A Two Year Plan


Greetings to my Faithful Readers. It’s been one heck of a year so far, and I am astonished that we are now in the fall of 2015, and I’ve not blogged since January.

Wow, it has been a ride!

Taking on a new job, which is waaay out of my knowledge zone has been quite a challenge, but is paying the bills, and I’m starting to catch on. Having said that, it’s really not my calling. I get to know way more about people than I ever wanted to, and there’s a lot of bad office politics happening. I have really great people to work with, and I will hang onto this job for a while, but it’s going to be just a stepping stone for the next good thing to come along.

In other news, I finally redid Younger Son’s room. It took me all Winter and most of this Spring to get up the gumption to make the change, but it was worth while now that it’s done. Now it is my friend place my friends can come and stay when they are in town. It’s not done all the way, but it’s functional.

I will be getting a new kitchen soon, and will make sure to post pictures of the demolition of the old, and installation of the new. It’s a big, expensive, stress inducing, joyful, exciting project. Did I mention expensive? That’s ok. I’ll get all of that back when I sell the house. I’m keeping my eye on the prize, which is to move away. To Grand Forks. Hopefully within the next two years.

At the very least, I’d like to feel like I am ready to go in the next couple of years. If I can feel like I am ready to go, that is most of the struggle. As long as I can sell my happy little fixer upper, I can go.

Part of getting ready to go is to also do some landscaping and curb appeal projects. I was forced to do some updates to my back yard and my shed this year due to skunk infestation. That’s right…skunks. IMG_5345

IMG_5370Cute little buggers,but vermin nonetheless. Luckily I got some amazing help to live trap all 7 of the babies living under my shed, and my Dad and my Flirt helped me to get rid of the extra brush around the shed that was sheltering them. It was a large adventure, and I’m glad to be able to check that off the Bucket List and move on!

This summer, I did a lot of running and I don’t regret a bit of it. I wished I’d got to spend more time with my Parents, but that’s something I need to get my life reorganized around. My change in job took me farther away from their house, and it’s something I want to fix. I miss them.

I got to see some amazing concerts, one of which was Aerosmith. My Flirt took me to a small town rodeo, and it was one of the loveliest evenings I’ve had in a long time.

Boots on the groundJust for fun, I took this picture of us sitting on the hillside watching the rodeo, and it is one of my favorite pictures ever.

We did a lot of walking, a lot of just hanging out, and a little bit of traveling. It was a good summer, and I’m happy to say my Flirt and I are getting along well, and seem to be happy with things as they are.

We’ve been talking about moving in together, but before that happens, my cat needs to go to another home. He is deathly allergic to cats, and as a result he doesn’t come over to my house much. The good news is that my cat will be going to live with an old friend, and I have no doubts that he will be much happier there. I don’t believe in spoiling my pets, and I certainly don’t believe in allowing cats to get on kitchen counters or anywhere else food is prepared. I think that the house where he is going to live will find him very spoiled and allowed to do all sorts of things he is not allowed to do here. It’s a win for both he and I.Harley Napping I’ll sure miss him, but part of my two-year plan is to rearrange my life so I can travel light. Part of that is no more pets. I raised my kids, and have had numerous fuzzy creatures in the house. Now it’s time to take care of me, and not have to worry about having someone at home to always have to be home for. It sounds selfish, but I promise you I’ve done my bit for family raising and now it’s time for me.

My new work schedule is going to allow me to blog a little more, so I am hoping to make that part of my daily routine. I’m amused by some of the pre-election shenanigans, like Trump running for the Republican ticket. More to come on that. I’m appalled by this whole thing going on with Kim Davis, and I’ll have a few things to say about that too.

Until then, I wish you all a lovely Sunday evening, and hope that the weather where you are is as awesome as it is here in the High Plains.

Summer…full steam ahead!


Summer is looming large, and there is so much to do!

I am excited for Older Son. He will graduate from high school at the end of May, and then will be going to work. He’s decided that school isn’t what he wants to do, and that he’d rather be gainfully employed. He’s nerve-wracked about it, but I know that once graduation is done and he’s landed a full-time job, things will smooth out for him and give him a sense of independence that he really needs. I’ll be helping him get launched, and I’m nervous for him with all the changes he will have to get through, but he’ll make it ok.

