Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Think I Herniated my Hernia

I did. It's probably the worst thing ever. Well, I'm sure it would be if I'd ever had a hernia, but I'm pretty sure I herniated something. My feet are really sore. My back hurts (woops, I said I wouldn't whine about that) and my um, neck is itchy.

Spending 10 hours of my day working in a grassy field wouldn't be too bad normally. But first we had to figure out what we forgot to have on hand to get our fence up, then we had to go buy it, and then we had to go somewhere else because the first place was out of stock, and then that all adds up to extra expenses because each place has SOMETHING you need for certain. Did you know that I am now planning on growing rainbow colored carrots and the worlds largest pumpkin? I didn't know until today either. But you know what? I bet I herniated my checkbook.

We got most of our fence done. I am really sore from standing there and handing large galvanized staples to my husband. I'm also tired from having to yank on the fence while he stapled. I also had to stand on parts of it to hold it down. That was lots of work. Then, while I sat in my lawn chair and sipped from a juice box, it really made me tired to watch my husband bend over and pound nails. I mean... a girl can only go so long in the hot (65 degrees with quite a breeze) weather.

This, friends - was my 50th post! I've blogged exactly 2 months, and you know what? I think blogging is giving me a hernia...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A surprise in my pants

As I sat here this morning, eating a healthy (or not-so-healthy, if you think about it) slice of my "guaranteed moist" birthday cake for breakfast, I began to ponder. I pondered about why my back always hurt so much during this particular week of the month and I wondered why I had come up with the title "Tales from the Back Acher" yet had never written about the delightfully excruciating back pain I carry around with me on most days. Usually, I wake up hurting, and go to bed hurting more. It's annoying, it's tiring, and it's hugely bothersome, but I realized I 'm not inclined to go searching for blogs to read that make me feel worse after reading them than I did when I started. No thanks. I believe that you too, my dear reader, are the same way and therefore back pain rarely will be seen on this blog. It's boring and whiny. I don't like whining. Unless the whining makes me laugh.

Let's ponder some more. (And whine while we're at it) Why do heating pads break? What on earth are they made up of that they just stop working? Is it really economical for me to be spending twenty five bucks each on disposable "medical appliances" when I could just be making payments on a hot tub? Making a purchase like that would bring world peace too. At least to my little world anyway. And in my little mind.

This past year I went through a couple more heating pads and then my dear friend gave me an older model. Those kind work best - athough the lack of an automatic turn off feature make for burned spots when you accidentally fall asleep with it on. It's hard to explain to the doctor that the back pain isn't FROM the burn, but that the burn is from pain management procedures gone awry.

This week was bad. The old model heating pad finally gave up it's fight for life. It's barely registering a pulse anymore. I have no idea what I'm going to do. I'm distraught. Mostly because my blogging life usually involves sitting down for 30 minutes of "therapy" with my hot pad to blog, read and comment, and now my secret is going to get busted for sure. I decided to break out the backup GEL PACK.

Let's ponder how the gel packs work. I heated one up in the microwave this morning out of desperation for the back pain and the accompanying FRONT pain I am experiencing during this fine week of hellish PMS. The gel pack is small, it's squishy and it doesn't stay put at ALL. What's the point? It has a cool little velcro strappy thing that helps you keep it with your body when you move around, but whoever invented it wasn't thinking about MY body.

Go ahead, strap something to me and then check back in five minutes to see where it's gone. That crazy belt they had me using during pregnancy usually ended up sneaking around in my underclothes and morphing into a stylish push up bra. Occasionally, it slipped down into my pants and made me look like I was sneaking weapons into public places. I got weird stares when people caught me groping around trying to adjust myself. I'm sure they thought I was shoplifting. I can see it now, "Why yes officer, I was stealing this fabuloso miracle bra! Just look at how this baby lifts! It doesn't do much for separating, but I just had to have it!!"
These things obviously don't work.

Just a moment ago, I felt a warm sensation where I shouldn't be feeling any sort of feeling on a day when I'm home alone unless I was having incontinence issues. Then, I rescued the gel pack from between my legs. How on earth it got there is anyone's guess.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday James 1:2-4

The purpose of Word filled Wednesday is to share God’s word through photo’s and a Bible verse.

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

As our family constantly encounters trials (of many kinds - see previous blog post) it is overwhelmingly evident that this testing of our faith produces perseverance. God is ALWAYS good to us, He is constantly shaping us, His will is being done in our lives. I am joyful. Amen.

For more, please visit:


Call this the vent of the month. I don't WANT to know if I'm a selfish jerk, but if I am, maybe you can break it to me ever so sweetly, so as not to make me cry from self-induced baby whiny head pre-pms phenomena. (It's my birthday, I can cry if I wanna?) By the way, I don't like shell fish. I'm not allergic, I just don't like it.

Also, if I talk about you, but don't mention your name, don't think it's too weird, ok? I just need to get this off my chest - and not stab anyone, yet protect the innocent.

I'm really struggling with the need, no, the DESIRE to take care of others and yet protect my family from being taken care OF (as in, taken to the cleaners) by others. I don't mind letting people help me mop. I don't mind asking for favors if I need them. I don't mind GIVING favors. Matter of fact I kinda-really like to do that. But if you really need something from me, please do me the favor of abstaining from allowing others to walk all over you first, put you in the poor house, ruin everything you own, wreck (or destroy by other methods) 5 cars, and then ask ME for more. And more. It doesn't sit well with me. It makes me feel bitter and used. I don't want to be bitter today. YOU don't want me to be bitter today.

Dear Unnamed Person,
I'm sorry you're stuck at a service shop without a vehicle to drive. I'm sorry it has to be in Newport while your son is in Albany. He can't rescue you from everything. Make some friends. Or are they already refusing to help? Is it pride that causes you to call on your son to help you out of everything, instead of calling someone else that hasn't already had third degree family burns from this mess? It's not our fault that you allowed your youngest child to cost you every penny. We gave you lots of pennies when we bought the farm that would have had you very happily enjoying your retirement right about now. We didn't tell you to buy her another car every time she munched one up, or drove like such a maniac that she blew engines and transmissions. We didn't tell you to pay for all her bad checks, her broken wheels, her groceries, cigarettes or her legal expenses. We told you this would happen.

By the way it really ticked your son off when he brought us home from our trip over the weekend to find another broken down car sitting expectantly in our driveway on OUR car trailer that you borrowed when we weren't home. Thanks for leaving messages on our phones to come pick you up from wherever when you knew we weren't even in town. Geez. What do other people do when stuff like this happens?

It really bothered me that you called me today, all in a huff about being stuck at a dealership because something is wrong with your last surviving vehicle and it has to be in the shop for awhile and it has to cost $2000 to fix and you don't even have money to borrow anymore. I'm sorry, really I am, at your predicament. I don't know why you asked me to call your son, instead of just ask me for my car. I know it's what you want. I know you can't ask me because you know what I'll say.

I feel like such a jerk. I know I offered to loan my vehicle out just last week to a good friend of mine. I totally, and completely meant it. Heck, I'd probably let her borrow it for a month if she REALLY NEEDED ME. Why is this any different? Aren't we supposed to take care of our family? Happily? That sermon a couple weeks back about taking care of our aging parents is really getting to me. What exactly is "taking care of"? Is there a limit? Are all boundaries, and personal space out the window? What about "leave and cleave"? I'm so confused... I'm so torn... I'm so proud of Mr Nice Guy for saying over the phone... "Enterprise will pick you up"

I died laughing.

Until he called me back and said we were going over to pick your sorry self up as soon as he could get home. And we'd pick your truck up. And pick your husband up from work so he isn't inconvenienced. And, he's going to bring your truck back here, and park it next to your car while you enjoy driving my car around and we have to fork it out big time for using our Suburban as a commuter car until your son can fix one or the other of your vehicles ASAP. I feel sick. Why does this not make me feel good? We're doing you a favor. A HUGE ENORMOUS GIGANTIC favor. I should feel wonderful about being so giving, so sacrificial and so... so... *sigh*

Basically, it's my birthday and I had different plans. I'm a selfish jerk - or a shellfish blurk, however you wanna say it.

Things I learned while camping

Rain is good for the earth, however...
Rain is not good for keeping clothes clean on the bodies of 21 children for four days

Having many big trees around our spot was good for shade, however....
Fir needles float, thereby giving off the appearance of solid land when indeed they are just a mask for the huge, deep puddle underneath them

Boots are awesome, however...
White socks are not

Jerky is interestingly tasty roasted over a fire, however...
Soggy boot insoles are not good roasted over a fire

S'mores are still as good as ever, however...
It takes a long time to wash warm marshmallow from the backside of one little girl when you accidentally fling it on her bottom instead of in the fire pit

BBQ Chicken is good camping food, however...

How many hotdog lunches is it legal to have during one extended weekend?

Spankings with moon boots don't hurt so bad, however...
Spankings with a broom... now that smarts

Laughing so hard you can hardly breath is great, however...
Laughing so hard you wet your last pair of dry pants is not

Feeding other people's children lots and lots of sugar is hilarious, however...
Having those parents leave for a few hours while you babysit (after you fed them lots of sugar) is a punishment of the worst proportions

Frightening children in their tent with the sounds of a "pretend" cougar is a riot, however...
Finding out the next day they stayed up for four hours afraid and shaking before running to grandma's trailer to sleep was not looked highly upon by others

Having a three birthday (and 2 anniversary) weekend is wonderful, however...
Do not attempt to bake three cakes in various travel trailers. Just buy one instead - then you won't have the waste of the black cake casing (aka burnt bottom and sides) to dispose of or get some unsuspecting youth to eat (while laughing at him)

Allowing children to free range while on a campout is great, however...
Be prepared for reports of foul language that you'll never be able to live down. Because they came from YOUR son. And it happened more than once.

Having a bathroom nearby is great for our kids, however...
The tree is always closer

Friday, May 23, 2008

Have a Great Weekend!

We're going camping this weekend. Not sure who thought up this idea (no, it wasn't me, I'm sure of it!) and it's raining. Now, camping in the rain used to be dreadful, back when we used tents. This trip is looking like it might actually be fun, although crowded, in our travel trailer. I threw "roughing it" out the window a couple years back - except sometimes we do make the kids play games instead of watching a movie.

We've got enough snacks packed in case we get snowed in for a month. We'd probably all kill each other before then, but at least we'd have snacks so we wouldn't wind up like the Donner Party. Some party that must have been... I wonder why they called it a party? Hey, the party favors were actually finger bits. Yum!

Ok, wow. Gross.

We were up late last night helping some singers rehearse for a funeral. The service was this morning, and yes, I've got very little energy left for this packing business, but I'm trying to make the best of it. Hopefully I've cried enough tears to last the weekend, and nothing will make me flip out. I'm prone to flip-outs when our family goes somewhere, because it's hard remembering six toothbrushes, 27 pairs of underwear, 48 socks and everyone's bedding. By the way, it's raining, so bring the boots and raingear too. This is FUN!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Solomon 6:3

I had an argument with Mr. Linky, but he obviously won... sorry for the inconvenience!
The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share God’s word through photos & a Bible verse.

This is for Mr Nice Guy, in honor of our anniversary coming up on this Sunday the 25th.

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, please visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Joy Rush

The Assignment: Take a minute and reflect on those little joys in your life.

After reading this assignment originally on this delightful blog: So, the thing is, then on to my Farm Suite friend and then another list on Katie's Calamities I've decided to take advantage of the little rest time I have to share my Joy Rush with you. I knew you were dying to hear this stuff, so here goes.

Being the mother of four fantastic kids. That is a huge rush of joy for me. Everytime I catch a smile, hear a hearty belly laugh, or see the healthy glow of rosy cheeks I know God has blessed me well beyond measure, and my cup truly overflows.

Being the wife of a man of God. Again, I am humbled beyond belief that I was given such a precious, strong, sensitive gift that I did NOT deserve.

Having awesome parents (who actually emailed me today from their Holy Land trip *gasp*)

Ok, now for the smaller joys (because, well, those were HUGE ones)

Going to sleep with the sound of crickets and waking up to the sound of chickens outside my window. Odd though, since we've sent our chickens free-ranging (with our kids), we've had less crickets. I wonder why that is?

Seeing a flower bloom that started from a small seed that I, all by myself, put in the earth. Wow.

Getting a card in the mail. *sigh* This makes my month.

Worship music. The kind that makes you want to stand up IN the Suburban, throw your arms up and out of the sunroof and just praise God, all while driving through town. (You'd just better pray that you actually have a sunroof, and that it is actually open, before attempting this.)

The feel of rest after a long days work.

Snuggles in the morning with each kid, one by one as they awaken from slumber. No words, just arms wrapped around each other because we can and we want to.

The sight of a Sunrise or a Sunset.
Oh our Creator is the most amazing artist!
I told my kids that if I ever go on to Heaven before them, that every time they see one of these spectacular displays that I'll be behind the scenes, helping with the lighting and all that stuff because it's what I like to do.


What brings you joy every day?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

And Then There Were Tears

Finished off a beautiful day, got lots done, and then it was off to our annual Youth Group Dinner and Auction. As usual, our family took home quite a few things (including some gorgeous cedar planting boxes that Mr Nice Guy snuck a bid in on just for ME!! I love him. But oh, how our happy, fun-filled evening turned to grief in the flash of an instant.

My best friend radar went off and I noticed one of my besties, sobbing her eyes out, was headed for the door. I rushed to her and uncovered the news that a friend from our church, had just lost her husband in a car accident on his way home from Florence. Utter and complete devastation. A life, snuffed out in an instant. My friend was much closer to this couple than I was. She lived closer to them, and they spent lots of time together. This couple was a hurting couple and my friend spent many hours mentoring them, and just being a loving example of Christ in their lives. This couple was struggling. She - a very strong woman, with a degree of energy and intensity that I rarely see in myself. He - with a weakness for temptations of the flesh. They had seen rough times. But recently had decided to make things better, and we'd just last week seen him attending church with her again. We prayed for this family a lot. She was my secret sister last year, and crazy enough, I was hers.

My heart aches for how this wife, turned widow in one afternoon, must be feeling tonight. It's one of those feelings that you don't want to uncover because you fear that you'll cry so hard that your heart will break into a million pieces. Mr Nice Guy is getting held a little tighter tonight. His eyes well up sooner than usual and we slip glances at each other. Knowing glances. Appreciative glances. I am so glad he is here, and he is so grateful for my presence. He brought up life insurance. He talked about how I would be taken care of if he had an accident. He wanted me to feel secure.

I'll never feel secure if he isn't here no matter now much insurance he has, or how far his retirement benefits will go. That doesn't matter to me because I think I would die inside if he were gone.

Go, right now. Hug someone you love and hold them extra close. Just for a minute. Sometimes a minute is all you'll have left.

Brotherly Love

And here's what I mean by reaping what you sow...

Our family is big on hugging and showing affection. It's how we communicate that we accept each other, love each other, and it's also how we show we're sorry. In this picture, I think it's just plain ol' love... (because if someone was sorry, then someone else would have had a sad face, that's how I know these things)

You reap what you sow

Lots and Lots of Sunflowers

So far it's looking good! Yesterday was a day off from school for the kids, which is always quite a challenge for me when it is NOT a day off school for Mr Nice Guy. We got up early, dropped off my new suburban at the dealership (the speedo liked to say I was going about 25 when I was passing people on the highway - now, wouldn't THAT have been a fun blog to write when I got arrested for driving like a maniac?!)

Yesterday also happened to reach about 98 degrees here at our humble home. Bless my husband's heart for not only putting the air conditioner in our window the night before, but for even installing a new ceiling fan in the living room. I feel taken care of - truly.

All those gazillion seeds that I planted were all sitting out on my oven deck in the full sun, so they had to be rescued. By evening, they were doing pretty good. I had to water them twice, as the not-quite-summer-but-it-sure-felt-like-it heat sucked every bit of moisture from them by 5 pm. Here's what my cucumbers are looking like. I know you've been dying to see them. Oh my goodness, someone had better like cucumbers because it's the best looking crop I've got going so far (except the marigolds *sigh*)

I wanted to get the chores done before midday, but got sidetracked (story of my life) with a functioning lawnmower (surprise!) and I attacked the grass around the swingset with a vengeance. We hadn't seen the swingset in about three weeks because the grass grew so fast. I was trying to lure my children from the house with a shady, freshly mowed area to play but the air conditioner won hands down. I ended up mowing more than I planned, which put me to lunch time. Since lunch usually lands around 2 in the afternoon (sidetracked?) it was midday before I got out to make sure the animals were still alive. I took the opportunity to drench my 5 year old with the hose, much to his delight. He spent the next hour outside playing in the water, squirting the dog, and making sure the chickens had a bath. It was quiet in the house for awhile. (Which is good, because I died for awhile of heat exhaustion and when I came to, it was time for dinner).

Mr Nice Guy grilled up some steak and hot dogs (for the people who prefer mystery meat) and then I had to spend the rest of my evening in super-hydration mode to get rid of the headache I'd managed to acquire. Needless to say I slept GREAT! But, I woke up today laughing, because the 3 month old rooster was trying his best to get a man-sized crow out - and, well... it was just funny. I guess you shoulda been there. Well, maybe not. Because I was in bed. And you don't want to be here then. Ok, nevermind.

Another photo of some green stuff, because I know you really want to see it. These are hopefully going to grow up to be big strong bachelor buttons some day...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can I Have a Cookie?

I had surprise guests drop in this morning. They took the whole farm tour, including literally watching as an egg dropped from the backside of a hen. It was fun, it was amusing, ok it's time for you to leave now. Don't forget to wipe your feet before you get in your car. Buh bye.

My son, who had been neglected during all of the festivities, decided around noon that he was ready for breakfast. I, unfortunately, wasn't ready to get back up and make food, because I was reading blogs. In life there are priorities son, you must understand these things.

He came in with a box of fruit loops. "Can I have somma these?"

Sure, just get your bowl, your spoon and your milk.
(That way I can sprint in, pour, and run back to the computer without dying)

He came back a minute later, having spied the cookies that arrived home from the bakery around 8 last night. Somehow, his nose must not be working or they would have all been gone by now.

*Chewing* "Can I have a COOKIE?", he says, with a worried look on his face, and both hands behind his back.

"Of COURSE you can!" I said. (Now see, I think that surprised him, because I never EVER do that, especially BEFORE lunch. I'm a good mom, really I am.) The insanely gleeful look on his face completely erased the feelings of being tricked that I felt immediately after he pulled the gnawed on cookie out from behind his back and took another bite.

On another note, here's a cute little "quiz" that my youngest boy got to do for Mother's Day. I'm loving the replies to the questions he was asked:

The favorite thing about my mommy is her smile
I love it when my Mommy gives me cookies
My mommy looks prettiest when she cooks
My favorite food mommy cooks is hot dogs
If I could give my mommy something special, just from me it would be Macaroni & Cheese

I think the boy was hungry.
I'll go get him another cookie.

My Strange Genetic Disease

*blink, blink*

This morning, I found out that I had come down with some sort of a genetic disease. It was a terrible discovery. At some point, when I thought it was still the middle of the night, I heard this strange bocking noise. It would not stop. The last thing I recall seeing was myself getting up at 2 a.m. to shut off the cool new fan we put in our bedroom. It's one of those tall skinny ones that stands in the corner. Kind of like I wish I was, but I have to settle with chubby and middle of the room type events. I oscillate though. I'm cool. I don't however, have a 1 hour timer that shuts me up. The fan does. Evidently I need to read the instructions again though.

So this bocking noise kept on going. It was dark. Strange. I was hearing things.

Then a beeping noise accompanied the bocking noise. What was going on? I think I was just beginning to lose my hearing. Then there was an earthquake. And the beeping noise stopped. I peeled one eye partially open to a splash of sunlight and the blurry vision of Mr Nice Guy on my side of the bed re-setting the alarm. Heh? What was HE doing up and in such a hurry? Was there ever really an earthquake? I think it was just him tripping over the laundry basket I left at the end of the bed. On his side. Where he hates it.

Something was definitely wrong. He never gets up before me. And he NEVER turns off the alarm for me. That's my job. It's the reason he sleeps on the opposite side of the bed - from wherever an alarm clock is located. Something was definitely wrong. I began to wonder how long I had been seriously ill. Was I just waking up from a coma? My other eye still didn't want to open.

I made some sort of loud breath noise so he'd know that I was coming to. He didn't really seem interested in catching me up on what I'd missed out on the past few months, and he headed to the bathroom. I thought it was so sweet that he let me sleep on the same side of the bed that I was used to, even when I was incapacitated. Maybe it was easier for him to give me a sponge bath this way. It was definitely easier to roll me to prevent bed sores from this side.

I made another breath noise. He turned on the shower. I hadn't really thought about it before, but my breath was most likely several weeks old (smelled that way to me) and he was probably trying to keep from getting sick. Bless his heart, he was so emotionally distraught that he didn't want to embarass me. He knew I was waking up! He wanted to leave me some time to myself. Good thing, I had to collect my thoughts and check for a catheter.

Now what was with this silly eye problem? My disease had taken away the ability to see properly! Not that I could see very well to begin with, but this was much different. Somehow, I managed to sling my atrophied legs over the edge of the bed, and lift myself up. No easy feat for a round oscillating fan that had genetic issues. I reached up to the top of my dresser and groped around for my glasses. This would help me see the true extent of the damage that had been done. No such luck. They weren't there. Someone had probably placed them in a personal belongings bag when they sent me home from the hospital in the coma.

My second eye was starting to peel open. It was a strange feeling, kind of like what an orange must feel like when you peel its skin off. Hoping I wouldn't collapse, I pulled myself to my feet and I took my first steps! The therapists would be so proud of me. I was way ahead of the game. Using furniture as crutches, I made my way into the bathroom where my husband was showering and singing some forlorn song of loneliness. I felt my way into the medicine cabinet above the sink and grabbed the bottle of solution for my contact lenses. I was going to give my eyes a little bath! They had been closed for a very long time, and it felt as if someone had munched up saltine crackers and sprinkled one in each eye. I was sure this would help clear up some of the mess, or at least it would make me look like I was crying when I woke up so Mr Nice Guy would take pity on me. Then he'd maybe make me breakfast. I was really hungry because someone had prematurely removed my feeding tube.

I doused my right eye with solution, and it sort of made things worse. Then, I tried for the left eye. I managed to poke myself, but nothing came out of the bottle. So I went and got right up close to the mirror, hoping desperately, that someone had kept up with plucking my stray eyebrows. You know, the ones that stray to your chin? I can only go a couple of days, before it becomes hideously noticeable. Well evidently some nice soul had helped me out because I didn't see any three inch hairs hanging down. Maybe my Mother stopped in from time to time. She's got the same issue and probably felt sympathetic about my dignity. Maybe I got my sudden genetic disease from her too?

