Sunday, April 27, 2008

I once had a dog that was emancipated.

Language.  It's something we all use.  Some of us use it better than others.  Some of us disregard well founded grammar rules.  Pronunciation and definitions are meaningless dribble.  Some of us are far to creative or, dare I say, lazy to use words properly.  Some of us like to make up our own vocabulary and expect everyone to comprehend our violent slaughter of the English language.   

I, myself suffer violent bouts of language slaughter, mostly after a visit with my beloved parents.  Usually, it's my mom that makes up words.  Like last week she told me that a lady in her church was at home suffering from 'epa-plasia'.  I hadn't heard of this 'epa-plasia', but I thought that the old lady must be on her death bed for sure.  Later, I figured out it was a young woman in her third tri-mester that had preeclampsia.  There is no way in hell Mom will ever be able to remember the word preeclampsia or be able to pronounce it, so from now on if a lady is suffering from the dreaded preeclamsia it will forever be known as epa-plasia.

A few weeks ago my dad and I were sitting in the parking lot of the local custard joint enjoying our frozen treats and watching a couple walking their Standard Poodle.  Dad and I admired the dog and reminisced about our own Standard Poodle, Thunder, that had been our family pet when I was growing up.  Then, it happened,  Dad innocently threw out this wing-dinger.....

"Yeah, poor Thunder, he sure did get emancipated in his old age."

What?  Thunder was emancipated?  From what?  "Dad?  I think you mean emaciated."  

"What?  Emanciated?"

"No, e-ma-ciated."

"Oh.  Well, I guess he was both."

Mom and Dad also say these words: End-dustry, Choir-practor, Eye-talion and my favorite Warshington.

Thanks Mom and Dad.  I needed something to write about today.  I love you best.

Your Favorite and Prettiest Daughter, 


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Peanut Butter and Asparagus and Wine

So, so, so, so, what have I got?  Hmmm, oh, I wanted to warn everyone that is allergic to peanuts not to touch my kitchen counter top lest you die.  Because my sons use peanut butter to polish the counter everyday and sometimes I just let it happen, yep I do.

We eat the natural peanut butter.  I buy Smuckers.  I love it.  My kids don't know  they don't love it....until last week, in desperation, I bought some cheap peanut butter from Aldi and I stuck my finger in it and then put that great big glop of sugary crap in my mouth and nearly was so sweet.  Also, my kids ate it so fast I didn't have to put the lid back on.  Now they want THAT peanut butter.  I told them NO, you will eat the oily gunk and like it.  And they do.

Our asparagus patch is up and running.  Dear God in Heaven THANK YOU!  I can pick a stalk and eat it raw in the garden it is amazing!  But, there's  a draw back, you know, the whole urine smell thing.  When I use the bathroom I have to  plug my nose, because if you think eating store bought asparagus makes your urine smell bad, well, let me tell you, eating it raw in the garden will make you wretch and fall off the pot and possibly die. 

Oh, I'm planning on serving my asparagus at a wine tasting party next weekend.  Those poor folks, there in for a dilly-whopper of a surprise. 

Now, how about you all leave me a comment and tell me what you would want to eat at a wine tasting party?  Because I have a few ideas but I keep having little panic attacks at 3:00 in the morning that I'm the only person that will like pears with Wensleydale cheese, asparagus with a drizzle of balsamic vingarette, bleu cheese buttons with tart cherries, herb rubbed flank steak on a Rosemary biscuit and what else?  Maybe that spicy shrimp that is so popular now?   Or how about P-Dubs goat cheese logs rolled in dill?  Yes?  No?  What have I gotten myself into?  Why did I say I would do this?  Do you think I could just bring one of those gigantic plastic trays from Sam's with all the veggies and fruit and toss in a few Ritz crackers?  Oh, wait, no, we don't have a Sam's here.  Help.   Please give me some ideas.  And if any of you say buffalo wings or fried cheese sticks or anything with ranch dressing  I'll send a leaking bag of my asparagus pee in the mail to you, for free!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Happiest Dog in the World

