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Showing posts from June, 2017

The Womanly Arts

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I don't know how I have become so interested in the "womanly arts" in the past few years, but it seems to be something that has affected a number of women I know.

Our service berry (Saskatoon berry) tree at Summit is in full berry mode right now, and I wanted to get as many of them picked as possible (especially since we have to cut off one branch soon).


After that, I baked a cake with them and it turned out wonderfully. Score one for baking prowess!


Then, the other night, I hosted a group of women at Summit, while my friend Anna taught us how to cross stitch! She set us each up with starter kit with a profane word or saying:


I went relatively innocuously, as opposed to "Fuck You Very Much," though that might be what I am thinking lately. It was a great night, with a dozen ladies gathering together to stick and enjoy each others company. I'm hoping for a similar event soon!

Our Online Personas

I'm not exactly an early adopter, but internet groups have been an important part of my life. In the days before Facebook and Twitter (remember those), I belonged to some online womens boards who were very important to me, and have led me to some of my closest friendships. Other friends came from the early days of Twitter, when it was a lot more about genuine conversation than a plethora of retweets.

As Facebook ascended, it became a vehicle I used more, and I've been part of some groups there that have been very important to me as well. Two of the most crucial ones to me have suffered some huge blows over the last month, blows that have really cut them off at the knees, and both have responded in very different ways.

In one case, the group literally lost all records of membership and is slowly rebuilding from the ground up. There's a lot of trauma in that, and in learning to share again. The mods are doing an incredible amount of heavy lifting in the rebuild. I have hope …

(Eating) on the Road Again

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To be fair, I owned a version of Road Food by Jane and Michael SternI think the first or second edition, many years ago. It's one of the things I lost in my divorce (along with my copy of the Handmaid's Tale, my Wellstone t-shirt, and the Dancing Rabbit Blow Horn Christmas ornament) that I have missed every time we go on a road trip. And we go on a lot of road trips.

So I was really excited to pick up the 10th edition of the book and to realize that, like the Sterns and maybe even myself, it's only gotten better over the years. It's organized by region and state, with nice maps at the beginning of each sections. Now that I no longer have AAA Trip-Tiks to read as we drive along, instead I can plan our lunch stop and avoid the plethora of truly bad roadside options available. This book means you will never have to stop at a Cracker Barrel for lunch again in your life, and for that alone it's worth the price.

I like the Stern's practicality. I've been to man…

Summit Spaces

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One of my favorite parts of the Summit house is that there are lot of outdoor places to hang out in (and a lot of people hang out in them!). Last weekend, we started to give these spaces a facelift, but I was determined to do it on the cheap.

I started with the back deck, which was looking pretty worn:


I washed it down with some deck wash I had picked up free at HHW, which took some jimmying because our sprayer was broken. I then stained it with some stain I had also gotten free at HHW (and the other gallon I got there went to someone who needed some to stain her Little Free Library.)

The teak table and chairs were pretty gray, so I stripped and refinished those with a 3-step teak refinisher (that I had gotten free off the BST board):


I thought the deck needed some color, so I picked up a cheap outdoor rug on clearance at Amazon. And Patrick washed the gazebo roof and we moved it back onto the deck to provide sun coverage and rain protection.

Doesn't it look great? Now I just need…

How Music Works

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It's taken me FOREVER to get through this book, and I keep wanting more!

As you might expect, it's every bit as complicated as Davis Byrne. It's a meandering, fascinating set of essays, where you start in one place, and suddenly find yourself in another, and yet another before you dive beneath the wake in a new chapter. he says you can read it in random order, but do yourself a favor and read it in sequence; there's reasoning behind it and the flow is absolutely amazing.

So many nights of my teenage years were spent sitting in my friend Phillip's house listening to the Talking Heads (and avoiding Cheese-Its). I'm so happy to use this book to bring me back to that part of my life, even while exploring it more as an adult.

Amazing. 5 stars.

(as usual, book provided free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an unbiased review)

Picture This

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Of all the great classes we've done at the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota lately, I think we are most hooked on the Photo Tours. Honestly, we've kind of become Eric and Kristen groupies!

It all started last year, when we took a tour in the A-Mill and Main Street area in Minneapolis with them last year. We took another one in Lowertown this spring, and then today was on home turf in Ramsey Hill. Even better, we got to bring Beatrix with us with an old digital camera!

The classes have 2 main sections. Eric starts the class with a brief intro to mobile photography (think packing into 20 minutes what he usually teaches in 20 hours at IFP Minnesota). He covers composition, editing, and tips and techniques. Eric makes it all look so easy — hah!

Then, Kristen takes us walking and gives great, engaging, and personal information about the history of the area. Truth be told, there's some half-listening going on while we all jockey for top shots, but most of it sinks in. We leave…