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I Made This – Pizza and Wine!

January 16, 2018

I can’t believe I made this – pizza and wine! And by ‘made this’, I mean I made everything in this image by myself and from scratch.

I made the wine and I made the pizza.

I made the dough – I let it rise, punched it down and shaped it into pizza crust.  I made the sauce, from tomatoes I canned last summer and I chopped the veggies and cooked the sausage. I put it all together and cooked it in my oven. 

I made the wine. I fermented the grape juice (I did not grow, crush or stomp on the grapes, but I did research their origin for the style and taste I was looking for). I cleared and stabilized the wine and I bottled it all by myself. 

FYI, my wine has a fraction of the sulfites and no added sugars or preservatives than store-bought wine – so it’s much healthier.

It took about 4 months for the wine (most of that is aging), and 2 hours for the pizza (most of that is waiting for the dough to rise). 

So why did I do this?

Good question. I did this because I — wondered what would happen if — I made a meal completely from scratch (ok, maybe not 100% completely, but close), and I was tired of frozen pizza, take out and eating stuff filled with preservatives and all the other stuff.

Plus, since I have been making wine – which is all about the yeast – I thought why not make some pizza. I used to have a fear of making anything with yeast, but since I’ve been making my own wine, beer, cider, root beer and even kombucha, I figured it was a silly fear.

In fact, it turns out I have many fears about cooking. 

Each fall I can many of the veggies from my garden. Usually tomatoes, beans, carrots etc. I follow the directions for canning and I store everything in a cool, dark basement, and yet when I open a jar of pickles, tomato sauce or dilly beans I wonder if I’ll get botulism. 

I suspect I am not the only one with this fear.

I Made This – Pizza and Wine!

Pizza crust:

4 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 package yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

1.5 cups water at 110°

Mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer is easiest but a hand mixer will work. You can also use a food processor, but I don’t have one and don’t really know what settings to use. I suspect there are some directions that come with it.

Slowly add the water and oil to the dry mixture and mix until it is all incorporated. Remove from the mixing bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl and cover. Place in a warm area and rise until doubled, about an hour. 

After dough has risen cut into quarters and let rest for at least 10 minutes. 

Shape on cookie sheet or pizza stone and add your toppings.

I Made This Pizza and Wine

Pizza Sauce:

I used my own canned tomato sauce with garlic, basil, oregano and onions, but you can use tomato paste, water and add herbs to taste. Canned tomato sauce will also work. I threw in an extra can of diced tomatoes because I didn’t have any crushed tomatoes. I added about 2 tablespoons of sugar to the tomato sauce to cut the acid taste and then I boiled it down to thicken it up.

Toppings:

Thinly sliced green pepper, sliced black olives, sliced mushrooms, sliced red onions, mozzarella cheese. 

Cook in a 425° oven for 10-12 minutes. 

Enjoy!

So I made this pizza and wine, because it turns out the stuff I make is much better than the same stuff from a box or the freezer.

What have you made?

 

 

Blogging Contests Dumb Shit I Do Minnesota

Vikings Playoff Giveaway

January 13, 2018
Vikings Playoff Giveaway

*Update – Since no one even guessed, and there is no way anyone could have guessed the outcome of the Saints vs Vikings game, we’re gonna do it again….

Just for shits and giggles I’m doing a Vikings Playoff Giveaway. If you can predict, guess or speculate the score of next Sunday’s game against the Eagles, you will win some cool Vikings memorabilia.

I’m not trying to jinx it, I won’t speculate on who I think will win, though historically this is where the Vikings start to fold, but I am hopeful. What would be more awesome than the Vikes in the Super Bowl in their own stadium? Although, I understand they would not be the home team if this happens. Anyway, it’s too exciting not to do something in honor of the great season both teams have had (but especially the Vikes!!).