This weekend, I finally got around to getting Older Son’s graduation invitations made and printed out. Now comes the task of getting them addressed and mailed. I keep having the sensation of needing to put on my seat belt and crash helmet as there are so many changes coming up so quickly.  That’s ok…the good news is that I can see pretty much everything that’s coming, and can have some kind of preparation in place. Feeling prepared, sometimes, is half the battle.

Not only do we have graduation to get ready for, but it appears that I will be making another trip to court. Yes, ladies and gentleman, my ex is taking me to court. Again. It’s my hope that this will be the end of it, no matter how it comes out. That comes June 15th, so hopefully after that the rest of the Summer will be smooth sailing.

Once graduation and court are done with, I will have a lot of things to look forward to. The first thing I can’t wait to do is get my garden in. It will be put in way before the middle of June, but I do enjoy watching the plants grow and puttering around in the garden. The absolute best is harvest time. There is nothing quite like going into the garden and grabbing bunch of grape tomatoes to take to the office with me to snack on all morning. Hmmm…..yummy!

I also have a bunch of home improvement plans. I’m getting new doors, and will be painting my bedroom, painting and putting new carpet into Younger Son’s bedroom, finishing up paint and reinstalling the carpet in Older Son’s room, reorganizing and installing more storage in my basement (can’t wait to show you pictures of my new pantry!), and reorganizing my kitchen and living room.  That’s a whole bunch of stuff to do, but I am hopeful that a weekend here and there across the Summer will help me get it all done.

We bought fishing licenses this year, and have plans on going fishing a lot. It’s something I enjoyed as a kid, and Younger Son enjoys. The Flirt perked my interest in fishing back up, and we have a whole summer a head to pull in a bunch of fish. I’m hoping that we have enough by the 4th of July so we can have a fish fry. It used to be a tradition in our family that all the fish we caught through June got filleted and went into the freezer for that weekend. I’m hoping it’s a tradition I can revive.

The weather hasn’t been so cooperative lately, so I haven’t been able to get out and go walking much, but I am looking forward to getting out and walking every morning again, especially on the weekends when I can take my time and go to different places in town to walk. to go along with that, I am hoping to drop another 20 pounds in 2012. Younger Son is a weightlifter, and has given me some advice about how to get rid of the flappy parts on the back side of my arms. I’m looking to have that tightened up by the end of the Summer too.

I’m also looking forward to doing some fun landscaping in my yard this summer. Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while know that I am all about edible landscaping, but I have to admit that it is quite a challenge to put in mostly edibles when we need hardy plants that take a lot of bad weather and abuse. The good news is that I found a fabulous shrub called a Carmine Jewel Dwarf Cherry (picture courtesy of Gurney’s). This neat little plant is not only pretty as an ornamental, which grows in environments up to zone 2, but also produces prolific amounts of cherries that you can eat raw or bake with. It’s something my Dad said he’d like to grow, so it will be something I can surprise him with for Father’s Day.  Double win!

I also have an opportunity to cross a really big thing off of my bucket list: A trip to Sturgis, SD for the annual bike rally, for me and The Flirt . My bucket list is something I will blog more about later, but suffice it to say that I have gotten to a point in my life where I’ve decided that there’s no time like the present, and no point in waiting. The hotel is paid for, and the planning has begun. The Flirt is a motorcyclist and has been to Sturgis already, so he knows the ins and outs and where to go to see some interesting things. We’ll be spending three days and two nights, which won’t be enough time to see everything, but we’ll see a lot. This trip comes toward the middle of August, which will be nice end to the summer. It will be my first weekend trip away from the kids after the divorce and will be a little nerve-wracking, but they are ok with it. I think Younger Son would have liked to go with us, but not this year.   This trip is for me and, while I normally would feel guilty about taking a trip like this, it’s harder to find my way to the place that allowed me swim in guilt and self-doubt these days. I’ll chalk that one up as emotional progress.

Once the trip is over, it will be time for Younger Son to start school again, beginning with football practice. Older Son will be working a full-time job by then, and will have his own wheels. With any luck, Younger Son will have his driver’s license and will have saved enough from his summer job to buy his own starter vehicle. Summer is going to scream right by…I’ll have to hold on with both hands and put the breaks on hard I can so I can feel like I’ve stopped to smell all of the roses, and eat all the tomatoes, I can!

The good thing about this Summer is that I have more good things coming up than bad things to get through, and that is a huge blessing. Here’s hoping your Summer plans hold as much good fun and adventure as mine will.

Where is Barbara Eden when you need her?


Holy cow…life has taken be for quite a ride these last two weeks. The end of the school year, combined with everything else that’s going on has left me with my head spinning and my house is a complete disaster. Here it is, Friday already this week, and I have company coming this weekend. Uff da.

I woke up today thinking how lovely it would be if I could have mad skills like Barbara Eden’s Jeannie. I would love it if I could clean my whole house with just a sharp bob of my head.  In my youth, when I spouted off about how I wished something could be different, my Dad would ask me if I had a pile of wish in one and a cow patty in another, what do you get when you rub your hands together? Better to get your hands dirty with work than to rub them together wishing things were different. Well, I’m unhappy to report that Dad was right. Wishing doesn’t quite fix the problem, so I guess I’ll stay up a little later tonight and get everything in order.

In other news, we’ve had a few gloriously sunshiny days. We deserved this nice weather, and I even got a little bit of a sunburn at the garage sale last weekend. Today we have 100% chance of rain, but I’m hoping that things will dry out enough this coming week that we’ll be able to put the garden in.

In North Dakota, we have a LOT of different Seasons, all of which overlap each other. For example, right now it is Spring, but it is also the beginning of Road Construction and Home Improvement Seasons. We have a lot of pot holes in the streets after a long hard Winter…axle-busting pot holes…and it could very well take most of the Spring and Summer for them all to get repaired. Home Improvement Season will be long too. There’s just no end to the work of art in progress that is my home. Thank goodness for my Dad, who has a handle on all things that have to do with home improvement.

Last year I had the roof replaced, the bathroom gutted and redone, and all of my windows were changed out. This will be the Summer of Small Projects. Lots of paint, lots of organizing and much getting rid of stuff that I don’t need anymore. I’m looking at doing some different things with my garden this year too, but more on that later.

Today it will rain and wash away the dust and dirt that covers everything, and make the air smell good. I have lunch with my Sister by Choice today, and work should be light….at least at the Cube Farm. It’s going to be a good day.

Inch by Inch, Row by Row


We (me, my boys, my Dad and my two nephews) just came back from a concert in our Oak Park, where we listened to Dennis Warner sing. He was absolutely wonderful, and I think my favorite song that he sang is called The Garden Song. I couldn’t find Mr. Warner’s version on You Tube, but I found a good version of it by John Denver, and wouldn’t you know it but he’s singing on The Muppet Show:

As much as I love John Denver’s music, I have to say that Dennis Warner did it better. He has a You Tube Channel, and I urge you to go out and give his songs a listen. His music is really worth taking the time:

I think the nicest thing about his concert tonight is that he had us all singing together, and it was a such a beautiful evening. I’m so glad we advantage of the opportunity to go hear some great music and enjoy a nice evening outside. Mr. Warner has published eight albums as well as a children’s book titled Beads on One String which is now being used in elementary school education programs.

Last day of school


Today was the boys’ last day of this school year. Thank goodness for small favors!

I know a lot of parents who love it when their kids are in school, but I just don’t fit that mold. I’m so much happier during the summer…every one has so much less stress. I will concede that by the end of Summer, the kids are nitpicking at each other too much, and it’s just time for them to go back to their separate schools and get a break from each other.  However, I still like it better when they are home.

So…now the Summer adventure begins! Younger Son’s summer vacation begins with Jr. Air Force ROTC camp for 10 days, then he gets the privilege of having his wisdom teeth out. After that, it’s weightlifting classes all summer with the State Fair and other various events in between.

Older Son has a job, but won’t likely see much work until the State Fair starts, due to construction, so he will have a nice break between now and the end of July. He’s talked lot about growing a herb garden, and I think he and I will have a good time doing that together. I think he and I may take a quick get away vacation overnight somewhere while Younger is away at camp. Hm…now where to go?

As for me, I will be having the window’s replaced on my house, and my bathroom will be gutted and replaced this summer. Not only that, but I have a basement that perpetually needs organizing. Good times! (surely you heard the sarcasm there?!). Anyway, it’s going to be a good summer, not because I have any inside knowledge, but because I have just decided. End of story.

Let the fun begin!