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.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rafting with River's End

Earlier this month I was invited to go on a rafting trip with some of the East Bakersfield Walkie-Talkies. I am an affiliate member in the mountains, and when I walk, I talk to myself. Not quite the same...

We went with River's End Rafting Co. They are located in Bakersfield and have rights for the Kern in that area. It was a good trip! It was class two and three rapids. Turns out I really like the river, and rafting, and am dying to kayak. The whole time I was in the raft I was thinking that I needed to book a trip with a kayak. Anyway, here are the pictures from that trip, compliments of the rafting company.
Cousin David was our guide. That's me in front, on the passenger side. Watch David. He says he jumped out, but I think he fell out. 
Going along, having fun...
David is now behind his mom, Aunt Gaye...
Only Trisha realizes he's overboard.
There he is! 
This is where I see we are headed for a low tree and start telling the ladies in the back to duck.
We made it through the bushes unharmed!

Some highlights:
~Going through a swim rapid! We got out of the raft and floated through a small rapid. 
~Jumping off a platform. My decision was made pretty quickly, as I'm determined not to a wimp about being scared of heights. I thought the platform in the tree was ten feet in the air, but maybe more like eight? Not as high as the other one, but for a trade-off, you had to walk out on a limb. Literally. 
~Getting to know some ladies better! We had a lot of laughs (all at ourselves!) and it was fun.
~Out good guide. I'm biased because we are related, but he was good! 

This is the type of run that I would like to take Kacy on next season. Pretty mild, it can be done in a couple of hours. I'd like to see my mom and Aunt Kristin on a raft, and will get them on one soon! So watch out girls in my family... you will be going!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY

Yup. We are having a "half of the family" birthday gathering at Aunt Gaye's house, where it is Will's tradition to have his birthday party over there. When Gaye asked him what he wanted to eat for dinner, he said "Tuna sandwiches, watermelon, and mashed potatoes." Seriously. So, we will have a sandwich bar, watermelon, and chips. He's happy with that.

But the really big day tomorrow is our FIVE YEAR mark for living in a 320 square foot RV. I'm tempted to do a little video tour of the ol' abode because I get the "I don't know HOW you do it." So, if I feel like tidying up enough for "visitors," I'm gonna do it. It won't take long... And maybe I'll do a tour of the house under construction! A compare and contrast, if you will.

My feelings on the subject: It's a shoulder shrug and a Jr high "I don't know" hum. You know, when you ask a middle school kid what they think and they say "Mmm-mm-mmm" with sometimes an eye roll... yup that. Am I ready for a real house? Of course. But I don't have one yet, so why dwell, right? Am I frustrated with the overly cramped living conditions? Not this week, baby. School started again, and that mean two less kids in the house for 9 hours a day. I miss them, but honestly they are the noisy ones and they take up space. So the stress has eased up a little. Really, really want a kitchen. The weather is cooling off, so I'll be able and willing to use the stove again. Laundry would be nice. It takes longer to use a clothes line, and sometimes I don't have that time. A dishwasher would be convenient. So would hot water on demand. In an RV you have to turn on the hot water at least 20 minutes before you need it. Hasn't been great with babies... but I did it. My "baby" is two and a half year old next week!  Speaking of which, I'm glad the kids are destroying the trailer and not my house. You know how little kids can be... crayons, markers, scissors... I have a three foot "water line" of dirt and smudges from hands.

I can see my house, and I can envision the final product. But sometimes I cannot imagine myself in it. Like, what's it like to be able to sit down at a desk to pay bills? Walk from the laundry room and into my closet to hang up clothes? To have book shelves for all the books? Desks for the kids to sit at? A dining room table? Counter space to prepare food with, and a dishwasher to wash dishes with? Ah... all those little luxuries that I had at our old house... but didn't really appreciate. My laundry was in the garage. BUT I HAD IT. I loved my dishwasher. LOVED it. I didn't have a great kitchen, being it was galley style with a tiny pantry, but it's about 10 times the size I have now. We had bedrooms. Two bathrooms. Company over. It was great.

But this is great, too. I've learned that I could live in a 1000 square foot house for A LOT of years and would be totally happy. I've learned that stuff is nice, but you can do without. I've learned that being patient can be hard, but a great mental attitude and knowing what is truly, truly important will keep your marriage afloat (and happy!). I've learned a long term perspective is key. Short term goals are vital, but "eyes on the prize" is essential. My prize is when I'm dead, and looking down at my funeral and listening to my eulogy, that I made a difference in my family's life. My prize is that I will be remembered for being a good example of kindness, service, common sense, and love, with a dash of sass. I just can't help the snarky attitude I get. My mom says I'm like my Aunt Kristin. So, I'm going to just go ahead and not take responsibility for myself and blame heredity! YES!!!

So, IF I decide to tidy up for company, AND comb my hair, I will attempt a video tour. I wonder if I still have video editing capabilities on this laptop?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Will!

Ah, to be a six year old boy.

Dear Will,
Today you are six! In the first grade, and so far so good. Okay, so it's only been three whole days. But still. You are talking non-stop lately, and your favorite subject is "How things work." Anything... you get into the details of it and wonder and speculate about how if one thing was different, blah blah blah... Sorry buddy, but these conversations usually happen in the car while I'm driving on windy roads with three other kids in the car. You CAN NOT WAIT until you go camping with Dad. You can ride a bike! But you need one of your own because Kacy's is too small, and it's pink. Your favorite food is ice cream. (Always has been!) You still gag on vegetables, but love fruit. You lied to me yesterday about having no homework. Already, young man? Don't you worry though, if you teacher doesn't give you homework, I will. You are so STUBBORN! Very WILLful. I hope you use your powers for good! You are a whiz a math. Legos are your favorite toy.You are on our little cross country team, and you are a great runner. (Faster than Kacy right now!) You have a tender heart. You have a wicked memory. Your speech is getting better all the time. I still crack up when you say "free" instead of "three" and "fought" instead of "thought." You pay attention when I don't think you do. You want to help Dad with the house, and just hang out with him. You insist that will be a train driver when you grow up. You are so stubborn, you probably will!
I love ya Will! Happy 6th Birthday, buddy. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How To Impress Your First Grade Teacher

On the second day of school, you draw this:
Draw this, because "Everyone had already drawn everything in the whole wide world, and this was what was I thought of that was different."

Different is right.
What more appropriate way to let you teacher know that you are not like your older sister?


Heat Wave!

Even the cats know it's hot...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Feeling Good, Feeling Bad

Jessie's feeling good again!
We have been dealing with germs in our house for the last five days. Here's a brief re-cap:

Jessie had "intestinal distress," a fever, and puking on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. On Monday morning I had to cancel a fun day with friends and the river because she threw-up on me. She hadn't urinated for about 12 hours by then and couldn't keep anything down. So, away we went to the Urgent Care to get her looked over.
The Dr. at the Urgent Care said she had a viral infection. He checked her belly for sounds and poked and prodded. Then he suggested a suppository with anti-vomiting medicine in it. He asked me if I had ever given a suppository before and I quickly said "No!" He sent in nurse Lisa who showed me how by demonstrating on Jessie. Grateful the one worked, I didn't want to have to do that at home.

Anyone remember Rectal thermometers? SO GRATEFUL for technology and those cool ear ones, or even better, the forehead swipers! I remember vaguely my mom having to take my youngest sister's temperature with a rectal thermometer once. I must have been five. 

Anyway, an hour later she wanted some Cool Ranch Doritos with her Pedialyte. She's been uphill even since, and by last night she was great!

But last night, Will puked all over the backseat of the car.

And Ed has a fever.

And I have had a fever since Monday. Just very, very tired. And hot.

It better run it's course because school starts on MONDAY! I am not ready. I am not ready at all.

Despite the sick house I currently run, our big house is still being worked on, slowly but surely. Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of the custom cement threshold Ryan poured.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Changing... Again!

I am changing web hosts! Bear with me as I figure this all out and get things all up and running how I want them. I just wasn't happy with my other host. I left Blogger because I felt it wasn't flexible enough for what I wanted. I wanted pages. I wanted easier template design without having to learn code. But mostly, I wanted better organization. My other hosting site had all that, but I HATED the posting format. I had lots of spelling errors because it only showed two lines at a time, and didn't have a preview! Oh, how I love my new blogger! And the price is SWEET! Free! Love it!

Sorry for the changes. But, it does simplify things a little for the feeds: RSS and Google Reader. There is only on address (instead of three- ugh). Every post will be on the "front page" as well as linked under their own page! So the men who read this and only care about the house can click on the "house"tab and see all the links to house posts! And all you Ed fans... Ya, he's got his own page! I'll be tweaking it over the next week, but for the most part I'm hoping the Google reader readers won't have to do much!

Thanks for putting up with me!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dewar's Chews Winner!

And the winner is lucky number 9! That's Becky! Becky, get a hold of me and give me your address and the two flavors you want. You can use the email tab on my sidebar, or send me a message on facebook. As for the PB chews tasting like PB Maryjanes, I'm not sure. I've never had a Maryjane.
From the comments I've learned that a "black and white" can cure all your troubles (unless you are trying to squeeze into jeans too tight...) and have put this on my list of things to try. Soon. Like maybe as a back to school celebration. I'll put the word out on FB when I'll be going, and if you want to join me, please do!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Trip To Dewar;s Candy and Ice Cream Shop, and a Giveaway!

Yesterday we took a tour of Dewar's Ice Cream and Candy Shop, located at 1120 Eye Street in Bakersfield, CA. It was a big hit with the kids. It is easy to book a tour. All you need to do is call (info on the website), and know how many adults and children are going. The staff are all really nice, and our tour guide was perfect for talking to the kids. He didn't dumb anything down, and was very patient with our group.
After donning hairnets (lovely!!!) we went to see how they make their famous chews. See the brown log in the middle of the white taffy? It's the peanut butter filling, and it weighs 50 pounds. One of those logs with the taffy will make between 4000-4500 chews. Our guide said that during the Christmas season, which starts in October, they will make 50 logs every other day.
The chews are delicious! The white taffy part isn't like salt water taffy. I find it to be more smooth and easier to eat. We all got a chew fresh out of the cutting and wrapping machine. After we saw the -10 degree cooler where they keep the ice cream and ice milk (difference: ice milk has less fat but seven times the sugar content...) we saw a guy making the ice cream. It's August, and the guy was wearing a sweatshirt with a hood over his head. He was mixing in peppermint pieces and Oreo cookies for the two different types of creamy, delicious, delectable, and de-LIGHT-ful ice cream. (Any one else seen the Ice Cream episode of "The Upside Down Show?" Schmice Schmeam, Schmuck... Ha!) At the end of the tour we each had a huge scoop of ice cream. So good! I have taken my kids as young as 3 months, and obviously she didn't really participate... but as a two year old she had fun. I would suggest an age of 2 years on up to dead, because really, any age would love this tour. The candy shop part is not wheelchair accesible, that I could tell. Not having a wheelchair myself, I'm judging this from the difficulty of the stroller ladies. Call and double check that if that is a concern for you.
Tours are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10:30am. Call ahead. The cost is $4.00 a person, which includes the tour, a chew sample (more if you can answer questions!), a coupon for $1.00 of your next visit, and a huge scoop of ice cream!
And, because I've been living in an RV for almost 5 full years, and because I'm trying not to go crazy in the process, I have decided to do a giveaway! I love giveaways! (Because I like free stuff!)
To the lucky winner, I will send two 12 ounce boxes of Dewar's Chews to your house, via Dewar's. You pick the two flavors. See their website for flavor options, although as a personal recommendation I'd just go with the almond or peanut butter. So good!
To enter, leave a comment. Say anything. Like, I love Dewar's! Or, Why are you still blogging? (A question I've been asking myself lately.) Or, I think you are nuts, but I still want to win some candy!
Just don't ask me when my house will be done.
Comments open until Friday at midnight. Winner will be announced sometime Saturday.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hummingbird Festival at the Nature Preserve

Today was the 12th annual Hummingbird Festival at our local nature preserve. The preserve is beautiful! There were lots of hummingbirds! There were also lots of mosquitoes, rumors of ticks, and not a child friendly exhibit in sight, except for the one lady doing face painting.
We did see cows.

We always see cows, but this was the first time the kids were actually in the middle of a herd. All the bovine were traveling in one direction at the same time we arrived. I heard things like, "Hey! I see it's milkers!" and, "No, Will. Those are called udders." "This is so cool!" and, of course, "Mooooo!"
We also saw hummingbirds.

Because I am incredibly camera shy, and there was a large group of people in a semi-circle around this feeding area, I zoomed in as best I could and hoped for the best. Some day I'll work up enough nerve to say, "Excuse me folks. Mind if I squeeze in here for a sec?" But for now I am still a back row, nobody look at me kind of gal.

I'm pretty sure the guy with the $5000.00 fixed 800mm lens got a much better picture than this. But for where I was, this isn't too shabby!

I tried a nature hike with the kids. They did pretty well, except that the fools I told to wear pants decided once again NOT to listen to me, and they got itchy legs and then started whining. Can you tell I'm tired of being the invisible advice giver to whom no one under the age of 6 listens to? I'm hoping it's just a bad week with the kids, that they'll get it all out of their systems, and they will wake up tomorrow morning magically transformed into caring, grateful children.
A girl can dream!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Today went a little somthing like this:

*I ran/walked. I almost puked. It was that good. But not really, because I'm out of shape. Interval training will do that to you, I suppose. To my best estimations, I ran/walked 12 minute miles... only two of them. My goal is a 5K at a 10 minute mile pace. I've never been fast...

*We went to our favorite desert town because while in the big city of Bakersfield the other day, I spaced out the bank until it was closed. Went into a music store looking for a certain piano lesson series. Was treated rather rudely by the owner. I think I met a music snob. Won't be going there again.

*We went to the bank, and while getting my moola, watched Ed as he alternated between hiding from the camera, to trying to sneak up on the camera... and then watched as he started to throw a fit because that bank didn't have suckers. "We need to go to the other bank, Mom! I need a sucker!" Thus it begins.

*We go to WalMart for three things. Leave with four. (Hey, not too bad!) We check out the bikes while we are there. Kacy and Will both have their eyes on one. Apparently, Ed does too, and throws a for reals fit as we check out because I didn't buy him a bike. Being the ultra-compassionate and very sensitive mother I am, I take out my iPhone and record his behavior. He gets mad, and I inform him the reason I am recording him is so that Dad can see what a trip to WalMart can be like. Bystanders chuckle, which makes him furious, in a quiet way. Tantrum over. (By the way, Ed. You are four years old...stop acting like a two year old. Because I didn't buy you a bike? You don't even know how to ride one yet.)

*We went to the grocery store, where a girl about my age looks at my kids while we were getting peaches and says, "Cute kids." I say, "You want them?" She declines, saying she has two of her own. We talk about how some days seem to never end with little kids. I tell her of the quote I once read: "Long are the days, short are the years." We agree that some days, bed time doesn't come soon enough. Other days, we wake up and think, I can't believe my baby is ______! Where has the time gone?"

*I realized that I can 90% trust my kids to play outside unsupervised. Yipee!

*I put hydrocortisone cream on Ed's cactus owies. The cholla cactus are seeding right now. The bush spits out these seed pods, which are surrounded by ultra thin, inch and a half long needles. Somehow, one ended up on the left leg of his shorts, which then jammed into his right calf muscle. There were about 15 needles in his leg. He tried to brush them off, which put a few into his hand. We got them all out and took care of the wounds, but this morning they were a little welted.

*Ed puts on his new undies (boxer briefs). He shimmies around for a second and says, "I love these new undies. They are so comfortable!" Good to know. Will, on the other hand, refuses to wear them. He hates change, and apparently a change in underwear is just asking too much.

*Both Ed and Jessie asked for some of my broccoli. I was shocked.

*I realized that if my kids wanted to usurp my authority, they totally could. I fear the day they start collaborating.

*We ate ham sandwiches, chips, and pears for dinner. I'm on a cooking strike with this heat.

*I realized that at the end of the month is our FIVE YEAR anniversary since we moved into the trailer. I wonder how we will commemorate this "special" event?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Swim Lessons... Priceless!

Coming up for air... Kacy did really well in swim lessons. She went through Level One and Level Two! Today she was so pleased that she could swim all the way to the deep end.

Besides a listening problem (this week I've wondered if the neurons from the ears to the brain have been turned off...), Will passed Level One! He has some work to do on his legs when he kicks. He has crazy legs. I call him "stink-bug-butt" because when he is swimming underwater with his arms going and legs kicking, his bootie comes up in the air. If he would straighten his legs, he's be a great swimmer. He twists his body as he moves his arms... it's just those crazy legs. But you know what? He went from sitting on the side of the pool for ten minutes the first day to passing level one. Good job, Will!

Ed did pretty well! He, too, has come SO FAR this summer. He didn't quite pass Level One, so he'll do that level again next year. He's got a great kick, but he doesn't use his arms so well yet. On the second day of swim lessons this session, his teen aged, blonde, and tan swim instructor was taking off her tee shirt and shorts so she could hop in the pool. Ed turns to me and says, "Mom. I like her swimsuit..." all smiley and shy. Think "Sandlot." I was half expecting him to drown himself so he could get some CPR, like Squints with Wendy Peffercorn.

Jessie is quite comfortable in the water, and she is the cutest one in her class. I can say that because Ed and Will were her classmates. She did pretty well for being so little. She has a good kick. The funnest thing to watch was when they would practice their back floats. Jessie would do this awesome V-sit that would make any Pilates instructor proud. Then, she'd kick her legs. Out of the water.
I had a good time watching the kids in the water. I alternated between being frustrated with the boys for not paying attention, to laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes from watching Will's stink-bug-butt or Jessie's perfect scissor kick out of the water. Watching Kacy face her fears head on and even enjoying the pool and Ed no longer clinging for dear life to the swim instructor made the time and money all worth it.
If you know where I live, and live in the same area, I would highly recommend the swim program up here. The instructors are great!