This is for the birds.

True story:

Ben is obessed with pets. He's so desperate for them that any creature that moves slowly enough will become a pet. I watched him methodically throw a frisbee at a birdhouse until in tilted enough for a nest to fall out. With glee he scooped up whatever was in it. I waited. Five minutes passed and he ran inside clutching a little bird. It was chirping and and flapping about but not really able to escape. It's no surprise the bird became a pet for 36 hours. He tried to devise an appropriate bird house but was not successful when I pointed out that no air could get in or out of many of his contraptions. He eventually settled on the dog kennel. He wanted the bird in his room. So in it went until Bob put Ben to bed and the bird would not shut up. Ben told Bob that he could interpret "bird" and the bird was not talking nice about him. So the bird went downstairs where it chirped ALL NIGHT LONG. The next morning we were heading to camp. Ben suggested it was time to set the "little guy" free. He tosssed him off our deck where the bird flew/fluttered/flailed to the safety of a tree. Ben's conclusion? "He struggled a bit, but I think he'll be o.k. "

What's it gonna bee?

I am not completely unhip. I know The Black Eyed Peas are more than a food. But when it comes to lyrics sometimes I just don't get them. This is not new. My sister can vouch for many an incorrect understanding of song lyrics while smirking with delight in catching me mess up. I am unflappable though and will stand by what I think I heard. Until this song. The kids caught me singing something about a "bumble bee" and I just said, "Hey ! You guys love that bumble bee song!"

Total silence and then big howls of laugther and calls for "Dad! Dad! Mom thinks it's bumble bee!" This prompted a spontaneous dance party with "I'm mo be" blasting at full throttle and 3 people mocking me by inserting "Bumble bee" for "I'm mo bee" and few 'buzzz's' for good measure. I still don't think my interpetation is all that off. "I'm mo be" is slang for cripes sake. But most good humor usually has a bit of a sting to it, and thankfully I am not allergic.


I want my own bumper sticker. You know, like the ones that say "Start Seeing Motorcycles" or "Start Seeing Pedestrians" or whatever. Mine will read "Start Seeing Shit" because even though the things I am asked to locate in one day don't belong to me, apparently I am Goddess of Everyone's Shit so I must know where it is. This is crass. Oh well. "Start Seeing" doesn't seem to pack enough punch and since we don't use fists in our house (Well, ok. Ben does. But only sometimes.) we do use words. As a lover of words it's always best to be decriptive, to the point, and in this case, all-encompassing. I am open to gentler suggestions. But...should I be?

The County Fair

I love the county fair. I am sure it has much to do with growing up on 4-H in Woodbury County. It's just so fun to see the earnest kids trying their hand at skills that are still appreciated such as jam making and sewing (did you know people still do that?) despite the fact that many of those kids have a cell phone in their back pocket. And where else can you let your kid play a game for $5.00 and win a toy that is worth 5 cents? Oh, yeah. Chuck-E. Cheese.

But the county fair atmosphere is so much better! Under a fading pink sky, we walked from the petting zoo which consists of exotic animals like chics and bunnies and baby calfs to the chicken and rabbit barn (a personal favorite) to get a milk shake (the best EVER) from the dairy stand. Then we made our way into the midway and among the startling music (sex on the beach was a lyric I wasn't expecting to hear), I saw a mom simultaneously wrestling a toddler in one hand while texting with the other, and two physically challenged kids cheer their sister on as she raced down a slide. Constant dichotomy. I love it. Grandpa with toddler girl on the ferris wheel and tweens in too small shirts running through the crowd without notice of anyone but themselves. Cows doing their business whenever the moo-d strikes them and the stiff upper-lip of the 10 year old boy trying to harangue said cow into obeying just this once. It was a tattoo extravaganza and if I ever decide I need one, I have some great ideas now. But I also know where our local heritage family farms are now and that's seems like good information to have. Honestly, I felt sad for all the texters. There was so much to see that I couldn't have strayed from the moment if I tried.

People wax poetic about the Minnesota State Fair--'tis true it is a gift. But I'll take hundreds instead of thousands and continue to support my local dairy council.

Mama rocks a mumu

My kids love to swim. This stinks for me-- I hate heat and swimsuits. To deal with this dilemma, I enrolled the kids in lessons as soon as they could walk hoping to shave years off the total time I would be required to be in the pool with them. God has blessed me with children who can swim, but I still have to be there. To deal with this, I bought a swimsuit cover-up the other day. As long as I have a cover-up, the suit will last for years and I avoid swimsuit shopping. Swimsuit shopping should only be done once every 15 years if you play your cards right (more frequently to compensate for major weight loss, weight gain, or unsightly worn patches in inconvient places -which of course, isn't a big deal if you have a cover-up). But cover-up shopping is much more fun and much less stressful. Really, swimsuits are just so...small. One hasn't been invented that covers the mid-thigh vericose veins or the legs that didn't get premiere shave time. So until tea-length swim skirts are in and functional, the old suit stays (it has another three years to go). When the debut of the latest cover-up occurred, I was told I rocked the mumu. Well, thanks. I think. Or not. I don't equate mumus and "rocking" but oh well. Summer is short and rocking it or not, the mumu is my ticket to survival. Make way for mama!