The Fourth of July

Great Grandma
Happy Fourth of July! We spend the day watching some documentaries on TV, napping, taking in the local public pool & snow cone stand, and then watching a small fireworks display at the assisted living center where Craig’s grandmother is currently staying. All in all, not a shabby way to spend July 4.


Farm Life

Farm Life Now THIS is exactly what we came here for. Perfection. And the weather has been phenomenal too. Couldn’t ask for better and we needed it because there have been other areas in our life that…haven’t exactly been perfection this week. So at least we’re in a beautiful place while we weather that one out…

It’s Not Personal, It’s Just Business

The contract with our previous realtor expired last night and we chose to switch to someone else beginning today. I have lots of thoughts regarding the whole realtor gig, none of which are fit to print due to my obvious negative bias and our experience with this realtor in particular. I’m sure as people they are great; as our realtors, well, not so great.

As Craig was on the phone with her this morning giving her the new realtor’s information and whatnot, I knew she was making one more plea to keep her on for another week or two. I told him he needed to tell her, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” He is, afterall, Don Corleracoon.

Speaking of the Godfather of Racoons, he is now two for two as of Saturday night. And the third and final (we hope) threat to our blissful farm existence showed up at the step last night. They really have a thing for dry cat food. When the cussed thing would not move away from the front of the house (Elmer has a favorite target zone in the backyard) he said, “Where’s the tuna? I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Green Acres is the place to be, farm living is the life for me. Or something.

Elmer Fudd

That’s him. FarmGuy can now officially be called Elmer Fudd. He’s sitting on the back step right now with his cat food bait and shotgun ready to go. Come hither you crazy raccoons, and make peace with your destiny.

10:45 p.m. update: As I was posting the above entry, Craig came in all excited. “Get your flashlight! I saw all three of them down by the pond!” Now, keep in mind, I was all ready for bed here, but I grabbed the flashlight and slipped on my sandals and off we went.

We waited some more with me shining the light with my arms all the way up in the air, moving the beam slowly like a police spotlight or something. Five minutes into that, he says, “Can you hear them? I hear them.” and then, “See that? I think I see them. Oh, no, that’s a lightening bug.”

We waited five more minutes and then came back inside. He took the bullet out of the gun and put them both away. I went into the kitchen to finish putting the groceries away and turn the lights off. For the heck of it, I checked our bait bowl to see if they came back. One sucker, ready and waiting. “Oh, Elmer!” I said. He got the gun back out and sneaked out the front door and around toward the back of the house. I watched from the safety of the kitchen window. Ladies and gentlemen, he shoots, he scores! One down, two to go. Way to go, FarmGuy! Now then, we just have to deal with the body before the girls wake up. I don’t exactly want to have to explain to them the science experiment we’ve got framed in our big kitchen window while they’re eating their oatmeal tomorrow…

Happy Mother’s Day

For Mother’s Day today, Katie woke me up at 6:00 to tell me she needed to go potty. And Millie woke up to try to play tea party from her pack and play. Chloe and Maddie are still sleeping, so that’s their gift.

As we’re on a trip right now to my sister’s, Craig sent along a note. He wrote that he caught me a delicious bass, which I’m looking forward to tomorrow evening when we return. Speaking of rural male farm activity, how’s the raccoon hunt going, FarmGuy? Thanks for the card.

And everyone else (to whom it applies), Happy Mother’s Day today.

FarmWife, Reinstated

We were a regular FarmCouple yesterday as Craig drove the pick-up (and it’s even a stick – be impressed!) into town twice to load up two pallets of soybean seed for this here farm we’re living on.

After trip number one, Chloe ran into the house and said, “Mommy! Daddy needs you outside!” So off I went to see what he could possibly need me for in the soybean seed-hauling realm. There he was pitching bags of seed off of the truck. The next job was to stack them neatly back on their pallets in the shed. “FarmWife! I need a hand here!” (He was joking, so don’t read too much into that.) But I was intrigued by the whole process, and so I started stacking seed.

He had to go back for the second load, but before he did he said, “Megan, don’t stack all of these bags by yourself.” As it was 4:00 p.m. and I hadn’t prepped dinner yet, I looked back at him and said, “If I do it, will you take us all out to Pizza Hut?” He just laughed and shook his head, knowing I wasn’t serious…unless he was about taking us out for dinner.

So I did it: 100 25-pound bags of soybean seed neatly stacked, all facing the same direction on two pallets in the shed. When Craig returned with the second load (which we didn’t have to unload as it was to stay on the flatbed) he looked at me, proudly told me my FarmWife name could be reinstated, and then took us all to Pizza Hut for dinner. (No commentary on the South Beach diet, please. I’ll give a health and fitness update some other time.)

Now, if we can just catch (read: shoot) the rabid (seriously) raccoon that’s been hanging around the house before it decides Grace looks like a good snack (Craig’s dad brought over his shotgun for Craig to kill the thing next time he gets a chance – my husband, Mr. NRA). But I’ll let FarmGuy take care of that this weekend while the girls and I are at my sister’s. And if you don’t think Craig with a shotgun will make for a good story, then you don’t know us very well…

So Maybe FarmWife Isn’t My Name After All

We found a tick on Katie’s head today. By the size of the nasty thing, it’s been there about 2 weeks. What kind of mom doesn’t find a fat, growing tick on her 3-year-old’s head for 2 weeks? I wasn’t even the one who found it today – Dee Dee, the hairdresser, did as she was blow-drying Katie’s’s hair at the end of a haircut this afternoon.

All I can say is that I’m glad we’re in Owasso for this experience instead of Pike County because my reaction was to round her up and head to the Urgent Care Clinic to pay a trained professional $85 to remove said tick from Katie’s head. Here that is a normal response. In Pike Co., I would be laughed out of town. “You want us to do what?” It would be like taking her to the doctor and asking them to brush her teeth for me. Something simple and routine. Something any competent FarmWife would be able to do in her sleep. Not I.

I called Craig on our way and informed him I needed him to go with us. He handled me well and said fine. But when I got home he asked if perhaps he could get it out himself and I wasn’t too excited about that idea. I said something like, “This thing is big. And it’s on her head. If we lose the head of the tick we’re in big trouble.” (As if he didn’t know that.) So we went.

I don’t regret taking her to the doctor for this. I couldn’t watch them do it, but Craig watched the whole procedure and that gives me more confidence in his ability to take care of any (God forbid) future tick problems. But hopefully there won’t be any future tick problems because when I’m not sequestering my children inside the farm house due to my intense fear of ticks, I will be putting hats on them. And they will be getting checked very thoroughly by me every hour or so. And if that doesn’t do the trick, I might consider getting their heads shaved.

Okay, so maybe I’m overreacting. A little. But it is just because I feel like the worst mother ever that I allowed a tick to feast on my daughter’s head for half a month.

And now I’m stressing out over the fact that she could get some terrible tick disease and we can’t really feel confident that she’s in the clear for 21 days.

I hearby give back my title of FarmWife. I’m really just a squeamish Town Girl.

I’ve Smelled Jesus. He Smells Just Like My Grandma

I drove into town Friday to run a variety of Pike County errands, one of which was to go to Casteel’s Color Wheel, a small town version of Family Christian Bookstore meets Dillards meets Hallmark. You can get your latest Devotional Bible for Redheads there, as well as pick up a gift for you mother-in-law’s birthday (what I was doing), or register for wedding gifts (we did that some 8 years ago).

Note: They were also the Pike County exclusive distributor for Craig Dunham CDs and TwentySomeone books.

I had a few extra minutes before meeting Jamie (Craig’s sister) to go to a yard sale pre-sale, so I was browsing the items at the shop. As I turned the corner, I saw them: a shelf with His Essence candles. I about busted up laughing right there in the store, but didn’t want to offend the other patrons who might have actually been interested in the Jesus-scented candle, so I busted up quietly.

Then I looked around with stealth eyes hoping no one was watching me as I took the lid off the candle to sniff for myself. There it was. A weird mixture of Charlie perfume and nursing home.

So that’s what Jesus smells like. Smells just like my grandma.

Now you know.

So I Married Uncle Rico

We just drove past Williamsville, IL, where Craig pointed to the sign and said, “We got beat by them, but barely. We were so off, and they were so on. We almost won that game. We should have won.”

I looked at him and said, “So what was the score, Uncle Rico?”

Normally this conversation would have been out of context from anything else we’re doing, but you have to understand that here in Pike County everything – and I mean everything – hinges on junior and senior high basketball games from the 80’s. I’ve heard the stories before, but I’ve never lived them like I have the past two weeks.

You say “1985″and the first thing Craig thinks of is getting beat by 3
points by the team that did win the State Championship (though everyone
still says that that game was the real State Championship game). Every time we get in the van to drive anywhere, we pass some small town with a basketball story.

As much as I’d like to just saddle Craig with this syndrome, I have to say it really is the entire area. For instance, Craig was the guest speaker on the topic of writing in his mom’s English classes on Thursday and Friday. The kids he was speaking to had (for some reason) just watched the video of the big Griggsville/Payson game/fight from 1989 (some memories NEVER die). Now, lo and behold, one of the players on that very team was in their classroom!

Craig not only was able to retell his memory of the fight; he was asked to. He was also able to wax eloquent about how he wrote a letter to the editor of the Quincy Herald-Whig about it, it got published, and basically this led to his present career path in writing (or something like that). And when asked about the State Championship from that same year, he says, “We were one game away from the Sweet Sixteen – the furthest any Griggsville team had ever gone.”

They are still living legends.

Who wants to bring the Griggsville Dream Team back? I, personally, would get a big kick out of seeing a rematch for myself.

How about it, Uncle Rico?