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DRAGONFLY cutout 2011-08-10 17

Dragonfly Revisited – 33/52, BlackBerry 52 — Week 33 Jump-Off, Golden Valley, Minnesota, August 10th 2011, photo © 2011 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Medium: Original Droid snapshot of a dragonfly on our front window at the end of Summer, August 2011. Altered in Photoshop Elements.






A month ago Thursday, a road trip West, dragonflies swelled the North Dakota skies. Hundreds of dragonflies, one place. Everywhere—
we stopped; winged clouds of a prehistoric past.

Another Full Moon, a long day at work. Head bowed, walking toward the door. There, in the wind, completely still. Dragonfly, tucked under the lip of the window eave. Inside, outside, everyside. Luck follows Dragonfly. Dragonfly follows the dreamtime.

In time, I dream.






-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Lotus and I will continue to respond to each other’s BlackBerry Jump-Off photos with text, photography, poetry (however we are inspired) for the 52 weeks of 2011. You can read more at BlackBerry 52 Collaboration. If you are inspired to join us, send us a link to your images, poetry, or prose and we’ll add them to our posts.

-related to posts: first dragonfly, Flying Solo — Dragonfly In Yellow Rain, Shadow Of A Dragonfly, Dragonfly Wings — It Is Written In The Wind, Dragon Fight — June Mandalas, The Sketchbook Project, haiku 4 (one-a-day) Meets renga 52

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By Bob Chrisman

The temperature at 3:50 p.m. is 101 degrees with a heat index of 106. Chocolate melts in these temperatures. I can’t even buy it and put it in my backpack without arriving home to a glob of a candy bar wrapper that, at one time, held a perfectly solid bar of chocolate.

I’m going into withdrawal in this heat. Either I eat the chocolate as soon as I buy it or I don’t have it. The summer isn’t fair to us chocolate eaters. I pray for cooler temperatures, ones below the melting point of chocolate.

Perhaps that accounts for my foul mood of the last couple of weeks when temperatures soared into the upper 90’s and I abandoned any attempt to purchase chocolate and walk home with it. The withdrawal has reduced me to a feral human being scouring the fridge for substitutes. Carrots won’t do it, neither will broccoli or Brussels sprouts. I could always eat butter and crackers, but the mere thought of being without any chocolate, even for chocolate emergencies which occur quite frequently in my house, has made me sullen. I WANT CHOCOLATE…a bar of chocolate, a chocolate kiss, a dish of chocolate ice cream, a piece of chocolate cake…no, cake won’t do…it’s not the pure joy of the taste of chocolate on my tongue.

Pure chocolate (and I’m talking milk chocolate) melts on my tongue and wraps each of the thousands of taste buds in the bliss and ecstasy of the taste. They go orgasmic surrounded by the luscious liquid that bathes them in milky darkness. The saliva fills my mouth at the thought of the experience. This isn’t a good thing. No, I must quit thinking about chocolate or I’ll go crazy and rush out in the heat to a store where I will buy and eat chocolate bars until I satisfy this craving.

Reminds me of the time I decided to diet. I found myself in church with a friend who recommended the minister because of his good sermons. As he got up to deliver his address, I noticed that he walked like a chicken. The thought of chicken made my mouth water and from there my thoughts descended into all my favorite chicken dishes: fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken in a tarragon cream sauce, and finally my mind settled on cashew chicken from my favorite Chinese restaurant with a side of the greasiest and best egg rolls on the planet. My mind danced with the image of that dish, the smell, the taste. My stomach rumbled with anticipation.

Cashew chicken. I must have cashew chicken. I’ll die if I don’t have it. Feed me cashew chicken.

I felt the drool running down my chin and quickly wiped it away.

My friend turned to me, “Did you enjoy the sermon?”

“Yeah, I did. Is church over?”

“Sure is. What do you want to have for lunch?”

“Chocolate.” No, that’s now, not then. Right now I want chocolate in whatever solid form I can have it, heat or no heat.


NOTE: WRITING TOPIC — CHOCOLATE is the latest Writing Topic on red Ravine. Frequent guest writer Bob Chrisman joined QuoinMonkey in doing a Writing Practice on the topic.

