Showing posts from September, 2016

A Hundred Little Wings

My friend Heather posted this on Facebook, about 5 minutes ago: Maybe it isn't a diamond bullet that will fix this. Maybe its a hundred little things, with a hundred little wings that will move you. We're ok, relatively. We're reeling, but still standing (if holding on for support). We (we, really Patrick, and then I do what I can to support him) have to process complicated information quickly, and then time drags on again. There's almost no control to this, which I suppose should surprise no one. We're not sleeping, we're feeling kind of sick, we're trying to hold it together for the sake of Beatrix. We're behind on a hundred things, and if you are the hundred-and-first, please forgive us. The little things help. Cleaning the bathroom. The flowers and plant that arrived at our door. Coffee with friends. Little gifts dropped off with heart. A delicious dinner, delivered with heartfelt love. People over for patio night. Our steadfast neighbor, t

Shop Local Saturday

This morning, Patrick was ferrying around filmmaker Gary Huswit for the IFP Filmmaker's Conference, so Beatrix and I did  little local shopping — and had a great time! First we hit Spoils of Wear , a new shop that opened on Selby near Snelling. The owner was there, and could not have been nicer (though we've hear rumors that she sometimes brings her pug dog with her and he was not there today = boo). The clothes are fantastic, very stylish and unusual and at a good price point. The store is carefully selected, and I loved a lot of the distinctive items. Best of all, all items are sustainably sourced, and many of them are local, so you can feel great about buying. Next was ER, a tiny little extension of Elite Repeat featuring new items, many with a Minnesota theme. While Beatrix smelled the lovely candles, I appreciated the lovely accessories. There was some great jewelry, and some especially nice scarves and items (though I need a new scarf like I need a hole in my head).

#TBT - Vegetarian Style

I picked up Anna Jones' a modern way to cook because I wanted some new, quick, vegetarian recipes for family meals. Instead, I found myself thrown back into London living circa the late 1980s. And that's not a bad thing. Everything about the book is reminiscent of a small cafĂ© (that's pronounced "caff," by the way) in Notting Hill pre-Hugh Grant fame. The spare, clean pictures of the meals. The wide margins. The terminology (there's a lot of "mash" in these recipes.) It's all very earnest. You can imagine having  cup of tea, and then your carefully created pea and beet mash flatbread, with a rustic fruit crumble for dessert. For the most part, honestly, these are not meals we will cook as a family. Jones herself knows that — all the pictures are of two sets of hands, lovingly scooping up exotic soups or multi-colored bowls of vegetables. But the recipes range in complexity — there are quite a few that take under 20 minutes to prepare — so I c

Online Communities

I've been thinking a lot about online communities recently, and it came home to roost in a very tragic and surprising way today. About 11 years ago, pre-Facebook and Twitter and even before texting was a common thing, I was part of women's online forum. It was totally old-skool, the kind of static, forum board with multiple threads that people posted on. Everyone had a "handle" (to maintain some kind of internet anonymity), and there were a variety of topics, but mainly relating to getting married and having kids and navigating work-life balance and what to have for dinner and what people were reading and the like. There were a lot of members (over 6,000 when I look at it, though I would say closer to several hundred active at any given time), and I developed a lot of IRL friendships, some of them very close, with local members and those spread across the country and the world. Time passed, and my needs changed, and somehow that forum did as well. I found myself g

Some Summit Changes

Yesterday, Beatrix got to spend all day at the Renaissance Festival with her friend Alexis: Which meant that we got to get some projects done at Summit (as well as head to a tap room for awhile, where we excitingly cleaned our computer files...) The back first floor windows and door had suffered some rot, which we recently had fixed. I used "Endure" paint to repaint them — we'll see if it really lasts as long as it says. Nevertheless, they look a million times better! (and I love the way this clearance mat from Ikea ties the inside and outside together.) I also was given new blackberry bush, which I hope makes it in the raspberry/blackberry plot by the garage). Now all I need to do is find  new hammock — my old one mysteriously broke one week while we were not here :( Inside, I scored some new throw pillows (free from a BST board!): But my favorite project is the "book nook" we created on the second floor landing. I got the fainting couch (cheap)

Stop for Me

I got a chance to be part of a Stop for Me Initiative last week, which was really informative. Stop for Me is a project of the Saint Paul Police Department (with a number of local partners, including SARPA which is why I was involved). It's a campaign to raise awareness of pedestrian safety, especially at unmarked intersections (because EVERY intersection is a crosswalk, by state law). So far this year, over 100 people have been hit by cars in Saint Paul alone; in all of Minnesota last year, 900 people were hit, of which 40 died. We simply have to do better. The idea behind the campaign was simple. The officer in charge of the campaign was in plainclothes; he had a videocamera so he could record everything. He had a collar radio, so he could be in communication with the 3-5 officers assigned to the effort for ticketing (in this case, most were in marked cars/motorcycles). The project area is clearly marked with orange signs as a pedestrian safety effort, and there are cones set

The Great Minnesota Get Together

The Fair is ingrained in my DNA. It's always been a part of my family history; the first time my mother left me, a 2-week old infant, was to go to the Fair (and I'll bet that pronto pup, without baby responsibilities, was amazing!). When I was young, my mom and I used to go first thing in the morning — we would have a donut and coffee for breakfast in a little booth that was just outside the doors to the Coliseum, and watch the horses exercise and practice of the door was cracked open. We would linger through the barns, check out the Midway, walk through each building, see the parade, eat pronto pups and malts and mini donuts (always from the booth by the Grandstand) and cheese curds, ride the Big Slide, sit on the grass and people watch. When evening came, we would visit our relatives Bonnie and Logan (Logan sat on the board, and they lived on the fairgrounds during the fair each year), and then they would take us to whatever concert was occurring that night at the Grandstand