Monday, April 28, 2008

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails

After getting married, starting to dream of babies and then finally getting pregnant I was thinking along the lines of sugar and spice and everything nice. I mean when it came down to it, a happy and healthy baby was my prayer no matter what the sex. BUT I can't lie and say I didn't have Barbies and tea sets and dainty dresses and a pink bedroom and sparkle nail polish on my mind!

God blessed us instead with the sweetest most adorable baby boy to ever exit a womb! My dreams of all things girl went up in a poof of pink smoke.

Now my days are filled with army men in the bathtub, Hot Wheels have taken over the inside of my car, marbles in his bed, dirty fingernails, rocks from the playground in his pockets and a magnetic attraction to mud. He spends every free moment outside and then comes in smelling like a stinky boy to the untrained nose...but to me he smells like sunshine, laughter, adventure and childhood all rolled into one.

The weather has been gorgeous and I have added getting flowers into my pots to my list.Ahhh there is a needy pot right there, waiting for a nice plant.

When you live with a boy though...
...first you have to remove a pair of dirty socks and traces of water balloons from the pot!

I love that kid.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

1991. The year of the poodle

I am thinking of getting a perm. I have grown my hair out. I tend to go in the perpetual cycle of cut off, grow out, cut off, grow out.... I do like the long hair for the options. You know....flat iron or big loose curling iron curls, up or down and my prized possession the pony tail. So it would be safe to say I like the potential for different looks with long hair but would totally confirm that shorter coifs are ALWAYS more stylish, sassy and hip looking on me. But, news flash here, I am lazy and love opting out for a pony tail.

Sadly my hair is not wash and wear, which is why the pony tail is such a happy thing. I cannot wash it and go, that leaves a stringy blah mess. However the pony tail is not exactly a beautiful look on me, easy yes beautiful no.

In a few weeks I am tagging along with hubs to a conference in Phoenix. Which translates to lots of pool side lounging and heat for me. Then at the 1st of June we go to San Diego for the Marine's graduation. That translates to beach, sightseeing, Sea World stuff. Then a week after that blonde rascal is going to church camp in New Mexico...and I am too attached to let him go by himself so I volunteered to be a counselor. That translates into muddy, dirty, tired, cranky, slept on while wet hair.

All of these upcoming trips make me wonder if I should get a perm. Then my hair would be much more wash and go. I have not had a perm in 15 or so years. Can you get a big loose curl perm? Can you just get some body?

This is a delicate, risky and serious decision for me. Look how my last perm turned out...

In the name of all things holy....what was I thinking!?!?!? It was 1991 and I was a junior in college. I actually paid good money for someone to do that to me. I really went out in public like that.

Do you see why perms scare me?

I'll tell you though, this picture has brought me great joy and many giggles this morning! I think I will put it on the fridge so everyone can share in the delight of the year of the poodle.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

So Hubs called...

...this morning from work. As most of you know these calls typically involve my beloved endangering my life by putting me in a precarious situation involving livestock. This conversation did not involve livestock, praise God, but instead some expensive toys...oh sorry I meant "ranch equipment"....*cough*cough*taxwriteoffs*cough*cough.


QG: "Hello"

Hubs: "Hi Baby! What are you doing? I need you to do me a favor. The forecast says it might hail and my pickup is out. I need you to unhook my trailer and put my pickup in the barn."

QC: "huh? Ummmm....I don't think I am qualified for that."

Hubs: "Sure you can do it. Just pop that handle up, kick that slide over, PUT THE TAILGATE DOWN, then put the key in the thing, get that big block out of the back of the pickup and put it under the jack stand, then push the down button. I think it still has power but if not you'll need to plug it in."

QC: "Huh?"

So here goes nothing.

I need to put the barn.

But first I have to unhitch this......the "Hilton on wheels" very carefully.

Which is simple enough right? It only involves navigating this......contraption.

Believe it or not, that all went according to plan.... as far as I can tell! The trailer lifted off the hitch AND the tail gate is still attached to the pickup. I call that success.

Then I open the barn door only to find this there. I DON'T know how to start much less drive that thing so I am hoping I can get the pickup in around it! (Learning to drive the tractor is now on my list of things to do. I could entertain myself for hours on that baby. Or maybe not because then the next phone call from hubs would involve me using my newly acquired "tractoring skillz".... scratch that idea.)

Despite all these hurdles, the mission was accomplished.Everything is in one complete, pristine piece. I'm good.

While I was out there you know I had to check on the little cuties.I pulled this little fella out of the den. No I was not choking him. They are squirmy little boogers so I was gently restraining him for picture taking. Notice the farm implement grease on my thumb? Markings of a true redneck woman. I am so proud.

Mama Gary came along and kindly asked me to remove my greasy paws from her baby.

That pretty much sums up all of my excitement for this morning.My girl Bianca had her paws crossed for me, she has faith in my ability to manage the ridiculous ranchy situations I get all entangled in against my will. She did however watch the whole ordeal intently, she was ready to rescue me if needed.

Now it is in fact raining and I am going to go wrap up my scrapbook organizing mission. Everything is mostly crazy organized now, projects lined up, pictures neatly filed away and I just have a few loose ends to wrap up. I have faced some fashion lessons that can only be painfully learned through seeing pictures of yourself. Maybe I will report on this riveting topic tomorrow.

Oh, I have a roast of Pedro in the crockpot. DadGUM I love the crockpot. Nothing like the rewarding feeling of having dinner taken care of at 9am.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saving the earth, one photo frame at a time.

We bought our house 2 years ago, and up until last week there was a box of unloved cheesy photo frames (circa mid-90's) stashed in the hall closet. Sorting through, taking the pictures out, buying new frames and then taking the cheesy frames to Goodwill was somewhere on my life time to-do list.

One of my favorite blogs is Notes from a cottage industry. This woman is phenomenally talented and her home is so warm and welcoming. I would like to curl up with a good book at her house. This particular post made the light bulb go on over my head! Do you know how many out of style pictures like that I have given to Goodwill?!?! Good grief who knew I could have turned them into to something cool.

I am not an independently creative person but I can feed off of other's ideas. Take this 90's frame.......which has an adorable picture of a 3 month old blonde rascal, but the frame was a little dated you might say. After some inspiration from a thrifty blogger, and presto......a little more updated look, still the cute 3 month old in the picture WITH the reflection of my t-shirt & camera. I am nothing if not a talented and trick photographer.

A $3 can of black spray paint and my box of various and sundry ugly gold frames suddenly turned very cool! It was easy and cheap. Just like the buzz I caught while spray painting in the closed garage!

What else can I tell you today? Well, my 7 year old blond rascal, who stays as far away as he can from green veggies, suddenly likes asparagus. Odd.

I am happy to say that hubs is now on week 3 of his treadmill initiative. I am so proud of him. The treadmill has pre-programmed fat burning walking workouts that change the incline and speed intermittently and he said those are effectively kicking his butt.

And me, I love that dang treadmill. I will never go back to the gym. (Now if I could just figure out how to get out of that crappy contract in which I still have a year left) I get up at 6am and run and I LOVE IT! My workout is over before the day even begins!!!! However since hubs gets on the treadmill right after me in order for him to get to work in a timely manner, if I ever want to run farther than 3 miles...I will have to get up earlier. That, my friends, could be painful.

Let's talk about "Rock of Love" shall we? I did not watch it all season but then Saturday night they showed the final 2 episodes, which in a moment of mental weakness I watched. (I'll blame it on the spray paint fumes) Then Sunday night was the reunion, which was completely out of control! You can admit it if you watched it. I won't tell anyone.

I don't know what to think about it all really. I mean was Bret looking for a relationship or a fellow rocker chick? I was thinking relationship, because well for the past 20 years he had millions of party girl opportunities. Amber was the only choice really because poor Daisy is no doubt terminally wasted. However, I thought Amber was out of her league, as far as the rocker lifestyle and she tried a little too hard.

Honestly, I think Bret is kind of a nice guy. I mean he is what he is, and that is a rock-n-roll dude. Be that as it may, he seems somewhat sincere and real.

By the way I loved me some Poison in high school....well OK still do. Have a song or two on my ipod honestly. AND I am proud to say I can rock some "Talk Dirty to Me" on Guitar Hero!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

101 Kittens

Our 3 charming barn cats...Patrick, Gary and Sandy...have been very busy lately. Gary delivered a bouncing litter of baby kittens about a month ago. About 2 weeks later Patrick became the proud mommy of 4. And now Sandy has the glow of an expectant mother! Oh joy.

They are CUTE little buggers though...

It is had to get a good picture because I do not want to blind them with the flash and they don't stay still long enough for a no-flash picture. Blonde rascal likes to bring them inside and put them in a pile of all his stuffed animals. They are going to be patient and lovable cats since they get so much "attention" from b.r. and the neighbor kids!

Fun while it lasts, sure but I foresee Gary, Patrick and Sandy all making a trip to the vet for a little tube tying party once all the kitties are weaned. I have seen the tom cat whom I suspect being the "baby daddy" wondering around. I need to shoo him off, tell him to pack his bags.

Hubs is out of town this weekend. I hope the weekend stays uneventful for me, what with the Smokey and well debacles of the past 2 weekends, I deserve some smooth sailing!!!!! By the way, Smokey is fine. They are waiting for the blood work results to see if they can figure out what is wrong. In the meantime though, he is great.

Scrapbook night was last night at my house. Nothing beats a gathering of the girls, eh? I didn't get much accomplished in the way of scrapbooking because my pictures are so disorganized. Today while all my stuff is scattered all over the dining room table I think I will make some attempt at organization. Despite the lack of productivity on my part, it was great to hang out. Get caught up on everyone's life and laugh!!! They harassed me for not blogging last week...but I was busy!!! I have been inspired by a couple of blogs with their re-purposing and frugalities in their home decor. That kept me busy last week. This week I will share the fabulous bloggers and their ideas that got the wheels in my head turning!

Picture organization here I come!

p.s. Mary I hope you feel better today!

p.p.s. To the person who left the full bag of dark chocolate m&m's, which I love, on my dining room table...that was not nice.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The party is over

I left the house yesterday afternoon, stopped at WalMart and then to pick up blonde rascal. (While I'm talking about WM, I will go ahead and share with you my feeling that I was probably not the only person in there yesterday who had not showered in the past 24 hours NOR was I the only patron in there that did not have any running water at their house! What?) When we got back home the well service was there and they had already fixed it. Dang it I really wanted to watch them pull the well up, it would have been interesting to see. I know you think I need to get out more.

It cost $350 to get the pipe fixed. However, I am very thankful for that amount as it could have been much more expensive. And I have taken a shower. Amen.

Friday, April 11, 2008

"Hello, My name is Well"

Dear Readers,

I am "the well" here at the Quilty Chick Ranch. The, exceptionally stinky, queen of the ranch is inside right now sitting on her hind side, guilt free of course, as she sees this "no water" thing as a perfectly legitimate excuse to do nothing.

This morning the inept homeowners thought they could go buy a new part and I would magically work again. Unfortunately that was not the case. When their feeble, although $180, attempt at fixing me did not work they then had to call in the big guns. Indeed "the well man" was called.

While the queen of the ranch was inside tossing her cookies into the waterless toilet (she better get her lazy arse back over to the neighbor's faucet with her water buckets) the well man came and stuck his ear up to me and heard water running. He then said there was a pipe broken inside of me so he would be back with his big trucks to pull me up and fix my pipe.

The homeowners were, somewhat, relieved by this lesser of two evils diagnosis. At least they do not have to replace the pump or the motor.

I am sure the original author of this blog will be back shortly to show all of the gory pictures of me in my nekkid state as I am pulled out of the ground. She is so oddly drawn to all manners of ridiculousness.

Stop perusing this blog while you are still sane. Please, for your own safety.

The Well

P.S. I thought 11am was too early for shots of Tequila...but who am I to judge the stinky queen of the ranch? I am just an expensive well.

It's fun to be me!

One little bonus about living in the country is that you have your own well. The water tastes great, none of that chemical taste like city water, and you don't have a water bill! You can water your grass until you are blue in the face! Granted the well is run by electricity, so there is THAT bill to contend with.

The downside to the well is that when the electricity goes water. And wells are not problem free.

Yesterday morning I ran 3 miles at 6am. Bliss. A little later, the La-Z-Boy store called and our new chairs will be delivered on Monday. More bliss. That news sends me into a tail spin of furniture re-arranging, which I have to tell you is one of my FAVORITE things to do. I live for furniture re-arranging!

I ran and sweat like pig, moved furniture and sweat like a pig...I decided it would be beneficial to all mankind for me to jump in the shower before I went to pick up B.R. from school. I turned on the faucet in the shower and NO water. Nothing. Hubs is in New Mexico for the day calling on customers. Lovely...and oh by the way, I stink.

Hubs guides me through, over the phone, a few steps of checking the breaker, looking at the pressure gauge, blah blah blah. All good and still no water. When I see the neighbor across the street get home and I call him over. He tinkers around and checks more things. Nothing.

The whole well thing can make you break out in a cold sweat. It can be something easy like a pressure switch or the pressure tank which are all conveniently located in the garage. Or on a much more frightening could be the pump or the motor which are all underground in the well. If you have to call the "well man" to come pull up your pump or motor you are...well... screwed. It is VERY, V*E*R*Y expensive to do that.

I called the plumber, who is a friend of ours. While waiting for him to call back, hubs got back into town and thinks maybe it is the pressure switch because that has gone out before. Trip to Lowes, a $20 pressure switch and back in business.

While hubs is at Lowes, the plumber calls and happens to be in the vicinity so he said he would stop by. He starts checking stuff and no, it's not the pressure switch. Hubs gets back and they figure and tinker and figure some more. The plumber calls one of his well buddies, they confer and then more tinkering.

I want to vomit thinking we are going to have to have the pump pulled. It would be our Christmas April...for the whole family! Barf.

2 hours later and by the plumber's best guess it is a relay switch that is out, thank God! Hubs is going somewhere this morning to pick one up and coming back home to put it on...and we'll keep our fingers crossed on that one!

Do you know how many times I have turned on the faucet out of habit, even knowing there is no water? Absurd.

B.R. played outside all afternoon yesterday, so there was no way I was letting him go to school without a shower! Of course we could have gone to MIL's house last night, and the neighbors generously offered their showers to us. But we are rednecks, we have the "Hilton on wheels" horse trailer! Hubs drove it over to the neighbors house, filled up the holding tank and we were in business.Ahhhhh....shower.
Here is a shivering B.R. after his horse trailer shower, putting his shoes on to go back up to the house. Hubs took a shower out there this morning. And me? Well I still stink!

This morning I filled up buckets of water from the neighbors faucet. Came back home and filled up all three toilet tanks with water so we could flush them and then...
managed to rinse off all the dirty dishes in the sink and load them in the dishwasher. This morning I rinsed out the coffee pot with San Pellegrino! Luckily we had enough bottled water on hand to drink, brush teeth, water the dog and cats, wash hands, etc...

My friends sometimes ask me what I do all day since I don't have a "job" or if I get bored. Lord have mercy. Do I sound bored or lacking for things to do?!?!? Does schlepping buckets of water from the neighbor's outside faucet to our house and then filling up my toilet tanks sound boring? I think not! This crazy life is more than enough "job" for this former city girl!!!

I am taking my stinky self to WalMart now. Luckily, I doubt any of WalMart's "clientele" will notice my funk.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Drama at The Q.C. Corral

I survived the attack of the 2nd graders yesterday. I have to brag though, they were very good. I was proud of them.

Hark! Who is THAT cute 2nd grader by the large dinosaur which I cannot remember the name of...gigasaurus or something. Bigger than a T-Rex, I do remember that much.

He was by far the cutest kid there! I think that is a fossilized dinosaur turd on the pedestal blonde rascal is standing by...oh and he's touching it too. Where is the Purell?

Yesterday evening was beautiful. No wind, praise God. The boys roped. I normally stay away from all that nonsense but the weather was so nice that I decided to wander out there. With my camera no doubt!

Missy tags along of course, with her BFF from next door, Dixie...

Before the roping action starts they decided to do their favorite thing...

...wrestle! I know it seems that Dixie would have the unfair weight advantage but don't underestimate the mad skills of a spaz miniature daschund.

She can float like a butterfly...

...and sting like a bee!

I told them to simmer down and watch the roping.Call me the dog whisperer.

Anyway here is a play by play of team roping for you city folk. The steer is in the chute, that blue thing, and they open the gate to the chute at which point the steer runs out. The steer knows the drill, so he runs fast since those crazy men on horses are chasing him. Hubs is the "header" on the gray horse and Dave is the "heeler".

Hubs has "headed" the steer...because well he is a soopa-star... and Dave is about to "heel" him.

And well Dave is a soopa star too cuz he got the legs. That's all folks. There you have team roping in a nut shell. They do that over and over and over....and over...and... I can only take so much before my mind starts to wander off...

Wooo weeeee look how looooonnnng and lean my legs are!

That's it, I'm done. Bored plumb silly out of my mind with the whole roping thing. You knew it was only a matter of time before I move on and focus my attention on my friends...

"Oh... hi guys! How are y......"

"....hey come back! Talk with me!!!!"

They always back away from me and then start pooping, punks. But they can only back up so far before they get to the one way thingy that keeps them from backing up any further! HA! Then I move in.
"You better talk to me Fred, don't you know what happened to Pedro when he ignored me?"

"Dude, your headband is filthy. Would you like me to make you one? Perhaps out of a lovely Burberry print?"

Those headbands, as I like to call them, are really called horn wraps...I think. They protect their horns while being roped. (You're welcome S.P.C.A.!) I should recover all of them in some cutsie fabric... as a surprise for hubs! Wouldn't he love that!

Well hello beautiful! Look at him, this is Smokey. Check out his eyelashes. He is gorgeous!

He is our neighbor's horse. Our neighbor is also a team roper. Someone gave him this horse because they thought something might be wrong with him. So neighbor wanted hubs to try him out and see what he thought. Hubs was considering buying the horse. Hubs roped on him last weekend and Smokey did a great job. Hubs did not ride this horse last night but had him tied to the fence. He had started acting sort of sore earlier in the week, so they were going to take him to the dentist next week. Believe it or not a horse's teeth can be a major problem, and then you put a bit in their mouth with bad teeth and it affects their performance. AN~Y~WAY....

The drama unfolds last night when they were walking him back to the barn and Smokey just drops. Sits down like a dog. Like from his butt down he is paralyzed. He can't get up. He lays down and they try to get him moving. Nothing.

They call the vet to come out. Yes, I said they called the vet at 9:30 on a Friday night to drive out to our house. (That means Mama's not getting new shoes THIS month!)

Based on the symptoms the vet thought it may be some be long named thing....similar to Meningitis. In which case yes he would be paralyzed and they would have to put him to sleep.
But the vet gave him a couple shots to relax him and they decided to leave him there all night. Thinking maybe it was a pinched nerve or something and once his muscles relaxed then he would get up on his own.

Nope. Still just laying there this morning. I was just sick. Poor, poor thing. He is a beautiful horse with a gentle spirit.

The guys decide to make a sling of sorts and then try to lift him with the tractors until he is standing to see if he can support his own weight.

I could not go out there. This is the view from my sewing room. I was just gnawing my fingernails hoping he would be ok.

They got him up and left him cinched up for a few minutes to make sure he could stand. He was doing good so they un~cinched him and backed the tractors away.He was standing by himself! I was sweating by now. I was so worried he would fall over. They had him stand there for a while. Then they took baby steps. He was wobbly. And then...Yeah Smokey! He is up and walking. With the gait of a drunk man, but walking all the same! So he is back in the barn where he will be supervised, until the vet can figure out what the problem is.

Whew, those animals they steal your heart....especially when they are hurt. Keep your fingers crossed for pretty Smokey!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wish me luck!

This morning I will be joining the entire 2nd grade at blonde rascal's school on their field trip to the Science Spectrum. Sure, the Science Spectrum is a fab~o place, I will give you that. However some of its charm will be lost amongst the masses of 7 year olds!!! I have to go pack my sack lunch, pop a few preventative Tylenol, take a shower and be on my way to join the mayhem. Yeeehaw!

Quickly I will tell you that the kittens in the barn are going on three weeks now. I finally agreed to let b.r. pick one up. Oh my goodness that little ball of sweetness. It was hard to get a good picture. That little mewing just melts your heart!

B.R. is pals with all 3 of the barn cats so mamma cat Gary was ok with him holding her baby. But she did not let him out of her sight!

My friend and neighbor extraordinaire, Lori...oops I mean Jennifer Aniston...and I went to see the movie "21" yesterday afternoon. It is about the group of students from MIT who mastered counting cards in Las Vegas. No Academy nominations there BUT it was very interesting. If my IQ was just a "smidge" higher, I might be able to pull that off! So anyway if you are looking for a fascinating story,it is a good one to go see. Plus both Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne are talented actors in my opinion.

I'm off the endure 4 hours of 2nd grade madness! If you don't hear from me soon call in reinforcements!