Sunday, May 31, 2015

Can You Say Exhausted?

I must be. I just heard the title in Mr. Roger's voice. In my head. I think. Rather than out loud. I have approximately half a day of painting left to do. And it's all latex so my auditory hallucinations have nothing to do with fumes. Project China is very close to conclusion. All I have to say is, I swear if I cut myself I will bleed Olympic Mocha Suede B14-2. Beige. Don't leave home without it.

Boys in Sunglasses

So there's this other blogger who is way more famous than me. The hell you say! Yes, it's true. Her name is Maggie Mason and she recently gave birth to an adorable baby boy. She posted a photo of the baby and her older son today and it made me seriously teary-eyed with a momentary longing for my own boys when they were much wee-er than they currently are. In answer to that longing I thought I'd post a pretty darn cute pic of Michael and Reid from twentyish years ago. There. I feel better. Cute never gets old. Especially when wearing shades.

PlayBuzz Says I Have Been Through This Many Incarnations

3,722 Times
You have seen thousands of lifetimes through 
centuries of history. While you haven't been 
reincarnated millions of times, you are not new 
to the challenges and joys of life. You are level-
headed, make well-considered decisions, and 
work hard for what you want. You carry with you 
the life of the leader of a wolf pack, a honeybee 
cooperating in a hive, and a mighty maple tree 
gripping the side of a cliff with its roots. Your lives 
continue to influence you. The evidence is in how 
you are not petty and appreciate your blessings.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Michael's Maple

The silver maple tree is so leaded with seeds this year that it appears more tan than green. This happens on sort of a three year cycle. Which means I will be pulling hundreds of baby maple trees, known in this instance as weeds, from every possible place they might choose to lodge themselves and sprout. This includes but is by no means limited to flower beds and pots, the compost, cracks in the driveway, the rain gutters, and the spaces in between the deck boards. I do wish they would be a little more sensible about proper spacing.

Einstein With Bluebird

In case you hadn't noticed, yes, it is near the end of the month, and yes, I am behind on blogging and am obviously padding my self-imposed posting expectations with cat pictures. It's what y'all show up here for, right?

Cat as a Formal Centerpiece

Einstein. Ignoring me.

Einstein. Trying to ignore me.

Brown Thumb

Today the sun is shining. So maybe I'll get all these plants potted. I would like to thank Mother Nature for keeping them watered over the last week. It remains to be seen if I'll do as good a job for the rest of the summer. 

Fire & Water

Happy perennials in the shade garden. It is raining. I wonder how wet the the wood and paper and kindling are in the firepit. Guess I'll find out tonight.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

She Did Not Go Gently

Thinking of Mom today. How ornery she could be sometimes. And generous. And funny and opinionated. And how a little bit of all that is in me. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

My President, Josiah Bartlet

Recalibrating My Moral Compass

At some point in the last twenty-four hours I have experienced an awakening. It concerns the way I have treated another human. And I kind of want to slap myself. How is it that I didn't realize until now what I've been doing? I've been at this crossroads before! How many times must I do this? And the tiny, clear voice of reason responds, until you get it right. This revelation is almost entirely internal for me, a moment of light and learning. Now to incorporate this resetting of my moral compass into actions. Leaving this particular juncture behind me will be a relief, an unburdening now recognized. We often are our own worst witnesses.

Friday, May 22, 2015

In The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Life...

Boredom conquers fear, fear causes diarrhea, diarrhea puts the excitement back into boredom.

-Eddie Izzard

Thursday, May 21, 2015

It's Just a Fucking Spoon, Steve!

The fabulous and ever-so slightly blurry Eddie Izzard. After making us laugh heartily for two hours he graciously treated us to a short Q&A session. He is hilarious, so damn smart, thoughtful, and had the best manicure in the house. If his Force Majeure tour lands anywhere near where you live, go see him! Until then, high threes!

I Love You, Zenni Optical

Me. Fourth grade school pic. Plaid dresses with Peter Pan collars, bangs, and pink cat eye glasses must have been all the rage.

In an homage to my first pair of specs, here I am updated with modified cat eye glasses in, well, pink. Yes, I also have bangs but there is nary a plaid dress in sight. I am ever so happy with these glasses! After wearing them for a couple months I have to say there is really no difference in quality between these, purchased online from Zenni Optical, when compared to my new glasses from a local optical store. Oh, did I mention these were around 25% of the price I paid for the locally dispensed glasses? Yup. With online tutorials on how to enter your prescription information and how to measure to get the right size frame you can hardly go wrong. When they arrive in the mail you can consult their instructions on how to adjust them for a perfect fit. Let's just tell it like it is. Frugal never goes out of style. Neither does a fancy pair of pink cat eyes.

Last Night

Inadvertently caught in someone else's selfie, behold the wonder of my fabulous neck! I wasn't posing! Just waiting patiently with JTP and some of my favorite tiara-ed girls for the post-show Q&A with Eddie Izzard! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Emotional Erosion

I have gushed before over how much I adore the very smart, funny, and straight-to-the-point advice that columnist Carolyn Hax delivers. Today's answer to a nit-picking husband also included a comment from a participant in the online discussion. 

As a person on the receiving end of this constant oversight, I can tell you the drip drip drip of disapproval is eroding you wife's affection for you.......You've been warned, husband. Find a way to appreciate her ability to get things done or someday she will leave you.

Yes, she will. I know because I did. Reading these words today helped put to rest one more tiny bit of unresolved baggage. There was no huge blow-up or defining moment or unforgivable incident over the course of my twenty year marriage. There was simply this awakening to the fact that the years of asides, couched humor, and criticisms had left me numb. I so desperately wanted to feel something again. And I sadly resigned myself to the knowledge that the something I longed for would never again be love and affection for the man I was married to. That was ten years ago. It got better. I'm still here. It's a process. Thank you, Carolyn.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Six Years

I love this photo. Snapped in early 1965, we were living in the duplex on Second Avenue East in Williston, having moved there just before Christmas from Ray. That's me with the goofy too-short bangs. Smiling and looking cherubic next to me is little sis Martine. And the chubby year-old tot in my lap is little brother Cullen. Today marks six years since Cullen died. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I can think of him now without crying. I will always miss him terribly. I am grateful that he was part of my life. There are more people than he ever could have imagined that carry him around in their hearts. That, to me, is the definition of love, and maybe immortality. Life goes on, and a little bit of him lives on because we loved him.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mr. Rogers Meets The Muppets

I have been told the words on the canopy translate to in the neighborhood. Mr. Rogers would never have uttered vurt da furk. Clearly we are on some other side of the tracks. The Swedish Chef exists in his own neighborhood continuum, it would seem. Yurp. This is what happens when children's shows collide. We really need to include Sesame Street and construct an appropriate Venn diagram. Get on it, will you? Please?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Short and Sweet

The lilacs waited to bloom until I got back from Colorado. Sometimes they remain for over a week, some years the wind can strip off the blossoms and scatter them in just a few hours. Last year they were nipped by frost and flowering was minimal. Wish it was windows open sleeping weather. Falling asleep while the air is heavy with lilac perfume is lovely. Hello, Spring.

Those Ruud Girls

It's the day after Mother's Day so naturally I ran across this adorable photo of my mom, Edna, and her sister, Mamie, today. Taken, and I'm guessing here, around 1935. I'm also guessing that Grandma Esther sewed their matching dresses. It makes me so happy to see them at this age, clearly best friends as they were into their twenties. For most of the middle years of their lives they did not speak, due to some falling out that we can only speculate over now. They did reconcile in their later years, and I can only imagine the sadness and emptiness they must have felt during that long period of estrangement. Based on photos of me taken at a similar age, I am struck by how much I resemble my mother. My cousin Sara bears a striking resemblance to her mother as well. As the fifth anniversary of Mom's death nears, it's much easier to recall the happy times with her than the sorrow over her passing. In the midst of the Great Depression on the dusty plains of western North Dakota, this photo captures the resilience and joy of childhood. All that much better when your sister is your best friend.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Worst Hotel WiFi. Ever.

How bad was it? It was so slow that the connection timed out while attempting to load after I entered the password. I searched for other nearby networks. The hotel next door did not require a password and had full signal strength. I felt a teensy bit guilty using it, but used it anyway. This is the result of having been raised Lutheran.

Beaver Crossing, Nebraska

This little burg out on the prairie was devastated by a tornado last year on Mother's Day. A dilapidated house marks the corner where you turn into town. If I hadn't been nearly out of gas, the dash display was flatlining on miles left in the tank, I wouldn't have seen this forlorn sight. Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with and it seems horribly appropriate that She struck with such a vengeance on the day we honor mothers.

My Boys

Happy MomDay to me! My beamish boys in 1993. I do love being a mom.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


JTP hands me what first appears to be a tiny envelope constructed from sticky notes. I take it from him and examine it curiously. I pull up on a corner in an attempt to open it and it takes on a life of its own, somehow blossoming into a tiny origami sculpture that I gaze at wondrously as it unfolds in the palm of my hand. When unfurling is complete, at the center of the top is a wee card that I remove and read. Kiss me, it says. Like the beverages and cakes in Wonderland that demand to be drunk and eaten. I like to do things dramatically yet mysteriously at the same time, says JTP with a smile. I comply with the instructions on the card. Resistance was futile.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


I submitted this photo to that crazy online age guessing bot. It's under the impression that I am a female aged 29. I'm embracing this result even though the number is considerably lower than my calendar age. This is what sunscreen does for you, children. The bot also guessed Andrea at 29 and female. Which means something I have suspected for some time. We are twins. No data was available for the stuffed flamingo.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

It's Great to be Eight

Shhhhh! Don't say a word! I don't think she's realized it yet, she doesn't follow this blog. But you can never be too sure. As of last Tuesday, which was April 28th, I have been the happy owner and driver of a Subaru Outback for eight years. Eight years! Happy belated birthday to my not-so-new, blue Subaru. Just yesterday you turned over to 73,000 miles. Let's be together at least that many more.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Do Have One

Brew Street Bash

An event is ever so much more enjoyable when you win the tickets playing trivia. Thanks to the brilliant brains of my team for making this happen. Also thanks to them for having conflicts tonight and handing over both tickets to moi.