Luxury Vs. My Reality


It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. This week I accidentally attended an event about the luxury condo market.

The title was misleading, I thought it would be about the condo market. I did learn many things.

All about huge condos, in tall buildings with spectacular views that are guaranteed to be obstruction free forever.

I didn’t know that the power grid in the area would have to be upgraded to accommodate luxury housing with all of its amenities.

They don’t use terms like “affordable”, “sustainable” or “green” or the phrase “carbon footprint” when discussing super-expensive housing. There isn’t any discussion of the environmental impact of building close to the river either.

They use the phrase “elevated lifestyle”, that is a lifestyle for people who spend a lot of money. It is a completely different world from the one where people live in tents by the freeway and don’t get at all excited when the DOW rises.

I also learned that being wealthy isn’t always easy. There are people who need five-star hotels and apparently, we don’t have any of those in the metro area.

It was a learning experience and I am sure all that I learned will come in handy someday and it is best if I stop writing about it.

Valentines day and Friday all on the same day!

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Happy Valentine’s day. The last time Valentine’s day was on a Friday was in 2014. For some, this will be Valentine’s weekend. For others, it will be just another Friday and that is just fine.

Pink Rose

I photographed the rose at the rose garden in Duluth Minnesota. It is definitely worth a visit but not on Valentine’s day because it is covered in snow instead of roses.

The garden is large with roses in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow and even white. It is on a hill that overlooks beautiful Lake Superior. Just thinking about it makes me happy.

Happy Valentine’s day.

The flight of the bumble bees

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I love to garden. I always have. It is the Burpee seed catalog and some gardening books that help me make it through the long winter.

In the last decade or so I have been planting more pollinator-friendly plants. Pollinator gardens are popular in my neighborhood as people plant flowers in yards and on boulevards.

According to scientists, there are fewer bees and yesterday bumblebees were in the news again as scientists believe bumblebees are facing extinction. The bumblebee population in Europe and North America has decreased by 40% in recent years.

If you have been planting pollinator gardens it may seem like there are more bees than ever before. There are actually fewer bees you are just noticing them more but please keep planting those native plants.

Visit the University of Minnesota Extension for information and ideas for pollinator-friendly gardens and landscaping.

Next summer I’ll try to get some bumblebee portraits.

honey bee on purple aster


The Hi-Lex gnomes

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. As is the tradition the Hi-Lex Gnomes marched in last week’s grand day winter carnival parade.  It seems that some parade-goers do not know what Hi-lex is. Hi-lex is/was is a bleach solution made right here in St. Paul Minnesota.

As near as I can figure the company was founded in the mid-1940s. I tried to find out if I could still buy Hi-lex but every time I looked for it I found Clorox. The Hi-Lex gnomes live at Westcott Station in St. Paul and appear in our Winter Carnival parades every year.

The gnomes are very photogenic.

Hi-Lex Gnomes at Westscot Station
Gnomes marching in the 2020 Saint Paul Winter Carnival parade

Winter Carnival 2020

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. . . and so is the Saint Paul Winter Carnival which will be in full swing this weekend. The grand day parade is on Saturday at 2:00 PM starting at Smith and West 7th and ending at Rice Park.

This year will be a little different than past years because it will be warm enough to go outside. For a complete list of events visit the winter carnival website. 

rice park
Rice Park in downtown St. Paul – getting ready for winter carnival festivities.
rice park
Rice Park – downtown St. paul