National Rubber Duck Day is tomorrow


1-day warning!

Oriental Trading is known for many things, but, for me, there will ALWAYS be rubber ducks.  When Niamh was a little little girl and I had night classes a friend watched her, to ‘pay’ I sent a duck with Niamh every week to give to her daughter who was 2.5 and not into sharing her mom.  That started my duck collection because I couldn’t just send the same duck each week, I needed variety!


my 2008 attempt at ‘stitching’ a picture.  To make up for it, below is a picture of baby Niamh in that bumbo.

first waffle 10/18

“I can’t sit up, but, in a bumbo I can!”

Then I had friends with kids with allergies and I learned that there are more options than candy on Halloween.  I got ‘spooky’ ducks and they went first, everyone wanted a duck more than candy.


we had candy left over…

When I found out there was actually a HOLIDAY for rubber ducks I could not let it pass.  Oriental Trading partners with bloggers and I’m lucky enough to be one of them and they gave me ducks in return for this post.  (fair trade, I’ve already given them tons of money for ducks).


that baby has eyes only for ducks


I decided that for duck day, I would share the love of ducks.  I ordered 11 dozen ducks with the goal to give them all away.  Ok, I’m keeping some, there are some cute ones.  So I’m giving away 10 dozen ducks!  This is easier said than done and it is going to take a while but since I got them last Friday;

Sunday we went to the MN Science museum and I handed out ducks to any kid I saw being nice.  I also sent the kids out to hand out ducks too, nice lesson in random kindness.


see that little unicorn duck on the top right of the earthquake table? #ducktheworld

Tuesday I saw an acquaintance in the grocery store, I handed him a duck and while I said it was for his baby, you know who is going to be playing with that duck.

Yesterday and today I didn’t actually leave the house much other than the gym so operation #ducktheworld was on hold and since tomorrow is the day I thought I should get this posted so if you feel so inclined to celebrate tomorrow, you have adequate warning.

My pocketbook is stocked with ducks and my plan is to give them away to good kids (or sad kids).  I like to reward good behavior and now I have stock to do so.

If you have any cool rubber ducks, post them tomorrow #ducktheworld and I’ll be joining you too.  If you don’t think you need any, consider adding them to your holiday table or basically any occasion since there is a duck for just about everything.

Edit to add- I just got an awesome direct link to some coupons.  Enjoy!


The ducks were our place cards, I think they add a festive flair.


All the light we cannot see


I heard about this book ages ago, so long I don’t remember who said it but they raved and so I went to my book app and reserved it.  That was in JUNE.  I think I was number 85 and the library had 3 copies.  I promptly forgot about it and like a Christmas gift my turn came up while we were in Hawaii.  I powered through the book I was in the middle of (the newest in the scifi Laundry Files series that had way too many shades of Pearl Harbor, or maybe that’s more about where I was) and downloaded.

I’m going to call this my official first book of 2017 because while I started just before new year, the majority was in the past 2 weeks.  On top of that, this is the type of book that colors the world around you.  I can’t look at a snack without thinking of all the times the characters had nearly nothing.  I can tell this will be one of those books I remember at odd times in conjunction with odd things because of what I was doing or where I was when reading.  Do you get the feeling that it was a powerful book?

The writing style is like a fine meal.  The words are carefully chosen and put together in such a way to evoke a feeling.  There is the simplicity of Hemingway and the convergence of all the adjectives of Robert Jordan and this book is riding somewhere in the middle.  I especially like that the two main characters are both children and the story is told through the eyes of kids that grow up in WWII.  One is pulled into the Nazi war machine, the other a blind French girl who finds herself in the resistance.  Nazi and Resistance are both in the story, but, they are side details and only if you actually already know about them do the little bits draw together.  They are kids, regardless of where they are, and the world around them is ‘normal’ like a frog slowly being boiled.

The author also pulls in a few other classic books that parallel the story.  I’m sure it was done on purpose, there is just too many coincidences for it to be accidental.  Hitler v Darwin.  The journey to the center of the earth v trapped in their respective situations.  Captain Nemo being crazy but then again not wanting him to fail and in the end never quite knowing what happens…

Overall the story that knits the lives together is interesting and enough of a link that it is realistic and magical and not prosaic.  I love the ending, both for what actually happened and the fact that it is written like a dream as both characters are so starving and going slightly crazy from life.   I also appreciate that the author ends with a more adult view of what happens when everyone grows up.  There is a shift in tone as we see former children as full adults post-war, but, there is still point of view differences in each based on where they came from and their journey there.  I’m glad that it was not like Journey to the center of the Earth where you just don’t know, I really really like knowing.

It is almost hard to pick up the next book because that will truly finish this one, but, the story is complete and I’m moving on to The Moor, another one I was waiting on, and completely different in every way.  Totally intelligent and adult writing in the Shurlock Homes Genre.

If you are friends with an Optimist

I’m not sure if optimism is something I choose or was born with or developed over time but I’ve come to self-identify as an optimist.  At least 85% of the time I try and see the positive, the good in things.  Occasionally I get the opposite swing and wonder why I do things or try or bother etc but it is a thankfully rare thing for me.

As it happens I went to a big event this weekend and was glad to see everyone.  There were people there that had not been around for ages and my only thought was “Great, I’m glad they choose to be here this weekend!”  I actually didn’t end up talking to them much, but, I was glad to see them.  After the event many of us went out to eat and my original reservation for 25 turned into 45 and that was fine, more people to chat with and I got to really talk to someone I only passingly knew before.  She is kinda my opposite, she is awesome, but, thinks all people suck unless proven otherwise.  I don’t know if I’ve spent too long with little kids but you are my friend unless proven otherwise.  That’sI  what brought this up in my mind to ruminate over…

Over the years I’ve found out that plenty of people gripe about me.  I gripe about other people too.  Some people do things I don’t like, but, I usually generally still like them.  The people that I was glad to see at the event, I’ve been told, are people that don’t really like me but I’m not sure they even really know me?  In my optimistic opinion, it does not even matter because I’m happy to see them regardless.  There is another person I see often who I know was very mean behind my back but if I always avoided her I would have missed out on the many conversations on travel, something we both thoroughly agree on and have both gone to some of the same obscure places.

I have a feeling that this is getting convoluted but here are a few insights in more simple form;

  1. To an optimist things are good, even if they are pretty bad – something is decent
  2. you are my friend unless proven otherwise
    1. even if you are proven otherwise, I will sincerely hope for the best for you because things just might change.
      1. some of my best current friends are people at one time I really didn’t like to start.
  3. When in doubt I smile and try to find the way out
    1. this does not mean I’m never mad or sad or scared or frustrated, it just means I don’t think that will last forever.
  4. In a sucky situation, I will be making a positive plan
    1. this looks like spin, it really isn’t, I actually believe the best might be right there for us to find.

Some people think I’m nieve, some people think I just don’t see the ‘real world’ but I do, I just choose the optimistic way.

Occasionally I feel like this blog needs a disclaimer – nope, my life isn’t perfect.  I choose to hold on to my positive experiences and let things like explosive kid poop in a bed just fade into memory (unless it is funny…).

3rd Monday this week

I’ve said it a million times, I may be alone, but I like Monday!

The first (real) Monday was a step forward out of the sloth of vacation.

The second Monday (yesterday) 2 of 3 kids went to school and I did all my normal Monday housewife things but none of my work things.  I even played a rousing game of ‘what smells’ fridge edition because no matter how clean you leave it, 2 weeks just makes things funky…

The third Monday (today) I buckled into my desk chair and got a ton of work done.  I also got to do one thing off my fun list; shop for my friends Baby Shower!  Her sister is really the lead duck, but, I’m happy to help and excited for her party next weekend.

I am hoping that I can get into the grove of winter now.  Outside is frozen, I’ve mapped a path in my house for 250 steps, and I’m starting the project list.  My new bullet journal is started and I even have a plan for food for the weekend with houseguests and going out etc.

This is not the most exciting post, but, this is me right now churning through the first of the year things like taxes and organizing and things like that. I’ll do my best to schedule some fun asap.

First post of the year!

It’s a bit intimidating when you put pressure like ‘the first of the year’ on a post, makes me almost feel bad that I’m just blogging like normal 😉

Yesterday was (another) relaxing day however after a few of those in a row relaxing starts to just feel lazy and the house starts to close in on me and I long for my normal routine.  I have a bit of the best of both worlds today because the kids AND Lars both have today off too BUT I declared last night that we were getting up and getting out to the gym.  It was not easy, however, we were there on time and I thoroughly enjoyed my first workout class of the year. Now Lars is organizing lunch for the kids so I have a bit of time to follow up on some computer things (and blog).

Post gym was a grand inspection of all things we need for the coming school week.  I have snow pants to fix and they have hats and gloves to assemble and we need to shake the sand out of all the backpacks. I don’t know what bottom grade thread they use on snow pants, but, every year I end up hand sewing every seam with heavy duty invisible thread.  Gathering all the other bits and parts today is a hope that tomorrow we won’t be crazed looking for these warm things we have not needed in 2 weeks.

The fun continues!  I decided to just to laundry day tomorrow so today we get to do all the sheets and I’m going to use my child labor to sort laundry.  Yesterday I assembled a cubby shelf for a crafting spot in Niamh’s room.  We have acquired a large number of fiber tools and they have been homeless too long.  The original plan for leaving Niamh’s bunk like a loft was to use the under space for craft storage and that is finally coming together.

It is still a vacation day but I’m not letting us be lazy today.  I am ready for an exciting January, I joined a fitness tracking group, kids have swim lessons, my meetings are lining up well and I have a plan for this weekend house guests and the event this weekend.  The only loose end right now is trying to get help finishing a project for this weekend since the original person is not replying but I have other options and I’m sure it will work out.  Worst case I do it myself, it won’t be as good but it will be easier!

I hope you are taking this first Monday of 2017 well.