November 2012

Just Write {63}

November 26, 2012

My feet won’t warm up. Today I learned how to make a water warmer for the chicken coop; a thing to set under the water so it doesn’t freeze. Now I just need to actually make the water warmer for the chicken coop. It looks so easy and the post even said it takes less than ten minutes. It’s getting so cold, the water freezes too fast. I’m in and out, trudging across the backyard with my puffy coat on, hood up, to bring fresh warm water that will freeze in about an hour. But I keep doing it, because chickens get thirsty too. So back and forth I go. We went to buy a warmer in the store yesterday but it just felt like there were so many hurdles. The price, the kids asking questions and going into other aisles and then wanting suckers. The farm store always has them asking for […]


That’s right, friends! The FIRST 50 COMMENTERS receive a coupon code for making your very own beautiful BLURB BOOK! Just leave a comment! Please include your email address so I can get the code to you!    If you’re here and the 50 comments have already been surpassed, don’t despair because Blurb is giving you 25% off your order TODAY only! All you have to do is head on over to Blurb and make your book!  Perhaps you’d like to feature your favorite Instagrams or blog posts or facebook photos…or, you can make a calendar or a notebook or even a magazine. There are so many great ways to feature your favorites. ::::: On Friday I shared that I created a book of my favorite Just Write posts from the past year. The ebook is available for iOS devices (you know, Apple products), but it’s also going to be available as a hardcover book very […]


I made a #JustWrite book

November 21, 2012

As you may know, I haven’t been terribly good at promoting my own wares or tooting my horn or whathaveyou. I just don’t want to come across as all ego driven or somesuchthing.  It’s only taken me five years of blogging and meeting smart and savvy women writers/creators online to learn it’s not BAD to share what you do with the world. It’s actually quite good! So, here I am, telling you that I made my favorite Just Write posts from this past year (YES! It’s been over a year!) into an ebook. When I was in Chicago at BBC, I had the pleasure of meeting Samantha from Blurb, and listening to her speak. I got (overly) excited hearing about all the ways a person can utilize Blurb, and when I got home, I got right to working on this book and another Instagram one: This #JustWrite ebook is currently available for $9.99 and […]


Just Write {62}

November 19, 2012

About a week ago, we were at a family gathering and I was talking to my brother and sister in law. They asked about the projects I’m working on and when they asked what I speak about when I go around speaking, I said it varies. I added that it’s sometimes about blogging, but mostly it’s about writing in general, or about how I see life…and my voice trailed off when I said that last part and I felt all weird because I can’t figure out how to describe what I mean about that without sounding ridiculous. So I said, You know, like how everything is…so…magical.  ahem. Well. If that doesn’t sound kind of made up or trite or silly, I don’t know what does. But maybe the simplest happy thoughts are the best kind to have. I’m not good at simple happy thoughts, but my heart is? I think? My head prefers […]


It’s been terribly serious around here lately. So let’s talk about something that makes me feel peaceful! My three rad chickens, of course… One would maybe think it’s cruel to raise backyard chickens in Minnesota. I wasn’t sure how that would work at first either. I mean, it does get to be well below zero in these parts! But thankfully, backyard chickens are still a possibility for those of us in the coldest climates. I’m here to give you some helpful hints for keeping your chickens safe and warm in the winter months, even though they do stay outside. Check out the snow on the cute little beak… First of all, one must keep in mind that it’s important to choose cold weather breeds from the start. That is, if you live in a cold weather region, of course. Learning more about breeds is as easy as googling, but to save you time, […]


There’s no point.  Before trying to sleep, I had said, “We’re not going to agree here are we, friends?” Where is our time better spent? I wondered that, too. So I hung up, if you can hang up on facebook, which is often a really good idea. Here’s a platform not only for “keeping in touch”, but for constantly impulsively spouting off what we think. Rapid-fire! We are so much better off being quiet and waiting. Immediate gratification is over-rated. I wrote Vikki (who happens to be a lesbian) a letter and she wrote back to me. We made it public in hope. We hoped. Well, we hoped to show what a loving conversation can look like. But then that night, someone on facebook supported the letters and it started, as per usual. We were arguing about homosexuality for all the wrong reasons and am I the only one who can see that? […]


Just Write {61}

November 12, 2012

This morning we tag-teamed the routine. Has she had breakfast? Where are the boots? On Saturday it was 65 degrees and this morning there was snow on the ground. Still is. I’ll take Miles to school, you take Asher and Elsie to daycare. I’ll start the van. I tromped down the walk to the van with my boots unzipped, slipping too much at my heels but you hurry in Minnesota, to start the car and rush back in. Asher was suddenly behind me. It’s not time to go, honey. You need to go back in, it’s too cold. I’m just starting the van to warm it up. I know!  He loves snow so much. Okay then. Please go inside.  I have everything I need, Mommy. He said this while his Spiderman boots flicked snow up on the cuffs of his pants. I have mittens and a hat and boots, so that’s all I […]


An Open Letter

November 9, 2012

{posted with permission, after reading each other’s words and deciding to post together. Vikki is co-directing LTYM Minneapolis with yours truly, and it’s a crazy good thing to be working with her.} Dear Vikki, I know there are a lot of political issues and I care about those issues, but yesterday (election day) you were heaviest on my heart. Maybe because we had lunch this week. Maybe because you shouldn’t have to be an issue. Isn’t that such a big part of it? People were voting about you, not just marriage, even if they don’t see that. That’s how it must feel. That’s how it feels to me. I try to imagine what it would be like if I were you, and I think I’d feel like a puppet and not a person–a stereotype, a label, a cardboard cut-out signage version of the all of me. All these months, while ads blared and […]


I’m so happy to tell you that my friend Ann’s national show, Listen To Your Mother is coming to Minnesota! The show will hit the Twin Cities in the spring! This is all kinds of exciting and I’ve been dying to tell you! I absolutely love what Ann has created–a live show celebrating motherhood through the written and then spoken word.  Giving a voice to story and bearing witness is my favorite. Listen To Your Mother is taking place in 24 cities this year, in May, in celebration of Mother’s Day. Each event is sponsored locally and helps to support a local charity. I’ve been cheering Ann on and anticipating the time when LTYM would come our way for years, and it’s finally time! I’m so proud of the rich creative arts culture of the Twin Cities and I just know that this show is going to enrich the community beyond what we […]


Just Write {60}

November 5, 2012

I had been away from Thursday to Sunday and it felt terribly long this time. Too many hours were strung together without the sights and smells and really-loud-sounds of home. I told the attendees of BBC Chicago that the chaos of my life breeds my creativity. I stood behind a podium and told my story. I said that without my family, the daily grind, the work of life, I would not write. I would not create. My life and all of its messes, it is the reason I am inspired to allow something artful to flow from me when I can. So on this night I tucked them in and then I climbed up the bunk bed ladder and lay down with Asher. I held the book out in front of him so he could see the occasional pictures. Miles ended up coming up the ladder and climbing in with us. It’s only […]


stay right here

November 2, 2012

Yesterday I arrived in Chicago and stood on a curb, waiting for my much appreciated ride. (I’m here to speak at BBC Chicago.) I texted my friend and let her know what vestibule I was standing by and she texted back, stay right there. It made me think of being in the now, you know? The way I have to say to myself, stay right here. Stay right here, over and over. Otherwise I’m always thinking ahead, what’s next, what needs to be done and how will it turn out? What can I do to control it? Stay here now.  After some buses moved, I could see that I was standing right in the middle of the rental car pick-up, and if I walked just about twenty steps, I’d be in the right place for a car to pick me up. I had picked the wrong place to stand and so I started […]


Last Friday began with snow. I kid you not. Snow. This is not shocking for Minnesota, but it is anyway, when Halloween has not yet happened. NOOOO, we say out loud and to God. It’s too early, we shout! Because we know we’re in for a loooong winter. Thankfully, it wasn’t a snow storm that caused any kind of rugged road conditions, because I was up and ready for the trip to Allison’s house and the snow needed to not stop me. After all, we had big plans; to give away 14 just released Graco SnugRide Click Connect-40 car seats to our blogging friends!  The roads turned out to be just fine and the snow stopped midway through the afternoon. Now all we needed was for the big truck to pull up outside the O Family home with a pallet of car seats inside. But alas, no truck. NO CAR SEATS!!! You see […]