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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Getting somethin’ done | December 1, 2021

My husband, Kyle, is a hockey agent.  My little sister, Erica, is a movie/television casting director.  Both of their jobs are about finding talented people and putting them in the right place(s) to maximize that talent.  As everyone in the world has talent in some shape or form (not just related to acting or men’s hockey), I am going to share the one piece of advice that they both regularly give because it basically works across the board.  And as my talent is stretching a story long beyond its necessity, I shall do that, as well.

Half of Kyle’s job is finding hockey players to represent in his agency.  He does this by going to a billion hockey games a year.  In the old days I would go with him and say, “I like that #21.  He’s zippy.”  To which Kyle would say, “He’s pretty good but isn’t watching the puck.  I like #9 because he’s smart and makes plays happen.”  And then I would say, “No, #9 takes too long to get off the ice on a shift change.”  Then we would fast-forward ten years into the future and #9 would be playing for the Boston Bruins and #21 would be happily and zippily living his life not in the NHL.

The other half of Kyle’s job is taking those #9’s of the world and developing them into professional players.  He does that through a billion phone calls a day to coaches, scouts, leagues, parents, and players.  Agents are usually lawyers because of contract negotiations and the NHL CBA, so sometimes those calls are the stereotypical business transactions that we all know and love.  Other times it’s the type of conversation you’d imagine you would have with a 17-year-old boy like this:

Player: Can you find out if I can get my girlfriend into the game?

Kyle: Sure.  What’s her name?

Player: [pause] Taylor something?

Like Kyle, Erica spends half of her day on the phone with agents, producers, directors, and other casting directors working to match up the exact right actor to a role so that you and I, the viewers, will be transformed into the virtual world provided by them.  If you’ve seen – I dunno, basically every story ever told about acting – you’ll know that actors will do whatever it takes to get those roles.  This means sometimes my sister will have conversations like this:

Erica: I’d love to use so-and-so for a part.  It says here that she lives full-time in North Carolina; is that correct?

Agent: Yes.

Erica: Great, because they need her on set at 9am on Wednesday.

Agent: Actually, she’s only in North Carolina over the lunch hour every-other week.  Can they postpone the shoot until next month?

The other half of Erica’s time is used for finding those actors.  You probably won’t be surprised to hear that she does this by watching a LOT of content.  Some of that content comes through casting sessions.  I once got to sit with her while she reviewed a bunch of very, very good-looking (and completely identical) men for a boy toy-type character for the series lead.  After about the twelfth super-hot guy did a bang-up job reading the three-sentence script, I said to her, “I don’t know how you’re going to pick the best one; I’d say hire them all and let them say one word each,” and she said, “The second actor is perfect for this role.”  The producers cast him, and he must have been perfect for other roles, too, because I see him on TV every once in a while.

Anyways, one of the most common questions both Erica and Kyle hear on a regular basis is this: “How can I get noticed?”  They both have the same answer: Go out and do good work and people will find you.

Their point is that you can’t make something happen for yourself if you’re not making things happen for yourself.  Or, in other words, get somethin’ done.

In Minneapolis, there are a few teams that get a lot of scout and agent attention, but not every good player has the resources to join them.  One of those players decided that he wouldn’t be held back by this fact, and (politely) called Kyle a bunch of times while we were on vacation (I was happy about this, as you can imagine) to ask if he would come watch his game when Kyle got home.   Over the next couple of years this kid had setback after setback – the hockey program was cut at the first college he committed to, for example – but he always kept his great attitude and work ethic and used every opportunity on the ice to get somethin’ done.  Now he’s the top scorer on his college team and on his way to a pro contract.

Here’s another one: Erica once saw a little hole-in-the-wall stage play in Los Angeles and liked one of the actors so much that two years later she recommended him to another casting director for a movie lead and now he’s such an actual, legit superstar that I don’t dare put any details or his name in this because I’m afraid his lawyers will get me.

I am sometimes asked for marketing advice by friends who are in the early stages of building a business.  As both a marketing director and someone who loves telling people what to do, I will give them said advice.  Roughly 80% of the time, my friends will say, “Oh, no, I can’t do that.  I have this excuse and that excuse and this very good excuse and this REALLY good excuse.”  To which I’ll say, “Get somethin’ done.”

If you’ve been feeling held back, use this last month of the year to go out and do good work for yourself.  Baby steps are still steps, hole-in-the-wall theaters are still opportunities, and one setback does not equal failure.  Then email me and tell me what you did; I look forward to sending you my favorite thumbs-up meme.

As I noted, it’s Kyle (and Erica)’s job to find people, which means that I have spent many date nights and vacations “just popping in for a period” of a hockey game to check out the players.  The photo above is one of such pop-ins.  (By the way, if you’re ever looking for a scout or an agent in a crowd, their unofficial uniform is usually a black wool coat.)

This week’s news has a daily story, 5,000 pounds of sneakers, and somethin’ for the singles ladies (and men).  Read on.

Fargo’s Amanda Grant reads a children’s book online every day at 2pm. (Fargo Forum)

Concordia Lutheran Church in Jamestown handed out 742 Thanksgiving meals this year. (Jamestown Sun)

Minot’s Melissa Maasjo has been redistributing used clothing and household items to 20-30 families weekly. (Minot Daily News)

WalletHub has named Fargo and Bismarck on the top 100 “Best Cities in Which to be Single.” (KX Net)

White Shield’s Monte Yellow Bird Sr., a member of the Mandan, Arikara, and Hidatsa nation, recently participated in the Dubai Art Expo with a piece “that spoke specifically to the spirit of peace and conversation shared by the native peoples of North America and the Arab World.” (Minot Daily News)

The Lake Region Figure Skating Club is holding a “no-purchase” fundraiser in order to collect 5,000 pounds of athletic shoes. (Devils Lake Journal)

Nice news of the week – July 2, 2020

Happy Almost-4th of July!  Did you know that Prairie Public has created a two-minute video on life in North Dakota in 1776?  You can check it out here.

And you can learn all about the nice things going on in the state voted “The #1 Place to Be in the Event of a Zombie Apocalypse” ( in this week’s news.  Read on, and have a safe and relaxing weekend!


Two ninth-graders from White Shield School are spending their summer building an earth lodge. (KX Net)

Valley City residents created a beautiful garden in honor of a fellow community member. (Valley City Times-Record)

Elbowoods’ Melvin Klaudt is being inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. (Minot Daily News)

North Dakota is one of the U.S.’s top 10 job markets (specifically, number 10) weathering the pandemic, when looking at unemployment, change in employment, exposure to industry sectors, and number of job seekers. (Grand Forks Herald)

Despite the fact she’s not the totally ideal candidate – she has donated only to find out her iron levels were low – Minot’s Paula Bachmeier has been giving blood for 47 years. (Minot Daily News)

Before he passed away, Fred Hector Jr. created The Hector Foundation to help “ordinary people or the common man” in North Dakota. (Fargo Forum)

Forth Berthold’s Lauren Good Day has been featured in Vogue for her clothing line, titled “Matriarch” – which she says is “cultural appreciation, not appropriation” and open to all.  As a bonus, all of her models are from the MHA Nation. (Grand Forks Herald)

If you’re going to be near Devils Lake on July 3, check out Max’s Gordy “Crazy Fingers” Lindquist at Stump Lake Village! (Devils Lake Journal)

Dickinson’s Richard and Joan Hintz celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary with a vow renewal, courtesy of CountryHouse Residence for Memory Care. (Dickinson Press)

Fargo’s Joseph Lewis is organizing campfire chats to discuss racial equality. (KVRR)

Bottineau’s Miranda Schuler has put together a military display honoring PTSD Awareness Day. (KFYR TV)

“Fossil Country” is coming to soon to PBS. (Bowman Extra)

The Killdeer Rodeo will have a record-number of participants – over 1,000 cowboys and cowgirls – at this year’s event, starting today. (Dickinson Press)

Happy 100th birthday to Wyndmere’s Eleanor Bommersbach! (Wahpeton Daily News)