Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Poppy and His Favorite Hookers.

Here's one of my very special pics -- of my very special hooker friends.  RUG HOOKERS, that is.

Sam and Pam are as good and accomplished as you get in this demanding art of rug hooking.

They work diligently at the craft, take lessons, push themselves to reach ever higher levels of artistic accomplishment.

I'll share some of their handiwork in an upcoming blog post.

In the meantime, Pam, Sam and I have been together at the Annual Stillwater Fall "Hook-In" for a couple of years running.  Thought you'd enjoy seeing the class of gals I hang with!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving in Chicago-land.

Poppina and I drove down to Lake Forest, IL for Thanksgiving as guests of our dear pals Bruce and Deedee Borland.  After chowing down tons of white meat and drum sticks, mashed 'taters, Brussels sprouts, pecan pie and shamefully-sinful ice cream frozen into turkey shapes, we had to get up from the table and out of the house to loosen our belts and stretch our legs.

Deedee suggested the Chicago Botanic Garden where she's on the Women's Board and Bruce is a passionate visitor and supporter.  NTS and I were eager to view the stunning display of handmade holiday wreaths, but especially check out the "Wonderland Express" model railroad display -- a favorite with Chicagoland kids of all ages, for many, many years.

Foto subjects grimaced in the bitter cold and strong northwest wind just long enough to let me get a pic for the Poppy Blog.  For you, dear readers, there's still time to catch the train -- HO Gauge, Lionels, America Flyers, N and R -- and we highly recommend the trip.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Washington Ave., N, Minneapolis.

Love the light, shadows, tree branches, redbrown brick in this photo.

Penco is about my fave office supply, photo album, pen and cartridge shop in Minneapolis.

Over in St. Paul, it's Wet Paint, hands down.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nancy + Grandma B at Lunch, 11/18/12.

Nancy and I had the great fortune to be with  Gayle "Grandma B" Butts for lunch yesterday.  We broke bread, chatted it up, smiled like crazy, and had the best time ever at American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

Grandma's roots are Danish - Rasmussen -  so she felt right at home at the ASI.

The former Swan Turnblad Mansion, now home of ASI, was decorated in exquisite Scandinavian holiday fare -- a room set aside for Royalty, as the docents  explained, in honor of each of the Scandinavian countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.

Velkommen, as they say at ASI.  And most welcome indeed we felt.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Roger + Judith in Montana.

Some of my best, good friends over the years I've made at work.  Lucky me.

Case in point: Roger Ahrens and Judith Watkins, shown in this photo on vacation in Sonoma.

The three of us served together in New York publishing  giving our all to the resurrection and survival of FinancialWorld magazine. 

And while we came oh-so-close to keeping the 95-year old business title afloat, in the end it was not meant to be. Too bad.

When the Hoyts moved from New York to Minnesota, Watkins/Ahrens packed up for Montana.

We stay in touch. Our friendship survives and prospers. In a season of giving thanks, readers of Poppy's Velo Ventures might like a look-see at some very good pals.

Lucky me, as I said earlier.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jess + Chris Volunteer in Red Hook.

We all know that Hurricane Sandy had its way with much of Brooklyn. And if that weren't  bad enough the nor'easter that pounded through on Sandy's heels added to the misery and devastation

The community of Red Hook -- low-lying, on the water, very vulnerable -- was particularly hard hit.  Civic leaders and residents from all over the Borough of Brooklyn rose to the occasion and volunteered generously their time, energy and passion.

Chris and Jess (of the Greenpoint neighborhood) donned gloves, boots, mops and shovels and headed to Red Hook.  Our do-gooders did the needful, including cleaning up a key part  -- the liquor supply -- of a local bar and grill.

Wonder if the kids were offered a Maker's Mark on the rocks in gratitude?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stylin' at Mpls. Fashion Hot Spot "Arrow."

Here in town from San Fran to help his sister, brother and me celebrate their Mom's birthday, Will Wick led us on a shopping adventure after all the cake and ice cream had been consumed, candles blown out, and stanza after stanza sung of Happy Birthday to You!

We hit "The Foundry," "D'Light" and "Askov Finlayson" on N. First Street before we found ourselves at THE hot fashion retailer "Arrow." Some of us couldn't wait to check out the latest.

The pea coat in the pic above came with Will, but the teal blue fedora is all "Arrow," and all good. I don't think our boy bought the lid, but he certainly gave it some serious consideration.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kermit the Frog + Friend Chris.

Check out our friend Chris Fondulas, television production professional in New York.  He sent this foto today of him and Kermit the Frog.  The real green Kermit. Chris didn't explain whether he and Kermit had met up on the set (in the background).  Or whether Kermit had Chris's cell phone number and gave him a call on that  :)

VW Kombi - Sonoma, CA.

Wine country Kombi, courtesy of Boulder artist friend James Terman.

I owned a 1964 VW Micro Bus bought new in New Haven, CT, and loved the experience.  Often wished I'd also had the pick-up truck version, as per the above.

My bus was a two-tone sea green + white -- one of a couple of paint options in the era.

James's buddy's Kombi, above, is painted in original factory blue.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Giant Foldy Gets New Lights.

So as to keep things safe now that we've moved off Day Light Savings time, I added three new lights to the Giant "Expressway."

A Cateye flashes red from its handlebar mount, right next to a bright, white "Voyager" click headlight by Blackburn.

There's also a "Voyager" red flasher attached to the seat post, facing rearwards.  I think I'm covered.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Shop Hot, New "The Foundry."

Nancy and I got a head start on our holiday shopping this morning.  We spent big at "The Foundry," Anna Hillegass's new home goods store at 125 N. First Street in Minneapolis.

Besides uniquely right-sized wine glasses, hand-made beeswax candles, organic Fair Trade cotton table napkins from Ethiopia, and high-end push brooms from Sweden, Anna's shop features small batch loomed wool blankets and throws from Newfoundland, hand-thrown teapots and cups, leather goods to die for, and more Swedish brushes and brooms!

Please tell Santa if you see him that we've made his work easier this holiday season.

And if you want to be Santa's hero under your tree, hie ye to The Foundry and see (and shop) for yourselves!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Marriage Ammendment Sign Violence?

You probably know we have a Constitutional Amendment initiative on the ballot next week. MN voters will decide whether to change the state Constitution so as to restrict marriage to a hetero union (a "yes" vote),  or to leave the constitution as it is (a "no" vote).

Gazillions of dollars in TV ads have been duking it out every time you turn on the tube.

Yard signs proliferate -- and yard sign violence is on the rise.

As I was on my ride this afternoon I saw six or seven -- count the signs -- Vote No placards crumbled up, thrown over a railing on County Road 6, and into an adjacent ravine.  I was sure Vote Yes opponents were responsible: they'd yanked signs from local yards and destroyed competitive evidence.

This battle is super-heated. And it seems to be disrespectful of private property and free speech.  If this is indeed the case then it's a black eye for democracy. Citizens should be on high alert to prevent this violence from happening again.