Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's our third anniversary!

Not our third wedding anniversary, silly! That would suggest our first two kids are illegitimate! Actually, it's our third anniversary for living in a fifth wheel trailer. This picture was taken when we lived in the Rivernook. That's right- let's not forget the 14 months we spent living in a campground, dragging these rug rats to the laundromat (oooh- while being pregnant with Ed), and having "campers" as our neighbors. HATED it. Kacy was 27 months old, and Will was 12 months. I took this picture because my darling two year old Kacy threw a fit about leaving the river and cried and cried, and then wiped her face with her very dirty hands. Three years later, she is in school, Will is talking about spinning donuts in the car, Ed is born and wild, and we also have Jessie. We are on our property. We are slowly working on this house. Ryan says it'll be done not this Christmas, but next Christmas. So maybe 15 more months left of trailer life? I can barely remember the perks of having a real house. That's probably a good thing, as it helps me keep a good attitude. The real truth about living in a trailer? It's not that bad. Please note that I did not say "It's great!" or "It's no different than living in a house!" But it really could be worse. It could be PERMANENT. Here's looking at three years down, maybe a little over ONE to go. Then we can have company because we'll have a real toilet (RV toilets are special, you know...) and our bathroom won't be in our messy bedroom, and we'll have enough cups and plates to share with others. A little insight on trailer life: you only have room for the essentials. How many people in your house can use a fork? That's how many you have. Plates and bowls? Same thing. I don't notice it until someone comes over and I'm like "Um, do you mind using a sippy cup for your drink and spoon for your roast? Oh, and let me cut that for you since we only have the one knife." Okay, so it's not that bad. (But it is- just ask Cherie because this happened to her, sort of.) Oh, can't wait for that house so I can say "How was the drive? Here, have your own glass of root beer, and sit at my table and eat off a real plate and the real bathroom is over there and since our freezer is bigger now you can eat meat OR ice cream..." I adapt and try not to dwell. But I would be lying if I said I didn't miss having a house. But don't feel sorry for me! The time will come and I'll look back with my rose colored glasses and say "Oh living in trailer wasn't that bad!" and then when our kids get married and do the same thing (because it's hereditary on both sides... yup, we've done it twice!) they'll have this blog to read and remember. And they'll know that if I can do it, they can, too. Twice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We have eight beehives on our property. About a week or so ago, we saw that one of the hives was knocked over and frames were everywhere. Bees were everywhere. It was a mess. It sat like that until last night, when Ryan fixed it all up again. He said a bear did it, but Kacy and I thought it was our dog, George. Today Ryan called me while I was at playgroup and said that it WAS a bear. See the evidence for yourself- the bear left his calling card. The hive on the right was the first attacked, and then today it was the hive on the left. Kind of funny- I was loading up the kids and two bees were dive bombing me, which never happens. I was doing a funny dance to avoid the bees thinking "Wow, I think maybe my coconut scented conditioner is a bad thing right now", all while loading up our gear. I jumped in the car, and then when I got out to the highway I called Ryan and apologized for not saying good-bye because there were bees in the car and all around me. When I returned from playgroup and drove by the hives, bees started attacking my car. (Really.) I got to our trailer, and Ryan comes out, motioning for me to stay in the car. He gets in and says he just reassembled one of the hives and the bees are mad. He got stung five times through his pants. He said he could swat the bees away and it was like pushing through tree branches, they were so dense. It wasn't safe to unload the kids, so he ran into the trailer, got me a few supplies, and the kids and I headed to Bakersfield a little earlier than planned. We stopped at the Nature Preserve and used the bathrooms, got Kacy from school, and went to visit my family for Will's birthday. On the way home, I got out my camera just in case I saw the bear. I pulled up to the hive and THERE IT WAS! It was into the same hive again. I tried to take a picture of it, but my camera's flash went off and I have a lovely image of a dirty window and the reflection of the dashboard. It's a medium sized bear (I think- I told Kacy it was like a teenager bear, and she said there is no such thing.) and very black with a brown nose. It took off when it finally saw me. I went to look at the hives just now to see if it was back, and it was no where to be seen. (I was totally in my car- I may be many, many things, but completely stupid I am not. Now, if I had a gun...) I tell ya, we live in one of the weirdest places on the planet. Is it the desert? Is it the mountains? (Technically we live between two mountain ranges heavy with forest and wildlife in a rain shadow that give us all the Joshua Trees and sage.) Wildlife that I've seen include: many species of bird, scorpions, a garter snake, a California legless lizard (still a snake in my book...), bobcat, deer, a mountain lion (I'm 80% sure about this one- big cat with a long tail while I was running along the wash...) deer, bovine, STUPID stupid rabbits (they ate my garden last night. I have NOTHING green. Another post...) all manner of vermin, and coyotes. This is why I want to throw up and pass out and run like the wind all at the same time when Ed wanders and I can't see him. Critters!

Happy 4th Birthday Will

Jasper William turns four today, and he has been counting down the days since May, when Kacy had her birthday. He is turning over a new leaf the last few weeks, becoming more and more pleasant. ("What???!!??" his grandmas are saying. "All my grandchildren are perfect!") Will spent the last two years crying a lot, and pretending he couldn't hear us. But he's changing! He is becoming helpful. He is crying A LOT less. He is talking A LOT more. He talks really fast. His grandpa Bunting thinks he'd make an excellent auctioneer. He could start tomorrow. He is starting to listen a lot better. It takes him 30 minutes to get dressed, unless I set a timer, and then he's done in two minutes flat. He loves Legos, heavy machinery, gum, ice cream, macaroni and cheese, being with his Dad, wearing plain tee shirts (no graphics), helping in the kitchen (he loves to cook), he loves salsa and enchiladas ("I like spicy food, mom!") and he is still concerned about being "cool". He has his own definition of "cool", and it involves his Vans, Carhartt jeans, his Tractor Supply hat, and a plain tee. His favorite CD in the car is Merle Haggard "Prison". (It's Jessie's too...)
"Look Mom! I'm a statue!"
Will at three months old.
Will at his first birthday. He was such a GOOD baby, and then he turned one. He started crying more. Life was rough for a few years. I see the light though, and I think he does, too. It's all about communication, man.
Let's not forget that Will has a head of VERY curly hair. People ask me if he gets it from me. NO WAY! My hair was more like Kacy's in texture. Will got every single curl gene from both sides of the family (there are actually many to choose from...) and viola- a 'fro. We keep it short because it starts growing OUT, not down when it gets longer.

We love our oldest boy. He cracks me up. Example: "Hey Will, your birthday is coming up. What do you want?" Him: "An accordion. Maybe red."

Friday, August 22, 2008


I have thought of a few good reasons to home-school my kids.
1- No making lunches the night before or morning of, and then repeating the process at lunch time for the rest of the crew.
2- No bus stop that is five miles (one way!) away.
3- You can be gone whenever you want to be, where ever you want to be and not worry about picking up your kid from the bus stop.

These are the good reasons I won't be home schooling my kids.
1- I'm lazy.
2- I don't have the desire.
3- I love hearing how Kacy gets to interact with others at school and her perspective on people, their choices, and their differences.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just Stuff (because I'm not a clever title maker)

Jessie just over five and a half months old. Here she is while I was vacuuming out my car. She is one of the happiest babies I've ever seen. I wonder if she'll always have such a light-hearted, easy going personality. Like when she's a teenager. I hope so.

Some observations I've made in the three days that Kacy has been to school: I seem busier. WHY??? Will talks A LOT when she's not around. He talks really fast, which isn't always helpful in understanding him. He's been talking for about 15 months now. He's come a long way! My kids are eating me out of house and home. Kacy gets off the bus and the first thing she says is "Can I finish eating my crackers in the car?" And the boys, oh I really feel for Jocelyn and Melissa with FOUR boys. Lots of food. I wish I had a real-sized refrigerator and a kitchen to match so I could prepare proper meals. All in good time... I am in the middle of reading Breaking Dawn. I wanted to finish it before my English class starts on Monday so that I could concentrate on the (boring) readings for the class. Yipee! I have put a bit much into my life right now and am feeling a little busy. Not bad, but just one of those things where I am wondering why I am blogging instead of doing one of the other dozen or so things I OUGHT to be doing. It's all about balance, right? Fun with work. All work and no play makes Karrie one grumpy lady.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Great Expectations

Kacy's first day of Kindergarten. On the way to school she said she was most excited to paint, and she was most nervous about not knowing anyone. When she got off the bus, Will asked her what she did in school, and she said "It's BOR-ing. I can't believe how much boring it is." By the time we got home though, she gave me more details. She made a puppet, colored a paper, some of the kids weren't behaving for the teacher, she got to play with play-doh in the after school hour, and the bus ride was fun. Kacy has a full day program from 8a to 2p, and the buses don't run until 3p. So there is an hour where all the K's who ride the bus stay together and do outside activities and indoor play activities. Right now Kacy is in front of the TV because she's tired. The tedious part of this school year is going to be the bus ride- her bus stop is five miles from our house. I get reimbursed, and I don't know the details of that yet, but that will help ease the pain that is driving that far for a us stop.
In her classroom, she is going to sit next to a girl named Kaley. I have a cousin Caley, and when Kacy and Caley are in the same room, everyone gets tongue tied. I noticed there was also another Caylee and a Katelyn.
The teacher invited us in for a half hour to talk about what was going to happen, and then she read "The Kissing Hand" as an exit strategy. Kacy had no problems saying good-bye, and neither did I! It was weird having her gone all day, and Will has never talked so much. When it was time for a nap, he said "What about Kacy?" and I told him she was at school and that she would have a rest time after her lunch. He said "Oh. Can I sleep on her bed?" (She has the top bunk. I let him sleep there.)
I watched the other kids come in, and their parents. It was VERY interesting. I've always been a little worried about Will being a bit immature for his age, and I told Ryan that if I didn't think he was ready for Kindergarten next year, I would hold him back at home and then send him when his closer to six. However, after seeing some of Kacy's classmates, Will is going to be just fine. Great even. My favorite was a kid named Joseph. He came in, saw some baskets of toys, and went over to them and in a loud voice said "Hey! These are cool, I'm going to play with toys!" and he started banging them together. Banging them, not playing with them. Poor teacher. I have great expectations for my kids (all kids).

Friday, August 15, 2008

bits and pieces

Ed- this boy is not potty trained. I am thinking of waiting a month or so and trying again, but the thought of buying diapers is not a happy one. He is just HALF there, which a bit unpredictable, and his fluid intake is through the roof right now. That makes it hard for the both of us. If he drinks as much as he wants, he GOES gallons all the time. Going places doesn't help either- we live so far from anything that we'd be visiting every bathroom where ever we go, and using the bathroom at Vons is not fun. Not with this many little kids. Oh well, I'll take a break this Saturday and Sunday, since we will be out of town most of both days. I'll put him in a diaper and then try to remember to take him every hour or whatever. Potty training stinks, but two year old diapers stink more.
Love this girl- Jessie is awesome. A fuzzy picture of her- I'm still learning my manual settings on my camera, and I'm having a problem with focus. I'm working on it every now and then. I have a lot of projects going on...
Counting bears- one of my "I'm going to be better about preschool activities with my kids" purchases. I use to want to open a preschool. Having all these kids so young, it's like I have my own preschool now. I found out that Will recognizes his numbers, and so does Ed. Now that Kacy is going to be gone for 8 hours a day, my goal is to work with Will a little bit, and to get Ed to stop eating markers. I would love to play board games and let my kids do art projects, but seriously, Ed still makes a huge mess of everything. Today he ate the tip of a purple marker off, and apparently he stuck it up both nostrils first because they were purple, too.
The sky right now- the moon is behind scattered clouds. This picture would be even better if there wasn't a mass of dark in the upper right hand side.
This weekend will be a busy one with a baby shower and some shopping on Saturday, and then our regular Sunday routine.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I am getting lazy. Gone is July where is was so hot that all I could do was lay on the bed and read the Internet (really!) and blog about our happenings. Now it's August, Ryan is back from his little trips, and we have lots going on. I have my own sweat shop going on. In our storage shed, where there is no AC, I set up a little table with my sewing machine. I made my sister some baby shower gifts, and I'm mostly happy with how they turned out. I get a little critical of myself- always striving for perfection. I go out there in the heat of the day, and sweat and sew and I couldn't be happier. I've cut out an pinned a skirt for Kacy. She picked out the fabric, and it's a little Hannah Montana to me. She'll model later. I enjoyed sewing the gifts for my sister (can't say what in case she reads this), but I LOVE sewing clothes. I am so picky about clothes, everything I truly like costs way too much money for me, and then there is my 5 year old who has long legs. Now, I know I could go to WalMart and buy decent clothes there for a decent price. And I have nothing against WalMart- except the crowds. The style I have right now is jeans and fitted tees-not very cute. Very practical, but not fashionable. And there are times when I need to look nice. Church. Baby showers. A rare date with Ryan. I'd like to be cute, and so the sewing begins. Right now to ease myself back into things, it's easy stuff. And kid clothes.
Tonight is a meet-n-greet at the school for Kacy. (Probably one of those times to look nice, eh? Not gonna happen tonight...) There are free hot dogs. Yay! I am not looking forward to driving her to the bus stop, but I did find out I get a check every month for mileage. The bus stop is 5 miles away- one way. They just changed it this year. It used to be out this far, but because of budget cuts, they shortened the bus routes. Her school is so small, I love it that everyone will know her and watch out for her. She starts on Monday, and I have a class that starts the next Monday.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I'm posting because of the date. It looks cool, that's all. Here is what is going on around these parts.
Ryan: Working on the house.
Me: Putting around- thinking of the sandbox and getting a sewing area ready. Watching Ryan work on the house.
Kacy: Practicing writing her first and last name on lined paper in the D'Neilian handwriting style, because that's what her school does. D'Neilian is the slanted curvy writing, as opposed to Zaner-Bloser, most commonly known as ball and stick writing. She is doing math by adding numbers together, now she does it on her paper. Ryan laughed at her technique. She puts a number in her head by touching her forehead, and then counts the rest on her fingers. I taught that to her and Will in the car (we spend a lot of time in the car...). She is also practicing her slide stops on her bike.
Will: Working on being a good worker (He has improved dramatically with his listening skills, following directions, and not complaining- sing the praises!). Working on rhyming words (he's got it, and is now fascinated) and just a funny, funny thing- you know the "name game?" It goes like this: Will, Will, bo-bill, banana -nana fo fill, me my mo mill, Will. I taught this to the kids awhile back when Kacy was learning rhyming. I've heard some funny words be done, but the best is truck. Try it (in your head...) and to hear a little kid "swear" like a sailor is funny the first time. We don't ever say anything, because then it might become a problem. We do say, "OH! Let's do _______" and try to distract them without being obvious. Will is also saving his "jeans" to wear day after day. He has a pair of Carrhart jeans with a slider instead of a snap, and he LOVES these jeans. He has other jeans, but he thinks only this pair is "jeans". I do less laundry I guess.
Ed: Potty training. He is pre-potty training, on the cusp of getting it. He is learning what being wet means, and that it isn't comfortable. He's about half telling me and making it to the bathroom, and half telling me right after it happened and there is a puddle somewhere. I tried putting a diaper on him the other day and he took it off. I don't think I want to duct tape his diapers on, so undies and lots of laundry it is. I am hoping that in another two weeks he's done. I'm being realistic. I think.
Jessie: Knows what she wants and who can give it to her. For not speaking, she makes her wants very easy to understand. I love that she is so good to just lay in her crib and fall asleep. She has a great attitude and loves to be around the family. She doesn't have a choice, I know, but it seems like she would choose it over being more solitary or quiet. She is ready for an upright bouncer/exer-saucer thing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stubby returned

