My Other More Exciting Self

Farm Raised, Shoe Enthusiast, Turkey Talker, Wine Lover, Mom

So just for fun, I want to share a couple of photos I found tonight. A couple of years ago, both my sister and I received matching plastic milk carton holders with our family’s last name on them! (I’m thinking my brother and my parents have these, too.)

The holders were originally made for my family’s grocery store – Ginsburg’s – in Hector, Minnesota. Each holds a carton of milk and makes it easier to pour. (We never bought gallons of milk when I was a kid – only the half gallon cartons that fit these holders.)

Have you ever seen these type of milk holders? I really don’t know much about the history of such items; I’m assuming other grocery stores offered them up to their customers, and I’ve definitely seen similar “Handi Holders” for sale on eBay and elsewhere. Such a fun vintage feel to them, and the colors were perfect – the lighter, almost turquoise blue fits my sister’s decor and the red is completely me. (I have kind of a thing for red … including barn red kitchen cabinets.)

I could write several posts on the vintage items that catch my eye in antique shops, occasional sales and my mom’s closets at the farm. Red and white enamelware, white milkglass anything (but especially cake stands), kitchen aprons … these are just a few of my favorite finds.

Do you collect anything vintage in your home?

Vintage plastic milk holder from Ginsburg's Super Valu | via

Sisters, enjoying their vintage finds! :)

Vintage plastic milk holder from Ginsburg's Super Valu | via


How can it be Friday already? Seriously. This week went crazy fast!

Teacher Man and Joe had yesterday and today off from school (fall break) and were very busy around home while I was working. The house is completely clean, top to bottom; lawn is mowed; several of my large perennials and shrubs in my gardens are cut down and ready for winter; and the patio furniture has been put away. Fairly impressive!

As for me, here are a few of my highlights from the week:

High Five for Friday! | via

Last Saturday, we spent the day with my sister, her husband and their daughter, Morgan – or #MyGirlMorgan, as I like to call her. Of course I took a zillion photos. How could I not? She is the cutest little bug! This is one of my favorites, though – Joe read her the Eric Carle book, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” and she loved it. Funny story: when Joe got to the part that reads “I see a blue horse looking at me,” he proceeded to tell Miss Morgan that “for your general life knowledge, you will never see an actual blue horse.” That’s my Joe – he’s very factual.

#AgCatalyst Conference |

Mid-week I attended the “Ag Catalyst Conference” in the Twin Cities, an event specifically for those of us in agriculture communications so I was in #AgNerd heaven! I took back so many ideas for the social media platforms and websites I manage in the office, but I think my favorite part was meeting up with several ag friends – like my ag blogger friend, Teresa (above) who is a farm girl from Canada. (You can check out her blog here.) We met a few years ago at an AgChat Foundation conference and we stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Anyone who thinks social media doesn’t bring people together should come to one of my agriculture conferences and learn otherwise!

Earl the #Pug | via MyOtherMoreExcitingSelf.wordpress.comI post this picture of Earl the #pug under my sister’s piano bench for no other reason than it makes me smile.

Duran Duran | via

Is there anything better than driving home after a full day of speakers and presentations at a conference, turning on the radio to the 80s station on Sirius, and hearing my favorite 80s band, like, ever?

Fall Bike Ride |

Some of you may have seen this photo posted on my Facebook page this week. The weather was quite glorious for mid-October so Joe and I went for a bike ride after supper one night. Like any good mother, I made him stop by the corn field near our house and take a selfie with me. Surely these are mother-son moments he will remember forever, yes? :) Bike rides are actually a great way to have some good conversations with my son – we get away from the distractions of the house and we end up talking about all sorts of topics.

I hope you  all had a great week and enjoy the upcoming weekend. Any fun plans? If so, please share in the comments!

I’m linking up for High Five for Friday! with The Lauren Elizabeth and The Diary of a Real Housewife.


What is it about October that feels like it moves too quickly into (gulp) November? The impending doom that is winter in Minnesota? Surely yes, at least for me. All the garden prep work: cutting back the perennials, pulling up the frost-hit annuals … to get ready for winter and be ahead of the game (at least a little) in the spring.

And then there are the leaves – they appear to slowly, ever so slowly change colors but then all of sudden, when I just happen to look out the window – boom! – the vividly bright reds, oranges and yellows pop out in a heartbeat and go away almost as fast.


For now, I’ll relish the Autumn Blaze Maple tree in my yard that looks so amazing next to the pristine blue sky.

Autumn Blaze Maple | via

And I’ll sneak under that maple tree to capture the bird house blowing in the breeze and the multi-colored leaves, some not quite turning to the tell-tale shade of red yet.

Autumn Blaze Maple | via

It’s a funny time of year, really. I crave soups and chili. I long to wear my boots and tights and dresses and sweaters. But … I’m not quite ready to say good-bye to fall and hello to winter yet.

October … please don’t move so fast.

I’m trying something new today. A few weeks ago, I found a new blogger I really enjoy – Marisa from A Lovely Living. She blogs often about fashion, and I enjoy her sense of style – wearable, fun, age-appropriate (but in a good way) and definitely not high-end pieces I could never afford. (Sorry, but I’m not buying $190 jeans that are on sale. I’m just not. If you’re that kind of blogger, good for you – but chances are I’m not a regular follower.)  She’s also a busy mom and wife and includes stories and pictures of her family and throws in a good recipe once in a while, too. In other words … she’s very relate-able to me. Except that I can tell she is way taller, for which I will forever be jealous. ;)

Every Friday she links up with other bloggers from around the country for “High Five for Friday!”. Everyone shares five things from the week – photos, funny stories, everyday moments, whatever. I think it sounds like a great way to end every week, so here’s my first attempt:

1) This is what I see almost every weekday morning – Joe, pretending to sleep so he doesn’t have to get up and get ready for school, along with Earl the #pug, patiently waiting for either a) Joe to wake up, or 2) me to come in and pick him up and take him downstairs to get some breakfast. Earl, as many of you know, is nearly 14 and cannot jump on or off beds (or chairs or couches) anymore – in fact, we need to carry him down steps, too. But he’s got the biggest heart of any dog I know and he loves cuddling up with Joe. And really, how could you resist that pug face? It’s impossible!

High Five for Friday! | via

2) Once I got downstairs this morning and let the dog out to do his business, I noticed it was actually pretty dang chilly out. (If you look closely, you can see frost on the lawn.) Thankfully, I had pulled in my hibiscus plant along with my succulents a few days ago, so they warmed up our porch with color. My plan is to over-winter these pots inside – this worked last winter so wish me luck. I’m really good at gardening outside, but not always the best at remembering to water my indoor plants. It’s a weird genetic defect or something.

High Five for Friday! | via MyOtherMoreExcitingSelf.wordpress.com3) Speaking of gardens, I took this photo of my Limelight Hydrangea (dwarf variety) this morning and I am totally IN LOVE with the color. These are fast becoming my favorite plants in my garden.

High Five for Friday! | via

4) My sister is going to be so jealous! And now that I think of it, my mom would look totally adorable in these. Behold … my newest pair of shoes, old school Converse sneakers! I happened to get a coupon in the mail from DSW Shoe Warehouse for my birthday, and well, I just had to use it before the end of September. I mean, I just HAD to.

High Five for Friday! | via MyOtherMoreExcitingSelf.wordpress.com5) I leave you with #MyGirlMorgan, who will soon turn 10 months old. We’re heading to my sister’s tomorrow to see her (well, and the guys are going pheasant hunting). This little bug is crawling now, which will be so fun! (I say this as an auntie, not a mom who needs to get stuff done around the house.) While the guys hunt, the girls + Joe are planning to do a little shopping. My sister needs some new work clothes and Joe is in desperate need of a winter jacket. The thing with Minnesota in October is, the weather can go from sweatshirt to parka time in about 30 seconds flat, and currently I am totally unprepared. Joe is less than enthused about shopping, typically, but as long as Morgan is going, I don’t get the eye roll or one single complaint. It’s good to have adorable cousins!

High Five for Friday! | via MyOtherMoreExcitingSelf.wordpress.comEnjoy your weekend, everyone!

I’m linking up for High Five for Friday! with The Lauren Elizabeth and The Diary of a Real Housewife.



Oh, Joe.

On Saturday Teacher Man and I decided to take a little family drive to explore some of the countryside and check out the fall colors. We had a trip plan from our friend, Jim, who recommended a route just a little north of where we live. We effectively banned screen time in the car for Joe, which he agreed to without complaint (although he rightly reminded me that iPhones have screens too), and got ready to hit the road.

Joe is, I think, a pretty typical 10-year-old boy. He has no interest in clothing and has these requirements when getting dressed in the morning:

  • Being comfortable is absolutely key.
  • No jeans. At all. He hasn’t worn jeans since he was a toddler – he doesn’t like anything about them.
  • T-shirts typically are of the video game variety – i.e., they must show Minecraft, Mario, Skylanders or the like. Exceptions include an Iowa Hawkeyes t-shirt (Teacher Man is the Hawkeye fan), a Nebraska t-shirt (from his cousin) and any t-shirt his mom brings home from her work travels. But still, it’s important to note these are all t-shirts.
  • Socks are worn begrudgingly, even in winter, and can only be short (no long crew socks). Socks are also the third thing that is taken off immediately upon getting home from school – the first two being his jacket and shoes.
  • No “fancy” shirts or pants, unless it’s for church or a special occasion. And even then, there will be an eye roll. And to more clearly define “fancy” for you, this refers to all other kinds of pants except for athletic wear and any shirt with a collar. Joe does have one exception to the fancy shirt rule – he has a pink and gray golf shirt we bought him Arizona that he loves and he’ll wear that any day.

With all these specifications, sometimes a mom just needs to have a little fun, so I pulled out this sharp looking outfit for Joe to wear.

Joe and his mom | via


Yep, I got the eye roll and the subsequent question, “Why do I have to wear these pants?”

The shirt – while not showcasing a video game character – is a long-sleeved t-shirt with a hood, so that wasn’t the problem. The pants, though, were bordering on “fancy” in Joe’s mind, even though they were pull-on cargo pants in a very lightweight material. Hardly dressy or even uncomfortable in my book but to a 10-year-old boy with very specific comfort rules, the pants were not the usual Saturday attire.

I was so pleased with the results, however, I took another photo, made sure I got a very nice smile, and promptly texted it to his Grandma Marilyn and Auntie Jodi, proclaiming how handsome he looked. This 10-year-old boy can clean up well!

Joe and his mom | via

Joe, to his credit, didn’t really argue about the outfit – he’s smart enough to know when to pick his battles. We, in turn, had a fun family trip to explore the fall colors and ended up at a tiny little lakeside bar and grill for lunch, where we enjoyed the food, the lake view, and our family time after a busy week.

And when we got home? Joe immediately changed into his favorite pair of athletic pants. :)

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