Monday, March 30, 2009

Can I Get a Big Amen?

I didn't tell you on Friday because I was afraid I might somehow, someway cosmically jinx it, BUT...

...WAIT FOR IT...

...WAIT FOR IT...

WE FINALLY CLOSED ON THE HOUSE!!!

(Catch up on our house drama, here, here, and here.)

That's right folks, after three months of haggling over flood lines and many dollars down the drain to have the house surveyed, we have finally closed on the house.

And like so many of you reminded me time and time again...it was 100% worth it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Feeling a Little Random?

1. This kid hit the 6 week mark yesterday, and I was blessed to get to spend a few hours with him and his mommy (who, by the way, is looking gorgeous and shapely once again!)

Be still my heart!

2. When I went to upload that last picture I found this one as well. This is the "maxi-pad" my sister was given at the hospital after giving birth. Now, don't get me wrong, it's nice that the hospital provides this to new mommies, but seriously? I mean..that would wrap around up to my head.

She showed it to me and I think, for the first time, my jaw ACTUALLY hit the floor.

3. One of Matt's little women (see below post) was waiting outside for him yesterday. He didn't show and I think I actually saw her heart break. She had brought over her Barbie CD player and a Kids Bop album to play for him. I promised her that if she brought it over this weekend Matt would sit down and listen to it with her. How could I not? It was heartbreaking.

4. We have absolutely no set plans this weekend (aside from Matt being serenaded), and I really think that is the best kind of weekend.

5. What is the word on fishing (in your own backyard) without a license? You still need one right? I mean...the fish aren't our property correct? This debate has been raging in our household for a few days now.

6. What are you having for dinner tonight?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Flirt

I have long asserted that my husband is, at heart, a big ol' flirt. Don't get me wrong, he never crosses the line between friendly and inappropriate, but he has got a way about him that seems to appeal to the ladies. He has these bottomless brown eyes, that crinkle ever so slightly when he smiles, and he has that deep, somewhat gravely, voice that can make a woman melt.

He has mastered the art of making the most bitter of grocery store clerks crack a grin. Nevermind the fact that the minute I interject one word into the conversation the clerk turns back into a scowling ogre. Think the scene from "You've got mail" when Tom Hanks charms the clerk into allowing Meg Ryan to use her credit card, and you pretty much have an idea of what grocery shopping is like with this man.

We have two young girls who live next door who are both utterly infatuated with my husband. The minute he walks outside in his work boots and jeans, they are magnetically drawn to our front yard. I have taken to referring to them as Matt's work crew.


Here they are helping Matt revamp out front walkway, which used to be made up of a few cement pavers and a whole lot of mud.

But hey! I mean, there is nothing wrong with child labor as long as they get to stare at the eye candy right?

And I'll take all the free help I can get as we work on the house.

Hey now! You aren't helping, you are gazing at my husband, get back to work! You better watch it kid, I'm onto you like white on rice.

Although I must admit, they do good work.

They oughta think about opening up a landscape business.

"Matt & the Ladies Landscaping". It does have a certain ring to it doesn't it?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Proof

I submit the following evidence as proof of two facts.

The first being that is in indeed spring, despite the fact that it was 28 degrees Fahrenheit when I went outside this morning. Brr.

The second (and most important) fact being that I, Rebekah Jane Country Mouse, have not killed this plant.

I think we can all admit that this is progress.

Especially when you take into account what I did to this poor cactus.

Are you starting to see spring flowers blooming?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things From My Grandpa

I grew up across the country from my paternal grandparents, so I had a tendency to really hold on tight to anything that came from them. Today I would like to show you some of the few thing I have from my Grandpa.

First up is this...


His chess set.

He taught me to play chess on this very set, and although I display no prowess for strategy or warfare, I can't help but be amazed at the intricacies of this set.

No two pawns are alike, each piece is it's own individual.

Lastly is this...


His camera. He documented everything, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that is where I get my desire to take pictures and ensure that no memory goes unrecorded.



He also took a lot of home videos, I would like to tell you about one in particular. When my grandfather was young he enlisted in the military, and was stationed at what was believed to be a cushy post in Hawaii. However, on December 7th, 1942, he woke up in his barracks to the sound of guns. He blamed the "daggone navy" for conducting drills on a Sunday morning, but when he looked out of his window he saw a Japanese Zero banking in the air and got a full view of the rising sun symbol. He immediately took off across the field, without his helmet...in his underwear. (I also inherited that trait to act..then think). He survived the attack, although some of his friends did not. Later that day he got out his video camera and shot some shaky but clear footage of the aftermath of bombing of Pearl Harbor.

He passed away several years ago, and these pieces, these memories, are more precious than ever. Matt and I have late night chess tournaments, and in the back of my head I often hear the sounds of my Grandpa's voice coaching me through my moves. Everytime I go to get my camera I see my Grandpa's camera sitting there as well, and I thank God for the time I got to spend with him, and the desire he passed on to me to record our lives as they happen.

Are there items in your home that evoke feelings? That remind you of loved ones that exist only in your memories? How do you display them?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Little Random Trivia For You

Did you know that spiders shed their skin? Much like a snake sheds it's skin? It's true, they do! Sure, I had to Google it to find out for sure, but now I know, and so do you!

Oh, did you want to know WHY I Googled it to find out? Because I found this in the basement.


That is the exoskeleton thingy of a Wolf Spider.

Just so you can see the actual size of this ginormous arachnid, I got my hand as close as I dared, THAT is how dedicated I am to all of you and your thirst for knowledge. And yes, you may think it is not really all that daring to get your hand close to the shedded skin of a spider, but just the knowledge that the owner of said skin may still be lurking in my basement was enough to make me want to run out of the basement squealing.



Does anyone else feel a little bit itchy now? Ick.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Retribution

Do you remember how I naively believed I had gotten rid of the vestiges of Matt's sordid bachelorhood? Well, yesterday I learned just how mistaken I had been.

There I was, so caught up in the heat of the moment, so filled with hate for the unappealing lava lamp, that I neglected to consider what would eventually take it's place on the wall of Matt's music room.


Good Lord Almighty, that is...that's a...Honey where they HECK did this fish come from?



I mean...I guess technically it is only fair, he got rid of the lamp, and replaced it with a lake trout (so I am told, anyway), but GOOD GOD that thing is huge!

So, do you guys have any recommendations for how to decorate with trout? 'Cause I am at a loss here!

Monday, March 16, 2009

No Sooner Met But They Looked

No sooner looked but they loved.
-As You Like It, Wm. Shakespeare.

Do you remember your first love? The one that passed you notes in study hall and smiled at you in the hallway? The butterflies, the excitement, the stolen glances? I do. His name was Adam, he was a good six inches shorter than me, had spiky blonde hair and one day at recess he jumped off the jungle gym and bit through his tongue, when they sewed it back he developed a lisp. I've always had a weak spot for lisps.

Well, this young lady is Josie, and I feel pretty confident in saying that she has my little mutt purely and completely smitten.

Here you can see him presenting her with a token of his love, also known as a frisbee.


I mean...this is as good as holding hands right?


Ahh, young love. Is there anything as sweet?




Sniffle...guess my little boy is growing up. I just hope that little hussy doesn't break his heart, this momma don't mess around!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up...

Scene: It is night-time, about oh, I don't know, 1:00 AM. Matt and Bekah are asleep in bed.

Matt: GET UP! GET UP! GET OUT OF BED!

Bekah: Huh? What? What's happening? Are you okay?

Matt: Get out of the bed and close your eyes!

Bekah:(gets out of bed) What is going on Matt?

Matt turns on the lamp and tears the covers off of the bed, then begins gingerly lifting the pillows one by one.

Bekah: Matt? Honey what are you looking for?

Matt: I think there is a lizard in our bed! I thought for sure that I saw one.

Bekah: (groans) A lizard? In Pennsylvania? In the winter?

Matt: Just go back to bed.

True story folks, true story.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Sunset

That's right, MY sunset. MINE, ALL MINE! Okay, okay, I'll share it with you.



We have a large picture window overlooking the creek behind the house, and each night I will invariably walk by the window, see the sun setting, and run out of the house without my shoes on just to try to capture the magnificence right in my own backyard.




It's just...so beautiful.



This sunset alone completely negates the fact that today I pulled a tire, a burn can, and a myriad of beer can out of the rubble in our backyard. It makes all the hard work that much more satisfying.


Sigh.



I could just stand here all night...until it get dark and I got scared. Not that I'm scared of the dark or anything! Ha, no, that would be silly...

(In a completely unrelated topic, am I the only person that is having a REALLY hard time uploading any pictures to blogger?)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mr. Mouse and the Affair of the Lava Lamp

Do you remember the strife that once engulfed this household? Oh yes, I mean the Lava Lamp Wars. If you don't remember the details of the Lava Lamp Wars, you can catch up here, here, here, and last but not least...here. For those of you who do not feel like reading four posts to catch up, here is the basic gist of the problem. Matt owns a relic of a lava lamp.

Exhibit A:
He insists that it is a piece we should hang on to, and if it weren't for one little fact I would be more than willing to allow it to stay in the basement. But that ONE LITTLE FACT is that the thing doesn't work. I said...it needs to go. He said...no. I hid the lava lamp in the laundry room. He found it. He put it on my pillow.

Exhibit B:
I hid the lava lamp again. He found it. He tucked it into bed with me and took pictures of me sleeping with the enemy...

Exhibit C:
When we were moving to the new house, I asked Matt if he really wanted to bring it along (because it is HIS lamp, I am not actually mean enough to throw it away). He agreed to erm...dispose...of the lamp on one condition. That condition being that he be allowed to write a farewell post here on Country Mouse. I agreed. I WAY underestimated the evil genius that is my husband.

Without further ado....Matt's farewell post, told from the view of the lamp. Oh..the "she-devil" referred in the post is none other than me, Bekah.

I prefer to remember nights as they were, nights when I would proudly sit on the window sill of Matt's apartment. There I stood so sturdy, so straight, yet so fluid. Those were peaceful nights. He would stare at me until he fell asleep as one stares at a camp fire in the cool, late-summer nights.

I also remember the dark days in the laundry room. Shunned from the power outlets. Shunned from the windows. Shunned from Matt's gaze. I remember her face...her devious smirk. I still carry her scars on my glass. Oh how I wish I could rub off those dirty prints from her long fingers; the same fingers that shoved me under the bed between hundreds of other possessions she deemed useless.

But where was my keeper? Had he forgotten me? Has lack of sight driven me from his mind?

I hear muffled noises. It sounds like something heavy is being stacked nearby. It reminds me of my birth at the factory. They stuffed me in a box and shipped me along with my brothers and sisters to a raunchy, disgusting hole in the earth... Spencer's Gifts. There I was stowed away amongst whorish items and suggestive gift cards.

Just as it was when Matt first let me free from my cardboard and Styrofoam cage, he freed me from underneath the bed. As the temptress lay silent he placed me next to her for revenge. My stillness frightened her as she opened her eyes. She was truly ashamed of me. Her icy stare was so distant from the heat which the bulb used to bring from my base.

Where was my base? Legend has it the she-devil dumped it into the green box outside of the apartment. Without my base, I began to weaken. The coils tucked inside my wax began to rust and crumble. I was growing old.

Matt, being the loyal master as always, did not let me die a shameless death without a base. Instead he aided me in a painless, quick death like the ways of the old samurai. He poured the liquid out of me and placed me gently into the dark, cold floor of the dumpster. There I lay and breathed my last breath. As I exhaled I heard Matt walk away to the faint sounds of a far-off trumpet playing taps...


And now...the moment we have all been waiting for...

Monday, March 9, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Did you used to jump rope to that as well?

Mary Mary quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells

And pretty maids all in a row.

I mean really? Whaaaa? Pretty maids all in a row in the garden? And what is a cockle shell?

But anyway, what this post is really supposed to be about is gardening. I love gardens, I do. I read every post that Jen at Muddy Boot Dreams can come up with, I revel in the colors of her garden. It's just that I suffer from a certain affliction...I believe it is called a black thumb. No really, this girl's thumb is practically a blackened whithered stump. I mean, I want to be able to keep plants alive, I really do, but somehow I fail every stinkin' time. It doesn't help that my dog tends to eat anything green, but I still take these failures seriously.

Oh you don't believe me? Check it out.
That is a CACTUS ya'll. Those are supposed to be hardy. My older sister bought this one for me when I went away to college in Northern New Jersey. That was four years ago. So while I may have been able to keep it alive for a while, I think we can all see that it died a pretty grisly death.

Why am I telling you this?

Because this weekend, I started a garden. I know...what was I thinking. Now that I am out of the sun and can think a little more clearly I am overwhelmed by my inadequacies in the garden. I feel so...so...inadequate.
So far the only thing in said garden are some daffodil bulbs that the previous owner had had down near the creek, which I transplanted on Saturday, as well as a few Gladioluses (Gladiolusii? Gladioluseses?). I meant to take a picture but...well...I forgot.

Relatively soon we are also going to be starting a small vegetable garden, and if that wasn't enough for me(the cactus killer), I will also be trying my hand at a very small and select herb garden. I love using fresh herbs in my cooking, and nothing would make me happier than being able to open the door and grab whatever I have a hankering for from my very own herb garden.

Of course, for that to happen this garden will need to actually grow. We shall see.

So...any advice out there? Do you garden? Anything you have learned from your own gardens? Do you have a wicked green thumb? Or a whithered stump like me?

Lord help me!

Friday, March 6, 2009

We're Late, We're Late, To a Very Important Date!

Matt and I have a tendency to be a few minutes late to most events. Matt has no problem being late, I however, do. Being late causes me to feel a little sick to my stomach. I hate it. And I know why.

Back in my high school days I had a chronic tardiness problem. And I do mean CHRONIC. I just had a really hard time getting up in the mornings, and the fact that I walked to school didn't help. The detention aides knew me by name, one even went ahead and brought crossword puzzles to detention with him because he knew that I liked them, and that I would, without a shadow of a doubt, be in Saturday morning detention. By the end of my junior year I had racked up so many tardies that the Dean called my Mom to tell her that unless I served my time throughout the summer, I would not be allowed to graduate. Needless to say, I spent several days that summer at the high school helping the guidance counselor reorganize her files.

As the years have progressed I have begun to feel as though I had "chronically tardy" stamped on my chest like the scarlet letter. I forever feel the need to make up for my wanton ways in high school by being a few minutes early to everything. My husband does not agree. In general, he doesn't mind being late, and thinks that everything is merely five or tens minutes away.

Don't worry, he says. We can make it, he says. All the while I am digging my fingernails into my palms as memories of after school detention come rushing back to me.

Last Saturday was one such event. We had been invited to a wedding that was scheduled for noon. The previous day we realized that neither of us had remember to pick up a card, so we planned to stop and get one before the wedding. C'mon Matt, I whined, we are gonna be sooo late!

Here are a few pictures I snapped on the way.

This was our only option as to where to stop that was on the way...
...because it was already this time...
Hurry Honey!!!
By this point my voice had reached a fervored pitch that set all the neighborhood dogs to barking.
Can't you just see the stress in his jaw?

We ran into the church just as the best man began walking the bride's mother down the aisle. As you might imagine, by this point I was near to tears. We waited for the ceremony to end, then shamefully made our way over to my dad.

"That's my Bekah, always late." he joked. I fear I will never lose this stigma. But on the plus side, we made it in time for the send-off!
Sigh.

Are you always late? Always on time? 15 minutes early?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm Back, with HEAT! And Questions!

We received oil! On Tuesday, and then our Internet service immediately crapped out. I have no idea what happened, but it was back when I checked today, so hey, that works for me! I will be catching up on your blogs yet again, so don't be surprised to see comments from me on old posts! So now that the internet is working, and we got the oil delivery kinks all worked out, guess what?! NO WATER PRESSURE! Yay! I'm honestly at the point where it is now funny, and I didn't really want to do the dishes anyway.

NOW, down to business. I need your help once again. Tell me how you feel about yellow walls. Specifically in the bedroom. I have a love hate relationship with yellow. I can't wear yellow, I look ill. But then I see a picture like this and I think 'ooooooh' (yes, I am THAT simple).
Our bedroom is much smaller than that specific beauty, and we don't have the jaw-dropping ceiling, but we DO have beams. White beams to be exact, which makes me think it might just work.
The yellow is really starting to grow on me. Now, I am not quite that girly of a decorator, I have no frilly lampshades, nor do I intend to buy any, but the overall look appeals to me. I like that banged up flea market finds, the clean but lived in look, and the sunny feel of these rooms, I am just having a really hard time making a final decision on this one. I got this far...
..yep, I duct taped it to the wall, I wanted to see how I liked it throughout the day you know? The colors on the picture are actually coming through a little brighter than they actually are in person. I originally wanted to go with 'yellow ribbon' (middle color) but now 'fairy lily' is growing on me (top color). I just would hate having to tell people I painted my bedroom 'fairy lily'. They might think I was that weird kid in class that did her book report on unicorns and fairy novels...oh wait, that was me. Never mind.

This is what our bedding looks like, and I think it will work for the look I am going for...I think.
Maybe not the sheets, but when after we turned in the keys to our old apartment we realized that we had left our nice sheets in the dryer. So it was the peach-ish ones on sale at Wal-Mart, or the moose ones Matt had in college. Needless to say I opted for peach.

So tell me, is the yellow a bad idea? Or will I wake up in my yellow room and just feel sunny? What do you think of the overall idea for the rooms? Matt, dear fella that he is, doesn't particularly care one way or another. As long as he has a pillow and a blanket he is happy, so any advice is MORE than welcome!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Heated Debate

This is an update to my post earlier today.

Matt: Hi, we were scheduled to receive oil today, and no one came out here, is there anyway we can get a time frame on that, 'cause we are kind of freezing.


Shipley Oil: Please hold. (five minutes elapse) Sir, they were already at your house.

Matt: No, they weren't. My wife was here all day, no one came.

Shipley Oil: 150 gallons of oil were delivered to your house today sir.

Matt: No, it wasn't. There is no oil here, the basement is locked. There are no tire tracks in the snow, no footprints, and once again, my wife was here all day, no one came.

Shipley Oil: Okay, well we will look into it, but our drivers are off the road for the night.


So guys...that's where we stand. I can see my breath inside. Also, I am extremely sad to report Francois (the fish) did not make it. His water got too cold, I tried to keep him warm but apparently I am unfit to even to be a mother, even to a hardy Beta fish. Au revoir Francois, I'm so sorry.

A Funny Turn of Events

In a funny turn of events that usually only happens in sitcoms, we ran out of oil late last week. As it turns out, the gauge on the oil tank doesn't quite work, so while we thought we had plenty, we had almost none. The seller of the house kindly filled up the oil tank in January, so that there would be oil here when we moved. HOWEVER, the guys who had been here working on the house decided that they wanted the experience of working in the tropics, and left the heat cranked to about 90 degrees.

So we had been relying mainly on our auxiliary heat, the pellet stove. Nevermind the fact that we also had to have the stove guy out here twice last week in order to make the stove workable (at one point smoke was somehow actually being funneled back INTO the house), but now the stove has given up the ghost as well. We called the stove guy, and surprise! he is in Canada for a long weekend.

So...it's cold folks. Real real cold. This is also why I had taken a short hiatus from writing here, simply because I knew anything I wrote would mostly consist of "I'm cold, I'm cold, I'm cold...".

Oh and did I forget to mention we are in the middle of a snowstorm?
How's that for a coincidence?!
Please send blankets.

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