Introducing…Flat Stanley Fridays!

I was visiting Sophie’s blog (one of my regular stops) on Wednesday and saw that she is taking a Flat Howard with her to Africa. A light bulb went on.

I had heard of Flat Stanley (FS) somewhere along the line (was I 6? was I 26?). But I never saw one in person until last April at the San Diego Zoo. Husband and I were visiting the camels and an older man was struggling to hold up a FS while taking his photo. I offered to hold him for the man, and he was so grateful that it was just sweet. Husband thought the guy was nuts, but I did my best to explain that FS was not a crazy man’s friend. You can read more about the original FS here.

So here’s my plan. I have colored my own FS. He is raring to go. The gist of FSFriday is this:


1. My Flat Stanley likes you. He wants to hang out with other people, not just me.


2. FS likes his picture taken. And he likes stories written about himself (he’s a bit vain) and those he visits.


3. You can host my FS. Let him meet your family. Bring him on a trip. I don’t really care what you do with him as long as it’s appropriate. Leave a comment saying you’d like to participate and I will email you a copy of my FS. Or…if you want you can make your own. Anyway, either A) post photos and a story of FS on your blog and email me a link to that post or B) email me a few photos and the story of FS hanging out with you and I will, respectively, A) link to that post on FSFriday or B) post the emailed story and images on my blog on FSFriday. Make sense?

If you’re lacking ideas of things to do with FS, let me know. But otherwise, he’s game for most anything: baking cookies (watch out—he steals the dough!), bowling, trips to the shoe store…be creative!

Today’s photos show FS hanging out at my home with my family. Enjoy! And remember to let me know in the comments if you’re interested in participating in Flat Stanley Friday.


Flat Stanley at home

9 to 5 and sometimes 6 to 3

Something that is fun to find out about people is what jobs they’ve held over their lifetime. Some people have had one or two, most have had many. I’m interested to know what you have “done for a living.” In somewhat chronological order, here’s the jobs I’ve held (those that I can remember, anyhow):

  • Most girls babysit a time or two in their teen years. I had several families from my church that I babysat for on a regular basis. One of those families in particular. They lived right down the street, and I started caring for their little baby, S, when I was but 13. Now that I’m a mom I can’t say I’d let a 13-yr-old watch my baby, but I was a very responsible kid, and they had known me for years before I started babysitting. Now their kid is in high school and has a girlfriend. Sheesh, I’m old.
  • My brother and I would clean my mom’s office a couple of times a week. She worked (and still does) at a law firm in town, and we dusted, vacuumed, took out garbage, wiped counters, etc. Wasn’t much, but it gave us some spending money.
  • District Administration – I did little odds and ends type jobs for the DA. I stuffed envelopes, ran checks (yeah, I got to see all the teachers’ paychecks), filed…again, another super-exciting job.
  • I worked two summers doing maintenance/janitorial/landscaping for the MN/DOT. Early to bed, early to rise, and not bad pay to boot! However, I recall that I locked my keys in my work pick-up twice and had to be rescued. One time was at a gas station. The pick-up sat at a pump and I sat in the back of the pick-up until my dad could come unlock it for me. You’d think I would learn my lesson, but no. The next time I was working at a remote DOT station a good hour’s drive from town, wire-brushing rust off a pole shed (glamorous, I know), and I locked my keys in the pickup. I had to walk into the nearest town and call my dad from a hardware store. He told me to go back to the DOT station and wait for the guys who worked there to show up, and they would help me. Ah, humility.
  • One summer I worked as a counselor at a Bible camp in northern MN. It was a very hard summer, and I learned a lot about myself. It also solidified that camp as one of my favorite places on earth.
  • I worked two
  • My boyfriend (husband now) got me (and several of our friends and my brother) a job at NDSU’s Festival Concert Hall. I was mostly a ticket-taker or an usher. It was great. We got paid to tear tickets for half an hour, pick up the aisles afterward, and listen to some awesome music or do homework in between.
  • After graduation from college (and after my wedding), I spent an entire summer looking for a job. Jobs are scarce in Fargo, ND, no matter what they try to tell you. Scarce, I should say, for those with a college degree who want to work in their field. I ended up holding two part-time jobs: an after-school program for K-6 kids through the YMCA (LOVED the job and my co-workers) and in-home elderly care. Some people are great at things like caring for the elderly. I am not compassionate in the right way. I had one client who was great to spend time with–I would do her laundry, clean her floors, make her bed, and we would sit and crochet together or watch movies and talk about her family. She was so sweet. But I had other clients who I had to sponge bathe (yuck!) or who couldn’t talk so I could understand them. That was hard. I really love and respect older people for the most part, but doing things like that was just too much for me.
  • I worked off and on doing temp work through two different companies. This was interesting and got me a lot of varied experience. I edited grants for a company who specialized in neurological disorders, I did filing and data entry at a steel mill, I learned and then taught mileage- and fuel-tracking software at a trucking company…I even helped a business consultant “get his files straight” in his dump of a home office.
  • No doubt my newfound versatility landed me my next job as an executive assistant to the Pres. and VP of a private school. I liked a lot of my co-workers, but had a very difficult time with the Pres. Most of the teachers did not like him and I often got caught in the middle of that–awkward, to say the least.
  • When my father got sick, I wanted to learn more about what I could do to help him, and I got involved in a home-based business selling fruits and veggies in capsule form. I have learned everything I know about nutrition through this business, and though I haven’t worked hard enough at it for it to be a primary source of income, it means a lot to me.
  • I interviewed for several fine jobs here in the cities and accepted the one at which I am currently employed. I administrate projects for the general contracting division of a large company. To put it plainly, I do a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on when a building is being constructed. I love my job and my co-workers.

So…what jobs have you held?

Bad Poetry Monday – 4

Today’s poem comes from the throes of my teen years.  Creative writing class again.  Yay.  So have at it–tear it to shreds, and for goodness sake, leave a poem for us to enjoy in the comments!  Yours or someone else’s.  I don’t care.  As long as it’s oh so bad…

In the Thick of It

doughy rain hits my clean windshield
I try to clear it off, but the wipers are
                                    caught in the gooey mess…
smearing it so much that I can no longer see through the glass,
I stick my head out the window

Great Globs clump in my hair and my eyes are slits
as I squint to see through…
my car’s engine heaves and sputters as it is weighed down
                       by the masses of floury paste.

At last it dies and I sit in the cold, watching the fields around me
     become covered with batter.   patiently I sit and gaze at the ponderous clouds



                       ominously over me.

the blessed sun comes out and the dough bakes into a light, flaky pastry.

         As I take out my scraper and clean off the car,
     road crews are beginning to restore the road to it’s original condition.
I turn on the radio and Jive Clive shouts, “Thank God it wasn’t quick-rise!”

In other, lesser news, Legos celebrate 50 years today.  Happy Birthday (Anniversary?), Legos.  My husband loves you.


I was checking through the search terms people have typed in to find my blog.  In case any of them are you, I thought I’d try and be helpful by answering back:

Red Apple, poison

            I don’t recall writing about this…

Owe friend money

            Why would someone be searching for this online?  Go talk to your friend, man.

December Minnesota valentine

            Valentine’s Day happens in ALL the states, and it’s in February, moron.

mother kills postpartum Minnesota

            Minnesota gave birth?  And someone killed it?  A mother, no less…how sad.

my car my car tan sierra tan sierra


alternate names for substitute mother

            Hmm…I have a few suggestions: Fraud Broad, Proxy Mom, or simply “The Replacement”

any program help mom car sit free

            I doubt your mom will car-sit for you for free.  You’ll probably have to pay her at least a dollar.

what does “how far we’ve come” mean

            I’m not sure myself, friend.

owe in money in Minnesota

            You owe me money?  Awesome—fork it over.  I hope it’s a lot…

poems of bad friends

            Oh yes, they are bad friends, because they never leave any poems in the comments!

Fargo Friday – BUST

Fargo Fridays seem to have been a flop thus far, so while I am brainstorming about what to replace it with (ideas welcome!), stop by Lori’s post today to read about the “tax relief” that is to come this summer.  I commented with a couple of interesting articles, so I’ll post links to those here as well: