Real Time Web Analytics

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What Did I Do With My Bucket?

The fine folks over at Red Hill General Store recently decided to do a little social experiment with all the gals over at the Real Farmwives of America & Friends. They sent each of us a bucket to see how we could put it to use.

That started a great debate in our house: What to do with it?

It's a cute, little 4-quart galvanized pail.

BabyD and LittleD got to brain-storming, and came up with lots of uses. Check it out:

To hold wash clothes in the bathroom:
(In-bathroom storage space is at a premium in our house)

Ice bucket for beverages:

A holder for all of the miscellaneous kitchen utensils:
(my personal favorite)

Transport for condiments and utensils for a backyard weenie roast:

To replace the always-too-small fruit bowl in the kitchen:

I thought these were all great ideas. (I think we need a couple more buckets!)
This list didn't even include a place for cut flowers (not much is blooming right now at our house), 
or for picking strawberries (which, unfortunately, are done for the season).
We also considered planting some flowers in it for the back porch.

So, what did we decide?
Like I said, storage in our central bathroom is pretty minimal. 
So the girls thought this would be a good place to keep their collection of bubble bath items:
Since they aren't used everyday, this can off-load the mass of bottles on the shower shelves.
And it looks really cute in the bathroom.

If you are interested in winning a galvanized embossed tub from Red Hill General Store, click on over to the Real Farmwives of America & Friends website to enter the give-away.

Thanks to Red Hill General Store, which did provide me with a bucket to blog about for this post. The pictures, photos and ideas were my own LittleD and BabyD's. (And I think they did a darn-good job.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Journey Continues; South Dakotans--Marketing Geniuses

I posted earlier this week about our stop at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, as we made our way cross-country to Yellowstone National Park (YNP).
I enjoyed seeing parts of the country I hadn't visited before.
And came to a few conclusions about some of our Midwestern neighbors.

This is pretty discouraging to look at--especially when you've already been on the road for hours!

We stayed at campgrounds along the way.
The girls slept well in their bunks.

We made our way west, across Missouri, then north through Iowa and into South Dakota.
Of course we had to swing by for a visit to the Corn Palace.
(aka, World's Largest Bird Feeder, I think!)

LittleD and I made friends with the giant Corn.

We finally made it to Mount Rushmore the evening of our third day on the road.
We arrived just in time for their flag-lowering ceremony and the lighting of the monument.
It was quite stunning at night.

Since we stayed so close by, we came back in the morning to enjoy Rushmore in full day light.
I'm totally fascinated by this thing.

Then we headed over to Wyoming to check out Devil's Tower.
Does anyone remember this from Close Encounters? I didn't until someone reminded me.
It's completely amazing that this thing is just sitting out there, all by itself, jutting toward the sky.

The park at Devil's Tower had one really big prairie dog colony.
All I could think of about was these guys could harbor monkey pox. (Anyone remember that?)
I think our dog would've enjoyed chasing these guys around the field.

Not to worry.
That Gigantic Camera Bag made the trip, too.

We finally stopped in Buffalo, WY, at foot of the Big Horn Mountains before starting
the last leg of our trip to Yellowstone.

Meanwhile, I've come to the conclusion (based on stops at rest areas and visitor welcome centers in several states) that the folks in South Dakota are marketing geniuses. After all, that was the whole basis behind the construction of Mount Rushmore--to get tourists to visit.

Likewise, with the world famous Wall Drug. (Yes, we made a short stop there for supper.) The Husband had told me from the beginning that we had no reason to go there. But, after seeing approximately 3.1 million signs to visit Wall Drug, he declared, "We have to stop, since we're so close." Yeah, okay.

And that Corn Palace. Again, those South Dakotans figured out the "if you build it, they will come" principle. And we did. So did a whole bunch of other people... to shop a a huge corn-themed junk gift shop.

What impressed me most was the friendly folks who were staffing their rest areas. Everyone one of them asked us if they could help us locate our destination, give us a map and/or provide us some literature. We even got free lapels pins--just for using the bathroom. Well, not for that, exactly. But that's all we did at that stop. And, their rest areas were very nice. And clean. (Wyoming can learn a thing or two...)

As if that wasn't enough, those marketing fools even seemed to have annexed the corner of Wyoming into SD, because all of their tourism materials encouraged a stop at Devil's Tower, too.
Genius, I say. Just genius.

Smart and Trendy Moms

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Great American Road Trip: Day 1--St. Louis

I warned told you I was going to share some pix from our recent family vacation to Yellowstone National Park.

We actually left on Memorial Day, so The Husband and BabyD wouldn't have to miss their annual pilgrimage to the Indy 500 for Race Day. We don't mess with daddy-daughter time.

To get everyone fired-up for our trip, we decided to make the first day a (relatively!) short drive, and take in the Gateway Arch of St. Louis. That put us on the road for only four hours (which was plenty, considering we NEVER seem to leave until about lunchtime, anyway, when we go someplace--I trust this is God's way of providing opportunity for Type A Me to practice patience... but I digress...).

The girls were actually quite excited to see the Arch.

It was evening when we made it to there.
By the time we got to the top, it was after dark, which made for some fabulous views.

This is what took so long...
Like father, like daughter.
There was a LOT of this going on during our trip!

But, that's to be expected when you look at this:
Yes, that's The Husband's camera bag... all 42 lbs of it!
He didn't appreciate us making fun of it.

But, how could we resist?
That Bag had to have it's own seat ticket to ride up to the top of the Arch!!!

 Here's That Bag, riding in the little barrel elevator to the top.
Glad to report:  It wasn't afraid of the heights or tight spaces.

Now, I'm going to have to do something about getting some of the really good photos of our trip to post.
The Husband and the girls had access to the really good cameras and assorted lenses. I, however, was making do with my Itty Bitty Nikon--which I am NOT dissing, by any means, because it's compact and does a great job, fits in my pocket, and doesn't need it's own passport to travel!

Our biggest challenge in St. Louis was finding a place to park this rig.
The waterfront parking, along the Mississippi was under water.
So, we had to park by Cardinal Stadium and hoof-it, which was fine.

The big question was: If you take up three spaces in the parking lot...

How many do you have to pay for?
We only paid for one.
And we didn't get towed.
So, we were scoff-laws right from the beginning. But, that made our adventure all the more memorable!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gettin' Back in the Groove... And the Eastern Time Zone!

I've been away for a while. Since Memorial Day, actually.

I just haven't said anything, because, well, you know... all those "online safety rules"... like not posting to the entire world that you are out-of-town on vacation for three weeks.
Because some desperate soul body might break into my house and steal all our fabulous stuff, like my 18-year-old used-to-be white couch.Or the hand-me-down stereo speakers my brother-in-law passed on to us that go so well with the 20-year-old stereo.
But I digress.

Where, pray-tell, have I been?
Big Sky Country and Yellowstone National Park.
And everywhere in between.

We packed up "Sulley", our big blue Suburban (named after the Monsters, Inc. character)
 and our camping trailer...
and set out to spend three weeks seeing a major chunk of America.

Yes, I said three weeks.
Can you believe it?!? The Husband actually agreed to taking that much time off work!
I've had the time saved up, because, heck, the last time I got three weeks off of work, I had to GIVE BIRTH!
So, the day he agreed, I posted my work vacation request form on our fridge, and booked us a reservation at a campground in West Yellowstone, Montana.

I'm going to bore you with some vacation stories and photos during the next couple weeks. I've actually been blogging all along--on a private blog for close friends and family, so they could see what we were doing each day.

This was really a great trip, that The Husband and I have been talking about since we bought our first camper 9 years ago. And, we finally did it. The girls, who are now 13 and 11, are old enough to remember it and really appreciate so much of what we saw and did. I'm glad we finally made the time (and the 4878 miles!).

I also thought I'd share a little about the RV (as in Recreational Vehicle) lifestyle. For those who might be curious.
Anyone out there an RVer, too?
Some people get a little hung-up on calling it "camping," because there's no tent involved. (Why would I want to sleep on the ground for three weeks in 30-degree nights? If that works for you, great. But, I got nothin' to prove.)

Meanwhile, we got home about 48 hours ago.
I've already conquered the mountain of laundry we drug home...

Now, honestly, our biggest problem is readjusting to life in the Eastern Time Zone. We'd kind of turned into slackers anyway, but the extra two hours on the Mountain Time clock really messed up everyone's sleep patterns. The girls have been WIDE AWAKE at midnight. And my efforts to get everyone up and dressed by 8 am this morning were in vain.
Monday is going to be ugly.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Warning: Unattended Husband Headed Your Way

This goes in the category of "What Was I Thinking?".
You see, right now, as I type, I did something that I've done only a handful of times in 20 years of marriage... and always with much regret:
I sent The Husband to the grocery store with a list.
***insert music from the shower scene in Psycho here***

Because, in the weakness of not feeling so great, and badly needing a nap, I took him up on his offer, that since he was going to Walmart to get an inner tube for LittleD's bike entirely flat tire, he could pick up a few things. He was being nice. And it made sense for me to lie down for while, so we could go ride bikes after while. Plus, we really, really need milk.

The list isn't long:

  • 2 gallons of milk
  • apples (I did specify Gala or Fuji)
  • bananas
  • hamburger
  • jelly
  • lunch meat of his choosing
And, that, my friends, may be the greatest down-fall to this whole scheme.
I gave him just enough items to send him all over the store, without enough to absorb all his attention.
I'm wondering what he'll come back with.

When The Husband is loose in a supermarket unattended, he comes back with all sorts of crap stuff... three or four boxes of Corn Pops (with a claim "they were on sale"), cookies he's never seen before, always Twizzlers (the big bag), ice cream bars, donuts, clearance jelly beans left from Easter... you get the picture.
And, to disguise it all, he'll surely have something for me--likely cherry pie (which my thighs enjoy as much as my mouth!).
You should see what he comes up with when he doesn't even have a list!
I think Walmart was made for men. That way, when a man runs in for household repair item, or to refill a prescription, the WM marketers turn on the charm by luring them into the food aisles.

And the worst part?
I didn't send him with any coupons. (The tightwad in me is cringing.)

I made that mistake one time before--and I won't let it happen again:  Entrusted him with my coupon holder.
I'm still getting it back in order after that trip. He pulls them out and they don't go back in the right slots.
No. I just didn't think the 1.25 he would save was worth the frustration it would cause me.

So, I've had my hour-and-a-half nap, and I'm waiting for him to come waltzing in with way too many bags of loot, looking proud. (And, since BabyD accompanied him, I'm sure there was some extra candy-buying influence going on, along with a stop at Dairy Queen that she'll never be allowed to speak of, since her sister wasn't there.)