Inside Out | Book Report

As a proofreader, I professionally read and edit a wide variety of subject matter. From university-level psychology thesis papers to generational Cajun vampire novellas, radio interviews to technical manuals.  When I have the chance to read "for pleasure," my interests include true crime, meditation, romantic fiction, preventing caregiver burnout, and DIY home decor hacks.  Recently, I finished Demi Moore's memoir, Inside Out . Typically, I don't read reviews on books or movies prior to reading or seeing them. I prefer to form my own opinions, experience my own journey.  In chapter 16, Demi recounts her tumultuous relationship with her mother, abuse suffered at the hands of those unfit to be parents, and how Demi's mother changed following the death of her own husband.  This wedge affected their mother-daughter relationship until Demi's mother reached the end of her life.  Reading this, I thought of multiple people in my own

Cheeseburgers in Paradise

HONESTY POLL : To those of you who have been adulting for more than seven minutes... When someone shows their appreciation for a kind act or job well done, are you more or less likely to repeat your appreciated behavior?  I would be more inclined to repeat behavior, knowing my efforts are being recognized and appreciated.   Another person's appreciation of my work or activities has no bearing on my performance level.  Regardless of your own response, being in a healthy relationship means knowing how your partner would answer this question. If you're a person who requires daily affirmations from others and your partner has never once thanked you for sending his mother a birthday card (from him) for the past 11 years. Without feeling appreciated, over time you may start to feel taken for granted, maybe even bitter.  Here's where it gets personal.  Our family has been undergoing major changes over the past year, the majority of which are confidential unt

Retaking the Entry

Having six people in the house means twelve feet and a LOT of shoes. Our entryway opens directly into our dining room. So, we have no separate mud room to hide all the shoes, boots, coats, mittens, hats and snow pants associated with endless Minnesota winters. Recently, we ditched our cubby bench which was great for holding all sorts of things. However, it had puppy chew marks, was falling apart from years of overuse, and really didn't float my boat where aesthetics are concerned. Functional, yes. Eyesore, definitely. Something different was needed, so I decided on a white IKEA Hemnes shoe cabinet and a Hemnes bench with shoe storage . My inspiration from the IKEA catalog:   I seldom buy retail (it's a genetic thing learned from my grandmother), but IKEA's unassembled prices are pretty low. If you've never assembled IKEA furniture, there's a certain frustration level you may want to factor into your purchase equation. For some people, it's worth the t

Missing the Point?

SPOILER ALERT : This article may reveal a brief amount of content, context or storyline found in the music video: Someone I Used to Know . If you follow country music, you may have heard that the Zac Brown Band recently released what some are calling an "intense" music video to accompany his new single, Someone I Used to Know . The "intensity" that has folks all hot and bothered is an adult scene that opens the video. The commentary from folks online says they can't understand the point of a sex scene in an otherwise amazing video and therefore, most will not share it with others. Here are the stats: Video length = 4 minutes 35 seconds "Sex scene" = 3 seconds I'm not here to justify, make up your own mind. That's what art is about.  Just be an adult, listen to the message Zac Brown is sending out, which he also explains at the end of the video. Sometimes, in order to break the stigma, you need to get people's attention.

Shine the Light. End the Stigma

For Everyone Who Keeps Asking "What's Wrong?" I’m sorry. I know those two words seem so small, and they are. They are nothing more than seven simple letters, but I don’t know where else to start. So I’ll start with:  I’m sorry. There are things I’m not sorry for, things I can’t be sorry for. I’m not sorry for my illnesses. They are beyond my control. Over the decades, I’ve learned I do have complete control over certain things in my life: my calendar, my choice of events to attend, and who is included in my inner circle. To those of you who (hopefully) never have to personally deal with physical struggles such as fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and/or mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder – sincere blessings to you. Chances are, you don’t have to look very far to find someone close to you who struggles daily with some kind of chronic condition. When we don’t talk about these things, we contribut

12 Days of Christmas Artisan Giveaway: WINNER!

Our 12 Days of Christmas Artisan Giveaway has wrapped up, and the entries have been tallied. With the most entries, I'd like to congratulate WILL GRIESMER on winning the entire prize package, valued at over $300. Way to go, Will! Those daily tweets really put you over the top. Thanks to everyone who participated, all the artisans and vendors had great fun connecting with you. Next year, we'll be back with more exciting goodies so stay tuned. Merry Christmas to each one of you. Safe travels this holiday season. Jenn Huckleberry Row

Airbnb Adventures + free money

I adore travel. Any chance I get, I'm searching for the best plane fares, plotting out a road trip route or looking for interesting sites to visit. A few years ago, my husband and I took a weekend road trip to Clear Lake, Iowa. Yes, Iowa. Clear Lake, Iowa is home to the Surf Ballroom. If you've never read about The Surf, check it out HERE . Visiting the Surf Ballroom in person is a somewhat religious experience, especially if you're familiar with 50s and 60s music. Definitely worth the trip. The town of Clear Lake is completely adorable. We stayed at an Airbnb rental which was a small home with a nice master bedroom, full kitchen, living and dining rooms, upstairs full of beds for guests, really everything we needed. Located only two blocks from the lake, we walked around chatting with the friendly locals. We hit a fabulous coffee shop, mercantile store and even got lucky at the farmer's market (located in the Surf parking lot). Here's the kicker: Our Airbnb cos