Death By Llama Gazing…

I recently read the chapter in my Managing Stress class about humor therapy as a means to control stress in one’s life.  They had a scale of the different kinds of humor and how effective they were at curbing stress.  At the tail end of the scale was sarcasm, which I feel I use in spades.  What was most interesting to me when I got to reading how the book described sarcasm, was that it didn’t match my definition… at all!  The book described it as a very mean and cruel kind of humor, one that hurts feelings and causes anger and lowered self-esteem.  The brand of humor at the top of the stress-relieving list was self-parody, which was much more akin to the version of humor I employ.  It’s basically exaggerating behavior or speech or happenings in one’s life as a means of laughing it off instead of harboring feelings of despair and anger.  And as long as you self-parody without harm to the self-esteem, it’s the best way to combat stressful situations.  Now I can change what I refer to as my brand of humor from sarcasm to self-parody… and thank all that be holy I can because I have a doozy to tell today folks!

Last Monday evening after work, I brought out the ole bicycle for some exercising… a usual thing… nothing to see here folks.  Madre just so happened to pass by and decide she wanted to join me, which is a once in a year happening as I usually go by myself, and prefer it that way so I don’t slow down the more fit people.

Madre chugged out her Wicked Witch of the West get up and we started on peacefully down the road.  (Translation:  I almost got hit by a car when I didn’t look both ways.)  The first 20 minutes was a usual ride… huff, puff, peddle, dodge a kid on a tricycle, run over a yappy dog on purpose, almost eat the pavement, etc., etc., etc.   But then we passed a field of llamas and Madre nearly snapped her neck off trying to catch a glimpse.  She turned her bike around and stopped… and I gracefully did a pirouette chimichanga complete with a double lutz with a grenadier con misa (translation:  I stopped next to her).  Except when I “stopped” I forgot that my feet don’t touch the ground whilst sitting on the bicycle seat, missed the opportunity to hold myself up by foot, and instead tipped over into a gravel pit about 85 feet deep.  So, now I’m lying in a gravel pit, bike on top of me, across from a field of llamas and I say to myself… Self… did you forget to pay your insurance bill?  (Translation:  #&$*#&$#$-IT!)  Turns out llamas don’t take kindly to the insurance bill topic.

After the realization that I  hadn’t broken anything, I finally stood up, only to discover an arm full of gravel pebbles and large pus-filled bumps.  Later that night whilst showering, I found out I bruised half of my right side with a large black bruise centered right directly on my tailbone (translation:  I now chant the entire opening of the Lion King every time I sit down… Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba Sithi uhm ingonyama).   For those wondering, I don’t have pictures of said llamas on account of the fact that I was too busy picking gravel out of my tailbone.

Note to self:  Death by llama gazing makes for a terrible story.  Next time at least hold off for Death by Bigfoot glaring!


Got some visits from my friends, Larry and Curly… Moe was at the bar.


Filed under Exercise

Defining Patience… But Hurry it Up!

Since I worked all last weekend, I had last Monday off.  My plans were grand… tell Madre to call in sick to work and have our annual Bear Lake trip where we sit and read and then bike whilst eating 8 bajillion gnats.  Simple days… kind of like Andy Griffith in Mayberry except without Aunt Bea… or Opie… or pie… but in color.  I had also decided I wanted to do a short hike up into this lake I’d never been to called Bloomington Lake, which I was sure would take a total of 11 minutes… TOPS!  Oh plans… I envy you.

What ended up happening?  We got to Bear Lake, and were supposed to drive a measley 11 miles a couple of towns over to Bloomington where we’d be able to access the road that took us up the canyon.  Two miles into the drive to Bloomington, we hit a traffic jam… and a traffic jam in the middle of a 2-lane road is the most frustrating kind.  We were totally stopped with a line of cars in front of us for miles.  I didn’t know what was going on down the road, but it seemed like we might be there all day, and so we sat in the line for 5 minutes, got all antsy, and decided to turn around and change up the plans a bit.  Our new plan was to drive around the lake to the state park we usually sat in to read.  No biggie… I can hike later.  Only, we somehow missed the turn to go around the lake and ended up on our way to Kemmerer, Wyoming… let’s face it… not even the people who live in Kemmerer want to visit!  No offence… I’m sure your town is lovely.

Forty minutes later, I got out the rusty GPS majigger to see if we could find a shortcut to get back to the park, and that’s when we ended up here…

Miles into a bumpy dirt road that the GPS told me to turn down but then couldn’t for the life of me make up her mind where I should go on this dirt road.  Freda, the GPS kept freaking out, telling us to turn where there were no roads to turn on… one time it told me we should turn into a pond, and I said to myself… self… if all of your GPS friends drove into a pond, would you!?   Only if said pond had a treasure chest of chocolate cake at the bottom!

When we finally realized that this “shortcut” was no shortcut at all, we did an 85-point turn in a truck on a 2×5 dirt road and decided to head back to the highway.  Stupid shortcuts.  We then went back the way we came… back to sitting in the traffic jam which we learned 10 minutes later was road construction crews re-paving the road… and if we’d only waited 10 minutes the first time around we wouldn’t have wasted 4 hours of our day.  Hurry up and be patient!  My motto needs some work.

We did finally make it to Bloomington and the canyon, which was another bumpy dirt road that seemed neverending.  I had my dread hat on and was sure we’d get a flat tire and then be stuck up here in the middle of nowhere with no cell reception and 2 Lifesaver mints, and the newspaper heading would say something about Lifesaver Mints Were No Lifesavers.  A good half hour later, we made it to the trailhead parking lot, which I swear I could have found if I’d just sniffed my way up there… holy nasty-smelling outhouses, batwoman!  Them babies were ripe for picking.

The hike up to the lake was 1.2 miles round trip, but when you dislike hiking and are a klutz, it was more like 52 miles all uphill both ways in near 100-degree heat.  I had a walking stick and maneuvered rocky terrain like I was a 105-year-old on a Jazzy scooter.   Oh laws… OH LAWS!  I made it without injury… and saw some beautiful scenery at the end.  I’ll call that good.  Next hike will be flat and paved in a car.  Mark my words!




Notice the snow!


Filed under Life

Note To Self: Look For Esteem…

I’m a tightly wound girl… bees constantly get stuck in my bonnet… and Ma in her kerchief and Pa in his cap had just settled down for a long winter’s nap…  Because I’m tightly wound my managing stress class stresses me out on a daily basis, but I’m also learning a lot about being stressed out.  It’s literally the Adam & Eve of our bodies… meaning that everything that is wrong with us begins with stress in some form.  If we were never stressed we’d all be like PollyAnna at an ice cream convention wearing a pink tutu and frollicking through a field of daisies.  In the real world, the police would be waiting by the dumpster next to the make believe daisy field because PollyAnna done lost several french fries from her Happy Meal frolicking nekked because her make believe tutu is at the invisible dry cleaners… the humiliation!

There are a lot of ways to help manage stress… but the key to all of those wrapped into a little package of glee-balls is SELF-ESTEEM!  Period… end of story… move me to Bermuda tomorrow.  The level of one’s self-esteem determines the amount of stress in his/her life.  Things may still go wrong in your life even if your self-esteem is the highest notch right on the line before way too cocky for your own britches… but your self-esteem predicts how you will handle a bad situation… and that makes all the difference.

Easy!  All I have to do is get a great self-esteem and I’ll be stress-free!  Sign me up… also, where’s the infommercial that sells packages of self-esteem because I need to buy about 32?  That’s the first thing I need to work on… self-esteem.  Push everything else to the back burner because once I get self-esteem in a good place, all of the other glee-balls will fall into place… they’re gleefully cool like that.  It’s a very foreign thought to think about actually liking myself and giving myself credit where credit is due… but it’s a necessity.

