Stop Touching Things

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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I would just like to mention before the year is up...

Some things I've noticed in the last year week:

One: I'm addicted to online scrabble

Two: I am a multi-tabber in my web-browser and why won't scrabble load while I'm in another tab! Like it knows that I'm not really paying attention to it, so it just stops talking until you are paying attention again, all the while giving you a dirty look. That's how I feel when I ignore scrabble when it's loading.  Please don't hate me scrabble. I need you!

Three: Hold on it's my turn in scrabble...


The official telephone of Howktown is now: Chocolate. Yes. That's right.

Now I just have to figure out how to use the dang thing... after scrabble of course.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas to Remember

I'll have work on this entry way

There are a lot of things to make this year a pretty memorable Christmas.  The least of which is the 2 feet of snow that has showed up on my front door in the last couple days.  Luckily I didn't have too many places to go, so I'm not sweatin' it too bad.

Oh No! Ski hill too steep!

We donned the skis and snowshoes and made it as far as the front yard. We built a pretty sweet snowman complete with carrot nose, dug two snow forts at the end of the driveway, AND had a snow bank high enough in the yard to have a snowpant sliding hill. Even The Queen Mother of Howktown slid down on her butt.

Snowball fight with himself

Let's not forget the snow balls, either. The snow is so deep neither the kids nor the dog could walk in the yard unless the adults packed down a path for them.   Good times were had by all...

Of course I'm leaving out the highlight of my Christmas with my family. Yes it involves presents. It shouldn't be mistaken for material values over family togetherness. It was really the reaction to the greatest gift ever. The look on her face is one that I will never forget.

Walleye cribbage board with bobber pegs and antique fishing lure playing cards

It was worth all the torment. Because she just about threw up when she saw it, AND simultaneously her husband was giggling with glee at the awesomeness.  She did come around when it came out the package and she realized it wasn't as awful as I made it seem.

In return, my mom and she acquired a very cool and unexpected gift for me. They happened to run into Christopher Straub (of last season's Project Runway fame, who is from MN) at an art fair and picked out a very cool wallet that he signed!

Oh, and she cut up a children's sweater to make me matching wrist cozies and leg warmers. Tre` Chic!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Coloring Contest News

This is the winning entry to the coloring contest. Notice the shading? Notice the atmospheric perspective? Notice the creature reaching it's hand up from the bluish pool?

A winning entry indeed!

As for the prize:

I lost my silly putty at the Chinese Buffet.

I am a creature of habit without any habits.

"But, Barrett..the problem is I am a creature of habit"
"NO you're have NO habits, that's the problem"
"You're RIGHT!, I am a creature of habit with not habits...can you see now how lost I must be"

yes, this was a conversation resulting from the departure of my family estate in Fairmont after the family christmas. The family christmas in which one gift was a cell phone platform so that I was able to locate my phone when the family calls. Barrett and I departed. 5 minutes past the overly bright neon Walmart that seems to define the end of Fairmont, Barrett recieved a call. The car was turned around and I was met at the door by Erin, my cell phone, and a not so subtle demand for money. I ran to the running car and thought that my arrival at home signified something like a successful trip home. I layed down, let my mind stop swirling, and realized that Fairmont.

No worries, I wrote these pretty cool Haiku's.

creature of habit
i am without habits
easy to seem lost

keys coat money purse
can locate myself only
relax i'll find them

lost in a vortex
Myself but nothing else here
day in and day out

everything works out in the end.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I've never owned Silly Putty

When they told me that there was going to be a coloring contest at work, I knew I had a chance. I do, after all, have an art degree.

Then they told me that the winner usually does way more than colors in between the line.  Gotcha, I've got a great imagination. In fact I love making things up. It's the best part of my day... especially if there are kids involved (though if they ask, I do tell them if I'm just pretending).

Okay, I'm up for this! I can win this! I didn't want to get all cocky though, since this would be my first coloring contest.

I brought my sheet home, got out the water colors, technical pens, and colored pencils. I added dialog and background pictures. There was shading.

Now, I almost went so far as to add 3-dimensions have cut outs, but I thought I might be going a little too far.

I posted my pic with the rest, and mine did stand out. Most kept there designs to the picture and use of crayons. It did look like maybe I was trying a little too hard, or maybe showing off a little bit. I mean, water colors AND colored pencil. Geez, Erin. 

Well, guess what Punks. I WON!  It was a three way tie, and I was the tie breaker winner.  Sweet! I won silly putty and Milk Chocolate Hersey Kisses.

I've never owned Silly Putty before, and the kisses will be going at the front desk, because we all know how I feel about chocolate. So watch out newspapers! I'll be acting like kid with whose never played with silly putty before, making transfers they they are going out of style.

Man, I'm glad that degree was good for something.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Playin' Barbies

Cast of "The Howktown Dollies"

I heard recently that "As the World Turns" is going off the air after over 60 years of soap opera sudsiness. Normally, I wouldn't care too much because I'm not really a soap opera watcher.  I don't set my TiVo, VCR, or rearrange my schedule to keep up with "The Story" as my grandmother used to call them....

but that's just it. My grandmother used to watch the same story that my Mom watches, and frankly, I watched all growing up.  I've been watching As the World Turns since I was an infant, and my mother since she was 8 years old with her mother.

I can walk into my mother's house when she watching ATWT and reasonably understand the story line. It's not too hard, they don't change much. The actors playing the characters change more than the story lines.

