Thursday, July 28, 2011

The BlogFather, aka The Blogfodder.

My parents are two hours away from my house. With them in their red Dodge dually is my 87 year old grandmother. Let's all just take a moment to visualize an 87 year old woman riding around in a giant hipped one-ton truck.... awesomesauce.

My folks prided themselves for years on their lack of cell phones and computers. On the off chance that you could actually get in contact with them, I would express my concern about their lack of touch with current society, my mom would say "Bob Barker doesn't have a cell phone or a computer" and I would respond "Bob Barker is 176 years old mother, I'm not sure this is who you need to emulate when you are running two businesses and have 500 head of horses and an assortment of other livestock that commonly issue emergencies."

Like a good daughter, I broke them down and they now own a cellular device commonly referred to as a cell phone. They were so weak. It only took four years. They still don't have a computer. I even tried to gift them my giant Stonehenge one and they denied it. I selflessly thought the clunky out of date technology would make them feel comforted and they still said "Nope". Have you ever?

So they just called me from their flip mobile and I can see that my father is in a delight of a mood. One of those special treats where he decides to constantly challenge my wit. Seriously, I don't even know why he tries. They were going to stop and get some booze before they get to my house (gotta love those Catholics) and my dad tried to engage me in a beer face off. I am a fan of good beer, or I was before I had a known wheat issue. Darker beer. Microbrewery beer. My father drinks Busch Light, Miller Light or Coors Light. Yummy. So this staunch Republican *alleged* father of mine (*we all joke that the milkman, or the Schwan's Man is my real dad), says to me "I don't drink that foreign beer" to which I responded "We actually drink micro-brews from local small businesses, much like your own.  While supporting our hometown businesses, we discovered that our tastes have surpassed Coors Light. That is what people drink in high school". He says, "I didn't drink in high school. Here tell your Grandmother what you said!" and he hands the phone to my Bud Light loving Grandma and I say "We are really excited to see you!" and then we chat like ladies and she hands the phone to my mom, who is laughing so hard I wonder if she is breathing and she says "Your dad is in a mood!" and I say "He'll be great Blog Fodder." We settle on the liquor order and hang up.

Two seconds later the phone rings again and it is my mom, in silent laughter induced tears and she says "I told your dad that he was Blog Fodder and he said I don't even know what a blog is and Grandma said just take some Ex lax and you'll feel alright."

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to see how this evening's conversation will go down.

Cheers (I'm probably getting drunk tonight)
Johi

It is good to be sure of something.

I am not one to complain.

Are you done laughing, yet?

Okay, what I meant to say is that I shouldn't complain, especially about things like the weather when I live in Colorado, where it is generally better than... well, a lot of places. It has been over 90 degrees for 14 days in a row! I heard it on the news this morning and they never tell a lie. Never mind that I know it topped out at 87 degrees in Monday and I was wearing jeans all day, just because I could. But for Colorado, it has been hot. And not only has it been hot, we have something that we normally don't; HUMIDITY. The news said it was 59% humidity today. Don't throw your sweaty Midwestern shoe at me and yell  "Go eat a steaming pile of roadkill!". I know that 59% humidity doesn't sound like much, and frankly, it feels fine, BUT MY 15 YEAR OLD PIZZA FACE WOULD BEG TO DIFFER.

I have said before that I don't think God loves me. The fact that I am sitting here with more zits than I had in high school, plus a plethora of wrinkles, is not helping alter that thought. What. The. Hell? I have tried three different masks and I wash twice a day and I even considered giving up sugar, but nothing has helped. I'm just greazy. Yes, it is pronounced with a "Z", you have been saying it wrong. Greeee-zzzzeeeee.

I am not completely dense. I know that if I went to Iowa to visit family right now that I would feel like I had to swim through the humidity to walk down the sidewalk. Fortunately for me, I don't have to do anything because my mom, dad and grandma will be here today! And I'm going rogue and not cleaning the house for company! I'm awesome. Back to my humidity story: Whenever I came back to Iowa from my summers in Colorado, I always felt like I needed to chew the air before I swallowed it. Although I am clearly mentally tough and could totally handle not ever being able to dry off when stepping out of the shower. Ever. And as I could easily deal with the "blue jean peel" when trying to pee with minimal rage and whimpering, alas my poor skin could not deal with the humidity. Which is why I need to stay here (but in a better house with more property and a babbling brook and a herd of ponies.... and a fainting goat).

I just spoke with my friend from New Jersey, who told me that it had been topping out around 105-106 degrees for the last few weeks. She said that the heat, combined with the 90+% humidity was the equivalent of living in some dude's sweaty jock strap all the time. Apparently Jersey has a special aroma as well. Armed with the humidity hating skin and the thought of nasty ass jock straps, I am absolutely, 100% certain that I will not be moving to New Jersey anytime. Man, it is good to be sure of something.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Focus. Breathe. Think. Did someone say waffles?

After yet another night of tossing and turning, I got out of bed far earlier than I originally desired and watched some morning news while I was drinking coffee. I generally hate the news. Like that awesome "COUNTDOWN TO THE CRISIS!" shit that our government taunted the American public with on Monday. Great. That surely won't affect my husband's remodelling business. Thanks asshats. Why didn't you just throw a ticking time bomb up on the screen and tell everyone to remove all their money from financial institutions and never again to invest in anything (like their homes)? Then you could instruct them to wad their cash into a sock, stuff it into a box and bury it in their fucking backyards? Oh wait, sorry governmnet, maybe you should instruct them to give all their hard-earned money to YOU instead. Yes. I think that is where we are headed.

Anyway, this fine morning, there was a piece on how lack of sleep is terrible for your memory.... or something like that. I can't remember. They went on to talk about how parents of young children suffer the most from this brain eating lack of regenerative rest. I concur. They forgot to mention snoring and bear paranoia. Morons.

So it made me think about how pregnancy is kind of like having cancer and how potty training Thing 1 definitely disintegrated some of my brain and how I just read in a blog's comment section that some lady was irritated as hell when people posted fb status updates about their children potty training and she wondered if everyone wanted to know when her cat used the litter box and I thought: A) I have never had much trouble getting a cat to use the litter box but potty training was probably the worst month OF MY ENTIRE LIFE (and I have been divorced) and 2) Humans are supposed to be the most intelligent species on the planet yet a cat is easier to potty train? and thirdly) This woman should not have kids because they will be the hardest kids to potty train EVER, because that is how Karma works ..... and then I lost track of what I was trying to think about and started thinking about this blog and how I think I have a lack of focus. I feel like success comes with discipline, self-awareness and "a style". I went through 4 (1/2) years of art school and still never mastered "my style", which could very well indeed be the root of the problem with my lack of success in art. Ot maybe I just suck.

