Showing posts from 2018


From my Twitter feed:

Turns out what you wear to David Byrne when you are 51 is what you wore when you were 15 - short dress and boots. Last night was one of this amazing nights where you experience things you experienced when you were younger — with all the same joy — but with the wisdom of being older. It was the real-life experience of:
Take the blue pill and you go back to the start, but with all the knowledge you have today – Take the red pill and you lose time, fast forward 30 years, but now have financial freedom. We started the night at Sweet Chow, opened by my acquaintance Julie Hartley and crew, which I have wanted to go to forever. Turns out that it's almost exactly like sitting in a somewhat upscale Thai alley street market for dinner. One of the best curries of my life. Loved it.

From there, we decided to walk down to the Orpheum for David Byrne. It's been a long time since I've wandered through downtown Minneapolis, and that was quite a nostalgia event as well…


So we got up this morning after sleeping in — we went out to a gala last night and then out with friends while Beatrix was at a sleepover — and proceeded to re-wallpaper the bedroom. Because that's how we roll.

Fist, though, the gala. Julia and Wade Burgess are the nicest folks you would ever want to meet. When we first met them, they truly had it all. Gorgeous home, two beautiful daughters, cabin up north, jobs they loved. But you underestimate just how close you can always be, as Nora McInerney says, to something bad happening. And one day, just awhile after they put their daughter Vivienne to sleep (just days before her third birthday) — well, that night they went in to check on her a little later and she was dead. SUDC, a rare but incredibly painful cause of death that affects hundreds of children a year. I can't even imagine, honestly.

With more grace than I would ever muster, the Burgesses founded the Vivienne's Joy Foundation, and last night's gala was the first…

Another Opening - Grand Catch

Tonight's soft opening was Grand Catch, over by Mac in the old Grand Central spot.

The place has a great New Orleans vibe and does their seafood boil right! (though maybe a little skimpy on the potatoes and corn, and let's face it, no one in town does a better crawfish boil than Jake Endres). But Patrick put on his bib and gloves and dug in and enjoyed his greatly!

I had the shrimp roll — also delicious. Beatrix stuck to rice — not much for kids on the menu.

Abita on tap for Patrick and a fantastic cocktail for me (though I ordered it for the egg white and that part was a little skimpy).

Great vibe and great food! It's stumbling distance from the Summit House, so we plan on being back — a lot!

5 Parks, 5 Days

We've been back a week (just seven days ago we were white-knuckle driving through an Iowa blizzard and our car was covered in half an inch of solid ice), and I have not had a chance to remark on the amazement that was our spring break trip!

We flew into Vegas and spent the night at a HORRIBLE Howard Johnson's. Like incredibly dirty and so filled with pot smoke you got a contact high from it. But we were only there 5 hours, and then drove on. Lesson learned.

Day 1 - Zion. Zion is a lot of people's favorite park, and I understand why. It's incredibly beautiful, and our hike (up to the start fo the Narrows) was gorgeous. I really want to go back and stay in the lodge and hike the full Narrows (though with a smallish kid and 40 degree water, I think restraint was the better part of valor on this trip). The river was lovely and we did play in it some. It was a beautiful park, but also between the shuttles and the construction and the people it was a bit hard to manipulate.


Soft Open

Apparently something in some digital profile calls me an "influencer," because I have been invited to two soft openings this week.

Tuesday we went to Fresh Thyme, which opened on University Avenue in Prospect Park. Right now, our grocery patterns are very scattered, between Target, Mississippi Market, sometimes Aldi and Costco, TJ's, Lund's, and Kowalski's. I liked Fresh Thyme a lot, and expect I'll end there a fair amount because I have a lot of clients at University and 280. The takeaway food (soups, sushi, salad, olive bar) were good, the fruit and veggies very fresh and attractive, and a lot of good staples as well, and at least introductory prices were low. I can see shopping there a lot. Friend have commented that they prefer going to the Bloomington location and find that one technically "closer," but I'll shop in the city as opposed to in a suburb any chance I get.

