An Introvert Walks into a Caucus…

In the United States, a precinct caucus is the smallest unit of politics one can participate in – it’s the beginning of the beginning. Last night, the Republican and Democrat caucuses took place in little class and conference rooms all over the state of Minnesota. I have always considered myself an independent and in the distant past, voted for whatever candidate I felt would be best. These days, moderate Republicans are like unicorns and independent parties keep putting up fringe operators at best, so last night I went blue and attended my… Read More

The Blush of First Love: One Note at a Time

When my friend, Bill wrote about his daughter’s first crush, he wrote of the “pang of yearning” for her experience. As is often the case, I somewhat missed the point in my comment, thinking only of the impending demise of young love. When Mark wrote about his brief acquaintance with someone who became a success, I commented that it might be better not to meet the people behind their work. I am, so often, a rather cynical person who is likely to see that the half-full/half-empty glass is in need of a… Read More

Fertile Ground

It’s gardening time. Be prepared for wheelbarrows of garden metaphors, analogies and similes to seed this blog for the next couple of months. With a side of compost. The claustrophobia of winter has begun to dissipate. It’s too early to plant seeds outside in Minnesota, but the strawberries are poking through and the buds on the lilac bushes have begun to form. I got hit smack dab in the face by a meaty bug, likely disoriented and newly emerged from the thawing ground. While trimming raspberry canes and Concord grape vines, I… Read More

A Mind of One’s Own, Minimal Square Footage Required

I’ve been riding along the last couple of weeks as if someone else were at the wheel. I stare out the window as the landscape speeds by, lost in thought, lost in ideas, but not really lost at all. It’s the kind of drifting that loosens the nerves, unclenches the fists, allows the mind to be frivolous or deep, shifting from moment to moment. Books are in stacks about the study. I’ve meandered from one to the next, from Virginia Woolf’s loosely compiled speeches in A Room of One’s Own to Tim… Read More

Doorstep Politics: Sometimes It’s Not About the Party

We’re heading into another midterm election. I just spent 20 minutes on my doorstep talking to the Republican candidate for state representation of our district. While I am registered Independent, I tend to vote heavily Democrat. There was a time when I would mutter that oft-used phrase “fiscally conservative, socially liberal”, but now so many distinctions must be made between social issues I think government should get the hell out of and social issues that impact fiduciary decision-making that it’s no longer sufficiently vague to head off unwanted debate at the pass…. Read More

The Long, Long Winter of Our Discontent

Mornings seem grim these days. The sun may be shining brightly, but many of us are buckling down in our ice-encrusted houses waiting out this unending winter. I woke up worn out by a dream that played over and over again. I witness a car accident. The car is on its side, in flames. I’m standing in a crowd and see a man trying to climb out through the car window. People all around me pull out their cellphones to dial 911. I rush forward, trying to pull the man up and… Read More

Spring Respite for The Green Study

A miracle finally happened in Minnesota. Spring arrived. I can’t focus. I spent time in the dirt yesterday. I scoped out my tulips, crocuses (crocii?) and daffodils, uncovered, after a long winter’s rest. It’s a week of endings and beginnings for me and as much as I think I should write or at least should want to write, I don’t. I want dirt under my nails, mud on my boots, stray leaves and grass in my hair. I want to stand up, straightening sore knees and legs after laboring over a plot… Read More

Your Distraction, My Blog Post

Just when I think I’ve run out of things to write about, heaven drops manna in my lap. Admittedly, bronchitis is making me a little crabby this week, so if there is anything to take umbrage over, I’m there, ready and willing. This was the blip that showed up on my newspaper scanning radar this morning: “Minnetonka Principal says girls’ leggings becoming a distraction“. Once again, we girls are at it – dressing to impress and making the boys regress. Boys began beating their…chests in a primitive call to mate. Algebra was… Read More

Licensed to Complain

In preparation for November 6th, I have dutifully surfed my way over to Minnesota’s Secretary of State website and printed out the sample ballot for my zip code. And the Googling begins. For many elections, I am ashamed to say, I voted a straight party ticket and went with all the incumbents for judges and unaffiliated public offices. As a registered Independent and independent thinker, I can no longer rely on political party as a guide. After all, there are douchebags on both sides of the aisle. I’m not wasting a vote… Read More

Autumn: Smells Like Domesticity

Autumn is finally here in Minnesota. A bittersweet melancholy unfurls itself and settles into my psyche. I become more introverted. I am cooking and baking. The house fills with the smells of freshly baked bread and shepherd’s pie. Windows and screens get cleaned, car tires get checked, and perennials get trimmed. I get ready for the long season when color morphs into gleaming white and my reading stacks finally start to go down. It is biological and comforting – this nesting en route to hibernation. It is the signal that soon it… Read More