Monday, August 29, 2011

Get out of my forest

Last week we went camping at a lovely state park with our friends Jershon and Shelly. Well, sort-of camping.

Because during that fateful night, we learned about the dark side of the woods.

It all started when we arrived at the park and started unloading the car, and heard a dismayed "Oh no" from our friend Jershon.

"I forgot to pack our tent."

Uh oh.

We quickly assessed the damage: four adults and a toddler and only one 3-person tent.

We discussed our options: driving home--no way. Sleeping in the car--too small. Isaac and I sharing the tent with the toddler--Um, no thanks.

Finally we decided that our friends would take the tent along with their toddler, and Isaac and I would sleep under the stars. It promised to be a clear night without rain.

It sounded romantic. Just us and nature. And the air mattress.

And for awhile, it looked like we were in the clear. There weren't even a lot of mosquitos. We had a campfire, roasted s'mores, and talked until well after dark.

It was a lovely, relaxing night. Until we saw the eyes.

They reflected an eerie red from our headlamps, and lurked near our bed at the edge of camp. Then one pair of eyes became two, and then three. Then they went for the food, and we realized our creepy red eyes were three raccoons. Three really, really bold raccoons.

We decided it was a good time to change our sleeping arrangements. Under the stars? Vetoed.

We began quickly gathering our food before the shameless raccoons started fighting us for it. And then I was all but attacked by three jumbo-sized daddy long-legs. I no sooner killed made Isaac kill one before another one surfaced. We made a beeline for the car, a five-minute walk down the trail.

At the car, I was struck again by another reality. It's impossible to sleep well in a Chevy Malibu. What a stupid idea! What do you do, recline the seats and try to sleep with your legs hanging off the end and your head at a 45 degree angle? And what about the middle console waiting to whack you should you have the gall to try to turn over?

Heck. No.

On to plan C: Get a hotel. I told Isaac this. His eyes lit up, hopeful. This night could be salvaged!

I whispered, "Isaac, Jershon and Shelly never have to know!"

Because I'm sure they wouldn't notice us showing up the next morning looking...clean. And well-slept. With powdered sugar on our lips from those delicious donuts at the hotel breakfast. Isaac whipped out his iPhone and found a hotel. Thinking better of it, we went back for Jershon and Shelly after all.

As it turns out, selling Shelly on the hotel was not difficult. The raccoons had been hunting them. Jershon stared one down, and while it stared back, unmoving, the other two started to close in from the sides. Just like raptors.

So we grabbed our clothes and toiletries (and the toddler) and left for town. Once in the hotel, we slept like babies. Civilization never looked so inviting as it did that night. No raccoons. No daddy long-legs. No mosquitos. And that beautiful, beautiful flushing toilet.

In the morning we ate a hot, free breakfast at the hotel and drove back to our campsite, the tent waiting for us as if we'd never left.

We all go camping perfectly willing to share the woods with a few select species: deer, squirrels, and butterflies. The problem is, there are other creatures in that forest we'd rather not think about. As long as we don't see them, we can pretend they're not there.

But that night we saw them. And then we ran back to civilization like the wusses we really are.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Late-night entertainment

There are two kinds of confused people in the hospital. Adorable confused and Yelling and Swinging confused.

Last night one our patients became acutely ill and confused. Adorably confused. 

Patient: Am I still alive?

Nurse: Yes, you're still alive.

Patient: I didn't die yet?

Nurse: No, not yet.

Patient: Is 2 plus 2 still 4?

Nurse: Yes.

Patient: Am I here?

Nurse: Where's here?

Patient: I don't know. Wherever I am is here.


Patient: Here is where soul and body meet. Will you find it and take me there please?


Patient: I've been like this all my life. I'm a rebel without a clue.

Nurse: Do you mean a rebel without a cause?

Patient: I think I'm trying to be funny.

He succeeded.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The summer bucket list

I'm the kind of person that spends most of the summer dreading the inevitable approach of winter and panicking about not taking full advantage of the summer. I start every summer with an informal, unwritten bucket list of things I want to do before death winter arrives. As the months pass, if I'm not making progress on my list, I start panicking about the ever looming end of my life summer.

This summer my bucket list was in big, big trouble. So was my sanity. June and July were spent working or in Chicago, or else inside hovering over the air conditioner during our abominable heat wave. By August 1st, my skin still boasted its pristine ivory hue leftover for winter. Because it had not seen the sun.

Translation: My summer was being wasted away indoors.

Then Isaac finished his internship, we went to Utah, and the last 3 weeks have basically been an exercise in condensing a summer's worth of bucket list activities into a few short weeks. And in being happy to have Isaac home.


hiked a mountain
went camping at 9,000 feet
ate sushi and we loved one of us loved it
went on a bike ride
went canoeing
played frisbee golf
went to the Iowa state fair
went camping sort-of camping again (story to follow)
got slightly tanner
had a barbecue
swam in a lake
made homemade ice cream

Things are looking up for the list.

Although, for the record, I'm still dreading winter.

Here are some pictures of use checking things off my list:

Bless your heart, Iowa, but these are what real mountains look like.

Isaac's family. I don't know who the pink shirt is.

This is the famous butter cow. It's life size and it's ALL butter.
I hope they put that butter to a good use afterwards.
Except for the udder.
That massive hunk of flesh is, believe it or not, a bull.
And it won.
And I'm pretty sure it's too fat to come after you if you touch it.

Our awesome friends Jershon and Shelly standing by the first place pumpkin.
If you can't read the sign it says 1295 lbs. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Things I forgot about

I have noticed an increase in my happiness lately, and have dedicated the next 48 words to explaining the source of my newfound joy:

Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home Isaac's home!

I came home one night after a truly rotten day at work to my handsome hubby who made dinner, cleaned it up, and gave me a back rub.

I forgot what a breath of fresh air it used to be to come home to him after "I'm pretty sure I need to quit my job" days. Somehow after joking around during dinner and watching him wash dishes for me, the terrors of the day seem like distant memories.

I forgot the small joys of trying to decipher what he's saying with a mouth full of toothpaste foam and of trying keep each other awake during scriptures. 

I forgot how much more quickly sleep comes when he's next to me.

I forgot how our little bedroom seems less lonely, dark, and quiet with Isaac in it, even when the only sound he contributes is the soft breathing of sleep. He also brought home the nightlight, so that probably explains the "less dark" thing...

In the end, we are extra grateful to live in the same house again. 

And, so I don't forget that the Chicago thing really happened, here's some final proof:

At Wait Wait... don't tell me! We're smiling because we already know it's going to be epic.
And it was. If you want to hear the show, go here. You'll laugh, I promise.

Camber shaking Carl Kassel's hand. And regretting the Thai food we just ate. Garlic breath? Probably.

This was probably a highlight of Carl's day.

Sometimes a large dirty city can look kinda pretty.

At the Lincoln Park zoo. But you can't see any animals in this picture. Sorry.