From the before time January 2019

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It is pretty quiet in downtown St. Paul these days, there isn’t any skating. The picture is from 2019. There was skating in early 2020 but the rink had moved to CHS field.

I haven’t been in the downtown skyways since last spring. There is a lot of vacant office and retail space. There is more housing than ever and the Lunds grocery store on Robert Street is always busy as is the Walgreens on Wabasha street.

dkating rink
Skating in downtown St. Paul at the Landmark Center

Getting used to bare shelves

Empty shelves

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I have been doing my grocery shopping in person during the pandemic.  Each week there is a new surprise. I took the picture when there wasn’t a lot of bread on the shelves but as you can see there was plenty of bread. This week there wasn’t much in the way of toilet paper and I couldn’t find any Brussel sprouts.

Last year it was hard to get some cleaning supplies and the year before that masks and hand sanitizer were hard to find and mostly not available. I would stock up on a few things but it is hard to anticipate which shelves will be empty the next time we want something.

Empty shelves are sometimes attributed to vague supply chain issues and more recently bad weather has been blamed and so have worker shortages. We were warned before Christmas to shop early because of shortages. That seemed like a kind of manufactured shortage and I don’t think it ever materialized. It is as if someone was trying to create a buying frenzy before Christmas.

Bare shelves make me realize that there is a difference between needs and wants. We have all the food we need but are missing some items that we want.

Yet seeing empty shelves is kind of scary too. It isn’t something I am used to or have ever really experienced.

One week frozen foods are missing and the next it is bread. I have learned to buy a little extra of the essentials like peanut butter and as long as I have flour and yeast I can make bread.

Resolutions for 2022

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. 2020 and 2021 did not go according to my plan. Who knew we wouldn’t be able to go to our favorite restaurant to celebrate an anniversary in 2020 or that vacations would be canceled or re-arranged. I had never imagined that we would miss my niece’s wedding due to a combination of ice, snow, tornados, and a Coronavirus surge.

There is more but I don’t want to sound like I am whining like so many entitled people do.

I can’t think of anything more boring than reading someone’s new years resolutions. I see them all over Facebook and Twitter too. Choosing a word for the year is also popular. People choose words like “hope”, “joy”, and “invent”.

My word for 2022 is “cacophony”. Eventually, I’ll write something inspirational about that word and why I chose it. I also made an announcement to family and friends that I have big plans for 2022 and that I don’t know what they are yet.

One thing I know for sure is that my plans will not be changed or “ruined” in 2022 because I am not making any. Instead of plans, I have two lists. One is a list of things I would like to do in 2022 and the other is a list of things I should do in 2022.

Barney under the tree

It is Christmas Eve and it is a Friday too. All I want for Christmas is less. During the holiday season, I do my best to get my kids to take stuff that I don’t want or need. I am mostly not all that successful but I have to try. Each year I need a little less than I needed the year before. We could use a car though but I don’t think something like that will fit in Santa’s sleigh.

I have a special gift for a couple of family members this year. I shopped locally and got this at Highland Nursery on West 7th Street. I made the scarf myself to kind of dress him up for Christmas.

Barney the owl weighs around 40 pounds and is going to a home that has a job for him. He can scare the kestrels that like to swoop down and claw them. I have to say I kind of fell in love with Barney and will miss him.

Barney the owl
Barney the owl

Merry Christmas

Weather we can’t count on

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. We can’t count on the weather. Last week we missed our niece’s wedding because of the big storm that dropped rain, snow, and ice along the I90 corridor. Having a wedding in Illinois and inviting family from Minnesota anytime between November 15th and April is risky.

We have been through this before. There was a wedding the weekend of the epic Halloween blizzard.

Some wedding guests missed the dinner on Friday night because of the tornados in the area. I imagine a few guests bailed because of the pandemic. Weddings are a relic of the before time.

After the storms came through on Wednesday the snow that I spent hours shoveling has melted. The combination of 58-degree temperatures, strong winds, and rain cleared the 10 inches of snow that fell last week overnight.

We broke some records with tornados in Minnesota and temperatures that were way above average. The weather was most un-December in Minnesota like. I think we got all of the rain we didn’t get last June.

If you are planning an event this winter or are planning on attending one my advice is to wait until spring. It is now possible to have weather from all four seasons in one day. Any event that is held on that day will be canceled or rescheduled.

back yard
last Saturday – my backyard

Just let it snow already

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. You wouldn’t know it by listening to the news but December snowstorms are pretty common here in Minnesota. So far we have survived each and every one of them. I know if it gets really bad we will survive and can rebuild.

I also know that some folks will not restrict their activities because of a storm which means more business for tow truck drivers and body shops which is good for the economy.

December 2016 – Landmark Center St. Paul

Be careful out there!