Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mrs. Claus on her Way to Deliver a Gift Today.

Six inches of the white stuff last night didn't stop me from clearing the sidewalk so Mrs. Claus could make her gift delivery rounds today.  The present was much revered by the recipient, by the way.

Irish Gothic - w/Apologies to Grant Wood.

The Weir men, Conor and Ken, struck a Grant Wood-ian pose in front of our door yesterday.  The shovel and broom would have come in very handy today -- some six inches of powder snow fell last night on our environs.   The Hibernians know snow, but they prefer their weather balmy and sunny, high in the '80s!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa's Little Baristas at Dunn Brothers Coffee.

The coffee was flowing fast and furious this afternoon at Dunn Bros. in Plymouth. I was able to interrupt the inspired work of Santa's Little Baristas long enough to capture one good foto for posterity.

Plans are to make a 5 x 7 print and frame it. Then I hope to present it to Dunn's franchisee Bill with gratitude for his business acumen, consistent savory coffee, and outstanding, professional staff.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all: good to the last drop. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Chrome" Flagship Store Now Open in Minneapolis.

I did some serious discovery while Christmas shopping today at the new Chrome store on Washington Avenue in the "North Loop" section of Minneapolis.

Have you heard of Chrome?  I had, but didn't know much about it.

My "retail associate" shown in the photo here told me that Chrome got its start in San Fran as a maker of messenger bags.  Now they're at retail in seven markets -- Twin Cities being biggest and latest store.

Besides bike, messenger, hiking, camera, and mutltiple use nylon bags, Chrome sells footwear, apparel, and who knows what else.

Now, check the counter.  See the "Chrome" screened laundry bags?  They are actually surplus U.S. Army duffel bags: cleaned, softened, stitched, and re purposed as laundry bags -- or for carrying anything else you can think of.

I purchased one with the name "Morris" magic-markereed at the foot of the bag. Above Soldier Morris's name resided some Arabic script -- wonder what the words mean?  I suspect the bag saw service in Iraq along with its owner. 

Behind the cash register they've installed an old dry cleaner trolley.  Instead of starched shirts, party frocks and pressed trousers, this one holds 200+ Chrome bags!   What a ride.

I spent some serious dough at the store this afternoon.  Santa must be pleased I was there to help him out with his annual celebration.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Stockings to be Hung with Care.

Check these very special Christmas stockings.  Pina "hooked" each one with great love, care and patience.  Can you imagine how long it took to do the work?

By the way: there really is an Oliver, Hadley and Duncan. The stockings were a great surprise to them, of course, and remain a cherished part of their Christmas celebrations.

Happy holidays to all and hope your stockings are full to overflowing.  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Public Art Review Staffers send Holiday Wishes.

Greetings from our stalwart team at the magazine Public Art Review. Gathering for holiday cheer last week at St. Paul's "Turf Club," and under the leadership of Executive Director Jack Becker (holding pint of winter ale), we toasted our readers, advertisers and the good fortune to be working with each other.  Thanks to colleague Shauna Dee for creating the template and card, and Happy Holidays to everybody!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sky Keeps Morning Tea Warm with Caribou Cozy.

Out here in Minnesota our local Caribou Coffee shops sell a seasonal "cozy" like the one in the pic, above. Designed to keep hot drinks hot (or, at least, warm), this two-tone blue warmer is way classier than a typical recycled cardboard sleeve available where caffeine products are sold.  In fact the cozy looks so good and works so well that daughter Sky was inspired to take a photo of her Classic Irish Breakfast Tea, all bundled up, and send it to old Poppy to be posted on the blog.  Bottoms up!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tim Werbe Points Out a Thing or Two about Life.

My old Hoosier buddy and high school classmate, Thomas C. "Tim" Werbe and I caught up last week for eggs, bacon and English muffins at the Butler's in Greenwich, CT.  While Werb and I only get to see each other once a year or so, we pick up the thread of the most recent conversation easily.  It's seamless and very comfortable.

In the photo above my pal reminds me of some important life lessons:  chew with my mouth closed, say please and thank you, floss daily, and continue to help old ladies across the street, just as we did in Boy Scout days of yore.

Good man, Werbe.  I don't even mind the finger wagging.

Mystic Pizza Just Down-river from This Christmas Tree.

