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Rachel, known as "Queen Patina" to friends and family is a reluctant social media user, a lover of old books, flowers, and furniture. Typically you'll find her with her hands in the dirt, plastic tiara slightly askew, or carefully restoring a piece of furniture. If she's not doing that, she's definitely hanging with the fam, traveling the US of A, running a local trail, or camping and most recently, working as a birth photographer at Pink Moon Birth Photography.

A Very Vintage Christmas

It’s the holiday season, my friends, less the snow. Your holiday preparations are likely in full swing, and you’ve probably bought presents, put up ye old Christmas tree, and maybe even done some holiday...

Northland Living: Revering our Wild Places

I stared at the rust-colored drawings on the wild looming rock face, the Kawishiwi River lapping gently against the green Royalex of our old, steadfast canoe. I hadn’t seen these pictographs in over ten...

Why Every Mama Needs Several Types Of Friends

Perhaps more now than at any other time in our lives we mamas need our friends. They lift us up, tell us that kid-phase is normal, give us respite from mom-life, and let us...

Motherhood . . . and Missing All the Fun

The sun seared my eyes and the wind stung my cheeks pleasantly as we meandered down the hill, then carved to a stop midway as we came upon a boy, about 6 or 7,...

Coming to Grips with the Fact That My Kids Aren’t Geniuses

When my babies made their respective magical exits from the womb to this side and I saw their sweet, albeit smooshed faces, I was pretty much certain they were both the next best thing...

When Everyone Else is Eating a Chocolate Sundae

She saw me and launched herself into my arms, her sweaty face pressed to my stomach and chest. I could tell she was crying. “Honey, what’s wrong?” The response was muffled against my chest. I peeled...

On Saving Puffin Rainbow; That is to Say, Loving Your Kid Fiercely

The blood-curdling, “DADDY!  DADDY!!  DADDY!!!” galvanized me into immediate action. I sprinted from the flower bed that I was weeding to the direction the screams were coming from, paying no attention to the fact...

Sometimes, You Just Have to Show Up (And Hope for the Best)

Several posts ago, I wrote about training to ski the Kortelopet, a 29 km ski race that takes place alongside the world-class Birkebeiner in Hayward, WI. I’d trained dutifully, regularly skiing both medium-length and...

On Making Excuses: Procrastinating Mamas Unite!

It's the evening before my monthly Duluth Moms Blog article is due. It’s later in the evening, about 9 pm. Ask me if I’ve started my post? Seriously, just ask. Welp, the answer is a...

For the Mom Who Wants to Grow a Beautiful Garden

One of my favorite places to visit in the spring, when there’s still the edge of latent cold in the air? The greenhouse. The flowers. The fragrances. The light. The promise of a beautiful...