I had every intention of doing a daily blog post, but that has crashed and burned. Something about taking the first full day off I have had in forever to just have fun and enjoy the experience scuttered all kinds of things.

So until later, here are my husband's blog posts and a good picture:

Return to Horse Camp

In 2017,  I wrote a post about what was likely my daughter's last trip to horse camp. I'm delighted to say I was wrong.

Though she and her friends had kind of aged out of horse camp, this year Elk River added a "Horsing Around with Mom" camp for older girls, and so we went back, along with her friends Meara, Flannery, Dia, Matilda, and their moms. The girls are just a few weeks away from all going to different middle schools (except Dia and Beatrix, who will be together at SPA), so it felt especially poignant.

We had a blast! We were put in a lovely, brand new cabin — Pinto — which felt like glamping, with AC, showers, bathrooms, etc. (we had stayed at Pinto before, but it's old iteration was a totally different direction across camp and was quite rustic, even though adorable; I think that version of Pinto, though, has gone to the proverbial glue factory). There was a great screen porch for hanging out at night. We were just a short distance from the new horse ba…

So It's SPA...

For all of those who worry about what elementary school to send your child to, because middle school scares you, I can assure you that Beatrix had an embarrassment of riches. She was accepted into 3 very different schools — Capitol Hill (SPPS), School of Norther Lights (charter), and Saint Paul Academy (private). SPA is my alma mater, but more than that, we really wanted her to go there because she seemed to fit there, but we just could not make the money work despite some very generous financial aid.

We chose Capitol Hill and were super excited to send her there, which is nearby and a great school and where she knows a few people.

And then, 3 days ago, it all turned upside-down.

While we were relaxing after the summer circus shows up at the cabin, the amazing admissions person at SPA reached out and asked if we could reconsider if they made they money work. The incoming class was full, but she kept on thinking about Beatrix, and our family, and what a fit we would be. So we sent off…

Twin Day

As I have aged, I've met several people who share my birthday (shoutout to Donna, Scot, March, Harry, Crash, and Andy). But when you are younger, the idea that someone is born on "your" day is a new one, and when I met my "twin" Kelly when we were both in our early teens (or were we even younger?), having a birthday twin was a true novelty.

We've spent our lives telling unsuspecting people we were twins, actually. "Yeah, she's older, by about 6 hours. It was a long labor. Our mom even changed states." Or the always popular "Identical, of course. Why do you ask?"

But here's also the thing. It also means I've known Kelly for a long time, and to some extent, that "twin-ness" is not a lie. I've known him since he was a kind of gawky, nerdy kid who took way too many risks because he was simultaneously incredibly confident and fairly insecure. I've seen him excel at many, many things he loves (ok, and fail miserab…

Baking as a Love Language

When I was a kid I used to get home from school, do my homework, and then bake something for my mom and me. My bible was an old blue Pillsbury cookbook (it's long lost its cover and I can't seem to find a replica online) that was filled with all kinds of recipes. It taught me how to bake cakes from scratch, how to make substitutions, and how to know instinctively what something should look and taste like (because there were no photos, and let's admit it, this was the late 1970s-early 80s and my palate was definitely at "expanding.") Because there were only two of us, though, we ate cookies or cake for days.

Fats forward. The past month my husband has been rigging a circus show every night. He comes home exhausted and snacky and wired up. So, since getting Dessert Cooking for Two, I've taken to surprising him with treats — double chocolate cookies, the "very best" chocolate chip cookies, caramel crumb bars, pear and coconut crisp — and all have both…

See Live Performance

This time of year, I end up seeing Lots and Lots and Lots of circus. Beatrix and I have already seen TWISTED several times (and Patrick has rigged every show), and we show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. There are performances all next weekend with a few tickets left — you should see it too! It's a rollicking mash-up of fairy tales with some of the most intricate act pairings I've seen CJ do, and some incredible performances. You'll love it!

For something completely different tonight, after the show at CJ went up, I went to see Full Circle's performance of GLASS and LADY M running as part of the Fringe tonight. I love seeing shows at Dreamland Arts because it's such a cozy, lovely venue so close to my house. And I love everything I have seen at Full Circle. This piece, though, blew me away. The scripts were compelling, the direction outstanding, and the performances incredible. It's left me with a ton to think about. Because of our schedule right now it …

Tree Pose

Today I was given a 10' serviceberry tree that a friend of a friend had removed from their (beautiful) yard. I'm worried about our nanny berry, which is not doing well this year after the evil neighbors cut off some branches extending over their yard. And the same neighbors have a camera pointing at our pool, which I have long wanted to block.

Luckily, I just had to drive a few blocks — slowly — with a 10' tree sticking out of my car. I then managed to get it planted, even though I truly suck at digging holes. Hopefully with some water and love it will settle in nicely. I love having  a job where, even though I was assembling board books at midnight last night, I can take an hour out in the middle fo the day to plant a tree.

I still want to do some major rethinking of the garden space at Summit. Something just does not work for me. I want more space for gathering, and twinkly lights, and more flowers. But I'm crap at garden design.

But maybe it starts with a tree.