This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

We now know what Hubby does NOT have in his pants.



Good morning!

So last weekend Hubby and I joined my parents, brother, and my brother's kids on a trek to Kentucky to see the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter.  This was a 50th Wedding anniversary thing for my parents who wanted to treat the whole family to this trip.  Peaches and Skippy were not able to make this one, and we missed them, but I digress.

The trip started a bit shaky. My parents, since they were paying for the whole thing, got to pretty much command what we did, when we did it and how we did it.  My mom took full advantage of that.   Our original plan was to travel in two cars, but nope, Mom wanted as much together time as possible. Thusly, we traveled in a ten passenger van.  I'm not saying traveling together in one vehicle
for three solid days was a bad idea. I'm saying that by the time we got home on Sunday the whole inside of the van smelled of White Castle and feet.

Anyway, as I said, things were a bit shaky at the start. We left my parents' house at 5:37 AM on Friday, which was actually 7 minutes late. My niece, who is 13, immediately plugged in to her phone to listen to music. My mother would have none of that. She told both kids, (My nephew is 11) that they were NOT to plug in so soon in the trip.  Her reasoning?

Well, it wasn't for the purpose of family togetherness, at least that's not what she said.

No, her whole deal with plugging in was this:  "Don't plug in to your music already...you wouldn't be awake at this time of day normally."

I wasn't even sure what to do with that logic, but what I did know was that I wasn't going to be listening to any of the music I'd put on my iPod for this trip, nor would I be reading the books I brought along.  That was not on the agenda.

I will say this:  Once we got through Chicago and to our first food stop (Bob Evans, someplace in Indiana) we'd settled into a pretty good van vibe.

Eating at restaurants is always a bit dicey for Hubby. Some places cook their food in an oil that does NOT agree with him.  Now, when he and I are traveling alone, it's no big deal.  If he has a "Sizzler moment" (Named after a night some 20 years ago when we ate at a Sizzler and all of his internal organs worked in concert to blow the offending food out of his body some five minutes after we left the restaurant.) then we stop and he does what he has to do.  In a ten person van, on a tight schedule, that was not going to be a possibility.  But he chose wisely...at least from a digestive point of view, for this first meal.

We got to the Creation Museum in the late afternoon and spent a few hours walking through the amazing displays and doing a lot of reading.  I could have done without walking through vomit in the Garden of Eden  (One of the older female guests couldn't take the crowds I guess and had a Sizzler moment of her own...in three spots...in the Garden.) both otherwise it was really lovely.  (For those of you who are claustrophobic like me...avoid the Kids Canyon.  I went through this dark, closed quarters hall, and came out shaky and feeling like blowing my own Garden of Eden.)

Brother decided that since we were in the South we should find a real Southern place to eat.  My parents and his kids are not exactly adventurous eaters, so I thought this was an odd request, but we pulled into a strip mall a few minutes from the museum and we walked through the doors of "Smokin'
This and That BBQ" in Florence, KY. This place was GREAT!  We walked in like goobers, and the owner sensed we were "not from around here."  Everyone was very kind and a lot of fun and the food...oh the food!  Pulled pork, brisket, and chicken wings, all lovingly smoked out in the parking lot of the strip mall.  Plus  LIVE MUSIC!  They have a group of guys who come in and play on Friday nights. The owner said they don't pay the group, which numbers anywhere from 4 to 9 members, but they do play for tips.  (For those of you who read my Rock Harbor Chronicles, you know this sounds familiar!)  It was bluegrass and folk music and we had a blast! I ate a "That Salad" which was cole slaw, pulled pork, avocado mayo and smoked eggs.  Sounds weird, tasted AWESOME!  (Plus I got to say I ate a salad!)

The next day we headed to the Ark Encounter, which was AMAZING.  I've been teaching the story of the flood for years, but seeing it in living color really made me think. Plus, the builders of this attraction put some actual thought into a number of questions I had about the Flood and the Ark. It was a super time for everyone. Fun movies, great displays  and most importantly, AIR CONDITIONING.  (That Noah, he knew how to travel!)

We finished pretty early in the day and we all decided to rest at the hotel and let the kids play in the pool.  A couple hours later, Brother woke me from a dead sleep  (at 4 in the afternoon) and informed me we were going to a RODEO.

I've never been to a rodeo, but I've watched them on TV.  Believe me, the live experience is way more fun!  They have this thing called mutton busting, where they put little kids (no one over 50 pounds) on the backs of sheep to see how long the kids can stay astride.  I about pulled a muscle I was laughing so hard. Then my nephew got involved in the calf scramble where they tie ribbons to the tales of 3 calves and then have about 100 kids chase them.

Oh, and there were bull riders and bronc busters and all that. But mostly mutton busting and calf scramble.

And then Waffle House at midnight.  Because we know how to live.

I'll bet you're all wondering what, exactly, this has to do with what may or may not be in Hubby's pants.  I'm getting to it!

Sunday my parents wanted to hit the Creation Museum one more time, mostly because Mom wanted to ride a camel  (Which she convinced me to do as well) but we also wanted to check out the gift shop.  I found my magnets (Because I am, as my niece put it, one of those magnet people.) and everyone else bought something...except Hubby.  As I was leaving the gift shop to sit down (Because I was exhausted) Hubby held up an adorable stuffed baby coatimundi. I oohed and aahed over the cuteness and then went to sit down because frankly, the weekend had caught up to me and I was done being on my feet.

Hubby joined me a few moments later. We talked about stuff we'd seen, about where our fellow travelers were, and about where the closest White Castle was.  (The nephew wanted White Castle for lunch.)   I then asked him if he'd purchased the oh-so-cute coatimundi toy.

"No," says he.  "I'm not carrying a bag am I?"

"No," I reply.  "But I don't know what you have in your pants."

Now, what I meant by all that was, he was wearing cargo shorts with big pockets.  So what I should have said was, "I don't know what you have in your pockets."

But I didn't. Which is why the conversation led to this.

"Well now you know I don't have a coatimundi in my pants."  Says my husband.  "And you're welcome because now you have a blog post."

So true, so true.

We left the museum and dragged ourselves across four states and got home late Sunday night.  Since the van had to be back to the rental place that night, we cleaned it out right away.  The kids were tasked with taking home the leftover White Castle burgers.  (We over bought by like 40 burgers.  Which is why we all smelled like tiny meat patties and brown onions.)

The burgers were removed, but the smell remained. I hope my parents didn't have to pay a fine for the stank of the thing when they returned the vehicle.

But none of that matters.  I'm just happy Hubby doesn't have a coatimundi in his pants...the last thing we need is more stuffed toys...and live animals.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Reposting a favorite childhood story

Hello all!  I'm getting on the TBT bandwagon this week and reposting something I posted a couple years ago.  But this is a story that still makes me laugh.  Enjoy!


I tell the kids in my Sunday School classes stories from my childhood to make them see that I wasn't always the very together, oh so grown up person I am today.  (Yes, Todd, I can hear you laughing...)  This is one of their favorites and, I might add, the very first story I ever sold to a magazine.  Enjoy!

I crashed my bike into the back of big silver car while I watched a one armed man build a house. 

Let me elaborate.

It was one of those sticky hot summer days when I was twelve.  It was the kind of day kids today would spend in each other's basements playing video games or drinking canned beverages and instant messaging each other.  But, since this was 1980, there were no video games, canned beverages were too expensive, so we drank out of the garden hose, and instant messaging meant you ran over to the other kid's house and yelled at their window until they came outside. 

For fun on this hot sticky day, I was baking my chocolate chip cookies for my county fair 4-H baking project.  Because that's what you want to do in a house with no air conditioning.  You want to bake cookies.

It was a Thursday, and the reason I remember that is because my mother only did laundry on Mondays and Thursdays and everyone knows that fairs run Thursday through Sunday.  So it was a Thursday morning and we were, predictably, out of chocolate chips.  (When I say "out" I mean either we never had any or my father ate them in the in the middle of the night and then put the empty bag back in the freezer.)  So I hopped on my Schwinn three speed "Sundowner" model bike and got pedaling to the grocery store a mile away.

About halfway to the store, I noticed some workmen fixing  a house.  What really caught my eye was a one armed man climbing down the ladder.  I couldn't take my eyes off of him.  See, this was the guy who'd been electrocuted months earlier.  We'd prayed for him in church every week.  I could have SWORN he was dead.  I was so certain of it, that I stared and stared and stared at him...

BAM!

That's about the the time my bike smacked into the back of a big silver sedan outside the Methodist church.  I rolled up onto the trunk of the car and then onto the street.  The workmen stopped and yelled across the street, asking me if I was okay.

Humiliated, I popped back on my bike and waved at them, ignoring both the gash in my knee and the fact that the front end of my bike was so bashed in I could barely get the front wheel moving.

I got to the grocery store, picked up my chocolate chips and went to the counter.  The lady at the counter knew my parents.  (Everyone knew my parents.  My dad was the Lutheran school principal and my mom was the local piano teacher.  In a town of 1200, they were movers and shakers.)  She said, "Dear, do you know your leg is bleeding?"

I said, "Yes," waved at her, and got back on my bike.  This time I pedaled as hard as I could, but the front tire was smashed against the central frame of the bike and wouldn't budge.  So I had to walk the bike home, holding the front end up.  The good news was that the workmen were on a break someone in the back yard of the house.

When I got home, I immediately went to my mother to tell her what happened.  I mean, I couldn't hide this one.  First of all, there was something really wrong with my bike.  Second, I was pretty sure who ever owned that care was going to call her anyway and third, my leg really hurt.

Mom was in the basement pumping away on the wringer washer.  She loved her wringer washers.  She didn't get an automatic one until I was almost 30.  She loved wringer washers so much, in the 80's she bought one just for parts so she could keep hers going.  Anyway, she was down there, pounding away on the little foot pump that kept the wringer rolling. 

"Mom," I said in my most pathetic voice, "I hit a car with my bike because I saw that dead guy with the one arm building a house."

I know...it sounds nuts to me now, too.

All my mom heard was, "I hit someones car with my bike and we're going to have to pay to repair it."

She asked me for the coordinates of my accident.  Sure enough, when I told her, she rolled her eyes upward and said, "Oh Lord, that's the Thompson's. Did you stop and tell anyone?"

By now the blood on my leg was a really more a river soaking into my sock.

"No.  I had to get the chocolate chips."

So, in her ratty jean shorts and tank top, her laundry outfit that she'd worn to do laundry in since her high school days, my mother walked me the six blocks to the Thompson's house.  Mrs. Thompson's husband owned the only funeral parlor in town.  She came to the door looking calm and cool.  They had two air conditioning window units in their downstairs.

Mother explained my story, minus the one armed guy building the house who I thought was dead.  We looked at the car, which had sustained a scratch about an inch long and one, Mrs. Thompson said, "would buff out."  Her brother worked at a body shop, so she knew this sort of thing.

Then Mrs. Thompson looked at me and said, "Do you know your leg is bleeding?"

I said yes and then Mom thanked her and we walked back home. 

By the time we got home, my sock was wet with blood and my leg was sticky.  I was afraid to say anything because, well, I still wasn't sure if Mrs. Thompson's brother would be able to buff out the scratch and if he could, what would it cost?

"Mom,"  I said as she started going back to the basement to continue doing laundry, "I'll pay for the damage to the car, but can I have a band aid for my leg?"

It was then that my mother realized I was hurt.  She took me into the bathroom, washed my cut, bandaged it up, and stuck my sock in the bleach bucket until next laundry day.  Later, like twenty years later, she told me she was so wrapped in the fact that she was a mess, that she never even realized I'd cut my leg.

Oh, but I made the chocolate chip cookies before noon that day.  And I got a second place ribbon.  The judge liked the cookies, but said that using all butter on such a hot day made the cookies too thin and chewy.

I'll bet the one armed guy would have loved them.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hubby's Perspective on the Bathroom Debate comes out thanks to Norah Jones.

Good afternoon!


It isn't often that I get grumpy about things people say in line for stuff.  I mean, do I make comment about it here?  Sure.  Because I'm an observer of human nature, I feel it's my duty to report what people are saying out loud when they think they have privacy.

Although, why you'd think there's privacy when you're standing in line for a restroom is beyond me.

Hubby and I went to the Norah Jones concert at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee last Friday night.  I realize some people out there are thinking, "Wow, Sarah went to a concert?  Really?"  And also, "I didn't realize Sarah was a Norah Jones fan."

Let me put some doubts to rest:  I am NOT a Norah Jones fan.  The kids and I call her "Snorah Jones." While her voice is pleasant and her music is calming, it's not something I would pay to go hear live. So why was I standing in a restroom line at her concert?hubby 

Hubby listens to this really, really local radio station in town.  88.9 Radio Milwaukee.  I kid him about the station because he wins tickets from them all the time. He's always caller #4.  The joke is, only 4 people listen the station.  However, I will admit a weakness for their Saturday morning all request show.  Why I love it has less to do with the music (they play a wide array of funky stuff from national acts to super local bands) and more to do with the fact that regular people sound stupid on the radio and it makes for great comedy.  (If you live in the Milwaukee area, seriously, check out the station.  you'll hear variety with a capital V.)

Anyway, so Hubby won a pair of tickets to last week's Norah Jones concert. We had to go. I mean, of all the tickets he's won, this was actually an act I've heard of and at a theater where I knew there would be chairs.  (He once won tickets to see "Trampled by Turtles" at Turner Hall in Milwaukee. There were exactly two chairs in the building and those were reserved for the parents of the lead singer.  I can't make this stuff up.)

ANYWAY, the Riverside is one of those great old theaters with velvet chairs and gold wallpaper and very, very old restrooms.  And very small restrooms.  So I'm standing in line just ahead of these two women who were beefing about the wait.  And this is the conversation I heard:

Woman 1: The only time I didn't have to wait in line was in the 90's when the Packers went to the Superbowl...because women didn't go to football games in the 90's.

Woman 2:  That's true.  It's different now. Women go all the time.

Ummmm....were they talking about the 1890's?  I mean, sure, the NFL has marketed to women much more in the last ten years, but still Packer fans, men or women, go to the games plenty.  So....you didn't have to stand in line because...maybe all the other women were watching the game?

Woman 1:  I grew up in Green Bay, but I don't even care about football.

Woman 2:  Same here.  

Now I'm angry.  You don't care about football and you got to see the Packers in the Superbowl in New Orleans?  now I KNOW you skipped the game and used the restroom instead.  

Woman 1:  There should only be ladies' rooms and unisex bathrooms.

Woman 2:  Exactly.

It's a good thing that at this point it's my turn to get in a stall because I wanted to whirl around and slap them both and say, "It's not a crime to be a guy!"

You all know how I feel about the bathroom issue.  If not, there are several blogs dealing with it. Having all unisex bathrooms is fine. But having one specific one for women and then a unisex one...come on.  That attitude isn't about equality, it's about wanting everything for yourself.

BTW, the crowd that night was pretty evenly split between men and women. The reason the men's line was much shorter is that men don't spend five minutes checking their look in the mirror.

Men also don't need a tutorial from me on how to operate the soap dispenser...which I had to give to a couple ladies that night.  But that's another story.

So I get back to my seat, seething in righteous anger that these two old bats had 1)  Grown up in Green Bay with no appreciation for the Packers, 2)  One of them had gone to the Superbowl and clearly not appreciated the experience and 3)  They didn't think there should be mens' rooms at all.

I relayed this to Hubby...and pretty much everyone around me because I don't have a soft voice when I'm mad.  

And that's when Hubby put the whole bathroom thing into perspective.

He said, "I don't care if there's no specific men's room.  As long as there's a tree in the lobby, I'm
fine."

It's often been said, "All the world's a toilet when you're a guy."  If that's true then I suppose most guys wouldn't care if none of the world had a "MEN" sign on the door.

But also I'm glad there wasn't a tree in the lobby because...ew.

Two adults discuss...achieving their Fitbit goals.

Many of you know that I've been getting up before work and taking a walk for my health and weight loss goals.  (Don't get ex...