Monday, March 30, 2009

Cross Country Pajama Party, Day 11


11 days and about 450 miles later our Cross Country Pajama Party came to an end. By the Grace of God, Mother Nature and the Impala we made it home safely. The girls were amazing and with the exception of their excessive gas and random bouts of singing obnoxious songs, were no problem at all.

On this trip we made several major discoveries;

* Loveland, Colorado has one of the coolest McDonald's we'd ever been to.

* It only takes half an hour to turn 20 oz. of soda pop into 1 gallon of pee.

* 5 people can eat the same thing but their farts will all smell different.

* 'Imaginarily' is a word if you use your imagination.

* It is impossible to distinguish pig and yak pooh from mud when it rains.

* Adults and teenagers sound the same when they are having fun.

* It is possible to eat too much chocolate.

* Drivers are usually frowning as they drive until someone (even a random Oompa) smiles and waves at them at which time about 80% of them will return the smile.

* Booger drilling is a common past time while driving.

* Snowflakes are sharp and hurt at 75 mph.

* Even a hard mattress feels good after 10 hours on the road.

* A messy home is a welcomed sight after 11 days.

* Sisters and Oompas ROCK! (so does Art's Pink Haired Girlfriend)

Almost home...


Do NOT be fooled, they are NOT angels! (But they were pretty darn good on the trip in Oompa terms.)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

World's Largest Truck Stop





We made it to Iowa just in time for a snow storm on Saturday night. With 6 hours under our belt we were already ahead of schedule so we called it an early night and pulled in to the next exit. Iowa 80 was hard to miss with all it's lights and signs, and trucks.


It was a fricken maze! I turned into the parking lot to explore the possible supper options. Of the three visible restaurants, at least one person in the car had an objection to every one. Not to fear, the signs along the interstate promised many more, some where in the area known as Iowa 80.
The place is so big it probably has it's own zip code! As soon as I got into the parking lot I was immediately dwarfed by the hundreds of big rigs. With about 4 inches of snow and slush on the ground there was no telling where or what the markings on the ground were.

Lost in a sea of monster trucks I picked one and began to follow it out.
After 15 minutes that felt like an hour we pulled up in front of the Econo Lodge. All cravings for Taco Bell, McDonalds and Wendy's were gone and Hot Pockets were the unanimous choice being as they were as close as the cooler in the trunk. We parked, checked in and settled in to our room. And the Hot Pockets were delicious, until Dickidoo sent a picture of the BBQ ribs he and the boys had for supper. Grrrr!

Morning light brought sobering confirmation that our decision to stop for the night when we did was a good one. Abandoned cars and trucks speckled the roadside like carcasses. In the back seat the Oompas giggled and waved to passing motorists. In the front seat my sister and I thanked our blessings. The passing motorists... not so much.

'Honk if you like cheese'

'Honk if you like muffins'
'Honk if Yoda you like.'

Cross Country Pajama Party, Return Trip ~







So we said good-bye to Redbird Inn, Farmer Wilson, two sisters, many cousins, the Yaks, the Highland cattle (cow), the Three Little Pigs, the cats, and Oscar the Barn cat, and pointed the Impala westward.
Colorado and the mid west got blasted by a blizzard and we were concerned about having to drive into it but it has since piddled out leaving us with a beautiful sunny morning to continue our journey in.
Before we left Colorado I gave the girls several commands; no fighting or bickering, no singing the Badger Song (don't ask, and if you really need to know... google it, you will regret it), and NO spitting out the window if the car is moving faster than 35 MPH. Did they listen to any of these directives? Heck no!
Actually I'm really quite proud of the Oompas because there were only a couple of incidents where I had to raise my voice. They were and still are awesome. The Badger Song came up twice... I was ready to stop the car and put them all out both times.
After a pizza stop Rocky earned a new nick-name. 'Rocky Hack A Loogie' Spitting out of a window from a vehicle moving 70 MPH is never advisable, unless you like spit all over the side of your face!




Friday, March 27, 2009

Pooh Angels

What is a Cross Country Pajama Party to a Yak and Pig Farm without a mud fight?  Becca and Art's Pink Haired Girlfriend went out to help Farmer Wilson corral the Three Little Pigs and ended up making mud angels.  Actually I think it was more pooh than mud.

'Believe it or not, my teeth are whiter now!' Becca said after scrubbing all the muck out of her mouth and off her teeth.

Pajama Party Con't

  



Life on the Yak Farm is kinda laid back,
Ain't much an old city girl like me can't hack...
It's late to rise and late in the sack,
Thank God Val is Yak-ity Yak...

I thought for sure we'd be doing the whole 'up before the sun' stuff but yaks are amazing, they are self-serve grazers.  They let themselves in and out, as do the Three Little Pigs.  So the girls and I got to stay up as late as we wanted and slept in.

Well, I was usually up around 7:30, which in Colorado time was around 5:30.  Must be the country air.  Or maybe it was the heavy snoring from the Oompas who played hard and crashed hard the whole time.  We did make time for a tea party, complete with fancy tea pots and dainty tea cups with matching saucers.  By the end of our little tea party we were all so over-dosed with chocolate that we could barely function.

That lasted maybe an hour or two.  The left-overs didn't last as long as we thought they would.

We only had Big Sister Lisa for a few days.  It was with great reluctance that we put her on a plane and returned her to her own family.  The fun didn't end there though.  And we still have the return trip.  Colorado is currently under a blizzard warning but the forecast has it should die out over the central plains before we get there. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cross Country Pajama Party, Day 5



The Farm currently is home to 4 yaks, 1 Highland cow (cattle?), 3 Little Pigs, and several cats.  The Yaks and Highland Cow (cattle?) are deceptively cuddly looking.  Being as I am in farm terms 'in heat', I was unable to approach too close to the small herd for fear of confusing the Bull Yak.  How ironic that I had driven so far and for so long to pet the Yaks, only to have Auntie Flo spoil my visit.  Grrrrr!  The Three Little Pigs didn't mind though and thoroughly enjoyed my ear scratching.

Well, off to see the rest of the farm.  

Did you know that pig poop is as big as cow poop?  I didn't, but now I do!

The good thing is that frozen poop doesn't smell too bad.  I'm just glad I won't be here when everything starts to thaw and heat up.  4 yaks, 1 Highland cow (cattle?) and 3 Little Pigs sure make a lot of poop!

Cross Country Pajama Party, Day 4

Monday took us on the final leg of our journey through Ohio, Pennsylvania and up state New York.  The girls were surprisingly good up until this point.  After being cooped up in the ever shrinking back seat for the 4th day in a row they were getting bored.  Rocky was the unfortunate first to fall asleep and woke an hour later with Sharpie tattoos on both arms, her neck and hip.  

Another victim of their boredom were the other motorists on the interstate.  At first they just pulled imaginary air horns to see if they could get the truckers to respond.  They got about 45 truckers to toot their horns but it wasn't good enough, they wanted more.  So out came the Sharpies again and soon a sign was shoved against the window~ 'Honk If You Pick Your Nose'.  After an enthusiastic 'honk' from a laughing trucker, a follow up note was made.  'I Pick My Nose Too!'

It was late when we finally pulled into the drive way for Redbird Inn.  Inside my other two sisters were waiting and we had a wonderful noisy reunion.  I can't help but hope that my children can enjoy each others' company the way my siblings and I do. 

And I hope that any cross country road trips they take may be as AMAZING as this one has been so far!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Great Cross Country Pajama Party, Day 3

SPAM!










I'm not a Spam Freak or anything, but I was pretty excited about the opportunity to visit the Spam Museum. Being as Spam is a popular meat source (?) in my family the Oompas, my sister and even Art's Pink Haired Girlfriend shared in my enthusiasm. The visit was everything I could have hoped for with one exception, they did not have taste testing today. Dang!
In keeping with her new reputation, Sister Val has ridded the roadways of yet another scavenger and has earned the amended nick name of Valorie, the Varmit Slayer. In her defense she does not go out of her way to hit the unfortunate critters, they just either walk too fast or too slow and are unavoidable. To her credit she has managed to avoid all larger mammals and smaller critters of the black, white and stinky variety.
9 more hours on the road and we should be at the Yak-ity Yak Farm, site of the Great Cross Country Pajama Party. There will be shared memories, new memories, tea parties and, yes, there will be Spam! Story at 11.




Day two took us to the Mount Rushmore Monument. We spent two hours there under the watchful gaze of the 4 presidents. Then it was eastward ho! At this point we have not time schedule and it has been a nice ride full of impulsive stops to ride ponies or run around a parking lot to a store that we wished wasn't closed. (Why does Cabelas ALWAYS close the moment we enter the parking lot, no matter what time it is?)

We did have one little incident, which has earned my sister a new nick-name: Val the Coon Slayer.

"Mom, what was that?"
"Nothing"
"Was it a large critter?"
"It was..."

