Monday, July 27, 2009


I've been working on de-cluttering my life. We simply have TOO.MUCH.STUFF. And the thing is, I'm not really a "stuff" kind of person. The problem is that after 16 years we have just accumulated a lot, and failed to go 'out with the old and in with the new'(er). I donate a ton to Goodwill, especially the kids clothes and old toys. But we have tons of other things that I have a hard time sending out the door, which turns into piles of stuff. I'm a bit sentimental when it comes to things that my belong to my kids. I think this comes from having a bad memory - and I really do have a bad memory. I used to have an excellent memory and could tell you dates and events without batting an eye, but I've had WAY TOO MANY Diet Cokes in the past 20 years and I truly, honestly believe that Diet Coke has robbed me of my brain cells. Or at least the Aspartame (?). I don't have vivid memories like I used to have. I remember stuff, but if I have a tangible item it really does spark a memory, so I tend to hold onto "stuff". I'm also of the mindset that "this could be useful at some point", which causes me to hang onto things that could be better off sent to Goodwill (or the trash!). It also invariably happens that the moment I donate something, within a month I am wishing that I had it for (fill in the blank).

Anyway, my point - I'm cleaning in my basement. Half of the basement is finished, but we have some unfinished storage, too. And a basement garage. Both of those areas tend to get spidery, which freaks me out completely. So upon cleaning in those areas, I'm sucking up webs and debris (shudders) and finding things to recycle, or trash. I found some jackets, towels, gloves and just general items of clothing that for one reason or another were stored away. And these are items that we can still use (when winter rolls around) so I now need to wash them and rid them of could be spiders (eeeek!). My problem is that I have a nice, new, fancy washing machine and the thought of putting these items in my new machine gives me the total heebie jeebies.

Speaking of hanging onto STUFF - guess what is sitting in my garage? My OLD washing machine. STILL. My intention is to put it on Craigslist or donate it to someone in need, but I have done neither. The machine still works great and it is just sitting there. A pity.

So, I decide that I will do the 'could be' spider laundry in the old machine, which I rolled out onto the patio and hooked up to the outdoor hose for a water supply. See, I am a bit ingenious. And now, I am doing laundry outside. Honestly, it is like I am a Pioneer woman. Really, we live in the woods and I'm washing clothes out here with Mother Nature - except that I have electricity. And running water. And laundry detergent. And a washing machine.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I feel as though I have been on a tour of the South East in the past two weeks!

We had a quick, unexpected trip to Memphis, TN for a family funeral July 7. We ended up being there for a few days and I took the opportunity to take my kids to Beale Street in downtown Memphis.

Note: There's not a lot for a person on Beale Street who is not allowed to drink beer! The street performers were interesting to watch, but the street is bar, after bar, after bar, after bar..... My kids were not as enthralled as I'd imagined. There were a TON of awesome musicians, like on every corner. The music was surrounding us from every direction - if you could get to an area to single out one musician, many of them were pretty amazing.
As soon as we returned from Memphis, we hopped on a plane to Houston, TX. We met my family there to tour the Johnson Space Center - it was nothing like I had expected! It was like an attraction, there was a ton of stuff for the kids to do. We did go on a tour, but it was bare bones at best. The behind the scenes tours are only for those over the age of 14, which puts my kids out. Therefore, we could not participate in that - bummer. We were at the space center just two hours prior to launch so we were able to watch live feed of the happenings of preparing for blast off. Yes, you can watch it on TV, but it was fun to "be there".
There was a George Lucas exhibit as well - a nice displaying of costumes, scripts, props, etc. There was a handwritten script from Star Wars as well (which one? ask my nerd....)
We left Houston to go to Dallas, where my family lives. While in Dallas we visited the Forth Worth stockyards and saw a real herd of longhorns walking down Exchange street. It is amazing how large those animals really are, and the horns(!), whoa!
I'm glad to be home. We were visiting my brother and his wife, we had never been to their house before this trip. My kids stayed with them (their kids are the same ages), but Hunk and I stayed at a hotel. While they had space for us in the house, it wasn't a bedroom - it was a media room with a futon and a bathroom to be shared with 4 little girls. I thought that our decision to sleep in a real bed for 5 nights was a good one, but apparently we offended my sister in law. My brother made several comments about us staying offsite, but whatever. I'm so done with my SIL, I have never met a person who is so self absorbed in my life. I could write a book about all the incidences from the past week, but that is for another day.....I am SOOOOOO glad to be home!
Now, I have Dave to look forward to with DAVELANTA just around the corner. YEEEHAW!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


We had a long holiday weekend and so we decided to take the family to Stone Mountain. We go there a few times a year since it is only about 45 minutes from our house. We typically purchase an annual park pass so that we can do the attractions as well as just enjoy the nature aspect of the park.

The park offers a tram ride to the top of Stone Mountain. (You can see the cable towers in the photo above). The tram car carries up to 82 people per car and runs every 15 minutes or so. We've been to the top many times, but it never gets old, so away we went - it was about 5pm. The top of the mountain is a large area with a fence around the steep sides and then on one side the mountain slopes off so there is a trail you can walk down. The trail down the mountain is about a mile, but it is pretty steep and it is not smooth walking. There are boulders to step off and around and just general mountainy stuff. It is recommended that you wear proper hiking shoes for the trail.
When we were done enjoying the view from above, we noticed that the top of the mountain was basically deserted and we were alone. GREAT! There would be no line for the tram ride down. WRONG! We went in to the mountain top lobby to find that they had closed the tram ride down to the bottom due to a storm looming on the horizon. They had the weather channel on and we could see that there was indeed a very large storm coming in from Alabama. The park ranger suggested that once it hits, we could be waiting for a few hours for it to pass over. Basically, we were stuck on the top of the mountain - at the mercy of mother nature. Knowing that I was not dressed for hiking, nor were my kids, nor was Hunk, we thought we should wait it out. By now it was 6pm and we were ready for dinner. We decided to go to the mountain top snack shop and bite the bullet to purchase overpriced, low quality food. The alternative was to start walking, or wait it out and get really hungry. The problem with waiting it out was that 1) my kids get really irritating when they are overly hungry. 2) Hunk puts on an ASSHAT quicker than a bee to honey when he is not fed on a regular schedule. I was not in any mood to deal with either of these so $8 hotdogs was fine with me!!
PROBLEM! When they close the tram ride, they close THE ENTIRE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN!? So the snack shop became CLOSED for our wait. Now, I'm no marketing genius, but to me this is the.worst.idea.ever. We were captive and hungry, I was willing to pay out the ass for crap - this should be a retailers dream. With this, we decided that the waiting idea was out.
The storm was not yet on us, no rain, only clouds on the horizon. We decided to start walking despite our attire. It wasn't really all that bad, but it makes me wonder what the protocol is if we had brought Grandma along. Seeing as how the tram was to close for the night at 8:30, what is the deal if this big storm comes in and last for hours!!?? At what point, and how, do they finally get folks to the bottom of the mountain? It took us about 40 minutes to walk down, we were going pretty slow due to fact that two of us were wearing shoes that slide rather easily. It did make my knees scream (still are hurting), but it was fun and we saw lots of carvings on the way down. The mountain has been visited by people for many years and there were carvings dated back to 1814 - probably some were even older, but that is what we saw. Pretty amazing that they are still there!!
So, we survived the trek and we promptly went out to dinner. Did you know? Stone Mountain is an un-erupted volcano?? That is your history for the day, my friend.