Fireplace and mugs

By Molly Butler

It was -13º when I woke up this morning. 

I made a chilly trip to the garage for more wood and got a fire going in the woodstove, one of the best features in our home. I put a quilt down, so I could sit close to the flames, back to the cold air seeping in the door that refuses to insulate, one hand feeding twigs into the fire, steaming coffee in the other, cheeks rosy. Watching flame is such an ancient, mesmerizing, human tradition. Wouldn’t it be lovely to spend entire winter days this way? 

It can be hard to be “productive” in these times. Even the birds don’t seem to want to leave their branches in this cold. The dog stops asking to go outside; she wants to curl up, nose to tail, on the couch. It can be hard to get moving. To generate heat. It’s okay to find rest and warmth. Marty Rubin said, “To keep a warm heart in a cold world is the real victory.” Linger in the warmth. Take it with you. 

Linger in the warmth. Take it with you.

There are a lot of wonderful things you can venture out and enjoy this weekend. But, if you find yourself huddled beside a fire or loved ones or pets or under a blanket, that’s a beautiful way to spend it too. Have a wonderful weekend and stay warm!  


7.9 and Duo Exhibition by Ben Liebl and Taryn Sakry is still available for viewing at the 410 Project in Mankato. Hours are 2-6 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. Head to the Mankato Makerspace from 3-6 p.m. for their Glass Torchwork: Basic Color class. Cost is $90 and includes personal instruction, safety training and equipment to use; you’ll be bringing home your very own colored necklace pendant! Register here to attend. 

Local author, Allen Eskens, will be visiting the New Ulm public library from 4:30-5:30 p.m. to discuss his path to becoming a bestselling author, as well as his approach to writing novels. There will be time for a Q&A, as well as a book signing. 

Looking to socialize? Head to the Wine Café in Mankato from 5-8 p.m. for Queers and Beers! Meet new people, enjoy conversation and help build a better LGBTQ+ community! Allies are welcome and beers are optional. It’s also Free Food Friday at the North Mankato Taylor Library, with Bad Art Night! Leave your good taste at home. Ages 9-17 can use up some wacky art material. The “Best bad art” will win a trophy and crown decorated by the participants (as well as some actually good prizes). Registration is required. 


Get moving! Head to the New Ulm Wellness Collective for Sculpt! This 8:30-9:30 a.m. class is just $10 and will combine yoga, free weights and cardio, all set to upbeat music. All levels of experience are welcome. Bring your mat and prepare to sweat. Or, head to Drummer’s Garden Center in Mankato for Yoga in the Greenhouse beginning at 12:30 p.m. This class is FREE and perfect for beginners. Class will be taught by Sara Dickhudt of Sun Moon Yoga. 

We have some good local entertainment for your little ones! North Mankato Taylor Library invites kiddos ages 1-3 to enjoy games, crafts and learning activities at Toddler Time! No registration is required, doors open at 9 a.m. and there will be donuts and juice available. Stick around for Preschool Pals! Ages 3-5 can gather for games, crafts and learning beginning at noon. Then, head to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota for their Ag & Nature Lab with Pet Expo! From 3:30-4:30 p.m., you can learn about birds, nests, feeders and more! 

Adults can enjoy a FREE brewery tour at the Mankato Brewery beginning at 3 p.m! No registration or tickets required. This tour will include a few free samples and, of course, there are pints for purchase! Catch The Whitesidewalls at the State Street Theater in New Ulm beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Smokescreen will perform at the Blue Moon Bar & Grill in Kasota from 9-11:30 p.m. 


The Mankato Farmers’ Market is at Drummers Garden Center beginning at 10 a.m! Get your fresh and locally produced goods! MSU’s women’s hockey will take on St. Thomas at the Mayo Clinic Event Center at 1:00 p.m., and the St. Peter High School will present “Russian Treasures” from their Symphonic Series. Entry is $20.

Added Value: Share the Warmth

Our unhoused neighbors deserve and need warmth to get through this winter, too. Check local shelters for ways to help, such as donating time, money, talent or needed items. Let’s look out for one another. Thanks! 


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.