Tag Archives: life

10 Liters of Maple Syrup.


I’m home now. So I’m going to tell you about my last week of not being home and coming home because both are adventures.

So the last week I was gone was all about the company that I’m working with to go to Budapest. It was interesting. Friday they moved my roommate and I out of the campus apartments and into a dorm room. Ugh small room for 2 girls, communal showers and toilets. I’m not a fan. Give me my own bed and a bathroom I can dominate. I got home early Sunday morning and rejoiced greatly of the bed and the shower. I really did. There’s a Facebook post about it. But this past week, really month but week in general, has been draining emotionally. Lots of questioning has gone on but it’s what I’m meant to be doing and where I need to be so it’ll all be good in the end. So during this orientation, we had a breakout session about how to deal going to a foreign country and being single. We had a woman from Arkansas and a guy from Ontario leading our group. They were talking about taking things that were comforting overseas. The guy from Ontario, (which is in Canada, for those of you geographically challenged) was talking about this and how his second year to Black Forest Academy (BFA) in Germany, he had an extra suitcase. He filled this suitcase with 10 liters of Maple Syrup. That’s right. No lie, no typo. 10 liters of Maple Syrup. We all laugh at him and this one girl just loses it. She cannot get over that he took 10 liters of maple syrup and adamantly stated that she didn’t understand Canadians. This also happened on Friday when we were all lacking sleep. But then I was like don’t you complain people, there are only 4 of us that were here for a month. You have no idea how tired we are. But we pushed through and people were sympathetic to us. So that was a highlight of the week. That and being asked if I was going to join a Hungarian choir. That’s a different story all together.

I’m so glad I went through this month-long journey but I’m so relieved to be home. I saw the kids yesterday and I got a hug from both of them and they both told me that they missed me. Even the nephew. He was more connected more to me than usual too, so he missed me. but it was mutual. This month, I learned a lot, I got to prepare myself. I think I grew some as well. I met some great people and am ready to start this journey. I also met my future roommate. That was fun. I’m also glad that I have my own space right now. Living in the dorm is not what I want to do.

So I flew out on Saturday. I left the college at 11:30 and had a 2:30 boarding and 3:20 departure from O’Hare. I sat on the plane for 2 hours. There was a layover in Minneapolis and there was storm. No one was getting in or out. I didn’t leave Chicago until almost 8. I was hypothetically supposed to be in the air at 8 to be in NoDak at 8:15. So, changed my ticket to a different town and time. So we landed in Minneapolis, (B.T.W. Like the Minneapolis airport better than O’Hare) and I booked it across the airport because I had 20 minutes to catch my plane and it’s delayed. My phone magically broke and then fixed itself so I did have a phone to call home and tell them I wasn’t getting into Bismarck and not Dickinson at 12:30 a.m. My parents were already coming into town. So they went to Perkins and a movie. I provided a date night for my parents. But the nice thing about sitting and waiting to go to Bismarck, most of us were all from NoDak and from the same area so we all knew similar people. But I didn’t pee or eat all day on the first day of moodiness. I should get an award for that.

On the way to Minneapolis, I was stressed already with the situation, and they get on the intercom and tell us that we were going to go through turbulence. I wasn’t worried because it wasn’t going to be that bad. But the plane dropped majorly. And that didn’t help my nerves. I grabbed on to my belt and gripped until there was no more life in that seat belt. Not that it would have saved me if we crashed but it did make me feel better. I’m a nervous traveler. I like the flying, just the connecting from plane to plane stresses me out. Going overseas is going to treat me well, isn’t it?

Other Notes: MJ and I started another story. It’s the story of 2 of the characters in the original book. We miss our original characters though. They made life better. Family reunion over the 4th of July weekend. So I’m not even home that long. Yay! I also have visa stuff to work on. Double Yay! Stress is only going up from here.


We’re Not on the Farm Anymore


As the title implies, I am not at mom and dad’s anymore. I’m in the lovely community of Wheaton, Illinois, suburb of Chicago I think to the south, with a college. I’m sitting in my campus apartment and I’m going to start my training to be an ESL instructor this month. Scary right? Normally, I’d agree but I’ve been up since 2:30 this morning. This community is super pretty. I was surprised. Not that Dickinson and Bismarck, where I went to college, were ugly towns but this town is a step up. I’m assuming, don’t know for sure, but these people make money here. That’s probably a blatent assumption. I shouldn’t do that.

