Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Before I Forget...

I have no idea what's going on with my blog background.  It's making me angry and my apologies for it's non prettiness.  Proceed.

Sometimes in life, people do and say things that hurt, that anger you, that make you want to write a scathing blog about it because you figure that’s a 100 times better than punching the guilty party in the throat. Forgiveness isn’t easy and forgetfulness is near impossible. That’s where I’m at right now. But instead of writing blasting out a blog entry that will not do any good, except act as my own personal release, I’m going to focus on some good stuff. Good stuff like how thankful I am to have been blessed with the husband and kids I have and why I love them so.

Not to be overly corny but more often times than not I just feel like bursting because I’m so content and happy with my life and family. Ever feel like that?  I hope you do. 

What's not to love? 

Here are just a few things I want to commit to memory so that when I look back on this time, I won’t dwell on the drama that was taking place or the relationships that were forever damaged but instead these are the things I’ll remember, the things that make life worth living, the things that make me smile.

*As Brad Paisley’s #1 fan, Blade has announced that the following songs shall be played at his wedding (gasp!) in 30 years (ok maybe I added that stipulation)…”Waitin’ on a Woman” and “Welcome to the Future”. How adorable is that and so fitting for a wedding. Knowing him, he’ll just call up his buddy Brad and have him come and sing it live for him.

*We were talking at the dinner table the other night about what the kids were going to be when they grew up. Dakota answered with her usual 4 part answer: “Artist, paleontologist, marine biologist, farmer”. I wish she wouldn’t be such an underachiever. Blade responded with the typical, “Play a couple years of NFL football then join the Air Force to become a fighter pilot, or maybe I’ll fly Blackhawks in the Army…hmm”. While he was still deliberating his career path, Ryder piped up with, “I’m gonna be in the Army.” That’s to be expected. We asked if he was going to be an Airborne Ranger or perhaps a Green Beret or maybe even fly helicopters. He shook his head adamantly and said, “Nope, I’m going to be a RECRUITER just like Daddy.” Well played. Brownie points duly noted.

*Last week GI Joe surprised me with a dozen pink roses (my favorite) and his little girl with a half dozen of white and red swirled ones (her favorites). All together now…AWWWW. I love getting flowers for no reason. I can’t help that he may have misunderstood my purely informational text that told him I had found Magic Shell ice cream topping in cherry dip and that roses were on sale as a request. ;) Also, nothing brings the girl out of my tomboy daughter faster than her daddy bringing her flowers. The adoring manner in which she looks at him and says with a big sigh, “Awwwwww, thank you Daddy,” pretty much secures his place tightly wrapped around her finger. Oy.

This is basically the look except more adoration, less irritation. 

*We enjoyed the most perfect Saturday at the lake. No obligations, no time schedules, no extravagant itineraries. Just the 5 of us having fun, enjoying a beautiful day doing some of our favorite things with our favorite people. It was a spur of the moment thing but is one of those days I’ll cherish forever. Whoa, lay off the cheese already.

*After approximately 8 years sitting dormant, we decided to bring our ice cream maker out of retirement. We have been using Pioneer Woman’s Vanilla Ice Cream recipe to make homemade ice cream and let me tell you it’s delicious. Especially since GI Joe does all the work. Making ice cream is his “thing”. Back story: Before we were married, we had just bought our first place, that neither of us were living in because we’re old fashioned like that, and I brought my Mom and Godmother Nita out to see the place. Always trying to win over the womenfolk of my family, GI Joe borrowed his parent’s ice cream maker and whipped up some Berry Ice Cream that he served to the 3 of us while we sat in lawn chairs outside of our first house. Do you see why my Mom loved him so? And why I kinda like him too? Anyway, back to our modern day ice cream, I’m spoiled now and will probably never be able to eat storebought ice cream again. Sorry Breyers. I will however, make an exception for cherry dip cones and Reese's McFlurrys.

*Having boys is paying off. The other day the Princess Mobile was running low on gas (imagine that?!) while the kids and I were out running some errands so we stopped for gas. Both boys, climbed out and INSISTED that they pump the gas for me. It was so sweet and gentlemanly. Of course, I let them do it, what kind of mother would I be to deny them such a thing? But as they finished screwing the cap back on and hanging up the gas pump, they asked, “So does this count as one of our extra chores that we owe you?” Talk about a buzzkill.   It's fine, my gas got pumped and I didn't have to do it.  I win. 

THESE are the moments, I thank God that I’m alive, and I could not ask for more.