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September Red Pepper, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2009,
all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.








red pepper study
yellow, green, orange palette
god in the details








Pepper Study: Pepper Pot, Green Before Red, Pepper Leaves,
Hole In A Pepper Leaf, Red Pepper Green, 8 Faces Of A Pepper Stem,
Alone But Not Lonely
, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2009,
July 2009, all photos © QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






-posted on red Ravine, Monday, September 14th, 2009

-related to post: haiku 2 (one-a-day)

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Lone Pine In Red Clay, Clarks Hill Lake, Georgia, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Lone Pine In Red Clay, Clarks Hill Lake, Georgia, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.









roots of dry summer
where lake water kissed burnt sand
lone pine in red clay










-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, August 21st, 2008

-related to post:  haiku (one-a-day)

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Sweet Cherry Blondies, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Sweet (Flathead) Cherry Blondies, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Flathead cherries are in season! When I lived in Montana in my twenties, I spent one summer at the top of a ladder near Flathead Lake, handpicking cherries. It was hard, tedious work; I wasn’t that good at it. But the beauty of the Flathead Valley and spending time cherry picking with my friends made it all worthwhile.

Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the U.S. west of the Mississippi; it’s also the largest lake in the state of Montana and one of the cleanest and most pristine in the world. The lake is a product of the activity of ice-age glaciers, and is fed by the Swan and Flathead Rivers. The watershed contains a diverse community of plants and animals, including over 300 species of aquatic insects, 22 species of fish, the grizzly bear, bald eagle, bull trout, lynx, peregrine falcon, and grey wolf. The snowy Northwest mountain winters are perfect for the hibernation and growth of Flathead Cherries.

To our good fortune, Liz’s sister in Wyoming picked a batch of Flathead Cherries a few weeks ago and sent them along with her Mom to Minnesota. (Rumor has it she toted them on board in her carry-on.) We ate some of them one by one off the stem. But Liz was in the mood to bake. So she searched for a good recipe and landed on these Sweet Cherry Blondies from Northwest Cherries. We substituted the Flathead Cherries. The Blondies were to die for.



         Single Cherry On Cherry Pie, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Cherry Pie, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Single Cherry On Cherry Pie, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Cherry Pie, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



We ate the Blondies hot out of the oven while watching the Beijing Summer Olympics. They reminded me of a cross between a thick chocolate brownie and Mom’s Rocks. Hmmmm, good. Liz took them to work on Friday and, let’s just say, we’ve decided to make them a new family recipe.

Right now, Liz is baking Grama Hodne’s (Ex) Ginger Snaps. And we’re heading over to our friends for a fire under the August Full Moon. What better way to spend a perfect summer evening.

There are volumes of other recipes at the Northwest Cherries site, as well as tips on freezing, canning, and drying cherries, and information on growing seasons. And the same can be found at Flathead Lake Cherry Growers. Or if you are really adventurous, check out the 25th Annual Bear Hug Mountain Festival, September 12th – 14th on Flathead Lake near Rollins, Montana. In the meantime, enjoy the Blondies!



Sweet (Flathead) Cherry Blondies


1-1/3 cups flour
1-1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pitted and halved Northwest fresh sweet cherries (we used Flathead cherries)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Yield: 16 servings.

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, eggs and vanilla; mix on low speed of electric mixer until blended. Mix 1 minute on medium speed. Batter will be thick.

Spread half of batter in oiled and floured 9-inch baking pan. Toss cherries in small amount of flour. Scatter cherries over batter; spread remaining batter over cherries.

Sprinkle pecans over top. Bake at 325ºF 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on rack and cut into 16 pieces.

Chocolate Chip Variation:
Sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips over batter with pecans.



 Sweet Cherry Blondies Thief, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Sweet Cherry Blondies Thief, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Sweet Cherry Blondies Thief, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, August 16th, 2008

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I know summer is coming to an end when we pick up the girls from camp. They’re sad, eat the salami-and-cheese sandwiches I pack for them with a faraway look in their eyes. They’re tired, too, plain ol’ worn out. It’s as if today, this day that we pick them up from camp, all the weight of summer presses on them. Hot and sweaty, thunderheads building. There’s a heaviness about it for all of us.

