Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Face of Evil

I just read a post by Mrs. de Elba.  It was hysterical.  You totally need to click here and go read it...

Don't worry.  I will wait.

Are you back?  Good.

See the photo below?  Don't let that wholesome all American face fool you...

As I read about Mrs. de Elba's laughter directed at her children, I remembered a moment in time when I laughed uproariously at my children.  And lots of people stared at me.

And they did NOT approve of my laughter.

We were still living in Arlington Texas, which put my precious little ones at the ripe old age of three and four...(For the record, I think it was the first Halloween in our house in South Texas, which puts them at 4 & 5, but my husband disagrees...)

It was Halloween, or perhaps August.  All I know is that all of the Halloween stuff was out, and my kids were begging me for new costumes...I spotted a scary mask.  I calmly slipped it on...

And simply turned and looked at them.

That is all.  I put it on.  And I looked at them.

And they both began to scream...

And scream...

And cry...

And scream...

And I proceeded to laugh.

HYSTERICALLY.  Laugh as in, I think I might just wet my pants laugh...

I mean, seriously.  All I did was put on a mask.  Who would think they would completely freak out?

So...I got some evil looks from my fellow mother's in the Halloween Spooktacular section of our local Walmart.

Yes.  I am evil.

And I'm totally okay with that.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Expo

This past Saturday we went to the Wildlife Expo.  It was a great day, and I thought you would enjoy my synopsis of it in pictures along with my random thoughts involving said pictures.  For example the picture above makes me laugh.  I look awkward, and my daughter is ducking down between us so we can look sweet and in love, but it is just truly hard to take a good photo holding the camera yourself.

There was a dog show involving labradors and golden retrievers.  I have much to say about this, but can tell you the rest in about a week.  See the girls?  They kept getting closer and closer and closer...Thankfully they didn't actually climb up on the stage like some kids!

The kids went kayaking.  I now am quite certain I need a kayak.  A two person one to be exact so I can go have fun when Studmuffin is fishing with my family over fall break.  I will strap it to the top of our Apache tent camper and drive it merrily down the road.  As I am the Queen of All Things Cheap or Better Yet Free, please advise if you know where I can get a cheap/free two person kayak.  Thank you.

We all got to pet an alligator...
And a millipede and snakes, and many other creepy crawlies.

Oh look!  Another self portrait!  How impressive.  I look fake.

Studmuffin gleefully posed with his new trophy:  Smoky the Bear.

Another beagle?  On top of the beagle who did NOT move to my house this summer, despite his attempts, we have had a beagle pup who lives one mile north of us show up in our yard a lot lately.  The girls bonded with this mama immediately.  What is God trying to tell me about beagles? 

Oh, lookey there!  Another self portrait.  I was feeling quite photogenic, apparently.  Too bad I'm simply pale and ghostly.  Oh, and look at my daughter in her dad's old Browning hat.  How sweet.

The girls stood in line to do a mini ropes course.  I sat on a bale of hay while they waited their turn.  Who knew walking around an expo and standing in line could make one's back ache so?

The Boy Scouts were on safety patrol.  As we were headed home, we stopped at Braum's where I ran in to grab milk and there was a group of scouts leaving.  Apparently one of them tried to mistakenly climb in our vehicle.  Their troop master stopped to tell Brent he was sorry for the mix up.  Brent said, "Yeah, he can track wild animals but he can't find his car in the parking lot!"

My husband...He's funny.

Popcorn did a mountain bike trail.  Alone.  Studmuffin had taken Bookworm to brush up on her archery skills, and my back was too unsteady for such folderol.  My last thought as she peddled away, "Please God, don't let any psycho pedophiles jump out and snatch her before the next kid comes down the trail."

My thoughts are never irrational.  Why do you ask?

If only I'd snapped this photo a split second later.  She totally wiped out.  It was great.  And unexpected.  And she laughed, so it was okay for me to laugh at her.

I see this photo, and my brain says, "Bend and SNAP!"  If you do not know Legally Blonde, that statement makes no sense.

Bookworm endeavoring to prove that she does have a future in archery...And that a scholarship in said field is totally a reasonable expectation.

We stopped at Pop's on Historic Route 66.  You must put HISTORIC in front of Route 66.  Not sure why, but you must.  Probably because it's in obsolete now that the interstate has come to town...

They have more sodas than you can fathom.  Bookworm went with Faygo made in Michigan....

This is Popcorn realizing her soda was from....LEBANON???  She had apparently grabbed a bottle from the international soda section.  Studmuffin and I both thought it tasted like a wine cooler... 

Seagram's golden wine coolers...

Do you remember Bruce Willis singing that commercial in the 80s/90s?  He is totally to blame for my sampling that bottle of sparkling goodness in college.

And, for our GRAND FINALE!!!!

Oooooh!  Look at the happy couple!  She with her Round Barn Root Beer and him with his Dublin Doctor Pepper...

Now.  Wasn't that fun?  What fun things has your family done recently?  Do tell!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall of Energy

Sunday my back was feeling much better...

As in not aching at all!

Of course, that made me spring into action.  It's the end of the month, and we are low on food stuff.  My girls eat waffles every single morning for breakfast.  I usually take the easy way out and buy Nutrigrain Whole Wheat Blueberry waffles.  But, they are expensive, hardly ever go on sale, and they are stingy with coupons!

