Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What is the point?

I don't know if this blog has a point anymore. I don't find the time to post anymore, and when I do I wonder why. I will keep this blog open for those times I find something to post.....but in the mean time.

Let's just say "We're on a break"

That is the post I have been running through my head for the last couple of weeks. This is what I thought I would say when I logged on this morning, but I can't do it. Summer will afford me things to post about - I know this.

Know I am busy, and trying to get things onto a running summer schedule. I will get it pulled together. I am not sure how or where I found so much time to read blogs before. I do know I was happier when I did find the time to read more. I found great pleasure when I was able to sit down and pound out a few posts and collect my thoughts. I will return. I may turn off comments. I think this may have something to do with it. Having a certain expectation or hope of response and not getting it. I have to return to writing for myself.

I did think of starting over, a new blog- one noone knows of...but I do not want to lose my blog connections, my friends. So, I will get it worked out. I always do.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No point - the last week of school

What good does the last week of school serve? Children dragging their feet out the door, one in tears over having to go. Field trips, extra recess and playground time, free time all day (yes all day for my 4th grader) yesterday, the lessons are taught and the minds have shut off.... what purpose does it serve for the Elementary school to even be open?

I have moved into the summer mindset. I lose track of time at night - it is still warm and light at 8pm.... hard to remember it is time to lay their heads down.

Next year all four of my children will be in school. I realized this morning that these are the last three days my youngest and I will be alone until my third child graduates (and hopefully) moves out. Wow.... that is 10 no 11? years from now. Amazing to think about.

Off to hang the last hammock and to water the garden again... because I am in summer mode even if the school calender doesn't say it is

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Remember to teach the children

Wars are fought in distant lands
hard to find on a map
and even harder to understand
without experiencing

Children hear the talk
they may or may not know someone
who serves or died serving
but again - it is a story
hard to understand.

Take the time to teach
to explain
to answer the questions
look up the answers you don't know.

Remember to teach the children to remember
to appreciate
to care.

Freedom is ours because of lives lost
Let's remember this weekend.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why would she stay?

Kathryn L.
May 2010
Lake Bemidji Waterfront
Stone Steps

Strong is how I would describe Kathryn Lavelle. Brought here by an abusive man, ripped from the environment she knew and left here to survive on her own- a single mother escaping the clutches of yet another abusive relationship. In search for a ticket out of here Kathryn found instead a town that embraced her and helped her heal. She found a place that her life’s pain could be used to help others, she found a home. I will let her explain why Bemidji is her town

Meet Kathryn:

I was born on September 5th, 1967 from strong-New York born-half Irish-half Italian-church going-Catholic parents at St. Claire’s Hospital in a small New Jersey town called Denville. I lived in NJ until I was 9 years old and then my family moved to Maryland. I grew up in Maryland…Fallston to be exact…until I entered adulthood.

I attended Fallston High School, where the majority of my time was mostly spent skulking through enemy territory. Fallston was a lily white, somewhat affluent, mostly conservative community that seemed hell bent on showing me to my place and forcing me to stay in it. Let’s face it, at the time I was not pretty…I was not popular…I was not a cheerleader…I was never what you would call successful in school. I always felt out of place…as if I was supposed to be living somewhere else…some magical town or city where I could just be myself, breathe deep and be appreciated for my strengths and talents. I later attended Harford Community College only to eventually find myself great with child as they sometimes say, and I had to drop out after only half a year. I had become a statistic,

To read more go HERE

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer, I can smell it coming

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. ~John Lubbock

Summer is coming
I can smell it in the charcoal

in the fresh tilled soil

and in the wood smoke

I am getting my to-do list done
early this year
(sand and seal outbuildings)

So that we can enjoy this summer.
I can smell it coming

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Am I Insane?

Am I insane? What would I be committing myself too?
Every week, every other?
Just one month of the summer? Or longer - play it by ear?

So much to consider.... but I want something - I need people, I need fun!
This summer I need more.

I am thinking of hosting yard games this summer. Corn toss, croquet, washers, badminton
Friends, food, fun, fire.......

Sounds fun.
Could it work?
Am I just asking for more work and more trouble?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You can not imagine 50 below, until you live it

Photography by Julie Saari
Ashley H.
Filming “Common Ground”
North East of Bemidji
April 2010

Ashley was the one to contact me. She asked me if I would take part in her LPTV show Common Ground. I was so new into my project this prospect made me nervous. We met and discussed the possibility at a downtown coffee shop. When we left I was going to take part in Ashley’s show and she was going to participate in my project. She would be filming me taking pics of someone and I in turn would take pics of her filming someone,a very snake eating it’s own tail tale. What I learned is Ashley is learning to live in the Greater North. Brought here temporarily for a job, she is staying for reasons not listed in the travel brochure.

