Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Goodmorning Baltimore!

One day of our DC trip we went to Maryland

We went to the beautiful DC temple

And we went to Baltimore to go to an Orioles game.

It was pouring that day, so we sported dorky ponchos.

It was free bobble head day at Oriole park, so sitting through the rain was totally worth it. Plus, I got to have cotton candy.

We walked around downtown Baltimore, but didn't see any of those famous crabs.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Paddle boats on the Potomac

Two weeks ago we went to D.C. These are some of the fun things we did:

Visited all the monuments and memorials

Stood in front of the white house

Saw the amazing man who plays water glasses. He let Bryce help him play a little!

Took an awesome tour of the Capitol building, (Thanks Ryan!)

Went through MANY of the Smithsonian museums. Our favorites were the Natural History, National History, Air & Space, and the Conservatory & National Gardens.

And road a paddle boat around the Tidal Basin. (If you ever happen to go paddle boat-ing, don't wear a skirt!)

We also saw lots and lots of squirrels, sat in the Senate chamber and watched some of the senators vote, walked a ton, watched planes take off at plane park, saw Old town D.C., Visited with my dear friend Michelle, and had a nice (but too short) visit with the love-of-my-life Meghan and her hubby Ryan.

As a capstone to our trip we went and saw Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian after we got home.
Super cute movie. It was really fun to see all the sites we had just visited (and I have a girl crush on Amy Adams).

It was a great trip, I highly recommend DC as a perfect vacation destination if you like to go to free museums and walk 10 miles a day.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer = Bugs

The heavy summer heat brings with it all the bugs. The rollie pollies that inexplicably inhabit my front porch, the mosquitoes the devour me every time I step outside, the flies that find their way in even when every door and window is shut and the giant wolf spider with a body the size of a quarter that crawled across my shoe the other day. Oh, and let's not forget the ants that have been steadily invading my kitchen and eating my dogs' food. Bugs are gross.

But they're not all so bad. I love watching the dragonflies skim the pond in the morning sunlight. They come in so many colors and sizes that I don't get tired of staring at them. and...


If you are not lucky enough to live in a place where fireflies light up the night, then I hope you will at some point in your life! They almost make the drenching humidity worth it, (almost.)

Last night I went outside just to watch them. On the other side of the pond there is a little forest, and right before dark there are so many fireflies that it looks like some great hand is dumping gold glitter all over the trees. The last little bit of sunlight turned the sky into an orange and peach and blue paisley. A great blue heron flew right over my head and perched in a tree behind me. Except for one obnoxious frog it was very quiet, and if I was trying to design a perfect fairytale or romance setting I couldn't have imagined anything better. I couldn't believe the amazing beauty surrounding me. I kept expecting a unicorn to come trotting out from the trees or something.

No pictures of this, you just have to imagine it for yourself.

Monday, June 15, 2009

626.06 Miles

Today we drove through Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia just to see these people:
Ryan & Meghan Clyde. They live just outside D.C. and are letting us crash with them for a few days while we explore the nations capitol.

Of course, we had to stop and see this along the way

Who wouldn't take a 2 1/2 hour detour to see the world's largest picnic basket? I have a small obsession with seeing cheesy roadside curiosities. Lucky for me I have an indulgent husband!
We also stopped here

Gettysburg National Military Park.

It was very moving to think about the price our country has paid. I have ancestors who fought on each side. However, when I play civil war, I like to pretend I'm a Union soldier if I can, (they won, you know.)

I love road trips!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Strawberry Let Down

We heard there was going to be a Strawberry Festival downtown on Thursday.

What comes to mind when you think of a strawberry festival? Seriously, think about it. What comes to mind?

I'll tell you what comes to my mind.

Tables full of strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, strawberry mousse and other unidentifiable but delicious strawberry desserts.

Old ladies wearing frilly bonnets selling their prized jams and jellies.
Houses made to resemble or made entirely of strawberries.

Grown men dressed as strawberries and driving tractors around town while little girls in vivid red tutus dance the strawberry waltz.

The strawberry queen waving daintily to her subjects from the top of a magnificent strawberry float.

Of course with all these beautiful images of strawberries dancing through my head we made plans to attend.
Guess what we found when we got there. No sweet scent of strawberries filled the air. There was no jam to be found, the only thing there was SIX DOLLAR STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE. None of the other stuff.
It wasn't the lovely festival of my imaginings. It was a fundraiser for some church. There were no streamers, no banners, no strawberry queen. What a disappointment.
At least the SIX DOLLAR cake was good. On second thought, no it wasn't. The only thing good about it was the vanilla ice cream. Oh man, did I feel suckered!
You can bet that when I am in charge of the strawberry festival (or any fruit/vegetable festival) you can bet there will be houses made of the produce. There will be pageants and craft booths and excessive celebration. And you won't have to pay $6 for the shortcake.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What I mean to say is...

Sometimes I know exactly what I'm talking about, and it makes perfect sense to me...but the person on the other side of the conversation is left in the dark. It's not because of my superior mental prowess or due to my extensive and scholarly learning. No, no. It's because I mean something completely different from what I'm saying.

One time I got into an argument with my brother Daniel about snow leopards. I was trying to explain to him that they live in Antarctica, eat little penguins and they are really, really scary. He said he was pretty sure they lived in the Himalayas and don't swim much at all. "No, you're wrong!" I told him until I was blue in the face. "I read a book about them, and haven't you seen Happy Feet?" I contended. (Just so you know I can be particularly pugnacious when I know/think I am right about something. So can he.) I knew I was right: They can be up to 14 feet long, they are lethal in the water but retarded on land, they sometimes eat people and attack through the ice. I held my ground until he pulled up a picture of a snow leopard on the internet.

OH. Maybe I meant leopard seal.

This also happened once when I was explaining to someone that capital punishment is still legal in Indiana schools.

Of course, what I meant to say is corporal punishment!
What I mean to say is...it will never hurt my feelings if you ask for clarification when I say something completely crazy. Chances are I meant something else.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Can you stand on your head?

I spent the last 4 months teaching 2nd grade in an inner city school. Working their was frustrating, rewarding, and exhausting but when I was lucky it was just down right HILARIOUS!

On the very last day of school there isn't much a teacher can threaten a bunch of rowdy students with. They know they won't have to lose recess tomorrow. If I wrote a note to the parents, I wouldn't get a response the next day. I couldn't call home and tell the parents about the unacceptable behavior because well, half of them didn't have phones at home. So what do I do when silly little Roneisha will not stand in line?

I mean she refused to stand in line. She would stand four feet away from the line. She would sit on the floor next to the line, she would skip in circles. But there was nothing, absolutely nothing I could do to get her to stand in the line like a good little girl. So obviously I told her, "Roniesha, if you are not going to be in the right place, you are going to have to stand on your head !"

She was trying to figure this out for the rest of the day. She literally had never heard the phrase stand on your head. She kept whining, "Mrs. Fortner, I don't get it! How do you even do that?" as she tried to pull her feet up to the top of her head and contorted every way possible. I may add that she is a chubby little kid, so it was extra entertaining to watch. It was pricelessly funny, but tragic at the same time. One of the things underpriveledged kids are lacking is vocabulary. Ordinarily I would have explained it to her, maybe even shown her pictures of what I meant. But it was the last day of school.

Thanks for the laugh Roneisha. Stay cool, have a great summer.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Did anyone else notice I was spelling my husbands name wrong on my blog for over a month?
I am married to Bryce, not Byrce.
Like I said, my brain is missing. Now let's add that I forgot how to read too.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I had to sleep topless

This is the story of how I am losing my mind (Not slowly. All at once.) in three examples.

Example A: On Saturday I was at Walmart and I happened to walk down the Oreo isle. I passed the white ones, and they didn't tempt me. I walked by the blue ones, and I almost reached out for a package. "No," I told myself. Despite their bright, alluring color they still taste just like the white ones. I held back. Just a side note, I don't know what it is about colored Oreos, but they look so much better to me. Marketing genius! Then I moved past the green ones...ooh, GREEN? That looks exciting, I wonder what those taste like. Here is the part where my brain went missing. I read on the packaging that they are mint flavored. I was floored. Mint with chocolate? Whoever came up with that!? What would that even taste like? I could not wrap my mind around it. I was so intrigued with this mint chocolate idea I bought them and puzzled about it all the way home. When I got home I ripped open the package, and guess what this absurd cookie tasted like....

