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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!

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.

The Study Struggle

How long has it been since you’ve spent time in a library? Due to technology, my guess is it’s been awhile for a majority of you. Prior to this year my only hours logged in a library were ones I was more or less forced into. Whether it be for AR Reading, misc research projects, quality reading time or computer use, the library was the hot spot. Of course you weren’t allowed to talk, shout, giggle, clap or take part in any other activity that had a volume level greater than one. I don’t know for what reason you would clap in a library, regardless, it wasn’t allowed.

My job requires me to pass several tests before deemed “legal.” This frightens me as my ability to absorb knowledge through reading vs. doing has declined substantially since joining the real world. I’m more of a real world type of person. I’m conscious of what goes on around me, what I’m doing and what results from such things. I find it difficult to lose myself in hundreds of pages of content I’m never going to apply in real life. This is where being “me” is a problem…

I’ve always thought it a curse for being too observant. Don’t get me wrong, my days are never boring! However, I often struggle with letting certain things go. So, how does this apply to a library you might ask?

Well, I decided the local library would be my venue of study. I did my homework before making a decision of where I’d spend all this quality time. I had to check if there was an adequate amount of plugins, cushy seats, (not too cushy so they’d induce coma) how many study rooms were available, friendliness of staff…all the basics to know my 10+ hours a week would be comfortable ones. For extra measure I brought my pin to drop on the tile floor to ensure optimal quietness. I was impressed, it surpassed my expectation.

Apparently my initial visit was at the exact time, on the exact day of prime desolation because almost every visit after has had a volume above 1. They’ve literally cranked it to 10. Every. Single. Time.

To highlight a few: I’ve witnessed a teenage girl strolling through the aisles chatting on her cell phone. No muted ringtone, no whispers, no “I’ll call you later this girl at a study table is staring at me for being obscenely rude”….just a casual after school catch up session with her BFF. I’ve heard the clumsy stampede of dozens of youngster’s in un-tied, slipped on snow boots, frolicking through the library. Running up and down the stairs because walking just isn’t as fun. I’ve spent unproductive time re-reading the same page multiple times because the voice in my head was singing along to the catchy tune being played on the computer next to me, without headphones. There’s a few days I’ll refrain from describing to the public in fear of judgment. But are you picking up what I’m putting down? The library is no longer the place I remember. Its loud, its hustling and bustling, it’s over crowded and honestly…I was so wrong, it doesn’t have enough plug-ins.

This past week I walk in with a little pep in my step. I’m really excited to sit and read my text-book. Possibly a little too excited. The further I venture into the library, the more stacks of book I pass, the more study rooms I see filled with people, I start to feel anxious. I knew I was an hour later than schedule and I was paying for it. There was one study table left by the coldest window in the whole place. I didn’t bring my coat, I didn’t want to freeze. I look up and I’m at the end of the road. All that’s left is the big intimidating stairway in front of me. I’d never been up there. The little kids sometimes ran up there but they also ran back down. Maybe it was scary up there. With no other choice, I had to take a chance. I make my way up, refraining from running or jumping one stair at a time. Because it’s waaay more fun than walking. But I didn’t, I kept my cool. I finally make my way to the landing. A little winded but that’s okay, nobody noticed…I don’t think.

I look around, lost but willing to find my way. To my left, two people. One at a table seated for six. The other on a couch big enough for only two. To my right an older gentleman and a younger girl seated across from each other. I wasn’t about to crash their party so I meander to the two-seater facing the wall. Perfect! I could get used to this. This place was classy. It had a fireplace, I felt so distinguished with all the newspapers and magazines surrounding me. I take my place and start setting up. Dang it! No plug-in. That’s okay, I have 50% battery, I’ll survive. Nothing can bring me down!

An hour or so passes. I wasn’t keeping time, I was studying, really, really, hard. I was focused and productive. My attention slipped for only a moment when I notice the party on the pleather couches was replaced with a white-haired man. I sit and imagine for a second what I’ll be like at that age. Feeling sentimental and thankful I’m still in my twenties I look back at my book and try to regain my train of thought.

In the dead of silence, a loud, rumbling, boisterous belch, echoes through the upstairs. I’m not the most proper lady but it made my face turn red. Before I can look over to be sure the guy didn’t puke, he does it again. And again. Annnnd again! At this point I’m in disbelief, shock and trying not to breathe in because God forbid I smell it. Hearing it made me slightly nauseous. Because one bodily noise wasn’t enough it was followed by another. This time I cracked up, I lost every ounce of maturity I had. I bury my face in my arms and book as this guy starts to hiccup. This isn’t your average hiccup. By the sound of his high-pitched squeal, I’m a convinced he’s hiding a baby pig in his retro jacket. The noises coming from him are unsettling. Yet, he hadn’t skipped a beat, he sat there paging through his magazine! Un-freaking-real!

I try my best to be compassionate and understanding. But really? After my giggling was under control I sat with a blank stare. I gathered my belongings, shoved in my chair, bunny hopped to the stairs, slid down the banister, whistled my way to the door and slammed it behind me. Next time and every time after that a study room will be mine!

Puppy Love

I’m surely not the only person who has a news feed blowing up with babies, puppies, engagments and all that sappy, warm fuzziness. One in particular that sticks out to me is the four legged, literally fuzzy, lovable pups. They make my little, Norwegian heart melt. Sigh….

I’ve had dogs in my day. The one I grew up with. His name was Bear, he was black and he was perfect. Then there was Digger, I taught that dog more jumps and tricks than a gold medal gymnast.

Of course I’ve had dogs through various relationships. You know those relationships where you’re like, “Ahhh, we should get a puppy!” It’s like a super secret way of saying, “Ahhhh, lets see if we can keep something alive together and test the waters of mutual responsibility and discipline.” I discuss this from an experienced point of view. Trust me when I say, get a plant first. Reason #1: There’s no canine custody battles. You won’t have to worry about supervised visits, pissy step-“parents” or a tugged heart string on top of other emotions. Reason #2: If you can’t agree on a plant feeding schedule or who is gonna keep it’s over growth under control, you really shouldn’t coincide. Simple as that.

As I’ve been fighting off this urge to have my canine companionship back it’s brought up some rather interesting points that my previously immature self would have overlooked. Taking a step back and having a good laugh over it has been the best cure thus far.

Here’s the scoop. Or the poop scoop. I want a Great Dane in the WORST way! Always have, always will. However, my oh so charming boyfriend kindly reminded me of how large of a “mess” I’d have to clean up. He also suggested a Newfoundland as a companion. Now that’s just bonkers! Do you know how big of a poop scoop we would need? More like a scoop shovel. Jeeesh. I think I’ll scratch the horse of a dog idea.

I’ve given it some logical thought and figured an older dog would be appropriate. So I set out to find the perfect fit. Rescues, pounds and Craigslist…you name it, I’ve looked. Luck would have it I find an older, male dog. It was eating me up inside so I had to pay a visit. To sum it up I’m glad I went. Is it going to be right for me? No. That I learned. Among other things but I won’t share that here.

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Have any of you had microfiber couches? I have. It’s like having an oversized magnet. One that attracts any fiber ever created! Their stain fighting abilities are poor; dark couches and light couches alike.

*******

Anyway, as I sit observing the dog, all the past instances I’ve had with a dog in my home came flashing back. The flalying, uncontrollable tail wagging, licking, fur flying, slobber throwing, red rocketeering……all. over. the. microfiber.

Call me materialistic. I don’t care. At this point in my life I’d prefer to not deal with red rockets in my house….on my furniture or a red rocket leaking on my hardwood floor. I don’t want to find my shoes eaten, table legs destroyed, clean up mounds of poo or find them with my bare feet in my yard. I do miss the greetings at the door, my partner in crime in the car, a cuddle on the couch and a motivation to go for a walk.

Sadly, right now a cactus would be best for me. Cute, yet aggressive in looks. Which is exactly what you can get with the right kind of dog. If that’s what your looking for. I wouldn’t dare cuddle with it and it’d be a little weird if I took it along in the car.

Yet, I’m not opposed to naming a cactus. In fact, I might buy a red cactus and call it Rocket. Best of both worlds!

“Ahhhh, we should get a cactus!”

I hear they’re really hard to kill.

Subconscious Problems

You’re so sleepy….you drag yourself to bed….assume the most comfortable position……close your eyes…..and bam! Eyes shut, Brain ON!

In my case I’m convinced I have a nocturnal, split personality stowed away in my brain. It only comes out when the lights are low and all the rest of my being wants to sleep. It suggests the most convincing concepts, life goals, wants and needs. It wins every argument I may have had that day or perhaps an argument I’ve never had. Its more inspiring than any motivational speaker. And even if I don’t suffer from A.D.D…..it does.

If you haven’t caught on by now my guess is you and I don’t have the same types of problems and you probably won’t be able to relate to this in any way. Nonetheless, read on if you wish.

I’ve thought about trying to write down my sporadic thoughts while counting sheep but its occurred to me that its an entirely different part of my brain at work. The subconscious. I really shouldn’t be surprised by its behavior given my daily conscious thoughts.

I’m not kidding when I say I have an irrational fear that there may be people among us that can read our minds. I pray I never unknowingly find myself in the presence of one. Bad for me….worse for them.

Anyway, I will admit this isn’t a nightly occurrence but it does happen often. Often enough for me to want to write about it. Well, who am I kidding, I’d write about anything. This however has won the top spot for this week.

I’m unsure of what causes the subconscious to be so loud. Perhaps an overload of conscious stimulation. A busy day, too much problem solving, dealing with people you’d rather not deal with, basic things that demand your logical train of thought. I’ve narrowed it down to the fact that my brain has had no time to play. It has had zero fun and it is pissed.

You see, its most common to have an over active voice in my head on days I’ve felt the most productive. Days I’ve crossed all the To Do’s off and gotten ahead of the game. Nights I’m certain I will be soaking in all that beauty sleep all these women talk about. That being said I assure you my subconscious isn’t all that attractive.

We can’t win them all.

I’ll keep this short and sweet but I think it would be in this posts best interest to give an example of how my subconscious sounds on the evenings it feels most active. My main goal here is to let it out to play, if only for the hour I have on my lunch break. Then, and only then will I have a fighting chance to shut. it. up.

…….

Ahhh these pillows, I need new pillows. Or maybe another pillow. Yeeaaaahh another pillow. I could have so many pillows…I’d be like the Princess and The Pea. Wait that was matresses. And a pea….why did she have the pea again? Like, don’t pea (pee) the bed? Was that a potty training book? How long ago did I pee? Gosh I hope I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to pee. Did I drink enough water today? Next time I’m at Walmart I should get a new water bottle. Something fun, that makes me WANT to drink more water. I should exercise more. I should buy fun workout clothes that make me WANT to exercise. Then I’d have to eat better. Geez, I ate a lot of junk today. I’m gonna wake up early, eat yogurt, exercise and drink water. Lots of water. Wow, I’m really gonna do it this time. I feel so motivated. I am so excited to wake up tomorrow. Eww, I have to pay bills tomorrow. I should save more money. I’m gonna start a savings account tomorrow. Wow, by the end of the year, Christmas, I’m gonna have so much money. I love Christmas! Jeepers, what should I get Tom for Christmas. I wonder what Tom is doing right now. PROBABLY SLEEPING. Why can’t I fall asleep? Crap, did I turn the furnace down? How “cool” would it be if I could turn down the thermostat from my bed? Ha, wow I’m so punny! I bet no one else is this punny this late at night. What time is it? Uhhh I’ve been laying here for 10 minutes. What else takes 10 minutes? Taking a shower, drying my hair, washing my car. Gross. My car is filthy. I’m getting a carwash on my lunch tomorrow. What am I gonna have for lunch? Dairy Queen…..NO a salad. I’m gonna have a salad, get my car washed, buy a lottery ticket….because I bet this is the time I win. I could buy so many water bottles if I won the lottery. I could buy a new car. Maybe I won’t wash my car  At the car wash, Workin’ at the car wash yeah, Yeah yeah yeah yeah. I wish my radio was on. Its too quite in here. (Crack) Oh my gosh what was that? Ugh, what if my house got broken into right now. I have on the weirdest pajamas. And its cold. Its too cold for a robber. I love those little masks that robbers wear in cartoons, its so sneaky. Sneaky but cute. Puppies are cute too, awe I want a puppy. But a big puppy. A HUGE puppy. One that grows up and is the size of a camel. Not a horse, a camel. HUMP DAY…no tomorrow is Thursday. Today was hump day. Garbage day. Did I bring the garbage can in? What if someone hit it? Did I check the mail? I love getting mail. I’m such a loser, 24 and I like getting mail. Whoa, I’m almost 25. I need to do a lot of stuff in 25 years. When I’m 50, it will be year 2040. Weird…..

…….

The song Highway, by Holly Williams, will blast at 6:30 a.m. reminding me its Thursday morning when I’m suppose to get up exercise and drink more water.

My conscious self will win with the push of the snooze button. 3 times.

 

 

A Valentine’s Day for the Books

Let me start by saying there isn’t a specific Valentine’s Day that sticks out to me. Having been through many with a significant other, still, nothing jumps at me as memorable. I think I’ve gotten flowers, maybe a card, I think one year a candy bar, jewelry etc….its been done, it just hasn’t been over the top. I’m okay with that. I don’t think I have an over the top personality or personal expectation. I do just fine with mediocre.

Valentine’s Day has passed once again but this time with a story to tell. I don’t want to get your hopes up so I’m going to warn you it wasn’t all lovey dovey, roses, champagne and chocolate. There wasn’t teddy bears, a sparkling necklace or a vase tied with a bow. The mood was not set for romance and the candlelight was nowhere to be found.

If any of you out there had a day that included some or all of the above mentioned….high five yourself because I’m about to one up you.

Well, kinda.

Okay, its one of those….”the eye of the beholder” things. And its possible my definition of one upping is very different from yours.

Any-who, I hope your day was enjoyable and that you were able to express your love in which ever way you’re capable of and that love was expressed to you.

………

A few months ago I distinctively remember having a discussion about planning a trip to Florida. You know, where its warm, because its freaking cold here! Much like any other trip I’ve ever tried to plan, it just never worked out. Conflicting schedules, expensive flights, lack of follow through…whatever it might be it just never comes together like my venturing imagination would like it to.

I also remember this really great conversation I had with my boyfriend about going somewhere tropical….but the conversation table quickly turned.

“Ahhh yeah we should really take your dad’s fish house for a weekend too…like Devil’s Lake or somewhere.”

Being the good Minnesota girl that I am, I agreed…. because hell, who doesn’t like a good fishing trip?!?! As February approached and the hopes of sunshine faded it was decided that Devil’s Lake was the ticket. A date was set, the fish house lined up and our wheels were ready to turn. Sleep was missed and excitement was in the air!

It should have been a teaser to our weekend when miscommunication of keys and hooking up tow lights was a greater task than anticipated. But hey, there’s always road bumps, how were we to know the trend would continue.

Friday comes. I’m getting excited to get out of work. The guys are taking off a little early to ensure everything is set up. Sounds perfect. My ideal adventure.

Then I get the texts….

“…make sure to grab the generator n those blocks in the back of my truck…no joke.” “Gimme a call when you get a chance.”

No generator = no heat. My female alarm sounded…this ain’t good.

A couple hours pass and the girls are Devil’s Lake bound. Generator (Check), Tow Rope (Check), Food (Check), Tip-ups (Check), Beer (Check)……ahhh that reminds me…beer.

Side Note: Yet another foreshadow to our weekend went unnoticed. I thought I’d pick up beer for the weekend. Perfect, didn’t even get carded…sweet. I walk out sporting a 24 rack and open my backseat to buckle it up.

Weird, who put boxes in my backseat and why do I suddenly have an e-brake in my center counsel? Magic?

Nooooo….. wrong car Einstein. (Insert red-face emoticon)

Okay, back to the story…..EHHEMMM

Well on the way to our destination we receive a rather frustrated phone call. The guys are still not set up and still not on the lake, it was clear frustrations were on the rise. Thank god we had another 80+ miles to let them cool down and find their way.

80+ miles pass….we roll into town and see a very familiar truck and fish house in a parking lot. We stop to investigate. Turns out they hadn’t already caught the big one and called it a night.

They had yet to drop a line or even drill a hole.

Good thing we have beer.

Since its now after dark we decide its best to find our hotel. Wait, did I say hotel? I’m sorry, I meant motel. Contrary to what GPS suggests we pull into our bungalow. In the parking lot we find few cars. But one car in particular looks as though its been there awhile….perhaps all winter. Usually not a great marketing tactic for a place of business. But clearly we found the place.

We first inspect the rooms before safely bringing in our belongings. I even told the beer to stay buckled. Once inside, we find that only half the lights work due to lack of light bulbs and/or electrical failure. The T.V. looked promising but one step in the door had me Google searching reviews that may claim bed bugs were their number one guest.

This place was bad. I mean, the opening plot for a scary movie bad. After further inspection and other signs of life pulling into the parking lot, we figured it’d be okay to unload the car.

I dropped my bag and simultaneously cracked a Coors. Much needed. After assembling a game plan for morning we turned in for the night but not without the exchange of hilarious pictures and video of our out of this world heating systems and free amenities. One heater resembled the sound of a Mack truck and the other wouldn’t even purr.

It was a cold and icky night but we were hopeful for the next day because it surely couldn’t get worse.

Six thirty comes much too soon. We set out for Catfish Hunter! However, mistakes were already made. The auger and generator were left in the arctic temps and the beer was left behind.

Soon after throwing it in park on the lake it was apparent the hole driller and the heat maker were going to need a little warming up. We let them soak up the warm air in the truck. The quarters were tight but for a good cause.

Since it was near 30 below and the guys were much more motivated to catch a prize fish, we sat in the pickup and assessed the situation over a cup of gourmet, gas station coffee. Sounds enchanting right?

It was a breathe of fresh air to see a smile on the guy’s faces when they broke water while drilling the first hole. There was a lot of ice and nearly not enough auger. We really got lucky on this one! Woooooo.

As they run around like spring chickens setting the tip-ups, we prep the house. It seems as though the stars are aligning and the fish gods are about to send us a real wall hanger. Everyone is content….

Although hopeful, a better part of an hour passes without even a nibble.

Soon to follow was the first perch of the day and later a couple walleyes pop through the hole.

When I say “the hole,” I mean the only hole of ALL the holes drilled that day that had a fish come out of it.

After ten and a half hours on the lake, without catching a buzz or catfish hunter, it was time for a nice supper. We all deserved that at the very least.

Silly us showed up at the tail end of a supposed nice Valentine’s Day special. We were still able to order drinks, food and dessert but of course not without complication.

The bar blender was broken, they ran out of mashed potatoes and their vegetable medley, although tasty….were very sad looking. Yes, vegetables can be sad. Sad like they were definitely the last ones out of the pot and had endured a rather long day.

We could relate….we were basically sad vegetables.

I would also like to add that the tray of Pina Coladas that passed our table after we were informed the blender was broken told us one thing and one thing only. The bar must have a blender mechanic on call on holidays. Impressive.

The dessert was great. We could see that before we even ordered it. Given our current luck we didn’t want to miss out. I tried to pre-order the dessert directly after we got our food. I expressed to the waitress my concern that they may run out or perhaps the dessert might break before we could order. Okay, that statement isn’t entirely true but she did assure us we’d be able to indulge in the cheesecake.

The next day offered the same quality of fishing but this time a little more action on the tip-ups. We didn’t stay nearly as long as the thought of home was much too tempting.

You have one more year Catfish Hunter. One more year.