This is Ashley:

I was offered a job, I was moving to a new city! Life, as I knew it, was great! I received a packet in the mail from the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce, including ALL the information I needed to know about the city of Bemidji. Sure, the temperature looked colder…. and my friend’s eye’s nearly bugged out their heads when they saw 50 below in all of that information…but, it never really impacted me?

I guess, a naïve Ohio girl had never felt 50 below, so it was no big shake. I was ready!

Read more about Ashley HERE

Friday, May 14, 2010

Permanent and I am not talking about Sharpies

I got a tattoo today. Actually I got 5 tattoos today. 5 birds.

Birds can go anywhere. They are able to fly anywhere in the world- yet they tend to stay near the place they were born.

Birds leave the nest, they fly off. Some go as far as other continents, yet they always remember where home is.

Birds are beautiful

1 bird for each of my children on my shoulder
1 on my wrist for my little girlie who did not stay here on Earth... she has already taken flight.

Do women ever grow up

I was in my favorite coffee shop this morning. It was busier than normal. Too busy for my taste. I am used to being there during the quite part of the day- to pay my bills, balance my check book, read, etc. It is like my office away from my house (as is it for many)

It was loud today however, too loud for my reading - even with my mp3 player. I gave in and just sat for a moment trying to pick up on the conversations - listen without gawking sort of thing. (you know that, I know you do)

There were three older (70ish) ladies two tables over from me. Listening to their conversation ended up being quite hilarious and a bit eye opening. Their conversation was basically that of a group of thirty year old woman mixed in with some complaints about technology from the one. Honestly, do we as women never grow up and move on from the same gripes? Husbands, kids, family, one was quite hung up on the de-personalization of humanity due to Facebook..... can we not move past the same thing and find something better to talk about? As I said, it was both good for a giggle and eye -opening.

When I am 70(ish) and hopefully able to hang out with my "coffee chickas" I will make it my goal to bring up interesting things to talk about.... a bit more philosophical. I will try to get my group to use their experience and wisdom to pull out a decent conversation.... like-> do you think that major events (births, deaths, tragedies, etc) define us as a person? make us who we are?

However, I probably will just be bitching about my husband and kids.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Woodshed Wisdom

There are some things I was thinking about as I split wood on Mother's Day. I started telling these bits of knowledge to my daughter as she watched me work. I realized I was spouting off some pretty good "Woodshed Wisdom" I ran to get a piece of paper - good thoughts are rare these days, wouldn't want to let them go to waste!

A lot of what holds true to logs seems to hold true to people:

* Anything will break if you hit it in the right spot

*The logs that are the hardest to deal with are those that are spoiled rotten inside

*Letting go at just the right time is key to not getting hurt

*Read a log before trying to split it- it will tell you where to hit- much like people

*If you are too tired to do the job it is near impossible

*Start with the biggest, hardest logs- you will be too tired at the end to split them.
Conquer the toughest task first

*If you keep your eye on the target and swing hard you won't miss. Closing your eyes or being hesitant will lead to failure.

*Use momentum

*A log much like a family- is strongest where all it's branches come together.

*You have to work around a knot, you can not break it.

*The base of a tree is toughest for it has the most experience/years on it.

Manual labor can give a person perspective

Warning- You are about to see my "mom pants" also known as my work jeans.... they keep everything where it is suppose to be.

Yes, logs were hurt in the making of this slideshow- deal with it!

Pictures taken by Addie with Nikon D60
in three separate attempts (to get the whole sequence)

Meet Kirby

Photography by Julie Saari

Movil Maze
Northeast of Bemidji

April 2010

I had just finished a meeting downtown. A truck with a trailer pulled up and parked as I crossed the street heading toward my vehicle. The emblem on the side resembled that of a super hero, and maybe Kirby (The Bike Guy) is a super hero, at least in the world of bikers. Kirby grew tired of trying to make a living and decided to try to earn money doing what he liked instead. This decision seems to have served him well. Mobile bike repair with same or next day service is something this town obviously needed. But there is a man behind the business

Meet Kirby H. (aka The Bike Guy):

Water, pine trees, wood smoke and ‘smores, that was the beginning of my personal Bemidji. I guess I am lucky that my parents loved to camp. When I was a kid the word “Bemidji” was magic. I have heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but to an eight year old growing up in the middle of the Red River Valley, the word “Bemidji” conjured up a thousand pictures. Here a few words about my town, you will have to fill in your pictures yourself.

