Yard work | NNoTW October 20, 2021

My ten-year-old and his buddy spent thirty minutes raking leaves a few weeks ago and henceforth decided to turn their newfound skill into a leaf-raking business.  This was the conversation we had on the ride to school the next morning:

Pumpkin spice and everything nice | NNoTW September 30, 2021

Fall has officially…fallen; and with it millions of pumpkin spiced Pinterest boards have sprung up featuring porches and front doors and lawns covered in physical celebrations of autumn.  Obviously, I, too am all aboard the trainful of haybales.  This meme (which I did not make) pretty accurately represents my feelings on the matter:

Surrender, Dorothy | NNoTW September 9, 2021

When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies was an obscure little indie film called The Wizard of Oz.  In it, a girl named Dorothy is transported out of her home state of Kansas via tornado, dropping generally into the magical country of Oz, and literally onto the head and torso of the Wicked Witch of the East.  Dorothy is eager to return to Kansas (presumably to avoid both manslaughter and theft – she walks off with her victim’s shoes – charges) and is given instructions to do so by visiting an entity named “The Wizard” located in a single-building casino-esque metropolis called The Emerald City.

Good Advice | NNoTW August 26, 2021

A huge part of my job is understanding social behaviors; and if I had to use one word to describe all grownups right now, that word would be TIRED.  It’s like being at a party where you were ready to leave 45 minutes ago but your ride is debating whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich with a large group of people, and so you sit there with your empty wine glass, avoiding a refill or a trip to the bathroom or anything, really, that would delay your exit, responding to all attempted conversations with, “Oh, yeah?  Oh, okay.”

Camp Bubbe Zayde | NNoTW August 12, 2021

My children are currently nursing a grandparent hangover after spending a week at my parents’ house at the second-annual “Camp Bubbe Zayde” (Bubbe and Zayde are the Yiddish words for Grandma and Grandpa, respectively).  As you might expect, Camp Bubbe Zayde was a happypalooza – fishing, baseball, Valley Fair, the zoo and the waterpark, and casual texts from my mother that read, “The kids wanted a snack, so we got them two ice cream bars a piece.  They must be growing!”  Of course, there was also teethbrushing and vegetable eating, but even following the rules – such as picking up toys and being kind to your brother – was turned into a game, with the prize being a trip to Dave & Busters.

Buy me some peanuts and Whiskey Jacks | NNoTW June 17, 2021

Our nine-year-old played two sets of double-headers last Friday and Saturday.  On Sunday, we naturally decided to detox after hours upon hours of baseball by taking our two sons and a friend to a Wheat City Whiskey Jacks baseball game.  The Whiskey Jacks played the Badlands Big Sticks at Kraft Field, which is apparently known to our family as “that place with the concession stand” because the boys ate their way through the entire experience.

Good Ranch | NNoTW May 20, 2021

This week’s story is about ranch dressing, and this week’s news is about pen pals, teen suicide prevention, and a food pantry vegetable garden.  Read on.

Soccer | NNoTW May 13, 2021

This week’s story is about soccer, and this week’s news is about a new museum in Antler, recovery after a cow attack, and Tigirlily.  Read on.

Box Set | NNoTW April 1, 2021

This week’s story is a tale of two infomercials, and this week’s news has friendly fire departments, a Fueled Force, and a four-time award-winning artist.  Read on.

Gefilte Fish | NNoTW March 18, 2021

This week’s story is about a Passover food delicacy, and this week’s news has an app for farmland hunting, online art lessons, and Miss Basketball.  Read on.

The Lawn Ranger | NNoTW March 11, 2021

This week’s story is about the first time I mowed our lawn, and this week’s news is about a new definition of a “LOAN,” a black-footed ferret, and a bunch of North Dakotans competing on a national scale.  Read on.

The Tooth Fairy | NNoTW February 25, 2021

This week’s story is about the Tooth Fairy, and this week’s news is about St. Jude’s Volunteer of the Year, a thoughtful Iditarod athlete, and a local National Merit Scholarship finalist.  Read on.

On Special Days | NNoTW December 31, 2020

This week’s story is about cake for lunch, and this week’s news is about a teenage gymnast, a soccer coach, and some lost-and-found Christmas presents. Happy 2021!

HanuCanada | NNoTW December 10, 2020

This week’s story is about my first Hanukkah in Canada, and this week’s news is about Blessing Boxes, a good night’s sleep, and a miniature Christmas village.  Read on.

The Tempo | NNoTW November 19, 2020

This week’s story is about my Ford Tempo, and this week’s news is about a sensory garden, 1,300 pairs of socks, and a lot of Thanksgiving turkey.  Read on.