY BEAUTIFUL POINSETTIAS.
WE WALKED THROUGH THE TROPICAL GARDEN WING WHERE PLANTS REACHED TO THE SKY AND THE NEWLY OPENED BONSAI ROOM THAT OVERLOOKS THE JAPANESE GARDENS. WE PEEKED INTO THE ORCHID ROOM WITH TABLE AFTER TABLE LOADED FULL OF ORCHIDS BLOOMING IN ALL COLORS & VARIETIES , AND WALKED THROUGH THE FERNS WITH THEIR LUSH MOSS, BABBLING BROOKS AND HEAVENLY HUMIDITY FULL OF WARMTH!
WE WALKED THROUGH THE TROPICAL SECTION AND SAW THE FIGS, BANANAS, CINNAMON, CARDAMOM, AND THE SLOTH IN THE TREES. WE BOTH HEARD AND SAW THE COLORFUL BIRDS IN FREE FLIGHT, THE ANACONDA THAT WAS BEHIND GLASS JUST BEHIND GINORMOUS FISH OF ALL COLORS AND VARIETIES AND LARGE TURTLES! SOUNDS OF WATER AND LIFE WERE EVERYWHERE! WE EVEN SAW THE FISH RUNNING! NEVER EXPERIENCED THAT BEFORE!
WHILE IT IS WINTER OUTSIDE THE CONSERVATORY FLOWERS ARE BLOOMING AND DELIGHTING US WITH COLOR AND FRAGRANCE INSIDE!
I HAVE INCLUDED A LINK ON WHICH THE TOP PHOTO WILL SHOW A SLIDE SHOW AND THE PHOTO BELOW HAS A VIDEO OF THE NORTH GARDEN. THIS GARDEN IS CALLED THE MARJORIE McNEELY CONSERVATORY'S LIVING GROCERY, PHARMACY & BUILDING SUPPLY STORE. HERE YOU WILL FIND PAPAYA, POMEGRANATE, FIG, MAHOGANY & CHOCOLATE ALONG WITH MANY OTHER PLANTS.
The Como Park Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (or just Como Zoo and Conservatory) are located in Como Park at 1225 Estabrook Drive, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Monday, December 24, 2012
We had a goal to remodel our 7 x 8 bathroom, to make it safer and also appear larger. I believe we have transformed our bathroom into a beautiful calming space with elements that enhance and make the bathroom seem larger. Several have asked to see the photos and so here, as promised, is our bathroom.
Our bathroom remodel is a modern classic look via a transitional style. Using the Kohler Devonshire toilet & sink as our starting point we attempted to blend this classic/ traditional Old world look with the modern features of the shower hence this is a transitional style blending the classic/ traditional style with the modern/ contemporary styles together. After saying all THAT what we really did was make it like we wanted it because it is important to like what you use daily and not be bothered with what someone in the future will like.
The primary emphasis on the remodel was for health benefits. It includes utilizing several materials, such as wood, marble, ceramic and porcelain. It also includes fixtures such as a walk-in shower that has two shower heads with multiple positions. ADA handicap bars in the shower & bathroom. Comfort height toilet for comfortable seating with reduced water flow (that works) as well as the added feature of self-closing seat! One feature you cannot see is the foam insulation that was put between the outer walls of the bathroom to impede mold and mildew as well as better insulation.
In our small bathroom enlarging our window or adding another window for light was not an option and so we utilized light colors and mirrors to reflect natural light. Since we could not enlarge the room it made sense to utilize and open the space as much as possible. This was done by opening one’s view with the clear glass shower doors that extend your view all the way to the ceiling! This opens about 3 feet of space in the bathroom. We also painted the bathroom and linen closet doors and new baseboard trim white to add light, blend the styles together and have the different aspects of the room work together.
We added the Devonshire pedestal sink to easily allow a walker or wheel chair to gain access to the bathroom. While this is a pedestal sink it is deeper than our original sink and with the new faucet it very easy to operate. Since we removed the sink cabinet, we added a built-in flush mounted mirrored medicine chest for the cotton balls, q-tips, tooth paste, shaver, etc we use daily. This flush mounted mirrored medicine chest is the perfect light-reflecting piece for a small bathroom. It adds space and storage too! We also mounted the electric toothbrush at the side of the sink.
We wanted lots of light since we have a lot of gray days and not only the weather but also bad lighting can make a room seem small & dreary. With the new light fixtures mounted above the sink there is more light while using less wattage and we have taken care of that issue nicely. We used brushed nickel/ satin finish stainless for fixtures throughout.
The style also includes moisture loving plants as part of the décor and functionality of the bathroom as well as a special shower mat that absorbs moisture and allows for safe footing in the bathroom. Towels and blankets made from willow are being added as others wear out. A new larger and quieter exhaust fan and light help to vent moisture from the room.
We painted the linen closet inside and out to brighten and the bathroom floor now continues into the linen closet.
So with out beautiful tile bed in the shower of several shades of tan, the shower walls of white ceramic tile that casts a pink hue to the room, the light brown porcelain floor tiles and the dark veined marble accent pieces with matching pencil in the shower area, I am quite please with what we have accomplished.
Cream colored towel sets and dark brown sets were purchased to compliment the new colors in the bathroom as well as a new floor mat in cocoa and the tan colored foam shower mat for safety. I even found a lovely wooden wastebasket!
The final piece I hope is to find a working louvered shutter for the bottom half of the window…if that doesn’t happen soon I will put a 1” wood shutter on the wall to match the oak trim of the window.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Take time to reflect on this Season of Love!
I thought you might like to see something our daughter Mercy wrote from the heart for her Dad years ago but it is still a timely message.
"He was bah humbugging the Christmas decorations and such, as he
does every year, when he doesn't want a tree that "takes up half the
living room" and she sat up one night and wrote this, and gave it to him last night.
He had tears in his eyes after reading it.........and I don't think we will be hearing anymore bah humbugging around here for a while. She can't wait for her sister now living in FL to come home to us here in MN.
There has been a question asked every year around the holiday times.
Christmas is a time to celebrate Christ coming to earth. He was in a stable
with no tree, holiday lights or tinsel.
So why do we celebrate every year by decking the halls, and buying presents for our friends and families?
I have given it a lot of thought and have decided that Christmas is a time
to celebrate family. Mary and Joseph were traveling back to their
birthplace for Christmas, and although the reasons may be different now,
many people still travel home for the holidays. More than that, God
gave us the gift of his son on Christmas. His family. When he came to
earth there was a new family formed (Mary, Joseph, and Jesus).
The first Christmas was a coming together of family in many different
ways. Jesus grew up and sacrificed himself so that we could be part of his
family, yet another example of coming together as family.
Still the question remains, why do we decorate our homes and give
We decorate the outside of our houses to make them bright,
cheerful and welcoming. Putting a light in the window has been a way to
welcome people home for thousands of years. Even the act of putting the
lights up is significant. It is during that time that most families spend
time together putting up decorations in each others company. This is another form of families coming together.
Lastly ,why do we give gifts on Christmas? No gift can ever equal the gift
God gave us on Christmas. Yet a gift was given. Three wise men also came to
give gifts. I think we celebrate with gift giving to symbolize that first Christmas and the wonderful gift that was given to all mankind.
Christmas is a time of wonder and magic for all children, it is written
that unless we become like little children we will not enter into the
kingdom of heaven."
DUSTY NOTE: Our former Pastor where we started the AWANA program wrote the following when we shared this with him:
"A wonderful message – I’ve never been much for the whole gift-giving thing, but this says it well – Christmas should be a “big deal” because Jesus is a big deal!!"
thank you...goes along with Christmas,,,
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
(Thank you Lord for my loving child)
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
(Thank you Lord for my dear husband who works so hard to provide)
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
(Thank you Lord that we have food & a warm home in which to abide)
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china &
(Thank you Lord that we can be together & can freely worship you)
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way.
(Please Lord give me patience when I am weary & a tender heart)
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices
in giving to those who can't.
(Thank you Lord that we are able to share what you have bestowed upon us)
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all
(Thank you Lord that you will never give me more than I can bare)
Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, cars, skis, skates & sleds will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.
(Thank you Lord that you always keep your promises and the gift of eternal life was given freely to all that accept your Son Jesus Christ who came to earth as a baby and died for my sins as a young man so that I might live forever with You in heaven.)
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