Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Anew

Fall has always been my favorite season! When I was younger, it was because my birthday rolls around every year in September. But now, I just enjoy the beautiful leaves, and all the smells that mean autumn has arrived!

I've also found that for me, it's a time for a fresh start. While most people might associate that with the beginning of the New Year, for me, it happens in the fall!

This year, I keep running into this passage, and it's my new theme. What does fall mean to you?

“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Michelle Strombeck

Monday, October 29, 2012

'Wives don't make passes at men in their glasses' by the Prude

Every picture tells a story, and this one says:
‘Once upon a time a man of a certain age noticed things missing, usually letters on the printed page. If the letters didn’t abandon ship completely they tended to shift about or assume shapes diabolically similar to yet deceptively unlike their original form.

The man consulted his wise wife.
“You need reading glasses” she told him sagely, and bought him a pair.
But the very next day, the reading spectacles were gone!
His wise wife bought him several new pairs of glasses and scattered them through the house and vehicle.  But what do you suppose happened?
They, too, magically vanished.

One day the wise wife realized that when she read, letters also mysteriously reformed themselves into nebulous hieroglyphics. She bought herself a pair of tasteful and feminine chartreuse colored reading glasses to keep in her purse.

Unbeknownst to the man and his wise wife, in another kingdom the wise wife’s cousin and her good husband were experiencing the same strange malady, the only difference being that the cousin's ladylike purse glasses were fuchsia.

One day the wise woman, her wise cousin, and their good husbands met for dinner. The husbands picked up their menus. They squinted.  They stretched out their arms till the menus were 52 inches from their eyes. They turned their heads this way and that and patted vainly at empty pockets for evaporated eyewear.
Wise woman’s husband pointed and asked “This can’t possibly be Three Pigs stuffed with Gruvier cheese can it? And is that how you spell Groovier?”
Wise Cousin’s husband inquired, “What is Dips Butter?”
Two wise women sighed. They explained Cheese Pies stuffed with Gruyere and Dijon Butter and pulled out their glasses.
Two goodly husbands held out their hands, shamelessly donned the chartreuse and fuchsia glasses respectively and ordered manly red meat dinners.’

The moral of the story is:
Behind every near-sighted man is a wise wife who buys fashion glasses to match his coloring.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Glory Borrowed
By Robin Steinweg

In Southern Wisconsin
the autumn sun rises
      from his couch in the hills

He nudges the finches, asleep in the bushes
Like popcorn they skitter
      and bounce from the branches

Mist softly snoring—she stirs
      Reluctant to wake she rolls over river, she kisses the lake and
            by stages, as the autumn sun beckons,
      she yields into vapor

In Southern Wisconsin
the autumn sun rises
       and takes up his palette, the best of his brushes

He touches the tips of the leaves on the trees
                     They tremble and drop to the ground on the breeze that

                               playfully whispers behind the sun’s back  

Willows weep yellow streams
                Copses of birches, vast stretches of maple— poplar, sycamore and stands of oak

endeavor to rival the sun’s saffron glory              
      whose true power
                   by night is proved
                               as the trees stretch their fingertips to the sky
dark and silent and wait
      for his brightness to define them

In Southern Wisconsin as everywhere else
all glory is borrowed from the sun’s warm gaze

      And even his glory is not his own


Robin Steinweg ~ It's Sweet in the Middle        


Friday, October 26, 2012

30th Anniversary of Being a Mom with Autumn Fading

I love seeing naked branches through windows when I wake.
I love my husband Bob's one day old morning beard.

I love staying ahead of the hours fleeting when I can have a fire on the deck.
I love listening to the birds wildly deciding when to leave for Florida.
I love premiums at the coffee shop worth drinking another hot cup.

I love Red, White, and Blue waving in the wind.

I love our grandson reminding us of his wagon ride by plopping blankets in it.

I love the pumpkin colored bench two miles away on our morning walk.

I love our dog, Boaz, a faithful friend, who always wears his own warm coat.

I love my mom instincts being cozy with my children during short days and long nights.
I love listening to my children take the first bite of a new crisp apple at the same time.

I love my sons jumping over the hot campfire, but no love for the danger.
I love the lake's edges beginning to freeze paper thin crooked silver ice with autumn fading.

I love thinking of snow days ahead sliding down hills plodding on skis and cold.
I love being a mom for the 30th winter.

- Cheryl Moeller

I love using my two slow cookers to make our dinner on a cold winter's night.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Treasure vs Trash

I could hardly wait to get to Iowa last weekend, the Council Bluffs/Omaha area to be exact. Hold on. I hear you. What’s so exciting about that place?

The thrift shops!

