Is it really mid-October? Last weekend, you wouldn’t have known it without the help of a calendar. All across Minnesota people came pouring outside in droves. We saw more smiles, laughter, ice cream and motorcycles than you typically expect on an October day. These kinds of unseasonably warm, fall days that come out of nowhere seem to transform the entire Minnesota population. Like squirrels gathering acorns for the long winter ahead, it’s like we’re all storing up sunshine, hoping it will get us through the weeks, sometimes months of grey, cloudy, cold days ahead.
Just caught the weather report – it looks like fall is finally here now. Cloudy, 60s and downhill from there. Glad we made the most of last weekend’s final hurrah.
Last Saturday started with my one-year old nephew’s birthday party. He probably won’t remember what may be one of his few 80-degree birthdays, but he’s one of the most smiley kids around and seemed to have a good time anyway.
ELM CREEK PARK
Since the festivities were in the northern suburbs, we had decided to throw the bikes on the back of the RAV and tackle the Elm Creek Park trail after the party. And we were so glad we did. What a gorgeous trail for a beautiful fall day. The golden hues seemed to glisten throughout the lovely rolling hills and landscaping. We did nearly the entire 20 miles of paved trail. Nothing overly strenuous, but enough gradual inclines throughout to feel good about getting some exercise.
We cross-country skied that same trail last winter, but it sure looked like a different place back when it was covered in snow. Hard to believe we may be strapping on those skis again before we know it. Let’s not go there yet, right?
We built up quite an appetite, just in time for dinner. And all that exercise put us in the mood for something healthy. “Where can we go for a really good salad?” We took a chance on something new. I thought I remembered The California Pizza Kitchen had salads. It turned out to be a good bet. The salads were fabulous. Brent had the Moroccan Chicken Salad and I had the Thai Crunch Salad. We’ll definitely be back.
Day two of the final perfect weather weekend of the year led us to a trip down to Red Wing. It happened to be the local Fall Festival of Arts. Our favorite booth at the fair featured the paintings of Olga Krasovska. Brent had received one of her prints a few Christmases ago from his dad and family. It was especially meaningful because they had visited the old town square in Prague (the subject in the print) while traveling in Eastern Europe together.
We both love the style, medium, colors and subject matter from this artist, so it was fun to meet her and talk about her work. She paints on cotton fabric, using her own specialized technique of blending watercolor, ink and gouache. I love the combination of these materials and hope for time and space to one day give them a try myself. Watercolor holds some unique challenges and Olga does a lovely job of using it to convey an old world feel with warm, rich tones.
Our walls at home are already quite overloaded, but when we move one day we hope for a little more wall space and the opportunity to buy one or two more of her prints to create a set. Olga was very friendly and invited us to visit her home in St. Paul to see more of her paintings. We look forward to doing that one day.
Another booth at the art fair was full of felted hats. We were also taken aback by the large clamor of women trying them on. It caught our attention because, Patty, Brent’s mom is a master fiber artist and creates at least as big of stir when she has shown her felted/knitted bags and hats at art fairs. Recently we commissioned her to create some hats for our nieces. They are beyond adorable (the hats and the nieces!) and we can’t wait to see them in the hats at their birthdays next month!
Brent and I love to be creative and look forward to one day having more time and perhaps even a studio to be able to paint, draw, shoot photography/etc. Wouldn’t that be fun!
Well, I guess, with the cooler weather setting in it might mean it’s time to stick around home and get some projects checked off our list. One thing we learned recently at a home owner’s association meeting was that you can bring your screen door into the local Ace Hardware where they’ll re-screen it for you. Call me strange, but somehow I’m quite excited to tackle that one.