The Older Brother, BIL, and myself all went sledding yesterday in the mountains near here.  Oodles of fun, I tell you.  We sledded down awesome slopes and then we packed up and started back to town.

Just on the edge of town is a intensely popular hillside for sledding and it looked like so much fun (even though it was PACKED with people) that we stopped for just a few last good runs.

We only had two sleds, so after I went a few times, I perched myself on the BIL’s truck to watch the guys take the steep slope “just to see what it was like”.  As I watched, these other teens took it first, two of them flew down so fast that it made my head spin.  The third guy took the slope so much faster and his sled appeared to barely touch the ground for the first 200-300 yards.  As he got closer, he didn’t slow down very much at all, but whizzed straight towards the street.

Just then a wee boy, most likely about seven years of age, slid right into the teen’s path.  The boy’s mother ran over and began to drag him out of the way when…


The teen collided with her and her son, knocking them both to the ground.  At first I thought that she knew the teen because she ran over to him first and began yelling at him and looked like she was going to start slugging him.  But I thought maybe she was halfway joking because his face looked like it might be a joke, it was completely incredulous and his entire body was saying “please don’t slug me, haha”.

Then I began to figure out what she was saying: “F*** YOU!!!  F*** YOU!!  YOU COULD HAVE STEERED OR STOPPED!!  F*** YOU!!”  Over and over.  I quickly realized that they did not know each other, as the teen rolled over, jumped up, grabbed his sled and beat it.

I stared and blinked a few times as she then ran over to her son and held him as he cried.  She then began helping him to the street and towards where I guessed their car was parked.  I then noticed that the poor kid was limping, I started to hop out of the truck to go see if I could help when a man that I had noticed before (don’t think that, I noticed him because he looked and talked like Ed Harris and I thought it was funny) ran up, spoke to the woman for a moment and then picked up the little boy and carried him to their van.

I thought for a while that Ed Harris was the boy’s father, but after he helped the boy to the van, he shook hands with the woman and then walked back to the hill to finish sledding with his own boy.  Apparently, he didn’t know her at all but saw that she needed assistance and put his shoulder to the wheel without any hesitation.

What a man, Ed Harris, what a man.


I am an admittedly sound sleeper once I finally get around to crawling into my bed and so it was all the more startling when I was jerked awake last night by a loud noise near my bed.

I sat up and tried to place the noise in my mind.  My door was shut in order to keep the old dog from padding noisily in and breathing heavily over my body – so slamming door was out.  No one could have entered the room, the noise wasn’t right.

Suddenly, I placed it.  The noise was that of a trap snapping shut.

I should here inform you that my sister’s house is plagued by the occasional mouse, much in the way that houses in my homeland are plagued by the occasional roach or ant.  Either way it’s nasty.

So yes, the sound was identified (much to my horror) as a mouse getting his (or her) neck snapped.  Lovely.

I lay awake staring into the darkness in the general direction of the ceiling trying to decide if I needed to switch the light on.  I debated with myself for about two minutes and then the thought crossed my mind… what if there were more?  What if mice didn’t just travel in ones, but in twos, threes, fours, and fives?!  Oh the horror!  I sat up, switched the light on and carefully examined the room from my bed.

Body in trap by closet.  Check.

Empty traps in various other places.  Check.

No sign of other mice.  Check.

I sighed, turned the light off, and lay down to try to sleep.  This was not easy for me because I am one of those people that once I have thought of something like mice invading my room the thought does not leave me and my mind starts creating phantom sounds and shadows to accompany the thought.

I kept jerking awake the rest of the night, about once every hour to lie in bed and listen for sounds, half of the time I convinced myself that it was nothing and the other half of the time, I had to sit up, switch on the light and search the room (with my eyes) for any other little mouse bodies besides the one near the closet.

The next morning, I informed my sister of what had happened, she offered to dispose of the mouse for me, but we both forgot until after she left.  Not wanting my room to start smelling like a rotten meat factory, I myself donned a pair of rubber gloves and carefully carted the mouse outside where I dumped it on the other side of the fence.  All without touching the actual carcass of said mouse.  I did feel a bit sorry for the little guy, I mean, having your neck snapped by a merciless little wire can’t be the most pleasant way to go.

Then again, how pleasant can we make killing mice?

Once the body was gone, I once again set the trap in the same spot.  As much as I abhor dead mice in my room, live mice are much much worse.

Dear world,

Please try this:

Add 3 tablespoons of rum to any pumpkin pie recipe in place of vanilla extract.

If making fresh whipped cream (which you should) add 2 tablespoons of rum to the whipped cream in place of vanilla extract.

Result: the best pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream in the world.


The Dame

After my game at Wal-Mart (see previous entry) I decided that it was time to move on to better things, such as purchasing origami paper and wine at the local grocery store chain.  I don’t really understand what it is about large stores here, but their cell phone coverage stinks.  In this store one has to hang around the produce and beer or they lose service faster than you can scream after whacking your finger with a hammer.

One of my dear friends (DF) had called me just as I was parking and I hadn’t spoken to her in quite a while therefore it was not one of those conversations that you can just interrupt to say “Well, I have to grab some origami paper and wine… so let me call you back.”  Not to mention that it is one of those conversations that is more like a monologue with no place to fit the above sentence in edgewise.  Therefore, I chose the produce section and pretended to be interested in mushrooms whilst DF prattled away about school, life, etc.

I’m certain that the following has happened to each and every one of you:  You are standing there thinking of other things and staring into the distance when suddenly, you realize that the distance is staring back at you.  BAM!  Reality hits and you realize that you have been staring at a person for a very long time and now they are aware of it.

This is exactly what happened.  I stared, the distance stared, and then the distance turned into a really hot guy with an avocado in his hand looking at me with a questioning expression on his face.

Flustered, I turned in the opposite direction as nonchalantly as possible and began to examine the heads of lettuce instead.  As DF talked, she lulled me back into a distant stare.  Once again, after a few moments, I became aware of the distance staring back at me, once again the distance abruptly turned into the same really hot guy this time standing in front of the carrots but with the same expression on his face.  This time I think he realized what was happening because he grinned at me as I quickly ended my phone conversation and raced off to the wine aisle.

In the wine aisle, I was searching for the exact brand of Malbec that The Older Sister had bought a few weeks ago when I heard a voice behind me.  I turned to look and there was a heavy-set lady with silvery grey hair who was asking me if I had ever tried a certain pinot grigio that she was holding out to me.  I told her that I had not and she giggled, “This is simply the best wine I have ever had!  And it is so cheap!”  She stared at me, wide-eyed and I am certain that I was mirroring her expression perfectly.

I cleared my throat, “Well, I do like the bottle a lot, it is very pretty.”  “Isn’t it?”  she giggled again.  “I tell you!  I go to Lisa’s to get my hair cut and we pull out the wine and then after a while she says ‘are you sure you want your hair cut?’ and I just don’t care at that point!”  She pointed to the bottle’s label, “Pee-not Greeg-oh.  Is that how you say it?”  I smiled, “Well, I think it’s actually said ‘pee-noh gree-gee-oh’ but I’m certain it doesn’t matter.”

She raved about the wine for a few more moments and then handed me a bottle and picked up another bottle for herself.  She pointed down the aisle at two other women looking at wine, “Do you think that they have ever had this wine?”  She asked me.  “Mmm, probably not.”  I said.  She looked at me with serious eyes, “I should probably tell them about it, right?”  “Why yes!  I really think that you should!”  I said.  She picked up two more bottles of the wine for her cart and then raced off down the aisle where I heard her say, “Have you ever tried this wine before?”  And then a few moments later, “And look at the very pretty bottle!”

I grinned to myself, placed her wine back on the shelf, picked up the Malbec (which was right next to the wine she recommended) and headed off to find the origami paper.

I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of my time in the store.  What a lady.

“I have an exclusive Costco membership.  I can buy large quantities of useless stuff.” – Yes Man

I ran to Costco two Sundays ago to pick up two cartons of eggs from which my sister was going to concoct breakfast.  I quickly found the eggs and then remembered that I was to look for craisins as well; I wasn’t certain where these were located and so consequently, I began to make my way up one aisle and down the rest in an effort to find them.

As I wandered along in this fashion, I found myself either in front of, behind, or passing the same guy over and over and over again.  Flustered, I walked faster and tried to scan the aisles quicker, he appeared to be doing the same and our meetings still happened.  Finally, I walked to a completely different section of the store and saw some mixed dried fruit and so I ducked down that aisle thinking that I had at last found the craisins.  Instead, I found myself on the candy aisle and who should be there studying the snickers most faithfully but the man I had been chasing (unwillingly) up and down the aisles on the other side of the store.  Rather than meet his eyes again, I braked rapidly and traced my steps in double-time back up the aisle where I nearly collided with a lady who obviously is not aware of the rudimentary laws regarding right of way in store aisles.  She yelped, I apologized, and once again I met the eyes of the man.  Awkward.   Beyond words.

I quickly located the craisins a few aisles up and raced the checkout in the hopes that the man was still studying candy bars on the sin aisle.  As I walked towards the shortest line, who should be heading towards it as well but that wonderful individual.  Yes, our eyes met again.  I flushed in the most awkward manner and then ducked into the nearest checkout as if that had been what I was heading for the entire time.  There was an awkward moment of indecision on his part as he weighed his checkout options.  Thankfully, he chose the shorter wait.

I made it through the checkout in good time and then walked to the door to hand my receipt to the gentleman standing guard over the exit.  He examined my receipt carefully, “Just three items?” he said as he gestured to my laden arms.  “Yup, that’s it.”  I said.  He stared at me, “Really?  Just three?”  I stared back a little uncomfortable.  “Yes, just three.  Did I pay for more?”  I tried to look at the receipt.  He pulled it away and stared at me still harder, “That is odd, people usually buy more.”  I squirmed and shifted the egg cartons, “Umm, well this is all I needed… sooo…”  I tried to keep it light, but really he was starting to make me feel very ill at ease indeed.  He stared at me for a while and then handed me my receipt.  I grasped it and raced out the door to freedom, he called after me, “Have a great weekend!”

At my car, I quickly loaded my groceries into the backseat and shut the door.  As I did so, the trunk slammed on the car across the lane from me, I glanced over and once again found my eyes met by the eyes of the man who I had alternately followed and been chased by around the store.  Feeling completely awkward at this point, I jumped into my car and rapidly drove off before something else awkward happened.  Weird day!!

Just figuring out how this thing works is going to be a challenge.

Hello World.

Welcome to my blog.