I don’t live in Minnesota anymore. But while you can take the girl out of Minnesota, you can’t take Minnesota out of the girl.
We Minnesotans are a special lot. Good work ethic. Nature lovers. Politically schizophrenic. Minnesota once elected the most conservative senator in the U.S. Senate and the most liberal one. At the same time. And yes, we’re the state that called Jesse Ventura “governor.” We’re a hearty stock who would rarely ask, “Is it hot enough for ya?” but would often say, “Cold enough, eh?”
When a Minnesotan leaves Minnesota, she never completely acclimates to her new surroundings. They’re always seen through the prism of a buttoned-up Scandinavian with a Lutheran upbringing. And warm boots.
I’m a 54-year-old writer, storyteller and occasional accountant. A few days a week, my two cents are worth a post on a variety of issues, sometimes offered with humor, sometimes wistfulness, sometimes outrage.
This blog is about my everyday life as a former Minnesotan, spending my summers in a 128-year-old former Methodist church in southern Wisconsin and my winters in the glorious sunshine of Texas. A news junkie who loves books, I enjoy Major League baseball (I root for the Twins and any team which plays against the Chicago White Sox) and discussions about spirituality, politics and culture. And I love a good recipe, usually accompanied by a bad picture. Like the Farmers’ Almanac, this blog contains “bits of logic, formulas for good cookery, weather prognostications, humor, poetry and odds and ends designed for your enjoyment and edification.”
I’ve published five books:
- Fruitful Labor: How to Live to 104 Gracefully, Gratefully (2020): A biography of my grandmother who lived, gardened, believed and baked pies in a small town in Central Minnesota.
- Church Sweet Home: A Renovation to Warm the Soul (2020): The story of how my husband and I converted an old Methodist church into our home.
- Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise or Repeat: On Finding the Meaning of “Life” in 1982 (2017): I’m classifying this as “historical fiction” about the year I turned 15 and learned to French kiss.
- How to Look Hot & Feel Amazing in Your 40s: The 21-Day Age-Defying Diet, Exercise & Everything Makeover Plan (2015): A combination health-and-fitness memoir and beauty manual for 40-somethings battling perimenopause.
- The Percussionist’s Wife: A Memoir of Sex, Crime & Betrayal (2012): This page-turner is a memoir of my first marriage.
To follow news about my books and posts about writing, check out http://mindfulmonica.wordpress.com/
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I am impressed. I’m just a bit hurt that the beautiful young lady that runs this blog (she doesn’t look 42) never mentioned her wonderful pastor.
I promise to read your blog on a regular basis. Very enjoyable. God bless you and yours
Trek: Wild ride. Spock can get his green blood boiling when he wants to.
It’s so nice to enjoy your writing again! I’m in Royalton now and have gotten to know Jon Freer. I’ll share your blogsite with him.
Hello from the island! I just discovered that you’ve added little ol’ me to your blogroll. Merci! I shall send some good energy into cyberspace and so the same. I, too, lived in Chicago (I love that city!) and have some excellent friends who call it home. The Frenchman even became a fan of the Cubs even though I warned him that they would continually break his heart. Seek enjoyment in the day!
Hi, nice to meet you !
I just moved to Atlanta from Minnesota so your words humored me! I went to school in Bemidji.
I just saw your blog under travel. Funny, I am a Minnesotan, moved to Chicago where I lived five years and married, brought my husband back here to SW Minneapolis. I do dearly love Chicago but am becoming happy being here in MN as it is such a great place to raise a family. All my family has moved around so we are really spread out but we still have tons of friends and family in Chicago. I look forward to reading your blog!
I’m glad you found me! Love the concept of your thirdeyemom blog (as a former international traveler, we need more open minds here!), and I’ve added your general mom blog to my favorites!
Found you on FP, congratulations. I’m a Minnesotan who now lives in Wisconsin but stills works in Minnesota, in fact I still say I’m from Minnesota. I would imagine several hotdishes are part of your recipe collection. Good luck in your endeavors.
No hotdishes. I’m a Minnesota freak that way. I did make Quinoa Fig Pilaf as a squash stuffing yesterday though!
Hello! I love blogs about my home state. I’m a Minnesotan who currently lives in New Zealand! I don’t blog about home much, but maybe I should, eh? LOL!
Why not? I moved two states away and feel like I got a new perspective. You’re living on the other side of the world! Talk about a new perspective!
Yes you should. I’m a NYC native who has been in the Twin Cities for 35 years. It’s a great place to live still, and it’s the end of November with sunshine, warmer than usual temperatures and no snow yet on the ground. A perfect start to the hibernation months.
I haven’t lived in Minnesota in years, but it never does leave you (even if you’re living halfway across the world)! There is seriously lack of “dontcha knows” in my life – it’s always great to be reminded of home. Thanks!
I’m a transplant in the opposite direction- I’m originally from Naperville, Illinois (a not so tiny suburb of Chicago) and now live in and deeply love Minneapolis. Best of luck in the book publishing!
Can’t wait to see what else is in store! Got to love MN 🙂
OH. mygoodness! I found this through the weekly photo challenge, and there you are, talking about Minnysohtah! I had to laugh all the way through – my husband is from St Paul. Need I say more? LOL I’ve been there once in the winter and once in the summer. Our dream is to buy a little place by a lake there – know where there might be a lake with a small place by it for sale??? I got a feeling I’ll be following your blog now!! Yup..
Actually, I was boating a couple weeks ago with my brother-in-law around the lake where he lives with my sister and he was pointing out place after place for sale. Stock up on mosquito repellent!
oh, yah, I hear ya!! LOl Lord willing, we’ll actually find my husband’s dream place!!
Thanks for following my site, MT! Hope you enjoy visiting often. I have loved cruising around here!
I’m not from Minnesota, but love watching “New in Town” (just saw it the sixth time, last night) and was raised Lutheran — good enough? 😀
Oh, yes, good enough! “New in Town” is one of the more flattering Hollywood perspectives on my home state!
We have relatives in Wisconsin, but have never gone up there. We did travel north, but to Vancouver and then east to drop down through the Dakotas. I loved the Badlands! I love the north. I live in the south. Thanks for your site and your acceptance. 🙂
Thanks for the follow & great blog, I look forward to reading more! 🙂
just stopped by to check this out. I’ve lived in Minnesota almost all of my life, but am getting an urge to change that late in life. So glad to hear there is a life after Minnesota. 🙂
I’ll never move back. I enjoy visiting my family there, but the weather here, only two states south, is so much better. There IS life after Minnesota.
Heh! Go Twins!! (They’re losing to Tampa Bay (again) as I write this.)
Ugh. They’re hard to watch this year.
Yeah… twice I’ve had to relegate them to “game on in the background” status. Boston and Cleveland was fun, but those teams aren’t that tough right now. The rubber is meeting the road on this Rays series… and the game is on in the background.
I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award here:
Great to find your blog! I left MN in my early 30s, 24 yrs. ago for So. California. I so identify with your first line here…even all these years later, I am a Minnesotan at heart. I look forward to hearing more about home:)
Indeed, you can’t escape your roots. Hope your find some interesting reading here occasionally.
I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogger Award (http://aprobertsstories.wordpress.com/awards/super-sweet/). You are an amazing person and I hope that someday I have even half the grace and wisdom you possess.
Seems that the inability to lose our roots, no matter where we go, is universal. I experienced the same when I left my place of birth (Australia) back in the mid-90’s, bound for the bright lights of your country. I ended up staying for 10 years – but never lost that Aussie persona. Now back home for 7 years, there’s a piece of your country that has attached itself to my persona. I think that’s the beauty of living elsewhere – you pick up bits and pieces and they become a part of you as well.
I just landed on your blog, and following you now. I look forward to your future posts.
Cheers from Brisbane, Australia.
Welcome! I hope you enjoy some of my nonsense. Thanks for stopping by and subscribing.
Looking forward to hear more from you
Thanks for stopping by and subscribing. Sending positivity your way.
Hello I was a mn transplant to SC but alas I came back, live in the twin cities 🙂
Nice blog! I’m a MN transplant to Oregon, and like you, I love MN but will never go back. I completely understand seeing the world from behind Scandinavian Lutheran MN lenses. When you mentioned you like a good recipe accompanied by a bad picture, it made me think of the James Lileks Gallery of Regrettable Food. Although those recipes are probably just as questionable as the pictures.
Bookmarking you… 🙂
James Lileks? From the Star Trib? I’ve gotta check that out. Thanks for the note.