Just another day

Apple Pie Please,,.

Last night Pinker got a wild hair and decided to build an apple pie for us at the house and a peach pie for the office..she gets it all done and I tell her I will take the peach to work and hide the other from Sydney. Hustling and bustling this am I grab the peach pie and hide the untouched apple in the microwave.. the safe spot. I run home over lunch and fling the door open. Sydney laying on the couch looks up at me with that Weim smile and glances to the kitchen and back to me, then back to the kitchen.. my smile turned upside down..in some demon voice I said..”you son of a bitch”..the microwave door wide open..our untouched apple pie on the floor half eaten.. Sydney now has a scared shitless look on her face. An empty sack of candies also laying next to the scene of the crime..I flip out and run after her saying, “you do this, eh? You do this? You are naughty.. so naughty”….she tucks her ass between her legs and hops around the house..so I scooped up the apple pie and dump it into the garbage..she sat there watching me droopy eared..I looked at her, “you think I am pissed? Wait till Magee gets home”..so when I get home from work, I asked Magee if he knew where the apple pie was.. he said no..so I told him the story..he gave her a look of disgust..and a cold shoulder the rest of the night..but on the plus side Magee told Pinker he prefers a cherry pie this time.. and so goes the age old question..now where do hide the ‘goods’.. maybe the oven..she is such an ass..lol.. 😫😳😂🙄

Skippety do da..skippety day..my oh my..they came from where?

Skippy has seriously knocked this out of the park.. they are awesome!! I show them to my kids.. “try them, they are awesome”.. they look at me with cocked eyebrow..they say, ‘I am good”.. I keep on them..”you should really try them, so addicting”.. they finally try them.. “yea, pretty good”, they say. I looked at them dead in the eye.. “how ya suppose they make them?” They both shrug and echo, “I don’t know”. I said, “I do, it says right here on the side of the container”. They look at me, “really?”.. I put one in between my hands and roll it around, smoothing it down. Someone in some foreign country takes it and rolls it between their hands till it forms a ball”. Mouths dropped.. tears were forming in my eyes holding in the laughter while watching blood drain from Pinks face.. I popped another in my mouth. “Damn they are good tho.” Pink managed to mumble, “oh my God that is so disgusting”.. Magee finally tells her..”Pink Mom is just joking, that isn’t how they are made”. Oh if I could have only videoed that.. 😂🤣😂

One day to get away..

So the kids and I had one day to play this Labor Day Weekend.. Magee needed new Football gloves and I needed locker decoration stuff and Pink just wanted to go with us. Since the Mustang Rally was going on in Sturgis we started there, found the Mustang I have, only restored and I drooled, Magee dreamed and Pink was just sweating from the heat. So off to Rapid..We hit all the usuals.. Scheels to get Magee’s gloves and then to the mall. I ran to the bathroom while the kids got a drink. I was in the stall and I hear a little boy come thundering into the bathroom. “Mama.. Mama.. where are you? What stall are you in?” The Mom in the stall next to me says..”Raphael I am here, does it matter which stall?”. Little guy says “Mama I need you, are you in this one? nope, are you in this one? nope”. I am awaiting a little head to poke under my door at any moment..Mom says..”Raphael, what do you want, Momma is going to the bathroom. Oh wait.. Raphael do you need to come into the bathroom? Do you need to go to the bathroom?”.. silence.. Mom says, “Raphael! Are you there?”.. Silence.. Mom says, “Oh Raphael..you ass”… I hear hustling now in the stall next to me. I am dying laughing on the inside. I go to wash my hands and here comes Raphael bustin back into the bathroom. “Momma did you go to time out in the bathroom?” She says well do you think I need a time out?” He says, “Yes, Momma, you need a time out”.. Out of the mouths of babes.. hahah.. We finally land at Walmart.. So you can imagine the story.. We are running late so we make a game plan on where everyone is heading. Magee and Pink to sports, me to groceries.. We gather all our items and go to check out. The kids eyes are wide.. “Hey” they say.. “we saw a person with an ankle bracelet on”. Magee was like, “yea, I saw his shoes and was like, really? You couldn’t tie your shoes? Then I noticed it looked like he had one black sock and one white sock. Then when I looked closer it was a ankle bracelet. I told Pink, let’s find Mom”. I laughed and said “welcome to the real world”. Now our checker is a chatty dude. He looks to be all of 18. He tells me that he is heading to Florida, needs a little more excitement in his life. I just smiled and agreed.. Then he takes notice of the kids. He says “well well.. are these two kids still in school?”. I laughed and said “You tell me. How old do you think they are?”. Now the kids are in the spotlight and they are silently dying inside. He looks towards Pink and says “I would say a freshman in college and a senior in HS”. Pink’s mouth fell open a bit and Magee just raised his eyebrows. I said, “EHHHHHH.. wrong..She is in 8th grade and he is in 10th”. Blew the poor kids train of thought.. hahaha. Last we had to go get some gas.. Magee is cleaning the window and I am eating my sandwich before we get on the road. Pink starts busting up laughing. I asked her what was so funny. She is is scrambling for her phone. She says “check the guy out by the vacuums”.. I looked up.. There is this dude with long hair and a long beard taking the vacuum hose and sucking in his beard and then sucking in his hair..repeatedly.. By the time we got Magee’s attention he must have ran out of quarters and was putting his styling product away…I was never so happy to get home to A) Darkness, B) peace and quite and C) NO PEOPLE… The things that happen in Rapid..hopefully stays in Rapid.. lol

Camping 2017.. in the books

Most camping trips start out with lists.. we started out with one and then it went to hell crunched up into a ball the night before we left..Blah..who needs a list..right? The night had come that we ALL had been waiting for..VACATION.. time away from passwords, reports, working in general and most of all PEOPLE..I think that Sydney was even antsy for vacation to begin..The Stauff hauled in the camper from the ranch and we hauled in all our gear that we would need for our trek away. The night before The Stauff decides to check the battery to make sure it works.. We flick on the lights and no juice..tinker here and tinker there and still no juice.. The Stauff’s temper flares.. “We are not going on vacation..we are all working tomorrow”. I roll my eyes and kids find a safe place.. I grab my flashlight and go to following cords.. I think to myself..”seriously..it can’t be that hard”.. The Stauff sees me and comes and joins. More tinkering here and there and WAHLAH..lights turn on.. WHEW I sigh..One battle won.. The next AM we are all getting ready to go. I have to take my Jeep along as well as on the way home I have to hook a left onto the interstate and drive 3 hours for a work meeting the next day..(Keep this in mind..It becomes pivotable later in the story) So away we go..the boys in the pickup/camper and the girls/dog in the Jeep. Destination would be in about 4+ hours..We stop in Casper to get groceries and supplies..an hour later and checkbook depleted we leave. We stop along the way so Wyatt can fish a little and then locked in to the destination..Hog Park.. We get to Encampment and drop my Jeep off at my buddies house and we jump in with the boys, since we can only have one vehicle at our campsite. We unload the supplies into the Camper from the Jeep. The GPS says about 20 miles from here, but it is saying it will take an hour to get there.. Chad gives me a “Are you F’ing kidding me look”. I shrug my shoulders and say, “Seriously, come on, we are on vacation.. who cares”. Away we go, Lola our GPS showing us the way. We turn off the highway and start the climb into the mountains. We are instantly met with serious wash board roads.. We slow to a snails pace. Chad looks at me and says, “AH..I get why it will take us a damn hour to get there”. I take a deep sigh and think to myself, Lord, just get us there.. After about an hour we get up to about 8500 ft..Lola says “You have arrived at your destination”.. The only problem was there was nothing but trees and a road..no sign for Hog Park anywhere.. I started praying for anything.. a chipmunk. moose, bear, sunlight.. anything to point us in the way.. I say “well let’s turn around and go back down that other road where the sign showed the other campground was”.. Chad shot me look and found a spot to jockey the pickup and trailer around and we shot back down the road that said “Lakeview Campground”. We go about 3 miles and BOOM, there is the sign.. Hog Park Campground.. ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA why in thee same hell they would call the same campground 2 different names..Typical Government. We shoot in and go hunt our camp site down. We are site 46 right next to the lake.. We duck and weave our way and finally find our spot.. right next to the lake.. AHH Relaxation..I hadn’t even opened my door yet and this little pickup comes flying up beside us. “HI there” he shouts out, “I am the Camp host, you must be the Stauff’s”. I smile “Yep, that would be us”. He hollars from his pickup again, “Do you guys have water?” The Stauff says “No, we have some cans that we can haul it in with”. The Camp host says, “Come up to my trailer, I have a hose, you can fill up there”. Luckily we weren’t unhooked from the camper yet, so away we go.. The Stauff and I are filling up the Camper as the host is giving us the low down on the rules of the campground and such. He pauses and says “Do deer growl?”. I glanced up waiting for the punch line. I looked over at The Stauff who is smiling back at him and I knew he was waiting on the same.. a few awkward moments and finally The Stauff says, “Uh No, Deer don’t growl.. Why?”. The Host says “Hmm, I didn’t think they did, but I had something growling outside my camper last night.. I think to myself, “What in thee Sam Hell did I get ourselves into”. We finished up with the water and head back to our site.. I looked at The Stauff.. “WTF..growls by his camper???”. The Stauff just smiles and says, “I am pretty sure he was joking”. Needless to say I filled the kids on it just to be safe. We get back to the camper and the kids set off to the lake to fish and The Stauff and I start the process of setting up camp. The Stauff turns on the water pump to get the water primed and gets busy hooking everything up.. I am busy putting groceries away, sweeping and thoroughly enjoying our new home. The Stauff comes in and turns the water on. The faucet looks like a little boy peeing. I closed my eyes and said a few quick prayers.. The Stauff says, “Hmm that is weird. It doesn’t act like it is working. I will give it a few more minutes”. I get quite and I feel The Stauff’s temper is starting to shine..like the SHINING. After a bit our worse fear is true.. The water pump is shot.. The Stauff blows up. I tell him that it is no big deal. So the water doesn’t come from the faucet. Who gives a shit. The Stauff slams down to the couch and looks at me, “Well I don’t know about YOU, but I will need a shower in 5 days”. I bit my cheek and nicely said “Well..maybe you should just go jump in the lake”. He jumps up not seeing my humor and says “Well let’s turn the fridge on and see if that sum bitch works”. Then he calmed down a bit and went and laid down. I glanced over at the fridge and the light was blinking. there was a little sentence by the blinking light that said.”If blinking check propane”. I dropped my head, for the love of.. In two seconds I convinced myself I would not be the one to bring that one up to The Stauff. I was just hoping I wasn’t around when he did see it. But.. not such luck. The Bear..er I mean The Stauff gets up and checks the fridge and sees the blinking light. He growls, “Are you F’ing kidding me. What does this mean?”. I couldn’t resist, “Um I am not trying to be a smart ass, but it does say that if it is blinking to check the propane.” and I continued on doing what I was doing. The Stauff blows up again, “That’s it, we are done. We are packing it up and leaving tonight”. I spun around and looked at him “OMG…Are you shitting me?”. He stomps out to go check the propane. The blinking light goes off and the Fridge starts to HUM.. I smiled at him and said “Wow, don’t know what you did, but you made the fridge work!”. He growled, “I didn’t do anything”. I shrugged, “Well that must have worked”. The kids were out fishing and catching a ton of fish.. completely oblivious to the melt down that was going on in the camper..thankfully. We get supper, brush our teeth and head to bed. I prayed for a better day.. About 3 AM God showed me what the next was going to be like with a kick ass, heart stomping, blinding thunderstorm.. I was waiting for it to hail and pummel the pickup, but we were spared that. The next morning the temp is 43 degrees. The Stauff is looking for his new coffee pot he bought for the trip. He looks over at me and says, “Did you see that new coffee pot I got yesterday when you were unpacking. I closed my eyes..shitola..I didn’t see anything. I wimpered a little, “um, no actually I didn’t see anything”. THEN it hits him.. It was left in the Jeep an hour away..So.. no coffee for The Stauff, just the way he wanted to start off the day. I say “well we were going to go to the other mountains today anyway, we can stop and pick it up”. He grabs his ball cap and heads out the door. Ugh I thought.. I wish my broom worked..I would fly to get it. We packed up the cooler and thundered our way out.. fished all day and stopped by the Jeep to pick up the coffee pot.. We get back to our camper and I start making supper. The Stauff gathers up some wood for a fire after supper. Supper gets over and the fire is roaring.. Peace has settled into The Stauff family.. It wasn’t long after this peace found us that we heard a ear pearcing alarm going off. The Stauff looks at me “Do you hear that noise?”. I say, ” Yea, I wonder what the hell that is?”. The kids joke that it is a siren that we have to evacuate..The high pitched alarm keeps going off. I look at The Stauff and say, “You don’t suppose it is coming from our trailer?”. I get up and walk to the camper.. SURE ENOUGH.. There is an alarm going off in the camper. I looked at The Stauff who was just as bewildered as me. “WTF is that?” I said. He says “Must be something to do with the battery”. So he unhooks the battery and sure enough, the alarm quits. The Stauff says well I guess we don’t have electricity either.. I closed my eyes and let out a huge sigh.. I said “well what the hell.. it is bed time anyway. Don’t need lights to sleep”. We get up the next day and The Stauff says “let’s take that battery with us and we can charge it somewhere”. Great idea.. So we set out for adventure.. We stumble across some old Tie Hack cabins, a copper mine and prospector’s cabin. Some more cool old cabins. Took in the history of the area. Jay and I were in love. The boys were equally in love fishing the rivers around us. We found another road that led to Encampment. I tell The Stauff, “Oh, let’s try this road maybe it won’t be as rough and it is about the same mileage to town?”. What did i know? We head down this trek that turned into a nail biter road for those weak in the knees with heights. Straight drop off’s. Wyatt says at one point “oh look, there is a river down there”. I laughed and said “uh yea, it is really probably about a 1/4 mile wide, it just looks that little from way up here”. I about had a nervous break down.. The boys thoroughly enjoyed it. We managed to get a little charge in the battery and that night when we got home we hooked it back up. Lights!! WHOOP WHOOP. We go to bed… About 3 AM the alarm goes off.. The battery is dead…again.. I put my hands over the alarm and The Stauff jumps out of bed to disconnect the battery again..By this time, us girls are itching for a shower..The Camp host comes by one morning to check on us and says, “Ya should check out the natural springs, they have free showers and everything there”. Light bulbs shot on with Jay and I. When the Camp host left we pitched our idea to the boys, “let’s go to the Springs and then we can take showers”. The boys scoffed. The Stauff says, “I am really not that bad and BESIDES.. I am not taking a shower in front of everyone there.. They don’t have individual showers”. Dammit..the hot springs would have felt pretty nice at that point, sulfur or not. Luckily for us, he also knew that my buddy was gracious enough to come to her house and open it up for us to shower the next day and visit. So we waited till the next day to get our shower.. it all worked..The last day comes and Wyatt gets up at the crack of dawn to go fish his honey hole till we leave. He grabs his pole and I think to myself as he is walking away, “We should make a departure plan”. but I curled up and fell back to sleep. Later on we start packing up our life for the week. Jay was fishing and The Stauff and I were just lounging packing. Since we were never able to use our water in the tanks The Stauff says, “let’s drive over by the boat dock and let the water drain out for a bit”.  That we did. Jay and I get our camera’s out snapping the last few pictures of the lake and the surroundings.. still no Wyatt. The Stauff says, “You know he isn’t going to come to the camper right? He is going to lose track of time and he will still be there in his honey hole fishing”. I knew he was right. That kid has a fishing brain that thinks of nothing else, but fishing. We decide to go pick him up. Now to get to the honey hole you can either hike around the campground, which is what Wyatt did, or you could drive all the way around it, which we did. We go trucking down the road and The Stauff says, “I am just going to park alongside the road and walk in to get him”. It was about a 1/4 mile walk. The dog goes with him. Pretty soon The Stauff is walking back with no Wyatt. My stomach started to churn. The Stauff jumps in the pickup and says “He isn’t there. Maybe he is on the other side of the damn? Let’s drive in there and I will hike up the dam and see”. We do.. we drive in and Jay and I watch as The Stauff slowly becomes a little blue spot on top of the dam. I can see him looking all around..no Wyatt. I felt like I was going to throw up. Pretty soon The Stauff shows back up.. He is getting nervous. He jockeys the trailer around and we fly back up to the campground.  I told The Stauff, “Maybe he really is being responsible and he is waiting for us back where the camper was?” We maneuver around a corner and there he is packing his fishing pole and waders with a big grin on his face. Chad looks at me “Look at him grinning.. No worries in the world.. Geezus”. Wyatt opens the door and smiles, “Man I was kinda feeling like that kid on Home Alone”. He giggled. I told him to jump in the pickup and he realized that we were more than worried about him. I told him we aren’t mad, we were just really really scared something had happened. He says “oh ok, look at this picture I took this morning”. It was a track that looked like a wolf that took up half of wyatt’s foot sitting next to it.. I gulped. “Geezus”..and we went home..Me to my work and The Stauff, kids and dog back home. The trials and tribulations of camp life.. The next time we will do a more thorough check on items before we leave.. A list.. yea a list would be a good idea..TO FOLLOW.

Sweet sixteen birthday definition..

Tonight we are finishing supper and jay and I are quizzing Wyatt on what he wants for his birthday coming up next week and what he would like to do. He started 2 a day football practice today and will be going hot with them on his birthday. I say, "well it is your 16th, you should do something special, ya know it is the sweet sixteen". He looks at me with a "eh" look. He said, "well, I will have practice, so we can't go anywhere and I have practice till 8:00, so probably can't have a supper or something". I said, "well, yea, but we still should do something, it is a big day, do you know what the sweet sixteen means?" He looks at me, "not really, isn't it a Jewish birthday?". I raised an eyebrow at him, "eh?". He says, "oh yea that's right it is Hanukkah". I raised both eyebrows at him.. he stammers, "oh wait that Christmas right?". I laughed and said, "sweet sixteen has nothing to do with the Jewish religion, it is just a special milestone for you." I busted up laughing. So I am 🤔 thinking The Stauff must be right, it just doesn't get to be a big deal for the boys..lol.. booooo…🎂🎂

They’re baaaaaaack……

Last night started off like any other night..told the kids night, brush teeth and scrub face..normal..crawled into bed and the usual suspects jumped up and curled in for the night. About 4:00 am Jake starts to get antsy to go outside..normal..Sydney also awakes and throws her nose in the air. “Ruff” in her loudest bark. Sleep balls that were once stuck in my lashes are not now as she scared the shit out of me. I told her to shut the hell up. I get out of bed and go to the door to let them out.. Jake is in the front and Sydney is second.. I opened the door an inch and Sydney leaps over Jake and runs out onto the deck.poor Jake looks at me with a wtf look. I tell him “I know, I know, you can kick her ass later”.. sydney is on the deck growling and spitting..nose to the ground.. her hair is spiked up from her head to her butt..not normal..that usually doesn’t happen with the run of the mill opening the door..I dig some sleep out of my eyes and gander around..Jake saunters over to the edge of the deck and sits down licking his paws…we both watch Sydney as she is frantically still going at it..he flashes me another wtf look. I look at him, “dude I get it..you know she isn’t wired right” I grab Sydney and drag her back in and let Jake have some peace for the morning.. Sydney and I go back to bed..it wasn’t 5 mins..I hear something on the deck on the other side of the house.. Sydney lifts her head up and cocks it a few times looking out the door..pretty soon we hear all hell breaking loose on the deck.. “shit!! Jake!!” I hollered. Sydney and I sprang from bed..at 4 am it is still a little dark out. I had 2 seconds to decide if I was going to let Sydney out to whatever was on the deck. In one second my mind said, “she is a hunting dog, throw that bitch open”..so I did.. she bolts out like she knew what she was doing.. the BBQ grill has the door flung open and Jake is in the corner of the deck looking like a puff ball..Jake now looks at me with eyeballs the size of ping pong balls and with a new found respect for Sydney in maybe she really did have something..Sydney is barking and carrying on. And nothing else.. I look around the deck and notice that when my savior leapt out onto the deck she must have been scared enough she peed all over.. it was either her, Jake or whatever had Jake cornered on the deck..Rambo Sydney runs off the deck with her nose to the ground but never found anything.. I have a suspicion that the critters that made these prints could be behind the am antics..so in other words.. “my summer bastards are back..you just wait my pretties..I will get the trap set for tonight..let’s rumble coon family..muhahahahaha..😈😈😈😽🐶

Water in that creek..

Out checking water this am on the ranch I had to stop and wonder what Great Grandad and Grandad would 💭 think of a solar water well. All those years begging for 💨 wind to turn the mills for the thirsty critters on the ranch. Praying for rain to fill dams, creeks and rivers. Then a solar unit.. ☀️ sun is out..boom..water runs..I have a hankering that they would say, “well all be damned, would you look at that.” It actually still amazes me as well, since we still rely on a few of those wind mills they put together in the day. Sitting on top of the ridge smiling about all the times we worked to get water 💦 running for critters.  The one time where we had to pull the well and every joint that we pulled out dropped a pipe load of freezing cold water on us. Thankful it was 100 degrees out..but it kept you alert. The times where we would have to blow the slime and yuck out of the overflow line and usually ended up ingesting a little. Still occurs today. 🙄 or the spring that my Grandad hand dug. He pushed brown rock into the walls by hand to line it. That was his main source of water for his family at his homestead. To this day still has water in it and the pump still works.. when we have groups come stay with us I always lead them to that old pump. I have them sit underneath the spigget and pump water over their head, telling them that they have been baptized by the ranch. It is one thing that they always remember as the ranch has a way of soaking into your soul. A funny story about water is from Great Grandad..After Great Grandma had passed away, he was left to raise three kids by himself plus take care of the ranch. Grandad said that Great Grandad knew he needed help. He started writing a woman back east, a mail order bride.. he wrote letters in broken English of the kingdom he lived upon. He talked of the electricity he had..the running water he had..she fell for the German and all his letters.. she headed west. My Grandad took the wagon and headed to the train station to pick her up. He brought her home and things went south quick. As she glanced around her new surroundings she asked Great Grandad “where is the electricity?” Great Grandad said in his German twist, “the vindmill outside”. She asked “where is the running water you said you had?”. He said “the creek runs by”. Grandad would always chuckle telling that story saying in the end she only lasted a few weeks. She packed her things, had Grandad take her back to the train and she headed back east. I guess she wasn’t impressed with that running water..but I will tell you on a hot day like today, there would be plenty impressed with that running water today.

I come from a long line..

My first Sunday night at the ranch this summer.. ahh how I love thee. We had a paleo tour today with a great family who was interested in the history.. the history..it is what builds me, my kids and links me to generations I never was able to meet. The history..the stories connect me to my grandpa and my Dad. Their stories echo through my soul keeping them alive..keeping me alive.. the ranch grounds me..it feeds me..as I was re telling some of the good stories today it hit me that I should write them down. Novel idea with a handy blog at my finger tips? 🙄 the biggest question is..”is it history? Is it stories? Or is it just interpretation of both?” I think a combination of all.. my Dad had almost 6 months to live when I came home to the ranch. There were nights that turned to daylight as Dad told me stories after stories. Maybe it was his way of reciting his memoirs. I recorded each one in my memory. I always say that his stories were life stamped into me..I remember everything about them. His chuckle on the funny ones, the deep lines that that formed around his eyes on the hard ones and the look over his glasses when it was something to especially pay attention to. Those memories along with the previous 20 years with Grandad and Dad made me whom I am today..and thankful for it.  The first story is how it all began.. a teacher and a cowboy..the ultimate love story.. Great Granpdad rode round up for a big cattle company in the late 1800’s.. My Great Grandma was a single teacher that moved out west to teach.. she signed up for a homestead..there was no fence in those days.. everything was open. Great Grandad was pushing cattle through the country and met my Great Grandma. They eventually married and started to build the ranch together. Great Grandma kept teaching.. as three children were born into the family she would take the kids with her and they would live at the school house together. Great Grandad stayed on at the ranch and worked on their dream. One day mid February of 1926 she was chopping wood for her school. She accidentally cut her leg with the ax..she went to the Doctor to get it taken care of..gangrene set in..they had to take part of her leg off..the infection kept spreading until February 28, 1926 she passed away at 38 years old..leaving my Great Grandad with three little kids, their ranch and a heart ache he would never get over. My Grandad, the oldest, was 16.

Rattlesnake meets Jeep tire..

Night at the ranch..kids want to go look for porcupines tonight.. we wait for the dark and head out..I fore told the story before we left.. 1) it is still really windy..2) we will not see anything because of #1.. we head out..we see rabbits and a kitten..no pines..right below the house coming home what do our blood shot eyes see? A rattlesnake slithering across the road..I tell the kids to give me a light so I can survey the critter I am about to rip apart. Kinda big, probably 5 rattles.. Magee slides to my side of the jeep. He says “I will hold the light for you, so you can get the tire square on him”.. we jockey a bit and squish him..back up..survey..still not good enough..jay says, “come on, peel out on it”.. I get lined up again to peel out on the thing. Magee is holding a light out the passenger window so we can keep track of it. I get ready..peel out..we hear the famous ‘pop’..Magee immediately starts hollering, “AHHH..I got snake guts on my arm.. Ah Ah… bleh bleh.. I think I am going to throw up..bleh bleh..omg..I can’t believe it’s guts blew up like that.. I need a shower..omg..” jay and I are dying laughing.. 😂..we inspect our kill.. definitely dead and we saved the rattles.. Magee is still in panic mode that he has 🐍 snake guts on him.. then he gets quite..”oh, I guess it wasn’t snake guts..I think it was just the rain”.. jay and I look at each other bust up laughing.. I glanced back and said “rain? Are you sure?”.. he said “yeah when I put my arm out I think rain drops landed on my arm at the same time as the ‘pop’ happened”. I am good..😂😂😂😂.. pine =0 .. rattlesnake (including the one the kids killed earlier this afternoon) = 2…😆

A letter to me..

You have heard the song, read the stories etc, but have you ever written a letter to yourself? I have always been a sucker for journals.. blank pages with pretty covers, thought provoking quotes embedded into the pages. The feel of the paper, the smear of the ink across the page..I wrote such a thing when I graduated college..I found a cool looking 📓 journal and wrote a letter to me..I never finished writing in the pages..there are still blank pages left..but..from move to move and years passing like the pull on a lotto machine I still have it.. do I always know where it is? Absolutely not..every once in awhile it will get tucked into a drawer or a box. But I guarantee you I find it whenever I need it the most..today I was grabbing my cup of ☕️ tea when my brain yelled ‘not yet’..my arm draped over the edge of the couch and my hand dangled in the steel crate where I keep all the magazines..my fingers touched a familiar book and when I looked down there it was..my old friend..I grabbed it and re read my letter to me.. it breathes life back into my soul. There are times when I read it and wonder who wrote it, me I know, but it amazes me still the depth I knew then that I would need for the rest of my life..

Kristen,

Here it is, your escape from life. Instead of letting it out on everyone else, just write it down. This year will no doubt be the hardest one yet. But look at 1997 as the year of change. Take a good grip of your life. You got through college – now that is something no one can take away from you. Your Mom is right – show everyone just what a Zerbst is made of. Life is short, you will find this out, DON’T waste it. It’s going to be tough – being so far away from home won’t be easy, but you can definitely do it. All it takes is will power from hell and a hard head. Fortunately 2 things you have plenty of. You have made your parents proud. Now it’s time to make yourself proud of yourself. Believe in yourself and other people will too. Just remember 2 things. That which may not kill you will make you stronger and don’t quit 2 minutes before the miracle. Keep the faith and keep your head up -I’m here to help you, so go after this year and the rest of your life, cause it’s yours to have. Love you the most, Kristen

I encourage everyone to write a letter to you, you will never know when you will need to hear some encouraging words from you..