Back to the blog; most of the blogs that I love have "a style":

Flourish in Progress is concise, witty, satirical and self-deprecating. I think all of her posts may contain the exact same number of words. Plus she uses hip hop slang.
Oh Noa is razor sharp wit, stand up comedian, piss your pants hilarious. She calls people out on ridiculous shit and makes your coffee come through your nose. Plus she cusses like a sailor.
The Bloggess is off beat, wacky, and constantly entertaining because she is some kind of a friggin' comedic genius. She is the only person on the planet who can talk a lot about her cats and continue to keep people coming back for more.
The Pioneer Woman is the All-American apple pie of the Internet. She takes beautiful photos, makes beautiful kids and cooks beautiful meals. She doesn't cuss at all, but her brother does.

They all have a thing, a way, a style.
I post something called "daily tips" about once every two months. Do I need to expand my point? Me thinks not.

So dear, fairest readers of the Internet, I am calling on you for assistance. The Cotton Floozy (who has an awesome Etsy shop and blog) has called me "adorkable" and maybe that is "my style", but I want to know what I should hone in on in the way of writing style, so that I can be wildly successful and popular. Actually, I just want to be good and maybe even noteworthy at something in this lifetime (and I want my horses to move in with me again). What would you like to see?

*More Dolly Domestic useful shit: like recipes (who wants a recipe for beet greens that your children will inhale?) and gardening tips and blunders (because half of my tomato plants have black spots on their leaves and I am thisclose to making it my life's mission to figure it out)?

*More about Smelly Cat? Today our neighbor's giant German Sheppard was in our yard, using some lilacs as his personal fire hydrant and I caught Smelly Cat in the act of stalking him down for the kill, which I think was not a good decision...

*More about my parenting blunders? I am just another fucking Mommy Blogger, aren't I? *shudder*

*More about my stellar spousal relations? We all know Brock is like a comedy writer's ideal muse.

*More about fashion? Fuck it, I'm not qualified and I feared that I may turn Thing 1 into a cross-dresser....

*More about Red Dog? Ball!- that about sums her up ...

I DON'T KNOW!!!! Pigeon Hole me, people. Go for it. More comedy? More rants? More silence? What do you want from me???? Sorry, I thought that I was talking to my kids there for a moment.....

And it is good to know that that they documented on the local news that having kids is the leading cause of memory loss. Awesome. Maybe we should try for another, then when Brock comes home from work, he really will find me drooling on myself, playing with knives and trying to eat wallpaper.

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Start working them from a young age

Having perfect children who hold their tongue, respect their elders and know the value of hard work takes a lot of time, patience, consistency and discipline on the behalf of the parent.

Here is photographic evidence of my stellar parenting skills. Try not to feel intimidated.

Like foreign languages, yard work and mechanics should be taught at a young age for maximum learning capacity and retention:


I will be instructing a monthly class:
Yard Work for Tots 101. Proper footwear be damned.

Big brother is taking over for little brother's diaper break.
Next I will have him address that bare spot in the grass.

Teaching them the benefits of housework proves useful (...and you thought only my dogs cleaned the floors. HA!)

Get them brooms for short people and prepare to be
amazed by the amount of work the make for you complete.
By allowing your children to master these mundane tasks difficult chores, you are giving them the independence and knowledge that they need to be successful when you kick their mouthy asses out of the house on their own!

I feel sorry for my friend who birthed this little rascal, as I predict she will be listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall and leading rebellions against "the establishment".


Precious, isn't she?
Let's take a closer look so we can see the problem....



It is almost as if that tiny middle finger makes
the I heart Mom sentiment sarcastic....
Oh, Mom is in for it!
In conclusion! Take a little advice from the Corn Fed Girl and give your wee ones a shit ton of responsibility and manual labor starting at a young age. They will thank you later for their back problems and hatred of "the man", and you will have more time to watch America's Next Top Model. It really is a win-win situation.

Now I need to go because Thing 1 just ran through the house yelling the "mommy is GROSS!" because I instructed him to use the bathroom, which he apparently didn't want to do and he is now beating on his baby brother, who is attempting to eat a rotten banana he found in the trash can with a clump of red dog hair attached to it.... Oh! and now there is screaming.

Ahhh, perfection in parenting.

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi



Monday, July 25, 2011

Bears, Snoring and Paranoia: Not Recommended for a Good Night's Sleep

Yes, I realize that I have been ignoring you. I am deeply sorry.
I'm a very busy woman.

Actually, I am severely sleep deprived and I have basically been trudging through my daily tasks just trying not to walk into a wall or through a glass door (*luckily, we have only one glass door in the house and I rarely use it). Wit has not been present, and I also misplaced Intelligence and that general ability to have Normal Conversation. I'm a gem. Brock worked in 95+ degrees everyday on a roof but somehow I think my week was still more pathetic because I didn't sleep well. I realize that I am probably the only one who thinks that, but in my defense, Brock is often bleeding without his knowledge (me: OMG! Why is there blood on your pillow? him: Oh? (inspecting his parts) I may have cut myself...), while I am a known delicate flower....

We went to the mountains on Wednesday night because my husband needed to bid out a job for some folks whose cabin was taking on water like the Titanic. Unfortunately for them, the damage was severe. Fortunately for them, my husband is awesome and can fix it. Since we were already there, we stayed the night at our friend's adorable rustic cabin. I was stoked for the chance to sleep with the fresh mountain air(pine trees- YES!, burning trash or hog confinements- NO!) wafting through the windows.


Cuteness.

We had a lovely evening, complete with a visit with my sister and some friends from our youth. We ate, talked, laughed and watched our children play on the mountainside and I wore a paper Native American head-dress. I accidentally created a delicious treat when I knocked over my glass of Riesling into a bowl of vanilla ice cream (then I topped it off with some strawberry sorbet). Try it. Do it now. We bid my sister and our friends goodnight and proceeded to get the Things to sleep in the unfamiliar territory. To my great surprise and extreme pleasure, they both went right to dreamland without an argument. It seems the oxygen deprivation that comes with the high altitude of the mountains is great for getting your little monsters precious treasures to pass out sleep. I also learned that putting Thing 2 in his pack and play right by the screen door then realizing that my friends had recently seen a bear in the area was not conducive to me getting any sleep. At all.

You know when you are dog tired, like every muscle and joint in your body is screaming at you to lay down and it is painful to keep your eyes open and all you want to do is SLEEP FOR A VERY LONG TIME so you go to bed and it feels so good to be laying prone and you just can't wait to sleep and the last thing you want to do is to get up and have to move your body and potentially wake up every other person in the tiny cabin but your damn brain won't turn off the thought of a angry, hungry bear ripping through a flimsy screen and devouring your offspring? Yeah. That happened.

In my obvious brilliance,  I chose not to move the baby and risk him waking up, but instead to lie awake so that, if indeed the bear did come, I would hear him before he got close enough to rip a giant claw through the screen and eat my tender morsel wee ones. I had a plan too: I would run and retrieve my children were we would proceed to huddle in the back corner of the cabin with rations of biscuits and water until the bear got bored and left. I knew this task was mine because I generally have quicker response skills than Brock. (Cut to my water breaking at 2:13 a.m. and I gently shake him awake to inform him that our first child is on the way and he responds "But it is 2 o'clock in the morning?!?!?", because we all know that babies should only be born between 8am and 5pm- during normal business hours.)

After finally nodding off somewhere around 4am, I heard the bright and early wake-up call of our teething baby at 7am. He screamed in his lovely, newly discovered, ear piercing "volume 11", then he caught sight of us through the fluttering curtain and used his "special" stare to make eye contact with us. It was the same one he used when the doctor held him up after she yanked him out of my uterus my c-section so that I could see him.




He is utterly silent and making direct eye contact with me.
 Brock is taking the picture.
I could only hear the words "Hello, Mother" in Clint Eastwood's
gravelly voice.
 During moments like these, he is completely silent and makes the most intense eye contact on the planet. It is....honestly a little unnerving. With the combination of this look-through-you-and-suck-out-your-soul stare, his charm with the ladies and his immense will, I see a successful future for him as the next 007 or the 2035 remake of Magnum, PI. 


This is exactly what Brock and I look like...



Can you see the laser beams that he is shooting from
his unblinking gaze? He is controlling us with his mind, people.

Then we hiked. It was okay scenery, if you like stuff like blue skies and trees and mountains and wildflowers. Whatev. Thing 1 was a trooper, with only minimal whining. Thing 2 slept in the backpack. Brock was selected as the pack mule of the day. I carried the food and water, which was easy because I packed light. I'm super smart like that.

It's kind of pretty.... I guess.
And then I spread my arms wide and ran through\the meadow singing
"The hills are alive..... with the Sound of Music..."


Da boys.

Then we {reluctantly} drove home into some weird storm vortex and when we reached our house, we saw our flag doing this.



Yo Dorothy, I hope you packed your ruby red slippers, cuz
it's about to get freaky up in here.

I'm fairly certain that the dogs thought that aliens were coming to suck out their brains through crazy straws.

The next night I slept a bit more with the help of the lack of bears in Fort Collins and my good friend, Tylenol PM. Then I was in that lovely Tylenol PM induced fog until 3 pm the next day.

The next night I went to bed early as I once again had to be up at 5 am to get thyself to the Farmer's Market, where my friend and I were to be manning my cousin's booth. But instead of getting caught up on some much needed sleep, I laid awake listening to Brock snore for a good four hours. It was special. I need earplugs. STAT.

So here I am, fresh as a daisy! and ready to start a new week with a teething, shrieking one year old and a manic, under stimulated four year old. Good thing the temperatures have been in the upper nineties every day because that just increases the chance of heat exhaustion....Bring on the wine water.

I see a girl's only trip in my future. No children. No snoring. No cooking. No schedule. No effing bears. Who's in?

Do any of you suffer from paranoia or spousal snoring induced insomnia? How do you handle it, because the fits of crying and rage don't seem to be getting me anywhere....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Invention #421

When I went to open the back door the other day, I discovered this:

It is a plastic knife. Don't panic.
 Clearly, this has Thing 1 written all over it, so I found him and his lovely assistant and inquired about the significance of this handy contraption.

Here they are giving me a detailed description of the
"shooter thing", complete with explosive sound effects
that little boys are so good at creating.
I think I need to get [the kids] out of the house more.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why We Should Never Live in Town

Brock, Thing 2 and I were out collecting radishes from the garden the other night when Thing 1 burst out of the house wearing a shirt but no pants, stood in the yard with his boys parts dangling free in the wind and yelled at volume 11, "MOM! I NEED A WIPE!"


Because we are clearly horrible parents, neither Brock or I noticed that Thing 2's sandal had rubbed a massive blister on his precious baby foot. The kid screams like a fat lady stuck in a bath tub when his brother takes a toy out of his hand but doesn't utter a peep when someone (Thing 1) or something (ill-fitting sandal) is causing him physical harm. Therefore, he has not worn shoes in five days and currently is sporting a nice layer of permadirt on his feet. I guess it is fine because now both kids have matching feet, as Thing 1 never wears shoes. Also, both boys had a growth spurt and look kind of, well, gangly. Currently, both of my offspring slightly resemble Tarzan's albino cousins, or a couple of backwoods Arkansas boys in need of a shower and a good meal... or twenty.

No worries, they are self-sufficient. I know this because Thing 1 can peel his own bananas now and Thing 2 has taken to eating things that he finds in the trash can.

We all went to the chiropractor yesterday and didn't bother getting dressed. Any of us. I mean, we had clothes on, just not "real" clothes. I was wearing this:


Tank top and greased stained shorts circa 2000 ala Ye Olde Navee.
The flip flops are at least 15 years old and splattered with paint.
I'm one classy broad.
On an unrelated note: I want you to know that I do own a pair of Yves Saint Laurent shoes now, but only because someone gave them to my friend with feet too tiny for them so she, in turn, bestowed them on my Cinderella's stepsister Clydesdale hoof. Look! Pretty! Maybe I should have worn them with my cutting edge outfit....


Alas, I will only wear these when the walking requirements are:
House, Truck, Restaurant, Truck, House.
But look how FABULOUS they are! You can't really tell from this picture,
but they are turquoise patent leather.  I know.
That is a Vintage Wool Suit behind them, it looks like it is right out of
MadMen and fits like a glove. It is super cute. I also have nowhere to wear it.
*sigh*
 Getting back to my story, Thing 1 had dressed himself in an orange shirt and red shorts, which my chiropractor's secretary told me was a popular color combination in Brazil, or France. I can't remember. I'm not a very good listener. He was also wearing last year's too small sandals which work just fine thankyouverymuch.
Thing 2 was dressed in the sagging, stained, white onesie that he had slept in and was sporting the giant sore on his bare, dirt stained feet.
We looked awesome.

Hey, it is fricken hot. At least I showered.

Ugh......Good Lord, someone send in the Fashion Police. Quickly. We need shoes and updated, unstained matching clothes. STAT. *And a wipe.

Thank goodness we don't have super close neighbors that can see all our madness.

In other news: This week I will be teaching Thing 1 to play the mouth harp and Thing 2 to play the jug.
*banjos banjos*

Monday, July 18, 2011

I am turning into my mother.

My Swiss cheese memory retained a few nuggets of my youth. One particular memory the was recurring: Dad, sister and I sitting in the truck, ready to go, waiting on Mom (then Dad, thinking himself a comedian, would lay on the truck horn until she appeared.)
We would sit in there and joke; "What IS she doing in there?"
"She is probably running a load of laundry"
"No, I'll bet she is vacuuming"
"hahahahahaha".
We were total buttholes.
And then we were late to whatever it was that we were trying to get to....

Of course, once again, The Great and Powerful Karma has shown me the error of my ways.

My mom probably was doing our friggin' laundry or cleaning our mess from the house, or maybe, just maybe she was sitting at the table, drinking a Diet Pepsi and watching 10 minutes of As The World Turns IN PEACE. Who knows? All I can now assume is that she was laughing at us, the people that she had corralled into the vehicle who were usually constantly bugging her for her time and attention, the people that she literally "waited on" all day, every day, because she had us waiting on her. Brilliant, mother. I am humbled by your silent irony and unassuming manner. I have yet to master anything that requires me to be silent or unassuming.

I was reminded of this piece of my past as my family was waiting on me in the vehicle the other day. I was in the house, taking two desparate minutes to maniacally pick up toys, because my carpet monkeys (who were strapped into the vehicle with their father) weren't present to follow behind me in their typical Tasmanian Devilish fashion, leaving a wild path of destruction behind him. The feeling of joy and accomplishment of being alone in my home and getting a minor task finished was so overwhelming that I was practically whistling.

And then we pulled into church 15 minutes late, only to realize that yes, we did indeed miss the entire Baptism of our friends' baby.

I didn't cry. Almost.

On the way to their home for the post-Baptismal reception, we of course had to get fuel (because the low fuel light had already been illuminated for quite some time), some food and a gift. As I was meandering sprinting through K-Mart, enjoying my alone time looking for a Christ-like photo album to hold the photos of the Baptism (you know, the ones that I wasn't present to take), I realized that I needed some gift wrap or a bag. I saw a cute bag that said "Love" all over it, which seems Christ-like to me, and snagged it, then I turned it over and realized that it was half the price of the photo album, so I put it back and went on looking for a less-expensive one. When I had selected my purchases, I headed back out to the vehicle (where once again, my husband and children were caged up) and I declared to Brock "The gift wrap and card are as much as the gift" and he agreed and told a story of his own about the ridiculous price of gift wrap. Then I said "My mom used to save the Sunday Funnies (that is what we called them, don't mock me) and wrap birthday gifts and such in those. I am going to start doing that!" and Brock agreed with one word "Brilliant!"

And so the cycle continues....



This is my gender-neutral, pre-wrapped, emergency gift for a largely
forgotten, then suddenly remembered kid's birthday.
Just like Mom had in her closet.
The ribbon was tied around my bedroom rug and the wrapping
paper is from the Sunday Comics.
Thanks Mom.
See? I do pay attention.
Now I am off to quilt a cozy for my toaster.



Saturday, July 16, 2011

He is just like his father...

Although I can hear Thing 1 wailing in the yard right now because his tricycle is stuck in the rock pile (that we have yet to distribute on the paths in the flower garden), which is much more like me than Brock, the majority of the time he is all Daddy.

He is helpful.

Helping Brock with the landscaping.


Helping me harvest the garden.
 
His timing is impeccable.
"I'm Not Chalwy!"

He is a wee bit of a slob.


I feel a room cleaning in my future.


He likes rodeos.  

He looks cute in his Wrangler jeans, too.


He is handy around the house.


He drew this picture and wanted to hang it up!
This is ingenuity at work, people.
Now only if he would paint the trim boards....
  He likes tools.


This looks useful.

He even has a Daddy Action Figure.



He hung him on his Responsibility Chart that we keep failing to use.


And most importantly, he is an inventive genius who makes the impossible, possible! Okay, that may be stretching it but we all want the best for our children.

And most importantly, he is mine and I love him.See? I'm not a snarling troll every day.*
*maybe every other day.....

Have a great weekend. And remember to assume the lightening position if caught outside in a storm and you feel electricity in the air: Squat down with your heels touching and tuck your head. Good luck!

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi

Friday, July 15, 2011

Just Shut Up and Nod in Agreement

Parenting is tough.

Marriage is tough.

The combination can sometimes be ridiculous.

I know lots of single parents, and that looks tough too.

So what do we do, when our lives are all consumed by caring for others and we realize that it has been days.... weeks... months.... since we felt the pure joy of serving only ourselves? Even just for an hour or two? What do we do when we are so tapped out that all we feel is disappointment and exhaustion with a side of rage and a pinch of loathing?

We have a few options:

1. We exercise (if we can find the time)

Pro- Endorphin release. With consistency, you will look and feel better.

Con- You will most likely have to get up at Satan's hour to accomplish this, which is cutting into your rare and precious sleep time because by the time you get the spawn lovely children to bed, you need an hour or two of awake time to yourself or with your spouse without the presence of crumb grabbers so that you can slowly morph back into something that slightly resembles you former self. Then when you finally get to sleep, between the sound of your spouse's snoring or the dog licking themselves or your neighbor's driving by with the bass all the way up to 11, your child starts screaming and needs you in the middle of the night and you end up rocking them until you soothe their sobs at 4 am and then you definitely should have the ability to pop out of bed and go for a 4 miles run because you are supermom and need no sleep! Right?

2. You take a Tylenol PM or some other sleep aid so that you can get rest.

Pro- You sleep so sound that you don't even know there has been a Zombie Apocalypse.

Con- When you are in a fog the entire day following your sleep session, you read the label and see that you should only take the pill when you can get 8-10 hours of sleep. Bahahahaha! Yeah, like that happens anymore. The label should read "Not for Parents".

3. You build a boxing ring in your living room and throw your husband a pair of gloves.

Pro- You both get out some much needed aggression.

Con- Your husband can probably hit harder than you and you realize it was a bad idea when he rings your bell. Plus, you don't get invited to any more play dates because your child keeps decking his friends.

4. You complain to your friends.

Pro- The right friends will validate your feelings and share their similar stories of how fucking hard it is to be a parent and try and maintain your house, your career, your relationships, your sense of self and your Goddess status in the bedroom.

Con- The wrong people will say things like: "You should feel blessed to have such a healthy family" or "Well, I love every moment of being a mother." or "Maybe you just aren't cut out to be a parent." (facebook defriending pending.....)

5. You get Mary Poppins to move in with you.

Pro- She can sing like a bird, has magical powers and makes your kids clean their room.

Con- She leaves. She always leaves, and then it is just you. Again. You can guarantee that the kids eventually "forget" how to clean their rooms, too.

6. You play the lottery.

Pro- Money is great! You can pay off your house, go on vacations, hire live-in help, pay your bills on time and have a date night without stressing that you aren't going to be able to pay your electric bill because you hired a sitter and went to a movie.

Con- The odds are against you.

7. You medicate.

Pro- Numbness can be blissful.

Con- Addiction can destroy you (and shit like that)

8. You run away from it all.

Pro- It is just you, baby. No one else.

Con- It is just you, and you feel alone a depressed and guilty and you can't enjoy your freedom because the regret is killing you and the kids have no mother and will need therapy and your ex is drinking away the pain.... it's bad.

9. You try and get your family to help out more so you can have a break.

Pro- Your children will benefit from a youth rich in family connections.

Con- In-laws. Weird "Uncle" Artie. Everyone feels validated to offer you unsolicited advice on everything you do. In-Laws.

10. You get out of the house and do something for yourself, with no guilt, once a week.

Pro- You will feel better and you might even find that you miss your family.

Con- It is hard to get away because someone ALWAYS needs you. And when you do, and you are sharing your problems with your friend in the wine restaurant, the table next to you is completely silent because they are listening to everything you say in horror and planning a modern day witch hunt. That's right, we's a couple of angry bitches. Watch your back!

If you are feeling trapped, depressed, alone, hideous, broke, angry, remorseful, loathing, and exhaustion, I would like to say "welcome to the club!".

Now, get off the Internet, because your children are hungry and laundry needs to be done and bills need to be paid and a whole bunch of people need a shit ton from you and you are disappointing everyone right now.

Have a great weekend!

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Confronting your fears through Google Search.

We all have fears.

I fear aging.
Shit, I'm getting older. Like, every day.

I fear losing my mind.
The phone is ringing....Where did I set the phone? Have I eaten yet? I think...wait. What was I talking about?

I fear poverty.
God doesn't love me.

Some of my fears are reasonable: snakes, clowns, Michael Bolton.... duh. Yet some of them are irrational: all the what ifs? in life, and OMG, Is that a booger?  Then there is the greatest fear of all, the one that I had during childhood. The mere sight of this terror trigger would have me screaming and sobbing and sprinting from the room, as fast as my bony legs would carry me. It was not a bug, nor was it even alive (I wish that I would have known this fact). It was this:

Introducing: Madame from Hollywood Squares.
I didn't even want to Google her image, but I did.
She is terrifying.
The sight of her still sends chills down my spine.

picture from advocate.com

The worst thing in the world is when someone laughs at you for being afraid. Thanks Mom and Dad. Thanks a lot for sitting in the living room and using your "sweet" voice to beckon me, "Johi! Come in here! You will want to see this!" And then my 6 year old self comes skipping around the corner only to be confronted with Satan in red lipstick. You guys are awesome. Here is the bill from the therapist....

*And I feel like I need to apologize to my friend who fears hummingbirds for laughing at her so hard that I practically peed myself when we were sitting on a deck, being swarmed by Kamikaze Hummingbirds.... I'm a horrible person. I'm going to send her an apology by facebook message now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The blog post that is a joke that I didn't write. Enjoy.

cid:1.3622264315@web30108.mail.mud.yahoo.com

I didn't write this, but I thought you would enjoy it.......


Sally was driving home from one of her business trips, in Northern Arizona, when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.
As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride.

With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.
Resuming the journey, Sally tried - in vain - to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman.  The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.


"What's in bag?" asked the old woman.

Sally looked down at the brown bag and said:  "It's a bottle of wine.  I got it for my husband."


The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two.  Then, speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said,  


"Good trade . . ."

~author unkown.


I'll come up with some original stuff tomorrow. As of now, I have a date with that pan of Rice Crispie Treats that I made and the remote control. We can talk about it tomorrow, when the wound isn't so fresh.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why Didn't I Marry For Money?

I've decided over the course of the weekend that my life is on the wrong path. I was filling in for my cousin at the local farmer's market and I now realize that I should have been a farmer.... or independently wealthy.... either way, I'm not fulfilling my life's prophecy. I need to have one hand in the dirt and the other in a designer bag like a monkey needs bananas. Every two weeks when I am attempting to pay bills on my husband's carpenter salary, I feel my mind drifting to that all to familiar question... "Why didn't I marry for money?"

Guess what? I'm {unfortunately} not a gold digger. I had the chance. I rejected it.
Don't believe me? Read on.

Not long ago, there was a time that a very wealthy man was attempting to woo me. As lovely as the cash would have been, I did not take the bait. There were some basic social differences that will probably always keep me in a category apart from his. I'm okay with that, considering that I believe in using common fucking sense and he believed in excessive use of tooth whitening products, killing cats and bragging.

I'm going to write this in the form of a play.

Scenario:


::Trade-show, big concrete floors in a giant room, hats and dead animals all around. Men milling about.

Monologue:
I was in my late twenties, working my side job in the biggest little city in the world (Reno, for those of you who are not as well-travelled as I), schlepping custom made cowboy hats. I was working 10+ hour days on my feet on concrete at a few trade shows in the area; both of which contained large amounts of taxidermy and large amounts of testosterone ready to blow their wad (Their wad of money, people, their money. Get your heads out of the gutters. Reno is a classy city. bwhahahaha). Anyway, I was working full-time and just able to pay my bills and my rent with no extra to use for crazy things; like savings... or vacations.... or drinks that I didn't make for myself.

One of the hatter's clients was a very wealthy young man from "old money". Apparently, he likes flat-chested, mouthy blonds because he set his sights on this one. He had to look up to do it, because he was also shorter than me. Yes, I am shallow. I will always choose the man taller than me (and with thighs bigger than mine) Rich boy's initial attempt at wooing me went like this:

::A vertically challenged man enters hat booth, shakes my bosses hand and together they approach me. Introductions follow. My boss tells him were I normally work. My boss leaves the two of us together and I attempt to sell the wee man a hat.

Me: Let's see which one of these styles might work for you.
Him, staring deeply into my eyes while trying to look dreamy: How do you like to start your day?
Me, startled, not in a good way: Coffee....
Him, flashing the whitest bleached teeth I have ever seen. They were like sun glare in your eyes. Their unnatural glow would blind you in the presence of a black light. They were whiter than my ass in the middle of January, people.... It was unnecessary: I don't drink coffee, it stains your teeth.
Me, wishing I had a set of those fake Hillbilly teeth in my pocket to slip into my mouth: Oh. I guess it does.
Him, staring intensely into my face: What kind of food do you like?
Me, moving my head back in that attractive way where my neck eats my chin: Oh, I don't know....
Him, moving closer, tilting his head to one side: Chocolate?
Me, sporting major chin cleavage: Not really ( I seriously didn't like chocolate until I turned 30.)
Him: Ice Cream?
Me: No.... I'm more of a baked goods gal.
Him, completely invading my personal space bubble: What else do you like?
Me, stepping back and trying to wrap up the hat sale: I don't know.... decorating.... horses......
Him, with importance:  My house was featured in an issue of Architectural Digest!
Me: Wow, congratulations.
Him, still with the creepy eye contact: I drive a Hummer.
Me, looking at my paperwork: Okay. Let's walk over to this neighboring booth and check out her handmade hatbands. I'm sure you can find something that you like.....

Moments later my boss comes over to the hatband booth says to me: Do you want to meet Tom Selleck?
I practically mow over White Tooth on my way to meet the tall handsome guy by the name of TOM SELLECK. We shook hands. It was awesome. He was really tall. I'm pretty sure he remembers me.

Bow Chicka Now Now...
His thighs are bigger than mine, I saw them when he was sporting
those ball-buster shorts in Magnum, PI.
Image from friends.wikia.com
Then I had to go back to Pearl Drops: Did you find a hatband you liked?
Him, moving his head from side to side in front of my face like a horny goose in mating season, attempting to regain eye contact: There you are, I thought I had lost you.

I nearly vomited into a $600 cowboy hat. Noa Gavin wrote a word on her blog that perfectly describes this type of being: twatwaffle. He was a total twatwaffle.

Then he clinched that title with: The last time I was in Africa, I killed a lion.
I looked him in the face, curled my top lip back over my teeth and said: I have a cat that looks like a lion.


Admitting that you kill lions for sport is not my idea of a
good pick-up line.

MoMo Baby Kiss Kiss
"Me-Roar" and "I like Vodka Martinis with 2 olives"

 ::Two days later in a motel room.
I was ill (airplanes and travel=sinus infection for me) and spent the day in my room at the local La Quinta. My coworker came by late in the day with a full black Prada duffel bag. She was smirking. She told me it was delivered to the hat booth by The Great White Tooth. I hesitantly opened the bag and peered into it to see a four foot tall white teddy bear staring at me. Apparently it was a designer bear.

Lame does not even begin to describe my feelings of being gifted a four foot tall teddy bear. I was 27 fucking years old.

Within the course of two days of meeting this person, he made me feel like puking twice.
To be entirely honest, I was fairly outraged.

What a dillrod. What kind of moron tries to woo a hard-working money-deprived girl with a fucking stuffed animal? I'll tell you what kind; the clueless and perpetually single kind. Note to men: Do not give a grown woman a stuffed animal unless you want her to make fun of you on the Internet. If you want to impress her: Pay her rent for six months so she can put aside some money in savings! or buy her a six pack of her favorite beer! Done.

I looked at my coworker, who was not doing a good job with maintaining her glee at the ridiculousness of the giant bear (I was FLYING home on an airplane. I would have had to pay $50 to get the stupid thing on the plane.)
I looked at the Prada bag, shrugged and said to her: The bag is nice.
She said: He wants the bag back.
I said: Of course he does.

::Two weeks later, back in Colorado, at my other crappy job.

I received a package at work. In it was a copy of Architectural Digest featuring his house, a box of chocolates and about six quarts of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
A braggart and a bad listener too. Double bonus.

****Whenever I feel sorry for us that we are lacking a substantial amount of funding, I think back on my encounter with the loaded douche canoe and I say to Brock, "Jesus was a carpenter."


We may be eating in for the next 40 years and (I guess) that's okay.

I'm a sweet as a fresh summer peach. Well, I will be tomorrow.

It has been five long days of teeth clenching, full body sweating, cake eating, bill-paying, acne colonizing, sleep deprivived, irrationally angry PMS around here. Thing 2 also happens to be cutting molars. He's a screamer. Clearly, I'm currently a sheer and utter delight for all of those around me. My friend sent me this card from Bluntcard. It pretty much says it all.



I'm getting better. After a little more ibuprofen and wine, I should be able to resume regular activities tomorrow.

Check back soon, as I am working on a delightful "snippet" from my past.

In the meantime, let's all use the word "snippet" today as much as possible. Additionally, if you can throw in a well-placed "wretched trollop", I'll give you bonus points.

Now come over here and give me a hug. I think it would help. Honestly, I don't really know what kind of reaction physical contact will elicit; I could either feel soothed, start sobbing or kidney punch you. Yay for hormones.

OMG, it is HOT in here.

xoxokarate-kick-to-the-throat,
Johi

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Don't send a man to the store, Part 1

Yesterday Thing 1 and I were in Target (he in his plaid shorts and me in my princess dress). Of course as soon as I put three things in my cart I realized that I had left my list in the truck. Miraculously, I remembered the bags though, so I decided to challenge my wee feeble brain and try to get my items without the list. I have decided to start doing things like crossword puzzles and memory games so that I don't completely lose my marbles. No I haven't, I just didn't want to walk back out to the truck. So we did our shopping for groceries and other necessities (like two $50 chairs for $12.25 apiece!) and started unloading our items at the checkout when I remembered that I had forgotten parchment paper for the cake that I am baking for my friend's birthday.

I said to the cashier: I forgot parchment paper, do you want me to run and get it or can you send someone?
She looked at my still full cart and my child and the line behind me and said: I'll send someone.
I thought: Good call.

As we were wrapping up, another girl came to assist and we were all looking for the person with my paper.
The cashier said to her coworker: Did you send for it?
Coworker said: Ryan should be bringing it. He'll be here soon.
I suddenly thought of Brock wandering around in the labyrinth of Target, searching for at least an hour for some mystery item called "the parchment paper" and I laughed out loud and said: You sent a man?
They both looked at me like I was a little evil, although I think the cashier was trying to withhold her amusement. She said hopefully: Maybe he bakes.

I may have snorted.*

About five seconds later "Ryan" came wandering up to the check-out with a large quantity of loose tissue paper that he obviously got from the bakery/deli area draped over his arm. About 50 sheets of something I didn't need were flapping in the breeze because they were taken from a box meant for commercial use. Ryan looked sweet, yet a bit clueless. Just as I had imagined.
I looked at the ladies and raised an eyebrow. The cashier muttered: I can't sell that. And the coworker scuttled off to correct his mistake.

Sometimes it is hard not to be right.

*My apologies to the two men that I know that do bake. I'm sure you know exactly where to find parchment paper. I'm sure you also know that you are unique and special men that represent a gross minority in your gender category. I'm guessing you two can also do all your grocery shopping in under two hours. Again, you are a rare breed of Man and I would like to acknowledge and celebrate that individuality.  Cheers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hot Summer Fashion to Keep You Cool.

I typically keep my summer wardrobe simple. I only have two requirements. It needs to; 1) be comfortable and 2) keep me cool. That is why I am typically seen in shorts, a tank top and flip flops. I like to accessorize with bug bites and my cop sunglasses.

Every once in a great while I leave the house, the garden, and all the yard work, and I venture out into that scary and unfamiliar territory called civilization. I usually shower and wash my hair for this activity. *usually. For this sort of public display, I favor wearing dresses and sandals that I found on a sale rack somewhere and are at least 2-15 seasons out of date. Whatever. I put this ensemble on to go to Target and Thing 1 gasped, "You look like a PRINCESS" so I say success! Although... he thinks that if you eat black watermelon seeds that a watermelon plant will grow out of your ears.


It is important to match your dress to the dog water
bucket. I think I paid $5 for this 3 years ago. I like it.
It shows off my 12-year old boy chest. The dog bucket
was more expensive than the dress...
 Here are a few examples of other things that I have been seen wearing in public during the hot summer months:


Fourth of July outfit. Accessorize with fire.
Your local Target has this dress on sale right now.
Go. Buy. We can be united in our tableclothishness.

I like margaritas. Look how happy they make me.
Yes, I am in a bar... on a swing.
Dress found on sale in Old Town last year? Shoes
from Target, also last year on sale. LOVE these shoes.
The bag (the handbag, not me) is from ~7 years ago,
 on sale, from Express.
 You don't need to spend a lot of money to look presentable, as long as you aren't concerned with high quality garments or being current with fashion! (This is coming from a woman who makes her husband cut her hair.) I find killer deals all the time at the end of each season, but the best are in February and March. I say-Use those deals to snag more out of date stuff for your wardrobe! It's a great idea!


Remember, the most important part of any outfit is to feel good. Part of that "feeling of goodness" comes from well-fitting undergarments. If they don't fit properly, major issues can arise, like the one that did for my friend when we were walking down the street in Old Town Fort Collins over the weekend. During the course of one of our many brilliant conversations, she said, "I passed lady-like when I threw my underwear in the trashcan." The trashcan event had only happened moments earlier, on the same people-crowded street in downtown. My friends rock.

Don't fall victim to bad elastic, people.

You should really listen to me. My horoscope said that I am a narcissist who knows what I am are talking about:
Pisces
February 19 - March 20
You might think you're the most intelligent person in the world. You hover over the notions that bind us. You're transformed into an artist who's able to have great ideas. Remember that geniuses always think big. Today you're one of them. Your ideas could help others.
DAILY TIP*: So yes, buy good underwear. And if you buy cotton, buy a size larger than you normally wear. They shrink. You're welcome.

*I use the word "daily" loosely, as I post these about once every 4 months.

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Our Independence Day" or "Why Type A people shouldn't be the designated driver"

The Fourth of July always produces conflicting feelings at our house. Of course we are proud to be American, so the whole "Let Freedom Ring" thing is obviously wonderful. Heck, I cry about half the time that I hear the National Anthem. On the other hand, we also are dog owners. Most dog owners know that fireworks may not produce the most comforting environment for your beloved pets. Actually, any fireworks that can be heard by our dogs must be equal to the fear of an egocentric homophobe accidentally stumbling into a gay bar. They are terrified of fireworks. Long story short; our dogs spent three nights in a bathroom smaller than my closet, they are shedding excessively and I think I need to Google "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Canines". I also need a new pillow, because Red Dog spent Sunday evening laying half of her sheddy body on my head, and the other half on my pillow. There was a lot of heavy panting in our bed, and I'm not talking about the "fun" or "experimental" kind.


Making memories on Independence Day that only drugs can cure.

The other part of the Fourth that makes us shudder is knowing that a bunch of drunk assholes are out driving. If I wanted my children to mingle with a bunch of drunkards, I would be hanging out at a bar every night and letting them eat peanuts shells under the pool table. Or dragging them to bookclub. Not. Happening. Add to that the memory of all of my childhood 4th celebrations, where we ate watermelon, ooooo-ed and ahhhhh-ed! at the fireworks, and then climbed into the vehicle, utterly exhausted, to drive the 15 minutes home, except that 15 minute drive took two hours in Estes Park July 4th traffic. By the time I reached the my family's cabin, the immense amount of lemonade consumed throughout the evening was ready to make its exit with the pressure of a fire hydrant. Fun, yet painful memories full of needing to pee and "are we there yet?".

The combination of our shell-shocked dogs (remember, the Black Dog basically craps herself when I pull out my camera, because cameras are like scary killer clowns, so you can imagine what something that sounds like gunshots would do to here stability....) and the drunkards behind the wheel..... and the memory of horrendous traffic that prolonged the evening much longer than desired have always kept us at home. Boring, I know. Since Thing 1 had never seen fireworks (he was always asleep in bed) and really didn't even know the 4th of July existed, we decided to unveil the great secret this year. Plus, we were feeling guilty and unAmerican. I was raised Catholic and totally respond to guilt. So we remedied our past lackluster 4th's (cut to Brock and I climbing onto our roof and drinking beer) by going to a backyard barbeque! Yay us! We actually left the house! I showered and put on my cute new All-American red and white checked dress! I looked like a tablecloth and I didn't care!

The BBQ was, in fact, fabulous. In the great American fashion, the kids (including the big ones....) all ran out onto the street and played with fire sparklers. There were delicious grilled meats and fresh summer side dishes and homemade ice cream. Thing 2 even bonded with some chickens. Then Brock whipped out his banjo and played My Country Tis of Thee. Okay, he doesn't play the banjo, but that last image makes me feel happy.


He fed them rocks. He is so sweet.

FIRE! Sparklers!

In my food induced fog, I was the responsible party to drive the family home. I was driving under the speed limit (i.e. like Brock) clenching my butt cheeks the entire time while thinking things like "Sweet Baby Jesus! Why do those whippersnappers have to drive so fast????" We were headed through Windsor with a giant possibly drunk driven truck up my butt, right as their firework display was in full force. Brock gently persuaded me to pull off at the ball park where we could sit and watch the display with our poor firework deprived children. I feel like I need to add it was pitch black and I don't see well at night, even with glasses. The conversation went like so:

Brock, lazily, swirling his finger around at the windshield: Let's pull off up here and watch the display.
Me, squinting into the blackness: Where?
Brock, taking so long that I started aging: Just up here a little bit....
Me, imaging him saying "NOW!" as the monster truck behind me rams us into oblivion: WHICH SIDE???
Brock, like he is picking daisies in the meadow: Uh..... the left?

By the Grace of All that Is Holy, I somehow managed to safely maneuver the truck off the road and stopped in the ball field parking lot. We spotted some bleachers, so we unloaded the kids and walked over for a better view from the aluminum seats. I sat down and plopped Thing 1 on my lap. He was in awe. He had a giant smile on his face the entire time and was shouting out the different colors. Then he pointed at the shiny bleachers and asked "Is this wet or dry?" which puzzled me and I responded "dry". I was wrong. After about ten minutes of sitting, whatever it was that was making the bleachers wet had soaked through my cute new dress and my undies and suddenly I was like "OMG! WHY AM I WET???" It had not rained, yet my butt was soaked. As we walked back to the truck, I was quickly becoming horrified by the various array of moisture producing options deriving from the years' single most booze-soaked holiday, that were now located on me and my new dress. I climbed in and hiked up my skirt, only to realize that the nasty mystery wetness was only going to be transferred to my back.

I looked at Brock and said: Give my your shirt.
Then, thinking he was going to give me his shirt, I quickly removed my saturated with God-Knows-What dress and was sitting in my truck in my undergarments. When I looked at him again, he was still just sitting there, fully clothed. It was dark, but the parking lot was full of people.
I was trying to keep myself covered and was all: Give me your friggin' shirt!
Then he decided it was a good time to argue, and he wasn't messing with me, he just didn't understand what I wanted: I don't want to give you my shirt, it's new.
I'm all: I know! I bought it for you! Hurry up and give it to me please!
He starts undoing his button on his shorts: I'll let you use my shorts.
I'm sitting in my bra. I don't need your shorts! GIVE ME YOUR SHIRT. I'M NAKED.
He sighs and says, You're wearing underwear.

...and then my head exploded like the 5,000 pounds of fireworks confiscated by the cops.

I finally convinced him that it was okay (legal) for a man to go without a shirt, but not so much for a woman and he chivalrously gave me his shirt. Butthole. I won't be surprised when Brock starts his own blog called "My Side of the Story".

As we were driving home in my pick-up truck, him looking all sorts of shirtless white trash and me looking that special kind of trampy, wearing nothing but a large man's shirt, I realized that, in fact, we appeared to be the target audience to be pulled over by the cops. Especially after I rolled up the all windows and heard a blood curdling scream. I looked around for the Girl Scout that made the noise, only to see Brock cradling his hand. Allegedly, I trapped Brock's hand in the window. I didn't see it. I swear. Besides, I drive, I control the airflow. What?


Happy Independence Day from the Corn Fed Girl!
Fer reals.

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth! I would love to hear about your special memories of the holiday. And for those of you who don't live in America, you can tell me about any special booze-centric holiday memory.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wishing you all a safe and celebratory 4th of July!


Image from the http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/2011/06/vintage-patriotic-clip-art-july-4th.html



We have big plans here, including but not limited to:


Gardening...


Napping....


Estes Park!

maybe a little partying.....
 

And and always.... the laundry.

When you get a chance, head over to Legos in my Pocket and check out Jaimie's site. I am the featured guest blogger for the month of July!

Click here>>>> http://legosinmypocket.blogspot.com/


Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi

Friday, July 1, 2011

Eating seasonally from your local farmer's market (or your garden... or your neighbor's garden....)

Last Saturday we packed up the children (in only 30 minutes... I KNOW!) and headed to our lovely Old Town Ft. Collins. We went primarily to browse the local farmer's market where we could visit with my cousin and her husband. Yet, with Thing 2 in his sailor outfit and Thing 1 in his argyle, we stayed a bit longer so we could parade around with our frigging adorable offspring and nod knowingly at the passers by who smiled and took in some sights and activities of Old Town, including the fountain on Oak Street and an awesome sandwich shoppe that serves gluten-free bread called Backcountry Provisions, where I ate the best BLT of my life. It had brie on it. Bacon and Brie. Do I need to say anything more? Thing 2 missed his nap, but that bacon sandwich was worth it! Bacon....brie......yum...

Sorry, back to my cousin; she, in true Iowa girl fashion, married a farmer. This farmer happens to be from Eaton, CO. Yay! So not only do I get to live 15 minutes from my awesome cousin and her awesome husband, we also get to visit their booth, Leffler Family Farms, at the Old Town Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. Also, her husband has a tractor and takes Thing 1 on rides, making him one of Thing 1's favorite people. We won't talk about the wet willies that he taught my baby ....


How cute is this little farmer's wife???

They grow a variety of food on their farm, but at the booth over the weekend they were selling lettuce, small red beets and pinto beans. Since I will be manning the booth on July 9th and 24th for them (come and see me!), I snagged a bunch of beets for some experimenting in the kitchen.


Thing 1 can really hold a beet. blahaha!

I believe there is something to be said for eating seasonally; not only is it more affordable, it is actually good for you! Gasp! I found this article, which is short and describes the benefits of eating seasonally in a very straightforward manner (and it is short.... did I mention that?).
Bacon is always in season, for the record.

....humming Baby Got Back in my head.....

Now that we are all on the same page with our seasonal eating; I was sitting in my lawn chair outside in front of the fan on Sunday night. It was 90 degrees or some madness like that. Thing 1 was practicing for his future as a nudist and Thing 2 was screaming and trying to throw himself headfirst down the deck stairs. As usual, I really just wanted to take a nap, but alas, I needed to feed my family. I didn't want to cook until I remembered my bunch of baby beets (the size of large radishes). I go through spurts of playing a mad scientist in the kitchen and I decided I would once again use my family as guinea pigs for a brand spanking new made-up recipe! Muahaha! I felt even more more inspired as I wandered out to my own garden to see what was ready, and then snipped some fresh spinach and cilantro (which I didn't use, but I feel guacamole in our future). By the time I turned on the stove there was smoke rolling out of my ears.


Look at me being all domestic and shit. I grew that stuff!

Keeping "eating seasonally" and "It is frigging hot and I don't want to spend very much time in front of the stove" in mind, I came up with this recipe, which we all liked (okay, I had to bribe Thing 1 with chocolate, but in the end, he ate all of it):



Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Gluten-free, can be made vegetarian or vegan very easily
Serves 4

Can't Beet That! (Brock named it)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup Quinoa
~Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan, add quinoa, return to boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.

2 Tablespoons Olive oil (drizzle in large skillet)
1 Tablespoon butter (add over oil)
~ Heat until butter is melted, then add and saute:
1 medium onion, sliced or chopped
1 small bunch of small beets(6-8 small or 2-3 large beets)- greens removed (save these for a follow-up recipe!) and diced
6 carrots- peeled and chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
~cook together until onions are tender
~then add:
4 cups of washed and chopped fresh spinach
drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons honey
pinch of sea salt
dash of Nature's Seasonings
Stir for a few minutes then reduce heat to low and cover for about 10 minutes. This will steam the root vegetables until tender.

Slice 2 fresh peaches or nectarines for garnish. Pears would be Delish! with this but they are not yet in season, so peaches it is.

I had one leftover chicken breast and four breakfast sausage turkey links so I used this opportunity to use them. I chopped them up and threw them into the skillet to warm before I put the lid on. It worked well, but the dish was great without meat as well. The spinach and quinoa are both adequate sources of protein, but the flavor of some grilled pork chops with balsamic vinegar would be lovely with this too.

I hope you like it. If not, send letters to the complaint department.*

*Sorry, the complaint department is closed for renovation.

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi