Monday, September 1, 2014

344 Summit

From SARPA's blog on 344 Summit:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Our Village

As many of you know, we've had a lot to deal with this week. Added to the normal work, and house project, and community activism, and last week of summer issues, our dog Geronimo is very ill, and we're treating him and not sure he'll make it.

Luckily, our friends and family have really helped. Our neighbors had us over for dinner (and margaritas!) over the weekend. My book club host gave us some yummy garden produce. Our friend and temporary roommate Sarah gave us her malt coupon from the State Fair coupon book. Our friends Julio and Jeaneth invited us to a "Frozen" viewing party, and then had Beatrix over yesterday for games and dinner, so we could get some things done. And today, my father took Beatrix down to the History Center for the morning, to which he reports "Being a grandfather is the best thing in my life!"

So thank you all (and so many more) — it truly takes a village, and we are very fortunate to be so supported!

ETA: And while I was typing this, someone refilled our pathetically bare Little Free Library as well!

Monday, August 25, 2014


Because when Julio and Jeaneth do movie night, they do it right.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Here I Am, At Camp Granada...

Beatrix's Montessori school was a full-year program, so this was the first year I dealt with summer camps for her. By mid-spring I was in full camp mode, with brochures spread out around me and color-coded schedules everywhere.  Now, in late August, I have the rare feeling of feeling like the rockstar mom, because Beatrix absolutely loved every camp she went to. They were:

YMCA Camp Daycroix - 3 weeks of traditional camp experience in Hudson (there was a bus).

Science Museum Camp Warner - the Science Museum has a nature center in Marine, where she tracked animals for the week.

Circus Camp at Circus Juventas

Australia/New Zealand camp at Artstart - 2 weeks at a great cultural camp, where she did everything from dance to felting.

Gibbs Farm Camp - this seems to be the favorite of little girls everywhere, and Beatrix was no exception.

Summer Blast at Edgecumbe Rec - the free afternoon program we used to fill in where we had some open spots.

Dance Camp - with Miss Amy at Community Ed.

Camp Curie - another Science Museum camp (held at St. Kate's), focusing on science for girls.

Music Theater Camp - another community ed camp, happening next week, half days.

It was a lot of different experiences, but that allowed us to cobble together some scholarship opportunities and discounts that really allowed all this to happen, and I think she liked the variety. There're were some periods in the middle (where were on vacation or whatever) where there were some open spots, and the half day camps, paired with Edgecumbe, were do-able but a little frenetic. We had originally felt there would not be enough just hanging around time, but at 6.5, Beatrix is too young to "hang around" much, so those days were actually harder.

We'll see next year, but it will probably be a variation on this year, and that feels pretty good!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Exchange with @MrJasonRBrown

It's been a tough week for Twitter. I feel fortunate that citizen journalists are broadcasting what's going on, especially in #Ferguson, but it makes for a tough stream. So today, I was happy ti see Twitter as a Force of Good….

A typical morning in the Gladhill/Rhone household. Patrick was working on a grant proposal, I was working on a budget. He asked if he could put on music, to which I said ok, and in a moment the first few strains of "The Last Five Years" began to play (which, I have to admit, made the spreadsheet easier).

A few minutes in, I wondered "I wonder what ever happened to Jamie and Cathy." Then, as I often do, I tweeted it:
Wanting to ask Jason Robert Brown where the Last 5 Years characters are 13 years later.
After a few more minutes, I realized there was a better way. So I looked up Jason Robert Brown's handle, and tweeted:
Hey, @MrJasonRBrown - what has happened to Jamie and Cathy 13 years later? 
To which he shot back:
@bethanyg Hm.  Let’s crowdsource.
Crowdsourcing the #L5Y sequel – 140 characters or less – what’s happened to Jamie and Cathy 13 years later? 
And then this happened:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Karma, as Related to Facebook Birthdays

Having just had a birthday, I can wholeheartedly agree with the almost-universal sentiment that the "Wish So-and-So a Happy Birthday" feature is the best part of Facebook. It's so easy for the well-wisherto do, while bringing so much joy to the recipient. And there's no reciprocation required!

Which brings to mind a recent discussion Patrick and I had about the current use of the term "karma." The term, which is actually difficult to pin down in Buddhism due to its many permutations, is dictionary-defined as:
noun: karma
  1. (in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
But how many times have you heard the term bantered about as if it was some kind of exchangeable currency, something you can "build" now so you can "redeem" later? How often have you heard someone bemoan a situation, along the lines of "I've been a good person, why did this bad thing happen to me?" To some extent, it's become a mix of a sloppy understanding of these Buddhist principles with a kind of bastardization of the core Puritan philosophy of performing God's will so as to receive future happiness.

But think for a moment about how freeing it would be to make every good act a kind of Facebook birthday wish. Rather than patting ourselves on the back for every good deed we do, mentally counting karma up like goblins assessing gold in a vault, what of we just tried to do good, as much as possible, without any expectation for the future?

I've tried to put this idea into action since that conversation, and it's ridiculously hard — right after we had that conversation, we got pulled over for a speeding ticket, and then let off, and I wondered aloud if it was because we had just bought lunch for our friends. Karma fail. But as I've gotten used to the concept, I really like it. It frees me up, to try to do more good for more people, and also to choose NOT to do something for someone if it's just out of my capacity zone at that moment.

Because in the end, the ultimate measure for my judging myself is how much good I have done for others, rather than how much that might come back to benefit me.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Our fascination with lakes continues. These photos are from a great "social sail" our friends Eric and Rachel took us on last night on Lake Minnetonka. Eric is quite the sailor (and Rachel has certainly picked it up as well), but last night was about pure enjoyment. And what a perfect night it was!