Friday, May 30, 2008

Break it down.....

Yo, sup.  

Er, ahem, sorry...too many teenagers around me.

Okay, so here's whassup around the farm.

1. We named the place Coal Creek Farm, cuz there's a creek behind us named Coal Creek.  I original.  But it was fitting and there ya go.

2. Ellen and all her classmates had a big gathering here last week and I think I may still be recovering.  It was loads of fun and the next day Ellen woke up with her face swollen from poison ivy.  She's on meds now and looks normal except for all the nasty bloody scratches on her arms and legs.  I know of at least one other child that had the same fate.  We really need to learn how to identify that stuff.

3. The pigs aka The Choir aka Tulip and Daisy are stinkin' fun...they do stink a wee-wee-wee bit, yeah.  But they reside behind the barn and we can't see or smell them from the house.  Good planning that was.

4. The chickens are eager to get outside.  The run still is not finished, maybe tomorrow.  Preacher played with one of the chickens a bit too much and well, the congregation has lost a member.  It was a sad day and the Preacher has gone before a committee to be reprimanded.  It was decided we will suspend his pulpit duties for awhile but he can continue visitations with the neighbors and the choir.

5. Have I ever told you our house was originally built for an African American Preacher?  Yup.  His congregation built it for him on 100 acres.  All the families share cropped out here for several generations.   The congregation decided it was safer to have the preacher live outside of town for fear he may be harmed living in town during the uprisings between Missouri and Kansas.  So in honor of the preacher, we have our dog named Preacher and now we have the congregation which looks much like 16, uh I mean, 15 (dumb Preacher) chickens, the choir of two lovely oinking pink ladies and let's not forget our nursery, newly stocked with 5 baby kitties and a committee of caretakers that mew and fret over them.

6. I'm reading a book about Doris Duke.  It's fascinating and a bit disgusting.  I'll post more on that later, maybe.  If you don't know who Doris was, and don't worry I thought she was a movie star, then let me tell you.  Doris Duke, not to be confused with Doris Day, was the heiress to her father's (James Buchanan Duke better known as Buck Duke) tobacco fortune.  She was known as the richest little girl in the world at one point.  Trinity University in Durham changed their name in honor of a $40 million donation in the lat 1920's by Buck Duke.  That would be Duke University, in case you didn't get that bit of info.  It's a great read and I wish my kids would leave me alone long enough so I could finish it.

7. My garden is doing well.  I just planted corn yesterday.  I'm giving myself until June 15th to get more corn and beans planted.  So far I've planted: corn, potatoes (two varieties), all sorts of lettuce, cucumbers, peas sugar and sweet, radishes, beets, carrots, summer squash (or squarsh as Mom calls it) and tomatoes....loads of tomatoes.  Oh, and I have a little volunteer pumpkin patch going back by the cow fence.  God willin' and the creek don't rise I think we'll have a nice harvest.

8. We were blessed with fruit trees and berry bushes on the property.  With the help of Mom and some friends I think we've identified most of them.  We have 1 cherry, 3 peach, maybe 5 pear and 5 apple and 2 remain to be determined, but Mom and a friend have both said they might be some sort of nut trees?????  We'll see.

9.  Two days until NO TV.  I have to say we've weaned ourselves quite a bit already with baseball and the great weather and all the work to be done outside there just isn't time enough to sit and watch.  

10. The porch is open again.  I'm sitting out here typing right now and it's glorious to have as a retreat from the house.  I'd share pictures with you, but I'm working on Clay's computer and well my camera is allllll the way in the house, so you'll just have to use your imagination.

11. We are trudging along in our attempt to become debt free.  Dave Ramsey remains our inspiration.  I'm carrying around little envelopes labeled: grocery, clothes, haircuts, etc. with our budgeted amount of cash in them to pay for everything.  You do not want to be the person in the check out line behind me when I'm searching for the correct amount of change in my envelopes, it's annoying.  Hopefully, I'll get quicker in the months to come.

12.  Okay, that's it.  Enough about me, how ya'll doin'?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Computer, Capri's and Countdown to No TV in June

My computer is broken.  So I have wait by the door from the time I wake up until Clay comes home ten hours later.  I now know what a dog goes through being left home alone with nothing to do but stare out the window for his master to return.  By the time Clay gets home I'm ready to pounce on him, rip his bag off his shoulder and get my fix from his computer.  I might even run a few circles around the kitchen island until he yells at me to, "Settle down!"  It's not pretty and neither are the Capri pants I'm wearing.  

For the past three days I've put on decent clothes in the morning only to change into my ugly Capri pants a couple hours later.  Why?  Because I keep thinking I'm going to paint my dining room.  Har har har har!  And so it goes.

