Saturday, August 30, 2008

I pine for you, Pearl....


Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Pearl. She is what I lovingly wanted to refer to as my "midlife crisis car". I had visions of Pearl and I whipping around smalltownland with the sunroof open and the windows down. My hair gently flowing in the breeze. But, alas, it was not meant to be. I missed out on the winning bid on e-bay. I am heartbroken. But, don't worry Pearl. I am going to find your sister out there somewhere and buy her.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'll always remember Paris....

Once upon a time, in a lifetime far, far, away.....Secret Agent Man and I took a vacation without the offspring. It remains for me a fond, yet distant memory. Mr. B and Babs (my mom and dad) came to stay in smalltownland and took loving care of Toots and the Deerslayer. Secret Agent Man and I hiked in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. We saw many beautiful sunsets, ate at fine restaurants, and did not listen to whining/crying/complaining/. It was all s'wonderful.

However, while we were away Mr. B was hard at work in smalltownland. You see, he can be quite the prankster. He enjoys many jokes that other people don't always find funny. While in the local grocery store he ran into a "relative". (See post below concerning relatives/rules) This relative actually has the colorful nickname of "Whistle". This is not because he can just whistle....the man can play music on an air drill. No....I am not lying. He is quite famous in our small town. Well, Whistle asked Mr. B why he was in town and Mr. B proceeded to tell him ALL about our vacation. Except that Mr. B told Whistle that we had gone to PARIS. And, apparently, went on and on with many details about our travels IN PARIS.

So, a few weeks later I am at a church dinner. It is very crowded and seating is limited. I am balancing a paper plate loaded with church lady goodness. I plop myself down and it is literally elbow to elbow at this table. I look to my right and my elbow is touching WHISTLE! Yikes, he was not the tablemate I was looking for. Before I can jump up and run away Whistle says, "How was your trip to Paris?" I, unaware of what Mr. B had been up to, was quite puzzled. I explained where we had gone and then Whistle let me know where he got his information.

I called Mr. B later that night. He was laughing so hard he could barely speak into the phone. I have no doubt that tears were rolling down his cheeks. Is it any wonder that I don't feel bad about posting pictures of my dad, on this blog, of him wearing women's wigs?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I've been tagged!


My friend and partner in crime, Southern Fried Momma, has tagged me. So, now all five of you, my loyal readers, are about to learn things about me that you never knew...
1. I love chickens. Please don't ask me why. I really don't know. This love affair started a few years ago and now I have chickens of my own. I used to call them, "my girls", but now a couple of roosters reside with us.
2. I have been aboard a nuclear submarine. Yes, for real. I was able to check out the whole inner workings of the sub, including the kitchen, torpedo area, the periscope, and the bunks. Several hunky, fine sailor men helped me climb up and down those tiny ladders. They also made sure I did not fall into the water while walking along the top of the sub. *sigh* Yes, Secret Agent Man was with me, but he was so immersed in the whole operation that Bigfoot could have been helping me along and he wouldn't have noticed.
3. I have a Jack Russell that sleeps with me everynight. This might not sound so unusual, except when I tell you that she lays her head on the pillow and wiggles her body under the covers. This is all fine and good while Secret Agent Man is away for a couple of weeks, but the dog gets perturbed when he comes back home to reclaim his side of the bed.
4. After I was born my family moved to England, where we lived for five years. When we came back to the states my mom (Babs) tells me that I had a cute, English accent.
5. Once, while I was backing my mom's car out of the driveway, I ran right into my dad's car parked in the street. Yes, both cars were damaged and yes, both parents were ticked. I hope my kids don't do this....
6. When I was a little girl I liked to play "hotel". I would put a bobby pin on a silver chain and go around the house "unlocking" doors". Decoded: I would stick the bobby pin in outlets. Yes, people it ended up shocking the living daylights out of me. All Babs had to say was, " I told you so..." However, I know I have the incident to thank for my super powers. SHAZAM!
7. I like to read more than one book at a time. It depends on the day as to what I am in the mood to read, so I keep several going at one time. This is where my super powers come in handy.
8. I am ever so slightly obsessed with real estate. I love checking the listings, buying properties, (Secret Agent Man is really tired of this), and scoping out historic properties.
9. I have a graduate degree from college, but cannot play a card game to save my life. I love board games, etc...but, playing cards totally confuses me. Don't ask me why. My super powers don't help....
10. I have had the pleasure of seeing Lawrence Welk in concert! Yes! While living in North Dakota (really) my family attended the Norwegian festival held in Minot each year. Mr. Welk happened to strike up his accordian while we were stuffing our faces. The food was awesome, but that Polka stuff can really wear you down...
Thanks to Southern Fried Momma for the tag and check her out on my sidebar. I know that each and everyone of you feel so much more informed.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Recipe time


It is finally time for me to post a recipe. And, although I have a lovely picture of my garden here.....nothing in this recipe comes from a garden.
This recipe is a tried and true hit. It doesn't matter if I take it to a potluck dinner or make it for guests, it always turns out great. It only takes a few ingredients and it is inexpensive.
Let's begin....
Chocolate Eclair Cake
2 packages instant French vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 8oz. container of cool whip
1 box graham crackers
1 container chocolate frosting
Butter a 13x9 inch cake pan or dish. Line the bottom with crackers. Mix pudding and milk and cool whip in seperate bowl. Alternate crackers and the pudding mix in the dish. Finish off pudding mix with one layer of graham crackers. Heat chocolate frosting for a minute to soften the frosting. Spread over cracker layer. Refrigerate for a couple of hours...at least.
When cold, spoon out and enjoy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rules for small town living

Today we are going to talk about some rules for living in a small town. I bet you are thinking, how complicated can it be? A limited population, no traffic, and a life of peaceful, simplicity.....HA! It is not simple and rarely peaceful. Let's begin...shall we?
1. When you arrive, assume that everyone is your relative. Now, I know what you have heard about the word, assume. However, the dictionary states that assume means: to think something is true without proof. Just this once, assume everyone is related to you in some form or fashion. It will save you unmentionable trouble and humiliation. This means the unshaven, half naked man at the gas station, the crazy gentlemen at the grocery store checkout who asks you how your trip to Paris was, and the man who plays songs on his air drill....in public. (no lie) Yes, they are all related to you. They will tell you that they are and unfortunately it is likely true.
2. Big deals are made at the local beauty shop. And, I am talking about all financial and real estate deals. I know this to be true because I have heard it happen and it happened to me. I sold a house strictly by word of mouth at the beauty shop. I was quite taken aback by this when I first moved here. I mean...who wheels and deals at the beauty shop? Everyone in smalltownland. Respect the power of the beauty shop.
3. Never think that you can just "run in and out" at the grocery store. You will always see someone you know. This includes crazy relatives asking about your trip to Paris. You must learn to confront the situation head on and make the conversation brief. Because, there will be conversation. It is expected. And don't think you can get away with hiding out in the feminine hygiene protection aisle. Small town groceries are notoriously small.
4. People will know you by association. If, by the smallest chance, you are not related to a person, they will associate you with one of your relatives that they know. This is a very common practice. Since you cannot choose your relatives, you must pray hard that you have ended up with some good ones. Because, like it or not, people will know you...because of them.
5. Do not speed, write a cold check, toilet paper a tree, etc..... Why, you ask? Because your name will end up in the weekly newspaper, a.k.a. the local fishwrapper. Your name, age, and address, along with the details of your heinous crime, will be revealed for all of smalltownland to read. I would like to say that I have not personally been listed in the crime events section....yet. However, I read this column each week to see how many people I know.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief, yet informative, post. I would like to entitle this: Rules Part I, because you know there are only more to come.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

They're gonna put me in the movies....

This is Star. You know, as in "I'm gonna be a big star someday". NOT as in, I am Star Jones kind of crazy.
Star competed this past weekend in the Coca Cola Talent Classic at our State Fair. Because, you know, she is that talented.

Star sings AND plays the guitar.....at the same time! She did a fabulous job and we are all so proud of her. We all know that one day, when she is famous, she will reward us (her groupies) with free, front seat tickets to her concerts. Along with all of the new cars and houses that she doesn't want anymore. And, all of that awesome makeup and wardrobe that she doesn't want anymore ....just for me.

Star, we love you and are so proud of you. Please forgive this fuzzy last picture. Secret Agent Man was in charge of the camera....that should explain it all.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dear Maw

Dear Maw,

I just wanted to write you a note and let you know that all is well. The Deerslayer is taking really good care of me and introducing me to all of his soldier friends. One of them even offered to lift my skirt when I was crossing a puddle, but I declined. Although he was rather gentlemanly, he was also rather rank as the men in camp rarely bathe. Pity.

My days are full of gathering and preparing food. We already have a squirrel in the pot for tonight's supper. There are a few other ladies here and all seem quite nice. All except for Constance, who put a Opossum in my tent. Her delicate features belie her manly ways. But not to worry, I set her skirt on fire when we were cooking. I told her, in my most genteel manner, that it was an accident. She believed me. Maw, you taught me well....

I must go now. Since Jefferson bathed today, I shall let him accompany me on my walk.

Your beloved daughter,
Toots

Saturday, August 16, 2008

State Fair Time :)


People, it's state fair time and you know what this means.....FOOD ON A STICK! One of the most wondrous of all inventions of modern man. This means eating WITH mobility and I don't have to cut anyone's food.


Today we took in all of the sights, sounds and sometimes smells, of our great state fair. This meant some serious silliness on carnival rides.


Fawning over the cutest farm animals that we have ever seen. And, might I say the CLEANEST....I mean, I don't think my children are as clean as this pristine white goat.


There were lots of giant guitars to play, tidy tacos to eat, and some whining to listen to. So....when that got to be too much, we took off to our great farm way, way, way out yonder.


And, we took a hot tip from this duck and went to bed.

The End

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's a show in the sky here, everynight

I send Two Sunsets --
Day and I -- in competition ran --
I finished Two -- and several Stars --
While He -- was making One --


His own was ampler -- but as I

Was saying to a friend --

Mine -- is the more convenient

To Carry in the Hand --

by Emily Dickinson


I hope you enjoyed the photos of the sun setting at our farm. Living out in the middle of nowhere can have its advantages.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Darth is in the henhouse.....

Luke....I am your father.....

What's your name?

Here in Smalltownland things are pretty traditional. People value family and knowing one another. People still bring food to your house when a family member passes and will come and harvest your crop if you are too sick to do so yourself. Tradition carries over to the next generation, with manners and ideals being passed along. And, if you are lucky enough, you might even have a traditional name that has been passed through your family.

Toots and the Deerslayer go to school with some wonderful children and some very interesting children. But, the one thing that set these kids apart are their names. Now, in the big city names like Tiffany and Ryan might be the most popular. But....not necessarily around here. Here are a few of the more common/traditional names of children in Smalltownland:

Sharon
Adelia
Faye
Sylvia
Sedrick
Ortella
Annis
Frederick
Ivy

What are some of the more interesting names in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Specialized engineering

The chicken ladies are growing in fabulous form....as you can see. Although, I am not quite sure how THEY can see.



This weekend Secret Agent Man helped me to get their outside pen finished. We have had some problems in the barn (yes, I mean you, Mr. Raccoon) and they have been leading a little bit of a secluded life.


They are now frolicking out and about and loving every minute of it. Secret Agent Man is soooo fabulous that he used his incredibly specialized engineering techniques to finish the pen. The beauty of it all is more than I could have hoped for.



Saturday, August 9, 2008

Woooo! It's Party Time!!!



Brace yourselves people! We are drinking 2% milk at our house tonight!! Wooohoooo! The offspring don't know what to think of it all that milky, creamy, fatty goodness. After making the 20 minute roundtrip to our nearest store I came home with this gem. It was all they had in stock. Secret Agent Man was horrified that I actually paid money for this. He will not be partaking in the milk consumption, but not to worry....I will be drinking his share.

Heirloom watermelon


We finally picked our first watermelon of the season. The garden got put in the ground a little later than usual this spring, so we are now reaping some of the benefits. We grew some Moon & Stars Heirloom watermelons this year. They are so named because of the one large yellow dot on the surface with smaller dots scattered around it. We did choose the yellow variety and it is excellent. Most of the flowers/vegetables we are growing this year are of the heirloom variety. If you are interested in heirloom seeds, check out this website:

http://www.bakercreekheirloomseeds.com

Monday, August 4, 2008

Say hello to my little friend....


The offspring and I went on a little journey to a softball tournament this weekend. And, to help direct us I bought a Garmin Navigational Unit. I have lovingly named her, Carmen. She led me directly to my destination and to many other impromptu destinations throughout our weekend. It was all so wonderful....no getting lost, no asking for directions. Carmen is my new best friend. Why, you are wondering, have I designated this unit as a female? How do I instinctly know she is a WOMAN?




1. She is sleek, stylish, and beautiful.


2. She is not afraid to take charge.


3. She always knows where she is going.


4. She is not afriad to tell you where to get off...er...on an exit I mean.




Oh Carmen, I love you.....

Friday, August 1, 2008

A coconut boat....

The kids found Mr. Frog here, swimming along IN OUR POOL! So, the Deerslayer decided to make the poor creature a boat....out of a coconut shell.
Actually, Mr. Frog seemed to like it quite a bit and the offspring pushed him around the pool for a while. Until, he hopped out and swam around like he owned the place.