I had all of the ingredients to make whole wheat pancake/waffle mix, so I decided to make up a big stock pile.  I confess my girls love this mix fresh, but never go for it when it's frozen.  However, since it will be their only choice for a few weeks, they will get over it.

So, this is what my kitchen looked like Sunday afternoon:

Go ahead, be wowed at what a tidy cook I am....

Originally I was going to just do waffles, but that takes enormous amounts of patience from me, as you must stand over the iron, and there was nothing to do while I waited.  I pulled out my griddle and decided to make up pancakes at the same time.  I did a total of three and a half batches, because that's how much wheat flour I had!  I understand that most of you, Gentle Readers do not suffer from impatience, evidenced by the fact that you read this rambling blog, but please understand that it is a trial to be me, and to live with me.  My husband would appreciate your prayers. 

And please disregard the sauce pan on the stove that I had neglected to throw in the dishwasher after lunch.  Perhaps washing up might have been an advisable activity while I waited on the waffle iron?

Oh, let's just pause a moment while I give a big "THANK YOU" to my sister, Paula.  She had sent us home with some of her homemade bierox a few weeks ago, and we enjoyed them for lunch Sunday.  My only complaint is that now my husband does not understand why I won't make them.  I said he's more than welcome to call her and find out how to make them.

Alright.  Let's return to our original topic.  Here's a recipe for you!

Whole Wheat Pancake/Waffle Mix

3 c unbleached all purpose flour
3 c whole wheat flour
4 T baking powder
3 T sugar
1 tsp salt

As you can see this makes a big batch of mix.  Simply store it in an airtight container, and measure out desired amount for your waffles/pancakes/biscuits or whatever you want!

Now, here's the recipe for the pancakes/waffles. 

2 c mix
2 eggs
1 3/4 c milk
3 T melted butter/2 T oil (I use oil for waffles and butter for pancakes usually, but since I was feeling impatient this past Sunday I used oil in all of it.)
2 eggs
1-2 tsp vanilla.

This makes a big batch, so feel free to cut it in half.  Just use a short cup of milk as it taxes my brain to measure out 7/8 cup.  How much difference can 1/8 cup make?  If it turns out too thin, I just throw in a dab more mix, and everyone but me is none the wiser.

I stirred in some fresh blue berries in about half of the batches last Sunday.  That is always a special treat.  However, be aware that the blueberries will stick to your waffle iron, so I ended up spraying it with cooking spray.  I don't usually have to do that as my iron is nonstick.

Great stir in ideas
-maple syrup/extract
-chocolate chips
-just have fun with it, and surprise your family with a wholesome breakfast that you know how to pronounce every single ingredient in!

So that's my Sunday afternoon!  Hope you make use of this delicious and nutritious recipe!  Oh, and I must give to credit to my beautiful friend Tara for originally giving me this recipe several years ago.  When my girls would go stay with her, they always told me her waffles were better than mine.  Since I was using her recipe, I consider that just messed up.  Perhaps she threw in a little more sugar?

What great time saving/money saving tips do you have for me?

Monday, September 26, 2011

In a Pickle

Last Friday we had Family Game Night.  We love family game night.  We go through phases where we faithfully do it every Friday.  Then, we get busy, and Mom & Dad are too tired and cranky to put up with Bookworm's meltdowns when she loses and Popcorn's frequent chair abandonment in the middle of her turn to do cartwheels...

But this Friday we were all in great humors and in peaceful harmony, so we decided to trash the family harmony and play games.  We started out with our standard, Sorry.  We play Sorry every time and every single time certain family members are poor winners and somebody else is a sore loser.  The person playing these roles varies from one time to the next...

Y'know.  Just to keep it all fresh.

This past Friday Popcorn drug out her game In a Pickle.  She got it for Christmas, and for some strange reason we have not played it since last January.

Here's the premise of the game.  Each player has five cards, with nouns listed on them.  There are four cards in the middle of the play area.  You play your cards either directly above or below an item to make it where the items are progressively bigger...

For example, I had an atom, so I put that above the skeleton.  Popcorn put a chicken below the skeleton, and then the next item could be a an atom is in a skeleton, which is in a chicken that lives in the barn.

Once a card has four cards in it, like the above example, it becomes a "pickle round."  In this round, you can only play larger items on the final object, like a barn could be in France, which is in the Universe...The round goes around the table one time, with the person who played the fourth object (like the barn) getting an extra turn.

Is this making any sense?

Well, the hilarity of the game is how creatively our family can think.  My husband becomes very frustrated.  Popcorn asked what a scandal was and promptly played it below an earthquake...Which Bookworm then said was all in "thoughts."  We laughed uproariously at this...

However Studmuffin was not happy that I said everything could fit in a dictionary...Even a universe, so then the dictionary could fit in a library, which could fit in a parking lot...

See what I mean?  The game is really fun.  The best part is when a player challenges your thought process and you say "well, France could fit in the river, because it's the Mississippi River, and all of that water can totally cover France."  Or when Popcorn threw down the noun "reflection" and stoutly proclaimed that a canyon could absolutely be in a reflection of the water...Or when I declared that a forest was in the headlights of my car.  No, not the entire forest, but certainly the headlights were shining and there was the forest, dead ahead in them!

These statements made the girls and I laugh hysterically while Studmuffin got very frustrated with our crazy thinking.

There is no point to this post.  I just wanted to share our fun with you...

And perhaps give you a good idea for an inexpensive, yet very fun Christmas gift!  Or, perhaps you need a ten dollar birthday gift for your next child's party...

Now you've got one! 

What special things do you do as a family?  What memories are you making with your family?  Do you have a favorite family activity? 

Do you have any great family games that we may not have discovered?  Please share.  We all exchange games as our family gifts, so we could use some new ideas!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Feeling Sentimental

Have you heard that ridiculous country song, ""I Hear Voices."  It's not my favorite, but today I find that I'm hearing voices.  Or rather, I'm being reminded of loved ones.

As you know from Wednesday's blog, I hurt my back at work.  It worries me to have back pain.  I simply do not have time for back pain.  And, having an injured back makes it tough to do my job.  I don't want to get into all of the worries that are floating in the not so back of my consciousness.  It makes my back hurt worse!

I was given Friday off by my supervisor.  We had a light day scheduled, and she asked if I'd like to take the day to try and rest/heal my back.

Guess what?

I'm TERRIBLE at resting.  When I have mountains of things to do, and little time to do it, I am GREAT at resting.  In nursing school I realized that I have two reactions to stress.  One reaction is to organize every detail of my life that I can even remotely control.  The other is sleep.  It is a sleep that can not be avoided.  As in, I would be sitting in a chair trying to desperately understand the renal system, and the next thing I'd know, it would be two hours later and drool would be running down my face.

Thursday I rested.  I attempted to some light housework, but my back spasmed every time I tried to move something, or reached in a certain way.  I ended up finishing a free Nook book that I didn't particularly enjoy, but determined to finish it.  I clipped three weeks worth of coupons, and cleaned out about half the expired ones.

I swear by 7pm I thought the day was never going to end.

So, Friday I sat on my couch and slowly sipped my coffee, and looked out the window at the brilliant sunshine, and decided there was nothing for it.  I simply had to wash my light fixtures and windows.

Because, clearly that is just the remedy for back pain.

Why is this post called "Feeling Sentimental?"  Patience, Dear Reader.  I'm getting there in my rambling too drawn out fashion.

I washed windows.  And I thought of my Grandma Irene.  I could picture her, with her cream colored wash pan and white tea towels helping me scrub the fly specks off of her kitchen window and storm doors.  Grandma Irene has never allowed a speck of dust to make itself at home in her house.  She was and still is a hard worker.

She is also very no nonsense.  She will say the most outrageous things.  And they will be true.  But somehow, you can't help but laugh at the crazy thing she just said.  I think I'm a little like her in that way.  I have a terrible tendency to say what I think, then think twice about what already popped out of my mouth.

As I sat at my dining room table, eating a bowl of leftover chili, my gaze wandered to my new chairs.  It set my mind to remembering Grandmama Dolly.  I really don't think I am much like her at all.  Perhaps we have some similar physical attributes.  She was always tall and thin with long thin fingers and small wrists.  I have never been as thin as her, and never will be, but I have really long arms and legs, and my fingers are long and thin like hers.  Oh, and we both love a cute pair of heels, and I remember her saying that skirts should hit just above or just below the knee to be the most flattering.  I have no idea why she told me that, or why I remember it, but I find it to be true!

While I was thinking of her and missing her, I decided to treat myself to a cup of coffee.  Feeling indulgent, I added some hazelnut creamer to the cup.  Since Grandmama was fresh in my mind, I felt a pang of guilt over the unnecessary calories and fat from that creamer.  I don't know of very many grandmas who tell their grandchildren, "Don't drink so much milk, it will make you fat."  Or, better yet, "Don't eat so much bread, you don't want to get fat."  I was always horrified when she would say such things to me, but now I see how right she was.  Granted, I still drink a giant glass of milk every single morning, but you can bet Grandmama Dolly's bright red Roper boots that it is skim!

As I looked at the not so practical chair in my living room, I realized I may be more like her than I realized.  My mom has told me they never had matching furniture growing up.  Well, considering my house is decorated with odds and ends that I have accumulated and kept for various sentimental reasons, perhaps I take after her more than I think!

Grandma Irene has a very few nick knacks scattered through her house.  They are the same ones I always remember, with the exception of a few things she's received as a gift in the last few years.  Her house is always spotless, and every flower arrangement and little figurine is exactly as it should be, and no dust dare live near it.

Grandmama Dolly had more nick knacks and whatnots than the eye could discover on a distracted scan of the room.  She had 5 kids, 16 grandkids, and I won't even attempt counting greats and great greats.  She had lots of framed photos that we all gave her of our families.  She could always name everyone's birthday.  That always amazed me.  I can barely remember my siblings birthdays!

I bemoan the things I have scattered throughout my house.  I swear, at times I let it get so bad, that one could pretend they were walking through a junk shop as they wander my house!  But so many of them have sentimental value, or they just make me think of my grandparents, so I simply must put them out!

I'm contemplating asking my husband to drag my box of fall decorations down, but that would mean eliminating some of the "things" that make me smile to look at!  However, if I don't put something up, you won't even be able to see the different decorations!

