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.
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…🎂🎂
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..😈😈😈😽🐶
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.
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.
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…😆
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..
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..
Mothers Day is a day for Mothers to reflect on their kids, the good, the bad and the ugly..As a new Mom I had always heard of the term, ‘that kid is going through their terrible twos’.. but I had no idea what I was in for with my first one. Jay was just walking/crawling when the wonderful two found its way into the house. We had my cat, Azreal, whom Wyatt loved and the love was mutual, although she put up with a lot from that kid. One day I heard sweet giggles and running through the house. I poked my nose out of the kitchen with a smile to see what he was doing. He had found the black dirt in my plants. He would grab handfuls and chase after the cat throwing black dirt at her.. My eyes about fell out of my head.. so I cussed him, sent him to his room and started to pick up all the dirt.. I relented after awhile and let him out..I went back to tending to Supper..pretty soon, I hear the Same situation. I stomp after him..he wasn’t throwing back dirt this time, he was throwing bird seed throughout the house. I cussed him again and sent him to his room.. as I walked into his room I saw that the scene of the crime had started in his room. There was bird seed on everything, dresser, bed, window seal, and a fine layer all over the carpet.. I shrunk a little.. but he has pretty proud of himself..later I was downstairs grabbing some stuff. I was walking towards the stairway when I see Azreal flying down the stairs like a jet plane. I looked up the stairs and here is Wyatt, back arched and a line of pee chasing my cat down the stairs. I secretly gave him kudos for figuring out the arch and span of the the stream. He giggled and laughed and ran away.. we ended the night with me wondering if I was mentally wired for kids..I told The Stauff of my day and he just laughed. “He is just a little kid”, he said..I thought yea little kid my ass, you didn’t have to clean up a sack full of bird seed, black dirt and piss all down the stairs either bucko. I went to bed that night hopeful for a better tomorrow. The day started like any other, laundry and feeding kids. About 10:00 jay was looking for some snacks. I picked her up and put her in her high chair..to back up a little to get the full jest of where this story is going..when Jay was a baby she had the prettiest curls..little blonde ringlets. I would always wrap my fingers through them…as I put her in her high chair I noticed she had some hair on her white furry sweatshirt.. I thought to myself, she must have been curled up with the cat. I smiled at her and ran my fingers through her ringlets. Much to my surprise, a few of them came off in my hand. I stopped and turned and looked at her smiling face.. I ran my hands all over her head..hair fell to the ground..a lot.. I shrieked.. WTF happened.. I was frantic..like I was thinking of a way to put it all back.. in my absolute freaking out here comes my two year old.. I looked at him and cried, “what the hell happened to Jay??”. He smiled at me, “awe Jay, don’t she look pretty, I like her hair like that”. I stared at him, “YOU did this?”. “Yea”, he said, “I think she looks pretty”. “Pretty?”, I continued to cry, “she has no hair left. It is all gone.. all her curls are gone. I can’t believe you did this..to YOUR ROOM!”. He shrunk to his room as I sat and stared at Jay who was happy as peacock eating away..about an hour later I felt bad..I go into his room and we had a heart to ❤️ heart about how he shouldn’t cut Jay’s hair again..away he went to play..I went to finish laundry. I had some clothes to put away in my closet. I went strolling through my room and noticed my cat underneath my night stand. Her tail was flipping a hundred miles an hour..she was 😡 pissed.. I crept down for a closer look at her and all of the hair was cut off her ass. My pretty kitty had no hair from her back legs, half way around her waist and her ass.. I winced and hollered, “Wyatt Anthony!!” He came running in, “what?”. “Did you do THIS?”, I said. He said, “yea”. I looked at him and said, “to your room…NOW!”, with a swift kick to his pants..I went to pet my poor kitty and talked her off the ledge of beating the shit out of Wyatt.. about another hour goes by and I relented and went to get him out of jail. We had another visit about how we just don’t do shit like that..he was released..back to laundry..I have laundry to put away in the kids room. I go walking in to their room and notice that there is their red talking Elmo on the floor..hands spread apart and a hole cut into his belly..I was instantly 😤 pissed…again I holler, “Wyatt Anthony! Get in her NOW!”. He came a little slower this time.. he walked into their room with his head hanging..I just pointed to poor Elmo, “are YOU SHITTING ME?”. He trembled a little and so did I. Another swift kick to his pants and his door slammed shut. I grabbed Jay and went outside to breathe fresh air and calm down.. I collected myself and went back inside to check on Wyatt. I opened his door and he was laying in his bed. I walked over to him and pulled him up onto my lap.. I gave him a hug and said “well, it has turned out to be a really shitty day, huh. I can’t believe what you all did”. He agreed slowly shaking his head. I was patting his knee as I was talking to him, when my fingers ran across something on his 👖 jeans.. I looked down and saw he had cut a hole in his jeans. I took a deep breathe and asked him, “did you cut that hole in your jeans?”. He whimpered a weak, “yea”. I closed my eyes and gave him a hug.. “Wyatt” I asked, “is there anything else I could possibly find yet today that you cut?”. I held my breathe.. he said, “no, that was it”. “Well then” I said, “then I would say we have successfully ended the day. Why don’t you jump down and we will figure out something for Dad for supper!”. And we did.. later on when The Stauff got home, I was telling him of my day. He just looked at me and said, “well, I guess I would have taken away the scissors ✂️ the first time”. I felt this burning desire to give him a swift kick in the pants..But the sun came up and his terrible twos were over..for real… Two long days, that I will never forget..but you are probably asking yourself, “what about Jay’s terrible twos?”. It is 12 years past her terrible twos and I whole heartedly believe she is still going through them.. 🙄..oh and she never had one curl come back.. stick straight hair for the past 14 years.. lol..😜
In honor of graduations coming up across the land both in high school and college..it takes me back to 1996..the year I graduated from college..when I think of my graduation from college, I don’t remember the ceremony I remember a Nun, 1973 and me… three things that had a major impact on my life..or should I say my 👩🎓 graduation. I graduated with a speech degree and English minor with emphasis on public relations.. I could ‘talk the talk’…but I was never able to ‘do the math’. I have always hated math. With a passion. I somehow got through high school math.. a feat I think was impossible, I think the teacher 👨🏫 just finally signed off on a D to get me out.. we never saw eye to eye..in college the scene never improved.. I could do your basic math, subtract, add, divide and multiply all day long and wasn’t bad at it.. but higher education math escaped me..I could never understand why a person could give a shit what Y or X was. I told a professor once, “if my Dad told me to go count cows 🐮 in the pasture and I came back and said there is XY in the north part of the pasture and XZ In the southern, he would kick my ass and tell me to go back and bring him a real number”. I will say on my behalf, the professor was amused but it didn’t get me too far in the game of higher educational math. Another one liner I would tell my professors is, “I could write you a 13 page paper on how I can not do this shit”. That never worked either.. I had so many credits to graduate it was insane..but I had a handful of failed math classes hat kept me from it.. so here it is.. my advisor tells me I could graduate but I have to pass Algebra 2. I figured I was going to be in school forever.. I took it in the spring and failed..I signed up for summer school. My professor was an older guy who had probably seen a million kids like me come through. I started to take his class.. first test..failed.. second test failed.. third test failed and which found me in his office in 😭 tears. I told him of my journey of higher educational math and how I honestly could never get it.. he took a long deep breathe, studied me for a bit and said, “I seen this before..1973.. I had a student who was a nun that had the same issue”. My tears stopped.. a Nun I thought, 1973?? Holy shit, it was a sign from heaven above.. I looked at the professor and croaked, “I was born in 1973, what happened to her?”. “Well” he said, “she was like you, she couldn’t pass higher educational math. We finally had her tested and we found that she was mentally unable to do higher educational math”. My mouth fell open, “how did you test her?”. He went on, “well we had to put her through a lot of tests and in the end we found our results”. I smiled, “sign me up”. He scribbled down a room number and a phone number and told me to go check in at this office tomorrow. He said he would call ahead and set things up for me.. at last I thought maybe I had a chance to finally graduate. I went to bed happy with fingers crossed.. I went to the office the next day and met my new psychologist, a scruffy bearded dude in is mid 40’s with a pair of round wired glasses. We started a two week adventure of talking and looking at ink blots. He gave me a pamphlet to take home and fill out. He tells me, “you will probably have to call your parents and have them help you fill out the questions”. I smile, “not a problem”. I take home my 📚 homework and call mom and dad. Mom answers and I tell her the current state of my math class.. it was met with silence.. I continue on and tell her that I needed her to help me fill out a questionnaire.. I tell her, “I need to know how my birth was. Did they use anything to pull me out?? Was there any lack of oxygen? How big was I? Was I late?” And the questions continued on.. mom was like, “oh my gosh, you are kidding me. I don’t know half of this stuff”. I laugh, “well, let’s at least make it sound good”. When I got done talking to mom and finished my homework, I get to talk to dad. I tell him of my plan. He says, “oh geezus Christ, you have got to be shitting me?”. I tell him, “well unless you want to keep paying for math classes this is my only chance”. He was quiet and finally said, “you mean to tell me every time you flunk these math classes we have to pay for them?”. Needless to say, after that revelation he was completely on board with me and the Nun. The last day comes with my friend, the psych. I turned in my homework and prepare for my exit interview. He tells me, “one last thing, did you ever have a head trauma as a child?”. I thought and pondered and burst out laughing, “yeah I did actually”. He raised his eyebrows over his wire rimmed glasses.. I had peaked his interest. He said, “well, what happened?”. I started to tell him of my accident I had as a little kiddo.. “well I must have been about 4 or 5. I was with my Dad as I always wanted to go with him. He worked in the oil field. He was busy loading steel rods onto a trailer. I was supposed to stay in the pickup out of the way. I got bored, jumped out of the pickup and walked up behind Dad. I hollered, “Dad, can we go home?”. He turned around with the rod in his 🤚 hand..but when he turned around he just happened to accidentally smoke me in the middle of the forehead with this rod”. The psychologist is writing this story down like crazy, he says, “what happened to you? Did you pass out”. I am still laughing as I tell the story as honestly this was always a good funny family story. “Well it knocked me out. Dad scooped me up and took me to the house”. He asked, “did you go to the hospital?”. I looked at him oddly and said, “well no, cause I woke up.. but look at my forehead..I have a dent in my forehead from it”. He asked me again “you really didn’t go to the hospital?”. I said, “well no..you don’t understand, we live a long way from the hospital and I woke up, so I was fine”. I sat in the chair rubbing my dent in my forehead. He finished writing and said “well I will review everything and you should know what we find in a few weeks”. I asked him how the outcome was looking. He said, “well, I have to review everything, but sometimes when people have accidents some of the wires separate and can’t connect, it is hard to say if this is what happened to you, but you should know soon”. So I celebrated that my stint with the psych was over and prayed that God could somehow link me and his Nun together. A few weeks later I was checking the mail and there was a letter in there from the President of th University. I shook a little wondering what awaited me.. I ripped it open and in the letter it said that due to a traumatic child hood accident where a head injury occurred, I had been deemed unable to complete higher educational math. He passed me for any math classes I would have to have to graduate. I ran literally to my professors office with tears running.. we did it we did it I screamed.. we sat and talked about it and we parted ways. I went home and called mom and dad.. I was reading Dad my letter. When I got done he said, “what accident were you in?”. I told him, “well I told him the story of when you hit me in the head with that rod”. He said “oh great, I will probably have some family services at the door tomorrow for child abuse. Nice”. I laughed and said “hey, it got ME out of taking anymore math classes and it got YOU out of paying for anymore classes”. He agreed that it was probably worth it..I told Dad I was going to frame my degree and this letter. so there it is, my heavenly ties.. me, a Nun and 1973..lol..my guardian angel had to work over time to get that one thrown together.
We have started the monster project of working on my 1966 mustang..love that car.. dad bought it when I was in 8th grade..I wanted a new real horse really bad but I had already fallen in love with the 60’s Ford Mustang…Dad told me it was either a horse with four legs or four wheels…I dove for the wheels.. we ended up bringing home a 1966 Mustang Coupe, emberglo red with white vinyl top..when we came home the brakes were sketchy, but, it drove like a dream..or at least in my world..money got tight and the Mustang sat..and sat.. and sat..30 year snuck by in a blink of an eye..so here we are looking at her wondering where to start.. Chad came into the house on Sunday and says, “hey, didn’t you say it had sketchy brakes?” I said, “yea, it was scary driving it home, why?” He laughs, “I think I figured out why…you had no brakes in the rear wheels, all you had for brakes is the front”. Yikes..and just like that a 30 year mystery..solved…how about that shit daddio ?? Our sketchy trip home..solved..bahahah..