Monday, August 18, 2014

Hello, Mr. Policeman

My little car doesn’t have enough storage space to move the kids to school, so Sean borrowed a truck from someone at work. This week, we’ll load up the back with all of Amy’s stuff to take her to school. And this week, we will secure the tarp and net much better than we did last week when we loaded the truck with Michael’s stuff. Because we do not want a repeat of meeting one of Michigan’s finest this week, like we did last.

Just as we got on the highway, we realized the tarp was flapping in the breeze. We pulled over to secure it, and as we were working, a blue car with blazing red lights pulled up behind us. He sat in the car for a few minutes, and when he came out, he asked, “How’re we doing?” 
(If you look closely, you can see two patrol cars stopped. 
Thankfully, the officer in the first car waved on the second.)

“Well, we’re taking our son to college and the tarp started to blow away, so we just pulled over to fix it,” explained Sean.

The officer gave us a confused look. “Your son?”

We had no son with us. He was driving his own car with the girls and decided to keep on going.

I jumped in to explain about him driving separately, when he politely cut me off and asked Sean, “Is this your truck?”

“No, it’s a company vehicle,” he said.

“Can I see your ID, please, sir?”

Why did he need Sean’s driver’s license? I couldn’t figure out what was going on. We weren’t doing anything wrong. We were pulled way off the side of the road. We hadn’t been speeding (Sean was driving). As I was trying to process the scene, he looked at me and said, “Your ID, too, ma’am.”

And then it hit me. The policeman heard us say we were taking our son to school but there was no evidence of a son anywhere. We had a truck-load of stuff, all covered by a tarp and netting and we were driving a truck not registered in our names. We looked awfully suspicious.

After he ran our names, he came back, handed us our licenses, and convinced that we were not thieves stealing a GM truck with a bunch of contraband in the back, proceeded to talk to Sean about the truck. Seriously. The two of them stood there admiring the truck as I tried to secure the netting on my side.

Moral of the story – check the netting before leaving the driveway. But if it flies off, at least the truck will be a point of conversation.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Fun

As many who grew up in the 80's, Robin Williams was just a part of my existence. I enjoyed his movies, and thankfully, YouTube wasn't around then so I never knew how blue his stand-up was. He was just this incredibly talented, gifted, funny guy in movies that I loved. This scene from Mrs. Doubtfire has always been one of my favorites:

And because I am about to spend a week living out of a camper, this just seems fitting:

Yep, that's right. Out of the deep, deep love for my family, I am packing up everything I use in my kitchen, putting it in bins, and preparing to transport it to a metal tube where I'll attempt to use the stuff in a much less convenient way. I will never understand how people call this a vacation... 

Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

One down, one to go

(Well, technically two to go, but #3 isn't going any time soon, and that thought brings me comfort. So join me in denial - it's currently working for me.)

We got child #1 moved in yesterday. It was quick because he had to run to an RA meeting, so no long goodbye. Just unload the truck, quick hug, and see you later.

The back of the truck - seems like less stuff than before.

Getting things set up - doesn't that mattress look comfy?

The finished look. Clearly he got the neat-and-tidy gene from his father.

Michael, Amy, Andi and Rebecca. That sign is a lot higher than it appears. And it's a lot higher when you're on top of it, trying to get off. Rebecca seemed the smartest of this bunch.

Saying goodbye, but hello to his junior year.

To all the moms doing the college drop-off thing, hang in there! And if you need a little encouragement, read what I wrote to my friend Kim who did the drop-off thing for the first time this summer. I think I'm going to re-read it myself.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Random Thoughts

Michael heads back to school on Wednesday. Amy goes eight days later.

Hey, I typed that without crying! Major progress.

Amy has several classes that Sean would like to take with her, including musical composition and some funky math class. Of course, he said he’d pass on her two dance classes.

Michael has several automotive classes, like accounting for dealerships, plus he’s working on Northwood’s upcoming auto show. Sean would like to join him, too.

Basically, it sounds like Sean would like to retire and go back to school.

Only way I’m going back is if I can be a DJ again. And even then, only if I can take underwater basket weaving for pass/fail. Otherwise, no thanks. I told Sean that and Rebecca said, “Basket weaving sounds hard to me.” We tried to explain how calling a class underwater basket weaving was a way to refer to an easy class, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought she was right. It sounds pretty hard to me, too.

Underwater basketweaving from
If scuba gear is involved, I'm out.

I’m definitely not ready for them to go back, but I think Rebecca is dreading it even more than I am.  People keep telling her she’s going to love the individual attention and she keeps telling them that she will not.

But she thinks them leaving and her being alone will soften my no-more-pets stance. This morning she told me she wants a lamp with a giant globe that doubles as a fish tank. I said no more animals are coming in this house. When Amy’s fish are gone, we will be pet-free. Rebecca’s response: “When I get older I’m going to have a cow and a horse and a pig and a sheep and a cat and a dog and a bunch of hamsters. Maybe a bunch of sheep. And my cow will be named Daisy. And two parakeets named Dunlop and Dunbar.”

And this conversation reminded me to be praying for the potential spouses for my children.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Words have meaning!

Thanks to Dave Hinkley, who sent this to me. Honestly, the dancing punctuation marks make my day:

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Thank you, Mood!

Aside from the major tourist sites in NYC, I really wanted to see Mood, the fabric store made famous by the TV show Project Runway. I started watching it when Sean got transferred to Lansing and my nights became very lonely. Pretty sure I watched way too much TV in the five months we were apart…

Anyway, PR is a show about fashion designers – I like it because it’s a reality show that requires skill. Each week the designers receive a challenge to make a particular outfit, and each week they visit Mood. They race through the store, collecting whatever fabrics and notions needed to create a look for that week’s challenge. I am amazed that they designers can buy a bunch of fabric, then send a dress down the runway 24 hours later. Totally crazy.

We checked the address, went to the spot, and the store was not there. I hadn’t thought we’d have to enter an office building and ride an elevator to the store – an elevator with an actual elevator operator! It was very 1960’s and very, very cool. As we stood around looking confused, the elevator man said, "Mood?" I wish I'd gotten his name because without him, we wouldn't have found the store. Thanks so much. Mr. Elevator Man!

He took us up to the third floor and we walked right into Mood. And I know this sound crazy, but it looks exactly like it does on the show. Exactly. The stairs, the fabrics, the signs – exactly. The only thing that would have made it more like the show is if Tim Gunn would have been there!

And the staff was as kind to us as they seem on TV. I figured they were sick of tourists just trying to get a peek at the store. But each employee we talked to was so friendly and helpful. David, especially, was so friendly as he helped Rebecca with her button purchase. We could have spent hours just looking at buttons!

As we checked out, the cashier gave us a fabric Mood bag for our purchase – hello, Christy’s souvenir! I look like one of the PR designers, carrying my Mood bag over my shoulder.

Just don’t tell the Mood people I have no idea how to sew.

I was trying to not look like a complete tourist, so I don't have any pictures. Note to self: don't do that again! Thankfully, there are lots of other pictures of Mood online and I'm thankful to be able to
borrow one.

Monday, August 04, 2014

At least I can say I saw it

I love Law and Order. I’ve loved it for years; it’s a ridiculous obsession that I have since passed on to Amy. We enjoy taking in an episode every once in a while – it’s good bonding time for us. Because what says mother-daughter bonding like watching the police uncover a murder and the DA prosecute the bad guy? Ah, good times.

But this obsession of mine caused a bit of a headache for the whole family last week. See, we went to New York City to see the sights and take in a few shows. Since we were in the city, I wanted to see the bridge that’s in the opening credits of Law and Order. So on our way out of town after a fabulous few days in the big city, we drove over the George Washington Bridge.

The master plan was to drive over the bridge, head south down the west side of the island, then cross through the Holland Tunnel and wave goodbye to NYC.

Best laid plans…

Y’all, I’ve seen my fair share of busy roads. Atlanta traffic is no walk in the park; I’ve puttered along for an hour in Atlanta’s rush hour just to go a few miles. But I have never seen such horrible traffic as I did in NYC. Holy cow – we sat and sat and sat.
Our handy flip-map that screams, "Tourist!"
And it wasn't just the mass of cars - it was that the people driving them drive by a completely different set of rules than the rest of the country. Green definitley means go, but yellow is a non-event. Nothing happens until the light turns red. But red does not mean stop. Red means pull into the middle of the intersection so you'll have a chance to cross when the light turns green. Oh all those other cars trying to cross going the other way? Stinks to be them! They'll go... never. But everyone will blast their horns for whatever reason they see fit.

When we were walking in the city the previous two days, I couldn't understand why everyone was so heavy on the horn. But after sitting in that traffic, I understood. The horn has to be like some kind of steam valve for drivers in that city. You can only take so much before you blow.

We gave up on the Holland Tunnel and made it off the island the way Buddy the Elf made it on, by way of the Lincoln Tunnel.

Now I can say I've seen the bridge. I've seen lots of the places shown on Law and Order. And from now on, I'll just see them from the comfort of my living room, thank you very much.

Want to see the bridge in the credits? Here you go - and now that I've watched it, I'm not even sure it's the bridge we drove over! Don't tell Sean..