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It's Cinco de Mayo and my tulips are covered in snow. But hey, we still have our sense of humor right? 

Know it All. 

When I was a kid I wanted to be an expert when I grew up. It seemed like a pretty cool job, being the one who always got mentioned on television and in the newspaper. Things like, "Experts say that, while entertaining, home computers will never be embraced by the populace", and "Experts predict that this winter will be unusually warm and dry." Even better, you didn't actually have to be right. 

Inevitably someone had to burst my bubble and explain that expert wasn't a job title in and of itself, you had to be knowledgable in some field, which required extensive schooling, study and experience. Or least that was the case until Facebook came along. But the other day, in the midst of an online conversation with a fellow graduate of good old Cut Bank High School, I realized that not only have I finally reached that childhood goal, I have acquired several areas of expertise. 

I have, through painful experience, become an expert on which varieties of frozen vegetables make the best ice packs. Peas and corn are the perennial favorites for application to body parts that have been kicked, smashed, sprained, or strained, although southern-style hashbrowns do very nicely. The key is in the size of the chunks (yet another reason not to allow cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in my house) and in being careful what you do with your improvised ice pack when you are done, so that the stuff melted onto your sweaty foot doesn't end up also being dinner. 

I am an expert at precisely lining the hay truck up with the rows of round bales, the ultimate goal being that the tractor operator doesn't have to turn his steering wheel when he loads the next bales. I will confess that my determination to perfect this skill stems not from the pursuit of excellence, but the utter monotony of hauling hundreds of loads of bales. In other words, I gotta entertain myself somehow. 

Like most writers, I tend to consumer large amounts of beverages while working. No, not that kind of beverages, although somedays a mid-morning cocktail certainly couldn't make things worse. I generally make myself a cup of tea, drink about half and then forget it until it's stone cold, reheat it, then an hour or so later make another cup of tea and repeat the process...except this time when I get to the reheat stage I find the remnants of my first cup still in the microwave. 

As a result, I have become an expert on insulated beverage containers, studiously weighing the benefits of ceramic versus aluminum versus plastic, with bonus points for a spill-proof lid (sippy cups aren't just for toddlers - ask my last three laptops, may they rest in peace). Plus not having to constantly reheat my tea has increased my productivity nearly enough to offset the cost of an additional cupboard to house my mug collection. 

I am also an expert on socks. Especially wool socks. Then again, so is everyone I've talked to this winter, so I don't suppose that knowledge is particularly valuable other than as a conversation starter in any cafe or bar in Montana. 

And last, but definitely not least, I am an expert at taking a vague thought and embellishing and stretching and exaggerating the concept until it becomes a newspaper column. Nifty trick, huh?

Coming July 30th! The re-release of my very first published novel, The Long Ride Home, with a new cover, title, AND available in print at a bookstore near you and at all the usual online vendors! Find the pre-order links on my website by clicking below. 
Copyright © 2019 Kari Lynn Dell, All rights reserved.

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