Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bear Bait

Hey, guess who never blogs anymore?  Me!  Except for today.  Today I'm blogging.  Here's a funny story for you.  One of Mitch's friends is going to be bear hunting this fall.  Bear hunters leave bait out for the bears for a while before hunting season starts to lure the bears to a certain spot so when the time comes for the hunting to start, it's super easy to go to the local bears' new favorite restaurant and shoot them which I would fully support if panda bears lived around here. Of course, stupid pandas won't eat anything but stupid bamboo so baiting would be pretty boring and easy.  Just like panda bears.  Anyway, Minnesota black bears like to eat what people like to eat so bear bait is pretty good stuff. Pastry and bacon and stuff.

Mitch's friend Frank is going to bear hunting this fall and he's leaving strawberry preserves and granola. Pretty high quality bait!   Way to go, Frank!  Mitch thinks it sounds delicious too so he keeps bugging Frank about where the bait is being left.  Frank won't tell him because he doesn't want Mitch going there and eating it.  Ridiculous, right?  Right.

We were talking about this while eating dinner tonite, and Kira said, "Our neighbor baits bears.  He leaves bacon and donuts."  We were quiet, all of us thinking the same question but not daring to actually say the words.  I think she sensed it, but didn't say anything in her defense because she couldn't deny the question that was on all of our minds, and now, because of her silence, we all know she is out in the woods eating bear bait bacon.

So Frank, where DO you leave your bait???


What would make this delicious breakfast better?  Bear bait, of course!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Drama

I hate drama and conflict.  I hate when people do things just for the sole purpose of making someone else feel bad so I'm not even going to go into great detail about the drama I have experienced this summer other than to tell you that it has happened at the rowing club between the "elite" set and the amateurs.  What I love about this whole topic is the way that some of the ladies on my team have handled. it.  I love my ladies. Today I'm going to tell you about Leigh.

When a team of my ladies were docking a quad one day, they bumped the dock.  Rowing shells are very delicate so it's never a good idea to run into anything.  Duh.  Everyone knows that, but docking is hard.  The ladies didn't do any damage to the shell, and certainly didn't want to dock the boat badly, but a woman from the more elite group saw it happen and barreled down to the dock and screamed her head off at my ladies. The coxswain in our team's boat, Leigh, is a retired police officer and triathlete.  She interrupted the screamer and told her not to talk to anyone of the ladies until they had gotten out of the boat.  (that's rowing protocol)  Once they got out of the boat Leigh calmly, quietly, and efficiently handled the screamer, reminding her that nobody WANTS to damage shells, mistakes happen, no damage was done, screaming doesn't solve anything, it just pisses people off, and finally she said, "You are not allowed to talk to me again," which is genius.

Another day we were carrying the 8 boat from the lake side and we set it down in slings to dry it off.  The same screamer came out and yelled about how we almost laid the boat down on the impeller (delicate plastic thingy on the bottom of the boat) and "everyone who knows anything knows not to do that."  Leigh handled it again saying, Thank you for your comments, and 1. We didn't lay it on the impeller.  2. If you thought we were going to lay it on the impeller, why didn't you speak up before we did it, and  3. I thought I told you you were not allowed to talk to me again.

I love that woman.

We have pretty accomplished women on our team.  Leigh was pretty high in the police ranks when she retired last year.  We also have a lawyer who is a retired FBI agent, a doctor, and several business owners.  I really can't believe the way that they (we) have been disrespected by a small contingent of other rowers and fellow club members.  I think the problem the other rowers have with our team is that for the most part, the women on our team are fearless.  A couple of our novice rowers (including Leigh) took out a double sweeper boat last week.  People were up in arms about it because usually it takes rowers three or four years to advance to that level.  It went fine.  They did very well.  It's not rocket science, it's moving a boat.

I think we need to start going to board meetings.  Well, the other ladies can.  I don't like conflict.  ;) 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rowing Novice

Hello again.  Two days in a row.  What do you think of that?  Looks as if our dry spell is over.... or is it....

Today I'm going to catch you up on my athletic career.  As you know from my post in June, I joined the local rowing club.  Isn't that cool?  I think it's pretty cool.  Why?  Because a few years ago I would have never imagined me, a huge chicken, rowing a skinny, tippy boat in the middle of the Duluth Harbor, where people DIE every year.  But I do that now.  Regularly.

I joined a team of ladies who row that I met at the gym.  It's been lots of fun, but I have found there are two kinds of people at the rowing club:  A group who just wants to get out on the water and practice, workout, and have fun.  And a group who wants to keep the club exclusive to a very elite and superior group.  The team I am on is in the first group and we have a couple of coaches who are elite quality rowers. The ladies that row in the 8 oared boat are pretty tight.


This is us at the Duluth Regatta in June.  The lady in the blue hat isn't technically part of our team, but she's a good sport and sat in with us for our regatta.  She's what you would call an elite rower.  The rest of us are either novices or amateurs.  We are learning, and practicing, and having lots of fun.  

So my schedule almost every day this summer has been to get up at 4:30 in the morning, drive down to the lake, and then row in either a single, double, quad or the 8 boat.  It has been fantastic.  Sometimes I just have to stop and look around and say, wow, I can't believe I'm doing this.  

Sometimes we have to carry the boats across the point to the lakeside because of wind conditions.  When we do that the lake is usually like glass and the sun is just coming up.  It is gorgeous.  

We are not the best rowers in the world, but we aren't bad.  If we can keep the team together for at least a few years, I think we will be better and better.  We are going to participate in the Master's National Championships next week.  I will be in two races in the 8 boat.  I am really looking forward to it.  

There is something really special about being on a rowing team.  When you're in the boat you have to work together, in total unison, or the boat doesn't move as well as it could.  When we are in total unison, it's like magic.  It's smooth and fast and exciting.  You can feel in your feet and your butt when everyone is moving together perfectly.  It is really amazing.  When you're in a boat with other people there are no good rowers or bad rowers.  The team is only as good as the worst rower (usually me) and thankfully my team is supportive and very forgiving.  We are literally all in the same boat.  Rowing is a lot harder than it looks.  It's very technical and you have to think about it and work all the angles all the time.  We are always striving for the perfect stroke.  Mine are getting better, but they are still few and far between.  The ladies I have met and had the pleasure of spending time with this summer are amazing. They are kind, and brave in every sense of the word, and we have all become very close knit.  

Tomorrow:  Drama drama drama!!! (more rowing)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Movie Review: D of the P of the A

I went to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the other day.  I don't really have much to say about it except:

1.  It wasn't as good as R of the P of the A.
2.  Ceasar, the main monkey character, was handsome and dignified.
3.  I got everything I ever wanted out of life when I saw a chimp on the back of a stampeding horse shooting two machine guns.  


I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me...

Hi.  I haven't posted anything on here since June.  That's so super lame.  I'm sorry.  I have lots of excuses, but they are only excuses.  Excuses are lame.

So what did you miss?

1.  Kira has been funny
2.  I've been a super athlete
3.  I've had a fun summer
4.  I'm excited for the new school year.
5.  Drama drama drama!

Today I'll I'm going to tell you about his Kira.  She is a funny girl.  She's 14 now and has requested that I not blog about her, but she's conflicted because she likes people to know about how funny she is, but she does't want me to talk about her to anyone because I'm her mother and THAT'S EMBARRASSING!

Mitch and I went out AT NIGHT last week without her.  We were going to be out late and Kira was going to be home alone.  Part of me thought she might be apprehensive about being home alone at night, but she assured us she was FINE and to just GO.  Around ten o'clock I got a text from her.  I thought, well, this is it, she wants us to come home.  Here's the text:


Yeah, that's right, she wanted me to know she had the shower of a blind amputee.  What a weirdo.  She was in bed when we got home, but let me tell you, I got a good look at her the next morning and she wasn't all that clean.  I told her I was impressed with her imagination, but not too impressed with the quality of the shower.  She said she thinks she must have shampooed with conditioner because, you know, eyes closed.  She's been working on it and is getting it down.  She said she can now recognize shampoo because of the lather.

The other night at the dinner table we were telling the kids how they are lucky because they have many advantages over their peers.  They wanted to know like what kind of advantages, and we said that they are lucky because their parents are financially secure and our family is intact.  Those two things alone makes a huge difference in a kid's life.  Kira said, "We are not an intact family.  Grandma's uncle got his leg cut off by a train.  Remember?" (duh!?)

Mitch's and Sam's and my jaws dropped.  What???  We had to explain to her what the term "intact family" meant.

I kind of love how her brain works.

But also, because she is 14, the worst age in the world, she is a smartass.  We went swimming at Lake Superior the other day because the waves were big.  That's always fun.  I was trying to balance having a fun and exciting swimming day with being a good parent so I said, "You remember what to do if you get caught in a rip tide, right?"  (the answer is to swim easy, parallel to the shore until you can get out of it.  She KNOWS this.)  She said, "Oh yeah, you swim STRAIGHT OUT!" and pointed into the endless, dangerous oblivion of the lake.  I got some more gray hairs that day.

Okay, that's enough for today.  More tomorrow on the topic of being a super athlete.  Here's a teaser:


I'm third from the back.  I look like a fly with a tiny yellow mustache.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Eager Volunteer

It's Summer Vacation!!!!!! I'm pretty happy about it. I joined the Duluth Rowing Club and have been out rowing with the master's rowing team a few times. I was signing my membership form the other day, and there is a line on it that says members are expected to contribute 10 hours of volunteer time to the club sometime throughout the year.


I read that out loud to Mitch and he said, “Well, you may as well just tear it up! They should know YOU are NOT going to do THAT!”


I know what you are saying. You are saying, “God, Sarah, why is he being such a bitch?” Let me explain his position and maybe you will understand.


When the kids were very small and were involved in the city hockey league, I got a call out of the blue from a woman I had never met. I wasn't that crazy about the kids being in organized hockey in the first place because in case you didn't know it, hockey parents in Minnesota tend to lose their minds about hockey. Most of the parents are decent people, but they can't make up for the wackos that constantly screech asinine things from bleachers during games like, “GET THE PUCK!” and “Put it IN THE NET!” (No shit.) Or worse yet, they clang cowbells. These people have shopped for, and remembered to bring COWBELLS to clang nonstop, indoors, amongst crowds of people. Who does that?


Anyway, back to the call from the woman I never met: She left a looooooong, obnoxious message on my voicemail that outlined the many hours I would be volunteering for that WEEK, and where and when I should show up. She didn't ask if I wanted to do it, she didn't even ask me to call her back to talk about volunteering, she just assumed I had nothing better to do than work at a concession stand and sell Ring Pops to kids with snot trails on their faces that they can't even feel because they are so cold, and then just stand there and watch while they eat them. That's torture, not volunteering.


For some reason that phone call flipped a switch of stubbornness in me that even after a decade, I can't switch off, and here's why: Volunteering is optional. It is something one does because they feel compelled to contribute their time to a cause that they feel is worthwhile. Calling someone and TELLING them when they will be volunteering, and assuming they will just do it goes against the very nature of volunteering. So I refused to do it. Did I feel guilty leaving all the burden for rink flooding, locker-room supervising, and concession stand-manning to Mitch? A little, but not enough to give in.


I know what you are thinking, “Hey Sarah, in all the years your kids have been involved in hockey, haven't any parents ever asked where you are and why you aren't volunteering?” Good question. Sure they have, but Mitch tells them, “She didn't pass the background check,” and they drop the subject.


And I'm okay with that.


Now you're saying, “But Sarah, you're a teacher. Of course you've passed a background check!” Well, the hockey parent's haven't put two and two together yet. Big shirts, little hats, apparently.



So now you are wondering if I am going to let the ten hours of “mandatory volunteering” keep me from joining the rowing club. No, I will do it. It's ten hours, not 8 million like the hockey league expects. And it probably won't involve watching kids with blue lips suck on disgusting Ring Pops.   

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Horse Self

TWO YEARS ago, I wrote this post about how Mitch verbally abuses me.  He still brings up the fact that if I was a horse, I would in NO WAY be the horse in the picture I used for the post.  He says I really must think I'm something if I think I would look like that as a horse, because that horse is magnificent.

this horse

Honestly, I just Googled a picture of a brown horse and picked that one because it looked nice.  I didn't really think that I would look like that as a horse because who thinks that?  Who thinks, "I wonder what I would look like if I were a horse?" and then searches for pictures of horses who they think they would look like?  Not me.  I mean, I know if I were a horse, I'd be a brown horse, but that's about it.  I suppose I subconsciously chose a brown horse because I think I'd be a brown horse if I were a horse.  So why wouldn't I choose a magnificent horse???

The other day when Mitch brought it up again ("Remember when you posted that picture of a horse on your blog? I can't believe you think you would look like that if you were a horse,") I gave in and asked him what kind of horse I would be if I were a horse.  He thought about it for a few seconds and then said, "You'd be a pony."  I thought awww sweet, he thinks I'm cute and good with children!  Then he added, "They live forever and are mean the whole time."   Then he said, "Just kidding!" and said I'd be a fjord horse "because they are so friendly." Here's a fjord horse.

WTF, Mitch?
I was instructed that the friendliness was where the comparison ended, and not to focus on the short stumpy legs and thick body.  He was starting to get in pretty deep.

Last night my friend Ann, who has a pony and a horse, posted this great picture on Facebook:


I showed Mitch the picture and asked him which of these two horses I would look like, if I were a horse. He laughed and laughed. It was a nervous laugh. I don't know why. I think it is obvious that I would be the big brown beautiful horse. Not the pudgy pony. It's not a trick question, Mitch. Just tell the truth. Would I be the sleek shiny brown horse, or the pony with a stumpy neck and thunder thighs?  Huh?  Which one?

So I challenged him to find a picture of what he would look like as a horse.  He actually Googled "What would I look like as a horse."  And this is what he swears Google came up with:

Yeah, right.
Today he sent me this in an email that just said, "My horse self"

my husband

So what would you look like if you were a horse?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Belated Easter!

Happy Spring Holiday of Choice, Peeps!

My dad sent my sisturds and me this email about Easters past in the Lindahl family and I thought it was pretty sweet.

Happy Easter Girls:
I was thinking of past Easters when I was a teen this morning. Mom would get us up and ready for church. We would all troop to the little Church of the Redeemer a block away (in my tweed sport jacket and buzz cut haircut-I was so cool then) . I was an acolyte so I carried the cross at the beginning and end of the service and sat in the choir seats during the (I thought overly long) service. After the service we would go home to a meal of elephant ears (pastries) oranges, coffee, and other snacks. Later on we would either go to Gunnie and Louellas or Sarah and Toddy's for Easter dinner or they would come to our house depending on the rotation I suppose. Big meal of ham, potatoes, salads, pies, etc. etc. Then it was just an afternoon of visiting. Easter evening meal was leftovers and that finished the holiday. Seems like a million years ago. I kind of miss some of it but not all of it. Hope you three had a pleasant day. Love you! Dad

My Pops doing his church duty.

My sisters and me with Grandma Lindahl.  



Friday, April 4, 2014

Kira in the Car

Kira:  This water bottle make this water taste soapyyyyyy.

Mitch:  Yuck.  Why do you keep drinking it?

Kira:  It tastes good.

Mitch:  Kira, you shouldn't drink soapy water.  It gives you diarrhea.

Kira:  It doesn't bother me.

Mitch:  You mean soapy water doesn't give you diarrhea? 

Kira:  No.  I don't mind diarrhea.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Movie Review: Divergent (?)

Kira and I went to see the movie Divergent last weekend.  She has read the trilogy, and I chose the first book for my bookclub. Don't spill to the bookclub ladies that I went and saw it. I'm enough of a slacker at bookclub as it is.

The main character is Tris, a teenager living in a post-apocalyptic world where society has been reconfigured into five factions:  Abnegation, Dauntless, Gryffindor, District 12, and the Shire.  When kids are a certain age they take a test to see which of these factions they belong in.  Katniss's test is inconclusive.  She fits into three of the categories, and apparently (?) that is bad (?) for some reason (?). She gets to tell the sorting hat which faction she wants to be in anyway, so I don't really see the big deal about fitting into more than one faction.