Peering into the mirror, I saw what appeared to be me. I got really close and examined my eyes. They were open alright, and not looking too bad. Not sure who got the wild idea to put makeup on me and leave it there, but someone had probably been called in to try out post-mortem makup to see what looked the most natural for when I went on ahead. I think dead people with too much makeup on look rediculous don't you?

Something was definitely in my right eye though. It was floating there. I stumbled around, managing to wash my hands, so as to avoid irritating the disease any further. Then, I pulled open my eye, and plucked out the floating object. I think I accidentally pulled off my cornea! No wait, it was a familiar round shape with a faint bluish tint. Strange, it looked like a contact lens. I opened the medicine cabinet again, and found an empty contact lens container. Those idiots! Who would leave me in a coma with my contact lenses in?? Don't you know that it can cause eye problems to leave them in overnight, let alone for WEEKS?

Suddenly, the images of my Mother's advance directive came flooding back. "Take no measures to hasten death" Had I not signed off on that for myself??? Who was trying to hasten my death by leaving contact lenses in my eyes? I threw the lens in the trash. The eery song coming from the shower made me suspicious. The rush to shut off the alarm so I wouldn't awaken. The distance he had gone to be absent when I made breath noises. It was like someone guilty who can't look you in the eye! Problem was, my eye wasn't seeing clearly anyway, matter of fact neither was the other one. I pulled the lens from the other eye, threw it in the trash with its twin and mulled over how to hide the fact that I was in on the secret plot. I took a tissue from the Kleenex box, crumpled it up and placed it over the top of the lenses in the garbage. I didn't want anyone to know... not yet. I had to sneak out later and go through paperwork to see how much insurance they bought for me and who the beneficiaries were.

I tiptoed back into my room, crawled under the covers and closed my eyes. "They'll never know that I know" I thought, as I fell back asleep. The bocking started up again.

It's ok chickens, I know. I know all about it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cool Picture Day

Thank you my beautiful children for allowing your mother to have wonderful pictures of you! More to come, I'm just showing off my favorites so far...

Mother's Day 2008

Even my Mr Nice Guy got in on the action. Holy heck, this is the most pictures you'll see of me for another year or seven. Enjoy em while you can people!What a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

To My Momma

Dear Mom,

35 Years ago you celebrated your first Mother's Day. Of course I didn't actually arrive until a couple weeks later, but I'm sure you were celebrating just the same. You were technically a mother (because I had been giving you a hard time for months and that's what motherhood is all about.)

I know I've given you a good dose of gray hairs. Just getting me to practice the piano probably gave you the first dozen. I think back to all those mornings when we had to call a truce and refuse to speak to each other just so I could get to school on time without WWIII on the way out the door. (Strange, my girls and I have mornings like that on occasion - I've learned it's ok to just not say some things because my sleepy brain says they HAVE to be said). I also know it really freaked you out when I introduced you to boys that were special to me. Some of them were pretty frightening interesting and didn't always have my best interests in mind. But, some of them were very special and they became very special to you as well. I think that's great. You've always been a pretty darned good judge of character. I loved it when you told my husband today that if you'd known him earlier on, you would have let Dad give his little secret on getting a guy to kiss ya. Hello?

My hope is that I've given you just as many laugh lines (to go with those gray hairs) from all the fun times we've had together. Sure, some of them weren't necessarily fun at the time, but boy we can laugh about it now. How about the time you got Alyssa so upset when she was a tiny baby that she screamed so hard she passed out? My first instinct wasn't to laugh it off, because I was in that "first time mom, over-protective state" but I really was more concerned about your mental well-being. I knew Alyssa was ok, but the look on your face (and I can still see it!) was absolutely priceless. I'm not sure if you are in to torturing small babies, but the first day of Delayna's life when you clipped her tiny fingernails and drew blood you made me laugh too. Oh, I didn't laugh hard at that precise moment, because I'd just pushed that kid out of my body with hardly anything for pain (and darn, the size of that HEAD!), but it was funny that you screwed up, and I got to witness it. I enjoy giving you a hard time, because I know you can take it. The best part is, you can dish it right back.

Some of my favorite memories of us laughing hysterically are from women's retreats. We'd stay up all hours of the night, with various girlfriends, in our PJ's, drink hot cocoa and get all jazzed up on junk food and every single thing was funny. Snorting and honking and the wetting of pants was the highlight of the weekend. You'd think we were in an old folks home by the racket going on. Nothing beats a good laugh with a bunch of girls who have no capability or willingness to control themselves.

Not everything we've been through was funny though, but it sure made our family learn from our mistakes and grow together. You never laughed, I don't think, when I fell out of a tree and broke my arm... for the second time. I remember you hollering at Dad about his driving. The poor guy. He was probably calculating how much the medical bills were going to cost instead of the speed limit or the stop signs.

There was nothing funny about the time my ex-husband left me and the girls. I also don't remember you laughing during my emergency c-section or during the night I got my appendix removed. But, it was always my self-imposed job to start feeling better immediately to get back to putting a smile on everyone's face. You were usually one of the first to oblige. Whether it was out of nervousness or fatigue, I'll never know.

I admire your sense of adventure. There's a reason you got the name, Dora the Explorer, and it wasn't because you gave it to yourself. It's because you appreciate visiting new places, seeing how stuff works, and sharing that joy with everyone. My kids will grow up with a treasure trove of memories from all the little trips and adventures they have been privileged to be a part of because you initiated it. How many kids can tell their classmates, "Hey, My Grandparents are going on a trek to Israel!" Not many, I tell ya. (Don't worry, I didn't give your neighbors your travel dates, so your stuff should still be there when you get home.)

Anyway, to wrap up this dainty little note and in honor of Mother's Day (which for me is every day) I want to thank you for a few things.

Thank you for:

~Always keeping me drugged
(Drugged to church, drugged to school, drugged to piano lessons...)

~Shoving me around
(Into sports or 4-H or youth group)

~Helping me not be a complete loser
(You stayed up half the night so I could ace that Geography test in High School)

~Showing me that poor is cool
(Who else got to play with all that government cheese?)

~Teaching me that the insides of gizzards are full of interesting stuff
(Do I really need to explain this one?)

~Not explaining sex in too much detail
(I would have been totally grossed out forEVER if you had actually answered ALL of my questions at that time in my life)

~Letting me dream of being an Entomologist
(And for letting me keep all those jars of nasty bugs in my closet)

~Teaching me about the economy
(Do you have to leave all the lights on in the house??)

~Giving me a peek of what it must have been like to be Jesus
(SHUT THE DOOR, were you born in a barn??)

~But most of all, Giving me all the virtues of a Christian wife and mother (Really, you did)
You are awesome Mom, and if you forget to send me my copy of your Advance Directive and you kick the bucket while you're in Israel, you'd better hope you left the housekey under the mat so I can find the stuff I need without too much hassle. By the way, don't forget to turn off the lights when you leave.
Love you tons, forever and ever... I'll see you on the flipside of whenever.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Picking on Friends

Ok, so seriously is there every ANYTHING as fun as a good banter-fest? No, I say there is not. Especially between friends who can handle it. I'm assuming everyone I know can handle me, and if they can't, I'm sure they'd tell me so. Alright, in the name of good fun, and good sportsmanship, I will show you just how much of a denial problem my friend over at Farm Suite has...

Yesterday, she took on my Clean Kitchen Challenge. She did AWESOME! But, there was this one little glitch in her photo. Here's the before picture...

and, if you look in a little closer, to the left side of the sink, near the Dutch Bros Not-So-Hot Cocoa cup you'll see THIS little work of art...

I'm sorry you had to hear it here first folks, but that is not a vase for daffodils, I mean honey, you're going to have a lot of Margarita's to make up before all the daffodils get squishy and limp - and that is like next week!

Here's what our friend is actually sporting on her kitchen counter. In the midst of CHILREN'S cups and a HIGH CHAIR and CHERRY DRAWER PULLS! Can you even imagine what must be going through the minds of everyone in blogdom today. What a travesty. What a crime. She must be punished... now go comment her. And check out her clean kitchen while you're at it.

Maybe someday, I'll stop acting so innocent and post a photo of my secret cupboard. It's not hard to find really, as there's only about nine doors to choose from and it's the one with the tall bottle in it.

As if...

So just when I thought I was gearing up for a miserable, stinky morning (long story, brief post, sorry...) up comes this heart wrenching DOG STORY from my friend Ricky Danger. (Don't worry, it's not really adult content!) I've known about this dog for a long time, but not ALL about this dog. Needless to say, I'm choosing for my day to be less miserable after I've learned that things could be much worse than a crappy ending to a highly anticipated date night.

"Stop whining Lex, it's not like you've got cancer in your kidney or anything..."

I talk to myself a lot when nobody else will listen. Get used to it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I think I'm sick

Something is wrong with me. I think it may be contagious, but hopefully the symptoms won't last longer than a season or two. Somehow, after my last OUTRAGEOUS bout of PMS, I came through with more energy than usual. I'm malfunctioning. I'm looking for meds, so far no luck.

So here's the scoop. A few days ago, something bit me, I think it was a housemite. I know it sounds silly, but I am pretty sure they exist. This little housemite apparently infects its host with the desire to clean and organize. It's the same bug that bites you when you're 8 and 3 quarter months pregnant. And NO I'm not pregnant. Although miracles to happen, and that's why our next baby will be named Miracle. No joke.

I started off with a clean kitchen challenge. And boy was it a challenge. I detest cleaning, I suck at organizing and I just generally prefer to avoid it or pass the job on to my children. That brings about another problem, because since certain jobs belong to my kids, then Mr Nice Guy would prefer that I bribe encourage the children to do their jobs without me having to do it for them. Something about kids these days needing to learn responsibility or whatever.

This week, my two oldest children are gone. They aren't dead, just away until Friday. I knew if I didn't have anyone to yell at bribe to do the dishes that I'd have to do them myself. Well that's when that rotten, disgusting, probably contagious bug bit me. It bit me hard too, because not only did I get my kitchen virtually spotless (and it's STILL that way right now!) but I also got my livingroom de-junkified, and my dining room uncovered. It was buried under 3 weeks of Avon inventory and the banishment of everything too small/too big/too ugly/brand new but made me look fat clothes that had moved out of my bedroom when I cleaned it up a couple weeks ago. I even cleaned up my blog - you'll notice that my entire list of 86 favorite things got swept up and outta here. *Wipes hands* There, much nicer! Now I can entertain you with photos that I've been playing with.

I also somehow ended up with a perfectly wonderful date night to look forward to this evening. I had delighfully good intentions of making a fantastic dinner for my husband, so the Penne Bolognese is in the oven and the salad is ready.

Oh people, don't kid yourself.

Remember that BURN on my hand? I'm still afraid to turn on the stove so Mr Nice Guy (and he is one!) brought home dinner from Costco for me to cook up and the salad is still in the bag. I love my husband, he's so easy to please. As we speak I'm munching on Doritos appetizers and waiting for him to arrive home with a movie. I've begged for 27 Dresses, but I have a feeling it will be something a little less "date nightish". That's ok... we're ALONE.

Now be quiet, I'm trying to have a nice evening and recuperate from this organizational infection.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I've been hit by a Meme!

