September 30, 2008

The Ants go Marching...

I am not even going to try getting them to bed at a decent hour any more. Something always happens. Always.

Tonight's Bedtime Delays were:

* Boy Child's live ants finally arrived. (We have been waiting since April...lots of delays due to temps, or the fact only two were alive the first delivery a couple weeks ago, blah, blah, blah.)

* And to top off the evening, Saucy Sashi became a brand spankin' new aunt again tonight. (We're not related...but, you wouldn't be able to tell that from Girl Child and my reactions/excitement.)

The following are horrible, grainy pics of the uber cool ant farm.

It has captured our attention like crazy. We cannot pull ourselves away!

Grandpa, we really think you should reconsider and keep your farm on your desk in your office. Way cool!I have been singing this song all evening, "The ants go marching 2 x 2,hurrah, hurrah. The ants go marching 2 x 2, hurrah, hurrah."
Post Publish Note for those parties interested: National Geographic Ant Farm Gel Colony
Harvester ants are found throughout the United States west of the Mississippi River, as well as in Florida. Normally they build large dirt mounds and feed on seeds, but the nutrient-rich gel in our amazing 3-D colony provides all the food and moisture they need. Watch your own colony of these industrious insects dig subterranean tunnels through translucent green agar in an entirely self-contained system. Includes mail-in coupon for live harvester ants. For ages 6 and up. 9''H x 12''W x 3 1/2''D.
Once again, VERY cool indeed. I highly recommend this as an upcoming Christmas gift. The lid is in no way coming off. Unless, we try to have loose ants, there is no danger of them escaping. We have already learned about community, determination, cooperation, the Secret Life of Ants, dilegence...the list goes on and on. They have already begun to tunnel.
Fabulous gift for someone who likes to watch nature work right before their eyes. (Visit site by clicking on pictures.)

Love Note to my Big Shooter: "Hey Baby, you got ants in your pants? Or are you just happy to see me...?"

September 29, 2008

In between the trauma-drama, there was Lots O' Fun

We took a few friends to the lake this past weekend to belatedly celebrate Boy Child's Big 10.
First thing Friday night, a young guest slid down a rugged banister and got a splinter where the sun does not shine...
thankfully, he was able to remove it without any help.
Saturday, I handed out "Egg Boat" making supplies. Everyone received a small ziplock, a few paperclips, straws, tape, a plate and a piece of bubblegum to see who could construct the boat that would safely float an egg the longest.

The Launch.

Note to self: Next time use paper plates... not waterproof Styrofoam.

They floated and floated. And floated...

until we offered to award the first to be sunk.

They made a bee-line to the shoreline to gather rocks and "other ammunition".

Saucy's farm boy had his stash ready to rock and roll!

Chuck it Girl! Chuck it!

As soon as we finished Girl Child had this little splinter go through her big toe.Yes. I said, "Through."

There was lots of trauma, drama, screamin' and blood involved.

Next up. A Treasure Hunt of sorts. They had to follow clues that lead them from the mailbox in front to the dock at the bottom of the hill in the back. Several times. On purpose.

Then for kicks and grins we thought they should go on a little nature Scavenger Hunt.

And just like the day before, as soon as we were finished...more trauma, drama, screamin' and LOTS of blood.

Boy Child lost his footing on the dock and took a rather large chunk of flesh from his knee.

No physical pics for this one.

Those of you who know me well will understand what Big Shooter meant when he returned from getting the boys lunch, survey the bloody scene and said, "Wow, Sweetie. You're still conscious. I'm impressed."

Side Note from the Editor: I was not going to share this photo that just happened to keep floating into my viewfinder while I was trying to get Crumb Snatcher shots...until his last comment about being impressed. Here's the line that kept wafting up to my ears each time he passed as well, "If you experience redness and swelling for more than 4 hours...".

The remainder of the day seemed boring in comparison. We just skipped rocks, fished, cooked hot dogs and s'mores on the grill, went for a little nature walk, chased some deer and dodged waves. Bore-ing. When compared to blood, guts and drama-trauma.

Love Note to My Big Shooter: Honestly, I can't think of a thing to say after I published your pic and quote...

September 25, 2008

Boo's gift for Eula Mae

"Momma, can I run over and see Eula Mae?" is something I hear several times a day. Eula Mae, if you don't remember is our little, elderly widow neighbor whom Girl Child is BFFs with.
Yesterday was no different than any other day.
The two are a perfect fit.
Eula Mae loves gettin' gifts...
And Girl Child loves givin' gifts.

Big Shooter and I have had many conversations about this relationship.
The positives:
* Practicing the characteristics of being Gentle, Kind & Caring.
* Learning to be the care giver at such a young age.
* Bonding friendship with another generation.
* Empathy for other's situations.
* Putting other's needs first.
* Learning the meaning of Love.
Our worries:
* The anxiety Girl Child feels when Eula Mae is not feeling well.
* The possibility of Girl Child being there or finding her deceased.
* The inevitable ending of a death.
The positives sooo outweigh the concerns.
Bitty Boo has learned first hand what it's like to calmly handle an emergency situation that needs medical attention. She remains calm and collected.
She is a natural worrier so she is learning how to deal with Eula Mae's health in a mature way.
The fact that we worried about her being the one to find Eula has forced us to have many a conversation with Bitty Boo about death, the natural life progression, aging, healthy habits, and of course Heaven.
We needn't have worried.
We found out Eula Mae has already been preparing our girl in her own sweet way.
She talks to Girl Child about it all the time.
How she longs to be with Norman. With Jesus. With her family.
How she will be looking out for Girl Child from afar.
How when something wonderful happens to her and she feels all warm and fuzzy "why that'll be me reaching down and hugging you...".
How when life serves her sour grapes she'll have a personal talk with God on Bitty's behalf "and I'll be reaching down to hug you then too..."
Our Girl Child has learned more Life Lessons from Miss Eula Mae in the past year than I could have taught her in a lifetime.
Love Note to my Big Shooter: I know it's only Thursday, but you wanna teach me a Life Lesson...or two?

September 24, 2008

Runny nose, watery eyes, scratchy throat, nasal congestion...

Sound familiar to anyone else?
When I looked up the pollen count in my neck of the woods this is what I found.

That'd be me right smack dab in the red.

A few days back Saucy Sashi called and asked how the Shooter Fam's allergies were. Then she shared a little interesting tid bit she'd just learned about allergies.

I'm guessing many of you will already know this. (I've since found out many did.) But, Sashi and I are on Cloud Nine.

She has a sweet, old bee keeper in her church that noticed her youngest Boy Child's red watery eyes and gave her a pint of his Fall Honey. Then proceeded to explain the basics to her about local pollen, allergies, and bees.

Makes perfect sense. The little buzzers gather and use the pollen in season that makes us all sick to make their honey. When people consume a little of that season's honey every day they begin to build up an immune to the pollen.

We have since found out that many people know this. The problem arises when they try to find a yocal bee keeper who can provide them with the different seasons' honey. The pollen used to make it has to be local to the person with the allergies otherwise they are just consuming a plain ole yummy sweet treat everyday.

That's where cute ole church goin' bee keeper comes in to save the day.

He's got enough to add a few more customers.

Between Sashi, the Shooters, and a few others we've shared the news I believe we'll have him cleaned out soon.

We'll let ya know.

If it doesn't work...the consolatory prize is: The honey we purchased is The Best Honey on the Planet!

Love Note to my Big Shooter: When was the last time I said "Thank You Love" for always looking out for us?

September 23, 2008

Mommy, can you come here for a sec...?

Grammie, do not look at any more pics please. We love you...we want you to come back and visit us...Please turn away now...

Told ya...
Unlike her Grammie, Girl Child is not deathly afraid and paralyzed with fear by serpents.

" It was just a Little Guy under the garbage can."

When I asked her if it scared her, she replied, "Nah. I jumped back a little...landed on my bum...jumped up real know, in case...but naa, I wasn't too scared. It's just a Little Guy..." (I was trying my hardest to keep the knowing smile off my face.)
This was the brave Boy Child's stance on the situation...

and Girl Child's enjoyment of Boy Child's...


"C'mon's just a Little Guy..."

Notice her stick is empty. She tossed it at him.

He grew weary of the taunting. So this is Bravery in all it's Glory.

With eyes open...but, still...

glued to the snake. He would not take his eyes off it for a split second.

...until he'd again heard enough female taunting and cackling...

They so wore the thing out. Now, he's proud with a capital P.

Show off.

Love Note to my Big Shooter: Thank you for the giggles and laughs you always provide. Our sides hurt from the evening.

September 22, 2008

My most exciting bloggy moment yet...

While I was away a most exciting thing happened to the Straight Shootin' site!
My Canadian friend Tracy from Blog Nosh Magazine published a silly post of mine about the virtues of homeschoolin'. If you like bloggin', or better yet readin' blogs, it's a way cool place to find great posts on...oh, just about every subject you can imagine. When she contacted me way back when the temps were solidly above the century mark I was so excited I could hardly wait...
Then school began in earnest and JBF began in earnest and Blog Nosh was forgotten.
Until I returned to a mailbox full of new friends and a couple comments who said they found me from Blog Nosh...Thank you Tracy. I love new friends. Especially the bloggin' kind.
If you click on the Blog Nosh button and then click on Education you can read my silly little post. Please keep in mind it was in my early, early days of bloggin' AND it was right around the holidays, which meant even less sleep than I get now. Sleep Deprivation + bloggin' = Magazine worthy post? Hmmm... Please don't hold it against them. It really is a great site!
Love Note to my Big Shooter: The last pic in the Twin post got my sentimental juices flowing. I keep remembering all the times and places we went on picnics. Our second date, which turned out to be the first of everything to come, began with a picnic...sigh...Oh, how I love thee...let me count the ways...gag, gag, gag...

September 18, 2008

My home town Twin Falls, Idaho

My good friend Pat sent me some devastating flood pictures of her home town yesterday. Hobart, IN. It's bad up there y'all. It seems we need to keep every direction of this country in our prayers ~ directionally and metaphorically speaking.

Hobart, IN got me thinking of Twin Falls, Idaho. It's a beautiful little town I grew up in in Southern Idaho.

I googled some pictures to share with the Crumb Snatchers in the morning and then realized by sharing them with y'all, my bloggy friends, you might get some insight into me as well. Or not.We'll see.

"Remember when Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River," is how Big Shooter and I explain where we are from to people our age or older. "Well, we both watched it." He watched from the canyon's edge with his Dad and the other bridge workers and I watched from the roof of my Grandpa Bozo & Granny Grunt's camper roof parked not too far from the canyon's rim. The dirt ramp is still there today over 30 years later.

This is the Perrine Bridge that stretches over the Snake River 500+ feet below. You can walk across it. I did once. I think that's why I am afraid of heights now. It shook, vibrated and you could see through it in places. Scary.

Now people BASE jump off it. To get a feel for how high and big it is, look very closely and you'll see the light posts that line the bridge. To this day, I hold my breath when I cross a bridge.
Remember when the barge hit the bridge here in Oklahoma and all the cars and trucks plunged into the river? That was the bridge we crossed each weekend to get to our camping ground. For two years I couldn't let Big Shooter drive that way. He had to drive an hour further to get us to our weekend camping spot because if I thought he was headed towards the bridge I would start to shake and tear up. I had frequent nightmares of driving my family off a bridge or watching helplessly as others did. I am a little better now. At least I can open my eyes when we cross a bridge. (The answer to your question before you even ask is: When I'm driving I force myself to breath and I have tunnel vision of the other side. I say, "Uh, huh. Wow," to the Crumbs when they exclaim about things they see over the sides.

There are falls like this one all along the canyon walls. This one happens to be by a main road that leads down into the canyon so it gets lots of photo ops.

Every kid from Twin has fond memories of the Western Days Parades. They are exactly what you think of when you picture small town parades. Flags, old cars, old farm equipment, beauty queens, rodeo queens, decorated bikes, clowns, politicians shaking hands and kissin' babies...

Patriotism at its purest.
No other reason than plain ole Love My Country So I'm Gonna Carry Her Flag in the Western Days Parade.

Love it.

Why the produce? Southern Idaho has some of the world's most fertile and best soil on the planet. It is a rich combination of clay, sand, and volcanic material. It can grow just about anything in it. It's the weather that dictates what can and cannot.
I loved this pic because my only claim to fame is not really even my own, but my paternal granddaddy's. He was the Idaho State Horticulturist for a number of years. (If that title is wrong, rest assured my Dad will provide the correction in the comments. wink. wink.) He had a particular interest/hobby of "inventing" different varieties and kinds of produce. He had several pattens on walnut trees, melons, flowers, etc. The last one expired a few years back. But, if you ever see a Santa Claus melon in the grocery store you can think of me. I named it. My grandfather developed/invented/produced what ever you want to call it a melon that is a cross between a cantaloupe and a honey dew. Kind of like Casaba melon. The catch is, he wanted it to be able to last into the late fall or even Christmas in a dark, dry store room so people could eat it around the holidays. Hence, the name Santa Claus melon. Only I really called it the Santy Claus melon.

This would be a view from the top of the canyon right next to the bridge. It is most likely early fall because the girl is dressed for warm weather and it is starting to turn brown. See how flat it is on the plateaus? It is a huge valley surrounded by mountains. Perfect farming area. That's why it's called the Magic Valley area.

Our other natural claim to fame is the Shoshone Falls.

It's called the Niagara of the West.
Higher than Niagara, not as wide.

So loud and thunderous, you can hear and feel it rumble and shake the earth from far away. (Y'all know FIL from the comments? That's Big Shooter's Daddy-O. He built all the overlooks along the canyon rim. He's pritty darn talented with a hunk metal. You know the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Well, give FIL a hunk o'steel and he can build a empire...)

These pictures are taken in the spring because the people are dressed in warmer weather clothing and The Falls is at full capacity from the spring thaw up river.

I think every child should have memories of the City Park.
Every kid I knew growing up had at one time or other climbed up on this stage to perform his or her Concert of a Lifetime.
Each summer they still gather in the park for Band Nights.

One of the golf courses I learned to golf on with Big Shooter's momma and later worked at down in the canyon.

This could have been a picture of my best friend Sheila and her Daddy fly fishin'. I preferred to fish from the bank. (I have a water issue too...)

Big Shooter and I spent many a day and evenings doing just this while we were dating. If we still lived there, I am sure I'd have many pictures just like this one. Just with my own Crumbs and the Love of My Life instead of strangers...well, actually I probably know's a pretty small town.

Where are you from? Where are you now? Will you ever move back? Do you want to move back? Just wonderin'.

Love Note to My Big Shooter: Sigh. So long ago. Do you ever want to move back? What an idyllic childhood we both lead and were so unaware of...sigh again.