Sunday, December 26, 2010

How We Spent Christmas

For the third year in a row we celebrated Christmas with just the four of us.

And. I. Love. It.

Here we are all dolled up ready for the candlelight Christmas Eve service...



As you can see we entered into the service with all solemnity and prayerfulness...

Surely you expected nothing less?


Christmas morning the girls slept until 7:30! I actually woke them up when I went to the garage to get out a roast and then let the dog out!

Did you know that my big brother woke me up every single Christmas morning no later than 4am to snoop in our stockings? He always insisted all the gifts had to go back in exactly how they came out. I never could understand that rule, but I knew David to be older and sneakier so I never questioned. I asked him once why he always woke me up to come peak with him. It turns out he figured he wouldn't be in trouble if his adorable baby sister was with him.

Okay. He didn't call me adorable. I added that part in. But he was totally counting on the baby of the family to keep him out of trouble. He also always sent me in to ask if we could get up yet. And Mom always said, "Nobody gets up until 5am."

So, I'd wait for what surely must have been an eternity and then I would approach Dad, again at the insistence of my brother. His answer? "Nobody gets up until 5am."

Which I thought was never going to get there! An hour is a very long time to play quietly in the dark with only the Christmas tree lights to guide you while you wait for your lazy teenage sisters and parents to drag themselves out of their cozy beds!


As you gaze around my home it is obvious we were having a relaxing, peaceful Christmas. Bookworm was so relaxed she couldn't even be bothered to get off the recliner to play Wii baseball!

Please disregard any background clutter you see. I would like to blame it on Christmas. But I won't because that is my normal. Clean but cluttered.

I always say you should never keep your house so clean that others feel the need to clean if you are dropping by. See? It's not being lazy! It's called being a good friend!

Amen.


Of course Popcorn was on her feet for the entire game. Of every game.

Oh! Did I mention Santa brought us a Wii for Christmas? That Santa is a smart guy. He knew the only way this family would move to the 21st century and actually own a gaming system was if he brought it!


I cooked dinner, and after we finished I said I was not cleaning the kitchen until I'd had a cup of coffee.

Studmuffin cleaned the kitchen.


While I had a few cups of Christmas cheer!

Just kidding. That is really only coffee, and I was supposed to be winking at my cleverness in getting my husband to clean the kitchen, which we all know is the worst part of any meal. However, I seem to look drunk.
*sigh*

After a hard day of napping, eating, playing Wii and eating some more, we all sat down to watch "Despicable Me."


We all enjoyed it. Even the dog.

And now we have plans to go to the nearest home for girls and adopt three little girls. One with a thing for unicorns, one with a permanent pink stocking hat, and one practical older girl to keep us all in line.

I need someone to keep my husband in line.

So, how was your Christmas? Calm? Restful? Frantic? Stressful? Overstuffed with food and presents? Let me know how you celebrated the birth of Our Savior this year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Break: An Agenda

December 22nd:

Slept until 8:30, which is WAY sleeping in for me!
Breakfast: 1 cupcake & 1 piece of fudge
Did loads and loads of laundry
Lunch: package of peanut butter crackers, 1 piece of fudge
Ran to Dollar General and Braum's for groceries where I indulged in a junior scoop of German Chocolate ice cream.
Stopped to get my ring cleaned. It looks all shiny and new now.
Stopped at a junk store for the girls to buy themselves some Webkinz.
Bought a cute homemade Nativity.
Got a free planner...I love those freebie planners.
More laundry.
Cooked a fantabulous dinner with my hubby at my side. Aren't the best meals the ones thrown together off the cuff?
And, I finished this entire simply fascinating day off with a few episodes of Big Bang Theory.

December 23rd

Slept until 6:30. Both girls were up by 7am. Claimed they couldn't sleep in.
Addressed Christmas card envelopes

PLAN:
Bake cookies for the girls to take to the neighbors and carol.
Buy ink for the printer.
Buy stamps.
Read my Nook.
Drink endless cups of coffee.
Shift stuff from point A to point B so it appears I have done some work.
Wander aimlessly through the house and yard pretending to be busy.
Take a nap.

DRAT!!!

My husband just called. He left his phone at home, which is equivalent to a briefcase in the olden days of 1995. I must now get off of the couch...

Put on makeup...

Brush my teeth...

And take the darn thing to him!

So, I will hit publish on this post as is.

The best laid plans....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot LIke Christmas!!

Wednesday is my day off, get everything done that I possibly can day. It involves bill paying, grocery shopping, laundry, and cleaning. Ugh. Strangely, it doesn't really feel like a day off. Why do you suppose that is?

This Wednesday was a bit different. I had my follow up appointment for my measles titer to see if I for sure for sure had measles. I won't have those results for several days as they have to go to California for testing.

I had to finish up Christmas shopping. I was determined to finish and not be tempted to buy that one more thing I think of...

I will confess right now that I realized I never bought envelopes to mail Christmas letters. I haven't even written a letter! I've sat down and tried, and I'm completely blank. Totally, completely blank. How weird is that?

I started my marathon off at Walmart.

I needed dog and cat food and a groceries. I was determined to walk in the door, check out their ice cream cakes as Popcorn has decided this must be on the menu for her slumber party Friday, grab some stuff and go....

Then the Christmas spirit overwhelmed me, and before I knew it I bought entirely too much totally necessary to my life and future happiness stuff.





Like new cookie cutters. And wrapping paper. And a jigsaw puzzle! Because my great great grandmother's dining room table MUST have a jigsaw scattered on it during Christmas. I also clearly NEEDED to buy an adorable gingerbread village kit. Clearly. I needed it!

Oh! A cute Rudolph coloring book! Of course every new coloring book requires a brand new box of sharp pointed crayons....Oh, the smell of a newly opened box of crayons. Simple childhood times come rushing back.

Sadly, my entire Walmart visit followed this pattern. I left with some groceries, but I fear not everything I will need to get me through the Christmas season. That is what an unprepared trip to Walmart gets you!

Remember the clever cupcake scam my youngest pulled on me Tuesday night? Well, in my wanderings I found these adorable sprinkles and cupcake picks. I decided they were a must! So I bought them! Aren't they cute!




I finished my shopping in time to run by a real grocery store, buy some perishable items and dash home to throw them in the freezer and stash a few gifts before I had to get the girls.

Only I finished that 15 minutes before time to go.

So I colored a picture. That's right. I colored a picture. In a coloring book. With my brand new crayons.

It was bliss.





