Saturday, February 24, 2007

Girl's Night

Every Friday night I meet a group of gals in town for a rite we call "basketball." This weekly meeting actually did start out on a basketball court, and involved sweating, jumping, showboating and trash-talking, but since we're all getting on in years, one of us was mortally wounded within the first month. Since Barb's doctor told her to lay off the b-ball for a while, we decided to preserve the girl time while she healed by meeting at a bar, so our families wouldn't get used to us being around on Friday evenings. An innocent beginning, yes, but after Barb's injury we've never made it back to the basketball court. In fact, there are women attending our faux basketball nights who have never even played real basketball with us. And it's raunchy. You would definitely not want to seat small children near our table.

I ran errands before basketballing today. I was in the hardware store, and saw my friend's husband, who asked if I was headed to play basketball. I was wearing stilettos, my hair was in an up-do and I had rather large, sparkly earrings on. The look on the cashier's face when I said I was headed to the court was priceless. I'm sure he wondered how I'd ever run across a basketball court in those shoes. :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day - 1999

Eight years ago today, about this time in the afternoon, I was shopping for something red to wear on my first date with the cute guy I'd been chasing for months. He was adorably shy, and I was impressed that I had successfully lured him out of his quiet shell long enough for him to ask me out. My best friend Janet had helped a bit, too. He had stopped at my house to say hi one day in January, but I was at class. Janet, never one to mince words, said, "Heather isn't here. When are you going to ask her out?" Janet says he turned 8 shades of red and said a hasty goodbye. I love Janet.

He picked me up in his rusted pickup truck, and presented me with a card and a scented candle. The candle was a Bath & Body Works Juniper Breeze candle that his sister helped him pick out, because he was confused by the realm of possibilities for girly Valentine's Day gifts. The card had a hand-written poem on the inside that said:
Your hair is red
Your eyes are blue
Maybe that's why
I can't stop thinking about you.

We had a lovely dinner at a steakhouse, and I discovered that he wasn't really all that quiet once you got him talking. We had almost nothing in common, but we had a great time. When he took me home, he came inside for a bit and we talked until late in the night. As he started through the door to go home, I realized that he was far too shy to kiss me. I touched his shoulder as he walked through the door, and when he turned around, I kissed him. I can still remember the adorable look on his face afterwards. And I was hooked. Luckily, so was he.

About 8 months later he asked me to marry him, and another 6 months after that we walked down the aisle and promised to love, honor and cherish, 'til death do us part. He still has that rusted pickup, and every time I ride in it, I remember that first date and how I was nervous, and he was nervous, wondering if the connection we felt was real. And I still have that Valentine's Day card in my bedside drawer, a reminder of why I first fell in love with my sweet farm boy.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Miguel Speaks No English: Part 483

The other day, the school bus passed by our house without dropping Miguel off. Since I hadn't heard anything about him staying in town after school, I wondered where he might be, but figured an 18 year old was probably capable of finding himself a ride home after whatever post-class mischief he was making. About an hour later, I got a cryptic text message on my phone that said, "I'll be home in 30 minutes. I'll tell you why when I get there." Naturally, I suspected that a friend wrote this message for him, because it used reasonable sentence structure and a contraction, but I digress.

When Miguel arrived home, he explained that, unbeknownst to him, there had been some nominations and voting for winter homecoming royalty. Not only had Miguel been unknowingly nominated and in the running for homecoming royalty for the last week, his classmates had voted for him and he had won the junior class royalty spot. All without even knowing that there was an election going on. He was quite surprised when he was called into the office and asked to be in a picture with some other random people from other classes. He had to ask why they were taking his picture. Heh.

The thing that really irritates me about the situation is that the crappy newspaper in our town was the one that decided to take their pictures after school instead of during school hours like the decent paper does. So they called Miguel to come to the office at the end of school, with no prior notice, and then kept him there long enough that he missed his bus home. I wonder what would have happened if his friends hadn't still been there to drive him 20 miles home? Methinks I would have needed to give the rude newspaper lady a piece of my mind. And not the polite piece, either.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Crazy Sledding Fun

Earlier in the week, the temps in our neck of the woods were well below freezing. Our east irrigation lake was frozen five and six inches thick all the way across, so we spent a full three days out there sledding and ice skating and making merriment with our family and friends.

The boys enjoyed sledding as fast as they could down the hill. When I say boys, I mean all males under the age of 105, as evidenced by.......

this very pixelated photo of my husband riding a sled atop his beloved brother-in-law. The bigger version on my Flickr page is better, so you can see their expressions of sheer joy. Heh.

Even better than just sledding down the lake bank was sledding down the lake bank headfirst into a giant, fluffy pile of snow. No nephews were harmed in the making of this photograph.

Oh, and there were some crazy ladies that kept stealing sleds from the kids and careening wildly across the lake. What were they thinking? And yes, I did make those boys pay for throwing snowballs at the crazy ladies.

Not content to participate in the normal skating and sledding activities, the boys (lead primarily by their insane uncle, who may also be my husband, but I won't admit that for liability reasons) invented their own winter sport - extreme downhill ice skating.

Also, my husband relived the glory days of his youth by jumping over snow piles on his hockey skates to the wild cheers of his fans, a.k.a the nephews.

At the end of the winter fun, everyone was happy. Miguel was happy. Maya was happy. Even the dog was happy. Yes, that dog is smiling. Trust me.

Sometimes the freeze your butt off cold days are the best days. :) You can see the rest of the photos from our winter fun day at Flickr.

I Am My Mother

I find myself drooling over appliances today. Appliances. WTF? I'm a hip chick. I like pretty shoes and cool music and parties. And also high-end washers and dryers with flashing lights and noises and energy efficiencies beyond one's wildest dreams. Even sadder than my initial excitement over the amazing washer/dryer set was that I expected my husband to share my joy. Heh. He's a farm boy who loves meat, potatoes and action-packed Playstation games. Not laundry appliances. As I gleefully explained to him the merits of such a glorious pair of washing and drying devices, complete with hand motions and rising vocal volume, he just stared at me as though I was speaking a foreign language. Oh, but when I mentioned that my chosen appliances had direct-drive motors instead of belt-drive, he did, for one moment, seem to understand my happiness. He expressed his shared enthusiasm with a slight shrug and grunt of approval. Or, at least I'm going to accept that movement as approval, because I'm so buying that washer and dryer. I might even invite my mother to come and see it. I know she'll be just as excited as I am.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Nature, in Farm Boy Terms

My husband is delightfully uncouth in many ways. Since I'm still 12 years old inside, I laugh at the goofy and often impolite things that he says. This makes him happy, when I laugh at what he says Unless he's suggesting that I help with something gross. If I laugh then, I'm in a bit of trouble.

Yesterday, I was rudely awakened well before my customary hour of waking by my husband, who thought that I should go outside in the snow to take pictures of "the whore frost." Naturally, being awoken by such talk made me giggle a little. Whore frost? Really? What did the frost ever do to you!? Apparently, whore frost is what happens when it's foggy but really, really cold in the morning, and the fog freezes onto trees and grass and whatever else is standing still outside. I asked him why on earth the frost would be called "whore," and as usual, he had no idea. It's just what the old folks say, he tells me. I did a little research on the subject, and believe me, you don't want to know what happens when you Google anything with the word "whore" in it. *shudder* As it turns out, the term is actually hoarfrost, and it has nothing to do with sex trade workers at all.

My second favorite farm boy term is "dog pecker gnats." I first heard this term last summer while I was helping my husband put up guttering on our new house. A gnat flew by my face, causing me to swing my arms wildly around and shake the ladder quite a bit. My husband, irritated, informed me that I had nothing to worry about, because this was just a dog pecker gnat flying about, and it wasn't like it would sting me or anything. Umm, frankly dear, if anything that has been remotely near a dog's jimmy is flying in my face, I'd say I have plenty to worry about, thankyouverymuch. Of course, once the words "dog pecker gnat" had escaped his lips, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't adequately express my disdain at having said gnat near my head. I spent the rest of my time on that ladder making up genital-related names for other woodland critters that are commonly found near our home. Watch out for those bunny crotch ticks. I hear they're thick this time of year.

See also, piss elms.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Photo Nerds, Unite!

When I was in high school, I always had my camera with me. For the youngsters, you should know that back in the dark ages of my youth, a whole 15 years ago, that camera was not digital. No, it used a primitive format called "film." My SLR was my constant companion, and I took pictures of anything and everything. I even developed them myself, with no help from a computer or Photoshop. Fancy!

After high school, I put my beloved camera away for a long time. I thought occasionally about getting it out, but the reality of no longer having a darkroom and total control of my images was too much for my artistic little soul to bear. But now, thanks to the DSLR, I am happily snapping pics left and right again, and I get to maintain my control-freak hold on every single one. Woo!

I got my new camera before Thanksgiving. It's a Nikon D50, and I love it. I would really love to have a few thousand dollars to buy more lenses, but for now, I have 3 lovely lenses that do almost anything I want (I have the 18-55mm, the 55-200mm, and the 50mm f/1.8, for you other photo nerds). Don't wave any macro or wide lenses in front of me right now, though. I might bite. Hard.

I put together a collage of photos of my daughter, taken with my new camera, for my parents at Christmas. They promptly hung it on their wall, just like they used to do with my crayon scribbles of yesteryear. My dad called me today and said that a guest in their home looked at that collage and said, "Boy, you can sure tell a difference when a professional is taking the pictures." Be still my heart! Someone thought my pictures were professional-grade. I know they're not, but hey, I fooled one person. That makes me happy.

Flickr thinks I'm a pro, too. It says pro right there on my Flickr page. Yeah, yeah, I had to pay them to say that. Whatever, haters. I'm a pro now!