TREES!!!

October 24th, 2014

THANK YOU!!!

The West Avenue project is almost done, you can see the wall where they’ll be filling in and painting the phony-rock part.  The street still needs another layer or two of blacktop, and the boulevards need seeding, but OUR TREES ARE HERE!!!   20141024_074056_resizedTwo maples in the front, and on the side a new style elm and a Kentucky coffee tree.  We’d lost one tree before we bought the house (the hole was there), then a year ago spring a blizzard took another, and we lost our beautiful maple with this construction.  Now we’ve got to keep them alive and keep those damn deer from eating them!  Apparently one got ripped up by a buck further down the street.

20141024_074237_resized20141024_074250_resizedAnd squint and look closely — check the flock of birds, thousands going by:

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Tomorrow, Friday, October 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., photographer Barbara O’Brien is having a DOGFACE book release party at Agile Canines, 216 Colfax Ave. N., Minneapolis.  Come join the fun, and bring a bag of dog food, cat food, kitty litter, or some other animal donation for the Humane Society of Goodhue County.  Be the first in your dog park to have a copy of her new book.  That’s DOGFACE!

That’s a photo of Alan and our dear old Kenya, not long before she died, yes, taken by Barbara O’Brien, photographer extraordinaire, when she did a photo shoot for Humane Society of Goodhue County.   Kenya couldn’t walk then, Alan had to carry her in, but her spirit was still good and she was full of life, a happy pup.  Barbara captured her buoyant smile.

Thanks, Barbara, for preserving her for us, and also Kady when she was younger, new to our family, Minnesota, and a little hesitant.  Now she’s always smiling too… when she isn’t sleeping, which she does a lot now.  It means a lot to all of us that Barbara got them on film… errr, on disk.  And we’ll be there tomorrow!!!

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The wall is UP.  The street is paved, and the sidewalks were finished today!  Like WOW!  Next week they fill in the boulevards, and do something with that hill behind the retaining wall.  Almost… almost…

And the good news is that now we’ve got drainage that won’t turn the sidewalks into a skating rink, and the pole for the Little Free Library and light is now installed!

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Stephanie Henricksen has been a friend, activist, cohort, and client on so many land use issues for so long now, and though I’d seen her “Farm Art” show that she put together with many other farm and agriculture focused artists, I’d not seen a room full of her work… until today.  And apparently is was a side of her that many in Northfield did not know existed!  So good to fill them in.  It was the last day of her “Retrospective” at the Northfield Arts Guild.  That’s Stephanie in her “winter” hat discussing her work:

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One day we were in my office talking about the Target development just south of Northfield, and, well, it was a spirited discussion, and I leaned back snorting and CRACK!  My chair broke, I went flying over backwards, hootin’ and hollerin’ all the way to the floor.  A few days later she comes in with a drawing of it, which I have to this day.  I also have an evocative photo of Stephanie, taken by David, on my wall, of her sitting with three of her many ducks who were assassinated in a drive by shooting just after she’d published an editorial about a local land use project — a price of her advocacy.  She’s had other incidents, including a sow’s teats skinned off and left in her mailbox, a rib cage stuck on her fence post, during her work on feedlot regulation.  She’s well known for her activism, but unfortunately, not so much for her art.

Oh, and did you know she’s an alto sax player too?

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And some others from the exhibition:

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This is her mother out in the yard:

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This was one of my favorites — a squirrel ring toss!!!

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This one was to be a “Madonna and Child” which she said just wasn’t working until she put her dog in:

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And here she is again, Stephanie Henricksen and friends:

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And from my personal collection from a much appreciated thank you note she’d sent in the heat of a tough struggle, after we’d made some progress on a land use issue.  I think we’d gotten a permit stalled out in Rice County with a petition to the EQB for environmental review:

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More on the Great Wall

September 16th, 2014

They’ve taken the forms off the second pour, and it looks like just one pour left:

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