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hey there, 2021.

hey there, 2021.

*looks suggestively at the calendar*

even if the first half of 2021 is going to be rough, we know we’re going to climb out of the pandemic hell that was 2020 eventually, right?

i’m going to change up my “resolutions” a bit. if there were ever a year to make a change, i think 2021 is it.

  1. however, my first item has been photo related for all the time i’ve been making this list, and i think it should remain photo related. let’s take more pics. but what of…
  2. social justice, historically, has been wrought by middle aged white women. guess what. i’m a middle aged white woman. i’m going to figure out what i’m going to do this year to help the anti-racist movement. i don’t know what that is, yet. maybe my camera will be involved. maybe it’s just sharing news items like this one that the boogaloo bois, a far-right militia group, were charged with the attack on the minneapolis precinct during the george floyd protests. (some of my readers should know this. i would guess most haven’t heard this news.) sharing non-propagandaed news is one step. confronting racism with those you know is another step. but what else? i’m not sure yet.
  3. this will, of course, make me angry. so therefore, i definitely will continue yoga every day. i did yoga every day in 2019, and in 2020, i did yoga most days (maybe every 10th day i took a day off). although she’s gone physically, fightmaster yoga lives on through her youtube channel, and i will tell everyone i know to keep doing her yoga. it will help you out physically, mentally, and maybe spiritually if that’s the route you want to take yoga. the light in me recognizes and honors the light in you! let your little light shine.
  4. i will keep travel on my list, because i’m already planning a trip to new england in may, and i would like to get out to the black hills in the fall if the virus has calmed down. i would also guess that if there are protests or sit-ins or other items that need documenting, that would involve traveling. my mom also wants to see the milky way this summer, and that means another trip to the north shore! i’m not going to be mad about that. especially the rustic inn where i can get a slice of pie.
  5. RUN A RACE. i don’t care what the length is! i don’t care if we start in waves. i don’t care if it’s ragnar trail and it’s -30º and glare ice the entire trail. i don’t care if i have to roll out of bed at 4 a.m. so i can be ready to run at 5 a.m. – I AM RUNNING A RACE WITH OTHER PEOPLE THIS YEAR.
  6. convince nate to get a new job. i swear, 99% of his problems would be solved if he would get a job that’s got normal hours. and if 99% of his problems are solved, then i’d venture to say 49.5% of mine are. the other 1% of his problems would be solved if he weren’t allergic to cats. that said, i don’t know if this resolution is doable. i’ll put it down. but don’t be surprised if this has no results.
  7. welp, some excellent news we learned this year is that recycling plastic was just a big marketing campaign and doesn’t really help. so that’s just great. we still need to help out the earth. we’ve seen what happens when we pause our polluting ways. and like i’ve said before, is it wrong to want a clean earth, even if it DOESN’T stop climate change? how do we stop this plastic inundation? maybe i will start writing campaigns. use my twitter account and all 87 followers to campaign for less plastic in consumables. i have no plan for this, but the farther down the path of climate change we get, the harder it’s going to be to turn around. i’m no global leader, and i’m not a CEO of a giant corporation. i just want this on my list because it’s going to be a top-of-mind item for me this year, and i’ll figure out what to do. (i never said this was a definitive list of 100% goals… they’re more like guidelines.)
  8. can we be happy, collectively, as a people? i think once the maniac is out of the white house, that will help us breathe a sigh of relief. once the vaccine is more widely accessible, that will help. collectively, i think we’ll be happy again. but i have no doubt i will be able to be happy in 2021 amidst my crusades, because while i am definitely a cynic, i’m optimistic. smiling at little things helps: a smooth lake, a well-crafted sentence, the smell of fall, my stupid cats snoozing in one giant fuzzpuddle, tulips pushing through the dirt, the silence of a snowfall, fireworks, laughing with others.

so i didn’t change much when it came to the basics of my guidelines. change is good, but you always know who you are at your core. some things never change, but being open to adjustments is key. and who knows? minute adjustments over time eventually move mountains.

2020: just keep on keepin on!

2020: just keep on keepin on!

new year, some new stuff to think about over the year? no resolutions – just a to-do list or a list of things to keep in mind.

  1. so first on my list for years and years is take more photos. maybe instead of that as a goal, the goal should be to do something with the pics i take. like last year, an unexpected thing that happened was taking some wedding pics, but i don’t want to do that every year, yeesh. hmm. might have to think about this one.
  2. sit on my new couch. i’m sitting on it now. it’s glorious. this one will be easy.
  3. continue yoga every day. of all the things that i did in 2019, i think yoga every day was the best thing. i’ve got arm muscles, i look forward to spending at least 10 minutes on the mat, and it’s a great way to slow down, if even for 10 minutes. i highly recommend fightmaster yoga. lucky for you, she does a 30-day program at the first of the year every year, and this one is hatha yoga. check it out.
  4. travel! this has gotten easier, whether due to just more expendable cash or me just saying “olé losers” and going. luckily, my boss is super good about pushing professional development, so there’s a trip to florida in march for work. it might also be a black hills year, and i do want to go up the north shore again. it might also be a bwca year with my aunt rae and uncle greg!
  5. running goals? hmmm. earth day half is already registered for. i have a feeling we’re going to do ragnar again. and liz and i are already planning a DESTINATION RACE. destination races intrigue me to no end, so i finally sat down and looked at what destinations i would want to race at (no ultras or mountains for me, thanks). we settled on big sur in monterrey california (well, i settled on that – liz seemed to agree). the 2020 race was sold out by the time we checked it out, but we’re going to watch for registration for the 2021 11-miler, which should open in october. also, a sub-11-minute-mile 5k would be nice to hit this summer.
  6. do something interesting with nate! i actually like this one because something interesting with nate could be just a quick trip to the cities or it could be an excursion to who knows where. any time i get him out of the house means an interesting time with nate hahaha
  7. help out the earth. or rather, help out us humans who are seemingly hell bent on destructing our time on earth. like i’ve said before, is it wrong to want a clean earth, even if it DOESN’T stop climate change? seriously. so my goal this year is to really, diligently try to reduce my plastic use. that includes plastic bottles that are recyclable (plastic is a degradable recyclable, meaning it recycles into a lesser form of plastic, unlike glass or aluminum). (unfortunately, nate buys tons of drinks in plastic bottles; i don’t know if i should even try to get him to reduce his usage.) if i fail at reducing plastic, i will also try to reduce the amount of new items i buy (try to fix or buy used).
  8. perhaps in conjunction with #7, i will add on “write more” in #8. one of the things that helped me really get on the devils syrup bandwagon was to do research on it. if i research stuff about plastic use and a bunch of other keep a clean earth stuff, it would probably push me to do something about it. and while the whole “blog every day” resolution is nice, it just never works out like that. so i think just write is a better thing.
  9. be happy! i felt good about 40, and life is doing ok. let’s continue that trend!
2019. i’m old.

2019. i’m old.

let’s see, 2019. let’s see what you have to offer. let’s see. (i’m avoiding the obvious “big event” happening in 2019.)

i don’t do resolutions, per se. just a nice to do list that gives me a nudge for the new year.
  1. well, what would a new year’s to-do list be without “take more photos” as number 1? i mean, it’s almost expected at this point. so, take more photos.
  2. visit the state parks i want to visit. after last year’s whirlwind visits, now i know which parks i want to go back to. i’ve got an itasca trip already planned. i’d like to head up to grand portage and actually spend time there. i also wouldn’t mind camping at blue mounds.
  3. is this the summer i perhaps run TWO half marathons? maybe! we’ll see what happens. i’m already signed up for the earth day half, and training starts in 3 weeks for that. seeing training on the horizon gives me hope that winter will come to an end.
  4. put in new floors in my house. i’ve got flooring for the entryway, which is my test subject. if that goes well, we’ll give the kitchen a go and see what happens from there. this also means i’ve got to paint my cabinets.
  5. i signed up for a yoga program through fightmaster yoga and i hope it makes me more diligent in my yoga-ing. i do yoga pretty often, but it would be great to make it a daily thing.
  6. speaking of a daily thing, remember when i blogged EVERY DAY for a year? i don’t know if i should try that again or if i should just think about it and dismiss it.
  7. do something interesting with nate – i like that on my list because it makes me think about something interesting to do with him. 2018 was a good year for doing stuff; let’s make 2019 a good year too!
  8. I GUESS I’M TURNING 40. i hope something happens for it.
2018: how much worse can it get?

2018: how much worse can it get?

(i mean that in a general sense – my life is pretty ok, but the world at large is heading down the poohole.)
let’s see, what can i generally work on for 2018…

  1. oh what the heck, we’re throwing take more pics on the list again. i know i’ll be taking SOME photos, so we’ll see if i can up my game a little bit.
  2. my officemate convinced me to bring over the “do something interesting with nate” item from last year since it really wasn’t accomplished. in 2018? i KNOW i’m going to do something interesting with nate. we’re going to arizona in february for my cousin’s wedding, then we’re taking a trip up to the grand canyon and over to mesa verde. 
  3. this could also be a good way to check off a trip item on the list. in fact, there will be a few items on this list in 2018. i feel like this isn’t much of a list if i can’t work on them because they’re already planned. so i’m going to add something that is REALLY difficult…
  4. …and possibly unattainable in 2018: visit all the MN state parks. in fact, i’m going to say right now that i’m probably going to need to push this out to 2019. but at least i’m thinking about it!
  5. start thinking about either a BWCA trip or superior trail hike with liz. i think this will depend on her schedule. at this point i’ve got a pretty flexible schedule compared to her.
  6. consider bees and chickens again. do i want that responsibility? i mean, i can’t even correctly grow brussels sprouts, and the only reason the cats get fed is because they meow in my ear.
  8. Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 4.01.18 PMrunning? hmmm. ragnar is another possibility in 2018. possibly the granddad half relay with liz. one thing i wouldn’t mind doing that i’ve never done is volunteering at a race – being the water person or cheerer or something.
  9. strive toward a more healthy lifestyle. ugh. this is so cliche with a new year. but i want to do more yoga, and i want to maybe up my speed with running. i’m not going to say “i’m going to lose 30 lbs and increase my run time by 1 minute/mile” but if i can accomplish something, that will work.
  10. in conjunction with the healthy lifestyle thing is mindfulness. my anxiety levels have actually been pretty ok (i think due to work being less stressful). yoga is super good for mindfulness, and i got a great workbook from my mom that incorporates writing with mindfulness. i might also start using the headspace app again, which is a meditation app. there’s something about clearing your mind and focusing on the present. 
  11. continue being happy. even if the rest of this list isn’t touched, if my life is relatively happy, then i’ve accomplished all i need to accomplish for 2018. i’ll continue SUPping on lake sag, working on my garden, reading, writing occasionally, petting cats, and hanging out with nate and my fam. there’s not too much else a person can ask for out of life other than being happy. 
2017 – the year i regress (possibly)

2017 – the year i regress (possibly)

so, we can come to the conclusion that 2016 was not good for celebrities, politics, or bernie sanders fans. it wasn’t bad for me, generally speaking. lots of good things happened. a lot of things kind of put me in a holding pattern, but ultimately, i think 2016 was ok. good jorb, 2016!
so what’s to come in 2017? i think my resolutions list will mainly be a list about home improvements, now that i have a GIANT ACRE of land. 

  1. longstanding resolution: TAKE MORE PICS. i’m excited for my august photoshoot i’m a part of! it should be fantastic and fun!
  2. another longstanding resolution: get a garden in! i’m torn on where to put it, and i think keeping the riffraff out (aka the deer and bunnies) will be a challenge, but it should be super duper fun.
  3. get a compost pile going! like, a real one.
  4. consider a chicken
  5. consider bees
  6. since my trip resolution worked out so well last year, i’d kind of like to put another trip resolution in her in case it makes it
  7. i’m not sure what to do on the running front. maybe i can just say, resolve to run as much as i comfortably can and do a couple races. there’s a relay half marathon in la crosse in early may that might be a possibility liz and i decided to run the earth day half marathon here in st. cloud. bring it on (i guess).
  8. do something interesting with nate. i don’t know if this is in conjunction with resolution 6, but i’d like to do an out-of-the-house activity with nate
  9. i like last year’s be happy resolution. i think this year, i want to scale back on connectivity ALL. THE. TIME. i was just listening to npr this afternoon, and they were talking about “ambient news” – you know what’s happening all the time because you’re checking your social media all the time, and you’re getting blasted with everything, ALL.THE.TIME. it’s agitating, kind of nerve-wracking, and constant. i’ll be informed! i just won’t be immediately informed. and possibly fake informed. this would require some adjustments; i’d have to get a dumb phone. i’d keep my iphone, but i’d use it for running tracking mostly. and mobile bank deposits. i’d keep my extra sim card in it so i wouldn’t be tempted. so no more emojis and no more camera on me all the time. it’d be weird, but i think, ultimately, it’d be really good for mental health. now i just have to find a dumb phone. if anyone has one that works with at&t or tmobile, let me know.


2016 reading challenge

2016 reading challenge

huzzah i met my reading challenge for the year! i set a goal of 60 books, and i met it. (not that the last two years haven’t been great reading years). 
but what’s REALLY interesting is my pages read:
first, i think it’s interesting that 2012 and 2013 were within 400 pages of each other. and this year, i read 2000 pages more than those two years.  (i don’t know what happened in 2014 or 2015.)
generally there are a couple books each year that i start and then decide, naaahhh, and toss aside. i mark them as “read” on my goodreads because otherwise they just hang out in my queue forever. i know in 2013 i started infinite jest – a lot of pages – and quit after less than 100 pages. so these numbers aren’t completely indicative of my reading habits. BUT this year, i know of two books i quit – one i was 3/4 done with (just couldn’t anymore) and the other i’d gotten about 1/4 of the way through – that one was “duma key” by stephen king, so it was pretty long. 
i wish i could set a goal by pages, not books read. i can choose books that are 250 pages or books that are 800 pages, and they both count as one. 

see ya 2016. bye. just go away.

see ya 2016. bye. just go away.

2016 was not a good year for celebrities or politics. or bernie sanders fans. D;
anyway, let’s take a look at my resolutions for this year and see where i ended up.

  1. same old same old: take more pictures.
  2. train for the half marathon liz and i signed up for in may!
  3. maybe a deck this year?
  4. spend more time at whitewater. it worked well last year; i should be able to keep the trend!
  5. another garden – fine tune my plant-starting skills. they need help.
  6. i have no trip plans besides my derry fam reunion in july. i wouldn’t mind an excuse to go somewhere, though
  7. let’s try kablpoye again. i felt like it was a good exercise in making sure i wrote every day, and i know my four readers enjoyed it. every day blogging, here i come.
  8. i think i should just focus on being happy! whatever makes me happy, i’ll try to do. 


  1. same old same old: FAIL. BUT. summer 2017 i got another gig doing a photoshoot for a book. awesome!
  2. CHECK! train i did, and finish we did!!! in may, liz and i ran a half marathon in sub 13-minute miles! it was long. it was difficult. it was really hard on my hamstring. BUT WE FINISHED. huzzah! now liz wants to do a marathon. i’ve got to get my foot figured out before then.
  3. well, yes. we did put on a deck. unfortunately, i don’t get to enjoy it.
  4. that didn’t happen 🙁 
  5. a garden DID happen. i had a ton of tomatoes and a ton of pumpkins – it was awesome. however, i didn’t get to spend as much time as i’d’ve like in it.
  6. trip? did someone say TRIP???? OMG. CHECK. i went on a TRIP. jane and i went to california!!! it was awesome. i’d go back.
  7. FAIL. every day blogging just didn’t happen. i don’t know if i’d try it again. i’ll have to think about it.
  8. you know what makes me happy? being in central minnesota. and guess what. i made that happen. in april i had an interview at the college and accepted the job offer. started commuting between st. charles and st cloud in may, and in july, someone put an offer on our house. we bought a house in avon, just four miles from the st. john’s campus. in september, we closed on both houses and moved up here. there are some little things that i forgot about – namely the traffic and the hatred – but overall, it’s VERY GOOD TO BE BACK. and nate just got a full-time job at the holiday station in albany, so things should be smoothing out. i’d call this one a check, even though it took some work to get there. CHECK CHECK CHECK!

some not so great things about 2016: my grandma died. she’s been on a downhill slide for a long time, and about 5 months prior to her death, she was pretty much bed bound. so that sucked. i did get to see her a few times before she died, so that was good.
2017 resolutions to come. 

let's go 2016!!!

let's go 2016!!!

so while 2015 was not a BAD year, it was definitely a bipolar year, to say the least. the end sucked. but i got a chunk of my resolutions for the year done. let’s see what we can do next year.

  1. same old same old: take more pictures.
  2. train for the half marathon liz and i signed up for in may!
  3. maybe a deck this year?
  4. spend more time at whitewater. it worked well last year; i should be able to keep the trend!
  5. another garden – fine tune my plant-starting skills. they need help.
  6. i have no trip plans besides my derry fam reunion in july. i wouldn’t mind an excuse to go somewhere, though
  7. let’s try kablpoye again. i felt like it was a good exercise in making sure i wrote every day, and i know my four readers enjoyed it. every day blogging, here i come.
  8. i think i should just focus on being happy! whatever makes me happy, i’ll try to do. 
Resolution Review

Resolution Review

it’s that time of year! time to review my resolutions from last year and see how i did.

1. repeat of my oldie but goodie: take more pics! i will continue from last year!
2. DECK. let’s do this.
3. do something about my basement? maybe? start on it? i’m more focused on a deck at this point.
4. do something about my GARDEN. gah. not sure how that’s going to work out. :/
5. VACATION. ok, this is not a resolution because the reservations are already made, but it might change up before we go, so i’ll stick it on there.
6. do i want to do something about my photography? advertise? make money from it? hmmmm
7. HALF MARATHON??? possibly???
8. gotta do something with running/eating. i glimpsed sub-200 last year and then frittered it away with christmas. i’m going to start going to yoga classes, and that along with maybe half marathon, and hopefully healthier eating, might get me under that again. 
9. HIKING. make a plan with liz about hiking the lake superior trail in the next few years. this requires a lot of gear, but i’m hoping between craigslist and other secondhand stuff, we’ll be able to outfit ourselves on the cheap. 
10. last year i made plans to spend time in whitewater park. never happened. this year i’m hoping to actually make good on that. also, if i want to hike the LST, gotta start training!


  1. ok i failed pretty hard on this one. i DID actually do some pro photowork, but just heading out and taking more pics was not something i did well this year. granted, i did take pics, just not as much as i’d like.
  2. no deck 🙁
  3. well, sort of? i got a toilet and a vanity for the bathroom. 
  4. GARDEN. CHECK. holy cats, a giant check.
  5. VACATION. CHECK!!!! even though we were sick, it was fun!
  6. well, i did make some money from my photography! it sort of fell into my lap, but it was fun!
  7. half a check? i ran 8.5 miles in one go last summer. liz and i signed up for a half marathon in may. here we go!
  8. so that didn’t go well at all. but with the half marathon on the horizon, i know that losing weight will help with time and actually finishing, so i have to work on my eating habits.
  9. i thought about this. i don’t know when it will happen, if it will happen, but i’ve been sort of looking for gear and keeping it in the back of my mind.
  10. i went to whitewater quite a bit! charlie and i went hiking a couple times, and i went for a run once out there. bought a state park sticker and actually used it!

overall, not too shabby! time to start thinking about next year’s resolutions. 

let's talk about kablpoye…

let's talk about kablpoye…


my blog-posting year was an almost success. i took a break over some vacation time, and i missed a couple days. overall, however, i made it a priority to post at least SOMETHING every day last year. 
i’ve heard from a couple people that they really enjoyed kablpoye, but a couple people does not a trend make. if you’re reading this, i’d love to know if you liked kablpoye or if you’re like, “meh.” 
 basically, should i continue writing every day? will you read it? what do you want to see?

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