LAFF On Sunday: Vacation Part 2: Country Roads, Take Me Home. (Seriously, We Gotta Pee)……

Welcome back to my page! If you enjoyed part 1 of this story, you are in for a treat as today I’m sharing part 2 of our vacation adventure.

Our story begins on the day after we arrived at our campsite in KY. In the morning we drove to Hopkinsville, KY for the total solar eclipse. The eclipse itself was indescribable and I’m SO glad we were there. Honestly the experience was right up there with witnessing a live birth. But in person. (I’ve never seen a live birth in person but I imagine it has similar awestruck feelings.)

Now Hopkinsville (or Hville as I’ll be referring to it in shorthand) is a relatively small town in the Midwest. With a population of only around 30K, hosting eclipsers was going to be a daunting task. I’m not sure of the exact number of people who came to Hville to see the eclipse, but I would venture to guess at least half of the total original population based on the traffic we had getting out of the city. Of course this estimate is conservative depending on who you talk to.

Speaking of the traffic, It was the worst I’ve ever been in. Which sounds dramatic, but let me explain further.

This traffic was most of the state’s visitors leaving at once FROM THE SAME DIRECTION. Also, Hville is situated along mostly country roads so the option of pulling over for a pit stop at a gas station was NOT an option.

But we didn’t think it’d be a big deal. We figured we’d be out of Hville soon and we’d be able to do a pit stop at a gas station or convenience store.

NOPE. We were wrong. Normally it takes a little over an hour to get from Hville to Evansville, IN on the border.

It took us 7.5.

7.5 HOURS in SLOOOOOWWWW *ss moving traffic. On mostly country roads, and the roads that weren’t isolated in the country had NOWHERE to pull off and use the restroom.

Chad suddenly had to go.

In all honesty I had started to get an inkling that I had to go about an hour or so before he did, but I figured that we’d DEFINITELY find a place in the next few miles.

Which turned into more miles.
Which turned into more miles.

And the ENTIRE time we were in slow *ss moving traffic that NEVER sped up beyond 5. MILES. PER. HOUR.

And about two hours in, it finally happened. Chad couldn’t hold it any longer. So we began trying to figure out what to do. Now I already had to go but let’s just say that ship had uh, sailed, and had circled the harbor at least once. So really the priority was Chad.

At more than one point we contemplated pulling into a random person’s driveway and asking if we could use their bathroom. Honestly, I can’t believe Hville didn’t see this coming and put random Port-a-Pottys along roads, spaced out over several miles. (Note to Terre Haute in 2024: This needs to happen).

But we (and by “we” I mean Chad and since he was driving he really had the final say so as to whether something was “not appropriate”) decided that it wasn’t a good idea to stop into someone’s driveway and ask if we could use the bathroom. Even to test how true their own state licence plates used to be (“Kentucky: We ARE That Friendly”).

But it got to the point where I’m pretty sure Chad contemplated just that if only for a moment. Instead he said, “OK, this is what we are going to do.” and picked up a large plastic cup (like those cups you can get at 7-11 for those Slurpees you buy that are as tall as 5 chickens standing on top of each other) from the driver’s side door from a previous roadside stop.

While keeping one hand on the wheel, we were still moving, he takes his other hand and leans his seat back so he had more room (and other cars couldn’t see), unzipped his pants (we were stopped for a moment but were moving again-but no more than 5mph), angled the cup and let loose.

We both prayed to Jesus that he wouldn’t overflow the cup and every second the flow didn’t stop we panicked that we were about to be out in the middle of nowhere covered in pee. Imagine the conversation……..

(Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?
Us: We were undressing in stopped traffic with the windows open.
Officer: That’s right and I’ll be charging you with indecent exposure, can you step out of the car please?
**Chad steps out of the car to help me out**
Officer: Sir, what is that on your pants?
Us: Well you see officer, we really had to pee, but as you know there is nowhere to pull off to do it, so we had this cup and I really had to go and………
Officer: **looks extremely flustered** Ga….My bad. You folks have a nice day!)

