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July 24, 2007


Kwik-E-Mart!!!, originally uploaded by dancingnancy_1.

Before we left on vacation we had to make a quick trip to the Kwik-E-Mart to pay our respects. It was beautiful. Heart-warming. They had donuts, Squishee's, Krusty-O's and Buzz Cola all for the taking. They'd just run out of the latter two before we arrived, so we settled on Blue Vanilla Squishee's, so sweet your teeth literally rotted right on the spot, and donuts covered in pink frosting, or rather, pink food coloring with a smidgen of sugar. Now, I'm not a donut fan by any means, can only barely stand the cake-like ones, but I took one for the team since they were of course, Simpson Donuts. Even only eating half a donut and a few swigs of Squishee, I think I consumed my entire week's worth of sugar.

Totally worth it. It was awesome.

July 23, 2007

It's all Michael's fault

I don't think the drive down to Southern California could have been any crazier, except maybe if aliens had dropped down out of the sky and sucked our car up into their ship to perform various tests on our human form. Even then, I would have been drier.

We started off fairly late as far as long car rides go, leaving a little after 8 am. Bear was absolutely thrilled that he was going, his anxiety from the night before when he saw our suitcases, only a dream. We let him in the back seat of the car as we were loading and securing the house, and he stayed out there, doors open, until we were finished. There was no way he was going to budge out of that car, there's nothing he enjoys more than to come along with us everywhere we go. And he was coming, just not all the way. We usually leave him at the PetsMart Pethotel because it's the cheapest in the area and the first place he hasn't come home from looking like he'd just spent a week at fat camp. Eating nothing more than entire cups of air and big bowls of nothing. This time however, it was booked as was every other Pethotel in the area. So I hunted around and found one along the way, an hour north of where we're staying now. We'd just drop him off on the way! And because I am evil, I spent the entire car ride laughing at how he thought he was going along with us...Caleb didn't find it so funny.

A few hours into the car ride we ran into some traffic in some mountains (which ones you ask? I have no idea....). Part of the mountain had caught on fire and there were several trucks and even a helicopter fighting it. We were mostly at a standstill watching the fire blaze. One of these times we were stopped we sat and watched, deer in the headlights, as the woman in front of us backed up, and kept backing up, until she ran right into us. Lovely! I love car wrecks! So! Very! Much! We got her to pull over, which was an ordeal in and of itself, and she hurried out of the car, glanced at her back bumper and yelled "I'm fine!", headed back to her car and drove off. Great! Thanks! We're good too, in case you wondered. (Thankfully we were, bless the bumper.)

The next incident happened when we'd finally made it out of the traffic and found a little place to eat and fill up the car. It was pretty hot, so I stayed with the dog while Caleb went in, to let Bear go to the bathroom and stretch a little, so that maybe he wouldn't put his panting, death-mouth right next to my face. I really need to brush that dog's teeth.

Anyway, because Bear is neurotic, he spent most of the time on high alert, straining his neck, wishing it longer, to try to see inside the restaurant and keep an eye on Caleb. The mutt has some serious separation issues. Very serious. The moment he saw Caleb he freaked out, bouncing at the end of the leash, and put his foot directly into the large cow-pie sized pile of poo. I'm not kidding, that thing couldn't have come from anything smaller than a very fat cow. We used all the napkins we had to clean off his paw, even rubbed it with my antibacterial hand sanitizer. Thinking we had pretty much conquered the poo, we let him back into the car. Mucho grande mistake. Let me tell you, the stench was absolutely insane, and not your typical dog-poo smell (remember? Possibly cow?!). It was this sickly sweet smell, almost methane-like. It probably could have powered our car. I nearly lost the lunch I was about to eat. I had to pull out the hand sanitizer again and ended up using half of the bottle, rubbing it all over his bed in the back seat. Mmm....lunch......

Fast forward twenty minutes, and we're smack dab in the middle of L.A. traffic. Think speeding, followed by quick stopping ("fast, slow, fast fast slow...."). One of these times, Caleb had to slam on his breaks and reached his hand over to hold me back at the exact moment I'd picked up my still very full drink, spilling every single ounce of it in my lap. I was swimming in Diet Coke and ice. I was so wet, and we'd used every napkin we'd had on the Bear Poop-Foot Incident, that I had to mop up the seat using my very soaked pajama pants, and spent the next hour of the car ride in my underwear, attempting to dry my pants on the dashboard.

It was perfect timing, almost too perfect. Very suspicious. Caleb giggled a little too hard. Too much. My guess? Payback for making him listen to my old CD mixes, turning up "Man in the Mirror" a little too loud. The fake mic probably didn't help either.

Man, I love road trips.

July 21, 2007

On Ethics

Discussing "Before He Cheats", by Carrie Underwood while driving down to So-Cal (such a Cali phrase...):

Caleb: The music video is so lame, it could have been much better.

Me: How? If she'd been naked?

Caleb: No! Well, of course it would be better, everything's better when you're naked. She could be auditing me while naked and I'd still enjoy it.....

Long pause, and a small smile creeps across his face...

Caleb: Wait, what were we talking about?

July 19, 2007

Catching Up: Lake Powell

You see this and wonder what in the world could possibly possess anyone so completely that they would feel the need to make such ridiculous facial expressions. And you'd have a valid point, except that you don't know that he's at Lake Powell. And if you been to Lake Powell, then this makes perfect sense. The sheer joy of being in such a beautiful place where you wake and sleep with the sun, lounge around for hours at a time, or enjoy a wide array of water sports, can be quite overwhelming. It's too perfect. And this right here is that feeling captured. I Heart Lake Powell. And you should too.

(Click on the pic to see a small sampling of our 4,594 Lake Powell pics)

July 16, 2007

Cigar and a Coke?

It appears it is physically impossible for me to blog for two days straight. And the sad part is that since I haven't been regularly blogging I've got all these ideas for posts stored up in my head, but just like my DVR box, they keep getting deleted as new ones eek their way into my grey matter. So I just end up posting about the house again. I just realized I haven't even posted Lake Powell pictures, and that was AGES ago. I also haven't posted 4th of July pictures, or pictures of my friend's wedding, and we're about to go on Family Vacation #349, a week in Oceanside, CA, or rather, 7 days of Moss Family Fun, 60 Strong. We're petitioning to become our own state.

My goal before we leave this Saturday is to catch up here, and maybe even throw in a few well-thought-out posts, which would be a lovely change, wouldn't it? It just seems that we've been so caught up in making our new home livable, that all we do is work, come home, work, take a break to hang out with our friends (while we all talk about the work we should be doing on our homes), go to bed late, and then wake up again to start all over. I don't remember what it's like to get a decent night's sleep, it's honestly been ages. And I am well aware that this is the time to be "stocking up" for the years and years of no sleep when kids come into the picture. But before I continue on, whining about the no-sleep, the endless work, the slacking of the blog posting, I'm just going to shut up and post a few random shots in hopes of saving this lackluster post.


.............. . . . . . . . .. .

And that's where my laptop ran out of juice and I was too tired to walk the two feet across the room to plug in the cord. So I went to bed. And that pretty much sums up the last few weeks, doesn't it?

And since this is pretty much the rambling type of post, here's a little story for you. As Caleb and I were cleaning the house we discovered a "hidden" drawer in our dining room. I guess hidden isn't the right word here, more like there wasn't a handle and the hole had been spackled over. We pulled out the drawers so that I could properly clean / disinfect them before I filled them, and found this:

That would be one book, "An Actor Prepares", two maps of Florida, two cigars, one deck of cards, one bag of batteries, and one....olive oil holder? So I've pretty much discerned that these people were fledgling actors who played cards by the light of their cigars each night, drinking entire grape-shaped glasses of olive oil, convinced it would soften their vocal cords, while dreaming of one day making it big in Florida. And the batteries? Well....maybe they were saving up for their battery powered car. Very environmentally aware.

And now, I give you....Caleb's favorite part of the house.....

This little gem is mounted on the wall of our utility room, connecting the kitchen to our backyard. Either the owners were enthusiastic Coke drinkers or The House is pushing it's beverage-of-choice agenda. I don't know about you, but I'm feelin' the itch....

July 11, 2007

In which I channel "Supermarket Sweep"

It's been three days since Caleb has been away and I think it's safe to say that things are going better than I'd expected. Bear only spent one evening prostrate in front of the front door waiting for him, and I've managed to only have cereal for three meals. I'm afraid to say that my progress on the house however, is excrutiatingly slow. I do have a rather large Goodwill pile, which would be great except for that I now own 3.5 shirts. And half of them are in the wash.

In an attempt to have something to show for myself, I am planning a trip to Ikea tomorrow, which right now is akin to grocery shopping while hungry. This could get interesting. I could make a list, that might help, I try to be a stick-to-the-list type of girl. However, I am also a very skilled rationalizer, and sometimes just forget altogether what we do or don't have. This is why I sometimes come home from the grocery store with 10 different kinds of juice when we already have four in the freezer. And also why I forget the important items on my list (like eggs! Mental note! We are out of eggs!). My Ikea list so far is this;

1. Floor cabinet for the bathroom - MUST MUST MUST. The floor is a very inhospitable place for make up and hair products.

2. Closet storage items, another bar, shoe racks etc. Our closets couldn't fit Ghandi's wardrobe.

3. We really really really really really need a new couch. It is wishful thinking to hope to find one at Ikea, but I am a dreamer.

4. A moping bucket. Because I have 1,100 square feet of hardwood floor in dire need of a good mop.

5. I am desperate for one of those dog food Rubbermaid containers. I would like to be able to walk into my washroom / little-area-that-leads-to-our-backyard without dry heaving.

6. Caleb will kill me for admitting it, but he really wants one of those head-to-toe mirrors for our bedroom so that he can do his hair-walk, smooth his shirt routine before heading off to work. Remind me to capture that sometime, it really is a sight to be seen.

7. We have zero ice cubes in our home. Nada. Zilch. We need ice cube trays.

8. A new shower curtain, which is going to be more difficult than it should be. It needs to be at least 82" in length, long enough to wrap nearly all the way around our tub. That's a good 10 inches longer than your average shower curtain. And I'd REALLY love for it to not have big purple dinosaurs or something. I have a nightmare that it's all we're going to find.

9. About nine gajillion rugs.

10. A dozen other small items. Curtains, a coat hanger, mail organizer. A few larger ones as well. A headboard, fireplace cover, another dresser.

So with my track record, I'll come home with three of these items and about ten others not on the list. Like art, a new lamp, or salad tongs. I've been married for two years and have yet to pick up a proper pair of salad tongs. Which of course, is the measure of success as a wife. Everyone knows that.

It's possible that I am going to need a small truck. Or a good dose of restraint.

July 8, 2007

Settling in....

Wow. We did it. We moved in two days. Two evenings, excuse me. Packing that quickly went against my very nature, it hurt my heart to grab handfuls of clothes in my closet and fling them into a box. Not even FOLDED for heavens sake. It happened so fast, the move I mean, that even now, Sunday, I still can't believe we're here. It feels like we've gone on vacation (the most horrible vacation EVER...) and that in just a few days we'll head back. It's so nice to be in our own place though, a home with a backyard to chuck the mutt out into, a home where we don't have to figure out the logistics of getting three tons of groceries up three stories in one trip (trips to Costco were always a challenge....), an extra bedroom, more storage.

We've spent the last few days sorting through our boxes and cleaning up. Actually, I spent all yesterday on just the kitchen alone. As I said, this home was built in 1921 (I've said that, right?) and then was remodeled 14 years ago, but I doubt anyone has done more than dusting and mopping since. I spent an entire evening just washing the cupboards. Then I made the mistake of washing a portion of the wall, revealing it's at least three shades whiter than we'd thought. I'd been afraid of that, secretly hoping that whoever lived here before us was as OCD as I am. Wishful thinking, I know.

Caleb has spent a lot of time working on "guy" things, fixing the gate in the backyard, installing the worlds most complicated window air conditioner (we're fully embracing the white-trashness of that, just greatful that our home is now at a hospitable temperature...), and just yesterday, cleaning out the fireplace, layers and layers of caked on ash. It looks much better, but I think we're going to have to get a proper chimney sweep in to clean it all out. While I love the charm of an old fashioned wood burning fireplace, I'd like to not smell like I'd just rolled in one.

Bear on the other hand, isn't so sure about this new place. He loves the backyard, will lay out in the grass for hours. He just doesn't quite know what to do with himself when indoors. He'll follow us around everywhere, as if he's waiting for us to tell him what to do. He's doing much better though, much better than while we were moving. He was absolutely positively WIGGING out, whining and frantic, trying anything to squeeze out the door to be with us as we took boxes out. I finally found some sedatives we'd had for when we'd flown with him, and that REALLY helped, I highly reccomend them. Twenty minutes after giving it to him he was droopy, red-eyed and totally calm. I loved it. (I suppose it's like slipping a little Benadryl into the kiddies drinks? It's for their own good, right?) Yesterday he experienced his first squirrel in his very own yard and went nuts, waiting at the base for it to come down. When we finally made him come in he kept whining to be let out again.

We're not nearly done with it all, which is great, because Caleb is leaving tomorrow for the week to go work in the Oregon territory. Leaving me here all alone (guilt trip! guilt trip!) to finish cleaning and unpacking. Actually, I think he's even feeling a little guilty himself about it, and has been leaving me all sorts of instructions about sleeping with the outside lights on, not going out after dark, and keeping all the windows shut at night. And just now he sprayed the outside of the house with this perimeter bug spray, which is supposed to keep all those nasty creepy crawlies outside. I'm well protected. I hope. The other night as I was cleaning the kitchen I encountered a rather large black spider. I decided to be brave and kill it myself, since Caleb was busy trying his hardest not to swear at the air conditioner in the next room. I wadded up several paper towels and went for it, missing of course, and it ran over my hands and fell onto the counter. The shrill scream that came out of me was completely involuntary, and something I don't think I've ever done before. My ears were ringing. Caleb must have figured it was nothing, since he didn't even bother to ask what had happened, or maybe he was too involved in his mumbling. Bear on the other hand was on full alert, barking and whining at me. At least I know if something happens he'll at least act concerned? He certainly is no good at protecting me against intruders...

Anyway, here are a few pictures of our place, at least the parts we've managed to unload and clean....

White picket fence needs some lovin'.....

July 3, 2007


Oh, let me tell you, the trip home was WONDERFUL. Hung out with the fam, saw nearly all of my friends, went shopping, had a pedicure (first one since my wedding TWO YEARS AGO, IT WAS HIGH TIME!) had a lovely time at the wedding, bla bla bla. I'll post pictures soon I swear, just as soon as I post pictures from Lake Powell, which I also swear to do. Sometime soon. I swear.

The real news though, is that we got the house! On Friday! Because Caleb is an amazingly smooth talker who convinced the owners to screw the open house and just give it to us. That was Friday, and we scrambled to fill out the application before someone else snatched it up. My family doesn't own a fax or scanner, so I drove around town trying to find someone who did. I tried Alphagraphics, a local printing company, but apparently scanning OR faxing was too difficult a task, much too complicated. I should have known it would have been a bust, there were no cars in the parking lot. First indication of a failing business. Next I tried FedEx / Kinko's and got to speak to three different high school students, none of which knew a thing about scanning a document. "Oh, me go get Rocky......." Yes, please do. And while you're at it, maybe you could spit out that wad of Bubble-Yum? Maybe? Thanks.

Anyway, we got the home. And.........we move on Wednesday. I got home late Sunday night. So let's see, that leaves us two days to pack up, change / close / get our new utilities. Oh, and neither of us can take any time off of work. So that's two evenings. And just in case you forgot, Wednesday also happens to be our nation's birthday. A national holiday. A day in which no one works. Are we crazy? Perhaps.

Oh, alright, we're completely and utterly insane. Moving? In two days?!

Surprisingly, we made a lot of progress tonight. We've got everything but our clothes and bathroom essentials loving wrapped and boxed. Bear is officially wigging out, with Caleb and I not far behind. Need proof? Well then, proof I have!

Today I picked Caleb up at work for lunch so we could come home and figure out all the logistics of this crazy move. We parked my car outside and got about halfway to the door before Caleb said ".....Kim? Where's my car?" We quickly scanned the parking lot, not seeing it. "Kim?! Where is my car?!" I sighed, rolled my eyes and steeled myself for what I knew would follow, you call the cops, they come over, do nothing, and then we wait a few days to find out that it's across town, totally stripped. Caleb has a horrible track record with his cars, having had them either broken into or stolen 9 times in the last 7 or so years. Cabe pulled his cell phone out and started to dial the police as he said, "I saw it this morning when I..........", and then my brain slowly started working. Yes, he saw it that morning, as he drove it to work. His car was at his office. I had picked him up, only moments before. We had officially lost our minds.

Speaking of which, I'd better get some sleep before I'm rendered completely useless tomorrow. Despite all the craziness, I am so excited to rent this beautiful home. I still can't quite believe we have it, that I don't have to check craigslist every 30 seconds for new listings. That we actually got the home we wanted! Everything has just fallen into place, which further confirms how right this is for us. I can't wait to show you all, it's absolutely adorable.

Our internet is being turned off tomorrow, so I may not be back on for a few days. Until then, here is my new haircut. Thank you Dayvid! Love it!

I had no idea my mom was taking this picture, and neither did she. I was about two seconds away from giving her some instructions on how to take it, and then we heard the click. Hence my stone-face. I post this one because the other picture she took had the flash on, and she was looking flustered enough as it was, holding such a monstrous camera, that "Will you please hold down the flash?" seemed a bit too much to ask. You love it.