For the class, we have these assignments that ask some very personal and private questions.  The teacher is the only one who reads them due to the nature of said questions and she usually writes long replies to each of them giving us tips and advice on how to work on ourselves… kind of like a therapy session… except with less couches present.  On one particular assignment a few weeks back, I answered the questions… was very self-depracating and came across a bit like a #*$&#*$… excuse my French fries… and I didn’t even give it a second thought… self-depracation is second nature to me.  The reply from the professor at the bottom of the page?  LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF!!  She’s usually pretty verbose in her replies, but after reading through my answers again and counting how many times I put myself down, I understood… no other words were needed.

I ain’t gonna lie… my first reaction was to be annoyed… how dare she not cater to my pity party of self-hatred!  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that was just what I needed to hear… because it’s the truth.  So, I’mma gonna go hunting for my esteem… if anyone spots it, put it in a bag, tie it up real tight like, and drop it off at the invisible dry cleaners… gonna be there picking up my make believe tutu.  **winkwink**



Filed under Life, Little Things

Oldies But Goodies…

I’m on a  historical kick lately.  I’m gonna say it has something to do with the fact that I’m currently taking a history class… but that’s a shot in the dark because really… what’s the correlation, Merle!?  This history class requires… a LOT of reading.  All I do is read… work for 8 hours a day (where I read doctor’s reports all day) and then read my homework (which also includes reading the text in the other scientifical class) for the rest of the night until I develop blood clots and decide to go to bed.  I’m pretty sure if we added up all the pages I’ve read in my entire lifetime, they wouldn’t even get close to equaling the pages I’ve read the last 2+ months.  Professional reader… with ADD… hook me up, Hooked on  Phonics!   Didn’t work for me!  You’ll only get that if you watched TV commercials in the 90s!

Back to my original point… Historical Kick!!  My cuzzin JenJen and her 2 boys, Cruz and Blaize stayed with us for a couple of days last weekend… and I drug them all to the American West Heritage Center we have going on down the road a few miles.  I thought Cruz would like to ride the train and see the animals… and pretend he was interested in watching a guy bend a nail in a fire to make a mug holder.  It turned out he had more fun riding in my childhood radio flyer 90 red wagon than anything… and we could have stayed home to do that!

He wasn’t impressed that this calf thought he was an ice cream cone…

Silly calf… red wagons are for kids.  NINETIES REFERENCE butchered!   But cutie pie Blaize sure had fun riding the buffalo hide!

And Whitney found herself a new house she could afford… comes furnished and everything!

Looks a little lumpy… but I wouldn’t have to worry about burglars!  Take that, rich people!

The next historical kick-like thing I did was just this past Friday.  I took off in Beulah, the broken-air-conditioner Buick to a ghost town in Idaho I’d read about.  The no air conditioning was fitting since they didn’t have air conditioning back in the 1800s… I asked.  They didn’t.  Unless you count the guy who stood behind you and blew spittle all over you whilst trying to cool you off.  PASS!  Chesterfield, Idaho was founded in 1880 by some dude named Chester Call.   Well, lookee there… Chester found some Fields… Chesterfield!  It was inhabited for quite a few years, houses and stores and buildings were built, but then it got too hard to live there.  Winters were long and hard and so eventually the town was abandoned, but the buildings remained.  In 1980 (100 years after it was founded), a group came to try to restore the town to its original 1800s look.

I thought the town was tres cool… very abondoned and quiet and it felt like I’d stepped back into the 1800s with the buildings and houses and dirt roads.  I’m glad I went alone because there were no shopping malls within a 100-mile radius of the place.  When I arrived, I regretted that I hadn’t stopped to use the restroom since this place is in the middle of nowhere!  At least 40 miles from the nearest gas station… no cell reception… no people or inhabited houses for miles on end.  There were a few people running the store, who pointed me to a portable outhouse and I almost croaked to death at the thought.  I ain’t never used a Honey Bucket and I don’t plan to start now.  The lady noticed I was reluctant so had her husband take me a mile or so down the road to unlock the public restrooms… glory be hallelujah… they had soap and I was sorely thankful!

