Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Traditions: A Picture Laden Post

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter.  We did.  And now it is my moral obligation to bore you with the details.  

We woke up to find bunny tracks and bunny poop aka jelly beans all over our family room floor. 
E.B.  had entered through the fireplace again.  The good news is that in the movie "Hop" they showed E.B. tracks that looked just like the ones in our house, just a little or maybe a lot smaller, further reinforcing that E.B. is still real, even though the kids are 11, 9, and 7, which are about the ages that some kids start questioning the magic.  But not our kids, Hollywood just bought us a few more years.  The bad news is that the kids are baffled as to why E.B. insists on coming down the chimney like he's Santa or something.  My explanation?  Because if he came in through any of the doors, it would alert the dogs, who would then start to bark and wake us all up and then E.B.'s plan would be foiled and there would be no Easter baskets.  Logical, right? They bought it, for now. 

After following the tracks that led them to their baskets, which were actually Easter baskets this year instead of  Halloween trick or treat pails. (Score one point for the parents Easter bunny)  The kids checked out their loot, had a few pieces of candy for a prebreakfast snack and then began the process of getting ready for church because we had to be there EARLY.  I would show you pictures of them with their Easter baskets but my kids are weird and none of them really enjoy bothering with such things as pajamas.  Why bother with pajamas when they can take off all their clothes and just sleep in their tighty whities?  Oh, umm, well, I don't know..MAYBE SO I CAN TAKE A PICTURE OF THEM IN THE MORNING THAT IS SUITABLE FOR POSTING ON THE INTERNET!  Wait, maybe that's part of their master plan.   Joke's on them I got one anyway.  Also, should we have ever a house fire in the middle of the night, it won't be me that will be the laughing stock of the  fire department.

Her exhuberance shown in this picture pretty much sums up the overall mood in our house on Easter morning.  I assume this is exactly how Mary looked when she got to an empty tomb on that Easter morning so long ago. 

Once they were dressed, they still weren't digging the annual photo torture photo shoot.  Here's what I was working with...

I'm sure he's not frowning because he's wearing a hot pink tie.
 There's one in every crowd, am I right?!? 

Nothing says "He is Risen" like telling your kids through clenched teeth that they'd better smile DARNIT or E.B. was coming back to repossess their Easter baskets.  Just keepin' it real.

After a mini photo shoot, with promises made to many boos and hisses for another one later, we left for the annual "sonrise" breakfast at church.  Sonrise being 8:30 a.m.  We again discussed the need to either make the sonrise breakfast a brunch at 9:30 OR make our pastor get up and actually do a sunrise service at sunrise followed by a breakfast and then be done for the day and head home for naps.  I'm the church clerk now, I may have to sabotage business meeting notes to make one of those things happen.  I tease...kind of.  
Breakfast was delicious as always and church was great, once I woke up from my egg casserole induced coma.  Kidding, it was great and one of those services that gives you a lump in your throat.

After church, we headed home for another round of photos followed by our annual Easter egg hunt.  My motto is "photos before fun!" so using the egg hunt as incentive to cooperate for pictures worked to my advantage.  Desperate times, desperate measures, you saw what I was up against.

Men in Black
Not one of the better pictures but it's such a glimpse into the true personalities of our family.  There's me, always the poser, GI Joe laughing while trying to maintain control of the situation, Blade making sure he looks just right, Ryder looking annoyed, and Dakota with her "I really don't understand how someone of my intelligence could end up with parents like them" look which could easily be mistaken for the look of someone who is having constipation issues.  Yep, this pretty much sums up our family. 

Now we're on to something!
Oh what's that, we coordinate?  Really?  Weird, I hadn't noticed.  ;)
What, you've never seen zebra striped Easter dresses before? 
And no, I'm not "expecting" it's just the wind...or too many Reese's eggs...same diff.

Then it was time for the annual Koons Kids Easter Egg Hunt.  Every year the EB leaves a bag of Easter eggs filled with treasures and instructions for GI Joe and I to hide them around the yard for the kids to find.  He's very busy with his basket delivering route so he doesn't have time to hide them himself, besides it's dark out when he stops by so how could he?!?  We locked the kids in a closet in a room with the shades drawn and set about finding hiding spots for a vast number of eggs around our front and back yards.  The problem was that by the time GI Joe and I finished hiding all of the eggs we had forgotten where we'd put them all so as I speak there is at least one lonesome colorful egg out there shivering in the cold, waiting to be discovered later this summer. My only hope for it is that the candy stays good.  It stinks to get old.

Notice that's NOT a jack o lantern pail he's carrying!

Then later in the afternoon, we hosted our traditional Easter feast.  Except this year it was low on carbs and calories and high on healthy because we have terrible timing and started a dumb diet the Monday before.  No matter how bad you want it, roasted broccoli just does not taste like cheesy potatoes.  Then as is our Easter tradition, we flew kitesAnd when I say we flew kites I mean, the kids ran really fast down the hill with their kite in the air hoping it would "fly" along because there wasn't much of a breeze (except for the one that previously poofed out my dress in unfortunate places during the photo shoot).  It's fine, it worked off all the candy they ingested. 

Kite flying followed by a viewing of "Gulliver's Travels" which E.B. had put in Blade's basket, because nothing says Easter like a giant man traveling to a miniature world.  Not that I would know anything about the movie because I took a glorious nap.  And then I rose again, just like Jesus.
It was a good day then, and it was a good day now. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Snakes on a Plain Part 2

Just when I recovered from the initial Snakes on a Plain incident....

The snake struck again, with an accomplice.

I just don't think I'm cut out for this country life I'm living. Cue the music, that sounds like a song.

Just so we're clear on the level of my distaste for snakes, let's review. I HATE snakes. I believe my deep and primal fear of them stems from 4th grade, being chased around a field by a boy named Brad Black as he was holding a dead or maybe it was alive, it's all a blur really, and at one point HE THREW THE SNAKE ON ME AND IT TOUCHED ME! IT TOUCHED ME! Please note my use of exclamation points and capital letters in this situation does not mean the same as it did when I overused them to tell you about the  Kenny/Billy concert. No this time it means DISGUST! HORROR! TERROR! I didn't love snakes before that but after that day I was never the same. I was scarred for life. My phobia only worsened the older I got and when people would learn that I did not appreciate nor like snakes, bugs or spiders they would do everything in their power to torture me. For example, 8th grade watching the movie "Arachnophobia" with my church youth group and some people thinking it was quite hilarious to throw little bits of paper at me throughout the movie so I thought there were spiders on me. A CHURCH youth group! No wonder I rebelled. Or the time in 11th grade when the Williams' boys held me down and PUT BUGS ON ME. Or fast forward to more recently, when my own offspring whom I love, cherish and nurture, chases me around the yard with a snake, possum, mouse, spider, bug, insert any and all other creepy, crawly creatures here. It's a tortured existence I lead. So in short (or maybe not so short), I hate snakes and other gross creatures.

My family knows this about me. After all, I am the one who sits outside and waits on a bench in the shade while they go into the reptile house at the zoo, and I was the one who took off in a sprint when we were at the Science Center recently and a worker took a snake out of his case so the KIDS COULD PET IT, and I am the one who involuntarily shudders if I see a picture of a snake. Just like I respect that they need to the bathroom light on at bedtime you would think they would respect that mama doesn't ever EVER EVER want to see, or be near a snake...EVER.

But NO, that's not how they roll...

I was minding my own business in the kitchen a few weeks ago, preparing a nutritious and delicious meal for my family with Ryder talking my ear off next to me, when Dakota breathlessly entered the room. I had my back to her as I was getting my Rachael Ray on and chopping up vegetables or something at the counter.


I turned around without hesitation because I strive to be the mom who pays attention to her kids. I do not strive to be that mom anymore.

And I SCREAMED. A bloodcurdling, break the windows, Ryder covering his ears, scream.


Because my beautiful daughter was standing IN MY KITCHEN, on the other side of the island from me, WITH A SNAKE WRAPPED AROUND HER ARM.

And then I fainted.

And then I immediately posted an ad on Craig's List offering her "free to good home". And then I packed her bags and sent her to live with her new family. Hope she's happy there.
The end.

Just kidding...kinda.

Eventually, I was able to put some words together and yell at her in between puffs into the paper bag, "GET THAT THING OUT OF MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW!" Oh and I meant it too. When she went out the front door with the snake, I followed behind her, at a safe distance of course, and LOCKED THE DOOR.

Where did I go wrong as a mother? What would possess my daughter, my flesh and blood, heart of my hearts, to BRING A SNAKE IN THE KITCHEN TO SHOW HER "SCARED-TO-DEATH-OF-SNAKES" MOM?

I've failed. And so did my heart. It still has not resumed normal rhythms. I still get shaky and clammy when I think of it.

As for Dakota, she spent the next hour and a half of her evening, playing with that dumb snake down by the pond. When she finally came in for the night sans snake, I made her wash her hands with bleach and borax and then told her if she EVER DID THAT TO ME AGAIN she'd find herself calling some stranger mommy and I guaranteed that her new mommy would not be as awesome as me. Call me harsh if you must but desperate times call for desperate measures. She remained strangely unaffected.

As for Ryder, he just got fitted for a new hearing aid, because to quote him, "Mommy, you screamed so loud I think you broke my eardrum!!"

As for Blade, he thought the whole thing was flippin' hilarious.

And so did his dad.

And that's why I'm packing up my flat iron, my cow, and moving to a highrise (you know so the snakes can't reach) in the city without them. They can come visit me there, after I've had someone inspect their bags and pockets for "contraband".

Living in Fear,
Prairie Princess

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Llama Liasions

I know you came here to read about the mating habits and sexual preferences of the llamas at the Koons Zoo and I assure you, I will not disappoint.  You can also breathe a deep sigh of relief because there are no llama porno pictures included in THIS post. Not saying I'm above that, just saying I don't have any good pictures to share...yet.

Loretta Lynn Llama joined our herd a few weeks ago.  Remember, she was a gift of love from my sweet GI Joe?  When she came to the zoo, we decided to keep her segregated from the male llamas for a bit so as not to ahem..overwhelm her and also to give us a chance to bond with her.  We were so relieved when the formerly gay llamas kept hanging around the fence to the barnyard where Loretta was, showing interest, assuaging our fears that they were too far gone, so to speak.  Although between you and me, I think Carter has switched teams for good if you know what I mean, and instead of fathering Loretta's baby he'll probably be helping her decorate the nursery.  Things got intense and I witnessed a rather heated display of jealousy, between Cash and Wally (formerly Dolly) two of the male llamas, because one didn't like that the other got closer to Loretta Lynn Llama than he did.  Loretta flirted, teased, and toyed with those boys for a few weeks.  There were candles, llama serenades, roses  hay, nose rubbing and an assortment of romantic displays between the boys and Loretta, all with the fence between them of course. 

Until one day last week...

I came home to discover that now instead of 3 llamas in the pasture we had FOUR.  I asked GI Joe why he had let her in with the other llamas when I wanted to keep her separated a few more weeks because she was just starting to warm up to us.  But GI Joe had nothing to do with it.  Loretta Lynn Llama jumped a 4 1/2 foot high fence to be with those boys.  Reminds me of someone when they were a teenager....hmmm....anyway, moving right along...

So the candlelight and roses paid off and there she is, happily surrounded by 3 boys.  And she's working it too, let me tell you.  I can say with certainty that we will have a baby llama born at the Koons Zoo at this time next year.   Gestation period of a llama 12 months..stinks to be a llama huh?!  But what I cannot say with certainty is who the father is.  We may need to book an appearance on the Maury Povich show to have some paternity tests run. Because, how do I put this nicely, Loretta has been getting around
Clearly, she was not raised in a good Christian home because the girl is loose as a goose.  Her previous owners never mentioned that she was a bit of Jezebel. But I'm not here to judge, we all have our crosses to bear, all I know is I'm having a llama baby!!  

Thankfully, the kids haven't noticed her lack of selectiveness as they are just recovering from the emotional and mental scarring of the brokeback llama displays. 

Also, I've since renamed Wally formerly known as Dolly...Conway.  Conway Twitty Llama, formerly known as Wally, formerly formerly known as Dolly, has a nice ring to it right?   Hey if Prince can do it so can I.  I'm hoping that history repeats itself and that Loretta Lynn (Llama) and Conway Twitty (Llama) will fall in love and be together forever and songs will be written about them.  No offense to Cash (the Llama) because he walks the line but I'm pulling for Conway to be the llama baby daddy, he's just a nicer guy llama. And I just cracked myself up there in case you were wondering...walk the line?!?  Ahahaha.  Seriously.   
Since daytime TV is cancelling all the soap operas, just keep tuning in here for more episodes of "All My Llamas" or "Guiding Llama" or "One Llama to Live Love" or "Young and the Restless" (wait, no llama word play needed, that pretty much sums it up).  I'll bring you up to the minute coverage of the life, love and babymaking of the llamas here at the Koons Zoo.   

Happy Friday and Happy Easter.  I'm anxiously anticipating the unveiling of this year's Koons coordinated Easter Ensembles, you'll be amazed.  I'll post pictures next week of our annual early Easter morning torture photo shoot. Have a good one!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Turkey Tales

Meet Tyson and Tatiana.  Our happy turkey couple. 

(One of their wedding pictures)

Tyson is the male with the very red head, Tatiana is not so pretty but she has a GREAT personality!  At least that's what her profile says. 

Tyson thinks he's kind of a big deal, even though his tail feathers haven't quite developed yet and are a little wonky. 
He puffs out his chest, fans out his feathers, and struts around gobbling letting everyone know what a stud he is.  That's pretty typical behavior for a tom turkey.  But what's NOT typical is that Tyson and GI Joe have lengthy conversations, if you will.  Every time GI Joe walks outside or gets out of his truck, he gobbles at Tyson and Tyson gobbles back.  It's a special language shared between a man and his turkey.  Over the weekend, GI Joe got a new turkey call in preparation for turkey season and he tested it out on Tyson.  Also, while many turkeys are mean and not big fans of the human handling, Tyson stands apart.  We can pick Tyson up (he's heavy..butterball), carry him around (if we've eaten our Wheaties) and get him to come right up to the fence so we can pet him.  Pretty sure THIS is NOT normal. 
Speaking of not normal, Dakota spends hours in the barnyard every evening just playing with the animals and by playing, I mean torturing them by chasing them until they let her pick them up or pet them.  It's good times for all.  The other night she raced into the house and told me to bring the camera because she had a new trick she could do with Tyson.  Coming from the girl who once rode an emu, I had no idea what I was in for.  Of course she didn't disappoint.  She had not one trick but TWO tricks!

The first circus worthy trick....burping the turkey.  No, that's not code for anything it's exactly like it sounds.  When Tyson is all puffed up, fanned out and strutting around showing off for the ladies his chest is full of air.  Dakota discovered that by wrapping her arms around him and squeezing his chest, basically the Turkey Heimlich Maneuver, she could make him burp.  I can't tell you how many endless hours of entertainment this has provided, but rest assured Tyson has earned his keep. 

The second trick is called for lack of a better term...the turkey trot.  For this trick, she sat on Tyson's back with most of her weight resting on her feet and rode/walked him around the barnyard.  Entertainment options are clearly limited out here in the sticks....

We're so proud...

Tyson appears to be game for anything, no pun intended.  ;)  Tatiana on the other hand is a bit on the diva side.  She reminds me of the annoyed wife whose main job in life is to keep her overly cocky husband in line.  While Tyson seems very teenagerish, early 20's tops, Tatiana has the look and personality of a woman who's been around the block a time or two.  Ragged, haggard, used up, tired..and she hasn't even had babies yet!!  It's not weird that I've assigned personalities and human like traits to our turkeys is it?  Good, I didn't think so either.  But we're equal opportunity animal owners so Tatiana is not left out of the fun.  Although she doesn't seem to enjoy being handled quite as much and to date, Dakota hasn't burped her or ridden her, so Tatiana is basically a funhater.  She's got a bit of spunk in her though.  Dakota was collecting eggs in the coop and Tatiana happened to be roosting on top of it.  Apparently, she thought Dakota should leave her grubby paws off the eggs of her friends, the hens, so she pecked Dakota right under the eye.  That's right, my daughter went to school with a laceration on her face..from a turkey.  It didn't phase Dakota at all, she understands the mood swings women encounter, she recently watched "the video" and got "the pamphlets" at school.  Sidenote:  There is a whole blog post in the works about THAT.....oh my).  It looked like it really hurt and we were glad it was below the eye, could've done some serious damage had it been the eye itself.  We went to church that Wednesday night and serious as a heart attack, during prayer request time, Dakota raised her hand and said, "Pray for me I got pecked in the eye by my turkey..."
Only at our wonderful, little Baptist church would the following be printed in the Sunday bulletin under prayer requests...Dakota-pecked in the eye by a turkey. 

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend everyone!  As for us, we'll just be burping our turkeys and turkey trotting around the barnyard.  It's okay to be jealous. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

News from the Zoo

Lots has been happening at the Koons Zoo recently.  Spring means zoo expansion time, at least to me GI Joe may disagree.   Here are some of our latest acquisitions, prepare yourself for a shocker at the end. 

GI Joe picked up some chicks, blondes and redheads.  Who knew we had such an open marriage?

We've been getting chicks, ducklings, and baby turkeys to raise for the past 6 years, it's definitely a highlight of our spring.  And we've been largely successful in raising them, just further evidence that we almost real farmers. 
If you thought your kids grew up too fast, check these out, just a week and a half later...
Whoa..puberty.  And just in case you're wondering, these are hens purely for egg production, not for fried chicken.  They are also Dakota's 4H project.  She is anxiously awaiting fair time when she can "show" her prized chickens.  I, on the other hand, am anxiously awaiting fair time for the cheese curds and corndogs but to each their own.  :)

A few weeks ago, GI Joe called me and told me he had a surprise for me.  I love surprises as long as I don't have to wait very long for them and I didn't for this one.  SHE came the next day. 

Nothing says love like a llama. A GIRL LLAMA, at that.  Brokeback Barn and Grill is officially closed.  The minute she showed up, at least 2 of the 3 boy, formerly gay, llamas were very, VERY interested.  For her safety and so that we don't end up on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for llama gang rape , we are keeping them separated for a bit.  But she's a girl ya'll, a REAL girl.  I was going to post a picture of the "proof" but GI Joe thought that was inappropriate blog fodder.  Whatever, just trust me on this SHE IS A SHE.  She even had a baby last year so she's an experienced mother as well.  This time next year, a BABY llama at the Koons Zoo?!?  Oh YES, please.  When she came to us from her previous owner who had bought her for his daughter, she had NO NAME.  Can you believe that?  What kind of people don't name their llama?!?  We quickly remedied that situation and her name is Loretta Lynn Llama.  It goes with our old school country llama name theme as our boy llamas names are Carter, Cash, and Wally (formerly Dolly but remember that epic misconception?).  She's warming up to us quite nicely and a pink (obviously) llama halter is on the way.  Also, saying Loretta Lynn Llama gives me boundless joy. 

And then there were bunnies......

Weird faced Blade and E.B., you know like Easter Bunny?  Have you seen the movie "Hop"?  You'll understand.

Yet to be named bunny

And lastly, are you sitting down, THIS.......

That's Hormel the Hog.  Hormel is NOT a pet.  Hormel will be in our freezer in 6 months or so.  Hormel is NOT cute and pink, Hormel is NOT adorable, I do NOT want to pick Hormel up and carry her it in my purse everywhere, and I will NOT get attached to Hormel.  Seriously.  After feeding a farm full of animals every day with no direct benefits besides being able to pet a wide assortment of animals at our leisure (which SOME don't consider an actual profitable benefit), GI Joe mentioned that he'd like to actually get something back from all the expense.  And by get something back he meant bacon.  This has been in the works for awhile so I've had time to prep, research, and put iron walls around my heart. We figured we'd get our feet wet in the pool of being real farmers and eating what we raise with a hog, for a couple of reasons.  1) We love Bacon and 2) While adorable when they're little, hogs aren't typically known for being cute and cuddly for long.  Feel free to tell me I won't be able to go through with it and I will get attached because if someone tells me I can't do something, that makes me a million more times likely to prove them wrong.  Isn't that right Dad?  As for the kids, two of them are completely on board with the whole raise a hog to eat situation.  So much so that Dakota drew a rather detailed diagram of Hormel's life cycle that consisted of a picture of it now as a piglet, an axe, and then a ham.  Ryder is the only one not so on board with it and I think that's because he carried her from the auction to the truck so now he's constantly saying, "we ain't eating Hormel, I love her and she's our new pet."  I still have hope though because he used to love Holy too but now wants to throw him on the grill and have steak.  And in case you're wondering why we named it if we're just going to eat it here's the rationale:  if we didn't give it a name, I would instead, by default, call it "sweetie" or "baby" or "girl" and those would not help matters in my quest to NOT become attached.  So instead it is named something that will constantly remind of us of bacon, sausage, and other delightful pork delicacies that will be ours upon it's demise.  In my brain, I'm excited to be able to eat something that we had complete control over what went into it and with none of the hormones and other crap they put in food these days. And the article I read yesterday in the paper about how the price of meat has increased 25% since last year and is continuing to increase, doesn't hurt either.  AND it kinda makes us more like "real" farmers and we all know that's been a lifelong goal of mine.   But my heart, is dreading October.  My only caveat in the situation is that GI Joe just do it and NOT tell me ahead of time that he is taking it to the locker.  I don't want to know, I don't want to think about what happens there, I am just focusing on the bacon.  Mmmm..bacon.  And this is probably the last you'll hear of Hormel until the "mission is accomplished", if you know what I'm sayin', because GI Joe is discouraging the taking of pictures of it and in order to remain emotionally unattached I can't speak of it much. 

Eye on the prize...


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Shut the Front Door....

Sometimes I get a wild idea and just can't rest until I've seen my wild idea come to fruition. 

The most recent walk on the crazy side?

A PINK front door. 

While on our spring break trip, I was reading a book set in the South and it mentioned a house with a pink door and in that moment, I KNEW, I just knew what I had to do.  I think you know too.  After the idea was sparked, I remembered back to last summer and the hot pink flowers I planted in my flowerboxes on the front of the house and the 2 adirondack chairs in exactly the same shade of pink as the flowers and how I had thought to myself, "wow, that pink looks so good with our house", which is tan w/ dark green shutters and white trim.   And the rest is rosy, I mean history. 

I spent a good 2 weeks thinking about it, mentioning it in passing to GI Joe to gauge his reaction (which was very non chalant by the way), researching what a  pink front door means about the inhabitants of a home, and seeking out the perfect shade of pink.  I wasn't going for a soft pink, oh no I wanted a bold, bright, happy pink.  Fuschia, baby!

I found the perfect shade of pink at my friendly Sherwin Williams store...VIVACIOUS PINK.  You had me at Vivacious.  It was the perfect compliment to the tan siding and not so blinding pink that cars would be driving off the road passing by. 

I have to tell you that while GI Joe was completely fine with my pink door dreams (one of the many reasons I love him, he just goes along if he knows it will make me happy), our children on the other hand, were not so much supporters.  Here are a few of their arguments on why we should NOT have a pink door:
"We'll get made fun of on the bus when everyone sees that we have a PINK front door." (Blade)
"People will think we live in a Dr. Seuss house if we have a pink front door." (Blade)
"Boys do not like pink and more boys live here than girls." (Ryder)
"Is that really necessary?" (Dakota)

My responses?
"Tell them you have a crazy fun mom who thinks she's a princess and can do whatever she wants including having a pink front door."
See above.
"I don't care if I'm outnumbered, I'm the decorator around here.  When you're grown up you can paint your front door whatever color you want."
"Yes, it is necessary and it makes me happy, now hand me that paint brush."

So I put a sample coat of Vivacious Pink on the front door...and LOVED IT.  I'm not kidding it makes me so happy to pull in my driveway and see my pretty pink door.  Right after painting it I kept going outside just to look at it from different places in the front yard and from the road.  And it's gorgeous no matter where I stand. 

Without further ado, here she is....

Yes, I'm serious. 

According to my internet research, and remember if it's on the internet it must be true, here's what a pink door means (sources:  various reputable sites on the internet)
"Pink is a sign of love, happiness, and uplifting"-I like to think our home is full of those things.
"Pink opens the heart.  Gentle and soothing, pink is the color of love.  It promotes tenderness and is a comfort in times of emotional transition.  Use it in a room where you are trying to increase receptivity and understanding."-Why mess around with a room when now our whole house can be more receptive and understanding?  That totally explains why my kids now sit around holding hands and singing Kumbayah instead of fighting over whose Wii time is up. 
And my favorite?  "The front door is an expression of the personality of the owners of the home.  A different or boldly colored front door is welcoming and insinuates that the owner of the home is LIVELY, CONFIDENT, and PLAYFUL." -Ding ding we have a winner!

So far the children have remained unscathed and unteased and there have been no cars reported going in the ditches surrounding our house due to the pink door.  And if next winter when we're decorating for Christmas, it doesn't go with our outdoor decor, guess what?  We can repaint it! 

But for now it's perfectly pink and it makes me perfectly happy. 

Now if I could just convince GI Joe that we need to paint the outbuildings in the barnyard the same Vivacious Pink to match.....


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Snakes on a Plain

It's official, I'm packing up my cow, my new girl llama, and maybe a chicken or two and I'm moving, moving to town.  I can't take it anymore.  Just when I got this farm girl stuff down it became glaringly evident that I indeed do not.
Let me set the stage for you, it was a gorgeous spring Saturday, temps were in the high 60's, which in our house is basically flip flop weather and just a few degrees away from Ryder asking if he can go swimming.  GI Joe had drill so it was just the kids and I, alone on the prairie.  I decided it was a good day to do some barnyard cleanup because somehow it just becomes a mess over the winter.  You know old pizza boxes, empty pop cans, dirty clothes everywhere, those animals are just like teenagers.  So I commissioned my dear children that their official duty as farm kids was to help their mama.  After getting home from Blade's very intense soccer game which they won and Blade played amazingly, but he also suffered a major, possible career ending minor injury (a kick in the knee cap while playing goalie) and I refrained from running onto the field in a panic and screaming, "MY BABY, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY BABY?"  Instead I cooly walked over to him once he got off the field and his coach assured me he was ok and that after resting up a bit he'd be able to go back in, I offered to kiss it for him and Blade quickly dismissed me back to my seat.  Also my friend Heather V. whose daughter is also on Blade's team and I may or may not have done some high kicks, just sayin'.  Soccer is definitely more fun with friends.
Huh how's that for a side tangent.
ANYWAY, once we got home we changed into our "farm work clothes" which for Ryder was his soccer uniform and cowboy boots (he's a regular fashionista obviously) and got to work.  Work which was kinda difficult when you have a 400 pound calf who thinks he's a dog all up in your business.  There were some shingles and pieces of wood from an old building that had somehow gotten scattered around the barnyard but those terrified me.  Why?  Because about 3 years ago when I picked up something that was flat to the ground, A SNAKE SLITHERED OUT FROM UNDER ONE OF THEM.  And then I screamed and ran and died and had nightmares for days.  So these days when there's a larger object flat to the ground like that, I kick it with my foot first to flip it over or better yet I make my kids pick it up for me. That plan worked seamlessly and we got the entire barnyard cleaned up with zero snake sightings.  However, the boys were lifting up a big watering tank to move and a MOUSE ran out from underneath of it and that was nearly as traumatic.  The only saving grace was that it was  a mouse which is not quite as disgusting as a snake, close but not quite, AND that I was standing a ways from them. I did see it and I did scream LOUDLY. My screams apparently freaked the mouse out because it took off running into the HIllbilly Hotel (we name our outbuildings doesn't everyone?) and my boys being boys had to chase it and try to catch it.  Meanwhile, I was screaming threats of lifelong groundings and living life without the use of their beloved Wii and DS's.  Thankfully, they couldn't find it and I could breathe a sigh of relief because snakes eat mice and obviously if there was a mouse in the barnyard there were no snakes, right?  Right.  Then we moved our cleanup efforts to the pasture right below the barnyard, the one the llamas and horses frequent.  THIS was the same area that the snake sighting of '07 took place, so an area I tend to avoid.  But I had my big, strong, scared of nothing kids to protect me so I braved the elements and began cleaning it up.  There is a creek that runs at the bottom of this area and we were down there cleaning up when we heard a rustle.  Then we saw something run really fast across the creek and into the woods behind it.  The kids were still trying to figure out what it was they'd seen, was it a chicken, a fox, a coyote, what?  I was standing about 20 feet from them when I heard a rustle in the brush and grass by my feet.  I thought it was probably a chicken or a squirrel or something harmless like that.  But then I looked down and, oh my heart is pounding just typing this, THERE WAS A SNAKE.  I LOST MY MIND AND BEGAN SCREAMING AND RUNNING FAR FAR AWAY (you may begin to notice a theme here).  I just got the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.  I could not stop screaming and by the time I stopped running I was 2 counties over* and people, I am not a runner. 
*sometimes I may exaggerate for emphasis but I can assure you I ran so far the snake couldn't find me.  Also, it was a far enough run to justify the Cadbury Egg I consumed later in the day.
At first the kids were looking at me in horror thinking something terrible had just happened ie:  I'd discovered a dead body.  But then I think I was able to scream SNAKE in with my otherwise random screams of terror and they immediately ran over to where I had been standing and STARTING LOOKING FOR THE SNAKE.  Yes, they probably would've killed it once they found it but not before they chased me around 40 acres with it.  THANK YOU LORD, that they did not find it.  Then they concentrated their efforts on laughing at their poor, defenseless mama.  Heartless, they are. 
Once I checked my baggage and caught a flight back home from where I ran to, I decided we needed a break and a tall drink of water so we went in the house.  They were watching some TV and I sat down at the computer to check out the Facebook.  I was sitting there relaxing reading about the various going ons that my facebook friends had posted, surprisingly none of them involved running from a snake, when all of a sudden I felt a crawling sensation on my lower back heading towards my booty.  You know how sometimes you just get the creepy crawlies and it's nothing?  Umm this was not one of those times.  I brushed my back with my hand and A BUG FLEW OFF AND I SCREAMED.
And that's it.  I'm staying inside my nice new condo* in town with my cow for the rest of the summer.  The End.