Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fair Haired Traveller

My world traveler came home a few weeks ago.

Have hula hoop, will travel...

We piled all the dogs in the truck and drove to the airport on Saturday night to pick her up. We had record rainfall that day so the sky was stormy and spectacular.

Storm clouds with sun gleaming through

Sissa looked so... Indian, when we saw her. Like she had absorbed the culture into her very being. I admire that about her - how she fully embraces the places she goes so that when she leaves she takes the essence of the place with her. She lets the experience change her and be part of who she is. That's the way to travel.

After four month in India, she said it was weird getting used to western culture again.

When we got home, she went straight to the bathroom and after a minute or two  yelled, "It's so nice to have toilet paper again!" through the door.

Okay, so maybe not all foreign customs should be embraced.

Travelling girl home from India
There's my travelling girl!

I couldn't wait to hear her stories and see the pictures of her adventures. We sat out on the patio, under my twinkly lights, and while the rain pelted on the roof she told me her tales.

Stormy night sky and silhoutted trees

It made my heart happy to watch her face as she talked, to see the happiness in her eyes and hear the awe in her voice as she recalled her memories.

I was glad to have her back safe, but I was so happy she had these experiences to tell.

I could see I would be saying goodbye to her many more times if God or fate is willing. Her travelling days have only begun.

Arranged marriages, a caste system, extreme poverty, but despite it all, a resigned contentment - that's the gist of what goes on in India. Or at least the areas she visited.

That and cute jewelry for very, very cheap.

She brought me a bracelet made from the seeds of the Rudraksha tree. The seeds are also called Shiva's tears, because the story goes that the god, Shiva, began to cry unexpectedly while contemplating the world's suffering. He turned his tears to seeds as they fell to the earth so that they could offer protection, peace, and power over suffering to those that held them.

Rudraksha bracelet also called Shiva's tears

All I know is that it makes me smile when I look at it on my wrist, and that's enough for me.

I'm glad she's back. I like the energy in the house when she's here. I like laying in bed and hearing her strum her ukelele on the patio outside my window. I like hearing her in the kitchen, making her vegan food. I like her joy.

Girl sitting playing ukulele

I'll leave you with this song Sissa introduced to me, and the reason for my post title. A special friend she met in India shared it with her and when I heard it, I loved it from the first note. I get teary-eyed every time I listen to it.

One Month Later...

I started this post a few days after Sissa came home. That was a month ago. Now that I've expressed the warm fuzzies of her homecoming, and she's been home a while, my next post is going to be "How you Know your Daughter is Home Again."

First on the list will be missing makeup.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

How The GIF Are You Today?

I love using GIFs in my blog posts.

I read somewhere that using GIFS is a crutch writers use when their writing isn't particularly interesting or funny.

I don't agree.

No matter how funny your post is, a GIF is only going to make it funnier, and of course the GIFs make it more interesting. They add a visual element to the post that complements the words and make the post that much more engaging.

So whoever said that, off with your stuffy self!

That being said, when I saw Mama Kat's prompt to share seven GIFS that best describe how you're feeling today, I was all kinds of on board.

 1. I'm feeling like I really need to get my eating habits under control.

Sloth eating slowly GIF
At least he's eating vegetables.

A plate of chips and salsa here, an Oreo McFlurry there, here a donut, there a drumstick...


That's what I say when I look at myself getting into the shower. Actually, I try really hard not to. Look, that is.

What I say is more like "EEEEEEEEE!" You know, shrieks of terror and disgust.

So I feel like I need to do something about that. Soon.

2. I'm feeling like I'm not getting any closer to my dream of living in a travel trailer.

The Long Long Trailer Lucy in the kitchen trying to cook scene GIF
Note to self: Don't try to make dinner when the trailer is moving.

I'd move today except for 1) we don't own one yet and 2) we have no source of income while we're on the road.

I'm supposed to be working on the second one but I get distracted and end up doing other stuff on the computer instead.