Summer, the camping was in the summer.............

To read more go HERE

To see the photo shoot go HERE

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I am: a mom, yet more

I am:

I am a mom

I am blessed x 4

I am a wife

I am a business owner

Yet I am still a woman
(who is still wild/untamed)

I am a work in progress

Love me for who I am
Appreciate me for who I am trying to become
Don't try to change me, rather enjoy it
You can't hold back the wind.

I posted over here too - a note to my daughter (more pics too)
I wrote a post here - for my son (a pic too)
Mother's Day funny below

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mothers Day!!!

Love to all the moms out there
and a special hug to my mom.
Sorry I can't be there today.


Hey. Where have I been? What am I doing?

I don't know that I really can answer that . I am in limbo. Waiting.

Waiting for nicer weather to start the outside stuff again. Waiting for the motivation to tackle the grass that is taking over the garden soil - lawn trying to reclaim it's old territory.

Waiting for the next stage of my life - so I don't have to wonder what I will be doing when I grow up.

Waiting for summer always.

Waiting for my kids to grow past this stage and then wondering how they got so big so fast.

Waiting for things to slow down - knowing they never will, not soon anyway.

Waiting for one kid to get over the bug - stomach crud... waiting for the next one to get it, or for myself to end up head first in the toilet.

Waiting for my next thing and missing the opportunities in between the ones I am waiting for

Waiting for the wash machine and the dishwasher to finish, waiting for the kids to get on the bus and off the bus, waiting for rain, and then praying for sun.

Waiting too long to go to bed, not wanting to give in to the tired.

I am still here, I am just waiting.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What a friend is

Description of a friend:

One that will pull one of her best employees and "make her" be your babysitter for Friday night so that you can still go to a party (thrown in your honor).

Thank you!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

It could really make a difference in someone's day

So, this is what I don't like. You are talking with a lady, a friend (sorta) and they say, "We should do that sometime" and you think YES... but you say, "that would be great, we should" and you smile and walk away thinking "....we should" But it just doesn't happen. Ever. How do you cross that line? How do you make it happen? How do you make a new friend?
Females are awful. Catty, mean, opportunistic, selfish, evil really. They can also be kind, caring, motherly, devoted, loyal and giving. We woman protect our own.

But, how do you get into that realm with a woman? How do you 'make nice' become a friend? Be the one they defend instead of the one they stab and spit at?

Making friends is not easy. It is not easy for adults and it is becoming quite obvious that it is not always easy once Kindergarten is over.

My girlie is having problems making friends. Her best friend moved to a school across town leaving her to fend on her own. She had friend trouble last year too but always had her b.friend to fall back on.

I have done all I can personally as far as getting involved. I have been in the classroom, I know the girl, I have observed on the playground. I have talked to my Girlie. What I have learned (and some of what I already knew) Third grade is a hard year for girls - they start to grow up. The pre-hormones kick in. They start to notice boys and vice versa. They learn there is power with words and with no words. They get bitchy.

After trying everything we knew my hubby had a moment of inspiration - instead of telling our girl to go make friends and to ask people to play (in which she countlessly gets turned down and hurt) he backed WAY up and decided to teach her the basics of socialization and friendship. Today's lesson - give someone a compliment, just one girl, one compliment. Say something nice to one person in your class and tell us what happened when you get home.

Guess what - she did it (after crying for 1/2 hr the night before at the mere thought of it). She told one of the nicer girls (let's call her Ann) in her class that she liked her shirt (I told my daughter a few of the girls to avoid - let's make this easy on her) and Ann asked Girlie to play at recess. WOW! It worked.

Tomorrow's lesson - two compliments, one to Ann again and one to another girl. Plus if I can sneak in a suggestion I will tell her to mention to Ann how much fun she had playing on the playground with her the day before.


This has got me to thinking. We all need to be nicer to other woman - my dear women friends. We protect and support our friends, but do we make it easy for other woman to get in, or do we leave them standing alone on life's playground sad and feeling lonely?

Today's lesson - Compliment someone today. Just one lady. It could really make a difference in someone's day.

This just in from Facebook, and Twitter confirms

I do not watch the news. You know that. It irks me to no end. If I do watch I will watch BBC - because they seems to be a bit more for promoting news.

However, here we go - I turned on the news again. Headline News on CNN to be exact. Why? I guess so I could have fodder for a blog post.

If I hear another news reporter say- from Facebook.....
on their Facebook page.....
we are getting off from our Facebook page.......

Ok Ok I get it - Facebook is the top place for information - but for news? really? I don't think so. That is saying the water cooler is the best place to get your facts from.

Let's keep Facebook for our family updates, drunken messages on Saturday night for some, pictures and other random tid bits..... But NOT for the news.

Thank you, and carry on.

all the ......'s were for you Os. Sorry. Got a bit carried away!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Ruby" Big brown eyes.... loves to be pet

Photography by Julie Saari
Downtown Bemidji
April 2010

Ruby “works” at KD Floral flower shop on the corner of 3rd St. and Minnesota Ave. I find myself returning to this shop time and again not so much for the flowers (which are always fresh and beautiful) but, rather to see Ruby. Always friendly and happy to see you, she greets customers with her caring brown eyes and a wag of her tail. ‘Pet therapy’ is what I call it, what would you call it?

If you haven’t already,

Meet Ruby:

Squirrels, birds, frogs, trails, snow banks, lakes, and creeks. It’s the perfect place for a dog. There’s always something to do where I live. You should see all the forest left to explore! I love to run on the trails that are out by our house. You can run and run and tumble and nothing gets in your way. And in the winter sometimes the snow is so deep my head barely shows above the top. Yea, it’s pretty great living here.

I didn’t always live here.......................

You can read the rest HERE

To view a slideshow of Ruby’s photo shoot click here

No More Sorrow

Friday, April 30, 2010

Dancing in the Rain!

Photograph by Jon Heller
Trying to wake the dead!
(if you notice this was in a cemetary)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

F-U-N, t.v. crew, dancing in the rain!!! Join me with a smile

Today our Public Television station followed me on a photo shoot for my project - This is my town: Bemidji. I took pictures of a gal while they filmed me. It will be featured on their Common Ground show (see link). It will air in June I believe. It was a lot of fun to do.
Then when I got a home a local photographer popped into my Facebook page and said he wanted to take pics in the rain. I told him I wanted to dance in the rain. So..... I am going to dance in the rain while he takes pics! How fun! Absolutely F-U-N! (maybe it will look like this (but I will wear a bra) )
Then I am going to come home and collapse! I am dead tired. A short rest will be in order. I forsee take out tonight......

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What I meant to say - you know you love it!

K - I am warning my mother and my friend Deb, just down the page there is a pic or two of the middle finger.... do not proceed if you are going to grumble about them. My blog, my pic choice. Look through your fingers if you have to - warned you....
Oh I am so excited to play again! It has been awhile!Let the fun begin!!!!

WIMTS ---->

To the d*ck head that scraped my black van with your red car door: What I said was (in front of my pre-schooler who is 5) "OH MANNNNN!!! look at this, someone put a ding in my door."
WIMTS- "You suck! Seriously suck, I am going to hunt you down and put huge black van door marks all over your red car. Further more did you have to push the door so hard it slid and put about a 1 inch mark instead of the standard ding with trace remnants of paint? Again, to be clear, YOU SUCK!!!!"

To the person who irked me via email Monday night: I said WIMTS here, in yesterday's post.
(what I did say was too long (via email) to post here, I won't bore you)

To my period: What I said was "ohhh, hello you again. Looks like it is you and me for the week."WIMTS- I am so over you. I could be fine if you would go away and not come back. My child bearing days are over. Thanks for the years of pain, bloating, irritability, discomfort, and fall out to others you have caused. You provided a nice warm safe environment for 5 babies.... but those days are done now - go away. (But don't leave in your place the horrid hormonal side effects that you tend to leave when you go away )

To my cat: When he tried to trip me down the stairs because his food bowl was empty (his means of getting my attention) What I said was, " ohh, are you hungry? did I forget to feed you?"pic by Jules

WIMTS -" If you kill me you idiot beast, there will be no one left to feed you. That water bowl that gets fresh water in it several times a day? gone.....it will dry up and no one else will notice. Your limp half dead body may be noticed by the rest of my body, but only after notice they are stepping over my body at the bottom of the stairs (or the smell gets to them first) So, don't kill me on these stairs cat, because it will be the death of you too!!"

Racism is funny (not really)

You know what I find funny - racism.

NO racism in itself isn't funny AT ALL. But, rather, the perception some people have. I was attacked (gently) last night via email from someone concerning my project. What I found funny (like car crash funny) is the fact that this person chose to "judge" me without meeting me, or (imo) worse! without asking for further explanation.

Yet, this is ok. It is ok to judge me before meeting me because I am white.
Maybe this is reverse - racism??? (If we are using this persons argument)

I know - tread lightly - this is a touchy subject. (I get that)

But, I mean it.... and I think of it often.....

