This Thanksgiving one woman is grateful for North Dakota

I love Rachel Kelly’s author bio on her new Areavoices blog: Meanderings of a Zealous Mom. 

She uses several six word phrases to describe herself:

Always looking for The Grey Area.
Meet my best friend, Amazon Prime.
Graduate degree in Blooming Where Planted.
What does boredom feel like again?
My 3 year-old poops in sandboxes.
Unlikely mix of redneck and liberal.
The Bakken: Home of my heart.
Married to Trees, Affair with Sky.
WRITER, Wife, Mother, Friend, Sister, WRITER.

Blogger Rachel Kelly and her children


And what a writer she is. She’s lived in many places around the United States, but this Thanksgiving she finds herself in the rugged oil patch region of Western North Dakota, The Bakken.

She describes her response as people ask her if she really likes it “up there?” For her, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Here is an excerpt:

“Sometimes I feel like I might be living in a dream, like one day I’ll wake up and the adoration I have for this place will have faded like an ill-fated love affair. But the truth is I’ve loved one thing or another about all of the places I have lived, but I have never loved myself in a place more than I love myself here, in North Dakota, where the expanse of land seems endless and unwavering, where rebel dust clouds visit every surface and crevice, where trees, my true love, are as scarce as rainbows, where the biting winds of winter torment my face, forcing me to hide behind layers of clothes. Beneath these clothes which shroud me in protective warmth, I am as free as ever.”

I won’t go on any further. Go to her blog yourself and read what she has to say about her new home. You might find a new appreciation for your own surroundings.



Check out what these ten year olds are doing on Areavoices! – Areavoices Digest #84

I just love this idea! Matt and Graham are two ten year olds who love baseball. This summer they’re setting out on a six day six game six city baseball tour with their dads and they’re taking Areavoices with them. They’ve set up a blog to journal their adventures. It’s something we’ve seen a couple of times this summer. Remember the Nasello’s. They’re blogging as they travel through the state of North Dakota this summer.

This is such a great way to preserve the memories of your trip. Not only can your friends and family see what you’re doing, it’s a good way for you to look back years from now. Easier, than trying to find the time to put photos in a scrapbook or album. (I’m pretty sure I still have photos from a 1978 trip to Medora in an old Red Owl grocery bag lying around somewhere.)

Anyway, have fun Matt and Graham!

Check out all of our recommended blogs this week!

Matt and Graham’s Baseball Tour
Matt & Graham, two 10-year-olds are going on 6 day 6 game in 6 city baseball tour with their dads.

The Bakken Mama
“Bakken Mama” grew up an Army brat, but now she finds herself in the midst of the Oil Boom of North Dakota with her husband and five children. These are her adventures.

“We provide compassionate and innovative chemical dependency treatment services for those in need.”

Rape and Abuse Crisis Center
Brand new to blogging, The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center is a non-profit agency which provides advocacy, counseling and education.

Travel Mode
My life as a travel agent.

Areavoices Digest #70 – A song that might drive WDAY’s Weather Guys Crazy!

Okay, technically “Fargo’s First Radio” isn’t turning 90 until May 22nd, but I’m a firm believer in celebrating milestones as long as possible.

But perhaps more than that, the station’s anniversary is worth mentioning today because of something the fine folks at ‘DAY just started doing. They’re helping us relive history. (I mentioned last week how the Duluth News Tribune is celebrating history in it’s Attic blog, now WDAY is following suit). The station has uncovered some classic old radio clips from the past century – with the voices of Ken Kennedy, Jack Dunn and more. (Trivia: Did you know WDAY radio personality Ken Kennedy discovered singing great Peggy Lee, the former Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown, ND?) What’s even more fun is hearing the old game shows and commercials. Now you can hear these clips from the Golden era of radio on the WDAY Radio Blog.

I have to point out one clip in particular. It’s from a live weather report in 1946. What stands out to me is the weather jingle sung by Lynn Abbott. It is vintage. Really cheesy. But delightful. I’m sure the jingle stopped airing in the 1940’s or 50’s, but it never really went away. I remember a couple of years ago when I worked for WDAY, the studio production crew would pipe this old jingle into the studio as the meteorologists were prepping their forecast. While I think they all appreciated the walk down memory lane, I think it might have driven them a little nuts too. Now you can listen to that song on the WDAY radio blog.

The WDAY radio blog will be sharing these clips with us through the spring and even summer. Please feel free to leave your comments and memories in the comments section of their blog.

Now here is the WDAY radio blog along with the rest of the recommended blogs of the week:

WDAY Radio
Fargo’s first radio celebrates its 90th birthday by uncovering some rare audio and video clips from radio’s golden era.

Marilyn Hagerty
Grand Forks own media darling. The 85-year-old retired Herald columnist has captured the nation’s attention with her
restaurant reviews. What started with a review of The Olive Garden is now taking Marilyn around the world!

Oil Patch Dispatch
Forum Communications reporter Amy Dalrymple brings us news from the oil boom in western North Dakota.

Chew the Fat
A health and fitness blog designed with you in mind.

Real Money
Advice from The Village Financial Resource Center as we hit the heart of tax season.

Wanted: Bloggers for “The Patch Today”

You might have seen the news today. Forum Communications is launching a new website.

According to the Forum Communications Company blog,

“, which can be found at the Internet address of the same name, will serve as a general news website to the geographic area in western North Dakota and Eastern Montana that is collectively known as “The Oil Patch,” or “The Patch” for short. The site also aims to keep the residents of that quickly growing section of the country informed about local and state news, features, sports and entertainment. And finally, the site will delve deeply into reporting regarding the burgeoning oil industry that is centered in the region, thanks to new technology that has made tapping into The Bakken Oil Formation possible, company executives said.”

Read the full blog post.

To make the site even more valuable to readers in The Patch and around the world, we want to invite members of the community to participate by writing an Areavoices blog that could appear on The Patch Today.

We’d love to hear from those working in the oil industry as well as people living in communities in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. Schools, clubs, organizations, businesses, and individuals can share their news by starting their own Areavoices blog. It is absolutely FREE and provides a great way to share news and information.

Areavoices blogs are featured in our 36 news websites across North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin and are part of a network which reaches about 2 million readers a month. Our readership is growing by leaps and bounds every day (even before Marilyn Hagerty Mania!).

Sometimes, Areavoices blog content is  published in some of our paper’s print editions. Something we call “Reverse publishing.”

If you’d like to learn more about Areavoices blogging, you can watch any of the videos from this blog. There are overviews, tutorials and testimonials. I also have a section of “Frequently Asked Questions” you might want to read. And of course, you can email me with your questions:

We’d love to bring more Areavoices bloggers to The Patch!