Archive for January, 2013

Pajari Girls Shark Week


I know what you’re thinking…but we don’t mean the one on Discovery Channel.

This week  is even scarier. Maybe it’s best illustrated by a conversation I recently had with a male friend of ours. We’ll call him Mr. No-Fun.

No-Fun: What IS it with you girls and car problems this week??

Me: I know! And it’s shark week, to top it off!

No-Fun: (Stops walking, and turns around with a wrinkled brow.) What the hell does that have to do with anything? It’s the Discovery Channel; it’ll be on again. And again. And again.

Me: No, no, no. This is worse. PMS week.

No-Fun: Holy Christ, you don’t ALL cycle at once, do you??? Omigod….Poor Big Guy and Paul…Can’t you do something about that??!

shark cage

photo credit: www.discoverhawaii.com

Later, relating the above convo to my sister (aka The Queen of Poo, Lois, and the witch who volunteered me for the play), she laughed so hard, I bet tears ran down her leg. “That’s a terrible idea!! What does he want us to do—all four take turns so the whole month is hell?!?! Better to get it all over at once!”

I agreed, “Holy crap! You’re right!! Kinda like a nuclear blast….give the community three weeks to recover in-between!” There is no doubt in my mind this is why women who spend a lot of time together also cycle together. Mother Nature is no dummy.

shark attack survivor

photo credit: nbc news

It’s not that bad. Usually, we are more bark

basking shark

photo credit: Discovery Channel

than bite.

nemo sharks

photo credit: Finding Nemo, where the answers to ALL life’s questions can be found.

Usually. 😀

It wouldn’t hurt to tread lightly, though.

Through the Window


Every day, WordPress issues Prompts or Challenges. Today’s was “Look through your nearest window for one minute and tell us what you see”.

I hereby invoke the right of Artistic License and also include what I THINK when I look out this window.  I left it pretty much the way it came out of my head…stream-of-conscious style.  I included links so that if you fall behind, you can click to get the rest of the story.

window, snow, cat, houseplants

I Spy…..

  • Big Guy plowing. which means, since I don’t pay him for this service, I will hafta have my sister sleep with him. Good thing they’re married. This pimping out my sister barter system has worked great for me AND him for years. He fixes my brakes, and I say, “Thanks! I’ll have my sister sleep with you!” He delivers dirt for my garden, I say, “Thanks! I’ll have my sister sleep with you!”  You get the idea. Like I said, it worked great….until she had our friend The Electrician on Retainer wire in the tanning bed in the basement of The Barn. She said, “Great, thanks! I’ll have my sister sleep with you!” Poooooor Stewart. We both turned a few shades of purple and I said, “That’s not fair!! I’m not married to him!!” and I have since been thinking of alternate barter items. No, I haven’t paid up–and have since met Mr. Wonderful. Looks like Lois will need to break out the checkbook. Sorry… dollar!
  • and that I need to bank the house. Tricky with arthritis flaring in left wrist and right shoulder. Just kinda going in pathetic little circles…
  • the mail I am avoiding,
  • the steps grampa built  (how the hell am I gonna fix THAT?? They are cracked. 😦 I used to sit on them and wave to the tourists when I was little…squirrel!),
  • the spot where I grow hybrid sunflowers, morning glories, lilies, etc.,
  • Lots of houseplants!  Rosemary, celery, aloe, venus flytrap & sundew (both in terrariums) spider plant
  • GF Peaches, hopefully making sure the surviving Guinea Monster From Hell stays at the neighbors’.
  • the corn husks really need to come down… maybe the crows from Halloween can  stay. Should probably brush them off so they look real-er…
  • Lake Country Power trucks going to help the Lake People, I assume. All the snow has probably downed lines and trees all over.

I’m feeling a little guilty about this half-assed post. But I would feel guiltier if I kept ignoring all the other crap I need to do…. So there ya go. Have a nice day, drive carefully, and loveyabye.

 

WWLD?


Every time I am stumped by something… whether it’s mechanical issues, gardening basics, general efficiency, or  plumbing-related, I pause and ask myself, “What would Lois do?” . (She worked in a small hardware store for years, and has an innate common sense that I lack.) Occasionally it works, and I can figure it out. Most of the time, though, I just call and ask.

Last Wednesday, it was plumbing. Water was dripping out of the bottom of my toilet tank. I tried to tighten the thingy that was leaking and the drip turned into a stream.

pooh

Think, think, think… WWLD??

I shut off the supply, emptied the tank the rest of the way with DBarn knockofff Sham-Wows, and sat back (cracking my noggin on the sink of course) to ponder some more. Then I called my bossy big sister, aka The Birthday Girl.

