Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Squirting our kids with 409

You may be wondering why my sweet husband drove 20 miles to get me a cup of coffee.  I don't even know where to start with this one...stay with me here.

The Cabin.  Heron, Montana.  People may wonder why I complain about one of my favorite places on Earth:  beautiful cabin tucked in the middle of the woods, being with the whole family etc.  Let me try and explain:

Only VERY special people can function at The Cabin.  And I can only think of two.  Mom.  And Dad.  None of us would be able to "run" things here without them...or know where things are kept.

The Cabin has no electricity ~ ~ true, we are updated with a generator and solar power.  We also have flushing toilets now (but we still have to use the "out" when there are a bunch of us here because you definitely don't want to overload the septic system) We don't call it "outhouse" because the original version here at the ranch had no door.  So we just called it "The Out".  OK, so we sort of have electricity, but if you try and use the microwave, you get lectured about "the batteries".  I don't know what that means, but we are not allowed to use it.  Why they don't throw the microwave away, I'll never know.  None of us know how to run this complicated generator thing...dad is busy all day long checking numbers, keeping a graph of some sort that is hung on the wall, and telling us to turn off lights because the numbers are low.

My dear mother has a unique way of storing things.  She wanted my sister to feed the cats...Mari couldn't find the cat food.  "It's in the cat litter bucket".  Mom says.  "Of course".  says Mari.  So on the bottom of the pantry Mari opens the big bucket of litter and sure enough:  cat food!

My other sister wanted to add some cashews to her trail mix.  She reached her hand into the cashew jar, and out comes her hand with melted chocolate chips all over it.  Oh ya...the chocolate chips are kept in the cashew jar.  This is like living at Ernie and Bert's house.

As I was digging through the fridge this morning, I found a bunch of sandwiches labeled "baking soda".  No wonder the kids forgot their lunch on their 8 hour hike to the top of a mountain yesterday!

You may see one of us squirting our kids with 409 periodically.  Well, if you read closely, above the "409", "hand soap" is written in permanent marker.  We are used to that one.  It sits by the sink...so when you need to wash your hands you just squirt with 409.

I think the only thing in the house labeled correctly is Dad's "shampoo/cleaning fluid".  For as long as I can remember, my dad has made his own "shampoo".  On it is a label reading: "Jay's shampoo etc. (Grandpa's superdooper shampoo made from super secret ingredients)  Use at your own risk "  There is a skull and crossbones drawn underneath the label.

Not only is this place "label challenged", EVERYTHING is harder here.  For instance, just getting dressed.    "Heron Hair" is a biggie.  I don't care what kind of real shampoo and conditioner you bring to the cabin, you can't look good.  Hair is CRAZY.  It won't brush, it stands straight out, and you are not allowed to use a hair dryer.  If we complain my mother says "just put some vinegar in your hair afterwards, that's what I do".  OK.  That's just what I've always wanted MY hair to smell like.  How'd she know?!

This brings me back to the coffee.  Coffee is a HUGE problem-o at The Cabin.  First of all, dad only drinks instant.  So we fish around for some real coffee that one of us has left from a previous visit.  There is no coffee maker so you first have to boil water...after that it gets even more complicated.  We have some little gadget that makes one cup at a time  (which first we have to find and figure out how to put together). OK, so I get my coffee made and naturally there is no creamer, so I add sugar.  I am quite the sugar addict, I admit, and it takes quite a bit to make me happy.  I finally get my coffee just so (this is like a half hour process) and take a sip.  SPIT!  Out it goes.  It tastes just like the Gulf of Mexico!  Pure SALT.  Oops...my bad.  I didn't read the label closely.  Sugar was crossed out and in it's place "not sugar" is written. This is when I send Dave to the nearest gas station.

Why does mom do this?  It is one of the great mysteries of Heron.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our Magical Forest

"It's a full moon, just like they promised!!" Signe said as we were hiking through the woods at 10pm.

There is a very special place on our land in Montana called THE FAIRY FOREST. It was discovered 10 or so years ago by a couple of my daughters. There are these fluffy green ferns that are only found there. These are the "fairy ferns". Soon, we found little nooks in the trees (must be where the fairies live) and things progressed from there.
The girls started writing notes to the fairies and leaving them in a box out in the forest. It wasn't long before the fairies were writing back. This has been going on for over 10 years...and it is extremely complicated now. Each grandchild has a "fairy". Here are some of their names: (the fairies, not the grandkids) Pumpernickle, Frangipani, Acorn, Isabelle, and Twalla. Each fairy has an extensive past, favorite color, place they were born etc. etc. As I said: complicated.

Once a year there is a fairy ball that is held in the fairy forest that the grand kids are invited to. It is held at dark...which is pretty late in Montana. Last evening was the night of the ball this year. As Mom, Dad, Mari, Sarah, Teenie, me, Dave, the other Dave, Eric, and 8 of the grand kids went traipsing along to the fairy forest ( Dad following in the gator because we need lights!!) that's when Signe said, "It's a full moon, just like they promised!"

We arrived at the ball and there were twinkly lights up in the trees shining down on the miniature houses on the ground. There were some little gifts left for the kids in the present/note spot. First, everyone just stood still and watched. Soon the fairies started appearing. They disguise themselves in front of humans. But each fairy told their kid what they would be wearing.

Signe's fairy is orange with black spots, but she would be wearing a yellow ball gown. We all stood silently under the moonlight watching and listening. It was a good 15 or 20 minutes when Signe started getting a little sad because her fairy didn't show. It was time to leave and as we turned around toward the Gator a yellow fairy flew right in front of the headlight. I told Signe I saw her, and she quickly turned around and knelt down by the headlight. We waited, and she reappeared. At first Signe was disappointed because the fairy was yellow...then she remembered Isabelle said she would be wearing a yellow ball gown. "Oh!! That's why she was late! She had to change into her gown!" Signe said.

Suddenly the little fairy settled right onto Signe's hand. She stayed there for over 10 minutes. Signe and she stared and stared at each other.

When we got back to the cabin Signe showed me a note she had written Isabelle. "Dear Isabelle, Can you sit on my hand at the fairy ball? And what's your favorite color? Love, Signe"

"Mommy, I didn't even give her the note and she knew what it said. This was the best night of my life. It's the best thing I can think of!"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Parents Having Sex

 It finally happened~ we are the "Old Gross Parents".

 My dad has been sick this summer and the whole fam damily is at the cabin~ 21 of us (the 4 daughters and all of our children/spouses) There isn't much sleeping space left and Dave and I have been assigned a couch to share. Luckily it is pretty long, and we can sleep toes to nose. Above that couch is a loft with two twin beds. My eldest daughter,Sarah, (22) and her significant other are sleeping up there. Essentially we are in the same room with them.

This morning, as said oldest baby was munching on her dry cheerios, she looked deep in thought. She was sitting in an easy chair across from me. Suddenly she spouted out "Did you and Dave have sex last night, Mom? And if you did I am NEVER speaking to you again. EVER."

"What?" I ask in disbelief.

"I heard noises." Sarah said, clearly upset.

"What?!" I ask again.

"I heard laughing", She said with a serious look on her face.


"OK, phew!!!! That's what I thought. I mean, I knew you didn't, but I kept thinking- what if you did?? I couldn't sleep mom...that's SO gross!!! You are SO old!!! I was NEVER going to speak to you again...I thought you thought we were sleeping. I couldn't sleep ALL NIGHT. I even had to go over and wake up Chris. I hit him in the head with a book and asked him if he thought you guys were having sex. He said "NO, go to sleep". It really scared me mom."

"OK, Sarah. Calm down. Sick! I have 5 children which means I've only done that 5 times. I've never had a miscarraige."

My sister walks in at this point and wants to know what's going on. I filled her in. She says, "Sweetie, your mom and Dave only have sex once a year. I know how often all of my sisters have sex. I highly doubt last night was the chosen night with you in the same room."

"THANK YOU, Mary! There. Do you feel better yet?"

Once Sarah got over thinking about the possibility of her old gross parents having sex...she went outside. Meantime, Dave comes in and I filled him in on the drama. hahahahaha Next thing we know...Sarah comes back into the livingroom. Dave looks at me and says lovingly: "Honey, thanks again for last night." I think she threw up a little bit in her mouth.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I have had it!

After loading 2 college bound athletes, who have the longest legs in the world, 1 90lb. dog, luggage for all plus sleeping bags and pillows into my "toaster", as the group home kids call my car... I AM SICK OF DRIVING. I've probably gone 1500 miles or more this week going back and forth and back and forth. And it's all for my dog who is faking sick.

He did it again. This time we just arrived at the cabin (again) and Corduroy played for about 10 minutes, then sat by my car. When I opened the door to unload (AGAIN) he hopped in and WOULD NOT get out. This time he stayed in the car for 19 hours!

After spending the night in the car (even tho he was at his favorite place in the world) I was pretty sure he would come out to go potty in the morning. Nope. He shook and quivered and SNAPPED at my nephew. He would not come out. I thought he was dying or something. Needless to say, I loaded back up and drove the 3 1/2 hours back home to our vet.

Nothing is wrong. He faked it. No temp, did blood work, he has a little wax build up in his ear. WTH??????

Now I have to go back to the cabin tomorrow AGAIN. Have to. Cuz ALL of us are there. My 3 little sisters, all of our children etc. etc. and I am instructed to be there for a family picture.
Plus~ I didn't even say goodbye to anyone this morning. There are 21 of us there. So I just left after saying bye to my daddy.

And not many of them like our cute dog. GUESS WHO'S COMIN' BACK?!

See ya tomorrow.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I really do not even understand the CONCEPT of ironing.
Daughter #3 and I are driving NINE hours to an Adam Lambert concert tomorrow. A have a white dress that, well first... I HAVE THESE GREAT BOOTS I ordered months ago for this event. Then came the problem of finding something to go with them. I spent hours surfing the net trying to find anything to go with the boots! The first dress I ordered was a COMPLETE DISASTER. I threw it away immediately upon arrival. The next dress was from Victoria's Secret. It looked great in the catalog. After many "ordering issues", it finally came. It was either a man's button up, or a bad nurse uniform. Too much money already spent-- I needed to make this work. After a hurried and harried trip to the mall after much travelling today...back and forth to see my sick daddy...(he is doing MUCH better now!!) we found the finishing touches. It is not so "nursey" now. ANYWAY, after trying it on so many times...and hauling it back and forth to the cabin to show my family the whole "look", I decided it needed to be ironed for Adam. Wow. What a stupid, stupid thing ironing is. My mother always wondered how I could get away with never ironing anything for my husband or children...Easy, I just throw it back into the dryer if it is wrinkled. When ironing there are many problems: 1. Which part do you start with? And when you do figure that out, then you have to move the clothing...hence, wrinkling what you had just ironed. 2. If you are ironing a dress, half of it hangs down to the floor, and then you get pet hair stuck to your outfit. So the garment is just getting dirtier in the process. 3. Let's say you get it sort of "ironed-out", (no pun intended) then comes the day to wear it. Well you aren't going to WALK to your event. More than likely you will be driving. So there you are sitting all over your freshly ironed outfit. It's probably hot because you always sweat when you are going somewhere important. You are wrinkled before you even get there. SO WHAT IS THE POINT--I ask you?!