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.



The Mundane, the miscellanea, and the Monday

I realized tonight, several days too late, that I passed up a goldmine chance to gag you with a pun. Instead of ThrowBACK Thursday last week, which was a post about gross things, I could have entitled it ThrowUP Thursday. Oh, what a difference a preposition makes.


Oh well.

Moving on.

Today, my eastern side of the county kids were out of school for our local strawberry festival. My oldest is not in school on this side of the county, so he didn’t have the day off and said he was JUST FINE with us going ahead without him. (1) I’m slightly offended by the ease in which he pushed us out to sea. (2) OK. I’m over it. We’re going without you. Since AG wasn’t along, we did little kid things. The weather started out perfect. I mean, PERFECT. But by 1 p.m. we felt like we were all wearing lava tunics and were dying for some indoor air conditioning. It was a little embarrassing, really. It was the first time in 12 years of parenting that I have actually gone to a festival on the day they let us out for the festival. It just seemed like the thing to do. And in case you are sitting there feeling slighted because either your mother doesn’t love you enough to take you to a festival or you don’t love your children enough to take them, I will regale you with stories of everything you missed. I mean, do you have time for this? If you don’t have time for this, here’s the short version:

Take Dramamine, park at the church ACROSS from Taco Bell, avoid the ice cream unless you are certified, and get the biscuit.

Now, if that’s not enough for you and you really DO have time for more, here’s the long version:

(1) Stopping in to Publix at 9:45 a.m. saved me $5 on 4 festival tickets. Boo-chaching-YAH.
(2) I drove in to Taco Bell/Pizza Hut, which is a block from the main gate, to park. “Is it $5?” I asked. “$10,” the very hurried dude answered. Um, does that come with 2 Burrito Supremes? Cuz I’m not paying that. The good news is that all I had to do to reduce my parking fee from $10 to $5 was drive 50 feet down a sidewalk against traffic. That was awesome.
(3) I was almost 100% convinced that this post would contain a vomit story after the twisty hot air balloon ride in Kiddieland. Fortunately, the ride ended 30 seconds before that moment. Mama’s Boy was green around the gills, but recovered nicely.
(4) To make themselves feel better about charging $4 for a $1 soft serve cone, they overstuff the cone to accommodate Shaquille O’Neal. This SOUNDS like a good idea, I realize. But when you are 6, 7, and 9 with virtually no frozen dessert skills, the overstuffed thing becomes a recipe for cone-in-trash. Mama’s Boy was the first to go down. Apparently, this is his first ice cream cone. It began dripping before I had even pocketed my change from buying it. Within seconds, it was POURING over the sides of the cone paper. I tried consulting with him, offering advice, using visual aids and very charismatic hand gestures. Nothing was working. It was like a mudslide, people. I mean it. So finally, in an unpremeditated moment, I grabbed the cone and did the around-the-world lick to clean up the drippies. What else could I do? It was going BAD. Well, that was it for him. Oh, forget it, he said. Now you’ve ruined it. Ruined it? What are you talking about? I had to do it? I had to fix it? Now it’s gross. You LICKED it. So I tried to offer my cleaned up version back to him. He wouldn’t take it. So I dropped that overstuffed, licked-clean cone into the bottom of the nearest trash can. The other two cones ended similarly, but took longer to flame out. This was a bit like riding a mechanical bull, only it was, “How long can you lick the confounded cone before IT LICKS YOU?” Huh? Well. Now, I’m really making you jealous.
(5) The strawberry shortcake that I had for lunch almost made up for the ice cream fiasco. I bypassed the slice of pizza and saved myself for the shortcake. Beloved was the only child who would eat “slimy” strawberries, so we just got two of these. We had the choice of shortcake or biscuit as our bottom layer. I chose biscuit and she chose shortcake. Her shortcake disintegrated within about 7 seconds and then who looked like the smart one? I mean, if it’s a contest…and isn’t it always?

Happy Harvest, Florida Style

In case you are wondering, this is how Florida does pumpkins. And you may be thinking that we carved these the first week of October, giving them a full 3 or 4 weeks to rot. This, friends, is not the case.

We carved these pumpkins on October 24. This is 8 days in Florida.

No wonder I can’t lose weight. Internally, I’m moldy and rotten. No one can survive in these conditions.

It’s terrible.



Really, I’m joking. Besides the rotting vegetation that I’m going to have to sandblast from my porch, we are happy. It is November 2 and while my heart tightens a little every time I think about how fast the days are passing me by, I’m also working on the best Christmas mix ever and embracing the days ahead.

Happy Harvest, wherever you are.

Today I…

  • Got up right at 8. That may sound late to you, but I felt pretty good about it.
  • Made breakfast for 4 famished orphans, for myself, and for 13 chickens.
  • Worked on bible lessons and memory verses before 10 a.m.
  • Worked out with 7 of the fittest people on the planet. They kept saying things like, “Keep your tummy tucked in nice and tight” while I responded, heaving, “If I could do THAT, I wouldn’t be doing this stupid video!” My million dollar idea that I will not actually carry out is an exercise video variation of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Instead of you having to work out to those 7 super fit snobs, you could work out with me (working out with them) as I mock them for the dumb exercise-elitest things they say. Instead of wearing tight black pants and a sports bra, I’d be wearing my floppy cut off gym pants and a large t-shirt. You’d like working out with me.
  • Did 5 loads of laundry and actually put it away.
  • Changed my own sheets. Such joy in clean sheets.
  • Facilitated the kids’ chores. I did not actually have to do them for them.
  • Walked around downtown antique shops and bought a bunch of black and white photos that made me laugh.
  • Got suckered into buying carwash products at a gas station.
  • Used all car wash products upon arriving at home, just to see how stupid I truly am. I fully expect the van to have no paint in the morning. Or be dirtier than it was to start with. But actually it seemed to do a pretty good job. Maybe this time, I will not end up beating myself about the head and neck.
  • Ate the finest meal I’ve had lately, compliments of the male chef who lives in my home. Tilapia with some sort of dreamy sauce drizzled on it (even MAMA’S BOY ate and liked…you have NO idea what this really says about the fish!), steak, potatoes au gratin, and cabbage plucked from our garden this morning. If you add enough bacon to something, even cabbage can taste like heaven.
  • Did more laundry.
  • Hunted racoons. Did not get one or even see one. You know what they say, “a hunted raccoon never shows up…”
  • Questioned my decision to raised 10 extra chickens. Tried to remember what my initial thought was. There is an 80% chance that this experiment will end in utter catastrophe.
  • Made people take baths/showers.
  • Walked 20 more minutes on the treadmill, out of guilt over what I ate for dinner.
  • Blogged.

This was a super full, extremely satisfying day. I am bone tired. And happy.

I think 2013 is my year. I haven’t written down my resolutions, but I have been living them so far. I think the reason I haven’t been blogging is that I’ve been trying to take living a little more seriously. My general goal for the year is to be a better, truer me. To keep my promises, which means promising more carefully. To remember important events and people. To focus on what matters and let the little stuff go. To read the bible. To create…not people, but words and art and anything that comes to mind. Definitely not people, though. To get fit, even if it means suffering through hours and hours of really annoying people who think everyone can salsa dance as easily as they can. To live without regrets.

So far, so good.  But the chicken thing is still out there.


Some blogs come easier than others

I owe a few people a pig story. I said I was going to write that up before the new year. Here it is, only January 6, and already I am a liar.

New Year’s Resolution: Stop lying so much.

It’s good to have goals.

I am in the middle of writing up what happened with the pig. I am at least 800 words into it but I just have to quit for the night. Tomorrow the kids go back to school. No one is dreading that more than me. This has been a glorious 2 weeks. I have loved having them home and being home.

But 6 a.m. will not delay coming just because I am up writing about pigs.

So I’m going to bed.

I thought you should know.

Aren’t you glad we did this?

I’ll try not to leave you hanging past tomorrow. As if you care. But in the interest of not lying in 2013, I am not making any promises…

Merry Christmas!

It is 12:02 a.m. on Christmas Eve and I’m still sitting in my church clothes from December 23. Been in these clothes now for 17 hours solid. They aren’t comfortable enough for that. I’m not sure what is blocking me from changing. Some sort of weird mental block.

I have many stories I could tell, but the only one interesting enough will take too much energy that I don’t have right now. It involves a pig and a media center and it’s entirely factual. I promise to tell that one before we hit 2013…assuming the Incas don’t come in with an end of the world thing between now and then.

For now, though, I will leave you with a photo and a quote. This photo was one of the “failures” from my Christmas card shoot. The kids had been annoying the fire out of me, preventing me from getting done what I wanted to. So I stood up, told them to go change, and announced that they were about to do a photo shoot. Aww, Mom! Yep. That’s right. You bug me, I bug you. What goes around comes around. You catch more flies with vinegar than honey. Or something.

So They were dressed and ready in nothing flat. But I wouldn’t call them the world’s most cooperative models. Right in the middle of a certain pose, SnuggleMonkey started to dance. Real dancing. Major dancing. And because such things seem to be contagious, my oldest joined in. And this is what we got. It’s not what I was going for, but it’s now my favorite.


And as a final note, Mr. Normal in this photo…on the far left…waltzed into his Grammy’s guest room in our house where I was standing and proudly announced:

“Hey mama, I don’t have a Fairy Godmother. But I do have a Very Odd Mother.”

Hahahahaha. No.

Naughty list, kid. You just earned yourself a spot on the naughty list.

Merry Christmas. Hug your children. Draw near to your Father. Be intentional. Let it go. And do not miss a moment. Not one.

25 days until Christmas

Today was a big day around here. It was Decoration Day at our house. Last night we purchased two live trees. You pre-lit people need to just stop reading and go find a blog for posers.

I’m serious, though. Posers. All of you.

Only a shipped in Frasier Fir for this little lady.

At any rate, today I put lights up on the second story roof and found out that I’m afraid of heights. Who knew? I didn’t. I stink at putting up lights. No one got hurt. Lights are up. My tree is real. Two trees. Real. Both of them.


We had a lovely day together putting up decorations and I discovered that Beloved is the best tree decorator ever. She and the 4th child were peas in a little Christmas pod and just pretty much had the best day ever. I did, too. They stuck it out until the end.

To reward ourselves for our day of labor, we went to Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant near our current house. I’ve never been there, so this was especially fun for me. It was a fabulous place and there was lots of cilantro in the salsa. Mmm.

Two notable things occurred on the 10 minute drive to the restaurant. First, I discovered that my kids haven’t learned much spanish at all. We told them we were going to Mi Casa and they had no idea what that was. We offered a dollar to the first person to translate it. The answers began to pour in immediately. “MY CHEESE!” “Fourteen!” Etc. Etc. They were all quite wrong. We didn’t have to part with that dollar, needless to say.

Right after I learned how to say “my cheese” in Spanish, the driver of our car (the car featured in the previous post) “accidentally” hit the window-down button, thus releasing the driver’s side antler onto the highway.

Coincidence? I don’t think so. Fortunately, I know where to get another one…