Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eyes - Looking, Seeing, Thinking

Kelly from Chic Geek posted a lovely piece about her blog friends
Called Window to the Soul
First of all her words are eloquent
secondly, I couldn't agree more
(nor could I write it better)But, she spoke about looking into eyes:
"When I look into my eyes, I see eyes that reflect my dreams, eyes that at times have questioned my worth, eyes that reflect beauty and wonder and amazement at the world around me. Our eyes reflect our emotions. Emotion, or the lack of emotion in the eyes can tell me a great deal about an individual.

I wish I could look into all of your eyes, to really know you, to understand your dreams
So, Kelly and others, here you go
This reminds me of my all
time favorite song here

What these eyes have been seeing this week

Downy Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker


Thinking spot

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Daddy's on Crack

Alright - Here is the deal...

Not once, but twice this week I saw a dad who needs a slap. Someone needs to grab these guys around their hoodie collar and shake them. After that I would grab their flat brim cap and screw it on straight (while rounding the brim).

I am behind these guys - one downtown two days ago and one at the park yesterday. Their pants are hanging low on their butts - ala young punk style. Ewwwww!

I just want to yell " PULL UP YOUR PANTS!" If you are a dad (both of these dads had two young boys) it is time to grow up and pull up your pants.

I do not want to be at the park surrounded by my
and other people's kids and
see your ass hanging out nor
do I want to see your underware!
(unless you are the young Mark Wahlberg)

I opted not to take the pic I had in front of my face
saving you the agony I suffered

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Black Bean and Salsa Dip

Black Bean and Salsa Dip
3 C corn
3 C b. beans
1/2 C chopped red onions
1/2 C green onion
1/2 C lime juice
1/2 C cilantro (fresh)
1/4 C. olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 C chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
Stir together and let sit for at least 20 minutes. (Stores in fridge for days)

Yum Yum Double Yum

Serve with warm tortilla chips.

Also works spooned over chicken breasts.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What did you do for yourself today?

Someone asked me the other day - What have you done for yourself (100% selfish) lately.... Nothing - I sought to change that today

Where I sat this morning
That is my to do list on my lap- not getting done.

What did you do for yourself today?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Have a Confession

Don't Hate Me,
Please Don't Stop Following,
Just Give Me A Chance To Explain....

I listen to country music.

[on cue Backlights fade, spotlight on - Crowd Gasps]

I know I know I know.

I like all sorts of music and often flip from one type to the next
Top 40
Classic Rock
and Instrumental
even a little Metal if the mood strikes
But I always end up back at the Country station enjoying country songs. Now I have hinted at this before here and here and I gave it away here. But I have not out right stated... I like Country Music.

In my defense - I must say that most of the "new" country music is quite similar to Pop music of the past. In fact these days, more country songs are actually "cross over" songs then are not. Bon Jovi on the Country station and the Pop, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban are playing on both sides of the station as well. Heck, if Kid Rock can go country then I can too!

So, take it or leave it. But, if we are going to go
any further in this relationship - you need to know :)

But, hey a lot of country songs have very genuine lyrics, and I don't fear my kids hearing anything "too mature" for their young ears. In fact this is their favorite performance to date :

Of course there are those "standards" that I just can't help belting out (looking a fool) while driving down the road - much to my kid's dismay ;) Although considering that my oldest's favorite song is American Pie by Don McLean this too might be rubbing off.

What to Wear Today

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It Is What It Is

Picture taken at 6:30 pm Friday Night.
April 24th ....and it is SNOWING
It is better then last year on this date:

I think these guys were waiting to eat
what was left of me when I threw myself
out the window in desperation!

This is why I blew off work on Thursday and enjoyed the day - I knew that here in Minnesota, especially in the Spring -
It Is What It Is.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Freedom, Fun, Fresh Air - Pictures

Yesterday we blew off all responsibilities and headed to the State Park. Here is some pics from our morning.... as you requested:
As we headed down the trail
we were in search of
fresh air
pic by A. Nelson
Picture taking opportunities abound

pic by A.Nelson
I heard this guy before I saw him.

pic by me
While waiting for my turn to snap pics of the porcupine
I noticed this sweet beauty.
Warming itself in the sunlight.
pic by me
The ice is not quite off from the lake.
Ice doesn't just melt from the lakes,
it sinks,
breaks apart
washes up.

pic by me
These ice chunks can be beautiful but dangerous.
As the wind blows and the waves lap these hunks
of ice can push the shoreline into 5 foot heaves of dirt
they can break apart buildings on the shore, and destroy
anything in it's way.

I then asked Amy to take some pics of me. Since I am the one who holds the camera most often, I don't really have any pictures of myself.

This is what followed:
Love the mix/match outfit? What was that?

I have been known to have some
attitude :)

Ok, now this is getting silly

That one is for you Julie and Sabin

Well, we kissed the park good-byeExhausted from the fun and fresh air
we headed home for a rest,
luckily I made home
before I crashed!

They are Done!

Taking a cue from yesterdays decision to go, live, enjoy...
I took out my jewelery making supplies and got busy
finishing my blog giveaway gifts.
By 10 a.m. I had the reusable cup sleeves, and the necklaces done. I am so excited. Since I already purchased the handy bubble lined envelopes I am now able to address them and send them on their merry way - one to California, one to Oklahoma, and one to my neighbor in Minnesota (if she ever sends me her address... hint hint).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm Out of Here!

High 74
Mostly sunny. Scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 70s. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 30 percent.

High 49
Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain showers.
Highs 45 to 50. North winds 10 to 20 mph.

To Dearest:
With this forecast I am not going to hang around the house today. When you arrive home the dishes may not be done, the laundry will still be unfinished. It will absolutely not be folded and definitely not put away. (So when you are looking for pants tomorrow morning let me direct you to the laundry basket in the wash room)

I am grabbing the jogging stroller, my camera, a picnic lunch, and my friend from Nellymom blog, and we are headed to the state park.

When you ask what I did today
I am going to say:
I lived.
I enjoyed.
What I wanted to

I am out of here!


Side note: Dearest will not care that I skipped out to the park he will however be jealous. As he is stuck trying to beat algebraic equations into 15 year old heads....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So, You Don't Need to Recycle? (Updated)

What you are looking at is hundred of logs. Logs that were cut out of our Northern Minnesota forests. These logs are waiting to be turned into paper. Paper for writing, crafting, wrapping, and even wiping (need I explain?)
The "wood yard" is filled to capacity at this time of year (I would need an aerial view to show you all of it) The hundreds of logs above have now turned into thousands if not millions of logs that have been logged. They fill the yard this time of year because the trucks can't drive on the road due to break up (the weight of the trucks is too much when the snow and ice are melting, it would ruin the roads during this month long period... so they have to shut down their operation.) There are dozens of stacks this size lined up waiting. They are waiting to be turned into paper. Several miles down the Hwy. there is another plant waiting with a similar amount of wood to be turned into OSB boards (for construction). I have been told before that when the wood yard is full here it would only keep the paper factory running for four days.

This is one of many stacks of logs.
(Shot taken across the Hwy)

Now, logging is one of our main industries here in and around the Bemidji area. It is a livelihood and generates a major part of our income. From the loggers, to the business people who service them. I just think it is important for people across America and across the world to realize to see what it takes to generate the massive amounts of paper we use. You can not respect it if you can't understand it.
Same stack with vehicle to give perspective. Pic below is of me looking up, I felt quite small.

Setting up a small waste basket next to your trash basket is such an easy thing to do. Taking a few minutes to figure out where to drop off the paper for recycling would take less time then brewing a pot of coffee. Using both sides of paper before your recycle it is another great idea. Fianlly, committing to dropping paper off at said recycling location is something you can do ... now that you know what goes into making that piece of paper.
Before you show up with your picket signs (made out of recycled paper) please note that the loggers and wood companies practice a sustainable plan with the Forest Stewardship Council. One manager explained it to me as this -"... for every tree we log, we replant two." This is the dummy version of what they do, as I am sure there is far more involved then that.
But when you come across an area like this in the middle of the woods....
it makes you respect the paper you use a little bit more.
This area will take at least 30 years to regenerate itself.
(Click to enlarge the photo - notice the dense forest all the way around the clear cut)

All photos taken by myself -
bottom photo taken by dearest
at our hunting shack,
"way up north", MN

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Books that make you think

As the 10 year anniversary of Columbine comes and goes
I am going to suggest a book

19 Minutes from Jodi Picoult

I don't normally suggest books because I don't feel my taste in books is the same as others. However, this book is different. Ms. Picoult takes you into the heart of a school killer, yet she leaves you wondering who was to blame, the killer-or the victims?

See review here

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lucky number 7

Last week I was given the honor of the Kreative Blogger award. This is the second time I have received this great honor, and it is the second time I have taken too long to share my gratitude. I have felt entirely too guilty about not passing it on sooner - however, I have no excuse, really. I glow for days after receiving an award. Yet have ignored posting about it, thinking every day will be the day.... so here it goes.

Julie from Moments of Perfect Clarity and Alicia at Boylerpf both bestowed this honor on me (has it really been a month Alicia?) Julie had to list 7 things she loved. Being a Monday and feeling the pains of 1) being a weekend yard work warrior and 2) having started exercising again last week... I will opt for an assignment. So
Seven things I love:

1) My children being healthy. I am currently listening to them playing outside. They are arguing and throwing quite the fit at each other in one instant and onto a new game in the next (like siblings do). As much as I want to step in right now and ring necks, I am reminding myself that as long as they are fighting and acting a fright they are healthy and not bed ridden with sickness.

2) Flowers - I think they are natures gift to us.

3) Books - Words can take you into another world. It is amazing that 26 letters can come together to leave you wondering what characters and towns are doing right now - as you are driving to the grocery. I love that people in books freeze in time while we go about our life, and they are on the beach or sitting in a hut where we left them when we closed the book.

4) Movies - For similar reasons as book - but mostly that for 2 hours your eyes focus on a screen and block all other things out. I especially love when movies have you still piecing it together as you drive away.

5) Blogging - I can not believe how this outlet has helped me. It has kept my mind active, helped me to connect with people all over the world, it has served as an outlet for creativity, and has helped me in many other ways. But, the thing that has surprised me about blogging is the appreciation for the small things in my life. I have been able to focus in on small pictures of beauty. I will drive past the ditch with the sun shining on the ice and think - that is beautiful... or how the sun slants in at 4:30 through the back door...I wonder what that would look like on the blog?
6) Following that - a new blog adventure. Julie from Moments of Perfect Clarity and myself have connected our two 8 year old daughters across continents and an ocean. We have launched the Trans Atlantic Learning Adventure. It started out with me talking my daughter into it, and it has now ended up with her and the whole family gathering around the computer to see what is going on in Denmark... my oldest son said this morning, out of the blue- "I sure wish Sabin could come here, then we could meet her." It is so amazing to have this experience for the whole family to share - especially for two girls who have a scary amount in common ... it is a life shaping moment.

7) I love Memory - this may seem odd to you. But, here is the deal. Our family took us by surprised and it grew quickly. Since we have had children our life has changed drastically. We are mom and dad now and our responsibilities are huge. To add to that we have a part time business that has grown into a second full time job. We are busy. There is lots of work to do, and not much down time. Nor, is there much extra money. Dearest and I were bonded by our desire to be adventurous. We were able to enjoy quite a few wonderful adventures when we were dating and when we lived in Colorado, but have found ourselves pretty anchored since our family started a decade ago. But, I remember...
Me in Utah (scanned pic)
I remember those times and I still look forward to doing things again. We are priming our kids slowly - biking, small hikes, even rock climbing last summer...we will get there...

8)I love that I have my health - no one should ever take theirs for granted.

9) I love that I am truly grateful for the simple things in life - a house, clothes bursting out of the drawers, vehicles that are in good service, right down to the fact that we have hot running water, food in the cupboard and that the heater just kicked in. These too are not always guaranteed. I don't want to get to a point where I assume they are.

10) I just realized, I only needed to come up with 7 things I love. So, I will finish off #10 by saying that I love that I could come up with more then seven things :)
I had to come back after I published this because I forgot to pass this on! I will pass on this award to a sweet sweet friend - Kelly the Chic Geek not only does her blog deserve it, but she leaves the sweetest comments :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Unless you are faithful in small matters,

you won't be faithful in large ones.

Unaweep Canyon, CO
photos by Albert Yanowich Jr.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hide and Go Ewwwe!

The snow has melted (except for a few stubborn patches) and the shaggy dead rug of grass is showing. When this happens every Spring there is a week or two where things are just plain ugly. It is like bed head - but worse. Much like your hair would look if you had slept all winter with three feet of dirty snow on your head.

Anyway. Beside the dead ugly dirty grass there is the mess from the Winter and Fall that are now uncovered. Mostly garbage. It has been hiding under the layers of snow all winter - and now it has come out and Ewwwe!

Let me tell you this - the solution to pollution is not dilution! Things like plastic bottles, cans, cigarette butts, and shoes do not just disappear! (there are ALOT of people out there missing ONE shoe aren't there?! ) They do not dissolve into compost or evaporate into thin air.
I often wonder what possesses a person to throw their trash out the car window? Do they think someone else will pick it up? That it will magically disappear? Do they just not give a rats ass? Seriously...

I could take the time to compile stats and amaze you with facts. I could guilt you into promises you may or may not keep. I could sit here and give you all the reason by stating numbers or example of why this is so harmful, or prevalent. But, you are smart, you don't need that. In fact I am sure you don't trash the earth. But, there are people out there that are.

Earth Day is coming up. You know that. You also know there are things you can do. Are you doing them? Because YOU can do something.
Clean your block, your back yard
Buy recycle bins and start using them:
Separate your paper from your cans
Start a compost pile
Try to keep your trash down to a bag a week (if a family of 6 can do it, so can you)
Buy smart - Avoid things individually packaged
Look for things in enviro containers or recyclable containers
Think about it, you know what to do. You have heard it before. I don't need to keep nagging here.

However I would like you to consider one HUGE thing you can do that would have a profound impact on the earth-
use reusable grocery bags - stay away from the plastic bags. Pretend you just found out that using them will cause you cancer and exposure to them could cause a sudden death.... because that is what you are doing to the earth!

I am surprised if you can watch this video and not reconsider your choice of bag - I will eat a plastic bag - well, no, it would kill, me so ... but you get the point!

Sometimes you just need a reminder.

photos from Google image search

Friday, April 17, 2009

Do I dare believe?

Welcome, wild harbinger of spring!
To this small nook of earth;
Feeling and fancy fondly cling
Round thoughts which owe their birth
To thee, and to the humble spot
Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.
- Bernard Barton, To a Crocus

Pics taken by me - around my yard.... do I dare believe Spring is here?
It snowed 38 inches April 25th last year. I remain skeptical.