Sunday, April 29, 2007
Go check out my people building a barn. Dang, I wish I was there.
My dad is the guy in the red hat. Does he look little? Yes? That's because he is. It's nearly impossible to guess that I came from this man. He's 5'8", had jet black hair (it's mostly silver now) and he has deep chocolate colored eyes. He tans in the summer and only has freckles on his shoulders. But, if you want to talk about an attitude, well then, I did gain a bit of bull-headedness and a mighty dose of I'm-always-right-no-matter-what from my dad, even to the point of Clay calling me Harry sometimes by mistake.
My mom is the gal sitting in the chair on the porch. What? You guessed that? Was it because she's laughing her ever loving head off? Can you hear her cackle? It's not hard to make my mom laugh...really hard, especially when your doing something really stupid like; immitating people, dancing, making faces or talking about the weather. She's just got a funny bone that is always tickled. Or did you guess that was my mom because she looks like an older version of me?
Friday, April 27, 2007
Because I feel that the best way to deal with my inadequacies is to air them on the internet, I give you this post. It's my gift to you. You're welcome.
I've hit an all new low. I cut myself shaving. I know, you're saying, so? But, I didn't cut myself on the ankle or the knee or the back of my thigh. I stopped shaving above my knee a long time ago, it takes away too much time in the shower. I'd rather be standing under the steaming hot water staring at the harvest gold shower liner.
If your thoughts have ventured to the knicks and scrapes I must have inflicted to my armpits, your wrong again. What's left? The ever sensitive bikini area? Ah, but if I don't shave above my knees, well, then that would just be ridiculous and please, I haven't worn a bikini since I was in highschool and I think I've mentioned before that I wear a swimsuit that could second as an outfit to wear shopping or at least play tennis.
I cut myself shaving. The cut is on my ear. The older I get, the hairy I become. You can start calling me Ape-ril.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Me- It's J. It sounds like this juh-juh-juh. J. Say it.
Me- What does your middle name start with?
Me- What does Jacky's name start with?
Me- Okay, let's write the letter J and say it four hundred bazillion more times, and color a picture of it, and sound out a dictionary worth of words that start with J.
Me- Yes, that's very good. Now let's do you're alphabet flash cards starting with this one (holding up a flash card that Ike made with J's stamped all over it). What's this?
Ike- D, no no it's not D.....um, it's E, no no A?
God, help me please.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Joanna tagged me, so here we go. Seven wonderful things about me that you all should know and at the end seven bloggers I read and am tagging to do the same.
1. I had a very small heat stroke while descending in the gondola from King Herod's Palace on top of Masada.
I was 13 years old at the time and was in a state of panic; when I stepped out of the gondola I tried to get through two armed guards blocking an entrance. They tried to tell me I couldn't get through and then realized I wasn't quite right in the head, so they whisked me away to a first aid station and started applying cool compresses all over my body and making me drink the coldest water I've ever tasted in my life.
2. I've never broken a bone in my body. Well, at least I've never had one diagnosed. I'm pretty sure I broke a rib or two after falling off my bike multiple times on the Arapaho trail in Winter Park. I spent months not being able to lie on my back and couldn't take deep breaths for a week or so after. I looked like someone took a baseball bat to me and beat the livin' tarnation right out of me. I had bruises all over my legs, arms, back and hips. I took my kids to the local pool just when my bruises were looking their meanest and I got all sorts of sympathetic looks.
3. When I was a senior in high school my art teacher sent me to the restroom to check on a fellow classmate, Maria, who had been gone for quite a while. I found her lying on the floor of the stall, paralyzed. She was terrified. I was terrified. I ran to the office and quickly told them to call an ambulance then sprinted back to sit by Maria and hold her hand. Turns out her brother accidentally shot her in the back with a BB gun several years earlier and the BB decided that day to lodge itself against her spine, temporarily paralyzing her.
4. I want to take the Master Gardener's classes so I'll feel like I know what the heck I'm doing to my garden.
5. My Dad owned a vending business so our pantry was always filled with stale chips and melted candy bars and dusty soda cans. My sister and I rarely ate any of it, but my friend Carmen thought our pantry was a little slice of heaven. She would grab arms full of chips and candy and drink all the old orange soda. My parents thought we were eating and drinking all of it, so they kept bringing it home. Carmen was always grateful that my dad filled her tummy with junk food.
6. I taught myself how to drive when I was 13. I was in 8th grade and rode the bus home everyday. My sister was busy with after school stuff, so I was by myself for several hours before anyone came home. I would "steal" the keys to our Chevrolet conversion van and drive half a mile down the road, turn at the grain bins and then go back home. I went undetected until one day when I slid off the road and got the van buried up to the door in mud. That's a story I'll save for another time.
7. I just so happen to be one of the best puppeteers in the world. This is a talent I stopped sharing with people a long time ago. My mom started a puppet company when I was in high school and of course I had to be involved in all manners of performing. I won several competitions at The Puppet Festival in Denver. That's all I have to say about that for now.
Now, I'm tagging..
1. Rechelle my lovely sister
2. Jenn a real life person I know and adore
3. Jennifer a fun blogger person I just met
4. Jessie a sweet young mommy I know that loves good food as much as I do
5. Crunchy Chicken a funny Seattle garden lover
6. Abby a sweet young sleep deprived mommy I know that bakes some mean yummies
7. hope4grace a funny military wife that I like to read that apparently has the cutest husband
8. anyone else that would like to share seven things about yourself and spread the meme love.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Last night I dreamt that we built our house. The land we found was nestled between the interstate and an industrial plant. I went to check the progress of the house and the contractor had taken it upon himself to build an A-Frame. I told him this is not what we wanted and he told me something about a second story being too difficult for him to build, but maybe he could do it later.
As I stood in the dusty yard with the looming shadows of smoke stacks belching forth the days duty, I looked at the ill contrived house I was going to inhabit. I had begun my mental process of tearing out a wall and adding this or that, just trying to come up with a design for a shed dormer or something, anything, God this can't be happening. Then the media came.
Yep, I said the media. Apparently, our house had started quite a buzz around whatever town we were in. You know, living in the median of an interstate highway is just what the ten o-clock news needs to boost some ratings. They were snapping photos and a helicopter was spotlighting the, the, the Thing that I was going to call home. Then the sales lady stopped by.
Yep, a sales lady with a four inch binder busting with fabric samples and glossy photos. I saw her mouth moving and watched her gesture towards the Thing. I looked at the pictures, I glanced at the open front door of the Thing and finally comprehended what she was attempting, "Are you trying to sell me furniture?" I sneered "Do you realized I have four children that will destroy everything in that book? And, I'm gonna be living in that, and you think I have the money to buy furniture?!" I yelled pointing my accusing finger at the Thing. Then I woke up and decided I spend waaaaaay too much time thinking about houses.
Monday, April 16, 2007
"Hi Michael, how's Caroline and the girls?" I say to my husband when he has major poofy head, but has shaved off all his facial stubs.
"Hi Barry, wannna disco?" I say to my hubbabubba when he grows out his beard and unbuttons the top fifty five buttons of his light blue satin disco shirt, yeah baybee!
"Hi Nick" I say breathlessly to my hotband when he slicks back his hair and sports a goatee.
"Kramer! You idiot!" I yell at my husband when he slides across the kitchen floor in his socks and crashes into me or pretends to break his nose on the closet door that I just opened in his face.
He's a versatile man. A veritable chameleon. A comedic genius and a gentle soul. A disco rock star and and a delicious dish.
And I get to live with it...I mean him.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
My sister drove to St. Louis from her small existence in Kansas to become certified as a Zumba instructor. Now I can't stop chanting, "Zoomba-zooomba-zoomba-roomba-boomba".
She told me I would love to Zumba, if I could stop laughing long enough to concentrate on the moves. Zoomba-zoomba-zoomba-roomba-boomba.
She wants to start teaching classes in her small town and I asked what she would call the class. "Will you call it Zoomba Boomba? " No. "Will you change your name to Roomba so you can call it Zoomba with Roomba?" No. "Well, just Zumba doesn't sound like much fun. I think you should call it Put Some Boomba in Your Roomba with a Bit of Zumba!" No.
She takes this Zumba stuff pretty seriously
Friday, April 13, 2007
This big red headed kid was born 11 years ago, four days before my birthday. His due date was April Fool's day and I prayed to God that he would come sooner.
I had quit my job at the animal hospital and plunged back into college courses full time. I entrusted my slightly eclectic next door neighbor with my then two year old daughter. This woman had twelve gigantic Sam's sized jars of Desitin in her garage, because you never want to be without butt ointment.
I was hoping that the baby would come in March during spring break, then I would have a couple days to recover and not miss any classes. But, he didn't want to come that soon. Like all my babies he came out well done. In fact he was so well done, that the nurse, doctor and my sister all yelled, "OH MY GOD!" He was just so fat. He looked like a four month old and filled up the hospital's acrylic bassinet. When I went down to the nursery to stare through the glass at my new beautiful baby, an older couple was standing by me and said, "Wow! That's one big baby, I feel sorry for his mom, that must have been painful!" I smiled and said, "Yes, it was."
In fact it was so painful that I screamed loud enough to scare a group of administrators that were scheduled to tour the delivery ward. They decided to postpone their visit for a quieter time. Later, some of the nurses came in to thank me.
Less than 24 hours after his birth I was home. I hated being in the hospital and I needed to get back to my studies. I missed one crucial exam in my psychology class and I really didn't want to drop the test and have it affect my grade. I begged my husband to take me and our newborn son up to campus for a scheduled study session so I could ask the professor to let me take the test. It was a very weird scene, but it played out in my favor. The professor was a man in his mid fifties and held fast to his rules. I kindly asked to schedule a time that I could take the test. His reply was, "No, I've explained that you can drop that test." I took a breath and pointed to my husband holding our baby, "I just had a baby and I need to take this test. I tried to have him over spring break, but he wouldn't come. I really don't want to drop this grade." and then the hormones took over and I started to cry, "Please. I've studied really hard and I'm ready to take the test. My doctor wouldn't let me come home any sooner....sniff, boo-hoo, sniff..I, I really need to...". The poor man was so uncomfortable,"Of course, take the test anytime. You just go home and get some rest. Take your time, it's okay." My husband escorted me back to our car and I cried all the way home and then had an hysterical laughing fit for how ridiculously pathetic I must have looked and then cried again.
I spent the last six weeks of that semester toting my newborn son to every class. I'd nurse him in the back row of the lecture auditoriums and change his diaper in the student union. I'd stay up til two or three in the morning cradling him over my shoulder while memorizing the human nervous system. It was quite an experience. Funny thing is I can't remember much about the classes I took. I know I took calculus, chemistry, biology, anatomy, speech and some other classes, but I don't remember what I learned. It's just a big blur.
I decided that I didn't want to go back to school the next fall. I looked at my two little kids and decided my future was going to be spent learning how to be the best mom I could for them. I was so grateful not to be working or going to school that life seemed pretty blissful. I had a sweet little two year old girl and a gigantic red headed boy. Life was good.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Deep breath in.....and cleansing breath out. Deep breath in........and hold it and hold it...keep holding it.. okay here it goes...
My sister started a blog. Her name is Rechelle. Not Rachel, not Rochelle not Rahchele, not Racquel, RECHELLE. Supposedly it means "little angel". My dad made me very happy when he recently stated that he's always liked my name, but regrets naming Rechelle, because nobody spells it right and rarely pronounces it correctly. I always envied that she got to spell her name for people when she was registering for a class or whatever. For awhile I started spelling my name APRYL just to be able to tell people they were wrong when they assumed it was just normal APRIL. But then there wasn't much about me that was normal, so go figure why I would want to add to my list of freakishness.
Now, when I started my blog a year or so ago, I told all my family members to come read. And then I wrote a few things and I waited and waited and went and ate some cookies and waited some more. Not one single blood relative read my blog. Sad, but true. The only way I can get them to read anything I write is if I email it to them or slap a stamp on it and send it in the mail. When I see them on visits some of them might say things like, "Oh, do you still have that thing you write?" or "What's your blog address again, I want to start reading it" and my favorite, "I don't read blogs and I'll never read yours". Which may make you wonder why on earth I don't write more about the crazy people that make up my family. Hmmm? I wonder too. But, actually I don't really want to give them any sort of credit. And yet, here I am about to tell you where my sister's blog sight is.
But first, a little about my sister. She's older than me, a whole 18 months older. Most people think I'm older, I'm certain people thought this because I was taller, but now I think it's because I'm so mature for my age. I'm also prettier, funnier, have straighter teeth, better hair, cuter kids and a waaaaay better outlook on life. I also make more rules, keep a cleaner house, drive a better car and wear cuter shoes. She on the other hand is far more talented and smarter. She writes better stories and plays the guitar. She writes music, directs a youth choir, paints her house bright colors, sings in front of large crowds, writes plays, and wears cuter shirts. She also has more jewelry and better skin than I do. We both are blessed with an excruciatingly loud cackle, a sense of humor and big butts, mine is bigger, but still I'm prettier, did I say that already?
Okay, go read, it's all good. Let the breath out through your nose, but don't spray boogers on my computer screen! Country Doctor's Wife
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I often think about what my children will become when they grow up. What occupation they will choose. I'm fairly certain my daughter will do something with her hands and the earth. She really wants to live on a farm and be surrounded by animals. Gee, wonder where she got that idea? I told her she would have to find herself a farmer to marry. Maybe we need to send her to K-State or Nebraska for college.
As for my 11yo, well I think he might become a computer geek-tech or a fantasy novelist. He does both quite well now, but he insists that he wants to be a carpenter or a missionary, which are fine occupations. He can build me a house when he's done building all the schools and hospitals and housing for the orphans in third world countries.
Now my 5yo and my 2yo are going to need to work together. I'm thinking with the negotiation skills and compliant nature of my 5yo that he would make a great lawyer and an even better judge. Those are his only choices. Why? Because my 2yo will most likely be incarcerated and he's going to need good representation and a forgiving man with a gavel.
You think I'm kidding but, I'm not. That toddler learned how to start the car yesterday, by himself. Sure he was using the keys, but it won't take him long to figure out how to hot wire it. I have to lock the van and hide the keys now, I just hope I remember where I put them.
Before he's arrested for auto theft he'll most likely be put on probation for vandalism to public property. He's already begun using his skin as a canvas for a black sharpie marker but he's branching out to the leather chair and incorporating the color red from an ink pen. Oh, the talent, he's pure genius.
He's also honed his petty theft skills. I play a little game with him called, "find where I hid the gum". I put it on top of the refrigerator, but that was child's play. Then I hid it on the top shelf of the junk cabinet behind the cat dewormer. He had more trouble with this because the temptation to open the dewormer and pour it over the tools, keys, buttons, coins, paper clips, rubber bands and old receipts was too much. I didn't catch him in the act, but he left such a trail of evidence that I had to set him down, while he was chewing his gum, and have a stern talking to him about not taking the bait and being more careful around booby-traps. He's still young, he has time to learn.
I'm trying to steer him away from violent crimes that may land him in the slammer. I've told him to get his aggressions out now on his oldest brother who is bigger and stronger and can take the pain and needs to have some experience with violence if he's going to be in the carpenter's union and he doesn't want to hurt his other brother, because after all, that brother is the judge.
Monday, April 09, 2007
My darling husband has the unfortunate job of living with me. I expect to be treated like nothing less than royalty nearly everyday of the year, but especially on my birthday. Except, I usually insist that I don't want any gifts and for people not to trouble themselves. I truly believe this reverse psychology business will work. But, unfortunately for me, they all listen and obey too well and my plan backfires.