Not that I don’t live in a Mecca of thrift stores myself, but Minneapolis prices don’t compare. You’ll get way more bang for your buck if you toodle down to Council Bluffs and Omaha. I bought a fantastic wooden dresser for $10, two vintage suitcases for $9, picture frames for less than a dollar, and at one store if you bought a pair of pants (which I did...a pair of GAP dress pants for .98), you got a free shirt to go along with it!

Where exactly are all these great finds? Here's a treasure map for you to follow next time you are in the area...

6022 Maple Street, Omaha, NE
Great place to find furniture and household goods.
Check out their Facebook page.

5920 Maple Street, Omaha, NE
Not the tidiest of places, but some screaming hot deals on clothing, and it's only just down the block from the Imaginarium.

1850 Madison Ave., Council Bluffs, IA
This place is the tidiest of thrift stores, even smells clean when you walk in.

2525 Dodge, Omaha, NE
Lots of crowded racks of clothing and heaped up shelves of housewares, but worth the hunt.

1909 Leavenworth Street, Omaha, NE
Sometimes a little pricier, but some great finds on shoes and clothing.

If you’re ever in the area, give these places a try. You never know what you’ll find, but the prices will be great.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Perfect Autumn Day

What a lovely fall we’ve had in Northwest Indiana.
The apple tree bore record numbers of sweet, luscious fruit.   

 The maples put on a spectacular display                   
 that lasted weeks, despite blustery winds and rain.                           

Unseasonably warm days urged us to forget the harsh frost of early morning 

and lulled us into one last walk along Lake Michigan

 on a truly a brilliant day.

  Family arrived from across the country.            
 We remembered those of us who have gone on.

Tall oaks on peaceful rolling hills tucked beside Pine Lake
raised our sights heavenward, homeward.  

 I’m glad I live here. It feels like a place most favored by God.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Midwest Beauty: Minneapolis Institute Of Arts

Midwest Beauty in Art Museums by Lori Lipsky

The Midwest can hold its head up high when the discussion turns to art museums. Not far from my home in southern Wisconsin, the relatively new Milwaukee Art Museum already has its own impressive collection and hosts exhibitions of high caliber.

Two or three hours south of Milwaukee is the more established Art Institute of Chicago, which draws visitors from around the world.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is another museum worth a drive, no matter where you live in the U.S. The museum hosts some incredible exhibitions.  Coming soon, beginning October 28, it will showcase China’s Terracota Warriors: The Emperor’s First Legacy.  I had the opportunity to see the Terrracota Warriors exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA several years ago. I was impressed in a jaw-dropping sort of way. Don’t miss it if you have the chance, and be sure to take your kids or your grandkids if they are old enough. It’s the sort of educational field trip they won’t ever forget.

Recently the Minneapolis Institute of Arts showcased the exhibit Rembrandt in America. On display was the largest collection of Rembrandt paintings ever assembled in the U.S.  Collectively, the value of the art was placed above the billion dollar mark.

Our family traveled to Minneapolis in the summer, and my daughter and I spent the day at the museum. If you love art, but your entire family isn’t in agreement, consider doing what we did. My daughter and I were dropped off at the museum, my husband took our other girl for an activity they both preferred, and then later they picked us up. The four of us enjoyed a meal together before heading home.

Here are some of my favorite pieces of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’s permanent collection. You will also find marvelous works by Titian, Tintoretto, El Greco, Degas, Signac, Monet, John Singer Sargent, Rodin, Morisot, Whistler, Bonnard and other greats. 

by Vigee-Le Brun, 1793. I love her paintings!

Head of a Young Woman by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Speaking of Renoir, this fine likeness of him, Head of Renoir, is by Maillol.

Olive Trees, 1889, by Vincent Van Gogh

Place du Theatre Francais, Paris: Rain, 1898, by Camille Pissarro

At the top of my list of favorites is Raffaelo Monti’s “Veiled Lady.” After some research last year, I wrote this poem to honor the artist.

Veiled Lady 

~A tribute to sculptor, Raffaelo Monti

In Monti’s block of marble
Hard, cold, dense
Hid the portraiture of a virgin
From the hands of the trompe-l’oeil master

He polished shoulders smooth
Shadowed eyes, softened brows
Hard stone transformed to delicate
In the sculptor’s hands

Note: Trompe-l’oeil is French for 'deceive the eye', an art technique involving imagery in order to create an optical illusion. 

Veiled Lady by Raffaelo Monti

In the Midwest, you'll find beauty in the faces, beauty in the fields, but don't forget to look for the beauty in our art museums.


Find more of Lori's poetry on the Poetry Patio

Twitter @LoriSLipsky


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