Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

An Adventurous Introvert

Personality tests are a lot of fun for me. Most of the time when I take them, I am mixed up and confused enough that no single dominant trait just screams to the world, “HEY, THIS DESCRIBES ANGIE PERFECTLY!!!!”

Today was different.

Maybe I’m getting really comfortable in my new skin.

Today I took the mini version of Enneagram test. Hitting the submit button revealed that I am a strong Type 7 with moderate doses of Types 1, 2, and 4.

So I clicked to read the description of Type 7.

And I died laughing.

Rarely if ever have I seen a more perfect description of me. Every quirk, whim, emotion, and attitude was right there on the screen before my eyes.

Apparently, I am an Adventurer.

The Adventurer (the Seven)

Adventurers are energetic, lively, and optimistic. They want to contribute to the world.

How to Get Along with Me
(this is important–and right on target, so pay attention!)

  • Give me companionship, affection, and freedom. Freedom is the biggie.
  • Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.
  • Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories. Yes, I know my left-brained, details-heavy version is a bit monotonous, but hang with me on it.
  • Don’t try to change my style. Accept me the way I am. You’ll only frustrate yourself if you expect anything else.
  • Be responsible for youself. I dislike clingy or needy people. Including my own children….just sayin’. You ARE over the age of four. I think you can fix your own breakfast at this point. And lunch. And possibly dinner, too.
  • Don’t tell me what to do. Really. Don’t. Unless you want me to do the opposite, then you can try it and see what happens.

What I Like About Being a Seven

  • being optimistic and not letting life’s troubles get me down
  • being spontaneous and free-spirited (Some might go so far as to say “irresponsible”. It’s okay. The spontaneous part is a bit of a stretch.)
  • being outspoken and outrageous. It’s part of the fun. Another way of saying this is I really enjoy yanking the chains of those who think they’ve got things figured out. Really. Have you read my stuff?
  • being generous and trying to make the world a better place
  • having the guts to take risks and to try exciting adventures (Can you say, “I quit!”?)
  • having such varied interests and abilities (There is so much to learn and so much to do? How’s a girl ever gonna pick something?)

What’s Hard About Being a Seven

  • not having enough time to do all the things I want (or money)
  • not completing things I start (uh….ouch…but true)
  • not being able to profit from the benefits that come from specializing; not making a commitment to a career (Let’s see how many different things I can find to do in my lifetime!)
  • having a tendency to be ungrounded; getting lost in plans or fantasies
  • feeling confined when I’m in a one-to-one relationship (This doesn’t apply to my marriage of 21 years, but that’s mostly because I got someone who respects my free spirit. If he were possessive, he’d probably already be dead.)

Sevens as Children Often

  • are action oriented and adventuresome (My guess is riding baby calves and milking cats falls into this category. Hey, what can I say? It was 13 miles from civilization. A kids got to find some sort of entertainment when cable doesn’t exist.)
  • drum up excitement (Ask a few old band directors about this one. Puns intended, but only those who knew me will understand.)
  • prefer being with other children to being alone (But only if they are nice to me.)
  • finesse their way around adults (Might have played a few to my advantage.)
  • dream of the freedom they’ll have when they grow up (As I hear the sound of Simba singing, “Oh I just can’t WAIT to be KING!” playing in my head.)

Sevens as Parents

  • are often enthusiastic and generous (or not)
  • want their children to be exposed to many adventures in life (and spend their retirement trying to pay for it)
  • may be too busy with their own activities to be attentive (uhm….possibly)

I posted this valuable info on Facebook and a friend asked me what my MBTI is. That’s the one that measures  introvert/extrovert, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. I presented as an ISFJ, 67, 38, 12, 1. That means I am significantly introverted, in case you are confused.

You can stop saying “Nuh-uh” now.

I know. It’s shocking. The world simply isn’t prepared for the news that Angie Cox is an introvert. Well, folks, it’s true. It’s been true most of my life.

Case in point: Tuesday night was the stock show sale. Not exactly a crowd in which I have lots of buddies. There are great people out there, but their path in life has typically taken a very different route than mine. Hubby had gone to a basketball game with daughter #2. I was on my own with the munchkins who actually have a social life and promptly abandoned me to avoid total embarrassment.

Where was Angie?

After forcing myself to visit with my nice neighbor from 3 houses down with whom I haven’t spoken in a very very very long time (don’t worry….it’s strictly due to my introversive nature, nothing is wrong with this relationship), I meandered about for awhile, watched a bit of the proceedings standing by myself, held up the wall for a few minutes, tried to be my big brother’s shadow for a bit, then found my way into the sheep/goat barn where there was a radiant heater beaming it’s glorious goodness down on whomever would stand and absorb. There I stood until almost time to come home. A few people came by and visited for a few minutes, but I did not seek out anyone to “hang with”. I was perfectly content leaning against the wall all alone with that luscious heat beaming down on my cold body watching the comings and goings of the the night.

And was I ever so glad to get home.

Facebook and blogging are an introvert’s best friends, by the way.

Apparently I am also a sensor/feeler. I knew this. Although I have been in denial for a very long time.

I am like the thermostat for a room full of people. I can detect if even one person is uncomfortable, confused, or otherwise “off-kilter”.

And I am miserable for them until the situation is corrected.

Sometimes I even take it upon myself to ask the question I know is contributing to the look of confusion on their face, even if I already know the answer.

I rock like that.

This information means it is highly unlikely I will ever be a boss.

I could never fire anyone.

I’d be too worried about how they would be feeling.

So when I’m old and gray and wrinkled (well, I’m already working on that last part), and you find me alone next to a wall warming myself by a heater, please consider engaging me in stimulating conversation and laughter as you’ve been instructed above.

Maybe it will help keep my brain in semi-working condition.

Observations on Love and Romance

The past few weeks have given me ample opportunity to observe the world around me.  It’s provided quite an education, or in some cases a bit of re-education.

It’s been fun to watch my kids, Christmas shoppers, extended family, my sweet man, good friends, movies, and more. However, I think the most intriguing observations have come from watching the many forms of love being played out in different settings.

It’s touching.

It’s frustrating.

It’s heartbreaking.

It’s beautiful.

There are a few things I have noticed that I think are important to mention.

Love is a choice. An everyday, wake-up-in-the-morning, get-through-the-day, because-I-want-to-love-you choice. It’s not a feeling that comes and goes. It exists through migraines, black eyes, busted lips, cash-flow-shortfalls, home renovation projects, crappy jobs, and more because we choose each and every moment to love another human being.

There is very little that is more difficult and heartbreaking than watching someone you love more than life itself suffering in pain. It’s true even when the injuries are relatively minor and heal quickly. Watching a child, a parent, or a lover hurt creates an overwhelming urge to throw up. Where’s a magic wand when you need one?

It is entirely possible to be madly, passionately, uncontrollably in love with someone and still want to smack ’em upside the head occasionally. Doesn’t matter if you are 20, 45,  or 70. I’m not advocating the smacking, just acknowledging that the urge occasionally surfaces.

The urge to smack a lover upside the head is usually followed shortly thereafter by an equally overwhelming urge to disappear behind closed doors and “…have a little fun when we turn out the lights…” (my regards to the musical group Alabama).

First romance is adorable. Freakin’ crazy precious adorable….when done right.

Being overly rational where love is concerned can lead to missed opportunity.

Sometimes the first time people meet and fall in love, it’s just too early. Life has a way of bringing things back around full circle. The trick is to trust the process, without waiting on the process. Roll with life. Don’t burn the bridge that will carry you over the canyon.

When the standard of perfection has been set, it’s really a waste of time and emotion to toy with those who don’t meet the standard. Just keep your eyes on the standard and know that when the time is right, it will appear beautifully, romantically, and perfectly. It is, however, perfectly acceptable to sample the menu in small doses to establish a basis for comparison.

It’s important to know the difference between having a standard created by logic and having a standard created by your heart. The heart is way smarter than the brain. The brain tends to mess things up by over thinking. I am grateful to know this lesson first hand and to be the one who listened to my heart when my brain was telling me how stupid I was.

It’s paid off beautifully.

The stronger the reaction (even negative), the more likely it is that there is unfinished business. Recognize it for what it is, and shower it with gratitude rather than attempt to drowned it in an ocean of anger.

There is a window of time in which it is good to be a bit subtle, however, ongoing efforts to be subtle and coy simply mask true feelings. When your heart and soul are already in shreds, the best thing is to be honest. Sometimes that’s all the other person needs is to see you for who you really are. If they run, then so be it.

Never ask a guy what he is thinking. Odds are he’s not. It’s a gift they have.

It’s never a good thing to expect a man to be overly romantic. Often times the ideal image we create is completely incompatible with 24/7 romantic male. Prince Charming arriving to sweep us off our feet is usually in direct opposition to the strong, hard-working, silent type. If he is willing to change a baby diaper, push a vacuum, mow the lawn, fix the toilet, clean the kitchen, cook supper, build a wall,  or feed your animals when it is snowing, that’s the equivalent of being handed a dozen red roses and being swept off your feet. Face it, accept it, be grateful, and recognize the disguise.

And finally, I am so full of gratitude for having survived my journey into love, for having a lover, friend, and companion who is willing to tolerate all my weirdness and quirky behaviors, and for time we have had and the time that remains to spend together. Each moment is priceless. Funny thing…..when I see us in photos, I see how time has changed us. When I look at him face to face, I still see that gorgeously hot 29 year old with the amazing dark brown hair and piercing blue eyes.

As I watch my girls tiptoe into the adventure that is finding love, I am swept back 25 years to that roller coaster that they are now experiencing.

It’s a stomach-turning, hands-in-the-air, scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs thrill ride, but what a rush it is.

What a rush!

What Would Jesus Say?

Most of us are familiar with the WWJD (what would Jesus do?) bracelets that burst on the scene a few years ago. They served a very useful purpose: To remind us to think about what Jesus’ reaction would be to a given situation. Were they effective? I don’t know.

They certainly made someone a lot of money.

I wonder if the vendors in the temple courts had a WWJD bracelet booth back in the day?

Anyway, it got me to thinking. Scary, I know. Me thinking is usually the equivalent to violently shaking a bottle of nitro-glycerin. Something’s probably going to blow up and someone could end up with a shrapnel (sp?) injury.

Lately I’ve been pondering what Jesus might say to us today if he were to suddenly appear before our eyes. There’s a lot we blame/credit him for saying that historically speaking probably didn’t come out of his mouth. There is very little we know with any level of historical confidence that can be attributed to him and him alone.

So I figure if the writers of first three centuries can put something out there and give Jesus the credit, I might as well give it a shot, too. Who knows? Two thousand years from now, maybe some archeologist will find a random hard drive at an excavation sight in Houston, discover my digital record of “What Jesus Said”, then proclaim it a divinely inspired writing. That’d be some serious irony.

And who’s to say my writing isn’t inspired by God?

So what WOULD Jesus say in the days leading up to Christmas 2010? What would he utter that would inspire us, direct us, even change us for the better?

I think I can do this. I have a cynical streak….a heavy dose of sarcasm and lame humor that runs deep in my veins. Jesus was apparently a cynic and a bit on the sarcastic side, too, so we relate well.

Jesus: “Note to self. Humans will make a god out of a tree. Why didn’t I see this coming?”

Jesus: “I think maybe you misunderstood a few things. I said there are ONLY two commands. Both start with the word LOVE. Where’s the confusion?”

Jesus: “How the hell did you manage to twist love your enemies into permission to commit murder and genocide in my name? Don’t blame me for that crap!”

Jesus: “That Paul guy? Why did you decide to do things his way instead of my way? He was way too friendly with the peyote stuff.”

Jesus: “Give me a hug. Free hugs.”

Jesus: “It’s amazing how many people you can feed with a small donation. You should try it sometime.”

Jesus: “Yeah…so….I’m really not into following rules in case you hadn’t noticed.”

Jesus: “Now tell me again why you keep looking for the kingdom of God in a church? I thought I was pretty clear that the Kingdom of God is within you, not outside of you.”

Jesus: “I tried leaving this thing in the hands of the women folk. The men just had to take over and mess things up with their my way or the highway methods. That one hasn’t worked out so well, now has it, Guys?”

Jesus: “Yeah, okay. So I really did like it when the chicka washed my feet with her tears and hair then put the smelly-good stuff on them for me, but these $20 million dollar church buildings are probably a little more than I had in mind.”

Jesus: “Uhm….yeah….so…..the keyword is love, not fear. What are you so afraid of? Hell? Here’s a tip for you—that hell thing wasn’t created until after I was gone. The ‘men’ in charge made that one up so you’d keep giving them money. And for Peter’s sake, how many times did I tell you ‘Do NOT FEAR?’ I fail to see how that was confusing.”

Jesus: “You people suck at translating. Seriously. If your language doesn’t have a word that means what the original says, then maybe you should just leave the original alone instead of making up something totally different and then blaming me.”

Jesus: “Y’all are WAY too literal. Chill out. Roll with the parable. Enjoy the mythology and mystery of it all.”

Jesus: “Moses is a cranky-butt. Abraham is the cool one.”

According to my twenty year old, Jesus would also be singing Bob Marley’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Now there’s a mildly disturbing image to carry around in your brain. Her edits: “I also think he’d smoke some weed. Every other male in Silver City with long hair and a beard does. Why not Jesus? The picture we paint is exactly that of a hippie stoner from silver.”  :)

What else would Jesus be saying?

Funeral Etiquette Fail

I’m writing funeral thank you’s this morning.

For the record, that’s one of my least favorite chores in any part of life. Funeral thank-you’s aren’t special. I’m pretty much inept at any type of written thank you. I mean, I can write a thank you that will knock your socks off, but odds are it will be so long after the actual good deed event occurred that you won’t even remember what you did to deserve a thank you.

Thank you writing ranks right up there with exercise, cleaning out my closets, and scrubbing my toilet and tub. I know it NEEDS to be done, but it probably won’t happen until the guilt of knowing I SHOULD do it overwhelms the laziness.

And as I write these thank you’s to the nice people who brought food to us in the days following the passing of my hawt man’s  86 year old dad, I can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of funeral thank you etiquette that I am stomping into the dirt.

Of course, this whole process has been an exercise in seeing how many traditionalist boats we can rock, so maybe I’m just an ongoing extension of that.

My oldest brother-in-law actually had some fun with the traditionalists.

I like my oldest b-i-l’s willingness to challenge expectation and tradition, so I’m sorta enjoying the ride. However, my paranoia meter is still pegging the max on occasion.

I think I have a few sista-in-laws right there with me.

Here’s a run down of a few of the traditions we may have smashed in the past few weeks:

1. Open casket. Nope. Not here. I find it funny how obsessed people are with evaluating the handiwork of the undertaker. Hawt Guy’s parents had made it very clear they didn’t want to be gawked at, and the boys did a very nice job of making sure that didn’t happen, much to the chagrin of a few of our older friends.

2. Flowers. My poor sis-in-law who used to own a flower shop kinda freaked when she realized there were pretty much NO flowers. None. Nadda. And yet, it totally worked for this situation. The boys took loads of family photos to the funeral home so everyone who came in could remember the living moments of happiness, energy, and handsome vitality rather than the immediate moment of the many ways age and ill health had taken its toll on the physical body. Those photos rendered the need for flowers completely irrelevant. No mums, roses, or carnations could possibly outdo the beauty of a young couple in love and their amazing family through the years.

Although I have to say, I was hoping to snag a free plant or two for my wellness center.

Fortunately someone loves me and gave me some overflow from their place.

POST BLOG PUBLISHING UPDATE: I completely missed the wreath sent by a guy that loves this family like his own. Fortunately, my hawt honey was paying attention. Thanks, Friend! You are the coolest.

3. Church. Nope. Not this go around. No rosary service. No aisles or pews. No suits and ties (at least none required). Just a few words of remembrance and encouragement out in the beautiful pasture that is Rose Hill Cemetery. Ten minutes from welcome to final amen. That’s exactly what Charlie would have wanted. Exactly.

4. And then there are the thank yous. I have a list of people who brought food to us at some point during the process. Some of them are friends of Hawt Guy and me (my? mine? us? I?) who barely know the rest of the family. A few fed us because they love our children and wanted to make sure the little hummingbirds had plenty of sugar to survive the days of being ignored by their parentals. Some are extended family both on Hawt Guy’s side and my side. Still others are from his dad’s associations and I don’t even know them.

It dawned on me about half way through the thank you list that maybe I should sign the cards with more than just Eric, Angie, & Girls. After all, there are a few other families on whose behalf I am thanking people. I promise we didn’t hog all the food just for our bunch.

Then I happened to notice the little blank space at the bottom of the front of the card and wondered if I was supposed to be writing in the name of our departed loved one.

You know….in case they don’t remember who just died and why they made that cake.

5. Sadness and grief. I think we probably failed miserably at this one. The Kleenex Corporation stock probably dropped for a few days from lack of consumption. I know the guys will have their moments of missing Charlie and remembering the way things used to be, however, this seemed more like a celebration of a life completed: Almost a bit of relief that his struggle is  over, the worry is over, and now we move on. He wasn’t ripped from us. He released us and we released him from his physical container. We get the memories. He gets his freedom. Not much sadness to scrape up when viewed like that.

And for the record, I have learned a lot in the past couple of weeks. It’s all good information, yet not exactly an area in which I want to become an expert. At least we  have some idea what to expect the next time we experience the process.

Maybe we’ll have figured out a few more rules of funeral etiquette we can break when that time comes. ;-)

A Gallery of Tush Admiration

Something dawned on me this morning. Something more than the usual sun coming up over the eastern horizon.

Something that completely struck me as a bit odd.

I follow the writings of several women bloggers. I like what they write. They are funny, informative, down-to-earth, and so much more.

This morning I realized what exactly “so much more” really is.

Several of these intelligent, earthy women really like their men.

More precisely, they like their man’s backside….

They like their man’s backside appropriately adorned in a pair of nice fitting jeans. Wranglers seem to be the top pick.

The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, has a thing for the perfect frame created by a set of chaps properly fastened over a pair of Wranglers. As she says, she’s just keepin’ it real when she shares photos of Marlboro Man’s attire.

Darcie over at My Modern Country goes so far as to call her man Wranglers. I went over there just a few minutes ago to check on some info, and sure enough, there was a nice photo of some well worn, good-fitting wranglers staring me in the face. Apparently he was helping her can some pickles and her camera lost interest in the cucumbers and dill. If my man was helping me can pickles, I’d probably lose interest in the vegetables, spices, and vinegar, too.

And just when you think it’s safe to peruse photos of someone’s beautiful babies, Mama M. at My Little Life slips in a pair of 501 pockets that don’t belong to a ten year old.

I honestly had to ask myself, am I just a sick puppy with a desperate need to see the married butts of men whose wives adore them enough to brag to the rest of us about what they captured?

Or is it possible that I truly admire and appreciate women who adore their men and will publicly acknowledge that fact?

Seeing as to how I have my own set of Wranglers to appreciate and brag about, I think I’ll opt for the second option. He’s more than I can “handle” most days anyway.

However, let it be known to all that the artistic value of a well packaged and framed portrait of men in denim does NOT go unnoticed!

10 Things

1. Coffee without whipped cream out of the spray can just isn’t the same at 5:30 AM on a Saturday.

2. Cats aren’t the only mammals with 9 lives. Apparently some humans have that many, too, and save them for years 80-90.

3. Roller coasters are made of many different substances. In my case the emotional kind seem to be my coaster of choice lately.

4. The unknown really messes with my control freakish planning.

5. It’s fascinating watching practical, laid-back males calmly deal with the circle of life.

6. I now want to bust into songs from The Lion King with a full chorus backing me up.

7. Children were created so that reasonably neat individuals could experience the feeling of being a total complete house-cleaning failure.

8. Maintaining three houses, three kitchens, five bathrooms, and three sets of utility bills isn’t much fun unless at least one of them is either creating significant income or is located somewhere vacation-y. Both would be nice.

9. Vanilla exterior stucco paint needs a trim/accent color other than white. I’m open to suggestions.

10. It’s hard to watch America’s Funniest Videos when I have a kitten/puppy rodeo going on in the living room. I can’t decide which funny show to watch, the videos or the live production.

Paranoia Part 2: The Principal's Office

For some reason, it doesn’t seem to matter how benign the circumstances, sitting down in the office of a school  principal gives me a bad case of gastrointestinal distress.

Maybe that’s because most of my life, I’ve been a smidge shy of  being totally innocent.

And maybe it has something to do with the fact that there have been way too many visits in a principal’s office over my lifetime that have left me attempting to swallow my heart and my stomach out of my throat and back into their correct anatomical positions.

So when #2 gorgeous model birthed of my loins called me on Monday saying I had to go right that second to meet with the high school principal about her dropping a dual credit math class, it was all I could do to remove the vise grip from around my chest. It didn’t help matters when she threw in a spare comment about him having something else to visit with me about.


The voices inside my head went something like this:

“What else would he have to visit with me about? Maybe my bad habit of ending a sentence with a preposition? Nope. This new guy’s a math teacher, not an English teacher. Uh-oh. What if he is less than impressed with my blogging about his coaches?”

Double crap.

“I bet that’s it. I bet he wants me to lay off the blogging where his staff is concerned. I bet he didn’t like something I said. I bet…”

“Or maybe that isn’t it at all. Maybe it’s something else. What did I do? Think, Angie. What stupid, well-intentioned act did you undertake that’s got you in the hot seat with someone for whom you don’t even work?”

“Stop it. You don’t really know that there’s anything wrong. Just go take care of the little meeting so your kid can get out of dual credit hell and quit making it into something worse.”

“Yeah, but she said there was something ELSE.”

Meanwhile, I took off walking toward the school (it’s only a block away, and after all, I AM attempting to be a little bit green) carrying 3 dozen eggs to be delivered to a customer who had planned to come by and pick them up during the time that I was now spending in the principal’s office.

I handed off eggs to #2 daughter to deliver. “That’s for making me come over here.”

He very graciously greeted me, invited me into “the office” and proceeded to offer me a chair in front of the desk behind which he was about to be seated.

I hate that position.

It’s so freakin’ intimidating.

And if it freaks me out, how freaked out are parents who haven’t spent 18 years in and out of that office.

He was very nice. Just making sure I understood that she was wanting to  drop the college credit part of the class, which I did, and had in fact encouraged after watching her have a psychotic meltdown the first week of school.

I’ve seen dual credit math induced psychotic meltdowns before.

They aren’t pretty.

It’s really disturbing for a parent to watch a child have an academically self-induced meltdown that can’t be helped with medication or sleep.

So there I was acknowledging that I had in fact attempted to discourage the whole dual credit thing in the first place.

He had kind words for my #2 progeny. He even chuckled a bit about her honesty when he had asked her if she had given it her very best shot and received a response of “probably not.” I think he appreciated her straightforwardness. At least someone does. I find it rather annoying at times.

Especially when she is telling me what she really thinks….about me.

And for the record, at no time during this little meeting did my heart and stomach ever remove themselves from my throat.

When he indicated the conversation was over, I asked him if there was something else he wanted to talk to me about. After all, the kid had said there was. That had been a significant part of my stomach/heart-in-throat syndrome.

He looked at me funny saying, “No. I don’t think so.” And I left.

No grievances filed.

No parents threatening to sue me.

No fear of losing my job because I had ticked off the school board.

No documentation in my permanent record.

I just walked out.

And the voices inside my head said, “You dope. You stressed out over nothing.”

To which I replied, “ANYTIME a principal’s office is involved, I will stress out. It’s never ‘nothing’.”

(Should I be worried that I actually answered the voices inside my head?)

Just thinking about it makes me wonder if I need to go see a cardiologist….

…or just invest in a white jacket and some wall padding.

….or tell the principal to lose the desk and office next time he wants to talk to me about something.

That’s it. Next time I receive a principal summons, I’m going to insist on a neutral meeting place with no furniture.  Maybe then my heart and stomach will stay in their proper anatomical positions.

And that’s all I have to say ’bout that.

10 Reasons I Miss Living in the Country

For all it’s downsides, growing up in the country had some strong advantages. Many of them I am only now beginning to fully appreciate…

….Mostly because it is now my children I’d like to isolate in the lonely barrenness that is the middle of nowhere. When I was growing up, it was sheer torture being out there.

Here are my top ten reasons (so far) for wanting to return to the isolated country life:

1) The teenage toilet paper brigade loses interest at about the six mile point. I never had to clean up a TP and shaving cream mess. Of course, I was a social reject and probably wouldn’t have been chosen TP-worthy anyway.

Note to self: Investigate ways to de-popularize my children.

2) Climbing a haystack for exercise and solitude is much cheaper than driving to and paying for yoga classes and a shrink.

3) No one gives a rats behind how many horses, cows, goats, chickens, or other strange and unique critters you choose to keep, nor do they care how they smell. If you can pay the feed bill and stand the smell, you can have the critters.

4) Really bad teenage drivers don’t usually show off their engine revving corner-sliding skills that far out. The teen drivers out there are too busy hauling hay or plowing a field to be very annoying.

5) Baby rattles aren’t necessary. Just find a nice-sized diamondback snake and use his post-mortem remains for infant entertainment. (Actually, I DON’T miss rattlesnakes. Those are one of God’s creatures I can certainly live without.)

6) Being grounded is hardly noticeable. What? Wanna take away my social life? What social life? I live 10 miles from the nearest human my age. Go ahead…make my day.

7) Driving lessons start early… about age 6. There is no crunch to squeeze in all of the driver’s ed hours, no worry about finding a road on which to teach driving skills. Just a few fences to dodge and gates to avoid….unless you terrorize your father badly enough early on so that he never puts you on a tractor and barely lets you drive a pickup.

Dear Dad….It was all part of my evil plan to avoid plowing forever.

8. If you choose to ditch church, everyone just figures you had a livestock or mud issue to deal with and they leave you alone about it. God excuses and forgives those kinds of absences.

9) Power outages are never ten minutes long. They are HOURS and sometimes days long. Sucks if you have an entire cow in the freezer or if the temperature is minus 20. Much fun if the kids are all at a friends house and you and hubby are alone with candles, strawberries, and whipped cream.

This assumes of course that your hubby is not the one having to go fix the power outage.

10) Edutainment is free. With that many animals, you will not need to go see a movie to laugh until your sides hurt, plus your children will know every part of the mammalian, reptilian, and insect life cycles including specific details for how each critter makes babies.

Have you ever seen rabbits “do it”? ‘Nuff said.

I'll Have What He's Smokin'

My sweet husband coined a phrase a few years back when he met my …uh…. interesting is a good word…..OB/GYN for the first time. I was preggo with gorgeous model #2 and it was my first time to have a baby with a “big city” doc. My doc was simply amazing, but he had a funny way of snorting whenever he laughed. As we left, in response to my, “Well…????” inquiry, hubby simply said, “I don’t know what he’s smokin’, but I want some.”

I’ve never forgotten that moment.

It’s etched in my psyche for all eternity.

And at (in)appropriate moments, it comes leaping out of my mouth.

Yesterday was just such a day. Having delivered a car to gorgeous model #1 at the far edges of Western New Mexico, I participated in a game of “how to get from Nowhere, NM back to my warm, inviting home with no car.

It involved two shuttles and two different airplanes, a two hour ride with a most…ahem…”interesting” driver (that’s an experience I shan’t soon forget), and a Southwest flight attendant crew who changed planes with me.

If you’ve never flown Southwest, you should. Connan O’Brian’s got nothing on these people. Plus, no terrorist would ever fly Southwest for fear of a redneck takeover.

“We don’t anticipate a drop in cabin pressure. If we did, we wouldn’t have come to work today.”

“Oxygen will be delivered to you through the mask. First three minutes are free. Additional minutes are priceless.”

“If you are traveling with small children, or if one is sitting beside you, you have our sympathy.”

“In the event of a water evacuation, put on the life vest from beneath your seat, pull the cord to inflate, and kick, kick, paddle, paddle, breath. Kick, Kick, paddle, paddle, breath…..until you reach the shore.”

“This is a non-smoking flight. If you feel the need to light up, please step out on the wing and enjoy our feature presentation, ‘Gone With the Wind’.”

“We will now dim the cabin lights. That’s in order to enhance the looks of the (dark complected) male flight attendant.”  (He was the one who said all of this.)

“On behalf of the entire Southwest crew, I’d like to welcome you to Hawaii, but I can’t, so welcome to Lubbock.”

I’ll have some of whatever he’s smoking. I bet it’s good stuff.

I “deplaned” (insert midget voice from Fantasy Island here) and greeted the hunk who had repeatedly provided the necessary genetic material (and some great sex) required to produce gorgeous models #1, #2, #3, and #4. We watched as an old guy grabbed my bag off the luggage carousel by mistake. I commented to my hubby that his wife was gonna freak when he got home with a suitcase full of women’s underwear. Quick thinking hunky babe that he is, the father of my children commented that wasn’t anything compared to what she’d do to him when she found the inflatable mattress packed inside with those underwear.

Fortunately he learned to read luggage tags quickly.

Divorce averted.

Hubby, wife, and two younger gorgeous models climbed inside a 94 Chevy Suburban Dallas Cowboy package vehicle and headed home. A varsity volleyball match and a religious crusade awaited us back in the big town of Smallville.

The volleyball match was…er…uh….soon over.

The crusade preacher was quite focused and…uh….preachy. We didn’t have to go to the football field. We could easily hear him from the Wellness Center.

Am I the only one that has visions of murderous blood baths upon hearing the term “crusade”?

Hubby mentioned counting the number of references to hell, death, etc. the night before. I heard a few myself.

I’ve also heard this crusade cost as much as what my house  appraised for. Don’t know if it is true, yet if so, it’s a bit disturbing. That much money would feed a lot of Dump People in Honduras.

I admire those who put it together. Too often in this town, we tend to see barriers instead of hurdles. For hurdling over seemingly insurmountable barriers, those organizers have my admiration and respect.

Yet I can’t help but wonder what this investment accomplished? Did anyone demonstrate or imitate the life of Jesus through this project? Or was it more recruiting for the religion known as Christianity? A religion that tends to focus on proselytizing over serving.

I just don’t know. I wasn’t there. I didn’t hear that much. Not overly interested in hearing any more of it. Therefore, I have no right to judge the motives, intentions, actions, or hearts of those who participated.

Here’s what I do know. There was supposedly a man who walked the earth for 33 or so very short years. He went around healing those who were hurting, teaching about how to live a peaceful happy life, and feeding hungry people. Crowds followed him everywhere. He tried to escape occasionally, because the needs of the people were very draining. He didn’t walk around telling them how they were gonna go to hell if they didn’t go see John the Baptist to get every square millimeter of their body dunked under water.

Other than the twelve he picked out for his man-posse, from what I read, he didn’t recruit much at all.

He didn’t have to.

Everyone wanted whatever it was he was smoking.

That’s how Jesus-Following should be….everyone looking at the life of a person and simply saying, “I want whatever s/he’s having.”

No revival.

No crusade.

Simply an incredible example of caring about people.

There’s no need to proselytize. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

Now, if this crusade guy decides he needs a massage today, we just won’t mention this little blog, okay?


Magnum PI DejaVue and a Jail Break at the Farm

We had a jail break yesterday. Apparently our horses, Buddy and Shorty, both lacking anything important resembling manhood (studhood?), were quite upset when their female pasture companion for the last month had to go back to her home way out in the country.

I didn’t realize just how upset they were…..

….Until I returned from picking up HorseGirl from cheerleading camp only to find my baby girl running up and down the barditch between our farm and the football field and acting like a lunatic. Then I saw them….the big beasts that had just busted through my pathetic attempt at a horse fence. They were enjoying the munchies available on the other side of the road…..visitor’s side concession stand.

I slammed on the breaks, hollered at HorseGirl to jump out and get her horses, backed up that minivan and jumped out with her.

HorseGirl hollered at my baby to go get halters. Meanwhile HorseGirl and I did everything in our power to keep the nutless wonders contained and calm. Belly scratching was working pretty well…until Buddy decided to move and my sandal clad foot decided to be under his 25 year old hoof.

Forgive me Father…I know not what I said, but I’m pretty sure it probably wouldn’t be suitable in church…..if I ever went.

Pretty sure my mom wouldn’t approve either.

Halters arrived, horses were under control, and HorseGirl led them both back to their jail…er…uh….pasture. A little feed, and our adventure was over….I thought.

A few minutes later, my hubby calls and asks if the horses are out. I told him, “Not anymore.” He said he was listening to the police talking about horses being out and trying to find them.

I looked out the window and saw no less than two cop cars driving by. HorseGirl was trying her best to hide until they drove away. I figured they were trying desperately to find the “loose” horses and in an attempt to relieve their desperate search, I walked out to give them the scoop.

The first police car had already driven off, but the second one, unmarked yet obviously a police package car (I know this from my years of being a sheriff’s daughter—valuable and important information for life), was still driving slowly. I waved. He rolled down his window. I didn’t recognize him. Strange– because I know almost everyone of any authority around here. It makes me feel important.

I gave him the whole ugly story, including the part about the agonizing pain on the top of my foot, then stuck my hand out towards him and introduced myself. He obviously needed to know me. Had he been bald and wrinkled, I might have been less forthcoming, but this older dude was still sporting a good amount of hair that was actually still on his head, plus he had a thick salt and pepper colored ‘stache on his top lip.

Since I consider myself quite a connoisseur of attractive older men, I had dubbed him worthy of knowing me. He reciprocated the introduction, handed me his card, and we parted ways.

Five minutes later as I looked at the name on the card, I had a serious dejavue moment.

Serious dejavue.

Flashback to 1980. I was about 12. We had a fun lady coach for junior high athletics. She always commented how her husband looked like Tom Selleck/Magnum, PI. He came to a few of our trackmeets, and most of us agreed. At the ripe old age of twelve, we all helped her admire the deliciousness that was her man.

Time passed. Thirty years to be exact. As the CSI photo enhancing computer in my head did its amazing aging work, I stood there realizing that I had just had a personal encounter with Magnum. Him. That man who was once the spouse of my coach.

Poor sucker.

Next time I see him, I have to tell him. HAVE TO. It’s a desperate obsession.

Am I weird or what? Do any of the rest of you remember this?

So yeah….crazy horses and a huge dose of dejavue. Turned out to be a good day, I’d say.

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