For my birthday my parents forgot to bring the pot they bought for me in Mexico and coincidentally my father accidentally dropped it and broke it into many pieces, but he glued it back together. My husband, well, that's his quote up above, he spent the day being excruciatingly nice to me while I did everything in my power to try to make him feel bad that he didn't lavish me with gifts. I held out my hand and whispered things like, "I want my presents now."
He did make it up to me though. We stopped in Lawrence, Kansas on our way home from my sister's house. I got to eat at The Mad Greek, which serves the best slovaki and gyros. Then I insisted on going to The Phoenix Gallery and I picked out several pieces of pottery by my favorite potter Steve Coburn. I also bought a KU sweatshirt and Jayhawk paraphernalia for my children. Isaac insists on calling the Jayhawk a Peehawk, go figure he was born in Missouri, poor ignorant child. Then before leaving downtown Lawrence I stopped in La Prima Tazza, a wonderful little coffee shop, and bought a pound of oolong tea and a latte for the road. And now I feel much better and my husband is off the hook.
Now, a bit about The Phoenix Gallery. I was in Industrial Design school with the owner Zoe Beach. Zoe's mother started the gallery and Zoe recently came back from San Francisco to settle down with her husband and child and bought the gallery. I got to see her today and it was so wonderful. The gallery sells the most amazing pottery and glass not to mention jewelry and some great metal workings. The prices are so reasonable and they do a fabulous job of displaying the artist's work. Go check out the sight and if you're ever in Lawrence be sure to walk up and down Massachusetts Street and peruse all the wonderful shops, especially this one.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
I know it's Easter and we should all be celebrating our Lord's resurrection and all, but....
It's my birthday, say it again, it's my birthday.....what? I said it's my birthday, sing me a song, it's my birthday, did I mention it?
Yes, my name really is April and I really was born in April and sometimes my birthday falls on Easter and there is nothing I can do about it except eat lots of jelly beans and ham. So there.
In an all out effort to make this day more about me and less about Jesus...OUCH! That bolt of lightning hurt, dang!
Never mind, Jesus, you win. But next year, my birthday is all about me, not you. PHLBBBBBT!
Happy Easter! and happy birthday to me.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I’ve lived with it so long I just don’t notice it anymore. What am I talking about? Oh, let’s make a list; I love a list.
1. The strange mole that protrudes through the sleeve of my tight t-shirts on my right deltoid. My kids like to pick at it to give me the heebie-jeebies.
2. The absence of a knob on my washing machine. This always puzzles visitors when they want to do a quick load of wash before they pack up to leave. Where’s the knob? How do you start the washer? It takes a magic touch and only I have it.
3. The eight pane old window sitting on the floor by the piano. What’s it for? Where did it come from? Will I ever do anything with it? Why did I buy it?
4. My fungus toe. I only notice it when I’m not wearing polish or it catches on my shoe or I cut too much of the nail off or I have to sheepishly admit to a pedicurist that... I have a fungus toe.
5. The absence of a handle, drawers, vent panel and ice-maker for my refrigerator or the presence of a constant puddle of water coming from under it or the duct tape holding the shelves together. Did I mention the rust spots on the front? No? Cuz, I hardly notice them and with the description I just gave, I'm wondering if anyone would even recognized this appliance as a refrigerator at all????
6. My childhood furniture. I think I’ve mentioned it before. It’s everywhere in my house. In my daughter’s room, the boys’ room and the basement. I can proudly say it’s not in my room anymore. All the knobs are falling off and migrating to strange places in the house like, my bathroom and the toy baskets and the coin slot storage thingy of the van and my purse.
7. My husband. No just kidding. But, I've lived with him for a long time and I didn’t notice when his auburn hair turned so dark that people began to question where my son got his red hair.
8. The Playboy Magazine on my office shelf. It’s in Braille. That’s right; it’s the actual magazine with no pictures, just bumps. It’s the only Playboy that a man can read and honestly say, “I got it for the great articles!” It’s gotta be some sort of collector’s item by now.
9. The llama in my backyard. Well, it’s actually behind a fence in my backyard and belongs to my neighbor. But, isn’t it strange to think that I look out my window and see a llama and don’t think anything of it? I also don’t freak out if he sucks on my finger, sniffs my hair, smells my breath or nibbles on my clothing. We have an understanding, the llama and I, he gets to sniff and taste me and I, in turn, never try to pet him, ever. It’s a very one sided relationship and that’s the way he prefers it and I’m okay being used as a sensory post for a furry long necked animal.
Now, that I've stopped to think about these things they're going to bother me until I do something about them. Except the llama, I can't really make him stop being a llama and the mole, it's just part of my arm and always will be unless it starts sprouting whiskers and talking, then I'll slice it off with a razor, geeehish.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
My mom invents and mispronounces words. I inherited this and I've noticed my daughter starting to do the same.
The other day my daughter was remarking on the hot-cross buns we were eating and said, "These taste like that Marty Grass cake". I turned and said, "Mom? Is that you? Oh, no it's Ellen. Sweetie, it's pronounced Mardi Gras."
I have trouble with words like hill and sill, they come out sounding like heel and seal. I say rueen instead of ruin. I broke my habit of saying warsh and Warshington when I went to college. I still end many sentences with a preposition and I'll never remember if it should be farther or further or affect or effect. Yes, I homeschool. So? My kids don't stand a chance, poor things.
My mom has given us some great one-liners that we use all the time. She ends every phone conversation with, "Now, line up those kids and give them a big hug and kiss!" I like to say this to my husband when he's at work except I say, "Now, line up your co-workers and give them a big hug and kiss!" and, off the subject, but worthy of sharing, if he tells me he has to work late or will be taking a business trip or isn't getting to work on the job he wants then I say, "Put Dave on the phone, let me see what I can do." Dave is his boss.
Another simple, but effective, um, affective, um, errr, where's the dictionary? (Never mind, my best solution is to just avoid words I can't comprehend.) Another great one liner we use is simply yelling, "Harry!" except you have to emphasize the first syllable so it sounds like, "Haaaa-ree!" Harry, is my dad. When mom can't get him to shut-up or agree with her, then she simply screams his name. It's mighty effec, affect, uh, um, well, it works really well. My husband and I use this when we're frustrated beyond comprehension at each other, especially when he is driving and not using my keen sense of direction to guide him where he needs to go.
If mom can't remember a name she just calls them Ole Whatchajigger. There are so many people named Ole Whatchajigger, that I have a hard time keeping them straight, but apparently I know all of them, "You know him, oh, it's Ole Whatchajigger, he lives just down the road from us." That usually makes it crystal clear.
I'm going to use my mom as a character in a book someday. I might have to wait until after she passes, which I hope is not for a long while, because I'm still collecting material from her and I can't make this stuff up.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Yesterday, I was looking through the housing classifieds for the third time, just in case I missed something, I know, I'm hopeful, and I spied a little old farm house for sale with some acreage.
"Hmmmm",I said to myself, "probably forty minutes from here like all the others I've found, but why does that road sound so familiar?"
I tossed the paper in the trash, mostly because a bug ran across it and I screamed and screamed and then took a breath and screamed some more. Geeeeesh! Then I headed to my computer to do my daily search on realtor.com . Do you see a pattern here? Think I might ever end this madness? No? Yeah, I know, puh.
Anywaydeehadyhooooo, I looked up that sweet little farm house and what do you know, I knew where it was and I'd been there before. I'm beginning to think I've covered every possible road in a fifty mile radius of my house.
I loaded up my two year old and decided we'd drive to take a looky at that property again. When I got there I pulled into the drive. Behind me sat an enormous white barn and in front of me, as far as these old eyes could see, were green fields speckled with cattle. My heart swelled, my eyes got misty and I found myself unable to move. I sat behind the wheel gulping in the green, open space. I traced the horizon with my finger. I shaded my eyes from the setting sun.
When I was jolted back from my daydreaming by the toddler's complaints in the backseat, I headed home.
I told my husband about the enchanted fields I had found and explained that the property didn't have any woods. He was immediately hooked to my description and we found areal views of the property that we stared at for a long, long, long time, then he said, "We really are Plain's People". I know.