Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday

The other day Binny and I went to pick up the turkey wings from my brother. Uncle T asked Binny why her pants were hanging low and exposing the top of her bright blue undies.
I wonder why that would be?
According to Binny (yet she didn't announce it to the rest of us) it was backwards day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fun Photos

Bagels for Breakfast
My brother shot a Turkey last weekend and promised the girls a feather. Since he adores my children, he gave them both wings to disassemble. A really fun project, and now we have a huge supply of feathers for crafting!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Questions In My Head

  1. Since when is a football field considered a standard unit of measure?
  2. Because we live across the road from a pig farm, does that put us at risk for Swine Flu?
  3. Why do my kids wait til the last minute to decide what they want to take for the class snack?
  4. Why is the sky still dripping? When will the sun reappear?
  5. Can it be too windy to fly a kite?
  6. Why does Binny wake up every morning looking like a squirrel spent all night making a nest in her hair?
  7. Why can't I make a bowl of malt-o-meal without it erupting all over my microwave?
  8. Who thought that Dateline murder mysteries were a great programming choice at 4 AM? That's not going to help my insomnia.
  9. Why does my husband wait until all of his work clothes are dirty to throw them in the hamper and then get cranky when he has no clean clothes to wear?
  10. What am I going to do with an entire Turkey wing's worth of feathers? Or more accurately, what are my girls going to make with all of the feathers? Do I need to sterilize them first?

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Saint Bernard's Spring Makeover

Oliver had a haircut not too long ago, but he was due again. He was shedding all over the house and rolling in the dirt outside. Just look at that filthy dog
The other day we had to cut a chunk of lost Silly Putty out of his coat.

Oliver doesn't love having his hair cut, but he tolerates it. (Much more than he tolerates me photographing him.) It is key though to take him outside as soon as he is done, or he'll whiz all over the floor. The vibration of the clipper must do something for him.
As a reward for sitting through his haircut like good doggy, he and the Gardener played catch.

Who says only little dogs are cute?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wardrobe Wenesday

"What the Hell are you wearing on your feet?"
was my husband's question when he arrived home from work yesterday.
I wear my orange sandals around the house, but since my foot was all taped up, it was a tight fit. So, I put on one (What the?) velcro adjustable water sandal.

More Wardrobe Wednesday at Heathen Family Revival

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Holy Mole-y

A bunch of stuff to cover in this post

*Warning this first part may be TMI for some of you.*

1.) I wouldn't ordinarily talk about moles and warts... nevermind, yeah I would. So yesterday I went to the dermatologist to have some things removed. Thinking that the nasty, ugly warts on the bottom of my foot would need to be removed surgically, I was a bit nervous. Turns out the Doc. applied some acid that surprisingly didn't sting or blister. He taped up my foot and told me to wash off the acid today, then apply Compound W wart remover and cover it with Duct tape every day for the next 2 weeks. What the? Duct tape?

The moles were just bothersome, not turning colors or talking to me but as long as I was going in and making a co-pay I thought I would get my money's worth.

2.) I fixed my camera lens! Well, I guess there really wasn't anything to fix, it wasn't actually broken. Turns out the filter that I had been using to protect my lens was the culprit. Go freakin' figure. Sunday morning as I was gathering all of the warranty info and the receipts for the lens to return it, I thought I would clean it one more time. Lo and behold the filter was blurry. Not dirty blurry, but wavy blurry, like a defect in the glass. Funny I hadn't noticed this when I had it screwed on any of the other lenses. Anyhow I bought a new filter and check out the difference.



Can you see the difference? Maybe not in these small photos, but it was really starting to bug me.

3.) I'm the recipient of another bloggy award.

This one is from blogger Cindy who actually has 2 blogs. In addition to her main blog MonkeyBoy Adventures, she has a second blog monkeyboy311 that she posts a photo to every day as part of project 365. Being a photo lover and mom, I love looking her daily photos. Thank you Cindy.

As most of the blogs I frequent have already passed this one around, I'm not going to send it along. If anyone reading this hasn't received this award and would like it, go ahead and take it, you deserve it.

4.) I streamlined my blogroll. I didn't remove any blogs, but it was getting a little out of control. I now have only the 10 most recent blogs on the blogroll, but the rest are there, I swear no one was removed. Oh and on my last post about irresponsible parenting, I was christened with my first spam comment.

"Hi Friends, I Find Absolutely FREE PlayBoy & Penthous. If I find something else I'll inform you.Best Regards,Maria"

My friend Laura said it best: "WTF Maria?!?!"

Hopefully this won't be a trend, I don't want to have to start moderating comments.

5.) And lastly check out what I found growing in my flowerbed. I don't remember planting this little grape hyacinth but I'll take it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

She's A Terrific Mom

I was all fired up last night and ready to blog about it, but it's never a good idea (for me at least) to blog when I'm angry, so I slept on it, or more accurately tried to sleep on it. To keep it short and as sweet as possible I will say that I had a phone conversation with a first degree relative (that narrows it down almost completely) yesterday that irked me. My relative was going on and on about how a woman he knows is "a terrific mom." Her kids listen to her every command, aren't allowed any indulgences because she's piss broke (his words, not mine) and have never even been to McDonald's. This mom he speaks of is roughly my age (not yet 30) has 4 children all with different fathers, sporadically receives child support when her delinquent baby daddies manage to hold a job long enough that their wages can be garnished.

He feels so bad for her and her situation that he frequently slips her $100 bills to help support her and her 4 children. What? I think it's all fine and good to help out a person in need, but come on. After 2 or 3 kids and mounting bills she decided to have another child with another deadbeat. I'm sorry but this seems like a woman who hasn't learned her lesson, not a woman who needs a handout. And why isn't her family stepping up to help her out financially instead of relying on the kindness of strangers?

What ever happened to the idea of having children when the time is right? What about a stable income and a roof over your head or a committed relationship? I heard a statistic recently that 45% of all babies born in the U.S. are born to unwed mothers. Almost half! While some mothers choose to do the solo parenting thing, I think that is the exception to the rule.

My first child was born 2 weeks after my 22nd Birthday, but I had been married for a year, we owned our own home and never once needed someone to slip me money so I could buy formula and diapers. My husband and I have never been rolling in money, far from it, but we live the best we can with what we have and not beyond. Same goes for mortgages and credit cards. We pay our mortgage every month and try not to carry a balance on our credit cards because it's not responsible. Having more children than you can afford is to me irresponsible. After he (my relative) could tell that I was not impressed with his grass roots philanthropy he said in an effort to cheer me up "she reminds me a lot of you." Not exactly the words I wanted to hear.

I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, but this is how I feel and I needed to get it off my chest. I promise my next post will be a more positive one. And to think this was the sanitized version.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gardening and Painting

The weather has been gorgeous the last few days. Right now I have the windows open and I'm enjoying the fresh spring air, with a touch of pig farm (from across the road) every once in a while. Still no leaves on the trees but the grass is greening up.

Yesterday Mae dug holes in my (empty) garden.


Binny finished this painting today.

***I swear she had no help with this. It was all Binny.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday

I have been posting so many photos of Binny lately, I thought that I would post something of Mae. I was going to post the outfit she wore to school yesterday. It was "wear your words" day at school for Library Week, and the children were asked to wear clothing with words on it. Do you know how hard it was to find something with words on it? I make it a point not to buy clothing for my children with lots of logos and pictures on them. Same goes for Hannah Montana or High School Musical themed clothing, not in my house!

After rummaging around in the basket of her clean laundry, Mae ran upstairs to rifle through her dresser drawers. Finally, she found a shirt that normally she would refuse to wear but since it fit the "it has words on it" criteria she quickly put it on and agreed to let me take her picture in it. Shocking, I know! ...but the photos looked like crap.
Honestly they were so bad, I refuse to show them on the Internet. I think there is something wrong with my new (50 mm) lens or more likely, operator error. I can't seem to get it to focus properly. I don't have problems with my other 2 lenses, and for crying out loud it's brand spankin' new, it should work! Anyhow, I get it out occasionally to see if I can figure out the problem, it will magically work. Well, that was dumb, because all of the shots were fuzzy. As I was looking at the photos on the computer I thought to myself, this never happened when I had that old film *gasp* Nikon. That thing was manual to the max. Manual focus, twist to your favorite aperture, don't forget to attach the flash, awesome camera. I love the ease and speed of my new camera but the photos from the old Nikon were fantastic.
Mae as a baby (5 months) taken with the old camera.

...and her outfit is pretty darn cute too!

*** sorry to all of you, who like me are baby crazy. Just looking through these old photos, makes me want to jump my husband and have another.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Little Reminder

The bus just took Mae off to school. As she and I walked down the driveway to the bus, the screen door on the house flies open. Binny standing in the middle of the doorway in her pajamas arms a flailing, screaming "Mae forgot her Li-barry book!" After an "Oh Crickets!" I ran back to the house grabbed the book, handed it to Mae and Library day was saved. Thank you Binny!

Just last week her and I were out shopping, not fun new outfit shopping, it was Menards, but still an outing. I paid for my stuff which included 3-40 lb bags of water softener salt. Instead of me trying to control one of those monster flatbed carts, I decided to pull my car up to the doors and have a twenty something hunk load it into the trunk for me. I'll never learn. Binny and I walked out to the car, got in and I drove away. As we exit the parking lot Binny asks "where are we going?" Well, we're going home of course. "Nooooooo Mommy" as Binny starts to have a panic attack. "You forgot the saaa-aaallt!!!"

What would I do without her?

Monday, April 13, 2009

What Is It? Revealed

Wow, nobody got it... exactly. This is the old tree stump in our front yard that The Gardener decided to "take care of" over the weekend. He and a friend cut the tree down last spring and there the stump sat, for a year. I didn't really mind the stump. In fact is was a good level platform that I could stand on to take sunset photos, and it didn't have any funky branches growing out of it. I figured that eventually we would have the stump ground out (like hire a service to come remove it, and not cause a spectacle on my front lawn). Oh, but this was more fun. What's weirder (terrrible use of the English language, but it's Monday morning. And let me tell you now that I'm already off topic and making no sense. It's maybe not the best idea when you are a guest in someones home to complement the giant stack of laundry teetering on a pile in the closet. Totally not necessary. Instead of doing some much needed laundry pile maintenance, I decided to get up extra early on a Sunday, clean up my messy house, make a big breakfast, get out the good dishes and serve mimosas with a strawberry on the rim of the glass, with only 12 hours notice. What more do you want from me, dammit!) was that I was the one on my belly in our front yard taking pictures of the sun sinking below our smoldering stump.
So, what do you get when you combine 3 men,
a bucket full of drain oil,

glasses of whiskey mixers,

and a bag of stoker coal, in the middle of our front yard burning out an old tree stump? Well, that's family togetherness of course. I document stalk photograph almost everything that happens around here and I wanted to be able to remind my husband of just how he singed off his eyelashes.

Thanks Bonnie (my neighbor) for not reporting these dumbasses guys to the EPA.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What Is This?


The Gardener thought this was the best thing ever. I'll give you one clue. It's not Mount Redoubt.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Something From The Squeak

The Gardener took the kids over to his parents house tonight for egg dyeing and a little Wii, so that means I'm home alone! I was at work and now I'm clean and enjoying a bowl of wild rice soup and some fresh guacamole. Yum!

While I have a minute to blog in quiet (except for the radio on in the background) I thought I would share something I found in our local newspaper "The Squeak." There was a couple that owned our house for many, many years before we bought it in July 2006. They ran this farm until about 15 years ago. From what we can gather, they lived in this house for at least 50 years. The husband died in this house sometime in 2006. (My kids think that is the best thing ever. "So mom, which room to you think he died in?") He was in his nineties. I know the wife went to a nursing home when her husband passed, but I hadn't heard anything about her in over a year and finally stopped getting X-mas cards (with our address) from their family and friends.

Well apparently the wife is still alive and doing well, at 97! This was her ad in the paper this week.

I didn't send her a card, but I was happy to hear that she is doing well. This is one little newspaper that won't be discontinued for an online version... I hope.
More great ads from the Squeak, here and here.

Country Kids

This was a short week for us. The school week ended on Wednesday and it's been non-stop ever since. Yesterday my brother came over in the morning to visit as the girls weren't at school. After I made eggs for the three of them, we all went outside to enjoy the beautiful spring morning. The wind was light, the sun was shining and Oliver even allowed me to photograph him, from a distance of course with the big lens.

Binny was playing "cook" in the grain bin (playhouse) and delivered her treats to us.

Uncle T was teaching Mae to play catch. She's about as coordinated and graceful as I am (which isn't very), but I have to say she was getting the hang of it.

Doopie wanted to play too.
Uncle T tried out the new ATV but didn't even get out of first gear while tooling around the garden then parked it back in the shed. I kind of get why. My brother and I are definitely the light weights of the family and aren't really into being tossed around on a bright green 4 wheeled monster. Anyhow, it's worth the experience. I know that if my husband didn't insist that I try to learn to be a country girl, I wouldn't. But then I wouldn't know how to help disassemble lift arm seals on the skid steer, a very useful skill around here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Little Stuff

First things first. I have been trying to come up with a blog name for my husband. I really don't like the name Hubby but also have been too lazy to think of anything else, so I called my bro and he suggested I call my husband not a name, but one of his hobbies (clearly listed on my husband's facebook page). From now on my husband will be referred to as the 4 wheel drive gardener. (maybe just gardener for short) And this will be his photo. Hey, if he uses it as his Facebook profile, it's fair game, right?

What else? Grandma N gave the girls a new box of markers.
Ever since they have been turning out drawings all the while sneaking every sheet of white copy paper that I keep hidden in the printer, wedged in the bottom of our makeshift kitchen computer desk. Lucky for Mae, she's tall and thin so she can usually snake her long arms into the back of the cabinet, feel around for the paper, grab it with her hand and yank while simultaneously getting up off the floor to run into the living room to get started on her next project all before her sister, because "It's a race, Binny! I'm winning!"

That is not Charles Manson themed body art on her forehead, it's marker. Also, did you notice that Mae is missing another tooth? Upstairs this time.

Mostly the girls have been drawing houses and ovals, then coloring them, Easter egg style. Hours of fun, thanks Grandma N! Speaking of Easter... the girls and I were at Walgreens over the weekend to pick up some photos and guess who was sitting right next to the photo counter with a big basket of chocolate? No, not me, damn! Of course it was the Easter Bunny, a creepy looking, not so friendly, my 4 and 6 year olds were scared shitless Easter Bunny. The sweet woman working the photo counter offered to take their picture with Creepy Bunny, but my kids graciously declined from behind my right and left thighs. Apparently the candy is just for the children brave enough to actually sit on the lap of Creepy Bunny not for photo bribes.

Anyhow, back to what I do have photos of. Here's a picture of me. She said it was me, although she (kind of) wrote Daddy on it.

Looks like I've put on some weight since the last time Binny drew me. At the very least I look like I've been hanging out in a bee hive.
More eggs, Binny hung these on the bedroom wall last night so I could see them first thing in the morning.

I found this one under my pillow this morning.

Not much else going on. My afternoon will be spent making returns to Home Depot and Menards for the 4 wheel drive gardener. Sounds like a rockin' afternoon huh?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ladybugs' Picnic

It must be that time of year again. The ladybugs have crawled out of my walls (or wherever they hang out all winter) and into the corners of my windows. Eeeewww!

I'm not entirely sure where they all come from but I'm fairly certain they are here to stay, except of course for the Ladybugs Binny sucked up with the vacuum.

Really though, it seems no matter how many we suck up with the vac, more appear... almost instantly.

I always thought Ladybugs (Asian beetles or whatever you wish to call them) were an old house thing. Our house is over 100 years old, but my in-laws' newer (roughly 10 year old) home has a case of ladybug-itis about the same strength as ours. I also have a friend who has been having some minor ladybug issues, mainly her infant daughter eating them. Yum! Ladybugs are full of protein right?

I have sort of given up on trying to get rid of them altogether. Last year when we repainted the exterior of our house, we caulked every seam and window, hoping that would help keep the ladybugs (and the cold winter wind) out of the house. Obviously that didn't work. Realistically I don't think complete eradication can be done without some serious pesticides, which we're not willing to go for... at least not yet. I will say that my vacuum with its super-extending wand is awesome for ladybug sucking!

And just for fun, because who can talk about ladybugs without thinking of classic Sesame Street? Not me at least...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Foolin'

Last night as I walked into the barn, my boss came over and said in her best old lady voice...

You know, it's going to be in the seven-tees tomorrow.

Oh really?

No... April Fool!

Pretty lame but at least she tried right? Mae also got me yesterday. She switched my toothpaste with hers. I didn't even notice that I was brushing with bubblegum flavored toothpaste until she pointed it out to me. Thank goodness she hasn't discovered other things that would be fun to apply to an unsuspecting family member's toothbrush, like say preparation H, or dish soap.

Did anyone else get fooled yesterday?


And now my response to yesterday's comments.

I can scream politics and my (wacky, non-believing) religious views, but it's my BUTT that has people expressing their dislike for me? Thanks ladies, I'll remember this the next time one of you flashes a photo of perfect skin, or a clean house. I'll be watching!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday

These are the pants I wear to the farm. I labeled them so they don't get mixed in with my other clothes, for obvious reasons.

My Farm shoes (and rubber covers) are a real prize, but I think I'll keep that image to myself.

Check out more Wardrobe Wednesday here!