Camping Trips As Spousal Screenings

Mr. Grouch and I met in 1997, my freshman year of college, his sophomore year.  It didn’t take long for me to fall head over heels.  At 18 years old, I knew he’d probably be the one I married, but we were young and foolish and we used to drive each other batshit crazy.  We broke up a few times and after 4 years of mostly-together-but-a-little-apart, we thought we might have broken up for good.  We were separated for  3 1/2 years before getting back together for ever-ever.

Within The Hiatus, we each dated other people.  I briefly kept company with a guy we’ll call Featherweight.  Featherweight and I decided to go camping for a weekend, and visit my friend Nic, who was in the middle of a months long hiking adventure on the Appalachian Trail.  I called Nic the day before we left so we would know his exact location on the trail.

Before hanging up, I asked him, “Have you seen any bears?”  I was expecting him to say no.

Nic is a tall, lanky blonde, who was dirty and smelly and scruffy from months of hiking along the trail.  He also pilfered 3 rolls of toilet paper – by unrolling them by hand – from the stalls at Applebees when we took him there at the end of the trip. The look on his mangy bearded face was priceless when we pointed out that we could have just given him several rolls we brought. But, that is completely irrelevant to the story.  Back to the phone call.

Apparently only one day earlier, he had been walking briskly, arms swinging, with his 40 lb. pack on his back.  He was listening to music and was so comfortable on the trail that he was paying more attention to his thoughts than the scenery, until he noticed a dark image out of the corner of his eye.  He turned his head to the left, threw his arms up and let out an “Ahhhh!” when he realized there was a large brown bear standing at close proximity.  He discovered that bears take loud yelling, accompanied with raised arms, to be an aggressive posture.  He told me, “Everything you learn about what to do when you come across a bear goes out the window.  I just started running”.

Nic started trotting down the trail and the bear started galloping after him.  A couple of trail runners were jogging in the opposite direction, and when they saw this chase, they turned around and started running the other way.  Three people in a row, sprinting as a brown bear followed.  Eventually the bear swiped at Nic’s pack and then stopped the chase.

Brown Bear in Spring
Brown Bear in Spring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember, this was the day before we were going to meet him on the trail.  My panicking-about-bears problem was born.

So Featherweight and I start hiking on the “trail”.  You can’t follow the Appalachian Trail by looking down at your feet because there aren’t clear paths worn away by walkers.  In order to make sure you stay on the trail, you have to look for white swipes of paint, called blazes, on the trees.  You scan to the left and to the right and when you see a blaze, you know to walk in that direction.  Then you scan again and search for the next blaze.  This is what they look like:

English: A typical white AT blaze along the tr...
A typical white AT blaze along the trail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After 3 miles of walking, Featherweight and I realize we had been walking in the wrong direction.  Crap.  We turned around and after 6 miles of hiking, we were back at the beginning.  The beginning of the end.  We were now going to arrive later than we thought, and later in the day meant closer to darkness and I now knew that darkness was full of bears.

I started walking faster.  It started getting darker.  I started walking FASTER.  Featherweight started lagging behind.  Featherweight started whining about his pack being too heavy.  Featherweight started whining about night-blindness and was all “I can’t see any of the blazes”.  Featherweight started whining about me going to fast.

I stared at him incredulously.  Darkness.  Blindness.  Bears.  This is when I knew for sure he wasn’t the one.  The proverbial straw on the camel’s back, if you will.  I will not be slowed down and potentially end up lost in the woods, in the dark, with bears.  I. Will. Not. Be. Slowed. Down. Even though Mr. Grouch and I never went camping, I knew if I needed him to keep up, he would.  He wouldn’t let me get eaten by a bear.  Even if he was tired, and hungry and couldn’t see, he’d at least protect me by making sure to keep up, you see?

Needless to say the camping experience with Featherweight was tense and awkward and we were so clearly OVER.  I advise all couples to put themselves in a few stressful situations before picking a mate, otherwise you might not realize you’re dating a Featherweight until it’s too late.

Mr. Grouch and I are now older and we still drive each other batshit crazy.  But, he can keep up with me, which makes him a keeper.

If you liked this post you may also enjoy An Open Valentine To Mr. Grouch

An Open Valentine to Mr. Grouch

I thought I had already completed my obligatory Valentine’s Day post, when I wrote a love letter to my nasal irrigation system.  But, then I thought there was no reason to disregard my OTHER lovey-dovey.  No need to mention which or whom I love more.

Mr. Grouch, you are a man apart,
You wake me with your Good Morning fart.

We met in the year Nineteen Ninety Seven,
According to you, we’re a match made in Heaven.

It is true that sometimes I want to give your head a punch,
And hear the bones in your nose go crunch.

But I am often reminded of your positive traits,
Your brains, your balls, your beautiful face.

You'll call customer service and be firm, yet nice,
You can get anyone selling to come down to your price.

You're a man! A strong man! You demand lots of power,
(yet I find it endearing, how bats and mice make you cower).

Your handyman projects save us so much dough,
That it’s okay the bathroom trim looks only so-so.

You're an incredible father, at parenting you're top rate,
Good luck with your plan though, to never let her date.

You rub my back and pull out my chair, 
And do not care that I need vats of Nair. 

You put up with me during my times of despair,
And my panic while camping - of attack by black bear. 

If I asked, you’d make me coffee in the morning, 
Except I no longer trust you, you made decaf once, without warning.

You are a manly man, a work of art, 
And I love everything about you, for the most part.
Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showi...
Early 20th century Valentine’s Day card, showing woman holding heart shaped decoration and flowers, scanned from period card from ca. 1910 with no notice of copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I Stalk My Family When They Sleep. And Take Pictures.

My husband and I met on the soccer field – we were on the same intramural team at MSU in 1997.  We talk about this long ago age in “pounds ago”, instead of “years ago” since we were once both young and spry.  Sometimes we still play on coed teams together, or he plays on his own team and I do other things like yoga or jogging (running a half marathon next weekend – wish me luck!)

Awhile back, he started complaining of a groin injury.  For some time, he had to do some physical therapy and take a soccer break in order for it to heal.  It helped.  At one point though, within the duration of this soccer break, he started to mention that the groin injury seemed to be returning; this confused him since he hadn’t been playing.

It’s old news that I have horrible issues sleeping.  Since I am awake periodically throughout the night I am able to easily spy on observe the other people in my house as they snooze.

My husband sleeps like a rock and awakes refreshed every morning.  For this I alternate between being envious and murderous, depending on how tired I am.  He does have one weird sleeping habit though.  He sleeps with his knees bent, with one leg upright, foot planted on the bed, knee towards the ceiling.  I snuck a picture of him doing it while he was sleeping the other night.  This is what it looks like:

This just looks uncomfortable to me.
This just looks uncomfortable to me.

I have no idea how he is able to hold his leg like this, while sleeping.  If it were me, my leg would topple one way or the other.

When he mentioned the groin injury recurrance, it dawned on me that THIS could be the cause of the injury, not his efforts on the pitch.  It must take some effort to keep that leg up, dontcha think?  He asked that if I see him doing this, I move his leg so it is lying flat.  This means that nightly I’m shoving his leg over to get it down in an effort to help him avoid a sleep-related injury.

So, imagine my giggles when I peeked in on Baby Grouch the other night and saw this:

I know she’s in a sleep sack, but you can see her left leg bent up just like his if you look closely! Follow the pink sleeper lines.

Oh, and here's another!  Caught her during nap  time after I originally posted this.
Oh, and here’s another! Caught her during nap time after I originally posted this.

Well, Shit, That Doesn’t Sound Good.

Yesterday morning was a little rough.

I never answer my phone when I see a number I don’t recognize.  So, it was not out of the ordinary when I ignored my phone after seeing “Restricted” pop up on my caller id.  I muted the call and went back to sipping my coffee and singing to Baby Grouch in my horrendously off key tones.  Maternity leave is so grand!

I noticed the voice mail icon pop up, so I called to see who had hidden their number from me.  It was the doctor’s office calling and telling me that my doctor had a message for me and that I should call back.  That was a half-truth.  It was the nurse practitioner who had a message for me.

(Background:  I had a doctor who was AH-MAZ-ING.  He moved and I got transferred to a new doctor in the same building.  My new doctor appears to be a twit, since she doesn’t remember much about me from one visit to the next, and who gives me advice and dismisses issues related to my health without looking at my chart or asking me any questions.  Needless to say, I don’t value her opinion and am looking for a new doctor.  In the meantime, I started seeing a nurse practitioner, Kara, at the same office, since I really like the office and need to keep up with my preventative health care.  Kara really impressed me at the last visit, which is not the easiest thing to do.  She was thorough, she asked a lot of questions, and she read through all of my information on the computer.  I liked her right away.  I may continue to see her – as clearly there isn’t a correlation between having a doctoral degree and being able to provide exceptional family practice care).

