Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Yesterday was a day full of adventures. Adventures that offer good stories. However I need photos to tell these stories of adventures and I had to much laundry to mess with anything else.

Be patient with me, because tomorrow we are going primitive. Well, we'll have electricity but that's it. No water-- we'll haul that in with us. No showers-- I'll prepare boiled hot water sponge bathing basins for the family at night after hiking. Hopefully we will enter into a world where there isn't a fire ban so we can sing silly songs while roasting marshmallows.

Until then....

(Feel free to be jealous, especially of the no available showers)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Driving the Gold Belt

Yesterday we took a narrarated driving tour of the Gold Belt, the old Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad. The CD we purchased from our campground was a great history lesson.

Here is some of what we saw.

The narrow gauge
The old mines in Victor

A view from the top looking down at Cripple Creek

Off now for a great day of adventure and our last here in Canon City.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dorothy We Aren't in Kansas

I sit here watching the sun rise over the Royal Gorge Bridge, which I see clearly in the distance from my camp site here at the Royalview Campground. There is a chill in the air that is so welcomed after Saturday's St. Louis departure humidity and Kansas 104* pit stop.

Let's chat a bit about that ride into Kansas.

You know how when you drive down the highway there is always road signs alerting to up coming historical sights that are begging travelers to break from the highway, pause and visit? In true Lampoons Vacation style I suggested we stop at the Oz Museum--really why not, we were in Kansas. I had visions of bright colors, munchkins and yellow brick roads while music played and we sang along "we're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz". Well, twenty-eight bucks later (and that was a triple A and a college ID discount) failed to live up to any of our expectations; although I am told it isn't at the level of my taking the family to Windmill Island in Holland, MI. Because of our disappointment I refused to drop another dollar at Toto's Tacos. Truly a roadside America stop to a not so exciting museum in a quaint little Kansas town--with one stop light.

Next stop the world's biggest ball of string.


After an overnight in Salina, Kansas at a nice little KOA--where we practiced our rhythm of popping up the camper as a family in sinc, like a well oiled machine, impressing people that we can have her up as fast as David Copperfield can wow folks with a magic trick. Then we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant; the only one in the US that does not serve margaritas--so wrong and then the weary travelers rested.

Next thing you know we have our feet planted on ground of Colorado, were the air is cool and the sun shines. Bummer is here in Canon City they had a wild fire so we can't BBQ or have camp fires due to a temporary city ban. Of course most everything we have to eat is needed to be prepared over hot coals. So the marshmallows rest in the bag unopened.

Today we wake ready to explore.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Let's Go Camping

Tracey reminded me it's a great day to camp.

I have been crazy busy packing up the box to the left with everything but the kitchen sink...well, cause, there is already a sink in that box. You know this box:

(box looks the same, the kids though have grown and matured since this photo)

Then we'll pop that box up and out and have us a Great American Backyard Campout; except in someone else backyard.

Anyone else up for camping?

Friday, June 25, 2010


This month has been friendtastic. First my BFF surprises me with a mid-week knock at my door. The BFF lives in Chicago. Then my good friend from San Francisco comes to town and we meet for coffee drinks, chat and chat while the rain poured down outside--we chatted the rain away. Today I breaked from moving everything we own to the box to the left to hang with my friend from high school, who was our class foreign exchange student from Mexico, and now lives in Rome, Italy; came back to St. Louis for a visit. I invited our other good friend over to the house and we ate lunch and caught up on our lives in person. Real conversation, not emails and instant message chats. Oh course a photo to mark the moment.

Then while we continued to move everything to the box to the left; the moment D has been waiting for came early. Her bestie who moved to Massachusetts last summer arrived in town 5 hours earlier than expected. The squeal of three friends greeting the bestie "home", becoming four, could have been heard for miles. I was flashed back to many years of the girls' booming voices when they converged in our basement . A boom that lit my heart for friends separated now by distance but not by heart. Oh course a photo to mark this moment too.

Like I said a friendtastic month!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


There has been a sudden change in temperatures around town. It won't last long but long enough for me to escape town to a cooler region.

So with that said I am busy today; and the directions I sing sound like this:
To the left
To the left
To the left
To the left
To the left
To the left
Everything you own in the box to the left.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hot Summer

Every time I step one foot outside I think Charlie Daniels Band will be waiting to fiddle me the song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"...unfortunately the devil is stuck in Saint Louis; although I am wishing him down to Georgia, or down to anywhere but here. Oppressive heat suffocates us here. Gatorade is replacing milk at meals. Pool water that is suppose to fell refreshing is more kin to bath water. And the dog has canceled her summer track season. Now you know it is hot when Uli chooses to lay all day on the ceramic tile floor of the "red room" opposed to kicking up dirt while sprinting the yard.

Hot I tell you. Hot!

All this heat drags a person. While I am getting things completed, I am not getting everything completed. That means one thing: rushing around in the days to come. I am churning the wash machine as fast I can. I have a few floors yet to mop and toilets to scrub. In between I run this kid here and that kid there. All the while an alarm clock ticks in my head reminding me I'm on a time line.

The alarm clock is set to go off on Saturday morning at 9am. I can hardly wait!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good-bye Summer Playhouse We Enjoyed You For The While

I was shaken from my slumber this morning from a dream that had back ground music; and the song was Gary, Indiana.

Summer. It seems to have us moving more than during the school year. As one obligation ends another begins.

After chiseling off five days of hair spray over spray off my skin and wood floor from curling D's hair in spiral curls that needed to hold through a performance in the dreadful St. Louis humidity and mopping up eye shadow residue; the curtain on Whitecliff Summer Playhouse [in the park] The Music Man has come down. The stage is silent--for a while.

Life in the house paused from the clock's summons today; I so needed the break from rushing and late nights. So, the house got scrubbed. Smile.

The pause is short lived as we are about to begin a regiment of color guard.

Sigh. I was liking the pause in the calender and the chiming of the clock's alarm.

But alas, it's about the girls and treasured memories.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Father's Day Tribute

Imatating the likeness of a dad like King Ralph can be hard but, with a Flip Video it makes creative juices flow. I believe the girls did a pretty good job capturing their daddy in some of his more memorable, I mean unforgettable, moments--in this Father's Day tribute. These moments are the reason they laugh and love him. It was the gift wrap that required no fancy paper or tape.

Happy Father's Day King Ralph!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Best Alarm Clock Is Sunshine on Chrome

I woke this morning at 445am, crawled out of bed at 5am to a liking of Tim Allen in Wild Hogs. There stood my man in his blue jeans, rustic orange Harley T-shirt (that he bought in San Juan over spring break, because it seems he collects Harley shirts like old ladies collect spoons on vacations), the black riding boots and...a doo rag. Oh-my-gosh what a sight! Then I went to move the car to the street so he could get the hog out of the garage and I felt rain.

Then the next layer appeared.

A rain suit.

I thought he owned a rain suit for fishing but, it turns out that when I close my eyes something new--and needed-- appears. Necessaries. Of course. Like the special underwear he bought yesterday for twenty bucks. I don't even own a pair of twenty dollar underwear. Good thing the dog only has a taste for the female undies. These golden undies are made specially for riding; I take it from the looks that the fabric is more breathable. Underwear are underwear to me. Wear a few holes in a pair of Fruit of the Looms and wa-la, breathable panties. Or better yet, stop riding, stand-up and let air circulate around saddle bound seat. There was also a special waterproof sissy bar bag (known to us females as luggage). Next there was the speakers he purchased and mounted to the handle bars to which he can play his iPod, wind in the face, new luggage and fancy panties down a country highway what more can a man desire?

At 830am King Ralph woke his family with a text message picture of all the guys' Harley's resting at the gas station. D was less than impressed as she was in a sound slumber. M shakes her head and I just giggle; forwarding the message to the cousin's wife. Princess A shared some wise cracks with the gals from work which also had her doctor boss inquiring.

In the mean time I am tracking the trip through the bank. I can see how far they have traveled by where the debit card says the boys fueled.

Then we think the trip has met its high by traveling the highways and byways we get a final text picture message of Frank from the History Channel's American Pickers. Seems that King Ralph and his cousin noticed the American Pickers boys in the hotel. Next thing they know they are buying one of them a beer and chatting up a storm about the old bikes they uncover when "picking".

The girls gave King Ralph a Flip Video camera for Father's Day to record his trip and the guys attempt to mimic the Wild Hogs movie.

So while the gang of guys stretch out the celebration of fatherhood I am left home tending to a full calendar of band trivia night, band car washes, four days of summer community theater performances, dishes, laundry....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Only Bikers Know Why Dogs Stick Their Heads Out of Car Windows

I did something I swore to the good Lord above I would never do-- in order to preserve the life of one parent; ride on King Ralph's motorcycle. It was all the King really wanted for an anniversary present. So I obliged. I put on the helmet he specially bought for me, which is a cross between looking like a Storm Trooper and Transformer. Of course a gal like me cannot saddle up on a Harley without the offspring rushing out with cameras to record the moment for all time. When I first started on the ride I felt like I was on a roller coaster without a safety bar. It was kin to my fear of heights with no security boundaries. I laced my fingers through King Ralph's belt loops and locked them to my palms till the hands were purple and numb with finger nail indentations. To ease matters I stared at the back of a helmet that said "skid lid." Then suddenly when I least expected it I fell right into a comfort zone--placed my hands on my lap and let the wind hit my face as we cruised down the country roads. In front of us were King Ralph's cousin and his wife. We stopped at a wine bar that over looked the Mississippi River sat on the patio watching the Cardinal game on the outdoor screen, ate and sipped wine. Well, I sipped wine.

Next thing I know King Ralph decides he and I, along with the cousin couple are a little motorcycle gang. Another scheduled excursion for us four the following weekend was planned. There we sat on the patio of the Montelle Winery all of us sipping blackberry wine, listening to my co-worker's hubby's band sing to us on a beautiful May 30 evening.

Now this motorcycle loving brainwash needs to stop because I found myself on the back of King Ralph's bitch again heading to his sister's to swim. If my offspring weren't bad enough with cameras, my sister-in-law had to snap photos for herself as we headed home.

As Father's Day approaches the cousin-in-law and I are sending our men on a real life Wild Hogs trip. A trip like this does not welcome the wives. To which I believe deserves an--Amen!