Monday, July 25, 2011

Thinking of Life on the Road (A lot of Pictures)

Poor A.
Her weekend camping trip was worse than I thought. We didn't have much time to talk; mostly she was filling me in via text. You know how texting don't get the entire description or the mood of the situation. 

When she walked in the house, I immediately could tell she was steaming. We hurried to get her mom's stuff loaded into her car all the time listening to the psycho mutt screech in our back yard. A couldn't hurry her out of here quick enough! Seems like they had quite the blow-up on the 4 hour drive home today. I'm so proud of her though since she really gave her mom an earful. Years ago she would have never; she would have simply clamped her mouth shut. For so many years A has been apologizing for her sexuality and today she stood up for who she is and told her mother she is not ashamed-take it or leave it! Ha!
We always joke that I'm the little devil who sits on her shoulder and whispers, say this, do that. Today apparently I was.

Well at least we have some weekend trips planned over the next couple months. Looks like the state of Minnesota has reopened the majority of the state parks so we don't have to cancel anything. I feel bad that A had such a shitty waste of a weekend but I couldn't help but be envious of her too. Instead I was stuck here at home looking at pictures and longing for our next road trip.

When A installed the new stereo, she put it all the way over by the steering wheel.
No matter, I'm still in control with the mp3 played and remote in my lap. I truly have to have things my way...and messing with the stereo is distracted driving anyway. 

The most common question we get when out in the RV is "What's it like to travel with all those dogs?" What can I say other than it's like living with them at home but in a much smaller space. 

We have all types of people approach us but some of the nicest are the truckers. They come over motivated by loneliness for their pets left at home while they spend weeks...sometimes months on the road. We listen patiently as tell us about their own dogs. We often find ourselves staying longer at a stop than expected just because we hate to cut them off.
I admit that our first few road trips were a learning experience but this year we really have it down.
We all try to be safe and stick together. If someone leaves the pack, everyone anxiously keeps watch until their return.
And if you don't behave, you can ride in the crate on the hitch rack, also known as "The Dinky Seat" (from National Lampoon's Vacation).
The old man grass-rolls at every stop.
And he rides in his stroller parked between the seats.
But Tim, being the jealous bastard he is, has to try out Giz's special seat every chance he gets.
Sia and Cassie spend a lot of time breathing down my neck. (Phew!)
And barking at people when we stop for gas.
And attempting the challenge to get up into the front seat to be with mama at any cost.

We encounter informative wall art. I wonder just how many people are named "Tabby" in that small town? My guess, not many and Tabby knows who she is.
And judgement along the interstate.
We really had to laugh that the one doing the condemning can't spell.

We travel on a scary, demonic road the superstitious may want to avoid.
And find historical roadsigns too. A trail marker and S-shaped bridge on the National Road, commissioned by Thomas Jefferson and one of the earliest roads west. It was supposed to go to Missouri but they ran out of money in Illinois. See our government had financial problems then too.

I wish we would have stopped here for breakfast. I just loved the name and it reminded me of Ms. Moon.
Our final stop on our return trip form Ohio-The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa where Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper played their final show.
See what wild times we have on the road? *laugh*

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Less Than Ideal Camping Weekend

A is finally on her way driving toward home. This weekend she took her mother (Nancy) camping in Iowa. Last summer Nancy whined multiple times about wanting to go in the RV and A kept her at bay telling her they would plan something for this summer. Well this spring Nancy brought it up again and A couldn't avoid it any longer so a date was set. 

I could have went along, I would have loved to spend the weekend cruising down the highway, lounging by a fire, swimming, riding around town on my bicycle and stopping for a Bob dog at the local drive-in restaurant...but NOT with Nancy along. She's hard enough to deal with (even A struggles to tolerate) and I couldn't tolerate 3 days in such close quarters. Plus she was bringing along that hateful little dog of hers. That little dog has no manners, no discipline and no guidance and the sad truth is it's Nancy's fault. There's just not enough room in the RV for 3 adults, 1 psycho dog and our 8 included. I opted to stay home.

2 weeks ago I was having doubts this trip was really going to happen. First Nancy called to complain about the time they were leaving She wanted to work Friday and then drive down to our house (it would take her 1.5 hours to get here) and then leave. A told her they were leaving at the pre-arranged time since she didn't want to drive all that way and then have to set up camp in the dark. 

Last weekend we were at a family picnic and Nancy was asking if the beds were comfortable and saying things like she sure hoped she would be able to sleep without hurting her back and I hope the AC keeps it cool enough. Then it was things like "well you know I can only eat Hebrew National hot dogs" A said fine; told her to pick up a pack and asked her to make a bowl of potato salad too. Nancy started complaining in the whine of her's that she had to buy her own hotdogs and make potato salad. I had enough and told her flat out that I think that's the least she can do since A is the one driving, providing the majority of the food, and paying for the campsite and gas (for a 9mpg gas whore). 

Her attitude just really pisses me off. I consider it very rude and just plain ungrateful, especially when A is just trying to be nice.

From my texts with A all weekend, it sounds like all Nancy did was complain while they were there too. A spent all her time trying to wrangle the dog. It barks constantly and her mother does nothing to try to quiet it. Hey I understand that dogs bark, ours do too, but we don't let them go on and we make a huge effort to not let them disturb others. A was pissed to be woken at 6am this morning by her mother's dog screaming at the top of her lungs at nothing. Unfortunately some campgrounds are starting to ban pets because of irresponsible owners. I don't want to see that become the rule since it would really ruin things for us.

I have a feeling this is the first and last camping trip for A and her mother.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tiny Balls Of Fire!

The first Habanero peppers of the summer.

The tomato plants are starting to produce.

Banana peppers too.

Somewhere in the garden the onions, jalapenos and cilantro are coming along too.
I can hardly wait for salsa time!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Week in Pictures

Blissfully quiet for the most part.

The lilies are blooming.
Our favorite Stargazer lilies. We planted 3 plants two years ago and they didn't return last summer. To our surprise, one re-appeared this summer. 

It was so hot and humid during the day, we spent our time reading in the sun and cooling off in the pool.

In the evening the dogs came out to play. Our Miss LuLu has taken huge steps toward trusting us the past month.
The biggest obstacle is avoiding mosquitos this big. Seriously, what the hell is in the water to make these mutants! I'm going to die from DEET toxicity. 

When you're just laying around the house what else is there to do but eat. Blueberry pancakes for breakfast.
A made each of the dogs their own personal 50 cent piece size pancake.

Add Turkish coffee to give a little jolt to your day.
Birthday dinner of grilled lobster, shrimp and asparagus.
A wanted my artery-clogging pineapple upside down cake. Here she is enjoying a late night snack of cake, Cool-Whip and milk.

A movie and popcorn night.
LuLu goes absolutely crazy when she hears the popcorn hit the pan. There is much dancing, spinning and  chirping.
And the old man Giz is always there to protect his claim on the popcorn bowl and keep the youngsters in line if they get too pushy.
LuLu had to be rescued after the sticker on the watermelon got the best of her.
And I had to be rescued when a violent thunderstorm went through. The sirens went off, the power went out and I found myself in total blackness trying to round up dogs and get them to the basement. A came to the rescue with flashlights and candles...we made it through without any major damage.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pool Time

Several years ago for 3 lovely summers we had a swimming pool. You know, one of those huge blue rubber things that seem to defy gravity. It was a decent size for us at 18 feet across and 4 feet deep; plenty of room for a couple floats and paddling around.

We spent a large majority of summer outdoor time just floating around out there reading and soaking up the sun. We had a lot of fun in that pool and there may or may not have been some late night skinny-dipping involved too.

A loved that pool and it was her summer hobby. She kept it spotlessly clean and the water was always that perfect crystal blue. She vacuumed, changed filters, checked the pH and carefully adjusted the chemicals. Mid summer of its 3rd year she discovered a small leak at one seam. She patched it and said that fall we would buy a new one. In August she herniated a disc in her back and had surgery. That meant no more pool time for her the rest of the summer and all the maintenance fell to me. That fall we started an addition to our house that took up some of the backyard. My brother helped me take down the pool for the last time.

We hung out around home the entire 4th of July weekend and all A talked about was how much she missed her pool. "Babe, maybe we should get a new one." I tried to be the voice of reason; "We don't have a flat sunny spot in the yard anymore." and "Don't you remember how much work it was?"
After 5 days listening to her talk about nothing else and being told several times "I would love to have that for my birthday" I finally caved and picked up a new swimming pool for A's birthday gift.
Now maybe I can get some peace and quiet. Happy 49th Birthday Baby!