Saturday, February 28, 2009


I am up to my cyber neck in trip planning. How did this sneak up so quickly? Wow...
I have traveled from one end of South Dakota to the other before and I am amazed at how wonderful the tourism people have made the state look on their tourism website ;)
I especially like the interactive travel planner. I have named the virtual trip planning lady Carole- just cuz.

The trip planning has been made quite simple for us since most things don't open until May 1st (can't go if it's not open)

I believe the itinerary is as follows.
Leave after school Friday and drive to see family outside of Fargo, ND.
Leave early on day 2 with a stop in Pierre, SD to see the state capital.
We will then arrive late and stay at the cute little Foothills Inn only $39 for the night.

Whoa! Scratch that! Good thing I snuck this blog in today. While link all of these places I discovered that the pool at the Foothills Inn is OUTSIDE! The high will maybe be 50 degrees if we are lucky! Obviously the pool is closed.

We will now be staying at the Econo-Lodge, which should be interesting since it has really bad reviews! But we will be there for a very limited number of hours, just a place to lay our head and swim. Day 3 will be spent at Mt. Rushmore and the surrounding area. Monday is day 4. A trip back in time will be in order. I have Mammoth Site of Hot Springs and the Pioneer Historical Museum planned for that day. We will spend the last day around the water park at our hotel before heading back across the plains of South Dakota. We will stop and see family on the way home. If time permits we will visit Laura Ingalls Wilder's homestead in DeSmet.

That is our trip in a nutshell. Now, onto a nap. I am exhausted and I haven't even left my computer chair. I guess it is the idea of herding 4 kittens, oh I mean kids across the plains, through the badlands, and back again. Ear plugs, and portable DVD player will be the first things packed I assure you.
~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~ Side Note-
Does anyone have any great solutions for saving money on food while traveling? We are feeding 6 people and can't afford a restaurant for every meal. Our hotels do provide breakfast, so that meal is free. However, we always end up spending more money than I can bear when it comes to food on our vacation. Even a stop at the grocery ends up being $20-25 a stop. Leave me any suggestions you may have, or things that have worked for you. I always love and appreciate your comments.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Getting to know you...or me actually

Dogs sniff one another, people size each other up from across the room... we all do it. We all have ways of getting to know each other. This can be harder here in blogatopia - but a fun way to get to know each other better is 5 random things about ones self on display for all to see... Today I will do just this - but I will list 10! Gasp! I know... here they are in no particular order.

Oh, wait, first, this all came about because:
I have been tagged by Mod Farmgirl's Blog (she has the sweetest masthead picture)

Here are the rules of being tagged:
-Link to the person who tagged you
-Post these Rules in your Blog
-Write 5 Random things about yourself
-Tag random people at the end of your post and link to them
-Let each Person know they've been tagged

So here goes.....

1) I used to be in danceline. I even coached it in college. I could kick so high my knee would touch my shoulder. While sleeping, I still dream that I can do the splits. Strange I know.

2) I was a good girl in High School - probably too good.

3) I don't like common foods like bananas, green peppers, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and fruit filled things.

4) I think it is more important to have a good relationship with the janitor and the receptionist at work than it is the boss because, honestly the first two can usually help you more than the last one.

5) I am a chameleon. I can blend in and talk to almost anyone. White collar or blue... I have a way of making people feel at ease. Not bragging, just saying. I can usually charm the pants off them too (not literally (anymore))

6) I habitually pay our bills late - not like months late - usually a week late or so. (except the house payment is always on time or early)

7) I watch brainless shows (which would seem so unlike me if you knew me in person) like Dog the Bounty Hunter, and The Girls Next Door... it is like a nap for my brain. Yet, I shake my head at people who watch shows like The Bachelor or Rock of Love or whatever it is called. Sorry...... I know!

8) I am very poor at keeping in touch with my family. No excuses, just am. I always assume they know I love them.

9) I would rather build a house than scrub a floor or dust.

10) I am not the mom I always thought I would be. You won't find me saying "I would never...." anymore

So, as you can see, I already broke the rules and listed 10 things.
Now, I am going to break them more (sorry mod farmgirl!)
I am not going to assign the tag, rather I am going to offer it out.
If you want to be tagged - leave it in the comment box and we can all come check it out.
Hint Adam, or Julie, Fawn, or... I'll be checking ;)

After not knowing what to write about Kacie from Neo-Plains Woman did one...
check hers out too.

Thanks for the tag dear, it was fun

Update -
Adam from I don't give two cents.... took the tag and erased the rules, go see what he came up with here.


Happy 8th Birthday to my dear Girly.
My little princess, pixie, girly-girl.

They all end up looking like dads

As I continued to survey the men in the water park something struck me funny. They all kind of looked alike......Some were blond, and some had dark hair some were tall and some weren't but what they had in common was that they all...

Maybe I should back up.
Several years ago I was at a water park. It was our family and two other families (friends from my hubby's hometown/school) I was cold, wet, and frustrated.

This park had a section designed for a the wee-est ones with water jets shooting out of the floor and an itty bitty slide. I was there with our three littlest ones. The side that my hubby and oldest were at was exactly kitty corner, across, far far across from where I was. He was there chatting and swimming with his high school friends that we vacation with once a winter.

I was cold because of the stupid water jets that were getting me wet but not keeping me warm. I was frustrated because I was alone. Slowly the idea of a social, fun weekend was slipping from my mind as I realized it was going to be me and the littlest kids by myself again.
(BTW-things drastically improved after that year)

To keep myself entertained and in an effort not to become the "psycho" wife I started looking around at people - people watching is always entertaining. It started with this evil intent to find the cutest guy in the park and watch him - something to keep me, as I said, entertained. However, as I started to look around something became quite clear - all guys in my age range have started to look like "dads". You could tell who had been cuter than the other guy and who would have caught my eye back in the day- but, here they were chasing their little ones with their ponch of a belly and the sagging in their chest that comes from having to come straight home to dinner and to help with a new child. The kind of physique that comes from more nights on the couch then in the gym.

Side note: The same thing was happening in our relationship - we were more like teddy bears then barbies. But, hey! babies never cuddle barbies. Now the pendulum has swung. The wee ones are getting older and requiring less hands on attention and there is time for the gym again.

You younger girls take note... go for what you find on the inside of a man. Make sure you chose a man who is kind, caring, and considerate of you. Make sure he is someone you can stand to be around and not just to look at. A guy who shares the same values and will make a good dad and husband.
I am so glad I chose that type of man.
(it was a bonus that he came with brilliant blue eyes)

Because, on that day in the water park one thing became quite clear to me. When it comes down to it they all end up looking like dads.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cute Diversions

Since I am still feeling yucky (see post below) I thought I would share this little bit of cuteness with you. Yes, it is a blatant diversion - so just shut up and enjoy it. (Sorry- I am mean when I am in pain and on drugs!)

It is important to remember that being social is good for us. Our emotional and even physical health depends on social interaction. Social relationships can help deal with everything from depression, to stress, and just plain old loneliness.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fooled by Beauty

Can you guess what this beautiful image is? A flower, or the scales of a sea creature?
Oh, how we can be fooled by beauty. What looks so beautiful isn't always.

What you are looking at causes the human body one of the worst pains possible
(and I can say with great certainty that it is ALMOST more painful then labor pains)

It is an image of a kidney stone.
Need I say more?
I have been a long time sufferer of kidney stones. So much so that they have called it "chronic"

My #3 wee one was only a couple of months old the first time I had my first stone. In the year 2006 I had 14 surgical procedures for them and countless other appointments and tests, x-rays etc. At one point I produced a stone the size of my thumb print in 10 months time. yikes!

If you recall I went in this last December 22 after a years break. Making my Christmas prep that much harder! I posted here and here.
Lucky me, I made it two months and one day before having to go back in.

I am on a morphine hangover right now. There fore I doubt much of this makes any sense..... as my head is spinning and it is only met by my stomach doing the same thing.

I am going to go lay back down. I will successfully ignore the clothes piles from last night and this a.m., the dishes will not even get a second look and Scooby-Doo will have to serve as a babysitter right now. If you need me, I will be lump under the white down comforter...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh Happy Day.... or not? Ask the lunch lady.

My morning can be made or broken by the school lunch program.

Today's lunch is soft shell tacos. It was a good morning.

Let me back up.
I stumble out of bed. Make my mandatory stop at the bathroom
(hey, it's true). V Line for the coffee pot (don't get in my way less you get pushed aside) . The lunch menu is stuck to the fridge beside the coffee pot.

My eyes final formed a small enough slit to peek out of my sleep induced comma. I look, with fear, at what the lunch menu says
(the sound of the coffee pot doing it's job is only slightly helpful at this point of the morn').
How will my morning go?

Today is soft shell tacos - FABULOUS! All three school agers will eat that, and I agree that it has enough nutritional value to work for me too. I can grab my coffee and go about the other morning duties without hesitation or frustration.

However, there are days it does not go so smoothly. For example a Friday morning when lunch is BBQs
(also known as sloppy joe's) with a salad and corn - ugggggg, do I really have to get out of bed?

Fridays can be the worst. This is because Fridays are spelling test day. So not only are we worrying about clothes, backpacks....."did you remember to throw your shoes in", and "......hey you need to brush your teeth better than that!" but there are spelling words to practice one last time. Now, throw in three cold lunches for three very different tastes and it is enough to send me over the edge. On these mornings I think I should be drinking IRISH coffee

You are getting the idea.
Let me elaborate...
Grilled cheese and tomato soup - 2/3 of a bad morn. 2 cold lunches, 1 hot (lunch at school)
Chicken leg with mashed potatoes - good morn' with hestitation.
All three wee ones will eat at school but I wonder if they really will get enough food to keep them full.
Cheese Pizza - 100% sit down at the table and talk, great morning.
I know all three will eat it and be full, and it has enough nutrition to keep me happy (I have low expectations for school lunches)
Cheeseburger with tator tots - This too will be a good morn.

Now, if it is cheeseburgers on a Tuesday it is a happy day. Tuesdays are good mornings I get to stay home, the spelling words aren't calling yet, kids are out of the weekend slump etc.....

This is the kind of happy day where I feel like a choir should shuffle in from the back deck and break out in song leaving the kids dancing out the door on their way to the bus
(which arrives no later than 7am btw) So, bring on the choir the dancing and clapping because today was tacos and it was a HAPPY DAY!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let the sea roar

Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
1 Chronicles 16:32

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Give This Photo a Caption

Set your coffee down, make sure you don't have food in your mouth or anything else that could potentially ruin your keyboard/screen...


I mean it, you will regret it if you don't!


You can look then

Done laughing?


I think this photo needs a caption.

Please leave your suggestion as a comment. I will post the winner next week. Thanks for playing along. I would offer a copy of the photo as a prize, but I Won't Go There!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dancing with your head cut off

I am running like a chicken with my head cut off....... We've all heard the expression (although most of us have never actually seen this occur)
This is how I feel today!

But, that led me to think, how long can a chicken live with it's head cut off, because I feel as though I am burning the candle at both ends and don't know if at this pace I can make it to the end of the weekend!
(yeah another saying, and wondering how long can a candle burn at both ends? The answer depends upon the length of the candle.... but, I digress!)

This got me long can a chix live w/o it's head? Really it was a procrastination tool, but none the less, the world wide web never seems to let a person down anymore. I discovered that there was a chicken who lived for a year and a half with it's head cut off! Out of fun I thought I would share the wonder and amazement with you.

I guess if I can just make it through the end of the weekend I will be good.


See story here

Excerpt from the headless chicken story
...A skillful blow was executed and the chicken staggered around like most freshly terminated poultry....
...Then the determined bird shook off the traumatic event and never looked back. ..
...When Olsen found Mike the next morning, sleeping with his "head" under his wing, he decided that if Mike had that much will to live, he would figure out a way to feed and water him...
...In the 18 MONTHS that Mike lived as "The Headless Wonder Chicken" he grew from a mere 2 1/2 lbs. to nearly 8 lbs...

Check out the website here

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


As I get ready for our first Sport Show this coming weekend I needed an extra kick in the pants....

"The highest reward for a man's toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it"
John Ruskin

p.s. anything strike YOU as interesting in this photo?

Sports Shows have nothing to do with Sports!

For clarification purposes I am posting a couple of pics.

We are busy busy busy getting ready for our first "Sport Show" of the season. Where we will tote our goods for 10 hours a day with the purpose of advertising our product and hopefully selling our wears. We will be at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, ND
(stop by, say hi, you crazy cyber stalkers you!)

However since we will be leaving the wee ones at home (with a very competent adult ;) Not only do we need to get the business stuff in line, but we need to make sure things are in proper order around the house too.

I told Adam from I don't give 2 cents I would post some pictures to help with the understanding - so here ya go!

BTW- I just thought of this - Sports Shows have nothing to do with Sports! There will be boat companies, hunting, outdoor rec, resorts, ice fishing houses, guides, landscaping/ lawn care, and other various companies there - but nothing to do with traditional sports like football, basketball, or hockey etc. Interesting!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Duck, Cover, and Pray

Am I the only one who finds it hard to swallow a $787 Billion pill?

I am not trying to be a naysayer - I want it to work, I hope it works.... but I wonder if spending that kind of money will cause more deficit trouble in the end or if it will be the magic pill we have all been searching for - our houses and jobs will be secure, plus we will all be thin, fit, and have great skin.
Final Thoughts:

How will the Stimulus Plan effect you? Click here

Will there come a day when every Tom, Dick, and Maryland don't throw in their own
"pet projects"?

I hope it works, but I am skeptical

However, I am ALWAYS skeptical.

I will just duck, cover, and pray.

Is Common Sense all that Common?

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust , his wife, Discretion,his daughter, Responsibility, his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights,

I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Submitted by : Sue Davis, Long Island NY

Originally posted by: Posted by Ed Conti on Sept. 8 '08


I always said I didn't have as much book smarts as common sense. I believe it still holds true. But, how does one get common sense?

Believe it or not, it is learned that's how. However this knowledge can not come out of a book. It is learned in hardware stores, the back of house in restaurants, combing through grocery store aisles and just paying attention in general, to the world around you.

I believe common sense is not so common anymore because kids and their parents know the importance of book smarts but have forgotten the lessons passed on from generation to generation. Things like don't put a ladder up near electrical wires on your garage and turn the power off from the garbage disposal before sticking your hand in to fish out that ring seem like something everyone would know....but, do they? The lack of thinking about things in general is an epidemic.

I was discussing this with a friend. Her take was this: Everything is done for people these days. Nobody has to think anymore. We are told what to think about, where to go, how to get there, and when. With things like spell check, on board GPS systems, calculators, and parents who do everything for kids there is no reason to think. She feels that we have become walking zombies. Plus, the point that I thought was most pertinent: there are no consequences. So, if you do something really stupid and don't face a consequence you don't learn. The final point she made which strikes true is - we are told that everyone needs to "feel good about themselves" alllllll the time. Everyone needs to make the team and even if you can't hit a ball everyone pats you on the back and says, "good try" instead of saying - maybe baseball isn't your thing! That is not realistic...

What do you think about the uncommoness of common sense? Leave your opinion as a comment for me - I would love to know!

Monday, February 16, 2009


I am back from a quick trip to my folk's house. It was two days filled with Wii playing and sibling quarreling. Packing up and going (followed by packing and returning, then unpacking again) for four wee ones and myself is exhausting. It doesn't matter if we stay for one day or four it is equal work, just more pairs of under ware!

We are back and the kids are proclaiming that they want to live at Grandma and Grandpa's. I myself am glad to be home. I have so much work to do this week..... yikes!

More later, however right now I am up to my armpits in suitcases, dirty laundry and a bedroom that a cat was locked in for two days - ugggggg...


I make "Jules". It is a hobby. Something to fill the long nights. Mostly it provides inexpensive gifts for friends and family


I have discovered I love to teach other people how to make their own jewels.
I have the ability to do that through our local community ed classes.

In a past life I taught Elementary School. I really enjoyed myself, but, there is something so much more rewarding inteaching adults (to me). The ability to get to the subject, no discipline, stand back and jump in when needed. Watching the satisfaction on these ladies faces when they leave with a real necklace, multi strand necklace, or a few pair of earrings. It makes me feel useful.

Here are some of their creations.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Out of Town

I will be out of town visiting my folks for the next two days. I have scheduled some little pictorial diversions for you.... enjoy.

Severed Heads

I went to the local beauty school on Wednesday to get my hair dyed.

Severed heads oversee the goings on

At one point the women start looking like severed heads ....

Yeah, I know, WTF?

I started thinking of the ritualistic torture we subject ourselves in the name of beauty.

Foil, rods, dyes, gels, sprays, heat, and then products to cover up the damage we have just done.

Side note- the school seemed quite a bit emptier then the last time I had been there. My student/beautician said a lot of people had graduated and several had dropped out. This put me into a fit of hysterical laughter while having my hair rinsed (it is hard to laugh so hard with your head hanging in a rinse bowl!) I explained to my poor perplexed 19 yr old girl that it made me think of the song from Grease - Beauty School Dropout- which she (go figure) had not seen..... sigh

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What to say?

I have been trying to figure out how to share what a wonderful Valentine's Date/Surprise I had last night with my dearest.

How do I sound genuine, not braggish
How do I explain the feelings, fun, and joy without making others gag?

Is it possible to explain the adventure I went on when most have never even heard of my town?

How can I explain that I started on my hunt at 4 pm and didn't find my dearest until 5:30 following my trail of clues (one of which you can see in the comment section of the last post). Or, how it ended with a cup of coffee and some great conversation at 10 pm....

I haven't found the right way to explain it all.


I'm not going to. I am going to keep it mine. Close to my heart - in a little box that I can open and enjoy when I need a pick me upper.

I will share this. My yearly Valentine's gift. It is always the same thing that I have received for the last 13 or so years. It costs dearest nothing, but his time and one piece of paper.

Every year I receive "The Top 10 Reasons" it is the top ten reasons that my dearest loves me. They are different every year, but always personal - yet just as meaningful if not more than the year/s before.

So, to my dearest I just want to say Thank You for the adventure, fun and romance
I Love You Too!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Of Birds and Barns

I have never thought about how many red barns are located within a mile of my house.
I take red barns for granted....

Bird watching is a hobby for me. When the temps soared above freezing the other day the birds took advantage by cleaning themselves. At one time there were over a dozen birds splashing.
Red barn down Pumpkin Seed Lane.
I was not the only one to notice all the birds fluttering around!

I hope you enjoy the pictorial diversion. I am busy today getting the house ready for a sitter, going to lunch with a fine friend, and preparing for a surprise Valentine date tonight....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Around the Yard

Do you see what I see?

A bunny in the tree

A bird in the hand...

This little fellow hit the picture window. After a little nursing he flew away. This happens at least once a week. There is something so amazing about holding a bird.


Blue sky with a jet going high...

What happens when in rains. It is quite a sight to see snowmen lose their fight