The 'Why?'

To find out what this journey is about, start with the beginning, the 'Intro' post.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Next Trip: New Mexico and Utah

That's where we be headed next weekend for two weeks. 

I am reminding myself to take my camera, and take it out!!  And use it!!   :)

Really just driving through New Mexico, but there are points of interest along the way.  Most of the time will be spent in Utah.  Doing it differently this time...  sadly, Van Halen stays home.   I am hitching a ride.  Will be different to let someone else drive it all.  Not sure if this will be good or bad, lol. 

Place in Utah we're aiming is near Zion National Park, the area around Torrey, and Moab.  The others are gonna be riding their motorcycles, I'll be driving the big truck, taking the doggies.  We will either follow them or find some other places I want to check to go see that day.

At night, we are going to be camping out of the cargo trailer that the motorcycles will be hauled up there in.  Man!!  There's a LOT of crap to load up.  And we will be unloading and reloading at all 3 points of interest.  I have a feeling it will get old fast, but we will see. 

Sure wish Van Halen had a badass motor that could also pull this trailer, cause everything needed was already in there, ready to go.  Now I'm having to steal stuff from her..   *sniff sniff* to pack up on the trip. 

But hey!!  can't wait to see that beautiful scenery and get to camp out.  :D   Should be fun!!!  :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

We Were Dancing Queens

*Que Abba's 'Dancing Queen' music*

Yep... as it was.. it was a Saturday.  Sometimes we actually weren't going anywhere out of town when I was growing up.   If such is the case, my mom would load up us girls and head to Corpus Christi, Tx, about 40 minutes from where we lived.

We took our skates..  she dropped us off..  we were there for HOURS!!  We were totally Dancing Queens of the roller world.   Disco ball and everything!!  They had smoke even!  We would skate all day!

Hours later, this all concluded with a trip to a Mexican food place.. usually Monterey House.  Where the awesome people would put that awesome Mexican wrapped candy (pralines) at the bottom of the chip basket and all us kids would dive in for it to eat before the food arrived.  

This was in the era of when Sunrise Mall was actually the thing to go to in Corpus..   Anyone ever seen 'The Legend of Billie Jean'??  The mall scene was our mall, and in that time frame..  yeah!!  :)

I Did Not Know I Saw A Ghost

This was in the house that I grew up in.

Strange things have happened there.  It was never anything big, or scary.  Just some funny things that could not be explained.

Well, apparently, my older two sis's bedroom was haunted.  I did not know this.  She would play games with them.  Mostly, with my dad.  She would sometimes peek over the bed, appear in the closet, hide things and put them later on to be found in weird places.

True story..  One night, my older sis Alicia was eating a carrot in the bed.  Cause..  that is what you DO at night as a kid, right?   When she got to the nasty end, she decided to throw it down the hallway.  The hallway from her bed was a straight shot down the hall with nothing in it's way. 

As it so happens, my dad had a penchant for popping his toes before he went to sleep at night.  Hey, don't judge, we all have our things!!   That night, he was sitting at the end of the bed, doing his thing, about to go to sleep, so the lights were out.  All the sudden, something hits him on the foot.   Weird, right?   So he turns on a few lights, looks around.. looks some more.. finds nothing..  goes to sleep.

When he woke.. wouldn't you know it, the carrot end was on the pillow by his face.

It was stuff like that.  Nothing scary.  Mostly in fun.

So as it happened one night, I was asleep in my bunk.  See, our house had cathedral ceilings, no attic.  So the roof sloped upwards in the middle to go with this, our room, my and my lil sis's Becky's room, was in the middle of the house where this ceiling peeked.  So we had a tall ceiling and my dad hand made us some bunk beds.  They were pretty tall cause of the roof. 

So I was sleeping on the top bunk that night when I woke, for whatever reason, and looked down, and I could see her.  She was kind of floating, dressed in red, with what looked like a red hat.  I thought it was the tooth fairy.  That tells you how young I was.  I immediately went right back to sleep so she could give me my quarter or whatever.  

It was only years later, after hearing about her..  it hit me.  I was 26 years old, my parents and sis's were at my house, and they started talking about her.  I've never seen her otherwise and never felt anything there.  But when they described her, it totally made sense!!  What I saw was her, not the tooth fairy.  Heck, I didn't even have a tooth out that night! 

When we moved, my parents rented the house out to a few of our relatives.  Without us asking, they asked my parents instead, if they ever saw the red haired girl.  Another cousin who stayed with them saw her, too.

Years later, while on a visit down there, the house was up for sale.  My sister's decided to knock and talk to the owners.  They told them that they had grown up in the house and asked if they could see the house, sentimental reasons and all.  The current owners asked my sis's if they had seen the little girl.

A few more years later...  it is up for sale again.  I can't remember which relative when inside to look around..  but they say, that room, my older sis's room..  is the ONLY room to have yet to be remodeled!  Same wood paneling, same everything!  Everything else in the house has been redone.  That room looks just exactly the same as when my sisters had it. 

My dad told me he sometimes goes to the window and tells her 'hi' from time to time.  He would truly like to know who she is, why she sticks around.  There have been too many people that have seen her to not believe that this is true..   that it is a possibility.  This being is obviously stuck there.  She never harmed or scared, she was mischievous, never in a bad way.  Sure wish we could know the story.

I wouldn't believe had I not seen her with my own two eyes though..  even though I didn't realize it until 20 years later.

Roller Coaster Road

That is the name of the road we called it.  It was a white rock dirt road down the road from us, and was a continuous up and down road.  No one drove it much.  It was perfect for our shenanigans!!

As it was, poor dad had 4 daughters and no son.  That did not stop him from keeping us in wheels.  Roller skates, bicycles, mini bikes, and go carts.

About the time he was making us mini bikes and go carts, we had discovered this road.  Our rule was always that we would ride these things on the alley across the street from us, back and forth, so dad could keep an eye out for us.  (our block did not have an alley).

But what we really did...  bwahahaha....     We would ride down the alley a time or two.. then go to the end and hot foot it down to the road..  Roller Coaster Road...  then fly to our hearts content.  For like, all of 2 minutes.. then it was hot foot it back to the alley so we could make sure dad was happy.

Wow, those dips and hills were exhilarating!!   Didn't know then, the road was super dangerous cause cars couldn't really see well while they, themselves, flew over them.  What did we know, we were stupid kids.  We still went every chance we could get away with!!

Sorry dad..   but you really built some awesome toys!!!  :D

The Almost Van Roll

This was in my teens...

So there we were..  

My mom and dad had decided to do yet another life change between my sophomore and junior year of high school.  Quitting their jobs and moving us girls to western Oklahoma. 

As it was, on one summer day..  us girls were amusing ourselves while mom and dad were at their new jobs.  Being in our teens, it was no big deal.

But me... in my BRILLIANT mind, decide to do the unthinkable. 

See...  on the back of a cereal box, was the awesome coupon for a free Dairy Queen ice cream cone.  As it was hot, oh heck yeah!!   As I was a broke teen..  oh effin' double hells yeah!!!!   But...   how to get to the Dairy Queen in town??

Enter...  el old been everywhere trusty Chysler van!!  That thing was bought brand new in 1979, it was now about 1987, had been about all over the lower 13 states and then some..  well over 200k miles..  and it was sitting pretty in the driveway.

Did I have a license??   Nope.   Did I have my parents permission?  Nope.   Did I have more than one coupon, hence inviting my sisters?  Nope. 

So what does rebel-Pammy do in such circumstances???   She steals the van, that's what she does!!!

Yes, I did.   And I will have you know.. on the way back..  if you drop said free Dairy Queen ice cream cone and try to pick it up on the way back home on a back road... you WILL drive into the ditch.. the stolen van WILL turn sideways..   you WILL see your life flash in front of your eyes while you try to maneuver it back on to the road..  and you WILL thank your lucky stars you got home safely without a scratch to you or the van, ice cream well within your belly.. and no one knew the difference.

Until now..   (sorry mom and dad!!   I am safe though!! :)  )

Life Lessons

There should always be something in life that teaches you lessons.

I have appreciated this fact since I was a teenager.  Let me give a bit of a background so you can understand where I am coming from.

From as long as I can remember, I have only lived in one house.  We lived in some before, but I was too young to remember these.  Nope, the only one I remember from childhood was on Ingleside on the Bay, and outskirt of Ingleside, Tx.  We lived on Woodhaven street.  Nothing fancy or anything, just a 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, situated one block from a marina that connected to the bay near Corpus Christi, TX.

We were kind of a suburb of Ingleside, Tx, a small town about 30 miles from Corpus Christi, TX.   Ingleside population, about 5,000.  Ingleside on the Bay population, about 400.  The bus would come out there, 5 miles from town, and pick us kids and take us home from school every day.  Yet, we felt far removed from 'town'. 

I grew up there, in that bay area.  Where a kid could take off on their bikes, and the signal to come home was the street light coming on.  We swam down near the marina.  We picked wild berries at a neighbors yard.  We skated everywhere we could.  We stole lots of little gum from the corner store.  We went to the small corner church's vacation bible school.  We made forts from weeds.  Climbed and played in trees.  Got in to too much mischief.

For four girls all close in age, we had a pretty great childhood.  We didn't want for anything.  We didn't live in a mansion, but mom and dad always did everything for us.  Big family vacations every year.  So many, many weekend trips I can't even start to list.  We always had clothes to wear, most of the time the latest stuff, cause 'that mattered in school'.  Childhood was awesome!  

Mom and dad both worked.  Hard.  I remember in my teens, my dad had worked his way up working for the city, and was chief in charge of handling lots of things.  My favorite memory, though, was getting in his truck on a hot afternoon and that smell when he started the A/C and it mixed with the dust from his work..  if I could bottle that smell, I would.  Cool part was he got to come home from lunch every single day, and in summers we would see dad at home every day at lunch. :)   Also, he was in charge of the water part of the big city pool.. ie. we got to sneak in there for free occasionally, hehe.

My mom had, at that time, worked for a big shrimping business the next town over, Aransas Pass, Tx.  High stress job.  They say they had to hire 3 people to replace her after she left.  I still remember, to this day, their 1-800 number that us kids called oh so many times to fill her in on life or death situations..  say..  "Mary ate the last DingDong!!" or such other catastrophe.   1-800-242-3022.   Have call way too many times..   all from the big yellow rotary phone with the 20' cord attached to the kitchen wall, btw.

Both of their jobs were stressful.  We, as kids, did not appreciate this, I do now.  As it sometimes happens in life, sometimes a lesson comes along.  I have had the very fortunate experience in life, a few times, to let life teach you a lesson.

So, there we were, teenages.. approaching, in, or almost in, our high school years.   And what do my parents decide to do??   Up and leave the freaking rat race, that's what!!

Yep, they sure did.  Sometimes a person can only take so much.  I guess they were both at that level.  So they both quit their jobs, loaded us kids up, moved 5 hours to place in western Texas where a few aunts lived.   No jobs.. no place to live..   huge ass risk.  

We managed to find a place to live, and right before school.  Us girls started school, feeling the whole world knocked out from under us.  Going from a bigger school to a tiny town.  For example.. in my 8th grade..  about 30 students per class.. we had about 8 classes of them, so 240 in my 8th grade, or there abouts.   Down to..  about 20 in my whole class.  If that.  We were the new kids, fresh out of water.  Never been that before.   Lessons.

Another lesson..  when you move with no jobs, and are used to money coming in, and there's none coming in..  things get scary fast.  We made due.  No new school clothes, the world didn't end!!  Guess what?  They did not shun us.  We didn't have any money to buy groceries..  guess what?  You got creative.  I learned for the first time in my life how to make biscuits from scratch, and we did not starve!  (and so started my penchant for cooking from there...)   We did not have much, but people welcomed us anyways, taught us the lesson of how good people can be, as well.

I really, truly, thank my mom and dad for doing this.  What a scary thing for them to do, with teenagers in the house.  We learned that not all things will stay the same.  Things can, and always will, change.  And you know what?  You will not die!   It was definitely a learning experience, one I am forever grateful for.

Who knows..  I could have grown up an entitled know it all brat that expects everything handed to them.  Thank GOD I wasn't.  Thank you mom and dad!!!!   :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Trip to Quartz Mountain

Decided to take my happy butt on down south to see my mom and dad at their house near Quartz Mountain Nature Park today.

Mom and dad live on the east side of Lake Altus-Lugert, which is adjacent to Quartz Mountain Nature Park.  Confusing to me, as they all go together, but who am I to point this out to those in charge, haha.  Anyways, decided to hop in Van Halen and stretch her legs, as a bonus, go to see the parents before they took off down south for a few weeks.

As a treat, I offered to bring the fixings and fix my crockpot jambalaya for them.  It was a hit.  After some hanging out and eating, we decided to hop in the Van and go see some stuff around the lake.  I remembered my camera this time. 

It's interesting, the contrast between most of western Oklahoma, and this little spot in south western Oklahoma.  Here are examples:   this is me driving home (just ignore the rude bug that decided to kamikaze my windshield, I was driving)

... And this was the place I went to:

The mountains are interesting.  They are more rocks than dirt.   Here is a close up for ya:

Yeah, sometimes you have to watch out for fallen rocks.

The lake has been pretty empty for the past few years.   So bad it didn't have any fish left.  With all this wonderful rain we've had the lake has really filled up.  Here is an example of how it was, this picture you can see the top of a tree that had grown that is nearly under water.  I caught my dad in the picture :)  :

The lake has filled up enough, the tourist trade has picked up.  When the last few years has shown hardly anyone enjoying the lake or camping, this is what we saw out there today:

The parking lot was almost too full for me to turn around in, must be a lot of locals tickled to be using their toys again, here's the butt of Van Halen, I didn't get a good shot of the rest of the vehicles parked to the left:
Unfortunately, the farmers have sway over letting the lake out to water their crops, I got a picture of the waterway, the water was going pretty fast and it's deep, here's a few pics of the lake being drained out for farmers, lake be damned apparently.  They say they will let this go until the lake is empty:
My mom had to pose for a quickie on the walkway up to this spillway, haha:

 Around the other side of the lake is a little beach and the boat ramp, there were more boats out there than I caught:

A few other pictures around the area:
Pretty decent lodge area and an art center with a covered bridge that was nice.   Here is mom and dad posing for a picture:
Mom took one of me and dad.  But..  naturally, my eyes were closed, so I'm not including it.  :p
Was a very nice little trip.  Van Halen ran pretty cold, so that was awesome!  Got to check out their cool little 12' travel trailer, and all the work my dad did on my sis, Alicia's, lake house next door to theirs.  Got to see my uncle Ronny.  Chevy got to visit mom and dad's pooch, Wesley.  Food was good.  Company was good.  :)  Great trip!!

Lost Time Reading

Does anyone else have this problem besides me??   Like you've stepped into a black hole of sorts and hours of your time has gone by, but you have only scratched the surface of the things you want to read.

Take this morning, for example.  Here it is, almost 11am, I am still sipping on my first cup of coffee  (have already had one cup of tea but wanted something stronger).  As of right now I have 5 tabs open of stuff I want to read on..   and I have already been reading for 5 hours!!

Since I am in the planning phase of my next trip, most of the things I have been reading have been other peoples blogs.  They give me ideas of places to visit and the like.  Sometimes product reviews.  Sometimes neat camping hacks.  Interesting stories, always.

But then, that one blog links to another one, a new one (Ohhh!!!   a new shiny!!!  :) )...   which in turn has links to other ones (even more shiny's!!!!   Sweet!!!)...    who has even more links (endless shiny's!!!!   I am in heaven!!!). 

