Monday, December 19, 2011

Deer Camp

It's kind of like summer camp.

Except they are grown men.

It's a week that is heavy on food and friendship, yet light on showers and manners.

Manliness, in its purest form.

No girls allowed.

Unless they bring food.

And leave shortly thereafter.

But an exception can be made for snuggly dogs.

Like Woodrow.

Because he thinks he's one of the guys.

Somebody get this dog a beer.

He may not act real manly, but they let Eli come anyway.

And because boys love their accessories too...

my husband had me stitch up some limited edition Mossy Oak farm hats for his hunting buddies.

So basically, I was allowed at deer camp simply because I came bearing gifts of gourmet and I know how to stitch a hat.

In other words, they hunt and gather. I stay home to cook and sew.

It's a good thing I'm not a progressive feminist.

Otherwise they just might find themselves on the wrong end of one of those guns they tote around.

But when trouble strikes, guess which housewife they had to call to come and rescue them?

That's right, I had to fire up the tractor and go save the day.

Because these idiots managed to get two trucks stuck in the field.

Not gonna lie. It felt good to be on my end of things.

We ended the week with a feast.

I think we started a new tradition with our cookout last year.

This year our friend Corey outdid himself.

He made crab legs, quail, sausage and duck.

(By the way, I never realized how friggin' awesome duck is.)

And he whipped it all out without breaking a sweat.

I got stressed over the small task of baking pumpkin pies in the toaster oven at the farm shop.

This dude is cool as a cucumber in the kitchen.

Even when that kitchen is in a barn and includes only a grill, toaster oven and refrigerator.

If you cook it, they will come.

Corey's food is gaining a following here in our area, despite the fact that his catering business is several hours away.

My favorite part of any gathering is when the guys break out their guitars.

And my second favorite part is hanging out with our friends' dogs.

Meet Mahala.

The sweetest baby you'll ever come across.

She can soften the hearts of even the manliest men.

Are you in love yet?

As usual, the party carried well into the night.

Long after my expiration date.

I'm ready for bed and these guys are just now bringing out the cornhole boards.

But I wasn't the only one who couldn't hang all night.

I ended up giving a couple of our guests a ride back to the house.

Except I forgot that I hadn't cleared my car of my unintended Black Friday loot from earlier in the day.

This is the result of grocery shopping at Wal-mart the day after Thanksgiving.

We don't even need another TV.

But now we have one.

So much for restricting my impulse buys to gum and checkout aisle lint rollers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bye-Bye Hair

For most girls with long hair, their locks are a part of their identity.

Until a mean old news director forced me into a brunette bob with bangs about five years ago, I didn't think much of my hair.

Apparently he wanted me to look older and more credible.

Instead, I ended up looking like a 12 year old boy.

 Now that I am older, I've got to do things in reverse.

I grew my hair out and dyed it blond.

Excuse me, colored it blond. I've been told that my salon vocabulary sucks.

Long blond hair was my answer to 30 looming.

But two years ago I made a promise to myself that I would donate my hair to Locks of Love.

The deadlines I gave myself kept coming and going because I wasn't quite ready to part with my youth.

And then one day a few weeks ago I woke up, looked in the mirror, and realized what a stringy, straggly mess I had going on.

I don't want to be like the 55 year old dude with the balding mullet ponytail. Also knows as the elusive skullet-tail.

Pushing 30 and still trying to look 20 isn't cool.

So I took the plunge.

And now I look 40.


Or like a news anchor wanna-be.

And I don't wanna be.

All jokes aside, I actually like it short. The friend who cut my hair did an awesome job. I love the cut and color.

But to go all you people who say, "Oh, short hair will be so much easier to take care of," you can kiss my butt with that big fat lie.

When your hair is too short for a pony tail, too short for a braid and even too short for a friggin' clip, there ain't nothing easy about it.

My day starts off with about a thousand different hair products, a regular brush, a hair dryer, a round brush, hot rollers, a rat tail comb, a flat iron and two kinds of hair spray.

Okay, not everyday.

More like two days a week.

I rock a hat the other five days.

And you know it's a desperate situation when all that's around is a camo hat and I am willing to put it on.

I think we all know my opinion on the use of camouflage as a fashion statement outside of hunting.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall on the Farm

So I got a little carried away with decorating both sides of the farm sign this year.

But two dump truck loads of mulch, 6 straw bales, 4 corn bundles, 4 mums, 15 yards of ribbon and 16 pumpkins later, I am pleased with my work.

But don't blink because it didn't last long.

First, five inches of snow smashed and threatened to kill my mums.

Then, I forgot to water the mums.

At all.

Okay, I didn't forget, I'm just lazy.

Then, the deer made off with my pumpkins and scattered them in the field.


Thanks buttheads.

That's alright. Let them have their fun now. Those poor guys only have a couple more weeks to live anyway.

That's when the camo-clad gun-toting rednecks start coming out in full force.

AKA: my husband and his hunting buddies on opening day of gun season.

And I have no idea what this is all about, but it's disgusting.

So basically the sign no longer looks anything like the picture above.

But, my sign decorating disaster aside, the rest of the farm is gorgeous right now.

The bright green sod fields with the backdrop of the corn fields, sprinkled in with some fall foliage is enough to make anyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Thank goodness my husband is better at growing things than I am at decorating.

He's quite proud of his latest turf fields.

He just planted this grass less than two months ago and it's already thick, lush and beautiful.

It takes a special tree to grow in the middle of one of the sod fields and be allowed to live to see another day.

Luckily for this guy, he's a Sycamore and my husband has a slight obsession with Sycamores.

Trust me, he's no tree hugger.

He cleared 125 acres of trees to make room for more pastures and crop ground a couple of years ago. And only a few lucky Sycamores survived.

Something about the fact that they grow where there is water.

So don't be surprised if you show up someday and those Sycamores have been replaced by wells and irrigation.

They basically serve as a marking point for the time being.

But in the meantime, they do a better job of decorating the farm in fall colors than I do.

I give up.

But at least the farm office looks warm and festive:

Alright, alright, I'm just kidding.

That's from last year.

I dragged the fall decorations box out and that's all the further I've gotten so far.

And that was two weeks ago.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Back Home

I go through a camera a year.

My husband swears that I'm careless with them, but I think it's because the el crapo cams are made in China.

So before I headed home on my most recent visit to Kansas, I had to get a new camera. Because of course in the two weeks since my last visit I managed to ruin mine.

I gave up on the sorta cheap $300 cameras.

I've given up on the fairly cheap $200 cameras.

And this time I made the mistake of buying a $100 camera.

It ate most of my pictures.

They disappeared into thin air when I was uploading them.

But somehow, about 50 extra pictures showed up. And they all looked a lot like this:

Apparently my friend's little toddler son can operate the stupid thing better than I can.

But I was able to salvage a few pics from my trip home. And thanks to my continued Instagram obsession, my phone had a plethora of pictures.

Like this one.

Forget the "Welcome to Kansas" signs leaving the airport.

All I need to see is a sign that says "Drive it like you stole it" to know I'm back in the Midwest.

Gotta love the 75 mph speed limit. It's more of a suggestion really. You can push the limits to near 90 in my experience.

People drive at a snail's pace back here in the East.

There was a big Swedish festival in my hometown while I was there.

My best friend and her dad road in the parade.

He is the mayor of a town of 641 people -- making him pretty famous around those parts.

I spotted this guy across the street from me during the parade.

Who in their right mind would sport a half blue, half yellow mohawk ... complete with hot pink goatee?

Oh hey Pastor Ethan, what's up?

That'll teach him to challenge the youth group to a bet again.

Thankfully he cut his hair and rinsed out the dye for my grandmother's funeral a couple days later.

Later that night after the parade, I went by the liquor store to pick up a case of Boone's Farm.

Because that's what you do when you're going to your 10 year high school reunion.

You act like you're in high school.

Which, by the way, the reunion was AWESOME thanks to Sarah at Elegant Occasions by Sarah.

I am so mad I lost all of my other reunion pictures because she did such an amazing job. Girlfriend hooked us up.

If you live in Kansas and need help planning a big event -- call Sarah. She thinks of every last detail, down to interviewing potential babysitters for party-going parents and putting together a little resume for each one. She is simple amazing!

I was able to salvage a class photo.

It was so fun seeing old friends -- many of which I hadn't seen since graduation.

That's the downfall of leaving town and never looking back.

During the next couple of days, I got to spend some much needed time with my best friend and her daughter, Sophia. They were visiting from Las Vegas.

Just for the record, Sophia is the coolest 4 year old on the planet.

It was her idea for me to chill in the backseat with her and make her mom chauffeur us around town.

Cruising in the PT Loser. I mean PT Cruiser.

Sucks when you are in from out of town and you get stuck driving whatever vehicle your parents leave around for you.

At least you didn't have to drive the Smart Car, Eva. You would have had to strap me to the top.

Sophia had all kinds of fun activities planned for us.

We went to Dollar General.

Because that's what cool 4 year olds do.

We went downtown and ate at the Sugar Shack.

With a name like that, what preschooler could pass it up?

And we hit up the park.

Where Miss Social Butterfly made friends with strangers in minutes.

I swear I didn't beat the child, she managed to bruise up her legs all on her own.