Summer gardening

Thought I’d share what’s going on in the garden right now.  First a couple of what I think is milkweed after they’re done blooming that I found on the walking path near the cabin.

The bee balm are about at their peak right now.

Check out my humongoloid rhubarb plant (time to harvest again!!) from the inside and from the outside.

Our veggie garden is coming along!  We’ve got tomatoes, cukes, beans, basil and a pepper plant(basil and pepper plants not visible).

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4th of July sunsets

We had another lovely weekend at the cabin and another fabulous sky of changing sunsets.  Here are a handful of my favorites.

We had the most amazing display of fireworks over the lake and we didn’t have to go anywhere.  At one point we were standing on the dock and there were dueling fireworks.  We didn’t know where to look!  Quite the problem to have don’t you think? :) I tried and tried to get a good photo of the fireworks.  Alas, my iphone camera is not the best for this type of shot. But I did choose one to share.

And the sky’s colors just kept on giving.  This one was taken about 45 minutes after the sun had set and you can kind of see some fireworks going off way across the lake.

And, oh heck, here’s a gratuitous photo of Fritz in the red chair totally unrelated to the 4th of July.  I just like this photo of him. Red looks good on him don’t you think?

 

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Homi – Restaurante Mexicano, St. Paul, MN

If you’re in St. Paul you must try Homi.  Real. Mexican. Food.  And, let me tell you, it’s fabulous!!  We’ve been going by this place for a while and finally decided to try it tonight.  We’re so glad we did, we are definitely going back.

It’s a tiny place and parking is problematic so Homi put a nice, big sign in his window: “parking in back”. And there was!  I forgot to take a photo of the front.  If you’re taking the green line you’ll go in the front door (not pictured).

Homi's back entrance

We sat down and started with their homemade guacamole.  Oh my goodness. Delish!!  He leaves the pit in the dish and I thought that was a nice touch.  It is made fresh, as is everything at Homi.  They have a sign explaining that there is a bit of a wait because everything is made from scratch.  It’s definitely worth the wait.

fresh guacamole

I had the chiles rellenos.  These might be the best chiles rellenos that I’ve ever had.  The sauce was to die for.  It came with rice and beans. We also got fresh and warm corn tortillas (rice, beans and tortillas not pictured).

Hubby had the tamales, equally delicious. I tasted it, yum!

tamales

They’re right on the green line and easy for downtown worker bees to have lunch.  They are also on this list of some other great places to eat in St. Paul, Lunch along the Green Line.

Their portions are large, so bring your appetite. Or bring home the rest and have it for lunch the next day.  Do try this great Mexican restaurant when you’re in St. Paul.  I’m sure you will leave happy.

 

Homi Restaurant
864 University Avenue
St. Paul, MN
651-222-0655
Homi Mexican on Urbanspoon

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Contrast

A couple of contrasts here.  First, the contrast of Eddie the large and Fritz the small:

He's so little!!!

He’s so little!!!

Next, the contrast of the older photo of Fritz as a kitten and what he looks like now:

To join the challenge and/or to view other great entries, click here.  I might be back later with another idea for this challenge :)

 

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35W Bridge Remembrance Garden and Memorial

August 1, 2007 is one of those days that I will never forget.  The day the interstate bridge collapsed.  We sat agape in front of the TV watching all the coverage of this tragic event for the next several weeks.  I used to go over that bridge on my way to the office about once a week as I was working from home then.  And I had crossed the bridge that very day.  I remember that the head of my department at work sent out an email the next morning to those of us that travelled the bridge to ensure that we were alright.  I was alright physically but I wasn’t okay emotionally for quite some time after that.  I was stunned that this could happen. I read everything I could find about the people that died, others that were injured and the kind-hearted people who stopped to help.  And I cried and cried off and on for weeks afterwards.

I had heard about the memorial that was being erected but never saw it until recently.  My office is just down the street from the memorial and I have been taking photos of it on my not-so-daily walks for some exercise and a bit of fresh air (though today’s air was a bit “soggy” with all the humidity, but I digress again!).  It’s a very moving memorial positioned atop the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River where so many vehicles and victims ended up that day nearly 7 years ago.  A granite wall with names of the survivors stands behind 13 pillars, one for each of the people that died.  On each pillar is a brief description of those that died, some are in their native language.  On one of my walks I began to read the pillars……and I had to stop after the fifth or I would have burst into tears.  I will have to go back to read the rest but perhaps only a few at a time.  It’s a very nice memorial.  I hope you’ll enjoy the scenic tour I’ve put together.

I happened upon this marker and until putting together this post I had no idea what the MPR Sound Point was.  I googled and discovered that MPR and the city of Minneapolis put together a tour of public art in Minneapolis.  Here is how the tour works, from the link to the story at MPR: “Signs posted at each artwork location direct viewers to call or text a phone number or scan a bar code with their smart phone and listen to the artist describe the artwork in detail.” 

MPR Sound Point with the Stone Arch bridge in the background

MPR Sound Point with the Stone Arch bridge in the background

Stone Arch Bridge

Stone Arch Bridge

Just today I took this photo to capture the wording on the granite wall.  I love how the pillars are reflected on the wall.

Our lives are not only defined by what happens, but by how we act in the face of it, not only by what life brings us, but by what we bring to life.  Selfless efforts and compassion create enduring community out of tragic events.