My mother said ATWT was her family when she and my dad were overseas or far away from home in the military housing. She knows all the kids and grandkids of the characters and all the illnesses the actors have struggled with.

I honestly can't say that I'll miss the story when the show is off the air... but I do think I feel like I'll notice something not quite right in the early afternoon. I'll feel like there is something I should be doing with my mother at this time. I'm sure we'll find something else to watch together. HGTV, Food Network, or you know... Y'n'R.*

While playing barbies with my niece, I realized that the soap opera is not completely dead in Howktown. In fact it's the same ol' story line.  We created our own Howktown Soap Opera, The Howktown Dollies, and boy, you would not believe what is happening there! Yikes!

Let me tell you. Rock and Roll Relationships never work out.


*Young and the Restless for those who don't know.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sex ed comes to Saariburg

I knew the day would come.
I had heard it always catches you off guard.
But at a peaceful family dinner as William mused about the Virgin Mary, it suddenly occurred to him he didn't know what a virgin was.
And it happened.
The blush inducing, stammering, ummm..., ahhh..., well...,
And I did it. I just sucked it up, and I told him what a virgin was. He was non-plussed. Immediately returning to his non-stop rambling on a different topic, Kevin and I realized we had done the right thing.
Bolstered by our success, when William found a "where do babies come from" book at the library, he let him check it out.
What followed was a weekend long sex ed course. The book, written for kids without leaving anything out, is illustrated with smiling eggs, eager sperm, and several drawings of body parts, with and without child.
The children are fascinated. William is reading this book to himself, having us read it to him, and spending several minutes (a long time for him) looking over the pictures.
Amy is interested, but is clearly not grasping the concept. She just enjoys speculating how long it takes for the pee to get all the way from the stomach to the bladder, depending on if you are a baby or a teenager or an old lady.
Let's just say, fallopian tube is a common word in Saariburg.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Breaking news from Ingvaldia

It may be true that allergies are contagious.

The Howk family line has seen a spread of allergic reaction/sensitivies in the last five years that has spread from one end of the family to another.

Looking back into the Howk sister childhood, a typical family supper included the 4 food groups, cultural norms such as buttered bread and hotdish. The same on each person's plate.

That is not the case now. No one eats the same dish. Not because they are picky but because they can't.

The list goes on: lentils, wheat, eggs, beef, peas, dairy, peanuts, treenuts, blackbeans, blah blah blah.

Last night it was reported by spouse of Howk sister 1, (who has hinted at times to childhood allergies and an ongoing allergy to neoprene-this info is to be disregarded for entertainment purposes of this article), that low and behold, while eating Howk sister 1's soy yogurt, experienced a tingling sensation in mouth, followed by red chappiness in corners of mouth.

Could it be proof that allergies are catching?
Could it be a cry to be included?

Only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009



Tuesday 12/8/09 at 2:30 PM.  Snowing sideways.


* Cat's lack of interest in mouse, causes him to leave it lying there on Erin's bed after killing it.

* Toilet overflows at work, almost soaking shoes of floor mopper

* Polenta makes the dinner

* Banana fudge bundt cake sways opinions of non-believers.

* Computers are a hassle.

* Book Club book full of hooglie googlie

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Torment is Love, right?

Now that the craziness of Thanksgiving is over, I can take a little breath and tell you about something that I've been meaning to tell you about for a long time.

It has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, at least not directly. Are you disappointed that I'm not going to talk about the crazy dinner, surprise guests, full length table of food, and the Holiday Haikus that I suggested and my sisters pulled off while I was clucking around in the kitchen?  Ah, that's boring, lets talk about our family members. Namely my sister, The First Lady of Ingvaldia, Sara.

See, I've been tormenting her for YEARS. It's true. She made the mistake of telling the whole family when she got married that Under NO Circumstances, did she want "FISH" items.  "Just because we LOVE fishing, doesn't mean I want a SWEATSHIRT with a WALLEYE on it!" She declared.

As you can imagine, that hasn't stopped me from finding exceptional examples of fish related items, taking pictures of them and sending them to her on her phone with a not so veiled threat... That I'm at the store now buying this for you. HAHAHAHAHA.

It started out simple enough. One really ugly fish head photo holder just couldn't be passed up. I had to show it to her. Of course, it really was just a gateway. A gateway of torment, that was really just my way of showing love... Right?

Every store I walked into, every catalog I opened. Garage Sales, Craft Shows, Festivals... all full of glorious ways to taunt my fish loving sister.

There wasn't anything more to it... but the examples... they  just kept coming.

There were the lamps that were fashioned to look like a walleye jumping out of the water, the wire mesh chip basket with a dip bowl in the tail (and mini fish hanging off the side), the stained glass suncatchers, the pot racks that looked like a giant lure.

The best part of it, however, was Sara's reaction to everything I showed or sent to her. Sometimes she would walk away without acknowledging the awesomeness that I was showing her.  Other times she tried to play it cool, because she knew (or did she?) that I was just playin' her. When she started to act like it was no big deal, that I wouldn't really do it... I reminded her that it might be true that I wouldn't get something for her... but her husband was fair game.  He already had a "Rather be Fishing" bumper sticker.

That's when she would turn a shade lighter and try to change the subject.

All I have to say is... Christmas is a comin'! Will I?

heheheheh HAHAHAHAHA hheheheheh HAHAHAHA