Hey!  I did put some time into stapling chicken wire to the chicken run today.  I needed something to help me get through the day.

No TV month is just around the corner.  If I was a really "with it" blogger, I'd make one of those nifty buttons and have everyone stick it up their...uh, wait, I mean stick it on their blogs.  But, I'm not.  So, if you want to join us in turning off the boob-tube..why do people call it a boob-tube?  Just typing boob-tube makes me uncomfortable and blush a bit.  Moving on, if you want to join us then please do. 

Here's our rules.

1.  Turn off the TV
2. Don't turn on the TV
3. Unplug the TV
4. Don't use computer as if it is a TV
5. Don't repair Mom's computer, because she will huddle in the office with four children around her watching Youtube videos and try to rectify that it is educational.
6. Make appointment to repair Mom's computer on July 1st at 0900 hours. 
7. Don't let your children beg to go to a friends house just so they can watch TV.  
8. Computer games are considered TV. 
9. Slap yourself in the face and asks why you torture yourself like this every year to start off the summer?  Answer yourself by kicking your big flabby butt or punching your gelatinous gut.
10. Go outside.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Burrow, Barrow, Barrel

A couple days ago Clay and I were outside working on the chicken coop.  Uh, wait.  I mean, I was watching Clay working on the chicken coop, but I did have on a pair of gloves, so I was prepared to help at a moments notice.

Then this conversation started and we spent the next three days holding our sides trying to overcome the ache from our fit of hysterics.

Me- I'm so glad Dad gave us that old wool berer.

Clay- (turning to me with wide eyes and a stupid grin)  What was that you said?  Wool berrrrrr?  Did you mean wheel barrel?

Me- No!  And it's not a wool barrel.  It's a will burrow.

Clay- Wheel barrel.  Say, wheeeeeel.

Me- Will, wool, woooool.

Clay- No wheeeee, wheeeel.

Me- I'm not saying that and it's not a barrel.  It's a barrow, like the donkey.  You know a barrow.

Clay- I think you mean burrow.  And it's a wheel barrel.  Not wool berrer.  I'll chalk it up to growing up in western Kansas.

Me- Wheel.  See?  I can say it just fine.  I just happen to have an accent, a western Kansas accent.

Clay- Or a speech impediment.

Me- Well, at least I know it's NOT a wheeeeel barrel.  Dummy.

Clay- But, it's certainly NOT a wheel burrow either.

Me- I said barrow and I think that must have come from burrow.  Right?

Clay-  You may have come from a burrow.

Me- You're hilarious.

Clay- Wish you would have thought of that one first, huh?

Me- Maybe.

Clay- (shaking his head, laughing) Wool berrer.  Oh, April, that's a good one.

Then to prove who was right we spent a few minutes googling wheel barrow and wheel barrel and guess who was more correct, despite the speech impediment?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Slay Me

What I see are garden spikes. What my son sees is a pile of arsenal to be assembled and put to use in battle.

painting the freakin' dining room and trying to cope with boys

I painted some of the dining room last night...cue the Hallelujah Chorus.

I went to bed last night thinking I painted my dining room the color a first time mom would paint the nursery because she closed her eyes during those crucial moments in the sonogram. Ya know? In other words it was a bright sunny yellow and I was very uncertain about the whole thing.

This morning it's looking more golden in the sunlight. But still.

Now about those boys of mine. Lord help me. The youngest one should be thanking his lucky stars that he is still among the living. He is getting into EVERYTHING leaving a path of destruction in his wake. I can't let him out of my sight. Yesterday he decided he was hungry and got into the bagels and honey. Which sounds harmless right? Except he decided the prime spot to prepare the bagel with dripping glops of honey was on one of the new COUCH CUSHIONS!!!

Today, he broke a wooden rocking chair that his three siblings have used before him. Apparently, is wasn't built sturdy enough for the strength of Levi the Super Destructo Boy.

He's found a fascination in coloring on the walls and woodwork. Little tiny swirls here and there all over the house.

God? Hello? Help. Help me not throw this child out in the pig pen or better, lock him in the chicken coop. But I don't think my conscious could subject those poor animals to Levi's wrath.

The oldest boy mowed the grass too short yesterday, even though I tell him mow it high so you don't kill the grass. So there were heaping mounds of cuttings setting atop the grass which we made him rake up last night. It turned into a family affair with Clay and Seth raking and everyone else picking up the piles. At least I had a lot of grass clippings to mulch with. I don't think he'll make that mistake again. It's a big yard to rake and his arms were burnin'.

And then there's Ike. This boy is an emotional roller coaster. He weeps when he loses anything and he loses stuff every five minutes. He put a toy airplane on the hood of the van because obviously that's where you should put your toys and I'm sure you know where this is going. Yeah, the airplane is probably on the North side of town in a pot hole. Oh the tears, the shame, the despair. Lord have mercy.

And now summer is starting and I'll have all these boys here all day testing my patience. June begins NO TV MONTH which means I won't have the luxury of saying, "Go watch a movie" or "Go play the Wii" to assure they are sitting still and not destroying anything or losing anything.

Parenthood. It's a party of masochistic proportions.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tag Sale Finds

Pretty green garland-leafy-wreath thing....$4.00  
2 bouquets of fake berry-stick-leafy things $0.50, I know they're fake and I love real flowers, but I'm also cheap and I like nature- looking stuff and unless I'm growing the flowers,  I usually don't buy fresh flowers to keep in the house for everyday stop judging my fake flower purchases!  They are cute and pretty phlbbbbbt!

Iron candlestick holder $5.00

That's it.  That's all I bought.  I'm still trying not to spend money on needless things, but Clay and I did allow for some fun money this month, so I used a bit of mine at the estate sale, while Clay used a lot of his at the movie theatre.  And there you have the difference between me and him.

I'm going back to the estate sale today.  They mark everything down after 4:00.  Maybe I'll come back with some other great finds.....or not.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

laser paint eyeballs

If I had a super power; today it would be laser paint eyeballs.  

Then I could get my dining room painted.  Reload my eyeballs and I'd paint Ellen's furniture.  Reload, paint the boys' room.  Reload, paint the hall,, I dunno, sounds like a lot of work and what if I look like a demon spewing yellow gook out of my face?  Never mind.

Hey!  I went to an estate sale today.  I was totally expecting it to be some dead old ladies crap like most of the sales I go to.  But, NO!  It was in a MANSION by the GOLF COURSE in a section of town called THE MASTERS for crying out loud!  I had to make Levi hold my hand so I wouldn't lose him....that's how stinkin' big the house was.  There were two...TWO sets of stairs going down to the basement and two...TWO full kitchens.  Good gravy.  

Okay, but me, being a bit pessimistic, thinks that if your MANSION that's by the GOLF COURSE in a section of town called THE MASTERS is for sale and you are selling every single item you own in that house, well, me thinks that you maybe should not have been living in a MANSION by the GOLF COURSE in a section of town called THE MASTERS.  But, I could be wrong, maybe you just decided to become a minimalist.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

$29 Pig Pen

Remember when we had that big wind? You know, the giant gust, the microburst, the thing that Seth thought was a tornado and after it hit he rushed his baby brothers to the basement? And when I got home I saw our shed had exploded all over the cornfield, remember that?

Being the resourceful folks that we are, we decided to make a disaster into a, um, um, well, into a pig pen.
The shed had a trough that I think is an old tank of some sort cut in half, so we used that for the pig trough.

Here's some asparagus. We have a lot of asparagus. We did not use it to build the pig pen.

We also have four berry bushes, I think they're blackberry. I put cages that I found in the barn around them so we wouldn't mow over them.....again. We didn't use blackberry bushes to build the pig pen either.

We did use a lot of poles we found and lumber and sheet metal from the exploded shed.
Hey kid, did your mother cut your hair? Is that a homeschool do or what? Good thing you're so cute or people might make fun of ya.

Here's what's left of the shed after we, and by we I really mean Clay, because my contribution to building the pig pen was making suggestions like, "How about you take that pole and use it for one of the corners?" and "Look you don't need to buy hinges because there's a door with hinges behind the barn." and "You look very cute with your tool belt. Keep up with the good work, I'm going inside now." I was immensely helpful.

We still have plenty of lumber left to build something else, like an addition to the house. No? You don't see master bedroom suite laying right there on the ground? Try squinting a bit.

See the door with hinges? Isn't it cute? Well, as cute as an old barn door can be on a pig pen.

So, what cost $29 bucks? Well, amazingly we still didn't have enough of the correct size boards. See all the bright yellow boards? Those are new. $29 new.

The End(s)

Mother's Day

Guess what I got for Mother's Day?

First, my oldest son made me breakfast in bed. He makes great scrambled eggs. Since my baby was in bed with me at the time (3yo's are still considered babies, are too, are too, are too) he thought it was 3yo Day and ate most of my breakfast.

Then, just as I was snuggling back in to bed to sleep a bit more, my oldest son came running up the steps (with muddy shoes) yelling, "BABIES! Sophie is having babies!"

Here is Sophie, having babies on Mother's Day. I am the proud owner of three new barn kitties. Sophie's sister, Mia, acted as midwife and helped keep the kitties warm. Mia is due to have kittens any day now too. I'm sorry, but I think these are about the ugliest cats alive...sorry girls.

And then my family gave me flowers.

May I introduce to you Tulip and Daisy. Uh, excuse me, I was expecting the flowers that grow in the ground. Hello? Hello? Flowers? These look a bit like pigs to me. Hello? Anyone?
Two pigs and a Breakfast Hog.
Son, please don't fall in the pig pen. Son?
Tulip, Daisy and Levi, the three little pigs on our homestead.

Coming up next on April Showers: Preacher, the Congregation and the Choir. And how we built a chicken coop for $17 and a pig pen for $29. AND...what we names our homestead and why! It's all so darn fascinating, really I don't kid about farm stuff.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dear April

Dearest Darling April,

I want to approach you with a gentle tone, but let me tell you, it is difficult.

Let's talk about your garden.  Did you know that if you don't plant anything in your garden then the only thing you will be picking are weeds?  Yes, it's true.  So, why don't you get off your bodaciousness and get busy?  I don't want to hear the excuses; the rocks, the rain, the sore body from your recent gymnastics exhibition, the paralysis from the overwhelming size of the garden, the uncertainty that you are not planting in the right spot, the need to include all family members in your laborious chores of digging and planting and staring at the dirt and picking out rocks and staring and drooling and then going in the house to read another gardening book, the need to have your husband build more boxes..... do I need to keep going?  No?  You get my point.

So, what are you going to do?

Are you blogging?

Are you?

Get off the *#@!* computer and get busy!

Eating another pita pocket smothered in honey is not the answer.  

You've already had a cup of coffee.

You've already gone to the bathroom.

You don't need to clean the house, it will always be a mess.

Your hair looks fine.

Working in your garden will not make that zit worse, but it might help you stop picking it.

I can see you hiding.  Please go work in your garden.  You know you love it, you know you want to.  You'll feel better after it's done.  All your friends are doing it.  I'll give you a treat if you get those beds filled today.  

Atta girl, there ya go, baby steps, I know it hurts, I know.  Good  girl, go find your gloves.    Now, don't mind me I'm just going to lock the doors after your outside.  

Love and Kisses and Garden Bliss,

Your Psychotic Self

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Oh Mickey your so fine, your so fine you blow my mind. Hey Mickey!

Now, try to get that song out of your head. Not possible.

A long time ago, when I was newly married to the skinniest man on the face of the planet, I worked at an animal hospital.  Because I love animals and I fleetingly thought that I might should have been a veterinarian.  That thought lasted about five months, then I got pregnant.  As a pregnant woman I really didn't want to smell one more animal or their yeasty ears, puss filled abscesses, hot craps or the most gagging thing.....the Lysol that everyone sprayed to cover those smells.  Yeah.  Good times that first trimester at the animal hospital.

The hospital had a very nice boarding facility for cats and dogs. Occasionally, during holidays, we'd get calls to board a rabbit, ferret, snake or.. shudder.. Mickey.  Mickey was a hissing cockroach...shudder.

Mickey's owners would bring him in a plastic Rubbermaid bowl.  He sat at the bottom of the bowl with a damp cotton ball and one piece of dry dog food.  The staff would sit him on the lab counter so we wouldn't forget about him.  

Everyday one of the girls would have to take the lid off the bowl, dampen the cotton ball and replenish the one piece of dog food.  Even though Mickey gave me the creeps, he was incredibly low maintenance and people got a kick out of him.  

During one of Mickey's stays with us he stopped eating.  He just sat there, not moving and we got sort of concerned about him, I mean even though I didn't want Mickey anywhere near me, I didn't want to explain to the family that their bug had died on our watch.  To keep a closer eye on Mickey one of the vet techs places the bowl on the receptionist's counter for me to look after him.  Yeah for me.

Once I'd finished my work and all the exam rooms were filled with clients and their animals I took a minute to glance at Mickey.   I saw the cotton ball and the dog food, but no Mickey.  Oh dear.  My first thought was Mickey was probably crawling of my back or nestled in my hair.  My freak-out meter went through the roof.  Just thinking about it is creeping me out and suddenly the black keys of my computer seem oddly roach-like.....argh!

Okay, back to Mickey.  Nervously, I decided I better take the lid off the container to make sure he really wasn't in there disguised as a piece of dog food.  I slowly removed the lid and that's when I saw that Mickey had molted.  He had wedged his body up near the lid and now instead of being black he was a milky-larvae-white.  I couldn't take it.  I let out a scream, slammed down the lid and fled to the corner of the room.  I was certain a million milky white cockroaches were crawling up my pant leg.

