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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

WTF - I'm Lost

Before the days of smart phones, I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag and now with my smart phone, I'm still trying to find my way out of a paper bag.

I'm cueing in a trip taking the boys to Liberty Snowflex Center in Lynchburg, VA. I change the voice of Siri to a very stunning Australian man named Rolf, making the drive a little bit better.

Rolf: "Your trip time is 4 hours and 22 minutes."

The kids scramble on our home wifi trying to download enough movies to cover 4 hours and 22minutes.

Our trip starts out pleasant enough, typical about 10 minutes 32 seconds into it someone is hungry.

"I'm hungry."

"Are you kidding me? We just left?"

"Can we get Chick Fil A?"

"Honey we are out in the middle of nowhere, there isn't a Chick Fil A."

I hear him on his phone in the backseat, "Find the nearest Chick Fil A."

After about an hour, or so into the trip Rolf reminds me:

"Your travel time is 3 hours and 54 minutes."

What? We've already been driving an hour and had only one bathroom break. I'm calculating the arrival time thinking, "Either we were in the bathroom way too long or I must have made a wrong turn."

This is where Rolf pisses me off. If I make a wrong turn, then he'll just instantly recalculate me to my destination even if it is an hour out of the way. He needs to yell, "Hey dumbass you missed that right turn I TOLD YOU ABOUT and are going the WRONG WAY!"

Once I missed a turn driving in MD and Rolf navigated me to the Chesapeake River saying, "Take the ferry."  What? Take F*cking Ferry where? It was a beautiful ride down the Chesapeake then an equally beautiful drive through farm land but cost me 2 hours.

Back to Rolf and Snowflex, I'm thinking, "They'll still have plenty of time on the fake snow if we get there at 7 rather than 5, right?"

Another 30 minutes later Rolf asks, "There is a faster route saving 1 hour and 4 minutes, reroute?"

"Yeah, ya dumb ass!"

He takes me off the highway and we parallel the highway for 6 miles then get back on the highway. What the hell was that? I'm beginning to think Rolf has lost his mind.

Further down the highway, Rolf tells me, "Take exit 150A, then mispronounces some town names and Route numbers. I'm desperately trying to keep up with exit numbers because if I miss it, I'll add another 3 hours to the trip! Of course the signs say, "Lynchburg, the next 7 exits."

Holding my breath I have everyone looking for Exit 150A, all the kids screaming, "THERE IT IS" as I two wheel it, cutting off three cars but exit safely.

Rolf says, "Take the right on state road 8797453."

I'm looking for this, trying to look at the map and of course, miss it. I need Rolf to yell,

"You missed the turn, dumbass!" Not "rerouting....."

We make it to SnowFlex at 6 not because of Rolf but because of a child......

"Hey, my phone says there's a Chick Fil A 20 minutes from here."

It took me 25 minutes to get back on track because I was busy arguing with Rolf. He took me several back roads from Chick Fil A to State Road 8797453 including one under construction.  "Dammit Rolf, didn't you see the construction, we've been waiting here for 20 minutes!"


I'm going to go find my paper bag and maybe Rolf needs me to stop and ask for directions.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

WTF - Those Neighbors

As many of you know, I live in a resort town with two major seasons,so for 7 months of the year I don't have any neighbors (which is a good thing during Naked Gardening Day) and 5 months of the year I have "those neighbors."

So when the town explodes we still don't talk to all the neighbors, we just give them nicknames.

Hollywood House - that house with every light on at night including strings of Christmas lights. (I bet they leave the refrigerator door open and cool off the neighborhood also)

Kennel - that house with the 4 dogs barking all night oh and of course at 6am during summer when we don't have to get up early.

Dick and Jane - the couple that dresses alike for their walk around the neighborhood with a dog that looks like Spot.

The Screamers - No not that type of screaming, the parents spend most of the day screaming at their kids and the dog.

Lemon heads - these neighbors never wave when they drive by, and everyone on the mountain knows you wave! If you want confirmation, read my book Views From 5506

Is it Abandoned or For Sale House - there was much excitement on the street when a car appeared in the driveway, the first one in 10 years. And why is there close to 100 bones scattered all over the backyard?

So I'm having a conversation with the hubby:

I ran into James today.

James, the Screamer?

No, James from the Kennel house.

Bald James?

No that's Bald George down the street, this is Skinny James with the Tattoo.

Oh, that dude, where?

He was out walking his dogs and they went after Spot.


Yeah, Dick and Jane's dog. I thought there was gonna be a fight. Right down the street by the Holsten House.


The Is It Abandoned House, 2 doors down from the Hollywood House.

Did someone actually buy that POS?"

Yup, and they're doing work, I was peeking in the windows when the Lemonheads drove by, I think they called the police or could have been Glenda, not sure.

What did the police do?

He told me no trespassing. 

Guess I'll have to survey the work during the 5 months no one is here.

I wonder if I have a Nickname?
Wonder Woman
Accident Prone
Kid Toy House

Let's hope I'm not the HollyWood House Owner - Gotta tell the boys to turn some lights off.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

WTF - Hitchhiking with my Bike

Riding a bicycle anywhere in the high country is a lesson in hills, you choose your route based on elevation gain rather than distance. Which is why I love Hickory Nut Gap Road, not as populated as other local roads and two pretty fun hill climbs (really? does hill climb and fun belong in the same sentence?)

I always liken climbing a hill on my bike to fitting my blanket in the F*king duvet cover. I'm in it for the long haul, this is a marathon not a sprint, I'll make it to the end.

On my ride yesterday, I became one with the granny gear, spinning myself slowly but surely to the top of the hill, wondering if I was going to hack out my left or right lung at the top.  I'm chugging along for what feels like forever when my Biking software says:

"Time Check: Five Minutes, .86 miles"

Wait, what?

I made it to the top then enjoy a nice break descending the other side into Newlnx. A biker pulls up next to me as I'm descending saying, "You don't have to ride the brakes that much, you can let go a bit."

"Uh no, I can't, I'm a Mom, I've got shit to do after this, not hang out in the emergency room." I reply.

Taking a break in Newland, I start back up the hill climbing what I just descending, my legs are like, "What? I thought we were finished?"

"No body, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Just keep chugging." My software keeps reminding me I am lame with a "Time Check, no forget it, you don't want to know."

I make it to the top then with a sigh start the descent again until I feel the front of my bike go into a wobble, prompting me to stop immediately.

Shit, a flat tire.

I pull out my roadside repair kit, thinking "Well the last time I changed one of these was probably 5 years ago and it took me 45 minutes."

I open my kit and it's been raided by gnomes, or children. My CO2 is missing, as well as my tire tool.

I'm screwed. When I call to scream at them all I get is voicemail. Typical.

I move onto plan B, I'll walk the bike to Arbordale Church hide it there, take off my cycling shoes and run barefoot back to my car. It's only 3 miles, just a day at the office right?

Hadn't planned a brick but what the hell? (What's a brick? A bike to run workout, basically your legs feel like bricks at the beginning of the run)

I'm walking down singing Dory's song from Nemo when a car comes by, and this is the family part of my story.

It's an old beat up pickup, with an old dude in it, long beard, and equally old dog.

"You OK?" Thick Southern Accent, dog drooling down side of pickup truck.

"Just got a flat, I'm fine." I was going to add, "And I'm killing my kids when I get home."

"Need a ride?"

Anywhere else I'd think twice, but I'm in the country on a lonely road, an old dude, working clothes, totally safe, right?

"Sure, would you do that?" I ask thinking he's much nicer than the pickup that almost hit me making sure I swallowed their exhaust as they passed.

"Yeah, we're heading to the dump anyway. That's Poncho in the back. I've got my trash in the front because he doesn't like hanging with trash, let me move it so you can have a seat."

"No worries, it's only 3 miles, I'll just ride with Poncho."

Poncho is very excited about the company of my bike and myself, I fold into a corner of the truck with the dog, accept his wet kisses the full 3 miles down to my car. Poncho jumps out chasing some ducks away as the man helps me out, my legs a little jello from riding then sitting cramped in the truck.

"Thank you so much!" I pet Poncho.

"Yeah, I've been there, my buddies and I do Blood Sweat and Gears every year, flat tires suck."

Wait, what? You don't look like a biking dude, mountain appearances are deceiving. I was waiting for him to tell me Poncho won Westminster Dog Show.

So it did turn into a fun hill climb as we exchanged numbers and he added me to his High Country biking buddies.  We's all family, helping out a friend in need, complete with the wet dog kisses.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

WTF - Someone Call The Doctor

I maintain a healthy lifestyle purposely for keeping away from the doctor.

I mean, why else would I purposely pickle my liver?

If you are a nurse or doctor, just go ahead and move onto something a little tamer like - @puppies

 I mean who really tells their doctors the truth?

"Yes sir, I only have several alcoholic drinks a week." (Seriously their definition of several may be a little different than mine."

"I never take any medicine, it's bad for the body," as I'm cracking my super Aspartame gum.

I thought I'd entertain you with a wonderful doctor story, courtesy of my great Aunt (bless her heart, god rest her soul) at the tender age of oh, say over 80 she had a pain in the, you know, down there part (her words) so she ended up at the gyno getting things out. In her usual Irish humor, while he was working she politely asked, "Did you find a college ring?" Of course the nurse came out almost peeing from laughing, and oh, that poor doctor.

So it made me think, what are somethings you could say during sex or at the doctors office:

I'm sorry I came late, I was busy.

Open wide, let me put this stick down your throat.

Boy, that feels cold.

Does this hurt?

Please take your clothes off and lie under the sheet.

How long have you felt like this?

Open your legs wider.

Now relax.

This isn't going to hurt a bit.

I'm almost done.

Just a small prick.

I see being large runs in your family.

Please lie down, I want to test you.

Trust me, I've done this before.

Thanks for coming, get plenty of rest.

So go with me and keep up the several drinks a week habit, make it wine and you're winning!

But if you have to go to the doctor, you'll know what to say.

What would you add to the list?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WTF - Darling I Love You But Give Me Park Avenue

Moving into the dog days of summer, we're all about hanging outside in the mountains! So we got on all the popular bandwagons.

The miracle lounge chair that fills with air, ya'll saw the infomercial, haven't you?

Looks easy, right? Either that dude had a tornado behind him or a really big fan, I must be missing something.  I start waving the chair like a survivor on a deserted island until my shoulders hurt. I watched my kids run up and down in the grass my chair flapping behind them, before finally filling it with air. Then of course I didn't roll it properly, feeling my butt hit the ground as I climbed in, I have to admit it made me feel fat. Here we go again.

Then we moved to the Enos in the trees. These come with straps that require some type of rocket science knowledge or I guess I am Eno challenged. I stood in the trees for another 15 minutes trying to figure out the straps until my son (he's a math major) came out with a sigh, "Mom, you do it THIS way." Ten seconds and all three hammocks are up. I'm taking pictures of the strap setup so I don't look like a dork next time.

The kids decide on spending the night outside. the last time I slept outside was in the lowlands and I woke up the next morning the left side of my face covered in mosquito bites, but hey we're in the mountains, no mosquitos right? What could go wrong, they're in the back yard, it's cool night.

I'm planning on going out there later, just sitting inside reading a book as they settle for bed.

Around midnight, my oldest comes running in, "Mom! A bear just walked through our hammocks!"

I sit there thinking, the other child is asleep, so he didn't hear it, should I just leave him out there?

Then I wonder, where did the box of Goldfish go, did he take it in the hammock with him?

Is my boy bear bait out there with that damn box of Goldfish?

Even if he didn't take the Goldfish, he is a messy boy, what if his shirt smells like dinner?

The oldest and I go outside making a bunch of noise, me keeping watch while he runs out waking up his brother. I see a blonde head stick out of the hammock, deer in the headlight look in the eyes. No bear around I figure he was already on his way to the dumpsters at the restaurant further up the mountain.

"Go on and go to sleep boys, he's gone." I say but both boys walk into the house and their beds.

My order for the hammock stand for my front porch night sleeping comes in today.

Let's hope it doesn't require a Rocket Scientist to put it together.

How are your summer adventures coming along?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

WTF - Isle Surf and Sup Stand Up Paddle Board Review

If ya'll follow my social media accounts you'll know I received an inflatable paddle board from the hubby for my birthday at the beach. Thought I would share my thoughts on this product.

Why inflatable? I live on a mountain top and drive a small car, my other paddle boards only saw the water two weeks at the beach, this one can go wherever I go!

After different searches, he decided on the Isle Surf and Sup Inflatable 10 foot paddle board. The package came with the board, a pump, and a paddle all contained in one large backpack. We opened the package throwing the directions to the side because "ain't nobody got time for that." After perusal of the materials I am happy to report it was very easy to setup.

Note:  Don't inflate until the board is out of the condo, we almost lost a lamp and a chair trying to fit it out the door.

The pump worked beautifully especially watching two boys hard at work pumping the board! They took turns as I watched making me think one thing I'd add to this would be a cigarette charged small pump could make my life easier.

Once the board was inflated it felt like a regular paddle board, nice and stiff. I decided my first interaction with my new SUP was Taylor's Creek in downtown Beaufort, NC. The board is nice and light to carry, the handle a very nice addition. I didn't put the paddle together that came with it as I had a nice carbon fiber paddle from my old board. The board and paddle an easy carry down the street to the public dock except don't turn back to your husband as he asks you a questions, the gentleman and lady I smacked with the board were not very happy.

My old paddle board was considered the SUV of paddle boards, super wide and perfect for beginners, this new one much smaller in width, making me notice it took more balance than the old one. Thank god for all of my balance poses in yoga as I was able to get up and paddle immediately, my legs shaking, my core tightening as I struggled with the balance in the beginning. (I was congratulating myself on this new workout knowing everything would be sore after this experience.) I lived through several small wakes with the "Oh shit" going through my head trying to stay on the board. Keeping the paddle in the water, stroking as the wakes pass help with balance on the board, head up looking straight ahead, legs hip distance apart, knees soft. I wear my Chacos on the board as bare feet fall asleep standing on the board for a long period of time.

I made it across the creek to Carrot Island where the wild ponies run, beaching the board for a quick hike to the horses, finding the herd, enjoying the new foul while the stallion kept watch. The board is easy to beach, simply grab the handle and walk it up! Back to the water and more exploring.

This was the only time I had issues with the board, the balance felt all off, and every time I took a stroke I just went in circles. Note to self: Make sure you are not on the board backwards, fins in the back. This was a great lesson after I told my sister about all my experience paddling.

Finally, I thought I would share how to fall off the board in a WTF way.  First, make sure you fall off the board in front of the waterfront restaurants, especially right in front of the bar where a big group of people have been enjoying cocktails for a while.

"Whoo hoo!"  "That fall was a 6!"  "Is the water cold?" They shout from the bar, gaining everyone else's attention.

Then, make sure your ass is pointed toward the bar as you try climbing back on the board because getting on the board requires a lot of kicking as you pull your body across the board, letting it all hang out.

"Kick harder!"  "You almost got this!"  "Don't give up!"

There was a resounding cheer as I made it back on the board, pulled my bathing suit out of my crack, finding my paddle. Having a leash with the board was a big help, I just pulled the board back to me rather than having them rate my swimming technique.

Do I dare standing up again right there or paddle on my knees until out of sight?

Of course you stand up again! If you fall off a horse, you get back up again.

"Paddle harder, I hear banjos!" They scream as their cheers faded away as I followed the creek back to the dock.

Conclusion: I love this new board, I don't have any faults for it. The workout is better than my wider board as I work the balance, I feel it all over. The only thing I added for this product is a leash, your basic surf leash works great.

Thanks Sweetie for an awesome birthday gift, getting ready to take it to the lake this week!