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Showing posts from April, 2015

Beatrix's Big Day

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Lest you think it's all animals all the time around here, the people are up to some pretty great stuff as well.

Today Beatrix got a Leadership Award at her school. We got to attend the leadership assembly to see her get it, which was great! When the kids get up to get their award, all the kids sitting around them give them high-fives and make a big fuss over them. I'm very proud of her award, and so glad for her many good friends.


Then tonight was the opening for Beatrix's circus show (she's in 6 shows over the next week, 3 for side by side and 3 for acrobatics — plus a ballet performance and a piano recital after that). Here she is before the show with her good friend Meara:


Beatrix has been doing circus for 5 years, so I was surprised at how emotional I was. This year, since she started to do specialized acts, as the first year she wore circus make-up and was really part of the show, instead of the kind of opening act the toddlers and minders are. And boy, did her te…

Craigs List and Rescue Dogs

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I got some great responses to my last post about rescue dogs, but I wanted to address one in particular:
"But why shouldn't you put your dog on Craigs List?"
Many of you know how much I love Craigs List. I have had extraordinary luck with it, finding Clara to care for Beatrix, the apartments in Spain where we stayed for our honeymoon, our handyman, and yes, our previous keeshond Geronimo. But I have been extraordinarily lucky.
Let me tell you about my friend A, one of the heroes who rescues dogs. A few weeks back, A was called by a  rescue site that specializes in puppy mills to go and get some dogs a "breeder" was willing to release. Here I'm going to let A tell the story, because she tells it best:
So, about a month ago, on a Wednesday, T called to ask if I could help; could I travel to a breeder to pick up two Kees? 
Me, "Sure. When?"
Theresa, "They need out by Saturday or they probably won't make it out at all."
Me, "OK. . . Whe…

Rescue Dog

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If you ask what I have been up to lately, I've likely given my stock answer of "busy."

But one of the non-work things that has been taking up a lot of my time is learning about the world of dog rescue (specifically keeshonds).

I stumbled upon a Facebook group on kees rescue when we were looking for a new dog. It's on that group that I found Wendy, who drove to Wisconsin in January to rescue Lacoya from an unscrupulous backyard breeder.

Wendy's landlord does not allow dogs, so as I became active in the group, we were allowed to adopt Coya (as she became called, to separate her from her old life). Since she's come to be with us, we have spayed her, gotten her chipped and vaccinated, and run a battery of tests to ensure she was healthy (it's not uncommon for rescued dogs to have a litany of issues, from fatal heart worm to broken bones to burns from the kennel headlamps to various parasites).



When Coya came to us, I began to learn a lot more about the commun…

You Reap What You Sow

Today was a great day because I got to have lunch with my friend Heidi. I got to know Heidi in the 1990s, when I got the chance to work with NEMAA as they began to grow and got the Arts District established. Over the years, she's become a true friend — someone who knows me very deeply, and who (still, or in spite of that) always has my back. I adore spending time with her, and her family.

Heidi was talking about things she is working on and things she is passionate about. She discussed Chowgirls new landlords at the Solar Arts Building, and how much they give back to the community. She glowed when she told me about several community groups that she is working with, and the impact they have. I love this about Heidi, her never-ending work to make the world she lives in a better place.

At one point, she said she was "lucky" to have the life she has, and I responded with one of my favorite quotes, by Thomas Jefferson — "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the hard…

Judith Malina

It's 1985. My friends Carolyn, Jennifer and I are in the theatre section of the Hungry Mind bookstore, looking for a book to give the mentor from our internship. While we are there, I pick up The Diaries of Judith Malina — and in that one moment, my life changes forever.

Malina followed the I Ching, and that book became my I Ching. Every page of my copy is underlined, notated, dog-eared, remarked-upon. For my whole life since then I have had a ritual; that book sits beside my bed, and periodically I will thumb through, find that day in her diaries, read what is written there. It is inevitably spot on. Malina has few entries from this date, but on April 10, 1956 she wrote "Lately I can feel the drive like the application of a whip. Whatever I touch becomes a straw to clutch at."

Today, April 10, 2015, Judith Malina died at age 88.

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When I saw the news come over my feed, everything just stopped. I looked at my computer, disbelieving. I said to Andrew "Judith Malina…

Dear Superintendent Silva

My seven-year-old daughter is a first grader in the Saint Paul Public Schools. Her school, Randolph Heights, is an old-fashioned, tradition-filled school that we love. We joke that is is the "reading magnet," because there is so much emphasis on reading. She loves her classmates, and teachers; we love the experience she is getting, and the other parents, and what she is learning.

It's a "hot spot" school, which as far as I can tell, means it's pushing hard at the class-size envelope. Her class has 28 kids, which I think might be a bit much for her teacher. There is a great librarian, but only a very part-time nurse. Unlike other schools, it still maintains music, art, and science weekly, but a lot of the special services (especially G&T) seem strained.

What Beatrix has learned, both from school and at home, is the idea of accountability. She knows very well that if you make a mistake, you have to apologize. If you do poorly at something, you need to pra…