Monday, December 31, 2007

Bird Roping: A Tale from the Franch

**Let me preface this one by saying that we wouldn’t do this again and do not encourage this type of ridiculousness**

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.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 7th anniversary! We even went out on a date, people! It was a little bit interesting due to the fact that our window decided not to roll up after Jeff rolled it down to talk to the valet. And it was raining. And did I mention that Jeff is sick? Did you catch the valet part? We went to a fancy-schmancy place where we spent an ungodly amount of someone else's money (gift cards!) to stuff ourselves with filet mignon and lots of other delicious things. Its hard to believe that seven years have gone by. Now we are just your regular ol' married farts sitting around talking about the price of beans in China and going to bed at 9 o'clock.

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

Christmas Festivities Part Two

The Great Chapstick Tradition:

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:

Unfortunately, after rubbing it, no magic genie appeared to grant me three wishes. Actually, I quickly realized that this barbaric contraption was none other than a Neti pot. Eeew! This is what it is for:

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.

How Do I Love Thee, Trash Picking Edition

As if my bargains at Kohl's were not enough, my mom called me this morning to report that this was sitting on the curb in all its glory, left out for the taking:

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:

I have fond memories of pushing our toy shopping cart around Mom's kitchen and going 'grocery shopping.' And hey, if the kids don't like it, I can put it out at my curb. But alas, the story isn't over. As I was loading up my loot, the guy whose junk was our treasure, said "There's lots more." He proceeded to show me through his trash: an toddler art desk, a toy box full of blocks, motorcycles, etc. He told me that depending on how much I wanted to dig, there were 'unopened' presents in the trash. Say what!? That's what the man said. Bags and bags of toys, some of them never opened. What a waste! I didn't feel like digging through too much, but I did snag the art desk, the blocks, a like-new baseball glove and this:

And like any good dumpster-diver would do, I alerted my dumpster-diving friend. She has a son who is the right age for all the stuff they had thrown out, so she was going to head on over. Good luck, Trish!!

How Do I Love Thee

Let me count the ways. Here is why I LOVE Kohl's. I got all this stuff, $326 worth to be exact, for...drumroll, please....$39!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Festivities Part One

Christmas has already come and gone. There are bits of wrapping paper, ribbon and wire ties all around my house. The dust is still settling. It was another joyous year, and we enjoyed having Katie as part of our Christmas this year. Having an infant at Christmas time reminded me even more of the meaning of the season. I can't imagine having to birth and care for a baby in a dusty manger. Nor can I fathom caring for a baby that was God's Son. It was so fun this year to see James begin to connect the real reason for all this activity, even if he was a little confused. He wanted to open more of 'Jesus' presents.' He was very helpful in opening not only his presents, but Katie's and ours as well. More on Christmas later, including the Chapstick tradition and a nasty nasal irrigation device. Bet you can't hardly wait.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Pics

Aunt Sal and the kiddies

Jeff's Supreme Wrapping Job

Uncle Nate and Katie...check out the ADORABLE Mary Jane socks!

Jeff's Dream Come True: Jeffrey the Giraffe-sized footies

Merry Christmas!

We missed you Grandma and Grandpa! Here is a video of James opening his and Katie's presents. We love you!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'm Stuck in My Own Head and I Can't Get Out!!

Last night, I spent over an hour, awake, with this song running through my head incessantly. I think a few of my brain cells might have voluntarily decommissioned themselves during this episode of insomnia. "You suspension, it suspends me over heights I never knew...Your roll bar is to die for, by the way, I like your chrome." The song is humorous, under normal circumstances, but I felt like I was trapped in my own head with no chance of escape. Fortunately, after an hour of this and of listening to my sweet baby James coughing in his sleep and wanting to run up and hold him, I finally fell back to sleep. For a while, anyway.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Meanwhile, Back at the Franch: Ya’ Don’t Say!

Given the aforementioned lack of cultured activity during our dating days, Jeff and I spent lots of time riding around on four-wheelers with loaded guns. Sounds safe, right? Anyway, we would ride around hunting prairie dogs, chasing coyotes and shooting at anything that moved. Not really. But kinda. Jeff once took aim at a bullfrog in the pond and pulled the trigger. Not exactly sure why, but he did. We didn’t think he got it, and never gave it a second thought. (P.S. Shooting at water is NOT a smart thing to do) A few weeks, maybe even a month later, we were all sitting around at the table when Charlie, the guy that ran the farm, mentioned that he had seen a frog swimming around the pond with its organs hanging out the side. Ya’ don’t say!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Habla Espanol?

**I just realized I forgot to post this, so if it seems a little outdated that's why.**

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?
Me: No
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.
Me: (confused)

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

A Guest Post (by Jeff)

(click to enlarge)

And yes, this is a real, bona fide, government issued patent. Great idea and great illustrations! I'll try it out this weekend and let you know what happens.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dad, You're My Hero

Last night James, Katie and I found ourselves locked outside of the bedroom. James had been playing around and locked the door and pulled it shut. Fortunately, we were all on the same side of the door. I can't imagine if Katie had been in there. Of course, it was James' bedtime and Jeff was out of town. And his cell phone was turned OFF. I got a piece of wire to try and pop the lock. It wasn't working, so after trying unsuccessfully to reach Jeff, I called my Dad. He told me what to try and I still couldn't get it unlocked. The TV was on, and the same Veggie T@les song was looping over and over again. I was thinking I might go nuts sleeping in the living room, with a baby, and listening to that over and over and over. But like a superhero, Dad swooped in and saved the day. He came over, walked right in and popped the lock. I was thrilled. But seriously, why is it that whenever something is wrong and you just can't get it, your husband/father can walk right in and make you look like an idiot. Kind of like the parking light situation, Dad. Anyway, I was glad that Dad was close enough to come over and save the day. Thanks, Dad.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Where am I?

Imagine waking up to this:

And this:

Good thing Katie is a good sport.
She starting smiling as soon as she opened her eyes.

Footies for All!

Here are my three favorite 'peoples' in their footie pajamas. Why don't I have a pair of these???

I am mommy, hear me roar...

Right before I pass out, that is! Today I went out in the cold, icy wind to do a mass shopping trip at BJ's. Somehow, I managed to haul both kids and a ginormous cart through the store. (Jeff assures me that 'ginormous' has just been added to Webster's, but apparently not to spell check) I steered the cart with one hand and my foot while holding a pacifier for Katie in the other. By the time I was done, poor James was squeezed in so tight he could hardly move and the checker couldn't believe I fit it all in one cart. Then I left the store into the icy wind and bang! One of those thick, heavy cardboard boxes flew up and hit me square on the nose. A nice lady helped me retrieve the box and I made it to the truck. Then the other boxes I had flew off and James started crying because he was so cold. Somehow I wrangled both kiddies and all the groceries, toilet paper, diapers, etc. into the truck and came home. Everything is still in the truck, being kept cool thanks to the icy wind...did I mention the icy wind? It managed to carry off into the unknown the new doormat I just bought three days ago. I think I need a serious nap!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pantyhose and Heels

The once-yearly event which requires pantyhose and heels is over! Thank goodness, because Jeff has a hard time walking in high heels. Just kidding. Jeff's Christmas party was last night and we had a great time. We sat at the rowdy Fossil Power table and had a lot of laughs. Someone has to shake things up when there are a bunch of really smart people sitting around discussing nuclear power. One of Jeff's new coworkers is quite the dancer and despite a broken foot, managed to entertain everyone. The food, as always, was plentiful and delicious! There were tons of appetizers, which we didn't have enough time to sample. The meal was great, but that's what we all look forward to. My favorite was the fancy-schmancy little peanut butter mouse chocolate cups, chocolate mousse cake and coconut cake. Yes, I tried them all, and a few more things, including these fancy little fruit tart things that looked like they were glazed with something. (Rach, my resident food snob, what was I eating?) I tried to eat as many things as possible, because hey, it was there...why not!? We were actually out till just about midnight (oops! forgot to check the clock) and that's the latest we've been out since who knows when. Thanks, Mom and Dad for babysitting!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Taking A Dip

Another Tale from the Franch

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

So long, sweet microwave,

I will miss you. As Grandma always says, 'its been real!'

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

Mmmmm...Mutant Cookies

Since its only 13 days till Christmas (YIKES!) Rach and I decided to get into the festivities by making some Christmas cookies. And we (I) made an intriguing discovery: frosting cookies is not on Rachel's long list of culinary skills. Ha Ha, Rach! Something I can do.....and did I mention you can't? (Rach gave me full permission, by the way, to make fun of her...we laughed hysterically yesterday about this) Rachel was in charge of frosting all the snowmen, and they have the appearance of spending too much time in the sun. A few of them look like they have boobs. One looks like it got shot in the nose. The snowflakes turned out good, though. Nice job, Rach! James 'helped' us by dumping flour all over the table, himself, and the floor. We also all helped by performing frequent and highly scientific taste tests. In the end, they passed with flying colors.

Cookies, anyone?

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.

And now I am going to go cry my eyes out because Rachel is moving to the Arm Pit State on Saturday and she is going to live 45 whole minutes away!!! I am so sad. But at least its only 45 minutes away. It could be worse. But, still...waaaaaa!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


James is sure coming up with some interesting statements. His latest thing is to do is grab a few of his 'peoples' before his nap. Then I pick him up and we go upstairs. Sometimes I tell him to 'hold on.' Now he tells his chosen toys 'hold on, peoples.' He has also heard my many nicknames for Katie. When she cries, he says 'Its OK, Kee-Kee' or 'Kee-pie, Kee-pie' (Katie-pie). He likes to tuck her in with a blanket and make her 'cozy.' Its very cute, except that he is just learning the concept that the blanket does NOT go over her face. James has also been pointing out groups of two. He knows how many '2' is, and he'll say 'doo, beesles,' (two weasels) or 'doo, buns.' (Yep, my kid is counting his buns. Weird, I know.) He also has learned a little Spanish: 'i-yosh.'

Adios, peoples!


It's my two hundred and one-th post! So, in honor of that, I will tell you 201 intriguing facts about myself. Just kidding! I bet you were sweating there for a minute. Instead, see if you can guess which statement goes with which one of us (kiddies included):

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

The Tragic Frozen Steer Incident

A Tale from the Franch

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

Guess What I Did Yesterday

I woke up, hauled my babies out in the cold to go to Grammy's house while I went to the dentist. My first cavity EVER had to be taken care of. The dentist told me he could give me special novicane since I am nursing. The only thing, he said, was that it wore off more quickly than the normal stuff. He said that if I started to feel pain I needed to raise my hand. Nothing like a few words of encouragement. I managed not to pass out even though I accidentally saw the nasty needle they use. As he was drilling away, humming 'Winter Wonderland,' (seriously!) he informed me that it was going to have to be a root canal. Yippeee! Just what I wanted. So he drilled away. He used something that sounded just like a welding torch, and some other horrifying tools to remove the offending enamel. Toward the end I started to feel the drill hitting my nerves, but I didn't want to see that needle again so I stuck it out. Fun times, I tell ya, fun times. So by 10:00am I had had my first root canal. The next thing on my list yesterday was for Rach and I to wrap Mom in duct tape. We try to do this at least once a month, because seriously...why not? Look at the fun we had:

First, Mom made herself a saucy little number out of old t-shirts.

The wrappee is being wrapped by the wrapper. Precision is a must!

This is coming along quite nicely. She looks like the Bionic Duct Tape Super Hero

Or a Hershey kiss. Or a tellietubbie. Or a television antenna.

Time to remove our masterpiece. Whatever you do, don't move!

Here it is: Mom's duct tape carcass

James loved the hat we made.

And are you wondering what the heck we were doing???? As much fun as it was, we really had a purpose. We were making a dressmaker's form for my mom to use for sewing. Pretty nifty, huh? Who wouldn't want to spend almost three hours wrapped in duct tape on a Friday afternoon. If this thing works, it will be very cool. I am just glad I wasn't the test rat for this project. I finished off my day by listening to James singing 'Man-tee, Man-tee, Man-tee' at the top of his lungs. (We were watching Veggie T@les's silly song called 'Endangered Love' about Barbara Manatee) No wonder I was so tired last night.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Franch Beauty Secrets 101

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

Kid Update

The kids are growing so fast; I wish I could bottle up the essence of every stage so I can remember it later. James is starting to use his toys to pretend. His latest favorite toys are tractors and his 'peoples' (Nativity Set). He is always looking around for Jeeee-sus. Its kind of weird to say 'Jesus is under the couch cushion.' But at least he's getting to learn about the Christmas story. James is still recovering from having his cousin here to play for 5 days. Although he had fun, it was a lot to process for him. He has been taking long naps and throwing lots of fits. I like the naps part. I have gotten a lot done. Katie is growing like a weed. She'll be three months soon; its hard to believe! She smiles and laughs and its so cute. She really likes us to get up to her face and interact with her. She also likes to look at the mirror on her swing. Its so fun watching James and Katie together. I know they will have their fights and their moments, but I look forward to seeing them learn to interact with each other and share their own memories.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Its Officially COLD!

We had the first snow of the season on Sunday. It really was only a light dusting, but enough to create panic amongst the natives. Why everyone gets all worked up about a microscopic amount of snow, I will never understand. We saw a snowplow on the way to church which sent my sister-in-law into a fit of laughter. That's what we do around here; we run out and get bread, eggs and milk in case the roads become impassible and we are all faced with starving to death or gnawing off a limb or two. By we, I don't me US, I mean the natives. However you feel about the snow, one thing is certain. It has officially gotten cold. Today we were supposed to have a high of 36 with a wind chill of 21 degrees. While it is certainly not frigid, it is pretty darn chilly. I think, sadly, I will have to pack away my sandals for the year. I wore them Saturday and my sister-in-law asked me what in the world I was doing wearing sandals. I told her I was in denial. She said I was on glue. She's probably right. When my toes turn blue, that might be nature's way of telling me to put some socks on!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Meanwhile, Back at the Franch

Out in these-here-parts, most people think that meat comes in a cellophane package from the grocery store. Chickens come pre-plucked and beheaded. Most people have not stepped in manure, or realized that a dried cowpie makes a good Frisbee. If you are wondering what a cowpie is, then you are probably one of these-here people I am talking about. Although Jeff and I never saw our experiences as unique or exciting, we have been asked many times to recount various ‘Colorado stories’ in our time here. It seems that our experiences were unique or exciting, or something. So in the interest of posterity, I will write a few posts every now and then entitled “Meanwhile, Back at the Franch.” No, I did not make a typo. We were explaining the nuances between farms and ranches to some friends of ours out here, and someone asked what it was called when someone raised both livestock and crops. They asked if it was called a Franch. So there you go. In this series, I will entertain or disgust you with tales of frozen steers, prairie dog vacuums, mutton busting, chicken beheading, and many other wonderful things. Sound exciting?

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.

The last week in pictures....

J&M; Dylan taped to his bike thanks to Uncle Phil

Reading with 'Baw-Paw'; Dylan

Our First Snow; Trying to pin Dylan down for a picture

Auntie Marinda and Katie; Big Smile!

Sweet little baby!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

On the Topic of Mullets

File this one under the Redneck category: mullets. Back in the day, people used to get up in the morning, look in the mirror and say, 'Dang, I look good!" Even when they looked like this:

For a brief moment in time, the mullet was in style. And it was about as cool as this guy's sunglasses. After that brief moment faded, most people went on with their lives. Some people just couldn't give up. Those people who refused to cut off the ape-drape are now classified, at least in my book, as rednecks. I don't think I need to explain any further, except to quote a pro-mullet website's definition of '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.

Sounds pretty Redneck to me. And since you asked, here is a brief synopsis of the mullet. Terms used to describe the mullet include 'ape-drape,' 'bi-level,' 'el-camino,' 'neck warmer,' 'mudflap,' and my personal favorite, 'the achey breaky bad mistakey.' It is also referred to as 'business in the front, party in the back.' There are a few subcategories within the mullet genre that are as follows:

Behold, the skullet.

And the fem-mullet.

And the rat tail.

And last but not least, the family mullet.

I actually had a friend who will remain nameless who wanted me to perm his mullet. In 1998. I told him that my parents raised me better than that and that I would have no part
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.