Monday, October 31, 2011

A Visit to Twitter.com

Last week I was checking out Twitter and re-thinking the pros and cons of setting up an account. Then it happened--the push that sent me to Twitter.com. An editor wrote me a note saying she'd like to publish one of my poems (hurray), but would I please send her my Twitter name and website address. Yikes. I had neither.

That was the boost I needed to help me make the decision. 

Now you can find me on Twitter@LoriSLipsky

If you're wondering whether you should join the world of Twitter, here's an easy-to-read article giving 12 reasons you may want to consider it. The article helped me. It's written by businessman Michael Hyatt and targeted to writers, but even if you don't write, it may help you decide:


If you decide yes as I did, here's another article to take you through the basic steps:


Let me know if you decide to get on Twitter--I'll look for you. 

Now it's on to the website challenge. 

Happy Monday.


Friday, October 28, 2011

A Verse: The Oaks of the Allée at Brookgreen Gardens (Myrtle Beach, SC)

The Oaks of the Allée at Brookgreen Gardens

by Lori Lipsky

In dignified poses
Stout oak trees stand
Evenly spaced
Along either side
The pristine path

And every age
Of human heart
Strolls past
The distinguished oaks
In reverent hush

PD via Wikimedia

Our family took a trip to the Southeast a couple of summers ago. The purpose was to tour two colleges. Myrtle Beach, SC was located geographically between the two schools so we made a family vacation of the trip. 

The four of us spent part of one day at Brookgreen Gardens. It's one of the most gorgeous spots on earth--has to be. My favorite part of Brookgreen was the Oak Allee. I ran across some vacations photos a few months ago, and our family photos of the Oak Allee inspired the poem above. 

Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Visit to A Randall Faber Workshop at Ward-Brodt Music in Madison, WI

Recently, Randall Faber travelled to WI and offered a workshop for piano teachers. Ward-Brodt Music Store in Madison, Wisconsin hosted the event. Friend Robin and her sister, Vicky, both piano teachers, planned to attend and I was invited to tag along with them. I have used the fine Faber Piano Adventures books with students, and so have Robin and Vicky.

Randall and Nancy Faber

Randall and Nancy Faber are well-known among music educators. Here are a couple of bio excerpts from their website at http://pianoadventures.com/:

Nancy and Randall Faber have combined their backgrounds as composer and performer to become leading supporters of the piano teacher and student. The husband and wife team has authored over 200 publications, including the bestselling PreTime® to BigTime® Piano Supplementary Library and the acclaimed method Piano Adventures®. 

The Fabers advocate piano study not only for personal expression and performance success, but also as a vehicle for the studentâs creative and cognitive development. Their philosophy is reflected in their writing, their public appearances, and in their own teaching.

The workshop was excellent. The best and most memorable things from my perspective related to teaching correct hand position at the piano and ways to motivate young students. Plus, Faber did quite a bit of piano playing which was fabulous as well. 

Robin's sister Vicky drove more than two hours to attend

Robin was delighted for the opportunity to attend the workshop

Faber was gracious regarding our requests to pose for pictures
Faber travels the world offering workshops. If you have interest in teaching piano, I recommend his workshops without reservation.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Visit to Field's in Wisconsin Dells

One hot and humid late-in-August evening, I headed up to Wisconsin Dells with three wild and crazy friends. Our planned destination was Field's at the Wilderness, an upscale supper club. We didn't go for dinner. The attraction was Stephanie Seefeldt at the piano.

Sue Finley, Anita Klumpers, and Linda Vick
At one time, all of us home-schooled our children, and the kids were all part of FLAME,  a Madison-area cooperative featuring a choir (I was a choir director for FLAME).

Anita and I were talking one day and I found out that she was 'friends' with Stephanie from on-line Scrabble, but had never met her. Stephanie used to lead worship at our church (Blackhawk Church) so we decided we should go to Field's so we could all meet her and hear her play.

 I did threaten to include a restroom photo

We sat at a table right by Stephanie so we could talk to her as she played. She has no trouble multi-tasking.

Sitting in the bar next to the piano is not a typical evening for the Prude (Anita's alter-ego) and her friends. We enjoyed some non-alcoholic beverages and delicious appetizers as we listened. 

Stephanie has a new Christmas CD, Cradle & Cross,  that is due to be released soon. 

It got dark outside--time for the (not so) wild and crazy ladies to head home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Visit to Bounds Showtime Arena in Deerfield, WI

The weekend before last was Sally's final horse show as a youth. The end of an era! 

The show was a Ranch show (American Ranch Horse Association). She loves them--for Sally they mean a lower level of stress than other shows, more fun and an opportunity to try some new things.

The show was at Bound's in Deerfield, WI. Mark and I stopped by for a while to see Sally compete. A big thanks to Sarah for trailering Mickey and to Heather, too.

Sally had an opportunity to compete in some traditional classes. She had a wonderful success day with a first in Showmanship, first in Halter under one judge and first (plus a trophy) in Walk-Trot. 

Sally also tried some less traditional classes (for her). One was called Working Cow Horse and a second involved a cow, too, though I don't know the class name. I admire her courage in trying new things.

Waiting for the judge's signal to begin her Working Cow Horse Class
Chasing that cow and cutting in front to make him turn the other way. Yep, that's her hat there on the ground.
That's my girl!

Have a great Tuesday.


Monday, October 24, 2011

A Tag-Along Visit to Indiana

Mark recently went on an overnight business trip to H----, Indiana and invited me to tag along. Now that the girls are adults, I can accompany him once in a while and spend the days writing in the hotel room or sight-seeing.

The drive to the H---- area from our house isn't a pleasant one. One of the most exciting things about the trip was using the i-Pass on the Chicago Tollways, so no more slowing down for the many Chicago tolls like in the past. Mark has used the i-Pass multiple times, but it was my first time. A new adventure.

After four + hours of driving, listening to podcasts (fun) and to one side of Mark's business calls (interesting) we exited the eight-lane tollway and there was our hotel, just off the exit.

Below was our view from the hotel window. No beautiful trees, flowers, lakes or mountains, but the semi trucks did change color, from orange to blue to red to white...and the sky provided a gorgeous blue backdrop.

The next day, Mark was off to work and I persuaded the hotel to let me stay for a late 1:30 check-out. I hung out in the suite's little living room and got some writing done. After check-out I went over to nearby to Cracker Barrel for lunch and more writing. Mark said he didn't recommend exploring in the area due to safety concerns, so I lingered at Cracker Barrel until it was time to pick him up--thankfully, he was done earlier than normal. I suggested maybe I'd explore and take a non-direct route to pick him up, but he said I better take the highway and be direct, for safety reasons.  

This trip was a gem because it reminded me to be grateful for the view out my front window and the beautiful view of the tree-line out our back windows at home. It reminded me to be thankful that we live in the kind of neighborhood where I feel free to walk around any time of the day and not have serious safety concerns. Millions of people elsewhere don't enjoy that privilege. 

Plus, I got some writing done in the cozy room. There were no baskets of laundry, vacuum cleaners, messy counters or dirty toilets calling my name.

I hope you'll be able to locate some beauty in your surroundings today. Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Visit to The Milwaukee Art Museum, Part 3 of 3

I hope you'll be able to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum while the Impressionism Exhibit is there. It's an absolute gem. 

Friend Robin made the trip with me

If you don't care for Impressionist art, there are plenty of other works by notable artists in the museum's regular collection.

The museum displays about 20 Georgia O'Keeffe pieces. Georgia O'Keeffe lived in Sun Prairie, WI until she moved to Chicago to study at the age of 15. Did you know she was later married to the famous photographer, Alfred Steiglitz?

Turkey Feathers in Indian Pot by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1935. 

O'Keeffe, Poppies, 1950,

If you like modern art, you'll be glad to know that the museum owns a Rothko.
This is "Green, Red, Blue," created in 1955 by Mark Rothko. He displayed "the expression of man's basic emotions." Rothko was a leader of the Abstract Expressionists.

The Horseman, 1966, by Russian Marc Chagall
Girl in Straw Hat, 1903, by the French artist Pierre Bonnard

Hark! The Lark, 1882, by American artist, Winslow Homer

Gilbert Stuart, famous for his iconic portrait(s) of George Washington, finished this portrait of Eliza Susan Morton (Mrs. Josiah Quincy) much later, in 1809.

From the museum's website:
"Four floors of over forty galleries of art are rotated regularly with works from antiquity to the present in the Museum’s far-reaching Collection. Included in the Collection are 15th– to 20th–century European and 17th– to 20th–century American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, decorative arts, photographs, and folk and self-taught art. Among the best in the nation are the Museum’s holding of American decorative arts, German Expressionism, folk and Haitian art, and American art after 1960. The Museum also holds one of the largest collections of works by Wisconsin native Georgia O’Keeffe.
Important artists represented include Nardo di Cione, Francisco de Zurbarán, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Winslow Homer, Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, Jóan Miro, Mark Rothko, Robert Gober, and Andy Warhol.
In addition to the works in the Museum’s Collection galleries, there are a variety of changing exhibitions throughout the year..."

To learn more about The Milwaukee Museum go to: http://mam.org/


Dear readers, I invite you to become a member/follower if you read this regularly or now and then. Publishers admit they check blogs and websites out before selecting poetry to publish, so it is a help.

Thanks to those of you who take the time to leave a comment. You remind me someone is  out there, and for that I am very grateful.

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum Part 2 of 3

The inside of the Milwaukee Art Museum is as spectacular as the outside. The architect took full advantage of the lake location. Visitors enjoy marvelous lake views from numerous indoor spots.

View from an inside hallway

As part of the Impressionism Exhibit, various drawings and pastels by Monet are on display as well as this oil on canvas of "Waterloo Bridge" which he could see from his hotel room on the North Bank in London:

PD via Wikimedia Commons

And here are three of my favorites from Milwaukee's permanent collection:

Renoir's "View of Bougival"

"Landscape-Garden at St. Tropez" ca. 1900 by Henri Edmond Cross

"Boating on the Yerres" by Caillebotte

A quote from the wall of the Impressionism Exhibit:

Next post: A few more paintings from the Milwaukee Art Museum's permanent collection.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Visit to The Milwaukee Art Museum: Part 1 of 3

Have you been to see the Milwaukee Art Museum yet? I finally made it there for the first time in early September when Paige was home for a short visit before leaving for Hong Kong. 

Mark, Paige and I made the 90 minute drive from Waunakee. We had a great time. 

The Building was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava and was named "Best Design of 2001" by Time Magazine. The building itself is a work of art, and the location on the lake makes it that much more spectacular. 



I forgot my camera on my first visit, but last Friday I made the trip back with camera in hand. This time friend Robin went along. Robin had never seen a Monet, a Renoir, a Van Gogh, a Pissaro in person, so she was thrilled with the whole experience.

Here's a spectacular thing. Right now, included with the regular museum admission price, you can see the special impressionism exhibit: 

"The exhibition makes its premiere in Milwaukee, presenting more than one hundred drawings, watercolors, and pastels by many of the greatest artists in the history of Western European art—Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec. These artists created drawings independently of painting, as they sought to create an art that more accurately represented their times. In the process, the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists effectively elevated drawing in nineteenth-century France to a status equal with that of painting."

Robin loved the exhibit

Impressionism: Masterworks on PaperOctober 14, 2011January 8, 2012Milwaukee Art Museum

  • Image 1

No photos were allowed in the exhibit, but I took plenty of notes. Robin and I loved the exhibit. And, if you love oils on canvas as I do, you'll be glad for the opportunity to view some of those by the masters sprinkled here and there, too.

Next post: More of the Milwaukee Museum 

Milwaukee Art Museum
700 N. Art Museum DriveMilwaukeeWI 53202
Phone: 414-224-3200
Fax: 414-271-7588

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Visit to the Vilas Zoo, Madison, Wisconsin. It's Free!

Mark and I used to go to zoos all the time before we had kids. We did the same thing as the girls were growing up. We've been to zoos in San Diego, Phoenix, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Honolulu... but most often, it was the zoo closest to home and we've moved six times in our marriage. 

Here's a list of zoos we've visited more than ten times:

  • Como Zoo, St. Paul, MN
  • Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, MN
  • The NEW Zoo of Brown County, near Green Bay
  • Vilas Zoo, Madison, WI

Before kids came along, and then while our first child was young, the Como Zoo of St. Paul, MN was close and free and we liked to hang out there on Saturdays. 

Later, when the kids were still young, we had a membership at the Minnesota Zoo near our Eagan home. For a while, we went almost every Sunday afternoon.

For years, whenever we visited Mark's dad in Green Bay we would always head to the NEW Zoo.

Now it's just Mark and I a lot of the time, and I think it had been a year or maybe two since we'd been to a zoo. That's a record. 

A couple of weeks ago we drove to nearby Vilas Zoo (Madison, WI). It was a good weather day.

 If only I had charged my camera battery before our visit. I did get shots of some favorites before the battery died.

The Vilas Zoo is still free to the public, though donations are happily accepted.
How about you? Have you visited a zoo lately?