Pheasants head to the feeders between snow storms.

Pheasants head to the feeders between snow storms.

First view of the sun in days. Even through layers of clouds and ice fog it was a welcomed site.

First view of the sun in days. Even through layers of clouds and ice fog it was a welcomed site.

We’ve been hit with arctic air (3 days below zero for highs) and now 4 more inches of snow on the way. The sun picture above reminds me of Cormac McCarthy’s novel “The Road” which, by the way, I wouldn’t read if I was feeling down or a little blue.

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Between Storms


Up to this point we’ve had 29 inches of snow in seven days. As I was finishing up shoveling snow from the driveway last night, the sky opened up for a brief 30 seconds giving us this light show. Back to reality—We are in the midst of a full-blown blizzard with no travel advised and all schools and government offices closed. Wind is gusting to 50 mph and wind chills are well below zero. A poem I saw recently on the Writer’s Almanac that I thought fit this image.

I’ll tell you how the Sun rose…

I’ll tell you how the Sun rose —
A Ribbon at a time —
The Steeples swam in Amethyst —
The news, like Squirrels, ran —
The Hills untied their Bonnets —
The Bobolinks — begun —
Then I said softly to myself —
“That must have been the Sun”!
But how he set — I know not —
There seemed a purple stile
That little Yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while —
Till when they reached the other side,
A Dominie in Gray —
Put gently up the evening Bars —
And led the flock away —

“I’ll tell you how the Sun rose…” by Emily Dickinson. Public Domain.

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Journal Entry 11/30/2016: After the Storm


Finally after a three day snow storm and digging out (18 inches of new snow), I took a minute to sip coffee and capture this scene from the comfort of my living room. Pen/Ink/Watercolor.

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Morning Doodle


At below freezing on the thermometer this morning, this slipper should be on my foot, but not before I sketch it on the back of an envelope.

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VP 71: Cast A Vote


It’s been a rough and tumble Presidential Campaign this year. Let’s hope we all make it to the finish line—Election Day is November 8, 2016. Make sure you vote! Early voting has already started in many states.

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Journal Entry 10/02/16: Chapter A Day, Wisconsin Public Radio


I love Chapter A Day from Wisconsin Public Radio. Every weekday for 29 minutes someone reads to you. A variety  of topics and books are covered. I’m now finishing up the book Valiant Ambition by  Nathaniel Philbrick. A story about Benedict Arnold.

I usually listen while preparing supper or during the clean-up afterwards. There are archives that allow you to catch up if you miss a day. The archives are only available for five days because of agreements with the publishers.

A new story starts on Monday, October 3, 2016 — The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins. Soon to be a major motion picture. The next story after that is Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Just by this short list you can see why I’m hooked on Chapter a Day. My only regret is that I didn’t discover Chapter A Day much sooner. Here is a link to Chapter A Day

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Journal Entry 9/14/16: Viking Cafe


If you ever find yourself in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, make sure the Viking Cafe is on your list of places to hit while you’re there. I was so impressed by the meal I got there last time that I had to illustrate it (above). This was the Roast Turkey Special for @ $8.50 (coffee extra). As I say in my notes this was a true cornucopia of food: Slabs of turkey (white & dark), mashed potatoes and dressing smothered with gravy and peas (from the can) scattered on top, a roll with butter, two little cups of cranberry relish (surprisingly good) and a custard dessert with whip cream and nuts. If you get coffee it is adequate and fresh, because they make it by the gallons, no matter how many people are in the cafe (always full) your cup will never drop below half. Once you experience coffee at the Viking your outlook on life will always be “the cup is half full and please no more coffee.”


Not the most attractive building on the outside, a victim of downtown renewal attempts in the 70s and 80s, but don’t let the outside facade fool you. On the inside the cafe is full of wooden booths where the holes for the old nickelodeons are still visible. There is some gratuitous viking decorations on the wall but the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. If all the seats are taken, which happens often, wait patiently at the front by the till for the next available booth. God (or should I say Odin) I love this place.


Fergus Falls is located 50 miles SE of Fargo, ND and 180 miles NW of the Twin Cities on I-94. The cafe is on main street on the south side. Parking in the back. There has been a Viking Cafe long before there ever was a professional football team called the Minnesota Vikings.

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