By Molly Butler

Do you think the players at the Super Bowl feel like all their dreams are coming true? Or do you think they’re clocking into work?

We often prefer hard lines between work and home, work and pleasure. When I started working from home, I imagined I’d be locked in my office all day, but the different areas of my life have become quite blended. I make a graphic, then fold the laundry. I edit a project and scoop the cat pans. I think of what I want to write this weekend on my walk with the dog. All the pieces start to run together. For a while it felt like I was working from the moment I woke up until I scribbled my last ideas on the notepad beside my bed at night. Now, it’s my preferred lifestyle.

I’ve worked several retail jobs in my life and to me, they were miserable. I clocked in and left myself at the door. I zombied my way through, counting down every minute, and clocked out, back to freedom. I wish I had had a chance to read a bit about mindfulness before then. I would have realized it’s all life. It’s all important.

Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. Twyla Tharp

Twyla Tharp said, “Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant.”  She also said, “Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering.”

We like to draw a firm line between work and pleasure, and I think, for a lot of people, artists, teachers, yes, even football players, this dichotomy wastes a lot of time and joy. This sweaty, difficult, even mundane moment is the one you’re living. There’s nothing to say it’s better or worse or more worthy of experiencing than the last moment, except you.

Do you think the players lining up this weekend are overwhelmed, brimming with childhood awe, thinking about how their wildest dreams are being realized? Or do you think they’re worried about each play, each movement, each muscle? I hope they’re right there, in each moment, taking their breath, taking it all in.

We have a lot of super things to do this weekend, so please, enjoy.


Artist Brandon Lutterman will have his show, “Stewardship” on display at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center at Bethany Lutheran College until February 12. “My current body of work is created to celebrate life and to express the importance of preservation and stewardship,” said Lutterman. You can watch his full interview with BLC here.

If there’s two things I love, it’s reading and baking. Luckily for me, it’s time for the annual Edible Book Festival at the North Mankato Taylor Library. No registration is required, simply upload a picture of your edible book-inspired creation to the event page. Submissions can be made any time throughout the month of February and prizes will be awarded March 1st. Head to your bookshelf for some inspiration and get cooking!

The Mankato Brewery is hosting their first Give a Pint, Get a Pint for the American Red Cross from 11am through 5pm. All donors will receive a coupon for a pint at the taproom. Donors should visit and enter: MKTOBREWERY to schedule.

High Strung will be playing at the Loose Moose Saloon in Mankato from 5:30-8:30pm and you can catch Killintime at the Oleander Saloon from 7-10pm. Or you can hear the Bethany Lutheran College Choraliers performing I Have a Song to Sing at 7:30pm.


It’s time for the Souper Bowl! This annual fundraiser for the Arts Center of Saint Peter was canceled last spring during the statewide shutdown, but 400 hand-thrown artisan Souper Bowls are ready to go! All proceeds benefit the Arts Center. Buy tickets here. The Souper Bowl fundraiser will take place both Saturday and Sunday.

Get outside this weekend. The Ney Nature Center in Henderson is hosting a Snow Festival & Candlelight Event from 3-8:30pm. There will be snow creatures to build, snow art, snowflake science, and don’t forget to bring along your skis or snowshoes for candle-lit walk in the prairie. Rentals are also available.


Here it is, Super Bowl Sunday! Get your game face on. Two groups are up to play Dungeons & Dragons at the Dork Den starting at 11am. Registration is available online. Then Atlantis Hobby will host $6 Yu-Gi-Oh with prizes from 1-5pm.

Personally, my favorite part of the Super Bowl is the food. Bring your appetite this Sunday. The Eagle Lake American Legion will host a Super Bowl LV Chili Cook Off from 4-7pm. There is no entry fee, just be ready to try great chili and vote for your favorites while respecting social distancing and mask guidelines.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church will be holding their annual Fat Tuesday Fundraiser. Their silent auction will be on Facebook from February 7-14. You can also register here for dinner to be picked up on February 16 along with silent auction item pick up. Dinner will include their classic jambalaya and king’s cake. I happened to be part of the first youth group at BLC when they started their Fat Tuesday fundraiser so we could go to the ELCA conference in New Orleans. Don’t miss out on this tasty event!

Bonus: Gameday Spinach & Artichoke Dip

I dug out my little handwritten recipe notebook to find this one and was not at all surprised to see that my directions were…light. I am a “sprinkle of this, handful of that” chef, so measurements rarely make it into my notes. (I probably get that from my grandma Linda, whose pierogi recipe mostly says, “until it looks right.”) Here it is, directly transcribed:

Just parmesan, huh? Not even a clue for the amount. Obviously, I would not do well writing for the Food Network. There are a lot of great spinach & artichoke dip recipes online if you want to do this delicious snack “right.” But, if you’re in the mood to attempt a Hail Mary, this sparse little recipe leaves plenty of room to play. Bon appetite!


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.