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Vacation Adventures Part Two

The next morning we got up and were headed towards Salvation Mountain. We were taking the southern route back home since Emily and I took the northern route two years ago when she moved to California.

We were driving along in the desert for miles. Emily and I were in one car and Micheal and Brian in the other. They were ahead of us by about thirty minutes because we stopped to eat at In and Out burger.

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We had come upon the Salton Sea and I was reading up on it and sharing with Emily. It was created by irrigation canals from the Colorado river in the early nineteen hundreds. It was a recreational area in the fifties and then due to pollution and increasing saltiness it started dying off. It is now almost a wasteland and smells from the amount of dead fish that wash up to the shore. It was very interesting, and Emily had just texted Micheal that she was getting nervous about the desert when this happened.

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We were driving along when we heard banging in the wheel well. We were like what was that? I said to Emily, you have a tire pressure light so if it doesn’t come on you know we are good. The words were barely out of my mouth when the tire pressure light came on. Luckily we were at a place in the road that had a huge place to pull off. It would be easy to change the tire. And then I had to make the fatal phone call to Brian to tell him we had a flat. Micheal swears he has no idea what Brian said after he hung up with me. I am sure it involved cursing. They had just gone through border patrol (we were super close to the real border) so coming back they were asked what they were doing. It was at this point I jumped out of the car and said I’m going to check out the Salton Sea. It looked super close. Please keep in mind I have never seen The Hills Have Eyes but the other three had. So Emilys anxiety is through the roof. She is texting me every two minutes to make sure I was ok. It was 107 degrees this day and I barely even sweated walking the one mile round trip. I didn’t get super close because it started smelling like mud and death.

 

By the time I walked back Brian and Micheal arrived and were changing the tire. It was around five in the evening so we had to attempt to find a tire place that was open. The first place I called did not have the tire and then the fun began. I could not keep straight what two towns we were between and Emily was ready to shoot me. I finally called AAA to see if they could locate a place when Emily found one. Of course it was thirty minutes back the way we had just came but they said they would stay open past six as long as we weren’t too much later than that. We arrived at five minutes until six and there were at least three families there that were still being helped. By the time they finished looking at our tire, putting a plug in it for free, airing up the spare (it had lost a lot of air on the ride over), and putting it back on it was after seven. I made the decision to stay where we were and go eat and have a couple of drinks and turn in early. We went to a restaurant that had just opened and their service and food were ok. However I had two gin and tonics and wasn’t feeling anything. The next day would be another adventure.

Mole Moral ~ Smart people do not watch scary movies!

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Vacation Adventures Part One

I am not sure why I ever attempt vacation because it rarely is a vacation but more of an adventure in the most crazy stuff that can happen.

This vacation started with Brian and flying into SanFrancisco. Emily was in New York at pelvic floor physical therapy course. The plan was for Brian and I to arrive around noon and she and Michael would fly in around eight thirty that evening. We would get up in the morning and drive up to Chico to meet Michael’s parents. Emily had the entire trip cross country back home planned out well. This was probably the first mistake.

Brian and I landed in SanFrancisco on time and then hopped onto the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transport) to head down to the wharf. We both just love not knowing where we are going and how things work but we managed to survive. Now I had arranged luggage storage the day before so imagine my surprise when the GPS took us here.

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Brian was convinced that I had lost my mind but the girl insisted yes, we were in the right place and took our luggage. We then had an awesome meal on the wharf and saw the sea otters and walked around quite a bit. We then had to take the BART back to a different stop and order an Uber. Well, of course at the location there was another transport system and we went there instead. Luckily a really nice worker said go to the other side. This little mishap took money off of our BART card so when we finally arrived at our station we had to add even more money. Oh and I forgot to mention we decided to jump on it right at rush hour. I have never seen so many people in my life.

By the time it was time to summons the Uber I had less than ten percent battery life. I was convinced my phone was going to die. Emily had been texting us and it was official they were not leaving New York as the weather was horrible. Not only that but they were put on a different flight out of Newark and were on their own to get over there. So three subway transfers, a ferry and an Uber and seventy bucks later they made it to their hotel in the pouring rain. I was reading this to our Uber driver and he was cracking up. We made it safely to our hotel and settled in for the night.

Emily’s flight did not leave until five the next evening so Brian and I had another free day in SanFrancisco. Our hotel was one mile from where Emily and Micheal had been staying so we walked over there to use her car for the day. We were not about to deal with the BART again. Of course someone had not finished packing up her car because she planned on doing it when she got home. Her father and I attempted it and made it all wrong but it fit in there. I then said lets drive over to Oakland and see what we can find to do. I then remembered my mother in law telling me about how you can take a ferry over and not pay for parking in SanFrancisco. This sounded like a wonderful idea and a lot of fun…

Of course we arrived and parked five minutes after the last ferry left for lunch break. So we then had almost an hour and a half to kill before the next one came. So we just goofed off and walked around. At least there were a couple Pokemon Go stops.

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We had a nice day in the bay and then we went and picked up Emily and Micheal at the airport and went and fetched Micheal’s car as well. We were now twenty-four hours behind schedule and had to forgo meeting Micheal’s parents. Emily wanted to drive to Los Angeles but Brian vetoed driving until three in the morning. This was only the beginning of our cross country adventures.

 

Mole Moral ~ One risks their life taking Schleprock (me) on vacation!

 

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Salvation Mountain

I wish I could remember how I heard about Salvation Mountain but I don’t have a clue. I told Emily not only were we taking the Southern route home from California but we were dipping down so I could see it.

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I read up on it yesterday as we were suppose to visit it then, but yesterday’s flat tire made our plans change. Anyway the guy who created it accepted Jesus into his heart in 1967 while in Vermont. He decided he wanted to build a hot air balloon and worked on it for 14 years never getting it to fly. He then decided to stay one more week to make a monument and weeks turned into months and months into years. He started by taking things from the dump and then fill it with sand, cover it with cement and then painted it. A lot of the time he used too much sand and not enough cement. Therefore, after four years and fifty foot high, it came crashing to the ground. He however was not discouraged and started over with more smarts.
The second time he used adobe clay and straw. He would then paint it. The more coats of paint, the stronger it became. This also prevented erosion. After ten years the mountain had gained notoriety but the area was owned by the federal government. They had issues with a religious monument at the entrance to slab city so hired environmental specialists to run tests and declared it a toxic wasteland. The locals did not agree and donated money and he hired his own and there was zero toxic chemicals nor lead in paint. So the government left him alone.
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He lived on the mountain until the age of 79 in his truck.
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He lived a simple life with no electricity, running water, technology etc. He used all donated paints on the mountain using the ugly colors for the bottom coats and the pretty ones for the top coats. He went to be with the Lord in 2014 at the age of 82.
Mole Moral ~ The location may have been shaky but it was awesome. Look carefully and you can see me at the top behind the O in GOD. Emily’s idea!!
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My favorite camp moment

Every evening after session the kids have small groups with their leaders. I’m not that leader (rather a nurse leader as if that makes sense) so I always headed back to my room. This year Pastor Tom decided the adults should do small group as well. So we discussed our POD (picture of the day) and what we liked best. We also prayed over every kid that came down. Yes I prayed out loud. For those that don’t follow me on Facebook this is just another thing totally out of characteristic for me.

Last night was what was the best part of camp. For me it was the session in the morning. Three kids in their super early twenties shared their stories. One was a Big Stuf intern from our church, and intern from somewhere else and one of the obterns (Oak Bridge intern) that came with us to camp. Her story is similar to mine. Although she knows God and people love her, she has never felt it. I had just reposted my very first camp note last week and that was me. It was at Big Stuf that I finally felt love. Of course then they had to play How He Loves and I’m just crying like a baby, singing and begging God to let her feel his love right now. (Yes, I’m a multitasker). I don’t want her to have to wait forty one years to feel it. It’s so awesome.
Of course I wrote her a little note and shared this. She found me this morning and hugged me and I hugged back. When you share your story with others you soon realize people are just as screwed up as you. People can spend a lot of energy creating the persona they have it all together but it becomes exhausting. More camp talk later.
Mole Moral ~ Everybody doesn’t need to know everything but somebody needs to know everything.
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My Linda Hansen Original

Last October I visited Gary and Linda before my Disney Wotld vacation. You can read about it here if you are interested in how we met. I’m not sure how long ago Linda started painting but I always enjoyed when she posted her work on Facebook. She always said she would be happy to give away her work but you had to agree to frame it and hang it up in your home.

A couple of weeks ago she posted this and as most of you know orange is my favorite color.
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I had to have it and instantly knew where I would place it. So yesterday the door bell rang as I needed to sign for it. Yes I tell my mail guy this is my Linda Hansen original and not a St. Louis Blues memento. (The US post office and UPS has been insane with all the deliveries for those items). My mail dude smiled like I was nuts.
I opened it and it was even more beautiful in person. The frame I had was a little too big so off to Hobby Lobby for a mat. Imagine my surprise when they had that color in store and cut it right then and there. I went straight home and hung it on the wall. Allyson noticed immediately because it replaced her Woolzy character painting she did in art. She’s wanted me to take it down for a year. Brian has yet to notice.
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Now I just need to find something to replace the 16×20 picture on the other side. Allyson says “mom that’s simple perspective take it down”. I’m thinking about asking the Tony Bologna to do one of my favorite, the dog. I just need to ask him and pick my favorite picture.

Mole Moral ~ Change is awesome, especially when it involves a Linda Hansen original!!

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The Long Road to the Cup

It was November 2, 1985, and my first official date with Brian after our initial blind date. He asked me to go to a Blues Hockey game and I don’t think I had ever even once watched hockey.

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It was at the old Saint Louis Arena. I remember arriving and telling Brian if I got hit in the head with a hockey puck I was suing him. I use to think I was not outspoken when I was younger but looking back I was pretty outspoken. Why he ever wanted to go out with me again is beyond me. He will tell you that we had horrible seats as we were in the first row of a section on the end where people walked by. It’s hard to explain but I remember him being totally annoyed. I have no idea if we won or lost but I always remembered it was the Red Wings and back then helmets were optional so a few of the Red Wing players did not wear them.

Brian and I continued dating and he always watched the games on TV. I can vividly remember studying for nursing school stuff on the weekends with the games on in the background. Every year he would swear they were going to win the cup and almost every year they would “choke”. I gave up on them many years ago and most of the time when they were on TV, I would either be at work or working on crafts. Sometimes I would listen to them and think about nursing school days.

So this year one of Brian’s friends went to Las Vegas and he had her place a bet that the Blues would win the cup. Now the odds were not as high as those who placed bets in January but 20/1 would be a decent payout. I was like sure whatever dude, not a lot of money to lose because no way they would win. His work partner also placed a bigger bet. So I think it was sometime in January they were in Maggie O’s and were sitting next to Cam Jansen. Brian told him he and his friend placed the bet that the Blues would win the cup and Cam spit out his beer and told them they had wasted their money. So last night after they won when good old Cam was on TV acting like he believed they would win all along Brian got a text from his buddy calling him out on it. He said he’s hunting him down and calling BS on him.

It was so much fun watching how excited Brian was last night watching the game.

IMG_7017He had already told his work if they win and the parade was during the week he would not be coming to work. I think he has missed one day in twenty years. It looks like the parade will be on Saturday so I am so excited to attend it with him.

Mole Moral ~ Dreams do come true, sometimes they take thirty-four years for me and all of Brians life for him but when they do it’s time to celebrate!

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A Spade is a Spade

This is the second part of my previous post There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute. I left off with telling the guy I was not sending him money ever but if he wanted to be friends he could message me. I seriously did not think I would hear from him again but I was wrong. He behaved for a little while until he decided to say his “kids” birthday was yesterday. He asked me what I was going to do for him and I said,  “Wish him happy birthday like I did my girls. I didn’t get them anything.” He then repeated so what are you going to do for him? I ignored this and actually watched Dr. Phil yesterday which just happened to be a girl who thought she was talking to some actor and ended up not only sending 8000 in iTunes gift cards while talking to him on google hangouts but gave this guy access to her bank account and he was funneling money through it so now she is under investigation. It is so sad how lonely people get taken advantage of. See this scammer never had a chance with me falling for this shit. I have a husband who adores me, friends who make me laugh, and kids that keep me on my toes. So I sent him the following message, made sure he saw it and then blocked him on Fitbit and Google Hangouts.

Dear Nigerian Scammer, I’m going to give you some advice. If you are going to troll for people to scam on Fitbit you might want to get a device. The first clue you are fakes no steps ever.

If you really worked for the United Nations you would make a fuck of a lot more money than I do.

No real man asks a woman for money. Especially iTunes gift cards on Google Hangouts.

It also explains why you never know what time it is here. If you were really in Afghanistan you’d know I as eight hours behind you. DUH.

I advise you not to contract me further as it is a waste of your time. I will NEVER give you a dime and I do not wish to converse with a scammer/liar/thief.

 

The only reason I continued for so long with this is because I am a little bored on my summer sabbatical but it was time to cut him loose before he screwed with my accounts or did something crazy. One day I am going to learn my lesson about trusting people but until then I will have plenty of blogs to write.

 

Mole Moral ~ Don’t ever attempt to mess with someones money who has kept track of every dime they have spent over the past twenty-nine years!