Today we're making one scheduled stop... The Spam Museum!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cross Country Pajama Party, Day 1 con't


First and foremost let me just say that having the three girls in the back seat of the car has been a lot quieter than I had expected. They laugh, they talk, they sing, tell silly jokes and just basically get along. I keep thinking 'the calm before the storm...' but I hope they're just bonding.
Val's TomTom sounds like Darth Vader.
"Your journey to the dark side is complete!"
For the first 200 miles Darth and The Walmart Self Checkout Chick argued over which direction we should go. Then it was discovered that Nuvi had multiple personalities and after introducing Darth to 'Samantha' at which point they eloped, I discovered 'Lee' from Australia and followed his Aussie drawl to Custer, South Dakota.
Today we're heading up to Mount Rushmore then it's on to New York, having the most fun possible along the way. Maybe we'll see you along the way!
Dorn~

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cross Country Pajama Party, Day 1


My 'older' sister Val, the Yak Herder, flew in Thursday night. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking and laughing. What... it's not like we had to get up and drive 400+ miles the next day or anything like that.

Oh wait, we did!

The girls all stayed home from school. The idea was that we were going to get an early start. Dickidoo and I said our goodbyes at 6:30 am. I got up early so he could make me coffee. I made him store bought Danish pastries.

8 1/2 hours later we finally pulled out of the driveway and pointed the Impala north. It was stop and go traffic getting out of the Springs and then all the way through Denver. But from then on it was smooth sailing... at least when Val was driving. I tend to tap the brakes a little too hard for the passengers' liking. Hey, I'm used to Big Red, okay? At every stop Art's Pink Haired Girlfriend would take a picture of Pete, the Love Frog that Art gave her when they first started dating 2 years ago. Then I would photograph the Oompas, and they would ask random strangers for quotes to put in their little Cross Country Pajama Party Book of Quotes. Some guy named Ben from Castle Rock, Colorado wrote 'Good Lord!' which was the first thing that came to mind when the girls asked him for a quote. Shannon from Loveland Carl's Jr. said 'You Girls Rock!'

We made it just outside of Mount Rushmore shortly after midnight. Super 8, 3 queen sized beds, breakfast from 7-11, pool opens at 10am.

Okay Presidents... are you ready for the Cross Country Pajama Party? The Oompas are coming!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

T minus 27 hours...



The girls are all packed for the trip to New York. Rocky's suitcase has been packed since Tuesday. Becca since yesterday. I may not have to pack. Judging by the size of Rocky and Becca's suitcases (Rocky's is the size of the Impala itself), and considering Art's Pink Haired Girlfriend and my sister Val's luggage there is a real possibility that there might not be enough room for my stuff. I suspect that I shall be traveling light

I spoke to my girls and warned them that I would not tolerate any sibling rivalry during the entire trip. With grimaced faces the girls agreed. Becca has already made good on her promise and is being the kind, considerate and loving big sister I wish I had been to my baby sister when we were their age.

But they won't be the only siblings on this Great Cross Country Pajama Party. My older sisters (yes, I went there!) and I are past the sibling rivalry stage and are now at the point of our lives where we savor the time we can spend together, even in a cramped little car with 3 precocious teenagers.

Art's Pink Haired Girlfriend was nervous about meeting my sisters. She was worried that they might not like her. Art and Becca both just laughed and said " Don't worry, look who their sister is!" That seemed to put Art's Pink Haired Girlfriend at ease, but I'm still not too sure what that meant.

Art will be Poopy-Sitting the Shit Hound and Weenie Todd (his future puppy-in-law) at his Pink Haired Girlfriend's house as well as watching her siblings during Spring Break. That leaves Dickidoo, Zack and my Nephew alone for 10 days. How will they manage?

I think Dickidoo is actually looking forward to a hormone free environment. I should probably feel offended but I'm just too dang excited to care.

In just over 24 hours we will point the Impala northward and set off on the Great Cross Country Pajama Party!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm just sayin'....

If your dog is a shit hound and something is missing, check the back yard. If you don't find it right away, check again later. It's all in the timing. What goes in must come out. You just have to get it before it goes back in again. A word of warning though, don't be expecting it to look the same as it did when it first went in.

Friday, March 13, 2009

yeah...

I stopped a school teacher yesterday. She told me that she was a teacher like that would make it okay. It didn't. If anything it made her look worse in my eyes. When I got home I made sure she wasn't a teacher at Oompa High. To my relief she wasn't. That would have seriously ticked me off.

I walked past Henry The Homicidal Goldfish after work, chomping on a huge tuna fish and alfalfa sprout sandwich. I suddenly felt guilty and hid the sandwich behind my back as I tried to avoid Henry's accusing glare. Then I looked closer at him... one of his fillets would fit quite nicely between two slices of bread.

The Shit Hound farts worse than any person in the house. I swear she smiles every time she farts, kind of like a kid smiles when he smells cookies baking in the oven. It's like she knows that she's got a tasty little snack in the making.

Art called me from his Pink Haired Girlfriend's car this afternoon. They were on their way up town when they saw a big red pick-up truck with white feathers on the windows and sides. BIG RED LIVES! An old man is driving her now. I hope they travel many safe and happy miles together.

I'm tired. It's after 1 am. I stink. I smell like tuna fish and alfalfa. Think Dickidoo wants to cuddle?

The Cost of a Recession


How can you tell that we are in a recession? By the increased number of telephone directories piling up on your porch.


We got one yesterday, one last week, and two in February. On the average we receive 2 new phone books of one kind or another each month. Businesses are sinking that extra dollar into every inch of advertising they can get to bring customers in.

Dickidoo and I are fortunate. Our job security is not affected by the current recession (so far). We are both guaranteed our 40 hours a week. We don't have to worry about where our next mortgage payment is coming from. And so long as the Oompas don't run up the dang cell phone bill again, we should be able to weather this economic hiccup without too much discomfort.

Actually I won't have to worry about the Oompas running up the phone bill this month, or last month for that matter. Last week, right after I finally paid off that humongous phone bill from December and got service restored, my first text message was from the phone company informing me that our bill was past due. As of this morning our service has once again been suspended. Too bad we don't get roll-over minutes. At least we can still receive incoming calls. How else would they be able to call 10 times a day to inform us that the phone bill is over due ? Plus, this way they can still charge us the monthly service fees.

Milk at my store has gone down by about 25% to $2.63 while Coke and Pepsi 12 packs reflect almost a $1 increase to $4.26 - on sale! Gas remains pretty stable for the first time in a while, but I imagine it is just a matter of time before we see another spike. Of all the industries in the world, I still for the life of me cannot understand what drives the prices of oil and gas.

"The cost of oil is going up~ quick, raise the gas prices!"
"The cost of oil is going down~ quick, raise the gas prices!"
"Folks are afraid to fly and want to drive instead~ quick, raise the gas prices!"
"The stock market dropped~ quick, raise the gas prices!"
"The stock market rebounded~ quick, raise the gas prices!"
"It's Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth Of July, Christmas~ raise the gas prices!"
"It's Monday~ raise the gas prices!"
"My neice just had a baby, raise the gas prices!"


Anyhow, while luxuries are showing a marked increase in cost, the essentials like milk, eggs, bread and gas are either the same or lower. I shall not panic during this crisis though~ unless the price of toilet paper shows a sharp increase. This might be a good time to look into the feasibility of installing a heated bidet. Or perhaps we can just use a hillbilly bidet. All it takes is a water hose and a blow dryer. No Charmin needed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

He's out!

video

In 2004 my son Gabriel cut his waist length hair and joined the Army. I cried at the bus station as he rode away in the Greyhound bud. Memories of not so long ago when we said good-bye to a young friend as he departed for boot camp only to return a few weeks later in a casket escorted by my husband haunted me. But Gabe had inherited his father's sense of duty and was firm in his resolve.

I knew where his journey would take him, to the badlands of Iraq. And again I held my breath as icy fear gripped my heart. He would return for a second tour, losing several friends along the way. I cried in the dark hours of the night so as not to alarm the others, but my fears were never really calmed until today.

Today he is released from his commitment, having served bravely and honorably. And we impatiently await his return to his hometown and family. To all my friends who have been there with us through this trying time, those who shared my fears, and lightened my heart with their prayers and well wishes, I thank you from the bottom of my weary but grateful heart.

He's coming home. Amen!

Jody 'Dorn'~

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WHAT THE HECK?

I awoke to a soft blanket of pure white snow on my lawn. It was like a scene from a Currier and Ives print, except for one little detail.

My yard was the only yard in the neighborhood that had snow on it!

I repeat, Spring my butt!

I want my hour back!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Keeping up with the Jones...

Dickidoo just upgraded our cable service from basic cable to basic cable in HD Digital! It came complete with a program box that is almost as big as our wide screen tv and it's own remote, which is almost as big as the program box and has more keys then this Dell desktop keyboard I'm pounding on.

But wait, there's more!

It also has... over 700 channels!

Unfortunately we still only have the basic cable subscription (but in HD Digital!). What does that mean? It means that of the 700+ channels, about 650 are repeats of our basic cable package. At least we don't have to stare at a blank screen while trying to find a working channel among the vast abyss of cable tv.

'They're here....'

(I'm still afraid to go near a television set when the screen turns to static snow - as seen on Poltergeist. You do know that little girl that played Carol Ann really did die after filming the movie!)

We have the same Spanish Soap Opera on about 40 channels. It's amazing. This might be a good time to brush up on my Espanol.

Como?

Tomorrow (today?) is my day off so I'll have lots of time to learn how to use this new technology. I'll just hoist the remote control on to the Oompa's Yamaha keyboard stand and bang away at it until I figure it out. I may even compose a couple of overtures while I'm at it.

Who needs a life when you can have HD Cable with 700+ channels!

As seen on TV. This offer is not available in stores so call now! Supplies are limited!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Daylight Savings and the Cross Country Pajama Party.

"Daylight Savings, Spring Forward", they say.

Spring my butt! It snowed yesterday, it's still winter here in Colorado. I want my hour back!

I got an awesome email yesterday from my big sister Lisa. She's going to join my other two sisters, my two daughters, Art's Pink Haired Girlfriend and me in New York for Spring Break. I'm sooooooooooo excited! I wish my Baby Sister could be there, and Mama~ that would be perfect (sorry guys, this is a girls only party!), but we have the Family Reunion in 2010 to look forward to when EVERY DANG ONE will be there. In the mean time, the girls and I are going on a Cross Country Pajama Party that goes from Colorado to Upstate New York and back again!

Look out America, here we come!

Well, not yet... but soon! And thanks to daylight fricken time we'll get there one hour earlier!

Or is it one hour later? Grrrrrr! I hate daylight fricken time!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What better way to spend a day off...


My nephew is grounded. I won't go into the whys or where fors, lets just suffice to say that he did wrong and is being punished for it.
And for that matter so am I.
Today was my day off. Joseph has been following me around like a short shadow, bombarding me with pointless questions and random remarks. I'm tempted to join the shit-hound in the back yard in search of ancient treasures just to get away from the idiocy from within the house.
The kids don't have school tomorrow. I have to work. Darn it.
Maybe I'll go in early...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Silly me, they said 'Baa-Shit Hound' not 'Bassett Hound'.

I was talking to Gabe on the phone yesterday, discussing his upcoming move back to Colorado this summer when I walked past Rocky's room, tripping over Jubilee, the Oompy, who shadows my every move when I'm home. Her eyes and mine focused on a little 'indiscretion' right about the same time and we both got an 'oh shit!' look in our eyes. I shouted out and glared down at the hound but she was no longer by my feet. She ran like lightning into the room and before I knew what her intention was she had scooped the log up in her jowls and streaked past me. Instinctively I took chase down the short hall and up the stairs.

That was about the time it dawned on me....

Just what did I intend to do once I caught the turd-eating pooch... take the turd away?

Oh heck no! I didn't want it! I hit the handle on the back screen door and Jubilee ran out without slowing down. I didn't even bother to see what she was going to do with her prize, I just slammed the door shut.

Jubilee has been a part of the family for 4 weeks now. The novelty has worn off. She is no longer the 'Poopy Little Puppy'. She is the Shit-Hound! The lady who sold her to us told me that she might be eating the turds to hide the evidence of her accidents so we wouldn't be angry at her.

Ah Jubi, you shouldn't have! Really, you shouldn't have... so quit it!

Gabe was laughing on the phone the whole time. Yeah... just wait till this summer when he gets to meet Jubilee face to stinking face, and she licks him with her poopy tongue! We'll see how hard he laughs then!

I've been surveying my friends who have dogs and almost all of them admit that their dogs eat turds. I've had dogs before, they never at turds! Alpo dog food which is hard to distinguish between pre-digestion and post-digestion - yes. A dead critter now and then, maybe. Then of course a mother dog will lick her babies to make them 'go', and all dogs lick their own butts (and other dogs butts), but I'd never heard of them just out right eating shit before.

It's like extreme food recycling.

And yet through all this traumatic discovery I have found a new inspiration to communicate with my Maker. Each night I pray: "Dear God, thank you for making me human rather than canine."

Who ever coined the phrase 'it's a dog's life' must have had a shit hound.