Then I picked up the kids, came home, scrambled to get laundry done and these cupcakes done and dinner on the table before I had to be at choir from 7-9pm.

And now I'm heading to bed.

With pink frosting smears on my kitchen floor where the dog got into the trash last night while we were asleep. SOMEBODY didn't put up the trash before we went to bed, and apparently the smell of that grilled fish that SOMEBODY didn't carry out to feed the stray animals in the back pasture was more than she could ignore.

I've decided it will still be there tomorrow.

And the day after that if I don't get to it...And that day will be Friday, and I will have a house full of little girls, so what will be the point of cleaning my floors then?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dashing Through the Snow

Read yesterday's post for the whole story behind this nonsense!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making Christmas Memories One Epic Fail at a Time

I love Christmas cookies. I love having the kids get crazy with frosting. I mix up the colors and hand the cookies over and walk away, or I will take over, criticize and offer all sorts of helpful advice.



This year as we were singing "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" at the top of our lungs Studmuffin was grilling some fish on the stove, and he volunteered, "I drove by the church, and wondered what was going on. Then I realized that one of the other schools must be having a Christmas program."

"OH MY GOSH!!! Popcorn, we forgot your Christmas program!"

And then I had a total meltdown, and she told me it was okay, and she wasn't mad. Then, we all sat down and tried to eat fish, but I moped.

My husband told me to get over it.

I decided that MAYBE we could make it, and perhaps 2nd grade sang before 3rd....

Gentle Reader, I snapped this photo right after we realized what we had done...Do you think she looks a tad sad?


I instantly turned into a crazy woman...Popcorn! Change into your dress! Where is your other shoe? Where is your gray tights? Everyone put on your shoes! Hustle! Hustle!

And, I proceeded to run around the house, screaming and clapping my hands, and telling my husband he doesn't need to lock up or get his wallet because we were in a hurry...

This is the result of my mad dig for tights and matching shoes...Which I didn't find. She went in black fringed knee boots...Because, clearly nothing says Christmas like suede fringed knee boots. Oh, and she informed me I had to clean the mess up...Since I made it and all.



And then, I realized I had no bra on, and I was barefoot....

Good grief! (Only I'm pretty sure that's not precisely what I said.)

I remedied that problem, then we all piled in the car and the garage door took no less than 25 minutes to open.

Then my husband refused to race through town.

I swear, he wouldn't drive over 50 mph, and we were clearly in a hurry! Truly, we have a four lane road through town. That 35mph speed limit is ridiculous on a normal day. In full panic mode, it is downright impossible! I clapped and twitched and patted her knee and apologized 50 jillion times and I rocked back and forth...And I wept...And I said, "Please, Jesus! Please Jesus!" over and over and over again.

It was pitiful and probably slightly annoying.

We arrived at the church. He dropped us off at the door and Popcorn and I dashed in!

Children are singing! Maybe we made it!

I step in and quietly ask the first person I see, "Has the 3rd grade sang?"

Oh, the sadness in my heart. They had went on stage at 6pm. We did not even think of the program until 6:40, and we were there by 6:59.

I was devastated. There was no more twitching. Or rocking. Just utter silence.

And Popcorn saying, "It's okay, Mom. It's just like an absence. I won't be in trouble. I know other kids missed it too."

And that made me feel even worse that my daughter is consoling me because I am an obvious total flake.

My ever helpful husband said, "Get over it. It's done. It's not like you left her in the car in the hundred degree heat and she died. We forgot one program. It's okay."

And I remained silent.

We pulled into the garage, and Popcorn unfastened her seatbelt. I turned around to tell her that I wanted her to sing her songs for me, and I would record them so I could at least have a private concert...

I looked back just as she hiked up her dress and started to pull up her tights...

That were down around her knees.

I can just picture it now...We dash into the church. She quietly slips into the side while her grade sings, her tights begin to slowly creep down. She is left with the dilemma of saggy baggy elephant feet, or pulling her tights up on stage. I'm pretty sure being 8 she would have just hiked them up.

Can you imagine? I had that child so frazzled and panicked she went to the car with her tights half up?





So we had a home concert. I am pretty sure it was more entertaining than anything the school would have shown.

And she made me laugh.

And now I feel better.

However, as I just prayed with her she talked about how excited she is to have 4 parties for her birthday...Cupcakes on Thursday for her birthday (I'm bringing cupcakes?), the class party Friday, her slumber party Friday night, and then we are celebrating Christmas with my family on her actual birthday on the 30th!

Four parties!

How exciting! (Or ridiculous, but you gotta admit she's pretty clever for throwing out the cupcake idea in the middle of a major mommy failure!)

P.S. I tried and tried to upload a video to this post. I finally gave up, and posted it separately, so please check out my next post to see Popcorn's rendition of "Jingle Bells!"

Sugar Cookies

I love Hobby Lobby. Almost as much as I love Target. I have to limit my patronage to both stores or I fear we would have lovely clothes, and lovely decorations, but a sorely empty bank account.

Anyhoo, I was wandering through the Christmas aisles, sifting through their boxes and bags to wrap homemade goodies in, when what to my wandering eyes should appear?

Lollipop Sticks!

They didn't belong where I found them, some careless shopper had decided against them, and carelessly tossed them into a pile of treat bags.

I had an epiphany! When I lived in Arlington, Texas I had a coworker who loved to order cookie bouquets for her husband. I considered them frivolous yet delicious and I especially thought they were super clever.




Guess what I did? I rolled my sugar cookie dough out a little thicker than usual, and inserted the lollipop stick!

And does anyone besides me wonder why my stone is balancing precariously off the edge of my counter?


I must interrupt this post for a brief word from Popcorn "Mommy, I can't believe you are making a big mess on your counter! You always tell me to 'be careful not to spill sugar all over the counter' every time I make cookies." I quickly replied, "Well, I prefer to roll out cookies this way." She shot right back at me, "Well, you can use that wax paper in the pantry, and you won't make such a mess." Good to know, darling. Good to know.

Return to subject:

It worked great! Disclaimer: We have not decorated these cookies yet. I didn't get home until after 6, and by the time I fixed dinner, we ate, and cleaned the kitchen, there was no time for cookie decorating. I will let you know how that works out tomorrow night!

Hey! What about that apron? I got that for ten bucks. I saw it at Kirkland's and I had to have.

Had to. I'm tellin' ya.


Please, try to control your jealousy over my mad picture taking skills. Not everyone can own a fancy schmancy point and shoot camera like me!