I took this photo today as well in Gold Medal Park just across the street from the memorial.  It seems only fitting to end with a flower in memory of the victims of the 35W bridge collapse.  May this never happen again.  Click here for more information about the bridge before and after its collapse.

 

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STSS building tour – University of MN, Minneapolis

The other day we were treated to a tour of the Science Teaching & Student Services (STSS) building on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota, otherwise known as my new employer.  Can I just say how much I love it there?!?!!  I do, I do!!  It’s so important to have the right job.  But that is a post for another day.

The tour was arranged by our director and there were about 18 of us that went and we all had a great time.  We went in different groups and the group that I was in just happened to be the four newbies to the team, with me being the second newest.  I didn’t bring a lunch that day so we went to Chipotle to eat before heading over the Washington Avenue bridge to arrive at the STSS building.  It’s about a 20 minute walk door to door.

A slightly off photo of our destination:

Check out this video that I found about the building when it opened several years ago.   It replaced an old science building and the foundation from that building remained and materials recycled to create this new one.  As the video says, it’s one of the greenest buildings on campus using the latest in sustainable heating and cooling.  The entire west side of the building (seen here) is made of glass that contains a convection system of ceramic window dots called frits.  These frits heat the building in winter.  All of the administrative offices are on this side, facing west, while the classrooms, study areas and meeting places are on the other side.

There are many student services here including student account assistance, One Stop student services, career services, undergraduate academic and advising services and an interview center.  There are also what I referred to as “the classroom of the future” and the video calls them the same thing.  There are ten of these Active Learning Classrooms featuring large round tables, switchable laptop-based technology, fixed flat-panel display projection systems, a central teaching station that display table-specific information and a 360 degree marker board around the perimeter of the rooms. (copied from the information handed out at the beginning of our tour)

As if all of this wasn’t interesting enough, check out this cool piece of art hanging from the 5th level ceiling and attached to the ground floor. It’s within the main staircase, called “A-spire” and was created by Minnesota-based artist Alexander Tylevich.  Looking down:

Looking up:

When it was time to return to work we headed out the door to walk back over the Washington Avenue bridge.  One can’t help but notice the unique architecture of the Weisman Art Museum directly across from STSS.  I recently visited the museum and have a post about that at the link.  Do check it out.  I really enjoyed that museum and I think it’s time to pay another visit.

We had walked on the uncovered part of the bridge on the way over so we decided to walk in the covered portion upon our return.  Inside the walls are covered with painted “posters” advertising all sort of clubs and services on and around campus.  Here are a handul of those.

All in all a very successful and interesting adventure.  What a treat to get to visit other parts of campus.  If you have the chance to visit, do check out this building.  As soon as you step in the doors you feel like you’ve been transported to the future.

 

 

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The Brauhaus Restaurant – Akeley, MN

My husband and I have been eating at the Brauhaus for over 20 years now.  Discovered by my in-laws, they clued us into this great place shortly after we arrived in Minnesota in the early 90s.  It’s located along the Lake Country Scenic Byway on Highway 34 and just a few miles from the family cabin. We typically have dinner here at least once a season.  Many a family meal has been eaten at this fine establishment.  We even celebrated my in-laws’ 50th anniversary several years ago.  There is a long standing joke about whether my father-in-law’s check for his meal would clear the bank.  Every time we went there with my in-laws he and Gary, one of the proprietors, would chuckle about this.  Good times :)  Since we were just there I thought I would share it with you all along with some photos that I took.

We typically try to arrive before the dinner crowd and let me tell you, it is a crowd!!  I’ve always been in awe that a restaurant along the highway in seemingly the middle of nowhere attracts so many diners.  I am quite sure that word of mouth in the area has been one of the keys to their success.  Other reasons of course are the excellent food and service.  On this particular visit we arrived after the dinner crowd was gone.  We were greeted by the friendly bar tender and seated immediately.  Our waitress recognized us and said “Welcome to the Brauhaus or welcome back.”  And I commented to her that I recognized her as well.

Restaurant scene and menu:

I’ve always had a great meal here and typically choose either the roast pork (described thusly on their menu: Schweinebraten - Roast Pork – used also in our sampler platter. Our roast pork is very tender and full of flavor) or the duck (Plum Glazed Duck - 1/2 of a Peking duck filled with wild rice, seasoned and oven roasted, topped with our very own Brandy/ Plum glaze. A MUST TRY!!!) I decided on the duck this time and it was just as delicious as the last time I had it.  And I almost forgot to take a picture!

Hubby opted for the  Wiener Schnitzel (Pork loin steaks, tenderized, seasoned and lightly breaded, then cooked on the grill getting that nice golden brown):

Every entree is accompanied by two sides.  You have your choice of Mashed Potatoes, German Potato Salad, Wild Rice, Spätzle (german egg noodles) or Bread Dumplings – Veggie choices: Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut or carrots.  I am not sure but I thought the duck did not come with sides, alas, this time I had two sides.  While they were good (I love the red cabbage!!), it was just a bit too much food for me.  My sides:

If you’re in northern Minnesota do make a point to have a meal at this authentic German restaurant.  I am quite sure you won’t be disappointed!

The Brauhaus-German Restaurant
28234 Minnesota 34
Akeley, MN 56433-8024
(218) 652-2478

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