It is time to plan for spring

If you love tulips now is the time to pick up some tulip bulbs. The flowers like sunlight and they bloom in the spring but are planted in the fall. The good news is that if you plant them this fall they will bloom every spring with minimal care.

Experts say to wait until the soil temperature is 60 or lower and before the first frost. We don’t really know when the first frost will be, but generally in St. Paul the best time to plant bulbs will be around the 20th of September but before October 15th.

Tulip bulbs are easy to plant and they look amazing when they bloom. All you need to do is dig a hole about six inches deep, put a bulb in it and bury the bulb.


They are also fun to photograph.

Always be wealthy

We can learn from history and we should but usually, we forget what happened in the past and we really don’t learn from it.

We all should have learned from the great recession and the housing market crash that it is best to be wealthy. The wealthy recovered from the recession but the poor did not. Large banks were bailed out but homeowners were not.

I feel fortunate that all we lost was one income and some savings. We still have our home and as soon as the local housing market turned around in 2012 I paid off the mortgage.

The worst year for us financially was 2011 and that was the year home prices and the number of home sales hit bottom.

The rest of my family wasn’t so fortunate. Some lost homes and others graduated from college during the recession and struggled to find work and pay back student loans.

Here is a snapshot of the last decade of the housing market in St. Paul. The only part of the chart that looks “normal” to me are the years 2012 and 2103. Maybe the rest of it is the new normal. I hope not because homes for sale are in short supply and are unaffordable for many.

chart, median prices and homes for sale
St. Paul housing market 2008-2018

There will be a buyers market again. Some predict it will start in 2020. The chart is a great illustration of our current market with supply going down and prices going up.

The last day of August should be fun

It is Friday and Friday’s are for fun. There are some who consider the end of August the end of summer. There are three weeks of Summer left and possibly even a couple of weeks of non-flannel shirt and no sock weather.

Please go out and play, enjoy the Labor Day weekend.  This is what comes next:

Saturday afternoon April 14th

Throwback Thursday, elephants and McCain


The picture is of the garden’s at the St. Paul Hotel, and in the background is the Landmark Center.  The city looks wonderful. – August 30, 2008, the Republican national convention.

The News Media reported that it all happened in Minneapolis but we know the truth. The convention was right here in St. Paul and it was on this day in 2008 at John McCain got the party nomination for president.

Xcel Center in St. Paul, MN 2008 RNC

It all seems so long ago now.

Playing games downtown

Sometimes I think downtown St. Paul is St. Paul’s best kept secret. Did you know that Wednesday is game day at the Union Depot? They set up giant board games from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM.

Games include Chess, Checkers, Connect Four, Dominoes, Jenga, Tic Tac Toe and others. There are ping pong tables too but they are the normal size.

No one was playing when I walked through last Wednesday probably because the weather was amazing.

If you are looking for a family friendly Wednesday activity this could be it.

The Green Line stops at the Union Depot and if you have to drive there is plenty of parking in the attached ramp and even on the street. There are is also a new restaurant and bar in the Union Depot.

Giant Chess