Friday, June 27, 2008

While YOU were sleeping...

....I was busy. I ran a 5K at 6:30 this morning. I don't mean get a t-shirt, people cheering 5K but just on my treadmill in my cozy sewing room. Air conditioning brings much joy to running. And actually I love my morning runs. It is more of a selfish pleasure than a sacrifice. It sounds all good, but really don't be impressed because it is my own little escape that I embrace.

BUT after that I had to tend to the flies. Yeah, you better believe we have flies. And I despise them. There are a zillion of them. This year we decided to try something new. It is called fly predators.

Here is the deal. You order these bugs, fly predators, and then sprinkle them in wet cow/horse poop. The fly predators eat the fly eggs, which coincidentally are laid in fly poop. Adult flies only live for a short time so the theory is you kill the eggs and the adults die and then no more flies. You do this monthly from like April ~ Sept. Of course EVERYONE in our neighborhood would have to do this to make it totally effective, but I am willing to try anything. The flies make me batty.
This is how the fly predators come. They are shipped in the larvae stage and start to hatch once you get them. They are teeny tiny, like gnats. You can see them in the right corner.

Hubs asked me to feed this morning. He had to hurry and get to the office, so he could get to the golf course. He was playing with "customers" of course. Ahem. So I decided to disperse the fly predators amongst the wet poop while I was out there. My life is so glamorous.

I like feeding the animals in the early morning light. They look so angelic.I am always greeted by a gaggle of hungry which I exclaim "Go eat some snakes, tarantulas and mice please!"

Until I see this little dolland I cave in and give the whole motley crew some cat chow.

These punks don't look so angelic,but then again I don't have to feed them. They are munching on some cotton seed.

I don't know, this guy is kinda cute huh?He is all 1985 with his one earring.

And then back to my early morning hunt for wet poop to dump fly predators in.......I didn't have to look far!

I then came inside and made this
for scrapbooking with my girls tonight. Sounds yummy and refreshing huh? It was easy too. AND I put a load of laundry in. So what did YOU do this morning, lazy bones?

Don't worry, I am now back to being a slacker. That fit of productivity wore off and now I am painting my toenails and drinking coffee.

Today is hubs b-day! Happy Birthday honey bunches!We celebrated last night because, umm, I have to go to scrapbooking tonight. NEEEEEEED to go. I had to miss last month and I just get downright cranky when I don't get to be with the girls.

Anyway we got hubs a "man rocker" for the porch off the barn. He is too manly to sit in my free wicker collection. His man rocker has cup holders on the arms. We also got him a small fridge for the barn. So he can enjoy and cold Dr. Pepper, water....or ummm beer while in his man rocker.

We have had a slow week. I felt like I did 65 loads of laundry. We went to the pool once, but for crying out loud gas is way too expensive to be driving hither and yon. So we did some fun stuff at home, which works for me because I like being a recluse.
I built a wicked cool engineering feat with Legos. It is a 2 story garage...can't you tell? I have some mad skillz. The problem I have with Legos now days is that you can only buy a themed set. You don't have a big selection of plain old Legos. You have weird car parts, or submarine pieces. I did the best I could with my garage made out of the side of a semi truck and a jail wall.

Mother nature also kept me busy this week. The tarantulas have come out, much to my dismay. Actually it is kind of a love/have relationship. I am eerily fascinated by seeing them...from a distance...but they also make my skin crawl.

Normally they just come out in the evening. However this one......camped out on our porch one day. Front porch right by the front door! It stayed in this weird position. Like it was laying eggs or something. Lord help me. I had this fear that someone would open the door and it would run in the house. So armed with a squirt gun and a broom I decided to move it off the porch.

I couldn't squirt it off the porch. They are too big to be intimidated stream of water. So I started to push it off with the broom. That was a chore, he did not want to move. By the time I got him into the grass, I was totally freaked out and screaming. Then I beat it with the broom until it was dead. I broke the broom in my beating frenzy. Whose idea was it for me to live out here in the wild?