I’m gonna have two winners, whoever gets closest to the score has their choice of either this cool as shit beer glass or this retro Purple People Eater t-shirt. The glass is offical NFL Merchandise, but I peeled the sticker off. If that’s a problem let me know and I’ll get one with the stick on it. The t-shirt is upcycled from Ragstock so not official NFL, but still cool as shit (not sure why it looks blue in one photo and purple in the other. It is purple).

Vikings playoff giveaway

Vikings Playoff Giveaway

Here’s what you gotta do to win:

Follow me on Facebook

Follow the official Redhead Ranting page on Facebook

Sign up for my newsletter (don’t worry, I haven’t actually sent out a newsletter in years and If I do you can unsubscribe, though I think there’s an auto response when you sign up. I’m not really sure anymore….). You can fill out the form on the right sidebar over there –> –>

You can, but don’t have to, follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (I’m not particulary active on any of those platforms but need to up my numbers so it’d be doing me a solid but that seems like a lot of work for a t-shirt or a beer glass). 

Leave your prediction for the game in the comment section. The two closest guess will win and whoever is closer to the final score gets their choice of prize. 

Good luck to all, and especially good luck to the Minnesota Vikings!

Skol!

 

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Blogging Dumb Shit I Do Ex Husbands Ex#1 Ex#2 Minnesota Nice People Send Jen on a Vacation Things that piss me off Winter

When the Bough Breaks

January 11, 2018
when the bough breaks

Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop

Who the hell puts their baby, along with the cradle, in a fucking tree?

They don’t. It’s a metaphor. For mother (or father, primary caregiver – just so I don’t offend anyone reading this who isn’t a mother, but who is the primary caregiver – hey, we’re all, metaphorically, in this together, right?).

Did you see what I just did there?  I just fucking apologized to someone who might or might not be offended that I assumed the nursery rhyme was about mom and not dad. 

That’s how overwhelmed I am.

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock

I am breaking. 

I am a single mom, I am always in a state of overwhelm, but lately I have not been able to get any respite.

Between trying to chase down an IEP for my daughter who was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and Anxiety; fighting my ex husband in court, via text message and through his porn-star named attorney (I am sure she is nice and probably a decent attorney, but she really should consider changing her name); and work full time… I just don’t have any energy left.

My house is a shambles. I have laundry in the washing machine (not the dryer, but the washing machine) from before Christmas, and there’s some weird shit growing in my fridge. 

I cannot keep all the balls in the air right now.

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall

I know I am not the only single mom who doesn’t have any support. In fact, it is so common we should form a club and make t-shirts. The problem is, we’re all too overwhelmed to meet up.

I suspect that’s a big part of what is wrong with society right now. Aside from the explosion in single people raising little people, we’re also really disconnected. Sure, we communicate with one another on social media, but that’s usually just so we can flaunt our moral superiority. It rarely is about lifting anyone up or offering sincere support – though I am sure it happens, it doesn’t happen enough. 

We’re disconnected from family. At least I am. There was a wedding in my extended family not too long ago. I’d been hearing about the preparation for the last year so I knew it was coming up and expected to be invited. I was not. I was informed “we really didn’t think you’d want to go.” How considerate. No, I’d never want to connect with family I haven’t seen in a few years. I really enjoy not going out and seeing people. I much prefer to stay home. Of course, god knows I have plenty to do at home (see above) so maybe it really was a blessing that I wasn’t invited. I’m not even sure I would have wanted, but I am sure I would have liked to be invited. 

And down will come baby, cradle and all

I’ll get over this, I will get my footing back and I will get my shit together. I will get the IEP, I will get the school to accomodate my daughter and I will manage the next four years of dealing with the ex somehow. I do. I always do. And, I’ll do it alone.

Actually, I am not alone, I do have support, it just comes from the oddest and most unexpected places. My first ex husband’s wife has been wonderful. She always has been. I recently connected with a high school classmate, through Facebook, and he helped fix my leaky drain. He was most gracious, happy to help. It was not like it was some horrible chore to him (like it was when I used to ask my brother for help) and that was wonderfully refreshing and fucking weird at the same time. 