Then tonight we stopped by The Parlour, which we have liked in Minneapolis…


After a great vacation, and driving from Denver to Minneapolis in one shot and through a blizzard, yesterday was a hard return to reality.

I was running a little late to Beatrix's Girl Scout presentation due to a meeting, but pulled up only a minute late at 7:31pm and got a parking spot right in front of the church on Hamline, across from Randolph Heights. I ran in, and felt like I had hit the mom jackpot.

And then, just a few minutes later, someone came in and told me my car had been broken into.

In just a few minutes, someone had shattered my window, grabbed my computer bag and purse, and taken off. Before the police could even arrive, my phone was buzzing with fraud alerts from charges made. And most of all, my work computer, and its backup, were gone.

It's like I lost my whole world at once.

People have been amazing. My amazing friend Amber immediately showed up with cake and wine (how did she know exactly what I needed?). Patrick installed a 9-month old backup on my old c…

These Boots

Patrick got me Blundstones for Christmas, after I not-so-delicately hinted how much I wanted them.

They are cute and trendy and I've worn them pretty constantly for work since then.

But now, these boots (shown covered with dust above, but they clean up well), have made it through five Utah national parks in five days.

They've hiked up trails, rock faces, through sand, across parking lots. They re the best hiking boots I've ever had.

Love them.

(more on the trip soon)

Clementine Pinterest Fail

"It's easy to make a clementine candle!"

We saved some old clementines after they got woody, but they did not work.

So then we tried it with a new clementine — scored the outside, pulled off the sections in full pieces, twisted a "wick" from the pith, filled it with olive oil — and it refused to light. We used up a ton of tighter fluid trying to get it to work, and then gave up.

Pinterest fail. One thing off the bucket list.

(can you tell we're a little at loose ends waiting for our flight to leave?)

Power and Beauty

Yesterday, while Beatrix was at a Girl Scout event, Patrick and I went over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (I just can't call it "Mia") to finally get a chance to see Power and Beauty, the Robert Wilson installation.

I'll forgo a description of the exhibit (though I do have some photos below), because I think you should see it yourself (It runs through May), and because I feel like everyone's reaction to the show will be very personal. I have friends who have loved it, and others who are meh on it. (I'm in the former camp, by the way).

But a couple of major points came to mind:

The sheer power of theatre, even when it has no live performance element. Wilson's installation is brilliant at evoking emotion, and of using multiple senses; each room is trickily visual, but with an aural element (that overlaps room to room). A room displaying robes is wrapped in dried grasses, so there's a particular smell to it; another room evokes a sense of a cave, e…

Wintermoon Summersun

There was a time — both not all that long ago and simultaneously several lifetimes past — where the wilderness was crucial to my soul. When I spent weeks at a time in the northwoods in the summer, and weekends in the winter, and where the peace of that place brought a tranquility and balance to my soul. When I was confident in my outdoor skills, and when I had a number of awesome, kind of hippie, feminist role models to teach me about being true to myself.
And I grew up, and moved away from that, though it was always inside of me.
SO when I tell you that my weekend dogsledding at WintermoonSummersun was transformative, that’s what I mean.
It’s true that dogsledding has not always been a “bucket list” item, and that when we pulled into the dog yard and saw the thirty-some dogs, each with their own house and name and area, that I was immediately smitten with all of it. When we learned how to take care of them, and when the dogs got to know us, it was an incredible sense of partnership…

Women Outward Bound

One of my (perhaps favorite) duties at FilmNorth is working with the fiscal sponsorship projects. It's been great to see Max Davis' film Women Outward Bound develop over the last couple of years, and tonight I got to attend a viewing party at TPT for it (it's playing this month on TPT, you should look it up and see it, it's a fantastic documentary!)

It's hard to conceive of the fact that 50 years ago women were not allowed to participate in Outward Bound, or really many outdoor or sporting activities at all. Women Outward Bound is the story of the first group of girls to be allowed to participate in the program, in 1965.

What many of you my not know about me (though some do, I'm looking at you, Nina Koch!) is that I spent my teen years doing very similar program at Camp Widjiwagan. For 2-4 weeks every summer I travelled through the northwoods lakelands at the Canadian border, mainly in the Quetico though sometimes in the BWCA. With a group of 6-7 other girls an…

Nostalgic Dining

I have to admit I picked up Eat a Little Better not necessarily for the recipes, but because I was nostalgic for the Obama White House and all that they accomplished — of which healthier for choices was only one aspect.

However, I have to say that I'm impressed with the book as a cookbook in itself, and the ways it encourages us to make small, but meaningful changes in how we eat. This year is all about better systems for me, and if I can set up and stick to better ways to shop, keep things on hand, and maybe even cook a few things so that Patrick does not have to, then we're all a little better off.

(book received from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion)

This is The Sound of One Voice

A national school protest for gun safety is a tricky thing when your child is in elementary school. They are not really old enough to walk out by themselves. At Randolph Heights, and I imagine in other schools, there are many parents who had not told their children about the Parkland shooting, especially the parents of young kids.

I remember that feeling of wanting to protect them as long as possible. I don't remember telling Beatrix about Sandy Hook, but somehow she found out anyway, and I think her fear was exacerbated by me not telling her. So since then, we've talked about mass shootings, especially in schools. Sadly, right now, this means we do a LOT of talking about guns.

Beatrix really wanted to participate in the protest, especially since we are not going to be in town for the one on March 24. I had emailed out to a bunch of other parents, but not really heard anything back. But she was adamant, even when I told her she would likely be the only one. So last night, we …

"You're Not Black"

The other day I asked Beatrix to tell me a story. She started out "Once upon a time there was a girl named Beatrix. She had a very wonderful friend named Aubrie. The reason that Aubrie was so wonderful is that she believed Beatrix when Beatrix said she was black, and didn't say that that could not possibly be true."

I kind of stopped short.

It's one thing to remind your daughter that she is black even though she doesn't look it, and to point out in her DNA test the parts of Africa her ancestors come from, or to tell her stories about her family and how they fought for civil rights (while at the same time she takes Norwegian dance and we talk about where the rest of her family is from, which is a real mixed bag.)

But because I just don't normally think about it (definition of privilege there, right?), it honestly had not sunk in to me how much it weighs on Beatrix to have her race challenged. And I don't know the right solution for that.

Maybe this video f…

Basement Steps

For a long time, the wall leading down to our basement was a hot mess. There was a chalkboard, hung too high, that no one used. It needed painting from previous plaster patching. It was a mess.

A week ago, I tried to fix it. I speckled and painted the wall. Then I spent a couple of hours repairing and fixing up an old bulletin board to hang. And then, the hook loosened and it fell down the stairs into a million pieces:

Chaos: 1, Bethany: 0.

So I regrouped, and pulled the cork off the back of the bulletin board, and last night I made a new bulletin board by covering it with cloth and setting it in an old picture frame (I re-glued the trim falling off the couch at the same time). I framed a couple of prints I had gotten from my talented friend Ara, and hung a decal I had recently purchased at 75% off from an occasional store that was going out of business — it reminded me of our family trip to New York.

I'm pretty happy with the end result:

Mad vs. Madness

(I've thought about this post too long. It's not well organized, so bear with me).

According to the DSM diagnostic manual, there's not a single mental illness diagnosis that indicates excessive anger as a recognized mental disorder. Depression, anxiety, compulsion, yes. But not anger. In fact, as I have learned after almost  decade of working with Mental Health Minnesota, those with mental health issues are several times more likely to be the victim of  violent (particularly gun-related) crime than to commit one.

But it seems like this kind of anger is more and more common. I heard on the radio the other day an interview about someone who said "I would have to wash the dishes EVERY DAY, and that very thought made me SO ANGRY." (dishes? really??) Someone we know, recently arrested for terroristic threats toward students at Howard University stated: