Thursday, February 24, 2011

MN Zoo…

Well, I finally got to the zoo. I had planned on going a couple of weeks ago, but something came up so I went this last Wednesday, February 23rd. The zoo is being drastically remodeled. They will be a new entrance, a Penguin Island where the old entrance was, a new indoor Bird Show area, educational areas, even Starbucks moved. It was all a bit strange, I felt out of place. I spend so much time there, I felt I could find my way around blindfolded, but not anymore. Once it’s all done and I go a few times, I’ll feel comfortable again, but that will be a while.

As I was wandering around, trying to take some good pictures, I decided that if that day had been my first visit to that zoo, I would have been disappointed, because a lot of the exhibits were not on display because of remodeling and there weren’t very many people there, which is good and bad, and the animals that were on exhibit, were either sleeping, or too far away to be able to see well. I know that this was just a fluke, but I was hoping to get more pictures. I guess I’ll just have to go again soon. Gee, that may be difficult…snicker!

I did manage to get a few good pictures though, a tortoise, alligator, lemur, gibbons, flamingo, puma, amur leopard, and tiger. One of the leopards was posing for me, not really, but it felt like it. He (maybe she) was growling/meowing a lot too, so was the tiger, but I only heard him, by the time I got around to seeing him, he wasn’t making noise any longer.


I envy Kira being able to work at a zoo. I know it wouldn’t be for me because I think I would be too fearful, but I’m ALWAYS happy when I visit the zoo. Even going by myself was OK. I love to talk for the animals. Some times the expressions they have just scream for words, as with the Japanese Snow Monkeys…oh my gosh, when the adolescent young are running around, it’s just like watching human adolescents, they act exactly the same way, running and tumbling and being naughty.  The tigers love children, and when children are standing by the glass, the tigers walk back and forth by the glass, sometimes even running along with them. It’s a hoot! In the tropics area, if you’re very lucky, you’ll get to hear the lemurs and gibbons whoop and yell and rattle the fencing. That sound is so cool that when we hear it, we give each other a goofy smile and run to see them. I get goose bumps thinking about it. The bats (Flying Foxes) are my favorite though, and they are off display right now, but they are huge and active. To see them walk hand over hand (claw over claw) on the ropes in their display convinces me that these are the animals that movie people studied when they made vampires walk on walls and ceilings. Just watch them someday and you’ll know just what I’m talking about.

To get the best feel for the MN Zoo, you really do need to go at least four times a year, once each season, preferably during the week when it isn’t so crowded. The worst time to go is the middle of summer on a weekend. EVERYone is there, it’s hot, people are crabby, the animals are hot and they are hiding in the shade so you can’t even see them. We’ve found that the best time to go is spring with winter being a close second. It’s cool and there isn’t a lot of plant growth to hide in. Check it out!! Get a membership, it helps the zoo and the animals and you get free parking, plus you can go as many times as your heart desires.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Fine Line…

Last evening, Valentine’s Day, David and I went to The Fine Line CafĂ© in Downtown Minneapolis. Now, I rarely go listen to bands, let alone go to a bar to do it…but last night I gave in and didn’t put up a whinny little fuss. You know what???? I had a great time. The part that bothers me most about going to a bar is the fact that I’m OLD. I feel extremely frumpy in that setting. But it turns out that I’m soooo much older than the average clientele, that it hardly makes any difference anymore. We saw The Good Armada, DandyLion Warpaint, and Black Church Service. I really liked DandyLion Warpaint’s sound, it’s different than other “new” loud music and thank God it wasn’t rap. They reminded me of Incubus. Dawn and Ethan said they sounded a lot like another band, that I can’t remember, but both David and I liked them a lot. It turns out that this was only their 3rd live concert and the drummer is a whopping 17 years old. Their best and biggest fan was there, as she had been at their 2nd concert…Mom! She was so proud, and stopped by our table to say Hi, because she remembered David and Ethan from the last concert. The Good Armada didn’t impress me at all, and that is the band that Ethan really likes. I just wanted to play “mother” and tell them about the balance of their instruments, which were “off”. I think they would have a much better sound if they lowered the volume of their drums and bass guitar. They were so loud that the vocalist couldn’t be heard. Now I understand that the band members want that “loud” sound, but if they balanced their sounds better, they would not only have a “loud” sound, but a “great” sound. Ethan is friends with Elise, who is the girlfriend of the bass player in The Good Armada and the promoter of DandyLion Warpaint. Her bass player boyfriend happens to be the cousin of the lead singer in DandyLion Warpaint. (Ethan, I hope I have all this information correct). Ethan and Dawn joined us after their dinner at Il Gatto, and Ethan, being the person he is, introduced us to the people he knew. It’s so nice to have kids that treat their parents as people! Thank you my wonderful children!! I love you all more than you will ever know. They stayed until DandyLion Warpaint was done, but David and I stayed awhile longer to listen to the guy in the grey and white tights sing in the Black Church Service, and I’m glad we did. I would have suggested we stay until they were done, but I had had too much to drink and my new memory foam bed topper was calling my name….JANet, JAnet, Janet, janet…

