Tuesday, August 12, 2008

the conclusion of WEDDING WEEK

it always amazes me how much work and money goes into weddings - an elaborate dress, flowers, cake, photos, reception hall, caterers, booze, -oh yeah baybee its all about the open bar! bottom line, it's a butt load of money and effort and all for just a few hours of "showtime".

Jack and I had a typical wedding with all the trappings and when I stop and think about how much money we could have saved and put towards a house, or maybe even towards that honeymoon we never took (because we were so po' after that big stinkin wedding), it makes me almost ill. seriously, when the big day is over and the guests have all gone home (or passed out in the parking lot) what do you have to show for all that money that was spent?? well, I can tell you what I have; a giant album that I flip thru every 5 or 10 years -usually when I need to prove to my kids that I did, in fact, used to be thin and Jack did, in fact, used to have hair. oh, I also have a luuuurvely gown, complete with reeeeally big poofy sleeves, that has been carefully heirloom packaged and is waiting in the attic for me to offer up to my dot when the time comes. pffft! I can just see her now -begging not to have to wear it! aaaaaaahahaha... poor kid!

anyway... the wedding we went to last weekend was a really refreshing change. the bride's mom made the wedding dress, the groom's mom made all the bridesmaid's dresses, there was no church, no reception hall, no superficial BS... our niece Katie & her fiancee Graydon (aka: Grady -Katie & Grady... isn't that cute?!) were married at my in-law's ranch out in Bear River, way up on a hillside overlooking the Bear River Valley with the Pacific Ocean for a backdrop. aside from the hellacious wind that threatened to carry us right off of that hillside, the ceremony was absolute greatness. not only was it very brief and pretty freaking hysterical but it was very personal and so THEM.

K & G were married by Rick, a close friend of the family, and who, for this occassion had the esteemed title of "Reverend Rick". I don't know all the nitty-gritty details but rumor has it Rick sent away and became ordained via some kind of mail order deal and now he's legit to do something like 3 weddings, 1 funeral and 5 baptisms... if I'm lyin, I'm dyin! LOL!

the reception was back at the ranch, where friends tackled the chores of setting up tables, cooking and serving a wonderful meal of spaghetti, meatballs, hot wings, bread, salad,... I don't even remember what else, but it was great food -none of that crappy, dried out chicken cordon bleu like you get at most weddings. the cakes were from Costco, delicious, and GONE by the end of the night... the music was played over speakers that were hooked up to a computer with a pre-programed i-tunes playlist. there was even one of those giant bounce-house things with a slide for the kidlets -as well as a few of the more erm, ...adventurous (read: drunk) adults!
after it got dark and things were getting mellow, we all gathered around the firepit, listened to one of Katie's bridesmaids, Jen, play the guitar and sing -wow! what an incredible voice that chick had- and then as the guitar was passed on and my FIL busted out his ukelele (yes, a ukelele!) we busted out the marshmallows, and got busy making s'mores!

the kicker here is that K & G live in Utah, and yet they managed to do a heckuva job planning this thing all the way out here in CA. they had friends and family who traveled great distances to be at the wedding, coming from Utah, Las Vegas, Iowa, North Carolina... all over the freakin place, many of them camped out at the ranch, either in tents, RV's, out in the bus barn that was turned into the "womens dormitory" and a few peeps even stayed in a horse trailer! some of the older folks stayed at the quaint little B & B's in town... but the point is, they came all that way just so they could be here for K & G's wedding week -and what a week it was!

The bride and her daddy:

The wedding party:

"Reverend Rick" performing the ceremony:

exchanging the rings:


Kendall with Chicago (groomsman) & Daisie (bridesmaid)

the bouncy house (this thing was worth it's weight in gold!):

Monday, August 11, 2008

where the hell have I been?

I mean, seriously.

Last Friday, I met up with my niece Katie -and about 15 other crazy chicks- for a "spa day". Now, honestly, I'm not really a 'spend the day at the spa' kinda girl but we'd all been invited to spend the afternoon together as part of Katie's pre-wedding festivities (in lieu of a bridal shower/bachelorette party), so how could I refuse? Having never gone to a spa (oh yeah, I was a spa virgin), I didn't really know what to expect... in fact, about 5 months ago, when we were given a list of different services we could try, I more or less closed my eyes and pointed to one -I mean, I don't know a Vichy Shower from a Seaweed Pack so, what the hell... eenie-meeny-miney-mo... I ended up getting a shoulder/back/neck massage along with a spa pedicure. oookay, fine, sounds safe enough, doesnt' it?

not so much.

please talk amongst yourselves whilst I make a valium cocktail with a chaser of prozac.

I gotta tell you that, while I love being hugged by my peeps and love snuggling with my kids, I'm not a thuper-dooper touchy feely person by nature and the idea of peeps I don't know touching me, weirds me out -I mean, it's not like I freak if I happen to bump into someone, but I'm just very concious of the whole 'personal space' concept that we learned way back in preschool, so, when I realized a perfect stranger was going to: a.) be touching me in a more intimate manner than oh, lets say, a handshake and 2.) I'd be nekkid from the waist up while they were doing that, not to mention c.) someone else would later be touching my FEET -eeeew, feeeet! I was a tad put off so, needless to say, I spent the next four and a half months trying to catch a cold, pneumonia, malaria ...anything, so I could gracefully skip out on spa-day. sigh... no dice.

fast forward to "spa day". I seriously consider taking a couple of beers... possibly an entire 6 pack, with me to shotgun in the parking lot before I join the girls, but I worry that stumbling in, slurring at 10am, I might draw even more attention to myself than I will with my sweaty palms and the huge sweat stains that are showing up under my pits.

I arrive (un-inebriated, damn it) and we all go thru the introductions, hugs and niceties and suddenly, I'm thinking to myself, hey, there are so many people in here, maybe I can just hang out and chat and no one will notice if I don't actually get anything done, I can just plaster the same mellowed-out smile on my face that all the other girls seem to have, and no one will be the wiser, right? -okay, good plan. a few minutes later, I was completely caught off guard when my name was called out by a gal, who apparently takes her fashion cues from the late, great Johnny Cash, because she's dressed in black from her head to her toes... hmmm, I don't remember meeting her -and then my eyes drift down to the little design just above her left breast where I see the words: The Spa at Personal Choice. DAMN IT, again -I'd forgotten all about that friggen sign up sheet, and my number was up!

Head hung low, I follow Johnny Cash, Jr. thru the catacombs where we finally arrive at a candle-lit room with soft Celtic music playing, there's even a little waterfall to add to the ambiance -I mean, they really go all out to create a calm, relaxing atmosphere. I kid you not, I had to choke back a nervous laugh because my first thought was, dayum, I hope Jr's not gonna put the moves on me back here -which I realize was completely random but eh, that's pretty much how I roll ...and as I'm kinda cracking myself up, it dawns on me that the Celtic music reminds me an awful lot of the pan flute CD that I used to tease my homegrill about after finding it in her collection. Zamfir, anyone. ...anyone? ah, but I digress... I'm on the verge of nervous hysteria when Jr tells me to take my shirt and bra off and get comfortable up on the table (SEE?! I knew she was gonna put the moves on me -I KNEW it!) -then, as if sensing that I was a spa newb, she added, "face-down". pfffft. yeah, ok, I knew that -and then she excused herself so I could disrobe.

I got myself undressed, carefully hiding my boulder holder in the folds of my discarded shirt -don't ask me why, but I've always folded my clothes, being sure to tuck my underoos out of sight anytime I have to undress (I'm talkin like undressing at the dr's office etc... NOT whilst in the throws of passion... wait, passion? pfffft... nevermind.). I turned to get on the table but it was too high to just back up and sit down on, so I looked around, but there was no stepstool. So, I start to panic that Jr is gonna walk back in any second now, and not only see me standing there half nekkid but witness me trying to hike my fat ass up on the table that is too high... ugh, I finally make it up there and as I'm trying to get myself turned around and flipped onto my belly, I reach out and grab something, which turns out to be the face stirrup thing, for a little leverage and the freakin thing completely falls off! O. M. G.! so, now I'm on my belly, trying to hold my head up so I can see what I'm doing, while keeping my bewbs plastered down on the table, as I try and reattach the face thing without getting up off the table... I sure hope the spa doesn't have any hidden cameras in those rooms, because I'm tellin you, if they do, I'm sure you'll be seeing me and my boingly-doinglies on one of those shows where you send in video clips for cash. I was seriously thankful I hadn't forgotten my deodorant because I was starting to work up a sweat -and that's the moment Jr chose to come back in. now, completely mortified, I tell her that I've broken the face stirrup (what the hell do you call that thing anyway?) and she calmly tells me "oh, ...don't worry, it's not broken, it. just. has to. go in liiike... uhm..." and then she procedes to fight with the stoopit thing for what seems like several minutes, until, thankfully, it *finally* clicks back into place. by this time, I'm so busy concentrating on not spontaniously combusting, I just bury my face in the newly repaired face holder and pray I don't do anything else embarassing... like fart.

heeere we go... Jr splashes some oil on my back but before she actually begins the massage, I hear her take a series of what sounds like deep cleansing breaths like they teach in Lamaze class -I'm guessing that was to fortify her for the work ahead because once she got started she really worked my muscles, to the point of it being almost painful. I kept hearing her taking these deep breaths in and slow breaths out and I wondered if maybe she was doing that to cue me to breathe that way in order to relax... meanwhile, I was busy praying I wouldn't become so relaxed that I'd let one fly -gaah, talk about the coup de grâce, eh? by the time it was over, I felt like a lump of clay after it's been smooshed and kneeded until it's smooth and pliable -I was completely relaxed, and I realized as I was getting dressed, that I had survived, and so had Jr., who's name it turns out, was Alisha... and I had in fact really, really enjoyed my first massage.

fully relaxed, I floated out to the pedicure bench to sit with my feet in water that was so warm, I instantly regretted not having relieved my bladder beforehand -especially in my newly relaxed state. after a nice soak, I had my feet scrubbed, and then got exfoliated all the way up to my knees (thank goodness I had thought to shave that morning... I would have been mortified if she'd seen the Yeti legs I had been sporting!), feet and legs lotioned, nails and cuticles trimmed... and then had my toenails painted Stilleto red... and finished off with a spritz of yummy smelling almond oil -B.E.A.-youuu-tiful! I was so distracted by talking with all the girls durring this process, I didn't even have time to think about how weirded out I am by people touching my feet... long (boring) story there, but it has to do with some surgeries I had 20+ years ago.

so now, that I've experienced (and survived) "spa-day" I'm thinking I may indeed be a "spa-day" type of girl after all... and Jack may have to work some extra hours, do some side jobs, maybe even sell a kidney to keep me in the style to which I'm quickly becoming accustomed.

ahhh... life's good.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Monday

whoa! did this weekend fly by or what?! we went to our annual family reunion out in Bear River, soaked up the sunshine, ate waaaay too much good food... ahhh, good times!

I managed to read another book, too; The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I bought it over a year ago and just couldn't get into it so I set it aside and went on to other things, but I came across it again while I was prowling around looking for something to read this weekend, so I decided to give it another shot. I can't for the life of me imagine why I had trouble with it before, or why it took me so long to pick it up again, but I devoured it this time-SMK is a great story teller!

other than that, not much going on around Rancho McBirdie... I'm still slooooowwly working on my office/scraproom... finally got enough crap moved and got one wall painted (whoop-dee-fricken do, right?! LOL!) just need to get some shelves taken down now, so I can tackle the next wall... it's a slow process but I'm diggin the fact that I'm doing it all myself, and so far, I haven't screwed anything up -d'oh!, hope I didn't just jinx myself!

Friday, August 1, 2008

today's blog post is brought to you by...

the letter B.

B is for BFF. My homegrill Shayna Lou and her stud-muffin Doyle brought their motley crew up to visit us earlier this week. It's always great to see them and I love love love that our kids are BUDS and have no problemo picking up where they left off the last time they got together.
B is also for BEACH. We went to a couple of local beaches while the crew was here and the kids had a blast playing in the freezing-ass surf. I'm pretty sure they each smuggled enough sand home in their pockets (not to mention their nether regions -helleeeew??...chaffing anyone?!) to create their own personal little beaches here at home! Good times. :)

We've had absolutely BEAUTIFUL weather the past few days. I got raccoon eyes from getting BURNT at the beach while I was wearing my big ol' glasses and then yesterday, I managed to flambée myself to a complete friggin' crisp whilst I was finishing up yet another BOOK out on the front patio. *gaaah* I seem to have knack for looking like a complete dork whenever we go out in public and last night was no exception, I was practically glowing neon red when we went out to dinner to celebrate Jack's BIRTHDAY. We celebrated with some of our family who are in town early for our niece's wedding next week. Jack opened all kinds of fun gifts and cards, but the kids and I gave him his big prezzie a couple of weeks ago. We got him a new stainless BBQ -and I think we've used it almost every night since then -it's a real step up from what we had, lemme tell ya!

B is for BIRDS -the kids and I have started keeping a list of the ones we see around here. We saw BROWN Pelicans at the beach the other day so we've added them to the list and then the day before yesterday, we saw some Quail in the backyard -ordinarilly that wouldn't really be that big of a deal except that they had a whole bunch of BABIES with them -they were so stinkin cute running all over the place!
A couple of weeks ago, we went to this awesome little BIRDING shop down in Old Town Eureka and bought some new hummingbird feeders. We've had lots of different kinds but these are by far the best yet because they're so easy to clean. I'm so excited that the hummers have started to visit them pretty regularly. I got a couple of decent pics of a Rufous Hummingbird at the feeder in the BACKYARD but I really wish I could manage to take a pic of the little hummers that I've been catching in my garage window lately. For some reason they come into the garage when the big door is up and they fly to the back window and hover there trying to get out. Eventually, they exhaust themselves enough that all I have to do is go put my hand underneath them and they'll land on my fingers and I can scoop them up. The funny thing, (funny -duh! not funny haha!) is that not only is there a full size roll-up garage door wide open behind them, but there's also a regular door about 3 feet away, that's wide open too! Derrr!

And finally, B is for BLABBERMOUTH... 'nuff said.