Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Picnics and sand volleyball and injuries and then some

Since I finally got the story of my birthday party posted, now I can talk about last weekend's adventures.

Saturday I was busy all day running errands, trying to do some cleaning, purging the bookshelves (for their quarterly sort when I run out of room for new books. LOL), and digging up all the dead plants in my pots out on the balcony. I was filthy and dirty and sweaty but at least I got a decent amount accomplished. Though I still need to do some massive cleaning of the apartment. This weekend's activity.

I was supposed to go dancing Saturday night with our usual crowd but never made it. What's funny is I had just a few hours before the planned meet time been on the phone with my friend B and we were talking about whether or not we were going dancing with everyone. He had worked all day and didn't feel like going back out since the club chosen was farther away for him and he wasn't in the mood to drive there. (He's the usual gentlemanly escort for all the ladies in our group. I always text him when I get to the club so he can meet me at the door to walk me in so I'm not wandering the club alone looking for our gang. And he always tries to walk the ladies out to their cars at the end of the night as well.) I told him I was planning on going but knowing me I'd be so wrapped up in the work I was doing at home that I'd forget to stop in time to take a shower to head out. He was laughing about it and said it's only three or so hours away everyone was meeting so how could I forget when it was that soon? Well, wouldn't you know it even though when we got off the phone after chatting for about an hour (which was surprising since we're usually 5 minute conversation people when we talk to each other) I only had about an hour or so till I'd have to quit everything to go take a shower. And sure enough I got distracted working on stuff and next thing I know it's 9:30 (which was when we all usually try to meet) and at that point didn't feel like getting cleaned up to go out. So I never went.

Sunday my singles' group was having a big picnic afternoon at a local park. The meet time was noon but in our group, hardly anyone is ever actually on time. I got there about 12:30
since I know how our group is and there were only a couple there so far. It was a "everyone bring your own meal" shindig and then we all were going to just hang out and do whatever activity struck our fancy. So I ate my lunch when I got there and about the time I finished eating everyone was showing up. We all sat around the picnic tables for a while then headed down to the sand volleyball courts for a few games. Some folks when roller blading, some went to play catch with a football or softball, some were playing frisbee, and some were just sitting on the sidelines watching all the fun and talking.

I went straight to the sand volleyball game. Now, I'm a terrible volleyball player though I can spike the ball something fierce and serve pretty well about 50% of the time. But I didn't care how bad I was, and no one else cares either. It's all for fun. So I was in the fray with all the guys and there was only one or two other women playing initially though more came in as the game progressed. Now I'm also a klutz to begin with and when trying to run in sand I'm even worse. Awfully hard to run when the ground shifts under you with every step. But I'm not afraid to dive for the ball and get dirty and I tripped and fell more times than I could count. But I had a blast anyhow.

Then comes the injury portion of the program. So be prepared for some extensive details about what happened!

Behind the volleyball courts there is a big pond. There is netting up immediately behind the courts so the ball doesn't go in the water, but off to the sides the netting is not there. And the sand volleyball courts are each bermed with concrete about 12-16 inches wide to keep the sand in the court. Let me just say concrete berms, ponds, sand volleyball courts and clumsy people do not mix well. Inevitably, as we expected since most of us are not very good players, the balls were all over the place and in the second game my team was on the pond side of the courts. One of the balls hit by the other team went way wide and was headed straight for the water. So I of course go chasing after it to grab the ball before it reaches the water. Wouldn't you know it that darned sand tripped me up and I went flying. Slammed hard on the concrete. Messed up my right shin pretty bad and tore up my left knee. Sure it hurt, but no more than it would for a nasty bruise. My shin was bleeding but didn't look too bad and my left knee was hardly hurting. So I jump right back in to the game after I picked myself up. I was more upset over thinking I ruined my brand new shorts with nasty grass stains I wouldn't get out than I was with my busted up legs. LOL (Which BTW in an aside, I washed them the other night and the grass stains came out except for on the thread stitching the seams. So I didn't ruin my brand new shorts after all!)

So I'm back in the game chasing the ball diving and everything like normal. And guys on the other team kept telling me I was bleeding pretty bad. I said no it wasn't anything serious and I wasn't worried. I was referring to my right leg since it hurt and I could see where I tore it up. Finally after the fifth or sixth time they told me I was bleeding and I said it was no big deal one of the guys said "no, your other leg!" So I pull up my shorts on the left leg (they were just-below-knee length) and there is blood everywhere! My left knee is just a nasty mess of blood and dirt and many layers of ripped up skin. (Lovely graphic image isn't it? LOL) And my response? "Oh I guess I am bleeding pretty bad huh?" And I went right back to the game. I wasn't about to quit till the game was over. But I stopped diving for the ball after that as I didn't want to make an uglier mess.

Game ends and I head off to where everyone is sitting. We have TWO nurses there for the picnic and neither one of them has any sort of first aid kit with them. Go figure. I went straight to them assuming they'd be the most likely folks to have something. Then C, one of the ladies I've really just started getting to know the past few months says lets head up to the bathroom and you can wash it all off. I had forgotten they had full bathrooms at the picnic pavilion! So we headed up and wouldn't you know, no paper towels and the soap dispensers are empty! So we started gathering toilet paper to clean me up with. As you can imagine we went through quite a bit since toilet paper falls apart the second water hits it. At this point I found I had little rocks imbedded in my knee and my shin. Nothing to pull them out with except my own stubby fingernails. So I spent a while trying to remove the rocks from my legs.

After we cleaned me up as best we could C remembered she had a little first aid kit in her car. Which reminded me I have a good sized one in my car too! Mine is still in its shrink wrapped packaging and has never been opened. Easy to forget I had in other words. But my keys were down at the courts so C pulled hers out. We found a bandage almost big enough for my knee and put a regular band aid over the worst of the raw spot on my right leg.

And back down to the courts I went. LOL Played a little while longer on the second court where some folks had gone to just hit the ball around and not really play a real game. I did that for a while then I went to play frisbee with some of the others.

We all left about 5:00 or so and headed to a local BBQ joint for dinner. After dinner, on my way home, I stopped at the store to get some bandages since I knew I had nothing big enough at home. After I got home, out came the peroxide and cotton balls and I was finally able to really clean myself up really well. And I saw just how big of a mess I had made of my legs. The cuts and scrapes on my right leg, though smaller were the worst of the injuries as they were much deeper. On my knee I just took off the entire surface of it. But hey, yeah it hurt like the dickens that night after it all had a chance to stiffen up and looks dreadful but you know what, I don't care! I had a great time, injuries and all. It's not the first time I've torn up my legs and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Monday I was limping a bit as my knee had a bruise the size of a baseball on it and there's a bruise around the cuts on my right leg almost as big and both were all swollen. I wore gaucho pants to work as they were loose and short, but long enough I thought to cover the bandages. Well the knee was covered but my right leg bandages kept showing themselves off to everyone. LOL Yesterday I was hurting worse though because I had jeans on since I had to do a site visit so the denim pulling across my knee and all was a little painful.

I heal pretty quick though. Took both bandages off last night before my shower. My knee is healing nicely and I was able to go down to a much smaller bandage already. My shin was worse since it was deeper so it was still pretty ugly last night. But it's also smaller so I was able to go down to just putting a couple Band-Aids side by side to cover that all up. Another day or so and I'll only need a regular size band aid on the worst part of my knee and I won't need anything on the other leg.

And that is the details of my weekend adventure. LOL

Last night was half price movie night at the mall so L and I went to see the new Sandra Bullock movie, Premonition (good movie but weird!) Tonight I have my monthly book club dinner (postponed from last week since the hostess was sick). Tomorrow I was invited to a wine tasting event right after work I'm thinking of attending so long as I don't need to be there as soon as it starts. And of course it's Starbucks Thursday too. Friday is my normal Friday off so the cleaning will commence at home full steam ahead. Saturday I'm meeting S and her boss for lunch. And I still have two chicken breasts in the fridge I pulled out to make Saturday night/Sunday morning but didn't since we went out to dinner. Hopefully 5 or 6 days isn't too long for it to be not frozen but still refrigerated since I won't be home to cook it until Friday night. LOL

Man! This is been a busy week! No wonder I was dog tired yesterday and today when I got up! It didn't register how much I had going on this week till just now! LOL

Monday, March 26, 2007

The long overdue birthday party post

Yes I know it's been over a week but I've been a busy bee.

L pulls out all the stops when she's planning a party, that's the first thing I have to say about my party. She bought a dozen latex balloons in green and white, mardi gras beads for everyone in various Irish motif/designs. Some of them even lit up and you could make them blink at different speeds or keep them on steady. She also had this one massive Mylar balloon that's about 3 times the size of a normal Mylar balloon. On top of that she had bought me a Happy Birthday Hat that was shaped like a cake and a pair of happy birthday sunglasses. She also bought several feather boas that were green and had little Ireland flags on them. And she had bought a couple disposable "message" cameras. Those are the ones that every picture has a message on it when developed that has some sort of happy birthday saying on it. (I got the pics developed today and some turned out great others... not so good. LOL)

We went to a Vietnamese/Japanese restaurant called the East Wind in the trendy Quadrangle area in Dallas (I'm not sure where exactly I'd say it is, uptown, downtown, whatever but it is in the city proper.) Our reservation was for 7:00 for 20 people. But with our crowd, hardly anyone is ever on time and we knew folks would be late, but many were much later than we anticipated. So that meant we didn't really even order dinner until after 8:00 by the time everyone showed up. About 12 people actually came to dinner. I knew some folks wouldn't make dinner because they had to work and were meeting us later, but a couple people who said they were coming didn't. We ordered a few appetizers while we waited and I tried calamari for the first time, though I didn't know what it was until after I had taken a bite. I figured it was the usual tempura you get in Japanese restaurants so I had some. Literally after I took the first bite I heard L mention to someone else it was calamari. For people who don't know me really well, I have an aversion to eating calamari. I always said I refused to eat something that shoots ink out it's backside when it's scared. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't the best thing I've ever eaten and it was quite chewy so the texture is not something I'm fond of. I can now say I've tried calamari but don't expect me to eat it again! I still have that thing about the ink-shooting that bugs me. LOL

After dinner came the cake. L had ordered a half sheet chocolate chocolate cake with glazed strawberries on it. Oh was it good!!! I still have some of it at home though. We polished off about 3/4 of it at dinner but I brought the rest home. Kept meaning to bring it to work and keep forgetting. So I'm VERY slowly finishing it myself at home. We had a moment of fright (well they did anyhow since I couldn't see it) where as the waiter was trying to set the cake down in front of me, OVER my head, the cake hat was in the way. MP was directly across from me and she said afterward she thought surely he was going to drop it right on my head! And the candle were lit so she was afraid he was going to catch my hair on fire! But no mishaps ensued and the cake made it to the table, in one piece and without setting anything on fire. I'm glad I didn't know about that part until AFTERward or I'd have been a little freaked at the near miss. LOL

L got me a big candelabra I'd been wanting from her Home and Garden Party catalogs to put in my fireplace (I've never actually used the fireplace for a fire and there's no grate to build the fire IN but I wanted something in there.) The candelabra looked from the measurements in the catalog like it would fit. And it BARELY fits. It brushes both sides and the top of the opening. I'll only be using tea lights in there as the highest candle holder is smack against the top of the fireplace opening. But I can slide tea lights in through the side and still be able to light them. It sure is pretty though and it'll look really nice I think when I burn candles in it. S and K each brought me flowers and MR got me one of those Hallmark cards that plays popular songs. Mine is the chicken dance. So of course when I opened the card I had to do a little chicken dance in my chair. LOL

By the time we finished with everything it was about 10:00. Next stop on the agenda was the Martini Ranch bar. I had wanted to go to a martini bar since it seems to be all the rage presently and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. Well I found out! I could SO easily get used to doing that regularly. LOL I tried three different kinds: the Debutini which was blue and fruity, the wedding cake martini which was red and sweet and yummy. Not sure where the "wedding cake" part came from but it was still good. Then I tried an appletini which was like drinking an apple jolly rancher. YUM! I also tasted several other people's drinks as well, a chocolate martini and a suntini just to name two. At this point the crowd started dropping off since it was almost midnight. We had talked about going dancing afterward but since we took so much longer at the restaurant than we anticipated, most people were too tired to go dancing as well. L had been my ride for the night since she knew I intended to have some fun at the martini bar. LOL but she was exhausted and ended up leaving, after making sure someone would be able to drive me home.

We had put all my stuff in N's truck after we left the restaurant and before we went to the bar. B got elected to take me home since N and E were the only two who were actually still going to go dancing. So we transferred everything to his car and he drove me home. I felt a little bad though because he lives the completely opposite direction from where I live so it was a good bit out of his way to drive me home, especially after having put in a 13-14 hour day at work and having to be at work at 7:30 Saturday morning after the party. If not for all the stuff I had to take with me, I'd have just taken a cab, but with the remains of our cake, my monster Mylar balloon my big candelabra, two bouquets of flowers and assorted others things, a cab would have been a little difficult.

I guess it was about 1:00 or a little before when I got home and I went to bed.

The next morning I discovered a not so great thing about the huge balloon. Aker was absolutely TERRIFIED of the balloon. I had left the balloon in the living room with the ribbon dangling on the floor. Well Aker must've thought it was a monster come to eat him because he would not come out from under the bed for TWO WHOLE DAYS! I lured him out twice but when we went towards the living room he freaked out and took off for the bed again. I have the claw marks up and down my stomach to show for it where he launched himself out of my arms. The second time this happened I realized it must be the balloon causing the problem. Amun wasn't too keen on it either and avoided it at all costs but he wasn't as bad about it as poor Aker was. At least he was willing to venture into the sky monster's territory, he just kept his distance. LOL Sheba couldn't care less one way or the other. So I moved it into the closet and Aker was back to normal within an hour. And now, even a week later, the balloon is still flying high and not losing its buoyancy. But in the closet it will stay until it's done for. I'm glad I didn't bring the latex balloons home. I was afraid L would be upset I left them at the restaurant but now I'm glad they didn't come home with me. If I'd have brought them home, poor Aker would've been traumatized for life! (In an aside I was in that storage closet today putting some stuff away. Balloon is still fully inflated and bumping the ceiling. Aker likes to go hide in the closet so he ran for it when i opened the door. But he saw that balloon and came to a screeching halt and took off. So if I hadn't been sure before, I sure would be now! Aker hates balloons.)

And that is the story of my birthday celebration. Hope it was worth the wait.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

XPOST Promo: CK2S Kwips and Kritiques turns a year old!

It's hard to believe that a year ago today We opened our cyber doors with plans for a small site. Well, it didn't take long for us to grow up and increase in size and recognition.

We just finished our monthly update on the site and we have lots of plans for the rest of the month to celebrate our birthday!

The newsletter will be out in the next few days (our newsletter editor is in the process of moving so may be a little delayed in getting the newsletter out.) But stop on over, take a look around, and see what great plans we have!

Friday, March 09, 2007

A marines relationship with God

God, if you are real, then...

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes." The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting."

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his Chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.

The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

The Marine calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting America's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole. So, He sent me."  


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My weekend

I had a pretty nice weekend. Friday was my normal Friday off so I spent the day doing all those necessities like laundry, grocery shopping, etc. Saturday I went to the Dallas Home and Garden Show with L. She had fun shopping, I was good and all I bought was a WAY overpriced mocha latte and a lollipop. Then after we got back I forget what all I did, probably more laundry and I watched a couple DVDs and played on the 'puter. Sunday was a really fun day. I actually
managed to drag my butt out of bed for church in the morning. I've been really bad about getting up and going. for a couple months. After church let out I went straight to L's house.

We drove down to Fair Park for the North Texas Irish Festival. It was worth the drive and the ticket to get in just for the music! Several stages set up and all of them had performers going, playing all sorts of great Irish music. There was some Irish Step dancing going on too. Dogs everywhere since it was outdoors and pet friendly and they had numerous animal rescue booths set up for different programs and dog types. There were lots of craft booths set up too and even though it was the IRISH Festival, the Scots were out in full force too. They had booths set up for a bunch of different clans in the area, which made me decide I need to call Mom and ask what clan we fall under. Not a lot of Scots blood in us (I think it was my 2-or-3-greats grandma who was Scottish). ***Update here: Talked to Mom last night and she told me we are Clan Thomson and it was my 2-greats-grandma that was the full-blooded Scots woman.***

L and I did some more shopping. L bought me a green "Irish girl" t-shirt since I was an idiot and forgot to wear green that day. LOL I bought myself a really nice t-shirt with a Josephine Wall  design on the front and  I just LOVE her fantasy art and the shirt was gorgeous! We both came home with numerous strings of Mardi Gras beads of shamrocks and stuff. And we decided we're both wearing all our beads for my birthday party in a couple weeks. (My birthday is the day before St. Pat's)

We bumped into my friend C down there too, with his boyfriend in tow. It was the first time I met F though I've heard quite a bit about him. Seems like a really nice guy and C is crazy about him.

We left there amazed we never heard about this festival before and decided we need to make it a tradition to go every year.

After that we headed over to the Science Museum for the Body Worlds exhibit. But we got there and found out we
needed to buy our tickets in advance since it was so popular. We'd have had to wait two hours to get in and we had already done the whole festival though we coulda gone back to listen to music or something. L had wanted to get home early since she was supposed to put in an 18 hour day at work the next day. So we went home. But we're shooting
for Body Worlds this Sunday if we can go early since I have to drive down to Ft. Hood in the evening to be there for work at 7:30 Monday morning and it's a 3.5 hour drive for me and I ALWAYS get lost when I go down there. (Bit of trivia - Ft. Hood is the LARGEST Army base in the country. Someone told me in the world too but I'm not sure that was

And that was my weekend.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Camping trip (Feb 22-25) - Saturday

No I didn't forget. Just been busy. LOL

Saturday was another early morning. K came in around 6:30 AM to let the dogs out, which woke me up. She wasn't able to sleep. I don't know if the other girls I was sharing with woke up then but I had a hard time falling back to sleep and just dozed until about 8:00 when she came in again.

After everyone got up, a couple folks cooked breakfast and then the rest of us cleaned up. I guess it was about 10:00 or so we headed out on to the ranch to see all the animals. This is an actual working ranch that M's Dad owns. It's 1200 acres and sprawling with different pastures all over the place with different names, two camps - the one we stayed at and another one, and at least three times we crossed over dry creek beds. Two of the girls, E and A, stayed in the cabin all day, preferring to relax that way. T and D drove the four wheelers with H on the back of one and J on the back of the other. I rode in the truck with M, K and K's boyfriend C. M took us all around the whole ranch and we saw quite a few critters. We brought a couple bags of feed with us, which probably helped draw out the animals. The goats pretty much will go anywhere there is food. LOL

They have a huge herd of goats, a couple horses, a llama, lots and lots of cattle, a beefalo, YES, it's called a beefalo. It's half buffalo half cow. Has the body of a buffalo and the head of a cow. Very interesting looking animal. They also have TONS of deer roaming, lots of wild hogs (Not something we ran in to anywhere thank goodness. Though the guys were bummed, they were looking forward to hunting hogs.), and some herds of black buck. Black buck are an African animal that looks like a kind of antelope. They are beautiful creatures with spirally looking horns from what I could see from a distance. What's funny is most of these animals weren't even M's dad's originally. They just showed up on his property and never left. M jokes and calls her dad's ranch the black hole. It's where all the animals from everywhere else disappear to. She said as far as they know, none of her Dad's animals have wandered off the ranch. Some have been killed over the years by coyotes and hogs, but not just wandered off to never be seen again.

We spent a couple hours driving all over the ranch and headed back to the cabin about 12:30 or so for lunch. The guys did the grilling (I could get used to this!) and the girls cleaned up. And man did we ever have a feast! All the meat was from M's Dad's cattle and so full of flavor. We had SO much food (and alcohol - can't forget that. LOL) we had to use up since we had dinner plans for the evening and wouldn't be there to eat anything. We had food everywhere! After lunch was over and everything cleaned up, A and I wanted rides on the four wheelers. So T and D took us out. I rode with T and A with D. WOW!!! That was the highlight of the whole weekend! I had never ridden a four wheeler before and they weren't exactly built for two people to ride. All we had to sit on was metal bars that are racks for carrying stuff. There were lots of extra pillows floating around no one ever used so we each put one of those on the four wheelers to cushion the ride a little bit. T is a bit of a wild man so he was FLYING all over the place. D is a little more cautious of a driver so we kept leaving them in our dust, quite literally.

But such a great time! We were out for probably 2 - 2 1/2 hours and rode the whole ranch. I have never had so much fun! Even with all the airborne moments, of which there were quite a few. Nothing like flying in to the air and knowing not a single wheel is touching the ground. (T liked to take the most difficult route to get anywhere so we rode through and over the dry creek beds, right under trees where we had to duck really low so as to not get our faces all beat up from the branches, etc. But that it made it even more fun.) We were out in the pastures with the animals. The goats of course came right up to us, hoping for food. And we came across the llama who thinks he's a big ol' dog. He waltzed right up to T and I so I spent a little while petting the llama. I think A maybe got a picture or two of it.

We even rescued a goat! As we were zipping along the fence lines we came across a goat who had gotten his horns stuck in the fence and couldn't get loose. Poor thing was bawling up a storm, frantic and desperate to get loose. T and D wouldn't let A and I help because they said it was too dangerous with as panicked as the poor thing was. So they made us stay a little bit back and T grabbed the horns and D pinned the goat to the fence so they could work his horns free. As soon as they got him loose, the little guy took of running fast as he could. He still had a lot of energy so they figure he hadn't been stuck more than 24 hours or so. I guess T used to be around goats a lot when he was younger and
rescued a few over the years so he was able to guess how long it had been there based on how it was acting. Shortly after that we had to end our ride as the four wheeler T and I were using ran out of gas and was down to its reserve tank. So we took it much slower going back to preserve what gas we did have and stopped to fill them up again before heading back to camp.

But were we ever scary looking when we got back! I had my hair pulled up in a bun clip as I knew it would be in the way otherwise. But everything else was a mess! My face was almost solid brown from the dust and at least three layers coated all of my clothing head to toe. I had prickly things stuck in my sock and pants cuffs that were quite painful on my legs. And even with my hair pulled up, it was filthy! 
The guys went out hunting for a few hours and H and J took the four wheelers out for a ride on their own. But by that time, my sleepiness from several nights in a row of almost no sleep (I had been out or busy every night that week leading up to the camping trip on top of only 4 or so hours of sleep a night while there.) So I just washed my face off, took off my sweatshirt and shook as much dust off as I could, then I laid down and went to sleep for a couple hours. When I woke up I took a speed demon five minute shower but didn't bother with the hair since I didn't have time and knew I'd wash it the second I got home from the trip.

The guys cleaned up after they got back and we all headed out to dinner. We had quite a long wait for tables since we were such a big group and they actually opened a whole room just for us. This place we went is known for their steaks (all beef from a local well known ranch) but it was also EXPENSIVE! And after the huge lunch we ate, I didn't want to chance spending a ton of money on something I may not eat. A lot of them split meals between them since the steaks were pretty large. Me? I went for an grilled shrimp appetizer and a baked sweet potato for my meal. Heck even the shrimp appetizer was 10 large shrimp so it filled me up just fine. They also gave me a side of veggies they didn't charge me for since I told them I was making the appetizer my meal.

Another funny story comes into play here....

On the way home, everyone needed to fill up their cars with gas so we borrowed a CD from E she had made for a friend's wedding that had all these awesome chick songs we girls love. And one where you know at least some of the lines for all the songs. So the four of us (M, me, J, H) cranked it up really loud and were belting out the songs at the top of our lungs. Still sitting in the lot at the gas station while we waited for the others. Well M keeps a ton of those lint remover rolls around since Chelsea sheds so much. She and I were sitting in the back seat and each found one in the pocket on the back of the seat in front of us. PERFECT size for a microphone! I don't remember what H and J found but they were using something too. So here we are with the windows down, singing at the tops of our lungs with our "microphones" putting on a show for the whole gas station. E took some really funny pictures I think of us doing that. So we spent the whole rest of the ride home cracking ourselves up over our antics while we sang as loud as we could. And all this while we were still sober!

After we got back to the cabin, everyone really wanted a campfire since most of them missed the one the previous night but it had gotten really cold. So everyone decided to do without and stayed in doing whatever. Some played poker, some watched movies, all of us had a few to drink, I floated a bit since I don't get into the card games. I read my book for a while but mostly sat and chit chatted with the poker players until I wandered over to watch the movie. We didn't stay up near as late this night since everyone was getting kinda tired. I forget what time I packed it in, but I think it was around 1 or 1:30.

Sunday morning, E and the other folks who arrived in her car with her left by 8 AM since E wanted to be home early for a meeting at the church. The rest of us to get everything cleaned up and dishes washed and all the leftover food sorted out. We got on the road about 11:00. We stopped at McDonalds to hit the drive thru and Maren almost gave us all another adventure. She was up front and jumped into M's lap. When she opened the window to get the food, Maren tried to leap for the drive thru window! M caught her in time but can you imagine? A dog jumping through the drive thru window of McDonalds, right next to where they put all the burgers together? So horrified laughter over what almost happened carried us about half way home till us passengers started falling asleep.

We stopped in Dallas to drop H and J off and M and H went "shopping" in J's clothing to be donated to charity basket. I didn't try anything on since J is 6 feet tall and I knew hardly anythign would fit me. So I amused myself watching them dig through all the clothes and model them for us. Then we headed back to M's and I helped her unload the car before I left. I got home probably about 5:30 or so and ready to sleep for a week! Well sleep for a week after I washed my hair several times to get all the dust and dirt out first. LOL

And that, is the wrap up of my camping trip!

Now on to this weekend's adventures. :-)

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camping trip (Feb 22-25) - Friday

We were all up by about 8:30 Friday morning when the dogs started getting antsy. We all took showers figuring that would be our last one for the weekend. We sat down to make our grocery list and the "to do" list before everyone else got there that night.
First stop was M's dad's house (we were camping on his ranch and drove over to his house from the cabin) so she could see if he had anything we could use so we didn't have to buy as much. She also had to fill up the gas tank. Her dad keeps an above ground storage tank full of gasoline which is for filling just the farm vehicles and M always fills up there too when she can. They all got many laughs at my expense as I started asking all kinds of questions about storage tank permits etc etc since that's a part of what I do for work. I can't help it! I can't turn it off even on vacation! Then when I saw the tank, which is everything we don't like to see at the reserve centers, I guess I had quite an "oh my goodness" expression on my face. So the were all amused by the whole thing and kept harassing me about it all weekend long. So anyhow, we filled up the car and headed out for shopping.
We got to town in time for an early lunch and we wee all hungry again so we stopped. The original plan had been to go to Starbucks for coffee (the town is a good half hour or more from the cabin) but when we all realized we were hungry I was the only one who still needed my caffeine fix. I knew I'd never make it through the day without it. But I got my coffee then we headed down the road for lunch.
After lunch, we went to the grocery store and split the list in half. J and H went one way, M and I the other so we could get the shopping done faster. we also had to pick up K's ice cream birthday cake while we were there. We finished grocery shopping and next stop was the liquor store. Now you had to know with a group the size of ours camping, alcohol was bound to come in to the equation. LOL
We got home about mid to late afternoon and stopped back at M's dad to get some hamburger meat and sausage (all from his cattle). We got back to the cabin, put away all the food and had a little while to relax before we had to get anything else done. So we popped a DVD in (yes, we had one) and watched Bill Cosby for a little while. But we had to get back to M's Dad's before dark to pick up another mattress that we needed for the rest of the gang arriving that night. So we did that, set it up in the other room and decided we were ready for a campfire. Of course we had bought hot dogs and buns and the fixin's for smores at the store. :-) It's not camping without those!
So we got the fire going, with a bit of difficulty since even though it was pretty warm all day, it was REALLY windy and the fire kept going out before we got it really going well. We didn't have the right stuff for cooking over the fire so we improvised. We pulled some wire hangers out, untwisted them and voila, roasting sticks! We cooked the hot dogs which were yummy (they always taste better over a fire) then we ate quite a few smores until we were full. So we just sat there for a while but we were all tired and it was getting cooler. So we lazed around inside waiting for everyone else to arrive. The first bunch got there about midnight or so. That last two got there about 1 AM. So of course we all sat up for a while, drinking alcohol and talking.
There's a funny story to go along with this too. As I mentioned, K's cake was an ice cream cake. Well we got back to the cabin that afternoon and realized it was too tall to fit on the shelf in the freezer! We even tried moving stuff around but it just wasn't fitting. So we stuck it in the fridge and figured we'd take it over to M's dad's when we went to get the bed that evening. Well we forgot to take it over there so it was just in the fridge most of the day. We realized about midnight when everyone arrived and was getting drinks out of the fridge that the cake was still there and the side had collapsed! So M rushed it over to her dad's only to find out he was already asleep so had to bring it back. By now the cake was looking VERY sad. K and her boyfriend were the last two people to arrive and by the time she got there, we were singing happy birthday over a cake dish turned upside down to hold all the melted ice cream full of mush! So she has quite a funny birthday memory there to talk about for a long time to come! But we all ate some anyhow. It was pretty bad by then, there not really being anything left but whipped cream frosting and soggy chocolate cake but between everyone there wasn't much left.
By about 3:30 everyone was exhausted, especially those who had just arrived that night so we all went to bed.

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my camping trip (Feb 22-25) - first night

Yes I know you've all been on pins and needles waiting to hear all about it. LOL
I ended up taking a half day last Thursday so I could go home and finish packing and get the kids all taken care of with clean litter boxes, plenty of food and water, etc. I had to be at M's by 7:00 so we could load her truck with all our stuff and her dog and head out to pick up the other two girls coming with us Thursday night. The other two had to work till about 7 so we figured on plenty of time with me being at M's by 7. As it turned out, H and J said they'd be ready by 8 so since M and I were both very hungry (neither of us had eaten hardly anything all day) we hit the drive thru for some dinner on our way to pick up the others. Still we had lots of time so we drove slowly to J's, which ticked off others on the highway here in Dallas where NO ONE goes the speed limit (and we weren't even poking along, we stuck to the speed limit. LOL)
There was a little bit of nervousness on M's part as to whether or not we'd be able to fit everything, plus two dogs (J was bringing her dog too) but we all kept the luggage to a minimum so we were good. heck we were going camping, not like we needed designer shoes/clothes/makeup or anything. LOL We all had plans to be uber-casual all weekend long. we got on the road about 9:00 I guess it was and it was a good 5 hour + drive. J and H were hungry after working their respective 12 hour shifts (both are nurses in different depts but the same hospital) so about 11:30 or so we made a Taco Bell drive thru stop. Nothing like Taco Bell at midnight. LOL
I fell asleep at one point and slept about an hour or so and I guess while I was asleep J and H fell asleep too. Poor M had to struggle alone to keep awake since she was driving when we were all supposed to help her stay awake. LOL
About 1:30 or so we all needed a bathroom break so we stopped at a Wal Mart to make use of the rest room. This is where the night gets REALLY amusing! Neither dog was on a leash since we were in the car and when J let her dog out, Maren took off running all over the parking lot (and she's FAST!) unfortunately for us, someone was coming out of Wal Mart at that particular moment so Maren took off running for the door and ran IN to Wal Mart. There was a moment where we're all like "no she's not going to" then an "OH shit she IS!" We all ran after her, M being closest to the door with Chelsea (her dog trotting along behind her) and all of a sudden she cries "No Maren! Don't do it!" It doesn't come across near as funny typed out but the voice she used made it so hilarious that after the fact we were all doubled over laughing about it. So M ran in the doors, Chelsea still on her heels and the Wal Mart folks are yelling "don't let the other dog in too!" M had hoped that maybe if Maren saw Chelsea she come back out. But they stopped just inside the door and we're all calling Maren. She had made a beeline for the bakery section (probably smelled the fresh bread) and when she turned to go around a corner, one of the employees caught her. Well since we were all tired and slap happy this particular occurrence kept us in stitches the rest of the way to the cabin.
We arrived at the cabin about 2 AM and set about unloading the truck and getting all the beds situated since 6 more people would be arriving Friday night. It also gave the dogs a chance to run around and let off some excess energy. M's dog is a 10 year old Golden Retriever so doesn't move quite so well anymore (bad hips) but J's dog is a cute little mutt that who knows what all breeds she is and is only three so she had TONS of energy to burn. So the dogs ran around a bit and we all settled down to go to sleep about 3:30.

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