Thank goodness I didn't have anything pressing to do today.   Well, could be doing laundry, but, oh well.  These shorts and t-shirt will work for today.

Must admit, all of this reading has REALLY given me the traveling bug severe!!  As it stands, I am aiming for mid-September for my next trip.  Still unsure of when, hence all the reading. :)

Guess I best get back to it!! :D

Friday, August 14, 2015

Yay It's Blowing Cold

Got her back from the shop.  And she's blowing cold air again, heck yeah!!

Best part?  They only charged me $80.  Sweet!!

Now..  if the weather would cooperate with some lower temps, I'll be in business!  :)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Van Halen at the Shop

So I took Van Halen in yesterday, for them to look into the A/C leak and tweak the idle thing.

Got a call today from them.  They said they had her hooked up all night to the A/C charge (not positive how he put it or if that is an accurate description of how that works), and it only leaked out about 10lbs since the day before.   A slow leak, he said.  So today, they put dye in it and re-do this procedure and call me tomorrow.  Hope they find it and it's not somewhere ridiculous.

Fingers crossed.

In other news, the Kiddo was in town today.  We had lunch (awesome salmon, omg!!) and decided afterwards to hit Wally World for a few things to attempt to make a bridal bouquet.  It appears that finding a florist in her area to get it done the day of her wedding is pretty difficult, so her back-up plan is to be able to make her own, if need be. 

So I pull into the Walfart parking lot and go to put up my sunshades.  Hey, car was saying it was 103 degrees outside, anything helps!!  lol   So, yeah, I guess I turned the popup shades the wrong way because the edge of one got stuck under the edge of where my rear view mirror mounts to the glass.  I tugged it down to dislodge it, and wouldn't ya know..  it all came down.  Along with a piece of my windshield.  Yep.  Whatever they use to bond that mirror to that glass was stronger than the glass, apparently, lol.   Here's a pic:

Yep, that blob in the middle is missing glass in my windshield, it's counter-part is still sticking to the back of my rear view mirror, lol.   Got some stuff while at Walfart, will try to re-attach it tomorrow.
The attempt to make a wedding bouquet turned out to be pretty fun.  And even though it was a first try at being florists for both of us, and we didn't have the right flowers and colors (hey, this was a trial), I still think it turned out pretty darn good.  :)

Yes, we already know, that thing is way too big for tiny Kiddo, haha.  Shorter stems and less flowers next time. ;)   Cookie, near her feet, seemed to be enjoying herself as well.  The fuzy thing more north is her tail hair with her upturned butt, the fuzzy thing in the middle is her fuzzy head, and the slightly darker thing more south near Kiddo's toes was a ragged squirrel Cookie was trying to help along to an early death.  Goofy doggy.
Speaking of goofy doggies, my doggy Chevy learned a cool new move yesterday.  Past few weeks we have been going for a golf cart ride on the land here in the evenings and letting the doggies run wild.  Chevy hasn't really gotten to do this much, as she's been want to be the wanderer all her life, so she's been limited.  It's taken a while, but she is finally learning not to wander off and to stay near and she gets to go out and without a leash more.  Maybe old dogs CAN learn new tricks??  haha/  She'll be 13 years old this New Years Eve, by the way. 
So yesterday she was doing her thing of flying balls out across the field, doggy tongue hanging out, a complete look of utter joy across her face.  She hasn't got a lot of stamina built up yet, working on it, and it was hot out yesterday, so we weren't going to be running for any length of time.  On the last big run I was turned watching her, when she did her cool new move.  Guess she was watching me and not the tall grass she was coming upon because next thing I knew she was going down nose first into the grass.  Only, she did a like ninja roll onto her side and next thing I saw was feet up in the air rolling over.  She, of course, got up and looked around and you just KNEW she was looking to see if anyone had seen that.   Haha, omg it was hilarious!
Hoping the Van gets back to me soon so I can plan a little mini-trip to the folks place.  Dad's BBQ chicken is calling my name, dangit!!  :)