Showing posts from July, 2013

But wait, there's more fun to be had!

This is the last blog entry about my vacation, I promise.

Everyone kept telling us that we just had to check out Cade's Cove, which is part of the expansive Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So, we decided to head there on Thursday morning. We took one of my many nephews along (the one who is closest to our kid in age - they get along well). We somehow thought that Cade's Cove was about a half-hour from Gatlinburg, but it was over an hour.  It was a beautiful drive, though. I also learned a new term along the way: switchback curves.  We saw signs warning truckers of "switchback curves ahead" (and advising them to consider an alternate route).  I'm not sure of the exact definition but I assume it refers to a road that basically doubles back on itself (and we definitely saw a lot of that). When my Pop-Pop was still alive, he would drive around in the mountains of West Virginia and would often say, "You meet yourself coming back on these roads, doll."  …

Gatlinburg, Oh Gatlinburg

I just remembered that I haven't finished boring you with more details about my vacation! In my last blog entry, I mentioned Dollywood.  We did, indeed, visit Dollywood on Tuesday.  We didn't go until the afternoon.  In the morning, my wee baby sister and I (plus her youngest son) went to a craftsman's fair that was going on in Gatlinburg. It was fun. People were friendly. I bought two handmade dog collars.  The lady running the booth told me, "That'll be around $22.00."  I thought, around $22.00? I guess things are just more laid-back in the south.  Even the parking attendant called me "hon" and asked me how my day was going.

One thing we quickly learned on this vacation was that it was not easily possible for all 13 of us to choose a single event or location and then head there en masse. What usually happened was that the three families just made their own separate plans or two families went somewhere together. Or, we sometimes swapped kids. P and…

Road trips and pancakes and whatnot

We made it to Gatlinburg in one piece. We left home Friday afternoon and then dropped dogs off all over the place before hitting the road for the long haul to Gatlinburg. We had a hotel reservation in Louisville. However, I somehow failed to realize that we'd have to switch to Eastern time. Derrrrr. Sometimes I focus on the wrong details. Anywho, we arrived at the hotel at 2:40 a.m. (EST). And, as luck would have it, the only rooms left were those with a king-size bed (I was hoping for two queens). My husband and I love our daughter more than words can say, but we are fairly unenthusiastic about sharing a bed with her. Search my blog for terms like "the beast of a thousand knees" to see previous entries about the world's most active sleeper.

We lived through the night (my husband got the worst of the kicking) and then drove to Lexington for lunch with my sister-in-law. Then we finished the drive to Gatlinburg. The drive went smoothly until we got to Pigeon Forge. If…

I'm leaving on a . . . freakishly long car ride

I'm frantically packing for our trip to Gatlinburg, so I haven't been getting much done. When I do have a few spare minutes, I waste them on Candy Crush Saga. Those candies aren't going to crush themselves, people. Also, I just want you to know that I can stop any time. On "Intervention," the family members of the addict always read the same form letter that starts out, "Your addiction has affected my life negatively in the following ways."  So now I just keep picturing my worried parents, siblings, and friends trying to stage an intervention for me. They'll take my phone away and then vow to hold their bottom line. "She can't come over any more if she doesn't get help."

We've also talked of staging an intervention for my mother regarding her fixation with slippers. Like most people, my mother has two feet. Unlike most people, she has about a hundred thousand pairs of slippers. I know I bear some of the guilt for having support…

The one where the boring, straight, middle-aged, Midwestern lady throws a pretty good party

For the past few weeks, I've been working on a Pride-themed service for the Unitarian Universalist church I attend. Although most communities hold their Pride celebrations in June, our local festivities are held in July (apparently our city likes to wait until you can fry an egg on the sidewalk and the humidity reaches epic levels and THEN plans an outdoor event). I serve on the Sunday Services Committee for the fellowship, so I have a hand in planning some of our services. At a meeting held during the winter months, I floated the idea of having a Pride service the day after the Pride festival. I volunteered to coordinate it, and then I volunteered my friend Karen to be my co-facilitator.  I caught her during a weak moment . . . at happy hour on her birthday.

Once I'd decided to coordinate the service, the next task was to find speakers. I was hoping to find two or three people who would like to share their personal stories. I was turned down more than once. And really, I def…

Mom! Look what I can do!

As you may recall, I started going to yoga pretty regularly about 2 1/2 years ago. I really enjoy it. No matter how fat/ugly/horrible I feel before class, as soon as I walk into the studio, I feel great. More than that, I somehow convince myself that I even look pretty good, too! Yoga pants are kind, I guess.  Also, there is only one mirror in there.

Some days, I go to class and feel like I'm just as uncoordinated as I was on the first day. Other days, I feel strong and flexible. On those days, even the balance poses come easier to me. However, there are a couple of challenges that have been causing me much vexation.  One is that I can do a headstand but lack the core strength to pull away from the wall.  So, being a slave to the wall frustrates me a bit. The other is my inability to pull myself into a full wheel.  I have tried a thousand times. I think there are two reasons for my failure to get myself completely off the floor into this back-bending posture. One: poor upper body …

Hey, they didn't have Crocs in medieval times

We took A and her friend to a Renaissance Fair on Saturday. I had never been to one, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The closest we've come is when we went to Medieval Times on our honeymoon. I still laugh when I think about the hostess telling my husband, "I'm processing your credit card, m'lord." Anyway, I had jumped on a Groupon deal for the Renaissance Fiar and it all seemed like a good idea at the time. It was a four-pack of tickets so that's why we invited a friend for the kid. Plus, when she has a friend along, it distracts her from asking me and her dad quite so many questions.

Fortunately for me, most of the festivities were held in the woods. It's tough for me to be out in the sun all day (in as much as it might kill me and all). So, I was grateful for the shade. The first thing we encountered inside the gate was a camel. The camel was raising money for a local animal shelter. We donated a buck and he kissed both girls. I never know if I sh…

Summer's Rollin' Right Along

Who do I need to talk to about making sure that Independence Day never falls on a Thursday again? Dragging myself into work the next day was, well, a drag. I guess I could have taken a vacation day, but I have a vacation coming up so I don't really have the extra hours. My need for leisure exceeds the allotment, I guess you could say.

Our 4th of July wasn't too rowdy (the most important detail about the day is that I completed several levels of Candy Crush Saga). I got up and went to yoga class at 8. When I got home, the power was out so, realizing that my time-wasting options were more limited than usual, I did some gardening. After lunch, the kid and I did a little shopping and then headed to a pool party at a friend's house. Well, she swam and I sat by the pool and ran my mouth and drank some Mike's. I didn't swim. I had already taken a shower after yoga class and I'm way too high-maintenance to shower twice in a day.  Plus, me in a swimsuit?  No one really…