Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Deep Love for Mascara

I've had an ongoing love affair with mascara since I was 13 years old. My best friend's mom was the Avon lady.  She hired us to hang Avon catalogs on every door in her territory in exchange for free make-up samples. We would slave away carrying  huge bags full of catalogs up and down every single driveway in the blistering summer heat for an entire day, and then she would let us pick something out of the catalog for ourselves.

My very first payment was a tube of clear mascara.  I wasn't old enough to wear the colored stuff,  but clear mascara = OK with mom. I couldn't wait try it on.  I went straight to the bathroom mirror and applied the stuff the way I'd seen it done in the beauty magazines.  I turned to my friend who was applying her new tube of cotton candy flavored lip gloss:

"How does it look?" I asked.
"It makes your lashes look totally cool!" she said.

I was hooked.  Instantly.  What 13 year old girl didn't want to have "totally cool" eyelashes? Looking back, I don't think that clear mascara actually did anything at all for my lashes, but it definitely had some sort of powerful placebo effect.  Just wearing it made me feel like a super model. It also satisfied me for a few more years until my mom would let me wear the real stuff.

Now that I'm a grown woman, I don't leave home without it. If I have to make an emergency trip to the store in the wee hours of the morning, I put on dark glasses, and speak to NO ONE.

You could outlaw all other make-up products in this world and I wouldn't care.  But if wearing mascara became a crime,  I would seek out some type of black market make-up dealer. Once the price on it went too high, I would search out homemade mascara recipes on the internet and try outlandish things like shoe polish mascara with a pipe cleaner applicator.

Mascara is on my list of items to take with me on a deserted island.

I know that we're not supposed to get caught up in our outward appearance, and 1 Peter 3:3 is always in the back of my mind  when I think about things like mascara.  I do try to keep the "imperishable beauty" of a gentle and quiet spirit at the forefront of my thoughts, but I have to be honest: a little mascara goes a long way toward helping  in the external department.

This is only a temporary infatuation, though. I won't have to worry about wearing mascara in heaven. I think that we'll all have perfectly beautiful, long lashes like Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street.

Do you remember Snuffy?  He kind of freaked me out as a kid because I couldn't quite figure out what in the world he was supposed to be. He looked sort of like a woolly mammoth, but he didn't have any ears... or tusks, for that matter! Regardless, I was always mesmerized by his long, beautiful eyelashes. They really made his eyes look big and friendly...and he blinked them a lot! It was eyelash love at first sight!

Does anyone else share my love for mascara, or am I the only one who gets excited about frivolous things?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Down Memory Lane

I was looking through some old pictures when I stumbled upon these priceless photos.  They're pictures of our youngest munchkin taken over five years ago.  I was making breakfast in the kitchen when things seemed awfully quiet in the living room.  When I went to investigate, I found my little angel having the time of her life as she pulled every tissue out of the Kleenex box,  one by one! Of course, I had to grab the camera!

 Have you ever seen such a naughty little girl look so adorable?

It brings tears to my eyes when I think of how quickly time is passing!

Having one of those "moments" right now,


Friday, August 26, 2011

7 Random Things

Aluminum Shovel Oversize D-Grip, 18in.
1. I cleaned out the stock trailer this week with a snow shovel and a hose.  Metal snow shovels work SUPERBLY to scrape manure off the mats, and I learned this nifty tip from a bunch of old cowboys at an outfit I worked for in college.  I just want to write a Martha Stewart style "Helpful Hints From Cowboys" book and include this in it. I'd also include the 1,000 uses for bailing twine, bailing wire, and  old coffee cans.

2. I just finished making 63 handmade invitations for a baby shower that I'm co-hosting next month. I love  making cards, but I'm pretty sure my husband is glad that they are all in the mail. Now the housework will resume at full throttle.

3. My girl is an ANIMAL on the soccer field! At this age, whoever has the most endurance wins.  My girl runs circles around the competition, but she is way too nice to the opposing team's goalie.  She's neglected to take a few shots because she, "didn't want the ball to hit the goalie in the face." It nearly kills me to see a missed opportunity.

4. I've got 50# of roasted Hatch Green Chilies from New Mexico coming my way! I love the smell of roasted chilies, and these are THE best! I freeze them in small freezer bags according to heat, and then use them throughout the year in stews, mexican food, and on burgers, etc. I can't wait for their arrival. You know how we Arizonans like our chilies!

5. Homeschooling 3 kids in 3 grade levels is like having 3 full-time jobs but I wouldn't trade it  for anything. I'm so blessed by them. Today, they taught me all about the grass hopper's body parts. Additionally, they actually caught one from the yard to show me the tiny holes, called spiracles, on the sides of their body that they breathe through. This impressed me because I had no idea how grasshoppers breathed.

6.  Besides my usual iced tea, I've recently been really enjoying a good "Shirley Temple". Evidently, teenagers have lost this bit of historical knowledge because when I order a Shirley Temple at Sonic, crickets chirp on the other end of the speaker.  Then I have to settle and say, " I'd just like a Sprite with extra cherry juice, please."  It makes me feel old every time this happens.  I thought everyone knew what a Shirley Temple and a Roy Rogers were. I guess that's what I get for assuming things.

7. I'm going to clean out my linen closet this weekend. If you don't hear from me soon, I've been buried alive in flannel sheets and down comforters.  The closet door no longer closes all the way, so I think it's time. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why My Husband ROCKS!

I have this $4.00 necklace that I've been in love with for over a year.  It's totally fake, totally cheap, BUT TOTALLY CUTE! When I bought it in the junk jewelry section, it was a shiny silver color, although it lost it's luster, long ago.  It's my favorite necklace because it's long and just fancy enough to dress up a plain shirt without attracting attention. I wear it often. In the year that I've owned it:

The silver color has worn off in places.

It has more of a copper sheen now.

I break it  about once a week.

My husband uses his Leatherman tool to fix it once a week.

It has made my neck break out into some sort of itchy rash on more than one occasion. Small price to pay.

For the last month, my beloved necklace  has been completely missing in action. At first I thought it was just misplaced.  Then, after about a week, I tore the house apart looking for it.  I checked my purse, every pocket, every drawer, between the truck seats, and the washing machine.  NOTHING.

I interrogated the children. They replied in unison, "It wasn't me, Mom!"

I stepped up the search party tactics: No luck.

When I lose something, it's the only thing I want to wear. I become obsessed about what I don't have! With every outfit, I would look sorrowfully in the mirror and say, "my necklace sure would have looked cute with this!"

My wedding anniversary was last week, and imagine my surprise when my husband handed me a small package with a big red bow.

I opened it and there before my eyes was a beautiful, sparkly, new necklace!

(The pics don't do it justice. It's really shiny!)

I didn't see that surprise coming!

Turns out, the last time I broke my fake necklace, my husband took it into the jeweler and asked him to make an exact replica of it in real sterling silver! It's much stronger, much more beautiful, and it will last for many, many years. I couldn't believe it!!

He pulled the fake one out of his pocket, and it looked so...junkie compared to my new treasure.

Every now and then, my tough cowboy husband does something so tender, and thoughtful, and loving that it makes me think he's a true romantic at heart.  And I love him that much more for it!  Isn't he a total sweetheart?!?

After I put my new necklace on, he confessed that it brought him great joy to see me so distraught over the lost necklace because it reaffirmed his decision to have a new one custom made. Each time I asked my family if they remembered where they last saw it, he would try not to chuckle because he knew right where it the jewelry store! That sneaky man!

And "The Husband of the Year" award goes to....

Monday, August 22, 2011

"But Mom...I Can Explain!!!"

My irrigation buddy and I went to work on Saturday morning.  After we pumped water in the stock tanks, I walked up the ditch about a 1/4 mile to close some head-gates and open others. I wasn't gone for more than 10 minutes when I returned to this:

"Mom, don't freak out! I can explain everything!"

"You'd better do some fast talkin' Son!"

"While you were changing the water, I decided to go catch tadpoles and baby frogs in the pond over there..."

 "...I don't know how it happened, but all of the sudden, I slipped and fell into the pond. Mom, it was an accident. REALLY! I just slipped!"

"Son, you are covered from head to toe in red mud. You'd better get in the ditch and try to rinse some of that thick stuff off."

 "Mom, there are baby frogs everywhere in this water!"

"I don't care about the baby frogs, I just want you to focus on cleaning that mud off!"

 Washing arms.

That mud ain't comin' off, folks!

He's still explaining how it all happened.

"Son, I'm not concerned so much about how it happened. I  just care about how we're going to keep you from getting mud all over the inside of the truck. Start taking off  those muddy boots."
"On second thought, just strip down to your shirt and undies.  You can wrap up in a towel, and we'll have to forego our trip to the grocery store, and our trip to buy corn, and our trip for lunch.  We'd better just make a bee-line for the shower."

"That sounds like a pretty good idea, Mom."

All of that mess for one of these.

I guess boys will be boys.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Small Town Blessing

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this week, and since it fell on a weekday, we decided to keep it low key and take the family out for a burger and fries.  We topped the evening off with a trip to my favorite place ...Dairy Queen!

We've only got one Dairy Queen in our town, and it's usually the hot spot for families.  That night, we knew all of the folks that walked through the front door. The place was packed!  We spent the evening chatting with friends from church, families we play sports with, and people we've known through my husband's job.  After we were finished with our ice cream treats, we walked out the door and talked with even more friends in the parking lot. We really enjoyed the night, but I couldn't help but chuckle at the fact that I hardly got the opportunity to talk with my dinner date.

As we drove away, I had the sweetest epiphany. My husband and I have been so blessed throughout our entire marriage with a tremendous support system of friends and mentors.  Some have woven in and out of our lives for a season, and others have been there through thick and thin. We have really bloomed in our little community. When we moved to this mountain as a young newly-wed couple, I didn't know a soul. Yet through the years, we've built an incredible network of relationships that we treasure. I love the fact that nowadays, where ever we go, we run into friends we know.

That's just one of the blessings of living in a small town.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When Good Steers Go Bad

These are the actual events as stated for the "Official" record.

Monday- 6:30 am. My husband notifies me that we need to gather two steers to start feeding out for customers. I check the schedule.

Tuesday- I decide the calender looks booked solid until Friday.  I type the words, "Gather Steers" on my schedule for Friday morning.  It's set in stone now.

Wednesday  sometime between the hours of 5:45am and 8:26am- The phone rings and the neighbor's number pops up on the caller ID.  My stomach drops.  The neighbor only calls when the cows are out. His only purpose in life is to be the bearer of bad news.  Husband answers phone, says the words, "I'll be there shortly" and hangs up.  A steer is out.  Specifically, the one that's next in line for butchering.  The one that's very docile and has never jumped a fence in his entire life. This seems strange but he goes back into the pasture willingly. We think nothing of it.  After all, we haven't got a "your cows are out" call in 2 1/2 years.

Wednesday afternoon...4:30ish -Bearer of bad news rings us again. Husband is in the area, and drives to the pasture. He puts the jail breaker back in and pushes him to the far end of the pasture to join his friends who obey the fence laws.  Investigates fence line. No broken wires.  No stays are missing. He cusses and discusses the jail break with  the neighboring rancher in the lane and they come to the conclusion that the steer hears the distant bawl of newly weaned calves down the road and went to investigate.  Why? I don't know. Calves are being moved today and this shouldn't be a temptation anymore.

Thursday morning...O dawn thirty. !@#$% steer is out again.  He's on an early morning walk-about.  I'm convinced he has caught wind of his fate and is trying to make a run for his life.  Husband's superior detective skills find three small black strands of hair on a barb, and he's convinced that this is where he's jumping out of the five strand fence.  Husband re-enforces the fence and is tempted to lock him into the primitive corral...except that I would have to haul water and feed from the house (1 1/2 hours round trip) and I don't feel like missing any more of my daily appointments and obligations. Remember, my schedule is "Booked" until Friday. We cross our fingers and hope the re-enforced fence holds for 18 more hours.

Thursday evening 6:27pm-  Messenger of bad tidings calls...again. Steer has left the pasture with lush, knee high green grass and left all of his bovine friends to go visit neighbor's dirt patch down the road.  He decided to check out their garden too which is the only green thing on their property. Does no damage, but causes major irritation and embarrassment for me. Steer is locked into maximum security corral until morning when the prisoner will be transferred to new home for fattening.

Friday morning-  We drive to the corral and I give the wayward steer the stink-eye.  Then I cackle aloud and say, "How does it feel to spend the night in the slammer without your little buddies?" He pleads the fifth and I say, "That's what I thought, tough guy!" Then we gather up the other steer, and load them both into the trailer to take them to their new pen.

The black steer gives me a haughty look in the trailer.  I decide to name him Carne Asada.  We always give the steers we are feeding out some type of meat- related name like, T-Bone or Chuck Steak. It helps the kids not to get too attached, and helps them to remember what we're feeding them for. I love Carne Asada (translated: Roasted beef) from the local Mexican food joint, and the name fits.

This is my baby's red steer.  He's so innocent and sweet. You can read about my baby's attachment to this fellow red head by clicking here.  I don't know what to name him.  I can't bear to see him go in a few months. I want to call him Norm or Hank, or Earl.  I want to keep him forever for my baby and let them grow old together.

 Here they are in their new home. I actually think they really like it. I was worried that bad company would corrupt good morals, but it seems the red steer has a calming effect on ol' Carne Asada. It looks like his jail breaking days are over. He was always a good calf who stayed out of trouble. I think he just wanted to have a little adventure and sow his wild oats. It's really a shame that he crossed the line onto the other side of the law.  Maybe he's learned his lesson.

Besides, a wise old man once told me that when it comes to cows, "Fences are merely suggestions."

Here they are dining at the "all you can eat" buffet.  On today's menu,  Colorado Orchard Grass hay sprinkled with a coffee can full of grain.  These two are happy campers with full bellies.

Starting to feel attached already,
(even though we do this all the time)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fun Times at the Family Fun Park!

In celebration of our son's birthday, the family loaded up and headed to the Fun Park for an afternoon adventure.  They have this bungee contraption that allows you to jump way up in the sky and do flips....if you want. Our son is a risk assessor.  He's cautious by nature and not a thrill seeker so I had my doubts that he'd actually try this crazy thing out.  But he surprised us all by wanting to have a shot at it.

Our boy was slightly TERRIFIED on his first bounce up in the sky!  But, he did it anyway.  The higher he jumped, the more fun he started to have. Except that I was certain he was going to puke.
After his first time allotment was up, he surprised us and told us that he wanted to do it again.

Here is a little perspective about how high they actually jump.  It's WAAAAY up there!

Our girl tried it next, and she had a perma-grin the whole time.  She did nothing but giggle as she flew through the air like a bird.  She's always been the dare-devil of the family. She even did a few flips!

Next up...Go Carts.  Because my family is ultra- competitive, there was no leisurely cruising on the track.  It was purely a reckless race to the death, full of dirty driving, brake slamming, cutting offs, and trash talking.

In other words, it was just an ordinary day on the racetrack.

The father/ daughter team celebrating with a victory lap.

Below, the Uncle/ niece team shows off for the camera.

The mother/ daughter round.  We were hoping the #12 car could perform to our standards.

Our baby took a Solo turn on the PeeWee track.  She's a  very cautious driver who obeys all of the rules, and the car topped out at 2 miles an hour so they were a good fit for eachother.

Here's our boy racing on the big track.

After Go- Carts, we had a quick round of goofy golf.
Our son and his buddy were having an intense round of putt-putt.  I saw a whole lot of cheating and fabrication of scores.  It was just a typical round of men's golf.

 The racing spectators were enjoying the action on the track.

We finished up our last round of goofy golf as the afternoon storm started pouring down. It was a great day of fun, competition, and thrill seeking in celebration of our boy's 10th birthday.

Growing Up.

Our boy had a big birthday yesterday.  He's double digits now.  The big 10!!!  How did this happen?

*sniff, sniff*

 This is what he looked like yesterday. A bundle of cuteness hugging his little sister.

This is what he looks like today.  The baby cheeks are gone.  The little boy smile...gone.  I see a hint of young man in him now.

I'm gonna have a sentimental cry now because tomorrow he'll be driving, and the next day he'll be shaving, and the next day he'll be leaving the nest.

Ahhhhhhh!!! I'm not ready for this. It's going by too fast.

Trying to slow the clock down,