Friday, October 12, 2012

Death Toll at Family Reunion Rises to 10

     Yes, the death toll at our family reunion has risen to 10.  And, I'm not sad about it.  I haven't even shed a single tear.

     See, it's bad enough to see a mouse in your garage, but when they start inviting extended family and turn it into a family reunion.... in my garage... it's game on, party over.   I tried a trap laced with peanut butter... twice.  Twice, they licked it clean.    That was back when I thought we were dealing with a mouse.  However, when I opened a cabinet that had grass seed in it, and saw cousins and aunts and uncles with beverages in hand and decorations on the walls... throwing confetti, I went to plan B.  Sticky pads.

    Within hours Wednesday, I had 5.  By the time the sun rose on Thursday morning, the count had risen to 10.  We're onto maintenance now.  Relatives arriving on late flights, will be met with light horderves of rat poisoning.  Death toll can be expected to rise.

      In other news this week, Paul's parents came to visit.  We took them to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park and the trip did not disappoint.
     First we stopped in Estes Park.  We ate lunch at a little local joint and then stopped at the candy store.  We bought candy and warm, freshly made carmel corn.  Then, walking around with our stash, we went in and out of all the fun little shops.

As you can see, Emme is growing into a regular giant.

     After that, we went to Rocky Mountain National Park.  I am much more into chasing large mammals with huge antlers than little mice with beady eyes.  

     This trip, it didn't take us long to find the elk.  I read, on one of those infamous signs, that it's mating season.  Therefore, they were out and about.  Thankfully, we did not have to observe any... of... that... part... of... nature.


Of course, we had to get in some fishing this weekend.  What would a weekend look like without fishing?

    So... Welcome to Trout Haven.  Guaranteed to catch a fish, they supply you with bait, poles, buckets, nets... the whole works.  Fish that are caught are paid for by the inch, but they clean it and pack it in ice, and you get to take it home and fry it up.

So much for their stupid guarantee.  We didn't catch a thing.  (shhh... I was secretly glad.  I did not want to eat that for dinner.)

   Hmmm... Now, I realized I just moved to Colorado, but I'm pretty sure fish are supposed to be in the water.  Here, friends, we have some fish laying out... in the sun... in the grass.  We decided it was unusual enough that we should inform the Trout Haven employees.  

     They already knew.  Yeah, they put them there.... FOR THE BEAR that likes to come eat them!!!  What?!?!  Where was my warning sign?  How am I supposed to know what to do if I spot the bear that comes to eat the fish?  I should have known.  Of course, a bear comes there.  I live in Animal Kingdom now, I momentarily forgot.  Forgive me.  Sometimes, I forget that I signed up for wilderness life.
Now, there's a sign!  Ice fish at your own risk.  Ice fish.  And, what's the risk?  I've got a lot to learn.

     Since the guaranteed trout catch, was a farce, we decided to make one more pit stop to see if we could get our fish catching high.

      So, we turned off the main road and.... hey!  There's an elk casually walking down... the road!!  Where... most... elk... walk... right?

Looks like a great place to stop... and.. eat... some... grass.  Take your time.  Don't mind us.  We'll just.. sit... and... wait until your.... done.

Since we were already waiting, Paul and Jackson decided to throw in their poles.  Across this rather large lake, we saw, what appeared to be Papa Elk.  He was walking toward the water... and then he decided to take a swim.

Oh yes, he did!  He swam right over to see us.
Sorry about the Blair Witch quality filming.  I didn't know my regular camera could video. Therefore, I accused my 11 year old of being a liar and a inept photography and I took the camera away from her.  The result was this fabulous video.  Yeah!  I'm a great mom.  Encouraging... instilling great confidence in them...  Go ahead!  Nominate me for Mom of the Year!

     Until I receive that award... stay tuned for more adventures... that... I... had... no... idea...I was signing... up...for.  Yay me!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There are NO Fish in Colorado.

There are NO fish in Colorado.  That's what I was beginning to think.  

How can we go fishing 5 times and not catch A THING?

We're risking our lives every time we go fishing (see above sign and previous post) and we don't even have the satisfaction of catching a stupid fish.

Don't get me wrong... the scenery is beautiful.  The weather is perfect.  But, my boy needs to catch a fish for crying out loud.

The most hydrated boy in Colorado with his Camelbak (see Grizzly Adams post).  

Bless her heart, she doesn't get to do anything and she's still so happy.

Jackson left me on the other side of the lake to go try his luck with Paul.  It didn't work.  No fish.

Until the next weekend....

WOOHOO!!!!!!!!  We caught 9 fish!!!!

 Jackson caught 4, Shelby caught 3, Gracie caught 1 and I caught 1.

Paul didn't catch any.  HAHAHAHA!!!  I had his pole the whole time, but that's no excuse!

And, Emme, well... we think she was doing Tai Chi the whole time.

In conclusion, I apologize to the entire state of Colorado.  There are fish.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top 10 Things I Hate About Colorado

     I know this is going to surprise you... but Colorado's not perfect.  There are some things I just don't like... but being the extremist that you all know and love, I'm just going to go ahead and say I hate them.

The Top 10 Things I Hate About Colorado

10.  The weather.  Yes, I know it was #1 in my last post.  But, it's my blog and as much as I love the weather here, I also hate it.  It's ALWAYS sunny here!!!  I'm from Ohio... sometimes, I just want a gray, cloudy day!  Plus, I feel like a have a part-time job adjusting all the windows in my house.  In Ohio, I  had 10 windows in my whole house (they were huge... 6ft or 9ft... but there were still only 10).  In this house, I have 27 windows.  My house faces east so before I go to bed, all the blinds have to be closed.  Especially when it's warm out.  We don't have air conditioning, so the sun bakes our house first thing in the morning.  Later in the day, when I tire of being a hermit, I go around and open all the blinds.  Then, so I don't live in a fish bowl, I go around and shut them all when the sun goes down so everyone can't see in my windows(this will make more sense later in the post.).  Doesn't that just wear you out?!

   9. We have not figured out how to dress here.  One day we went to Denver for a soccer game.  We had jeans and long sleeve shirts on and we were burning up (Denver sits at about 5000 ft about sea level).  Then, we drove to Breckenridge (about 8500 ft about sea level) and we were dressed perfectly.
     This past Saturday, Jackson had a soccer game.  I wore a thin sweatshirt and cropped jeans.  If I sat in the shade, I was freezing.  Seriously, I was so cold.  If I sat in the sun, I was pretty sure my pants were going to ignite.  I'm not kidding my legs were on fire.  That's the weird thing about living here.  The temperature of the air can be great, but we are much closer to the sun, living in a high elevation, and so the sun is intense.  Basically, one needs to have about 10 layers of clothes on and walk around like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow man.  Then, you're prepared for about anything.  It's sounds very stylish, huh?

8.   The Names of Stores.  I used to shop at Kroger in Ohio.  Here, when I go to the grocery, they carry Kroger brand items, but the store is called King Soopers.  It's bad enough that it's such a stupid name, but WHAT IS UP WITH THE WAY THEY SPELL IT??!!  It makes me so mad!  Guess what Ohio friends?   The name is on the back of your Kroger card.  I hope now, every time you whip out your Kroger card, you remember that the stupid name of King Soopers is on that card.  And, I hope it drives you crazy... and makes you think of me:-)

     Two convenience store names that make me mad:  Loaf and Jug and Kum and Go.  Why do they bother me, I don't know.  They just do!

7.  Landlocked.

     One thing I loved about Ohio was you could get to any number of states in a relatively short amount of time.  I'm landlocked here.  It takes FOREVER to get out of Colorado.  Can't even write more about it; it makes me feel clausterphobic.

6.   Gasping for breath.  The air is thin here.  Geesh!  And, it matters not that I exercise frequently.  I feel like I would be better off carrying an oxygen tank around.  I feel like I sound like an asthmatic horse walking up a flight of stairs.  It's so embarrassing.

5.  Houses.  The houses are on top of each other around here.  We live in the wide open west where there's plenty of room to spread out but noooooo!!!   Greedy developers have to stack the houses on top of each other to maximize their profit.  In their defense, people spend so much time outside here that no one wants to spend their whole weekend doing yard work.  But, for me, there's just something I like about people not being able to look in my 27 windows and being able to see what really goes on inside these walls.  Call me crazy!

4.  Dry EVERYTHING!   Living at a high altitude and no humidity when your used to 100% humidity in Ohio... has a tendency to dry everything out.  Skin, lips, noses.   We all have blood in our noses all the time along with random nose bleeds... where it just pours out.  Someone's lips are going to fall off and we might as well buy stock in Trader Joe's lotion.  In case you missed it, it's really, really dry here.

3.  Danger signs.    Everywhere we go, there's some sort of danger sign.  It just seems like this is the last place someone like me should live, plus it just scares the daylights out of me.

This last sign... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  In case you can't read past the blur:
If you see a lion:
STOP- DO NOT RUN- stay calm
FACE the lion, but AVOID DIRECT EYE contact
Pick up children so they do not panic and run
Talk to the lion in a FIRM, LOW voice
Make yourself LARGE.  Raise you ARMS or coat over your head
Back AWAY SLOWLY if you can

So many things concern me about this sign:  1) Why are we ever here if we know this is a mountain lion area?  2)  Am I really supposed to remember all of these things if I see a lion?  3) Look at the lion, BUT avoid eye contact...  How do you do that?  4)  Talk to the lion?  Talk to the lion.  What are you supposed to talk about?  Will he answer back?  5)  Make yourself large.  Can you see me doing this?  Raising my arms above my head, trying to make myself look large, talking to the lion but avoiding eye contact... and then 6)Back away slowly...IF YOU CAN.  IF?!  What if you can't ...then what?

I mean really, why?  Why would we go to this lake?  Not just once either!  We went back this past weekend.  In case your wondering, no we did not see a lion but you better believe I was constantly on the lookout, especially this last week when the ranger had to honk the horn to make us leave because it was getting dark.  Did we catch anything yet??  That's my next post:-)

2.  Security.  I have never been in so much trouble.  I am forever being approached by security in the parking lots at the schools.  I am always doing something wrong.  I just can not figure out their system... where I'm supposed to wait, where I'm not supposed to wait, which line to wait in, etc... I've never seen anything like it.  I seriously do not think I have made it one week without doing something wrong.  I'm a nervous wreck every time I approach the school zone.

     Not only am I getting in trouble at school, I got in trouble at the movies.  One Tuesday, Jackson and Emme didn't have school, so I took them to $1 movie.  I took graham crackers for them for a snack.  There were only about 15 people in the movie, but keep in mind, two rows in front of us, the people were cracking open pop cans and rustling candy bags.  I pull out my graham crackers and some worker comes up behind me and talks in my ear, "Um... you are either going to have to take those out to your car or give them to me."

What?  You want my 6 graham crackers for my 5 year old 24 pound child?  Well... here you go!  I hope you can sleep tonight!!!

Where did she come from?  Why was she watching me?  What about the other people.  There are so many things wrong with the whole scene.  I still can't get over that!!

1.  It's not OHIO.  I miss my friends and family.  Sometimes, I just want to go to a place where everybody knows my name and they're always glad I came....oops!  That's the theme song to Cheers.  If my friends and family were here, it would be the perfect place to live!