MINT CHOCOLATE. as in mint chocolate chip ice cream. thin mints. grasshopper cookies. Oops. Seriously though, I was so confused.

Example B: Earlier this week I finished painting my bedroom. yes, it looks lovely and I will post pictures later. Anyway as I was putting all the outlet covers back onto the wall I noticed I had completely painted over one of the outlets. I got most of it off, but there was even some paint in the socket. So what did I do? I picked up a flat head screw driver and proceeded to stick it directly into the socket. Right before jamming it in, some sort of flicker passed through my mind. Wait a second, what's that I've heard about putting metal objects into electrical sockets? Or was it just paper clips? I can't remember...

Just as a refresher, you are not supposed to stick metal objects in live electrical sockets. You can get shocked, resulting in deionization of bodily fluids, internal and external burns, possible interference with nervous system, and possible paralysis and involuntary muscle spasms. Oh yeah, did I mention my hands were wet at the time too?

I didn't remember all of this at the time. Good thing my screw driver had a rubber handle.

Example C: On Monday I celebrated my first day of summer by spending it at the pool with my friend Courtney and her kids. We had great fun. We splashed and played in the water for about 4 hours, except for the 25 or so minutes I fell asleep on my chair.

When I got in the car I noticed my skin was dry and itchy and when I got home it became apparent that I had a serious, SERIOUS sunburn. I am a fair-skinned individual. I do not tan, not ever and it only takes about 5 minutes in the sun for my cheeks to turn bright pink. I was mad about the searing pain creeping up my back and shoulders and as a grabbed for the aftersun aloe lotion I said to Bryce, "I wish I could have somehow not gotten a sunburn!"

His smart reply was "Did you even put on sunscreen?"

WHAT? Sunscreen! Why didn't I think of that? How come I don't know about the magic cream that allows white girls like me to sit in the sun and not turn bright red? I am usually queen of the SPF 45. How did I forget?

This is my burnt to a crip back three days later. I had to sleep topless without anything touching my back every night since.

If any one sees a teenie tiny brain running around, please tell it to come back to me. Mine's missing.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


If you haven't seen this video of Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, you need to.

When I heard this talk the first time it struck a chord deep in my soul and made me really look at what I do each day, and what I should do differently to fulfill my potential and CREATE.

I put these words down in my journal, on my fridge and on my bathroom mirror. They are just so inspiring.

I am stupid blogger and don't know how to upload videos, but follow the link, or google dieter f uchtdorf create. Just watch it!

(And thanks to my cousin-in-law Cassie for posting it on her blog, that's where I found it!)


Monday, June 1, 2009

Mr. Beaver

Today I met one of my neighbors from down the road. I had seen his house and heard about his habits, but we had never met face to furry face until this morning.

He was out for an early morning swim and I was walking my dogs. I was amazed that such a chubby guy could move so gracefully in the water.

Truth be told, I think he was in trouble with Mrs. Beaver. He kept doing figure eights in the water, coming nearer and nearer to his front door. Then just when I thought he was about to go inside he would do and elaborate flip, twirl move and end up back in the middle of the pond.

It's my guess he was out gallivanting all night and was afraid to return home to face a wrathful wife. In an effort to improve his disheveled out-all-night appearance he twice waddled up the bank and tried to comb out his whiskers and smooth his fur. Alas, he never worked up the courage while I was there.

Although he tolerated me very reasonably from where I sat on the grass to watch his progress, he didn't appreciate Hazel's attempt at friendship. At least I think that's what he was saying when he would hiss and slap his tail at her as she chased him around the pond for all of 15 minutes.

We do have a few things in common, this neighbor and I. We both love to swim, we enjoy the quiet of the early morning near the pond and we both possess extra large front teeth. Here's to many more early morning meetings, Mr. Beaver. Keep up the good work!