Four Jobs I've held:
Courtesy Clerk at Safeway
Fashion Consultant at Lane Giant Bryant
Credit Analyst for Sears
Financial Services Consultant OSU Federal Credit Union

Four Movies I could watch over and over

Love Comes Softly (the whole series!)
Pirates of the Caribbean
What Women Want
50 First Dates

Four Places I've lived:
New Mexico

Four T.V. shows I like to waste my time on:
Law & Order SVU
Dr Phil

Four of my favourite foods:
Fettucini Alfredo
A big colorful green salad

Four place I would rather be:
Girls night out
In bed asleep
On a warm sunny beach
In the hot tub

At this point you are supposed to tag four people with this meme.
In that case, you three lurkers - you're it... and Ricky Danger... you're it too, since you're my only other reader with a blog!

I'll take that challenge!

Ok, so the clean kitchen photos are rolling in (and if yours isn't then you're a big whiny baby - go do it!). I wasn't waiting for you to send me yours before I added mine, I was simply waiting to actually take the PHOTOS when it was daylight! Here they are with full commentary by yours truly. I REALLY wished I had a before photo or two, but you'll just have to visualize a 2 bedroom house with a kitchen that is proportionately sized... for a family of six. We visit Costco. A lot. Each box, by itself, takes up a whole counter. It's a constant struggle. Bear with me folks, this could get messy (really soon).

So now it's obvious why this is my "One Butt Kitchen". I dont' have a small backside, and there's not room for anyone else when mine is in here... now come with me as we take a little tour...

This is where the microwave USED to live. It took up most of the space here, and generally kept me from enjoying any counterspace. I cleverly moved the breadbox (donated by my favorite Piggy friend) to the edge, so as to lead to a natural sandwich making process, followed by the effortless swiping of the crumbs directly into the trash receptacle to the left of the counter. I'm a genious. Yes, I know my bananas are turning brown. I'm making a smoothie with them later.

The new landing spot for the microwave. I couldn't use this corner counter anyway, except to stash JUNK (and my coffee pot... and my coffee cups, which are now nicely nestled IN THE CUPBOARD WHERE THEY BELONG!) Do you see a red towel? Yes, I refuse to accept the fact that my countertops are indeed ORANGE. I prefer red, and red gingham to be exact, but it's not my faul that the countertops refuse to cooperate.

A close inspection on top of the microwave (and strange cutting boards/sheets) reveals infiltrators! Argh! This is how my kitchen gets taken over - by kitchen pirates!! They snuck in during the night and were so surprised to see me that they fell over. I made them walk the plank.

Here's the shark tank where the pirates were eaten. Now that I think about it, these fish have a pretty interesting life. The get to see me all day out one side and the chickens out the other! I hope they never learn how to blog. We'd all be in trouble.

Ah, now you can see the eggs are still out - I have to make a trip OUTSIDE to take them to another fridge so I slacked off on that this morning. You can see the galvanized pots (thank you Ikea!) that I used to help control the FREAKISH PILE that was in this spot yesterday. And yes, that is an automatic soap dispenser... a must when your hands are covered in chicken whatever and you don't dare touch anything that you might use to prepare food someday.

So there you have it folks. Someday when my dream comes true I'll have a new kitchen with a costco sized pantry, new countertops, COMPLETELY different cupboards and a floor that hides bits of cereal from view. It will always have a big shiny sink, because that's where it all begins.

WAIT, WHAT IS THIS?!?! Dishes in the sink?? Oh yes, Mr Nice Guy was being NICE and brought me coconut cream pie late last night. Maybe that's what brought about the crazy blog... but either way just the fact that the plates made it into the sink (with water touching them!) brings a smile to my face... life is good.

Now send me those pictures!

So you think you're a nice guy?

So, no-nickname guy didn't like his non-nickname name. I told him he'd better hurry up and help me out or it would stick because it sounded funny and people liked it and we all know that funny things stick. Like the kid back in fourth grade with the name of Paul. We thought it was funny to call him Pauly, which then evolved into a name with a tail: Polliwog. And of course Polliwogs eventually grow legs so he became Frogger (the game was wildly popular then!) and when people heard us calling this kid Frogger, they couldn't figure out where it came from. It was funny. It stuck. I'm glad he was a good sport.

Mr Nice Guy, as he would like to be referred to henceforth, has chosen his own name. It's somewhat truthful, somewhat modest (it wasn't Mr Hot Guy, or Big Dog of the Neighborhood or anything like that) it was just nice. And to tell you the truth, he is nice. Although the day will come, and I warned him, that I might not be feeling so nice towards the Nice Guy and I'll have to come up with a temporary substitution... such as Mr Donkey or King of the Goat field. Not that it would ever happen, I'm just saying...

Clean Kitchen Challenge

Not sure what drove me near the brink of insanity today, but I have a little idea how it got started. Oh, about a week ago, the sun decided to peek out and I wasn't quite sure what it was. I also wasn't sure it would stick around long, so I decided to get to know it a little better. Well, I accomplished that, and now I'm sporting a new shade of foundation because the other one makes me look like I'm painting up to be a mime. (Not the same as Meme, which I've heard I've been "tagged" by, but have yet to respond due to lack of readers to pass it on TO).

Anyway, I got a gazillion seeds planted, I mowed the yard, I found a new pleasure in cleaning out the carport with a leaf blower AND I got a 3x2 foot square section of my flowerbed weeded (because the cramps started setting into the back of my calf and I was worried I'd end up falling on the ground and have to explain the chicken poop stuck in my hair after I'd have to roll around to get back up).

Let me tell ya, sunshine does wonders for a girl. I started feeling... ohmygoodness what was that? MOTivATEd! I had to type that all weird because the skin is starting to fall off my hand where I got BURNED a couple weeks ago and it hurts to type because the skin is all brand new and it's not used to farm life abuse.

