Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Ode to the Guidance Counselor!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Problem resolved. Lots of work to do now. For Billy. Not me. My work here is done.

I have a sick kid. Poor Billy not feeling well but has to go to first period. Meeting a new teacher. I'm picking him up at 12:00. Funny how he gets upset if he misses school. Make up work is a biotch.

Two hour late start. Kiddos got to sleep in.

My honey comes home from New York City today. Yay!! Missed you but leave the bed bugs there please! Remember I hate things that could live on me, my kids, my pets! Which reminds me, I found a deer tick on Cabby. Not good!!

Well gotta go.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Love My Tree

I love my tree.

When our house was being built we researched trees. I knew I wanted a red maple in my front yard. We found this Sunset Maple at a nursery and I fell in love. One thing that I didn't know at the time we purchased it is that it turns color late in the season (well late by Minnesota standards). In fact it is almost the only tree in the area with leaves still.

It is small still although it has grown in three years. I can't wait til it's big.

Unfortunately pictures don't do it justice on its vibrancy. It almost hurts your eyes.

The sad thing is this: This coming Wednesday a storm is headed our way with rain/snow mix and with this storm 40 mile per hour sustained winds with gusts to 60. These leaves days are numbered.

Goodbye to the most wonderful, long, beautiful fall I have ever experienced in all my days. Hello to winter. 8/ or :} or :p


Friday, October 22, 2010


I have been accused recently of hating someone. Well hate is a strong word. So I started thinking about it. To me hate somewhat means: To dislike someone or something so much you wish it did not exist.

We all throw the word "hate" around almost as much as teenagers throw the word "Love" around. But think about this real hard, for instance, "I hate Mondays." Well if there were no Mondays there would be no beginning to the week and if there were no beginning to the week there could be no ending to the week, "Friday". You can't have an ending without a beginning. So there

So are there things, people I hate so much I wish they did not exist? Well yes but there are only a few. Like say Bin Laden now that is a true hate. I say that I hate Gilbert Godfrey but really that is just a very strong aversion! There are people who annoy me, who I may dislike but honestly to wish they didn't exist at all. hmmmmm well maybe if they didn't exist in my life???

I hate pedophiles, serial killers, child killers. Yes I wish they did not exist.

I can honestly say I hate Tics, lice, fleas. Anything that could live on me, on my children, on my animals. Yeah that is a hate.

I am sure there are other things I hate but maybe we shouldn't throw the word around. You know what I mean? So no to the person who accused me of hating someone. I don't hate her.

Not terribly fond of her.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guidance Counselors

Have you ever noticed there is a negative stigma around high school guidance counselors? The ones I knew in high school were...... I don't know....dopey, useless, unreasonable, unhelpful, mundane, annoying. I am quite certain my perceptions were more a product of my age, attitude and angst (the three dangerous A's) than truth.

If you think about it, they have a wicked hard job and kudos to the ones who do it well. Imagine having to motivate teenagers to do well academically and provide counsel to the ones struggling through no fault of their own. Then deal with the slackers. The kids with unsatisfactory but not abusive homes. The emotional drama with having discovered the opposite sex alone is too much for their developing minds and reproductive organs! I have to deal with one good but procrastinating, absent minded teenager and it pisses me off to no end. The cavalier way they approach their future.

On the other hand they also have to satisfy demanding parents. Flip that side over again and they are dealing with teachers and principals.

Well I have just had reason to contact my son's guidance counselor. And my original opinion has been completely altered. This counselor was FANTASTIC. She was a great listener. She worked with me. She tried to find solutions and we came up with a plan and a back-up plan. We went over worst case scenarios. She felt concern over my child's well being and happiness. She looked at the big picture through the lens of my eyes and Billy's eyes. Then went as far as looking at prospective college's perceptions.

WOW!!! That is all I gotta say! Sure got my tax payers money's worth with this gal. She deserves a raise!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Gray Area

I used to never think there was much of a gray area in parenting. You know...more black and white.

Be nice to others
Don't steal
Don't cheat
No hitting (or biting or kicking)
Take turns
Be respectful

Now there is definitely a gray area where you choose consequences for not following these rules but you work through it.

Now I find myself in a very gray area as I watch my teenager maneuver through relationships. Those rules above still apply but now there are a whole new set of rules that I don't know. I guess I am in the teenage parent learning curve and I am certainly not gifted in this area

I struggle and I am afraid of making mistakes. This is maybe the most crucial time within a child's development. This is it. My last chance to groom him and send him into the world strong confident and caring. This is where he really feels his own self worth. This is where he gives it all a test drive but still has the bumpers on the car.

I am those bumpers.

This is my dilemma. My child is being hurt by a girl. I can see that she is using and manipulating him. She is thriving on the attention Billy and another boy are giving her. But she can't decide she cares for them both. Whatever!! She is stringing him along. And he is following her. I have no respect for this girl. Alas he will not listen to me. Billy is smart by he is blinded by love. He is "in love". I see him hurting. He doesn't want to hear my opinion anymore. But it is obvious he needs someone to talk to. At this point he is starting to not trust me because I can hardly keep myself quiet. The more I try to push him away from her the stronger he is pulled towards her.

At what point do you forbid him to see her or talk to her? Does there come a time when that is necessary? If he gets so down? The drama she creates gets too much for him. We are not there yet but it's heading in that direction. Would that do any good? Then will he just lie to me?

This girl is bringing him down. Is this a lesson he has to learn for himself?
Do I just sit by with duct tape on my mouth?

This is causing serious stress within our family.

What should I be doing besides praying? (cause I am already doing that.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Farm - Sacred Ground

Oh how I love fall. This is one of my favorite parts. Going to the farm to get pumpkins. We spend hours at the farm. The animals are so adorable and sweet. We laugh and play. I love these moments as a family. I wouldn't trade these times for anything!

The first little cutie we see is Archie. He is a sweet old cat who spends all of his time with his eyes closed. I think I have seen his eyes but I am not sure. Savanah spends quite a bit of time with Archie. She loves cats but Daddy is allergic to them!

Then we head over to the baby chickens. I am sure the chickens just love the scent of cat on Savanah's hands. That is assuming chickens can smell?

Then it is on to the beautiful sweet baby goats. These are Savanah's favorites! They flock to her too. They are precious!

She holds them forever. They never seem to mind.

Then Jeff and my favorite. The baby cows! Oh Have you ever seen such cuteness? They love to have their necks scratched and rubbed. This one was a licker. His/her tongue was really rough!

This little baby cow adored Jeff. It just kinda rested it's head in Jeff's hands. Oh I want one!!

Then the kids and Jeff begin a friendly game of teether ball while I snap photo's. They have a blast. They also have many brain altering near misses where I gasp. Watching someone move their head just in time to not get a concussion!

This picture shows my point exactly. They have so much fun and I just savor every moment!

More Teether ball!

Eventually we pick out our pumpkins.

Now on to why this place is sacred ground. Our second year visiting ( 5 years ago) this farm misfortune occurred. During a friendly game of teether ball the unthinkable happened.

While hitting the ball, my honey's wedding ring flew off of his finger! It landed somewhere in the grassy, leaf covered field. The farmer, his wife and many visitors were with us on their hands and knees looking for it. We ran into the small town and rented a metal detector. We looked for hours and never found that ring. Jeff was devastated. He said he could never go back there without thinking of his lost ring.

Eventually I convinced him that for this specific reason, we had to go back every year! This is precious ground. I spend a few minutes each year looking down in the area of the lost ring hoping to see the shimmer of gold. No luck this year.

Maybe next year!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Love My Husband So Much

I shared my last post with my husband. He encouraged me to n0t give up. He told me I have an interesting way of looking at things. He really seems to like the way I express myself in my writing. He said I have talent.

He also told me that the book I wrote was not a waste of time. I needed to write it as a sort of self help therapy. I suppose he is right. It was painful to write.

Even after he said all of that I was still feeling sad and defeated.

Last night he bestowed on me a gift. This gift came as a challenge. Two challenges actually. First after the beginning of the year he wants me to take a creative writing class. He wants me to learn everything I can about writing.

He then challenged me to write again. Write about something completely different from myself. A character who is NOT me at all. A situation I have never been in before. A setting, a place I have never been. He also asked me to start making LISTS. Can you believe that? I love LISTS!!! This is a man after my own heart! Oh Yeah...he already has my heart. Lists of places that intrigue me. Places I have been and have not been that I would really like to go. Characters I know or have never met that I find interesting and completely opposite of me. Professions that are interesting to me. Special human interest stories that I have heard that moved me. "CHILE MINERS" etc.

Then maybe put all of this on a poster board and start thinking through different possibilities, different combinations. Holy cow, doesn't that all sound like fun!!!

I love him so much because he knows me so well. He knew I needed to move forward. He knew I needed "a plan" and "to plan". He knew I needed a new way to look at things. He knew how I would react to a challenge.

The point to all of this is.....he doesn't want me to give up. And now I don't want to give up.

He believes in me.

I want to thank everyone who read portions of my story. Your feedback and encouragement has meant so much to me. I am not going to throw it out. But I'm putting it away. Maybe I will revisit it in a couple of years when my skill has hopefully improved. Then again maybe not. Maybe the story needs to be written and read once.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Book and A Dream

I had a dream to write a book. A novel. So I wrote it. Dream accomplished? Yes but there was more to the dream. I wanted the book to be good enough to publish. I wanted it to be published.


I finished the basics on the book about a month ago. As my brother suggested I then let it sit for a few weeks before I read it again.

So I just read it and....well.....it's not very good. I am sad. Something is missing. I tried really hard. I worked hard. I poured my heart into it. So instead of saying I think I could write a good book someday but I don't have time. Now I took the time, I did give it my best shot and I wrote a not good book.

I don't have "IT". Unless I have it hidden somewhere? and someone can show me what I have done wrong.

Coming to terms with a dream come true and a dream lost.

Wondering? now what?

No post Saturday

Have a beautiful day!

"Every word I say by definition is a promise." -Marlon Brando The Freshmen

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Basement

Okay so we are thinking of fixing up our basement. Not really finishing it exactly but setting it up a little for the kids. Kids meaning little kids and teenagers.

Lately we have been having a lot of Billy's friends over on Friday nights. It is kind of like a party at first them all hanging out, talking, playing the guitar and piano. Then it turns into movie night. Someone rents a movie every Friday. They have a great time. This gives them something to do, keeps them out of trouble and I know where my son is! Sounds like a win win, right?

It is but they take over my family room. I've got no where to hang out and enjoy my Friday night. So we have been looking at couches to put in the basement. We have an extra TV for down there. Thought we could set up the PS3 too. We have a large air hockey table too.

The dilemma I am having is in the basement they are less supervised. Makes me nervous.

What do you think? Struggling with this one. How often can I take a trip down in the basement without being a pain in the butt but keep teen pregnancy rates down!? Just kidding. I think?

Charting New Territory,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Office Day / Flu Shot Day / Random Day

This post is just a collection of junk floating around in my head. You've been warned!

Today is Office Day. I am rededicating myself to this procedure. It really does help keep the paper clutter out of my office and my house. But Holy Crap I have been going at it for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Sheeez. (I like the word Sheeez, almost as much as pppffff) Still not done.

Usually this takes me 30 minutes. Every Thursday to go through the weeks mail. Pay bills and recycle old magazines and such. Do some filing. Well not today. See I told you I am behind in EVERYTHING!

At least no bills were paid late. One, however, was paid ON the due date. Whew, that was close! I hate that.

Soon I will have to go pick up the kiddos for their flu shots. I hate seeing my kids get shots. Once when Billy was younger, they drew blood with a pin prick. He passed out! I gotta tell you though I would rather they take a vial of blood from my arm that prick my finger. Every once in a while with that pin prick they hit some weird nerve and OMG it hurts soooo bad.

