Tag Archives: sarcasm

Road Trip Recap

When we last saw our heroes, they were cramming themselves into a tiny SUV which should’ve been bigger.  We now join them somewhere on I-90.

I’d only reserved two hotels for the entire trip.  I had no idea how far we would travel each day and so I only booked for what I thought would be busier places: Rapid City and Nauvoo.  The little towns by Mount Rushmore are basically shut down off season, so I didn’t find anywhere closer for a family of five.

With a waterslide.

Mount Rushmore was pretty cool, I thought.  My husband had wanted to hike around it but all of the trails were closed because it had snowed the night before and there was ice.  And the Department of the Interior does not mess around with ice.

The kids became junior park rangers and I learned a lot about Mount Rushmore that I hadn’t known.  For instance, Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t originally planned for it.  And dynamite was used to create 90% of it.  And honeycombing isn’t just for bees.

Custer National Park was a highlight.  We saw prairie dogs, deer, elk, coyotes, wolves, wild ponies, and bison.  One bison started licking our car.  We found out from another visitor that they lick the salt off the cars.  I had just thought that was the bison way of being friendly.

This is the bison licking our car. If you would like a better picture, you can get out of your car and take it...

This is the bison licking our car. If you would like a better picture, you can get out of your car and take it…

Once you leave Rapid City, heading East on I-90, you start seeing billboards for Wall Drug.  And then you keep seeing them about every 50 feet.  There are big billboards and little billboards.  Billboards offering free water.  Billboards offering discounts to Vets.  Billboards with obscure drawings that have nothing to do with Walls or Drugs.

By the time you’ve driven 5 miles, you are very curious as to why Wall Drug advertises so much.  So we decided to stop.

(Which may be why they advertise so much.)

It was Easter Sunday and I wasn’t sure it would be open but THERE WERE SO MANY SIGNS we thought it was always open.

So we got off the freeway.  And followed the signs to a GIANT store.  It took up a whole block.  It was amazing.

It was closed.

So instead, we went to the bar across the street and had the best burgers and fries we had eaten in a while.  And fried pickle chips.  I would like a lifetime supply of fried pickle chips.

I think the highlight of the trip for the kids (and for me) was Nauvoo.  It’s a historical town where we learned how to make rope, bake bread in a brick oven (hypothetically), weave our own rugs and make a horseshoe.  The kids like living history towns; we sort of make them like them because we keep taking them to different ones.  It just makes it easier if they decide to enjoy themselves.

We learned a lot.  We even ran into Susan Easton Black and George Durrant who were there on  a very brief mission.  We followed her around town and the cemetery (with her permission).  We even stayed an extra day so we could hear her lecture.

And it’s a good thing we did because we then got to see the Carthage County Museum (or something like that) which was made from the collection of a biology teacher from the local college.  She used to collect things.  Nowadays we call that hoarding but I guess her stuff was interesting enough to keep her house as a museum.  And that’s where we saw the pickle jar with the pickled two-headed pig.  A true highlight.

It's in a PICKLE JAR!

It’s in a PICKLE JAR!

We finished our trip in Independence Missouri.  We spent the day driving to different LDS sites and then we went to the visitor’s center.  We knew it had been a long day and trip and that we were done with it all when the missionary asked us what we should do before we pray and my 8 yr old said:

Eat.

(The correct answer was some version of ponder…  meditate, think, pause…  Eat was an answer she hadn’t heard before.)

The whole trip was a good time.  There wasn’t too much fighting (Thank you Tyler Whitesides for writing The Janitors series and reading it onto CD’s).  By the end of the trip I think we were all sick of each other, but we all learned a lot.

I learned that my great, great grandfather Haight had a 16 day old child who passed away at Winter Quarters, Nebraska and that my great, great, great grandfather Higgenbotham had been a missionary from Nauvoo.  I got a CD with their information and their wives’ information and I can’t wait to read what I found.  Eliza and Louisa, their wives, did amazing things and wrote about it.  I can’t wait to read their journals.  It made Nauvoo a little more real, knowing my ancestors came through there.  (I even know where their land was.  I asked the owners if I could have it back and they said no.  I didn’t even get my own parking space in the lot that was over Gpa Higginbotham’s 1/4 acre.  Seems unfair.)

Can you see the resemblance?

Can you see the resemblance?

I think the kids learned a lot about U.S. and LDS history but they will probably remember the bison licking the car and the two headed pig the most.

But one day they will go back, wearing their prairie diamond rings, with the information we got this time, knowing their ancestors were there.

