A Raspberry on a Leaf

The New England Holocaust Memorial–six glass towers set atop glowing beds of embers, each one is labeled with the name of a death camp. The glass is clear. It is etched with the numbers tattooed on the arms of the people who were lost forever. It is the sheer numbers of souls that make the glass appear frosted. Etched in the wall of one chamber is this quote – “Ilse, a childhood friend of mine, once found a raspberry in the camp and carried it in her pocket all day to present to me that night in a leaf. Imagine a world in which your entire possession is one raspberry and you give it to a friend.” Gerda Weissman Klein – Holocaust Survivor

The weight of the holiday gifts in my purse suddenly grew heavy and I grabbed my sons’ hands. If I forget when I see you to hold you tight, or if we will be far away from each other this holiday season, I want to say, in this world, my friends and family are my most prized possessions and a gift to me every day. I carry you in my heart on every journey, large or small.

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New England Sounds

This list is short, because I have not yet experienced a full New England Spring or Winter, but so far. . . . .

The hierarchy of amazing New England sounds.

6. The slurp of coffee while looking out the window at cars turning down the lane and hearing. . . nothing. Living in a hundred year old brick house means that I am insulated from everything unless I throw open the sash to hear it on purpose.
5. The crackling steam of the radiators–a gurgling promise of cozy toes and one less layer.
4. A summer evening run the cacophony of clicking beetles, singing crickets and the halting sounds of children practicing music next to an open window. With very little air conditioning and even less TV watching, the summer sounds of houses here is like a time warp to the 1950s.
3. The crunch of leaves for every step of your journey. They alternate between a thin layer of beautiful leaf parquet on the path to shin deep drifts of crisp, clean, woodsy heaven. How Mark Twain was able to write anything save sonnets about the beauty of a Connecticut fall baffles me.
2. The sound of raindrops falling on autumn leaves. As if the rain is jealous of feet, it falls from the sky with a spirited joy, bouncing into trees and the reds, yellows and oranges of the season with elementary school glee. The rain wants galoshes. I can tell.
1. The sound at the very moment when rain turns to snow. If you are quiet, you can hear it. It’s the most amazing little bickering match with the rain holding on and the snow powering through. There are a few tense moments where the snow might lose, but then a little white pompadour shows up on a stone in the yard and you know that something magical is about to happen.

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Dinner – November 19

Dinner table tonight-

The Ginger- Mom, there is no way to drink from a straw quietly.
Me- Really, let me see (hand outstretched for his soda–soda is a rare commodity, he has to wait until Sunday for another one)
The Ginger- no, Mom, this Pepsi will give you cancer.
The Blonde Giant- yeah, Mom, Pepsi has been shown to cause cancer in Pam shaped lab mice.
The Ginger- Not so much mice as……hamsters. Pamsters. He he.

At this point, I got up to make a glass of water and when I sat down, this happened…..

The Ginger–isn’t that the episode where Anne Frank shanks Hitler?
The Blonde Giant–I think so, but not until the end, I mean, spoiler alert much?
Me- um, what just happened here. I was just gone a second.
The Ginger– well, let’s just boil it down to I made a completely inappropriate Holocaust joke. I mean, in general, holocaust jokes are in pretty bad taste, but I was really hitting below the belt. Sorry. Is there more bread?
The Blonde Giant– bad joke. No bread.

I feel a headache coming on. A headache that can only be cured by wine. And chocolate chip cookies.

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Shame, Shame, Williams Sonoma

Shame, shame on Williams Sonoma this day. My birthday has been spoiled and I will be forced to buy something else in celebration of surviving 40 years on this earth. I should probably back up. . . . (for 99% of my friends, you can stop reading now, I’m being a brat–to make a long story short, the rest of you actually like that I make a short story long–it saves you the trouble of buying real books, so you can keep reading)…

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So, I buy my own presents. It is a NOT so unwritten rule that my husband and I adopted after a 2001 incident that shall heretofore be referred to as “Candlegate.” Sometimes, I pretend that he has some say in the process—for example, I will shop for lingerie or shoes and email him a link to my online shopping cart so that he can pay for the items and “buy” them for me. Usually, though, I just buy what I want for my birthday, Christmas, Michaelmas, Wednesday, whatever, and, when I get it, I pretend that he has surprised me with the most wonderful thing. “Oh, my goodness, Kevin, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE!!! I love it!!!” And I reward him with all of the coddling and pleasantries that are appropriate for the situation. It is a system that works for us. He hates shopping and I am a picky bitch, so our marital bliss is supported by these small, strange compromises that we have incorporated into our lives. Also, he is forced to visit weird roadside attractions with me and pretend that he is interested in the history of the circus freak, or whatever. . . but that is a different very long story. . .

This year, I bought myself a food processor. If you have known me for any amount of time, you know that the best way to make me feel loved is to sit in my kitchen, drink my booze and eat my food. There is no explaining it, it just is. And I have cooked, baked, and cocktailed my way through my entire adult life without a food processor. I grate cheese by hand (gasp), I knead dough on a board (the horror) and I slice my scalloped potatoes on a mandolin or with a knife (stop now, just STOP). I have wanted a food processor for some time, but my compulsive dislike for any appliances on kitchen counters and the fact that I kept finding more interesting things to spend the money on (read: boots) prevented my acquisition up to this point. Somehow, I got it in my head that I was going to have a food processor for my birthday this year. Since it is a pretty big year, I knew that Kevin wouldn’t balk at the expenditure (he really never does, bless his pea pickin’ lil’heart) and I set out to find the best one.

I researched food processors for WEEKS. I read the Consumer Reports test results, compared them to articles in online and print cooking magazines, read the Amazon reviews, spoke to the women in the Williams Sonoma, and decided that the $300 basic Cuisinart was the best way to spend my money. I really liked the $600 one, but it was just a shinier, slightly larger version of the $300 one in a better color, so I eliminated it pretty quickly—I mean, New England winters might require a whole new boot wardrobe, who knows? And I don’t want to have wasted $300 that I could have allocated differently.

I am a commission girl, having earned either commissions or tips at every job I’ve ever held, so, when given the opportunity, I will go TO a store and allow a salesperson to sell me my big ticket items and such was the story with the food processor. I drove to the mall, ate a hot pretzel, and went to the Williams Sonoma (eating a hot pretzel is a reflex for me. I NEVER pass a hot pretzel stand. You know what I’m talking about—with cheese). To my chagrin, the West Hartford Williams Sonoma does not stock any Cuisinart save the $600 Porsche version, so it had to be ordered online in the store. When logged into the store system, however, it was discovered that the $600 version had recently been upgraded (they subtracted a button) and that I could order last year’s model of the Porsche for the same $300 that I had budgeted for the Toyota Camry of food processors. . . YES!! So I bought it. I may have danced in the store, I may have hugged the salesgirl, I may have whooped and bought a garlic peeler in celebration. . . I’ll leave it to your imagination to decide if all or any of those things happened (all).

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. Kevin walked in the door carrying a box that OBVIOUSLY contained a Cuisinart food processor. How do I know that it contains one? It is THE BOX that the processor comes in. No wrapping. No hoopla. I panicked—did he not KNOW that I had already bought myself a gift? Is he buying me gifts now? Are Dogs and Cats living together? But no, even worse. Williams Sonoma shipped my processor in a marked box and he was merely bringing it in from its shameful perch on my adorable Federal Style front porch.

I know. I researched it. I budgeted for it. I shopped for it. I picked it out. I knew it was coming in the mail. I know all of these things in my heart. But, I wanted it to come in a Williams Sonoma box! I wanted to PRETEND that it was a surprise! I wanted to wonder and conjecture that maybe there had been a mix up in the warehouse and I was going to open a box with new Reidel wine glasses and that I could be filled with righteous indignation and rant and storm and make a phone call. I WANTED it to be a PRESENT. And it isn’t. It is just a box, labeled with the contents, sitting on my kitchen table. Shame on you Williams Sonoma. Shame. Birthday ruined. Oh, wait—did an email just pop up with the Sorel Boots I wanted on sale????

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Sleepy Hollow For Fun

I have a strange penchant for strange. I’m not embarrassed by it, either. This world is moving so quickly, I want to grab it by the hair and gobble it up. I’ve already digested the homogenized memory makers–the mandatory Disney, the portrait studio sittings, the societaly menued holiday dinners–and I’m full. I don’t need another Rockwellian time. I need real adventures. I want to feed my children’s souls the marrow of America–a rare steak and flaming dessert instead of the dry turkey and puréed pie that society keeps trying to bind us to. I struggle every day to help my boys grow into the kind of men who can respectfully and intelligently buck tradition in favor of fervor and delight.

Today, we drove to Sleepy Hollow, NY. It’s fair to say I forced everyone to go. On the way, we listened to the Washington Irving story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow–together. We laughed at what a wordy bastard Irving was and at the goofy schoolmaster Ichabod Crane. My teenagers tried to pretend they weren’t interested, but the book stopped when I took a call and outcry was immediate. Go figure.

The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is adjacent to the Old Dutch Church–built in 1630 and STILL in use today. Washington Irving is buried there, as well as the Carnegies, a few Rockefellers, Francis Church (look him up), The Ramones (not today, just for a bit in 1989)….. There are more than 40,000 people buried there. Considering the town population is about 10,000, it is fair to say that Sleepy Hollow is NOT the best place to go during a Zombie Apocolypse.

I loved it. I have cocktail stories for days and my kids and I will feed on the private jokes with inappropriate church giggles for years. We even ate homemade ice cream while walking Main Street in Tarryrown. By the way, I charged the entire vacation to Mr. Underhill’s American Express Card. Want the number?

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The Bath Battle

I love to take a bath. Not in a corny, “Calgon, take me away!” Sort of way, either. I am offended when people trivialize a bath in this manner. A bath is a privilege. A truly spiritual experience and should be treated appropriately. I make my own homemade bath bombs, I have a specific scent of Jo Malone candle that is reserved for my tub time–seriously folks, the bathtub in my last house was a shrine to the bath gods. And my new house has a very lovely oversized shower.

We rented this house sight unseen from a couple who saved us from certain divorce and homelessness. Nobody knew what it would be like until we walked through the door on the day they closed and gave the keys to us. There wasn’t even a guarantee of a stove, so I simply couldn’t bear to ask about a tub until the papers were signed, for fear I might just put my kids and dogs in the car and head home.

At the end of the hall, behind a creaky door with an original 1935 milk glass knob is the guest bath. It is lovely, with 1 inch honeycomb tiles with a black and white checkered border on the floor, original subway tiles with black accents on the walls, an original cast iron pedestal sink with separate hot and cold faucets so that you have to plug the sink to get warm water, and a TUB. An honest to goodness, deep, long, cast iron tub….at least I was pretty sure that there was a tub, under all that gunk….

When we moved in, I cleaned the house top to tail. The doors, the walls, the floors, and I thoroughly coated this bathroom with bleach, let her sit, came back and scrubbed with a brush, and then shook my head….”You and I, I told her, are going to have a reckoning. I’ve got some things to take care of, but don’t fret, I’ll be back.” And I closed the door.

Today, armed with a full arsenal (read: Rubbermaid cleaning caddy) of weaponry, I slowly approached the patient. She was having some water retention issues. I won’t bathe in anyone else’s human soup, so that had to be solved. Liquid Plumber …. and done. Next, she was wearing a dreadful ring that wasn’t afraid of bleach and a scrub brush, so I knew I had to up my game. I put on some painting clothes and jumped in. I cleaned every inch of her with straight from the bottle CLR. On an unrelated note, I hope that whomever invented this stuff is a millionaire. She was looking much better, but there was still the matters of her grey, splotchy bottom and the fact that someone had used her as a paint bucket more than once. Her sides looked like the Chianti bottles at old Italian restaurants–the ones that have the wax of several candles dripping their sides…I gently coaxed all of the paint drippings from her sides with a straight razor dipped on Goof Off then I covered the entire tub in Bar Keeper’s Friend–it’s like Ajax, but with smaller scrubbing grit. On my hands and knees, up to my elbows in foam, I hit every surface.

In the end, I felt it necessary to make friends, so I sit, finishing my bottle of champagne, with my toes on the tap and my iPad in hand, smiling and humming, in my bath!

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Exploring Connecticut

Today, I went for a walk. It’s just breathtaking here, especially for a girl who grew up knowing the sharp,hard beauty of the desert. To wander a graveyard in a town that traces the history of its residents from the 1600s is a humbling experience. There were gravestones of fallen soldiers from every war in the history of our nation. Tucked between A church that was built in 1630–still operating–and Bert’s Luncheonette.

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Lost in Windsor, Connecticut

Today I got lost on the way to the post office. Our hotel is on the outskirts of Windsor, CT and we will be settling in West Hartford CT, so I have been driving in to West Hartford for errands so that I can get my bearings there. Today, I had to file some documents with my arch nemesis, the Infernal Revenue Thieves so I popped over to downtown Windsor to find a post office. I turned the wrong direction on the main drag (Broad Street) and here’s what I accidentally stumbled onto……

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Windsor was the first city established in Connecticut. 1633. The homes here all have placards that tell you who built the home and when. I nearly caused four traffic accidents gawking at beautiful colonial homes. The earth is so fertile here that people plant vegetables in the vacant spaces where freeways meet–underpasses to the rest of us–and sell them in front yard, honor system based, carts.

