Thursday, May 31, 2007

Battle of the Insults

Several years ago we were having a birthday party for my oldest son in our backyard. Clay and I were busy setting up an obstacle course for the boys to run through. We were using all manners of junk for the kids to crawl over, in, out, over and basically to exhaust any energy boost they might obtain over the copious amounts of sugar we were going to inject into their bodies.

I usually have a well thought out plan in my head for everything I do, I just don't always like to communicate it to those helping me. So, when Clay started laying the course out all wrong, I did what any good woman would do, I started to whine and complain and call him names. Clay, being a man of great patience, took my belligerent attitude for as long as he could before telling me where he thought the PVC pipes we were using should go and then added that it would be a mighty uncomfortable ride for me to the hospital to extract them.

Once the insults start coming, it takes quite a while for us to get them out of our systems. We are constantly asking the question, what if people heard us talking to each other like that? Would they think we were serious? I mean I don't really want to impale you with a plastic pipe and I really don't mean it when I flip you off and of course you're not as irritating as poison ivy.

We were still in the heat of our one-upping each other when I stepped in the house to get the next load of party favors. I turned to shout over my shoulder, "Clay, you're a MORON!" and as I turned around there stood my church elder and his little boy....."Oh, uh, hi, Joel.." I stammered. He smiled cautiously asked me if they were too early. Then there was a bit of an uncomfortable silence while my mind was replaying the past twenty seconds over and over and wondering how much Joel had heard of our conversation. He never mentioned hearing anything and somehow, he trusted us enough to leave his son at our house. Although, I think he may have been the first parent to pick up their son and from that point on I detected a bit of a wince when I greeted him at church.

When I went back outside to tell Clay what had just happened his response was to laugh hysterically and spend the next five years using, "Honey remember...Oh, uh, hi Joel" to remind me how he won that little battle of the insults.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Third Pottery Class

I made these two things in my third class. The big bowl was made with five pounds of Clay, I mean clay...the mud stuff, not my husband. I used a different wheel and it had a profound effect on me. I also, think I throw better with larger amounts of Clay, I mean clay...the mud stuff, not my husband.

I jumped the gun a bit and put a handle on my batter bowl, cuz I thought I knew so much about pottery, but it turns out I didn't apply it correctly and most likely my handle will fall off when it's fired in the kiln. That will make me very sad.

I call this my batter bowl and big-honkin bowl

I've learned that you can't get attached to anything you make...because it will break. I broke my first pot last week when I was learning how to trim. Trimming occurs when your piece has dried to a leather hard stage, you put in on the wheel and use tools to take off the extra Clay, uh I mean, clay...the mud stuff not my husband. My teacher told me I was very good at trimming during the throwing stage, that's when you shape the mud stuff on the wheel, so maybe I'll not learn how to trim and just do all my finish work on the wheel. But, then how will I become the greatest potter in the world? Maybe I'll be the greatest non-trimming potter in the world.

I need a new term for clay.....the mud stuff, not my husband. How about wet earthen material and I'll shorten it to wem. Okay? From now on when I speak of pottery and clay it will be wem.

A Hotdog

I've lived with my husband longer than I've lived without him, so you would assume that he would know my likes and dislikes. For the most part I think he does, but every once in awhile he comes up with a whopper of a a misjudgment that leaves us both dumbfounded and wondering who exactly are we married to?

Last week we had tickets to the Cardinals game. Most native St. Louisans would be giddy and decked out in red from head to toe, they would call their family and friends to tell them to watch for them on T.V, they would take a ball glove in the off chance that a foul ball would come their way and they would participate in The Wave, the hat dance on the jumbotron and any other number of fan participation gimicks. I am not a native St. Louisan so I was wearing a green and white shirt and was happy that we missed the first inning, I would probably duck and scream if a ball came my way and I sat leisurely clapping while stuffing another bite of my son's cotton candy in my mouth when the Cards made their first homerun. I go to the game for the hotdogs and crackerjacks, period. I like a hotdog the moment I get to the stadium. I find my seat and then one of us goes after all the goods. This time my husband and my father-in-law made the journey to the concession stand. As I sat through an inning thinking about my hotdog smothered in ketchup and relish, my mouth watered and I had a hard time concentrating on my son's repeated questions about how cotton candy is made and his amazement that it came in multiple colors.

Finally, I spied my husband loaded down with six hotdogs and I sat on the edge of my seat excited and drooling. Three of the hotdogs went to my father-in-law, yes, I said three. His hotdogs were smeared with a big glop of mustard. I thought, huh, well, to each their own, the guy obviously likes mustard and a lot of hotdogs. I saw my husband grab his two plain hotdogs, the guy has never put anything on his hotdog, I know this because I pay attention to what my husband's likes and dislikes are, it's important to me to know all the little trivial things like that. It's nice to know these things, so when we go somewhere we can just gaze at each other and know what the other person wants and no energy is spent actually speaking. So you can imagine my surprise, my utter astonishment, my annoyance, my disappointment, my "are you kidding me, how long have we been married?" when he handed me my hotdog slathered with mustard and he said, "Here, I put mustard on it, thought you would like that." Since when?

Later, he explained that he saw his dad putting a bunch of mustard on his hotdogs and he knew that I would want something on my hotdog and the mustard looked like a good idea, so that's the direction he chose.

I didn't want him to feel bad, so I pretended to enjoy the hotdog by gagging and coughing and sputtering and panicking for a drink of soda. But to really drive the point of his stupidity home I said, "I'm going to blog about this."

Honey, FYI.....Hotdog with ketchup and relish, that's how I like them. Never just mustard, never.

First Pottery Class

For those of you who were just dying to see my pottery, I give you my first masterpieces. I know what you're thinking, they are beyond words. I'll learn how to glaze tomorrow night, so all these pieces you see will be even more beautiful and you all will be rendered speechless.

Let's see let's call these spittoon 1, spittoon 2, and not quite a vase.

And this one I almost spun off into my neighbors wheel, but I saved it and then pinched the top to make it look like a pitcher instead of the mistake, uh, I mean, I meant to do that, it was my plan all along, it's art you know, it doesn't have to be perfect, uh, I mean, it's perfect.
Look at those things in the background. I think I'm doing okay. And no, I'm not going to admit that a child made those, lets just pretend that everything you see is made by adults.
So here is my pitcher and spittoon 3. And to the mom who gets to display the ashtray with finger holes and ashtray blob there in the background, God bless you.

Oh, by the way, Mom, Rechelle, Dad, Clay and other unsuspecting relatives reading this blog.... Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

April's Aphids!

Errr! Dadgum aphids! I think having free range chickens has had an adverse effect on my ladybuy and daddy longleg population. Even though you don't see many ladybugs this time of year, you should see lots of daddy longleg spiders. I'm just not seeing them, and the few I do seem to be servicing the wrong plants. So today I ordered 1500 ladybugs from Gardening Zone.

Now if you have aphids, and chances are you do, they are not going to kill your plant, but their annoying and they suck the juices out of plants and once the plant starts to produce fruit then the little suckers really get busy. So, it's best, in my opinion to take care of them now. You can use a soap and water solution known as insecticidal soap in garden lingo, but I'd rather take care of them the really natural way using predators. So, get to know your good bugs and encourage them to live in your garden. Here are the little guys that I look for: Ladybugs, Preying Mantis, Lace Wings and Daddy Longlegs. If you know more, tell me, I consider myself a beginning gardener, so I'm all ears to your knowledge.

See the tiny red things by my finger? Those are aphids, they live in clusters on the under side of plants and they love tomato plants as much as I do.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Road Kill the Whole Story

Sunday was a beautiful day here in Missouri. I played in my garden, I turned my compost pile, I scooped out the chicken coop and then I watched my husband sail down the driveway on the new go-cart and I decided I needed to have a go. But, I was kind of tired from hauling ten tons of chicken crap out of the coop, so I made Clay pull the go-cart up the hill for me, just a little farther, a bit more, tiny bit more, okay stop. Clay lined it up and then sat behind me and held the go-cart while I positioned myself. "Let go!" I demanded. "Please be careful, maybe we should take it down the hill a bit..." he pleaded. "No, let go, I can drive a stupid go-cart!" I started down the hill going at a nice clip, my confidence was high, but behind me I heard the doubt in my husband's voice as his soft warning repeated, "April, April, April, April" then crescendoing,"APRIL, APRIL!" That's when I lost my concentration and lost control of the go-cart. All I could see was the drop off into the creek and I knew I was a goner. Luckily, I fell off to the right side just seconds before the go-cart pitched into the creek. The following is a reenactment using actors to play the real people, who's identities must be protected. But, I can share a picture of my injury...again.
As you can see the drop off into the creek is quite intimidating. After Clay asked if I was okay he said, "If it has four wheels you're bound to put it in the creek, huh?" referring to the two incidents where I drove our van into the creek, but remember he spent a little time with his beloved truck in the creek too. I just don't think driveways are meant to traverse narrow bodies of water with five foot drops, nope, I don't.

Clay said he was impressed with the flight of The Blue Devil, apparently it was going so fast it got some lift, but I couldn't safely get a picture of that, so lets just pretend.

We were standing on the driveway looking at the go-cart floating in the creek, when Seth came walking up the driveway with two of his friends. They were looking to ride his new toy. Clay called out,"Mom just crashed the go-cart into the creek!" and my darling son came running to see if all was okay, I reassured him, "I'm fine, really I just got a little...." "I don't care about you!" he yelled, "Is the go-cart okay?!" Hurt by his lack of concern I responded,"Uh, yes, it's fine and I'll be okay too". Then he banned me from ever riding it again, and wasn't happy that I put it in the creek again the next day so I could share these photos with blogdom.

Here is the actress I hired to portray my crumpled body on the driveway, she is wearing the authentic foot ware that I had on at the time. She did such a great job and was on her way to her trailer when I reminded her that she needed to portray Clay retrieving the go-cart out of the creek.

I thought I heard her say something about this not being in her contract and not being prepared to act like a huge, skinny man with a beard, but...

you get the idea. I made her happy by taking lots of shots of her posing victoriously over the wretched go-cart.

She even rode it successfully over the driveway and asked, "What's the big deal? That was easy." Show-off.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jeff Foxworthy would be proud.

You might be a redneck if.....

You take pictures of your road burn that you inflicted upon your ankle while falling off your son's go-cart.

You take pictures of your wood pile because three people have said.....

"That's pretty" and you think so too.

The cute shoes you bought two days ago for your baby are now wet and dirty from falling in the creek and you think their still so dang cute that you put them in your flower pot and took a picture.

You actually have a red neck!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Blue Devil

My husband came home with this book for our boys.

My oldest has been toting it around with him and telling me all the wonderful things in its pages. I'm not allowed to read's for boys. Together the two of them found this page.

They decided the best way to spend a Saturday was to make go-cart, so off to the hardware store they went.

They came home with most of the supplies, my husband never gets everything the first time, but it only took two more trips before they had all the parts they needed.

You can't build anything unless you have power tools and

a PEZ dispenser.

Let's take a station break to talk about shoes that are not allowed in my house because they smell like a dead body. If I see them in my house one more time it will only be because the boy wearing them has decided he no longer wants to participate among the living!

But, these are cute little boy shoes, they can come in the house and tromp around and beg for candy and crawl on my bed and then flop down and scream until the cows come home, but their so cute that you can't help but love them.

And now back to our regular scheduled programming. Here's how you make a go-cart, you will need:
Some Wood, 4 wheels, tools, a boy and a man, some old paint and a hardware store.
Hammer some stuff, drill the wood, slap on the wheels...

Paint it blue and name it The Blue Devil.

Then ride it down the drive way and crash.....several times.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Clay Pots

Since my beloved is named Clay I feel really stupid saying things like;

-I need more Clay.
-I have Clay all over my hands.
-Close your eyes and feel the Clay.
-My Clay is dry.
-How much Clay should I use?
-Do you prefer red Clay?
-I made an arch with my Clay.

But, I guess if I'm going to be the next greatest potter in the world then I'll just have to learn to love two Clays and not feel weird about it.

Total pots that resemble spittoons made to date: 3
Other things that could hold a bunch of flowers, but shouldn't be described as a vase: 7

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


For several weeks we have been dealing with three little furry creatures that make it their soul purpose to have nightly skirmishes in our garage. They eat all the cat food and then start growling at each other and tearing up anything they can get their little hands on. Sometimes, they wake me up in the middle of the night with their antics and then I wake up Clay hoping he'll go put an end to all the annoyance. Clay sits up in bed and scratches his whole body swears that he's seeing the ghost of his aunt's-nephew's-son's-wife and asks me "Do you see that, do you see that?!" then he flops back down and resumes his sleep and I lie awake less concerned about the wildlife in the garage and wondering if my husband is in fact in touch with another dimension.

Yesterday, I went to put my precious few chickens to bed. I locked them in the outside run and then I walked around to go inside the coop to collect the eggs. When I opened the door the girls started throwing an all out tizzy fit and several of them ran right back outside. I rushed back to look in the run to see one of our nightly visitors crawling up the wire! So, I cleared the rest of the chickens out and closed up the coop so he couldn't escape. I yelled to my daughter to get the camera.

Oh, My-Giddy-Up-Murray and Holly Crap Balls!!!! We caught a raccoon in the coop!

I stood there watching that little sucker, contemplating how I would torture the chicken eating-cat food stealing-wake me up every night- furry punk.

He nestled himself in the corner exposing his belly and panting like a dog. My children made loud exclamations that were not helping my evil thoughts of this creature's slow and painful death.

"He's sooooo cute! Look at that little face! Oh, he's scared, poor thing!" and the clincher.."Can we keep him?"

I kicked the cage and said in my best Clint Eastwood voice, "I know who you are and I know what you've done. Don't try to act all innocent. You're going to die. Just as soon as my husband gets home. Any minute now. He'll be here soon and then you're history. Just a few more minutes. "

The raccoon decided it was going to be a long wait, so he got comfortable.

And then he posed for a few close ups.

When Clay finally arrived on the scene the raccoon and I were practically friends, but I told Clay to go get his gun anyway. After several minutes of prodding the raccoon with a shovel and pole and metal rod and then just opening all the doors in the coop, the intruder climbed out onto the roof and made a break for the woods.

Look at that pose! He looks like he's been hunting for years. But, in reality this is the first time he's shot at a living animal. He got two shots at the raccoon and hit him both times, but not fatally. The raccoon ran down in his hole and we haven't seen him since. Clay's heart rate didn't drop back to normal for several hours.

Hopefully the message has been sent; We will not tolerate cute woodland creatures killing the chikens or tearing up the garage, my husband has a gun, named Bessy no less, and he's only mildly afraid to use it!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Farm Girl

I found a new sight I think some of you will enjoy. I'll be over there reading, sighing, wishing, bemoaning, huffing and smiling.

You will like it if;

You like to cook.
You like to garden
You like animals.
You like to write.
You like pretty photos.
You want to find a farm in the middle of nowhere and live on it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Everyday is Mother's Day

Because of this fella.....

I got me this and..

this here one and .....

then I went and got one of these and....

good Lord, I got me this here too!

They are why I get to celebrate Mother's Day.

I also have a couple of these on the back porch and I know if I wasn't a mother I would never sacrifice a Rubbermaid container for something that we picked up in the middle of the road.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I can throw a pot.

Last night was my first pottery class. It made me happy. I came home and googled a bunch of videos and watched how other people throw and that's when I came across the three minute teapot. I'll be making vases, ashtrays, pencil holders and q-tip holders for awhile, but someday I'm going to bring home a teapot. Yep.

Three Minute Teapot

Cow Crap

This is the broccoli I stuck in my old garden next to the herbs that are going crazy along with the grass. It's saying, "Please help me."

This is the broccoli I planted on the same day as the one above. I planted it in my new beds with a special mixture of peat moss, garden mix topsoil and the contents of my neighbors cow stall.
Amazing what adding a load of crap can do to your garden.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


The first sign of a home grown toe-mater!

This is one of the three- squares Clay built out of felled logs. Their kinda cute and kinda hickish.

This is one of the sweet planters I bought for my sister that she took one look at and nearly barfed. So ugly did she think it was that I quickly put it back in my van and brought it home and put flowers in it and told it I thought it was pretty and it believed me. My chickens have been telling it how much they like it too.

I bought three hanging baskets from an old lady that has a stand by the side of the road. Her family has been farming for 81 years. Everytime I look out the window and see these beauties I smile a little.

Here's my hillbilly garden. Watching it grow gives me hope. Hope that tomorrow it will be bigger, hope that I'll harvest its fruits and taste the goodness.