30 June 2014

Well....

Well.....
That didn't go so well...


Re-entry to Texas has been - ahem- a challenge.

Things went from bad to worse to beyond belief and back, all in one week..

On the last leg of the trip in from Colorado Bunny called me with one of those "My Air Conditioner in my car isn't working right" freak outs.  My windshield got a(nother) ding.

The house wasn't dirty, per se, but there were lots of piles of things just set down. And left.
Empty boxes stacked in corners, awaiting disposal.
Bank statements piled on the desk.
The hubs likes everything out on the counters in the kitchen so that cabinet doors do not have to be opened. I don't.
Stuff seems to have multiplied.
(Just try leaving two men alone in a house after years of having a mommy to take care of everything. They did a pretty good job on the basics, but no actual organizing or cleaning out was done in that time.)
And then, of course, we brought a bunch of stuff back with us.
So I have my work cut out for me.
This is my office. It's a bit overwhelming.

Ugh.

 The desk. Normally everything is in its place. 

The floor next to my computer. 
I step around this to write my blog. 
Soon.
Soon it will be handled. 

Monday I was supposed to bring horses in at the barn. Just eight or nine of them. No big deal. Until it started storming. The rain poured in buckets. Lightning flashed.
I do. not. like. lightning.  Not one bit.
I had gotten three horses in, another horse owner showed up and got a couple in, then the sky opened up. We both got soaked. The remaining horses got soaked.   I know, I know, these are horses. They won't shrink. They can get wet. But if the fields get muddy, and the horses get frisky, then shoes can be lost and backs can be thrown out. So we waited in the barn for over an hour until the rain let up and we could get the stragglers in.  Oddly, I thought that was going to be the fiasco for the day.

Me and Jacinda. 
Soaking wet selfie.
But we got our job done!!

But no.

On the way home from the barn, the Big Guy calls me.  He had driven my parents (his grandparents) to the doctor and then was heading to the other grandma's house to feed her cat. (The other grandma, my mother-in-law, is in rehab after falling and breaking her shoulder and leg back in April.) It was pouring rain, remember? A flooded intersection and the grandparents' car did not mix. The car stalled.

Not too worried, I picked up the kid and later we went back for the car. Oops. Clouds of white smoke billowing out of the tailpipe. Shudders and groans from the car. None of this seemed right.

Tuesday the repair shop confirms that this isn't right. The engine is blown on the grandparents' car.

A family friend died. Fifty six years young. Cancer. So very very sad.

The hub's uncle died. He lived a long, full life, but again. Cancer.  So very very sad.

Since my parents are now without a car, some last minute driving errands have been thrown in.

Wednesday Carlos slashed his paw. Three places. Very deep. Lots and lots and lots of blood.
He had surgery on Thursday and came home on Friday. Not sure how many stitches $500 buys you, but apparently a lot.  He wore the embarrassing party hat for about thirty minutes before I took pity on him and  removed it.

So mortified.

He is such a smart dog. Not once has he even looked at that paw, much less tried to remove the bandage or tear out the stitches.

Part of the reason he is being so very good 
might be that he is also very sedated. 

Stitches come out (on purpose) next Monday. We may go in for a bandage change this Thursday.
He is pretty depressed. Poor puppy went from running 10+ acres with deer and bunnies to a backyard with at least a pool to play in ... to being confined to a small patch of yard and no walks at all.

Life pretty much sucks for Carlos.

O! And if we want him to do without his "cone of shame" then we have to be with him all the time. So Carlos has not been left alone since last Friday morning. Not one minute.

Saturday was the friend's funeral. People spoke eloquently, tears flowed freely. It was all just a bit too gut-wrenching.

And Sunday we went to an adorable little great niece's birthday party.

Sweet baby girl turned three.
And had a blast doing it.

Belle and I both noticed that relatives were asking "How long are you home for?" and "When do y'all go back to Colorado?".

Huh?  We weren't expected to come home? People expect us to go back??

WHY didn't someone tell me sooner???


This week has started off better.

The grandparent's car is not totaled. Just needs a new engine.

I'm hoping it's all good from here on out.


Please.
















25 June 2014

A Wrap Up: One Thing I Should Have Done

A Wrap Up: The One Thing I Should Have Done 
(and maybe one that would have been a good idea)

For the most part I have got to say "No regrets" about the almost year spent in Colorado.
Even though I was away from most of my family and friends, missed my horse and cats (and the chinchilla, turtles and fish), and endured more than my share of car problems and plumbing fiascos, I loved the entire time there. Loved the weather. Loved being out in the country. Loved the mountains.

BUT.


The one thing I should have done is the one thing my expat friend has said about moving to any new place.

"No matter how long you think you will be staying, you should approach ANY move as if it is for the rest of your life."

Think about that.

Another friend's motto is "Do it like you mean it."

Basically I think both friends are saying the same thing.

And what did I not do?

Get a job.

Fortunately the hubs financed this expedition. I've pretty much been a Stay-at Home mom since the Big Guy was born. Twenty two years now. In that time I've volunteered at the schools some. And then a couple of years ago I got a part-time job.   Loved working again. Loved the people, the mental challenge, the routine. But I left that little job to go to Colorado.


I thought about getting a job once we got settled and school had started.  But I felt bad.  What if someone hired me and then I left three months later? Even if it was part time, that wouldn't be fair. Besides, the Fall was busy with friends coming to visit and weddings and holidays and the girls were cheering. So it just seemed easier to NOT get a job.  And I was going to be leaving mid-December.

Well, if you've been reading this blog then you know what happened. The girls decided to stay in Colorado for the entire school year.

And when January rolled around, the routine of a place to go would have been nice.  Because there were no more visiting friends or holidays or excursions planned. Just the day to day snow and cold.

Once it looks like this outside, a little diversion is welcome.
Even if it is work. 

If I had gotten a job (even a volunteer one- this really isn't about money but about becoming part of a community-although the money would have been nice) then I would have felt more connected. Would have met more people. Would have put down some roots.

Yes, it would have made it harder to leave. But it also would have opened up more opportunities.

So there's my regret. Not working somewhere.


And another little "maybe we should have".

Gotten a place in town. Just a little apartment or loft or tiny house. We talked about it but it seemed silly. And expensive.  But considering that it ran about  $7.00-$8.00 round trip every time one of the cars went into town...and we had three cars... and many days those cars went round trip twice and sometimes three times. One really bad day I even made that trip four times. Well, it all added up. I think for the three of us our gas bills ran about $700-$800 a month. Maybe more. (Some things you just don't want to know for sure.) The mileage on the cars certainly added up.
Definitely if we had been in town we would have felt more a part of the community.
And probably those girls would not have gotten away with as much as I suspect they did.
(Because really...when you are fairly certain they aren't where they say they are, but it requires a 30 mile round trip drive to check, things tend to slide.)

A little loft along F Street would have been nice. 
(Photo via here.)

So.... some things to think about. Do it like you mean it. Do it like it's forever.

Good advice no matter what.


And.

Everyone think some happy thoughts for poor Carlos.
He managed to survive ten months of running wild through the woods, avoiding the bears and mountain lions and gun-toting neighbors unscathed only to come home and slice his paw on a piece of metal in the back yard. I went outside this morning and he was covered in blood and licking his hind paw.
A panicked trip to the vet got him bandaged him and sedated.

Carlos's big adventure. 
Love Dr. Knox and First Colony Vet. 


Thursday morning he gets stitches.
Then he gets to wear one of those big party hats for a bit. How embarrassing.

Bunny gets the award for being the calm mommy of the day. She sat in the back of the car with Carlos on the way to the vet, talking sweetly to him. She sounded just like me.
"It's okay, Buddy, we're just going to have the doctor look at that foot. He'll probably put a Band Aid on it. No big deal. You'll be fine. You may need a tetanus shot. It's okay. Just sit down. Everything will be fine." No panic. No squeamish-ness. Just calm in the face of pools of blood. Seriously. It looked like there had been a murder. On the back porch. In my car. At the vets.
So proud.
Can't wait for the big dog to be home tomorrow. The house is too lonesome without him.










23 June 2014

A Wrap Up: Things We Have Learned

A Wrap Up   or
Five Things We Have Learned in the Last Ten Months


Goodness!

Back in Texas and Man! Is it hot and steamy and pretty much miserable.
I have Michelle Duggar hair. (But not, thank goodness, 19 children.)

Not me, but maybe my hair ??

I feel like I am being punished.  Made it all the way through a cold and snowy Colorado winter and now I have to be here for a Texas summer?

The Gods are not smiling upon me.


BUT!

I have been reviewing in my tiny little brain all of the things that the girls and I have learned, managed, dealt with over the last ten months and thought I would share.

Let this be a lesson to anyone and everyone who thinks "I can't".  Because guess what? You can.


1. Plumbing is not rocket science.  The reason those plumbers make a boat-load of money is that it can be gross and disgusting not to mention physical, but not because they are paying off their years of plumbing school.   Most of it is Part A goes into Part B, make sure to either lube or tape it and keep a bucket and some towels handy.  (Also, plumbing terminology is sexy. Male and female parts. Butts. Ballcocks. Lube. Cocks and cockholes.  Diaphragms. Couplers. Hardness leakage.  I could do a whole Fifty Shades of Plumbing book.) Anyway, you can learn a lot online.
(Plumbing adventures here  and here and here.)


Me, bonding with the potty.


Which brings me to  #2.

2.YouTube is a God-Send.  You can learn how to do most anything by watching a video. And there are usually many many videos with different teaching styles- all for the same process- so every teaching style is addressed.  Plumbing, car repair, high altitude cooking, most of life's daily requirements are covered.
( Read here, here and here for some examples  of YouTube magic!)



3. Snow is not constant in Colorado.   Prior to moving to Colorado, I had this vision of a Colorado winter starting with a snow in November and then it would snow EVERY DAY until May.  I know many other people who have never lived in a snowy area also believe the same because of the many questions I have gotten regarding snow. That isn't what happens.   It snows, maybe a whole bunch, for one or two days. The snow plow comes. You go out and shovel. The snow sits in the shady areas of the grass.  But for the most part, roads are clear and the snow is not EVERYWHERE. Then the next week it happens again. Or maybe two weeks later or maybe three days later.   But the snow is manageable.  And after typing this I am thinking "Maybe I shouldn't share this, because then more people will realize what a lovely place Colorado is even in the winter and then more people will move there." I don't want to share.

Snow. It comes, it goes.
And Carlos loved to play in it.


4. Colorado is VERY hard on cars. (Although we don't seem to be having any better luck here in Texas and I haven't even been home a week.)
In ten months we have had all the electrical replaced on one car, along with the radiator, battery and the transmission. New tires and most of the wiring on another car redone. New wiper blades, wheel well and back bumper on the third car which was purchased while there.
Three (four?) battery jumps for one reason or the other.
FIVE dings/cracks in the windshields repaired.
A couple of routine oil changes thrown in also.
I believe I had rental cars something like 12 weeks of our Colorado stay. (That would be three months of ten for those that are mathematically challenged.)
(Car mishaps galore: lightning, mishaps, tires and accidents.

 YouTube and some jumper cables saved the day this time.


AAA and a tow truck came in handy for this missed turn.


5. Teenagers are much more resourceful and capable than we give them credit for.
The girls have had to deal with many, many car issues. They have been stranded. My first instinct is to run to their sides and stand there and call AAA for them and handle it. But a couple of times things happened when I wasn't available. And guess what?  They dealt with it just fine.  Both of them know where the OnStar buttons are in their cars. They know which friends carry jumper cables and which friends know how to use them. They know they have AAA if OnStar can't handle it.
They also have learned to camp- if you call putting a real live mattress in the back of a car, piling on five thousand blankets and throwing in some crackers and water bottles actually camping. But they joined kids who really did know how to camp and learned the joys of bonfires and S'mores and being out in the middle of nowhere with 40 other kids and not a parent in sight. They all lived. 9-1-1 was never needed.
It's all good.   I am definitely stepping back and letting them handle more stuff on their own.  Free range children: it's a good thing.

Bunny changes her own windshield wipers. 
Because she's awesome like that. 


Belle documenting her amazing camping prep.

I am sure I've learned more but these are the big things.
Some things I would have done differently.
Maybe some things I wouldn't have done.
But maybe that's another post. Thursday.




18 June 2014

Invasion of the Body Snatchers.....

Invasion of the Body Snatchers....maybe

Apparently we are getting out of Colorado just in time.

Remember this?

Invasion of the Body Snatchers?
Little Shop of Horrors??


Everyone told me it was a poppy but I wasn't so sure. My neighbors have assured me that the aliens come to visit around here.

And then yesterday morning, I looked out the window...
And there was a HUGE red eye staring back at me....


Creepy, yes??? 

I thought for sure I was a goner.   Not gonna escape Colorado in one piece.

Imagine my relief when I woke up this morning.  No more glaring, creepy eye. 
Just one beautiful poppy that decided to bloom before I left town. 



What a relief.
.......................

And now we really are on the road back to Texas. The girls negotiated an extra day here but I finally told them that we would have to leave if we wanted to come back. It's hard for them to leave those nice boys and all their new friends. It's hard for me to leave my gardens and new friends and mostly my TWIN SISTERS. I love those mountains. But we will be back!!!


The Twin Sisters
 under the snow-
the two mountains outside my front door.
Love those girls.
See you soon!

16 June 2014

No. 39: Grow a vegetable from scratch

No. 39: Grow a Vegetable from Scratch: Update


Back in March, I planted some seeds in hopes of getting a jump on No. 39: Grow a Vegetable from Scratch.

I planted tomatoes and peppers and had high hopes. 


Bah humbug.

After three months, you want to see what those seeds look like?  Three months of love and care and water and attention...

and this is what I've got:

Tomatoes on the left, peppers on the right.
This picture was taken last week. 

THREE MONTHS and this is it. 

I am such a bad mother.   I have such underachieving seeds.   It's embarrassing.

I gave up and threw them out with the rest of the plants in the big gardens.  They will either shrivel up and die a quick yet painful death or get with the program and flourish. No more coddling for these babies.   (I'm kind of getting that attitude towards my actual kids now, also, but that's a different post.) 

And out in the big gardens, what is going on?



Scary looking, yes? 

This plant popped up with these amazing buds/pods. I did not plant it, it's a volunteer. I've been told it's a poppy.  We'll see. I think those pods are people replacements.  If the girls start acting strange, I'll know I was right.   O wait.  I probably won't be able to tell if they are acting strange....


My only hope right now for a veggie from scratch is this lone pea blossom.

There are quite a few of these Dwarf Gray Sugar Pea plants but only one is blooming.


One blossom which I presume will result in one pea pod. And I won't even be here to see it most likely. Or water it. Which makes me think it won't make it either.  But I will have my neighbor check on it and report back. Cross your fingers. 

Once I get back to Texas I think I will just go buy a tomato plant. 
Will that count? 

11 June 2014

FIBArk: It's a Party!

FIBArk: First in Boating the Arkansas 


Today is the start of FIBArk.

What's FIBArk, you ask?

First in Boating the Arkansas (River) is the nation's oldest whitewater festival. And it's held right here in my backyard of Salida, Colorado.

From the official FIBArk website a brief history:

The FIBArk boat races started June 19, 1949 when six boats entered the Arkansas River in Salida on their treacherous 57 mile run to Canon City through the vertical cliffs of the Royal Gorge Canyon. Fueled by the spring snow pack runoff from the mountains of the Continental Divide and 5 or 6 feet above normal level, the river water ripped down the canyon creating tremendous currents and boiling rapids where the valley walls narrow and the river floor drops.

Only two boaters finished the race that year and the following year the course was shortened to 45 miles. Only one person finished the second year.  In the interest of keeping the contestants alive, the race was shortened again to 25.7 miles for the third year. It is still the longest whitewater race in the U.S..

And probably the most fun. The entire town turns out for four days + of races, parades, beer, and music. And maybe just a little pot.

Thursday evening is the Tenderfoot Hill Climb.  Remember my drive to the top of S Mountain last week? Runners start at the base of the mountain and run STRAIGHT UP, then back down again.  And they do it in less than 12 minutes. It's amazing. I get out of breath just watching. 


Runners heading STRAIGHT up to the top of Tenderfoot/S Mountain.
Photo by Matt Kroschel/The Mountain Mail

Friday starts with a Pancake Breakfast, followed by races in the river, a carnival and live music in the park.  At night there is dancing on the grass in front of the bands.



Saturday morning there are 5 and 10k running races followed by the parade down F Street. I LOVE a small town parade. Candy is thrown to the kids. There are firetrucks and police cars, the mayor and the Shriners. So much fun and it makes me feel like I am in 1950's America.


 Veterans proudly march.

People line the street for the parade down F Street.

All day long there are more water races and then at 5:30 there is the Hooligan Race. Anything that floats (and lots that don't) can "race" down the river in front of a screaming and cheering crowd. O yea- no actual boats are allowed. Most contestants end up in the water, most floats end up disintegrating. 


 River Rat

 There's a very large bridge support in the middle of the river these guys are trying to avoid.


A prison break? 
Nope, just a Hooligan float.

Then more music in the park. And dancing. The air is heavy with smoke...a contact high is possible. 
Beer and wine are served. Babies dance.  Gray haired couples dance. Teenagers dance. All are welcome. As the night goes on, the girls get prettier, the guys get more handsome, the party gets louder.  Last year we wisely took a hotel in town just so we wouldn't have to drive home with the rowdies. Don't have one this year but I figure the girls have friends in town to stay with and I won't be out late. 


Music at Riverside Park.
Not even dark and already the photos are blurry.

The actual downriver races are on Sunday. There's a river dog contest. And more music. 

By 6pm, things are wrapped up, the whole party is over. 

This year I confess to seeing it more from a local's point of view than in previous years. I went into town today and stocked up at the grocery and ran all my errands. I'm not interested in trying to fight the crowds over the next four days if I don't have to. And already I am weary  of the drivers not familiar with the canyon road that I drive every day. It's a narrow road, river on one side, mountain on the other. Each direction has one lane.  Nervous drivers tend to straddle the middle yellow line. That would work if it were a straight road, but it isn't. Not at all.  I dodged two cars today-both coming at me in my lane- on my way into town. 

Nevertheless, I am still excited for the fun to come. 


An Update:

Taylor Stack, 15 and the current owner of our baby chicks, won the Tenderfoot Hill Climb with a time of 10 minutes, 39 seconds. The second place runner came in at 11 minutes 7 seconds which means Taylor was hauling butt up and down that hill. Even more impressive, he didn't even look like he had broken a sweat doing it. Just came running across the finish line like it was a stroll in the park. Amazing. Especially when you consider he was running at an altitude of about 7000 feet. 
Wow.
(And he was only 7 seconds off the all time record speed of 10 min 32 seconds set back in 2006.)


10 June 2014

No. 49: Make a New Friend (Part Two)

No. 49: Make a New Friend (Part Two)


Pulling out of our lane last fall, I encountered a big gray Cadillac with Texas plates.
What?
I seldom pass other cars and if I do, it's a Subaru (the National Car of Colorado) or a truck. Certainly there are no Cadillac sedans and definitely no other Texas license plates.   But there it was.

Of course, my curiosity got the best of me.

The next morning Carlos and I set out on our walk. I heard voices coming from the house across the street and up the way.  I had to go introduce myself.

And VoilĂ !  New friends.

Actually new friends for me and three new friends for Carlos. (Well, two new friends and an acquaintance...not everyone wanted to be friendly.)

And imagine.  The people who bought the cabin down the way are from Fort Worth. The wife worked with one of my sister-in-law's best friends. What are the odds?

They are part timers, this is a second home for them.   But like me, the wife is trying to figure out how she can stay longer.

Fine with me. I love a playmate.

Funny how you can meet some people and immediately click.

The next day we were heading to the hot springs and to lunch.

And Carlos?   Two new Schnauzers that chase and play.
And one dachshund that is not so happy to have a large puppy romping in her yard.
Two out of three ain't bad.


Me and Sue on a visit to O'Haver Lake.

So another new friend. Someone happy to have company to stop by unannounced.
(Especially if there is a wine bottle in hand....)
Is that a Texas thing?
I seldom see the few Colorado neighbors that I have.
Whatever, I don't care.


No. 49 is done.


AND....

This weekend is FIBArk in Salida.

I'll post about it on Thursday.  One big party!

When FIBArk is over, we are all packing up and heading back to Texas.
So posts may be few and far between for the next couple of weeks.  I am more than overwhelmed by the thought of cramming all of these belongings into two cars and driving the thousand miles back to Houston.
And the cars....ugh.
Just replaced the transmission on the Baby Hummer and last week we noticed a radiator leak. Once we get it back from the shop, Bunny's car needs to go in.   Her tires need aligning and rotating before we drive it to Texas. It's always something.

But first, we party!

05 June 2014

Exploring

Exploring....Being a tourist where I live.


You know how you can live some place forever and never see the "tourist attractions"?

I have tried to avoid that here and when the girls were younger (and didn't have their own cars) I managed to con them in to many adventures. Some were fun (St. Elmo's ghost town, white water rafting) and some were not (the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Royal Gorge Train).

But realizing that there are only a few more weeks for my "full time" here in Colorado, I decided to knock out a couple more things that I have wanted to see, but haven't.

Today, Bunny needed my assistance at the Verizon store so I struck a deal.   I would help her get her phone activated, she would take me up "S" mountain and to the Smokestack here in Salida.

"S" Mountain looms over Salida.  Technically the name is Tenderfoot Mountain but it has a huge white S on it,  hence the nickname. There's a little building at the top, windows and door gone.   All the kids have been up there. Even the hubs and the Big Guy have hiked up to the top. But I had never been. Until today.

S Mountain from F Street- Salida, Colorado
photo - ColoradoGuy.com

Up Spiral Drive and thank goodness we didn't meet anyone on the way up.  A narrow, winding gravel road that could have benefited from the installation of a few guardrails.  O well.  We made it.
The wind was crazy but the view was worth it. 

Me, holding on for dear life.
I thought we were going to be blown away up there.
All of Salida behind me.

F Street dead ends into the turn around at the Arkansas River. 
You can see the S on the mountain towards the bottom of the pic.


Bunny, my tour guide for the day, on the steps up to the summit.

After S Mountain we headed to the Smokestack.  This is exactly what the name says- a huge smokestack towering over  a couple of falling down buildings and the surrounding fields. Old and abandoned.  When we first came to Salida, the girls went with their friends and said it was spooky and haunted.  Four or five years later, a few more windows and doors are gone, the space is more open and not so spooky. Maybe still haunted. 

The Smokestack

The actual smokestack is 365 feet tall and was constructed in 1917. At the time it was the tallest smokestack in the world. It's in the area of Smeltertown, west of Salida, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places back in 1976.  Built by The Ohio-Colorado Smelting and Refining Company to carry the noxious gases away from the smelter, the stack is constructed of beautiful brickwork with a concrete foundation that goes 30 feet into the ground.  The site was contaminated with lead, arsenic and creosote at one time, but has since been cleaned up. 

There are a couple of buildings around the stack and all of it is fenced off to discourage vandalism.
But, as Bunny says, if they really wanted to keep people out, they would repair the fence. 
We snuck in, no problem.

Bunny, breaking and entering.
Actually here we are leaving- but out the same way we came in.



Standing at the base of the smokestack.
Impressive.
Look at all those bricks.

Looking up the inside of the stack.
Again, notice all the bricks.


Inside the little building connected to the stack, looking up.
The stairs up to the second floor have wisely been removed.
But look! The ceiling above is also brick.


The brickwork is phenomenal, marred here and there by graffiti.
The smokestack entrance is on the left, at the back by the stairs.



 An adjacent building, also in disrepair.
Again, brick after brick after brick.

A fun couple of hours, a chance to spend some time with my youngest and have her show me around, with lunch thrown in for good measure.  So happy to finally visit these sites. 

What other adventures can we find? 

Stay tuned...





02 June 2014

No. 49: Make a new friend

No. 49: Make a new friend
Can that be put on a list and done? 
YES!
(Part One)

We are winding up our school year in Colorado which I guess means we will have to return to Texas.

I have lots of observations to share but somewhere along the line I realized that I have definitely accomplished No. 49 in the past year.


Kathy, Lisa, Janna, Me
Party at Boathouse!


Last week I went out with these three women.   One (Janna)  I had met when my girls first made friends here. She's the mom of one of the many girls that my girls have hung out with for the last five years.   But all three of these women are also Cheer moms. In fact, on the left is Coach Kathy, the Salida High School State Champion Cheerleading Coach.

I ended up spending a lot of time with these ladies back in the fall and found them to be loads of fun and great mamas and very welcoming.

I know that I can count on them if needed and if I have a question, they know the  answer.
Since they all live in town and have for years, they know the different kids (and parents) at the school and have given me advice on who I need to be worried about and who qualifies as a good kid.

Every parent of a teenager knows how valuable that info can be.

Also, they know what's really a tradition and what is just "I'm gonna tell mom this is a tradition and she won't know any different."
Bonfire for homecoming?   I was a told that's a tradition that parents don't go to.
Ha! The entire town was there EXCEPT me because I believed those girls.
That's when I started checking up a little more.


Homecoming Bonfire 2013
Photo by Anthony Himes taken from The Mountain Mail

One of the girl's boyfriends parents are out of town? Thanks.  I would not have known and No, you may not sleep over at anyone's house this week.

Name of a doctor?  Got it.

Where to get my hair done?   Got it.

What's the schedule for cheer?

What? How? Where?

You need friends when you move someplace new!

So Kathy, Lisa and Janna- thank you for being my No. 49s.   Not just one friend but three.


And more to come....