The town was established by a man who has a real name, but I prefer to refer to him as the Minister of Abominable Hat Choices. Also, the boots. Those boots are tragic. There is a graveyard in this town that my children and husband are THRILLED to learn that they will be spending all of Saturday in. Delicious.

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My journey to find the ever elusive Post Office was waylaid by a roadside tinkerer who makes dinosaurs out of scrap metal, a brick arched bridge, a cavalcade of Melody Minx’s favorite flowers in different colors than I have ever seen out West, and a bakery called, “Get Baked” where the baked goods were delicious, if oddly cannabis free.

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You’ll be happy to learn that I DID, finally, mail my quarterlies.

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Wild Bill’s Emporium Adventure

So, this happened today-

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I read that there was a tribute to The Cadillac Ranch in Connecticut, right outside of Hartford, MADE OF YUGOS!!! We made the trip this afternoon and, well, it was a little lackluster. The Yugos, unfortunately, are not where the story should be. They are located in front of Wild Bills Nostalgia Center. . .  NOW, LET’S CHAT ABOUT THAT!

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Wild Bill collects old amusement park fun houses! He keeps them in a big yard adjacent to his miraculous store full of fun. Concert posters, collectibles, buttons, t-shirts, record albums, Atari games, old MAD Magazines, Fangoria Magazines, polyester leisure suits for $10!!! A lovely bearded Dead Head named, you guessed it, Wild Bill runs it all. It is organized and FANTASTIC! I loved it. So did the boys—grudgingly.

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Friendship with Barns

I drive by this barn all the time, now. I feel like this barn and I were friends a different day. Something about how she loves yellow and refuses to fade despite the world. I had to memorialize it.
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I take the photos that I post with my phone, so they’re never anything special. I love it when a thing is so beautiful that even a bad camera can capture the magic.

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The End of a Kitchen Era

Six and a half years of barbecues, lovely dinner parties, off the cuff drinks that turned into sleepovers, raging costume parties with crazy that spilled into the pond and on the street, shoulders to cry on over appetizers, healthy meal Sundays…. At the end of it all, this is what the kitchen boils down to—a professional mover brought nearly to tears by my serving dishes and stemware and a tower of boxes that fills my heart with trepidation……in my new house, will I find friends that love me enough to keep the couch warm? Will there be women who adore me to a level where they make 15 layer Jell-O shot cakes for me? Will our new neighbors think they are too old for beer pong and darts? And the real question to the universe….why did the movers label two cases of medical grade syringes that are OBVIOUSLY intended for jello and layered shots as if they belonged in the garage. Doesn’t everyone keep around 500 syringes for shots?! This world, it baffles me. My kitchen friends, I miss you already.

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Final Day – Cross Country Adventure

We started the day innocently enough–let’s stop by Gettysburg, I mean, how often do you find yourself just passing through Pennsylvania? Well, it’s official. I’ve found my next job. I’m going to march my happy ass into the parks department and let them know that Gettysburg is a cluster. The map is a mess, the tour is confusing, all in all the tools that they give you don’t nearly do the area justice. And, I still loved it. I wanted to stay. I took pictures of the bed and breakfasts that I want to stay in when I come back.
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We put our final destination into Beatrice (the GPS) and she only showed one route, so we pressed, “GO” and hit the road. We were singing, chair dancing, giggling and jib-jabbering our way through the northeastern US, pausing when we needed gas or saw giant Hershey’s chocolate and, before we knew what had happened, we were stuck in gridlock traffic headed into the Holland Tunnel….WHAT?! Somehow, Beatrice felt that our journey would not be complete without the opportunity to drive a Suburban, towing a UHaul, with two Great Danes, through New York City. Let me assure you that, once you are in the mouth of the funnel, the best you can do is buckle up and drive on, singing bad 70s ballads helps, I promise.
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Late night arrival in Connecticut didn’t give me the opportunity to show it off the way that I wanted, but I did get to see SOMETHING I love…….
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Day 7–Cross Country Adventure

Today, I saw the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!! Nestled into six levels of abject loveliness, this place was a fun and tasteful tribute to all things Rock and Roll. There were stories, artifacts and installations, music was everywhere, the fans were so awestruck that everyone remembered to have their museum manners on….even the cookies at the concession stand were great. Worth the trip, worth the time, worth the money. I have included a grainy, no flash through the plexi pic of the holy grail of concert t’s—original Woodstock staff t. Worth going to jail for, almost.

