“It’s (still not) my birthday” month

This entire month, I’ve been planning (and not planning) things, using my birthday as the excuse. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t think it will ever arrive, it’s taking so long.

It kind of reminds me of a friend, who will remain nameless, that literally told me of the conception of her child the day after said event occurred. It felt like she was carrying that kid for years. Who knows, maybe she did, because he came out as big as a three year old, I swear.

Speaking of which, is it possible to give birth to an 8-yr old? That’s what I would like to do once the C & R family starts growing. I love that age.

But anyway, back to me. (oh Lord, am I now stealing the spotlight back from the twinkle of a twinkle in my eye?) My birthday. I’ve been using it as an excuse for everything.

Like when I forced some friends on a pontoon boat. It’s my birthday.

Or when I reached for that second brownie. It’s my birthday.

Or when tagging along while my bro-in-law was buying his bday gift, I bought the same thing for mine. It’s been a month and I still haven’t worn them. N, on the other hand, wore them out the door and into Starbucks where everyone asked him where he uses them. This is literally an hour after the purchase, so we had the pleasure of watching him lie to the general public on “the best” places to wear them. “Well, I normally use them canoeing, but they’re also very comfortable to work out in as well.” Oh, it was priceless… and it was also my birthday, you know.

Or when unable to find the remote to watch a movie, asked R to please press play because if he hadn’t heard already… it’s my birthday.

Or indulging myself with a 50 cent pair of salt/pepper shakers because they are reminiscent of R and me. It’s MY BIRTHDAY.

Or sleeping in that extra 15 minutes and forgoing the Shaving of the Legs. Leave me alone, it’s my birthday.

Or going to a scotch-tasting with a co-worker and realizing that I really can’t fake making a face when drinking it. I tried to cover it up by smiling extra hard when the guy came by, but it only resulted in him thinking I actually liked it and thus giving me a little bit more the next round. The irony here is that as each round increased in liquid amount, so did my liking of it. My head the next day did not. However, it was my birthday, so I let it slide.

And lastly, having a Wuthering Heights experience on the shoreline of Rhode Island.

Thank you for the birthday surprise trip, R.

And still, it is not my birthday yet. Even I’m annoyed.  I hope we do nothing, because, you guessed it… It’s my birthday (tomorrow).

Sunny Days

We’ve rearranged the bedroom so the desk is facing a window.

Big mistake. I can’t get anything done.

We have company coming in today. J & T are spending the night as they drive on to New Orleans. They were the couple who made fun of our cheap craigslist bikes all the way to our first place finish in the Urban Adventure Race nearby. Here’s a recap of that eventful day.

Good times.

Have a lazy Sunday!

Beware of Freckles.

We were supposed to go to this a month ago. But it didn’t happen.

It was a Dutch Oven Workshop at a nearby state park. We woke up early on a saturday morning, actually put on work-out clothes and did a workout (as opposed to putting on work-out clothes and then heading to a breakfast joint for bacon and white gravy), boiled up some hot coffee for our thermos, and hit the road.

Literally 2.5 miles into the drive, R asked me to hand over the thermos for a quick drink. I laughingly said, “Maybe you should watch the road. Remember what happened the other night?” and then, feeling guilty, I gave in and gave him the lid for sip. He took his eyes off the two lane country road and..


The tire popped.

I sat there sitting in the nearest driveway telling myself to schedule a massage asap or there was going to be a warrant out for little miss carolyn.

You see, a few nights prior we had visited some friends for dessert and on the way to their house another incident happened. A “I’m glad no children were riding their bikes along the sidewalk” type of one.

A right-hand turn into their neighborhood caused R’s head to slightly face me. In doing so, the freckles on my legs caught his attention. And if any of you know R, you are quick to realize that he cannot do more than two things at once. So why not test this theory while driving a one ton piece of machinery, shall we?

He saw the freckles and proceeded to lean over to point out each of them with this right index finger. He repeated “freckle, freckle, freckle, freckle”.

And I looked up at the same instant our car hit the curb, and then hit the grass next to the curb, and then the sidewalk next to the grass next to the curb.

R was still pointing out freckles. It wasn’t until I screamed that he jerked the car back onto the road.

Now our already dirty, no-muffler-because-it-still-runs-fine-and-we-don’t-like-spending-that-extra-money-on-that-car car makes a weird scraping sound anytime we make a left hand turn. Great.

Thank you melanin.

So our flat tire happened on the way to the first class and they offered to move us to the second one the following month.

And here we are. Only two other couples attended: one from South Africa, the other from Texas. We slipped into the back and I spied the menu on the board.

Ahhhhh yeaaaaah. (Side note: Does anyone else remember the show were two guys would rub their bums in chocolate pudding while saying Ahhhh yeaaaaah? Or am I the only one who gets that visual every time.)

Well, anyway, if pudding had been on the menu, I probably would’ve had to reenact that skit for the class, so let us all bow our heads in thanksgiving that it was not.

Each couple paired off to do a dish. R was stuck with me even though when asked if we all wanted to stay with our spouses, he responded without glancing “Is she watching me as I answer? Then, fine.”

‘Preciatecha, R.

(Remember? That was the first Arkansas slang I heard when we moved down here. ‘Preciatecha. Another since moving to a smaller town: “So-and-so is a mess.” I’ve discovered this can be used as an insult or affectionately. With the wide range of uses, you can imagine how often it’s thrown out there and for some reason it takes all that I have to swallow a low guttural growl each time it’s said. I know what you’re thinking….. I’m a mess.)

R and I tackled the Charley Bread which was a basic corn bread recipe with a can of creamed corn added.


Mama hasn’t been fed this good in a looong time! And by long, I mean since about 8 that morning. Each meal seems like eons since the last…and my mouth was beginning to water, especially every time they opened the peach cobbler lid to check on it.

R checked on our bread and it was coming along nicely. We used the stacking method of heating the dutch oven which threw the time to cook it off. So it ended coming out around the same time as dessert.  No one complained.

And then we all sat down for our picnic in the woods. R and I chatted it up with the park ranger, because he graduated from K-State too! What a small world.

It was a good class, I’d take another one. We ending up buying a dutch oven from them and we’re so excited to put it to use.

If anyone has any tips or recipes, I’d love to have them!

(Fill in the blank)light

Most everything ending in light just hits the spot. Maybe not blacklight, though. It shows all the fuzz on my shirt and highlights my not-quite-white teeth.

My parents came into town this weekend and we took in a lot of them. Lights, that is.

Candlelight at the Shack.

Then sunlight brought an arts festival and neighborhood garage sales at which we girls found some real gems (more on that later)! We came back to mom & dad’s RV and drank some cold  Budlights, along with individually packaged frozen margarita pouches. On the back of them it was boasted “Great for while you’re on the go!“. Hmmm….

Later that evening, we sat around firelight and played trivia pursuit. I got about 1 out of 300 questions correct, and it was because someone else thought it was their turn and answered on accident.

Then we stared through the moonlight at constellations, helped by the app on my brother’s phone.

All in all, a good time. The only light thing that didn’t take place was my waistline. Chocolate icing and graham crackers, I love you.


Or maybe Boomer? We don’t know, just that the owner across the street yells “Buuubuh” anytime Wilbur comes close to us. Maybe Bubba? Whatever his name is, Mr. Unfriendly, who refuses to return our waves doesn’t like it. I don’t think he likes Shack Dwellers.

My friend is going through a similar experience, except they don’t live in a shack so I don’t know their neighbors’ excuse. What’s up, unfriendly neighbors of America. Is it some sort of club? The UNA club. Is his child receiving a scholarship for being part of the club? For gawd’s sake, Wave.

We’ve had a good laugh, though, watching how hard they avoid making eye contact with us. One guy actually twisted his body in such an awkward way while getting out of the car to avoid facing us. And then side-shuffled along the side of the vehicle to the front door. Oh, how that made us giggle!

Oh, people.

Anyway, sometimes we walk out the door and there’s Wilbur/Bubba/Boomer. Like he’s waiting for us to hug him.

So we do. Apparently he likes giving kisses to pirates.

It doesn’t help that N carries dog treats in his car for random “leeedull dowggies” in the town. Seriously, without even owning a dog. He’s like that weird guy getting a little to close for comfort to kids on the playground, only it’s dogs.

I get up to go, and Wilbur asks me not to just yet. Please rub behind my ears some more. I don’t care if you live in a Shack.

But I have to get dinner started, Wilbur. We’ll play another time. Promise.

And as I was prepping my food, I watched him slowly make his way back home across the street. He’d walk a little bit, then lay down and stare at The Shack, walk, lay down a bit, stare.. walk, lay down  a bit, stare, all the way home.

Oh, Wilbur. How you make up for your owners.

Compost Pile

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day. I spent the weekend with friends while wind blew in our faces. It was nice and my sunburnt nose agrees. As fun as it is to leave town, though, it’s such a breath of relief to finally arrive home after a 8 hour trip which normally takes 5.5 hours, but you decided to stop in every stinking town on the way home “to break it up” which actually just made it seem more unbearable than it really would have been to begin with.

And breathe one-two-three-four. Again two-three-four.

R and I did get some good talkin’ in, though. And I needed that after he had been working late for most of the past few weeks.

Plus, we missed our livestock… which is what we’re calling our rabbits since, well, you know what we’re gonna have to do.

Next to them is the compost pile that we’ve been adding to over the past month. We positioned it close so that the transfer of, ahem, poop is quick and easy. They tend to “read the paper” in the same spot, so we put some buckets underneath to catch it all.

I get excited over rabbit poop. What have I become.

But I do.

Along with free wood pallets from Lowes. The manager shot me down the first time, but I’ve learned from past experience that you just need to find the right person. So I asked again, and they hooked me up.

N sawed off part of the front pallet and we were in business. Poop business.

And also quickly-rotting-food-from-Walmart business too. Man, it has been a race to eat all of our bananas in time. So I’ve been making mucho banana bread, because it’s not working. The racing, that is.

But guess what, it all mostly goes into the compost! And since we don’t have a garbage disposal, this is a win-win. Not that I normally put banana peels down the drain, but you get my drift.

In a couple months, we’ll have to leave this compost alone and so I’ve begun my search to find some more pallets for a second bin. While this one rests and decomposes until spring, we can start adding to the second one.

Who knew The Shack could produce such goodness!