Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I May Never Learn

Remember how I said that my love of animals was turning into a problem?

Um, yeah.

My bestest friend in the whole wide world and I went into town the other day. We had her kids with us (for the life of me I can't remember where my kids were) and we drove my Suburban. We took some stuff to the dump and stopped at the grocery store. The grocery store, pharmacy and doctor's clinic are all together in a strip mall sort of setup. I waited in the truck with all of the kids while Emily went into the store.

Just a few minutes after Emily disappeared into the store, I noticed Shawna from the pharmacy come out of the pharmacy door and look behind the garbage can that was up against the wall. She turned and said something to someone who was standing there and I thought I heard the word "kitten."

Let me take a moment to explain something about myself that you may or may not know. I love animals of all kinds. I can't think of a creature that I am not interested in at least seeing, and maybe touching or holding. If you said "Look! There's a fire-breathing poison-oozing triple-fanged slime demon in my underwear drawer!" I'd probably want to go take a look. Not all people are this way. Some people shudder at the mere mention of the word "snake" or "spider" or "puppy". So naturally, when I thought I heard "kitten" I was intrigued, especially because it was weird for there to be an animal at the pharmacy. It really shouldn't be too strange to have animals show up in town, when the word "town" describes a population of less than 5,000. My husband helped Fish and Game catch a moose on the football field two summers ago. But I digress.

Upon hearing that there was a sweet little kitten behind the garbage can, I immediately jumped out of my vehicle to investigate. Apparently I am a slow learner, if you consider what happened the last time I had an encounter with a kitten. I approached Shawna and asked her what was behind the garbage can. She said that it was a snake. A snake? How did I hear "kitten" instead of "snake?" Moving beyond my poor hearing, I was intrigued. A snake? At the pharmacy? I wish my kids were here. They would think that this was so awesome! I decided to catch the snake and take it home to show my kids. Maybe they could even keep it as a pet, as Mike's snake tank had been vacated by the previous occupant, Steve the corn snake.

I procured a box and with the help of the owner of the pharmacy, corralled the snake into the box. We took the box inside and taped it shut. When I walked back outside, Emily was in the Suburban. I put the box in the back and climbed into the driver's seat.

"What's in the box, Jules?"

"You don't want to know." You see, my bestest friend in the whole wide world does not like snakes. If there is a snake in the road and her car drives over it, she will scream and lift her feet off of the floor. I know. I've seen it happen.

Then I decided that I could maybe have a little fun with her. So I told her what was in the box.


"Calm down. It's in a very securely taped box."

We stopped at the convenience store for a soda and some treats for the kids and then we headed home, a drive of about seven or eight miles.

The entire drive was peppered with comments like "I have never hated you as much as I hate you now" and "If anyone were to ask me who my best friend is right now, it's definitely not you."

I hadn't gotten a very good look at the snake, but it didn't appear to be very long, maybe a foot and a half or so. Again, I took advantage of my friend's phobia, as any good friend would.

"It's only three feet long."


To which my answer was a giggle.

When we arrived at Emily's house, everyone piled out of the car and headed inside, except for me. I was going to mow the lawn, and I decided to take the box with the snake out of the car and put it under the Suburban so that it wouldn't get baked in the sun while I was mowing. When I picked up the box, however, it was considerably lighter. A quick peek inside confirmed my suspicion. There was a snake loose in my Suburban.

Oh, crap.

Looking at and holding a snake in a controlled environment is one thing, but having one slither up my pant-leg while I'm driving is a completely different can of worms. I had to find that snake before I did anything else. I didn't want to open the doors and just hope it went on its merry way back outside. I had to see it removed from my car. I started pulling things out of the Suburban; car seats, blankets, a tarp. Emily walked back out of her house to find the contents of my vehicle on her lawn.

"What are you doing?"

I gestured to the box. "It's empty."


Emily tends to talk in red all caps like that when she's mad. She took one step toward me and then said "What am I doing? I was coming to help you look for it but I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff and I'll go over if I take another step." She disappeared back inside the house and I continued to systematically disassemble my car.

My dog, Spanky, in the meantime, had been sniffing around up in the front seat of the car. He was checking out all of the air vents underneath the dash and he was whining and pacing like something was wrong. I just knew that the snake had made its way up to the front and was now in the air ducts of my car.


I called my husband, who told me that he couldn't leave work to help me find a renegade snake. So I called my friend Scott, who works at a mechanic's shop. I explained to him what had happened and that I thought that it was now in the ventilation system, which was beyond my capabilities to take apart. He told me that he would see if Bradley would come help me. Bradley is the teenage son of one of the owners of the shop and he works there a few days a week. Bradley also loves snakes and has several of them as pets.

He sounded like exactly what I needed - a snake charmer mechanic.

When Bradley showed up, Emily and her kids sat a safe distance away on the lawn to watch the show. He and I discussed where the snake might be. He thought that the air vents were unlikely. After several more minutes of fruitless searching, our eyes fell on the spare tire at the same time. It is bolted to the side of the cargo area and has a carpet cover with a zippered front. I had already unzipped the cover and patted down the tire, but we decided to take the tire completely off.

Guess what we found?

A three foot long bull snake.

I let Bradley take it with him. I'd had enough snake excitement for one day.

Emily and I are still friends, but I don't think she's completely forgiven me.

I'm not sure if she ever will.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Won!

I think that I'm totally awesome. Why? Because I won a humor/crazy contest and I am now officially the insane, edgy member of the NMH Riot Squad.

What the crap am I talking about? This!


Really, it wasn't fair. I do have a bit of an edge when it comes to the crazy.

But still....



I know of no other words. Once you make it past 60 seconds into this, you too will have no words.

Minions of the Devil Come In Many Different Guises

My love for animals is beginning to turn into a serious problem.

Last week, when visiting the Wards, I noticed that they had a litter of three little kitties frolicking about. The kittens must have been around 4-6 weeks in age, just at the really cute stage where they bounce everywhere and play with everything. I thought that it would be fun to catch one and introduce Adam to the world of cute kittens. They were pretty wild, however, so my attempts at kitten trapping were fruitless.

Then a few days later we were at the Ward's house again. We didn't leave until it was dark and as we opened the door I saw two kittens scramble off of the porch while the other one froze just inches from my foot. I exclaimed "Kitties!", reached down with my left hand and seized the kitten around its ribcage. It was at this point that the cat morphed into a crazed demon monster. It was hissing, growling and spitting from the front end and trying to disembowel me from both the front and back ends. I wisely decided that putting the animal down would be prudent so I reached in with my right hand to steady the fiend as I lowered it to the ground. The kitten (and I use the word 'kitten' only in the most technical of manners) seized the opportunity to attempt to eviscerate me. It clamped its tiny yet needle-sharp fangs onto my thumb. I felt four small teeth puncture my skin. I then decided that I no longer cared about the safety and comfort of my attacker and released my grip. I was shocked to find that the kitten was still dangling from my hand by its freaking teeth!

At some point during all of the commotion, I began to make inhuman noise of panic and suffering, which alerted my conscientious husband to my situation. He assisted me by producing his own noises - howls of laughter.

Finally, the little demon released its hold on me and I retreated to the safety of our car with Morgan and Adam. I could feel my pulse in my thumb, the pain throbbing in time with my heart beat. We made the short drive home with Morgan still laughing and me alternating between laughing and crying. I was bleeding and it hurt!

I soaked my thumb in peroxide and applied liberal amounts of antibiotic ointment. I suffered only a few days of a sore thumb and now I'm left with four small scabs where the feline's teeth punctured my skin. It's funny now, just as it was funny then, but I'm reminded that not all animals love me like I love them.

In addition, I'm grateful that it was dark and Adam was unable to see what was going on. If he had, he would probably be scarred for life and carry an extreme aversion to cute fluffy kitties.

Do not be deceived. "Basket of Evil" could very well be a fitting title for the above image.

***After posting this last night and reading it again this morning, I've decided that the above picture really isn't all that misleading. Check out that cat on the right. He might as well be wearing a "Hello. My name is Beelzebub" sticker.

In the immortal words of Sammy the Cocker Spaniel: "Catsth - Yuck!"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Plethora of Pictures

Some pictures of the fun goings-on with us and our friends.

Four little monkeys in the tub.

Handsome Jack and his Mommy.

You can take the farmer off of the farm....

He's crawling! Heaven help us.

Me. Just realized that I have almost no pictures of me because I'm usually behind the camera.

Just discovered the tongue. Love this stage!

Handsome hubby with his goofy mustache.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yes, Another One

A few of you are aware of the recent upheaval in my life. Most of you are not. I feel that it is important for me to share my experience, but because of the nature I have chosen to start a new blog specifically for this reason.

I will tell you upfront that it is a heavy subject, one that I am very hesitant to talk about. I want to keep Blissful Bedlam a fun, upbeat sort of place and that is another reason I have started a new blog.

If you promise to be nice, you can see what I'm talking about at http://dontcallmeadramaqueen.blogspot.com/, but you have to make the promise first. If you don't promise to be nice, the link won't work.

See you there.

Or not, if you're a mean, judgmental sort of person.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In Which We Explore the Proper Use of Homonyms

Morgan has a few of these brush tees that he likes to use when he is golfing.

He and Joe were out in the backyard the other day, hitting some balls into the farmer's field, so the tees were still out on the counter. (Things don't get put away in our house for days, even weeks sometimes. That's just how we roll.) Adam was looking at the tees and he held one up and said "Ball?" Not thinking about my response at all, I said, "Yep. Those are for Daddy's balls." I cringed after I said it, but figured that a two-year-old doesn't understand double meanings.

Then I heard Noel pipe up. "Oh. Those balls."

Having a nine-year-old brother and a father that acts like a nine-year-old brother, Noel is no stranger to double meanings.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Dark Underbelly of the Domestic Crafting World

I got a new email address several months ago to go along with my sewing blog. I couldn't figure out how to have my sewing blog on this account and yet keep them totally separate so I just got a new hotmail account and started a totally different blogging account. It's nice because all of my sewing related emails go to that account so they don't get lost in the multitude of mail in my personal account.

Here's the thing: it's a relatively new account. I have the address on my business cards and there can't be that many of them floating around. I have the address on my blog, which is the most likely source of my problem. Oh, what's the problem? I have no messages in my inbox, but there are over 30 in my junk mail box, and every single one of the subject lines says something along the lines of "enlarge your junk!" or "enhance your pleasure!" The messages vary in degrees of nasti- and inappropriateness, but they are all sex-related ads.

Someone out there found my blog and decided that someone who makes and sells handcrafted baby items and purses must be totally into bed sports.

So here is your education for today: quilter = sex maniac. There. Now you've learned something new.

(Kinda makes you see Grandma in a whole new light, doesn't it?)

A Little of This, A Little of That

I don't have much to blog about as I sit here this late night, or early morning, as the case may be. It always calms me to write and it is a giant boost to my anemic ego to see that I have comments on my blogs.

So here I sit. Typing.

*drumming fingers on desk*

There is a cricket somewhere in the jamb to the back door. At first I thought it was charming; a sweet little harbinger of summer. Now I want to find it and cut it in two with a meat cleaver. It mocks me with its incessant chirping. Just when I'm sure I've zeroed in on where the little bugger is, the chirping will come from somewhere else. Maybe it's a flock of crickets, all in on the universal attempt to drive me insane.

Earlier today I was outside hooking up the trailer to take the garbage into town. Somebody forgot to put it out last night and the garbage man comes at the butt crack of dawn so by the time I realized that the garbage can was still overflowing, it was too late. Someone's neglect to take out the trash is not the point. The point is that I was outside and so was Adam. He loves to run, play in the dirt, look at the tractors and the cows and his stay-close-to-Mommy-skills suck. He would run part way down the driveway and then find something interesting to look at, like a stinkbug or a particularly interesting clump of mud, then he would run back and jabber to me about his find. After a riveting discourse on the properties of the stinkbug, he turned and headed back down the driveway. He got further away from me than I was comfortable with so I stopped him with a sharp "Hey!" When he turned to look at me, I said, "Come back! The tractor is coming that way." It really was. I wasn't lying to him just to get him safely nearer to me. (Although such a thing is not beneath me. Moms lie all the time to keep their kids safe.) He listened to my warning, pondered it for a moment then blew me a kiss and kept on running the other way. My incredulity was short-lived, however, when the tractor rounded the bend directly in front of him. He did an abrupt about-face and ran to my open arms, where I kissed him and asked "How did a nice mama like me ever end up with a naughty boy like you?" He smiled and said "Doo jeeswishup trahzhingzhing," which I understood to mean "because you're lucky."


Mike just groggily walked out of his room to use the bathroom. He saw me sitting at the computer and in a sleepy, croaky voice said "the moon is rust red outside. I wonder why it's rust red. Sometimes it's rust red at the solstice - I mean lunar eclipse. The moon is rust red." Then he continued on his way to the bathroom, took care of business, and disappeared back in his room without another word. Mike is a science geek even in his sleep. You have to really know what you're talking about when you talk to him or he'll catch you not knowing what you're talking about. A couple of days ago, he brought me a dictionary that his teacher had given him before school got out. In the back was a listing of the planets; how they got their names, the number of moons of each, etc. He showed me Mercury and where the book said that Mercury was the name of the Greek messenger God. Then he told me that that is incorrect, that Mercury is actually the Roman god. Hermes is the Greek name. Huh. He's right. Another thing he brought up to me was a couple of weeks ago when he and Moe were watching some true stories of the ER sort of show on television. The episode was about a guy who got shot in the leg, but when he went to the ER to have the bullet removed, they couldn't find the bullet in his leg. They ended up finding it in his chest. Michael asked Morgan how that was possible and Morgan told him that the bullet got into an artery and from there it was pumped up to his chest. The next day, Mike told me that he had been thinking about how that was impossible because arteries travel away from the heart so it must have been a vein. There is no fooling that kid. He is too smart for my own good.

I guess I had a lot to say for not having much to say.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Who Knew?

This week, I have learned two important lessons.

If you do not pay for your internet, they will shut it off and your contact with the outside world will dramatically decrease.

If you do not pay for your telephone, they will shut it off and your contact with the outside world will decrease even more.

There has been a whole lot of crazy going on in my life for the past several months, and one of the symptoms of the crazy is that my memory is shot. Gone. As non-existent as a body builder at a Star Trek convention.

I honestly had no idea that my bills were that far past due.

Suck fest. Re-connection fees hit below the belt.

Now I am back online and ready to entertain all of my minions with more hilarity from my day to day life...


Right now, I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why Don't I Just Take My Shirt Off and Light My Hair On Fire?

I opened the door first thing this morning to let Spanky out for his morning tinkle and there was a chicken out of the chicken run. I don't know how she got out, but I ran out in my jammies to try to get her back inside the fence before Spanky could catch her. She was near the gate so I opened the gate, hoping to shoo her inside. Instead, the goats, having been alerted by my calls of "Come back here, you stupid chicken! Do you want to get eaten?", pushed their way out of the open gate and scared the chicken away.

At this point, I'd like to add that it was raining and in my rush to save the stupid chicken's life I had left the door open.

Goats don't like rain. They don't like to be wet at all. They have a nice, dry, heated chicken coop with beds of straw to lay on, but they definitely prefer my house. So when they saw the open door, they made straight for the couch.

My dilemma: catch the chicken and save her from the clutches of the murderous Cocker Spaniel, or get the goats off of my furniture and save myself from a morning of shampooing my couch and carpet.

Additionally, being in my jammies, I was bra-less. Adam was standing in the doorway calling "Maaaammmmaaaaaa" because it's cold and raining and the door is open and he wants me to come back inside. He doesn't care about the goats being inside, to him they are just dogs.

It was at this point that one of the farm hands sauntered over. (Oh my GOSH! I'm not wearing a bra and I'm in my PAJAMAS!) He tries to strike up a conversation. I kind of know the guy because he worked with Morgan prior to working out here.

Now I am facing total humiliation, certain death of one chicken, and the destruction of my furniture. What's a girl to do?

I got it all sorted out in the end, but now the question that is weighing heavily on my mind is: why do I care so much about being seen without a bra? For me, it's just one step down from being completely topless.

I'd like to add that yelling "Come back here, you stupid chicken! Do you want to get eaten?" doesn't make the chicken any more willing to allow itself to be caught, but it did make me feel like less of an idiot to say something while chasing her.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Just How Redneck Are We?

We catch earthworms, throw them in the chicken coop and place bets on which bird will end up with the worm. It's so much more entertaining than it sounds.

Also, I watched one of our little hens catch flying gnats right out of the air.

And our goats think that they are dogs, because if the door gets left open they wander right in the house and jump up on the couch. They're so cute that I really don't mind. Honestly, if I could potty train them, I'd let them be indoor pets. They have great personalities.

Friday night, Moe and I were standing in the back yard talking when we heard a commotion in the kitchen. Morgan popped his head in the door and yelled "Humperdink! Get out of the fridge!" He then turned to me and said "I never thought that I'd have to say that to a goat."

We have gone total hick and we are loving every minute of it.