Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day and a Random Act of Patriotism

Just another Memorial Day - or was it?: 
I'll get to this in a minute...

I was supposed to be grocery shopping.

That's what I had planned for this morning after my kids walked the mile into town in 82 degrees to watch a 10 minute parade - didn't happen.

That's what I had planned after my kids hung around the lake in town and enjoyed the coolness - didn't happen.

Instead, here I sit. On my deck.  Working on my blog while I drink a banana daiquiri as my day ticks away. 

Today has been relatively calm, except for these dang deer-flies that won't leave me alone since I smell like bananas.

Seriously, where the heck did they come from.  We moved from deer-fly country three hours north.  Why are they here?????  


So after the boys and I made it to the deck I started documenting my day, of course. Beginning with the geese in the pond across the road.

The babies are getting so big!

Then there were the kazillion pics I took of our Ameriadian flag blowing in the breeze. 

Yes, it's Ameradian. not Canamerican, like India used to claim it was.  It may look like a plain American flag but it isn't.  I bought the flag on the way to my Girl Scout trip to Canada so it was first flown over Ontario for a weekend before it ever flew over American soil.  

Wait! Isn't Canada in North America? So isn't that America? In that case, I guess it did fly over American soil..... maybe...

See the geese in the background.
They are so cute!

Say hello to My Little Friend

Andrew found this cute little guy in an area that India and Andrew cleared out for my vegetables.  I made him laugh repeatedly when My Little Friend kept "talking" to him in a silly voice.

Up next, a fierce game of kickball where Andrew thought he could beat the team of Nick and me. Didn't happen.  Mom kicks kickball butt any day of the week. 
Nick was getting a bit smug at our making points, and started gloating.
We kept repeatedly kicking the ball onto the pitch of the house and into the ditch on the other side of the hedges. It was pretty cool watching the ball start at the peak and roll from roof to roof before bouncing around the front deck and into the sidewalk between flower beds.

The boys debated on how incredibly hot it was in the sunlight. 

Random thought:

I killed a wolf spider.  I didn't mean to. He hid under my computer and I tried to move him but mortally wounded him instead.  I feel so bad.....

Now some random pics of the day:

Nick, India and I played with our old mailbox
and came up with this.
Esme is the only one of our cats allowed outdoors
since she always stays near us.

He's old, he's blind and he is devoted to his Mommy
- me -
My little Timothy!
Sugar, Great Googly Moogly, Kitty
Whatever you call her, she is darn cute!
Some of my plants I re-potted the other day.
I seriously love plants.
It's a good thing I fell in love with a Dutchman who's Dad used to own a nursery.

Banana Daiquiri - does it get better than this? 
Matthew's official Memorial Day portrait.
He poses so nicely for me, don't you think?
Matthew's idea of Memorial Day fun
after rebuilding the garden tractor.
I think haying equipment would have been more appropriate.
Five acres, one lawn mower, three days
..... repeat.

All I needed was 3 cups of shredded Gouda -
 India was so frustrated trying to get that amount.

And for some reason she kept slapping my hand.
This bottle was knocked off the table 7 times and never even cracked.
Matthew took this pic of the sprinklers - pretty cool!

Now, back to the grill. 

I thought how much more tidy it would be to cover the grates in aluminum foil.

A plan not well thought out...

So India and I were forming the Gouda-filled burgers in the kitchen when William came running in saying the grill's cabinet was on fire.  I ran out and saw the flames shooting out of the sides of the cabinet and from the top. I ran back in to get the extinguishers. 

No, I will not pretend I was calm. 

I was picturing the tank exploding along with my beautiful house.

As I was spraying the foam, thick black smoke poured up the hill toward the shop, where Matthew and Andrew were. Sorry, too much panicking for anyone to take pics.

Things I learned: 
I know how to use a fire extinguisher 
Our smoke detectors work. 
Matthew and Andrew can run really fast!!

Check this out!
The cover melted to the bag of mesquite chips
but never damaged the bag or chips.

The foil melted off.
I guess the grill was trying to remove itself from the covering.
Matthew to the rescue.
Matthew hosed off the foam so we could continue cooking.
How funny that just a couple of hours earlier I was thinking of using the grill cleaner on it.
Yet, India never stopped preparing the burgers in the kitchen through the entire thing.

I counted 8 times that Matthew repeated "Don't cover the grates in foil" during the time he was cleaning the grill - and since then... 

Or as he said when Andrew jokingly asked if he wanted some foil, "I don't need no stinkin' foil."

Every so often that rancid burning plastic/rubber/whatever it is smell comes out of the open windows of the house.  Thankfully the baby chicken and the Cockatiel in the house are still okay and the smell didn't overwhelm them.

These were in the pot on the side-burner.
Although the water was completely gone, the noodles cooked perfectly.

hmmm... new cooking tip?
Back to business as usual.

India and Matthew cooking the burgers
with William's supervision.
Love the extinguisher and debris all around
Can we call these post-flame-broiled?
Look familiar?
Nope - now we can see his other eye.
Now we finally got a picture of Matthew.
Still looking at his phone - he was watching "Scrubs" on Netflix
(New profile pic for FB? hmmm...)

As the sun was setting, We played another rowdy game of kickball where India joined us while the two dogs stayed clustered by my feet and ran with me. 

The game often turned ugly with brutal attacks made on me by India.  She even had me to the ground while she kneeled on my hair as Andrew was pulling her off of me.

I will adamantly deny any attacks that she may say were made on her by me.

She lies!

We played long after dark in the light of the streetlight, deck light, lamp post and solar lights (the town has street lights all the way to the state line). The combo lit the front lawn pretty well.

I'm ending my blog a little after 10pm.  I'm in bed, exhausted, drinking iced tea and talking to Johannes.  Andrew and Nick are playing with sparklers  and things like whatever this is in the pic, since Matthew and I told them we've already had one bonfire today. 

Before I end this I would like to share something I discovered in the blogosphere.

I found this video at The Laughing Mom .  

Like Terri says at the end of her blog:
This video captures one of the most heart-felt random acts of patriotism I’ve ever seen.  An American Airlines employee known only as “Brett” spontaneously sang the Star Spangled Banner over a loud-speaker at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on the anniversary of 9/11, bringing dozens of travelers to their feet as they looked on in silence.  Brett has an amazing voice and he used it in an incredible random act of patriotism.  I challenge you to have a dry eye after viewing it.

Thank you Brett.

God Bless America.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blue Laws In All Their Oddness

I have so many drafts waiting to be written into blog form but I came across several Blue Laws and just couldn't resist writing about them. 

It all began with ice cream.  Namely, eating ice cream.  We all love to eat ice cream but I discovered that in Georgia you can't carry ice cream around in your back pocket on Sundays.  Seriously?  So on a hot Sunday afternoon you are supposed to get your hands all sticky by carrying your ice cream in your hands? Gross!

You can buy it but you can't eat it on Sundays in Oregon.

Upon further research I learned that my native New York State also bans ice cream being carried in the pocket on Sundays.  I also learned this is petty compared to my second home - Oregon. In Oregon they are the pregnant woman's nightmare: ice cream EATING is banned on Sundays.  Obviously that is a man's state.

This new information led me to crave more - information, that is.  So off to the interweb to see what more I could learn. Let me share some of my favourite Blue Laws with you:

Alabama Blue Laws
  • You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time.
  • You may not drive barefooted.
  • Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death.
  • Boogers may not be flicked into the wind.
  • Dominoes may not be played on Sunday.
  • Cabbage can’t be sold on Sunday.
  • If you bother the cottontails or bullfrogs, you will be fined.
  • There is a decree declares that anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it is all used up.
  • It is illegal for men and women over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling.
  • Alligators may not be kept in bathtubs.
  • Dogs may not bark after 6 PM.
  • It is unlawful to walk one’s cow down Main Street after 1:00 PM on Sunday.
  • In order for a pickle to officially be considered a pickle, it must bounce.
  • It is unlawful to walk backwards after sunset.
  • Silly string is banned.
  • You aren’t allowed to cross a street while walking on your hands.
  • An unmarried woman may not parachute on Sunday (or she risks arrest, fine, and/or jailing) 
  • Members of the state assembly cannot be ticketed for speeding while the state assembly is in session.
  • Selling two beers at once for the same price is not allowed.
  • It is illegal for one to make a disturbing sound at a fair.
  • Illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds.
  •  Residents may not fish from a giraffe’s back.
  • A person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face.
  • Riding a Merry-go-round on Sunday is considered a crime.
  • One may not pee in his neighbor’s mouth.
  • Law forbids eating in a place that is on fire.
  • It is unlawful to change clothes in an automobile with the curtains drawn, except in case of fire.
  • Humming on public streets on Sunday is illegal.
  • A man with a moustache may never kiss a woman in public.
  • One-armed piano players must perform for free.
  • Kisses may last for no more than five minutes.
  • Horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants.
  • Rabbits may not be shot from motorboats.
  • Pedestrians crossing the highways at night must wear tail lights.
  • No one may catch fish with his bare hands.
  • The state game rule prohibits the use of mules to hunt ducks.
  • One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.
  • A woman may not buy a hat without her husband’s permission.
  • Dogs may not molest cars.
  • It is illegal to expectorate from any second-story window.
  • It is illegal to park in front of Dunkin Donuts.
  • Deer may not be fed.
  • Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked.
  • An old ordinance declares goatees illegal unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public.
  • Taxi drivers are prohibited from making love in the front seat of their taxi during their shifts.
  • All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday.
  • The last Sunday in June of every year was named “log cabin day”.
  • There is a law that makes it legal for a farmer to sleep with his pigs, cows, horses, goats, and chickens.
  • Willfully destroying your old radio is prohibited.
  • It is illegal for a man to scowl at his wife on Sunday.
  • It is illegal to let your pig run free in Detroit unless it has a ring in its nose.
  • It is illegal to have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperone.
  • Hard objects may not be thrown by hand.
  • Worrying squirrels will not be tolerated.
  • Balls may not be thrown within the city limits.
  • It is illegal for a married woman to go fishing alone on a Sunday and illegal for an unmarried woma to go fishing alone at all.
  • If a child burps during church, his parent may be arrested.
  • It is Illegal to go whale fishing.
  • It is illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup.
  • A man is not allowed to run around with a shaved chest.
New Hampshire
  • You may not tap your feet, nod your head, or in any way keep time to the music in a tavern, restaurant, or cafe.
  • On Sundays citizens may not relieve themselves while looking up.
New Mexico
  • Idiots may not vote.
  • You may not carry a lunchbox down Main Street.
  • It’s forbidden for a female to appear unshaven in public.
New York
  • Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers”.
  • A fine of $25 can be levied for flirting.
  • The penalty for jumping off a building is death.
  • A man can’t go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match.
  • Pinball machines may not be played on Sundays.
North Dakota
  • It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.
  • Beer and pretzels can’t be served at the same time in any bar or restaurant.
  • One may be jailed for wearing a hat while dancing, or even for wearing a hat to a function where dancing is taking place.
  • It is illegal to get a fish drunk.
  •  It is illegal to fish for whales on Sunday.
  • No one may be arrested on Sunday or on the Fourth of July.
  • Ordinance number 223, of 09/09/19 prohibits the installation and usage of slot machines in outhouses.
  • It is illegal for the owner of a bar to allow anyone inside to pretend to have sex with a buffalo.
  • Dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more on private property.
  • It is illegal to have the hind legs of farm animals in your boots.
  • It is illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.
  • A special cleaning ordinance bans housewives from hiding dirt and dust under a rug in a dwelling.
  • You may not sing in the bathtub.
  • You may not catch a fish with your hands.
  • You may not catch a fish by any body part except the mouth.
Rhode Island
  • You may not sell toothpaste and a toothbrush to the same customer on Sundays.
South Carolina
  • Performing a U-turn within 1,000 feet of an intersection is illegal.
  • Horses may not be kept in bathtubs.
  • It is a capital offense to inadvertently kill someone while attempting suicide.
  • Like Massachusetts, all men must carry a rifle to church on Sundays
  • Dance halls may not operate on Sundays.
  • Musical instruments may not be sold on Sundays.
South Dakota
  • No horses are allowed into Fountain Inn unless they are wearing pants.
  • It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.
  • Movies that show police officers being struck, beaten, or treated in an offensive manner are forbidden.
  • The sale of bologna is prohibited on Sundays.
  • At one time it was illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole.
  • All residents shall bathe every Saturday night.
  • There is a state law prohibiting “corrupt practices of bribery by any person other than candidates.
  • You may not engage in business on Sundays, with the exception of almost every industry.
  • Children are not to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.
  • It is illegal to tickle women.
  • Spitting on a sea gull is not tolerated.
  • No hunting is allowed on Sunday except raccoons which may be hunted until 2am.
  • No one my buy a mattress on Sundays.
West Virginia
  • It is legal for a male to have sex with an animal as long as it does not exceed 40 lbs.
  • Roadkill may be taken home for supper.
  • Whistling underwater is prohibited.
  • It is legal to beat your wife on the courthouse steps on Sundays.
  • Using a firearm to fish is strictly forbidden.
  • You may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit.

And for some odd Sunday laws more locally centered:

Buckner, Missouri: Yard waste may be burned any day except Sunday.
St. Cloud, Minnesota: Hamburgers may not be eaten on Sunday.

Colorado Springs
, Colorado: It’s permissible to wear a holstered six-gun within city limits, except on Sunday, Election Day, or holidays.

Hartford, Connecticut: It’s illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday.

As they say in Johannes' native Brabant:


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Just Another Saturday...

Last night India told me she had made a hair appointment for first thing this morning, and then she headed off to bed.  I was a bit worried because she has been bugging me to get a perm and she has short hair, having recently gotten 18 inches cut off so she could get her adorable multi-layered style. (Of course, she donated her locks to Locks of Love:)  I kept picturing her looking like Little Orphan Annie after she gets a perm. 

This morning we headed out after she reassured me that she was merely getting a trim.  I'm okay now...

I made it through her appointment despite forgetting one of my omnipresent books and as a result having to gag my way through magazines telling us of the latest Hollywood gossip.  *Hack!*

We headed over to the grocery store for some essentials. While we were looking at produce, India stood next to me and held out the coconut that she had in her hand so that it was next to the lime in mine.  Without thinking, both of us started singing   "You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up" as shoppers circled around us, looking befuddled.  

(I love that word, don't you?)

On to the drug store for make-up essentials. We decided to check out the perfumes while we were there so India and I tested several by spraying the air in front of us.  The cashier commented on how nice the store suddenly smelled.  If I could remember all that we tried, I would buy them all and mix them because the scent that covers me now is perfect.

Next, the hardware store.  We ended up parking practically behind the store since everyone apparently wants to do work around their homes on Saturday - who knew?  We bought the screens to repair damage done by Dang Dog and then to...

Agway for chicken feed and to play with Riley for a few minutes.  She is a beautiful Tortie/Tabby who lives in the store and loves being petted but hates when people leave. 

Last stop, the thrift shop.  India didn't want to volunteer today so we decided to see if Jerome's sweatshirt was still in the office.  No luck.  It probably was sold.  *Sigh*  Anyway, I found all sorts of nice shirts and some various items that I just couldn't resist - like this sweet Lori McPhee print that made me think of Johannes because of his love of jazz, 
and this adorable kitchen clock. The hour hand is a fork, the minute hand is a knife and the second hand is a spoon.  How cute it that?

One of the shirts that I debated on, India picked up later to buy.  We chatted for quite a while with two of India's friends who also volunteer there and with the adult volunteers, before checking out.  At the register I looked at a watch but decided that I would just get a battery for mine.  While I was being rung up, India came up and asked to see the same watch.  How fun that India and I have so similar taste!  Although I completely disagree with her theory on our shared clothing.  When she goes away to college, she DOES NOT get custody of the clothes!!!  

Finally - home. Matthew replaced the torn screen and then we spent the next half an hour trying to figure out how to remove a seven-foot glass panel from the storm door so we could put the screen panel in.  Eventually he discovered how.  Now we can take advantage of the constant wind on those hot days. 

As for my recent discussion with Amanda:  Yes, we have cold patches that randomly appear throughout the house.  Now say "Excuse me" to the people who share the house with us. You obviously just walked through someone. 

Until next time,