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.


  1. Cute Cute Cute Jenny!!! I'm thoroughly enjoying your everyday lives. :)

  2. This made me laugh! SO true! every part ! haha

  3. OMG soooo funny, and so true! Really enjoyed reading this (out loud, with my husband laughing periodically with me...this is why most people don't live "off the grid" he said) :-) Thanks to Mari for putting your link on her facebook.

    Casandra Carlson

  4. OMGosh - that is hysterical. Don't suppose you'll be back in the area Huckleberry weekend. I'm in TF 8/10 - 8/22/