Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Year of the Dog

Anyone who has ever known me for any amount of time, knows that I am not a dog lover.
Not really at all. But still I find myself with a large obnoxious dog. Why? Because I am married, and being married requires a lot of sacrifice. Just ask Everette. :) The story of how I ended up with a dog is a long story for another time. But the fact remains I have a dog.

As far as dogs go, we have been pretty fortunate. He doesn't get into the trash (only rarely when it over full). He never destroyed a diaper. He doesn't jump up. He doesn't get on counters. He is incredibly tolerant of children and he is rather protective of Jonathan. 
That being said. I HAVE HAD IT UP TO HEAR WITH THAT DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember a week ago when I posted these beautiful pictures

The fruit of my labor of an afternoon spent in the beautiful sunshine on my knees digging in the earth.
Something I generally enjoy.... as long as I have gloves on, and my hands don't get dirty. (I know I am a paradox)

By Friday, they pretty much looked like this.

Decimated. Barren.

By my ridiculous dog.

At the time I was unsure how much was bunny damage and how much was dog damage.
I am now fairly certain it was dog destruction.

Saturday, I zipped over to Bennett's to buy my second twenty dollar flat of broccoli and cabbage. Since a monsoon had just been through, I wanted to wait a few days for the soil to drain. So I placed my flat full of beautiful green broccoli plants just inside the garage. Certain it was too close to the house for the the bunnies to come munching. Two hours later, I walked outside to absolute carnage. Max, the dog, had pulled three packs of three broccoli plants out of the flat. Yanked the tiny tender plants out of the sleeve, roots and all, chomped off the beautiful green leaves and left the decimation splayed across the driveway. I was too angry to do anything more than rescue the rest of my plants. It was one of those moments, where self-control was hanging on by a thin thread, and dangling violently in the breeze. I believe my body was trembling with anger. I did what any good woman would do. Left it on the driveway for Everette to deal with.

Monday, I set out to plant what remained from my veggie flat. I replanted EVERYTHING I had planted only a week before. Broccoli, and Cabbage. Max had eaten everything in the bed except for the two Chinese Cabbage plants (No one wants to admit that their dog is racial profiling, but he totally barks when the Chinese Delivery guy comes by).   Again the day was beautiful, and my heart was full as I bent over the dirt, thinking of a beloved friend of mine and Master Gardener, and the conversation we've shared over the years about vegetables and gardens. A friend, who was, that very day, leaving this world for the next.

I sat back once again, satisfied with the fruits of my labor. I meticulously sprayed Deer Away over every little chute. Main ingredient: Putrefied Egg Solids. Yep it smells as delightful as it sounds. It is good for keeping bunnies and deer and most dogs away from your vegetation.

Tuesday I went outside between rain showers. To discover this...

Total Broccoli Devastation.

THAT BLASTED Dog had made it a sport. He left his trophies. He uprooted my broccoli plants, chomped off the leaves and tossed them about for play.

Then there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. It wasn't pretty people.

So now we bought a fence, and another twenty dollars of broccoli. That's right folks. $60 in broccoli plants. I told Everette I could buy a lot of broccoli at the grocery store. But now it's personal.

I'll keep you updated as the saga continues. If you see an ad on craigslist for a vegetarian dog, don't be surprised. Even Everette has his limits when it comes to his vegetable patch.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wedding Finale

Ok. ok. Enough is enough. This will be my last post about the wedding weekend. That is of course until I change my mind and write something else because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want. :)

Have I mentioned that the wedding was beautiful. Just beautiful. Picture perfect. It was smallish and intimate. and just so much gosh darn fun.

Once again, the pictures are all from Aaron Ide. Except this one! I took this one, of Karie and Aaron Ide (uhh with his camera). Thanks again Aaron!

The reception was across the parking lot at The Stables, you know, where they keep the horses...
Here's the view from the balcony where cocktails were served....

Beautiful flowers. Beautiful flowers.

Table cards. Hey! I made those. And by made those, I mean printed out the template Meghan sent me and glued it onto the purple paper I chose.

 Head table.  Family style. It was so fun to sit across from people and have a conversation.


Cake! Wedding Cake! Yummy Delicious cake! Wedding cake was three different kinds, I don't even know what kind I was served, but it was delightful. The grooms cake was Oreo served with glasses of milk. I won't lie, I had a piece of each. 

 Bride and groom's first dance. Now things were just getting started!

Did I mention that I had a great time?!

 Guess who else had a great time! Grant and Kelsey, you are up next! I can't wait.

Proud Mammas!

 Everette, always ready to help out!

Party is over! Good night everyone! It's been grand! 

I told you this wedding was amazing!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wedding Part 12

So I'm back.

Sorry about being gone. I started reading a book. And when I read a book, I pretty much don't want to do anything else. Like blogging. Or laundry. Or dishes. Or vacuuming. You can ask Everette, he will happily agree.
Plus I trimmed my fingernails and I trimmed them a little too close. So it hurt my fingers to type. I know. I have real problems.  You all feel real bad for me. I do too.
Anyway back to the task at hand. You are still waiting to hear about the awesome wedding.
All 3 of you. Make that 2, my mother was already there.

The rehearsal was much like any other rehearsal. Except that it was short, which was awesome.
Then we all headed out to Murder Rock for the rehearsal dinner. That's right I said Murder Rock. I'm not sure what you are thinking, but you are wrong. The name had something to do with events during the Civil War. But I didn't really read up on it. I would say that if you were looking to murder someone, this place wouldn't be bad. It was on top of the most giant hill in the middle of nowhere. You drove on a road that made you want to put your hands up in the air and scream, because as you crested a hill, you weren't sure if there was a road over the other side. It is similar to the Beast at Kings Island. Only, it was longer than 70 seconds. But then when you arrived, you were literally sitting on top of the world (or at least Branson Missouri). The view was breathtaking, especially at sunset. I have no pictures. Because who has time for pictures when you are living.

The drive home, in the dark, was, exhilaratingly terrifying. I know, because I drove it. I used my GPS and it was saying things like, "go until the road drops out beneath you, free fall 900 feet and then turn left." It was super fun. Let's do it again.
Let's skip all of the hair styling, and boring stuff and get to the wedding.

The day was sunny and warm. The view was spectacular. The Bride was stunning. And I got home and realized I had two pictures. Lame.

So I will shamelessly steal what others made available on Facebook. In fact Aaron Ide, husband of one of the bridesmaids took all of these amazing pictures. I did not take any.  These are all his. Thanks Aaron.

This is the Chapel at Integrity Hills. Behind it is breathtaking view of the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake
The Groomsmen: Everette (sorry ladies, he's taken), Grant (soon-to-be-groom himself), and Dr. Jack (that's right ladies, he's a doctor, and he is single, and I can also say, he's a pretty good dancer)

The Father of the groom, has nothing to do except be anxious.
That is one proud Mamma! Mary A Mills and her son, the groom, Brad.

This is Meghan's mother Margaret, and her two brothers, Robert and Jared (Left to Right)
Look at my handsome escort!
 So the big question of the weekend, was Jonathan going to go down the aisle alone. We spent a great deal of time practicing, But in the end he went down with me. I was a little disappointed, but in the end, I don't think it mattered.
Here comes the Bride! Beautiful. 

The View from the pew. Not bad.
The wedding was straight out of a storybook, or better yet, a movie...
except..... duh. duh. duh....

This is me... and Karie. Her husband took all of these beautiful pictures. 
Karie stood next to me at the front of the chapel.
Five minutes into this dreamlike wedding, a GIANT and I do mean Giant wasp floated down and landed on her golden hair. 
My instinct was to recoil. But I was not going to be the one to ruin this wedding. So I held firm with my smile  in place, but my eyes trained on the killer wasp seconds away from injecting it's deadly stinger into Karie's poor head. I was sending telepathic messages to the wasp to move. I was trying to decide if I should warn Karie to spare her life, at the risk of ruining this picture perfect event or if I should just scoot closer to her so I could catch her should she slump over from the deadly sting. Thus keeping her erect until the ceremony was over so the bride was none the wiser, and nothing would ruin her glorious day. Having spent the weekend with Karie, I was confident she would prefer I do the latter. Suddenly the wasp took flight. 
It was now my mission to destroy the deadly wasp, and save the entire wedding from imminent peril. I was limited to commanding the wasp with only my eyes, as my body was frozen in the perfect bridesmaid pose. I was shooting death rays with my eyes, but the wasp was deftly outmaneuvering me.
I then began to concentrate trying to will the wasp closer to me, Risking my own death. My plan was command the wasp to land on the ground close to me, so that I could free my foot from bridesmaid stone statue pose and squish it with my lethal bridesmaid shoes. Trust me, they really were lethal. But the wasp was smart. And at the last second it swooped up out of my reach.
I nearly gasped at the sight of that smug little bug defiantly landing it's giant ugly wasp body right on the bride herself. But I never broke character. I was a bridesmaid after all.
While trying to decide the best course of action, to my relief the wasp buzzed off the dress. Suddenly the wasp tripped himself in the air, and dive bombed to the ground. Just as the preacher was stepping toward the happy couple.  I held my breath, concentrating all my super powers on maneuvering the preachers foot directly onto the struggling wasp. But alas, I was unsuccessful. Thwarted again. 
But I guess the pesky wasp saw the writing on the wall, and he high-tailed it to the back of the chapel where he was no longer a threat to anyone, or to me at least. 
And that, it the story of how I, the super bridesmaid saved the day, and the bride and groom and pretty much the entire wedding was totally unaware.

 Tomorrow we'll close this puppy out with the reception.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wedding Part 3

Once everyone had safely arrived, the festivities could begin. We began the weekend with dinner at Meghan's parents house, in Branson. It's beautiful. With a beautiful view of the river lake body of water. It's also for sale if anyone is interested. :) During dinner Everette showed the families the slideshow he put together. It is kind of amazing. You can watch it below... but get comfy. It's like 20 minutes long.

Friday Morning. I went with the girls to get their nailz did.
Everette, mom, dad, my father-in-law, and Jonathan went to check this out....

They, of course, had a splendid time. Riding in the observation car, through the Ozarks.

Then we all met at a delicious Mexican Restaurant for lunch.
Nap time!

We're getting closer!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Train. Planes, and Automobiles

I wrote this post in the car on my way to Branson....
It pretty much describes Wednesday to Thursday... Take heart, things started looking up from here.....

Currently I am sitting in the passengers side of my Dodge Grand Caravan listening to  a Freakonomics podcast. 
Why? Because my husband is a nerd. And because when I travel with him, I get my nerd on, and it is awesome. I feel so smart. Everette has four hours of Freakonomics and four hours of Marketplace Money. That is how we roll in the Millsss van. We are headed to Branson, MO for a wedding. Everette's brother's wedding to be exact. 
Let me bring you up to date. 
Tuesday, Everette's dad went to the emergency room with severe vertigo and some pain in his left arm. After being cleared of any serious heart or brain issues, he went home, with driving restrictions. Everette's parents left Wednesday afternoon to begin the drive to Branson.  
Brad and Meghan (The bride and groom) boarded a plane at 7 AM Wednesday in Washington D.C.  Baltimore with their dog, Isabelle. Around 10 AM they landed at Chicago O'Hare. 
Wednesday Morning a Gigantic, terrifying, tornado making monster storm started moving east across the country. 
Brad and Meghan landed, and learned their next flight had been cancelled. They were rescheduled for 2 PM. 2 pm came and went, and there was no flight. And the stormed raged on. They were rescheduled for 8 PM. (BTW-I am totally making these times up, because really they don't matter. Just know they were on two flights that were cancelled and scheduled for an 8-8:30ish PM flight. i.e. the last flight out)  
Mary and WL (everette's parents) left Wednesday afternoon, hoping to make it to St Louis, Mary being the only able-bodied driver (i.e. not on Valium). Several hours, one monsoon, and ONE flat tire later, they made it to their hotel. 
The storm raged on. 
Meanwhile back in Indiana, Everette and I (and my parents) are packing and planning, getting ready for our 7 AM departure. With our ear to the ground (or tuned to the cell phone) ready to move into action, should our fellow sojourners need anything.
In Chicago, Meghan and Brad, are waiting, and hoping, and taking Isabelle out to pee. 8 PM came... two-hour delay. More thunder, lightening, and big winds. 10:30 comes. Last flight to Springfield-cancelled. 
So in Indiana... Everette is on standby, ready to drive to Chicago to rescue the stranded bride and groom. Brad and Meghan, after being denied passsage on the 8AM flight, as a last ditch effort tried to rent a car. 
At this point all three parties maintain radio silence. Nail biting, phone checking, and praying, continued in Indiana. Finally, after an hour of silence, at Midnight-thirty Everette and I head to bed. Just as this spectaular storm starts heating up in Indiana. 
One hour later, the tornado siren went off. We dress, and turn on the TV, and debate whether to wake up Jonathan. Sirens turn off, Chad Evans says worst part of the weather is over. Lights off. Back to bed. 

Alarm clock goes off at 5:45 Eastern. Hit Snooze. 6 AM get up and load the car. 
Meanwhile back in Chicago.....
Brad and Meghan were unsuccessful in renting a car. So they make friends with two perfect strangers, loaded themselves along with Isabelle but sans luggage into a minivan and took turns driving through the night to Springfield, MO. Arriving at the butt-crack of dawn.

Flash to 9 AM Central Time Mary and WL are on their way to the tire store, to fix the flat. We are west of Effingham Illinois, and Brad and Meghan made it to the Springfield airport to pick up the rental car they had already arranged. Hoping their luggage will arrive in Springfield by the promised 1 PM time
Whew! This wedding is already a production, and we are just getting started.
UPdate: Just heard from Mary Mills, van needed four new tires and alignment   WL is feeling lightheaded and sitting with his head between his knees. He says it's just the vertigo. :)

Last Update: The bride and groom made to Springfield, procured their marriage license, and eventually secured their luggage. We (Everette and I) made it Branson before his parents who left on Wednesday evening .

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Wedding.. Part One

This past weekend, Everette and I headed to Branson, Missouri to celebrate the his middle brother's wedding. It was a fantastic weekend. For a few reasons.

1. My parents came along.

Everette was a groomsman, I was a bridesmaid and Jonathan was a ringbearer. I quickly realized we were going to need reinforcements. So I asked my mom to come along as the granny-nanny. Then I convinced my dad to come along as the Granny-Nanny Navigator/Arm-Candy. My mom got lost in my neighborhood once, so she doesn't have the best reputation. The truth is my parents were invited to the wedding, but I quickly put them to work and exploited them for my own gain.
They were a God-send. Literally. This weekend would have been disastrous without them.

2. This was our view from the hotel room.

Yes, those are train tracks. and yes that is a train station. And yes there was a train that departed every three hours from that station.

And yes we could see it right out of our bedroom window....

The hotel room, that was beautiful. That had a balcony, and BEST OF ALL it had connected rooms with my parents. Of all of the things I was hoping this weekend to be, having a connected room to my parents was TOP of the list. And to top it all off, Jonathan spent the weekend sleeping in my parents room. SUWEET!!!

I'll keep it short for now. More later. I have to drag this out because I don't have anything else to talk about, except the fact that my dog ate my broccoli. And I find that depressing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Rabbit Food

It's that time of year, that time of year when I convince myself that spending hours down on my knees digging in the dirt is fun. My back does not believe it.
Today was time to get a jump on the garden. A few weeks ago we planted some lettuce, spinach and sugar snap peas. I forgot to take pictures, so stay tuned for those.

Today I planted 19 billion broccoli plants, some cabbage, red cabbage and some Napa cabbage.
Last year I planted broccoli three different times because the dang bunnies kept eating them. Dang Bunnies. Those dang bunnies made a cozy little nest under my deck and all of my broccoli, three times. My back does not like the bunnies. This year I declare war on the bunnies.
I will fight them with bars and bars of Irish Spring soap.

 I also planted 25 bazillion onions. Sweet onions. Sweet. Sweet. Onions. I love sweet onions. These onions are called Candy Onions. They are delicious. They are gigantic. They are awesome. The bunnies do not eat these. I love them. Really love them. Like. A lot.

Next up... tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers, and the herbs. Dig. Dig. Dig.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ride Like The Wind....

Or ride into the wind.

A few years ago, Everette lost his marbles and decided to be a biker. And I stupidly got caught up in it.
Well, that's not really the truth. The truth is, learning to ride a bike saved our marriage. Well, that's not really the whole truth either. The truth is, God saved our marriage, by making us bike riders. But that is really a story for another time.

The point of this post is to talk about Everette. Everette and Jonathan. When we first got married Everette served on the board of directors for Lafayette Habitat for Humanity (if you never heard of Habitat, clearly you live under a rock). He has been involved with them for the past ten years.

Indiana Habitat puts on Cover Indiana Bike Tour. A ridiculously long bike ride beginning in Lafayette and ending in Indianapolis and meandering all over the state. Everette is only doing the first day. Lafayette to Crawfordsville. 51 miles. 51 long long miles. In the wind. Up hills. In the blistering sun. In the pouring rain.
Sounds like fun, no?

To add an element of nuttiness. Everette is going to drag Jonathan, along.  Uh. I mean, Jonathan is going to pedal.

Last year Jonathan outgrew our bike trailer. And we thought our long bike riding days were over. There was no way Jonathan was going to pedal his own bike 30+ miles on a bike trail with us. We were also pretty sure Jonathan would never tolerate sitting on a tandem, pull-behind bike, where there was nothing to do but sit up straight and look at the scenery.
So we found this crazy contraption called a WeeHoo IGo.

It isn't cheap. But it's kind of awesome. After some researching, and some thinking, and some
discussing. We decided to get it.

It's a little early in the bike riding season but I think we made the right choice.
It is also going to allow Everette to tow Jonathan fifty-one miles to Crawfordsville, assuming Everette doesn't pass out.

The pictures here are from our first practice "ride" of the season. We went 23 miles down and back to Colburn. Everette and Jonathan, and me dragging my sorry-self behind.

Obviously, the Cover Indiana Bike Tour is a way to raise awareness and money for Habitat. Everette and Jonathan are raising support. You can support them by clicking on the link you just blew passed. Their goal is $1000! Will you help them reach it? If you stay tuned I will provide updates on training and the actual event. Which takes place Sunday May 5th.

To clarify. I am NOT riding my bike from Lafayette to Crawfordsville, because I am not an idiot. I will be driving the SAG wagon. And reading. And providing snacks and juice boxes to the weary riders. And Jonathan.