Oh, well, this point is not well thought out, and flows terribly.  I guess I will just show you some random photos of a few trinkets I've laid about.  Apparently so I can have something to dust around.

Wait!  What am I saying?  I don't dust as a general rule.  I do not dust, empty the dishwasher or scoop dog poop.  I have children for those tasks.  Even if they don't dust as well as I'd like.  At least I'm not doing it.

This porcelain doll is the only wrapped Christmas gift I ever remember getting from Grandmama.  One of my girls posed her behind this frame with an old doll dresser and the old red truck.  Affection for old junk seems to keep trickling down the line.

Obviously I didn't get to this window.  But I love these old bottles.  Grandmama Dolly had a thing for bottles.  They were everywhere.  As I sit in my claw footed Grandmama Dolly chair and type this I can count 12 bottles and old mason jars within my eyes range.

I take that gift thing back!  She gave me this bit of pottery she bought on a trip with Granddad!  But I don't think it was for Christmas.  And I do know I received it as an adult.  How cute are those little books?  They are actually little card games!  Fun!  See why I can't pack all of this away to never be gazed at?

This vinegar jar used to be Grandmama's.  I remember her giving it to me when I still lived in South Texas.  I was so happy to get it and afraid I'd break it on my way home.  The other stuff is sheer junk.  A rooster from the Grand Canyon, and popcorn tubs from a dear friend as a parting gift when we moved, and just a random jar to make the scene complete.

This is just a pile of random stuff I carried home from going through Grandmama's stuff that Mom had.  She was an avid bowler, and those little pins make me smile.  I'm a TERRIBLE bowler.  I wear the bracelets and necklace.  I've never been one for accessories, but each time I slip them on, they make me think of my Grandmama, and I smile.
So that's it.  Today I'm sentimental.  What treasures do you have that bring up fond thoughts of your grandparents?

By the way, Grandmama was a country music fanatic.  She would have loved that song.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dinner Conversation

Last night we had chili for dinner.  It was fabulous.

Side note:  Popcorn has gymnastics on Thursday.  She  eats a snack on the way there, and a snack on the way home, but watch out if dinner is not basically ready when we get home.  She is so hungry that she has total melt down if she has to wait even twenty minutes.  Home made pizza night has now moved to Wednesday night, for obvious reasons.

Back to topic:  The chili was good.  I really really really wanted a third bowl.  "I really want some more chili, but I am trying to resist."

"You are having an inner conflict," Bookworm informed me in all earnestness.

Where does she come up with this stuff?

By the way:  Happy Fall!

Oh, and after trying this trick, I googled it to figure out where the whole egg balancing thing began, and guess what?  You can do this every single day of the year!

Here's a Snopes link for your edification:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Today is a Good Day For...

It's raining.

Can I get an AMEN?

I am out of funds for the month...Darn this envelope system...So instead of doing rainy day shopping, I will:

1.  Clean house and light fall scented candles in every room.
2.  Drag fall decorations one by one out of the attic.  I hurt my darn back and don't dare carry down the box.
3.  Place my pumpkins all about in my freshly cleaned home.
4.  Make a giant crock pot of chili, enough to perhaps freeze for a busy day...Do any of you ever have chili left overs?  No matter how much I think I make, it all seems to get eaten within a few days.  My girls like to take it in a thermos for lunch.
5.  Bake a double batch of ginger cookies.  That should solidify that fall is in the air smell.  Besides, Aunt Flo is in for a visit and she loves ginger cookies.  She gets cranky when her needs aren't met, so hopefully that will help shut her up.
6.  Do a yoga and pilates workout.  I hurt my darn back a month ago moving a bed by myself at work that was older than Methuselah, and it didn't steer well.  I keep having random flare ups of debilitating left flank muscular pain.  I'm trying to build up my ab muscles and keep my hamstrings limber by doing plenty of core exercises.

Random fact:  I keep calling it my right flank, but it is clearly my left.  This comes from 15 years of flipping my right and left when charting on patients.  You know, their left is my right...Sadly, I have now decided to call my right my left.  It is quite embarrassing when I point at my brace my left flank and say, "The right side of my back is killing me."

But if that's the most embarrassing thing I do today, I will be doing great.

Do you know what Saturday was a great day for?

Kite flying!

I wish I had taken a closer up photo...And as you can see, we got our fence up, and flaked out on finishing out the top rail.

But then, if we had all of our "to dos" done, what would we do?

Well, perhaps we would find SOMETHING to do.

And by the way:  How beautiful is this girl?  For the first time she is truly encountering "mean girl" syndrome.  I am tempted to call certain girls by very bad names.  
But I'm the adult.  So I'm refraining.

For now.

What are your plans for Thursday?

