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What an amazing weekend we had in Minneapolis!  There are always so many people to see and things to do and this weekend we had some of the best of both!

We started with a trip to Northern Sun NSfor some sign frames (we have new Water Protector signs to post) and some replacement buttons (Dan gave his “Jesus had two dads and he turned out OK” button away a while back and needed a new one).  Then we stopped for just a sec at a new community bookstore – Moon Palace Books, which had a terrific layout of books and a delightful cafe in back.  They also had used books upstairs but we left without tempting ourselves…  Some potential new reads I found were Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble & Die Wise, both by Stephen Jenkinson.

Then we headed to our friend Sadie’s place where we would spend the weekend with her roommate Alison.  They have an awesome place and we were greeted with an amazing Mona Lisa painting that Alison had just acquired at an estate sale.  After some relaxation, we decided to head to her favorite restaurant, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, where we were able to hook up with Uncle Cam and Aunt Karen too!  So good to catch up with them and enjoy some really great food.  We tried the One Love combo bowl which included jerk chicken, jerk pork, beans and rice, slaw, and plantains.  We didn’t even try any of their sauces as the meat was so delicious with the other sides.  Alison’s boyfriend met up with us also – we’re making friends faster than ever!!

The next day started with a drive over to Laura’s where fresh, ripe plums awaited my washing.  Since they were SO ripe, I didn’t think they’d survive until I could get to processing them at the Harn so we decided to make cordial instead – way better idea!!  Lutz advised as I filled jars with plums, sprinkled in some sugar and added the vodka.  In six weeks, we’ll be able to see how it’s tasting.  I have big plans to get the rhubarb cordial started when I get home too…  This is fun.  And beautiful!  Will make some good gifts…

Plum cordial

I grabbed a quick book from the Little Library a couple houses down as it was a 35th anniversary edition of a book I have been meaning to read for some years – it had an Appreciation in it by Maurice Sendak and I wanted to check it out.  Boy, am I glad I did as I thoroughly enjoyed his words about this book.  Must get to it soon…

Then we headed to brunch at the Tiny Diner, a Permaculture-based diner with really good food, if not spectacular service.  I don’t know if our waitress hated her job, didn’t care, or just was off her game but wow was she NOT real friendly or helpful.  She seemed to try a bit harder after I’m guessing she heard me say to Laura as she brought her a spoon, “Maybe she’s having a bad day.”  Laura had to re-request said spoon after a delivery of sugar and stir sticks.  Good thing we got it as the sugar was really clumpy and had to be removed from the decanter with a spoon instead of pouring it from the spout.

I am always amazed by bad service when it seems to me there is a simple solution. If you’re a server having a crap day, say something!  Maybe, “Hey, I’m off my game today.  Not sure what’s up but please have patience with me if I am not as cheery or well-oiled as I normally am.” or “My cat died last week and I’m still feeling a bit blue so my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders.  While I’m doing my best to make your visit a good one, please let me know if I’m dropping the ball on anything as I could use a little extra help this week.”  I believe most patrons will be happy to accommodate and might even leave a BIGGER tip to try to help out your day.  I think most of us (those of us with a bit of compassion anyway) want to help others’ lives easier if we can.  But first we need to know you’re having a hard time, not just an apathetic grouch.

Dan said the biscuits and gravy was good – had a hint of lemon – and Laura’s egg sandwich came with pickled radish that was excellent.  I had the New Mexico Omelet with cheddar and pickled peppers – so delish!  The place had a lot of info about Permaculture, including a really rad pollinator housing complex.

Next we headed to Big Stone Mini Golf which was so wonderful.  Sorry no photos yet as we forgot our camera and I’m waiting on shots from my friend.  But check out their website for some shots.  The golf course is aged and has some rough edges that hang your ball so if you’re super competitive, you may find some frustration.  We were out for a fun day of artsy golf and got just what we wanted.  We definitely got out money’s worth on a per shot basis – the scores on a fourteen-hole course ranged from 60-80.  [Why, yes, I did win!!  But I was worried when I got an 8 on the first hole!!]

After the golf, we walked the grounds checking out all the sculptures.  From the IV/Walker statement on health care and the world of high art to the Shiny Mushrooms and Beans, to the Chains in the shape of a person on a large stone slab, there was much to make you think.  Oh, there was a Pig flying an Airplane and a giant Roshambo too.  And if you like pigs, there is also a free-range pig that wanders the grounds.  He keeps the goats and chickens happy – you can feed those guys if you like.

We got uber lucky when the artist who started all this wonderfulness, Bruce Stillman, was found walking the grounds.  I thanked him for creating this place and mentioned that he should let us know when he starts giving tours of the houses (there is a tiny house, a large home, and a studio).  Lucky for us, when Laura mentioned the studio tour, he gave us one!  We got to see his latest work along with some of his early things that he houses in the upstairs area of the place, including HIS Mona Lisa.  I was uber impressed with his latest concept of “Justice” and I’m hopeful to get a shot to add to this blog soon.

After golf, we headed to the city to meet up with a bunch of folks for an evening on the deck at Psycho Suzy’s.  I think I went through about 5 or 6 glasses of water as we talked and talked and ate good food.  We got to see the giant spider that comes out as the sun goes down and we saw bats flying around as it got even later.  What a lovely time with friends new and old.  Try the Thai Pizza – it’s really good.

Then it was back to the lovely old home for a good night’s rest – well, a partial one as we were up until almost 2!!  But I was up early enough in the morning to meet another house guest, Elsa, owner of Yoga One in Alexandria, who regaled us with stories from her previous evening – what a joy to meet her.  Hope to see her again when I’m back in Alex.  I had been meaning to check out that Yoga Studio…

The big event was yet to come… Hamilton!!!  Friends Sherry, Jamie, and Ann joined Dan and I for lunch at MacKenzie Pub before the show.  Totally recommend this place if you’re going to a show at the Orpheum as you can then sneak over to their bathrooms during intermission – and YES!! It’s WAY quicker than the line inside the Orpheum.  Three of us had the Caribbean Pork Tacos – GF and so full of flavor!  Sherry Ann ordered the hummus platter that had loads of kalamata olives and two kinds of bread.  Dan was disappointed to hear they were out of the Scotch Eggs but that just means he’ll have to get them next time…

So, Hamilton was just incredible.  I’ve seen large stage plays in the past, I saw musicals and operas in D.C. when Mom used to live there, but this was just beyond anything theatrical I’ve ever experienced.  There was SO MUCH going on all over the stage.  The choreography was excellent with the fast-paced and the stop-motion, the graceful and the blunt.  Every move was executed with precision and the singing was top-notch.  I cannot recommend this show enough.  I especially liked the T-shirt that said “Hamilton & Jefferson & Madison & Washington.  Burr.”  🙂

It was a wonderful experience in so many ways for me.  I will be listening to it on CD – especially Act 1 which had such a powerful effect on me.  Writing like you’re running out of time, indeed.  I just couldn’t help but see the links between what I’m trying to accomplish in fighting Line 3 and what Hamilton was doing in fighting to create a government for this newly birthed nation.

More on the Line 3 opposition next week…