There is no point to this, I just needed to vent. So, thanks for listening.

Dumb Shit I Do Food Minnesota Recipes Things I Really Like Winter

Instant Pot Ham and Wild Rice Soup

January 3, 2018
Instant Pot Ham and Wild Rice Soup

Happy New Year! This year I’m starting off with an Instant Pot ham a wild rice soup recipe. I make all kinds of soups during the holidays. Usually because there are so many leftovers from the holiday meals, but also because it’s so damn cold. Currently it’s about -14°. That’s Minnesota, and that’s why we make things like Tater Tot Hot Dish. It’s also probably why we drink.

Anyway, Ham and Wild Rice Soup is a staple around the holidays. As any good Minnesotan knows, the best ham and wild rice soup comes from Byerly’s and this recipe relies heavily on their recipe which you can find here. I love this soup so hard, but it’s got a lot more salt than I can tolerate so I have made some adjustments to the original. I use a ton more onion, no chicken brother (because I didn’t look at the recipe when I made it, and didn’t have any), and possibly more sherry than it calls for. It’s a forgiving recipe that can easily be tailored to your tastes. 

Here is my altered version of this recipe with instructions for the Instant Pot:

Instant Pot Ham and Wild Rice Soup

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 chopped carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

3 cups wild rice prepared (I used leftover wild rice from Christmas dinner, it had water chestnuts and mushrooms in it which I think added some lovely flavor and texture)

2 cups chopped ham

A couple of handfuls of slivered almonds

1 cup half and half

1/2 cup (ish) dry sherry

Water

Putting it all together:

Make a mirepoix with the onions, celery and carrots using the sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Don’t let them brown, you just want to bring out the flavor of each ingredient. 

mirepoix

Add the ham, wild rice and enough water to cover the ingredients. 

instantpot ham wild rice soup recipe

Set the Instant Pot on manual high pressure for 5 minutes and let cook.

Do a quick pressure release and when safe to open add your almonds, flour, half and half and sherry. I simply mixed the flour with the half and half but you could mix it with the sherry too or mix all of them together. You may need to add additional water or if you prefer chicken broth.

Cook using the sauté setting until the soup has thickened to your liking. 

Ham and wild rice soup

That’s it! Serve with the leftover rolls and you’ve got a scrumptious meal for these fridgid days.

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Advice Blogging Dumb Shit I Do

I Wonder What Would Happen If I…..?

December 31, 2017
I wonder what would happen if I ....?

2018 is going to be the year when I ask myself – often – I Wonder What Would Happen If I…..? Like most everyone I make New Year’s Resolutions. Also, like most everyone, I usually forget about them by the second week of the year. 

Usually my resolutions are about losing weight, finding love and improving my finances. And, to my credit, I made considerable strides in all those areas this year.

There’s still work to do, but I’m pretty happy with how 2017 turned out, even if there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

I wonder what would happen if I looked at my glass as half full?

Instead of endlessly scrolling through social media and reading about other people living wonderful lives, I am going to get out more and live my own life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about people’s success and travels and their wonderful lives… but I know there’s more to life than that.

What I have found lately is that reading about just the good, without being privy to the bad, I end up comparing my bad to their good.

I wonder what would happen if I stopped comparing myself to others?

When I was a child – I Wonder What Would Happen If I…..? – was said regularly. It’s a natural thing for kids to be curious and to try new things. I don’t know when we lost that wonder, but it’s time to get it back.

The best things happed because someone asked themself – I Wonder What Would Happen If I…..?

So this year, instead of resolving to lose weight, find love and get rich I’m going to ask myself:

I Wonder What Would Happen If I….. added another mile to walk each day?

I Wonder What Would Happen If I….. made an effort to get out and meet men who enjoy similar activities as me?

I Wonder What Would Happen If I….. took some risks and started a new venture that’s been tickling the back of my brain for a few years?

