Winner, winner chicken….uh, never mind….

Ok party people, weekend’s over. Back to work.

That’s the bad news.

The good news?

We have a winner!

And the other good news is that thanks to my lovely, compassionate and brave friends who decided to reveal their own garage, quonset, farmyard and basement rubble woes as part of Friday’sHot Hot Redneck Mess prize alert post not only have I discovered that I am not alone in the complete disaster that I have lurking outside my window, I got a few giggles, snorts and solid advice in the process.  

And because each hoarding, junk/treasure collecting, farmyard cleanup, old school papers, naked husband painting in the garage, used toilet story is unique and different just like you, I decided the fair way to select the winner of the challenge was to put the names in my dirty Carhart cap and leave the winner up to chance and those Junk Gods I’ve been praying to.

And it looks like the Junk Gods have a favorite because they chose Holly. Sweet Holly who volunteered to come out to the ranch and hold my hand as I gently, boss, I mean, urge husband to give up the three wheeler, dirt bike, jet ski, pail full of nuts and bolts, washing machine, five of the six coolers, ball of twine, his old batman pajamas from the third grade etc, etc, etc…

Holly I know we are not close neighbors so we might have to postpone that trip, but I am going to tweak your next piece of advice a bit and talk to husband about paying me $25 per hour for my time on this project.

Then I’m going to close my eyes and wait for him to pick me up and drop me in the water tank.

Dog in the stock tankBig Brown Dog, I fear you’ll have company soon…

Congratulations Holly, you have your choice of the following three matted 8X10 metallic prints to hang on your wall as a reminder that outside of the Veeder Ranch garage, North Dakota has some beautiful sights. Let me know if you’d like me to include a couple pairs of ice skates, a broken ladder or a rabbit cage at

Wild Prairie Rose

North Dakota Badlands

Grass and Moon

Ok, now for more of the bad news.

I didn’t actually touch the damn garage this weekend.

Guilty of avoidance...

Don’t judge me, I had a higher calling.

We went camping instead.

We had to, I mean as much as I wanted to spend the entire 90 degree weekend hauling microwaves and washing machines and lawn ornaments out of the garage and to the garbage pit, sweat dripping down my back and pooling into a nice little puddle at the top of my butt crack, it was our annual Christmas in July with husband’s family, and well, I had no choice.

I had to go. I couldn’t let the in-laws down.

I mean, this little girl was waiting for me and what type of iron hearted woman would I be if I rejected this face?

And who would want to miss these moments of heart melting sweetness?

Besides, they were counting on me to soak in the lake, make a mass batch of margaritas, take a boat ride, try my balance on a massive floating log and, due to a miscalculated body launch, accidentally show the entire crew of in-laws my snow white butt cheeks, tube with my little niece, eat hot dogs, and hang out with the chickens…



Yup. The chickens went camping.

And I think that my in-laws and I might be the only people in the world who can utter that phrase with complete truth and honesty.

What? You act like you've never seen a chicken on a beach before...

Now, I am not sure where to go from here except to promise you I’ll get to the garage project this evening…

right after I write up my contract, locate my water wings, deliver papers to husband, and pull my ass out of the water tank…


And, you know, right after I finish the laundry.

Happy Monday lovelies!!!

A hot, hot redneck mess (Prize Alert!)

It’s Friday and it’s promising to be hotter than the blazes of the underworld out here this weekend. As the cool morning springs back up after a monsoon style rain last night and the sun pushes its way toward the middle of the blue sky, I feel like shedding layers…layers of blankets from my comfy bed, layers of clothing, layers of worry and layers of work on my to do list.

And what’s #1 on my to do list?

Cleaning out the damn garage. The damn garage that has been home to what some people thought was important stuff for a good twenty-plus years. I think it has been cleaned before, but with a leaking roof, crumbling doors and muddy floors, it’s time for the thing to go to its grave.

Not the garage, but a more pleasant view of the ranch. I can't bring myself to scare you with the actual evidence. You're welcome.

But some things don’t go down easily.

Oh, we have been shooting at it for a good long month, walking in there to start to tackle the process and then promptly walking out convincing ourselves there are more important things on that list: a horse that needs riding, a lawn that needs mowing, a weed that needs whacking. Once I even turned my butt around to tackle the laundry pile instead…and you know how I feel about laundry.

Yes, this is what we’re dealing with here people. It’s a disaster zone of old microwaves, bed frames, dressers, ice skates, thousands of unidentifiable tractor and truck parts, my dad’s old lunch box, swallow nests, spiders, deer antlers, gears, wire, a Christmas wreath, scrap wood, a jeep and a partridge in a pear tree.

I would like to blame this situation on my relatives, the ones who built this little specimen of disaster in the first place, but as we opened the door last week and began organizing piles of stuff into “keep,” “toss,” “give away,” and “what the hell is this?” it became quite clear that the problem did not lie in past use of the facility.

The problem was my husband…and a little bit my pops.

The culprits. Don't let their calm, cool and collected demeanor fool you because under those hats are plans that have spawned a monster...

Yup. I blame it on the boys. Because I refuse to take responsibility for the following:

One hundred coolers that seem to go missing when we are looking for a cooler…so apparently we have just purchased a new one…every year for the last five years.

A mini, yellow, homemade boat that has been out on the lake approximately four times, once involving me, husband, a fishing hole in the wilderness, a pickup stuck up to its nuts in gumbo, no cell service and a hike in flip flops up to the top of the nearest butte.

A microwave given to my mother as a proposal for marriage in the early 80s that was just recently exchanged for a newer model and placed in the garage, because…well, forget that it weighs all of 110 pounds, it still works, someone might use it someday and it has sentimental value dammit.

Three pairs of cross country skis from the same era as the microwave and one pair from the beginning of time.

A three-wheeler that showed up at our doorstep from the depths of a landfill somewhere. It might work someday. It. Might. Just. Magically. Work. One. Day. Until that day it will continue dying a slow death in the garage.

A dirt bike purchased by a handsome sucker who is certain that one day he will acquire the skills of John Travolta’s character in Phenomenon and breathe some life into what was, at one time, a fine machine. Until said sucker gets struck by lightning, the dirt bike will exist propped up against the garage.

A jet ski that “isn’t broken” but has served as the world’s largest lawn ornament for a good year now, waiting, too, on that lightning strike.

Five ladders that I am not about to climb.

Two washing machines whose motors are waiting to be attached to a grinder, inserted into another washing machine that doesn’t work, rigged up in a go cart or maybe applied in some way to help get that damn jet ski out on the water again and out of my life forever.

Help. Me.

Ok, ok, I will take responsibility for some of it. I mean among the rubble I did find 103 flower pots, six pairs of ice skates and my old purple, ice cream cone sleeping bag. But in my defense, if I remember right, at one time I had aspirations of landing a triple axel and heading to the winter Olympics like my good friend Nancy Kerrigan, and a girl needs back up skates for that. Also,  I have full intentions of filling all of those pots some day with gorgeous, Martha Stewert approved flowers…and that sleeping bag was useful in protecting pops’ not yet out of the box 2004 Christmas gift meat smoker.

Shit. The quaint mystery and charm of the Flea Market loses all of its wonder when said Flea Market is in your front yard.

Actually I think it might turn into another term all together…one that begins with “Red Neck” and ends with “Ville.”

Sweet Martha where are you when I need you?

So I’ve decided in order to lift my spirits on this 90 degree cleaning day I would like to give something away. And I’m going to refrain from trying to convince you that you all need a new pair of ice skates, and old cooler and an almost working jet ski.

No, I love you too much (and I’m afraid I’m not that good a saleswoman). So instead I wanna give you a chance to win your choice of one of the following three metallic 8×10 matted photographs that celebrate the finer scenery in my backyard:

Wild Prairie Rose

North Dakota Badlands

Grass and Moon

All you need to do is cheer me up by sharing your own cleaning woes. Tell me I’m not the only Redneck woman. Tell me you too have two non-working washing machines and an old ice auger in your crumbling garage. Tell me I am not married to the only man hoarder, aspiring mechanic.

Tell me I’m not alone!!!

Share your story and I will put all of the names of the participants in one of my 103 empty flower pots and pick the winner on Monday.

And then say a little prayer to the junk gods that they will send down an angel to take this hot mess of a garage to heaven.