Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pictures of Iowan stereotypes, II

So. We were in Iowa.....
Iowa looks like this.



And this. You see this? Iowa is filled to the brim with farming implements. Farming implements, cows, corn, and the occasional windmill.

Cody was just being generally enthralled with visiting a new place.

He's probably thinking something along the lines of "Oh my gosh, this is only the third feedlot I've ever seen. This is so exciting! Iowa is exotic. I want to hear some more people talk."

Or he's trying to figure out what that smell is.

Sometimes I feel bad for Cody and all of the country learning experiences he's had since we started dating.

But then it passes.

And then Chad's dad fed some cows. So his grandkids had to help.

You've got to start them young.

Jordan is two. He seems to love feeding cows.

He thought they needed something more....

So he began pulling up grass and throwing it in the trough with the feed.

Payton began doing the same. Payton is also two, and was once licked by a cow. This was pretty traumatic, so she would throw her grass in the trough and make a quick run to safety.

Tammy, Payton's mom, helped them pull up grass to throw all down the length of the trough until they were satisfied that they'd taken care of the cows properly.

I also want to you to look to the left.

Jordan is okay with cow tongues.


This lot of grass-fed beef is made possible with the help of hardworking toddlers.

You've got to start them young.

Pictures of Iowan stereotypes

I should have figured this out sooner, but didn't.

PS: Hi there, how was your weekend? Mine was spent almost entirely in the car or outdoors in the wind. It was fantastic.

Also fantastic: Mom let me play with her camera, ensuring that I could take and delete photos instantly (this instant gratification is probably why I have yet to develop my own roll of film).

BUT THEN: I had the hardest time uploading the silly things! I tried to send 2 pictures to Sara and met the limit on my email's message.

These pictures were enormous.

Enormous.

So big it was unseemly.

So I resized them into something a little more manageable.

Not to worry, the originally sized ones are still in Mom's camera, on her computer, on a disk I have in case we want to blow any of these up in high quality, 27" x 38" portraits.

I am only exaggerating a little bit.

Although I really wouldn't mind having a few 8" x 10"s of these.

Tell me this isn't one of the cutest pictures you've ever seen.

Chad's brother Brian has a flywheel tractor (you start it up by turning this wheel, which gets the engine going. There's no electricity on the whole contraption. Very cool). He started it up and Chad and Sara went for a ride.
It looks like they're having fun.
They probably are, the little farmers.


Both of our other siblings have seen this pictures.
Both of our other siblings have expressed disbelief that Sara didn't fall off and injure herself.

Especially once Chad started turning donuts in the middle of the road.

You know how guys get. They start doing donuts on the tractor and it's all over then.

And away they go.....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Because weekends are just so great

Hello there,

I'm typing this up on my mom's tiny computer, so please forgive any errors that may show up in this. I'm the car, we're speeding through Missouri, the sun is glaring on the screen, and I have no idea where this Internet is coming from.

My parents are reading an atlas, desperately trying to figure out how to get around Kansas City at rush hour, and Cody is trying to sleep. I'm pretty sure he's failing. We're trekking to ....... somewhere in Iowa for the Iowa reception phase of the Sara-Chad Year-Long Wedding Spectacular.

I can think of a no better way to spend my Friday.

It's been a long and nasty week for a lot of us. Every friend I've talked to has had a bad time lately. I'm really grateful for all of you who took time away from your own stressful routines to tell us on facebook that you were thinking about us and Cody's beloved Saturn. We still don't know what we're going to do about that, but we'll be a little better equipped to handle things now that my work's period of crazy time is past.

For now, I'm just going to enjoy this long-awaited weekend.

And I hope that you are able to do the same.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You probably already knew



Cody

can be very handsome

and cute

and sweet

and even dashing
and interesting

and funny.

He can also be a little camera shy

and sleazy-looking

and nerdy
and weird
(Okay, fine. I made him take that test.
He kept failing drug tests at work and I wanted to see what would happen.
He can't pass a pregnancy test.)

and excitable

--okay, very excitable--
and disconcerting

and creepy

and mildly sinister

and grouchy

and just plain odd.

I'm a lucky girl.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My dad is a father

I forgot to write a Father's Day post!

It only seems fair that I would since I wrote this for Mom last month.

So.....what can I say about my dad?

Firstly, I should probably mention that he, along with Mom and Grandmother, came over on his special Father's Day morning to help Cody and I clean and repair and fix up the rent house we're moving into next month. He seemed especially excited to be able to bring the tool belt Laine and Robert gave him for Father's Day (we celebrated officially and as a family the weekend of Sara's reception), the tool box Levi gave him for Christmas, and was a little sad that he could (edit: Wait, I mean "couldn't"!!!)bring the saw Sara and Chad gave him for Father's Day (I was a little relieved about the saw).

He also brought a coffee maker and enough cups for everyone. He also warned Cody to go to the store quickly and buy some milk so that I could drink coffee before I exploded with rage.

For whatever reason, I woke up in an unbelievably foul mood on Sunday. This was unfortunate in light of the fact that I was going to work at cleaning away stranger germs (and as it turned out, dust, mold, hair, grease, and general icky residue) in an under-air conditioned building on my Sunday morning. Dad overlooked this and cheerfully caulked half the bathroom (probably more than half) and made recommendations about house-living things.

He also cleaned all of the high places that Mom and Grandmother started, but couldn't reach.

And he razored quite a bit of paint and varnish off of windows.

And unscrewed the wretchedly paint-covered knobs on the cabinet drawers so that Mom and Grandmother could get the paint off. (They also did a lot of other really nice, helpful, and very clean and tidy things, but it's a Father's Day post so I can only talk about Dad.)

And he sweated.

And he drank his coffee.

He always drinks coffee.

And he stepped outside twice to take phone calls from Laine and Levi, who called from a safe distance away to merely wish him a happy day. And then he would come back inside to face me, as I drank my fifth cup of coffee and wished loudly that we had never signed a lease before seeing the hole in the wall and how did he plan to fix it?*

I have often wondered why people stress the importance of staying in touch with your adult children (a term I've never liked). I have no idea why a parent would want to do that.

But I'm glad mine do.

Like I've mentioned before, we've got some other things going on right now and we'll have to wait before we have another fixer-upper weekend. But my lovely parents have already assured us that when the next weekend is available, we will be spending it with some more projects to make the new place a little more pleasantly liveable. With prior approval, of course.

But:

Lest you think Dad was doing all this simply because he's such a nice guy (although he is), we worked on the house from 10 until 2 or 3, and then went back to our apartment. Cody had made dinner of roast and potatoes and strawberry rhubarb pie. Sara and Chad were also present for the festivities and we gave Dad our cards and visited and watched Sara and Cody fight. He was graciously appreciative of the little Father's Day celebration, even though we didn't have sweet tea and I may have accidentally used foul language in front of him.

Abrupt subject change: Here are pictures of Dad!


Here's Dad a couple of months ago.
We went a NASCAR race and had a blast.
This picture was taken by me.

Here is Dad with Laine and Dallas.
He is drinking coffee and wearing a cowboy hat.

Here is Dad with Sara last year.
They can be incredibly cheesy in photos.


Here is Dad with Levi last summer.
They were having a great time at a car show in a parking lot.

Here is Dad at Sara's wedding with Chad's niece.
He is showcasing one of his many talents: bow-tying.
I don't if it was the Boy Scouts, or his ingrained perfectionism, but my dad ties a killer bow.

If you read my stuff fairly often, you've probably already realized that my parents are lovely individuals and great parents. But I like to point it out, anyway.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! You're great.

*I'm sure you're reading this and thinking, "Duh, Jen. They're called landlords. Let them handle this." To which I must reply, "Be quiet. It's my blog and I'll whine if I want." Also, if I have the choice between the landlords' paint job (I'll be ageist and say it: They're 80. Old people are not the best at repairing and painting) and my parents' work, I will go with my parents every time because they are really great painters and incredibly handy and it's totally okay if I start screaming hysterically about some idiot's attempt to use chair rail as crown molding half an inch away from the ceiling in the dining room in front of them.

Oh dear

Cody and the Saturn were in an accident yesterday.

Cody's okay. His arm is a little burnt from the air bag and he's sore.

The Saturn is probably out of commission.

Cody's not making any decisions until he gets an estimate from a mechanic, which should happen today. Bless him.

Y'all, the Saturn is probably gone. We watched as they attempted to get it off the tow truck and it was "heartbreaking." Cody's words.

It was his dad's car, and he and Casey learned to drive in it. He drove it through college. We drove away from our wedding in that car. At the time I took the picture up there, it was our only car and the back tire had a slow leak. Cody was getting some air before we made the drive down to Stamps to visit his Memaw.

I have a few hundred memories of the Saturn.

Yes, we call it the Saturn. It should probably have a capital T.

As not-thrilled as I am about our sudden move to the Single Car Family category (which we've discussed before. We could make it work, but we'd like to make it work in a couple of months) and the possibility of higher insurance rates (or losing them. Yes, of course Cody was at fault. And I'll go ahead and say: he was turning left.), I'm mostly upset for Cody and the loss of his beloved car.

I know Cody's not a 'car guy' in the traditional sense of the term. He doesn't worry about horse power, the fact that the back seats will fold down if he slams his brakes too hard, the peeling paint on the hood (about half of it is bare metal), and he doesn't care if the front passenger door will never open again even if he gets the car fixed.

He's just attached to the car.

I just thought you should know.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rest assured

I'm working this afternoon, but not tonight or tomorrow.

Aside from losing an hour's worth of work (save often!), everything's fine.

See you Monday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Not a fan

Oh goodness.

Things had been going well. I was catching up on the housework. We were eating at home. I was trying to take it easy with caffeine. We were buying local. We were sticking to an early bed time. We were catching up with each other. I was dutifully mailing pictures to people. We were making plans.

It was a lovely couple of days.

Then we lost yet another proofer at work and the already not-awesome balance was utterly destroyed. I don't know how much overtime I've worked because it doesn't matter. I don't get time and a half. I get accrued leave.......leave I don't get to take.

Uh huh.

I do know that I've very nearly worked an entire extra 8 hours this week so far.

And that I'll be staying late tonight.

And that we're behind.

Even my lunch breaks are late.

And I should be working while eating lunch right now instead of telling you this.

And it's all falling apart.

And everyone is cranky.

And I am getting tired of telling Cody I'll be working late without being able to tell him exactly how late because no one can tell me.

Cody is tired of this as well.

I'll be working this weekend--I know that much.

I just don't know which day.

So, will I show up late for a friend's birthday party or will I have to cancel the plans that I made with my parents?

Or both?

We'll see.

I don't look forward to finding out.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to plow through other people's work.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It really was a long time ago

My friend, Sarah, went on a wild uploading spree this past weekend and flooded Facebook with over a hundred old pictures of her family and friends.

This little treasure made its way to the Internet.

For the past workweek, I've stopped and looked at this picture in utter disbelief.

We look like babies!*

No wonder some people don't recognize Cody these days. Look at his little face!

Um, look at his hair.

Okay, now look at my face.

Holy smokes, look at my arm.

Oh wait, look at my leg!

This seems like a million years ago, but it was just fall 2006.

I even remember the day. Cody was probably already fired from his warehouse job in Maumelle and was probably already at his warehouse job in Little Rock.

His arms looked amazing when he was working warehouse jobs. That's also why he looks so slender in that picture.

I was sick. And you can't tell, but my hair is in pigtails.

It seemed like a good idea, as did wearing a red scarf with a red t-shirt.

We'd ambled around downtown Conway that afternoon, and I'd visited the glory that was Bella Lana for the very first time.

I was still a receptionist who drove an hour and a half every morning and every night to a job that paid $7/hr because I needed a job and this one gave me a wealth of proofreading experience.

The exhaustion is pretty evident.

I'm not sure if we had our new car yet, but we probably did.

The thought of that car payment weighed heavily on me.

The cost of everything weighed heavily then.

We'd gotten together with some friends to watch a Razorback game in Jason's apartment. We met his puppy, Rosco. Sarah was single when this picture was taken.

Now, Rosco's full grown (but still not very big. He's a Corgi.).

Sarah is married with a baby boy.

Bella Lana closed.

And Cody and I......

We live closer to our work.

We're happily out of our first year of marriage.

We have different and better jobs.

Cody's arms are still nice, though.

He has a beard.

I have glasses.

I've gained 3-5 pounds and it's made all the difference in the world.

I'm smiling in this picture.**

Look at our hair.

Look at that beard.

Things in general are just plain better.

But I keep coming back to this.

We were absolutely adorable.

So. Very. Sweet.

* I was 23 (nearly 24), and Cody was 22.
** Taken by Laine, at Mom's birthday party last December.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yup, yup, indeed.

I really enjoy this website.

And this one. (I especially enjoy this post, and want to try this project the way some people want to start a family. I may have had a couple of dreams about it.)

I want to do something creative.

I am not doing something creative today. Today's work is far below my payscale and training.

And last night, when my dear husband made scones for the first time*, I cleaned the house. My grandfather figure is back in the hospital and so I could do nothing but clean. I threw clothes in the washer. I made the bed. I cleaned the bathroom. I put clothes out to dry. I threw other clothes in the dryer. I vacuumed. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and then I washed the dishes that were left by hand.** In my desperation, I even dusted the blinds (we only have 3 windows in the whole apartment, so it's not quite that laborintensive) and baseboards.

But while Cody made and did and thought and planned, I just cleaned. It was overdue, and I'm nearly done, and the apartment looks nice.

But I want to do something.

I miss the days of this
Wait, this is from last month.
(Photo by Laine.)


And this
(Photo by Alana.)

And this was fun, too!

Cody and I even bought these cans

(www.freshpreserving.com/products)

at the store this past Sunday. Wide mouth, 16 oz. jars.

We're thinking peaches.

Superfun and creative projects probably don't await me when I get off work. But maybe they will.

I'll be picking up my pictures from the store and mailing them to people.

Chances are good that I'll be decorating the letters that accompany them.

Or at least the envelopes.

At least I get to use my spectacularly cute postage:
(www.shop.usps.com)

I like pretty things. I'm from Romance. We get excited about Love stamps. This is nearly too perfect.

*Even though he forgot to add fruit (and we had blueberries in the fridge!), the scones were a success. I am officially married to man who makes delicious scones. I've never been prouder.
**Cody completely trashed the kitchen while making the scones....and some bacon and scrambled eggs. I'm not complaining. Breakfast for dinner can be messy, but so very worth the trouble.

Monday, June 15, 2009

More of Sara's wedding festivities


Just a little visiting.
Just a little squinting.

Their lovely wedding cake.

The lovely guest book table.



Grandmother with my cousin's girls.

Our first family snapshot.

The happy couple!


Don't question it.
I just want to end with this photo.