SIDEBAR:  When women tell stories, we start the story, and are, at some point, reminded of something else, so, we tell a little mini story and then sometimes another little mini story that is an off-shoot of the first mini story.  Eventually, we go back to telling the original story – at times needing a teensy reminder of what we were originally talking about.  This doesn’t mean we aren’t paying attention or we don’t eventually get to the point.  Someone tell my husband this is just how women’s brains work, okay?  Back to original story:

I had gone the day before to get some routine lab work done to keep an eye on things considering my chronic high blood pressure.  I wondered if the call was related to the blood work.  It seemed pretty early for them to even have the results back.  But, if they WERE back, it probably wasn’t a good thing if they were calling, right?  They don’t usually call for good news.  Hmmm…. I avoided returning the call for about 15 minutes until I worked up a little courage and then dialed the office number.

After being connected to the nurse, she told me that my microalbumin numbers seem exceptionally elevated and Kara had put my lab results on her desk, with a red flag and a note to call me immediately to have me re-do the test to see if it could possibly be accurate.

Well, shit, that doesn’t sound good.

“What were my numbers”, I asked?  “530”.  Okay, that means nothing without context.  I asked a follow-up question, “What are the numbers supposed to be?”  The nurse hesitated a bit and then said, “Between 0 and 19”.

Well, shit, that doesn’t sound good.

Let’s hope that the blood work re-do numbers look a little better.


So, in every profession, there are people who make mistakes.  It’s a part of being human, I suppose, and we all understand that no one is perfect, and that it is ridiculous to expect perfection.

Unless you’re a teacher.

Then, you’re supposed to get 100% of students to meet 100% of standards, and if you don’t, you’re clearly the Anti-Christ and the very idea that you should be able to collectively bargain for things such as class size and a planning period are preposterous.

I digress.

I went back for lab results, slightly concerned that I would have to ask my sister for a kidney, and that I wouldn’t be able to drink wine anymore, but HAVE NO FEAR – I can guzzle away and save my favor-asking for later.  My updated microalbumin level is 5.  FIVE.  Not FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY.  Slightly off there the first time.

Whew.  (And, cheers!)

Smile. Scowl. Cry (sad). Smile. Laugh. Cry (happy).

Just over 6 weeks ago, Baby Grouch arrived.  She is strong and healthy and a lovely little peanut.

Baby Grouch at 1 Week

She is also somewhat lumpy and squeaky and sloshy – as  newborns tend to be.

During pregnancy, my body ventured into uncharted hormonal territory – that is – my hormones seemed to even out and become what many would call “normal”.  My moods were relatively even and my anxiety level was low.  I was less anxious and more calm.  My skin, which is notoriously spotty, was smooth and bumpless.  My blood pressure even registered within the normal range for the first time in years.  I stopped having ridiculously vivid dreams that left me half-dead in the morning.  I was sleeping better than ever, and since feeling good is so boring, I had nothing much to post onto this blog of mine.  Pregnancy viking, I was.

Well, the Morning Grouch is making a grand re-entrance.  During labor, the blood pressure spiked, and has returned to hovering on the borderline range.  My skin has dulled and a few spots have returned.  The dreams are slowing coming back and Ms. Grouch has been getting a maximum of 2 hours of solid sleep in a row for the past few weeks.  And the kicker?  Lately everyone is calling me “Ma’am”.  REALLY?  MA’AM?? UGH.

A few Saturday’s ago, I woke up, more exhausted than usual, at the midnight feeding and at the 3 am feeding.  When I heard the baby start to stir again, I asked my husband if he could feed the baby before he went to work, to give me an extra couple hours of sleep in a row.  Naturally, the baby didn’t actually wake up until it was almost time for him to leave, so he said he didn’t have time to feed her.

I was not particularly happy about this turn of events, and didn’t have any extra energy, so the result was me not responding a whole lot when he was talking to me, and me being pretty short with him.  He asked if I was mad at him about something.  No, I insisted, I am just TIRED.  He pointed out that even though I was tired, I was not talking to Baby Grouch with anything less than a loving and soothing tone, and I was, in fact, reserving any negative expression for him and him alone.

As he brushed his teeth and got ready for the day, I pondered what he said.  It was true, no matter how tired I was I had enough energy for the baby.  So, was I mad at my husband?  Then, I realized I was.  And, I wasn’t.  Emotional-Rollercoaster Me was very angry, since I was doing most of the work taking care of Baby Grouch.  What the eff, why can’t you feed your own child?  What is this nonsensical talk about not having enough time because you have to go to WORK.  Work shmerk. I’m TIRED.  And you said to let you know when I needed your help!  And I NEED IT NOW!   RAWR!

But, then, I wasn’t really mad. Logical-Me wasn’t angry at all.  Logical-Me was so thankful that my husband was changing diapers, and feeding the baby and asking me what he could do to help.  Logical-Me appreciated that periodically he would ask me if I was feeling okay (checking for postpartum issues, as instructed to do in his Daddy Boot Camp class).

So before he left, I explained to him this nonsense about being angry and not angry at the same time.  I may or may not have shed a few tears out of frustration. I think he nodded and backed away from me, slowly….

The day continued to roller-coaster.

Baby Grouch and I were listening to Greek Baby Radio and I heard a song about a black cat.  I got very excited and happy since we happen to have a favorite fuzzy being in our house who is also a highly pigmented feline.  So I laughed and sang the song to the baby.  Suddenly all was swell, life was good, and I was giddy and carefree.

Fast-forward 2 1/2 minutes and the next song was about parents loving their little baby so much.  Se aga po, agapi mou!  Suddenly my humor turned to joy, but a sappy, sad and tearful sort of joy, at remembering how hard it had been for us to get this little pipsqueak and how grateful we are now to have her.

Wow.  In a span of hours my emotions had spanned the galaxy.

I  texted my husband and let him know that his wife knew she was crazy!  Knowing is half the battle, right?

Dream #14 : To Burn Or Not To Burn


My parents, sisters and husband are running through the city.  There are “bad guys” dressed in military style garb scattered all about – on street corners, in buildings, driving tanks.  It is noisy and chaotic, people are yelling and screaming.  We get captured and are taken to sit around an outdoor fire pit.  There is an enclosure around the benches we are sitting on and the fire keeps swelling, getting larger and larger.  We have been instructed to sit there and not move, but if we don’t move, we will all burn.  (Apparently this is what the bad guys want – for us to burn).  My gut instinct tells me to RUN! ESCAPE!

Somehow I know that if we stay put, we will not all burn at the same time, one of us would go first, then the next, etc… and the idea of being the only one burning while the rest watched or being the last one to burn and watching the rest burn before me are equally revolting.  If I went first, would I try to suppress a scream, to make it less torturous to the rest of my family?  Would that even be possible?  How could one just sit there, watching your own skin bubble up and blacken?  I think we should run.  My mom thinks we need to just stay and burn, because what awaits us if we escape, and are caught, is much worse than being scorched alive.


FIRE:  Dream Forth tells me that to dream of being burned by fire suggests that I need to reign in my emotions. They tell me, and I quote, “Your temper is volatile”.  HA!  This is the most dead-on dream interpretation I’ve found yet.  Um, hello?  I’m Irish AND Italian.  Which basically means my innards are comprised primarily of volatile emotions. Volatile emotions sprinkled with a boatload of garlic and a healthy dollop of whiskey, and that’s about it.

Dream Moods counters with the argument that dreaming that I, or someone else, is being burned alive suggests that I am being consumed by my own ambition. I’m not even sure if being consumed by one’s own ambitions is a good or a bad thing.  On one hand, I have days where I am ambitiously (and sometimes manically) working on one of my several projects that I have going on, while at other times my greatest ambition is sitting my ass on the couch with my feet up,  consuming entire half-gallons of Chocolate Moose Tracks entirely independently.  Per usual, I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal.  No real gray area with me.

ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS:  Preggo me has turned into a raging inferno that is emitting absurd amounts of body heat – so much, in fact, that my own body-generated temperature may cause me to have a dream about being burnt to death.


1)  My husband is a human furnace.  I occasionally call him “Furnaki” an English-Greek hybrid of a word that I made up in college, which means “cute little furnace”.   Since his internal thermostat is so high, and  his manly-Greek-pelt is so thick, he cranks up the air conditioning to blast-o-matic levels in order to cool himself down to a temperature that will not allow his brain to cook.

2)  The old me used to sleep in long pants, tank top and hooded sweatshirt, snuggled underneath two blankets or comforters.  Yes, even in the summer (see air-conditioning above).  I’ve always been a “cold hands, warm heart” kind of person.  But now?  Now, I sleep with my shirt pulled up to my boobs, a cold-pack resting on my side, with no blankets touching me whatsoever.  Since I am usually awake between the hours of 2.30a.m. – 4.30a.m. anyway, I swap out the warmed cold pack with a fresh one.  The cold hands are a thing of the past, and some would say maybe I didn’t really have a warm heart to begin with…so there probably hasn’t been much of a shift there.

3)  I guess we can add this to the ever-growing list of how pregnancy is turning me into my husband.  But no, in case you are wondering, he does NOT sleep with his shirt pushed up to his boobs.

My friend Rob tells me my blog is really “girly”. I imagine this post is no different.  Sorry, Rob!  Maybe there will be more bloodshed and porn in the next one.

How Pregnancy Is Turning Me Into My Husband

Here is a list of my pregnancy transformations so far:

1.  I’M A SASQUATCH:  Okay, disclaimer:  I have always been a hairy girl – with hairy arms and hairy eyebrows.  Have you seen my 7th grade picture yet?  HAIRrendous.  So, naturally I married a beautiful Greek man, who has big brown eyes, a strong jaw, and very healthy hair follicles.  In other words, a true man.  Hair growth occurs in cycles, and falls out in cycles.  This balance of growing in and falling out results in you ending up with a relatively constant amount of hair.  BUT.  Fun pregnancy fact:  Hormone changes result in less of the falling out phase.  Which means….SASQUATCH hairiness ensues.  All I can say is I am glad I had a tad bit of laser hair removal in the past – and I can totally see mommy-daughter hair removal sessions in my future.

2.  I’M SLEEPING WELL:  Ok, that’s sort of a lie.  BUT,  I’m sleeping better. Even though I’m still waking up constantly throughout the night, to pee, to guzzle my liter of water I keep on my night stand, to move my restless legs, or just …. because….I still have felt more rested, and I have noticed a significant reduction in the number of dreams I’ve had.  My husband has zero issues sleeping or feeling rested (even though I am quite sure he has sleep apnea – he has broken his nose several times and not corrected the break, so he cannot breathe through his nose – and I can hear him snoring, and his breathing stop and then re-start all night long).

3.  MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS WHERE IT SHOULD BE:  Even though I work out regularly, maintain a relatively healthy diet and am within the normal range for body weight, my blood pressure has been pretty damn high for about 5 years.  So, I’ve been on blood pressure meds for that time (which, I will point out, coincidentally matches up with about the same length of time I’ve been married.  Coincidence?  Hah).  Even with the meds, my blood pressure has still been a little higher than the standard metric of 120/80 – more along the lines of 135/85.  My husband, however, who works out some, who eats healthy sometimes, has always had incredibly good numbers in the diastolic and systolic department – usually around 117/70.  Now that I’m pregnant, my blood pressure has been matching his.  Maybe it’s the new pregnancy-friendly meds, maybe it’s lowered stress, or maybe it’s the 2nd trimester honeymoon period, where blood pressure tends to drop a bit anyway.  Since I’m considered high risk due to the blood pressure history, let’s hope that keeps up!

4.  I’M A COUCH POTATO:  During my first trimester I was instructed by my doctor to not work out and to sit on the couch.  At first this was due to several large ovarian cysts on my left ovary, a side-effect of the fertility drugs.  The cysts were so big that when the doctor first saw them in the ultrasound, he thought they were on my right ovary – but in reality the weight of the cysts had dragged my left ovary to that side.  Later in the trimester I had some significant bleeding (scary!) and was put on “couch rest”.  Which my husband LOVED since his favorite hobby is watching t.v. and movies.  Now I am working out, but not nearly as much as before, and am resting more than ever.

5.  I GAG WHEN I BRUSH MY TEETH:  My husband can only use one type of toothpaste.  Most toothpastes make him gag, which I always thought was really odd.  Even the one that he can tolerate will occasionally make him gag; I have heard him at the sink and it kind of creeps me out.  We have our own separate toothpastes in our own drawers.  But now, I can only use HIS toothpaste – all of the other toothpastes make ME gag.  Even his does, sometimes.  I really can’t complain though, as this is the closest I have gotten to morning sickness throughout my pregnancy.

6.  I HAVE A BELLY:  It’s not a huge round basketball belly yet, but my goodness is it bigger than before.  MUCH BIGGER.  Crap, it might be as big as his….

7.  HOSTESS DONETTES:  What?!  Who eats those things?  I mean, besides my husband?  Fake, processed, bite-sized packaged donuts with a hard, waxy chocolate coating, that could probably last for decades without molding.  Typically if I am going to go for a processed goody, I’ll choose something like Cool Ranch Doritos, or Pretzel and Cheddar Combos or cheddar popcorn.  Something salty.  Apparently this baby has my husband’s taste buds.

8.  I’M GASSY:  I’m pretty sure all husbands are gassy.  But I never understood how guys could just fart.  All. Day. Long.  And special ones in the morning.  Until now.  Now, I get it.  It just can’t be stopped.

Ghosts of Blogging Past

I’m linking up with Mommy Two Cents and Chosen Chaos for Ghosts of Blogging Past, posting a link to a blog entry from my first week of blogging.  Click on the image to read some of the other blogs who are joining up for this one.

I haven’t been blogging very long, so this post, about my husband, is from the summer.  This is the post that made him ask, after getting multiple texts from his friends about the content of my blog, WHAT ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT ME?  I’m not sure he’s actually read it himself, yet.  Here it is!

A Special Fart. One I View Lovingly.

This blog is not about farts. If you are a fart-lover, I regret to inform you that this isn’t going to be chock full of anecdotes regarding gaseous emissions.  However.  There is one special fart that does belong here, as it ties in nicely with the topics of sleeping and waking.

While we were dating, I do not recall my husband being much of a farter.  Nothing note-worthy, anyway.  Once we got married, though, it was like someone turned that lever parallel to the pipe and let the natural gas flow. Usually after an emission, especially a nice loud one, my husband will look at me with an impish grin, and I will look back, repulsed, roll my eyes and say, “That’s gross”.  This is our routine.  In fact, sometimes my husband will just say, “That’s gross” for me, in a mocking, high-pitched voice.  At least he knows how I feel.  However, early in the morning, while I am still buried under my piles of blankets, I hear a different kind of fart.  It has a different timbre.  It is longer in duration.  Much longer.  It sounds slightly forced, but nothing painful. It’s like the equivalent of a loud yawn.  And this is the indication that my husband is going to get out of bed.  There is usually about a 5-10 minute window where he checks the news or Facebook on his phone, and then he arises.

I’m not even sure he knows that I know he does this.  Keep in mind, while he bounds out of bed, full of enthusiasm for the day, I am curled up in a fetal position, blankets tucked around me tightly, head buried in my pillow.  I may or may not be groaning a bit, in despair.  Each night, the sheets on my side of the bed become twisted and ripped from the mattress, so I am  laying directly on it (sidebar: this means that my cat, who sleeps at my feet, is also laying directly on the mattress and then my husband gets mad that there will be cat hair on it. Sigh.  I can’t help what I do in my sleep!)  My hand is poised to hit the snooze button so I can avoid the inevitable torture of placing my feet on the floor.  I am so exhausted at this point, that I don’t believe I have ever had the energy to respond to his vaporous alarm clock, I’ve never told him that I named this special little guy.  And I certainly have never told him that even though my face has a scowl, my eyes are squeezed shut, and my garbled response to anything he asks me is completely incomprehensible, that, for some reason, that sound makes me smile.  Well, at least on the inside.  That sound reminds me that he is such a better morning person than I am and I know that it makes him happy to greet the day with his flatulence.  And that makes my heart happy, too.  That’s true love, right there.

Sleep Deprivation Can Make You Do Stupid Things. Or, Maybe I Have ADD.

For our 4th anniversary, my husband and I decided to go on a road trip.  We bought a new (used) pop-up camper, hopped in the Jeep and headed West, towards South Dakota.  He had the idea for me to “blog” about our trip (which meant a facebook note, since I didn’t have a blog yet.  He didn’t realize at the time the blogging-monster he would soon create) so I documented as we drove, and it was really quite a jolly time.

