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About ramblinwoman

I call a small, Minnesota town home. I'm a lover of life and all the simple things. Currently I spend my time enjoying my 20's and everything it has to offer, the good and the bad. I have a horse that acts much more like a dog. I have an undeniable love for "junque" and repurposing the old into something new and useful. Yes, I'm Norwegian, not full blooded by any means and I can't say I know the lost art of lefse making but I do enjoy Lutefisk...the good stuff....not the jelly you buy at the local grocery store. This is my first attempt at blogging, I'm a rookie and it will certainly show. However, I thoroughly enjoy putting my thoughts into words and spinning a regular, everyday incident into something a little more entertaining. I hope you enjoy the rambling!

Welcome to 25

Turning 25 wasn’t difficult. In fact, it was like most any other day and the only obvious inconvenience was having to renew my license. However, I am still suffering from slight anxiety as to what my picture will look like. Though suffering from slight anxiety isn’t anything new for me I have noticed slight differences in my overall person. It’s what I’d like to call “Welcome to 25!” All you 18-20-somethings hear about it, you are warned well before to prepare, yet nobody is ever prepared.

Okay, I suppose to be politically correct, we’re all warned about every milestone age in our lives. 18, 21, 25, 30, 40, 50 and so on. Alright and maybe 25 isn’t a milestone age, I don’t know, I’m only 25 so give me a break on this one. But as I mentioned there are definite differences and unless you are very self-aware, you may not notice until it’s too late. So this is my warning to you.

Summer is the season of love, engagements, weddings, babies….blah, blah, blah. I have more wedding invites, thank you cards, birth announcements than I have fridge magnets. I hate to admit this but if you haven’t sent me something in the past month you are bumped off, cut, fired…from my fridge. You get demoted to “the stack.” You want to talk about differences in wants/needs at 25 vs. 21. I literally asked for fridge magnets for my birthday this year, at 21 all I wanted was alcohol. Booz, booz and more booz. Not now, my birthday wish list has been changed, rearranged and lost beneath a stack of other people’s love. I still didn’t get fridge magnets, perhaps that’s what 26 has in store for me, fingers crossed.

I’m a video watcher. Lord knows I love a good knee slapper of a video. All the latest from The Vine, YouTube, Dubsmash and any home videos that offer gut busting entertainment, believe me, I’ve seen it. If you could recall my search history prior to 25 you would see an obscene amount of “people falling, wipeouts, hilarious sports accident compilations.” Now you would see “funny cats, babies with puppies, little kids laughing and restoring humanity.” When, why and how….those are my questions. I don’t know when it started, why it’s happening and how I have continued to let it happen. But as I said, Welcome to 25.

This one is obvious and an oldie but a goodie. Well, sort of good but mostly bad. Say you and your bad, rebel 25-year old self stay out till 1…got a little crazy, maybe 2:00 A.M. The next day is ruff. It’s actually really nauseating and its near impossible to think of doing it again. Of course it doesn’t matter what age you are, you WILL do it again. But day two and three, those are the kickers. No joke, I’ve caught myself using hypochondriac like behavior for my poor health days after a night on the town. Unwilling to admit that it’s the lasting effect of not being 21 anymore. I strongly believe at about 17 you are given this wonderful gift of awesomeness and its a ticking time bomb. Nobody knows when its going off, but when it does, you’ll probably be 25.

I know I’ve said this numerous times, I’ve admitted to needing to slow down in the fun zone. Take off my party hate and forfeit the good time Kelsey. Oddly enough, you don’t choose to do this. It chooses you. It’s as if there comes a time and you are suddenly the chosen one. The chosen one to do more weekend projects than day drinking and to be in bed by 11 instead of 1. For example, our initial plan was a trip to Duluth for birthday festivities, then it changed to pontoon-ing, then it changed to landscaping my flower beds and mowing lawn. I’d say a far cry from Duluth but nonetheless a good time. That’s how it goes, suddenly you are content with so much less.

I’m not sure if people at some point see you morph into a helpless adult when it comes to making BIG life decisions but they always seem to want to offer priceless advice or give you their two cents thats been burning a hole in their pocket. Coming from a girl who has put zero thought into “girly” things such as weddings, wedding rings, baby names etc…this is as nauseating as the 2, okay, 3-day hangover. Please stop commenting on our non-existent weddings, wedding rings and babies. It’s not even okay to comment on the non-existent boyfriend. Leave us alone, we’ll have it figured out by 30. Or so I’ve heard.

I’m only 10 days into this enlightening journey of a quarter century but boy has it been fun. So fun, I’m actually a little exhausted from all the fun. And just so you know, you want to take more naps at 25 too. Also, a little rule to live by. Always, under every circumstance use the word “only” in front of your age, please…and thank you.

Horse Sense

Many know I have a four legged friend that I adoringly call Nikko. He’s a dog stuck in a horses body and we’ve been pals for a while now. This month he turned the ripe age of 11 and I’ll be turning 25. As my birthday approaches, I begin to reflect on the obvious…the last 25 years…or roughly 20 because who really remembers much before 5 anyway. Sure my parents got me through the first 14 years and have had much of an influence on the rest but good ol’ Nikko has been with me for 11. There will come a time where we’ve been together longer than we’ve been apart. Most can’t say that about a pet. As I reflect on time, I can’t help but reflect on him.

I’ve read stories about why parents made the choice to get their child a horse, how it helped shape their character and refined them into incredible adults. These stories are no joke. I can’t honestly tell you it’s specific to only horses but I’m a little biased on this so, yeah, it has everything to do with A HORSE. I’ll remind you at the end and I’ll tell you now…if you’re reading this and your child has asked you for a horse. You get em’ a darn horse!

I could go on about all the countless, hilarious predicaments Nikko has gotten himself into over the years. I could ramble about the infinite amount of times he’s misbehaved. I could talk about all the times I’ve fallen off, gotten a black eye or had my foot stepped on. I might entertain you with his quirks, canine like behaviors and his love of anything edible. I could woe you with all the times he’s fixed me when I was broken, lonely or sad. I could sit here and tear up like a fool and tell you a marvelous story about a girl and her horse, but I won’t. I’ll keep it very general so all you parents out there on the fence about acquiring a horse know just how important it is you get em’ that darn horse.

Nikko taught me about responsibility. As a condition of having a horse it wasn’t going to be a free ride. I was to do the chores, I was to spend time with him, teach him, love him and care for him in every way. I wasn’t given a horse free of responsibility. From the time I was proud enough to call him mine it has forever been up to me. At the point in which I might no longer want to do all of the above, he would be gone. Clean cut.

Nikko taught me about hard work. Everything about a horse is hard work….especially hay. Good lord, the hay. Ugh! From having to work to pay for it, to working to put it up. You will most likely touch the same hay 3-4 times, only for it to eventually be manure. And all the times my dad must have grinned ear to ear watching me struggle to haul water buckets I wasn’t strong enough to carry when the stock tank froze. You work hard for what you want, simple as that.

Nikko taught me patience. If you’re lucky enough to have a baby horse, both horse and human learn patience together. The halter training, the leading, the manners, and the riding. Repetition is the game and you my friend are player one and player two. You won’t always win but the sport is worth it.

Nikko taught me compassion. You learn to be selfless, caring and kind. Since horses can’t communicate verbally you never get a simple thank you. Yet, you will still care for them and do it without question.

Nikko taught me about trust. He taught me trust because you need it if you plan on jumping on the back of a 1,200 pound animal with a mind of its own.  He also made me aware that even if you trust something, it can still do you wrong, it can still hurt you, make you angry and frustrate you.

Nikko taught me forgiveness. I won’t forget every bump and bruise along the way but I will always forgive. Animals and humans alike, we all make mistakes. Forgiveness repairs and it is absolutely vital if you intend on interacting with others.

Nikko taught me to appreciate the small things. There isn’t one horse person I know that doesn’t wish they could make a horse air freshener. Just the smell is something to appreciate. Wide open spaces, nature, the breeze, the sun and everything else you fall in love with from the back of a horse. You learn to have fun without a single word being said and there aren’t many things that will teach you that today, if any.

These are just a few I chose to share. Horse person or not it’s hard to ignore the impact these animals have on a person. I only hope to one day get the timeless Christmas wish list from my child that sports #1 as: A horse.

If your kid wants a horse, get em’ a darn horse.

Add A Little “Pest” To Life


I wish I had more personal discipline. I wish I could sit down, take my half hour and write something every week. It’s not difficult; it’s merely a result of poor time management. I’ve had a few great things to put in front of you over the last couple weeks, yet, I’ve failed to do so. Daily I have these really great ideas for writing topics but it always turns out to be bits and pieces, never long enough to be suitable for a column or blog. Those really great, tiny ideas get put in a drafts folder to be added to later. So, no worries, my motto is better late than never. They will at some point make their way to you. I will also state that I’ve been working on discipline for 24 almost 25 years now and it’s a constant work in-progress. One might say never ending.

Like most things in life there is a balance. What you lack in one aspect you make up for in another. My poor time management, discipline and over all inability to strictly focus on one thing are complimented by my ability to work well under pressure and my luck of never living a boring life. Ever. Lately the little voice in my head has constantly been reminding me to write something. A constant nagging of sorts….very annoying. Apparently I’ve just been waiting for something to fall in my lap, an easy write up…just before deadline. So, here it is.

First and foremost I should admit that I make it seem like living in a hundred year old house is super fun and great. Even though I’m a lover of history, old houses and their charming character, there comes a time where I have to say living in an old house can be a tad gross. There are nooks and crannies, creepy crawlies and things that set up shop well before I did. Needless to say my first year here has been an adventurous one.

The first thing I noticed was bugs. I grew up in an old farm house so I know how relentless flies and beetles can be. Seeing those was no shock. I called people that get rid of those things and others for a living. Best money I’ve ever spent. All summer I was happy to find nothing else shacking up with me. Until at 24 years old, experienced my first bee sting. Actually, I think it was a wasp; they’d made a cozy little hut under an old deck table. I got stung, the death spray came out and the table got burned. Problem solved. The rest of the season I enjoyed the squirrels, rabbits, the occasional deer and birds… Err wait, no, I didn’t enjoy birds. In fact this reminds me of my stove bird.

I came home shortly after I bought my house. I’d recently cleaned out my wood stove as the weather turned warm. I walk in and hear a horrid, nails on a chalk board scratching. I’m looking around frantically trying to find where it’s coming from. I look at my stove and the pipe is rattling. I call Papa Dan in hope he’d have a magical solution. No luck…he’s there I’m here…after a bit of coaxing I get off the phone to further investigate. I flip my closed damper back and forth…nothing. I knock on the pipe only to get a scratching in reply. I flip the damper again, bloop, a bird drops into the belly of my stove. Here I sit staring back at the real angry bird. I gasp and he pecks on the glass at me. I have just enough time to snap a picture as proof that I indeed had a live bird in my stove. Then poof he’s gone! My damper was closed so he certainly didn’t go up. He must of crawled behind the fire brick. Then poof, there he was again! At this point it was funny, yet I had no idea how he would get out. Opening the stove door was completely out of the question. The next day he was still there, the day after that I never seen him again. He either crawled behind my fire brick and I cremated him on a cold evening or he skillfully flew out. I’ll just say I highly doubt he made it out.

Fall and winter made itself known. Only God knows for what reason at that point I decided to bring a cat into my home. A welcomed pest if you will, to keep me company during the winter months. A week prior to Roofus (the cat) joining me I had noticed something a bit strange around my house. Acorns. Yep, acorns in the most random of places. As a result I wasn’t sleeping well at night, as you might have guessed; it wasn’t me with the acorn fetish. I made a few concerned phone calls to my parents, like they were going to save me from the acorn hoarder. Any who, I make sure to be closing my door at all times and the pest people never found any obvious entrances so I thought perhaps I was imagining things. Until one night baby Roofus and I were sitting on the couch getting to know each other. He was no bigger than an acorn himself and out of the corner of my eye I see movement. There running the length of my living room was the acorn bandit! I couldn’t tell you what it was, but I screamed, stood on my couch and hurled the baby cat at it like he was going to save the day. I think I cried that night as I stood on my couch, calling my mom, wondering what the heck I got myself into. Another life line call to the pest pros and it was taken care of.

As most of you may know I now have this super cool guy named Tom that hangs around since Roofus went back to the farm. He earns his keep by doing manly stuff like weed eating with our cool new weed eater. This past Thursday he was out manly weed eating, I was doing woman things like washing dishes. I hear my name yelled. Not an excited or angry yell but a scared yell. I imagine he chopped his leg off or butchered one of my plants. Turns out he found one of his most favorite things in the whole world. A snake. He insisted I do something about it. Why yes dear can I please get that snake for you…ick…NO! It’s obvious that he can’t move because he’s holding it hostage against my step so it won’t further slither into a hole exposed by my recent need for internet! I knew internet was evil! This time I didn’t have time to call my parents, the pest people or borrow the neighbor’s cat to pacify the situation. This was all me. Being the cautious female that I am I grab gloves. I still feel the nasty, leathery snake on my fingers and I get the full body shivers. I’m screaming, Tom’s screaming…the neighbors probably think we’re dying. I lose it and grab a hammer. Why? Because that’s what I could find. I wrap the snake around the claw and fling it out. Except there wasn’t much flinging and it landed directly behind me. I proceed to scream, shiver, dance and further fling it away from the house. I won’t say specifically what happened next but Tom continued to manly weed eat…

Now that I’ve painted this awful picture, I would like to remind you that my home is quite wonderful! It’s not bursting with critters and I’m not planning on becoming Snow White anytime soon. But I do think unwanted pests are common with all houses, new and old. It’s just taking a little longer to make these pests aware that it’s no longer a town hall but a home, that’s the uncommon part. This isn’t a paid ad for my pest people but seriously, if you need anything, I know some people!