Anyhoo where was I? Oh, I was motivated. I was so motivated that I was about to get out the snow shovel and start at one end of the living room when I decided I'd better ask my dear husband (who has yet to earn himself a "blog nickname" any suggestions?) what room he wanted me to start in on. I had to ask him about three times, swearing I'd have a mental collapse if I had to figure out where to start all on my own, until he answered. Well bless his little heart, he chose the kitchen.

First thing this morning, I got up, woke the kids and then proceeded to have a battle with my 6th grader as she was packing up for outdoor school. How is it that this child, who READS the list of things to do and not to do, thinks she's immune to the rules? Anyway, after 17 requests for her to change into JEANS instead of shorts or capris or skirts or leggings or knickers, we were off to school. I plopped her in the parking lot, and whizzed the other two kids to the elementary school and then was back home ready for a nap. My husband, of all things to ask, looks at me with this FACE and says... mmmmm... breakfast casserole. Need I remind you of my BURN INJURY? I told him he was still grounded from asking me for breakfast, and that we had lots of yogurt if he was interested.

I followed him out to the door, and prepared to tackle the kitchen with a vengeance unseen or unheard of in this little valley. Well, my little imaginary valley anyway. First, I gave my coffee pot a once-over. Evidently I don't use it enough because I don't think coffee makers are supposed to get dusty. Then, I downed a jug of vitamin water with the word ENERGY on the side. RIGHT! I need ENERGY! Give me more of that! I put a pot of coffee on to brew and headed for the stereo. For some reason, I can't figure out how to program a radio station on the newfangled thing, so I spent the next 5 minutes trying to get it to the right place, and the right volume. Then, had to make a mad dash for my sons' room (as the 5 yr old was still snoring) and shut the door. Heaven knows I can't clean house with a 5 year old WANTING things from me.

The kitchen loomed like a dark cavern, luring me to enter, but threatening to never let me escape. Boy was I right, no sooner had I opened one cupboard to shuffle things around a bit (to make room for a too-large recipe box that was taking up counter space) did I knock a jar of jam onto the floor. It wasn't one of those rubberized jobs that bounces back, noooo, it was a homemade jam-bomb in a jar and let me tell you when those puppies hit the floor they don't hold anything back. I heard glass hitting the windows and pelting my stoneware that was on the counters. My day was off to a great start. So, instead of bursting out in tears, I decided to laugh at myself. Then, I took a picture. I mean really, what else could you do?

About 2 hours later I had discovered that there was indeed, a countertop in one corner of my kitchen. It was my "pile" corner. I hate piles. I hate them so much I try to cover them up with stuff. I replaced the silly hi-wa-yan plate that held various pens, pencils, scissors, doohickies and thingamabobs along with 18 different phone and battery chargers with three very cute galvanized pots (for plants, is why I bought them in the first place, but all my plants are still seeds, so who needs pots?) and then I organized them all cute-like and I sat down for a break. I set my timer to force me to get up after about 10 minutes, and while I checked my email, I found KL on instant messenger so I challenged her to get off her bum and clean her sink too. (Now, I truly do expect a photo of that sink girlfriend!! If you don't post it, I'll post the pic of your bedroom. Right here. Where everyone can see.)

Ok, really people, I would never do that. And mainly, because she has a pic of MY bedroom in the "before" stage and I would seriously DIE if anyone ever saw that. Some friends are good friends because of what they can use against you, ya know?

So on my day went. My son did wake at some point, because I heard him yelling at the playstation (which misbehaves a LOT, he says) and I stopped for a melted cheese sammich somewhere around 2 pm, since it really only takes 29 seconds from start to finish to prepare. I ate it while throwing stale crackers (from the now cleaned-out cupboard) to the chickens. They were happy, I was happy, wouldn't ya like to be a happy too?

The microwave got moved to a new location. The microwave even got cleaned OUT, which is a small miracle by itself, and the large chunk of clean countertop made me wish I'd done this job ages ago. I shuffled things here and there, generally from one pile to a smaller pile until I'd weeded out everything that was either staying or going. I have this knack for hanging onto things that "someone" can use. But today was the day the sippy cups went into the garbage. Nobody wanted to come to my house to pick up TWO sippy cups with partially chewed up lids anyway. Gross. What was I thinking?

Somewhere near 4 pm, the no-nickname guy called and said he was headed home. I sort of got nervous all the sudden that he might not LIKE where I moved the microwave, or that he would worry for my safety. It's possible, that the new location closer to the sink could mean an untimely death for me, should the day come that I have the water running, while washing 32 eggs and I slip on a broken jar of jam, grab the microwave for support, accidentally fling it into the sink and then get electrocuted to death. It could happen. Nobody would be surprised either, because I do crazy stuff like that all the time. So, let me just say this one thing... I'll be glad to go like that, even with egg on my face, as long as my kitchen is clean. Now - go clean your kitchen! And I wanna see pictures.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Do you know where your children are?

Remember when you used to hear that on TV at about 10 at night? I sometimes wonder what my mother thought when she heard that. I guarantee you she didn't always know where I was, but looking back there wasn't that much to worry about anyway.... oh well. I just wanted to post that considering the late hour that I'm up writing this.

If my mother only knew...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm a what?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

REEEEALLY? I love daffodils, but what does all of this mean??

You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard.

Now, I'm sorry I asked. *sigh*
I'm going to add a few more things about me that are strikingly similar to the qualities of a daffodil. You should also know I'm one of the last to LEAVE a party as well. I am pretty low maintenance, I am fairly hardy, I come back even when uninvited, and I love to wear a smile. Now, I also flop over in a bad rain and I tend to look my best when surrounded by others. Fun stuff... fun stuff... Any other ideas?