I can't wait to decorate them! Is this a fun idea, or what? Now, what you've all been waiting for...THE RECIPE!

Sugar Cookies

2 c butter
8 oz cream cheese
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 c sugar
5 c flour

Combine butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla until combined. Stir in flour.

Refrigerate dough overnight (or a few hours in the freezer if you're impatient like me)
Roll out and cut into shapes.
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Confession: I got this recipe off of All Recipes.com, and then a friend posted it on facebook a few weeks ago, and reminded me of it so I feel that I can't really take credit for the recipe....

But I'm totally OWNING the lollipop idea!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ginger Cookies

Sunday I realized it was December 12th. I also realized that my beloved daughter had signed me up to bring sugar cookies to her "Winter Holiday Party" aka a Christmas Party, before we had to be politically correct.

We also had "Family Night at Christmas" at our church, and I needed to bring either a salty or sweet snack.

Did you know I'm ridiculously proud and hard headed about silly things?

Like cookies.

I refuse to buy them.

So, Sunday after I had my requisite nap, I endeavored to make sugar cookies for a school party, and ginger cookies for the church party.


Please notice the coffee cup in the background. A strong cup of coffee is a must for baking cookies. I noticed that hazelnut coffee goes well with this particular dough...Don't pretend you don't snitch some dough as you go. How else are you to be sure you didn't accidentally leave something out? Sampling dough is imperative to good baking!

These cookies are truly delightful. I don't know why so few people make ginger cookies anymore.

They resemble a ginger snap, but they are softer and chewier, which I love.

This recipe calls for oil, so they don't work well for rolling and cutting out. However, last year I substituted the oil with equal parts softened butter, and they rolled out fine. They were more crisp, like one would expect a ginger snap to be.

As I was not going to bother with rolling and icing cookies that would be in a giant buffet of treats, and I would get no glory for (just being real here), I decided to stick with the original recipe. Because, truly, although I do love a good iced cookie, if nobody's going to ooh and aah over the hard work I've done, I'm not putting forth the effort.

Now, here's the recipe that has been missing from your cookbook, and you didn't even know it. Try it. You will fall in love, and your family will "rise up and call you blessed"....


Ginger Cookies:

2/3 cup oil
1 egg
1 c sugar
4 Tblsp molasses

2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

granulated sugar for dipping

Mix first four ingredients. Combine dry ingredients and add to sugar mixture. Roll into balls by hand, then roll in granulated sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes, or until done.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Hey! I will share a sugar cookie post with you tomorrow! Complete with decorating ideas! How exciting is that? Maybe I will pretend to be Pioneer Woman and do an entire week of cookies....

Minus the gazillion readers.

And great pictures.

And ridiculous wealth.

But, other than that, I'm pretty sure we are two peas in a pod.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Delirium

It has been an exciting week around here.

Monday I returned to work after 2 weeks off, between Thanksgiving and measles.

I worked a 10 hour day and came home to find supper started and my niece Sarah, who was staying with us for a few weeks, had ran and emptied the dishwasher! Little things make me happy.

Tuesday I worked another 10 hour day, and returned home to find supper made again.

Amen.

Wednesday was my day off, and I told you all about that roller coaster ride of emotions.

Thursday was a "work" day. However, my hospital has 2 days of employee appreciation every year. They rent a theater in the Harkins downtown, give us breakfast in the form of snack bars and nasty coffee that they fool us into thinking will be great by handing it out in Starbucks cups, and hand out tons of awards. They show a video telling us how awesome Saint Anthony is, (click to view one of our commercials about believing in the power of prayer) and have a motivational speaker that is very entertaining.

Then they give us a ten dollar gift certificate to eat anywhere downtown we want. And we get an hour and a half to eat. After working most shifts with only 10 minutes to scarf down something quick, I love this part. We walked along the river, and had a great Mexican food lunch.

In the afternoon they give out more awards, hand out soda and candy, and show a movie. This year we got to see "Morning Glory." I highly recommend it. I laughed, got teary, and left totally relaxed.

And, get this. I got paid for an 8 hour shift to do all of that!

AND IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Side note: It is a bit touchy for a slightly hyperactive person to be offered free coffee and sodas, and sit still in a movie theater for 6 hours. It was not very pretty at times.

Friday I went to work, and the staff who had been unable to attend Spirit Day on Thursday went. This left us with a whopping 2 nurses and 2 techs and our supervisor to do what we normally do with 4 to 5 additional staff.

Good times. Good times. I got to work at 6:45 am, and clocked out at 6:45 pm. The group that had covered for us the day before had finished up by 1pm. And they got lunch. I had a banana, two tablespoons of peanut butter, a package of crackers, and a half cup of black coffee to get me through the day. At about 5pm, I was delirious and hungry. I was standing at the desk filling out paperwork, and listening to my patient and his family chat. I got so tickled at something he said, that I collapsed against the counter, head in my arms laughing hysterically.

And I couldn't even say why, or what was funny. But tears were streaming down my face and I was absolutely rolling.

Don't you wish I was your nurse in that state?

I went and brewed a strong cup of coffee, and came to my senses enough to sedate my patient and not endanger any lives.

As I pulled out of the parking garage to come home, I called my hubby to tell him I was finally getting off of work. "What's for dinner?"

"I didn't know what you would want. I figured after such a long day you would be hungry and vicious, so I thought I'd see what you want."

Wow. He knows me well. However, he was skating on thin ice, since he had no idea or plans on what to feed the ravenous beast...

"At this point I'm so hungry, I would eat whatever you put in front of me. And, I'm punchy instead of cranky. However, I will definitely be ready for food when I walk in the door."

He had an egg sandwich ready for me when I walked in and collapsed onto a bar stool.

I finished my evening off with my new Christmas treat:

Eggnog with a dash of ground allspice and a very generous splash of spiced rum.

It is almost certain to make everything right with my world.

Oh, and just to share my good news, I got a Nook for my birthday. I'm loving it, and so is my husband. He is reading the first book he's read since we got married. He is reading "Dracula." This has always been his favorite book, and it seems he is inspired to read now, and I fear we may come to blows over who's turn it is to use the Nook.

Not really.

But we may definitely exchange some words.

Just bein' real here.

Now, I shall end this long, boring post. Thank you for bearing with me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Come Ride the Roller Coaster!!!

My niece Molly had a friend give her three FREE tickets to tonight's Michael Buble concert.

HAPPINESS!!!

Molly could not find one single friend to go with her, as they all had to study for finals.

SADNESS....

She decided to invite her favorite sister, and the aunt her sister is currently staying with.

