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What a week full of unexpected fun!!  From chipmunks to virtual reality, we found ourselves enjoying the most unexpected of pleasures.

In the midst of putting in the lake pump, we saw a delay in getting water to the spigots and headed down the steps to check for leaks in the line.  As we started into the woods, we heard a scurrying to the right and looked over to see a couple of chipmunks “wrestling”.  It was adorable.  There was a bark platform on which they were rolling around and we watched as they wiggled and twined together through the woods, chasing and catching, rolling on their little bed of bark.  Dan finally went to get the camera but were too late to catch anything too risqué.  Just as he was heading to get the camera, I heard the water squirting from the spigot.  Our wonderful distraction kept us from fretting over the plumbing and meanwhile, the problem remedied itself!  While we missed much of the playful time in the woods, we did get some great shots of the little guys and girls up at the patio, along with a good video of some dragonfly eating: https://youtu.be/mENwj8voPx4

We headed to The Cities Friday for the Northland Rec Lab Board meeting on Saturday.  With construction season in full bloom (Indiana and Minnesota both share the concept of two seasons… winter and construction), we decided to take the back roads and wound through Meire Grove, Paynesville, Eden Valley, Annandale, Buffalo and more headed towards Uptown.  The country drive was a lovely one with rolling hills of green. We arrived in Minneapolis and enjoyed the remarkable diversity. Mosaics 6-10-16 Apparently, the neighborhood just north of where we stayed is the most diverse neighborhood in the country!  So many people of varying shades, hipsters to young families, old folks and young.  An array of smells to make your mouth water as we cruised down Nicollet’s eatery row.  We spent a relaxing evening at a super new AirBnB.  Headed to the Midtown Global Market for a bite late and saw some amazing mosaic sculptures made by an artist friend of my artist friend Laura Burlis.  http://lolaartistsmn.blogspot.com/2014/07/laura-burlis-turns-polymer-clay-into.html

Saturday had me headed to the Board Meeting while Dan enjoyed another trip to Northern Sun (he was so proud of the title he came up with for this blog which plays on the name of this favorite of stores…) and some sightseeing in Uptown.  He found the Trader Joe’s (a must stop when we get to Minneapolis) and new hangout, Peace Coffee.  We enjoyed a wonderful potluck after the Board Meeting at Roxanne’s – what a lovely place she has!  We even got to meet her two fancy kitties, Hannah and Zoey.  They were long-haired beauties but very pissed at being in Kitty Jail all day while the humans played in their house.  Hissy and pretty scary, we kept our distance as needed to avoid a smack.  But I snuck in a couple pets while Hannah sat on Mom’s lap. 🙂

Our friend Kathy Bahaug had mentioned that she was volunteering 20160611_212738.jpgat the Northern Spark event that evening so Laura, Dan and I headed toward the Mill City Museum – the old Gold Medal Flour plant, now housing history and art displays.  We found Kathy making the most of her volunteering time!  Northern Spark had a Climate Change theme this year with wonderful CG interactive displays (didn’t get a photo of that, sorry, Tom and Celia!) and loads of other exhibits.  This is a dusk to dawn event and we arrived early enough to get on the front end of the line for the Virtual Reality display.  We were on swiveling chairs and could look all around at the various parts of the video.  I watched a documentary category video called Hard World for Small Things by Janicza Bravo depicting a day in the life of a tight-knit community in South Central Los Angeles. Cast included: Keith Stanfield, Brandon Scott, Hannah Heller, Idara Victor, Jodie Smith.  Well done. It was very interesting to experience VR.  With an apt name, it definitely feels very real.

Dan wanted to sit on the balcony at the Guthrie so we headed there next.  As we strolled, we passed:

  • a silhouette puppet show with Indonesian music in the courtyard of the Mill Ruins
  • Aniccha Arts display “Census”
  • a view of the river and bikes and food trucks along the way
  • a video of melting glaciers projected onto the flour silos with silhouettes of us passersby below
  • the Making the Best of It: Dandelion display where you could see the Gut God giving blessings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJMnG_h6WBw & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtP99uwZl0Y

There were people EVERYWHERE!  So fun to be in the city amidst such vibrant crowds.  We made it to the Guthrie and headed up the elevator to the 5th floor where we encountered displays of Bee Honeycomb, Lino Block Printing, and an explanation of the making of Batik cloth.  We arrived at the balcony and it was such a beautiful evening.  Warm but not sticky.  A breeze stirring all around.  Dark but loads of city lights.  We wandered more through the Guthrie, finally taking a rest in some unoccupied chairs overlooking the river view where Laura and Dan took a photo of themselves floating.  We were so grateful that Laura talked us into heading into downtown for the evening.  She says this town is wonderful for young people.  There are bikes everywhere and loads of bike friendly roads.  And she says that the Vikings are hiring at the new stadium… hear that, Tom & Celia!?!?  😉