Sunday, June 21, 2009

Country Livin'

The kids finished school last Wednesday and as soon as the final bell rang, it dropped 20 degrees, started raining, and hasn't warmed up much since. We needed the rain and the evening thunderstorms have been fantastic. Since we will be doing our summer gallivanting for the entire month of July, we have been perfectly content just staying home.  Landscaping and gardening have been our monumental projects the past month.  I am always in a state of awe when something that I plant actually grows and thrives.  But just in case, we purchased some indestructible flowers a local artist crafted from old school buses and scrap metal.  
They make me happy.

 Our neighbors asked us to care for and pamper their chickens this week while they were away and as a result, we have learned some valuable basics in poultrification.   Second on my nemesis list of disgusting,  blood-shuddering trespassers (after the tics)  have been these bark beetles with their crunchy outer exoskeleton and oozy yellow interior.  Imagine my delight when we learned that the chickens find these gruesome things quite tasty..and the insect protein actually enhances the quality of their eggs.  Now we can destroy them knowing that we are aiding the ever so delicate and balanced circle of life.  

Climbing high on the charts, possibly soon to reign as my #1 nemesis, is this just feet from my front door.  I just read an article poking satirical fun at people who move out of the city and then complain about the wild creatures who are in "their" new space.  I embrace most of the wildness and regularly exclaim my ecstatic gratitude that these creatures are allowing us to live in mutual cohabitation.  They deserve my utmost respect.  I should leave before this snake does.   But I do hope he finds something better.  

Collecting the eggs has been a favorite daily activity.  Eating something that went straight from the nest to the table has given us a reverence for what we are eating.  The yolks so much richer in color and beta carotene (yes, it is a real thing, Corey. Look it up) than the eggs from the store.  Each egg is different and beautiful.

We have finally come to a temporary resting point in our landscaping.  Corey spread 30 yards of mulch with some fierce grumbling from his back.  30 yards doesn't sound like a lot, but it is.  I helped him one afternoon and realized that the pile didn't seem to be getting any smaller no matter how many wheelbarrows I filled.  It was like the loaves and fishes.  Ah, but the hard work was worth it because Ansel saw this pink flamingo at a garage sale and knew immediately that it was the perfect Father's Day gift to put the finishing touches on our new yard.   No country home is complete without a pink plastic flamingo.   

Even though Corey made his own Father's Day breakfast (no one can make better scrambled eggs and pancakes), he was able to enjoy a water gun battle with the kids, some homemade cards, his pink flamingo, and a cheesecake richer than Bill Gates.  

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Piece, Love, and Tie-Dye

 Ansel graduated from pre-school on Friday.  He had a graduation party.  We all had a PIECE of cake.  All year he has complained about going to school.  Saturday, for the first time ever, he complained about NOT having school.  PEACE OUT ANSEL!

We love that our garage frogs are back.  This year we we have gained a garage chipmunk who likes to hide in our shoes.  Corey's shoes are the best because they are like chipmunk mansions.  (Sorry Corey....still can't resist the big feet jokes).  So far the frogs and the chipmunk seem to have an understanding and are coexisting quite peacefully.

We had a family Tie-Dye activity this week to kick off the summer (minus Corey).  I think I got more dye on my fingers than on the shirts (Note to self:  Sometimes when instructions say, 'WEAR GLOVES," it is for a good reason.)   At least my fingernails match my shirt.  Next time we will do better and get more dye in the folds.  But I still can't figure out why Corey didn't want one.  We could have been such a cute family.  

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Me....Cry Wolf?

Today (Thursday) was one of those days.  One of those days when I am absolutely certain that my every movement is some way or another going to impact my family, the community and all of humanity in a negative way.
My first clue that today was one of those days was the rapid rate of increased peevement I experienced when the remote for the television refused to function properly this morning.  I mean, I was pushing the 2 over and over again, pointing it directly in line with the Infrared sensor.  Uggh!!  And why was it making that strange beeping noise?  Why does everything have to break?  Every day, it is something new.....our washing machine, our garbage disposal, our garage door opener, and now the television remote!!  I don't even know how to change the channels directly on the television, even if I could muster the energy to stand up and actually move toward the idiot box.  Watching t.v. shouldn't be this much work.  I decided to throw the barf encrusted jumbo jerk of a thing off the deck(it wasn't literally barf encrusted, I just think some irrational things when I am...hormonal... I mean having a bad day).

Oh wait.  I was trying to change the channel with the telephone. 

For those of you who may just as easily make the exact humiliating mistake, the phone is the black communication device on the right and tv remote is the one on the left labeled Direct tv .  I know it is confusing.  But if I can save just one of you from making the same error, the terrorists will lose just a little bit more and I will feel as if I have finally made a positive difference in the world.  

Fast forward a few hours.  The kids are home from school and Corey has an evening meeting (Is there a meeting or is he, in actuality, aimlessly roaming the aisles at Shopko, dreading returning to his 'lovely' wife on one of her days? ).  I recognize that I shouldn't be left alone with the children for too long on these days  and do my best to keep a safe distance.  

I, in an entirely different state of delirium, volunteered to play the piano at the upcoming 6th grade graduation.  My fingers can find the proper keys when I am alone or with a crowd that shares my DNA, but it has been proven time and time again that my fingers revolt and go rogue whenever I play in public.  I keep hoping that, surely, one of these times, I will be able to domesticate my flailing digits enough to keep them in line.  So, in order to decrease the amount of strange note combinations,  I self-committed to practice for at least 15 minutes a day before the graduation.  

The kids are quietly playing and I have some free time before I have to make dinner.  I sneak to the piano and start to practice.  After just a few seconds, a paper airplane hits me in the cheek.  Ansel swoops down with a little less grace than the airplane and contributes some fist-slamming bass to my Pomp and Circumstance. Not Cute.  The girls start moaning in disgust. I yell. 
Me:  "Can you guys keep Ansel busy for just 15 minutes?"

Them:  No Answer

Me:  " I  just need you to keep him out of my way and keep him alive at the same time.  That isn't so much to ask, is it?"

Unidentified daughter:  "I watched him yesterday"

Me:  "I am running away from home!  You can all feed yourselves and keep yourselves alive!" 

I know that this conversation doesn't merit a runaway threat.  Normally, this scenario wouldn't ruffle my motherly feathers a bit.  But it is one of THOSE DAYS.  Anything can happen on one of those days.  

I run into my walk into closet (that'll show em), shut the door, and bury my face in a pile of clothes.  Surely they will realize how much they need me, frantically and tearfully search the house, find me here, apologize, and tell me that I am the best mother ever and that they will from hereto and henceforth be the most angelic children on the planet.  
I'm waiting
I'm waiting
No sounds of searching children
No crying or whimpering
No dialing of 911
No opening of doors
I open the door and search the house for them
They are all three sitting in front of the television
I didn't even stop to congratulate them on conquering the correct remote

"Hey, you guys!  I just ran away from home.  Didn't any of you care?"

Unidentified daughter replies, "Whenever you tell us you are running away, you never do." 

So I guess that I have cried wolf a few too many times.  If I do actually go AWOL one of these days, at least I know that my children won't be freaking out.  Until then, there are a few great things keeping me close to home.

Ansel still fits in the bucket with all of his toys.  

The warm weather has also brought some new smiling faces to our table

Summer salads.  Thanks for the recipe King Chipee Chipee.

Feeding Venus her weekly fly.  

Our garden is growing

Ever so slowly, our grass continues to grow.  I think if Corey would stop staring at it, it would probably grow a little faster.