Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bulls & Berries!

I was so excited yesterday people. I was going out knowing I was coming back to you with the best story of the season. It would be filled with stereotypes, wit, and fantastic photos worthy of posting on even the greatest of blogs. I mean it was going to be awesome.

I talked the husband into the expedition despite his headache and the oncoming storm. We packed the kids up complete with rain coats and rain boots. We got some cash (ok a small fortune) and we headed to our first County Fair! Yes ladies and gentlemen we were all county fair virgins. I bribed my husband with promises of fried dough and best of all and what got him off the couch.....

Grown men voluntarily climbing atop an angry bull, strapping themselves on and getting kicked in the berries and thrown face first into the mud!!! We were also bull riding virgins. Oh yea. I have lived in NC for umpteen years and never have I seen such a display of incomplete DNA in one place.

This is a small fair so I was in anticipation that these would not actually be "good" bull riders. We sat down on the bleachers and gazed upon the arena. By arena I of course mean giant pit of mud and poop enclosed by a large steel fence. A temporary fence. We moved farther back on the bleachers once I realized how temporary this fence is. I decided holding onto a squirmy 18 month old was enough without adding an angry bull to my lap. Alex agreed.

We waited. And then it began. The terrible music. I kid you not they played a whole song about Copenhagen Snuff. If you don't know what that is thank your lucky stars. The lame guy who does commentary began. The boys were introduced. We prayed for their safety all the while I was thinking are they serious? I mean your climbing onto an angry bull. Don't you kind of think God is looking down snickering and saying "I told you this was a bad idea but OK genius!" The dude wearing the pink and teal chaps was holding onto and nervously adjusting his berries the whole time they prayed. I think he was saying his own special prayer - or maybe he was saying goodbye to them.

Then it happened. I turned on the camera SO excited. Man these shots are going to be SO FUNNY! And I realized "Noooooo!! My batteries are so DEAD!" I am so sorry guys. When the bull slammed into the fence not 5 feet in front of us, flinging the not so intelligent guy atop him into the air I was thinking about the way that I could not decribe to you the job I got from seeing his goofy self thrown around like the redneck version of Raggedy Andy.

When all was said and done I had a new appreciation for the "sport". I decided that yes, it was probably good these guys have a tendency to get their special places stepped on because really, if you would do this all without A. alcohol being involved or B. a gun against your head then you probably should not be allowed to reproduce anyways.

I wanted to get Ella's take on the whole thing so I talked her through it all. After the EMS helped a couple guys out of the ring (I have no pitty - as neither A nor B seemed to be involved) and she knew that they were ok but the Drs were going to make sure that that one guy's "wee wee" was ok and that the other guys "belly wasn't broken." She kind of looked at me puzzled at one point and asked me why they were going to get on the bulls if they were angry (she assumed the bulls were angry because they had not had their dinner yet). I told her they were riding the bulls becuase they were very silly boys and they had too much testosterone. I mean - what other logical answer could I give her? She decided that bull riding was a bad idea but funny none the less. Nate just said "Uh Oh!" alot. Even he knew this was a bad idea.

Next time I will make sure the batteries are charged. I promise.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Masses March in Mexico

This is a major reason we have so many people coming to the US illegally.

Tasting Saxapahaw

For those of you not in the know I spent way too much going to Johnson & Wales University Culinary School in Charleston, SC. I love to cook and I am a self proclaimed foodie.

This said I hate when there are things I do not know culinarily speaking. Especially embarrassing to me is when there is a particular ingredient I am not personally familiar with. I have many things on my must try list like Buddah's Hand which I discovered on Iron Chef. It has been calling to me since. I consider this a fun way of continuing my culinary education.

Today I upon realizing that the total of produce in my kitchen totaled up only included a lime and 1/4 of an onion I decided I needed to remedy that. What used to be my local gas station, the Saxapahaw General Store & Cafe has expanded it's line up recently to include local produce, local meats, fresh cheeses, freah backed breads many organic goods. I have been frequenting them to encourage this and make sure they keep it up. The nearest grocery store is a 15 mile drive. I am loving them right now!

I picked up two new things to try one of which I still cant believe I am just trying. I wanted to share! What did I try that I am ashamed I had never had fresh?

Figs! What you didn't know they came in a non newton form? So I have tried this fruit who some argue was the forbidden fruit itself. I liked it and I plan to partake in more and maybe try them poached next time or stuffed into pork. We shall see.

The other?

Dua Gan is a very juicy crunchy melon that tastes to me like a combination between a honey dew melon and a pear. It was very yummy and so pretty to look at I just couldn't leave it there without trying it. This little melon is bright yellow and tasty so if you see one - pick it up!

If you are in the up and coming Saxapahaw, NC (it is the new Carrboro) for the Summer Music Series and Farmer's Market support the local economy and stop in the Saxapahaw General Store for some good food & some conversation. (They should pay me or give a discount shouldn't they?)

Anyways, I enjoyed my culinary exploration today and I can now check Figs off the list. Maybe I will let you know when I get around to that Buddah's Hand! What about you? Tried anything new lately? Finally gotten your kids to try green beans? Let me know about it!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Nest - Just How Fluffy Should It Be?

What makes you happy? Really happy.

It constantly amazes me the amount of subversive garbage we have to sift through on a daily basis. It is absolutely mind boggling to me the amount of blatant crap that we buy into.

You don't need the newest. You don't need the best. You don't need the biggest. Remind yourself of this regularly so you can be content with yourself when all you have around you are your shortcomings and your inadequacies. In the end none of us measure up. None of us. Not even those of us with the best of the best.

Stop struggling and fighting to get it and letting what you should really be fighting for slip through your fingers.

I am sorry. I have been getting a copy of the magazine The Nest from the makers of the knot. It might as well be one big catalog full of everything they tell you will make your marriage last, or at least look good in photos. Just one example of how pretty wrapping can mask the underlying tone of something: your just not measuring up. You need something else.

I guess I am feeling a bit cynical today on behalf of those of you, and myself included, who have to struggle daily against falling for it all. Your right, you don't measure up but that is ok. You are loved just as you are.

I hope I can pass this on to my daughter Ella who has asked me before "Mommy, do you think ___ will like my dress?" There are few things that have come out of her mouth that have made me sad. This was one. Already.

You are loved just as you are.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Maple View Farm Sunset, Chapel Hill NC

Sunset from the Maple View Farm Country Store. Chapel Hill NC
A wonderful place to have the best ice cream in the world (a bit dramatic but true), let the kids play, relax and even fall in love again!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It Is Official!

It is official now. After what seemed like much longer than three months Alex is home permanently! Well, not like I-have-him-tied-up-in-the-closet kind of permanently. He is no longer working out of town! In fact he started his new job in Chapel Hill this morning!

I will again have health insurance!! Can anyone say Tubal Ligation?! (of course honey, nothing says Merry Christmas love of my life like a Vasectomy! (or happy arbor day, or flag day or even Canadian Boxing day!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blogroll Please...

I felt the need to update my blogroll with a couple new additions....

McMommy has been added whom many of you know. I knew I liked her because she had "because chocolate can't get you pregnant" on her header. Also shes hot and it isn't just because she lives in the Florida Keys.

I would also like to introduce you to Carol of The Siswick Construction Zone. See this post to see why I think shes hilarious. Also, she types with a british accent. She does. I can hear it in my head. At least I think thats her.

Welcome to my short list ladies! There will be drinks following the ceremony.

Purple Palace..

We are busily working on transforming Ella's room. Currently it can only be described as leftover destruction from our Master Bedroom Move with a twin bed and a lot of baby dolls and some doll beds. It is being transformed! The theme? Purple (with a little princess I am sure). Wish us luck!

I am going to be hitting this ETSY link of wall decals under $25 later to search. Feel free to browse and let me know if you find something cute or if you know of something you could hook me up with!

Off to buy some low VOC paint!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bush Declares "Major Disaster" Area In NC

After doing a flyover of the target area Bush decided closer inspection was needed to determine whether federal aid would indeed be granted to the disaster area in question. After he was on the ground and into the correct protective gear he headed into the epicenter. Bush upon seeing the utter devastation remarked that in all his days and travels to war torn nations he had not yet seen the likes of this kind of damage. He vowed to look into preventative measures so as to avoid any situations like this in the future though the words "hopeless" and "beyond in-nervention" were overheard. He was quoted as saying "Though the surrounding area looks like a "nucular" testing site we will do all we can to help the people affected. Apparently Aprille really is the worst housekeeper in the world."

Editors Note: In order to protect those not mature enough to view such devastation we have chosen to withhold pictures at this time.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

One Giant Leap

I took this picture at twilight last night and immediately loved it.
Then I thought I would have some fun with editing it.
This is what happened......






And the too cool original again.....
Notice she is wearing her Olympic Necklace.
Nice jump! Future pole vaulter?


Friday, August 22, 2008

UPDATED UPDATE: My Father Is In The Hospital

I just found out my father Joe has been admitted to the hospital with some seriously extreme back pain and an inability to move his legs. They are talking surgery but are awaiting a specialist. Please pray for clarity, pain relief and a very accurate diagnosis. Thank you.

UPDATE: No surgery needed this weekend. Lots of pain killers and steroids. I guess he will be out of the Olympics this weekend. He is knocked out and will be kept over the weekend to be released Mon if he progresses well.

UPDATED UPDATE: He is back at home and following Dr.'s orders now. Hopefully better than most tend to follow the Dr.'s orders.

Thats Why They Call It Carolina Blue



I love where I live.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sholder Replacement Surgery & The Hoover Dam

We have all feared it. Some of us are guilty of it. Those that are feel shamed admitting it. I did something about it this week! I got rid of the gigantic "mom bag" and got a cute purse!

While admittedly this offense is not nearly as bad as the ever horrendous "mom jeans" it is still WRONG! If you are like me you too mercilessly teased your mother about her mom bag. While it wasn't necessarily ugly, it certainly traded in style for functionality. This was of course something you swore you would die before succumbing to!
Quite Similar to a Very Efficient Bag my Mom Carried

By functionality I of course mean a trash bag sized sack with 43 pockets containing no less than: hand sanitizer, tissues, a tampon, smashed saltine crackers, butt cream, 13 pacifiers, crayons and coloring sheets in case the restaurant doesn't have anything, a spot for the box of nursing pads just in case you spring a leak or need to stop up the Hoover Dam, and of course a pocket for your tiny 3x2 inch cell phone. You know - just a small yet functional piece of roll around luggage you call a purse. No, you know I wasn't describing the diaper bag. That's just the purse.

I swore I would never be that woman carrying the bottomless pit of a purse. Still I found myself carrying one I could easily pack a well stocked diaper bag into. So yesterday I went shopping.

***(Have you seen some of the ugly stuff they have out there? When exactly did the 80s come back and WHY WHY WHY!! Are we all going to be wearing slouch socks and keds soon?)
Please say no to gold bags.
My 7th grade social studies teacher Mrs. Malone will thank you for not depleting her supplies.

I ended up with a small, about 14'x5'x5' satchel in an off white. Clean lines and I definitely got my daughter's approval with a resounding "Ohhhh Mommy! I like your CUUTE BAAAG!" This is a good sign as I assure you she is much more the style enthusiast at four than I have ever been.

No longer can I cram objects the size of a pack-n-play into the depths of my purse. Perhaps the store clerks will stop telling me "Thank you for coming Miss Poppins! Don't forget your floor lamp!"

So I have a cute girl purse. Now if I could just do something about this minivan thing........

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - No Twist

Check out Wordless Wednesday With a Twist at American Mum.... Join in Sept 17th!
Click bellow for info!


Monday, August 18, 2008

My Man: A Sappy Post About Why He Is the Best

Yup. He is. I know we all think our man is the best (if you don't just hate me for a few) but mine really is. It was about 8 years ago - wait - NINE! (sometime in Aug 1999) that Alex and I met. At work. Yeaaa. He had a cute butt in his khakis (I had to look that up to see how to spell that - good grief that's a weird word!) I am getting sidetracked.

Anyways. He is the best and not just because he got offered that job today. YEA!! Slipped that in on you didn't I? You thought this was a sappy post about my husband's butt. He got the job!! I can not begin to tell you how happy I am. Let me detail the greatness...
  • 7am-3pm Mon-Fri: Ponder that will you. A regular job. Regular hours! Home to HELP with dinner!!!! No fighting with guys and pulling rank just to go to church on Sunday!
  • Paid Holidays: 11 of them. Thats 11 days we don't have to think about. No more Christmas with me crying because Alex is working while we should be opening gifts. No more giving up Thanksgiving for Christmas. Also, I am guessing that includes days like Memorial Day & Labor day, holidays we had forgotten some people get off.
  • Health Insurance: Free for him. Cheaper for us. Starts immediately.
  • 5% 401K Benefits: already included paid by work even if we don't contribute.
  • Not a pay cut: We figured he would have to take a small pay cut from what he made at his last job but figured it would be worth it for a better (much) position with great potential for growth. Turns out - not a pay cut! A small raise plus that 5% and him at home. Priceless.
  • Best of all.. This job is IN TOWN!!! Did I mention - In town? As in NOT hours AWAY.
  • I should also mention: I honestly think he will be happy in this job. That is really the best part.
I could go on but I won't. Just know that once again God provided SO much more than we even hoped for. I am so grateful - despite me being a big chicken and hemming and hawing for a long time he made the leap - took a chance - and it paid off immensely. Congratulations baby! You deserve it and I am glad they were smart enough to realize it!

PS: Proof he is the best. This is him sporting his new Daddy tattoo. A Blue Dolphin sticker - Ella's new class mascot - placed on his manly bicep. What a good Daddy he is.

*** Also do you know what this means? I can stop obsessively scanning for job offers on the net! More time for blogging - umm - I mean cleaning. Yea. Cleaning.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fear. Crippling, Defeating Fear.

Do you ever go to church and your all - cool I get to relax, have some coffee, get re energized with some great music, take in a nice thought provoking message to ponder for the week and see some friends. Then you sit down and the guy up at the front is all ....

"LADIES and GENTLEMEN! This week I will be preaching DIRECTLY to Aprille down there in the front!"

Then your all "Oh crap (your not allowed to say Crap in CHURCH Aprille)! Hes got my number. Hes going to do it again. He might as well just beat me over the head with a big old coffee table illustrated KJV bible right now because I aint gettin outa here without a lump to my noggin."

It was one of those mornings. (for those of you reading who attend my church let me know if you felt that way too today. comment link is at the bottom) (for those of you reading who don't go to church and I just scared the be-jesus out of you and you wont ever step foot in church again for fear the guy up front will do that - no he didn't really. I am just joking. Calm down.)

You see I am afraid of a lot of things. Not spiders. Not public speaking. Not accidently going to school naked. Nope. None of those (though that naked thing is def not my idea of fun I assure you). You see, I chose more mundane things to be afraid of. Mostly, making the wrong choices. I really hate that feeling you get when you realize you should have gone left and you went right. I always have to be right. Not with strangers but with myself. It is sort of crippling sometimes. I can ponder a decision till the opportunity passes all along thinking "well, I just don't know if it is the right choice!" That is one reason being good with THIS was such a huge thing for me. I mean quiting a steady job with two small children is just never a convinient thing.

Anyways, I was convicted about my fear again this morning. Always a good thing to be reminded of. Although come to think of it, he has preached this kind of message twice recently so I am questioning if the Holy Spirit has given him some sort of ability to see through the fog I carry around in my head.

Anyways, I guess what I got out of it this morning was something along the lines of "quit just praying about things happening and get out there and take some chances. Something good might come out of it."

Thanks Rod. Going to go take an Advil for my headache now.

**** EDIT: Check THIS out for "something good coming out of it!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008