Thursday, February 26, 2009

How are YOU surviving the recession?

Don't forget to visit my alternate blog The Endurance Diva! And email me your stories, ideas, and suggestions for surviving this financial chaos or any other crisis you've endured, at

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What year is it?

What is WRONG with the GOP? They think it's still 1964.
"The mayor of Los Alamitos is coming under fire for an e-mail he sent out that depicts the White House lawn planted with watermelons, under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year."
Go read the story here.

This bigoted nonsense must stop right the hell now!! And if you're going to be a racist cretin, at least grow up and quit using those tired old jokes.

Dear Bank Manager

Humor is always the best medicine. Lisa reminded me of Young Ones this week, and when I went to youtube to see more, this perfect antidote popped right up. My dearest friend Bethany and I had a regular date in front of our TV in our groovy college apartment every Sunday night to watch Young Ones. Good times. Little did I know that almost 25 years later I'd be as poor as Neil, Rick, Vyvyan, and Mike.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The legend of The Hog House

I grew up in Decorah, Iowa. NE Iowa is an amazingly beautiful place. It was not flattened by glaciers as was the rest of Iowa, but instead was carved into spectacular valleys and gorges by glacial melt. Evidently it reminded early Norwegian settlers of home. Amongst these woods the founding folks of Decorah were wise enough to carve out some magical parks. One of these was Twin Springs - a shady green valley filled with springs, streams, hidden picnic spots, and winding hiking trails. And THE HOG HOUSE.

The Hog House (pictured above, courtesy of Decorah Park and Rec) was teenage heaven. A large, open, unoccupied building with ample room for parking, a huge open fireplace, picnic tables, and a steep heavily wooded hill just behind for escape should the police choose to break up the kegger.

A discussion was brewing among Facebook friends as to whether it was the HOG house or the HAAG house. So I emailed the authorities to settle the matter.

According to 1956 city records:

" this shelter house is historic, In the long, long ago it was part of one of the numerous grist mills run with plentiful water power in and about Decorah. In the early 1880's the Gaston Platform Scales were manufactured in a structure nearby. The power for the mill and for the scales factory came from the Twin Springs thru a race that crossed the road.

The building fell into decay, but years later J.C. Beard used it for a milk house, piping water from the spring to cool the milk. Still later the building was used as a hog house. After the Decorah Parks Commission acquired the property, W.P.A. labor pointed up the walls, repaired the roof, put in a big fireplace, and cemented the floor. The W.P.A. also put a foot bridge across the brook"

Sadly, the hog house was torn down short years ago. I'm certain the city's insurance company demanded that they rid themselves of the most spectacular underage drinking establishment ever known. I'll bet the police department had to budget thousands of dollars just to manage hog house activities. The legal term "attractive nuisance" probably started there. I'm glad I was able to experience just a little of it's mystique as the legend lives on in memory.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I am pleased to announce

that the majority of you have voted in my extremely scientific poll that the GOP will be falling down a crevice. And not a minute too soon, I say! No more whining about taxes on corporations, taxes on the rich. No more shifty shipping of jobs overseas. Clean air, clean water, solar-powered cars. Butterflies and peace signs all around! But I hope we keep the NFL and MLB, I kind of like those, except without all the steriod abuse/domestic violence stuff. My poll has a margin of error of 1-2 liberals.

Sheesh! I hope they all fit!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Minneapolis Snow Emergency

Our friend Missy doesn't like this commercial but I love it. Perfect mockery of those stupid big wheel and tractor shows at the MetroDome.


It started here. Then it spread to here. Then it showed up here. And now the virus is on MY blog! Where will it show up next? Good thing we have the right guy on the case.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nothing like taking a day off with drugs

Endoscopy went fine. No permanent damage. Did you know that with the few tissue samples they take, they can determine if you have food allergies? Amazing.

I enjoyed my little vacation on anesthesia. A bit pathetic that the best break I've had in a long time involved an IV. I was loopy and weaving out to the parking lot. I vaguely remember Hubby steering me around a white van that I walked into. I swear I couldn't help it! I'd make a great junkie.

Slept all day and now I just feel lazy and useless. I'll make up for it tomorrow with plenty of housework and a good supper.

Monday, February 16, 2009

An additional blog

Hey folks, I've started an additional blog. Visit me at The Endurance Diva - Helping you Thrive while you Survive! Here I'm going to preach the gospel of endurance, of setting your claws and hanging on, of having a great life even while busted, broke, or down and out. My many crisis in recent years have provided me great insight and just given me the wherewithal to endure, in other words I'm finally good at something that can benefit mankind.

There I'll post advice, ideas, recipes etc. I'm going to set up an email soon so I can get your ideas to share.

Happy To Be From Iowa isn't going anywhere - I'll still be here blogging about politics, parenting, relatives, and bizarre medical events.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So bizarre, it could only happen to me

I am yet again having a bizarre, it-could-only-happen-to-me injury. As I've mentioned many times, I have trouble with acid reflux. Usually I can manage it with diet and some OTC drugs. But Monday night, a large volume of stomach acid literally exploded in my throat, causing me to fly from a sound sleep straight for the bathroom. It was AGONY! Like having battery acid poured down your throat. I had my husband take me to the ER because I was sure I was dying. They gave me IV morphine and some acid reducer, and sent me home with more narcotics. Tuesday I'm having an endoscopy to see what exactly the damage is.

Since Monday, I've had a sore throat that is hard to describe. Like having strep throat without the illness. I also have to try to sleep sitting up because the stomach acid comes right up if I lay down. Now I'm stressed from lack of sleep and this damnable sore throat. Ice cream helps but I'm sick of the extreme sweetness.

Am I a cartoon character or what??? Maybe I'm over-stressed from the dirty fingers in my sandwich episode.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh, OK, Happy Valentine's Day

As I've mentioned, I'm not real keen on Valentine's Day. It's a retail nightmare designed to make nervous men buy all manner of nonsense at Walgreen's. My husband is a marvelous man, and we show our love 365 days a year. So I don't need a $4 piece of paper from Hallmark to prove it. The cheesy-ness of all of it creeps me out.

Here's hoping you are enjoying this mock-holiday in your own particular fashion. Me? I'll be at twin #1's volleyball tournament while nursing a sore throat. Viva l'amore!

Thursday, February 12, 2009



This post is going to make our friend Sheletta get out the clorox.

So I'm at work and it's time for lunch. I saunter over to the snack bar and order a simple grilled cheese. At our snack bar, you have to hover around and watch for your sandwich since they just place it up on the counter and you take it from there.

Anyway, there are several sandwiches in queue but your job is to watch and listen for yours. So the cook places mine up and says "grilled cheese". And while I'm reaching for it, this strange college boy takes his hands OUT OF HIS POCKET and PULLS APART MY GRILLED CHEESE TO SEE IF IT'S HIS!!!!!!!!

My jaw was down at my waist in shock, and all I manage to say is "Well I hope your hands are clean!!" He nods yes and goes back to listening to his iPod or thinking about Star Wars or whatever he was doing prior to sticking his dirty fingers in my lunch. Meanwhile I'm having an out of body experience!!! A snack bar staff person, who saw the whole thing, runs up to me and says "we'll get you another one". Which they did.

This kid didn't even have the balls to apologize! Just fumbles all over someone else's sandwich to see if it's his! It didn't even occur to him to ask the cook, standing less than 2 feet away. Oh no, let's just stick our boogery digits in there and find out ourselves! And OF COURSE it wasn't his - he had just placed his order and there were about four people ahead of him.

Where does one grow up, and not learn that pawing the food of others with your pocket-lint-covered appendages that have been I-don't-even-want-to-KNOW-where is flat out disgusting? And yet still he gets into an academically elite school?

Someone who can't figure this out sure as #*&$ doesn't wash his hands!!

Honey, that might not be a good idea

From our local news station:

EULESS, Texas -- Officials cleared out a Dallas-area elementary school briefly Thursday morning after a second-grade student brought a deactivated hand grenade for show and tell.

Police say the student walked into his classroom with the grenade at Oakwood Terrace Elementary School. The teacher took it, placed it on a desk and notified the principal.

The school was evacuated until police arrived and inspected the object. Although the grenade still had a pin, it had a hole at the bottom and was empty -- the sort of thing that might be used as a paperweight.

No injuries were reported. Students returned to their classrooms after 15 minutes, and the unidentified student was getting a good talking to from police.

Guess I'll have to go to youngest's backpack and take out those six shooters, the fillet knife, and the bong. It was going to be a rockin' show and tell!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's my avatar you say?

Seems a few of my blogging friends don't know what my avatar is. One thought perhaps it was a star wars creature.

It's a bomber hat! Also known as a trooper's hat. Guess if you don't live in Minnesota, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, or Canada you probably don't see these on a regular basis. Sadly I don't actually own one because my teens would have an absolute fit of apoplexy if I wore one in public. But after the sub zero temps we've had this winter I say "ego be damned!" and I'm getting one next year - fur lined no less. So, mystery solved. And I still want Aretha's inauguration hat.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

What if?

I read this concept in the comments on another blog, so I have to give credit where credit is due. But I just wanted to expound on it.

Of all the reasons America needs to develop a national system of healthcare, this one fits in nicely with our current economic downturn.

Wouldn't it be great if all folks could pursue work they are passionate about, work that truly contributes to the betterment of our society without the worry about health care benefits?

Imagine if all Americans were free to run restaurants, write, make art, open small businesses, farm, build cabinetry, be a barista, have a day care, fix cars, etc. without the need for employer purchased healthcare. Wouldn't our economy be better off if we didn't ALL need to work for the large employers with the medical perks? Wouldn't our GNP rise if Americans were free to take those part time jobs? Wouldn't every business's bottom line improve if no one lost production time because of an illness that could have been nipped in the bud with good healthcare? Wouldn't we Americans be freer with our cash if we weren't crushed under medical bills?

You'd think so, wouldn't you?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Simple Pleasures are the best

One thing that I absolutely love about blogging is the certainty that simple things make most of us happy. Despite our bizarre media and rampant consumer culture, blogging has shown me that most of you are quite content with easy pleasures.

Some of them include:

For Michael - it's his garden
For Johnny Yen - it's good music
For Lisa - it's her children
For Dr. Monkey - it's a good junk store
For Sheletta - it's her son
For Madame Leiderhosen -it's a good skein of yarn
For Bubs - it's a nice cocktail at home
For Little Sister - it's a craft project with her son
For Cheesecake Maven - it's a walk in the woods
For themom - it's hearing from her grown son
For Christopher - it's funny things kids do
For Shan - it's love from her daughters
For Fran - it's her dog
For Kirby - it's her son
For Some Guy - it's newfangled toothpaste
For Missy - it's the sharp dressed man
For Melinda June -it's finding some good cereal
For Kirelimel - it's Christmas figurines.

Strangely, for some of you I could link to individual posts. For others, well, not.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I really hope it's not just me

I'm starting to think the air freshener we use in the bathroom is worse than the smell we're trying to cover up.

Sometimes my husband's breath smells like an old man, and I don't want to kiss him. My breath, on the other hand, always smells like mint and unicorns.

I'm still absolutely shocked at how old I am.

I completely LOVE taking naps on our couch with my big green blanket.

I hate flossing my teeth and have to force myself every single night.

Each and every year reminds me what an utter dork I am, and I don't know whether to be proud or a tad bit upset.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Celebrity status, here I come

I'm going to be on the radio!!

My blogging friend Sheletta Brundidge, shown left, is the new producer for The Kevyn Burger Show on 107.1 FM here in the Twin Cities. She has asked me to do a little segment on adjusting to job loss and sudden poverty. Basically I'll be the Poor Man's Paula Deen giving you advice on broke-ass living! How sweet is that? Someone giving me a channel to do what I do best - yuck it up with an audience!

So listen for my first show next Wednesday, February 11th, at around 9am. You can listen online at the link above.

And visit Sheletta's blog - one of the funniest women around. Her blog won an Emmy last year!

Kevyn Burger

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Blah Blah Blah Randomness

Not much going on, so I'll pass the time with some random thoughts.

1. I don't like Valentine's Day, never have. The screaming reds and pinks in the stores bother me, and I get a stomachache looking at all the candy. It seems rather rude to play up a "holiday" with the objectives of selling lots of cheap crap and stuffed animals and making folks without a significant romantic other feel like losers.

2. Why do we expect the GOP to accept the latest election and realize their practices just don't work and were rejected by the electorate? They are only human, yes with flawed philosophy in my opinion yet still mere mortals. The elections of 2000 and 2004 certainly didn't make US think that liberal thought had been rejected, and that we should therefore roll over and die away. It made progressives work even harder, which is what I assume the conservatives will do. I don't like it, but why do we expect different?

3. I subbed in 1st grade today and had this exchange with a student:
Me: My Mom always said "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". I say that to my kids too.
Kid: Yeah, my Mom says that too.
Me: Moms are pretty smart, aren't they?
Kid: Yeah, and Dads are kinda half-smart.

4. It's supposed to reach the 40s here later this week. It can't come quick enough.

5. I've lived in Minnesota since 1997 and have YET to see a hockey game.

6. I had some chocolate ice cream the other night and had forgotten how wonderful it is. For reasons unknown I haven't had chocolate ice cream in about 4 years. Now root beer floats are another story.

7. My back hurts. Wretched ultra firm mattress!

8. Just finished three superb novels regarding the Holocaust: Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Jack and Rochelle, and The Book Thief. Highly recommend them all, in particular Jack and Rochelle, a true story. Have now started A Pocketful of Names.

Monday, February 2, 2009

We don't need no stinkin groundhogs

Hope you can read our Mayor's latest proclamation defeating the notion that a mere groundhog can tell US when winter will be over. Read to the masses at the latest Defeat of Groundhog Day celebration in Northfield, MN. Evidently the gathering was a success. Alas, I couldn't attend because my kids were sick. Also because it was dark and cold outside and I had my comfy clothes on. If you want a better copy of the proclamation, click through the second link.

Northfielders like to proclaim their defeat of things. Note our historic Defeat of Jesse James Days celebration.

In honor of the Super Bowl

One of the best sketches of all time!

Super Bowly

Congrats to themom on your Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers!

Have to say I was rooting for the Cardinals. Kurt Warner is an Iowan, and we corn-eaters have to stick together. And Larry Fitzgerald is not only a Minnesotan, but played for a high school in our conference.

The 100-yd touchdown by Harrison was amazing, but totally canceled out by the pummeling he gave another player. Rotten bad sportsmanship, that.

All-in-all another good Super Bowl game. The commercials? Meh, boring.