We started out the night at home with steak marinated in Raspberry Chipotle sauce, baked red potatoes, sweet potato, mixed vegetables and for dessert, Strawberry Trifle. I made a huge Strawberry Trifle for the birthday party at work and made up two individual servings for our dinner. They were Yummy! We  also had Shiraz with our meal, two glasses for me. I don’t drink very much because of the addictions that run in my family and me, plus the extra unwanted calories. But this wine was tasting very good and wasn’t plugging up my nose the way wine usually does. The stuffiness finally caught up to me along with very Hot, Red ears and an itchy nose. I put a little cover-up on my nose and ignored my ears and went out for some fun.

We found The Fine Line, put money in the meter, showed our ID’s at the door, (snicker), got our hands stamped and walked on in to an almost empty bar. The first band was playing, which was one guy singing with a guitar (his band mate was incognito) who didn’t sound too bad actually.  David started talking to a table of young men, who happened to be in both of the bands we came to see. They were so nice and polite and OMG…Young! When did I get Old? I certainly don’t feel old, but man oh man that mirror sure doesn’t lie.  So anyway, the waiter came on over and told us all mixed drinks and shots were 2 for 1 all night. Yikes! I ordered a wine spritzer with a shot of cranberry juice and David had his usually T & T. (all I can say is..Yum) Later on Ethan ordered us all shots of Sex With an Alligator, (Chambord Raspberry Liqueur, Jagermeister, Midori and Sour Mix) Yuk! I didn’t like the melon taste. The waiter asked me what I thought of it, so I told him I didn’t like the melon and he said he doesn’t like the Jag, but it was still one of his favorites. After we stopped drinking and were just listening, he was nice enough to keep refilling our water glasses. He was a very nice, bald, gay man. I felt very comfortable there, strange huh?

So, Happy Valentines to all!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

MN Zoo…

The weather has been bitterly cold for the past week and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 20’s, which will feel like a heat wave. I’m really feeling the need to go visit the zoo. I can only stay away for so long and I sort of go through withdrawals. I think I’ll stop at Dunn Brother’s for a Mocha Icecrema, fill up my tank with some expensive gas and take a drive to Apple Valley to wander around the zoo and take pictures of the animals. I’m excited!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


David and I both have every other Friday off of work, unfortunately, they are not the same ones. We have been trying to figure out a good time to take a day trip down to Wabasha to the National Eagle Center to see the hundreds of eagles that hang out around the open Mississippi water at this time of year. I was going to trade a day with Shar, but she had taken Friday off and trading would have given her a really long stretch, so I asked Lanore, and she already had plans made with her son, so I took a chance and asked Lynne (a birder) if she could just work the day for me. Yes, she said yes, thank-you Lynne.

Friday turned out to be a really nice day, partly sunny, warm, in the 30’s, and the truck behaved nicely.

We saw a few eagles on the way, by Read’s Landing, which got me excited to see bunches. Once we got to the Eagle Center and looked around, we found that there were NO eagles. We paid our entrance fee and sat through an interesting talk about different kinds of eagles, their different sizes, what they eat, etc. The interpreter brought out a golden eagle, which was smaller than I had thought, then she brought out a bald eagle.  I’ve seen them eat before, but she let the bald eagle eat quite a bit and it was cool to see it swallow it’s food. The eagle, a female, looked at the woman expectantly once she was on her perch and waiting for her food.

The interpreter warned us before she brought the eagles out, that they may bate. They didn’t, which was nice because that is a little frightening to see. She did get the bald eagle to spread it’s wings though, which I got a great picture of. The other good pictures are of the four eagles sitting on their perches in this open room. One of the female eagles is an early warning system for free eagles flying outside of the building. She does that eagle yell, what ever that is called, when ever she sees an adult eagle fly by.  She told us last year at this time, there were easily 300 eagles in the area right outside the building. This year there aren’t as many because of the strange weather…figures. But a few flew by and landed in a tree close by, then flew off. They were very easy to see. We crossed the bridge to the Wisconsin side and drove a little further south and were able to see several more. Even though we didn’t see as many as I would have liked to, it was still a great day.