All the Things: Mountain Misadventure, Relationshipping, and Other Hazards of an Off-Grid Life
by Ammi Midstokke
Praise for All the Things:
"This collection of essays is to be kept on hand for whenever you need to feel more normal, seen, or understood. Ammi's words come to life with amazing description, and while outrageous at times, these are very relatable stories. We all have our different versions of pushing limits and seeing what is possible. By sharing her wild rides, Ammi helps us see the light and the necessity in seeking more."
--Krissy Moehl, champion trail runner, coach, race director, and author of Running Your First Ultra
"For years I have relished Ms. Midstokke's columns in The Spokesman-Review, both for their wry self-deprecation and for the fine ear she tunes to backwoods grammar, whether in her homeland of Sandpoint or on an excursion to Scotland, where she discovers "the stoic soils of a sea-bruised shore.""
--Paul Lindholdt, Washington State Book Award-winning author of In Earshot of Water and Interrogating Travel
"One of the great joys of my job as the outdoors editor for The Spokesman-Review is reading Ammi Midstokke's bi-weekly column. Writing in the first-person is hard and few do it well, much less consistently well. Fortunately for me, and you, Ammi does it well week after week, and this book is a testament to her talent and insight. Nominally, these stories are about outdoor (mis)adventures, but I promise you'll laugh, cry, and nod your head in recognition of deeper wisdom, often all within the space of 600 words."
--Eli Francovich, The Spokesman-Review
"Whether wintering with Ammi in her off-the-grid Northern Idaho “cabin” or lying with her, pinned under a boulder in the mountains, you get to see and feel her experiences--without the boulder. Ammi's stories are like her life--unbridled and unique, with enough humor to hold her (and you) through the sweat and the tears of living as true to her calling as she can and still remain on this planet. Do not miss this chance to travel with Ammi, but be forewarned, it may be contagious."
--Dulcie Witman, LADC, MFA, and owner of Wide Open Writing
"All the Things is a collage of memoiric musings, a collection of seventy-seven short essays, each crafted with whim, wit, and wisdom. Midstokke, an obsessive long-distance runner as well as a strong and confident forty-something mother, slows down to the speed of solitude in midlife, to contemplate fleeting moments of awareness that arise from a myriad of daily dramas and personal traumas, moments often overlooked, moments ripe for reflection, moments which may illuminate a path to spiritual redemption. “I am looking for my story, even as I write it,” writes Ammi Midstokke. And aren’t we all?"
--Carl D. Barrentine, Emeritus Associate Professor of Humanities and Integrated Studies, University of North Dakota
"Getting acquainted with the writings of Ammi Midstokke might best be compared to going on a Star Trek adventure. While telling slice-of-life stories about herself and her often wacky adventures, she may take you to where no woman has dared to go before, ‘cept for Ammi. I like to think of her as a pure free-range soul who allows no barriers to stop her, except for when a big rock pins her to a mountainside. That harrowing experience and her subsequent rescue brought Ammi regional fame and the opportunity to share her unique writing voice through outdoor columns in The Spokesman-Review. Regardless of the situation, her brilliantly crafted and precise prose provokes a range of strong emotions. Read one Ammi Midstokke story, and you’re hooked."
--Marianne Love, author, blogger, freelance journalist
"Ammi has a powerful skill of bringing insight and humor to the challenges and vulnerabilities of everyday life. It should be noted that her everyday life might look different than yours or mine, but that makes it all the more impactful. While most of us sit back in awe at the things she chooses to tackle and wonder if she’s superhuman, this closer look behind the curtain reminds us that she puts her bike shorts on the same way we do (though probably with more clever humor, observation and swearing). That reminder comes in the form of a great read, one in which you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and most of all, you’ll relate."
--Kenny Markwardt, coach
After surviving the usual debacles of adulthood (marriage, taxes, divorce), Ammi Midstokke does what any sensible single mom would do: She purchases an off-grid fixer-upper perched on a granite hilltop in rural Idaho. Underprepared and overcaffeinated, she embarks upon a series of seemingly inadvisable activities from getting lost in the mountains after dark to dangling on a rope with a chainsaw to relationshipping with bearded woodsmen and falling in love.
In her hilarious yet sage debut essay collection, Midstokke demonstrates that battles with freeloading varmints, clogged stove pipes, childhood trauma, and one surprisingly aggressive boulder are unexpected, if not wonderfully entertaining, pathways to personal growth and joy. All the Things delivers the irreverent, fearless, and brilliant voice of a woman who laughs in the face of failure and soothes her wounds by splitting wood, often in her skivvies.