I remember summer lasted forever when I was a kid. Seems like we never started school until after Labor Day, and here we are, not even halfway into August and the closet holds two bags full of school supplies. I remember Mom making at least a sort of fuss over back-to-school. I remember my school supplies stacked up next to my bed in a tidy pile where for days I could admire the candy-apple red pencil, an oversized one that barely fit your fingers, and a Big Chief tablet.

Mom bought us a few new dresses (or sewed them), a new pair of shoes, and those thin socks that folded at the ankle to show off girly lace. We didn’t get a lot, not even enough for a new outfit each day that first week back, but that was OK. By the second week we were back to all our old clothes anyway.

I went to the mall last Sunday afternoon after dropping off the girls at camp. I wanted to get Dee some black jeans with skinny legs, she’s been asking for them for weeks plus it was tax-free weekend, which seems to function as Pavlov’s bell, we all go out like Night-of-the-Living-Dead zombies to the stores even though the 7% savings barely makes it worth the trouble. But still. I went and ran into the mother of another camper. We laughed and said something like, It’s just plain easier to shop for our kids when we’re without ‘em.

We don’t have the exact same rituals to end summer that I had as a kid, but we have some of them. Mine were the school supplies and the few new clothes, plus a sudden interest in cleanliness. Bathing and curling my hair, a new pajama gown, and going to bed when it was still light. Mom and Dad were rigid about school nights. It didn’t matter what Nature had to say; it was time to turn off the sun and get to bed.

I told Em that I wanted to show her how I organized and cleaned her room while she was gone, and when I suggested that we go take a little tour of the drawers and closet, she broke out crying, “Mom, I just want to sit down!” She’s been away two weeks, being back home must be both a relief and a major letdown. Thank goodness she doesn’t start school until Tuesday.

It’s been a humid summer. Jim was saying as we drove back from the mountains that he hasn’t seen clouds like these, so many and for so many days, since he was a kid. These are the summer days from our youth, thick air, a hot that makes you sweat inside even, swamp coolers don’t work well in humidity. But a coolness this morning. I’ve been using the quilt in addition to the sheet, and even when I went to Trader Joe’s this morning at nine, I wore a sweater.

It’s a transitional time, I said to someone recently that it felt like running into a glass door. I didn’t see it coming even though I knew it was out there somewhere, this end of lazy days, quiet mornings and staying up as late as you want.

I just had a strange thought. Once our kids are grown, will it seem like the fading of summer into fall is like any other change of season?

 

-related to Topic post: WRITING TOPIC – SUMMER

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Pink, a flower in Mom’s garden (if you know the name of this flower, please let me know), photo © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.




Fifteen minutes, What I like about summer…

Another fifteen minutes, What I don’t like about summer…


Or, a haiku on summer vacation.



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Rio Grande Swimming Hole, July 12th, 2007, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Rio Grande Swimming Hole, July 12th, 2007, outside of Taos, New Mexico, at a Writing Retreat with Natalie Goldberg almost one year ago to the day, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.









cliffs rise, bodies howl
floating down the Rio Grande
swimming in July









  View From The Swimming Hole, July 12th, 2007, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.     Toward The Bridge, July 12th, 2007, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved

  Leaving The Swimming Hole, July 12th, 2007, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.     From The Bridge, July 12th, 2007, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

View From The Swimming Hole, Toward The Bridge, Leaving The Swimming Hole, From The Bridge, July 12th, 2007, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




The Rio Grande is 1,885 miles long, the third longest river system in the United States. This is for all of our writing friends in Taos this week, diving into her river wildness — screaming, floating, swimming, wading — walking in the mist, getting wet.




          Dive In!, July 12th, 2007, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       Dive In!, July 12th, 2007, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       Dive In!, July 12th, 2007, all photos © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Friday, July 11th, 2008

-related to post, haiku (one-a-day) 

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Diamonds At Solstice, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Diamonds At Solstice, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



At Diamonds they say, “Come for the caffeine, stay for the camaraderie.” Diamonds Coffee Shoppe — Your Atomic Coffee Stop — is located in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis. It’s a great place to write. To Dawn and Lucy, it’s not just coffee, it’s a philosophy.

