Monday, June 30, 2008

Tell Simmer

Hey!  I'm famous.  

Marilyn over at Simmer Till Done let me do an interview.  

She is an amazingly talented woman.  I have no idea why she doesn't weigh 500 pounds.

Go leave her a few million comments on how pretty her house is and how delicious all her artistic endeavors in the kitchen are.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Stupid Does

Last night I said..

"You know he's the mouse in Ratatouille"

then my friend said...

"You mean the rat in Ratatouille"

A couple weeks ago I called a repair man to come fix my dishwasher and he said to me....

"Looks like you need to put some rinse aid in here and use better soap."

That little tid bit of info cost me $74.

This is why I'm here people, to make you feel better about yourselves.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Freaky White

Is it a wonder that people don't believe me when I tell them I don't bleach my hair?

Did I ever question why a slew of boys called me Albino then shortened it to Alby?

It was real. Every white hair of it.

My dad was the only one that said it wouldn't get darker because I was his little angel.

It did get darker.

People still ask me if I bleach my hair.

Nobody in my family had blond hair. Nobody.

Now, the outfits. Those were from our trip to Prince Edward Island. Our mom liked to have us dress up in costumes for photos. There are other photo sessions with Rechelle in a Dutch outfit and me having tea with a bunch of dolls. I remember feeling incredibly uncomfortable wearing that hat so I pushed it back as far as I could so it wouldn't mess up my Sally-do.

Before you go check out my fingernails and that turquoise ring. Classy.

And that's the end of today's humiliating history lesson. Thank you and goodnight.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

If I could go back....

Ever think about what you would do differently if you could go back to high school?  

Man, every time I visit Goodland I go back to my teenage days.  What would I change?

1.  I would never have hid a note in a certain gorgeous boy's locker telling him his girlfriend was a dip and then undeniably describing myself, but signing the note anonymously.  Lord, have mercy was I a retard.

2. I would not have stolen my parent's van on a muddy day to go pick up my friend Tina to cruise Maine Street and then get it stuck in the ditch and have to run home in my white penny loafers to call Tina and make up a whopper of a lie to her dad about why I was driving in the first place.   And could he please come try to pull me out?  Oh, I was in 8th grade when I did that and I'd been taking the van out for little test drives unbeknownst to anyone for about a month before I decided it was time to cruise with a friend.   Tina's dad couldn't get his truck down the road as far as I drove the van.  My punishment was to pay for the tow truck and clean all the mud out of the van (because I tried digging the darn thing out with my bare hands before I gave up.  I got mud all over the driver's side) and my dad threatened that I might not drive again until I was 21, which was like cutting off a limb to me.  

3. I would bolster my wit and courage, unfortunately that didn't happen until I was in college.  But, there are things I would love to have said to people if I'd only had the guts.  I don't mean being hateful I just mean standing up for what is right and justified and shutting down the loud obnoxious mouths.  Like the time I was in MacDonald's a couple years ago and this big-smoking-loud-tattoo laden woman was talking on her cell phone and cussing up a storm in the play area.  Not that being forced into a play area doesn't already make me a little on the edgy, but I looked at her and said, "Hey!  Do you mind?  There are kids in here that don't need to hear that kind of language!"  and she looked at me and said......oh, sorry.  I know!  I shut her up!  Ooooh, I feel a cheer comin' on...  THAT'S RIGHT UH-HUH SAY IT AGAIN, GHS!

Which brings me to my next regret..

4. I would not have been a cheerleader.  Good God!  Rechelle just went into cardiac arrest.  Seriously though, I look at my cheerleading pictures and think, what the hell April, what the hell?  Did I not realize I was six feet tall?  I should have played sports.  Do you know how many coaches and parents asked me why I wasn't out on the court?  They were embarrassed for me.  I guess I had something to prove.   And I can dance and I'm not afraid to dance in front of people, but I feel awkward and self conscious on a basketball court.  Well whatever,  now I have a daughter that can play any sport with grace and confidence and has stamina and will power, but she can't dance a lick, I mean she refuses to try and shake her hips.  It's unfortunate and admirable all at the same time.  I guess I'll live vicariously through her while I look out the corner of my eye and criticized the weak arm positions of the cheerleaders.

5. I would have studied.  I can't even say I would have studied harder, because I never studied for anything.  What a blow it was when I got to college.  I was so unprepared.  Listen to me kids, go for the gold while your young!  STUDY HARD!  Geesh, I wasted so much time.

and this is why....

6.  I would not have dated Tim, Tony, Chris, Pat, Rex, Brian or any other guy I may have dated in high school but can't remember.  Because I never acted like myself around any of them and they were all way too freakin' SHORT!  Sorry guys.  Errr, what a waste!  Why couldn't I have my 38 year old brain in place when I was 15?  Why?

7. I would have spent more quality time with my friends and my family.  I would love to go back and have one day a week with my grandparents.  They only lived 17 miles away and I would go months without talking to them.  That is a crime.  

You know what?  I think that's it.  I'd like to say I'd go back and change my hairstyle and make up choices but then I'd probably look even more like a freak, not that a teenager with the brain of a 38 year old wouldn't be freaky.  Oh, but wait.  When I got to college I stopped curling my hair and wore very little make up and one of my sister's good friends saw me on campus and said, "Hey, April.  Wow!  You are so much prettier than you were in high school.  You look better with no make up."  sigh.  

8. So, okay I'd go back and chuck the hot rollers and the Mary Kay eye shadow trio.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cruisin' Maine

When you live in a small town there's not much to do on a Friday night. Unless you have a car and a few friends. Then you can 'cruise Maine'. And yes I'm spelling it like the state of Maine not Main, that little fact confused the heck out of my city-boy husband.

So, let's hit the bricks! Let's cruise!

Goodland, Ks has a beautiful red brick Maine Street and some pretty nifty buildings. Check out the art deco. This is the telephone building...I think.
This is the old First National Bank building. When I was in high school it was The Family Bookstore. I worked at the bookstore and loved every minute of it. I got to do all the window displays which were primarily made up of Precious Moments figurines and these strange little gnome creatures that people loved to collect. The owner's of the store were two older women that I adored. Now the building has succumbed to the fate of the times and it stands empty with a for sale sign on the door.
This is the GAC, the Goodland Activities Center. It opened when I was in 8th grade. My parents refused to let me get a membership. I could only go play racquetball when I was invited by my boyfriend and then I was too embarrassed to really show my skilz because I might mess up my hair or start to sweat. Needless to say he didn't invite me more than a couple of times. So I broke up with him, hmph!

Workin' at the car wash, at the car wash, yeah!

Remember that little car cartoon? He would turn into a hot rod and save the day. What was it called? I know someone reading should know. This is no longer a car wash, but that painting has been up there for as long as I can remember.

Okay, this is the Administration Office for USD 352. Tell me that's not the cutest thing you ever did see? It sits on Maine Street across from Central School. Rechelle and I both felt that Central School was the coolest elementary school in town.....we didn't go to Central.

Good Lord. Daylight Donut. I only have two things to say about this place and only Goodlanders will understand what I'm talking about.
Daylight Dave
Donut Run
Well, okay, donut run is pretty obvious. But Daylight Dave? There was only one of him and I don't think I need to do much splainin' about DayLIGHT Dave.

The movie theatre. This little place is so cool. We used to go to the movies on Tuesday nights because they only charged 2 bucks. Two Buck Tuesdays. Cruisin' Maine and going to the movies was about the only thing to do....well....except....parking. Not that I would know anything about going parking, as far as my parents know, I am still a vestal virgin. My children are immaculate conceptions. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

This used to be Collage Limited. The creme de la creme of dress shops. My sister and I would press our faces against the windows and beg our mom to go in and try on every outfit in the store. One side was for women and one side was for kids. Collage Ltd. was the only place in town you could buy Estee Lauder make up. But the most fascinating thing in the store was the large bins of potpourri. They had potpourri made out of dried rosebuds that I considered the most beautiful concoction on earth.

That's it, that's all I've got from Maine St.

I'm off to church to repent of my parking violations...ha hahahahaha. Oh, I'm crackin' myself up, parking violations. Get it? Never mind.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Puppet Factory

Whenever I say, "The Puppet Factory" I sing it to the tune of The Adams Family. Try it.. The Puppet Factory...duh-duh-duh-duh..snap snap...duh-duh-duh-duh..snap snap..
On Tuesday I had to wait at The Puppet Factory for the Fed Ex man to arrive through that big metal door.
You would think that waiting for over two hours in a place surrounded by puppets would be amusing.
But, the longer I was there, the creepier the place seemed. I mean there are heads in plastic bags. It's like CSI Puppet Edition.
Look at the sign my mom has sitting close to her desk. She must light the candle and say a little prayer to Jim Henson when things start to get a little to wacko for her.
I waited and waited and waited. And the puppets they stared at me and I think some of them moved when I wasn't looking.
Check this guy out. Trying to look all innocent like he's not trying to come out of that box and strangle me.
Hey hombre, I see you trying to look all I didn't do it. Why are you looking at me? And shut your mouth!
The blond bodies. It was too late for these girlies. They'd been bagged and boxed. Sorry girls.
What the? Who wouldn't be creeped out by this? A purple body thrown on top of a heep of animals, that ain't right. This needs serious investigation.

And then this happened.

I gotta get outta here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gulick Park and Head in a Plastic Bag

This is Gulick Park in Goodland, KS. Nearly all of the big trees that covered the park when I was young died and were cut down. If you want to play on the new equipment in the blazing heat of summer remember to warn the kids to check the temperature of the slide before they scorch their legs sliding down it. Uh, do this before you're son screams his way down the slide in agony.

I remember riding this turtle and duck many a day. There used to be a hippopotamus that was my favorite, but I think the sproing was gone from his sproinger. Uh, don't let the kids ride these in the heat either or they will be permanently welded to the balding turtle.
I think I know why we were the only people at the park. It's um, well, uh, not very fun.

Stay tuned to find out why I'm showing you a picture of a blue guy's head in a bag.

Adventure of the Day: Goodland's Post Office

Here's Jack, Levi and Isaac in front of Goodland's Post Office. It was our riveting adventure for the day. Just to show my wild side I drove my dead grandfather's old Toyoter pickup truck. The boys thought it was very cool.

The post office was built in 1934.
It hasn't changed much.
Uh, in fact it hasn't changed at all.
There is a beautiful mural depicting um, buggy rides and kids and a scary old woman with a shawl.
The postmaster or maybe I should say postmistress, but that sounds a bit scandalous. Anyway, she went to high school with me and used to work for my dad. How weird is that?
And Clay? Honey, you should be very proud of me. I figured out how to load my pictures on Dad's computer all by my big self!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Blogcasting from Goodland, KS

I hate long road trips. Hate them.

Every summer I make a trip 'out west' to visit my family. However, this year, since we live in the same state the annual summer treck has been trimmed down 5 hours. That doesn't make me like it anymore. No.

This year I stopped by Rechelle's house to pick up her kids. Along with my dad we lugged 8 kids across the beautiful state of Kansas. So, that would be me with 5 kids, Dad with 3 kids and Rechelle with no kids. What? Let's do that math again, me 5 kids, Dad 3 kids, Rechelle NO KIDS. Uh? What's wrong with that calculation sister? (go get me a present NOW!)

Moving on.

We took the older 5 kids to camp with their grandma, my mom, aka The Puppet Lady. My children are learning the fine art of puppetry. I know, I know, you're jealous, but remember in our society there are always a select few that have advantages that others don't. My children will always be able to stick a foam bodied doll with large plastic eyeballs on their arm and be able to 'bring it to life'. While some people will fondly speak of their childhood ballet lessons and English horseback riding, rock climbing seminars, water polo matches and science camp my children will have to humble themselves when mentioning their summer creative arts camp where they were instructed in leather crafts, painted ceramics, stood under the town water tower to get wet and best of all...learned puppetry from their grandma.

After dropping the 5 at camp we traveled another hour to my parents home. Here I am with three little boys and my dad. Hopefully, I'll be able to post the finer points of this side of the state.

This being the town I was raised in and having a meager population of 4500, it's pretty easy to run into folks you know. I've been here less than a day and so far I've seen: my high school typing teacher, one of Rechelle's classmates and the man who painted our house. All that from going to the gas station and Wal-Mart.

Stay tuned. I'll take you on a tour of Goodland, KS this week and by the end you will all want to make this your next pleasure destination.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Confessions of a Debt Snowball Addict

Somewhere in my archives is a post about how much I hate those Crocks shoes and how I will never buy any for my kids because I think they are so hideous and I don't fall for fad crap very often and I probably mentioned how I am so much better than most of the human race too.

Confession-  I bought my two youngest cheap crock-a-crap shoe-like things at Wal-Fart and they think they are the best shoes ever.

Please, forgive me and then please, someone, anyone, put me out of my misery.  I've lost all sense of style and taste in my attempt to succeed at being THE CHEAPEST PERSON ON THE PLANET!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life on Coal Creek Farm with No TV!

Who misses TV?

"TV?  What's it taste like?"
"I'm just going over to Ramone's to check on his cable, uh, I meant cattle!"
Who needs TV?
"Seriously Mom, remember when we used to watch TV?  It seem like years ago.  I'm so bored."

Life is pretty sweet and quiet.

Photography graciously provided by my sweet friend at All Astonishment.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Little Stinky Monkey Heads



Saturday, June 07, 2008

Heed My Advice

Do not buy new shoes to wear to a dance.  

I am famous for this blunder.  And guess what?  I did it again today.  I bought a cute little pair of flats to wear to this event and I know by the end of the night my heels are going to look like raw hamburger.  I thought about the pain when I picked up the shoes, I thought about the blisters while I was paying for them and I'm thinking of how sore my feet will be walking into church tomorrow.  But it's all about how cute the shoes are.  Isn't it?  Because, if it's not, then I'm just an idiot.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Rumblin' Tumblin' Bumblin'

Thoughts in no particular order....

Our air conditioner is not working. This happens to us no matter what house we live in. It seems like a normal occurrence. I'm a bit toasty.

I've put wires on the old iron clothes line and I've been using it. It's delightful to see our clothes flapping in the wind and they dry so much faster than if I stick them in the dryer. But, I hate line dried towels. Too scratchy.

I'm the assistant teacher for one of the 4th grade classes at VBS this week. Our new church has the most organized, most incredible, most outreaching VBS I've ever seen in my life. I've stood around with my mouth agape in awe much of the week. The volunteers, the kids, the staff, the food, the songs, the decorations, the lessons are all amazing. But so far, my favorite moment was when little Mike in my class walked up and hugged me around the waist...because he's really little for a 4th grader, but so dang cute I want to eat him. My kids are having the best time. Ellen is helping with recreation and working with a crew to fix up a house for single women with mental disabilities. Today she came home covered in paint. Seth is helping with one of the 2nd grade classes and today I saw him dancing with one of the little guys in his class, That little guy beamed up at my big boy with admiration. We're pooped when we get home, so not much is getting done around Coal Creek Farm. Especially painting the #$! dining room!

My dad will be here tomorrow. He's preparing to do BAK, that would be Bike Across Kansas a 400 mile ride across Kansas. A couple weeks ago he did a 200 mile ride through the flint hills of Kansas. I can only hope I have as much determination when I'm 65, but I don't think it will be on the seat of a bicycle.

I need help from any gardeners reading. I think I have scale on my tomatoes and I have ants, which like scales. I need advice on how to get rid of the ants quickly. I put out a couple of bait traps and that is helping a bit, but I think my property is infested with ants. Please advise.

My daughter, you know the one I bragged about yesterday? Yeah, she's sighing heavily behind me to get off the computer. Because we are down to one computer and can only used it when Clay gets home it's a bit like waiting in line for the roller coaster.

Broken Things in My Life Right Now
1. The air conditioner
2. My computer
3. The weed wacker
4. Does the dining room wall count as broken? Yes, I think so.
5. The basketball goal.

Ah well. Life goes on and I need something to complain about, right?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Again, old post that I never finished that I'm now posting because I'm too lazy and brain dead to complete anything in my life.

My very darling daughter, Ellen, made this for me for my birthday. I think it's one of my favorite gifts of all time. I cried after reading it. I didn't post all the pages because she wrote a lovely poem and it was just for me, not the Internet. She also gave me some of her own money to do with whatever I wanted and would NOT let me give it back to her.

I'm telling you, I don't know where this child came from, she is so much sweeter than I ever was or will be.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Will I regret not finishing this post?

I wrote this entry back in April.  We are busy with VBS this week, so I'm looking at all the stuff I started writing and didn't finish.  You know how I love to start stuff and not finish?  Yeah, well now I'm just going to start pushing the publish button and not give a flip.  Okay, but really, how appropriate is it that I'm telling you about my involvement in VBS and then you read a post about my fantasy horse ride with Sam?  Hmm?  Oh, the life of a sinner.

I watched the movie Taps last night.  How did Tom Cruise become a mega star?  How?  I found him so incredibly irritating in that movie, every time he came on screen I would involuntarily start making my ewwww face.

We're watching movies from the library, you know, because they're free and I can't spend any money.

Last week I watched a western that came out in 1987.  The Quick and The Dead, starring Sam Elliot and Kate Capshaw.  

Um, Sam, he's like, um, ahem, did someone turn the heat up in here?  Anyway, Sam, Sam, Sam and his mustache and his voice.  His gravely cowboy voice.  Sam, take me with you on your horse please.

And if you are feeling sorry for Clay because Sam and I have rode off into the sunset on his horse, well don't, cuz Clay was left behind with Kate in the wagon.  Yeah, we live a life full of reality.