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.

 

Nov/Dec
2016

I Am Grateful For My Friends

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

I appreciate my work-from-home business and lifestyle, but as telecommuters and home-based business owners understand, isolation can become depressing. When my boys went back to school this fall I decided to combat the loneliness. I invited friends and readers to join me for coffee at Dunn Bros. Coffee on Mondays from 9-11 a.m. Thank you to all of the women who came to talk with me about RochesterWomen magazine and your business and life.

I also co-hosted Women Wisdom Workshops with Adrienne Sweeney of the Commonweal Theatre at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Assisi Heights and Madonna Towers. Combined, we talked with more than 100 women about relationships, choices/decisions, aging and memories. The conversations we had with women were real, sincere and meaningful. 

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Proud of My Life

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

I recently saw a Facebook post from a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who said, “My friends went off to college or to their chosen job while I went off to serve in the U.S.M.C. When we both look back on our respective lives, they'll like theirs, but I am DAMN proud of mine.” I honor and respect our veterans for giving their time and lives to serve our country. 

I, too, am DARN proud of the choices I have made. I got married when I was 19 years old. Earned a bachelor’s degree by the time I was 25 years old while supporting myself and living far away from home. I am proud that I became a mom at 26 years old and had two more children. Being a mom comes with demanding hours and little gratitude, especially when it comes to preparing healthy meals that young palettes don’t appreciate. I started RochesterWomen magazine as a home-based business when I was 30 years old, so that I could work from home and be the kind of mom I wanted to be (present). I earned a Master of Business Administration and have had the opportunities to pursue further leadership and project management education. I have completed three sprint triathlons and continue to live a healthy lifestyle. I chose to get divorced when I was 41 years old. At 46 years old, I don’t regret not climbing the corporate ladder, making it to every before and after hours meeting or social event with friends. When I am 90 years old, I want to be proud of my life and my decisions too. In the end, I hope I give my children enough and myself enough time to enjoy life.

 

Jul/Aug
2016

From the Editor: Taboo Topics

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

"You don't grow up until you have your first good laugh at yourself." – Eleanor Roosevelt

Taboo topics can be embarrassing, true, provide too much information (TMI) or uncommon, unordinary, unspoken and unlikely. Are there topics that make you or your family, friends and coworkers squirm? 

There is a topic that certain friends of mine are uncomfortable talking about, and they are probably going to read this and think “Oh no, here she goes!” Yes, friends (you know who you are) we are talking about sex in this issue of Rochester Women magazine (page 15). I am not uncomfortable talking about pleasurable experiences. But I suppose some people haven’t had pleasant sexual experiences, so I understand they aren’t eager to talk (or even hear) about sex. My aunt, who has a doctorate of nursing, researched sexuality in the aging. She has taught public health nurses from coast to coast, so we can have a conversation about sexuality in a frank, healthcare provider manner. We also talk about dating and even online dating across the generations. Speaking of online dating, Danielle Teal sheds light on the now cool dating method and gives some good advice (page 54). 

 

May/Jun
2016

Four Generations of Awesome

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

The four generations photo of me with my grandma Ella, mother Linda and daughter Tiffany was taken two years ago on Mother’s Day. My daughter’s Facebook post says, “Four generations of AWESOME! #mothersday.” 

My grandma has been suffering more and more from Alzheimer’s. Though it’s my grandmother’s disease, my mom has been affected the most. She says her mom is not the mom she once had. My grandma will be moving to an assisted living apartment when she returns from Florida in May. It’s been a challenge emotionally and legally for my family to make changes for my grandma. We hope she enjoys living in a more supportive environment.  

 

Mar/Apr
2016

Celebrating Sweet 16

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

The third annual Rochester Area Builders Studs, Struts & Stilettos (page 11), held on April 21, will show off fashion creations from area builders but not necessarily ones we will see anyone wearing on the streets of Rochester. It’s a fun-filled multi-event fun-raiser. 

It’s spring, a time for new life and fresh style. Emily Watkins, owner of Empowered Wellness, gathers some spring athleisure finds from area shops and has her friends modeling them with her (page 25). These are my kinds of clothes. I can wear them from working at home or the local coffee shop, to the gym, transporting kids to their activities and then to meetings and networking events downtown.

 

Jan/Feb
2016

Wild Winter Wonderland

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

Last winter, I was inspired by the book and movie “Wild,” Cheryl Strayed's account of her 1,000-plus mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert in California to Washington State. One Saturday in January 2015, I headed to Whitewater State Park for a snowshoeing class and ran into RochesterWomen magazine writer Nicole Czarnomski (see Snowshoeing article on page 55).

Every weekend (11 to be exact) throughout the winter, I visited Whitewater State Park for classes and hiking up to Inspiration Point or the Elba Fire Tower with my Olde English Bulldogge Roxy. It was a refreshing change to my weekend workout routine. I loved the time alone to listen to the breeze, like Strayed, just to be and breathe. I look forward to the hikes again this winter and encourage you to get outside to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (see page 51).

 

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