My Advice…. Dream and go BIG


Over the past few weeks (ok months really) I have been chatting here or there about the idea of a Gatsby event in our home town. It stuck in my head a couple of years back when I heard that the Roseville Library in the Cities had such an event.  To quote Harry Potter just because I want to I thought the idea was brilliant.

The author of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a Minnesota author.  Gatsby, set in the 20’s has a lot of appeal right now with swing dance lessons being popular, the clothing styles, and just the ability to dress up in fun and gorgeous costumes.

When our Friends board decided to give it a go our main draw was to attract a new group of people beyond those that come to our Wine and Words event.  We knew there would be some overlap of attendees to both events, but felt this might appeal to the 20’s to 40’s age group (which it did…. and then some!)

In a book I recently read… the question was presented…

Do you think it is better to fail at something worthwhile, or succeed at something meaningless?

I dreamed for Gatsby to be worthwhile.

From the start, I had a vision in mind of a jazz band, dancers, a photographer, awards, and 20’s style drinks to try.  It slowly came together.  The Brainerd High School jazz band said yes to using volunteer community hours to play for us.  My good friend and photographer Joey Halverson offered to be our event photographer, a local lady who knew my mom made our trophies and donated the printing which brought our cost way down, and the venue we used, Arrowwood Lodge was willing to work with us on providing a drink option called The Bee’s Knees and a Mary Pickford.

Our goal was 100 guests.  We closed out 2 days prior to the event at 191.  If we would have been able to keep selling tickets we would have been over 200.  Most amazingly, almost everyone of those people dressed up.  I would say close to 98%.  People really got into it.  But you don’t have to take my word for it…


PicMonkey Collage 1


PicMonkey Collage 2

PicMonkey Collage 3

PicMonkey Collage 4

PicMonkey Collage 5

Besides the great 20’s look, amazing photos, excellent jazz music, food, drinks, and dancing – the local newspaper also came and took a ton of pictures for the paper as well as made an amazing video of the event.  Not only did we attract a younger age group, we had an amazing diverse mix of ages which was an awesome bonus.  We would call this a wonderful success.

You can see all the pictures on our website page.  You can see the fun short video here.

I will add this to Saturday Snapshot this week…. a walk back in the 20’s that is what I have been up to.

Next up… Wine and Words.


Morning Meanderings… We Need A Little Gatsby.


Anyone else feel like the days are moving too quickly?  I mean, it is the 5th already.  Seems like I was just trying to make my way through the land mines of Christmas and now we are in a whole new year.  I have such mixed feelings about that and the worst part of it is, there is not a thing I can do about how I feel.

Yesterday was 9 months.  That is beyond crazy.  I didn’t say it out loud to anyone.  I didn’t need one more pitying look of “oh, she still counts the days,”  I imagine those who have walked this path before me get to that same point…. people do not necessarily want to know that you are still at an enormous level of pain.  People want you to “get better” “move on” “be who you once were” and I am not sure if any of those things are in my near future.



Last February my friend Amy and I went to a Library fundraiser in St Paul Minnesota.  It was a Gatsby event and I was beside myself with excitement  to see how they would pull this event off.  I already was having visions of how I could have such an event in my area.  We were going to be early to the event so we decided to go and surprise my son Justin who was working less than 5 minutes away from where we needed to be.  This is another one of those crazy things I am so thankful for… I had bonus time with my son that I did not plan for but it just happened.  We hung out with him for about an hour, shared an appetizer and were on our way.


This year, I am happy to announce that Gatsby will be happening in my home town.  The Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library will be sponsoring this event on March 18th. Justin and I had talked about this.  I have tried for two years to make this happen.  Initially the plan was to do it last spring and things did not work out that way and now knowing how everything went down last spring I am so thankful for that.  If we had been planning Gatsby, I may not have been with my son on April 1st and 2nd. I may have been too busy to get away.  Crazy how things work out but there it is.

Here is a link to our Gatsby event.  We have a live jazz band, a local dance studio providing swing lessons, an EXPERIENCE auction and a costume contest.  I wish with all my heart that Justin was here because I know he would attend and he would bring friends…  but I do know he is proud of me for doing what I said I hoped to do.  So Gatsby…. it is.


In other news my first book, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone is coming along nicely.  At first I struggled a bit and was unsure if I had made the right choice.  This copy of the book is Justin’s and I was hoping to find comfort in touching each page as he had. It took a while to pick up the flow but a couple of nights ago while Al watched the football game I curled up in bed with this book and it started to come together for me.  I am so glad I chose this book to start 2016.

How is your first book coming along? 


Morning Meanderings… Books and Gatsby!


Good morning!  Happy Sunday!  It is a coffee day for sure!

Last night was the Ramsey County Library Fundraiser for the Library, The Gatsby Party.  Far be it from me to pass up an event where you get to dress up as well as drag along my partner in crime, Amy.

We had such a good time!

First off we stopped at where my son works as it was 5 miles from the party.  We had a drink and an horduerve there.


Then we invaded their bathroom and changed for the party…


We had so much fun.





There will be more pictures coming from the event this week and I will probably post those next Saturday.  Anyway, music, food, photo booth, auction.. fun.  We drove back last night after the event which brought us home right about midnight.  Thankfully today is a nice relaxing day so I can catch upon some things here but for the most part today will be books and movies. 🙂

Speaking of books…


Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton (audio)

I Remember You by Cathleen Davit Bell (audio)

The Best Of Me (movie!)

The Precious One by Marisa De Los Santos (16 copies from Harper Collins for our book club)

The STRANGER by Harlan Coben


Fun line up of reads.  Hope your Sunday is wonderfully low key 🙂

Morning Meanderings… Getting My 20’s On… Gatsby Style


Good morning!  Thursday already!  I am not even sure how that happened…  I went through most of yesterday thinking it was Tuesday.  No idea where I lost a day.

I have been back and forth on an event in Roseville Minnesota coming up this Saturday.  It is a Gatsby event for their library sponsored by their friends group.  I sooooo want to do an event like this in Brainerd in 2016.  Months ago I said I would attend but then coming back from our long trip, I suddenly just wanted to stay home.  (I kind of still do).


Yet… as the event draws closer… I became inspired.  Yesterday morning I looked at what I had in my closet of dresses and found one or two that will work… then I went to our local party store and found a wig.. yes a wig… that will also work.

I think I want to go.

It sucks that it is 2 hours away… but with a little luck, next year it wont be.  🙂


So that’s what I am up too.

Remember my word for this year is “emerge”… and I need to emerge out of this house.  lol

Today I have a freelance project to start moving on, a mailing for the library, work out session, and the start of the flyer for the bike ride in July for Camp Benedict.  I do not lack for things to do. 😉