While I’m at it, I wonder what would happen if I spent a little more time on my blog than I do on social media? 

What sort of things will you wonder about in 2018?

Dumb Shit I Do Minnesota

You Know You’re a Minnesotan When

November 7, 2017
You know you're a Minnesotan when

As a lifelong Minnesotan (except for those years I lived in Washington, Wisconsin, Texas and Colorado) I am always amazed at how different we are from the rest of the country. Okay, we probably aren’t that different, we just have different regional tastes and traditions. Still, as Minnesota has made it’s way into the vernacular thanks most to movies like Grumpy Old Men, Fargo and The Mighty Ducks, there are some things about us that people from other states just don’t understand.

You know you’re a Minnesotan when:

  1. Pop
  2. No matter what the temperature is outside, you don’t turn the heat on until November 1st.
  3. You know how to pronounce Wayzata, Shakopee, Edina, Owatonna, Faribault, Mahtomedi.
  4. It’s just easier to say you’re from Minneapolis than explain that St. Paul isn’t some little Podunk town.
  5. You’ve given up telling people that Fargo is not in Minnesota.
  6. 2 feet of snow is needed to close the schools.
  7. You prefer Caribou over Starbucks.
  8. Duck, Duck, Grey Duck
  9. The Polar Plunge means cutting a hole in the ice on a lake and jumping in, not just walking into an unfrozen lake in the winter.
  10. Juicy Lucy
  11. You know that Minnesota Nice is just a nice way of saying we’re passive/aggressive.
  12. You hope that summer falls on a weekend this year.
  13. You’ve had Lutefisk and even know some old guy who likes it.
  14. You’ve been to and eaten booya.
  15. The Weather Channel (or WCCO) is always on because blizzards, wind chill factor and tornadoes.
  16. Your urge to pee before putting on a winter coat is hardwired in, even if you don’t have to go.
  17. Winter boots are functional.
  18. You don’t fire up the snow blower unless there’s at least a foot of snow. The shovel is sufficient.
  19. The Zipper Merge is the scourge of at least two generations of drivers.
  20. Iowa = I Owe the World an Apology or something Prince screamed during his songs.
  21. You have a Prince story.
  22. You have a Joe Mauer story.
  23. You have a Garrison Keillor story.
  24. Target Runs originated here.
  25. While everyone else is excited about fall because of Pumpkin Spice everything you’re super excited that Lefse will be abundant in every grocery store.
  26. The friends you made in kindergarten are the friends you have now.
  27. Everyone has a cabin, and usually it’s Up North.
  28. You know how many lakes there really are.
  29. Ending sentences in prepositions is perfectly acceptable – “Where are you at?”
  30. The Vikings suck, but dammit they’re your team.
Dumb Shit I Do Sex Things that piss me off WTF?

Why I Deleted My #MeToo Status Update

October 17, 2017
#metoo

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve seen the hastag #MeToo all over social media. Legend has it Alyssa Milano started the trend on Twitter (though it appears she got the idea from a friend of a friend on Facebook so it would seem someone else who isn’t a celebrity actually started the trend…). The idea was that if all women/(people) respond to her tweet with the hashtag #metoo then everyone would know how wide spread sexual harassment and sexual assault is.

And it took off like motherfucking wildfire. 

That was Sunday night. I saw it trending on Sunday and while I rarely join in these sort of movements I decided this one was different. I copied and pasted the Facebook status update:

Me too.
If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
Please copy/paste.

I started writing all of the different ways I have been sexually harassed and assaulted in my lifetime and then deleted all of it and just posted the generic version. Even that was difficult to post. 

Not because I am ashamed to admit that I — like every other woman alive — have been harassed or assaulted, I’m not. I was for a long time, but have recently started talking about it with friends and family I felt worthy of sharing the information. It’s a difficult thing to share because it doesn’t come up in everyday conversation. You have to throw it out there when no one is expecting it and that tends to throw people off balance. They do not know how to respond and would prefer to keep it that way. So they don’t. They leave you hanging.

