Friday, September 28, 2012

Parents Night

Last night was parents night at WE's cross country meet.  It was beautiful weather, the kids all ran great (except for Kyle, we'll get to that later) and there were 8 different schools there and a ton of kids.  I had a harder time finding a parking space for that than I do for going to a Friday night football game.  WE ran hard and broke his personal record by a minute and 10 seconds, which is pretty amazing.  Another girl got the 9th all time high score in our schools history.  It was a pretty great night.  Then came the parents night part, where they announce the kids, then introduce their parents and call them up for their athlete to give them a flower. I got an orange carnation with a black ribbon tied around the stem, it looked a bit funeral, but black and orange are the school colors.  Last year I bought some clearance Halloween stuff in November and told Angel #4 it was school gear - she didn't fall for it.  WE's coach was getting all the kids parents names down so he could announce us and WE told him my name was Fluffy Bunny - thankfully, coach knew better and didn't announce me that way.  Coach is on to WE's little tricks.  A couple weeks ago, WE was trying to get out of having to practice by saying he had a concussion.  He staggered around and kept calling the coach Coach Dad.  Coach didn't fall for that one either.   And talk about concussions, that's why Kyle couldn't run last night, he got a concussion during practice - horsing around and wrestling with the one of the guys.  This is the second concussion in cross country this fall, the other kid got in a car accident on the way to practice.  I almost think football would be a less dangerous sport. :p

I got about a dozen quarts of apple pie filling canned up today.  I love canning food, it's a sick addiction.  At least we've got something to eat after I give in to the addiction, which is more than you can say for a stamp collection or Precious Moments figurines.

Thanks Afton, I think WE and his girlfriend are a cute couple.  He does good as a boyfriend, he drives her nuts, then does something sweet or romantic just in time to save his butt.  It's a talent he learned from his father, I think.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

winter is creeping in

It was a gorgeous day today.  I got most of the potatoes dug, just a short row left.  I want to get it done while the weather is nice, because it sure isn't going to late.  As much as I hated doing it, I turned the furnace on a couple days ago.  Some people make it a personal challenge to see how far into fall/winter they can go before turning on the heat, but the way I look at it, this is my house, darn it, and I'm not going to freeze my butt off in it if I don't have to.  A home is supposed to be a comfortable place, not someplace where you perform some bizarre freeze your hiney off challenge.  My house has no business being 60 degrees inside and I"ll do whatever it takes to bump up the temps.

The leaves are also starting to change color and our first frost a week or so ago wiped out what was left in the garden.  All that's left now is to hunker down and wait for the freeze to begin.  Yuck

Jeanie, it wasn't so much all the Packer jerseys that surprised me as the surreal feeling I got as I wandered around the store noticing that everyone was dressed the same way.  It was like Rod Serling was out buying some Sam's Choice cola and Great Choice mac n cheese or something.

Hubs finally comes home from Hawaii/Texas tonight.  He left on Sept 7 with Angel #2 to drive to Texas, was home for one day - long enough to butcher chickens - then flew off to Hawaii with a side trip to do some business in Austin, TX on his way home.  We haven't seen much of him lately, I hope I still recognize him when I get to the airport tonight.  It'll be nice to have him back, he hasn't been to one of Angel #4's volley ball games yet this year and it's parents night on Thursday for cross country.  It gets lonely being the only grown-up in the house sometimes.  Though sometimes it may be a bit of a stretch calling him a grown-up, but that's why I love the guy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The people of Walmart

I HOPE there's a Packer game tonight, otherwise, everyone at my local Walmart did one of those middle school things where they all planned on wearing the same thing on the same day.  I noticed it as I was walking down the aisle and there were 2 women in packer jersey's coming at me, I turned my head to the left and there was another one, a right turn revealed 2 more.  ACKK!  I was surrounded by female Aaron Rogers'!!!!  After that, I noticed that about every other person was wearing some sort of Packer gear, yep, definitely a conspiracy.  FYI, I or anyone in my immediate family, don't own a single stitch of Green Bay Packer apparel and I don't think any of us plan to.  It's not that we're anti-Packer, we're just not interested in the NFL in general.

WE had a great time at the homecoming dance.  Due to a gastronomical conflict, he and his girlfriend didn't eat out together, they kind of did it in tandem.  The tradition at their school for big school dances is that the kids from each grade go to the same place for dinner before the dance.  Since it's a small school, that usually means only about 35 kids each grade.  There's a bit of crossover for those who date out of their grade level, but for the most part, that's the way things go.  Well, one Junior girl who likes to be in charge, made reservations someplace and told everyone that's where they were going.  WE didn't really care where he ate, but doesn't really like the bossy take charge girl, so he announced on facebook that he wanted to eat at Taco Bell instead.  Turns out a lot of other kids felt the same way and there was an out and out south of the border rebellion, like the Alamo...except it was in Wisconsin...and Davy Crockett wasn't there...and nobody died, but other than that, yeah.  So bossy girl cancelled the dinner reservations, but refused to go to Taco Bell.  So, she and others who didn't think it was a good idea to go dancing after chowing down on bean burritos, ate at Culver's instead...including WE's girlfriend.  The two restaurants are right across the street from each other, so afterwards, everyone met up and headed to the dance together.  And the good news is, because of the crappy weather, there wasn't a toiler paperer in sight on Friday or Saturday night, so my yard is pleasantly, toilet paper free.

Friday, September 21, 2012

my daughter, the druggie

Angel #2 started work yesterday.  She's going to be working the night shift at a veterinary hospital, but at the moment, she's doing a couple different shifts to get the feel of things.  She said it's a pretty big hospital with lots of employees.  The only snag in the whole thing is she had to take a drug test and failed.  Either she didn't study for it hard enough, or all the medication she was taking for the cold she has showed up in the test.  She was a bit surprised to see that she tested positive for meth - but since cold medicine is one of the ingredients, I guess it makes sense.  She said they're going to further test to it determine if it's the meds or street meth, though I hardly think someone on street meth is going to be ambitious enough to move all the way across the country and fill out a gazillion job applications in one week's time, so my money is on the Nyquil.

The TPers hit our house again last night.  We got hit on Tuesday night, but there was such a strong wind all day Wednesday that all evidence was blown away. Last night, Angel #4 was ready the invasion and was hiding out on the back porch.  She gave them a few minutes to do some decorating, then opened the door and yelled, "go get'em Diesel!"  The dog shot out of the house then stood in the middle of the driveway for a few seconds, trying to figure out what he was supposed to be doing, then he spotted the toilet paper wielding teenagers in the yard, let out a volley of barks and gave chase.  There were kids running all over the place while Angel #4 rolled with laughter.  She called the dog back in the house and Diesel got a hero's welcome for saving us from the perils of papering.  I've got the feeling they'll be back in full force tonight after the football game  to finish the job.

Jeanie, by the time we were done butchering, we were all so sick of chickens that I don't know when we'll even want to start eating them.  I know it sounds disgusting, but we threw the necks and  some other stuff right into the chicken pen for the layer chickens to polish off.  Yeah, we've got cannibal chickens.  I think from now on, instead of calling it the barn, I'll just call it the Donner Camp.  To balance out their food pyramid, I'm also cleaning out the garden and throwing all the left over veggies out to them as well.  There are probably thousands of people who would love a bushel of tomatoes, but since I don't know who they are, the chickens are getting them instead.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

cluck cluck clu-

Yep, they're gone.  Woo-hoo.  (I AM a blood-thirsty one, eh?)  Due to a scheduling conflict (our friend was called in for some epic dumpster diving on Friday) we ended up butchering chickens on Saturday.  It was a long day, to say the least.  Our friend showed up about 6:15am, I made us all some breakfast, then the chopping and plucking began.  By about 4 o'clock, we had all 48 chickens cleaned, bagged and in the freezer.  Though I was a bit saddened, we also took care of wonky-legs.  She was a nice chicken and all, but with 2 unworking legs, she was just scooting around on her belly and there was no way she was going to make it through the winter.  She was kind of gross-looking and we decided we would just toss her instead of cleaning her and putting her with the rest of the gang in the deep freeze.  Anyway, now that I've just got 20-some laying chickens left, chore time is much quicker, not only do they not eat as much, they're not nearly as messy as the broilers. Yesterday, I cleaned up the broiler chicken pen and hosed it down good, so my barn is all clean and sparkly.

WE got homecoming week off to a good start by going out TPing with his friends on Sunday night.   Nothing like getting a good head start on the toilet paper distribution.  They discovered it's more fun if you almost get caught, so when they're just about finished with their exterior decorating, one of the kids goes up and knocks on their victim's front door.  One kid they called and asked him if he wanted to help them TP, when he said yes, they said then come on out and help us finish up, we're in your yard.  Yeah, toilet papering is messy, but I guess there are so many worse things they could be doing that I'm not going to make a stink.  Our house hasn't been hit yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

Friday, September 14, 2012

waiting for the great chicken massacre

Our friend is coming over early this afternoon and hubs gets to the airport a little after 2pm, then we're going to start offing chickens.  I'm sure great fun will be had by all.

Last night I went to Angel #4's volley ball game.  She's had other games, but last night was the first home game and I'm just too lazy to go to away games.  She did incredible and practically won the 2nd game single-handedly.  She was serving and got about 10-12 points in a row with the other team making only about 1 or 2 returns the entire time.  It was awesome.  She was all smiles at the end of the game.

WE's girlfriend was thrilled with his homecoming invite, told all her friends and now he's pretty much the coolest boy in least according to the girls.  Mission accomplished.

Afton, when I initially lost the Mouli, I told Kathy about it.  She didn't have an actual Mouli, but when she came up from Basement 13, she offered me three (3!) different kinds of hand operated graters she had down there.  I didn't take any of them.  Not only was I hoping my Mouli would show up, I also try not to express any needs or wants in front of Kathy because she would give you the shirt off her back if you wanted it.  We've also learned not to compliment her on anything - Angel #4 told her she liked a vase she had sitting on a table and Kathy told her she could have it if she wanted. Kathy is a one of a kind.  She also offered to help butcher chickens today, but I like her too much to put her through that.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

the kid oozes romance

So, high school homecoming is next weekend.  WE hasn't asked his girlfriend to the dance yet, though it's a foregone conclusion that they're going there together.  Yesterday, he asked how late the flower shop in town was open, I said I wasn't sure, but mentioned that I did notice that they were advertising a homecoming flower preview.  He said he wasn't looking for homecoming flowers, he wanted a single rose, his plan was to tie a scroll on it asking his girlfriend if she'd go to the dance with him.  Wow, he came up with that all by himself.  We didn't have time to deal with flowers as we were heading out the door to go to Bible study, but after the study, I asked the lady of the house if she had any long stemmed flowers WE could use for the homecoming invite.  Of course she did.  Kathy has everything.  If you mention you're looking for a particular item, she disappears down into her basement and 2 minutes later, she pops up with the exact thing you're looking for.  I've never been in her basement, but I imagine it looks like Warehouse 13, she may even have one of those ziplines to get from one end of the place to the other. (talk about Warehouse 13, what the heck is with Micah's hair? It looks like she's trying to grow dreadlocks or something).  Anyway, Kathy grabs a scissors and flashlight and heads out to the garden and gets 3 different kinds of flowers for WE.  I'm not sure what his exact plans are, but he got the scroll tied to the flower and pulled some petals off a rose to scatter around as well, I think he was going to set it up on her desk in chemistry class, which they have together.  And, to keep things real so they didn't get over the top mushy, WE put his own wacky touch to the proceedings, the note on the scroll said:  Will you go to the homecoming dance with me?  Circle yes or no.  

No girl can resist an invitation like that, imo.  lol

Hubs and Angel #2 are cruising around Texas.  Presently, they in north Austin and #2 has decided that that's the area she likes the best. She's handed out resumes and filled out apps in Houston, San Antonio and now the Austin area.  I'm kind of rooting for the Austin area as well since that's where hubs goes a couple times a year and it would be nice to have her nearby so he could see more of her, heck, I would even go along with him if that was the case.  She's gotten a couple calls from places in Houston for interviews though, so who knows where she'll end up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We're stronger than we look

Thursday night, hubs and picked up a new freezer in preparation for the great chicken massacre planned for this Saturday. Well, it's a new for US freezer, I don't think it's been new, new since sometime in the late 1950's.  This baby is OLD OLD OLD.  But, it's big and should hold lots of chickens.  Because of it's size and weight (that beast is heavy!) it's new home is going to be our back deck.  Yeah, that's kind of white trash, but hey, what do you expect?  We considered putting it in the barn, but not only is it not very convenient when you want to grab something for supper, we're also having some weird electrical issue in the barn and the outlets aren't putting out full power.   Something like that will fry a compressor in no time flat.  Okay though, here's the deal. Hubs and I bought it Thursday night, it took 4 guys to get it into the back of our truck, but by the time we got home, it was dark and no time to unload it.  Since hubs left early Friday morning to go to Houston with Angel #2, the  truck with the freezer in the back, has been sitting in the driveway every since.  Fast forward to yesterday evening.  There's a belt on our mini-van that's been squealing and no amount of belt conditioner was making it shut-up.  Well, last night, it fell off and the van was in no shape to drive, which means the truck was our only means of transportation.  Since I didn't want to spent the rest of my week driving around with a 4 million pound freezer in the back of my vehicle, we needed to unload it.  WE backed the truck up to the deck, and between him, Angel #4 and myself, we finagled it off the truck, got it turned around so it faced the right direction and put into place. Yay us!!  I thought we'd have to recruit a few of WE's buddies to help, or maybe just his 300 lb friend Bryce :P  but we did it.

I also managed to limp the van into the repair shop this morning, fortunately, it's only about 1 1/2mile away, so hopefully, I'll be cruising around in style in my mini-van before you know it.

Oh, I didn't tell you about our amazing abilities of deduction on Sunday.  We were on our way home from church Sunday morning and there was an unusual amount of traffic on the interstate (I-43 going toward Green Bay, that was the first tip-off).  I wondered what the big deal was, but didn't dwell on it too much.  But then we started noticing the passengers in the other cars and we saw a whole lot of Packer jerseys and cheesehead hats, it was then we realized that there must be a Packer game scheduled at Lambeau Field.  Yeah, we're regular Columbos.  I think the Pack may have lost, but I'm not sure, we're not exactly NFL fans around here, if you haven't noticed.

Jeanie, they always refer to the house on the churchyard as the Sister House, I don't know if there's a difference between that and an actual convent - I'm as much Catholic as I am an NFL fan,so I'm not sure of the terminology.  The sister house has a bedroom for the priest as well, maybe that's the difference, though I can't think that would be real kosher as far as the whole male/female, priest/nun living together thing.  Last year, Angel #2 and I snuck upstairs into the attic of the house and everything just to nose around a bit.  It looked like there had been some remodeling done in the 1950's and the house has some great mid-century bathroom fixtures and flooring and the kitchen is the bomb.  It does, for some reason, have a creepy clown room on the 2nd floor,I'm totally not sure of the reasoning behind that little decorating fiasco, but other than that, it's a pretty cool old house.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just because I"m not Irish doesn't mean I can't enjoy

Angel #4 and I went to the Friends of St. Pats/Maple Grove Fall Festival again this year.  This is the 3rd year we've gone, the first one we went to happened shortly after we moved to this area and we thought it would be a good way to get to know the area.  There's a silent auction, musical entertainment, dancing, bake sale and some simple games.  Nothing extravagant and all home grown, done entirely by the Friends of St Pats.  St Pat's is the name of the church where the event takes place.  At one time, it was a thriving Catholic church - there's a sister house and a school also on the property.  The church and nun house are both closed now and are marked as historical buildings while the school has been converted into a home.  Today they did  cemetery reenactments and tours of old family farms in the area. And since just about everyone who lives here (but me, apparently) is Irish, so we had young girls doing traditional Irish dancing, Irish stew on the menu and a whole cemetery full of O'Leary's, Lorrigan's, O' Haloran's, Donohue's etc.  To change things up ethnically a bit, they were also making kolaches on site.  Kolaches are more Czech than Irish (they're like a danish) and the whole church smelled like rising dough and baking bread.  Yum yum!

I found Harry and Adeline's gravesite, they're the people who used to live in our house and Adeline's ghost is the one I blame whenever anything goes missing around here - I forgot to ask her what she did with my Mouli.  I also found out that they raised 7 kids in our house, 6 boys and a girl. I don't know how they all fit in here and I really  don't know why, if they had all those kids, they didn't finish off the 2nd floor room over the living room.  We call it the attic room, but it's not like you've got to go up through the ceiling or a ladder to get to it, it's just a room off the hall upstairs, there's a door there and everything, so it's not like it would have been difficult to make it part of the living area. Our plan is to make it over into a master bedroom/bath, it's almost as big as the rest of the upstairs put together.  Really, if you had 6 boys, why wouldn't you want to stick them all in a big room to themselves?  Oh well, to each their own.  But, from now on, when my kids complain that their bedrooms are too small, I'll just remind the how the O'Connell kids must have been stacked like cordwood up there.

I talked to Hubs and Angel #2 this afternoon.  They're hoping to arrive in Houston early this evening.  They were just crossing the border from Louisiana to Texas when I was on the phone with them.  They met some old man at a convenience store in LA, getting in and out of his car was difficult for him, so while Hubs ran inside to buy a gallon of milk  for the guy, #2 sat and chatted with him.  She'd told him they were wanting to go someplace for seafood for lunch.  He told them he knew where the best place to go was and they should follow him.  Hubs isn't sure exactly where they were, but it was somewhere deep in the bowels of Louisiana. Apparently the guy was right and they had a wonderful meal of gator bits.  Yep, I guess if you're in Louisiana, you've got to eat alligator for lunch.

Friday, September 7, 2012

And now another big change in my life

This morning, hubs and Angel #2 drove out the driveway at 6:30am so #2 can fulfill her lifelong dream of living in Texas.  Her last day of work was Monday, then she spent the last couple days sorting and packing just about everything she owns.  Yesterday afternoon, hubs AKA Mr.Tetris, fit everything in her car.  If you're ever planning on moving, call him, he's got awesome visual spacial skills and can fit an amazing amount of stuff in a limited space.  They're spending the night in Kentucky with a friend of hubs'.  This friend owns the Kentucky Opry, so they're hoping to get to Paducah in time to take in the blue grass show tonight.  Then tomorrow they go the rest of the way to Houston. She's going to spend the first month living with an internet friend of mine (those BW alumni will probably remember Grey Lupous, my Candyland partner in crime) and once she finds a job, will be getting her own place.  After she's lived there for a year, she'll be eligible for in-state college tuition and will be starting school to become a Vet Tech -at least that's the plan for the  moment.
It's going to be a bit lonely here without her.  She was only here on the weekends over the summer anyway, but now we're not going to see her around at all and it's kind of sad.

Poor Angel #1 had a no-good, very bad day yesterday.  He needed to deal with something at the DMV, which is never a pleasant experience.  In order to do what needed to be done, he had to then go to his bank.  On the way to the bank, he was stuck in construction traffic, then had to wait for half an hour because of an accident on the interstate.  He got the bank stuff figured out and was feeling good that things were finally in order and was driving along happily, until the truck in front of him ran over a can of black spray paint, which blew out over the front of his new white car.  Unlike his parents, #1 is very anal about his vehicles, washing and polishing them every week, so to get black paint spattered on the front was totally devastating.  Fortunately, he pulled over and scrubbed at the spatters with an old tee-shirt and it came off. It's just sucky though that something so weird and random happened to someone so picky about their car.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Listen to your Mama

I think WE learned a very important lesson last night.  Yesterday was his girlfriend's birthday.  I asked him what he was going to get her and he said nothing, because she told him she didn't want him to get her anything.   Silly,silly boy.  I, along with every other female he told the story to, told him that he should NOT listen to her or he was going to be made to regret it for the rest of their relationship.  As of yesterday morning, he still hadn't got her anything, so I picked up a cheapo bouquet of flowers for him to give her.  He grumbled about it, but brought them along when he went to her house for a birthday supper last night.  Yep, just as I told him, he instantly became the greatest boyfriend in the world.  It's amazing what $6 worth of daisies will do for your reputation.  And I"m sure that with a bunch of flowers in his hand he looked much better than that "stupid french guy" who's living at her house.

Other than being told I was right by my 16 year old son, the only highlight of my day was cleaning out the chicken coop.  For some reason, the whole time I was shoveling, Shelia E's song The Glamorous Life was stuck in my head.  Irony, thy name is chicken poop.  Though cleaning chicken coops isn't on my short list of things I like doing - I definitely wouldn't have stopped by that booth at the high school jobs fair - it's not so awful.  When I could get Shelia E out of my head, I pondered how I was living the exact life I want to live.  Not the one I'd planned on living when I was an 18 year old, wide-eye high school graduate with my big 80's hair and pink and green tube of Great Lash mascara stashed in my purse, but the perfect life for me as a grown-up.  I wouldn't have things any other way.  Though I just may not be waxing so poetic on the rural lifestyle in 2 weeks when we start decapitating and yanking the feathers off that flock of poop factories.

Today is the first day of school.  Angel #4 is happy to be an 8th grader, though I'm sure she'll be much more excited next year when she becomes a real live high schooler.   WE, on the other hand, is a bit less than enthusiastic.  He's chosen his Junior year to get all those tough classes out of the way so he can do a bit more coasting during his Senior year.  That, and he's one of the few teenagers who realizes how good he's got it and isn't exactly looking forward to graduation and facing the real world with its bills and problems.  He'll survive because he's a smart kid, but I'm thankful I don't have a kid constantly whining about how they can't wait to move out so they can do whatever they want without parental interference.  We always joke that he'll be 42 years old and living in our basement - he's such a homebody.  But he's already making plans for the future, so I'm not too worried about having to finish off the basement just yet.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I hope you're all enjoying your Labor Day weekend.  We're keeping it low-key here.  Hubs worked on Fri & Sat and I stayed home and cleaned my filthy kitchen.  All that tomato canning made it a real mess and it didn't pay to clean it up until I was done with the mason jar frenzy.   I've still got tomatoes to do, but not for a few days yet, so I can enjoy a clean floor for a bit before it all starts again.

Poor WE is a bit worked up.  The new foreign exchange student arrived on Saturday, WE's girlfriend's family is the host family.  WE is less than thrilled to have his girlfriend living with a French boy - especially after she texted him to tell him that when French people say hi, they kiss you on the cheek.  He keeps muttering about 'rotten Frenchies'.

Oh, btw, WE says that he doesn't want to be referred to as WE anymore since he stopped eating worms years ago.  But seriously, something as boring as Angel #3 just doesn't fit his personality as much as   WormEater does.  Remember on Wednesday when I said he got new contacts?  Well, Thursday morning he was at cross country practice and was running around the track that circles the football field.  He looked in the direction of the sprinklers at the exact wrong time and got blasted in the face so hard it knocked him back, gave him a swelled lip and knocked the contact right out of his eye.  This does NOT happen to normal kids.  Definitely NOT and Angel #3.

We had another chicken massacre last night.  I lost 3 of my new layer chicks.  There were feathers in the yard and a few even stuck on the windshield wiper of my mini-van, but no other sign of them.  What is really confusing is we don't know how whatever it is eating them is getting in.  The top of the coop is completely draped in anti-bird netting and the bottom of the fence is reinforced by another layer of finer meshed fencing. It's pretty darn frustrating.   We've been letting the little ones sleep outside at night, but obviously that's not going to cut the mustard anymore, so now we've got to start chasing them into the pen every night at dark.  In case you didn't know, chicken herding is not fun.