Three of us were there last Wednesday evening to write and do art. It was our weekly creative project meeting, part of our dedication to our practice. Our small group of four alternate between the studio in the Casket Arts Building and Diamonds a few blocks away.

Last week the Pop-A-Lock guys were there; 8 of them formed a circle in the hall next to us (across from the vault), and had their business meeting. As fate would have it, one of them had helped me change a flat tire a month ago over in Brooklyn Park. The world gets smaller every day.



Diamonds In Primary Colors, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

Diamonds Coffee Shoppe
1618 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 789-5282

Hours:
Mon through Thurs – 6 AM to 10 PM
Fridays 6 AM to 10 PM
Saturday 7 AM to 10 PM
Sunday 8 AM to 10PM




 

There were three things on my mind tonight. The first was an end of week meeting with my Gemini friend ybonesy. All went well; we are right on track. The second is Diamonds. I downloaded the photos I took last Wednesday. Maybe there will be a Fotoblog to follow. The third?

Summer Solstice. Liz and I are going to a Solstice celebration tomorrow night at a friend’s house. Fire and water. In Minneapolis, the longest day of the year passed a few hours ago at 5:59pm. When is Solstice in your part of the world?

Below are some links that might help. I was looking at archived photographs of the same date last year; the peonies were well on their way. This year the ants have opened only three blooms. Spring is late in coming. I welcome the light.

Time for Summer. Have a diamonds and light Solstice.



HELPFUL TIME LINKS FOR SOLSTICES & EQUINOXES



  • Times listed for Winter & Summer Solstices (and the Equinoxes) beginning in 1900:

Holoscenes – Textures of the Earth: Seasons From 1900 To 2099 (LINK)

In the Midwest, we have to subtract 6 hours from UT to get Central Standard time (and 5 for Daylight Saving time (LINK). See also Holoscenes – Textures of the Earth – Special Projects (LINK)


  • Here’s how to translate UT time to our time, wherever we are:

Earth & Sky: How Do I Translate Universal Time To My Time? (LINK)


  • Here’s a final link to different systems of time:

U.S. Navy – Systems of Time (LINK)




Diamonds At Dusk, June 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, all photos © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




-posted on red Ravine, Friday, June 20th, Summer Solstice 2008

-related to posts: 8 Minutes, Winter Solstice – Making Light Of The Dark, Solstice Fire In Winter, 15 Hours, 36 Minutes Of Light

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Foods On A Stick At The Minnesota State Fair 2006, YouTube Video by TKordonowy.

Whoa! After 8 hours at the Minnesota State Fair, Liz and I made it home at 10:30p.m. last night, not much worse for wear. Unless you count the fact that we could hardly walk and had giant food hangovers!


Here are our MN State Fair Stats for August 2007:

  • Money Spent: $102 (not counting the $41 we saved with Cub coupon book & ticket discount) [See WCCO Good Question with Ben Tracy: How Much Does The State Fair Make?]
  • Time Spent: 8 hours (just at the Fair, not including travel & walking time)
  • Photos Taken: 642 digital day & night shots (by the two of us)
  • Events Covered with $$$: admission tickets, Butterfly House, walking, walking, walking, digesting, all food & drink, people watching, shiny blue 100% cotton State Fair hoodie
  • Fair Booty: autographs from Don Shelby, Amelia Santaniello, and Frank Vascellaro from WCCO, 11 kinds of food (5 on-a-stick, favorite was Fried Fruit On-A-Stick), 7 kinds of drinks, Swine, Sheep, Cattle, Goat, Poultry Barns, J.V. Bailey House, Fine Arts Building, polka band and coffee cup hat at Farmers Union Coffee Shop, opera, Air America Talk Radio 950am, Al Franken for Senate booth, wonder and awe in the Butterfly House, joy and laughter all around


We ran out of time for the full tour of the J.V. Bailey House or our annual viewing of the Dairy Princesses carved from butter. And we missed A Prairie Home Companion at the Grand Stand and the escaped bull that ran amuck through the crowd. For more insight into our food hangovers, check out the YouTube video by TKordonowy, Foods On A Stick At The Minnesota State Fair 2006.

