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Showing posts from January, 2012

Sensibility Aside - Joining the Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra

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About four years ago I decided I'd like to play the mandolin. So I purchased a nice, inexpensive mandolin from Homestead Pickin' Parlor in Richfield and started taking lessons with fabulous musician, Karen Mueller.

I played steadily for over a year then upgraded to a beautiful Michael Kelly "F" style mandolin. It's a beautiful instrument and I loved playing it - but then I was in two Northfield Arts Guild musicals in a row. With rehearsals and life I pretty much stopped playing and my Michael Kelly sat in its case for a long, long, time
My mandolin - the Legacy Dragonfly Flame. Picture from the Michael Kelly website. It's a shame to let a beautiful instrument sit so I started thinking about ways to get myself playing again. There are lessons and jam sessions I could attend and, of course, I could be self motivated and just play at home. But each of those options presented challenges - among them lack of funds for frequent lessons, schedule conflicts with the ja…

Mingling at the Magazine Mingle

Wednesday night I attended the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association "Magazine Mingle" event at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. I've attended this event several times now. It's grown and changed over the years but the one thing that has stayed the same is that writers, editors, photographers and publishers get a chance to get out for an evening, enjoy some snacks, look at dozens of sample magazine and spend time networking.

Networking can be kind of scary - going up and talking to strangers and all - but at the Mingle everyone is pretty much in the same boat, everyone there wants to make connections. So the night is spent striking up conversations with strangers, handing out business cards, and, hopefully, making connections that will somehow benefit you or the people you meet.

At the event I enjoyed visiting with well-known travel, science and nature journalist, Greg Breining. Greg has written several books, among them Paddle North: Canoeing the B…

Snowshoe Adventure

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Last winter during the month of January I did a 30 Days of Snowshoeing challenge and snowshoed every single day of the month. Such a challenge would have been impossible for me this year. We've had a strange winter with almost no snow. I'm okay with a mild winter but I have missed snowshoeing and have only been out on my snowshoes once this winter - that is until today.
A snowshoe scene from last January Last night and earlier today it snowed enough that we could actually get out and snowshoe in it. The kids were off of school so they headed outside with me this morning and, along with Rocket our wonder dog, we trekked around the neighborhood on our snowshoes.

One thing I like about doing stuff with my kids is that they remind me of the little wonders of life. Today they decided we should stop walking, stand still then call the dog to us and listen. Why? Because the snow had a thin icy crust on top and Rose and Ryan noticed that it sounded really cool when Rocket ran through the…