Monday, April 28, 2008

Let’s Hope This One Doesn’t Last

James’ latest fashion fad is Jeff’s work hat. When I say Jeff’s work hat, by that I mean sweat-stained, dirt-encrusted, faded, broke-in, foul smelling, what-color-did-that-used-to-be-again, had-it-since-before-time work hat. Are we clear? The thing is nasty. I have been wondering for some time now when the thing is going to up and walk off on it’s own. And this, my friends, is what my sweet little son has been wearing for the last three days. When he takes it off I can still smell the odor emanating from his cute little noggin. It kind of takes the fun out of sniffing his hair. My favorite little James smell is masked over by the smell of my husband’s years of stale sweat, oil changes, mowed lawns, and general grime. I mentioned to Jeff James’ obsession with the hat. I casually mentioned that the hat had seen better days, perhaps since say, uh, 1997, and was getting kind of grungy. Jeff replied with ‘That hat’s in its prime!’ I think I may have made some comment about how disgusting it was to actually put that nasty carcass of a hat on his head. He informed me that any man who was a REAL man had a hat like that. While it is clear that the hat isn’t going away anytime soon, I hope James’ obsession with it does. I want my little kid smell back.

Just the Same Old Thing

No internet, no phone. Where am I again? I am starting to feel extremely agitated with the phone company. Seriously, if you accidentally shut off our phone on Thursday, can you just ‘accidentally’ manage to turn it back on? We are paying for it, you know.

Yesterday was a fun day even if it did not go according to Hoyle. A friend of ours asked if he could replace his brakes in our driveway. The reasoning behind this was two-fold: one, he could use Jeff’s tools, jack, etc. and two, he could use Jeff if he got stuck. While he was working, Jeff cleaned out the shed and part of the garage AND revamped a weed-whacker he fished out of someone’s trash. All this manly activity made for a fun day for James. He went back and forth between ‘fitzin’ with Ryan and climbing up the ladder when Jeff wasn’t looking to stashing all of the wrenches in the shed. In the meantime, Ryan’s wife Ashley hung out with me. I got a little organizing done upstairs and just had fun. Katie got passed around, happy as can be. She didn’t really outdo herself in the nap category, but oh, well.

I had better be off. It smells like a dead skunk rotting in the hot summer sun and I don’t think that it’s Katie.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Here we are, at the parents again, our sweet home away from home. Today was a crazy day for us. Thanks to the lovely phone company for accidentally disconnecting our phone and not connecting it on Friday, we have to walk or drive over here whenever we need to use the phone. So on top of no TV or internet, we have no phone! I am really not into this whole Amish business. We took the kids to a Children's Expo this morning, which was a lot of fun. James go to sit in a firetruck, see the K-9 unit, make crafts, and get all kids of free stuff like stickers and waterbottles. I even scored a bookmark that says 'Drink milk, not alchohol.' I am sure that is effective with the teenage set. There was also a petting zoo and a guy with wierd animals, including a skunk perched on his shoulder. I am assuming that the stink had been removed. It was so fun to watch James observe all the fun 'boy' things. He was especially intrigued by the chainsaws on the firetrucks. Katie just hung out in the backpack and watched everything. Hopefully we'll be able to go again next year.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Nee' You

My trusty blog readers, ie. Mom and Dad, have been harassing me about the lack of blog content hearabouts. Mom said she 'needed me to blog' so she would have something to read. I am glad that I can provide some sort of entertainent for you, Mom. We found out that we won't have the internet till May 1st, which is a big disappointment, but thanks to our faithfull little servant, the jump drive, I have been able to provide y'all with the entertainment that has been missing in your lives since we moved. Here are a few random updates from us:

  • James' new phrases are 'Hol-me hand, Mommy' and 'I nee-you, Mommy' Talk about melting my heart!
  • Katie has been perfecting her 'bowling ball technique' of rolling around the floor. She loves to make all sorts of strange noises, which Rach likened to an underwater sea mammal
  • The house is coming along. We still have some trim and painting to do, but we are seeing lots of progress!
  • I am running out of Katie Patience to blog more, so I had best get going before she goes on strike. See ya' later, peoples!

Coming Soon: Buns O' Steel

In a few short weeks I should theoretically be in the best shape ever. Our new neighborhood is situated on a hill, or in these here parts, a ‘mountain.’ The way to Mom and Dad’s is uphill, both ways. Seriously. There are a few pretty good slopes in both directions. This would be good exercise in any situation, but pushing a fifty pound stroller loaded with a thirty pound kid and a chubby little baby girl and a random toy or two turns it into the workout to beat all workouts. I know this for a fact because I can actually feel that lovely burning sensation in muscles I never knew I had before. Its actually quite nice to be able to get out and get a little exercise and fresh air with the kiddies. We all feel better afterwards. The buns o’ steel will be a nice side effect.

