I cannot remember names. To be fair, my memory for anything is just plain horrible, but I really suck with names.  Now if I hear a song, I can remember most of the lyrics after the first listen. But names, no.

It’s not that I hear your name and then can’t recall it days later. I hear your name and within a second have forgotten that I even asked you what your name was.

“Hi, I’m Karen.”

“Hi. I’ ( that bruschetta over there? Did I have lunch?)

“Nice to meet you Bob.”

“It’s Tom.”

It’s like I already know that the answer is going to be boring, to be perfectly frank, and so I just “click off”.  I’m really only asking you out of politeness. I don’t obviously care about your name, or I would remember it.

However, we will get along famously and I won’t ever forget you, if you are fascinating to me in any other way such as having an amazing sense of humor, or having an accent that is so out of place that I can’t help but be intrigued, or perhaps you’re sporting a large hairy mole protruding from your cheek. Just something that sets you apart from all the other Tom’s and Stacy’s out there.

I used to fret over the fact that I had such a poor memory, but have come to the conclusion that this is not my problem, it’s yours. So I would appreciate it if you would name yourself and your children, something fabulous or, at the very least, sing your name to me when introducing yourself.  That would help a lot.


April Fools Day

I realize this is late. But this will serve as a reference for next year. April Fools is my favorite holiday. Since I am a twin, this just reinforces the notion that I am the “evil” one. I would dispute that, but in all fairness, I never actually waited until April 1st to play pranks.  I took the opportunity whenever I could and if there was nothing going on, I created it.

I invented photo bombing at age 3 as an early introduction to mischievousness.  My older sister, Kristen, would be posing so pretty and proper, legs folded demurely under her and I would peek into the corner of the photo, Dad’s hat falling down over my forehead, cheeky grin on my face. As we got older, Kris became an avid reader and was often lost in her own fantasy world. What an easy target to raise my pranking to more complicated levels! She’d stay up late at night to read downstairs in the family room and I would sneak upstairs, close her bedroom door, and put vaseline on the door knob. Then I’d wait, quietly giggling to myself under the covers, as I imagined the upcoming scene in my head – her hand covered in goo, screaming obscenities as she tried to enter her room. Continue reading

Men and Phone Calls

It is a scientific fact that men do not own a gene for making phone calls to organize anything unless it’s something of critical importance like who’s bringing beer for the deer hunt, fishing trip, or “put in the dock” party. When my husband and I were first married, I thought this was cute.  He would ask me to call people to arrange anything from parties to when the guy was going to come and repair the washing machine. I felt needed.

Then I had children and they needed me too. “Have you seen my…” became their mantra. I worried about their blindness while cheerfully finding their things and making phone calls to set up dentist appointments, doctor visits, haircuts, and future prom dates. Then I realized I was doing all their work and I wasn’t really needed. I was just overwhelmed. So I started to push back. Every time they started to say, “Have you seen my… or Do you know where my (blank) is..”, I simply replied, “Look with your eyes, not with your mouth.” And you know what? They became more independent.

It has been a little more difficult transition with my husband. Several weeks ago he called me on his SMART phone and asked me to call Direct TV. Continue reading


The definition of a weed is something that grows where nothing else will, in a place where you don’t want it.

When we first bought our 40 acres of land, we had the county plant 650 trees as a shelter belt to protect us from the vicious north wind. They put plastic down, poked a few holes in it, and then stuck all these little sticks in the ground that will one day resemble trees and won’t block any wind for about 10 years. We should have IMMEDIATELY planted grass in between these tree rows. But we didn’t. And we got busy. And now we are overrun with weeds.

“Well”, said I, “I’ll just go out in this beautiful 85 degree sunshine and pull me some weeds”.

Uhhhhh….Not really sure what to pull here. I believe the dark things are lilacs… Continue reading

Pheasant Under Glass

WARNING!!!! The content of this post may be graphic and unsuitable for people who are about to eat dinner.

I was driving near Dickinson, ND the other day for my job. For those of you that don’t know where Dickinson is, it’s not near anything, really. I can’t even explain it to you it is so remote. The people there however, ARE VERY NICE. I want to make this clear so you know it’s not a complete waste of time to go there and in case any of them read my blog.

Because of the nothingness that surrounds Dickinson, the speed limit on the interstate that takes you there is 75 mph, which, when I do a quick little math calculation in my head, means 82. So there I was, slightly speeding, mindlessly looking at nothing but fields, when out of the blue I heard a loud THWACK. I saw feathers dispersing themselves around my car  and I saw a bird flying off to the left. Continue reading

Country Life and the Turtle

My husband and I recently moved onto 40 acres of pure Minnesota prairie farm land. Image

I am a “town” girl so this is a completely new experience for me and the topic of many a bet in our small town. “Can she survive?!” “She can’t even handle a mosquito! What will she do with muskrats?!”  (For the record…I CAN handle a mosquito.  I kill them regularly…. Not sure how big muskrats are but they have to be cute, right? Captain and Tenille wrote a song about them!)