Why is it racist for me to judge someone who is say Spanish American, when my judging has nothing to do with their race (yet it gets called racism). When in turn this person can turn around and judge me? (yet it would never be called racism) Some of these people who are on this particular soap box are the worst offenders.

Now, this person was not African American. But, they are not Caucasian either. Let me just say that I did not back down, and I did call this person out on their quick judging of me, which to me seemed to me to go against what they stood for.

But, damnit I was mad!!!! So, without too many details, now you know!

p.s. noone was harmed with this post, let's keep it that way in the comment box

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yoga Queen

First, I am over here too:
Venus and Mars

Next - a new post is up on my website This is my town: Bemidj

Photography by Jules
Karen (or Ambika!)
Downtown/Lake Bemidji Waterfront
March 2010

Strong, stoic, a wolf at heart, Karen wowed me with her smile and calmed me with her centered presence. A warm Spring day and cold Lake Bemidji were our backdrop. We talked and I snapped pictures. Karen did one yoga pose after another, making them look effortless. Years of experience and teaching give her this advantage. Well known around town we stopped often to chat with people passing by. Fun, energy, lover of life – this is the impression I was left with, what impression does Karen give you?

This is Karen F:

It’s not about me loving Bemidji, it’s more about Bemidji loving me! Both sets of paternal Great Grandparents came from Sweden and settled in Guthrie so I’ve always had roots and relatives in the area. My earliest memories of Bemidji are of “going to town” with my grandparents. Grandpa brought milk to the crea mery and Grandma, the Guthrie Reporter, handed in news to The Pioneer. I often made news; “Karen Lillquist, Bud’s girl, rode the Greyhound from Minneapolis to visit Art and Irene at home. She attended Ladies Aide, played with cousins, and rode her horse.” I thought I was famous in Bemidji. I still do….. I kind of am.

I didn’t plan on living up north permanently and even after 3 decades I sometimes feel like its time to go back to city life. Bemidji is a vacation place and I’m allergic to pine trees..................................

Written by Karen F

To see a slideshow of Karen’s photo shoot click here

pics by Jules

Read the rest HERE

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Comparing moms to daredevil motorcyclists

For moms with younger kids. What size shoes do your kids wear? How about pants, shirts, and underwear? Where is the syrup at? Where can the extra toilet paper and papertowels be found? If I were to ask you when the last time the house plants were watered or the floor vacuumed I am guessing most of you could tell me. What day can you find the best produce at the market and which store has the better quality meat? These are all things that are no brainers to you, right? Bath times, the way your child eats their toas,t or goodness, what way NOT to cut the toast, these are all things moms know.

The fact that these little gems of knowledge are not broadcast around makes our job seem a lot easier than it really is. When we are coasting through our day making it look effortless (when, really, you and I both know we are one broken plate away from going over the edge) that in reality it is a well orchestrated performance. One that is rehearsed every day. One that is learned in time. Our job is no easier then the dare devil at the fair riding his motorcycle around and around the cage - but like him, we make it look easy.

So as Mother's Day approaches this Spring - think of that.

You are a motorcycle driving dare devil on their daily task of taking care of a child and the household and making it look easy in the process.

So the next time your spouse comes home and says, " What did you do all day?" You just tell them you rode motorcycle around a wire cage all day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day Images (that you haven't seen)

Who says recycling is boring?
Recycling: it makes you better

Don't let excuses get in the way:
This guy is showing you up!

Do your part - today - everyday.
Happy Earth Day 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Creative Energy: Cate

Photography by Jules
Cate B.
Cass Lake Elementary School
April 2010

Somewhere between roller derby practice, judging performances for a music scholarship, child’s theater practice, classes, workshops, and meetings, Cate whittled out a bit of time for me. I met Cate for the first time at The Wild Rose Theater in downtown Bemidji. Trying to keep up with Ms. Belleveau and snap pictures at the same time was, to say the least, a challenge. One can not help but feel her constantly creating, it seems to be second nature for her. A buzz of activity and energy Cate’s spirit fills a room.

Meet Cate:

An athletic 8th grader traveling with her Wisconsin based family on a trip around Lake Superior and its environs was told “ Haul out everyone we need a break and this grassy lake front seems perfect!”

Six kids were stuffed in a baby blue Ford station wagon and welcomed rolling down the grassy hills that came to a pleasant stop at the shores of Lake Bemidji. After picnicking on that sunny August day and doing the “Cheese Smile” at the statues of Paul & Babe , we continued on to Lake Itasca. That would be a must-see if one was visiting northern Minnesota.......

You can find the rest of Cate's story here

Cate's photo shoot can be found here