Prairie Diamond Rings

Prairie Diamond Rings

Advertisements

“This is Not What I Ordered”

We just got back from Spring Break 2016.  I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking that being the party hardy family that we are, we went to Cancun, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, or were asked to be hosts of the MTV beach party.

You are very close.

We rented a car and drove for a total of 2200 miles and 42 hours.    (Is Road Trip still an MTV gameshow?)

I called the local rental company I happened to be on the website of and asked the guy who answered what the difference was between a standard SUV, a luxury SUV, and a premier SUV.  He told me to rent a Standard and they would give me an Expedition.  Part of my goal in renting a car for the road trip was to try out a bigger car and see if I liked to drive it.  I said Okay fine and didn’t think about it.

Until I worried it wasn’t going to work out.

I called Thursday to ask if we could rent a day early and they said sure.  The person on the phone said nothing about not getting the car I had been promised so I tried not to be worried about it.  I just couldn’t believe there was an Expedition in Helena.

(When Kevin wanted to rent a convertible for an anniversary trip, it took them a week to get one up here.  This isn’t really convertible country.)

I showed up on Friday to get the car and they had a

Dodge Ram Truck

for me.

I was told it is in the same category as the Standard SUV which I had ordered.  I asked if no one noticed I would be driving it ONE WAY to MISSOURI when they put it aside.  The lady at the desk said that she didn’t think it would work.  I agreed.

I then went outside and looked at what they had available.  The minivans were on recall and so I basically had the option of a Dodge Journey.   It had three rows but it is smaller than our Pilot and therefore did not reach my goal of trying a bigger car.

It also changed the plans of how we would pack.  Unfortunately, I did not change WHAT we would pack, causing a tiny panic when trying to fit everything in our suitcases for the flight back.

(We decided to fly back so we could spend more time at different sites and less time driving.  It would’ve been a great idea and we would’ve had plenty of luggage, had we gotten a larger car.)

So that is the start of our week-long trek across the US of A.

Join us next time for “My Rapid City is Faster than Yours” or “Nauvoo; Naw Problem.”

I really wanted to become a biker while here. But our SUV was too small.

I really wanted to become a biker while here. But our SUV was too small.

Solidifying Back into Life with Springsteen

Well, this has been quite a year so far, hasn’t it?  I am learning that you have to just keep going no matter what happens.  

There seems to be a turning point sometime in life, I’m not sure when exactly, we are supposed to figure out how to shore ourselves up and keep going.  When we are kids, we can have gigantic melt downs and people figure it’s fine and we have the right because we are young.  When we get older and we have major melt downs, someone wonders if they should call for help and a padded room.  When really, we just need huge melt downs no matter how old we are.

Huge melt downs show themselves differently.  For some they may be loud and wet and messy and for others they may be 48 hrs in bed without speaking.  I think as we get older the only real difference is that we know what our huge meltdowns are and then we can tell people not to worry.   

We are about to melt.

The hard part is keeping going while melting or after the melting.  It can be so nice to just lose it.  But for most of us, this isn’t a state we can linger in permanently.  We have too many obligations and other people depending on us.  So we have to figure out how to solidify somehow.

This last week, I solidified at a concert.  My brother and I went to Bruce Springsteen.  I was incredibly sick and the slide guitar gave me a slight headache when it was played, but I still loved every minute of it.  

Springsteen is an amazing concert.  He played for 3.5 hours straight. He just kept going from one song to the next.  I was exhausted at the end of the concert and all I did was dance and sing and cough.

But oh how I need that 3.5 hours of just sheer joy.  I was amazed to be in the same room as him and to be at a concert of his and to hear him.  It was everything I wanted it to be and more.

I understand not everyone can go to a Springsteen concert when life gets hard.  Let’s be realistic.  Springsteen isn’t always in concert.  We must learn to live without him at times. 

But I’m glad for those moments in life that help stop the melting.  And that give us something a little more to look forward to.

And I’m already looking forward to his next tour.  I will be there.  Singing and Dancing and Screaming my head off the whole time.

  
(This is the part of the concert where he thanked me for coming even though I had a really bad cold.  It was very thoughtful of him.)

Happy New Year!

For the record, I’ve been writing over 1,000 words a day this week.  I just haven’t written any of them here.

I was going through a writing freeze for a minute because I couldn’t decide what to write so now I’m just writing stuff that no one will see, but I’m writing.  It’s my new goal.  Just enjoy writing.

But in case you’ve missed all of my amazing parenting advice over the holidays, I thought I’d leave you with my new meal plan for 2016.

For Thursdays.

I only have a meal plan for Thursdays.  And I think I only have meal plans for about 6-8 weeks.  I haven’t done enough research.

But yesterday, while looking for tomato puree and buying diced tomatoes instead, (NOT THE SAME) I walked passed the beans and I thought:

“I should make a different chili recipe every week and have my kids vote.”

Then I walked passed the CANNED chili and I thought:

“EVEN BETTER!  We should try a different CANNED chili once a week and decide which we like best.”

(I thought about doing a taste test in one night but that’s a lot of pots to clean.)

So there is my meal plan for the next few weeks.  I don’t know how many brands of canned chili are out there so I can’t give you an exact week count.  And if my kids revolt, this amazing idea may end early and I’ll switch to taste testing canned spaghetti sauce.

I think I could keep up Taste-Test Thursday all year; there are so many canned foods out there.

(I don’t have a picture.  Instead, go to your grocery store and stare at the canned chili for a while.)

I will have nice and warm Rhodes rolls to go with the chili and I’m sure I’ll find some sort of veggie to serve along with it.  (That’s for people who are worried about balanced meals.  FYI, you’re web search sent you to the wrong site.)

2016: Let’s make it the year of CAN do!

(I crack myself up)

I Volunteer; I’m just that Selfless

It’s 6:51 am.    I just worked out at Crossfit, made lunch and breakfast smoothies for everyone and made Kevin an omelet.  In the next half hour, I will make pancakes for the kids as well.  And Tuesday is the day I volunteer at the school and bestow my knowledge upon Littles and basically change lives within half an hour.

I feel like that should be enough for the day.

Isn’t it kind of greedy for my family to want more?

Isn’t it the time of year to be nice and kind to all?

Wouldn’t that mean letting me stay in bed for a few days?

Aren’t I part of ALL?

If EVERYONE is supposed to be nice and do good to all species during this time of year, then who gets to sit back and enjoy all this niceness and goodness?

I volunteer.

It should be me in sweats, in bed, with a tv, and this cake.

It should be me in sweats, in bed, with a tv, and this cake.

My Sisters Finally Listened to Me

And lived to regret it.

Last week I went with my two older sisters to Disneyland

this is a horrid picture of us before being abused on the Matterhorn

 

do we look related? (the bear totally photobombed)

I am the youngest by a lot.  My sisters were basically in college by the time I could actually speak full sentences. It’s hard to take someone seriously when they are that much younger than you.

But I’d finally done it. I’d gotten them to believe me when I told them the swinging carriages on the Ferris wheel at California Disney weren’t a big deal. They barely moved. I’d been on them once and I remember feeling disappointed.

And the line was half as long.

So we should just do those.

And they believed me.

And I was just fine.

Underwhelmed once again in fact.

They were not. They did not enjoy rocking back and forth and the two guys from Mexico in the carriage with us had horror in their eyes.

My sisters yelled to get off but due to a malfunction, they couldn’t. So we went around. And my sisters threatened to kill me.

Which is kind of immature for their age if you ask me.

But we got off and they got a free pass to any ride for the inconvenience of almost vomitting due to a malfunction.

So I say it was a total win.

But I don’t think they will ever listen to me again.

( At least I got to skip the Peter Pan line. )

 

It’s been a Heavy Summer

Have I mentioned this summer has been difficult to blog?

After I had my miscarriage, there was an ill timed pregnancy announcement.  It hurt.

I wanted to make sure I didn’t do something similar here.

There has been a difficult death in the family.  Trying to find humor in life or finding the irony in situations just seemed wrong.  There is no humor or irony in death sometimes.  And I don’t want anyone to think it doesn’t matter by carrying on as if nothing happened.

Because something happened and it was important.

My other problem this summer is due to my desire to write a scathing blog about a couple who divorced their spouses to be together.  I don’t believe in public shaming.  And I know I don’t know the whole story.  I just know the end result and it’s sad.

So many people are affected by two people’s decisions.  Or just one person’s.  It’s been hard to wrap my head around it.

Don’t get me wrong.  We’ve had fun this summer.  We’ve been to camp and seen family and gone swimming and just chilled.

It’s just also been a heavy summer that needed some quiet time.

I think I’ll be grateful for school to start.

When my kids start asking me if I knew Sacagawea when I was a child.

At least Build A Bear wasn't a complete waste.

At least Build A Bear is having a resurgence.