The response from the few family members or friends I shared it with has been less than supportive so my fear of posting the update was due to the fear of the deafening silence that comes with this kind of admission. And I get it. I really do. People do not know what to say so they say nothing. Luckily, I received plenty of support in the form of Likes and Hearts and other Facebook emojis from people I have never met before and I am thankful for their love and concern. It wasn’t the case for everyone posting #MeToo as their status update.

It might be because I am getting older or because I have just seen so much of this shit in the last few years, but these uprisings or movements or whatever the fuck you want to call them – don’t change anything. Or maybe they do, but because the change is so slow it’s difficult to notice the shift. I don’t know. 

I do know that what always seems to happen with these movements happened rather quickly in the #MeToo movement. It became a popularity contest and we turned on each other. 

Like we ALWAYS do.

Women started listing the ways they had been sexually assaulted or harassed… long lists of the way they had been treated horribly by men and even some women. Not just a passing wink or even being exposed to on the street (OMG this happens so fucking frequently I don’t even register it anymore, it’s like someone picking their nose or spitting) but reports of being raped, threatened with the loss of a job if they didn’t suck a dick or flash their breasts or whatever weird shit the Harvey Weinsteins of the world are into on that day. 

Within hours or maybe minutes the lists were scrutinized by both men and women – judging the merit of their claims.

“Oh, he cat-called you? Pfft! That’s annoying, sure, but it’s hardly assault.”

Women who had been raped by family members garnered more sympathy than those who had been raped by strangers, significant others or acquaintances. Get pregnant from the rape and choose to keep the baby? You win.

And the infighting and exclusion and unfriending began.

And then Mayim Bialik wrote a piece about how she wasn’t raped because she had a big nose and dressed modestly. That isn’t what she wrote, but like the childhood game of Telephone, that’s how it evolved. I’m not sure what the point of her OpEd was, much like I am not sure what the point of this one is. 

I guess it’s that I am pissed off. Certainly at the people who sexually harass and assault other people (and it’s not just men doing it and they are not doing it to just women), but also I’m pissed because sides get drawn so swiftly and so concretely online.

Men tried to chime in with support and they were shot down so fast my head spun. 

“It’s not their time to speak.”

Just as swiftly, men were lambasted and ridiculed for not offering support. 

Fuckin’ A they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. 

Gay men started sharing their stories of being harassed and were shut down.

“Nope…this isn’t about you, this is about the women right now.”

That’s why I deleted my #MeToo status update. I don’t want to be part of a movement that starts excluding anyone. And they always end up excluding people

The internet turns on itself so fast. What starts out as a positive turns so quickly into something that is competitive and only for the popular. We’re still acting like we did in high school and until that shit ends, the harassment and assault isn’t likely to. 

If you really want to make a difference start treating everyone as though they are worthy of respect. Everyone. 

Everyone. Even the people with whom you don’t agree or whose time it isn’t just yet. 

Treat each other with kindness and respect. It’s actually pretty easy, but if that isn’t something you are capable of doing then just don’t say anything.

If someone shares with you that they have been hurt, then listen to them and offer them support. You don’t have to fix it, in fact, you can’t fix it. But you can listen, and that can make all the difference in the world. 

Oh, and stop sexually harassing and assaulting women/people to get your rocks off. 

 

 

 

Dumb Shit I Do Recipes Reviews Things I Really Like

Did You Know You Can Make Wine at Home?

September 25, 2017
You Can Make Wine at Home

Did you know you make wine at home? And for a fraction of the cost of the box wine you’ve been choking down? I’ve been sitting on this information for several months now. I’ve meant to share it with you, but damn it’s been a busy summer. 

I started making wine this summer and it’s some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I caught on bit on Kare11 back in the spring. The hook was “if you can open a bag, you can make wine”. 

I can open a bag!

