Saturday, May 31, 2008

Purty Flowers


I love this time of year.


And in NW Washington, it's abso-freakin'-lutely lovely. **sniffle**

I want to share what I've been **achoo** seeing, without the...ah, side effects. **cough**

From my back yard:

I have no idea what these are, but they grow wild ALL over the place up here on these scrubby-looking bushes:

Why do people say violets are blue? They aren't:

I just learned that snails can climb trees. Look:

This is a rhododendron and a Jake. These really are red, red, red, but all the pictures came out making them look like they were pinkish. They're not:

Close-up of a pink rhododendron (isn't "rhododendron" a dreadful name for such an exotic-looking flower? "Rhododendron" sounds a great deal more like a dinosaur than a flower):

Mossy fencepost in the back yard:

Close-up of same post:

There is a huge field on two sides of our yard that is full of flowering grass **ACHOO!!** and wildflowers. The following are all taken in it, but am dissatisfied with all. None really capture it well **achoo, ACHOO!** enough. **sniffle**

And here are a bunch without commentary, because there are SOOOO many pictures, and no one wants to read commentary on each picture. Am I right?

Merry Hay-Fever Season, Everyone!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mayday! Mayday!*

*This post was intended for the first of May, but since I was not bloggin' at that time, I missed the day. I would like you, dear reader, to ignore the fact that it is no longer May 1st, and pretend that I actually got a post up in a timely manner. Y'know, for a change.

Jeff and I were married on May 1st NINE years ago. That's right. Nine years ago. I thought in order to celebrate the day, I would share some of my favorite wedding photos with you! That's right! Get ready for some mushy cheese, folks. Weddin' pictures ahead!

This one is a favorite because it captures the mood of the day perfectly. It was taken at the end of a very long day, and yet, you can still see how happy we are! Look, we're almost glowing!

(Actually, I think Jeff may be...what is that look? Ah, yes, exasperated! As in, please don't take another picture of us. As for me, I don't think I'm conscious any longer. I think I may even be drooling.) Oh well. On to the next:

At the reception in Jeff's home town, we had a harpist. Isn't that nice? Yeah. I can still hear the strains of "My Heart Will Go On**" strummed on the harp, echoing in the empty corners of my brain (behind where I keep the boxes labeled Forget About This as Soon as Possible and Nightmares with Dust Bunnies).

Unfortunately, the photo-guy was obsessed with the harp. He just thought it soooo picturesque. He made me pose with it, several times. However, my most favoritest shot of the "Harp Series" was this candid moment that he caught of bride and groom:

The harp and harpist just make the picture, don't they?

And of course, there is always the decor. Most wedding decor is fairly boring and commonplace: flowers and greenery and white fabric and pearls, etc. But I had something truly unique. My mom was entirely in charge of the reception in my hometown, and here is her creative masterpiece of the evening:

Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is, indeed, a tinfoil-swan-watermelon-fruit-basket. Betcha didn't have one of those at your wedding. Try not to be too jealous.

Here are things I would have liked to have pictures of, but sadly, didn't get a shot of, to my deep and everlasting regret:

  • The papier-mache butterflies that flocked all over centerpieces and anywhere else my mom could find a place for them to land.
  • A picture of the cake tipping. (Apparently, the poor thing was slowly sagging on one side, quite like the leaning tower of Pisa. This amused my uncle to no end. He sat there and watched its progress with great delight, and was terribly disappointed that we cut it before it collapsed.)
  • Brother and cousin sneakin' a doobie in the church parking lot, and then wearing sunglasses to hide the bloodshot eyes.
Good times, good times.

At least the best part of that day I get to see every day. And it doesn't hurt to look at him, either.

I love you, Punk-a-saur. Happy nine years of us, and thanks for not running out the door when my crazy comes on.

**What kind of song is that to play at a wedding, I ask you? "My Heart Will Go On?" We're only just married, but don't worry, my heart will survive this tragic separation? Ah, Celine Dijon, no doubt your career will go on and on and on to my utter dismay.
There was some debate as to whether it was a tinfoil duck head attached to that watermelon basket, and there was even one small faction that thought it was a platypus, but my mother firmly affirmed it was a swan, thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cultivating My Inner Redneck

Living in a green state has its advantages. For example: burning. I've never lived in a place where it was acceptable to burn yard waste. So when a neighbor suggestedafter I complained at length about what in the world was I supposed to do with the piles of branches, leaves, and logs* that I had amassed from trimming things around the yardthat I just trot on down to the fire station and get myself a burn permit, I was shocked.

"Really? You can do that?"
"Yup. We're outside the city limits here."

I walked away in a daze that quickly turned into a fervor of excitement. I could BURN stuffin my own yardand no one would call the cops? Wow.

So I duly trotted myself down to the fire station.

"I'd like to get a burn permit, please."
"Okay. Hold on, let me get the it is." She watches as I fill in the address.
"Where is that? I'm not familiar with the street name."
"Oh, it's just around the corner from here."
"Just around the corner?" She's frowning. Uh-oh. "Here, can you point it out on the map, please?" And she plunks down a map of the city. I find our house and point at it.
"Oh, I'm sorry. You're not actually within city limits, but you're still too close to areas of Residential Development for us to allow you to burn." (Yes, she did pronounce the capital letters, just like that.)
I tried not to let it, but I'm pretty sure my face fell about 1,000 ft. Before the altitude drop caused undue precipitation, she continued: "Yeah, the only thing you're allowed to do where you are is recreational burning."
"Excuse me? What?"
"An outdoor fire confined to a small space for recreational purposes only."
"Okay, then."

So Jakey and I went home, sans burn permit, and had ourselves a recreational bonfire. Right on the lawn, all through the month of March, whenever it wasn't raining. (I kept a cooler of hot dogs on ice nearby just in case someone checked up on us.**)

What I learned from this experience:

  • Dried and dead juniper sure goes up quickand HOT.
  • If you don't have an axe to chop up the extremely long branches and logsno worries! Just throw 'em on the fire and when they burn through the middle, just pick 'em up by the cool end and move 'em back into the middle.
  • It IS possible to eat Otter Pops in cold weather. Just sit down by a really hot fire, and you'll crave them, I promise.
Things I already knew, but that this experience reaffirmed for me:
  • I like burning things.
  • A very hot fire makes a chilly and misty 40-degree-day quite pleasant.
  • Grass does not like being burned. Neither do insects, spiders, or the eyelashes on my left eye. (Oops.)
Jake's favorite part was getting to play fireman with the hose after I had doused the fire.

Jeff's reaction to the whole thing:
  • Suspiciously: "You smell like camping. What have you been doing?"
  • "You did what?"
  • "Right on the lawn?"
  • "Why?"
  • "What are we going to do with a black charred ring on the grass?"
  • "You're a redneck. You know that, right?"
The end result is that the piles and piles of dead stuff around the yard are gone, I had a lot of fun getting rid of it, and now I have some ash to throw into the compost pile. I had to transplant some grass, but heyno biggie***!

*I know I've complained about the rental we're living in numerous times, but mostly it's been about the inside. The outside, however, has been equally neglected. I swear no one trimmed that juniper bush for 30 years. The piles of dead branches I got out of that thing alone was as tall as I am.
**No, not really. It wasn't really necessary. Anyone who came by would see how much fun I was having and would be forced to assume this was a purely recreational activity, not yardwork.
***No, the really BIG deal was this threat I received in my comments about this time (because I was too busy doing this sort of thing to blog in the month of March). Here:
If you do not blog soon I will be forced to take my summer road trip to your home and I will CAMP on your front lawn for a week. Can you imagine? Me, Abby, S and the dog all over the grass like a bunch of deranged lawn gnomes...filthy from not bathing. Don't get me started on the smoke from the cooking fire. And, as soon as your back is turned, we will abduct your adorable child and turn him native. You know what 5 natives means, right? It is critical mass for a Lord of the Flies scenario. You have the power to stop this, Wynne. IT'S ALL IN YOUR HANDS!!!
Megan, I was really, really hoping that you would come by. I wanted to surprise you with the fact that I already had the campfire started for you. So I continued not to blog. never came.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Monkey Beans

Sometimes I swear there is more than one of me jammed into my head.

Sometimes we have arguments. Or discussions. Or parties.

Sometimes it gets pretty crowded in my skull.

And sometimes, we get very, very bored, and a conversation like this happens:

persona 1: Monkey beans.
persona 2: Excuse me?
persona 1: Okay, lady, hand 'em over. I need some more monkey beans.
persona 2: You could ask, you know.
persona 1: Okay, HAND 'EM OVER please.
persona 2: Hmph. That barely counts. Why do you want them anyway?
persona 1: Well, I'm fresh out of monkeys and I thought it would be good to grow some more.

persona 2: That's not what monkey beans are. They are for monkeys to eat.
persona 1: Yecch! The cannibals!
persona 3: Did someone say cannibus?
persona 4: No.
And they are called monkey beans because they look like monkeys.
persona 1: No, nothey're perfectly round and pink.
persona 4: Yeah. Like monkeys.

persona 3: No, they are called "monkey beans" because it was a monkey's uncle who discovered them.
persona 1: That's stupid. If that were true, they'd be named after the uncle, not the monkey.
persona 2: But the uncle was a monkeywhat else could a monkey's uncle be?
persona 1: Oh, no. You're not going to sidetrack me with that. And plainly, they are called monkey beans because they are toes. Monkey toes.
persona 2: You lost me. Why not call them toes and be done with it?
persona 1: Because their name is "monkey beans."
persona 2: They're probably not monkey toes. They are probably human pinkie toes.
persona 4: Or baby mice.
persona 3: I think you're right. They are human pinkie toes. And pinkie toes from a grown man.
persona 2: So why are they not called "toes" again?
persona 5: AAAAAHH! My toes are missing! Where the &%#@! are my toes?!

Sometimes Jeff interrupts...uh, us in the middle of one of these debates. He immediately regrets it.

Does anyone know how to get the extra people out of my head?
Hey! Who are you calling extra? You're the dead weight around here.

I think I'm going to use the phrase "monkey beans" from now on whenever I find something nutty. I'm tired of saying "crazy" and "nuts" and "insane." "Monkey beans" sounds like fun to say.

Wow, that's monkey beans!
My mother? Yeah, she's certifiably monkey beans.
Did you see that monkey-beans hairdo on that kid?

And just in case you wanted some more beans, click on this:

obnoxious bean flash film

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Huntin' fer Spoort

My exposure to the hunting community has been very slight. It's true that I did live in Rexburg, Idaho for awhile, and I did live in Utah for several years, but stillI never really knew the people who actually went huntin'. I knew they were there, I made assumptions about them, but I didn't know any of them personally. Like Monster Truck Rallys and Nascarthings I knew were there, but never really took much notice of?

There was always a roommate who admitted that her cousins went, or I used to work as a cashier in a dinky grocery store in Provo and people would come in and buy permits, beer, and orange vestsbut somehow, I never really noticed.

It's a little harder not to notice them here. For example, I was driving down a street that I drive down nearly every day and saw this:

My first thought was, aww, how sweet. He got himself a new pet.
My second thought was, why does no one know how to spell?
Third: What a weird thing to put on a sign. Did he give birth to it or something? Like he had a baby. "Don't have a cow, man" has suddenly translated into "cool, you had a moose! Way to go!"
Fourth: Is a moose an award? Is it small-town code for an award from the Elk's Club? Do they have an Elk's Club here? What is an Elk's Club, anyway? Why is an Elk's Club?

In the middle of these musings (by now, across town and far, far away from the sign), I noticed the decal on the back of the truck in front of me.

Fifth thought: Oh no. He killed it.

And now I can't stop noticing it. These huntin' fools are all over this small town.

(Well, actually, that billboard is in Alaska, but still.)

My point is, now that I've begun to notice them, I've begun to notice something very straaaaange about them: I think they are afraid of women. For example, look at this one:

(I did blur out a bit of itI found it just a wee bit offensivebut if you can rhyme with "ditch" you can probably figure it out.)

And here's yet another:

Um. Well.

But it gets weirder. I saw this decal on the back window of a big ol' Ford one day:

So, what exactly is that sticker trying to say? Deer are sexy? You want to shoot things you are attracted to? What exactly is going on out there in the woods?

I'm afraid. Very afraid.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Treat for You!

Some of you may have noticed that I've been gone for awhile since I've been working on other projects*. Today, as celebration for completing one of those projects, I'm going to upload an Easter egg from the family DVD I made. So, here you go. Yet another Jasper the Cat Production:

And REALLYif you have a slow connectiondon't bother! It's really silly and not worth waiting for.

And if I haven't been by your blog yetplease, have patience with me! My brain is still pretty fried.

Oh, and new online Balderdash game going on here. Come play!

*If you're interested in how the book for the grandparents turned out, I think this link is still good.

Monday, May 5, 2008


While I was exiting the public library the other day:

"...wouldn't have sold them unless it was an emergency. You know how I feel about my knives. My knives are my babies."

I have to wonder, though, did this guy have to get up in the middle of the night with his knives? Do knives require burping? Sheath changing?

Does he really consider them to be his children? If they are his "babies," what did he...uh, do to conceive them? Is it possible that anyone who watches television these days (and I assume this fellow does watch television) could be this confused about reproduction?

But it's fine by me if this guy is confused. It's better that some individuals from the human species don't reproduce. Umm, in the traditional way, anyway.