Hiya. So it was a busy week so I didn’t get a ton of shots fired off – I was in Minneapolis for a work meeting during the week. It was pretty uneventful, except for my flight out of town – first off, I was full-on body-slammed in the head by some wobbly lady, while trying to get my bag under the seat during boarding. Um, and I mean body-slammed by her butt. My jaw and ears, they still kinda hurt just thinking about it. And she didn’t even have the decency to apologize, just kinda looked back at me, muttered something about really needing a blanket, and then waddled back to her seat across from me. RUDE.
Then my seat mate was this Pure Country guy (let’s call him “Dale”). Camo pants, camo bag, camo hat. Gators shirt. Sounded like Larry the Cable Guy when he spoke. And then he ordered THREE Bloody Marys when the drink cart came around (like, dude: we’re going to MINNEAPOLIS, it’s like a little over an hour man slow down). He had no room on his tray, they had to put some of his drinks on mine. But you know why there wasn’t enough room? Because Dale had this big ole album on his lap and a ratty manila envelope stuffed full of photos; it appeared that he planned on working on putting things together on the flight. And as we all know, I’m a sucker for photos. So just this once, I broke my “never talk to strangers on a plane” personal rule, and chatted him up.
And we talked and Dale happily showed me ALL of his photos, of his hunting and fishing trips all over North America and Central America, and we talked about his daughter (named “Alaska Cheyenne” for his two favorite hunting spots, no joke) and he was just kinda the nicest sweetest guy ever. And he works for an oil company, which means even though he is a bit of a redneck he makes about five times as much as me, and I got to see photos of his nice big house in Florida and all the travels all over the world he and his daughter partake in. Dale was a pretty awesome dude. It was totally worth breaking my Plane Rule.
And then I got back, and we decided on a whim to get the Big Boy Bed put together, just so Pete got used to seeing it in his room, except Doots was totally was all “crib, pffft that’s for babies dudes, of course I’m sleeping in that toddler bed”. So he hopped right in.
After bedtime he cried for us twice, to “tuck me in” one more time, maybe a little uneasy about what he got himself into. Then about midnight we heard a huge BAM from upstairs followed by a tell-tale wail, letting us know that he totally fell out of that bed. And then, about 3:30am, he started crying and I found him disoriented on the pillow next to his bed, begging me to rock him. Every time we went back up there, we asked if he wanted to maybe switch back to his trusty crib. Every time, he was adamant that he wanted to stick with the Big Boy Bed. So it was rocky that first night, but he did it. And that was that, now smooth sailing and he’s a big boy in a big boy bed and man but I can’t believe still that it really truly is done already. My goodness, I wasn’t expecting that for another few weeks at least.
Also: it has been insanely hot. 100s. Humid. My container gardens, they are not faring so well, even with some TLC. Er, or maybe okay let me admit: my main goal was to keep them alive long enough to get us to Pete’s party because everyone would see our front porch, so – maybe half of my pots are still alive at this point. Thank God for begonias. Also for my husband, who is kind enough to water the poor things every once in awhile.
Our weekend was spent in The Burg, visiting family. We haven’t been nor have I seen my Beah et al. since the Royal Wedding so it was long overdue. There were cupcakes for the Doots man, and birthday gifts (a bubble push Mater, which was pretty much awesome since Mater is the only character from Cars that Pete has any interest in). We ate and hung out and laughed at really weird YouTube videos and pretty much it was our usual kind of visit.
We hit up KiddieLand. None of us have ever been to KiddieLand before, true story. Another post to come on that later, because as usual I took about a bajillion photos while we were wasting away in the heat, watching the kids ride around on all the rides. God bless Tropical Sno and their peach shaved ice, it is the only way I survived.
Mahni, my pretty girl.
After KiddieLand we went back to my parents’ house to cool off, then headed east. First stop was in Baxter to see Mater, and by that I mean the real, actual, inspiration for the Cars character Tow Mater. He’s awesome. Pete was awestruck. Poor Dylan fell asleep in the car, but Mahni was there to coax Pete into giving the old guy a hug.
Then we headed to Joplin. I took a ton of photos, although I probably won’t post 99% of them here. It took our breath away, what we saw; the damage is something you just can’t capture fully in a photo. It makes me sad but then, at this point (a month and a half after the tornado) there are definite signs of a new life there. Trees stripped bear are starting to bud out again. Literally tons of debris have been trucked off to landfills, and businesses and homes are being rebuilt. “Hope” is a word you see everywhere there, and “Hope” probably best describes the town at this point.
Photo above courtesy of my awesome sister, Beah.
We headed back home today, and even with the heat we gave our new Mater a spin around the neighborhood. Pete is completely enamored with his new buddy. Even if he later confused him for a lawn mower.
And that’s about it, my friends. Have a good week, and we’ll post more later.