Day #201: I am a Reader

I am grateful that I am a reader. For all of the people who showed me the way, thank you. For all of the readers who recommend books, thank you. I’m going to share a list of the books I’m reading right now. Each one has a bookmark poking out of it. I’m a Gemini; I like variety. I check out many of my books from the public library as e-books, so I don’t have a photo of all the physical books to share with you. Some of these are review copies that I’m reading for work, but reading seldom feels like work to me. How about you? Which books are you reading right now? I’ll be grateful to know.

Cat’s Guide to the Night Sky, Stuart Atkinson
Camp Panda, Catherine Thimmesh
Fresh Ink: an Anthology, ed. Lamar Giles
Gone-Away Lake, Elizabeth Enright
Time Sight, Lynne Jonell
Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance by Jane Gleeson-White
Hope Never Dies: an Obama-Biden Mystery, Andrew Shaffer
Platters and Boards, Shelly Westerhausen
Undaunted, Anita Silvey
Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3), Jacqueline Winspear
Writing the Cozy Mystery, Nancy J. Cohen
Mighty Salads, Food 52

Books I'm reading now

Day #200: The Tony Awards

I feel so grateful that The Tony Awards and my birthday coincide. I consider it one of my best gifts. Theater has been a part of my life since the third grade when I wrote and directed a class play … and I once played Ado Annie in Oklahoma … I feel privileged to watch this glimpse into live theater. Last night’s show was stellar. Ali Stroker won a Tony! The host, the performances, the message of love and community and kindness and respect. This is the world we are working to bring to prominence. Thanks to everyone in the theater on Broadway and in communities around the world for entertaining us and making us think.

The Tony Awards

Day #199: Little Falls

What a day we had yesterday, a lovely road trip outside the Cities, one of our favorite things to do, to learn about and appreciate where people live. It was a gorgeous summer day.

We headed to Little Falls, which wasn’t so little because of spring rains. The water coming down the spillways was ferocious and the water appeared golden.

The Northern Pacific Depot pictured here (by Paul Purdes) was designed by Cass Gilbert in 1899. Today it houses the Chamber of Commerce. (Among many landmarks, Gilbert designed the MN State Capitol and NYC’s Woolworth Building, an early skyscraper.)

Famous people from Little Falls include Louise Erdrich (birthday June 7th) and Charles Lindbergh. (I did my best to imagine them walking around downtown.) There is a Charles Lindbergh Museum and a Fishing Museum here but it wasn’t a museum kind of day for us.

We had plans to visit Bookin’ It, the local independent bookseller, but we were dismayed to learn that it has closed (Steve talked to the owner on the phone).

For lunch, we visited A.T. The Black & White, a wonderful downtown restaurant that began in 1931 as an eight-stool diner serving hamburgers. Today, it is owned and operated by Amanda and Tomas Zimmerman, two Cordon Bleu chefs. Their large dining room was once a hardware store and they’ve filled the space with local history. The food was delicious. Steve had the Boom Boom Chicken Wrap and I had the Smoky Golden Beet Reuben. Both were memorable. Best of all, the waitress shared stories and information about the city.

I love this kind of day and my traveling companion is a commendable explorer, adventurer, and conversationalist. Forevermore, we will feel connected to Little Falls. It was a Good Birthday.

railroad depot in Little Falls, MN

Day #196: Imperfect Produce

Have you tried Imperfect Produce? It’s a company that specializes in distributing and delivering the “ugly” fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. So far, our deliveries have been beautiful. The prices are less than we pay in the store, we get to choose what we want, and we select how often we want a delivery. We most often choose organic but we love the variety. Our most recent box (with no plastic packaging) brought pears, tomatoes, cucumbers, pecans (such a deal!), olives, limes, celery, artichokes, apples. Yum! I’m grateful for the mission and methods of this company … and the innovation of people who are doing their best to help the earth.

Imperfect Produce

Day #195: Vegetables

I spent a good deal of my life avoiding all vegetables except for carrots, corn, and green beans … what I would eat when I was five. Steve brought broccoli into our marriage. Now, we strive to eat vegetables at every meal. We do our best to increase our vegetable vocabulary. It’s intentional … and it’s delicious. Pan-roasted Brussels sprouts for breakfast this morning. I am grateful for vegetables in their wide diversity of color, taste, and nutrition. What’s your favorite vegetable?

Brussels sprouts
Homemade Grilled Brussel Sprouts with Fresh Bacon

Day #194: Jeopardy

I am soooo grateful to James Holzhauer, Alex Trebek, and Emma Boettcher for providing so much … jeopardy … for an exciting run of games. I started watching Jeopardy with my grandmother when I was 10 years old. Art Fleming was on hand every weekday to challenge our brains. My grandmother never missed that show. And James read children’s books to brush up his Shakespeare … and thousands of other subjects that he seemed to pull out of his hat. Who defeated him? A librarian! For the win! Very exciting for this Jeopardy fan. I’m so glad it happened on a day I was tuned in, watching as Emma’s score climbed and everything seemed possible!

James Holzhauer on Jeopardy

Day #193: Olives and Birthdays

 It is so much fun to share your birthday with a good friend, one whose birthday is the day after yours. Getting together to celebrate that our lives are still ongoing leaves me feeling effervescent! And honoring all that we’ve added to life’s weaving through the years? That fills me with gratitude. (I especially love when said friend knows me well enough to bring a gift of olives, my favorite food!)


Day #192: Minnesota Orchestra

I am grateful to the Minnesota Orchestra (then the Minneapolis Symphony), my elementary school, and my mother for teaming up to introduce me to classical music. Young People’s Concerts began in 1911 (but I wasn’t there)! “Hearing a live performance by the Minnesota Orchestra can awaken a young person’s musical curiosity and lay the foundation for a lifetime of enjoyment. Through these concerts, students learn how composers use music to convey ideas, just as authors use text; there are many ways in which composers express their creativity and spark inspiration in young listeners.” Classical music is vitally important to me. Those school trips to hear the Orchestra were thrilling. We observed real people, who made their living as musicians, playing real instruments, led by conductors who brought their personalities to the performances. It made a difference in my understanding of music. So did the crush I had on Robert Tweedy, the timpanist. What an instrument! What a musician! (The photo below is that of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, the Orchestra’s conductor from 1960 to 1979.)

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski