Thursday, July 31, 2008

Father Pop the Priest

Clay's dad came for a visit this week. I was hoping to get a few good pictures of him with the kids. Yeah, the kids, they are not making that easy.

He's a priest. Could someone tell my oldest son to stop hamming around? Geesh!
He almost never takes his collar off. He wore it with bluejeans and sandals to the bowling alley and then to Steak N Shake with all four of his grand kids. Ike? Uh, how about combing your hair and waking up a bit? And Ellen? Are those your pajama pants? Crimenetly, who is the mother of these kids? Uh.....oh, never mind.
My kids call him Pop. He's Father Pop. Seth and Ellen! Quit! I'm trying to take a good picture! Ike, Levi! Look at the garsh darn camera!
I'm constantly forgetting he's a priest and never notice the collar until he takes it off or leaves it at my house and when I find it I don't know what in tarnation the weird white plastic thing on the bookshelf is so I throw it in the trash. Then he calls me wondering where he left his collars and I find myself blurting out, "Oh my gosh! That's what those things were! Aren't they disposable?" Uh, no they aren't. Ooops.
Here's the Priest and the Preacher. Why does Preacher look so miserable? Poor guy I think he's afraid he might get converted.

FYI, I thought you all should know I have the word WORM written on my hand in ink so I won't forget to deworm my cats tomorrow. Classy, I know.

Also, for those of you who were curious about the Christmas letter, you can read it here. Merry Christmas, a little late or early.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

P-Dub Love

Dear Pioneer Woman,

Today I'd like to dedicate my blog entry to you and all your lovely fans that have sifted their way over here from your sight, to Rechelle's sight and then quite amazingly, to my humble abode.  I am seriously gobsmacked.  

You know how you call yourself P-Dub? Well, I think from now on I'll shorten April Showers to A-Yus. Only thing is, that my little nickname sounds a bit like a proper southern lady yelling at her husband after he's traipsed mud on her beautiful Oriental rug.  But, that's okay.  Because...because....Oh...I want to be just like you when I grow up!  I do!   So, A-Yus it is.

Now, I took some photos the other day that I thought you could relate to.  You see I have a very special relationship with the bovine creatures in my backyard.  I know, so do you!  See?  Seriously, we could be BFF's now and forever!  P-Dub and A-Yus BFF!!

Okay, so here's what I did.  I used my cow whisperin' skilz and asked the ladies if they could express some love for you.  Remember P-Dub, these girls are what we live for.  They are the reason we get out of bed in the morning.  You get up just a wee bit earlier than me, but still, I gotta see me some cows everyday or I just don't feel right.

First, I had the girls gather in a circle and say a prayer for your safe return to the ranch.  I mean goodness, what would we do without you?  And who else would show us those yummy pictures of cowboys in chaps?   ....wait!   I meant yummy pictures of FOOD, yeah, that's what I meant, yummy FOOD.  Amen.

Next, this little gal meekly walked through the crowd to speak to me.  Her Mooma taught her to control her emotions and never ever loose control of herself in public.  Let's face it, she was homeschooled.  But, she just couldn't resist sending you a teeny tiny black tongue kiss.  Next to Oprah, YOU are her favorite celebrity.  Shhh, don't tell.   If you do, she'll have to go back to wearing her denim jumper to the swimmin' hole.

Ah, yes.  Then the redhead came up.  She laughed really loud, said something about her makeup, the heat and how much she sweats, needing to renovate the pasture, wanting black high heels, feeling that she would be better off in California if only she would have stayed with the crazy bull she had dated back in college...blah, blah, blah.  I tell ya Ree, oops, I mean P-Dub, I didn't think she was ever gonna shut-up.  Then she complained about the food and wouldn't it be nice to have raw fish once in awhile?  She said you'd understand.  Whew, I hope so, cuz I was about to poke her in that big eyeball! 

This chick came over and sang a few Ethel Merman songs just for you.  It was fabulous!  But, then she came closer to the camera and blew out a mind numbing belch the likes I've never heard.  Oh, I'm sorry Re...P-Dub, it's hard to get quality bovines these days.

And that leaves me to close this post.  P-Dub, I am gobsmacked.  Seriously.  I have lost my chin over the number of folks that have dribbled over here because of you.  It's a shame that I'll live the remainder of my life with my chin stuck to the back of my throat, but it's a burden I'm willing to carry.

This is, what it feels like to be gobsmacked.

Love and Slobbery Kisses,


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Parents in a NUTSHELL!

Oh, no. What have I done?

I was trying to find a photo of me that would describe to you all how humbled I am that so many of you have wandered over here to say a few words to me. But, then.....well, I got sidetracked. Kinda like when you start cleaning out your storage room and you start finding all kinds of wonderful treasures that you forgot you had.

I found these two videos of Mom and Dad. They're reading my Christmas letter. Their reaction is a perfect, spot-on description of their personalities.

Guess who I take after?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Teeny Tiny Eggs

*Update on Miss Pastey Hiney* 

I know you all have been praying and loosing sleep over our Buff Orpington with the prolapsed pooper shooter. I think you should know that I stuck my fingers up that chicken THREE times before she got better. The third day she prolapsed I decided I had to take a different approach than the honey on the hiney. I used sugar instead of honey, genius I know. I also slathered her with vegetable oil and poured oil and 1/8th of an Ibuprofen in her food. I guess you could say she had her oil changed and a lube job to boot. Today when I checked on her she had laid TWO eggs and had managed to keep her crapolotic inside her poopmoreola. So there ya go, I can heal a chicken. Rechelle and I have discussed renaming my blog to "One Sick Chicken", but that doesn't apply anymore, so there.

This is our first dozen eggs.  They are very cute and tiny.
See?  I can fit all of them in one hand.  Uh, do I need to mention that I do sorta have large-ish hands, but still.
I also dropped one on the wood floor right after I took this photo.  You know what?  It didn't break!!!  That my friend is the sign of a good egg, it should have a nice hard shell.  I ate a big bowl of scrambled eggs this morning.  My daughter ate some too and after a couple bites she said, "Mom, you want these?"
No. Aren't you hungry?
"Yeah, I'm hungry, but scrambled eggs give me a headache."  
What?  Do fried eggs give you headache?
"Nope, just scrambled."

Is it me or is my daughter a bit weird?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Neighborhood Competition

Ramone and Virginia are my neighbors. Ramone just celebrated his 88th birthday and Virginia is a young and vibrant 86 year old. Virginia amazes me. She gets up every morning and takes a walk with my dog, Preacher. Then she hangs her laundry out on the line. 

Since seeing her laundry swaying in the morning breeze it has been my soul's desire to get my laundry out before her. I don't know why, I just wanted to beat that old gal to the clothes line!
But, dang!  She gets up so stinkin' early and I uh, well, um, I don't.  But, a few mornings ago, I couldn't sleep and got tired of fighting the covers so I drug my bodaciousness out of bed and hung out the laundry.  When I looked over at Virginia's line it was empty.  YES!  Finally, I beat her.
When she did come out this is what she put out on the line.  Four things.  Which probably meant she didn't have any other laundry.  And I was just getting started.  An hour later she came out took down her meager load and I was left standing with another ginormous basket of wet clothes to hang out.  Load after load all day long.  My enthusiasm for defeating her dissipated quickly.
You know what else Virginia has?  A propane tank.  Not just a propane tank, but a propane tank painted like a cow.  And she has an old fashioned water pump there in the background.  She fills her bird bath with it.  How stinkin' cute is that?!
And this.  The kissing tractors.  I want kissing tractors!  Why don't I have kissing tractors?  Shouldn't every homestead have these love birds sitting out in a field?  Yes, I think so.  At least I get to look at them through my dining room window.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Just call me the chicken doctor.

Guess what I had to do again tonight? I'll give you a hint. Spoink.

This time I got it all on film.  I know!  How lucky are all of you?!

This is Clay saying, "Are you seriously going to take pictures of this?"  Yeah.  Isn't his haircut cute?  He has an awesome stylist.  She lets him sit outside and get bombed by mosquitoes while she hacks away at his sweaty head.  He never leaves her a tip or for that matter pays her!  Humph!
Here's our poor little gal with the prolapsed pooper shooter.  She layed an egg today so I'm hoping that the egg was her problem.
My assistant does not have a very good attitude.  It's so hard to find good help these days.
My diagnosis; Pastey Hiney.  Dear me, that is just not pretty.  Mr. Assistant, please take Miss Pastey Hiney to examination room 1.  I need to go get my surgical tools.
Uh, could someone please get the water logged DOG out of the examination room!  This is a sterile environment!  I don't need my patient getting upset!  Geesh!  Who is in charge of security around here?  Wha?!  THE DOG!  Oh, Moses smell the roses!  What has the medical world come to?  And the fly?  The fly on Mr. Assistant's arm?  Please.  People, is this a medical facility or a barnyard?  Huh?  What's that?  It's a barnyard?  Oh.  Then we're good.  Carry on.
Okay, Miss Pastey Hiney, let's take a look.  Mmm Hmm, just as I suspected.  Yes, your crapolotic has fallen out of your poopmoreola.  I'll get you fixed up in a jiffy.
I'm just going to clean you up.  You should just feel a little pressure and maybe a small pinch.  Isn't that what they all say instead of this is gonna hurt like hell?  
Now, I'm preparing the special ointment that was made by millions of tiny buzzing pharmacists.  
Just a dab'll do ya.
And now..... Spoink.  

Okay, I want you to stay quiet for a couple more days and you should work on preening your feathers a bit hon, you're looking a bit shabby and I don't mean shabby chic dahling.  And try to keep your pooper shooter inside your body, I don't want to see you back here tomorrow.

Goodness, this doctoring business really works up an appetite.  Now who wants chicken for dinner?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shucka Corn

Every single time I shuck corn I am reminded of that song I Feel For You.

Shucka Corn, Shucka Corn, Shucka Corn let me rock you let me rock you Shucka Corn....

If you don't know what I'm talking about then please get off the internet and go ask your parents. And if I hear, "Um, yeah, April, it's Chaka Khan" I am going to roll my eyes back into my brain and then email you some of my sarcasm, wit and ability to recreate the words of any 80's rock song to fit the mood of the moment. It's a gift.

Anyway. I mowed down my pathetic corn. I couldn't stand the sight of it anymore. It was disgusting me. The sight of it was a constant reminder that I have a garden full of rocks. It had to go.  I failed.

As I was mowing it down Clay yelled at me, "Don't you think that's being a bit rash?! I mean look at that one stalk. It was doing really well!"

Then I mowed over him. Now my garden looks great.

Admitting to my failure I went down the road and picked sweet corn at a U-Pick farm.  
Shucka Corn, Shucka Corn
Shucka Corn let me boil you, let me boil you Shucka Corn
Oh, and one more thing about corn........

Hey!  Ramone!  Hey, Ramone!!!!  Look at my cucumber!!  It's bigger than the corn!  Have you seen my cucumbers?!  Huh?  Huh?  My cucumber can kick your corn's kerneled butt!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bonks and Beets

I like to mow. I do. I like to ride around on the mower pretending I'm on a big tractor putting up hay. Farmer April, that's me. 

Problem is, most farmers don't have apple trees in the middle of their fields. I forgot about the trees and my big floppy hat hid the giant limbs from my view.

So I ran smack into a limb and then found myself wedged between an apple branch and my riding lawn mower.  I thought someone had hit me with a baseball bat.  What's a farmer to do?

I whimpered.  Owwww, owwww, owwww, owww, oh oww.  And then I pleaded for help, Clay?  Clay?  Cuhlay?  And then I just decided, what the hell, I'm gonna cry.  Boo hoo hooo hooooo. Booo hoo hoo oh owww boo hoo.  Nobody came to my rescue.  Nobody.  I had to perform a very difficult yoga move to get off the mower and out from under the branch and then walk to the house hoping my neck hadn't been broken or my head cracked in two.  

By the time I got to the house I decided I was going to live and my head started to numb.  

The next day I had one heck of a sore head and I needed to treat myself to something nice.

Beets are nice.  I love beets.  Especially from my garden.  Yes, I want beets.  Beets will make me feel better about my daydreaming tractor accident.

Do you want to come along and join the beet salad pity party?  Yes?  Okay then.

First get out one plate.  Remember this is just for you.  Nobody helped rescue you, nobody deserves a treat except you.

Next, pile up some fresh greens and cucumbers from your garden on that single plate.

This is a bowl of fragrant rice.  It's been cooked with fresh Rosemary from your garden, it smells divine, but it looks like maggots.  Try not to think about maggots.
Pile maggots on top of greens.
Now this, this is the ticket to your happiness.  This is a bowl of beets marinated in sweet onions and olive oil, honey, red wine vinegar and salt.  You want to inject this into your veins or bathe in it or take it to bed and snuggle with it until your head stops hurting, but then you remember you don't like to feel oily.
Put the lovely marinated beets on top of the maggots and greens.  Mmmm, isn't that pretty?
Now, show the world your boo-boo and your greasy hair and the zit beside your nose.  Yes, you deserve this salad.  It is the healing balm for all your problems.....except the greasy hair, please go take a shower woman.
Oh, sweet delight.  Nectar for your soul.  Lifter of good.
Yes, you are happy, blissful, all the pain has dissipated.  You are free and floating in the Sea of Marinated Beets.
Slurp, slurp, slurp.  Life can proceed now.

The Dining Room, it's like buttah

One upon a time there was a dining room with lots and lots and gobs and hideous gobs of wallpaper.

Then I bought that house and ripped off that wallpaper. Which was a good thing because.....
Behind one of the walls were millions and trillions of termites feasting and gorging and having themselves a Par-TAY! But...

It took me nine months to fix that stinking, stupid, dumb, flippin' WALL!

Oh, but it's done now. And it is so lovely. I think I could be a Master Plasterererer. Only folks might be a bit disappointed in my uh, slowness to complete a job.

Awwww, it is done.
Now, which room should I tear into next? How about the bathroom upstairs?
It has wallpaper. So, if I start now, I should be blogging about getting it done about this time next year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Squeezing Cherries

Today as I was admiring my flock of chickens I noticed one of the girls had a bit of a pasty hiney.

Oh boy I thought, I gotta look at that poor chicken's butt. So I caught her and carried her to the garden to have a look.
Her little bottom was covered with chicken sh*! and there's more. Lots more.
Her insides were NOT on the inside. They were dripping out of her poopy hole. Yes, they were.
Cripes. I didn't know what to do for her. Call a vet? Have chicken for dinner? It was a bit much. So I put her back in the coop and went inside to look in my chicken book for an answer.
But, my book didn't say anything about a chicken with it's guts hanging out of its pooper shooter. So, I waited until Clay came home so I could any good chicken owner would do.
Within minutes, I discover my little Buff Orpington had a prolapsed colon and the quick fix was to put some honey on the spot and shove it back inside. So, I went back out to the coop and with the assistance of Clay I cleaned her up with some warm water, slathered honey on her protruding colon and spoinked it back in where it belongs. I was wearing rubber gloves, if that helps your mental picture. I put her in isolation and hopefully she will be okay.
Now, who wants some cherry pie? Huh? Anyone? No? Not hungry? Okay, more for me.

BTW, that cookbook is one of my favorites and that pie was amazing!