Category: Humor


Gotta Love Kids

You know that feeling, when you get into bed at night and all of a sudden you revert back to a child and think for a split second..”Is something under my bed?” Maybe you don’t, but many times I have found myself thinking that.

I have been scared many times in my life by real life “creepers” so I tend to have an overactive imagination with some things.

We have some “interesting” neighbors that have moved in that have made us more vigilant when it comes to making sure things are locked up when we leave, etc. I  hate feeling like this in my own home. It didn’t used to be like this.

Well we are very active in our church and attend meetings every Sunday. When you live in the type of neighborhood I live in, most people know when you are gone on Sundays and at what times and for how long. This is information  that you really don’t want people knowing if they want to break into your house.

So each week in the back of my mind I think, “They know we are gone, I hope they don’t try anything”.

Two weeks ago, we came home from church and I had just come out of the bathroom. I was singing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, or at least trying to because I couldn’t past “Chippewa on down” because I couldn’t remember the words. So I was in my own little world trying to figure out what the next words were. I came around the end of my bed and turned to go out the door when something grabbed my ankle from underneath the bed.

I really shouldn’t have to explain my reaction. It was like having a near death experience. I screamed for at least 2 minutes before I heard my daughter laughing. She is lucky she started laughing or the adrenaline might have jumped and  I might  have started kicking her in the face.

I seriously had to sit down after this. Have you ever been scared so bad that your heart hurt? My heart was pounding so hard it hurt. I sat there breathing hard and holding my breath. Like Fred Sanford does when the “Big One” is coming:

Anyway, I decided that the next time I sing The Wreck of the Edmund Fiztgerald it will be Tim Hawkins version:

Facing Your Fears

This past week, I was privileged to travel with a group of about 30 youth and a few adults to Jackson Hole Wyoming for a youth conference.

In my mind I tell myself that I am an adventurous soul, but then some situations I get in I truly ask myself, “What were you thinking?”

Our first day we embarked on a river raft trip down the Snake River. I was all stoke for this until we actually got to the river. All of a sudden, I remembered the time I almost drown as a kid and I started getting really nervous. Not to mention that the entire boat contained young girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Then there were four women and on guide. In my mind I kept thinking, “Shouldn’t we have at least one more guide so if I fall in someone can help me back in, while the other guides the boat?” No, no more guides just Alex.

As we started off down the calmer part of the river, Alex was good as relieving our fears and told us he hadn’t lost anyone yet. This particular sentence wasn’t very comforting because I had a doctor tell me he had never had any problems with a certain surgery and guess what…I was his first problem and nearly died. So I kept thinking to myself, I will be the first of Alex’s “losses”.

I realized that as we conquered each wave, how I relaxed more and actually started enjoying it even though the water was only 48 degrees and I had lost all feeling in my right foot.

I came on this trip with three of my children, one daughter and two sons. I knew two of my children were the adventurous type, but my one son really surprised me. You could get a bracelet for jumping into the river at a certain point. He actually jumped into the water. My daughter was the first on our boat, which was not surprising, to jump in and my other son… He had to do it three times. I am not sure I would have been that adventurous at their age.

At one point my “safe” son was actually “riding the bull” at the front of the boat through the waves. This really surprised me. After we got on the bus, my younger “crazier” son informed me that he had ridden the bull through the lunch counter. This almost gave me a heart attack. I guess he figured it was better to do it and then ask for permission later. This kid will be the death of me.

By the time we ended the trip I was really wanting more river to conquer as was most of the girls. The whole trip was designed to get us out of our comfort zone and try new things. I was definitely out of my comfort zone and would in fact do this again. It was very fun.

That night we drove in to Jackson to play night games at the high school. I actually found this to be more out of my comfort zone than almost anything else we did just because of what happened there.

I am an extremely jumpy and paranoid person. Because of experiences growing up, I am extremely cautious when put in some situations. A couple of weeks before coming on this trip, we had a retired police officer come and speak to the girls about being safe and how to avoid bad situations. It was very informative and added to my paranoid nature.

While we were playing night games, I started to get really thirsty. I noticed a building by the football field where we were playing. I decided that I would walk over and see if there was a drinking fountain. Now it was dark and the only light came from a couple of street lights and some flashlights the kids had.

When I got to the building and noticed it was restrooms, I decided I was use the facilities while there. As I approached a door to see which bathroom I was at, a voice came out of the dark asking me what we were doing. I nearly died. I couldn’t see anyone and could only tell in what direction the voice was coming from. I knew the voice was not attached to anyone I knew so I was extremely startled. I explained that we were playing capture the flag and the person asked a couple of more questions. At this point I had a few red flags going up in my head. I decided to leave the conversation and continue on to my destination…the lady’s room. When I got to the back side of the building, I started getting more and more nervous. I realized that I had just put myself in an extremely volatile situation. I was behind a building, in the dark and a stranger knew I was there and I was pretty sure that a few or anyone even knew the stranger was there.

I decided to go into the bathroom anyway because at this point I really had to go and couldn’t wait. When I entered the bathroom, the light automatically came on, which kind of scared me because I was already on edge. I got in the stall and did my duty and as I was getting ready to go out of the stall, the lights went off. I nearly had a heart attack. I kid you not, I thought I was about to get involved in a smack down and no one would a hear a thing that happened. I stood there with hand on handle listening and waiting to see if I could hear anything.

After a couple of minutes had passed, I knew I couldn’t stay in the stall all night and that I had to come out. I slowly opened the door and tried to look in the dark for any movement. Because the stall door next to me was opened, it blocked any dim view I had of the exit. I stood there for what seemed an eternity before I finally shoved the stall door next to me hoping that if someone was on the other side of it, I would knock them out on impact.

After the door stopped swinging, I listened for noise and didn’t hear anything, so I decided to head for the exit. I took about four steps when the light came on. I stood there with a deer in the headlight look thinking I was going to see the perp in front of me who had shut off the light, but there was no one. After my heart slowed to 300 bm I realized it was possible that the lights were automatic in some way. This did not remove the fear I was feeling. I stood with hand on the exit door handle for about five minutes trying to figure out what I should do. Do I slowly open the door and look side to side or do I just bust out like the flippin’ john was on fire. I came to the conclusion that if someone was out there, they would be surprised by my bolting out of there and thus giving me an upper hand.

It was probably about 5 minutes before I had the guts to bust out. I swung that door open and flew out of there like there was no tomorrow, not looking what was behind me.

I later found out that this guy ending up being obnoxious and thus ending the kids’ night of fun. Which confirmed my suspicions of the guy to begin with. I shook for quite a while afterwards.

The next day of our adventures took us to a ropes course at in the middle of nowhere in Idaho. Here we would be facing our fears on a rock wall and zip line. I was really stoked for this and thought it would be fun. When we arrived, I soon noticed how secluded it was and how some of the trails were hard to see.  Now we had been seeing bear warning signs along the road, so in the back of my mind there was a small thought of perhaps running into one. As we were walking along this trail to a hidden pavilion, all of a sudden I see a giant brown head. I nearly dropped dead right there until I realized it was a brown lab. I told myself what a stupid idiot I was to get so scared and the chances of seeing a bear would be slim to none.

Well that fear was intensified when the advisors of the course told us that a black bear had just come through there earlier that morning. Geez! Are you kidding me? Now to add to the anxiety of the zip line, I was freaked out over seeing a bear. My mother’s cousin was mauled by a bear in Alaska and the story was published in a book. I had been reading this book earlier this year and decided that I would never come within 100 yards of an Alder bush. This whole book was about grizzly bears coming out of Alder bushes.

When we finally got to the rock wall, I was nervous but I had done a rock wall a couple of times before so it wasn’t too bad. It was when I got to the top and realized that the only way down was the zip line. I don’t know how I had ever talked myself into this, but me and heights have never been bff’s and it wasn’t about to start this day either.

I stood there in almost a frozen fear of how high I was and how it was intended for me to get down. I shook as the advisor hooked me up to the zip line, thinking how stupid I was to agree to this. We were at least 30 feet in the air and one had to walk out on this plank that was no wider than 2 feet and perhaps 2 1/2 long. It looked like 4 inches square from where I was standing. I climbed out on the plank holding on to the telephone pole behind me like a stinkin’ cat. I stood there with everyone cheering me on and trying to get up the nerve to go. I just could not get myself to jump. I kept telling myself to do it and just get it over with, but I couldn’t. Then I looked below and there stood my two sons, yelling at me “You can do it Mom!”. I knew at this point, I had to jump. They had to see that their mother was not a wuss.

I truly believe I passed out on the jump because it was a blur and then I am pretty sure I woke up the entire community of Driggs from my scream. I screamed, and screamed and screamed. Was it fun? In a sick sort of way. Would I do it again? Not entirely sure. As we were leaving the course to go to the cars, it was getting dark and I realized I was on a trail that was surrounded by what looked like Alder bushes. I nearly plowed over those in front of me trying to get to the cars. If there was anything that scared me more than that dang zip line, it would be something coming out of those bushes and getting me. So did I face my fears? I felt like I was the entire trip. Do I think I handled them well? Perhaps some of them, others not so much so.

So my first two children were girls. Girls were so much fun.  I could dress them up and they got along most of the time. Rarely did I have a smack down between the two of them. My next two children were boys.

Boys are an entirely different species all together. When my boys were younger, they got along great together. Better than the girls. As they grew into teens, I started noticing BIG differences in their behavior. I am not sure where in the genetic code of humans that the burping and farting in public gene mutated in males. This is hard to understand as a female and one that I will never understand. For some reason the teenage…and I might add, older aged male, seem to think this is the best way for impressing the babes.  Let me put that myth to rest right now. That would be no.

When my youngest son turned 13 something changed. Not only did he change, but he passed whatever he had on to my son that was 15.  My polite 15-year-old son suddenly started farting wars with the 13-year-old.  Two years later despite my constant nagging things have not changed.

This is not the only problem with teenage boys.  The burping and farting they are constantly doing seems to drown out common sense or deadened it.  I am still not sure which.  I truly believe they will do anything to embarrass me even if it isn’t on purpose.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my boys and they make me laugh everyday. They are hilarious, but they come with horrible side effects sometimes.  Take my trip to town a couple of days ago.  We came to a store where they were selling newspapers outside of the door.  I am sorry, but I hate this.  I hate being  jumped at a store door without an exit route.  I have told these guys over and over that I do not want a newspaper.  As I sat in the car looking at the front door and trying to figure out how to get into the store without getting a sales pitch, my son says this “I got an idea, I will just go up and “pants” him and then when he is distracted you can go into the store. I bet he will never want to sell anything to you after that”.  After I recovered from envisioning this scene, we opted to go through the garden area and avoid him altogether. I wasn’t sure my son wouldn’t try something.

Amongst my purchases at this store was a toilet plunger. As I am getting into the car, I find that my car has a new hood ornament which took some doing for him to get it off after he put it there.  I seriously counted my blessings that I saw that before I got going down the road.  Once we get going down the highway he then proceeds to stick the plunger on the roof of the car to pretend it is a police siren, you know like in the movies. I had to put up with this for 7 miles.  With my neighbor driving right behind me the whole 7 miles.  Then he has the nerve to tell me that he wants to make a bow that will shoot one. Guaranteed, I will be the first to get it in the face.

Then the other day we went into a store. I was stuck there with him again despite the many times I have told him he is not coming with me ever again.  We came out of the gardening area and started down an aisle where we both saw this really cool green glass looking ball. We both reached for it at the same time to feel it. After touching it we realized it was plastic and that is was a toy ball.  My son quickly  grabbed it and started reading the label.  “Hey”, he says “this says this ball can bounce 150 feet in the air, I don’t believe it”.  As soon as the, “I don’t believe it” came out I knew he was going to see if the claim was true. The first words out of my mouth was, “Don’t do it”.  He must have turned off his “hearing aids” and decided that not only was he going to bounce it on the floor, but he better make sure he gives it enough power that it will do what it claims. He was standing at the top of one aisle and I started down another aisle just as he bounced it.

I looked up to see the ball go through the ceiling tiles.  This was a good 30 feet up.  The ball hit those tiles just right that it lifted them up and turned them enough that they fell out of the rim they were sitting in and came down on his head.  I personally did not stick around for the whole thing to play out.  When I saw the sky falling, I wasted no time in disappearing.

My first thought…”Dang it, they just saw everything on security cameras”.  My second thought, I am getting out of here before they realize he belongs to me.

When my son finally caught up to me, he begins to complain about the paper cut that one of them gave him on his face.  No, “sorry mom, I should have listened to you”.  No, nothing.  It has been 3 days and still no apology. Perhaps someday when he has a son I will get an apology. Because despite my hopes for change, I think the gene will mutate in his future sons also.

So after a few busy weeks, I am back. My life has been chaotic lately.

I also started a new blog called “Where In The World is Jay”.  A little bit about how it started.

To understand how funny I find my husband, I have never seen anyone as tenacious as he once he starts mowing. We live on a five acre piece of land which gets covered with field grass.  One day he was out mowing our regular lawn and he disappeared. I found him clear out in the field mowing. He is the kind of guy that once he starts going, he will find anything that needs mowing down and go at it.

A couple of years after we were married he was out mowing with the riding lawn mower and I looked out to see nothing but a giant ball of dust.  All of a sudden I see him running toward it and in the middle of this dust ball was the riding mower climbing a fence post. I stood there with mouth open trying to figure out how the mower got up the fence post without my husband on it.  I still to this day don’t know and neither does he.  He is as tenacious with the weed whacker as he is the mower. Many times I have seen him in the field chopping away at anything that looks like a weed.  I have lost many of flowers and plants to that thing. May they rest in peace.

So a couple of days ago he was mowing the lawn.  I went to the kitchen sink to get a drink. I looked out the window and saw him mowing the lawn in shorts and snowboots.  Earlier that day we had been hauling stuff to a recycling place and he had stepped in a horse size pile of dog poop.  We don’t have dogs that size, nor do our dogs ever go in the front yard. So stepping in it was an unpleasant surprise. So he put them on to mow the lawn to keep from getting dog poop on his good shoes. It was nearly 80 degrees outside, I don’t know how he could stand it.

I was on the phone to my sister and told her that she needed to see what he was wearing.  She wanted me to upload the picture to my facebook page for her to see.  Well I decided that that was too boring so I was going to have some fun and I Photoshopped him into mowing The White House lawn.

It started from there that we decided to start a series called “Where in the world is Jay?”.  We started coming up with some really funny ideas of where one would find my husband and his mower.

So click on the link on the side under “Family” on  “Where In The World is Jay” and it will take you to the site.

Home remodeling is not for wusses.  During my growing up years, there is only a couple of houses that I recall not being involved in a remodeling job of some sort.  My mother had this innate ability to take something ugly and make it beautiful.  I remember one particular house that I went with them to look at.  I remember walking into this four walled container of fecal matter and telling my parents that I would not move into that house if they decided to buy it. It seriously looked like someone had urinated on the walls or something in the front room.  The toilet was so disgusting.  The house smelled horrible.

My parents bought the house because they got a great deal on it.  I moved in kicking and screaming.   The house did have to be cleaned up before we moved in which helped a little bit.  When my mother was done with it, it was beautiful home.

I will be the first to tell you that I hate remodeling.  Mostly because I hate things being in chaos and it would eventually lead to not having a bathroom in the middle of winter. Utah winters in the past were not kind. You would sometimes have to plow a walkway to the car through 3-4 feet of snow. This year it has been 3-4 inches.

When my grandmother passed away, the doctors did not want my grandfather living alone.  He was pretty feeble.  So my mother and father sold our home and we moved into my grandfather’s house.  It was a two bedroom, 1 bathroom home.  There were 5 of us.  My parents made do until we could remodel the home to have 3 more bedrooms and a bathroom. See, I told you all remodeling leads to being without plumbing at one point and time.

This remodel job started in the summer and went into the winter.  My grandfather had a greenhouse that he had made that was in his backyard about 200 feet away from the house.  When it came time to install the new toilet, shower and sink, the water had to be shut off to the bathroom.  My father built us a porta-potty of sorts in the greenhouse for privacy.  Unfortunately it was in the winter and we had a lot of snow.  I remember a few mornings making the trip out to the greenhouse dreading the frostbite I was getting braced to receive.  This makes you pretty tough.

I am about to “out” my mother on this and may she forgive me.  I did not understand her situation then like I do now that I have had four children.  The birth of children seriously damages anything related to the bladder and the lack of control thereof.  Did not understand this at that time.  I am a lot more sympathetic of her situation now.

One particular morning when our bathroom was still located in the great outdoors, she woke up and had to go out to the “greenhouse”.  She realized as she got up that she had to go pretty bad and wasn’t sure if she was going to make it.  She had a pretty steep flight of stairs to go down and realized when she got to the bottom that there was no way she was going to make it without having an “accident”.  So she made an executive decision to just step off to the side of the steps and go. She hit a patch of ice which caused her to go down along with her pants.  Even now, 25 years later, I still laugh at the picture this paints in my mind. I envision Bambi when he first stepped on ice.

Now thank goodness Google wasn’t around to do a drive by “shooting”.  I would hate to find her on a Google map search somewhere.  I could not stop laughing that entire day.  I had graduated from high school and was at home so I was stuck there painting all day.  When it would get quiet…you know the 7 minute lull….I would envision my poor mother in her predicament and start laughing.  She would just look at me and give me that “I know what you are thinking about look” and then proceed to tell me that she wishes she would  have never told me what happened.  Well today I almost had the same experience she did, only I kept my pants on and ice was not involved.

The first house my husband and I lived in had to be completely remodeled for it to be livable. I decided after the 10 years of that that I would never remodel again. I will paint, but I won’t tear the entire house apart. So for the last couple of months, I have been giving my walls a fresh coat of paint after 7 years.  Today I decided that my children’s bathroom needed a new look.  I have unfortunately been smacked with the short stump and am at a huge disadvantage at reaching ceilings, let a lone vaulted ceilings.  I have not to this day spent money on a step-ladder.  That is probably why I have nearly died a few times.

Today I had the can of paint on the bathroom sink and I was standing on the side of the tub trying to paint around the ceiling.  I had a chair in between me and the sink so I could just step around to make things easier.  I stepped on the chair with one foot to reach the paint can and for some reason the chair slid, thus causing me to do the splits.  I am sure even when I was a baby that I could not do the splits. I am not genetically built for them.  My sister tried forcing me once which, quite frankly, I was lucky I could still have children afterwards.  Anyway, as the chair slid I felt the muscles pulling in places that no woman wants muscles pulling.  My daughter and husband was on the other side of the house discussing bikes and handlebar tape.  I yelled for help, groaned for help, prayed for help.  No one came. I managed to grab on to something and get myself pulled back together. I had a flashback to when I was 24 months pregnant with my youngest son (not really, but it felt like 24 months), I went to kick a ball and missed.  Couldn’t walk for weeks from a pulled groin.

I do not think that I will be walking the same after today. There is something about pulling the groin muscle that just messing everything up.  I nearly crawled into the kitchen to where the beloved family with hearing problems were.  No comments like, “sorry, we didn’t hear you” or “are you OK”.  All I got was laughter.  It haunted my ears as I am sure it did my mothers years ago.  Why did I even tell them.  Everything you do as a teen comes back to haunt you as a parent.  At least I was within the privacy of four walls and my pants were stretchy.

I know it is a job and someone has to do it, but in my opinion the salesman is the worst job on the planet. I sometimes think a prerequisite for this job title is being obnoxious. The job in and of itself is obnoxious in nature.   To mix that with a personality of someone who has to be pushed to her limits before she would mistreat someone is nothing more than a setup to get taken advantage of.

As I have gotten older it is a lot harder for me to mistreat someone. I haven’t always been kind and have said hurtful things in the past, but it is just not in my nature anymore to mistreat someone.  I have to get really mad at someone before I rip into them and it takes a lot to get me to that point. I hate this about myself at times because it sets me up to get taken advantage of. My husband on the other hand is not like that, but I force him to be because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I don’t think I have done him any favors.  Don’t get me wrong, my husband is a very kind, honest and truthful person and his fault to this is that he thinks everyone else is and so he trust people whom he shouldn’t.  Women’s intuition plays into this somewhat because if I have any red flags go up over anything, I don’t trust very quickly.  I am honest also, I am just more cautious.

This is where run ins with salesmen are just horrible for me.  I don’t trust any of them because of the experiences I have had with them and yet, I can’t mistreat them. My mother didn’t take garbage off of anyone and my father was the opposite.  I am most like my father in this way, but it took a salesman for me to see a side of my father I did not know existed.

When I was four years of age I remember being at home with my mom one day when a salesman tried breaking into our home. My mom was on the phone to her sister when the guy tried every door in the house.  Her and I was curled up in a corner of the kitchen hiding with the phone hoping the guy would leave.  It scarred me. I have never been trusting of them since this and I haven’t had one that has changed my mind.

Another time when after I was married and was home alone a guy showed up selling something. I told him I wasn’t interested and he insisted on coming back when my husband got home.  I thought to myself that if the guy showed up I wouldn’t open the door.  I had to leave for some reason and had put a note on a whiteboard for my husband that said this, “Some obnoxious salesman said he was going to show up tonight.  If he comes, don’t answer the door”.  Well, I came home and had gone upstairs for awhile, pretty soon my husband called me and as I came downstairs there stood the salesman. My husband obviously didn’t see the note I left for him, but the salesman did.  At that point, the look that guy gave me sent shivers down my spine.  He was extremely angry.  He said nothing and stomped out of the house.  After he left, my husband asked me what was up with that….I pointed out the big note I had left him.  We both laughed pretty hard over it even though I was a little rattled over the look he gave me.

Years ago when I was a teen, a Kirby vacuum salesman came to our home.  My mother answered the door and told the guy she was  not interested.  He became extremely pushy and even trying to forcing himself into the door.  My mother had braced her foot against the door to keep him from getting in, but the guy was still trying.  This is where my father showed up and told the guy with “fist in the air” to get out or he would do something he regretted.  The guy left, but we soon  found out that he had been causing problems like this throughout the whole neighborhood.  We reported him and he never came back.

I am not sure what rigors Kirby goes through to train their salesmen, but they are the closest thing to Satan’s spawn I know of.  I don’t have a peep-hole on my front door and have opened the door to many a people  I would have preferred to keep the door shut on.  The Kirby salesman who came back later peeping in my daughter’s window was one of them.  I threatened Kirby that if one of their salesmen ever came back I would call the cops on them.  It didn’t stop them.  A few years later I had one show up that tried to force his way into my house.  He didn’t come right out and tell me the company he represented or else I would have followed through on my threat.  I refuse to let anyone in my home when I am here alone.  He was trying every means possible to get into my home to demonstrate a shampooer.  When I told him that I have a shampooer then he started on a vacuum, this is where the red flags started going up.  I immediately told him I was not interested, I was supposed to get a free set of knives despite the fact.  Eight years later and I have not received them.  It wasn’t until I got a follow-up phone call from Kirby that I realized that they were the company this guy represented.  I went off on them again and threatened them with a lawsuit. I haven’t seen them since, but that don’t mean they won’t try some other way to get in.  In 1992 a woman was raped by a Kirby salesmen.  In 2010 a Kirby salesman hit a poor man in the head with a handheld vacuum when he was asked to leave the property. These people are evil. The list of crimes these people commit against others is deplorable.

Next to these guys in line for the Satan’s Spawn title would be insurance salesmen. When my husband and I were newlyweds we had one show up on our doorstep.  I swear they scope the neighborhoods looking for new move ins. From the start I knew this guy was a scam artist.  He started his sales pitch by telling my husband and I all of his marriage problems.  I thought to myself…”Are you selling insurance or needing marriage counseling?”  If it was marriage counseling I would have told him his first mistake was telling complete strangers way too much information about his personal life.  My husband and I patiently sat through 3 hours of his going on and on about his life.  I was about ready to take a bullet just to put myself out of misery.  Neither one of us wanted to be mean because of the sad story he had just given us.  When he finally got around to selling the insurance, he  showed me a list of people who had signed up with him.  One name in particular jumped out at me.  It was a lady that I had used to work with that had cancer.  After the sucker left, I called  her and she told me she had no idea who this guy was and that he was lying.  He had somewhere gotten medical information about people that he was fraudulently using.  We thought we would not see the guy again after we told him we weren’t interested.  Nay, nay…a month or so later he showed up as we were leaving.  This time I let my husband do his thing and he pretty much told him where to go and how to get there.

The list goes on and on.  Salesmen remind me of Bill Clinton.  In what way you ask?  Bill Clinton seemed to think that there was more than one definition for the word “is” during his scandal with Monica Lewinsky. ????  What? Is? Salesmen seem to think that there is more than one definition for the word “No”.  Since a small babe in arms, I knew what no meant and if I did the opposite I would get it. Salesmen don’t seem to know how to differentiate between No and No.  Case in point:

Yesterday, someone knocked on my door.  I was expecting a delivery that I had to sign for.  Thought it was them only to find myself in that all too familiar uncomfortable spot of being face to face with a salesman.  The guy asked how I was doing…1st red flag…Then he was halfway up the sidewalk and I wasn’t sure why until he asked..”We are selling meat and wondered if you had ever bought from us?”  I said no and before I knew it he was running back to his truck to grab the other guy and boxes of meat.  Didn’t give me one chance to decline.  If I had a backbone, I would have shut the door and locked it just then.  They pretty much came right through my front door and headed for my kitchen…2nd red flag. I wondered how the guy knew where he was going.  This still disturbs me.  I kindly told him to come back to my front room.  Within seconds flat he had 10 boxes of meat out on the floor pitching  numbers and cost faster than you can say, “Bob’s yer Uncle”….3rd red flag.  He was trying to trick me into accepting his offer by asking me if I would use it…I thought what kind of stupid question is that.  If you buy food, don’t you usually eat it?  After he told me that the cost of meat would be $3000 for a 3 months supply, that was it.  I told him I did not have that kind of money. Then comes the “My boss will give you a deal” pitch.  I hate this by-the-way, it really insults what little intelligence I have.  I am thinking to myself, if your boss allows a deal then why  are you trying to scam people for double that cost….4th red flag.

Despite me telling him numerous times that I won’t buy he keeps going from one angle to the next.  Finally he asked if they were wasting their time.  I told him yes.  He then asks me to tell him a name of a friend to go sale to and in exchange I would get a free box of meat.  I absolutely refuse to do that to anyone.  The ironic thing is that this is a farming community where a lot of the people grow their own beef. Which I informed him hoping he would leave people alone.  I don’t think it phased him.

After they left, I yelled at myself for 2 hours about how stupid I was to let them walk right into my home.  If these two had bad intentions, I would have been in an extremely bad situation.  I have gone years without a “no solicitation” sign on my door, but decided to put one up yesterday because I am sick of the confrontations.  Ironically enough, my daughters were against this.  We had a warm 1 hour discussion on how I need to “man-up” and just get mean.  “Tell them no, mom” they said.  My dear sweet daughters don’t realize that doesn’t work.  They were embarrassed by everything I put on the sign.  I made it myself and was quite proud of it.

But…what makes me laugh at this whole thing….my daughter asked me to excuse her from her first hour today.  Why you ask? She received a love letter from a boy in that class and she didn’t want to face him.  Ironic isn’t it? My response…”Man-up you can’t avoid it forever”.  I then asked her if she wanted me to make her a sign.. in which she refused.

Are Shortcuts Worth The Trouble?

So a few months ago, I was so excited to get this amazing bed frame from a local thrift store.  When I got it home, I hurried and put it together to surprise my husband when he got home.

I noticed as I was putting up the bed that one of the boards on the bottom was loose.  I did foresee a problem with this, but decided to forge ahead and not worry about it.

About a month later, my husband sat on the bed and the board broke off.  We were so grateful this was not during the night.  We tore the bed apart and put one hundred (not really that many) screws in the board to hold it together.  We were impressed and thought it should do until we could get a new board.

Then comes 1:00 a.m. this morning.  I am sound asleep dreaming about trying to get away from my daughter’s dog who wanted to sleep in my bed when all of a sudden…THUD….the bed broke nearly dropping my husband and I 6 inches to the floor.

My heart was pounding so hard. This by far is not a good way to get woken up.  We scrounged through the house and found some food storage cans to hold up the side of the bed which broke, which also happened to be my husband’s side.  It was not level and leaned too much to one side, but it was the best that was going to be at 1:00 in the morning.

Can I say that memory foam is the best kind of mattress in situations like this.  It acted like Velcro and kept me from rolling completely over my husband side up and over him and down onto the floor.  My body imprint held me in place. My daughter’s dog, on the other hand, which happened to be in our bed last night, kept rolling on top of my husband.  We were both too tired to get her out of the bed and I felt my husband shove her more than once “up the hill” during the night all the while mumbling unintelligible words. Honestly..I don’t think I wanted to know what he was saying.

The lesson learned from this, if you foresee a future problem, do the necessary steps to fix it immediately or you might end up at 1:00 in the morning wondering what hit you.

Can I Embarrass Myself Enough?

I grew up in a family that enjoyed having a good time.  My brothers were constantly pranking us five girls.  Of course we would always pay back. One particular week stands out more than others when one of my brothers was off work and made our lives miserable.  In the process we all started pranking each other something terrible.  My father even got in the action.  Which was out of the norm.  Usually Mom was the one who would go toilet papering with us kids and other “various activities”, all good and legal fun (at least it was legal back then). Toilet papering was our favorite thing to do. If you got toilet papered, you were the coolest people on the block. I remember my friend and I saving up tons of paper towel and toilet paper to get a boy’s house that I had “liked”.  I remember one buying spree prompted the store checker to ask us what we were up to….we just smiled.  Admitted nothing.

This  particular week off for my brother was a nightmare for the rest of us.  We would find the neck and arm holes of our pajamas sewn shut when we put them on.  We found the legs of our nylons sewn together.  My mom found her clothes missing (that was my dad), my brother found a brazier in his gym bag while he was in the boys locker…(this was a  good one).  My sister found a fake snake in her bed and we found fake spiders (that looked very real) hanging from our ceilings.  We were renting this home and the basement was unfinished.  My father had been in the military and somewhere my parents had picked up military cots for us to sleep on.  We came home from school to find all of these nailed to the beams on the ceiling. We came home and found our beds outside..this was in the winter.  We got my brother back by hanging all of his clothes off the roof of the house, including his tidy whiteys.  We put vinegar in his cologne….(I think this made my extremely patient brother upset) At this point, things were getting out of hand. We knew my father had had enough when we built a snowman in the front yard and instead of using a broom, we used a toilet plunger.  This did not sit well with him.

One prank that went bad was my sister had put shoes above a door that led downstairs hoping that she would nail someone in the head when they opened the door.  Well she did alright….the telephone repairman.  Nailed him good she did, then she blamed it on the younger, less-defensive siblings.

Anyway..this  is kind of the way my family is.  One of my sisters imparticular will call and give any child of mine that answers the phone…including my husband….a good teasing about one thing or another before asking for me.  I pretty much do the same to her children or my other sister’s children. There have been times when she or I or another sister will pass on the street and pull the old “finger up the nose” gag to be funny.  These types of things are just normal for us.

The other day, my sister called asking me to help my nephew do his taxes.  She gave me his cell phone number and I gave him a call.  I was half way through giving him crap about how I work cheap, etc…when the voice on the other end told me I had the wrong number.  Well…that was embarrassing.  If we weren’t always trying to pull one over on each other, then things like this wouldn’t happen.  Take today for instance:

I went to help my sister do something for my father.  She left before I did, but I came upon her at an intersection.  As I came closer, I decided I was really going to get her good.  She was directly behind a truck that was waiting to make a left hand turn.  There was no one in front of me and I was going straight.  I went really slow and stopped right by her.  I stuck my finger up my nose as far as I could get it and put the stupidest look I could conjure up on my face.  I sat there right next to her knowing full well she would see the color of my car and turn and look.  Sure enough, when I turned to see the look on her face half expecting her finger to be up her nose too…I came face to face with an irate looking woman who did not resemble my sister at all.

I don’t think I have ever covered my identity as fast as I did at that moment.  I sat there thinking to myself…”idiot, idiot, idiot”.  How could I mistake that car for my sister.  I ran through my head where the car was exact make, model and color.  Her big hair looked like my sister’s big hair from the back……yada yada yada..

If I was not constantly trying to pull one over on somebody, stupid things like this would not happen to me.  Next time, I will be more cautious.  I will drive up slowly take a good look to make sure it is who I think it is…then I will shove my finger up my nose.  Problem solved.

So the saying “Jumpier than a one-legged man in a butt kicken contest” could not describe me more.  I don’t like being scared.  Nothing is worse than watching a scary movie and having someone scare you just before you are “supposed” to get scared or having someone come up behind you unexpectedly.  I had an incident that happened to me a few years ago that almost ruined my life as I know it.

I used to walk religiously at 6:00 a.m. everyday, 6 days a week.  Never missed.  With this came the ability to recognize cars and know when they pass.  Most of them would pass me at the same time of morning.  One particular morning I was walking and I came upon this really sharp corner.  I heard this truck coming and I knew how this particular driver drove.  I decided to cross the street rather than run the risk of this kid hitting me on the inside corner.

As I crossed the road and turned the corner, there sat a car that was not supposed to be there.  I immediately recognized it as a car that should have been passing me about 30 minutes later from this time.  I didn’t realize that someone was in the car until I walked by.  Thanks to the crazy kid driver in the truck, I was not forced to walk directly by the car, I was  on the other side of the road.  When I realized someone was in the car and it was parked behind some piles of dirt, things started feeling weird to me.  All the hairs on my neck started standing up and I knew that something was not right with the situation.  I immediately pulled out my cell phone and called me sister who lived across the street from me.  My husband was at work and I needed someone quick.  While not letting this guy know I suspected anything, I kept walking in the same direction.  He pulled out and turned the corner only to turn around and come back up the street behind me.

I held my breath and walked as fast as I could, all the time waiting for my brother-in-law to show up.  The car drove by me slowly and as soon as it was a hundred feet or so in front of me, I turned and hauled butt so fast that I nearly sat the road on fire.  My brother-in-law was just up the street and got me just seconds from the time I turned around.

I learned from this experience to never be predictable in some situations.  I also have become extremely jumpy and I blame a lot of it on this situation and also from a lot of break-ins or attempted break-ins to the homes I lived in as a kid.  I have many weapons by my bed and my husband is scared to come into the house unannounced.

Well, tonight he unexpectedly got me real good.  I think he knows when he can scare me and not have the carp beat out of him as opposed to, “I know better than to do it to her now”.

We were going to go look at a couch a lady was selling and my son was riding with me, while my husband was riding with our neighbor.  We were at our the house just getting ready to leave when my sons says, “Mom, did you check the car to make sure no one was in it?”  I told him no, that dad had just been in the Durango and I knew no one was in there.  “Still”, he said, we should check.  This was more for his benefit I think.  He turned on the inside light while we sat in the seats and looked behind and then turned off the light.  All the while telling me that I should check things like that. While we were thus having this conversation, unbeknownst to me, my husband had walked up to the truck and knocked on my window.  It was dark outside and I could barely see him.

Can I just say that I absolutely needed a new pair of pants.  I nearly jumped into my son’s lap.  My husband was lucky I wasn’t packing any “heat”.  We were a couple of miles up the road before my heart stopped pounding.

This little side effect I have has been a joke in the family.  A couple of Halloween’s ago, I was at my sister’s house and we had just got done doing the whole trick-or-treating thing.  We walked out the door to leave and me being completely stupid did not notice when my husband opened the door that my nieces husband was hiding in the back seat with a mask on.  I was laughing and joking with the family and jumped in the car.  No one else got in.  I wondered for a split second what was taking them so long.  I looked out my window and then turned to look at the driver side door to see where my husband was, when I came face to face with “The Mask”.  I screamed a blood curdling scream, leapt out of the car nearly slamming the nephew in the door.  This nearly killed me.  I cannot begin to tell you had long after this incident I shook.  The closest thing to a near death experience he and I may ever experience.

Try as I might, I cannot overcome this problem.  I just get more weapons to add to my arsenal.  I really don’t think this is helping the situation.  A jumpy woman with loads of weapons is an accident waiting to happen.  Perhaps someday I will be the one getting the last laugh.  Perhaps…..

Why I Love My Kids

Today was a very stressful day.  In the area we live in, we have been receiving a lot of rain instead of our usual snow.  It made for some very scary roads.  This morning the sun had come out and the roads were wet, but not icy. Or so we thought.

My daughter came home from school yesterday telling her father that her car acted like it was overheating.  So this morning he put some antifreeze in it and took it for a spin to see if the problem was taken care of.   He hit an unseen patch of ice and totaled her car.  He is O.K., but the car was not.  My husband was so broken hearted to have to tell his daughter what he had done to her car.

Kids have this ability to be so resilient when as adults we worry ourselves into the ground.  I happened upon the following entry that my daughter wrote in her blog.  I have to share it with you because it brought a huge smile to my face during an extremely stressful time and put what is really important into perspective.  My family.

Arianna’s Entry:

RIP, Sparky

BENSON, Utah- 1996 Dodge Intrepid “Sparky”, 16, met his demise Jan. 20, 2012 after sliding across an icy road and slamming into one heck of a mailbox post. His bumper was torn to shreds, his lights were shattered, and both of his airbags were ejected. Due to my family’s inability to pay for his medical bills, he was euthanized at Cache Valley Metals the morning of his accident.Sparky left us with a rich legacy of driving into ditches and growling like a hungry grizzly bear. He was a morose individual, always snarling unhappily when his engine came to life, skittering across the road when the snow was falling. Sparky hated winter and winter hated Sparky. He would be glad to realize that he no longer has to deal with snow again.Sparky was adopted my junior year in high school after my parents’ Intrepid exploded on their way to get him, thus, forcing them to bring him home. He was a carefree car at one point of his life, his power steering ripping you across the asphalt, his engine a gentle hum.

The day that he first drove into a ditch and had to be pulled out by a tractor was the day when part of Sparky died. He’s never been himself since.

Sparky and I had many adventures together, such as driving to BYU on the freeway for the first time and that time when I ripped off his BYU tramp stamp with a spatula. He got the nickname Sparky after his battery died at Steve’s house and the jumper cables nearly electrocuted poor Steve. His battery failed him two times that night. I thought I would lose him.

How Sparky could have looked in his glory days.

He is survived by me, and I don’t know how I’ll replace him. We’re all as broke as the Sphinx’s nose around here, but we’ll find some way to make do.

The world will be a lot more quiet without Sparky around to growl at it.

Here’s to you, my dear friend. May your axle be straight and your engine a proud roar in car heaven.