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Holding My Breath … To Release My First Album

By Jean Storlie / October 7, 2019 /

The late-November afternoon sun cast a gloomy mood on Jackson’s day. The Sunday Scaries haunted him. His dad and he were listening to classic rock on the radio on their way to the grocery store. At 12 years old, he had been taking guitar lessons for three years. His second guitar teacher, Toby, had recently…

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Broccoli Girl Finds Her Tribe

By Jean Storlie / July 8, 2019 /

In a quiet, remote lab in the basement of a building at the University of Minnesota, Mimi was making gluten balls—and going crazy. She had been doing the same mind-numbing task for months. Her mood darkened with the shrinking daylight hours as winter loomed. A graduate student in food science, she was lucky to have a job and…

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When You Find Your Tribe … Reach for the Sky

By Jean Storlie / May 1, 2019 /

Signing a petition changed my life. It was the fall of 1981. Leafing through the member newsletter from the American Dietetic Association, I saw an announcement that some dietitians were forming a practice group in Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition. The group would be called SCAN, and they needed signatures for a petition. I was finishing…

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Happy New Year! You’ve Got Appendicitis

By Jean Storlie / January 7, 2019 /

Lying in bed the evening of New Year’s Day 1999 in a hotel room, I palpated my abdomen and had a sinking feeling … something is really wrong. We were on a house-hunting trip to move our family with three small children (15 months, three years, and six years old) from Ithaca, NY to Minneapolis,…

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Angel Food Cake

The Perfect Folding Technique

By Jean Storlie / September 6, 2018 /

Sister Agnes Marie greeted our class as we filed into the brand new Foods and Culture Lab. Perfect grey curls framed her face under her traditional habit. Her face was puffy with old age and her pasty lips looked like she ate a lot of Tums. A transfer student entering my sophomore year, I had…

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Old Man in Store

“Paper or Plastic?” Captured an Audience’s Attention

By Jean Storlie / August 2, 2018 /

My attention was jolted out of my pre-speech-giving trance when the speaker ahead of me started to tell a story about taking her 86-year-old father to the grocery store. She had let him wander the aisles with his own cart because he was persnickety about his independence. After finishing her shopping, she got into the…

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Miracle on Lazy M

By Jean Storlie / March 7, 2018 /

“Turn off the wind!” 4-year-old Jackson hollered as we paused a short way into our first run of our second family ski trip to Red Lodge, Montana. Everyone was excited to ski Lazy M again, a 2.5-mile cruising run with spectacular vistas. Abby, Jackson, and I were getting slapped by a howling wind as we…

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When You Want to Say “I Quit!”

By Jean Storlie / February 5, 2018 /

Shivering by the side of the pool, my seven-year-old-self did not want to jump into the water. The pool overwhelmed my senses; it was located in the cavernous basement of a 55-year-old YMCA (built in 1909). Kids’ voices echoed off the walls and the damp, rank air assaulted my nose. My sisters were already in…

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Dark Side of Holiday Humor

By Jean Storlie / December 2, 2017 /

After one of my storytelling workshops, a participant handed me his business card and invited me to call him because he wanted me to share his story. Anonymity is important to him, so let’s call him Mike.  Sixteen years earlier, Mike was a rising star as a design engineer. He was being groomed for advancement…

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Sunset and Fireworks Mark Key Milestones

By Jean Storlie / August 2, 2017 /

When I got home after receiving my lay-off notice from General Mills, I tossed my severance packet on the couch, joined my husband on the porch with a glass of wine, and started brainstorming names for the business I wanted to start.   After working on the naming challenge for about six weeks, I was…

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