Books, Sips, Pets: May 2018

Edina community members recommend books to read, wines to sip, and ways to care for your pets
This month's featured Picks: "Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth" by local author Sheila O’Connor, Justin Girardin's Bourgogne Blanc (100% Chardonnay), and beware of popular cocoa bean mulch if you have pets


Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth by Sheila O’Connor

Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth is local author Sheila O’Connor’s third novel for upper elementary and middle school children. Early in the summer of 1968, the three Kelly siblings move to Lake Liberty, Minnesota to live with their grandmother. In the spring their mom died of cancer and their dad’s work took him to South Dakota. Eleven-year-old Reenie gets a paper route with her brother, Dare, while their older brother, Billy, works at Casey’s Conoco. Reenie befriends her reclusive customer, Mr. H.W. Marsworth, through notes she leaves in his milk box. His replies to her are typed, formal and encouraging. Spunky Reenie fills her letters with worries about Billy not going to college, the Vietnam War, delivering papers in the morning darkness, small town bullies, and questions. Readers of any age will love this book.

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.


Bourgogne Blanc (100% Chardonnay)

Wellness is at the top of everyone’s minds these days. We are becoming more aware of the single list of ingredients we consume and allow into our daily lives. When it comes to wine, in a recent case, traces of arsenic were found in a handful of wineries across California. As a result, the wine industry is currently requesting required nutritional and ingredient lists for individual bottles of wine. But until this becomes a priority for our labeling system, we must navigate the world of wine on our own.  

That said, let me recommend a delicious white. Justin Girardin, just 26 years old and the nephew of a famous Burgundian winemaker, Vincent Girardin, makes a whole line up of organically farmed and varietally correct wines from the region. His Bourgogne Blanc (100% Chardonnay) is one of the cleanest, mouthwatering, zesty green apple-d gems I’ve tasted in a very long time.  And for just under $20 this is a wine I can absolutely say is not only great tasting, but good for you!

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


As you get busy planning flower gardens be aware that some products used to enhance the look of our flowerbeds can be dangerous to pets.

Many homeowners like to use cocoa bean mulch around flowers and shrubs as it has a longer shelf life, adds nitrogen to the soil and is very attractive. But dogs are attracted to the chocolate scent of cocoa bean mulch and are very likely to eat it. If ingested, cocoa mulch can cause your dog to tremble and vomit. If a large amount is consumed, dogs can become hyperactive and have a rapid heart rate, seizures, and diarrhea. While unlikely, the consumption of cocoa bean mulch can sometimes be fatal to dogs. It can also be harmful to cats (although they are less likely to be attracted to the chocolate aroma) and other wildlife as well.

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