Shower Notes

The shower is a dangerous place for me.

That’s where my brain goes berserk thinking of all kinds of business ideas. I can create an entire business model in 30 seconds while shampooing my hair. I think it’s because I’m alone in there with nothing else to do while scrubbing my armpits with my shower gloves and shaving with my foot propped up on the wall.

One morning, a couple of months ago, I created three businesses, all within a 10 minute period. (Or, according to my family a 20 minute period, since they swear my showers are that long. Liars.)

The night before, I had talked to Herbert about starting up the lotion side of my old business again. After having a minor heart attack at the thought of my life once again revolving around goats and milk and bottles of lotion in all of our little house’s nooks and crannies, he calmly talked me out of it, which gave room for the newest shower ideas to sprout. One of which was inspired by the following conversation:

Herbert: “You should keep writing.”

Me: “Why?”

Herbert: “Because you like it. And because people like it.”

So that morning, somewhere between shampoo and conditioner, I decided I could buy the web domain LindseyAparicio.com and use that as my outlet for writing, which as you know, I started up again a few months ago.

Writing brings me joy. It makes me smile, it makes me forget to eat and it makes me skip this week’s trip to the grocery store, which I’m convinced are all signs of passion for what I do.

Writing is good for me because I’m a processor. I don’t react quickly to anything except my kid farting on me or my other kid showing me an F. Those two situations call for immediate measures, knee-jerk reactions as my Mom says. Shove the first kid away and gag loudly, launch into a Freaky Mom grades lecture and take the phone from the second kid.

But under normal circumstances, I process. In a conversation when someone says, “What do you think?” I generally do a mental choke, open my mouth, expell air but not words then say…  “let me think about that”.  I am not overly quick witted, even after 19 years of marriage to my husband, I still have to think about a response to his jokes. Which is why it’s good for me to write.

Everything that goes on in my brain is pretty funny and if I have the time to process it and put it on paper (paper…right…that is sooooo 20th Century), I even crack myself up. Other times, after stirring a deep thought around in my head for so long, it has to get poured out in the hopes that it will help someone else.

That’s how the idea for Business #1, LindseyAparicio.com, was born that morning in the shower.

But never a dull moment, a split second later, I designed Business #2. After mentally writing the soon-to-be-released Freaky Mom blog post, I designed a T-shirt in my mind which would be posted after the Freaky Mom blog post and would have the note that some of the proceeds would go to the Freaky Mom Foundation, therefore I would need to buy the dot com for Freaky Mom Foundation.

Freakymomfoundation.com would inspire moms to follow their guts, and do the best for their kids that they believe is possible. Love their kids, even when it means taking away their cell phone. Love their kids, even when it means limiting screen time. Love their kids even when it means making them clean out the barn.

Freakymomfoundation.com progressed rapidly into my co-Freaky Mom and I speaking on stage to inspire moms, speaking at schools to further my own Mom’s Dare to Dream project, and morphed into providing scholarships to kids going to college.

Then it dawned on me, what if only one person buys a T-shirt? Some poor kid is only going to get a five dollar college scholarship. On the bright side, we’ll call it the “latte scholarship”…enough to buy a latte. Oh well, I’ll work out the kinks later.

In all this bathing creativity, there exists one major problem for me. Shortly after the process of creating my shower businesses, I forget them. It’s as if the air on the outside of the shower curtain erases my shower memories.

Which is why I also created Business #3, a Shower Notes business…in the shower. I began designing a stick-to-the-wall writing system with a waterproof marker. That way, I could write down all my ideas and not lose them in the bathroom fog or ruin my eyeliner by using it all over the mirror.

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The hole in the wall? Beginnings of bathroom remodeling!

But before I could patent my invention, I found out someone else had the same problem and already created a shower note system! For a few bucks, I ordered this. Now, I can write my grocery list, my tagline ideas, funny words that come to mind and my business brainstorms in the shower before they wash down the drain!

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Captured these brainstorms this morning.

A waterproof pad of paper and a pencil suction cupped to the wall. Brilliant.

Well, that’s all folks.  Talk at you next time.

– Lindsey

P.S.  Are you a shower entrepreneur?  What ideas do you come up with in the shower?  Comment below!

P.P.S. Did you enjoy this?  If so, comment below or on facebook…your positive feedback keeps me going!  And if you’ll go the extra mile, share it with your friends on facebook!  Thanks!

P.P.P.S.  If you buy something as a result of clicking on a link, picture or ad on this site, thank you.  I will get some of the money.  Depending on what you click on, I might earn 10 cents or more.  I appreciate it.  I decided to start selling things so I could fund my love for writing.  Thanks for reading…and buying.

 

 

Posted in Farm Life | 8 Comments

3 Little Known Things That Are Dangerous To Do While Driving

I hate to admit it, but I’ve learned these 3 things through experience.  Yep.  Full transparency here.  I just can’t make this stuff up.  Enjoy reading the following but pinky promise you won’t sneak a peak while driving.
1. Plucking nose hairs.
Although I am a strong advocate for car tweezers due to being of the age to grow chin hairs but of the sex not to want them, I don’t recommend using your car tweezers to pluck a nose hair while driving.
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These are my actual car tweezers on top of my actual car.  I had to remember to put them back in my car before driving away.

Pulling a nose hair makes your eyes water and squint and when you actually pluck it, your body does a natural pain reaction where you grunt, squeeze your hands tight on the wheel, grit your teeth and clamp your eyes shut.
Since you can’t see through your eyelids and your hands have spasmed, the inherent dangers here are swerving off the road or into the other lane.  Weigh the options.  It just might be safer to arrive at your appointment alive but with extra nose hair.
When my kids first told me about it, we were driving home from soccer practice and I nearly poked my eye out.
I promise was NOT driving during the above Dele Alli Challenge photo shoot. I was parked outside of soccer practice when I took these pictures. I had to be parked because it would have been impossible to watch this tutorial otherwise.
Take a second and learn how.
Now try it.
Now that you’ve tried it, you can probably completely understand the inherent dangers, but I’ll spell them out anyway just in case you actually ARE Dele Alli and invented the challenge and can do it without experiencing optical injury.
The inherent dangers with this one are threefold: A. almost poking your eye out, B. actually poking your eye out and/or C. slugging your nearest child for even suggesting you do it.
No! I don’t advocate child abuse!  But, when one hand almost pokes my eye out, the other reflexively punches sideways. Too bad for the kid that won shotgun.
3.  Closing your eyes when you’re about to hit a bird with your windshield.
Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bird.  Yesterday on my final trip home from town, when the bird crossed paths with my rapidly approaching windshield, my reaction time was numbed.  I had already driven miles and miles and miles for my day job, Home Health Occupational Therapist, and topped that off with driving way more miles and miles and miles for my night job, Soccer Mom Taxi Driver.
My total miles driven before the bird encounter were approximately 112.3 which equals slow reaction time when faced with a flying object.  The bird didn’t stand a chance.
Oddly enough, although my hit-the-brakes nerve did not react, nor did my let-off-the-gas nerve, my close-your-eyes nerve did. It was some sort of fight or flight response that got mixed up.  I believe it was the oft underrated third member of the trilogy: not flight, not fight, but ignore.
Don’t fight, don’t flight, just close your eyes because if you don’t see it hit your windshield it means it never happened.  Ignore. Inherent dangers with the close your eyes and Ignore response should be obvious (pm me with questions).  By the time I realized the absurdity of my body’s physiological response and mentally processed that driving with my eyes closed might lead to an accident injuring more than a bird, I opened them in time to hear it hit my side mirror. It had swerved so there’s hope. Maybe it just bruised a wing instead of sustaining a full on head injury.
I hope you always make wise driving decisions. However, if you’re completely honest, maybe you don’t.  I like to think I’m a good driver, but according to items 1, 2 and 3 above, I need a fair amount of driver’s ed retraining.
Maybe, after chuckling at my follies, you’ll go for the tweezers while driving and have a flashback to my nose hair plucking bodily responses that will save you from your habitual self.
Hopefully, you’ll decide not to pluck that nose hair which will allow you to keep your eyes open to see that bird approaching your windshield and once you get home, you can watch the tutorial and show your kids how good you are at the Dele Alli Challenge from the safety of your own couch.
Good luck and safe driving,
Your One Eyed Friend,
Lindsey
P.S.  The winner of the Facebook competion for What Not To Do While Driving is Megan Newland with “Don’t look at the huge wind turbines!”  I agree!  They’re so cool to look at which causes significant driving distraction in itself but can cause dizziness and uncontrollable head circling if watched for too long, so definitely not the best idea to do in the driver’s seat!
P.P.S.  If you want to participate in future competitions, like The Goat Cheese Lady on Facebook!
P.P.P.S. Did you enjoy this?  If so, comment below or on facebook…your positive feedback keeps me going!  And if you’ll go the extra mile, share it with your friends on facebook!  Thanks!
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Because Your Soccer Mom Says So

What do you do when it starts pouring at the soccer game and you’re hours from home?  We’re deep into soccer season in my neck of the woods and a few things are coming to mind.

Thing One:  How to pack the car if you’re a Soccer Mom?

It takes one time being soaked in the aforementioned rainstorm before adding a few necessities to the Soccer Mom Supply List (I have no doubt this applies to any other type of mom who’s kid plays an outdoor fall sport, so don’t feel left out if you’re a football mom, softball mom, lacrosse mom, rodeo mom, or an extreme ironing mom.)

For the entire season, keep the following stuff in your car:

1. Blankets, I have at least two. As the season gets colder, I’ll have 3-4.

2. Rain coats or ponchos.

3. Umbrella.

4. Stocking caps.  I have a bunch to share with other parents or kids who forgot them.

5. Gloves.  I have a bunch to share with other parents or kids who forgot them or for my own kid to play in when he realizes his have holes (just like his socks).

6. Water.  My friend Emily always has a giant Dollar General (my favorite store) package of waters in her bottomless trunk.  I have taken note but haven’t added them to my own collection yet.

7. Camping Chairs.  I have three, one for each person in my family who isn’t playing in the game.  The third one was broken so I threw it away since my husband never sits and the kids hardly do either, so it seemed silly, but the day I threw it away, I immediately had to dig it out of the trash for a third butt, and it’s back in my trunk with a big dried icecream slob on it and some random coffee grounds.  Cleaning it is #331 on the list of things to do.

8. Sunsreen.

9. Sunglasses.

10. Hat.

11.  Granola bar bag.  Fill a ziplock bag with a variety of non-perishable snacks to thwart the daily on-the-way-to-practice hunger pangs that might kill them.  It also saves you money so your kids don’t have an excuse to coerce you to pull over at the gas station for a snack attack.

12. A bag to store all this stuff in (except the chairs).

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Goooooaaaaaaaaalllllllll!!!!!

13. Dollar bills.  Our teams have Goal Cans.  Each time we score a goal, the cutest little brother or sister goes around to the fans shaking the can and all who are able put in a dollar.  We tell the cute dollar collector to go over to the other team’s fans, but it doesn’t always work.

14.  The kids.

15.  Bleacher Seats.  For those of us who want to a) avoid bleacher butt and b) avoid having to apply these lessons.

Thing 2:  (Warning: After you read this, tell the kids to brace themselves for a lecture.)

The other night at my 11-year-old’s soccer scrimmage, he got subbed in for a position he didn’t like. He’s a normal 11-year-old and wants to be scoring goals all the time. You can’t score goals all the time from the Center Defensive position but that’s where Coach put him.  His coach’s philosophy is that, at this age, all his players should be able to play all the positions therefore he subs all the kids, including my son, into positions they don’t like.

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Kenny Paul owns The Pour House
in Florence, Colorado

He dropped his head, mentally groaned and generally had sucky body language (a.k.a. bad attitude… prompting a Freaky Mom change your body language, fix your attitude lecture) which leads me to my conversation with Kenny.

Kenny was a coach for the CSU Pueblo women’s soccer team. He says the players that were the best players and the easiest to coach we’re the ones with the following attributes.

1. They had good attitudes.

2. They could play any position.

The hardest to coach were the ones who owned only one position.  They swore they could only play center mid or right wing or striker.  Only. Only. Only. (a.k.a. bad attitude)

Thing three:  (and could induce another Mom lecture)

A college coach was scouting at my 14-year-old’s soccer game the other day.  No one knew it until after the game.  Much to my son’s eye rolling chagrin, I turned it into a motivational text to him and his buddy on their way to a following game…

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I’d love your input for motivational kid lectures or stuff to carry in the trunk.  What are the best talks you’ve given to your kids?  What’s always in your trunk during Soccer (substitute other sport name) Season?  Leave a reply with a comment below.

Freaky Mom Out,

Lindsey

P.S.  Thanks to everyone who answered my question on FB: If you’re a fall sports mom (or dad), driving your kids to the ends of the earth for practice and games, what’s one of the things you ALWAYS have in the car?  My favorite was Ashley Hughett Smith, “the most stinky socks that blur my vision while driving…”.  I’m with you there sister.  It’s difficult to drive while doing the gag reflex.

P.P.S.  One of these days, I promise I’ll tell you the Freaky Mom story.

P.P.P.S. Did you enjoy this?  If so, comment below or on facebook…your positive feedback keeps me going!  And if you’ll go the extra mile, share it with your friends on facebook!  Thanks!

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Mouse Traps and Pedicures: 11 Steps To Setting A Good Mouse Trap, Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

The night before the pedicure, I responded to a comment on a neighborhood chat group. A new-to-the-area country neighbor was exasperated with so many mice.

What was she to do?  They carry illness and her children had been exposed to the droppings!  I proudly responded that, in the past, we had many, many, many zillion mice but after I found and stuffed the mouse holes with steel wool, covered some with trim, put out mouse poison, got a barn cat and learned to set a good mouse trap, we’ve had NO MORE PROBLEMS!  We haven’t seen hide nor hair of a mouse ever since!

Well, Pride Cometh Before The Fall and Karma? It’ll turn loose a mouse on the kitchen floor.

Which is exactly what happened the next morning, the morning of the pedicure.  The morning after the night where I basically bragged about my prowess as a mouse eliminator.  The morning of the day that I decided to *finally* do something “good for myself” and spend my hard earned $30 on a glorified toenail paint job.

That morning, at 5:45 am, bleery-eyed over his bowl of cereal, my 14-year-old muttered, “There’s a mouse.”  It had just run along the cabinet, behind the can of wheat berries and under the fridge.

Damn Karma.

So later that day, after work and the pedicure and after picking one kid and his buddy up at school, taking those kids to soccer practice, going home to get the other kid, taking the other kid to soccer, going on a run, picking up one kid from one soccer park, picking up the other kid from another soccer park, driving home, supervising both kids doing their “after practice list” (more on that another time), making dinner, eating dinner, barking for someone to do the dishes, drinking a glass of wine and getting everybody to bed, I proceeded to set mousetraps.

The Right Way.

I am of the strong opinion that there is a Right Way to set mouse traps and a wrong way. The Right Way (i.e. My Way), I learned from the directions on the mouse trap package. The wrong way is my husband’s way.

Wait a minute. Did I just pick a fight over a mouse trap?

Yes. I did. But only because I’m Right and when I’m Right, I have to hold my ground.

Mice, according to my observation and the package instructions, run along walls and baseboards. Although they sometimes beat a path across the open floor, in my estimation, it’s only about 2% of the time. Since they mostly run right along where the floor meets the wall, it only makes sense that you should set the trap the Right Way, as follows:

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RIGHT WAY

When set the Right Way, the mouse doesn’t even think about it. They just do what their parents taught them and run straight along the wall not even noticing the fact that a life ending situation is up ahead. Instinctively, with the help of the odorless Tom Cat better-than-cheese-or-peanut-butter Gel, and a mouse’s low IQ, they have no choice but to run straight into the trap and WHAMO!

No more mouse.

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WRONG WAY

When set the wrong way, the mouse still runs along the wall, but depending on the direction from which he is coming, runs up on the back side of the trap, probably causing the trap to go off, but maybe not, maybe launching the mouse across the room, but probably not actually catching it. And there is also a distinct possibility that when you’re doing dishes and you forget it’s there, it will clamp down on your toe. Mouse traps don’t have judgement. They don’t know if you are a mouse or a toe.

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This reenactment photo was taken for dramatic effect only. This did not actually happen to me. But it could have.

Something similar did happen to my husband’s shoe.

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This really did happen. Not to me but to my husband. I didn’t have my camera handy when it happened to him so I had to reenact this one too, using my foot.

So, to make a long story short, here are the 11 steps to setting a good mouse trap:

1. Get a basic wood mouse trap or seven.  Where there’s one mouse, there are more mice.

2. Get some Tom Cat Gel.

3. Carefully pull the whacker back and clamp down on it with your thumb while placing the holder stick thingy in place.

4. KEEP YOUR THUMB HOLDING DOWN THE WHACKER THE WHOLE REST OF THE PROCESS OR ELSE.

5. Dab some Tom Cat Gel on the spot where you used to put cheese, peanut butter, chicken shreds, raisins, ground beef (we tried them all).  Hopefully you planned ahead and opened the Tom Cat Gel bottle before step #3.  If not, you have to creatively open the nozzle one handedly. I would not recommend using your teeth. This stuff has come near dead mouse for goodness sake.

6. Gingerly put the mouse trap down the Right Way (perpendicularly to the baseboard/wall with the Tom Cat Gel end closest to the wall).

7. Hold your breath and RELEASE THE WHACKER VERY CAREFULLY. If it goes off from this position, it’ll most likely not catch your thumb but it will scare the tar out of you.

8. Go to bed.

Steps 9,10,11 are optional.

9. Listen for a WHACK sometime in the night.

10. Jump out of bed and go celebrate your success.  Give the deceased mouse to the barn cat.

11. Repeat.

But here’s the moral of the whole story: don’t get a pedicure the day of.  To set really good mouse traps, you might have to crawl on the floor. Well, at least I do.  And the unfortunate consequence of crawling on the floor with a brand new pedicure and without sensible toenail covering is this:F32C596D-1797-4149-A32B-B7EFC09F119B

Your $30 burgundy rubs right the hell off.

Damn Karma.

329CD8B4-AC9C-41B6-A702-54E245CA40F1Now, if you feel sad for this mouse, I understand.  I have a whole disceratation about that too.  But since you’re finished with your coffee and I need a break, I’ll tell you some other time.

Have a great day and go get either a mouse or a pedicure, but preferably not both.

Always looking out for you,

Lindsey

P.S. I don’t have any contracts with Tom Cat Gel or Mouse Guard traps or Sally Hansen, although I ought to consider it.  I’m sure after people read this, sales are going to sky rocket.

P.P.S.  Did you enjoy this?  If so, comment below or on facebook…your positive feedback keeps me going!  And if you’ll go the extra mile, share it with your friends on facebook!  Thanks!

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Mouse Traps and Pedicures: 11 Steps to Setting A Good Mouse Trap, Part 1

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I don’t like to spend money on myself.  I much prefer spending money on an oil change and reaping the coffee and recliner side effects than going shopping for a new outfit (I go into instant overload when I walk into a clothing store), buying a cute new wallet (Lord knows I could use one!) or getting a pedicure. I have 327 other uses for that money that are more immediate and a new outfit (#328), a cute wallet (#329) and a pedicure (#330) simply don’t qualify. 

Buuuuut, due to a series of well meaning podcasts from the “You Need To Take Care Of Yourself” gurus, I succumbed to the pressure and sprung the thirty bucks for a pedicure about a week before my back went out.  

When I walked in the door and was told, “Hi!  Pedicure? Choose your color!  Someone will be right with you!”, I debated between going with a standard burgundy, swinging out with black and glittery gold for the soccer team, or getting a trendy blue to mimic my friend Shannon’s summer vacation toes. 

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I had secretly been jealous of her toes but wimped out and opted for 90’s burgundy then climbed into the well used massage chair, gazed at the inside of my eyelids, soaked my feet in slice of blue, bubbly heaven and searched for inner peace.

But then I lost myself in the country music video and tried not to gag at the scantily clad women on the big screen and had to coach myself to stay in the moment.

The gurus whispered: Enjoy the foot rub. Feel the exfoliation. Try not to kick the lady in the face when she rams the sharp object into the corner of my big toe.  Thumb through a sleazy magazine. Wonder what the foot woman is saying to the nail guy.  Consider brushing up on my Korean.  Suppress the laughter at seeing a cheese grater being used on my heels. 

Notice that lots of people come in all at once for pedicures.  Notice there are no more technicians.  Notice they get the same, “Hi!  Pedicure? Choose your color!  Someone will be right with you!”  Notice the nail salon patriarch, Grandpa Pedicure, come out of the wings, hair askew, possibly just dragged out of his recliner chair at home by an emergency call to come give a pedicure. 

And much too soon, after my toenails were cuticle crunched, oiled, cleaned, clipped and painted, I did the obligatory sit-my-feet-under-the-fan-light routine for-EVER, gratefully donned the flimsy foam footwear and clumsily carried my clogs to the car. (Say that ten times fast). 

A few hours later is where this story takes a turn for the worse…

And that’s where I’m going to leave you hanging until Part 2, tomorrow.  

Your friend,

Lindsey

P.S. I don’t have any contracts with Sally Hansen, just so you know.

P.P.S.  Did you enjoy this?  If so, comment below or on facebook…your positive feedback keeps me going!  And if you’ll go the extra mile, share it with your friends on facebook!  Thanks!

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Which Super Star Are You?

Why do some of us shy away from the gift of praise? 

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself due to a perplexing reaction I recently had to one of my most #1 fans. Of the thousands people who have read my stories over the years, there are a handful that wholeheartedly and unabashedly support and enjoy what I write.

One is my mom, one is my sister and one is Hillary. I see Hillary about once a year, usually at the birthday party of one of my nieces.  This year, it was on Labor Day at this popsicle’s 8th birthday party.

I was late arriving and the guests were outside on the deck.  When Hillary saw me coming through the dining room she launched out of her seat, blazed a trail toward me, stretched out her arms and gushed, “Oh My Gosh! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” 

I instinctively knew she was not thanking me for last year’s Christmas card…

…but for writing again. 

I immediately extended my arm in front of me, my hand a human stop sign and blurted, “Shut up!”  I lept out of her path to hide behind the other pane of the sliding glass door. In my mind and in my heart the “Shut up” comment was sarcastic, lighthearted, joking.

But in my soul, I question, why did I react that way?

The other day, I watched as a Teenage Girl walking down the sidewalk gestured for a passing car to pull over.  After it slowed to the curb, she walked toward the open passenger side window as her Friend began singing Happy Birthday.  Friend had barely made it through the first line when Teenage Girl arrived at the car with both hands raised, birds flying.

Teenage Girl was smiling, shaking her head and chuckling, but nonetheless, F-bombing Friend in sign language.  Friend obliged and stopped singing.

The encounter between Teenage Girl and Friend made me again consider my reaction to Hillary.

Why do some of us, when we are being celebrated, reject or attempt to divert attention?  Teenage Girl could have walked joyously toward Friend’s car with a smile on her face, gladness in her heart and waited for the song to be finished before wholeheartedly thanking her Friend for remembering her birthday. 

But she didn’t.

I could have stood in the dining room as Hillary blazed through the sliding glass door, awaiting her praise and absorbing with great happiness her joy, appreciation and heartfelt, spirit filling pleasure at thanking me for writing again.

But I didn’t.

Pay attention to your own reactions. Are you rejecting praise that is rightfully yours and you should be proud to receive?  Are you embarrassed to be the center of attention?  Is your gut reaction to hide behind the sliding glass door or speak Teenage Girl’s love language and flip off your Friend, albeit jokingly?

I’m asking myself those same questions.  But one thing I do know. The other night, I watched Tyra Banks strut her stuff on America’s Got Talent in front of celebrating crowds. 

(She walks onstage at minute 1:19…scroll forward in the video below so you can see what I mean.)

Next time I am on the receiving end of a what feels like a standing ovation, I am going to stand tall, proud, envision myself in Tyra’s stunning red gown and embody the Super Star that I Am.

I hope, if you struggle with this, you will too. 

– Lindsey

P.S.  Help me spread the word…if people think we’re great, we should let them!!  Share this on Facebook and with your friends!  And go put on your red dress!

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11 Ways To Live Like You’re In The Country

1. Slow down when the chickens cross the road. It’s true, chickens really do cross the road. It happened on the way home from soccer practice the other night.  I slowed down for a Barred Rock, a Silkie and a Rhode Island Red. Their destination?  You guessed it.

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However these are not the chickens I slowed down for…this is the vulture chicken from years ago.  Thanks to Crunchy Betty’s mom for the picture.

2. Pull over and help the driver stranded on the side of the back country road. You could be the only one she sees for the next who knows how long. She could be a young girl from the city who doesn’t know what to do about the fact that the steel I-beam secured haphazardly to her truck rack is waving back and forth, ready to slide off into the front seat of the car behind her.  Right here is a 2 for 1 feel good situation: You might be the only one that offers to help strap it on and you can pat yourself on the back for preventing the guy behind her on the highway from being decapitated.  (True story. This happened. Not the decapitation part but the pulling over and strapping and preventing).

3. Tip your hat. If you don’t have a hat, do a discreet little miniature “yes” nod. You don’t have to smile necessarily but just tip your head the slightest bit. Of course, when combined with a smile and #11, it really sets the standard for a well mannered country person. You can do this to people you pass on the sidewalk, people you pass in your car, people you walk past in the grocery store parking lot. It probably won’t work well with your spouse though so you better stick to a full on smile, kiss and hug.  But if you went around smiling and kissing and hugging everyone in the country that would be weird. So for strangers, stick to tipping your hat.

4. Master the Steering Wheel Wave. While driving, when you pass an oncoming car on a country road, lift two, three or four fingers (but not your thumb) off the steering wheel a couple of seconds before passing.  This is a “how ya doin’?” wave. You won’t know the person you are saluting. If you DO know the person, then release your thumb as well and do a full wave with a smile. 

5. Look out for your neighbors.  Some people might consider this being nosey. But I say phooey.  Is it better to ignore the hose overflowing the horse trough all day long while your neighbor’s at work or let her know it looks like someone forgot to turn the water off?  To seal the deal as a country neighbor, just offer to go over and close the spigot. 

6. Grow a handlebar mustache.  I can’t advise on this one, but it is a common facial hair status of the men in my neck of the woods. Although as I age, I am beginning to grow more facial hair myself, thankfully it is in no quantity to become a handlebar mustache or any other type of mustache. Actually, it’s more beard quality.  Car tweezers come in handy for this situation.  Hint: If you are suffering from the affliction of growing a handlebar mustache or unintentional beard but are of the gender that typically does not shave their face, I would stick some tweezers in your car. Car tweezers come in really handy at stoplights or in parking spaces because you usually feel the stubble while you’re driving, exactly when you can’t do anything about it.  Unless you have car tweezers.

7. Eat the fruit that grows on your tree.  Or have someone else eat it but definitely don’t complain that it’s such a nuisance because it messes up your yard.  Whoever planted that tree years ago is probably long since gone but had dreams of savoring those plums you just raked up and threw in the trash.  Honor them by at least posting “free plums for the picking” here.

8. Set a good mouse trap. Make sure it grabs the mouse. Not your fingers when you set it or your toes when you forget it’s there.  In case you don’t know how, stay tuned for a future instructional course.  I know, the suspense is killing you.

9. Say things like yonder, plum and hankerin’. “See that car over yonder?” or “I’m just plum wore out!” or “I got a hankerin’ for some chocolate.” (Maybe save these phrases until you’re in the 80 and older category. They make you endearing to the younger 40-somethings.)

10. Go to the feed store for dog food and come home with baby poultry. Most likely it’s chicks, but it could also be ducklings. Rarely it’s turkeys, but that can happen too.  The feed store is a dangerous place to go if you don’t have a strong resistance to impulse buying. Warning: Baby chick impulse buying has longer side effects and requires significantly more work than impulse buying a candy bar. Unless, of course, you daily impulse buy a candy bar, in which case your side effects may be quite lingering and you ought to refer to my ironing tips.

11. Make eye contact. When you pass someone on the sidewalk, in the store, at the Friday night football game, look ‘em in the eye. According to my observations, per capita, spontaneous eye contact happens more frequently in the country than in the city.  Note: This is usually seen in combination with #3.

And with all that said, now I have a hankerin’ for some of that coffee over yonder ’cause I’m plum wore out.  (I know, it sounds sort of dorky since I’m only 43, but I’m just practicing my lingo for when I’m 80+).

– Lindsey

P.S. Thanks to Heather for inspiring #10 and Emily for suggesting #11.  You are two prime examples of good country girls.

P.P.S.  Did you enjoy this?  If so, comment below or on facebook…your positive feedback keeps me going!

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