Stop Touching Things

"Miss! you can't touch the artwork..."
"He means you, too, G-ma"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Haiku

Thanksgiving Haiku
New Family Tradition
Scaring the In-Laws

*That's right. New to Howktown family gatherings is the Haiku recital. No pressure, just 5,7,5. Unless of course you are the patriarch, in which case you recite Howku, usually 8,7,7, but "You take what you get."

So come one, come all
A house full of friends and food.
Don't forget Haiku.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pre Thanksgiving Warm Up

The wind is blowing and snow is flying. When I returned home on my lunch, potatoes were being peeled, the brine prepared, and the turkey being thawed.  The guest list is being finalized and it looks like it will be one of our biggest gatherings ever.

Tonight, I start the pies and set the tables so that the sides can be focused on tomorrow. Oh, and possibly cutting the boyfriends hair because he waited until the last minute to call for an appointment, and surprise they were closed.  *edit* Oh snap! Just called and got him an appointment somewhere else! Thank you.

It is tempting to go crazy maniacal over the set up we've got going on, but I decided I'm going to be sensible and just laugh hysterically at every little problem that comes up and then go on with my day.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


So this last weekend we had a Family Get Together a.k.a.  POTLUCK.  I brought the meatballs... that my mom made. Oh, and the chips... that my mom bought.

As you can see, I'm not that good at potlucks. I've only recently entered Potlucken*.

I'm pretty good at bringing things to a Party. I can BYOB with the best of them, and I can even bring a snack to share... that one is easy, cause I love snacks. Unfortunately, I usually eat part of the snack before I get there, and then I'm mowing down on it the rest of the time... it is the sharing part that gets lost.

I've noticed in the last few years that I've attended a lot more of these Potlucks, and even write them in my calendar as a planned event. This last weekend, I had an opportunity to SKIP the family potluck, but I didn't. In fact, I even came back to help clean up later. Don't tell anyone, but I had a reasonably good time. Howktown family reunions are generally conspicuously absent of 16-30 year olds. One or two will brave the fire, but usually because they have children that want to play with their 2nd and 3rd cousins.

I determined that I must have entered that phase of life commonly referred to in Howktown as Potlucken. Which is a word I made up, but since I rule this town, and have final say over the Howktown Lexicon... well you get the picture.

Potlucken - noun. A phase of life usually entered into in late 20's to early 30s for women, and mid 30s for men, where things that you couldn't be bothered with before suddenly are entered in pen in your calendar and take priority over nights on the town. e.g. "Sorry, I can't stay out all night at the "New Moon" Premiere, I have a potluck to go to, and I said I'd bring the meatballs. Yeah, I know that I'd have dropped everything to wait in line for 3 days five years ago, but since then I've entered into Potlucken"

Side effects of Potlucken often included exaggerated use of the regional dialect, don'tch ya know. An increase in hot dish recipes in your repertoire, and thinking that pickled herring, sauerkraut, and liverwurst aren't really that bad when you come to think about it.

Maybe next year I'll actually make a salad or hotdish... I have a few more in my recipe box this year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's for The Babies! *SQUEEE* with Pictures!

So, when I got the literature in the mail about the event that I 'volunteered' for with the March of Dimes, one of the instructions was to "BRING YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR".


Well, I do have a sense of humor, but I wasn't sure what this was supposed to mean.
Kylie and I pondered over it a day or two before the event. "What are they going to make us do?"  No one was really clear about what was going to happen, aside from needing to bring phone numbers, a sense of humor, and that lunch was provided.

"Oh, well", I said, "it's too late now."

Then when we walked into the site, it all became clear to us... and we let our humors out of the bag.  There before us was a table with striped shirts and signs to hold.

And a camera. Have you noticed that I'm not shy around cameras? The photographer couldn't help but laugh when I struck my notorious pose. I think this picture will help lots of babies! *squeee!

My partner in crime, Kylie also mugged for a shot; then we went to get our lunch. While we were chowing down, we figured out that we were volunteering our cell phones and address books for the cause. They wanted us to call anyone we knew to ask to donate to the March of Dimes.

Only problem, Kylie forgot her phone (VERY CONVENIENT if you ask me).  So we decided that we would save time and just send a mass text message with a photo of us in jail.  Then of course we would call the numbers we had memorized, and tell them all about the babies *Squeee!