Winemaking has changed a lot since my parents attempted in back in the late 70s. I really don’t know what they did, where they got the grapes or if they had to stomp them. All I know is that in the early 80s my brother and a couple of his friends found that jug of wine that had been sitting in the basement, forgotten, and proceeded to drink it. 

It was nasty, that’s all I remember. Though that didn’t stop anyone from drinking it.

You Can Make Wine at Home

Now, it’s so much easier to make decent wine and you don’t have to stomp the grapes yourself. It’s not quite as easy as opening a bag (and the bag can be a little challenging to open, I have to use a huge ass wrench to get the cap off), but it’s a pretty uncomplicated process.

I wasn’t sure how the whole process would work so I started small. My first batch of wine was only one gallon. I did this because I figured if I screwed it up I wouldn’t be out that much. It’s hard to screw it up and it’s just as easy to make 6 gallons of wine (that’s 30 bottles!) as it is to make 1 gallon (about 5 bottles). If you like wine, just take the plunge and start with 6 gallon wine kits. You’ll thank me later, I promise.

I started with Master Vintner’s Small Batch Chardonnay. I’m not a huge fan of Chardonnay, but I can’t stand Moscato and they didn’t have a small batch of Sauvignon Blanc. So Chardonnay it was. The nice thing about these wine recipe kits is that they can be completed and ready to drink in about 5 weeks.

The directions were a little complicated, but only because I hadn’t made wine before, and they included really crappy directions. I later learned this was a mistake they were aware of and had corrected, I must have gotten an older kit. No big deal, there are plenty of YouTube videos you can watch to learn how to make wine.

Before you can crack open that bag of juice and start fermenting it, you’re going to need some equipment. Master Vintner sells complete wine making kits, these are a great way to start because you have all that you need (hopefully, I had a kit that was missing a few key items but the store was happy to provide them to me free of charge). The kits contain the carboy in your choice of plastic or glass, cleaning solution, sanitizing solution, the grape juice, yeast, wine thief, hydrometer and everything else I’m forgetting. 

Glass or Plastic?

6 gallons of liquid is heavy, the glass carboy weighs about 15 pounds when it is empty. Filled, you’re looking at about 60 pounds that you’re going to have to haul around. That’s like lifting a 10 year old. If you’ve got the upper body strength, then go for it. If not, stick with the plastic. The downside of the plastic is that it can get scratched and bacteria get settle into the scratches. You’ll be replacing your plastic sooner and more frequently than glass, something to keep in mind. You won’t mind because that means you get to go to the brewery supply store.

I live in the land of craft brew and micro brews. Every male in this state over the age of 21 is making their own beer. Some with more success than others. If you’re a single woman you’ll love the brewing supply stores. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t see a lot of straight single women in these places or if they just think we’re awesome because we like to make alcohol too, but I get asked out every time I go to one of these stores. It’s better than online dating.

My first gallon of Chardonnay didn’t turn out that well. I racked it wrong and got all kinds of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. It tasted fine, and I drank it, but it looked like crap. I didn’t have an auto siphon so I got all the gunk in it. The Fermtech Auto-Siphon is a lifesaver. For $11 it’s well worth it. 

1 Gallon of 6 Gallons?

It’s just as easy to make 6 gallons of wine as it is to make one gallon of wine, so you may as well make 6, you’re going to drink it anyway. You’ll also save a lot of money. If you make one gallon your wine ends up costing about $5 per bottle (including the bottles and corks). If you make 6 gallons it’s about $2.25 per bottle (Including bottles and corks). When you’re talking about 30 bottles of wine, that’s a significant savings. How do they compare to the wine you’d buy in the liquor store? So much better. The $2.25 bottle of wine you just made will taste as good or better than a $10 – $15 bottle of wine. Let it age a few months and you’ll have an even better bottle.

 

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It’s Prime Day!!!

July 10, 2017

It’s Prime Day, that’s just like Christmas in July, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa or having your birthday in July if you normally don’t have a birthday in July. Prime Day is an awesome way to get amazing deals on all the things you want. Amazon offers huge discounts on all the cool stuff, the kinky stuff, the toys we want for our pets, and on the stuff we need

The deal is, you have to be a Prime member to get the deals. Sign up for your Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial now!! That’s right, you can try it free for 30 days and if you don’t like it you can quit and never pay a dime!! Already have Prime but want to give it as a gift to someone else? You can Give the Gift of Amazon Prime too!

What do you get with Prime? All kinds of great things, but mostly you get the opportunity to do a little drunk online shopping without much guilt the next morning because on Prime Day, everything is discounted.

Here’s what you get with Prime – free shipping on everything you order. Not just that but usually two day free shipping. You can also get free same day shipping in eligible zip codes. Prime Now offers FREE two hour delivery for things you just have to have right now – you know like this and this. You also get Amazon Restaurants – they’ll bring the food to you!, Prime Video – unlimited streaming of movies and videos, Prime Music – unlimited streaming of millions of songs, Prime Photos – unlimited photo storage. Got a Kindle? You get stuff for that too!  And, there’s so much more! You can see all of what you get with Prime here

So what are some great things to get on Prime Day? 

If you don’t have one already get an Instant Pot. You won’t regret it, I promise. Go get one now, you’ll thank me. 

Books:

the princess saves herself in this one

Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

Get Your Sh*t Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide)

The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be

The Warrior Goddess Way: Claiming the Woman You Are Destined to Be

The Secret Life of Fat: The Science Behind the Body’s Least Understood Organ and What It Means for You

Beauty:

The Lux Puff

100% Natural Arabica Coffee Scrub

Flat Top Kabuki Brush

Bath Bombs Gift Set

For the Home:

Amazon Echo – Black

Wood Grain Essential Oil Diffuser

Smart Plug Outlets

Amcrest Full-HD Video Security System

And that’s just a sample of the fun stuff you can shop for late at night after a few too many glasses of wine. I’m speaking theoretically, of course. I’ve never been so irresponsible. 

Blogging Dumb Shit I Do People politics Send Jen on a Vacation Things that piss me off WTF?

Can’t Muster Anymore Outrage

June 5, 2017

Between all the many terrorist attacks, stupid things President Trump tweets or what stupid thing a washed up celebrity has said, I just can’t muster anymore outrage. 

I want to be upset, I do. I mean the fact that Kathy Griffin hired an attorney because she believes the Trumps are going after her and dooming her career – because she hired a photographer to take images of her holding a bloodied head of Trump – is pretty fucking amazing. That’s something to get outraged about. Not so much what she did, but that she was so insulated that she thought it wouldn’t piss people off.

Can’t Muster Anymore Outrage

Or Bill Maher, again, says something really offensive, racist, stupid, and just plain out of touch. Oh, and fucking arrogant as all get out. But he apologized so it’s all good.

I’ve used the word ‘fuck’ twice, maybe I am outraged.

What the fuck is wrong with people (three times)?

Why are we all so mean to one another? When did society come to believe that the only way to make change was to be an asshole?

Whatever happened to attracting more bees with honey instead of vinegar?

I have so many questions.

I am outraged, but not at the right things. I’m tired of people being jackasses. I’m tired of people not thinking about how their actions affect (or is effect, fuck I can never remember) other people. And I’m outraged that people don’t understand there are consequences for their behavior. 

I’m tired, getting worked up doesn’t do anyone any good. No one is listening anyway so there’s no point in trying to have a discussion. 

Everything I learned in kindergarten really was the most important stuff, because the whole fucking world is like kindergarten now. We all need to grow up. 

You know what else needs to happen?

Auto play videos on websites have to stop. These are the most annoying things ever and yet they are everywhere. 

 

Blogging Books Dumb Shit I Do Minnesota Nice Writing

Lemonade

May 20, 2017

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Right? That’s what we’re told. And yet, turning something bad into something good inevitably pisses someone off. I’ve been working diligently on being more positive and trying really hard to not wallow in the crap. That’s a difficult thing for me to do – not wallow. I let things get to me when they shouldn’t. 

Lately my life has been a series of tsunamis. It’s been wave after wave of crap coming at me and I’m letting it all get to me. Which means I have puffy eyes and there are dust bunnies all over the house. I’ve managed to stay on top of work, but it’s taken a Herculean effort to stay focused. I’ve made all kinds of mistakes in my work because I am so distracted.

I’m not sure how to make lemonade. Each morning I wake up and try to psych myself up for the day.

“I’m not going to let all these assholes get me down!” I tell myself. 

I start pretending I’m Rocky in the first Rocky and I’m jumping rope to Eye of the Tiger.

I’ve got this, even if I am out of breath before the first chorus.

And then something else happens. Today my basement is flooded. It’s no surprise, it rained two inches last night and my basement leaks like a sieve. I was just hoping to have a dry year this year.

My plan for today was to launch a GoFundMe campaign to presell my book so I can finally get it published. I need to have it professionally edited, I need to get a cover designed and I need a kick ass marketing campaign. I have an agency who rocks, just not enough cheddah in the budget. I’ve been putting it off because I don’t want to ask for help. I hate asking for help because it makes me feel weak and vulnerable and then I start telling myself that I am not worthy of help and the next thing you know I’ve gone down that rabbit hole I’ve spent years trying to climb out of. 

That was my plan, and then the same shit that happens over and over happened again. It seems every spring the basement floods and my ex threatens to drag me to court. Inevitably the dog will pee on the couch which will send me over the edge for a few minutes. Of course the dog pees on the couch because he is afraid of the rain, and because I forgot to put his diaper on.

Every year it is the same. 

I can’t seem to get out of this rut no matter how hard I try. It was my plan to launch my GoFundMe campaign 15 days ago. It’s been ready to go, but I’ve been too afraid to launch it. Actually, turns out I did launch it, I just didn’t know it (shut up! I’ve been a little distracted). What I am afraid to do is promote it. 

Thing is, nothing will change if I don’t start taking some risks. This is scary. I can’t even begin to tell you how scary this is. What if no one wants my book? I’m trying to presell it because that seems less like begging, but if no one wants it then what am I going to do? 

I’m not going to worry about that. Just like I’m not going to keep giving those negative thoughts anymore space in my head. 

If you’d like to pre – purchase my book – Minnesota Nice – you can do so here. If you’d like to learn more continue reading….

About Minnesota Nice

I’m wrote a book about my family.

It doesn’t sound all that intriguing does it? Wait, it gets better. You see my mom had a stroke when I was four years old, leaving her severely mentally and physically handicapped.  A few years later my father revealed that he was gay. A few years after that my brother came out as a Republican. You can’t make this stuff up.

Statistics from the Straight Spouse Network assert that up to two million gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals in the United States are or have been heterosexually married. Another demographics study showed that of the 27 million American men currently married, 1.6 percent, or 436,000 men, identifies themselves as gay or bisexual. Countless children have come of age in what is commonly referred to as a “mixed-orientation marriage,” most simply try to move on, too ashamed to admit that their family was any different from the norm. Even as adults they keep their skeleton in the closet, afraid to appear anything but like the wholesome Brady Bunch. Guess what? Mr. Brady was gay.

We were different and I’m no longer ashamed to admit it.

This is not anti LGBT. While I am sure fewer mixed orientation marriages take place in 2017, they still happen. The shame of growing up in one of these families is not due to a gay parent, it is due to the deception and lying that the parent must maintain to keep the secret. 

This is not some dry memoir. It is filled with humorous stories of a family trying to figure out how they all fit together. There are heartbreaking moments as well, but all told with the love and clarity that can only come with years of distance and a few dead family members.

Minnesota Nice has been compared to Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, The Fault in our Stars by John Green and most recently to 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.