Santa pig duo

This duo of Santa yard-decoration pigs is one holiday back…yet still perky and giggle-worthy.

Beach stump

Meanwhile, down at the beach, the Olympics were out again today, and so was the tide (when we visited).


Stone chinese dragon

Stone Chinese dragon.

Mexican axolotl

Real Mexican dragon (really: axolotl).

Vegetative variants

Tamarack needles

There’s plain vegetation, the way it grows.


And, there’s vegetation with added decorations.

I lost my sense of scale

Sunrise Iowa

Between sunrise in Iowa…

Sunset wyoming

…and sunset in Wyoming….

Sculpture garden

…we found a sculpture garden in a field, including a massive bull’s head (I assume bull(?)) and carefully propped up horse.

Dignity ChamberlainSD

And, with her back to the Missouri River at Chamberlain SD, we found “Dignity: of Earth & Sky” (by Dale Lamphere), an even more massive presence at some fifty feet in height.

Dignity star

In the late afternoon light, the star quilt pattern was magnificent viewed from behind as the sunlight came through the blue panels. Most visitors never look at the back, and when you notice the armature (is that what it is?) on the facing side, it becomes clear you are meant to also walk around the back of the figure. I think, given that today was the 24th of December, that her alternate name should be Madonna of the Missouri.

Hay in flats

Quite a different kind of sculpture: the giant round hay bales.

And I’m tired. Carry on.


Elvis fuzzy dice

Elvis and fuzzy dice—totally retro. Vrooom. [But quiescent now.]

Parking narc

This car was a parking narc. Notice those devices on the corners above the windshield. I think they’re plate readers. Be careful, folks! [Or park a couple blocks farther away where there are no meters.]

We got multi-cultural

Spraypaint art

In Mexico, and I assume generally across Latin America, Sunday is for family and socializing, if you aren’t working. One focus for these activities are public spaces, especially in the city/town center, as various attractions are likely to be there (vendors, food, perhaps live performances, either formal or informal) and there’s room for everyone (poor people have small living spaces, after all), and the kids can run around.

At one of the Latin American shopping centers hereabouts, which holds a collection of small vending spaces, as there would be in the Latin markets, there are scattered benches at the junction of aisleways, and a larger open central area, all mimicking the public social spaces of the old country. We wandered there today, admiring the saturated colors of most of the fancy lady-dresses (e.g., for quinceañeras), piñatas, and all manner of polyester garmetage, and so on…and on, and on.

But the people-watching was the best. Some of the younger sales people spoke Spanish to us, but the older ones all used English—or ignored us.

Purchases? None.


Train in lights

Outdoor report: lights are up and the aesthetics vary. I liked this one. Should I be concerned that the rocking horse has no chocks? [Duh—use your imagination, no?]

Creme brulee BC

Indoor report: we avoided the Fry-Night crush and went out tonight, a late morning spur-of-the-moment decision. Everything was tasty as usual at Babette’s Café (honoring the movie), and we were even served our entrées by Chef Marla herself! Basking in the glow of cocktail, wine, and crème brûlée, our go-to dessert. Yum!

Leaves and loaves

Longleaf and leaf

Despite it being rainy-rainy all day, I did get my daily thirty minutes in (current strategy). Enjoyed the juxtaposition of the straight, green needles (which are of course a kind of leaf) and the lumpy-shaped, brown leaf, with the emerging candles in the middle. Done.

Knead piece

This afternoon I went to a matinée play (rhymes!). The title: Knead…a personal history well told. The little stories were threaded together around Mom’s bread baking and unrecipe recipe…and the playwright/actress Mary Lynn Owen made bread as the stories unwound. And of course, afterward, we got a taste! Clever!

Buddha and Batman

Mini cement Buddha

Always enjoy this small, grinning Buddha; he really doesn’t mind the cold, it seems. Note that he was dry at photo-time; that’ll change.

Front plate Gotham

I refrained from capturing the steering-wheel cover, sporting repeated Bat-dude logos. Is the plate echoing the Joker’s laugh? So, what’s the message? That we should be worried? The Joker was the evil opposition to the Dude, no?


Crocus of Dec

Crocus. Blooming. IN DECEMBER (imagine a thundering announcer-voice). Climate change, folks? Huh? Huh?

Holiday at bank

Speaking of timely, in this age when Xmas decorations and advertising may appear weeks before Thanksgiving, I guess these soldiers are on point. Not sure how to interpret soldiers on a bank branch counter.