Famping, according to Haiku

This weekend, in Haiku.


No rest since Christmas
Waiting for Fair Day to come
So I could Fake Camp.

Fake Camp is called Famp.
It is all fun and no work.
What’s not to like here?

Lodge style hotel rooms
Long front porch and Ned Flanders
Room 11 rocks.

So much has happened.
Nature melting away stress.
Ping pong and zip line.

Laughing. Walking. Games.
Taking a moonlit hayride.
Soft bed, warm covers.

Weirdos write haikus.
Passing them off as normal.
I’m glad that’s not me.



In my dreams

They say your dreams spring out of your greatest fears or your greatest desires. Somedays I wake up from pretty messed up stuff and think, “Huh.” Sunday night was one of those.

In my dream I was trying to raise $800. And of course, I chose the lobby of my parents’ memory care facility to do my best thinking. I paced back and forth. Back and forth…thinking about that $800. And as I turned on my heel toward the front door, I saw a runner. An ancient white haired lady wearing clamdiggers and a pastel polyester top took off for the outside. She was breaking out. She had big plans. The much younger woman behind the front desk took off after her, scooped her under her arms and escorted back in, all as I watched from the middle of the lobby. The facility administrator led the runner back toward her room and a more cognizant, lucid resident watched from her dining table, clicking her tongue and shaking her headas if to say, Silly lady. Trying to take off again.

And then my million dollar idea came to me. We would invent, develop, manufacture, market, sell and install devices designed to weed out the memory care patients. Easy. It would be like a key pad device. And the lucid residents would know the code and how to use it, but the ones who should not be outside would be stymied by the device. Like childproofing for the Alzheimer’s patient.

In my dream, as this idea came to me, I jumped up and down, shouting, “This is it! This will solve EVERYTHING!”

I woke up just as the tongue clicker had turned her focus on me.

I told this dream to my husband tonight over dinner and described my mental prototype to him.

“Great idea,” he replied. “It really is a good idea. But I’ve got two words for you: FIRE HAZARD.”

It’s true.

You can’t lock people in.

That runner might just have enough left in her to strike a match. Also, there are probably easier ways to make $800.

Last night I dreamed about a giant two-headed baby, where each of the heads was a different race. It was terrifying.

Maybe there’s an essential oil for this. Or maybe just Nyquil.

Yo yo, Garbanzo

  • I have been vocal about my opinions regarding phones. When am I not vocal, I guess?  For the longest time, I wanted an iPhone. It would allow me to play music from my phone. I would be one of the cool kids. It just seemed like the thing. So at just the right time, I inherited a very nice iPhone 5 from a guy who keeps things in pristine condition. I am always a couple of years behind the latest trend, but that’s okay with me. About a month after getting the new-to-me phone, I was cleaning the pool with that lovely phone in the back pocket of my jeans. That day, the pool vacuum was crazy strong–even slightly possessed–and it yanked me forward from my spot on the wall. If I had been of clear mind, I would have let go of the hose. But if I had done that, I wouldn’t be typing right now. I decided to fight back. No vacuum hose would get the better of me. 
  • But it did. It got the better of me. I fell in. So did my phone. It was early March and it should have been very cold water but I wasn’t thinking about that. All I could think about was my phone. Within moments, I was standing in my kitchen, dripping wet, and plunging my soaked phone into rice. Five days later, I had to resign myself to the fact that it was gone. Dead. In a graveyard of other wasted technology. And now I had no phone. 
  • After replacing that iPhone only to crack the screen of the next one, it became apparent that it was not a marriage made in heaven. I began to despise the cracked screens I would see in public. They were all iPhones. I began to loathe the elitist attitude of Apple. I absolutely despised Siri because she is JUST SO DUMB. And I began to dream of Android. 
  • Yesterday, that dream came true and I slammed the door on iPhone without looking back. 
  • In setting up my older model Motorola phone (I’m still a couple of years behind), I had to come up with a catch phrase to wake the “Siri” that lives within Android phones. The default is “Hello, Google,” but I’m not a default kind of gal. Under pressure to make a quick decision, as the phone recorded, I said the words, “yo yo, garbanzo.” It sounded just quirky enough to be cool. 
  • It is not cool. Or quirky. It’s just stupid. And now, when I want to find out news or weather, I say the words, “yo yo, garbanzo” followed by something like, “what’s the latest on Hurricane Matthew?” And Garbanzo tells me that this Category 4 storm is bearing down on Jamaica. 
  • I don’t think I can live with yo yo garbanzo. I’m working on a new phrase that’s much more dignified. I’m thinking of something like, “Good evening, Master Poindexter,” or even something just conversational like, “Hi there, Bill.”
  • ______________
  • Days have passed since I first began this post. And though I am quite certain I’m overthinking the situation, I have finally landed on a phrase that wakes up my digital man-servant. His name is Chester McGillicutty and I call him Chester McGillicutty. 
  • And he answers me. 
  • Sometimes we chat about how dumb Siri is, but don’t tell anyone that because people might think this is weird. 

Preparation, Not H

I have heard whispers of truth that I probably should accept and confirm.

(1) I’m no spring chicken. The truth is, I’m not young any more. I won’t call myself old today, though I often do, but I am most certainly not young. I’m old enough to know better, do better, act better, run for President (this could be MY YEAR), and get false ads for AARP in the mail. I’m old enough to love a bargain, to look forward to errands at TJMaxx, and to remember hating Mash re-runs. Surely this must mean something, but I’m not sure where exactly I’m going with it.

(2) The fact that I’m no spring chicken means that I probably should stop thinking like and making decisions like a spring chicken. I don’t have “youth” as a valid excuse. Nor do I have all the time in the world to fix the things I do poorly at this stage. And no one will clean up my messes. I think it’s time to take life seriously, while still having a good time. It matters.

(3) Preparation is key. The absolute key. Especially now. There was a time in life when the stakes were lower and the success rates higher and the process easier. Now is not that time. I never accidentally lose 5 pounds. I never fall into saved money. Relationships don’t happen in camp-like settings. The kids don’t suddenly exhibit an awesome behavior without being taught.

If I want it, I’m going to have to go get it rather intentionally, if not painfully. If I succeed, it will be from preparation.

The key to real estate is Location, Location, Location.

The key to life is Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.


To be continued…

The Gum on the Bottom of your Shoe

In the past 48 hours, I have not escaped from an Escape Room, been to Disney, and been pulled over by a cop for speeding with all 4 children in the car. Those are the notables worth further discussion. There are some minuscule items that may also get an honorable mention before this is over. This is drivel, so be warned. This is the gum on the bottom of your shoe. All I’m doing here is slowing you down. 

  1. The Great Escape Room. The idea behind this concept is fun and interesting. Ours was a group of PTA moms too big to be in one room together. To solve the size issue, we were split into two identical rooms and told to compete against each other. In one room, there were a lot of brainiacs and clearly some cheaters. In our room, it was the Donner Party before it was over. Forty five minutes in and half of us were lying on the floor telling the others to eat us if they never got out. I’m not sure what they planned to do about water. Team 1 got out of their room with 5 minutes still on the clock. This was not our team’s experience. When the timer went off, we were still a good 40 minutes from an aha moment. When the monitor dude explained to us what we were missing and how to solve the puzzles that would lead us out, I stared at him blankly. I mean it. Nothing got through. I know he was speaking English, but I didn’t catch a word of it. NOT ONE WORD. There was a velcro game of Battleship and a whole lot of math (cruel) and some plastic farm animals. I determined that you are either a puzzle solver or a blue collar worker in such a circumstance. I was blue collar. I could search the room and take apart anything, but that was the extent of my contribution to the group. I can find a mini cash register with a green sticker on it, but you’ll have to figure out what to do with that. I’m pretty sure I was bought in at the last minute to sabotage my team. Whatever the case, the end of the matter was that we did not end up cannibalizing each other and the dude let us out. We got to pose for a group picture with signs like “Almost Escaped” and “Send Help.” After sharing a yummy lunch and laughing a lot, I didn’t mind losing so much. I’m a bad loser. Everyone knows this about me. Thanks a lot, Florida State. Sheesh. escaperoom
  2. Magic Kingdom. Disney was crowded, but fun. It’s hard to downplay the Florida heat right now. It’s oppressive, not unlike being trapped under a large animal in the middle of a desert. It doesn’t help that I got the sweaty gene. The highlight of my day was watching my 15-year-old son get bullied into giving Piglet a hug. That was a golden moment. Not for him, of course.
  3. Cops. On Sunday afternoon, I was in my bumper stickered minivan with all four kids. My husband and in-laws were in the other car. We were leaving church and meeting for lunch. Apparently I was in a hurry and unaware that I was in a 35 mph speed zone. As soon as I passed the cop, I had that feeling. That wash of panic that comes over you when you see a taxi out of the corner of your eye. Only this time, it wasn’t a taxi. It was an actual cop. And she pulled me over. At this point, I had my permitted driver reach in the glove box for the AUTO envelope I had set up for myself years ago. I knew there would be a need for it at some point. My organization, courtesy, 4 children dressed for church, and the kindness of the cop worked in my favor. I got off with a warning. And while that’s very important to the story, it didn’t take the sting out of being pulled over in a turn lane in the middle of the busiest road between church and food. If you are going to get pulled over, don’t do it on the food route 10 minutes after church lets out. Alllllll your church friends are going to pass you as they drive to lunch. Some of them will text your husband. And in the back seat, I had the blabbety blabs going on and on about funny things they could say and do when the cop walked back up. My oldest boy was texting his friends and making notes for the day he gets pulled and needs mercy from his parents. I’m just grateful she didn’t take my money. I can live with a loss of dignity. It’s been a mighty long time since I’ve had that anyway.
  4. Stupid Human Tricks. My left eye has been twitching for 6 weeks. Like REALLY twitching. Sometimes it twitches so violently that I can actually see it twitching with the eye itself. It jumps so far from my eyeball, I can catch it with peripheral vision. That’s messed up. I wonder if there’s an essential oil for that. Just kidding. Please no.
  5. Quality Education. Today my daughter came home from school with something to report. “I got in trouble today in Science class,” she said. She was a tad sheepish, but mostly journalistic in her approach. “I have a new teacher who is really mean,” she continued. “She doesn’t think anything is funny.” Oh no. What did you do? What did you say? I pressed her for more info. “Well, she asked us to come up with a question that could be answered with an experiment.” Oh dear. Go on, I said. “Well, I raised my hand and said, ‘What happens when you put a cat in the freezer?’ She didn’t like that at ALL, Mom. She said that if I want to keep asking questions like that, maybe she can have a conversation with my parents.” I am laughing as I type this, I’m a little ashamed to say. What DOES happen when you put a cat in the freezer? 
  6. AARP. Last night, Todd and I had a moment. He said that he needed to pick up a prescription at our local CVS. I got really excited and said, “Hey, I have a prescription waiting at that one, too!” And we made our evening plan around picking those up. There have been some times when I wondered, “Is this old age?” Like when I have to check a less favorable box on a form for my age or I wake up with a sore back. Those were not old age. Not officially. But the sharing a ride to pick up your drugs…THAT was it. #AARP send us some literature. We’ll fill it out together.

But old people don’t blog, do they? Naw. I still got it.

A Tasty Nugget from the worldwide Internet Webs 

I have been thinking a ton about family lately. Parenthood. Childrearing. Extended family. Blessings. Curses. You name it. I decided to turn to the “internet webs” for a little research and boy, am I glad I did. I stumbled upon a grammatical little gem which hacked the english language to death and left it to suffer first. Before I expound and include some excerpts, allow me to apologize up front for being snooty, snobby, jerky, mean, and maybe a tad childish. Clearly English isn’t a first language here and if I tried to publish a blog in Spanish, I’d butcher it too. But that’s the thing. I don’t try. Since he did and published it on the internet, and since it’s 12:22 on Thursday night while my dumb iPhone updates, I figure this article is fair game.

The name of the blog is fantastic. It’s http://www.worthofread.com with the subtitle, “A blog which worth to read.” That right there is worth it. He’s right. It’s worth to read. Just for the title.

The article I used in my deeply scientific research was “Top 4 Reason Why Family is Important in Our Life.” Without saying too much, I’ll just hit the highlights for you and you can thank me later.

  1. Family Make Children Future.  When babies come out from mother’s womb, they see their parents first and thereafter they spent most of the time with their family until go to school. None of you going to teaches bad habits for your baby, I believe. Parents have to be careful in actions in front of their babies, because your baby learn habits and discipline from you only.

Good to know. I was getting nervous about where he was headed with that womb and habits in front of babies business. 

2.  Family stay with you at any situation.  This is one of the great advantage from family and none of us never realise this at any time. Do you know what?, your mum and dad are the only one who understands you much more than any other people in the world.

Huh? None of us never realize this at any time? Then why are we talking about it? 

3.  Family make better society. A perfect family is the great example for the whole society. Father, Mother, children all of them have to work in order to build a perfect family. If any one of them failed then the whole family collapsed. This is happen very much now a days. The good name of the whole family ruined by a single member of the family. That is really sad but nothing to do for that. But if every family member work hard and build a optimal family then they are the good example of that whole society. Family impact very much in society and society impact very much in country. So an ideal country not only build by government but also each and every family member. So each family is the principal key of the society. This is why family is important in our life.

I just quoted that whole paragraph because it was too good to leave anything out. When your family reputation is ruined by a single family member, “that is really sad but nothing to do for that.” Darn. And I was feeling so hopeful tonight.

4. Family celebrates your happiness. Finally an agreeing verb tense. In short if you are happy then some people get jealous on you. But family is different and they encourage when you pass every steps. Moreover they celebrates with you in your every happy moments. Especially parents always looking forward your every advance steps. This is why family is important in your every steps.

So now you know. In my next post, I’m going to dispense with research and rely on observation. I will also try very hard to keep my grammar in check, since I was pretty hard on this fella. Peace out and watch your habits in front of the babies.

 Enjoy your every happy steps. baby

Sources: http://www.worthofread.com, “Top 4 Reason Why Family is Important in Our Life.”



The Mattress Incident

Like my infamous bike ride to Kmart under the ominous shadow of Hurricane Georges, today presented a dramatic and defining moment. A moment that illuminated who I am. We all know who I am already, so there’s no need to elaborate on terms.

To be completely real and forthcoming, I should start the story at yesterday. Yesterday was horrible. Horrible. There was no tragedy. There was no catastrophic health concern. Just a bad day that started with almost knocking myself out with an rogue extension cord (that’s not a typo) and ended with me crying on top of a crib mattress. In the middle was a very disgruntled kid who’d been promised a haircut that got axed from the schedule due to overcommitment. Oh, the consternation.

The crib mattress is not a literal crib, which is a relief to most of you reading here. There will be no fifth Snapp baby. I’m just way too old for that. It was a King pillowtop mattress flipped over on its head and we flipped it in hopes that sleeping on the firm side would help with neck and back pain. It didn’t work. And it was an awful lot like sleeping on a crib mattress made of plywood. And while that mattress situation wasn’t a problem and I was part of and on board with the experiment, I was in no mood for plywood. So I went to sleep last night crying like a baby and feeling about like one. Surely hormones were at play here. It wasn’t my finest moment.

At any rate, this morning I awakened fresher than yesterday and determined to right all the wrongs of the previous day. After exercising and getting several things done around the house, I came upstairs to deal with the king size bed. With the experiment having failed, we needed to flip the mattress back over to its normal state. Of course Todd had no inkling that I would attempt to do this on my own. But it was a task to be done and I hate leaving big things undone. Plus, I’m all about the challenge. ALL ABOUT IT. Nothing makes me want to do something more than seeing it as just on the edge of impossible.

I stripped the bed and threw everything extra out into the hall. I needed all the real estate I could get to manipulate the mattress and flip it back over. It took 152 trips back and forth across the room to even slide the mattress off the bed and onto the floor. What do they fill those things with? Lead? Dead bodies? Sheesh. After I managed to get the mattress partially off, I then somehow propped it upright against my dresser. At this point, i had it pointed in the right direction. All I had to do was bend and lift it back onto the bed. But I had to do this from the bottom. Gravity was going against me. I got on one corner and tugged with all my might. Every ounce of strength I had, I used. It hardly moved, but it did move just enough to give me hope and send me running to the other corner to try the same thing. I couldn’t get any movement from the other corner. Nothing. So I got the brainiac idea to sit on the box springs, right in the middle and try to lift it from there.Onto me.

After much scrapping and grunting and pulling, I got the mattress up onto my lap. And then I sat there. Under a mattress that weighed 800 pounds. Literally trapped under something heavy. I looked at my watch. It was 1:52 p.m. I was 20 minutes from needing to pick up my girls from school, drenched in sweat that is only appropriate in a gym setting, and trapped under a mattress of my own doing. My phone was downstairs, so there was no calling for help or a ride for the kids. I had to get out from under that bed.

At the end of an 8 minute struggle, the mattress was once against upright against my dresser and I did something I rarely do: I gave up. I was beaten. My son would be home at 3. He could get the job done.

I was feeling okay about the defeat and feeling like I had made a mature decision to quit while I was ahead when I realized that I had to quickly change clothes for the school pick up and every last thing I needed was in drawers that were trapped under that same leaden mattress. Sigh.

Here we go again. To get my clothes, I had to get down on the floor, crawl behind the mattress and smash my face up against the dresser. There was no being picky about what I pulled out. Whatever I could reach was what I wore.

The end of that matter was that my son came home and had surprisingly little trouble doing what had almost killed me. But one of those drawers I had pulled clothes out of was slightly open, got hit by the passing mattress, and now no longer closes.

But that’s okay. I can see what the problem is. The drawer pull is bent. It’s nothing a mallet won’t fix.

I’ll do that tomorrow.

#tooltime with Missy