Showing posts from October, 2017

School Community

Today Beatrix's school had 2 big events — the Apex Fun Run (main fundraiser) during the day, and the Fall Festival at night! The Apex Fun Run is what Randolph Heights does instead of selling cookie dough or gift wrap or whatever. It's a major fundraiser for the school, but it also gives us 2 weeks of curriculum, and a healthy experience for the kids. Maybe because it was kind of cold, but this year seemed harder for Beatrix than past years — but she did it, ran a full 36 laps (I think that's about 3 miles), and kept a great attitude. Tonight was the Fall Festival, more of a gathering for the school community than a fundraiser. Filled with pizza, games from ring-a-pumpkin to a book walk, glitter hair and face paint, a dance, and general craziness, it was a fantastic evening of true school community. I'm so proud of the volunteers who worked so hard to make it great. I love Beatrix's school and the sense of community it engenders.

Failed Craft Projects

So Beatrix and I love to do craft projects together, and we've documented many of them here. But I find one major problem with social media is that everything looks all perfect and easy and successful, and you never learn about anyone's fails. Well, we have plenty of those over here too! For a year or so, we've had a set of glasses prefect for marbling with nail polish. It looks so perfect: Right? Just swirl around some nail polish, kind of like suminagashi, dip the glass, and go! So tonight we cleaned the glasses, picked the nail polish, and.... Well, it did not work like the picture. The nail polish was gloppy and would not come out of the bottles. So then we tried to heat it, and then we tried to thin it with acetone, but first it would not come out of the bottles at all, and then it sort of dripped out. So we tried to dip the glasses in anyway, and the nail polish looked more like, well, soap scum than marbling. And then to proved problematic to remo

Back in Time

On Sunday, the Saint Paul Library had a 100th birthday celebration, with a Victorian/steampunk theme, so naturally, we had to go. We ended up spending a couple of hours playing indoor corn hole and listening to an Afro-Carribean band (not sure how those are Victorian, but whatevs...), and making all sorts of steampunk accessories like clothespin dolls, little hats, and goggles. The downtown library has a new maker room that looks like a lot of fun (even a 3D printer!) .  Then, since we were feeling all history-oriented, we headed over to the Stone Saloon (Waldmann Brewery) to check it out, and loved it! It feels very east coast Colonial, and the beer was great! (also the cheese and pretzel from Brake Bread). I imagine we will be there a fair bit, so come meet us there some night! (The night before, we had headed to River Falls, for Hogwarts Year 2 at Fox Den Books  with some of Beatrix's friends and their families. Also a lot of fun!)

When Politics Gets to Be Too Much, We Drink

In the middle of worrying about the country going to hell in a handbasket, I attended a School Board Candidate Forum that the PTA at Beatrix's school (hey, I guess that's me!) had yesterday. Let's just say it was enlightening. Even Beatrix saw through the yelling, middle-aged white guy who went around passing his card to kids and telling them to tell their parents to vote for him ("It's 1800, ladies, tell your husbands vote for Burr!"). She for sure does not want us voting for him. So tonight we decided to do some infusions. We had been given a bitters kit awhile back, so mixed the spices with the fruits and some bourbon and vodka. I have no delusions it will be as good as the Bittercube guys, but it's worth a try: We'll know in a month or so, come over for cocktails! Patrick also found a vanilla "kit" and we're almost out of Mexican vanilla, so we started that too:

Some More Thoughts on #MeToo

In no particular order: I thought I had a sense, but I am overwhelmed as to how many women in my life have posted #MeToo. But not surprised. You are all brave and wonderful and have my love and support. If you didn't post, I also hear you. You still have a voice. It's not a contest. If you're male and posted #MeToo, while I hear you, and hear that you were also a victim, and validate your experience, and though I know that sexual harassment and assault affects men also ... well, in this case, I wish you had left it just a day and let the women speak first. I also hear you anyone who says "it's complicated." Who doubts her own memories or experiences. Who secretly wonders if maybe she did "lead him on"  or  "maybe it was not that bad" or "it's my fault too." Who was told that sexuality and beauty were ways to get ahead, and who wonders if she was not as good at that game, or as pretty, or not as desirable. These doubts


Almost exactly a year ago after speaking at Camp Coco, Patrick started a "Me too" campaign about how issues with mental illness face everyone — directly or indirectly — at some point in their lives. For awhile, the #metoo hashtag was very profound. And now, almost exactly a year later, that same hashtag has an equally important meaning: ME TOO If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Please copy/paste. # metoo It's currently my Facebook status. In fact, it's on the page of the majority of my female friends tonight. And it's equally profound now. Please think about the people you know that are using that hashtag right now (for either situation). And if you have any ideas as to what we can do to change this, I'm all ears.


"Revolt. She said. Revolt again." Might be one of my new favorite phrases. An excellent title for a play. A look into a new way of living. It's been awhile since I've seen a show at Frank Theatre , but I have a real weakness for modern feminist British playwrights, and so this one was on my MUST see list. There were practical reasons, too, like I wanted to see the new Gremlin space and Lake Monster is there (though I get enough Lake Monster through FilmNorth). But I was really interested to see how a theater company I respect so greatly would handle this script. The answer is "amazingly." In a lot of ways, it reminds me of how Full Circle handled 365 Days/365 Plays , which is a similar kind of show created by various short scenes, played by an ensemble, that handles big issues with somewhat dark humor. The playwright is correct, "This play should not be well-behaved." And it is not. Look, you owe it to yourself to see the show. It's

Building the Happy Habit

I got this book because, in difficult times,  I needed to remind myself about all the things that make me happy. So far, I've been a total fail. (which does not make me happy....) The concept is easy enough. It's a journal diary, with prompts each day about things that make you happy. And when I am prompted that way, I'm extremely successful, and I can find (at least) one thing every day. So win. But the format of the book confounds me a little. It starts with New Year's Eve, is ti took an inordinate amount of counting to get to September 25 to start the journal. And then, when I forget to do it, I get off pace. It's frustrating (and does not make me happy). All in all, though, if I put some work into this, I think I'll be happy with the result. (Book received from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion).

On Giving

I've been thinking a lot about how philanthropy reflects family values right now. I just wrote this for the PTA blog: At the PTA meeting on Monday night, we discussed both why the school needs to raise funds, and that PTA needs to also separately raise funds to augment the school’s activities. As we went home last night, my husband, daughter and I got into an interesting discussion about giving, which made me think about how different families handle charitable giving — if their budget allows or it at all. For Beatrix, we have set her allowance up on a spend/save/give model, where a certain percentage of her weekly funds go into each jar. So far, for her, the giving has all been focused on animal-related causes when the jar gets full enough, but it’s always her choice. Some families I know give an annual percentage basis, similar to tithing — though it often goes to more than just their church. Others set a fixed dollar amount per year, which is often conscious of an ongo