© 2014 Kate Walsh
Home. Design. The Beauty of Both.
“I believe that reading, in its original essence, is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.” –Marcel Proust
This week’s photo challenge is “Solitary”. If you already spend time alone, you may know some of the benefits: relaxation, heightened self-awareness, focus and concentration, increased self-reliance and self-confidence, freedom, spirituality, creative thinking, problem solving skill building, and other benefits. Here are a few articles on the topic of solitude:
The Surprising Benefits of Solitude, by Andrew McAfee
This article (above) in particular was interesting to me relative to the subject of brainstorming sessions, focus groups and group interviews.
The Lost Art of Solitude, by Leo Babauta
The Power of Lonely, By Leon Neyfakh
A woman taking time to enjoy a park setting in solitude
The same woman but a different photographic perspective of solitude
My sister and I were working with a lovely newly wedded couple to find them a home. We looked at homes in Saint Paul. We looked in Minneapolis. We looked along the river front. And then this home came on the market. Initially, the only photo on the MLS was of the front exterior. I told them it was either ugly and dated inside or the listing agents were planning professional photos to be taken. It turned out they were having professional photos taken of the interiors.
We went to see it right away. The couple knew they had found something special that first time through. My sister and I have worked with many buyers who have walked into homes and known immediately it was the home for them.
The home had been owned by the sellers for over forty years. The prior owners had also lived in this home for decades. Both of the previous owners had been newly wedded couples when they first moved in to this home. This is what I call great predecessor history. It bodes well for this couple’s future happiness.
The next day we went back with an architect to get some ideas and cost information for remodeling the kitchen. The architect confirmed they had great space to work with.
They made their offer, and after some pretty painless negotiation, the contract was signed and delivered. They secured an amazing 2.75% mortgage rate. The closing took place at the end of July. They love their new home.
I can’t wait to see their new kitchen!
The home has a great screened porch!
And a private, double lot with mature trees and perennial gardens.
Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.
Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
Washington Dulles International Airport
Wall of trees overlooking the terrace
This was the view that greeted me as I arrived on the ticketing level of Dulles last week. The window itself is beautiful; it’s further enhanced by the terrace beyond. It wouldn’t be nearly as pretty if it overlooked a parking lot. Also noteworthy is the reflection of the window, greenery and sky on the floor, all serving to double this picturesque setting.
Read more about the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.
This week’s photo challenge on the The Daily Post is ‘Blue’. So many images come to mind with this word. The sky. Water. Cobalt blue glass. Pottery. Coldwell Banker Burnet real estate signs. The blue jay. Blueberries. Hydrangeas. Where to begin? Let‘s start here:
This, to me, is quintessential blue; the beloved blue jean.
A magazine cover depicting water and the word blue.
Lake Calhoun and the Minneapolis Skyline
A starlit background with a message.
Ready to buy or sell a home? Call us.
Coldwell Banker Burnet
Minneapolis Lakes Office
Sometimes the best view of a sunset is where the sun is striking an object or objects. One recent evening I found the setting sun lighting up these docks on White Bear Lake. The silver and gray docks against the blue water created an eye-catching contrast. The wind was fierce and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep my small camera steady enough for the shot. Fortunately, I was able to snap a couple of photos that captured the silvery light reflecting off the docks.
I was browsing through some photos in the archives last night and came upon this one. I thought it fit this challenge quite well.
April 26, 2012
It’s a full sun afternoon and I have time for fun. I went out with my camera because this is what all passionate photographers do. Here are more “sun” captures. Let me know if you have a favorite. You might need your sunglasses for this first one.
Thanks for stopping by. I had a fabulously fun time playing in the sun with my camera.
This mesic oak forest exists today but may not be around for long. The current plan is to build four new homes here. One of the reasons I love photography is that is documents what is and what used to be. Once the homes are built, this will be a record of the beauty that once was.
Photographed March 2012
The city of Minnetonka classifies this as a mesic oak forest within the Minnesota Land Cover Classification System. A mesic oak forest consists of a variety of oak trees in a moderately moist environment. On this site, there are oak trees ranging in size from less than 8-inch diameter to 48-inch diameter. These two lots also include large ash, ironwood, and cherry trees. The bucolic land around us continues to be developed.
This week’s photo challenge is the theme of “arranged”. I always find nature’s arrangements photo worthy.
February 16-19, 2012
St. Paul River Centre
$2 Off Coupon for the Home and Patio Show
If you’re planning to make some changes to your home or gardens this year, here’s an opportunity to get ideas and “how to” information. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the three levels of the River Centre. Home improvement seminars will be presented by the Home Depot Pros. Topics include:
Do-It-Yourself Tile Installation: Ceramic, Porcelain and Stone
Do-It-Yourself Installing Pre-Finished Laminate and Hardwood Flooring
Do-It-Yourself Light Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Landscape Lighting
Do-It-Yourself Toilet Installation and Repairs
Painting Tips and Techniques
Looking to spruce up the landscape and garden? The Minnesota State Horticultural Society is sponsoring the garden seminars. Topics include:
Container Gardening for the Balcony, Deck or Patio
Small Space Vegetable Gardening – Jennifer Porwit, Master Gardener
2011: Oh, What a Year! – Bobby Jensen, KARE 11 and The Lawn Ranger
Ornamental Grasses – Susan Oven, Master Gardener
Crafting Cool & Creative Containers – Don Engebretson, The Renegade Gardener
Organic Gardening – Mark Armstead, Linder’s Garden Center and Greenhouse
Master Gardeners will be available on Saturday and Sunday to answer questions. Looking for bulbs? Check out the bulb sale each day.
Thursday Noon – 9 P.M.
Friday Noon – 9 P.M.
Saturday 10 A.M. – 9 P.M.
Sunday 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.
$2.50 children 6 to 12
5 and under free
More information on the Minnesota Home and Patio Show
Directions to the River Centre
It’s been beautifully foggy for a few days this week. No sunshine though. I miss the sun. This photo reminds me of sunny, colorful days.
If your home is beginning to feel a bit dull and uninspired, try adding color. It can be as simple as pillows, artwork, a rug, towels, or the like. Use your imagination. Find something you love. Sometimes small changes make a big difference.
A condominium association recently installed LED flood lights outside the building. I happened to be at the condo this evening after dark when the lights were on. The lights cast a bright, white light onto the tree above, giving it a ghostly look. Perhaps it’s fitting for this last day of the year as we say goodbye to 2011. The shot above is the normal color. The photo below is black and white.
The LED, or light-emitting diode, is supposedly the light bulb of the future. They provide high lumen levels at low wattage. I have friends who have purchased LED holiday light strings for Christmas trees. They tell me they are too bright.
These photos show a very strong light source. Will a dimmer be needed at each fixture to comfortably use these in our homes? How long will it be before the prices become more in line with an incandescent bulb (current pricing for an LED flood light is about $50 a bulb)? I’m interested in seeing them in a kitchen where bright light is desired. They would be good outside the house to clearly see steps and key holes.
LED lights are still in development stage. Read more about the subject here:
LED’s benefits aside, my first choice in lighting remains natural sunlight. Nature still does it best.
Photo of the Day
December 15, 2011
Here’s an example of a home with attractive holiday curb appeal. Lighted trees flank the front door, a lit wreath hangs on the chimney, and a lit shrub on the left side balances the trees by the door.
I came home and looked at the photo on my computer’s large screen. I noticed a surprise element in the photo. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.) Can you find it? Does it put a smile on your face? Happy holidays!
Lake Ann Park in Chanhassen, MN
Beautiful Lake Ann is a quiet, non-motorized lake
offering solitude, clean water, and 100% undeveloped shores.
Lake Ann Park in Chanhassen, MN
Friday night and Saturday morning brought yet more snow to what has been a long winter here in the Twin Cities. I had been dreading this spring storm. I’m ready for sun and warm temperatures. I awoke to find the trees covered in snow, always a beautiful sight.
I headed out in my car to start my day and took a wrong turn. I traveled the road for some distance. I’d been on the road before so it wasn’t unfamiliar. I came upon this pretty site and wished I had my good camera. Alas, the sun was starting to peek out, the snow was melting and dropping blobs on my windshield, and I knew I had to snap the photo or lose the opportunity. The cell phone camera won out in this race against time and temp.
The wrong turn became the perfect detour. What a great start to the day!
Photography is one of my passions and, as such, I have hundreds of pictures. The other day I was looking through some of them and came upon this one. I love the rustic fence juxtaposed against the new path. I took this photo on a late fall afternoon when the days are shortening and the light is waning.
I considered tweaking the photo with image editing software but opted to leave it as taken. It’s perhaps a bit dark yet still appealing. It’s one of those moments a photographer hopes to capture, when the light is between day and night, offering a surreal quality to the image and scene.
I ventured off the beaten path and found an unexpectedly peaceful place.
The ice crunched underneath my feet and tires,
adding sound to the otherwise silent landscape.
Here were three trees, standing tall and majestic.
I walked across a field of hard snow to this red bench and thought to myself –
‘I’m walking on water’.
Being in the quiet and beauty of nature always makes me
feel connected to things greater than myself.
When did you last veer off the beaten path? What did you discover?