So the title includes a month and year because I am certain to be writing another “My Life is Magical” blog again one day.  Seriously!  My Life IS Magical!!  So what’s so magical of late?  Here’s what.

I meet the most amazing people…

Tom & Rita prepped tents for two Valve Turners (see more on them below) during the recent Interfaith Power and Light vigil at the Mississippi Headwaters.  I had met them briefly before but it was really lovely to have a little time to chat and get to know them better.  Such interesting lives they shared with me and I am impressed with all they are doing in this Line 3 fight.  While I couldn’t make Sunday’s vigil, Dan was able to get some great photos and share some interesting culture with Annette.  First Colony of the United States??  WTF does this mean?


Instead. at Art Leap 2018, an event I planned to attend with Connie weeks ago, I visited Beagle and Wolf Books and made a purchase.  I also wandered to the local health food store which was closed but where Cathy, owner of Bella Caffe and daughter-in-law to the originator of the Third Street Market, was willing to not only let me in but also give me a grand tour and history of the place.  It was fascinating and she was delightful! She even offered to buy me a coffee!  But I knew I’d be back for lunch any minute with friends Deb & Paul so waited until lunch to get coffee.  Their coffee was very good – should I say “beautiful”?  I recommend checking them out if you are in Park Rapids.  After lunch we all enjoyed the bluegrass sounds of Unpolished.  I found them to be quite polished and quite funny (that’s you Mark Bridge!).

During the Leap, I headed over to visit Lauralee Studio where Laura Grisamore has some really interesting art.  She and her husband made me feel so welcome and I really enjoyed seeing all the really cool skulls they have there.  Neat stuff.  I also got to meet Maureen O’Brian who had a GORGEOUS painting of Minnesota’s state flower.  But maybe my favorite was Pat Pope the Bead dude who was hanging out at Smoky Hills Art.  He refers to himself as a Social Artist and his intricate bead work is truly amazing.  His endeavors are very time intensive.  In the background of this photo you can see a bit of the amazing quilt by Robin, owner of Smoky Hills Art.  I recommend you visit to see this lovely work.Pat Pope

The night before I’d been down to PR for The Great American Story event.  It was a very nice event where I had connections to all four of the stories or storytellers.  Two of the contestants were friends.  Paulette Friday and the WonderWeavers (Tina Rohde and Colleen Shashkin) have all captivated me with stories for the last few years so I knew the event would be a good one.  I also got to hear the winner Sue Searing who told a story which began by noting her plans to retire to Minnesota… and during which she regaled her endurance of the heat of Texas during a job interview.  I really loved her story.  And I got to meet more intimately Rose van der Berg whose story was about her relation with her father.  A tale of heartache, abuse, joy, and redemption, it was good to hear.  After she and Paulette did not make the final round, I went over to chat with her.  It was really wonderful to share with her about my own father disowning me for unknown reasons. And to hear more of her story.  While she and Paulette both got prizes for being in the final four, she and I agreed that the connection we made was worth far more.  I am hopeful our paths will cross again.

Hope returns to the Harn…

Speaking of crossing paths, you may recall meeting Hope the Turtle in my blog from August 13 this year.  While I thought the chances of us meeting Hope again were quite slim, we did in fact meet Hope again!  It happened about 6 weeks after Hope was brought to the Harn for a shell repair (after being hit on the road near Itasca Park about 10 miles south).

As Dan and I drove home one afternoon, I saw a small turtle crossing the road in front of the house and we stopped.  The car behind us passed around us with no danger to the turtle but there was a large semi coming in the turtle’s lane.  That driver was able to make a switch to the left lane and thus, avoided hitting the little turtle.  And when I rushed over to snatch the turtle up from the asphalt, I saw the duct tape.  I knew it was our friend Hope.

We drove Hope into the driveway and we gave Hope a NEW duct tape job.  The shell appeared to be growing out and the legs and tail were functioning very well.  In fact, the tail was so tightly tucked when I was working the duct tape, that Dan had to hold it out while I eased the tape into place.  We called Lee, the one who originally brought Hope to the Harn, to let her know.  And then we assured that the edges of the shell had no sharp edges to catch and put Hope in the yard to roam free again.  Hope found the little pond in our yard and found shelter there.

Valve Turners

So this is the most magical part of the recent past…  I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Valve Turners to the area.  It’s been on our white board for months.  And after the last two weeks, I’ve seen so much of them I’m constantly pumped up!

We were able to watch the pre-trial adventure at the Clearwater County court house in late September and it was quite amazing.  [I predict Mayberry meets NYC…  Hopefully the technology of their building will allow for a 21st century trial because this may be the Trial of the Century…  McKibben, Hansen, and Lessig, oh, my!!]

We were honored to host three of the Valve Turners for the night recently and it was wonderful getting to know these people.  They would want you to know that they are nothing unusual.  They are normal, everyday people.   And this is true.  They are just normal people like  you and me.  I know I see them and speak of them as Rock Stars.  This is because I value the risk they were willing to take to send a message that we ALL need to be working to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of fossil fuels.  I am humbled by their willingness to risk jail time to stand against the corporations and governments that do nothing to help mitigate our tremendous addiction to fossil fuels.  For me, they will remain Rock Stars in the fight to end our addiction on fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy.  I’m glad to be fighting with them.  And, yes, any of us can join them.

Magical Neighbors…

We had a chance to host some kids recently at the Harn and our lovely neighbors with an Appaloosa farm let them ride horses, see pigs & geese & turkeys, and pet cats.  It was a lovely day on the farm – thanks to Devin and Amy (and the kids!) for all you shared!!

Our one neighbor Tom has an abundant apple tree in his yard that we love.  Every year Tom let’s us know when it’s time to pick.  And I let my other neighbor Connie know.  This year was so busy for me that Connie got out on a Saturday and by the time I got out three days later, the tree was picked cleaned!!  Luckily for me, Connie was willing to share her haul!

I could go on.  I have the most fun experiences with music, art. fun, food, and life.  I feel like life is very magical indeed.  I hope you can find the magic in your life as well.