Friday, April 30, 2010

ALIVE... and all is well!





It turns out the April Massacre on my flower bed wasn't as devastating as I'd first assumed.  SOME of the weeds had the nerve to continue growing even after I took the shovel to them over and over again.  However, I think I can outlast them in persistence.  They're soon to meet our (more like Ray and my dad's) secret weapon; Round-Up with Kryptonite.   Actually, I don't know what it's made of, but I think the original bottle has a skull and cross bones on it.

So dangerous we don't even dare store it in the original bottle... we disguise it in a Crystal Geyser bottle.

(I once saw my dad spray a weed with this stuff and within two hours its leaves were wilting...)

Weeds and small children should be VERY, VERY afraid.

On a happier note.  My flowers in the flower bed are also recovering.

(Our house came with Calla lillies and they are my favorite.
They're beautiful and big and last year they survived the whole year of neglect.)

(I just bought these pink Calla lillies and I'm planting them right outside my kitchen window)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I've checked Google Reader 18 times today.  Will someone PLEASE write a blog.

This is all I've got:

My Thoughts on Eggs & Chickens:
  • When I was growing up, we never bought eggs.  We collected them.  My mom had chickens and Abe, Ty, Ande, and I hated them.  We hated them because we were the ones that took care of them.  We watered them, fed them, and collected their eggs.
  • The bane of caring for chickens is 3 fold:
    • Chicken poop on your shoes.  It's sticky and watery and doesn't come off by merely dragging your feet across the lawn.  You need a stick and a garden hose.  It's also impossible to go into a chicken coop and come out with clean shoes.  The chickens lay booby-traps.
    • Breathing in chicken infested air.  My mom's chickens have always lived in an old shed turned coop.  The chickens go in their coop, scratch the dirt and stir up dust.  The light that does make it into their coop shows all the dirt, germs, and dried poop floating in the air.  I used to hold my breath when I went in.  Now, when I go out with my mom to take care of them.  I stay outside the coop.  Even if you don't touch anything, you come out of there feeling dirty.
    • The Rooster.  I once saw our rooster chase Ande across the whole lawn.  I was in the house when suddenly I heard a BLOOD-CURDLING scream.  I looked out the front window and saw Ande not running, but sprinting for the garage door and screaming the whole way.  Ten feet behind her was the rooster charging at full speed.  He had his head pointed straight forward and looked like an arrow.  He had K-I-L-L written all over his face.  That's why there's sometimes a pitchfork by the chicken coop door.  If you go in unarmed, they will attack.
  • Our neighbor has a chicken (just one).  A few months ago I saw her out working in her flower bed.  The chicken was standing right beside her, and our neighbor was feeding it bugs and weeds she found in her flower bed.  It made me romanticize and even want chickens.
  • Martha Stewart has her own chickens and she LOVES it when guests that come on her show mention how WONDERFUL her eggs look.  Once, a cooking guest on Martha's show commented on how fresh the eggs looked.  Martha responded with something like, "Of course they do.  IIIIIII got these from myyyyyyy chickens."
  • I learned this year that you should always visually check your eggs in their carton before you buy them. I saw an old lady picking all the best eggs out of the different cartons and putting them in her carton, putting all the bad ones in another carton.
  • I've also learned that if you see a carton sitting all by itself on the egg shelf at the grocery store, that doesn't mean that it's a carton of bad eggs.  Sometimes they're just unique eggs.  I found this one at Costco two weeks ago.


The special egg nobody wanted

  • And last, my mom's chickens are racist.  Or at least, they aren't color blind.
I like that rooster.  He's the most beautiful rooster I've ever seen and he's... CHICKEN.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Today Was A Good Day

Today, I did something that's taken me 16 months to do.  I got my new passport photos.  I filled out the passport paperwork in January of 2009, right after Ray and I got married.  I've had the paperwork sitting in my "TO DO" pile ever since.  Sometimes, it's been the only thing in my "TO DO" pile.

The reason I put it off... I didn't want a bad passport photo AGAIN, and I didn't want to pay $15.

Plan A:  Have Ray take it for me

Oh Hell No!

Plan B: Try a self portrait

I had a hard time centering myself against a white wall... and getting my face in the picture.
Not so bad as Ray's attempt, but pretty sure my application would be returned with a D-E-N-I-E-D.

Plan C:  Break down and pay the Post Office $15.  In theory, a safe plan.  However, I chickened out when I got to the front of the line.  The post office lady looked mean; like she wouldn't let me have a do-over if I looked ugly in it.  I also chickened out because I just couldn't part with the $15.  That's TOO expensive for a 2 inch picture.

Plan D:  See if Costco takes them.

They do.  For $5 you can have your picture taken, and as many do-overs as you want.
Well actually, I only know you can have at least 5 do-overs.
That's how many I needed.

As for the old passport photo... nice hair and squirrel cheeks Cali.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Flower Bed Massacre

YESTERDAY:

I cleaned out our flower beds.  I cleaned them out from 8:00am to 9:30pm.  I could see the pity in the faces of all my neighbors as they walked by.  A few of them even commented, "still going at it huh?"

The flower beds were a big, horrible, mossy, grassy, weedy mess.  AND, all of the before mentioned were ALIVE and WELL.  That meant a hand trowel was useless... even the shovel was barely useful.  But, I didn't have a back-hoe, so the shovel it was.

TODAY:

I'm too embarrassed to put a picture of the flower beds on here.  I took a Darwinian attitude when cleaning out the beds.  If the real plants weren't smart or fast enough to get out of my shovel's way, then I chalked their slaughter up to natural selection.

Huh?  You still want some sort of a visual?  Picture Hiroshima, and I'm only slightly kidding.  I'll post a picture of them after a week or so when the sun and water have restored their turgor.

But, since a blog without pictures is a blog with too many words, I'll leave you with these pictures:

Ray demonstrating the art of sleeping (30 minutes ago)

Just in case you needed a close-up of it

The evolution of Ray's demonstration (1.5 minutes ago).  I think I'll go put him to bed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

BEWARE!

Ande,

You'd better hurry back over here to visit us.  Ray noticed you left your game of Banana-grams behind.  He really wants a game of Banana-grams.  He said you have until Friday evening to reclaim your game.  If you don't make it by his designated time...



I won't tell you what he has in store for your game.  I'll only say that it involves a black permanent marker and the letters F-O-L-L-E-T-T.  We all know that when that deadly combo and a game (or CD, DVD, basically anything) are combined, then there's no reclaiming your possession.

It's gone FOREVER!

Just thought I'd warn you,
Cali

p.s. Even if you make it in time to claim it, he's also holding it for ransom.  You'll have to pay a hefty fine of homemade lemon bars.  Best to come prepared.

Monday, April 12, 2010

4 Sale

My neighbor (well actually he isn't my neighbor, but he lives within 2 miles of me, which in the country, where I was raised, makes him a neighbor) is giving some of his "stuff" away for free.


It must have been some pretty good "stuff" because when I went back the next day to take this picture, there were only those white things, lying next to the sign, left for someone to claim. I'm not sure what they are, but I fully expect them to be gone by tomorrow.

That sign is kind of like Homer’s Sirens… it calls to you. Even I pulled over, and I had my ears plugged.

So, if anyone is looking for what that sign advertises... you'd better hurry. Apparently it's well sought after.

Friday, April 9, 2010

PEEPS Don't Get Moldy

I just thought you'd all like to know...



The PEEPs are officially on the counter... hardening. They won't be done until maybe June or July. By then, I'm expecting them to be as hard as Lucky Charm marshmallows. I'll need to hide them though, because as you can see there's only one row of pink PEEPs left.

In 2005 I had the best crop of hardened PEEPs. I hid them so well that I didn't find them until September.

And.

Just so you know.

Ande isn't the only artist in the family.

I made these all... on you guessed it... Microsoft Paint


I like to call this one "Deer in the Headlights"



I like to call this one "A Comedy and a Tregedy"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hello There

Dear Abe,

I thought about you more than usual yesterday.  The thoughts were simple.  They started coming around 2:00pm my time.  I think that was early morning for you.  I hoped you were sleeping well and that you would wake up feeling ready for the day.

I thought of you again later when I imagined you were already dressed, but not quite "working."  I hoped you felt some excitement for the work you would be doing that day... whatever that was.  I hoped you would feel challenged and find ways to keep your mind sharp.

I thought of you right before I fell asleep, knowing your day was in full motion.  I prayed you would be kept safe; that you would have the spirit of discernment, that you'd be an example and leader to those around you.  I know your days seem "regular" and maybe even boring.  Not every day of war is a charge.  However, it is another day in your life, and I hope you're falling asleep knowing it was a day well spent.

I had fun looking at these pictures of Grace and you.  They're of last summer when you both came to stay with us a few weeks before your wedding.  Ray and I would fall asleep at night hearing you two whispering in the living room, planning your life, kissing VERY loudly, and laughing.




I love you Abe.

Love,
   Cali

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Please Come Visit Us



Today I had to D-U-S-T the guest bathroom.  I had to dust it last week too.  I've had to DUST it for the past 5 weeks.  Dusting means I shake the rug and sweep up the dust bunnies.  Dusting means I turn on the water just to wash the rust out of the pipes.  I do this so that IF someone were actually to use the bathroom, they wouldn't be disgusted with the orange water coming out.  Dusting includes flushing the toilet because some of the dust bunnies somehow make it up into the toilet bowl and are floating on the water.  This is a new phenomenon because I've never (in my whole life) had a bathroom get dusty before it got dirty.


Can you see the dust bunnies swimming?

Matter of Fact: Growing up, one of us four kids had to clean the bathroom before we left for school each day.  If it wasn't clean, we couldn't get on the school bus and we'd miss school.  Which, now that I'm typing this out I'm thinking, "Holy Cow, how did that work as a motivator?  Clean bathroom or miss school?"  But it worked.  It worked right up until we could drive to school and could falsely promise my mom we'd do it when we got home.

Well, I've definitely digressed.  My point is...



Please come visit us, so I'll have a real reason to clean the bathroom next week.