Except for some people to be slightly less retarded.

Oh oops. Good stuff PP, good stuff. Happy thoughts…happy thoughts…happy thoughts.. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

National LampKoons Vacation '10: Other Imperfections

While Maggie was responsible for the majority of the angst and frustration on our vacation, it wasn't ALL her fault. 

Here are some other highlights or lowlights, depending on if you're a glass half full or glass half empty kinda person, that Maggie was not responsible for.

*It was brought to my attention on the first night of our vacation that underwear was not packed for GI Joe.  Spreadsheet fail #1.  Thank goodness for Wal Mart, once we found it, no thanks to Maggie.

*Playing with fossilized dinosaur poop at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center.  Surprisingly fun and informative.  Hand sanitizer packed.  Spreadsheet SUCCESS!

*A couple hours spent at Garden of the Gods in Colorado, hiking in our flip flops because someone packed for a BEACH vacation and didn't account for hiking in the mountains.  Sometimes I'm kind of a one track mind.   Spreadsheet fail #2. 

*The 2nd morning of our vacation we awoke in Colorado.  It was a mild morning but still shorts/flip flops appropriate.  That was our attire as our destination for that day was Las Vegas, you know in the desert.  We didn't look the least bit ridiculous in our Vegas attire when we stopped at a scenic point in the beautiful mountains of Colorado where it was a cool 46 degrees.  I felt like taping a sign to my back that said "Just passing thru, Vegas bound!" so people would quit looking at us as if we were imbeciles.  The stop was short and sweet so we could get back in the car and crank up the heat...on our SUMMER vacation.  Huh.

*The 2nd major destination on the trip, after Colorado Springs was Las Vegas.  The #1 family destination in America...or not.  But hey, there are a lot of cool kid-friendly things to see and do and we were passing thru so we figured why not?  Because we made a spontaneous stop at Arches National Park in Utah (what spreadsheet?!?), after leaving Colorado we arrived in Las Vegas considerably later than planned.  As in 10:30 on a Friday night.  The nice thing about Vegas though is that it never really closes so we did what any responsible parents would do.  We checked into our hotel (Circus Circus), freshened up and then caught the monorail to head down to the strip...at 11:00 on a Friday night.  We kept telling the kids what awesome parents they have, not sure they were convinced.  We just wanted them to see the fountains @ Bellagio and all the lights of the strip.  I wish I had a quarter for every person we heard that night saying, "WHO WOULD BRING THEIR KIDS TO THE STRIP?  ON A FRIDAY NIGHT?!?"  Ummm, that would be us..parents of the year, obviously.  We were all pretty exhausted so we made quick work of seeing what we wanted to see, including a showgirl in her hot pink feathered outfit, and headed back to the hotel. 

*The following day we got up and decided that the kids hadn't seen quite enough SIN yet so we explored some more.  That and I also wanted to collect more quarters from people saying, "I can't believe people would bring their kids to Vegas," you know, to play the slots with while the kids held my cocktails.  I TEASE!   Admittedly, I was one of those people saying that about others the last time I was there but excuse me, the M & M's store?  Totally for kids.  Our hotel, Circus Circus, complete with actual circus, roller coasters, rides, and carnival games?  Also, totally for kids.  I could go on but I think I've justified enough.  In the end, the kids enjoyed seeing Las Vegas, but we were all so ready to leave it by the time we rolled outta there, less than 24 hours after we rolled in.

*But before we rolled outta town we found TWO very important landmarks.  The first, the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop where Pawn Stars is filmed.  We love, love, LOVE the show Pawn Stars.  Unfortunately, none of the guys from the show were working that day.  Apparently, now that they've hit it big on TV and stuff, they only work Monday-Friday.  It was such a cool place and much smaller than it looks on TV.  Don't worry, much to the embarrassment of my husband and children, pictures were taken.  Feast your eyes.

Yes, I realize you can't really see us but I felt it inappropriate to ask the nice stranger who offered to take our picture to do a retake.  That, and I wanted to make sure he wasn't going to run off with my camera and do something crazy like, PAWN it.   This was pretty much the highlight of our Las Vegas visit. 

*The second thing we did before we left Sin City was to find the obscure Welcome to Las Vegas sign that we were certain was a figment of a marketing genius's imagination.  Between GI Joe and I, we've been to Las Vegas 3 times and never saw this sign.  We were sure it wasn't real, that it was just a "symbol" of Las Vegas, not an actual sign.  We couldn't count on Maggie to find it for us so I did a little web investigating and we found it.  But not before we found one on the opposite side of the strip that was approximately the size of a street sign and totally not THE one.  We nearly embarrassed ourselves and fell into its evil trip and took our picture with that one, even though we would've gotten run over doing so.  But we finally found the ONE and now our lives are complete, we kinda felt like we'd found the holy grail.  Especially since there was an Elvis impersonator hanging around, ready to pose in pictures, AND a wedding taking place.  Classic Vegas.  You're welcome kids. 

I told you he wasn't dead. 

*After leaving Vegas, we set out for our ultimate destination, San Diego.  And that's when the fun really began....

Nice cliffhanger, eh? 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

National LampKoons Vacation '10: Maggie the Crackhead

Maggie is our GPS.  Maggie is on crack. 

We say no to crack.

Here's proof of Maggie and her crack use.

Arrow=our vehicle    Blue=ocean

Contrary to Maggie's belief we were NOT driving in the middle of the ocean as the arrow in the middle of the ocean showing on her screen indicates.  Shocking, I know.

We thought this was just a minor faux pas and that surely, Maggie could be trusted for the duration of our trip.  


Let's review the times Maggie was responsible for a) our near demise  and b) GI Joe's "special" vein making an appearance. 

*The time we were desperately seeking a Wal Mart and she took us to a lovely suburb of the city we were passing thru and took us directly to an empty building.  Don't worry it was only 20 minutes out of the way, 40 by the time we found our way back to the interstate.

*The time we typed in Grand Canyon National Park, AZ as our destination and after driving all day, which was odd since my spreadsheet said it was only a 6 hour drive, found ourselves in a downtown corner in a small Arizona town with Maggie cheerfully saying "You've arrived!".  Liar.  There wasn't an even a river or big rocks there so it's not like we could even pretend. 

*The time we rerouted to the REAL Grand Canyon from the downtown corner and realized she had taken us approximately 2.5 hours out of the way.  Sweet.

*The time after we'd spent the day at Elitch Gardens, a combination waterpark/amusement park in Denver and were starving for Pizza Hut pizza.  She led us to not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Pizza Hut FAILS.  The first was a Pizza Hut express in a strip mall that was closed, the second an abandoned building in the warehouse district of downtown Denver, the third a PIzza Hut express (we needed full service),  and the fourth would've been a success had she not led us to three wrong ones before getting us to a good one, 2 minutes before they CLOSED.  Thanks Maggie, dying of starvation IS in fact exactly the way I wanted to go. 

*The time that we were driving down the interstate in Colorado at lunchtime and she told us there was an assortment of restaurants just a mere 2.4 miles off the interstate.  Except, as we drove the 2.4 miles, she changed her tune to 5.7 miles, which then turned into 9.6, which turned into 22.3 and so on.  By the time we finally arrived at the promised "assortment of restaurants", found one that was open and appealed to us, ate our lunch, and got back on the road it was SUPPER TIME.  Superb time management skills there Mags.

*The time there was a sign on the road for our destination, in front of our very eyes, that said Sea World Turn Right and Maggie kept insisting we turn left.  She's not one to get in an argument with as she's very unbending and stubborn, it's like she doesn't even listen.  If we were married we would totally be in counseling.  We showed her though, when we powered her down and followed our hearts the sign.   

*The other time we were again searching for a PIzza Hut, since our craving for it had not been satisfied previously (see above bullet) and she led us to TWO different abandoned buildings.  In her defense, one clearly used to be a Pizza Hut but was no longer, the other there's no defense, she was just messing with us.  That night we decided to beat her at her own game and called the PIzza Hut directly to ask for directions.  And then we followed their directions instead of Maggie's, while she screamed at us, "MAKE A LEGAL U TURN, TURN AROUND!...ETC," the entire way there.  We could've turned her off and driven in peace but it felt like we were getting revenge on her.  Justice is served, and so was the pizza...finally. 

So either we're signing Maggie up for the new season of Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab (she's basically a celebrity since I've blogged about her) OR she's getting plugged in and getting a little update.  After all she's put us through, she's lucky to still have her prestigious spot attached to our windshield.  She's on probation currently.  Watch yourself Mags, watch yourself. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

National LampKoons Vacation '10: Prologue

Ten days, 7 states, and 4600 miles=A LOT of BLOG MATERIAL. 

I have this self inflicted Mommy Mission that I'm on.  That mission is to take the kids to 49 of the 50 states before they graduate, Alaska being the odd man out.  They can go there on their own.  With Captain Phil gone, I just don't think I can do it.  The Mommy mission is always at the forefront of my mind when I start planning vacations, that and Man Vs. Food locations. This year we decided to go where no man hillbilly children have gone before...southwest and WAY west.  California baby!  I started planning our California, San Diego to be specific, vacation last year on our way home from vacation.  It's who I am, don't judge.  All thru the year I added to the 2010 San Diego Vacation spreadsheet, sights to see, things to do, places to eat, places to stay, the works.  Have I mentioned I'm slightly Type A?  By June of this year, the spreadsheet was filled to overflowing and the pretty "vacation folder" selected.  Then in the week before vacation, more spreadsheets were created.  An expense tracking spreadsheet and a packing spreadsheet were added.  It's a sickness I tell you. 
A list of this year's destinations, as indicated on the original planning spreadsheet were:  Colorado Springs, CO, somewhere in Utah (see I can be spontaneous sometimes!),  Las Vegas, NV, San Diego, CA, Grand Canyon, AZ, somewhere in New Mexico (solely for the purpose of marking it off the Mommy mission).  This trip would knock out another 7 states on the Mommy Mission, bringing the kids state count to 33, GI Joe's to 35, and mine to 42.  Score! 
The eve of our departure, June 30, the spreadsheets were complete and in the Folder, the car was packed, the fill in zookeeper trained, and the excitement in our home was palpable......

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You Should See the Other Guy

Take a look at my handsome surfer dude.

Cute, no? 

He's nearing his 7th birthday so I had planned to take his 7 year pictures on Sunday afternoon.  Until he woke up Sunday morning like this.....

You should see the other guy..and girl.  They bear a striking resemblance to him, minus the swollen eye. 

Oh uh uh.  We eliminated the possibility that he snuck out and got into a bar fight on Saturday night.  We ruled out child abuse, as you know we much prefer to make them run laps or hold hands with their siblings, than to smack them.  But then he told us how it happened, and it all came back to me. Our usual suspects are in custody.

On Saturday, the 3 hillbilly children were playing in the pool, while I sat nearby soaking up the sun and catching up on my magazine reading.  My reading was interrupted when Ryder started screaming and crying saying something about Blade and Dakota pushing him against the edge of the pool.  Little secret...sometimes Ryder overreacts just to get the other 2 in trouble.  I'm on to his game, and frankly, it's exhausting, so at times I can be less than sympathetic, especially if there's no blood evidence.  First, I must determine if in fact there was an incident that they were responsible for that caused Ryder actual harm and secondly, determine what he did to egg it on and thirdly, what he did to retaliate before tattling on them.  Because let's face it 9 times out of 10, he's doing everything he can to push their buttons, not that it justifies their actions towards him but just lets me know whether "the talk" needs to be addressed to 2 or 3 of them.    But in his defense, the 2 of them tend to gang up on him alot.  It's a fine line we walk.  With this particular incident (which happened to be about the 5th of the day), I'd had it with all of them and gave them all a mandatory pool break.  Turns out I owe Ryder some extra pool time. 
After seeing the damage, the morning after, of what my 2 older children had done to my poor, sweet, beautiful Ryder (no, I don't play favorites, why do you ask?) we had a little pre church "Come to Jesus" meeting with all 3 of them.   Of course, the suspects were questioned and denied all allegations.  No surprise there, but it didn't matter because there was an eyewitness (me) albeit maybe not the most credible as Redbook was simply riveting this month, and physical evidence (Ryder's eye) proving otherwise.  After a short deliberation, the judges (GI Joe and I) handed down the sentencing.  With the jail overcrowding situation, we decided to handle it in house and instead grounded Dakota and Blade from the Wii for TWO WEEKS!  Two weeks without Wii is about as tumultuous as a year in juvie judging by the loud gasps and crocodile tears that the sentencing induced.  It was Lindsay Lohan level, believe me.  However unlike Lindsay, we offered them a suspended sentence pending their one week good behavior review.  Basically that means, that this week is "Be Nice to Ryder Week" at our house or they'll be without their beloved Wii for the full 2 weeks, with additional days added for any further incidents.  If they are nice and all get along then they'll get their privileges back on Sunday.  So far it's been a joyous week and I totally intend to capitalize on it for photographic purposes.  

Also, I think just for extra enjoyment (for GI Joe and I) and life application lessons, I'll make them write this phrase from a wall in the boys' room 100 times. 

With friends like his, who needs enemies?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

National LampKoons Vacation '10: A Teaser

While on vacation, it's my quest every year to capture that one picture, that one moment, the one where personalities shine thru, best features are accentuated etc,  that ONE that will be the holy grail of photos...the one for the annual Koons Christmas card. 

Let's just say that sometimes my family isn't always thrilled with my incessant need to constantly photograph them, especially when they are trying to relax and enjoy their vacation.  I try to tell them that taking pictures of them is how I relax and enjoy but it falls on deaf ears. 

As you will see, when I finally reveal the much anticipated (or so I'd like to think) vacation post that I attempted to take the annual Christmas card picture no less than 999 times.  I thought this one was the one. 

Check it.

An appropriate amount of cheesiness?  Check.
All 3 children seemingly happy and somewhat smiling?  Check.
Pretty background representing something we love or something we did during the year?  Check. 
An appropriate amount of little Mexican boy WHO WOULD NOT GET OUT OF MY PICTURE?  Check. check.

I took this same picture approximately 15 times, each time hoping that Pedro would be on his merry way right out of our picture but alas that was not to be.  I was trying to be calm, level headed, but seriously this was my CHRISTMAS CARD he was messing with!  Finally, I couldn't take it any longer so I yelled out in my nice but stern mom voice to him, "Hey, think you could move over a bit I'm trying to take a picture?"  And what did he do?  Looked right at me and stayed right where he was..no habla ingles perhaps?  Rather than get really frustrated or move my children who were already nearing their picture posing limits, I decided I would just embrace the moment.  Meet Pedro our long lost 4th child, who tans much better than any of us...not fair. 

And this my friends, is basically how our entire vacation went....just "THIS CLOSE" to being perfect but there was always a little something to keep it interesting.  And I promise to tell you all about it very soon. 

*Disclaimer:  He actually was Mexican and I am quite certain I heard someone call him Pedro.  I am not being racist.  Remember I was once a minority (wannabe) too. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


In case you're wondering, I'm totally stalling.  We just returned from the 2010 National LampKoons Vacation with its myriad of moments and adventures BUT I haven't organized my thoughts enough or gone thru the 900+ 1200+ pictures yet to be able to share it with you in a comprehensible manner.  Soon, my sweets, soon. 

In the meantime, I'm going to buy my time and tell you about some of my current addictions.  No need to call Dr. Drew and Rehab, these are harmless..mostly.

*Sweet & Sour Twizzlers-this is a new level of licorice perfection.  The sweetness of licorice with the tang of the filling in the middle.  Oh my, so good.  I care not to disclose the copious amounts of these we went thru on our 4600 mile vacation.  They are really hard to find so if you see them STOCK UP and then call me.  K?  Thanks. 

*Real Housewives of New Jersey-I'm not proud of this one and am not sure how it happened.  Except that yesterday when I was using the day off work to recover from vacation and do ridiculous amounts of laundry there was a RHoNJ marathon running on Bravo.  And I'm hooked, like totally.  Something about watching grown women w/ thick Jersey accents and big hair act like spoiled little girls makes me feel slightly better about having to fold my own laundry.  Phew, I feel better now after owning up to that one. Please tell me you're hooked too. 

*Reading-Lame-o, I know.  I read all the time but something about vacation road trips really gets me back in the reading obsessively mode.  I read 5 really, REALLY good books on vacation and have another stack of 5 waiting for to conquer (this week, you know in between mourning my garden and catching up on laundry).  Now let's be honest here, I wasn't reading anything heavy or anything that will further enrich my life, just good old fashioned, reading for fun.  Weird, I know.  The Book List in case you're a nerd like me:  True Colors by Kristin Hannah (love her btw, haven't read a book of hers yet that I don't like), Matters of the Heart by Danielle Steele (is it really summer if you haven't read a smutty Danielle Steele book? I think not.), A Perfect Day by Richard Paul Evans (have the Kleenex handy for this one, it's a real stop and make you think for a second book), Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury (I love this lady and the best part is my auto sensor gets to take a break because she's a Christian author and boy, can she write a great love story!)  and The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks (I'm sorry but just when I thought ol' Nick was getting too predictable in his writings he proved me wrong..great book and finally one that ends the way it should!). 

*Passion Fruit Iced Tea from Starbucks-this is nothing new but in case you haven't been bold enough to try it, DO IT.  So refreshing on a hot day.  I like mine sweetened but it's good either way.  Bonus:  It's one of the cheapest things on the Starbucks menu..SCORE!  Thanks Annette for getting me hooked on this one and for occasionally bringing me one at work. 

Alright enough stalling, I'll get back to looking thru pictures now.  Stay tuned......

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gardening Fail

Remember how last year I attempted gardening for the umpteenth time and ended up with approximately 3 green beans, a hot pepper, and some gourmet lettuce?  And remember how I lamented my distaste for gardening?  And remember how this year I was possessed by a gardening demon and was all gung ho, sporting my farmer's tan and all, and was sure that THIS year would be different?  THIS would be the year that my garden earned me a spot of honor in the Garden Club of Iowa.  Remember that?  Good times, good times.

This year was gonna be different.  I spent hours during the long, harsh winter, researching and dreaming of the grand garden of 2010.  I had it marked on my calendar..May 1st "Garden Day", as everything told me that's when a garden should be planted in our "zone".  See, I even learned things like "planting zones" and harvest times.  I was ready...or so I thought. GI Joe and I decided that we'd go bigger this year, what with all the produce we were going to grow, we'd need more room.  Smart move..or not.  We spent HOURS and HOURS on that sunny first Saturday in May tilling, planting, watering, prepping that patch of land for the vast amounts of fruits and vegetables it was sure to yield us.  I even got a farmer's tan and blisters on my hands so you know I meant business. I lovingly made a spreadsheet (shocking I know)  of everything we'd planted and its location in the garden and made adorable little stakes w/ the name of the plant and how many days til harvest on it.  It was a proud moment.  The first few weeks we watered it religiously, back before Mother Nature took over in the precipitation department and we constantly checked for weeds.  We triumphed over every single sprout that popped thru the dark earth.  It was a special time here at the Koons Zoo.  Here's a list of what we planted:  strawberries, jalapeno peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, cherry peppers, carrots, radishes, rhubarb, potatoes, gourmet lettuce, wax beans, peas, lima beans, rosemary, basil, cilantro, parsley, tomatoes (only one plant given our entire family's dislike of them), sweet corn, zuchinni, onions, green beans, cantelope. 
Sounds delish and totally doable right?  Look at all the potential and you're not even seeing the whole of it. 

Overzealous much?

Once upon a time there was some cauliflower....

By the first of June, there was so much standing water in the garden that we needed to shop vac it out, so that was strike 1.  Strike 2-apparently all the compost we'd put on it to fertilize worked wonders...ON THE WEEDS.  And theY spread so much and so fast, it was a never ending battle trying to stay on top of them. Strike 3, leaving the garden unattended for 11 days while we went on vacation.  I think you can imagine what happened.  It's not pretty, tis not pretty at all. The weeds have gotten so bad that I can't even find my cute little markers to know where things are supposed to be.  Not that there's much of anything still there since the weeds have choked the life right out of them.   

Tonight, my friends, I'm waving the white flag of gardening surrender.  I gave GI Joe the go ahead to take the weed wacker to the jungle, formerly known as The Garden.  But rest assured it's not a total loss.  Out of all that was planted, we still have (and can get to) sweet corn, tomatoes (which again we don't even like but I felt obligated to plant them because what kind of garden doesn't have tomatoes?), rosemary, basil, gourmet lettuce, and carrots.  Oddly enough, the lettuce, the one thing you can't freeze or can or do anything with except use immediately is THRIVING.  Figures.  Also, between us, sometimes its really hard to tell "gourmet lettuce" from certain types of weeds and/or grass so I may or may not have accidentally fed my family weeds and grass with their gourmet lettuce.  Oops.  The corn is doing pretty well except the horses have discovered that if they lean their heads over the fence far enough they can munch on it.  We knew to be worried about deer getting into the corn but who knew horses enjoyed this savory treat even WITHOUT butter?  Gasp. 

So next year my dear readers, I'm asking ONE thing of you.  Please, PLEASE when winter starts drawing to an end and thoughts of fresh vegetables dance in my head and Pioneer Woman starts talking about her fabulous gardening tips, all I ask is that you remind me of the Garden Disasters of 2010...and '09....and '08..and so on.  And reassure me that I can still be a farm girl even though if we had to live off the land we'd die.  Deal?  I just can't do everything I guess.  But while I may be a fail at raising green beans, I am a natural at raising this....

And he's way cuter than silly radishes anyway.