My daughter and I were on a walk along River Road in Mystic, CT the other day.  Came upon this iconic little Christmas tree at low tide.  Check out the ornaments:  oyster shells!  How cool is that we both thought.  The tree is on the Mystic River, less than a mile from the restaurant made famous in the movie "Mystic Pizza."  Yumm.

Friday, December 12, 2014

"Toby" the Show Dog Casts Cautious Eye.

That Toby is such a sweet pup. And what a friendly time we had together last week.

My canine amigo was taking a snooze mid-afternoon when I snuck up, ever so carefully, to snap a foto.  Toby picked up my scent, or vibe, or intentions and gave me a look-see.  That face is not angry by any means; "what is Poppy doing," it seems to ask.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Children of the Corn

Chris walked into the weeds at Haley Farm last week, said something about a movie called "Children of the Corn."  I wasn't sure what he was talking about but I liked the photo opp anyway.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Smith-Corona Manual Typewriters Available at Vale.

Vale Typewriters on Penn Ave. in Richfield specializes in old, lovingly-restored manual machines. And business is good, according to owner Mark S. "I've sold more than 100 portables since December," he reports. Demand is strong from writers, students, collectors, and artists alike. Mark let me try out a 50-year-old Smith-Corona that he'd refurbished with a chemical bath, key and spring adjustment, new ribbon, and TLC. Prices are a bargain -- $125 and up for a portable. Get 'em while they last, doncha think?

Jen, Will, Terrell, Poppina + I do Brasa Brunch..

Forgot to post a group shot of the family at brunch at Brasa day after Thanksgiving.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Foundry Home Goods Recommends Brunch at "Brasa."

When we asked our friends at Foundry Home Goods in Minneapolis where they suggested we "do brunch" yesterday, the answer came back loud, clear and unanimous. "It's on Hennepin Ave." they said, "and the name is  Brasa Rotisserie." 

If you've eaten at Brasa you know how phenomenally tasty the chow can be.  With its unmistakable Creole roots, and influenced by flavors and nuanced imagination from the Caribbean, plus a commitment to source all ingredients locally and from organic, family farms where possible, this restaurant is unique in my dining experience here in the Twin Cities.

Our server was named Amber (in the middle of the foto, above); she was attentive and fun. Amber kept us hungry brunchers busy with an Island-worthy feast:  pulled pork, cheddar cheese grits, chips and magical salsa, black beans and dirty rice and a corn speciality cake.

The beer was local, too, and the coffee fair-trade.  We suspect the desserts were to-die, though too-full tummies didn't stick around to find out.

Brasa management delivered a "how are we doing" comment card (not unreasonable) along with the check (decidedly reasonable) .  We filled it out with smiley faces and compliments and promised to come back, soon.  Also left a handsome tip for Amber, and hope she knows how much we enjoyed the experience.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

P + S Drake Surfing in Nicaragua, foto by Wilz.

My young surfer dude friends Philip and Stephan Drake just returned from a long board safari in Nicaragua.   Here, in a photo by their pal Andrew Wilz,  Stephan walks away from the Pacific Ocean, and a glorious sunset, up to the casita for a cold one.  Waiting to hang out, swap tall tales and plan for tomorrow is brother Philip and Mom Lenir.  I'm hoping to post some angry-wave pics, with the guys hanging ten and catching some heavies.  Go, boys!

PS:  is Wilz portfolio and website.

Great Day to Wash Windows in Minneapolis.

It's winter in Minnie but the sun shines bright this afternoon, and the mercury is pushing 40-degrees. My new BFF the professional window washer, seen at the tippy-top of his ladder, could barely ask for better conditions.  As carefully as he squeegees the glass panes, one cannot help but hold her breath as our man scales the rungs of his work place.  So far, so good.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Not a Turkey in the Bunch (Flock?)

We had some fine fun last night celebrating Thanksgiving here in Long Lake.  In this pic, turkey, stuffing, gravy and 'taters have been polished off, and the gang is working on dessert.  The smiles, yucks and good times continued far into the evening.  Guests remarked it was the best Thanksgiving they could remember.  We DO have much to be thankful for.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Making Tracks up Deer Hill Road

We received three inches of fresh powder snow last night, while temps dropped to the single digits. What a glorious Thanksgiving we're having here in Long Lake, MN.    Bundled up for a brisk and bracing walk up Lisa's Deer Hill Road.  Hope you enjoy the tread tracks.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chalk up Another Great Saying to St. Francis !!

