Category Archives: Tales of the Neighborhood

Cherries and brambles and country-fried steak, oh my!

Saturday was gorgeous, so I went for a walk. You know I can’t resist taking pictures of Spoonbridge and Cherry

A more traditional shot, with the Basilica and a bit of the IDS Tower in the background:

And some young ducks, enjoying the Spoonbridge pond. Duck butt!

A few blocks away from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the Blake School, which has an amazing iron fence of brambles.

Back in my own neighborhood…

And home.

“This is my scratcher and I am prepared to defend it by any means necessary!” -Chaos

Scenic summer in the city

Congrats to fellow Minneapolitan, Carolyn of the Thrillionth Page, who was lucky number 59 and won the signed copy of The Highwayman. (And since it turns out that Carolyn lives eight blocks north of me, on the same street even, I think I’ll be delivering her book in person!)

Stop back Monday for another book contest! I’ll be giving away two copies of the collection Eternal Lover (containing stories by Jackie Kessler, Lynsay Sands, Richelle Mead, and Hannah Howell), and one of the copies has been signed by Jackie Kessler.

Pirate sun?! Or Old Man Winter?

I love this picture. No Camping – in a spot of greenery about four feet wide along an extremely busy commuter trail. Perhaps it’s meant in jest?!

Here’s a picture of the front of the garage behind the No Camping sign, if that helps you assess the location as a potential camping spot:

And a picture from the garden beside the garage – temptation, anyone?

Remember the picture of the egret at Lake of the Isles from last week? I took a second picture of that egret a few minutes later. Notice  the lump in its neck? That would be a frog or small fish, I’m guessing.

“Yo, woman, bring me a beer!” -Chaos

A few pictures from Lake of the Isles, with contests

Because of the complicated way I’m awarding prizes in the Contest of BABEL, I don’t have a list of winners to post yet. Next week, hopefully, if I communicate successfully with each winner. (Please make sure your spam filter allows email from and that you left a valid email address in your comment.) Stop back on Monday for a your chance to win a signed copy of Minnesota author Michele Hauf’s forthcoming release, The Highwayman. (And many thanks to Michele for donating this prize!)

It’s time for Ali’s Summer Knitting Goals Contest! List your goals on your blog and leave a comment for Ali by midnight, June 21, for your chance to win some pretty nifty goodies. At the rate I’m knitting, my goal is just to finish the pair of Meilenweit Cotton Fun socks I’m knitting right now before fall. I’m past the heel (barely) on the first sock and I’ve been working on it for… five or six weeks.

Morbid Romantic’s giving away five copies of Billie Letts’ novel Made in the USA – leave a comment by 11:59 EDT, June 28, for your chance to win. (From the description, this may or may not be an audiobook. YMMV.)

I did manage to take pictures around Lake of the Isles last weekend before I messed up my foot. First up, make way for ducklings!

Lake of the Isles is the lowest I’ve ever seen it – you can easily see where the water line should be in the picture below. We had the driest May since 1934 (hmm… wasn’t that during the Dust Bowl?!).

Not quite as easy to tell the water’s low in this egret picture, but it isn’t usually that muddy/mucky near the shore. (You’ll see another picture of this egret next week.)

“Did someone mention… birds?!” -Mayhem

Cats in the garden (not my cats, not my garden)

I went walkabout on Saturday and got lots of interesting pictures. I’m continually amazed that I can spend so much time walking in the same several mile radius and still discover new things. For example, check out this garden, right off of Lake of the Isles:

Ignore the sculptures of human figures at the next house over (sometime I’ll have to go back for shots of those) and focus on the three kitty sculptures in the closer garden.

I love them. You are not surprised.

“But can those kitties do this, Mom? I didn’t think so! I am way more adorable than them. Plus more flexible.” -Mayhem

Contest: Win a signed copy of Anya Bast’s Witch Fire! [CONTEST CLOSED]

On Saturday, I went to the Anya Bast and MaryJanice Davidson signing at Uncle Hugo’s. (Um, the guy in the middle belongs to one of them, I’m sure.)

I asked Ms. Bast to sign a copy of Witch Fire, which is the first book in her Elemental Witches series and is set (mostly) in Minneapolis. If you’d like to win this book, click on this link to email me a contest entry. Submit your entries before 7 pm CDT, Thursday, June 11. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, June 12. Good luck! Contest closed!

“But are there any black kitties in this book, Mom? Because if there aren’t, I don’t think anyone will be interested.” -Mayhem

Turrets Syndrome

AnotherPurl’s giving away a copy of the urban fantasy book  Spiral Hunt, which was written by her friend Margaret Ronald! Leave a comment by 5 pm, May 22, for your chance to win.

Ruth’s having a two-part Yarn Will contest, for those of us who have achieved SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy). The contest runs through July 4, so you have plenty of time to get the details and participate.

Dear Minnesota weather – Did it really need to reach +97F yesterday? That would be, what, 40F warmer than it was on Saturday, and that’s not even taking Saturday’s wind chill into consideration. (I swear, it felt like it never hit 50F on Saturday.)

Besides being a lovely day for the Lyn-Lake Rites of Spring, Sunday was also a lovely day for walking around my neighborhood and looking at turrets. Well, actually, I think that most days are good for walking around and looking at turrets! 🙂

Although it did make me sad to see how shabby some of them are getting.

“Bet you wish you could wipe your noses with your tongues! Ha! Humans drool and kitties rule!” -Mayhem

Lyn-Lake Rites of Spring

Yesterday was the first Lyn-Lake Street Fest in several years, since the intersection of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street has been under construction for a while.

It used to be a lot more crowded. Maybe things picked up later in the day.

There were just a few artcars on display – nothing at all compared to the turnout for the Artcar (and Artbike) Parade in July.

Car #1

Car #2

Car #3

This wasn’t an artcar, but I’m a big fan of our local company, Peace Coffee, so…

The Peace Coffee Mobile was right across from this amusing sign. Feel free to speculate wildly amongst yourselves as to what it might mean. 😉

I was also mightily amused by the location of the biffs. I know what my first redevelopment action would be! Heh.

Hmm. That definitely seems like more than enough pictures for one post. I guess I’ll save the fire juggling pictures for another day.

Meanwhile, back at Casa de Chaos y Mayhem. (Presumed not dead…)

*zzzzzzzzzzz…* -Mayhem

A post with no name

Here are a few final pictures from that sunny walk, now nearly two weeks ago. Best to post them quickly, since we definitely have more greenery now.

I still can’t decide if this is a sculpture of a propeller in an evil wind storm or petals or… What do you think?

A very happy sun

A seahorse birdbath

A classic fountain with some of the first tulips I’d seen this spring

A much more modern fountain

And a lovely guardian cougar?

“Don’t you think I’d be a better, more fierce guardian than that silly cougar?” -Mayhem

“Mom, you’re so mean. Fierce Guardian Panther Princesses can too sit in the trash and still be fierce!” -Mayhem

In which I have pizza delivered for the first time in 12 years

Getting pizza delivered probably isn’t a big deal to most of you who live in any sort of populated area. However, since going gluten-free in 1997, pizza delivery hasn’t been an option for me… until just a few weeks ago, when my neighborhood pizzeria, Galactic Pizza, began offering a gluten-free pizza.

Galactic Pizza’s pretty cool all around. They have some electric cars they use to deliver pizzas, such as this one, captured blurrily last fall:

You might be wondering what the heck the delivery driver is wearing, huh? Well, the Galactic Pizza drivers dress up like superheroes. I tried to take some unobtrusive photos when my pizza was delivered Saturday, but they were so unobtrusive that they pretty much sucked.

Sadly, he wasn’t driving one of the wee electric cars.

The anticipation builds… You can’t see it from this picture, but apparently if I save this box and turn it in the next time I get one of their pizzas, I’ll get $0.50 off. Hopefully they recycle the boxes, because the city of Minneapolis won’t accept pizza boxes for recycling.

And here it is, a gluten-free pepperoni and mushroom pizza with vegan (gf/df) cheese. I know, I know, the cheese doesn’t melt like “real” cheese – but it also won’t leave me in agony.

And it was pretty darn tasty, especially washed down with a gluten-free beer.

“Your ‘no pizza for cats‘ rule is stupid. Hmph.” -Chaos