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Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Torture

How many ways can you torture a mini pumpkin? My friends and I found 60. I'm sure ther are many more.






Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Farm Cats

Last week was C. and my second anniversary. After our disastrous drive home from Mississippi, you can see why C's gift to me was four new tires. It may be extremely unromantic, but it's a great gift and I'm not going to complain about it!

A friend from Church needed to give away some kittens. A perfect gift for C! Since they were free, ya know. The mama cat had so many that she got frustrated and ran away. It was time for the rest of them to go! So on our anniversary, C. took me to have Mexican food (where I carefully ate just enough that I could bring home leftovers--then left the box on the table in the restaurant), then we went and picked up kittens! I was so very excited. They are the cuddliest kittens you ever held.

Lucy hates the kitties. She patiently waits outside their pen for one to escape, then she promptly chases it up a tree. I suppose it is good practice for when they are bigger and no longer need a pen. She thinks that she is much cuter than they are and does not understand why we think we needed to add kitties to her yard and put them in her Dogloo (which she has not used one single time, by the way).

The moral of this story is that I live on a farm. With a dog. And other critters that run through our yard in the night. Now the farm has three little kitties. And these three little kitties have survived a whole week! I am so proud of us for this accomplishment. I think this might be a record for us.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Break Weekend

Last week was fall break for those of us who work in educational institutions. Julie and I, along with our mom who is a teacher, had planned to visit our aunt DW during the break. Fortunately, our dad was able to get enough of his farm work done that he could leave for a few days, so he came along. We were visiting his sister, after all!

Our aunt lives in a suburb of Memphis, TN. We made it there by suppertime on Thursday and enjoyed a nice home cooked meal of ham and beans and lively conversations with the family. Our cousin SH lives in another nearby suburb and she had brought her husband and three adorable boys.

On Friday SH had an appointment in the morning, so we went to her house to look after the boys. We played with trains and listened to stories. When the parents returned, DW and SH took us to the cute little home decor store where they work. We shopped for a bit, then SH had to go to parent teacher conferences at her oldest son's school. After parent teacher conferences, we all went out for a barbecue lunch, which was mighty tasty. After lunch we drove into Memphis for a windshield tour of Graceland. Some people in the car blinked as we drove by, so we had to turn around and make another pass.

On Friday afternoon we returned to DW's house and when we got out of the car, we noticed that Julie's front driver side tire was severely worn. Daddy replaced it with the spare and we were relieved we had brought him along!

We attended a our cousin's son's little league football game on Saturday morning. We weren't expecting winter temperatures in Mississippi in October, but that's what we got. Everyone was bundled up in hats and coats and blankets, but the kids had a great time. This little league football team takes things very seriously. There's a draft at the beginning of the year and there are even cheerleaders!

After the football game, we drove to Tunica, MS to experience the wonders of riverboat gambling and gluttony. We gorged ourselves at the expansive buffet, and then wasted some money on the slot machines. Well, I wasted money on the slot machines. My parents won some! My mom, who had never gambled before, put $1 in a slot machine and pushed some buttons. Out came a little slip of paper that said she had won $30! Later, my dad put $1 in a similar machine and won $20. I, on the other hand, did not have such good luck. I'm not a fan of slot machines, but I like to play roulette. Unfortunately, I lost my entire $20 of budgeted gambling money.

There is an outlet mall near Tunica, where Mom spent her winnings on a new purse and I bought a pair of what Julie calls "clown shoes." I think they're pretty cool. They're Adidas sneakers with blue and hot pink trim. Clown shoes, or not, they're extremely comfortable, which is all that matters to me. That evening our cousin took us to another shopping mall, where none of us bought anything anywhere except Bath and Body Works.

We planned to head out at 8:00 Sunday morning, but hit the road 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I love traveling with my family. We're always on time! We tootled along just fine until we reached Oklahoma City and experienced an unfortunate blowout of Julie's front passenger tire. Thank goodness we had the rickety reject from the driver side! Again, thank goodness Daddy was along. He replaced the tire and hit the road again. Needless to say, Julie ordered new tires the next day!

Overall, we had a great trip! We were thankful we made it there and back safely, and had a great time while we were there. We don't get to see these relatives very often, and it is always nice to see them. We're excited about their plans to come see us this summer. We hope they check their tires before leaving home!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Necklace?

We had a fun time visiting family out of town this weekend. One of our lame adventures was a shopping trip with our cousin to a super-cool mall. One of the stores had a matted pile of pretty, beady goodness on a little plate. At first we thought it was just a lump of prettiness. Later we realized that it was in strands. Necklaces for only $6! After some frustrating untangling, Lisa and I both chose one, excited about getting a great deal.

Lisa was walking away to continue her shopping, when with great disgust she said, "Julie, this is NOT a necklace. This is a eye-glass holder!" She was right. The little rubber grippies should have given it away immediately. Unfortunately we were too dense to notice right away. Lisa dropped hers back on the plate "like it was poison" (her words, not mine).

I understood that it was an eyeglass holder, but I still loved it. I could do a little tinkering and no one will ever know its true purpose. I decided I needed it anyway.

This morning I got two pairs of needle-nose pliers and took off the rubber grippies. Now it's just a necklace. I think it's cute. I love it. I think Lisa gave up too easily. What do you think?


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dog Blog

When I went to Julie's house Sunday evening for the hot dog roast, her dog Lucy was already loaded up in the back of the pickup and ready to go. Julie and C have a great hot dog roasting spot in a secluded area of their farm near a pond. Lucy is trustworthy enough to go along and stay nearby, but Roscoe isn't quite as reliable.


Roscoe is a beagle and can't help but follow his nose. He is a true hound dog; always tracking something. You rarely see him without his nose on the ground and tail in the air, zigzagging around snorting out the trail of some unfortunate creature.


I frequently take him with me when I visit Julie because he loves sniffing around the cowlots and barns and even the pastures surrounding their house. Sometimes he he is so wrapped up in his "work" that he can't hear anything else. He's never very obedient about coming when called, but he is even worse when he's trailing a critter.


Sunday night, I left him at Julie's house while we went to the campfire spot. I knew he was familiar enough with that area that he would find his way back there after an evening of chasing rabbits. When we returned, he was nearby. I could hear him yelping occasionally, which he does when he's chasing something good.


Julie and I took a flashlight out to the pasture by her house and found him chasing something small, probably a cat or a rabbit. We called and called but he wouldn't come. I decided to leave him there for the night and pick him up on Monday. I have left him overnight before. I usually just leave his cage on their deck and they find him snoozing there in the morning.


Sure enough, Monday morning C found him dozing there when he left for work that morning. Julie said he had already gone-a-sniffin' by the time she left for work, but he always comes back. When I arrived on Monday evening, Roscoe greeted me excitedly and was ready to go home. When he realized I was not there just to pick him up and take him directly home to his bed, he tried to follow me inside the house, but he had to stay outside.


When I was ready to leave, I went outside to find Roscoe curled up inside his cage. I got him loaded in the car and when we got home, he went inside the house and fell asleep on his rug right away. There was no running around and sniffing things or drinking the cat's water or playing with toys. He was beat. I petted him for a while and then took him outside and put him to bed. He ate and drank quite a bit and I thought he would go right to sleep, but a few minutes later I heard barking from the yard. I guess he got his second wind and was ready for another hunt.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pumpkins and Schnetke

This weekend was the big Pumpkin Festival in a nearby town. Mom and I went and braved the conditions. We didn't know we were being brave until we were at the Pumpkin Festival. I was wearing a sweatshirt and she was wearing a little windbreaker. Our attire was perfectly appropriate for the car ride, but it was a bit colder outside than we were expecting! We hurried through all the vendors. Since neither of us are big wearers of bold, chunky jewelry, there were very few booths worth spending extra time in the cold weather. We did find one booth that interested us. They were selling schnetke. We were pretty sure we needed some schnetke. We were right. It was sooo good. Now I wish I had bought extra schnetke to put in my freezer. For now I will have to ration it. I suppose I could learn to make it for myself. That would definitely be a lame adventure. Probably a messy one too. We would have to post photos. Anybody want to come to my schnetke-making party? Preferably, anyone who already knows how to make it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Recap

This weekend was action packed and fun filled.

On Friday evening Julie and I got together with some of our cousins at Julie's house. For the past several months, we have made a habit of getting the group together once a month at rotating residences. This month was Julie's turn and probably our last opportunity this year for cooking out. We had hamburgers and hot dogs, but ate inside because it was too chilly for a picnic.

We tried playing the game "Would You Rather," wherein the player whose turn it is, is required to predict which of two options the group would rather choose. Then, the group discusses and reaches a consensus and if the guesser predicts correctly, he advances. Unfortunately, our group plays fair and is easy to predict, which makes the game very not fun. We resorted to our old standby, Apples to Apples, which always elicits groans from the crowd, but always results in fun.

On Saturday I attended a strange play called Kid Simple: A Radio Play in the Flesh. In this play, an adolescent inventor creates a machine that can hear inaudible things, but the invention is stolen and the young inventor embarks on a lame adventure of her own to track down the machine, which can be dangerous in the wrong hands. It was science fiction/fantasy/cartoon and I am pretty sure I did not get it, but I'm not sure if it was meant to be gotten.

On Sunday afternoon my family attended a 50th anniversary party for my dad's cousin and then in the evening Julie and C hosted secluded a hot dog roast where warmed our hands and feet over the fire and cooked hot dogs the way they were meant to be cooked. C's friend got a little too close to the fire and nearly melted the sole of one of his boots, but he felt the heat in time to avoid any serious damage.

C had brought some empty buckets which make good seats around the fire. One of them contained some rotten potatoes, which interested Julie's dog Lucy. Lucy also found a turtle shell and probably some other dead things. She loves dead things. She is constantly dragging dead things into Julie's yard and leaving them as gifts.

So. If experimental theatre is action packed and dead things are fun filled, my weekend certainly was both!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sensible Shoes

I dislike wearing sensible shoes. Sensible shoes are comfortable, but unattractive. And you can't wear unattractive shoes with attractive clothes. I have issues with things going together. I wear black shoes with black pants and brown shoes with brown pants and I just don't wear blue pants at all because I don't know what color shoes to wear with them. I wear dress shoes with dress pants and skirts and I wear sneakers with jeans. My clothes and shoes have to be on the same dressiness level.

I have a whole closet full of businessy black pants that should be worn with black pumps; they are the appropriate style and length to be worn with heels. However, I can't stand to wear high heels every day. They hurt my feet. I have bad feet. I would go into detail, but I am pretty sure no one wants to hear about my podiatric issues. The only appropriate place to talk about your feet problems is in the podiatrist's office. And then, only if someone asks.

Since I select my clothing based on the shoes I want to wear, today I am wearing a pink polo shirt and brown khaki pants with my spiffy brown Nikes. While my Nikes are cool as far as sneakers go, they're not particularly professional looking. I wish attractive shoes were more comfortable!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mini Pumpkins

I went to the grocery store today to buy one thing. I needed potatoes...well, I wanted potatoes for potato soup. I wouldn't have even gotten a cart, but I saw the display of mini pumpkins from the door. I needed the mini pumpkins. I also needed some mini gourds. As well as an extra pretty white pumpkin. I sadly left the bundle of mini corn on the display. It called me as I drove my cart away. Now my desk at work is pretty. Soon my house will be adorned with mini pumpkins too!

Do you think I can carve the mini pumpkins into mini jack-o-lanterns?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Missing Chrysanthemums

Fall is here! Along with the enormous displays of chrysanthemums outside every grocery store. I love them. They are so pretty. They are also very easy to take care of, you can’t kill them. That is a quality I need in a flower. If it is fragile, it will die under my care. I had restrained myself from getting a pot of my very own. Not only from self-control, but I don’t really want to haul a pot of chrysanthemums through the grocery store, and I’m not really sure how the check-out people feel about me asking if they can look up the code so I can get a pot on the way out.

On Sunday, C. and I finally took a trip to the fancy, new Walmart. We saw aisles full of wonderful things. But the best thing? They had an entire garden center filled with various sized pots of chrysanthemums! I don’t feel so strange about toting a pot of chrysanthemums around Walmart! I chose a lovely pot of yellow chrysanthemums (with lots of unbloomed buds, just like Mom taught me). I proudly hauled my chrysanthemums through Walmart, then put them out to beautify my back porch.

Every morning when I would leave the house the chrysanthemums would be toppled on their side from the wind. Same thing every day when I came home from work. Poor things. They are a bit top heavy, and I had neglected to put them in a fancy, sturdy pot. But they were still pretty, even sideways. Yesterday, I drove up to the house and didn’t see my chrysanthemums!

As I walked up to the house, I still didn’t see them. My chrysanthemums were missing! I walked across my yard, and looked behind a tree and in a hole, but my chrysanthemums were gone! They had blown away! Stupid Oklahoma wind! I could only hope my chrysanthemums would take root somewhere along the road and become wild where they would beautify the country. That’s not really true. I was just mad my chrysanthemums blew away.

I stomped into the house, angry because I had wasted $4.50 on a pot of chrysanthemums that had lasted three days, but wait! There they were! Safely on the kitchen table! C. had rescued them! He had brought them inside where they would be safe from the evil, destructive, chrysanthemum-ruining wind. He had even watered them and saved them from the destructive (but not evil), chrysanthemum-ruining plant-tending habits of me. I was so happy that I didn’t even complain that he had used a good plate to catch the drainage.