Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Me Today

Me before work begins

AHHHHHHH! After my cup of herbal tea.
Sisters, how are you today?

Here I Am - 4:30 a.m. - Nothing Better To Do!

Well hello all - It is 4:30 in the am and here I lay reading sister blogs. It occurred to me that I obviously lead a disturbingly boring life when, doing the routinely "I can't sleep" ritual, I find solace in reading my beautiful sister's blog. Don't misunderstand, I find it refreshingly funny (although - not wishing ill on my sweet sister) but I sure am glad I wasn't the one to find the snake. I probably would still be running or at the very least burning down my house - furnishings and all - had I found the snake. I was thinking (one of those rare occasions) that maybe if Schelly, her cat and my two Jack Russells would find their own bed I might be able to rest or at least stretch out to do my sister blogging. Hey - you know what? I can envision Kelli standing in front of the living room window, folding her laundry and all the while laughing, saying inside herself (or maybe even out loud) "Wow mom, it looks like you missed a spot." Hey Jilly Bean - you should have been there to supervise or at least act interested - ha!ha! You just knew you would be included in the laundry folding - huh? Oh by the way, let Brian know I am so proud of him although now I won't be able to be persistent and call every few hours just to harass his behind. Just to let you know Vonda - I mowed a portion of this rental lawn as well (yesterday). I, unlike those professional lawn movers) refuse to stop and move anything in my way - apples, blueberries, sticks, kids swimming pools, dog pooh (and there is a plenty of that) or anything else for that matter. When my six year old says "mommy what was that, or wow what smells?" I just act like I can't hear her little quibbles and continue on my way - gettin er done. No wonder I belong to the bubba Fuzi gang. Anyway - love you guys!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Snakey Deck of a Weekend

Yikes! Wade is a very, very, very brave, no I mean crazy. Look at what we found curled up in one of our skylights, the same skylight about three years ago that we found an identical snake. Dave sealed all of the skylights off with caulk so I don't know how in the world it got in but it was enjoying a nice little sun bath and was lethargic just like the last one. Now mind you this is NOT the snake that I found in our living room underneath the windows in the sun about one year ago. That snake came in through our bathroom floor which was open while in the remodel phase and although it looked like the same kind of snake it was definitely NOT lethargic. Of course I was home alone that day and it was very fast. The thing slithered against the walls, under furniture and out again all the while I am chasing it with a pair of BBQ tongs, you know the LOOOOONG ones. I had more adrenalin than a wrestler on steroids. You should have seen my furniture fly as I chased it, flipping the couch, love seat and recliners over. I am not really afraid of snakes in general but I am not a big fan either, especially when I have to catch it. When I finally caught it I went out on the deck with it, shaking, and hurled it clear out over our fence into the field. I think it went so far that it shed its skin while in the air. Funny thing is at that time I had what I called baby elbow, the tendon over my right elbow was really sore from holding two little grand babies. When hurling that snake I never felt a thing. That is, until after I calmed down which took a good couple of hours and after chewing Dave's ear out over the phone. Picture a howling hag saying that he better do something about the gaping floor problem or he and his snakes would be living here by themselves.


Here is what we were doing this weekend. Dave and Wade tore out our front rotting deck. Now Dave has to begin to rebuild it. There were some creepy things under there....like the skeleton of a cat, we are assuming was our cat who disappeared several years ago. Poor cat. We never even smelled anything.

Here are Dave and Wade hard at work. Thanks guys! Wade I owe you that Pioneer Woman's chocolate cake. Coming soon!

Oh, and me? What did I do this weekend? I had Byron and Lucy overnight on Friday night which was fun even though they kept me running. Then Lucy spent one more night and her dad picked her up Sunday morning. Dave spent some time with his dad so his mom could go to church so I thought I would mow our lawn. Well the riding lawn mower battery was dead so I decided to mow it with our push mower. Four hours later I come staggering in covered in grass, dirt, sweat barely able to walk. Now I remember why we have a riding lawn mower. An acre of lawn, little hills, and hot flashes in 85 degree weather just don't blend well. Of course Kelli who was here doing her laundry smiles coolly at me as I come crawling in. Punk!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha!
Oh! Er, I can't stop laughing. I just can't help myself. Look at Dave's strawberry patch. After he worked so hard to put that chicken wire around there not once but twice. Those darn deer managed to pull it up with their noses and ate the whole thing down again. Um mm, shouldn't laugh but I couldn't help it. He just looked at the patch and shook his head. But I can see his wheels turning trying to outfox them. Maybe he will practice using his sling shot.


My first stargazer lilly bloomed. Isn't it lovely? No not my thumb in the corner sillies, the flower.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Little Hello From Brian

I know that you are wondering just how he grew his hair so long so quickly. After all, he just shaved his head the other day. Jill and Wade brought this back for him from Jamaica and he delights in scaring Lucy and Byron. For some reason (I just don't know why) they are both afraid of this hat. Lucy kind of laughs until he comes too close but Byron screams and runs.

The real reason I have put his photo here is because he has some news. After searching for months he has accepted a job offer in Baltimore. He will be teaching high school Spanish in an all-boy private school. Funny, he never pictured himself teaching but found that he enjoyed it while teaching English as a second language in Spain. They came up with a package he couldn't refuse so he will be moving in August. He will begin on August 27th but needs to go a few weeks ahead to find a place to live and such.

The great thing is.....he now has given notice to Hynix. He just couldn't wait to quit that place....in his words with head hung low and hunched over "Mom, I'm just a cart pusher. Could you write me a note like high school to tell them not to make me do it?"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

WHY?

For days now I keep seeing things and doing things that I ask myself "WHY".

For instance, see this planter hanging on our gazebo. Obviously the flowers are dead and have been all season. I look at them every day and see them as I am watering all the live flowers (nope I don't water these). WHY? I keep making a note to myself to take this down and fill with flowers but it is still there.

See this cake mix. WHY would anyone want to eat this cake? I choose to call it the plastic cake because the little colored flecks used to be (or maybe still are) that waxy candy. YUK! But Jill and Kelli just love this. In fact Jill asked for it for her birthday in cupcake form. She thinks they taste better. Both Jill and Kelli said it is just a little bit of heaven when they were eating them.

See this deer? Well yes he is cute, pretty and what have you. But we call these deer our dogs. They come up to the house, paw at the ground until they have dug a round circle in the bark mulch, turn around and around like a dog and lay down every day. WHY? Of all the property and forest behind us, they keep coming every day. I have decided that I need to teach them to bark so maybe they will keep the deer away. Oh wait, they are the deer.

Oh! I forgot to mention that they spy on us.

And look at this very strange chicken....the one laying down. See how tiny she is? WHY? The other chickens surrounding her were purchased at the same time and look how much larger they are. But that is not the real WHY question. Tell me why she only takes three or four steps and then has to fluff herself up and lay down. She looks and acts like she needs to be fanned with a palm leaf and fed grapes off a platter. And no she doesn't seem to be in any pain, limping or such. She simply acts pampered.

Look at this picture. Yep, turkey crap on our diving board. WHY do they crap on a diving board? It's not like they take a swim or anything. In fact, WHY do they crap at all around our house? Crudballs.

Then there is Brian's head. No, not why does he have a head but WHY does he think his hair is long at about 1/8th of an inch? You can barely see any hair poking through his scalp when he either shaves it himself or has it cut by a barber. Lucky barber making money on cutting nothing.

And the last WHY for today is something I never thought about until last summer. I always turn my deodorant upside down in the basket it resides in. No this is not a liquid but a solid. Kyla asked me that one day last summer. WHY do I do that? WHY?

Look Who's 5 Today!


I can't believe that five years ago today, at 3 in the morning, a little 2 lb, 15 oz, girl blessed our family. Who would have known (except God) that this little angel, who was not given any hope of survival - she's missing part of her brain after all, would turn into this spirited, life-filled blessing of a little girl. She is grinning ear to ear this morning, showing everyone how big and tall she is now that she is five! God is so good - with so many lessons for us all! She says she will be 99 when she grows up, whe wants to be a mom with 5 kids and she will retire this year! Lexie is definitley singing her life song!

Sister Lips


Good Morning Ya'll - here is my first addition to the redneck photos - aint we sisters a site for sore eyes? No wonder our men picked us - they couldn't help themselves!!! They are sooooooooooooooooo lucky - golly gee!!!! Heah Heah Heah!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Rednecks

While looking for photos of Jill for her birthday I realized that this family (mostly mine) has an obscene amount of pictures doing very weird things. Trust me when I say this is just a tiny, tiny bit of the thousands of ugly photos I have. Could it be that we really are hillbillies, hicks and rednecks? What do you think sisters? I dare you to post some of your very own family weirdness. At least tell a story about it.

For your viewing pleasure.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Double Birthday Today

We have a double birthday today. It seems to happen often in large families. For instance, Barb had Jason on our dad's birthday.


Here is Jill. She came bouncing into the world 25 years ago with smiles, giggles and wiggles and she never has stopped.

Here she is with her husband, Wade. Don't they make a sweet family?
Happy birthday Jilly. We love you soooo much.

Here is Shalon, Loretta's son. Isn't he just about the cutest kid? Well maybe not a kid any longer. His birthday is today also. He just had to horn in on Jill's sixth birthday nineteen years ago.

He loves his mom and sister and it shows. Happy Birthday Shalon. We love you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

For Barb


Barb and I had a conversation yesterday when I dropped off eggs and blueberries at her office. While we watched a dumpster diving expedition out the church door, we discussed the brisket I made using the Pioneer Woman's recipe. It is probably the best brisket we have had. We grilled rolls and after shredding the brisket, layered the meat along with coleslaw. On top of that we gave a squirt of the following sauce. Just added a little zing to it! Yum.

By the way, the guy diving made out like a bandit....he just loaded up his car with stuff that a bunch of college students threw away. I suppose he will gift his girlfriend with all these treasures or perhaps sell or trade them for drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.

So for you Barb, here is the recipe for the sauce. Very easy to make.

P.S. Now would you post the recipe for the cole slaw dressing? Purty please!


Red Vinegar BBQ Sauce

1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
3 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper

In sauce pan bring ingredients with 1 cup of water to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce to low and simmer for ten minutes. Great over shredded pork or beef.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Smell a Rat

Sooooo, a couple of weeks ago I came home from work on a Tuesday and when I walked through the front door I detected a faint odor. Now, I am quite well known among close family for my great gift of olfaction. (Look it up.) I can smell a beer on your breath at 50 paces. As I enter the premises I catch a slight smell - now it could be a number of things considering the lads bedroom is right there. Take your pick, old shoes, dirty clothes, little and big boy smells ugggg. Anyway I kept sniffing around the hallway but couldn't quite find a definite culprit so I asked Jason to remove the 400 lbs of laundry from the floor of his bedroom and see if we could eliminate the problem. Along comes Thursday, and you guessed it I walk in the door and WAM there it is stronger than ever. Now the vicinity is more apparant and seems to be coming from the closet int he entryway. I pull everything out but can't seem to find anything but something is definitely amiss. Open doors, windows, light candles, avoid the hallway. Alongs comes Friday - something has died!!! I called the Bug Man and he proceeds to ask if we have put out any rodent poisen recently. Of course my darling has put some in the attic. Apparantly that is not the thing to do - the critters nibble and then go under the house for a "dirt nap". So for $150 he could send someone out to crawl under the house and see what he could see. But he cautioned that it could be in the walls in which case they would have to tear out walls or we could live with it. Well that wasn't going to work! Fortunately, for me anyway, our wonderful son-in-law Jeremy is a home inspector and he volunteered to go under the house and treasure hunt on Friday morning. What was lost was found! He bagged (literally) a huge, maggot infected rat, up in the insulation. Oh my God, I live in the ghetto. Anyway I called Eric and gave him the good news, he really wasn't looking forward to coming home and crawling under the house on Saturday. Bless Jeremy's heart. I owe him one. Eric did get to tear out carpet in the closet, seal all seams with calk, and we now have a clean, aired out closet. I would not recommend this as the best way to do a spring cleaning but it was definitly a motivator. And the adventures continue!

By the way, thanks to all my siblings for the birthday wishes. You are all so sweet. I appreciate all of you so much. What a blessing! Ta ta,

Memory Tuesday

Have you ever wondered how you might look to unsuspecting neighbors? For some reason an event keeps popping in my head of one ridiculous event that happened to me out of I must admit, many.

It was winter and I was almost seven months pregnant with Kelli. Living in Baker of course there was snow and ice. This was one of those days where the snow had melted somewhat during the day leaving water that had melted then froze into a nice sheen of ice before my arrival home from work that evening. Dave's dad happened to be meeting us there for some forgotten reason. I was wearing a dress that day and I pulled up in the driveway, hopped out oh so gracefully swinging my big belly around for momentum. Thinking it looked "just like a little dampness" on our sidewalk below our living room window, I didn't slow down or put my "caution" antennae up. That is until too late. As I stepped onto the ice beneath our huge window, I began to slide, my legs slowly spreading apart. If you can imagine this, to keep my balance I just stopped and let them slide to a slow split, just like I always wished I could do in high school. Didn't want to fall hard and hurt my baby you know. Such a kind and protective mother I was. So as I am stuck in this stupid position with neighbors driving by waving, I holler for Dave, who was inside with his dad. They came out and hoisted me back up on my feet and I waddled into the house. My father-in-law made the cutesy remark "Well that little baby now has seen the light of day". Wise acre!

So for the next several months I walked like I had been in the saddle for just a little too long. No wonder Kelli was born two weeks early. Later my neighbor across the street told me she was watching and laughing the whole time but didn't think she could make it over in time to help. Yeah, right Pat.

Friday, July 6, 2007

A View From the Garden

These blueberry bushes are where Dave and I (mostly Dave) have been spending many hours lately. These berries are from a bush I just picked from two days ago....and they were green then. I think we are going around in circles. The never ending production of berries this year is fantastic. There is a doe that has figured out how to get in the patch and Dave is determined to be the first to get the berries. I just say, share...not worth the few she will eat. Last year the starlings came by the hundreds and wiped out a good portion of our berries. This year they don't seem to be around so much.

So far I have washed and frozen eight gallons. This big bowl I left sitting on my counter this morning. Dave just keeps on picking. Now you know why I am not out there picking as much as he is. I have the lucky job of taking care of these. Sisters do you want some berries?

Here are my stargazer lilies. They should begin to bloom in a week or so. I can't wait because they smell so wonderful. Look how tall they are!

What is up with this dill? This pot has my elephant ears in it but you can see that a dill plant has ended up taking over. I didn't plant this but decided when it appeared to leave it to see what it did. I planted some dill in the raised beds but they are not doing anything like this. Crazy!

Here is the herb garden that I have not had any time to work in this year. I haven't even had a chance to weed it. The rabbits and deer have eaten some volunteer dill plants which I don't care about. I have an artichoke growing just for fun and my chives, lemon balm and oregano are doing great. BUT....

Look at this monster rosemary bush. I trimmed this back in February and it has become huge again. Again, anyone for rosemary?

Here is a view of this years raised beds. Dave is given all of the credit. He loves to putter and so do I but I don't have time this year with taking care of grand babies so much. He has a green thumb.

Our beets are doing great but really need a thinning.

Tomatoes just need some more hot weather like we have been having and they will grow and blossom like crazy. They always do. Brian loves tomatoes and when we were talking about what to plant his vote was to fill up the whole thing with tomatoes. However, we learned a few years back to listen to him but maybe not take his advice. He planted about eight pear tomato plants and we had tomatoes all over the place.

OK, so maybe we need to be harvesting our lettuce a little more. Yum!

Usually Dave grows bush beans but I love pole beans the best. So I convinced him to try it. Although it is a bit more labor intensive, didn't he do a great job. They are climbing high. I can't wait to taste the first batch of fresh green beans.

Carrots. Ummmmm maybe a little thinning is needed here! You can hardly see the radishes he planted on the left. This is the second planting of radishes.

Oh the strawberries. This is the third time they have grown back. The deer have managed to eat the tops, flowers and berries down to nothing twice, the tricksters. Dave finally has it figured out...he built a frame and put chicken wire all around it. They are beautiful now. Hope the berries will come back. They are supposed to be ever bearing.

Speaking of deer. Look what they did to my largest and oldest rose bush. It is tall and if you notice has no leaves from the bottom all they way to the top. The only reason it has any is because they can't reach them but I have seen them stand on their hind legs to eat our grapes from the arbor so I expect that they will figure this one out if they want.

Poor rose bush. But aren't the flowers pretty anyway?

There there is this monster. Lemon grass that really, really like this spot. It need to move it next year. It is taking over..........