“Wear the world as a loose garment, which touches us in a few places and there lightly” - St. Francis of Assisi

God is Too Big to Fit into One Religion.

If you have doubts about the ways of the world, religion included, don't forget the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel -- the words of the prophets are written on the subway wall.

S + G were New York City boys so they didn't drive much.  That meant they didn't see many bumper stickers.  Dirty as that Ford Focus is, and as many stickers as the owner has slapped on the vehicle, one message comes through louder, clearer than others:

"GOD is too BIG to fit into one religion."


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Does Coffee Really Make You Black?

In the photo to your left you meet talented letterpress artist Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. He's in the middle of signing a poster I purchased from him at the annual Book Arts Fest at MCBA in Minneapolis.

A resident of Detroit, Kennedy prefers recycled materials, sticks to wooden type he sets by hand, then prints on letter press. He signs every poster with a Sharpie, and will not budge on the asking price for his work.

Amos also favors edgy, poignant work that invites conversation, breaks down barriers to understanding, and certainly makes you smile.

For instance my purchase:  "Coffee Makes You Black." 

C'mon. That's absurd. I mean, how can drinking coffee -- even strong, black coffee -- turn a white man black?  It can't, of course. But the absurdity of the idea is an effective way to make us look at our prejudices, and reconsider the evidence.

I wish I could have hung out longer with Amos.  I plan to go on-line before Christmas and stock up on gifts.  If you want to connect with Kennedy, you can do so here:

No telephone. You can write us at
P.O. Box 7489
Detroit, MI 48207
or email. We really do prefer a letter, and we will reply to you. Keep paper correspondence alive!
Kennedy Prints! posters are printed for clients and generally available through the organization that ordered them; but we retain a limited number of posters for sale. If you would like to purchase individual posters ($25 each, shipping and handling are free), you can email us and see if the ones you want are still available. Organizations that sell Kennedy Prints! posters retail include:

Check Amos's work at

Sunday, November 16, 2014

IOCP - Inter Faith Outreach + Community Partners - Celebates Give to the Max Day at Lunds + Byerly's Kitchen in Wayzata, MN.

"Give to the Max Day" is history now. By all accounts Minnesotans  contributed record $$ to a record number of worthy causes.  The generosity was unparallelled.

A deserving and popular destination for more than a half-million dollars in donations was Inter Faith Outreach and Community Partners.

This Plymouth-based organization been going strong for well over a quarter-century, serving multiple needs of a still-growing client base.

IOCP Executive Director LaDonna Hoy is legendary.  Her quiet, confident, positive leadership of IOCP continues to set the bar for "service."   But all work and no play is not LaDonna's style.  And so IOCP hosted a thanks-for-your-contribution party once the giving was done.

Venue was the new "Kitchen" of Lunds + Byerly's in Wayzata. Music was playing, speeches being given. Toasts and tears of gratitude abounded.  Thin-crust pizza .  Friends reconnecting.  All there at the Kitchen, and then some.  What a show;  the only requirement for attendance was a gift to the most deserving organization one can imagine.

Friday, November 14, 2014

From Mpls Conference Center Skyway this Morning.

Don't let the cold, snow, gloom and doom fool you.  It's always comfortable in the Skyway.  And any day is a good day to have your camera along for the ride.

I was on my way into the Mpls Conference Center, traveling down the Skyway, and couldn't help
noticing the Timberwolves kiosk.  That's the reaction the 'Wolves hope for.  I was running late so I didn't make the effort to set up a nice time exposure.  Instead (and thank goodness for a handrail on which to rest the SONY) I set 'er on auto and fired away.

The seminar I attended on "Turning Heads with Urban Public Art" was boffo -- fascinating and inspiring.  I was one of 50-60 in the audience.  Most attendees were architects practicing in Minnesota.  Speaker and leader was Jack Becker, Executive Director of Forecast Public Art.

Forecast publishes Public Art Review twice a year.  I help Jack and his staff sell ads into the magazine. We're having a good year, and a helluva lot of fun.

Let me know if you'd like to see a copy -- glad to send it along.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sue Knaup's New Book Aids Struggling Nonprofits.

