Sunday, September 16, 2012

Behold! I have been commanded to appear before the Queen!

Stop. Before you start envying me from the get-go, just stop. It will get you nowhere. Envy, greed, covetousness, malice aforethought - all those things - you know, the seven deadlies? - will not serve you well here. And probably not a lot of other places either, but here especially.  I would love to share this honor with you though, and so I shall.
A little while back, not so very long ago, but long enough to make me even more overdue in my blogging career, I was wandering the wilds of Oh Canada. Why is it that whenever I'm in the company of my much older sister and parents that I end up in some sort of vehicularly embarrassing episode?
I was sweetly and kindly driving the folks through the beautiful countryside, occasionally pausing to point out various wildlife (signs) and stop for photo opps. I say wildlife signs because there were approximately 402,381 signs warning us of the Dire Dangers of Constant Wildlife Crossing the Roads. Caribou! Bears! Elk! Deer! Bighorn Sheep and/or Goats! Apparently they were just hovering near the roadside, stalking us behind the tree lines, hoping to take out our entire traveling party. They've even built overpasses just for the supposed animals.
 Nope. Didn't happen. We did, however, see a cute baby chipmunk on the trail to the glacier gift shop. And a bighorn sheep in a construction zone, munching next to the men in orange. And one baby bear eating berries surrounded by tourists - the mother probably lurking nearby plotting which one of us to take out first. Not a hoof, horn or padded paw ever hit pavement. But back to the Queen.
Firstly, you must understand the serious height of those there mountains.
Secondly, in case you don't know it already (which I didn't before I left home) they have some serious speed issues there. Meaning that they want you to go basically backwards, their speed limits are so low.  Now take into account that for six, count 'em, SIX DAYS I have been going the speed limit to PERFECTION out of police paranoia. That means I have been on perfect highways with hardly a soul in sight, not to mention animals, and I have been going 50 miles per hour. Per hour. I say again. 50 miles per hour. I aged 15 years driving that slow. But I did it. With a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I think I even caught myself whistling the Andy Griffith theme song somewhere along the way. We were at the Peak - The Top - The Pinnacle Itself - of probably one of the highest mountains in the entire universe, when Lo! look to the right! Yet another gorgeous mountainous view with a Spectacularly placed lake right in front. My foot might have come off the brake a tad bit on the downhill. Seriously. We had not seen one policeman all week. Nor had I sped. Speeded? But, as luck  would have it,  just at that exact moment, the one officer of the entire Trans Canadian highway system appeared. I just bowed to the inevitable, hung my head in shame and pulled over as he hit the lights.
Surely, surely I thought, he wouldn't give an out-of-country-er a ticket? til I remembered we were all idiot tourists up there and he wouldn't get to give out any tickets if he waited for his fellow Canucks to break 55. Blast. He wandered over, Officer Kennedy, and I immediately admitted my guilt, apology, etc., saying "I'm sorry, we got sidetracked looking at the scenery going down the hill" to which he replied "Oh yeah? Usually people slow DOWN to look at scenery". Double blast. Sarcasm is not a good sign in a police/victim relationship. So yeah, I got the ticket. But he says he cut down the speed so he saved me a hundred dollars on the ticket. Curse me for going the indecent speed of 65 on a Perfectly Decent Isolated Highway in THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. I am not bitter. I am grateful. I am. I am. I am. I am convincing myself a little more every day in fact.
So there you have it. My $66.00 ticket that demands I appear before the Queen in her court, or pay the fee over the internet in Canadian funds. I think I'll pay over the internet. My wig needs powdering, my bustle is broke and I haven't a thing to wear.



Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's August. Already??? Is it me or did we all miss July?

I cannot believe it - my life is passing before my eyes, and I'm not even on my deathbed. Yet. Tons to catch up on, no time. I'm off tomorrow for parts unknown, aka Canada. Several amazing, incredible, and downright fantastic stories to come. Okay, so maybe I'm building that up just a tad, but I promise at least one story. And it may not be amazing, incredible, or okay, even fantastic, but I promise it will be true. Mostly.
Until then,
I remain,
behind in my blogging.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Netflix saved my marriage....and ruined my lawn.

Still back-posting here.
Quite some time ago, October to be exact, we discovered Netflix. It was some time after I discovered the IPOD obviously. (see sarcastic IPOD story mentioned earlier). I mean, I had heard of it before, and got the idea down and all, but I just didn't think it was for me.
Oh, was I wrong.
Brutus and I were wandering through the millionous choices, and lo and behold, what did I find? Only Barnabus Collins, of Dark Shadows fame! Call it coincidence, call it fate, but you could also call it a Halloween Miracle. I know I did.
I said, "Can you believe they have THIS on Netflix? I watched that all the time, terrified!" To which Brutus said, "I have no idea what Dark Shadows even IS". Stunned. Appalled. Terrified yet again to think he had been denied of Barnabus in all his gory glory, I insisted that he watch One Episode in honor of Halloween and his deprived childhood.
Call me Dr. Frankenstein, but I created a monster.
Three, yes 3! months later, just in time for Christmas, we finished all 1,329,485 episodes. Each episode lasting 20 minutes, 5 episodes a week, 100 years as a series, carry the 1,.....yep, almost 3 months of vampire watching.
A few problems in retrospect.
1. Keep it to the original black and white. By the time they threw in the 'IN LIVING COLOR' at the beginning of each episode, we were so used to it in grainy grim gray that Maggie Evans' crazy clothes choices looked ridiculous In Living Color. Not to mention her furniture. And Barney was scarier in gray.
2. How many times can he say "Maggie Evans MUST DIE" and yet never do anything about it? The woman yet lives. I cannot respect a vampire that cannot finish the job.
3. David. That.  Kid. Drove. Us. Nuts.
4. By the time we shook off the hypnotic haze that staring into Barnabus' portrait had caused, my lovely fall foliage had turned into dead, dry, iced-over weeds. My property literally looked like the hideously frightening Collinwood. I felt like I'd been in my own crypt a million years by the look of things. Had it really been almost 3 months since I'd emerged from the basement? Apparently.
But as we polished off the final chapter, and said a fond farewell to the Collins Clan, it occurred to us that we'd spent more time together than we had in months. Years. Possibly even more time than the fateful Christmas Blizzard of '81.
We laughed, we cried, we shared a moment. Okay, so we didn't cry, but we have re-bonded over Barnabus. Call us crazy fools in love.
And there's a new Dark Shadows in theaters even NOW. I hesitate to see it because:
1. It's Tim Burton, and he's weird.
2. It's Tim Burton with Johnny Depp, and together they're weird. Though I must admit to liking J.D. in other things without his weird sidekick.
3. I don't know if I wanna take the chance of ruining a great goofy vampire memory.
So if you're feeling like you're in a rut with your loved one, I suggest a few moments spent in common mockery aimed at the likes of Maggie, Barnabus and the annoying David. They may not have all the answers, but at least they keep the questions simple-
What IS buried in the basement?
Why do we never see that new neighbor during the day?
What does he actually DO for a living?
And why did no one question a man wearing eye liner and a crazy cloak-get-up?
Oh well. It was the late 60's after all...


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You can call me Wilma.

There is yet another tale to tell.
It is gruesome, gory, and yet even I had to giggle in the middle of it.
I may not have mentioned it earlier, since I have been back-blogging, but I have been having a small problem with a tooth/crown for about a year. Yes, year. Since you know my love of dentistry, you can understand why it took me a year to get around to resolving it. I finally bit the final cold-sensitive bullet, and went to the Endodontist. Is anyone really fooled into thinking that's nothing more than a hopped-up dentist with better drugs? I ask you.
So with three hours of sleep under my belt from the night before, I bravely go where I have never gone before. To Dr. Handsome's office. (seriously, the referring receptionist called him that, so who am I to question why?)
First of all, the reception area was gorgeous, soothing music playing to calm our frayed fears, and four families could have lived in there and only found each other on holidays. The man is obviously making too much money from our pain.
 The lovely assistant, Jenna, comes all too soon to collect me and take me to The Chair. She is jabbering all kinds of technical lingo, slinging x-ray capes over me, taking the picture from other side of the Mason- Dixon line (so will that 100 pound cape really protect ME?), and I'm basically thinking fairly good thoughts so far. Yeah. Really.
I can do that sometimes. And I hadn't even had any of their drug choices yet! Scary.
And then, Jenna, the lovely assistant, asks me the questions that begin the spiral downward.
Would you like to watch a movie, or have music?
  Hmmm..since I am contemplating nitrous I thought that would make the movie lsd-ish, so I said music.
What kind of music do you like?
  Hmm...what'cha got? (thinking she had specific channels or something?)
Have you heard of Pandora? she asks.
  Well of course, who hasn't, good grief?!!! (though I just politely said 'yes' at the time)
Then came the kicker:
Okay then, says Jenna, are you acqainted with The IPOD????
Acquainted. ACQUAINTED??? Good heavens woman, do I look like I just hot-footed it up with Fred Flintstone straight from the rock quarry??? I am not only acquainted with the IPOD, but we are in a  serious relationship, and have been for years. We are more than good friends. I go nowhere without my IPOD and/or Iphone. Despite the fact that I apparently look like a refugee from the Stone Age.
Deciding to ignore her youthful innocent inquiry, I whip out my Iphone, sweetly inquire about headphones (I did forget mine), and plugged in to enjoy the ride. (though there was a huge part of me that really wished I had some old eight track cassettes and a boombox that I could pull outta my hip pocket, just fer show).
Dr. Handsome strolls in, looking for all the world like he just graduated from high school. And he is cute, in a Leave-it-to-Beaver kind of way. (I realize I just dated myself again. Is it true then???? Am I really really old, really?) sigh.  But then again, how good-looking can a person really be when he's holding sharp instruments toward your face and then proceeds to drill holes in your head?
I don't know. Either I had been so severely wounded by the darling Jenna and her IPOD comments  or that was One Good Endodontist. (in fact, it's the first time I've actually started giggling - in the middle of the Event I started thinking of that IPOD question, and I just couldn't help myself - it must've been the nitrous -  I quickly mentally slapped myself before it turned to tears however).
The pain I suffered at his hands was minimal.
But I have to say that sweet assistant of his was brutal.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I got a friend so tough, she eats CONCRETE for lunch!!! (aka: Winding our Way thru Wallowa)

Yes, it's true. She really is that tough. I will explain.
It all started innocently enough (as most memorable things do), with a quick invite from aforementioned friend to spend the weekend at Wallowa Lake. She'd been ditched by a far worse friend than I would ever be, and so had empty hotel space. Never being one to feel slighted/offended/and/or dismayed to be someones' second choice (I was at least Second, wasn't I,  DebDoDah?), I of course leaped (leapt?) at the chance to spend time in her hilarious, entertaining and instructional presence.
She is all of the above because:
1. She is always funny. And she laughs back at my jokes. Always a prerequisite in any true friend.
2. She loves people, gatherings and whatnot. Always with various entertaining stories, how many are really true or merely highly enhanced, we shall never know. And it doesn't really matter, she entertains.
3. She knows everything. You new in town? She knows the best doctors, dentists, etc. You need to know how to get tar out of your hair? No problem. How to stun a squirrel at sixty paces, instead of a direct kill? She's your woman. It's amazing. Her store of knowledge goes deeper than..uh..the Mariana Trench? Something like that. Again, we have no idea how she gained all this intelligence, nor do we know how much is true. We accept it, bow to her intellect, and move on. It works for all of us.
Anyway.
It was a beautiful drive, a cute little lodgy-hotel thing, the weather was perfect. We had lots of time to catch up, since we only see each other maybe once a year. Little did I know she had an agenda. She was determined to see me on a horse. (Why does everyone laugh when they hear that?) Seriously.  Am I really such an object of ridicule and mockery??
The answer to that would be, Yes, if I'm on a horse. Name of Trigger.
I have to admit to a tad bit of nervousness as we waited on getting our saddles, lassos and hats rented. (just kidding!!! I drew the line at lassos - really now!). I told Janet, the horse wrangler, to pick me out the ploddingest, slowest, most depressed creature in the stable. She comes out with this monster named Trigger? Isn't that the beast Roy Rogers rode? And wasn't he really fast, and crazy wild with outlaws chasing him etc? I really wanted some animal named Sukie or Molly or something. But up on Trigger I went, trusting in a total stranger to know my riding abilities. Fool.
You're probably wondering what this has to do with my friend eating concrete. Nothing yet, but it will just go to show that the fates will always pay you back if you force your good-natured friends into doing something they said they might do someday..and then making them do it. When they really didn't mean it and were probably just talking to hear themselves babble bravely. So beware the fates, that's all I'm sayin'.
We took the 2 hour ride, breathing in the fresh mountain air, (Janet: trust your horse L, trust your horse!), climbing higher and higher to see the stunning view (Janet: look up from your saddlehorn thingy (my words) and see the view L!!), going down the back way of the mountain on our way home (Janet: You've passed riding 101 L, but going downhill straighten your legs in the stirrup-thingys (my words again) so you don't have pressure on your knees!) That would have been nice information to know EARLIER in my riding-downhill experience Janet...  I could barely walk the next day. I've never really had my actual kneecaps groan in agony before. Though I'm sure they've thought about it more than once.
BUT it was a lovely ride, and would I do it again? Heck, yeah.
So on to the next portion of this woodsy tale.
After jauntily sagging off Trigger, my trusty steed indeed, we wobbled on down to the Lodge. Deer everywhere! We could feed them by hand! Incredible! Wonderful! Beautiful! (how do people kill those things, really??) Ate some lunch. Started to wander back to our Lincoln Log Cabin...passing the miniature golf course....
Hey. It's brand new. Looks super cute and fun. Do we have the energy to do a round or two? Heck, yeah. I can even feel my knees by now, the skies' the limit baby!
The first eight holes were great, despite some random dog stealing our golf balls occasionally. And I say great because I was ahead. Or behind. Let's just say winning. I know because I was keeping Very Careful Score.
Then we hit the ninth hole. It being a very new and updated course, not all the kinks were worked out of the green. Literally. DDoDah hit a rough patch. And slowly melted forward - I can think of no other way to describe it. It was like watching the train wreck in slow motion. First the knees, then the dropping of the club, then hitting the ground with the hips, then shoulders, until my Dear Friend did a face-plant on the newly formed six inch concrete curb - with her FACE, I say again.
I was shocked, stunned, horrified and fearful of her fate.
Yes, all of that.
I ran to her aid, helped her to a bench, ran for an ice pack, then proceeded to make her move every joint and/or muscle to assess the damage. She was Miraculously Unbroken. And after the dizziness left her hard head, she announced that she was finishing this blasted game (my words here again, NOT hers:), despite bloody bones, dagnabit. (again..) And finish she did.
What did I tell you, the woman is Tough with a Capital T.
Never mind that the elbow didn't heal for over 6 months (and needed therapy) and the bump on her cheek gave her excessive cheekbones on only one side as well. It just added to her infinite supply of stories to regale the folks back home with. Ah yes.
And good friend that I am, I even tore up the scorepad. I'll never catch up to her escapades anyway.

Friday, February 17, 2012

This is getting out of hand. I mean it.

Wow. I don't know what happened. One minute I was catching up my blog in September, the next I woke up and it was Valentines' Day, 2012. Where oh Where did the time go?
I shall proceed to tell you.
Blog Catch-up, Part 2. After the Roundup.
The next Event of Note was my dad's birthday. This was not just any run-of-the-mill birthday, Oh No. This was the Twins' 80th Birthday Party, Party. You haven't lived until you've attended a bash like this. It was Great! We laughed, we cried, we sang Happy Birthday way too many times. (well, maybe we didn't cry, it was a happy event, after all!)
We zipped down to Utah yet again, (all of us in a Suburban so that we could pre-party on the way TO the Party), zipped into the Party Place a mere hour before the Guests of Honor were due to arrive, and decorated and prepared to Seriously Party. We reunited with cousins we grew up with and hadn't seen in years, met relatives we didn't know we had, the usual stuff at events like this. We had each agreed to bring fav foods of the Birthday Boys, which turned out so funny - our cousins had stocked up (in major poundage) on M&M's and jelly beans. Guess what our dad loves? M&M's and jelly beans. And oh yeah, licorice. We had enough weight in chocolate and jelly beans to sink the Titanic. Strangely enough, I don't recall if there were any leftovers...but ...uh..there were a lot of people there...
It was the best party. Worth every mile. Out of a family of 10 children, they have always stayed together and are still sharing good times. Our favorite Utah cousins are still our favorite Utah cousins, we still think we're all hilarious and laugh at everything we say. It's tradition in this family to laugh at our own jokes. (Someone has to, it may as well be us).
Alas, all good things must come to an end. Getting into the Suburban with my parents, sister, her husband and my own dearly devoted, we immediately downloaded all the pictures onto my computer and relived the whole party all the way back to Twin Falls, a journey of 3 hours. We laughed, we did not cry or sing Happy Birthday, but we realized how great/crazy/goofy/funny families are. And how grateful we are to have such a great/crazy/goofy/fun family ourselves.
I sure hope you feel that lucky too.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blog Catch-Up, Part 1

It has been not-so-tactfully brought to my attention that I have been remiss in my blogging of late. (aka: LBS, aka: Lazy Blogger Syndrome). There are many reasons for this.
1. There has been too much going on.
2. There has been nothing going on.
3. Something else has taken the place of my blog-time.
4. All of the above.
I will explain, starting with #1.
I had such a busy month or two! I was just waaaay too busy to actually write of my adventures. So I will tell the tale of one adventure now.
As most of you know that are reading this, we had the Round-Up in September. I barely even knew it came to town, such was my month. But that's a good thing. The only part we even glanced at was the Parade. And that's because we had MFV over for the day. I hadn't really been paying attention to the details, and so I'd told her we could do the little carnival rides thing. Whoops. Not set up yet. Don't worry, we can do the little pony rides thingy. Uh. No. No small ponies, no saddles, nuthin. Okay, I just know the Parade won't disappoint-and it didn't. Little did I know that as a total 4 year old tourist, My Favorite Visitor was Brilliant! All the kids were dressed in jeans, t-shirts, cowboy/girl attire etc as is normal around these here parts. MFV is Obsessively Compulsive for Pink, so she wore pink shorts, sandals and the brightest neon pink shirt she had (among many). It was a stroke of genius. I always knew she'd stand out from the crowd. She drew everyones' attention that had candy - and once she realized that by waving and smiling she got even MORE, well, you'd think she had practiced that beauty-queen wave for weeks - it was downright professional. She stored candy in my purse. Her moms' purse. On the ground beside her. In her free frisbee that someone tossed to her. It was starting to be embarassing. By the end of that parade she was holding up her waving hand with her other hand and asking "When is this Over?" Finally, arm trembling, eyes unfocused and lips stuck to her teeth in a smile of endurance alone, she bid a fond farewell to the last horse, and stray tootsie roll. When it comes to candy, she's no quitter. That's my girl.