I'm Not a Minimalist But....

In January, I entered a contest online to win three hours of an organizer's time, in a contest generously sponsored by Leah Morris from Mindfully Minimized. This is the photo of my office space that I submitted to prove how badly I needed her help (if you're a client, you may not want to look....). Perhaps not shockingly, I won, I think because she felt sorry for me.

You all know I struggle with minimalism. So, although I badly needed this, I was not at all sure it would work for me, or even if I was up to the task. I just don't ever seem to have the minimalist mindset. I was pretty sure I would end up in tears, and Leah would run screaming (or at the very least least kind of annoyed with me).

Leah asked me to do very little prep, but my "homework" was to come up with thee words that described my space/the project. I chose:

-  cluttered
-  overwhelmed
-  guilty

The last word really wraps it up. Guilty for squandering space, for not keeping track of things, for no…

New Car, Who 'Dis?

We've needed a new car for awhile. Patrick's car has been on the edge of viable for some time, and though we could put not a ton of money in it and get it fixed, with both of our cars the same age and mileage we were likely to hit a double whammy of car purchase necessity. In any case, his Volvo, which we got a few years ago at a VERY chaotic time, really needed to be replaced

So he's been looking, and narrowed it down to certain specifications (he's become a Volvo guy, really wanted the XC70, certain year and mileage specs, etc.) He's test driven a few that were not quite right, and then this one came up.

At the same time, we have been a 1-car family for 10-days now — with no another week to go — while my car was in the shop recovering from a hit-and-run sideswipe in Chicago last Thanksgiving. For a normal, go-to-one-place-every-day kind of family, maybe not  big deal, but in our family it's disastrous. Today alone we had to take Beatrix to 4 different girl sc…


Beatrix turns 12 early tomorrow morning. Tonight, she is up on the 3rd floor with two of her closest friends, communing with ghosts on a  new ouija board that replaces the one she made with tinfoil and a sharpie when she was desperate to have one last year.

That means that, twelve years ago right now just this minute I was in the throes of a very difficult labor, hopped up on pitocin, with an epidural that would not take, and our amazing doula Vanessa doing all the magic she could to keep it together (which she did).

Though that night seems like yesterday, it means that I have been a mom for about a quarter of my life — a point that struck hard when I recently realized that I had also been motherless for 25% of my life.

And tonight at Beatrix's birthday party I watched her laugh and joke with her closest friends, who all seem to know her so well. They are an extraordinary group of young women, whose banter I loved overhearing, and I feel so lucky that she has the friends she has. …

Brutus on Brewpubs - Insight Brewing

Brutus LOVES going to taprooms. So we thought it was time to start an occasional series on the places he likes.

It's even exciting going in the car to get there.

Patrick and I like Insight because of the complex IPAs (I'm such an effing GenX stereotype), so that's where we headed yesterday.

Here he is contemplating his drink choices:

There was a nice man offering dog cookies made with brewer's yeast and organic peanut butter cookies. Brutus is looking for him here ("WHERE ARE THE COOKIES??!!"):

There was a beautiful Samoyed at the next table and a few other dogs elsewhere in the taproom. Brutus was especially amused that a lovely young lady came to say "Hi!" to him, and then was followed over by several young men who, we suspect, were more drawn by the young lady than the dog.

We give Insight 5 of 5 for the drinks. Brutus give sit 4/5 for the atmosphere and the fan club but 5 of 5 for the cookies.

What's Next?

This started as a Facebook post, but I've been asked to put it here too:

I get it. We all knew the Senate impeachment trial was a sham, but we still really could not believe it would actually proceed without witnesses, and we were all playing the "You Don't Have the Votes" section of "Cabinet Battle #1" when McConnell pretended not to have the votes to block them. But honestly, deep inside we all know that if Mother Theresa had risen from the dead with video of T*ump literally sitting on a missile and saying "Nanny nanny fu fu" to Ukraine, it would not have mattered. So we can all take through this morning's coffee to feel mad and cheated and angry and frustrated and mourn the death of democracy. But after that, the sun is out today. We need to work in the 2020 election not only to make sure we have a new president, but also to overturn the Senate. And we have to root this kind of corruption out at the core.  We need to run and support candida…

Co(ven) Working

So does anyone remember a few years back when everyone and their brother seemed to be running a co-working space? It started with CoCo (now Fueled Collective), which is still going strong, but most of the other businesses who threw a few desks into empty rooms with the prospect of MLM-styled rent and one ancient, shared printer seem to have gone by the wayside. (see also the Wikipedia entry for We Work.)

Lately there seems to be a resurgence, of which I am very skeptical. That is, until I toured The Coven's new space yesterday for their opening.

First of all, it's a beautiful space that takes advantage of one of my favorite buildings in Saint Paul. Win for adaptive use.

Second of all, it's well-designed. There is over 9,000 square feet of space that makes use of a basement level that does not seem basement-y at all. One winds around to multiple spall spaces with desks, comfy seating areas, conference rooms, small "phone booths," and all-around innovative spaces.

Snow Day No Way

Yesterday was supposed to be Snowpocalypse. More than a foot of snow, starting around noon and running into the next day, everything cancelled, etc.

It made for a sense of anticipation in the morning. My friend Mary came over in the morning to look at the kitchen at the Hague House, and had some fantastic ideas (plus I love spending time with her, as Patrick says, she has great energy).

I had been trying to schedule a time to look at some office spaces in Landmark Center for a potential client move, but both my schedule and Amy's (the ED at Landmark) have been crazy. The snow day sense meant that some meetings got cancelled, so I was able to get over and find some good possibilities for them. I love the sense of place of that building and can't believe it was almost demolished.

It also seems I know half the tenants there, so it was like old home week. So much so that I was able to nab an impromptu lunch at the new Afro Deli with my friend Elyse.

And later in the day Patrick an…