Back in the day, we would ride around shooting varmints and chasing coyotes and such. Really, there’s not much else available for entertainment. Our mode of transportation on these outings was usually the four-wheelers. Every now and then when we were out riding around, Jeff would try to pick off a starling from the trees at the edge of the pond. (Starlings are common black birds in Colorado) These starlings were pretty quick, and it became something of a challenge to try and get one. There was a slope leading up to the edge of the pond where we would creep up on them. As usual, when we crept up the hill and came over the edge they immediately took flight. Jeff stood up, raised his gun and fired. A bird fell from the sky…finally…he had hit what he was aiming for. The bird fell…into the middle of the pond. We were peering out at it and realized that although it was flying with the starlings, it wasn’t one of them. We immediately started to worry, as the property backing up to the farm was classified as an endangered bird refuge. We also worried due to the previous bullfrog incident. We knew we had to get the bird out of the pond. The only problem was that it was too cold to swim out. The wind wasn’t blowing strong enough to bring it to shore. We were going to have to take matters into our own hands. After looking around, we found that the lariat used in the tragic frozen steer incident was still lying on the ground. We took that and tried to throw the loop close enough to the bird to nudge it to shore. When that didn’t work, we slipped a branch through the end and threw that out there. We somehow managed to wrangle said bird to the shore where we examined it. It was definitely not your average bird. It was beautiful, with dark blue feathers and black and lime green webbed feet. Needless to say, we felt very bad. But we also knew the three S’s important to rural life: Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up. For some odd reason, we disregarded the shovel part and took it over to Jeff’s uncle’s house instead. They weren’t home and we left it for his cats. Before you decide that we are too cruel and heartless, remember that cats naturally eat birds. We felt really bad for mistakenly shooting it but figured that it might as well not go to waste. The next day Jeff’s Aunt told me that the cats had killed a woodpecker and dragged it home. I don’t remember if we ever told them what really happened. I do know that we quit shooting at starlings after that.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Here are a few pictures from our big day. Check out the bangs. What was I thinking????? Also note the lush locks upon Jeff's head. And my cutie little nephew, who's not so little anymore and would be embarrassed if he knew I was posting this picture, but he's so darn cute!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Somewhere back in the day, Jeff started getting me chapstick for my stocking. What began as a simple stocking stuffer has involved into a much anticipated tradition for me. It started simply enough. Jeff got me a tube of regular chapstick. Somewhere along the way, the chapstick tradition has evolved into a quest for the most interesting varieties. Each year, I never know what kind he will find for me. One year, Jeff bought me the B*nnie Bell variety pack. It had flavors like Marshmallow and Bubble Gum. I threw a tube in my purse and put it on at work. One of the guys asked me what in the world I had on my lips. Turns out that the marshmallow stuff was actually tinted white. Oops! After that, the flavors got even more exotic: Dr. P*pper, H0t Tamale, Green Apple (the best), watermelon, Re*ses Peanut Butter and more. This year, Jeff outdid himself. He found Pink Lemonade, watermelon with sparkles, Lavendar, Green Tea, Ylang-Ylang, and clear gloss with star shaped glitter. Oh, and flavored C@rmex. I should open a chapstick hall 'o fame. At least I know I will not run out before next year, and if Tina Turner ever goes on tour again, I can slap on some of my star-glittered gloss and go to her concert!
The Nasty Nasal Irrigation Device
How can I forget this? As usual, Mom wrapped our gifts ever so nicely in our own coordinating wrapping paper and tied them into big piles with beautiful bows. They just all looked so nice and inviting! As I opened one of the gifts, I got kind of excited because it appeared that it was something from a pottery shop. I couldn't think of what it might be, and opened the box to find something like this:
Disgusting, huh? My dad actually uses one of these. Why, Dad, why??? Aren't there easier ways of accomplishing this? Apparently my parents acquired a second Neti pot, and couldn't find anything more fitting to do with it than to pass it on to me. Thanks for thinking of me, parents. I feel touched. I hope you feel touched to know that it will show up AGAIN. And again. It'll join the ranks of rastafarian Jesus and the prehistoric muffin. Maybe it would look cute with a delicate little flower arrangement in it? Better watch your house for signs of the Neti.
Hallelujah! Do you here the angels singing? A kitchen has come home. So that's theologically way off, but you get the point: we are excited about the kitchen! And its official, James has almost as much counter space as me and his oven is almost as big as yours, Rach. As if that weren't enough, Mom found this on her way back:
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
My sister-in-law was here to visit with her youngest son, Dylan. He is four and hilarious. Marinda and I were talking about how its hard to understand James sometimes. Dylan said, "Its because he speaks Spanish!"
We also had the following conversation, Dylan and I:
D: Have you ever seen Sponge B*b?
D: You've NEVER SEEN Sponge B*b?!
Me: Uh, no.
D: Well, he is yellow and he is square. He is pants. He has a mommy and a dad, but they are not square pants. You wouldn't know them. They aren't yellow and they are not square. His friend is Patrick. Patrick has three Patricks. Patrick One, Patrick Two, and Patrick Three.
Me: Is Patrick a sponge?
D: No, he's something else.
Whoever invented that show must be a little off, but very clever. Who'd a thought that a show about a sponge would be so popular?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
I have spent a great deal of my childhood swimming in questionable bodies of water. As kids, it didn’t matter where what we were swimming in, as long as it was cool. A lot of our swimming happened at my friend Meg’s place. Their dad set up a cow tank right off their front porch. It was great. We could jump off the porch into the water, cool off and splash around. The horses would stop over on occasion to take a drink. We’d just jump in wearing whatever clothes we had. Sometimes we would walk or ride out to the cow pond and swim. It was a smallish pond full of murky water. The cows drank from it, bathed in it, and did who knows what else in it. It was full of squishy mud, tadpoles and frogs. It was our dream come true. We would bring a strainer from Meg’s mom’s kitchen, and scoop up loads of tadpoles and little frogs. We would fill our irrigation boots with water and dump our critters in there. Occasionally we'd even catch a crawdad. We would swim and splash to our heart’s content. We never worried about catching the plague or stepping in a cow patty. We just enjoyed having good, clean, unadulterated childhood fun.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Something terrible has happened. I was melting some chocolate and the microwave started flashing greenish light and making noise and smelling like something electrical got fried. We've always been so close, me and the microwave. I can't believe that it all came to this, but I think we're breaking up. Time to move on to a new relationship with a microwave that will understand my needs. Like they say, the microwaves are always greener in the other isles, or something like that. Unless, that is, my mad scientist/crazy engineer hubby can fix our difficulties, which would definitely make for a good blog post involving 'souping up the microwave.'
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Rach staged a little display of our handiwork. (That is a bell, not an Easter hat, and the money sign was a joke for Phil)
And a day with Rach wouldn't be complete for James without at least a zillion hugs from his Auntie.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
1. I didn't live in a town with a traffic light until college.
2. I have only one joint in each of my toes.
3. I have never had a birthday party.
4. I have eaten Rocky Mountain Oysters, but I would never try snake meat.
5. I am scared of balloons.
6. I picked my degree by flipping through the college handbook and picking something I knew almost nothing about. Hey, it seemed interesting at the time!
7. I have a birthmark.
8. I once snorted Fun Dip on a dare.
9. I love Tina Turner.
10. I punched a girl in high school.
Can you guess???
Monday, December 10, 2007
One winter a steer wandered out on the frozen surface of the pond. As it reached the middle of the pond, the ice gave way under the steer’s weight. The poor thing thrashed around trying to get its footing but to no avail. Its owner managed to find the steer in time to try and rescue it. He threw a rope around its neck and tried to haul it out with his truck. It was futile. The steer died in the water and was wedged in such a way as to make it impossible to get out. The ice closed in around it and suspended the carcass in the surface of the ice. A hump remained jutting through the ice to remind us of what was there. That winter, we ice skated around the steer. Why waste a good opportunity to skate even if there is a dead carcass frozen in the middle of the ‘rink’? It stayed planted there till spring began to thaw the ice. We walked out to look at it and saw that the catfish had hollowed out the rib cage entirely. There was even one darting in and out as we watched: the food chain at work. When the ice was soft enough, they got the steer out and we went back to swimming in the pond with the carnivorous catfish. Can you tell there was a lack of cultured entertainment during our dating years? Nothing encourages romance like skating hand in hand around a dead steer. You should try it sometime.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Here it is: Mom's duct tape carcass
James loved the hat we made.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Since I know you have come to trust this blog to inform you of all the latest and greatest in beauty tips, here you go: Franch Beauty Secrets 101. Even a Franch girl knows a thing or two about maintaining a lovely visage. Here is everything you need to know to look good, Franch-style.
Make sure to shower after helping brand cattle. While eau de burnt hide may be popular in some cultures, ours ain’t one of them. This scent is similar to cigarette smoke in that it leeches into every pore of you body, so scrub up!
When burning ditches with you new boyfriend, don’t trust that he will notice that you beautiful face is coated in dirt and grime. Enough dirt and grime to etch ‘wash me’ into your forehead. It’s not exactly professional to show up to your day job looking like you just finished taking a dirt bath.
Familiarize yourself with the construction of a French braid. This versatile hairstyle may not be all that in-style, but it keeps your hair in one place and out of your face. It is also the perfect hairstyle for camping. French braid your hair while it is still wet. It will dry nicely in the shape of the braid and the next morning, all you have to do is re-braid it or, if your lucky, you won’t have to do anything. That will give you time to worry more about the large rodents that were trying to break into your tent the night before.
Long fingernails are not very practical. Unless you want to spend every evening picking manure out from under your nails and replacing broken ones, don’t bother.
And last but not least, the beauty secret you are all clamoring for: the secret to nice skin. First, let me ask you: What do a college girl, a beautician and a rancher have in common? If you guessed Utter Butter, you are correct! This stuff is excellent for skin, hands and udders of all kinds. It can be purchased at your local farm supply, or on the internet if you don’t happen to have a farm supply at your disposal. It looks like this, and even provides you with all the frost protection you'll ever need:
Bonus Beauty Secret: This is not to be confused with Bag Balm, also made for those of the bovine persuasion, which is excellent for chapped skin, especially feet. It looks like this:
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
So, the first story. Nothing will put the fear into you like seeing your mom butcher a few chickens. I remember when I was a kid, someone gave us some chickens. Live chickens. For the purpose of eating. So my mom took them out back, grabbed them by their scrawny necks and chopped their little heads off. I don’t remember what was more memorable: the fact that my mom just effortlessly chopped the heads off a few chickens or seeing the chickens running all over the place without their noggins. I also remember the smell of the fresh, raw chickens. Mom had spread brown paper over the table and laid the chickens out pluck all their feathers. Incidentally, chicken’s feet make excellent entertainment. Just take a pocket knife, peel off a little of the skin around the ankle, and pull on the tendons. Fun times. Fun times.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
mulletude (mu' li' tewd) the attitude that comes with the adornment of the mullet, behaviors can include the following: beating one's spouse, scowling or sneering at those who don't have mullets, engaging in fights on a regular basis (preferably with those who are not part of the mullet brotherhood), stealing, attending monster truck rallies, driving a Chevrolet Camaro (model years 1970-1993) or mini-truck, getting angry at the drop of a hat, speaking in an inappropriately loud voice.
Behold, the skullet.
And the fem-mullet.
And the rat tail.
And last but not least, the family mullet.
of such foolishness. Seriously.
Now that you have been enlightened about the wonderful qualities of the mullet, don't you feel better? I don't. I have just wasted a lot of time looking up stupid mullet pictures so I could write mindless drivel when I should have been sleeping.