My scream had alarmed everyone in the hospital.  The first to come to my aid was one of the vet techs followed by one of the doctors.  Seeing me fearfully plastered against the wall they were quick to think I must be in labor.  Reading their concern I began to feel a bit foolish and was pretty embarrassed to explain that Mickey had, had, well, turned white.  And that scared me.  Rolling there eyes and muttering under their breath they went back to work leaving Mickey and I alone.....shudder.

And that's all I have to say about that particular incident because now I'm going to be hyper-bug-aware the rest of the day.

Monday, May 05, 2008


I'm having a terrible time focusing on one task before I start another.  I get so distracted.  I went out to plant potatoes in my garden yesterday and I did, but it took me twice as long as it should have because I had to stare at the dirt, pull some weeds, daydream, think about rocks, watch a worm and drool before I could get the darn taters in the dirt.

I have seven posts that I have started and guess what?  I sat down and started to write this one instead of finishing them.

Seth has two chapters left in History, one chapter in Bible and instead of finishing with him....I'M BLOGGING!

Clay once had a co-worker from Spain that pronounced his long O's as Uh's.  So when he would ask everyone to FOCUS it came out as Fuh-cus.  Every time I use the word focus I think of him and laugh.  

We are getting our pigs this week, despite all your warnings, we are getting pigs.

The chickens have a new home and it is darling.  If I can fuh-cus long enough I might take pictures and show you.

The wine tasting party went really well.  I spent most of Saturday cooking and then cleaning and then eating the left overs.  And then feeling guilty about my dripping bodaciousness.

Two nights ago I had nightmares about tornadoes whizzing by our house as I stood in my living room watching out the window.  

Last night I had a nightmare about my sister singing really weird rock songs on television.  Oh wait, she sorta does that now.  Still, it was disturbing and her hair was bleached super blond which was bothering me more than the bad singing.

Thank you all for your concern over my beaten body.  My thumb tis numb.  I got numb-thumb.  I got me a dumb-numb-thumb.  I'm dumb.  I need to fuh-cus.  Okay, that's the last time I'll write that, but it is funny.  Is too.  Is too.  Is too... infinity times four!

Hey?  Look, there's a pile of laundry to fold.  Oh!  But over there are some  Shakespeare for kids books I want to read.  But, but, but, I can see my garden from the window, shouldn't I go out there and do something?  And what about calling the school with my new uniform idea?  Shouldn't I do that?  You know, I'm full of ideas and really, shouldn't everyone hear them?  And then shouldn't everyone implement them?  Yes, yes I think they should.  Hmmm, what's that shiny thing on the floor?  Maybe I'll stare at it for a few hours.  Yes, staring at the shiny thing is definitely priority number one.  Commence staring.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Battered and Bruised

How long has it been since I told you a story of how I hurt myself?  Was it the head banging in the basement?  Because I bonked my head down there once this week and the same day I whacked it on a low hanging door in our barn.  Anyway....

Last night I fell down our basement steps.  We were headed to the basement to escape the storm that was pounding our house and since we're still a bit shaken from the last wind storm we were all to eager to get to a safe spot.  

The fall was one of those drawn out moments that I knew I was falling and I was trying desperately to stop my body, but nothing could be done.  Oh, and I was holding Levi the entire time, so the movements of my body were orchestrated around not crushing my son or letting go of him.

At the end of the fall I was sprawled on a damp concrete floor face to face with a little frog.  Seriously, I was lifting my crippled hand and pointing to the frog for the kids to see.  And Levi?  He was standing on a pile of clothes completley unharmed.  

Today I look like I've been beaten.  I bruise so easily that it doesn't take much for me to look battered.  Here's a list of my injuries.

1. Thumb- black and blue
2. Shoulder- hickied
3. Thigh- grotesque color of green and purple
4. Top of foot- green and painful to wear flip-flops
5. Forearm- skinned
6. Palm of hand- impaled by concrete that is still embedded.
7. Wrist- scratched

I can't imagine the flailing and twisting of my limbs that occurred during the fall because my injuries don't make a lick of sense, especially the top of my shoulder and the top of my foot. 
The good news, my face and head are unharmed if you don't count the bruising from the prior head whackings.  The bad news, I am destined to break a hip....any day now.

I was telling one of my new friends about this fall and she asked if my kids were scared to see me get hurt.  I had to laugh and tell her they're used to it.

It's also brought to my attention how much I require the use of my thumb. 

Okay, carry on with your day and be careful out there,  this world is a dangerous place, believe me, I know.