Bible Verse

Beg as loud as you can for good common sense. Proverbs 2:3

Friday, October 17, 2014

Carol’s Exceptionally Valuable Driving Tips

Stay out of the left-hand lane unless you are driving at least 10 miles over the speed limit or you’re going to turn left in the next little bit.  I realize that once you get to the warm beaches of Florida you will be turning left; it’s just that you’re in North Alabama at the moment.  I think you have plenty of time to get over.

I once knew a state trooper who said he would give a slow driver one mile to turn left and if he didn’t, the trooper would pull him over and give him a ticket for obstructing traffic.  A man after my own heart!

Be sure all items in your car are safely secured.  Many years ago on a Thursday – I remember the day because it was Chicken Livers Day at the Chicken Shack and I had gone over there on my lunch hour to pick up a to-go box of livers.  Imagine my horror when I was rear-ended on the way back to the office and my livers box went flying into the floor.  What with calling the police to report the wreck and calling David to report the wreck (it only took him 3 questions to ask if I was all right), I was finally able to get to my livers, only to find that during the accident the box had opened, all the livers had jumped out, and the box had reclosed itself.  I think I was more upset over the loss of the livers than I was the car.

Try not to slam on the brakes for any reason – real or imagined.  Recently I was on my way home from the grocery store, and the car in front of me suddenly stopped.  I slammed on my brakes which made all of my groceries slide toward the front.  But I didn’t hit the car, and I made it safely home. A couple of hours later, David asked if I had bought 2 or 3 gallons of tea.  Since I remembered 3 but I only brought 2 in the house, I went to investigate the car.  Apparently, when I stopped so suddenly, one of the gallons of tea slipped underneath the driver’s seat!  I had to do some fancy maneuvering to get the thing out, but I did so with no damage to the tea.  Wow!  That was close!

I’m sure you have some driving tips, too.  Let us know by commenting below.

In the meantime, drive safely, and -- most importantly -- stay out of my way.  I don’t think I could handle another liver debacle.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Carol’s Exceptionally Valuable Camping Tips

Be nice to the folks in the camp office.  It’s a sure thing you will need them at some point.  And it will be for something embarrassingly simple, like not recognizing that big metal thing as the handle that turns the water on.

Your difficulty in correctly backing up into your camp site is directly related to how many snide remarks you made when the last camper came in.

An acorn hitting your camper sounds like someone fired a gun just outside your window. It does not signal a takeover of the camp by local thugs.

Don’t feel superior to tent campers, especially when it’s evident they don’t know how to get their tent set up, and even when part of it starts to fly away on a windy day.

Make sure all the shades are drawn in your camper before you take your pants off.

Don’t act like you are really camping when you’ve got a condo camper and the hardest part about it is where to set the thermostat for the central a/c and heat.

Don’t turn the blow dryer on when the hot water heater is on. This turns your husband into a ranting maniac who first can’t find a fuse and then can’t figure out where it goes.  And don’t get mad because your hair is still wet, because this won’t help at all.  Really.

No matter where you sit at a campfire, the smoke will blow in your face.  Each time you move, the wind will shift and the smoke will blow in your face.  You can move each time, call it a night and go inside your camper, or get used to stinging eyes and nostrils in addition to your clothes smelling like survivors of a forest fire.

Don’t use your leaf blower to blow every leaf off of your entire camp site.  This is nature.  We’re invading their space, not the other way around.

Using a camper toilet is weird.  The toilet paper becomes non-existent during use, so be sure to wash your hands every time.  It’s gross, but there’s no getting around it, unless you want to trudge to the nearest bath house every time or take your chances in the woods.

Chipmunks and squirrels will chew through almost anything to get to a few kernels of corn meant for the deer.  This includes a brand new, 10 x 14 patio mat. 

There will probably be another post along this line in the future. What tips can you contribute?  Please comment below.

Happy Trails to You from this Happy Camper…

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's a Boy!

41 years ago today, I became a mother for the first time.

It was about a week before my due date, and my doctor wanted to admit me to the hospital because of high blood pressure.

I had been in the hospital six times in my life at that point of 21 years old (a whole nuther story).  None of those times had anything to do with giving birth.
I was dumb as a stump about having a baby.

I was put in a semi-private room and told I was on bed rest.  So I laid in bed, talked to my roommate, and watched TV.  Being pregnant, I had to go to the bathroom frequently.  Since my accommodations did not include a bathroom, I had to use the one across the hall, right behind the nurses station.  No one said anything about me crossing the hallway numerous times that day.

Right on schedule, I woke up that night needing to go, so I opened the door to lumber across the hall, when suddenly a nurse went ballistic.  “Why are you out of bed?” she practically hollered at me.   “You get back in there and don’t get out of bed again.”

She scared the living daylights out of me!  I was half asleep and just needed  to use the facilities.

“But I have to use the bathroom,” I said weakly in my defense.  “And I’ve been using that bathroom since I got here.”

“Then we will get you a bedpan.  But you get in there and stay in bed!”

Completely chastised, I quietly laid down, waiting for the bedpan.  I had never used one, but how hard could it be?

Keep in mind that I was nine months pregnant, hugely huge, and about as graceful as a turtle on its back.

When the aide brought the bedpan in, she offered to help me.  I was too embarrassed, so I told her I could do it on my own.

I have to laugh here, because by the time I left that hospital with my newborn son, I had no dignity left.  I lost it when everybody who came in my room whipped back the sheet to look at one thing or another, sometimes prodded me here and there and asked stupid and intensely personal questions. To this day, I believe a few of those people were on the housekeeping staff.

But I digress.  Back in my room, I was trying to figure out how to get my extremely pregnant self onto that cold bedpan.  Having short arms was definitely a liability as I tried to lift my torso and shove the pan under me in a just-right fashion.  I really had to go by now, which improved my aim.  Apparently, desperation is a component of bedpan sitting, because I quickly got situated and let it rip.

Wow!  Did that feel good! 

And it was at that point that I realized I couldn’t get off the bedpan without tipping it one way or the other.  I was terrified of getting some of it in the bed (see the paragraph on dignity above).

I leaned this way and that, an enormous pregnant blob with too-short arms and legs, wobbling on top of a bedpan.

I finally swallowed my poor, pitiful pride and called for help.  The aide came in, looked at me for a moment and then said, “Oh, my!”

By this time, my legs had fallen asleep, my back was killing me, and the baby was kicking up a storm.

Our son, Mark David, was born later that day after 6 ½ hours of labor and an emergency C-section.

The joys of motherhood!  And I was just getting started.

Happy Birthday, Mark!