Saturday, August 27, 2011

Houses and Decks

Here we are coming from Madison and entering Minneapolis, Aaron driving, 
Andrew doing computer work with a red curtain to keep the glare down.
Here we are missing our turn off Hwy 94 near St. Paul's Cathedral, 
which seems like it should be in St. Paul, not Minneapolis.

Wait, all these years I've been wrong.  
The previous photo is NOT of St. Paul's - it's  St. Mary's Basilica, St. Paul's sister Cathedral!  
Twin Cities, twin cathedrals.  I wonder if there is a competition between the two today.  
Probably not.  What would be the point?  They're siblings, after all.

Here's a stock photo of the REAL St. Paul Cathedral IN St. Paul with Mpls. in the background.
History alert:  both were designed by Emmanuel Masqueray in the early 20th century.  He was educated in L'ecole des Beaux Arts and designed two dozen churches in the Midwest, 
both Protestant and Catholic.  Plus he is said to have contributed to the design of
 the Met Museum in NYC and Vanderbilt's "The Breakers" in Newport, Rhode Island.
Serving both God and Mammon.  Here endeth the history lesson.

Finally we arrive at Sherry and Brett's after successfully smuggling New Glarus beer over the WI/MN border.

We spend a lot of time on their fabulous deck next to the small nature preserve 
across the road from Lake Minnetonka.  
Sherry is holding a red-headed Barbie bought at a thrift sale earlier in the day.

It is our habit to explore strange houses when opportunity knocks.  
Here is what we call the Mushroom House, about five miles away in the woods.  We found it several years ago when it seemed to have been abandoned in the middle of fixing up the inside.

It's like being inside the body of a hard-shelled creature.

It appears that now people are back, perhaps completing the interior to actually live in.
Which would be a strange experience.
We no longer have access, which is only fair.

More fun on the deck.
Me above, Shannon below, photographed by Andrew (who likes to take annoyingly 
candid pictures of me when opportunity knocks).

Andrew and Jennifer in one of their matchy-matchy outfits, by Andrew.

Sherry, Jennifer and Shannon as we explore yet another abandoned house, 
this one more traditional than the Mushroom house. 
Except for the mirror on the ceiling of the dining room.

The flocked wallpaper has been tampered with, but I would leave it just as is:  an abstract masterpiece.

Another abstract masterpiece is the downstairs window.

I call it the Mossy House.  It's quite wonderful, sitting above the shores of Lake Minnetonka.  
It used to be a nunnery, then was owned by a woman who died several years ago.  
It's now for sale and will probably (sadly) be a tear-down. 

The yard is full of flowers and other local fauna, which will probably also be eradicated in favor of a huge green empty sloping lawn that will efficiently channel fertilizer and herbicides into the lake, giving lots more business to the Weed-roller machines that travel the Minnetonka bays like big water-wheels,
 pulling up the abundant lake-greenery.

Above is a strange dried mystery-carcass found on the deck of the Mossy House. 

Back at Sher and Brett's, Izzy poses on one of his favorite perches,
 where he can keep an eye on things.

Below is Moe, Izzy's elder, who owns the house.

This is a spider found on the grill,

and this is a night spider in the back yard.

More fun on the deck, by Andrew.  Sherry and Brett...

Aaron and Dan.

Last but never least, Shirley and her three troublemakers, 
photo by Brett.

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