Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our Weekend "Excursion"

We finally got a chance to go the desert for some dirt bike/quad riding this weekend! We've tried to get away a few times in the past two or so months, but something has always come up. Either it's been raining or we had something else that had to be done. But this weekend, everything worked out, so we got the trailer packed and ready to roll!

We were going out there with our good friends, and had planned to leave at the same time so we could "caravan" out there. We figured we would pick up Little Boy at school, and then hit the road. At 3 o'clock, our friends still had a few errands to run, but told us to go on ahead and they'd be about a half hour behind us. No problem.

There was - as there always is on Friday afternoon - a lot of traffic heading out of town. But the place where we go ride is only 1-1/2 hours away. We called our friends to let them know what the traffic was like, and they still hadn't left! Turns out they still had to go to the bank, to the grocery store, and I don't know where else, but they seemed to be taking a long time getting on the road!

Little Boy was so happy to finally be going "camping"! That morning when he was getting ready for school, he had seen Hubby getting the trailer ready, and when he saw the trailer hitched to our Ford Excursion, his little eyes lit up! He said, "I can't wait!". And when we picked him up at school that afternoon, he walked out, saw the trailer waiting for him, and said, "I cant wait to get in that car and GO!"

So we hit the road, and were plugging along, fighting traffic. We were listening to some "Classic Pop" (Magnet & Steel, Only Time Will Tell..) Little Boy was playing his Nintendo DS in the back seat. Hubby got a gadget that allows us to be online on the road, so I was busily "Facebooking" while he drove! It was great!

But after about an hour, as we headed up a hill and around a bend...the car sounded a little funny...then it...stopped. Hubby reacted immediately and pulled over as quick as he could. The car died!! His best guess was that the transmission went out. Not good.

We called our friends to see how far behind us they were. They still hadn't left town.

We were on a highway, on a curve, so cars were coming pretty quick around the bend, and I didn't feel very safe sitting there. We decided to walk over to a restaurant that we knew was close by. As we started walking, I said, "I'm glad Daddy is leading this hike, cuz I thought the Cafe was the other direction!"

As soon as we began our little trek up the hill, a car pulled over and asked if we needed a ride. It was a man, a woman and someone in the back..I didn't notice if it was a child or adult. But I felt quite uneasy...which is probably a tribute to every movie I've ever seen where someone is stranded on a highway. I was really relieved when Hubby said, "No thank you, we're just walking to the restaurant over there".

The Cafe was a little place - there were a few people sitting at the bar, eating and chatting. It appeared that they were "regulars" because the waitress was sitting and talking with them like they were old friends. When we said we'd had car trouble, they all chimed in with some advice.

We called the Auto Club and they said a tow truck would be on the way. We started looking through the local phone books for a place to tow the car. The best idea was to have it towed back to our house, but we were an hour away from home.


Me: Honey, our Auto Club membership is due..I was thinking that maybe to save money, we should just get the basic membership instead the the "Plus" Membership. We both have pretty new cars, I don't anticipate that we'll be needing to be towed 100 miles anytime soon.

Hubby: Why, that's a good idea, Sweetie! Yeah, go ahead and renew it with a basic membership.


Me & Hubby: DOH!

(With the Plus Membership, you get free towing up to 100 miles. With the basic membership, you get 7 miles free towing. After 7 miles, it costs $8/mile.)

Our friends called and they had an idea: What if she drove their motor home, and he could drive his big truck to pull our trailer after our Excursion was towed. That way, we could still do the weekend!

That's why they took so long to get out of town!! :)

We told them that the Auto Club had sent a tow truck, and then mentioned our frustration with the fact that we had changed our membership to "basic". They said, "Wait! We have the Auto Club PLUS membership! Lets use our card!" Hubby called the Auto Club and told them that the people we were traveling with had the PLUS, and asked if we could use their membership for the 100 mile free towing. Yes, they said - we could do it as long as the Plus member was present and could sign for it.

Finally, the tow truck arrived. Although now we were worried that our friends wouldn't arrive in time to use their card! We told the driver about it, and he said he didn't mind waiting, but that his shift was almost over, and he would have to call in to his shop to find out if they would let him wait, or if they would want to send another driver. His shop said that was fine, but he'd have to tow it back to the shop, and then another driver would take it to our home.

At this point, Hubby told me he was going to go back to the Excursion with the Tow Truck Driver, and that we should wait at the Cafe. Said it'd be about 20 minutes. He walked out. Immediately, he walked back in and sat down. He looked over at me and said, "I'm not going anywhere". I was confused, but he said, "You'll see".

In walk two HUGE, HAIRY, guys with LONG grey scraggly beards. They wore flannel shirts and worn jeans, and they were loud and boisterous. This really struck me funny!!! But I was glad Hubby had chosen to stay!

As it turned out, the Tow Truck had enough seats for all of us, so we went back to our vehicle, and the driver began to load our car on his truck. As he was doing this, I saw our friends pull up behind us. Man, was I ever happy to see them! Perfect Timing!

We called my parents (who live on our street) and asked them to please go to our house and sign for the Excursion when it arrived. (Side note: When it did arrive, the driver wanted to be paid for it, because he processed the transaction with OUR membership, so there were a few frustrating phone calls back and forth, but the problem was finally resolved!)

When the Excursion was loaded on the tow truck, Little Boy and I hopped into the Motor home with my friend. Hubby and his friend stayed behind to hitch the trailer to his truck and then follow behind us.

We arrived at our destination at 9:30pm.

Well, it only took us SIX hours to get there!!!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

This and That

Earlier today, I was collecting clothes to do laundry. There were some clothes on the bathroom floor, so I bent over to pick them up. Actually, I bent over and yanked them because I was in a hurry. They just happened to be hooked on the corner of the cabinet, so when I yanked, I actually opened the cabinet hard and fast and it smacked me - hard - on the nose. Youch! I iced it right away because it was getting swollen, and I was starting to look like a boxer - not the dog, the athlete. I forgot about it after a while...until I looked in the mirror later. I have a nice blue bruise on the bridge of my nose. DUH!!!


Best quote of the night from Little Boy as he watched Stevie Wonder on American Idol:

"Is he the American Idol from last year?"


For the last couple of days, I've been trying HARD to get some good photos of my jewelry designs. I am NOT a photographer. (I should have asked Daiquiri for some advice!) I googled "photographing jewelry" and there was plenty of info. White Balance...yada yada...diffused light...yada yada... There are photography sites that give general info on taking pictures. Then there are the Jewelry sites, that give advice on how to photograph jewelry. Some of these jewelry designers say to take photos outside in the sunlight. Some say to buy a set-up with lights and tents, etc. Some say to make your own set up with a box and white tissue paper. It's quite confusing. Here are my sad first attempts:

Too Orange!

Too White!

Too Blue!

Just Right!

Hopefully I'll remember how I got that shot so I don't have to relive the frustration!


As the title of this post infers...this post isn't much about anything. Just this and that. Hadn't blogged in while so I wanted to just throw something out there.

Until next time...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Readings That Have Grabbed Me

Just because I've been doing more reading than writing this week, I thought I'd share the "Gems" I've come across recently. Click on the links to go to the sites - I promise you will love them.

I'll start out with something serious. This is from a blog called "The Dirty Shame". Its a beautifully written plea to God to remember us and forgive us as we fall short almost continuously. Here's the link: Dust

This is from the blog "Conversion Diary". It's an older post, but totally relevant. The name is self-explanatory. The Danger of Being Overloaded

For the final read, I'll send you to a lighthearted one that will make you laugh. This is written by a young man who will be married soon. He contemplates how women are different from men. His blog is new, but I got hooked on it quick. The writer is very funny and has a very clever wit. His blog is called "Life is Easy". The entry is called (click on link) Wedding Planner

Until the next post...

Monday, March 9, 2009

From My Friend that I Don't Really Know..

I follow a few other blogs, but this one is my favorite. Its called "Call Her Blessed" and it's written by "Daiquiri". Even though I've never met her, I feel like I know her from her blog! On Sundays, she writes a "Seek the Lord Sunday" post, and I really liked today's, so I wanted to share it with you!

Here's the link to it- enjoy!

Seeking An Unfair God

Friday, March 6, 2009

Just a Quick Minute to Talk About American Idol...