Well Back to the grind.

Hopefully tomorrow's post will have a little more substance! Sheez again. Oops I meant pppfff.

A Day Behind

I am officially one day behind. I often type up a post for tomorrow, today. That didn't make sense. What I post today I often wrote yesterday. Yeah still not really making sense.

Well anyways. Look for something interesting (hopefully) from me later today.

I stink! It's a good thing you can't smell through the internet.
Gotta go shower!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Emergency 15 minute Procedure

Beep Beep Beep This not a test!!!!

I am initiating the Emergency 15 Minute Procedure because yesterday Mama had a meltdown.
Those of you who know me from facebook already know this by my status updates yesterday. For those who are not facebook friendly with me, here is what I posted at different intervals during the day.

I am a little overwhelmed.
"Sanity is a cozy lie." -Susan Sontag The perfect quote for my day.
"I just don't have time for the nervous breakdown I so deserve." - unknown

So what happened yesterday well...... I damn near had a panic attack. I had the sudden sensation that I had forgotten something important, there was too much to do and I had a strong feeling of impending doom.

Well after some reflection, meditation and medication! I came to a conclusion. I have not been organizing my calendar or my days lately. In fact I had not looked at my calendar for days! What I was feeling was chaos. See Flylady. (I'm not going back to being a Fly gal but I do LOVE some of her ideas and use them often.)

So today instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off, (not sure that is an image I should start my day with) I have gone back to a list. I will work on everything on this list for 15 minutes then check it off. You would be amazed at how much you can get done in 15 minutes. I am quite literally wearing my timer today.

It feels good. I feel in control again. You should try it.

Gotta go timer went off!

Breathing Easy Again

Late Post

Look for a late post from me later today!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Baby Boy Turns 16

My Baby bootie boy turns 16 today. At 5:32 pm. How can that be so?

It doesn't seem possible.

Just yesterday you were in middle school struggling with the awkwardness of adolescence. Finding yourself yet remaining true to yourself.

And the day before that you were in elementary school still playing games. Still innocent. Feeling the magic and wonderment of childhood.

A week ago you were babbling as an inquisitive toddler exploring your boundaries. Always smiling and happy.

And a week and a day ago you were just a babe in my arms. I sat holding you dreaming of all you would become and at the same time wishing I could stop time and keep you in my arms forever.

Through all of this you have kept your positive attitude, your willingness to participate in life and be fully engaged. You have never shied away from the opportunity to laugh at yourself. You have a glow about you. Billy, You shine. Everyone around you sees it. There are those who may be jealous of that. And yet others including myself who just want to watch you soar.

And now you are a young man searching out your way in this world. Oh, you still need me from time to time mostly just to listen. I've bitten off my tongue several times fighting the urge to give my strong opinions. Some days I win that battle and often I do not. Sometimes you and I disagree but I still have great respect for you. I believe you respect me as well.

Watching you feel heartache has been the biggest challenge for me. I can no longer just "Kiss the boo boo and make it better"(your favorite book when you were 1).

But even in the deepest pain you have always handled yourself with dignity and kindness. You are not and have never been careless where others' feelings are concerned. That may be the very thing I am most proud of you for.

You are everything and more that I dreamt of while holding you as that small baby.

I love you!

Now get an icepack to bring down the swelling of your head. You are not perfect! lol

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oberg Mountain Trail

The Superior National Forest beholds this ruby.


This is an easy hike beginning with an elevation of 1220 feet above sea level and peaking at an elevation of 1539 above sea level. It is a gradual climb. At the summit there are several grand amazing views. It is a loop so eventually you end up where you started. (You can't get lost!) The trail is 2.3 total miles.

Something magical happens when my family enters this trail. It is like they are sprinkled with fairy dust and suddenly become angelic and well behaved!

Even the teenager is caught up in the magic. It is contagious.

