Do This Before You Shop: Honest Assessment

I used to have a closet full of beautiful shirts.  Silky camisoles, cashmere tees, even a suede halter top, beautiful with heels and good denim.  I also managed to acquire other fun fancy items over time, like a vintage Pucci dress and some amazing Bottega stilettos.  I hardly ever went out, since I was teaching full-time while also attending graduate school.  But if the call came to hit the town feeling festive, as it did once in a blue moon, I was ready.

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Don't Feel Bad

In recent years we have been coming to a deeper understanding of our world and the damage that we inflict upon it.  There is no doubt that it is depressing; it can really get to a person.  In the same vein, if you follow sustainability topics related to apparel, textiles and fashion, you quickly become overwhelmed, reaching the conclusion that it is both difficult and expensive to make 'good' choices.

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I Heart Local News

I have come across several local news items in recent days that make me happy and proud to be a Minnesotan.  Our family has made some pretty dramatic work and lifestyle changes in order to get settled back in Minnesota.  We have always argued that the air and water here are clean, and that the schools and roads are (largely) cared for as they should be.  However, it has been a bumpy path finding the right professional situation allowing us to stay permanently, causing me to question at times our stubborn single-mindedness.  

While living in other cities and regions, it felt more difficult to care about local politics, or to feel like getting involved in local challenges.  I was less likely to trust institutions, feel the importance of voting, or to notice community resources.  But when I'm here at home, I naturally want to keep the water clean, get to know my neighbors, vote in local elections, plant things, and make sure that we are caring for our soil.  Especially in a political climate like this one.

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Role Models: Dr. Mae Jemison

I will never be a scientist, a mathematician, or a person who writes code for newfangled internet functions; that ship has sailed.  If I went back in time to the beginning of college, I would choose a double major that would include both a STEM major, in addition to my humanities major, in order to feed both my whole brain and my future job prospects.  It's too late for that...not technically, but at this point I'm moving on to other things and will instead try to convince my children of this wisdom when the time comes.

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Get Out of Town: Tips and Tricks

Minnesotans are a pretty quiet bunch.  We are serious and pretty hard-working, not too comfortable with flash and luxury, and for the most part we are busy worker bees.  However, we do harbor one indulgent habit...we stretch our summer weekends past the normal boundaries.  There are just not enough of them, so instead, we wiggle around the rules.  We sneak out early, we drop our bits in the car, and we get the heck out of town.  Over and over and over, all summer long.

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