Last Thursday morning, I found evidence of a rat in my kitchen again. It put me in a really bad mood because I had just disinfected everything, and I wondered if my kids were going to get haunta virus (sp?) because I didn't see the rat evidence until after I gave them spoons for their cereal. I set out my last glue trap and the little mouse traps I had in the empty drawers. I kept the content of the drawers in grocery bags on the counter. I don't really have counter space, so this was a huge inconvenience. Yesterday at Lowe's we got these rat traps. When we got home Ryan saw the rat run under the couch. EEEWW! I grabbed the broom and went for it- I flung the rat out from under the couch and it ran under the cabinets. We loaded up the traps with peanut butter. When I woke up this morning I checked the traps, and sure enough, the rat was caught. And dead. I picked up the trap and inspected the rat- it was Stubby! It really and truly was that nasty rat (a wood rat, by the way, not a kangaroo rat...)- it's tail was an inch long with a scab on it. I thought I was being all animal friendly when I flung it out of the trailer that morning. I should have made sure it died somehow because the thing came back within 24 hours. It ate the rubber parts off of the tongs I used to throw it out. The Tomcat rat trap did it's job, and I love them. Whoever invented that style of trap is a genius. Stubby is finally gone. For reals, man.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Thumper Rule

I am instituting the Thumper Rule for myself. I have had a hard time this week saying nice positive things about ANYTHING, and last night I noticed it running into my interactions with my kids, which horrifies me. The truth? My friend Jenny was leaving, and Will started dancing around the back of her car. I said "Will! Don't be stupid!" And then I felt horrible. I mean, he was almost hit by one of our cars once when he was just about 18 months old, and it has freaked me out ever since. But seriously, how mature is it to tell your almost four year old to not be stupid? Just not nice. This whole week has been negative this and negative that, and I'm tired of myself. The Thumper rule is "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." So I'll probably be silent for awhile.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gardening Pest and Photography

First let me recognize that I have never posted (journaled) this much in my life. It must be the boredom, since Ryan is gone. Or, it's because I thought about formatting my blog for publishing again, and I really want something to remember in my book. But then I think, "Do I really care about a tomato wormy anyway?" Yes, I do, but not for posterity. Amy is going to look at this and tell me all about it. Or my master gardener mother-in-law. If I don't get rid of these things that seriously appeared OVERNIGHT, I won't have any tomatoes. Where did they come from? They are perfectly camouflaged. It's incredible. Ed was the only one willing to touch them with his bare hands. The rest of us put zip lock baggies over our hands to pluck and fling them. There were about a dozen or so... probably be more tomorrow.
On photography- I am a horrible photographer by default. Some people have a natural knack for design and composition. I do not. So instead I am going to study and read and learn and practice. Because I like a good picture. When I used to scrapbook, I would look at other people's pages and think "Wow! That is so good!" and then I realized that 90% of what I thought was "good" was because of a good picture. Not a paper or embellishment, but the actual photo. I have been experimenting with the manual mode on my "fancy" camera, and I love it! Now, if I just had a natural eye for composition... Ryan does, his dad does, cousin David does, Amy does... me? I'm a snapshot pro. But nothing great. So I am going to practice. And the reason I wrote about my tomato wormy AND photography at the same time is because I took the picture of the worm with my "fancy" camera on full manual mode. Using the light meter and aperture and shutter speed and ISO is so trippy to me, I am always surprised when something comes out. And since you can see the worm, it turned out! Now, if only my kids would hold still long enough for a picture...

These are the people in our neighborhood

The Biologist- "It's terrible that you guys disced up your property lines in the spring. There was a king bird nesting there and he lost his home. However, since you did disc, there has been a proliferation of this rare flower called the monkey flower. There is a grouping of them in this canyon over there, and now on your property. Blah, blah blah, more scientific genus and species... oh, and if you put in a fence, I highly reccomend a deer friendly one. The top strand is smooth and the bottom strand is at least 16 inches off the ground. It won't keep people out, but that's what guns are for." Me: I hate biology. I think you are weird. Stay off my property. Won't keep people out? So it wouldn't keep kids or dogs in. Guns? I'll shot someone if I have to, under extreme duress, but why even make me come to that point? Good fences make good neighbors. You weirdo. Of course said in my head, not to him. Ya hippie.
The Night Lights- "I like to keep my yard lights on at night because it bugs the neighbors." Nice! So we get to see your Christmas lights, with a star and cross included, 365 wonderful nights a year. Although, other than that, he seems to be almost normal and he just recently put up some solar lights instead of the Christmas lights.
The English people- They tried to report the "Night Lights" to the county hoping for some kind of violation so they would have to turn off the lights. They've lived out here for a long time, have English accents, and brought us a raisin bread cake one Christmas. They mostly keep to themselves and we are grateful. Probably the most normal out here. Besides the vacation homes of the wealthy who live in LA and then come up for a week or two every other year. They are my favorite.
The Lancaster part-timers- they just moved in a mobile home. They have made the biologist mad. (Up here, there is a huge amount of mobile homes from the the 1960's and 70's that are is disrepair, and just nasty. Some people take good care of them, but most up here are just falling apart.) The Biologist is all upset because their mobile home knocked down his property value by $60,000-$70,000. Whatever. They live in Lancaster/Palmdale and are slowly transitioning up here for retirement. They seem nice enough.
Then there is us. I am sure they think we are nuts. There is always a project going on outside, and I'm always yelling at the kids. ("Ed! Ed! Where are you?" "Don't go that far!" "What are you doing with that? That's dangerous!" "Get out of Dad's tools!" "Ed! Get back here!" and on and on... it would appear to an observer that yelling at my kids is my favorite hobby. It's not. It's just what you do when you have heathens that are an acre or two away.) Ryan occaisionally rides his motorcycles. They hate both, I'm sure- a really loud dirt bike, and a really loud Harley.
I met the guy who "developed" the property around here. Everyone up here thinks he's crazy. He told me my property was zoned commercial and the lot next to us is too. (The county disagrees) He told me we could put in a 7-11 if we wanted to. GREAT! My own private gas station and convenience store! Seriously, there is no one out here.