Saturday, April 28, 2007

Happily Ever After

Ah, the blissful end to every fairy tale. Never mentioned are the dirty diapers, sleepless nights, soccer, karate, cars breaking down, endless piles of dirty dishes and laundry, having to share the bathroom with a boy. I often find myself wondering what happened to the Princes and Princesses after those fairy tale weddings. I know, I have too much time to think about weird stuff. Anyway, here are my theories.

Snow White, after banning apples from the kingdom, obtained an advanced degree in psychology. She specializes in issues of low self-esteem. She has had remarkable success, particulary with middle aged, mirror obsessed women, and vertically challenged blue collar men. She never had children, for obvious reasons.

Sleeping Beauty, suffering from acute insomnia, began restoring antique spinning wheels at night. Her cottage industry, which she called Aurora Dawn, grew into a multi-national corporation. Prince Phillip retired from dragon slaying and became a stay-at-home dad to their four children.

Cinderella moved into the palace with all of her animals, with the exception of the evil Lucifer. She became an animal rights activist, started a Merry Maids franchise and a support group for stepchildren.

Ariel couldn't stay out of the water, so she became a fitness trainer, teaching water aerobics and swimming lessons. She was afraid to have children with Prince Eric, for obvious reasons. They adopted several children and several fish.

Belle became a patent attorney and marketed her father's inventions. Her husband, formerly known as "The Beast," conducted anger management seminars, wrote several books, and appeared numerous times on Oprah.

Jasmine and Aladdin acquired even more wealth in the import/export business. Their most popular item was the flying carpet. The Genie, after traveling the world, settled down in the castle with Abu the monkey and Iago the parrot.

I know it's not Disney, but I had to ponder where this relationship went after that smashing finale. Zach did his time in the Navy, but didn't re-up. He got a degree in psychology. His specialty is abandonment issues. And Paula? Yeah, she got jets.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Up and Down Route 66

So I drove west on Route 66, stayed in New Mexico for a few days, and drove back east to Oklahoma. Spending a couple of days in a heart hospital and another couple in a rehabilitation hospital has a way of making you think deeply, profoundly and philosophically about your life, how you're living it, and your choices. Choices about health, about religion, about family. But that's subject for other posts. This one is about something else. For a long time, I have been the photographer of interesting signs. Turns out there are quite a few on Route 66. Here are a few that I caught on camera.

I wasn't aware that we had a state animal, but apparently we do. Interestingly enough, there were no buffalo (actually, they're bison) anywhere to be seen. I imagine they were out roaming, possibly playing with the deer and the antelope. Oh, as you can see, the sky was cloudy all day.

Now this is something you don't see every day. It's out by the cadillac ranch west of Amarillo.

I wonder if they offer high speed internet.

There used to be a sign near there that had an arrow pointing down the road and it said, "Bates Motel, We Have Showers." I've always regretted that my camera was inaccessible at the time.

I think this is my favorite from this particular trip, however. And I have to ask. Who would eat at a place with this name?

"Yes, I'll have frog legs as an appetizer, followed by some livers and gizzards, some calf fries, and maybe some of that chili pie for dessert." Yum, yum.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Route 66

So tomorrow I am driving from Oklahoma to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mostly along historical Route 66. Except it's not called that anymore. I have driven this road enough times that I can describe the entire trip. I leave early. About three miles south, I stop for a very large cup of Starbucks. This is to get me to the freeway (nee Route 66). I go south on 81 and have to slow down in Waukomis, Hennessey, Dover, Kingfisher and Okarche. Then I have to take a weird route through El Reno past the minimum security prison. I then emerge, like a river unto the sea, onto I-40, where I will spend quite a few hours navigating the waves.

My first goal is to get to Texas. Not because I am crazy about Texas, but because it means I'm one state closer. It also means I get to start reading signs for The Big Texan Steak Ranch.
If you eat this 72 ounce steak, a salad, shrimp cocktail, and a baked potato, you get your meal for free. Then you have a heart attack and your insurance goes up. It's a wash. My next "okay I'm this far" (while still keeping track of the steak ranch signs) is the largest cross in the western hemisphere. It's really very cool and you can see it for miles. When I traveled with the kids when they were younger, we always stopped here and walked around. When I'm alone, I tend to just put the pedal to the metal until I get there. After that, a drive through Amarillo by Morning, a wave to the Big Texan, and a wave to the Cadillac Ranch on the other side.
Then, I am in freeway hell for a couple hundred miles. Can't get a good radio signal, the wind is blowing 76.8 mph, you get into New Mexico with the awesome mesas and the huge blue sky, but you can't enjoy it because you have to deal with 1.3 million semis. Hopefully, you are lucky enough to not be traveling during tornado season (not), and you won't hit Santa Rosa at sunset because then you can't freaking see for at least a half hour. Then there is Albuquerque itself and I have never driven in ABQ without getting lost. Sometimes just a little, but mostly big time. I did get onto Google maps and hopefully can find the way to my mother's heart hospital. Otherwise, I'll have to call my brother's cell, tell him where I am, and he can find me curled in the fetal position in the back of my van. Saturday, I get to do it all in reverse, but I am always driven by the call of my own bed, so it's not as traumatic. If anyone wants a 72 oz. steak, let me know, I can pick one up on the way home.

P.S. If I don't get to blog while I am there, I'll see you all on Saturday!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Barbie Girl

When my daughter was little, she adored Barbie, she loved dresses, and her favorite color was pink. She grew out of the girly stuff quite a few years ago. Now, she wears jeans, drives a screaming yellow five speed manual pickup truck and a Ninja crotch rocket. That's why I was surprised that she chose a rather fluffy pink dress for prom.

Here she is our first Halloween in Duluth. There were some horrible dotted swiss green curtains in the basement that I took down and turned into this little fairy skirt.

Of course, by the time the kids dressed for the trick or treating, we were smack dab in the middle of the great Halloween Blizzard of '91, so the costume looked a little more like this.

That was my little princess then, and here she is now.

All grown up and pretty in pink, with a boy who apparently doesn't have cooties. Sigh. At least it's not white with a veil.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Ham on Rye, Hold the Pickles

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but I think that I am officially a member of The Sandwich Generation. You know, when you are taking care of your children and your parents at the same time. That's me in the middle. A few short years ago.

My daughter, who is a senior, spent her junior year in Minnesota (long story, I didn't like it because I was missing her high school stuff). So I was alone in the house, after years of runnning the home where everyone came to hang out. I was faced with something I hadn't thought much about while I was busy being a career mommy. That was, what do I want to be now that I'm grown up? I didn't have time to figure it out before daughter moved home, hubby left his job and was also home all day. Which left me really confused.

My kids don't need constant care anymore, but college is coming up and there are all kinds of big life things happening to them. On the one hand, they want advice and encouragement. On the other hand, they want to be left the hell alone. As a parent, it's frustrating trying to figure out how much to be involved and how much to butt out.

Flip the sandwich over and you've got a mother who just had heart surgery, came home, went into congestive heart failure, went back to the hospital, and will go from there to a rehabilitation facility. So there's a trip to Albuquerque next week, right in the middle of prom, senior pictures and announcements, May Fete, Baccalaureate, awards ceremonies, graduation and getting ready for a houseful of company. Even more than that is the looming possibility that the mothership may not be one hundred percent after all this, which means possibly more frequent trips west in the future.

Then I have AARP breathing down my back, but I'm not quite old enough for a senior discount at IHOP. And I still haven't figured out what I want to do when I grow up. Maybe I'll write a blog. Maybe I'll go down to the Caribbean and sling drinks for Kenny Chesney. Maybe he'll write a song about me.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

In Your Easter Bonnet

I'm just a kid at heart, and I still like to do little kid things. Fireworks, trampolines, slides, swingsets, roller coasters, watching animated Disney movies, playing in the sand - those are all activities that can still make me giggle. I didn't like it when my kids got old enough to assemble their own Legos. Then I didn't get to spend hours on Christmas Eve creating castles or pirate ships or jungles. I still like to color in coloring books. Every once in awhile, I'll read some book or another that I loved when I was a kid. I like to run. I don't like to "train" for things, I just like running. I love golf, but just because it's a game. If I had to compete, it would ruin it.

On that note, here is what my eighteen year old daughter and I did yesterday afternoon.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007


We spent last week in Minnesota, moving our son into a new apartment. This entailed two twelve hour days of driving, not to mention all the miles in the city getting from one apartment to the other and back ad transporteum. Which meant following, passing, being passed by an infinite number of other automobiles. Which led me, the primary driver and thus the one to see the backs of said automobiles, to wonder about the naming of different models of vehicles.

My first car was a Ford Galaxy and my second was a Chevy Nova.

Seriously sweet ride, although in Mexico, not a big seller, because the name in Spanish basically means doesn't go. Chevy also had the Vega, so they were very into naming their cars after large stars. Which I can kind of understand. I never understood naming autos after places, like Montego, Milan, Malibu, Monte Carlo, Aspen, Lucerne, Rainier, Durango or Dakota. I suppose the manufacturers want to evoke an image. Milan would be elegant. Durango would be rugged. Dakota would be, I don't know, four wheel drive. Sebring, ya got me.

I can also understand vehicles named for fast animals. Mustang, Cougar, Charger, Impala. Here is a list of monikers that baffle me.

Freestar - I don't even know what to say about this because it makes no sense on any level.

Aveo - likewise, and I don't even know how to pronounce it.

Crossfire - I'm thinkin' drive by shooting.

Rendezvous - Can we say hanky panky in the back seat?

Ram - road rage.

Avenger - beyond road rage. Cut me off and I shall avenge myself. There can be only one highlander!

Magnum - ultimate road rage.

Nitro - beyond ultimate road rage.

Viper - I hate snakes, enough said.

Caravan - what can I say, bad pun.

Yaris - sounds like a word Dr. Suess made up.

But here's the bottom line. Who wants to be rear ended by a Ford Probe?

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Since leaving his place of employment last July, hubby has been involved in a number of projects. For awhile, he was very enthusiastic about making biodiesel. He was thinking he might gather waste vegetable oil and turn it into fuel. He has a friend, M.P., whose mother lives a few miles down the road. On her property is this building.

Hubby talked to M.P., who agreed to lease him some space in the building for bench testing of the biodiesel. Hubby found some grease and set up a lab.

He spent quite a bit of time there frolicking with the grease. Then, he hit a few snags and needed to figure out how to deal with them, so he was away from the lab for awhile. One day, he got a call from M.P., whose mother had called and suggested someone get down to the lab right away. Hubby ran out of the house and made a speedy trip to see what was up. When he arrived at the lab, he was baffled to see numerous vehicles belonging to law enforcement officials parked there. With extreme trepidation, he exited his vehicle and approached the door. The door swung open. Seven or eight of Enid's finest turned to see hubby's form silhouetted in the door frame. An awkward pause ensued and then hubby asked, "May I help you?"

P.O.: "Is this yours?"
Hubby: "Yes."
P.O. "What have you got going on here?"
Hubby: "I'm bench testing for biodiesel."
P.O. "Yeah, we had pretty much figured that out. We got a report that it was a meth lab, but meth makers don't usually label their samples."
Hubby: "Why did someone think there was a meth lab here?"
Sheepish guy standing off to the side who leases space from M.P. to store his boat in the building: "Um, I guess that's my fault. I came in to check my boat and thought it was a meth lab and called the police."
Hubby: "Oh."

After which everyone cleared out and hubby came home, where my daughter and I were anxiously waiting to know why he had left in a panic saying "I have to get to the lab!" So he told us the whole story, said he just about had a heart attack, and we laughed and made the appropriate jokes. Ah, good times.