A Photo Review of 2015 – October

In October I started working for St Croix Retail.  Very soon we were hard at work getting the new store ready to open.  Opening date was October 12th.

This is one of the reasons I took the job, despite a fairly long commute to downtown Minneapolis.  I am standing on the light-rail platform, ready to take the train home.  The light colored building across the one-way street, where the cars are waiting for the light, is the exact corner where the store is located (Corner of Nicolette and Fifth).  It is also a visitor information center as well as a central spot where people can get train/bus passes and find out everything there is to know about commuting to and from and around downtown.

Yet another really nice warm day made for a very good hike with the barefooters in one of our many local parks.

Finally the store was opened – a soft opening without too much fanfare – stocked with all locally made artwork, jewelry, chocolate, t-shirts and prints, as well as quick-buy items for bicyclists.

Here I am sitting in the social media command center that is also part of the store and I am playing with a much maligned item – a selfie stick.  Behind me is the light-rail station from where I took the earlier photo.

A Photo Review of 2015 – September

The state fair ran into September and most days were VERY hot.  One of my sons had given me this cloth/towel thingy that you get wet and then hang around your neck and it REALLY works!

For people not from Minnesota – the T-shirt has the outline of the state of Minnesota and therefor spells out “Minnesotan”, which I can claim to be after 18 years here, I think.

The Renaissance Festival was in full swing and according to this photo, Wilhelm took his role as Viking very seriously.  But he also has a blast out there!

The Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church had an arts day and I was asked to bring my leatherwork out there.  It was a good day.

I am still of the opinion that if I belonged to a primitive culture, I probably would have worshiped the son (I’m actually better off now worshiping the Son).

September also meant the end of a little more than a year of driving schoolbus – if only hours were more and throughout the year, I would return to it any day.

A Photo Review of 2015 – July

July always start for us with a big Potjie Dag at Mark Sampson’s house.  We cook, talk (Afrikaans a lot without translation and regard for non-Afrikaans speakers – it is the one day we just go with Afrikaans), swim and relax a lot.

July’s hiking weather was just perfect – good memories to last through the cold barefoot-unfriendly winters.

It also became clear that the house needed a new roof – luckily only the tiles needed to be replaced and the rest of the roof structure was still very good.


A Photo Review of 2015 – June

Summer makes for beautiful walks next to the Mississippi river – this was taken off an old bridge – half of which was left intact when the rest was demolished.

Another school field trip took me to an old museum in Mendota Village.  It was right next to the train track and it is not every day that you get to take this sort of photo!

Summer and kayaking! The sun is just so welcome.  And we have to soak up all we can before the days get shorter!  This was Fish Lake in Eagan.

This was a first:  a really very very heavy rainstorm trapped me at home in my car!  Believe me – this photo is deceiving.  It was worse that what you see here.   After about ten minutes I dashed to the house.

Another barefoot walk next to the Mississippi river – this time where it flows through (or just south of) downtown St Paul.  I was on Raspberry Island to take this photograph.

Our church had a float in the local city parade (South St Paul Days Parade) with our church band playing live – you can see them here as they just passed us.

And with that we reached the midpoint of the year!

A Photo Review of 2015 – May

By May the weather was nice enough to join the Dalldorfs in burning their old Christmas tree from 2014.  Few things feel as nice as the green grass after a cold winter.

We did a long nine month course at church and it was a huge privilege to have Jacques there too.  Here he is talking to the group.

With the improved weather, the barefoot hiking group started the monthly hikes again!

Towards the end of the school year I had to take the high school band to a parade – only the second time I had to tow a trailer with a school bus.  All good.

I accompanied Wilhelm to Kansas City, where we had a booth at the fantasy art convention, Spectrum.  I had a lot of fun talking to people and demonstrating how leatherwork is done.

Wilhelm finally became a US citizen.  He was too old to become a citizen with me or Gina and had to do the deed on his own.

I found myself more and more taking photos of Chippie – it was very clear that his time was limited on this earth.

A Photo Review of 2015 – January

The year started off on the first much like 2016 is kicking off – little snow on the ground and just about “warm enough” for a barefoot photo op outside.

2015 was my fifth year going without shoes as much as I possible can.  I look back on this time with a lot of joy.  If only the weather shared my passion for a barefoot lifestyle!

When I am at home and busy in my leather workshop, the two dogs are never very far away – especially when I do work like braiding that does not involve loud noises.  As soon as I start tooling, the banging noise startles the two old guys because of how deaf they are getting.

In their old age there are things the dogs loose and then there are things they do not loose.   They sometimes loose bladder control, hence the old towel lying ready in a strategic spot.  They do not loose the urge to be VERY close to you when you are on the throne in the bathroom.   Here Tuffie lies outside the door waiting for Gina.

As usual we try to make sure that we have a games evening with the Kuhn’s and Sampson’s every month in winter and January was no exception.

I went to see the Aztec Dancers, Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue, dance in honour of St Paul, the apostle, in Minneapolis.  I could not resist taking this picture of this little drummer who stood through the whole hour and a half, drumming away in perfect rhythm!

A beard is all well and good, but too much trouble, and I think like clothing, you have to have a particular body/face to make it look good.

Fall Hike

Beautiful fall (autumn) weather had me out with the Barefoot Hikers of Minnesota this afternoon.   It was such a shame that we did not see hundreds of people outside to enjoy the close-to-perfect weather.    We are not going to have many more days like this until a few months into next year!

As usual in Minnesota, we were not too far from the nearest lake.

Although the time for the best fall colors were past, we could still feast our eyes of the splendour around us.  The views of nature that invaded our senses made for a good reset of the mind.

We walked past a Lama farm …. (I wonder what the horse did there?)

We came across a few small snakes that were no doubt making the best of the last bit of heat of this time of year too.

Can’t see it ….?   Here:

And there were others too:

Here is the map my phone made for me of the 2.64mile hike:

Last of the warm weather?

I went for a very nice walk next to the Mississippi River tonight.  It was perfect weather and I just HAD to get out.  Our temperature is said to drop by 30 degrees Fahrenheit tomorrow.

Of course I did it barefoot – and I dread having to become a bit more shod for colder weather!  

The river was very low – typical for this time of year.

I had some fun with my little camera too!

I used MyTracks on my phone to see how far I walked – 

Total Time: 00:27:28 Moving Time: 00:23:36 Distance: 1.14 mi Average Speed: 2.89

The satelite link seemed to die just before I reached my car again.

The New Scion

Well, as I said to Gina Saturday, I better go photograph the new car while it is still so pristinely clean!  So we went to a local park in the beautiful sunshine and had some fun with the cameras.

One of the secrets was to see how I could avoid getting my own shadow or reflection in the photo.

I could just not stop clicking.

The RS 9.0 is for “Release Series 9.0”.   Only 1500 Scion xB’s were made in this configuration and I have number 1354.  This pic had no hassles with shadows – Wilhelm did the shadow puppet wolf!

This is the only photo where I did a bit of photoshop on the background:

The front emblem – this one the reflection was intentional.

Here I also did my best to get in a good reflection, but at the time of taking the picture, I did not realise the frost of the night before had left all the specs on the glass.


Minnesota, JUST before winter …

I am on a week’s hiatus near Breezy Point, Minnesota.     My first three days made me think that God was speaking to my through my body and just telling me to “Stop!”  I had been boasting that I have not had a cold for at least two years – and Saturday evening the mother of all colds hit me.  

No amount of Wellness Formula helped this time – I was struck down and for three days I simply had to do nothing and rest.   I did play around a bit on my son’s IMac computer that I brought with bacause of it’s total lack of the ball of spaghetti wiring in a normal PC.  And I did read a bit of a book I am currently studying in a group:  “Speaking Christian”.

Today I felt much better!  And midday I decided to go explore Brainerd and the lakes in the area.  It was a perfect day for photography and here are the results.   Just before returning I went on a small hike in the forrest to an old fire tower and the video of that is at the end.