Monday, June 29, 2009

It's that time again!

Okay, so because I have managed to drag my 5 year blogaversary out for the entire month of June, I figure it's about time to host the giveaways. I'm going to get the ball rolling tonight, by cracky!

I have three different prizes. Three! But....before you get all excited and you start shouting from the mountain tops, please understand that I do not earn any money whatsoever in the summer so you are getting a poor woman's prize package, okay? I'm not a fancy mommyblogger who gets oodles of swag to give away to her readers. Okay, so I got two copies of Guitar Hero for Nintendo DS recently....but we are SO playing them so I can them.....yeah. And if I gave away the Guitar Heros I'd have to send a child with them. Wait....I could be onto something....

I kid. I kid. Maybe. (Email me. We'll talk.)

Okay, the first prize is a $10 My Sonic Card and well...that's it. But really? Who doesn't like Sonic? Free Sonic at that? I could live there! Heck, I tried to once but that little guy that hoses down the concrete in the morning sprayed me and told me to leave. This prize could also include something else, but don't like, bank on it. I've just been the mood to clean out closets lately and you may get a few rolls of that toilet paper we tried and didn't like or maybe a half-used tube of lip gloss. KIDDING. About the lip gloss.

I am also giving away two sets of bows from Just 'Dorable bows! (It helps to have an in with the Bow Lady.)

Set one includes your all-purpose white bow (with French clip, great for ponytails and fountains), plus an adorable green polka-dotted clip (great to slide in on the side to hold back those bangs she's determined to grow out or to slide in over a ponytail or fountain as well), plus a foo-foo cute pink and black polka-dotted bow WITH ladybug accessory!

See what I mean by accessory? You can wear the ladybug by herself, the bow by itself or stack them on top for ultra, extra foo-foo cuteness!

Set two in two slide-in clips that really are just perfect for holding back bangs or just to accentuate the side of your little darling's 'do, plus a super-cute bumble bee bow AND this giganto purple flower with rhinestone! Now, when I first saw the flowers I was a little skeptical, but Kady has a giant sunflower and a HUGE red flower that are oh so adorable riding atop her ponytail this summer. Kind of reminds me of the munchkins in The Wizard of Oz right after Dorothy lands...

So here's hoping y'all aren't now sitting there going "Well, I was going to enter, but I think I'll pass because uhm.....they suck," and here's hoping that you're going to enter and tell your friends and shout it from the mountain tops and post it on your Facebook and tweet it like your Twitter depends on it.

Da Rules:

1. You must leave a comment here to be entered.

2. You must leave a valid email address, either in your profile or, if you're all paranoid and stuff, spell it out like [everyone] does (it) in the comment. Or email me if you're REALLY paranoid and stuff.

3. In your comment you must tell me the best thing you've done this summer. Whether it's that you shaved your legs or climbed Mt. Everest, spill it! Let the innernets know! Or at least the part of the innernets that reads my blog... You must do this or I will toss your comment out with all that Sonic trash in my van.

4. Specify which prize(s) you would like to entered to win. You can enter one, two or three. If you only have hairy-legged boys in your house you might not need hairbows. And you might not live anywhere near a Sonic. You can enter all three from one comment - no need to multi-comment.

5. If you want an extra entry or two, link to this post via Twitter and @ me with it (@theredneckdiva) and/or post the link to your Facebook wall and let me know about it in the comments here. (Better yet, just add me as a friend on FB! Searching Redneck Diva should find me.) One per site. You have to let me know, too, because I lost my mad innernets psychic skillz long ago. Retweeting or re-posting does not increase your chances, but I will take shameless promotion if you want to give it.

6. This fabulous event of prize-giving will end on Friday, July 3rd at noon and I will draw the winners at that time. Winners will be posted here and I'll also throw an email your way, too. If you do not reply with a mailing address by Monday, July 6th I'll re-draw and you forfeit your amazing prize.

Good luck and thanks for hanging around here the last 5 years!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm Not Who I Was

As you may know, I celebrated my 5 year blogaversary on the 7th of this month with very little fanfare and celebration at the time. Mainly because that exact day was the beginning of a rough couple of weeks that are just now starting to wind down. I wanted to make a big deal out of the whole shebang because FIVE YEARS seems like such a big deal, but I guess if I wanted to make that big a deal out of it I'd have started planning it far enough ahead that a bump in the road wouldn't have been an issue. However, I am not known for my mad planning-ahead skillz, so here we are 2 1/2 weeks later.

I am the first to admit it - I am a sentimental fool. I cry at sappy commercials, I sit at the airport and watch total strangers greet at the gate and tear up, I cannot not cry when Taps is played at a funeral or when the flag is unfurled and you can forget about me watching anything on Lifetime. That being said, I tend to also look back on my past and reflect. Often. It's not regret that causes me to do this, it's just something I do. I'm weird like that.

Just last night I had a conversation on Facebook with a wonderful friend from high school, both of us on the sentimental side, both of us very sensitive and both of us looking back at our teenage years with a mixture of horror, embarrassment and maybe a twinge of "Wow, wish that had played out differently." The evening's chat stemmed from a recently posted picture of me at age 21 on a girls' night out with the three girls I ran around with our Senior year. In that picture I had attrociously orange dyed hair and GIGANTIC glasses and oh wow, I wish someone had been kind enough to gently say to me, "Aw honey...your head looks like a giant carrot. Please fix that awful mess. Now. Because in 18 years they are going to have reality shows based on people like you." Alas, no one did and there is now photographic proof that I was apparently blind in my 20's.

The point? I'm getting there.

I look back at that picture kind of like how I look back on the blog posts from five years ago. My first posts are atrocious; at least to my critical eye, they are anyway. I see someone who was trying way too hard and trying to perform like a funny little monkey. Fortunately now I have found my groove. I hope. It's taken five years to get me here and it may take five or ten more to make me really, really good. Who knows. I may be as good as I'm gonna get.
... but now, the point.

I'm not who I was.

I find myself listening to a song by Brandon Heath often these days. The song is about how he found an old photograph of an old friend and how he wishes he could show them how he's changed. Coincidence? I think not. This song is kind of how I feel about my life. I am not the same person I was five years ago....or ten....or fifteen....thirty five.... And all the people in my life - in my past - aren't the same as they were. I'm trying to keep that in mind these days.
While there are certain things about me that are the same as they've always been and will probably never change, there are so, so many thing about me that have. And I am thankful for that. I'm not who I was.

If you browse around my blog long enough you are going to find entries written on
...days I was happy and days I was sad...
...days I was angry and days I was adventurous...
...days I was totally in the running for Mother of the Year and days I wasn't...
...times I was scared and days I laughed at my wonderful Oklahoma life...
...days I was sick and days I gave up...
...times I was close to God and days I felt alone and far away from Him...

The point is...if you search this site long enough you're liable to find anything. Kind of how if you're around me long enough you're probably going to see all the different facets that make up me; the good, the bad and the ugly, so to speak. The highs and lows, the ins and outs, the redneck and the diva.

A year ago I began the slow, painstaking process of cleaning all the cuss words out of here, a housecleaning, so to speak - something that made my mother utterly joyous, by the way. It was a personal decision, something laid on my heart by God and Him alone. During the process of seeking out the days my mouth was particularly filthy, I have found posts that make me kind of cringe. I have not, however, gone in and removed very many posts from then, though, because well, it's who I was at the time. It's not who I am now and who I am now isn't who I may be five years from now.

I started blogging five years ago to chronicle my life, my kids' life, my journey through divahood and redneckedness and I'll be danged if I change that. I am who I am. I am not perfect. I am a child of God who messes up and fails miserably, but I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a blogger and oh boy, am I human. Do I always hit the mark? Do I always live up to expectations? Do I always do what's best? Goodness no. Do I try? You betcha. I aggrivate my husband, I continually cause my children to loathe my very existence for making them do such deplorable things as clean their rooms and mind their manners, I blog about things that make my mother shake her head, I fall short when it comes to serving God...

It's all a part of this grand process called life. My life.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Boom Boom Shakka Lakka

This afternoon we saw the trailer for Ice Age 3 with the song "Walk the Dinosaur." Of course, being a teen in the 90's I knew the song well and started singing "boom boom shakka lakka lakka boom, boom boom shakka lakka boom boom" with much gusto and fervor.

My 12 year old just looked at me with the blankest stare that held mild undertones of disdain. Her look totally stopped me in mid shakka lakka and I said, "Well, it was cool back when I was in junior high."

She didn't even blink when she said, "Was, Mom. Was."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In a week

In the past week...

...I ate a Peanut Buster Parfait for the first time in about 20 years. That last bite in the bottom of the cup that is nothing more than glob upon glob of hot fudge still makes me gag, but it was still dang good.

...I switched to Google Chrome. And while I continually try to hit "refresh" on the right side of the address bar I still big puffy pink heart it.

...I earned $30.

...I have been reminded that if we would just have a "love them like Jesus" attitude toward every person we encounter the world would be better. I am working very hard on this.

...we got copies of the two new Guitar Hero for NintendoDS and I think I've given myself carpal tunnel.

...I have realized that it was the birth of one little boy that drew our family closer than it's ever been. I am so thankful for that little boy because I am so much more thankful for my family now.

...we took off driving on one of Paul's days off and spent pretty much the entire day in the truck. The original purpose of the excursion was to shop for pellet stoves, but instead we just drove down to the dam, visited Dairy Queen and a really stinky bait store.

...I held my breath so long in the above-mentioned bait store that I got light-headed.

...I think my couch has developed a permanent imprint of my hind-end.

...I have started writing my belated blogaversary post and have also stopped writing it while waiting for inspiration.

...I booked an Uppercase Living open house. Now to paint the living room so I can justify buying pretty words to put on my walls...

...I have discovered that the ants invading my home are purely nocturnal. I wake up at 5:30 in the morning and there are dozens of the little buggers scurrying around my sink and after killing them all and repeatedly mumbling curses on their little three-sectioned bodies while I wait for the coffee to brew, there are no more to be seen until the next morning. Go figure.

...I have been let down and disappointed.

...I have been uplifted and encouraged.

...I have fallen madly and deeply in love with my new Crocs flipflops.

...I have seriously wondered if we scared off our Amish friend because it's nearly July and we haven't heard back from his bearded little self.

...I grounded my two oldest children for having a flippin' knock down dragout wherein brother punched sister and sister threw brother into a desk. It's like an episode of WWE around here at any given moment.

...summer has come to Oklahoma even though summer won't even officially get here until tomorrow. It's been so Oklahumid here it's nearly swimmable.

...I sweat right down my butt crack not once but twice.

...I have realized that posts like these are a serious copout - and I really only realized this in the last like, minute.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What a girl wants

I want to not be angry.

I want to do this to my keyboard: lasdigjf'oaweifual/dkmvaL'dvijalvkna"dliogvjadlkgmaldkvua[oweiutq23809ualdskvma
>b,ma'oidsjgla:dmg'aoiweglakdsgjadogijaedglkmlaesidfja'sdiogjaelvkmoaiwev aldkva

I want to just slide right on into menopause without hassling with all this peri-menopause mess. I'm having the hot flashes, mood swings and other symptoms AND I'm still having periods. SO. NOT. FAIR. I shouldn't have to do both.

I want to buy luggage.

I want a reason to buy luggage.

I want to pack my van with the kayaks, the cooler, the tent, an air mattress, a 50 gallon drum of OFF, sunscreen and the husband and kids and take off to the river for about three days. And while I am normally wholly against such practices, I would totally turn off my cell phone.

I want to see a tornado. Again.

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas.

I want poor ol' Mike Bettes to see twelve dozen tornadoes a day until Vortex2 is over, bless his heart.

I want to start FlyLady again and stick with it.

I want pretty toenails.

I want a Mountain Dew.

I want to meet all the wonderful women bloggers I missed out on seeing last month at Mom's Night Out.

I want my MTV.

I want worship and fellowship and a sense of family without religion and politics getting in the way. I'm afraid I won't find that in a Baptist church. That makes me sad.

I want you to leave a comment wishing me a Happy 5th Blogaversary since I kind of forgot. Yeah. 5 years blogging and I spent the day with my feet in the creek, watching my kids splash and play and having some seriously wonderful conversation with my little sister.

I want you to stay tuned because in two weeks I will have my act together enough to host a giveaway in honor of my big 5th Blogaversary - you know, the one I forgot.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We're all batty! Let's go fishing!

Because there is still hope that someday I will actually WRITE something again, I am posting here to make sure you keep coming back. I swear I'm still full of redneckedy humor, but right now it's 87 degrees in my house and we have no water. Excuse me if I'm feeling a bit uninspired. Yes, I realize this does not excuse the previous week of not posting, but you just hush now and look at the pretty pictures.

Mom and Dad picked up Kady weekend before last to spend the night. When they left, they stopped the car about halfway down the driveway and sat there awhile. I assumed there was a moment of panic when Kady couldn't find her lip gloss or something. Eventually they took off again and then the phone rang. Mom said, "There's a bat hanging on your fence down the driveway." I thanked her for the info, announced that there was a nocturnal flying mammal hanging on the fence and watched as Abby and Sam scurried around for shoes while Paul headed for the gun cabinet.

Here's my brave husband checking out the situation. Please do not comment on his white legs. He owns many, many guns. The camera was on ultra mega zoom because no way in HECK was i getting close to that mouse with wings.

You've heard people say, "Well, it's better than a poke with a stick," right? Well, I'm not sure the bat could answer that way, seeing as how he was repeatedly poked with the barrel of a gun that particular day.

Poor nasty critter was caught on a barb and had managed to entangle itself around and around the strand of fence. It was really angry about it, too. Tried to bite the gun several times. Ingrate. Paul was just trying to help.

It was when the bat did THIS that Abby, Sam and I all screamed at the top of our lungs like the big girlie babies we are.

It wasn't long after that Paul managed to untangle the nasty critter and it flew off to say to his family members, "How many rednecks does it take to free a bat from a fence? One! Two! Three! Four! Four magnificent rednecks! MUAH HAHAHAHAH" *thunder and lightning*

Last Friday the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Dept. held a fishing day for kids at the Vo-Tech. Since I am not working this summer and Paul recently took a $2/hr pay cut we are on a summerlong mission to find free or incredibly cheap things to do with the kids this summer. They stocked the pond, provided the pole and bait - all we had to do was show up. I got Tater's tots for the day and hauled us all down for a day of fishing. I am not a fisher-person, but I am trying to be open to new experiences and not let me squeamishness keep my children from experiencing things. You may pat me on the back.

Here's Tater's tots and Kady in the background) gearing up for some fishy goodness. Yay.

You can tell this child is mine - who else wears bows when they go fishing? She was the only one there wearing bows, by the way. Big surprise, right?

Kady caught the first fish of the day and ended up catching three before the morning was over. Abby caught two and Sam caught one. The Tots didn't catch a durn thing. However, TotOne won some lures in the doorprize drawings. She held them up to me with a look of total disgust on her face and said, "Oh. Great. I'm supposed to use these for the fish I can't seem to catch?" Poor thing.

My Aunt Janet had Nonner for the day and decided to come down and experience the fun with us. She was a great help, considering she knew how to bait a hook. Wait, let me clarify - I know how to bait a hook, I just choose NOT to. Anyway, I don't know what I'd have done without her because she was incredibly helpful when lines got tangled and bait got snatched. Nonner wanted his hands on that fish soooooo bad....

I was proud of myself for taking the kids without Paul. So proud that I became an official redneck that day.


If you're not a friend of mine on Facebook you probably don't know that I just recently got about 14 inches of hair cut off of my little redneck head. It was down past my bra strap in the back when I straightened it, just above when left curly.

I had let it kind of get out of hand and really never intended to let it get that long, but Paul really likes long hair and if I haven't mentioned it before, we're stinkin' BROKE this summer so a haircut was kind of low priority for me. However, one day Paul found me digging through the bathroom cabinet looking for his hair trimmers because I was going to shave my mane right then and there and I didn't care if I looked like Susan Powter when it was over, my hair was DRIVING ME BATTY. (punny, huh?)

Here's my hair at Christmas, which was a whole 6 months ago. Long and not fuzzy and well-behaved. I loved my hair then. We got along fabulously, my hair and I.

But something happened when humidity came along this year....maybe my hair was just longing for some attention that I couldn't give it. Maybe it was just hanging around with the wrong crowd. We'll never know. I sent it away. Don't judge me.

And here I am just last night with my little sis, looking happy and far less hairy. Granted, not a particularly glamorous shot of my new 'do, but hey, we were at a park in 900% humidity a mere hour before my NOAA weather radio started chirping, alerting us of impending doom. I don't think it's too awful bad.

And while there's a rare picture of the two of us here for all the innerweb to see, give us your opinion, Constant Reader - do we look alike? We do not see it AT ALL, yet we've each had people stop us in public places to ask if we're related to each other. We see no resemblance whatsoever, seeing as how she looks looks like a tanned, blonde cutie pie and I look like a pale, unkempt redneck.

But I'm curious - what do you think?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Because it's nearly summer, that's why

Why am I posting two posts within 24 hours then nothing for a week? Then a post here, a post there....then nothing for a week?

Because I can't keep my rear at home these days.

And I wish I could say I was out blazing new territories and having grand adventures and finding a cure for the common cold and running with scissors and such, but really it's pretty mundane.

Tuesday and Wednesday we here at Diva Ranch were hired by my parents to haul some shingles because they, too, are entirely too busy to breathe, much less haul their shingles to the incinerator. In the course of a little over 24 hours we loaded, hauled and unloaded over 2 tons of shingles. Considering I abhor all types of physical labor, imagine how much I enjoyed it. It wasn't really fun, but Mom agreed to write a check to the electric company in the amount of our last bill in exchange for the work. Hey, it moved their shingles and kept our power on. However, Paul said that if they ever need shingles hauled again we are out of the country. Forever.

I thought I'd share some pictures of my crew from when we went fishing last week. Wait, let me rephrase - from when we fed the fish last week. We successfully fed those ravenous little nasties two dozen worms before the mosquitos and gnats ran us home. Conspiracy theory? Oh yeah.

Paul headed down ahead of the kids and me and had five chairs set up with four rods - because uhm, I don't fish, ya know. And by the way, we are not the litterbugs that left that mess between Kady and Abby's chairs. That was there when we got there. It included a half-burnt dirty diaper and everybody knows diapers don't burn. Duh. Just ask a landfill.

They look bored. Heck, how could they not look that way? Fishing IS boring! Kady looks insanely happy, but that was just mere moments before some gigantic shark or possibly killer whale snatched her fishing pole and shot it straight into the lake like it was rocket-propelled.

Paul and Ab, just sitting there looking like Hoovers. They just have that Hoover look about them. God love 'em.

Sam's first lesson in How to Bait a Hook, or as Abby called it "How to Cruelly Kill a Poor Defenseless Worm," but hey, to-may-to, to-mah-to.

Kady holding onto her pole after her fearless daddy braved the menacing beast that stole her pole and won it back fearlessly. Fishing wasn't as much fun for her after that because she was a nervous wreck it would disappear again.

My little girl that is looking less and less like a little girl every day.... *sob*

And after my sister scolded me for not taking pictures of myself and reminding me that my children are only going to be this age once and when they're old they're going to wonder where their mother was during their formative years because she's certainly not in any pictures, I took a deep breath and posed for one of those cheesy, hold the camera out in front of us and smile dorkily pictures that everyone takes of themselves and their offspring or signifigant other.

So there ya go - proof I existed.

And proof I need to wear lipstick. Even while fishing.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...