Sunday, November 8, 2009

Part Two In The Saga, Which Also Happens To Be The Finale.

So there I was. sitting patiently in my deer stand, intently scanning the various fields and tree lines within range of the .25-06 rifle resting beside me. I was tired. apparently getting up at five o'clock in the morning three days in a row will do that to you. go figure.

Anyways. it was about four o'clock in the afternoon. the weather had started off nice enough. a little breezy, but warm (for northern Minnesota), around 40 degrees. but then, not long after I sat down, it started to drizzle, then flat out rain. I'm no deer antics expert, but if I was a deer and it was raining, I would stay in the woods, where I might potentially find some shelter. I definitely wouldn't go out for a stroll on the soggy field. then again, I'm not a deer. what do I know.

So I'd been sitting like a statue for close to two hours and I was more than ready for some action. all around me I could hear the rifle shots of various hunters, some lucky ("BOOM-THUD") others, not so lucky ("BOOM..."). whether or not they were hitting their hairy targets, I was feelin left out.

After what felt like a very long time, I started seeing deer coming out of the woodwork (ha! get it? woodwork?), but none that I especially wanted. come to think of it, since they were all does and fawns I wasn't really legally permitted to shoot them, either, because my tag is bucks only. and really, that's a blessing and a curse, because when hunting season rolls around, I'm tempted to take a pot-shot at anything that moves. practically. my parents always taught me that shooting people was wrong, even if they are game wardens.

At about five o'clock, it's starting to get dark, and my main motivation is just that I really really don't want to get up at five o'clock tomorrow morning. then a little buck meanders out of the woods to my left, only about 100-150 yards away. I pull up my gun and scope him, ho-humming about whether or not I want him. he's not big. heck, he's a spike, maybe a fork at best. and there's something weird about his antlers, but since it was getting close to the end of legal shooting time, added to the rain, I couldn't tell what it was.

I debated a little more, and he continued to meander through the field, on his way to who-knows-where. aw, well, what the heck. I raised the scope to my eye again, and lined up the crosshairs to my satisfaction. back when I first started hunting, when I was thirteen, I would always shut my eyes a split second before I pulled the trigger. now, though, I think it's fun to watch the bright orange flame erupt from the end of the barrel (it's a rush, what can I say). then, after I shot, and the deer went down, I felt the familiar blood pounding in my head and the aftermath of an adrenaline rush I can never feel until after I squeeze the trigger.

As always, I spent a minute to calm myself down, slow my breathing, and will my trembling hands to still. (Note: I'm not a basketcase with a gun, I swear. I'm always nice and calm before I shoot. for some reason, though, after I shoot...pent-up adrenaline? I don't know).

After that, I took out the empty shell casing, and chambered another round, just in case. they've got an overabundance of Timberwolves around here, and there's no way I'm gonna let them tear into the deer I just shot, dang it. so I kept a steady watch over my kill, ready to shoot wolves, should I see any, no matter how supposedly "endangered" they are. (But I never saw any, or shot any, so you can't turn me in to the wardens. haha.)

Anyway. we eventually got it down to the river and gutted, skinned, and finally, hanging peacefully in the shed. turns out, his second antler was pointed sideways, making it non-typical, which is cool, even if the buck itself is small. it also turns out that I blew up both of his lungs with that one shot. that was cool, too. and so now, for the duration of my vacation, the pressure's off and I can relax and SLEEP and hang out on the farm.

*Deep, contented sigh*

Well, that's it for the Saga of Jo's hunting Extravaganza. hope it wasn't too boring or lame. See all you blokes in four days. Peace out.


Friday, November 6, 2009

The Calm Before The Storm

At this moment in time, all is right with the world. I'm leaning back in the recliner at my grandparents' house, enjoying the familiar view of the Bigfork River weaving through the backyard on its lazy journey to the Canadian border, about five miles away. past the river, there's the woods. actually, in pretty much every direction, as far as the eye can see, there's woods. that's what I like about this place. everything is so simple. in every direction, there's woods, above you, there are stars, and below you there's grass. and that's the way I like it.

Inside the house is familiar, too. a fire crackles and pops in the large stone fireplace, dear heads with impressive racks tastefully adorn the various walls, good smells are coming from the kitchen, and from somewhere far away I can hear four-wheelers as my dad and grandpa are making last-minute deer stand inspections.

We arrived last night, my dad, my brother and I. This trip up to Minnesota was far less eventful than my last one had been, when my big brother and I had gotten the bright idea to drive through the night. no big deal. it would be a snap. we'd seen our parents do it countless times over the years. by about two in the morning, we were both cursing our stupidity. finally, at around five in the morning, eyes bloodshot and virtually dead to the world, we rolled to a stop in front of the small farmhouse near the Canadian border and stumbled out of the car, solemnly swearing to never do that again, ever.

So not much is happening today. hunting season doesn't start until tomorrow, so today is really just devoted to planning which tree stand to sit in and caressing our guns. today is a day to relax before the hubbub begins. although, I've got to say, I like the hubbub, the chaos, the adrenaline, the intensity that is hunting season.

For now, though, relaxing here, basking in the familiar sights and smells and memories...this is okay, too.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Morning Ritual, New And Improved!

Y'know what needs to be invented? I'll tell you. but first, I think I'd better tell you a story to further accentuate my point. so I guess I will. here goes nothing.

Okay, so, almost every morning without fail, this is what happens. I wake up. but that's not all. sometimes I wake up to sunlight, sometimes I wake up to the beep-beep-beep of my alarm, sometimes to some sort of musical instrument (i.e. piano, flute, saxophone, guitar, ecc). whatever the thing is that wakes me up, the second thing I always notice is the smell of coffee.

I started drinking coffee when I was seven years old. I didn't like it at all, actually. I just wanted Dad to think I was cool. I hated it for the longest time, but the glances of approval from Dad were enough to keep me drinking it. and then, somewhere between seven years old and seventeen years old, though I don't know when exactly, I actually started liking it.

Nowadays, I couldn't care less if Dad approves or not. I gotta have it. my record is five pots in a day, and I wasn't even really trying. it just happened. it also just happened that I didn't eat anything all day (who needs food when there's coffee, right?). finally I realized, "Hey, I'm about to pass out and my body is convulsing. maybe I should eat something." Oh brilliant me.

Anyways, I've drifted from my story. after I smell the coffee, I push my feet to the floor and stumble along, still half asleep, just following that smell. I plod down the stairs in my quest for coffee, coming in contact with various family members who always try talking to me or asking me about things I don't understand, and won't until I've got caffeine in my bloodstream.

"Hey, Johanna, what did you do with my bag of clothes yesterday? remember? it was in your car? You said you'd bring it in? Johanna?"


"Johanna, I need you to pick up Mary from flute lessons at three o'clock today, okay? Johanna?"


Eventually, I make it past everybody into the kitchen where, without fail, somebody is always taking the last of the coffee. I stare with bloodshot eyes as the last of that hot, bitter liquid is drained into the offender's oversized mug, which has probably been refilled several times already this morning.

And whoever it is will smile at me as they walk away, ignorant to my distress, while I stare, mesmerized by the steam wafting up from the rim and the enticing aroma that's sure to follow. and I'll stand there for a few seconds more, willing more coffee to appear in the pot, without success, usually. in the event that no more coffee appears, I'll pad over to the empty pot and begin the long process of making more. (it's the unspoken rule that the person who takes the last of the coffee is supposed to make more. however, since the rule is unspoken, it is also often unheeded).

After I dump the old filter and replace it with a new one, fill it with the grounds of my choosing, add the water, turn on the burner and close the lid, there's really nothing left to do but squat down until you are at eye level with the pot, less than an inch away from singing your nose on the scalding glass, and watch the dark brown liquid trickle into the waiting pot.

"Johanna, I need you to clean your room today."


"Johanna, what are you doing?"



Oh, please, coffee.

