Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
-Mary Oliver

27 November, 2011

Much Obliged

I headed out west on Thursday morning, dessert in hand, for Thanksgiving. Due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances, the family traditions were slightly uprooted this year and we ended up in Benson, at my brother and sister-in-law's house. It was, despite the change in venue, like Thanksgiving always is in my family. Great food, lively conversation, lots of laughter.





And this year, with the addition of three new children celebrating their first Thanksgivings, perhaps just a little bit louder. But in a good way.

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After the party, as I was continuing on to my parents' house, I was struck by the scenery. There is a certain barrenness to the landscape of Western Minnesota in November, before the empty fields have been covered in their white blankets of snow. The land seems to go on forever and combined with the infiniteness of the sky, it gives one the feeling of being very, very insignificant. Broken silhouettes of abandoned farm houses, collapsing barns and tiny country cemeteries sit in sharp contrast to the brilliant sunsets while their contents sit undisturbed, gathering an abundant coating of dust and grime.






As I drove past several of these empty homes that were at some point undoubtedly filled with the same life and love I experienced that day, I wondered who lived there. And I wondered what they did for their last Thanksgiving.




21 November, 2011

Good Start

So it's 7:40 on Monday morning and I have most definitely woken up on the wrong side of my beautifully clothed bed that I really didn't want to get out of.


Here's a list of why this day blows already.
  • I forgot to change the time on my alarm, so instead of waking up at 8:30, I woke up at 6:00.  Yeah.  This guy likes her sleep, so that's a big fucking deal.
  • My apartment smells like garbage even though I took all the garbage out.  So that's gross.
  • Out of milk for my coffee. :(
  • I slept with a pillow wedged in an unusual place.  Neck pain.
Here's a list of why this day is good already.
  • I got two more hours of productivity this morning.  And by productivity, I mean writing shitty blog posts and reading.
  • I had time to take the garbage out!
  • Delicious tea for breakfast. :)
  • Enough time for a bit of yoga.
Trying to feed the good wolf today.  Really, I am.

29 October, 2011

Show me the way to go home

Some normally distant family (distant as in "lives far away") was here for a visit, meaning that all six of my grandparents great grandchildren were within a mile of each other so I hauled my booty out to Ortonville last Friday night. Left work at 6:30, got to the farm at 10 or so, and was greeted by a plethora of activity. One nephew, two nieces, three crazy barking dogs, and four relatively calm adults. We all went to bed not so very long after my arrival. "Up with the sun" is not usually a phrase that is applicable in my life, but in this instance, I'm glad it was. My mom only had to yell down the stairs twice to get me to acknowledge it.


And let me tell you, it was a good thing I was up so early. We had a busy day. Jam packed with hard work, and even with the wake up call of "bright and early" we still didn't fit it all in. There were kittens that needed to be played with,

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rocks to be collected,


and more kittens, except these ones needed cuddles...


We had a couple of important deep sea voyages to take care of,


after which we had to haul our loot ashore.


Oh, and don't forget about the kittens.


I had to leave the next day to fulfill some previous commitments, which I was happy to do,  because I arrived at my destination just in time for this view through the yellow glass windows.


We never made it to the pumpkin carving...


or whatever we were supposed to be doing with these tomatoes serving as a doll bed...


And lunch was late.

But we accomplished other things.


02 October, 2011

Operation Freedom

I had a visitor arrive on Thursday night.  It came in the form of lots of squeaking noises and occasional thumping on my window.  I figured that it was a small animal trapped in my window well, but it was already dark, so I couldn't see anything.  I looked again in the morning; still no sign.  Oh, good I thought.  It must've gotten out.  Come Friday evening, when I got home from work around 6, I looked out the window and saw this:

First things first, I figured the poor little fella was thirsty so I gave him some water and some apple and tomato pieces, lest he perish while I formulated a "Free Clive" plan (I thought I should call him something other than "stupid little bunny").  I called my parents house, thinking that this didn't really qualify as an emergency so I shouldn't call the "After Hours Emergency" maintenance number.  No one was home so I was on my own.  There were some feeble attempts to reach out and grab him, but they were unsuccessful, and soon it was getting dark again.

My folks called back around 10. I told them each the predicament separately. My dad said "You have to get it out of there right away, it'll be thirsty, wear gloves if you touch it, and don't name it" and my mom said "Oh, cute, they like oats, and what do you call it". Apart from being a little offended that my dad didn't think I'd be clever enough to give it water, I was very amused by their opposing reactions. Their plans for freeing Clive, however, all revolved around me owning a chair or ladder. Turns out, I own neither of those things. So we hung up and I told Clive he'd have to wait another night.  I supplied more food and suggested he find a comfy spot on the rocks.

Morning came, and with it hope.

Plan One:  Cartoon style trail of food leading into a box.

Clive was like, "Bitch, please."

You might have to click to get a good look at Clive's face.  He was super unimpressed...

Plan Two:  Removed screen, climbed out and fashioned a ramp.

That freaked Clive right out, and he went and cowered by my window.

Five minutes later he was still there, so I opened the window to nudge him towards his escape route, but poor Clive resisted any type of movement, trapped in metaphorical headlights.  Since the opportunity was there, I grabbed it.  And him.

Clearly, despite my father's advice, I did not wear gloves whilst handling the ickle baby bunny.  On a brief tangent, bunnies are soft.  I understand that.  I don't understand how you can look at a little guy like Clive and say "I'm going to remove its skin and make it into mittens!  And let's cut off its feet for good luck while we're at it!"  But I digress.

So I tucked Clive in a box with a slice of tomato (a gesture of good will, as he was somewhat startled by his new environment), and we headed off to Como Park.  After a good 20 minutes of walking around looking for lots of undergrowth for him to hide in, I found this little spot. 

And without so much as a thank you, there he went.

Good luck in the park, Clive.

12 July, 2011

Also, the hotel had a pool.

The EKC 6th Annual Summer Mehaber was this past weekend, so a pretty solid chunk of my immediate family was in town. An excellent opportunity, because my sister's kids are my most interesting photo subjects. With the possible exception of this man, who I creepered pictures of, just because of his outfit...

He may be committing several fashion crimes, but Dude is prepared, dammit.

It was a lovely celebration of Ethiopian culture, with dancing and really good food. Except instead of really good food, I had a corn dog.

OK, the corn dog was pretty good too. That afternoon, while the children slept, my parents and I went to Bad Teacher, which was incredibly stupid and hilarious. At one point, Justin Timberlake's character was very earnestly talking about eating in an Ethiopian restaurant and said "They finally got their own cuisine! It's progress!"

The Mehaber was followed up the next day by a trip to Como Town, which the children seemed to find infinitely more enjoyable.

This boy is a total dreamboat.

I enjoyed it there, too.

You might think this post has a lot of pictures. Bear in mind that, of the day and a half that these 15 photos document, there are another 507 that I didn't post.