Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Here's the before picture:
This WAS the view from our kitchen table. I love the rustic, quaint look of this old barn. Makes me imagine what this place used to be like back in the day when it was a real live farm operation, not just a crazy woman collecting odd and unusual animals strictly for petting and then blogging about it. It’s been there since at least the late 1800’s and just having it in view from my kitchen makes me feel like an old school prairie woman and then I laugh out loud as I picture myself in a long dress and bonnet, churning butter. You’ll notice that the past 100+ years have taken its toil on our friend the barn and it’s leaning quite precariously. It’s been leaning a little more every year and finally the powers that be (GI Joe and his dad, the men of the homestead) decided it just wasn’t safe anymore. I don’t see the problem, I mean really, Italy ’s Leaning Tower of Pisa has been leaning since 1173, ours still has at least another 600 years by my calculations. They were worried that a good storm would come along and cause it to collapse, not caring if there was a peacock, kitty, horse or human in it and that would be dangerous. I suggested just putting caution tape around the doorways to prohibit entry and just leaving it alone but apparently my opinion as Prairie Princess is not highly valued. How rude. There’s been talk of having the local fire department come out and do a controlled burn on it for quite awhile but I kept hoping it was just talk. Imagine my surprise when on Sunday, GI Joe informed me that the barn was going to be burned down on Tuesday. Ummm…excuse me…WHAT? I think I was purposely left out of the loop on this one for fear that I would stage a protest complete with picket signs and media coverage (and you know I thought about it) . So I had only 3 days to prepare myself emotionally and mentally for this monumental event. Sunday, I forced the kids to take part in a barn blitz photo shoot telling them repeatedly that they would thank me for capturing this part of their childhood so that when they are older and telling their children about the hours they spent in their secret hideout in the hayloft, or finding the peacock eggs, or petting baby kittens in there, they would have pictures to show them. My children are apparently not forward thinkers as this didn’t entice them much but they did begrudgingly cooperate and someday, SOMEDAY they WILL thank me.
And HELLO COWBOY, what a guy he is. Whew...
Finally, Tuesday evening came. The kids did one final sweep of the barn and rescued a nest of baby barn swallows. And by rescue I mean, got the nest down from a rafter only to drop it killing 2 of the 3 baby birds, leaving one orphaned bird who will now die anyway because his mom can’t find him and I’m sorry but I draw the line at letting the kids chew up worms and regurgitate them for the baby bird. Call PETA on me if you must but it’s how I roll. On a happier note, I made Smores cookies for the occasion as I thought it fitting. I had envisioned us sitting on our lawn chairs as a family, eating Smores cookies, while we watched the fire department burn our beloved barn, reminiscing about memories made there. As usual, the only thing that went according to plan was the eating of the Smores cookies, and boy were they delicious! The kids each wanted to watch it from their own vantage point, alone with their thoughts, GI Joe chose to watch while trimming the horse’s hooves and weeding the garden (I use the term garden loosely, there’s not much left now that it’s been “weeded”), and I chose to watch it from the comfort of my chaise lounger in the backyard. The fire department rolled up and I heard things like, “Hey Prairie Princess! Stay away from that barbed wire okay?” and “Hey PP, if you don’t want your llamas roasted then can you have them move?” and on and on. (Editors sidenote: Unfortunately, they don’t actually address me as Prairie Princess but I really wish they would.) Our town’s volunteer fire department doesn’t take their job lightly and they also enjoy giving me a hard time. So what if I’m the only one they’ve ever had to rescue from a barbed wire fence? (http://hillbillyhilarity.blogspot.com/2009/05/battle-of-barbed-wire.html) Or the only one they’ve had to tell to move their llamas? Geesh people. What would I have to blog about if I were normal?
The fire chief, a friend of ours, came and told us how it was going to work and that he would try to make the fire hot enough that the smoke would go over our house instead of directly towards our house. Who knew you could control such things? Then he told us he was training some “greenhorns” so they were going to take their time. I considered running down the hill screaming “Stop! There’s been a mistake, we were just kidding, we don’t want to burn it down!” but using every ounce of willpower I had, I refrained. Probably good because given my history with the VMFD they wouldn’t have taken me seriously. Finally, all firefighters were in position, and smoke slowly started billowing out of the barn and I started tearing up. Not from the smoke inhalation, but just because I knew it was really happening.
As the smoke billowed over our house, we watched in awe as that old barn stayed standing much longer than we thought it would, it finally collapsed on itself with a loud bang…and I SCREAMED. It sounded like a gunshot! Even above the roar of the flames, the firefighters heard it and looked up the hill towards us shaking their heads, and GI Joe laughed until he cried. Really, I think it was just an excuse, he was crying about the barn just like the rest of us. Speaking of crying, I found Blade sitting on an overturned feedbucket, watching the fire burning, shoulders shaking, and tears running down his face. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one taking this hard. I felt his pain, rubbed his back a little, and then gave him another Smores cookies. Nothing mends a broken heart like a mothers love, I mean cookies.
In less than an hour, 100 years of history and memories was nothing more than a small fire and a pile of rubble. The fire department started packing up so I ventured over to where they were. I was introduced to the crew as “the barbed wire girl”. Awesome, glad to hear my reputation precedes me. I need to work on getting my picture on the fire station wall for that one. After that I felt justified in asking the chief to get everyone together for a group photo. It helps to have connections because he immediately got on his radio and said “I need everyone back down here now and make sure your hair and make up is good.” I offered my lip gloss just in case someone didn’t have any handy. You should’ve seen the looks he was getting as these hot, sweaty, and sooty firefighters trudged back down the hill only to discover that they were reporting for a group photo…priceless. They drew the line when I asked them to do a pyramid though. I love my fire department even if I am “the barbed wire fence girl”. Then my mother in law started shamelessly promoting my blog to all of the firefighters and telling them that their picture would end up there and that they should read it and on and on. God bless my mother in law who I think is a tiny bit proud that her son turned this city girl country and now there’s a blog about it. So if any of my new firefighter friends are reading this…this one’s for you. And also, sorry I thought that one really short guy was a kid tagging along with his dad or something, but seriously he is really little and he did ask J the firefighter for a piggyback ride, what’s a girl to think?
Then it was done, finished, finito, we bid farewell to the barn. And with that I went home and showered off the campfire smell I’d acquired, ate another Smores cookie, went to bed and prayed that I’d wake up and find it was all a bad dream and that the barn was still standing, straight and tall. Obviously, I was more than a little disappointed to wake up this morning to see nothing but smoke and ashes where the barn used to be. Don’t worry a couple more Smores cookies eased my pain… a little. I’m still bitter about the whole deal and when GI Joe told me I could help him clean up the rubble, I told him I want nothing to do with it as it was against my wishes in the first place. Besides that I don’t want to rip my pretty pink work gloves.
I’m not the only one missing the barn, the horses were having a memorial service there this morning with one of them standing directly in the middle of the rubble pile, which concerned us since it was still smoldering, with the others circled around her, heads hanging down. It was as if they were saying their goodbyes too. I’ll tell you what though I am NOT sharing my Smores cookies with them, no matter how sad they are.
And should you have a broken heart that needs mending here is the Smores cookie recipe (thanks to my friend Annette for sharing this gem with me). Do yourself a favor and use the WHOLE king sized Hershey’s bar and any extra chocolate you have lying around, you’re worth it: http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/desserts/smore-cookies/.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Tonight was no exception. It was a gorgeous July evening and we decided to go out to the lake and fish from one of GI Joe's childhood fishing spots. It was a picture perfect evening with the family, enjoying some quality time on the lake teaching the children valuable life lessons and imparting our profound wisdom on them. Oops wrong lake, that wasn't us. Here's the real story.
Within 5 minutes of arriving on the pier, Blade found a dead snake which he promptly came to "show" me. I was trying not to scream as there were other people on the lake but that left me only one other option....jump in the lake to get away from him and the dead snake. GI Joe, not wanting me to embarrass him by doing either of the above items, quickly told him to leave me alone with it and throw it in the lake. The real kicker was when about 30 minutes later GI Joe was reeling in what he thought was a big fish only to discover that same dead snake hooked on his line. Two snake sightings in one night? Yuck! Time to find a new fishing spot.
GI Joe and I were enjoying a brief moment of peace and quiet when the silence was broken by Dakota yelling "Ouch, I hooked my hair!" We looked over and sure enough in a casting attempt gone awry she had hooked her worm in her hair. Miss Independent didn't want any help getting it out, she worked it out on her own. Which is good because I was no help rolling on the ground laughing at her, not that I touch worms anyway.
Not 5 minutes later, GI Joe was adjusting my line and next thing I knew he had accidentally caught a 55 pound Blade bass. We had planned to just catch and release tonight, but this one was just too darn cute so we kept him. Maybe I'll hang him above the mantle.
During all this excitement, I looked over at Ryder sitting next to his pole, propped on a rock, and noticed that his pole was practically bent in half, pulling with the weight of a fish biting. Ryder was sitting right there but instead of paying attention to what his pole was doing, he was taking a "rock shower", pouring pebbles over his head. I mean really what else are you supposed to do, just watch your bobber or something? B-O-R-I-N-G. I mentioned to Ryder that he might want to reel in as he had a fish. He sprung into action and started reeling immediately but when Ryder gets down to crunch time in fishing, he approaches it differently that the vast majority. Instead of reeling until the fish is up on shore, once it gets about 5 feet from shore he goes into freak out mode and instead of continuing to reel he jerks as hard as he can to make the fish come flying out of the water. As you can imagine this works flawlessly...or not. The fish went flying off the hook and the empty hook landed squarely in his sister's shirt. But if you ask him, he'll tell you he caught a big one, he just let it go early. Seriously.
GI Joe got everyone calmed down from the "almost caught one" excitement and helped them all get their lines back in the water. Oh yes, all of them because the moment one gets any action they all drop their poles and come running to help. He had just sat down when Blade started yelling "Dakota caught one! Dakota caught one!" We looked and yep, she caught one....a REALLY REALLY big one. She had to one up her father's 55 lb. Blade bass and caught herself a GUY IN A BOAT. Tears of laughter were streaming down my face as I tried to photograph the event. The guy in the boat didn't seem to find the humor in it like we did so I did not get any pictures of it. But that's one picture that will forever be imprinted in my memory. I told her next time go for the yacht.
GI Joe was getting a little bit frustrated as he had mistakenly thought he would actually get to fish. Instead he spent the evening in a bit of a round robin from one kid to another to me to another, untangling lines, changing lures, casting, etc. I had to remind GI Joe that the Outdoor Channel wasn't there to film us doing the next fishing show, although they should because that would be one very entertaining fishing show (if there is such a thing) and that we were just there to have fun. Easy for me to say as I dangled my hook in front of his face and asked him to please remove that yucky moss from my hook so the fish could actually get to the worm. (I don't touch moss either.) I don't understand why he wasn't enjoying it as much as we were. Weird huh?
Finally, after the special vein in GI Joe's head started to pulsate I suggested that we call it a night before any serious injuries or strokes were sustained. The boys had moved on from fishing to throwing rocks in the lake and playing with frogs so it was only Dakota we had to pry away and by then she was yelling at the boys blaming them for scaring all the fish away . At least this time they hadn't jumped in and scared the fish away. That was last time. Sigh.
As we were walking back to the truck from our adventurous night of fishing, I suddenly saw a full moon. Not in the sky either. Instead it was my adorable son, Blade. His shorts were a little loose and as he walked by a bush it caught on his shorts and before he could say bluegill they were around his ankles. I thought it a fitting way to end our evening. At least no one fell in this time.
63 CASTS THROWN + 16 SNAGS UNSNAGGED + 3 PEOPLE HOOKED + 6 WORMS USED + 0 FISH CAUGHT = A MILLION MEMORIES MADE
Monday, July 20, 2009
And this is the look I get from her ALOT. The one that says, "Can't you see I'm kind of busy right now, doing important things that intelligent people like myself do, like looking for previously undiscovered marine life or curing cancer and such? Also, are you sure I'm your daughter? I just don't see how it's possible."
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Other highlights from our trip include:
*Reaffirmed what I've always known...that I would not have survived in any other time period but the present. We went on a tour of the Jamestown Setttlement established in the 1600's. Oh my goodness, I almost cried tears of pity for the people who had to live like that. No internet? No TV's? No New Kids? No cell phones? No cars? The injustice. We toured 3 replicas of the ships that the settlers came over on from England, where the tour guide told us that one of the struggles of the passengers of the ship was extreme boredom. Wow, ya think? Then once they arrived, they worked like, all the time. And they basically had to wear the same thing EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. RIP Jamestown Settlers, and wherever you are I hope you're living it up, playing video games and washing your clothes in a Maytag.
*PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I've figured out what is wrong with our nation! Turns out in the D.C. area, McDonald's does not offer Reese's McFlurry's. Ummm excuse me..what? How can our Senators and Congressmen and women, and even our President be expected to think logically and make smart decisions when they are forced to function without a necessity to happiness..a Reese's McFlurry? I'll be holding a press conference to announce my findings and suggest to McDonald's that they have the power to solve all of this country's problems, stay tuned to Fox News. I might've just changed the course of our nation. You're welcome.
*Speaking of D.C. we walked approximately 417 miles. Which is ironic, considering we paid a decent amount of money to ride the Tourmobile and take the guided tour of the city's landmarks. The thing with the Tourmobile was that you could get on and off at the different sites, all day as long as you showed your ticket. The problem with that was that our timing was less than impeccable and we always seemed to miss it from every stop by about 5 minutes. And because I am married to GI Joe, who doesn't see the value in waiting when you could just walk to the next location, we took D.C. by foot. Not sure if you knew this or not, but I can whine just as well if not better than my children, when forced to walk an exhorbiant amount when it's hot and I'm hungry AND we paid to RIDE the Tourmobile. GI Joe took great pleasure in my misery. It's been 24 hours now and my hips, shins, back, shall I go on...are STILL sore. When did I get so old?
*Dared the kids to ask the security guard at the Smithsonian if the exhibits really came alive after the museum closed. They just rolled their eyes and refused. Fun haters.
*Got a free, guided tour through the Smithsonian: Museum of Natural History, provided by none other than our very own Dakota. It was like Christmas morning to her, she wanted to read everything about each exhibit and would've spent 8 days there if we had time and her parents had half her attention span to such things. Nothing like a 9 year old explaining fossils, naming the obscure dinosaur skeletons, and her exasperated sighs when we mispronounced extinct mammal names, to make us feel smart. We've grounded her from the library and educational books for a month, that ought to teach her.
*For once, GI Joe posed for pictures and actually enjoyed it. Maybe it had something to do with the poses he was striking in front of such establishments as the EPA building and the Capitol Building in D.C. Thankfully, no arrests were made, although plenty of odd looks were received.
*Read my book as GI Joe navigated through rush hour traffic in downtown D.C. He has a few gray hairs but I'm happy to report that no injuries, fatalities, or automobile damage were sustained. And I finished Firefly Lane (great book) and ate LemonHeads. It's a stressful life I lead.
*Toured Gettysburg Battlefield on our way home. This was a dream come true for GI Joe. Given his affinity for war AND history, this was the perfect combination and someplace he's always wanted to visit. The battlefield itself was interesting (more so for GI Joe who actually paid attention in History class), but a little long. Why did it have to be 24 miles of battlefield with a stop every mile or so with a statue, or marker, or vantage point? I'm just sayin'. Abe, couldn't you have found a different, more condensed location? It worked out though, I got halfway thru a new book, the kids will be able to say they've been there when they learn about it in school, and one of GI Joe's lifelong dreams was fulfilled. The town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is a quaint town that makes you feel like you've stepped back in time to the Civil War period. Who knew they had an outlet mall during the Civil War, which happened to be right next to our hotel?!? Maybe I would've survived in the olden days after all.
*Drove past a farm in Pennsylvania that had a mini horse, a ZORSE, and, wait for it....A ZEBRA in their pasture! Jealous party of one.
*After leaving Gettysburg heading west towards home, we happened upon the backwoods of Pennsylvania. We're talking missing teeth, mall bangs, slippers in public, the works. I had no idea PA had backwoods but it was like a little piece of home. Sigh.....
And with that the National LamKoon's Summer Vacation is winding down. I'm sad it's almost over but am anxious to get home, pet my animals, and sleep in my own bed. Now if we could just work on getting that ocean built in Iowa I'd be a really happy camper.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
We're en route right now from Virginia Beach to Washington D.C. Because I am a wife of compromise (not really, but sometimes I try really hard), after subjecting my history buff husband to a vacation solely based around beach activities with a historical tour of Jamestown thrown in for good measure, I agreed to scrap our original plans to visit my sister (again) in TN on the way back home from VA and instead we're taking the D.C. route. (Sorry sis!) Neither of us have ever been and we figured since we were only going to be 3 hours from it, we might as well hit it. Besides, after the kids watched Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian, they were thrilled with the prospect of visiting the real Smithsonian. I hope they aren't disappointed when the exhibits don't really come to life. I'm sure there will be tales to tell from that adventure. Stay tuned.
Here are a few memorable moments from the National LamKoons Summer Vacation so far:*When Dakota looked over at me as we were climbing a 210 foot hill on one of the top 10 roller coasters in the world at Busch Gardens and said, "Mommy, I know this is horrifying for you but don't look down and also please don't scream like a girl." Why must she use such big words? P.S. I did scream like a girl but it was fantastic.
*While on our dolphin watching cruise in the Atlantic, we hit some rough water that made the boat go up and down. Blade giggled and said, "Ooooh that tickled my wienie." Nice, thanks for sharing.
*The woman at Busch Gardens who told GI Joe he had a "nice butt" as I was taking a picture of him and the kids. I told her thanks, I picked out the shorts that accentuated it.
*Ryder telling us at Busch Gardens after he went on his second roller coaster of the day, "I don't like the roller coasters that go high, or fast, or loop, or twist." Well, okay then back to the Teacups we go.
*The family on the Virginia Beach fishing pier who thought we were locals since our kids helped them unload their crab from the crab pots without getting pinched. No sirree, we just watch Deadliest Catch. Who says TV isn't educational?
*The sign at one of the roller coasters at Busch Gardens that said, "Due to the nature of this ride, we are unable to accommodate individuals with a chest measurement of greater than 52." Darn, I really wanted to ride that one. (Yeah right.)
*Witnessing the instant transformation of my husband, who went from relaxed, laid back GI Joe to militant, meticulous, drill sergeant, GI Joe every time we pulled into a military base. Which was often since we stayed several nights at a hotel on a Naval Base. I swear I thought he was going to pull over and spit shine the car before we were able to proceed through the gate, everything had to be just right and in order. I saw GI Joe in his military element and frankly, it was frightening. So glad I pull rank 'round the Zoo. :)
*Yet again I was faced with the unanswered question which is...why the heck do we live 18 hours+ from the nearest ocean? Seriously?!? I'm not one to point fingers but I'm blaming our parents for birthing and raising us and causing us to continue our roots in the great state of Iowa, smack dab in the middle of the country. Boring. Just kidding Iowa, I do love you but let's talk about adding an ocean, k?
The adventures didn't stop there, more to come.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Crowns-ratings given by me Grenades-ratings given by GI Joe
1 -Worst, I’d rather be shoveling manure than watching this movie and am mad I wasted 2 hours of my life on it, if I didn’t turn it off after 30 minutes.
2-Not Great, I could’ve written a movie better than this but there were a FEW redeeming parts in it.
3-Eh just alright, something in the movie made me watch the entire thing whether it was a character, an actor, or an interesting plot twist. But there was probably something or things lacking and it felt unsettled or unfinished. Probably wouldn’t recommend it and won’t ever watch it again.
4-Solid Good-Either made me laugh, cry, or sit on the edge of my seat.(That’s for PP, GI Joe doesn’t so much cry at movies). Would recommend it and will probably own it.
5-Royal Accolades-If a movie gets a 5 rating you know it must be good. And by good, I mean as soon as I see it I want to tell everyone I know that they should also see it so we can discuss in detail. It will definitely be added to the collection and watched again and again.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Her Comments: Since I was stuck in the car with nowhere to go, nothing to do, on day 1 of our vacation, I decided to give this 3 hour movie a try. GI Joe watched it when he was gone and enjoyed it so I figured it couldn’t be that bad. I did see the Oprah with Brad Pitt about this movie and wanted to see what all the hype was about. I just finished it minutes ago and my initial reaction is “huh”, well, that and “Wow, Brad Pitt is a beautiful man, why did he and Jen ever split up?” I just don’t know how I feel about it. It’s unique, although slow in parts, it really has a neat story. Things I didn’t like about the movie: 3 hours!, Brad Pitt’s gorgeousness covered by wrinkles and makeup for the first 2 hours, the sad parts, and the parts I can’t tell you about because if you haven’t seen it will spoil the movie for you. Let’s just say sometimes women are dumb and stubborn, myself excluded of course. Things I did like about the movie: Brad Pitt from hour 2 until almost the end of the movie, the love story part of it, and the “being born old” plot. That’s not something you see everyday. If you’ve seen it comment and tell me your thoughts, my jury is still out. If you haven’t seen it, watch it and let me know. I’m curious just like Benjamin.
Crown Rating: 3.5 Crowns (I made up a new rating just for this movie)
Grenade Rating-3 Grenades
His comments: Liked the concept of aging backwards and it had a little bit of war in it which is also a plus for me. I recommend splitting it up over 2 nights of viewing.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Her Comments: If my children were rating this they would give it royal accolades. They loved it! But this isn’t their blog. I enjoyed the movie but didn’t think it was as good as the first 2. There were some funny parts (most of which were shown in the movie trailer) and some sweet parts. The 3D animation was also amazing and seeing a theater full of people in dorky 3d glasses…awesome. But I thought it was a tad bit slow moving at times and sometimes they tried too hard to get a laugh.
Crown Rating: 4 Crowns
Grenade Rating-3 Grenades
His Comments: I had a nice 10 minute nap at the theater during this movie so obviously it didn’t keep my attention the entire time. I did love the poisonous gas scene though, must be the inner child in me. Also, I love Scat.
Her Comments: I gotta be honest, when we started seeing the previews for this months ago I thought the story line looked boring. But the kids really, really wanted to see it and it was something to do to fill an evening while GI Joe was away for his 2 weeks.
I went in to the movie skeptical but I have to say I LOVED IT! It was so much deeper than a story about an old man who tied balloons to his house. I laughed, I cried (twice), I was on the edge of my seat. It was a touching, heartwarming story and even a bit heavy at times. It was great to see a Disney movie where the main character was not a handsome prince or princess or a furry lovable critter but an old, wrinkly, grouchy man. I was definitely impressed with this movie and think everyone should see it regardless of their age. There are life lessons to be learned. P.S. I want a bird like Kevin from Up.
Crown Rating: 5 Crowns
Grenade Rating-N/A To be reviewed later as I was slaving away at training while my family ate popcorn and watched movies.
Her Comments: I’d heard so much about this movie and how great it was. Of course it didn’t hurt that Leonardo DiCaprio & Kate Winslet were the main characters. I thought maybe Jack didn’t really die in the Titanic and he and Rose wound up living happily ever after on Revolutionary Road. Umm not so much. I managed to watch the entire movie, while GI Joe started snoring after approximately 45 minutes. It was a slow moving movie where you just kept thinking there had to be more to it than that. It’s really a miracle I watched the whole thing given my adult onset ADD. I think Leo kept me watching. When the movie was finally over I felt unsettled, sad and more than a little disappointed. Only watch this movie if you want to feel better about your mental stability or if you just want to see Leonardo. In that case, I would mute it.
Crown Rating: 2 Crowns
Grenade Rating-1 Grenade
His Comments: Made me want to blow myself up with said grenade.
Her Comments: GI Joe and I had a long overdue date night last week and went to see this movie. Oh how I’ve missed Sandra Bullock in romantic comedies. And oh how I love Ryan Reynolds. This movie was the perfect date movie. It had the ideal blend of humor, sarcasm, and romance. My macho, manly husband really liked it so guys. suck it up and take your girl to go see it. I cannot wait to own this movie and watch it again, pausing at the scene where Ryan Reynolds is showing some skin. Oops did I type that out loud?
Crown Rating: 5 Crowns
Grenade Rating-4 Grenades
His Comments: Anything with Ryan Reynolds always has potential for being very funny and enjoyable (not just cuz my wife thinks he’s hot). Craig T. Nelson is in this movie too and he’s a winner in my book given his current views on the government’s wasteful spendings…..Uh oh time for Prairie Princess to take over again.
He’s Just Not That Into You
Her Comments: With the all star cast I was sure it would be a killer movie. Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Bradley Moore, Scarlett Johannsen, are you kidding me? I was geared up for a romantic comedy. Instead, I ended up with a sad look at dating life and unhappy marriages. Not at all what I expected. It did reiterate the fact that I am SO glad I’m happily married to GI Joe as I’m fairly certain I would not survive being single these days. I mean really, if Drew Barrymore has trouble getting guys to call her back and getting a date then fuhgettaboutit. The redeeming qualities in this movie were the all star cast, especially Jennifer Aniston (my girlcrush), AND the ending that left you with a glimmer of hope for your single friends.
Crown Rating: 2 Crowns
Grenade Rating-1.5 Grenades
His Comments: Able to watch it without wanting to blow myself up with a grenade and we were out of rope. My wife shallowly suggested that I watched it due to the eye candy but let it be known that I do not think Drew Barrymore OR Scarlett Johannsen are attractive females. And Jennifer Connelly looks like a man. Enough said.
My Sister’s Keeper
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Growing up and playing with Transformers as a kid, I loved the first movie, not the animated one of ’86, but the one released in 2007. The kids and I were greatly anticipating the sequel battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons and went to see this during opening week. I did appreciate that in this movie they stuck with the original voice of Optimus Prime but overall Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen should’ve just stayed fallen. From the absurdities of the gangsta’ autobots that gave JaJa Bings from Star Wars a run for his money in the race to ridiculous, to the obscene language of the Transformers I was not impressed. Then as if that weren’t enough, to top it all off, a robot dry humping the very hot Megan Fox’s leg. (PP: What? You think Megan Fox is hot? Oh what’s that? I think Jordan Knight is hot? Oh yeah, I suppose you’re entitled, go on….) It was rated PG-13 but should’ve been rated R. Not a kid friendly movie whatsoever and that is disappointing because it’s guys like me who want to share their love of Transformers with their kids, that are going to this movie. I probably will not own this movie and considering that I collect movies like my wife collects shoes, that is saying a lot. And now I’d like to tell you what I think about the state of our nation……Thanks GI Joe, I’ll take it from here. We’ll spare them that sermon.
Grenade Rating: 2 Grenades (one for each dingleberry on Devastator)
Crown Rating: N/A I’ll never be reviewed as I prefer my movies to have actual characters instead of cars and trucks that “transform”, spare me.
What do you think? Do you disagree, agree, think we’re idiots, what? Comment and tell us. We want to know. Actually, I want to know, GI Joe is slightly hard headed and close minded to the opinions of others. I was going to say just kidding but he told me not too, he’s not denying it.
Want us to do more? There’s lots more where that came from. We’re boring old, married people who live in the wilderness with not much to do so we watch a lot of movies.
Now as they say in the movie biz, that’s a wrap…..
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
1) The best way to remove a tick is to flip it over and pull it out the opposite way. This ensures that you get it all. No credit card or matches needed. Which is good because frankly, I don't trust myself with matches that close to my childrens' heads. I just learned this trick this summer and felt it my civic duty to share with you.
And this picture doesn't really have to do with anything other than this is probably where he got the tick that I found on his adorable little head that I exercised this very tick technique on. Tick removal=successful. Getting any of my children to be happy about having their picture taken=unsuccessful.
Now on to items totally unrelated to ticks......
2) Go here and make these immediately http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/07/bacon-wrapped_j/ and then for dessert make this http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/06/another-pie/. And then save me some of each because they are my new favorite things. I've become famous 'round these parts for the bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers (thanks Pioneer Woman), they are SOOO good and fairly easy. Don't let the jalapenos scare you, as long as you get the white vein and all the seeds out they aren't that spicy (usually). Word of advice though, wear gloves when dealing with the jalapenos. I tried every home remedy known to man, from washing my hands in milk to slathering them with butter then honey, to dipping them in ice water, after I made these the last time. My hands were on FIRE and nothing worked. Finally, I just cried myself to sleep and dreamt about how delicious the poppers would be when we ate them the next day, and they were, so it was worth it. No pain no gain. And the peanut butter pie, oh my. Remember my obsession with Reese's eggs? This pie just might fill the void in my life (and pants) til next Easter. Yummy.
3) Make the jalapeno things for an appetizer, the pie for dessert and these for your main dishhttp://mykitchencafe.blogspot.com/2008/03/shrimp-enchiladas.html. And then email me and tell me how much you love me for making you a hero to your family and friends. These are simply to die for. I usually leave out the red pepper and the tomatoes (gag me) so feel free to modify to your tastes. I consider myself part Mexican (WHAT...... you've never seen a blonde haired, green eyed chica before?!?) given my love of Mexican cuisine. And these bad boys are better than ANY seafood enchilada I've had in the many Mexican restaurantes I've visited in my day. I wish I had paid attention in my 4 years of Spanish class so I could say I love these enchiladas in Spanish but no habla espanol. Just know that I REALLY REALLY love these.
I'm all about educating and informing you. And with that I'm going to resume my packing. Vacation starts in 2 days, 3 depending on how you count. I promise at least one more post of interest before we leave. Scratch that..I mean I promise to at least post one more time before we leave, whether or not it's interesting...well, no guarantees.
Monday, July 6, 2009
I will now resume my regular rant-free blogging. I wish I could say rodent free blogging but unfortunately that's not the case...
We celebrated the 4th of July at our friends', Annette & Jerry's house, along with all of their family and a lot of our other friends. All was well until the demon children, I mean GI Joe's kids discovered a field mouse stuck in a basement window well. Dakota the Explorer decided to help "rescue" it from the window well as it appeared to have fallen in and couldn't get out. But her brother, Bucifer, I mean Blade, thought it would be fun to pick up the mouse by the tail and bring it to the driveway where everyone was sitting around chatting. Fun fact about me...I HATE MICE! I was sitting on the opposite side of the circle from where Blade was and immediately started getting the heebie jeebies as he was showing everyone else. He got the typical, adult like responses from the others there, "yuck where did you find it?" or "how did you catch a mouse?". I was coping okay since he was a safe distance from me UNTIL my ever so loving husband said to Blade, "why don't you show Mommy?", knowing full well that I had already seen the stupid thing and was already considering running for safety. The moment he said that Blade's eyes LIT UP and you could see the mischief forming in his young mind. THEN he came running towards me holding that disgusting, beady eyed varmint by the tail, and I, being the cool, calm, collected farm girl that I am TOOK OFF RUNNING AND SCREAMING DOWN THE CUL DE SAC!!! I was running towards GI Joe's truck so I could lock myself in until my children (oh yeah Dakota and Ryder joined in the fun) grew bored of torturing their mother EXCEPT IT WAS LOCKED! The jury is out on whether or not GI Joe hit the button to lock it as I was running towards it because he's just THAT mean and wrong, or it was locked all along...I have my theories. Let me just say at this point, there were approximately 30 people (some I know well and some I'd just met that day) standing in Annette & Jerry's driveway watching this all go down and laughing hysterically. There might've even been a few of the neighbors that came out to see what all the ruckus was about, I was too worried about saving my own life to notice. But not ONE of the many bystanders offered any support or help, thanks guys, thanks alot, love you too. By the time I reached GI Joe's truck the kids were right behind me, enjoying themselves quite immensely and STILL holding that stupid mouse. I was on one side of the truck, begging and pleading with them to have mercy on their poor mother and to take the mouse far, far away from me. Then by some stroke of luck or an act of God, Blade dropped the mouse, providing me with a window of opportunity to escape. I made a run for it back up towards the house figuring I'd lock myself in the bathroom until the mouse was long gone. The kids caught the mouse AGAIN but when they started back towards the house, their father GI Joe finally decided to act responsibly and tell them to put it down. Wow, great timing there GI Joe and wise move for the sake of your marriage. It was a good thing I was able to stop running because I was near cardiac arrest. Sidenote: I DON'T run. While I was usiing the paddles of life on myself, GI Joe and some other guys were helping the kids release the mouse into the wild and the mouse bit Blade on the hand. I was less than sympathetic and all, "huh too bad, that's what you get for doing that to your mother" while members of Jerry's family were already creating Blade's treatment plan for rabies. They were very concerned about Blade contracting rabies from the field mouse and telling me I needed to call the doctor on Monday to get him in for a rabies shot. Judge me if you want but the whole time I was thinking, "SCORE if he has to get a shot then that will definitely teach him to pick up rodents and scare his mother with them." Before you call DHS, please note that Blade wasn't even complaining about the bite hurting, I think he thought it was cool, and also I did call the doctor's office today and no shot is needed as field mice usually don't carry rabies and we would've known if it did...so there. :)
Other highlights of our 4th of July that did not involve rodents:
*Jerry explaining to his elderly mother a hand sign that kids do these days that means something very vulgar and bad. She asked. Truth be told, I had to google it on my phone because I didn't know either. SO WRONG and no, I'm not telling you what it is.
*My children telling Annette to turn down the music because we were playing the New Kids CD and having a dance party in the driveway with our fellow NKOTB fans (heeey Lexi, Brooke, & Molly!). And then in an act of utter defiance, Blade looked right at her and told her "Donnie sucks." And with that I relinquished my parental rights. How can I be a mother to children who would say such things about New Kids?
*The full on fireworks war that we WON against the other houses in the neighborhood. The house behind them started shooting off a few fireworks which prompted Jerry & his brother in law to start their display, and they are nearly pyrotechnic professionals so clearly our display was SOOOO much better than the other houses. Every time another house in the development would shoot off a firework, the crowd at our party would "boo" or yell things like "is that all you got?" and then Jerry would launch an even bigger and better firework and we'd carry on like he'd just cured cancer. We are a very mature group, obviously. But seriously, our fireworks were so much prettier than everyone else's. I think the small town near them might've cancelled their display after they saw Jerry's work and realized theirs would be an embarrassment compared to it.
*Jerry's mom. I want to be just like her when I grow up and am in my 60's and 70's. Her children cringe when she meets new people because no one ever knows what she's going to say. Personally, I LOVED it. Within 5 minutes of meeting GI Joe & I for the first time she told us she'd heard we were "good Baptist people" and "why don't we take Doug (our single friend) to church with us to meet a nice Baptist girl?" Awesome. Later in the evening, she basically told Doug & I that Annette & Jerry's friends (US) were fat, lazy slobs. She was telling us that Jerry's sister and husband are really into working out and even have a group of friends that get together and work out with them, and Jerry & Annette just eat wings with their friends. PRICELESS. In her defense, she had just seen me attempt to run, she may have a point. Man, I love that woman.
*McDreamy getting schooled in basketball by the Koons kids. He'd probably have a different story but I just call it like I see it. At one point while they were playing, Blade looked at him and said, "Can I just call you McDreamy?" If that's not trash talking, I don't know what is.
*Was subjected to Jerry playing some old school country music, including Roger Miller? and singing every word to us until 1950 called and asked for their music back.
All in all, with the exception of the Mouse Madness it was a fantastic 4th of July. Thanks Jer & Annette for being the hostesses with the mostest. I'll go ahead and RSVP for next year now..wouldn't miss it!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
And that was our cue that we were totally out of our league and it was time for us to go. And somehow when we pulled in the driveway next to the Peacock Crossing sign with the sounds of roosters crowing and sheep baaing in the background, I felt at peace with our redneckness. Because I know there are some things even us rednecks won't do.