Wednesday, October 31, 2007

These are the people in my neighborhood...

So far, there are some pretty fun people around these parts.  A couple deserve a mention.

My favorite is "Carpool Lady". She's awesome!  This woman picks up my kids from school and delivers them straight to my door even though it's three miles out of her way.  I've offered several times to pick up the kids at her house, but she just smiles and says, "It's no big deal!"   She's fed my husband and son when I had to go to Wichita for a volleyball game, she's delivered my son to a volleyball game that I was line judging and she's had my son over to play multiple times.  Instead of thinking that this woman has a very kind heart, I worry that I've given her the impression that I'm needy, scattered and incapable of juggling my children's activities, which I'm willing to continue that impression since it's obviously working in my favor.  She has earned an official spot on my Christmas list. 

Many of you have met Ramone.  He's still just as precious as the first day we met him.  I love talking to him over the fence.  He's invited Clay to hunt on his property with this warning, "You can shoot anyting you wan, but if you shoot wanna my cows, dat's when we part ways nkay?"  Many times when I'm talking to him he'll gaze off into the field and say in a quick whisper, "Look over der!  You see any deers?"  So far, I've never seen the deer that's caught his eye.  He's also a wealth of knowledge on my house. He knows when the fireplace was taken out, when the heat pump was put in and the names of several of the previous owners.  Me and Ramone, wees gonna be good neighbors for a long, long time or alees until he croaks. 

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Timline Diary

I heard on NPR today that a man had 91 boxes filled to the brim with his diary.  He died today, so his journal finally ended.  For the past twenty years he had been journaling about his life, his daily doings, minute by minute.  Why?  He said it was an obsession.  I would hate to write about what I do all day every day.  But, that's exactly what I'm about to do, just in memory of the old man that left behind 91 boxes of his daily doings.

8:30am- I laid in bed while two little boys bounced around my head pretending they were bombs or some sort of explosive devices.

8:32- I instructed one of the little boys to go get a hair brush and play with my hair thus avoiding getting up. 

8:34- Heard one of the little boys say he would "be right back", luckily when he returned, he announced, "Okay, I have the scissors, now let's cut your hair!"  

8:34.28-  Got out of bed quickly and I put away the nail scissors, two brushes, several hair clips and a mirror.

8:35- 12:00-  Ate, fed, washed, yelled, schooled, spanked, cleaned, wiped, yelled again, wiped again, swept, questioned, punished, questioned, accused, yelled, emailed, called.

12:05- Noticed Clay come in the door for lunch.  I took one look at him and said, "Why, are you wearing that!"  I was pointing disgustingly at the gray t-shirt he was wearing underneath his dress shirt that he had left unbuttoned for the whole world to see.
C- What, the t-shirt?
A- Yes, the t-shirt!
C- I didn't have a white one in my drawer.
A- Is it inside out too?
C- Yeah, it has a big tiger on the front and I didn't want it to show through.
A- So you thought it would be less noticeable if you wore it inside out?
C- Is it really that noticeable?
A- Uhhhhh....duh-her-der-hur-duh-huh.  I'll go get you a WHITE t-shirt.  Good grief!  Do I need to start getting up with you in the mornings to make sure you are dressed properly?
C- Ummm, yeah, that would be nice.
A- (Sigh)

12:15- 2:45- who the freak cares...I don't.

2:45-3:30-  I just know that I was in my van with a lot of kids.

3:30-5:10- Went to Old Navy with  Ike to buy him some decent, no, no, what I meant to say was I decided to set aside an hour to take Isaac aside from his siblings and torture him.  Then we went to Wal-Mart where Ike somehow managed to get his fingers stuck in the back of the automatic sliding door.  Does that make sense?  It's automatic.  He doesn't need to touch it!  His fingers are stuck, the door has shut and locked and I can't find my keys to rescue him.  I dig and dig and finally find them to unlock the door, the whole time I'm wondering how and, by God, WHY the heck he got his fingers in there!

5:10-10:30- Dinner, school meeting, coffee house, home.

10:30-  As Clay and I pull into the drive I ask if he has made an access under the porch for the termite guys to be able to crawl under the porch.

C- No, I was going to do it tonight.
A- Now?
C- Well, yeah.  The guys are coming in the morning, right?
A- Yes.....

10:35- I'm sitting at my desk wondering if I should write a little something...

C- Hey!  I need you to come out here and help me.
A- Wha...?
C- Yeah, I uh, well, I'm having trouble getting those boards off the porch, and um, well, I broke one.  
A- Were you trying to force it?
C- We don't really need to go over the details right now, just get out here and help me.

10:40- We pulled off a bottom board, but couldn't get the skirt off the porch.  We decide to move the stairs in the front of the house and cut the boards under the stairs so you can't see the hole.
C- Okay, stand back. 
A- Your going to kick them down?
C- Yeah.
A- But, then they'll be all broken.  Can't you cut them with your skill saw?
C- It's late, you know how loud the saw is?
A- Soooo-wah!  Who the hell is gonna hear?  Ramone and the cows?!
C-  Well, I don't want to wake him up.
A-  Oh, for crying out loud Ramone probably woke up ten minutes ago when we started arguing about this stupid porch, now GO GET YOUR DUMB SAW AND CUT THESE BOARDS!
C- Oh, April, your so fun.

10:45- Begin to blog about my day......

A- Hey, come you think this is funny?
C- Yes, it's funny, are you going to blog that you asked me that?
A- Uh, yeah, I guess so. haha

11:56- good freakin' night.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Int Ernet

This is the sign that caused me to nearly bust my doughy gut.  Listening to Clay read this sign made him sound like he was speaking some sort of tribal clicking language.  

This is the motel we got to stay in when we went to Scott City, KS for my grandfather's funeral.  I got to  sleep in the inquee nbeds, but I didn't bring my laptop so I wasn't able to try out their  freew ireless int ernet.  

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A dog named Preacher

Yesterday, I drove a pickup truck down a country road into a small town to pick up a Preacher and bring him to live at our house.

After a night of crying out to the Lord to deliver him from the evils of the basement, he awoke with a new outlook on life. He quickly ran from room to room sprinkling a golden dew on the floor of each room, christening it if you will, in the name of He, Himself and Him.

He then went outside and tried to rid our yard of all the evil stems coming out of the pumpkins.
He worked tirelessly damning the stems to hell.

It's exhausting extricating the demons from gourds.
He sang hymns with the choir.
It brought the congregation to their knees.
He counseled a stuffed Canadian goose.
He practiced with the dance praise team. Glory Hallelujah!
Then they went off to find a place of solitude to poop, uh, er, I mean pray.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Waiting for a picture of sanity.

Too busy to blog.  Okay, that's a big fat lie.  I'm stuck in a memory rut.  I've been trying to write a story about an "episode" that my friend Carmen and I call the "Where's My Grater" story.  My problem is when I start to relate the story and events that happened leading up to the "Where's My Grater"  it makes my family sound, well, a bit deranged to say the least and well, we were a bit deranged, but I don't want my words to make my family sound like they should have been locked up in a padded room somewhere, but we certainly could have used a little padded room time.  I'm not trying to say that we're normal now, but I think we are a little less crazy-spastic-furious-deranged out of our freakin' minds nutso now.  So, you see my dilemma?  No?  I'll keep working on the story, but for now I leave you with this;

We got a no no, I mean a poop, wait that's wrong too, I think it's potty, no, maybe it's puppy.  Yeah, that's it, sorry, I forgot what those little poop butt things were called, but I knew it sounded a lot like poopy, cuz that seems to be all he can do right now.  We're calling him Preacher.  Preacher the poopin' puppy.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kaw Valley Farm Tour 2007

Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam....

No, forget that. They kinda creep me out..but they're mighty tasty!
We recently went on the Kaw Valley Tour of Farms. We started at the Lone Star Lake Bison Ranch. They had bison meat for sale and they brought the herd into the pens so we could get all nice and cozy with them.  That big bull up there with the ginormous head scares the bejiggles out of me.
I would not want to meet this gal in a pasture, she's got horns, a woman with horns, that's not good.
I have one little boy that likes choo-twains.  These people love choo-twains so much, they made a house out of them.  What looks like the Sante Fe railroad running through an open pasture is actually somebodies home.
Behind the trains sits a depot.  This spot was across the road from the bison ranch and was not on the tour, but I sure wish I could see inside the place.
Here's their driveway.  Railroad crossing starts with an R, can you spell it without any R's?
After the bison ranch, we all suddenly died and went to heaven.  Did you know there are llamas in heaven?
I loved this guy.  We took a tractor ride through heaven.  Look at his shirt.....
So true.  How many times have I said that to my garden only to let the plant grow until I've decided it's a weed?
Heaven has a secret garden with a pond.
And a garden store with tons of goodies.
Oh, and a little wooden bridge that reminds me of Three Billy Goats Gruff.  Trip trap trip trap.
Did I mention the antique green house with iron works?   Check out the chandelier, every person should have one of those in their green house, don'tcha think?
This is the view looking up at the top of the green house, am I an artist or what?
Cockadoodledoo!  This rooster could kick some serious iron butt.
No.  I do not want a rusty metal bison statue in my garden, but thanks anyway.
I'll take one of these though.  Does the barn come in red?
It pumps out flowers....I told you it was heaven.
The third farm we visited raises turkeys.  Gobble-gobble-gobble.  They all gobbled every  single time we laughed.  We laughed a lot.  They gobbled a lot.  It took about ten minutes for it to get tiresome.  But we kept laughing and they kept gobbling even we moved on to viewing the rest of the farm.
They have a herd of elk.  This baby ate out of our hand and sucked on my finger.  I wanted to take him home and train him to do tricks.  He was so dang cute!
There were rabbits and white turkeys and puppies and chickens, but guess what animals my kids played with?  Yep, the cats.  Like we don't have enough of them at home!
We'll be back next year. Thanks Kaw Valley farms!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Baby Is Fwee!

Hey little tunkin', skunkey-monkey, doo-da-doo-da-doo, deeters, ba-ba-ba, lil' sonkin', how old are you?

I'n Fwee!

How old?


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Upstate Solves My Couch Problem

I want to thank all of you for your help and suggestions. Just when I was ready to give up all hope of ever sitting on a comfortable and pretty piece of furniture, I found the sofa of my deepest desires. It was indeed at Room and Board. I Love Upstate, you are now my official interior design go-to person. I....I....I love you!

Clay, who as you all probably know is very persnickety about anything design related, loves the sofa I found. He was so happy that he rendered our front room in Archicad to make certain the sofa would fit with the other pieces we want to put in there. Having an architect for a husband does have its perks, ya know?
Okay, so if you think you know me so well that you can go visit the sight and instantly pick out my sofa, then go try and come back and tell me. I'll let you know tomorrow. I know, dumb game, but I got nothin' else.

Hint- It's long....and you can lay on it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Sofa A Job

I'm shopping for a sofa or couch. Some days I say sofa, when I'm being proper and dignified, but mostly I say couch. I'm shopping online. It's painful. I mean I actually feel physical pain, in my back for sitting hunched over for so long, in my forehead for wrinkling my brow and scowling at all the hideous couches readily available and in my forearm for sitting posed with my mouse ready to click on the image of a couch because for some reason I think if I enlarge the pictures they will be less hideous, when in fact, they become quite gigantic and frightening and then I start trembling and get nervous and can't move the mouse quick enough to the little box with the X in the upper right hand corner.

I really want someone to come decorate the front room for me. Please. Right now I call it "the broken-hand-me-down-crap-we-couldn't-sell-storage room". Seriously, it's all shoved over to the side of the room being completely ignored. We walk through that room to get to the library and never pause to reflect how beautiful of a room it actually is, because it's being used for storage.

Okay, so back to the couch issue. I need a couch or two. I've thought about a sectional. I used to hate sectionals, but they have grown on me kind of like the realization that I actually have four children and we don't fit on one sofa, but a sectional, now we would fit on that. I just can't find THE SOFA or COUCH that says, "I belong in April's house". Probably because I'm holding myself to some very weird perimeters that are bogging my choices down.

Here's the big one; My kids go to a little private school. Each year every family is supposed to purchase a set amount of Easy Money. Easy Money is gift certificates to a whole host of different retailers that include, Gap, Old Navy, Home Depot, Zarco, etc...tons of restaurants, some big department stores, however not Wal-Mart or Target which kills me because I could make my quota in no time if those two were on the list. The retailers that are on the list give a percentage of anywhere from 3-15% of the purchase to the school. It's a very simple way for schools to raise money. Anyway, I thought it would be easy for me to make my quota if I used one of the retailers on the Easy Money list to purchase our furniture. But, it hasn't been so easy.

How can anyone buy a couch online? I personally need to sit on a couch, feel the fabric, and then lay down on it to decide if it's right for me. Because ultimately my couch will be the place I go to dramatically flop my body, throw my arm across my eyes and pretend I'm too exhausted to "deal" with anymore of anything and that everyone should just be quiet and get me a cup of coffee....and the remote....and a blanket....and a cookie.

I also don't want to spend a fortune because, as you know, I have four kids. They destroy everything I ever label as precious. If I buy a cheap piece of hideous crap, well then they won't come near it, but at least I won't be rending my garments, shaving my head and weeping on a pile of ashes if they should vomit, pee, poop, tear, spill, splatter, crap, barf, dribble, fart, slobber or wipe their green chunky snot on the cheap piece of hideous crap. But, this house deserves more than a piece of hideous crap. It really needs one pretty room that is comfortable, yet slightly child-destruction proof.

No, I do not want leather, I'm saving that for the library.
No, I don't want transitional.....I still don't know what that means, but I think it's weird and won't last long and sounds too much like transsexual, so no I don't want a transsexual, uh er I mean a transitional couch, but thanks anyway.
I don't want, funky, bun feet, suede, big floral, huge rolled arms, two seat cushions, sage, scatter back pillows, fringe, micro-fiber, studded or Queen Ann.

I do want; three seat cushions, simple lines, no skirt, lower arms, a basic color that would go with anything including when I change the room for holidays. It needs to be long enough for Clay to lie comfortably. The fabric needs to be indestructible and cleanable and comfortable.

Where is this couch? I don't know. Searching for it is my new part-time job and I would like to give my two weeks notice starting now. Thank you Internet for letting me browse your endless supply if gargantuan couches with colors named after coffee, chocolate and herbs. I think I might do better just using my front room to store the hideous crap that I already own.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This IS my happy face!

These are things I've actually said to my children.  My children are humans, just so you know, I sometimes have to remind myself.

1. Don't lick me.

2. Is that poop on the floor?

3. What's that smell, is it you or your brother?

4. Stop licking me.

5. You do not spit on the carpet!

6. Why does your room smell like barf?

7. Who cut the hole in the curtain?  Who?

8. I said STOP licking me!

9. Only one person can talk to me at a time?  NO, just one.  OKAY, EVERYONE HUSH!

10. PLEASE!  Stop licking me!

11. Where are your socks?  Where are your shoes?  Where is your backpack?  Where is your brain?  

12. If you don't find your shoes you can't come with me.  No, you may not wear your muddy rubber boots.  No, you may not wear your sister's shoes, or mine, or your dads.

13.  FINE!  Just get your boots and get in the van!

14.  If you lick me one more time I'm gonna....gonna...just please stop licking me, honey.

15. No, I'm not mad, this is just the way I look.  I am not making a mad face, this is just my normal face.  OKAY, NOW I'm mad!  Go AWAY!  AND STOP LICKING ME!!!

just a-swingun

It's not always the children screaming, "MY TURN!  MY TURN!"

Monday, October 08, 2007

I left my husband cont......

this is the rest of the story.....

Thoroughly humiliated yet safe within my house I began thinking about my poor lost and destroyed camera.  What dummy puts a camera on the roof of a vehicle? It brought back an old childhood memory (insert wavy, dream-like music). My mom was searching for her camera. She was ranting and raving about it being on the counter just moments before, 
"Where is it? Who took it? Girls!! Girls! Where's my camera?"
 She still had photos in it from our trip to Egypt and was eager to get them developed. Where was it?
 "Girls? Somebody moved it. Who moved the camera?"
My chore for that day was to take out all the garbage to the barrels that we used to burn our trash. Being a very obedient child, I took every trash bag I found out to the barrels where my father immediately set fire to the heap. 
"Girls it was right here on the counter in a black plastic bag. Who moved it?" 
Gulp. "Mom, did you say black plastic bag? Like a black trash bag plastic bag?" I was looking at my mom and she instantly knew what I had done. 
"Did you throw it away?" 
"Yes, I'm so sorry, Mom, I didn't know. I thought it was trash."  
Oh, the agony the utter despair. Mom was so disappointed, I felt so terrible.  I went to my peach and green floral room and flopped on my bed.  I cried and between sobs I prayed a very childish prayer, "God, please bring the camera back, let Mom find it somewhere, please don't let it be melting in the trash barrel....amen."  
A few moments later I head Mom squealing, "I found it, I found it!  The camera was right here!  April you can stop crying now because I FOUND THE CAMERA!"  
Well, of course she found it, that's what I prayed for.  I thanked God and went about my day.

Now, standing in my kitchen looking out at the van thinking of that moment so long ago I said the same prayer, "God, please let me find my cam.....what the heck is that?"  I squinted my eyes, there was something wedged in front of the luggage rack.  Is that, could it be?  Oh.  My. GOD!!!  That's my camera!!!!  Forgetting about my modesty issues just moments before I ran out to the van in my pajama pants, t-shirt, no shoes and no bra.  I stretched my arm across the roof of the van and rescued my camera.  "Hey, kids!  I found the camera!!"  
After spending an entire night and morning riding around on the top of the van it was cold but completely unharmed.  

So I hopped back in the I didn't.  No, I didn't get in the van and drive down the road to retrieve Clay.  I left him out there to walk and feel guilty, to suffer.   I went back in the house, ate breakfast, took a cup of coffee out to the porch and waited for him to appear walking down the lane.  
"I didn't find it." he said coming up to the porch.  
 I stood on the porch posed with the camera gently resting in the palm of my hand.  
 "On top of the van." I said with sarcastic smugness
 "You know," he stated matter of fact, "I wasn't so sad to loose the camera as I was to loose all those great photos I took of the corn harvest, but I didn't really want to go buy a new camera today either."   And I replied, "You're never allowed to touch my camera again, ever." 

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I left my husband

 on the side of the road.

Because when he asked me where my camera was I said, "I don't know, probably in one of the places I usually set it, the kitchen counter, by my computer, in my purse, but I don't remember setting it down."  Then he gave me one of my April lectures about remembering where I put stuff, taking care of my things and you should know that cameras don't just grow on trees, blah, blah, vlah, gaaah!  So then, in pure April fashion I think I asked him if he'd looked up certain personal body cavities to see if maybe I SHOVED the camera up there. 

Then I dug deep into my memory.  Where did I set it?  Where?  When did I have it last?  When?  A sweet realization unclouded my mind, I wasn't the last person to be in contact with my camera.  "Hey Hon, think you had it last when you were taking pictures of the combine."
The look on his face.  Guilty-Guilty-GUILTY!  "I left it on top of the van," he said sheepishly avoiding eye contact.  "WHAT?!!!  WHYEEEE?!"  "Seth asked me to go play catch with him and I set it up there to keep it off the ground, I was going to get it later."  I kept my mouth shut.  So tightly pursed were my lips, I didn't dare open my mouth lest the out pour of profane accusations would surely sear the inner lining of my mouth leaving me violently scarred and foaming for life. 

I replayed the events that had occurred the evening before.  While driving into town with  my daughter we had heard a thud that sounded like I had hit something on the road.  Looking desperately in my rear view mirror I couldn't explain the source.  "Mom! Did you hit something?"  "No, I don't think so, I can't see anything, maybe there's something in the back of the van moving around,"  and that's how I left it, no harm-no foul.  We went shopping, got a coffee and went to a movie.  Then we drove the three miles back home.

Clay and I got in the van.  He was peppering me with questions, "How far down the road were you when you heard the thud?  Was it on our road?  The main road?"  I answered him with my laser beam eyeballs carving BIG STUPID BUTTHEAD across his forehead.  How far down the road?  The road that is straight as an arrow with grass growing in both ditches and fields as far as the eye can see?  How far down the road?  Hell.  He cautiously reached for my rigid hand to gently pat it.  Like an untamed animal I jerked away and snarled my lip, a low growl emitting from my throat.  What good would looking for the camera do?  It was certainly a pile of black plastic pieces blowing across the prairie by now.  

There we were driving at a slant with one wheel in the ditch, our heads hanging out the windows like a couple of dogs out for a ride.  We found every man-made shiny object ever thrown out of a car window; cans, bottles, wrappers.  Each time we spotted something our hope would rise and then instantly be dashed with despair, no camera.  It took about two miles and three minutes for me to decide this was not fun and I needed to get back to the house to shop for a new camera, but instead I said, "I need to go home to get the biscuits out of the oven."  Clay offered to get out and walk back home so he could search further for the camera and I saw no need to argue with that plan.  What I wanted to do was dramatically spin the van around in several donuts while spewing gravel at my husbands head, but instead I drove off slowly pretending to look in the opposite ditch for the camera. 

When I got home I noticed that the farmer and his family were all congregated at the edge of the field preparing to resume the corn harvest.  Crap.  I was wearing my obnoxiously bright and very baggy pajama pants and ratty t-shirt, no bra, no shoes.  I could probably get to the house unnoticed if I just waited for them to get into their farm vehicles and start working.  And that plan would have worked splendidly if my 5yo wouldn't have poked his head out the door and started yelling,"MOM!  MOM!  MOM, where are you?!  The oven in buzzing!  MOM!  MOOOOOOOM?"  All my desperate hand waving and shushing from inside the van did no good.  When he saw me he made his way toward the van, opened the door and without turning down his volume said, "MOM!  THE OVEN IS BUZZING!"  Okay, okay, fine, what's wrong with a woman driving up to her house early in the morning, popping out of her vehicle  in her pajamas?  That's not strange, right?  I justified it all in my head.  They'll think I was sleep driving or maybe I just needed to, to, to.  Sigh.  Ah geez, it's weird, there was no getting around it.  I did my best to wedge my son between me and the view from the field, hopefully blocking the fact that I was shoeless and wearing pajama be continued.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Boys and Harvest

They were absolutely transfixed.

Children in the Corn

We were eating birthday cake out on the porch when what to our wondering eyes should we spy?

Goodness it took our breath away! All conversation halted.

It was a beastly sounding rumble and the machine demanded our full attention.
Clay grabbed the camera out of my hand and ran towards the action. He's never been so close to a harvest in progress.
He bobbed and weaved and ordered children into the shaved rows to take photos of this historic moment in his life.
We gazed in awe of the capability of that machine.
We took a family portrait.

Then Seth fell over while Ike stared dumbfounded, it was too much beastly machine to take for an eleven year old boy.

Surprise! Your gift is ringing!

The day before her birthday she proclaimed, "I really need a phone. " She had no idea that we had purchased new phones the day before. My response to her was, "You do not need a phone."

I love to surprise my kids.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Recap of a crazy woman's life...

Ellen is now 14!!! We took a four headed picture in front of this alley mural downtown. It's life imitating art, I know I'm brilliant.

I wish I had more time to post some good stories, but it's hard to type while I'm holding up the dining room wall with one hand. You see, last night as I was ripping down the wallpaper I discovered a pretty major termite infestation. Now I'm certain I have little crawly termites all over my body and especially in my bed, but I'm not paranoid, honestly I'm calm and rational and I'm surrounded by small slimy creatures, they're all over me and my house!!!! What's that? Did you see that? Is that a bug? ARHGGGG!

And to give you a little background about where my craziness originates, check this out. Some of you know a weee bit about this sordid detail of my past, but you never had any actual proof. Well, this should spell it out nicely.

ps. I'll understand if you can never look at me the same again.