We built a shop, aka, Morton building. This is a large rectangular structure used mostly to house all types of farm implements and tools and stuff that is rusted with sharp pointy things. But on one end of this shop is an apartment which we will live in until we build our house. So – the adventure begins.

The first night we slept here, we were awakened at midnight to loud screeching, hollering, yelling and hooting.  I was immediately pissed off that a bunch of teenagers, on our first night in the quiet, idyllic countryside, had decided to have a party near our place and were being so rude and obnoxious. Then my husband told me that is was a pack of coyotes. I don’t know why, but when I thought it was a bunch of humans, I was annoyed. When I found out it was coyotes I was like, “Coooooollll”. This may get old after awhile, but right now it’s still cool. Continue reading


A malapropism is the “misuse of similar sounding words, especially with humorous results“.  My grandfather was the king of malapropisms. Wall plaques were wall plagues. A tracheotomy was a trigonometry. And when he was ill, he would get fluid in his barnacles instead of in his bronchioles and his sciences would be all plugged up. Archie Bunker was also great at malopropisms. “A woman doctor is only good for women’s problems…like your groinocology.” (i.e., Gynaecology)

I was diagnosed with early onset malapropism-ism when I was a teenager. The movie ‘Conan the Barbarian’ was playing on T.V. and I announced rather loudly that I thought ‘Gonad the Barbarian’ was a stupid show. It took half an hour for my parents to stop wheezing.

Perhaps I had outgrown it? No. I told my sister one day that I though Adeerdrinack chairs would be so fabulous in the yard in my first home.

“What did you say?”, she asked with a sly smile creeping across her mouth.

“Adeerdrinack. You know. Those cool chairs with the slats?…”

Her burst of laughter prevented any further conversation. “You mean Ad ir on dack!” Continue reading


I am a ginger. Not in a Nicole Kidman kind of way, more like a deeper Debra Messing way. Okay. Actually I’m grey. But I now maintain my gingerness through the wonderful invention of hair color with my best friend, Miss Clairol.  The thing with being a ginger is that there are an exorbitant amount of shades of red and the names on the boxes do NOT correlate with the actual  color your hair turns out to be. This has lead to a resurgence of hats. Here is the official color book for redheads:

  • Mahogany is really MyAgony. This is not a dark brown with a reddish tint. It’s dark purple with a hint of coal.
  • Fiery Red = Flaming Pink. ‘Nuff said.
  • Carrot = Construction Road Sign Orange.
  • Titian = Brown (By the way, this is not pronounced “Tit ee an”. Thank you to the helpful Walmart worker for pointing that out. Now I REALLY feel smart.)
  • Copper = Fakey Looking Gold Plated Jewelry
  • Strawberry Blonde = Medium Oak cupboards from the 80’s
  • Auburn = Dark Brown
  • Chestnut = Brown Horse covered in Dirt Continue reading

Geographically Impaired

When I was in grade school my teacher laid a map out on the table in front of our class and proceeded to give us a lesson in directions. I was mesmerized by the beautiful blues and greens on the pretty paper. Clearly what we needed were more art classes so we could draw pretty things like this map. Anyway. How hard could this geography thing be?

“…compass…sun in the sky…axis…”

What is she talking about?

“…suppose you are in the woods and want to head northeast. The sun is directly overhead…”

Why would I be in the woods? And if I was in the woods wouldn’t someone be with me who would know how to get out of the woods? Isn’t the sun always overhead?

I focused for a few minutes to grasp the concept, sensing that I may at some point, at age 7, get lost in the woods and need to find my way out. The teacher pointed to the top of the map. “This is North,” she explained. Then she pointed to the bottom of the page. “And this is South. West is on your left and East is on your right.”

Got it. West – left. East – right. Continue reading

Doggy Doo…Doggy Did.

Some people have dogs who have bad breath. Some have dogs that just smell so…doggy. Most people have dogs who, for some unknown reason (and believe me there are scientists working on this), have an urgent and consistent desire to sniff the crotch of everyone they meet. This makes it difficult to carry on polite conversation as was the case with a neighbor of mine.

“Hi! Yes I just stopped by to… Aaccckkk!” I squeezed my thighs shut.

“Oh don’t worry about him”, they explained brightly. “He’s just friendly!”

Friendly?! I stared at them in bewilderment. The furry monster was trying to give me a free pap smear!” 

“Oh….right…well…er….” “There is no bacon there. Go away!”, I hissed telepathically.

I had now maneuvered myself into a cross legged, half squat stance with my hand in the Heisman position batting unsuccessfully at his nose. The owner finally scooted the dog away while giving me the I-can’t-believe-you-don’t like-dogs look. I straightened and started to relax, only to realize that I now had a big damp patch on my crotch that no one else would believe came from a dog. My face grew hot with embarrassment as if this was somehow my fault. I dislike other people’s dogs.  Continue reading