Friday, July 24, 2009

To Vacation, or not to vacation.. hmmm...

We were so busy in May and June, that the laziness of July has been extra sweet!

Our original plan, as usual, was to drive to my husband's hometown in South Dakota to attend a family reunion, stop by my Grandma's house in Wyoming for a bit and then drive home. It's 1685 miles one way, then back again. It's a long drive! And we do it every year with the whole family and the dog.

But on the heels of two graduations, a wedding, moving the big girls out, painting and reorganizing the house, teething, and all that went with the excitement of June... we decided not to go on vacation at the end of July. It's just too much work!

But, wait. Did we just cancel our vacation to go back and see family and friends because we are too lazy? By golly, we did. That's just LAZY!

After a few relaxing weeks, we decided we've recovered enough to go ahead and treat ourselves to a much deserved fun vacation after all. We will trek across the desert and over the mountains and across the plains! Crammed in our mini-van for 30 hours at a time! We will pack it up and move it out! North-Eastern Bound!!!

It is a lot of work, but it's always fun and we always have a great time. We don't get much sleep for a week, but sleep is over rated anyway.

The vacation is back on the calendar! Look out, inlaws and outlaws, here we come!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Roadtrips

My mom and my sister are roadtripping their way west and home again. They went from Montana/Wyoming to Napa, California. It's a two-day drive for them, but the second day isn't as long as the first. They spent the night in Nevada in both directions and found good places to stop and eat along the way. They ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe! Fun times!

They sound like they are having a good trip, despite the purpose of the journey. They went on this whirlwind trip because Great Aunt Spuddie passed away; Mom and Sis went to the services.

Katie got in her car Friday evening and began her coast to coast roadtrip. We've spoken several times since she's been on the road. Here are the trip details ... I'll update as I hear from her, so check back for new updates! And you can refer to the map in the last post if you'd like, just click it to make it big enough to view.

Friday 7:30 pm PST - The great adventure begins!

Saturday 10:00 am MST - Almost to Albuqueque, New Mexico. Stopped and napped for a couple of hours somewhere.

Saturday, 4:30 Central - Stopped at Starbucks in Amarillo, Texas. She notes that Texas has a lot of ugly scrubby little bushes.

Saturday late afternoon - She saw Cadillac Ranch, the Giant Cross (which she thought was kind of creepy), and the tilted water tower. Entering Oklahoma, she didn't see a big "Welcome to Oklahoma" sign. What is up with that?

Saturday Evening - Oklahoma is kinda old and ghetto. She stopped in Oklahoma City at Subway. Yum.

Saturday 10:15 pm Central - Listening to an oldies radio station. Sure are a lot of church signs! A coyote ran in front of her car.

Saturday 11:30 pm Central - Leaves Oklahoma and enters Arkansas. The speed limit changes at the border from 75 to 70mph. Katie immediately gets pulled over for going 80. She agrees to make a donation to the great state of Arkansas, as requested on her ticket.

Sunday 12:30 pm Central time - Just outside of Birmingham, Alabama. She stopped and slept for a while in a Super Walmart parking lot after driving all night. She has gone 2000 miles so far and only has 500 left to go!

Sunday 6:15 pacific time, 9:15 Eastern, She arrived in Charleston! 47 hours!!!

My sister dropped my mom at her house in Wyoming and is almost home to her house in Montana. They had a good roadtrip too!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Emptying the Nest

Our oldest daughter got married in June, and I was fine with that, but now she's moving out. I'm not as excited about this!

Her husband (wow, that is weird to say) is in the Navy and stationed in Charleston, South Carolina. Like newlyweds, they want to live together. Crazy kids. Don't they know living on opposite coasts makes a marriage strong!

She's living here, he's living there. They have been patiently waiting for the Navy to put them up in base housing and give him permission to send for his new little wife. Permission Granted! He has keys to a three bedroom cottage on the Navy base and she can join him on the other coast.

The Navy will come and get their stuff, all except for Katie's car. They'll fly her across the country, but not the car. It'll cost a grand to get the car shipped over there. However... driving it across will take aprox 95 gallons of gas costing around $300. Not a hard decision to make when you do the math.

We got her all moved out of our house. She boxed up everything she owns and their wedding gifts, and we loaded it up along with: a flock of guitars, her queen sized bed, her dresser and mirror(which is the biggest bureau ever made), gigantic nightstand, and a futon. She also took a bike for fun! Everything went to her In-Laws' home where the Navy will pick it up. Aren't they lucky!

Tonight, after its dark and cooler across the high desert, Katie is leaving for Charleston. Driving her car across the nation, singing songs and talking on her cell phone the whole way. Nothing but a girl and the road. And probably a cup of coffee and a cooler full of pop and snacks for 2495 miles.

She's going to pass through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, a little corner of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and then, she'll drive across South Carolina to find her new home.

If you see her, smile and wave!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why Mommy Drinks

A photo essay brought to you by "Yibby"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Day the Librarians Rejoiced

Another oldie but goody. This one isn't quite so funny, but it's a good story.

When Lexie was three and four years old, I took her to storytime at the library every Tuesday. Or maybe it was every Thursday, no, I think it was Tuesdays. She's 18 now, I've forgotten the little things that don't really matter.

Anyway, we were regulars at Preschool Storytime. Lexie called all the librarians "Shirley". Do you know how long I thought they were all named Shirley! Too long! None of them were actually named Shirley, it's just that Lexie named them. I called them Shirley for years. Honestly, I kept thinking things like "I thought that one was Shirley, I mixed them up again, Are there two Shirleys? Must be." Anyway...

One Tuesday (or whatever day it was), Lexie had a playdate before storytime and we decided to meet up at the library and I'd get Lexie back there. Lexie went with her little friends and their mommy and I ran some errands before I headed to the library for storytime. I got there a little early. Catch that? Me! Early! I went to the library alone. This is a crucial element to this whole story!

I walked in with the previous week's pile of books, sauntered up to the front desk and smiled said hello, dropped the books in the return cart... noticed the Shirleys were all staring at me. They were, they were just staring at me like I walked in naked or something. No, not that... they would have been screaming and hiding their faces... anyway, I got the big eyed silent stare from all of them.

None of them said anything for a bit, and then the head Shirley said, "How are you? Are you ok?" Usually people only ask me if I'm ok or if I'm sick if I'm wearing a green shirt. I replied, "Fine, How are you?". Me, smiling. Them, staring with sober faces. They said, "We didn't think we would see you here today". I said, "Here I am!".

I didn't know what was wrong with the Shirleys, but I was done being stared at so I went to the table where us mommies usually gather to visit. Still kind of early. The Shirleys were staring at me and whispering. I could feel it.

Then the kids and mommies started to arrive, coming in just the nick of time was my friend with a herd of kids. Lexie was one of them, she had one more stray, and the rest were hers.

As soon as Michele showed up, that's my friend's name, Michele with one L, the Shirleys all rushed to the front door, holding it open for her and gushing over Lexie. They were kind of ignoring the rest of her brood. The Shirleys were overjoyed to see my daughter! "Oh Lexie! Oh Lexie! We are so happy to see you! Such a nice surprise!" Huh? Wonder what the Shirleys put in their morning coffee today?

The Head Shirley, she was wiping back tears and she herded all the kids to the nametag table and told Lexie to wait a minute, her nametag wasn't out. It was in the Libraian's office. The other Shirleys are still smiling and patting Lexie on the head. Again, huh?

Head Shirley comes back with the nametag and another Shirley follows. Second Shirley is carrying the Sioux Falls Argus Leader on a stick. You know how libraries put newspapers on a big long stick? I always thought that was pretty cool. The Head Shirley has herself composed again and shuffles all the kids into the next room for storytime. Newspaper on a stick Shirley lays the paper down on the table in front of me and points to an obituary.

With watery eyes, she told me that they thought Lexie passed away. And they were so very sad to see this obituary this morning for a 4 yr old little girl with the same first and last name as my daughter. The mom's name was the same or similar to mine to too. And when I came in alone, they knew it was true.

I had no idea that's what they were thinking! The obit was a complete coincidence, no relation or anything. Lexie was happy and healthy and all the Shirleys were delighted to see her. And my bizarre behavior was suddenly clear to them, as theirs was to me.

I bought a paper and saved the obit in her baby book. Just as a reminder that there are no guarantees in life, but there is a lot of love and caring for my sweet little Lexie. Even when she is just fine!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy July 4th!

I found this video over on CakeWrecks and just thought it was so fabulous I had to blog it too! My mom will love it! She's an avid Muppet fan!

Friday, July 3, 2009


Our next door neighbors had an intruder tonight.They have two dogs; you’d think that would be a deterrent, but no. They also have two turtles in an aquarium. They aren’t guard turtles; what a lack in security! The animals were very inviting for the intruder, especially since the intruder is 3 years old and knows the names of all the animals in their house.

That’s right. My three year old broke into the neighbor’s house while they were gone. You see, it went like this…

Tonight we ran to Sams Club and brought home a van load of groceries. We went kind of late in the afternoon and the place was a madhouse; of course, they didn’t have anywhere near enough checkstands open. Since it's getting too late to make dinner, we grabbed a ready-to-eat chicken for dinner.

Got home and unloaded, put all the thawing stuff in the freezer, Gracie was running around happy to be out of the van and free again. We had all the doors open, and opened the back patio door too for air flow.Ahhh, nice! Gracie ran out back and came running back in announcing she was going to play with Teddy and Yessica.

Teddy is the dog next door and "Yessica" is actually Jessica in toddler-speak. Jessica is the 18 yr old neighbor girl who adores Gracie. Ok, fine, go play. One of their vehicles is home, which means someone is probably there. She scampered through the gate between our back yards and our dog followed too. I watched long enough to make sure the gate didn’t latch shut behind them so they could get back home.

We finished bringing in the groceries and then I went through the gate to call Gracie to come and eat chicken. Dinner’s ready! I looked through the gate and called her name and I could see her through their patio door. She was dancing in their house, dogs circling, tails wagging, cool! I’ll go eat without her bugging me and come back for her later; she’s obviously having fun.

Half an hour or so goes by, maybe more, I dunno. And I remember Gracie hasn’t eaten yet, I have to go get her. Although, if she is next door, she’s probably being fed something fabulous. I wonder what I’m missing out on and decide to go let them know we know Gracie is there and she can come home and eat or stay and play, whatever works for them is fine with me. She already had a bath so no rush getting her home.

Hmmm... looking in there, it’s kind of dark. There’s Gracie. Where is everyone else? Door is locked. Um, that’s not right. Hello? Hello? Oh my Gosh! Is my daughter dancing and playing and running around in their house and they aren’t home?!!?!

Holy Hannah! How did she get in there? So I holler, “Gracie! Come outside!” “Ok, mama!”,and off she runs. Then she magically appeared coming out of the dog door to their garage. Oh Lordy. I tried the garage door that has the cut-out on it, it was open. I have to see how she got into the house part of the house, and try to get my dog out of their house. That might look suspicious leaving my dog in there. The door from the garage to the house was shut, but unlocked. I called my stupid dog and she came running.

It’s kind of funny, but I sure hope my neighbors aren’t freaked out when they get home. What if she moved something? What if something got knocked over? Why did they leave a door unlocked? Why do they have such an inviting home with welcoming dogs and turtles? I tried to call them and tell them there was a break in due to their lack of home security, it’s all their fault really that they had a 3 yr old intruder! But neither one of them answered. I’m just going to hope for the best and confess tomorrow. I'm so embarrassed!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What Holiday?

My sister called me today and it went something sorta like this:

...yadda yadda yadda...

Bonnie: I don't have to work tomorrow.
Me: Why?
Bonnie: Because its a holiday, well Saturday is, but you know how it works.
Me: Holiday?
Bonnie: uh huh
Me: What Holiday?

really, I had no clue.

Bonnie: [laughing] The 4th of July!
Me: When?
Bonnie: On July 4th.
Me: Why do you have tomorrow off then?
Bonnie: Mary, Oh My God! Tomorrow is Friday July 3rd!
Me: No way!

complete shock!

Bonnie: Yes
Me: It's July already?
Bonnie: Has been for two whole days.
Me: And what day is it?
Bonnie: Saturday
Me: Today?
Bonnie: [not sure whether to laugh or cry at this point] No, Saturday. Today is Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday. Then it'll be Saturday July 4th. The 4th of July.
Me: Oh. Oh, Wow.

I really didn't know this. I had no idea today was Thursday already.

Me: Where does the time go?
Bonnie: You need vitamins.

So, What are my plans to celebrate the 4th? I am just hoping I notice the 4th! Bonnie, call and remind me, Ok?