HAPPINESS!!!

Sarah realized she did not pack anything but sloppy college clothes. She had nothing to wear.

SADNESS...

We decided that shopping was definitely in order. AND we had a coupon for Old Navy, and we each had gift cards to Victoria's Secret so we could totally surprise our husbands with "gifts" for them as well.

HAPPINESS!!!

Molly called while we were in the changing room at Old Navy. You know I could not let Sarah try on clothes alone! That is no fun. Her friend who gave her the tickets backed out on the offer and decided to give them to a family member instead.

SADNESS...

Molly was so depressed she didn't even have the energy to get herself out of bed and get dressed up with no place to go...

MORE SADNESS...

I decided that we must get all dolled up and go out to eat. Just the three of us. Studmuffin will have to fend for himself and the girls.

HAPPINESS!!!

We found Sarah the cutest out fit Ev-UH and she is totally wearing it for our night on the town.

MORE HAPPINESS!!!

She got a sweater and Old Navy had a sale of buy one get one sweater free. I got a gorgeous royal blue argyle sweater. And, since we split the cost of the sweaters it only cost $12.50!

MORE HAPPINESS!!!

We came home with our purchases, stashed the few gifts we decided to grab in our dash to the mall, and I ran to pick up the girls from school....

I had a revelation.

Today is Wednesday.

Wednesday means choir practice. The Christmas program is December 18th...

I am trying to convince myself that I don't need to go as I literally dang near have the entire music memorized and we get to use it, but I realize that people who know their part are helpful to those who struggle.

I should probably go to practice.

SADNESS...

I picked the girls up. Bookworm informed me that the teacher made her take a test for the spelling bee, and she qualified. I love this teacher for doing this. Bookworm is crazy smart, and she has refused to do the spelling bee every year...

HAPPINESS!!!

And, now I will stop this emotional roller coaster and go fold some laundry.

SADNESS...

Friday, December 3, 2010

ADHD Gardening

I took this picture a few weeks after we moved here.

I am a really good starter.

I am a terrible finisher.

Unless of course I can finish it right away, and then I am a FANTABULOUS finisher!

I had a spurt of energy yesterday afternoon, and after being cooped up in the house for 4 days, I decided I needed to pull the dead marigolds and zinnias out of my flower beds. These are the two flowers I am most successful at growing.

Only I don't really "grow"them.

Here's how it works.

I move to a house. They inevitably have at least some marigolds and zinnias planted. I leave them be, and splash a little water on them when I think about it. When I notice a dead head, I pull it off and drop it near where the original is growing.

Soon, I have several plants close to one another. I decide to transplant them to a new location. Say, an unsightly flower bed placed next to our shop, surrounded by concrete, that I really don't understand the purpose of.


See the flowers to the left of the tent camper? That was the result of transplanting some stray zinnias.


Now that it's fall, the next step is in place. I pull up the dead plants. I tug off the dead blooms, then scatter them wherever I want to have flowers next year. Like under Popcorn's window. And around the fish pond. Under the trees. In random pots that are really hopeless, as I will never be successful in growing anything that requires frequent watering.

Or attention....

*SIGH*

Moving on!

Are you ready for the really genius part of all of this?

Hang on to your pants, folks because it's about to get crazy here....

I take leaves that are conveniently all over the yard. I gather the scattered leaves....and I PILE them on TOP of the dead flower heads. Then I kind of stomp around in them.

Not because it's necessary.

It's just fun!

My theory is that leaves should never be raked, bagged and *gasp* taken to landfills!

My thought is that the leaves hold the dead flower heads and scattered seeds in place, and help them to germinate and take root! Plus, those decomposing leaves make the soil happy.

Attention: Sorry for all of that extremely scientific jargon in this post. My mad gardening skills are legion. Legion, I tell ya!

Now, here's the next secret in my ADHD gardening arsenal: I leave the rest of my leaves in the yard!

I KNOW!!! Revolutionary stuff here!

Again, back to the sad state of leaves filling land fills...Plus, there is just nothing cheerier than the sound of leaves blowing and crinkling in the yard! So what if they blow up on your porch? Simply take your broom and sweep them back in the yard! It only takes a second, and when you've made your leaf strewn porch sparkling clean, you get the instant gratification of cleaning something quickly!

Kind of like running the vacuum.

Sadly, I had to stop my gardening after a brief spurt of energy. My lungs started to burn, and there is nothing sorrier than a nurse who has to visit the doctor because they failed to follow instructions...You do realize nurses make the absolute worst patients, right? I once had a surgeon tell me he'd rather have another surgeon laying in the bed than a nurse. I have to agree.

More ADHD Gardening Tips:

Kids forts made out of the limbs you trimmed from your trees are to stay put. Don't worry, your children will move them forty dozen times before spring is here, breaking them into smaller pieces as they reconstruct their masterpieces, and you can eventually throw them in your fire pit! Oh, and don't fret that YOU will be the one to gather these stray limbs, Gentle Reader. Never let it be said! Your precious offspring who have enjoyed them for an entire season will be responsible for cleaning up the mess they made in the yard BEFORE it is time to start running the mower, so you won't have to worry about flying bits of wood!

Nothing organic should ever land in your trash, thus ending up in your local landfill. Too impatient/disorganized to keep up with a compost pile? I just throw everything in my garden! It may not be as good as a smelly, steaming compost pile, but it's got to be doing some good when those rotted grapes finish their decomposition in the garden.

Got some meal scraps that you don't want to feed your pets? No problem! Simply scrape them out over the fence in your back yard! Some random hungry creature is sure to come gobble them up! When you hear your American dingo barking frantically in the back yard at night, rest easy knowing that it's probably just a coyote, badger, skunk, raccoon, or even possum enjoying the bounty that you provided for them!

And, feeding coyotes around here is always a good thing! It makes them less leery when Studmuffin wants to sit on the back porch and hunt them. I'm all about supporting my spouse's redneck ways here. Yep, that is me! Supportive wife!

Okay, I know I have legions more ADHD gardening tips to share with you. Unfortunately, my ADHD is kicking in, and I'm running out of ideas...So, I will end this post with one simple question.

What is your easy gardening tip that takes little or no time, yet yields beautiful results?

Hint: I truly am impatient and inattentive. Daily chores do not work well for me.

Just being real here.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Random Feeling Betterness.

Don't you love how it's okay to make up random words on blogs, and people are totally accepting? However, I do fear for my children's grammar and spelling as they grow in this age of texting, blogging, and tweeting.

