Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I napped all day long today. Literally, the WHOLE DAY WAS SPENT NAPPING.

My parents called me at one point and I seem to recall something being said about new eyeglasses, but beyond that? No clue. This is the problem with trying to converse with a chronic napper: We're hard to make sense of once we've reached a pleasant state of unconsciousness.

This is not to say that I begrudge myself the occasional state of unconcsciousness; rather, I embrace it with every fibre of my being. I love that I can lay down and sleep and have dogs bounding atop my head, small children playing video games on my shoulders, and crazed mothers vacuuming around my form on the living room floor.

I just wish people would spend less time trying to interact with me while I'm trying to be unconcscious.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Amanda's Status is Currently Set to Away...

My time in the middle of nowhere has thus far been well spent. I slept in until eleven o'clock this morning, a feat that is nearly impossible with sixty pounds of six year old leaping on your bed and the combined forces of your parents knocking on your bedroom door. And while I have a great appreciation for Zelda, and really, my parent are wonderful people, I find sleeping at The Ranch AN IMPOSSIBLE THING TO DO.

I've also bought a week's worth of really trashy, poorly written novels to laze on my little cot with because -- Oh, never mind, they SET UP A COT FOR ME. If that doesn't scream we love that crazy chick from CowTown, then I really don't know what does.

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Friday, July 27, 2007


Makeup? Check.

Dress for dressy occasions? Check.

Shoes to go with the dress? Check.

Shoes that Mal doesn't hate to go with the dress? Check.

Ticket? Check.

CrazyMeds? All three varieties, Check, Check, Check.

Beer money? Check.

Extra ciggies? Check.

Mindless novels? Check.

Tampax in case of emergency? Oh, please. No one is that prepared.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Off to see the wizard...

Me: Oh, Dude, did I wake you?

Mal: Yeah.

Me: My bad. But look, I'm coming on Friday.

Mal: Sweet. Bring beer.

Me: I'm taking the train.

Mal: So? Bring the beer on the train.

Me: Dude. You've got to be kidding. You want me to be seen lugging a 2-4 onto a train?

Mal: Oh, ye who falls over with a backpack of forty pounds on her back, scrambling around on the train station floor to pick up the cigarettes that fell out of the baggy she kept them in.

Me: So?


Me: Well, you went and demanded beer from the girl and came back with banana bread!

Mal: Well, you stumbled onto the train with an empty Jack Daniel's bottle and decided to whip open your laptop only TO PASS OUT in front of it so EVERY PASSENGER was watching with glee to see if it would fall off your lap!

Me: It STAYED THERE for FOUR hours! Those sober people were AMAZED.

Mal: Look, are you bringing beer?

Me: No way, man. I'm taking a train for eight hours to come see your sorry ass. You can damn well drive me to the liquor store.

Mal: Sweet. But that means you have to come to stripper-cise class with me.

Me: You want me to wha-?

Mal: Nighty-Night!



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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The hideousness of feet...

I have a deep and ongoing hatred for feet, one that is seated deep within my soul. I can't say why for sure, but I suspect it has something to do with the long-standing delight my best friend takes in pointing out just how ugly my feet are. Or perhaps its just that feet are gross, and it has nothing to do with me.

I had to go to the fancy foot doctor today, because not only are my feet hideous, but they are hurty. All the time. They have calluses and nastiness and they take great pleasure in knowing that their life's mission is to make me cringe every time I stand up.

I've been worried of late about two of my toenails as well. As much as I hate accepting the fact that my feet are a part of my body, I do occasionally glance downward to see if anything new has transpired since I last inspected them. To my horror, a few weeks ago, I noticed odd-looking spots on two nails. Spots that I've never seen before in my life.

At first I chalked it up to an over-active imagination, but after thorough inspection from Dr. SuperNan, it seemed plain that there was an infection of sorts.

For days images of me screaming and writhing in agony as some doctor pried my gangrenous toenails from my body swirled in my head. I put them at bay with beer, of course.

So today, with much trepidation, sweat dripping off my brow, and the Hail Mary going through my head, I asked the Fancy Foot Doctor to examine my two strange toenails.

"Hm. Definitely not like the others. Taken any blows to your feet lately?"

"OH, yes! Tons of them! See, my parents bought me a lovely thoroughbred for my graduation present --I don't know why, but my nephew thinks he's a racehorse -- and he is the clumsiest fool you'll ever meet! Oh, but no, my nephew doesn't think he is the racehorse, he thinks the horse is the-"


"Right, well, the horse keeps on stepping on my feet, see, and he weighs like twelve hundred pounds. Well, maybe more, but you should see him, he is really so beautiful-"

"Yes, and the twelve hundred pound horse spends a large portion of his time dancing on your toes?"

"Oh, well, yes. He doesn't mean to though, he's just aloof like that. You know, a really laid back, easy going guy... So friendly in his stall, you woulnd't believe-"

"And now that he has commenced this toe-dancing, your toenails have changed in structure?


Oh, Zydo.

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She Rides Again....

After a five year hiatus from horseback riding, SuperNan is in the saddle once more.

We had a house full of visitors today (And by a house full of visitors I mean that you couldn't hear yourself think for periods of more than 3.6 seconds at a time) and when I took out the tall and wondrous Zydeco, Nan felt the urge to hop back on.

If we could all mount so gracefully, the world would be a better place.

He and I had a brief lesson during which time: Small children bounded in and out of ditches wielding an assortment of weapons (Including, but not limited to, dressage whips, swords, and the infamous Poison Parsnip [Or Crazy Tomato. Whatever.]); Dogs fought, snarled, and barked inches away from the ring; SuperNan decided that the trees beside the ring should be trimmed DURING THE TIME SHE WAS TEACHING ME; and SuperDad decided to ride Tia with a bit for the first time. IN THE SAME RING AS ME.

Zydo spent some of the time eyeing things with interest, and some of the time glancing at me from under the saddle, balefully asking in a hushed tone WHY I WOULD BOTHER TO RIDE HIM IN SUCH A CIRCUS.

Clearly I need to up my dose of CrazyMeds.

At any rate, once I was done with the shenanigans of riding amidst such hoop-la, SuperNan decided to give it a go for a moment. She walked, she trotted, she leg-yielded, in that order. He said "Ok." Then, "Yes, Ma'am." And Finally, "Are you kidding me?!" (In that order.)

Internet dating? Wouldn't recommend it even if I hadn't found an internet dater who knitted on dates.

Internet horse buying?

Clearly the only way to buy a horse.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

And then there was a shower...

Nothing quite like waking up at six thirty in the morning so that you have enough time to wax your legs before you have to don a dress.

I had to wear a dress. I don't own anything else that is suitable to be seen in at a shower.

And of course, I was overdressed.

The bride made me wear flip flops. So my hideous feet were on display all day.

There was some minor hysteria earlier in the day, but that all settled down.

And then we got to eat cake, and really, how could anything be bad when there is cake involved?

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Good-Bye, Mickey Mouse...

I got a new riding helmet over berry season, to replace the Mickey Mouse helmet I have been riding in since I was a young-ish teenager. I really do love my Mickey Mouse helmet, but at some point you have to move on. Not one of my strong points for sure.

Well, I bought a Tipperary eventing helmet and it is the most comfortable piece of headgear I've ever worn. I think I might take up wearing it to social events. That way when I fall over, I'm covered.

The helmet actually came in handy today because on my FIRST RIDE SINCE BERRY SEASON (Yes, it's been five weeks since I've ridden my horse) Zydo met his first ever emu. He stared at the emu with great interest for a period, and then continued on his way. However, when he felt that the emu was following him, he decided that it was time to head home. So he turned in the direction of home and started trotting that way. (This is how a horse should run away with me as his rider. Slowly.) Unfortunately, he decided to trot me right through a giant Maple tree that has huge branches hanging down, just perfect for bashing your head into. The problem with riding through branches like that is you have to keep your eyes closed. Nothing quite like being on an upset horse, wandering through a tree, with your eyes closed.

The rest of our hack was lovely. We went through the gravel pits down the road from us and he was just raring to go. Every time we came up a hill he wanted to go and go. I suppose this is left over from his eventing days, and he was thinking 'Where are the jumps! Let's jump them!'

It was really wonderful to set out on my horse, wandering down the road with my dad and Tia beside me. At first I thought, Man, this is the life. Hook me up with some saddle bags, give me a six-shooter, and let's head out west.

But by the time we'd done some wandering around, had a heart attack over an emu, been through some rough terrain, and cantered around the old cow pasture, I was ready to head back to the comforts of home.

He was perfect all day.

I feel like I've won the lottery in horse ownership.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

And then it rained...

And it never, ever, ever stopped raining. It rained until I couldn't ride my horse for a million weeks, and it rained while he had new shoes nailed into his giant, honkin big feet. It poured down until the phone lines in CowTown were disabled, and then it kept right on raining until the hall that my best friend's bridal shower is in FLOODED SO IT WOULD NO LONGER BE USABLE.

And then, once all the damage was done, once all fifty five invited guests were called about the error, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. BECAUSE THE SUN IS A SNARKY BASTARD LIKE THAT.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Jammin' good time...

I feel so behind on all of my projects lately that I'm starting to feel frustrated with myself. The barn is not yet completely cleaned out and as I spend more time doing things around the farm, I realize that I have more and more projects to attempt.

I returned to CowTown on Saturday and have yet to clean out the car. Fortunately, I'm insane, so I own more pairs of socks and underwear than any other human being on the planet Earth. The rest of the time I've been spending in my work clothes doing this and that.

The first project was making batch after batch of jam. The Precious Boy and I made two batches of strawberry freezer jam, and I made one while he wasn't looking. Sometimes you have to be sneaky like that with little kids, because as Precious as this boy is, stirring up a big ol' bowl of fruit and sugar can turn into messy business.

I'm also proud to report that I've made my first ever cooked jam. Its the kind that you boil the shit out of over a toasty warm stove while the jars sterilize themselves in the oven. The jam seems to have set, although I no longer have feeling in the fingers on my left hand, thanks to all the boiling burn-a-licious-ness. I soothed them with an icy cold beer and they seem a little happier now.

I'm sad to report that I have not yet A) been in contact with a farrier or B) been riding my horse since my return. The jam seems to have completely buried me because it TAKES SO FRICKIN LONG TO MAKE.

I blame the jam.

That's my story.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back At The Ranch...

We said our tearful good-byes to BerryLand yesterday afternoon and now here we are, back at the Ranch, safely home in CowTown.

Zydo managed to lose another of his shoes AND a brand new halter that was given as a gift from my neighbor. It was in the right color and was absolutely beautiful. I spent a number of hours today searching the pasture for these treasures, and I have to ask, have you ever spent hours walking back and forth in a pasture of grass up to your neck looking for a horse shoe? I suppose it might be a little bit like the proverbial needle in a hay stack, only with more bugs and poison parsnip. Or Crazy Tomato. Whatever you call it.

I also spent time working on creating a gate for the front porch. There is something odd about the house that we live in, other than the sloped ceilings and the hauntings: It seems to attract dogs. Yesterday we arrived home to four of the beasts arguing over bones and who got which spot to sit in.

My brother's dog is here for a week as well, and as much as I love that Chocolatey-sweet labrador, I have to say that her jumping is a little hard to take. She can hop around with all four of her feet off the ground, and uses this technique to body slam our kitchen door when she wants inside. The noise it creates in the kitchen is earth shattering, and when SuperNan went on a tirade in front of the neighbor today about the dogs on the door, we were both concerned for her health. Stress not the recovering cancer patient: that's my motto.

I decided to go outside and fashion a gate of sorts to keep the dogs off the porch. I use the term 'fashion' here instead of 'construct' or 'build' because my constructing skills are somewhat lacking. My neighbor came to the rescue, however,and it turned into a day long project that should be finished up tomorrow. Now we have a fully funtional gate made of chain link and two by fours, re-inforced with wire and hammered together by myself and a good friend while drinking a beer and discussing the ways of the world.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon, in all.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Cheated On My Horse Today...

Pictured above is the Berry Queen's horse, Pilgrim. Pilgrim and I have had a love/hate relationship since I arrived here in BerryLand, one that consists of her loving to hate me. I have just been trying to have her not eat my head for breakfast every day.

Now, Joomy thinks that I sometimes exaggerate, but I have to tell the story here and know that I am NOT EXAGGERATING. I was standing by Pilgrim's stall, waiting patiently for her to finish her grain. I suppose that she decided that an audience was not needed for the finishing of the grain, and this is when all hell broke lose. The horse actually snorted at me, pinned her ears, and snapped out with her teeth mere inches away from my head. I don't know how much experience my readers here have with horses, but when a horse's wide open and angry mouth snaps inches from YOUR HEAD, you get a little bit scared.

I have to say that I've never had that experience before and I did take the time to note that MY ENTIRE HEAD WOULD HAVE FIT NICELY BETWEEN HER GIGANTIC JAWS.

I rode Pilgrim today with Berry Baby the First on her horse, Amy. SuperNan gave us a lesson and Berry Baby did wonderfully. Pilgrim would have none of my methods, however, and every chance she got, she trotted over to where the Berry Queen was looking on and gazed longingly at the person she actually loves.

Riding Pilgrim was a feat for me, however, simply because I am scared of horses. I know it seems ridiculous for a person scared of horses to want to ride horses, and that is something I have been working on of late. I am trying my damndest to get over my fear of horses, to be a ballsy rider who looks insanity in the eye and then hops on for a ride.

Pilgrim was neither insane nor too ballsy, although she did try to foist me from her back by ramming me into the fence a few times. I even have the welt and bruises to show for it. I had about three minutes of perfection with her, during which I felt the wonder and power that comes with working a horse and managing to do something right.

That feeling of awe and knowing that my movements can control something that could easily toss me to Kingdom Come is the reason I look insanity in the eye and then hop on for the ride.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Berries... Oh, God, the Berries...

This is now officially the longest berry season I have ever partaken in. The tenth of July marks day twenty-three, and usually we are done by day seventeen or eighteen.

This means that we have either gotten so damn good at producing and managing fruit that we deserve medals, or that we should just close the damn farm down because WHO THE HELL SPENDS TWENTY THREE DAYS DEALING WITH FRUIT?

I've been pining for my horse lately, a fact that is slightly sad and I think sort of nice. I'm so thrilled to have a horse who I just can't wait to get back to. At the same time, I'm wondering what it says about me as a person that I could care less about finding a real job, getting my car back on the road, and re-uniting with my endlessly cranky cat.

We are still waiting on a farrier to come and fix up his shoes, and because he has been shoe-less, my dad hasn't ridden him since I've been gone, either. I am such a twit because I've been sitting in the Berry Cave at break time bemoaning the fact that my poor boy is without a shoe like a penniless mother upset over her barefooted children.

At any rate, there is nothing to complain about at this point in time except, perhaps, the fact that the Berry Queen has been helping herself to my Molson Canadian. I have to stop and ask, here, does it not seem a bit inappropriate for an American Citizen to be guzzling down beer with a label that clearly says CANADIAN on it?

I think is does FOR SURE.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Do you hear that?

"Hear what?"


"The whole lot of nothing?"

"Yes. The house. It's quiet."

"How... Odd."

"That's what I was thinking."

"Well, change is good. This could be a good thing. Empty house. Quiet house. American houseguests gone back to the land of the free."

"Yes. But now who's going to bring us coffees in the morning?!"

"Oh, Shit. I forgot about that."

"Have you thought about the beer?? Have you thought about who's going to go get us beer when we're too tired to drive?"

"Dammit --"



"What will we do?!"

"We will stand. We will breathe. We will put ourselves into a motorized vehicle. We will drive that vehicle to Chapters, where we will purchase an entire season's income's worth of crappy novels. Then we will go to the liquor store. SCREW THIS CANADIAN IDEA OF SOFTY-ASSED BEER. We will buy vodka."


"We will carry on the only way we know how."

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Here we are...

One house.

Two toilets.

Fourteen inhabitants.

Two babies.

Five children.

Seven grownups.

Violent 24-hour stomach flu.

You do the math.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Berry Season continues...

I'd love to post something wildly interesting and fascinating, that would have my few readers rolling on the floor, tears flowing from their eyes.

Unfortunately, all the humor has been washed out of me by fruit. There is fruit everywhere. The stench of fruit has taken over my nostrils and I feel like I will never smell anything ever again. Not the sweet smell of a baby's head after it's had a nice bath, not the smell of my horse once I've ridden him into a sweat.

Speaking of my horse, he threw a shoe the other day. I'm not entirely clear on the specifics, but I believe he lost it at pasture. I've no idea how a horse loses his shoe. I've lost shoes on many occasions: Mostly when I've come home intoxicated and taken one off in one room, and the other off in an entirely different room. How a horse loses a steel shoe that is literally nailed right into his hoof is beyond me. But, Zydo has lost a shoe, and I'm sad for him. My dad has called a farrier to see him, but to know that he has to walk unevenly until the farrier gets there tears at my heart strings.

I was home for my best friend's stag the other day, and I wandered out into the pasture to visit my trusty steed. I called out to him, and he glanced at me from under his fly bonnet with disinterest. I made my way towards him, and my father's mare came up to me to see what I wanted.She was pissed that I didn't want her all to myself. She likes her people, apparently. Zydo sniffed at me breifly, wondering if I had brought him treats, and when he found that I did not, in fact, bring him treats, he ambled away from me. I just drove a bazillion miles to pet the bastard, and he couldn't even muster the energy to rub his nose on my shoulder and let me give him a good rubbing on his neck. It seems that men who are completely disinterested in me are an ongoing theme in my life; however, and I took his rejection quite well.

I simply blame the fact that the grass back home at The Ranch is just THAT GOOD that he can't tear himself away, even for a second.

I fired two boys today, a task I hate completing, but after two weeks of trying with these kids I really felt I had no other choice. They are both nice, interesting boys, and one of them even plays the guitar! But as pickers go, they aren't so grand, and I had to tell them it was time for them to move on. I always feel bad about firing pickers, no matter how awful their work is.

And now I console myself with cold beer, knowing that tomorrow is another fruit filled and sun-burn causing day. One that I look forward to with glee. A song in my soul and a spring in my step.

All hail the mighty fruit.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

All Dolled Up

My best friend's stag was this weekend, and my brother showed up and nearly passed out when he saw us both in dresses. Typically he sees us lazing about the house eating chips in years-old jogging pants. Actually, I don't really think he's ever seen us any other way than with tied up hair that needs a wash and clothes that have ketchup and beer drizzled down the front of them. So, I decided to share a pic of me and my best girl with the Internet, because clearly I need to prove to people that I CAN PUT ON SOMETHING OTHER THAN JOGGING PANTS AND A PLAID JACKET.

I just regularly choose not to.

And being single IS TOO FUN, DAMMIT

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