Monday, November 5, 2012

Marvelous Monday: Week 45

This morning on our walk, I said to Josh, "This is a huge week!"

Mostly, of course, because Election Day is tomorrow. Every election is important, but there are some especially big, big questions and choices being posed to the voters tomorrow both in Minnesota and nationally. I've studied the ballot, and we will head to the polls before work to cast our votes and then monitor election coverage in the evening.

On a completely different note, we leave later in the week for our trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, which will include a Saturday in Knoxville to watch the Tennessee Volunteers take on Missouri! (In case you had any doubt, I'm beyond excited.) It's hard to believe that either event - Election Day or the trip - is actually here.

Before I go into my regular Marvelous Monday coverage, it's impossible to forget that so many people and places out east are recovering from the hurricane, and the stories and images coming out of the affected areas are unbelievable. The stories about people stepping up and helping out are equally striking. Just one initiative among many: I read about the Virtual Race for Hurricane Sandy Recovery at Lora's blog over the weekend. Lora and her friend (who live in New York and New Jersey) wanted to help by fundraising for the recovery effort, so they're organizing a virtual race: people pledge a "race fee" donation (100 percent goes to the Red Cross), run a race of any distance this month, and then report back about how the race went. I'm in! I think it's a creative way to spread the word about supporting the ongoing relief effort, and they've already raised $500. Check out this link if you want to sign up, too.

Now I'll share five marvelous tidbits to begin the week:

1) Reading report: I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which my mom picked up at a thrift shop and then passed along to me with her recommendation. I think the general consensus from what I've heard is that this book starts slowly and takes some time to hook a reader, and I do see that, but I loved it. There are four specific pages that are so beautiful that they're hard for me to read (if you've read the book, they're about the dog Almondine). I kind of wanted to rip out the pages to keep, but that is kind of selfish. I'll settle for copying the best lines in my little notebook.

Next up: a whole bunch of books are throwing elbows at each other to see which one I start with on vacation.

2) I successfully cooked beans last night on the stove. (Sara, don't tease!) Last time I tried to cook a bag of dried beans, they turned out weird and scary (read: under cooked, I think). These beans tasted good and went into the freezer for future use.

the bowl I picked
3) Over the weekend, I volunteered at a fantastic event with my friend. (Thank you for getting this on my radar, Lindsay!) It's Powderhorn Empty Bowls, a community event in the Minneapolis neighborhood for which local potters donate beautiful bowls. People come out in huge numbers, pay a $20 suggested donation for a bowl, fill it with homemade soup, and have dinner with their neighbors in the community center. The proceeds go toward hunger relief in that neighborhood. I was totally blown away by this event and the community it fostered.

4) Today I went home for lunch and took Wish for a walk, which is a midday highlight whenever I get to do it. We also played a fancy game of fetch that involved both his football and his baseball. The delight he finds in the football and baseball flying back and forth simultaneously is something to behold.

5) We cleaned the house yesterday (Wish watched, except for when the vacuum turned on, when he ran). It is most marvelous to come home to a bright and shiny home. Literally brighter, I should add - Josh replaced a high-up burnt-out lightbulb, and the bright light is thrilling!

Hey, Reader, do you know where to vote tomorrow? If you haven't already, when will you cast your vote?

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