Thankfully the stream stopped literally millimeters from the top. Then Chad handed me the cup as I’m rolling with laughter in the passenger seat. “Here,” he said. Now, I’ve never been handed a cup of pee as tall as a 5 chicken Slurpee, so I didn’t know what to do. I just took it and stared at it for a moment before gingerly reaching for the window-putter-downer in an attempt to dispose of it out the window (Shout out to the car behind us, I’m sorry!?). “NO! Don’t do that.” Chad panickly announced. “Just open the door and pour it out.”

Which I guess is definitely more discreet. So I carefully cracked the door open (yes, we were still moving but no more than 5 mph), and slowly poured the mammoth cup of pee out on this now defiled road. This task is immensely more difficult when one is laughing hysterically at what we had become in this moment.

8 hours later we stumbled into our house, thankful we had survived such a crazy adventure. 

So the takeaway from this story is three-fold:

1. Keeping a cup in the car as tall as 5 chickens standing on top of each other is a pretty great idea in case of emergency.

2. You’ve never truly appreciated a car with good leg room until you are in a similar situation.

3. In hindsight, that lady who wore astronaut diapers to drive across the country doesn’t seem so crazy after-all. 

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LAFF: Vacation Part 1: Literally the Dumbest Reason I’ve Cried As an Adult……

I’ve had this following story in my head for 3 weeks and I can only hope I can tell it sufficiently so it is as entertaining as it was for us when we lived it. Honestly I should have taken electronic notes, but we were both in such a state that coherent diction would have been next to impossible. Also this will be a two parter.

This story begins the day after Chad and I were at Holiday World on that devil machine where I swear I saw Saturn’s rings. We slept on the grounds of Holiday World (in the lodge) and woke early the next morning and left our friends to drive to Hopkinsville, KY to witness the first total solar eclipse since 1979. Why Hopkinsville? Because I married an astronomy nerd and Hopkinsville was in what they called, “the path of totality” and was one of only a handful of states in the US where you’d be able to see the full, total eclipse. 

We stopped overnight at a campsite about 20 minutes from Hopkinsville. Now, one thing to know about me is I’m not the camping type. And that’s not because I’m particularly extra or spoiled in life (ok, I kinda am. Lets be honest. 😉 ). I don’t enjoy camping so much because in its most primitive form, one has to squat by a tree to pee. 

I can’t squat due to my disability so it’s much easier for me to use an actual toilet.

So when I heard that we were going to be camping at a primitive site, I was more than a little panicked. I should probably point out that we had driven several hours, I was tired and more than a little bit hormonal. 

A wonderful combination. 

So when we finally pulled into our campsite after midnight in the pitch dark, I was glad that soon we’d be able to slide our seats back and go to sleep. But I had to pee. We had heard their were bathroom facilities on the campgrounds and assumed there was a bath house.

There wasn’t.

We were told instead that there were Port-a-Pottys.
But we had to walk to them.
1/4 mile down the road.
In the dark.
On uneven ground. 
With only the flashlight on Chad’s smart phone to light our path. 

Now I already am a pretty emotional person, so as you can imagine I was just not having it at that point.
Irrational I know.
So I burst into tears. And immediately announced to Chad, “These tears are not about you, but about the situation!” (I may have lied, but only 0.5%. 😉 ) 

Literal tears falling out of my almost 38 year-old eyeballs. All because I was going to have to pee in a Port-a-Potty. I admit it wasn’t my finest hour. Thankfully the Port-a-Potty had a spigot fountain with a soap dispenser to wash your hands right outside the door. 

As I climbed in and situated myself, I began to calm down a bit and looked around at my surroundings. And discovered this particular Port-a-Potty was painted a lovely shade of Tiffany blue. “Huh,” I thought. “This color would look amazing in our living room.” 

And that long story is how we decided on our living room wall color. 😀 

Cheers! 

LAFF On Sunday: Trust Issues

*Blogger sidenote: Anyone else have issues with cutting their lip while using a spoon? Just me? Cool. Let’s move on. This conversation never happened…… 😛

Last weekend Chad and I took our first 3-day weekend vacation in 6 months. We traveled with our best friends to Holiday World in Santa Clause, Indiana. Holiday World is our favorite amusement park because it’s a relatively short distance away, the parking is free and they also offer free water and soda stations and free sunscreen. The sunscreen was particularly helpful as we picked the hottest day of the year to be outside.

Now, a bit of background on our best friends; they are roller coaster enthusiasts. Like, they visit different amusement parks just for the coasters. Which I suppose is quite a normal thing to do, but I’m not a roller coaster person and usually only go to amusement parks because of the food.

I need to eat one elephant ear or funnel cake at least once every few months. For my health.

On this particular outing, we came across a ride called, “The Crow’s Nest.” It is essentially a huge swing that rotates in a circle as a crane type mechanism lifts you higher into the air.

As your legs dangle into nothingness.

And the only things that are protecting you from crashing down to the ground is a seat belt that goes over your lap and a belt that comes over your crouch.

The crouch belt contains a rather large metal buckle that sits directly over what you don’t want to injure in the event of a malfunction and sticks to your inner thighs. It’s safety over comfort on this thing, apparently. Although I still worried about my legs being free to just swing in the breeze willy-nilly, but at least my hoo-haa would be protected from ice chunks thrown up into the ride from a rogue child standing on the ground just wanting to test physics.

Holiday World tries to prepare for everything, apparently.

There are two seats on each crane arm and the seat that is furthest from the middle goes higher in the air than the one on the inside. Since I’m not a fan of heights, I chose the inner seat.

This was probably the only smart move I made. Nope, I’m sure this is the only smart move I made. I just shouldn’t have gotten on this devil machine. I’m not sure how high up we were, but I could have sworn at one point I saw Saturn’s rings.

Maybe.

Although truth be told I clamped my eyes real tight for most of the ride as we were going up, except for a split second when I felt brave and opened one eyeball just a crack.

It was a mistake. I thought the end was near. So I snapped my eyes back shut and held on for dear life. And prayed it’d be over soon. And focused on NOT vomiting. It looked a little something like this:

Now you may be wondering WHY in the WORLD would I get on a ride that goes so high that Saturn’s rings would be visible if I have a phobia of heights?

I mean, that’s a good question.

I believe it was all based on a lie.

See, of these friends of ours who are roller coaster enthusiasts, one has a fear of heights but loves this ride. The other one doesn’t have a fear of heights but promised this would be a relaxing experience and would help cool me off.

The operative phrase was “relaxing experience.”

Again, I should have never listened to my friends or believed the ride would be “relaxing” because it was “very much not. Like at all.” Even with my favorite human in the world right next to me. Although in my friend’s defense, it did cool me off.

Which I guess was the world’s thinnest silver lining.

The entire time I was on the ride, besides focusing on not dying or puking, I kept remembering that I told myself that when the ride was over, I would treat myself with a henna tattoo.

Which I got about an hour later. Henna tat’s are temporary but are supposed to last up to two weeks. Mine barely lasted 3 days. Why? Because even though I’m an adult, I don’t always make responsible decisions, and so I forgot to wear sunscreen the next day and as a result got a sunburn that had to be aloed once a day and the tattoo rubbed off as a result. My happy, bubbly sea-horse turned into a sad, crusty, flaky shell of what it once was. 

Like me when I found my first gray hair. 

So dear reader, the take away from today’s tale is two-fold: 

1. Never trust the word of a guy who’s a rollercoaster enthusiast but has a phobia of heights and,

2. Always wear sunscreen, especially after getting a henna tattoo.

Cheers!

LAFF on Wednesday: Unrequited Love…..

A few months ago we had some excitement in our house so I began to write this blog and today I wanted to share the story………

Riley is in love. But there is a twist……..

She doesn’t love him back.

So he’s been a bit depressed.

See, 3 weeks ago, Chad went out to the car to get something out of it. On his way back to the house he observed a stray cat sauntering up to our front door. Riley happened to be on the other side of the door and the moment he saw her, he was smitten.

Seriously. This was OMG-I-have-to-have-you-right-now-even-though-I’m-fixed-and-I-don’t-know-what-“have-you”-means kind of love.

But again, the feeling was not mutual. Here, take a look:

17757575_10158497780075300_4295353074898187835_n

He’s all like, “Let her in! I love her!!” and she’s all like, “Eh. I’m bored.” (Or as my mother-in-law suggested, maybe she was getting ready for their future date. But I doubt it. Why? Keep reading….)

When Little Miss Stray finished her grooming and turned around to face the door and Riley, she hissed.

In some ways, I honestly don’t blame her. I mean, if I was as pregnant as she was and came upon a member of the male species, I may have had the same reaction.

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention, Miss Stray Kitty appeared to be slightly less pregnant than Octomom. Unfortunately we couldn’t figure out when she would go into labor.

So I set up a box on the porch a few nights later, lined with a blanket and lid so she’d have a good place to give birth when the time came.

And she kept coming around every evening around 7. She’d come running up to our porch for a little snack (yes we kept a small bowl of food out for her). And right as rain, Mr. Riley would run to the door to watch her eat and pine away. His pining would inevitably include clawing at the door and cooing in her direction.

It was all very romantic.

But the thing was, she kept coming around. Every night between 7 and 8. And slowly but surely she began to coo back at Riley.

And thus began a relationship, albeit through a glass door.

It was beautiful. And I started to feel things stirring in my soul.
I wanted to keep her.

But I knew we couldn’t. Because two female cats in one house had never gone over well for us. It inevitably leads to one female to cower under the kitchen table and a puddle of pee on the kitchen floor. 

And honestly I don’t think that’s good for my bladder. 😛 

But the weeks went by (Yes, weeks. We did put out a message on our local missing pets forum on FB, but got no leads.) I began to look forward to seeing her every evening. 

One evening as we were watching her eat, Chad asked me what we should name her. 

Apparently he had feelings too, but those feelings didn’t stay inside. They fell out of his mouth. I tried to maintain my dignity and not let my emotions over-ride what I knew we had to do: 

“This one isn’t allowed in the house. She doesn’t get a name!” 

We named her Merida. (I cracked. Don’t judge me. 😛 ) 

Thankfully we were able to get her to the humane shelter days before she delivered.

Unfortunately we hadn’t prepared Riley for her absence, so for the next week or so he’d go up to the door around 7pm every evening and meow and scratch the door. Then meander back and forth between me and the door, sadly meowing and wondering where his woman was. It was sad. And it took a few weeks for him to get over her and be happy again. 

And maybe we all hope that someday Merida will move next door so we can visit her and her kittens again. 

Here’s hoping. 

Lulabelle Eats Asia: Aussie Style Soft Licorice Candy (OK, I fudged this one a little bit. Technically Australia is next to Asia so it counts, right? :-D )

**OH. MY. GOSH. You guys, did you get to see the eclipse yesterday? Chad and I traveled out of state to see it in totality, and I am still not sure how to describe it. I have so many blog stories in my head from this weekend, my brain is about to explode. So I need to write those. But today I am in post vacation recovery mode, so I thought I’d go through my archived “not yet finished” posts and review a food product. 

This piece was started awhile ago, as evidenced by the fact that I reference seeing “Beauty and the Beast” in the theatre. (The one with Emma Watson, not the original 90’s version 😉 ) 

This is also a continuation of my “Lulabelle Eats Asia” series. 

Enjoy! 


Licorice. It’s a sweet treat that I happen to LOVE. Like, I can easily eat most of a large package of Twizzlers by myself.

Hey, I said I could. I didn’t say it was a good idea. 😛 On Tuesday my best friend and I saw Beauty and the Beast in the theatre and passed the snack counter where we picked up popcorn and chocolate crunch balls. I briefly picked up a sleeve of Twizzlers, then put them down with a sigh. I’d like to go see the movie again and am trying to find someone to go with me. I even offered to buy them popcorn and Twizzlers.

I may have also warned them I would probably eat the Twizzlers.

You know, in the spirit of honesty and stuff. 😛

So when Chad picked these out of the international food aisle at Kroger and brought them home, I was elated.

Smell: Like cloyingly sweet Kool Aid powder. With a bite of organic fruit leather your mom made herself because Fruit Roll Ups don’t contain enough actual fruit.

Taste: This was confusing because based on the smell, I would have thought the flavor would have been stronger. Whoa! The flavor does kick in after you’ve chewed and swallowed. So the flavor is like if you were to take strawberry jelly and make it into a short and fat licorice chew. It finishes off with a tangy, slightly spicy flavor. Very nice.

Texture: very chewy and you have to work a bit to get all the left over bits off your teeth. 

All in all these were great and I’m definitely on the look out for them again. 

Photo on 2017-03-16 at 00.33 #2

While not exactly a koala bear (like at all. She’s a cat who thinks she’s human, but has a tail that moves like a squirrel when she gets too excited and jumps around) our oldest, Phoebe, wanted to pose with the bag of licorice. She also wanted to eat some, but I put on my “mean mom” hat and told her no. 😉 

LAFF: Sibling Rivalry

Last week I woke up with Phoebe our oldest cat, standing on my stomach, staring into my soul.

She never blinks.

It’s creepy.

But whenever she comes over and stands on my lap or stomach, it means she needs something. But she had food, water and a clean litter box, so I was confused. And I had just woken up and hadn’t yet had coffee, so I was REALLY confused.

Until I began to hear scratching coming from our office door. Our closed office door. Then I realized what had happened. See, a few weeks ago Riley taught himself a new trick. He taught himself how to close the office door.

From the inside.

When he’s on the wrong side of the door to be able to do anything about it.

Then he scratches at the door until you come to rescue him. Sometimes when you go to open the door too soon after he gets in there, he’ll push against the door and swipe his paws underneath the door rapidly while meowing excitedly.

This time he must have been in there for a while because as soon as I opened the door he paused for a moment, shook his head and swiftly exited the scene. 

Yeah, didn’t even thank me. 😛 

The thing that warmed my heart about this whole episode was that Phoebe had come to me to let me know that her brother needed help. Even though Riley likes to jump on her and picks fights with her all the time, at the end of the day, she was worried about him. 

Or she was just annoyed by the sound of him scratching at the door. She’s a cat, it’s hard to tell. 😉 

Riley also tells us when he is worried about Phoebe. Awhile back we had to stay the night at a motel and Phoebe HATES riding in the car. As soon as she was in the room, she went and hid under the bed. Riley began to meow and run back and forth between us and her hiding spot. Like he was telling us where she was so we could get her out. 

I’m so glad they really love each other deep down inside. Despite the photographic evidence below. 😛 

Phoebe and Riley on Bed _LI

One of my favorite photos of our fur-babies. And I know what you are thinking, “Awww! That’s so sweet that you let a kindergartener caption your photo!”

Yeah, that’s all me.
Took me 45 minutes.
Thanks Windows 10! 😛 😀 

LAFF on Monday: The Key Fiasco…….

The events in the following blog happened a month ago but I haven’t been able to upload this until today.  Enjoy!


We have a good news/bad news situation here. The good news is that after my blog about our fruit fly infestation, they hit the road and we are fruit fly free (try to say that 10 times fast 😛 ).

The bad news is that my set of house keys went missing last Sunday morning. As in, we had the door open to walk/roll out to the car to go to church and Chad wanted to make sure I had my keys and when I went to look in my purse, they were gone.

Now, I didn’t immediately panic because this happens to us more frequently than you might think (or if you know us in real life, you wonder why it doesn’t happen more often). But in the moment I didn’t panic because 9 times out of 10 when we can’t find the house keys it usually takes no more than 10 minutes to find them and get out the door.

This was the 10th time.

So instead of going to church, we listened to Pandora praise and worship music while we TORE. THE. HOUSE. APART. looking for my keys.

No luck. And because we didn’t have an extra set of keys (they were lost a few months ago. Like I said earlier, I’m surprised this hadn’t happened sooner), we couldn’t both leave the house because we had no way of locking the door behind us. While home we continued to look over places we had already checked.

Sunday turned into Monday with no keys in sight.

So to sum up, in the last week we’ve dealt with what seemed to be an apocalyptic influx of fruit flies and now our only set of keys was gone.

If this had been Biblical times, we’d be readying for frogs to start falling from the sky. Or festering boils on our skin. At this point the element of surprise seems to be an important part in our current list of crises.

So when Monday rolled around I decided to up my “finding” game. At this point Chad and I had a theory that our youngest cat, Riley, had somehow taken off with my keys and hid them because he seems to have a bit of separation anxiety when I specifically leave the house for any length of time.

This theory was weird to me because my key chain is particularly heavy and I had my doubts up to this point that Riley would be able to carry them off.

Until Monday afternoon when my keys had not shown up, even after clearing out sections of our house that hadn’t been cleaned since the mid 80’s.

I even went into the bathroom and went through our full trash-piece-by-piece (and shaking it to see what would fall out) to no avail. It was like a disgusting version of “Double Dare” except there was no cash prize for finding my keys.

Then I moved back into the living room and turned my attention towards our couch (that has been in Chad’s family for over 40 years and looks like it. But it’s so comfortable we wouldn’t think to throw it away.)

When no keys were found underneath the cushions, I knew what I had to do. I would have to take all the cushions off the couch and upholstered chair that was its twin (Yep the couch has a mini-me) and stick my hand into the cracks to see what I could find.

This is where panicked ensued. I REALLY didn’t want to do that. Like, the couch is over 40 years old and who KNOWS what has fallen into the cracks in that time.

**BLECH** (Sidenote: Now I know this is written medium, so you couldn’t tell but that “blech” was me dry heaving looking back on the memory of sticking my hands down the cracks of the couch.)

No keys. Dang-it!

So then I moved onto the couch’s “mini-me,” removed the cushion, said a small prayer to my Lord and Savior and stuck my hand down the back crevice of the chair.

I hit the mother-load! And by mother-load I mean Riley’s hiding spot for random items found in our house.  I do have a picture somewhere of all the items I found, but because I’m too lazy to try to find it (I may upload it here later), I’ll just list them below. In the crack of the chair I found: 5 q-tips, the other end of the tampon that he’d kicked underneath the fridge, a ball point pen, one of his stuffed mice toys and one of Chad’s hair picks! When I pulled out the hair pick, I began to realize the probability was pretty high that our over-sized furry Cheeto had made off with my keys.

Guys, I even combed through the litter boxes just to make sure he didn’t put them in there.
He hadn’t.
Phew!

Two nights later I’m still looking for my keys in our suddenly clean could-eat-off-the-floor-or-lick-it living room, when I heard Chad come home from work. As he’s walking up to our porch I hear something jangling. When he walked into the house he said, “Guess what I found?” And proceeds to pull out MY KEYS!!

Apparently one night after work, Chad was walking up to the house and ran into one of our neighbors. Distracted, he set the keys down on our railing while he had a conversation with our neighbor. And forgot about them. At some point that night my keys fell off the railing and into the bushes.

Where they had been laughing at us ever since for not finding them sooner.

So after we FINALLY got my keys back, we immediately went to get copies made to make sure when we lost our keys again because we will because it’s us  give to our closest friends so that we’d have a way to get in the house if we ever lose them again.

We trust and love these friends so much, they are in our will. Seriously. So we felt very comfortable giving them a spare set of keys to our house just in case.

Guys, can you see where this is going? Yeah, hours after handing over our spare keys to our closest friends in the world, THEY. WENT. MISSING. AGAIN. 

Yeah. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. At this point all we could do was laugh and be grateful we had another set of back up keys.

At least our friends found our spare set 3 hours later. Which is why they are in our will. 

Cheers! 😀

Riley's Stash

Photographic evidence that we are in way over our heads appears courtesy of our personal photo archives