my husband

Like a Thief in the Night…

What’s worse than locking yourself out of the car?

Try locking yourself out of the house when you live in the country…no house key, no cell phone, no tools, nothing. Nada.

Yep. Last night was a stellar night in our neck of the woods. A little backstory:

We have been driving my mom’s van while she’s out of state visiting one of my brothers in Colorado and interestingly enough, it does not have a key to our house on it. Imagine that. So we’ve had to remember to carry a set of our keys along with her keys if we were driving her van.
Obviously, we forgot.

Well, my husband remembered. Or so he thought. You see, he had left his set of keys in my mom’s van the night before “just in case”, but unbeknownst to him, I had brought them inside when I came home, because I thought to myself, “Self, that’s just not like him to leave keys in the car – you’d better take those inside”.

Now, I must admit that I also heard another little voice inside my head (conscience?) saying, “Nah..just leave them in here…in case you lock yourself out or something…” to which I quickly responded (out loud, I must say), “Pshaw! We’re not going to lock ourselves out!”

Famous last words. Could that have been my pride speaking that last statement? Sigh…

So we spent a good thirty minutes trying all the windows and discussing what the most economical thing to do was – call a locksmith (ugh…no phones), break a window, or replace the door knob and lock. So we eventually “broke” into our own house with two heavy-duty screwdrivers that my brother had loaned my husband (we hadn’t returned them yet – one point for procrastination!) and messed up our back door. It’s ugly and will need to be fixed, but at least we didn’t have to spend the night in the car. Oh, and it still locks, too.

I am not, however, feeling too secure at this point. Two bumbling adults in the middle of the black night were able to break in to our house within a matter of 15 minutes. Never mind that it was us.

I’d install a deadbolt, but what if we lock ourselves out again?

(and that photo up top has absolutely nothing to do with this story…it is a photo of the “road” that leads into our feed lot at my husband’s family farm, where his mom lives. And I doctored it in Photoshop CS3 to have the curved frame around it – see what you can do with Photoshop CS3? – Enter the giveaway here)

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How to Bond with Your Husband

There are positively hundreds of ways you could choose to spending quality bonding time with your husband.

I always choose the extremes. Like roofing our farm house while Katrina was in full force a few years ago – of course, we only received the rain and some high winds, but still. My husband is a tad bit afraid of the combination of rain, roofs, 70 m.p.h winds and ladders – we had a swimmingly good time on that little project. Wish I had that to show you in pictures.

Another time, we decided to save ourselves $1800 by putting up a chain link fence around our yard. We dug no less than 50 post holes and filled them with quikrete and uprighted aluminum poles over a period of one weekend and then strung up the chain link the next week. In the summer. Let’s just say the sun wasn’t the only thing that was hot during that time.

I’m trying to be better about documenting these really special times of “bonding” as we like to call them. Doesn’t every couple have moments of intense frustration when they are working on something together? We have certainly had our share over the last seven years, because we are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to tackling projects.

I always assume it can be done with “no problem” and a “just do it” attitude, while he’s…well, he’s the opposite. I tend to look on the bright side and he…well, he’s the opposite. You get where I’m going with this right?

This week, we decided to add some precious memories to our “bonding time” album by attempting to repair a loose connection on the instrument panel of our 11 year old Dodge Caravan. Three weeks ago, we lost all power to the instrument panel – no odometer, no speedometer and no gas gauge. It has always been my secret fear that I’d run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, so imagine my horror at not ever knowing how much gas was in the van at any given moment and you’d understand why it took me four weeks to renew my drivers license. I had lost all desire to drive.

Now, I won’t lie – yes, it would be much easier to take it to a mechanic and have it repaired. But – we have spent over $1500 on van repairs in the last three months and we’ve had all we can stands and we can’t stands us no more. (that was Popeye, by the way). Besides, my husband was convinced by someone who had googled all the possible options regarding said instrument panel failure that it could be “easily repaired”. (note to self: quit using google to diagnose car problems) We even printed out 8 pages of step-by-step instructions telling us how to “fixit”.

Photographic evidence that we bonded follows. After the first photo, hubby said I wasn’t allowed to take any more photos with him in it, because he is shy like that. (Really, it’s because he wanted to get a haircut and was embarrassed for y’all to see it)

The dash – a tad bit daunting:

We had to remove all the crap in the way, which, of course, was MY job. After removing the junk, I realized how badly the van needs a good detail. Egad.

My kid’s favorite tape at the moment. We have listened to it no less than 142 times:

It’s starting to get complicated now, requiring more than just one hand and one person. Going to have to set the camera down and call in the big dog:

Eww. Our van is sure dirty. Side panel off, check.

At this point, hubs said “No more photos – are you blogging or are you going to help me fix this van?” Tee hee. I love it when he gets that look on his face. Putting the camera down, honey.

When we got to page 5 of the instructions and read “If equipped with a mechanical transmission range indicuator, perform the following…” Um, honey? Maybe we should just put all this back together while we still have a clue how where the bolts go.
So we did. This is what we saw when hubs reconnected the battery and I started it up after a small prayer and slapping the dash:

Yes, photographic evidence that Jesus healed our van. Oh sure, we were willing instruments, but we can’t take any credit – all we did was take it apart and put it back together. Apparently, all it takes is a “just do it” attitude and a willing spirit.

Thank you Jesus, I can now drive again. (and yes, we have over 200K miles on our van – we really need a new one, don’t we?)

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I don’t want all the land, just all the land that borders mine…

pecan tree

We spent the day out at the family farm with my sweet mother-in-law, (affectionately known as “LuLu” by our children) celebrating both my husband’s 35th birthday as well as our son’s 6th birthday today after church.

After dinner, (in some regions of the country, it’s called “lunch” – however, in the South, it’s known as “dinner”) I took a stroll with the kids and took some photos of the family farm that has been in my husband’s family for four generations. (okay, I really took a nap and then took a stroll)

county road

I haven’t really shared much about the farm on my blog, and I’m not really sure why. It’s rich in character and though we haven’t lived on it since we married, we visit it often and store a lot of our “stuff” in the shop. (thanks, Lulu!)

Unlike Pioneer Woman, we don’t work the cattle that live on our land. Actually, if you read her blog, she doesn’t personally work the cattle that live on her land either. She just takes photos of the folks that work her cattle. We have our pastures leased to a man who runs his cows on them throughout the year. And also unlike Ree, I do not have a digital SLR camera, so this is as close as I get to cows I’m not familiar with. Here, I’d like you to meet a Texas Longhorn, in the flesh: (she’s purdy, ain’t she?)

texas longhorn

But cows aren’t all we have on the farm. We have some gorgeous trees too. That tree in the first shot is one of two pecan trees that live right out back of my MIL’s house and they are the trees that our oldest daughter learned her mad climbing skilz on. She also climbed on the magnolia tree (named after my husband’s great grandma, “Liller Dale” – all the inanimate objects on our farm have names) which isn’t blooming yet, but I love the flower buds just the same.

liller dale

Of course, I love the pear trees too. Not only are they beautiful to look at, they actually produce something that is quite tasty too. They are pretty full and will be ripe for the picking in a just a short while – anyone want to come help me?

pear tree

My daughter took this artsy little shot and wanted me to share it with everyone as well:

We hope to be building our home out on the back 40 acres of the property in the next few years – I’ve already picked out the floor plan – it’s a lodge-y looking home with a huge wrap-around porch. Absolutely gorgeous, and if it never gets built, I am going to be so mad at my husband. (oh, I kid…sort of)

Apparently trees aren’t the only things growing in the yard – look at what I found in between the shop and the chicken house:


That truck is a 1967 Ford short and wide pickup named “Myron”. It named after a high school friend of my Father-in-law’s. According to my husband, it is a classic. Manual, 5-speed transmission with a V-8 engine that is just fine for running up and down these dusty country roads. It belonged to my husband’s daddy and my husband has known it all of his life and refuses to let go of it. The floorboards are rusting and the poor thing hasn’t been started in at least 13 years. But some things you just don’t get rid of.

Apparently this old truck is one of them. I’ll admit, it’s sort of grown on me over the years. Heck, Myron has just settled himself comfortably in his little spot and has grown where he was planted. Which, technically is a good thing, I suppose.

He’s a reminder that we are all still useful and beautiful in our own way, no matter how old and rusted and underappreciated we may feel. I don’t know that he feels anything, I’m just sayin’ folks.

So there ya have it, your first tour of the old family farm. Of course, I haven’t shown you the chicken house or the shop or where the barn used to be, but there’s always next week. So what’d you think? Is it everything you hoped it would be? Did you even know we had a farm? Do you even care? I’m interested in these things, you know. Tell me – which photo is your favorite?

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