I’m waiting for the new roommate. I’m a little nervous because I haven’t really lived with anyone in 4 years. Not excited. And I’m living in town. And I’ll be going to school again. This is an adjustment. I don’t want an adjustment!

So today was my first plane ride alone and second in my life. Last time I was in a plane I was 18, senior in high school and with a group. I’m glad to announce that I made it through in one piece. Now to get through getting home at the end of the month and going overseas. UGH!

So that’s where I’m at with life.

Mothers Day


Today was mother’s day. I love my mommy. But I failed. I didn’t get my mom anything. Yesterday we went to go see one grandma and we went with my sister-in-law and the kids. I was sitting in between the kids and mom was going into the store. I yell at mom to get herself a card on me. Mom and the sister-in-law roll there eyes. I woke up this morning and told mom that I was going to make her a card but obviously nothing was going to be as nice as what she would have picked out for herself. She laughed. Does that mean I was right? I can be crafty but I’m sure that my card would have been lame. Being 26 and thinking about making your mother a mother’s day card can be lame. Pretty sure. But it is her fault for not following directions.

We went to go see the other grandma today. We stopped and went to church with my aunt and uncle and then we took grandma out to eat. When I got my first pair of boots in college, she saw them and told me that since I had boots, I was going to attract all the cowboys and now every time she sees me in boots she comments about how I don’t have a cowboy. I am aware of this. So we go back to grandma’s apartment and I’m looking around because the med that I’m on for my thyroid gives me this extra burst of energy and so I wasn’t sitting still. Behind me there was a newer looking card that said something to the extent of “Happy Birthday to my wife”. My grandfather, the one married to this grandmother, has been gone for about 33 1/2 years. He died of a rare blood disease a month and a half before his first grandchild. So I was confused. It’s not grandma’s birthday for another month or so and I know she kind of has a boyfriend in this complex. I say kind of because pretty sure it’s not official and grandma gets all huffy about it. So I was like “what if it’s from this guy? Did they secretly get married? Grandma getting married right before she turns 80? No. I need to be there for that wedding.” So I ask mom and dad if they know about a secret wedding. This card looked way to knew to be from 30 plus years ago. They didn’t know. We went to my aunt and uncles place for a while and so I asked my aunt. No, it’s a card still from my grandpa. It’s an incredibly sweet thing to have. This is almost a gross cute thing. This must have been the last birthday card grandma got. But a part of me was a little upset that grandma didn’t have a secret wedding. I don’t think that would set well with grandma’s children though.

After we left we stopped at this little restaurant we used to stop at when I was little. This place hasn’t changed since I was little. Same carpets, same restrooms that say ‘cowgirls’ and ‘cowboys’ on them, same red glasses. The same red glasses. These glasses epitomized eating at this restaurant when I was little. I had a rant about how amazing these red glasses were tonight. They were amazing. I still love them. I then told mom and dad what section we used to sit at all the time and the pictures haven’t changed a bit. Still looks like 1996 in these pictures. You have to love small town diners that never change owners or workers. Lots of memories there.

Tonight my brother and his family came over to give mom her a mothers day gift. The nephew looks at me and says “you’re going to be here for 10 more days.” I was a little confused so I had him repeat it and his parents and I kind of looked at each other like “What the hell is this child talking about?” Then it dawned on me. I had explained to him a few months ago that I was going to be living at grandma and grandpa’s for awhile, or at least until he was a first grader. He graduates kindergarten in 10 days. That’s where he got that. Geesh. That kid.

So I’ve been doing some editing to the story MJ and I are telling. Do you hear that MJ? I’m editing and adding. I’m trying to pull my weight in this story. Trying is the key word there. We decided that we aren’t ready to leak this story to public yet so no one gets to read it. But it’s amazing. Because we are amazing.



Everyone has that couple friends that are gross cute. They’re that couple that are so cute they’re gross. They don’t mean it or get handsy or anything, they just are so in love that it’s gross. They do cute little things for each other and stuff. It makes you want to puke. Gross cute. MJ and I have been talking about this a lot lately. We’re writing and telling this story and one day I was worried about the one couple being gross cute. I also told her that I never want to be gross cute. Not that I have anything against being gross cute but it’s not who I am. I’m the somewhat sarcastic girl who’s a little direct. Gross cute is not what I do. But we’ll see what happens, if that happens.

So I got hit on the other night at work by a man in his upper 80’s. Awkward. So you have to know this guy is one of the most appreciative men ever. Never a bad word to be said, even when he’s sick he’s really positive and will give you a compliment. He’s the one that called me pretty one. So tonight, I’m getting him from his recliner to his wheel chair. He was pivoting, meaning that he stands and turns instead of getting hooked up to a machine to help him turn. So I’m standing in front of him and he’s turning and when he turns he’s a little hunched and you can’t be me and a CNA and not get in people’s faces when you pivot. You can’t do that and not feel comfortable that they’re not going to fall. So he’s turning and he goes well at least I have soft breasts to lay my head on. I was so concentrated on what I was doing that it didn’t hit me what was going on. And being who he is, I know he was being nice and being positive but it was so creepy. Then later I was helping him get ready for bed and I heard the lady next door ring her bell and I was a little unnerved by what had happened so I go out and the other CNA was about to go into the neighbor’s room. So I was like “S, let’s switch” and he’s like okay the original guy was his to get ready anyway. So later S the CNA goes, “Hey, thanks for getting him started.” and I go. “No problem, he said something that made me a little uncomfortable before so I was glad to get out of there.” The man that commented to me is so sweet that S the CNA corners me going into a store room to ask me what he said. So I tell him and I was like “I know he didn’t mean it as like weird, but it unnerved me.” Thank God for S the CNA. I was at the home unofficially yesterday and walked by his room and kind of shuttered. I’ll get over it.

So yesterday, Saturday, was family day at the home. I didn’t have to work but I was there because my grandma is in the home. First, I had CNA’s telling me I need to get my scrubs on, get my name tag and start working. NO! Then we ran to the store after the festivities were done. We went in with my sister-in-law and the kids (I was sitting in between the kids in the back seat of the pickup) and my mom was going to run in. I yell, “When you’re in there, pick up a mother’s day card for yourself from me.” Mom and sister-in-law just look at each other and shake their heads. It’s not an unusual reply is it? No….Yes, I should have thought about mother’s day before the day before. I fail as a child. So, my brother and sister-in-law built a house on the home place and my nephew and I planned for me to come over and play. We get home and he says. I’ll call you when to come over. So I take my contacts out, throw my hair up and put on a sweatshirt and I’m messing around then he calls. So I go over. You expect the kid to play with me right? Yeah, for like a half an hour. The rest of the time, I help him with his subtraction homework and hang out with my sister-in-law. Lamest play date ever. We need to work on that.

MJ and I are still utterly addicted to our story. We may need an intervention. Someone want to stage that for us? So tonight I go, I’m going to go to bed. So I take a quick shower, do my toe nails, start shaving my legs with my electric shaver and it dies so I go back on the internet. This all happens in like an hour an MJ has been working on her section for like 2 hours. This is us, more so her than me because I know I can edit she edits as she goes, we spend hours on our story. Makes us epic.



This is going to be a girly post. If you are male, I’m not saying you won’t enjoy this but it’s a long shot.

With the exception of when I was 2 and I had a bob, I have always been a girl with long hair. Shoulder length or longer. I like it that way. That’s the way it will be for the unforeseeable future. I really don’t mind my hair. I’m used to it. I’m a hair flipper so there’s that, it helps a girl flirt when necessary and let’s face it, not much flirting going on right now. (You hear that MJ? No flirting, no boys!) There are perks to having long hair. But recently, I’ve had a problem with my hair. And this might be a little thing but it’s a thing. Trust me. Bathing.

Usually, I take showers because that’s what I enjoy and I never realized this, but it’s less creepy for me. I’ve been sick with a cold the past couple of days and I’ve been a little achy, so I took a couple baths. Both times, I didn’t wash my hair, I just bathed and I forgot a hair tie. Now my hair is long like about halfway down my back and I’m a sloucher so it’s gonna touch the water. It kind of grosses me out that I’m bathing so all my yuckiness is in the water and, first of all, how weird is it that it’s supposed to be relaxing to sit in your own filth but then I have to have my hair touch this water. My hair, the hair on my head that I have always been picky about. I need something for my hair in this circumstance. NEED TOO. Luckily, I live with my parents that will get me my hair ties from across the hall in my room. Everything worked out for the best…..this time.

Then here’s a second thing that bugs me. Plain old washing my hair. In the sink or in the tub. No shower, no sitting in bathing. Just me, my hair, water, shampoo and conditioner. This goes along the same lines as bathing for me. No matter how clean that area is, my hair will always go straight for the drain. It’s a proven fact. It’s going to happen. Do you realize what goes down your drain? Yeah, the filth from you bath or if you’re a shower peeing person, your pee goes down there. Or if you wash your hair in the sink, your spit from your mouth when you brush your teeth goes there and your dirty hand water goes down there and that’s where my hair goes when I wash it. To the drain. So your drain is gross and since my hair is long, it goes down the drain, not just collects there, it wants to go down the drain. The drain is the closet to which my hair goes to Narnia. When I was little, I thought the drain would like pull my hair and drag me down into the depths of the unknown. Now it just creeps me out. Here’s what happens when I just wash my hair. I don’t even go near the sink. I go in the tub, yes in because my parents’ tub is very deep, and when I’m washing my scalp, my head is under the faucet, one hand is stabilizing myself and holding my hair, (which is trailing out of the hand) and the other hand is getting all the soap out. It’s a process that I’m not so fond of because no matter how hard I try my hair goes down the drain. I’m not even sure why just these two things bug me about hair. Actually, I take that back, it makes sense. I have a certain way I brush my hair, very particular how it’s cut and everything, of course I’m going to be picky on how my hair encounters with water.

So this subject of hair has been in my head for the past couple of days. So we’re going to continue with the project. My sister and I have always had longer hair. And until the last decade or decade and a half, my mom has too. Now it’s short around the ear length. And my dad likes the traditional look. He likes mom’s short hair that’s shorter and naturally a little curly and he like my sister’s and mine long, straight hair like it is. To prove this, let me tell you a story. In college, I would come home and have my lady that has cut my hair for years, cut my hair. So I come home during spring break and she cuts it. Not really noticeable when it’s down but when I put it up, it was noticeable. I’m a girl who has a hard time cutting any amount of hair off so it’s tough when I cut a noticeable amount off and it goes up in a pony tail the second I get home. So it was up in a pony tail and that night I was on all fours in the living room looking for a highlighter or something. Dad, who’s sitting right there, pulls on my hair. Mom reprimands him and says “Don’t do that, it’s tough enough for her to cut her hair, what are you doing?” “trying to make it longer.” Here’s another story. When my sister first moved out of the house she tells me (who was 12 at the time) in confidence that she’s going to dye her hair a lighter shade of blonde. She knows that mom and dad, dad in particular, won’t like it so she tells me (like so many other times growing up) “Don’t tell Mom and Dad”. She does it and mom and dad don’t say much because she’s out of the house but pretty sure dad wasn’t a fan. So he likes a classic, natural hairstyle.

Back to the REAL story here. The neighbor girl is graduating high school this spring, which is really weird for me because I remember her bald and in diapers and babysat her in high school. She’s got a shorter hair and styles it modernly. So we get the graduation announcement in the mail the other day. I’m looking at it and dad goes. “I don’t know, the way she did her hair. Looks like she went through a wind tunnel. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like it.” On her, I thought it was cute, but I see where dad’s coming from.

The last couple weeks I’ve told friend-ish acquaintance stories from church. Not this week. I’ve been sick and mom woke me up yesterday to ask if I was going to church and I responded with: “My face hurts.” Are you going though? “Mom my face hurts.” So you’re not going to church? “No.” Okay check the roast later. Yes mommy. I walk out a little later before she leaves and I go “My face hurts.” Yes, I get it. So no great story there. And my hand in marriage came up yesterday at work. AGAIN! There’s a CNA that keeps telling me, with people around, that I’m coming back with a guy. NO! Not what I’m going for, not happening.

Panicky, Judgemental Kid.


I was recently reading a blog and the guy said in high school he was the “nice, boring, judgmental Christian kid” and his wife was the exact opposite. I realize that was me without me realizing that was me. I was the “nice, boring, judgmental Christian kid”. I knew I was the nice Christian kid that was boring. But I didn’t realize until later I was judgmental. I’ve grown out of being judgmental to a point. I still have my moments. I think everyone has those moments. Others cannot always live up to our expectations. Weather it’s the way someone looks, does their job, treats their spouse. It’s kind of a judgmental world. We just have to have a thick skin. There’s that rant.

Now is when I’m going to start going on a random tangent. If some of this doesn’t make sense, I’m sorry. You’ll understand that I’m not making sense today.

I’m obsessed with checking my email these days. There’s so much coming to me. I have training starting in a month. It’s super scary. As much as I don’t enjoy working at a nursing home, I’m unsure of myself leaving now. When I moved home in January, I wasn’t scared. It was home. I was going to be starting work at the nursing home I’d hung out at all my life. (my mom’s worked at the home for years.) Life was good. Now I’m a month away from starting the scariest chapter of my life. (living halfway across the world in a city is a scary thing for a farm kid) It also doesn’t help that I have a sore throat and I’m being super womanly. (sorry, did that come out?) So I’m a little whiny.

In the story that MJ are writing, there’s this guy named Brad. Brad always tells Jane, his counterpoint, to keep treading water and she never understood why. Jane just assumes that it’s this little encouraging thing he tells her when he bought her this cheap souvenir. One night, he takes Jane to a beach and they’re overlooking the ocean. He points out a lighthouse he used to play at with his siblings and Brad tells Jane this tragic story about how his little sister died over there when they were kids and he felt guilty about not being able to save her. Brad then explains to Jane that’s why he tells her to keep treading water. He couldn’t save his sister, but if Jane keeps treading water and her head’s above the water, he can always save her. It’s a nice sentiment. MJ has used that line on me a few times in the recent past. I almost hate when the words I write come to haunt me.

Anyway. Point being is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is no need for me to panic. This will all work out. I will be fine. I’ve been telling myself that all afternoon. I really wish I had some wise advice about when one panics or is having a hard time. But the problem with that is, I have problems with that myself. I panic all the time and usually it’s over nothing. I don’t even have great coping methods to it. And I’m young. I know that I’m getting older but I still feel like a kid and haven’t figured out this whole wise thing. That’s probably a reason I panic as well, youth and inexperience.

But you know, looking at this leaving thing, it can be the most rewarding thing of my life. It’s all ready been rewarding because it makes me reflect on my home and the way I’ve been raised. My whole life, I have lived within 120 miles of home. I haven’t lived out of the state of North Dakota. Yes, I love my prairie and my Badlands and the farm. It is who I am. Those things are interwoven with who I am and they will help me when I leave. If you’ve ever been to southwestern North Dakota you look for the beauty of it. It’s not always obvious. But think of it. There’s gentle, rolling hills and rough buttes. Things that are rough but gentle. Things that I think I need as a person. I have been raised by a North Dakota farmer/rancher and nurse. That means I believe in the value of tough, hard work and the value of compassion. The love I have for my home and state will bring me back here but it also has taught me that I have nothing to be worried or panicked about. It has prepared me to leave and rejoice in my victories and provided people that will cry with me in my failures. This doesn’t mean that every other state isn’t beautiful or doesn’t give lessons to people that live there. These are just things I have realized that I’ve learned while I’ve been here. I’m saying I have nothing to be worried about. As long as I don’t forget who I am, I’ll be fine. I’m treading water just fine and might be able to save myself from the panic. Or trust God to do that.

I’m Having Issues.


This post will cover several subjects that may or may not be related to each other. Just so you’re warned.

So remember that post of recent past that I talked about the conversation between me, friend-ish acquaintance J and my old Sunday school teach had about divorce? Remember that. If not, go and find it. So yesterday, I’m sitting before church and dad didn’t go cause he hurt and mom was playing prelude for church so I was sitting alone. J came over and started talking to me. Whatever, we’re friend-ish acquaintances. I’m not even sure how to describe our relationship. We can get along just fine but he has these creepy moments that make me hold him at arms length. He doesn’t intend to be creepy. It just happens.

So we’re talking and somehow we get to the point of him saying, “You’ll probably come back from overseas with a guy.” Now I’ve been getting a lot of this. It makes me shake my head because I’m not going to go overseas to find a guy. It’s not my intention. It’s a mission and I’m going to do that and teach and concentrate on me and God. That’s it. Anyway, I mentioned that I had just had a dream about that. J is kind of a loud and energetic kind of person so he starts talking about it and it’s kind of embarrassing to the girl who is pretty private in real life. So I told him that it was pretty much me sitting on a bench (which is weird because I’m not really a bench sitting kind of girl.) an this guy comes up and says “hey we’re getting married.” and I was like “whoa, back up here, partner.” J goes well what does this guy look like? Well, I go, from other dreams I’ve had, he’s tall and dark haired to which J replies, I’m dark haired and tall. Let’s examine this here. J is probably 6 feet tall. That’s only 3 inches tall than me. I grew up with a 6 foot 3 dad and 6 foot 4 brother and cousins, on my dad’s side, over 6 feet too. When I say tall, I mean tall. Like, well over 6 feet. And if J and I were together, one of us would not make it out alive, most likely him. And then I mentioned that in another dream I called him Mike. (also, I called him moon doggie but I think it was because I was thinking about the Gidget movies before bed) Then he goes, I need to change my name. Whatever, J, Whatever. So he drops it and leaves and one of the ladies at the back asks him if we’re dating, he starts laughing and tells me. I say, “No, we need to put the kibosh on that rumor because that will never happen.” And after church he mentions that he’s tall again to me. Oh, yeah, did I mention J has a girlfriend? Yeah, he has a girlfriend. I know he’s naturally a flirtatious guy, but let it go. So I do have an issue with this guy. I’m not interested in him. Even if he didn’t have a girlfriend I wouldn’t be interested in him. I’m serious about not being interested but he’s still flirty and it bugs me. See, issue.

So MJ and I have been writing this story back and forth and it’s been a super great stress reliever for the both of us. I check my email way more than a person should because of this story. This story has taken over our lives, we email and text about this story, we do talk about other stuff but it always comes back to this story. The story centers around these 2 girls, Jane and Effie. Today we were discussing how much we are these 2 girls. It’s ridiculous. I’m not going to talk about Effie/MJ but Jane and I are eerily similar. We’re a little bit level headed, we know how to calm down our counterparts, we worry, we stress, we’re jeans and tee shirts girls, we love our literature. (because I still love literature even though I’ve sucking on the reading front lately.) The one difference I see between Jane and me is that Jane knows when to talk about when she’s worried and let’s Brad, her love interest, calm her down. I on the other hand tend to internalize it and shut people out for a while until I get it worked out in my head. This is not how it’s supposed to be. I should talk things out. I should use my words. Which is ironic, because I have a blog and there’s at least one, but I know more of one, post that I rant about the importance of words. Really, self? What’s with you? See another issue. Plus, like I said, Jane has Brad. I don’t have a Brad. The way we’ve written him, he’s almost the perfect guy for me. Just like Effie and Steve needs to be MJ and Steve. I’m pretty sure. I’ve decided. And I’m winning the marriage bet. That’s not an issue. (but I do have speech ready just in case I lose.)

By the way, story’s going great.

I’m reading Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin. It was a large book and the back of the book made it seem interesting so I picked it up last week at Barnes and Noble. I just can’t seem to get through anything anymore. I blame moving home for that. See another issue. Issues all around. It really is.

I find myself more and more discontent where I’m at and more and more ready to be gone. It’s not that I don’t love hanging out with my parents and stuff, just ready to be starting my life again and not working at the nursing home. I’m more of a solo worker than a team worker. The other night I was working and one of the other CNA’s was like “Are you okay? are you pissed? are you mad at me?” No, that’s my face. Leave me alone. ugh, another issue.