The marine went back to San Diego last Tuesday. Blonde rascal and I left for church camp on Monday morning. The marine got up early Monday just to tell us bye. I got all choked up and teary. I am just so dang proud of him and what he is doing. He won't get leave again until probably Oct. He will be at combat training in CA. until the middle of July and then to some base in MO. to get his specialized training.

By the way, his drill instructor promised that our new little Private would for sure be up before dawn every day, while on leave, with his "rack" made and his room "squared away" .....ummm whatever. His room was a DISASTER and he slept until afternoon everyday!!! But I guess after 3 months of boot camp he deserved a little break.

Unlike boot camp, at least now he can call on the weekends. He called last weekend to say they had been playing with grenades all week and this week...rocket launchers. That is male heaven is what that is.

Well I rambled and now the toenails are dry and the coffee is gone. So I am off to the next exciting event of the day....vacuuming perhaps?

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Dumpster Diving" Beverly Hillbillies style

My sweet sister-in-law is the queen of finding bargains. She is in the right place at the right time, is what I think. Luck. She will have some fantastic find in her house or be wearing something incredible and then say "do you really want to know what I paid for this?"....I always say yes and then go green with envy.

For example many years ago an upscale flower shop was going out of business. She was in there and saw this little leather club chair. She offered them something stupid like $10 and they said yes!!! It is all worn and shabby is PERFECT. I have coveted that chair for years.

I usually do not have that kind of luck. However, my ship came in this weekend. Saturday evening was gorgeous. Hubs, blonde rascal and I all got in the Gator and went for a drive. Around our neighborhood and then off in a cotton field just killing time.

(Yipee for the cotton farmers, the cotton is coming up!!! Those are your clothes growing in my backyard people!)
Hubs pulled up in this mass of trees and weeds...... to turn around.

In this mass of weeds and trees look what I see....

....Hark! Is that wicker????

Oh yes it was! I pulled out a wicker rocker. Imagine the luck! We load it in the Gator and took it home.

Sunday evening I took my fearless guide and went back to the wicker gold mine.
Due to the snake scare from the previous post, I donned my true redneck style...with long white socks and my shorts. I am nothing if not a fashionista.

We arrive at the wicker graveyard and I crawl through the brush to rescue my new patio furniture. All the while my little man was protecting me from snakes.I love that dude.

In true Clampett style we loaded it all up in the Gator.

Check it out!!It is all in perfectly good condition....and it is real wicker, no plastic!

I put it on the porch off of the barn for right now.The porch obviously needs, ahem, some work. Probably first of all some weed whacking!!!! There will also be some cushion making for my sweet wicker furniture. Free furniture rocks.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Snake in the garage

First of all, I have no idea how this works, but try it. Amazing I tell you! My question is...who is the incredible math nerd who figures this stuff out?

Yesterday hubs called blonde rascal out to the garage. Then blonde rascal called me into the show me the SNAKE in the garage. Nice. I have a big problem with that. I mean sure I respect snakes in the wild, in their domain, but they really need to stay in the wild. It is just too much for me to take having them cross the line into MY domain.

Once we amassed all of the proper snake handling tools, it was down to snake eradicating business. Me with my camera, standing very far away from the action.

Hubs, armed with blonde rascal's....

...jr. golf clubs.

And most importantly, blonde rascal ready for battle with his bb gun and...
...a Clint Eastwood worthy scowl.

It was only a Bull Snake. They are "good snakes" because they eat other varmint pests. But let's be honest...a snake is a snake. Poisonous or not, big or small, makes no difference. They are freaky. They don't belong anywhere near my house.

Hubs then moves on to the next step in the removal, which involves the...
...pooper scooper.

Our (I use "our" loosely as my only involvement was in the photo taking) intent was to simply move the snake into the pasture. However once it was pooper scooped into the pasture, it came back......and it was pissed!

So we called in special forces......and mr. snake was a problem no more.

(Mary this is reason #1 why you let the males in your house have a bb gun!!)

My boy plays HARD all day and into the night. He is outside for 14 hours a day and in that time he will be sweaty, muddy, wet, bloody, covered in dirt and totally cute. So for the remainder of the summer any picture you see of him will be in his sanctioned "play" clothes which are all stained, have at least one hole and will be mismatched. Just so you know!

I survived church camp. It was fun, really fun. Who knew little girls were SO chatty and SO giggly? This was all foreign to me. Anyway, blonde rascal loved every minute of it and can't wait for next year.

I have to go put on my yard boy clothes and mow the yard...but I will leave you with pictures of the cutest kitten EVER.

I have mentioned that all 3 of our barn cats got knocked up by the neighborhood tom cat. Our neighbors took 7 of the kittens for their barn, praise God. The last litter was born around the 2nd week of May. We think there were 3 kittens born but only one made it. And that one is totally adorable...The kids named her Princess Oreo because the top of her head looks like an Oreo!

She is so cute and fat, she totally waddles when she walks. Just like the kittens in "The Aristrocats"
Since she is the only kitten drinking her mama's milk, she has a plump round belly. She really is painfully cute, but she comes by it naturally. Her mama Sandy is quite pretty...Pretty or not, Sandy is going to have to take it up a notch when it comes to catching snakes. We cannot have slackers on the ranch. Well, besides me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wish me luck!

Blonde rascal and I leave for church camp in the morning. Yes, I am going as a counselor. Which is really a code name for overprotective mother who was looking for an excuse to go because she couldn't stand to send her 8 year old to camp in New Mexico by himself!! But whatever the reason behind it, I am now questioning my sanity! A cabin full of grade school girls....I foresee large doses of Tylenol for me and Benadryl at about 7:30pm for them every night!!

Church camp is one of my fondest childhood and early teen memories, so I will do whatever it takes for blonde rascal to go... EVEN if it means my silly mother hen self going too! Hopefully by the time he is 17 I will be ok with him going by himself. We will have a blast no doubt, I will just probably not get the amount of sleep I prefer.

This week was busy. B.R. had swim lessons, I had block of the month and all the prepping for camp and for the Father's Day celebration today. We did manage to fit in a few trips to the pool and going to see Kung Fu Panda. After camp, all the big events for the summer are done! It is all lazy summer days from then on! Yipee!

I hope everyone had a great Father's Day. I am thankful for my dear Dad, who is as good as they get AND for dear hubs who is a fantastic father to our boys.

So I will be back Friday...assuming I live through a week of giggling girls!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

San Diego: part 2

Thursday was "Family Day" on the base. (The proper name is Marine Corps Recruit Depot a.k.a. case anonymous is reading again!!!)

We arrived at MCRD bright and early, about 6:30am. To get on base we had to each show our ID and get out of the car while some brawny Marine searched the car. In case one was up to no good, there was a Marine standing off to the side with some sort of rocket launching weapon strapped to his chest. I considered taking a picture of him...but then decided it would be best not to jack with him.

We would not be able to physically get to our Marine until like 1:00. We arrived so early so we could eat breakfast and wander around. Not to mention it was crowded with 1,000's of family members there. I believe they graduated 350 or so recruits. Our recruit alone had 12 family members there to see multiply that times 350!

We park the car and start walking to the restaurant when we notice they are practicing for graduation. Whoa! We see platoon 1002. That is our boy!!! Wait....they all look alike! I zoomed in with the video camera and found him. Our first sight of him in 3 months. I wanted to squeal and yell his name! I decided against it. I feared being body slammed by a DI. Normally that would not scare me, but with us being on vacation and all, eating too much and not working out all week...I was not on top of my game.

The Sergeant's orchestrating the whole thing had all of us silly parents hyped up and screaming and we had to yell "Yes Sir" when they asked us something. It was exhausting. So the first official view of him was during the "motivational run" which started at 10:00. They made 20,000 parents stand behind ropes waiting to see their boy. The Marine drew us a picture of where he would be standing so we knew exactly where to wait. Anyway, then we hear the platoons coming, running to a cadence lead by their DI. It made the hairs stand up on my arms! Here he comes!
They stopped and there was some hollering/grunting of orders and they turned around to face us. The place went nuts!
There was our Marine right smack dab in front of us! Look at those strapping young beefcakes. This would be the ideal hang out spot for girls in their early 20's! The Sergents told us to do whatever we could to try and make them smile. We were cheering and screaming and crying and whistling...but only the slightest flash of a twitch from the side of our Marine's mouth. He kept his "bearing" staring straight ahead and no smile.

Then they ran off. The parents were re-routed to another location, someone spoke to us, the Marines came back ending their run in front of us again. We screamed some more, the Marines ran off to shower, and the families went into an auditorium for more speeches, a movie and introduction of the DI's.

We left the auditorium and everyone scampered to the bleachers where Alpha Company would receive their liberty. The new Marines had from 1:00 to 6:00 to spend with their families.

We were all anxiously awaiting them......and by this time we had had just enough of the pomp and circumstance and wanted to hug our kid!!!

There was some more hoopla and then they were granted liberty..."SIR, YES SIR!"

Then there was a mass exodus from the stands as parents were biting, scratching and clawing their way to their kid!

Dad was first to reach the Marine and give him a bear hug. I was sniffling and taking pictures like the paparazzi on crack.
I do believe the Marine was glad to see us after spending 3 months with this scary character...

I just kept snapping pictures. I am sure had he not just endured 3 months of learning to be respectful at all times then he would have said "Mom STOP!"

But seriously, to see the formerly slouching, sloppy, hat cocked sideways teenager turned into......a man standing tall, clean cut, proud, dignified, polite and lean & mean was just downright shocking.

We spent the rest of the afternoon hearing all kind of great stories from his experience and just enjoying his company. It was weird to see him SOOO polite, saluting the brass and saying "good afternoon sir" to people. I went ahead and signed up the blonde rascal.

Of course as a mom, I had 2 questions for him: "Did you wear sunscreen and was it true when they told us the DIs could not physically touch you?" He did wear sunscreen (once) and I better not tell you the answer to the other question.

While walking around we got to see other newer platoons in the midst of their training. MCRD has graduations most every Friday, something like 42 a year. I never realized that many kids joined the military yearly. Anyway, as we saw some of the platoons still in training, I was hoping to see a DI in action ripping in to someone. Here comes a platoon now.......and yes right as they passed us some poor boy did something wrong and got a little piece of his ass chewed off! It was hilarious, but again I surmised that a photo at that moment might have been inappropriate.

So Friday morning we again arrived early, ate breakfast and then sat in the bleachers for a good hour waiting for graduation to begin. We were packed in like sardines.
There is our Marine's platoon waiting to receive their dismissal orders for 10 day leave. The orders came and the new Marines scattered!!!
Our Marine could NOT wait to get his bags and get the heck out of Dodge! The whole experience of being on the base was amazing. Being in the midst of the military who have sacrificed so much to serve their country was humbling. I am so proud to be an American. The pride, diligence, precision and love for country that those Marines displayed (as all branches do) was really awe inspiring. They deserve so much respect.

I joke about the DI's but really they have the most time consuming and difficult jobs. They are worthy of our respect because they relentlessly crank out polished Marines. We got to meet our Marine's DIs and we thanked them profusely for their dedication. AND thanked them for doing to our boy, in 3 months, what we couldn't do in 20 years!!!

We get in the car, drive off the base, ask the Marine what he wants for lunch...and he says McDonalds. To which we reply, we love you and everything but McDonald's is disgusting and we MUST introduce you to In-N-Out Burger!!!! Holy toledo that chain needs to expand! The west coast is hogging a gold mine!!! I had heard of it before because I read People...and celebrities love In-N-Out Burger. Paris Hilton drove drunk to In-N-Out Burger. I can't blame her. AND I believe it is also none other than Red Geranium Sharon who sings the praises of I-N-O B! Sharon is somewhat of a celebrity herself!!

Anyway, by all means if you ever come across I-N-O B while on the west coast, stop and eat! So we wolfed down a yummy burger and went back to the hotel so the Marine could get into civilian clothes for the 1st time in 3 months. He was so anxious to get off the base that we could not even take a graduation photo until we were back at the hotel.
He changed his clothes and got his hands on the one thing he had requested, in his letters, that we bring him. Can you guess what it was???

AGGGHHHHHH! The blasted cell phone! The teenager returns!

And there ends our San Diego adventure. Good bye beautiful San Diego!
It was a great place to visit, I would recommend adding it to your "to see" list! Whew, I am done forcing vacation photos on you. It will be much safer to come back tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

San Diego: part 1.

**WARNING*** Vacation photos ahead...enter at your own risk!!

We flew out last Saturday morning bright and early. Blonde rascal has not flown since he was a baby, which he naturally does not remember. Check out the WIDE eyes and lip biting as the wheels lifted off the ground.....
I was probably in violation of numerous F.A.A. codes by leaning forward in my seat and taking pictures during take-off. That's how I roll.

The excitement continued when we changed planes in Phoenix. There was a "security breach" and they would not let planes load or unload. While we sat in the airport the TSA wandered around looking at people. A few gnarly looking german shepherds made the rounds, then after about 30 minutes they let us board the plane. Nothing like sitting hostage in the airport wondering if the whole place might blow up...or if a nut job slipped by and was getting on our plane.

We arrive in freakin' gorgeous San Diego and go to lunch at a restaurant right on the bay overlooking the Coronado bridge.It was never above 70 degrees the whole week. You can just smell the flowers in the air. I am in love. We could not see the Marine until Thursday, which was family day, so we had most of the week to kill.

We piddled around after lunch and then drove to a beach. Here are hubs and b.r. frolicking in the ice water ocean.
B.R. was feeling a little triumphant about finally being on the beach.

Hubs was walking back up to where I was sitting and he stopped dead in his tracks. He said "My wedding ring just flew off and dropped in the sand." So we spent the next glorious 45 minutes digging in the sand.
"I said dig boy, DIG!!

Amazingly we found the ring, and just in time to see this....
On Sunday we went to....Yes we sure did. Did you know a day at Legoland about depleted blonde rascal's college fund? Holy smoke it was pricey...but fun. EVERY thing is made of Lego's.B.R. loved it.

The rock-n-roll marathon was also Sunday. The finish line was at the Marine base. That really bummed me out because had I known that 6 months ago, I probably would have done it.
We drove past a couple of spots on the route and saw people running. I was jealous.

On Monday we took a trolley tour of San Diego. Here is the hill where in "Top Gun" Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis raced up, he on his motorcycle and she in her Porche. After the trolley tour, we toured the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Midway.
I think blonde rascal was on the phone with the president calling in an air raid or something.

Tuesday morning bright and early the U.S.S. Nimitz was coming in from like 20 years of service in Japan and being de-commissioned or retiring or whatever you call it. It was way cool watching it come in to the bay.
All the sailors were lined around the edge of the deck in their white uniforms. It was so neat to see.

Tuesday afternoon my pesky brother-in-law Mark and his family arrived, as did MIL. We immediately headed to the beach on Coronado Island. Which, by the by, is not actually an island but a penisula. Who is the bozo who named it island, I wonder?

By the way if I ever win the lottery (which means I will have to at least start playing it) I will buy a house on Coronado. Something like this will do...

Blonde rascal was in hog heaven with his sweet cousin Madi to play with.
We found live Sand Dollars, which I can say I have never seen before.
This is the only effective way to stay warm on the beach....Blonde rascal and his cousin, who could be appropriately named red rascal!!!

On Weds. we spent the day with this big guy..."It never rains in southern Cal" is what they say. Unless you go to Sea World! It was like 63 degrees and misted off and on. We of course added to our misery by riding some white water rapid ride that totally soaked us! We were Popsicles.

In between all these photos we ate some wicked good seafood...and lots of ice cream too! It is what vacation is all about really.

Tomorrow I finish up with Thurs. and Friday on the base. It was the best part. Of course there are some things I could tell you, but I would have to kill you. Yes, I was privy to lots of military secrets while there.