Bookworm informed me "chillax" is being added to the dictionary.

Apparently "unfriend" is too.

Not sure how I feel about these newfangled changes.

I feel better today. I decided to brave a blog post as I was able to wish my nephew a happy birthday on facebook, and my eyeballs didn't feel they were going to explode.

I felt well enough to put out some of my Christmas decorations yesterday. As I was unpacking, then repacking stuff that was displaced, I had multiple genius blog ideas.

They have all left my brain. My sister suggested I write them down as I thought of them, so I wouldn't forget. However I failed to follow her suggestion, and my thoughts were like dust in the wind.

Am I the only one disturbed by the Charmin commercial with the little bear sitting on the toilet reading the business section, complete with toilet tissue sticking to his bum as he walks away? Really. TMI.

I did not lose one single solitary pound with this illness. How wrong is that? The reward of any illness should be pounds lost!

I am still contagious, so I will not be going Christmas shopping today. Or going to work this week to pay for any Christmas purchases.

My darling husband decided Tuesday that I would be unable to attend their company Christmas party on Saturday at the Petroleum Club in OKC. He told them we would be unable to attend due to my measles, and they should give our slot to someone else who would like to go. Not that I'm resentful, but I was totally looking forward to the excuse to buy a new outfit complete with shoes and to dine in a restaurant that does not have prices on the menu.

But again: I'm not bitter.

No sirree Bob. I'm pretty sure I'll have countless opportunities to eat at such places as this.

Or not.

Here's a fun measles fact for you: Measles is transmitted by air droplet, when the infected person speaks, sneezes, coughs etc. These air droplets can remain suspended for two hours after the person has left the room.

So, no. I have no idea where I contracted measles.

But I'm blaming work. Because it's convenient.

Well, my eyes are exhausted. I will sign off for now, and perhaps do some online shopping later.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

That's Pretty Measly.

Having the measles that is.

Yes, I was immunized.

When I moved to San Antonio they checked my immunity as new studies showed that adults needed boosters. I was not immune, so they gave me a booster.

I moved to Oklahoma. My hospital checked my immunity. Still not converted! So, they gave me a booster...

With no follow up.

Guess what? I apparently never converted!

So, here I sit, aching in my joints, red and blotchy skin, and running fever. The computer hurts my eyes. I get motion sick trying to read. The television is boring. I can't go to the library to check out books on tape.

I am bored.

I am pitiful.

I have nothing amusing to say about any of this.

I can't even Christmas shop online as I'm already getting a headache from this post!

Ridiculous.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

They Are Hanging Too Low. And I'm a Sore Loser.

My Grandma Dolly requested we all get together for Thanksgiving. This was the group that was able to make it. I won't bore you with the list...All you need to realize is this: The pasty white bunch is all part of my mother's descendants (inherited from my dad).
We were supposed to make s funny face, however only my sisters & I complied. Unfortunately I had already moved on to talking.

My stomach is upset. I think I ate too much junk food and my stomach is rebelling. Actually, it wasn't junk, just too much rich food I wouldn't normally eat.


Biting my lips to make them red. I realized I was without lipstick, and I was biting my lip between every photo to try and get some color in them. Lame.

My fabulous sister (soon to be famous author, have you bought her book?) and her husband made themselves crazy getting some Christmas decorations made for us. Our gift was a snowman and three ho's....As in Ho Ho Ho...


And I quote: Lift your chest up and out girls, they are hanging too low.
From an undisclosed contributor to posing etiquette.

Get your mind out of the gutter people!

I will post a picture at some point. When I actually have one.

Of the Snowman and his hos. Are you following this conversation?

Studmuffin put them in the yard today. He's hoping to avoid couples counseling resulting from lack of outdoor Christmas cheer this year...

He felt that a surgery on December 3rd exonerated him from hanging lights.

Silly man.



Losing poorly at Spinners.
My goal: Don't let David win. I was successful. You just never outgrow sibling rivalry!

We had a happy Thanksgiving. We got together with Studmuffin's family on Thursday.

NO. I have no pictures of that day.

Saturday we got together with my mother's family.

As per usual, I was either talking, or eating, or doing some other equally flattering pose to share with you. Aren't you glad?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Creepiness and This Post Involves Discussion of Body Parts

Today is a day of random thoughts.

I will share them as best as I can keep up with them.

My doctor was 90 minutes late for work. When he got there, I immediately gave him a game plan, and asked about adding on more cases. I felt as if he was going to be somehow annoyed that we would be there 3 hours longer than planned, even though he was late. I felt the need to explain. Have any of you had to sit through my explanations? Let me apologize for that.

He said to no one in particular "she's not even letting me talk." I blushed and replied, "Sorry, too much caffeine with only a piece of banana bread for food. I'm jittery." Then I fear I launched into an explanation of my symptoms.

Which he didn't need.

Did you know that one time he asked me to work a patient up really quick for him, and I outright said, "No. I need food and I'm not doing one more case until I get some peanut butter in me." To say he was surprised and speechless is a slight understatement. He has since made a point to never let me get to hungry, and he makes sure everyone working with me knows, "Make sure Andi gets some food. She gets cranky when she's hungry."

One of my patients was positive for cocaine and pot. He was using a toothbrush to scratch his itchy skin.

Another patient told me I was pretty when he first saw me. I blushed, said "thanks" in a strangled laugh, uncomfortable voice and tried to move on. He stared. I asked if he was hurting, "No. My nurse on the floor gave me some ativan and pain medicine and I'm feeling pretty loose right now. But, don't worry, I won't fall asleep with a beautiful woman next to me."

And he stared.

And I got hot and sweaty and blushed and ran off.

Did I say he was only 44?

Please, by all that is good and holy, any men that are reading this, never comment on a nurse's appearance until you are well into your 70s. At that age we will smile and flirt back, but until then it's just creepy.


When I had to assist the PA to drain fluid off of his abdomen, I refused to make eye contact with him, but instead chose to look at his swallowed 2 watermelons belly...But he still stared.

Oh. And he wasn't wearing a shirt.

*Ick*

Attention all men: If you are around me, I need you to wear a shirt. Because, really where am I supposed to look?

I don't let Studmuffin work in the yard without a shirt.

You realize the shirt thing only applies to public? I walked into a patient's room to take him to our department the other day, and he was stark naked except for a small towel draped like a loin cloth. He was burning up with fever, and he was miserable. "I bet you're going to make me put on clothes to go with you," he said as his wife applied a fresh cold cloth to his neck and forehead.

"Nope! But, you do have to cover up with a sheet. I'd hate to shock anyone going down the hall."

He didn't embarrass me or make me uncomfortable at all.

I have been compiling my Christmas list. Yep. I actually have one for myself! Popcorn informed me I was being selfish like she was last year.

Just a heads up: K Cups are on the list. As is an ereader, so any Amazon gift cards would be appreciated.

Speaking of body parts: One time a certain someone told me they were glad they had small breasts, as they wouldn't ever sag. I hate to tell all of you small breasted women, but whether they are big or little, when you reach a certain age, you will find yourself picking them up to put them in your bra cup. It's just a matter of whether you have to roll them up or simply scoop and place.

Just an observation I've made.

A question that I often ponder as I observe patient lives is this: When do women change to the little black shoe with the thin little lace as their only pair of shoes? Why does this happen?

Also, I need all women to pay attention and let me know what age the hair on your legs stop growing. I'm ready to begin the countdown, so please tell me double quick when you hit that milestone.

I fear it is about the same time the hair on your chin needs shaved.

So. Who knew my random thoughts were going to be all about body parts?

Certainly not me!

My brain is a scary place to be.

Now, before I can over think this and add more random gibberish, I will sign off.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Productivity

The girls and I went Christmas shopping.

We visited our church's quilt show.

I put 96 pictures in an album. I journaled by every single picture. Because every single picture needed some sort of explanation or wise crack. The pictures ranged from June 2009 to November 2010. It took me hours just to sort through my digital albums and decide what simply HAD to be printed.

This is the mental image I carry of my dad. Work shirt, jeans and boots, doing farm stuff. Mom is always in the kitchen when I visualize her. Where do you visualize your parents?



I talked to an old friend from Texas that I haven't chatted with in months. I'm pretty sure she remembered that I'm a chatter box after our 90 minute conversation.

I moved my clutter from one place to another while we chatted. Does that count as accomplishing anything?

I need to make food for the church Thanks4Giving dinner tomorrow.

I also have to bring food to work Tuesday.

Studmuffin emailed me a link about his company party on Wednesday. He seemed to think I'd have an idea what he should sign up to bring.

My reply was as follows:

And I'm receiving this because? You realize your daughter is home sick today? I was so thrown off kilter that I've decided I will not accomplish one solitary thing today. She clearly needs my undivided attention, and I cannot be dettered from that goal... I have a potluck at work Tuesday too. I plan on taking ham and noodles to my coworkers. I don't know what to tell you about your lunch... Let me know how that works out for ya!

Love,
Your gracious and subserviant wife.
His reply:

I just thought you might have a suggestion as to what I should sign up for based on what we have that I can fix.

Nice save Studmuffin.

Nice save.

Speaking of Studmuffin, he's hunting this weekend.

I miss him. I'm pretty sure it's his fault that I haven't been more productive this weekend. When he's here I'm constantly doing things because I want him to get off the couch and do his honey-dos...

Whereas when he's off fishing or hunting I become completely unproductive and go into an immediate vegetative state.

Is that sick and wrong or what?

Just being real here.

Alright. I'm off to bake brownies, file some piles of papers that seem to be multiplying at alarming rates, and probably drink some coffee.

Did I tell you I bought a Kuerig? That thing has brought me more pleasure than anything I've bought for myself since I was in 8th grade and used my money to buy myself a trampoline. They were both totally frivolous, unnecessary purchases, and they both made me literally giggle with glee every time I looked at them.

Attention: I fear my coffee consumption could skyrocket in the near future. Good thing I'm at work so dang much, since I don't have time to fantasize about my next cup of coffee there.


On a completely random note, here's my facebook status today:

I've recently realized that laziness is a slippery slope...And then you just lay down and slide further in because it's easier than doing all the stuff you haven't been doing. Then the stuff never goes away, so you figure, "Oh well, what's the point" and the cycle continues. Not that I'm speaking from experience...

In closing: Grease is currently on TV Land. What yahoo actually thought these characters looked anything like high school kids? They all look minimum mid 20s...

Okay, I'm really finished now.

Over and out.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thoughts

I'm having them.

They just don't want to fly from my brain to my fingertips in the form of a blog.

On a brighter note, my nanny gave me a revelation about myself yesterday. I said, "Darn, I forgot to buy milk on my way home. Oh well," and I ate a spoonful of peanut butter.

She then pointed out to me that most people feel they are out of food when they have no bread, milk and eggs. If I'm out of peanut butter I'm out of food as far as I'm concerned. I can never run out of peanut butter.

Never.

It's inconceivable...What would I eat?

Speaking of eating, I didn't eat at work today. Not because I didn't have time, but because I honestly didn't think of it until it was nearly time to leave, so I just left a few minutes early.

Then, I ran to Walmart to pick up some photos I'd gotten developed (the first pictures I've developed in a year and a half.) I then realized I was starving, and had to fight myself to buy only what I came for.

Then, I went to Braum's. I'm proud to report I bought milk, tortillas, apples and bananas. I started eating a banana on my way to the car.

Oh, and as far as not eating at work? I don't know what happened there. One of the physician assistants I work with offered me a sample of an energy drink...

My coworkers begged me not to do it, then promptly decided we'd split one three ways. I didn't notice an energy boost, but I do know I wasn't hungry until 2pm. I ate breakfast at 6am, so that's pretty amazing.

Most would say I don't need energy, I'm hyper enough as it is, however, I've had the darnedest time getting out of bed at my normal 5am time. Seriously. It's all I can do to drag myself up and start getting around. And, as soon as supper is over I'm absolutely wiped out, and can barely make myself clean the kitchen. On my days off, I'm accomplishing little.

So, I thought I'd give this Zilla drink a try. You only drink 0.75 ounces of it. Maybe that's why I wasn't hungry? Who knows.

Well, I'm off to start scrap booking, which I'm actually officially quitting. I bought a plain old album with lines to journal, and I'm just stickin' my photos in...

I am so rebellious.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How Cool is That?

God smacked me on the forehead today. Don't worry. It was a good smack. One of those, "WOW!" moments.

I'm reading Romans, one chapter a day. Chewing on it. Thinking about it. Really trying to digest what I'm reading...Is anyone hungry now?

Today's reading was chapter 5. Heavy stuff.

Do you have a commentary that you read along with your Bible? I love mine. It is called
Believer's Bible Commentary by William MacDonald. God used this book to bring home His truth to me this morning. It helps my feeble brain wrap around some big concepts.

God can have nothing to do with sin. Yet while we were all still dead in our sins, He sent Christ.

His only son. The God and creator of the universe.

To die for us.

For me....

He paid the cost of my sins.

If God called me while I was dead in my sins, and I know that sin makes me an enemy of God, if He called me to Himself in that condition, how much more will He do for me as a precious child?

Wow.

Next came verse 12. Death came through Adam. Sin was now in the world. All man now lived in separation from God due to their sin, which all began with Adam. Even before the law was given. They were still sinners....

Hmmm....

Okay, I gotta say it. My brain asked the question that every "good" Christian shrinks from.

Why did God allow sin? If He had never allowed sin, then He would never have had to make the immense sacrifice of dying and bearing the burden of the entire world's sin!

Why did He allow it?

Then, God gave me this answer: THROUGH ADAM'S SIN, AND THE EVENTUAL DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST, GOD RECEIVED MORE GLORY. AND MAN RECEIVED MORE BLESSING.

More blessing?

That's right! More BLESSING.

All Adam had to do was follow God's one command to him "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 1:16b-17)

We all know he ate it.

The big dummy. I get irritated with him and Eve every time I read it. Probably because I'm just like them. My husband says a sure fire way to get me to do something is tell me I can't do it. Don't you just hate when you are all mad at some idiot, then realize you are a whole lot like them?

But what if Adam hadn't eaten the fruit?

Man would still be living in the Garden of Eden. Life would be easy. Every little need provided. We'd still be meeting up with God every so often for an occasional stroll and chat.

BUT man would not have hope of eternity spent in HEAVEN with Jesus Christ, as an heir of Christ, being like Christ forever.

These blessings came only through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

Which would never have been necessary without the fall of man.

So through one tragic event, the first sin of man, God planned the blessing of every man who will come to Him through His son: Jesus Christ.

How cool is that?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Table Manners for Rednecks

It is impolite to lick the steak on one's plate. I'm not even sure why one might try this. However, in anticipation of waiting for prayer, one may be strangely compelled. Please. By all that is good and holy, try to resist.

Incredibly loud, moist belches loosed by a 10 year old are NOT funny. Even if they come from a ten year old girl in the middle of a word. I'm quite certain it is bad form.

It is especially bad form if the laughter, caused by the 3 syllable moist burp from the mouth a of a ten year old girl, leads to spewing chewed carrots all over one's plate. This offense is even more grievous if the offender is the mother, and therefore the example of gentle manners for the entire family.

Roasting marshmallows over the gas stove is acceptable. Or, at least if it's not it should be. Who wants to go light a fire every time the urge for a s'more comes on?

However, stopping to fish one's graham cracker crumbs out of your cleavage (or what there is of it) is not acceptable. I fear there is really no area for gray in this department.

Gentle Reader, I'm not sure, but I fear my hopes of having a gently reared family may be flying out the window.

Thoughts?

Monday, November 8, 2010

DO CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS IN ALL OF THE STORES MEAN IT'S TOO LATE FOR A HALLOWEEN POST?

Our community had trick or treating on the 30th. We had some friends over for feasting on chili dogs, s'mores, bean soup, and coconut cake, and homemade popcorn balls, followed by trick or treating. Because how tragic if we didn't get enough treats for the evening!

Guess what? I didn't take any pictures of my kids in costume.

Because, clearly. Nobody finds that remotely interesting. And, I'm pretty sure my kids will NEVER want to reminisce about costumes of yore.


That being said, I did take pictures of Bookworm and her friend playing in the fire.



And Studmuffin admiring his creation.


And this dog begging for a s'more.

An, the next day I took pictures of the girls pumpkins. Popcorn's is a kitty. Bookworm stuck with the traditional jack-o-lantern face.


I saved my pumpkin to make pumpkin puree.

'Cause I'm just homey that way.


As per usual, Studmuffin's was a reflection of death and destruction.

'Cause he's just redneck that way.

I will finish this highly informative post with a quote from Bookworm as we were eating chili this week. She was reaching for her third bowl. "You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the girl."

Amen and Amen.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What Happens When Kids Are Home Alone: Photographic Evidence

The scene: Thursday. 4pm. My house.


I got a phone call.


"Mommy! We are home alone!"

"Rachel isn't there?"


"NO Mommy! We got home and nobody is here!"

"Are you okay?"


"Yes. We're fine."


"Okay. I will call Rachel and see what's going on."

As it turns out, Gentle Reader, Rachel was there with in seconds of my hanging up the phone. I called her, and she was walking in my front door.

Today I found these pictures of Kelsey, taken in the few minutes before the girls called me. Now, doesn't it look like they were living in fear for their lives, and wondering who was supposed to be taking care of them?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today I Was an Idiot!

Did you go vote today?

Well, I sure as shootin' did.

I made sure and left the house in plenty of time to drop off our overdue movies at the library and still get to the poles BEFORE they open so I could high tail it to work...

Did I mention my coffee maker is broken? This statement may seem irrelevant, but hang on, you will soon understand, Gentle Reader.

I turned left at the light in our little town, and was surprised to see several cars heading toward the library.

"Well, lookey there! There is a big ole sign saying, 'vote here!' I thought I had to go the church to vote! How convenient is this?"

I dropped my movies in the drop box and be-bopped myself to the voters' line. There were already at least 10 or 15 people in front of me...And it was only 6:50 am. I smugly patted myself on the back for being so prepared and clever to beat the crowds.

Guess what? I was at the wrong place!

"I don't have you on my list ma'am," said lovely helpful voter lady.

In a rush, I realize my blunder.

"I think I'm supposed to be at the church..." I began to blush. And sweat. I suddenly regretted the fleece jacket I had thrown on over my scrubs.

"Are you sure? Do you want me to call and make sure?"

"No, that's okay. I think I voted there last time." Read here: I voted there the last 2 times I voted. Reader, I have no idea WHAT I was thinking!

So. I get to the proper polling place.

SCORE!! No line.

I fill out my ballot. I was feeling quite smug. I had done my homework, Gentle Reader. I had a list of who I was voting for, and I had a list of answers to the ELEVEN state questions on the ballot. I picked it up, and began to scan it as I walked to drop it off.

Guess what?

I had filled in one of my votes WRONG!! Really. What is the point of the cheat sheet if you still can't get it right? I asked for a new ballot, filled in the appropriate blanks for a destroyed ballot, and went back and voted correctly....

THEN, I drove to work.

I clocked in.

Went in the door that leads DIRECTLY to the break room.

And I brewed myself a cup of coffee.

Amen and Amen.

BUT WAIT! That's not the end! Oh, no!

I had a small child care issue today. As in, the girls rode the bus home but had to come home to an empty house. We had the whole plan for that in place, including emergency drills... It went off smoothly. I ended up getting home about 10 minutes after they did.

I sat down and read through our mail. I snarfed down some corn chips. Had a moment of self loathing for choosing those over a banana. I ate a banana. I debated a cup of coffee...I scoffed at my lack of exercise recently...

I realized it was time to head to piano. I thought of the lovely walking track that circles our church. I changed out of my scrubs, and into my workout gear, then tossed my scrubs in my bag lest I get called to work (I take call on Mondays and Tuesdays.) I grabbed my shoes, yelled at the kids to get in the car, and left for the church.

That's right. The church.

Where we have piano.

AND voting is taking place.

AND, as it happens, directory photos were being taken.

Guess what I was wearing? I was planning on walking the outdoor track and doing a disgusting amount of lunges. I was not planning on seeing a soul except the piano teacher.

I had on skin tight workout pants.

Seriously. Skin tight.

Lovely.

I ended up just doing half the track. All of the back half so as not to be seen.

I came in to grab the girls after piano. Bookworm was still in her lesson. In a moment of silliness, I was carrying Popcorn around....

A man in a suit walked by me...said an awkward, "hello" and darted into the bathroom...

You see, I was holding Popcorn spread eagled upside down...She had been standing with her legs spread. I swooped down and ducked under her legs, picking her up, so that her head was at my rear, and her feet were up in the air on either side of my head. She was yelling things like, "Mom! You really let one rip! Peeeyoooo! That is raunchy! Oh man, that REALLY stinks!" And so on.

No. I had not done any such thing.

But man in the suit did not know that crazy lady in the skin tight pants holding her daughter in a MOST improper way did not decide to let one rip.

And that, Gentle Reader, is the end of my humiliating chronicles.

For today at least.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tooth Fairy Tales


I think I've touched on this topic before...

It's just so dang funny, I keep thinking about it, and I laugh every time. And if you don't Gentle Reader...well, I fear you are just a stick in the mud.

That's right! I said it! A stick. In the mud.

I know I've told you all about
Popcorn debunking the Easter bunny...

I know I've told you about the last time the Tooth Fairy failed to show in a timely manner...

However, today I was rambling at work, and I remembered a conversation we had a few days after the Easter Bunny was debunked.

Popcorn: Mom. I have a loose tooth. The Tooth Fairy is real, okay?

Me: Okay. Why are you telling me this?

Popcorn: I just thought you should know.

And then she did this:







Which just happens to be the exact expression I give her when I'm trying to convey the seriousness of a situation and she better hurry up double quick and do what I say. Or dire consequences will soon follow.

I wonder what her dire consequences were going to be for that poor Tooth Fairy if she failed to show?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Camp Snoopy


Did you know we went camping? Did you know we own a pop up camper? Did you know it's from 1969 and has been in a Quonset barn, unopened since 1972? Did you know it's actually pretty warm (we didn't even use a heater) and beats sleeping on the ground? Did you know it didn't even leak when it started raining Thursday night and that the rain didn't stop until Friday after lunch? Did you know it's easier to put up and take down than a tent? Did you know this is the only picture I took of it, while I'm pretty sure my sister Dawn took at least ten?

Well, now you do!


Did you know that we went to an estate sale and a multifamily garage sale? Oh, and don't forget we also went to the thrift store. Did you know we go there every year?


Did you know I found these Camp Snoopy glasses from McDonald's for fifty cents?


Did you know I found an Eddie Bauer jean jacket for three bucks, and it fits perfect?

Did you know that I actually had a really cool crafty idea that we did as a group, and I took pictures with Paula's camera? Did you know she better blog about it?

Well, now you do.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Camping


We went camping last week with my family. There were 22 of us in all.

Good news!

We didn't have to sleep on the ground this year!

Guess what?

I hardly took any pictures! I took one picture of a human.


See this innocent little freckle face with Kelsey? The morning I took this picture, I woke up at about 6:30. It was still dark. I had to potty. I debated laying in bed and ignoring the urge, as I had to hike to the bathrooms and then I'd be wide awake. However, when Kelsey woke up, and started moving around, I figured she needed to potty too, so I gave up.
I got up, went outside to grab the leash which was left on the table outside. I then grabbed a little flashlight, stood outside the camper and hooked Kelsey's leash, brought her out, closed the camper door, then zipped it shut. Kelsey and I both turned to head out for our morning ablutions.

Suddenly, Kelsey began to growl and bark in her fiercest manner! I darn near had a heart attack. What could it be? A bear? A cougar? A rabid coyote come to rip my throat out? I placed my hand on her collar and told her to be quiet so as not to wake everyone else...She ignored me....It's moments like this when I understand everyone saying she's my third child...

I looked up and saw a PERSON standing about 10 feet away with their back to us. Every hair stood up on my body, and my heart began to pound. The person remained standing stock still, not saying a word...

It was a small person. Wearing a floppy hat. I cocked my head to the side and looked closer.

"Elvis? Is that you?"

The little dude turned around and sure enough! It was my 9 year old nephew, out wandering around in the dark. He saw us coming out, didn't want to startle me, so he just decided to stand still and be quiet so as to give me a heart attack instead.

Obviously, he and Kelsey made up as you can see in the above picture. Apparently he'd been up since before , ready to fish. His brother was already out fishing, but when Elvis started down the trail where he suspected his brother was, he heard a "skunk in the brush," so he beat it back to the camp sites.



I have no idea why he'd think there was a skunk.


The night we arrived, Studmuffin had stopped to grab Sonic. He was late getting to the camp. He showed up around 9pm, and immediately got out and started to put the cover on the boat and fix all of the stuff I'd done wrong when erecting our camper. Apparently, I should have done more than just watch him fold it out before we went. In my mind, he was going to be a few minutes, not 4 hours behind me. That's the only defense I have, weak as it is. Anyhoo, in his haste to make everything right, he sat his half eaten dinner on the ground near our boat.


As he was carrying stuff into the camper he heard a rustling sound. This skunk was the biggest he'd ever seen. And not one whit afraid of him. Apparently, he has grown up around this lake, and he knows diligence and boldness lead to tater tots and popcorn chicken. Being the wonderful man he is, Studmuffin just knew it was a blogging moment. So he recorded it for all posterity.

Ain't he grand?