Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

October 23, 2017

Let’s Talk About The Weather

I often wonder if talking about the weather is a normal thing or if it’s just a Minnesota thing. I’ve made assumptions that in Minnesota we talk about the weather in our daily conversations because at one point in time most of our state was farmland and it impacted the farmer’s lively hood (and still does for the farms that still exist.) But for the rest of us, who live in other more urban parts of the state, I assume that talking about the weather is one of those things that got handed down from previous generations like lopping-off the end of the ham before putting it in the pan only to find out years later that the only reason your mom lopped-off the end of the ham was because she didn’t have a pan that was big enough to fit the whole ham.

Or is it simply that living in Minnesota brings weather that makes you think a toddler is controlling the thermostat (85°, 45°, 75°, snowing!) and talking about it is like therapy.

Whatever the case, we tend to talk about the weather a lot in Minnesota, particularly during the change of seasons… or when it’s cold, or hot, or windy, or rainy. So basically every day.

Oh, and when a storm is brewing? “Weather” is coming. As if weather only comes on occasion, like an annoying relative you really prefer wouldn’t visit. Ever.

In the Twin Cities we’ve just had a beautiful, unseasonably warm, week of 75 degree days. It has been absolutely gorgeous! Tie that in with the peak fall colors and it really couldn’t have been any better. This season is so beautiful, it really is the primary reason I stay in the state. Seriously, if you’ve never been here in late September or early October, put it on your bucket list to visit. It’s also peak apple harvest, which makes it even better.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end. And it just so happens, I heard today that weather is coming. Yep. Not-so-great uncle Jack is making his way into town from Canada. And some of us, primarily from the Gardener side of the family, don’t really care so much for the Frost side of the family so we are less than excited about his arrival. But what’s worse than uncle frost is that I heard he might be bringing cousin Snow with him.

Seriously, I swear they were just here! I don’t know why they have to come back so soon. Why couldn’t they stay with North Dakota or Wisconsin this year?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate them, per se, and not everyone in our state dislikes them as much as us Gardeners. My son, for example, who obviously got most of his genes from the Skiier side of the family, actually like Jack and Snow. He loves it when they are here. Not me. I’m good with a short stay and then they could continue on, but every single time they come they stay forever. They don’t know when to leave!

But I guess there is one good thing about them… at least they give us something to talk about.

Til next time,

Kate

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October 20, 2017

23 Minutes

I’ve been yearning to write again for a while. And by write, I mean here, on my blog. Or maybe a book, but that takes time. I don’t have much of that these days. I mean, we all have the same amount of time in a day, but the time I have to myself each day is very limited. When you have young kids that happens. My alarm clock says, “Momma!” and it goes off at very inconsistent times each day. Once I’m up, I have a little body with me at my side (or on my hip) nearly every minute of every day; while I dress, take a shower, even while I pee.

So when I say I don’t have much time alone, I really mean it. And to have time alone to write? Ha! Haha! Bwahaha!!! But wait.

No, it’s late.

But it’s quiet. Everyone is sleeping. I could write now, like I used to.

But you didn’t have to tend to a teen and a toddler when you used to write. Besides, being a night owl writer is no place for a Momma. Or is it the other way around? Okay, fine. You’ve got 23 minutes.

What could I possibly write in 23 minutes?

You won’t know until you try it. Let’s see what you can do.

Maybe there’s something to this though. Maybe if I could write for 23 minutes each day… who am I kidding, some days, one day(?!) a week I could dust off some of the cobwebs, loosen up the joints and work some of the rust out. Maybe, this becomes the 23 minute blog?

Maybe.

No seriously, maybe I could start to find that girl who used to write. She’s a little older now.

A little?!

Shut it. Yes, a little older. But the baby is nearly 3 and I just read that as a mom you should take 15 minutes a day for yourself to do something you enjoy. This would be an extra 8 minutes.

Over achiever.

Whatever. I think I might try this. 23 minutes. I might be a fun experiment. I’m sure some days will be thin. Some may have writers block. I’m going to try it. We’ll see where it takes us.

Til next time.

Kate

November 23, 2015

Chicken Drama

Somewhere between the sleepless nights and way-too-early mornings, thoughts pass through my foggy consciousness and call me to write. Then the moment slips away, baby’s brief nap ends and I’m back to being that little girl’s everything.
If I had a minute to write, I’d tell you about our chicken, Jolene, who died last fall. I’d tell you that in a moment of weakness for little fuzzy creatures, I agreed to get a baby chick this spring. I’d tell you that the baby chick lived in my son’s closet with a light on 24/7 through much of the summer and that my hot-blooded kid couldn’t sleep with his ceiling fan on because his chick could get chilled. I’d tell you that she moved from his closet to a dog kennel in the coop with the other girls and finally officially became one of the girls and moved in “for real”.

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Berry – The New Girl

I’d also tell you about how some days, being a chicken mom stinks because your son comes in from the coop crying because his new chick’s head is bloody from being pecked by one of the other hens. I’d tell you how much fun it is to coordinate moving a chicken out of the coop into her vacation home in the compost bin.

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Find Billina

And I’d tell you how easy it is to chase a chicken around with blue hair spray that’s supposed to protect her head and help her heal, but instead you end up spraying the wrong chicken, the chicken swing, the door and her face, making her look like she has a blue beard. I’d tell you that Billina (a.k.a. Bully-na) is currently looking to find a more permanent residence than her vacation home in the compost bin, she would really like to downsize into a small retirement home. And I’d tell you that the girls had a visit from a couple wild turkeys a few days ago. But alas, I’ve got to run, the baby is crying and needs to be fed, so I’ll have to save those stories for next time.

All my best,
Kate 😉

March 29, 2015

The Farmer or The Miner

Our family is a part of Jacob’s Well in Minneapolis. To quote Jacob’s Well, it is “church for people who don’t like church”. I learned about Jacob’s Well through a friend and for the first time in my life, I feel like I have found a community that feels genuine, non-judgmental, supportive, challenging and down to earth.
There’s no physical church building. We meet in a middle school or the park near the waterfall or a mile marker during the Twin Cities Marathon because being a part of Jacob’s Well is about the people in the community, not about the space we are in. We grab a cup of coffee and chat before sitting down. Our gatherings feel more like going to a friend’s house to have a good conversation over a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning than going to listen to someone preaching to us.
But this post wasn’t meant to be about Jacob’s Well. It is, however, inspired by Jacob’s Well so I felt I needed to give credit where credit is due.
The message this week, which, by the way, our family listened to via podcast on our drive home from visiting my husband’s family, was about seeing God and our relationship with God as The Miner vs The Farmer and our connection with the soil.
Ahhhh, the soil… a topic I can truly connect with. Every time I step foot in my garden I feel the connection between me, the plants, the soil and a higher power. In fact, for many years, my church has been outside in the soil in my garden with plants, fresh air, wind, rain, sun, birds and insects. It’s hard to ignore the connection to a higher power when you spend time connecting with nature. You start to notice the similarities between the soil, the earth, and us and how we are all intertwined.
I realize though, that a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to spend the same amount of time outside in the soil (and straw bales) as I do, so they may not see the connections I see every day.
When I look at plants I see the connection we have not only with food, but also with the exchange of air. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants inhale our carbon dioxide and release oxygen. How can that be a coincidence?
When I look at soil I see dark, rich life which supports healthy plant life which ultimately supports our lives. Again, an accident?
I see large nut trees which protect smaller fruit trees and plants with tiny flowers attracting insects that attack other insects which try to kill plants. This seems like a plan.
I see support system after support system.
I see birds eating berries and flower seeds only to fly off and deposit them somewhere else. Part of a bigger plan.
I see worms and other insects eating decayed plant material, turning it back to dark, rich soil again. How can this be designed if not by a higher power?
I see soil germinating seeds, growing plants, which produce flowers which attract insects, who pollinate the plants, then return to make honey for themselves and us to eat while the pollinated flowers drop and turn into fruit for us to eat or decay and fall to the ground to have insects and animals eat, to disperse the seeds to start the process again. We couldn’t design a system so amazing!
But I also see soils, neglected, abused, stripped of their nutrients and minerals forced to do the same thing over and over without the symbiotic relationships they yearn for. I see these old, grey soils die and blow away in the wind. They don’t seem to be a part of the plan.
I see areas once lush woods and forested be cleared and mined, left ripped open, wounded, robbed and left vacant. Sad. Neglected.
I’ve also seen trees be planted where others had once been harvested. An exchange of sorts.
We can’t separate ourselves from the earth or the soil beneath our feet. We are part of it. It was a gift to us. And this gift was given with the responsibility to care for it and in turn, it cares for us.
Everything we do each day impacts the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil from which we eat.
Each day we get to decide whether we want to live like a miner, harvesting the gifts of our planet; metal, oil, coal, trees or food from the soil and moving on to harvest more and more, leaving nothing behind or whether we want to be like farmers; planting, feeding, harvesting and nurturing the soil in a symbiotic relationship that will last beyond our years.
Each day we have a choice, but it’s not really our choice. By accepting the gift of life, the gift of soil and everything that goes with it, we accepted the responsibility to care for it like it were ours, because it is ours.
For now.

Kate