Friday, October 26, 2012

when the husband's away, the wife will play

Or at least she'll go pumpkin patching. (She might also eat a block of cheddar cheese and possibly make it a personal goal to watch seasons 5-9 of The Office in one week.)

When Jenn asked if I wanted to go to the pumpkin patch with them, it took me all of 3.2 seconds to respond with an enthusiastic, "letmethinkaboutit YES!" (The auto correct on my phone tried to change 'letmethinkaboutit' to 'perms turnabout'.) Beyond the obvious appeal of pumpkin patching with some favorite peeps, another visit with Jenn would mean we'd have more time to discuss our favorite topics- blogs, chocolate, Pinterest, and bloggers we don't know but wish we did/are glad we don't. Then we usually talk about blogs a little more just for good measure. We've seen each other four times this week and we talked about those every single time. Frankly I don't see any change on the horizon. 

WARNING- picture overload ahead.

The pumpkin patch was way out in the middle of nowhere. Out in the boondocks. The sticks. We may have driven all the way to the west coast. I do know one thing for certain- we yelled "LOOK SAM! IS THAT A HELICOPTER?" every two minutes for an hour. I think one time I pointed out a helicopter that was actually a bird. I never was good with aircraft. Our lengthy expedition (which may or may not have included Jenn using a police turn around on the highway) was not in vain because look what Sammy found when we got there! 
I LOVE Molly. Is she not the cutest baby ever?! 
We spent a significant portion of our visit looking at the goats and two pigs that were (no exaggeration) as big as refrigerators. Eventually we boarded an ancient ANCIENT truck and took a hay ride to the corn maze and pumpkin patch.
You'll notice Sam's look of concern. He was worried, as we all were, that we'd either be flung to the floor when the truck came to a screeching halt or that it was going to die. Both were valid concerns.
This is the point where I should insert some witty saying about how a corn maze is like life because we are presented with different paths along the way, but I can't think of any.
Thanks to our fearless leader we navigated through the maze and arrived back at the truck in one piece. Samster did trip over invisible rocks an unusual number of times, but he didn't break any bones so I call that a success.
Look at little Sammy's face! I just informed him that he has the distinct privilege of being my littlest boyfriend and he was obviously delighted. 
Looks like a pear on steroids.
"I don't know why you people are so enthusiastic about pumpkins and old tractors. I much prefer chewing on Mother's keys." 
"Actually, I could be doing this in the comfort of my own home. If we were at home, you two ladies wouldn't have to keep lifting my stroller in and out of the truck. Perhaps you should work on your arm muscles. The lifting appears to be a strain."
"WHAT IS MOTHER DOING NOW? Is can't be...WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE SHE'S STEALING PUMPKINS? I am so embarrassed. I hope no one knows we're related."
Much to Molly's great delight, her pumpkin-stealing mother (I promise she did pay) tried taking her picture near the sunflowers. At least I think that's what was happening on the other side of the sunflower patch. I couldn't see them but I heard crying and someone saying, "Moooooolly! Look over heeeeeere." so I imagine it was a photo session. 
I was busy helping Sam get up and down from the tractor seat approximately 12 times. He couldn't decide if he liked it the first time so he had to try it out 11 more times. 
And so ended the The Great Pumpkin Patch Expedition of 2012. I'd be happy to do it again tomorrow, but especially happy if I knew there would be some snacks involved. Sam ate the last oriental rice cracker thing and we were down to our last cough drops and sticks of gum. 

Hop over and read Jenn's account of our day. It involves a highly flattering photo of me watching a goat eat Sam's hand. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fan Mail, Edition 2

It's been a very good week in the fan mail department. I try to be humble, but what else can I call it besides fan mail?

Mom sent me this card and it made me shake my head and say, "She did it again." Why would she be sending me a birthday card in October? As the one who gave birth to me you'd think she'd have my birthday straight by now. Then I saw she had crossed "birth" off and suddenly it became a little clearer. She was wishing me a happy day and I appreciated it.
Back in April she sent us this card two days before our anniversary. 
It's a sympathy card. I was concerned that a) Mom thought we had a terrible first year of marriage or b) she had lost her mind. I almost wasn't sure which was worse. Then I remembered that Christopher's grandmother had just died and suddenly it all made sense. (Apparently the moral of the story is I need to stop assuming things.) 

My favorite Anna Banana and Jillian each sent me a letter! Their letters always include either stickers or fun shaped paper clips and these letters did not disappoint.  
Christopher wrote me a letter for each day he's in the field this week! 
I know. He's very sweet (and prolific!). 

Monday, October 22, 2012

washing machines require water, my hair needs dye, and other thoughts from the weekend

I wish I could say I spent the weekend showcasing to the world my brilliance and wit.
But I can’t.

Instead, I stood in our laundry room/pantry on Friday morning having a conversation with myself about the empty bottle of laundry detergent. I looked inside the bottle and thought to myself, “I wonder if the washing machine will be ok if I swish water around in this bottle to get out the last remaining bit of detergent then pour it in the machine. Will water ruin a washing machine?”
I mean really.

It’s a washing machine, for Pete’s sake. OF COURSE it’s ok if water is in it. I’d even go so far as to say water is a necessary part of a washing machine working properly. As soon as the words crossed my brain I vowed no one would hear about my momentary lack of intelligence, but here I am, telling the whole world. In my own defense, I was just trying to do doing everything possible to avoid flooding the house for the second time in one month.
In other news, on Saturday I finished knitting a bear hat for a baby. Obviously my Army bear is not the intended wearer, but he was the only model I had around. (After all, it’s not like a bear needs to wear a hat that looks like a bear.)
Something very tragic happened on Sunday. We were sitting in the church parking lot before Sunday school and I opened the visor mirror so I could apply my lip gloss. I leaned forward and SAW A GRAY HAIR. It wasn’t the whole strand of hair, just about an inch and a half long, BUT IT WAS GRAY. That make me forgot all about my lips because GRAY TODAY MEANS WHITE TOMORROW AND PERHAPS IT’S TIME TO START DYING MY HAIR OR BUYING WIGS. All Christopher did during this time was read about how the world is collapsing (aka the news) on his phone (heartless because clearly his wife’s world was collapsing around her ears) and suggest that I didn’t pull out all my grays because then I’d be bald. He didn’t even have a black marker on him so I could color that hair. You can imagine how much attention I paid to the Sunday school lesson. 
By the time we arrived at the park for our picnic date, I was somewhat calmer.

The gray hair isn't even visible in this picture. My ridiculously long arm is visible in three lenses but at this point I should probably pick my battles carefully.

Friday, October 19, 2012

on the range and in the woods

A few months ago I took Joanna on a tour of Fort Campbell. This week my award-winning touring company was back in business when my friend Kim came to visit. It was slightly more successful than Joanna’s tour because 1) we didn’t get lost, and 2) we got out of the car.
We stopped at the range to bring Christopher lunch and some coffee.
It took everything in me not to start singing, “Oh give me a hoooooome, home on the raaaaaaange!”. (Sometimes people don't appreciate when I break out in song. I can't understand why.)

Two of the mornings Kim and I went horseback riding.
I’ve only ridden about 3 times in the last six years, but that didn’t stop me from giving Kim some pointers.  She stared freaking out when her horse wanted to taste some leaves on the side of the trail because branches were in her face. I turned around and said, “All you have to do is pull the reigns to the left and he’ll go back on the trail.” I was so proud for giving such a fine tip that I was this close to patting myself on the back. Just as I began to think I must be some sort of horse-riding prodigy, I turned back to face the trail and found myself with a face full of branches. Apparently pride goeth before one rides into a tree. 
The trail guide on the second day was a girl named Lexi. After an hour of discussing proposals and weddings (Kim and Lexi are both newly engaged so they exchanged/compared/dissected stories of how they were proposed to), the topic turned to car seat warmers. I didn't say much during this conversation because I was interested in hearing what two southern girls had to say about cold weather. Lexi mentioned that she was devastated when her seat warmer broke during one of the winters she spent in Florida. I asked her if it really got cold enough for a seat warmer and she said, “Of course! It got ALL THE WAY down to 60 degrees!” I think she has a different definition of cold than I do.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

meanwhile, back at the safari...

Daniel and Erika are on a little three week vacation TO AFRICA.

I am not jealous, nope, nope, nope. (Sarcasm alert!!)

This is part of an email they sent out this morning:

"We saw 3 of the BIG 5 (elephant, rhino and leopard) plus giraffe, zebra, wildcat, PYTHON, kudu, and lots more. The camp where we stayed is open to Kruger Park (size of Holland) so the animals come and go freely and we were lucky the leopard was in town! The camp is open to the bush; no fences--just guides with rifles. Let me repeat that: your "en suite" is actually a shower head and a toilet on a platform with a flimsy bamboo privacy screen where you can just see over the top. Beyond that screen is the bush. Hey, it gives you something to think about in the shower, but don't forget to watch for snakes and scorpions...A warthog named Wanda putters around the camp in the afternoons. Sometimes the elephants come through and rip out the plumbing."
Suddenly posting about my tri-weekly trips to Walmart seems so boring.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

at least neither of us like the name Sandrine

I collect baby names. I had a beautiful collection going (enough for 48 children), but then I got married. Turns out the person half responsible for any future children doesn't like most of the names I adore. We've had many a battle discussion about baby names, most of which go something like this. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

the dress code was black yoga pants so it was a very laid-back affair

Today's one of those days that I talk about something that happened last week because I'm only just now getting around to it. More precisely, we're going to talk about last Friday afternoon.

Jenn hosted a blogger get-together and as someone who takes pictures of everything, you'd think I could have done a better job of photographing the event. I even made a special trip to Best Buy (one of my least favorite stores) for a new camera battery charger so I'd be prepared. The man who helped me find the charger was ringing up my purchase when he asked me, "So, what brings you into the store today?" I thought what brought me there was pretty obvious seeing how I had asked him where the chargers were just three minutes before. The whole point of this paragraph (yes! there is a point!) is to say that I only ended up taking four pictures- two of food and two of Sammy. All four were taken with my phone.

Food picture #1. I made cheesecake stuffed strawberries for the par-tay. Making them was easy enough, but transporting them was another story. Getting them to Jenn's was my second most stressful food transportation experience. I spent the whole drive with one hand on the steering wheel and the other vainly trying to keep the strawberries from falling over. Jenn lives on-post and the ID checker guy (official name unknown) clearly thought I was odd for holding my hand over a plate of strawberries and mini chocolate chips. 
Food picture #2 titled Jenn's Fudge. Alternately titled Yum. Alternately alternately titled I Ate A Lot.
It was fun to meet the other ladies and spend the afternoon talking. Apparently Sam wasn't too interested in our conversations about junk stores or Tricare. He needed not one but three plastic containers to keep himself entertained.
"I suppose I can manage to look slightly entertained after you spend five minutes rubbing the top of your head with a balloon while making weird noises. You do realize you look like a crazy woman, right?"
We didn't take a group picture so this will have to do. I apologize that no one has hair. The only option was facial hair and I didn't think anyone would appreciate that.
If you want to know what these women really look like I suggest visiting their blogs. Jenn,Molly, Kingsley, Julie. (Brittany doesn't have a blog so I guess she'll be forever known as the girl with the flowery party hat.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

perhaps there should be a law against drinking and exercising

We recently joined a new gym. When we were shown around the gym, the tour guide informed us of where we could purchase a beer during our gym visits.

It seems to me that this

plus enough of this
could equal a lot of this.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Amerigo Day

Yesterday we observed Columbus Day like most of our fellow Americans. Except I call it Amerigo Vespucci Day because I believe in giving honor where honor is due. I told Christopher (the husband, not the explorer) my thoughts and he said if we’re being technical about it, we should call it Lief Ericson Day because Lief landed in the Americas before Amerigo. Welcome to our daily discussions of our marriage.
We spent the day up in Nashville doing the touristy things. We visited the Ryman and took a backstage tour. I loved the windows.
The tour guide informed us that just the other week Martina McBride sat on a particular couch in the dressing room we were in, and it took three of us to hold Christopher back from BOLTING over to sit where Martina had sat. Can you imagine the blog material had he really done that?!

Next we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame.
(They had a temporary T. Swift exhibit but I didn’t spend much time there because I have some strong feelings regarding her. They’re mostly along the lines of girlfriend needs to pick her heart up off the floor and move on! At least I that’s how I feel when I’m not singing Teardrops on My Guitar.)
 Anyone care for a revolver door handle?
I was overjoyed upon leaving the Hall of Fame to see my very good friend, Mr. Josh Turner.  Naturally we took our picture together.
This is how Christopher felt that I wanted my picture taken with another man. 
Between Martina, the revolver on the door, and Josh, I think we spent the day just as Amerigo would have wanted.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I figured out the answer so you don't have to

Did you know that when you put two Cornish hens in the sink to thaw under running water that you should make sure the plug isn't in the drain? Did you know that if you forget that the water is running and you are unaware that the plug is in, you will walk into the kitchen 15 minutes later only to discover water overflowing the sink, pouring into all cupboards and drawers, pooling on the floor and traveling into the laundry room/pantry and under the washing machine and dryer? Did you know you will need 85% of the towels you own (even the nice tan and blue ones that match the hummingbird shower curtain!) to clean up the mess? Did you further know you'll have to take everything out of said cupboards and drawers and your counter will look like this?
Did you know that? Now you do.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

someone also searched for "preteen feet" but I try not to think about that one too much

Every so often I like to see how people have found my blog. It's usually a combination of the words in my blog name, but sometimes it's a bit little more interesting.

"puffer fish facts" - I've discussed puffer fish once, but if you're looking for facts about them, I'd like to point you in the direction of Wikipedia.

"purple African children"- No idea what that's about.

"exercise chocolate rewards"- I firmly believe in rewarding yourself with chocolate after exercising. If you want to simultaneously save time while burning calories, eat the chocolate while you exercise. I'm speaking from experience here because one time I ate a handful of chocolate chips while walking around the block.

"becoming a politician" - While one of my life goals is to become First Lady, I don't have many tips of how to become a politician. The only bit of wisdom I can pass on is that it you also wish to be First Lady, it probably helps to marry someone who wishes to be president. I did not.

"do dandelions turn into daffodils"- No, they do not. For a slightly related story, I did
manage to convince Elizabeth that scientists at National
Geographic discovered a new type
of acorn that produces coconuts. It 
was one of the high points in my story telling career.

"romantic notes for boyfriend"- Have I turned into an advice blog for teenage girls?

"Patrick Dempsey shirt off/Channing Tatum without shirt"- While I have mentioned both
 Patrick and Channing a time or 12, it was always with the understanding they were fully
clothed. I do my best to operate a family-friendly blog. Christopher doesn't appreciate
Patrick as much as I do. He says Patrick is "just a haircut with a voice". I think he's probably
jealous that the government doesn't tell Patrick to get his hair cut every week.

"car packages for the Civil War"- I don't know much about Civil War care packages mostly
because I wasn't alive then. I know something about modern day care packages, but
apparently I don't know 
about sending them within a decent time-frame because Christopher
was at OCS forever (or two months) 
before he got one from me. I still feel bad about that.  

"Can you wave a towel to stop carbon monoxide?" You can try, but it might not work.