New Book Aids Struggling Nonprofits

PrescottArizona – November 12, 2014 – Published this week through One Street PressCures for Ailing Organizations guides struggling nonprofits out of common problems that hinder their work. Unlike other books that avoid unpleasant group digressions, this book takes them head-on. Readers will not find quick fixes or isolated exercises. Instead, they will gain skills to reconnect warring factions and attract many types of people to engage in their work. By learning these proven processes, readers will realize that restoring health to important organizations is worth the effort.

“I wrote Cures for Ailing Organizations because I have seen far too many nonprofits and social enterprises crippled by the same problems—infighting, communication breakdowns, self-serving individuals, and vague policies,” said author and One Street executive director Sue Knaup. “All are easily remedied through simple, consecutive steps that reverse harm and prevent reoccurrence. I tapped my more than 40 years working with organizations as well as my emergency medical training to show how anyone can revive an organization and return it to its important work.”

The book’s 210 pages are laid out much like a first aid manual, starting with diagnosis to discover the causes of organization ailments. Readers are then guided through the first aid and remedy section to find solutions to their unique troubles. The last section demonstrates how to regain health and prevent troubles in the future. In August, the book’s publication costs were funded through a Kickstarter campaign.

Cures for Ailing Organizations is now available worldwide and can be purchased through One Street’s online store, most local bookstores, and major online book vendors. For the United States, Barnes and Noble offers the best online availability. Online vendors in other countries also offer it for sale.

One Street Press is the publishing program of One Street, an international bicycle advocacy organization. The press publishes books that inspire people to improve our world, preferably through bicycles. Find out more at .

For more information, please contact Sue Knaup, Executive Director: +1- 928-541-9841, sue{at}

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cabinet Makers Check Out Tools Here.

My cousin Richard is a skilled cabinetmaker. Actually he's a table maker, cupboard maker, counter maker -- Richard is an old-fashioned craftsman in the most patient, admirable sense.

Richard did all the design and work on a neighbor's kitchen.  I've never seen such attention to detail, such use of wood.  And then my nephew is studying to be a ship wright, and you just know he's going to build some awesome wooden boats.

Any wood-working pro, cousin,nephew, anyone; he trust his tools, and treats them w/care and respect.  And when I saw these on display in the 3100 California Co-op I recognized many of the implements, and couldn't resist taking a photo.

Little out of sharp focus, and I apologize for that.  Know now what I might have done differently.  Live and learn. And learn and learn and learn.  Just like the cabinet maker. 

Kari + Dave ready to take ArtOrg on the Road.

Dave and Kari are a movable art feast. The heart of ArtOrg beats strong in Northfield, MN.  And these guys can take it all on the road.  We'll fill in the post later, but wanted to acknowledge these remarkably creative friends and colleagues in the meantime.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dan Cramer at 3100 California Woodworker Co-op.

Chair-maker, designer, mentor, entrepreneur and visionary Dan Cramer pays things forward at this impressive work-shop-studio in Northeast Minneapolis. 

The 6000-square foot space plays host to architects, carpenters, furniture makers, jewelery designers: working artists all who share equipment, ideas and inspiration.

Rent is reasonable, by design. Anything left over after expenses pays forward into an "equipment fund," so that the Guild continues to meet the needs of its artists.

After all the oohhhing and aaahhing Dan and I headed off to his  favorite java joint in NE Minnie for about the most scrumptious lemon-raspberry-banana bread a guy could ever hope to find.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tony Jaros Welcomes you to Marshall Terrace 'Hood.

Just before you cross the River in NE Minneapolis, you run into the Marshall Terrace Neighborhood.

Denizens of the Twin Cities know this catechism by heart.

Newbies like me continue to rejoice in discovery. And on this chilly Fall morning I came face to face with the Marshall Terrace Ferris Wheel.  

Lucky me. Found a parking spot in he River Garden lot. Tony Jaros didn't seem to mind.  I included his bar + grill for context.

Looks like there will be plenty of velo venturing awaiting me next Spring.  The Mississippi River is so close you can touch it!    

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Statuesque Dom Perignon - Since 1638.

And you thought YOU discovered "Dom."

Shoot, man, he's been around since the mid-1600's.

Bubbly, statuesque and so very French, as always.

Pedaling the Dordogne, Missing only the Baguettes.

Classic French cycling bi-way. You've likely seen B + W shots of the original for years. Only things different in this recent foto are the cyclist (no longer anonymous: it's my nephew Christian, aka, Kermit).  

Plus, the panniers are missing a baguette or two.

Country road, take me home indeed!  What fun this ride must have been.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Anthony Bourdain Can't Hold Candle to Alan Nakagawa.

My friend Alan Nakagawa is an LA-based food blogger/velo enthusiast. He has pedaled through most of LA County sampling the ever-changing food and drink fare.  Alan's taste buds are finely honed from experience and passion, and I think he does a better job spreading the news than CNN's Anthony Bourdain (my opinion).  Turns out Alan's folks were in the restaurant biz themselves, so our roving reporter comes by his bona fides organically.

In the post below our intrepid cyclists visit a neighborhood watering hole, two blocks from Alan's house. Nakagawa hadn't been through the door in 30 years.  Imagine his surprise when he ......   well, read below for details. 

"I asked some friends and my daughter to accompany me to a restaurant I have not visited for over 30 years. Well, more specifically, this Korean restaurant was once a Japanese restaurant called Beni Basha. This was my parents restaurant, which they ran for 15 years. It was the restaurant my brother and I grew up in, worked in and eventually said goodbye to. Although it is located only two blocks away from my house, I haven't had the emotional will to enter till recently. The interior is somewhat different now, so it essentially did not feel like the old restaurant. Noel Korten, Sheila Schoonhoven, Kyungmi Shin and my daughter ordered a pork belly dish and Korean BBQ. The bancha was spectacular. My friends Koh and Sojung (Document Coffee Bar) frequent this place often, i found out later, and know the owner, Sue. Kyungmi explained my connection with their restaurant and they allowed me to view the kitchen. i was shocked to see the dish washing sinks and the main stove top/oven (by Wolf) were the same units my Father purchased decades ago. it was like seeing old friends or maybe even ghosts from the past.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Femme Fatale - Public Art Rocks a Belgian Bridge.

My nephew Kermit was on a bike trip in France and Belgium not long ago.  En route to a bucolic campsite outside the Belgian capital, sharp-eyed veloster that he is, Kermie snapped this public art foto. Uncle Seth understood I'd attempt to secure permission from the artist before posting his handiwork on the Poppy Blog.  Well, at least I tried

Saturday, November 1, 2014

St. Paul's Chatterbox Cafe Knows Halloween.

Lunch yesterday with Coxie and Jean the Queen at Chatterbox Cafe on Cleveland Ave. in St. Paul.  Our server only LOOKS like a spooky cat-eyed feline. It was Halloween after all.  The eyes? Check out the eyes.  Ewwwwhhhhh.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Cove - Order Lobster Rolls from Here!

For years The Cove in Mystic, CT has served the most delicious lobster rolls along the Eastern Seaboard.  Locals and visitors alike concur:  none tastes better.  And your server in her window, will take your order and get it to you before you can say:  "How 'bout some extra mayo!"

The Cove changed hands last year. Before the 2014 summer season began, new owners applied coats of paint to every square inch of the restaurant.  Picnic tables (outside seating) were replaced with patio furniture and big umbrellas. Shade trees were pruned. Lawns were seeded and flower pots placed in strategically welcoming positions.

Next time you're on Route 1A between Mystic and Stonington, stop for a lobster roll (I think the place is open all year).  See if you don't agree that the taste is something to blog home about.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sun sets over Raspberry Lake, Medina, MN

Had to trespass on farmer's land to get this shot of the sun going down over Raspberry Lake.  The sky had been overcast all day, and it was late in the afternoon when even a hint of sun appeared amid the clouds.  Hand held, under-exposed by a stop+ and all in all, an enchanting reflection of God's Glory.  Very pleased to have come upon the scene.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Two Pony Gardens Prepares for Change of Seasons.

Heavy-duty canvas "tarps" are a sure sign that a garden is nearby. Hanging on the fence as these cloths do suggests that the beds -- primarily organic vegetables -- will be covered up soon, " 'ere the winter storms begin," as the iconic hymn goes.

