Showing posts from February, 2018

Olympic Gold

I'm sitting on one end of the couch, with Patrick on the other end. Between us, Winston is enthusiastically chewing his giant rawhide. It's the final set of women's Olympic skaters on the computer screen. Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski are restrained in their commentary and letting us watch. Watching the Olympics brings me back to years of watching the Olympics with my mom. Sitting on the lumpy couch, with the tv on the green corner desk. There were no green boxes to tell you about scores then, and a double axel was a big deal. Right after the Olympics, the big full-page ad in he paper would come out for the skating tour, and one year we even went. But it was incredibly magical, and I can remember what seems like every moment of those Olympics. Tonight after circus we let Beatrix stay up almost an hour latter watch through the first Russian skater. I wanted her to feel that magic too. If she can't watch the skating with her grandmother, I want her to at least have th

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

So a strange thing has happened to me lately — I've basically lost all interest in buying new clothes. I still like acquiring clothes as much as ever, maybe more, and honesty, my wardrobe could probably use a little uplift, especially by this point of the winter. But getting new clothes, as in going to the mall or even a boutique shop — it's just not happening. Instead, I've been getting my clothes off of Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade boards, or clothing exchanges. Gosh, I love me a clothing exchange. Put me in a room with a bunch of awesome women and a whole bunch of clothes, and I am in heaven. Seriously, one of my favorite things ever. I've got a lot of work to do on the clothes I have; I used to be really good on keeping them up and mending them well, and I've slipped on that recently (maybe I need  little mending night in front of the Olympics or something). I'm especially interested in doing some up-cycling of clothes I have. I think that would be a really

Small Business Monday

It was  along weekend of hitting the small businesses we love... Starting with Glam Doll for our usual Saturday morning donuts while Beatrix was in class (well, really starting with friends hitting an art and antique sale in a newly restored Prairie-style home in River Falls the night before). After that, Patrick picked up a great tee-shirt at b. resale shop right next to it — pretty awesome, huh? Then the monthly Sixth Chamber Game Night at Grand Shanghai on Saturday night. Truth be told, the food at Grand Shanghai is just okay, but the game nights are super-fun and it's great to go with friends. I have a passionate love for Sixth Chamber right now. Yesterday, Beatrix and I went out to deliver girl scout cookies, and stopped at the last day of Urban Moon for the last day before they closed. We picked up a few things at a big discount, but I would rather have NOT saved money and had them stay open. Occasional stores must be a hard kind of business to operate, but I love s

Why I am Not Moving to Paris...Yet...

Whenever we travel, Patrick knows I'll always stop in the windows of the real estate agents, admiring the photos and imagining living there. "I LOVE this neighborhood! This one's not so much..." So of course, when David Lebovitz, whose The Sweet Life in Paris I had loved, wrote l'appart about his search for and renovation of a Paris apartment, I was there. I could live vicariously through his experiences — I would be like LIVING there! And I was kind of right! It's a great story of "am American in Paris." A little bit of a love story, and definitely a love letter to Paris. A paean to architecture, some frustration with inspections and bureaucracy, and some self-detracting humor. It's like having a conversation with a friend in a Paris street cafe while being secretly jealous of his fabulous life. Plus as always a great love of food, with most chapters ending in some truly delicious sounding recipes — so even if I can't live in Paris,

Resist ... by Donating

First of all, let me be clear: Charitable donations to non-profit organizations are still 100% tax-deductible under the new tax code that was passed in late December 2017.* (The difference is that the standard deduction was increased, so that — for many people — it may no longer be worth it to itemize these deductions, including charitable contributions. So, while your gift is still tax-deductible, that plus any other still-allowed deductions may total less than the new standard deduction, so it might not affect your taxes.) For many of us, honestly, this will make little-to-no difference in our giving patterns. We give when asked (for instance, by a friend who asks us to support their cause), or because of expectation (church collection plate), when we support an organization or issue because it aligns with our core values (many of my clients), or when an situation really hits us and we feel compelled to do something (like donations to flood-related causes last spring). The fact


There's a reason I'll never be a writer. My pieces are always slapdash, tucked in between things when I have two minutes to throw something on paper, never edited, generally sloppy. For a real writer's take on my daughter being ten, read what Patrick wrote . But what I can say, in my imperfect and rushed-as-usal way, is that it's hard to believe it's been a full decade since that exhausting, dementor-cold morning at Abbott Northwestern. With Vanessa with us and a north situation that was far-from ideal but somehow perfect. Since everything in our lives changed forever.

Bold North

There's nothing like Minnesota in the summertime. But this winter we've been having a lot of fun too (and I credit a lot of it to finally having good winter wear, like snow pants). A couple of weeks ago, we headed to the Art Shanties . I had wanted to go for years, but never made it — often the mid-winter thaws had ended their run early. But this year they were easy to get to (on Lake Harriet), and the weather was perfect. On the sunny Saturday that we headed over, we were delighted to find out that it was also the Kite Festival. We spent hours on the ice, with Beatrix determined to explore every shanty. I think my favorite might actually have been the Notary Shanty, or maybe the tiny theatre, or possibly the Wish Factory... Then last weekend we hit the Ice Maze at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It was awesome, though tiny... Tonight, we went to the Winter Carnival ice sculptures and the Ice Palace. Saint Paul was hopping! It was "Cinco de Mayo Night"

Super Bowl 52

I've never been in a  city that hosted the Super Bowl before, and I have to say it's quite a trip. I haven't even braved the epicenter of it all in downtown Minneapolis, but there's a celebratory feeling everywhere. Other than my brother-in-law Rob , who's staying with us, I have not seen any celebrities — though we did invite JT to our Girl Scout cookies party last night, and several of my friends have — apparently, I don't hang out at  Meritage  enough. My circus performed at Taste of the NFL last night and did amazingly, but I was not there. Really, the closest we've come to much of the real hype is picking up Eagles donuts yesterday at the donut shop we hang out at on Saturdays. I've also read a lot of conflicting articles about the effect on community. Seth Godin, who I greatly respect, points out that cities pay a tremendous price for hosting . Fast Company had a fantastic article on Minnesota's branding of the event that is very on poi