I know Minnesotans that go to the Fair at least 4 or 5 times in one week. Ralph Cornelius has attended the Minnesota State Fair for 80 years without missing one year. Ralph was even there as an infant in 1928. But I’ve got to say, for me, once every one or two years is enough. We had a great time this year. More photos to come. Enjoy the video!


-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, September 1st, 2007

-related to post, MN State Fair On-A-Stick

-another video link you might enjoy that includes video in its infancy, 80′s hair, and brief footage of the butter sculptures:  Minnesota Stories, Just Plain Big: MN State Fair 1988

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Minnesota State Fair Button 2007, photo by QuoinMonkey, all rights reserved.

-Minnesota State Fair Button 2007, quick snapshot after breakfast (notice the little piece of dirt on the middle right edge!), Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


It’s Minnesota State Fair time! And after over 150 years, it’s a Minnesota tradition. The Minnesota State Fair is the 2nd largest State Fair in the U.S., second only to Texas. However, while the Texas State Fair runs for 24 days and has a larger annual attendance, the Minnesota State Fair is only 12 days with a greater number of people attending each day.

One of the most significant dates in the Fair’s history was September 2nd, 1901 when then-vice president Teddy Roosevelt was visiting and first uttered the famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Liz and I are heading to the Fair tomorrow afternoon. If it’s not raining, we’ll take the motorcycle and park in the lot set aside especially for us. Sweet! I don’t like crowds (attendance at the MN State Fair in 2006 was 1,689,579), so the highlight of the Fair for me is the food (what else?).

We are famous for our Fair food on-a-stick. Below is a complete list (from the Minnesota State Fair Press Kit, a great resource for everything Fair). Liz and I wrote down a few we want to try: espresso on-a-stick, hotdish on-a-stick, chocolate-covered nutroll on-a-stick, wild rice corndog on-a-stick, deep-fried fruit on-a-stick, and, let’s not forget, SPAM curds!

We’ve also got a friend working at the Fair this year (thanks for the buttons!). So we’ll be sure to stop by and visit her. And the Minnesota State Fair is a photographer’s paradise. There’s the fantastic people watching, the amazing art in the Fine Arts Building, the Milk Run, and the Princess Kay of the Milky Way Coronation organized by the Midwest Dairy Association.

Since 1953, the Princess Kay competition has recognized young women whose families are involved in Minnesota’s dairy industry (have I ever mentioned that Liz comes from a North Dakota dairy family?). Regional dairy princesses compete for the yearly title and the entire court have their likenesses carved out of butter during the Fair.

If you’ve never seen a butter sculpture, you are in for a treat! Hope to see you at the The Great Minnesota Get-Together. Or if you can’t attend, tell us about the Fairs in your part of the world!


MN STATE FAIR – FOODS ON-A-STICK

  1. Alligator Sausage on-a-stick
  2. Bacon Wrapped Turkey Tenderloin on-a-stick
  3. Beef Kabobs on-a-stick
  4. Beer Battered Brats on-a-stick
  5. Bomb Pops on-a-stick
  6. Butterscotch Cake on-a-stick
  7. Candy Apples on-a-stick
  8. Candy Bars (deep fried) on-a-stick
  9. Caramel Apples on-a-stick
  10. Cheese on-a-stick
  11. Chicken on-a-stick
  12. Chocolate Chip Cookies on-a-stick
  13. Chocolate Covered Bananas on-a-stick
  14. Chocolate Covered Cheese Cake on-a-stick
  15. Chocolate Dipped Nut Roll on-a-stick
  16. Coffee (frozen) on-a-stick
  17. Corndogs on-a-stick
  18. Corned Beef and Cabbage on-a-stick
  19. Cotton Candy on-a-stick
  20. Dessert Dumplings on-a-stick
  21. Espresso (frozen) on-a-stick
  22. Fried Fruit on-a-stick
  23. Fried Jalapeño Pepper Cheese on-a-stick
  24. Fried Swiss Cheese on-a-stick
  25. Fudge puppies on-a-stick
  26. Hot Dish on-a-stick
  27. Hot Dogs on-a-stick
  28. Key Lime Pie Dipped in Chocolate (frozen) on-a-stick
  29. Kiddi Kabobs on-a-stick
  30. Macaroni & Cheese on-a-stick
  31. Marshmallows (Chocolate-dipped) on-a-stick
  32. Meatballs on-a-stick
  33. MinneKabobs on-a-stick
  34. Pickles on-a-stick
  35. Pickles (deep fried) on-a-stick
  36. Pickles (Kool-Aid) on-a-stick
  37. Pizza on-a-stick
  38. Poncho Dogs on-a-stick
  39. Pork Chops on-a-stick
  40. Pronto Pups on-a-stick
  41. Rueben Dog on-a-stick
  42. Salmon on-a-stick
  43. Sausage on-a-stick
  44. Scallops on-a-stick
  45. Scones on-a-stick
  46. Scotch Eggs on-a-stick
  47. Shrimp on-a-stick
  48. Sloppy Joes on-a-stick
  49. S’mores on-a-stick
  50. Spaghetti & Meatballs on-a-stick
  51. Spudsters on-a-stick
  52. Super Dog on-a-stick
  53. Taffy Pops on-a-stick
  54. Vegetable Kabobs on-a-stick
  55. Wild Rice Corndog on-a-stick
  56. Walleye on-a-stick

