The Madison Birthday Extravaganza

You think Miss Madison would want this for her birthday?

Way back when on November 6th 1981, some of you may have been standing in line at your local Disc Jockey record store eagerly awaiting the release of The Cars Shake It Up album.  Some of you might have even made it a date night and went to see the world premiere of the cinematic classic Time Bandits with your significant other.  My rich and famous readers who are old enough were more than likely knocking back high balls with Ted Kennedy celebrating the birth of his niece Maria Shriver.  Me, I was probably eating boogers and looking for the cure for cooties since I was a robust five years old.  If you are old enough to remember Disc Jockey record stores, drop me an email, we’ve got some reminiscing to do!

Meanwhile in a land far far away known as Austin, Minnesota, some other celestial events were about to occur.  The Spam (think mystery meat not penis enlargement emails) factory shut down so the story goes.  Even the heavens themselves decided they would spare the natives two feet of snow for this most glorious of days that was about to go down.  Local hospitals were having bidding wars to be chosen to deliver the most precious of babies that was about to embark on her journey to making the world a better place.  If you haven’t figured this out yet, Minnesota’s favorite daughter graced the world 35 years ago on that day, you also know her as Miss Madison!

You can’t have her back Minnesota!

That’s right, last weekend it was a full scale Skipah style party with Miss Madison as the guest of honor.  We even had the gang all back together as it was my weekend to clock into my part time job of playing dad, and Sloane got to join us.  Soon enough, trust me, this will more than likely be a full-time job, but if anything, I’ve learned in the family law game patience is extremely key.  Upon meeting up with my daughter after our two-week hiatus, the first thing she wanted to know is where we were going shopping for Miss Madison and when in the hell was she going to get to live with me!

Unbeknownst to Sloane, I had already pull some secret ninja online shopping maneuvers.  As a blogger, I get access to some super-secret deals from affiliates.  Since I am a blogger, I’m not allowed to shop those super-secret deals.  As a blogger with family in other states…online shopping for your loved ones and making a little scratch on the side is what is known as #Winning.  No worries for Sloane though, she had quite the major craft project dreamed up in her head for her favorite adult, and yes, her parents are a close second and a distant third……I’ll let you decide who grabs place and show in that horse race.

Before anybody thinks I’ve suddenly turned into Picasso, the good folks at Kirkland’s made me an offer I could refuse to get this out of their inventory!

With Sloane off perfecting skills that one day will make her a pain in the ass at the local scrapbooking/craft club, Mr. Skipah had to finish his biggest D.I.Y. project he had ever undertook.  The patriarch of the Madisonian family also has his special day on the same day as his eldest daughter, and his lovely wife enlisted me in a black ops mission that had me more nervous than the first time I went before a judge.  I had to build a library with carpentry skills that would make Bob Vila start pouring beer in his Cheerios for breakfast!  No, I’m not talking about building a mini mockup of the Library of Congress, more like the super cool phenomenon known as Little Free Library!

Mr. Madison Sr. is an ardent purveyor of literature and has enough books that he could heat a city the size of Nashville, Tennessee for a solid week if he ever decided to have a book burning party.  Instead he gets to share his love of literature with area residents assuming I could pull this daunting task off.  It was a six-week project that involved visiting every area thrift store and flea market in a three county radius.  Once the perfect object was located for next to nothing, I had to make it look like a library.  I made enough trips to the area Lowe’s that I know half of the staff’s eating habits, who they are dating, and all the other store politics (weekend lumber/wood department manager evidently is an asshole) until I had all the necessary materials.  By my inaccurate math, I’m sure I made at least eight trips there and had the whole damn store rooting for me to get it right.  I finished the project under budget and in time, and for a guy whose wood working skills begin and end with “driving nail in wood with hammer,” I hope he liked it.

As for Miss Madison’s celebration, Sloane out did herself with her gift that she thought of all on her own.  I’m not nearly as creative and stuck to retail therapy, but between my online shopping prowess (shut up blogging ethics board) and finding some sweetheart deals, because you know department stores haven’t fully recognized the ongoing turkey revolution and must majorly discount everything to get their yuletide inventory on to the shelves I think I did o.k.  Miss Madison pretended to at least be happy with her haul from yours truly.  I would have made her a cake the size of Montana, but time was short and she prefers my cooking to baking anyway.

Not sure where she gets this “creative” gene from, must be from a six generation relative I’ve never met!

About it for now, Miss Madison is still adamant that she is “young”, Sloane is marking the days down on her calendar until she gets to come back, and I’m preparing the finishing touches on my Woodworking for Dummies online seminar.  For $19.95 you can learn how to read a tape measure wrong, butcher cutting wood trim, and paint like Ray Charles.

BJ’s wholesale website -
Send Skipah Sailing!


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  7. Happy Belated to Miss Madison! I love this gift. Great job! You know that Sloane gets her creative gene from you.
    Tikeetha T recently posted…Day 4: Seven Days of ThankfulnessMy Profile

  8. Love the lending library that you built. All that learning that went into it….in more ways than one!

  9. Well done! Great little library! I’m impressed! I’ve yet to see one in person yet, so I hope they keep gaining in popularity. Happy Birthday Miss Madison! 😀
    joey recently posted…Share Your World #46My Profile

  10. Happy belated 35 to your Miss Madison…..treat her like a queen,always!

  11. Happy (slightly late, but y’know) birthday to Miss Maddison! 🙂

  12. She is only 35? You are robbing the cradle. At least your daughter is younger than her! Glad both you and your little girl were on hand for the momentous event!

    Keep Miss Madison around for when you get full custody of your little girl! You will need the help getting through the strenuos teenage years.
    hallenterprises132 recently posted…Have You Ever Had an Earworm?My Profile

  13. Happy belated Birthday, Miss Madison! <3
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  14. Well that answers my question (posed only two days ago to my husband about who Maria Shriver is). He said, isn’t she the one out of Last Tango In Paris? I said, no, that was Maria Schneider I think. Anyway, how weird, it’s like the universe just provides me with answers to my questions without me having to Google them. Happy birthday Miss Madison - enjoy being 35 before 95 creeps up and takes you by surprise!

  15. Disc Jockey? Those stores wouldn’t even have been a section at Peaches or Planet Music.

  16. First of all, Happy big 3-5 to Miss Madison! Secondly, I’m so jealous of your little library!!!!!!! I’ve been begging my master carpenter hubby to build one for me for weeks (we have plenty of scrap lumber), his amazing tools (don’t go there, Gary), and we live a block from the school! All the ingredients are there, but instead, hubby is working on a new deck for our backyard. I guess I shouldn’t complain, but I haughtily showed him the photo you posted, LOL! He likes your sense of humor 🙂

    • Oh the responses I could run with on this one :). I’m not a master carpenter so I’m sure your hubs with his amazing tools could “erect” one that would satsify the masses :).

  17. Very cool and creative you and Sloane. Happy “young” 35, Miss Madison!
    R.C. Liley recently posted…Taking a Sabbatical Since Blogging is ProblematicalMy Profile

  18. happy, Happy, HAPPY belated birthday Miss Madison!

  19. Aw, how wonderful, Miss. Madison’s birthday sounded. Glad to see she has you and Sloane to shower her with love and affection! HBTY!, Miss. Madison. <3

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