She let me talk it out and then told me what else commonly causes the same issue, so I could check for that before putting it all back together again.

I think everybody needs at least one “Lois” in their life… someone who can help reason things out. Do you have a Lois? Wanna borrow mine? 😉

Cabin Fever Cures


Friday and Saturday, the winter blues were encroaching. Then my friend Kelly sent me flowers at work to thank me for helping winter suck less. 🙂

winter bouquet

“Thank you for helping me embrace winter.”

AWWWWW! How sweet is that?? Thanks, Kelly! You brighten my winter, too. 🙂

The big gravel pit banks looked kind of intimidating to the 5  year-old, so I broke out the food coloring and some spray bottles. Also reeeeeeeally brightened up the winter landscape.

winter fun, snow art, food coloring, spray bottle

Water and food coloring in spray bottles.

food coloring, snow

Names in the snow. Hygienically.

I always wanted to write names in the snow...

I always wanted to write names in the snow…

Avi's Hippie Snowball

A psychedelic snowball!

writing in snow

There’s always one in every group…

Also, there was some awesome sledding on the gravel pit banks.

Before...

Before…

During…

Hear the fire crackling in the background? We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.

Sledding

Photo credit: Eldest Spawn

clint and avi

Again, Eldest Spawn took this one.

Everybody wants to kill that one bush in the gravel pit…

After

After.

Also, Jill stopped by to model her newest in Funny Farm Fashion. 😉

Baler twine as a hair accessory. True story.

Baler twine as a hair accessory. True story.

All in all, it was the perfect day to ENJOY winter. 30 degrees above zero was reason enough to celebrate. On a related note, the Finns allegedly have more words for “snow” than the Inupiat. Check out the link…Finnish words for snow.

As usual, please like, share, or pin to spread the joy. 🙂

Um…What the #*@! just happened??


I just got off the phone with my friend informally adopted sister and Official Pajari Girl Melanie. She and her sister Jody had mentioned the community play earlier in the week, and I said I would think about it and get back to them. That was a lie….I was buying time to form a loving, polite, Minnesota Nice “NO”. She texted me from the first meeting and eventually called. And I think I just said, “OK, I’ll try it.” Because she said I could be Thespian of the Month if I participated, and the Employee of the Year title is looking out of reach, as is Parent of the Year.

Acting in it. That’s a big commitment….practice twice a week til APRIL. I joke to my sister that I was “born for the stage”, but realized that it was a lie when Lois made me play piano for Timber Days and tambourine during Music in the Park.

In high school, my bffaeaeai (best friend for ever and ever and ever, infinity) Terri and I volunteered to help with a play because we had a crush on the substitute English teacher. We made scenery; we didn’t act.

Mr. Durbin talked us into writing plays for a contest around that time, too. I think I just did it because I wanted to get out of study hall and lunch hour to play with the Apple IIe DOS word processor.

I don’t know if I can do this. In elementary school, I often got picked for plays in school and church because I could memorize all the lines so easily.

But but butbutbutbut…..

This could be fun.

Or humiliating.

Or I could let them down.

Breathe, Pajari!!!

I text my Spawn for support, and all I get is “BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!” My sister said she told them I “was born for the stage”! Oh Criminy…..what the…. Fahrvergnügen just happened? I MISS SWEARING!!!

Shit. Crap. Crappy? No, Crappie. Crappie Talk was the original name of the play…now it’s KOLD Radio, Whitefish Bay . I don’t know what character I’m going to be.

I’ll just be over here in the corner, having a breakdown if anybody needs me…

Playing With Water at -25F


One of my latest self-discoveries was that hating winter doesn’t make it shorter, and it certainly doesn’t make me any happier. So, after making ice candles, candle rings, and ice gems/marbles, I went hunting for more crafty ideas on Pinterest and found this genius named Tracy Lynn Conway who had pinned ice sun catchers using a cake pan and/or muffin pans. I was inspired.

The best thing about this cold snap is that I can stand at my kitchen door and watch water freeze. Shut up–it’s verry interesting. Stop judging me!!  Mr. Wonderful found it pretty chuckalicious too, until I sent him a picture.

ice suncatcher

Eat those words, Larry.

This is a fast, cheap, and easy way to fight cabin fever, depression, and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is also Parent of the Year stuff. Youngest Spawn is learning all about frostbite and how ice forms.

Tracy made her sun catchers in the freezer, but I had a blast watching the ice form outside. (And at -20, it was waaaaay faster. See her pin/blog for more on using the freezer.) My favorite effect is when the food coloring freezes while dissipating in the water…it looks like psychedelic snowflakes.

TIP: If you want to use multiple colors, wait until the water is almost ice. Otherwise, you will end up with brown sun catchers.

I’d tried making my ice marbles into hanging ornaments, but the curly ribbon always broke when I tried to remove the balloon. (And they were kind of heavy, which is tough on winter-brittle branches.) That’s where the muffin pan came in. I used magnets to hold the curly ribbon where I wanted it.

muffin pan, sun catcher, ice

I like the way the silver curly ribbon catches the light.

Like the other ice crafts, it’s all about catching the light. A Bundt pan has a ready-made hanging hole, as well as ridges.

ice, bundt pan, suncatcher

I only filled it 1/3 of the way..less weight for the string.

Because I didn’t want all the colors to bleed together, I didn’t add the drops of food coloring until it had started to freeze. Therefore, the color only shows from one side. I dribbled more food coloring on the other side like a glaze.

Glazed.

Glazed.

We have these sets of 3 plastic heart containers at The Barn ($.50 per set), and I just knew they would be good for something. Adding lace (also on clearance), and some foofy colored ice cubes I made from silicone baking molds…

sun catcher, ice, heart. rose,

Ice Valentines to hang in a tree.

Looking forward to seeing this in the sunlight.

Looking forward to seeing this in the sunlight.

On the thicker sun catchers, my color didn’t go all the way through, so I finger-painted a quick heart on the back of this one.

sun catcher, ice, valentine,

This is why my fingers are red.

Again, thank you to Tracy Conway for the great tutorial! Here are some other fun things to do with water in the winter:

ice marbles/gems

Make ice gems/ marbles with balloons. And spray yourself and kitchen blue.

Cool-Whip, Ice candle

Make ice candles with Cool-Whip bowls.

Bundt pan ice candle

Ice candle ring from Bundt pan.

Comments? Questions? Tips? Please “like”, share or Pin it! Better yet, vote to make me Employee of the YEAR!! Loveyabye.

Monday Friday Mostly Thursday Kathy


Lois’ motto for The Barn is: “We’re not here to make money; we’re here to make friends.” So far, so good, lol! We have met some amazing and interesting people in the last 7 years–Miranda Lambert is right, everybody IS famous in a small town.

My sister Lois and I met Kathy Weiand (pronounced WHY-end) through the Dollar Barn almost seven years ago. She used to travel the 45 miles every Monday to shop our store, garage sales, and The Thrift Shop for treasures to add to her craft projects (mostly birdhouses).  In the summer, Fridays are a better day to hit garage sales along the way, so Monday Kathy became Friday Kathy. In the winter, Thursday is her town day, thus she became Monday Friday Mostly Thursday Kathy. As nicknames go, it’s not the most succinct.  Too bad if you’re into the whole brevity thing. (Big Lebowski reference…keep up.)

Now her nephew Cory, of  World By My Design, has revamped her website, tweaked her Etsy shop, and added a blog! We are so excited for her we could just die! 🙂

shopping, holed up north, cook dollar barn, art

This is what she looks like every time she walks into The Barn. That smile! Those dimples! The pure JOY she radiates! Plus, she is usually carrying baked goods and lunch.

birch, lichen, foraging

Surrounded by thousands of acres of woods, there is no shortage of lichen and birch bark for her projects.

birch bark, birdhouse

In her own words:

“I’ve always been creative/crafty. When my husband and I moved up to Northern Minnesota (by the Canadian border) in 1982, we worked a lot at resorts and therefore, had our winters off (hence the ‘Holed up North’). So I started doing crafts to stay busy. A little over 10 years ago I converted our sauna into a wood working shop and started building birdhouses.

As much as I liked doing the other crafts I loved making birdhouses. These were not your ordinary birdhouses. I would scour garage sales, gift shops, and thrift stores to find small figurines or decorations I could use to make the most unique house for indoors or out. I would collect, wash, and varnish small stones from our road, cut alder brush and collect moss from our property to use on the houses. The houses are God-inspired and love-made with my hands.”

holed up north, birdhouse, ornament birdhouse, cook dollar barn, christmas crafts

I still can’t believe she made THIS with stuff from The Barn!

bamboobrasshouse

birdhouse, salon, holed up north, cook dollar barn

Her first blog post is the story behind this perfect gift for your stylist.

In the summer, this is her other job– her “real” job…she is a caretaker and all-around handywoman. One of her clients says this about her OTHER business, Lawn, Home, & Garden:  “This company has taken care of my property, lawn care and then some, for quite awhile ! The quality of their work coupled with fair pricing is unparalleled. In addition to property maintenance, they also have a team of artisans who design and render the most beautiful art such as glorified bird houses, etc… not to be hung outside as they are the most treasured of interior decor! Great company!”

Her other job

But that’s just a few parts of Monday Friday Mostly Thursday Kathy…we love her not just because of what she does, but also who she IS.

In her spare time? She is a firefighter. True story.

Firefighter

Her OTHER other job

Her OTHER other job involves driving this beauty. (We both have a thing for semi’s.)

Employee of the Month, Cook Dollar Barn, Holed Up North

She has even been Employee of the Month at The Barn! And she doesn’t even technically WORK here!!

Monday Friday Mostly Thursday Kathy worries about us because we don’t cook or eat very healthily. So she brings us a homemade, healthy, TASTY lunch every week (veggies cleverly camouflaged in bacon), and extra cookies at Christmas. For Inventory, she volunteers to count billions of tiny dollar store things and brings homemade BOOZE-FILLED CUPCAKES. (We get them for our birthdays, too!) I asked her to marry me for years, but she just laughed…which is good, because then I  found Mr. Wonderful.

She loves to be outside, creates beautiful art, is a volunteer firefighter, lives off the land, bakes, cooks, is deeply spiritual,  heats with wood, loves with words AND actions, and is an all-around Day Brightener. One of my life goals is to be as happy, joyous and free as Monday Friday Mostly Thursday Kathy.

And we may never have gotten to know this wonderful lady if I hadn’t “ruined my sister’s life” by talking her into quitting her job with a Fortune 500 company and opening a dollar store in our home town of Cook, MN (pop. 574). Funny how things work out.

Now go say hi to Monday Friday Mostly Thursday Kathy!! Please?

Guinea Capture Part 6a


At 1:34 pm today I received the following  text from my sister:

“We have a date…6:00pm  ‘Guinea Capture Part 6’.  Carol has a plan.”

Shit.

Parts One through Five summary here.

 

One Lovely Blog Award


one lovely blog award

Thank you Heather of  Rambling of a Hedge Witch for awarding me the One Lovely Blog Award! I finally got around to really looking at your blog, and love the Pet Portraits blog, too..a very talented lady.

The rules of this award are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you (manners, people! manners!).
  2. Add the “One Lovely Blog Award” image to your post.
  3. Share 7 things about you.
  4. Pass the award on to seven nominees.
  5. Include this set of rules (important, otherwise confusion and mass hysteria ensues).
  6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

*If this is your first Blog Award Nomination, you might want to read this post. It’s things I wish I’d known earlier lol.

7 things about me:

  1. I have recently discovered I have a form of OCD involving spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I’m working on a post about that, but am extra-worried that I am doing something wrong.
  2. I don’t just love to laugh; I need to laugh. Daily. It’s part of how I battle depression, and I think I got the idea from Robin Williams. (But I’m fighting off a stomach bug and can only be upright for a short time. Sue me if I’m wrong.)
  3. My sister (The Queen of Poo, aka Boss Lady, aka Sissy Butt) says the best word to describe me is “irreverent”. “Insubordinate” was a close second. Whatever.
  4. I am on the fence about Blog Awards, but for today I find the pros outweigh the cons.
  5. We have two pets at my house, GF Peaches the neutered, male, half-Manx cat and Isabelle the Guinea Pig. (Any other creatures I talk about are my sister Lois’s.) That link is a YouTube video I made of GF playing piano/nippin’ out. He plays piano without catnip too.
  6. I am finally at a place in my life where I like who I am. This is not an accident; it took a lot of work. And a lot of mistakes, lol.
  7. I use texting shorthand quite a bit. The reasons? My female Spawn are 18 and 20 (our main form of communication is text), and I have RA so some days my hands are uncooperative.

These are my awardees, and a short note about each and why I chose them.   In general, I included blogs I was bummed I forgot for the Liebster, and then went through my “posts I recently liked” list. Please stop by and visit them as well as visiting my nominator’s very cool and interesting blog. Accepting this award is optional, and supposed to be fun. Don’t feel you have to do it; nothing bad will happen if you choose not to. 🙂

Quarter Acre Home: This chick boggles my mind; she grew up in a city and is living her dream of living sustainably on about 1/4 of an acre. Having been raised on a thousand acre beef and horse farm, I find her blog fascinating. Her latest post, “Animal Rights VS Animal Welfare” is a must-read if you are conflicted or confused about eating and raising meat.

The Return of the Modern Philosopher: This is funny stuff, written by a real-life screenwriter. Latest post titles include “Zeus Announces Contest to Name New God” and “The Mourning After, or How to Deal With a Drunk Leprechaun“. I always laugh, and have something new to think about when I leave this page.