By: Chance

“Everything happens for a reason” is a reoccurring theme in my writing. I’m a fanatic about fate, all the small coincidences in life I feel are more than just chance. In fact, I’ve come to a point in my life where I’ve learned to follow suit with the here and there flukes. One might say I think too much, that I try too hard to find similarities or I ponder the reasoning behind life’s twists and turns too often. I wouldn’t say those accusations are far fetched but in all honesty I think that the world is just a really cool place and it’s capable of more things than for us to inhabit.

In case you think this is just a bunch of rubbish I’ll do my best to explain to you why I think fate is real. I push opinions on no one, I’m just here as a story teller so I apologize if you sorely disagree. However, that won’t stop me from writing about it.

If you’ve faithfully followed along with all my stories or if you know me personally you would know my car struggles. My vehicle is here purely to remind me of how good I once had it and that life really does give you lemons. Not to bore you any further but plain and simple…my back hatch doesn’t open. In order for me to haul any item of a significant size I need to first crawl to the back and open the hatch from the inside. The trick is to not load something you can’t crawl over. Anyway, last week I stopped at a favorite antique shop of mine. For weeks I’ve been obsessing over finding a bench for my entryway. I’ve pinterested, I’ve craiglist creeped and I’ve shop hopped. While browsing the antique shop among dusty chairs, old porch spindles, charming dressers and aged doors I find an old church pew piled high with items. It sat there glowing in all its chipped paint glory just waiting to come home with me.  The owner tells me to pull around and my heart instantly drops. “Dang it, here I go crawling through my vehicle for yet another audience.” I pull up, fold my seats down and right before I’m about to hoist myself up, POP….the guy opens my hatch. Awwww, okay…I smile in disbelief and proclaim, “You fixed it, that thing never opens!” I pay the man and leave. I get to my parents to show off my treasure, POP…it opens! I get home to unload, it opens again! Hallelujah! I’m feeling optimistic so my next car load is that of a heaping pile of garden dirt, plants, planters, weed killer and garden tools. Guess what doesn’t open for me? Yep, my back hatch, in and over I go! That was one holy bench and it was meant to be in my house.

While trying to find rustic planters I decide to steal an old cream can from Mama Pam. I take the smaller one of the three because well, smaller is cuter. I get home, plant a couple flowers in the top, brush the dirt off the rusty name tag attached to the front. Look at that….Frazee, Minnesota, Frazee Creamery. This little guy is finding his way closer and closer to home. Why sit in the woods in Ulen when it can sit in beautiful lakes country just miles from where it served it’s first purpose. Holy cream can? No, happenstance at its finest.

Though there are many more instances I will end with one that’s a little more near and dear to my heart. While going through items of my Grandmother’s we stumbled upon an old diary. One that wasn’t hers but I’m guessing one that was acquired at an auction. Clearly being a sucker for old things runs in the family. An intact, black covered and bound pocket book that reads Diary 1917. Fully used from back to front, the inside includes this man’s pants size, watch band size, height and weight. His hours worked, the name and number of a woman and a twist to an old Irish song with words not appropriate enough to quote here. My house was built in 1917, guess where that diary is now? Yep, in my house, for all my visitors to see. Its my take on a coffee table reader. Call it what you want and I’ll call it what I want. Serendipity.

 

Something Bad Did Happen!

A week or so ago I had a really big day ahead of me. So big in fact I took a couple of days off work to prepare. A few weeks prior to that, I spent four excruciating days in the cities attending class to prepare. I was days away from taking a grueling six-hour test, on an ungodly amount of information, that I intended to pass but sadly (spoiler alert)….did not. That’s right, a big flop on my part. It’s okay, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and that won’t be my last. Not by a long shot.

Anyway, my class of about twenty people included every walk of life you could imagine. Even those that you wouldn’t think fit a professional mold. That’s not a bad thing, just because you don’t dress or look a certain way, carry yourself in a certain manner, or be of a certain age doesn’t mean you can’t break molds. The last day of class I carried on a conversation with an older woman. We ate lunch together and she offered to send me notes from the tail end of class so I could get going, beat traffic and make my way home. She didn’t have to but nonetheless it was a kind gesture. We exchanged contact info and kept in touch. Not only was she nice enough to pass on notes from class….she also gave me priceless advice. In emails over the next week she made it known she was there for support, guidance and to pass on the good karma a co-worker bestowed upon her. To take someone under her wing and encourage them and inspire them to be the best they can be. This just goes to show you that not everyone you meet is out for themselves.

The night before my test I spoke to this woman on the phone. I had last minute questions and I needed to calm my nerves. We talked of the nagging anxious emotions and further discussed the overwhelming feeling of a human head on the verge of explosion from knowledge overload. She reiterated the importance of being prepared. On her testing day she wore her favorite clothes, ate her favorite lunch and the list goes on. Mind you this woman passed so I thought what the heck, its worth a try.

I set out my clothes that night, I gathered all my belongings and placed them by the door so I wouldn’t forget anything. My test appointment was early and I know how I am with mornings and time in general. Awful. I went to bed early, got up on time, ate breakfast, drank a cup of coffee AND left 15 minutes early. Wow, I was such a winner that morning!

My adventurous, feel good self, decided to take a different way to I-94, a way my GPS suggested. GPS is my savior, most of the time….if you thought I was bad with time I’m even worse with directions. I couldn’t make my way out of a wet paper bag. My ETA looked promising, I’d be able to maintain an early arrival. I was carefree, rolling down the highway singing Miranda Lambert, and straight up killing “Something Bad About to Happen.”

{Because this is exactly how my life goes, the final outcome was one without a sappy happy ending. Rather a realization that even if there are such wonderful people in this world, you are still you and you still have to live your life.}

Out of nowhere, I see a detour sign. No indication from my handy electronic map. No red flag indicators. ROAD CLOSED. Pfff, whatever, I have time….no problem-o! Well, it soon became a problem when the detour continually recalculated my arrival time, later and later and later. Panic set in. I decided to turn, hoping I’d get back to a road I knew. I went in a huge loop, killed a squirrel in the process and back tracked more miles than I care to share. This was a mess!

It was then and only then that I burst out laughing, shook my head and exhaled a sigh for good measure. Nooooo, not because I killed a squirrel. But for the fact that what was happening, at that very moment, was my life. Every coincidental, un-lucky, mishap of a thing….was my life. I should have known better and maintained my always in a hurry, late for everything, bad morning person way. Perhaps it would have helped.

I can’t blame failing my test on Miranda Lambert, my GPS or the squirrel. I can’t change what happened that day but I do know like most things in life, it happened for a reason. What that reason might be, I couldn’t begin to tell you! I guess like every song Miranda Lambert ever sang, I’m gonna have to know that test material like the back of my hand.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

 

 

 

#Awkward

With life comes change in perspective. There are many times I’ve had to eat my younger self’s words. I had much different opinions than I do now and a different perception overall. But, my younger self was kind of a jerk

I could make this sound very life changing and epiphany like. But, I’m not really in that kind of mood. Instead I’ll share with you my personal theory. The theory that karma is paying me back for every jerk like thing I’ve ever done or said in my life. Karma approached this in a rather comical fashion. I’m awkward. Extremely awkward, in almost every situation I can think of but I honestly don’t remember always being this way…

I’ll start with something very basic. Walking for instance. Yep, walking. I understand that this is more so under the clumsy category but I’m that too so it all meshes together quite nicely. The other day I went to town. I wanted to stroll the streets and visit the stores casually and take my time. After exiting the first store I had to cross the street. Obviously I’ve crossed streets before but there was this big ol’ pickup coming right at me so I had to hurry. I wasn’t going to full on sprint so I did a fast walk. What happens when I walk fast? Well, I trip. Don’t worry it wasn’t directly on my face and I didn’t have the classic skid marks on my hands but it was obvious enough to give the entire pickup load of people a good laugh. I also recently attended a business meeting in a hotel, there was a lot of stairs, ALOT of stairs to get to our conference room. I wore cute shoes instead of practical shoes. Let’s just say I was super hungry because I ate it following my boss down the steps. He kindly reminded me we didn’t travel all that way for me to break my leg.

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting with an old friend. He did some work on my car and it was fun to catch up. The conversation had fizzled out and it was that uncomfortable moment of, “Do I end the conversation or continue?” I thought I should get going so before I walk out to my loaner car. I make a closing statement of, “Well, hopefully I can get here to pick up my vehicle before you guys close because I’m gonna need a ride here and I’m not sure my ride will be off work in time.” …….. Apparently my loaner car has a job and works nights. Why me?!?! It gets better. I proceed to turn and leave of slight embarrassment to push a pull door. Only to have my friend remind me of the mechanics of such a tricky door.

