Kyle and The Shed | November 9, 2022

Kyle got a shed.  I think I’m supposed to say “WE” got a shed; except that “we” wrongly assumed our garage would serve as a place for storing garage-related items and not dance parties (or whatever Kyle and his buddies do out there), therefore negating the need for a separate out-building.  My participation in the acquisition of the shed was to select its colors: black and white, the same as our house.  That decision took five seconds.

However, in my forty-eight hours of (Kyle’s) shed ownership, I have come to the realization that while the shed may look like four walls and a roof, it’s really the shape of friendship. 

According to the irrefutable source of all scientific knowledge, WebMD, there are six steps to making friends:

  1. Start the conversation.
  2. Show interest.
  3. Smile.
  4. Share.
  5. Do a small favor.
  6. Keep it going.

Like a tree falling in the forest, is a shed even a shed if you don’t use it to talk about sheds?  The answer is no.  Which meant:


Starting from the day we moved in, every visitor of the dad persuasion made their way to the backyard so as to discuss shed-related matters.

“I need a shed,” Kyle would say.

“Yeah,” the dads would reply.  “Shed’d be good.  You thinking an overhead garage door?”

“Nah,” Kyle would say, knowingly.  “Can’t go too big; gotta leave room for the rink.”

“Yeah,” the dads would nod, also knowingly.  “Should we run over to Menards and get some wood?”

Which would be my cue to lean out the door and shout,

“He’s not going to build it!”

To which the dads would laugh – they had fun-ruining wives, too.  Also, their laughter, as it were, was a facial movement related to:


The #1 thing in the world that makes people happy: Love.  The number two: Sheds.  There’s nothing more fun than some gentle shed-based ribbing.

Kyle and the dads were having a fire over at our neighbor’s house.  As one would expect, the conversation turned to the neighbor’s shed and Kyle’s lack thereof.

“Hey, when’s that shed coming?”  They asked Kyle, knowing full well he hadn’t yet ordered it (The Kosiors are the world’s foremost browsers-before-you-buyers; for example, his dad once went to four different stores TWICE each before purchasing a bagful of screws).

“I’m waiting for [one of the dads who also regularly laments his lack of shed] to get one first,” Kyle said, and everyone laughed; teasing is enjoyable.

“Maybe we should take down that portion of the fence and just extend my shed over,” our neighbor said.  “Like a double-wide.  We could double our storage space.” Then everyone stopped laughing because that was an infallibly good idea.

“If we’re going to take down fencing, we should build one of those fence bars between our two houses,” Kyle said – since, as we know, caring is:


An important part of building friendships is to share your commonality through subtle gestures that communicate, “Yes, I, too, am educated on sheds.”

“What kind of a foundation are you thinking?”  One of the dads asked after the conversation on fence bars had reached a temporary end.

“Probably sand,” Kyle said.  “You know, ‘case I want to move it.”

“Yeah,” another dad said.  “Sand’s good.  I did sand once.  I have concrete now so I can park my boat.”

“Yeah, gotta get a boat,” Kyle said.  “After the shed.”

Which was my cue to lean out the door and shout,

“We’re not getting a boat!”

“Hey, I’ve got a sand guy,” one of the dads said once the laughter – wives, amirite?! – died down.  “I can call him, if you want.”  Because, of course, one of the hallmarks of friendship is:


After many, many of these discussions, it was confirmed by my husband and the dads that YES, the backyard site Kyle had initially selected while touring the house with the realtor was, in fact, the right one.  However, that particular location required the moving of a small tree.  After many, many additional discussions on that particular tree and trees in general (“I’ve got a tree guy”), our neighbor volunteered to help relocate it.  Digging up and replanting that tree took thirty minutes.  Retelling the story of digging up and replanting that tree (spoiler: it went as expected) carried over for several more months.

That neighbor has actually carried the bulk of the very important small favors, including coming over to look at the postholes when the fence was removed to make way for the shed, asking about the delivery date of the shed, and looking at the new shed once it was installed (and also storing the aforementioned hockey rink while waiting for the shed – thank you, Shane).

And, speaking of install:


The shed was delivered over the lunch hour on Monday.  I came home “to see the shed,” as per request.  When I got there, Kyle and the shed guy were standing in the backyard, deep in conversation.  Kyle came in a few minutes later, excited (for Kyle).

“The guy who delivered the shed is a beauty,”  he said.  “I’m going to make him a coffee.”

“That’s great,” I said.

“Did you see the shed?”  He said.

“Yes,” I said.  “Very nice.  Maybe you can invite the shed guy over to see it once you have all your stuff in it.”

“Yeah,” Kyle said.  “Maybe I should have a shed party.”

“Whatever you want,” I said, because friendship is spelled s-h-e-d.

The photo above is of Kyle (and his beret) and his shed.

This week’s news has happy haybales and a great idea for a Halloween tradition.  Read on.

Bismarck’s Cleary Family created a tradition of trick-or-treating for food donations for the Bismarck Emergency Food Pantry – a tradition that has since been picked up by Evan Pena now that the Cleary kids have gone off to college. (KFYR TV)

This is the list of some of the friendliest haybales in North Dakota. (103.3)

Happy 112th birthday to Grafton’s Clarabell Demers!  According to the article, Clarabell is the oldest person in North Dakota and the 41st oldest in the world. (Fargo Forum)

Bob Vila is (virtually) on his way to Nome to award the Nome Schoolhouse the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award. (Fargo Forum)

And speaking of awards, Fargo’s Nora Becker won a ticket to a taping of “Saturday Night Live” after entering the show’s annual essay contest. (Fargo Forum)

And speaking of Fargo, Fargo’s Bob Matthews is known around Hollywood for his woodwork on movie and television porches and decks. (KFYR TV)

This is the cute story of how Lulu the pig joined White Shield’s DeHaven family. (KFYR TV)

Let’s Be (Official) Pals!

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Road trip | July 8, 2021

Kyle and I just got back from taking our kids on our just-about-annual road trip from Thompson, North Dakota to Ann Arbor, Michigan.  We got there by driving through Minneapolis, Minnesota; Madison (I love Madison), Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; Gary, Indiana; and then over into Michigan.  The total distance is somewhere around a billion miles, which translates to roughly fifteen hours of drive time each way.  Each year, I am lulled away from the beautiful, shiny airport and into my poor, overloaded Honda Pilot with personal promises of a stop in Madison (I love Madison) and also by reminding myself, “Once we’re in Minneapolis, we’re basically there” – which is as factually and geographically correct as saying, “Once we’re in New York, we’re basically in Paris.”

Road trips are a fairly new concept to me because my mother and her family are from New Jersey and people on the east coast (and I’m pretty sure also just Jews in general) aren’t really known for a propensity for long car rides.  As an example, my best friend and her boyfriend drove Kyle and me from Newton, Massachusetts to Salem, Massachusetts (total ride time: 45 minutes) and they packed enough snacks and blankets for us to survive in the wilderness for a week.  My own family drove from Grand Forks, North Dakota to Brainerd, Minnesota (total ride time: 3 hours) once a year to take my sister and me to sleepaway camp, and my memory of those rides is the car leaving the driveway and the car pulling into camp.  We never stopped; in fact, there’s no evidential proof that my parents were even aware that any gas stations, restaurants, or bathrooms existed between Grand Forks and Brainerd.  We did, however, get moccasins in Nisswa after camp was over, so we were informed of non-essential retail.

Kyle, however, is an expert-level road tripper.  The Kosiors are so experienced at road tripping that they actually built their family vacations around being in the car.  My father-in-law was/is a farmer, and so once he was done spraying and July 1st (Canadians, as a reminder) had passed, he and my mother-in-law would pile the three boys – and one time a neighbor kid – into the station wagon, and they would drive until they’d see something they’d want to see, and then they’d stop.  After about a week, my father-in-law would start to hem and haw about his crops, so they’d drive for a few more days and then turn around.  As a result, their vacation stories go like this:

One trip took them south.  They were somewhere in South Dakota when my mother-in-law noticed that it was starting to get late; and when they passed a sign that read, “Cabins for rent,” the Kosiors pulled in.  It turned out to be a small resort owned by a family with four kids.  The Kosior boys and the resort kids got along so well that the Kosiors decided to stop and stay for a couple of days, and the resort owner hiked all of the children over to an abandoned quarry connected to a stream, gave them a stack of canned corn and some hooks, and left them to fish.  The kids dipped the can of corn and the hook in the water, and pulled up so many rock bass that they had to throw some back.

Another time, on a drive west, my mother-in-law put the boys’ dirty clothes into a garbage bag to keep them separated from the clean so she could wash them at night.  On that trip they stopped at every scenic outlook; and when they did, my father-in-law tossed out the trash that had accumulated in the car.  Obviously, as you can probably guess, he accidentally threw away the clothes.  This was so hilarious that they felt they should take a picture – making it one of only a handful of Kosior family vacations with a photographic record.  Kyle would also like me to note that they turned around before they got to Vancouver and he is still is still salty that he didn’t get to see the ocean.

We stopped a Kosior amount of times on our trip to Ann Arbor, but it was mainly to go to the bathroom.  Our six-year-old is an interesting specimen in that the act of putting on his seatbelt triggers a need to pee, even if he had just accomplished such a task moments before.  So, we pulled off the road.  A lot.  Each time, Kyle and I would shovel enough garbage out of the back seat to keep the car from dragging on the ground while we drove.  The amount of garbage in our car had no relationship to the items was consumed or carried, meaning it was either spontaneously reproducing or other vehicles were tossing it in when we weren’t looking.

When we were actually moving, Kyle coached us through two car games.  In one, we had to find license plates from all fifty states.  We never cracked 40, mainly because Kyle wouldn’t let us count semis or trucks or just vehicles in general.  This game fell apart a bit when we reached Indiana, Home of 10,000 License Plate Designs.

The other game required one person to shout out “Score!” whenever he or she saw a yellow vehicle.  This game was also a major point of contention, as the “yellow” color wheel apparently sometimes, but not always, included tones of orange depending on who was doing the Scoring.  I don’t know who won the Score points-off, but I won the moral victory by only scoring actual yellow vehicles.

Anyways, we made it to Ann Arbor and back.  Traffic was heavy in Indiana, so I never did get to stop in Madison (le sigh).  On the return trip, Kyle reached into his bag of Kosior travel and booked us a hotel room as we were pulling into Tomah, Wisconsin for the night.  It turned out to be a hotel AND waterpark, which our children deemed a “must-do” next year…which I guess means we’re driving again.

While we didn’t make it to Madison, we did go out of the way to take a photograph at a park in Michigan.  It is above.

This week’s news has an edible forest, a wool house, and pelicans.  Read on.

Are you a veteran or active-duty military?  If so, you can see the Medora Musical – as well as partake in a keg social – for free this weekend. (KX Net)

The City of Williston is about to have an Edible Forest, complete with apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees, at the corner of Harvest Hills Avenue and 32nd Street West. (Williston Herald)

Underwood was rockin’ and rollin’ with its annual Midsummer Classic Car Show. (BHG News)

One of the first stories I wrote for ND Nice was about the Nome schoolhouse – which is now the Nome Wool House, a cozy spot for fiber artists. (Fargo Forum)

It has been a pretty dry year – tough for farmers, but great for American white pelicans, who are nesting in droves at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge. (AP News)

Nice news of the week – June 25, 2020

They may have cancelled their regular season programming, but did you know Frost Fire Theater will be putting on four virtual 40-minute original musical comedy shows on YouTube, starting July 25?  Check them out here.

And did you know this week’s news has a virtual fishing tournament (this weekend!), a next-gen hog farm, and Gardar?  Read on.


Break out your rod and reel – Devils Lake is hosting a virtual fishing contest – you submit with a photograph – this Saturday! (Minot Daily News)

According to this article, the town of Gardar has 9 people.  According to the census, it has 90.  Whatever the number, there are a lot of people who are in support of its success – including two residents (one former, one current) who walked 25 miles in dedication of the mothers who provided food for Township Hall events in the past. (Grand Forks Herald)

Ardoch sisters Alexis and Elizabeth Nice are 19 and 16 respectively, and in only four years have built up a burgeoning hog farm. (Dickinson Press)

The city of Fargo is issuing free permits to turn boulevards – or the berms, as we all know them by – into vegetable or pollinator flower gardens.(Fargo Forum)

Williston’s Grand Theater is showing “old” movies – Back to the Future, The Goonies, Secret Life of Pets, and Bridesmaids – for free. (KFYR TV)

Minot’s Wendy Weiss Voeller has started cartooning to raise money for her furry buddy, Buddy. (Minot Daily News)

So many people came forward to help Fargo’s Laura Sokolofsky move her husband’s ashes to the family cemetery plot that she was able to not only buy a headstone, but also help fund her son’s college tuition. (Fargo Forum)

Minot has it’s first-ever female City Council President. (KX Net)

A photography studio and a makeup artist are hosting a free prom photo shoot for graduating Fargo seniors. (KVRR)

Grand Forks is about to get a really big addition to its garden of artistic expression. (Grand Forks Herald)

The Good Shepherd Home in Watford City hosted a vow renewal for Paul and Vivian Linseth in celebration of their 70th anniversary. (McKenzie County Farmer)

Minot’s Ed Zilli is the latest recipient of a Quilt of Valor for his service in the U.S. Army.  Fun fact: he is also a retired New York police captain! (Minot Daily News)

The Ashley community is hosting a meet-the-artist event so they can personally thank Bismarck’s Nicole Gagner for updating the Centennial mural. (McIntosh County Star-Tribune)

Artist Ashley Oyloe is yarn-bombing Williston. (Williston Herald)

West Fargo’s Parker Sebens is known around the globe as HandyDandy – a Twitch World of Warcraft gamer – which is all the more impressive considering he doesn’t have any arms. (Grand Forks Herald)

You read here on North Dakota Nice about the Nome Schoolhouse, and now here’s some continued good news: the original State of Liberty and a wall decoration have now been returned to their original home. (Valley City Times-Record)

Fargo temporarily transformed into Flavortown this week with a visit from Guy Fieri to Pounds restaurant downtown. (Grand Forks Herald)

Phat Fish Brewery is hosting a socially-distanced Fourth of July party for the whole family. (Dickinson Press)

I have learned so much about American history over the last few weeks, including the importance of Juneteenth – which is now a North Dakota state holiday. (KFYR TV)

North Dakota Nice is two years old!  Thank you for reading!