You can say this for ‘The Commons’ downtown park: It has a lot going on

The plan for the new Downtown East park — now dubbed “The Commons,” has a lot going for it — and a lot going on in it. The latest design for the 4.2-acre site presented to the public last night by San Francisco landscape architects Hargreaves Associates crams in a ton of stuff: a café, promenades, a Great Lawn, a lesser lawn, a water feature, play areas for kids, a stage, garden-y places, trees (of course), places to compete at bocce and chess, kiosks, an ice rink in winter, tables with umbrellas, moveable chairs, public art and benches and terraces where public snogging could occur.



Hey guys. Early this morning, we found this little guy hanging around our patio. We’ve fed, bathed, and played around with him.

He had no collar, he’s very skinny and we believe malnourished, and was really dirty. But he’s a sweet little guy! He’s friendly with other dogs and playful as a puppy!

We believe he is a stray, based on his appearance and lack of collar/tags. But we haven’t checked if his microchipped or not. So there is the possibility of him having a family.

He’s only a few pounds, about 6 inches in height, and has a grey and sandy coat.

If anyone is the Burnsville/Lakeville area in Minnesota has heard about a missing pooch, please contact me.

About a hundred middle and high school students from the Twin Cities metro area gathered at the Solutions Not Suspensions summit at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota on May 11. They came to share their experiences with discipline procedures in their classrooms and to discuss how they think disciplinary action should be in their schools.

“We want to give them the tools that will allow them to have informed conversations with people in positions of power at their school about what the discipline at their school looks like and how to make it more equitable,” said Brandon Royce-Diop of the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MMEP), who organized the event with his MMEP colleague Cymone Fuller.

(Read the full article here.) 

-Christina Cerruti


We had a visitor this morning, the dogs woke Judas Jr. and I up as the first bit of light appearing on the horizon (sometime around 4) and we watched a black bear go through the recycling and lay down in the driveway to lick out an old peanut butter jar. We got pretty close but Judas Jr. was dissapointed he couldn’t pet the bear. ;P

We also had something happen that I’m always concerned about and it was thankfully more anticlimactic than I feared. Lieblings hit a deer on his motorcycle coming home from his night shift. The deer ran off but the windshield broke and because he dumped the bike the handlebar bent and the ammo can saddlebag and some other stuff on the same side got ground on the asphalt.


Pictures from last month and the snow fall today.

I’m experimenting after observing kale unexpectedly coming back in previous years, reading about brussel sprouts wintering in Alaska, and operating under my own (perhaps dubious) theories that artichokes can be perennials in zone 4b (-25F to -20F, frosts October-May). I used a bunch of old plastic storage tubs and straw. The idea is to create a refrigerator instead of a deep freeze. Some of the kale I only covered with straw because I ran out of bins but that’ll be my control to see if there’s a difference and if I need to bother covering the kale. On the stone retaining wall in the background I mulched the berry bushes and strawberries with straw. I also stuffed straw into the sides of my cold frame on the side of the house (salvaged window frame, also covering artichokes). Since that’s in a sunny spot and near the foundation of the house for warmth, I’m hoping those artichokes will have a head start on the rest. If they do good I’ll be planting loads next year and letting a number of them grow wild and bloom for the bees. I didn’t do anything with the other garden since everything has been harvested.

There’s still so much to do, we’re a little frantic with a blizzard in the forecast. I think we’re on edge after how rough last winter was.

I started realizing something today.  This coming January, I am going to start a new chapter in my life.  After spending four months living in Orlando, Florida, I am moving back to work for Disney again. The four months I was there were some of the best times of my life.  I got to work for an amazing company, met some of the coolest people in the world and got to experience things that central Minnesota just doesn’t have to offer.  When I made the decision to move back to Florida, it was pretty easy.  I had no boyfriend, all my friends are graduating and the weather was really annoying me.  My family is beginning to understand how much this means to me and they are finally onboard.  My friends, also kinda onboard, are excited to come visit and watch me grew.  One thing that sucked was that I started getting semi-serious with someone amazing and had to break things off with them.  My love life was always something I kept on the back burner since my last and only relationship I held onto in the past turned toxic and bad. I feel bad for breaking things off with him, but in an effort to make myself grow, I had to do it.  My realization of the day was that I have to make sacrifices in order to be happy.  I’m moving 1400 miles away to do something for me.  A job isn’t lined up, nor is an apartment.  My final semester of school, I will be taking out as many student loans as possible and saving every penny. The idea that I will fail does not scare me.  In fact, if I do fail, I can always tell my family that I went for something that I was passionate about.  One thing that will make all this easier is the fact that I am moving with a friend, also from the Midwest, and I have many friends and connections in Orlando.  I may be crazy for doing it, but its something that keeps me awake with excitement every evening.  Good night.