Recently I spent some time in the cities for a Series 7 class. Small town girl left to fend for herself in the big city is never a good thing. Ever. I experienced many firsts on this trip. All very awkward. First time sitting in a bar by myself. In fear of having to watch a sporting event on T.V. at the bar all alone I frantically tried calling everyone in my contacts. “Haven’t talked to my fourth cousin in awhile….better give her a jingle.” First time I’ve ordered room service….do you tip when it’s charged to your room or do you not? I didn’t sleep well the first night in fear my food would be altered the next time I ordered because they’d know me as the chick that didn’t tip. Yikes. My bad.

Another thing I fail miserably at is meeting new people. Not because I don’t want to. I love people. However, I struggle with the conversation or it could be that I have a terrible sense of humor, perhaps I’m bad with relating to others. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Either way, in my Series 7 class I opened up my laptop bag, pulled out a folder and out across the floor flew my Jimmy John’s menu. I go to retrieve it and I look up at the girl it sits next to. As I looked up I probably should have just smiled and left it at that. But, I was feeling a little flustered so I said, “Whoa, I guess you can tell I eat a lot of Jimmy John’s, aye?!?” All she did was roll her eyes and look the other way. Was my comment so wrong?! I guess I’ll never know.

What I’m trying to say is you should never judge a book by its cover and you should never use your assumptions to classify people. I can’t imagine what people think of me most days but I can assure you there is more than what meets the eye. I can’t speak for everyone but I think most people feel the same way.

Life is training me to be understanding, patient and kind. It also tests me relentlessly, creates some impressive obstacles and never produces a dull moment. All while teaching me to never take myself too seriously because once I do, it makes a joke out of me.

 

Malmartian No More

It was bound to happen. I often complain about it. I dread it. I loath it but for some reason I still don’t avoid it. I was told I shouldn’t use the name directly so, please bare with me as I try to keep the “good” name under wraps. Regardless, it was only a matter of time until I went on a ramble about…Malmart.

First and foremost I don’t honestly support what Malmart is all about. I also realize I’m a hypocrite because like any other paycheck to paycheck individual, I continue to spend my money there. I can’t recall a single time I ever thought to myself. “Self, I am so glad I went to Malmart!” In fact, whenever I refer to Malmart it’s in a negative form. One that usually references a really warm place….and no, I’m not referring to anywhere tropical. Just the thought of it makes me cringe.

I would like to give a shout out to all the mother’s out there that dare bring children along for their Malmart trips. Okay, I’ll be honest…a shout out to the mother’s who bring their children in and don’t treat it like the play place at McDonald’s. Sorry, that was a bit much. I understand kids can be tuff but I also know my parents scared the crap out of me and we didn’t act like that. In the event we did, we suffered the ever so sneaky underarm pinch. Use what works! All kidding aside, I can not physically imagine keeping other “beings” calm in a place so over stimulating.

Stimulating might be the wrong word. Overwhelming may say it best. I can feel every emotion possible in one visit. Before I walk in…scared. I grab a cart…sick. Enter…determined. Before the first aisle….distracted. First aisle….forgetful. Second aisle with four people deep and two people wide….disheartened. Turning a corner too sharp with a blind spot…nervous. Waiting behind someone in the soup or sauce aisle while they ponder their life away with no regard for the person behind them….annoyed. Saying excuse me and sorry multiple times without any acknowledgment….frustrated. Getting to the check out where there are six lights of twenty registers lit up and lines that circle the women’s clothing…helpless. Seeing the bill….nauseous. Exiting the swishing doors….freedom!

I once bought myself flowers on the way out of the produce because I was so sad. What store makes someone so sad they buy themselves flowers? Malmart. While waiting to pay for said flowers I made small talk with the woman behind me. I could tell we were feeling mutually restless with the coupon-er in front of us and the rookie cashier. I told her of my woes and she shared hers. She was irritated by Malmart’s lack of Kleenex choice. This just further confirms that Malmart makes people sad and as a result they have a blowout on Kleenex each week. Why else would such a common household good not be in stock at Malmart?

My all time, most unbelievable trip had to be this past week. I take my place in line behind a rather cute elderly couple. They were just finishing up so I felt like I won the lottery for a quick exit. As I wait to put my items on the conveyor I hear the familiar sound of a camera shutter. The really loud, obnoxious noise cellphones make while taking a picture. I don’t even hesitate to turn around and look. There behind me stands a man, with a dumb look on his face and his phone held at an awkward chest level. Yes, he had a cart and yes he obviously needed to pay for his items. However, he wasn’t so excited to stand behind me and wait his turn after I acknowledged the oh so obvious sound that came from his phone. Interesting.

I realize Malmart has no control over the people who frequent their store or these people’s behavior but it never fails there is always something unsettling about the place. Maybe the sound I heard wasn’t a camera at all, perhaps it was the figurative click of realizing I should no longer be one of these Malmartians.

 

Whatever Your Little Heart Desires

 

As some of you may know I’ve recently started a column for my hometown newspaper. I’ve been slacking on individualizing my blogs. I’ve been publishing repeats of what you’ll find in the paper. I’m not certain but I’m pretty sure this is how writing life works. It starts with a whim, then a blog, then print. However, it’s occurred to me that there are certain things I’m able to address with you…my blog followers…that I can’t with the newspaper world. Reason being…..controversy. Most of you that see my blogs from Facebook or searches know that you chose to click and read. Newspaper people, even though they still choose to read have a little less choice on what they entertain themselves with.

That being said I must confess I have a bit of a bone to pick. Since I’m your average person I would like to note that there is an obvious reoccurrence I’m seeing. One of which many of you are seeing as well. Call it what you like but I’d say a majority of you are referencing “pyramid scheme” right about now. JUMP ON THE EXERCISE WAGON. JUMP ON THE OIL WAGON. JUMP ON THE RELIGION WAGON. (Yes I just referenced religion as a pyramid scheme) JUMP ON THE MAGIC SUPPLEMENT WAGON. JUMP ON THE PURSE WAGON. JUMP ON THE CLEAN EATING WAGON. JUMP ON THE TUPPERWARE WAGON. JUMP ON THE MAKEUP WAGON. You name it, they have a wagon for it.

Since I’m an old school girl at heart. As much as I hate to admit it….I have a soft spot for wagons. However, I will admit openly that I’ve grumbled about seeing all these fitness coaches flooding my daily feed, someone wanting me to rub oils in weird places, wanting me to order a rodeo clown equivalent of makeup and a ridiculous amount of Tupperware and if your into it…..lets make every nook and cranny of your home smell like a delicious dessert. I’ve been annoyed. Then, something occurred to me. Something that not everyone will realize but it made perfect sense to me.

Similar to how I post my writing every week or month. These individuals are doing the same. The most obvious of my realization is that this is Facebook. A social media created to keep us interacting. Sure shit we’re interacting, but on a deeper level than probably Facebook ever intended. We see people who constantly complain, constant pictures, constant bragging, constant love, constant hate, constant….life. We sign on to this, we login to this everyday. Thankfully for those that like to customize, much like life itself…we are able to make these things seemingly disappear without the other party even knowing.

But wait. Before we make all this go away, disappear into thin air, I want you to think about something. Aside from the fact that you’re basically doing this to yourself, I want you to realize that our world is based on one single thing. Rights. You can do this…you can do that and we all feel like no one should tell us differently. Daily, we react this way. I’m not buying all these workouts, purses, makeup, oil, Tupperware and supplements just because they tell me to. I’m independent. I make my own choices. I’m happy just the way I am.

If that last sentence is true…..GREAT! You are likely a small percentage of human kind. You are unique and I commend you. For many, it takes a purpose, a hobby, an experience or another-living-breathing-human-being to bring us to life. It also takes someone or something bold enough to show us the way. Not that you don’t already have what you need to be happy, but that you just need to see it.

Obviously in the bigger picture I’m not saying these people are trying to sell you happiness based on plastic kitchen ware or a beauty commodity but what I am saying is that even something as small as that….makes them happy. I feel bad saying “something as small as that.” Who am I kidding….one of my happiest moments of the day is turning into my driveway. I shouldn’t be one to judge if health, fitness, routine and “product” is what makes people happy. Go for it! Do it!

Overall the message I’m trying to portray is that everyone has their happy. Men…and I know you read this too….if coming home from work, sitting on the couch, drinking a beer, eating a perfectly made supper and watching t.v. is your happy place then by all means…happy away. Ladies…if your happy place is work, exercise, a perfectly made meal (mostly by you), a good book, movie, glass of wine (beer, whiskey, vodka, rum or even tequila), sitcom/series, pet or bed….by all means, happy away.

If you want to tell Facebook about it…great. If you want to broadcast it via phone, text message, email, Instagram, or good old-fashioned conversation then…like my mother always said….”You do whatever your little heart desires.”

 

 

Class of Wine

In the last couple years I’ve started to notice a trend. One I’ve only heard about and one I was certain I would be exempt from experiencing. It seems in every circle of friends there’s a trend setter for each walk of life.This scenario is similar to the famous singing groups and movies we idolized and would characterize our friends with in our pre-teen years. Oddly enough, ours was the Spice Girls. I choose the word odd because not a single one of us turned out like a Spice Girl, thank God for that! Its funny the little turns life has in store for us as it steers us away from childish ideals to that of some pretty impressive adults. Last week was a prime example of this trend in full swing. Thursday was a rather mature day; I worked, took off early to meet old co-workers for lunch, ran some errands and met up with friends to catch up. Today would be a first for an outing with friends that didn’t fall in our usual category of fun. Our dignified friend outing started at Barnes & Noble for coffee. It’s logical, but I had no idea there was a quaint little Starbucks tucked in the back of all the piles of books. It was comfy. Comfy enough to catch up on the past two or so years of life. Not only was it fun to hear things I hadn’t previously heard on Facebook but it was fun to be face to face. To hear and see emotion. To witness how proud someone is of their accomplishments, the struggles they’ve faced and the current situations they find themselves in. However, there is truth in the saying, “Some things never change.” Each person the way I’ve always remembered them. A short time passes and we all gather to do something that didn’t involve a bottle of Tylenol or a call to a pizza delivery place at 2 a.m. There was zero bad decisions made, zero creepy guys, no failed dance moves and not a single cab was hailed. Instead of belly up to a bar in downtown Fargo, we were belly down on a yoga mat in an art gallery much too classy for us kids straight off the farm. But don’t mistake, we held our own. True to our unrefined fashion, we piled three people in a one person bathroom to hurry and change into our yoga pants. You know, the ones we don’t usually do yoga in. Every other woman in the room looked and acted as a seasoned veteran. We were stuck discussing if it was appropriate to show our un-pedicured feet and giggling over the days events, not finding our inner quiet center. As class commenced it was clear the next hour would be a test of our maturity, balance and flexibility. I can assure you I question these three aspects of my life daily. I’m a clumsy, not very athletic chick with a terrible sense of humor. Things could get interesting. Half way through cramping set in and it was obvious I hadn’t consumed enough water. One of us fell over, I started to question my knowledge of left and right and no one had busted a gut laughing, passed any gas or judgment so, I’d say it was going pretty well. I didn’t mention this before because I didn’t want it to seem as though it was the reason we chose to take THIS yoga class. But…it did weigh as a deciding factor. There was wine at the end of class. Yep, a big classy glass of white wine after an hour of contortionism. Perfect. We made it through class, two glasses of wine, priceless conversation and several side-splitting laughs. Since high-school we’ve transformed into mothers, wives, teachers, financiers, (almost) doctors, wellness coaches and many more things. We’ve come a long way but still have a distance to travel. May the rest of our lives be more like a yoga class than the Spice Girls. At times we will be exhausted, we’ll feel stretched, we’ll fall, we’ll feel inferior but hopefully we’ll continue to laugh and come together to share good conversation over a tall glass of wine.

Silly Biscuits

Too often in life we need to make choices and do things that are a little scary. Not a lot, but just a little scary. Things that make us uncomfortable because of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. It’s only natural and if you told me you’ve never been scared of a life choice, you’d be lying.

Because it’s neither good to lie to yourself or others let’s assume we’ve all been in this place. You have a new job opportunity, you want to make a big purchase, you decide to take on new responsibility, the list goes on and on of all that can make us anxious.

I’m anxious a lot of the time. I think that’s why I’m okay with change. I’m nervous anyway, what difference will this make mentality. I’ve come to terms with this and its helped immensely. But how do other people deal with change?

You will see those that put off change because the risk just isn’t worth it. You’ll notice others don’t even entertain the idea of change because they need consistency. Others will welcome it because the fear of boredom is greater than the fear of something new. Some like change in small amounts and some like it in large amounts. Its specific to your bubble, your comfort zone and your level of courage but change still needs to happen.

I’ve wrote about this more times than I care to acknowledge but since the record isn’t broken yet, I’m going to keep playing it. In my short life I’ve witnessed too many people passing up opportunities and good things. I’ve heard too many people ask why good doesn’t happen to them? Why they don’t have this or have that? If they were asking me specifically I’d tell them to quit asking and start doing. All the people you see around you that have what they WANT…not NEED, (that’s different) made a scary change or choice at some point to acquire it.

Simple as that. Unless you’re willing to put on your big girl panties or your big boy drawers, chances are you won’t acquire any of those things you’ve been wishing for.

To lighten this up a bit, lets think of it this way. The tube of Grands Biscuits in the fridge you want to make tonight. You know they’re there, you know they’re going to be good but there is that chance you could burn them and they’d be gross. You will still pull them out of the fridge….you will still pre heat the oven. You have all the tools you need to make the biscuits but you know what the scary part is? You are still going to have to break the seal. Yep, that horrific popping of the tube, its gonna happen! You just don’t know when and you don’t know how much pressure its going to take. But it will pop and it will scare you.

I bet you still make Grands Biscuits even if they scare you. I do. So, why aren’t you doing other things that are a little scary? Seems silly, doesn’t it.