Tag Archives: travels

Per request

14 Jul

It has been with some gentle urging and prodding that I hereby make a guest appearance on my own blog. I have had no shortage of material about which to drone on and on. Time, however, has prohibited me.

To begin, I would like to expound upon a pet peeve.

“Me” is not a dirty word. It is the objective form of the personal pronoun “I.” Simply put, if I am the object of the sentence, “I” becomes “me.” See what I did there? I used correct grammar. Correct grammar was used by me. That’s easy enough if I use “I” or “me” by their own lonely selves in a sentence.

But the disconnect seems to come about when introducing a second party to the sentence. When Matilda and I went to grammar school, they doled out highest honors to Matilda and me, NOT to Matilda and I. Just like they wouldn’t dole out such honors to I, they would not dole out honors to Matilda and I. Do you see where I’m going with this? I am afraid that people are so tired of being corrected by us Grammar Nazis for saying “me and Billy Bob went a-huntin’ for varmints” that they equate “me” with bad grammar. It’s sad. If you catch yourself saying a preposition before bringing a personal pronoun into the conversation, you should probably use “me” and not “I.”

Remember this: I do awesome things, and you give awesome gifts to me. You and I are best friends, and people point and laugh at you and me.

*steps off soapbox*

*slips on soap*

*splats*

*picks self up, looks around to make sure no one saw that*

Totally unrelated to the slip, trip, and fall that nobody saw, I have a heart-shaped bruise on my forearm.

Isn’t it awesome?! It’s like a temporary tattoo from playing volleyball on Thursday. Which, by the way, was the perfectest day for volleyball yet this season. It wasn’t too hot, nor too cold. It was overcast, but not raining. There was a beautiful sunset, yet the sun wasn’t in anyone’s eyes to prohibit awesome spikes. And best of all, there were enough people for two full teams plus one sub per team, so everyone could take a water break every six rotations, but not soooo many subs that anyone had to wait more than a couple minutes to get back onto the court!

In conclusion, I would like to share a couple anecdotes.

First, my hair has gotten so long these past few months! With the exception of the days where it is like 90+ degrees outside, I like to drive with my windows down. Unbeknownst to me, I have been shedding as well, so my long brunette hairs flew off my head and onto the carpeted/felty back part of my car that covers my trunk. (I will call this part of my car “the rear dash.”) However, when I was gassing up my car the other day, I noticed that there were long white hairs strewn all across my rear dash! I felt anger begin to rise within me. What AARPer has been taking my yellow car for joy rides while I was sleeping, and leaving their telltale white locks on MY rear dash?! Then it occurred to me….it was MY hair that the sun had bleached! There was also a dead wasp, who had finally baked after taunting me on many an early-morning ride to work.

Lastly, I was pulled over recently on one of those aforementioned early-morning rides to work. It was actually a morning that I’d left on time, and was hitting greens instead of reds, and there seemed to be less congestion on the highways, so I actually consciously chose to drive within the speed limit. Doing so allowed me to people-watch. Other drivers are sometimes really funny to watch! Sometimes they’re really infuriating to watch since the dumb fools think they can text and drive. I always honk at them. Always. Then I pray that they crash into an indestructible tree in such a way that they need all their fingers amputated so that they can never again text and drive and endanger the lives of thousands on the road.

But I digress. Back to my leisurely morning drive…. I was taking the on-ramp between one highway to the next, and I noticed a police car parked on the shoulder with his lights on. Out of respect and an innate sense of caution, I slowed down even more than my already-within-the-speed-limit speed. Merged onto next highway, continued the mile or so till my exit. The police car had turned his lights off and pulled out a few cars behind me. No biggie. I wasn’t speeding. I hadn’t cut anyone off. I used my turn signals for merging. I had my lights on even though it was only slightly overcast. I had current registration stickers, and my inspection still had about a month left. I had taken the body out of the trunk and scrubbed the blood dribbles off the bumper. Kidding. As I took my exit, I was thinking to myself about how glad I was that I’d decided not to speed that day. Aaaaand the police car was suddenly on my tail with his lights on.

On the shoulder of the exit ramp, I pulled over with barely enough room for other cars to get by, put on my hazard lights, and rolled my window down before turning my car off. I’m a pro at getting pulled over. Upon the officer’s request, I produced my license, insurance, and registration. After a looooong silence, he told me why he’d pulled me over. I have an after-market amplifier on my muffler, and I could get cited for that. I asked him if he was citing me for it, and he said no, he was just letting me know that I could get cited. So I did what any good female would do, and asked the man for his advice on what I should do. I can’t remember exactly what he said, for he was an older gent, with really long nose hairs which danced disconcertingly and distractingly as he answered my question. I don’t think it helped that I was looking up into his nose from my perch in my drivers seat. In any case, I was not ticketed or warned or cited. Just politely informed that I could get cited, and to have a good day, ma’am.

Road Trip Quips

11 Sep

I recently returned from a week-long adventure. I started from my Emmaus, PA home and went straight to the bank, bringing up the first great tidbit of advice:

– Have money. Trips are costly, especially shopping trips. Gas costs money, and snacks from gas stations are expensive, reminding me of the next tip…
– Have a large variety of snacks and drinks. My cooler held flavored water, energy drinks, chocolate chip cookies, and puppy chow. Also in the car, but not in the cooler, were chips, bugles, Munchies, and gum. What more could I ask for?!
– Skittles. Bring Skittles. I forgot to bring a bag, and every rotation of the tires reminded me of those perfectly round, delicious candies, and I regretted having none.
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– Companionship is necessary. Be it in your car or in another car. For the first leg of my trip (Emmaus, PA to Fairmont, WV) I had my bestest friend in the passenger seat, and it was nice indeed to have conversation (both intelligent and otherwise). For all the other legs of my four-legged journey, I was passengerless. Thus I resorted to forming temporary camaraderies with fellow drivers. For example: I, in my speedy yellow car, passed a lil tan Honda Civic from Georgia who was trucking along at 75mph. Minutes later, that same Georgian Honda passed me, who had slowed down to my average traveling speed of 80mph. Not to be outdone by a lil Honda, I passed them again…at speeds that I will not mention, so as not to scare the fainthearted among us. They didn’t pass me after that, but they did do an admirable job of keeping up with me at aforementioned unmentionable speeds. Then came time for me to head more westerly to TN, and they continued in the southerly Georgia direction. Ah, but not without a friendly honk and wave as they took their exit! Such an action would have been odd, had that been the only occurrence of complete strangers showing themselves to be friendly drivers on the highways. But besides the Honda Civic, there was a clunky Chevy SUV from WV, a white sedan from Maryland, a black Toyota from Michgan, a BMW from TN, a black Dodge Challenger, and several others. It made the long stretches of highway driving seem shorter and considerably more fun to traverse.
 – Yes, I’ve been told that a highway is not a racetrack, but that only applies to those who are losing the race.
– Which brings up an interesting point. Whether you call it the fast lane or the passing lane, please be aware that you do not deserve a spot in that lane unless you are fast or passing! Just because you happened to pass someone five minutes ago (who was probably the only slower person on the road besides you) does not guarantee your right to be in the passing lane. It is the passING lane, not the once-upon-a-time-I-passed-somebody lane.
– Stop for gas before dark. Especially if you are female and traveling alone. Even when it is light, park in a conspicuous place. One particular time I parked right next to a group of Harley Davidson drivers who were all hanging around their bikes. I highly recommend such an action for two reasons. First, I know quite a few bikers who look rough, tough, and mean, but the truth is they are softies, and they would never hurt me or my car (or any lone-traveling female and her car). Secondly, their tough appearance will keep potential thieves, stalkers, or unsavory characters away.
– Before hitting the road, make sure the amount of sleep you got the night before equals (or almost equals) the amount of driving you will be doing. I got about 6 hours the night before I drove for 5 hours, and I was fine. Then I got 6 hours of sleep before I drove 8 hours, but after only 6 hours of driving, I felt myself dozing off. This is not an exact science, but the premise is the same: A well-rested driver is a safe driver.
– There is no joy quite like that experienced when nearing your home state line on your return trip and seeing the first license plate bearing your state name.
– Lastly, and most importantly, and applicable to all drivers everywhere, DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE! Seriously. I drove a total of 27+ hours, and discovered that there is no person in my phonebook that needed a 160-character text from me, more than the other drivers on the road need their lives. Everyone survived without hearing from me for several-hour stretches. I’m sure those in your acquaintance can survive as well. The other drivers thank you in advance for the preservation of their lives and/or limbs.
Happy road-trippin’! I know I had fun…from Emmaus, PA, to Fairmont, WV, to Muddy Pond, TN, to Odenton, MD, and back to Emmaus, PA :-)

Happy Old Year!

31 Dec

Like last year, I have no New Years Resolutions for 2012. At the end of the upcoming 366 days, I would rather reflect on the past year with happiness, than remember where I failed in my resolutions.

2011 started off with January, as all years do. That was a long time ago, and if something exciting happened then, I have quite forgotten.

February passed. Quickly. It’s always such a short month. I think the 31st of every 31-day-having month should be dedicated to the memory of February since it is so short and speedily gone. Smack in the middle of February, I was privileged to attend an Anti-Valentine’s Day party with some single girl friends. We’re not anti-love. We’re just anti-make-a-big-stink-out-of-love-with-roses-and-chocolate. But do give me the chocolate, please.

The last day of February took me to Wisconsin, where I visited Sarah for a week during a special Bible Conference. It was nice to meet all the people she’d been telling me about! I arrived home at the end of the first week of March, with the measurements of a half-dozen girls in hand. Off to JoAnn Fabrics to buy skirt and jumper fabric I went!!

Skipping on down to summer, I did alterations for two weddings. One was bridesmaid alterations, one was a wedding gown alteration. It was definitely a good experience for me!

For the August wedding, some dear friends came up from Tennessee and stayed in my sewing room for a little less than a week. No get-together with them is complete without a night of energy drinks, ice cream, coffee, and walking in the middle of a deserted street with fuzzy blankets.

At the end of August, SURPRISE! My sister came in for a week to shock the socks off the rest of the family. I knew all along. *smug grin* What none of us knew was that on the day of her arrival, the entire east coast would have a mild earthquake. Furthermore, on the day before Sarah’s departure, Hurricane Irene lended her hand in a refinishing/redecorating project for our entire basement.

After August, the year whooshed by.

  I participated in my first fashion show on October 15. A mere 2 weeks before the big day is when I was invited to put a garment in the show, so there was all manner of patternmaking and fitting, trial and error, staying up all night and all day to get the jacket-skirt set done. But it done got done!

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In December, my dear childhood friend, Hannah, was visiting from WV and I met her then-boyfriend, Todd. He is her now-fiance as of merry Christmas, and what a cute couple they make! I’m so excited for her!!

2011 brought a lot of new things into my life:
– New phones! I went through two since February, and made the joyous switch from T-Mobile to MetroPCS. And yes, my newest phone is a smarty-pants phone.
– New friends! Met some awesome people at the hotel, and am privileged enough to count them as friends now – both coworkers and guests! I even made friends with some non-hotel people! And thanks to one of those new friends, I have a….
– …New haircut! I went from having sorta long-ish hair to a shorter ‘do, which I’m loving! (compare the Anti-V-day pic to the bridesmaid alteration pic!)
– New infatuation! Do you all know about Pinterest? You should. I talk about it a lot (with my mouth, not really so much on my blog). And it’s awesome. If you need an invite, let me know. Start your new year right with a new Pinterest account!
– New coffee! I was introduced to Turkish coffee recently! There was a moment of awkwardness at the beginning of our relationship, but all has been ironed out and we are grand friends indeed.

Why make wild endeavors for the new year when my old year turned out just fine by winging it?

Back with a capital B

10 Mar

February is over. It happened so fast. On February 27th, I was packing a suitcase, making a list of things not to forget (which I ironically lost), and sewing a skirt. On February 28th, I was on a 7:25am plane to Wisconsin, then I was in Wisconsin, then I was taking a very necessary nap. Suddenly, on a day which should have been February 29th, March sprang upon me with its cold Wisconsin winds and an inaudible lion-like growl.

It is still March, though I am no longer in Wisconsin. I am Back with a capital B.

Since coming Back, I’ve accomplished quite a bit –

— I’ve Blown my nose so much that I’ve depleted a tissue box of its innards.

— I’m feeling Better now. I think I owe some of it to Airborne.

— I Bought 18.5 yards of fabric (at least) yesterday, so I can fill the orders I took while I was in Wisconsin.

— I Began the super-exciting process of making patterns for all the orders I took.

— I Befriended a few new guests at the hotel during the three days I’ve worked since my return.

— I Broke the “Control” key on my laptop . . . again.

— I Blogged with a capital B. Maybe later I’ll update this blog on the trip itself.

So uh….what’s new?

1 Jan

I got asked this question today. It’s so difficult to answer. Um. What’s new…. My car? My job? My socks? My unfortunate zit? Ooooh I know! The YEAR! That will be my response from now until the year gets old. Which is usually when I finally remember to write 2011 instead of like, ya know, 2008. (I seriously had a moment today when I thought the year was 2008. I quickly snapped out of it.)

I celebrate every new DAY, so celebrating a new YEAR wasn’t such a big deal. It’s all the same. Stay up late, eat jelly beans, do something fun, do something productive, greet new day/year, do more fun and productive things, curl up in a blanket, eat more jelly beans, brush teeth, zonk out. *yippee*

This year for New Year’s Eve I worked on a puzzle with my two sisters. The excitement was when I found a stinkbug on my jelly beans.

Last year I watched a movie with my sister, my bestie, and her sister. The excitement was when we actually got sleep.

The year before last year, I watched several movies with a couple friends until we finally zonked out at 7am. The excitement was that not exactly everyone zonked out, and the only wakeful friend started a facebook account for me.

The year before the year before last year, my family tried staying awake, but they all pretty much dozed off at some point. The excitement was painting my brother’s toenails bright red.

Like ten years ago, I was in the Czech Republic with my family to celebrate Christmas and New Years with some friends. The excitement was drinking sparkling apple juice (Robby Bubble, to be exact).

The year before like ten years ago, was the infamous Y2K, for which we went to my mom’s parents. The excitement was sitting on the couch, doing word search puzzles, eating peanut butter swirl ice cream, waiting for the world to end.

I can’t wait for next year, 2012, when the world is supposedly going to end. I cannot wait to prove those silly Mayans wrong. The soonest that the world could possibly end would be 2018, after the 7 years of tribulation.

But I’m no prophetess.

I have no resolutions to get anything done or to make myself better. However, I’d better start now.

Light before the tunnel

18 Aug

Most people talk about seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. They see a goal. Something to work towards. It may be rough going now, but up ahead it gets easier. Right?

Well I am approaching my tunnel right now. The sun is shining; I feel all warm and comfortable outside. And that feeling of entering a tunnel hits me. The endless sky above me is cut short with the stone walls and ceiling of the tunnel surrounding me. In less than one week, I will leave the beautiful summer days behind and head into the darksome tunnel of my fall semester which dead-ends into my December graduation. It’s not really all that bad. But it feels pretty bad right now.

I have actually enjoyed my summer. I think. I stayed busy so I don’t have many boring, lonely times to complain about.

My sister came at both the beginning and end of summer. Her visits were full of laughter, shopping, coffee, and more laughter.

Planning a surprise visit to Tennessee gave me something to look forward to for several weeks. And actually going to Tennessee was quite the summer highlight! I’ve already written two posts about that and I’m sure I could write dozens more, but I’ll spare ya.

This weekend, our family is going to Boston! I have some Mike & Ikes purchased and have charged my iPod. All that’s left to do is pack.

We return from Boston late on Saturday night. On Monday, I have my first biology class. How unfun. Sigh. The tunnel is closing in already.

And I’m not holding my breath.

The Slaughter of the Steer

28 Jul

As alluded to in the previous post, I had some experience in Tennessee as a “cattle capturer.” Most accurate would be to say that I was a spectator at a cattle capturing, but I had a part nonetheless. Here is the story of how the events of that memorable morning transpired. (Names changed, or at least humorously skewed with, to protect the innocent.)

Monday (the part after we slept and woke up) started with excitement. Mr. Reallycoolfamily called the house and told us four oldest girls to ready ourselves and get down to the sorghum mill. They needed our help to catch their steer. So we leapt (more sleepily than leapily) out of bed and into the Dodge pickup, with me and Cynthia Jane Farlow in the back. A short bit down the road (a mile or two, or maybe three) we caught up with the suburban and trailer that once carted the steer. And in yon muddy field was the steer.

The story of happenings went something like this: Mr. and Mrs. Reallycoolfamily and their son, Jehoshaphat, had gotten the steer into the trailer to take to the butcher to slaughter (pause and remember the Brian Regan thing about manslaughter…… “I slaughtered a man!” So violent. But we’re talking about a cow, ok?). Somehow the Reallycoolfamily’s neighbors, the Guggenheims, became involved, the details still fuzzy to me. One of the Guggenheim boys had accidentally unlatched the trailer door, probably thinking he was latching it.

As the trailer bumped along down the road, the door became totally undone and the steer fell out *ka-thump* upon his butt roast. This falling out happened near the sorghum mill, so that is the pen in which the steer found himself corralled into.

And here come four girls, fresh out of bed, still a bit tired from an all-nighter attempt, shod in flip-flops, and cameras poised. Oh wait, were we supposed to help? Get the cow? Out of the muddy pen?! Into the trailer?!!

Nah, we took pictures. Tarantulanna manned the camera, while Elizardanna, Cynthia Jane Farlow, and I exclaimed about the cuteness of Mr. Sorghummillowner’s calf.

The butcher was called and summoned to the location, and we were excited at the prospect of watching a cow-slaughter before our very eyes. Alas, the butcher brought some help with him and they were able to round the steer up and get him back in the trailer, thus depriving us the privilege of spectating at a butchering. We were only able to spectate at a cow capturing.

Our work here was done. Back in the truck got we and back to the Reallycoolfamily’s abode found we ourselves.