He's of the colour of the nutmeg. And of the heat of the ginger.... he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts. ~William Shakespeare, Henry V

Thursday, February 10, 2011


My brothers article appeared in the Grand Forks Herald the other day and I found it online. I am posting the link for others to read it. If you have the time, you should read it. It's entertaining.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Late Tuesday afternoon my friend, Ben, hit me up on Facebook chat to wish me happy birthday. He also told me about a funny sports story that my brother was currently en-route to check out.

The Carrington, ND wrestling team was disqualified from continuing participation in the regional tournament when it was discovered that the Carrington team came into contact with a live raccoon and were unsure if it had rabies. Somehow the players came across a raccoon that they thought was dead, picked it up, and put it in storage on the bus. Later, when the storage was open, the raccoon ran out alive and well. This story even landed in The Washington Post. (If you don't believe me, just click here)

Now this I find very amusing and disturbing. I feel bad the team couldn't compete in the finals over a raccoon, but what coach, under any reason, thinks that it is okay for kids to pickup and play with roadkill? And why would you want to pick up a dead animal and put it on the bus?

I have to admit that I laughed pretty good when I read this. I cannot wait to talk to my brother and find out what happened. That is something that is going to be talked about forever!

Now I can't get The Beatles song Rocky Raccoon out of my head.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Today I made one of the dumbest decisions ever.

Since I have a lot of free-time now, I got a goofy idea in my head to shovel off the roof and clear out the ice dams. This would have been a wonderful time for procrastination to kick in, but it didn't, and I headed outside.

The extention ladder was buried way back in the garage behind some old junk and the 4 snowmobiles that belong to the family. With some ease, and a few movements that resembled a bad rendition of Swan Lake, I got the ladder out without breaking my neck.

When I got on top the roof and stood up in calf deep snow, I quickly realized what a very bad idea this was and I should just quit right away; go back down the ladder, put it back in the garage, and go back inside and maybe read a book instead. This was going to take a very long time. The snow was piled insanely high and the ice dams were a good 5 inches thick and spread out 1 foot across the roof. However, my parents didn't raise a quitter and when I put my mind to get something done I do not stop until it's finished (I'm stubborn that way), so I made myself start in on the task.

It took me roughly four and a half hours to get everything accomplished with the use of my ever-trusty transfer shovel and a big snow shovel that I borrowed from my parents house. The only thing that I wasn't able to remove was a section of ice dam about 10 ft in length on the north side of the roof. Everything else came down pretty easy, it was just very time consuming.

My back is very upset with me for deciding to go ahead with the roof cleaning. It's been screaming at me since I finished. Tonight I am going to put the girls down a little early for bed, fill the tub with super hot water, and relax in it for as long as my back wants to be there. I owe it at least that.

Tonight at the grocery store, one of the local men hung up an ad for snow/ice dam removal with roof/yard cleaning. I called him to check it out. He does the whole thing for roughly $100 depending on how bad, or how easy, the job actually is. After what I went through today, paying him the $100 next time around is more than well worth it.

But, hey, at least my roof is clean!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Good news. I heard from unemployment today and I will be receiving UI benefits once a week for 12 weeks. So I'm all good on that level. Yee-haw!

On the other hand....my car has been making weird noises for three days now. I finally took it up to Cenex late this afternoon to have the mechanics look at it. Wouldn't you know my luck; the trailing bar on the back right snapped completely in half. They ordered a new bar (should be in on Friday) and two of the guys welded it together really good so that I can at least drive my car until the new piece is on. I am surprised that the tire didn't just fly off the car the way the mechanics could slide it back and forth even while it was sitting on the ground.

Cassidy lost another tooth, but it was lost at daycare. The daycare provider, her husband, and the other daycare children tried looking for it but they couldn't find it anywhere. Cassidy is going to write the Tooth fairy a note about her lost tooth. She is worried the Tooth fairy won't visit her. I reassured her that the Tooth fairy will understand and she will still get something for it...even if it's missing. I don't think she believes me, and I told her she is just going to have to trust me on this one.

I am very happy with the new fence. Next spring when I replace the wire around the slough I am going to use more 12.5 high tinsel electric fence. It's strong as hell and isn't breaking. At the most, all I have needed to do to it was go out to the wire stretcher and give it three good yanks and then it's nice and tight again. I also have to admit that the wire is holding one heck of a charge. I accidentally brushed up against it and it made me move pretty quick. From here on out, all my fences are going to be 12.5.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the warmest day of the week. I am going to get outside and try to get some of the crap inside of the garage taken care of and then also go through the trunk of my car. Just the thought of the car trunk alone makes me cringe...but it has to be done.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Wednesday!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Well, needless to say, the New Year is also a jerk. Apparently it's not my year to make it ahead or get along with anybody.

Unfortunately, I have been chasing horses since the day after Christmas because my fence kept coming down. It took a few days to figure out what was going on. There is a herd of 62 deer living in the shelter belt inside my pasture. They took up residency when two people from town started to feed them during bow hunting season. There is nothing wrong with feeding the deer and this is something that they usually do every year because they don't like to see the deer starve, but 10 deer rapidly turned to 60 when the deer figured out there was good food lying around and this year they decided to stay in my shelter belt.

The townsfolk started to get very upset with the horses running around town everyday. I wasn't any happier than they were about it, trust me. Good Lord, who enjoys herding horses home with their car in 20 below weather and putting up fence every single day for a month. If they thought I was having fun, they were seriously mistaken. I was also getting concerned about the horses reaching the highway. If they were out there in the middle of the night nobody would see them and they would end up killing somebody if they were ever hit by a car. They were becoming downright dangerous. However, the true source of my problem was the deer, not the horses, and I have to admit that I was getting very tired of everyone screaming over the horses while nobody said a single word to the men who drew all the wonderful beasts in. Don't get me wrong, I really like the two men who are feeding the deer. They are good, decent stand-up folks, but they did create a headache for me this year.

I broke down and bought everything I needed for a 12.5 gauge high tinsel electric fence. It was expensive, but also my very last resort. You cannot do much more after putting up a brand new fence. When you do that, you have pretty much hit the bottom of the barrel. I also called the ND Game & Fish and told them that if they didn't help with the deer wiping out my fence I was going to start shooting them out my back door. After I hung up the phone I had two men from the Game & Fish at my door in 45 minutes. The NDGF walked around the property, saw all the deer, found their bedding spots, and eyed the grain elevator where all the food for the deer was being supplied. Unfortunately because of the great thermal protection my shelter belt gives and the 24/7 food supply from the elevator there was nothing they could do because the deer would just return within minutes. They said the next step is to contact the Department of Agriculture to see if any animals can be baited or trapped.

Luckily, since putting up the new fence the deer have not been able to break it so far (knock on wood). But the moment that they do go through it and my horses get out, I will become an avid hunter, pro-poacher, and a life long member of the NRA and will not give a damn what any of my neighbors think of it. Be prepared everyone, because I am going to become the female version of Ted Nugent overnight.

Wednesday was not a good day either. I was let go from my job up at the hog farm. I am not going to go into any of the details. All I have to say is that I absolutely loved that job, it was perfect for me, and I was sad to go. I have high respect for all the managers and co-workers. They did pay me the full bonus that some of the employees will be receiving next month, I filed for unemployment and am waiting to hear back from them, and I did get my taxes filed on Friday and should get my return in two weeks, so I should be okay for a little while.

There is everything in a nutshell. I will write more when I have the time. Right now what I really want to do is to go to town, tie one on with my best buddy, and talk about everything that's going on and heed some of his advice. If anyone can make me see the good points in life when I am at my worst, it is definitely him.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Winter has been a jerk this year and I am ready to it in the snowballs as hard as I possibly can.

Two weeks ago we were blessed with a winter storm that covered us in more than 15 inches of snow. I wasn't able to make it to work for 2 days because my driveway was filled in and nobody was around to blow the snow out. It didn't matter too much because my car was barely visible in the back yard. My father eventually made it over and blew out the drive. *Thanks Pops!*

The amount of snow we got it pushed down the west fence to my horse pasture. Dumb and Dumber (aka; Mack and Oreo) got out and were running around town. Someone was nice enough to chase them back into my yard and closed my cattle gate going across the driveway. I called into work and told them I would be late. I finished fixing fence and got the horses put away around noon. I walked to my car to leave for work...and the back passenger side tire was completely flat and was sitting on the rim. I had to take the tire off, run up to Cenex to have it repaired, and then put the tire back on my car. By this time it was already 1:30. I called the barn and the barn manager told me not to worry about getting to work but I do have to find time to make up the day.

The following day we had bad weather moving in so most of us out-of-towners left the barn early. When I got to York I noticed that Dumb and Dumber were standing down at my neighbors barn "visiting" his horses. I went home and checked my place. Some deer blew through my electric fence scattering wire and insulator clips everywhere. I quickly gathered up the clips and repaired the fence and then drove down to my neighbors barn and herded the horses home with my car. They have been behaving since repairing the fence. The next time they get out I am going to let my neighbor shoot them on sight. Okay, maybe not literally, but I am sick and tired of chasing horses in the winter.

There was icky weather again last night for New Years. Jessie and I went to the Leeds Community Center for supper. Cassidy didn't want to come with so she stayed with her Nana. Jessie and I gorged ourselves on primb rib and a lobster tail prepared and served by KJ's bar. The food was outstanding. We hung out at Nana's place for a while and I left around 10:30 because I was supposed to work early New Years morning at the barn. My mom kept the girls over night so I didn't have to wake them up at 5 in the morning.

Unfortunately I didn't make it up to the barn. It was still blowing really bad at 6 am. Snow plows had not cleared highway 2 yet making driving conditions extremely tough. I made it half way to road 281 when I had to give up. The white-out conditions and the huge snow drifts were very bad.

So far, I have missed 3 days of work due to bad road conditions. The way this winter is shaping up, I am sure there are going to be many more storm days I will have to take. Things would be so bad if my driveway didn't blow in so darn bad. I tell ya what....I will give a $50 Cenex fuel card to the first person who cleans out my drive after the next snow fall so I can get to work.

I hope everyone has a splendid New Year!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday. All of us here did.....well, for the most part anyway.

The barn manager was able to get all of us out of the barn by 1:30 pm on Christmas Eve. I got home as quickly as I could and I packed up some clothing and all the Christmas gifts (which weren't many) and headed over to my parents house in Leeds for the weekend.

My brother and his girlfriend, Emily, had arrived the day before so they were already there when I showed up. My girls were also at my mothers because she kept them overnight on Thursday so I could get to work early on Christmas Eve. I had just enough time to get the girls bathed and take a shower myself and then we were off to 5 o'clock mass.

My mother made cheesy ham chowder and white chicken chili for supper. We devoured it, along with some of her yummy homemade buns, and then started unwrapping gifts.

The girls had a good Christmas. They got Pillow Pets, Squinkies, Zoobles, Play Dough, Breyer horses, Go-Go the walking dog, and many many many more items. They got some clothes too that they needed. They weren't too thrilled about it, but what child is excited about getting clothes. I got some mittens, a scarf, warm stocking cap, two Boondock Saints DVDs, a clutch wallet, two cute ceramic cowboy snowmen, and a gift card to RCC so I can buy some more jeans.

Santa dropped of a Nintendo DS for Cassidy, a Leapster Explorer for Jessie, and an awesome pair of New Balance shoes for me. I really needed the shoes. My old Nike's had completely fallen apart. The rubber soles came off the bottom and what was left of them was tearing away from the bottom of the shoe. I mean, these old shoes weren't even fit for a homeless man, so I was very happy to get the shoes.

The only thing that was missing this year was someone to share it with. I hung a pair of wranglers on the mantle and asked Santa to fill them up for me. Oh well, some other time I guess.
Cassidy with her Squinkies from Emily.

Jessie giving love to her unicorn Pillow Pet.

Goofy Jessie.

Grandpa's job at Christmas is digging all the toys out of their packages.

Cassidy and her Go-Go Walking Dog from Auntie Lynnette.

The only decent shot my brother got of me.

Goofy Cassidy.

Cassidy and her ladybug Pillow Pet.

Jessie sporting her new kitty hat.


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