Total number of foods on-a-stick: 56

NEW MN STATE FAIR FOODS IN 2007

Apple fries (julienne apples crumb-coated and deep-fried)
@Coaster’s, located on the corner of Liggett Street and Carnes Avenue
Blackened steak wrap with steak, eggs, potatoes and cheese
@Ragin Cajun, located on the west wall in The Garden
BLP (bacon, lettuce, pico de gallo) quesadilla
@Tejas, located on the north wall in The Garden
Buffalo chips and cheese
@Delicious Potato Skins, located inside the south door of the Food Building
Butterscotch cake on-a-stick (a cream-filled cake dipped in butterscotch)
@Scotch Eggs, located east of the Horse Barn on Liggett Street
Cajun shrimp wrap with shrimp, eggs, potatoes and cheese
@Ragin Cajun, located on the west wall in The Garden
Calamari Fish and Chips
@two locations: inside the Food Building on the west side; west of Liggett Street on the northeast corner of the Horse Barn
Coca-Cola cheesecake dipped in chocolate on-a-stick
@Apple Lil’s, located in Heritage Square
Corned beef and cabbage on-a-stick
@O’Gara’s, located inside the east door of the Food Building
Fried fruit on-a-stick (pineapple, grapes, bananas, strawberries, apples, cherries, kiwi, honeydew and cantaloupe skewered, dipped in a sweet batter and deep fried)
@Fried Fruit, located in Carousel Park near the Grandstand Ramp
Jambalaya with eggs, potatoes and cheese
@Ragin Cajun, located on the west wall in The Garden
Knuckle sandwich (brined pork with sweet & zesty sauce and caramelized onions on a hoagie bun)
@Famous Dave’s, located north of Adventure Park on West Dan Patch Avenue
Kool-Aid pickles
@Famous Dave’s, located north of Adventure Park on West Dan Patch Avenue
Lingonberry turnovers
@Rainbow Ice Cream, three locations: east of Underwood Street and just south of Carnes Avenue under the Skyride; southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street; west of Underwood Street, between Wright Avenue and Dan Patch Avenue
Old fashioned ice cream sodas
@Bridgeman’s, located on the northwest corner of Judson Avenue and Liggett Street
Peanut butter hot dog
@Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, located on the corner of Carnes Avenue and Chambers Street
Rocky road scones on-a-stick (scones with chocolate chips, caramel and marshmallow, rolled and baked)
@French Meadow, located inside the southeast door of the Food Building
S’mores on-a-stick
@Ultimate Confections, located inside the east door on the lower level of Grandstand
Soda fountain funnel cakes (topped with Coca-Cola, Cherry Coke, Sasparilla, whipped cream or custard)
@Apple Lil’s, located in Heritage Square
Sloppy joes on-a-stick
@Axel’s, located on the southeast corner outside the Food Building
SPAM burger, Hawaiian SPAM burger, SPAM curds
@SPAM Burgers located in Carousel Park under the Grandstand Ramp
Uffda brat (Norwegian brat wrapped in potato lefse)
@Sausage Sisters, located inside the east door of the Food Building

-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, August 26, 2007

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        Zebra Mama and Baby in Africa, photo © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reserved
        -Zebra Mama and Baby, photo © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

I’ve been feeling blue today. There’s the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, and I know my friends there are dealing with the whole spectrum of emotion. I wish I could just hug them.