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On our way through Penn, we couldn’t help ourselves but to stop in “Punxy” (the locals at the bar where we ate dinner assured us that we were one of them and could freely use the nickname of the locals) to meet the one and only groundhog worth meeting.

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Every day we meet great new American people who take time out of their lives to welcome us, help with our journey and enrich our experience. Today, TWO strangers in Cleveland made change for us for a parking meter, in line for a gift shop, my mom stumbled upon a stranger who immediately got our quirky inside joke and laughed with us SO HARD, almost an entire restaurant in Punxsutawney PA wanted us to stay, and, in the middle of the night, in a dark street in downtown Harrisburg, a taxicab driver rolled down his window, offered his help and drove all over town to guide us to a hotel before getting out of the cab and asking the woman at the front desk to help us. The beauty of this nation leaves me breathless, but the beautiful people that we have met on this journey really make my heart ache. He generosity and hospitality of American strangers has left me awestruck.

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Day 6–Cross Country Adventure

As we rolled onto the freeway, on our way to the World’s Largest Baseball bat in Louisville, we discovered that there was a National Monument called Mammoth Cave on the way….we started to brainstorm other “mammoth” things to see and do–

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first, the Mammoth Caves, where we met with our first “NO DOGS ALLOWED!!” National Park style event. The resulting expressions were a little disbelieving and poo faced, so we have just the one from the park entrance that lacks obscene gestures. On our way to a giant metal knight, we spotted a mammoth roadside alligator Named Mo. Mammoth Alligator? Check. We arrived at the site of the knight only to find the shop closed and the driveway fenced off. Thankfully, I am artfully skilled in hillbilly four wheeling in a suburban and Uhaul, because it might have been tragic otherwise. Good thing, also, that when I discovered that I have FORWARD off-roading capabilities, but lack BACKWARDS off roading SKILLS, my lovely and quiet mother, it turns out, has mad, mad fence lock opening skills. Otherwise, we might have had to spend the night at at what-not shop in Cave City Tennessee. Onwards and upwards to giant dinosaurs, a giant, um, rooster, which, I might add was not as giant as advertised. Typical.

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We finished out Mammoth Day with a pair of mammoth bats in Louisville. I’m going to go ahead and say, if you make the trip, the World’s Largest Bat did not disappoint. Neither did the quirky, lovely, friendly and beautiful people of downtown Louisville who embraced us–dogs included and fed and liquored us with love.

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Day 5–Cross Country Adventure

I woke up in a roadside motel in what I had been certain the night before had been Tennessee, but it turned out that I was in Arkansas. I should have guessed. The carpet was a wet spot. No, I didn’t mean to type that the carpet HAD a wet spot. I stepped out the door in the morning and my four hundred pounds of dog cowered behind me when they saw my motel cohorts–to say that banjos were playing in my head might be the understatement of the century. Sad to say, we missed the continental fare that had been offered at my late night check in as, “cheesy grits and honey buns–there’s coffee if ya move yer ass early enough.” Since we were in Arkansas, I am guessing the motel would be about a three star. I mean, there weren’t stains on the towels or anything.
The day was AMAZING! I found a fantastic dog heaven for my pooches to get some exercise while my mom, Melody Minx and I ran to Graceland. So here’s the DL on that…if you have the means, I highly recommend it. :). It wasn’t gaudy at all. It was lovely and thoughtful. A family home. It makes you rethink all the bloated, raunchy, baubled opinions you might be harboring about him and is kind of a great experience. I have included photos of Elvis’s plane (and the bed in his plane’s master suite–giggle). Please don’t tell Graceland. I wasn’t supposed to touch.

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A friend suggested some fried chicken in Memphis would change my life. I like fried chicken. My life’s a little weird right now. I decided, “why not? What’s better than deep fried food in the humid heat?” You’ve seen the posts. She didn’t lie.

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We made a quick stop to visit some good ole boys. They were meanin’ no harm. I tried to sneak into the General….there was no room at the inn for two Great Danes in Nashville, so we are at another roadside motel somewhere about 25 pitch black minutes outside of the city limits. The wet spot on the carpet is smaller here. And only ONE of the dogs felt the need to sleep by the door….

