Backstreet’s back, alright

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life76 Comments

Man, I missed you.

My wrists, sadly, did not. But I did. And really, that’s all that matters.

So let’s see…what’s new?

1. Home made art inspired by real art.


A few weeks ago, I made a few trips to IKEA for a handful of small home beautifying projects, namely the long overdue photo series entitled: "Photos of Us Doing Things in the Rooms in Which We Would Actually Do Them."

Been planning this one for years. Let me demonstrate with one wall in my bath tub cubby area:


I know, I know…Naked Kid on Blog Alert. But the kid that’s most naked in the two shots are me. That’s right. Me at three, and me at four. I’ve had those shots forever, and I wanted to have shots of Cole and Aidan there, too. And Dan. Problem is? No cute shots of Dan in the tub as a wee one. For a brief moment, we all laughed at the idea of just taking a present day shot of Dan, in the tub, hands strategically placed over the family jewels, chest hair and all, for the ultimate in photographic incongruities, but we thought, "Maybe not." So that’s why there are two shots of me. Naked. Moving on. Sorry, Dan. We’ll fit you into the Kitchen montage, I promise.

2. My wrists hurt and I’m going to see a specialist and I’ve cried a lot because I hate it when things aren’t normal. Pity party ends here.

3. Guess what time it is in Minnesota?


Yep. It’s fair time. Know how I know for sure? Strangers are moving through my neighborhood at all hours of the day, up until 11 p.m. and last night, standing on my porch, I could hear every single word of the Backstreet Boys at the State Fair Grandstand singing "I Want it That Way."

When the wind is blowing just right to the east, it’s like being right there. I closed my eyes and saw the coordinating white outfits on the tarmac. Sigh.

Maybe I’m going about living near the fair all wrong. Maybe it’s a gift, you know?

Just like A.J.’s facial hair.

Aw yeah. Backstreet’s Back. And so am I.

Cathy ZielskeBackstreet’s back, alright

76 Comments on “Backstreet’s back, alright”

  1. #3

    Here’s to hoping that specialist nails this thing. Very unnerving; thoughts are with you.

    And your bathroom art is totally rad. (yup, showing my age here dude!)

  2. #4
    Beth D

    Welcome back! Missed your posts girl. I couldn’t believe it though! I live in a small town in Ohio – just a few hundred feet from the county fairgrounds. And guess what starts this week and runs through the holiday weekend? yep county fair. I would be so happy to have something like the Backstreet Boys to hear. I’m just waiting for the tractor pull to start!

  3. #5

    Great to hear from you. Just take it easy with those wrists eh! Hope that the specialist can help.
    Sharon (UK)

  4. #6
    Kris with a K

    Ah, the fair. Growing up in Hudson, then living just off Como for a while, I went every year. I feel for your parking issues, Cathy, but I also miss the Cheese “Nerds”, the mini donuts and the butter sculptures. Never did care for corn dogs. I’ll have to find my photos to blog about the butter heads. I used to drive thru the fairgrounds during the school year over to the St Paul campus when I attended U of M, and ride my bike to Como Zoo all the time. What a sweet time to remember.

    Here’s to healing wrists!

  5. #7

    When my husband and I first lived together in Philly, our drunk 20 something neighbors upstairs had a drunk fest one random Thursday night…late…way into the wee hours of the morning all we kept hearing was them singing “I want it that way.” It has forever tainted my perseption of the BSB…and apartment living. LOL!

  6. #8

    LOVE the bathroom pics. I’ll have to borrow that idea. One question, though. Do you get this weird feeling, like someone’s watching, when you’re on the loo? Just wondering.

    Take care of those wrists!

  7. #10
    Melissa Raphael

    well, at least you put the naked tub pics in the bathroom…my dad put naked pic of me on the toilet in the main hallway for ALL to see upon entering our house.

    :)heal those wrists!

  8. #11

    I totally think you should do present day Dan in the bathroom. That would be priceless. Be well!!!

  9. #12
    Karla in So Cal

    Boy, that was a looooong week. Being that I’ve been home for over two months with my two girls constantly fighting and whining, you’re my only source of sanity…he, he. Today is a great day, they go back to school and Cathy’s back!!!

  10. #13

    Sorry to hear your wrists are hurting. You need to have an ergonimist check things out. If you’re doing a lot of typing might I suggested the SafeType keyboard. ( It looks different but it keeps your wrists at a neutral so it’s more comfortable to type. It’s been my saving grace. I don’t experience the pain in my wrists that I used to. Hope you feel better.

  11. #14
    Judy in huntsville

    I too have bathroom shots hanging in my boys’ bathroom! One of each of them at, maybe a year or so, and then one of all my boys [w/ their Dad] in the tub [oldest 3 or so and youngest about 18 months, dh – age -?]It’s a cutie and I love seeing all of them in there. – Loved yours too – and welcome back – hope things go well with the specialist! ~ J

  12. #16

    I am right there with you and the wrist problems. Mine are aching as we speak. I have to say that I do miss when you’re gone. Your blog makes me snort with laughter. Man, do I wish you were my next door neighbor. You have such a way of putting things. “Just like AJ’s facial hair”????

  13. #18

    I hope your wrist feels better soon. I know how you feel about the fair, but every year I read your blog about it and I tell me husband and he becomes wistful for the MN State Fair. He talks about pulling the kids out of school..because we started 3 weeks ago…flying up for a day or two (we get flight benfits…don’t worry we aren’t crazy enough to pay airfare for a couple of days). I always remind him what a pain pulling the kids out of school is but one of these days I might let him actually do it..just cause. Labor Day coming soon..hang in there.
    Robin in AZ

  14. #19

    about your wrists… have you tried Glucosamine/Condroitin? (i’m sure i butchered the spelling) I work on the computer at least 10 hours per day and was having terrible trouble with my wrists. I started taking the supplements once daily
    and don’t even need them now… they really helped. Also, raise your chair as high as it will go.

  15. #20

    Man I’m sorry about the wrists. I’ll say a prayer the specialist can find a NON INVASIVE way of helping you… although in the end being helped is the main thing. Maybe mini-donuts from the fair will help ease the pain. Or fried snicker bars.

    I hear they help a lot.


  16. #22
    sue Treiber

    I would love to have a reason to put that sign up in my yard, just foshitzangiggles.
    I hope your wrists heal soon. The blog world is a far less funny place without you in it!

  17. #23
    stacey r

    Yay, Cathy’s back!

    I love your new bathroom art. I need to make my house more homey too.

    I cracked up at your fair sign. I knew exactly what time it was when I saw it. LOL

    I hope your wrists feel better soon.

  18. #25

    so glad to have you back. your blog is like crack, you know… i checked it every day, sometimes twice just in case. and quietly cursed your hurt wrists. :0) i think you should have done the grown up pic in the tub. that would have been HILARIOUS!! but it might mean therapy for the kids when they get older.

  19. #26

    So glad you are back! For what it’s worth, my girlfriend had terrible carpal tunnel and got some great relief from her chiropractor. It might help you as well.

    Just enjoy the free concerts. And borrow the German Shepherd again to keep drunk people off your lawn.

    Love the bathroom shots! And the art.

    Take Care,

  20. #27
    Michelle Webb

    can’t imagine how frustrated I would be if I were in your shoes! hope you feel better soon! While you’re taking some down time check out the latest CD by Jason Mraz if you haven’t already heard it. At first it’s just happy background music, then the second time through you hear the great storytelling-I’m absolutely OBSESSED with this album (dating myself with the album reference now) “We sing, we dance, we steal things” get the double version with extra live songs from itunes-you’ll love it. feel better.

  21. #28

    I live for fair time in MN I love going but only once. much as I love the fair I think I would not like living so close I could hear the music at night. I feel for you there.

    I hope you are feeling back to yourself soon.

    Have a great day

  22. #29

    girrrrrlllllllllll – so glad you’re back & so sorry about the wrists (if it makes you feel any better – and i know it won’t – why do people say such stupid things?, i have a friend who fell out of her attic and broke both of her wrists – her husband had to wipe her . . . well, you know) anyhoo, one of my neighbors has a dog that barks anytime they are not home and they are never at home and the ones across the street come and go at weird hours of the day and night and hang out outside – they have a house – why don’t they go inside – its 95 degrees here at night

  23. #31
    Sarah (Hutchinson, MN)

    We went to the MN State Fair on Sunday. If only I would have known that we could have crashed on your front porch or in your front yard. 🙂 By the way, dear husband was VERY disappointed to discover that the animal barns closed at 3pm on Sunday so they can swap them out for the next round of animals…. mental note, check schedule in advance next time. (We’re new to MN.)

    We did end up parking near and turning around in the Saints parking lot… and I went, HEY, I think this is where they do the roller coaster instead of the wave and little Cole is the mini fan…. and when we got home, I read that blog posting to my husband and he laughed a lot (especially the barf photo at the end of the ride).

    NOW husband sees why I am so excited to take your class – since he has now been exposed to your HILARIOUS sense of humor. WELCOME BACK TO BLOGGING! Missed you. Hoping you soon find relief with your wrists!

  24. #32

    i know it’s too late, but i want it that way.

    You are my hero for the fierce bathroom art, but especially for a BSB reference. win!

    I hope your wrist heals quickly – we miss you!

  25. #33

    Welcome back, Cathy! Hope you get some relief soon.

    I’m gathering all my little supplies for your class and starting to think about the pre-work. Getting so excited!

    I’ll send up a little prayer for your wrists.

  26. #34

    This post made me laugh out loud…especially the part about the bathroom pictures!! And the sign! you so funny!

  27. #35

    My son has discovered his power to strip and it seems like all I get are toddler in underwear pictures these days. It has certainly limited the blog posting of pictures – sigh.


  28. #37
    Maegan B.

    Would you please tell us where you found that fabulous crown and which font you used to create your awesome bathroom art? I must recreate that for my laundry room. That is FANTASTIC!!!

  29. #41

    First off… I’m jealous. I can’t go to the MN State Fair this year. *sigh*

    Second… I decided to take a trip down memory lane and click on your link. Listened to the song, sang along, and then laughed at both them and myself… at how utterly ridiculous they are and how much I still love the lameness.

    Thanks for that. 🙂

    And I hope your wrist gets better. And as one of my gymnasts said the other day, “I hope you have someone to kiss it all better!”

  30. #43

    EEK on the wrist still causing problems. Hope the specialist can do something to help you!

    ROFL at the bathroom series. . . so thinking how that pic of Dan would surprise houseguests. Can’t wait to see more in the series.

  31. #44

    I missed reading your blog! I really hope you can find some pain relief. Beg for pain killers if you have to! LOL

  32. #45

    I really wish this wasn’t happening to you. I read alot of the comments from your last entry about many of the other readers who has this too. Wow, I feel for all of you. Some great advice given there too.

    While you were away, the Big Wig Crop was happening at BPS. What a great time! I was very lucky and won a spot in your class. As far as I’m concerned I won one of the best prizes. It is what I had hoped for most. I am looking forward to it.

    Heal wrists, heal. Oh, I do wish this wasn’t happening to you. Lots of sympathy coming from here.

  33. #46

    You have to have a photo of Dan with your bathroom series—try a photo shoot of Dan in a bathtub full of bubbles—all G rated. Like Heather mentioned above–it’d be a great surprise for viewers—little kid pics & then there’s Dan… Wishing you the best with the wrist healing!

  34. #47
    Denise Hubbard

    I suffered from horrible carpel tunnel syndrome several years ago, 4 fingers went completely numb and I hurt from neck to fingers all the time with no sleep for almost 3 weeks. 2 rounds of oral steroids and wearing a brace for carpel tunnel 24/7 for several weeks worked wonders. Beg for some steroid treatment and the right kind of brace! Can’t wait for your class so you gotta get them better! Hugs for getting well! Denise

  35. #49
    Michelle Bazeley

    Welcome back, I defintly missed reading your posts.

    And I can sympathize with your frustration. I push a wheelchair, scrapbook, and crochet. I have this nagging shoulder that rears its ugly head every so often. I have alittle pity party as well.

    Good luck!

  36. #50

    My mom had both of her hands in the wrist braces, she used to have to sleep with them on too–from years of crochetting, knitting, keyboarding and accounting teaching to boot. She finally ended up having surgery and feels as good as new. She really hated to have to do something about it.
    So I’ll be praying for you.

  37. #51

    Welcome back, I certainly missed you! You are so funny and, in your absence, I realized you help me make it through my absurd work days with your crazy, silly humor (matches mine=kindreds), so keep those wrists in rehab b/c i can’t do it without you.

    I use to live by a zoo and would yell at the monkeys when they went crazy (mating season?) and kept me up at all hours. Now in the ‘burbs, I miss my animal friends. Backstreet, Monkeys — see we live parallel lives.

  38. #53
    Sue Carter

    Glad you are back. Hope things work out soon for you. I love the state fair – so many different foods on a stick! I think it’s pretty neat you can hear the Backstreet boys singing.
    Looking forward to your class over at BPS. Take care Cathy!

  39. #54

    so, did anyone else think. . . ‘Hmm, I wonder what photos will end up in her bedroom ?’ or was I the only one. As much as we love you, you may want to keep those private 🙂
    have a great week !

  40. #55

    VERY fun blog post, except for the wrists.

    Love the photos in your bath. LOVE the art you made…perfection!

    And tomorrow night Lucy will be at Paramore. Enjoy listening to that show and all the teenagers it will bring to your street. 🙂


  41. #56
    Krista O'

    Not sure what is going on with your wrists, but a couple of years ago I had injured my left wrist. I ended up with torn ligaments, and opted out of surgery. You should check out Dr. Husband who is now at TRIA in Bloomington. Awesome reputation, specializes in hands.

  42. #57

    Welcome back – the bathroom pics are great! I’m sorry for your pain. I had a round of carpal tunnel and slept in wrist braces for six months and realized one day it was better. Hope you can get some relief without surgery. Looking forward to your class…

  43. #60

    Sooooooooooooooo glad you’re back!
    My week wasn’t the same without you:]
    Take care of yourself.

  44. #64

    Cathy, Just a quick question about your Big Picture class….will the classes be online for viewing at any point during the period of time or will we only be able to look at that weeks class (I travel a lot and know that some weeks I won’t have internet access) wondering if I’ll be able to catch up in between times?

  45. #65
    Sara Bartig

    Cathy, I love your bathroom pics…and your wall color…by chance do you know your paint color in there…I’m looking to repaint my bathroom and you just inspired me…

  46. #66

    oh I missed you too Cathy! I’ve needed to read your blog and get my healthy dose of laughter! You made me giggle a bunch with the thought of you trying to get a bathroom shot of your husband! lol! Hope they figure out what’s wrong with your wrists.

  47. #67
    Shelly in the NW

    at least it’s the Backstreet Boys – it’s fair time here too – the Monroe fair – that’s right time for Weird Al! woo hoo.

  48. #68

    Word to the wise: Know your insurance coverage before you agree to any high-priced nerve conduction testing.

    Hope you get some relief soon!

  49. #70
    Penelope Pitstop

    I need a sign like yours for my car. There is road construction on a major road right next to the high school. So my neighborhood has become the place everyone drives through instead of taking the detour. What would normally be a 3 minute drive to drop off my 3rd grader has become 20 or more.

    I don’t let yourself stress about getting your 12 year old a phone. If you were in Texas you’d be getting her a boob job for her 16th birthday.

  50. #72
    Jen G.

    I was wondering when I would see your crafty informative sign again. We went to the MN state fair last week, hoping maybe I would run into you again…I was the stalker who came up to you at the talent contest ;). I would love to have been there tonight to hear Paramore!
    Glad you are doing better.

  51. #74

    Hi cathy, i have been reading your blog for a while now…actually the whole family has 😉 my three year old thinks you are just awesome! Anyway, I have just got home yesterday from having carpal tunnel and de quervains release on both wrists…and as you can see I am not in too bad a position…I cannot open a can of drink, but at least I can still type and scroll LOL! Hope it all works out for you soon…it really sucks…

  52. #75

    Glad you are feeling better. loved the backstreet video. OHHH memories. I would have loved to have been sitting on your porch listening and singing…. thanks for posting. good luck with your wrists.

  53. #76

    I have a friend who used to live near the King County Fairgrounds. Every year, their favorite thing was to was to watch the cute perky families and their energetic children heading to the fair together, and the same families returning to their cars later worn out, kids whining, crying or sacked out in the stroller. They said it was the best people watching of the year, and used to pull up chairs and some beers in the front yard just to watch the “show.” 🙂

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