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No-vember

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

If I happen to cross your mind during the month of November, this is how I would like you to picture me:

Yes.  Please picture me as a happy farm girl with a smile on her face (pig optional).  November will be a month of me keeping the cows and chickens from going to the dickens.

See, I’m feeling more at peace these days than I have in the past year and a half (in case you’re wondering, I credit counseling, the Bible, more sleep, and less alcohol).  I’m learning to be less anxious.  I’m learning to see situations that would usually make me afraid as opportunities to practice trust.  I’m learning that time doesn’t heal everything, but it does heal some things.  I’m learning that hope seen is not hope at all.

After spinning and striving and trying so hard to keep up with life, I find myself with a surprisingly (and blessedly) quiet month on the horizon.  In the spirit of simplicity, I’m choosing to keep it that way.

So Happy Halloween from “Farm Girl,” the only thing I thought to be – and I’ll see you in December.

Let’s all quit our jobs and move to a commune with our favorite people

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Last week, I took several days off of work to be with these guys:

This week, I’m back in the office.

And I’m having a really hard time with it.

How to cut up a pineapple

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I’ve known Roommate Hannah since childhood. In fact, here’s a picture of her and me from the days of yore.

That’s us at ages 10 and 15. This was around the time that Hannah thought that “Les Miserables” was, in fact, “Lame is Rob” – which is basically the best thing I have ever heard.

Anyway, Hannah is good at all sorts of things that I’m not good at – like sports and computers and wearing Nike shoes. She also knows how to cut up a pineapple – and yesterday, I made her teach me how.

Step 1: Cut off the top. Those leaves are spiky. Don’t bleed all over the fruit.

Step 2: Cut off the bottom. Now it should be shaped like a barrel. If it’s not shaped like a barrel, then you didn’t cut off the top and the bottom correctly and you probably don’t deserve to hold a knife.

Step 3: Cut the barrel in half, length-wise. Top to bottom. Longitudely, not latitudely.

Step 4: Cut the two halves in half again. Count up all of your halves – you should have four. Yes, four halves make a whole and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Step 5: It’s time to cut off the core. The only reason you would want to save the core is if you wanted to make a smoothie or if you are a giraffe. Otherwise, you are not allowed to keep it.

Step 6: Cut the four halves in half again. Now you will have eight, and fine, I’ll stop calling them “halves.”

I will call them “boats” instead.

Step 7: Take each boat and slice the flesh (HELLO, CLARICE) into… you know, slices. But don’t cut all the way through the rind, because look at Step 8.

Step 8: Cut off the rind.

Voila – now you have perfect little pineapple pieces – and, in my case, 15 years on the Annie that was pictured earlier in this post.  How has half a lifetime gone so quickly?

Maybe the better question is, how have almost 30 years passed without me ever having to cut up a pineapple?

Having already cleaned up barf today

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Toad has no remorse.  She does bad things and doesn’t know they’re bad.  She just keeps wagging her tail and dog-smiling, and it’s impossible to be mad at her.  She has never known shame.

Ugh, I love this damn dog.

Inherited

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Next week, my mom is moving to Kansas City.  While this is definitely a good decision for her, selfishly, it’s hard on my heart.  I moved to Colorado to be closer to my parents, and starting next week, neither of them will live here anymore.  This brings up all sorts of questions and emotions for me, but I’ve learned enough to know that none of these need to be discussed in a public forum.

Sorry, voyeurs.

Instead, let’s talk about the things that I have inherited from her house in the move.

The most important thing is Kodi the 3-legged dog.  Yes, our little raisin-eyed tripod, the Toad, now lives with Becca and Greebs and me on Hooker Street.  My days of zero responsibility are now a thing of the past, as Becca and I are constantly shuffling dog duties (not to be confused with dog doodies – although, yes, sad to say that those are being shuffled, too).

She is adorable as always, though – and even though I’m now much more tethered to home, and even though she doesn’t really fit into my active lifestyle (she can walk about a quarter of a mile before she’s spent), it’s nice to have someone who’s always happy to see me.

We’ve also laid claim to some killer patio furniture.  Last week, I told my friend Kelli that it was made of cast iron.  “You mean wrought iron,” she stated more than asked.  I was like, “Yeah.”

Now, we don’t exactly live on a picturesque block.  We have a dirty weed yard, and some local dogs peed on my basil and mint plants until they were dead.  The next-door neighbor’s mutt killed a skunk in their front yard, and the carcass rotted in the hot sun for two weeks.  I’m not sure if mere patio furniture is going to, I don’t know, redeem the neighborhood – but it’s sure as hell going to try.

Come over.  I’ll mix you a ghetto cocktail.

Finally, all of the things that have hidden in Mom’s pantry?  For years?  And years?  Mine.

If you know me at all, you know that I cannot waste food.  I just can’t do it.  If food dies, I die.  It’s this deep, fundamental part of my soul.  You think I’m kidding – but I assure you, I kid thee not.  I’m the girl who packs a food box in her suitcase on long trips, just sick at the thought of leaving food behind to rot in the fridge – a waste of my money, a waste of someone’s labor, a waste of, I don’t know, a cow.

I will avenge your death, cow.

Anyway, I now have more canned goods, spices, and non-perishables than I know what to do with.  Apple butter?  Kidney beans?  Chicken stock?  Red chile marmalade?  Canned meat?  Jars of chutney?  Two gigantic canisters of Pam?  If you have ideas for how I can put this stuff to good use, do tell.

Zion Lion

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

I won’t get a chance to go meet baby Zion in Kansas City until mid-August.

But they send me pictures like this:

And I’m already wrapped around his tiny, tiny finger.

While he’s still in the hospital, the little buddy is pushing 5 pounds now, and showing a lot of healthy signs.  Your continued thoughts and prayers are so appreciated.

It’s not lost on me that the same day that my dad moved to Austin, changing the face of our family, little Zion’s adoption process was officially started – also changing the face of our family.

The bitter and the sweet frequently coexist – I’ve seen this over and over in life.  I guess I could curse the hard things for interfering with the good – but I think I’d rather just be extra thankful for the sweetness.

Truck driver

Monday, July 11th, 2011

After a whirlwind game of “drive to Texas as fast as you can,” I’m back in Colorado today.

A few things of note:
- I drove the world’s nicest Penske truck.  It had a CD player, and an icy cold air conditioner.  It accelerated on the up-hills, and hugged the turns like it wanted to be more than friends.

The only lame thing was that it didn’t have cruise control.  When I asked the man at the rental desk about it, he suggested I “find a broom, snap off the handle, and wedge that son of a bitch to the floor” – the “son of a bitch” being the pedal, obviously.  And I laughed out loud.  Because a grizzly old man saying “son of a bitch” is enough to do me in.  I’m easy that way.

- I made a video – mostly out of boredom, until I realized that making a video was getting boring, too.  So soak up these 76 seconds.

- All of my dad’s stuff was successfully delivered, unloaded, and arranged in his new home.  I am now considering a new career in professional moving.  The industry is surely short on a vixen.

- I had the “Mr. Pink” at Torchy’s.  Fish tacos are the way to my heart.

- And finally, I just thought you would like to know that when I woke up on Sunday morning, I needed to get to church, but my dad had already left. So I drove the Penske. To church. In red heels. ROCKED IT.

Hometowning

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Hello?   (Helloooo?)   ((Helloooooooo?))

Is anyone still here?

If you’re wondering if the iPhone swallowed me, the answer is NO COMMENT.

I spent the weekend in my hometown of Montrose, Colorado.  I went over for a dentist appointment, since Dan Clader, D.D.S., is my longest term relationship to date (22 years).  After last summer’s debacle of ten cavities, I am happy to report that my complicated teeth are holding steady.  Zero cavities, no crowns necessary, keep on keeping on, and I just might keep my own teeth for a few more years.

While I was in Montrose, my friends Cyrus and Peder had a show lined up at a Mexican restaurant-slash-lounge, and asked if I would be the opening act.

LOOK AT THESE GUYS.

They know that I say this in complete love: they are dirty Montrose at its finest.  How could I resist them?

Peder and I bonded over our turquoise accessories – although his being an authentic bolo tie, it was a little bit more ridiculously awesome than my tame Banana Republic flair.  I played 5 songs, and my dear friend Laura sang with me – more on her later this week.  I saw some people that I hadn’t seen in over 10 years.  It made me love Montrose even more than I already did.

You want to know what made me love Montrose EVEN more than that?

The fire dancer.

Oh yes.  Peder plays with the cutest, quirkiest band Cowboy & Indian, and during their set, through the windows behind the band, a Montrose man was feeling the spirit – and set batons aflame.

Proof:

Hazardous?  Bizarre?  Amazing?  Yes, yes, and yes.

Just another night in Montrose, and just another day in my life.

iPhonetastic

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I’m kind of a late bloomer.  I was born 2 weeks after my due date.  I didn’t kiss a boy until it was shocking that I hadn’t kissed a boy.  I still don’t know any rap songs.

But this week, finally, years after everyone else, I got an iPhone.

And it’s the most amazing thing ever.

I fought it for so long, telling myself that I didn’t need the bells and whistles, that I could plan in advance and MapQuest directions and write them out on a a Post-It note, that I could text just as well on a Samsung.

But an opportunity came along, as opportunities are wont to do.  And I’m not too proud to admit when I’m wrong.

I was wrong.

But now?  I am so, so right.

I mean, look.  I can use Instagram to make my sad, empty apartment with an ugly air conditioning unit look so… charming and wistful.

I know – effortless evocation.  Aren’t you so jealous of how awesome and romantic my homeless life is?

[Once again, I make my case for a Sarcasm font.]

What will become of me?  I already tracking my calories, and Facebooking on the go, and playing (and winning) Scrabble.  What’s next, geocaching?

Let’s not get crazy.

These are all of the things that happened this weekend

Monday, March 28th, 2011

It is Monday.  Again.

Monday is a difficult way to spend 1/7th of one’s life.

However, I’ll have you know that the weekend was a raging success.  I moved all of my earthly belongings out of my apartment and into a storage unit – mainly thanks to my mom (who packed my entire household while I worked on Friday), and my dad (who carried everything down 3 flights of stairs on Saturday).

I mean, what would I do without my parents?

Be stuck in this apartment forever until I die and am eaten by wild dogs, that’s what.

For the first time in my life, I rented a U-Haul.  It was 14′ long.  I drove it up and down I-25, and didn’t kill anyone in the process, so I deserve a medal or a certificate or a badge for my Brownie sash or something.

I sold my old car stereo on Craigslist – a dresser, too.  Who’s $100 richer?  [thumbs]  This girl.

When the move was over – and oh Lord, did it take all day – my dad asked me what I was going to do to celebrate.  I didn’t have to think twice: “Go on a walk take a shower shave my legs watch Netflix go to sleep.”  And that’s exactly what I did – asleep by 10pm – what a gift.

The Netflix I watched was “Winter’s Bone,” which, while not exactly feel-good and uplifting, was pretty incredible.  Also, it shows the actual gutting of an actual squirrel, so now I have yet another skill to serve me on the Oregon Trail.  Take THAT, Matt Whitman.

So, that was Saturday.  But SUNDAY?  Was incredible.

First things first, I had clean hair and shaved legs from the night before.  Hallelujah.  I went to church and drank two cups of really good coffee from the coffee table.  Hallelujah again.

After church, I came back to my now empty apartment, changed into comfy clothes, and drove (in Subaruthless) to Evergreen.  This is how happy I felt to be driving (in Subaruthless) to Evergreen:

(By the by, those front seat-covers?  Came with the vehicle and are totally heinous and I’m going to remove them.  JUST FOR THE RECORD.)

Anyhow, I drove to Evergreen to go hiking.  Hiking!  Which I haven’t done since October!  The pine needles… the blue sky… it was like kissing nature on the lips.  With tongue.

Afterwards, I drove straight to Karmen‘s house, where she served me green grapes and crackers with cheese.  Then we walked to a little stationery shop, and I spent $20 on some cards that I cannot wait to send.  Then we walked some more, and we talked about life and love and other enigmas, and I was reminded why I am so incredibly thankful for a friend like her.

Oh, and this whole time, I was wearing that same baseball cap.  Just so you can get a visual.

Eventually, I made my way to Target (girl’s gotta get her eyeliner and Wheat Thins), and then home.  I heated up leftovers, and thought about some new song ideas, and wound up eating some of the aforementioned Wheat Thins with goat cheese on top.

By that time, the sun was setting.  A phone call to someone I am fond of, and then time to go to sleep – in my apartment which, yes, I am still camping in until March 31st.  Hey, I paid my money – I’m going to eke out every last cent.  I am a total squatter – sleeping on the floor, the necessities in a suitcase or two, bottle of half-gone Pinot Grigio in the fridge.

Welcome to my life, y’all.  Pleasure to have you.