happy beeday

my 36th birthday came and went. why do i still feel like i’m 8 years old? why do people listen to what i have to say since i’m only 8 still?

one week to the black hills, baby! i is excite. i started making my list today; i’m sure there will be more that will pop into my head as the week goes on. nate works tonight, then two days off, then two days of work again before he has off for the week. i hope he can be excited about this! i don’t expect him to be as excited as me, but it would nice if he even had a modicum of excitement about this.

goodbye 35

so beings my last hours as a 35-year-old. 

two people today guessed me at 30-31 years old, so that’s something for the state of my skin, i guess. (they obvs didn’t see the grey in my hair.)

tomorrow starts year 36, and i guess i’m ready for it. ready as i’ll ever be.

“jesus cow” – a book review

back in grad school in 2004, i took a writing class, during which we analyzed memoirs and wrote our own memoir essays. one of the memoirs we had to read was michael perry’s “population 485,” which, i admit, i didn’t read much of because it was assigned.

isn’t that always the case.

well, fast forward about five years – grad school’s over, and reading is fun again. my mom and i are perusing barnes and noble in st cloud, and she says she has to check to see if there are any michael perry books, which she and my dad have started to read. we check the shelves, and i see “population 485” standing on its end, the cover familiar but the context slightly out of reach until it finally swims into focus. 

i buy it again, probably for a much more reasonable price than the scsu bookstore. 

i read it and love it. proceed operation: read all michael perry books. love every word. you know how charlie brown christmas music makes you feel? a little happy, a little sad, a little old, a little young, a little melancholy, a little hopeful? that’s how his writing makes me feel.

generally he’s a memoirist, but recently he’s been dipping into fiction, and “the jesus cow” is his first foray into adult fiction. it’s awesome to see everything you’ve absorbed from his memoirs come out in his fiction. 

it keeps the plodding pace of everyday rural upper-midwest life (oh, don’t we all know how that is), with a surprising end that brings all the intertwined stories together. (i was completely surprised at the end!) for those unfamiliar with his writing, this might seem a little slow and local-yokel-esque; i would not start with this book.

if, however, you are familiar with his work, this is a great addition to his other pieces. i’m excited to see what he comes up with next.

getting back in the groove

my blogging has really been waning lately, so i’m trying to make a point of blogging daily again for a bit. maybe it’ll work; maybe it won’t. but i kind of miss blogging every day – making a deliberate choice to sit down in front of a keyboard and putting thoughts to screen.

i also have been feeling like a slob lately when it comes to writing, so another reason. with my devil’s syrup book pretty much done (for now, until i get some input from ANYONE who’s willing to read it – i’ll take anyone), it seems writing’s taken a back burner. i’ve been making my way through my reading stack pretty well, but that’s not quite the same.

so back to the blogging board. i really want to take my laptop to SD and blog every day, but i’m not sure that’ll happen for sure. (the blogging part; not the taking the laptop part.)

so, expect to see more regular updates. and if you don’t see them, send me a note and tell me to get my but in gear.

(i was going to correct that but to butt, then realized that the one-T but was more than appropriate as well, so it stays.)

(seriously, download and read my devil’s syrup novella memoir. i want feedback and input on what else i can add in there so it’s NOT novella length!)

some stuff

i’m turning 36 in 4 days.

i’ve started looking for jobs in st cloud.

i forgot about my fifth anniversary of being devil’s syrup free (may 3). except i haven’t been doing a great job lately; i need to get myself back into gear on this.

stuff is coming up in the garden! beans, specifically. and some corn. also weeds. and dog prints in my flowerbed. 😐


sniff sniff

i went to fargo this past weekend to visit melissa. the drive is a long one, but it’s pretty much a straight shot, pushing up through the cities, through central mn, then up to fargo. my way up had no space for extra stops, but my drive home did. so when i knew st. john’s exit was coming up, i decided to stop and say hi to lake sag. 

it was drizzling, but i still drove through campus, around the edge by lower stumpf lake, then parked in back by the potters’ studio. got out and just stood by the lake for 5 minutes, taking in the trees, the smells, the chapel across the water, the campus. it made me so incredibly sad. 

then i drove the back roads to st. joe, then through town. there was construction on the csb campus, otherwise i would’ve taken a little zip through there. 

stopped at grandma’s, then headed on my way as there was still 2-1/2 hours of driving.

what was i doing, though? i was already home. 

i need to get back there.

on hashtags

last year i wanted to livestream tweets at commencement, but by the time i thought about it, the time was getting crunchy and the little research i did do elicited some very expensive options. 

so this year, i started early and bugged people often. and we did, in fact, livestream tweets at commencement. 

the setup was a little wonky – i had one person typesetting and one person gatekeeping the tweets. (meanwhile, i was out taking pics.) it also was put directly into the video program, so you had to be able to work your way around video editing software.

but it worked! and i was absolutely amazed at the amount of people who used our hashtag that night. we had 260+ unique tweets with the hashtag and 60+ retweets. there were a few instagram uses, but since we couldn’t put photos up, that wasn’t as big of a deal. 

it added a fun element, and it made the night go SO quickly, when the handing out of diplomas usually is so long and boring. 

i’m planning on this for next year, but it always comes down to if people will still be using twitter at that point. we’ll have to re-evaluate come february or march!

garden update

because i had to flex my hours from commencement as well as tomorrow’s late work day, i took wednesday off. since it was a decent weather day and i had 1800 square feet to dig up, i went over to my community garden plot and got to work.

after five hours on wednesday and about four yesterday, it’s mostly put in. unfortunately, some of my tomatoes have already kicked the bucket. thank goodness we’re still early in the season and i can get more. 

charlie requested more cucumbers, so i’ve got to put more of those in, and i’m waiting for sweet potatoes (!) to show up in the mail. i also ordered a few more tomatoes in the mail because i want a certain heirloom variety that you can’t find any old place, mostly to replace the ones that died and also to have a few more. 

so, this year we’re going to have copious amounts of:

  • tomatoes – big boys, early girls, celebration, cherry, green zebra
  • peppers, hot, sweet, and boring
  • cucumbers, eating and pickling
  • green beans
  • leeks
  • kohlrabi
  • onions
  • carrots
  • sweet corn
  • popcorn (!)
  • lettuce
  • potatoes
  • butternut squash
  • summer squash
  • another winter squash i can’t remember, heirloom variety
  • pie pumpkins
  • jackolantern pumpkins
  • cinderella pumpkins
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • loofah squash
  • flowers
  • more flowers

whew. the hugely unfortunate thing about this community garden is there is no water source, so i have to haul it in. hopefully i’ll be able to mulch it well enough that nothing dies.

back at the old homestead

last weekend, jane, liz, hannah, and my parental units went to visit relatives in austin. we went to my cousins’ house, which is where we used to live. it’s changed so much!

anyway, i took some hannah pics and some pics around the property. 

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