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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
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About this blog
By Valerie Brandt
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness ...
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A Healthy Dose of Spice
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness and differences of the slower life from one state to the next. My husband and I own our own business where we provide for our three growing daughters who are the light of our world. Writing has always been an outlet for me, starting a diary as young as 4th grade and continuing for each of my daughters currently. Writing clears my mind and my heart of things that I would rather say but don't (due to my impeccable manners) or did say and wished I hadn't (sometimes those manners fail). I am clearly outspoken and am working on being filled with grace and compassion. In my spare time my family and I enjoy reading, biking and cooking. We do NOT enjoy cold snowy weather.
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By Valerie Brandt
May 16, 2013 10 p.m.



I am what some would consider "mid-life"...in my thirties.  At first I almost choked on my coffee when I heard someone refer to me as such.  But, it is, alas, true...if it were 1910.  Nowadays midlife can easily be 45, but age is just a number, right?  However, I do find this time in my life to be exhilirating and confusing all at the same time.  I am at the "last chance" to decide if I want to change my lifes work.  

What is my lifes work?  I have a great job.  The pay stinks, there are no sick days and 9/10 times I am required to take my work with me on vacation.  I am a stay-at-home mom.  When people ask, sometimes (thus the confusing part) I tell them that my husband and I own a business.  We do, that is not a lie.  However, I do very little work in the business because I just don't have the time with all the managing of little people's lives that I do.

Telling people that makes them respond one of two ways, they support it, or they don't.  Women tell me how grand it is, but some times, men and women, just stare at me like I have two heads, or worse, that I am lazy.  I AM NOT LAZY.  I am taken for granted on a regular basis, but I can't be lazy or we don't eat, or have clean clothes, or a garden, or compassion for others.  

I told my guidance counsellor in high school that when i grew up I " just wanted to be a mom" and he told me that "that was a stupid idea" and to "go to school and get a real job".  Huh, I guess I showed him.  That makes me feel good to know that no one was going to stand in my way of doing my dream job.

So, I don't want to change what I do, but my job changes daily.  Tonight we attended preschool graduation for our middle lovely.  I cried at the beginning of the program and putting her to bed tonight I cried again.  Wasn't she just tiny and smiling all the time?  Wasn't she just learning to walk/pedal a trike/sing?  Now she is "graduating"?  I realize that kids grow up, but then that means I am out of a job...so, my mid-life re-evaluation comes into my mind often.  

When our youngest graduates from high school I will be nearing "the real" middle age group (almost 50).  You know what, you can't stop time.  I will just remind myself to re-read this post and re-evaluate then.  That is my plan with a healthy dose of spice, and I am sticking to it.

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