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? 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

Monday, April 19, 2010

Let the games begin

Home Sport and Travel Show is over.
It is like the opening ceremonies to the dock season.
We made it through again for another year.
Now the busy time begins with installing docks and boat lifts
and delivering what we sell.
Let the games begin.

Recovering the house from a week of neglect was on the agenda today.
I did sneak outside for about 20 minutes and walked to the garden.
It was gorgeous. I had to be forced back in.

May Flowers- a bit early, like everything this season.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

He's a Superstar and b.s. sale lines

James , left, owner of Boon-Docks, shows off the deck on a boat dock to Vic and Betty Lynne at the 33rd annual Bemidji Jaycees Home, Sport & Travel Show Friday afternoon at the John Glas Fieldhouse. About 150 booths are part of the show, which is open today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Picture and article from here.


The 33rd Annual Bemidji Jaycees Home, Sport and Travel Show gives visitors a sampling of the myriad opportunities available in the area.

From playground equipment to docks, kettle corn to brats, fireplaces to log buildings, the Home, Sport and Travel Show is an exhibit of diversity. The show in the John Glas Fieldhouse ran from 3-8 p.m. Friday and continues from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, April 17, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 18. More than 150 exhibitors set up booths Friday to show off their goods and services.

Jeri Fuller at the First Realty booth said she and her colleagues will give away bicycles to winners of the children’s coloring contest. Participant will receive a sheet of paper to design their dream home.

Other booths have visitor gifts such as lollipops and bookmarks. But perhaps the most iconic give-away is from Bob’s Econo Pump booth. Visitors there can take away rolls of toilet paper wrapped in an image of an Econo Pump truck and the slogan, “If you ain’t a-flushin’ we’ll be a-rushin’.

Many of the exhibits relate to northern Minnesota culture. Fishing Has No Boundaries has an upstairs booth, while hot tubs, patio arrangements, fishing gear, chainsaws and lawn care companies display their wares downstairs.

Some booths, such as Sport and Spinal Rehab, offer on-the-sport services such as that business’ “Free Thumper Back Massage.”

Entry to the Home, Sport and Travel Show costs $3 for a single ticket, $6 for a family ticket, with children 6 years old and younger admitted free. Those who bring Bemidji Community Food Shelf items to donate can deduct $1 from their entry fee.


My husband made it on the front page of our paper and it's website. We are at a "Home, Sport, and Travel" Show this weekend selling our docks and boatlifts to potential customers.
Oh man do the lines fly when you are selling. Here are a few lines:

::Everyone has lake shore property (after all it is Minnesota) just some of us need longer docks.
::Well sir, who doesn't need a new dock? You surely deserve it....
::Imagine your family at the cabin enjoying this.
::Oh you will be the envy of your neighbors.
::I can move this thing around and I am just a little girl, a big strong guy like you will have no problem. (bat eyelashes)

I'll stop there! But you get the point.

Off to stand inside on a cement floor for 9 hours. Enjoy the beautiful Spring day outside.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Have you really looked?

This post is from last May. I saw my first dandelions of the season and thought of what I wrote last year.

Have you ever really looked at a dandelion?
Click to enlarge this pic
and REALLY look at it.

They are beautiful!
We have been told they are not
They are a weed
and We believed them.

It wasn't until I set this pic as my
that I realized they were wrong.

What else have they told us
That we believed
Without forming our own opinion....

They might be wrong...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Everyone Has A Story: David

South of Bemidji
 Photography by Julie Saari
David H.
South of Bemidji
March 2009

I found David quite by accident. I knew I wanted a logger to be part of my project. But, how does one find a logger? After all they work in the woods. I happened across a site, took a chance and scrawled a note on a piece of paper and stuck it on the truck at the site. I was praying he didn't think me crazy. Instead, he called me. He was excited. See, David knows he has a story, and he was ready to tell it. To me this is the best kind of story; one of a life well lived, and lived simply.

The day I took David's pictures it was his 63rd birthday. He was ready to go and had everything planned to make my experience easier. What he may not have known is I loved being out in the woods. I could have stayed all day; the trees, the smells, the quiet taken over by one lone chainsaw.

David has a story, here it is:

I grew up on a farm near Guthrie. My first involvement with the timber industry was my brother and I cutting aspen off our family farm to sell to the Nu Ply plant in Bemidji. We used our Ford farm tractor and a two wheel trailer loading and unloading all the wood by hand. After we had stacked the cut pulpwood in a place a truck could reach we hired a logger who had a truck to haul it to NuPly.

After graduating from high school I continued to log some in the same way and also to work for loggers who had more specialized equipment. Until I graduated from the University of Minnesota, Forestry school, spring 1970; I worked weekends and breaks logging for myself or for loggers to pay my way through school. By the time I graduated I knew I really enjoyed logging. The development of rubber tired skidders and hydraulic log loaders had taken the backbreaking labor out of the process and made it possible to log more difficult terrain. However, before I could start logging full time I had a military obligation to fulfill........

Written by David Horn

To read the rest of David's story head over here: This is my town: Bemidji

To see a slideshow of David's photo shoot click here

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A guest posting today - Making Connections

I am not here. I am in South Dakota visiting my oldest bro. He has a new bar and wanted my other brother and I to visit for the night. We will maybe be gone 18 hrs, but I am happy to go. So, I have a guest blogger today

A guest post from 25 by 35 . Show her some love.

I have a new Pen Pal and I met her through our blogs. She has a blog about motherhood – though it’s not exactly a mommy-blog, it’s more of the identity-crisis variety, which is perhaps why I was drawn to her.

My blog is about losing 25 pounds by my 35th birthday, but I have had several blogs over the years and this particular person is the only person I know who is aware of all of them and has read them. So in a sense she knows me pretty well, all the facets of me. She swears she isn’t as complicated or complex as I am; I would disagree.

But there is something about putting pen to paper, creating ink words on a pretty piece of stationery, choosing to scribble or using your best handwriting and sealing the envelope with your very own saliva. It is something infinitely more personal than blogging, even though the subject matter is significantly less personal. What you choose to put on the two pages is telling, and the letter is touched by your hands, your eyes, your mouth and your soul.

Whereas blogging is diarrhea of the keyboard, a letter is special. It is an isolated event and it is a part of you that you give away. After it is sent, there are no edits, no second chances to re-read what you wrote, no looking back.

With blogging, you know people are reading but you don’t really know who. Even your commenters are cartoon characters; imaginary friends. But when I send my letters to Kate, I know that there will be a moment, whether it happens when she checks the mailbox or when her husband hands her a small stack of things addressed to her, that she will see that I was thinking only of her while I wrote this letter. Maybe it will give her the small jolt of electricity her letters give me; maybe I make too much of it all.

How this happened I can’t exactly say. She blogged about being lonely, or was it bored? I asked for her address. Yes, I think that’s how the story goes. So I sent her a letter.

I half expected that to be the end of it, but a week later, I checked my mail and there she was. Much more feminine and composed than she has ever laid claim to in her blog. A pretty piece of cream-colored paper with the silhouette of a lady walking her dog embossed at the top.

Blogging has been my salvation and my Achilles’ heel, the thing that sustains me and controls me. I love to write, I need to be heard, and so blogging is, in the end, a good thing.

But my Pen Pal is a new twist on the never-ending ways I seek connection with real, live people and I begin to wonder if one Pen Pal will ever be enough. I feel as though I could write letters all day, send them into the world and dream of a speedy reply.

Friday, April 9, 2010

3D glasses got me thinking

Our children listen and they hear what is the 'right thing' to do. But, if we don't back up these messages with our own action, they will not do the 'right thing'. We are their example, we are the end all be all in teaching right and wrong. We can tell our children not to talk mean and yell at each other but if that is the way we communicate - good luck getting them to act differently. If they know to recycle, yet we don't provide for them the tools to do so - how can they? We provide our children with the resources to be who they will grow to be. What are you teaching? What am I?
This comes up after going to the 3D version of How To Train Your Dragon (which was totally worth the $8 a person). At the beginning of the movie a little snippet comes on asking the movie goers to recycle their 3D plastic glasses in the bins provided outside the theater doors at the end of the movie. We make it through the movie and shake off the darkness as we walk out into the light of day (it was a matinee). My children grab their glasses and search out the bin. Without thinking I toss my glasses in and my children follow suit. We have a small discussion about why they ask us to recycle the glasses and what probably happens to the glasses once they go in the bin (initiated by the kids). A man, woman, and maybe 5 yr old child come out of the theater behind us. The boy is insisting (loudly) that the glasses get recycled. "We need to recycle our glasses.... it said in the movie to put our glasses here at the end....we NEED to... THEY said...." My kids and I stepped back and watched this happen. "Put your glasses in here.... we HAVE to they said" The woman and man are looking at this child like they are not sure whose kid this is. The woman finally grabs her glasses and tosses them in. The man kinda laughs and mumbles and starts messing with his phone. Again, the boy insists. The man tiring of all this turns and says - we could use them for shows at home (HELLO DIPSH*T no you can't!!) anyway.... The boys says "Well if you aren't going to do it, neither am I" and he was just pleased as punch.

My kids acted as though they had just witnessed the biggest crime possible. They talked about this for the next 1/2 hr. Amazed. I was amazed at the influence that truly does exist in us as adults. Of course we know this - but to see it play out so obviously.... made me think.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Collaborative Photo Project-Art

Deb's Contribution: Detail of Bronze Sculpture by Michael McCullough, Ridgeway Colorado

Jules' Contribution: painting by Deb, crocus by Mother Nature

more links here

I just wanted you to know

So it begins. The weather has turned the ice is off and......the phone has started ringing. Yep a ringing phone. People calling to get their dock in, husband calling with things that need to get done, sales calls. This is all fabulous and a business owner that complained about business would be crazy -but wow! it is a bit early, by a month.

I have been working on some reading, my project has taken over my brain - the FB page has exploded (for a town our size), I still have the kids to deal with and am working on a whole "let's talk nice and not just yell right away" campaign with them, their is outside stuff that is now needing to be done after the snow has melted, along with the normal housework stuff which just seems to be too much lately (read - I do not want to do it.), etc etc

Excuses - maybe.

But I am not around as much and I just wanted you to know.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Meet Lisa - a hometown girl

Lisa W.

 Photography by Julie Saari

Lisa W.
Back Alley Downtown Bemidji
February 2009

What if someone never leaves their hometown? Do you consider them stuck? Or are they blessed to have been born into the town they were meant to live in?

Lisa W. is one of the first people I see on my days in town. A quick stop into Harmony Co-op for my Certified Organic Free Trade $1 cup of coffee serves more as a recharge of the spirit than a hot beverage. Seeing Lisa there stocking the fruits and vegetables is a kind of comfort to me. The contentment of her face made me want to know her story, maybe you will find it interesting also. Do you think she got stuck?

This is Lisa:

Bemidji’s my hometown. I was born in the nursing home right off Bemidji Avenue which used to be the area’s main hospital. I graduated from Bemidji Middle School, Bemidji High School and Bemidji State University, got married (and divorced, and married again, ahem) in the Bemidji courthouse, had a baby in the “new” Bemidji Hospital, and landed a job in downtown Bemidji at a our only community owned grocery store. You get the gist. I’m one of those: a local. Not a seventh-generation indigenous local or a third generation Scandinavian-settler local, but the kind of local that was simply born here and feels Bemidji in her blood.

The question most hometown people get, from my experience, is ‘why didn’t you ever leave? Or ‘what made you stay?’ ..........

To read the rest: follow this link.
Be sure to view the slide show posted at the bottom of Lisa's story too.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Who doesn't love a fuzzy bunny?

Have a happy and blessed Easter
I will return after the holiday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy April Fools Day - Need some ideas?

Last night my husband moved all four kids around to different beds when they were sleeping (and their alarm clocks too) so that when they awoke this morning they found themselves confused. It was good for a giggle and a bit of talk this morning around the breakfast table. What did you do/ have done to you?

These ideas are kinda funny: