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Friday, July 27, 2012

BIRTHDAY BLOG (Me <----- 40)

It's my birthday! It's a par-tay! Gonna' rock it!

OK, it isn't my birthday anymore. That was last weekend. But it was a great bash to bring in my fourth decade and celebrate before we got back in to the mighty (full) school schedule.

We HAD a wonderful turnout! Just about everyone invited made it! YAY! Although, I will admit that made it a little hard to get around to visiting with everyone but I did and everyone visited with everyone else so it was a blast!

John Deere dude brought his pit out at about 8:00 am-ish to start getting the wood burning and the temp right.

Lil'Gal and John Deere dude a/k/a Fisher Man

While the mesquite was burning to the perfect temperature for my FILs awesome briskets/s John Deere dude threw some ribs on for some lunch munchin'. He also threw on some homemade steak and chicken-jalapeƱo-bacon wraps. I'd show you a pic of those but they didn't last long enough. YUM!

What survived:

Yum! Ribs! Everyone loves pork ribs!
When Lil'Gal's Bestest-FF saw her mom's FB page (Ms. Les) and saw that I had posted a pic of RIBS on the PIT she drove her mom crazy. Diva loves MY ribs and John Deere dude used my rub on some and his rub on some. Needless to say, Ms. Les and Ms. Diva ended up showing up about two hours earlier than planned. Yeah, that good! LOL!

Lil'Gal took some for lunch this week because the Intermediate campus has three microwaves for kids who bring their lunch. She said she was the hit at the lunch table and everyone was drooling. So, she decided to take the last rib - my last rib :-( I'd been saving - to lunch again the next day. *snicker*

Then Papa a/k/a my awesome FIL put on the briskets!

That's a man with experience who knows his briskets
I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family come out! We had about 50 adults and 25-ish kids. [I don't count the teens and graduates as kids anymore.]

I have to say I was thrilled that PJ (Pickle Juice is her nick name on my blog), my life long friend... the one person that even through the trials of my childhood that even the Lifetime Channel probably wouldn't be able to show, she and I kept up with each other.

Gosh we have so many memories! As little kids. When we met, I was walking down the sidewalk of our street in our neighborhood. (Back then you could let your kids walk anywhere and I was coming from about six blocks away from another friends' house). She was sitting on this bench on her front porch (about four years old). They had just moved in. And, as I walked by she said, "Hi." I said, "Hi," back.

She said, "You wanna' be my friend?" And, we have been friends ever since. She lived two doors down from my Gramm with whom I was living with at the time. We drank pickle juice and put kittens down our shirts while riding bikes. We did so much together. All of my memories with her are good ones; even those silly young girl spats. "I hate you!" "I hate you too!" "You are the worst friend ever!"

Twenty minutes later one of our phones would ring at our own homes (we spent summers at home while the adults worked - you could do that back then too) and "Hey? What are you doing?" "Nuthin'" "Wanna' drink some pickle juice?" "We have to eat all the pickles first." That's my PJ.

Me, PJ's Lil'Gal and PJ.
I lover her beyond means. We share quite a history together. <3

Sweet D and Ms. Les were in charge of the cake. [I was going to make one all black inside and black outside with a big 40 on it but they wouldn't let me...] They know me so well! Look at the beautiful cake they had made. (Pic is full size so click to zoom so you can really read it!)

It has my name, and the date of the 'finely aged wine' and my motto

So much food and fun and then everyone was dragging me inside to open presents! Yes! I got lots of presents! How cool is that! I just wanted a party :-D

Wonder Mom
 I think WonderMom just wanted to see if I had enough hot air in me to blow out all those candles. YES, she used 40. But I can't complain because I do the same thing to everyone else.

Guess what?

I blew them all out! In one breath.

Without ANY SPITTLE! :-D

Me, embracing 40 as they sang to me :-P
I can be quite theatrical sometimes... [most of the time...]

My floral friend made me a BEAUTIFUL flower arrangement in which she even incorporated tulips that are actually hard to find down here right now and out of season. Here is a pic, that doesn't do it justice:

It also has my second favorite flower, large gerber daisies!
This bouquet is HUGE and again, the picture just doesn't do it justice.

Oh, and the final cherry on the cake? [Don't hate me.] Hubby surprised me with a beautiful new ride! She's a dream to drive and I have so much ROOM!!

Now I just have to name her. But gosh darn. How do you name such a beautiful piece of machinery. She is a dream to drive. She floats down the road. She does everything for me. And, she's so darned pretty! She is perfection... And, so much space! Gosh I love the space!

Such a great party and such a great time! I'm truly blessed! I'm spoiled. In the words of Dave Ramsey, "I am better than I deserve." But I will say, I work hard to earn my keep and be the best I can be. And, what more can we offer?

So, this is me. Blogging at 40. And, still with my glass half full and more so. May the Good Lord bless you and yours equally and above.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Klampie Mystery (A Children's Book)

The Klampie Mystery by Luis Rodriguez.

I received an email and some promo info inquiring if I would be interested in reviewing this book. Although, my blog is not book review specific I do review a lot of books here. And, I like to be open to various genres here and there and I enjoy reviewing children's books as well.

Particularly, because I am a mom. And, I like to include the kids. It further instills their love for reading and they enjoy being a part of the review process. Kids have opinions too, so why not go right to them with a book that has been written for their demographic?

I received the book, 32 pages hard bound, along with a folder with information about the author and the book.

The story begins with the excitement of a trip for Christmas from California to Australia. To build her excitement, Samantha's father gives her a stuffed koala which she immediately falls in love with as would almost any child. She names the little guy Klampie because he'll actually clamp on to things.

As the story goes on Samantha learns about times zones and how different it is across continents. After all, it is winter in December in California but hot summer weather when she arrives in Australia. Of course, she questions this, along with many other things.

In the story the koala becomes a mystery. Is he a stuffed toy or is he real? I don't want to give it away although you can read more about the story on amazon or on Goodreads. The story shares about the experience of traveling, particularly intercontinental traveling and would be a good book for someone who is preparing for a trip with young children. It explains the process while including the story about a cute little cuddly koala to keep the child's interest.

I like how the author, a child care professional, introduces new vocabulary. For example, when Samantha and her family arrive in Australia Samantha inquired about the weather. Her mom explained, "When it is winter in Australia, it is summer in America and vice versa." "What does vice versa' mean?" Samantha inquires back. And, the mom explains it. There are several other terms introduced throughout the story.

The illustrations were animated but true to life. Not overly colorful or cartoon like. They demonstrate the landscape of another country and the experience of traveling by plane very well.

Although a little below her reading level, my daughter (4th grade reading level) expressed that she enjoyed the story and found the illustrations very true to life.  She read it along with my niece who is also eight years old but at a sixth grade reading level. She expressed that she too found it to be a cute story. So, although written for younger children it can be enjoyed across various ages and reading levels.

Good luck to this up and coming author!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm Farming and I Grow It! Oh-YEAH.

So Y'all know I'm a Farmer's Wife. And, I'm proud of it. So, obviously when this little video made by these farm boys hit You-Tube I am all over it. Sure, I'm Sexy and I Know It but my Hubby's Farming and He Grow's it.

And, lets be realistic. All politics and 'he said, she said' aside. Where does our food (and clothes) come from? Not a department store. Not a package. Not a can or a box. Not a drive through. From Farmers. Who work hard, and sweat hard and do that dirty hands on kind of work.

As a romance novel reader, I've read tons of books that describe how the hard working MC came in dirty and smelling of sweat and musk and hard work. Yeah... It's not just Harlequin.

Hubby comes in smelling of dirt and diesel, and sweat, and hard, hard work in the heat and it is...well Sexy.

Of course these young farmers are too innocent to be part of a novel of that stature. And, FW is about to turn 40 so obviously I'm not all cougar. But, I am proud of this video they put together. It's awesomely cool! And, they are Farming and they ARE growing it and a Farmer's Wife or any one anywhere and anyhow related to agriculture will totally love this video.

These boys aren't from the hood. They are from the woods, the plains, working cattle and cutting grain.

They feed us and they clothe us.... Happy Tuesday!

"I'm Farming and I Grow It!"


Friday, July 6, 2012

Holey PIE! I'm blogging (with photos)... and where have I been?

I know! I know! WHERE. HAVE. I BEEN?

Well, quite frankly - everywhere.


Traveling. Juggling appointments and extracurricular activities (after all the traveling and packing and repacking and unpacking to pack again). And, reading. Reading has been GOOOOOOOD to me lately. [We'll save that for another post.]

We head back to school on the 23rd of this month. So, it is like, Where in the H-E-DOUBLE-L did my summer go? I can't really say I haven't had a summer because as aforementioned we traveled. A. Lot.

We did our annual Frio trip:

Besides the kayaking and the swimming, fishing is his favorite thing.

Then we made the annual trek through Louisiana, MiSSiSSiPPi to Alabama where we visited with one (of three) of Hubby's cousins who he spent a lot of summers down here with when they were kids; and his son. And, we went to my favorite restaurant for my favorite Greek Salad (the only real, and really good Greek Salad I've found). YUM!

(Not so) Lil'Paul, Lil'Gal and Farmer, Jr.
Little Paul is going to be a freshman this year. He's an excellent golfer. For sure to get a college scholarship and maybe even go Pro. No exaggerating. But at 14, Little Paul already is taller than 'Big Paul' his dad. He's... I dunno... 6'1? 6'2? If ya' hit the six foot mark at 14 years of age, I think ya just stop counting the inches.

That pit stop led us back up into Georgia (that song always plays in my head when we go to Georgia). We spent a wonderful evening and the next day with another cousin, (the second brother and the youngest) and we adults actually stayed up late playing (oh darn. What's the name of that game...) and drinking beer and we stayed up until well after midnight! I joked with Scarlette (the cousin's wife) the next morning that 'Boy! That was fun! All the kids down and we got to be real adults!'

Don and Scarlette; they are such fun!

They took us to the Atlanta Georgia State Aquarium. It is THE LARGEST aquarium in the world, I believe. They have three HUGE and beautiful whale sharks there. This is the only facility to have whale sharks available for observation. There is a long tall glass tunnel and you can actually watch them swim from underneath. All five kids loved it (even though there's had been before) and Farmer, Jr. being the fisherman and sea life lover he is was in A.W.E.

There is actually a video of UPS shipping the whale sharks to this facility. The largest haul UPS has ever shipped. I found that a nifty fact.

Here's a video. I thought this was the video of the Rey doing summer saults while singing "Just keep spinning, just keep spinning" to himself but it is hard to tell and I don't want to get into what it took me to get this BLEEPin video up in here. So, enjoy this fish on the clip and be happy :-P

Whale shark up above; don't let the picture fool you - S/He's HUGE!

Whale shark and more fish...
The finale of our visit to the aquarium besides all the other awesome exhibits was the dolphin show. Now, we have an aquarium in our area and they do a little dolphin show that demonstrates how smart they are and how fast they can swim and how high they can jump and how humorous they can be. And, I've been to Sea World to see their dolphin show. But THIS dolphin show was like a disney musical production!

Unfortunately, I can't post pics because they won't let you take photos or video or anything that might - I guess - disrupt the dolphins. It was a tale of a lost ship magical ship and captain. An evil force sunk him. But at a certain time when the stars where just right the magic of the dolphins could salvage the sunken ship. Lil'Gal was mouth gaping open. It was incredible. The dolphins were actors in the show, even though they were playing the role of, well dolphins. It was musical theather - on water. AWESOME.

FROM THERE we went on up to Lake Burton in Georgia to visit with the third brother/cousin and his wife and his son came up the next day with his buddy. Is it odd to call 25-year-olds adorable? Seein' as I'll be 40 in 16 days, I think I can pull that off.

So, I spent a good part of one of the days there doing a photo shoot of the boys in action on the wake board and such. You know attractive young gentlemen love to see themselves on film. Ha Ha! Naw, their mom asked me to take some shots because my BAD@$$ Cannon takes BAD@$$ action shots.

So, here are a few of there flip over heroics:

The Buddy :-)

There's a flip! 360 all the way; they had trouble landing them though but still awesome!
The third cousin; even he got out there!
This is Dave. It's his lake house we stay at when we go up there each year. He got up on his ski and was awesome for a 59-year-old! I did get some incriminating evidence on him when his britches didn't cooperate as he was first getting up on the ski (hee-hee). I promised to delete those but then when he came in close and chose to spray me wet WITH the BAD@$$ Camera in hand... well, I rethunk posting it, LOL!

Naw. I wouldn't do that. He's too great. AND, while Hubby was out on the boat with the boys and I was in the middle of a photo shoot he took care of a Lil'Gal issue. Anyone who can handle a Lil'Gal issue is on a clean slate with me :-D *Such fun*

Dave and Lil'Gal
He almost convinced her into jumping this year. I mean, she was*squeezing fingers almost together*  thiiiiiiiiis close. He's the kind of guy who can talk anyone into anything. And, if you meet him on the street you'll feel like you've known him all your life in like five minutes. Very charismatic. And, I love his wife. She's so calm and well grounded. She carries a peace about her.

Anyhow, he couldn't get the Lil'Gal to take the jump. Maybe next year. ;-)

THEN... I know, there's MORE? Yeah... I mean how long have I been gone? And, since I got back my calendar has been filled with tutoring and music and appointments. Someone give Farmer*sWife a break. [I've take a lazy day or two, I'll admit. Had too.]

We decided (since we were only like 45 minutes away) to take a drive into North Carolina and visit the Blue Ridge Parkway (a drive through the mountains that tops 6,000 feet above sea level).

The mountains were beautiful, though covered in fog off and on or steam I should say since it rained that morning. That might just be a good thing though because some of those ridgeways on the drive would have freaked me out if I could see how far down the ravines were.

Being from a flat-land, wide-open-spaces state the drive down was somewhat unnerving. Me and the kids had a bit of car sickness on the way down. Hubby, driving of course, thought it fun. Driving a crew cab Ford like a roller coaster ride down the mountain (he was trying to make time, LOL) with waves of fog and the occasional oncoming traffic - two small one way lanes mind you - it was... Well, like I said. Me and the kids had to stretch our legs and eat something salty to curb the slight nausea. LOL!

From there we headed back state by state and then unloaded Hubby's truck only to repack and load up Mama's SUV for the trip to Arkansas to see Grandpa - and my brother and nephew made it up this year.

In the mean time we had rehearsals for the dance recital for Lil'Gal and Diva:

Diva and Lil'Gal as Orphan's in their Musical Theater Recital
I won't go further into the recital business. The girls did fab! But me and Les have decided we aren't dance moms. We just aren't. Don't get me wrong, the girls will continue in dance = but we just aren't five costumes, hair piece, crazy wild that way. Kudos to those who are. It's adorable. But it ain't for me.


Also in the mix - in fact - during the recital, my baby SIL gave birth to my new (and second) niece! Talk about crazy-mad-busy!

And, she was so tiny! 6 lbs, 3 oz I believe!

Proud Cousins!

Last we make our trek to Arkansas; Hubby had to stay back to mind the farm. As y'all well know there is little to no signal there at Grandpa's in the woods. So I lived on text messages and the occasional FB post that would come through with my email. :-P A drive or two up to the highway got me five bars and some cyber fix, LOL!

Then back home to appointments, tutoring for FJ and FJ got to work this year. 10 years-old and running the tractor, keeping his hours and shredding stalks. His favorite thing to do (next to fishing) is farming. :-D

So, THERE YOU HAVE IT. That is my summer so far - in a nut shell. Happy Friday!! FWFD OTW!!!!

With that, here's some Black Hawk: There You Have It! I Don't Regret It!!