The older lady told me she could have her husband take me on a tour around the town, but I could tell he wasn’t so much excited at the idea of hanging around in 96-degree weather just so I could see inside the houses.  I told her I’d just walk around myself since I just survived driving in 800-degree weather for 2-1/2 hours with no air conditioning!  Pioneer… what!?

The assembly hall… complete with handcarts… uh… and a white minivan… probably Chester, Jr.’s vehicle.

This is what remains of the old brick school house.  There were crumbled bricks all around… this is just a portion of them.

I don’t think that outhouse is “portable,” but there was another option for a restroom, Merle!

This was the nicest house in all the town, owned by the guy who ran the general store, complete with 7 gables.

This one hadn’t been restored yet.  I’m stopping with the pictures, but if you are a geeky historical person and want to see more, I’ve put them in a folder for your perusal.  Chesterfield Pictures… 

‘Twas an interesting trip.  I wouldn’t want to live there… portable outhouses my rear receptacle… but I’ll visit!





Filed under Life

My Apologies…

I didn’t post yesterday… why?  I was way too busy studying all of this scientifical information that didn’t stick in my head, so basically I might as well have just been staring at the walls for 6 hours.  Oh brain… pretend you’re actually fascinated with scientific information that you could care less about!  At least long enough to get through this class… or to win the lottery on Jeopardy.  What is… not gonna happen my friend.

I’ve been weddy-ing it up this spring/summer… and I must say I’ve become quite an expert at getting sunburns.  Who puts sunscreen on their back when they’re wearing a shirt?  Who!?  Tell me!?  Because I didn’t… why?  Uh… because I was wearing a shirt.  A shirt is basically sunscreen in a piece of fabric.  But, there so happened to be a stretch of skin on my back between where my hair ended and the shirt top began and it happened to fry into a nice chartreuse-ish mauvish plot of fat blobules.  Oh the humanity.  I could fry a nice steak on that sucker.  I think I’ve learned my lesson… and that would be to bring back the dickey from the 80s/90s.  Oh, you know the dickey…

The dickey is for people who want the fashionality of a turtleneck without the addition of the bulky layering factor.  It’s also for people who don’t think wearing sunscreen on your back when you’re wearing a shirt already is a smart idea.  Oh yeah… get me one in each color and some shoulder pads to match!  I’d walk down the street wearing the shoulder pads, dickey, and my rocking horse shoes and I guarantee you fashionista Lindsay and Madre would move to Botswana.

So, lesson learned… wear dickies… sunburns on backs when trying to sleep on your back at night or shower using hot water or wear a shirt is a sad day in Empty Brain Land.

But, back to the weddy-ing.  My beautiful cuzzin, Jessica, went behind everyone’s back and grew up into an adult and got married on Saturday!  The nerve that she grew up into an adult behind everyone’s back!  It was a beautiful wedding in a beautiful location with some beautiful people… and not-a-one of them wore a dickey!  Jess asked me to warble my way through a song for her luncheon.  They requested George Strait’s I Cross My Eyes Heart… that was an Uncle Phil joke!  **winkwink**   So, since I’m no George Strait and the last country thing I did was pick a piece of hay to stick behind my ear, I thought it only proper that I should stain up the only shirt I brought along to wear with my skirt.  It was a silky/satiny sort of fabric, so you know how those take to staining… like I decided to take a swim in the salad dressing aisle at the Upchuck-Arama.   Lindsay kept pointing it out to everyone who couldn’t see it for themselves (which was no one unless I missed the blind people in attendance), and even asked the photographer during group picture time if she’d mind getting the best angle on the stained shirt.  Oh, she gets a kick out of herself.

My apologies to Jessica and Delta for looking like I done just got back from a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro… but, you see… it wasn’t my fault.  The lemon water made a hole where my lip used to be and then I sucked it down the wrong tube and immediately started hacking up my small intestine.  It was a medical emergency and I lived to tell the tale!

The night before we had a bridal shower hosted by the fabulous Jean and Jessica (not Jessica, the guest of honor… the sister-in-law one).

There she is on the far left!  JenJen even came up from New Mexico!

The next morning we arrived early to put together the rustic wedding arch.  My job was to mostly try not to touch anything on the actual arch, because I lack in crafting skillz, grace, non-bad luck, and general artsiness… but I did get to hand Lindsay and Madre all of the supplies and be the official cutter of the crafting wire… just so long as I kept my distance from the arch.  Chances are I’d have tripped over the wire cutters and the arch would have exploded into a million and twelve fragments.

I don’t know how I didn’t get a better picture of the bride and groom.  I think it was because the hole in my lip and the stain on my shirt made brain function near impossible… and/or I was too busy taking pictures of the scenery… people?  What are those?   They had this cute idea to have a photo booth and you’d glue the pictures from the photo booth into this scrapbook and write your well wishes next to your photos.  These clowns showed up…

Lindsay and I decided we look goofy enough without wigs and Mardi Gras paraphrenalia…


My buddy Cruzer was not in a happy mood… or maybe he hated dickies?  But he struck some stylish poses anyway.

Move over Garth Brooks!


No, I didn’t eat that cupcake!

And Lindsay even took a 3 second break from making fun of my shirt stains to hang out with my other buddy, Blaize.

It was so fun to see so many family members, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a millenia, and partake in a fun day full of stained-up shirts.  Congratulations, Delta and Jessica!  Many happy years to come!



Filed under Family

Great Jehosephat!

I’m feeling uninspired.  It was a busy week and so there is a bunch to blog about but I’m too lazy to find my camera and upload any pictures (PS… has anyone seen my camera… it’s like it walked off and joined a cult?)   In the meantime, I’ve decided I’d rather just make fun of this here picture I came across when looking through pictures.  Some of you have already been privy to it… I immediately made it my Facebook profile picture.  Can’t pass up that opportunity.  I’m thinking I’ve lost about 5 friends since I uploaded it last night.

Oh lawsy… WHERE TO BEGIN!?!?  It’s like a goldmine up in this here joint!  I would just like to point out, though people have guessed that I’m gearing up to blow out the candles, I’m actually just oober shocked that I’m sitting in the presence of a chocolate cake and haven’t been grounded yet for going off my “die”t.  Did y’all also notice the fact that the cake decorator plopped a cardboard ghost on the top of the thing and called it a day?  I got my crafting skillz from my mother!  In this day and age, children get to pick their birthday party theme and then they get a cake built in the shape of a princess castle or carved into a gargantuan Barbie convertible, Whitney’s birthday is a week before Halloween… her theme was always, always, always Halloween.  The colors were always orange and black… and that cardboard cake ghost got some mileage!

Y’all kids these days have it good.  Why, back in my day we had birthday parties on the west side of town with the front door wide open to up the chances of being kidnappesd on the spot.  Could finally get rid of that cardboard ghost if that were to happen!   My bangs are paying homage to the future bath poof body scrubber… and my shirt is a straight up puff paint original.  Do you remember puff paint?  Do they still make puff paint?  I need me some puff paint stockings.  The reason I remember the shirt had puff paint on it was because I would spend hours picking off said puff paint until it was basically a white shirt with no puff paint scribbles.

It’s a miracle I didn’t decapitate myself wearing those glasses for so long… walking upright must have been quite the ordeal… especially since it was uphill both ways without any pants and it was always winter!


Yesterday someone introduced me to this impressionist, Christina Bianco, and since then I’ve watched 800 YouTube videos of her.  She does impressions of the voices of female singers aka divas… and is spot on with most of them.  Hilarious!




