Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Camp Happy

You can read about it all here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Come Walk With Me

It is early in the morning and we are heading down the hill and what do we see..... a rooftop, some smoke, winter coats & green boots.... Some of us are just a little excited... Some of us are duty-bound to guard the wagon train.

Some of us are just happy to be out running with our humans...

Ah... camp life. The coffee is brewing, the kids are eating scrambled eggs & sausage and we all got to use indoor plumbing....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When it rains.... go camping

Post One of a series about our Memorial Day camping trip.

We planned..... BIG. Hot Stuff and I both took Wednesday, Thursday & Friday off from work. The plan (see, I'm trying to become a "planner") was to take the kids to daycare Wednesday morning, go out for a nice breakfast, plan our adventure, then go shopping for Sweet's birthday and any camping supplies we needed.

So steps one and two went off without a hitch. We dropped, we dined. (The No Sweat Cafe... yum-o.) We.... TRIED to plan. But, see, the weather.... it was not cooperating. It was raining and cold. So we scaled down our "go into the woods" plans to "camp at our house" which was a good idea. I'm not a seasoned camper. I don't know what to pack. So this would be good practice.

Hot Stuff got to experience some of the frustration of shopping. Hate it. We ended up going clear out to Hell... um, I mean Wal-Mart, to find a particular Transformer for Sweet....

And the rain came down.

Thursday dawned bright and early and wet. We loaded up the pickup and drove the, oh, 100 yards or so to our camp site. Only some foul language was issued while setting up the wall tent... in the rain. The kids thought it was way cool and then we walked home for lunch and naps.

And the rain came down.

We theorized we maybe should have spent the day building an ark instead of putting up a tent.

We ended doing that age-old activity of parents with children.... camping in the living room. While watching Mr. Magorium. Thank you Netflix. Oh, it wasn't a total loss.... we piled some ribbon on the floor, called it a fire, and roasted marshmallows on chopsticks.

Tuff was totally thrilled. She thinks "camping" means eating tortilla chips and marshmallows in the living room.

Friday was cold and wet. Surprised?

So we looked for alternative activities... like wearing our winter jammies all day and doing crafts.

We even planted some seeds. (Notice the use of a tin camp coffee cup. I thought it made the whole experience more authentic.)

This is what it looked like outside.... the picture does not do justice to the rain coming down.

Ok, can you see the thermometer? It says 44.6F. That was close to the HIGH temp of the day.

Stay tuned for post 2.... when we tour Camp Happy and observe a lecture on fire safety.

Redneck In Training.....

I love this girl.

Oh relax, I didn't actually make her wear that headband for the wedding. She wore piggies... with daisies hot glued on the bands. And she did NOT wear those shoes. She wore these ones in "cedar/cream/chocolate" with her heavy-weight winter tights... because it was cold.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Because A GOOD Mother....

... would take those scissors AWAY and not grab for the camera to capture her trying to cut the rose off the front of her flowergirl dress.....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Father's Day.....

What are you getting your hubby for Father's Day?

What? Father's Day? I'm his SPOUSE.... not his kid.... do I have to get him something?

Ok. Ok. Ok.

So I did have a fabulous MOTHER'S DAY.

So I suppose I should return the favor.

We are trying to be all "Dave Ramsey" at our house so a practical gift is in order. Honestly, he bought parts to repair his sprayer and that should be enough.... but I will probably spring for some other little things.

I may get him a coffee shack gift card. I pulled into the coffee shack the other day (with the remains of my $25 g/c from September) and Sweet said, "Oh, daddy takes us here all the time. Please get me a steamer, would ya?" Apparently THAT is where all the cash in the cookie jar keeps disappearing too....

Or a dvd. He has a list of ones he wants to own.

He really wants power tools... but the deWalt drill he likes best is NOT in our budget.

We will get his dad money for season college football tickets.... always a safe bet.

And my dad? Well, I took him to CostCo and bought him whatever he wanted.... he got a giant bag of pretzels and a couple of tubs of dates. He's happy. We've trimmed Hallmark-holiday gift giving in my family to the $15-$30 range.... which is nice for everyone.

Wait a minute. I bought Hot Stuff a NEW 4-WHEELER for Father's Day. Granted, it is a 1986 Yamaha.... but still.... I signed the check for it. Yeah... how much would YOU pay for it??

When given options I should always take the simplest one.... it will make me happiest in the long run.

My new sis-in-law got beautiful everyday dishes and some quite lovely china. I think she did pretty well considering she registered over the internet.

This got me thinking.

First, I got over my lust for her new dishes by realizing I love my everyday dishes. When given options I should always take the simplest one.... it will make me happiest in the long run.

Second, I thought about fancy plates. Do people outside of rural America register for china anymore? I did. Because my mother-in-law said I would regret it if I didn't. And I like my china. It's some lovely Villery-Boch white stuff with a variety of floral cake plates. Go here and look at photo 11 of 19 if you really care. I resisted registering for fancy silverware. I find this is just fine. And I'm particular about my eatin' 'tinsels..... I'm left-handed. And a lot of cutlery discriminates.

I registered for and got LOTS of glassware. I like the sound of crystal but my glasses are so delicate they regularly are broken by hand-washing.... the ones we really use are the sturdy Target cheapies. If I had it to do over again (and, if I keep breaking wine glasses I might) I'd get a couple random sets from an antique store or garage sale and mix-n-match. Everyone's favorite glassware at my mom's house are actually green wineglasses that came from ARBY'S... free with a beef and cheddar.

I recently reorganized my tiny kitchen a bit. Well, actually, I reorganized the office corner of the living room to make room for all the games which required moving all the platters and things out of the drawer in the computer hutch. They are now stashed in the cupboard over the microwave behind the cereal. The fancy china that WAS up there is now on the shelf in the bottom cupboard behind the kitchenaide and the crackers by the pitchers. The random spare food items that WERE on that shelf are now in the pantry in the laundry room. Don't ask me how all that stuff fits because I'm not really sure.... something about giving up Hamburger Helper and not replacing all the toxic cleaning supplies made everything fit in the laundry room.

All that to say... now the fancy china is more accessible and we are actually USING it. Like... I had to take the price tags off the plates on the bottom of the stack. Finally.

And we recently had tea and scones and used the tea pot. And we regularly use the little expresso cups and Asian-inspired tea cups for our snacks.

And it is fun. I like the idea my kids are learning a few refined things. Not much, granted, but at least they are learning life isn't ALWAYS served on a plastic John Deere plate.

The whole point of this post was to say: When given options I should always take the simplest one.... it will make me happiest in the long run.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So the only thing I actually needed was the hot glue gun and the alka-seltzer....

Why did I need the glue gun?

Well.... I glued flowers on a tractor.

And daisies on ponytail holders.... and a dab of hot glue on a new hat band will keep it in place.

And we seriously considered some combination of hot glue and spray starch for our hair.... the wind.... she blows. Rained on the outdoor ceremony.... but when two farming families are getting married.... well, everybody is excited about rain..... The reception was a blast and the food was great.

It was fabulous.

My hubby got drunk enough to dance but not TOO drunk to dance.... you know that place? He was in the zone.

The power strip was handy for the hairstylist.... she didn't have enough plug ins for all the hot rollers. I didn't take a single photo or video. The infamous "orange bag" was used a lot... bandaids, clear nail polish, nail file, safety pins, glue gun, sewing kit, scissors, extra ribbon, alka-seltzer, spray starch.... those kinds of items.

My niece.... Olive.... chewed up the new water bottle I got her mother for her birthday... which is pretty amazing to consider when you realize the underbite she has....

My kids rocked out until 1:00 am. Well, they napped on couches... but they loved it.

I told my dad I loved him with alka-seltzer..... he needed it.... rare for him. He rode his motorcycle up on Friday and home Saturday morning to do chores.... almost froze to death.... came back in the car.

What else?

Can't think. Tired.

The next few days will be consumed with laundry, unpacking and returning all the things we bought but didn't need.... oh, like all THREE pairs of sandals.... I wore long johns and boots under my dress.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I'm off to the weekend of wedding festivities.

Wish me luck.

Does it seem wrong to be taking a POWER STRIP? And an electronics bag containing: a laptop, 3 cell phones (& chargers), a curling iron, a digital camera, a video camera, a portable dvd player, ipod speakers, a hot glue gun and a baby monitor??

Or an emergency bag containing alka-seltzer, a stiptic pencil, sewing kit, hot glue, valarian tea, tissues & limes??

And, of course, welcome to the west in June.... rain gear, warm clothes, hooded sweatshirts, boots, sandals & sunscreen.

Hell... even the DOG has a bag packed.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

He Decorated His Own Cake.....


Thanks for all your kind words. You guys rock.

A couple hours of weed pulling, staring at the mountains and drinking red wine and I'm feeling more balanced.

Here's the things no one tells you about a miscarriage:

1. The hormones. Even if you think you are having a even-keeled reaction to something... you are not. Trust me.

2. Write about it. Even when it hurts. Write. I went back and read what I'd written in the past and it helped.... it also made me realize... damn, sometimes I'm really funny.

3. What do you call it? "Lost a baby" makes me feel like I left a kid in the shopping cart at Walmart. "Miscarriage" sounds like I made a mistake or crashed a horse-n-buggy or something.

4. Mark your calendar. Even if it is just with a general due date.... let yourself mourn that time as well.... because you might need it... even if it is just a quiet glass of wine and some clearance holiday candy.... For some reason it comforts me to know the lost green pea just before Sweet was due near my grandma's birthday.... I know she's taking care of them all for me.

5. Target hurts. I've said this before.... Maternity clothes to the left, diapers to the right and baby gear dead ahead.... you can't avoid it and you can't do anything about it but sigh and buy some chocolate.

6. Go a sunny-sided optimist. I've already re-stocked with pregnancy tests (from the Dollar Store, of course) and I'm carefully taking my prenatals every day....

7. Know your triggers. If being around pregnant people makes you nuts... Don't Do It. Skip baby showers.... just send a gift card. For me that has never been a problem but we have a code.... if I say I'm "going to Walmart" it means I'm probably going to try to sneak a dirty-faced waif out of some overwhelmed mama's shopping cart and make a run for it.... so stop me.

8. Believe in signs. If red tulips or daisies make you feel better then adopt them as your memorial. Have a moment of quiet faith when you see them..... whatever it takes to keep you in the moment.