My garden longs for your brains…


… but some sunshine and warmth would suffice. 

Have you ever met a Pro from Dover?


My friend Mark from The Idiot Speaketh has written many interesting posts about all sorts of people and groups, and his post today reminded me of a show that I haven’t seen in a very long time: M.A.S.H. – The Movie.

MASH the movie, was the beginning of an entertainment icon. While MASH the tv series was fantastic, MASH the movie is a seriously funny stand alone movie. One of the threads running through this movie all about The Pros From Dover, who are the surgeons Hawkeye and Trapper John. They’ve been called to Tokyo to operate on some high mucky-muck’s relative, but they don’t just show up and do the surgery…they show up and make waves.  They bust up the general normal routine, turning heads and getting people out of their day-to-day rut, as well as offending a few stuck up sticky beaks while they are at it.  These two characters are obnoxious, pushy and fabulously funny. They give a new meaning to bluffing your way through a situation by turning people on their ears. These two guys definitely take teasing way too far, but they are only characters.

Once in a while we run into real people who  just make life more interesting, who make it their business to break any and all molds for hum drum living. My friend Mark is one of these amazing people, and I strongly urge you to give his blog a read. You’ll find yourself rolling on the floor laughing before you can get past the first paragraph. His most recent post, about how a bored nurse keeps himself entertained will definitely keep you in stitches.

So The Pros From Dover are characters in a movie, but I think they can be a concept as well.  Sometimes I run into people at The Big Box Store who make my day this way…they just bring with them a freshness of thinking and comedy that make my day.  It’s my fondest wish that sometimes I make someone’s day like that too.

I AM Stylish…an award!


Be careful...it's frag-eee-lay

I was blessed today by having been bestowed, what is to me, a Major Award. My blog buddy, Aimee, whose blog is called A Day in the Life of My Crazy Little World, was kind enough to include me in a listing of  blogs that she enjoys: The Stylish Blogger Award. I would like you all to make sure you take a trip over to Aimee’s blog, because it’s chock full of goodness in the form of hilarity, great life stories and no-holds-barred, no-B.S.  insight that will have you pointing at your screen hollering, “Yes!! I know exactly what you mean!” before you can even think to stop yourself. Aimee has been an inspiration to me, as she has killer organizational skills, and fabulous ideas for all sorts of things.  Stop what you’re doing right now, and take a trip on over to her blog and check it out. Go on…I’ll wait…(can you hear the Jeopardy music in the background?)

Ok…for those of you who were naughty and didn’t go check out Aimee’s blog yet, shame on you! Well, while we’re waiting for the others to return, I’ll fill you in on the rest of it. Apparently acceptance of this award (She likes me, she really likes me!) hinges on following the rules:

1.Supposed to link back to who nominated you.
2.List seven things we might not know about you.
3.Share the “love” and pay it forward by naming six other blogs you enjoy.

(Crack’s knuckles) Ready? Here goes…first thing, a link back to the blogger who nominated me:

Aimee’s blog can be found at A Day in The Life of My Crazy Little World. Something you’ll notice right away is that she not only has mad organizing skills, but she has style. Her blog is entertaining and cute!

Ok, so I need to share seven things that you may not know about me. Hmmm…alright, here goes!

1. I live in the Great White North, or at least close enough to Canada to count…and I despise being cold. However, we have plenty of hot as well as cold in North Dakota. In the Summer it can reach 100+ degrees, and this winter we experienced -50 degrees counting the windchill, which is a transitional temperature range of 150 degrees. I actually have a “goldilocks” temperature zone preference of 50-75 degrees. I’ve instructed my kids to get jobs in more temperate climates when they grow up, so I can be a Snowbird and come visit when the weather up here is too cold to deal with.

2. Even though I have begun to really hate winter, I don’t think I’d ever want to leave North Dakota permanently. I love it here. The picture posted to the right is a sight that makes my heart go pitter-pat. That gravel road leading to what appears to be nothing but open prairie and deep blue sky is a common thing here North Dakota. Many people take a look at this picture and think there is nothing there. I have news for you. Not only are there many different plants growing on The High Plains that have culinary and medicinal uses, but there is a lot of rich fertile soil to be found here. If you look really hard, off in the distance and to the right, you can see my log cabin, and the beginnings of acres of orchards, berry bush groves, and gardens. This is of course a complete fantasy, and can only take place after I’ve won the lottery big. But…a girl’s gotta dream, and that’s one of mine. One of my big ones. People make the mistake of  assuming that there’s nothing to do, or nothing worthwhile going on here because it’s pretty empty. I think it’s the best kept secret in the Nation. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone!

2. I believe that I was a farmer in another life. I have this overwhelming urge to live off the grid, grow my own food and live off the land. Currently I live on a 10th of an acre in town, which is a completely blank slate with the exception of my house. I’m going to begin landscaping my front and back yards only with shrubs, trees and plants that give me something I can eat. Apples, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, kiwis (you’d be surprised what grows up here)…its’ going to be a busy summer for me, and I’m hoping that within a couple of years, it’ll pay off and keep my family in fruit to freeze, can and make wine with.

3. I want to learn how to card and dye fiber, and spin my own yarn/thread. I’d also like to raise animals and plants to provide me with the materials to do that with. This Spring, I’m going to try to plant some flax, and then next winter I’ll see if I can actually spin thread out of the fiber from those plants. I’d also like to raise angora rabbits for their fur, but unfortunately rabbits are banned in my city as pets (booo, hiss!). I can buy animal fiber on-line, though. Someday, when I’ve built my Magnificent Log Cabin on the Prairie, I’ll have animals I can get harvest fiber from.

4. I like to crochet. I’ve made so many baby blankets and afghans over the years, I’ve lost count of them. Currently my favorite pattern is the Granny Square, because it’s so easy I don’t have to pay much attention to the pattern while I’m working on it. Right now, I’m working on a baby blanket and will be making an afghan for a young friend of the family who is graduating from high school this May. In honor of that special occasion, I’m going to learn the Waffle Weave Stitch, and I can’t wait to try it out!

5. I lost count of all of the places I’ve lived. My family moved around a lot due to my dad’s job, and then when I was in college I moved a lot. I quit counting at 20 some years ago. I’ve been in this house the longest of any place I’ve ever lived, 11 years, and I don’t expect that I’ll be moving any time soon.

6. I want a dog. I have guilt that my kids were raised without a dog in the house, but nobody is home during the day and I can’t in good conscience lock a dog up in a crate for 8-12 hours a day because the rest of us are at work and school.  When I win the lottery and can build my Magnificent Log Cabin on the Prairie, I will finally have my dog. Dogs are a joy and I can’t imagine how boring my childhood would have been without them. I once had a dog who liked to escape, and she didn’t even have the grace to stay in the country. No…she had to run away to Canada.  We lived out in the boonies close to a border crossing, which was 100 feet from my house. The Canadian Border guards always laughed at us as they waved my brother and I through when they saw our dog barreling past them up the highway.

7. I never dreamed that I would have so much to say, that blogging would be so fun, and that I would meet so very many interesting people.

Ok, now onto sharing the love! I’d like to preface this list by saying there were too many to mention, so I went back in the award thread a little bit to see who else of the bloggers I read have been given this most prestigious award already.  The Life of Jamie, A Piece of the Pie Hole and The Idiot Speaketh are definitely on my shortlist of favorites, but since they’ve already been bestowed the Stylish Blogger Award, I’d like to highlight some of the rest of my favorites.  What? Noooo…I’m not cheating by listing more than 6 of my favorite blogs. I just mentioned them. With links. That wasn’t a list, honest!

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Brea’s Air –  Brea is one of my dearest friends, and one of the few who I would call Sister. She is not only insightful, but she’s funny, sarcastic and there aren’t too many holds barred on her blog. She is also an amazing writer. She persevered and won an award for finishing NaNoWriMo, and continues to entertain and make me think with her short stories. She’s brilliant and I guarantee a visit to her blog will keep you busy for a while.

2. Old And In The Way – According to his bio, Sank’s blog has been described as a cross between Red Forman and Erma Bombeck… I couldn’t have said it better myself. The man is drop dead funny. He writes with a straightforwardness that is not only extremely amusing, but it will also give you something to think about.

3. The Curse of Future Tom – Tom is an amazing writer, and is a published author. I love sense his humor and the way he takes on the varied kinds of B.S. that we all put up with in day-to-day life. Topics range from family to politics and all matters in between. He is another blogger that will not only make you laugh out loud, but give you something to think about and take with you when you have finished reading a post on his blog.

4. Sleep Talkin’ Man This blog will make you laugh so hard you might wet your pants. Seriously…very funny stuff. Karen’s husband Adam talks in his sleep, and she records it and puts snippets of the recordings on the internet. Amazing and unbelievably funny!

5. The Miller Times Andrew Miller is one heck of a blogger. Not only does he have an interesting and unique way of writing about things, but he has a real knack for saying a lot in fewer words than I could ever make meaningful. His latest post shows the surprised expression on his new fiance’s face after he’d asked her to marry him…priceless!

6.Plot Mamas This blog is written by several women who call themselves The Mamas. They are authors, and mothers,  and have many interesting things to blog about. They all take turns and it makes for an interesting mix of things to read within one blog. I most especially enjoyed the a recent post about Ground Hog Day, and what should really be done with that rat who seems to have been given the responsibility of determining how quickly Spring can come. (As far as I am concerned, he’s fired. Bring in the new guy…maybe he has some better ideas about what February should feel like. Just my humble opinion!)

There you have it folks, this brings me to the end of this post. Again, I’d like to thank Aimee for the nomination, and a big thank you to all the bloggers I posted about here today. I wish you all knew just how much you help me keep my sanity after a long day…you guys all rock!

The only tv show my family agrees on


I have fond memories of sitting around the living room with my whole family watching our favorite shows when I was a kid. It was easy back then as the shows were good and there were so few of them that it was an event to sit down to your favorites. Some of my favorites were the Flip Wilson Show (yes, I’m that old), Happy Days and Mash. Oh, and lets not forget classics like Mork & Mindy, and Taxi.

These days, it’s a little harder to find programing that the whole family can sit down to watch. Not only do we all have different taste in television programming, but there’s just not much on these days that’s terribly good for family viewing. There’s so much garbage on tv these days. If it isn’t provoked drama (“reality” shows), it’s sex and other things that aren’t appropriate for viewers of all ages.

So, I finally found a show that we can all watch together: Wipeout. Or, in the case of this season, Winter Wipeout. This show can be found on your local ABC channel, and is funny the same way America’s Funniest Videos is. Where AFV is all about people catching each other and their pets doing silly things, Wipeout is a about people trying to get through several levels of an obstacle course. It’s modeled after MXC which originated in Japan, but Wipeout is a little more family friendly.

I don’t know where they get the contestants for Wipeout, but they are all pretty good sports. Very silly people, but good sports nonetheless. And they are terribly unbreakable. It’s astonishing to me how these folks can take such a beating and still keep going. Here is a good example from an earlier season:

There’s lots of silliness to be had,

and lots, and LOTS of mud:

I am not sure why I find this show so funny, but I do. Even better, it’s something the three of us have in common, and we can all laugh together about. The nice thing about this show is simple humor that perks me up at the end of a long day. These clips aren’t near as funny as watching a whole show, as they generally have a theme. There’s a lot more on You Tube…give it a whirl if you’re looking for some cheap laughs.

Pre-emptive coffee, and the day Santa died


This morning I made the coffee, and I did it purely out of self-defense.

Older Son has been making the coffee recently and his idea of coffee, at the tender age of almost 18, is to put so many grounds in the filter that they are almost leaking out by the time the water has finished running through. I don’t often drink coffee right away in the morning, but the one day that I was really needing a cup I made the mistake of not making it myself.  It was so strong, it fairly made me break out into a sweat, so I didn’t finish it…I took two sips and there was so much caffeine in that little bit of coffee that I was lit up like a Christmas tree for the whole morning. That might have not been so bad, except it was so bitter that I just couldn’t get it down.

When I made the coffee today, I made it a little strong for me so Older Son wouldn’t feel like he was drinking colored water. So far so good. he finds it palatable, so mission accomplished.

So here I sit, reading blogs and sipping my low-octane coffee. I’m seeing a lot of posts about Santa, and it reminds me of the Christmas that Younger Son was in the First Grade. Younger Son has a very pragmatic, black and white way of looking at the world, and it didn’t take him long to figure out that Santa isn’t real. As the boys stayed with my parents after school, he inquired with my Mother about this, and they had a discussion about the real St. Nick and the fact that he is not with us any more but we celebrate him in spirit. He seemed satisfied with this explanation and all was well.

That is, until the next day when he announced to the rest of his First Grade class that Santa was, in fact, dead. From what I understand, there was an argument, and several of the children cried. Needless to say,  the teacher was pretty put out with him when my Mom picked him up after school.

Apparently Younger Son didn’t understand that while you may learn the truth about something, you don’t get to burst other people’s bubbles. I have no doubt that some of these kids will have bitter memories of the Christmas of their First Grade year. I can just imagine some of the conversations that happened around supper tables that night.

So, now that I’ve finished my coffee, and my story, it’s off to work. Happy Thursday!

Too much holiday joy may be bad for you!


Today I had lunch with my good friend Brea at Barnes and Noble today. We do our best to have lunch every Friday, and since the weather has gotten colder, we’ve been forced inside. Our Barnes and Noble actually serves a pretty good lunch along with the coffees offered and, as we discovered today, they serve up a little humor with everything else.

We’d just finished lunch, and were having a pretty heavy discussion when an announcement came over the loudspeaker which went something like this:

“Greetings Barnes and Noble shoppers, do you have an excess of holiday joy? If so…”( the rest was blocked by ambient noise).

The lady making the announcement over the loudspeaker sounded to me like one of those people hawking drugs on tv, and the next thing I know it, we’re giggling over possible endings for this announcement.  Pretty soon,we are laughing so hard, it’s a wonder we didn’t fall out of our chairs. I’m pretty sure I bruised a rib. And I snorted, which hardly ever happens. I’m pretty sure Brea’s eyes glassed over with unshed tears due to having too much holiday joy in the moment. Luckily we were done eating or we might have choked to death.

I can’t remember all of what we laughed about, but I’ve thought of a few more as the rest of the day went by.  So, what happens if you find yourself with an excess of holiday joy?

~If you experience holiday joy for more than four hours, seek immediate emergency medical assistance. (I wonder how excessively inflated joy is coded for insurance purposes?)

~Could give you a righteous case of the holiday munchies and weight gain (nom, nom, nom!)

~May cause the desire to chug rum-laden egg nog (Can potentially lead to ‘rum’ goggles)

~May cause explosive diarrhea (Aunt Meg didn’t cook the Turkey long enough)

~Could cause drowsiness and dry mouth (again with the rum-laden egg nog)

~May cause blindness (Cousin Bob threw a buttered lefse at your head)

~May cause restless legs syndrome (too much holiday joy could make you feel like dancing)

~Stop experiencing holiday joy if you have constipation, flatulence, abdominal pain and bloating (See Aunt Meg’s undercooked Turkey)

~Stop eating immediately if you experience painful swallowing, chest pain, or severe and continuing heartburn (Don’t eat the Lutefisk!)

~May cause high blood pressure (Uncle Charlie just can’t let you forget about the time you lost your bathing suit while diving in the city pool, even though it happened when you were 12, and you’re now 30)

~If having too much fun, and eating at the same time, choking to death may occur (See! I told you having too much holiday fun was dangerous!)

I could go on ad nauseam but I think I will let you join in the fun. What other side effects warnings can you come up with for too much holiday joy?

Keeping my kids off balance, and a blog contest


I read about a blog contest today for the Mom of the Year award, and I actually submitted an entry. Now, mind you, I don’t feel like I am any kind of mother to be deserving of an award, much less be given the title of Mom of the Year.  However, the parameters of the contest made it clear that I might actually have something to contribute. The blog is entitled Slightly Off-Balance, and the contest parameters are as follows:

“I am announcing my Mom of the Year contest to recognize the crazy things you do as you struggle for balance!

But in the spirit of being Slightly Off-Balance, I am not looking for traditional stories of all organic food, no tv, no yelling (these are all amazing qualities, but I don’t want to feel bad about myself!)  You win with humor!

Tell me a story about how you fed your kids McDonald’s for six straight meals or how you ate their cupcakes and told them they were stale.  The more off-balance and funny the better.  I will announce a winner next Monday, October 25th.”(This has since been pushed back to Nov 1st or 2nd)

Since I have so many stories of how I keep my equilibrium by keeping my children off  balance, I thought I’d post an entry, which I’ve pasted below in blue. I hope that many of my readers will make entries as well. Even if you don’t enter, stop by and have a look…there are some funny submissions.

The back-story of following conversation I had with my youngest son is that I wouldn’t let my kids watch Britney Spears on TV. I found Miss “I Don’t Want To Be A Role Model”, quite too racy for my then 9 and 7-year-old boys. Youngest Son is quite a joker, but I got him good on this particular day as he was trying to get revenge on me for not stopping to get him some candy after school. We were having this discussion while in traffic on the way home:

Youngest Son: “You know what? When I grow up, I’m going to marry Britney Spears!”

Me: “Really, you’re going to marry Britney Spears?”

Youngest Son: “That’s right, and we’re going to let our kids do anything they want, and eat anything they want.”

Me: “That’s interesting. Youngest Son, how old do you think you will be when you get married?”

Youngest Son: “I don’t know.”

Me: “We’ll generally, people don’t get married until they’re in their 20’s. You’re only 7 now.”

Youngest Son: “So?”

Me: “Britney is about 21 or so now, and you have to wait 14 years to catch up to that age since you’re only 7 now.

Youngest Son: “Yeah, what about it?”

Me: “Well, while you are aging for 14 years, she will be aging at the same time, which means she will get old and look just like me” (I’m chubby with gray-streaked dark hair).

Youngest Son: “WHAT?”

Me: “You didn’t think she was just going to stay 21 and cute forever did you?”

Youngest Son: [Silence]

**Note: He didn’t say another thing about Britney Spears to me for the rest of that trip home, or for several years after that!

Britney as she was during this conversation

Britney again...several years later.