I am watching American Idol this season - its 8th season. You might be surprised to know that I have never watched American Idol before. Yes, its true. Never.

So I'm kind of new to the frustrations that come with it. I'm taking some time to discuss it here on my trusty blog. I'm venting. (I'm having a hissy fit, actually) And I have to wonder, is this the way American Idol always is?????

I started watching during the auditions, and I really enjoyed that. Its so tear jerking to see the family waiting to see if their loved one "made it". They'd cry, I'd was heartwarming.

Next came Hollywood Week. This was when I decided that Danny Gokey was the one I would be rooting for! That "Seal" song he had me at hello.

After Hollywood Week, the judges cut the list down to 36 contestants - and began to show 12 at a time. Out of each 12, three were chosen to be in the finals.

(Again, being a newbie, I'm wondering if this is the way its usually done...)

For Group One, I was pretty satisfied. I thought Alexis Grace was excellent. And of course, Danny Gokey made it in. (If he didn't, I might have given up right then and there). Michael could take him or leave him. But all in all, I was satisfied with the choices.

In Group Two, I was happy to see Alison Iraheta make it - her rendition of "Alone" was spectacular! I thought Adam Lambert's "Satisfaction" was strange, but kind of intriguing, and the more he sang, the more I liked it. A very daring performance. I was glad he made it in because now I"m curious to hear more. Kris Allen made it in, but I have to say, I was kind of surprised. He's a good singer, but his performance of "Man in the Mirror" was just "OK". I thought Mishavonna Hensen's "Drops of Jupiter" was beautiful - I really think she should have had that spot.

This is when it all started to go wrong.

The picks from Group Three are Jorge Nunez, Scott MacIntyre, and Lil Rounds.

No question about it, Lil Rounds deserves to be there. She was great. But here's the thing, I just don't love Jorge Nunez or Scott Macintyre. I'm sure they are very nice people, but I just don't
think their performances were worthy of those spots. Jorge is too screamy. Scott is kinda bland and I think his singing is very stiff.

But beyond that, what's really eating at me is that I just cannot believe for a moment that Ju'Not Joyner didn't make it in! (Who the heck is voting, anyway??) His performance was flawless and he got glowing feedback from the judges. His soulful rendition of "Hey There Delilah" was breathtaking! He is waaaaaaaaaaay better than Scott or Jorge. As a matter of fact, a few people were. Here's the LIST of additional contestants that were better than Jorge and Scott that night:

  1. Kristin McNamara - she has a great voice, but for some reason, they just don't like her and really enjoy picking on her. I feel that their summation of her probably swayed the voters to dislike her.
  2. Von Smith - He's kind of "hit and miss" with his performances, but this night, he was great.
  3. Kendall Beard - She did a Martina McBride song, and she is a very good pop country singer.
But mostly, I am just stunned Ju'Not didn't make it.

STUNNED, I tell you!!!

At this point, the judges chose a few contestants to come back for a second chance. Great, I think to myself, Ju'Not will get another chance.



HE WASN'T EVEN IN THE JUDGES' WILD CARD PICKS! Now I'm thoroughly confused!

...It's just a show... its just a show...It's just a show...

AND..not only do they NOT bring back Ju'Not, but they actually DO bring back the ever-shrieking-constantly-chatting-overly-dramatic Tatiana! She CAN sing, but its overshadowed by her personality. (Actually, she'll probably get a reality show).

I was OK with the four that were chosen at the end of the Wild Card Show. No complaints, really. I'm just glad that Tatiana didn't make it. Although, considering how emotional and devastated she was when she was eliminated the first time, it seems cruel to bring her back only to eliminate her again. She is annoying, but there's not need to be cruel. What makes it worse is that more than likely she was only brought back for the sake of drama.

So here are the "Final 13":
(* = my top choices)

Alexis Grace*
Danny Gokey**
Michael Sarver
Adam Lambert
Allison Iraheta**
Kris Allen
Lil Rounds*
Scott MacIntyre
Jorge Nunez
Megan Joy Corkrey
Jasmine Murray
Matt Giraud
Anoop Desai

Let's see if I can take one season of American Idol.


I'll leave you with JuNot singing: