News and musings from the vicinity of Fox Street and Willow, Long Lake, Minnesota... the Johnsons at home and away. That's us.


Morning on the Lake

Filed under: General by Helen on 6/6/2005

P6050056x – Morning on the Lake

Originally uploaded by jhjohnso.

Weekend at the cabin (up north). It rained/misted continually. Bad news? No way! It produced this lovely misty morning for fishing. No wind. No bugs. No sunburn. Noone else around. No fish to clean. (We released them) Couldn’t think of a better way to spend a morning. Click on the pic for more fishing pictures.


Pippa’s Song – and mine

Filed under: General by Helen on 5/30/2005

P5290003x – Rose Breasted Grossbeak

Originally uploaded by jhjohnso.

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearl’d;

The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven–
All’s right with the world!
– Robert Browning

The sun’s schedule and mine finally came together. I spent the afternoon potting petunias and watching the birds from the deck. This rose-breasted grossbeak kept coming perilously close to me. But he always had one eye cocked in case I made a sudden move.

What a wonderful day. I can’t think of anyone or anywhere I would rather have been.


Afternoon on a Hill

Filed under: General by Helen on 5/24/2005


Originally uploaded by jhjohnso.

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

-Edna St. Vincent Millay


Spring in the North Woods

Filed under: General by Helen on 5/22/2005


Originally uploaded by jhjohnso.

Spent the weekend at the cabin with the grandkids. The weather wasn’t wonderful. But all the rain has lots sprouting and fresh. We had photo opportunities everywhere we turned.



Filed under: General,Who's News by Helen on 5/18/2005


Originally uploaded by jhjohnso.

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there.
-Amy Li

Whatever would I do if you weren’t?

Happy Birthday, Jo. I love you.


Spring Flowers

Filed under: General by Helen on 5/16/2005


Originally uploaded by jhjohnso.

Last fall, Jim planted hundreds of tulip bulbs. That’s such an act of faith. It’s a long winter between putting them in the ground and seeing results.

This spring, we’ve been disappointed by the results. Perhaps the weather has been just too strange. Maybe we’re too early. Could be that the deer and other creatures have been ahead of us. But we haven’t seen much. This is the only pickable tulip we’ve had so far.


Happy Birthday Dad

Filed under: General by HelenJr on 5/14/2005

So, today is Dad’s birthday. It’s a big one and deserves a lovely picture here to commemorate it. But, as I shuffled through the mountain of family photos for one that represented him well, I noticed something. His absence from the frame. Not because he wasn’t there. It was because he was ALWAYS there, behind the camera, quietly doing the needful to make us a family. Thank you, Dad. It’s a fine family, indeed. Love you.


It is as it should be….

Filed under: General,Who's News by HelenJr on 5/8/2005

Four GenerationsI come from a line (two lines actually) of strong women. Women of imagination and interests who found wonder in what they saw. Women who educated themselves, and sought opportunities to know and contribute to the world around them. Creative women who found joy in what they could make, and what they could share. Women of gentleness and generosity. But most importantly, women who faced the challenges, fears, and sadnesses of life head-on, with pride and determination and grace. I am humbled by them.

From these women, through my mother and grandmothers, I receive a legacy I can never repay. I can only do my best to live up to it and to pass it to my own daughter. In turn, I never hope to be repaid in kind. Now she must pass the legacy on, as well. Not back to me, but down to her children. It is as it should be.

Mom, happy Mother’s Day. Thank you. You have given me much.

Else, happy Mother’s Day, as well. I already have the joy of seeing your strength, your wisdom, your generosity. You make me proud.


Who’s News

Filed under: General,Who's News by HelenJr on 4/30/2005

Bill Kelley

William Ringnier Kelley

1925: May 14, Billy Kelley born, first child of Bill and Ingred Kelley 

1943: Bill Kelley graduates from Wayzata High School with great promise and high expectations.

2005: Bill Kelley hits 80. We celebrate his success in the business of life.

Dad, Happy 80th Birthday from all of your admirers.

Click here to leave a greeting for Bill


The End

Filed under: General by HelenJr on 4/28/2005

My hip has been hurting lately. Actually my hip, my knee, my ankle. It’s the result of getting older. (ouch) I’m planning on another 30 to 40 years of use. But, already my parts are wearing out. The doctor has already mentioned the possibility of a hip replacement. I recognize the value of such replacments. But I had hoped not to face them until closer to “the end”. A friend points out the flaw in my hope…. we might be closer to “the end” than we thought. (double ouch)


The Sky is Crying

Filed under: General,Pictures,Weather by Helen on 4/26/2005

P4260127 rainy day, originally uploaded by jhjohnso.

Today reminded me of this song:

The sky is crying,
Look at the tears rolling down the streets.
The sky is crying,
Look at the tears rolling down the streets.
I looked out my window,
The rain was falling down in sheets.

My baby left me this morning,
Lord knows I don’t know the reason why.
My baby left me this morning,
I don’t know the reason why.
And everytime I think about it,
I hang my head and cry.

The sun is shining,
Although it’s raining in my heart.
The sun is shining,
Although it’s raining in my heart.
I love my baby,
I hate to see us part.
– Elmore James, Morgan Robinson and Clarence Lewis



Filed under: General by Helen on 4/23/2005


Originally uploaded by Tama.

From Helen at helenkelley-patchworks: Fine quilters have an “eye” for combining separate (and sometimes unlikely) colors and patterns into a grand image. It is all about building pictures with pictures.

I came across this web site where the flower pictures look like lovely quilts in rainbow colors. Tama, the photographer describes herself as “a Japanese “homemaker” but, I think her flower-quilt photos show she is an artist with a quilter’s “eye”. Click on this picture and select her set of flower pics to see the rest of her rainbow of picture-quilts. They inspire me.



Filed under: General,Pictures by Helen on 4/21/2005

P4210049 Moon

Originally uploaded by jhjohnso.


Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

—-Walter de la Mare



Filed under: General,Pictures by Helen on 4/20/2005

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
– Robert Frost

P4180001 – Seedling Chamomile
Pic from by jhjohnso.


Small Things

Filed under: General,Pictures by Helen on 4/18/2005

Summer is about abundance. Fall is about loss. Winter is about minimalism. Spring is about small things, new things, firsts, only’s.

In spring I am excited about the little discoveries that I would never notice in other seasons.

Pic from by jhjohnso.



Filed under: General,Pictures by Helen on 4/7/2005


Originally uploaded by jhjohnso.

The birds in our yard are beginning to shed their winter colors. This little guy is partly there.


Spring is here

Filed under: General,Pictures by HelenJr on 4/5/2005


Originally uploaded by jhjohnso.

In my garden, the first flowers of spring are always the snowdrops. They aren’t very showy. But, when they poke their clean white heads up through all that gray winter litter…. what a joy!


Up Fox

Filed under: Pictures by HelenJr on 4/2/2005

Looking up Fox Street toward Willow Drive. Foxwillow…. get it?


To Sir With Love

Filed under: General,Who's News by HelenJr on 1/26/2005

Mom and Sir Last summer, I spent a week at ‘La Maison du Patchwork’ in Chateauponsac, France. My mother and I had a wonderful time, good people, good food, good conversation. A special member of our group was our hosts’ English bulldog, Sir. Sir was wonderfully friendly and enthusiastic. He would leap with gusto at every opportunity to join us; and he’d shiver with delight when he succeeded at becoming the center of our loving attention. It was always such a pleasure to see him smile.

But Sir was fragile. He suffered from epilepsy. Though we did our best not to, there were occasions when our attentions caused enough stress to trigger a seizure. It was difficult for all of us to witness that struggle.

Today I received sad news that Sir has died. We send our sympathies to Graham and Isabel Sunderland. Sir will always have a special place in our hearts.


Who’s News?

Filed under: General,Who's News by HelenJr on 1/20/2005

Betsy Merritt Elizabeth Merritt, born 1-22-1955 

Betsy, Happy 50th Birthday.

You’ll always be an historic treasure to us. On this important day, we send lots of love from all of your friends and family.

Click here to leave a comment for Betsy