Monday, June 28, 2010

Mill Ruins

I work in one of the coolest neighborhoods in Minneapolis and when the light is right you can't take a bad picture. They have preserved this birthplace of the mill city the way the ruins of classical civilization are scattered around Greece, keeping the history of the place alive in the present. In recent years, as they have begun to reclaim this area of the city, they have managed to connect the new construction to the mill ruins and create a landscape that is a strikingly harmonious mix of proletariat art scape, elegant modernism, and the raw organic power of the river that retains its force no matter how much we attempt harness it.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010


Just when I thought I couldn't fall anymore in love with Minnesota, I found a book that got me even more excited about getting to know my home state. This seems to be a travelling summer with trips planned to both "ancestral homes" of Josh and me. Maybe I'm seeking balance in our travels for this chosen home of ours - a chance to get to know this place more deeply and go beyond the usual places that we love to haunt. So I have some plans for a few state park day trips this year. My main focus is to go in search of more prairie and to explore the ocean of plants that is the hallmark of the southern part of the state. Also intriguing - river bluffs and a herd of wild bison!

In the past few years, I've mostly eschewed the travel bug that I have in exchange for focusing on building a stable house and home. My new quest of intrastate travel seems the perfect marriage of the two. The focus of my thirties has been, well, focus. I've worked to balance my usual desire for wide expanses and broad experiences with opportunities to explore the depths of a few carefully identified most beloved things. This new idea seems to fit well into this theme with the added bonus of being able to be implemented on a long time frame at a slow pace.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Friday #2

We took the annual trip to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. I've always wanted to go there during the different seasons each year, but it's a long trek out to the western edge of the metro so my plans never seem to materialize. It's marvelous in summer, though, and a great place for kids with simple tastes and good imaginations. We have a regular routine that includes the maze garden and "thinking labyrinth" for Ellis, numerous fountains to touch "water!" for Charlie and a sprawling outside of plants and flowers for me. Each summer there is a temporary outdoor interactive art installation. This year, it is a building made entirely of branches. We managed to enjoy it after successfully distracting Charlie from the geese that meander across the main road. We also enjoyed the fountain in the perennial garden that was full of tadpoles rather than the koi. I love how the arboretum is slightly different each year the way that each summer is slightly different. I asked Ellis if he would still want to come with me when he and Charlie are old enough to walk up three-mile road rather than drive to the maze garden, even if he was a cranky teenager. He said he would, and I hope that it's true that we can do this together every year.
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Sunday, June 20, 2010


Plenty of black raspberries picked by the Mississippi River and devoured by boys. One cake plus number two candle. A great chance to celebrate the littlest member of our family who is so dear to all of us.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Friday #1

The thunderstorms hit yesterday evening leaving today sunny and warm. We headed to Lake Josephine with towels, beach toys and healthy snacks. The water was still a little too cold for all out swimming, but I have the feeling we'll be back for warmer days. Charlie's picture above shows how he entertained himself for almost two hours. Ellis needed a little more direction from me on things to do such as obstacle courses and timed races. I think we'll definitely get the hang of this summer thing.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Twelve Fridays

With the end of school last week, summer is here. This year, I will have just one weekday at home with the kids, but I have amassed enough knowledge of cool things to do in the last few years that rain or shine we will have a great summer. Here are my thoughts for 12 fun summer Fridays (dependent on the weather; repeats possible for most beloved places):
1. Eagle's Nest Indoor Playground (who cares if they are calling for thunderstorms?)
2. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3. Fourth of July weekend trip to Chicago
4. Swimming at Lake Josephine
5. Road Trip to Duluth (Edgewater water park, Lake Superior fun)
6. Chutes and Ladders Playground
7. Swimming at Lake Johanna
8. Vacation in Alaska
9. Jet lag recovery from Alaska Flight
10. Harriet Alexander Nature Center
11. Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
12. State Fair

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bee and Flower

Like veils and bridal gowns or crisp white sheets. The bumble bee is a welcome suitor. The prairie is the perfect marriage bed.
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Insect and Plant

It moved so quickly to verdant and still far from the summer solstice. In June in Minnesota the creation of life is so prolific you can almost hear it vibrating at the height of its power. If you look closely, you can see the individual lives that are part of the teeming whole that is this growing season.
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Small Things

"Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time." - Georgia O'Keeffe
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