Proof is in this picture. Do you see how tightly I am holding Billy around the waist? It is not often you get this opportunity to stand so close to your teenager and them willingly except it!! Truth be told, he was trying to give that casual "I'm a cool teenager, too cool to really smile" smile. So I was tickling him. It worked!

See Savanah's smile. She was more like, "Let go of me! I'm on an adventure!"

See the happy faces. Besides the stranger in the blue shirt. oops sorry lady!


AWE they are making a heart with their hands. Isn't that sweet? I swear by the Oberg Magic.

Love it!

The magical dust does eventually wear off. Just about the time we start heading down hill again someone realizes they have to pee. And EVERYONE (except mom) is sick of mom taking pictures. Then it is time to go.
I highly recommend this hike. If you can walk you should go!

That is the last of the vacation pictures. I promise. Well maybe I think so.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No Post Sunday

Have a beautiful day!

"Family is like a pecan pie. Something sweet holding all the nuts together." - unknown

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No post Saturday

Love the Day!

"Life: It's all about how you handle Plan B" -unknown

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Room with a View

We have been going up to Lutsen in the fall for 10 years now. We have stayed several places. But Bluefin Bay is by far my favorite. The reason I love Bluefin Bay?

This is the view from my bed. Literally you can see the sheets at the bottom of the picture. How could you not love waking up to that?

Savanah loves the seagulls and feeds them causing quite a commotion.

What are you looking at? I don't have the food. Look for the little girl in the green jacket!

From the back porch. Hello there birdie.

A fight!

Soaring at the balcony. Catching food in mid air.

Oh Yeah the birds love Savanah!

Aaaahhhh waking up to the sound of waves.

The deck again. solitude.

Need I say more?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wherever 5 or More Are Gathered

I know that this saying implies a biblical theme but this post is not of a biblical nature.

It has everything to do with my personal characteristics. You see I am "high strung". Not to be confused with high maintenance. I am not overly concerned with vanity or material objects. I mean I like to look pretty and I like nice things but..... I am not consumed with them.

I digress.

I am high strung. You see I have an anxious nature. I like children, they can be so darn cute! Funny, sweet, energetic.

However, I have a mental condition which causes me to panic when there are 5 or more children (of any age, teenagers included) in a room, more exaggerated if they are in a room in my house!!

You see...this is how I see it.

When you have two kids in the same room, they are playing nicely, sharing, resolving conflict, enjoying each other's company, etc.

Now add one more to the mix. A total of 3. Still okay. Maybe some power struggles, a little pairing up occurs leaving one child out. By hey it's manageable.

Add another for a total of four. Voices are louder, more kinetic energy, a little more whinny but still possible to control.

Add another with a total of 5 kids, CHAOS REIGNS!

I have seen this in my own home.

Four kids are playing, coloring quietly. It begins. I see the dog sit up suddenly from her peaceful slumber. Her ears are erect. She hears something. I become more alert. The children are still unaware of the lurking danger.

Then a little growl from the dog. She is warning me. Then the dreaded doorbell. I see the children all jump from their seated positions and in a split second become 4 enormous ball of energy and light running towards the door with the barking dog following at as breakneck pace. I run through the kitchen trying to head them off and take care of the mounting problem.

Another child stands eagerly at my door. "Hi, Can Savanah play?" Well I've got four sets of little human eyeballs poking from every direction behind me. I can't say no it is obvious she is already playing.

(Any of you neighbors/parents who may be reading this, please note the following. It is not any one child that I will ever try to exclude. It will rotate on a first come - first serve basis. It is not an issue of who is at the door. It is an issue with how many are already inside.)

I hem and haw trying to come up with something. The light bulb goes off. "You know honey, I was just about to send them outside to play. How about they finish their game, clean up their messes and meet you outside?" This sounds reasonable to me. I hear back a sheepish, "Okay". Then the child (all of them do this) just stands there. This is the true test. Whatever you do don't look them in the eyes at this moment. Oh no I feel bad, so so bad. I failed the test.

And there they are: the cutest sweetest big sad puppy dog eyes just staring at me.

Oh Lordy, I'm a goner. "Okay honey you can come in just for a few minutes, then everybody goes outside." A sweet smile spreads across the child's face.

As that child steps in to my home those happy bright eyes start to glow red. Then I see the most awful frightening transformation occur in all 5 children.

They are transformed or maybe abducted by the body snatchers and replaced with Freddy Kruger Tasmanian Devils. It is what horror movies and my nightmares are made of.

I run towards my bedroom the dog keeping pace at my side. As I dive in and lock the door I hear the evil screeching and laughter just outside my door.

"I'll get you my pretty." I hear.

Huh did they just say pretty? Okay so maybe I am a little vain. Don't fall for that sweetness. They are out to get me. I stay there until my dragon slayer white shinning knight husband returns home to banish the demons!!!! Until tomorrow!

Yeah I told you never let 5 or more children into your home. It makes you delusional and just down right insane!

Okay on a side note: my husband just read this and said "You're a little paranoid." So I want to make it abundantly clear this is a funny rendition not even remotely true except in my imagination! It is fiction mostly! This does not happen in my home. I am not NUTS.

Don't answer the door to the men in white coats!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More from the North

Lutsen Lodge. One of our favorite places to go. We eat breakfast here often. Awesome eggs benedict. Great breakfast buffet.

The inside of Lutsen Lodge. Cozy

After breakfast we go play. This bridge straddles a wonderful creek that brings agates down to the shore. Savanah and I spend hours on this shore rock hunting.

Billy skips rocks. He is the master skipper. That is a lollipop in his mouth!

This is what my honey does!!

Everybody is happy!

I'll put up another set of photos in a day or two. Is this the equivalent of our parent's watching a person's slide show of their vacation? Is it boring? Oh well I don't think so!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I am having a hard time with trust. Well trusting a teenager. My teenager. Now he has made a few mistakes lately. Nothing life altering but pretty drastic especially for him. I am afraid this is just the beginning of the trouble he is heading towards.

Much of this I fear is happening because of a girl. I want to give this girl a chance but.....she is not making it easy.

Now I know Billy is in charge of his own actions, should be held accountable and suffer the consequences. But I also know he has never felt this way about a girl.


I am noticing a rebellious tone to his voice and more rolling of the eyes. He is carrying around a new angst!

According to him she is constantly saying she is ugly or fat. That he is too good for her. So basically this girl has zero self esteem. She is needing Billy to constantly build her up and tell her how great she is. I know this because I eavesdrop! It is a mother's right, you know? Hey, if you are in ear shot I am going to listen.

The other day they had a...I don't know.......disagreement. She is very dramatic. And well he said to me. "I just want to keep this between her and I."


I want to trust him to work this out. I really do. But I don't trust her.

Now I also remember slightly from my teenage years if you push a teenager too much they will do just the opposite of what you want them to do. So you sit quietly and intently, watching every move made ready to intervene at lightening speed before things get out of hand. So If I am patient this relationship may end on its own. ? Right?

Billy, I feel for this girl but truth be told, you are too good for her!

Billy forgive me but I am hoping this relationship ends quickly and painlessly.

The Momma bear on prozac protecting her cub!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Aint No Words Good Enough

There are just no adequate words to explain the Lake Superior north shore in Minnesota in autumn.

So I'll just show you.

I cried.

I cried about five times a day. Not like sobbing but a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes. Happy tears.

The scenery taking my breath away. My family enjoying each other without the pressures and responsibilities of everyday life.

The smell of fallen leaves. The crisp air. The laughter.

I wish I could have bottled up this day, this feeling and bring it home with me. I'll carry these memories with me forever and the memories will sustain me until I return next year.
The word I would use to describe how I feel when I am there is




I'll post more pictures in a few days!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No Post Sunday

Here is a good one.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." --Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No Post Saturday

Have a great day!

"If only mosquitoes sucked fat instead of blood." --unknown

Friday, October 1, 2010


Yeah for me!!

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." -Albert Einstein

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid some day lying in hospitals dying of nothing." - unknown