Jul/Aug
2018

ISLAND LIFE

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Written by JORRIE JOHNSON

I recently traveled to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands as a part of the first Adult and Continuing Education travel seminar through Winona State University. Dr. Tamara Berg, director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Winona State University, organized the trip based on the course she has been teaching for more than 12 years. She has developed invaluable connections on St. Croix to help students—and now voluntourists—immerse themselves in the history, culture and tropical island lifestyle. While hiking through the forest we learned about the plant-life as well as the history of enslaved African laborers from St. Croix ecologist Olasee Davis. Mistreatment of African slaves in the Caribbean islands occurred concurrently with indigenous people of our area being forced off their land. Emancipation of the Caribbean islands began in the early 1800s and not until July 3, 1878, on St. Croix.

In this issue of Rochester Women magazine, you can learn more about Prairie Island Mdewakanton Dakota history (page 19). It is our privilege to share their story and tell you more about their successful business known as the “Island.” These days Treasure Island is much more than a casino, it’s a place for the whole family to get-away and have fun not-so-far-away.

July finds us at the tail end of strawberry season in southeastern Minnesota, while midsummer berries will arrive soon. Despite her loss of memory due to Alzheimer’s, my grandma would tell us about how she loved to eat fresh-picked raspberries with ice cream as a child in Michigan. I remember going to Bridgeman’s as a child and ordering a malt or shake in a tall glass, served with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Read about and make some of your own berries and ice cream memories (page 27).

Summer is a busy time of year as you will see in this issue of Rochester Women with garden parties, tours, fairs (page 31) and festivals (page 38). I hope you do something that makes you happy each and every day like we Rochester Women do (page 22). Try to stay cool during the dog days of summer.

Thank you to our advertisers who give us the opportunity to do what we love (write, photograph and design) for Rochester Women magazine (see page 22). Together we are “empowering women to live passionately!”

Jorrie Johnson

 

May/Jun
2018

My Personal Passions

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

I am passionate about taking care of myself by making time to exercise, eating healthy and getting enough sleep. I am also passionate about my financial security, so I work a full-time day job and manage RochesterWomen magazine. I am passionate about being a good mom, spending time with my 12-year-old son on a daily basis and my college-aged children as often as I can. I am also passionate about maintaining relationships with my extended family and friends. When I choose in favor of my passions, I choose with intention for less tension. However, there are days that my passions come in conflict with each other and in those instances, what rises to the top is, of course, my role as a mom. My son had the flu four times this winter, causing me stress. Fortunately, he is old enough to stay home alone while I worked, but what fell to the bottom of the list was taking care of myself. It’s the reality of motherhood, especially single motherhood.

If you can relate to my passions and struggles, you will enjoy many of the articles we have gathered for you for this May/June Mother’s Day issue. We featured my friend Allison Loftus in the May/June 2017 issue, and this year she shares her creative writing and counseling skills with RochesterWomen magazine readers (page 11). Following is our I Am a Beautiful Rochester Woman story about Acasia Wegner, a young heart attack survivor and mother (page 13). Continue on through this issue for Mother’s Day gift ideas and brunch recipes (pages 24-25).

On the cover of this issue is JoMarie Morris who, coincidentally, we featured in the first Spring issue of RochesterWomen magazine 18 years ago. “Climbing Up the Legal Ladder, law partner JoMarie Morris,” written by Amy Swain covered Morris’ single motherhood, law career and challenges she faced as a woman in a male-dominated field. Much has changed in the world since then and for Morris who is now heading the Jeremiah Program in Rochester, helping women and children in at-risk situations move ahead two generations at a time.  

All moms know there’s just not enough time in the day to take care of themselves some days, but I do encourage you to take some time for yourself this Mother’s Day and as often as you can. If you are a mom, thank you for putting so much of yourself into making someone else’s life better. You are appreciated.

Jorrie

 

Mar/Apr
2018

Empowering Women to Live Passionately

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

I have been thinking about what it was like 18 years ago when I started Rochester Women magazine, what has changed and what has stayed the same. Rochester Women magazine’s mission remains the same: Help area women connect with each other and the community. However, as a result of taking the Passion Test several times, we have redefined our purpose: Empower women to live passionately. 

You (our readers) and the world we live in have changed. The population of Rochester has increased by more than 25,500 since 2000.* The median age in Rochester has increased from 34.3 in 2000 to 35.4. There are now 32.6 percent more housing units in Rochester, and 44 percent of them have children under 18. In 2000 there were 2,883 female householders with no husband present. In 2017, there were 4,076 female householders, 66 percent with own children under the age of 18. Of the adult (over 18 years) population, 47.9 percent (40,438) are male and 52.1 percent (43,922) are female. 

 

Jan/Feb
2018

Love

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

Who do you love? What do you love? What do you love to do? In this January/February 2018 issue of Rochester Women magazine, delve into desires and passions of your heart. Read  “The Passion Test” (page 10) and “Desire Mapping” (page 12).  

Last winter, for my soul and social life, I gathered a group of women from church at Dunn Brothers Coffee one evening a month. I looked forward to getting out with other women for stimulating conversation, coffee or wine. (Yes, they serve wine at Dunn Brothers Coffee.) Developing a community of women is what I love doing with Rochester Women magazine as well. See “Community Begins with Coffee” (page 40).

 

Nov/Dec
2017

Compassion

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Written by By Jorrie Johnson

Our City of Rochester’s resolution to be a compassionate city was signed on September 18, 2017. On Sunday, October 22, 2017, “People of all faiths and cultures were invited to experience diverse practices of compassion for the purpose of weaving healing and peace in our fractured world.” It was gorgeous Sunday afternoon, with rays of sunshine lighting the auditorium at Assisi Heights. Young and old, men and women, police officers and citizens, students and teachers, African, Asian, Caucasian, Indian and American were gathered for discussions around compassion. It was a pleasure to be surrounded by so much hope and peace in one room.

I lost a $50 Cub Foods gift card that my mom gave to my son for his birthday. I felt feelings of loss and disappointment. My 12-year-old son was silent as we walked, looking around on the ground, kicking the leaves hoping it was hiding underneath. He was really looking forward to going to the grocery store to buy whatever he wanted. I, too, was excited to have some extra funds to fill our cupboards with after-school snacks and maybe even a fine bottle of olive oil. This afternoon, I went to the grocery store to buy some ramen noodles (12 for $2.99) for after school snacks and supplies to make a huge crockpot of chili; however, I did not buy the olive oil. What I appreciate about today’s experience is being reminded of how it feels to want food, but not having the money. I am also reminded how forgiveness is a gift; he still loves me despite me losing his gift card. 

Beth Kosta and the crew at Community Food Response don’t ask questions when someone is in need of food (see page 21). They collect food from area restaurants to give without judgment. I have a couple of friends who volunteer with CFR regularly. In fact, Danielle Teal invited me to volunteer with her at CFR one Monday evening a few years ago. Times like those, when I am making a difference, I feel really good about myself. I love helping other people, and it makes me realize I do have so much and so much to offer. You, too, can make a difference in the lives other others through Community Food Response, The Salvation Army, United Way of Olmsted County, your faith community or service organization. 

In this Issue of Rochester Women magazine, we provide some ways to help you enjoy the holidays. When you are looking for the right holiday outfit, check out Samantha Erickson’s guide to surviving holiday fashion (page 15). If you’re not sure what to give someone this holiday season, read my holiday gift making and buying guide (pages 16-17). As you gather with your friends and family over the holiday season, remember to keep it simple. Try Emily Watkin’s beef brisket and punch recipes (page 28).

We hope you’ll join us on the trolley for Ladies Day Out to Olde Fashioned Christmas in Mantorville on Saturday, December 2 (see page 48). May you enjoy good friends and good cheer through the rest of this year!

With love,

Jorrie

 

Sep/Oct
2017

Spirituality

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

As I floated on a tube in the lazy river at America’s largest waterpark one Sunday afternoon in August, I pondered what spirituality means to me. At that moment, I was at peace—with my boys laughing and enjoying each other’s company, with the warm sun drying us off after splashing our way down the water slides, listening to and kicking our feet in the water. I was connected with people I love, the earth and universe. That was spiritual, but spirituality is deeper. It is what gives us hope when a friend or loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, or we make a mistake and we desire forgiveness from someone else or even ourselves, or we need to know we are loved no matter what. Spirituality comes from deep within ourselves and is expressed through various forms. 

Our homes are an extension of ourselves, giving us a place to rest and relax, to feel safe and secure and, ultimately, to live, to be and to become. We have a special section for the Rochester Area Builders Fall Showcase of Homes and Remodelers Tour (pages 13–21) in this issue. We hope you will tour some new and remodeled homes for ideas for your own home.

 

Jul/Aug
2017

Ladies Night Out!

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

During the summer, every Monday night in downtown Rochester, there is a fun Zumba dance party event from 5:30-7 p.m. On the cover of this issue of Rochester Women magazine we feature the dancing queen of downtown Rochester, Sara Pennington, creator of Zumba on the Plaza.  Rochester Women magazine will be celebrating our 100th issue after Zumba on the Plaza at Terza Ristorante on Monday, July 10 from from 7-9 p.m. Come to Zumba on the Plaza that night to get a free drink ticket for Terza. Bring your friends for a fun ladies night out with Rochester Women magazine!

My friend Eliese Klennert-Nelson celebrates her birthday in July every year by renting a limousine to take her friends around Rochester for cocktails. We’ve been to some places that I probably would have never experienced unless I was with a group of friends, including Douglas Saloon & Social Club, Pine Island Sports Bar and Shar’s Country Palace Bar in southeast Rochester. Last summer Eliese was stalling on making the plans, so I encouraged her to make the limo reservations, and in less than a week we had a party planned. We all met at Whistle Binkies North and climbed into the stretch limousine that took us to Five West and ended up at La Vetta rooftop downtown (Women & Wine, page 25). I’ve learned over the years, in order to function properly, it’s important to drink as much water (page 22) as wine. 

To celebrate our 100th issue, I compiled a list of what Rochester Women magazine advertisers, contributors and readers are happy about, grateful for and celebrating in this issue of Rochester Women magazine (page 10). Please post on Facebook or tweet what you are happy about, grateful for and celebrating this summer and include #RochesterWomen in the post. 

With the Fourth of July holiday upon us, we feature women veterans (page 47) and some special events honoring them. We owe so much to our veterans for our freedom and protection. 

In our Girls Night Out column this issue, we feature women-owned businesses in Stewartville (page 50). We’ll be hosting a Ladies Night Out on the trolley to Stewartville on August 30. We hope you will join us on the trolley or down in Stewartville. Visit rochestermntours.com to sign up.

I hope you enjoy every moment this summer. Before we know it, school will be back in session, and the leaves will be changing colors. 

Sincerely,

Jorrie
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Every year for Mother’s Day and my birthday in October, I get to pick what we are going to do as a family. For a few years, in both the spring and the fall, I took my kids biking in Lanesboro. We’ve gone to Duluth to visit my mom and grandma and, one year, stayed at The Edge waterpark. We’ve also gone to the Mall of America. Last year, I took my sons to a Twins game. Spending time in the car with my older son is rare since he got his driver’s license. At the baseball game, we had fun food for lunch, and both of my boys bought souvenirs. It was a fun way to spend the day together. 

This year for Mother’s Day, I’m going to take my boys on a date night and help them learn how to dance. My older son is graduating from high school this spring, and I think it’s my responsibility to help him learn how to lead a dance partner. I’ve arranged for Eric Hoyer, owner of Med City Dance Center, now located at 1115 7th Street NW, to teach a mother and son dance class for boys ages 10-18 on Friday, May 12 at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. If you would like to join me, along with Emily Watkins, owner of Empowered Wellness, and her two sons for an hour of rumba, waltz and swing, please contact me via email or RSVP on Facebook. Its only $30 per mother and son pair, plus $10 for each additional son. Make it a night out, and take them out to eat afterwards or pick up a $5 Pizza.

 

Mar/Apr
2017

Let's Céilí

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

I attended my first céilí on St. Patrick's Day eve, Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at the Rochester Art Center, in collaboration with Irish Fest of Rochester, Minnesota. Nearing the spring equinox, the late afternoon sun shone brightly through the windows on the first floor of the Art Center as folks of all ages, dressed in green, gathered. I wore the only dress I own with green on it, which happens to be one of my favorite dresses and tall black boots for the celebration. Megan Johnston, executive director of the Rochester Art Center, opened the evening with a presentation on Irish art history. Then, we all ate Irish stew and soda bread and socialized. About 8 p.m. the céilí (kay-lee) dancing started, led by Twin Cities Céilí Band, along with the adorable singing, dancing, storytelling and bodhran (Celtic frame drum) player, Máirtín de Cógáin. I paid the price of wearing those boots the next day, but I had so much fun dancing with everyone at the céilí. I plan on going again this year at Bleu Duck. See the céilí article on page 13. 

Rochester Women magazine celebrates National Women’s History (which we have termed “Herstory”) month in March by featuring local author Sister Ellen Whelan, Ph.D., and her books “The Sisters’ Story,” Parts One and Two. Rochester would not be where it is today if not for the bold, kind, compassionate, independent and strong Franciscan Sisters of Assisi Heights. Read about them on page 20.

 

Jan/Feb
2017

be-YOU-tiful

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

In December, I got to participate in the BeYou Renew women’s weekend retreat hosted by LuAnn Buechler at the lovely Holy Spirit Retreat Center about an hour west of Rochester. On that particular Friday evening, after the sun had long gone down, I drove anxiously into the darkness. The wind swirled around my vehicle, carrying me through the cold blizzardy night. At about 7:30 p.m., I arrived at the retreat center lit with warm lights. I found a blazing wood fire and a small group of women who were listening to a Sister explain the house rules. We sat in a circle, opening our hearts and minds to each other. 

Throughout the weekend, I became calm as I identified and prioritized my professional passions and markers for 2017. I am passionate about earning what I am worth, being creative, problem-solving, project management, work-life balance and making a difference in the world. What makes me happy are living my passions and purpose.

 

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