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Day 4–Cross Country Adventure

We didn’t make Amarillo before sunset yesterday so we altered our plans a little –we NEEDED to see The Cadillac Ranch in the daylight. We woke early in the morning to find torrential rains and cloud cover that made it as dark as night. Listen, lesser women would have driven by and taken photos, heck, while we were there, several did. What happened is documented in the photos you’ve seen today and below. Days like today prove that, when NOTHING in your life goes to plan, the right friends and an amazing family can make it even better than you hoped.

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I’m about to nerd out here, so scroll if you hate that, but I have a LIST. it has all of the places that I want to see in America and the Devil’s Rope Museum is in the top three. I am OBSESSED with war wire and barbed wire. Can’t help it….it’s just cool. Thankfully, my travel companions don’t mind my weird. This post has a lot of photos. For the record, me, dancing in the mud in the pouring rain, is happy, incarnate.

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Ode to a Late Night Check in Roadside Motel Bathroom

Just kidding. I can’t rhyme for crap. This happened….the shower was an excellent massage—for my lower back. I can never decide whether to bend over frontwards and grab my ankles in order to rinse my hair or limbo under a progressively lower shower curtain rod. Do you see anything funny about the toiletry shelves in here? I am a girl who loves a toiletry. I could start a store in this shower. I didn’t take a picture of the floor because I am pretty sure you can catch hepatitis from looking at a picture of it. The door frame looked like the basement door from It and the door from that movie The Knowing had a dirty door love child. The bath towels were about the size of a paper towel. And not nearly as cuddly. I laughed trying to figure out whether to cover my boobs or my butt. “Um, can I borrow a towel, my car just hit a water buffalo.” Last, and certainly not least… Who makes a TP pointy when there are seven sheets of TP left? Um, the jig is up. There is no way to fold TP without TOUCHING it! Those squares have been rendered useless. And the rest of the roll is suspect. Pointy TP is weird.

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Day 3–Cross Country Adventure

1. Wigwam Motel–I must ask you all a question? Have you slept in a Wigwam lately? What can I say, you see the pics. It is TOTALLY worth it.

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2. Painted Desert and petrified forest – this world, it baffles me. The people in it, even more. Our national parks, our national landmarks–filled with foreigners! Learning the wonder of the history of the world through the breathtaking geography of the United States. Interpreting the captions for their children, hiking in the American Sun, and soaking in all that a $10 annual pass can give. Where were the American families? What do we learn from Disneyland? I hope it’s not too weird to say, but I’ve decided to swim in this real world until I’m all pruny. I want my kids to feel this.

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3. Freak hail storm in New Mexico added drama to an already wonderful day where I got to hug my longtime long distance friend Ariana Strong.

4. Not to get all mushy, but we changed our route to crash in Amarillo in a Days inn that, in a former life might have been a urinal. I can’t miss the opportunity to graffiti at the Cadillac Ranch. With my MOM!!

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Day Two–Cross Country Adventure

1. When staying at a Comfort Inn, the 40 pound weight limit for a pet is more of a guideline than a rule…

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2. You can’t go to the Hoover Dam if you’re towing a UHAUL. Um, park ranger, sir, if I was gonna blow it up, I wouldn’t have brought my dogs. They CLEARLY have appropriate political views.
3. Grand Canyon. What the hell can I say–MUST. MUST. GO. I’m adding another MUST here.

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4. I am sleeping in a Teepee in the Wigwam Motel on Route 66 tonight. The one that’s in the movie Cars. The tow truck that Tow ‘Mater was based on is HERE. No autographs, please!

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Really, so far, AMAZING company, GREAT trip. Except that I am deathly ill and mainlining meds. My travel companions have been very sweet to me, considering the fact that I am definitely carrying the plague

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Day One-Cross Country Adventure–

1. Needed roadside assistance BEFORE we left Reno. Tire guy wasn’t hot. Two strikes, Uhaul, two strikes.

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2. Took the dogs a little while to figure out that the plan was. They’ve been WONDERFUL. Polite, they didn’t bite the statie that pulled me over in Fallon, and they aren’t farting in the car too much.

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3. Greasy spoon lunch in a real old Nevada casino. What’s that smell? Grilled cheese? No, silly rabbit, that’s 86 years of cigarettes and a waitress as smart as my toenail clippings.
4. Hotel has a 45 lb weight limit for dogs. Per room. Went to town till dark and snuck them in. Found the best restaurant in a long time that was dog friendly, great dinner.

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