Daily Photo (A family vacation blogging cop-out)

Daily Photo (A family vacation blogging cop-out) 4

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Tomorrow morning, the first of my relatives touches down in ‘Sota for nine whole days of 4th of July family fun time.

(Yep. Nine days. When Papa Mark purchases a plane ticket, he likes to get his money’s worth!)

Cramming six related adults into a two-bedroom home for over a week equals family vacation chaos. And family vacation chaos equals Katrina not having the time, energy or sanity to blog.

Instead of completely dropping off the face of the internet, I’ll be sharing a daily photo with some sort of brief explanation of how I’m enjoying my family time. It won’t be a full-fledged blog post, but at least you’ll know I haven’t run off to Bemidji after a heated feud with my sister about how to properly slice a watermelon.

(Stranger things have happened during Woldseth family get-togethers.)

I’m kicking off the daily photo series with a not-so-glamorous photo of the current state of our guest bedroom.


Why is it in shambles, you ask?

Because Scott decided to shampoo all of our carpets last night, of course!

(I realize I shouldn’t complain about having a spouse who willingly tackles such major cleaning initiatives, but I can’t really help it. It’s in my nature.)

Scott decided to deep clean the carpet for the following two reasons:

  1. As a result of the great cat food binge of 2014, Jolie managed to unleash her digestive fury all over our beloved, 100% wool dining room rug. Naturally, she only aimed for the white stripes. (Let’s just say it looked like a tragic gravy spill and leave it at that.)
  2. Our guest bedroom smelled faintly of dog pee from Penny’s early accidents when we first adopted her. I argued that my parents wouldn’t mind sleeping in a room with a slight essence of Min Pin urine. Scott just rolled his eyes.

It was a battle I had lost before it even begun. Scott rented a Rug Doctor from Menards, and started tackling the second floor of the house while I went downstairs to clean the bathroom hide in the bathroom and read magazines. Three hours later, the deep clean was complete.  Like any Taylor home improvement project — there were good things…and…well…not so good things.


  • Jolie’s gravy stains were successfully removed from the wool rug in the dining room.
  • Our guest room no longer smells like Penny’s pee.
  • Scott didn’t catch me secretly reading magazines in the bathroom.
  • Scott also didn’t discover the new fourth of July outfit I secretly bought when he removed all my crap from its hiding spot to shampoo the walk-in closet carpet.


  • See that wall cut-out in the guest room photo above? Scott definitely had a brand new jug of concentrated carpet cleaner sitting there. And he definitely bumped into it…knocking it all the way down to the sunken living room on our first floor.
  • I had to stop secretly reading magazines and spend ninety minutes cleaning concentrated carpet shampoo from the concrete floors. (Easier said than done.)
  • While completing the above task, I slipped in some pesky suds and sprained my ankle. Again.
  • Lars and Penny ran through the mammoth puddle of spilled shampoo three times, which meant a total of six separate paw baths. My torso is now completely covered in animal scratches.
  • We realized too late that purple shag carpet takes forever to dry after a shampoo. Every window in the house has been opened to expedite the drying process. Meanwhile, I’m freezing cold, huddled in winter clothing and a large blanket complaining about it.
  • I have to walk on chilly, wet carpet without shoes on. Apparently, dirty footwear would defeat the purpose of this whole shampoo thing. (Eye roll.)

In conclusion, Jolie and Penny absolutely cannot have an accident ever again as I’ve already determined this is last time our carpet will be receiving a shampoo.

As for you, Mom and Dad, you’d better appreciate your non-dog pee smelling guest room.

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Pride and Commercialism

Pride and Commercialism 3

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This weekend, Scott finally achieved his dream of seeing a full-grown man in a pair of assless chaps.


In other words, we went down to Minneapolis for the annual Twin Cities Pride celebration.

(And yes…the chaps really were one of Scott’s life goals.)

The parade and festival that followed in Loring Park was colorful, full of joy…and overtly commercial. What was intended as a celebration of  the LGBTQ community had somehow been turned into a giant opportunity to advertise, advertise, advertise!

This realization hit me the hardest when Scott got separated from the group in a crowd that was nearly impossible to navigate. (I simply assumed he’d been distracted by a pair of chaps.) After twenty minutes of walking in circles, we finally located my wandering husband. “Sorry,” he explained, “I was signing up to win a free $10,000 bathroom renovation.”

Moments later, a free rainbow Xfinity slap bracelet found itself coiled around my wrist. I’m still not entirely sure how it got there without me realizing.


Corporate branding at its finest.

I know the gays love a well designed bathroom, and who doesn’t get excited about a nostalgic slap bracelet?! Yet it felt like the entire day had become less about love and more about…well…logos.

Don’t get me wrong — I think it’s great that more and more mainstream corporations and small businesses are supporting the LBGTQ community. But the corporate presence at Pride seemed like it was purely about handing out business cards and gathering email subscriptions. The idea of love, support and diversity seemed less of a priority. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of these companies actually had policies that supported the LGBT community, and how many were just there for the free marketing. (This is purely an assumption I’m making based on zero research–just my own first-hand impression of the experience. If I’m wrongly pointing the finger, shame on me.)

I don’t mean to rain on the Pride parade. It was a fabulous day of inclusion, compassion and unapologetic jubilation. I’m glad the gay community is receiving so much support and participation from small and large business alike. I just wish that Pride — and pretty much any public event that goes on today — could be more about the people and less about the promotional offers.

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Three questions

Three questions 7

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A trio of inquiries I’ve been wrestling with all weekend. Your input would be greatly appreciated.


1. Is this incest???


This weekend, Penny decided to claim her younger brother Lars as man candy. I’m having trouble deciding if this sibling romance is icky, or interspecies adorable.


2. Is anyone else watching The Leftovers?


Scott and I stumbled upon this series by accident over the weekend. (In other words, he threw a fit that I had watched three back-to-back episodes of Orange is the New Black, and demanded an immediate change in programming.) After taking in the pilot I am completely confused and enamored. I’m also finally starting to understand what Jennifer Aniston sees in Justin Thoreaux.

As a side question, does anyone else have a theory that all of the people who “disappeared” have turned into wild animals?

Oh. Just me…?



3. Walt or Frank?


I’m really struggling with the one, you guys.

It is a question that popped into my consciousness while trying to drift into dreamland the other night. I’ve been losing sleep over which lovable villain reigns supreme ever since. Would I rather eat fried chicken at Los Pollos Hermanos with Walter White or chow down on ribs with Mr. Frances Underwood at Freddy’s BBQ joint? Talk about the ultimate dilemma.


Thoughts on all of the above would be greatly appreciated in the comments below. Ready, set…answer!



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Eating her feelings…again.

Eating her feelings…again. 3

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Jolie and I have a lot of things in common. We’re both fond of naps, love wearing frilly dresses, and have the terrible habit of religiously watching Pretty Little Liars while snacking on peanut butter with our fingers/paws.


We tend to eat our feelings.

Just one short year ago, Scott and I added Penny the Miniature Pinscher to our family. While Jolie has mostly accepted the fact that her younger, skinnier, more energetic sister is here for good, she didn’t adjust so easily at the beginning. Namely, she ate so much of Penny’s dog food that we could no longer fit her adorable Boots and Barkley sweaters over her bloated little torso.

While the girls still compete at meal times, we’ve reigned in Jolie’s overeating and have trained Penny to stand up for both hersel and her food. After a few months, Jolie was back at her fighting weight, wearing her slightly loose sweaters with pride and swagger.

Until Lars showed up.


The addition of an outer-species brother means Jolie is experiencing a lot of…well…feelings.

Feelings that she secretly chews and swallows while no one is looking. In other words, she’s gained two pounds over the past two weeks from gorging herself on all the cat food.

We’ve since “hidden” Lars’ kibble on the bottom shelf of our bar cart behind the red wine. The cat’s able to access it easily (Mama’s little wino in training!) but Jolie still hasn’t figured out that it’s there, let alone how to access it.

But our intervention was too little, too late. All week, Jolie’s been dragging her sluggish body around the house, clearly weighed down by a stomach that is dramatically swollen and rock hard to the touch.

“She’ll poop it out eventually.” Scott explained.

When I returned home from the gym last night, our chubby chihuahua was nowhere to be found. Not in our bed, the snuggle cave, or even her crate. Had Scott accidentally left our outside? After fifteen minutes of searching, I finally located Jolie, shivering in fear and shame as she hid beneath the bed in our guest room. Two feet away was a piece of dog doo that was literally twice the length of her body. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it, and I hope I never do again. Neither Scott or I had the heart to scold her — she was clearly already humiliated.

Moments later, she vomited all over the shag carpet in our bedroom. I pretended to be asleep so Scott would have to deal with it.

Today hasn’t been much better. As I let Jolie outside for her morning potty break, she immediately ran to a section of tall grass and started chowing down. (This is what animals do when the need to throw up.) Ten minutes later, she was nowhere to be seen. I finally spotted her around the back side of the house, lying belly up and shaking quietly. It was as if she was waiting for one of the eagles who lives near by to swoop her up, and put her out of her glutton-induced misery. The cat food binge had brought her this close to a bird-of-prey-assisted chihuahua suicide.

I picked her up, showered her with affectionate pets, and nuzzled her in my arms as I fed her a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to get things moving. Ten minutes later, she was upchucking into her dog bed while I held her ears back and reassured her that everything was going to be okay. It felt oddly similar to my freshman year of college in the women’s dormitory.

I can tell she’s feeling much better, although she’s quite insistent on sequestering herself in the closet snuggle cave. I’m assuming this is less about feeling under the weather and more about pure doggie mortification.


Still, I’m forcing her to go on a walk with me over my lunch break — Dad’s orders:



Sometimes it’s really hard being a mother of three, you guys.

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