April 27, 2009

Better, even, than flowers

The last time that Tom sent me flowers was roughly 13 years ago, back in that first magical year of marriage. We were living in the first of many small towns we would inhabit; a town filled with many inbred colorful characters. The local high school in said town held fundraiser after fundraiser throughout the school year; I swear every-other-week. Unfortunately, this small-town school was not known for being imaginative, so they used the same fundraising idea over and over and over and… Yeah, you get the idea.

Anyway, being a newly-married man in love, every time one of these students' came into his shop peddling their "One Dozen Long-Stemmed Roses – Only $5.99!" fliers, Tom would pony up his six Washington's and place his order. I know, I probably sound heartless: What woman wouldn't love to receive a dozen long-stemmed red roses every couple of weeks? Well, as it turns out, this woman… but I had a valid reason! Even though it was so many years ago, $5.99 for a dozen roses was extremely cheap, even then. Add to that fact that this was a fund-RAISER, presumably meaning that the company supplying the roses actually MADE enough profit to give money back to the school, and you can probably get a pretty good picture in your head as to what these babies looked like. So long as they were prostrate in their pretty pink box they looked fairly decent, but when you attempted to revive them by placing them in a vase full of water, you've never seen such a sight. The term "limp noodle" doesn't begin to do it justice!

Anyway, after receiving about seven or eight of these depressing packages, I begged Tom to go easy on the flowers, to maybe give it a rest for "a while." And so he has honored my wishes for 13 long, flower-barren years! I have explained to him many times in the last 5-10 years that I hadn't meant that I didn't EVER want flowers again – I just didn't want DEAD ones. But to no avail. I know that he loves me, and I don't need flowers to prove it, but there are those days (and ladies, you know what I mean) when a bouquet of beautiful flowers would just go SO far to make you feel loved and cherished.

This weekend, however, Tom proved his love to me in a more meaningful way than flowers ever could. If ever I doubted the depths of his feelings, those worries have now been laid to rest. The proof? He voluntarily cleaned up doggie puke for me. And not just any dog puke, but a virtual mountain of stinky, steaming-fresh Stitch reflux.

Now normally when one of the dogs has an accident of any shape or size, I hear cries of "Mom!" or "Honey!" I don't know when or how it became my job, but I learned years ago that if I want it cleaned up right, I'd better plug my nose, roll up my sleeves, and get to it. Yesterday, I heard Tom's horrified shouts as he herded Stitch out the front door, but I could tell by the sound of his voice that he had reached him too late. I dragged myself out of the bedroom, psyching myself up to handle whatever awaited me. On a brief side note – why, why, why do dogs always choose the carpet when there is nice, easy, cleanable hard floor a mere 3 inches away?! But I digress…

This LOVING, SWEET, STUD of a husband had beaten me to it! I watched in awe as he tackled the pile with a dust pan and paper towels. My heart went pitter-pat as he rushed, gagging, out of the house to the garbage dumpster, face turning bright red. And again as he and Evan cleaned and scrubbed the rug he had puked on. Sigh….

HE LOVES ME!! HE REALLY, REALLY LOVES ME!!! What more can I say?

April 27, 2009

April 21, 2009

Our Steamy Weekend Alone – Part 2

So Saturday morning, we rolled out of bed at the crack of 10:00 (honestly – I got up at 8:00 a.m., but the better half was still snoring away which explains why I got up so early on a weekend!) and managed to get the trailer packed and out of the driveway a little after noon. About 2 miles from home I realized that we had forgotten to bring food for Annie (the dog, not to be confused with Annie, Evan's girlfriend). I had also assumed (incorrectly) that the trailer was pre-stocked with kitchenware, which it had been at one point, to feed and water her from. Tom, as anxious as I to get out of town, insisted that we would stop somewhere on the way to buy her food. We drove an hour and stopped at a Burger King in Preston, Idaho to have lunch. As we rolled into town, I suggested we stop at the grocery there to make our purchase, but Tom wanted to press on. So on we went!

As soon as we hit the road again, the wind, which had been fairly annoying before, kicked into high gear. You don't know fun until you've towed a trailer through gusting cross-winds – it was very exciting! We finally rolled into Lava Hot Springs, population 486, around 4:00 p.m. After an accidental drive-by of the town's off-ramp, we eventually found a place to get turned around and headed for the motel/RV camp that I had reserved. Tom set up the trailer while I stood by as camp supervisor. When the time came to hook up the water, we discovered two things. First, in addition to the missing dog food and dishes to feed her from, we had also neglected to bring the hose to pipe water into the trailer. Off to the over-priced store we went, where we were able to purchase everything we needed, albeit at horrendously high prices. Second, once we had the hose, we discovered the RV park did not yet have the outside water hook-ups turned on from winter. The nice people running the place ran a hose out one of the motel room windows so that we were able to fill the water tank.

Then, one of the highlights! When the trailer was winterized last fall, apparently we did not get one of the fittings screwed on right, so once we had the water turned on, we REALLY had running water – gushing out all over the kitchen floor from UNDER the sink.


Long story short, this is the view I had of my husband for most of our weekend alone. He spent two hours on Saturday in this position, mumbling, grunting, and more often than not cursing.

After fixing THIS leak, I talked him into heading across the street to soak and relax in the mineral pools. Tom and I have always had different tolerance levels for heat. I am the type that loves a hot bath, the hotter the better. If I don't look like a cooked lobster when done, it wasn't hot enough. Tom, on the other hand, can put his foot in tepid water, and leap back from the pain of it all. He stepped into the pool and immediately moved into extreme slow-motion, oo-oo-oohing his way further in. Being the sensitive, loving wife that I am, I called him a big baby and told him to put a move on. Until I got in. Holy Hannah was it hot! Too hot for me, and that's really saying something. "Never fear!" I said, "the other pool is much cooler. Let's move over there." So off we went, climbing into what I had remembered as being a much cooler pool. But guess what? It was just as hot as the other. We managed to spend an hour at the pools so that we could feel like we at least got our money's worth, then we took our slip-skinned selves and went to dinner at a cute little place in town. A place that was sold out of the shrimp I was craving, as well as the scones that were supposed to come with the meal and which I was lusting after since seeing them on the menu. In the meantime, Tom got more and more quiet – turns out that the extreme heat of the pools made him sicker than a dog.

Back to the trailer we went. It didn't take long for exhaustion to overtake us both, so we went to turn in for the night. But guess what ELSE we had forgotten? Tom's sleeping pills, which he needs because of his screwed up neck and back. After much more cursing and thrashing around, he finally fell asleep at 3:00 a.m. Unfortunately, the bed in the trailer is like sleeping on a rock (not even a smooth one, but a knobby one that rolls you in unwelcome directions), so I finally got up and moved to the bunk one of the kids' usually sleeps in. Just as I finally got to sleep, an apparent convoy of trains came chugging through the valley, laying on their horns for a minimum of 10 miles both before and after. Needless to say, it was a LOOONNNGGG night, possibly the longest I've ever had.

The next morning, we woke up later than planned, but still had time to go off to breakfast. EXCEPT that the water pump was now making weird sounds. Back under the sink he went for another hour. Water pump fixed, just in time for me to hurriedly wash my hair and then it was time to check out and move on! We ended up eating Easter breakfast (at 1:00 p.m.) at a truck stop on the freeway.

On the bright side, the way back was blissfully less windy, and we did stop to take pictures at Red Rock Pass, the site where ancient Lake Bonneville broke through and drained out onto the Snake River Plain. It wasn't the dream weekend I was hoping for by any stretch of the imagination, but at least we'll be able to look back and laugh about it years from now. At least that's what I'm telling myself. And I managed to withhold my "I TOLD you so" until we were safely home!

April 21, 2009

April 15, 2009

Our Steamy Weekend Alone, Part 1

This past week was the kids' spring break, so Joshy (as Savannah calls her big, tough-guy, Special Forces brother) flew all three of them to Tennessee to spend four days with him and Jess. Woo hoo! Four whole days without any small fries or sweaty teens underfoot! Whatever would we do?

Well, as luck would have it, the kids flew out on a Friday. I took the day off work to take them to the airport and ship them off, but Tom had to work all day, so really we had 3 whole days alone. Okay, that's still pretty good… Their plane was scheduled to fly in late (and I do mean LATE!) on Monday night. Oh, but wait… We both have to work on Monday. Ah well, that still left us two entire days to be footloose and fancy free!

All week long leading up to the big break, we daydreamed about where we would go and what we would do to celebrate our freedom fill the void that would be left in our lives with the kids gone. Tom mentioned a road trip to Dillon, MT, a trip we took the last time we took a fun weekend away, roughly TEN years ago. I was all for a road trip, and any time I get to head north to my Idaho roots, even if it's just passing through, I'm a happy girl. But, why go where you've already been? Why not take the opportunity to explore uncharted territory? While waiting for Tom to arrive home late Friday, I wandered cyberspace and Google Maps, plotting our journey, checking weather forecasts, and finding a cozy, little suite (with a gas log fireplace in our room) in a beautiful little Idaho town that I've always wanted to visit. I had my speech all prepared and was sure I could successfully argue my case.

But he was not to be persuaded. After arriving home at almost 9 p.m., the last thing my dear hubby wanted to do was wake up early the next morning to drive 5 or more hours to a place that's still almost 20 degrees colder than we are (I say as I watch snow piling up outside the window YET AGAIN), only to turn around the next morning and drive all the way back. I begged, I pleaded, I gave an eloquent speech about the joy being in the journey, but to no avail. His next best plan? Let's take our camp trailer and go stay at a campsite in Mantua, conveniently located right off the main highway 20 minutes from home. Wouldn't that be fun?!!! I countered with just renting a hotel room anywhere, so we didn't have to deal with loading the trailer, hauling it somewhere, spending forever setting it up, getting it leveled, yada, yada, yada…

"Let's just relax" said I. "Every time we take the trailer, it takes up precious time that we could be using to enjoy other things."

Here I need to insert a side note: For YEARS upon YEARS, I have tried to talk Tom into going to Lava Hot Springs, a quaint little town in southeastern Idaho that has mineral pools which are so wonderful for soaking life's cares away, but he has always refused to go. Once he decides he doesn't want to do something, you might as well give it up, because you are NEVER going to convince him otherwise. I swear that "Stubborn" is his middle name, although he will tell you that I am the stubborn one. Anyway, I didn't even dare suggest it as I'd lost that particular battle too many times before.

"Hey!" he says… "How far away is that Lava Hot Springs? Let's go there."

Great idea honey! So glad you thought of it J… I'll get us a room. But no, he didn't want a room; he still wanted to haul the trailer and set up camp. Fine… Whatever! We're going to Idaho.


April 15, 2009

April 2, 2009

Enough Said

UGGGHHH, Teenagers.

Need I say more? Much as I'd love to vent the whole story, this one can't be told. Just remember me in your prayers...

April 2, 2009