Books, Sips, Pets: April 2018

Edina community members recommend books to read, wines to sip, and ways to care for your pets
This month's featured Picks: selected poetry including "Dog Songs" by Mary Oliver; try Kobal Yellow Muscat by Bojan Kobal; and how to avoid plants that could be toxic to your pet.


National Poetry Month, Selected Poets

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. For every reader there is a poet. Try Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs, Billy Collins’s The Rain in Portugal, or Ted Kooser’s Splitting an Order. They are extraordinary collections and pleasures to read. These poets present verse stories, comic moments and paint with words emotions that most humans feel, yet, cannot express. Music lyrics are the evolution of lyrical poetry. Minnesota native and Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan is this kind of poet. Dylan’s lyrics, whether read or sung, are literature of the highest order. The Nobel Lecture is well worth reading and gives insight into the mystery of Dylan. Read a poem a day this month. Sing along with the lyrics of your favorite song. Participate in Poetry Month – it’s fun!

Request these books any month of the year at your local library or bookstore.  

Article author Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.


Kobal Yellow Muscat

There are winemakers and then there are artisans. For me, an artisan in the wine world works with only the best materials and strives year after year to represent vintages in their most accurate form. Slovenian winemaker, Bojan Kobal’s wines exhibit a unique freshness and reflect the exact fingerprint of his native Štajerska, Slovenian terroir. Looking to transcend your palate? Try this artisan bubble, Kobal Yellow Muscat made by Bojan himself. This yellow Muscat is a deliciously dry, sparkling wine with a distinct, lovely bouquet of fresh peach, perfectly ripened pear skin and yellow apple pulp. The aroma and the palate are reminiscent of ripe citrus and sun-kissed tree fruits. It is the perfect wine for all occasions, and is an excellent companion for almost any culinary adventure, including appetizers, salads and lighter main courses. Savor this gem as there’s not much of it that comes to the U.S.

Look for similar selections here at France 44 and Edina Liquor.

Article author Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusee and Sip Better Wine Club


Plants That are Toxic to Pets

Your beautiful garden may contain plants that are toxic to pets. Some plants to monitor or avoid include:

Rhododendron flowers are dangerous for dogs and cats to consume. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats. Even a small portion of a lily can cause kidney failure in cats.

Chrysanthemums are not necessarily deadly for your pet, but they have been known to cause discomfort.Milkweed and monarchs are a perfect pair. But Milkweed is toxic to dogs and cats.

Oleander is toxic to cats, dogs and horses. If your pet eats any part of an oleander they could experience diarrhea, difficulty breathing, muscle tremors and possible death.

Tulips can cause discomfort for your pet, but the bulb is the most toxic.

Daffodil bulbs are the most toxic part of the plant, so dogs that love to dig are at risk.

Japanese Yew are dangerous for pets to consume. This tree affects the central nervous system of pets and causes trembling, incoordination and difficulty breathing. Amaryllis can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression and abdominal pain for your pets if ingested.

Article author Ann Platt is the owner of Pets Are Inn, an award winning pet lodging business in Edina.