Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mistaken Identity

After the events that transpired today I have to trade in this shirt..
For this one....

That's right...MEN in uniform, as in plural.

On my lunch today I thought I'd run over to the furniture store and take a look around as GI Joe and I have been discussing new furniture. 

Imagine my surprise and delight when I walked into the couch section of the store and saw the back of my beloved husband in uniform. 

"Ahhh how sweet!  I must've mentioned to him that I was going to run over here on my lunch and he thought he'd surprise me and look with me!  What an awesome husband I have! I love him!"

I sidled up to him, wrapped my arms around him from the side, cuddled my way into my spot by his side, under his arm, and flirtatiously said, "What are YOU doing here?"  while batting my eyelashes heavily.  Let it be known, that I know how to WORK IT GIRL. 

I was pouring it on so thick and batting my eyes so heavily, that it took me a second to look up into my beloved's face. 

A very long second...

In that second, I thought to myself, "He smells weird."  Because my GI Joe?  He only wears cologne when he's NOT wearing his uniform but somehow he still always smells great. It's his top secret bodywash and deoderant or maybe it's just the essence of GI Joe.  He just smells good and clean and masculine.   So good in fact that the other day when he walked into the gas station, the clerk said to him, " smell WONDERFUL."   A little forward, yes but I couldn't be mad because she speaks the truth.  So the fact that he didn't emanate his normal "Swagger" smell?  Should've been a clue. 

Because then I looked up into his face, the face I promised to love, honor, cherish til death do us part.


Then everything went into slow motion and I put my hands to my face as it turned 14 shades of red and said, " OOOOOOOH YOU'RE NOT MY HUSBAND!!!" 

To which the nice man in the matching uniform to my husband's said nicely, although a bit taken aback, "No, I'm not."  Then he smiled. 

And with that I ran out of the store never to return, while he went home to his wife and told his wife, "Hey honey, found a new couch and a wife I didn't know I had today." 

In my defense, he was the same height, build, hair (or fuzz colored since there really isn't much hair), same red neck (and I mean the actual color of his neck not his upbringing or way of life but let's be honest GI Joe is a redneck in more ways than one) and was standing just like GI Joe does.  Upon further reflection, I now realize that most people in uniform stand that way because it's kinda part of their military training, so sue me.  Also, and please don't think I'm a racist, but they all kinda look alike when in uniform, especially when they have their hats on. 

Exhibit A
If you turned these boys around you'd never be able to tell the difference.  Please note neither of these is my husband. 

To insure that I don't make this mistake again, let's play a little game. 

Pictured left to right:  Not my husband, not my husband, not my husband, not my husband, REALLY not my husband, and not my husband. 

But this?  THIS is my husband.

I win!  Isn't he so cute? 

This is my husband who I just begged and pleaded with to get him to go put his uniform BACK on 20 minutes after he just got out of it just so I could take this picture for the blog.  And he complied.  Even AFTER I hugged another man in uniform today.  That's just the kind of awesome guy he is. 

So the next time you see a man in uniform, any man, doesn't matter who, doesn't even matter what kind of uniform.  Could be a soldier, a firefighter, a policeman, the pest control guy, whomever, walk up to him, wrap your arms around him in an inappropriate and awkward manner, and then thank him for his service.  Or run away shrieking, "YOU'RE NOT MY HUSBAND!!", whichever you prefer. 

Do it for me, do it for your country. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Chicken Whisperer

As I was reading thru blog posts that I had started but never finished, I realized I never told you about our grand ol' time at the county fair and our subsequent initiation into the world of 4Her's.  It would be an utter disservice to you if I didn't post it because you just never know when the things you see here will come in handy in your own day to day lives.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm here to inform and educate ya'll. 

Starting with How to Give Your Chicken a Bath 101
Step 1:  Get up really early the morning of the chicken show.  Look half asleep, don't bother getting fully dressed because you live in the country after all, no one is around to see your fashion faux pas.  Oh wait, Dakota is fully dressed it was the photographer who may or may not have still been in her PJ's.  Fill 3 buckets with warm water.  The first bucket is just plain water, the second is a bucket of warm water mixed with Pantene Pro-V with Extra Shine Booster, and the 3rd is water and vinegar for even more added shine, according to the 4Her's Guide to Showing Poultry.   

Step 2:  Dunk your chicken in each bucket, starting with the water rinse, followed by the shampoo, finished up with the pickled chicken dip.   
Step 2:  Let the chicken spend a little time in each bucket to kick back and relax to prepare for her big day of being on display at the fair.  It ain't easy being pretty. 
Give a lady her privacy as she lounges in the tub. 
"Hey can I get a People magazine and a Diet Coke up in here? CALGON take me away!"

Settle down Reba, Diet Coke coming right up.

Step 3:  Be sure to name your red chickens Reba, Wynonna, and Lucy.  And then address them by their names any time you speak to them which should be frequently because chickens have feelings too! 

Step 4:  File a restraining order against the peeping tom rooster who keeps strutting around trying to get a peek.  Pervert. 
The restraining order will prove useless but chasing him off while imitating him and cock-a-doodle-dooing loudly turns out to be quite effective (and hilarious.)

Step 4:  Lather the ol' girls up with the Pantene Pro-V so they can look like they just stepped out of a salon and the other hens at the poultry show will be jealous of their gorgeous, shiny, flowing locks feathers.
"To the left a little, now up, ahhhhh right there, that's the spot." 
Step 5:  Towel dry with a fluffy towel.  Or if you're in a hurry you can blow dry them but we were trying to keep the traumization to a minimum for the day. 

Step 6:  Once everyone's had the full spa treatment, load Lucy, Wynonna, and Reba up in their transport cage and give them strict instructions not to poop on each other.  Try to ignore the pickle smell that emanates from them.  Focus more on their shining, clean beauty and the fact that they didn't seem to mind bathing in the least.  Never mind that everything you'd read about chicken bathing (and yes, you read quite a bit about it) said they wouldn't like it and might be spastic.  Of course, the only chickens in the world who enjoy pampering and warm baths live at the Koons Zoo, where else would they live?

Step 7:  Arrive at the fair and positively BEAM because you're so proud of your chickens and so excited and nervous for your first poultry show.  I mean, look at the gloss on those girls, it's blinding!  Also, you may feel like throwing up from nerves or so we've heard. 
Step 8:  Impress the poultry judge with your vast chicken knowledge, your beautiful chickens, how you handle them correctly, and how bonded you are with your chickens.  Apparently, not everyone at the poultry shows names and holds their chickens daily.  Weirdos. 

Step 9: When the judge is done with you and you put your chickens away, turn around to your mom and dad and make the funniest face ever and loudly breathe a sigh of relief.  And yay for you, you didn't puke!!!
Step 10:  Bring home the BLUE RIBBON because you and your chickens know how to work it, girl! 
Step 11:  And while you're at it bring home a second blue ribbon for your awesome, non chicken related artwork.
Step 12:  Once your work at the chicken show is done, go watch a show featuring pigs who do tricks and listen to your mom exclaim loudly the whole time..."GI JOE, WE CAN'T BUTCHER HORMEL LET'S TEACH HER TRICKS INSTEAD!!!"
Step 13:  Roll your eyes and sigh loudly.  Because your mom?  She'll never be half the country girl you are.  Silly mommy, pigs are for bacon not for tricks. 

Step 14:  Consider your first venture to the county fair as a 4H'er a smashing success and begin planning immediately for next year's showing which will likely expand beyond chickens and include calves, pigs, and/or goats.  Roll your eyes again as your mom tells you that you'll have to get much bigger buckets to give a goat or a pig a bath. 

Step 15:  Head home after signing autographs, fending off crazed fans, and making media appearances (aka posing for pictures for your mother), tell your chickens they made you proud and then tuck them into bed in the barnyard.  Fall asleep with a huge smile on your face and your blue ribbons proudly displayed on your wall.   

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Caped Crusaders

A few months ago, while on my annual girls weekend with my sisters, smom, and daughter we visited 6 Flags St Louis, because we're adrenaline junkies and because nothing screams girls weekend like actually screaming like girls while riding various scary roller coasters.  I realize now that I never blogged about that delightful weekend, one of the many regrets of my blogging life.  I think I'll just show you this picture which basically sums up our girls weekend and also tells you what kind of people we are. 
Superheroes, that's what kind. 

While we were at Six Flags we happened upon these capes and decided they would make great souvenirs for the boys we left behind at home.  Boys meaning Micah, age 4, Blade, age 9, Ryder age (then) 7, and GI Joe age 33.  Oh yes, yes I did buy GI Joe a Green Lantern cape and at this very moment it's hanging off one of the bedposts in our room.  TMI?  Probably but it's true.  My guy loves him some Marvel comic superheroes.    The capes were really cheap, as in $5, FIVE DOLLARS, so my sister Brandy and Dakota also decided they needed one.  I mean really, every girl should have a little black Batgirl cape in her closet, right?  Right.  Six capes later and a photo op was born.  We were all about the photo ops, see?

Oh and we had matching shirts, because we're just that awesome.  It's ok to be jealous.

After our fabulous weekend filled with estrogen, cupcakes, ice cream, chocolate, Uno, roller coasters, and laughs we headed home.  I was so excited to give my boys their souvenirs because let's be honest, boys+superhero capes are like chocolate+peanut butter, they just belong together.  Even though I had to tear them from the clenched, reluctant hands of my sisters after we posed for our superhero picture.  Note to self:  Christmas gift idea. 

As expected the boys, all 3 of them, were thrilled by their souvenirs.   As was NOT expected, they immediately put them on and went outside to  Not to play superheroes or an imaginary game of Batman vs. the Joker, obviously.

They were certain that the capes made them run faster, throw further, and tackle harder. Who was I to argue? 

Not pictured, GI Joe in his Green Lantern cape because well, I told you where it resides and this is NOT that kind of blog.  :)

The capes have come in handy for more than just football.  On Ryder's birthday we went to a local arcade/pizza place that gives you an extra $10 on your game card if you wear a superhero costume.  And just like that I got a 200% return on my initial cape investment.  Ka-POW!
Never one to miss out on a bargain, I borrowed GI Joe's cape since he thought wearing it over his uniform would look ridiculous.  Because a 33 year old mother of 3, wearing it over her shorts and tshirt did NOT look ridiculous.  When we got up to the cashier and placed our order for 5 pizza buffets and 5 game cards, I proudly said to her, "And LOOK, four of us are wearing our superhero costumes so don't forget our extra $10!!!"  Yes, I am THAT mom.  And yes, I was the ONLY mom wearing a superhero costume...weird.  Anything for a buck, or ten as the case may be. 

Have a SUPER Thursday!  Truth, justice, and the hillbilly way. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekend Update

What a weekend.  I love 3 day weekends.  I especially love 3 day weekends when the weather is perfect (mostly), my laundry gets done,  my house stays clean for more than 2 hours at a time, and I get to bake cupcakes. 

And what better way to start out a 3 day weekend than by spending Friday doing Habitat for Humanity.  You guys, I mastered the chop saw!  I was the CUTTER.  And it felt good, real GOOD.  I may or may not be addicted to power tools, I'm just sayin'. 

And I helped build a wall.  Isn't that the most beautiful wall you've ever laid eyes on?  I know. 
You need some help with a home remodeling project?  You need a wall built?  You call me.  The girls and I will fix you right up.  Look for us on the cover of Construction Illustrated:  Girls in Hardhats Edition coming soon to a newstand near you.

Saturday, GI Joe, Blade, my Dad, and GI Joe's Dad headed to Iowa City for the first Hawkeye game of the season aka my first Saturday of being a football widow.  I love going to the games too (not because I know anything that's going on but I love the hot dogs, the atmosphere, and the people watching, oh and the Hawkeyes) but I willingly sat this one out so they could have some male bonding time and because Dakota, Ryder and I had big go see dead bodies. 
Seriously...dead bodies.  This exhibit has been at our science center for awhile now and I've been dying to see it.  Ahahahaha, I slay myself.  Teeheeheee, ok I'll stop now.  GI Joe had no desire to go see it with me but the kids all thought it sounded cool so we decided to go while they were at the game.  I thought it was fascinating with a side of weird.  The weird coming from the people on display were at one time, real LIVE people, that had donated their bodies to science to be plasticated for this exhibit.  But it was fascinating to see the inner workings of our bodies and how they're made.  Dakota was thoroughly creeped out by the whole thing but Ryder loved it. In fact, he loved it so much he bought a postcard of a plasticated body to show his class on Tuesday.  Should I be concerned?  Nah.  I was more concerned that the bodies on display were anatomically correct and a large majority of them were male.  I don't know how to say this delicately so I'm just going to say it.  Certain things don't plasticate well. Luckily, the kids didn't pay any attention to such things but I couldn't help noticing how certain parts looked like 2 little (emphasis on the little) Christmas ornaments hanging there on either side of the ahem..... ummm....candy cane?  Picture taking was not allowed or you can be sure that you would be looking at a picture of it right now.  But instead, here's a very scientific diagram I drew for you. 
We wish you a Merry Christmas....
I cannot figure out for the life of me why they didn't sell "Bodies" commemorative Christmas ornaments in the gift shop, that would've been marketing genius.  When we got back in the car after seeing the display I couldn't help but put in some Christmas music and drive immediately to the craft store to buy some shiny new Christmas balls.  Sorry, I'll stop now.  :)  Yes, I'm very mature why do you ask? 

Saturday night we watched the move "127 Hours".  Have you heard of this movie?  It's the true story of a mountain climber who goes climbing by himself (duh) and he falls in a canyon and a boulder lands on his arm.  He has very little water and other supplies but somehow manages to survive for, you guessed it, 127 hours stuck in this canyon.  At some point during that 127 hours he realizes that his only chance of survival and escape is to cut his arm off.  Spoiler alert:  HE CUTS HIS OWN ARM OFF USING A DULL POCKET KNIFE.  And now I've just saved you from having to watch what seems like an actual 127 hours to watch it for yourself.  There were many times throughout the movie where I said to GI Joe, can't they speed this up a little bit and just get to the part where he cuts his arm off and manages to claw his way out?  I'm sure that's what the guy stuck in that canyon thought too, "Hey can we just hurry this along?  Being stuck down here, having to drink my own PEE (oops, sorry another spoiler alert, you're welcome, I wish I'd been warned because EWWWWW), and eventually having to cut my arm off is just really taking way too long."  So yeah, do yourself a favor. go ahead and delete that movie out of your Netflix queue.  That's 127 hours minutes of your life you won't be able to get back.  And that's what he said.  (I'm sorry, only 17 days til The Office is back!)

While getting in the Christmas spirit, watching a guy cut his own arm off, were fun and all, the highlight of my weekend was Sunday night.  After church, we had a little get together with friends and family from church.  You know the usual, pizza, dips, cupcakes, games, and GUNS.  One of our friends Blake, just got home from a deployment in Afghanistan and being young and single, bought himself some new, super cool guns.  And he said, I COULD SHOOT THEM!!! 

Confession #1: Hi, my name is Prairie Princess and I love guns. 

Confession #2:  I am a terrible shot and scream every time I fire a gun.  But I LOVE the power that comes from holding and handling a gun. 

A group of about 15 of us walked down behind the barn where there are a bunch of trees to hang the targets in, made sure there were no horses, llamas, or mules donkeys hanging around, and got down to business.  Many took a turn firing after a quick gun safety lesson from Blake or GI Joe.  Also, I made sure to tell everyone that shot that they were required to yell, "FIRE IN THE HOLE" before they fired.  As if that stopped me from jumping every time the gun went off.  We were having a good old time until my father in law got everyone's attention and said, "You guys, this is a true story. One time my cousin got a new 22 and was firing it and everyone was standing around watching and my other cousin Dixie walked out right in front of the gun as he was firing and shot her clean through the head."  Tragic, I know.  But you have to know my father in law, no one ever knows if he's serious or not so we thought he was kidding so we kinda laughed awkwardly and thought he was crazy for randomly telling that buzzkill of a story right in the middle of our laughter and yelling "Fire in the Hole".  As it turned out he was completely serious and it was a true story.  So random and tragic obviously but sometimes those are just the things that make me giggle inappropriately and uncontrollably and that's exactly what happened.  And then instead of "Fire in the Hole!" I yelled "Remember Dixie!" when the gun was fired.  And then those around me started giggling and couldn't stop and at one point I remember someone saying when they were able to catch their breath from laughing so hard, "I don't think we should be laughing about it" but then they couldn't stop laughing either and that just made me laugh harder.  Yep, I'm the devil.  RIP Dixie and my apologies.  And to my father in law, you sure know how to liven up a party.  :)

Anyway, once we got over the shock of Dixie, it was my turn to fire. 

Hello, lover. 

This my friends, is an AR-15.  Not that I'm a gun expert or anything, I just asked GI Joe.  All I know is that it's a big gun, has a long range, and makes a really loud bang.  It's basically the same as the M16's that recruits get in boot camp and are required to name it because they want the recruits to personalize their gun.  Not personalize as in put pretty, sparkly stickers on it (although I would totally do that) but personalize as in, bond with it, become one with it, take care of it like they would take care of their own body, learn all about it, personalize.  Fun fact, when GI Joe was in boot camp, he named his M16 after me.  And when he told me that in a letter, I thought it was the most romantic, sweetest, and cheesiest thing ever.   Awww, young love.  Anyway, this is one big, bad gun.  But don't worry, I'm an expert. 
Pink shooting attire...check.
Goofy grin because I'm holding a very big, powerful, gun....check.
Shooting earmuffs so the bang isn't quite so loud....check.
Safety on while we took this picture, just in case.....check. 

But now, NOW I was ready for business.

The butt of the gun secure against my shoulder so I don't get a giant bruise when it kicks back...check.
Front knee bent in proper shooter's stance....check.
Matching shoes to my pink sweatshirt...check. 
"FIRE IN THE HOLE!".....check.
REALLY LOUD BANG FOLLOWED BY A REALLY LOUD SCREAM (mine, not to worry, there were no Dixie incidents)....check and check. 

It was such a rush.  All I was aiming at was a tiny 8" x 8" square target hung in the tree and it's not like I even came close to hitting it but, just firing that bad boy...WOO.  IT doesn't really matter if I hit the target or not because it's not like I could ever shoot at any THING (ex:  deer, rabbit, stranger breaking into my house, ok maybe on that one...) but just firing it is enough for me. 

I like big guns and I cannot lie.  Them other mothers can't deny.  I'm hooked and I can't stop shooting. 

You might be a redneck girl if you find firing big guns absolutely exhilarating and revamp rap hits from the early 90's to tell about it. 

But then Blake also had this adorable, little gun.  Yes, I'm pretty sure I heard he and GI Joe describe it exactly that way when they were talking about it "Hey GI Joe, wanna see this adorable little handgun I got?  It's really cute.  I think the chicks are really gonna dig it." 
"Oh yeah, that is just PRECIOUS.  Oh and it' so lightweight too.  So pretty."
OK, maybe not exactly like that. 
But it really is adorable, and precious, and soo cute.  I just wish it came in pink. 

Looks can be deceiving because this little girl (the gun, not me) is still one lean, mean shooting machine.  Believe it or not, she had a really loud bang too.  I felt like one of Charlie's Angels with this one.  When we reviewed the target after I fired this gun, there was a bullethole right through the middle of the target.  Not to brag, but I'm pretty sure it was my shot that did it, even though GI Joe will tell you that he'd hit it long before I shot.  Whatever, don't listen to him, he names his guns after GIRLS, clearly he can't be trusted. 

So that was my weekend...power tools, guns, dead bodies, and bad movies, in other words, perfection. How was yours?!?