Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Love a Parade

I do, I love parades. And one thing my small town has going for it is that it has good parades.

Every June my town has a parade. We always go. Today was the lucky day. The parade lasted two hours! Tons of marching bands (my favorite), floats and give-aways. Very few horses in small-town Minnesota -- miss the South Dakota parades for lots of beautiful horses.

Our town has a 3M plant. I lose all manners during the parade because I love the 3M give-aways. This year I got five no-scratch sponges. Woo-hoo. I gave one to my friend because she didn't get one. I also got a super-sticky notepad, a tape dispenser, a sticky-note dispenser and a leaf sticky-note pad. All from 3M. All because I BEG. I also make my husband beg. He does, because he knows how fun the 3M stuff is for me.

Thomas made a haul with the candy! Between Bob, Thomas and our friends, I think we only brought half the candy home with us -- they sat and munched on Tootsie Rolls during the entire parade. (I don't like candy unless it is chocolate, and Tootsie Rolls just don't count for me.) Lots of people gave out cold water bottles and Popsicles, which went well with the candy.

This was a lovely parade, but I do have one complaint. Ahem, go figure, ME complaining -- again. There were a few horses. I'd guess a dozen in total. As one rode past us, I knew there were problems. That horse was NOT happy. He was jumping around. I told Bob to look. We both sat there with our mouths open because we knew something was going to happen. The rider wasn't experienced at all -- it was a woman in her 20s. She had no control over that horse and he was all over the place. They went by us and I just kept staring at the horse.

The horse and rider were about four units ahead of us and that horse had had enough. It bucked and bucked and finally threw her off. I actually screamed and everyone around me stood up to look and gasped. The woman landed flat on her back. The horse was ticked off, someone grabbed it, and the woman got up. Thankfully it appeared she wasn't hurt. Now at this point the LOGICAL thing to do -- well, based on my seeing that horse/rider for the three minutes I saw it -- would have been to TAKE IT OUT OF THE PARADE. Ticked off horses do not belong in a parade -- way too much potential for injury. Little kids, old folks, crowds -- un-huh.

So what does the gal do after she dusts herself off? She mounts the horse. I couldn't keep my big fat mouth shut and I screamed, "Take the horse out of the parade." I am just so awful. But that was just so logical. Guess what the horse did? Started bucking -- again. This time instead of getting bucked off, the gal got off and led the horse. He was frisky, still not happy, darting around -- and then they turned the corner and went out of my sight.

I hope it settled down. That just really scared me. Bob and I both knew she was an inexperienced rider because she was digging in with her hips -- I can't explain it well, like she was bearing down, kinda-sorta. It was just odd and atypical. We also thought she was terrified -- and the horse knew it.

Here's a picture of our stash. I'm already looking forward to next year: What will 3M give away next?

Friday, June 08, 2007

US Geography

You Really Know Your State Capitols

You Got 19 State Capitols Correct

You're either a geography buff... or you have an excellent memory.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Everybody's Playing -- 5 Minutes for Mom

Lots of my blogging budies are playing, so I thought why not, I will, too.

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away 5 FREE 6-month subscriptions to Netflix. What a fantastic idea. All you have to do is leave them a comment including your favorite movie or two and link to them on your blog.

Anybody who has ever read my blog knows my favorite movie, worth mentioning yet again: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.

It's worth a shot.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

mom & me

Here's mom, me and my oldest sister. Doesn't my mom look happy? Sadly, that's the look I always think of when I think of mom. I'll have to dig a smiling photo up. I think this was my third birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mom

I see it is past midnight, which means it is my mother's birthday. She passed away 14 years ago July. If she were alive, she'd be 73. I went full circle over these 14 years -- mourning her, then growing up and breaking away from her. Yes, for a few years after her death I was angry at her, mad at the games she used to play. Now I'm back to the beginning. I miss her, but I don't miss the games. I've done some growing up in those 14 years.

It is sad that Thomas never knew his grandma. She was a hands-on, loving grandma. Maybe she smothered the grandchildren too much -- nah, she just loved them all to pieces. She took my oldest niece to Disneyland -- what a trip. She would watch all the kids for a week at a time, sometimes more. She bought them shoes, clothes, toys, trinkets -- spoiled them rotten. Thomas never got that from her, and for that I'm sorry. It's not the stuff that I'm sorry about, it's the love behind it. She loved her grandchildren.

I think in celebration of mom's birthday, Thomas and I should bake a cake. Then I'll surprise him and take him to Shrek, if I can dig enough quarters out of the bottom of my purse! Mom would have taken him.

Thomas's other grandma loves him, but she's not demonstrative. She forgets to ask about him when she calls Bob. She never asks to speak to him on the phone. She always remembers him at Christmas and his birthday, but usually with a trinket that I wouldn't even give to a friend's child at a birthday party. She's so different. Not very grandmotherly at all. I feel sorry for Thomas in that regard, too, because every kid needs a grandparent that dotes on him.

My dad dotes on Thomas when we're together. He sends special things in the mail, such as old train magazines, photos of the Big Boy engines, etc. Dad always asks how he's doing. He's a good grandpa.

And that is why I got my credit card out. See, we can't afford the trek to Denver, but dad will be 81 this year and as he tells me, he's not going to be around much longer. He's been telling me that for years, but I have a fear that I didn't have before -- I can sense something. So we'll use the darned plastic, drive two days (double-ugh) and I will face driving in Denver traffic just for him.

I hate driving into Denver. It is the most stressful thing I have ever/will ever do. (hopefully) The second to last time I drove in, I was on 6th ave. (a highway -- US 6) and a truck in front of me had a mattress fly out right at me. Yeah, we're going 70 probably. Thankfully I got in the other lane and avoided getting hit by it and hitting anybody. I still have nightmares about that. The last time I drove to Denver, I decided to go early on a Sunday morning so there wouldn't be any traffic (or mattresses flying!) So I'm driving out of Cheyenne at 6 am, and a drunk driver comes up behind me. I slowed down to about 40, got way over, and he passed me. The car in front of me wasn't so lucky. He hit him. I watched that pickup do several 360s and end up in the median. I stopped, got out, helped him, and stayed there with him until the Highway Patrol showed up. He was bruised up but walking. He called me later that night to thank me for staying with him and to let me know he was okay. However, when I took off I was shaking so violently, I could barely drive. I called my husband on my cell phone, something I never do -- cell phone while driving -- and he calmed me enough so that I could hang up and just drive in.

Mom always said things happen in threes. I just hope that nothing happens this time.

I hate driving into Denver. I'm fine in the city, I just hate driving into the city.


I don't have definite plans yet, but we are planning our trip so that we can go see the Titanic exhibit at the Denver Museum of Natural History. (They don't call it that anymore, I forget the new name.) Hopefully we'll be there for dad's birthday and mine. Dad's is the 26th. Mine is the 27th. As a child, dad always teased me that I didn't get a birthday cake, I just got his leftovers. Bless mom's heart, she always made two cakes.

And for my birthday? I want a safe trip. Aside from that, I want to eat at the Olive Garden.

So I'm in stress-out mode facing driving into Denver. I'm a wimp and I admit it.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I do love you. I'm not happy with a lot of the stuff you pulled, but I can forgive you. And I do. You were wonderful in so many ways.

Monday, June 04, 2007


I got tagged by Heather but the funny thing is her husband accidentally deleted her meme, but put it back in his version. I'll play along anyway.

The rules are simple… Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

These are 8 facts/habits about me:

1. My favorite color is anything pastel. (Pink probably wins, but I love all pastels.)

2. My favorite decorating style is Cottage Style. Only one room in my house is decorated in cottage style, the rest is very earthy which I like as well.

3. Minnesota is not my favorite place on earth. In the back of my mind, constantly, is: When will I get home? Home is anywhere west of the Missouri River, specifically South Dakota or Wyoming. Perhaps Nebraska, although I have never lived there.

4. I was born in Laramie, but my family was not country/cowboy. I always wanted to be a cowboy. I married one, but he's not a cowboy anymore. Well, he tells me he was never a cowboy, but his dad was and he grew up on a ranch, so close enough. He still has his cowboy boots.

5. I was the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship. I got an AA degree and then transferred to court reporting school where I got an AAS degree. One of my biggest regrets in life (that I will change one day) is that I did not obtain a four-year degree.

6. When I was young, I wanted six children and I had them named: Larry, Barry, Jerry, Carrie, Sherrie, and Mary. (What WAS I thinking???)

7. I am a nonconformist, stubborn, and very opinionated. (And I'm right 99.9% of the time.) (Frankie Straight is not my real name -- a friend told me I was very frank, that's how Frankie Straight was born.)

8. I love barns. Always have, always will. That's one of the good things about living in rural Minnesota -- tons of gorgeous barns.

Tag 8 people:
Hmmm....I know so many have done this meme, so I'm just going to leave an open-ended invitation to play along.


This afternoon, after Thomas and I both slept until 11!!!!, we did our last leg of the CAT5. Thomas finished two minutes before the timer was set to go of. He set his pencil down and loudly proclaimed: "I'm a 6th grader, now!" He didn't even whine when I told him we needed to finish up the test. Yeah.

We hopped in the car and drove to McDonald's for a dollar ice cream cone to celebrate. I had to dig in the bottom of my purse before we left. I found nine quarters. I was thrilled that they have reduced the price of these twists and it only cost $1.47. lol We thoroughly enjoyed our treat.

When Bob got home from work, he cornered Thomas and asked where we ate out today. Thomas was stunned that dad knew. He questioned him, "How did you know?" And Bob laughed his evil laugh. The water from the air conditioner on the garage floor was the dead give away. (Bob hates that we do fast food occasionally.)

Thomas and I discussed where to start for summer plans. He has agreed to a good house cleaning this week. It's going to be very cool, in the low 70s, so we'll be able to open windows and air things out. He's excited to get his room done so he can have friends IN the house. lol Our school room is a disaster and will take at least a day to get in order. I'll share an after-the-school-year photo before we tackle it.

Thomas and I listened to Eragon on CD the last couple weeks of school. We finally finished last week. That was a nice treat to listen to it, as we loved the voices of the reader. Thomas begged to rent the movie, so we did tonight. We loved the movie, but Thomas kept complaining: Hey, that's not like the book. All through the movie. I just laughed. Bob just confirmed that movies always destroy the author's books.

Thomas is a chip off the old block. Bob is not much fun to watch movies with -- especially if he's read the book. He analyzes, nitpicks, and complains his way through entire movies. Yup, like father, like son.

I loved the movie, and I really loved the actor that played Eragon. I thought he had a beautiful smile in his eyes.

I guess that's it from the middle of nowhere today. Except that our new geography book arrived, a friend emailed me about next year's plans, and I cannot turn myself "off" and sat at the kitchen table for more than an hour figuring, planning, daydreaming about next year....sigh.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I'm having a hard time adjusting to school being over. All last week we worked on our CAT test. (We have one sub-test left to complete.) My brain is in overload and I just cannot seem to turn it off.

I talked to Bob about this early this morning. I told him I was a little blue or off right now. He laughed and said it is because I'm a very scheduled person and I don't have a schedule for non-school mode yet.

That's all he said, the man of few words. But he was right. He nailed it.

There are so many possibilities. There are so many projects I want to do, so many friends we could get together with that is difficult during the school year, so many places to go.

I just feel stuck and overwhelmed because I don't know where to start!

Ah, I have always been good about making routines and schedules. I think I need a week of nothingness first in order to clear my brain.