Tuesday, May 29, 2012

all hoity-toity like

"let's. go."
that's where this half-baked plan began- showing "newsies" to my kids with sarah.. sarah looking up the new broadway show on line to discover that it was playing IN NEW YORK.  ON HER BIRTHDAY.

so.  we go.

one time when beth was worried :
(5am, first morning, dad's)
beth- "sarah!  are you so excited!?"
sarah- "i am not talking to you right now."

we talked to people from all over the world:
haiti- our first cabbie.  he wanted to go back to visit.  he had one daughter in california
brazil- guy on our flight over.  very funny and he had a 1yr old son
china- girl by us on the plane, showed us pictures of a very cute nephew
scotland- at our hotel - in town for his brothers wedding, was terrified about giving a speech

low points for beth
leaving sad, sick kids at home
smelly crowds of loud people
sarah not being hungry
no piles of wonderful food waiting for me on every street corner

low points for sarah:
no internet for travel days- and her shuffle died first day.
painful feet from not so good shoes

high point for beth
first bite of lamb gyro.  oh my.
watching sarah watch newsies
the dancing in the play

high point for sarah
the play!!

most of the time, beth's head would be in the clouds and sarah's head would be in the map.  beth would just start walking, driving sarah crazy.

other trip statistics
# of miles walked - 8+
# of advil beth took - 6
# of times from subway to church and back that we were asked to buy a purse or watch - 17
# of things that leaked in our hotel - 2
# of hours solid sleep  the first night - 9 1/2
1.ordered oatmeal, told they were out. ok...i'll just have pancakes..(sigh)   surprise!  got the last one.
2.lost camera in big clothing store, ran back to look for it and found it in between stacks of shirts.  (phew!)
3.walking right past the LOOOONG line and right up to the front, cuz sarah is a GENIUS (that's the word the guard used), and ordered our tickets online.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sir? Do you have my pants?

Imagine this. A truck carrying barrels of acid crashes into a tanker truck filled with anhydrous ammonia, causing it to rupture and emit a plume of noxious vapor, which in turn causes a bus full of people to drive out of control and flip over and prompts an evacuation of the surrounding neighborhood.

All of this happened today. Ok, so the plume of gas wasn’t toxic, and the bus was flipped on its side before people climbed in it, and the evacuees were volunteers, but still! it was a crazy, crazy scene. The noise of the jaws of life cutting through the roof of the school bus was deafening, and the moulage dripping into my eye felt like real blood, and the lights and sirens of the fire trucks and ambulances were overwhelming. It especially felt real when one of the controllers came up to me and whispered, “so, if these barrels actually do start leaking around you, just get up and run. They really are filled with acid”. Oh you don’t say?

Firefighters dragged me out of the accident scene, cut me out of my clothes (surprise!), decontaminated me with a fire hose (pbleah!), and strapped me into a neck brace, stretcher, and head constraints. I was kind of stunned as they carried me away; my only thoughts were “but I liked those pants” and “where’s my shoe?”

 But after that flurry of activity, I think the controllers forgot about me. Apparently there was some breakdown in communication and the helicopters took off without me, and for two hours no one knew what to do with me. They finally decided to just take me away by ambulance…but I threw a minor fit about how I was supposed to go in a helicopter not some silly ambulance and for goodness sake would someone find my shoe?! Someone did find my shoe and, hallelujah, a call came on the radio that a helicopter was coming back for me!

Things got exciting again real quick. I was loaded into an ambulance, rushed to the landing zone, unloaded, wheeled up to the helicopter (blades thump-thump-thumping), loaded into the nose right next to the pilot (helicopter shake-shake-shaking), and then we were rising up and up into the air. It felt like riding an elevator on crack. One of the crew was nice and undid my headstraps so I could sit up and look around. It was awesome.

Soon we landed on the roof of the hospital and I was wheeled down the elevator and into the ER. Since I was literally the very last patient, they basically unstrapped me and said I was on my own because they were done pretending to take care of people. That was fine by me…except they left me wandering the hospital in a swimsuit and towel with fake blood coming down my face and no wallet and no phone. I had one of those funny and slightly hysterical moments where you think, “what happened in my life to get me to this point?” At least I had two shoes.

I finally found someone with a radio that let my coworker know I was left behind at the hospital (everyone else had already been bussed back). She came to pick me up soon after and was surprised to find me without any clothes. Apparently getting cut out of them was not supposed to be in the plan. This was concerning because now no one knew where my pants were…my pants that had my cell phone, wallet and car key, and were probably soaked and in the trash somewhere.

My coworker made an awesome broadcast on the radio “Attention all units, we have lost Rachel’s pants!” That got me a lot of jokes but not many leads as to the whereabouts of my pants. Luckily, after a few additional phone calls someone mentioned they thought Captain Bradley might have them.

Which is how I came to ask Fire Captain Bradley, “Excuse me, sir? Do you happen to have my pants?”

He did. I took my car key out of the pocket and I drove away, still mostly naked and rather bemused. Riding in a helicopter was just as cool as I hoped, but I little did I know what else I was getting myself into.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You probably just forgot

So I have 2 new girls coming for day care and their mom is going to use a company to pay for it.  So I had to fill out some paperwork and one of the pages was, "please mark the days you will be closed with an X and highlight in yellow the days you want to get payed for during that time."  I get holiday pay?
So I marked off Fri. the 25th and Mon the 28th and thought Mon the 28th is Memorial Day so why not lets highlight that day.  Well I talked to the lady today in charge of my paperwork and she said, "I see that you marked the 25th as being closed but you didn't highlight that you wanted to get paid for it so I went ahead and did that for you, you probably just forgot." " Yes, I forgot thank you."

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer outside - Big and Little

I think we should call these "Big and Little".  One big memory or story, and one little one- a sensory memory or a smell or a flash of something.  Not enough for a full story, but important to the whole experience.


Big memory- The outside shower.  Dad strapped a hot water heater to a tree, built a platform to stand on, 3 1/2 walls of ply wood, open to the sky.  Maybe it was because I liked to run around with as  little clothes on as possible, but I loved it.  There was space between the boards we stood on, and by the end of the summer, there was green grass growing up through the boards.  When the rest of the world around was so brown and dry, it was so cool to shower under the blue sky, with wet, green grass under your feet.

Little -  the sound of our stereo blasting from the big tree.  speakers propped up in the branches.  I don't remember it there long (maybe it was too dusty), but I remember the first blast. Dad saying, "Ready?! READY?!"  It was awesome.


Big memory- I remember that we had two tents, a treehouse, a trampoline, and a hammock from which to choose our beds. Mom and Dad had a very small trailer that they slept in, used it for storage, and they sometimes used the oven. The kids were not really allowed in the trailer. At least that's how I remember it. I can understand a rule like that. It was a tiny space, and we were a lot of kids. I remember going in there ONE time. I was having a hard time falling asleep, and went to complain to Mom. She let me in, and heated up some milk on the tiny stove. I also think that was the one and only time I tried warm milk as a sedative. I remember sitting at the tiny built in table, and trying to look around surreptitiously to see as much of the inside as possible, since this was likely my one shot.

Little- Our clothes trunks, and those little bugs that loved to hang out in them. Cold (generic) sodas on the days we got to help the construction. The (3-sided) outhouse. Not always getting fully dressed.


Big- What came to mind was getting off the bus and nobody was here and we were going to have to live off the land. Beth organized us: someone gathered miners lettuce, someone had a 1/2 of sandwich leftover from their lunch, we gathered wood (we were going to start a fire with the sun). There wasn't any water but we would just wait for it to rain and store it up (or we could just go to neighbors). We were probably only there for about 5 min before mom showed up and saved us or not depending on how you looked at it.

Little- The rope swing from the tree house.  Was it just cus we were small or was it really high off the ground?


Big- My most memorable moment came right after mom and dad started sleeping inside the framed, roofed house.  I needed mom in the middle of the night and crept upstairs to find her.  Being careful not to wake up dad for fear of my life I was moving very quietly and very low to the ground.   As I crawled over to the bed mom leaned over an walloped me upside the head.  She had apparently mistaken my creeping figure for the neighbors dog.  Boy was she surprised. She came over and tried to make up for it, but I was pretty traumatized.

Little- I remember picking through scrap wood to find all the nails.  I remember Beth wielding power tools.  I remember Dad telling us that there was a 'secret room' in the plans and believing him just enough to keep looking for it.


Big- I mostly remember that I used this summer as an excuse to spend all my time at the Porter house. It wasn't that my 16 yr old self was too fancy for the great out doors, I was just really excited about my peer group. I think I slept on the trampoline once or twice, and I remember using the outdoor shower on occasion, but mostly I ate Linda Porter food and watched movies and hung out with Jessica and the Youngclaus boys.  It was one of the best summers of my life, but not for the same reasons as the rest of you guys.

Little- Two. 1) I remember asking Chuck Porter what he thought of our outdoor living arrangements, after they'd come over to check it out.  He said, "I think I greatly underestimated your father's abilities to arrange things for his family."  Amen, Chuck.
2) I remember shooting spiders with an empty nail gun.  The air pressure from the gun is enough to flatten a spider instantly. Pretty entertaining, really.

Friday, May 4, 2012

not helping.

i just googled "how can i get my chickens to stop breaking their own eggs?"

this is the response i saw first,
"There might be some chickens that will start to eat their own eggs. By keeping a close watch on them, you can find out if this is happening. If it is, you should take steps to make sure that they do not continue to do this."

that was it.  the end.
thank you  so much.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

She's here!

Gramamona is here and (most all) of us are having a great time!