Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Should've Been A Cowgirl

Should’ve learned to rope and ride…Alright enough of the Toby Keith singalong on to the blogging.

First, I have to apologize for slacking on the blogging. I've been very busy as of late doing things like planning a friend's wedding, I mean blind date, being a sushi scholar, and nearly being killed by a horse. Speaking of horses.......

I’m going to tell you a little secret about me. Shhh…it’s something I’m not proud of. Deep breath, ok, here it goes. I am NOT a cowgirl. Oh how I wish I was but sadly, I’m not. I don’t think I’d ever even been on a horse until I became the Prairie Princess and we had one of our own. I blame my parents for raising me in the city where the only horseback riding I ever got to do was when they put a quarter in the electric one at KMart. I always loved horses and thought it was so cool that those country folk got to have them in their backyard. That was probably the thing I was most excited about when GI Joe whisked me off to live on the prairie…that I could have a horse. GI Joe also loves horses and knows a thing or 2 about them. But growing up they were too busy being farmers and actually caring for pigs and cows and stuff to make money that he didn't have a horse. So he too, wanted to own horses and had dreams of having a pasture full of horses and being able to go on long romantic horseback rides with his gorgeous bride (I might’ve embellished that part slightly).
It wasn’t too long after we settled in the country that we got our first horse…Beauty. She was the first real member of the Koons Zoo. I may have purchased Beauty without GI Joe knowing when I was left unattended with his aunt at a family dinner who had a horse for sale. Sometimes I “forget” to ask him about things. Oops. He forgave me and we’ve enjoyed horse ownership ever since.

I thought all it took to be a cowgirl was to get some boots, a hat, some cowgirl jeans (you know the kind that enhance the "assets") and you were set. You can just imagine how my first ride on Beauty went. I thought I would just hop on bareback looking cute, like they did in those western movies . GI Joe just smiled and shook his head as I headed off into the sunset thinking I was quite the cowgirl. Until, Beauty got a tickle or something and took off at a slightly higher rate of speed than I was comfortable with and started bucking a little. And I did what any cool cowgirl would do....started screaming "HELP I'm gonna die!!!" at the top of my lungs. Note to self: I think when you freak out when riding a horse it tends to freak them out too. MIraculously, I was not injured. I've learned a few things since then but now that we're up to 5 horses I thought it time I get serious about this cowgirl thing.

I've been doing some reading.

Here are a few things I've learned so far:

1) I know absolutely NOTHING about horseback riding and it's an act of God that I'm still here after the many times I've hopped on thinking I knew what I was doing.

2) Contrary to popular belief "pretty" is not an actual horse description. Apparently, there are words like bay, chestnut, and dapple. I still think "pretty" does a much better job of cutting to the chase. Who cares if a horse is bay if it's not pretty?!?

3) While "whoa" and "giddy up" are the only commands I've ever used with our horses the books say there are many, many more. This could explain why I've never gotten very far on horseback. It also says that you shouldn't have to speak the commands that the horse can just feel what you want them to do. I say it's much more fun to holler "yee haw" and "giddy up" so at least you sound like Roy Rogers.

4) I know NOTHING about horseback riding. Oh did I mention that already? Just wanted to make sure you knew.

5) The book forced me to reevaluate my riding attire. Did you know tennis shoes are not recommended for horseback riding? That's funny because that's usually what I'm wearing when I'm outside and get the urge to hop on a horse. I have 3 pairs of cowgirl boots but they are more about looking good when I go to a country concert than for practical use. Turns out they make cowgirl boots and jeans specifically made for horseback riding! There's a reason cowboys/cowgirls wear Wranglers. WHO KNEW?!? So I HAD to go shopping.

I think these are just what the doctor ordered to make me a real cowgirl. And if not at least they'll look cute with my mini skirt and tank top for the next concert. Just kidding, I'm too old to be trying to pull off the Taylor Swift look or am I.....?

6) The books highly encourage riders to wear, get this....not cowboy hats, but HELMETS!! That kind of ruins the cowboy/cowgirl look don't you think? Don't hate me but I think I'm going to take my chances and skip the helmet. You can say I told you so if I ever get bucked off and hurt my head. But you've read the stories about my head injuries, you should know I have a very thick skull, I'm not scared.

We do have one cowgirl in the family.

I taught her everything she knows... or not. She has learned one thing from me though, to never ever hop on any of the horses and allow me to lead the horse around. Only bad things happen when I do that. She's much better off on her own.
Soon I will start to implement what I"ve learned from my educational books. As soon as I heal from a few weeks ago when I tried to hop on one of our newer horses. Let's just say I had one leg on the horse, one leg on the ground and the horse decided to take off. It took me a minute to get my leg from off the horse and in the meantime, if it's possible to dislocate one's, ummm.... girl parts, that's exactly what happened. I wasn't yelling YEE HAW that's for darn sure.
Or maybe I'll just stick to petting the horses and go thru life being a wannabe cowgirl with my cute boots, only time will tell.....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No, We're Not Rednecks..Why Do You Ask?

Oh this? Turkey season is upon us and as I've mentioned before none of our animals are for eating or hunting. They are purely for our petting pleasure and entertainment. GI Joe thought it especially important this year now that Herky has matured into a fine looking specimen of a turkey that we protect him. Keep in mind, Herky never wanders further away than our backyard so if we have turkey hunters shooting in our front or backyard we've got problems and I'll likely unleash the fury of my air pistol on them. But just to be safe GI Joe picked up this safety vest for Herky to wear until turkey season is over. We don't want to take any chances. And really, GI Joe just thought it would be funny to have a turkey walking around in a hunting vest. We're all about trying to impress the neighbors...obviously.
No, they don't make safety vests for turkeys, this is meant for a small dog but it's a perfect fit. I think it's quite dashing don't you?!?

And here's GI Joe getting Herky dressed. A first here at the Koons Zoo. Oh wait, there was that one time when I dressed Pigxie the Pork Princess up in a dress and tried to paint her hooves....never mind. Let's just say we've never dressed one of our animals in a blaze orange vest.

And then because it was so cold outside and the lighting just didn't do Herky's vest justice we moved the photo shoot inside. That's right, inside the house. Once you've had a llama in your kitchen it's all relative. It's just who we are what can I say?

I think we're looking at the next Tyson chicken ad campaign right here. Herky is available for public appearances, birthday parties, company outings, etc. Book him now before the ad campaign takes off.
I'd love to be a fly on the wall tomorrow at school when the kids are talking about what they did last night. I can hear it now:
Other kids: "I had soccer practice and then watched TV with Mom and Dad."
Dakota: "Oh yeah? Well my Dad bought our turkey a safety vest and after we got him dressed in it, my Mom brought him in the house to take his picture. And then I made him an Eat Chicken sign for the picture and then I played with him for awhile before my Mom took him back outside."
Yep we're totally normal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Isn't It Ironic? A Little Too Ironic

Today as I was driving home, I pulled up next to a girl in a big white truck at a stoplight. On her truck’s back window she had a sticker that read “Would you drive better if I shoved that cell phone up your *&#?” Classy right? Totally. So the light for her lane turned green but guess who didn’t move? The girl in the white truck!!! Guess what she was doing? TALKING ON HER CELL PHONE!!!! People were honking and she was completely oblivious and just sat there with the light green. Because sometimes I just can’t help myself, when I went by her I laid on the horn and held up my cell phone. Unfortunately, she was much too busy chatting to notice me. Darn, just think of the blog material that would’ve given me! And in answer to her question, NO that would not make me drive better. Thanks for asking though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tribute to a Turkey

A year ago this week we acquired one of our favorite animals of the Koons Zoo thus far, Herky the Turkey. He was just a small boy of about 3 days, when we brought him home from the farm store. He didn't look much different from a chick at that point. Since that first day we've had a special bond with him. Those first few weeks it was too cold outside for him so we set him up in a dog kennel...in the family room. At night we would get him out of the kennel and hold him on our laps on the couch while we watched TV. I make no apologies for how redneck that sounds it's just who we are. He was just so adorable and loved to curl up in the bend of GI Joe's arm and fall asleep. Have you ever cuddled with a turkey? You should, it's very therapeutic.
I think because of that early bonding we did with him we created the tamest tom turkey ever. This guy will follow us around the yard, nudge our legs when he's hungry, let you pick him up, pet him, and has regular "conversations" with GI Joe. And by conversations, I mean GI Joe talks to him with his turkey calls and calls it "practice" for turkey hunting. I kid you not.
Back in October, Herky gave us quite a scare when he acquired what I diagnosed via my Google veterinary skills as blackhead disease. Everything I read told me it was fatal and that it would take 10 days before killing him. That was SO not an option. I called our vet who mainly deals with dogs, cats and the occasional bunny but he didn't have to look at Herky he just needed to give me a prescription for the only drug I'd found thru my internet research that was supposed to cure it. It's no different than the time I called him and told him my turkey had pink eye and he just got a prescription of ointment ready for me, no questions asked. He, of course had no idea what blackhead disease was or the drug I was talking about. He called me back after he did his own Google research and told me everything I already knew, that Herky was going to die and that the only drug that could cure it was not available in the U.S., only in Canada. Don't think I didn't think about a road trip but instead I went back to the internet thinking there had to be some home remedy for such a thing and sure enough I found one. Cayenne pepper! We were to give him a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in his food and/or water, whatever we could get him to take for as long as it took for the symptoms to subside. He was soooo weak by this point that he just laid in his house and we had to feed him by hand and give him water with a syringe. We had nothing to lose and couldn't bear the thought of losing our beloved turkey, so we stocked up on the cayenne pepper. Three times a day we fed and watered him and would you believe 10 days passed and he was still alive and actually moving around a little? Then 3 weeks passed, and before we knew it his feathers weren't droopy and he was venturing further out of his house, and within a month and a half he was completely back to normal although he still thought he should be handfed. I did it, I CURED him with cayenne pepper! It's probably my proudest farm girl accomplishment to date. You can call me Dr. Koonslittle if you want, I don't mind. And yes, there probably would be a nice spicy flavor to his meat but don't even think about it. WE DON'T EAT WHAT WE PET! Actually, GI Joe is so concerned for Herky's safety during the upcoming turkey season that he's going to buy him an orange safety vest. Typically they are for dogs, but as you can see we're anything but typical.

(Someday I promise to read the instruction manual to my camera so that I don't post pictures like this. But it's so sweet even with the odd lighting.)
We're just so glad he's still with us and in honor of his birthday I've written him a poem. Bet you didn't know that not only am I vet,I'm also a poet. The poem goes a lil’ something like this:
Herky Herky you’re our turkey
We love you more than jerky
Even at Thanksgiving you’re safe
We would never put you on a plate
A dog is what you think you are
You never wander far
You purr when we pet you
You’re the star of the zoo
Our front yard is your domain
Some might think it strange
But they’ve never known a turkey like you
For you there’s not much we wouldn’t do
We’ve fed you by hand
When you were too weak to stand
Thru good times and bad
You’ve never made us mad
We’re glad you’ve survived
And are still alive
Here's to many more
Maybe this year we’ll get you a…..girlfriend
Happy Birthday Herky!

Who knew I could love a turkey so much?

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Lot Like Me

My 2 year old niece, Savannah came to the Koons Zoo for a visit last week WITHOUT her mom and dad. Everyone says that she’s a lot like me in her personality. Whereas my daughter, Dakota, is very much like her Aunt Heidi, Savannah’s mom, my middle sista. And people say God doesn’t have a sense of humor! I beg to differ.
It was an interesting weekend and I realized that yes, she is in fact a lot like me. I also learned that I’m totally over the baby fever. She absolutely wore me out AND my diaper immunity has worn off in the 3 years since I’ve had to change one of my own kids’ so it nearly does me in, especially when I accidentally overdosed her on laxative. Oops!
I loved having her here but I also love the fact that I get to have her, spoil her rotten, and then send her and her stinky diapers home. Aunthood ROCKS!
Here’s evidence that I am definitely her aunt.

*She is very very independent and likes to do things her way. I don’t have to tell you how this is like me, if you know me at all, you know this about me. I have a sign that hangs by our front door that says “I’m not hard to please I just like things MY WAY!” So true, so true. But I should clarify I’m not so independent when it comes to stuff I don’t LIKE to do such as get gas, change the oil, air up tires, take out the trash, you get the drift. It's called selective independence and something tells me she'll be a master at it too.

*There’s no time for naps when you’re hangin’ with me. The first day she went without an afternoon nap she survived just fine. But it was an entirely different story on Day 2 when naptime was skipped. Think Spawn of Satan. (I’m kidding Heidi and Terry…well kind of) Oh wow look out world! I have no room to talk though as I am much the same when it comes to my beauty rest. I’m a 7-8 hours per night kind of girl. One night of less than that I can cope. Two nights of less than that, I grow horns and start talking in a demon voice. Just ask GI Joe and the kids they’ll be happy to demonstrate for you.

*She loves to shop as long as it’s for her. We were at the mall and as long as we were picking out things for her she was diggin’ it. However, when we moved on to things that were not of interest to her she was ready to bail. Think me at Bass Pro or Cabelas. Once we’ve found the pink lures I’m out and if you keep me there any longer, I tend to grow slightly impatient and could possibly suck the enjoyment right out of the experience for everyone around me. :)

*She’s just a TAD strong willed. Now because I’m the cool aunt who tried to make sure her time with me was nothing but butterflies and rainbows, we didn’t have any battle of the wills. However, I have seen Miss Savannah in action with her parents and all I can say is “ha! ha!” Apparently, this lil’ trait may have been inherited from me as well. My dad loves to tell the story about how I was told to pick up my toys before supper when I was a toddler and I didn’t want to do it even though food was at stake. And I didn’t, until I was good and ready, some 3 hours later. It’s how I roll. Sometimes it serves me well and other times it just gets me in trouble. Good luck with that sis!

*She is such a ham for the camera. Every time I’d turn around she’d be cheesin’ for me. One night at bedtime she was going around giving everyone hugs and telling them goodnight and when she got to GI Joe she gave him a hug and immediately turned and posed for the camera. I didn’t even have the camera out! But don’t worry I ran and got it.

*She’s so stinkin’ cute. Oh wait, that doesn’t have anything to do with me!

Although she does share a lot of my personality traits I don’t think we have to worry about there being another Prairie Princess in the world. Since her traumatic experience at Thanksgiving here with Lambchop, she would not go NEAR the barnyard and was only interested in petting the bunnies. If anything else got within 5 feet of her she was sternly yelling, “No, no, no, no, bad duck, bad turkey, bad you fill in the blank”.
I definitely think this one is destined for the city. Unless of course she someday meets a dashing country boy who whisks her off to the prairie to live amongst emus, sheep, pigs, horses, bunnies, etc. Then I s’pose she’ll adjust and I’ll be there shaking my head saying “tsk tsk sucker”, readily offering my wealth of knowledge and a pair of raspberry Carhartts. That’s just the kind of aunt I am.
(Savannah with the only zoo animals she feels safe with, Blade and the bunny.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oh Uh Uh

I have soooo much to blog about, I feel like we haven't "talked" forever. Prepare yourselves, this could be a blog a day week and for that I apologize! :)
When I started this here blog it was intended to be purely for entertainment and to document the crazy happenings that take place on a daily basis 'round here. I never intended to use it as a platform for my MANY soapboxes but this time I'm MAD and I'm gonna tell you about it.
What has my knickers in a such a knot you might ask? I'll tell you what...Kenny Chesney. You see, Kenny and I go way way back as in I've loved his music since I turned over my "country" leaf many moons ago. I buy all of his albums on the day of their release and and go to see him in concert any chance I get. So you can imagine my excitement when a few months ago it was announced that he was coming right here to Wells Fargo Arena in May. My friend Annette (who WAS the biggest Kenny fan ever) and I were SOOO excited as we didn't get to see him last year and were having withdrawals. He puts on a fantastic show and always has some great acts with him. Our excitement was quickly extinguished this week when ticket prices were released....$99 base price BEFORE fees for the good seats which is where we must always sit when attending a concert. OH UH UH Kenny! I think all that sand and ocean water has gone to your head. Now here's what has us so upset. Mr. Chesney has been on record in recent months stating that he realizes times are tough but that he still wants people to come out to his shows and have a good time. To me that means "hey we know times are tough we're going to do what we can to make sure you can still afford to come see us and have a good time so you can forget about your troubles for a few hours WITHOUT selling your firstborn." Apparently I am mistaken. But Mr. Chesney has another thing coming if he thinks that his loyal fans, such as myself, are going to forgive his arrogance and buy a ticket anyway. I'm loyal but not a sucker. We attend a lot of concerts and sometimes they aren't cheap. It's understandable that the bigger the act the higher price you pay. In fact, the last time we saw Kenny I believe with fees and everything our tickets were about $80 a piece. So what's $20 more bucks right? WRONG. It's the whole principle of the matter. You don't go around saying things like "you know times are tough, blah, blah, blah" and then RAISE ticket prices. Especially when your peers are lowering their ticket prices and are putting on just as good a show if not better than yours. Umm hello you're NOT Elvis!
So I've done what I always do when I get passionate or angry about something, I write a letter. (See To Whom It May Concern post for proof.) Here is the letter that I am mailing to Kenny's management company as well as his home address outside of Nashville. Oh yeah I have it and am not afraid to use it. We sent a Christmas card there one year but this time there's nothing Merry about it.

Dear Mr. Chesney,
I have been a fan of yours for a very long time. Not only do I appreciate your music but I respect the reputation you've built for yourself in this business. However, I do need to let you know of my disappointment regarding your recent actions.
We have been awaiting your concert stop in our city, Des Moines, IA since your last visit in May of 2007. We were thrilled to hear that you had us on your 2009 tour schedule for May 7th, 2009. We started the party planning immediately, we were pumped! Especially after we read this quote from you regarding your upcoming tour:
"You watch the news and you listen to people talk,’ says the man from Luttrell, Tennessee, ‘and you realize people are very concerned about every dollar they spend.There is no more disposable cash or mad money - and I’d like to think the people who’ve been coming to our shows know two things: I know how hard every dollar is earned and I want to live up to that - and for however long we get to share with the fans, I intend to make it the best night of their summer.
‘When people come to see me, I want them to forget their problems, forget this economy, forget whatever it is for the night. I can’t solve the problems, but I can give people a really good time To me, if you can feel better for a few hours, break the worry, well, that’s a pretty big deal in times like these."

OK so we thought, tickets will be about the same as last time if not a LITTLE cheaper since he obviously realizes times are tough. Imagine our surprise when ticket prices were announced in Des Moines, IA the other day and the good seats that we paid $75 for 2 years ago are now $99. Not cool Kenny, not cool. It's the whole principle of the matter. You seem to have forgotten where you came from and who it is that made you who you are today. It's the people like us who may or may not still have jobs after all the layoffs, or just got their pay cut, or are having to pinch pennies wherever they can to get by. As much as we love your music Kenny we will NOT be attending your show on May 7th. It's not so much about the extra $25 per ticket we could do it if we wanted. It's more about that you aren't the Kenny you used to be if you're more concerned about making the almighty dollar than you are about getting to perform for your fans. And that saddens us greatly. I understand that your shows are major productions and have lots of cool technology and special effects but guess what so does Brad Paisley! And for what we would pay for ONE of your tickets we can buy 2 to his show. And may I remind you that we come to your shows to see YOU perform your songs that we love NOT to see how big your video screens are or how fabulous your stage is.
I'm sure this is falling on deaf ears as I am one among millions. But I refuse to sit by and watch you go from a good ol' country boy to an arrogant, greedy, self absorbed star without saying my piece. So I've said it, take it or leave it. I wish I could say I'll be seeing you in May but I won't. I can't bring myself to condone your actions by buying a ticket. I hope to see you next year when you've come back to your senses. Thanks.

Prairie Princess

P.S. I hope your next album is an improvement from your last one, "Lucky Old Sun". We all rushed out to buy it when it was released and sadly I haven't listened to it since that day. Not a fan at all. It kinda makes me want to stab a pencil in my eardrum. Maybe not that bad, but pretty darn close.

So Kenny if you're reading this and I'm sure you are, call me. We can work it out, you just need to get a grip on reality and I'm just the one to help you come back. Oh and also, don't ever EVER let anyone take your picture without some kind of a hat on. Turtles are only cool at Sea World.


See, am I wrong? I don't think so.

And here's what Kenny will be missing at this year's concert. Taken at the last Kenny concert we attended.
And to my readers: Do you think they'll let me blog from jail after Kenny turns me in for fan harassment? Huh I wonder......

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tennessee River and a Mountain Man

Name that tune! I've had that song stuck in my head since we actually crossed the Tennessee River on Saturday. Now I'm passing that on to you...you're welcome. P.S. I only saw one Mountain Man and we did NOT get together anytime we can.
So we're back home, and I'm drowning the sorrow of missing my sister and sweet niece and nephew (oh and bro-in-law) in Reese's. It's only working to fatten me up for swimsuit season, not doing so much for the other. Why do the Reese's eggs taste so much better than the perfection that is the Reese's cups? That's all I want to know. Anyway, we had a great visit and it was hard to head home. I picked up a few real estate listing booklets on our way out of the state thinking we would load up all of the members of the Koons Zoo and find us a patch of land down south. But then reality set in and I realized that just trying to transport all of our animals 12 hours would likely send me to a real funny farm. Sigh..

Anyway, a few more highlights from our trip:

*Kept GI Joe company while he drove 12 hours each way by staying awake the whole time, I mean sometimes.

*Did some retail therapy with my sister. Between the 2 of us we saved over $470 and only spent $70! SCORE!!

*Immensely enjoyed watching GI Joe squirm every time sis mentioned "pumping". Let's just say she wasn't talking about gas. :)

*Suffered a 2nd head injury. This time at the Tennessee State Museum. They really should put signs on those glass exhibit cases stating that objects are enclosed in glass and that trying to bend down to touch one could result in possible head trauma.

*Speaking of the TN State Museum, we gave the very bored museum guards some much needed action when "someone" didn't read the sign that said "Alarm will sound if you reach past this point." Note to self, I mean kids, those alarms really do sound, they aren't kidding.

*Held my niece Kaydence's NICU nurse hostage until she agreed to let me hold her before I had to leave. The criminal charges are so, so, worth it. We definitely bonded. Pretty sure I'm her favorite. :)

*Didn't see even ONE country star but I did see Rascal Flatts' name on the donor wall at Kaydence's hospital. I'm totally counting it.

*Fell madly in love with another man. He's got deep blue eyes, chubby cheeks and is approximately 2 feet tall. GI Joe knows, in fact I think Mr Micah worked some of his magic on Uncle GI Joe too. He's precious.

*This sign caught my eye at a gas station somewhere in Kentucky last night. I thought it was a fundraiser of sorts. I refrained from "participating" even though the offer for a free ride in the sheriff's car was pretty darn tempting!

*It's the perfect week as on our way thru KC from TN we met up with my other sister and kidnapped my niece Savannah from her. Savannah is staying with us til Friday night. I had forgotten how much fun it is to have a 2 year old stumbling around. What's even more fun is teaching Dakota how to change diapers and bribing her with $5 to do so for the duration of Savannah's stay! I'm shameless. We're currently working with Savannah to get over the traumatization of her last visit to the Koons Zoo when she was rammed by Lambchop and ate dirt/undisclosed substances for approximately 20 feet. I keep hearing a lot of "No,no, no" when she gets close to the barnyard fence. Something tells me she hasn't forgotten. Pictures will be posted soon, once I remember how to bathe a baby and can get her cleaned up enough that her parents won't freak out when they see them!

*In closing, I'd like to ask that you refer to me from now on as Miss Prairie Princess, but you have to say it with a drawl. I love love love how southerners add Miss in front of every woman's name. It's so vintage!

I'm fixin' now to go and ease my broken heart in something a little stronger than Reese's. I think it's time to break out the Girl Scout Cookies. It might be the only thing to keep me from getting back into the car and driving right back down to TN. Well, that and the fact that GI Joe has to work and we all know I can't drive any kind of distance alone without getting very very sleepy, and when driving thru big cities I'm best left alone in the back with a bag of chex mix and a movie, it's just way too stressful for me. And besides I don't know if Nashville is quite ready for the likes of Miss Prairie Princess........

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hey Ya'll

I felt obligated to title my post in such a southern way given that I'm blogging live from down south in the beautiful state of Tennessee.

Here are a few tidbits from Tennessee:

1) Upon my first visit with my gorgeous niece Kaydence in the NICU I was scolded sternly by her nurse for being "too social" with her. Apparently, my conversation with her regarding nail polish, shopping, and her shoe size took her breath away....literally. Obviously, the nurse didn't realize who she was dealing with or the genes that Miss Kaydence has which mean she can't help but be social. I'm happy to report that my sister was not angry at me for messing with her daughter's oxygen level but instead was giggling hysterically in the corner while I was getting my hand slapped by the Nurse Nazi, I mean Nurse. :)

2) Today, I suffered a very serious concussion...in a scrapbook store. And it was all because I am a good sister who didn't want my poor sister to have to bend over to pick up something she dropped and risk losing her pants (they were too big). So I bent over to pick it up for her and when I came up at a high rate of speed, I cracked my head on the checkout counter. I now have a hemotbobin smobin and have been slightly loopy since the accident. And I received so much sympathy from the store owner AND my sister. And by sympathy I mean hysterical laughing of course. Thanks for that. I'm wearing a helmet next time. And you think I'm kidding.

3) I've decided I want to talk like a Tennessean. I'm currently working on my southern accent. I love to hear these people talk it's so soothing and sweet and makes me hungry for biscuits and sweet tea.

4) Today, post concussion, we went to the coolest pizza place ever for lunch. I don't remember much about it but I'm not sure if that was due to my head injury OR the fact that the pizza place was called the Mellow Mushroom and had a sign that actually said "Not to be blunt but let's keep this joint clean". Love it.

Tune in for more Tennessee tidbits, we're here another 24 hours. Look out ya'll!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

All in a Week's Work

It's been a LONG week at work. Here are a few highlights:

*Cashed in some pop cans and bought some of my company's stock

*Was WRONGLY accused of stealing kitty litter off of someone's desk. (Editor's note: While we do have some very strange "cats" among the 600+ that work there we do NOT have an office feline. People keep the strangest things at their desks, you know who you are.)

*Received illegal goods out of the back of a friend's trunk in the parking lot. And by illegal I mean Girl Scout cookies...obviously.

*Scored a 120 in Wii bowling on the giant screen in our Training Room. I was "testing" out the equipment for a fundraiser being held next week. REALLY!

*Surfed the web searching for clips and sound bytes of Family Feud and Survivor for an upcoming presentation.

*Thwarted a terrorist attack on our very secure site. I have a badge so I think this makes me an official FBI agent right?

*Went outside with my boss, armed with caution tape and chalk outline to mark a crime scene. The crime scene....a downed handicap parking sign, run down by a careless driver.

*Was blown away by the sheer intelligence that can be found at my workplace, when we asked employees to respond to a Family Feud type survey for an upcoming presentation. We asked them to name the most interesting STATE in the U.S. MULTIPLE people responded with Las Vegas. Welcome to statehood Las Vegas, I must've missed that memo. Another one of my favorites was the response to the question "Name the ugliest breed of DOG", somebody seriously responded with the answer ....CAT. I have no words.

*Watched a potential employee pull up for their fingerprinting in a truck that had a pair of giant yellow, ummm let's see how shall I say....."family jewels", (and by jewels I don't mean emeralds) hanging from their hitch. So many things wrong with this. 1) YELLOW?!? That's some serious health issues 2) I have to think that if one has to "advertise" such things on their truck hitch then they might possibly be overcompensating for certain things. I'm just sayin'....

Thank goodness next week I'm on vacation for our Spring Break trip to TN. I obviously need it after the week I've had.

It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.

Ode to Bromance

The timing of this post is probably inappropriate given that I recently ousted GI Joe and his sewing abilities but I can't help myself. I have to get it off my chest.

GI Joe has brofriends. There I said it. It's true he does.

Meet Brofriend #1-This is GI Joe's first brofriend love, John. John, his wife, and kids go to our church and we've been friends for a LONG time. In fact, John's wife, Trisha, was our daycare provider for all 3 of the kids from birth to kindergarten. She's awesome and one of my good friends. However, John and Justin have a special bond, a "guylove" if you will. I'm not kidding they are worse than girls. Our own 3 kids recognize this bond and have called John "Daddy's boyfriend" since they were very young. I don't know what it is about GI Joe and John but it's adorable. They have withdrawals if they don't talk for a couple days and will call just to chat. They openly miss each other and are sad if one of them isn't at church for some reason. And when they do see each other at church their eyes light up as if they haven't seen each other in YEARS, even though usually it's no more than 3 days. To some wives this might be disturbing, but to Trisha and I, we just buy them friendship bracelets and laugh. The four of us will go out on a double date and the seating at the movie always has to be me, GI Joe, John, Trisha. John is the all purpose brofriend. They share a similar passion for football and will even go so far as to cheer for the other's team (as long as they aren't playing each other) and keep up on each other's players, draft picks, plays, etc. just to make sure the other is well informed. Among other things that bond them are their favorite TV shows, politics, church, fishing, and their love of dumb jokes. GI Joe is the master of silly stories and ridiculous jokes and John always always laughs at them no matter how bad. It's sweet really.

Here's a picture of them trying to act like they don't like having their picture taken together. PUHLEASE. I decided that for the sake of GI Joe's military career I wouldn't post some of the other ones we have of the 2 of them. But you get the idea.

While John is GI Joe's bestest brofriend. He has others. I'll just outline a few, but there are many, many more. I'm not implying that my husband gets around but well........you can draw your own conclusions. :)

Meet 24/Political Brofriend Doug-You may remember Doug with his manpurse from my King Pin post. GI Joe and Doug have only been friends a short time but I'm confident it's the beginning of a lasting bromance. They were fast friends when they realized they had very similar political views, and listened to and watched all the same boring political talk shows. We've banned them from talking politics constantly at our outings so on many occasions they can be found talking behind a menu. Seriously as if that doesn't draw a few suspicious looks? They also share a deep obsession with the show "24". They text more during that show than Annette and I do during the CMA Awards and that's no small feat. This probably isn't the best place for a shameless matchmaking attempt but let me remind you single ladies, that Doug is a very eligible bachelor. GI Joe will share.

Trying to look tough (Doug, Jerry, GI Joe)

Meet Fishing Buddy/Wife Sympathizer Brofriend Jerry (pictured above center)-He's the husband of one of my BFF's Annette. Lucky for Annette and I, our husbands hit it off pretty quickly. They didn't have much choice as we were dragging them off to a concert with us and they knew that all they would have when the music started was each other as A and I would be working our way up to the front of the stage acting like groupies. Anyway, Annette and I are very similar in our princess-like tendencies so I think that was the first thing that bonded GI Joe and Jerry, they were sympathetic to each other. They compare notes on their wives and laugh about how much alike we are. Then they realized that they both love to fish and a beautiful bromance was born.

Meet Military Brofriend Mike-He's GI Joe's newest brofriend. Mike was in the Navy so they can relate on the military stuff and have the whole Army vs. Navy rivalry going on. But more importantly than that is the manner in which they communicate. I don't know how to explain this delicately so I'm just going to come out with it (no pun intended). GI Joe does a very scary, and I mean scary in the sense that it's dead on, "gay voice". Strangely enough so does Mike! I think within 30 minutes of meeting each other for the first time they were talking in that voice using words like "spectacular", "fabulous", and talking about their jeans. And somehow every time they are together out comes the voice and the whole act which makes all of us with them laugh but also draws curious stares from innocent bystanders...awesome. (I didn't mention in Doug's tribute but he is also a pro at "the voice" so he's always in on it too). Mike is also an eligible bachelor who despite how he talks with GI Joe is not gay. Hard to believe he's still single right? (But seriously, if you're a single white female between the ages of 25-35 who enjoys football, Hawkeyes, hot wings, and striking impressions of gay men by a straight guy, call me.)

Remember how I told you they act? Case and point!

The good news is that I am completely okay with GI Joe's bromances. His brofriends are my friends too so it's all good. And by now I'm sure you're thinking what a messed up dysfunctional marriage we have and you just might be right but hey it works for us.

P.S. Due to the nature of GI Joe's employer we would appreciate your discretion regarding the information contained in this post. Oh who am I kidding? It's hopeless. GI Joe told me the other day his boss had to WATCH him, ahem, give his sample for the drug test, and instead of playing it cool, GI Joe made a somewhat inappropriate comment to his boss in "the voice". Good news is he passed the test AND got a raise. Go figure! (Just kidding!)

Oh and one more thing, none of the guys listed above, including GI Joe, are actually gay, they just sound like it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Muddy Day Makeover

I am not a fan of mud. Not to sound like a stuck up princess but it disgusts me. (I suppose if you've been reading this blog for awhile it's too late for that). Anyway, yes, I realize that mud means that it's raining and/or the snow has melted which means spring is near, grass will be green, blah, blah, blah but I still don't like it. I've had one too many unfortunate incidents caused by mud, one of those was a very traumatic run-in with barbed wire that I'll tell you more about in a separate post. It's just too traumatic to go into right now. The moral of the story is I don't like mud. It ruins my shoes, tracks in on my floors, and makes my animals look dingy and dirty and detracts from their natural beauty.

Exhibit A:

Dirty Ducks (and a Goose)-I think they actually like the mud but I don't like the way it blemishes their pretty white feathers. And Duck Duck Goose, well, he always looks like that. There's no hope for him even on a dry day but we love him anyway. He is after all the only animal at the zoo to have ridden in the passenger seat of GI Joe's truck.

Exhibit B:

Even Chicken Joe looks crazier than usual. I think he needs some anti-frizz cream.

Exhibit C:

Poor poor Pegasus, his usually lustrous and full mane is hanging in wet tangles. It's going to take some DEEP conditioning to fix that. (My apologies for the slightly blurry pictures, it's not easy taking pictures in the rain with 3 leaves of hay in your hand and a turkey pecking at your leg)

And then there's this princess who would positively melt if she had to be out in that muddy mess longer than absolutely necessary. She's quite content staying inside, napping with her feline friend. It's a rough life she leads.

But I do have a couple secret weapons for when it is a mud pit outside and I have to do farm girl stuff. They even cheer me up a lil' bit. Sadly, it's not pink Carhartts. Speaking of which they still have NOT called me back. I'm getting irritated now and may just take my raspberry coveralls over to Dickies. Carhartt, you'll be sorry you didn't jump aboard this ship. I digress, back to my secret weapons.

The gloves are to protect my oh so delicate hands, (oh please I have the hands of a 50 year old mechanic) from vicious barbed wire fences and to avoid getting my hands dirty...ewwww. Besides they are just cute and make me feel like a real farm girl even though we don't actually have a John Deere tractor, or raise crops or anything that would warrant having a John Deere tractor, but still it's just the thought. And the boots, well the boots are just awesome. GI Joe had bought all 5 of us, kids included, a pair of boring black rubber chore boots last spring, when he decided he didn't want the excuse, "I don't have any bad shoes to wear" to hinder us from helping him with chores. Trust me we tried it. But you should know by now that I'm not content with run of the mill OR unisex clothing/shoes. So I made it my mission to find some pink chore boots and mission accomplished. On clearance I might add. They go up to my knees so I do like all country folk do and tuck my jeans or pants into my boots so they don't get dirty and away I go. Looking cool no doubt. The best part about them though is that I can just spray the mud right off.
In closing I would just like to share this little poem I was inspired to write as I was feeding animals,slipping around in mud, and resembling a drowned rat as it continued to rain on me.

Rain Rain go away
Come again some other day
Let's do like Florida and only rain a few minutes a day
I would like it better that way
The mud is yuck
Turns everything into muck
Dear Lord I'm not asking for a drought
Just help a girl out
Thanks, Amen

Original poetry by Prairie Princess

Sunday, March 8, 2009

King Pin

I know you're sad that when you come to my blog you don't immediately see the title "Uranus or Mine" but let's try to work past that. It's time to move on.

Friday was our friend Doug's 31st birthday (wink wink) so that meant a night full of food, bowling, and lots of laughs with a "murse" thrown in to accessorize. A murse you might say? Yes, a murse, a man purse. Doug is a technician who travels to different locations and works on equipment used in offices like mine. He has what he calls a tool bag to hold his tools, but we call it a man purse. So in celebration of his birthday, we made him a customized, one of a kind "man purse". You can imagine his excitement when he opened this:

(In this picture I think he's looking at his bro, GI Joe, asking him how he could let this happen)

To make it obvious that it was a "murse" I decorated the front with pictures of Doug's favorite hot celebrity women and a label that said "Doug's Very Manly Man Purse". That should do the trick right? Because Doug is a bachelor lookin' for love (contact me if you're a single lady between the ages of 28-42 and I'll hook you up, and yes I did just shamelessly use my blog as a low budget match.com, I'm not afraid), I put a few "tools" complete with instructions to help him with his search for Mrs. Doug in his murse. Here's a sample of his tools: mangloss aka chapstick to keep those lips kissable, a Ring Pop so that he is always prepared should he happen to meet "THE ONE", a French translation dictionary in case he has to go the mail order bride route, a package of Hot Tamales to use as a prop when he uses the pickup line "Are you a tamale cuz you're HOT?", a giant Hershey kiss so no one can say he's not getting any, and a package of Peeps because no matter what he'll always have his Peeps, just to name a few. Obviously, Doug PROUDLY carried his murse with him into the bowling alley. Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration. Maybe he left it in his car and had to be forced to go back out and get it, minor details. Not to brag, but I think secretly it was his favorite present. How could it not be?
After the murse unveiling and Annette, Cindy and I ate Doug's birthday sundae, we went bowling. I don't know if I've mentioned it here or not, but I am a phenomenal bowler. And by phenomenal I mean that I consider bowling a 75 or higher a life accomplishment. For some reason we decided to play guys against girls. It was my friends, Cindy, Annette and I against GI Joe, Doug the Birthday Boy, Jerry (Annette's hubby), and McDreamy (Bachelor #2, ladies again, call me). Our team names were decided. We were Pink Power (obviously) and the boys were Whatever Losers. We might've helped them with their name a lil' bit. While I may not be great at bowling I do excel at trash talking. To keep it interesting we told the boys that if we beat them they would have to buy us new Coach purses. We don't mess around. I am happy to report that I actually did crack that 75 mark TWICE, and one game nearly hit the 100 score. Maybe it was the Coach purse motivation or maybe it was that I think Jerry might've accidentally bowled for me a couple times. :) Even though team PInk Power did not win our bet, it was GI Joe's and Jerry's fault, they were having an "on" night, and no matter how well Annette and Cindy did they just couldn't quite carry me. Don't worry we'll still get our new purses. Also, I am happy to report that I did not take home the lowest score title. Not even close. Birthday Boy bowled somewhere around a 50, although in his defense I think he was distracted by his "murse" and how he was going to utilize all of his new tools. McDreamy also had a pathetic score but his was due to the riveting choreography he did when it was his turn to get his ball down the lane. He's very talented. He's the one in the middle...obviously.

And because no evening out with Annette and I, is complete without a photo shoot, here are a few other pictures from the event.

Bowling League Application-Team Photo #1

Bowling League Application Team Photo #2

I think it's safe to say that no matter how good we look our league application will be DENIED.
To Doug-I hope you had a GREAT birthday, we sure had fun helping you celebrate it. Oh and do you have any lotion in your purse? My hands are dry.
To the Bowling Alley-My apologies for a bunch of 30 somethings acting like adolescents for 3+ hours. But thank you for playing New Kids on the Block and you're welcome for the free dance routine Annette and I provided.
To GI Joe's Hoodie Collection-Sorry you were replaced with a non hoodie shirt for the occasion, trust me it wasn't without a "discussion", but sometimes a hoodie just doesn't cut it. Rest assured GI Joe missed you deeply.
To Potential Murse Buyers-I know I"ve created the latest fashion rage, but unfortunately due to other demands on my time (ex: children, emus, Uranus) I will be unable to fulfill any murse orders. Contact your local Coach dealer, GI Joe tells me they have "man totes". Don't ask me why he knows this.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Uranus or Mine

My apologies for the post title but I just couldn't help myself. Now you know what our poor children have to deal with.

Tonight on the way to church Dakota was telling us about the star lab lesson they did at school today about all the planets. Then she actually said these words, "They said when there's a full moon you can see Uranus."

And because GI Joe and I are very refined, mature, and serious parents we responded accordingly by.....LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY. Yes, we are 30 and 31 years old and still the word Uranus sends us into an uncontrollable fit of giggles. We were laughing so hard and making numerous play on words using the word "uranus". So much in fact that Dakota actually got irritated with us and scolded us. She kept saying "I'm talking about the PLANET URANUS!" to which one of us would respond with "DAKOTA quit talking about URANUS, that's gross!" By the time we got to church my mascara was smeared from laughing and Dakota was so frustrated that she immediately drew a picture of the planet Uranus with a caption that said "the PLANET Uranus" and handed it to us. And because as I said before we are awesome parents we drew a picture of a bottom and captioned it "Uranus" and handed it back to her. To which she responded with an exasperated sigh and and eye roll.

As church was dismissing, GI Joe's brofriend John, came over to chat and GI Joe told Dakota to tell him about Uranus, meaning what she learned at school of course. And very loudly John said "I don't want to hear about Uranus!" right about the time that the entire church was silent. I couldn't write a script this good.

I fully expect calls from school tomorrow regarding inappropriate use of the word Uranus. Not by Dakota of course, but the boys were all too interested in the conversation. I have a feeling they will be sharing their new astronomy knowledge with their classmates. Oh to be a fly on Uranus...I mean the wall.

OK I'll stop now but only because Dakota needs a lesson in modesty. She just told me to come outside she wants to show me the BIg Dipper and....you guessed it...Uranus. :)

Now I'm done....really.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I had planned to blog last night but the kids informed me that it was "Unplugged" night. Apparently, last week Ryder and I had signed a form that was sent home from school stating that on Monday, March 2 we would unplug the TV, computer, video games, etc and spend time reading instead. (Note to self: I should read things more thoroughly before signing my name.) Seriously, we read together every night so I kind of resent that the school is telling us what we should or should not do in the evenings. I have issues with authority I know. I asked Blade where his form was and he responded with "I didn't want to do that so I didn't sign my name!" See what teaching them to think for themselves gets ya? Since Ryder and I had both signed our name and turned our form back in promising to go "unplugged" last night we did honor our commitment. Until the kids went to bed of course, and then I indulged in about 45 minutes of mindless TV. The school can't boss me after bedtime!
And now on to the weekend recap:
On Friday night, my friend Annette and I went to a craft show at the fairgrounds. If you'll recall the family and I were there a few weeks ago for a Fisherman's Swap Meet. When we were there for the Fisherman's Swap Meet I laughed because they were selling bottles and cups of beers and I thought it par for the course given the attendees of the event. Joke was on me though when we walked into the craft show and sure enough they were selling beer at the concession stand. Now I do have to give props to the event coordinators for this plan because it does 2 things: 1) is used by the ladies who forced their husbands to attend with them to soften the blow 2) ladies get liquored up and buy all kinds of crap that they'll regret the next day. And trust me there were ladies there drinking it up like they were at a bachelorette party or something! Annette and I stuck with our Diet Cokes and shopped responsibly. Our only mishap was not alcohol related. It was when we were browsing at a table of baby blankets and there was a infant carrier on the table with what looked like a mannequin baby in it, covered by one of the sample blankets. But then the mannequin baby moved and I screamed, jumped, and declared that I thought it was a dummy baby. I have so much poise sometimes it's frightening.
Saturday, the Pink Power kitchen makeover began. It went from cheery yellow with blue accents to a soothing olive green with you guessed it....pink accents. IT. IS. AMAZING. Even more amazing than how pretty and totally me it is, is the fact that my very manly husband, armed with a sewing machine and the material I ordered online, whipped up a valance and a table runner in about 30 minutes on Sunday night. Yep, that's right, he fishes, hunts, paints, fixes stuff, wrestles livestock AND sews! How did I get so lucky? He credits his Mom and Home Ec class for his ability and to both I am deeply indebted. I also took Home Ec but only passed due to my exceptional culinary and wedding planning abilities. The sewing part nearly did me in, my shorts were uneven, I kept getting thread tangled up and breaking the sewing machine needle! I want to sew, I really do but he's just so much better and faster at it. The entire time he was sewing he kept grumbling about how "gay" he looked and would occasionally sing a show tune, you know the one about the tailor? Which between you and me didn't help his case much. Meanwhile, Blade was narrating and asking me, "Mommy, are you going to blog about Daddy sewing?" You bet your boots I am. I was going to take pictures but I thought that would be pushing it and I still have another valance I need done! :)