P.S.  My dog is scared of thunder storms. Either that, or she senses Popcorn is.  We brought her in last night, knowing it was going to rain, and when it started lightning nearly nonstop she ran from room to room sniffing each of us, and finally went to sleep next to my 9 year old daughter's bed.  At least that kept Popcorn from climbing in bed with me, which is the normal response to thunder and lightning!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


When my girls and I visited my folks a month or so ago, I reclaimed the "Middle Bedroom."  This bedroom is clearly MY bedroom, although Mom insists on referring to it as the "Middle Bedroom."  This could be due to the fact that Dawn, being the oldest did not have a bedroom as soon as she went to college.  Instead, her few remaining belongings were shifted to my room, and Paula was given what was formerly Dawn's room, but is now referred to as the "South Bedroom."  So, Paula clearly does not have a bedroom as she originally shared a room with Dawn until my folks built on, then Dawn got her own room (now known as the South Bedroom) and Paula and I shared my bedroom.  There was just entirely too much moving about for Paula to claim any particular bedroom as her own.

David's old bedroom isn't even a bedroom anymore.  It is now a sewing room.  There is not a trace of him to be found in there.  Not even the urine smell from when he decided to have his own bathroom.  After all, he had heard that some people had bathrooms for each of their children.  David, not to be deterred by the then logistics of one bathroom for six people built his very own bathroom.  In his closet.  Granted, it was just a large Folgers Coffee can, but since he had the correct anatomy, it worked just fine for him.  Until my mom decided that the urine smell was overpowering in his room and decided to get to the bottom of it.

Oh.  I'm laughing just thinking about how lovely that discovery must have been!

So.  Back to the original story.  I put my girls in the South Bedroom, and I gleefully dumped my belongings in MY bedroom.  Sadly, my mom has had the audacity to give the furniture to my brother.  And my sister Dawn, Queen of Organization, cleaned out the bedroom, so all I have left is one measly pair of Rustler jeans, a few t-shirts, and a nightgown.  Oh, and a pair of shorts that came from who knows where, but they are NOT the ratty old, falling apart acid washed cargo shorts that I placed in their 19 years ago!  In addition to that, I couldn't find my cheerleading camp indecently short wind shorts!

Oh, the humanity!  My family members are obviously lacking in respect for preserving MY bedroom as it was for all time.


Oh, and that's not all!!  When it came time to ride horses with my darling daughter I couldn't even find my two pairs of socks I had left there for riding horses!  Granted they were a little on the thin side and they were from the 1990s.  But they fit, along with everything else I had left behind in the advent of a wardrobe emergency at my parents!  Those socks were the perfect length for boots.  I was a little discouraged to have to wear my dad's too big socks when I put on my boots.  Now I have to be bothered with actually packing a pair of socks for my boots when I visit my folks.

I swanee.  My life is just so complicated.

Alright.  So now on with my very important observation.  As I dropped my bag on the floor, and pulled my sunglasses off my head and dropped them on the bedside table, I noticed something strange...

Do you see it?  Do You?  Well, perhaps if you have boys it would not strike you at all as noteworthy.  However, I live a life of Liv Dolls and Littlest Pet Shop.  I do NOT live a life of shell casings, pellets and Marvel comic books. 

And THAT Dear Reader, was the entire point of this completely pointless post!

Aren't you glad you suffered through with me?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Children Obey Your Parents!

I was really a good child.


I just feel the need to state that before I share with you the following, inspired by a post by Freckled Hen.

The year was 1993.  At least I think it was 1993.  I'm pretty sure it was, because I recall my sister Paula being at my house and I think that was the summer she stayed with my parents before she ran off to Vegas to get married.

Clearly she was a good child too...

So.  It was probably 1993.  I was 17 years old.  It was summer and I was going into my senior year of high school, which I was pretty sure made me the next thing down from Queen of the Universe.

We had recently had rain.

That is relevant.  I promise.

I don't know why I was going to town this particular summer night.  It might have been to go drag main, or hang out with my then boyfriend who always treated me like doo doo, but I was still going to change him and make him love me by allowing him to treat me bad...You know.  Classic teenage stupidity.  Only I knew what I was doing.  Just ask anyone.

This post is having entirely too many rabbit chases...

As I was leaving, my mom reviewed my curfew rules, and told me "Do not go to the river."

Why did she tell me not go to the river?  I had never gone to the river in my life.  Unless of course one counts the previous May when all of my senior friends were graduating and my friend Sabra and I crashed their party on graduation night.  I had planned a "sleepover" at Sabra's.  However, we were going to the party, and THEN to her house.  Her mom didn't believe in curfews as she did not want Sabra to have a wreck trying to get home before curfew...

I have no idea why she thought kids might drive fast trying to get home for curfew.  After all, I certainly never drag raced my mom's Ford Taurus as I was leaving town.

Every single Saturday.

Like clockwork, 11:43 would roll around.  I was supposed to be home by midnight, and considering I lived 26 miles from town, I had to leave by 11:30 if I was going to drive the "55 stay alive" speed limit.  However, I could never get all of my socializing done in the allotted time frame.

So I sped.

Just a teeny bit.

I would say, "Oh no!  I gotta go or I'm gonna miss curfew."  And I would dash through the Jack & Jill parking lot, leap into my car and drive the exact speed limit as I was leaving town.  I wouldn't want to get a ticket after all!

As I would leave town and pass the transport road, a group of boys in a pickup would pull up on my rear bumper and flash their lights at me.  The boys varied from week to week, but every week I would slow down to oblige them in pulling along side me, ostensibly to let them pass.  Then I would PUNCH IT!  Did you know that a 1992 Ford Taurus has a governor that tops out at 135 miles per hour?  Did you know that the boys who drove old 1970s model pickups had no such governor holding them back?  They eventually beat me every time.  And they nearly always had a spare boy to moon me out the back window as they blew by me.

Curse that governor.

Okay.  That was a big bunny chase.  We were talking about what a great kid I was.  And that my mom had told me not go to the river.

I pulled into town.  I remember it was late afternoon.  I have no idea why I was in town in the late afternoon.  I do know that I met up with a group of random kids in the high school parking lot.  They were all "friends" but most of them were only friends in the sense that all kids in a town with 1200 people and one stop light are friends.

"Hey Ang! (for some reason my classmates called me Ang, or AJ.)  Want to go to the river?  We're going floating!"

I thought about it for all of two seconds, and I jumped into Jason's pickup and off we went!  We parked the cars on the side of the road, pulled out a bunch of blow up floats and hiked our way down to the river.  I, of course was looking super cute and had on my nice leather loafers.  I carefully tucked my socks into them, shrugged at the soon to be river smelly state of my cute outfit and climbed onto a pink lounge float.

And off we floated!

I don't remember how far we went.  I do remember that getting back was a challenge as we did not have shoes.  We walked in the sandy river bottom as far as we could, but some places it was too deep to walk, or too rocky, or whatever.  Then we would get out and hike along in the reedy grass along the bank.

I hung out in town for a few hours until I was dry enough to get into my mom's nice Taurus and drive home.  I remember it wasn't even dark out when I walked in, called "Hi!  I'm home!"  and headed straight to the bathroom, skillfully avoiding any direct conversation with the parents...

And there was Paula.  I immediately began to tug off my clothes and prepared to get in the shower.  Naturally, I told her what we had done.  Because I am a terrible secret keeper, and she was handy. I told her the worst part was that the crotch of my underwear never did get dry...

I don't remember what she said.

But I'm sure it involved carefully chosen words of wisdom and some eye rolls.  Paula always was better at keeping her counsel than I am.  

I do remember that the reason we wanted to float the river was because it was actually moving.  You see, we had received a heavy rain.  I'm not sure if this is the right year, but I think it's the year that we had such heavy rains that I spent a good chunk of the summer helping Dad rebuild fence at all of the creek gaps.

So, we decided to float...Of course, what looks like calm little currents could have been deadly undertows.  I know that for a fact as two boys in our area had been floating a similar river in a similar situation and drowned just two years before.  Of course, none of that crossed my mind as a teenager.  However, I guess Mom must have raised three teenagers or been one herself, because she was suspicious that we may decide to go visit the river after a heavy rain.

Oh, and about the senior graduation party that Sabra and I crashed?  Well, it turns out that Dad decided we needed to gather and work cattle first thing the next morning.  They called Sabra's mom to tell me to come home.  This was before the days of cell phones, so Sabra's mom got in her car and drove up and down Main looking for us.

Only we weren't there.

Then, she drove her car to the bridge over the river and honked her horn and yelled and yelled for us.  Only we could not hear her as we were quite a ways down the river, and we had country music blasting from some guy's pickup.  She eventually convinced a kid named Eric to pull over and told him to come get me.

Eric was a prankster and came roaring into the camp saying, "Hey Andrea, your dad's looking for you."

I nearly had a heart attack right then and there.  After he picked himself up off the ground from laughing at me, he told me the truth.  Sabra and I loaded up in her car and headed back to town.  When we walked into her house her mom started talking, "Where have you been?  I've been looking all over for you two.  I parked on the bridge and honked and yelled and you never came.  Andrea's dad said she has to go home to work cattle.  Ohmygoodness you smell like camp fire.  Go take a shower before you head home and wash your hair."

And so I did and she nearly had a stroke before I left.

And I came home and went to bed and got up at the crack of dawn to gather and work cattle.

Maybe my parents were more clued in to my activities than I thought.

Oh, and one more thing.  I got the "Safe Driver" award my Senior year of high school.  I was nominated by Mrs. Mulberry because every time she saw me driving I ALWAYS had on a seat belt.  Of course that is totally true!  I didn't want to die a horrendous bloody death if I had an accident driving!

This post is entirely too long.  I will test whether you made it to the end with a brief Reader Survey:

What kind of kid were you?  Were you like me, really good on the surface with a streak of orneriness a mile wide?  Were you straight as an arrow with a secretly rebellious heart?  Or were you out and out wild and woolly?  Do tell!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Castle Is Complete

I realize some of you may be new to my blog...Although, since nobody COMMENTS any more, it's hard to tell!  And yes, that is a shameless ploy for more comments.  Anyway, that is not the point.  The point is that if you've been with me since the very beginning, you realize that while my house may in fact look like a typical middle class home, it is in fact a castle.  Complete with scullery maid.  You can click here to learn all about my fabulous life in a castle.

My Grandmama Dolly passed in January.  My mom and her siblings separated her belongings among themselves, and my mom had asked if I wanted anything.  "I was always fascinated by those chairs with the lion head and feet."  As it turned out, those had already been laid claim to.  I philosophically shrugged and said, "never mind.  Those chairs were too majestic for my garage sale/hand me down/eclectic house decorations anyway."

Guess what?  My mom called me a while back and said the chairs may be coming available again.  "I WANT THEM!"  I shouted into the phone before she could finish her sentence.  You see, my grandparents had a somewhat eclectic decor themselves.  From green flocked wallpaper paired with gray paneling, to chairs with lion heads carved into them and velvet bullfighter pictures, they had a little bit of everything.  Everything to be found at "ESTATE sales" that is.  "ESTATE Sale" is the more elite form of a garage sale.  You see, an estate sale apparently occurs when the family of the dearly departed simply cannot decide who gets what, so they have a giant auction and split the profits, or since it's an ESTATE and therefore very hoity toity, I'm sure the profits are donated to charity...

It is obviously nothing like it's low brow counterparts where people actually take the stuff from their dearly departed family member and then have a sale out of their garage and pocket every bit of the cash for themselves.

As you can clearly see, my grandparents only had the most discriminating tastes, and such things as a chair made from steer hide and longhorn horns, would not be found at your average run of the mill garage sales.  Such treasures as these could only be found at the very exclusive ESTATE SALE.

Okay, now that I've edified you with my vast knowledge of garage versus ESTATE sales, I will now show you what my darling husband brought home to me after a weekend of dove hunting with his brothers.  Carefully duct taped in sheets and blankets to keep their pristine condition, naturally.  At first, I was almost certain he brought home the wrong chairs.  After all, the chairs of my memory were huge and clearly once belonged in a haunted castle.  How or where my Grandpa had the opportunity to visit an ESTATE sale at a haunted castle, I was never completely clear on.  However, I was certain that these must surely belong in one!

Now that I'm the very modest age of 35, these chairs have shrunk considerably!  They are no longer giant arm chairs where I feel much like Lily Tomlin surely felt in her giant rocker when she played Edith Ann.  Instead, they are just perfectly ordinary sized arm chairs, with an unusual black upholstery and lion heads carved in the arms, with claw feet.

Oh, well.  I love them.  I can still picture their exact spot in the front living room of my Grandmama's house. I will treasure them for that reason, along with my childhood fanciful thoughts.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, my girls found them immediately fanciful.  In fact Popcorn said, "Now we can have the scary chairs with the old haunted Raggedy Anne doll sit right here in this corner."

Well, I resent that statement.  You see, I had a dear friend make me this doll.  She is gifted at making folk art crafts, and when we moved away, she gave me the doll, along with a pillow that is embroidered with "Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God come to know God because they know you."  Isn't that beautiful?  Studmuffin, however has refused to allow the doll to sit on our bed.  He thinks it looks like a voodoo doll.  I scoff and say it's supposed to be folk art.  I fear we will never agree on the topic.

Apparently my girls agree.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dude Looks Like a Layeedeh! Or: What Depths Will I Go To Avoid Housework?

I got the girls some awesome clip in feathers for their hair...And I decided that my hair was pretty perfect for  them.  It seemed to bring out the inner rocker in me.  I was inspired for a fabulous post, and could hardly contain my excitement.  The only drawback was I could not indulge in my typical immediate gratification mindset, as I had to go to the dermatologist to determine that I was right and Studmuffin was wrong, and the mysterious lesions on my right arm and leg were not skin cancer...However, to prove myself right, I had to submit and actually GO to the doctor.  


Being me is just so difficult sometimes.

The important thing to focus on is I was right and he was wrong, and although I had to get someone with an actual medical license to prove me right the end result was completely justifiable.

I decided to get mentally prepared for the following post by listening to some Aerosmith on my way to my dermatologist appointment Friday.  Because there is nothing like Aerosmith to get yourself in the mood to disrobe for a full body scan at the dermatologist!  (In a slightly unrelated note, I was quite exasperated with myself on my underwear choices that day, as I was allowed to leave that on.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.)

So, I was driving down the interstate, belting out "Love in an Elevator" when I glanced down and realized I was going 80...Well, I was looking for a trip down memory lane, and I confess to seldom driving below 85 when I was in my late teens and early twenties, but that was a bit much.  Even for me.  I decided to keep an eye on the speedometer as I rocked out.

Saturday I finally had time to get down to the serious business of a completely irreverent post, where I would undoubtedly embarrass myself.  Not as much as my Wonder Woman post, but nonetheless, I am sure there will be some serious eye rolling about this one.

Now, my initial thought was to take a few self portraits, but my children assured me I was not catching the full effect...

We decided to do a full concert/dress rehearsal scene.  Following are some photos from the shoot, and live concert I provided complete with edited lyrics so as not to taint my little girls brains with  such lyrics as Steven Tyler is wont to perform.  Photography is courtesy of Bookworm.  

Now, given our supreme likeness, I will refrain from telling you who is who in these photos, but I did include a few snapshots of the ACTUAL Stephen Tyler to give you a better appreciation of my amazing likeness to him.

However, I feel it's only fair that I tell you:

One of these dudes looks like a layeedeh.

And one of us has a big mouth...
Or maybe both of us.  
That is still up for debate.

And one of us has not washed their hair in three days, and in fact took it down from it's bun and shook their head and shoved some feathers in it.

But I will refrain from pointing any fingers about which of us may have a questionable hair routine.

Both of us own an abundance of scarves...And both of us have been known to borrow and loan scarves to our daughters.

Truly, truly, the parallels in our lives are just downright uncanny.

What a funky lady!

