Minnesota flowers

These are some pictures from flowers in Rochester, Minnesota. I took them at the beginning of last month. I was looking at these flowers with some wistful tears. This Texas summer has been really hard on my plants. My favorite rose bush is dying. *tragic*

So, I will think about these flowers instead of my rose bush and her unsightly experience with the throes of death. ImageImageImage

Another Trip to Uncanny Valley

We stopped by the Olmsted County History Museum. It was underwhelming…until you turn the corner from the exhibit on the 1883 F5 tornado aftermath (which wasn’t what I would exactly describe as cheery). Then it was a horror show.

My five-year-old absolutely refused to enter the room below. I think he was upset because he saw a commercial for a new TV series: The Headless Horseman.

Sometimes a mannequin is better WITH A HEAD. OMG. :(
Sometimes a mannequin is better WITH A HEAD. OMG. 😦

But, before the headless military officers, there’s the surgery theater. My mother was particularly bothered by one of the mannequin doctors. “He’s looking right at you!” Yes, on top of the horrible scene, the Dr. Grimm gives you the stink eye. Sweet.

"Grumble, grumble, grumble."
“Grumble, grumble, grumble.”
"I frequently contemplate ways to murder Dr. Grimm."
“I frequently contemplate ways to murder Dr. Grimm.”

Here’s the surgery that the Clinic so nicely invites you to watch for learning/entertainment. So what I am saying is that my Sunday afternoon is booked, people. I’m busy breathing germs into a surgery theater.

Pretty sure the patient is awake during her eyeball removal surgery.
Pretty sure the patient is awake during her eyeball removal surgery.
The nurse says to the doctor, "How little ether to give to keep her slightly aware during this gruesome procedure?"
The nurse says to the doctor, “How little ether to give to keep her slightly aware during this gruesome procedure?”
"I think we killed her. Huh."
“I think we killed her. Huh.”

There’s also a spooky nurse watching over a child having some kind of conniption or demonic possession.


Can't blame this mannequin from having a conniption. That icky doll is just awful.
Can’t blame this mannequin from having a conniption. That icky doll is just awful.
"Hush child. The monsters will eat your toes if you aren't quiet."
“Hush child. The monsters will eat your toes if you aren’t quiet.”
The word her hand covers up? Nightmare. Every Baby's NIGHTMARE.
The word her hand covers up? Nightmare. Every Baby’s NIGHTMARE.

(Please refrain from commenting on the Clinic and the wonderful work done there. I will just delete your comment. This is solely a commentary on the creepy museum. Because >_< WTH with the mannequins?)

Scenes from the Amish Auction

Inside and outside the auction
Inside and outside the auction. Yes, he is using a cell phone.

These are some scenes from the auction I attended today in St. Charles, Minnesota. I don’t like to be intrusive with my picture-taking. I feel like I am being rude to bother people with it.

We met some really friendly Amish people. The lady who sold me a doughnut gave me a tip to handle squash bugs: spray sugar water. Hmm. I might try that next year. I told her I usually wrap my plants in tin foil to confuse the bugs, but I was too late this year.

Inside the auction
Inside the auction. Note the glass around the top which lets enough light in to avoid the need for artificial light during daylight hours. Ingeniously green–something all barns/halls should have this feature to reduce energy usage.
Buggy with antsy horse.
Horses impatiently waiting for their owners.
Propane lights
Propane lights. The Amish don’t use electricity. So, you’d think it would be all candles and darkness. This group has decided that propane does not break their rules.
Pony and buggy
Pony and buggy. Different groups of Amish argue about the appropriateness of  buggy coverings.
Rolling hills
Rolling hills outside the auction house.

The Amish are not a monolithic group. Each sets its own standards within agreed-upon individual community standards. From my perspective, I feel that other Americans could learn a thing or two about good manners from the Amish. They don’t put on airs. If they are judgmental about my relatively revealing clothing, they certainly don’t get in my face about it.

On the other hand, I do find some of the more conformist aspects of their culture to be problematic. While it can be a good practice to recognize one’s place in the world, too much submissiveness can result in an individual tolerating abuse and exploitation. That’s the dirty side of the shiny coin.

Animal Oddities

I went to Oxbow Park again in Rochester, MN. Sadly, the one-eyed owl was gone…probably to a better place. Disturbingly, it was replaced with an owl with a blind eye. What the hell is going on in Minnesota? Is there some assknocker out there poking at owls’ eyes so we have a sufficient supply of half-blinded owls?

You betcha!

I have to admit, I felt pretty silly after I finally read the information about the wonderful Great Horned Owl (who I would have named the Cat Head Owl on account of the cat ears and eyes). Anyhow, the Latin name for the creature answered a certain question that has been nagging me for decades. Why is that owl in Clash of the Titans called Bubo? Yes, I watched the credits to make sure that “not my precious Bubo’ is spelled ‘bubo.’ Ya know, in espanol it’s called a ‘buho.’ That’s a better name, because that’s what owls say (bwuo!). Bwuo! Bwuo! Say it squatting on a branch with your arms like chicken wings. You’ll see that it’s a superior name.

I learn something new every day. Pretty soon I'll be knowledgeable about something.

This is what Bubo has been up to since his starring role:

Here are other animals with issues:

Pretty sure the porcupines had been roofied.
Eagle told me to tell you this message, "I'm not bald, you morons. I have white feathers. Also, I'm tired of this owl next to us. It's like he doesn't even SEE ME. Total jerk of a neighbor."


I visited Spamtown, USA. My photography is not at its best, but the subject is not easy to make attractive. The low-sodium, lower-fat single serve pouch was good on a salad. After I pan seared it like a real chef! Really, the texture is abominable unless you do that. I drizzled my salad with Stillwater Company Blood Orange olive oil and rice vinegar. I’m fussy like that. I won’t eat processed canned meat without other high quality ingredients.

FYI- Austin, Minnesota (Spamtowm) smells like a bag of pork rinds, or chicharrones as we call them down here in Austin, Texas. I just felt like adding that detail. It’s important to know before you go!

You can’t blame my kid for the look of…horror? Confusion? There were like a million cans of SPAM up there. No adequate explanation provided.

I just hope my coworkers appreciate the Spam postcards I sent them.