Friday, August 26, 2011

My Future as a Bull Fighter is in Jeopardy

A few weeks ago I went out to see my folks.  It was hot.  It was dry.  But that did not keep us from riding horses!  No sirree bob!  My mom offered to drive us in the pickup to find the horses.  They have a full section of land to wander (that's one square mile) in this drought, along with a herd of cattle.  Now, I could have accepted this generous offer but it just didn't seem like the thing I would have done as a girl on the farm.  I decided to show my children the proper way to catch your bronc if you live on the farm and you are around the age of nine or ten.

You take two feed buckets.  One bucket has a nibble or two of sweet feed in it.  The other has a bridle to catch the bronc with.  Two buckets is necessary only if you are going after two horses.  Otherwise I'd just toss the bridle in with the feed.  I was also known to tuck a lead rope in my back pocket and head to the pasture with a handful of cake to catch a horse.  However, I was unsure if these horses had a halter on, and I intended to ride the horses back, so a bridle for each was more in order.  In addition, we planned to ride them as soon as we caught them, so naturally we at least needed a bridle!

Please also understand that I really had no idea where they were.  The most logical place was by the pond.  Or the trees.  Or perhaps anywhere at all in the pasture...The only thing I was certain of was that they were not in the 40 acres behind the house.  We decided to cut at a diagonal across the pasture to the pond...As we entered the field on the east side, I spotted the horses further to the east of us.

"Heeeey horsES!"  I gave the cry my dad has always used to call the horses in to eat...I confess, I did not hold out much hope that they would respond to my cry as I am not the source of their breakfast on a regular basis.

Imagine my surprise when they not only came, but came at a trot to greet us!  They were so ready for diversion that they all but stuck their heads in the bridles for us!  You will notice the very authentic cowgirl gear my girls have on.  Because clearly every cowgirl wears brand new Pumas or purple sparkled Sketchers through a pasture and to ride horses!  Right?

In truth, the little hooligans had left their boots and old shoes at our house and brought nothing but brand new shoes to their grandparents...*SIGH*  And they even failed to pack a single pair of JEANS!  Good grief, who ARE these children?

As you can see the cattle were quite interested in the treat the horses were receiving...

And also you can see that I did NOT get to ride a horse back to the house.  I was informed that the girls were riding by themselves.  I shrugged to myself and decided I could use the exercise to walk back home.  After all, carrying two buckets through the hot dry pasture wasn't enough exercise.

So, the girls left me and my buckets and headed off, no saddles, no blankets, nothing to pad Bookworm's delicate derriere from old Appy's bony back.  Remember, Appy is 29 years old.  I have all sorts of sad thoughts about how hard this hot summer has been on him.  But we will not get into that right now.

What you are interested in (hopefully, and I apologize for taking twenty minutes to get here) is why I fear my future as a bull fighter...

So, I put my kids on the horses, and sent them off.  I watched them ride off with a little catch in my chest at a memory of happier, simpler times, picked up my now empty buckets and headed off to the road...

I had walked about 25 feet when I realized I had company.  Two black angus cows were walking at my hip.  And head butting each other.  And trying to stick their heads in my bucket without actually touching me.

Now, I realize I've been away from the country for a while, but I was completely inappropriately dressed.  As in, bermuda shorts (I realize nobody calls them bermuda shorts any more, but I'm not sure what one does call them), tank top and thin tennis shoes inappropriately dressed.  I tried to ignore my bovine companions and continue on to the gate.  And they kept head butting and shoving each other.

I kept visualizing them shoving each other into me, and consequently stepping on my inadequately shod foot...In addition to the fact that my brother was barely moving as a result of a run in with a cow two weeks earlier...Oh, I'm sorry but simply have to give a back story here:

Due to the severe drought my dad and brother have had to sell off a good chunk of their herds to avert a bigger financial disaster than they are already facing.  David had decided to sort some cattle (by himself, I think) while my parents were on vacation.  Apparently one mama cow did not appreciate being sorted from her calf.  She took off after David...

Okay, I just have to back track even further right here and say that many times as I was helping sort cattle my Granddad Marvin would say "Quit jumping out of the way!  The cows don't want to run over you.  Stand your ground.  They will back off."  In fact I remember very clearly him saying that very thing to me just before I found myself plastered against the fence with the wind knocked out of me.  I can also remember marveling at my dad's ability to put one hand on the top rail of our six foot corals and vault over them when a particularly angry cow was quite upset with him...

I never did master that fete.

So, back to David.  The cow chased David.  David tried the one handed fence vault trick, and suddenly found himself flying through the air.  From what I understand the cow caught him and threw him, and he landed on his tail bone...I don't know if he cracked it or what (he doesn't tend to believe in doctorin') but I do know two weeks later he could barely move.

Now.  Back to the hungry cows.  I was thinking of my toes.  And the fact that I like having all of my nails on them.  And I was thinking of David who could barely move without groaning...

I decided to just set the buckets down and let the cows satisfy their curiosity.

They kicked and snuffled and licked the buckets...And they licked and snuffled them some more.  Eventually they lost interest in their game, and moved on.

I chuckled to myself and picked up my buckets and began to whistle the Andy Griffith tune as I headed to the gate.  As I walked I heard a cow bawling behind me, and it sounded as if she was quite close.  I looked behind me, and I saw this not so little lady not walking up to me, but flat out running, neck stretched out and bawling like I was in the feed wagon, complete with caker and hay fork on the back.

I looked around and though there didn't seem to be any other cattle paying attention, I decided to abandon my buckets.  After all, there was a perfectly good pickup at the house that I could drive back to fetch my abandoned buckets.

So.  I walked the mile back the house.  Bucketless.  As I got to the house and told my tale, I only had one thing to say to my parents.  "Please don't tell David I couldn't get home with the buckets.  He will never let me live it down."

Nope.  Sibling rivalry never dies.

P.S.  I feel compelled to explain cattle terminology.  I realize 98% of my readers know this, but just in case:  The term cattle refers to a mixed herd of cows, calves, heifers, steers, bulls, whatever.  It's kind of like saying "people."  Heifers are females who haven't calved.  Cows have had calves.  Calves are calves, bulls are bulls and steers are....well....They just don't rattle when you shake them.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Drama Llama

I have all sorts of things to tell you about my family. 

I can't help but notice my nine year daughter has better handwriting than I ever will.

However, apparently some children are becoming more sensitive and would be horrified if I told the story of them getting off the bus a half mile from our house and running all the way home in the 108 degree heat because they were upset about something at school, and the fact that their sister was not on the bus to comfort them as the sister had went home for a play date... The unnamed child decided she could not sit on the bus a minute longer.

Drama llama.  I'm telling you.

Popcorn has been struggling with multiplication facts, so we've been refreshing her.  They stayed with my folks last week and apparently my dad decided to spring a pop quiz on her.  "Hey, what's 9X7?"

Popcorn looked at him and said, "Now what brought THAT up?"

And Dad laughed and failed to make her give him the correct answer.

She's sneaky that way.

School has begun.  Popcorn is liking school, which I interpret as "Loving School" and she has corrected me numerous times that she only likes it.  Considering she had determined she hated fourth grade before the year even began, I'm calling liking loving.  Because I'm the mom.

Bookworm is in MIDDLE SCHOOL.  They are having a back to school dance this Friday.  WHAT???  She just turned eleven!  She is not going to no stinkin' school dances.  Luckily, none of her friends are going. And she is going to a birthday party that night.  So, I'm off the hook.


The kittens are settling in well, as you could tell from my last post.  They have taught Lord Fluffypants (Oliver) how to play again.  This morning as I was sitting on the back porch sipping coffee Shyla dashed after him through the grass that is embarrassingly tall...He made the impulsive decision to run up a tree.

My focusing skills are amazing, no?

You realize he's all of eighteen pounds, right?  He got about four feet up and appeared to decide he did NOT belong in trees as it was a tax on his claws.  He clumsily repositioned his super sized self and jumped down with a giant THUD.

You know it's a tad disconcerting to watch an eighteen pound tom cat pounce on a three month old kitten.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera as they were wrestling in the yard...

When will I learn that I can never leave me camera in the house?

Well, today is my day off.   The kids have started school, so that means that I have mountains of housework to do since they no longer have time to be my Cinderellas.  So, I'm off to get laundry done and floors cleaned and bathtubs scrubbed.

Not to be redundant:  But the kittens are clearly NEVER in the house.

What are your plans for today?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Here Kitty Kitty!

The kittens...

 are never...


in the house.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens

So, Crazy Sister thinks I should do a review of Cowboys and Aliens.

And, since I'm deliriously tired, yet too keyed up to sleep as I just had back to school night and realized that my daughter is going into MIDDLE SCHOOL and my other daughter is still struggling with math facts, and my neighbor broke her neck two weeks ago, and I never knew because I'm obviously not as attentive to my elderly neighbors as I should be, and because I'm bloated with frizzy hair and acne, I will post a brief review...

It is a movie.

It is about cowboys.  And aliens.  Hence the title Cowboys and Aliens.

Daniel Craig is in it.  I am officially declaring that he looks good in cowboy clothes.  His character is a ruthless outlaw, with an underlying sense of honor.

So even though he's a thievin' murderer, you can't help but like him.

Harrison Ford is in it.  Harrison Ford makes a very good bad guy, who is in actuality a war hero, and a wealthy "upstanding" citizen.  So, apparently, he's a sort of good guy.  Except you love to hate his character.

The movie is completely preposterous...

That being said, I liked it.

Not as much as Captain America, or Thor, but I really shouldn't admit that I've squandered that much money at the movies this year.

But may I say that you really should go see both of the aforementioned as they are fabulous, and The Avengers is coming out soon, and I'm pretty sure your life is incomplete (even if you don't realize it) if it lacks super hero movie elements....

In a drastic movie topic change, you should also rent Soul Surfer.  My mom bought it and I watched it with my parents and my girls.

My dad cried all the way through it.  His conclusion of Soul Surfer:  That was a horrible bloody movie.

My synopsis:  It was a good movie, and I typically avoid tear jerkers, unless my family is all out of town and I'm home alone with a giant tub of ice cream, a big bag of Santitas corn chips and a vat of salsa...The above scenario DEMANDS a tear jerker.

 My kids loved it.  We all cried at least a little.  Your life is not incomplete without this movie, but it is an amazing, heartwarming, inspiring movie...

So in conclusion to a hastily typed post:

Cowboys and Aliens is exactly what one would expect.  Hokey, over the top, and total escapism.  In short, it's fun.

Thor and Captain America are sure to fill a gaping hole in your life.  Although, if you MUST choose one, go for Captain America.

Soul Surfer will make you cry.  But it is good, nonetheless.

How many run on sentences did this post have?  I shudder to think.

How 'bout instead of answering that question you tell me what movies you recommend, or what you thought of the above movies?

Pretty please?

Thursday, August 11, 2011


This morning it was a beautiful morning...

So beautiful that Popcorn and I decided to sneak to the donut shop before her sister woke up and surprise her with a sugar laden treat.

Did you know our little town has the best donuts ever?  If you ever come visit me, you will totally need to visit our little Donut Shop (appropriate name, no?) and taste some heaven...

Anyway, Popcorn threw on some old clothes and I threw on a light jacket to hide my lack of a bra, and we were off...

I needed brownie points against my husband.  Popcorn was sick for several days, and the first day she was at 100 percent she wanted Chinese.  Which I refused to buy as the only nearby Chinese would cost a pretty penny for us to get for the whole family.  And Bookworm doesn't care for Chinese, and I would be forced to buy her American food at a Chinese restaurant.  Which is just wrong on so many levels...And we were only at August 9th.  And we only have $100 budgeted for the entire month for dining and we'd already spent $15.  And my kids are going to my folks today, so I wanted to save money for the hubby and I to go eat and watch Cowboys and Aliens.

And because I am clearly selfish...

So my darling husband took her to eat Chinese yesterday for lunch.  I had planned on going to buy Bookworm's flute and some back to school digs and treat Bookworm to Chikfila and Popcorn to Chinese in the food court at the mall...He did the flute and lunch treat yesterday...

Grrr.  He always steals my thunder.  Because, he is clearly selfish that way.

So.  I decided to gain some ground on "greatest parent" by splurging on some donuts out of my very own "fun money" envelope.  Do any of you even know what I'm talking about with envelopes?  We do an envelope system where we get a certain amount for various categories to spend each month. When that envelope is empty, you are done for that month.  Dining is our biggest struggle.  Now that the girls are older, it is difficult to keep in the $100 range.

You know, donuts are the devil.  I had already eaten a nutritious piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and local honey with a tall glass of skim milk, and my requisite two cups of coffee.

I walked into that sweet smelling donut shop, and ordered a chocolate sprinkled donut, and cinnamon twist for Popcorn, a maple and blueberry cake donut for Bookworm, and in a desperate grab to add to my greatness I allowed Popcorn to get each of them a pig in the blanket....

As I started to pay my eyes strayed longingly to the bear claws...I felt my will melt to a puddle in my stomach.  It tasted a lot like apple cinnamon glazed deliciousness.  I got one.

Speaking of bear claws, what do you consider a bear claw?  The lady at the bakery considered what I ordered an apple fritter.  I thought they were the same thing.  She said a real bear claw has maple frosting...Who knew?

I told her that in South Texas a pig in the blanket is a kolache.  In Oklahoma a kolache is a pastry with fruit in the middle.  They thought I was crazy to call a kolache a pig in the blanket, and I told them that I was pretty sure any Czech they spoke to would correct them...

Of course, I also was mistaken in my identification of breakfast burritos by South Texas standards.  What North Texas and Oklahoma refer to as a breakfast burrito is called a taco down south.

Speaking of the word taco, the Hispanic people I worked with had a different pronunciation of "taco."  The "t" is a softer sound, made with the tongue pressed against the back of the teeth instead of to the roof of the mouth. It is almost a "th" sound, but more in between.  Anyway, the point of this is that my youngest still orders "thacos" at Mexican restaurants here.  They look at her slightly baffled, and dutifully fill her order.

Is this not a completely boring post filled with totally useless information?  Forgive me, as I've now eaten a half of a bear claw and am on my third cup of coffee.

It's a challenge for my fingers to keep up with my thoughts.

I need to do a long post about my visit to my parents last week.

It involved me being chased by two overly affectionate Angus cows when I made the mistake of carrying empty feed buckets through the pasture.

It involves communing with horny toads.  I love horny toads.  They are like little mythical looking creatures...Have you ever had one actually squirt "blood" out its eyes?  I haven't, but apparently Studmuffin ticked on off enough that when his dad took it away, his dad was rewarded with some sort of icky red secretion...

And, of course it involves horses...

Appy is officially 29 years old...

But that is a post for another day.  I will get that to you double quick!

But first, I must pack my children for a trip to their grandparents, (they proved their lack of trustworthiness after our trip last week when all they packed were brand new shoes.)

After that is accomplished we are going to do a bit of back to school shopping.

So, TTFN!  (that's TaTa for now for you non-Tigger fans.)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cow Skulls, Kittens, and a Drought

I seem to have fallen into a blogging slump again.  I have nothing interesting or witty to type.  I have lots to say, as anyone within a ten foot radius of me will tell you.  But nothing to blog.

 The situation is getting dire.

Kelsey is in love with Shyla.  What a name for a cat.  Shyla.  I obvioulsy had no say in the name.  

Regardless of her name, or the tom foolery of it, Kelsey loves her.  She grabs her between her front paws and licks and licks and licks.  I'm not sure Shyla is so in love with the situation.  But, it appears she's given up fighting it.

Of course, Kelsey is fenced in, and the kittens can go wherever they will.  Which seems to be primarily the back yard.  So it's not as if the kitten couldn't avoid the whole thing if she just stayed out of the back yard.  Simple solution, right?

Kelsey tends to leave Freckles be.  Maybe she prefers Shyla because she's a little fluffier?  Maybe that fluff makes her tastier?  Or dirtier?  Or easier to ruffle her fur?  Either way, Freckles is my husband's favorite.  He thinks she's prettiest, and she is certainly cuddly.

What I do know is that I was totally right about the cow skull I mentioned last winter.  It looks awesome in my garden.  

Oh, and in case you ever have trouble with your peppers growing at all, just remember the old coffee grounds trick.  Mine were void of leaves all summer, until I remembered that I always dumped my old grounds around the base of them when I made pots of coffee.  Now I simply peel the tops off my K cups and I have leaves and blooms and everything!


At this rate I will finally have poblano, bell, and jalapeno peppers by September.  

That is if they don't end up banning out door watering all together.  Which is what we're facing in our current water crisis.

Pray for rain.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Squandering Kisses.

I'm bored.  And I am one who is seldom bored.  I'm typically just too hyper of a person to experience any periods of true boredom.

I could go swim, but the girls are obsessed with Bookworm's new iPod.  She is allowed use of it all day today, then it will be limited to one hour per day, excluding just listening to music.  Because I'm mean that way. 

Anyhoo, what this means to me is that nobody wants to go swimming with me, and I don't really WANT to go swim even though I should because it is good for me.  But I'm just not feeling motivated that way today.

I could clip coupons.  But I don't wanna, and the girls will need something to do while I'm at work tomorrow.  That is a good chore for them to do, then I simply file them.  Because I'm kind of lazy that way.

We  had a slumber party this weekend, and I picked up after it yesterday, so there's really no housework to be done.  I'm sure if I looked hard enough I could find something, but it's Sunday, and I'm pretty dead set against housework on Sunday.  Unless I want to do it, but again, I'm kind of lazy feeling today.

I could go get a pedicure. I had planned on getting one with a friend yesterday.  However, her daddy has been sick and she opted to spend the day with him, and I couldn't make myself go alone.  Plus, I played in the pool with Popcorn yesterday for over two hours, and was wiped by the time we were done.  My feet need rescuing, but I keep thinking of better things to spend my money on.  I'm kind of tight that way.

I thought about reading a book, but I've started three different ones and none of them are holding my interest.  I actually contemplated reading Twilight.  Again.  Because I still like it, and I can put it down and not let it consume my life like I do with some books.  Bookworm and I drive the other two members of our family crazy because we will read and block out everything they are saying and whatever is going on around us.  We are both bookish that way.

I guess I'm down to telling you  a story.  Last week we were eating lunch at Braum's after Studmuffin had picked the girls up from a slumber party.  We had went to see "Captain America" the night before even though I was on call, and then wandered through Bricktown and decided to eat at a Cajun restaurant.  We waited over an hour for a table, but it was okay because we weren't paying a sitter and we weren't all that hungry.  It was nice to sit and people watch and marvel at grown adults over indulging in drink, and just chat.

However, since I was on call I have to admit that my enjoyment of "Captain America" was tempered because I kept hoping my phone wouldn't go off and send me to the hospital.  It didn't.  I worried about the same thing when I realized after waiting 45 minutes for a table that we were a good ten minute walk from our car, and we were downtown on a weekend, and even though I was theoretically five minutes from the hospital, the traffic would be a night mare...And what if we finally got a table, and then got our food and they called me!  Or, worse yet we ORDERED our food, but I got called and it wasn't ready, but we still had to pay because they had already begun preparation...

But I never got called so all that fretting was for nothing!  Pfpfpfpf

So.  We were eating lunch at Braum's.  The girls asked how our evening was, and were relieved to learn that we had enjoyed a date night, and I had even avoided showing my unmentionables to any random strangers...

I asked them about their sleepover and they said they had played "Truth or Dare."  They had been shocked to learn how many girls claim to have already had a first kiss.  You do realize my kids are going in to 4th and 6th grade.  So the age group ranged in those grades.  And too many of them had already given away their first kiss!  "Don't go squandering your first kiss, girls.  Save your kisses for your husband." 

Yes.  I have high hopes of them maintaining their purity on a level far above the world's standards.  I have always told them you can never get back a first kiss, and what a disappointment to give it to the wrong boy!  Naturally, my girls wanted to know when our first kisses were.  Because apparently we have an entirely too open relationship with our girls.  At least that was my first thought when Popcorn posed the question...Studmuffin immediately began to tease me that it was in 5th grade.  "Not true.  I was in 9th grade."  His jaw dropped.  It seems that he squandered his first kiss on the activity bus in 6th grade...As the result of a game of Truth or Dare no doubt!

So, we fessed up to the girls.

And they were both quiet and probably slightly disillusioned that we had not saved our first kisses for each other...

Then Bookworm decided to share her thoughts on the matter with us all.  "Don't worry about me squandering kisses.  All of the boys at my school are idiots."


Just excellent.

Popcorn had nothing to add.  I am definitely going to keep my eye on that one.