Women who own or manage farmland in southeast Minnesota are invited to a free conservation discussion and field tour on Tuesday, July 23, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 500 3rd St. West, Northfield, MN. Coffee and registration begin at 8:30 a.m. A free lunch is provided. The program will end with wrap-up and dessert at 3:30 p.m.
Women, Food and Agriculture Network is sponsoring the meeting as part of its Women Caring for the Land series, in collaboration with the Land Stewardship Project, Cannon River Watershed Partnership, and the Center for Rural Affairs. Funding comes from a Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Women now own or co-own 25 to 50% of the farmland in the Midwest, and an increasing number of them are sole owners. “We have worked with women landowners for 15 years,” says Leigh Adcock, WFAN executive director. “They are some of the most dedicated conservationists in the region, but are typically overlooked with traditional conservation outreach, which is targeted at the tenant farmer.”
Women Caring for the Land meetings bring together women landowners in an informal, discussion-based learning format for a morning discussion, followed by a more in-depth look at the two or three topics of most interest. Female conservation professionals are on hand to answer questions and share resources. Following lunch, area conservationists lead a bus tour to view practices on the ground. Topics for discussion range from managing soil and water conservation, wildlife management and government cost-share programs, to how to talk with tenants about changing management practices.
“If I’d have known it would be so interesting, I would’ve brought a lot of friends along,” said one participant. Another said, “Thank you for explaining things in a way I could understand.”
2013 is the 50th anniversary of the Minnesota State Water Trails system, the first and largest in the nation. State Water Trails are recreational routes on waterways that are managed for canoeing, kayaking, boating and camping. They include a network of public water accesses, campsites and rest areas. They thrive on the support of local units of government, paddling clubs, nonprofits and outfitters. In the Cannon River watershed we are fortunate to have two State Water Trails: the Cannon River and the Straight River.
To celebrate this anniversary Cannon River Watershed Partnership is hosting some paddles on June 22nd and 23rd. Join us for a leisurely paddle exploring our wonderful waters!
There is no cost to join us (unless you need to rent a canoe or kayak) but preregistration is required by June 20th so we can plan out shuttling needs. Register by contacting Alana at (507) 786-3916 or email@example.com.
No one under the age of 18 without adult supervision. Life jackets/PFDs required. We will do a brief safety review at each site but paddling lessons are not part of this event. CRWP volunteers will be there to help people get in and out of the water and manage shuttling.
More details and information on canoe and kayak rental can be found at www.crwp.net, click on News and Events.
Route 1 – Cannon River – Cannon River Wilderness Area Park to Northfield
On June 4, Bridgewater Township invites the public to a feedback session on next steps to improve and protect Rice Creek (Spring Brook). The session will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, 500 Railway Street South, Dundas.
Rice Creek is the only trout stream in Rice County, but its health is threatened. The session will give you an opportunity to learn about the stream and provide input on plans to improve it. To spark your ideas, researchers will share findings from a two-year study of local brook trout, their habits and habitat.
How healthy is the trout population? Does their habitat need improvement? Where and when are pollutant levels highest? What is the source of cold water that trout prefer? What actions should we take and in what order? We will discuss these questions and more.
Spring is finally here. It’s time to get out and enjoy our wonderful watershed. The Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) invites you to learn to kayak in a relaxed setting on May 22nd – 6 PM – 7:30 PM.
Instructors: Marshall Wright (ACA instructor) and Betsy Wright.
Where: 5351 Elkton Trail, Faribault, MN.
Cost: FREE to CRWP members. To become a member go to the CRWP website.
Kayaking is a popular recreational activity for people of all ages. To enjoy kayaking safely you need knowledge, training and the ability to make informed decisions about wind, weather and waves. Proper boat selection based on the type of activity you wish to pursue in your kayak is an important consideration.
We will explain the different types of kayaks and terminology used to describe boat features and attributes. We will cover materials and boat “fit” and the different paddle designs available. We will have several kayaks for attendees to sit in to get the feel of the cockpit. And we will have a wide range of safety equipment–beyond life jackets (“pfds”).
We will also provide referrals to reputable sources for on-the-water training, outfitting and group touring. If time allows, Marshall will demonstrate a basic kayaking skill set on the water (if the ice is out on Cannon Lake and the air temperature is comfortable for class attendees) or in the pool.
Experiencing the water from the seat a of kayak is special. You are actually “in” the water, which is a unique point of view. Kayaking allows access to areas that can’t be reached by motorized craft or by hiking. It’s a silent sport that leaves a light footprint on the environment. Come learn about kayaking!
This is certain to be one of the coolest events in which I’ve been involved.
In addition to the Red Moon, Ben is the author of two short story collections, The Language of Elk and Refresh, Refresh, a graphic novel based on the short story Refresh, Refresh, as well as the novel, The Wilding.
The management of the Contented Cow in Northfield, MN announced today that they will host Down By the River: A Tribute to Neil Young on Saturday, May 11th, beginning at 4:00 in the afternoon. More than two dozen artists from Southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities will gather to perform the music of one of the most beloved and eclectic musicians of the past 50 years. Performers will play short 3-5 song sets that will span Young’s entire career.
Continuing a string of tribute events hosted by the Cow in recent years, the bill is stocked with talent.
“We have so many great musicians around here that we need to do something every now and then to showcase them,” said show producer Rich Larson of Left-Handed Entertainment. “When you pair that talent with a catalogue of songs that are as diverse as Neil Young’s, you’re bound to get an incredible evening.”
Larson says even Young’s non-fans should enjoy the event.
“Every now and then someone says they don’t like Neil Young because of his nasally voice. Well then, this is an opportunity for people to hear these incredible songs, performed by different voices. In fact, in some cases, you’ll hear them from some people who are incredible singers. Last year the Knightengales, the all-women a cappella group from Carleton College, stole the show when they performed at our Bob Dylan event. They’ll be back again this year, and I cannot wait to hear what they’ve come up with.”
And indeed, the bill does offer a diverse group of performers. Northfield folk/country singer “The Norwegian Cowboy” Jon Larson will be joined by venerable folk stalwart Bill McGrath, garage rockers Martin Anderson & The Goods, upstart punk rock group Some Kid’s Dad, and a host of others.
“It’s one of the things I love most about these shows,” said Larson. “We’ll have performers who are in their 60′s playing alongside college kids. And all of them are stunningly good.”
The show will also serve as the unofficial kickoff of the outdoor performance season.
“It’s been a long, long winter,” said Larson. “Nobody around here needs me to tell them that. But I’ve always said May is the month to be in this state. Everything is in bloom, the humidity is low, the bugs aren’t really out yet. The outdoor stage at the Cow sits just in front of the Cannon river. It’s a really beautiful setting, and their patio is so accommodating. We expect that we’ll have one of those spectacular May days where the weather is perfect, the music will be fantastic, and everybody will have an unforgettable time.”
Neil Young is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who is known for his eclectic, diverse songwriting. He’s best known for alternately playing soft, folk based songs like After the Gold Rush and Harvest Moon, and ear rattling hard rock like Cinnamon Girl and Rockin’ in the Free World. He has influenced countless artists, including Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews, Sonic Youth, and Pearl Jam. His work with his backing band Crazy Horse earned him the nickname “The Godfather of Grunge.”
Down By the River: A Tribute to Neil Young will be Saturday, May 11th, beginning at 4 p.m., and running deep into the evening. The Contented Cow is located at 302B Division Street in downtown Northfield. For further information, contact the Contented Cow at (507) 663-1351 or Rich Larson at (612) 756-0490.
From New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger comes a brilliant new novel about a young man, a small town, and murder in the summer of 1961.
“It’s been a while since a story forced me to abandon my plans for the day. This book has all the elements of a great mystery. The careful plot, skillful placement of evidence, and trajectory of suspense are all immensely satisfying. What sets this story apart is the unsettling detail of family love and the experience of grief.” –Ann Woodbeck, Excelsior Bay Books
“ Set in the early 60’s, it’s a story told from the perspective of 13-year-old Frank Drum when tragedy comes to call on his family. The author has really captured the era, the small town atmosphere, the Drum family and all the other memorable characters that make up this brilliant novel.Ordinary Grace will stay with me for a long time. ” –Kathleen Eddy, Manager, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN
All the dying that summer began with the death of a child . . .
New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.
Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard-bound older sister, and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother—he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.
Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer,Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.
William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of twelve previous Cork O’Connor novels, including Northwest Angle and Trickster’s Point, as well as the novel Ordinary Grace. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family.
“I was so moved by this book. I loved Molly and Vivian, two brave, difficult, true-hearted women who disrupt one another’s lives in beautiful ways, and loved journeying with them, through heartbreak and stretches of history I’d never known existed, out of loneliness toward family and home.” –Marisa de los Santos, New York Times-bestselling author ofBelong to Me and Falling Together
“I loved this book: its absorbing back-and-forth story, its vivid history, its eminently loveable characters. ORPHAN TRAIN wrecked my heart and made me glad to be literate.” –Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys
“Christina Baker Kline writes exquisitely about two unlikely friends . . . each struggling to transcend a past of isolation and hardship. ORPHAN TRAIN will hold you in its grip as their fascinating tales unfold.” –Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times-bestselling author of The Painted Girls
Detailed and beautifully drawn, Orphan Train illuminates a little-known part of America’s history: Between 1854 and 1929, so-called “orphan trains” transported more than 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children between the ages of 2 and 14 from the East Coast to the Midwest for foster care and adoption. But their treatment often amounted to indentured servitude. Chosen first were infants, for more traditional adoptions, and older boys, for their manual labor; adolescent girls were typically selected last. While some children quickly found love and acceptance, many walked a harder road.
Orphan Train is set in modern-day Maine and early twentieth-century Minnesota. Kline spends every summer on the coast of Maine and has built a large fan base in the area. She has also spent 25 years traveling to Minnesota where her husband’s family lives, and has strong ties to the orphan-train riders’ community in the state.
Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels, including Bird in Handand The Way Life Should Be. Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University from 2007-2011, Kline is a recent recipient of a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowship and several research fellowships (to Ireland and Minnesota), and has been a Writer-in-Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives with husband and three sons in Montclair, New Jersey, and spends as much time as possible in northern Minnesota and on the coast of Maine, where she grew up.
Help clean up the Cannon River and collect free soft water for your flower gardens. Join the Cannon River Watershed Partnership in learning about runoff and the benefits of rain barrels for water conservation and gardening. Go home with a fully assembled 55-gallon plastic rain barrel and the knowledge that YOU are doing something for clean water.
Northfield workshops will be held:
April 20th at 1:00 PM at First UCC Church, 300 Union Street as part of the Earth Day Celebration. Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (507) 786-3913. Cost is $40.
April 30th at 7 PM at the Northfield Community Resource Center, Room 225. Register through Northfield Community Services, #3275-W13A, Cost is $45.
By Elizabeth Kallestad, on March 29, 2013, 5:50 am
While it may not look much like spring today it’s coming soon – really! Cannon River Watershed Partnership has some fabulous opportunities for you to get outdoors, explore the watershed and celebrate spring.
Introduction to Kayaking – April 17th – 6 PM
Instructors: Marshall Wright (ACA instructor) and Betsy Wright.
Where: 5351 Elkton Trail, Faribault, MN.
Cost: FREE to CRWP members. To become a member go to the CRWP website.
This fall will mark ten years since the passing of Johnny Cash, one of the most beloved performers of all time. On Saturday, October 12th, the Paradise Center for the Arts (PCA) in Faribault will present Johnny Cash: A Tribute to the Man in Black. Eight selected bands and artists will perform songs written by and associated with Cash in a tribute to his enduring legacy.
To that end, the Paradise is sponsoring Paradise Live at Grandpa Al’s every Thursday night this summer, from June through August. Two to three bands will be invited to perform a 45 minute set at Grandpa Al’s in Faribault each week. They must play at least three Johnny Cash songs during their set, and are free to fill the rest of their time out however they choose. The best eight bands, selected by members of PCA’s music committee, will perform at the big show in October.
This is a call, then, to every musician in the state (and Wisconsin too, if need be). We need bands, we need solo performers, we need groups and combos. Come one, come all. Whatever type of music you play, if you think you’d want to get involved, get in touch with us. Send us a YouTube link, or a link to your website, or Facebook page, or MySpace. Or send us a CD. We’ll take a look and then see about putting you on one of the Thursday night bills. Send us your information to email@example.com.
Grandpa Al’s is one of the premier music venues in Southern Minnesota. Getting a gig there isn’t always the easiest thing to do. This is a rare opportunity to get some exposure on a great stage while paying tribute to an American legend at the same time. The scheduling begins in April, so we hope to hear from you soon.
From award-winning novelist Wendy Webb (The Tale of Halcyon Crane, winner of the 2011 Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction) comes a spine-tingling, modern-day haunted house story set on Lake Superior.
Grace Alban has spent twenty years away from her childhood home, the stately Alban House on the shores of Lake Superior — for reasons she would rather forget. But when her mother’s unexpected death brings Grace and her teenage daughter home, she finds more than just her own personal demons haunting the halls and passageways of Alban House.
Long-buried family secrets, a packet of old love letters, and a lost manuscript plunge Grace into a decades-old mystery about a scandalous party at Alban House during which a world-famous author took his own life and Grace’s aunt disappeared without a trace. That night has been shrouded in secrecy by the powerful Alban family for all of these years, and Grace realizes her family secrets tangle and twist as darkly as the hidden passages of Alban House. Her mother was intending to tell the truth about that night to a reporter on the very day she died. Could it have been murder, or was she a victim of the supposed Alban curse? With the help of the disarmingly kind — and attractive — Reverend Matthew Parker, Grace must uncover the truth about her home and its curse before she and her daughter become the next victims.
Wendy Webb is editor-in-chief of Duluth-Superior, an upscale lifestyle magazine. A journalist with two decades of experience, she lives in Minnesota.
The Truth About Love and Lightning
From the author of Little Black Dress comes a new novel about family, lies, and getting what you wish for…
“Seamlessly toggling between decades, McBride delivers a poignant page-turner with flawed but lovable characters.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“McBride’s novel is a gentle reminder of the unexpected and inevitable nature of change.” —Booklist
“A tender story of a mother and daughter in search of the man they love. Part mystery, part romance, it’s an emotional tale of the power of forgiveness. A truly notable book highlighting the importance of family, this novel is a must-read pick.” –MomTrends.com
Susan McBride weaves a tapestry of words, and balances wry humor with a deeply touching narrative in the story of one family, and the history of the lies that built it up. Pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s child, Abby Brink returns home to the family farm on the day of a twister, only to discover a mysterious man, struck by lightning—who ight be the father she’s wished would reappear in her life for years. In the midst of this chaos, Gretchen Brink, Abby’s mother and a compulsive teller of white-lies, becomes the caretaker for Abby and the mysterious stranger—all while nursing a fib that could shatter her family.
Susan’s own life is the stuff stories are made of. After being named one of St. Louis Magazine’s top 20 singles, McBride met and married her personal prince-charming, Ed, only to have this highpoint of personal happiness marred by the trauma of her battle with breast cancer. Now, McBride is stronger than ever, a survivor—and a new mother! Ed and Susan welcomed daughter Emily Alice into their family on June 28th. In the midst of all this familial bliss, it makes sense then that McBride’s latest novel revolves around the bond between a mother and a daughter. In the midst of all this familial bliss, it makes sense then that McBride’s latest novel revolves around the bond between a mother and a daughter.
Susan McBride is the author of women’s fiction, including The Truth About Love and Lightning, Little Black Dress, and The Cougar Club, as well as the award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries. She calls herself an “accidental cougar” after meeting a man nine years younger in 2005 when she was a St. Louis Magazine “top single.” They were married in February 2008 and live happily ever after in a suburb of St. Louis. She is a six-year breast cancer survivor and often speaks to women’s groups about her experience. In January 2012, she was named one of St. Louis’ “Most Dynamic People of the Year” by the Ladue News. In April 2012, she was given the “Survivor of the Year” Award by the St. Louis affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In late June of 2012, Susan and her husband, Ed, had their first child, Emily. As Susan likes to say, “Life is never boring!”
A man puts his beloved pets to the knife; a family prepares for the Rapture; a woman in a department store slips a necklace into her purse. Whatever the situation, the characters in This Jealous Earth find themselves faced with moments of decision that will forever alter the course of their lives.
Always moving and often touched with humor, Carpenter’s stories examine the tension between the everyday and the transcendent—our struggle to grasp what lies beyond our reach. Whether hawking body parts in a Midwestern city, orbiting through the galleries of a Paris museum or plotting sibling tortures in an Arizona desert, his characters lead us through a series of dilemmas of universal appeal.
Join us for a tantalizing wine tasting and auction experience. Enjoy a fabulous afternoon with friends sampling local wines from the Cannon River Winery and local foods from Thousand Hills Cattle Company and more, while bidding on fantastic auction items to support CRWP’s work for clean water.
Tickets are $30 each or two for $50. To purchase tickets contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org or (507) 786-3915. Tickets will be available at the door as well.
Address: 316 Washington Street, Northfield, MN 55057
“Armed with a truckload of new stories Mike Perry returns with an updated version of his popular Clodhopper Monologues. Mike takes to the stage with a microphone and a passel of stories that range well beyond the pages of this books. Whether discussing vicious chickens, homeless guinea pigs, long underwear for ladies, or getting your feelings hurt by the New York Times, Perry moves easily from the heartfelt to hilarious in an easygoing performance come have called “country stand-up.”
“With a playwright’s precise, sometimes excoriating dialogue and an insightful novelist’s judicious use of interior monologue, Stewart crafts a tearful yet unsentimental family coming-of-age story.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A poignant exploration of the meaning of family…the life they’ve lived was as much a gift as the life they lost.” –Booklist
“Domestic fiction fans favoring strong, intelligent characters will be intrigued by Stewart’s introspective examination of a family.” –Library Journal
Sometimes home is the hardest place to go.
In the newest novel by the celebrated author of The Myth of You and Me, three grown siblings return to their childhood home and face a family secret that forces them to reexamine their relationships.
Eloise Hempel is on her way to teach a class at Harvard when she receives a devastating phone call. Her sister and her husband have been killed in a tragic accident, and Eloise must return home to Cincinnati to take their three children out of the hands of her own incapable mother. She and her children move back into her mother’s century-old house and, after her mother leaves, pours her own money into its upkeep.
Nearly two decades later, Eloise is still in that house with now-grown children, still thinking about the career and life she left behind, even as she pushes the kids to get a move on. With a child leaving for New York City for a promising ballet career, Eloise has plans to finally sell the house and start a life that’s hers alone. But when her mother creates a competition for which of them gets the house and Claire turns out to have a life-changing secret, their makeshift family begins to fall apart.
The History of Us is a heartrending story of loss, sibling relationships, and the life you make in the path not taken.
Leah Stewart is the author of the novels Husband and Wife, The Myth of You and Me, and Body of a Girl. The recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship, she teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Cincinnati and lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children.
By Bridgette Hallcock, on January 24, 2013, 6:26 am
We are seeking an enthusiastic, sales-oriented individual to join our team. Prior customer service experience and recent cash handling skills are required. Position is available at our Premier Banks Northfield location. Position will average 30 hrs/ wk. including Saturday mornings. Schedule may vary every week.
Interested applicants may apply in person or send resume to Premier Banks, 112 East Fifth St., Northfield, MN 55057 or e-mail resume to email@example.com.
Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen and Canadian poet and graphic artist Basma Kavanagh will read from their work at Monkey See, Monkey Read on Saturday, January 19th, at 7 pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Basma Kavanagh, a visual artist, printer, and poet, will read from her recent books Distillo (Gaspereau Press, 2012) and A Rattle of Leaves (Red Dragonfly Press, 2012). Kavanagh is in Minnesota during the month of January as an artist-in-residence at the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts.
Her poetry displays a profound commitment to the natural world, so much so that her descriptions of both flora and fauna often feel like potent elixirs or ritual charms, rather than words on a page. Her artwork can be viewed at http://www.basmakavanagh.ca/
Joyce Sutphen, the current Poet Laureate of Minnesota and English professor at Gustavus Adolphus College, will be reading from her forthcoming collection After Words (Red Dragonfly Press, 2013), her fifth full-length collection and an obvious companion to her last collection First Words (Red Dragonfly Press, 2010).
These two books center around the poet’s family and life on a rural Minnesota farmstead. From these down-to-earth, Minnesotan themes, Sutphen crafts poems that are approachable yet deeply steeped in the tradition of English literature.
It’s down to the wire to get your Christmas shopping done and we can help. We’ve got a lot of great ideas to choose from. Of course we always have a great selection of books, both new and used. We also have a number of games, toys, coffee mugs, book lights and now t-shirts.
We offer free gift wrapping and Saturday we’ll have homemade cookies.
Our hours now through Christmas are Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-5, Sunday 12-4 and Monday, Christmas Eve, 10-4.
“There’s much to relate in this worthwhile read, from funny family and workplace tales to thoughtful musings on faith, mortality, and loyalty.” –Publishers Weekly
“Pandl’s Restaurant in Milwaukee is a Midwest tradition: What makes Julia Pandl’s memoir shine is not only its charm and humor but also its insider’s look at how high standards and love equals extraordinary food. In Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, she cooks up a delicious story that deserves a wide audience.” —Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean
For Julia Pandl, the rite of passage into young-adulthood included mandatory service at her family’s restaurant, where she watched as her father—who was also the chef—ruled with the strictness of a drill sergeant.
At age twelve, Julie was initiated into the rite of the Sunday brunch, a weekly madhouse at her father’s Milwaukee restaurant, where she and her eight older siblings did service in a situation of controlled chaos, learning the ropes of the family business and, more important, learning life lessons that would shape them for all the years to come. In her wry memoir, she looks back on those formative years, a time not just of growing up but, ultimately, of becoming a source of strength and support as the world her father knew began to change into a tougher, less welcoming place.
Part coming-of-age story à la The Tender Bar, part window into the mysteries of the restaurant business à la Kitchen Confidential, Julie Pandl provides tender wisdom about the bonds between fathers and daughters and about the simple pleasures that lie in the daily ritual of breaking bread.
Julia Pandl was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she still lives and works. Memoir of the Sunday Brunch is her first book. When she is not writing and otherwise working, she moonlights as a stand-up comic.
A Christmas Home
The touching sequel to the beloved novel A Dog Named Christmas.
On Sunday, November 29, 2009, more than 12.5 million families fell in love with the television adaptation of the novel A Dog Named Christmas. Within forty-eight hours after the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie aired, the initial run of twenty thousand DVDs sold out. Two years later, when Christmas with Tucker, the prequel to the McCray family stories, was released, it was described by Dean Koontz as ”a perfect Christmas read,” by A. J. Jacobs as ”lovely and poignant,” and by Publishers Weekly as ”cute, hopeful, and heartwarming.” Now, the much-anticipated third installment, A Christmas Home, will prove to be yet another holiday classic.
Watching their children move out and live independently is a difficult task for many parents — but for George and Mary Ann McCray, it’s nearly impossible. Even though Todd, their disabled son, is in his twenties, George and Mary Ann fear that he cannot thrive without their support and supervision. But Todd is determined to be his own person — and he has a dog named Christmas and an entire community ready to help him find his way.
Gregory Kincaid lives on a farm in eastern Kansas with his wife, two cats, and two dogs, including Rudy, adopted from a local shelter. When not writing, he is a practicing lawyer and pet-adoption advocate.
Small Business Saturday was a huge success at The Monkey this year. We saw more foot traffic and had a significant increase in sales. For that, I thank all of you who made it a big day for us. What are we doing to celebrate? We’ve ordered more inventory, lots of it.
We’re doing everything we can to make Monkey See, Monkey Read a better bookstore. Small Business Saturday was amazing. A great kick-off to the holiday shopping season. But it’s just one day. A business needs year-round support to succeed. We’ve had a great year so far and look forward to a busy December. I’m grateful that our little bookstore continues to thrive in a challenging economy. We owe our success to our many customers. Thank you.
We picked 20 of the coolest books in the store and will be discounting them 20% November 23 through the end of the year. The list has a little bit of everything. Four fiction, six non-fiction, five picture books, and five young adult novels. Here they are:
1. Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace by Mike Perry
2. Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King
3. Mighty Fitz: the Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Michael Schumacher
4. One for the Books by Joe Queenan
5. Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday by Jordan Matter
6. Minnesota Book of Skills: Your Guide to Smoking Whitefish, Sauna Etiquette, Tick Extraction, and More by Chris Niskanen
7. Illuminations: a Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen by Mary Sharratt
8. Poe’s Lighthouse edited by Christopher Conlon
9. The Fall of Alice K. by Jim Heynen
10. Dear Life by Alice Munro
11. Frozen by Mary Casanova
12. Keeping Safe the Stars by Sheila O’Connor
13. Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
14. Son by Lois Lowry
15. Fourmile by Watt Key
16. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
17. Black Dog by Levi Pinfold
18. Children of the Northlights by Ingri & Edgar Parin D’aulaire
19. Boot and Shoe by Maria Frazee
20. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: the Great Pancake Adventure by Matthew Luckhurst
By Elizabeth Kallestad, on November 23, 2012, 6:11 am
A few weeks ago most of us went to the polls and elected someone else to represent us in the state and federal government as members of the Minnesota Legislature, the US Senate and House of Representatives. We hope that they will convey what matters to us to these governing bodies. Sometimes we have opportunities to speak to these elected officials and the agency staff who carry out the work of government and voice our opinions. Over the next few weeks the Environmental Congress of the State of Minnesota is giving us a chance to do just that. So just what is this Environmental Congress? As it turns out, Minnesota law instructs the state Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to hold and Environmental Congress to:
Assess Minnesota’s progress toward improving and sustaining clean air, clean water, and clean energy in our communities
Engage Minnesotans in constructive public dialogue about our state’s environmental and economic health
Identify environmental challenges and opportunities to improve and sustain the health of Minnesota’s natural resources and quality of life
Define a vision, and recommend specific policy changes to learn from our past, build on our strengths, and leave a legacy for future generations of Minnesotans
The EQB will be presenting an environmental and energy “Report Card” at Citizen Forums around the state over the next few weeks to talk about the report card which measures Minnesota’s performance in clean air, clean water, and clean energy. These Citizen Forums are our chance to engage in conversations and give feedback on the report card findings and share our thoughts on these important environmental issues. The EQB will use this feedback as they host the Environmental Congress in March 2013. For information about dates, locations and more information on the Environmental Congress go to http://mn.gov/EnvironmentalCongress/forum.html.
Fans of Henry You’re Late Again will love Mary Bleckwehl’s latest book. Henry You’re Hungry Again is another wonderful story with great illustrations by Brian Barber.
Do you get crazy hungry like Henry? And what do YOU eat when you get really hungry? Healthy stuff like nuts? Or the best vegetable in the world–BROCCOLI? Not Henry! He prefers candy and fries, thank you! And a lot of it.
And what’s wrong with that? Nothing, if you don’t mind feeling shaky in gym class and having your teeth rot out. But what if your family and your teachers get the same idea to be sweet-aholics? Will everyone tumble into a junk food pit and never return? Or will someone come to the rescue?
Food is important, laughter is too! Get your dose today with HENRY! you’re hungry AGAIN?
Visiting the Visitors
Packy Mader will sign copies of his books during Winter Walk Thursday, December 6, 2012.
Some of the most wondrous gifts cost nothing. This is a story of such gifts.
On a silent and magical Christmas Eve night, three children and their grandparents bear gifts down the starlit path to a stable. They take this peaceful, wintry journey to thank the visitors of centuries ago for their historic and holy visit. The children deliver simple gifts and sincere gratitude to the visitors in tribute for that long-ago night honoring a newborn babe.
Illustrator Andrew Holmquist’s striking combination of glowing yellow interior scenes and deep blue exterior scenes captures the iconic images in a perfect light. The characters in the stable fill the page with such presence and quiet majesty that readers might catch themselves holding a breath.
Author Patrick “Packy” Mader continues his theme of heartwarming intergenerational stories from rural traditions with Visiting the Visitors, which joins a small stable of books celebrating growth of self and relationships: Opa & Oma Together, Oma Finds a Miracle, and Big Brother Has Wheels.
This is Packy’s best work yet. Andrew Holmquist’s stunning illustrations compliment this beautiful story.
By Elizabeth Kallestad, on October 19, 2012, 9:29 pm
When you turn on the tap for a glass of water does it come out full of suds or clear? Have you seen the Cannon River or the Mississippi River burst into flames lately? Without actually checking everyone’s taps I’d wager that the water you are drinking is free of suds and to the best of my knowledge our rivers haven’t been ablaze. Why am I even asking these weird questions?
Forty years ago these things did happen. The levels of water pollution had gotten so bad in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s that something had to be done. The Clean Water Act was a landmark piece of legislation that was passed by Congress, vetoed by President Nixon and then overridden by a landslide in Congress on October 18, 1972 and is now marking its 40th Anniversary.
This rule set out standards for the waters of our nation with objectives and goals for the conditions they should be in. It provides the guidelines for states with regard to regulating sewage and industrial waste and other pollutants that affect our waters. Wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act through “dredge and fill” permits. The Act has been revised a few times adding provisions for stormwater runoff, groundwater protection and dealing with toxic pollutants.
In a 1958 memo, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources stated that the Cannon River near Faribault was uninhabitable for fish due to all the industrial pollution. That same river now boasts some 42 species of fish. We’ve come a long way! We are treating our sewage, industrial discharges and doing a better job with urban stormwater runoff. But we still have a ways to go.
Our stormwater management is good but it could be better. There is still pollution coming from our farm fields and other land areas – referred to as nonpoint source pollution. The Clean Water Act has very little teeth when it comes to this type of pollution.
But with or without regulation, we have the ability, technology, and know how to make some substantial improvements. It’s going to take hard work, compromise and financial resources but I know we can do it. I hope when I’m an octogenarian and we are celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act we’ll be able to say that our waters now truly meet the Clean Water Act’s goal of fishable and swimmable water.
Want to help? Contact me at the Cannon River Watershed Partnership and we’ll find a way for you to pitch in.
“To be submerged in the frothing, watery world of Peter Geye’s The Lighthouse Road is to be baptized anew in the promise of American letters. I defy you to bear witness to the tormented tenderness of Odd Eide, to suffer and love and row beside him in his skiff, without throwing down your nets.
Here is an epic that spans more than generations. Here is an epic that spans the topography between hell-dark bear dens and moonlit lake water. Here is a novel that charts the whole of the human heart.” —Bruce Machart, author of The Wake of Forgiveness
Against the wilds of sea and wood, Thea Edie, a young immigrant, settles into life outside Duluth in the 1890s, still shocked to learn that her resident family has fallen apart and that she is adrift; in the early 1900s, her orphan son, now grown, falls in love with the one woman he shouldn’t and uses his best skills to build them their own small ark to escape. But their pasts travel with them, threatening to capsize even their fragile hope.
In his triumphant return, Peter Geye crafts another deeply moving tale of a family defined in part by the rough landscape in which they live, and in part by the rough edges of their own breaking hearts.
Peter Geye received his BA from The University of Minnesota, his MFA from the University of New Orleans, and his PhD from Western Michigan University, where he was editor of Third Coast. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and continues to live there with his wife and three children. He is the author of the award winning novel, Safe from the Sea.
I Will Not Leave You Comfortless
“Jeremy Jackson’s swirling memoir is built upon layers of well-chosen detail—it remembers theweather, the geography, the history of plowed earth, the coal-smoke taste of coffee, and the aching love between the lines of handwritten letters.
The result is like peering through a new lens at a familiar hillside, or walking through the pastures of your childhood and discovering they were bigger, not smaller, than you recall—now that is the mark of a generous writer.”—Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River and So Brave, Young, and Handsome
With storytelling informed by a profound sense of place and an emotional memory startlingly vivid, Jackson stands poised to join the ranks of renowned memoirists the likes of Tobias Wolff. Readers young and old will be transported and transformed by his unforgettable coming-of-age tale.
I Will Not Leave You Comfortless is the intimate memoir of a young boy coming to consciousness in small-town Missouri. The year 1984 brings ten-year-old Jeremy first loves, first losses, and a break from the innocence of boyhood that will never be fully repaired. In that pivotal year, he loses his grandmother and his sister leaves for college, life-altering events by which he is forever shaken.
Narrated from several points of view that give the reader a rich and wide vision of the family, Jackson’s ten-year-old voice is the pivot around which the story turns. In many ways, Jackson’s style is a hybrid of the novel and the personal narrative.
Jeremy Jackson is the author of two novels, Life at These Speeds and In Summer. A graduate of Vassar College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he lives in Iowa City. Jackson is also the author of young adult novels under the name Alex Bradley, and cookbooks, includingThe Cornbread Book, which was nominated for a James Beard Award. He has written about food for the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post.
Griff Wigley: Register/attend the Bridge Square live web conference, tonight at 7 pm.
Griff Wigley: The Northfield Bridge Square straw poll is ready. It only takes 5 minutes to complete, unless of course, you choose to include comments with it.
Griff Wigley: Northfield News article by Grace Webb: The future of Northfield’s Bridge Square will be topic of second open house
Griff Wigley: Concepts for a Future Bridge Square Save the date: Open House #2, Dec 9, 5:30-7:30 PM, Archer House; Save the date: Live Web Conference, Dec 11, 7-8:30 PM Recent blog posts (these are all clickable links): * Northfield Park &...
Griff Wigley: New post: Oct. 23 Bridge Square open house: photos, documents, comments, feedback
Griff Wigley: Northfield City Engineer Joe Stapf sent me these photos today of the repairs to Armstrong Road and the adjacent Mill Towns Trail. Joe wrote: The trail paving is complete (still being rolled so not yet open), and the roadway is...
Doug Peterson: Hi Griff, After reading Jan Hill’s reply, I realize my mis-understanding on “riding the rails”. You got me. Can I blame that on getting old?
Jan Hill: I knew this was a send-up, Griff, having investigated possible routes ourselves (and knowing you!) But I thought for sure the cyclist on the rail was a fake–until I watched the video. Now that’s scary.
Griff Wigley: Nick, I’ve heard from another Northfielder on this who wrote via email: The part where you suggest that riders go on to the active rail line does not make good common sense to me. I have worked on the railroad as a head...
Nick Benson: Your non-pussy readers should note that trespassing on railroad tracks, as shown there, is both dangerous and illegal; trains can be surprisingly quiet when approaching on smooth welded rail like that, which doesn’t...
Ross Currier: I just walked through Bridge Square and ALL THREE of the tables were occupied. It didn’t look like they were playing chess, though, more like eating lunch… …and what a day for it, in beautiful downtown Northfield,...
Griff Wigley: The three picnic tables were installed last week. Each has an inlaid backgammon and chess/checkerboard. I’ve added photos to the blog post above.
Griff Wigley: Joe, thanks for that explanation. And if your eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Gentilini, is still around, I think she might approve of your communications style.
kiffi summa: Joe or Mr. Stapf… Thanks for the explanation; I think its/they’re great, and long overdue… I just didn’t want anything to put off the Bridge Square redesign implementation … and often it’s...
Joe Stapf: Ah-h-h-h, yes, The Gaming Tables… Question #1) Who authorized them!!!??? I did. The picnic tables (if you recall, a trial) were deemed by me to have been a success. We received absolutely 100%, pure, unadulterated positive feedback...
Griff Wigley: Two new parking-related blog posts: A bicycle field trip with Dale Gehring to get smarter about ‘making the connections’ http://northfielddowntownparki ng.org/2013/08/30/a-bicycle-fi eld-trip-with-dale-gehring-...
Griff Wigley: New blog post: Proposed layout of directional and way-finding signs for public parking
Griff Wigley: New blog post: Washington St. lot restriped to optimize parking spaces
Griff Wigley: Blog post update: recommended downtown parking management action steps for Aug. 13 Council work session
Griff Wigley: Blog post update: July 31 parking management planning meeting at City Hall
Griff Wigley: There is a Prayer Walk for the Northfield School District today, 4-8 pm: By Maria KayLynn Olson and Kiersten-Kiwi Williams Bielenberg Schedule: 4:00-4:25 Prairie Creek 4:30-4:55 Arcadia 5:00-5:25 Greenvale 5:30-5:55 Sibley 6:00-6:25...
Griff Wigley: Hi Marie, thanks for asking. I’ll contact you via email.
Marie Wright: I’d like to use this photo on my website. My theme is vintage Main Street USA. I feel that I need your permission to copy this photo and use it. (Julia Rose Grey is my pen name for my genre of novels.)
Griff Wigley: Dave, I like the two-prong attack, too. Can you let us know when the short-term task force is due to meet? I’d like to attend, and I’m sure some of the neighbors would as well. And make sure that pizza with mushroom...
Griff Wigley: Nfld News article on Tuesday’s Council action on this issue: Subcommittee to explore fixes for tax-forfeited land acquired by Northfield During heavy rain, water has overtaken the yards and basements of Karen Moldenhauer and...
David DeLong: Griff, I’m told there’s over 50,000 cubic yards of dirt in the pile which translates to over 2,500 dump truck loads. I think there’s enough to go around. The problem is moving all that over residential streets, if we sell it or...
Griff Wigley: At last night’s meeting, the City Council opted to A) form a 4-week task force of 3 council members plus engineering staff and citizens to deal with the runoff problem in the neighborhood; and B) ask the Parks & Rec...
kiffi summa: good to know, Griff… I trust that you’re correct about the amount of dirt needed for the create of a bike park. Maybe if there’s so much more than needed, a berm could be created between the park and the houses, if...
Nancy Averill: Ah KDWB. THE best radio station ever. We had the KDW-Beatles. We had the KDW-Beach Boys. We were color radio. We had leaky billboards. I maintain that Professor James Francis Patrick O’Neill is the very basis of my humor. We...
Griff Wigley: Paul/George, they reopened the old culvert and put in a new larger secondary one. I’ll try to get photos.
Griff Wigley: Thanks everyone for your kind comments about the photos. I’ve added a few of downtown to the blog post above. See Rob Hardy’s comprehensive listing of links related to the flooding on Northfield.org.
George Kinney: I agree, Paul. And now would be the time to properly size all three culverts for the three transportation modes cut by the latest flood. Then start thinking about mitigating all the flooding in our region, since it seems to be...
Brendan Gilmore: Amazing pics. Bet you didn’t know one of those orange/yellow lines carries all CenturyLink long distance traffic from the whole state of South Dakota. Still down as of now.
Griff Wigley: July 2 StarTribune: With schedule change ruled out, Northfield looks at other options to close achievement gap Reminder: School Board work session on achievement gap and ‘summer slide’ to follow Monday’s Board...