I need to get my butt in gear.

3.  I'm feeling like it should be Friday.

Winnie the Pooh Rabbit tired GIF

'Nuff said.

4. I'm feeling excited the hubs and I are taking a road trip in May.

Dog on road trip with wind in face GIF
This messes up the hair, but is exhilarating.

Our 13th wedding anniversary is in May so we're going to our favorite quick getaway spot - Zion National park in Utah.

Nothing like a road trip to someplace beautiful to inspire and motivate you and my husband is my favorite person to take one with. (With which one to take? That just doesn't sound right.)

I love road trips with my sister too, but she makes fun of my menopause moments, so I'm bumping her to second fav. Sorry sis. Also, the hubs reads my blog and my sis doesn't so...

5. I'm also feeling excited that our annual family camping trip is coming up.

Guys by campfire dancing GIF
I think they're repelling bears.

It's the topic of nightly group texts among my brother, sister, uncle, and me. And, much to his dismay, hubby Fred.

We discuss noteworthy things like what kind of bear spray to use, whether it's bad etiquette to bring a metal tub and take a bath in the middle of your campsite, and if it's really true you should blow air into worms to make them float.

It's important stuff and worthy of the 395847 phone dings I get every few minutes whenever someone chimes in with a tidbit of camping wisdom.

We don't swing our heads around like these guys (although there was that one year we danced around the fire with glow sticks), but we do have a great time reconnecting with each other and disconnecting from the rest of the world.

6.  I'm feeling tired today.

Ferret yawning sleepy GIF
Just five more minutes.

I woke up at 2:30 AM this morning and couldn't go back to sleep for a while.

What is it about the middle of the night that brings up every negative thought in your brain?

Every perceived failure, every to-do, every Debbie Downer thought you've ever had all year - they all want to party in your brain in the middle of the night.

Hence, tired.

7.  Despite the negatives...I'm feeling grateful for the positives.

Monkey smiling with lipstick GIF
A little lipstick makes everything better.

I mean little complaints about dieting, not sleeping well, and my unfulfilled travel trailer dream are nothing compared to many others.

I have food, a bed, and a car. Not to mention the hubs and I have jobs. We can even getaway to take a short trip every so often.

Really, life is very good. I'm reminded of this when I open my blinds in the morning and see the sun. It always makes me smile and think of the things to be happy about for the day.

Enough about me. How are you feeling today?


Monday, March 28, 2016

Does Buying a Smart Car Make You Smarter?

We bought a car this weekend.

We didn't know we were going to buy a car. We were just going to "look for a car."

Hubby Fred's car has been on its last wheels for quite some time now. I've just been waiting for that call at 6:30PM on a work night, that I need to to go rescue him from some point on his route home from work, because his car finally died.

Since I'm in my pajamas with a glass of wine in my hand by 5:30, that would be terribly inconvenient for me.

For that reason, I've been pushing encouraging him to get on the "let's look for a wagon" wagon. He finally agreed it was time.

Car shopping for Smart Cars. How do you know when a Smart car is right for you.

It began with an online search (as most things do). We didn't want to spend a lot and didn't want a huge car payment so when I ran across a nearby dealership that had some Smart cars for sale for about $7000, we decided to check it out.

The hubs has a fascination with Smart cars. You know, those tiny little two door things that look like a shuttle pod or something?

Is a "shuttle pod" a thing? I don't know. But the fact the car looked like something related to space was a definite selling point. He can imagine he's blasting around the universe like Luke Skywalker while on his 30 minute drive to work.

Los in Space pod model
Apparently, this isn't real. My first clue was that the site it came from was called Mr. Whiskers. I think it's a kit of a contraption from Lost in Space.
See the resemblance?

Smart Fortwo car two seater

Okay, so they look nothing alike. The point is, the hubs likes compact transportation as much as he does compact living quarters. It's why he loves RVs and trailers so much.

The funny thing is my husband is 6'3". I told him if we do get a Smart car, his license plate needs to be YESIFIT.

He was amused, but said it wasn't very flattering.

He was not amused when I suggested CLWNCAR.

We decided to buy the car in the picture, which was the first car we looked at. I'm sure that breaks all the rules of car buying, but Fred liked it, it was the right price, and we didn't want to spend our Saturday driving all over the place, looking at a bunch of cars, only to come back and buy the first car we saw anyway.

Then the real fun started. Why does it take so mother flippin' long to buy a car?

There wasn't really any negotiating at our end. According to google, it was priced fairly so we didn't try to talk them down, and we qualified fine. Yet, it was five hours later before we drove off the lot.

That gave us plenty of time to hop on this and pretend we were aging hippies on a road trip.

Can-am three wheeler
For a mere $17,000 this could have been ours.

I would have got a picture of us on it but about that time a manager and salesman came over with a "You sit on it, you buy it" look on their face.

I wanted to ask if they could supply helmets and a wind machine and snap a picture of us, looking like we're racing down the highway, but they didn't look like they would play along with that.

Aside from planting our butts on things that didn't belong to us, we had to entertain ourselves however we could while we waited to get into the finance office. The TV in the waiting room was showing Ridiculousness, so hubby Fred was happy.

While I waited, I googled for more information about the car and found out it's a Smart Fortwo, which I told Fred.

Only I pronounced it FORT-WOE. It's supposed to be FOUR-TOO. As in, a car built FOR TWO.

I felt pretty stupid.

But not as stupid as when I was explaining to Fred that the reason they came up with the name "Smart" is because Mercedes and a company named Snatch, that makes watches, decided to make a car together.

When he looked at me like this, I realized I said something wrong.

Looking shocked reaction GIF
The company is called WHAT?

It's Swatch, not Snatch.

I'm not sure how Mercedes + Swatch = Smart, but it's better then Mercedes + Snatch. Because I'm pretty sure that's what got Hugh Grant in trouble 20 years ago.

I was glad when we finally finished everything and could go. I have to say that as car buying experiences go, it wasn't bad, other than taking forever. Our salesman was a cute young guy with aspirations to be a boxer. He was very polite (and don't I sound 70 saying that?).

At one point we made small talk about Breaking Bad and the new prequel spinoff, Better Call Saul. This is relevant a few paragraphs down.

As we were leaving the finance office, I realized neither the salesman nor the finance guy ever answered my question about where we can take the car for service, since it was still under the manufacturer's warranty.

"Who do I call if we need service?" I asked the salesman.

"You better call Saul," he replied, obviously very proud of his joke. "Bwahhahahahahaha!" he guffawed at himself.

It didn't help matters that my husband guffawed right along with him (because Ridiculousness).

Ummm. Seriously, guys. Who do we call for the warranty?

I never did get an answer. Since it's a Mercedes product, I suppose we have to bring it to a Mercedes dealership for service while it's under the warranty.

That should be interesting - the girl who's dream home is a travel trailer trying to fit in at a Mercedes dealership.

Rich girl and Clampett at a Mercedes dealership
If you aren't picking up on it, I'm the one in the hat.

In case you're wondering why we would buy a tiny little two seater car for my 6'3" husband, here are a few reasons:

1.  It's inexpensive.
2.  It's super great on gas. Like, 50 miles to the gallon or something.
3.  He fits in it just fine. Once you're inside it, it feels like a regular sedan. You forget it's so small.
4.  Why have a backseat if you never use it? I mean really, if it's just you in the car, how often are you aware that you even have a back seat? It's wasted space so why pay for it?
5.   We can have a newer car for a tiny payment.

So I feel pretty good about our decision. It's supposed to be 60 mile an hour winds here today, so this will be a good test of how it drives in those conditions.

Hope hubby Fred doesn't blow off into space on the way home.

Then again, he'd probably like that. was your weekend?


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