Spring Gardener

I am a stress eater. I am also a celebratory eater. If there’s an occasion, I’ll eat.  This past week, we were hit with the flu, Miss A had a baptism, we had people over, we are looking at some big changes on the career entrepreneurial front and I took Miss E to her first live theater experience. That equals a whole lot of justification for me to eat…poorly.

The over abundance of veggies in the garden has arrived at the best time.  This girl needs to eat veggies.

I am not an expert gardener. I’m not even a fair-to-decent gardener. Every spring I get all excited about planting. The seed catalogs come, I start thinking of all the great plants I could grow and eat or grow and carve faces into. For awhile I even thought we should start our own pumpkin patch! Then something shiny drifted by and I lost my train of thought.

I’m a really good Spring gardener.  I like the planning, the mapping, the planting, and watering…for like the first week. Then I decide I should leave the watering up to Morher Nature, she seems to know what she’s doing. Then I forget about the garden. Late summer when offerings of extra vegetables start to appear in the workplace break room, I awake from my garden-amnesia and see if there’s still a garden where I vaguely remember planting one about 75 days prior. Today was that awakening.

First off Hubby and I spent over an hour pulling giant weeds and grass out trying to find the garden.  There was no way to see to where the vegetables were hiding otherwise.  After removing the 4 or 5 yard carts of debris, there were signs of gardening life!

A 5-gallon bucket of cucumbers along with zucchini, peppers, cherry tomatoes and pile of spinach told us weeds don’t kill gardens, so release that negativity right now.

For lunch I made a veggie stir fry with our bounty.  I did have to add some store cauliflower as our cauliflower isn’t winning any award this year. Other than that: success!

My gardening tip? Keep it natural. By “natural” I mean weed-filled. It’s just as tasty!

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Peak Bloom

When I was a little girl, my dad worked at “the sunflower plant” in Enderlin. Like most kids, my dad was my hero. He had the ability to do amazing things like toss around square hay bales with one arm, always had a joke ready for any situation, and he had the freedom to do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted(sometimes to my mother’s dismay). He’d come home in the wee hours of the morning, after an all-night shift with his dirty sunflower plant hat on his head. In the summer, we’d go to plant picnics. One year we watched my dad and some coworkers, try to float a poorly-built raft down the river in a Sunflower Days race. All parties ended up in the river, I don’t think they finished, but they saved their beer.

My entire life sunflowers have been a talisman for my father. Without blinking if you asked me to name a plant, flower, or object to represent him, it would be a sunflower. When Hubby and I were married, we had sunflowers on the church alter. This season, the fields surrounding our home are planted with sunflowers. Like smelling certain fragrances or hearing certain songs brings me back, the sight of sunflowers in bloom make me smile and think of my dad. If you are in North Dakota this next week, check out the sunflowers. They are in peak bloom as are my good memories of dad. image.jpeg

What Do you DO?

I am a lifelong resident of North Dakota(unless you count that 9-month stint in south Florida when I was 18, but I never technically changed my residency). When I meet people who aren’t from NoDak or when I’m somewhere other than NoDak, there’s an overwhelming question of “What do you do there?”. If you overlook feeding the world, producing people with the strongest work ethic in the nation, being the economy the other states envy and enjoying a drink or five? There’s STILL plenty to do!

Take this weekend for example. Right now Hubby and I are debating because there are just too many options of things to do! There’s the 21st annual Fargo Blues Festival, Clausen Springs’ 50th anniversary celebration in Kathryn, North Dakota Derby Day in Fargo, Hunter’s Party in the Street, Kindred Days, and the Rheult Farm’s German Folk Festival. Oh but Kelli, I’m feeling more theatrical this weekend…what can I do? I say to you, check out any of the live shows: Hair, Green Day’s American Idiot, or Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Plus there is a band, movie, acoustic artist or some other source of entertainment in every brewery, park, nook and cranny this weekend. If you are feeling more artsy yourself, have you tried Creatively Uncorked? We drink and paint. It’s a thing and it is awesome. Oh but I don’t like to sit Kelli, I want to go out and about. You are in luck you Pokemon Go people(whoever you are)! If roaming around to your heart’s content isn’t enough for you, you could attend Pokemon Go events at both the Red River Zoo or Bonanzaville this weekend. These are just the events that are in my little corner of NoDak.

Seriously. What do you DO there? Whatever we can fit into our schedule!

We’re a big state and there are things going on all over! What are you doing in NoDak this weekend???

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183

Sometimes my weight loss results are not due to good choices or hard work at all.

This past week we have been just floating along, not using our protein shakes, not choosing low carb or veggie options, Hell I had three mini blizzards throughout the week.

Saturday night we went to Casselton for a street dance featuring 32 Below. I had a few drinks,  we had nachos and boogied before calling it a night.

I woke up abruptly at 5AM. I had a crucial need to use the facilities. After that exciting experience, I went back to bed only to watch Hubby make the same trip. I thought I heard coughing, but wasn’t sure.

6AM: another wake up trip to the bathroom. Over and over again. I counted last night’s drinks in my head. I had four, maybe five, over the course of five hours. The bartenders were heavy on the ice last night, and they weren’t large drinks. There’s no reason why I should be this sick with the bottle-flu.

When I came back to bed, Hubby said: “At least you didn’t wake up puking.” Um…yeah I did. Uh oh. The flu!

To top it off, we had Miss A’s baptism and then brunch at our house scheduled. I called my friend, Em, and pleaded for help. She came over in a flash to prep food and cook eggs while we had church.

In the end: Miss A was baptized, we had a handful of people over for brunch. Miss A took a big nap and Miss E went with Em. Hubby and I crashed out between taking turns screaming at the porcelain God and this morning I found, that I’m down to 183.

I’m guessing once I rehydrate, this won’t be the case but I’ll bask in the glory right now. I think I’ll have some mashed cauliflower for lunch…or chicken broth.

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All-Together People

I think we all have that friend who we perceive as having it all together. They are just really good at life in general. What “having it all together” means is different for each of us.

My all-together mom is a stay-at-home-mom whose children have perfectly adorable themed birthday parties, they take vacations to places that it takes more than two hours to get to, she has had her toes in an ocean within the past year, they aren’t drowning in debt, and her children enjoy lake time most weekends in the summer. To me, this lady has it together.

Another all-together woman who is on my radar works fulltime outside the home and is posting photos weekly of the craft beer she is enjoying as she enjoys her lazy <insert any day of the week here>. She hops around the country on an airplane like she has her own at her disposal and is usually doing some ultra clever refurbish project.

I have been told on two separate occasions, by two separate people, that I am their “all-together” person. This disturbed me because I feel that I most-definitely do NOT have it all together. Most of the time, I’m hanging on trying to keep everything from falling apart. With this in my mind, I dug a little deeper. My all-together mom? She’s exhausted. A lot of times, all she wants is 10 minutes of peace and quiet. Sitting at a desk staring at a computer, would be a welcomed retreat from the screaming hair-pulling, toy-throwing, preschool-talking, that she is exposed to now. She also has an extensive family support system(borderline intrusive) that allows her to do a lot of her prep or help her to pull off their picture-perfect events, vacations, and weekends.

The other all-together woman? She’s lonely. She goes to bars because she has nothing else to do. There’s no one vying for her time. She goes on trips, weekends and vacations because the crushing silence she returns to when she gets home, is worth avoiding. It’s worth so much to her in fact, that she can’t afford this lifestyle but she doesn’t know what else to do because she feels it’s all she has.

Me? I feel that I’m coloring with a few crayolas short of a full-box most of the time. I second-guess most of my decisions and question whether or not I am making the right choice for my career, kids, family and life constantly. I analyze most things to death and maybe that’s why I like to stay so busy, so I spend more time doing and less time analyzing.

What’s the point of this rambling? We need to be kind to each other, especially ourselves. Try not to compare yourself to someone else. Remember for every person you are trying to become, there’s someone wishing they could walk in your shoes. This world needs all kinds of people and all kinds of personalities to be interesting and thrive. Don’t discount your kind. Your kind is important. You are important.

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Anything looks pretty with the right filter.

Doc Fear

I am a pawn. I am a pawn in this here medical system that I hate. I hate it because, like our government, it is too big, too regulated and too impersonal. It’s a machine that rolls on not caring about who it rolls over as long as numbers get better, and I’m a pawn.

I am at this moment sitting in a waiting room. What horrible illness am I now afflicted?  Fear. I have a couple moles on my face. My phone wants to keep autocorrecting to Mike so I’m just going to go with it. Mike has been on my face for quite awhile. I’ve noticed Mike isn’t symmetrical and Mike is kind of annoying. I also have another Mike who lives on my scalp. One of my grandmothers had skin cancer…not sure if Mike caused it.

My health insurance is provided by the largest insurer in North Dakota. As part of our “deal” we get at work, besides taking our money biweekly, covering next to nothing until our initial forking over of thousands of dollars for our deductible, and making us go to healthcare providers they have made blood-pacts with, every few months they send out and “educator” to scare the hell out of us.

This last educator told us about skin cancer, how we probably will all get it, everything we do for ourselves and children is probably wrong, we probably already have it and our souls will be eaten by zombies…unless we get a checkup.

So here I am, sitting in the little doctor’s office(for over a half our now) waiting to see the doctor to find out if my Mikes are trying to kill me or if they are just annoying. I’m guessing if it’s the latter, I’ll get some awesome advice like, “get it checked again later”. Of course. Great idea! After all those lake homes and million-dollar houses don’t fund themselves!

34 minutes…

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Hollywood Vampires

I enjoy concerts. Some people like stuff: shoes, cars, tools, handbags, etc but I like concerts. Hubby and I had this discussion, I’d rather collect memories. While he has a list of dream items, I have a list of dream experiences. That’s just how I tick.

Last night I met up with one of my Unicorn friends and we went to the Scheels Arena in Fargo to see Hollywood Vampires. It was a fantastic show! I love the three frontmen: Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry individually, so seeing them all together=sign me up!

The Hollywood Vampires started as a drinking club consisting of the who’s who of the music industry in LA in the 1970s. The whole show paid homage to the great Vampires of the past and present.

Unfortunately Joe Perry wasn’t there, a medical episode sidelined him for this show, but the rest of the band were on their game.

The Other Side, Sweet Emotion, Pinball Wizard, Come Together, 18, School’s Out, one after another they played the hits of former and current “Vampires”.

The music was great, the show was fabulous and the company was top notch.  From the first twirl of Alice’s walking stick to the final bow, I was enthralled.

This is a good addition to my memory library.

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The Rabid Feral Spider Monkey

When one becomes a parent, there are a lot of changes to one’s life. One of the most significant changes is how and the quantity of sleep.

Take this weekend for example. Hubby, Miss E, Miss A and I went to spend some time with family at a lake. There’s a main house and then approximately two blocks away there’s a second house. We were set up in a camper outside the second house.  The camper had plenty of room for the four of us. We decided I’d take Miss A in the “bedroom”, Miss E took the loft above the driving area and Hubby took the couch.

The excitement of being in a new place was apparently too much for Miss A: she refused to go to sleep. She kept trying to stage-dive from the bed. I rounded up every spare cushion and blanket to make a moat of safety because she obviously had no interest in her own safety.  I’d lay her down and she’d decide either a kick to mom’s face, a slap to an eye or pinching was SUPER-fun.

As if trying to sleep with a feral spider monkey wasn’t fun enough, Miss A decided she was afflicted with rabies, so I had a rabid, feral spider monkey in the bed with me. She’d lean in, for what I thought were snuggles, just to open her mouth and CHOMP. My side, back, knee, arm, whatever she could get her 8 plus teeth on.

‘Oh yes, oh joy, how this is a delightful time.’ I thought to myself but I’m pretty sure it came out as “Son of a B-&@!”, “What the F@$!” and “Seriously?!?”  As I calculated how fast I could get packed up, on the road and home to sleep in my own bed with this crazed child securely in her crib down the hall, I fought off the crazed creature.

At 11:30PM, hours into the fight, Miss A finally shut her eyes and kept them that way. She fell asleep and the rabid, feral spider monkey morphed back into my little sweet angel. That was night one. Night two went better. I had rum…lots of rum.

We just returned home.  Beyond the bedtime troubles, it was a great time as always.  I am in desperate need of a nap. I hope the spider monkey agrees…from her room down the hall.

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Not All Choices are Food

Miss E is four and knows we are going for our family reunion this weekend, but that doesn’t really matter to her. All she cares is that it’s at a lake. Miss E’s spirit animal is a mermaid.

After Hubby gets done with work, we load up the car and are pulling out of the yard. I look down at my phone and see a message from a friend: she has won tickets and meet-and-greets for Big and Rich tonight…and she has an extra ticket. Fifteen miles of back and forth, Hubby turns the car around to take me home. I can catch up with the reunion late tonight or tomorrow morning. It’s only a two hourish drive.

We get home and my friend finds out the extra ticket does not include meet-and-greets. I still am going to go. I love Big and Rich and they’re great live. Plus: girl time!!

I get out of the car and kiss Miss E who has been telling me that I’m going to miss the good times if I don’t go with them. When I tell her I’ll see her in the morning, she looks at me with her daddy’s big baby blues and says, “No mama, come with us.” She proceeds to give me mom guilt and keeps going on and on about getting back in the car. I couldn’t really hear over my  heart screaming as it melted.

I messaged my friend, I was getting back in the car. About 30 miles down the road, Hubby says, “Thanks for choosing family over fun.”

Best decision I’ve made today.  .

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Next time Kenny and John,  next time.

184

Technically 184.1 this morning.  I’m going into this weekend fully prepared to hop off the train to Dietland.  As I try to get our house looking like humans live here and not feral dogs, I’m also trying to plan snacks. Two small girls away for the weekend is a recipe for possible disaster.

Miss A and Miss E don’t have much experience sleeping anywhere other than home.  We don’t have those fanciful overnight sleepovers at XYZ’s house.  I believe the last time Miss E was overnight somewhere without us was when we were in the hospital for Miss A’s arrival.  I see posts on that devil-Facebook about littles traveling off to Auntie/Grandma/friend/Anyone’s house for a night, a weekend or a week. We don’t do that. I don’t say that as a good or bad thing, the opportunity just never presents itself.

With us spending the whole weekend with lots of stimuli and probably no nap time, I think there’s a chance for crazy kids. One thing I have found, is the universal love song for humans, is snacks. This may have something to do with the obesity problem in the country. If you are sad, mad, overwhelmed, or stressed: have a snack.  There’s a reason “comfort food” is a thing.

In an effort to pacify my littles, I plan to pack some mini-human crowd-pleaser snacks: crackers, fruit snacks, fruit and then I can’t go to a gathering completely empty handed, so I’m bringing bars.  Or as we in NoDak call them, “BAH-ars”.

Since I’m bar-packing, Ive been really good this past five hours of consciousness. Only protein shakes, a cheese stick and veggies for me. I made some roasted cabbage and zucchini for lunch.

Then I don’t know what happened. I heard it: the siren sound of processed meat and carbs: I had a corn dogs. Oh and what’s this? A pan of baaaaaaaaars?

I guess the weekend starts now.

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