Sunday, October 30, 2011

Balls / Sunday, October 30

You're getting ready for Halloween.

How yesterday.

I mean, tomorrow.

I mean.

Hmmm .... I'm not sure what I mean.

I'm at 'Ria's store, helping set up the Holiday Preview.

Surrounded by my friends.

Working to make things spectacular.

It's gonna be a great Christmas.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sometimes, It's Tough Bein' A Mama / Saturday, October 29


I miss my Boy RD.

This is a photo from two Christmas' ago.



I'm combing through old photos.

In a quiet house.

There may be a connection.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Martha, Sans Snooty / Friday, October 28


What can I say about her?

Oh, right. 

What I always say.

That she makes Martha Stewart look like a crack whore.


There is nothing this woman can't do. 

And she's always good at whatever she takes on.

She makes chandeliers from scratch. 

And she makes her own cutting table for her sewing room.

Yup. you heard me.

Out of a door. 

With a metal measuring tape for ... well, you know -- measuring.

And buttons.

Lots and lots of antique and vintage buttons.

And table legs, rescued from a table that otherwise didn't have a chance at happiness.

And then her husband created a quilt pattern with laminate flooring.

It's like a little slice of domestic heaven.

I could move in tomorrow.

Never mind that I can't sew a straight line to save my life.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guest Blog: What They Did On Their Vacation / Thursday, October 27

Today's post comes to us from one of my favorite people, Jenna. Or, as I like to call her, J-Boo.  

'Boo is one of Crystal's sisters. (HI, CRYSTAL! I'M GLAD YOU'RE BACK!) (HI, 'BOO! I MISS YOU!) 

She is currently kickin' it Florida-style with another sister, Kaela. (HI, KAELA! XOXOXO) 

'Boo moved down to Kaela's place at the end of the last school year to establish her Sunshine State-residency with the intent of attending grad school down there. I should probably mention Kaela's married. His name is Dan. (HI, DAN!)

'Boo's gonna be an anthropologist. 

You know. 

All Indiana Jones-like. 


That's an archaeologist. 


I get it confused because 'Boo, when she French braids her long, luxurious Kardashian hair and wears the right bra, looks like Lara Freakin' Croft

You know. 

Tomb Raider, baby!

You see how a girl could get all muddled up. 

Where were we?

Oh, right. 


That's where Crystal stole took my boys last week. 

When I dropped them off against my better, self-centered judgement at the airport. 

All the way to Florida. 

My heart is barely mending.

(Don't cry for me, Argentina.)

The fun they had was astronomical. 

Alligators, a Miami Dolphins game, the beach, speed boatin', crab eatin' and a whole lot o' backyard pool swimmin' was had. 

The best part? 

Getting to spend time with family. 

But don't take my word for it. 

Take it away, 'Boo!

Two  months and 18 days.

Who knew two months and 18 days could feel like two years and 18 days.


As soon as we rounded the last bend at the airport, I could feel my soul jump out of my very core and as I  ran toward them.

Here I thought being in Florida was as hot as I’d get.

But Gavin’s “Hiiiiii Auntie Jennnna!” and each and every vigorous hug warmed my heart all over again.

You could say each day, hour, minute, moment was treasured.

Cliché I know…

But look…

There were some seriously exhilarating boat rides.

That led to lots of "CWAB," there has always got to be a little cwab.

Can't you just feel the excitement?

He exclaimed to the entire restaurant, "Oooh, this is all I've been thinkin' about!"

We also found a couple of beach babes while we were surfing the waves one day ...

Ooh, and this third beach babe.  

Ayy, look at that physique.

BUT, they were busy looking at the other chicks that day.

And by looking, I mean staring. 

I’d missed these folks, with every inch of my heart.

After all, they’re not just family. They’re soul-family.

The kind you’d choose to have around even if they weren’t blood.

Be sure to like 365 on Facebook for exclusive content. (There's another boat shot that defines awesome.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reaping What I Sow / Wednesday, October 26

Today is a big day. 

Today, I reap what I sowed.

Is that the proper tense to indicate previous sowage?

Last week, I got up early. 

Well, early for me.

And braved the cold.

(Wearing short sleeves and no coat, mind you.)

I'm from North Dakota.

This ain't cold.

And I saw some idiot, in 9am traffic, get pulled over.

I'm not saying they're an idiot for getting pulled over.

Hell, I get pulled over all the time.

They're an idiot for not putting on their blinker and going to the next parking lot or side street.

It is NEVER okay to endanger a police officer.

Don't be a dumb ass. 

Put on your blinker. 

Let them know you're complying. 

And get them the fuck out of traffic. 



I am, after all, a cop's kid.

So back to what I done sowed. 


I really don't know.


That's right. 

I let them leave me.

As you can see, only their mother was excited to get away from my constant attention.

Well, Nolan might have been a little psyched. 

Clearly, Gavin was heartbroken.

And the little, little one?


I never got a so much as a crack of a grin out of that kid.

He knew it would be seven whole days and was as heartbroken as I was.

BUT ....

I get to pick them up this morning.

I'm not sure who to hug first.

Or if I should maybe just take the baby and run like hell.

One thing is for sure, though.

I will not be taking my camera.

We need both arms to hug, you know.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the airport to make a claim.

Monday, October 24, 2011

When Culinary Genius Goes Awry / Tuesday, October 25

I like to cook in a rather loosey-goosey style. 

Willy-nilly, if you will. 

Hither and yon, even.

OK, not really hither and yon, but I couldn't think of a third willy-nillyism.

Usually, it works gangbusters.

The crazy cooking. 

Not the hither and yon.

The cooking. 

The cooking goes pretty well. 

I get compliments.

People tell other people it was great.

Nobody dies. 

Every once in a while, though, something happens.

Something bad. 

Something so bad that I question my sanity. 

My ability to ever cook a decent meal again.

My worth in the kitchen.

Even if it's only to wash dishes.

On Sunday, we decided to make some seriously bad for us food.

Country fried steak. 

Mashed potatoes. 


As my friend Tanya would say, "fuck YEAH!" 


I haven't made country fried steak in years.

But it used to be one of my specialties.

You know, back when I could eat what I wanted and all I got was zits. 


Trying to recall what it was I did to it back then, and what I've learned in the meantime, I hit upon W. sauce.

I'd spell it out for you, but I can't. 

I think it's named after a county in Britain.

I could be wrong.

Then again, I could be right. 

Either way, I have learned it makes beef delightful. 

'Brings out the .... 

uh .... 

well, beefiness. 

In hindsight, I should have spritzed some on the cube steaks themselves. 

Hindsight's a bitch. 

Instead, I created this monstrosity. 

That's right.

I put the W. sauce in the coating.

You'd think this image alone would have made me throw on the brakes, but oh, nnnooooo ....

Suffice to say it won't happen again.

If you need me, I'll be nuking some Lean Pockets.

Walking With My Mother-In-Law / Monday, October 24

Sunday, October 23, 2011

At Jenn's House / Sunday, October 23

I've been saving photos.

Not just the, "oh, crap, I forgot to take a picture today!" kind, either.

No, no.

For me.

That's right.

I've been greedy.

I've waited until a day when I knew fall was giving way to winter.

A day I knew I'd need to draw back to a bright, summer day.

Today, my friends, is one of those days.

Remember my friend, Jenn?

I had posted a question to Facebook, asking if I could come shoot pictures at anybody's work.

Jenn was among the first to respond with a, "you can come shoot my oil racks!"

Needless to say, I told her I'd love to shoot her rack.

And then I giggled to myself.

Are you familiar with Young Living Oils?

I find them to be heavenly.

A good, therapeutic-grade oil can cure what ails ya.

Some, you can even ingest!

(Ever had a glass of water with a drop of lemon oil? DELIGHTFUL!)

And often, the blends are named in a way that just cry out to you.




Yes, please!

Of course, hanging out with Jenn, these things were built in. 

One must be valiant to play with such sharp-clawed kittens. 

One must have an abundance of brains to think about things as thoroughly as Jenn does.

And the joy?

Well, that one's obvious.

Some folks are just like that.

For more information about oils, or to ask Jenn about her work as a trained health kinesiologist, visit Jenn her online

Now That's a Fahr / Saturday, October 22

That's John McCurdy behind the flame. (HI, JOHN!)

Taken last fall at Sarah's wedding, (HI, SARAH!), this time of year and the site of smoke escaping from a log like this will forever take me back to that joyous weekend.

May your weekend have its own burning log.

You know.

One of those hooks that have the power to bring you back to a moment of love.

Of laughter.

Of joy.

May you grant yourself a moment to go back and recall that feeling.

And may you remember that those feelings reside in you.

They're yours.


And forever.

Fo shizzle.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! / Pout Baby Boutique

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

Congratulations to Natalie Sand, the winner of 365's Pout Baby Boutique $50 Giveaway!

Natalie's favorite thing about Pout?

"No wussy sailboats!"

That, my friends, is a philosophy I can get behind.


Go on--getchyerself some rock stars and monkey butts!

Scenes From A Tiny Plane's Window / Tuesday, October 18

I've been thinking about my sisters lately. (HI, JULIA!) (HI, HEATHER!)

Heather is hanging out in the South, while Julia lives in a fairly remote area of the Pacific Northwest. 

I say "remote" because if you want to fly there, you have to get climb into a pack of gum to do so.

Luckily, the pack of gum is shiny. 

We all know I like shiny!

Today, I'm going to show you the nifty cloud form thingies (sorry, Lisa) I saw during my last trip on the Pack of Gum Express.

There were choppy clouds.

And smooth clouds.

And sparse clouds.

The end.

(Lisa is a meteorologist.)

(I can only imagine how many times she cringed reading this.)

(What can I say?)

(I didn't go to no fancy, Ivy League college.)

(And I ain't no meteorologist.)

The end.

For real.

(In case you didn't see it, I bowed.)

The Difference Between Boys and Girls / Monday, October 17

I want to introduce you to some more of my kids.

Well, they're not technically mine.

I didn't give birth to them. 

I didn't diaper any of them.

But I love 'em like they're mine.

In fact, back in the day, when Tim, Zack and Mike (the one I really did birth) would all crash in my family room, I would come down in the morning and have to check faces to see who was who.

That's right.

I couldn't visibly discern the difference between my own boy child and these other boy children.


It's easier to just love them all. 

I was rummaging around in my archives this evening and came across these photos from last summer.

It was a nasty 485˚ in Fargo-Moorhead, and the air at home just wasn't cuttin' it anymore.

The kids and I set off in search of someone else's air and ice-cold coffee.

As we always did, we'd find a game and start.

And the times we didn't find a game?

One of us would pull a deck of cards out and find something else to keep score on. 

That's right. 

My kids and I are cool like that.

Or maybe I'm just teaching them to be old. 

I'm sure it's the former.

If there weren't cards, we'd take whatever pieces of games we could find and make up rules. 

It's good to encourage kids to be creative. 

So let's meet the kids, shall we? 

That's Tim on the far left. (HI, TIM!)

Zack is in the middle, about to catch something in his mouth. (HI, ZACK!)

Emily is in the middle, to Zack's left. (HI, EMILY!)

The thing that struck me about these is the transition of expressions on Emily's face as the game progresses.

You know what she's thinking. 

"This might be kinda funny."

"OK, I'm not going to spoil the fun."

"You realize that hundreds of people have touched those frogs, right?"

"Seriously. What is wrong with you?"

"Did you see that? What the hell is wrong with that boy?"

"Oh, we're doing this again? OK, I'll just go over the steps for CPR in my head and figure out how to get you to suck on a Clorox wipe."

And that, my friends, is the difference between boys and girls.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life and Death / Sunday, October 16

The thing about walking into one my best friend's house is the evidence of life. 

Usually, the first thing one notices is the decibel level.

With 5 year-old twins and an almost 12 month-old, it's generally pretty high.

And by that, it means it sounds like joy incarnate.

Truthfully, if things aren't loud, I worry. 

Her house oft tickles the olfactory glands as well.




Homemade somethin' or another.

It always smells like love.

But the thing that gets me every time, the thing that brings a smile to my face is the evidence of life in toys.

I once saw Gavin pull a plush, stuffed mouse out of a vase as though that's where everyone keeps their cute, fuzzy mice.

I've seen Nolan pushing that same toy mouse in a tractor. 

Everything is a toy. 

Nothing has rules about "how" they're supposed to be played with.

Those kids are allowed to explore.

To dream.

To imagine.

To live.

These guys?


They weren't so lucky.

But I bet that battle was EPIC.

Don't forget, you only have until Wednesday at noon to enter the Pout Boutique $50 GiveawayLike 365 on Facebook, and you'll get a second chance to win!

Pout Giveaway! / Saturday, October 15

When it came time to find sponsors for 365, my thoughts turned to people I know. 

Folks with whom I have a personal relationship.

People I want to see succeed like there's no tomorrow.

Whose products and services make me proud to say, "I KNOW THEM!"

When I started to think about it, Kris Noonan and her store, Pout Baby Boutique came to mind right away. 

One of my favorite people, Kris stocks her store with colorful, sturdy baby and kid pieces from size nuthin' to 8. 

Stuff you're not going to see on every kid at school. 

No Chez Target or Penney's look-alikes here, folks!

Kris and Pout have been kind enough to donate a gift certificate to 365. 

For FIFTY dollars, y'all. 

That's nothing to sneeze at. 

Let me show you what's available over at the store. 

(If you're already in love with Kris and Pout, you can scroll to the bottom to find out how to enter.)

First off, let me tell you that entire store makes me wish I was smaller. 

But then I couldn't see over a steering wheel. 

Maybe I need to rethink that. 

Let's start at the chapeaus, shall we? 

Damn my big-ass Gilligan head.

I SO need a smiley-face knit hat with those hangy-thingy-puff-balls.

There are more bottles and nursing products than you can shake a stick at.

Or do we call it breast-feeding these days?

 And Onesie-type garments that make me shudder at the thought of what I put MY kid in 20 years ago.

In comparison, I may have well as clothed the boy child in flour-sack towels.


There was one day where that may have actually happened. 

Remind me to make sure he tells his shrink.

You know.

When he gets one.

You know what we didn't have when Mike was a baby?

AWESOME swaddling blankets.

At least, I think it's called swaddling.

I dunno.

We just called it, "burrito baby time!"

Check out these colors. 

I SWEAR to you, the more time I spend looking at Pout's awesome stuff, the more I start to believe Mike was a baby before color was invented.

I wish they made these in my size.

I'm pretty sure I need one.

I'll tell you what I'd choose if I won. 

Remember Raggedy

A blanket just like her. 

One that would be drug around for years to come.

And provide comfort at every turn. 

Then I'd give it to someone size-appropriate.

(You're lucky I disqualified myself.)

As you can imagine, Pout has just the thing.

Isn't she beautiful?

BeeTeeDbus, there were three colors of that blankie. 


How will YOU spend $50 at Pout?

Let's get you entered to win!

Tell me what you'd like from the store, or about a special little person in your life in the comments section of this post. 

One comment per person. Entries must be received by Wednesday at 12pm CST.

Those who like 365 on Facebook get an extra entry. 

Remember: if you don’t leave your email address, I can’t tell you that you’re a winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Winners outside of the F-M metro area will be notified and we'll figure it out. 365 will pay for shipping. 

I’m sweet like that.

Entrants names will be scrawled on slips of paper and thrown into my favorite wooden bowl. Winner will be drawn by a blindfolded Lee. 

Winners will be announced Wednesday evening. 

Good luck!