Thursday, December 29, 2011

La Quinta Olive Oil Company: A Must-Visit Boutique


Sam and I made great new friends today:  Pete Petrafeso and Debbie Degen. This couple of serial entrepreneurss live in La Quinta, CA, and are one month into proprietorship of La Quinta Olive Oil Company.

Pete's a native of Denver, and worked in the educational field in Minneapolis, where he and Debbie met.   She's from Edina.  Pete served four terms in the State Legislature representing the St. Louis Park district.  Debbie worked in financial printing, and together they owned a ranch in Durango, CO, and went to culinary school in Italy to follow their passion for Italian food.

Back state-side they opened their super premium Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar boutique.  Thank you, thank you Pete and Debbie!

The oils are divine and sublime.  35+ varieties to choose from -- Nancy and I bought 4 bottles to take back home, and give to friends.  Yo can get a 25-year-old Balsamic Vinegar .... impossible to describe taste and texture:  you'll have to go sample the goods yourself.

Debbie and Pete sell mail order.  The website is www.laquintaoliveoilcompany.com.  Phone number is (760) 777-9997.

Wishing these fun new friends of ours good luck .. and urging readers of Poppy's Velo Ventures to try their oil and vinegar soon!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nearby Lemon Tree Bursts With Fruit.


Went for my constitutional yesterday. Sun shining bright.  Sky, a vibrant blue. A little bit of breeze caught my attention, made me look up.  And that's where I saw the remarkable lemon tree bounty.  And this is California winter, huh?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Popeye Juice Bar - Spinach, Beets, Carrots and Ginger!


Talk about feeling healthy!  Instead of my daily iced skinny lattes, I ordered up a Popeye Strength Deluxe at Bristol Farms juice bar on Country Club Drive.  Juice-ista (think that's what they call them?) said I'd feel like a million bucks -- how right he was!  Took a big swig, and left a large tip.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Boulder, CO Pick Up-Truck Holiday Wishes.


Rocky Mountain artiste extraordinaire, James Terman, urged me to share his holiday truck-y greetings from Boulder with readers of Poppy's Velo Ventures.  Here you have the latest creation in the Terman Vehicle Collection -- wreath, red bow, and all!  Happy Holidays to one and all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Freewheeling," Palm Springs, CA.



Sculptor Gary Lee Price created this engaging, fun, inspiring bronze in 2010.  It occupies a place of prominence on busy El Paseo shoppping area in Palm Springs, awaiting amateur photogs like me to snap a shot and post to our blogs.

I love the adventure -- of new towns, faces, restaurants, stores, history centers, and public art, especially this time of year.  "Freewheeling" certainly does not disappoint!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Palm Springs: Big Burger, Big Hair, Buxom Burger Babe.



We had already eaten lunch when we met this buxom burger babe on Palm Canyon Drive.  Probably just as well. The payoff never quite lives up to the promise! Next time, just say: rare, over-easy, with all the fixin's!

Monday, December 19, 2011

'91 Volvo 740 Turbo, Moon in the Western Sky.


On my way to Sun City West  to get the Sunday Times.  Rain had stopped, clouds were breaking, and the early morning moon was still high in the western sky. My coffee mug sits atop the 1991 Volvo 740 Turbo; I didn't forget to put it in the cupholder before hitting Hwy. 60.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kaiser-Frazer, 1949 - Classic, Last of a Breed.


Saw this baby in a junk yard on Hwy. 60.  I'm pretty sure it's a  Kaiser-Frazer Manhattan -- in remarkable shape considering the car is more than 60 years old!  The body shows very little rust, but the interior is a nightmare. And the paint? Pretty much rusted away.

My brother-in-law Mark G sent me a link to a Chrysler Collectors site, where the glorious history of the Kaiser-Frazer, and Henry J (as in Kaiser) was told in respectful and admiring words and photos.

Back in my youth in Chillicothe, Rick Hildebrand drove a Henry J (three on the tree, as I recall). We idolized Rick, and badly wanted a car like his when were old enough to get our licenses. Never did meet a K-F Manhattan owner, however.

Thanks to my Sis Crary and her Buckeye BFF Peggy Bonner for auto details from so long ago!

Friday, December 16, 2011

1953 GMC 1/2 Ton Pick-Up Classic.


There can't be more than a handful of these early-50's GMC pickups left in captivity. This one, which looks essentially original, cherry, is parked on the sidewalk in front of the Mormon Church, waiting to whisk away a new bride and groom.  And I know this, how?

"Just Married" is painted in whitewash on the rear window of the truck. Plus, Kevin and his sweetie and new partner for life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas, Santa Cactus.


If you don't have pine trees in your yard, then you Christmas-decorate what you do have.  In this case it's a cholla cactus, and the creative homeowner has dressed his yard up just so. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa's Very Generous Helpers Ring the Christmas Bell.


My friend Steve, his kids and a co-worker's, take the Salvation Army duty last weekend.  So nice to see generous, giving side of young people.  I missed the caroling that went on -- understand the collective pipes here are something to behold.  Merry Christmas, Steve and kids.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Coral Gables Orchid House.


Never knew my little brother Joe Hoyt was so handy.  But when he sent me the pic, above, of his brand new Orchid House -- he and son Adam built it all by themselves -- I must saw I was in serious awe.  These guys are good!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Jeweler Ian Conoly Anneals Some Gold.


You can get your Rolex overhauled at Danny's Jewelers on Tegner in Wickenburg. Or, if you're in the mood for Sterling Silver, you can find unique pieces of American Indian art as well. Feeling flush?  Time your visit just right? Then there's gold jewelery being crafted before your very eyes.

I hit it just right this afternoon -- walked in on Ian annealing some 10-k gold.

"What's 'annealing?" I asked. "It's heating the metal, and softening it," Ian replies, "so it can be formed into very special creations."

Special they are likely to be. Too bad I didn't have anything left in my Christmas shopping budget.  Maybe Santa can come to the rescue?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Yin-Yang : Black Bean Soup + Sweet Corn Chowder.



The "TR" you see atop my dinner soup last night does not stand for Teddy Roosevelt.  

And the sublime juxtaposition of spicy black bean bisque and dreamy, creamy sweet corn chowder would very likely not be served in the huffy, stuffy White House of the TR era.  Such a shame.

No. Pina and I were dining at the "Turquoise Room" in Winslow, AZ, one of our fave restaurants, ever. And the TR in this case is the signature carrot puree -- sort of the house "brand" to ID menu specialities in case flavors of the dish aren't enough to keep you coming back.  The soup stands on its own, by the way; never, ever tasted anything so fine.  Yummm.

At the end of an 823 mile drive from Guthrie, OK, we were delighted to be back at La Posada in Winslow and couldn't wait to be seated at our special table at one of the most special restaurants we've ever enjoyed.

Don't miss this place.  If you're anywhere in the vicinity, make haste to get there and check out the soup -- and the Ki-Ki Second Mesa Hopi Flatbread, the burger, beet salad, three-berry pie a la mode .. and as much else on the menu as you can possibly eat!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blue Cheese, Marmalade, Carr's Water Crackers: Yummmm!


Thanks to the generosity and hospitality of our pal Lisa and the sharp focus of the macro lens setting on my Canon point-and-shoot, I'm having some fun with this shot.  Take a bite. Yumm.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Smokin' Hot Men's Retalier


I did a little Christmas shopping for my wife yesterday at Askov Finlayson, new, hip, smokin' hot retailer on the corner of 1st and 1st. Can't disclose what I bought (have to protect Santa's identity) but I will say that it's of very high quality, new to the market, and a little ahead of everything else.  Of course, that's the way the guys want their store to be, and I think there on their way!

PS -- on the way down the street, and past the building, I noticed smoke pouring out an exhaust pipe. Smoke is hot. Smokin' hot. Kinda like Askov Finlayson.  Get it?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Martin Patrick 3 Minneapolis Men's Store.


Pina and I did some Christmas shopping this week at MartinPatrick3 Men's Store in Minneapolis.  You've really got to check this place out if you're into unique retail adventures.

Highlight:  "home office alcove" setup -- perfect way to show off desk accessories, not to mention the designers' creativity. The old manual standard draws your eye, but the hundreds of books on the back wall really keep your attention -- and earn your respect for the care and attention that go into this display.

As the salesman explained:  each one of these books was cut in half on a band-saw 
and then laid flat, stacked, glued to the next one, top and bottom.  The result is an uneven, but very appealing, arrangement of book spines.  Once you realize what's going on here, a smile comes to your face, and you tell anyone within ear-shot just how damned clever these guys are!

PS - MartinPatrick3 has new and vintage clothing items, accessories, watches, men's grooming products, books, magazines, and a well-stocked bar for the shopper who needs a little pick-me-up.

Don't miss this place. Third Ave., across from Monte Carlo restaurant, and on the same side of the street as Moose + Sadie's coffee shop.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chunk's Auto Service, Long Lake, MN.


My friend Mike owns Chunk's in Long Lake -- the most attentive, reliable and fair care repair service I know.  I'd brought Pina's Town + Country to Chunk's to get the tires rotated and lug nuts tightened. Mike was coming into the scheduling counter area as I was taking a digi foto of his shop.  Good guy, good service, good place to take your cars.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is Fall the end of Velo Season in St. Paul?


Otherwise nice looking mixte-frame 10-speed languishes at a bike rack along St. Paul's Grand Avenue today.  Honey-gold oak leaves disguise a flat rear tire -- sure sign that no one's ridden this baby in a while.  And reading the weather forecast for much colder temps, maybe rain mixed with snow, it's a safe bet this velo has seen its best days 'til next spring.  Pity.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pina and Me and Grandma B.


Nancy (Sam, Poppina, Pina) and I went to lunch Saturday with Gayle "Grandma B" Butts.  This lovely lady is Nancy's Mother-in-Law, Jason's Grandmother, and my good friend.  Venue was Houlihan's in Richfield. At the end of the yummy, abundant meal, Grandma B whipped out her gold card and bought lunch for us!  A special event made even more special by Gayle's generosity.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Camel's Soup" - Get It?!


Art Attack in Northeast Minneapolis last weekend yielded this outrageously, tongue-in-cheek painting by an unknown local artist.  Camel's Soup is a hilarious play on words, don't you think? Brings a smile to my face every time I look at the canvas.  Hope you enjoy it as well!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sue Grafton Novels Rule at Barnes + Noble.


Any readers of Sue Grafton mysteries in the audience?  Like me, you've read one or two of Sue's alpha-novels -- maybe listened in audio book format.  When you see them displayed like this, A-Z (well, not quite at Z yet), in their dedicated bookcase at check-out at B + N, you realize this writing phenom knows how to market as well!  Thought you'd enjoy the display as much as I did.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Photographer Terry McDaniel Keeps Bees, Too.


Sam and I were at "Art Attack" this afternoon in NE Minneapolis when we met photographer Terry McDaniel. Terry's unique and powerful work -- "Ice Luminaries" -- hangs on the wall, while Terry's other passion -- beekeeping, and making award-winning local Minnesota honey -- is represented in her left hand in this pic.

We had more fun with Terry!  In addition to being a skilled still photographer, Terry has produced dozens of videos, most of which are available on YouTube: search "T McDee's Bees." Plus, she's got a great sense of humor, rides horses, gardens, knows many of the same people that we do.

Learn more about this talented woman at  toplinephoto@q.com

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hands, Hearts and Love.


Sixty-eight years and 1,250 miles usually separate these two hands, but my left mitt and my grandson's were very much together again last week.  There's an old oak out front of the Capri coffee shop in Brooklyn - "Best Iced Coffee in all New York" -- and Jess took us there for a java stop. The little guy couldn't resist touching the rain-soaked tree.  I couldn't resist the comparison.

And the matter of the heart?  I have five grand children, ten hands in all.  Among us we have six hearts, including mine. These hearts touch each other deeply, whether near or far. The hands are a metaphor for the enormity of the love I feel.  Lucky me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Waiting for the AMTRAK Acela, Mystic, CT.


Hugo and I were standing near this little pond along Rte 1 the other day, waiting for the Acela to depart Mystic station, and build speed as it passed between us and Long Island Sound.  Pretty cool.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Me + Holly at Best Little Print Shop in Long Lake!


Holly and I are snapped by Karla on Holly's new iPhone this week in front of Budget's abundant supply of colored paper. For my money (and I seem to spend beaucoup of it there) Budget Printing + Awards is the best business partner an independent publishing consultant could have.

Karla, Holly, Terry and Cindy are awesome: creative, responsive, quick, reasonable and fair.  Plus, they're fun to be around and work with.


Get ye to Budget, pronto!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Silly Time at Harvest Moon Co-op


I love, love , LOVE going to the Harvest Moon Co-op in Long Lake.   Great food, great mission and attitude, and really fun, wonderful people working  the place.  I'll bet that between Pina and me we're there 2-x per day.

I sorta put staffers Josh + Katie on the spot the other day when I insisted they pose for a snap.  Josh was stylin' the shades that Harvest Moon sells.  Katie, whom I don't know as well as Josh (but who has a grand sense of humor) wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole thing.

This same foto e-mailed to the H. Moon address; no reaction back, yet.  I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Best Shoe Ever Even Better Deal @ -15% Off.


This is one sensational ECCO shoe. Gore-Tex model. On display at Schuler in Wayzata for 15% off when I took the foto.  Lugged soles, soooo comfortable, these babies look sharp, are practical and sturdy and, I swear, the best shoes I've ever owned.  An already great deal made even better.

My salesman Nick told me this model had been in the ECCO line for years. That's no guarantee, of course, that a staple won't be pulled from production by an edgy brand manager, and replaced by some two-tone hipster bowling shoe wanne-be that's the all rage currently in the EuroZone.

Nancy suggested, to be on the safe side, and since I like my Gore-Tex model so much .. that I buy a second pair, put 'em away 'til the the first ones wear out -- probably not in my lifetime! -- and never run out of great ECCO products for my feet. Made sense, and now I have two pairs, one acquired for 15-off.

Feet say: Oh, happy day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gate House, Fall Attire, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.


How cute is this, dear friends?  The Arboretum Gatehouse bedecked in pun'kins, capturing -- yeah, celebrating -- the Fallness of Minnesota.

You've seen the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD?  My wife says that place has nothing on our Arboretum.  Agreed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Borlands, Scarecrow Chill Out at Arboretum.


Our friends the Chicago-land Borlands came to visit Poppina and me.  We made a bee-line for the Minneapolis Landscape Arboretum on Tuesday afternoon -- in search of dahlias, apples, cider, and some foto ops with the Arboretum Scarecrow!

Poppina on the left, above.  Deedee snuggles Scarecrow.  And Bruce sports the beginning of a proper beard, just in time for Fall in the Heartland.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Shoe Pup in Training at Schuler's?


Guys who work in the footwear industry are called "shoe dogs."  Assume the moniker holds true for the distaff side of the house, too.  Don't know where the handle originated, but it's a universal, respected term of acknowledgment and endearment.

When the Hoydulases were visiting last week we all went shoe-shopping at Schuler's. We tried on just about everything in sight: men's women's, casual, sporty, dress, sandals, high- and low-end, phew!

Just about the time we'd seen everything, we saw this .....

Shoe Pup (my grandson) checks shipment from Italy (or Brazil, China, Viet Nam, wherever). He seems to have taken a liking to the kicks.  Maybe there's a full-ride academic scholarship awaiting at Shoe Dog U?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Best Buy's Best Guys (and Gals).

Just came back from a Customer Service experience at Best Buy in Ridgedale.  Had to return a coffee pot that didn't quite work as we'd expected, plus an Apple TV device which we didn't need after all.

I always have some anxiety when it's time to return expensive items to the store from which they came.  Maybe my shrink can explain the neurosis?  No sweat, as it turned out.  Shoulda known. Minnesota Nice would prevail.

The folks at Best Buy Customer Service were more than nice -- and quick, accommodating, gracious and empathetic.  Made a believer -- and repeat customer -- out of me.  Thank you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Indie Coffee Beans: Seem Almost Illegal to Drink!



Isn't this about the best-designed coffee packaging you've ever seen?  The bags appeal: bright colors, bold graphics, edgy messaging and branding.  Sell-copy like "rich, smoky, extra spicy" make you feel almost naughty picking the items off the shelf! Then it's home you go, furtively grinding and brewing, then enjoying the java with the shades drawn so no one can catch you in the act of enjoying your "beanimator!"

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hand-Rolled Butter. Co-op's Finest.


We were food-shopping at Lakewinds Co-op the other day.  Love that place: the unfamiliar brands, unusual packaging, great graphics, the "you must try me now" appeal of so many items on the shelves.

I mean, check this out:  hand-rolled butter.  Can you imagine?  Don't you want to slather a whole loaf of peasant bread about a half-inch think with this yummy, natural, organic goodness?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baker Park Biking - Great Day to Ride!


Chris, jess, Diver and I took a tour of the park path this afternoon.  What a great day for a ride!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Phil Builds Frame for Judy's Mom's Art.


While best friend bicycle frame builders (like Alex Cook, see photo that follows) are working their magic, old pal Phil is creating his art at Fast Frame in Wayzata. Check this successful artisan/businessman at work above.

Nancy and I have taken a number of pieces of art, photos, memorabilia to Phil's shop to be framed; we've hung them in a place of prominence in our home.  Phil is a great craftsman, with good taste and perspective, and an eye for color and composition.

Our friend Judy O gifted us with a painting that her octogenarian Mom has created.  Really special, we must say.  We entrusted it to Phil to frame-up, and should have the piece on the wall in about 10 days.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A-Train Handcrafted Cycles. Alex Cook, Builder.


I should have pedaled to the Minnecycle Framebuilders Collaborative  Display this evening. Instead I drove the KIA to Vine Arts Center on 27th Ave. S and 26th Street.  And there I saw THE best looking, coolest custom-built bikes on the face of the earth.

Twelve designer/builders in all. Gorgeous, exquisite and spendy bikes and frames. Fixies, commuters, mountain bikes, randonneurs, even a unicylce!

I met young builders, like Alex Cook of A-Train Cycles, who is just about to hang out his shingle full time, but didn't mind posing for a goofy foto for PPV.

Curt Goodrich told me he'd been at it for 16 years -- "still standing," as he put it. "Not so much hair as before, but I've been able to make a living at it."  And what incredible machines he delivers to bike aficionados all over the country.

The show goes on tomorrow nite, 9/24.  Minnecycle.org and/or vineartscenter.org if you get the chance to check it out.

Harley Charlie at the South Rim.


My son-in-law, "Harley Charlie," just returned from a 3-day, 1200 mile western cycle road trip. He and four fellow pilotos flew into Phoenix, rented their Hogs, headed to the Grand Canyon, and slowed down long enough to get a snap shot of Charlie standing as close to infinity as I'd ever want to get!  Charlie promises to fill in the details soon; you'll know more, dear reader, as soon as I do!



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Inside the Kenwood Cafe.


My buddy Claire Lewis and I were solving the world's problems over coffee this morning at Kenwood Cafe on W. 21st St. in Minneapolis. Far reaching chatter covered politics, investing for the future, state of the magazine biz (where Claire and I worked together for 10 years), online media, friends we have in common, kids, parents, grandkids, etc.   Nice lady, nice place that Kenwood.

I stayed behind after Claire left to check e-mail and take a foto or two ... including this one of the counter action, chalk board menu, and some of the habitues who come to Kenwood for the "Puppy Dog Tail" cinnamon breakfast pastries, toasty warm and dripping in vanilla icing.

OMG!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Did They Ban "James + Giant Peach?"


Breaking news (I think).

If you believe the sign and titles on display in the Plymouth Library, some iconic books may be banned from enjoyment by young Minnesota readers.

James + The Giant Peach, To Kill A Mocking Bird, and one of many coming-of-age novels by Judy Blume.  All of these appear to be off-limits.

True?

I need to learn more. Will investigate more.  In the meantime I've read that Slaughterhouse Five is out of circulation in at least one school library in Missouri.  And I'd bet the late, great  J. D. Salinger would be appalled to know his Catcher in the Rye is again the target of moral and cultural thought police.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dunn Bros., Plymouth: Awesome People!


If you want to know why some java joints succeed, some do just so-so, while some knock it out of the park, look no further than the counter.

It's ALWAYS the people that make a place like Vicksburg Dunn Bros. a winner.

And, speaking of winners, let me tip my Infinity Black iced coffee pint glass to my fave bean, counter, and yummy breakfast burrito bunch.

(L-R): Jocelyn, Kevin, Dawn, and Danielle at the register.  Michael was pulling shots for the drive in customers when i took this.  Owner Bill was watching some beans roast.

I must hit this great shop 4 days a week. Maybe more.  The coffee is excellent, the ambiance perfect for my taste but mostly it's the folks who work there who keep me coming back.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hand-Made Pastels: Get 'em at St. Paul's Wet Paint.


Did you know that as few as ten companies world-wide make all the pastels used by artist all over the globe? Only 10 companies serving seven billion people!  And I met Darren Richeson the main man at the leading pastel manufacturer and importer today at Wet Paint in St. Paul.

Unison is the brand.  And Jack Richeson & Co. from Kimbery, WI is the maker and importer.  Pastels are "rolled" by hand in a little shop in England, from the finest clays -- pretty much they way they've been made for centuries.

Craftsmen tint the clay with an array of pigments that yield over 400 colors in the Unison palette. Imagine: yellow earth values .. green values .. blue green earth values ... over 200 hues in this set of "values" alone.

My new friend Darren pointed out that a pastel stick is about 1 1/2" tall. Artists who work in the medium can never have too many sticks. And a "Grey 11" from Unison is not interchangeable with a similar shade of grey from another manufacturer.

Trade secrets, don't you know ....

Darren and his senior rep Steve had set up a huge table display inside the door at Wet Paint.  I watched as customers stopped by for the sales pitch, deliberated and dreamed, and made their pastel purchases.

Me? Took a few fotos, chatted it up with Darren, and  imagined British pastel rollers, doing for the world of art what Cuban hand-rolled cigar makers do for aficionados of fine tobacco.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mike Puts Lisa's Plow + Pulling Horses through Paces.


Serious sustainable small farm farmgal Lisa has three big pulling horses -- two Percheron and a Shire -- plus the old fashion International Harvester plow to dig up any back 40.

We were invited to watch Mike put the rig through its paces today -- impressive driving, skilled plowing, remarkable command of these magnificent draft animals.

Lisa called it quits after two long furrows -- earth was hardpan: much too dry, rocky, and tough on the horses.  We got quite a demonstration nonetheless.  We were honored and humbled to witness this Pioneer Spirit made manifest.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch - With Me!


Just as soon as "Magazine Guy" Rocky K. saw this foto, he shot back: "How does one fella get to have lunch with so many pretty ladies?"

Well, Rocky:  just dumb luck! (Plus, I got an e-mail from Rezzie inviting me to the party today).  Pays to be available!

And who might my lunch-mates be? Each is a former colleague from our days together at NAMG, and all are about the best work friends a lunch guy could ever hope for.

From the left, Debbbbbb, and next to her Ali G. and then yours truly, and Patti F. and then Linda R. ("Rezzie"), and Alli T. and her little girl.

Good times, good chatter, good chow, and most of the ladies took turns babysitting!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Becky's Laluke's Cukes - Aandrea Assists.


These gals know their pickles!

From growing the cukes though the packing process -- brine, garlic and jalpeno (hubby Rob said he's a pickle packer) --  Becky and daughter Aandrea have been at it with yummy success for the better part of a decade.

I met up with the Laluke Team at Otten Bros. fall benefit and sale last weekend. Tasted some of Becky's harvest from last year.  Bought an $8.00 jar of the jalapeno pickles, and, following Laluke advice, tucked my purchase into the fridge where it has to sit for six months from date of "put up" until the ex-cukes are are at their tender, tasty, garlicky, peppery and pickley best!

As a bonus:  met Becky's mom-in-law, Ginny, at the Laluke truck/stand. She's a hoot -- and you can see where much of the family energy, sense of humor, and gregarious grace comes from.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

James J. Hill Days, Wayzata.


I pedaled over this afternoon to the James J. Hill Days celebration along Lake Street in Wayzata.  This annual event was bustling with foot traffic and exhibitor expectations, and there was excellent people watching to be done.

Austin McDevitt, 1st Vice Commander of American Legion, Post #118 and I were having a good conversation in the Legion tent when a bigger-than-life animal advocate guy stopped by to get a cold Pepsi.  Wish I'd asked Austin's friend's name, but he did agree to a foto, and was not at all shy about showing off arm tatts and recent face painting!

Back to American Legion for a moment:  Commander McDevitt gave me lots of literature and encouraged me to drop by the Post on the second Monday of some month and attend a meeting.  I'm a vet, haven't done much since being discharged, and realize that lots of vets have needs far greater than mine.  I might be able to help.

Folding Bike For Sale - $85.00.


Brand new Citizen "Tokyo" foldy for sale. Ridden less than 1-mile. Won in a raffle by original owner; I bought it from her in July. Fenders, rack, kick-stand, bell. 6-speed Shimano rear derailleur, grip shift, single chain ring. 16" wheels -- a little small for my 6' 1", 200-lb. frame.

Bike folds easily into handy, durable carry-bag .. see pic of folded bike in adjoining column.    $85.00 -- I can deliver in Twin Cities metro..  You pay shipping otherwise.

Great way to "get started" with foldies -- small investment for huge return in pleasure.    Reply in "comments."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Local Artist Wows 'em at Otten Bros. Benefit.


Local glass artist Linnea Peterson Rowe and her Garden Glass Creations were out in full bloom last night at Otten Bros. in Long Lake.   Linnea designs and hand-crafts uber-cool, eclectic garden decorative pieces out of found glass -- cups, saucers, tea pots, figurines, etc.  You must see Rowe's work to appreciate the wistful, whimsical and just plain enjoyable nature and quality of her work.

We went home with a treasure for Pina's Posey garden.  Adorable blown glass turtle atop a melange of cups and saucers -- it's going to be perfect amongst the perennials.

Connect with Garden Glass Creations at:  linneapete@yahoo.com.