I understand if you completely wash your hands of me after this post.  

But if this does not garner some comments, I don't know what will!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who Knew?

Wednesday my kids brought home their achievement test scores.  I had been eagerly awaiting them, as it has always been patently obvious to me that my children are nothing short of genius...However it's always nice to have my theories confirmed by an outside party.

I looked through a certain child's bag to find her scores, and found a handful of papers in various pouches and pockets of her bag and zipper binder...

I perused her test scores, not at all surprised to see she scored advanced in most areas.  However, I was surprised to peruse her schoolwork scores...

It seems this particular child is too intelligent to be bothered with showing math work.  And too incredibly brilliant to go back and check her work.  In fact she is so masterfully genius that she has a 74 average in math at this point.  I know what her average is because I totalled her homework scores and then divided them by 9, the number of papers she had turned in so far. 


Because applying math skills is handy that way.

I called her into the house where her father and I sat her down and discussed her schoolwork...

Side Note:  I had to calm her father down before we chatted with her.  You see, our schools were both on a seven point system, so 93-100 was an A, 85-92 a B, and 78-84 a C, with 70-77 a D, and below a 70 failing!  I pointed out that this school grades on the ten point scale, so thankfully she has a "C" at this point and not a "D."  Which was really a good thing, because I thought Studmuffin was going to stroke out when he thought his child had a "D."

"But did you see my test scores?"  she asked.

"Yes, I saw your test scores.  Achievement test scores don't get you scholarships in college!"  At this time her sister walked in the room...

"How are you going to get money for college?"  I asked the unsuspecting sister.  Fortunately for her, she has listened to my oft drilled in answer.

"I have to make all A's and get scholarships."

"That's right!  You have to get academic scholarships.  You are both incredibly smart.  There is no reason for you to not make straight A's.  If you decide to be lazy and not make A's and therefore not get scholarships, you will STILL go to college, but you will go through on student loans.  And then you will leave college with a mountain of debt to pay off."  I am so loving and gentle, no?

The child with the questionable math grade looked at her father and I and said in all earnestness, "Well, I could also get a scholarship in archery!"




Well, after we picked our jaws up off of the floor, Studmuffin informed her that while that may be possible, there probably aren't a lot of archery scholarships out there, so she better get her act together and keep her grades up.


Who knew? 

Friday, September 9, 2011

More Pictures of Home

 I had so much to say about the 100+ photos I took at my parents last weekend, I decided to post some of them and share my thoughts.  Aren't you excited? 

I only have one beef with myself:  Why didn't Paula's family do pictures with my family?  Then we could prove that we were actually there behind the camera!

Anyhoo, let the dialogue begin...

Popcorn loves cats. And cats love her.  So much so that they are willing to go feed calves if it means another minute in her arms.  She is seldom without a cat if a cat is within reach.

 See what I mean?

 Two things about this picture:  
1.  I rotated it.  Why did blogger rotate it back?
2.  Is that my daughter in her dad's high school ball cap with a gun over her shoulder and a box of shells in her arms?
3.  How did this happen?

Yes.  That is three things.  I could not control myself.

I love this picture.  Minus the dead birds.  But I love it.  I love that my kids love their cousins and I love it that the dads in this picture are just overgrown children.

Apparently hunting near a farm pond is dirty business.  And apparently camo is not at all required to shoot dove when you are near one of the few sources of water in a drought.

 See the dove head at Kelsey's nose?  Yuck.
Aren't you glad I share all aspects of my life with you?

Why, hello Captain Morgan!
You teatotallers will not understand that comment.  
I'm okay with that.
However, I'm not at all sure that is how one spells tea totaller...teetotaler/tea totaler/I really don't know and am too lazy to look it up.

Dead Eye.  I love him.  I love this picture.  He looks so much like his dad.  And yet, I can see the resemblance to my brother in him too.  He is only 13 and he already passed my 5'8 frame.  I think he is going to be huge.

I tagged along one evening hunting.  I took pictures and "bird dogged" for Brent.
I lost three birds.  I discovered I was a little squeamish if the bird wasn't dead dead DEAD when I had to retrieve it.  Ick.
Again:  Aren't you glad to know the sordid details of my life?

This not so little lady was not at all sure what we were doing at HER watering hole.

Studmuffin is such a poser.  I love him for it.

Well, and because he's my husband and the father of my children and when I was pregnant he never let me scrub the tub as the fumes were bad for the baby and why did I ever start scrubbing it again???

Oklahoma is famous for sunrise and sunset.  Yet, I can never seem to capture the full beauty of it.
I think part of the beauty is the vast open spaces with flat land all around.
Anyway that's my theory.

See that bunch of trees?  They are one mile southeast of us.
Those trees were planted by my parents forty years ago.
They have lived in that very spot for forty five years.
I think.  The details are sketchy as I wasn't alive when they built that house.
But Dawn was.
She is oooooooolllld.
And she is dragging me along behind her.
She better fix whatever ails her before I get there.  She has twelve years to figure it out, and I'm counting on her.

Another photo that I rotated and blogger flipped back.
Studmuffin and Dead Eye with the second day's kill.
How gruesome is this picture?
I must really love my husband.

Oh, and he pointed out he still has few inches on Dead Eye.
For now.