Tuesday, 29 June 2010


I almost forgot to tell you about this one. It takes a bit of setting up, so bear with me a few paragraphs, ok?

My daughter Michelle and her Jonathans (big J and little j) came to visit us before we headed off to England last month. I like Big J because he's a very handy man and he installed my toilet while he was here. I like little j because he is my yummy pet man-cub.

Anyway...they stayed the weekend and we had a chance to say good bye. You see, while I was going to be traipsing about England (illegally), they would be moving to Nebraska. Yeah, I don't know where that is on the map either...

So, we went to England, we were detained, we were released, we got good with The Man and then came home. Dan was booked on a different flight than me and the children, so I got to hustle 6 bags of luggage and 2 children to Amsterdam, then Tennesee before catching our delayed THIRD plane and finally arriving home 23 hours later.

Dan's plane was delayed and therefore missed its connection and he was given a free pass to a nice hotel...of COURSE. That means I got to drive back to the airport at 11:00am on the morning of my first jet lagged day home to collect him at the exact place that I had left 12 hours previously. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?

I know, so far, you are not impressed with the quality of this story. Wait for it... I promise, it has a punch line.

The kids and I picked up Dan, happy reunion, collected luggage, hour long drive back home, blah, blah, blah.

I had left the house in good order before running off to England (illegally), so it was still in pretty good shape when we got home, if you don't count all the spiders and scorpions which had moved in, thinking the place was derelict. We walked in the door and Dan dragged his suitcase into our room. As I followed behind him, I saw something dark tucked a bit under the bed skirt. That's odd...I bent over to pull it out and what do I find?

A pair of MEN'S UNDERWARE! And Dan standing right there looking at me holding up foreign skivvies! I started laughing at my own situation and said, "These must be Jonathan's ...they were here just before we left for England. This is the room they stayed in when they came to visit!"

Dan good naturedly calls me on it and applauds my quick thinking.

So far, I think he still believes me.

*for those readers who don't know, Dan had been working in Iraq for 17 months prior to this.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


Today at church, one of the speakers became overcome with emotion and started to weep a little as she shared her love of teaching the Young Women. Logan stopped working on his paper airplane to ask why she was crying. I tried to whisper a quick but spiritually appropriate answer, "Her heart is filled with the Holy Ghost and when we are emotional, sometimes we cry." I turned my attention back to the sniffling lady and tuned Logan out. After a moment, I realized he was speaking to me again, but all I heard was, "Is her on crack?" How do you answer a question like that? In church and everything!...with a lady pouring her soul out?

I'll tell you how I addressed such a shocking question. I used the tried and true answer every parent falls back on and just gave a curt, "No" so I could go back to trying to hear what lady at the microphone was sobbing about. Logan interrupts again and reiterates, "Ho hawt is quacked?"


He hadn't asked if she was "on crack," but if her heart was "cracked"; which in retrospect, makes much more sense.

Uh, yeah, that's it Logan, her heart is cracked...

(then I whispered the story to Dan and he almost had a stroke, trying not to laugh out loud... in church and everything!)

Governor's Reprieve

Dan made some gorgeous baby back ribs for dinner last night. He smoked them flawlessly and added the perfect amount of barbecue sauce to make them moist but not unnecessarily sloppy. It's enough to make you salivate just looking at them, mmm-MMMM!

Our adventure began with us gorging ourselves shamelessly, licking fingers and methaphorically tossing the bones over our shoulders as we worked our way through several racks of ribs. That's when it happened. A very sneaky sneeze erupted out of Logan's meat filled mouth.

Dan was right in the trajectory's path.

It wasn't pretty.

Too late, I handed Logan a napkin. Dan was incensed at the total lack of common decency Logan exhibited by not covering his mouth. Just as The Lecture was about to commence, Logan wiped his face and said in a rather dazed manner, "I didn't see THAT coming..."

I hid my grin behind a hand. Dan looked at me incredulously, covering his new found mirth behind his napkin. Hannah, who has been schooled to not encourage her brother's bad behavior through laughter, watched us stifling our giggles with twinkling eyes and an almost straight face. Logan, noticing our silence, looked from face to face and realized he would not be walking the Green Mile that night. He laughed at us trying not to laugh at him--breaking the tension and sending us off into gales of laughter where only death and dismemberment had hung previously.

So Logan spat chewed food at his father and got off scott free.

Bet you didn't see that comin'...

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Why I'm Not a Travel Agent

We found out sometime last November that Kimmy and John were going to have a baby in May. Since then, I've been discussing and organizing plans to fly to England to meet my new grandson and have the kids meet their newest nephew.

After huge amounts of angst booking our airline tickets online, Kimmy helped me buy train tickets that would take us from the airport to her home town of York. Then, noting that my return flight in June was quite early, we decided that reservations at a nearby airport motel would be in order. So I painstakingly booked those as well, I even paid extra for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning.

On the big day, I had a copy of my flight itinerary, the train tickets that Kim and John mailed to me from England, passports, and some English currency all organized together. We made our flight on time, and when we arrived to the Manchester airport in England, I was ready. I had filled out the Landing documents we were given on the flight to turn into the Passport control people and our passports in hand, ready to whiz through and catch our train. The Passport Control Nazi barked out his questions: "How long will you be here?"
"Thirty-four days!" I had counted, I was prepared.
"What is the reason for your visit?"
"To see my grandson that was born 3 days ago," I gushed.
He kept flipping through the three passports I had given him until, holding up Logan's and my passport, he finally growled, "These passports are expired!"

I will skip over the part where I almost started crying and the part where the Passport Control Jerk threatened to put us on a plane right there and then to send us home. It ended up that the good people of England decided (after holding us for an hour and a half) that the kids and I weren't a security threat and graciously allowed us to come into their country even though I am a complete imbecile.

Once Dan arrived to England, we took a day and went into London to sort out the passport snafu at the American Embassy so all was set for our departure back home.

Just one last little detail to make this little saga into a great story--when we arrived in Manchester travel weary and ready to go home, the Travelodge didn't have a reservation for us...because when I booked the room back in April, I had inadvertently made it for MAY 16th instead of JUNE 16th. Perfect.