Rag Bag Originals: This is my friend Ruth Huismann’s blog. She works across the hall from me and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her, her spawn, her mom (who scares me a little), and her siblings. I admire her sense of humor and the things she does with fabric. It’s because of her that I am thinking about buying myself an American Girl doll–she makes the cutest clothes for them. She also makes mittens that encourage the myth of Minnesota Nice. (Ever try to flip someone the bird wearing mittens??)

The Wicker Woman: This is another local lady who is a very talented artist. She makes the COOLEST baskets with antler handles, re-canes furniture, and does many other amazing things. She has been creating literally as long as I have been alive, and has been blogging for 8 years.

Single Dad Laughing: This guy’s blog  is kind, funny, smart, and honest, and I love the way he approaches parenting. I first found it through my sister, who suggested reading his post “16 Ways I Blew My Marriage.” Shortly after that, he posted “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay“, which is an eye opener for all faiths )or none) and sexual orientations. Most recently, he did an AMAZING thing for a neighbor of his, posting an appeal for help that resulted in a gift from his readers in the amount of $10,000. A great example of the good that can be done via the internet.

Fish of Gold:  According to Fish of Gold herself, “FOG is a eclectic assortment of opinions, experiences, gripes, stories and fiction.” Honest, interesting, uplifting and funny stuff. Her New Year’s post brought a tear to my eye, and The Middle Finger: The Jolliest Finger of All made me laugh out loud. You are missing out if you don’t follow this fish.

Bananas and Prunes: This lady and her hubby Bill have recently moved back home with her mother to be her caretaker.  Her latest adventure started with the question, “What Could Be Worse?” when she decided to clean out some of her mom’s belongings. I won’t spoil it, but it was freaking hilarious. I am still chuckling days later. Read this now.

Pouring My Art Out: His motto is “Ripping out my guts for your entertainment”. That sums it up nicely. Here, you will find adorable baby pics of his nephew Willy and pics of Saddam Hussein and Mother Theresa in footie (footy? feety?) pajamas. Kind of reminds me of myself….crazy, but in a fun, non-threatening way. Visiting this blog always makes me laugh, smile, and exclaim,  “WTF is WRONG with you?!?!?” Good times, good times.

What IS a Blog Award??


As far as I can tell, it combines the interesting parts of a chain letter – without the death threats- and  a creative writing assignment. It’s a way to meet other bloggers, discover interesting new blogs to follow, and give readers a snapshot of who I am at the same time.

I tried to find info on WordPress and the internet about blog awards, and while they are not the same as a Webby, or  The Pulitzer Prize , they are still an honor to receive.

Nominating another blogger is like sending them a greeting card or a short note on foofy stationery with cool stickers, etc. that says, “Hey! I visited your blog and read some of your posts. I like what you’ve done with the place. Welcome to the neighborhood.”

There are always rules, which kind of makes me nervous. Are these really rules, or just guidelines? Can I take what I like and leave the rest? Do I have to follow all of them to the letter to accept the award? ie: I was nominated for The Liebster Award, and one of the rules was that I could only nominate blogs that had 200 or less followers. I barely know how to determine how many followers MY blog has!

I am really new to blogging (Pajarigirls launched August 2012 and I subscribed to maybe 2 blogs before that). Help. Me. I’m raising my hand because I fell behind!!

Is this right? Other thoughts on Blog Awards?

A Witch in the Kitch(en)

Let's make some magic happen!

Pet Zoo Shiller

משק חי שילר

Adventures in Wonderland

a pilgrimage of the heart

Within You, Without You

[T]he time will come when you see we're all one

Uniquely Yours... or Mine!

Remodeling, decorating and updating at home and in the garden

Hammer Like a Girl

GET TOGETHER & GET IT DONE

MuseBoxx

Space to Create

Sean May - Elements of Fantasy

A blog about what goes into good (and bad) fantasy fiction.

One Green Tomato

from dirt to dish & seed to skillet, welcome to my adventures in micro-farming & sustainable self sufficiency

Photo Nature Blog

Nature Photography by Jeffrey Foltice

Pajari Girls

Come with us; it's gonna be great!!

Laplander's Natural Lore Blog

Nature, Outdoor & wilderness living skills, traditional & primitive skills and crafts in the north of Swedish Lapland

The White Crayon

Lit. Life. Love.

Katzenworld

Welcome to the world of cats!

Where's my backpack?

Romancing the planet; a love affair with travel.

The Wonderful World of Math

Wendy Jordan's Math 1510 blog

Medium Large

"I gotta say, it's brilliant stuff."--Dan Piraro, Bizarro

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