Then this weekend we take the girls to yet another sleepaway camp. Dee and Em are thrilled, but Jim and I were saying it feels like we’ve spent the entire summer rushing from one camp to another. I miss having a normal routine.

Does it ever hit you that you’re not a child anymore? Like you wish you could crawl onto your Mom’s lap or grab your Dad’s big warm hand and bring it to your face, but your parents are frail or struggling with serious illness. It suddenly dawns on you that this is now and that was then, and you get a big lump in your throat (and gosh, here you are at work hoping no one walks by your cubicle because how do you explain your red nose and the tears in your eyes?).

Anyway, I took this photo on a trip to South Africa back in 2002, I think. I had an early phone camera. The photo’s not great but it’s one of my screensavers, and it made me smile today and feel a little bit less melancholy. Hopefully it will cheer you up, too, if you need cheering up at all.

TGIF. Have a good weekend.

-posted in red Ravine, August 3, 2007

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 Taos Mountain In Summer, July 2007, Taos, New Mexico, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Taos Mountain In Summer, July 2007, behind Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos, New Mexico, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.





Taos Mountain summer
wraps hard rain around soft bows
I’m drenched to the bone



black clouds in blue sky
slatted swing over the ditch
creaks slowly, I write



rain crawls through roof cracks
gusts blow open my notebook
words scatter to wind



cottonwood splashes
through the lens, afternoon rain
breaks open the sky



end of a long day
in the middle of summer
I start to wake up



green sky through laced glass
and a mourning dove’s red eye
swallows the noon sun



walking the back path
Mabel smiles from the window
I wink and then nod



black spider shimmers
cottonwood squeezes soft wind
through a glistening web



sweat drips from my arm
I don’t sit like the mountain
the sun sits on me



Lawrence and Brett stroke
painted windows in the light
camel hair bristles



the Pink House once held
summer rain, live wires that dodge
breakfast at Mabel’s



fancy dancers run
lightning drips through the pow wow
under Taos Mountain



Monday, July 16th, 2007

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It was a Friday morning in late July, 2004, when I left for Taos. And it was my birthday. I spent the whole day travelling. I blasted Joni Mitchell out of the Alpine as I drove down I-35 through southern Minnesota, tipped my hat to the Hawkeyes in northern Iowa, and bowed to the sandhill cranes as I hurtled across the Platte River plains of eastern Nebraska.

I travelled all day Saturday, too. shooting under a vibrant sunrise near the Hampton Inn in Kearney, Nebraska. And I sat paralyzed as metronomic wipers slapped time to a vengeful thunderstorm south of Denver. Blinding sheets of rain pelted the pavement so hard I had to stop under an overpass until the turbulence died down.

The storm made me late to meet Wordraw.

I remember sitting in the Camry behind torrents of streaming water, fanning my breath away from the steamy glass. Since I was stuck, it seemed like a good time to call Wordraw. But instead of a soothing connection, his deep voice was barely audible, buried under crackle and static –

“Hello, this is Wordraw….crakcakcak, ssssshhh, or leave your number and I’ll call you back as tickkkpoptic soon as I can.”

Beeeeeep.

I lost service after the 10th word and stared helplessly at the phone. It was worthless. I threw it in my leather bag, then turned to wipe the window clear with my sleeve. Cars slowed to a crawl, nearly hitting each other as they vied for position to get off the road. Hail the size of melons hit the highway in a fury and pingponged 6 inches off the macadam.

Aroused, the Over and Underworld gods exploded in electric tension between thunderous cracks. I jumped high off the seat. It was time for a rumble.

I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared.

Storms on the passes in Colorado put the fear of god in me. They strike in every season. And seem more violent than the disturbances I remember in the 70′s when I lived in western Montana at the geological point where five valleys collide. Or the swollen summer sky that broke open in 1992, flooding our campsite (swallowing my Eureka dome tent) near an arroyo in New Mexico.

The No. 9 cloud is the culprit, the fluffy cumulonimbus.

People speculate that the saying “walking on cloud 9″ may have originated from the National Weather Service’s fanciful and popular No. 9 cloud. I rather like to think the phrase was inspired by the Beatle’s Revolution #9. Or the Norman Whitfield penned, Grammy winning 1969 rendering of the Temptation’s Cloud 9.

You can’t grow up in the hometown of James Brown, Godfather of Soul, and not be inspired by late 60′s funkadelic. I can hear the backbeat now – “Cloud 9! – ba boom ba ba boomp ba boomp ba boomp boomp ba”.

Music to my ears.

When I arrived at Taos Plaza late Saturday, I didn’t know it was Fiesta. It was dark. I took the back way in and found my way to the La Fonda’s pock marked parking lot and chain-link fence. The Taos De La Fonda Hotel is the only hotel in the Plaza. That night it was packed with restless people and rust-less vintage cars.

In Minnesota, auto bodies are eaten away by ice-busting winter chemicals and salt. The corrosive action melts through paint like battery acid. You don’t often see Minnesotans driving models older than 10 years. That’s what I love about going to places like New Mexico and Montana. You’re more likely to see a 1962 VW bug, ‘72 AMC Gremlin, or Ford Pinto than you are a Lexus or BMW.

I turned the corner to park in a tight muddy spot by the cable wire barrier, muttering to myself, “How in the hell will I ever find Wordraw?” The next minute, there he stood, big as life, tapping his knuckles against my window, wearing a brassy shit-eatin’ grin. He had seen me coming.

That night after dinner, Wordraw and I sat on his twin bed by an open window in a tiny room above Taos Plaza, peeked out from behind the curtains, listened, and watched as hundreds of people shouted, cheered, and danced along the covered sidewalks under the cottonwoods. They seemed happy. In fact, jubilant. All of Taos was there.

Friday, July 23rd, had been the beginning of Fiesta.

Las Fiestas de Taos is a celebration of the Patron Saints, Anne (Santa Ana), a model of virtue and grandmother to the Messiah, and Santiago, the man who rose from fisherman to warrior. Mother and Father. They are holy days. And it’s a community celebration for all cultures, of the people, by the people. That’s what I read in an article in The Taos News by Larry Torres. The Saturday I arrived was the second day, the day designated to celebrate Saint Anne and the children.

On Sunday, after walking around Fiesta in the Plaza, Wordraw and I visited the D.H. Lawrence collection of “forbidden paintings” on display by permission only in a small temperature regulated room in the back of the La Fonda. If I remember correctly, that was the same trip we visited the 160 acre D.H. Lawrence Ranch on Lobo Mountain, formerly Kiowa ranch. Mabel Dodge gave Lawrence the 8,600 foot perch for a song.

More like a story.

I heard from a historian that Mabel gifted the ranch to Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, for free. But then Frieda didn’t want to be beholden to Mabel. So she gave Mabel Sons and Lovers as payment for Kiowa. And Mabel later gave the manuscript to a friend in New York as payment to her psychiatrist.

This is what happens to writing. You create it. You let it go. You never know where your writing is going to end up.

The Bonewriters met that fateful weekend in the dining room at Mabel Dodge. There was a birthday cake. I huffed and I puffed and I blew out 3 fat candles. I remember how embarrassed I was. And how excited. Both, at the same time. I knew it was going to be no ordinary writing retreat. And it wasn’t.

Ybonesy came up to me the last day and asked if I wanted to write across the miles, from South to Midwest. Wordraw and I ended up looking at New Mexico real estate outside of Questa where the estimated population in 2003 was 1,927. The 3 of us went swimming with other writers in the Rio Grande. When we sat in silence, I could hear the Fiesta drums pounding from the Plaza into the Zendo where we wrote, hungry, beating skins flying through summer air, down my fast writing pen, and on to the page.

The next 4 days, I wrote in the spaces between reverberating squeals of laughter and pounding toms – present, listening. I didn’t understand what I was listening to. Or for. Only that it had been passed down for generations. It was tradition. A time for celebration. The music was free. You only had to stop what you were doing and pay attention. All you had to do was listen.

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

-related to post, WRITING TOPIC - TAOS

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