Anna and Caitlin run the gardens here, and they are exceptionally competent at what they do.  Take a little loose hay from the wagon to the left in the foto, and spread over the tarps once in place, and the crops are likely to come up next Spring, stronger, healthier and more abundant than before.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Weir Men of Medina.

My friend and neighbor Ken Weir, and his "boys" Conor and Ferg invited me to join them for coffee and chit-chat yesterday at Harvest Moon Co-Op in Long Lake.  Coffee was tasty and stimulating, but nothing like the conversation that took place at our table.  From parenting to politics,  hitting you sales numbers to keeping balance in your life, these guys have IDEAS that sure did influence me.  I'll write more; meanwhile, thanks to Weir Men of Medina for our special friendship.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Truck Month - 1958. One owner, not much rust.

They've let this old timer go to hell in a rust bucket as we used to say.  Nonetheless the F -150 Ford sits serene and only a little suspicious on the back lot at the nursery in Wayzata, MN.  

Looks like this baby's been parked here for a while, though full tires suggest it's ready to lurch into action at a moment's notice.

I've been thinking of taking this shot for a long time.  Had my iPhone at the ready today: success.

Jimmy Midnight's Stimulus Package - Watch it Live!

In 1971, when Jimmy Silin arrived at his Whitefield farm as a young back-to-the-lander, he had no idea that nearby Hallowell was on its way to becoming the, “Navel of the electric guitar universe,” or that the equally handy UMA popular music program even existed. So it was partly a matter of luck that he became Jimmy Midnight and brought a blues influence into what really could be called “The Hallowell Sound.” 

At gigs and jams and open mics from Maine to California, Jimmy has worked and played with many musicians of a variety of levels of skill. Four of the very best,Robby Coffin with his Combo, David ThibodeauPeter Johnson and Alfred Lund, will be his supporting band at his upcoming show on Election Eve, Monday November 3 at Slates Hallowell. The lovely, Angela Plato Pitteroff, will be on hand to add some Trumpet solos, and a certain air of legitimacy!!!! ;) His recent CD, “Jimmy Midnight’s Stimulus Package, and an older vinyl, will also be for sale. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Freaky Halloween in this Wayzata Yard.

Neighbors of ours have decorated their front yard in a way no goblin could do better.  Masks and spider webs and bad karma signs abound.  The lady of the house explained that the decor work was no where close to being finished and, "Just you wait til Halloween!"  Be sure to come back to trick or treat, she added.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You'll Find me Now at Goodwill.

I used to buy my shirts at Brooks, 
in colors white and blue.
They’d sew a monogram on my chest
there’d be no mistaking who …

I thought I was or hoped to be,
among the “shoes" at Fence.
Not just a guy from the Chill,
but one with taste and sense.

I’d charge the bunch to dear old Dad, 
who’d never know the diff, 
shirts and socks and ties and such,
buckle shoes as a spiff. 

My clothing muse was pal JI,
taste-maker all agreed; 
or was it Schenck of ALC,
or could it have been Freed?

That was all so long ago, 
a different closet and a time.
Nothing fancy I wear now,
not spendy nor sublime.

I’ve bid adieu to button-downs,
trousers made of twill.
If I ever need a new fall look
you’ll find me at Goodwill!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Had Dali Painted Pancakes Instead of Clocks.

Didn't Spanish artist Salvador Dali once paint a droopy clock?  Some surrealist image of time slipping away? And not so appealing to the senses even if one could stop the slide?

Imagine if our brush man had chosen sourdough pancakes instead of clocks?  His painting might have resembled what we saw this morning at Two Pony Gardens as we delighted in a tasty, healthy breakfast and some inspiring, spirited conversation.

Dali: move aside.  Time has passed you by.  The flapjacks rule the roost these days.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Body Art Rockers, Minneapolis Art Institute, Summer 2012.

There must be a tatt show -- "body art expo" -- in Minneapolis each summer.  I know I've come across plenty of "sleeves" as I've walked around town.  In this photo from the grounds at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, a young lady with a flower in her hair sips a rum drink and considers the sounds of an unknown rock band.

Loving the Caribou Lattes Today in Sunny Wayzata.

Me and the gals were taking in the sun and the sights and the sips this afternoon in Wayzata. It's Betsy on the left, then Pat, and on the right:  NTS, La Nancita, Poppina, Sammy. And the striped socks and beat-up khakis and the bare ankle?  An adoring friend and, of Poppina, her Poppy.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Girl-chiks at Russian Art Museum Today.

Betsy and Pat flew in from Steamboat Springs to spend a long weekend here in Long Lake.  Our dear guests and we get together a couple of times a year, and we never fail to have a blast.

Today's adventure?   The Museum of Russian Art on Stevens @ 35-W in Minneapolis. Our curious museum goers pose for old Poppy just before we discover the magic inside.

Special exhibits include folk art wood carvings --   prialkas -- used by young Russian maidens in spinning cloth, and highly prized as dowry items by families of the bride and groom.

Contemporary Russian Artist Alexander Viazmensky displayed detailed and exquisite water colors of  Leccinum  -- common and not so common mushrooms, all deliciously edible.

Favorite exhibit was the  nalichniki -- "window surrounds," in English -- window frames, built for the outside of village homes, carved with an artist's touch, and richly and proudly painted.  Nalichniki art reached its zenith in the late 19th century; homes throughout pre-Soviet Russia took part.   Today, many of the original "surrounds" remain, and a project is underway to photograph tens of thousands of the best examples for reference.

Went to the gift shop, of course.  Had some wonderful herbal tea. Bought a few items for the holiday so Santa can surprise good little boys and girls.  Keep your eye peeled.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Unity, Service, Recovery - St Paul Neighborhood Style.

I took this photo this afternoon in St. Paul.  The light, shadows, colors, design, composition, deep blue sky all spoke to me.  I pulled the car around the corner onto Annapolis Street, ducked traffic and got the shot.

AA meeting houses exist in hundreds of countries -- the promise of service and help offered in plenty of languages other than English.  To come upon this oasis in our Twin Cities, in Spanish (which I read, write and speak pretty well) and on such a splendid day:   MAGNIFICO! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pop Up Farm Store - Remember to be on Your Honor!

A couple of miles from our house there's a farm store. You can shop like a maniac for the very best home-grown tomatoes, garden veggies,  condiments (mint, parsley, basil), even prize-winning dahlias during the season, if you get there quick, and wait at the head of the line.

There's even fresh goat milk for shoppers braver than I.

Inside the barn at Two Pony you'll find a pop up "honor" store.  If no attendant is there to serve, follow the instructions on the chalk board seen in foto above:  leave a note and leave your money and thanks for shopping today with us.  Something like that.

Friday, October 10, 2014

OMG. Pea Hummus. So yummy, and only 5 bucks!

This was a first and I've been to plenty of farmer's markets: sampling Green Pea Hummus alongside Quinoa Salad.  

The quinoa was to die.  But the hummus,  whoa, made of green peas, was out of this world.  A fancy food writer could describe the experience better, but when you took a bite of the hummus you could absolutely identify the pea taste.  Somewhere between uncooked, right out of the pod, and steamed just enough to deliver its distinctive taste.

And the color! No mistaking what this goodness was made of.

Ingredients?  Fresh organic green peas (duh), garlic, ricotta cheese, black pepper, sea salt, lemon zest (whatever that may be) scallions and some lemon juice.   If you EVER come across this stuff in your culinary cruising, grab it.  Savor the pea hummus.  Write your friends about it.  Get another container or two.  What a treat.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Did Vogue Magazine Forget these Shoes along Lake Michigan?

Weird, don't you think?  Maybe even a little spooky? Here's a perfectly nice, empty pair of ladies shoes, placed with care in a parking lot along the beach of Lake Michigan.

Whose mules?  I didn't see a soul (no pun) as I walked miles along the lake.  No barefooted runners. No swimmers wake headed east across the big pond.

Maybe Vogue magazine was doing a photo shoot, took a break for lunch, left  behind the props to make their own special statement?

If YOU know anything about these sandals, please let us know.  Maybe I'll check Lost + Found in the meantime?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pedal a Velo to Whole Foods for Organic Sorbet.

Looks like you can rig up a Nice Ride bike-share-velo here in the 'Cities, and get some tasty sorbet as a reward for all your hard work.  Saw this machine at a bike night at Minneapolis Institute of Art, and only sorry in hindsight I didn't get to sample the dessert.  Pretty soon it's going to be too damned cold here to wear tank tops, enjoy sorbet out-of-doors!