Oh, and you can bet that we had it on que, when ever one of us said "babies" the other *squeeed on command. We had it down. The organizers were cracking up at our antics. Some people weren't quite sure what were doing, so we explained that we weren't imitating babies (*squee!) we were voicing the reaction of people when they see really cute babies. Their voice gets really high, they get all excited, and they, well, Squeee.

It worked wonders and we  squeed some donations, made people laugh, and had fun for the afternoon. Not to mentions got some awesome pictures for the ol' blog.

Monday, November 9, 2009

In Howktown, you must past this test.

Showing Doug the National Geographic Ropes

It has come to pass in Howktown, that in order to be fully integrated into The Family, you must complete an unmentioned number of tasks.  I'm sure every family has their little tests to see if you made it into the fold, and far be it for us to be any different. 

Heh, well, I guess it isn't that far fetched to be a little different here in Howktown. 

That being said, I think that I can reveal the most difficult test to pass here in Howktown; playing National Geographic Explorer: Global Pursuit circa 1987. 

My sisters and I acquired this game as a Christmas Present via Santa Claus.  This guy must of really knew what he was doing that year, which I believe was 1987, or '88.  We dove into the game and it's maps and read through the questions and gobbled it up year after year. 

Depending on what topics we were studying in school would determine how well we were doing that year, but it always seemed that my Dad won the game.  We girls moved off to college and the game was only played occasionally when we were all home at the same time.  We tried to include other friends and extended family members in the game, and usually with dire consequences. One aunt refused to play games at our house after their inaugural game.  I mistakenly told a friend that I didn't think she'd like the game when she asked about it, and she subsequently stopped being my friend.  

Then one year we noticed that some of the questions weren't so accurate anymore. I mean the Berlin Wall had not yet fallen when this game was penned! In questions regarding territories and country flags we started each questions with the caveat: In 1987.... 

The questions became out of date, and yet we kept playing. We could not stop. Both of my brothers-in-law were made to play The Game and Barrett giggled like a girl when he played. It turned out The First Lady was the first person he met that had also played this game (and he the first we'd met!) and it solidified his marital choice.

Saturday we pulled out the game in early celebration of the First Lady's birthday and it was an exciting game that had a lot of firsts.  It was the first time we all had to play couples, it was Doug's induction into the family game, and it was William's first game.  William, age 6, read helped me read the questions and amazed us all with his reading abilities.  Doug, having been the last in turn to play, only got answer two questions the whole game, so he felt a little bored about it all. I don't blame him, for a first game it was overwhelming. 

Playing this game has gone beyond the actual enjoyment of the processes of the game. It has become tradition more revered than turkey on Thanksgiving in this house. Christmas Eve dinner can consist of anything from Tacos to Lasagna, and it doesn't matter what day we open presents. However, if we are playing The Game, the whole family joins in. It's about sitting around the table and looking at each others faces as we talk and laugh. It's about helping each other match the map pieces, and giving each other clues to the trivia questions. Playing this game is what it means to be in our family. 

So, if you want into to Howktown, study up. There'll be a quiz and game on Monday.

memorable moments of my weekend.

Friday, November 6, 2009

How to get out of a Funk - Howktown Style

So, my sister says to me today.

"I'm in a funk, today. Any suggestions? I already googled how to get out of a funk."

Naturally, I had some suggestions, but I thought I would check out what google had to offer..
hmm, exercise, exercise, change your routine, think happy thoughts... yeah, yeah,  yeah.

That seems to be some really vague advice. I like to get more specific.

First. Don't just exercise. Go to your music playing device and find Elvis Presely "A Little Less Conversation",

Then Dance your dag gurn fool ass off. Let it fly. Don't be shy, just flail and flop about. That's the best way.

Second: Drink a lot of water. Why? Well, you're probably just dehydrated and it's hard to worry about the stuff in your life when you're always running to the bathroom. It's proven. In Howktown.

Third: Dark Chocolate. The endorphin inducing, anti oxidant containing, deliciousness is truly a SUPERfood, so eat it, smell it, drink it, sprinkle it on your cornflakes. What ever you have to do.

Fourth: Do a search for Jack Handy Quotes... you'll find gems like these: "If you're robbing a bank and you're pants fall down, I think it's okay to laugh and to let the hostages laugh too, because, come on, life is funny."

I think that about says it all, don't you?


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thanking people is the bomb.

Sara, I can't thank you enough for the wonderful email. You made my day..or week...or month. You are the reason we keep doing this business. We love the people we come in contact with. And yes, I do love the teaching part! Thank you again. Ginger

-----Original Message----- From: "Ingvaldson, Sara J 46K" Sent: Nov 4, 2009 7:55 AM To: Subject: Minnesota Renn Fest 09 travelers sax
<> <> <>

I would like to extend my thanks to you for two reasons.
One, we bought a travelers saxophone at the Renn Fest in Minnesota this past summer and the whole interaction was a highlight of our year. Ginger was really enthusiastic and proud to show us the instruments. My husband, Barrett, was in awe and absolutely intriqued by the travelers sax. He stood back hesitantly; gazing with longing at the instruments. When asked if he wanted to try it; he shrugged and said he couldn't play instruments. That he appreciated them but wasn't musically inclined. That just seemed to spur Ginger on in sharing. She showed Barrett how to hold it and how to blow with the reed. She showed him how to read the fingering charts that came with it and where to get more music. Ginger is a gifted teacher.
My husband was so happy; how could we deny him such a gift. We bought one. The second thanks goes out because until now, my husband was a collector of instruments from around the world. They hang with pride on our walls. Your instrument isn't hung with them. It's played. By both of us. It is brought out for visitors and has gone camping with us.
Thank you; thank you; thank you!
Sara (& Barrett)

Monday, November 2, 2009

my boy

There are currenty six boys in my backyard.
Only one of them is mine. They are playing football, a game my son, at such a tender age, doesn't know how to play. He is standing in the middle of the group of kids -- all older than him, some much older -- with his hands waving in the air, desperate to be included as the other boys pass and throw around him.
I want to go out there and tell them to let everyone play. I want to stand on the deck, making sure those older neighborhood roughians whom I have never seen before know my boy isn't one to be triffled with.
But I know better. Instead, I stand anxiously at the window. Occastionally pacing back and forth, stopping myself from being the overprotective mother of a preschooler to the watchful eye of a first-grader.

My Closet Is a Treasure Trove!

You know, I don't know how this happened to me. My closest friends are Halloween fiends. FIENDS I TELL YOU!  I have more than on friend that spends 12 months planning, 6 months collecting, and 1 month preparing and then the appropriately name HELL WEEK decorating and making the final preparations for the big day.
Me. I could care less.
I never trick - or -treated as kid. My father didn't believe in begging, and going door to door asking for something we didn't even need, didn't fall under productive activities for his kids.  I'm kind of clueless when it comes to costumes, and I refuse to pay $80+ for the CHEAP ones at the store.
What does a girl do then, when she has to go to a Halloween Party? I do like parties, after all. I remind myself of that every year, it just a party... with costumes. I wait until the very last minute to come up with a costume. I rely on what seems to be a very boring wardrobe and my creative sensibilities and whip something out fast. It usually involves some silly trendy outfit that I purchased in the past, or some crazy hat that I own, and the one or two wigs, leather pants, evening gowns, fake eyelashes that I wore in my poser punk rock years...
Huh. My costume every year seems to be some internal interpretation of myself. It's made of things that I've owned for a long time or considered part of my everyday wardrobe.  Very interesting.

Well, it seems to be working, so I don't plan to change my methods.  Oh, I wait until the last minute to by Christmas presents, too... but that's another post.

I do have to go to the bathroom

Nothing irritates me more than going home and having the family make some remark about how I used to go to the bathroom to get out of doing dishes.

I denied this and planned on denying this to the end of time.

I routinely mutter to myself on trips to the bathroom. It's my bodies natural response to taking time to sit still for a while and in processing the food which I am eating. It's not like I never did dishes. It's not like the dishes were more often than not waiting for me. 'Dang! Leave me alone', I thought. It's not like I wasn't doing anything in the bathroom. I WAS doing the appropriately approved activities that one does sitting on the toilet.

But still...the mockery goes on. At least once a year. And my silent continual mutterings while I go to the bathroom in between eating and doing the dishes about how, see.. i do have to go. I am not trying to get out of something. avoiding work. avoiding my fair share. it's JUST. NOT. TRUE.

Friday, at work, I was again feeling the weight of being the ONLY one working, the ONLY one taking on their fair share, when another requested task was posted...Fine, I will do it..AFTER I GO TO THE BATHROOM. if no one has taken it by the time I get back.

I stand corrected. I don't go to the bathroom to get out of work...I go to the bathroom to..prepare and compose myself for the upcoming work..yeah, that's it.