Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Only in Claflin, America

I have NOT fallen off the face of the earth and other than a two week trip to Germany back in May, I really have no good excuse for not blogging.  Now, on with the show!

I guess technically this would only be my second installment of 'Only in Claflin, America', but trust me it's worth the wait!

So, yesterday I left work at 9:45 to head to KC for an old co-workers funeral.  (I promise, that's not the point of this story.)  But first I had to meet my in-laws at our house (20 miles away) to get some frozen meat from them that I would deliver to my sis in KC.  About 5 miles down the road (and yes, by then I'm TOTALLY out of town) I realize that I was supposed to stop at the store and get some ice to help keep the meat cold during the 4 hour drive ahead of me.  So I stopped at the grocery store in the next town about 30 miles away.

So, I'm in the parking lot of the store and I am taking one big bag of ice and splitting it up into three trash bags of ice for the three coolers in my back seat full of 'Brisket' (we named our two steers that we sent to slaughter...twisted I know...but good cow karma = good cow meat).  I realize to myself that if I put my keys in the trunk to do this, I will ultimately forget and lock my keys in my car.  (Nice!  One point for me!)  So I deliberately take the time to put them on top of the car and then go about doing my thing.  When I got done, I realized that I was A) running late  B) had 3/4 a tank of gas and was golden...for a bit at least and C) should take advantage of this stop and grab some food for the road.  So in a rush, I quick-drove next door to the DQ for a cheeseburger (in honor of my deceased co-worker who LOVED her some cheeseburgers) only to find the drive-thru not open.  In my laziness haste, I skipped the food and decided that the apple in my purse would have to tide me over until dinner.  Okay, sweet...I'm on the road, meat is iced, I have water and tea, life is wonderful.


About 2 hours down the road I get a call from work.  I reluctantly answered the phone thinking that I must have messed something up before leaving when my co-worker says:
Co-worker: 'Hey do you have your wallet?'
Me: 'Yep!'
Co-worker: 'No you don't.'
Me: (Annoyed because I know I didn't leave it at work.  Little does she know I just used it at the grocery story!) 'Yes I do.'
Co-worker: 'Did you have it in (tiny town I got ice at)?'
Me: (Damn, she's good!) 'Yeeeeeeesssss?'
Co-worker: 'I just got a call from some lady telling us that her husband found your wallet in the ditch, on the side of the road, near the grocery store....'
Me: (Silence).......'Son of a bitch!'

So, apparently in all the hubbub, I was diligent enough to do something with my keys so as not to lock them in the car, but not so diligent enough to put my wallet in a safe place!  My co-worker gave me this lady's work number and said I was supposed to call her.  I called Jo (the lady) and she explained to me that her husband works in that town and while on his way back to work from eating lunch at the grocery store he found my wallet in the ditch and then realized that since he'd picked it up, he now had to do something with it...but didn't  know what.  So Bud (Jo's husband) calls Jo and says that he's got a 'project' for her and to try and hunt me down via Google and contact me.  So now Jo, who works about 40 miles from there is tasked with 'finding me'.  She has no luck just googling my name and ends up running my driver's license (she works at the Sherrif's office) to try and find contact info for me.  This in turn gives her my address (and Lord only knows what else!).  So of course what does one do once you know they live in a small town?  Call the one place that you think might A) be open and that B) might exist in a small town...the public library!  So she calls the Independent Township Library and asks the librarian if she knows me. Of course, being the small town it is (and her daughter was in J's class) she not only knows me, but can tell Jo where I work (and probably that we have a dog named 'Belle', like to two-step in the kitchen, and the scar on my forehead was from a nasty encounter with our fireplace when I was 2.) Hence, how Jo got my work number!

Insert here: Only in Claflin

And now...for the rest of the story!  

So I make plans to meet Jo at a certain exit on the highway on my way back home.  Meanwhile, I'm still not all that freaked out because I do have a check book with me in case of an emergency.  Oh wait...there are no checks in my checkbook.  And now I have a quarter tank of gas left and am scrounging the ashtray for change to pay my toll.  AND I'm still running late because I couldn't speed for fear of getting pulled over with no license on me.

I coast into my sister's driveway with my gas light on.  The call to my sister at work went like this:
Me: 'Hey, you don't happen to have some cash at your place do you?' (I explain the above saga)
Sis: 'You're in luck. While I was cleaning, I noticed some cash in one of the drawers...but I'm not sure how much is there.  It might be $3.00 and it might be $300.00 for all I know.  If all else fails, the kids' piggy banks are upstairs in their rooms.'

Great, so now I have to bring one blue and on pink piggy bank to the gas station and pay with my niece and nephew's coins!!!  And I'm STARVING by now!  I found the money (which was need to bust out the piggy banks), got gas (in which I caught myself trying figure out how to pay for gas with cash instead of swiping my card), made it to the funeral with not a minute to spare, saw all my old co-workers and friends, and life was looking up.


While back on the road to go home, my cruise control and speedometer quit working on me.  (Which used to be a regularly occurring thing in my POS, but hadn't happened in of course I didn't bother getting it fixed!).  Plus, I was running late...again...and didn't want to make poor Jo wait on I also skipped stopping somewhere for some dinner.

...and then

I missed my exit for Jo and my wallet!  After ALL that!  It was dark, late, and I was hungry and tired!  I just drove right past it!  And, that part of the highway was under major construction, down to one lane, and there was NO turning around!  The next exit was 20 miles down and was MY I told Jo to just go home, apologized profusely while she just laughed at me, and made plans to meet her husband at his work the next morning.

Which leads me to today!  A 30 minute drive to his work.  A 20 minute wait for him the parking lot...of the jail...because that's where he works.  A quick 3 minute conversation with the jail's security officer as to why I've been loitering in the parking lot of the jail for 20 minutes.  Another brief 3 minute conversation with Bud, whom I now refer to as 'My Savior'.  A 30 minute drive to get to Claflin and then another 25 minutes to get to work.

Moral of the story: 'Good JuJu only lasts for so long people!'

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Pick-Me-Ups

As of late, J and I have been taking turns being a little bummed out due to 'real estate situations' (I'll leave it at that).  Luckily, when his glass is half empty....mine is half full.  And when my glass is half empty...his is half full.  He is the pea to my pod, the apple of my pie, the (white) chocolate of my chip!  (Apparently I'm craving sweets?!?!)  So far, there have been only a few moments when both our glasses are half empty and last night was one of them!  So he drank Tsingtao and I drank some extremely AWESOME white whine that had peach flavoring added to it...I'll be sure to add a post just about that wine for those of you interested...bonus: it was el cheap-o!!!  So, it's at this moment, that a blog post like this seems to be appropriate.  You see, there are a few things in my life that I purposely arrange in specific areas where I have the chance to look at them on a daily basis to brighten my day as needed.  And so here they are:

1.  The following email that my mom sent me...which is cut out and taped to the wall of my hutch at work with a picture of our dog, and a bunch of pics of J in various cities we've traveled to, and pics of my nieces and nephews:

'Holy Cow!!!  It's 81 here.  I survived my first "official" 5K.  Yeah, I roll up to the park yesterday in street clothes with my coffee and I park and look around and there's all these people stretching, sprinting around, running, etc.  I guess I should have at least shaved my legs and put shorts on.  But in my defense it was 7:00 AM and only 60 degrees and slightly overcast.  Anyways I finished around 77th out of 102 women.  BUT also in my defense, there was tons of high school track girls and I was the sixth oldest person.  Anyway, I wasn't ever sore at all.  I did 53 minutes and I'm sure I could shave 5 off that just by walking faster and even being aware we were being timed.  It was kind of exciting though with loud inspiring rock music blasting and free bagels and all.  I think I'll do it again sometime, just for the heck of it.  Okay gotta get busy.'

2.  Scouring the old posts of my brother's blog that was established solely for niece and nephew updates!  Things such as this:

(OMG!  You just want to pinch those cheeks!)

3. At home, it's the big dark red 'R' for our last name that hangs on the wall with two old wooden antique frames that are two different sizes around it.  We got that 'R' as a wedding gift from my crazy friend Colette who lives in KC and so many fun stories can come out of that 'R'.  From the fact it's the first 'R' I received as newly married chick to the story of how I attempted to hang it, the 2 frames, and about 20 other frames on our wall in this cool pattern as a Christmas gift to J...but the 'R' kept falling and taking down even more frames with it and by the time all was said and was not a gift at all but instead just a huge mess and headache...but a lovable one!

4. A homemade clothespin 'wreath' that I made at home out of brightly colored, funky scrapbook paper.  It just keeps getting added to and has become a memory keeper of sorts.  Each clothespin has things hanging from it such as ticket stubs to games, homemade 'Thank You' cards, wedding 'Thank You' pictures of all our hitched friends or 'Save the Date' pics, an antique B&W of J's gpa, and all sorts of other odd'n'ends that in some way, shape, or form made their way into our lives and created a memory.

5. Lastly, and most recently added, the following email from my sister last week...which now has it's own place on the hutch at work with my mom's.  And after reading both of them, it makes me smile even bigger because it makes me think, 'Good Lord!  There's no denying them for family!' So here it is:

'Btw speaking of delish…I discovered ice cream that has changed my life and may change life as we all know it. It’s at Murray’s Ice Cream in Westport.  The flavor is called Monkey Nuts, which I only ordered because it sounded fun to say. But can I just tell you…seriously…LIFE CHANGING. Now my life is going to be divided into 2 parts; Before I discovered Monkey Nuts and After I became addicted to Monkey Nuts.  It’s banana and peanut butter ice cream with chunks of chocolate in it.  Words cannot describe how totally amazing this stuff is.  Totally worth a 5 hour drive just to come try it. I’m going to get a pint and bring it home the next time you guys are in town.  I’m going to figure out a way to ship it and give it to everyone I know for Christmas.  I want to be buried in a big vat of it when I die.  Hehe…just realized my will would read that I want to be buried in monkey nuts…hehe…you’ll explain that one for them right?'***

I know they all might seem very random and perhaps even meaningless to you all, but for me, they turn a 'glass half empty' day into a 'glass half full' day and for me...that means all the world!

***After asking approval from my sis to post her email (sorry heads up on that one!) she responded with this:  'Sure, you can include my name and the address to Murray’s so anyone reading your blog can go and see for themselves what an amazing scoop of heaven monkey nuts is.'  (I kid you not people, I can't make this stuff up!)  

So should any of you ever be in the Kansas City area...go eat Monkey Nuts at Murray's in Westport, and tell them Shelly sent you!  (I will vouch that their ice cream rocks...but I can't say anything about their Monkey Nuts!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pepe Juice Update!

I don't have much to report on this front, other than some menial ranting and raving about the pest control people...who showed up late afternoon Friday to 'do their thang' to our house...oh but wait...

...said pest control people didn't have their ladder!

If your job is to catch 'pests' on people's properties, be it in a tree, in an attic, on top of the roof, etc. wouldn't you have a FREAKING LADDER!!!!  The lady basically told us to just go get our ladder (which we have to store at the Farm because of course our (rental) house doesn't have a garage or shed...nor does it have a driveway, so when it snows 4" like it did yesterday, we have to park in our BACK YARD so that the city's snow plow doesn't plow our cars in!***) and stick our head's up in their and throw some bait in it and we're good!

Gee...thanks!  So needless to say I spent the weekend freaking out the dog and banging on walls and ceilings throughout the house just to f* with the little critters!  (Although I am very well aware of the fact that it probably is scaring the dog more than them.)

Oh, and she mentioned that mice 'sure can create quite a ruckus and sound much bigger than they are'.  I'm still refusing to admit it might be mice for the sole fact that's just GUH-ROSSSSSS and O.M.G. we are really clean people and how dare you imply we aren't?  Clean, as in my wonderful, handsome, adoring, husband could be borderline OCD about it!  (I love you sweetie, but simmer down with the Bleach!)**

*** Justin said that one of my New Year's Resolutions has to be to not talk so much trash on our living situation and to quit whining about it because it doesn't change anything.  So I'm front of him.  Therefore, you all  are now the proud parents of The Rage about The Shithole.  Enjoy because it's still a fussy, teething, new-born!

**  Pretty sure we have mice in our attic...sigh!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Skunk Much?

...Why yes, I'll take two!

Okay, so my story goes a little somethin' like this:

I was minding my own sleep business, probably dreaming of unicorns and rainbows I'm sure, when what to my surprise, I awoke in the night (3:00 am to be precise) amidst panic and confusion (in my own head of course) to the horrid, awful, toxic, and lethal smell of a little Pepe Le Pew.

(Insert: I have smelled skunks before, and yes, they are atrocious.  I have even owned a dog, who got sprayed by a skunk and then came in the house, and yes, that was crazy dirty terrible bad.  But the Pepe I woke up to Monday night was THE.WORST.SMELL.EV.ER.IN.MY.LIFE.  We're talking like acid in my nose, and ammonia poured directly into my brain type of burn.)

Okay, so once I realized that Pepe was not under my bed, in my pantry, or snuggled up on our laundry basket...I promptly attempted to go back to sleep and deal with him in the morning because let's admit it...I LUUUUB ME SOME SLEEP!

Next morning: House wreaks of Pepe Juice and now we can hear critter scratches in the attic!  (Insert: Oh Shit!)

(Insert: Last year we had a kitty living in the crawl space of the house during the winter...which of course pissed me off because quite frankly, a house (be it rental or not) should never have a hole large enough in the foundation for said kitty to crawl through.  But, we never knew when it was there and wasn't, and we sure as hell didn't want to trap a cat in the crawl space and then deal with the inevitable smell of rotting, decaying kitty in the summer when our house hit a cozy 90 degrees inside.  This being said, my first thought was that Pepe chased some gorgeous broad under our house and Juiced her real good!)

So now we're dealing with Pepe, something in the attic, and possibilities of something in the crawl space...who knows!  Our lovely landlord was kind enough to provide us with her last package of D-Con Bait, provided I pick it up from her house.  Apparently, she tells me, that they've had the attic noises before and it's probably just mice coming in from the winter cold (not that it's been cold for like 2 MONTHS NOW or anything!).  She then laments on about how they have had to deal with a skunk spraying their house during Christmas this year and had to go live with her mom for 5 days while their house aired out.  Good, good.  Thank you so much for sympathizing but quite frankly, 'I don't give a flying rat's ass about the issues you are having with the HOME that you OWN and is YOURS!'  Here are some of my favorite quotes from my phone conversation with Lovely Landlord:

'Just stick your head up in the attic and toss the D-Con in there!'
'No, it wont leave behind a smell of rotting carcass.'
'D-Con eats up the mouse and just leaves fur behind.'
'You should probably do the same in the crawl space, but I only have one bait left.'
'Dogs?  No, it's in the's not like they're going to get a hold of it.'
'No, we never had $222.81 gas bills in the winter when we lived there!'  (Insert: Bold Faced Liar!)

We came home the next night from work, and our said shithole wreaked yet again of Pepe.  He's a very busy little man if I do say so myself.  And then last night, Justin walked in on me in my fleece PJ's, broom in hand, wild woman look on my face, crouching in silence to listen for the scratches.  My thoughts were if I could bang the broom on our ceiling, it would scare the critter...and if it was a Pepe, it would spray (because hell if I no if skunks spray when startled) and then we at least would for sure know it was a Pepe and where he was bombing his juices at.  I know, hindsight's 20/20, but either way, he didn't spray.  Plus, after my first attempt at hitting the ceiling with the broom, I could here dirt hitting the floor from some cracks up there and decided that creating my own access point to Pepe's apartment wouldn't be wise.  And I scared the dog, who in turn scared the be-jee-zus out of me when she came running in like a wild woman barking and growling.

Right now you're probably saying to yourself, 'Why don't they just call an exterminator and be done with it?'  And to you I say, 'It's complicated man!' 
A. It's a principle thing, I don't think I should pay a minimum of $50 out of my pocket for someone else's lack of upkeep to their house.  
B. I'm of German decent and very stubborn.  
C. I'm now extremely curious at some of the ideas friends have came up with to eradicate said problem.  Douse towels in ammonia and toss them up there has been the most intriguing.  (Which still entails one of us on a ladder with our heads up a dark hole and the possibility of a Pepe in there...while holding towels doused in mind-blinding ammonia...I'm not sure which I'd rather have my house smell like quite frankly.)
D. Had we done this already, Justin wouldn't have been able to come up with a text to his buddy reading: 'Screw it!  We decided against the bait and threw some apples up there instead.  We've decided to be friends.'  (tee hee)

Okay, so that's what we're dealing with this week.  The exterminator, which is now scheduled by the way, told me that if we didn't want to pay for them to come out and take a look that all we'd really have to do is stick our head up there in the daytime to look for exposed light and poo.  Exposed light would hint to whether or not it's mice or a Pepe.  Little poo = little critter.  Large poo = large critter.  Uh-huh, yeah right, couldn't PAY ME ENOUGH LADY!  He's all yours!