She chooses to be in Gryffindor (District 12 (?) Dauntless (?)) and she is chosen to take part in a nasty game of Quidditch that pits teens against teens in a fight to the death.  She goes to a camp for the faction she has chosen so that she can learn to fight. She sucks. The place where they have the camp is not very nice. Cavey. And there is a giant pit and lots of bridges. Lots of kids trip and fall into the pit, or are pushed into the pit, or jump voluntarily into the pit. I think they should just get rid of that pit. They need a place with some natural light and level floors.

Tattoos figure prominently in the movie. And so does Kate Blanchett. (?) No, Kate Winslet. (?) The one who was in the sinking-ship movie, Poseidon (?).  Kate is bad news, but she wears the hell out of a dark blue business suit.   And why is she the boss?  Why does everyone do what she says?  I don't know.  I didn't watch very closely.

I might have to read the book. (?)

Katris and her Mockingjay tats

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Aging Gracelessly

I am in my forties and have been waiting to start getting old. I know people in their forties who already are old. They are no fun. They think they know everything. They complain about aches and pains. They think their life is over. They are offended by things that are "inappropriate." I am none of those things. Immaturity has helped keep me young at heart. However, I have lately been made aware of a mannerism I have recently(?) developed that is making me seem old.

Apparently, I have the vocabulary of an eighty-five year old woman. Here is a comment I made on Facebook this morning about a movie my friend Katie posted:



Yes, I did notice it when I wrote it, and thought it seemed a little strange, but I went with it anyway, mostly because I had already pushed enter.

The other day I wanted to convey to Mitch that I have lots of energy lately, however, the words I actually said were, "I have a lot of zip." We laughed and laughed. I heard the ridiculousness of it one millisecond after it left my mouth. Mitch is still making fun of me. The problem is this: ten years ago, I might have thought the words, but then had time to filter them so I didn't actually say them. My filter is slowing down. My filter didn't catch the words until they were already out.

So my aging is taking the form of not being able to filter slang from the 1940s and keep it from making me look foolish. But you know what? I am not going to knock myself out over it because the next time someone calls me on it I'm just going to say, "Listen, Babydoll, don't flip your wing over the way I rap, because I am the bees knees and you are applesauce."  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Another Adult Internet Friend Sending My Daughter Stuff In The Mail

If you work in a school, like I do, you hear lots of well-meaning advice about not giving too much information about yourself and -god forbid- your children out over the internet.  After all, it's a place jammed with predators just waiting for an address to be carelessly shared, or looking at Instagram pictures for a school sign or landmark so they can come and find you and your children and do unspeakable things. Right?

Not so much.

Well, not so far, anyway.

My daughter Kira is practically the star of this blog because she is so weird and funny.  I write about her a lot, and because of this she has some fans and friends who happen to be people she doesn't know who are adults.  Creepy?  Maybe a little.  But sweet all the same.  A few years ago Kira got a package in the mail from a blog follower, Jane.  Jane and Kira are two sides of the same coin.  Kira and I both thought sharing too much information about her was for the best when she got Jane's fake roach in the mail and Kira went on to scare the life out of my sister with it.  Win-win for everyone (except Beth).

Yesterday Kira got another package and a note in the mail from a blog friend.




It's from Kady from A Lady Reveals Nothing.  She remembered a post from last summer about how Kira longs for quality toilet paper and never gets it, and she sent her some (half a roll, but she'll take it where she can get it). Sure, Kady might have the handwriting of a serial killer, but her heart is in the right place.  The note and package made our day.  The fact that she said she's been "saving up" since last summer and "here is half a roll" cracked us all up.  I picture Kady getting a cardboard middle out of some public bathroom garbage can and diligently adding a few squares of Charmin to it every day.  The fact that the notecard has a pedophile van on it, and it says "Thinking of You" is still making me laugh.  (Maybe I shouldn't be a parent), and the fact that Kady has taken on the title of the "Fairy Toilet Paper Mother," made my day.

Thank you, Fairy Toilet Paper Mother, for sending my child a weird package in the mail based on what I overshare on the internet.  You are the BEST!