And then, at long last, when the incessant drip-drip-drip is over, you can begin the pouring process. but see, I've been waiting (so patiently) for a long, long time, and I'm tired of waiting, and I want my coffee NOW! so in my haste, I pour really and in pouring fast...I spill.

So back to the beginning. they need to invent some sort of coffee pot that only spills if you pour too slowly. if you pour FAST, you're fine. it won't spill. it's for the slow-pourers that it'll gush all over the counter and make a huge mess. but it'll work great for me. yeah, they definitely need to invent that. how 'bout it, Science?

"Morning" --Iron And Wine.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Game's Afoot!

I'm not sure when it started, but somewhere on the long road of my lifetime, people stopped telling me things. come to think of it, maybe they never told me things to begin with. I'm not sure. all I really know is NOW, I never hear news, I never get my mail, I never know where people are, and, I guess as a general rule, I'm always kept in the dark about everything. that's just the way it is.

Things I generally never know until right before they happen:
1) "Oh, by the way, I need you to bring Rachel and Josh to New Jersey for a basketball tournament in half an hour. you're okay with that, right?"
2) "Hey, where's Dad?"
"South Korea."
"WHAT!" (sadly, yes, this actually happened, word for word).
3) "Johanna, do something about your mail, it's been piling up for weeks now." WHAT MAIL???

Why do they do it? I haven't the foggiest. they must have their reasons, but the reasons had better be pretty darn amazing because I go to a lot of trouble to find things out that nobody will tell me.

I do try to know things, though. I ask questions, I look for my mail, I try to know what's going on. it doesn't do a whole lot of good. my family always manages to throw me curve balls periodically day after day. they know how to evade questions like pros (or worse yet, answer a question WITH a question! rawr!).

So what do I do? this.
1) As often as possible, linger outside closed doors and listen for information that I won't be told later.
2) Offer to get the mail, or even better, just get it without telling anybody, thus not giving them any chance whatsoever to get there before me with the intention of hiding my mail.
3) Be nosy, asking direct questions and demanding nothing less than direct answers.
4) Eavesdrop on phone calls and general, everyday conversations.
5) Be evasive and mysterious to everybody else. let's see how YOU like it!
6) Lay on the floor with my ear to the vent.
7) Don't believe it when people say, "I don't know."

I think I could easily get a job as an investigative journalist. I already have an impressive resume. in fact (I just thought of this, just now), to decide whether or not they want to hire people, the newspaper could just stick a prospective employee in my house for a week. if they come out and know anything about anything that's going on in the world, they get the job.

So yeah. a day in the life.

"Fin" --Anberlin. man, if there's a song in the whole world that can depress a person, it's this one. I would just not listen to it, but it's so pretty!

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Oasis In A World Gone Mad

I was just sitting here in my bedroom, wondering what to do. I know I know. it's almost one in the morning. go to bed, Jo. yeah but there must be something to do first. then I was just looking around my bedroom, looking at everything in it, and thinking how much I love it. the things in my room are like children to me. I couldn't choose between them, and I couldn't give them up.

Things in my room that I love:

1) My coffee pot, currently filled with India Spice Chai tea. Mmmm.
2) My Christmas tree, which is so so cute, it always stays up until late February or early March.
3) My many books on my bookshelf, which are indeed a diverse assortment. (i.e. Sherlock Holmes, The Interpreter's RX, King Of The Wind, Don Quixote, Medical Terminology 1, The Great Divorce, Claro Que Si, ecc.)
4) My cards (as in playing cards) that I've got stashed away. once I put them all in one place, I realized that I've got over 10 decks. no lie. I like cards, okay?
5) My cute shelves and the cute things on the cute shelves.
6) My spotted blanket that is SOOO soft that Mom gave me. (I'm officially madly in love with it)
7) My fake bouquets of flowers from the wedding that I was in (Yes, I caught the bouquet! :)

There is so much more that makes up my room. movies galore, tea and coffee, my cool bottle collection, my window seat, and so much more.

Now, as a separate subject, I'm going to talk about all the random stuff in my room. stuff that serves no apparent purpose. stuff other people would not have laying around their room. stuff that makes my room awesome.

1) The flashlight behind my coffee pot.
2) The tools laying under my desk.
3) The purple heffalump pez dispenser.
4) The pencil and pen holder filled with coffee beans.
5) The picture of KC and Tori wearing blonde wigs.
6) The "kiss me, I don't smoke" sticker on my closet door frame
7) The "nametag tree" where I keep my assortment of nametags when I'm not using them.

These are strange and random items, to be sure, but they are what makes my room the best. without them, it would just be a bedroom that anybody could live in without thinking about it...or the guest bedroom it's supposed to be. :/

And so, without further ado, I hereby declare my bedroom, 100% amazing.

"In The Year 2525" --Zager And Evans. I'm not quite sure what to think of this song, but it's certainly thought-provoking.

Monday, January 12, 2009

That Age Old, Yet Still Prevalent Question.


It's a dumb question, sometimes. it's a very valid question, sometimes. it's a very annoying question, always. but it's a question everybody in the world has asked at some point, and it's a question I ask myself every single day of my life. Why? I dunno but it makes for a great blog. :)

Why did I put on two different colored socks this morning?

Why do people always think I'm joking when I say, "Let's do that again!"?

Why did Nikki lie about using my toothpaste?

Why doesn't Lincoln ever get any decent snowfalls?

Why does all my electric stuff break?

Why is it so cold in here?

Why didn't I get to go home first from work, even though I'd been there the longest???

Why do I have a flashlight hidden behind my coffee pot?

Why am I not allowed to go into the attic above my closet? (highly suspect)

Why did that lady at work ask if I was wearing my boots??

Why can't I make my left hand do things my right hand can do? (and "Jo, you're right handed" isn't good enough!)

Why do we find words on a page between two pieces of cardboard so exciting?

Why can't money grow on trees?

Why can't Douglas come back and teach Marcus who's boss?

Why can't people understand that Pepsi and Coke are exactly the same?

Why do squirrels run across the street right when there's a car going by? WHY??

Why can't Macy tell Gimbel?

Why am I asking all these questions? Hmm. maybe I should've asked myself that before now.

I love the question "why?". it has the potential to make people question what they've just said and it can make people very angry (which is sometimes funny, depending on the person and just how angry they are). another reason I like it is because you can use after any statement in the world. maybe that's why little kids crack me up so much. they need reasons for everything.
"Let's go to the park." "Why?"
"I'm hungry." "Why?"
"Clean up your mess." "Why?"

I'm done. why? the world may never know. (that's always the safest answer, I've decided).


Yep. this is a multi-part blog. saves me the trouble of making a new blog in a few days, and it saves you the trouble of checking back for a while! see how I'm making life better and easier for everybody??

Anyways, just so's everybody knows, Nikki and Justin are now officially ENGAGED!! yep, it's true. after a long, agonizing wait, they've done it. or I suppose I should say, he's done it. it was kinda funny, cause after they got engaged, they came to our house, and told mom and dad. the rest of us were scattered throughout the house, so Dad calls out: "Hey everybody, come here! you've mail!"

I was in my room at the time. got mail? please. IF I ever DO get mail, it's usually about three weeks before anybody tells me I got any. since when was my mail so important? my dad has better things to do with his time than herald mail announcements. and we all got mail?? at eleven o'clock at night? right. I could've thought up something better in my sleep. I wondered what was going on.

I suspected, the minute that I came to the top of the stairs, that they had become engaged. I was 90 percent certain. Nikki and Justin were standing in the entry. Nikki had her hands behind her back. they both had funny looks on their faces.

I started to grin as I came down the stairs. much as I suspected it was true, I didn't want to freak out and be like, "Oh my gosh!! CONGRATULATIONS! When's the wedding?!?! How'd he do it?!?" if it turned out to be something else. how embarrassing.

But then, when I looked at Mom, and she grinned really big and nodded at me, I knew it could be nothing else. I began to shout, "Let me see it! Let me see it!!" at about that same time, Mary and Rachel came into the room. from their point of view, they saw the ring first. Mary's gasp lasted about ten seconds. it was hilarious.

I don't remember what I did. I think I giggled like a fool for about fifteen minutes, hugging Nikki, Justin, and whoever else I laid eyes on. I could barely take my eyes from the ring. it's beautiful. after waiting so long (and yes, I know it was a longer, harder wait for Nikki and Justin, but c'mon, a sister is allowed to be in suspense, too) they had done it.

So now, two siblings engaged to be married. I realized a few months ago that these days are the last blissful days I've got before everything changes. I'm not sure why, but I don't deal with change very well (maybe that's why I didn't vote for Obama?? :P). I don't like when things change. hopefully they'll be easy changes to adjust to.

I'm really excited for the weddings. I'm excited to see my brother take a bride, and for my sister to take a husband. I'm excited to watch them start their lives together. I'm really excited to have nieces and nephews. but y'know something else? I'm gonna miss my big sister and my big brother. I'm gonna miss them something terrible.

"New York's Not My Home" --Jim Croce. Ahh...this song takes me back to CNA class.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

No. Absolutely Not. Never In A Million Years. Okay.

I try to tell myself that I'm not. it doesn't help. I try to tell myself, "Self, stick to your guns for once." all the while, the internal Johanna is clutching her sides and howling with laughter. guns? what guns? You're a pushover, a softy. and you know it.

But it's not like I don't try. it just does no good, at least where my siblings are concerned. they can make me do whatever they want, with a bat of the eyes or a subtle compliment. sad thing is, I know the game. I know what they're doing, or more importantly, what their motive is, before they do. I just can't overcome it. curse my own weakness!curse it a thousand times!!!!

Okay. a few examples. you know I wouldn't be writing about this if I didn't have a bazillion examples.
1) My big brother Jim and I were going somewhere, and I was just in the bathroom putting on some makeup. Jim is an impatient person. if he's ready, you'd better be ready too, or else he'll do nothing but complain complain complain. but it must've dawned on him that when he complains, I just ignore him, so he tried something different. "Johanna, you don't need makeup. you're gorgeous already." Now, I may be dumb, but I'm not a complete imbecile. I had enough sense to know he wasn't sincere in his sappy compliment. however, coming from my big brother, whose policy is "Never ever in a billion years give a compliment to your sister", I found it cute. so cute, in fact, that even though I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he was just trying to hurry me to the somehow worked.

2) At my house for Christmas, we (sometimes) draw names when it comes to buying gifts. last year, I drew Nikki. this year, I drew her again. I smell a rat. I like to think that I give good gifts and Nikki "arranges" for me to draw her name. maybe. who knows? but that's not the point. the point is, at church they were selling stuff in the back, and Nikki wanted this purple scarf. I was hesitant, to say the least, because the scarf was quite a chunk of change. she looked at me, her vibrant green eyes locked in a war with my own. and I was losing. in about five seconds, our eyes had a complete argument.
"No." Stick to your guns, Jo.
"Please?" *Precious Moments eyes*
"No..." Stick to your guns, Jo.
"Oh, Please! look how pretty it is! Please, Jo? I love you!"
To heck with the guns. "Oh alright."

3) Jim again. He was downstairs with Dad and Josh watching football. he was sprawled out on the couch, taking up all of it. he saw me enter the room. "Hey, Jo, go bake me a pizza."
"No." I replied, attempting to stand up for myself.
"Please? I'll love you forever."
I glared at him. "I know what you're doing." I said.
He grinned. "But we both know you're going to do it."
And I did. I'm like that. I can't help it. I hate saying "no" to people.

"Will you marry me?"
No, Creep Face. "Yes!"

"Can I borrow two hundred dollars?"
I don't even KNOW you! "Sure."

"Can I borrow your car? I crashed mine."
How stupid do I LOOK?? "Why not."

Pushover. Softy. Wimp...Aw blast.

"His Favorite Christmas Story." --Capital Lights. AWwww! I love this song!