I've never known a dog like Preacher. He plays with everything. And I do mean everything! I'll look outside and he'll be coming out of the cornfield with a four foot cornstalk in his mouth. He'll drag that stalk around until he gets tired and then he'll jump up on the trampoline and do a few flips...not really, but he probably could.
He loves to play with the swing. He loves to play soccer. He loves to chase our neighbors cattle. He loves to slosh around in water. He loves life.
But, mostly he loves to torment the chickens and the barn cats. We are certain that there is a little bit of herding dog in Preacher. He keeps his flock of chickens in check and makes sure the barn cats are never where they shouldn't be, like outside the barn. Poor things haven't seen the light of day for months thanks to Preacher.
So far, the chickens are protected from our over zealous pup by our "Heitschmidtized" enclosure. Did you know all you need to build a mini chicken coop are two tires, some old wood, two doors and some chicken wire? It's true.
And it works perfectly fine. Preacher agrees.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cardboard and Carrots

You all haven't  asked how we're doing on spending this month.  I know you want to know how we can possibly survive the entire month without spending money on non-essential items. Well, you're in luck because I feel the need to share.  I know, I'm nice like that.

First I have to say that April is a bad month not to spend money because, ahem, it's my birthday.  Not just one day, but since I'm named after the month and all I think the whole month should be celebrated in my honor.  Unfortunately, I'm the only person that feels this way.

We did buy Seth two gifts.  A new baseball glove and a nifty fangle-dangle rifle thingy.  And he loved them.  We don't buy our kids new toys very often, mostly just for Christmas and birthdays.  And I hate having a bunch of toys around that my kids don't play with.  So....

I sold all the children's toys.  After they cried for ten days straight I threw a couple cardboard boxes to them and wah-la hours of fun.  I honestly don't know why we own any toys because boxes and sticks are their favorite thing to play with.  I was just kidding a little about selling all their toys...a little.
These magic boxes are from my favorite yet disgusting grocery store, Aldi.  Aldi and I have become best friends again.  We meet up at least twice a week and then I run home after our play date and wash my hands for 30 minutes.
And what was is that I made my family buy for my birthday?  Nothing.  I KNOW!!!  All I wanted was a homemade carrot cake with coconut icing.  One of my friend back in St. Louis (PRPC people know her, she wins the dessert contest nearly every year at the harvest party...tall, blond, not me, but tall.. wait.. not blond, brunette, I think, first name starts with a C, is that enough info?) anyhoo, she made this cake years ago when I went to her house and it took all my will power not to eat another piece or beg to take some home.  I've longed to taste that cake again for over four years and I needed to put an end to it.  So I made Clay find a recipe and he made it.  I had to show him where all the ingredients were and teach him how to use the food processor, other than that, he did great!  And then he spent the rest of the night cleaning the kitchen until I yelled at him to GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN! 
This is what the cake looked like the next day.  Um, I kind of had it for breakfast and maybe a tiny piece for lunch and then for a snack and maybe I snagged teensy bits every time I walked through the kitchen.
Gulp, belch, mmmmmm.  Delicious.  I think I'll ask for that cake next year too.  But I also want a porch swing!  I'm just sayin'.

Okay, did this post answer any questions of how we aren't spending?  No?  Well, we just aren't spending.  It's a powerful thing and so is that carrot cake.

The End.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Mighty Wind

Last week as I was driving home from Ellen's soccer practice I got a phone call from Seth.  Looking back it cracks me up how he started the conversation, "Mom!  I know you're not going to believe me, but a tornado just hit the house!"  I'm glad he's aware that his history of over exaggerating has numbed my reactions.

Since I was driving down our road and could see the roof of our house I said, "But, Seth I'm right here I can see the house, there is no tornado. "

He had taken his brothers to the basement where they were huddled in fear.  As I drove down our lane I started to see that something had hit our place with great force.  Our basketball goal was down, fascia was missing from the house and the shed....smashed.
The shed was all over the cornfield.  It looked like it had exploded. And the trees appeared to have puked all their extra limbs onto the ground.
What a mess.  Hey, did I tell you we have a pond?  Yea, Seth dug it last fall and Preacher digs in it everyday.  Now it's full of wood and concrete and debris, but that doesn't seem to keep Preacher from sloshing around in it.
The big bad wind peeled back a section of our barn roof.  My neighbor asked if we were going to call our insurance and at first I didn't think we would, but then my father told me to call because we probably had more damage than we thought.  So that's the insurance dude on the barn roof.
And this is the gaping hole in the roof.  One of my friends (who is one of those folks that feels sorry for us living out here on this old place) said, "What's your insurance going to do send you some scraps of metal and old wood?"  But, then I thought well, uh, yeah.  Aren't most barns made out of metal and wood?  And if it's destroyed it's a pretty big loss.   I mean my chickens don't have a home now, cuz it's laying out in the cornfield!  

The same friend also hates trees.  She was surprised that none of our big old trees didn't fall down and crush the house and maybe we should think about cutting them down.  sigh  

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Boy

What does your brother's head have to do with your birthday? For one, it's large, very large.
And you...well, you are getting large. Very large and very old. But, I'm still larger and older than you, so there.

This year your cake, it was SOME LARGE. Your architect father....had to measure it, because that's what he does when people ask how big something is? He grabs the tape measure and with a little hop in his step says, "Well let's see how big this ___ is." So, he measured your cake and then he compared it to what we set as the size standard in our house.

You and your brother's heads. Because it can't be called big, unless it's bigger than those noggins. Your's bigger than mine, yes it's true. And it's been bigger than mine since you were about three years old. How big are you going to get?!

You got the part of a hippopotamus in a play that was on your birthday. It was awesome. You thought it was terrible that you had to be in a play on your special day. I know this because you told me about three trillion times.
And even though you acted like you couldn't stand it, you were loving every minute of attention you were getting. Especially when the entire audience sang Happy Birthday to YOU!
You got a ginormous cake this year. First you wanted chocolate pie, then pudding, then cheesecake, then angel food cake, yes angel food cake was definitely what you wanted. For good measure I asked once more what kind of cake you wanted and you said, "Oh, I don't care, how about chocolate with strawberries on top dipped in chocolate or devil's food cake would be good or one of those ice cream cakes, but whatever I don't care." Right.
You are impossible. Impossibly dramatic. Impossibly funny. Impossibly in a world I can't fathom entering. You start every conversation with me like this, "Mom..." even though I'm sitting right next to you. I usually say, "I'm right here, I haven't moved since you asked me the last question, you know, the one that had nothing to do with what we are studying?". You have this uncanny ability to pay attention to what I'm saying and then ask me a stupid question about Harry Potter. If I ask what I just said you'll repeat what I said like you're a tape recorder. It's very annoying. We've had days that I had to tell you to stop quoting people/movies/books etc. and it's actually difficult for you.
You are not yet too cool to react to how much you love your birthday. You made me listen to the countdown to the day for, oh let's see, FOUR MONTHS! Yeah, and then you forgot my birthday, which is a mere four days after yours. Uh-huh. We were never so glad that your birthday was OVER. But, the excitement you put in it made all of us more excited than we ever should have been.
I tried to put as many flavors as possible in your cake. That way you didn't regret not choosing one over the other. Your welcome. I love you. Please stop growing up so stinkin' fast.

My Facts of Life

Fact- If you go to the store wearing those old jeans you've had for the last decade, have three festering  zits and choose to do nothing with your hair or make-up.... you will see at least a dozen people you know, half of which you can't remember their names but they will make it a point to yell your name across the store, even though you are certain that in your state of ugliness you are completely unrecognizable.

Fact- not one living person that is not related to you will come to your house when it is clean.

Fact- your kids will always take a crap right before a workman asks to use your restroom and you have no way of proving it wasn't you that made the stink.

Fact- The phone will always ring when you are in the bathroom and sometimes your kids will say, "She's going poop right now...."

Fact- The day you choose to stay in you PJ's until noon, someone will knock on the door.

Fact- The day you choose to sleep in, someone will knock on the door.

Fact- Your car will die in the most inconvenient places possible, like when you are first in the carpool lane.

Fact- When you are trying to make an impressive dinner for someone, it will taste like a salt lick.

Fact- But, if you don't give a rip about what you're serving, it will be the most awesome dinner ever and the people eating it are your kids.

Fact- That awesome dinner came out of a box.

Fact- Your underwear is showing.

Fact- Your zipper is undone.

Fact- Always assume the dog poop smell is coming from your shoe.

Fact- Your kid will cut  a minuscule hole in the curtains you spent four days making.

Fact- Taking a peaceful bath will not happen until your are, well, dead.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tis Was My Boithday

Yesterday, I, gulp, um, had my 38th birthday.  Funny thing is I've been telling people I'm 38 for the past year.  You see, the dealy-hoo is, Clay is six months older than me, but I always think we're the same age, so when he turns a year older...bam... so do I.  It's makes sense in my head.

Anyway, I thought it might be time for me to start making some sort of list.  I hate lists.  I make lists and then loose them.  Where's my list?  Usually my lists only have a few items on them, but if I loose the list I will forget those crucial items and that is why the dog is eating cat food.

So, okay here's a partial list I want to accomplish before the big FOUR OH my gosh I can't believe I'm going to be 40, hah, did you get that?  Four Oh my gosh?  Huh?  Anyway.....

1. Stop using the words So and Anyway to start and end every sentence that I write.

2. Remember that there is not a day that my boys DO NOT pee on the toilet seat and I must check it every single time.

3. Run a mini marathon.  Puhlease, the hilarity of this list is astonishing.

4. Read every single book of the Bible.  I never finish the Read Through the Bible in  a Year thing and I'd like to do that.

5. Buy my own potter's wheel.

6. Be completely debt free with 6 months living expenses saved.  I know, I know, you all are getting tired of my finance harping.

7. Take another ballroom dance class with Clay.

8. Finish the dining room walls.  Again, the hilarity.

9. Learn to can.  Can to learn.  Can-can can you do the can-can?

10. Take the Master Gardener's classes.

11. Become involved in some sort of community volunteer program.

12. Take my kids to the ocean where I'll be terrified and thankful I live in a landlocked area.

13.  Raise a couple pigs.  Mmmmm bacon. 
 "Did I just eat that or just spread it all over my face?"  
"Dear Bacon,  Thank You!  Sincerely, Water Chestnut III"

13. Start to care about football since I'll have a boy playing the game.  Sweet Jesus, help me.

14. Teach my boys the names of all bedding.  This is a flat sheet.  This is a fitted sheet.  This is a mattress cover.  This is the mattress.   Please only bring your SHEETS to the laundry.  Take your mattress back to your room.

15. Teach my boys how to make a bed properly.  This is a mattress, this is a fitted sheet....

16.  Have Rrrrrramone and Virginia over for dinner...become their favorite neighbors ever!

17. Okay, here it is, the one you've all been waiting for....loose 15-20 pounds.  Ugh.

18. Buy new bedding for the master bedroom.  The twin size quilt that Mam-ma made over the down comforter, not so much love for that look.  No.

19. Paint the kids' rooms.

20. Take down wallpaper in upstairs bathroom and

21. paint upstairs bathroom.  That is definitely worth two numbers.  Right?

22. Teach my daughter how to drive.  Lord God in Heaven please......

23. Get Ike in violin lessons.

24. Start a bee hive.

25. Overcome fear that I will die of bee stings.

26. Convince Clay that he wants to be completely in charge of the bee hive and that I should never go near it.

27. Teach my children that a closed door means you knock before entering.

28. Put locks on the bathroom doors..... for the sake of guests.

29. Put lock on bedroom door.....for God's sake.

30. Let the world know my linguistic skills and show how beautiful I am in the morning......

The End...for now.

The Meaning of

This is for Annie. She asked what Rock Chalk Jayhawk means. And I was well? There's the limestone and it's chalky and the bird and it rhymes and uhhh? So if you combine all these comments together, subtract the tiger stuff, and drink a few beers I think you'll have the answer.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

KU Alma Mater and Rock Chalk Chant

Rock IT!! Chalk It!! Jayhawk IT!!!!

KU BASKETBALL: PUMP IT (full length)

A lil somesin, somesin for all you KU fans.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Ramsey Review

I'm reading the Dave Ramsey book, The Total Money Makeover.  Here's my review thus far.  It's a 223 page book not including the financial forms in the back.  I skipped most of the first 5 chapters or 92 pages because they consist of a lot of cheerleading and basic knowledge.  I'm not saying that you wouldn't enjoy them or you shouldn't read them, but I didn't find them useful for myself.  Basically, he gets people to realize they have a problem if they are in debt of any sort, except your home.  Then he goes over a few "Money Myths" like; getting rich quickly by investing in stupid stocks and how bad of an idea whole life insurance is.  He also talks about bankruptcy and keeping up with the Joneses.  

I did read all the testimonies from families that are interspersed throughout the book.  They come from every walk of life and have a successful story to share.  Each story concludes with the families names, ages and occupations.  I was fascinated that many of the folks were one income families or blue collar and they still pulled themselves out of debt.

Dave's big sayings are repeated over and over in the book, "Live like no one else so you can live like no one else!"  and " Use gazelle intensity!"  He uses a lot of metaphors to explain simple solutions that I find irritating, but if you can't wrap your mind around a problem his story book simplicity will be helpful.  Especially, and he mentioned this, if you grew up in a family that never spoke of financial matters and then you went off to college to fill your head with all kinds of wonderful knowledge and then you were sent out into the world with a degree, but you never took a course about personal finance or had to learn to budget.  One of my roommates in college was this person.  She didn't know how to balance her check book or pay bills.  More than once the check she wrote to me for rent would bounce, yet her monthly income was more than mine!

So far I think Dave's book is helpful.  It's motivational.  He sets you on a path he calls baby steps.  The first baby step is to save $1000 for an emergency fund.  If you already have this or more saved then he suggested taking all your savings except for the $1000 and paying off debt.

Baby step 2 is the Debt Snowball.  Dave suggests lining up your debts smallest to largest (not by how much intrest is being charged) and then paying off the smallest first.  Pay the minimul on all the rest, apply all extra money to that smallest debt until it's paid.  Then take the amount you were paying on the smallest debt and apply it and any extra to the next smallest debt therefore, building your snowball.

Does any of this seem like, "Duh!" to you?  Good, then you're not one of the millions of Americans in debt.

I'm reading baby step 3 right now.  It's about finishing the emergency fund.  Building the initial $1000 up to a standard that would cover your expenses for three to six months, note I said expenses not income, there is a difference.  This is something Clay and I have never been able to obtain.  The second we have extra money we rush out and buy whatever it is we are longing to have.  We're not big spenders, but we are horrible savers.  We are going to rectify this with GAZELLE INTENSITY! (eye roll)  Seriously, this is one of our lofty goals. 

To sum up my review I think Dave Ramsey is a great kick in the pants for folks that are desperate, hanging by a thread, need some basic financial knowledge or need the type of motivation an excellent sales man can provide.  The thing is Dave isn't selling you anything that will hurt you.  You can check his book out at the library and skip the whole Financial Peace University thing or you can get the general idea and if you need the extra support then go find an FPU class and get started!

If you're still not motivated then rent the movie Maxed Out.  It will make you weep or wake you up. 

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Weekend Update with April Showers

Great googely moogely I'm tired.

Husband in Canada...

Birthday party

Soccer game

Son in Sherlock Holmes Play

Cast Party

Parents in town

Worked in the garden

Raked the yard


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hey kids, go hop in your side cars!

I'm thinking about trading in our van for a moped with two side cars.  Filling up the tank for the van is sucking my wallet dry!  DRY I say!

Anyway, I think a moped would be great fun, especially if I wore a bright red costume with a cape that could flap in the wind.  Let's go to town kids, hop in!

I also told Clay he needs to start driving a moped and because we are fluent in the ancient language Sound Effect, he said.....

meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (gear shift) meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (gear shift) meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee