Bloom (and Nightstand 2014: Week Twenty-Seven)

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

My mom grows beautiful flowers, and her peonies are among the loveliest of her blooms. A bouquet of pink and white blossoms from her garden is nearing the end, but it’s still stunning.


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What I’m reading this week, including a series on World War I from The New York Times. I won’t get to all of the new pieces and archived articles, but it’s definitely worth a look if you are as fascinated by that era and the senselessness of the war as I am:

The Snow Leopard

Urban Retreat

June 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Tea and chocolate in the afternoon under the umbrellas at the renovated Birchwood in Minneapolis. Definitely worth a trip whether you’re a long-time resident of the area or a new visitor to the Twin Cities.


June 28, 2014 § 1 Comment

Cathedral, Dusk

June 27, 2014 § Leave a comment


Me and the Leader of the Free World

June 26, 2014 § 6 Comments

Today I baked an angel food cake and rhubarb sauce from scratch.

And visited the rising Mississippi once in the morning and once in the evening.

And ran along the rising Mississippi.

And waved hello to the POTUS.

Short Story Long

June 25, 2014 § 6 Comments

Sometimes we (i.e., I) believe life’s daily disappointments and hassles foreshadow gloom and doom for the rest of our day, week, or life because the grocery store didn’t have our favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor on the first day of our period or no one liked the Glamour Shots photo we posted on Facebook. (Glamour Shots still exists, right? Or am I dating myself?)

I’m certainly guilty of overreacting to the tar-like goo life bubbles up my metaphorical drain, but I try like a happy bunny to make lemonade out of it.

Like the time I (accidentally) flushed every key I owned down a gas station toilet. Sure I panicked. Sure I couldn’t quite believe there wasn’t somebody the cashier could call to come on over to take the toilet apart and see if the keychain just might be stuck underneath the bowl rather than well on its way to a Duluth waste-water treatment plant. But when the realization that every last key was gone (gone!) along with my pride, I laughed, impressed I had a good tale to share for years to come.

Alas, I don’t have a colorful story to explain the nonexistence of the photos I wanted to shoot tonight — a night when the mighty Mississippi River is hours away from cresting and memorable shots throughout the Twin Cities are ripe for the taking.

My cupboard is bare because I forgot to turn off my camera last night and drained the battery. I didn’t know it until I arrived downtown to take my historic, sure-to-be-award-winning photos. I looked through my lens and was met with a sea of black rather than plants and buildings and street lights and bike paths and staircases being swallowed up by the river. I even said my first and middle name out loud, just like a parent who finds his or her daughter holding scissors in one meaty fist and a long ponytail that’s not her own in the other.

And, in a moment reminiscent of sending my keys down the sewer all those years ago, I dropped my car key on a platform edge mere centimeters from the murky depths of the Big Muddy, and I wasn’t in the mood to see the humor in it this time around. But the gods cut me a break, probably feeling awfully mean about the camera battery and all, because, miracle of miracles, I managed not to kick it into the rising river when bending down to retrieve it.

Luckily, my iPhone was at hand, but my photos of the flood are mediocre at best, and I leave it to you to do a search online for better pictures.

But if you’re in the market for a before-and-after photo of a jazzed-up thistle, then you’ve come to the right place:

The First Tuesday in Summer

June 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Friends and babies. Sidewalk chalk. Last rites for a snake. The floods. You know. A typical summer day.


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