sparks on screen

A wander into the woods would be lovely.  If the light would sparkle through the trees and the breeze would blow through my hair, that would be a bonus.  Once I found a clearing I would take out my journal and, under a crown of trees, write my thoughts and doodle my ideas.  When my hand ached from writing, I’d simply lay and enjoy the sun on my skin.  

The sun on my skin is the most revealing part of that little reverie.  In reality, I’m home from my tropical vacation and staring out the window as the snow descends as quick as rain: none of that softly fluttering stuff over here.  It was so cold when we returned to Minneapolis that our tires were frozen to the street.  Can you imagine?  I should have stuck that Jamaican sun in my pocket.  
All this rambling is getting me thinking: do we have a natural habitat that we instinctively crave?  Do you prefer the mountains to the sea or the woods to the city?  A mix of all things, perhaps?
I mentioned yesterday that the beginning of our vacation was, well, comical.  The second day, however, brought what Jon calls my ‘Peter Pan smile.’  Background: there is a childhood photo of me grinning like Elf because I’m going to see Peter Pan on *ice.*  My family always tells me to do the Peter Pan smile, but when I swam with the dolphins, it came out all on its own:
We wanted to get the classic ‘kiss pic,’ but I was squealing too much and couldn’t keep my eyes open – it was that good.  The rest of our day was spent exploring on foot, but we found all sorts of gems:

over the moon

A little less talk and a lot more action.  That’s the kind of mentality that transforms daydreams into megalithic 3D sharks.  Where am I going with this? Well, thing is, there was a shark sighting in Minneapolis.

Not on the lake, mind you, but on the lawn of a pretty home in the suburbs.

Picasso famously declared that everything we can imagine is real.  Makes you wonder what people can imagine right?  And then, I suppose, everything gets pretty exciting when you bring all that creativity to life.
Incredible, right? Questions swirled through my mind as we toured the shark beginning with a) Why doesn’t everyone create massive ice sculptures? b) Will they please build a dolphin next?  c) Where can I find some hot chocolate?

A big thanks to Kinzie for helping me find the house:Image
Despite the cold, it was a gorgeous weekend in the Twin Cities – 40s and crisp and lovely.  So lovely, in fact, that I got caught up in it all and snapped this photo with my phone.  Can you find the moon?Image

Starlight and sharks and typing dogs and happiness.  I tried to sum of this post, but that’s all I got for ya.

Hope you have a happy Monday 🙂

ho ho ho

Feeding four grown men three times daily keeps me whisking, swirling, and mixing around the kitchen like a sister of Rachel Ray.  Since the men in question are burly sweethearts from the North Woods, they spent the day chopping wood and building sheds, and they return home with the appetite of Paul Bunyon himself.

My mother-in-law, Jane, has been feeding the men for over 30 years, and so I offer to take over whenever we visit.  Let her spend the day hiking, reading, painting, and enjoying the day far far from the kitchen (for once).

My commitment to feeding the men had me up before the sun to prepare the coffee and the daily menu.  Cinnabons, chocolate-chip banana-bread cookies and muffins were on the table before 8am.  Now, finally, I can sit down to reflect on our Christmas vacation.  Mind if I share some highlights?
Quite the carb fest, right?  Even so, delicious and absolutely necessary when you keep busy from morning to night.  Yesterday we had a lazy morning play Yahtzee in our pajamas.  Jon had never played before, but he secured a massive win with *2* Yahtzees in the first round:
My brother-in-law Ryan is a true woodsmen.  The man can chop a tree and turn the wood into just-about-anything-your-heart-desires.  You need a mailbox? Bam. An arch for your wedding? He’s got that (he built ours).  He’s worked with wood since he was a boy, and when I learned of his craft, I suggested he open an Etsy shop.  I’m working on an official website and bio for him, so I spent the afternoon playing interview in his shed:ImageImageImage
Jon planned to spend the afternoon shoveling snow off the roof of the house, shed, and boat dock, but I convinced him to break and just play in the snow.  What’s a wife for, after all?  Gotta convince the guys to have some fun.
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Can you believe Christmas is tomorrow? I wish it was next week and we could prolong all the excitement and cookies just a bit longer.  What about you? Are you ready for Christmas?

so fresh, so clean

Is there anything happier than snowfall on a sunny day?  Snowflakes shimmer in the sunlight and the world feels overwhelmingly clean and fresh.   The only trouble is deciding whether to walk through the white landscape or watch the snowflakes fall from the warmth of the couch (preferably while bundled in blankets and sipping cider).

Today, a little bit of problem solving let me have the best of both worlds: I spent the morning walking the lakes with Kinzie, and then we bundled up to observe the snow from inside the apartment.

To be honest, walking in the morning and bundling in the afternoon is becoming a bit of a pattern for me.  I’m eager to enjoy the last walkable days of the season, and a steady stream of inspiring novels keeps me pinned to the couch (with the phone on silent.)
I rate my afternoon books by my ability to make plans while reading the novel.  The rating system works like this: if I’m too absorbed by the story to meet you for dinner, 5 stars, and if I forget to read for a week, 2 stars.

All that said, I didn’t answer calls or go out to dinner while reading The Rosie Project:
I met all sorts of friends for brunch and shopping while I worked my way through Orange is the New Black:
I feigned sickness to finish Tell the Wolves I’m Home as quickly as possible: