Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ticks = GROSS!!

Not all vampires look like Robert Pattison!

Ticks freak me the heck out! I never thought too much about them before this month, other than I knew they could give you Lyme disease. And really, all I knew about Lyme Disease is that it could make you go absolutely crazy like the girl from The Real World many years ago. In one of the only episodes I ever watched, a brunette girl flipped out on one of her roommates, started beating on him and dang near foaming at the mouth! Then when confronted about it, she blamed it on the fact that she had Lyme disease. Sob story ensued, etc. After seeing that, I made a mental note to steer clear of Ticks.

Tick bite = Lyme Disease = Certifiably Nuts

But it really wasn't until I recently watched a Animal Planet show on Moose from Alaska that cemented my fear. I don't know why we were watching it, except I remember wanting to show the kids how huge moose actually are, and then we all were totally sucked into the awesome moose information flying our way. We are weird like that I guess. So anyway, part way through the show they showed how these tiny little flea size ticks would crawl to the top of these tall weeds, and wait for an unsuspecting moose to pass by. When they did, the little vampires would attach themselves and then suck the 900 lb. moose dry. Thousands of these itsy bitsy bugs could literally drain it's blood until it died!!! And seeing them all engorged just made me want to puke. Completely lose my lunch all over the room, and vomit up everything I have ever eaten-or will ever eat! I had to look away. I couldn't stomach looking at the screen with all those bugs on the dead carcass. But that was it! I was creeped out by seeing the massive amount of ticks, now I have developed a very real fear of the little crawling leaches.

Then two weeks ago when I went to pick up Alan and the boys at a friend's house, after they had gotten back from camping, it only got worse. Living out in the country has certain perks, but a serious downside is these gross bugs. I don't know if their dog went camping with them, or it got them from the yard alone-all I know is I watched as our friend pulled one after another off the dog, and smashed them between two boards. Let me tell you, these boards looked like they belonged in a crime scene! They were so bloody, they honestly could have been murder weapons. He said he had pulled off some 30 or so ticks from this poor dog, and he was finding more every time he looked. I have no idea how this dog was even moving with all the blood he had lost. I was horrified, and totally checked the baggage and the kids all over for them when we got home.

I am terrified to let the kids wander outside, go in the woods, or even grass that is taller than 3-4 inches. It is a full blown phobia at this point. One that I don't see getting any better, anytime soon. Not until we move out of the country, at least . Until then, I will live in fear of finding bugs burrowed into my children that I can't just pull out because their heads will remain in them. Why is that necessary?!? I have to put a burning match up to my kids' skin to get it off? Seems a bit extreme. So instead, I just don't have the boys go where ticks might hide. Freaky little predators, hopefully will never meet me face to face. I honestly don't think I could handle it. Instead of helping my offspring, I might in all reality, run away from them instead. Not very maternal of me. I hope to never have to cross that bridge. I'd like to have the kids think they can count on me to be brave in every circumstance. Let them wait a few years to find out that I'm a total wuss when it comes to certain gross bugs. Ignorance is bliss.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blind-Folded Portraits....

So, I got bored today and was looking through a little book I got at the dollar store that talks about "52 Date ideas for Married Couples", and got to one of the ideas that read "Be Art Critics". For some reason just looking at that put this idea into my head, that I had to immediately try. I walked out to Alan and informed him that I was going to blind-fold him and he was going to draw me. He was a little skeptical....

Me "I'm gonna blind-fold you, and you are going to draw me."

Alan "Why?"

Me "Because it will be fun. Come on."

(I grabbed the brand new industrial roll of paper I bought to entertain the kids when they are home)

Alan "For who? This doesn't sound like fun." He grudgingly followed me to the bathroom door, where we would be doing it.

All the kids who were in our room watching Toy Story 3, came out to see what we were up to.

Me "Ok, you are going to draw me. No peeking."

Then I put my flashiest pink ribbon over his eyes and placed him in front of the paper, crayon in hand. The boys were so giddy with excitement they could hardly stand it. I guided his free hand over the paper so he would know where the edges were and not draw on the door.

He drew a tiny circle.

Me "Draw it bigger."

He drew it a tiny bit bigger, pretty much over where he drew the first circle.

Me "Bigger."

He drew it a tiny bit bigger, again over the same spot.

Nick "You keep drawing it in the same spot, Dad!"

I moved him over a few inches, and used his free hand to demonstrate how big I was thinking. He started drawing, and so did the fun. Ben and I were laughing silently, Nick just threw care to the wind and was openly giggling. Pretty soon, Ben and I gave up and joined Nick in laughing hysterically. When Alan finished, he pulled the blind-fold off, and chuckled along with us. Here is his masterpiece:

Nathan thought he drew a zombie, and was therefore scared of it. The older boys started saying they wanted to do it too. But first, my turn....

Ok. I must say, I WAS blind-folded, but we were using crayons so I had an idea of where I had drawn. Before drawing, I would swipe with my free hand to feel where the crayon was so I had some clue where things should go. Not technically cheating, really-but I'll use a marker next time to even the playing field. Here is Alan, through my prettily covered eyes:

He does not wear ties nor bring me flowers, but it was a lot of fun. The boys all did their own drawings of us too. I think we started a new tradition, because this was a very entertaining for all, even doubting Alan. I highly recommend it for family nights, date-nights, or just because. I think we're going to do self portraits next time. =)

Now the kids' pictures....

Ben drew Alan.

Nathan drew both Alan and I.

Nick drew me.

Oh, Etsy.......

I love! It is wonderful that there is a place where crafty people can sell their goods, and you can find some truly unique gifts. BUT, that being said....I think some people over-estimate their skills. I find things on there, that look like a toddler drew them, and they are priced about $68.00! Come on.......Really? Did somebody tell you they thought you could seriously get that much for your glued together bedazzled Popsicle sticks around a 3 inch picture?

I am honestly amazed at the prices some of these people are charging! I found a T-shirt blanket on there, and I will admit-I fell in love. I have always wanted one and the effort on my part is too much for me to do one at this time. And this one had funny t-shirts, and old school ones that represented my youth. It was deep, fast love that radiated from my core, and left me in awe. BUT It was so fleeting it made my head spin. I nearly passed out when I saw the price. I was speechless-but not in a good way. $695.00 + s&h. Let me repeat.....$695.00 + S&H!!!!!!!!! Does it fly like Aladdin's carpet? Did it have magical unicorns sewn in that serenaded you to sleep the second you pulled it over you? Was 24 karat Gold thread used? I am hard pressed to come up with anything that would be worth paying that much for, especially something that is smaller than a couch.

Here, I thought the whole point of this site was to get your stuff out there to a broader audience, and make some extra money while doing it. I love, love. love when people make some cool little baubles AND make them completely affordable! I will support them. Not greedy, unrealistic jerks. I do understand the time and energy it takes to put some of these things together, as well as the cost of the materials. Being a crafty lady myself, I get it. But, I also think that some of the people out there highly mis-judge how valuable their time is.

Joke is on me I guess, because my beloved king size T-shirt blanket was no longer on there the next time I went to the site. Though I scoffed at the price, somebody else clearly had a little more to spend. Either that, or the seller realized it was a crazy price, put it on sale and someone snatched it up. This is one thing that I am really envious that somebody out there owns, because they are not me.

To all of you who are out there charging extravagant prices for your trinkets that I could make myself, just know this-I am. I am stealing your ideas, making it myself (probably better), for cheaper and I don't fell bad at all. I'm probably giving it away too-For free. Quit being so greedy.