Changes in Latitude

It was a scene straight out of Home Alone last night. You remember that one? Crazy people running around, Fuller drinking 2 gallons of soda….the Pizza guy that hits their little garden statue every time? That was our house, minus the extended family with the cheap uncle.  We leave today for sunny beaches and snorkeling in the clear waters of Cancun. It looked like this:


It sounded like this:

“Mom! I can’t find my white shorts!”

“………….ummmm……in the dryer!”

Littlest marching around in only his pajama bottoms singing at the top of his lungs:

“♫Glory, glory hallelujah! I love presents, what it’s Tooooooooooooooooooooooooo Ya?♫”

“Lis, we’re packing light, right? No need to go crazy….right?” I hear my husband’s reasonable voice from somewhere above my head, most likely in the kitchen.

“Of course!”I holler, looking at my suitcase bulging with hair products and flat irons…(silly man. When’s the last time I went crazy?)

But somehow, despite the chaos and headache-inducing bedlam under the roof of the family Carr last night,

ready to go

We are somehow ready to go. I took Frodo the big black poodle on one last romp through the hills this morning. He’ll be taken care of while we are gone, but I know he, like me, will miss our daily runs in the fresh air. Speaking of air, the temperature was a crisp 23 degrees this morning. RE-freshing!

south dakota winter moring

I couldn’t help but marvel at the life I’m fortunate to live: This morning, cold foggy, crystalized grasses in South Dakota. Tomorrow morning, my feet will squash along in wet sand; the temperature in the high 80’s, and I’ll be smelling ocean water. How wonderful.

Cancun beach (Mexico), August 2006

Cancun beach (Mexico), August 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

License to Chill

What Happens in Vegas

This weekend, my husband and I are taking a few days to go to our Vegas. I call it this,  acting rather pretentious and with much liberty, because I feel that this place is truly ours. We’ve gone there so much, walked its streets and eaten in the gourmet restaurants so often….that we’ve gotten it down to a science. This isn’t to say that we do the same things over and over again…although there are a few tried and true experiences that just can’t NOT be re-done. But it seems that whatever new thing we venture out on a limb to give a go….has a funny way of working out, leaving us with the horrible problem of trying to figure out which new ones to add to our regular repertoire, and which to let go in favor of another fresh experience. Continue reading


Free by the Zac Brown Band

Picnic Day♥


Aspens that I fell in love with♥

Violet took this one. She’d like that noted for the record♥

My smallest Kayaker♥

I asked the littles…”is this more fun than Disney?”. They said yes♥

Into the Mystic

 I got it! Thank you Brigitte
Press below to hear Van Morrison say it perfectly*
 We were born before the wind

Continue reading

A Few of my Favorite Things

So yesterday I went on and on about my Love/Hate relationship with WordPress..and more specifically with Fresh Pressed Bloggers.

My good friend Dotty has set me straight. I’m giving up my dream of being Pressed (as the kids in the blog-hood say). And I’m not just saying that. The whole reason I started this blogging thingy, is because I love to write. Not to get awards that only a handful really understand what in tarnation they are anyway.

I’m a total Squiggle Line if you take any stock in Personality tests. Which means I love to express myself. As my one friend asked me once: Well, why can’t you just write in a diary, Lis? My honest and bald retort: Cuz no one would SEE it!!

So, wrapped up like a pig in a blanket….my statement about blogging is this:

I love to write. I write for myself. But it’s more fun when people watch.

And, I’m a reader. I read and read and read. I was checking the newly crowned Pressers yesterday, and I did actually see a piece that got my mind whirling like a ceiling fan set on high.

Ya ya. You probably want to see it. I’ve whetted your appetite.

I know.

But, I won’t give you the link till the end. I’m smarter than the average blonde, and I know that if you click over to the Mr. Popular-Award-Winning- may not ever come back to MY little party over here.

See how cutthroat I can be?

He wrote about his favorite things in life. And it got me to thinking. I love to make lists in my head. I do it all the time. I pretend that someone may someday stop me in the middle of the sidewalk and demand that I tell them at gunpoint…What are your 5 favorite movies of ALL TIME?! Tell me lady…or else! (right here..the guy is making the classic and tired YOUR DEAD signal with his finger across his own neck) Stay tuned. I’m working on this list. Don’t kill me.

Hey, it may not be a realistic thing that would ever happen in South Dakota. Or on this universe in this time/space reality….but it’s good to be ready.

Therefore, when I read this guy’s list…I had to make one of my own.


  • Raindrops on roses.  hee hee! just kidding.
  • When you are speeding down the road, and run right into a cop. They step on their brake..but you give them a friendly wave, and they let you go. This happens to me actually quite a bit, but I’ve gotten wind that I may be on some sort of “neighborhood watch”, so I’m lying low and taking the back roads until it blows over.
  • When you run into someone from highschool looking fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. 
  • When my husband is on an expedition with our kids, and sends me pictures of them every two seconds. He’s just as nuts about those little stinkers as I am. 🙂
  • When all I have to say to my friend is..nice cold pickles…and it causes fits of rolling on the floor laughter. Sorry. You had to be there.
  • When I find money that I’ve squirreled away for a rainy day. I really am kind of like a little hibernating animal. I’ve found money in Winter coat jackets, and even in my favorite Uggs once. I don’t remember doing the boots. That may not have even been my money. Finders Keepers!
  • When a little kid tells you that you are beautiful. Kids call it like they see it. Which can have a flip side. Like when they ask you why you have a huge zit on your nose.
  • When you have unavoidable dinner reservations with some shady acquaintances, and your kid if on cue…pukes up their macaroni and cheese all over the floor. Oops! Sorry! Can’t make it! Darn. Seriously, a puking kid is your ticket out of jail. Who can argue with that one? Free Parking Baby!
  • When you pick out a random movie, and get lucky. Mr. Brooks. Shiver!!! Best all time Random Get Lucky Movie Pic of all time.

    Cover of "Mr. Brooks"

    Kevin Costner. Dude. You freaked me out!!! Awesome!

  • When you are so low, that you can’t even drag yourself off the couch in your favorite pajamas that have holes in them and your nasty matted slippers that no one loves but you to call for help, and your Mom has her spidey sense on…and rings you up. This has happened probably 3 times I can remember in my life. As soon as I got to the phone, and heard Mom’s voice, I started crying in only that voice that wolves can hear. Totally weirded my poor mother out.
  • A surprise text that makes you smile.
  • When someone misses a step, or falls.  I’m sorry to tell you that I’m the kind of person that laughs at other people’s misfortune. Once, my poor sister tried to come up the down escalator. I was standing at the top, pointing and laughing. It was all so hilarious and cartoon-like until she fell, and we had to rush her to the emergency room for 20 stitches in her knee. It’s a wonder I can look at myself in the mirror.
  • When I have a beverage of any kind, such as ice water, Diet Coke, Lemonade, Coffee with cream and sugar, and NO ONE ELSE drinks out of it. This is a rare thing in my house. And hardly ever happens. I think there could be some sort of good vibrational field surrounding my glass, that draws not only my children, but my husband to it. It’s like the forbidden apple thing. But when I do manage to keep it to myself…ahhhhhhh.

    English: Diet Coke Logo

    English: Diet Coke Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok. Here’s the  LINK  to Mr. FancyPants Fresh Pressed’s Blog. Enjoy.

But please come back. I’m sitting at 4 1/2 followers. My short-term goal is 5.


I was almost a hairstylist. When I was in highschool, my friend Hollie and me were going to some big learn the art. We were going to open up a Salon that rock stars come to. Very tre’ chic. Very expensive. People would be coming from far and wide to have us make them beautiful.

And then, somehow our plans changed. I ran off to college with Edward, she fell in love, too  (has her masters in Teaching young kids)…and our dreams of cutting, highlighting, and business operator discounts on hair products went up in smoke like a cheap blow dryer.

The other day, though, as Violet’s softball team lounged in the oasis of a large tent and cold drinks, awaiting their next game, I started playing with one of the little girl’s hair as she leaned against my legs.

She had originally put it in a ponytail, but the sides were coming loose from diving to home plate, and the characteristic South Dakota winds.

I raked my fingers through her long golden highlighted strands, and started doing a classic “fishtail” plait down her back. Other little girls stopped chattering and began watching in wonder. It really did look cool, if I do say so myself.

My beautiful little victim seemed to glow as others told her how amazing her hair looked, and as she smiled at me appreciatively, I was inundated with “Lisa!! Could you please do that to MY hair? ..I’m next!! Wait your turn!”

I ended up fishtailing every last girl on the team. I laughed to myself when I remembered me and Hollie, wishing to have famous people on our waiting list.

My salon wasn’t a fancy one, in vintage downtown New York. It was a tent. I didn’t have any famous rock stars, although one of the little girls did a really great Nikki Minaj impression. But it was fun. Really fun.

Especially when my own daughter, who rarely lets me touch her long dark tresses, came up and shyly requested my services. HA! See Violet? I DO know what I’m doing!! (I didn’t say it. I wanted to. But I’m no gloater. I swear a good part of  pre-teen motherhood is the practice of biting one’s tongue)

Are you waiting for me to tell you how to do it? I won’t. But I could put you on my waiting list….let’s see..looks like I have an opening in early November. Shall I pencil you in? 🙂



Let it Be

Let it Be

This is the entrance to my house. If you want to do it too, you just need an old frame from a 150 year old haunted house in South Dakota. (It’s legit. Trust me.)

And an even older table from an auction..that the owner kept in her kitchen all while her babies where being raised. (Or so I’m told).

Some plants. (They must be hard to kill)

A skull of some creature, probably a deer, that your children so excitedly found on a hike in the hills…(Look Mommy!)

and an old piece of wood painted black with the words Let it Be stenciled on by a fabulous artist. (cough cough ME)

Eat your heart out Nate Berkus.

Nightmare on 7th Street

My Beautiful Pinterest Boards. Hey. I’ve worked hard on these.

I’m a good sleeper. I love sleep. Sleep loves me. I need a good nine hours to wake up happy, and ready to go. Picture Snow White, as she scrubs pots and pans, all with a smile on her face. That’s me, well rested and prepared to tackle all the grumpy, sleepy, little dwarves in my family.

 Hush now. This is MY blog. I get to write it the way I want to.

I tossed and turned last night, and walked in and out of strange disconnected dreams. Usually, when that happens, I can’t remember the details of the ebbing images once my feet hit the floor.

Oh, but not this morning. No siree Bob. I remembered.

It was one of those dreams that starts out quite lovely. I was walking in a vineyard. My husband took me to Italy, and sometimes I dream about our long walks through tiny churches, villages; stopping only to drink wine. We stayed close to a little town called Montepulciano, in Tuscany ( In case you aren’t a huge Twilight fan like me, this is where New Moon was filmed).

 I like to refer to this trip as  the No Carb Left Behind mission. I relish my dream escapes from reality, where I travel back in time, but they come about as often as receiving checks in the mail.

I rubbed my dream hands together in delightful anticipation. It was going to be an Italy night! I haven’t had one of these dreams in a while.  O goody-goody gumdrops!

It was going so well. I could smell the rich soil, and see the brilliant golden  fields of sunflowers just over the hill. I was eating and eating. Past full, but not wanting to disappoint the little old Italian lady that was watching my love affair with the food she cooked, with an air of satisfied approval at my every bite.

And then, I was suddenly ripped out of my authentic Italiano, only to be unceremoniously dropped  in front of my computer. In South Dakota. Huh?

Have you ever noticed when you are in the dream world, you don’t find the nonsensical journey your mind takes at all alarming? And like a good little dreamer, I just soldiered on, and got with the program.

Well, here I am. I think I’ll do a little Pinterest, I thought.

 As I entered my login, the screen flashed back at me: Request an invite.

 I tried again. Request an invite.

In estimated dream time, I tried to login to retrieve my precious pins exactly 2,345 times. In the end, I realized the way my own personal nightmare would end.

My boards were gone.

It’s a miracle on 7th street

I told Christian Grey about the 29 days of giving. This was his response. What a guy.

Well, sound the alarms. I actually did it. I did it! I said I would give for 29 days straight, and Jehosephat! I did it! I have the most fantastic of plans and goals. Lose 30 pounds by next Tuesday, write a book by Friday, and go to England to visit my dear Dotty when her next whim hits to go for a stroll out in her beautiful countryside; my favoritest new writer in this whole bloggy business.

But then something else happens, and then something else, and before I know it…..sigh. My fantastical plan fizzles like an assortment of cheap fireworks. But not this time dear reader. And If I could award you all with something I would, because really, I owe it all to you! Had I not promised on my bloggity blog that I would do this giving thing…and tell you all about it, I really may have not followed through. I can START. I’m a rockstar at STARTING.  I seem to have trouble with the FINISH part.  It would have gone like this:

Mrs. Startergirl: Hey honey! I’m doing this giving thing for 29 days! Isn’t that cool?

The Husbandboy: Yep.

(Insert lots of words here, explaining about the book I read, how it inspired me, how really everyone should be doing this…yada yada yada….)


Sometime later, let’s say 7 days later………………..

Mr. Husbandboy: So how’s that giving thing going?

Blank look…accompanied by a fleeting feeling of annoyance..He was LISTENING? O Fudge.

Quick change of subject.

Followed by a superior look from Mr. Finisher of all things. Blast.

But it did NOT go down that way. My final list of giving is below…all laid out for you to ooooh and aaahhhhh over. I’m typing from the list I made on the back of our water bill.

Day 24 Gave a severely pregnant lady some lovely non-alcoholic drink mixes for these strange 85 degree Spring South Dakota days. I remember wanting a drink so badly while being the human incubator of our children.

Day 25  I listened and listened to a friend that needed to talk. You may remember, I’m quite lovely at the talking business. Getting better at the listening tho, slowly by slowly. I’m realizing what a gift it is to give.

Day 26  I stopped and helped handle a small family emergency. If I wouldn’t have, someone else would have, but I knew this was something I could do well. And so I stopped reading 50 Shades of Grey  what I was doing, and did what I could.

Day 27  My wonderful Violet and me were planning on going to the Titanic movie. As the days speed forward, I find myself treasuring my time with her more and more. She’s only 12. But on the other hand….she’s ALREADY 12. It turns out that many other children had their hearts set on seeing Leonardo in all his wonderfulness, too, and so I consciously made it my gift to take them all. It required a little more organization on my part.   But let me tell you, every kid I took told me thank you, and seemed to truly enjoy the movie. Really? It made me less disenchanted with the state of our young people these days. There may be hope yet.

Day 28  I started doing magic quite a while back. Don’t tell anyone though, because I’m not sure if they burn people at the stake in these parts. We’ve only lived here for 7 years, and using your witchy powers  hasn’t been covered in the town meetings yet.

 But I can totally do it. I picture someone who is in need. And then, while I have them firmly stuck in my mind’s eye, I envision light completely surrounding them. Kind of like they are in the vortex of a tornado of bright, glittering light. The color depends on what’s going on with them. I do a brilliant purple, for healing. Golden, for strength. I’ve done white, when I picture that person needing their guardians or spirit guides to be by their side.

 I have 2 very dear souls in need lately, and so I set my phone alarm to go off at 2:22 everyday. Whatever I’m doing…I stop. I do some magic. Then I go back to reading highly inappropriate and wildly fictitious love stories. (I wrote about this yesterday…Don’t click on this post though. I’m not doing you a service by telling you.)

Day 29  I have to tell you, I felt some pressure yesterday…to do something really phenomenal. I mean, it was day 29! But, it turns out, the universe had plans of its own, and only needed me to be me. I scooted Sunny out the door. I had 37 places we had to stop at when we got into the City. We live in a little town I’ll call Mayberry, and so it’s a bit of a jaunt to the Big City. We make the trek. Ready to spend it up.

 NO purse.

That’s right folks. What kind of Mom forgets her purse? The kind that has had her head stuck in a book that no God-fearing woman should really be reading.

And right about then, I got the crazy idea to take poor little drug- along Sunny to the park. We played and played. I nearly got stuck in a strange piece of playground equipment, but there was really no one there to see. Who needs shopping?  See how the universe counted on me to leave my purse at home? And then it manufactured one of the most heavenly days of sunshine and light wind? All I had to do was say yes.

As you may guess, I have a lot more to say about this. And I will. But I’m not stopping. Day 1 starts again today. I shared my sushi. WHOA. Game on. 🙂

Day 15/16

My friend: Magen Richeal, Mrs. South Dakota 2012

Have you ever met a name dropper? I’ve run into my fair share. The oh so casual statement…that goes something like this: So, I heard your family went to Disney World!! How wonderful! Where did you stay? O really? How lovely! WE actually stayed in Cinderella’s castle. Herman’s first cousin was best friends with WALT’s( picture a long pause right here) wife’s hair stylist.  The pause after the NAME DROP is key. Because they want to make sure you make the connection from themselves to——————–>famous/cool/popular person. Referring to them just by their first name is also really important. It solidifies that they and Sir/Madame Famous are TIGHT. They  may not go so far as to call em them their BFF…or Bestie, or homie. But that person knows who they are. They could definitely pick em out of a line up.

So yesterday, I got a call from MRS. SOUTH DAKOTA  (pause pause pause) needing some help with a video that she needs for the pageant at the National Level. Of course I said yes! Me and Mrs. South  ( pause pause pause)go wayyyyyyyy back. So of course I agreed to lending my artistic talent. Tee hee. She actually is one of my best friends, and I do happen to be very proud of her. As I told the judges after the competition, they chose very well. They seemed relieved, because of course,  my seal of approval was crucial to the success of the  whole pageant.I say this with my tongue tucked far into my cheek.

Day 15…CHECK!

Day 16: Risking life and limb.

So, I am exaggerating. But I am going into a rather dodgy part of town today to deliver some clothes my children have outgrown. I’ve meant to get there, but there never seems to be enough time.  It’s not like the YMCA truck doesn’t come by every few weeks. It does. The trick is to remember to set stuff out the day they are coming. Remember? I’m a Squiggle.  We also have a little place here in town, but when I say little, I mean tiny. One day as I was hauling bags of baby clothes and toys in there, I could see the eyes of the sweet little  ladies that work there become large, and their brows begin to furrow. They were clearly overwhelmed, and ever since then, I’ve taken the great majority of our things to a mission downtown. It’s for women and children, and even though it’s not in an area of town I want to linger,  I get such a good feeling when I give anything to them.

I once heard a woman talk about how she  gives their “good stuff” to family and friends. That way, she can be sure they are being put to good use. It made sense. But then I read something that changed my feelings on the subject. I can’t remember it verbatim, but it was something to the effect of this: When we give, with no hope of a thank you, no expectation of receiving in kind for what we’ve just given, or no satisfaction of impressing anyone with our generosity….we are truly giving. I like that. When I give my stuff to the mission, I feel like God/Angels/Spirit is deciding where those things should go, and not me. I know that I’m not going to be seeing an adorable dress of Violet’s on another little girl, and feeling a smug sense of satisfaction that I shared something so wonderful with someone else. I have no idea where that dress is going, I release it to whoever is meant  to get it. And that person never has to tell me thank you, or feel in debt to me. Because the truth is, that dress was never really mine to give in the first place. Or any of our wonderful things, for that matter.  They are gifts given to me and my family by the love and grace of God. 🙂