Swimming With The Fishies: Franch Style

We used to swim in the pond at the farm. Note that I said ‘used to.’ It used to be novel to go swimming in our cut-off shorts on a hot afternoon. That sounds like a really bad country song, but it’s true. Many an afternoon was spent swimming in the pond. Yes, this is the same pond as the notorious frozen steer incident. We also used to go fishing in the pond. Years before, they had stocked the pond with catfish. Fed by all the yummy critters washed down from the fields, the catfish grew and thrived. Little did we know how much they thrived. We spend a lot time fishing, but not a lot of time catching anything. The fish were too well fed to go for our tried-and-true chicken-livers-rotted-in-the-sun-and-tied-up-with-pantyhose bait. They were fish with a discerning palate. We spent an entire summer fishing without catching anything. One day late that summer we decided to drop in a line, wedge our pole in the dock and go off riding four wheelers. We saw a coyote and trailed him till he disappeared in some invisible den. We decided to go back and check on our pole. As we came up over the hill we saw the pole bend over with the pull of a fish. We got back as fast as we could. Boy, did that fish put up a fight. We reeled him in and found that we had a 24” catfish on our hands. You would think, after this, we would have quit swimming in there, but we didn’t. On an interesting side note, after the fish was gutted, cleaned, wrapped in foil and thrown in the fridge, we heard some clunking noises going on. We opened the fridge to find the foil-wrapped, gutless fish flopping around knocking against the mayo. Those catfish aren’t ones to give up the ghost. With our recent luck, we renewed our efforts back at the pond. We went fishing with Jeff’s brother-in-law one day and he caught something. The fish fought hard and with one quick snap broke the ten-pound test he had on his pole. Whatever it was, it was big. It was at this juncture that we found it the better part of wisdom to cease our swimming ventures. We did, however, find that it is possible to pull a knee board around the pond with the clever use of a lasso and a four wheeler. Leave it to a Folkestad to figure that one out.

We're Goin' Amish

During the move, we had a few casualties. The door of my hutch broke. The cabinet that my Dad made for my Mom way back in the day broke. Our TV broke. For quite some time I have been saying that I wish my TV would just break. I just want to get a little dinky TV that we can watch movies on. I hate having a regular sized TV. Everyone who comes to our house wonders where on earth our TV is. I refuse to have it in the living room. It’s too easy to just turn it on and veg out. Not that that’s always bad. But it’s just not productive and can easily get out of hand. In my opinion anyway. So……..our TV finally broke. And I am not so sure I am happy about it. Since we haven’t had internet, and we have no TV, I feel very out of touch. No news, no Biggest Loser (I know, I know), no blog (tragic!), no Google, and no weather! I have been forced to rely on the old window method of meteorology. It is highly accurate, but not too great for planning ahead. (Not that the weathermen are right anyway) I haven’t been able to read friend’s blogs, and Google anything that crosses my mind. Instead, I have had to wile away my days baking bread on the hearth and stitching my own petticoats. Not really. I have actually been very busy unpacking, painting, kid-wrangling, etc. I did make some homemade bread, though. I have come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t make a very good Amish person. I think I can live without the TV, but the Internet sure is nice to have. Now if only we can do something about getting a dishwasher…

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How Will I Know....

If these pants make my butt look big?

There are certain things you take for granted when you buy a house. Outlets in the kitchen, for one. The new house has only two, neither one near the counters, and one is for the fridge and washer. Another thing you forget doesn’t come standard are smoke detectors. Apparently the previous owner didn’t mind the thought of possibly sleeping through a house fire. There are no fire alarms in the house, nor is there any evidence that they ever had them. Not that that means they didn’t, but it’s a good guess. Other things you take for granted are things like a hose sprayer for the kitchen sink, or a dishwasher, or…..a full length mirror. Who knew this simple device could be so necessary to day-to-day operations. Here’s the deal. If you don’t have a full-length mirror, how will you possibly know if you have a ‘kick me’ sign on your back? How will you know if you have toilet paper hanging from your backside? And most importantly, how will you ever know the answer to the age old question, ‘Do these pants make my butt look big?’ I realize that you could ask your significant other, or perhaps the nearest circus midget, but that is a loaded question in and of itself. There is really no possible way to answer this question correctly. You could say, “No.” which is the least likely to offend, but could leave the impression that you still think that the derriere is big but the pants are flattering. You could say, “Yes.” That answer, honest or not, is just not where you want to go. It’s a line that should never be crossed, unless you want to sleep on the couch for a week and three months. You could also answer, “No. It’s just your butt.” This might be the worst answer of all. It is far better, I think, to gaze upon your ample rump and judge for yourself. Be brutally honest. Now that I think about it, maybe I don’t want a full-length mirror after all. Maybe ignorance is bliss.

See, now haven't you just missed me terribly? I mean, with all this deep and though-provoking nonsense that comes out of my brain what's not to miss? Ha, ha!

Bullfrog Says: Just Say NO to Peer Pressure!

Whilst trying to entertain ourselves one fine sunny afternoon, Jeff and I got a hold of some kind of small boat. I can’t really remember if it was a canoe or what. I guess that’s irrelevant. We took it out on the pond, which was really the equivalent of using a fifty pound sledgehammer to crush pop cans. (You wouldn’t do that, would you Grandpa?) The pond was a small manmade pond, designed to collect excess water from the upper fields and direct it to the lower fields. It wasn’t terribly deep, although we couldn’t touch the bottom as we went toward the middle. The pond was stocked with catfish, which multiplied and grew large thanks to all the delicious bugs and critters that washed down the irrigation ditch. Bullfrogs somehow found their merry way across the Colorado desert to inhabit the pond. We may or may not have used them as target practice in the past. I can neither confirm nor deny this rumor. And why we swam in this pond, I will never know. OK, I do know. It was hot and with nary a swimming pool in sight, we decided that a few little parasites never hurt anyone and we jumped on in. But I digress. This is supposed to be about a frog and peer pressure. I am getting nowhere fast. So we were out on the pond in some kind of dinghy. We were paddling around and got this grand idea to try and sneak up on the bullfrogs sitting along the shore. Seriously. We were this deprived for entertainment. We stealthily paddled toward an unsuspecting frog. Jeff encouraged/prodded/finagled me into whacking it over the head with an oar. To this day, I feel bad for what I did. Really, what did the frog ever do to me? Did it deserve such treatment? No. I just gave in to peer pressure and knocked the poor thing senseless. It was stunned enough that I got out of the boat and caught it. I put it in the boat and we paddled out toward the center of the pond. By that time it was coming to. We put it back in the water and I swam after it till it disappeared under the water. I don’t know why it felt the need to part from my company so suddenly. Maybe he heard his mom calling or something.

Mutton What?

Franch Tales are back! We still don't have the internet but I remembered that we have a trusty jump drive, so I am here at the 'rents posting a few random things.

Back in Colorado, and anywhere there is an active rodeo contingency, there exists a sport called Mutton Busting, or more appropriately pronounced mutton bustin’. This is a sport used to introduce young buckaroos to the fine art of holding on to a flailing animal. The problem with teaching ‘em young is that it one essential rodeo ingredient is not permitted in the toddler set: alcohol. It seems to me that alcohol equals bravery, or at least the illusion of it. Why else would you strap your sorry butt to the back of a ginormous bull and cinch up it’s man parts to make him angry right before someone lets him out of the chute? Obviously, liquor is involved. It does make for some fun entertainment, though. Anyway, back to mutton bustin’. This involves strapping helmets on kids as young as two years old and sticking them on the back of a sheep. They let the sheep out into the arena and see how long the kid can hold on. It is obvious, even at that tender young age, who are boys and who are girls. Why? Because the boys try and make a big show out of it. They throw one arm back and try to sit up, like they see their daddies doing. They fall off real quick. The girls, more interested in hanging on, just bury their hands in the sheep’s wool and hold on for dear life. Girls rule in mutton bustin’, at least from what I’ve seen. One little girl in my Sunday school class at Loma won. She even got a buckle for it. (Yes, city folk, they give out belt buckles instead of trophies) I asked her what the secret was. She told me you just hold on with your hands, dig your feet into their haunches and hold on for dear life. Sounds logical to me, as logical as it is to strap a two year old on a sheep anyway. Seriously, at least wait until they’re three. The funny part about mutton bustin’, beside the obvious hilarity of watching kids trying to hang on to wayward sheep, is the names of the sheep. They try to make it just like a real rodeo competition, but with kid-friendly names like Bubblegum and Snowball. The thing is, the announcer really doesn’t give a flying flip which sheep is Bubblegum and which is Snowball. I am pretty sure they just have a list of 20 names that they just keep recycling over and over again. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, here we have a little buckaroo named Wyatt riding Snowball. Snowball comes from a long line of rodeo sheep, has a fierce record and can really buck. Can Wyatt hold on?’ Interestingly enough, while I didn’t know that Mutton Bustin’ was an actual sport until later, I have participated in it a time or two as a child. One incident involved riding sheep willy-nilly around my friend’s place while our parents talked the evening away. It ended with my friend’s dad having to superglue a tear in the sheep’s ear. Somehow or other, when the sheep was trying to shake one of us leaches off his back, he tore his ear on some barbed wire. It wasn’t really bad, but now I know that superglue can fix just about anything!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Hopefully any day now we will be back in business here at Newspapers and Broccoli. Every day Jeff asks me, 'Did the internet come yet?' And every day I say, 'Don't you think I would have called you already?!' So when it does come back, I will have a few Franch tales as well as whatever my over-crowded mind decides to dump out. I realized that if I don't write, all that stuff keeps rolling around in my head. And really, who wants the kind of random stuff I write about rolling around in their head till it might explode, all with the tune of Karma Cameleon stuck in there too. Seriously, I can't get it out of my head, and I don't even know the song. Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! Please help!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Quick Update

In addition to obliviously shouting obscenities in the backyard, James has been busy being a royal pain in the buns. Actually, we've all been sick. He's short on sleep and just acting like it. Its been very interested, as Grandma Heppner would say. Jeff took him to Sears yesterday to sit on the tractors, so that was the highlight of his day. Saturday we celebrated Phil's birthday. Happy B-Day, Phil!! I would put up a few pictures, but right now my brain is not functioning very well at all. If you want pictures, click on the Buttino Adventures link on the side bar. There are some funny ones. Katie is learning to roll back over and she is so very responsive. She loves to grab at things, and eat my hair. I am again tempted to chop it all off. She is growing hair, fine light blond hair. Jeff is BUSY with school, work, house, taxes, etc. We need a vacation or something! I am just plugging away with the endless tasks associated with a new house. Also, we turned the keys over to our tenant yesterday! So, that about sums it up. Within the week or so, we'll have internet and it'll be back to the mindless drivel and strange humor that is my blog. See ya' soon!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Funny James-isms

We were taking a walk yesterday and we saw a guy walking two bassett hounds. James said 'Doggy wearin' jammies!'

James was looking in the window at his reflection. He kept moving around and watching. Then he said to me 'Winnow, wooden watch, mama.' (Jeff always tells him he's goofier then a wooden watch)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hello Again, Party Peoples!

I am back here doing laundry and figured I would drop in to make a short post before the kids realize what I am up to. So, without further ado, I would just like to say that James + the word 'shed' = Very Bad. Especially when he is yelling it repeatedly in the backyard for your new neighbors to overhear. It was like a flashback from this post. Quite loudly, James was yelling 'Daddy have ladder in Daddy's sh*t!' 'Daddy sh*t!' He yelled it what seemed to be a zillion times. I kept correcting him, saying Daddy's sheeeeeeddddddddddddd, but it didn't catch on. I guess it serves me right for thinking it was funny that my friend's kid yelled a bad mispronunciation of 'music truck' everytime the ice cream truck drove by.

PS. While writing this post I have been interupted several times, the most notable being when James said 'Mommy, me helping Tee walk!' I turned around to find him carrying Katie out the door of Dad's office. At least he held her right side up this time and didn't drop her. Now he's 'fitzin' Da-paw's yight,' so I had better get going. Whew!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Helllllllloooooo out there!

Hi, there, long lost bloggy friends. I haven't dropped off the face of the planet, although I am hanging on to the edge. We have been in the new house for almost a week now. We still have no phone, internet, washing machine, etc. Thus the reason I am over here at the 'rents, doing my laundry and updating the trusty ol' blog. We have been slowly but surely getting things situated. It's a lot of work, especially with two ankle-biters running around. James has been having a rough time of it all and acting like a terror sometimes. Actually a lot of the time. I am having a hard time being patient being under-rested and over-worked. He is even being mean to Katie so I can't leave them alone at all. He has been hitting her, and even dragged her around by her feet twice. See what I mean?! The great news is that we got a rental permit for the 'old' house!!! The inspector went through and nit-picked a lot of things, and then....passed it!!!! This was a HUGE relief! He told us to fix a few minor things and wrote out a permit. Yipeee!!! Saturday we hand over the keys to our renters. While it will be a relief, it is sad too. It's our first house, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the never-ending remodeling projects we did there. Jeff reminded me that we could always move back if we wanted to. Yeah, like I am going to pack up my whole house again and move back! I miss it, but not that much!

Hopefully soon we'll have some internet up and running so I can get back to the blog. I have plenty of random and bizarre ideas piled up in my head, so look out! I could be dangerous!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Stop the Madness!

Things are crazy around here and I can't wait for things to slooooooooow down. We are still trying to get everything done, both in the 'new house' and this one. Hopefully we'll be sleeping in the new place tomorrow night. That's the plan anyway. Too much back and forth. It's really wearing on all of us and James is thoroughly confused by it all. He doesn't know where his stuff is, and more importantly where he wants it to be. We bring stuff back and forth. 'Me bring measure tape, new 'ouse.' 'Bring Henry my house.' Etc....

I am really looking forward to settling in to the house and getting all our stuff unpacked and decorating it. It's so strange to be able to move into a house and not have to first spend 3 weeks scrubbing the place up first. It's so clean all we have to do is rip out the prehistoric Orange Crush carpet and paint. I say 'all we've have to do.' That's really a farce, but hey, at least we're not shoveling cat poop out of our attic.