Our "Half-Assed" Neighbor (Seriously)

So I was running an errand on Saturday and Chrissy told me to look in a neighbor’s yard and that I’d see a zebra. I kinda didn’t really believe her, but hey this is Fletcher/Elgin (Felgin) Oklahoma–Anything can happen!

I ran my errand, saw the “zebra,” and on the way home interviewed the owner. As it turns out it’s a half-zebra half donkey. So literally this is our “Half-Assed” Neighbor.

There are very few instances where I can use that phrase. After suppressing the phrase in my lexicon for several years, I now get to use it with a smile.

Some interesting facts:

  • The animals are known by several different names source
    • zonkey, zedonk, or even zebrass
    • one zoo in Japan even announced they had a zenky
    • no formal name is approved
  • In South Africa they occur where zebras and donkeys are found in proximity to each other. Like mules, however, they cannot usually breed, due to an odd number of chromosomes disrupting meiosis. However, in The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin reported a case of a zonkey that apparently bred with a bay mare to produce a “triple hybrid.” source
  • More Images

Who knows, maybe next week I’ll go run an errand and get to see a Liger!!!

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Got ’em (PG 13 Image)

So last week Eliza had to take a shower before school. She decided to use the one in the master bathroom. She told Chrissy there was mouse on the floor.

We believed her. We live in the country.

Later that week I got up early and saw the mouse running around behind some photos we still haven’t hung up yet.

Now Chrissy and I have been talking about getting a cat for outside and the kids and I went to the dollar store to get some mouse traps.

Yes, I prefer doing things the old-fashioned way. I bait my traps with peanut butter (chunky) and sunflower seeds. It worked well in Iraq, and now it works in Oklahoma.

Yes, we got ’em.

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Photos to Share

Well, the weekend’s not quite over yet and we’ve got some great photos to share. Earlier in the week Jamie McDonald, the builder for our development here, lived up to a promise he made a few months ago. When he originally did the landscaping it was back in April time frame. After he grated the yard it had perfect drainage. Then the typical April and May showers arrived–including some t-storms that drop an inch or more in a half an hour–there was a lot of damage due to erosion. He knew we had a couple of ‘puddle spots’ and volunteered to fix them. I asked him to wait until I could get enough grass seed.

Let me tell you about the COOP in Elgin. I talked with Chrissy about how much money we could spend on grass seed. She told me $50. I walked in and talked to the gentleman behind the counter and said: “My wife has given me $50 to buy grass seed.”

He smiles. Then he does some math on an old calculator and says: “That’s about 15lbs.”

We go to the section of the store with the grass seed. He picks up a bag with some seed in it, and puts in on the scale. It weighs in at 18lbs. He goes to grab a scoop and takes out one scoop. I tell him the scale reads 16lbs. He shrugs his shoulders and then puts the scoop back in. Takes the entire bag back to the register and rings me up for $50. I then ask him how much land this will cover and he explains that it’s 10lbs for 1 acre.

I’m only re-seeding about half an acre and I manage to get more seed than I paid for and more seed than I need. What a deal!

So when Jamie was here we put Daniel in the tractor and had him help drive it. Jamie took a few turns with Daniel at the wheel and then let Eliza had a turn. Both the kids, and our builder were good sports and now the dirt is a lot closer to being ready to plant! Yahoo!

On Friday we got to go see the parade in Fletcher OK. It consisted of tractors, the entire school system from grades 3+ and some other local interests. One of my favorite is the BEE truck. A while back I ran into a store that sold local honey–great stuff. There was a newspaper clipping showing how their truck was part of a tv show. I guess there’s a show on CMT called “Trick My Truck” and at some point the business was selected to have their truck revamped by the show. The painting detail looks incredible and so I had Chrissy take a couple of pictures while I was holding the kids.

In other news, dad told me about how he got a Mac. It looks like the one he got was one of the newer groovy really really really cool ones. Well, we got a MAC as well. It’s not as nice as dad’s but hey, you pay for the logo right? This thing even has a 3.5 inch floppy drive and an RJ10 network card. It’s going to take some gadget hunting to get the thing on the internet–I don’t even think they made a browser for this machine! It’s a fun project to have on the side.

Yesterday we took Leslie up to Mt Scott and the Holy City near here. We all had fun and snapped photos of things while we were up there. It was a good time. All of the photos so far are part of the web album slideshow at the end of this post.

Last night it rained. Our water bill from last month showed up and told us we needed to water the yard less than what we were doing. I bought large blue rain barrels to catch the water off the roof and we had just the right amount of rain last night. No erosion–but all the soil is throughly moist so I can plant tomorrow morning. I love having a yard. It’s neat! It’s work, but I’ve got to learn to take care of it. It’s one of the reasons why Chrissy’s taking a job. I figure if we take care of what we’ve been entrusted with, God will help take care of us. So far I’d say my theory is right–you be the judge.


A Photo Date

If you were here right now you’d see Chrissy and I each typing away at our computers. Each of us composing our own blog entries. Outside there are stars shining and in the not too far night time are a bunch of coyotes calling to each other in their semi-melodic method. In Connecticut we lived on “Old Meadow Plain Road” and there wasn’t any meadows, and the road wasn’t particularly plain. In California we lived on “College Ave,” although there wasn’t a college on the street. I’ve seen Birch streets without Birch Trees and Pine streets without pines. It’s seems I’m finally living in a good old honest town.

  • I live on 165 NE Coyote Drive and there are coyotes outside
  • You pump your gas BEFORE you pay.
  • The gas station opens up before the sign says it’s supposed to ’cause they know you might need it heading into work
  • When you need change to pay a babysitter the folks at the pizza place will search through the register, the money bag, and their own pockets to help–without even expecting a purchase.
  • At “Mr Goodcents Subs and Pasta” there’s only one employee needed on a Saturday night and no one’s worried about her being alone.
  • When you run into a police officer and ask if he’ll say ‘hi’ to your three year old he’ll stop and shake his hand. To my surprise, the officer asked Daniel if he’d like to see the lights–normally it would be the other way around.
  • Everyone’s your neighbor even if they live a few miles down the road. You’re expected to wave.
  • They’ll drive as fast as they want until they see your kids or your dog–then they’ll slow down to a crawl, wave, and smile as they pass by.

Saturday nights are date nights for Chrissy and I. Tonight was between paydays and so we needed something fun and inexpensive. We decided to out and take some photos of the other novelties that surround us. Up the road a ways in the town of Fletcher we found an old welding shop with tractors and other equipment lying around. It made for great photos. Towards the end of the shoot a truck pulled up and the man inside looked like he was capable and willing to lay a few blows on us for taking photos. Luckily we were double dating with a couple who’s expecting–and looks it. A few soft spoken words and we left rather shocked at the possibilities we avoided.

Fletcher manages to have kept a building that used to sell Ice and Ice Lockers. It helped inspire the date, and the photo appears in the evening’s shoots. Fletcher’s not that large of a town. There’s often 10 minutes between cars driving down their main street. On that main street you can only expect to stop once at a blinking red light. You’ll see two funeral homes, one gravestone maker, and two churches. It’s nice to know there are still places in America that look like this.

Of course it’s a little shocking to find out that the Elgin Public Library is co-located with the town hall and that the library is only open for six hours the entire week. Folks thought that Stephanie was crazy when she named her boy Ambrose. Well, she’s right–his name is Ambrose–and he’s not alone. Someone in Oklahoma has the same name, and runs a “style shop”.

We finished off the date at Trivets, a local eatery that’s uber popular at lunch time. The dinner/desert crowd isn’t as thick and we nearly had the place to ourselves. They’re known for being a good local eatery–especially when it comes to pies. They’re home made–and generally delicious. At the end of Saturday night Monday starts looming in the distance and the weekend’s accomplishments seem too little. A good date is an accomplishment and the photos look great in sepia. I’m not sure if I’ll love it here forever–but I have plenty of reasons to love it here for now.

Our First Oklahoma Tornado


It started off as just a typical morning. I went and did PT with the guys in class up on base. At the end of one course we’ll usually play sports for PT. This was no different. We played a version of football that was a lot like ultimate frisbee. I would have rather had the frisbee. Something about a sport with a ball doesn’t really appeal to me (unless it’s soccer).

After PT I hopped in the car to take care of an appointment at the house. I arrived and tidied up. Chrissy had been on the road for several hours at this point and I’ll let her talk about the insanity of her trip. I sat and waited, got the phone call that they were coming, and somewhere close to 10:00 the movers arrived.
We unloaded the van all day. The quiet, clean, empty house began filling up with brown boxes. The bedroom closet got full. The master bedroom got full. The kitchen got full–so we put kitchen stuff in the garage. The garage got full. The movers we had were great! They were courteous and very careful with everything they unloaded. Of course, some things got damaged during shipment. Our cheap bookshelves that we’ve had for years didn’t like this move and broke. The terracotta pots didn’t survive. Other little things were damaged and the walls in the house got their first scratch as the old blue couch was being moved in.

The soundtrack for the day was from over the hedge–granted this place seems to be away from the suburbs–but it seemed rather appropriate.

At the end of the day they tried to help assemble the beds. By this point I knew Chrissy was fast approaching and the beds were a must. We looked diligently for the box that had the hardware, to no avail. So we started working on the paperwork. It was pretty easy. There was a whole crate of our stuff missing. I contemplated living without a dryer and our flat panel TV and decided quickly that I like both of those things too much to do without them. The paperwork was easy because we just wrote in big letters “SHIPMENT INCOMPLETE.” The movers had a tornado of their own to deal with finding the crate. A mislabled crate in a warehouse is a difficult thing to find.

At the house the tornado arrived about twenty minutes after the movers left. I found the box of hardware for the beds. Our neighbor (Stacie) has four kids. The younger three like to come over and visit. While the movers were here their presence was somewhat obtrusive. When they came by after dinner though they were quite helpful. Austin helped me put together Eliza’s bed–definitely a two person job–couldn’t have done it without him! Christie and Kyla helped me with the boys bunk-bed–Definitely a two person job–couldn’t have done it without them! Things were looking up.

Chrissy was going to arrive sometime around midnight and that gave me just a few hours to get things ready for their arrival and breakfast in the morning. I started with the clothes on hangars–got those boxes empty and remembered that my kids really like cereal. In order to eat cereal they’d need bowls. So I found a box labled “Kitchen, Glassware” and began to empty it. About the middle of the box I realized that there weren’t any bowls in there and that there were about 4 boxes labeled “Kitchen, Glassware.”

With Chrissy’s arrival there was more than just me emptying boxes. Now the house is cluttered with a mixture of boxes and unboxed items strewn across the house. The last boxes showed up yesterday with the dryer. The house is messy–it’s probably my fault.

Last night we went shopping. In addition to not talking about our goals and getting frustrated as a family, Daniel ran a shopping cart into the back of my left leg–knocking me over. We got home and vented. The adults got out on the front porch and enjoyed a “sit” and at 9:00pm it was still warm enough for the kids to run around in the sprinklers.

It might have the fact that my camera doesn’t take good photos at night–but some of these photos make it look like once we’re finished with this moving tornado we’ve got three smaller ones coming.