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Big Dreams and a Long Line of Bad Luck

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Location: Texas

Moved from the city to live on a farm with my husband and 2 kids ~ starting over and trying to keep life simple ~ trusting in God and looking forward to His blessings

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Needing a Smoke Break

(I didn't take this picture and this is not where I am but this is the fire)

The wind must have taken a change in direction for the last couple of days on the forest fire I had posted about. The smoke has drifted and hovered over my moms house and I wake up in the middle of the night smelling smoke and can see it drifting in the air. I took some pictures but haven't uploaded them yet.

The fire has burnt more than 12,000 acres and the firefighters are getting more control over it. No homes have been destroyed or injuries which is great news. I hope this is out quick.

The news reports it was started from lightning. It originally started only a few miles from where my grandparents lived when I was little. They had a huge 2 story log home with a balcony all the way around - everytime I go by it doesn't seem that long ago that I would play "hairstylist" and "fix" my grandpas hair even though he was practically bald.

Yesterday we went here. We stayed about 7 hours and we were pretty beat up by the time we got back. I have never seen more tattoos and piercings in my life. There was a time in my life I would have rather not gone running around in public in my swimsuit, but I think I have reached the age where I really don't care anymore.

I wasn't brave enough to ride most of them. Landon & I spent most of our time stuck going in circles on our rafts while trying to just get down this. Landon had a ball and thought it was pretty funny. We probably rode this around and around about 12 times - you can go around as many times as you want. This was probably the most exciting ride I went on the entire day. It was dark the whole way and of course I was going down backward. Jessica rode about everything they had - she is fearless. She did faint for just a second when we first got there - everyone was saying it was because of the altitude. She's never done that before so it scared her & I both.

I kindof felt bad about not letting Landon go down the real big ones but I knew I would have to go too and frankly, I was too scared. The other reason is that he can swim but not well enough to save his life and most of them wouldn't allow him to wear his lifejacket. He loved doing what we did get to do though and I'm sure we will be hearing about going for a long time and being drilled on when we will be going back.

Today we spent most of the day just driving around town looking at the houses I lived in when I was growing up and the schools I went to. Jessica has been begging me to stay - everytime she sees a house for sale she'll let me know. It has crossed my mind the longer we stay but I'm pretty sure I'd have to literally drag my husband out of Texas so that will probably never happen. I'm sure she & I are just bored from living so far out in the middle of nowhere that civilization has really spoiled us this past week.

We're not sure what we'll be doing tomorrow. I know we are to go camping again someplace where the fish always bite (I'm not the fisherman but my mom and son are) and the garage sale is still on our to-do list. I can really tell that my mom is so glad to have us here - I think she's missed us as much as we've missed her.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I May Want to Stay Here

Here is a great picture my daughter took the other night from our view from the camping spot we had in the mountains. The river is the Arkansas.

Way back in the mountains in the distance you can see where there is now a wildfire that has been burning since Friday. The sky is now dark and cloudy from smoke. Firefighters have been nearby camping out to assist in putting it out. It has been so hot and I feel so sorry for them. The kids and I drove up toward the mountains to see how big it is and it has really burned a large area.

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After she took this picture and turned around to hike back to our picnic spot, she spotted this deer. There are signs everywhere that says we cannot feed the wildlife. I remember as a kid feeding deer all the time but apparently they became more aggressive and people started getting hurt.

I'm already not wanting to go home. Even though I love Texas so much I just can't get enough of the views here. I grew up here but don't remember ever appreciating it as much as I do this time.

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Before & After


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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Blondes Have More Fun?

Yesterday was probably one of the days of my life I will never forget. I ended up having to go to bed early from the trauma of it all but am much better now.

My moms best friend, who I have known my whole life is a hairstylist. She has her own shop at her home and we frequently go by to visit her while I'm here during the summers. Each time we visit she will give Jessica and I a makeover to our hair including a cut, perm, color - whatever we want. We always look forward to our "new-do's" and dropped by her shop yesterday to discuss what we will be wanting to do.

Landon had tagged along and heard us talking about highlights and color. He decided he would like to join in the fun and have the tips of his hair colored blonde. Since we have been here he has been thinking of nothing other than skateboarding and figured this new style would help him look more like a skater. I didn't see a problem with this as his hair grows fast and it should be somewhat subtle.

We ended up leaving him with her for the afternoon so she could work on it at her convenience. When I got back later in the afternoon I opened to door to her shop to find the blondest full head of hair I could imagine. This was not tipped - this was a whole head of blonde hair. Of course my jaw hit the floor and suddenly I felt ill. He was soooo happy -- however, my little brown haired cowboy was no longer there. I wanted my baby back - not this Billy Idol look-a-like.

When I got him back to my moms he was wild - couldn't take his own eyes off of himself. I, on the other hand had to go lay down which is where I stayed for the next 12 hours sick to my stomach. I laid there trying to rationalize this knowing it wasn't something that I would have to look at forever but something I just couldn't look at for the moment.

This morning I laid in his bed with him just staring at him. He doesn't look my baby - he looks like a boy. I looked at him as long as I could until I came to grips with it since I am going to have to deal with this.

It may sound a tad dumb, I know - but this was really traumatic. I wish I could have been more light-hearted about it and not taken it so seriously but it's going to take me some time to get used to it I suppose. I promise to post a picture of him with his "new look" as soon as I go get some more Pepto.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Swimsuits Optional

The 4th went great - none of us were injured from playing with fire. This was the first year I have ever been the firework setter-offer so it was somewhat stressful as I didn't know what I was doing.

Today we were invited to a hot springs pool nearby. I was glad to read the sign that said today was indeed swimsuit day as every other day of the week swimsuits are optional. *gulp*
The kids and grandma had a great time although I had to be in charge of our belongings as I apparently picked up Jessica's swimsuit by mistake as I was packing. I realized this as I was trying to stretch it over my thighs.

I have also been set-up once again like every other summer by being the designated supervisor over a garage sale I am to arrange. My mother is a shop-o-holic and when I come to visit it is next to impossible to make it through a room without tripping and falling on something. As with every other year I have come to visit, she complains and cries with tears of misery of how she cannot live this way any longer and wants to have 1 more garage sale but never again. I think this is her way of making me work to make her money to pay her back for the misery I put her through as a child.

Of course my son is standing over my shoulder crying about how bored he is. We found a skateboard park down the road so he is constantly bugging me to take him down there with his new skateboard. He wore knee pads and elbow pads but he may also need a helmet with what I witnessed yesterday. He is certainly an accident waiting to happen.

I'm off to rest now and regroup. I hope the work ends and the vacation starts soon.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Greetings from Colorado

Yes, I know you had no idea I was going to Colorado for the 4th of July. Neither did I.

I honestly thought I was going to die if I stayed at home another minute longer. My husband and stepson stayed back in Texas which is fine - they need their 1 on 1 time and had been looking forward to spending time together as a father-and-son. So, I decided to leave a few days earlier than planned.

It was 11 1/2 hours to get here so I am in no hurry to go back home. I'm planning on us staying for about 2 weeks here with my mom. The kids each have their own rooms here which are especially made and decorated for them. Being the mom of course, I have no special room to call my own so am sleeping on the top bunk in my sons room. Other than the climb to the top, its really nice and I don't mind staying in there at all. It is all decorated with a western theme with old lunchpails and lanterns with bulbs that flicker like a fire.

We have lots of things on our list to see and do while we're here so I'll be posting lots of pictures.

The kids are looking forward to doing fireworks tonight and I am too. I am just glad to be "home" with my mom.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Harley Davidson's and Toothpicks

You've probably been wondering what happened to me and where I've been all week. Well, let me tell you. Standing over the sink doing dishes...and more dishes....and more dishes. You see, I do not have the luxury of having something called a dishwasher. There is not anywhere to put one.

Good grief - I think I've washed more dishes in the last 5 days than I have in my entire life. I'm beginning to believe that someone is taking 1 drink out of a glass and getting a clean glass for the 2nd. Everytime I walk through the kitchen there is another sink full for me to do.

Yesterday, I had already done 2 sinks by 10am. My husband then decides that he's tired of waiting on breakfast so comes and gets more pots and pans, spatulas, silverware, plates, glasses, tongs, cheese grater, egg beater, measuring cups, measuring spoons, strainer, a ladel, and everything else you would find in a kitchen. I am then finally forced out of the kitchen by the smell of smoke from something burning on the stove and go get ready for our trip to the city with the 3 kids who have become a pain in my behind.

After breakfast I grab my purse to run out the door since they are inching their way down the drive without me. I glance at the sink to find another sink full of dishes when all that had been made for them was bacon, toast and cereal. Why is every kitchen utensil in my sink and my cabinets empty because everything is dirty again? I immediately make a mental note AGAIN to remind myself to pick up plastic silverware and paper plates before I get home.

Off to the big city we go. I am not sure why my husband insists that I attend every single meeting he has other than for the fact he can't remember but only 1 sentence that was said during an important meeting. We were on our way to meet with an attorneys office over a disability claim for his back which was hurt 16 months ago. This is a very serious and important meeting, but there we head off with 3 kids in the backseat who are to sit quietly during this meeting. We've never been to this office before and I sit there the whole way wondering why I am even going - there is such a thing as a pen and paper for him to take notes. Just as we are getting near where we are to exit off the highway, he reaches for his handwritten map with the directions to their office they had given him over the phone. It was written in no particular order and appeared to be something like this:

1/2 block
immediate left
look for sign
stop sign
street light
another right
left again

In the meantime the kids are in the backseat playing the alphabet game at the top of their lungs.








With the hand of God, we found where we were going. It was a huge building with lots of steps and elevators. Oh joy.

By this time I am cranky beyond belief ~

We finally find the office we are looking for and the door is locked. It is 12:55 and we are to be there at 1:00. We wait in the hall as we are going to need another map to find our way back out. The kids have already touched everything and tried to open every door. I continue to keep snapping at everyone telling them to be still. I look at my husband waiting for him to say something and he is just standing there as calm as can be. I then look at his cowboy hat he is wearing and ask "Why exactly do you feel the need to keep a TOOTHPICK tucked in your hatband"???

This is no biggie to my husband either. He wears cowboy boots with shorts. I did get embarassed back in the day and still do, but have learned to just deal with it since he finds my comments insulting in regard to him dressing himself.

I head to the nearest window to peek out -- wishing I could climb out and walk home. I hear a voice from behind me speaking to my husband and apologizing for the delay.

To my surprise as I enter the office there stands the most decked out Harley Davidson man I have ever seen in my life. Tattoos, rings, earrings -- the whole leather thing going on, including the beard down to his chest. The kids wait out in the tiny waiting area and have been threatened with their lives to stay calm and not argue. Of course my husband loves this guy as he is not a flashy snobbish man and is not offended in the least by the toothpick in my husbands hat.

Finally we left and headed back home. All I was looking for was a rock -- a big rock to crawl under and come out of when school starts. I was thinking about the Dunkin Donut's man commercial where he wakes up and says, "Time to make the donuts" -- all I could think was "Time to do more dishes".

Of course I was in such a hurry to get home I forgot the plastic silverware and paper plates. Oh well, that will give me an excuse to leave today for a while.

Here is the wonderful gift the kids left me earlier in the week.

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and I keep getting these looks:

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46 days left until school starts.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Momma + Trauma = Drama

Let me set the record straight - I do not handle emergency situations well at all. I am the one that the saying was based on, "Panic causes panic". Yes, I cause all the panic. I have warned those around me that it would not be in their best interest to call me for comfort if they are on their death bed. I know the rules of "etiquette" on how you are to be in a tragic or traumatic moment ~ but none of those rules can hold up during the time I need them to. I assure you, if you are laying in your bed needing me to comfort you, encouraging you and all those fine things -- I will be in the bathroom about to faint and be sick. If the doctor says "poke",
I will hear "croak". If he said "bedside", I'd hear "cyanide".

I remember an afternoon when I was heading off to work around 3:30pm to work my 4-midnight shift. As I was leaving, my son (who was 3 at the time) was standing on the front porch playing with his nose. I asked him if he needed a tissue and told him to go in the house to have his dad get one - gave him a hug and kiss and left.

Around 9:30 I called home to check in and say goodnight. All seemed well.

At 12:30am when I arrived home, they were still awake. Landon was laying in our bed and my husband was looking up his nose with a flashlight. He turned to me and said that Landon had been saying there was a bee up his nose but he didn't see anything. I grabbed the flashlight in search of anything ~ just darkness. About this time he began to cry saying it hurt and saying "Mommy - a bee - a bee up my nose!"

Immediately I grab him up thinking the bee has now caved its way into my sons brain and that's why I can't see it. Off to the ER 45 miles away Landon & I go. I presume my husband was left standing in the drive as I didn't stop for a second to give him a second thought.

Upon reaching the ER, I give Landon a buffet of Mountain Dew, gummy bears and chocolate covered cupcakes in the waiting room trying to earn his love back for being such a crummy mom - I mean, he has had this bee up his nose almost 12 hours!

We are taken back to our little ER space where the doctor comes in and swings the shower curtain drape closed around us. He sits down and immediately begins drilling me. Landon isn't crying -- he hasn't cried again since we left the house. I tell the doctor that I believe maybe the bee has died somewhere up that tiny little hole that is nothing but pitch darkness. He begins his exam sticking his pen light as far up as he can go -- nothing. He begins explaining to me what things are going to be done in order to locate the trespassing bee.

Suddenly, Landon sneezes. Something flies by my ear like a speeding bullet, through the crack in the curtain to the wall behind us in the hall and under the copy machine.

The doctor walks over and moves the copier out of the way, bends down and picks something up, stands up holding it in his fingers and looks at me and says "It's a bead!"

No more "make your own jewelry kits" for my daughter.