Except for the day and a half that it sort of sucked. The first day of suckage, is pretty much unrelated to the second day of suckage, they just happened to be connected within the time-space continuum.  In my original post, I blogged a lot about the wind turbines and the buffalo and beautiful geology at the Badlands.  Included here is just the blurb about the day and a half that weren’t so fun.  Enjoy.

July 8th:

OH. MY. GOD.  We just got to our campsite for the night.  OH. MY.  GOD.  Ok, so we didn’t decide until 10pm the night before we left that we would drive for several hours, instead of stopping in St. Joe and staying with my sister on Thursday night, thus, we didn’t book any campgrounds ahead of time – as would be my preference.

So today, at lunch, we stopped somewhere with wireless so we could find a place to camp for the night.  We ate at a diner and we agreed we should drive for 5 or so more hours.  Ends up we would be near Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Ok, perfect.  So I Google campgrounds near Sioux Falls and Tower Campgrounds pops up.  It is close.  I call the number and they have ONLY ONE spot left.  So I think, well if it is full, it must be decent.  Didn’t check the reviews, honestly just wanted t o get something booked and done with.  I feel flustered and anxious when having to do things on short notice, or when I don’t want to do them (i.e. I wanted to do it ahead, but didn’t, so now just rush and don’t do a good job searching).  EFFING HORRIBLE IDEA.

So, it is right in town.  As in, I can see a gas station from our camp site.  Which, ok, not great.  But, could be dealt with on it’s own.  But then, each camper/tent is literally 5-10 feet from the next.  And I clearly understand now why this one spot was empty.  The lady in the camper next to us appears to live here.  She has a couple of dogs, and several cats, along with many young kittens living in the camper.  There are dozens of flies buzzing around the windows inside and outside the camper.  Husband went to the shower (we decided it wasn’t very safe here and should go one at a time).  And I hear her talking – I’m assuming to the animals in there, or perhaps to no one… yelling things about leaving her alone and “get out of there!” etc..  I hear a flicking noise which I believe can only be a lighter for which she is lighting her crack pipe, as she shoes her crack-addict pets away from her.  WE ARE NEXT DOOR TO THE CRAZY CRACK HEAD CAMPER CAT LADY….UGH!

I tried to convince Husband to pack up and leave, told him I could drive for 4-5 hours and stay at a rest stop.  He said this was my punishment for not checking the reviews.  I go to shower, come back and Husband noticed a bunch of dog shit near the table we had set up.  I again asked him if he wanted to leave.  After eating, I immediately retreated to the camper and thanked Husband in my head for bringing the TV (I normally hate the TV).  I just hope we can turn it up loud enough to drown out the din of traffic surrounding the site.

Ok, let me shout this loud and clear:  I WAS WRONG.  I WAS IMPATIENT.  I SHOULD HAVE CHECKED.  I’M GLAD MY HUSBAND BROUGHT A TV AND DVDS (I hate tv, and we had to negotiate him being able to bring this) !  GAH!!!!!  But having to stay at this shithole is certainly cruel and unusual punishment enough.  I have learned my lesson.

July 9th:

Um.  Ok.  So, I sort of understand why Texas has edited their history books – they don’t want to look like jackasses.  I was going to edit the history of this trip but the Husband won’t let me.  Penance.  So I’ll start by saying that maybe I have ADD.  And, I have sleep deprivation which makes me forgetful.   And, stupid.  I got this crazy little devil girl at the campground…she was talking to me while I was supposed to take out the braces, that support the mechanical arms that hold the pop-up “up”.  I took them both off and then since I was talking to her (about why we were leaving and how we were ready to leave the shit-hole site) for some reason I put one of the braces back ON.  This didn’t work out so well when the Husband was turning the crank which was lowering the pop-up.  The one corner with the brace stayed up, popped some cable and we ended up having to call a maintenance guy to come lower the arm for us and then take it to an RV repair shop.

If my dad is reading this, I know he is slowly shaking his head, and thinking to himself how glad he is that I am off his hands and Husband now has to deal with me.  So….we ended up having to stay in hotels for the entirety of our trip, and we dragged our broken pop up behind us, like a bum leg, the entire 22 hours home.  (It ended up costing us $600 to fix the arm; plus we had the added costs of hotel rooms and going out to eat each night).

I asked the maintenance guy if he would still love his spouse if she did this, and he just said he didn’t have a wife.  I told him if he ever decided to spend his life with a special someone this sort of thing may happen and he would still have to love her.

Thank goodness this happened when we were celebrating our anniversary, since it forced my husband to at least partially focus on how lucky we are to have each other.  It appears the Husband still loves me and that is the only thing I care about.

Dream # 10: Greek Dancing on the Moon and Mononucleosis


The Greek Dance group is practicing at my house.  Apparently they decided to use my house since I have enough space, and I have many rooms in the shape of circles.  This is convenient, since most Greek dances are circular in nature.  It is a particularly important dance practice because the group has been invited to travel and dance ON THE MOON.  Exciting.  There is one girl in the dance group that everyone hates and who is constantly doing things contrary to the Greek Dance Group Code of Conduct.  She has already been kicked out of the group once.  She is late and so the dance group is discussing whether they should kick her out again.  In order to travel into space, to dance on the moon, there is a lot of teamwork and trust involved, and they are worried that she poses a safety threat.  People in the group are afraid of confrontation and don’t know if they will follow through on kicking her out, even though they know they should.  They ultimately decide they will indeed kick her out, but say they need one more person for the Kalamatiano (something about needing enough bodies and gravitational pull, since you don’t really need a certain number for this dance on Earth).  I offer to fill in, but I am worried that I am a little bit sick.  The girl everyone hates comes very late, after it has been decided that I will dance.  She says no one is stopping her from going to the moon.  The dance group calls a scientist/doctor who is an expert in traveling through space.  He confirms the idea that a team-based approach is needed and this girl won’t work.  He is concerned about our safety.  She continues to practice with us anyway.  He then turns to me and asks if I am experiencing a lot of tension, because he notices my foot and leg are constantly moving.  I tell him they are always moving, this is nothing new.  We then start talking about my illness and he looks in my throat, asks me some questions.  He says he is worried I might have mono.  I gasp, and tell him I’ve had mono in the past.  He nods solemnly, as to confirm this diagnosis, since mono can reemerge after lying dormant.


Ok, this is a dream with some attachment to reality!  My husband and his family have participated in traditional Greek dancing since they were young, and his cousins and sisters still perform.  I do know how to dance the kalamatiano.  I constantly move my leg/bounce my knee.  I have had mono (and it can come back).  And, there must be a kernel of truth to the idea that dancing on the moon’s cratered surface without the correct configuration/velocity/whatnot would result in people flinging off into the abyss.  I don’t know if I have ever had another dream with so many ties to my waking life.

SPACE:  Dream Forth tells me that to see or dream that I am in space indicates that I am a very inquisitive person who enjoys seeking the truth and that I form my own opinions and beliefs rather than adopting those of others.  I would like to believe this is true, even if the only evidence I have is my disagreement with my husband about how often the bathroom needs to be cleaned (Truth:  Not as often as he thinks) or my own opinion about how often the lawn and bushes need to be manicured (Truth:  Never.  Lawns and shrubbery are not important).  I refuse to blindly adopt the believe of my husband snooty neighbors in this matter!  I’m such a obstinate wife truth-seeker.

DANCING:    Dream Moods informs me that dreaming about attending or going to a dance indicates a celebration and your attempts to achieve happiness.  Hooray!  Celebrations are good (unless they are fake celebrations, like the kind we have at the beginning of staff meetings).  Let’s celebrate scrapbooking! And samosas! And bacon!  And fuzzy kitties that snuggle!  And coffee – oh glorious coffee!  And yoga! And Girls Weekends! And wine!  Oh yes, lots and lots of cheers for wine!  All things I indulge in for the sake of sanity.  And all synonyms for happiness.

MONONUCLEOSIS:  Dream Forth says that to dream of an illness signifies despair, objectionable adjustment, and an emotional collapse. The illness may be a way out of my incompetence in coping with a situation.  In this case does that mean my incompetence in coping with the weak gravitational pull of the moon whilst kicking up my heels?  In reality does it mean constantly being crouched in the shadow of the black dog?  Wait, wait, wait. Celebrate happiness, remember?!  That merriment seemed incredibly short lived.  Hm.  Maybe my attempts are futile.  Ah, to hell with it.  Let’s still celebrate a crack at happiness with some wine, shall we?  Or, should we just drown our sorrows in it?  Either way, cheers.


This post is a part of Love Links – if you like what you read, vote for me on Thursday!



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