Monday, January 31, 2005

No, Really. It Was A Beefalo.

So, a beefalo walked through my yard tonight. We were outside enjoying the frosty winter air and preparing to mock my brother-in-law who was riding down the intersecting road on his bicycle. Don't ask why, he just needed a good mocking and I'm just the gal to do it. Anyway.... This bull comes trotting by on the edge of the yard, along the main road. Bulls can be pretty mean, not to mention that cattle in the road is a major accident waiting to happen, so we got pretty excited to see this ginormous beast amble by. We hid the children and waved our arms frantically at the brother-in-law, because you really don't want to meet a bull on a bike. Then we set about thinking of people nearby who may have somehow lost an animal that weighs about a bazillion pounds and is twice as tall as me.

We couldn't reach any of the likely suspects by phone, so my extra-daring husband hops in the pickup to get a closer look at the animal. I, of course, hopped in too, because thankfully, the pickup is bigger than most bulls, so I felt pretty brave about the whole thing. We drove up to this animal, which was actually moving pretty damn fast for something so heavy. Just as I was starting to wonder what faulty genetics had resulted in a bull with such a funky face, my husband exclaimed, "That's no bull, that's a beefalo!"

I should have known that if it was in my yard, it would be a weird animal of some sort. A beefalo is a cross between a cow and a buffalo. No, I don't know why someone would want a beefalo. I suspect it's either the potential for low-fat meat or just a sick genetics program from hell. The very fact that my husband correctly identified the beefalo gave us our first clue as to who the beast belonged to.

You see, just days before, my nephew, Timmy, who is in first grade, came home bragging about how his friend Mitchell's dad had gotten a beefalo as a gift. Knowing that Mitchell's dad had to be the only one on our side of the county with such an animal, we sped off to locate him.

As we arrived at their farm, we noticed some trucks out by their cattle pen. Apparently, they had hired some cowboys to round up this beefalo, who was a regular Harry Houdini of the pasture, slipping in and out of fences at will. These guys were searching through a tree-packed field, looking for a beefalo who was currently 3 miles away heading for town.

They were none too happy to hear that the beefalo had given them the slip once again. We never did see them come back by our house with the animal in a trailer, so it's possible that Mitchell's family will be dining on some low-fat beefalo burgers for the next few weeks.

I don't know what it is with the animals in this county. First the rogue peeping emu looking in people's windows. Then the creepy coyotes taunting me with their yipping right outside my bedroom window. Now the beefalo taking a day trip into town. I don't even want to speculate on what's next....

Saturday, January 22, 2005

As The Living Room Turns

Thanks to the ginormous new TV, we've had to dismantle the entire living room and attempt to get it back in shape. I'll admit, my husband is pretty handy when it comes to things like moving the entertainment center or assembling a new computer desk, but as for actually removing items from said desk or other home furnishing item, he's quite a hindrance. See, I can clean off a computer desk, even one as cluttered as ours was, in less than an hour, tossing outdated items and re-organizing the necessary stuff as I go. My husband, however, has to inspect every single item that he touches on the desk. He re-reads Christmas cards (30 minutes), he flips through magazines (45 minutes), he stops de-cluttering and decides to check out how we're doing on this year's taxes so far (90 minutes). Now, all of this wouldn't be so bad if he were not IN MY WAY as I am trying to re-assemble our living room, which now looks like three tornados and an earthquake struck in the course of one afternoon. So help me, if he complains about how he wants to go to bed at 3 a.m. when we're still trying to put the new computer desk up, let's hope I'm not the one holding the screwdriver at that moment.

A personal note to M. Night Shyamalan: I watched The Village last night. I just want to thank you for casting Joaquin Phoenix as Lucius Hunt. I might have been scared of those freaky monsters, but thanks to Jaoquin, I pretty much spent the movie in a trance-like state, in awe of his supreme hotness. Now, I'm a little peeved that you didn't cast me as his love interest, because believe me, I wouldn't even have to act for that role, but I'm holding out for something better. When you come up with a film where you can cast Joaquin and Colin Firth in some kind of love triangle, I'm your gal. I'm not normally the type to get all aflutter over celebs, but those two - oh my. Come on, Night, I would make one hell of a savory filling in a Mr. Darcy/Lucius Hunt sandwich.

Feria Therapy, Yurt 101

You'll be glad to know that I may pass on buying the yurt, because we may have found a way to build our house after all. In case you're wondering how happy I was about that turns of events, let's just say that the shiny kitchen sink in the model home has a nice set of smooch prints on it courtesy of moi. Some better house news and a hair update were just what I needed to snap out of that disgusting slump. Well, a pedicure would have helped, too, but I digress.

However, it's come to my attention that some aren't aware of the fabulous alterna-dwelling known as a yurt (ahem, Kelley), and so, for educational purposes, I will share a link to help you on your way to yurt enlightenment. I fully support the rights of my friends to become yurt dwellers if they so choose, but I'm not calling any of you Ghengis, so don't ask.

Now, can we please talk about my hair? It's pretty cute, and I'll have you know that I am solely responsible for the current cuteness. I looked in the mirror last week and was horrified to see that my formerly adorable highlight/lowlight combination was no longer acceptable for public view. Strapped for cash, I started to panic, but deep down I knew what I had to do. It was a choice. Struggle valiantly against the pitfalls of home haircolor, or let the roots show. Ladies and gentlemen, I am no Sarah Jessica Parker, so I hit the haircolor aisle determined to find a workable solution.

Later, in my bathroom, my hands were shaking as I mixed up the foul-smelling potions that could be my savior or my ultimate hair shame (though the perm escapade of 98 is hard to beat). I love that on the home highlighting directions, they don't mention anywhere that you should try really hard to grow a few extra arms before applying the dye to your hair. During the process, you will look absolutely nothing like the smiling girl on the instruction sheet. The bottom layers of hair went pretty well, which is nice, in case anyone is watching when I flip my hair over to dry the underside. As I reached the top, things got ugly.

First, yes, it really does hurt like the unholy fires of hell when you get that haircolor crap in your eyes, so please keep that in mind if you think a little extra color on your wispy, sideswept bangs will be totally foxy. Second, once your hands are covered in hairdye (another thing not mentioned in the directions - the little highlight comb DOES NOT do it all for you) it's bloody impossible to hold on to the hair color bottle. My chosen highlight color was a nice light red, but they like to scare you with funky-ass colors in the dye bottle. So after the first few times I dropped the dye bottle, I actually looked a lot like Carrie after the prom/blood scene. My daughter came in the room at one point and asked me if I needed a Band-Aid.

After all of the trauma, though, I have to say that my home highlighting skills are pretty damn good. I was nervous as I unveiled my new, non-roots-showing tresses at lunch with some friends. I had reason to be nervous, too, because these girls can smell home dye-jobs from a mile away. Would they have called me out on it? Oh my heavens, yes. Hello, I regularly encourage them to rag on bad dye jobs. My sigh of relief came when one of the girls pointed to my shimmering locks and said, "See, that's what I want done to my hair." Sweet victory! Now, I know that I shouldn't be too smug about this one good hair incident, because we all know that hair karma can be a truly hideous thing, but just let me bask for a few seconds, OK?

Last, I am compelled to tell you about my new TV. Techie geek, I am not. So again, fear struck my heart when my husband asked me to fetch a new TV. Determined to make a good choice, I walked into Best Buy, batted my eyelashes, shook my fabulously highlighted hair and laid myself upon the mercy of the youngest, techiest-looking sales guy I could find. I wanted the biggest, best TV that I could get for a specific amount of money (you think my husband sent me with his checkbook and no spending limit? HA!). My goal was to choose a TV a tad bit bigger than our old one, so that it would fill up the entertainment center nicely. No problem. However, I forgot to take into account that everything looks smaller in the cavernous Best Buy store.

When I got home, my "just a bit bigger than the old one" TV was kind of a monstrosity. For normal people, this wouldn't be an issue. When you live in a freakishly small house and your new TV takes up 80 percent of the living room, it's a little bit weird. Needless to say, this TV didn't fit the entertainment center, either, unless I wanted to fit it in there with a sledge hammer. My husband just shook his head. Not to be defeated, I suggested we put the TV on top of the entertainment center for now. Nothing makes a giant TV look even bigger than hoisting it up in the air to hover over you like a great and shining cartoon anvil. Not only is our entertainment center creaking under the weight of this behemoth, we have to lean wayyyyy back on the couch in order to see the picture. It's like being in the front row of the movie theater where you get a sore neck from the strain. The good news is, I think we may be able to use the TV box as an addition to the shack. Fabulous!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Without Hope

Hopeless. That's how I feel these days. I've been neglecting my poor blog because I just don't have much to say right now that's positive. Here's the thing. I spend most of my day trying to look happy and upbeat for everyone else, and I can't do it anymore. It's not like I can go around lashing out at everyone and snarling, either. So I'm going to rant a bit. Listen if you want, or check back next time if you're only interested in the odd escapades of country life. I do have a rockin' hair dye story to tell when I'm in a better mood.

As you know, if you've read here before, we're trying to buy a house or build a house or invest in some kind of dwelling structure that will get us out of the Shack of Impossibly Small Proportions. Do I feel bad complaining about my house when others in the world live worse than I? Yes. And for two years I've thanked God every night that we have a roof over our heads at all. I'm not ingrateful, and I know things could be worse. But I also know things could be better. How sad is it that my child gets really excited whenever we go into a house where she can actually run in the living room? In our house, she can't even go two steps without running into the edge of the room. She thinks baths are the most fascinating thing ever because she never gets to sit in a bath tub. (Yes, I do clean her, but in the shower, tyvm.) I want the best for my family, and that includes my child having her own room instead of having to sleep on the couch or the floor or with us all of the time.

I know I should keep holding out hope that something is coming along that is better. But how long can I keep that hope up when things just seem to be getting worse? We made an offer on the only decent house near us, and that didn't work out. (We are limited geographically because of the farm.) The loan that we had for the purchase cannot be used for construction, so we can't just build on the farm with it. We saved enough for a 20% downpayment to get a construction loan, but even with our excellent credit the bank now wants a 30% down payment because I'm self-employed. Who would have though that doubling our income would mean that we couldn't buy a house? It just seems that every time we get to a point where we overcome one thing, another stumbling block pops up in its place.

I don't know how much longer I can live in this tiny, cluttered house and stay sane. I know, I could clean up the clutter, right? Well, I'd like to see anyone else live in 500 square feet (only one closet, remember) with a toddler, a home office and a quilting business and not have clutter.

I'm seriously considering purchasing a yurt. How bad does one's situation have to be before they consider living in a yurt in a place where there are tornadoes? Exactly.

If you've read this far, congratulations on your excellent attention span. Thanks for listening. You just made it easier for me to fake a smile tomorrow.