Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Edition of the Four Legged Variety

Today I got a puppy! :) And I can't lie, he's pretty dern fantastic! 

This morning began with taking my Grandmother home. We'd picked her up for our annual family reunion, which was Friday/Saturday, and by Sunday she was ready to head back. I'd been talking about wanting a puppy for a long while now-- really just ever since my best friend Cowboy left us-- and she mentioned that she knew a guy in Vernon with puppies for sale. So of course I was eager to join dad on his trip to take her home.

Needless to say when we got to town I was all excited and ready, hoping that I'd get a puppy but trying not to be too hopeful. She showed us where the guy lived, and we saw the puppies in the yard. Well, the two puppies + momma + papa. But no one was home. So we went to her house, grabbed her paper, and checked the ad. Which said to call between 3 and 7.

It was 1:45.

So we went to eat at a little place called Fred's. Used to be a Dairy Queen until they stopped being able to pay for the franchise fee, so now the food is still the same, if not better, and it's more fun than eating at a DQ because you can do that anywhere.

Anywho, after we ate it was nearly 3:45. Yeah, we took our sweet time, fo' real. So we headed back for the guys house and went to the door. Calling, even after three, had failed to get us an answer.

Luckily he was in fact home, and he showed us the pups. They had one boy and one girl left. I've always been partial to boys. I say 'always' like this happens often for me, or like I've lived very long, but just the same. In my experience, I am biased to the boys. Both were sweethearts. So cute, really sweet. But in the end, I picked the boy.

Here he is. :)

Ridiculously cute, huh? :)

And he was a complete angel on the way home! The drive from Vernon to Midlo is a good 3 hours, if not more. Plus we had to stop for gas and such. And my little guy slept for nearly the entire time. In my lap. Curled up and fantastically adorable.

Needless to say, I've already taken many many pictures of him, and will take hundreds more just within this first week. What can I say? I love my babies. I love taking pictures. Put the two together and you have documentation to the extreme.

And many more blog posts, I'm sure, as it's been a while since I've had a puppy. Since I've had to take care of, housebreak, feed, train, etc. a puppy.

Mom and Dad love him. They even helped me, or should I say, let me help them, give him a bath when we got home. Poor little guy was covered in fleas. :( But after a good scrub (apparently Dawn detergent does a mighty fine job of killing fleas!) he was minus almost all of the fleas and cleaner to boot!

I just hope he gets along with our other dog, Kelsi, and our cat, Teddy. But this little fella will be an indoor dog. In fact, he's staying in my room tonight. Also because if he needs to go out for a potty break I need to be able to hear him telling me so. :)

So tomorrow we need to set him up with a vet appointment, not to mention name him. We've all got a few ideas, so we're going to collaborate and vote. Just like we did with Cowboy. Worked well then, so hopefully this time will be no exception.

Welcome to the clan, little buddy! 

Here's to many years of us loving the dickens out of you!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Feed the Kitty

They just don't make cartoons like they used to. I'm still a firm believer in the classics -- and this, my friends, is definitely a classic. Also, quite possibly the cutest cartoon ever made.

But that's just my humble opinion. :)

If this doesn't bring a smile to your face, why then you're just simply not human.

Also, as an 'author's note' of sorts, more on the road trip actually is on its way. It's lengthy in that I don't want to leave anything out, and time consuming in that...well, I don't want to leave anything out. :) Please feel free to check back for more!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bubbles Wear Hats, Practice Makes Perfect, and The B-Party. - Day Two of the Four Day Wedding Roadtrip

I wrote the title for this before I started writing the actual post, and I planned to just dive right in to the continuing festivities, but I feel that it's worth a chuckle to mention the fact that as I clicked on 'edit post' and re-read my title, I had absolutely no idea what I was thinking. Or talking about. Well really just the first bit, "Bubbles Wear Hats." Fortunately, after I (with eyebrow raised) asked myself what the heck I could have meant enough times, it finally came to me! So now I shall tell you. :)

Bubbles Wear Hats

Our second day in P-town, Maranda came to our room and woke us up, with the exception of Emma who was already dressed and ready when she went to answer the door. As for Jackie, Michelle, and myself, we remained wrapped up in our sheets slumbering peacefully, as we were anticipating another hour of sleep before the alarm went off. Oh well! There she was, so up we got. After making our rounds in the bathroom we headed for Maranda's house, making a quick pit stop at Sonic for some lunch. We chowed down at Maranda's, and when her mom got there we were all put to work. 

Instead of rice or confetti or whatever other "They're married, let's throw stuff!" stuff, our bride wanted bubbles. Ingredients? Small bottles of bubbles, tulle* cut in circles, mini cowboy hats (black AND white), and ribbon (red, white, and blue).

I'd like to take this moment to add that until this trip I had no idea what tulle (pronounced 'tool') was. Not only did I learn what it is, but I also learned that it is CLINGY. After the initial wrap-your-bubble-bottles-in-tulle-and-secure-at-top-with-ribbon, the leftover circles were appropriately trimmed, snipped, cut, and snowflaked. We found tulle remnants in the car, on our clothes-- not to mention somehow in our luggage-- even after we made it back to Midlo!

So dutifully we wrapped, tied, and curled the bubbles. I seemed to have a hard time holding the tulle up around the top while at the same time tying a rather even knot with the ribbon. But doing it numerous times helped to cure that inability, and soon I got the hang of it. We had a makeshift assembly line, some of us applying the mini-hats, some of us wrapping and tying, some of us curling the ribbon. We hatted, tulled, and ribboned all of the bottles and loaded them into a box to be taken to the church later.

Then was when we realized there was still quite a bit of tulle left over. Jackie grabbed some scissors and started to snip, making a number of happy little tulle-flakes. :) Good times were had by all. 

I think it's worth mentioning that Jackie jumped into action when it was necessary to save a
 tulle-flake that leapt right from Michelle's hands! We thought all was lost, watching with shock and despair as it drifted skyward. Piling back into the car, we mourned. But then Jackie spotted the flake! It was floating back towards the Earth, and in a daring and gutsy move, she stopped
 the car, pulled up the parking brake, and snatched the wayward tulle-flake right out of someones yard! Our hero! :)

Practice Makes Perfect

After the bubble wrapping extravaganza, Jackie, Michelle, Emma, and myself all headed back to our room. Some of us needed to change for the rehearsal. We had a couple of hours to kill and we were all beat from the amount of sleep-- or lack thereof-- that 
we had gotten the night prior. So we flipped on the TV, put off changing until it was absolutely necessary, and facilitated our subsequent sleepiness by stuffing ourselves together on one of the beds (a full, and we had two in our room) to girl-talk and rest.

I very  nearly fell asleep, and I most certainly wanted to, but as I was an edger, I was nervous that I'd slip and fall. Jackie and Michelle, the middle of our proverbial sandwich, were quick to doze off. Emma and I (both carefully poised on the edge of either side of the bed) eventually got up. Not wanting to disturb either of our nappers, we did our best to not make noise. Or, you know, gracelessly plunge off of the edge and onto the floor. Jackie and Michelle were, I believe, already dressed for the rehearsal anyhow, so Emma and I took the time we needed to get ready and didn't wake them up until we had to. Again we made our rounds in the bathroom, touched up our hair and makeup, grabbed our purses, and headed out.

Now I realize I said that the boys deserved their own post, but there is something that I simply must include right here and now. Upon arriving at the church (after a brief stint at Maranda's, waiting for all to arrive so that we could follow them) we realized that Best Man Bobby had left his truck [Maxine] running. I don't remember exactly who pointed it out, thinking he'd be appreciative as gas is ridiculously high, especially for a diesel baby like Maxine, but that's not the point. What was absolutely incredible was the words that came from Best Man Bobby's mouth. The whole conversation, short as it was, went a little something like this:

us: "Hey Bobby, you left Maxine on."

Bobby: *glances back at truck* "Oh, I'm leavin' her on."

us: *eyebrows raise* "What? For the whole rehearsal? Why?"

Bobby: *looks at us like we're nuts* "Otherwise the beer'll get hot!"

us: ...*blink*

It was both entirely unexpected and completely fantastic all at once. We followed everyone inside and bee-lined for a room. I'm not sure what it was called. Probably a fellowship hall, or at least that's the closest thing I can think of in terms of what my church would call it. There we had finger foods, little snacky things, drinks, and conversation. We also met some of the other girls that were going to be bridesmaids with us. Shortly after the food, we trekked to what I'd call the sanctuary, and the rehearsal commenced.
All went really well, actually. We had some questions, myself included, just to keep things clear for the actual wedding. They put strips of tape on the stairs with our names on them so we would know where to stop and stand after the initial walk down the aisle. The groomsmen pretty much stayed put. We, however, came out, stood in place, took three-ish steps back when the bride was handed over to the groom, took a few more steps back when they lit the unity candle, and returned to our second 'three-ish steps back' spot after the candle was lit. But we did get it down. Really the only 'hang up' was the order. Maranda put us in order of when she met us. However, when our groomsmen matched up to that order, let's just say it went something like "shortTALLTALLshortTALLshortshortTALL". Well, you get the idea. So the boys were rearranged to be more...aesthetically pleasing, and then we matched the order they were in. Which, ironically, moved us to 1) Jackie 2) Michelle 3) Emma 4) Me, and so on. 

I wasn't about to complain. :) 

Especially because I knew that after the rehearsal would be our little 
make-shift bachelorette party...

The B-Party

Before we went to Maranda's to throw her a 'bachelorette party', we stopped by the nearest grocery store we could find (and the one that we were told involved english-speaking people), United. There we searched for a cake to bring, but when we couldn't find anything we settled for the makings of sundaes. Chocolate and vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, waffle-cone bowls, the whole nine. We resisted getting her an "I'm Sorry" balloon, although I'm sure she would have found it amusing.

Once we got to Maranda's, we ate our self-made sundaes and then settled in on a round of I Never. It was a bit...awkward at times, but for the most part really fun. And it was yet another experience wherein I learned more about some people than I ever would have cared to know. And I mean I learned some things I REALLY didn't care to know. 

But I did offer up my little I Never. 

Are you ready for this?

Here it comes.

I have never (NEVER) eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I know, I know. I'm a freak. A freak of nature. Don't worry-- all of my friends have already made sure that I know this. :)

Anyway, even though Jackie, Michelle, and myself remained 'dry' as it were--instead of beer, we took a drink of our water whenever we needed to-- we had quite a bit of fun. And watching the not-so-sober people was...highly entertaining. But then again, we already knew it would be thanks to our first encounter with the boys. :)

We ended up leaving Maranda's sometime around midnight, I think. I don't quite remember, but I remember being really tired. And knowing that we needed to wake up at 8 the next morning to start our RunRunWeddingDay. 

Leaving the bachelorette party essentially wrapped up Day Two of our trip, and I can only speak for myself, but I know I slept really good that night. And I also know that sleep didn't happen for near as long as I wanted it to. :)

To Be Continued...

*tulle –noun [tool; Fr. tyl]
a thin, fine, machine-made net of acetate, nylon, rayon, or silk.
[Origin: 1810–20; [F, after Tulle, France, where first made]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The More The Merrier, Blazing a Trail, and The Glorious Arrival - Day One of the Four Day Wedding Roadtrip

It all started with a wedding. A friend of mine, in fact a mutual friend of most of my friends, announced her wedding date a year or so ago, and a few months after asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. Needless to say, I was thrilled (and honored) that she'd asked. I'd never been in a wedding before -- gone, sure, but been an active participant? Not as such! Anyway, that was the start of it. 

The More The Merrier

I, along with three of my friends (whom we'll call Jackie, Michelle, and Emma for the sake of the story) would be driving up to P-town Texas for the whole affair.

Of course, as the date got closer and we managed to round up our outfits and request off work and save up the money to go, we narrowed down the plans. Leave Thursday, early as we can, get there Thursday night. Friday we'd tackle the rehearsal dinner, Saturday the wedding, and Sunday we'd hoof it back to Midlo, safe, sound, and having completed the task of marrying off our friend.

As usual, I procrastinated to the very last -- I bought my shirt a couple of days before we left, and I bought my shoes literally the day before (but hey, they're super cute!). And of course I was rushing around even the morning of to find the snacks I'd 'signed up' to bring.

Thursday rolls around, I'm still packing. Naturally it took me longer than I thought it would. Story of my life. Jackie picks me up, we load all of my junk in the car. I've got my suitcase and duffel in the back, my purse, and bags of food at my feet.
**please note the picture to the right at your convenience.**
Oh, and the blanket I brought in case I get cold? Yeah, I'm sitting on that. Which I later find out made me quite a bit taller than I realized. Loading the car doesn't take too long, but when you have to do it two more times it starts to slow things down. That, and the fuller the car got, the more rearranging we had to do. Oh, and I just think that you should know that
 the floorboards at my feet weren't the only ones that looked like that. We stuffed the trunk to maximum capacity. We even had to reconfigure because it was so stuffed that it was keeping the car from starting. You know us girls, though; can't travel light, can we? *casual scoff*

Anyway, we left town around noon and jammed out to Jackie's playlist. Eclectic is good, especially when you've got a long drive ahead of you. Did I mention that this particular trip was going to be somewhere in the area of 7 and a half to 8 hours? Well it was. And all of us, much like clowns in a circus car, were skillfully fitted into Jackie's two-door Honda Civic. Did I mention it's a standard? Well it is. Did I mention that Jackie is the only one of our quartet that knows how to drive stick? Well she is. And unfortunately her car gets the best gas mileage of the four of us, so in exchange for the whole driving-the-entire-time thing, we paid for her gas as needed. 

Blazing a Trail

I think that people who don't live in Texas can't truly appreciate just how big it is. In fact, I'll go as far to say that unless you live here or are here very often, you really don't understand exactly how long you can drive and still never leave Texas. The drive from our town
 to P-town took nearly 8 hours. But in P-town, the closest Walmart is in Kansas. And by closest I mean about 45 minutes away. Quick recap -- we drive the equivilent of a third of the DAY to get to a town where going through the little strip of Oklahoma to get to Walmart is faster than going to Amarillo. Who knew? Needless to say we saw more than our fair share of land. As far as the eye can see, land. And then, just when you think it's over, you look out the window and - LOOK! - More land! Not that it wasn't pretty, or even at times awe-inspiring, but I'm a photo fiend and let me just tell you that with the camera I was packin' there was only so many landscape shots that would be interesting. Maybe if I'd had more zoom...

So we've driven for hours, and we're almost halfway. Childress is up ahead and the only thing between us and it is Quanah. For those of you who don't know, Quanah is where my Grandpa lived, and he passed away earlier this year. So the last time I was in Quanah was for his funeral, and I guess I wasn't quite ready to handle that. It's just strange to drive through a town that you've been to countless times in your life and realize that somehow, someway you no longer have any connection to it besides a headstone. I don't have any more family in Quanah, which hasn't been the case since I can remember. It was just odd. In a sort of uncomfortable way.

When we all agreed that a pit stop was in order, we hit up the only place we could find that we thought might have a chance at decent sanitation: Dairy Queen. And, I feel that it's important to mention that somehow DQ's in little towns are different from those in larger cities. I know from experience. Midlo has a Dairy Queen, and Midlo is a small town. Small town Dairy Queen establishments can be...odd. It's like any other place - it has its regulars. Only DQ regulars can be an interesting bunch. We pile out of the car, tripping over bags and blankets, water bottles, etc., and flock into DQ. I notice that there are people, but for the most part I'm thinking that if I don't get to that porcelain I'm going to explode right here in front of God and everybody. After my turn, I head outside with Michelle -- Jackie and Emma are still inside. Michelle and I proceed to take pictures and goof off, then our other two join us. Jackie then informed us
 that apparently the DQ natives found us quite interesting. At least we assume they did, since apparently they stared. The phrase, "Take a picture, it'll last longer," comes to mind. That being said, we did indeed take a picture.

Of course DQ wasn't the only place we stopped along the way. It was just one of the more interesting stories. And as I actually don't want to bore you, I figured I'd stick to the mentionables as opposed to a word for word account of what went down. :)

By the time we hit Childress, all of the road markers were disappointing. We kept expecting to eventually see a sign for P-town. In fact, when we finally did there was much rejoicing amongst us four. After hours of driving, no matter how fun the trip or enjoyable the company, being in the car just isn't in the least appealing. 

The Glorious Arrival

When we finally got to P-Town, we met the bride-to-be at the gas station and followed her to our motel. Our room was nice. Not the Ritz, but come on - if it had been, no way would we have been able to afford it. While Jackie and Michelle checked us in, Emma and I waited in the car. I can't speak for her, but I know all I wanted to do was lay down. This, however, was not quite meant to happen for me yet. We unloaded the car, dumped our stuff off in the room, and piled back into the car (minus Emma, who rode with the bride), and followed Maranda to her house. There we met the boys -a couple of them, anyway. But I'll be honest; that deserves its own entry, so I'll get to that later. Anyway, we had dinner with Maranda, chatted with the guys, and left when the number of sobers no longer outweighed the number of not-so-sobers. ;) It was fun, but we were all glad to make it back to the room and crawl under our blankets.

Thus ends post one of what will most likely be a four or five post update. It's late, I'm tired, and I'm going to bed. Check back soon for Day Two - Bubbles Wear Hats, Practice Makes Perfect, and The B-Party. 

To Be Continued...