Filed under Childhood

Carpetbagging It…

I just spent 5 minutes trying to pick up a huge spider!!!!!!  Except every time I’d get my armoured car of Kleenex material down to pick it up, I’d think I’d picked it up but then when I stood up it would still be there staring at me from the carpet, all black and huge-mongous… the size of my head.  I kept picking at it for a good 5 minutes… and then I put my glasses on and realized I was picking at the shadow of a frayed piece of carpet.  Not only do I have horrible eyesight glasses-less, I’m also a hallucinating methamphetamine patient.  Stupid shadows of invisible spiders.  All that girly squealing was unnecessary… sorry neighbors.   Meanwhile… is anybody else experiencing a deluge of nasty black beetles in their house this year?  Just me?  Because I swear I pick up a good 20 beetles PER DAY… and it’s getting to the point where I think I should collect them and drop them in a chocolate fondue pot and then sell them to the nature survivalists as a dessert-y protein crunch.  I’d have my own dagnabbed side buisness.   So gross!!

This afternoon, I decided to drive around and pick a random country road and annoy the neighbors by walking down it.  I do that every so often to get some new scenery.  This one I’d walked down in the past, a couple of years ago, so I knew that it was a very narrow, windy road that eventually turned into a dirt road on the edge of civilization.  I parked Beulah the Bird-Turded Buick in some overgrown weeds on the side of the road next to a dead muskrat who smelled something fierce (Secret… strong enough for a muskrat, pH balanced for a gopher) and then I began walking down the road.  I was wearing my purse because it had my phone in it, just in case I got accosted by the relatives of said dead muskrat.  So, I probably looked really out of place walking down this road and though I thought it would be a relatively quiet, car-less road, there were quite a few cars who drove down the road whilst I was walking it, each would slow down to pass me (the road was very very narrow) and also probably to wonder what the heck I was doing walking down their road!

One car in particular slowed wayyyy down to pass me… it was eery like whomever was in the car was going to arrest me for invasion of alien lands, so I kept my head down and kept on walking.  The car eventually passed me by, and I went on my merry way.  About 5 minutes later, that same car came driving back, this time towards me, and I got all nervous again because it slowed down and the lady in the car was gawking at me like I was a cow-tipping suspect.  But you durn near got you a chocolate milkshake, Merle!  She passed me slowly, brought her car to a complete stop, backed the car up, and rolled her window down.  At this point I’m thinking my dream to be on 48 Hours: Mystery may come true, except as the dead person instead of the talking alive person.   I stopped walking at this point… DUHHHHH… RUN FOR THE HILLS… and walked over to her window as she was motioning for me to come over.

Possible Murder Suspect (PMS):  Is that your Buick about 2 miles back?  
Carpetbagger Whitney (CW):  Yes… I’m sorry… should I not have parked there?
PMS:  Oh no… It just looked like it might have broken down.  
CW:  Oh no… I’m just walking.
PMS:  Do you need a phone?  I live down the road, you can borrow the phone at my house.
CW:  Oh, that’s so sweet of you.  I’m fine.  I’m just walking.  

At this point she was looking at me like I had bull horns sprouting out my head.  Apparently I was the equivalent of a Japanese tourist on that road.  Three-hundred-plus pounds, looking like I ain’t done never walked a day in my life, carrying a purse and a camera.

I’m thankful that she was willing to help… unless she was really trying to drop the hint that I should get the heck off of her road!  But it made me laugh… Carpetbagging Whitney… soon to hit your neighborhood… watch out!

PS –  Thank you to my favorite sweetest Plunger Fairies (hi Audrey and Karen) for the basket full of fun (a beautiful hand-woven basket, a darling owlie, a gift card to my favorite grocery store, Kleenex, and a pad of paper).  You didn’t need to and you shouldn’t have, but I’ll shut up and appreciate what kind women you are!   Hugs sent your way!








Filed under Exercise, Life