*Cough* *Wheeze* *Sneeze*

Rinse and repeat.

I brought home some cooties from our camping trip. Eleven days later I'm still hacking up my lungs. I refuse to go to the doctor this time. I always go. And I know exactly what he's going to say. So, I'll save my $85- because I'm going to need it since the ER whiplash bills have started rolling in.

I'm coughing so much that I'm exhausting my abdominal muscles. I really think my stomach is just going to cave in and out of my belly button will appear a little white flag.

Of course, I've passed it on to the red head. He doesn't have and won't have it as bad as I do. Never seems to work that way. Which is good. When I'm sick, I need love and attention and to be completely babied. When other people are sick, I do not return the affection. Kind of a punk like that. I feel sorry for Shel. I'm just not a caring nurse-maid.

So here's hoping it clears soon so I can partake in the canoing this weekend...


Pitch a Tent

I once heard a stand-up comic talking trash on camping. He couldn't understand why people would work hard all year, save up vacation time, put a little money in the bank and then head out to the woods to pretend they were homeless. I still bust a gut everytime I think about that- because it is funny. However, I doubt homeless people have the amount of gear or planning that Shelton and I do. If we buy anything else to go camping with it will have to be tied down to the top of the gas-guzzling beast... and then we'll really look like we're from Kansas.

We headed up to our usual camping spot near Lawrence at Clinton Lake to celebrate Labor Day weekend. Does anyone even know what we're supposed to be celebrating, besides a free day off of work? Adventure awaited us as usual and we fully embraced it- beer in hand sitting in a lawn chair.

We were first greeted by our neighbors- a 40-something WT couple camping by themselves with more gear than the six of us brought. Their tent? I'm quite sure my apartment isn't that spacious and I wouldn't be surprised if it had a basement. What I do know is that it's not sound proof and the bad boy rocks like it's on rails. We were privy to not one but two afternoon delight sessions. They had no shame and God bless them for that.

One of our camping buddies, Wade, was the chef for the first night's dinner. He had brought some aromatic and delicious lemon-rosemary chicken, grilled right on the fire. A little salad, a little wine and what would have been a mean baked potato. They were a little on the well-done side, but we filled them with sour cream and butter nonetheless. The next morning, Wade was in charge of breakfast. We thought he might be performing a magic trick but, oh no, the bacon literally evaporated. After a stint on the fire, we pulled back the foil to see a black outline of what used to be bacon. There was nothing there. So- in case you were wondering- there is a time limit on how long you can cook bacon.

I also attempted a monster feat and can proudly say I succeeded. I baked a cake. In the campfire. The first bite tasted like chewing on a lit cigarette. But once I cut away the edges, the middle was moist and chocolately. We even had frosting with sprinkles.

Along with the usual smores and hot dogs, there were games of badminton, broken flip flops, ticks, good conversation, teradactyl sitings and late nights spent curled by the fire under the stars.

We've already got our next trip planned- next month. With a canadian theme.


He was JUST as excited to see me!

Last night I ventured to KC to meet my dear, dear friend Sarah for the Dave Matthews Band concert. Tickets were compliments of the mom-in-law (thanks!!). This was my third DMB show and Sarah's first.

You can read about the show specifically over at my post on Square Mag's Webzine. However, if you want to hear the very entertaining anecdotes about our day, then just keep reading.

Sarah and I met up in KC about noon and spent the day wearing a hole in the pavement at this fabbo little shopping center. We both found some great bargains on new additions to our closets. I even bought a dress. Yes- me- I bought a girly dress. Go figure. It was SO nice to spend the day catching up with Sarah and feeling like it has not been an entire year since we last hung out together.

So I stopped yesterday morning to get a six-pack of Boulevard Wheat for the tailgating portion of our adventure. I've never purchased beer at 8:30 in the morning- I felt like a criminal. I started to panic on the highway though because I did not have a bottle opener. No problem- I'll just flirt my way into one with the neighboring DMB fans at the parking lot. We're a gentle, loving group... DMB fans. We park next to two very nice guys- one from Brazil the other from California. They did not have any bottle opening utensils- but they were full of bright ideas. Cali-boy suggested I pop the bottle cap off by clipping it on the side of the trailer hitch on the X-terra. Yes, this is brilliant! With all the okie I could muster I do this- and then not only get the bottle cap off but tear the top part of the glass bottle off with it. Never found the shrapnel. After a good laugh he offers me a few Coors Lights and I very thirstily accept.

As we are departing for the gate I offer them my five remaining BWs in exchange for their generous beer sharing. They accept. And the Cali-boy immediately twists off the beer cap. THEY WERE TWIST OFF THE ENTIRE TIME! I've always thought BWs were... well, I felt like an idiot and sacrificed tasty sweet beer for, well, Coors Light.

After the show, Sarah and I were making our way out to the cars. On the ground next to Sarah's car was a large black thing. I made an off-hand joke about it being her bumper. She's like what is that?! We get closer and realize it's her driver's side mirror. Torn off. Of the car. Lying in the gravel like a fallen soldier. Scratches all along her car. It was really quite sad- but the way we were doubled over laughing with tears streaming down our cheeks you would have never known just how pissed we were. WHO DOES THAT!? Jackasses. I suggested she roll down her window, hold the frayed cables and drive home like that. I pray that she did not follow my advice.

All in all, I'd have to say that this was the best DMB show I've yet to attend. Now that I've washed off the second-hand pot smell, dirt from my toes and made sure that my concert tee fits- I'm ready to start plotting my way to the next show.


All the cool kids are wearing one

Whiplash is fun!
Originally uploaded by shelfish
Good lord- I've got whiplash. Seriously?! Why do these stupid little mishaps happen to me? I was at a little work party at a "Family Fun Center". I had just wiped out a plate of chicken strips and dumped the bbq-sauce covered plate all over my pants when someone invited me to go ride the go-carts. I said sure.

Then I laughed at the ridiculous liability release I had to sign.

And then I got slammed into a wall by two other go-carts. Twice. In three minutes. Both times, my glasses flew off my face. I felt like Ricky Bobby- I CAN'T SEE! The second crash was enough for me to park the damn thing and go back to the chicken strips. I knew something wasn't right though.

I went home at 5, met Shelton and we went to the ER. We tried to find a minor emergency and apparently those aren't available. Checked in at 5pm, got home at 9:30. Every time the hospital staff said "go-cart accident", they made it sound as if I were tearing it up in the back nine of my farm, knocking back Old Milwaukees and braiding my mullet. It was a very nice little establishment thank you so much!

Thin sheets were all that separated me from the diabetic farter on my right and the gastric case with bloody stool on my left. Everyone around me was receiving food and got to watch TV, and I got none of that. Shelton left to hunt & gather magazines. Folks, it was SUCH a party!

4 hours and a CT scan later- I left with this fashion plate strapped to my neck. Actually, that's the temp-fashion plate. I left with a more comfortable version.

So, I'm fine. The lortab is making this more and more difficult to type. My only concern now is what I'm going to do with my hair in the morning?!



The Kiss
Originally uploaded by shelfish
Friday at 3:15 in the afternoon, under the blazing Oklahoma sun, Shelton and I will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. FIVE?! Believe me, we're just as dumbfounded as the rest of you. I just cannot figure out where all of that time has gone.

We were just kids- I'd been 21 for barely three weeks and Shelton was 22. I had a few years of school left and Shelton, well, still has a few years of school left. We didn't have two nickles to rub together and had no idea what we were doing. But we were so in love it was kind of gross. And the grossness- it's pretty much the same today.

We get so caught up in just the chaos of our day-to-day that sometimes I completely forget to stop and just appreciate this. There's always laundry to do, a bill to pay, dinner to make, "someone" didn't close the cabinet door "again". It's when I stop and really just look at him that I'm amazed at this love that we share. I know, it's gross. There is something so real between Shelton and I that I don't think I ever anticipated even as we were sliding rings on each other's fingers in front of 170 of our dearest friends and family.

The cliche is so true- I love him leaps and bounds more today than I did five years ago. It's a better, stronger love. It's come with too many laughs to count, buckets full of tears, infinite I Love Yous, nights slept apart, good fights, bad fights, funny fights and stupid fights and the catalog of things that life throws at you. In these five years I've graduated from college, we've moved to a new state, we've both lost grandparents, had a few surgeries, found out that life isn't as fair as you'd like it to be, watched my brother get married, watch Shelton's brother get married, became an aunt and uncle, done a little traveling, eaten one hell of a lot of ice cream, been stranded on the side of the road twice and made out in a few places that we probably shouldn't have.

Our anniversary last year was a bittersweet celebration. We were in the midst of the Baby or Bust fifteen minutes of fame, my parents were just beginning the trials of their divorce, we were struggling with still coming to terms with our recent infertility diagnosis and my job was taking a swift decent. Over the past year, I've never needed Shelton more. His strength, love, and committment to me have been both tested and confirmed. I do not know that I would have come out of the past year on the sunny side of the street without his tear-soaked shoulder.

These days? Lots of laughing. Not so much with the crying. We're in a really good place right now. We've learned to ignore everything else and just focus on us.

So what else have I learned in these five years? That Shelton hates it when I kiss him after eating pickles. He hates dryer sheets. He doesn't eat anywhere near the amount of food I try to feed him. He needs just as much encouragement as I do. That nothing in the world is sweeter than when his lips kiss the spot right in the middle of my forehead. He always remembers to keep my feet uncovered. He loves my pigtails. He's smarter than I probably ever give him credit for. He will never leave the house with out kissing me goodbye. He rarely answers his cell phone when I want/need him to. He's the best thing that ever happened to me.

Shelton- happy anniversary. I love you- and I look forward to the next installment.

To everyone else- I know, you've thrown up in your mouth a little and you've stabbed something in your eye. Just deal with it. :)


You know you want one

If you haven't gotten one already- you need to get a Digital Mullet.


Why doesn't OnStar have a Panic Sensor?

That way... when I'm lost driving in circles for 90 minutes in Tulsa and I can't find my way out of a paper bag, I can get some effing help and get where I need to be already!


On our way to Arkansas for work, driving through Tulsa, so of course the memories are pouring on like that Cabernet at dinner- that we finally made it to. I miss one lousy exit for Tisdale Pkwy or something- and 90 minutes later we are in the sticks between Coweta and BA. My pal from work is completely unamused- but patient and polite nonetheless.

We stopped at three different gas stations, in three different parts of town for three very different directions. We eventually found some BFE neighborhood, got an address off a for sale sign on the corner, called The Husband and had him Google Map us all the way back to 412 East- the highway you apparently can only find if you've apparated to it using a Harry Potter portkey!!

Holy monkeys- I really didn't think we'd ever make it out of Tulsa. Which, if I have to be stranded somewhere, let's be honest- Tulsa is probably one of the places I'd want to be. Hook up with the pals at Square Mag, give D the official tour of Brandi's Life in Tulsa and hit that Bueno at 61st & Garnett for old times sake.

We made it. To Arkansas. And at dinner someone was talking about a completely different story and mentioned OnStar. D looked at me the way I do to Shelton when we're lost without any logical explanation- like How in the hell were we lost for an hour and a half and you knew we had OnStar and NEVER HIT THE BUTTON!?!

Like I said- we made it. Late, but alive. And made up for it with wine and chocolate martinis.