Friday, August 28, 2009

Runnin' with the Bloods & Crips

I dusted off my running shoes this morning. I have not run since May. Mainly because I did not know where my running shoes were and/or our lives were such a crazy mess of moving and new business starting that I did not have time to do anything else.

Oh sweet burn, how I have missed it. Running makes my mind right. I eeeked out 2 miles this morning, sweating out 3 months of stress/turmoil/change. The glorious high of the toxins pouring out. It's good stuff I tell you.

Anywho...the treadmill is now in one of our barns. It was one of the last things to move from our old house. It is so ridiculously heavy and awkward, that I decided it would be easier to dump it in the barn rather than painfully schlepping it through the house into one of the guest rooms.

Ideally of course, I would like to run outside, on the roads around our house, but I need to build some stamina back up. I would be embarassed for a farmer to find me sprawled out in the grass on the side of the road, sucking wind.

So in the meantime I will be running in the barn. Granted it is an insulated barn so it is not as archaic as it sounds.
And I do have a cool view....Well really that was a selective shot of the view. It was actually a little more depressing...

The one lone remaining trailer load of junk from the old house to unload. Ugh.

This barn is also where our former house cats now reside. You see, I decided that I was done with cat hair on every surface AND since we got little Missy love...the cats had determined that any elevated location (kitchen counter and dining room table) was a better option than being pestered by the mini doxie. I was SO done with all that. So they were relocated to the barn.

This morning when I innocently decided it was time to begin running on the treadmill again, I had no idea that a gangsta style turf war would ensue. Bloods and Crips type stuff.

It involved the indoor barn/former house cats....
Val, who was yawning, and is always gloriously grumpy....and

Jingles, who I dare say is still pissed that he is no longer a house cat.

We'll say they are the Crips or more appropriately in this case....The Crankies.

The Crankies who lived a quiet peaceful existence in the barn, until this morning when I raised the overhead door and let the rift raft in.

The Bloods...or The Bozos as it were. Enter this motely crew, the 3 amigos, an unlikely band of friends.....
1. Bianca, the ever loyal, kindest Border Collie around.

2. Missy the goof ball, boss of everyone, getting her morning roll like a hog routine out of the way.

3. Lastly, A.J. One of the wild kittens we adopted from the pound to roam our property, keeping it free from vermin. Only instead of remaining wild, A.J. is a little sugar lump. Hangs out on the back porch getting love from the humans and strangely enough bonding with Bianca and Missy.

I got on the treadmill and had to blast my i-Pod so I could hear over the Crankies vs. Bozos who had created a mad house of running, jumping, hissing, barking. Thankfully after about 6 minutes they got tired of all that nonsense and the Bozos went back outside to find some trouble elsewhere. Sheesh.

After my run, I plopped on the porch and drank coffee. Bliss.
P.S. Thanks for all of the kind words and support of our soldiers! I appreciate it!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heavy Heart

Our Marine left for Iraq today. Hubs flew to NC to see him off. I was just sick that I could not be there too, but I needed to be home to get blonde rascal situated in his new school.

Hubs sent a few pics that he took this morning with his phone...

Our Marine is the handsome smiling one on the far right! Wow, look at those young faces...those faces will be protecting us a world away while we sleep peacefully at night.

Here he is (in the middle) before they all got on buses that would take them to Cherry Point, NC where they would board a plane headed to Germany (we think) and then Iraq.


I have fought the lump in my throat and tears welling in my eyes all day.

I talked to him last night to tell him bye. I told myself that I would be strong and not cry....but I turned into a blubbering, sniffling, snotty mess at the end of the call.

You may have jumped 3 feet when you opened my blog and some righteous rock & roll came blasting out at you! Sorry. (If it is too loud you are too old just turn your volume down for crying out loud) The fact is am a fan of My Hero by the Foo Fighters. Last night when I got into bed, I reflected on the fact that I had evidently had bought the cheapest alarm clock available, because it is only a radio buzzer option. This was never an issue... until we moved exactly 15 miles from nowhere and there is no radio reception. Whenever I have had to set my alarm this summer, I have set it to "static" as that is my only option. Back to last night, I turned on the alarm to set it to some static...when loud and clear came "Hero" through the speaker.

When our hero joined the Marines a year & a half ago, I knew this day would eventually come.

There have been thousands one or two times through the years that I have wanted to strangle him with my bare hands....that is my prerogative as a mom. But I don't want anyone or anything else to harm him.

I am vacillating emotionally between scared and proud. Thankfully, I have my faith in God and confidence in the training he has received to soothe my fears.

And pride? Please, my buttons are bursting with pride. Nothing is as noble as serving your country in my opinion.

We are now looking forward to getting emails, pictures and phone calls from him. And sending him packages chocked full of any and all goodies that he wants. And counting down the months until his feet are back on U.S. soil.

Monday, August 24, 2009

1st Day

Summer abruptly came to a halt this morning. It was interrupted by the first day of fourth grade.

Blonde rascal was being disagreeable and not wanting to smile for the camera before we left for school. I think he was still asleep...he could hardly stay awake for breakfast.

Until I told him I would ground him for 2.5 years unless he smiled....then I got the ultra cheesy smile....

So off we went to a new school, in a new town. We waltzed into his classroom, blonde rascal cool as a cucumber. No fear. His teacher was perfect. Super nice and outgoing, welcomed him right in.

I left him, got into the car...and cried a few tears. A bundle of Mommy emotions came can he be in 4th grade already, I hope he makes friends, is he nervous....

I went back for lunch. It is a tradition that the school board grills burgers for all the kids and parents on the first day. Benefit of going to a tiny school! He was playing with the kids and interacting like he had been there for years.

Thank you Jesus!

On the way home from school I was asking him about his day. He told me all about it and then said "I like it better than Bennett" ....which is his previous school that we loved with all our hearts. Of course his reasoning behind liking his new school better was that he felt like the classes were shorter (they switch rooms for some classes) AND they could take their shoes off after lunch! Whatever the reasoning, I was so elated and thrilled that he liked it.

I started off the new year by kissing up to the teacher....

A cute chalkboard glass from Pier One, that was ridiculously affordable at like $3, and some sunflowers.

To cheer ourselves up with the first day of school looming, I made this cake yesterday.
I got the recipe from Meg's blog. I big puffy heart her blog!

It was time consuming....lots of dishes to do. But it is so fun to look at and yummy too!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Summer always flies by....but seriously THIS summer flew at warp speed. Moving to a small town and starting our own business was definitely the #1 time drain on our summer. Not the usual fun and frolic of most summers, but busy and productive.

We close on our house tomorrow morning. Amen. Then Tuesday morning blonde rascal and I leave for Houston to visit my parents for a few days. Houston in August = constant sweat....lovely!

We have enjoyed our new house and our new town. The car business has been busy, a total blessing. The people we have met have been very nice. Lots of genuine, good people, very down to earth....I like that. We found a church we like. I got a local haircut and color.... and very much liked it! Yay! AND it was $40 cheaper than my big city cuts!

Our summer in a nutshell...The guys did some of this. Yawn.....

I have much more fun concentrating on these schmucks.....
There used to be a certain thrill of the shoot, photographing the steers. Wondering if I would irritate them and they would try to gore me. Now, they just ignore me and my lens.

As you know, the marine was here for a week...Sadly these are the only pictures I have of him, from the night he arrived. My camera battery died....and my charger and extra battery were in our old house. Tragic really, because I feel like I have lost an arm without my precious around. Thankfully, a trip back to the old house and I was back in business!

We were so glad to have him home...but he quickly wore out his welcome. He is SO financially irresponsible. Even worse than that, in total denial of it all and refuses to accept any accountability for it. We have held his hand (enabled) long enough...and it all came to a head. Dear parents out there in blog land....learn from our mistake and start teaching/enforcing financial responsibility to your young 'uns at an early age! He is a good kid with a lot of potential...just a LOT of growing up still to be done.

Add to the drama that ensued while he was here, the fact that 9 year old blonde rascal absorbs all of the things that his 21 year old marine brother talks about. So while the marine was here I felt like I was CONstantly reprimanding b.r. for calling things and people stupid and talking about blowing up things and shooting people....ugh. Wore me OUT I tell you.

He leaves for Iraq somewhere between August 26-29th. It is a very scary yet proud moment for us. God bless the men and women who willingly fight for our country. Blonde rascal starts school on the 24th. I won't leave him while he is starting a new school in a new town hubs will be going to North Carolina to see the marine off. I HATE to miss that...but you can't be two places at once.

So, school for blonde rascal. Now this is a story. Our address is Snyder, but we are technically in a small, small ISD. An ISD that I have never heard anything really great about. Before we bought this house I went to the Snyder administration office and inquired about transferring into the district. They said not a problem, never had to turn a transfer down. The elementary school is just 2 years old and was built larger than needed.

Monday was registration for new students so we went and registered at the school and they then told us to go over to the admin. bldg. to fill out the transfer paperwork.

At the admin. bldg. I cheerily announced that we were there to fill out paperwork for a transfer. To which the sweet secretary to the superintendent, whom I had spoken with when I was there in the spring, replied "We are not taking transfers, the school is full". I was speechless....jaw hit the floor.....eyes welled up with tears....."whaaaaat???"

SO...l-o-n-g story short, we have been accepted as a transfer to a different ISD about 10 miles to the west of Snyder. Another small....I said SMALL...ISD. However, this one came highly, highly recommended by everyone I grilled about it...strangers, the bank president, teachers, friends, cashiers at the gas station, our real estate agent....everyone I came across. 52% of this school's students are transfers from Snyder. In fact in talking to friends from Lubbock, who knew about this school district, had only stellar things to say about it.

We visited the school and actually really liked it AND felt a great amount of peace about it. God is good....funny....but good! When I was near hysterics when this all went down last Monday, hubs kept telling me that this is all a part of God's plan. God has had his hand in this move and new life adventure...why would it be any different for blonde rascal's school???

It is just weird for me, the Houston girl who graduated with 850 people. Blonde rascal's school in Lubbock had like 1,000 kids in it. Now, now his graduating class will have 17 kids. WOW. Not bad, just different. Looking back though, 2 of my college roommates were from very small towns. They were more dedicated to academics and much better behaved than....uhhhhh.... me and all of the other big city kids I hung around with. Anyway....go Ira Bulldogs!

In a entirely different story of my lunacy.......this summer, is how I eradicated 99% of the points of entry for scorpions into our house. Yep, I wasn't taking that one lying down. No sir, mama took matters into her own hands. In a nutshell it involved window screen and caulk. The people at the hardware store are entertained by my dedication (or irrational fears as it may be) and my best friend the pest control man wants me to come to work for him.

We adopted 9 cats, who were on death row at the pound.Barn cats, that is. Good stuff, they are cute and they keep the mice/snake population at bay. By the way we have not seen a rattlesnake ALL summer. God knew that I was too fragile in my scorpion neurosis to be able to deal with venomous snakes. However, last week while driving about 1/2 a mile from our house I did run over a rattlesnake on the road. Intentionally ran over. But that is the first and hopefully the last one I have seen.

I have had a few moments of fun with Craigslist finds.......and spray paint. I'll show the "after" soon.

Blonde rascal has been an absolute gem this summer. He had a buddy from Lubbock come down to spend the night last week.They had a fabulous time. He has had to spend a lot of time at the office with us, but has just rolled with the flow and not complained. He is turning out to be quite the car salesman and gets paid for cleaning the office.

Since the birth of the car business I said that I would help out in the office such as run errands, make copies, etc... But there was NO way I was getting involved in the financial nightmare of it all. Well hubs and his business partner have been going along great guns since the end of May when they opened for business...selling cars...but not doing any bookkeeping.

I decided that I would eat my words and do it for them...or else it would NEVER get done and hubs would have a heart attack from all the stress sooner or later. So I am the official book keeper now. All I have to say is that I am NOT the bookkeeper type and I must give a shout out to Quick Books and to my pesky brother-in-law Mark who has been an invaluable help to us getting the books set up. Which once I get caught up from the first 2 months of business, it probably will only require a matter of a few hours from me weekly. No big deal.

I quit my last official job, when blonde rascal was born, 9 years ago!! I have a whole new respect for working moms. The house is a MESS (a lot of that has to do with unloading the final loads from our old house), we have very few groceries and I have NO desire to cook after working!!! I tip my hat to all of "us" working moms! I have to count my blessings though, because I decide my own working hours and come and go from the office as I please, with the only obvious downside being no paycheck. Ack!

Despite all of the crazy busy nutty stuff, we still had our moments of summer bliss....lots of swimming, trips to the snow cone place, adventures exploring our new area....loving being together as a family.

Whew... that was a lot of babble coming from me. Now I am caught up and hopefully can get back to more concise, meaningful, worthy, fulfilling blog posts. Bah!!