Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This is my 100th post.

(Insert balloons and noisemakers and streamers here.)


I've been saving this post for a little while now, letting an idea form. I was going to write a list (you know how I love lists) of one hundred random thoughts or things about me.

But today I feel inspired to write about a different topic: my very best friend in the whole entire world. (After my husband, of course.) Fear not. This, too, shall take the form of a list.

  • She encourages my Coca Cola addiction.
  • She understands when there are days when the lives of my children hang in the balance of good behavior and anti-depressants.
  • She doesn't murder her children in a fit of motherly rage because she knows that that would set a precedent too hard not to follow.
  • I once brought home a book for my kids entitled "The Day My Parents Ruined My Life" and she dryly commented "I'm pretty sure it would be hard for me to pick just one day."
  • When life kicks her in the face and then rubs mud into it, she puts on her big girl panties and deals with it.
  • She knows God and loves him.
  • She babysits for me. A lot.
  • She loves my children.
  • She has fridge rights.
  • She hangs out with me when I sew.
  • She has seen me in my undies and didn't laugh.
  • Her pet name for me is Biz-natch.
  • She inappropriately invades my personal space because even though I have a huge personal bubble, she know that she's the only one who can do that and make me laugh.
  • We could spend hours waxing eloquent about Gerard Butler's various attributes.
  • She makes fun of me when I mispronounce words.
  • She makes fun of me when I do pretty much anything.
  • I can share my deepest, darkest secrets with her and she will still love me.
  • We will later laugh about my deepest, darkest secrets.
  • She helps me understand who I am and what I'm doing.
  • She believes in me.
  • She encourages my chocolate addiction.
  • She doesn't wait for me to answer her knock. She knocks and then waltzes right in. That waltz always makes me happy inside.
  • She knows that I'm a sucker for all kinds of animals and knows the right time to be supportive and the right time to call me an animal retard.
  • She is writing a book and I think that is awesome.
I love her. I really do.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Little Help, Please

I have a dilemma. I've been thinking about his for quite some time now, and I'll admit, I'm at my wits' end.

My daughter refuses to clean her room, and, if ever it does get clean, it is messy again within hours. What's a mom to do?

A friend and I talked about this the other day and discussed how it seems like such a ridiculous thing to waste hours and hours arguing about. I remember many occasions as a child that my mother and I argued about the state of my room. I remember purposely dragging my feet because I didn't want to clean my room.

Now I'm the mom and I'm not ashamed to say that these room-cleaning arguments are kicking my trash!

If I encourage Noel to clean her room and keep it this way, there are some positive side effects.
  • A clean room = less broken and lost toys.
  • A sense of pride and accomplishment.
  • She learns good stewardship.
  • The seeds of good housekeeping (handy for when she's a grown-up with her own house) are planted.
  • Less funky odor emanating from her room. (Seriously.)
  • She learns that it's important to obey your parents, even when you don't agree with them.
  • She learns that some things in life are no fun and that 's it's best to dive in and be done with them.
  • Things are easier to find, there are less already-running-late instances of "Where is my other shoe?"
  • She learns responsibility.
I can't think of many negative aspects of the argument of her keeping her room clean, but here are the few I can think of.
  • It's her room, if she wants to live like a slob so be it.
  • All of the arguing is killing me.
What would you do? Really. I need some feedback here, because I don't know how much longer I can keep this up.

Thanks in advance, bloggy friends.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Berry Pickers

On the way home from church Sunday, Mike said something that reminded what a boy's boy he is.

There is an elk ranch on the way to our house, and some of the bulls are getting some really impressive antlers.

As we drove by, I commented on the huge rack of the bull closest to the road.

Mike asked me what I meant when I said rack. I answered by putting my fingers above my head and wiggling them and saying "His antlers. They're huge!" Then I laughed at myself for wiggling my fingers. I said "Wouldn't it be funny if they could really wiggle their antlers like that?"

Mike was immediately intrigued. "Yeah, and then they could reach out with their antlers and strangle their enemies!"

I laughed and said "That is so like you, to find the weapons-related angle to any subject we talk about."

He was silent for a minute then responded with this zinger:

"Well, I guess they could use them to pick berries."

Isn't that a great mental image?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Miss You

Once again, I find myself without a home computer. Morgan has a laptop that I'm able to use but it feels weird to me and I haven't yet learned how to upload pictures onto it.

I miss blogging. Blogging makes me happy.

I have got to get a new desktop.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Kids Are Awesome

When we moved into this house last summer, there was an overabundance of cats running around the place so we had to, um, take care of some of them. At first, I didn't want Mike and Noel to watch Morgan shoot, I mean, take care of the cats because they're pretty tender-hearted when it comes to animals. It turned out that they had kind of a morbid fascination with watching the animals get shot and then subsequently die. There was one in particular that didn't die quickly. It flopped around for a bit before Morgan had to finish it off.

Noel once complained that Morgan took Mike cat hunting but she didn't get to go, so he said that he thought that she liked cats and wouldn't like to watch them get shot.

She replied that she liked tame cats, not wild cats. When he asked how she could tell the difference between tame cats and wild cats, she replied, "When you shoot wild cats, they flop all over, like this" and demonstrated full-body flopping.

Now we like to joke that if you need to figure out if an animal is wild or tame, you just shoot it.

We left a few cats alive for mouse control. One of the cats was a cute little Siamese. Her leg had been shot and eventually fell off, so we call her Lucky or Stumpy. The irony of the whole situation is that now, a year later, Stumpy is the only surviving cat. The rest have been picked off by various predators.


Mike has been shooting random objects around our yard lately with the BB gun. A couple of days ago he told me about a wasp nest that he shot. As an afterthought, he added that it was next to a window in the garage and that he had accidentally shot the window and broken some of the glass. When he saw the look on my face he asked, "Is shooting glass bad?"

In his defense, the window was already broken and I think that he assumed that since it was already broken there was no harm in breaking it more. This prompted me to review with him what is okay to shoot and what he should avoid shooting. Since we rent a house on a cattle feed lot, there are a lot of things that are no-nos. Don't shoot windows, buildings or tractors. Don't shoot near windows, buildings or tractors. Don't shoot the cows. Don't shoot any piece of farm equipment.

This led to questions of "What can I shoot?"

I finally ended the talk with a cautionary "Just don't shoot anything that belongs to Joe or Kerry."

After a moment of silence, Mike said "Well, who does Stumpy belong to?"

What a goober. He wasn't planning on shooting the cat, he assured me. He just wondered who she belonged to.


In the vein of shooting things, I was inside the other day when I heard a shriek of "dragonflies!" from outside. Mike came in and asked me to come outside with him. Sure enough, there were dragonflies everywhere, and they were huge.

Mike's reaction?

"You could shoot those with a BB gun!"

He is such a boy's boy.


I generally do not buy snack cakes because I think that they are garbage. My mom bought some Ding Dongs and sent them home with me because, and I quote, if she kept them she would be "as big as a cow."

I brought them home and put them on the counter. Some time later, Noel came out of her room to ask her dad if she could have a doofus.

"A what?"

"You know, a doofus."

It took him a few minutes to understand that she meant a Ding Dong. She knew it was one of those term-of-endearment words that I am always calling my kids.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Riddle

What are yellow...

...and pink...

...and pink and yellow...

...and blue and yellow...

...and apparently taste appalling to goats?

Four o' clocks and bush morning glories.

Next year I will buy seeds in bulk.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Guess What!

Either someone stole my social security number or someone at a golf course in Boise transposed some numbers.

I vote for number two.

Today I have spent literally hours on the phone with the nice people at the Social Security office, the nice people at the Department of Health and Welfare and Troy, the friendly second or third in command (depending on who is working that day) at the above-mentioned golf course.

I miss my life.

So far, everyone seems to think that it is just a typographical error but I won't know for sure until I speak with the owner of the golf course and who knows when that will happen because, well, he owns a golf course. He comes and goes as he pleases.

*please call soon, please call soon, please call soon*

Actually, a very small part of me hopes that someone stole my identity and then tried to get credit using that number.

HA! The joke is on you!

In addition, several thousand dollars of wages have gone into my social security retirement account thanks to this situation. Right now, I'm printing out six twenty-plus credit reports. We haven't checked them since we filed our bankruptcy two years ago because we figured (with just cause) that if anyone wanted to steal our identities, they could have them.

*sigh* Now I need my social security number back so I can get a loan to pay for all the ink and paper that printing these credit reports is requiring.

Chikins Are Stoopid

This post is belated because we were without a computer for a while and have just remedied that situation. It's actually a few posts combined into one, so get comfy.

One evening several weeks ago, we had just said good-bye to Emily and her kids and were getting all of our kids rounded up and into the house to begin preparing for bed. I walked down by the pond to set a sprinkler when I heard Adam scream. Those of you who are parents know that your children have different screams. This was not the scream of a toddler who was mad because someone had stolen his favorite toy; this was the scream of a toddler who believed that his own death was imminent.

I started running back up to the house, calling his name the whole time. As I got nearer, I could hear that he was screaming "Daddy! Help!" over and over. I couldn't imagine what had happened but all my mommy senses were on high alert.

I rounded the corner of the house to find Adam trapped in the yard cart by our rooster, Foghorn. For some reason, Foghorn had decided several weeks previously that he didn't like Adam. He was friendly enough to the rest of the family but I had seen him chase Adam several times before. Morgan and I tried to always make sure that Adam was never alone with Foghorn, which was easy enough because Adam couldn't open the gate to the coop and Foghorn rarely flew out of the coop, not to mention that we don't make a habit of leaving Adam outside alone.

The rooster was in the only opening of the high-walled cart with his wings spread wide Karate Kid-style and he was jumping in the air and slashing at Adam with his claws. Adam was huddled in the back of the cart, with literally no escape. As soon as he saw me, he reached his arms out and jumped from the cart. As I caught him, he wrapped both his legs and arms around my neck and began heaving great sobs of relief. I tried to pull him away from me to check for injuries, but he held fast. I considered wringing Foghorn's neck then and there or at least punting him across the yard, but he had taken off as soon as he saw me round the corner of the house.

I ran in the house, calling for Morgan. I found him in the bathroom, where he was, uh, occupied and told him what had happened. I didn't realize that Adam could say Foghorn's name, but as I related the events to Morgan, Adam clung even tighter to me and cried "Coghorn, no! Coghorn, no!"

Mike, who was just stepping out of the shower, heard the whole thing. His eyes grew wide and he said "Does that mean we have to kill Foghorn?"

Morgan nodded and said "I'm going to do it tonight."

Michael began to cry and ran out of the room.

Adam finally loosened his grip enough that I could look at him. He had two slashes on his neck, one below each ear. They weren't deep enough to even be bleeding, really. I was surprised that he didn't have greater injuries, given the amount of time the rooster had him cornered.

Adrenaline was still pumping through my body and I was unable to hold still. I decided to go outside and put the ducks into the coop for the night. I had noticed them in the yard when I was carrying Adam into the house. I tried to leave Adam with Morgan, but he cried and reached for me. I figured that a distraction would be good for him, too, so I asked him if he wanted to help me catch the ducks. Foghorn's attitude toward Adam was infuriating in part because Adam loved all of our birds so much. He would sit by the wading pool in the laundry room for hours and play with them when they were still just chicks. When we finished the coop and put them outside, he loved to feed them. I was so glad to see that he had no fear of the birds. Fear of animals is something that is hard to overcome and with as many pets as we have, I want all of my children to be responsible around animals but not afraid. Adam was officially now terrified of at least one of our birds, and it probably wouldn't take much for him to fear the others.

As soon as we walked out the door, Foghorn caught sight of Adam and puffed up his chest and let out a crow. Adam clung again to me, screaming "No, Coghorn!" and didn't calm down until I set him safely on top of the dog house. Just as I was herding the ducks into the coop, Mike and Noel came out of the door, both crying.

"Is Dad really going to kill Foghorn?" "I don't want him to kill Foghorn!" "How is he going to do it?" "Foghorn is my pet!"

I tried to calm Mike and Noel by repeating what the chicken had done to their brother. I explained that it was likely to happen again and that we couldn't have an animal around that would attack someone. I asked them if they loved the chicken more than they loved their brother, to which they tearfully responded "no".

Just as everyone started to breathe normally again, the door opened and out came Morgan. Fire blazed in his eyes. Not only was he a man with a purpose, he was an angry man with a purpose. The kids could sense their father's mood and immediately burst into tears.

Morgan strode purposefully down the path to the coop as Mike and Noel dissolved into puddles of tears. Adam was clinging to my neck again, crying.

"Stop!" I yelled, surprising everyone, including myself. "Morgan, please wait. He's their pet. You can kill him, but let them say goodbye."

He obliged, but I could tell that he wouldn't wait long. I watched Mike and Noel hug and stroke Foghorn for just a few seconds before I could tell that Morgan was done waiting. I sent Mike and Noel back into the house, telling them that I didn't want them to see what was going to happen. I didn't want to see it either, so I held Adam tightly and ran around the house, babbling to him about how we were going to set the sprinkler. I didn't want Adam to hear anything, but honestly, I didn't want to hear it either.

Adam and I took care of the sprinkler, watched the fish in the pond for a while and then played on the swings until I felt that it was safe to find Morgan.

The deed was done, the body disposed of.

Over the next few days, the two remaining roosters seemed confused as they fell into their new roles as alpha and second in command.

A few weeks passed, and Adam never said anything about Foghorn again. He still loved to play with the ducks and the other chickens. I think he realized that the threat only came from one chicken, and that chicken was no longer around.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Mike and Noel were playing outside one afternoon. Mike decided that he would put the ducks into the chicken coop as it looked like there was a storm coming. When he opened the gate, all of the chickens (there were eight) came out and the ducks went in. Mike tried to get the chickens back in but couldn't do it on his own. He asked Noel for help but she didn't want to help. He told her that if she didn't help that Spanky would kill them. She still wouldn't help. Mike gave up and came inside, where he watched TV with Morgan and me and the little boys. He never said anything about the chickens.

I'm not sure of the details of what happened next, but Noel forgot that the chickens were out. She also forgot that our dog is a blood-thirsty chicken killer and she let him outside. She didn't witness what happened, but she was the one who found the carnage. She came running in the house screaming "all of the chickens are dead!" We ran outside to find bodies and feathers everywhere, with Spanky sitting in the middle of it all, goofy dog grin plastered all across his furry face.

We gathered up the bodies which were spread across the yard, counting as we went, hoping that maybe he didn't get them all. We had six bodies. That meant that two were missing. Morgan and Michael began to search, while Noel buried her head in my stomach and cried "It's all my fault!"

I took her inside the house and let the boys stay outside and deal with the dirty work. A few minutes later, an elated Michael burst through the door with a live chicken in his arms.

Apparently she had found her way into the garage and remained hidden there until Mike found her. We decided to call her Lucky, for obvious reasons. Emily called her the "Anne Frank of chickens." We never found the other chicken. I figure he killed it out in the tall weeds where we couldn't find it.

So, we were left with four ducks: two mallards and two pekins and one non-laying chicken. The only reason we bought birds in the first place was for chicken eggs; the ducks were just an afterthought.

Last week, our two pekin ducks disappeared during the day. It wasn't Spanky, he never showed any interest in the ducks. I saw them sleeping the night before and Morgan saw them in the morning as he headed for work. That evening we noticed that the mallards were around but not the pekins. A closer search turned up feathers but no ducks.

Something took my freaking ducks in broad daylight! I think the mallards survived because they can fly a little, which the pekins couldn't and they spend a lot of time swimming in the pond while the pekins stayed in the yard.

Then, today, I swear I am not making this up, Lucky's luck ran out. She flew out of the coop and Spanky got her.

We bought a total of 31 birds, 27 of which were chickens. What do we have left? Two stinking ducks.

In my last effort at bird optimism this year, I am attempting to hatch (in an incubator) four duck eggs and four chicken eggs which I collected before the birds died.

Two ducks. *sigh*

Birthday Bliss

For my actual birthday, Moe and I went out with Joe and Em to Texas Roadhouse and then on to see All About Steve. It was super fun. What follows is a picture-mentary of the evening.

Besties waiting for the hubbies.

We're both making weird faces. Next picture, please.

Lots of snuggling went on between these two. I guess they forgot that it was my birthday. Ahem.

At the Roadhouse. Mmmmm.

Umm, some random picture of someone's food. I didn't take this. It was just on my camera.

I was being a carrot walrus, but the carrots started to fall out. Moe is making his "muppet" face.


Jacob, the very best server ever. Ever. Don't argue.

Me laughing at Jacob and his cronies who danced in the tiny space right at our table and irritated all other surrounding tables. Emily may or may not have put some ones in his apron pockets.

What romantic date is complete without a time-killing trip to DI?

Not pictured is the totally rockin' storm door we got for $15. Shaw!

Um, Joe, who are those weirdos racing around the Walmart parking lot?

Oh, our spouses. Right.

Happy birthday to me!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hello Again

Dear Lurkers, Stalkers, and General Cyberspace Community,

I've been gone for a while, although I'm sure this is not news to anyone. I know that there are some of you who check for a blog update more than the required three times per day.

Dry those tears, sweet ones. I'm back.

I've missed you. I thought of you when my dog killed all but one of my chickens. I though of you when my eleven month old started to walk. I though of you when my toddler learned to open doors. I thought of you when I decided that I should start a band made up entirely of mothers, and the song titles would be things like "My Life Changed Forever the Day You Learned to Open Doors" and "Take That Out of Your Mouth!" I thought of you when I was bored, lonely and sad.

Let the word vomit commence.